Courses

Spring 2011 Course Descriptions

(M) = Methodologically focused course

PS 21 INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE POLITICS - Art
(MW 10:30 - 11:45) Block E+

Theories and evidence in comparative politics, preparing students for upper-level courses that focus on specific regions, countries, and themes. Examination and evaluation of competing theoretical approaches to important phenomena in world politics, including democracy and democratization; revolutions; economic development; and ethnicity and ethnic conflict. Discussion of illustrative examples from different regions such as Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia, East Asia, South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.

PS 42/PHIL 42 WESTERN POLITICAL THOUGHT II - Rasmussen
(MW 3:00 - 4:15) Block I+

Cross-listed as Phil 42
Examination of the central concepts of modern political thought, including the rejection of ancient political philosophy and Christianity and the rise of liberalism (Hobbes and Locke); the critique of the liberal outlook in the name of nature and virtue (Rousseau), equality and liberation (Marx), and creativity and greatness (Nietzsche); and the attempt to rescue or recover liberal modernity in the face of some of these worries (Smith and Tocqueville). In addition to exploring the various conceptions of nature, human nature, justice, freedom, history, and the good life found in the works of these thinkers, we will also use their arguments to reflect on the health or illness of liberal democracy in today's world.

PS 61 INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS - Greenhill
(MW 1:30 - 2:45) Block G+

This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental concepts in the study of international politics and to acquaint them with the historical evolution of the modern global political system. The course has three primary goals: (1) to present leading theories and concepts for understanding international relations, including war and peace, trade, and globalization; (2) to examine international history to test theories of world politics, explicate historical events, and explain the evolution of the international system; and (3) to apply this knowledge of history and theory to analyze and assess contemporary global issues and to make predictions about potential future developments.

PS 99 FIELDWORK IN POLITICS - Gleason
(Arranged)


PS 102 CONGRESS, BUREAUCRACY, AND PUBLIC POLICY - Berry
(MW 10:30 -11:45) Block E+

This course analyzes political processes and policymaking from agenda building through implementation and program evaluation. Among the topics we'll discuss are problem definition, interest groups, theories of representation, the relationship between congressional elections and public policy, committees and policy formulation, regulation, and bureaucratic politics. There are no prerequisites for this course and it is designed for both majors and non-majors alike.

PS 103 POLITICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH METHODS (M) - Schildkraut
(TR 10:30-11:20) Block D

This course introduces the use of quantitative methods for investigating political issues such as campaigns and elections, the death penalty, public opinion about war and terrorism, and other policy controversies. Students will develop research designs and learn how to collect, analyze, and present data. The course emphasizes hands-on training that will provide useful skills for academic and professional settings. Most readings and assignments emphasize politics in the United States, though the skills we will develop are useful for every aspect of political science.

PS 113 SEM: NONPROFITS AND CIVIL SOCIETY - Berry
(M 1:30-4:15) Block 5

The seminar on Nonprofits and Civil Society examines the growing role of nonprofits in the United States, especially in the administration of social services. We examine nonprofits in the context of a social institution that both works with government institutions and acts as a substitute for them. Analysis will extend to nonprofits in the realms of public policymaking, philanthropy, civic engagement, and social entrepreneurship. A primary assignment in the class will involve three person teams that will each develop a business plan for establishing a new nonprofit.

PS 119-03 SENIOR SEMINAR: POLITICAL REPRESENTATION IN AMERICA - Schildkraut
(T 1:30-4:15) Block 6

Prerequisite: Any American politics course.
Upper level seminar examining several aspects of political representation in the United States. Particular attention is given to debates about what constitutes "good" or "effective" representation and proposals for reform. Topics include Congressional redistricting, increasing electoral competition, whether Congress should "look like America," term limits, the relationship between public opinion and policy making, and how elected officials learn about public opinion. Assignments include two short papers, one research paper, a midterm, and weekly discussions.

