Courses

Teaching students how to think and to write rigorously and creatively about issues of public life

Fall 2010

Course Index & Descriptions

Introductory Courses
Note: Students registering for introductory courses should register for the lecture only. Sections will be assigned during the first week of class.
1615 Introduction to Western Political Philosophy
1817 Introduction to International Relations
Major Seminars
Note: Apply on-line during the pre-enrollment period. Once classes have started, use an add/drop slip; professor’s signature is required.
4000.01 Dictators and Democrats in Modern Latin America
4000.02 How Do You Know That?
4000.03 American Political Realignment
4000.04 Food, Politics and Society
4000.05 Sex, Power and Politics
4000.06 Human Rights and Governments
Other Seminars
4403 War and the State
4414 Political Violence in Cambodia and China
4705 Contemporary Readings of the Ancients
4847 Realist Theories of International Relations
American Government and Institutions
3141 Prisons
3161 The American Presidency
3111 Urban Politics
3191 Racial & Ethnic Politics in the United States
3202 The US Supreme Court and Crime
Comparative Politics
3293 Comparative Politics of Latin America
3363 Postcommunist Transitions
3403 China Under Revolution and Reform
3413 Modern European Society & Politics
3549 Capitalism Competition & Conflict in the Global Economy
International Relations
3867 Causes of War
3553 Issues Behind the News
Political Theory
3725 Ideology 2: Contemporary Continental Political Thought
Honors Courses
4949 Honors Thesis Seminar
Graduate Seminars
Note: Qualified undergraduates are encouraged to apply for seminars listed with 6000 course numbers, but may only register with the permission of the instructor.
6075 Field Seminar in Political Thought: The Enlightenment
6222 Political Participation
6274 People, Markets, and Democracy
6353 Field Seminar in Comparative Politics
6509 Contemporary Readings of the Ancients
6796 Justice and Equality
6847 Realist Theories of International Relations
6857 International Political Economy
6867 International Law, War, and Human Rights
7073 Game Theory I: Perfect Info
7606 Jurisprudence and Normative Political Theory
Cross-listed courses
2225 Controversies About Inequality
2605 Social and Political Philosophy
2716 Politics of Violence in 20th Century Europe
3131 Nature Functions Limits of Law
3303 Politics of the Global North
3633 Politics and Culture
4735 Marx, Freud, Nietzsche
6413 Political Ecology of Imagination
4845 Secularism and its Discontents
7063 Labor in Global Cities

1615 Intro to Western Political Philosophy
4 credits | TR 2:55-4:10 | Kramnick, I

Survey of the development of Western political theory from Plato to the present. Readings from the works of the major theorists. Examination of the relevance of their ideas to contemporary politics. (PT)

1817 Intro to International Relations
4 credits | TR 1:25-2:40 | Katzenstein, P

Introduction to the basic concepts and practice of international politics. (IR)

3141 Prisons
4 credits | TR 10:10-11:25 | Katzenstein, M

The United States stands alone among Western, industrialized countries with its persistent, high rates of incarceration, long sentences, and continued use of the death penalty. In order to pave the way towards the the massive use of incarceration, ideas must develop about categories of people considered to be outlaws and about the relationship of these groups to those considered to be law-abiding. Our purpose in this course is to understand how social and political actors, through a range of categories and understandings involving ideas about rights, race, and responsibility, have enabled and/or deterred the rapid expansion of incarceration. (AM)

3161 The American Presidency
4 credits | MWF 11:15-12:05 | Sanders, E

This course will explore and seek explanations for the performance of the 20th- to 21st-century presidency, focusing on its institutional and political development, recruitment process (nominations and elections), relationships to social groups, economic forces, and “political time,” and foreign and domestic policy-making. (AM)

3111 Urban Politics
4 credits | MWF 2:30-3:20 | Shefter, M

The major political actors, institutions, and political styles in large American cities: mayors, city councils, bureaucracies, ethnic and racial minorities, urban machine politics and the municipal reform movement. The implications of these political forces for policies pertaining to urban poverty, homelessness, and criminal justice.

