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Dr. Joel Brereton, Chair 120 INNER CAMPUS DR STOP G9300 WCH 4.134 78712-1251 • 512-471-5811

Fall 2006

ANS 390 • Civil Society in East Asia

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
31340 W
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
NOA 1.110
Maclachlan

Course Description

Since the decline of communism in Eastern Europe during the late 1980's, "civil society" has assumed the dimensions of an intellectual fad in the social sciences. Like all fads, it has attracted more than its share of fans and critics. Proponents, on the hand, extol civil society both as a useful counterpoint to such concepts as state and market and as an intellectual indicator of recent trends in democratization at the turn of the century. Critics, on the other hand, doubt the theoretical relevance of the concept while questioning whether civil society even exists in reality. The purpose of this course is to introduce graduate students to the themes and controversies of the civil society literature and to assess its applicability to East Asia. For the first few weeks of the semester, we will explore works by key authors such as Habermas, Seligman, Keene, and Putnam, followed by selections from the relevant literature on Japan, China, and South Korea. The last three weeks of the semester will be devoted to student presentations of their research papers. Students are free to write on either a theoretical question relation to civil society, or on a relevant topic pertaining to Japan, China, Taiwan, North or South Korea, or Hong Kong.

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