PS 125 BUILDING THE EUROPEAN UNION - Eichenberg
(MW 3:00-4:15) Block I+

Introduction to the project for greater economic, political, and security integration among the current members of the European Union in its historical context, economic and political setting, and future ambitions. Covers recent events and important European events-in-the-making, including the implementation of the Maastricht Treaty, the expansions of the European Union, and the EU-sponsored strategies to facilitate democratic transitions in Eastern Europe.

PS 134 COMPARATIVE POLITICS OF THE MIDDLE EAST - Mufti
(TR 10:30-11:45) Block D+

This survey course looks at the political development of the Arab states, Turkey, and Iran since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in World War I. It analyzes the various factors that shape the political institutions, actors, and ideologies of these states – factors such as history, culture, religion, economics, and foreign intervention – and tries to reach some conclusions about the prospects for future socio-economic and political change, including liberalization, in the Muslim Middle East. As such, the course seeks to provide students with an empirically rich regional case study of some of the central concerns of comparative politics theory in general.

PS 136 CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN POLITICS - Art
(MW 1:30-2:45) Block G+

Examination of contemporary issues in individual European states as well as those affecting the region as a whole. Topics include the political systems of individual European states, political parties and ideologies, immigration and the integration of foreigners, the welfare state, and the relationship between the European Union and individual member state.

PS 138-02 POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN STATE AND SOCIETY - Cruz
(MW 3:00-4:15) Block I+

This course explores the problem of political violence. It familiarizes students with theories of political violence, and provides them with the analytical tools to test those theories against empirical evidence from Latin America. The course pays particular attention to differences in types of political violence, including differences in origins and scale.

PS 138-03 CULTURE, POLITICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT - Gleason
(TR 12:00-1:15) Block F+

This course surveys characteristics of international negotiations through the lens of environmental issues. Students will learn how negotiations work theoretically, and practically from agenda setting to voting processes. The course reviews the role of the United Nations, the political divide between the industrialized nations and the less developed nations, as well as many complicating factors in the treaty making and implementing process. The mid-term evaluation includes a full-scale negotiations simulation on an environmental issue in which students will be able to apply the Principled Negotiation approach, an alternative to win-loose bargaining approaches. Case studies will include review of Desertification, Forestry and Climate Change negotiations.

PS 138-08 ISRAEL POLITICAL SYSTEM: A GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED - Blander
(TR 10:30-11:45) Block D+

Although Israel is a dominant actor on the international stage, its political system is a labyrinth in which not many can find their way. This course will introduce students to Israel's political system: its institutional and constitutional framework, the electoral system and various patterns of political participation. During the course we will also examine the way the Israeli political system reflects the structure and dynamic of Israeli society. By becoming familiar with the inner forces of domestic politics in Israel, we will be able to analyze the challenges which the Israeli political system faces and its unresolved major dilemmas: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the relations between the "Jewishness" of the state and its democratic aspects.

PS 139-02 SEM: STATES, NATIONS, AND THE POLITICS OF CITIZENSHIP RULES - Shevel
(T 1:30-4:00) Block 6

How do states decide who has the right to citizenship? For modern nation-states, defining the boundaries of the nation in whose name the state is constituted has always been a critically important task. For today's states hosting large numbers of immigrants and minorities, this question remains highly salient, and often politically contested. In this course we will examine the politics of citizenship policymaking in modern states, paying particular attention to alternative theoretical explanation. Are citizenship rules determined primarily by material considerations, such as economic, demographic, and security concerns? Or perhaps by ideational considerations, such as prevailing images of the nation and normative ideals? Do international norms and standards constrain and inform citizenship policymakers today? Is citizenship politics and policies fundamentally different in democratic and authoritarian states? In this course we will focus on such questions and analyze contemporary and historical citizenship policies in various countries in the world, paying particular attention to Western and Eastern Europe as well as North America.

PS 139-03 SEM: BEING ISRAELI AND ISRAELI BEING - Blander
(R 1:30-4:00) Block 8

In this seminar we will become acquainted with Israeli history, society and identity. We will follow the history of the state of Israel as well as the Israeli state of mind through an examination of Israeli cinema and literature. In each class we will trace a different thread of the conflictual fabric of the Israeli Identity: being an immigrant, a soldier, a Palestinian, a religious Jew, a Kibbutz member and more. Through scenes in movies and the pages of books we will explore the relationship between private and public in the Israeli context. As we shall see, the national history is part of the individual's life story; collective and private identity merge; autobiography and history are interwoven. This investigation of the fusion between the personal and the collective will allow us to view in a clearer light the milestones of the Israeli narrative.