3191 Racial & Ethnic Politics in the United States
4 credits | TR 1:25-2:40 | Jones-Correa, M

In 1965 the landscape of American politics changed dramatically with the passage of the Voting Rights Act. That same year, Congress passed the Immigration Reform Act, which though little heralded at the time, arguably has had equally profound effects. This course will provide a general survey of minority politics in the United States, focusing on the effects of these two key pieces of legislation. The course will highlight the relationships between immigrants and minorities, electoral politics and protest politics, and between cooperation and competition within and among minority groups. The purpose of the course is not only to pinpoint the similarities and differences in the agendas and strategies adopted by racial and ethnic minority groups, but also to show how inextricably intertwined "minority" politics and American politics have been and continue to be. (AM)

3202 The US Supreme Court and Crime
4 credits | MW 8:40-9:55 | Chutkow, D.

The Constitution and the Supreme Court have much to say about the power of government to investigate, detain, prosecute, sentence, and punish individuals for crime. This course examines the major legal decisions that shape constitutional law with respect to crime, and how the balance is struck between the presumption of innocence, the protection of the individual, and the government’s duty to enforce the laws and ensure public safety. (AM)

3293 Comparative Politics of Latin America
4 credits | TR 2:55-4:10 | Flores-Macias, G

This course is designed as an introduction to political, economic, and social issues in 20th century Latin America. Topics are organized chronologically, beginning with the process of industrialization and incorporation of the popular sectors in the 1930s and 1940s, and ending with the recent rise of the left to power in the region. Among the main issues covered are populism and corporatism, dependency theory and import-substitution industrialization, revolutions, the breakdown of democracy, military rule, democratic transitions, debt crisis and market reforms, social movements, and migration. Throughout the semester, we will draw on examples from the entire region, but the course will focus on six main countries, namely Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Mexico, and Venezuela. Knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese is not required. (CO)

3363 Postcommunist Transitions
4 credits | TR 11:40-12:55 |Bunce, V

The focus of the course is on political and economic developments since the collapse of communism in the 29 states that make up Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Topics to be addressed include why democracy has developed in some countries, but not others in the region; differences in economic performance across the region; the causes of inter-ethnic cooperation and conflict; and the role of the United States and the European Union in promoting democratic governance. The geographical focus will shift, depending upon the topic at hand. (CO)

3403 China Under Revolution and Reform
4 credits | MW 8:40-9:55 | Mertha, A

This course provides a broad overview of the evolution of Chinese politics from the early part of the 20th century to the present. It is roughly divided into three sections. The first traces the formation and the progression of modern state and party institutions following the collapse of the Qing Dynasty in 1911, through the communist rise to power and into the Mao era (1949–1976), culminating in the period of “opening up and reform” (1978–present). The second part of the course examines China’s institutional apparatus, focusing on mapping out the government, Party, and military bureaucracies; examining relations between Beijing and the localities; and on the institutionalization of these structures and processes over time. The third part of the course combines the insights of the course thus far to illuminate some of the current “hot button” issues facing the Chinese state and the world, combining politics and policy and examining the relationships between the two. No prior knowledge of China is required or expected. (CO)

3413 Modern European Society & Politics
4 credits | MW 8:40-9:55 | Van Morgan, S

This survey course provides an interdisciplinary overview of European social and political issues. Themes of the course will include, but will not be limited to, the political development of the nation-state, modes of governance, welfare state restructuring, party systems and elections, social movements, immigration and demography, culture and identity, external relations, and the special challenges posed by European political and economic integration. A series of background and contextual lectures will be complemented by presentations given by leading Europeanists. (CO)

3549 Capitalism Competition & Conflict in the Global Economy
4 credits | TR 10:10-11:25 | Katzenstein, P

Unemployed auto workers in Detroit and the wood stoves in New England signal an important change in America’s relation to the world economy. This course characterizes these changes in a number of fields (trade, money, energy, technology), explains them as the result of the political choices of a declining imperial power that differs substantially from the choices of other states (Japan, Germany, Britain, France, the small European states, and Korea), and examines their consequences for America and international politics.

3553 Issues Behind the News
2 credits | T 11:40-12:55 | Reppy, J

This course will cover international current events as they unfold during the semester. Faculty from across the university will be invited to contextualize and deepen students’ understanding of elections, wars, complex humanitarian emergencies, international agreements, global health issues and other relevant international events that are in the news. The course will respond flexibly to unforeseen events. Special attention will be devoted to U.S. foreign policy issues and how U.S. foreign policies are formulated and implemented. The course will strive to expose students to different points of view on these issues. (IR)

3725 Ideology 2: Contemporary Continental Political Thought
4 credits | M 7:30-9:30 | Rubenstein, D

This semester we will be examining everyday life, space, sexuality and language in the works of primarily French philosophers of the twentieth century. Topics to be considered will be the critique of everyday life (Lefebvre, de Certeau), consumer society (Baudrillard, Barthes), psychogeography and situationalism (Debord, Vaneigem), sexuality (Barthes, Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari), language and postcolonialism (Derrida).

