Faculty-Dept-Political Science

Political Science

Donald R. Brand, Ph.D., Professor

Loren R. Cass, Ph.D., Professor

Judith A. Chubb, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Society

Daniel P. Klinghard, Ph.D., Professor

Maria G. M. Rodrigues, Ph.D., Professor and Chair

David L. Schaefer, Ph.D., Professor

Denise Schaeffer, Ph.D., Professor

Ward J. Thomas, Ph.D., Professor

Stephen A. Kocs, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Vickie Langohr, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Faisal Baluch, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Gregory Burnep, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Danilo Contreras, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Alex Hindman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Denis Kennedy, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Aditi Malik, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Brian A. N. Bitar, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow

Thomas J. Cleveland, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor

Eric A. Fleury, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor

Casey McNeill, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor

Joshua G. Boucher, Cand. Ph.D., Visiting Instructor

Erin E. Brooks, Cand. Ph.D.,Visiting Lecturer

Political science is the study of government, including the empirical study of American and foreign  political regimes; theoretical approaches that attempt to explain political action in its various forms, both within nations and among them; and the study of philosophic texts that address questions of the nature of justice, the best way of life, and the best political order.

Students majoring in political science are required to take the department’s introductory course in each of the four sub-fields. We strongly encourage students to complete all four introductory courses by the end of the sophomore year. In addition to these introductory courses, political science majors must take at least six upper-division courses for a minimum total of 10 courses and a maximum of 14 to complete the major. Of the six upper-division courses, at least one must be in American government, one in political philosophy, and one in either international relations or comparative politics. For outstanding students, there is the possibility of undertaking a two-semester honors thesis in the senior year. Both course credits may be applied toward the minimum 32 course credits necessary for graduation, but only one course credit may be applied toward the minimum ten required courses in the Political Science major. Majors are also strongly encouraged to take courses in related fields like history, economics, and sociology. Proficiency in a modern foreign language is highly recommended as well.

The study of political science is valuable for non-majors as well as for majors. Today, just as in the ancient republics, every citizen has a duty to learn about the workings of his/her country’s political system and of other political regimes as well as that of the international system so as to make informed judgments regarding issues of domestic and foreign policy. The citizen needs in addition a developed capacity to understand and evaluate the principles underlying the various political regimes, ways of life, and policy choices.

Beyond helping to promote intelligent and active citizenship, a political science major provides good training for careers in teaching, law, politics, government service, business, journalism, the armed forces, and international organizations. Finally, apart from a student’s ultimate career plans, the study of political science helps to develop powers of reasoning, critical and analytical skills, and competence in oral and written expression.

Membership in Pi Sigma Alpha, the national student honor society in political science, is open to students with distinguished academic records.

Advanced Placement Credit: Students with a score of 5 in American Politics and Government and/or Comparative Politics and Government do not have to take the relevant introductory course (Principles of American Government or Comparative Politics), but still have to take a minimum of 10 courses.

Courses

Political Science Courses

Introductory Courses
Political Science
100
Principles of American Government
Fall, spring

Provides an introductory overview of American government through study of the principal public documents, speeches, and constitutional law cases that define the American political tradition. By tracing the development of U.S. political institutions from the founding to the present, the course examines the ways in which American political ideals have become embodied in institutions and how practice has fallen short of these ideals. Introduces students to contemporary ideological and policy debates, and prepares them for the role of citizen. American Government. One unit.

Political Science
101
Introduction to Political Philosophy
Fall, spring

A concise survey of the history of political philosophy. Intended to introduce students to some of the major alternative philosophic answers that have been given to the fundamental questions of political life, such as the nature of the best political order and the relation of the individual to the community. Authors to be studied include Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, and Nietzsche. Political Philosophy. One unit.

Political Science
102
Introduction to Comparative Politics
Fall, spring

A comparative analysis of political processes and institutions in Western liberal democracies, Communist and post-Communist states, and non-western nations. Focuses on alternative models of economic and political modernization and on the challenges of democratization in the post-Cold War world. Comparative Politics. One unit.

