Curriculum Guide · Courses
Democracy and Coercion
Professor Anthony Cook
J.D. Course 003 | 4 credit hours
This course explores the role of law and lawyers in social movements. Our primary focus will be on the 19th century abolitionist and 20th century civil rights movements, also giving attention to feminist, class, antiwar, and cyber antiauthoritarian social movements. We also examine key aspects of late 20th century conservative backlash movements: law and order, war on crime, war on drugs. Students become conversant in the critical questions of social movement theory pertaining to movement mission, organization, strategies and tactics, and why movements rise, splinter and/or decline over time. Students explore the dialectical relationship between social movements and the law, analyzing how law both shapes and is shaped by social movements, at times facilitating and at times retarding reform. This exploration of law and social movements provides a tangible and practical context for understanding how the latter impacts and is impacted by the conventional doctrines of separation of powers and federalism, the institution of judiciary review, and the vindication of constitutional rights against democratic majorities.
This is a required course for first year students only.