Courses

New course!  4305: International Theory

Image for International Theory courseSemester | 3 credit units

‘International theory’ is concerned with theoretical reflection on the explanatory, ethical, and legal aspects of international politics.  In this course we will focus initially on the explanatory aspect, but with growing emphasis on ethics and law as the semester progresses.  Part I deals with the traditional problem of international life, of maintaining peace in an anarchic system among states relatively equal in power.  Part II calls the assumption of anarchy into question by looking at hierarchical structures in the international system between the North and South.  Part III addresses the rise of the individual as a subject of world politics, and especially the ethical challenges of global governance that this creates.  Throughout, an effort will be made to illustrate the relevance of theoretical debates for the real world, but in the end this is a course about ideas not information, and students will be evaluated accordingly.

New topic! 4597.02: Conflict and Development

Image for the Politics of the Developing World courseSemester | 3 credit units
 
Over the past ten years, the United States has led major nation-building efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, while contributing to scores of stabilization, development, and peacebuilding missions in fragile and conflict-affected regions around the world. Common to these diverse missions is the attempt to lay the foundations for long-term growth in areas that still suffer from the threat of violence. The course will examine these topics with questions such as: What interventions are most successful at enhancing human wellbeing and creating economic opportunities in such environments? And which ones can make things worse by distorting incentives or disturbing fragile governing bargains? What lessons have been learned about how to improve governance, enhance stability, and support economic development in conflict zones?
 
The ultimate purpose of this course is to provide you with an understanding of the current explanations of state-building and economic development, and the background knowledge and tools with which to evaluate them in fragile and conflict-affected countries.  Because these explanations, or theories, are designed to apply generally—i.e., they are not restricted by time and place—this course will be very broad in its empirical scope.   In readings and in lecture, we will examine the legacies of war and the best practices in post-conflict reconstruction across time and space, including Cambodia in the 1980s, post-genocide Rwanda, and present-day Afghanistan.  
 

New topic! 4597.02H: Illicit Markets and Organized Crime

Course photoSemester | 3 credit units

Despite efforts by states to prevent trade in certain goods, illicit markets thrive in a variety of contexts. To make sense of the prevalence of such markets, as well as their impacts on important social, political, and economic issues, this course provides an overview of the development and organization of domestic and transnational markets for illegal goods. This course examines social scientific and popular work on the development of markets for various illegal goods, as well as the ways in which black market trafficking of humans, natural resources, drugs, weapons, and protection affect outcomes such as order, violence, welfare, and development.

Menu: 

1. Pre-major courses

2. Subfield courses: 

2A. American Politics courses

2B. Comparative Politics courses

2C. International Relations courses

2D. Political Theory courses

2E. Methods courses

3. Other courses

 

Pre-major courses

1100 and 1100H: Introduction to American Politics

American flage with the Statue of Liberty under it.Semester | 3 credit units

This course is an introduction to the institutions, processes, and influences of American government, politics, and political behavior. The first part of the course will focus on political elites, discussing the history and theories of American democracy, as well as its political institutions (Congress, Executive, and Judiciary). In the second half of the course, we will shift gears and focus on mass political behavior and interests (public opinion, contemporary political debates, voting and campaigns and elections).  

This course is available for EM credit. GE soc sci orgs and polities course. SS Admis Cond course.

Prereq for 1100H: Honors standing, or permission of instructor. 

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2012 [pdf] 


1200 and 1200H: Introduction to Comparative Politics

an eye with the reflection of the globe in it.Semester | 3 credit units

 This is a course that introduces students to politics as it takes place outside the United States.  The emphasis is on the big questions of the day: How should democracy be structured? How do countries confront the challenges of economic development, inequality, ethnic and racial cleavages, or nation building?  What are the politics that make possible transitions from authoritarianism to democracy?  And how are different authoritarian political systems structured?  The class will address questions of this nature in the context of an analysis of selected wealthy and poor countries around the world.

This course is available for EM credit. GE soc sci orgs and polities and diversity global studies course.

Prereq for 1200H: Honors standing, or permission of instructor. 

Archived syllabus: 1200 Autumn 2013 [pdf] 


1300 and 1300H: Global Politics

multipal national flags forming a globeSemester | 3 credit units

What are the causes of war? What are the conditions in which people from different parts of the world can work together to tackle common problems such as climate change? This course provides you with the basic theoretical perspectives to address important issues in world politics such as these, and also covers other topics including economic relations, the role of international organizations, and human rights, so that, at the end of the course, you will be able to critically analyze the phenomena in world politics as an informed citizen.

