Courses

Fall 2014 Course Descriptions

(M) = Methodologically focused course

PS 004-02 First-Year Tutorial in Political Theory: Capitalism, For and Against – Rasmussen
Block E+ (MW 10:30-11:45)
Are capitalist societies just or are they full of inequality and exploitation? Do they give people freedom or oppress them in one way or another? Do they encourage virtue or vice, excellence or mediocrity, happiness or misery? Are there other types of society that would be preferable? What might be done to improve capitalist societies? We will address these questions through an examination of some of the seminal philosophical discussions of commerce, private property, and economic inequality. After a brief examination of some important early critics and defenders of commerce, the course will focus on the works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Friedrich Hayek, John Rawls, and Robert Nozick.

PS 011 Introduction to American Politics – Glaser
Block E (MWF 10:30-11:20)
A study of governmental politics, functions, and programs. Emphasis given to political behavior, both at the mass level and in institutions. Survey of public opinion and political culture, parties, and elections. Congress, the presidency, the bureaucracy, the federal courts, and interest groups.

PS 039-01 Sophomore Seminar: Mitigating Electoral Violence in Africa – Robinson
Block 8+ (Th 1:20-4:20)
This course examines theories of political violence, theories of democratization, and practical efforts at pre- and post-electoral conflict resolution in a range of African countries. Hands-on case studies enable students to follow efforts at advancing democracy and ending deadly violence in diverse settings. Using social media, the class will shadow the 2014 election campaigns South Africa at the grassroots level.
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PS 041 Western Political Thought I – Evrigenis
Block D+ (TTh 10:30-11:45)
Cross-listed as Phil 41 & CLS 45
Central concepts of ancient, medieval, and early modern political thought. Ideas of Thucydides, Plato, and Aristotle during the rise and fall of Athens. Subsequent transformations of political philosophy, related to the decline of the Roman empire and the origins and development of Christian political doctrine, and the new political outlook of those who challenge the hegemony of Christianity. Analysis of how pre-modern political thought helped structure future political debate.

PS 043 Justice, Equality, and Liberty – Denby
(MW 3:00-4:15) Block I+
(Cross-listed as PHIL 43)
An introduction to the central concepts and problems in the foundations of political order, including the nature of the state, rights, justice, equality, representation, property, law, and coercion. Readings from classic and contemporary thinkers.

PS 061 Introduction to International Relations – Beckley
Block J+ (TTh 3:00-4:15)
Provides a comprehensive introduction to the major theories and concepts of international relations and applies them to contemporary policy issues.

PS 099-01 Fieldwork in Politics – Fujihira
Arranged
Internship placements with such employers as legislators, campaigns, news media, lobbies, law firms, and administrative agencies. Twelve to fifteen hours of work per week. Written assignments, with supporting readings, on organizational structure, goals and strategies, and occupational socialization.

PS 101 Presidency and the Executive Branch – Berry
Block G+ (MW 1:30-2:45)
Study of the constitutional development of the presidential office, its power, prestige, and functions, as well as the influences of the person occupying that office. Major emphasis is on the process of policy formulation in the executive branch. Analysis of the president's relations with his staff, the bureaucracy, the Congress, the press, and the public.
Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing

PS 103 Political Science Research Methods (M) – Schildkraut
Block D+ (TTh 10:30-11:45)
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.
Prerequisite: Foundational PS Course

PS 105 Constitutional Law – Walsh
(TR 4:30-5:45) Block L+
The development and application of American constitutional law as interpreted in the leading decisions of the Supreme Court. Included are citizenship, the commerce power, due process of law, and the equal protection of the laws. Recent trends in constitutional doctrine.

PS 106 Racial and Ethnic Politics – Masuoka
Block I+ (MW 3:00-4:15)
This course investigates the contemporary politics of race in the United States. This course will review detailed political histories of the three largest racial minority groups--African Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos--and will investigate concerns related to political representation, voter mobilization and public opinion of these groups. Topics covered in the course will also include relevant legal and public policies such as the Voting Rights Act. Attention will also be given to new developments of the 21st century such as the rise of mixed race identities and controveries related to immigration.