PS 150 PLATO'S SOCRATES - Evrigenis
(TR 1:30-2:45)
Block H+

Cross-listed as Philosophy 150 and Classics 150
Faced with a death sentence, Socrates claimed that even the fear of death could not prevent him from doing what is right, offering as proof not words, but deeds. Taking Socrates' distinction between words and deeds as our starting point, and focusing on the relationship between the arguments and the action, we will study the Laches, Symposium, Meno, Protagoras, and Republic, as well as the works recounting his last days, in an attempt to understand Plato's Socrates and his views regarding knowledge, virtue, justice, courage, and the care of one's soul.

PS 156 ENLIGHTENMENT POLITICAL THOUGHT - Rasmussen
(W 6:30-9:00) Block 12

Prerequisite: PS/Phil 41 or 42, or instructor's consent
Examination of the political theory of the Enlightenment, focusing on the thought of David Hume, Adam Smith, Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Diderot. On the one hand, we will consider the ways in which the Enlightenment inspired our liberal democratic politics, market capitalist economies, embrace of technological progress and scientific inquiry, and toleration of religious pluralism. On the other hand, we will also assess several recent critiques of the Enlightenment that claim that this outlook is fundamentally (even dangerously) misguided -- that it entails, e.g., a "hegemonic" moral and political universalism, a blind faith in reason, and a reductive and isolating focus on the individual.

PS 158-03 POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF LEO STRAUSS - Devigne
(TR 3:00-4:15) Block J+

Prerequisite: PS/Phil 41 or 42, or instructor's consent
A study of the mid/late 20th century thinker, Leo Strauss, who argued that the Enlightenment's fundamental principles - if not countered - will lead to the denigration of reason and ennobling modes of conduct. We will analyze Strauss's thesis that the premises ofmodernitynecessarily engender a philosophic and moral crisis where both intellectuals and the public increasingly adopt a nihilistic or moral relativist outlook: sowing confusion as to whether political principles are either knowable or necessary; creating the pre-conditions for periodic political crises. We also will examine Strauss's thesis that the Enlightenment projectand its offsprings (the challengesto itbyRousseau and Nietzsche, for instance),and not the West's entire philosophic and religious tradition, is the source of the modern world's increasing uncertainty and doubtas to its purpose.

PS 158-04 FABLES & POLITICAL THEORIES - London
(TR: 1:30-2:45) Block H+

TBD

PS 158-07 NIETZSCHE: THE WILL TO POWER - Devigne
(TR 6:00-7:15) Block N+

Prerequisite: PS 41 or 42, or instructor's consent
This class focuses on Nietzsche's analysis that the West is entering a period of nihilism or moral groundlessness/meaninglessness and the steps that will be required to overcome it. Among the topics examined will be: the character and history of Western nihilism; why the West's religious and philosophic tradition necessitated a nihilistic response; how modernity's highest values – liberalism, democracy and science deepen a moral sense of groundlessness/meaninglessness; the advantages and disadvantages of an epoch of nihilism; and the character of philosophy, society, and individuals that will be required for the West to gain a new sense of moral grounding. The reading will center on Nietzsche's notebook, Will to Power, where he explored these issues in most depth, with parts of Nietzsche other writings used to complement this study.

PS 159-01 SEM: POLITICAL THEORY METHODS: HOBBES (M) - Evrigenis
(T 9:00-11:30) Block I

Prerequisite: PS/Phil 41 or 42
A comparative examination of Hobbes's political thought through detailed study of his main political works, The Elements of Law, De Cive, and Leviathan. We will consider Hobbes's alleged atheism and relativism, the role of the state of nature and of fear in his political theory, his views on the sources of conflict and his proposed remedies, as well as the implications of his theory for international relations. We will examine whether, to what extent, and how Hobbes's views changed from one work to the next, and study the ways in which prominent commentators have built their methodologies around their interpretations of Hobbes's political thought.

