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Course Description

Everywhere we look, patriotism is being replaced by nationalism, pluralism by tribalism, objective justice by the tyrannical whim of autocrats. In short, a world order that has produced greater peace, prosperity, and well-being than ever before is in danger. It isn’t just an issue of the survival of “democracy”—after all, Russia and Iran are ostensibly democratic. What is imperiled is the practice of that magical marriage of free individuals and fair laws underpinned by a global system of institutions and norms. In this course, we will try to put aside our preconceptions and see the world from a different perspective: where aberrant behavior is entirely plausible; where norms we take for granted will no longer apply; where technologies we rely on for almost every convenience are vulnerable; where the West is buffeted by tides of isolationism and fragmentation, while in the East, it is a time of optimism. And we will ask whether the United States should just accept that. Or contest it. • Lecture + Q&A.
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