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1 - 3 of 3 results for: POLISCI235

POLISCI 235: Chinese Political Thought: 1895-2021 (POLISCI 335)

Everybody is talking about China now. The competition between China and the Western world is not only about economic growth, technological advancement, and military strength. What is ultimately at stake is a key theoretical question: Can China's political traditions and current practices (such as one-party meritocracy) offer a legitimate and desirable alternative to the ideal of liberal democracy? This course aims to approach this question through the lens of intellectual history and political theory. Attention is given to how Chinese thinkers since 1895 have conceived of China's place in the world, how they have used Western political ideas to transform China, how they have creatively transformed Chinese traditions to meet the challenge of modernity, and, most importantly, how they have advanced political ideals that claim to be able fix the problems in the West (such as imperialism and capitalism). We will also learn how Western thinkers are responding to the challenge from China. The first half of the course covers foundational texts in Chinese intellectual history from 1895 to the Maoist Era. The second half is about political thinking in contemporary China. No prior knowledge about China, Chinese, or political theory/philosophy is required.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER
Instructors: Jiang, D. (PI)

POLISCI 235E: Philosophy of Public Policy (ETHICSOC 175X, PHIL 175B, PHIL 275B, POLISCI 135E, PUBLPOL 177)

From healthcare to voting reforms, social protection and educational policies, public policies are underpinned by moral values. When we debate those policies, we typically appeal to values like justice, fairness, equality, freedom, privacy, and safety. A proper understanding of those values, what they mean, how they may conflict, and how they can be weighed against each other is essential to developing a competent and critical eye on our complex political world. We will ask questions such as: Is compulsory voting justified? Should children have the right to vote? Is affirmative action just? What is wrong with racial profiling? What are the duties of citizens of affluent countries towards migrants? Do we have a right to privacy? Is giving cash to all unconditionally fair? This class will introduce students to a number of methods and frameworks coming out of ethics and political philosophy and will give students a lot of time to practice ethically informed debates on public policies. At the end of this class, students should have the skills to critically examine a wide range of diverse policy proposals from the perspective of ethics, moral and political philosophy. There are no prerequisites. Undergraduates and graduates from all departments are welcome to attend.
Last offered: Autumn 2019

POLISCI 235N: Political Thought in Modern Asia (CHINA 146, CHINA 246, ETHICSOC 146, POLISCI 335N)

The study of political theory in the United States has been accused of being Western-centric: We tend to focus on intellectual traditions from Plato to NATO, while ignoring the vast world of non-Western societies and the ways they think about politics and public life. How do Chinese thinkers conceptualize human rights and good governance? How do Indian intellectuals reconcile democracy and inherited hierarchies in Hinduism? How do Islamic scholars view the relationship between religious authority and secular authority? Should we regard liberal democracy, or Western civilization more broadly, as representing the universal value guiding every society? Or, should we learn from non-Western ideas and values so as to solve problems plaguing Western societies? How can competing visions of good life coexist in a globalized and increasingly pluralistic world? This course aims to answer these questions by exploring three Asian traditions and their perspectives on politics: Confucianism, Hinduism more »
The study of political theory in the United States has been accused of being Western-centric: We tend to focus on intellectual traditions from Plato to NATO, while ignoring the vast world of non-Western societies and the ways they think about politics and public life. How do Chinese thinkers conceptualize human rights and good governance? How do Indian intellectuals reconcile democracy and inherited hierarchies in Hinduism? How do Islamic scholars view the relationship between religious authority and secular authority? Should we regard liberal democracy, or Western civilization more broadly, as representing the universal value guiding every society? Or, should we learn from non-Western ideas and values so as to solve problems plaguing Western societies? How can competing visions of good life coexist in a globalized and increasingly pluralistic world? This course aims to answer these questions by exploring three Asian traditions and their perspectives on politics: Confucianism, Hinduism, and Islam. We will focus on the modern period (19th-21st centuries) and the ways intellectuals in these societies respond to the challenge of modernity and Western superiority. Special attention is given to how these intellectuals conceive of the relationship between modernity and their respective traditions: Are they compatible or mutually exclusive? In which ways do intellectuals interpret these traditions so as to render them (in)compatible with modernity? We will read academic articles written by Anglophone scholars as well as original texts written by non-Western thinkers. No knowledge of non-Western languages is required.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER
Instructors: Jiang, D. (PI)
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