Online courses directory (90)
How can we strengthen libraries and librarians in the advancement of knowledge, creativity, and literacy in the 21st century? Though libraries have been loved for over 3,600 years, their relevance in the digital age is being questioned, and their economic and social impacts are poorly understood. What is really essential about libraries and librarians, today and tomorrow? How can library members and all who support the mission of 21st-century librarianship raise the profile and support of these timeless values and services, and ensure universal access to the universe of ideas in all our communities? This course is based on what works. We’ll take an inspired, strategic, evidence-based approach to advocacy for the future of strong communities – cities, villages, universities and colleges, research and development centres, businesses, and not-for-profits.
We will cover:
- Values and transformative impacts of libraries and librarianship
- Research on current perceptions of libraries and librarians
- Role of relationships in advocacy
- Principles of influence and their impact on advocacy
- Strategic thinking and planning in advocacy
- Effective communication: messages, messengers, and timing
Guest speakers share their ideas, recommendations and successes. These leading advocates include, among others:
- Barbara Band, Emmbrook School, Berkshire
- Cathy De Rosa, OCLC
- Ken Haycock, University of Southern California
- Joe Janes, University of Washington
- Nancy Kranich, Rutgers University
- Victoria Owen, University of Toronto
- John Szabo, Los Angeles Public Library
Previous participants have said that this course – “showed me the value of building relationships,” and “made me approach our library’s advocacy much differently”, and “helped me see advocacy in a new light."
Advocacy is growing in urgency and importance on the agenda of all library associations. In this highly competitive environment, associations help their members and their communities to build advocacy capacity. This course meets that strategic need. It is offered in partnership with the Canadian Library Association and the American Library Association.
For the full description, please see the syllabus at:
This course aims to get students thinking about politics and policy as a part of their everyday life. We treat politics as a struggle among competing advocates trying to persuade others to see the world as they do, working within a context that is structured primarily by institutions and cultural ideas. We’ll begin by developing a policymaking framework, understanding ideology, and taking a whirlwind tour of the American political system. Then, we’ll examine six policy issues in depth: health care, gun control, the federal budget, immigration reform, same-sex marriage, and energy and climate change.
This weekly seminar examines key concepts of U.S. intellectual property law, with emphasis on patents and copyrights and a briefer look at trade secrets and trademarks. Current issues relating to information technologies and business methods will be highlighted. The seminar has no prerequisites, and is designed for both graduate students and undergraduates. Half of the seats in the seminar are reserved for students from MIT departments other than Sloan.
This course is designed as a vocabulary of the main terms used by all of us when talking about local as well as world politics. We often use these terms without a proper awareness of their meanings and connections, a circumstance not exactly helpful for any attempt to understand how politics really works, regardless of our wishful thinking or simplistic morality or easy cynicism.
Now, if we want to go deeper into the workings of politics - the only serious starting point for those who want reform - we must agree to begin with very abstract notions. This includes the general definitions of what politics, conflict, power (incl. force/violence), and what legitimate power mean (Part 1: What is Politics?). On these premises, we will then explain the still main political institution, the state, and peer into the dynamics of war and peace that has dominated the relationships between the states (Part 2: How Does Politics Work?). Since with economic globalisation, which has restricted the room for political action, things are getting much more complicated on the planet, and more challenging outside of it (man-made climate change starts in the atmosphere), classical notions have to be rethought. The very nature of the threats endangering our global commons does not leave the definition of politics (Part 3: World Politics and the Future).
This course does not aim at communicating any 'message' as to how politics ought to be. However, we will obviously try to clarify the main concepts - freedom, equality, justice - concepts we will make use of while talking about values and principles in politics. This is, what is called 'normative political philosophy' and is regarded here as an important chapter of political philosophy, not the whole of it (Part 4: Ethics and Politics).
What will I learn?
At the end of the course, you will have achieved a clearer and less confused awareness of political vocabulary, thus gaining a more complex, more autonomous and more critical understanding of political processes. If you are a student of political science, law, sociology and economics you will gain better tools for catching the overarching sense of processes. This will help you overcome an otherwise fragmented perspective and perspective.
My teaching method aims primarily at defining and discussing concepts, not illustrating authors or providing historical narratives; needless to say, there will be plenty of references to authors, books, events and processes, in particular with regard to the evolution of political modernity.
What do I have to know?
Due to my conceptual approach, to follow this course you do not need a prior knowledge of philosophy or political science, just the degree of general culture needed to pass the final high school exam, be it Abitur, maturità, baccalauréat or 高考(gao kao).
Aim and method of the course. General information. Two definitions of politics.
Disassembling the classical definition, and its components: Conflict, (Legitimate) Power, Force.
Questions about power. A word on political philosophy.
The subjective side of politics, legitimacy, political identity and political obligation.
Political order, political institutions, models of order: From Aristotle to Hegel.
The (modern) state. Basic thoughts on democracy.
The states: Power, peace, and war in the anarchical society.
Globalisation and global governance.
Global challenges and politics after modernity.
Liberty and equality.