GEC soc sci human, natural, and economic resources and diversity global studies course.

Prereq for 1300H: Honors standing, or permission of instructor. 

Archived syllabus: Summer 2013 [pdf]


2150 and 2150H: Voters and Elections

Vote ButtonSemester | 3 credit units

Why do people vote?  Are non-voters completely disengaged, or simply engaged in other kinds of political activities that they find more satisfying and more likely to affect their lives?  This course examines recent research into voting behavior, the election context of voting, and political participation. We will learn why people are turned off of politics, and consider what kinds of changes might be necessary to rekindle the interest of voters and maintain the legitimacy of elections in the future.  

GE soc sci indivs and groups course. SS Admin Cond course.

Prereq for 2150H: Honors standing, or permission of instructor. 

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2013 [pdf]


2300 and 2300H: American Foreign Policy

President Obama shaking hands with a leader of a Middle Eastern Country.Semester | 3 credit units

Today, the United States possesses unrivaled power and influence in international politics. How is this power used? How is U.S. foreign policy developed and implemented? What interests should the United States pursue in key policy areas like terrorism, economic globalization and weapons proliferation? The goal of this course is to equip students with the knowledge and analytical skills needed to answer these questions and to critically evaluate the role of the United States in the world.

GE soc sci orgs and polities and diversity global studies course.

Prereq for 2300H: Honors standing, or permission of instructor. 

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2013 [pdf] 


2400 and 2400H: Introduction to Political Theory

a bust Semester | 3 credit units

Justice, it is said, requires giving people what they are due – but what exactly are people due? Does justice encompass freedom and equality, or are these often conflicting political values? If so, how do we trade them off against each other? How should a just state distribute the goods that we all need, such as rights and liberties, educational opportunities, and wealth? In addition to studying great philosophical answers to such questions, we will apply those answers to live debates about pressing political questions, for example, regulating sexual conduct, economic markets, affirmative action, environmental sustainability, immigration, and global justice.

GE soc sci orgs and polities course. SS Admis Cond course.

Prereq for 2400H: Honors standing, or permission of instructor. 

Archived syllabus: 2400H Autumn 2012 [pdf] 


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American Politics courses

1105: American Political Controversies

Donkey and Elephant in suits boxingSemester | 3 credit units

Contemporary challenges to fulfilling the promise of American democracy, including such issues as poverty, discrimination, education, health, environment, and public participation.


2150 and 2150H: Voters and Elections

Vote ButtonSemester | 3 credit units

Why do people vote?  Are non-voters completely disengaged, or simply engaged in other kinds of political activities that they find more satisfying and more likely to affect their lives?  This course examines recent research into voting behavior, the election context of voting, and political participation. We will learn why people are turned off of politics, and consider what kinds of changes might be necessary to rekindle the interest of voters and maintain the legitimacy of elections in the future.  

GE soc sci indivs and groups course. SS Admin Cond course.

Prereq for 2150H: Honors standing, or permission of instructor. 

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2013 [pdf]


2367 and 2367H: Contemporary Issues in American Politics

bronze bald eagle statue in front of the American flagSemester | 3 credit units

Discussion of and critical writing about controversies in contemporary American politics; aimed at fostering analytical abilities in reading comprehension, oral, and written expression.Topics vary.

Prereq for 2367: 101 or 300, and English 110 or 111, and Soph standing; or permission of instructor. GE writing and comm course: level 2 and soc sci orgs and polities course.

Prereq for 2367H: Honors standing, and 101 or 300, and English 110 or 111, and Soph standing; or permission of instructor. GE writing and comm course: level 2.

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 367.01


3100: American Politics and Policy Making

Image for policy courseSemester | 3 credit units

An examination of American political institutions and the policy-making process. 

Not open to students with credit for 1100 or 1300. 


3115: Introduction to Policy Process

someone highlighting the word policySemester | 3 credit units

This course provides students with an introductory overview of the policy-making process, paying particular attention to the actors who play a pivotal role in crafting public policies and the institutions through which they interact. Note that this is not a course on policy analysis. Rather, it is a course about the politics behind successful policy change (and the pitfalls of policy failure). The objective of the course is to encourage students to think like strategic political operatives, who can take idealistic policy goals and design strategies to translate these goals into law.

