Free Online Social Sciences Courses
The social sciences are a wide-ranging and thought-provoking field of study. Whether you're studying for a degree or are just curious these are courses that will boost your knowledge and maybe find you a new niche interest. You'll find classes here for free on subjects from foreign policy to soap operas to citizenship.
A Europe of the Regions? - The Open University
What role will the ‘regions’ play in the emerging governance structures of the European Union? This unit examines the rise of the regions and regionalism in Western Europe. You will look at the possible development pathways for Europe: will it become a Federal super-state or a decentralised ‘Europe of the Regions’?
This class uses lab exercises and a workshop setting to help students develop a solid understanding of the planning and public management uses of geographic information systems (GIS). The goals are to help students: acquire technical skills in the use of GIS software; acquire qualitative methods skills in data and document gathering, analyzing information, and presenting results; and investigate the potential and practicality of GIS technologies in a typical planning setting and evaluate possible applications.
This course explores the urban environment as a natural phenomenon, human habitat, medium of expression, and forum for action. The course has several major themes: how ideas of nature influence the way cities are perceived, designed, built, and managed; how natural processes and urban form interact and the consequences for human health and welfare; how planners and designers can shape the urban natural environment. Each student researches and presents a case, either historical or an example of contemporary theory and practice.
This half-semester course introduces and surveys a selection of cutting-edge topics in the field of real estate finance and investments. The course follows an informal "seminar" format to the maximum degree possible, with students expected to take considerable initiative. Lectures and discussions led by the instructors will be supplemented by several guest speakers from the real estate investment industry, who will present perspectives on current trends and important developments in the industry.
Advanced Writing Seminar - MIT
The purpose of this seminar is to expose the student to a number of different types of writing that one may encounter in a professional career. The class is an opportunity to write, review, rewrite and present a point of view both orally and in written form.
This course offers a critical analysis of contending theories of international relations. Focus is on alternative theoretical assumptions, different analytical structures, and a common core of concepts and content. It also focuses on a comparative analysis of realism(s), liberalism(s), institutionalism(s), and new emergent theories. It also presents a discussion of connections between theories of international relations and major changes in international relations.
This course examines the causes and consequences of American foreign policy since 1898. Course readings cover both substantive and methods topics. Four substantive topics are covered: 1. major theories of American foreign policy; 2. major episodes in the history of American foreign policy and historical/interpretive controversies about them; 3. the evaluation of major past American foreign policies--were their results good or bad? and 4. current policy controversies, including means of evaluating proposed policies.
This course examines the problems and issues confronting American national security policymakers and the many factors that influence the policies that emerge. But this is not a course about "threats," military strategies, or the exercise of military power. What threatens those interests? How should the U.S. defend those interests? What kind of military should we build? Should the U.S. enter into alliances with other countries? Do we need a larger Navy? How much should we spend on weapons procurement?
This course surveys American political thought from the colonial era to the present. Required readings are drawn mainly from primary sources, including writings of politicians, activists, and theorists. Topics include the relationship between religion and politics, rights, federalism, national identity, republicanism versus liberalism, the relationship of subordinated groups to mainstream political discourse, and the role of ideas in politics. We will analyze the simultaneous radicalism and weakness of American liberalism, how the revolutionary ideas of freedom and equality run up against persistent patterns of inequality.
We will explore the changing political choices and ethical dilemmas of American scientists from the atomic scientists of World War II to biologists in the present wrestling with the questions raised by cloning and other biotechnologies. Some of the topics covered include: the original development of nuclear weapons and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the effects of the Cold War on American science; debates on the use of nuclear power, wind power, and biofuels; abuse of human subjects in psychological and other experiments; and deliberations on genetically modified food.
American Soap Operas - MIT
The television landscape has changed drastically in the past few years; nowhere is this more prevalent than in the American daytime serial drama, one of the oldest forms of television content. This class examines the history of these "soap operas" and their audiences by focusing on the production, consumption, and media texts of soaps. The class will include discussions of what makes soap operas a unique form, the history of the genre, current experimentation with transmedia storytelling, the online fan community, and comparisons between daytime dramas and primetime serials.
This is a seminar course that explores the history of selected features of the physical environment of urban America. Among the features considered are parks, cemeteries, tenements, suburbs, zoos, skyscrapers, department stores, supermarkets, and amusement parks. The course gives students experience in working with primary documentation sources through its selection of readings and class discussions. Students then have the opportunity to apply this experience by researching their own historical questions and writing a term paper.
This course teaches students how to understand the rationality behind how organizations and their programs behave, and to be comfortable and analytical with a live organization. It thereby builds analytic skills for evaluating programs and projects, organizations, and environments. It draws on the literature of the sociology of organizations, political science, public administration, and historical experience-and is based on both developing-country and developed-country experience.
This Communication and Argumentation seminar is an intensive writing workshop that focuses on argumentation and communication. Students learn to write and present their ideas in cogent, persuasive arguments and other analytical frameworks. Reading and writing assignments and other exercises stress the connections between clear thinking, critical reading, and effective writing.