PS 113 Seminar: Nonprofits and Civil Society – Berry
Block 0 (M 9:00–11:30)
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 118-08 Topics in American Politics: Voting Rights – Walsh
(MW 3:00-4:15) Block I+
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is at the intersection of politics and law. It is now at a critical juncture as the Supreme Court in Shelby v. Holder has struck down § 4(b) of the coverage formula which disables the voting rights remedies set forth in § 5. Our subject is the law of voting rights in the context of democratic theory and practice in the United States. We study some of the major cases on apportionment, political participation, and race in representation. We examine the Voting Rights Act of 1965, minority vote dilution, litigation under Section 2, federal review of voting procedures under Section 5 and recent constitutional challenges to voting rights remedies. We look at partisan gerrymandering and developments in the law following the disputed Bush v. Gore 2000 election.

PS 121 Seminar: Political Culture in Comparative Perspective – Cruz
Block 11 (T 6:30-9:00)
How cultural meanings and practices shape political struggles and institutions. Survey of culturalist theories of political dynamics and structures, and assessment of theories against a range of empirical case studies from Asia, the Middle East, Western Europe, Latin America, and the United States.

PS 126 Chinese Politics – Remick
Block H+ (TTh 1:30-2:45)
Survey of the domestic politics of the People's Republic of China. The development of Communist Party power through the political campaigns of the 1950s and 1960s. The political, cultural, economic, and social challenges faced by post-Mao reformers.

PS 127 Latin American Politics – Cruz
Block K+ (MW 4:30-5:45)
This course is intended to deepen our understanding of Latin America and of politics. To that end, we will be concerned with both the political dynamics of Latin America and with significant debates in political science. This course will familiarize students with the rich histories of several Latin American countries and engage social scientific theorizing of such processes as imperialism, colonialism, revolution, regime change, identity politics, and issues in political economy.

PS 135 Comparative Revolutions (M) – Remick
Block D+ TTh 10:30-11:45
The causes, processes, and outcomes of revolution. Student development of a theory of revolution's causes through comparative examination of revolutions in France, Russia, China, and Iran. Discussion of whether the causes of revolution have changed in the late twentieth century.
Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing. This course is methodologically focused.

PS 141 Shakespeare's Rome – Sullivan
Block G+ (MW 1:30-2:45)
This course examines Shakespeare's Rape of Lucrece, Coriolanus, Julius Caesar, and Antony and Cleopatra in light of his classical sources, Plutarch and Livy. In addition to considering Shakespeare's views on the reasons for Rome's greatness and on the causes of its decline, it will examine ancient Rome as a model of civic participation, the demands of Roman virtue, the role of women in a martial regime, and the place of philosophy in the city. Study of Shakespeare's poetry will broach a central question of political philosophy: how does the character of the regime affect the character of the individuals who compose it? Finally, examination of Shakespeare's works on Rome in conjunction with his classical sources will lead to consideration of the question whether Shakespeare diverges from those sources to come to an independent judgment of Rome. Co-listed with Classics.

PS 146 Liberty, Morality & Virtue – Devigne
Block J+ (TTh 3-4:15)
The class will address fundamental problems of modern liberal societies, such as whether the goal of promoting individual liberty can be reconciled with the aims of preserving standards of right and wrong, cultivating human sociality, and promoting human excellence. We will focus attention on the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville and John Stuart Mill, both of whom devoted an enormous amount of mental energy to assessing the advantages and disadvantages of democracy and modern life more generally. We will explore Tocqueville's and Mill's different (although related) views on the influence of the foundational principle of equality in shaping modern culture, mores, education, economic life, religious views and politics. We examine their views on democracy's tendency to foster narrow individualism and mass homogeneity and their different positions on how democracy can attain more ennobling goals. We also analyze their different views on the new type of despotism that each believes will characterize modern life and what steps a democratic people can make to resist this possibility.

PS 149 Contemporary Political Theory – Rasmussen
Block I+ MW 3-4:15
Is the welfare state defensible? How should we balance individual rights and communal responsibilities? Is it possible or desirable to accommodate illiberal cultural and religious groups in a liberal society? We will examine these and other pressing political questions through a survey of contemporary political theory, from the mid-20th century to the present. The main focus of the course will be on contemporary liberalism – the various forms it takes and challenges it faces. Authors range from Isaiah Berlin and Michael Oakeshott to John Rawls and his critics.