Ethics and politics in modernity.
This is a survey course, and as such it can either be used by students who are looking to take just one general overview course, or for students who want to go on to more advanced study in any of the subfields that comprise the political science discipline, such as American politics, comparative politics, international politics, or political theory. This course will survey the different ways in which political scientists study the phenomena of politics and will deepen your understanding of political life as both a thinker and a citizen. The goal of this course is to introduce you to the discipline’s concepts, terminology, and methods and to explore instances of applied political science through real world examples. As an introductory course, POLSC101 will focus on the basic principles of political science by combining historical study of the discipline’s greatest thinkers with analysis of contemporary issues. We will also identify and discuss the questions that perennially drive the field of polit…
Political thought, or political philosophy, is the study of questions concerning power, justice, rights, law, and other issues pertaining to governance. Whereas political science assumes that these concepts are what they are, political thought asks how they have come about and to what effect. Just as Socrates’s simple question “How should we be governed?” led to his execution, the question “What makes a government legitimate?” leads to political turmoil when posed at critical times. Political thought asks what form government should take and why; what duties citizens owe to a legitimate government, if any; and when it may be legitimately overthrown, if ever. Generally speaking, political thought, political philosophy, and political theory are terms often used interchangeably to mean the study of philosophical texts related to politics. This course examines major texts in the history of political thought. Many of these texts pose difficult questions concerning the political community, social order,…
The purpose of this course is to provide you with a basic understanding of foreign affairs and introduce you to the fundamental principles of international relations within the political science framework. We will examine the theories of realism and liberalism as they are understood in world politics. These theories will serve as the foundation for more advanced study in the International Relations field of the Political Science major, and will help you develop the critical thinking skills you need in order to analyze conflicts between states. We will also explore issues that relate to the politics of global welfare, such as war, world poverty, disease, trade policy, environmental concerns, human rights, and terrorism. You will learn about the ethics of war, the global distribution of wealth, the concept of the balance of power and its relationship to the causes of war, and what happens in the international system when the balance of power collapses. At the end of this course, you will have a comprehensive…
Like it or not, we can’t escape politics. Politics, a term best defined as the distribution, exercise, and consequences of power, exists at multiple levels in our society and in our daily lives. We experience politics in action, for example, in international negotiations, government policy choices, our workplace, and even in our own families. This course focuses its efforts on exploring the formal, public sphere of politics and power relations through a systematic study and comparison of types of government and political systems. Comparatists (practitioners of comparative politics) seek to identify and understand the similarities and differences between these systems by taking broad topicssay, for example, “democracy” or “freedom”and breaking them down into factors that can be found in individual systems. We call this general approach “the comparative method.” The goal of the comparative method is to identify the factors and/or categories of analysis to effectively compare and contra…
This course will serve as an introduction to American government and politics. We will focus on several major themes in the course’s five constituent units. In the first unit, “American Political Foundations,” we will consider the core concepts and theoretical underpinnings of the American system of government: American political culture, the Constitution, and federalism. A solid grasp of these concepts will help you better understand the underlying reasons for the structure of the American political system. In the second unit, “American Political Behavior,” we will examine the key components of “politics” in the American system, including public opinion, the mass media, political parties, interest groups, campaigns, elections, and electoral participation. In the third unit, “American Institutions,” we will analyze the major governing bodies in the United States: Congress, the presidency and the bureaucracy, and the courts. Unit 4, “Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in America,” will high…
American Government belongs to the Saylor.org CLEP® PREP Program. In taking this version of POLSC232, you will master the subject of American Government and Politics. This course is also designed to prepare you to take the CLEP® exam in American Government . The CLEP® (College Level Examination Program) exams are designed by the College Board, the organization which administers the AP and SAT exam programs you may have encountered or taken in high school. CLEP® exams test for the mastery of college-level material that you may have acquired through any number of ways college-level course instruction, independent study, work experience, or any other program of study you have pursued. In other words, CLEP® exams are freestanding exams that any individual can pay to take in order to prove that he or she has mastered a given subject area at the college level. Over 2,900 US colleges and universities recognize and award college credit for a satisfactory score on a CLEP® exam. A student who earns a satisf…
In the field of public policy and administration, there have been several enduring questions. In a larger context, what is the role of government? There has always been conflict in our society regarding the proper role of government. How should public organizations be structured to reflect the will of the public? How do we ensure accountability? What is the proper role of the public administrator/analyst in policy implementation? How should programs be evaluated? This course will provide you with an overview of the field of public administration, particularly the distinctions that set management of public organizations apart from that of private-sector organizations. You will begin with an examination of the history and perception of the role of government in the provision of services. You will then examine the context in which public administrators deliver services to citizens. Public administrators must also possess a basic knowledge of managing organizations and people in order to imple…