The Beijing Urban Design Studio is a joint program between the MIT and Tsinghua University Schools of Architecture and Planning. The goal of the studio is to foster international cooperation through the undertaking of a joint urban design and planning initiative in the city of Beijing involving important, often controversial, sites and projects.
Big Plans - MIT
This course explores social, technological, political, economic, and cultural implications of "Big Plans" in the urban context. Local and international case studies (such as Boston's Central Artery and Curitiba, Brazil's bus transit system) are used to understand the process of making major changes to the city fabric. The efficacy of top-down and bottom-up planning and the applicability of planning strategies across cultural boundaries are considered.
There are several hundred thousand Brownfield sites across the country. The large number of sites, combined with how a majority of these properties are located in urban and historically underserved communities, dictate that redevelopment of these sites stands to be a common theme in urban planning for the foreseeable future. Students form a grounded understanding of the Brownfield lifecycle: how and why they were created, their potential role in community revitalization, and the general processes governing their redevelopment.
The causes and prevention of interstate war are the central topics of this course. The course goal is to discover and assess the means to prevent or control war. Hence we focus on manipulable or controllable war-causes. The topics covered include the dilemmas, misperceptions, crimes and blunders that caused wars of the past; the origins of these and other war-causes; the possible causes of wars of the future; and possible means to prevent such wars, including short-term policy steps and more utopian schemes. The historical cases covered include the Peloponnesian and Seven Years wars, World War I, World War II, Korea, the Arab-Israel conflict, and the U.S.-Iraq and U.S. al-Queda wars.
This course explores the causes of modern war with a focus on preventable causes. Course readings cover theoretical, historical, and methodological topics. Major theories of war are explored and assessed in the first few weeks of the class, asking at each stage "are these good theories?" and "how could they be tested?" Basic social scientific inference -- what are theories? What are good theories? How should theories be framed and tested? -- and case study methodology are also discussed. The second half of the course explores the history of the outbreak of some major wars.
Children’s Rights - The Open University
How do children fit in to our society? This unit will help you to understand the issues surrounding children's rights as well as examining the implications of seeing children as citizens. You will also explore the meaning of childhood and analyse children's needs.
China's rise as a great power raises important questions about how that power might be used in its relations with other states. Nowhere are such questions more salient than in the future trajectory of China's conflict behavior, including its approach to deterrence, crisis management and the use of force. To explore these important questions in China's international relations, this seminar examines the evolution of Chinese strategic thought, in primary sources as well as its reflection in the interactions among Chinese states and between China and other states.
This course's aims are two-fold: 1. to offer students the theoretical and practical tools to understand how and why cities become torn by ethnic, religious, racial, nationalist, and/or other forms of identity that end up leading to conflict, violence, inequality, and social injustice; and 2. to use this knowledge and insight in the search for solutions As preparation, students will be required to become familiar with social and political theories of the city and the nation and their relationship to each other.
Citizen participation is everywhere. Invoking it has become de rigueur when discussing cities and regions in the developing world. From the World Bank to the World Social Forum, the virtues of participation are extolled: From its capacity to "deepen democracy" to its ability to improve governance, there is no shortage to the benefits it can bring. While it is clear that participation cannot possibly "do" all that is claimed, it is also clear that citizen participation cannot be dismissed, and that there must be something to it.
This course will serve as both an introduction to contemporary political philosophy and a way to explore issues of pluralism and multiculturalism. Racial and ethnic groups, national minorities, aboriginals, women, sexual minorities, and other groups have organized to highlight injustice and demand recognition and accommodation on the basis of their differences. In practice, democratic states have granted a variety of group-differentiated rights. This course will examine how different theories of citizenship address the challenges raised by different forms of pluralism.
This course introduces undergraduate planning students to the role of the planner in researching issues in cities both in the United States and abroad. This course is a practical, hands-on workshop that challenges students to research, write and present their ideas on two different cities: A U.S. City (preferably somewhere close) and Copenhagen. Students will be equipped to: 1. select and research a thesis topic, 2. work professionally with faculty and other experts on the topic of their choice, and 3. research, write and present.
This class is intended to introduce students to understandings of the city generated from both social science literature and the field of urban design. The first part of the course examines literature on the history and theory of the city. Among other factors, it pays special attention to the larger territorial settings in which cities emerged and developed (ranging from the global to the national to the regional context) and how these affected the nature, character, and functioning of cities and the lives of their inhabitants. The remaining weeks focus more explicitly on the theory and practice of design visions for the city, the latter in both utopian and realized form.
CityScope: New Orleans - MIT
Do you want to think about ways to help solve New Orleans' problems? CityScope is a project-based introduction to the contemporary city. "Problem solving in complex (urban) environments" is different than "solving complex problems." As a member of a team, you will learn to assess scenarios for the purpose of formulating social, economic and design strategies to provide humane and sustainable solutions. A visit to New Orleans is planned for spring break 2007.