PS 151 Seminar: The Political Philosophy of Hobbes – Evrigenis
Block 8 (Th 1:30-4:00)
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 158-07 Topics in PT: Nietzsche: Will to Power – Devigne
Block N+ (TTh 6:00-7:15)
This class analyzes Friedrich Nietzsche's late writings that focus on his assessment that the West is entering a period of nihilism or moral groundlessness and the steps that will be required to overcome it. We will examine topics such as whether a moral sense of meaninglessness necessarily flows from the West's decayed philosophic and religious traditions. We will discuss whether modernity's highest values – science and democracy – promote a listless mind and undercut our ability to esteem or look up to higher values and ways of life. We will explore the opportunities and dangers posed by an epoch characterized by a sense of moral groundlessness. And finally, we will study the type of political, social, and spiritual conflicts that will animate the nihilist period and the character of philosophy, art, and individuals that will be required for modern life to gain a new ground for human creativity.

PS 170 Understanding Civil Wars: Internal Conflicts, International Responses – Greenhill
Block E+ (MW 10:30-11:45)
Since the end of WWII, the vast majority of wars have been within states rather than between them.  This course surveys competing theories about the causes, conduct, and conclusion of the dominant brand of conflict in the world today and examines how the international community deals with these (enduring and often seemingly intractable) militarized disputes. Topics examined include conflict prevention, conflict mediation, military intervention, peace implementation, peacekeeping and peace enforcement, and refugee and IDP crisis management.  The course combines theories from international relations, comparative politics and conflict resolution with case studies of recent and ongoing conflicts.

PS 188-01 Topics in IR: Race, Ethnicity, and U.S. Africa Policy – Robinson
Block I+ (MW 3:00-4:15)
(Fomerly PS 188-23)
Scholars debate whether foreign attachments of U.S. ethnic lobbies foster policy advocacy that runs counter to the national interest. This course traces the shift in emphasis of African-American internationalists from the defense of Black nationality to broader human rights advocacy around norms of racial equality, the rule of law, and economic justice. Case studies address the role of race, ethnicity and religion in the making of US Africa policy from 1850 to the present.
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PS 188-06 Topics in IR: Global Environmental Policy – Tirrell
Block J+ (TTh 3:00-4:15)
Cross-listed with ENVS
This course examines international environmental challenges and the policy decisions that drive human actions and responses to them. We begin by exploring three foundational topics: the global commons, environmental governance, and natural resource valuation. We will continue to apply core concepts from these early sessions as we progress into classes focused on particular international environmental challenges, such as climate change, sustainable development, natural resource management, and conservation. Upon completion of the course, students will be prepared to engage with issues from a wide range of environmental policy areas, and will have further developed their capacity for analysis, rhetoric, and written expression. Co-listed with ENVS.

PS 188-11 Topics in IR: Political Foundation of Economic Prosperity – Drezner
Block I+ (MW 3:00-4:15)
This course addresses one of the great mysteries in world history: why some countries began to experience mass prosperity at the start of the 19th century, why some countries caught up, and why other countries have fallen further behind, and what this means for world politics. Topics include: myths about national prosperity; how political institutions undergird economic prosperity; how openness to the global economy affects national prosperity; financial crises; the rise of inequality; and technological, environmental, ideological, political and ethical challenges to global prosperity in the future.

PS 188-13 Topics in IR: U.S. Foreign Policy in Asia – Beckley
Block L+ (TTh 4:30-5:45)
In the coming decades, no region will be more important for U.S. foreign policy than Asia, which is home to sixty percent of the world's population, four major powers, and six U.S. allies. This course will introduce students to the major events and trends in America's involvement in this critical region from 1945 to the present.

PS 188-25 Topics in IR: Human Rights and Democracy Promotion Abroad: From Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama 1913-2014 – Smith
Block H+ (TTh 1:30-2:45)
From the presidency of Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) to that of Barack Obama, liberal internationalism has often been the framework adopted for the conduct of American foreign policy. Liberal internationalism stresses democracy promotion, the creation of an open and integrated world economy, and multilateralism to settle conflicts as the way best to provide for American national security. The invasion of Iraq in March 2003 was in good measure justified in terms of bringing the Middle East into such a system. Where did this thinking come from, how has it evolved over time, and what is its future likely to be in the hands of the new administration in Washington?