PS 159-02 MEDIEVAL ISLAMIC THEORIES OF JUSTICE - London
(TR: 1:30-2:45) Block H+

In this course, we will survey theories of justice that medieval Arab and Persian kings invoked in mirrors for princes. To do so, we will begin with a brief introduction to earlier traditions (e.g., ancient Greek and Persian) that are mentioned in the medieval Islamic context, and we will analyze how ideas from these ancient traditions were transformed to fit a particular medieval king's project. We will begin by reading some excerpts from Plato's Republic, as well as some secondary sources on medieval Persian notions of justice. The rest of the course will be devoted to readings from English translations of medieval Persian and Arabic sources that present advice on how kings ought to govern and organize their societies. In particular, we will read English translations of Kai Ka'us' Qabus Nama, an early Persian work that a king writes for his son; Nizam al-Mulk's Siyasat Nama, a book that a minister writes for his king on how to govern; and an Arabic work on governance attributed to the Sunni theologian al-Ghazali.

PS 165 UNITED SATES FOREIGN POLICY - Taliaferro
(TR 10:30-11:45) Block D+

Prerequisite: PS 61: Introduction to International Relations (no exceptions)
This course surveys the diplomacy and national security strategies of the United States, with an emphasis on the period from World War II until the present day. We will use various international relations (IR) theories—neoclassical realism, offensive realism, liberal (or democratic) peace theory, constructivism, among others—to explain the sources, goals, and consequences, of the policies adopted by successive presidential administrations. Topics include the United States' rise as a great power; involvement in World War I and World War II; the evolution of national security strategy during the Cold War and post-Cold War eras; the war on terrorism; nuclear proliferation; and challenges facing the Obama administration in addressing other international threats in the twenty-first century.

PS 168 INTERNATIONAL LAW - Fletcher Faculty
(F 10-12:30) Arranged time

The function of international law in the international community and its relation to international politics, with special emphasis on the nature of the legal process.

PS 174 RISE AND FALL OF GREAT POWERS (M) - Taliaferro
(TR 1:30-2:45) Block H+

Prerequisite: PS 61: Introduction to International Relations (no exceptions)
Why do some great powers flourish while others decline? Under what conditions does the international system move from relative calm to the point where great powers initiate devastating system-wide wars or hard-line strategies that increase the risk of war through inadvertent escalation? How can victorious great powers construct stable international orders after major wars? How do mass revolutions within major states affect the international balance-of-power and the likelihood of war? Do the grand strategies of great powers in pre-nuclear, multipolar international system offer any lessons for the United States and China in the twenty-first century? To answer these questions, this course first examines how international and domestic forces shaped the grand strategies of five great powers from 1648 to 1945: France, Great Britain, Prussia (later Germany), Japan, Russia (later the Soviet Union). It then draws "lessons" from past to help understand the likely trajectory of China and the U.S. grand strategic choices in the twenty-first century.

PS 176 MIGRATIONS, REFUGEES, AND CITIZENSHIP IN A GLOBALIZED WORLD - Greenhill/Shevel
(MW 4:30-5:45) Block K+

Cross-Listed with Tisch College
This course focuses on the explosion of migration that has occurred around the world over the past few decades and recipient states' reactions to it. The growing movement of peoples across national boundaries in search of employment, better wages, and higher standards of living, and away from persecution and violence has transformed the majority of western countries into multi-racial and multi-ethnic societies. In this course we will analyze the causes and consequences of modern population movements, includingthe political, economic, social, and security determinants of refugee and migration flows; the political and social responses of receiving governments and societies; the security and crime-related issues and concerns engendered by international migration—including armed conflict, smuggling, trafficking and terrorism; changing conceptions of citizenship and nationality in receiving states; the role played by the international institutions in influencing state policies towards refugees and immigrants, and the moral and ethical issues for public policy posed by international population movements.Cases examined will be drawn from throughout the world, but with particularly emphasis on Europe and the United States.