This graduate seminar examines civic engagement in international, national and local environmental governance. We will consider theories pertaining to civil society development, social movement mobilization, and the relations that nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have with governments and corporations.
In recent years both scholars and policymakers have expressed a remarkable amount of interest in the concepts of social capital and civil society. A growing body of research suggests that the social networks, community norms, and associational activities signified by these concepts can have important effects on social welfare, political stability, economic development, and governmental performance. This discussion based course examines the roles played by these networks, norms, and organizations.
Although attention will be devoted to the causes and long-term consequences of the Civil War, this class will focus primarily on the war years (1861-1865) with special emphasis on the military and technological aspects of the conflict. Four questions, long debated by historians, will receive close scrutiny: 1. What caused the war? 2. Why did the North win the war? 3. Could the South have won? 4. To what extent is the Civil War America's "defining moment"?.
Civil-Military Relations - MIT
This course centers on mechanisms of civilian control of the military. Relying on the influential texts of Lasswell, Huntington, and Finer, the first classes clarify the basic tensions between the military and civilians. A wide-ranging series of case studies follows. These cases are chosen to create a field of variation that includes states with stable civilian rule, states with stable military influence, and states exhibiting fluctuations between military and civilian control. The final three weeks of the course are devoted to the broader relationship between military and society.
Claiming Connections: A Distance World of Sweatshops? - The Open University
Sweatshops and the exploitation of workers are often linked to the globalised production of ‘big brand’ labels. This unit examines how campaigners have successfully closed the distance between the brands and the sweatshops, while others argue that such production ‘kick starts’ economies into growth benefiting whole communities.
Climate Change: Island Life in a Volatile World - The Open University
What impact will global warming really have? This unit examines the potential problems faced by the people of the Pacific Island of Tuvalu as a result of rising sea levels. Where would you go if your island is only a few feet above sea level? Who would you blame?
Collective Choice I - MIT
This is an applied theory course covering topics in the political economy of democratic countries. This course examines political institutions from a rational choice perspective. The now burgeoning rational choice literature on legislatures, bureaucracies, courts, and elections constitutes the chief focus. Some focus will be placed on institutions from a comparative and/or international perspective.
This course combines a seminar format with fieldwork to examine strategies of planning and control for growth and land use, chiefly at the municipal level. Specific topics include growth and its local consequences; land use planning approaches; and implementation tools including innovative zoning and regulatory techniques, physical design, and natural systems integration. Projects are arranged with small teams serving municipal clients.
This course will examine literature and practice regarding community-owned enterprise as an alternative means of increasing community participation and development. The use of cooperatives, credit unions, land trusts, and limited stock ownership enterprises for increasing community participation and empowerment will be examined.
This course will conduct a comparative study of the grand strategies of the great powers (Britain, France, Germany and Russia) competing for mastery of Europe from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Grand strategy is the collection of political and military means and ends with which a state attempts to achieve security. We will examine strategic developments in the years preceding World Wars I and II, and how those developments played themselves out in these wars.
This course examines in comparative prospective the health care policy problems facing the United States including providing adequate access to medical services for all, the control of rising health care costs, and the assurance that the quality of health care services is high and improving. It explores the market and regulatory policy options being debated politically in the United States to solve these problems and compares possible foreign models for reform including those offered by the Canadian, British, Japanese, and German systems.
This course focuses on the land use-transportation "interaction space" in metropolitan settings. The course aims to develop an understanding of relevant theories and analytical techniques, through the exploration of various cases drawn from different parts of the world. The course begins with an overview of the role of transportation in patterns of urban development and metropolitan growth. It introduces the concept of accessibility and related issues of individual and firm travel demand.
This graduate seminar has two main goals: to explore the main theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of contemporary Chinese politics; and to relate those approches to broader trends in the field of comparative politics. What has the study of China contributed to the field of comparative politics, and vice versa? What are the most effective ways to integrate area studies, broader comparative approaches, and theory? Seminar presumes a basic understanding of the history and politics of contemporary China.
This course focuses on the complexities associated with security and sustainability of states in international relations. Covering aspects of theory, methods and empirical analysis, the course is in three parts, and each consists of seminar sessions focusing on specific topics.
This course focuses on both the internal processes of the House and Senate and on the place of Congress in the American political system. Attention has been given to committee behavior, leadership patterns, and informal organization in this course. It considers relations between Congress and other branches of government, as well as relations between the two houses of Congress itself. Graduate students are expected to pursue the subject in greater depth through reading and individual research.
This course analyzes the development of the United States Congress by focusing on the competing theoretical lenses through which legislatures have been studied. In particular, it compares sociological and economic models of legislative behavior, applying those models to floor decision-making, committee behavior, political parties, relations with other branches of the Federal government, and elections. Graduate students are expected to pursue the subject in greater depth through reading and individual research.
