This course explores fundamental questions about the causes and nature of revolutions. How do people overthrow their rulers? How do they establish new governments? Do radical upheavals require bloodshed, violence, or even terror? How have revolutionaries attempted to establish their ideals and realize their goals? We will look at a set of major political transformations throughout the world and across centuries to understand the meaning of revolution and evaluate its impact. By the end of the course, students will be able to offer reasons why some revolutions succeed and others fail. Materials for the course include the writings of revolutionaries, declarations and constitutions, music, films, art, memoirs, and newspapers.
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This course explores the history of the ideal of personal freedom with an eye towards contemporary debates over the pros and cons of the regulatory state. The first part of the course surveys the sociological and theological sources of the concepts of freedom and civil society, and introduces liberty's leading relatives or competitors: property, equality, community, and republicanism. The second part consists of a series of case studies in the rise of modern liberty and libertarianism: the abolition of slavery, the struggle for religious freedom, and the twentieth-century American civil liberties movement. In the last part of the course, we take up debates over the role of libertarianism vs. the regulatory state in a variety of contexts: counter-terrorism, health care, the financial markets, and the Internet.
This seminar looks at key issues in the historical development and current state of modern American criminal justice, with an emphasis on its relationship to citizenship, nationhood, and race/ethnicity. We begin with a range of perspectives on the rise of what is often called "mass incarceration": how did our current system of criminal punishment take shape, and what role did race play in that process? Part Two takes up a series of case studies, including racial disparities in the administration of the death penalty, enforcement of the drug laws, and the regulation of police investigations. The third and final part of the seminar looks at national security policing: the development of a constitutional law governing the intersection of ethnicity, religion, and counter-terrorism, and the impact of counter-terrorism policy on domestic police practices.