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POLS 386: Political Trials Offered in Fall 2013
Event Type: COURSE AND REGISTRAR INFORMATION
 
Sunday, April 28, 2013
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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May Beth White
Department:Political Science
The Department of Political Science has moved Professor Lida Maxwell’s Political Trials course (POLS 386-01) from the Spring 2014 semester schedule to the Fall 2013 semester schedule in the time block of MW 2:40-3:55 pm. 
 
Political trials are often seen as dangerous challenges to the rule of law: politics trumps law, theater trumps reason, and collective concerns supersede judgment of the individual on trial. However, bringing politics, theater, and collective concerns into the courtroom can also sometimes support the rule of law, as we have seen in contemporary efforts at transnational justice in countries like South Africa and Rwanda. In this class, we will look at several political trials (from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries) in which politics in the courtroom appear ambivalent—as not only dangerous to law and the justice it is supposed to promote, but also as potentially promising. Through examining these trials, we will ask what the relationship between politics and law should be: is "politicizing" law always dangerous, or might it sometimes be important to sustaining law? Do drama and theatricality impede justice, or might they sometimes aid it?
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