MC_201_SYLLABUS - Fall 2006 Spring 2007 MC 201-202...

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Fall 2006 – Spring 2007 MC 201-202 Introduction to the Study of Public Affairs Course Objectives : Introduction to Public Affairs is a two-semester course sequence that meets Michigan State University’s Integrative Studies in Social Science requirement. The course as a whole focuses on the dilemmas faced by contemporary democratic regimes in a world marked by both cooperation and conflict. It addresses such issues as the tension between liberty and security in democratic regimes confronted by the threat of terrorism, the trade-offs between economic growth and social and political equality in liberal market economies, the nature of citizenship and national identities in the face of immigration, the rise of ethnic nationalism and the breakdown of traditional cultures under the impact of “globalization,” the rise of new forms of authoritarianism, and the paradoxical strength of religious belief in an age of unprecedented scientific and technological advance. The course examines these dilemmas as they arise in the United States and in other societies both democratic and undemocratic. It does so from a number of different and sometimes competing intellectual perspectives. The purpose of the course is not only to provide a forum for discussing important issues in public affairs but also to introduce you to a variety of intellectual tools both theoretical and empirical for analyzing our contemporary dilemmas and arriving at sound judgments on public policy. The course emphasizes the interdependence of social, political, economic, and cultural factors in understanding public affairs. While beginning from a consideration of the United States and the challenges it faces in both domestic and foreign affairs, the course emphasizes the need to develop a comparative and global perspective for a full understanding of public affairs. The course is intended as well to develop your skills in the critical reading and analysis of texts, clear writing, articulate speaking, and attentive listening. The Public Affairs course does not aim to introduce the different fields in the College. The College will sponsor additional activities outside MC 201-202 to introduce these fields. Required Readings: The following books may be purchased from the Student Bookstore on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing. Kwame Anthony Appiah, Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers , W.W. Norton, 2006. T.C. Boyle, The Tortilla Curtain , Penguin Books, 1995. Hamilton, Madison, and Jay, The Federalist Papers , Signet Classics, 2003. Alexis Tocqueville, Democracy in America , Penguin Classics, 2003.
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Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and Marcello Pera, Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam , Basic Books, 2006. Timothy B. Smith,
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MC_201_SYLLABUS - Fall 2006 Spring 2007 MC 201-202...

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