POLITICS (1): Power and Politics in Today’s World

This relatively new way of learning for iU3AVivek Nanda uses the video lectures from an online course called “Power and Politics in Today’s World” by Professor Ian Shapiro of Yale University as a way of getting members thinking about a range of issues 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. The aim of the discussions between members is to use the context provided by the Professor Shapiro on how did we get from there to here to share their thoughts about what comes next and how that could lead us to better politics? Members watch one video lecture at home, and then meet fortnightly to discuss it (online currently).

Group Coordinator: Vivek Nanda (click to contact).
When

On the third Friday of each month from 10.30 am for about 90 minutes.
Where

On Zoom via your computer, smart phone, tablet, traditional phone, followed by an in-person drink or lunch at The Canonbury Tavern, 21 Canonbury Place, London N1 2NS from 12.30 pm.

Overview
elephant in the roomThis friendly and welcoming group discusses Power and Politics together, sharing different perspectives and priorities, to enrich the learning experience of all in a sociable and enjoyable way. In the process, many members find that they are motivated to complete they course they started, rather than move on to a new course without completing any of the courses they started. The outline structure of the Yale course can be found here. A short description of the first meeting can be found here.

Lectures yet to be discussed
17 September — Lecture 21: Backlash - 2016 and Beyond, which discusses the economic, demographic, and cultural sources of the 2016 backlash and the larger puzzle of resurgent identity politics.

15 October — Lecture 22: Political Sources of Populism - Misdiagnosing Democracy’s Ills, explores the question — what is it about democratic political systems that has fostered the resurgence of populism? Professor Ian Shapiro discusses answers to this question by shifting the focus away from exclusive attention to the attitudes of voters to include the incentives and motivations of politicians.

19 November 2021 — Lecture 23: Building Blocks of Distributive Politics, which discusses six building blocks of distributive politics and why policy without politics is empty, and politics without policy is blind.

17 December 2021 — Lecture 24: Unemployment, Re-employment & Income Security, which focuses on the question: How to respond to endemic and permanent wage insecurity in light of last lecture's discussion of politics?   
 
21 January 2022 — Lecture 25: Tough Nuts — Education and Health Insurance, which looks at two other challenges, K-12 education and universal health insurance, in light of two especially strong obstacles in the United States, fiscal federalism and inertia that privileges path dependence.

18 February 2022 — Lecture 26: Agendas for Democratic Reform, which provides a review of central themes, discusses four paths taken and missed, and agendas for democratic reform.

Optional Extras:
The slides for all the lectures, which are very large files as they have videos embedded in them, can be found here.
The optional readings for all the lectures can be found here.
The full list of videos in which Professor Shapiro answers the questions of the students taking part in-person can be found here.

Lectures already discussed
20 August 2021 — Lecture 20: The Housing Crisis and its Aftermath
16 July 2021 — Lecture 19: Crisis, Crash, and Response
18 June 2021 — Lecture 18: Political Limits of Business: The Israel-Palestine Case
21 May 2021 — Lecture 17: Filling the Void - China in Africa
16 April 2021 — Lecture 16: Denouement of Humanitarian Intervention
19 March 2021 — Lecture 15: Demise of the Neoconservative Dream: From Afghanistan to Iraq
19 February 2021 — Lecture 14: 9/11 and the Global War on Terror
15 January 2021 — Lecture 13: The International Criminal Court and the Responsibility to Protect
18 December 2020 — Lecture 12: Business and Democratic Reform: A Case Study of South Africa
20 November 2020 — Lecture 11: Democracy’s Fourth Wave? South Africa, Northern Ireland, and the Middle East
16 October 2020 — Lecture 10: Money in Politics
18 September 2020 — Lecture 9: Privatizing Government II: Prisons and the Military
21 August 2020 — Lecture 8: Privatizing Government I: Utilities, Eminent Domain, and Local Government
17 July 2020 — Lecture 7: Shifting Goalposts: The Anti-Tax Movement
19 June 2020 — Lecture 6: Reorienting the Left: New Democrats, New Labour, and Europe’s Social Democrats
15th May 2020 — Lecture 5: The Resurgent Right in the West
17 April 2020 — Lecture 4: Fusing Capitalist Economics with Communist Politics: China and Vietnam
20 March 2020 — Lecture 3: Advent of a Unipolar World: NATO and EU Expansion
21 February 2020 — Lecture 2: From Soviet Communism to Russian Gangster Capitalism
17 January 2020 — Lecture 1: Introduction to Power and Politics in Today’s World

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