PPS260.01 – LEADERSHIP, POLICY, AND CHANGE
This is a course about leadership for public life. Together we will tackle the pressing strategic and ethical issues related to a significant challenge facing our democracy today—the tension between the demands of national security and the necessity for democratic oversight, between the need for secrecy and the rights of citizens.
Today this conflict plays itself out in news headlines about drone strikes, cyber-attacks and covert intelligence missions, and it captures the nation’s imagination in Oscar-winning films like Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. This gives us the opportunity to view the issue through the lens of current events and popular culture. At the same time, the tension between secret national security actions and democratic rights and practices is as old as the republic itself, so we will read widely in the history of national security secrecy to give context to current events.
As we read about drones and spies and cyber “worms,” we will examine the values conflicts that are central to the debate about national security secrecy in a democracy. Our exploration will challenge us to take stock of our responsibilities as citizens, and to look for opportunities to exercise leadership on the issue. In this course you will begin to practice leadership skills such as learning how to raise difficult public questions, to go beyond your own authority to push for change, to be self-reflective in the midst of action, to find allies and partners, to manage conflict, to provide a vision of a possible future, and to involve your community in the difficult work of political engagement and collective action.
[Areas of Knowledge: SS; Inquiries/Competencies: EI]