Collaborative Consultation and Larger Systems - U Mass Boston
How do individuals and families interface with larger systems, and how do therapists intervene collaboratively? How do larger systems structure the lives of individuals and families? Relationally-trained practitioners are attempting to answer these questions through collaborative and interdisciplinary, team-focused projects in mental health, education, the law, and business, among other fields.
Substance Abuse and the Family - U Mass Boston
This course focuses on families with members who are substance abusers, and the ways in which these families function. The course explores the methods and resources available for helping such families.
This course covers approaches to research and evaluation in the planning field, for those preparing to write 1st-year doctoral and other research papers. Topics include narrowing down research interests, using quantitative and qualitative techniques complementarily, and interviewing and other fieldwork challenges.
Processes of Research and Engagement - U Mass Boston
In this course, students identify issues in educational or other professional settings on which to focus their critical and creative thinking skills. Each student works through the different stages of research and action - from defining a manageable project to communicating findings and plans for further work. Supervision is provided when the student's research centers on new teaching practices, workshops in the community, or volunteer.
This course covers techniques for and critical thinking about the evaluation of changes in educational practices and policies in schools, organizations, and informal contexts. Topics include quantitative and qualitative methods for design and analysis, participatory design of practices and policies, institutional learning, the wider reception or discounting of evaluations, and selected case studies, including those arising from semester-long student projects.
Artificial Intelligence - Dixie State
Upper level course for students in computer science and computer and information technologies programs. This course covers the basics of Artificial Intelligence in computer software. The course introduces the broad field of AI, then specializes in AI as it applies to computer gaming strategies. Students will be required to complete several programming assignments.
Artificial Intelligence - U Mass Boston
An introduction to the main techniques of Artifical Intelligence: state-space search methods, semantic networks, theorem-proving and production rule systems. Important applications of these techniques are presented. Students are expected to write programs exemplifying some of techniques taught, using the LISP lanuage.
The subject of this course is the historical process by which the meaning of "technology" has been constructed. Although the word itself is traceable to the ancient Greek root teckhne (meaning art), it did not enter the English language until the 17th century, and did not acquire its current meaning until after World War I. The aim of the course, then, is to explore various sectors of industrializing 19th and 20th century Western society and culture with a view to explaining and assessing the emergence of technology as a pivotal word (and concept).
Defense Politics - MIT
This course focuses on the institutional relationships that affect the raising, maintenance and use of military forces in the United States. It is about civil/military, government/industry, military/science and military service/military service relations. The course examines how politicians, defense contractors, and military officers determine the military might of the United States. It offers a combination of military sociology, organizational politics, and the political economy of defense.
Recent years have seen an astonishing spread of democracy to many African, Asian, and Latin American countries. What caused these dramatic political transitions? What challenges do democratizing countries in the Third World face? Will these new democracies endure? We will take up these questions using film, fiction, and popular journalism, as well as scholarly research.
Developing Countries in the World Trade Regime - The Open University
Free trade or fair trade? This unit will help you to analyse the relationship that exists between developed and developing countries under the World Trade Organization regime of Development Round negotiations. The current world trade regime has a very mixed record in promoting growth and reducing poverty.
Developing Reading Skills in Relation to the Social Sciences - The Open University
Have you ever wondered what skills are needed to get the most out of reading social science materials? This unit looks at how reading skills are developed and provides three questions that should be kept in mind when working through Social Science texts and extracts.
In recent years, the redistribution of risk has created conditions for natural and technological disasters to become more widespread, more difficult to manage, and more discriminatory in their effects. Policy and planning decision-makers frequently focus on the impact that human settlement patterns, land use decisions, and risky technologies can have on vulnerable populations.
This course examines the growing importance of medicine in culture, economics and politics. It uses an historical approach to examine the changing patterns of disease, the causes of morbidity and mortality, the evolution of medical theory and practice, the development of hospitals and the medical profession, the rise of the biomedical research industry, and the ethics of health care in America.
This is a course about how research knowledge and other types of knowledge come to be actionable and influential in the world — or not. The course explores ways to make research knowledge more accessible, credible, and useful in the realm of public policy and practice, a project in which the course faculty collectively bring decades of professional experience, in both academic and non-academic roles.
Documenting Culture - MIT
How — and why — do people seek to capture everyday life on film? What can we learn from such films? This course challenges distinctions commonly made between documentary and ethnographic films to consider how human cultural life is portrayed in both. It considers the interests, which motivate such filmmakers ranging from curiosity about "exotic" people to a concern with capturing "real life" to a desire for advocacy.
Does Prison Work? - The Open University
Does prison work and what purpose does it serve? This unit allows you to listen to a discussion surrounding the purpose efficacy and regulation of prisons. Does prison benefit those serving the sentence or simply satisfy a public demand?
Downtown - MIT
This seminar focuses on downtowns in U.S. cities from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth century. Emphasis will be placed on downtown as an idea, place, and cluster of interests; on the changing character of downtown; and on recent efforts to rebuild it. Subjects to be considered will include subways, skyscrapers, highways, urban renewal, and retail centers. The focus will be on readings, discussions, and individual research projects.