Archived syllabus: Spring 2014 [pdf] 


3170: Political Psychology

Political Psychology ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Introduces students to political psychology, its development from parent disciplines, its topics and problems, its research results and methods, and their applications to current affairs.


3905: Political Manipulation

man in a suit with an Amican Flag tie and money in his breast pocketSemester | 3 credit units

Examines how political actors manipulate the rules and the salience and availability of information to shift political outcomes in their favor.


3912: Political Leadership

John Boehner Semester | 3 credit units

Establishment of a working definition of political leadership, investigation of recruitment of leaders, analysis of major functions political leaders perform, and assessment of consequences of political leadership.


4110: The American Presidency

Barack Obama Semester | 3 credit units

Political Science 4110 The American Presidency introduces the student to the state of the art in contemporary scholarship on the executive branch in the United States. To coincide with the 2016 presidential primary elections, the Spring 2016 offering of the course will focus especially on presidential campaigns. By the end of the course, successful students will have mastered a range of topics, including the historical and contemporary party nomination processes, the role of campaign organizations and outside interests in presidential elections, and voter decision making. 

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 501


4115: Bureaucracy and Public Policy

Bureaucracy and Public Policy ImageSemester | 3 credit units

This course provides students with an in-depth understanding of how statutes are implemented by the U.S. federal government. A central theme of the course is that, contrary to popular perception, much lawmaking takes place outside the hallways and chambers of Congress and occurs instead in executive agencies of the federal bureaucracy and in the courts. This course examines the often-neglected black box of bureaucratic rulemaking, with a consideration of their role in several areas of public policy implementation. 

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2013 [pdf] 


4120: U.S. Congress

U.S. Congress in sessionSemester | 3 credit units

Analysis of legislatures and legislators, with a focus on the U.S. Congress and some attention to state legislatures and representative assemblies in other countries.

GE soc sci orgs and polities course.

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 517


4125: American State Politics

American State Politics ImageSemester | 3 credit units

States play a critical - although often underappreciated - role in American democracy. They help pay for essential public services, administer safety net programs for vulnerable residents, and often serve as a source of innovation in public policy, generating new ideas that eventually become adopted by the national government. In this course, we will examine state politics and policymaking in a comparative context, paying particularly close attention to the importance of state institutions, the role of voters, and the intergovernmental dynamics across and within states.

Prereq: 1100 (101) or 3100 (300) or permission of instructor. 

Archived syllabus: Spring 2015 [pdf] 


4126: Ohio Politics

the state of OhioSemester | 3 credit units

This course examines the formal institutions of Ohio government - executive, legislative, and judicial - and the political processes and actors that shape Ohio politics and politics - elections, political parties and interest groups. Students will gain a basic knowledge of the nuts and bolts of Ohio government, and should be able to analyze the performance of Ohio's government, explaining how and why Ohio government has performed effectively and ineffectively. 

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2013 [pdf] 


4127 and 4127H: Governing Urban America

Governing Urban AmericaSemester | 3 credit units

In this course, students will watch HBO's "The Wire" and complete readings that address the key themes of the show. In particular, we will focus on: (1) the major problems facing urban communities; (2) the economic, social and political forces that have shaped their development; (3) the structure and role of government in addressing urban problems; and (4) the major participants and stakeholders in city politics. 

Prereq for 4127H: Honors standing. Not open to students with credit for 4127.

Archived syllabus: Spring 2015 [pdf] 


4130: Law and Politics

scale and gavelSemester | 3 credit units

This class examines the intersection of law, politics, and political science. We will look at a variety of major issues — ranging from voter ID laws and voting machine technology to campaign finance and gerrymandering — that affect the way that elections and politics work. We will also carefully analyze the legal decisions that govern the electoral process and the academic research aimed at influencing policymakers and judges. Students will need to complete the assigned readings on time, come to class ready to discuss the material, work in groups to compose a legal brief, and argue their case before a mock Supreme Court.

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2015 [pdf]


4132H: Supreme Court Decision Making

Supreme Court JusticesSemester | 3 credit units

This course is about explanation of the decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court. Students will use theories and explanations for Court decisions to conduct a research project and predict justices' positions in current cases.

Prereq: Honors standing or permission of instructor. 

