From the Age of Optimism to the Age of Anxiety: Global Insights 1991 to Present

Register for this Spring 2023 course on the new NYU SPS Academy of Lifelong Learning website.
In 1991 the world witnessed the triumph of Liberal Democracy with the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. This was the Age of Optimism which proclaimed a New World Order built on pax Americana and the values of the West. From 2016 to 2022, this paradigm of Western Power has been thrown into an existential crisis. This is the Age of Anxiety. How has it come to this? This course will examine current crises through the lens of history and the context of events in the post-Cold War world, especially the rise of populism, internal and external threats to democracy in the West, the growing threat of authoritarian leaders and the emergence of global economic recession. It will focus specifically on a number of core issues: Russia’s resurgence under Putin and the crisis in Ukraine; the rise of China under Xi Jinping and the threat to Asian security over Taiwan; enduring crisis in the Middle East and the instability caused by the failure of regional actors to resolve the Palestinian question, extinguish the threat of religious extremism or contain the nuclear ambitions of Iran. This course will pose many essential questions, which will enhance our understanding of the origins of international conflict. It will also focus on any new developments which may emerge in international affairs during the duration of the course.

Spring 2023 tuition is $425.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • Heightened perspective of current international crises through the lens of history
  • A contextualized understanding of events in the post-Cold War era
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.