This course focuses on the origins, functions, and implications of downtown management organizations (DMOs), such as business improvement districts, in a variety of national contexts including the United States, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. It critically examines how a range of urban theories provide a rationale for the establishment and design of DMOs; the evolution and transnational transfer of DMO policy; and the spatial and political externalities associated with the local proliferation of DMOs.
This class examines the relationship between a number of mind-altering substances and cultural processes. We look at the relationship between drugs and such phenomena as poverty, religion, technology, inter-generational conflict, colonialism, and global capitalism. We read about the physiological and psychological effects of these substances -- ranging from alcohol to LSD, cocaine and ecstasy -- and ask why different societies prohibit and sanction different drugs.
The economic growth of developing countries requires the acquisition of technological capabilities. In countries at the world technological frontier, such capabilities refer to cutting edge skills to innovate entirely new products. In developing countries, the requisite technological capabilities are broader, and include production engineering, project execution and incremental innovation to make borrowed technology work.
This class analyzes the theoretical and historical reasons why governments in latecomer countries have intervened with a wide array of policies to foster industrial development at various turning points: the initiation of industrial activity; the diversification of the industrial base; the restructuring of major industrial institutions; and the entry into high-technology sectors.
This course is designed for students particularly concerned with the practical problems of operating in large formal organizations, either from an operational or a research perspective. It will focus, as the title suggests, upon different forms of economic organizations and institutions in advanced and developing industrial societies and the theories (and theoretical perspectives) which might help us to understand them.
Economics Explains Discrimination in the Labour Market - The Open University
Discrimination in the labour market exists in many forms: the ‘glass ceiling’ ageism, racism, etc. This unit will help you look at this problem with a new perspective: through economics. You will learn how economists have tried to understand what drives this distortion of the labour market and why women and the ethnic minorities seem to suffer the most.
Economics of Education - MIT
This class discusses the economic aspects of current issues in education, using both economic theory and econometric and institutional readings. Topics include discussion of basic human capital theory, the growing impact of education on earnings and earnings inequality, statistical issues in determining the true rate of return to education, the labor market for teachers, implications of the impact of computers on the demand for worker skills, the effectiveness of mid-career training for adult workers, the roles of school choice, charter schools, state standards and educational technology in improving K-12 education, and the issue of college financial aid.
This course concentrates on a core set of skills and knowledge necessary for teaching in secondary schools. Topics covered in the class include educational reform, student behavior and motivation, curriculum design, and the teaching profession. Classroom observation is a key component of the class. Assignments include readings from the educational literature, written reflections on classroom observations, and practice teaching and constructing curriculum. This is the first of a three course sequence necessary to complete the Teacher Education Program.
This is the final course in the three course sequence (11.129, 11.130 and 11.131) that deals with the practicalities of teaching students. Our areas of study will include: educational psychology, identification of useful resources that support instruction, learning to use technology in meaningful ways in the classroom, finding more methods of motivating students, implementing differentiated instruction and obtaining a teaching job.
A survey of how America has become the world's largest consumer of energy. Explores American history from the perspective of energy and its relationship to politics, diplomacy, the economy, science and technology, labor, culture, and the environment. Topics include muscle and water power in early America, coal and the Industrial Revolution, electrification, energy consumption in the home, oil and U.S. foreign policy, automobiles and suburbanization, nuclear power, OPEC and the 70's energy crisis, global warming, and possible paths for the future.
Engendering Citizenship - The Open University
How do you create citizenship? How do you feel you belong? This unit examines social citizenship. With particular reference to women and disabled people, you will look at the rights and obligations that develop within society to link people together.
This course is a detailed technical and historical exploration of the Apollo project to "fly humans to the moon and return them safely to earth" as an example of a complex engineering system. Emphasis is on how the systems worked, the technical and social processes that produced them, mission operations, and historical significance. Guest lectures are featured by MIT-affiliated engineers who contributed to and participated in the Apollo missions. Students work in teams on a final project analyzing an aspect of the historical project to articulate and synthesize ideas in engineering systems.
Environment and Society - MIT
Modern industrial activities - which MIT engineers and scientists play a major role in - have significant environmental and social impacts. Trends towards further industrialization and globalization portend major challenges for society to manage the adverse impacts of our urban and industrial activities. How serious are current environmental and social problems? Why should we care about them? How are governments, corporations, activists, and ordinary citizens responding to these problems? This course examines environmental and social impacts of industrial society and policy responses.
This graduate-level class explores the complex interrelationships among humans and natural environments, focusing on non-western parts of the world in addition to Europe and the United States. It uses environmental conflict to draw attention to competing understandings and uses of "nature" as well as the local, national and transnational power relationships in which environmental interactions are embedded. In addition to utilizing a range of theoretical perspectives, this subject draws upon a series of ethnographic case studies of environmental conflicts in various parts of the world.
