POWER and POLITICS (2)

Vivek
                      NandaThis new way of learning for iU3A uses a Massive Open Online Course called “Power and Politics in Today’s World” by Professor Ian Shapiro of Yale University. This ranges from the euphoria that accompanied the collapse of communism in the late 1980s to the politics of fear and resentment that has overtaken much of the world since 2016, focusing on how did we get from there to here, what comes next and what could lead us to better politics? Members watch two video lectures at home, and then meet to discuss them once a month.

Group Coordinator: Vivek Nanda (please click this link to contact)
When

On the third Friday of the month (August and December to be confirmed) meeting promptly at 2.30pm, and ending at 4.30pm or earlier, until July 2021.
Where

While you are at home via your computer, smart phone, or tablet, or when possible in an accessible private room in an Islington public building

Overview

elephant in the roomThis friendly and welcoming group aims to discuss each video lecture together, sharing different perspectives and priorities, to enrich the learning experience of all in a sociable and enjoyable way. A short description of the first meeting can be found here. The outline structure of the course can be found here. The Yale essay questions (for iU3A discussion, not essays) for the course can be found here.




Our Next Meeting
On Friday 17 April 2020 at 2:30pm, we will discuss together online Lecture 5, and Office Hours 1, and other issues relating to Part 1:

In Lecture 5: The Resurgent Right in the West, Prof. Shapiro walks learners through the sources and implications of the rise of right wing politics in the West in the late 20th century. Prof. Shapiro discusses how the collapse of communism was (maybe counterintuitively) beneficial to the right, two logics of distributive politics, the median voter theorem, and how interests, institutions and ideals influence individuals’ ideas of fairness in politics. He then discusses the implications of the rise of the right in two-party versus multiparty systems. This lecture can be found here. The optional readings for this lecture can be found here.

In the Power and Politics in Today’s World — Office Hours 1 video, Professor Shapiro and his Teaching Assistant (Christina Seyfried) answer questions about the collapse of communism and its aftermath. This video can be found here.
 
Our Past Meetings
The 20 March 2020 meeting discussed Lecture 3: Advent of a Unipolar World: NATO and EU Expansion and Lecture 4: Fusing Capitalist Economics with Communist Politics: China and Vietnam online using Zoom Meetings. In Lecture 3, Prof. Shapiro walks learners through the international architecture of the early Post-Cold War world. He first discusses three lenses of thinking about politics (interests, institutions and ideals) and then applies them to guide his students through the first post-Cold war crisis, the role of NATO after the fall of the Soviet Union, the origins and meaning of the Washington Consensus, and the formation and expansion of the EU. The video of this lecture can be found here. The optional readings for Lecture 3 can be found here. In Lecture 4, Prof. Shapiro discusses China and Vietnam as the two most successful examples of capitalist authoritarian regimes that have emerged in the post-communist era. He talks about causal drivers of growth in both countries, the reform era in China before the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, the sequencing debate of political and economic change, on why we should rethink modernization theory and expectations for the future of democracy in China. The video of this lecture can be found here. The optional readings for Lecture 4 can be found here.

The 21 February 2020 meeting discussed Lecture 2: From Soviet Communism to Russian Gangster Capitalism, which focused on what led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and why did it collapse so peacefully? Professor Shapiro discusses the events leading up to the fall of the Communist regime and its aftermath, including the rise of "gangster capitalism" in Russia, the transition from President Boris Yeltsin to Vladimir Putin, and why corruption is still so prevalent in Russia today. The video of this lecture can be found here. The optional readings for this lecture can be found here. The iU3A slides used at the start of the meeting can be found here.

The 17 January 2020 meeting discussed Lecture 1: Introduction to Power and Politics in Today’s World. This lecture provided an examination of political dynamics and institutions over the past 30 years, and the implications of these changes for what comes next. Among the topics covered were the decline of trade unions and enlarged role of business as political forces, changing attitudes towards parties and other political institutions amidst the growth of inequality and middle-class insecurity, the emergence of new forms of authoritarianism, and the character and durability of the unipolar international order that replaced the Cold War. The video of this lecture can be found here. The iU3A slides used at the start of the meeting can be found here.


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