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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Fall 2003

GOV 379S • Politics in the Post- 9/11 World - HON - W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35960 W
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
BUR 128

Course Description

Course number may be repeated for credit when topics vary. This seminar will center on four themes in a book that Higley is writing entitled Force to the Fore: The Bush Elite and America’s Post-9/11 Democracy. The main theme is how centripetal pressures on the U.S. and Western countries more generally are producing a shift among political elites from rule by persuasion to rule by force. The extent to which the Bush elite manifests this shift is a second theme. A third is the nature of these centripetal pressures, especially the slowing or halting of development in much of the non-Western world, with demoralization and millenarian propensities spreading among non-Western populations. The final theme is how these elite and broader world changes alter relations between democracy’s "horizontal" and "vertical" dimensions. The seminar will be both American and comparative in reach. Students are forewarned that assigned reading will be extensive and sophisticated.

Grading Policy

Seminar requirements are (1) weekly command of assigned readings in seminar discussions, worth 25% of the final grade; (2) a 15-20 page research paper on some aspect of the Bush elite – its composition, actions, policies, and/or dilemmas - that is analytical, marshals evidence, and avoids being yet another rant for or against the Bush elite, worth 75% of the final grade.


Probable Assigned Readings: G. William Domhoff, Who Rules America? Power & Politics. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education Series, 2002. Robert D. Kaplan, The Coming Anarchy. New York: Random House, 2000. Giovanni Sartori, The Theory of Democracy Revisited, Part I: The Contemporary Debate. Chatham NJ: Chatham House Publishers, 1987. Harold Wilensky, Rich Democracies. Berkeley CA: University of California Press, 2001. Fareed Zakaria, The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad. New York: Norton, 2003.


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