Fall 2023

The State

Listed in: First Year Seminar, as FYSE-102


Javier Corrales (Section 01)


Most humans live in territories that are controlled by a state. Why do different nations have different types of states? Why are some states more repressive than others, more war-prone than others, better promoters of development than others, more inclusive than others? How can we make sense of the varied reactions to state domination, ranging from active support to negotiated limits to apathy to vigorous contestation? Does globalization make states more or less democratic, more or less efficient, more or less able to promote development?

This course goes to the heart of current debates on the “state of the state.” How significant is the state in an era in which its sovereignty is increasingly challenged both by global and domestic forces? What ought to be the proper role of the state in the twenty-first century? These questions are central to the current debates taking place—in the U.S. and abroad—on the extent to which countries should open up their economies, privatize social services, incorporate minorities and immigrants, recognize gay marriages, counterbalance U.S. pop culture, accommodate religious fundamentalism, etc. We will explore these questions by studying political theorists and empirical cases from around the world.

Limited to 16 students. Open to first-year students only. Fall semester. Professor Corrales.

How to handle overenrollment: Dean Handles this

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Emphasis on written work, readings, discussion.

FYSE 102 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM BARR 102
Th 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM BARR 102


Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2023