Spring 2013 Course Descriptions

(M) = Methodologically focused course

PS 19 Sophomore Seminar: The Politics of Ethnicity and American Identity – Schildkraut
(T 1:30-4:00) Block 6
This seminar examines current political issues that stem from the nation's changing ethniccomposition, especially with regard to the growing Latino and Asian populations. Particular attention is paid to the meaning of American national identity, how it has changed over time, and what role it plays in shaping ethnicity-related policy debates. Topics covered include: immigration policy, public opinion, racial and ethnic profiling, the U.S. census, immigrant voting rights, and the impact of the Obama presidency.
Sophomores only.

PS 21 Introduction to Comparative Politics – Shevel
(TR 3:00-4:15) Block J+
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 Western Political Thought II – Devigne
(TR 3:00-4:15) Block J+
Cross-listed as Phil 42
Introduction to the central concepts of modern political thought that have underlined Western political practice. The views of those writers who launched the Enlightenment and challenged Christianity: Descartes and Hobbes. The conflict within modern theory on the meaning of liberty and justice as developed by Rousseau, Smith, Marx and others, setting the stage for a protracted period of conflict within the West. Efforts by thinkers like Mill and de Tocqueville to reconcile divisions within Western civilization and Nietzsche's comprehensive critique of it. Throughout the semester we will analyze the divisions that have animated modern thought – liberty and virtue, self-interest and morality, equality and oligarchy, science and religion, nature and history, reason and politics – and assess whether these divisions: a.) have been overcome; b.) are now ignored due to diminished confidence in the human mind; c.) are persisting and harbingers of conflicts in the future.

PS 43 Justice, Equality & Liberty – Denby
(MW 3:00-4:15) Block I+
Cross-listed as Phil 43
This is a lower-level introduction to political philosophy. It presupposes no previous acquaintance with philosophy.

We will focus on five topics: the state of nature; the justification, if any, for state power; utilitarianism; distributive justice; liberalism and its critics. A number of other topics will come up along the way, including the nature and justification of free speech, free markets, and private property. All these topics are linked, and many bear on one of the fundamental questions of political philosophy: how should a state distribute power and material goods?

Our approach will be problem-centered rather than historical, and the emphasis will be on clarity and rigor rather than on scholarship or sensitivity to historical context. Our discussions will concern fundamental principles more often than particular issues of contemporary concern. The reading is drawn from early modern, nineteenth century, and contemporary sources and is moderate to heavy in quantity. It will include selections from Hobbes, Locke, Mill, Marx, Berlin, Rawls, Nozick, Dworkin, Sandel, Cohen, and others.

PS 61 Introduction to International Relations – Mufti
(MW 10:30-11:45) Block E+
Examination of several conceptual designs intended to make order out of the essential anarchy in international relations, from a theoretical assessment of the nation-state and the nature of national power to an exploration of behavior among nation-states, including the ultimate problem of war and peace and an appraisal of the factors that give an age its particular characteristics.

PS 99-01 Fieldwork in Politics – Gleason
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 99-02 Fieldwork in Politics – Levine
Through the Institute for Political Citizenship and Tisch College, internship placements in MA State Reps offices and other political organizations in Boston. Full or half credit available depending on number of hours worked per week (8-10 hours for half credit, 12-15 for full credit.) Will include a final paper reflecting on the experience and monthly lunches with other IPC interns to share ideas and challenges. Must have applied through the IPC and been placed in an internship, then register for PS 99:02 on SIS to receive credit. Contact Peter Levine (faculty advisor) or for more info.
Sophomore standing or above. 1/2 credit.

PS 102 Congress, Bureaucracy, and Public Policy – Berry
(MW 10:30-11:45) Block E+
The focus of this course is on the national policy-making process. Examination of such topics as agenda building, the relationship between congressional elections and public policy outcomes, legislative process, congressional-agency relations, bureaucratic politics, and program implementation.
Sophomore standing required.

PS 103-01 Political Science Research Methods – Mazaheri
(MW 6:00-7:15) Block M+
This course introduces the use of quantitative methods for investigating issues such as campaigns and elections, war and civil conflict, economic development, public opinion, and 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.
Prerequisite: Foundational PS Course
*Please note: As of Spring 2013, PS 103 will no longer count towards a credit in the American Politics subfield.

