“… Why am I so interested in politics? If I were to answer you very simply I would say this: why shouldn’t I be interested? That is to say, what blindness, what deafness, what density of ideology would have to weigh me down to prevent me from being interested in what is probably the most crucial subject to our existence, that is to say the society in which we live, the economic relations in which it functions, and the system of power which defines the regular forms and regular permissions and prohibitions of our conduct? The essence of our life consists, after all of the political functioning of the society in which we find ourselves.”
A disinterest in politics is something that no conscientious citizen can afford. Political Science is intended to provide students with a means of engaging in broad political questions:
-Why are some societies plagued by war and violence, while others are stable and peaceful?
-How are the values in one society passed along to new members, and why do they differ from the values in other countries?
-Why does it matter how we structure the institutions of government, limit their powers, or determine which individuals should hold public offices and exercise authority over the rest of the population?
The success of political processes to channel disputes in a society can play a key role in ensuring a harmonious society, while their failure can lead to frustration that boils over into revolution or chaos. A comparative approach in this class, looking at how differently politics are organized in other countries, will provide a broader context to determine how well particular government structures and processes may work.