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2013 [pdf]


4135: American Constitutional Law

American ConstitutionSemester | 3 credit units

The Constitution and the decisions of the Supreme Court justices who interpret it have defined the contours of government power in the United States for over 220 years. As we will see, however, the precise scope and nature of that power are not always clear. Legitimate questions arise about whether particular governmental entities have the authority to undertake specific kinds of actions. Moreover, conflicts arise between the branches of government (separation of powers) or between the national and state governments (federalism) concerning the appropriate balance of power among different governmental bodies.
 
In this course we will examine the constitutional powers of our national institutions: The judicial, legislative, and executive branches. We will also look at how our constitutional structure limits state and national governmental actors. Finally, we will consider how some of the specific tools that the United States government has to address national problems have evolved over time through Supreme Court decision making.
 

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2013 [pdf] 


4136: Civil Liberties

Flags waving in front of the Capital BuildingSemester | 3 credit units

An examination of the civil liberties decisions by American courts, their legal and political bases, and their effects on government and society.

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 519


4137: The Politics of Legal Decision Making

gavel on booksSemester | 3 credit units

An examination of the literature relating social-science theories and research to the law, focusing on the criminal justice system.


4138: Women and the Law

Woman on a poster saying "We can do it"Semester | 3 credit units

This course examines legal issues that are especially relevant to women, issues that range from abortion to employment discrimination. We will consider this set of issues because of their importance in themselves and as a means to illuminate the workings of government and politics. The course material will focus on three aspects of these issues: the content of major legal rules affecting women and the development of those rules over time; the forces that shape those legal rules; and the impact of those rules on the situations of women and on society generally. 

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2013 [pdf] 


4139: Gun Politics

a gun an bullets sitting on an American FlagSemester | 3 credit units

 The phrase “gun politics” refers to the views of different people within a particular country as to what degree of control (increased gun rights vs. greater gun control) should be enforced upon the private ownership and use of firearms, to what extent firearms ownership influences crime, and how best to achieve a balance of power between the individual and the state.
In America today there are some 300+ million firearms in private hands, amounting to one weapon for every American. Two in five American homes house guns. On the one hand, most gun owners are law-abiding citizens who believe they have a constitutional right to bear arms. On the other, a great many people believe gun control to be our best chance at reducing violent crime.
This course will examine gun control through historical, legal, and sociological lenses.  Upon completion of the course students will have a better understanding of how truly multi-faceted and complex the issue is and, thus, why consensus is so difficult to achieve.

Archived syllabus: Spring 2015 [pdf] 


4140: Black Politics

on the left Pres. Obama in front of the White House, on the left Martin Luther King Jr. pointing.Semester | 3 credit units

Economic, political, and social constraints on the development of black political power; the efforts made by black people in recent times to organize for effective political action.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 504 or AfAmASt 4504 (504). Cross-listed in AfAmSt.

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 504


4145: Asian American Politics

Asian American holding both the Chineese and American FlagsSemester | 3 credit units

An examination of the experiences of Asian Americans in the political process, including public opinion, mass political behavior, elite politics, and contemporary policy debates.

GE diversity soc div in the US course.


4150: American Political Parties

An elephant and Donkey in a ringSemester | 3 credit units

This course will study the role and behavior of the three parts of American political parties – the party organization, the party in the electorate (the voters supporting the parties), and the party in government (party members in the three branches of government) – and their interrelationships and competition throughout American history.  With particular attention to the upcoming 2016 election campaigns, it will focus on how American parties have changed in recent years and what these changes mean for American politics.  

GE soc sci orgs and polities course.

Archived syllabus: Spring 2014 [pdf] 


4152: Campaign Politics

balloons, and a vote button in front of the American Flag.Semester | 3 credit units

The organization and strategy of American political campaigns; practical politics seen in the light of knowledge about political behavior and public opinion.


4160: Public Opinion

Public Opinion ImageSemester | 3 credit units

What is public opinion? Where does it come from? How does it change? What does it matter? In this course we will attempt to answer these questions using the results of scientific studies and our own insights. We will explore the landscape of opinion on a variety of political topics, attempting to find out what the public thinks about these issues, and more importantly, why they think the way they do. We will also try to find out how a person's political opinions influence their behavior, and whether or not political leaders pay any attention to, or manipulate, "the will of the public." 

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2014 [pdf] 


4162: Religion and American Politics

Religion and American Politics ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Investigates the relationship between politics and religion in America, considering historical context and influence of religion on political culture, coalitions and political behavior.