PS 103-02 Sophomore Seminar: Political Science Research Methods – Masuoka
(MW 3:00-4:15) Block I+
This course introduces the use of quantitative methods for investigating a wide range of political topics such as voter turnout, democratic development across countries, and the effectiveness of public policies. Students will learn about the mechanics of research design and learn how to collect, analyze and present data. This course emphasizes hands-on instruction and will train students how to use statistical software. This course will prepare new students to properly conduct social science research papers as well as provide important training for professional settings outside the classroom. This class counts as the equivalent to PS 103 (Political Science Research Methods) but enrollment will be limited to those who hold sophomore standing ONLY.
Those who do not hold sophomore standing will be dropped from the course.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing only and any intro political science class
*Please note: As of Spring 2013, PS 103 will no longer count towards a credit in the American Politics subfield.

PS 111 Political Psychology – Schildkraut
(MW 3:00-4:15) Block I+
This course employs social and cognitive psychological theories to examine the world of politics. Students will explore several key approaches to understanding the psychology of political behavior and will examine the psychological origins of citizens' political beliefs and actions from a variety of perspectives. Topics covered include: information processing, inter-group conflict, attribution, identity formation and change, heuristics, stereotyping and prejudice, and political communication.

PS 118-02 Political Participation and Mass Behavior in the U.S. – Masuoka
(MW 4:30-5:45 Block K+
Who participates in politics and why? Some of us are political junkies: we watch CNN religiously, discuss policy issues with our friends and own one too many campaign buttons. Others would rather jump off a cliff than be forced to watch the presidential debates on television. Although all Americans are provided some opportunity to participate in politics, not everyone chooses to partake. What are the factors that explain why some of us are participatory and others are not? In this course, we will identify and discuss the different forms of political participation as well as the theories that attempt to explain the motivation behind these behaviors. We will also consider the implications of political participation on the health and vitality of democracy by addressing the question: does participation really matter? This course satisfies the PS major methodology requirement.

PS 120 Seminar: Power and Politics in China – Remick
(T 1:30-4:00) Block 6
An advanced seminar in Chinese politics focusing on the strengths and limitations of the Chinese state, as well as challenges it faces. What are the sources of power in the Chinese political system? How is power exercised, and by whom? How powerful is the state, really? What are some of the ways that people in China work with and around state power? What are the prospects for democracy in China? Longstanding debates surround most of these questions, and in the class we will examine different ways people have answered them. We will finish the semester by discussing additional topics of interest to students in the class.
Prerequisite: PS 126 or History 44, or consent.

PS 122 Soviet, Russian and Post-Soviet Politics – Shevel
(TR 12:00-1:15) Block F+
In this course, you will be studying one of the most important countries of the 20th century, the Soviet Union, and the states – the Russian Federation and 14 others – that were formed from its collapse. Approximately one third of the course will be devoted to an overview of political, economic, and social structures that defined Soviet Communism. In the remaining two/thirds of the course we will consider the divergent paths taken by the 15 successor states of the Soviet Union after 1991. While Russia will receive the most extensive consideration, we will cover the other successor states as well. As we examine and compare developments in the region after 1991, we will pay special attention to topics such as state collapse and state formation, political and institutional changes, the politics of economic reform, the challenges of nationalism within the multinational state, informal politics, and "colored revolutions."

PS 124 Seminar: Political Economy of Developed Democracies – Fujihira
(M 6:30-9:00) Block 10
Comparison of different models of capitalism in Western Europe, the United States, and Japan. Topics include: rise and fall of Keynesianism, electoral and partisan business cycles, interest groups and corporatism, central bank independence, production regimes, welfare status, privatization, and globalization.

PS 138-02 Political Violence in State and Society – Cruz
(MW 4:30-5:45) Block K+
This course examines the varieties in form and scale of political violence It also assesses salient theories that aim to explain or trace the origins and logic of such violence. Finally, the course tests these theories against empirical cases mainly drawn from the Latin American experience.

PS 138-06 Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe – Art
(MW 6:00-7:15) Block M+
Examination of the origins and development of democracy, authoritarianism, and totalitarianism in Europe. Course uses European political development as prism for examining major theoretical issues in comparative politics, such as state formation, the connections between economic development and political liberalization, the rise of fascism and communism, and the construction of the modern welfare state.

