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PSCI 214 Race and the Law

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  • Spring 2023
    Alexander Moon
    Spring 2023 — MW 15:25 - 16:40

    This course deals with questions raised at the intersection of constitutional law and sociological and political science studies of the politics and practice of race in the United States. While studying major court decisions concerning race and slavery, voting, property rights, segregation/de-segregation, criminal justice, voting, discrimination, and affirmative action, we will examine questions such as: what is the role of the legal system in constituting and perpetuating the racial order of the United States? To what extent do court rulings reflect more than they shape what actually happens outside of the legal system? How, if at all, do they shape public opinion? What are the advantages and disadvantages of courts as a tool for social change? Do answers to these questions vary by area of law and/or historical period? The course is largely discussion-based and will include readings in case law, critical legal studies, critical race theory, and works in political science and sociology.

  • Spring 2022
    Alexander Moon
    Spring 2022 — MW 15:25 - 16:40
    Course Syllabus

    This course deals with questions raised at the intersection of constitutional law and sociological and political science studies of the politics and practice of race in the United States. While studying major court decisions concerning race and slavery, voting, property rights, segregation/de-segregation, criminal justice, voting, discrimination, and affirmative action, we will examine questions such as: what is the role of the legal system in constituting and perpetuating the racial order of the United States? To what extent do court rulings reflect more than they shape what actually happens outside of the legal system? How, if at all, do they shape public opinion? What are the advantages and disadvantages of courts as a tool for social change? Do answers to these questions vary by area of law and/or historical period? The course is largely discussion-based and will include readings in case law, critical legal studies, critical race theory, and works in political science and sociology.