Political Science
103
Introduction to International Relations
Fall, spring

Introduces students to major theories and concepts in international politics and examines the evolution of the international system during the modern era. Principal topics include: the causes of war and peace, the dynamics of imperialism and post-colonialism, the emergence of global environmental issues, the nature and functioning of international institutions, the legal and ethical obligations of states, and the international sources of wealth and poverty. International Relations. One unit.

Political Science
201
Const Law: National Powers
Annually

Course examines the ways in which the U.S. Constitution defines national powers, both between the branches and their relationships to states and individuals in our federal system.  Using Supreme Court opinions as a guide, topics include: the formation of the Constitution, the separation of powers, judicial review, constitutional interpretation, the authorities of the political branches and the authorities of state governments.  Particular emphasis is placed on legal reasoning and the judicial process.  American Government. Prerequisite: POLS 100 or permission of instructor.  One unit.

Political Science
202
Const Law: Rights & Liberties
Annually

Course examines the ways in which the U.S. Constitution defines individual rights and their limits relative to governmental powers.  Using Supreme Court opinions as a guide, topics include: the formation of the Bill of Rights, the Fourteenth Amendment, incorporation doctrines, citizenship, suffrage and representation, individual liberties, equal protection and discrimination.   Particular emphasis is placed on legal reasoning and the judicial process.  American Government. Prerequisite: POLS 100 or permission of instructor.  One unit.

Political Science
205
Race and Ethnic Politics
Alternate years

Addresses the role of race in American political processes and institutions. Drawing heavily on the perspectives of African-Americans, the course surveys the history of race in American politics from the era of emancipation to the present. Topics include black political culture, political behavior, and rhetoric; race and the media; black women in politics; and varieties of black nationalism and conservatism. American Government. Prerequisite: Political Science 100. One unit.

Political Science
206
Public Policy
Annually

Seeks to broaden the student’s understanding of policymaking in the United States. Begins with an overview of the theory and practice of public policy, then builds upon this through multiple case studies of specific policy areas. Case studies vary by semester, but may include social welfare policy, education policy, environmental policy, and civil rights. Special attention is paid to the ways in which the distinctive features of the American political system influence policy outcomes. Students evaluate  the effectiveness of existing policies and explore alternatives.  American Government. Prerequisite: Political Science 100. One unit.

Political Science
207
American Presidency
Annually

Studies the presidency as an office that shapes its occupants just as profoundly as specific presidents have shaped the character of the office. Traces the historical evolution of the presidency from the founding to the present. Among the topics considered are: presidential selection, the president as party leader, war powers and the president as commander in chief, the president as the nation’s chief administrator, and the president as legislative leader. American Government. Prerequisite: Political Science 100. One unit.

Political Science
208
Congress and the Legislative Process
Annually

Studies the United States Congress as a constitutional institution, beginning with the American founding and the intent of the framers in designing a bicameral legislature with enumerated powers. Reviews Congress’ evolution over time in response to changing political conditions, and examines key aspects of Congress today including electoral dynamics, partisanship, the committee system, leadership, budgeting, and the meaning of representation and deliberation. American Government. Prerequisite: Political Science 100. One unit.

Political Science
209
Urban Politics
Alternate years

Seeks to understand public decision making at the local level. Begins with an examination of the normative ideas regarding the purpose of city space - ideas that set the ethical standards by which we evaluate decisions. Turns to a critical study of the role of formal and informal institutions in creating a decision making arena. Also explores several theories posited by students of urban politics about recurring problems in U.S. cities and applies those theories to a number of case studies drawn from urban America. American Government. Prerequisite: Political Science 100. One unit.

Political Science
211
Political Parties and Interest Groups
Annually

Examines the major organizations and processes of American electoral behavior. Considerable attention is paid to political parties and an examination of the role of parties in American political thought and development as well as the contemporary role of parties and interest groups in American politics. Topics include party identification, the relationship between elections and government, the impact of parties and interest groups on public policy, and American parties and interest groups in comparative perspective. American Government. Prerequisite: Political Science 100. One unit.

