International Studies 602, Section 1 (Spring 2021) Capitalism in the Age of Divided Government
Syllabus -Dr. Elizabeth Covington
This course focuses on capitalism, as understood in advanced industrial nations of today’s European Union (January 2021) and the U.S., where those ideologies first developed in the late eighteenth century. It will also include brief discussions of newer variants of capitalism in China and Russia. Up to one half of our texts will be historical; however, much will be drawn from very contemporary (2019-2021) attempts to explain abrupt changes in our notions of social organization (neoliberalism, nationalism, etc.) and the very language we utilize to explain these changes. Noted economist Branko Milanovic claims that “There is no system that is an obvious successor to capitalism,” and our goal will be to assess whether this is true, and if so, if “liberal meritocratic capitalism” is over, given challenges to it such as inherited wealth, opt-outs in social welfare, assortative mating, and “low-knowledge” voters. If so, is “political capitalism” (e.g., China’s version of social organization) ascendant? In all of these cases, we will focus on the “political philosophy” of capitalism or how it is justified and strengthened in the societies where it is present.
This is an interdisciplinary seminar, based upon the Socratic method which be adapted to an online world