PS 138-12 Government, Business, and Public Policy – Mazaheri
(MW 1:30-2:45) Block G+
This course examines the relationship between governments, the private sector, and the citizenry in countries around the world. It begins by exploring the ideas and forces that have shaped the government's relationship to the private sector throughout history. It then discusses the political, regulatory, institutional, market, legal, and civic context in which businesses function in societies. The course also looks at how firm owners and entrepreneurs have shaped political and economic outcomes in both the United States and developing countries. The role of the informal economy, credit markets, entrepreneurship, and business networks are examined in particular detail. Throughout the course, a central theme is exploring and understanding the nature of government regulation, how regulation affects businesses, and how regulation affects societal welfare.

PS 139-01 Seminar: Authoritarianism in Comparative Perspective – Art
(M 1:30-4:00) Block 5
Throughout human history, most political regimes have not been democratic. Until recently, however, the field of comparative politics treated authoritarian regimes as theoretically uninteresting. This upper-level seminar examines the politics of non-democratic regimes in different regions of the world and across time. Topics include types of authoritarian regimes, political institutions in authoritarian regimes, methods of repression and control, and economic development.

PS 147 Seminar: Political Philosophy of Nietzsche – Devigne
(R 6:30-9:00) Block 13
Nietzsche's views of philosophy, nature, morality, religion, art, science, and politics. Analysis of view that "God is dead" and that we are no longer capable of distinguishing whether one value is better than another. Assessment of the qualities that must exist--in both the individual and society--for human creativity to regenerate. Exploration of whether Nietzsche successfully broke from Western political philosophy.
Prerequisite: PS 41 or 42

PS 149 Contemporary Political Theory – Rasmussen
(MW 1:30-2:45) Block G+
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 150 Plato's Socrates – Evrigenis
(TR 4:30-5:45) Block L+
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 154 Romanticism and Revolution: The Political Philosophy of Rousseau – Rasmussen
(MW 4:30-5:45) Block K+
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was one of the deepest and most influential critics of the Enlightenment, and of the liberalism and capitalism that we have inherited from it. He is also one of the most complex thinkers of the modern age, standing at once on both the left and the right of the political spectrum, appealing to ancient thought and practice while at the same time paving the way toward postmodernism, and appearing to be both a profound champion of democracy and a precursor to totalitarianism. This course examines this intriguing thinker through a study of the First and Second Discourses, The Social Contract, The Reveries of the Solitary Walker, and Emile.

PS 158-08 Ethics and International Relations – Evrigenis
(TR 10:30-11:45) Block D+
Nowhere does the uneasy relationship between politics and morality become more clear than in international relations. Does justice extend beyond the borders of states? Is it ever permissible to kill, even if it is in defense of one's country? Are there human rights, and, if so, how far should one go to protect them? Ought one feel responsible for poverty on the other side of the world? We will examine some of the most challenging moral dilemmas in international relations, and consider some of the most important responses to them, in an attempt to determine the extent of our duties.

PS 168 International Law – Fletcher Faculty
(M 2:00-4:20) Arranged
PS 168 is an introductory survey course on international law, which provides a broad overview of the international legal framework. The course covers the structure of international law and the United Nations legal order as well as selects areas of international law, including the use of force, international trade, investment, and human rights law. Students will gain an understanding of the overall structure and processes of public international law and of the political context within which international law operates; develop the ability and desire to think critically about international law and its role in international society; and acquire general professional legal skills, in particular the ability to formulate and structure legal argument—both in writing and orally.

PS 172 U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East – Corbin
(TR 4:30-5:45) Block L+
The evolution of American foreign policy toward the Middle East since World War II. Basic American interests in the region, and how the U.S. has pursued those interests in connection with issues such as conflicting nationalisms (including the Arab-Israeli conflict), the role of Turkey and Iran in the regional balance of power, and the Islamist revival. Implications of the Soviet Union's collapse for future American policy in the Middle East. Prerequisites Sophomore standing or permission of instructor.