4164: Political Participation and Voting Behavior

Political Participation and Voting Behavior ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Why do some people participate in politics, while others choose to abstain? How do people decide for whom to vote – and are they informed enough to make this decision? In this course, we will delve into key controversies in political participation and voting behavior in the United States. In particular, we will focus upon topics such as: who votes, who doesn’t, and why? What encourages participation, and what suppresses it? What role has the Internet and other new technologies had in changing the way we interact with the political world? Throughout the semester, we will challenge the conventional understanding of these issues by focusing upon leading empirical evidence, as well as the testimonies of several experts in the field.

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2014 [pdf]


4165: The Mass Media and American Politics

The Mass Media and American Politics ImageSemester | 3 credit units

We like to think of ourselves as well-informed citizens - yet almost everything we know about politics we know only secondhand. The media acts as our only window into the political world, and as such, understanding how that window works is of central importance to understanding the actions and beliefs of both our leaders and ourselves. Students will understand how modern American political messages are designed, how they influence the public, and how this changes the behavior of the political elite.

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2012 [pdf] 


4170: Gender and Politics

Gender and Politics ImageSemester | 3 credit units

This course examines the role of gender in the political process. The course starts by considering the historical and theoretical perspectives of women in politics, then moves to consider women as voters and consumers of political information. Finally, when women are elected to office, they provide a unique and important perspective to policy, and the course will consider these political debates before finishing the semester. 

Archived syllabus: Summer 2014 [pdf] 


4175: Women, Government, and Public Policy

Women, Government, and Public Policy ImageSemester | 3 credit units

An examination of policymaking on gender-related issues and the impact of women in government.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 513 or WGSSt 4513 (513). Cross-listed in WGSSt.


4190: Political Decision Making and Public Policy

Political Decision Making and Public Policy ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Analysis of decision-making processes considering welfare, education, economic, and environmental policy.


4891 and 4891H: Topics in American Politics

Topics in American Politics ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Selected topics in American politics; topics vary by section and instructor.

Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs.

Prereq for 4891H: Honors standing or permission of instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of 12 cr hrs.

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2012 [pdf]


4910 and 4910H: Business-Government Relations

waitress with the image of the Capital Building dome in front of herSemester | 3 credit units

Explores the relationships between business and government, including topics ranging from regulatory politics and legislative lobbying, to trade poliitics and multinational corporations, to business ethics.

Prereq for 4910H: Honors standing or permission of instructor. 

Archived syllabus: Spring 2015 [pdf] 


4920 and 4920H: Politics in Film & Television

Image for Politics in Film courseSemester | 3 credit units

Political films and TV shows often convey an understanding of the political world. How films portray the political process may influence society's attitudes toward politicians and government. Students will compare the portrayal of politics in film and TV to the reality as understood through political science. This is not part of the Film Studies major and does not count toward requirements. 

Prereq for 4920: Not open to students with credit for 4920H.

Prereq for 4920H: Honors standing. Not open to students with credit for 4920. 

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2014 [pdf] 


5124: Urban Politics

Image for Urban Politics courseSemester | 3 credit units

The study of political problems facing the cities, including community power, poverty, welfare, urban renewal, urban education, law enforcement, and violence.


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Comparative Politics courses

3220: Politics of the Developing World

a tibe carring containers on their headsSemester | 3 credit units

The international system is characterized by tremendous inequality, and the gaps between the poorest and wealthiest countries commonly grow larger and larger.  This class asks, given this, what is a developing country to do?  That is, what are the political strategies, institutions, and problems that shape whether rapid economic and social development is possible, or whether poverty, marginalization, and malgovernance are likely to remain endemic.  The course covers experiences selected from around the developing world (from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and even the European periphery), and is organized around three periods: (1) the post-war boom from the 1945 to the mid-1970s, (2) the return of free-market economics in the 1980s-90s, and (3) the contemporary era for financial globalization and crisis.  This is a class about the politics of development, and no formal economics training is presumed.

GE soc sci human, nat, and econ resources and diversity global studies course.

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2015 [pdf] 


3596 and 3596H: Nationalism and Ethnicity

Image for Nationalism and Ethnicity courseSemester | 3 credit units

Nationalism and Ethnicity explores identity and the politics of belonging — especially nationalism and ethnicity — around the world. Students will learn about where these identities come from and how they are formed, as well as the impacts of nationalism and ethnicity on how democracy functions, whether development occurs, and where we see violence and civil war. The course also allows students to gain first hand experience with conducting research: students will collect original ethnographic data on campus and learn how to analyze it using qualitative research practices,  as well as learn how to analyze public opinion data on nationalism and ethnicity using quantitative methods. The course will be discussion (rather than lecture) based.

