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97 Awesome Open Lectures for Political Minds

In today’s economic and social atmosphere, it’s more important than ever for young people to get politically involved. Unfortunately, many members of the next generation of voters don’t always know what’s really going on in Washington or the world. As the country has seen lately, history has a tragic way of repeating itself, and it’s time to start voting for what works instead of what sounds good. So, how do young voters make that happen? Their biggest weapon is knowledge; knowledge of economics, of reform, of legislation, and of history. The following courses are brought by universities around the country to anybody who wants access. So if you agree it’s time to exercise that 26th amendement right, listen to these open lectures and courses, and renew your sense of patriotism.

U.S. Politics

What starts here changes the world. U.S. citizens should always be concerned about their home country first and foremost, so follow these thinks to find out everything you need to know about American politics.

  1. American Political Thought: This course looks at America’s history from the colonial era to the present. [MIT]
  2. Introduction to the American Political Process: This class introduces students to innovative as well as classic approaches to studying U.S. government. [MIT]
  3. The Supreme Court, Civil Liberties, and Civil Rights: This course introduces students to the work of the Supreme Court and to American constitutional law. [MIT]
  4. Law and Society: This course examines law as a social institution and as a feature of popular culture. [MIT]
  5. Congress and the American Political System: This course focuses on both the internal processes of the House and Senate and on the place of Congress in the American political system. [MIT]
  6. Public Opinion and American Democracy: This course examines public opinion and its place in the American political system. It also explores how voters’ opinions are shaped. [MIT]
  7. Fundamentals of Public Policy: Fundamentals of Public Policy is an beginner course that thorougly explores policy-making. [MIT]
  8. U.S. Social Policy: This subject examines the historical development and politics of social policy in the United States. [MIT]
  9. American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future: The mission of this course is to explain and evaluate past and present United States policies. [MIT]
  10. Causes of War: Theory and Method: This course explores the causes of war with an extreme focus on preventability. [MIT]
  11. American National Security Policy: This course examines the problems and issues of American national security. [MIT]
  12. Race, Crime, and Citizenship in American Law: This course explores the relationship between race and crime in the United States. [MIT]
  13. Forms of Political Participation: Old and New: How and why do we participate in public life? Look at the life of a citizen, from voting to protesting. [MIT]
  14. Comparative Health Policy: This course examines the health care policy problems facing the United States. [MIT]
  15. Defense Politics: This course focuses on institutional relationships the military forces in the United States. [MIT]
  16. Feminist Theory: This course focuses on a range of theories of gender in modern life. [MIT]
  17. Justice: This course explores three fundamental questions about the ideal of a just society and the place of liberty and equality in those societies. [MIT]
  18. Causes and Prevention of War: The causes and ways of prevention of interstate war are the central topics of this course. [MIT]
  19. Social Movements in Comparative Perspective: This course will provide students with an understanding of social movements and their impact. [MIT]
  20. Environmental Politics and Policy: This course explores environmental policymaking in the United States. [MIT]

Foreign Politics

"Globalization" is quite the catch phrase today. But what does it mean? And more importantly, what does it mean for America? Learn all about the topic here:

  1. Political Economy of Western Europe: Here, you can examine the role of European states in worldwide economic growth and crisis. [MIT]
  2. Globalization: This seminar explores changes in the international economy and their effects on domestic politics, economy, and society. [MIT]
  3. Working in a Global Economy: The course introduces the main debates about the current global economy and its implications. [MIT]
  4. The Politics of Global Financial Relations: This course explores the globalization of financial policy and money. [MIT]
  5. Chinese Foreign Policy: This lecture offers students a thorough overview of the international relations of the Peopleís Republic of China. [MIT]
  6. Seminar on Politics and Conflict in the Middle East: This course focuses on evolution of contemporary politics and economics of conflict in the Middle East. [MIT]
  7. Globalization, Migration, and International Relations: Tracing the evolution of international relations, this course examines the totality of globalization. [MIT]
  8. International Relations of East Asia: The aim of this course is to analyze the international relations of East Asia. [MIT]
  9. International Politics and Climate Change: This course examines the interconnections of international politics and climate change. [MIT]
  10. Sustainable Development: Theory, Research and Policy: This course examines alternative conceptions and theoretical underpinnings of the notion of "sustainable development." [MIT]
  11. Ethnicity and Race in World Politics: Discerning the ethnic and racial dimensions of politics is considered by some indispensable to understanding contemporary world politics. This course seeks to answer fundamental questions about racial and ethnic politics. [MIT]
  12. Politics and Policy in Contemporary Japan: This subject is designed for upper level undergraduates and graduate students as an introduction to politics and the policy process in modern Japan. [MIT]
  13. Government and Politics of China: This course analyzes contemporary Chinese politics, both pre-Communist and Communist. [MIT]
  14. Introduction to Latin American Studies: This course is designed to introduce students to Latin American politics and society. [MIT]
  15. Soviet Politics and Society, 1917-1991: Explore the crux of Russia’s history with this course. [MIT]
  16. Japanese Politics and Society: This course is designed for students seeking a working knowledge of Japanese history, politics, culture, and the economy. [MIT]
  17. The Rise and Fall of Democracy/ Regime Change: Learn the broad explanations for regime change, and look at history’s greatest cases of the phenomenon. [MIT]
  18. Power: Interpersonal, Organizational and Global Dimensions: Using examples from anthropological and sociological history, this course explores authority and power. [MIT]
  19. Political Science Scope and Methods: This course is designed to provide an introduction research methods used by political scientists today. [MIT]

