POLS 30487 - The Rise and Fall of World Communism, Fall 2011
The Rise and Fall of World Communism
Professor A. James McAdams, Ph.D.
Course Structure: Hour long classes - three times a week
For most of the twentieth century, communist states, like the Soviet Union and China, represented the greatest political, ideological, and military challenges to the western world. But now, most of these states are gone; of those that still exist, only one (which one?) can credibly live up to the bloody examples set by Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong. In this course, we will draw upon an eclectic mix of approaches from political science, history, sociology, and political philosophy to make sense of both the rise and the demise of the communist phenomenon. Rather than focusing on only one country or region, we will consider an array of different cases. These will include not only the Soviet Union and China but also such fascinating examples as Cuba, Vietnam, East Germany, Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia, and--my favorite--North Korea.