Political Science
214
Presidential Selection
Every third year

This course will examine the way the United States chooses its presidents. This course is generally taught during presidential campaigns and focuses considerable attention on current events, but it seeks to understand each campaign in its institutional and historical context. We study the historical development of the presidential selection system from the American Founding to the contemporary period, focusing particular attention on the rise of political parties and the development of the primary system. We examine the strengths and weaknesses of the electoral college, the role of presidential debates, the influence that the media and campaign ads have in determining voter preferences, and the plausibility of claims that presidential elections provide mandates for governance. American Government. Prerequisite: Political Science 100. One unit.

Political Science
217
The Constitution in Wartime
Alternate years

Examines the interpretation and operation of the U.S. Constitution in times of war. Investigates how the Constitution’s war powers are allocated between the branches of government and the ways in which constitutional rights and liberties are protected—or not protected—in wartime. The inquiry includes a series of historical and contemporary case studies, including the Civil War, World War II, the Cold War, and the war on terror.  American Politics. Prerequisite: Political Science 100. One unit.

Political Science
220
Capitalism in Crisis
Annually

The use of markets to allocate economic resources is the dominant mode of economic organization in the modern world. Market systems, however, have at times experienced crises that have threatened the foundations of their economic order. These crises, which go beyond the travails associated with recessions in the ebb and flow of the business cycle, raise questions about the political, economic and cultural preconditions of a capitalist economic order. This course examines various theories regarding the causes of two such crises, the Great Depression and the current Great Recession, and appropriate policy responses to them. American Government. Prerequisite: Political Science 100. One unit.

Political Science
227
Classical Political Philosophy
Alternate years, fall

Close study of several works by major classical political thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, Aristophanes, and/or Cicero. Focus is on such themes as the nature of justice, the relation among politics, science, and religion, the variety of political regimes, and the possibilities and limits of political reform. Political Philosophy. Prerequisite: Political Science 101 or Classics major. One unit.

Political Science
228
Modern Political Philosophy
Alternate years, spring

Close study of works by several major modern political philosophers such as Bacon, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Burke, Hume, and Nietzsche. Central themes include the rise and political consequences of the modern project of “mastering” nature, the political effects of commerce, the replacement of virtue by freedom and/or security as the goal of politics, the relation of political philosophy to history, and the Nietzschean critique of modern egalitarianism. Political Philosophy. Prerequisite: Political Science 101 or permission of the instructor. One unit.

Political Science
229
Contemporary Political Theory
Alternate years

The 20th century was witness to some of the cruelest political experiments.  These political realities spawned numerous critiques and defenses of modernity.  In the first part of this course we will study these critiques and consider the various aspects of modernity that they put into question.  We will read critiques of reason, technology, the separation of ethics from politics, and the rise of mass culture.  In the second part of the course we will read the work of political philosophers who have defended modernity and offer detailed visions of politics grounded in the social contract tradition.  In this latter part of the course we will be concerned primarily with understanding and evaluating the liberal, libertarian, and communitarian visions of politics.  By the end of the course you will have had a flavor of both the mode of thinking and writing in the continental philosophic tradition and the analytic tradition.  We will be reading the following authors: Horkheimer, Weber, Schmitt, Heidegger, Strauss, Arendt, Habermas, Foucault, Berlin, Rawls, Nozick, Sandel, Macintyre, and Rorty among others.  Political Philosophy. Prerequisite: Political Science 101 or permission of the instructor. One unit.

Political Science
230
Politics and Literature
Alternate years

In this course we will be exploring political phenomena through classic works of literature from around the world. We will read literature that touches on three main political phenomena: totalitarianism, genocide, and colonialism. We will also consider the nature of politics and of political rule. Among the questions we will consider as we read the works of literature will be the following: Do works of literature give us insights into political themes that simple reportage and theoretical writings do not? Are there specific political conditions that privilege literature over other forms of writing? How does politics influence the production and distribution of literary works? Political Philosophy. One Unit.

Political Science
233
American Political Thought 1
Alternate years, fall

Focuses on some of the most important texts setting forth the principles underlying the founding of the American regime, as well as the subsequent development of those principles in the early nineteenth century. Two non-American writers (Locke and Tocqueville) are included because of the influence of their works on American political thought. Other writers and works studied include John Winthrop, Jefferson, The Federalist, and the Antifederalists. Political Philosophy. Prerequisite: Political Science 100 or 101. One unit.

