** Class Announcements **
1/18 Rules for writing papers, click here. On students' writing mistakes, click here. For the essay, "What are the Connections between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein?" click here. On students' writing mistakes, click here.
Here is the question for this coming week's reading. Please have the paper ready for class next week. The paper should be 2-3 pages double spaced, regular sized margins.
- In his Imperialism, V. I. Lenin was trying to analyze the causes of imperialism in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, and alleged there was a specifically economic cause. What according to Lenin were the economic causes of imperialism?
Here is a statement by Benjamin Miller, who is the History Dept's Writing Instructor:
Benjamin Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org), official History Department writing tutor.
Office and meeting room: Social Sciences Room 124A. All meetings will take place at this location.
Set Office Hours: 2:00-3:30pm Tuesday and Wednesday.
By appointment: If neither of those times will work, I will do my best to work out an alternate meeting time via email.
Online: I will also look over papers online (via Google Docs), and will then write comments. If any of my comments are unclear, please feel free to come to my office hours or schedule a meeting, and I will be happy to walk through your paper with you.
Timing: Depending on demand, I will do my best to respond to all emails and shared papers within 24 hours. If the demand is high, this will become somewhat unfeasible, so please keep that in consideration when deciding how long before the deadline to send me your paper. In general, please plan on sending any online drafts at least 48 hours before a deadline, and if it gets closer than that, please come to my office hours. If this is not possible, please email me, and I will do my best to work with you.
Thank you, I look forward to working with you all.
1/25 Here is your question for next week:
- Jeffrey Freidan's article, "Sectoral Conflict" argues that "realist" interpretations cannot adequately explain U.S. foreign policy during the period between the World War I and World War II. Why does Freiden believe that realist explanations are inadequate? What aspects of U.S. foreign policy, according to Freiden, are not satisfactorily explained by realism?
2/8 Here is your question for next week's paper:
In The World in Depression, Charles Kindleberger argues that a major reason that the Great Depression was so severe and long lasting was due to failures that occurred at the level of international economic policy. What according to Kindleberger were these international policy failures, which contributed to the Depression?
2/16 Here is your question for next week:
- John Maynard Keynes advocates a full employment strategy that would entail 'euthanasia of the rentier.' What does Keynes mean by this phrase, and how would such euthanasia contribute to full employment? Kalecki builds on Keynes' theory and argues that a full employment strategy would be opposed by powerful social groups. Which social groups according to Kalecki would oppose full employment, and why would they adopt this position?
2/22 Here is your question for next class:
- Fred Block examines the 1950 decision to implement a massive increase in military spending, originally proposed in the then secret document NSC-68. Traditionally this decision has been interpreted in purely military terms, i.e. as an effort to protect US interests against the Soviet military threat. Block, however, suggests that there were important economic reasons for this decision. What according to Block were the economic reasons that led to the 1950 decision to increase military expenditures?
3/1 Here is the question for next week's paper:
The decades of the 1970s and 1980s saw a sharp turn toward the right in US politics, with increased advocacy of tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation of business activity, and reduction of the social safety net. In addition, policymakers were urged to accept augmented levels of unemployment and income inequality. Both political parties were influenced by these trends. According to Kim Phillips-Fein, what role did business interests and business lobbies play in this rightward shift in economic policy?
3/8 Here is your question for your paper, due in two weeks, after Spring Break:
In Secrets of the Temple, William Greider describes the appointment of Paul Volcker as chairman of the Federal Reserve System in 1979. Greider emphasizes that the US financial community at this time was was highly dissatisfied with the economic situation and, as a result, they strongly backed the selection of Volcker as Fed chairman. Why according to Greider was the financial community so dissatisfied, and why did they respond to this situation by backing Volcker?
3/22 Here is the question for next week's paper:
- In The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein describes the process whereby conservative US-based economists (led by Milton Friedman) began to spread their influence into several countries in the Third World, including Indonesia and Chile. Klein then goes on to discuss violent coups that occurred in both countries. According to Klein, what role did the US economists and their local followers play in these violent events?
3/30 Here is the question for next week's paper:
Banko Milanovic and Thomas Friedman provide somewhat divergent views of globalization and its effects on human welfare, with Friedman offering a generally positive view and Milanovic a somewhat more negative view. Which of these two assessments of globalization is more plausible, in your view? Which account is better argued?
4/5 Here is the question for next week:
- In "Washington's New Interventionism," David Gibbs argues that the United States continued to rely on massive military power after the end of the Cold War for reasons that were partly economic in nature. What according to Gibbs were the economic motives for US military interventionism during the post-1990 period?
4/12 Here is the question for your last paper:
- What is David Kotz's explanation for the economic crisis of 2008 and the Great Recession that followed?