Topics in Comparative Politics
Humour and Politics
How do humour and politics intersect? What role does humour play in the political life of democracies, transitioning democracies, and authoritarian states? This course will introduce you to the world of humour and politics, with a focus on two broad themes: satire and society, and humour and international politics. We will explore the history of satire around the world and assess its impact on political life. We will look at how satirists are increasingly influential in the policy process, and how they have become major political actors (whether deliberately or not) in many countries. We will delve into the limits of free speech, humour and social movements, and the role of humour in political campaigns. We will also look at how humour has been used to combat oppression, and we will study the effectiveness (and limits) of humour as a tool for achieving political change.
Format and Requirements
Critical reflection essays; research paper; attendance and participation.
1.0 POL credit