4200: Politics of Modern Democracies

Politics of Modern Democracies ImageSemester | 3 credit units

A survey of the basic institutions and politics of modern democracies, with emphasis on representativeness and democratic stability.

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 535


4210: Politics of European Integration

Politics of European Integration ImageSemester | 3 credit units

A survey of the politics of European integration since the Second World War; topics include theories of political integration, institutions of the EU, its policies and decision making, common currency, and internal and external relations.


4212: Politics of Southern Europe

Southern European Politics ImageSemester | 3 credit units

This course presents a comprehensive overview of government and politics in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Specifically, the course will be organized around two complementary sets of questions: what were the causes of political instability and the weakness of democratic institutions and practices in the past, and how might the legacy of those political divisions affect the functioning of the current democratic regimes? 

GE soc sci orgs and polities and diversity global studies course.

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2014 [pdf] 


4214: Politics of Northern Europe

Northern European Politics ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Survey of politics in selected countries of Northern Europe, including Britain, France, Germany, and the smaller European democracies; themes include social welfare, corporatism, parties, and party systems.

Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs.


4216: Politics of Eastern Europe

East European Politics ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Systematic comparison of the sources, dynamics, and outcomes of political, economic, and social transformations in the former Communist countries of Eastern Europe.

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 530


4218: Russian Politics

Russian Politics ImageSemester | 3 credit units

This course will give students an introduction to the politics of the Russian Federation, with emphasis on democratization, economic reform, institutional development, elites, mass behavior, and ideology. Is "democracy" evolving in Russia? If so, how, and what are the impediments to it? Is a "civil society" being formed in Russia? Is Russia becoming a nation of laws with properly functioning political and legal institutions? Or is Russia reverting to its "Soviet" past? 

Archived Syllabus: Autumn 2013 [pdf]


4219: European Political Development

European Political Development ImageSemester | 3 credit units

This course examines the origins of contemporary crisis in Europe.  Topics include the politics of immigration and the rise of radical far-right parties; the reinvention of social democracy and the resulting counter-revolution of the far-left; a financial crisis that has crippled some countries while allowing others to pick up the pieces relatively quickly; and the increasingly contentious issue of how to incorporate women equally into political and economic life. 


4232: Contemporary Politics of South Asia

Contemporary Politics of South Asia ImageSemester | 3 credit units

A survey of the politics of South Asia since 1947; topics include the development and consolidation of democracy, the role of social cleavages in politics, and economic development and reform.

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 539


4235: Japanese Politics

Japanese Politics ImageSemester | 3 credit units

The government and politics of Japan, with special emphasis given to the impact of cultural and social patterns on the processes of government with imported political institutions.


4236: Southeast Asian Politics

Southeast Asian Politics ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Government and politics in the Philippines, Indonesia, Indo-China, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma; problems of this region in relation to world politics.

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 636


4240: Latin American Politics

Latin American Politics ImageSemester | 3 credit units

This course serves as in introduction to Latin American politics, and it is organized thematically to cover a broad swath of countries. The course provides a historical overview and theoretical debates surrounding many political, economic, and social actors and events in the region. It also analyzes the quality of democracy and the current problems and political developments Latin America. Students will engage critically, analytically, and thoughtfully with theories in political science and developments in the scholarship of Latin American Politics.

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2015 [pdf] 


4241: Special Topics in Latin American Politics

Special Topics in Latin American Politics ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Examination of contemporary political challenges confronting Latin America in the twenty-first century, including globalization, poverty, inequality, and democratic consolidation. Topics vary. 

Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs.


4242: Incomplete Democracies

Incomplete Democracies ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Explores various forms of violence including electoral violence and political assassination, organized crime, police brutality, and other human rights abuses in Latin America.

Prereq: Soph standing or above. Not open to students with credit for 542 or IntStds 4242 (542). Cross-listed in IntStds.


4249: Domestic Politics of International Conflict

Domestic Politics of International Cooperation ImageSemester | 3 credit units

War changes the relationship that people have with land.  From Afghanistan to Syria, international conflict uproots millions of citizens each year, and many are forced to resettle in places with few social ties or claims to land.  Nearly one-third of the countries in the world still have unexploded ordnance left over from war, and thousands of people—typically farmers, shepherds, and children—die from UXO-related injury each year. This class will draw from research across the social and natural sciences to understand the politics of land in conflict-affected, fragile states.  How does war change land, in terms of distribution of and access to natural resources?  What are the different ways that governments can distribute land to migrants, and what are the long-term consequences?  
 