Political Science
234
American Political Thought 2
Alternate years, spring

Traces the development of American political thought from the slavery controversy and the Civil War up to the present. Major themes include Lincoln’s refounding of the American regime, the transformation of American liberalism by Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt, and New Left and neoconservative thought. Other readings include works by Calhoun, Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, and Mark Twain. Political Philosophy. Prerequisite: Political Science 100 or 101. One unit.

Political Science
235
Islamic Political Thought
Alternate years, fall

Political movements inspired by Islam continue to shape politics across the world. In this course we will attempt to get behind the headlines and familiarize ourselves with the various currents of political thought in Islam. We will study the historical origins of political thought in Islam, the fundamentalist currents, and the efforts to present a liberal understanding of Islam. We will consider a range of political issues including: Islam and democracy, Islam and women’s rights, Islam and the rights of minorities, and Islam and political violence. We will study a range of authors from the medieval period to present day.

Political Science
236
Science, Technology & Politics
Alternate years

This course is designed to introduce students to the ways in which science and technology have historically been viewed through the lens of American political values. This means both that there are ways in which political actors attempt to shape the trajectory of scientific and technological development, and ways in which the rhetoric of science and technology shapes political decisions. Through an examination of social scientific, historical, literary, and philosophical works, the course examines how this has happened in the past, and invites students to think about how it continues to shape politics today. American Government. Prerequisites: By permission of the instructor. One unit.

Political Science
245
American Political Development
Every third year

Examines the recurring problems associated with political change, the evolution of national institutions, and the emergence of increased state capacities in the unique context of America’s restlessness with authority and attachment to democratic ideals. Considers how a nation committed to what Samuel Huntington identifies as a creed of “opposition to power and concentrated authority” created solutions to the unique problems of governance in the “modern” age. Course is both historical survey and historical analysis, and covers the emergent national state in the immediate post-Founding era, the Jacksonian hostility to centralization, the effect of the Civil War on national capacities, the reform of the civil service in the nineteenth century, and the construction of the American welfare state under Roosevelt’s New Deal. This is not a history course, but a political science course that takes history seriously, using it as a departure for resolving persistent problems in American politics. American Government. Prerequisite: Political Science 100. One unit.

Political Science
251
Latin American Politics
Spring

A comparative study of political institutions and processes in selected Latin American countries, and an analysis of theories that attempt to explain Latin American development and underdevelopment. Examination of Latin America’s experience with authoritarianism, democracy, revolution, and civil war, and of contemporary political challenges including drug trafficking, environmental degradation, human rights abuses, regional integration, and economic globalization. Comparative Politics. Prerequisite: Political Science 102 or LALS Concentrator. One unit.

Political Science
252
The Politics of Post Communism
Annually

This course explores the politics of the successor states to the former Soviet Union. It will focus in particular on Russia, Ukraine, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Topics to be covered include: democratization vs. a reversion to authoritarian rule, the transition to market economy, organized crime and corruption, the search for new post-Communist national identities, the Chechen conflict, the impact of so-called "color revolutions" in former Soviet republics, Russia and the West, and the roles of Islam and oil politics in Central Asia. Comparative Politics. One unit.

Political Science
257
Politics of Development
Alternate years

How can the world’s less developed countries achieve sustainable development (in environmental, economic, and political terms)? This course discusses structural and institutional challenges to sustainable development in the global South, investigates different responses to these challenges (and their different degrees of success), and assesses the impact of development — and underdevelopment — on both societies and the environment. Comparative Politics. Prerequisite: Political Science 102. One unit.

Political Science
259
Nat'l Res Conflicts in Lat Amer
Annually

The course will investigate the nature of conflicts over natural resources in Latin America, their causes, and the position of the many stakeholders involved in them. It will also evaluate the diverse governance schemes that have been either proposed or implemented to solve such conflicts. The course will pay particular attention to the struggles of Latin American grassroots groups and social movements -- indigenous peoples, landless peasants, and fishing folk, among others -- for access to natural resources and environmental goods. Not all Latin American citizens have enjoyed unimpeded access to natural resources, whether such resources are “common” (as in public forests, oil and gas reserves, or clean air), formally owned by them, or located on their land. This reality – which has historical roots – persists today and may be aggravated in the future, despite the formal adoption of liberal democracy and the rule of law in most countries in the region. Acute economic and political power disparities among groups competing for natural resources contribute to create a permissive climate for systematic violations of environmental, social and cultural rights associated with such resources. Violations lead to new conflicts and aggravate old ones.  Comparative politics. One unit.