Environmental Justice - MIT
This class explores the foundations of the environmental justice movement, current and emerging issues, and the application of environmental justice analysis to environmental policy and planning. It examines claims made by diverse groups along with the policy and civil society responses that address perceived inequity and injustice. While focused mainly on the United States, international issues and perspectives are also considered.
Through site-specific client-based work, this course will allow students to materially contribute to redevelopment decision-making regarding a former inner-city industrial site. The course will focus on generating and analyzing pragmatic redevelopment scenarios given the issues of brownfields and environmental contamination, community preferences, regulatory constraints and economic realities. The course is designed along two parallel and mutually reinforcing educational tracks: Field learning and classroom reflection, with ample time built into the schedule for both.
"Environmental Politics & Policy" explores the workings of environmental policymaking in the United States. • What are the big issues facing environmental policy? • How did we end up with the policies we have today? • Why does it take a crisis to move environmental policy forward? • Why do political factors - economic interests, social and political values, bureaucratic styles, ideologies, elections, etc. - always seem to overwhelm sound scientific and engineering judgment in determining policy outcomes?
Psychology History Timeline - The Open University
This unit uses an interactive resource (EPoCH) to gain a better sense of how the historical and social context influences psychological inquiry. You will examine the different methods used by psychologists to investigate human behaviour and learn to identify the different perspectives that exist in psychology.
This course considers the interaction between law, policy, and technology as they relate to the evolving controversies over control of the Internet. In addition, there will be an in-depth treatment of privacy and the notion of "transparency" -- regulations and technologies that govern the use of information, as well as access to information. Topics explored will include: • Legal Background for Regulation of the Internet • Fourth Amendment Law and Electronic Surveillance • Profiling, Data Mining, and the U.S. PATRIOT Act • Technologies for Anonymity and Transparency • The Policy-Aware Web
Ethnic Politics I - MIT
This course is designed to provide students with a broad overview of the major theories on the relationship between ethnicity and politics. The course is divided into three sections. The first covers general theory and discusses the social construction of ethnicity as well as the limits of construction. The second section discusses ethnicity as a dependent variable. This section studies the forces that shape the development of ethnic identities and their motivating power. The third section addresses ethnicity as an independent variable.
Ethnic Politics II - MIT
This course is designed mainly for political science graduate students conducting or considering conducting research on identity politics. While 17.504 Ethnic Politics I is designed as a primarily theoretical course, Ethnic Politics II switches the focus to methods. It aims to familiarize the student with the current conventional approaches as well as major challenges to them. The course discusses definition and measurement issues as well as briefly addressing survey techniques and modeling.
Discerning the ethnic and racial dimensions of politics is considered by some indispensable to understanding contemporary world politics. This course seeks to answer fundamental questions about racial and ethnic politics. To begin, what are the bases of ethnic and racial identities? What accounts for political mobilization based upon such identities? How do ethnic and racial identities intersect with other identities, such as gender and class, which are themselves the sources of social, political, and economic cleavages?
Ethnography - MIT
This course is a practicum-style seminar in anthropological methods of ethnographic fieldwork and writing. Depending on student experience in ethnographic reading and practice, the course is a mix of reading anthropological and science studies ethnographies; and formulating and pursuing ethnographic work in local labs, companies, or other sites.
Marriage and Family Relationships - Utah State
This is an introductory course on marriage and the family, intended to present a more balanced understanding than your own personal experience might give you. A second objective is to apply what you learn in class to your own life, and better understand what you personally want in your future family and relationship experiences.
Family Finance - Utah State
Upon completion of this course you should be able to: 1. Identify personal/family values and establish appropriate financial goals. 2. Develop financial plans that reflect your values and goals. 3. Begin implementation of your plans to meet short and long term financial goals. 4. Evaluate options for providing financial security throughout your life. 5. Recall and apply specific fact concerning various financial topics, tools, and services.
Human Development Across the Lifespan - Dixie State
Human Development Through the Lifespan is devoted to the study and understanding of constancy and change for human beings, male and female, in the physical, cognitive, social and emotional domains interpreted through a variety of theoretical frameworks, contexts, and interdisciplinary research.
This course focuses on a range of theories of gender in modern life. In recent years feminist scholars in a range of disciplines have challenged previously accepted notions of political theory such as the distinctions between public and private, the definitions of politics itself, the nature of citizenship, and the roles of women in civil society. In this course we will examine different aspects of women's lives through the life cycle as seen from the vantage point of political theory.
Feminist Theory - MIT
This course focuses on a range of theories of gender in modern life. In recent years, feminist scholars in a range of disciplines have challenged previously accepted notions of political theory such as the distinctions between public and private, the definitions of politics itself, the nature of citizenship, and the roles of women in civil society. In this course, we will examine different aspects of women's lives through the life cycle as seen from the vantage point of feminist theory.
This field seminar in international political economy covers major theoretical, empirical, and policy perspectives. The basic orientation is disciplinary and comparative (over time and across countries, regions, firms), spanning issues relevant to both industrial and developing states. Special attention is given to challenges and dilemmas shaped by the macro-level consequences of micro-level behavior, and by micro-level adjustments to macro-level influences.