To start, we explore a fundamental premise of political geography: that human acts occur within a network of relationships, processes, and systems that are ecological as they are cultural.  Next, we grapple with the theoretical legacies of war on land and development from political science, anthropology, economics, and evolutionary biology.  For the research essay, students choose one post-conflict country and explain how one aspect of war has changed the surrounding landscape and/or people’s farming behavior.
 

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 579


4250 and 4250H: African Politics

Image for African Politics course

Semester | 3 credit units

An introductory survey of Sub-Saharan African politics from the pre-colonial period to the contemporary era. It will examine the common themes, issues, and trends that shape politics and development across forty-nine countries. Students will gain an understanding of how context shapes political behavior and how historical and political forces have influenced African politics. 

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 4597.02 (Au13, African Politics), 4250H, or AfAmASt 4250. GE soc sci orgs and polities and diversity global studies course. Cross-listed in AfAmASt. 


4270: The Canadian Political System

The Canadian Political System ImageSemester | 3 credit units

The Canadian political system, including institutional, behavioral, socio-economic, cultural, and ideological components, often in comparison with the United States' political system.

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 527


4280: State and Economy

State and Economy ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Introduction to comparative political economy; relations between the state and the economy, politics and markets, and democracy and capitalism; the consequences of state intervention.

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 580


4282: The Politics of Income Inequality

The Politics of Income Inequality ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Introduces fundamental politics of income inequality and redistribution, including social policy development, redistributional policy differences between countries, and popularity of differing welfare programs.


4285: The Comparative Politics of the Welfare State

The Comparative Politics of the Welfare State ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Analyzes different kinds of welfare capitalism including social, economic, and political considerations shaping welfare policy; and contemporary welfare reform as an exercise in reallocation, reogranization, and budget-cutting.


4597.02: Political Problems of the Contemporary World

group of malnourishe children Semester | 3 credit units

Critical problems of industrialized and developing societies, including governmental legitimacy, conflict and violence, social welfare, equality, and economic development. Topic varies by semester. 

Current topic: Conflict and Development. Over the past ten years, the United States has led major nation-building efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, while contributing to scores of stabilization, development, and peacebuilding missions in fragile and conflict-affected regions around the world. Common to these diverse missions is the attempt to lay the foundations for long-term growth in areas that still suffer from the threat of violence. The course will examine these topics with questions such as: What interventions are most successful at enhancing human wellbeing and creating economic opportunities in such environments? And which ones can make things worse by distorting incentives or disturbing fragile governing bargains? What lessons have been learned about how to improve governance, enhance stability, and support economic development in conflict zones?

The ultimate purpose of this course is to provide you with an understanding of the current explanations of state-building and economic development, and the background knowledge and tools with which to evaluate them in fragile and conflict-affected countries.  Because these explanations, or theories, are designed to apply generally—i.e., they are not restricted by time and place—this course will be very broad in its empirical scope.   In readings and in lecture, we will examine the legacies of war and the best practices in post-conflict reconstruction across time and space, including Cambodia in the 1980s, post-genocide Rwanda, and present-day Afghanistan.  

4597.02H: Political Problems of the Contemporary World

group of malnourishe children Semester | 3 credit units

Critical problems of industrialized and developing societies, including governmental legitimacy, conflict and violence, social welfare, equality, and economic development. Topic varies by semester. 

Current topic: Illicit Markets and Organized Crime. Despite efforts by states to prevent trade in certain goods, illicit markets thrive in a variety of contexts. To make sense of the prevalence of such markets, as well as their impacts on important social, political, and economic issues, this course provides an overview of the development and organization of domestic and transnational markets for illegal goods. This course examines social scientific and popular work on the development of markets for various illegal goods, as well as the ways in which black market trafficking of humans, natural resources, drugs, weapons, and protection affect outcomes such as order, violence, welfare, and development.

Prereq: Jr or Sr standing. GE cross-disciplinary seminar.


4892 and 4892H: Topics in Comparative Politics

Topics in Comparative Politics ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Selected topics in comparative politics; vary by section and instructor.

Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs.

Prereq for 4892H: Honors standing or permission of instructor. 