3867 Causes of War
4 credits | MWF 10:10-11:00 | Way, C

This course surveys leading theories of the causes of interstate war – that is, large scale organized violence between the armed forces of states. Why is war a recurring feature of international politics? Are democracies more peaceful than other types of states, and if so what explains this “democratic peace”? Why do democratic publics seem to reward threats to use force by “rallying around the flag” in support of their governments? Does the inexorable pattern of the rise and fall of nations lead to cycles of great power wars throughout history? These and other questions will be examined in our survey of theories of war at three levels of analysis: the individual and small groups, domestic politics, and the international system. Topics covered include: 1) theoretical explanations for war; 2) evaluation of the evidence for the various explanations; 3) the impact of nuclear weapons on international politics; 4) ethics and warfare; 5) the uses and limitations of air power; 6) international terrorism. (IR)

4000.01 Dictators and Democrats in Modern Latin America
4 credits | R 12:20-2:15 | Morrison, K

This course has two principal goals. The first and foremost goal is to provide an introduction to the study of dictatorships and democracies in political science. By the end of the course, students should be able to answer the following questions in thoughtful and informed ways: What are the important differences between dictatorships and democracies? How do political scientists think of causality, and what do they mean by a “theory”? What causes democracies or dictatorships to come into existence? What effects do democracies and dictatorships have with regard to outcomes we may care about, such as economic development, poverty, and inequality? The second goal of the course is to introduce students to the recent political history of Latin America. The study of the history of Latin America will be instrumental, in the sense that it will be used to analyze the theories of dictatorships and democracies under study.

4000.02 How Do You Know That?
4 credits | T 12:20-2:15 | Way, C

Does allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons reduce violent crime? Do affirmative action policies at law schools cause black students to fail the bar? Does the death penalty deter murders? Do micro-finance policies make the poor better off? Do the militaries of democracies fight better in the field than those of non-democracies? Answering questions like these about the effects of public policy implies cause and effect knowledge: if we implement policy X, we will get effect Y. But on what evidence should answers to questions like these rest? How do you know the answer, or can you? Providing robust answers to cause-and-effect questions in a (mostly) non-experimental field like political science is devilishly difficult. In this course, we will learn some of the pitfalls that make it so hard to evaluate evidence in the public policy realm, how to judge the quality of evidence cited in the media, and how to ask the right questions to get the best possible evidence. We’ll do so by working through the evidence supporting “yes” or “no” answers to the questions listed above.

4000.03 American Political Realignment
4 credits | T 2:30-4:25 | Shefter, M

This seminar discusses the extent to which recent changes in U.S. politics can or cannot be understood as indicating an underlying “realignment” in American party politics.

4000.04 Food, Politics and Society
4 credits | TR 10:10-11:25 | Herring, R

Food politics revolves around the three basic economic questions every society has to answer: what is to be produced, how is it to be produced, how is the product to be distributed? These are issues of justice, technology, culture and environmental integrity. These questions necessarily become entangled in science: What is safe? What is sustainable? What can be done? We will look at politics globally -- in international organizations and social movements -- with grounded intersections of regional and national politics.

4000.05 Sex, Power and Politics
4 credits | W 10:10-12:05 | Martin, S

This course examines how gender identities are manipulated by masses and elites in a struggle to control agendas and resources. We will consider the following questions: How are issues such as fertility control, marriage rights, domestic violence, and regulation of sex work framed in a variety of national contexts? How do the similarities and differences in how we think about these issues shape patterns of political participation and representation? What do these patterns tell us about how hierarchies of power are (re)produced socially and institutionally? These questions are of pressing importance as we think about how to craft institutional contexts that provide citizens with the tools and incentives to shape democratic outcomes. We will use a policy analysis framework cross-nationally to talk about how a mix of social, historical and political factors condition what is politically possible for different interests in contemporary politics. (CO, AM)

4000.06 Human Rights and Governments
4 credits | W 12:20-2:15 | Orlov, Y

Governments and their leaders can be pressed from above, from within, from below and from the side (transnationally) to promote human rights. How do these legal and ethical pressures work? What are their conceptual foundations? What are the structural relations and tensions among them? Our seminar will address these questions with a primary focus on the United States and the former Soviet Union (FSU), especially Russia. We will examine U.S. and FSU human rights policies and practices in relation to supra-national bodies and covenants (the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Court of Human Rights, the Helsinki Accords); independent agencies within government (the U.S. Helsinki Commission, the Ombudsman of the Russian Federation); and local or transnational nongovernmental organizations (Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Moscow Helsinki Group, the European Roma Rights Centre). Readings will include classic statements of human rights like the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the Helsinki Final Act (1975), as well as court decisions and reports by human rights organizations.

