Washington Center

Winter Quarter 2019

Activism, Protest, and the Politics of Change in Washington

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Term or Semester: 
Day and Time: 
Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Quarter Dates: 
January 8 - March 12, 2019
Campus: 
UCDC
Course Number: 
UCLA Sponsored: Political Science 149
Category: 
Quarter Elective
Description: 

How does social and political change happen in Washington? What strategies and techniques do underdogs use to take on entrenched and established powers in the nation’s capital? Making real change is difficult. Yet, there are several examples of successful social movements in American history and politics that came to Washington and effectively changed the course of the nation's politics and history. This class will explore the history and stories of grassroots mobilization and advocacy on the national stage. By interacting with guest speakers and visiting sites where events took place, students will learn about the successes—and failures—of social groups’ efforts to make lasting change in American politics and society.

 

Draft Syllabus

Course ID: 
UCDC15201W18

The U.S. Supreme Court

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Day and Time: 
Thursdays, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Quarter Dates: 
January 10 - March 14, 2019
Semester Dates: 
January 10 - April 18, 2019
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Core Seminar
Description: 

Gay marriage. The death penalty. Abortion. Health care. Cell phone privacy. The U.S. Supreme Court has heard cases on all of these topics in recent years, and its decisions ultimately touch the lives of all Americans. In this class we will study the Supreme Court's place in the U.S. legal system. Topics we will cover include: how a case gets to the court, the justices, the role of lawyers before the court, the purpose of oral argument, the court building and its symbolism, and media coverage of the court. At least once during the semester students will attend an oral argument, and cases currently before the court will be used as a reference point for class discussion. This class is geared not only toward anyone who is interested in the law or government service but also toward anyone interested in working on or being informed about the biggest issues of the day.

 

Draft Syllabus

 

Course ID: 
UCDC191I01W-S19

International Development

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Day and Time: 
Thursdays, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Quarter Dates: 
January 10 - March 14, 2019
Semester Dates: 
January 10 - April 18, 2019
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Core Seminar
Description: 

This is an introductory course to the international development field. The focus is on some of the key questions, challenges and achievements in this field. Materials from the course (readings, documentaries, discussions of current events) will enhance your understanding of the dominant approaches to poverty alleviation, the role of inter/national development actors, organizations and institutions, the promises of post-2015 Development Goals including the empowerment of women and youth. You will be exposed to the theoretical foundations of the field and will be required to make sense of these by following current events and drawing on your internship experiences in the nation’s Capital as well as your interactions with various experts, policy makers and development practitioners. The ultimate goal of the course is to enhance your understanding of the various causes and consequences of development problems and encourage you to develop individual perspective on effective strategies for change.

 

Draft Syllabus

Course ID: 
UCDC191E02W-S19

Washington Focus

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Term or Semester: 
Day and Time: 
Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Quarter Dates: 
January 10 - March 14, 2019
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Core Seminar
Description: 

Much is said about Washington. Much of it is wrong. This course will immerse students in the history, politics, culture, character and diversity of the nation’s capital. You will learn about Washington’s transformation from a remote federal city into the world’s most powerful capital. We will analyze the accuracy of how Washington has been depicted throughout history, how it is represented – and misrepresented -- in modern culture, and why it is ridiculed by politicians who want to work there. We will assess the truth behind popular Washington myths and look behind the city’s glorification and vilification in literature and film. We will examine the enormous divide between Washington’s have and have nots. We will probe Washington policy debates and rituals and survey the research tools used to separate fact from fiction. You will have an opportunity to study and visit monuments, museums, and perhaps even Ben’s Chili Bowl.

This course is only approved for: UCI, UCR, UCSB, UCD and UCSC.

 

Draft Syllabus

 

Course ID: 
UCDC191M01W-S19

Washington Media

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Day and Time: 
Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Quarter Dates: 
January 9 - March 13, 2019
Semester Dates: 
January 9 - April 17, 2019
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Core Seminar
Description: 

What is the difference between “fake news’ ’and journalism? Does objectivity exist? Why does President Trump call the news media the “enemy of the people.? This seminar explores the rapidly evolving relationship between the news media, governing and politics. Washington is the perfect backdrop for such a course, with the opportunity to visit iconic institutions, such as the National Press Club and the Newseum, and the chance to witness the work of journalists and public officials at the top of their profession. The class features lectures, discussions, field visits and guest speakers. Students will complete a major research project on a newsworthy topic which will be written in journalistic form in addition to shorter writing and speaking assignments. The course is aimed particularly at students interning at news organizations, political press offices, speechwriting groups, public relations firms or anyone with a passion for writing or politics.

 

Draft Syllabus

Course ID: 
UCDC191F01W-S19

General Research

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Day and Time: 
Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Quarter Dates: 
January 9 - March 13, 2019
Semester Dates: 
January 9 - April 17, 2019
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Core Seminar
Description: 
Gathering knowledge and learning the truth about the world around us is a fundamental part of human development and progress. While most of us take knowledge and truth for granted, the processes by which we understand our political, social, cultural, physical, biological environment has become particularly salient in the last year – and notably in the last several months – as we’ve been confronted with an ever-increasing post-fact and post-truth world.
 