PS 188-45 Topics in IR: Intelligence and National Security – Taliaferro
Block H+ (TTh 1:30-2:45)
Examination of the role of intelligence in United States national security. Overview of conceptual foundations of intelligence studies and traditional dimensions of intelligence activity (clandestine collection, analysis, counterintelligence, and covert action), and debates about role of secrecy and intelligence agencies in a liberal democracy. Discussion of intelligence in counterterrorism, WMD nonproliferation, and cyber-warfare.

PS 188-49 The Foreign Relations and Security Policies of the European Union in the 21st Century: Theory and Practice – Irina Chindea (Fletcher Student)
Block K+ MW 4:30-5:45
Does the European Union have a coherent common foreign, security and defense policy? To what extent is the EU a credible security and foreign policy actor in the international arena? Is the Union likely to withstand the manifold foreign and security challenges of the 21st century? To answer these questions, this course aims to identify the main current foreign policy and security issues that the European Union confronts, and the ability of European institutions to address them. The main topics addressed in the course are the origins of the European Union; the main theoretical debates that explain the integration process; the historical evolution and institutional settings of the EU's common foreign, security and defense policies since the end of the Second World War to present; the question of EU enlargement; the EU's responses to regional and international crises such as the violent breakup of Yugoslavia, the Arab Spring, the civil war in Syria and the situation in Ukraine, as well as the EU's security and trade relations with the United States, Russia, and China.

PS 189-03 Seminar in IR: International Relations of East Asia – Fujihira
Block 10 (M 6:30-9:00)
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 189-04 Seminar in IR: World Wars and the Nation State – Taliaferro
Block 1 (T 9:00-11:30)
This research seminar examines the grand strategies of the five great powers the United States, Britain, France, Germany, the Soviet Union, and Japan during the World War I, the Twenty Years' Crisis (1919-39), and World War II. We will explore the causes of the world wars and the determinants of wartime and peacetime strategies from variety of historical interpretations and international relations theories, such as neoclassical realism, structural realism, strategic culture/constructivism, and dynamic differentials theory. Topics discussed include: debates on the origins and responsibility for World War I; the 1919 peace settlement and the League of Nations; the cause and character of German and Japanese expansion in the 1930s; role of ideology, nationalism, and domestic mobilization for warfare in liberal democracies versus totalitarian or authoritarian regimes; Anglo-French debates over preventive war and appeasement of Germany in 1930s; the crisis between the United States and Japan in 1940-41 and the U.S. entry into the war; the origins of strategies of civilian victimization and genocide; and debates over war aims and war termination.

PS 189-05 Seminar in IR: Turkish Foreign Policy – Mufti
Block 2 (W 9:00-11:30)
This seminar studies the determinants, mechanisms, and main elements of Turkish foreign policy. It combines three main elements: an investigation of the relationship between domestic political dynamics - particularly competing conceptions of Turkish identity - and foreign policy; a chronological survey of Turkish diplomatic history; and in-depth analyses of Turkey's relations with its primary interlocutors on the regional and global levels.

PS 189-06 Seminar in IR: The Origins of Human Rights and Democracy Promotion in American Foreign Policy – Smith
Block 0 (M 9:00-11:30)
On the eve of America entering World War I, President Woodrow Wilson famously asserted that "the world must be made safe for democracy." Wilson's central meaning was that the leading countries of the world needed to be democracies; only then could world peace be achieved and American national security be guaranteed. Brief reference will be made to the evolution of "Wilsonianism" and "liberal internationalism" since Wilson's time (including the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the reaction in the U.S. to the "Arab Awakening" of 2011), but the focus of the course is on the origins of American democracy promotion in concepts formulated by Wilson between 1885 and 1923.

PS 198 Senior Honors Thesis – Masuoka
Block 12 (W 6:30-9:00)
This course explores the theoretical, empirical, normative, and methodological problems involved in conducting political science research. It will also provide a forum for discussing students' draft thesis chapters.

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