Research is an important component of political science; it enables us to uncover evidence, develop theories, and better understand how the political world operates. This course will introduce you to some of the basic research tools in the political scientist’s “toolkit,” and discuss why and how certain tools are used to explore certain phenomena. The course will also teach you to develop and evaluate sensible and systematic scientific research designs by addressing the ways in which data and theory intersect and examining how political scientists quantify, measure, and operationalize the concepts and variables that are key to understanding the political world. You will conclude your studies by learning about the practical implementation of research design. By the end of this course, you will better understand the qualitative and quantitative techniques that are used within the field and will be able to explain why political scientists choose to use them. In this regard, you will have the opportunity to…
This course will cover American political thought from the nation’s early, formative years as a fledgling republic through the 1960s, exploring the political theories that have shaped its system of governance. As there is no one philosopher or idea that represents the totality of American political thought, you will survey the writings and speeches of those who have had the greatest impact over this period of time. You will begin by examining pre-revolutionary thought before moving on to the ideals and debates that brought forth the Constitution and the American governmental structure. Next, you will study the people and events that shaped the emergent nation, delving into concepts such as individualism, capitalism, and industrialism. You will also investigate the notions of slavery, equality, social progressivism, as well as the ideals explored in the civil rights movement. You will notice that much of the study required in this course is based on the original texts and speeches of those who infl…
The purpose of this course is to provide you with an overview of the major political theorists and their work from the 18th century to the present. Common themes seen in contemporary political thought include governance, property ownership and redistribution, free enterprise, individual liberty, justice, and responsibility for the common welfare. You will read the works of theorists advocating capitalism, socialism, communism, egalitarianism, utilitarianism, social contract theory, liberalism, conservatism, neo-liberalism, neo-conservatism, libertarianism, fascism, anarchy, rational choice theory, and multiculturalism. By studying the evolving constructs of political theory in the past two centuries, you will gain insight into different approaches that leaders use to solve complex problems of governance and maintenance of social order.
Comprehending the role that feminism has played in identifying, critiquing, and, at times, altering the distribution of political and economic power is integral to understanding democratic citizenship and government. In this course, we will examine the history of feminist thought, beginning in the late eighteenth century and continuing through the early twenty-first century. An overarching goal of this course is to encourage you to develop and shape your own concepts and ideas about feminist political thought as a potent and multifaceted global force. In working toward this goal, we begin the course by defining feminism and engaging with some of the cultural and political stereotypes of feminism and feminist thinking in contemporary politics and popular culture. Next, we explore the history of feminist thinking. We conclude by examining current topics in feminist politics. Throughout the course, we will examine and discuss questions important to feminist politics, such as citizenship, political pa…
What is the best way to respond to global nuclear proliferation? Under what circumstances should American soldiers be sent to war? How should U.S. policymakers navigate a global economy? Will a global energy crisis precipitate a third world war? How does history inform contemporary U.S. foreign policymakers, and what issues will challenge future leaders? Such questions can seem beyond the scope of an individual, but they are questions that foreign policy decision makers in the United States must confront. Further, the issues that such questions raise must also be considered by members of the government bureaucracy and any citizen that wishes to be an informed participant in American democracy. The prominent role of the United States and a global leader makes examining and understanding the actions that the U.S. takes toward the rest of the world and how these decisions are made important for both American and citizens of other nations alike. This course will provide history, theory, and perspectives on curren…
This course will provide you with a basic understanding of two core concepts in International Relations and, more generally, Political Science: international governance and international government. Governance refers to the processes of decision-making, while government is the formal institutions associated with those processes. These two dynamics are interdependent; it is necessary to study both to fully understand this subfield of international relations. Thus, this course will serve as the basis for further studies in the International Relations field within the Political Science major; it also serves as a companion course or “alter-ego” for the International Law course. You will begin studying the fundamental issues of international organization by exploring some conceptual frameworks pertaining to governance dynamics. This will be followed by investigating the three primary ways in which the participants in global affairs, both state and non-state actors, organize themselves: intergovernmental,…
The study of United States intelligence and national security operations is an analysis of how the various branches of government work together and, as a check upon each other, how they work to protect and promote American interests at home and abroad. The purpose of this course is to provide you with an overview of national security policy analysis and the United States intelligence community. As you progress through this course, you will learn about strategic thought and strategy formulation, develop the ability to assess national security issues and threats, and cultivate an understanding of the political and military institutions involved in the formulation and execution of national security policy through diplomacy, intelligence operations, and military force. This course will examine problems and issues regarding United States national security policy. A large section of the course will deal with the major actors and institutions involved in making and creating national security policy and the intel…
At various points in history, the Middle East has been at the center of world civilization. In the last century, however, the Middle East has been subjected to the conquest, colonization, and control of outside powers: the Ottoman Empire, the great European powers, and the United States. This dynamic has had profound implications for the political identity of both Middle Easterners and their conquerors. It has also meant that much of the recent political history of the Middle East has been a struggle for independence and state-buildinga struggle that continues to this day with profound implications for the region and the world as a whole. This course has two primary purposes: (1) to build a critical understanding of the key issues and conflicts in the politics of the modern Middle East and (2) to apply the following concepts to these issues and conflicts: scholarly methodology, colonialism, independence and state-building, the political mobilization of new social classes, the spread of capitalist ec…