This course focuses on financing tools and program models to support local economic development. It includes an overview of private capital markets and financing sources to understand capital market imperfections that constrain economic development. Program models covered include revolving loan funds, guarantee programs, venture capital funds, bank holding companies, community development loan funds and credit unions, micro enterprise funds, and the use of the Community Reinvestment Act to leverage bank financing.
Finding Information in Society - The Open University
This unit will help you to identify and use information in Society, whether for your work, study or personal purposes. Experiment with some of the key resources in this subject area, and learn about the skills which will enable you to plan searches for information, so you can find what you are looking for more easily. Discover the meaning of information quality, and learn how to evaluate the information you come across. You will also be introduced to the many different ways of organising your own information, and learn how to reference it properly in your work.
n this class, food serves as both the subject and the object of historical analysis. As a subject, food has been transformed over the last 100 years, largely as a result of ever more elaborate scientific and technological innovations. From a need to preserve surplus foods for leaner times grew an elaborate array of techniques – drying, freezing, canning, salting, etc – that changed not only what people ate, but how far they could/had to travel, the space in which they lived, their relations with neighbors and relatives, and most of all, their place in the economic order of things.
Force and Strategy - Tufts University
This course provides an overview of the role of force in international politics. It examines the circumstances under which states and non-state actors use force of the threat of force to advance their interests and enhance their security.
How and why do we participate in public life? How do we get drawn into community and political affairs? In this course we examine the associations and networks that connect us to one another and structure our social and political interactions. Readings are drawn from a growing body of research suggesting that the social networks, community norms, and associational activities represented by the concepts of civil society and social capital can have important effects on the functioning of democracy, stability and change in political regimes, the capacity of states to carry out their objectives, and international politics.
Foshan China Workshop - MIT
This practicum focuses on applying the principles of sustainability to improve the quality of life and activity along the Foshan downtown riverfront. The City has recently engaged in several planning efforts that, with the help of consultants and experts, will help to identify strategies to revitalize the City's center and establish a new downtown. This practicum will compliment these efforts by focusing on planning and design options in and around the Pearl River, a now underutilized waterway that runs through the City's new downtown.
This subject, required of all first-year PhD students in political science, introduces fundamental ideas, theories, and methods in contemporary political science through the study of a small number of major books and articles that are intrinsically good and have been influential in the field. The first semester focuses principally on issues of political theory and international relations, while the second focuses principally on American and comparative politics.
Urban governance comprises the various forces, institutions, and movements that guide economic and physical development, the distribution of resources, social interactions, and other aspects of daily life in urban areas. This course examines governance from legal, political, social, and economic perspectives. In addition, we will discuss how these structures constrain collective decision making about particular urban issues (immigration, education…). Assignments will be nightly readings and a short paper relating an urban issue to the frameworks outlined in the class.
There has been much discussion in recent years, on this campus and elsewhere, about the death of the book. Digitization and various forms of electronic media, some critics say, are rendering the printed text as obsolete as the writing quill. In this subject, we will examine the claims for and against the demise of the book, but we will also supplement these arguments with an historical perspective they lack: we will examine texts, printing technologies, and reading communities from roughly 1450 to the present.
Fundamentals of Public Policy is an introductory course that explores policy-making as both a problem-solving process and a political process. We look at policy-making from the perspective of different focal actors and institutions, including: administrative agencies, legislators, the courts, the mass public, interest groups, and the media. We examine the interplay between policy development and institutions, and review normative and empirical models of policy-making.
Increasingly, political scientists are using game theory to analyze strategic interactions across many different settings. Each of the sub-fields, to differing degrees, has seen game theoretic concepts enter its vocabulary, and students entering the profession will need to understand the potential and limits of game theory. This course aims to give students an entry-level understanding of the basic concepts of game theory, and how these concepts have been applied to the study of political phenomena.
Gaoming Studio - China - MIT
The studio will focus on the district of Gaoming, located in the northwest of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) - the fastest growing and most productive region of China. The District has recently completed a planning effort in which several design institutes and a Hong Kong planning firm prepared ideas for a new central area near the river. The class will complement these efforts by focusing on planning and design options on the waterfront of the proposed new district and ways of integrating water/hydrological factors into all aspects and land uses of a modern city.
Gateway: Planning Action - MIT
This course introduces incoming students in the Master in City Planning (MCP) program to the theory and history of planning in the public interest. It relies primarily on challenging real-world cases to highlight persistent dilemmas: the power and limits of planning, the multiple roles in which planners find themselves in communities around the globe, and the political, ethical, and practical dilemmas that planners face as they try to be effective.
This course provides an analytic framework for understanding the roles that gender and race play in defining the work worlds of women and men in our society, including ways in which gender intersects with race and class. The course examines specific workplace-related policies through a gender/race lens, including welfare policy, comparable worth, affirmative action, parental leave policy, child care policy and working time policies. Students are required to investigate ways in which these policies address gender and racial inequities, and think critically about mechanisms for change.
