PSCI 210 Pandemic Politics
- Fall 2021
The initial governmental responses to the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the foundations of the world's economy. Decisions to "shut down the economy," however, were not universally praised and remain controversial. Science became more politicized during the pandemic, and Americans could not even agree on whether mask wearing was necessary, often dividing along party lines. In this seminar, we will study the COVID-19 pandemic from a political economy perspective, focusing on the United States and asking difficult questions. Did the shutdowns go too far, or were they necessary to protect public health? Was the run-up in government debt due to the pandemic fiscally irresponsible or necessary to prevent an economic depression? Did political polarization make the pandemic worse? Were dissenters who challenged dominant scientific explanations for the pandemic silenced or given a fair hearing? In the spirit of free and open inquiry, seminar participants will consider cutting-edge research and discuss competing viewpoints on these and other pandemic-related topics.