Tag Article List: agency

A Field Guide to Teaching Agency and Ethics: The West Wing and American Foreign Policy

Kayce Mobley
University of Georgia
Athens, GA, USA
kayce@uga.edu

Sarah Fisher
University of Georgia
Athens, GA, USA
skfisher@uga.edu

 

Abstract

Though political science undergraduate courses reflect a rich theoretical tradition, they typically lack opportunities for students to express intangible concepts through the interpretation of creative works, a standard exercise of critical analysis. Educators can address this dearth in many ways, such as through utilization of popular culture texts. We employ the television series The West Wing to ground debates in American politics, specifically American foreign policy. Although this show has been off air since 2006, Netflix and Amazon have recently released the entire series for streaming, significantly reducing the hassle and monetary cost of using this source in the classroom. Using The West Wing as our guide, we enhance political science pedagogy using agency, structure, and ethics as our guiding concepts.

 

Keywords: politics, television, The West Wing, foreign policy, decision making, agency, structure, ethics, critical analysis, United States

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