May 06, 2021  
Catalogue 2020-2021 
Catalogue 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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SOCI 280 - State-Society Relations in Comparative Perspective: China, the US, and the EU

Semester Offered: Fall
1 unit(s)
(Same as INTL 280 ) What do sociologists mean when they refer to “the state” and what does it mean for a state to be “legitimate” in the sociological sense? How do information and individuals flow across the state/society boundary? How do state-society negotiations diverge in democratic and autocratic nations? This course examines in the interplay between—and co-production of— state and society across three global contexts: China, the United States, and the European Union. We will begin by examining different sociological theories of the state, state-building, and governance. Using these theories as scaffolds for our discussion, we next look at how different state institutions distribute material assets, political power, and social capital among different social groups, analyze the strategies these social groups use as they work to pursue their interests vis a vis the state, and investigate how states, in turn, adapt to these changes. Throughout the semester, the class moves from examining tactics employed by disenfranchised groups to those used by elite actors in society. Weekly topics include, but are not limited to, strategies of economic development, repertoires of collective action, migrant and minority experiences, controversies surrounding the governance of new technologies, the role of experts and intellectuals in governance, and the sociopolitical function of legal institutions. Through our examination of these topics, this course will also provide students with an overview of the main methodologies sociologists employ to conduct comparative research. Abigail Coplin.

Two 75-minute periods.

Course Format: CLS

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