4403 War and the State
4 credits | T 10:10-12:05 | Flores-Macias, G

The goal of the course is to introduce students to the study of the nexus between violence and the creation of the modern state. It is intended to familiarize students with the role that war and other forms of violence have played in shaping the state in comparative perspective. Relying on the emergence of the modern state in Western Europe as a point of departure, the course studies the processes of state formation and state building in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

4414 Political Violence in Cambodia and China
4 credits | W 2:30-4:25 | Mertha, A

This course traces the evolution of political institutions and agency within the Chinese Communist Party and the Khmer Rouge in China and Cambodia, respectively. In this course we analyze the role of violence in state-building and state dissolution. We also employ a structured comparison between these political entities to examine and explain their similarities and differences. Finally, we look at the legacies of past political violence on these political systems today.

4705 Contemporary Readings of the Ancients
4 credits | W 10:10-12:05 | Rubenstein, D

This semester we will be examining two figures who serve as models of political militancy or resistance: Antigone and St. Paul. Readers of Antigone will include feminists such as Judith Butler and Luce Irigaray; democratic theorists Patchen Markell and Bonnie Honig; psychoanalytic and deconstructive theorists: Joan Copjec, Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida. St. Paul will be read in relation to contemporary readers such as Taubes, Badiou, Agamben, Zizek, as well as Kristeva and Derrida concerning hospitality.

4847 Realist Theories of International Relations
4 credits | T 2:30-4:25 | Kirshner, J

“Realism” is often invoked in international relations to mean many different things. By policymakers, it has been cited as a source of support – and opposition – to America’s recent wars. By scholars, it is often used as a synonym for “structuralism”, which it need not be. In this course, we will look closely at the tradition of realism in IR theory, both to find out exactly what realism does stand for, and in order to better understand world politics more generally.

4949 Honors Thesis Seminar (Only for those accepted into the Honors Program)
4 credits | W 2:30-4:25 | Sanders, E

Designed to support thesis writers in the honors program during the early stages of their research projects. You will crystallize your topic/question, define your key terms, find and read relevant literature, explore methodological alternatives, locate data, and—by the end of the semester—have clear hypotheses and a plan of work to answer your question(s).

6075 Field Seminar in Political Thought: The Enlightenment
4 credits | W 5:00-7:00 | Kramnick, I

The topic for the field seminar in political thought this year will be the Enlightenment. We will read and discuss central texts of eighteenth century Enlightenment thought, including texts by Locke, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Condorcet, Hume, Smith, Burke, Paine, and Kant. We will explore the political dilemmas to which these Enlightenment texts responded—such as political theology, feudalism, and absolutist monarchy—and critically evaluate their attempts to establish a more secular, rational, and democratic form of politics. Was there a single Enlightenment? How do we characterize it? How do we assess its political, moral, and philosophical legacies?

6222 Political Participation
4 credits | W 7:00-9:00 | Jones-Correa, M

This course is concerned with understanding how and under what conditions citizens seek to influence political elites through use, expansion, circumvention or subversion of existing channels of political participation. Cases from a variety of institutional contexts over time will be used to examine how mediating institutions diminish and/or exacerbate social inequalities in the exercise of political voice. We will consider readings from both the U.S. and comparative contexts to examine and dominant conceptions in the political participation literature.

6274 People, Markets, and Democracy
4 credits | T 10:10-1:10 | Anderson, C

This seminar is designed to introduce PhD students to some of the major topics, theoretical approaches, and empirical findings in the relationship between people, states, and markets in democracies. These include prominently the links between the economy and political behavior and between democratic politics and economic behavior.

6353 Field Seminar in Comparative Politics
4 credits | W 2:00-4:25 | Roberts, K. & Pepinsky, T

This course provides a graduate-level survey of the field of comparative politics, introducing students to classic works as well as recent contributions that build upon those works. Readings will draw from leading theoretical approaches-- including structural, institutional, rational choice, and cultural perspectives-- and cover a broad range of substantive topics, such as democratization, authoritarianism, states and civil society, political economy, and political participation and representation.

6509 Contemporary Readings of the Ancients
4 credits | W 10:10-12:05 | Rubenstein, D

This semester we will be examining two figures who serve as models of political militancy or resistance: Antigone and St. Paul. Readers of Antigone will include feminists such as Judith Butler and Luce Irigaray; democratic theorists Patchen Markell and Bonnie Honig; psychoanalytic and deconstructive theorists: Joan Copjec, Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida. St. Paul will be read in relation to contemporary readers such as Taubes, Badiou, Agamben, Zizek, as well as Kristeva and Derrida concerning hospitality.

