17.905 Forms of Political Participation: Old and New

As taught in: Spring 2005

A photograph of protestors marching to the Whiote House.

Members of the Campaign to End AIDS (C2EA) march to the White House to demand increased efforts to end to the global AIDS pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Kohan.)




Prof. Lily L. Tsai

Course Description

How and why do we participate in public life? How do we get drawn into community and political affairs? In this course we examine the associations and networks that connect us to one another and structure our social and political interactions. Readings are drawn from a growing body of research suggesting that the social networks, community norms, and associational activities represented by the concepts of civil society and social capital can have important effects on the functioning of democracy, stability and change in political regimes, the capacity of states to carry out their objectives, and international politics.