236May08w - DePaul University Legitimacy and Crisis...

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DePaul University Legitimacy and Crisis Syllabus Political Science 236 Winter Quarter 2008 Catherine May, Ph.D. 990 W. Fullerton, Room 2106 Office Hours: T-Th 3-4 or by appointment Office phone: 773-325-4755 E-mail: cmay1@depaul.edu Course Description: A crisis is a time when leadership and ideologies falter. It is a time when established standards fall and customary procedures yield unexpected results. It is a time when alternatives, including no choice at all, become calculated risks. Theodore Lowi End of Liberalism The aim of this course is to explore the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of political legitimacy through traditional and contemporary approaches to this topic. To think about questions of legitimacy is to address the very essence of what constitutes the state and challenges us to think about what resides outside of its parameters. In this way, a discussion of legitimacy inevitably will lead to a discussion of political conflict and crisis and related concepts such as power, authority, freedom, rebellion, and transformation. In the first part of the course, we will set forth the Liberal Discourse on political legitimacy: what constitutes political legitimacy, what are the problems with the construction of legitimacy, and under what conditions political legitimacy is eroded. The second part of the course will look at the crisis of legitimacy in modern society and will employ contemporary theories that challenge the so-called “Liberal” Project. Required Texts: Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison J. M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians Murray Edelman, Symbolic Uses of Politics Aime Cesaire, Discourse on Colonialism Cynthia Weber, Imagining America at War NOTE: There will also be a required reading packet. Many of our discussions will focus on this material; hence, the reading packet is not supplemental. You will be tested on these readings. You may purchase the course packet from our Department Assistant, Wilma Kwit.
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Course Policies and Requirements: Class Participation Students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the readings of the day. The reading load for this course is quite extensive; therefore, students must keep up with the readings if they are to successfully pass this course. The examinations and paper assignments will be closely linked with the material discussed in class. Class participation inherently means that students regularly attend class sessions. For
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236May08w - DePaul University Legitimacy and Crisis...

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