This seminar explores the rise of civil society, looking at Western Europe, the US, and the rest of the world. We first explore the concept of civil society in Western thought, examining the debates over it and over related concepts such as the public sphere, social capital and civic engagement. We look at the relation between civil society and democracy, at the role of civil society in democratic transitions, and at the forms civil society takes under conditions of severe repression. We examine several country cases (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China) drawn from Asia, but the seminar draws broadly from examples in a number of other countries, in and outside of Asia. A key question is how civil societies arise in the first place. Among the issues and problems we take up are: the relation between the state and civil society; the rise and role of transborder NGOs as nonstate actors in international relations; the transforming effects of digital technologies on the relation between state and social actors; the effects of civil society on ethnic conflict and vice versa; the role of religious groups as social actors; and the emergence of international civil society. (In the past this course was called GOV 98gs.)
This seminar explores the rise of civil society in states worldwide. It examines the debates over what civil society is, and looks at the complex relationship between civil society and the state. It considers related concepts such as public space and social capital, and the relation between civil society and the market. The seminar looks at the rise of civil society and its role in political change under a variety of conditions, authoritarian and democratic, focusing first on the U.S. and Western Europe, and then looking at Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and finally at a...
Prosperous and post-postmodern, but still struggling both with its neighbors and its past, Japan faces a host of challenges. Its problems were compounded many times over by the triple disasters of March 11, which left Japan grappling with vexing new issues, from the future of nuclear power to food safety. The focus of the seminar is Japan, but more broadly it explores how values, ideas, history, citizens, organized interests, political and economic forces, international pressures, and leaders collide and find accommodation as countries struggle to resolve complex problems. The seminar looks at a series of contemporary debates in Japan as a window for thinking about Japan and East Asia in an era of great change. How Japan resolves these and other issues and problems to be examined in the seminar will define Japan’s place in the world and is important for the future of Asia as well.
Graduate students who receive academic credit for their participation and the faculty leading the workshop present their own work in progress on issues in comparative politics, with other workshop members serving as discussants. A key feature of the seminar is its commitment to the notion of research as a collective enterprise in which participants benefit from sharing their academic work and receiving feedback. Graduate students from all years of study, including their first and second years, are welcome in the workshop. The seminar occasionally invites other scholars to present their work in progress. Offered Fall 2012 and Spring 2013.