POLSCI 385 - Political Science Special Topics Mini Course
Section: 002 Beyond Partisanship
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Political Science (POLSCI)
Department: LSA Political Science
May be elected twice for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Our world is evolving quickly. Technology is changing what we can learn about one another, what we can say to one another, and what we believe about one another. These changes are causing seismic shifts in our culture, in our economy, and in our politics. How should we respond to the challenges of this new world and the opportunities that they create?

In a society where people have different skills and diverse ideologies, achieving critical social goals requires listening to, and sincerely attempting to learn from, people whose lived experiences and ideological perspectives are different than our own. These interactions can reveal new ways to identify shared values and show us how we can work together to make real progress on problems of common interest.

Identifying problems of common interest can be difficult in a polarized age. In our politics, in our media, and in many other social institutions, individuals and groups have strong incentives to attack those with whom they disagree. Fewer institutions can play “the long game” — and invest in creating venues that allow people of good faith to work together to produce tangible improvements in quality of life. In such venues, we can find ways to more effectively serve vulnerable populations and we can support new ways for enterprising people to advance socially-beneficial aspirations. Our society needs more of these interactions, but they work against the incentives of modern electoral politics and modern media.

Course Requirements:

A focal point in this class is your ability to write a paper that could inform a policymaker’s decisions. The paper must be between 500 and 750 words.

Class Format:

This class will be built around a series of interviews with leading public figures. The interviewees are people who have made important contributions to politics, policy or quality of life. The class will provide a venue where students and other participants can learn about the interviewees’ life experiences and gain insight into how these experiences and other factors led the interviewees to pursue a life in public service.

POLSCI 385 - Political Science Special Topics Mini Course
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
TuTh 4:00PM - 6:00PM
002 (REC)
10Soph, Jr, or Sr Standing
W 11:30AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780307455772
The righteous mind : why good people are divided by politics and religion, Author: Jonathan Haidt., Publisher: Vintage Books 1st Vintag 2013
ISBN: 9781632864628
Crisis point : why we must - and how we can - overcome our broken politics in Washington and across America, Author: Lott, Trent, 1941-, Publisher: Bloomsbury Press 2017
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