Fall 2024 History GU4435 section 001

Democracy and its Technocrats

Democracy and its Technoc

Call Number 13528
Day & Time
T 2:10pm-4:00pm
To be announced
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Alma Steingart
Method of Instruction In-Person
Course Description

Science and technology have become increasingly central to the basic functioning of democratic societies The administrative state, both on the local and national level, is dependent on technological systems to ensure democratic rule and deliver services: from voting machines and welfare databases to passport scanners and the laboratory equipment necessary to set environmental standards. Just as necessary are the numerous experts – engineers, statisticians, epidemiologists, and environmental scientists – who either work for or advise the state in its dealings. How should we think about the technocratic nature of modern democracy? Is it an inevitable and necessary pre-condition for governing modern mass society? Or is it an alarming aspect, an undemocratic impulse, that undermines the promise of democratic rule?The course will examine the coproduction of science and politics. In the first part of the semester, students will gain conceptual tools with which to rethink the connection between science, technology, power, politics, policy, and democracy. They will consider the role of expertise in modern politics, as well as the construction of the public. In the second part of the semester we will consider in greater detail the way technocratic governance developed in the United States from the end of the nineteenth century to the contemporary moment.

Web Site Vergil
Department History
Enrollment 7 students (13 max) as of 12:06PM Thursday, July 18, 2024
Subject History
Number GU4435
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Note Add to waitlist & see instructions on SSOL
Section key 20243HIST4435W001