PS 178 SEMINAR: FOREIGN POLICY IN THE ARAB WORLD - Mufti
(W 9:00-11:30) Block 2

This senior seminar investigates the determinants, mechanisms, and dynamics of the foreign policies of Arab states. Particular attention will be devoted to the most distinctive feature of this region in terms of international relations theory: the tension between state and national (or pan-Arab) identities, and how that tension has evolved since the creation of the current state system after World War I. As such, the seminar is designed as a capstone research project enabling students to test out competing theoretical approaches (neorealism, liberalism, constructivism, etc.) in international relations theory, and at the same time to gain expertise in the inter-state dynamics of this geopolitically important region.

PS 188-03 TOPICS IN IR GENDER ISSUES IN WORLD POLITICS - Eichenberg
(MW 10:30-11:45) Block E+

This course is a survey of many issues relating to gender in world politics, with a particular emphasis ion: gender differences in political attitudes and behavior generally; gender differences in attitudes toward war and national security in particular; the cross-cultural uniformity (or lack thereof) in gender differences in attitudes and political behavior, particularly in relation to national security and war; the role of gender differences in war, in particular how gender roles are created and the effect of war on men and women; violence against women; and the role of gender in world affairs more generally and specifically the role of gender in economic development, environmental sustainability and gender mainstreaming within international institutions.

PS 188-19 HUMAN RIGHTS AND AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY - Swett
(R 1:30-4:00) Block 8

This course will be an exploration of a range of issues regarding human rights in US Foreign Policy. The course will touch on the historical roots of the human rights idea in American foreign policy but the primary focus will be on the post WW II era when the modern human rights movement took shape with a particular interest in some of the most pressing human rights issues of the day. It will examine the respective roles of the Congress and the President in advancing (or in some cases hindering) a focus on human rights in America's international relations. The role of the NGO community will be looked at as well. The costs and benefits of a vigorous human rights policy will be explored and recent controversies surrounding "enhanced interrogation techniques", waterboarding and the challenges to a human rights policy during war-time will be examined.

PS 188-20 INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL NEGOTIATIONS - Gleason
(MW 3:00-4:15) Block I+

This course seeks to highlight effective responses to global environmental problems in the international treaty making arena. Students will explore the negotiation process, the structure of the United Nations treaty making system, the convention-protocol approach and the politics of the north v. south divide. Topics will include the weaknesses of the international environmental negotiation process, the importance of non-state actors, and potential solutions for the system.

PS 188-24 HISTORY OF FINANCIAL TURBULENCE AND CRISIS - Psalidopoulos
(TR 1:30-2:45) Block H+

This course uses the analytical tools of economic history, the history of economic policy-making and the history of economic thought, to study episodes of financial turbulence and crisis spanning the last three centuries. It explores the principal causes of a variety of different manias, panics and crises, as well as their consequences, and focuses on the reactions of economic actors, theorists and policy-makers in each case. Emphasis is placed on the theoretical framework used by contemporary economists to conceptualize each crisis, as well as the changes in theoretical perspective and/or policy framework that may have been precipitated by the experience of the crises themselves.

PS 189-03 SEM: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OF EAST ASIA - FUJIHIRA
(M 6:30-9:00) Block 10

Examination of the strategic, economic, and diplomatic relations among states in the Asia-Pacific region. Topics include: Legacies of imperialism and the Pacific War, Cold War in Asia, U.S.-Japan alliance, China's rise, the Taiwan Strait, divided Korea, security in Southeast Asia, globalization and regionalism, economic and security institutions, America's war on terrorism in Asia, and India in the Asia-Pacific region.

PS 195 SEMINAR: POLITICS OF SUSTAINABLE CITIES IN U.S. - Portney
(M 1:30-4:15) Block 7

Prerequisite: Any course in political science or consent
Theories and practice of sustainability applied to cities and communities in the U.S. Comparison of specific cities' programs and policies. Patterns of variation in cities' operational definitions of sustainability, and specific local programs and policies that represent local sustainability initiatives. Political conditions conducive to local communities' pursuit of sustainability policies.

PS 199-01 SENIOR HONORS THESIS (M) - Eichenberg
Arranged

TBD

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