Political Science
262
Latinx Politics
Alternate years, fall

This course explores the political trajectory of Latinos in the United States. In particular, it examines how Latinos' varying socioeconomic realities and different processes of political incorporation impact their group identity, political behavior, and attitudes toward public policy.  Comparative Politics. One unit.

Political Science
265
European Politics
Alternate years

Examines the political institutions and dynamics of European democracies, with a particular focus on the United Kingdom, Germany, and Poland, among other countries. Major topics to be considered include the politics of welfare state retrenchment, the rise of the “far right,” and the European integration project and its future. Comparative Politics. Prerequisite: Political Science 102. One unit.

Political Science
269
Power and Protest: A View from Below
Alternate years

What is the meaning and impact of politics seen from the perspective of those at the bottom of the pyramid of political power rather than from the usual focus on the actions and perceptions of political elites? In what ways do “the masses” become involved in politics? Under what circumstances are they likely to be successful in bringing about change? This course addresses these questions by exploring political power, political participation and political change from a broad historical and cross-cultural perspective — but always focusing on a view of politics from the bottom up. Comparative Politics. One unit.

Political Science
270
African Politics
Annually

Provides an introductory overview of political processes and developments in post-colonial sub-Saharan Africa. The course traces how politics in contemporary Africa have evolved from independence to the present. In doing so, it pays particular attention to variations in the experiences of Anglophone, Francophone, and Lusophone countries. The course begins by introducing students to foundational pessimistic arguments about African states and development, and concludes with discussions of more recent optimistic assessments about the continent’s future. Prerequisite: Political Science 102. Comparative Politics. One unit.

Political Science
272
Politics of the Middle East
Annually

An examination of politics in selected Middle Eastern countries. Begins with a brief overview of the rise and spread of Islam in the region and the establishment of Muslim empires, then turns to an exploration of the role of European colonialism in post-independence Middle Eastern politics. Analyzes various explanations for the difficulty of establishing durable democracies in the region, explores the political implications of religious identity and secular nationalism, and assesses prospects for peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Comparative Politics. Prerequisite: Political Science 102. One unit.

Political Science
273
Race & Politics in the Americas
Every third year, spring

The construction of race and ethnicity in Latin America has followed distinct historical and institutional trajectories. In some ways, racial politics in Latin America looks very different than in the United States. In other ways, however, racial paradigms in parts of Latin America and the United States mirror one another. This seminar will explore the interaction between race, ethnicity, and politics in the United States and Latin America. Specifically, it will examine the following questions: How do constructions of racial and ethnic identity vary across countries in the Americas? Why is ethnoracial group identity salient for some populations but not for others, and to what extent does ethnoracial identity formation shape candidate evaluation, political mobilization, and voting patterns? We will first focus on the politics of Afro-descendant and Indigenous populations in Latin America. In the last weeks of the course, we will study changes and continuity in the identity and political behavior of Latin Americans and their descendants in the United States. Comparative Politics. Prerequisite: Political Science 102, LALS Concentrator or permission of the instructor. One Unit.

Political Science
274
China from Mao to Market
Alternate years

Explores the history of modern China from the Opium Wars of the 1840s to the present. Two central themes are the tension between reform and revolution as alternative paths for the modernization of China and whether, in order to emerge as a great power, China should embrace or reject Western models and values. This course focuses on the following questions: (1) the rise of the Communist Party and the reasons for its victory over the Nationalists; (2) Mao’s ideological campaigns of the 1950s and 1960s, culminating in the Cultural Revolution; (3) the dynamics and dilemmas of post-Mao economic and political reform; (4) the 1989 Democracy Movement and the prospects for democratization in present-day China. Comparative Politics. One unit.

