The Election ID-1, Fall 2008

Course Description

What difference will the election make? That is, what policies are the major candidates for President likely to pursue? What are the advantages and disadvantages of those policies? In pursuing these questions, we will choose a few significant areas. As I write this in the spring, Iraq and health care are the leading contenders. Separate groups will research and analyze each candidate’s views, building arguments about the feasibility and desirability of the various programs. We’ll thus develop research questions and arguments by exchanging work in progress, and will find that our investigations take us beyond downloading position papers from the web. Strong partisans of one party or the other may enjoy the course, but I should warn you that I will encourage you especially to research the other side’s views.

Class notes

Health updates. Last update: 01/14/09.

Foreign policy updates. Last update: 04/10/09.

  1. Thursday, September 4. Critical thinking.
  2. Thursday, September 11. Research groups.
  3. Tuesday, September 16. The case for war in Iraq. Class handout on the Lewis and Gaddis readings.
  4. Thursday, September 18, 2008. The realist case against war in Iraq.
  5. Thursday, September 25, 2008. Class handout: A quick history of health care in the US
  6. Tuesday, October 7, 2008. Comparing the health plans.
    Class handout on facts and the plans; see also the Kaiser Family Foundation chart.
  7. Thursday, October 9, 2008. Single, employer, and individual payers (added October 15).
    Class handout, including figures from the Krugman and Wells article.
  8. Tuesday, October 14, 2008. The assignment schedule for the rest of the term, revised.
  9. Thursday, November 6. Michael Klare’s lecture and Calum’s question.
  10. Tuesday, November 11. Menzel on the health plans.
  11. Thursday, November 13. Conservatives and universal health. Updated November 17.
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The Election