2019-2020 Catalog

POLS 295 Topics in Politics

Topics in Politics. Can be repeated once for credit if topics differ. NOTE: Different topics may satisfy different Core Program requirements.

Climate Change and Global Justice

Many activists and advocates have argued in recent years that climate change is not only an environmental problem, but a problem for global justice. How might theories of global justice help us understand climate change? How does treating it as a question of global justice change the way we understand and respond to climate change? Who is responsible for global climate change? This course explores these questions by studying debates over the ethics of global climate change.

Our study will be organized into two main sections. We will begin by asking the question, is climate change a question of global justice? To answer this question, we will begin by studying theories of justice, or different accounts of what counts as an injustice. Then, we will turn to climate change to analyze climate change through the lenses of both intergenerational and international justice. We will also discuss the question of responsibility: who should bear the burden of responding to climate change? The third section of the course will focus on applying the ethical principles of justice and responsibility to the questions of designing institutions and policies that can effectively respond to climate change. We will close with a discussion of our responsibilities as citizens for climate justice.  Core Requirement Met: Global Connections.

Politics of Immigration

Immigration is one of the most hotly contested issues in American politics, and has been for some time. Much of the debate about how to craft immigration policies has come from politicians at the national level in the U.S. Congress, which has the responsibility to create policy, but important voices in the debate also come from state legislatures and community organizations. In this class, we will learn about the central issues regarding immigration that have emerged in both the body politic and in scholarly discourse. Topics addressed will include: why people migrate, why anti-immigrant sentiment is prevalent, the politics of immigration control policies, demographic trends, and notions of exclusion and inclusion. Our goal in the class is to come to a better understanding of the political process regarding immigration and why it matters. Core Requirement Met: United States Diversity.


4 units