Getting Started with SPSS - The Open University
Handling statistical data is an essential part of psychological research. However, many people find the idea of using statistics, and especially statistical software packages, extremely daunting. This unit takes a step-by-step approach to statistics software through seven interactive activities. No statistics software is needed.
An old saying holds that "there are many more good ideas in the world than good ideas implemented." This is a case based introduction to the fundamentals of effective implementation. Developed with the needs and interests of planners—but also with broad potential application—in mind, this course is a fast paced, case driven introduction to developing strategy for organizations and projects, managing operations, recruiting and developing talent, taking calculated risks, measuring results (performance), and leading adaptive change.
Globalization - MIT
This seminar explores changes in the international economy and their effects on domestic politics, economy, and society. Is globalization really a new phenomenon? Is it irreversible? What are effects on wages and inequality, on social safety nets, on production, and innovation? How does it affect relations between developed countries and developing countries? How globalization affects democracy? These are some of the key issues that will be examined.
Tracing the evolution of international interactions, this course examines the dimensions of globalization in terms of scale and scope. It is divided into three parts; together they are intended to provide theoretical, empirical, and policy perspectives on source and consequences of globalization, focusing on emergent structures and processes, and on the implications of flows of goods and services across national boundaries – with special attention to the issue of migration, on the assumption that people matter and matter a lot.
This course explores how and why Japan, a late-comer to modernization, emerged as an industrial power and the world's second-richest nation, notwithstanding its recent difficulties. We are particularly concerned with the interplays between business, ideology, technology, and culture. We will discuss key historical phenomena that symbolize modern Japan as a technological power in the world; specific examples to be discussed in class include kamikaze aircraft, the Shinkansen high-speed bullet train, Godzilla, and anime.
This course analyzes contemporary Chinese politics, both pre-Communist and Communist. It focuses on the process of modernization and political development of Chinese civilization. Graduate students are expected to pursue the subject at greater depth through reading and individual research.
Primary Schools - The Open University
Target setting for pupil attainment is seen as being a means of raising standards in schools through placing pupil achievement at the core of school planning. This unit will help governors of primary schools ensure that appropriate targets are set and provide guidance on assessing the data that needs to be evaluated to come to such decisions.
The purpose of this seminar is to examine systematically, and comparatively, great and middle power military interventions into civil wars during the 1990's. These civil wars were high on the policy agenda of western states during the 1990's. Yet, these interventions were usually not motivated by obvious classical vital interests. Given the extraordinary security enjoyed by the great and middle powers of the west in the Cold War's aftermath, these activities are puzzling.
This class examines the history and theory of historic preservation, focusing on the United States, but with reference to traditions and practices in other countries. The class is designed to examine the largely untold history of the historic preservation movement in this country, and explore how laws, public policies and cultural attitudes shape how we preserve or do not preserve the built environment. The class will give students a grounding in the history, theory and practice of historic preservation, but is not an applied, technical course.
History of Media and Technology addresses the mutually influential histories of communications media and technological development, focusing on the shift from analog to digital cultures that began mid-century and continues to the present. The approach the series takes to the study of media and technology is a multifaceted one that includes theoretical and philosophical works, histories canonical and minority, literature and art, as well as hands-on production issues toward the advancement of student projects and research papers. The topic for this term is Eternal War.
History of Media and Technology: Sound, the Minority Report – Radical Music of the Past 100 Years - MIT
This course looks at the history of avant-garde and electronic music from the early twentieth century to the present. It engages music scholarship, cultural criticism, studio production, and multi-media development, such as recent software, sound design for film and games, and sound installation. The artists' work reviewed in the course includes selections from audio innovators such as the Italian Futurists, Edgard Varèse, John Cage, King Tubby, Brian Eno, Steve Reich, Afrika Bambaataa, Kraftwerk, Merzbow, Aphex Twin, Rza, Björk, and others.
History of Science - MIT
This seminar explores recent historiographical approaches within the history of science. Students will read a wide variety of studies covering topics from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries, from the physical sciences to natural history and medicine. Emphasis will be placed on: deciphering different theoretical approaches; the pros and cons of different research questions, subjects, and sources of evidence; and what makes for good and interesting history of science.
This class focuses on how the housing and human service systems interact: how networks and social capital can build between elements of the two systems. It explores ways in which the differing world views, professional perspectives, and institutional needs of the two systems play out operationally. Part I establishes the nature of the action frames of these two systems. Part II applies these insights to particular vulnerable groups: "at risk" households in transitional housing, the chronically mentally ill, and the frail elderly.
How Arguments are Constructed and Used in the Social Sciences - The Open University
This unit will enable you to understand how arguments are constructed and used in the Social Sciences. Using extracts from a Radio 4 broadcast you will look at the different viewpoints that are taken by the participants and analyse how the different arguments are being put together.