Courses and Sample Syllabi
POLS 5960: Technology and Democracy - Course Summary
While progress in the social and political world is understood to ebb and flow generationally or simply depending on where you stand in terms of your identity or ideology, the scientific and technological world is broadly seen as inherently progressive. Greater knowledge and technical know-how is understood as constantly expanding, and these expansions are seen almost unquestionably as positive. When technological tools create problems or challenges, we generally see these challenges as unintended consequences, and the solution as more technology: any new problems can simply be solved by further expanding our knowledge.
The core goal of this course is to challenge this naive and deterministic view of scientific and technological development by demonstrating the embedded nature of science, technology, and society, and identifying some of the ways technology both shapes and is shaped by democracy. Many of the core ethical and political challenges posed by a variety of extant and emerging technologies will be examined in order to illustrate the nature of these interactions.
Read the syllabus here.
POLS 2300: Intro to Political Theory - Course Summary
What is government for, and why do governments exist in the first place? Who consents to the rule of the government and how? How do governments retain their power, and what powers do they have? What does it mean to be free? What makes a just society? What is my responsibility to society, and vice-versa?
These questions, and many others like them, animate the intellectual tradition of political theory – the study of fundamental questions surrounding the order of human society and the collective human experience. In this course, we will survey a glimpse of the traditions of political theory in the western context from early Greek political thought, the enlightenment and its “modern” political theory, and into the contemporary era and its ongoing debates and controversies. Throughout, we will develop an understanding of why the questions explored in this tradition remain vitally important today.
Read the syllabus here.
Other Courses Taught:
POLS 1100: Intro to Political Science
POLS 2100: Intro to American Government
POLS 3010: Democratic Theory
POLS 3320: American Political Thought
SBS 5990: Solutions Scholars Research Options