Political Science
275
International Political Economy
Spring

This course is designed to be an introduction to international political economy. Provides an overview of theories of international political economy, a historical review of the international political economy in light of these theories, and an application of the theoretical approaches to issues of trade, monetary relations, finance, and development. Readings and discussion focus on issues of conflict and cooperation; the relationship between the international system and domestic politics; economic growth, development, and equity; and the connections between the study of economics and politics. International Relations. Prerequisite: Political Science 102 or 103. One unit.

Political Science
278
East Asia in World Politics
Spring

This course explores the foreign policies of China, Japan, and Korea. It surveys these countries’ relations with each other, with the United States, and with the global political order. The countries of East Asia have not integrated easily into the liberal international system. This course examines why that is the case, and devotes particular attention to the challenges posed by China’s emergence as a world power.  International Relations. One unit.

Political Science
280
The United States & Latin America
Alternate years, fall

This course will analyze the origins and consequences of U.S. policies toward Latin America. The course will identify the main actors in U.S. policymaking in the region, discuss different theories that seek to explain U.S.- Latin American relations, and examine the history of U.S.-Latin American relations from the colonial period to World War II. The course will examine U.S.- Latin American relations during the Cold War, from 1945 to 1990. Topics included are the Cuban missile crisis and the Bay of Pigs invasion, U.S. support for South American military regimes, and U.S. policy toward guerilla movements in Central America. The course will also examine current issues in U.S. - Latin American relations, including economic ties, immigration, narcotics and the promotion of democracy. Comparative Politics. One unit.

Political Science
281
Global Governance
Annually

Although the international system is characterized by anarchy — by the absence of central government — it is not without order. Relations among states and other actors are increasingly characterized by transnational rules, regulations, and authority relationships. How is global order produced, sustained, and regulated? Whose order is it? This course examines the structures through which international actors attempt to organize their relations with each other. Topics include the history and function of international organizations (including the United Nations), rules governing the use of force, economic integration, and global civil society. International Relations. Prerequisite: Political Science 103. One unit.
 

Political Science
282
American Foreign Policy
Fall

Explores major themes in U.S. foreign policy, focusing on the longstanding and ongoing debate between international engagement and isolationism. Topics discussed include the historical evolution of U.S. foreign policy, the roles played by specific institutional and societal actors in the formulation of policy, and contemporary issues facing the United States including international trade and finance, proliferation and regional security, the resort to force, human rights, and humanitarian intervention. International Relations. Prerequisite: Political Science 103. One unit.

Political Science
284
Human Rights
Fall

Since World War II, questions of human rights have come to occupy a central place in international politics. This course examines the historical evolution and political effects of international human rights norms. Topics include the philosophical and legal basis of human rights, the origins of modern human rights covenants in the aftermath of Nazi atrocities, the effects of the Cold War on human rights politics, the tensions between national sovereignty and international human rights standards, the debate between universalist and particularist conceptions of human rights, patterns of compliance with human rights agreements, and the development of human rights enforcement mechanisms. International Relations. Prerequisite: Political Science 103. One unit.

Political Science
285
Global Environmental Politics
Every third year

This course analyzes the roles of national governments, international institutions, and non-state actors in managing global and cross-border environmental problems. Principal topics include the process of international environmental negotiation, the nature of existing international environmental agreements, and the theoretical and practical problems involved in environmental protection and regulation at the international level. International Relations. Prerequisite: Political Science 103 or Environmental Studies Major. One unit.

Political Science
286
Comparative Environmental Policy
Fall

The U.S. and countries throughout the world have experimented widely in their quest to address common environmental problems. This course undertakes a comparative study of the development of domestic and international environmental policies in three advanced industrial states (the U.S., U.K., and Germany), as well as providing an overview of developing country environmental policies. Focus of the course is on three questions: How do national differences in institutions, political culture, regulatory style, and economic structure shape domestic and international environmental policies? What impact do these differences have on the ability of states to achieve cooperative solutions to common environmental problems? What influence do international environmental interactions have on domestic environmental policy? Comparative Politics. Prerequisite: Political Science 102 or permission of the Instructor. One unit.