PS 180 Regionalism in African International Relations – Robinson
(TR 1:30-2:45) Block H+
The intersection of domestic politics and international relations in Africa: examination of regional economic communities, regionally based solutions to problem-solving, and new regionalism in the post Cold War era. Particular attention given to state-building and national sovereignty as they impinge on regional projects. Theories of the state, regional integration theory, international regime theory, and constructivist international relations theory frame five themes: the construction of regional norms, transnational civil society, peace and security, trade and economic development, and the African human rights system.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or above

PS 181 Public Opinion and Foreign Policy – Eichenberg
(TR 10:30-11:45) Block D+
Study of the domestic politics of foreign policy, especially the relationship between leaders and people, which is central to democratic theory and practice. Examination of public and elite opinions on international issues: nuclear weapons, arms control, military intervention, and defense spending; historical and comparative focus. Inquiry into the determinants of attitudes, the impact of public opinion, the role of the media, and the effects of foreign policy events on domestic politics.

PS 188-05 U.S. National Security and the Future of NATO – Garey
(TR 4:30-5:45) Block L+
This course seeks to provide students with a greater understanding of the most notable transatlantic agreement of the twentieth century, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Students will explore the impact of the NATO alliance on US national security, particularly in the post- Cold War era. It will explore the dynamics between the US and the NATO partnership, both historically and in the current security environment. The course will also explore the relationship between the US and NATO moving forward, and the potential impacts of the alliance on future US national security policy.

PS 188-07 'New' and 'Old' Wars: The U.S. and the Evolving International Security Environment – Corbin
(TR 6:00-7:15) Block N+
This course will examine the conflicts, threats, and actors that have shaped US security policy in the 20th and 21st centuries. Though starting with US efforts to shape the post-WWII international system, the course will focus principally on the post-Cold War era. Topics will include conventional and internal wars, armed groups, terrorism, peacekeeping operations, NATO, and WMD proliferation.

PS 188-08 Contemporary International Relations of East Asia – Park
(MW 4:30-5:45) Block K+
This course is an overview of international relations of the East Asian region which aims at broadly exploring the economic and political issues surrounding the Asia-Pacific rim. The central theme of this course is on whether the East Asian region is heading towards greater cooperation or conflict in political and economic relations. The first part of the course will examine respective theoretical and historical backgrounds of the countries in the region (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Southeast Asia) with a focus on political and economic development during the pre- and post-Cold War period. The second part of the course will cover various issues surrounding the region, including industrialization, globalization, economic interdependence, financial crises, natural disasters, nuclear proliferation, security, regionalism, nationalism, territorial disputes, and terrorism. (Prerequisite: PS-61)

PS 188-09 Conducting Research in International Politics – Eichenberg
(TR 3:00-4:15) Block J+
This course provides intensive instruction in all phases of the research process, including: translating a general topic into specific research questions and hypotheses; finding and aggressively evaluating scholarly literature; finding and evaluating sources of raw information and data; analyzing information and presenting it effectively in written, tabular, and graphic form; employing quantitative and qualitative methodologies for analyzing information; organizing and writing effective scholarly reports; and presenting the results of research effectively to others. The course will also provide an introduction to rudimentary statistical techniques and the software used to conduct statistical analysis. Students will complete several homework assignments and also complete a substantial research project.
Open to sophomores and juniors only.

PS 188-10 International Crisis Diplomacy – Becker
(MW 3:00-4:15) Block I+
This course is serves as an introduction to the international politics of resolving crises. The focus is on the crises that have emerged since the end of the Cold War--particularly in the areas of civil war, state failure, and self-determination. The course begins with competing theories of why states intervene in international crises and the conditions for success in different types of intervention (multi-lateral vs. unilateral, diplomacy vs. military intervention). Then, we will consider current issues facing the UN and how they may be addressed via a simulation of the UN Security Council. By the end of the course, students will be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of various intervention strategies in light of evidence from social science and apply their insights in a foreign policy paper.

PS 188-20 International Environmental Negotiations – Gleason
(M 6:30-9:00) Block 10
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 188-23 Race and U.S. Africa Policy – Robinson
(MW 4:30-5:45) Block K+
Cross-listed as PJS 150-07
Scholars debate whether foreign attachments of US 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.

PS 189-08 Seminar: History of Financial Turbulence and Crises – Psalidopoulos
(W 1:30-4:00) Block 7
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 199-01 Senior Honors Thesis SENIOR HONORS THESIS (M) – Eichenberg

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