Graduate Courses

These advanced courses don’t require extra brain power, just an extra interest in politics, economics, and nationalism.

  1. Political Philosophy: Global Justice: This course explores the ideas of justice beyond the borders of a single country or state. [MIT]
  2. Citizenship and Pluralism: This course will allow the exploration of pluralism and multiculturalism. [MIT]
  3. Political Economy I: Theories of the State and the Economy: Political Economy I explores the major social science paradigms for analyzing relations among state, economy, and society. [MIT]
  4. Political Economy of Globalization: This is a graduate seminar for students who are familiar with major issues in the global political economy. [MIT]
  5. Economic Development, Policy Analysis, and Industrialization: This analyzes the historical reasons why governments some countries have intervened with preset policies. [MIT]
  6. Economic Institutions and Growth Policy Analysis : This course is designed for students concerned with the problems seen in large organizations. [MIT]
  7. Labor and Politics: This graduate research and reading seminar examines the issues facing labor in today’s global world. [MIT]
  8. Integrating Doctoral Seminar on Emerging Technologies : This team-taught subject was made for doctoral students working on emerging technologies within policy and social issues. [MIT]
  9. Advances in International Relations Theory: This course offers a critical analysis of international relations. [MIT]
  10. American Foreign Policy: Theory and Method: This course examines the causes and results of American foreign policy since 1898. [MIT]
  11. Territorial Conflict: This graduate seminar teaches up and coming research on territorial conflict in international relations. [MIT]
  12. Nationalism: This course provides a broad overview of the theories of nationalism. [MIT]
  13. Ethnic Politics I: This course provides students with a basic understanding of the relationship between ethnicity and politics. [MIT]
  14. Comparative Politics and China: This graduate class will examine the main approaches in contemporary Chinese politics. [MIT]
  15. Political Economy of Latin America: This class explores the politics of economic reform in Latin America. [MIT]
  16. Civil War: This course looks into origins of civil war and its implications. [MIT]
  17. Quantitative Research in Political Science and Public Policy: This course provides students with a thorough and rigorous introduction to Statistics for Political Science. [MIT]
  18. Qualitative Research: Design and Methods: This course is intended for graduate students planning to conduct qualitative research. [MIT]
  19. Foundations of Political Science: This complex subject introduces basic ideas, theories, and methods in political science today. [MIT]

Politics of Health Care

Anybody with a political mind knows health care overhaul is at the forefront of the Obama administration’s agenda. So what reform options do we have, and what are the pros and cons of each? Find out here:

