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ECO 296P Topic in Economics: The Rise and Fall of Civilizations

Course Description: What causes major world empires and their civilizations to rise and fall? Taking an interdisciplinary approach, developments in culture, economics, politics, technology, religion, and the environment are studied in relation to the rise and fall of great powers. The empires of Persia, Rome, China, the Mongols, the Ottomans, Britain, and Russia are examined. Development of the world economy is shown to be linked to the changes in world dominance of the various civilizations. The role of the US as superpower in the 20th century and its future in the 21st century are analyzed using lessons learned from the examination of past rises and falls of empires. This course features guest lecturers from varied disciplines and use of electronic media such as the PBS series on Dynasties (The Greeks, Rome, Egypt, the Medici, and Japan).


3 credits