Political Science
287
Humanitarianism
Spring

The aim of this course is to develop a nuanced understanding of the history and practice of humanitarianism, defined as the desire to relieve the suffering of distant strangers. Once the domain of volunteers, humanitarianism is today an expansive, professional field of endeavor; its study offers insights into the motivations as well as consequences of organized forms of compassionate action. Students in this course investigate current themes and debates in the field of humanitarianism, including questions of politicization and military intervention, professionalization, human rights and advocacy, and accountability; explore different hypotheses regarding the causes and consequences of humanitarian crises; and critically analyze the effects — intended and unintended — of humanitarian action. International Relations. One unit.
 

Political Science
288
Politics of Globalization
Annually

Economic globalization has wrought far-reaching changes on the United States and the world. Although globalization has made the world wealthier, it has not met with universal approval. In the United States, some of the changes associated with globalization — such as the outsourcing of large numbers of factory jobs and the influx of large numbers of immigrants — have provoked a political backlash. This course examines the political consequences of globalization, especially in the United States, and asks how the United States might adapt itself more effectively to a globalized world. International Relations. Prerequisite: Political Science 103. One Unit.

Political Science
289
International Law
Annually

Given the anarchical structure of the international system, the very existence of international law is paradoxical.  Nevertheless, despite the emphasis often placed upon conflict and discord in global politics, for centuries states have propagated rules to facilitate cooperation and mutual restraint.  What motivates these efforts?  How successful are they in moderating the effects of international anarchy?  This course will address these questions.  Topics will include the historical development of international law, defenses and critiques of international law in theories of global politics, how international law is made, interpreted and enforced in international institutions, and the working of international law in various issue-areas, including the use of military force, the regulation of global trade, and the protection of the global environment. International Relations. Prerequisite: Political Science 103 or permission of the instructor. One unit.

 

Political Science
290
National Security Policy
Spring

This course examines the major national security problems confronting the United States today. The course begins with an overview of the main ideological camps in the ongoing debate over U.S. grand strategy. It then turns to a survey of key topics in U.S. security policy, including relations with other major powers, the politics of defense spending, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the evolution of nuclear doctrine, the question of missile defense, and the problems of terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and cyber security.  International Relations. Prerequisite: Political Science 103. One unit.

Political Science
299
Topics in Political Science
Annually

Explores various subjects in the political science discipline, emphasizing reading, discussion, and writing on a topic selected by the Instructor. Course format and subjects vary from year to year. One unit.

Political Science
300
Law, Politics and Society
Annually

Course examines the relationship between law and American society across critical social issues.  After a survey of principles at the core of the American system, the course turns to address the relationship of the law and U.S. courts to contemporary social issues that may include: race in American life, community policing and mass incarceration, drug and pharmaceutical laws, women’s rights, homosexual rights, discrimination, and other issues.  Particular attention is focused on the courts’ role in enacting (or failing to enact) social change, as well as challenges of the law in addressing critical social concerns.  American Government. Prerequisite: Political Science 100 or 201. One unit.

Political Science
301
Politics and Technology
Alternate years

This course examines the effect of technology on the practice of politics. While there are a number of ways of conceptualizing the politics of technology, the focus here will be on how the adaptation of technology to political life alters the practice of politics itself. Contemplating such change is particularly important in the early 21st century because we live in an age in which pundits are constantly telling us that technology will change the way we practice politics. To the extent that they are correct, it is important to anticipate exactly how such changes will affect politics; but it is also important to separate the overwrought claims that technology will change everything from the more realistic recognition that politics-as-usual is the norm. This
seminar points to the question: how have the Internet and related technologies changed politics? But it does so by asking how technology has tended to change politics over time by looking at the effect of technology on politics in history, from the printing press to the railroad to television, before turning to the ways in which politics in the twenty-first century operates in the shadow of technology. Along the way we will think about how technology shapes advocacy, campaigning, government operations, policy-making, public discourse, public information, and civic engagement. American Government. One unit.