Stephen Colbert coined the term “truthiness” to describe the tendency of people to “go with their gut” rather than facts and evidence in evaluating the world around them. We are all affected by biases that obstruct critical thinking; these biases influence how we hear and understand new information, whether we question assumptions, and how we disentangle opinion from fact.
 
Challenging these biases is essential to making rational, evidence-based argument and decisions. A primary concern underlying public discourse and policy making about issues such as climate change, organic food, fertilizers, Zika virus, school testing, Brexit, poverty, hunger, gun control, and so many other contemporary issues including the presidential election, is the availability – and the validity and reliability – of evidence to support arguments on one side or another.
 
This seminar is designed to develop skills required to be a critical observer of and contributor to our world through the use of evidence-based arguments. We will spend the next 11 weeks using critical thinking and argumentation skills to examine a research question related to the work of students’ internship organizations.
 
Course ID: 
UCDC191A01W-S19

Museums and Monuments: Cultural Heritage in the Nation’s Capital

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Term or Semester: 
Day and Time: 
Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Quarter Dates: 
January 8 - March 12, 2019
Campus: 
UCDC
Course Number: 
UCLA Sponsored: Anthropology 139
Category: 
Quarter Elective
Description: 

Physical artifacts, buildings and historic places are important markers of cultural heritage. Their meanings and associations inform viewers’ perceptions of the world, while their materiality provides a tangible connection to past people and events. When displayed publicly, these markers provide a concrete basis for historical narratives, and can serve to validate ideas about contemporary society and to shape ideas about the future. Museums and monuments take on particular significance in the nation’s capital, seat of political power and figurative heart of the nation. On the National Mall, grand monuments to historic figures and events and the stately buildings of the Smithsonian Institution bespeak power and grandeur. A more detailed examination of the city’s collections and cultural landmarks reveals diverse, and sometimes conflicting or contradictory narratives about the nation. This course will examine how cultural heritage is deployed in Washington, DC, how various constituencies are represented, and how the cultural landscape of the nation’s capital is informed by discourses of power, knowledge, memory, and identity.

 

Draft Syllabus

Course ID: 
UCDC15401W18

The Politics of Water Policy

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Term or Semester: 
Day and Time: 
Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Quarter Dates: 
January 8 - March 12, 2019
Campus: 
UCDC
Course Number: 
UCLA Sponsored: Political Science 146E
Category: 
Quarter Elective
Description: 

As the title suggests, this course is about one of the trenchant policy problems of our time, policy regarding the availability, uses, and distribution of water, particularly in arid parts of the world.  Though the focus of the class will be the American West (west of the 100th meridian), I will bring into discussion—and invite discussion—about water policy dynamics in other parts of the world, such as Africa and Australia, where there exists conflict or potential for conflict over riparian rights. This class will take 3 different cuts at water policy, organized around the frames of politics (including and especially the role of interest groups), organization, and technology.  We will learn about the history and logic behind the major policies in place for most of the past hundred years, what incentives were created under those policies, and how various interests with stakes in maintaining or changing aspects of water policy constrain or create openings for change.  We will spend some time discussing some of the more significant actors involved in water policy, such as the Bureau of Reclamation and the US Army Corps of Engineers, organizational actors that have shaped our current world.  And no class on water policy would be complete without a discussion of the technological possibilities for helping us navigate our way out of crisis, through new methods of conservation, water desalinization, waste water recycling, etc.  What is the potential for technology in this domain?

 

Draft Syllabus

Course ID: 
UCDC15501W18

The American Presidency and Executive Power

Instructor: 
Day and Time: 
Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Quarter Dates: 
January 8 - March 12, 2019
Semester Dates: 
January 8 - April 16, 2019
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Core Seminar
Description: 

This course will put the current presidency in historical and theoretical context, drawing on a variety of readings and approaches. At its core, this class is about the problem of executive power in democratic government. We will study and reflect not only on the details of what the presidency is in theory and practice, we will also consider how it (and other parts of the system) might be changed to overcome the problems of governance that have plagued the U.S. The goal is to understand the work of the presidency and some of the different perspectives by which we might analyze presidents and their administrations.

 

Draft Syllabus

Course ID: 
UCDC191C01W-S19

International Policy

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Day and Time: 
Tuesdays, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Quarter Dates: 
January 8 - March 12, 2019
Semester Dates: 
January 8 - April 16, 2019
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Core Seminar
Description: 

This seminar is designed to help you to engage critically and think systematically about crucial questions of international and global affairs. Through discussion of current events, student-directed research projects, and course readings, we will engage with a wide range of issues and problems that are international or global in scale. In so doing we will seek to identify and understand the nature and behavior of major actors in the international political arena of the 21st century. This is a research seminar with an applied approach that focuses on understanding and resolving pressing problems of foreign policy and international affairs.

 

Draft Syllabus 

Course ID: 
UCDC191E01W-S19

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