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Politics for Rocket Scientists (An Introduction to Political Science for Non-Political Scientists)

Course 0000003726 in WS 2018/9

General Data

Course Type lecture
Semester Weekly Hours 3 SWS
Organisational Unit Chair of International Relations (Prof. Büthe)
Lecturers Yvonne Buckley
Tim Büthe
Dates Fri, 09:00–11:30, H.001
and 3 singular or moved dates

Further Information

Courses are together with exams the building blocks for modules. Please keep in mind that information on the contents, learning outcomes and, especially examination conditions are given on the module level only – see section "Assignment to Modules" above.

additional remarks This course provides a broad introduction to the systematic study of politics from the local to the global level. We will study the sources of political preferences, as well as various forms of articulating those preferences (from public opinion polls and voting to political violence). We compare how legislative institutions translate public preferences into law and policy in democratic and non-democratic regimes--and we will examine the role of executives and courts in the political process. Addressing these issues requires empirical analysis but also raises fundamental questions of political philosophy, such as: What is the nature of power and how is it related to expertise, authority, legitimacy, and ethics? And what does democracy mean in international politics or global governance? We will also examine the relationship between politics, economics, law, and technological innovation, asking questions such as: Why is government intervention in the development of new technologies or elsewhere in the economy sometimes considered essential and other times the source of severe problems? What are the political consequences of various kinds of inequality in a democracy? Why are technically or scientifically optimal policies often passed up for sub-optimal policies that are no more than "second-best"? Are there ways to improve upon those second-best outcomes? And why is the realization that war makes everyone worse off no guarantee against the military escalation of interstate disputes? About 2/3 of each week's class will be devoted to the conceptual, theoretical and empirical-methodological tools of political analysis; during the remaining 1/3 of each class, we will explore the application of those tools to contemporary issues at the intersection of science, technology, economy and society.
Links E-Learning course (e. g. Moodle)
TUMonline entry
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