Political Science
314
Seminar: Political Philosophy and Education
Alternate years

Many classical liberals as well as contemporary democratic theorists emphasize the importance of a well-educated populace in order to secure the conditions for liberty and the capacity for self-governance. One must therefore consider how one might transform children, who are dependent upon and subject to the authority of adults, into independent, rational adults capable of living among equals, without establishing in them habits either of subservience or dominance. If indeed well-educated citizens are required in order to achieve democracy rather than “mob rule,” then what exactly is the role of the state in shaping the characters and preferences of its citizens? In considering what a “well-educated populace” might mean, we must address the tension that exists between the goal of a radically independent intellect and the goal of good citizenship. In a liberal republic, it should be possible in principle for these two goals to converge. Are there limitations to putting this principle into practice? Readings from Locke, Rousseau, Dewey, Freire, Oakeshott and others. Political Philosophy. Prerequisite: Political Science 101 or permission. One unit.

Political Science
315
Feminist Political Theory
Alternate years

Examines some of the core concepts, questions and tensions that cut across various strands of contemporary feminism. Topics include: What is feminist political theory trying to explain, and how might we go about it? Why is it that feminist inquiries into political matters so often lead to questions about the foundations of knowledge? What are the political implications of feminist struggles to combine unity and difference? How have questions of race and class transformed feminist theory? This course also applies various feminist perspectives to specific policy debates. Political Philosophy. Prerequisite: Political Science 101 or permission. One unit.

Political Science
316
Nietzsche and Modernity
Alternate years

The focus of this seminar is Friedrich Nietzsche's provocative and controversial critique of the ideals associated with modernity and the alternative view he proposed in response. The sense in which we shall consider "modernity" encompasses both the philosophical and political ideas that took center stage in Europe during what is known as the Enlightenment, and to the crisis of legitimacy and justification with regard to those very ideals that also emerged, especially into the 19th century. This course will also explore the lasting influence of Nietzsche's work. Since it is impossible to do justice to the full range of that influence (which extends across many disciplines)in one semester, we shall focus in particular on the way he has influenced how contemporary political theorists understand power and freedom. Students will engage in close study of at least three of Nietzsche's major works, along with works by contemporary theorists (such as Foucault) who were influenced by Nietzsche, and finally one modernist novel that dramatizes (in its narrative as well as its structure) some of the ideas Nietzsche popularized.  Political Philosophy. Prerequisite Political Science 101 or permission of the instructor. One Unit.

Political Science
320
Seminar on Political Violence
Alternate years

Explores contemporary political violence through a series of in-depth case studies. The course has a dual focus: (1) terrorism and (2) mass political violence and transitional justice. The first part of the course examines the evolution of terrorism from the Russian anarchists of the late 19th century through the Algerian National Liberation Movement of the 1950's and 1960's up to Al Qaida and ISIS. The second part of the course focuses on two case studies — the South African anti-apartheid struggle and the Rwandan genocide — and their differing approaches to justice and reconciliation in the aftermath of mass violence. Comparative Politics. Permission of the instructor. One unit.

Political Science
326
Citizenship in Contemporary Latin America
Annually

An interdisciplinary course that fulfills major and concentration requirements for Political Science, Latin American Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies. Aims to maximize students’ understanding and actual experience of citizenship struggles in Latin America. Discusses key concepts and approaches to the study of social movements in the region, as well as empirical citizenship struggles implemented by different populations (indigenous peoples, forest people, landless groups, labor, and women, in different Latin American countries). Active participation by students, through class discussions and presentations, is a major requirement of the course. Comparative Politics. One unit.

Political Science
333
Seminar: Ethics and International Relations
Fall

Can considerations of justice and morality be incorporated successfully into national foreign policies, given the will to do so? Or must a successful foreign policy always be amoral? This course examines problems of ethical choice as they relate to international politics. Topics include the relationship between ethical norms and international law, the laws of war, the tension between human rights and state sovereignty, the ethical implications of global inequity, and the difficulties involved in applying standards of moral judgment to the international sphere. International Relations. Prerequisite: Political Science 103 or CIS 130 – Introduction to Peace and Conflict. One unit.

Political Science
451
Tutorial Seminar
Fall, spring

Individual research on selected topics or projects. Permission of the instructor and the department chair is required. One unit each semester.

Political Science
490, 491
Political Science Honors Thesis
Annually

An individual, student-designed, professor-directed, major research project.  Usually available only to out-standing fourth-year majors.  A lengthy final paper and public presentation are expected.  By permission. One unit each semester.