The Human Place in World Politics: Leadership, Psychology, and the ‘First Image’

Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Academic Year: 
US Credits: 
ECTS Credits: 
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Course Description: 

Politics today seem driven as much by personality as by institutions, leaders as much as laws. Xi, Trump, Putin, Modi—are these statesmen mere products of historical moment, produced and bound by larger forces? Or do they shape and create our world? How do we as ‘ordinary’ people judge their leadership, or play a role?

This course will investigate the human place in world politics, with a special focus on leadership and psychology. Our investigation runs against the grain of most contemporary social science, which emphasizes society over the individual, or structure over agency, in contemporary parlance.

Learning Outcomes: 

This course aims to provide students with understandings of:

  • The role of the individuals in world politics, with a special focus on leaders
  •  The cognitive heuristics, biases, and shortcuts that individuals use to assess situationsand make decisions
  • The use of case studies and psychological theories in evaluating world political outcomes
  • Comprehensive efforts to evaluate the quality of leaders or leadership

  • Differences between modern and non-modern approaches to political science

  1. Class participation 10%

  2. Written assignment 30%

  3. Written assignmen 30%

  4. Written assignment 30%