6796 Justice and Equality
4 credits | T 12:20-2:15 | Smith, AM

A normative political theory seminar concentrating on the topics of distributive justice, equality, and critical race theory. We will begin with Rawls’ Theory of Justice, and then examine various criticisms, especially those advanced by Nussbaum, Dworkin, Sen, Cohen, and Barry. In the 2010 version of this course, we will also focus on the philosophical debates pertaining to educational equity; our readings in this section of the course will include works by Elizabeth Anderson, Stephen Macedo, Deborah Satz, Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift, and critical race theorists Danielle Allen and Derrick Bell.

6847 Realist Theories of International Relations
4 credits | T 2:30-4:25 | Kirshner, J

“Realism” is often invoked in international relations to mean many different things. By policymakers, it has been cited as a source of support - and opposition – to America’s recent wars. By scholars, it is often used as a synonym for “structuralism”, which it need not be. In this course, we will look closely at the tradition of realism in IR theory, both to find out exactly what realism does stand for, and in order to better understand world politics more generally.

6857 International Political Economy
4 credits | T 7:00-11:00 | Katzenstein, P

An exploration into a range of contemporary theories and research topics in the field of international political economy. The seminar will cover different theoretical perspectives and a number of substantive problems.

6867 International Law, War, and Human Rights
4 credits | W 10:10-12:05 | Evangelista, M

This course examines the role of international law in influencing states’ behavior regarding issues related to war and human rights. It draws on literature in the fields of international relations and law to study such questions as: why states comply with international law; under what conditions legal norms become customary and widely accepted; under what conditions longstanding legal norms become undermined; and what is the relative influence in shaping the law of state practice, the efforts of non-state actors and popular movements, and the opinions of legal professionals? Much of the substantive focus of the course will be on the development of international humanitarian law and human-rights law, and the impact of the “War on Terror.”

7073 Game Theory I: Perfect Info
4 credits | M 2:00-4:25 | Morrison, K

This course introduces graduate students in political science to game theory, a tool for studying strategic interaction that is now used throughout the discipline. The first part of the course conveys the tools for solving games of perfect information. The second part is focused on some broad classes of problems about which the game theory learned in the first part of the class gives particularly useful insights. These include problems of collective action, as well as issues of credibility and commitment. The course requires only high-school level mathematics, and no prior training in game theory or formal methods.

7606 Jurisprudence and Normative Political Theory
4 credits | R 4:15-5:55 | Smith, AM

A seminar for graduate students in the normative political theory field and law students. We will begin with Hart’s classic work, The Concept of Law, and then consider Dworkin’s criticisms. Then we will make a detour to the Rawls versus Sen debate to place “meta” questions pertaining to distributive justice, rights, and deliberation on the table. Returning to legal theory, we will consider Michelman’s work on Rawls, social rights, and the constitution, and Cover’s theory of plural nomian fields. Dworkin’s confidence in the judiciary raises serious questions about the role of judicial review in a liberal democratic society; we will consider the critical approaches of Waldron, Tushnet, and Siegal in this regard. Finally, we will read several works from the critical race theory field; in the fall 2010 version of this course, we will concentrate on the writings of Derrick Bell.

2225 Controversies About Inequality
4 credits | MW 2:55-4:10 | Morgan, S

For description see SOC 2220

2605 Social and Political Philosophy
4 credits | MW 11:15-12:05 | Taylor, E

For description see PHIL 2420

2716 Politics of Violence in 20th Century Europe
4 credits | MW 1:25-2:15 | Case, H

For description see HIST 2711

3131 Nature Functions Limits of Law
4 credits | MWF 2:30-3:20 | Clermont, K. & Hillman, R.

For description see LAW 4131

3303 Politics of the Global North
4 credits | TR 11:40-12:55

For description see ILRIC 4330

3633 Politics and Culture
4 credits | TR 10:10-11:00 | Berezin, M

For description see SOC 2480

4735 Marx, Freud, Nietzsche
4 credits | TR 1:25-2:40 | Waite ,G

For description see GERST 4150

4842 Political Ecology of Imagination
4 credits | M 12:20-2:15 | Staff

For description see SHUM 4842

4845 Secularism and its Discontents
4 credits | R 12:20-2:15 | Anker, E

For description see SHUM 4845

7063 Labor in Global Cities
4 credits | M 7:00-10:00 | Turner, L
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