POLS 531 CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN WORLD POLITICS (3-0-3)(F/S). Examination of theoretical and methodological approaches to understanding recent developments in international relations or comparative politics. May be repeated for credit. PREREQ: Graduate Standing or PERM/INST. Class Notes: This course explores the intersection of technology, public policy, and governance. The world is undergoing a profound set of digital disruptions that are fundamentally reshaping the relationship between citizen and state. Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), mass surveillance, information distortion, biometric identification, and cyber capabilities are dramatically altering the manner in which democracies and authoritarian states interact with their citizens. Such changes come at a moment when democracies are increasingly in crisis. The Economist’s Democracy Index, for example, finds that nearly one-third of the world’s population currently lives under authoritarian rule – contrasted with 5% of the global population residing in a full democracy. Likewise, researchers from the V-Dem project estimate that 2.5 billion people are now living through “autocratization,” in which leaders limit democratic attributes and rule more unilaterally. Consequently, the world is witnessing an authoritarian resurgence abetted by technology. While increasing numbers of people rely primarily or exclusively on online platforms, authoritarian regimes are exploiting emerging technologies in new and disruptive ways. Such developments have major implications for democratic governance and citizen engagement around the world. Enrollment Requirements: Prerequisite: Graduate Standing or permission of instructor.