  1. The Art of Science–Advice to Policy Makers: Lessons from the U.S. National Academies: Dr. Fineberg shares the personal experiences and how they shape his policy advice. [JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY]
  2. Ethical Issues in Public Health: This interesting course focuses on current ethical issues in public health policy, including resource allocation. [Johns Hopkins University]
  3. Family Planning Policies and Programs: This course introduces the big issues in the development, organization, and management of family planning programs around the world. [Johns Hopkins University]
  4. Global Tobacco Control: an introduction to global tobacco control. Presents the health and economic burden of tobacco use worldwide and highlights practical approaches to tobacco prevention, control, surveillance, and evaluation. [JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY]
  5. Health Issues for Aging Populations: Introduces the concept of aging, as well as its implications for individuals, families, and society. [Johns Hopkins University]
  6. Managed Care and Health Insurance: Presents an overview of major issues of health insurance plans. [Johns Hopkins University]
  7. Pharmaceuticals Management for Underserved Populations: Students of this course will need to analyze problems facing pharmaceutical research and distribution. [Johns Hopkins University]
  8. Concepts in Economic Evaluation: Describes how economic theory is linked to economic evaluation techniques like cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis and to introduce students to many concepts that are specific to economic evaluation. [Johns Hopkins University]
  9. Culture, Politics, and Community: Living Public Health in Nigeria: In this lecture, Professor Brieger discusses some of the lessons he learned during his 26-year experience working in Nigeria and his subsequent work with a wider variety of African nations, focusing on on tropical diseases and their associated social, cultural, and behavioral aspects. [Johns Hopkins University]
  10. Impact of Pandemic Influenza on Public Health: Examines the path of the avian influenza and examines how it could impact world health. [Johns Hopkins University]
  11. Malariology: Presents issues related to malaria as a major public health problem. [Johns Hopkins University]
  12. Radiation Terror 101: Introduces you to general radiation principles, radiation safety and protection, and the basic types of radiological terror, and also provides practical guidance on acute response techniques and general countermeasures. [Johns Hopkins University]
  13. Training Methods and Continuing Education for Health Workers: This course in Training Methods and Continuing Education for Health Workers identifies the role of training and continuing education as an important component of health service and personnel management. [Johns Hopkins University]
  14. Water and Sanitation Needs in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies: This public health course provides a historical overview of the influence of water and sanitation on human health. [Johns Hopkins University]
  15. Tropical Environmental Health: Learn how and why inadequate water supplies and lack of sanitation facilities create major hazards to the public health in many parts of the world. [Johns Hopkins University]
  16. Population Change and Public Health: This course introduces the basic elements of population studies. [JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY]
  17. International Nutrition: Learn about major nutritional problems that influence the health, and survival of people in developing countries. [Johns Hopkins University]
  18. Biological Agents of Water and Foodborne Bioterrorism: This presentation examines the various biological agents that terrorists could use against food or water supplies. [Johns Hopkins University]
  19. Refugee Health Care: Refugee Health Care addresses the provision of basic health requirements for refugees.
  20. Food Production, Public Health, and the Environment: This course provides an understanding of food security and in a world where one billion people are under-nourished while another billion are overweight. [Johns Hopkins University]


This is the most important factor in politics; after all, if you don’t have an economy, you don’t have a country. If you don’t know the upside and downside of Keynesian economics, you might have a thing or two to learn before you head to the polls. Get informed with these lectures and courses:

  1. Principles of Microeconomics: This introductory course teaches the basics of microeconomics. [MIT]
  2. Principles of Macroeconomics: This course will provide an overview of macroeconomic issues: the determination of output, employment, unemployment, interest rates, and inflation. [MIT]
  3. Industrial Organization and Public Policy : This is a course in industrial organization, which is the study of firms in markets. [MIT]
  4. Government Regulation of Industry: The objective of this course is to introduce students to the role of government in markets when competition "fails." [MIT]
  5. Public Economics: This course examines the role of the public sector in the economy. [MIT]
  6. Environmental Policy and Economics: This course looks at the proper role of government in the regulation of the environment. [MIT]
  7. Energy Economics: This course explores various perspectives on energy and energy supply. [MIT]
  8. International Trade: This course is an introduction to the theory of international trade and finance. [MIT]
  9. Foundations of Development Policy: This course explores the foundations of policy making in developing countries. [MIT]
  10. Labor Economics: This course will acquaint students with issues and topics in labor economics. [MIT]
  11. Medieval Economic History in Comparative Perspective: This course will survey the conditions of life in medieval Europe. [MIT]
  12. Economics and Psychology: This course integrates psychological insights into economic behavior within a country. [MIT]
  13. Special Topics in Economics: The Challenge of World Poverty: This is a course for those who are interested in the great challenge posed by massive and seemingly endless world poverty. [MIT]
  14. Economics and E-commerce: This course studies "old economy" industries to help understand the future of e-commerce. [MIT]
  15. Economics of Education: This class discusses the economic aspects of current issues in education. [MIT]
  16. Econometrics: This class serves as an introduction to econometric models and techniques. [MIT]
  17. Information Technology and the Labor Market: This course offers an in-depth look at the impact of information technology on the labor market. [MIT]
  18. Economic History: This course gives a comprehensive look at the economic history of the world. [MIT]
  19. Time Series Analysis: This course analyzes the theory and application of time series in econometrics. [MIT]

December 1st, 2009 written by Staff Writers

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