ContemPolIdeoSyllabusF09 - Fall 2009 e-mai l...

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1 Fall 2009 e-mail: [email protected] phone# 412-5548 office- FAMU “Old DRS” 106 Instructor, Kwasi Densu Office Hours: TTH 9:30am-12:15pm POT 4064: Contemporary Political Ideologies Course Introduction This is an introductory course to the study of contemporary ideologies. It goes without saying that the “way a person thinks” informs his/her behavior. The same is true for organizations, communities and societies. If we want to understand how a given community or organization functions it is important to consider the ideas and beliefs that the given community or organization uses to explain reality and to define how it should develop over time. It is within this context that we will grapple with and explore some of the major theoretical and practical assumptions associated with political belief systems in the modern era. Historically speaking, the modern/contemporary age begins roughly in the 1500s. Five hundred years may seem like an extremely “long time” however, if we take into consideration that human beings have existed on the planet earth for, at the very least, 200,000 years, the last 500 years is only a fraction of that experience. For this reason it can be precisely described as “recent history”. (Characterize the modern era.) Over the course of the semester students will engage course text in a way that individual authors serve as reference points for exploring critical issues associated with political ideology and society in six key areas: 1. Theories of Human Nature: Exploring Notions of the Individual, Community and Morality 2. Defining the Good Life 3. Theories of Justice 4. Theories of the Environment 5. Theories of Economy and Society: Property, Wealth & Development 6. Theories of the State: Leadership, Autonomy and Decision Making 7. Theories of Conflict: Resistance, Civil Disobedience, Violence & War
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2 A central goal of this course is to develop within students a genuine sense of their own political values and their ability to interpret, synthesize, critically analyze and offer solutions to political, social and economic problems in the contemporary world. Finally, we will use a comparative, multicultural approach within the course. Historically the study of contemporary ideologies generally focuses upon the history and cultural experiences of modern Europe. We will break with this tradition. Both western and non-western political ideologies will be explored and compared during the semester. Course Goals and Objectives Introduce students to important concepts, theories, personalities and text associated with contemporary (“modern”) political ideologies. Develop within students an appreciation for both non-western and western political ideologies and philosophy.
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ContemPolIdeoSyllabusF09 - Fall 2009 e-mai l...

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