Readings in International Studies: Civil Society and Political Publics in a Globalizing World

JSIS 498
  • Quarters: Spring
  • General Education Requirements: W, I&S
  • Instructors: Sabine Lang

Globalization fuels concerns about the primacy of economic agendas at the expense of civic engagement and public voice. This reading seminar will explore the spaces, meanings, and functions of civil societies and public spheres in a globalized world. First, we will investigate how these concepts are being defined in different political theories and ask specifically how the connection between civic engagement and political advocacy is being established. In the second half of the course we will look at actors and organizations that might serve as catalysts for civic participation: What is the actual and potential role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), foundations and transnational networks in creating civic institutions and mobilizing citizens? Do new electronic media such as the internet enhance public spheres? And do, or should, state institutions take on responsibility for activating citizens.