4940: The Politics of Immigration

Immigration SignsSemester | 3 credit units

Provides overview of international migration phenomenon: patterns of international migration, reasons for immigration, acceptance of immigrants by governments and public, dynamics of anti-immigrant sentiment.


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International Relations courses

2300 and 2300H: American Foreign Policy

President Obama shaking hands with a leader of a Middle Eastern Country.Semester | 3 credit units

Today, the United States possesses unrivaled power and influence in international politics. How is this power used? How is U.S. foreign policy developed and implemented? What interests should the United States pursue in key policy areas like terrorism, economic globalization and weapons proliferation? The goal of this course is to equip students with the knowledge and analytical skills needed to answer these questions and to critically evaluate the role of the United States in the world.

GE soc sci orgs and polities and diversity global studies course.

Prereq for 2300H: Honors standing, or permission of instructor. 

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2013 [pdf] 


3910: Identity Politics

Semester | 3 credit units

The concept of identity is a central one in the social sciences. Each of us possesses a number of identities – national, ethnic, religious, racial, gender, sexual, professional, etc. – that are extremely influential in determining how we perceive, think, and act. Unsurprisingly, then, all of the social sciences, and political science in particular, have had to contend with the concept of identity. This course is meant to introduce you to the concepts and theories political scientists use to make sense of identity politics. In addition, this course seeks to enable you to appreciate the impact of identity dynamics in history, contemporary events, and most importantly, in your everyday lives. The ability to identify and analyze the origins, reproduction, and effects of the various identities that compose the social matrix within which we live is an important capacity that anyone who is interested in becoming an agent of change in his or her society should possess. 


4300: Theories of International Relations

Theories of International Relations ImageSemester | 3 credit units

This course introduces students to the major theoretical issues and paradigms in the field of international relations, including realism, liberalism, and constructivism. These perspectives will be used as theoretical lenses to examine the current age of US primacy, how others are reacting to it, and what comes next. 

Prereq: 1300 (145). 

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2014 [pdf] 


4305: International Theory

Image for International Theory courseSemester | 3 credit units

‘International theory’ is concerned with theoretical reflection on the explanatory, ethical, and legal aspects of international politics.  In this course we will focus initially on the explanatory aspect, but with growing emphasis on ethics and law as the semester progresses.  Part I deals with the traditional problem of international life, of maintaining peace in an anarchic system among states relatively equal in power.  Part II calls the assumption of anarchy into question by looking at hierarchical structures in the international system between the North and South.  Part III addresses the rise of the individual as a subject of world politics, and especially the ethical challenges of global governance that this creates.  Throughout, an effort will be made to illustrate the relevance of theoretical debates for the real world, but in the end this is a course about ideas not information, and students will be evaluated accordingly.


4310: Security Policy

Security Policy ImageSemester | 3 credit units

National security and military policy issues and trends since 1945; covers containment, deterrence, Vietnam, nuclear weapons, terrorism, and globalization.

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 552


4315: International Security and the Causes of War

International Security and the Causes of War ImageSemester | 3 credit units

This course examines various issues regarding international conflict and cooperation, including theories of strategic interaction and the causes of war.

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2012 [pdf] 


4318: The Politics of International Terrorism

The Politics of International Terrorism ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Examines international terrorism's concepts and actors, the motivations and causes of terrorism, the experience of the United States, and tensions between freedoms and security.

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 548


4320: Strategies for War and Peace

Strategies of War and Peace ImageSemester | 3 credit units

This course examines common strategies in foreign policy and the factors that explain why countries pursue them. It pays special attention to the ways in which countries seek to affect change and advance their interests, and the implications these have for war and peace. The course examines both the track-records of different strategies and the conditions under which they have been found to work. It also covers the different ways in which the process of decision-making has been understood and explores what is known about the factors that have the biggest impact on the course countries follow.

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2015 [pdf] 


4326: Russian Foreign Policy

Russian Foreign Policy ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Basic concepts about, and choices in, Russian foreign policy; development and presentation of patterns of relations with key nations; major problems in future relationships.

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 555


4327: Politics in the Middle East

Politics in the Middle East ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Politics of Arab-Israeli relations, Perisan Gulf, Islamic fundamentalism, and oil; processes of change and their effects on governments and international relations.

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 546


4330: Global Governance

Global Governance ImageSemester | 3 credit units

In the past two decades, global governance has emerged as a central challenge in world politics. This course will examing the emergence and various forms of global governance, including questions of legitimation, democratization, and enforcement; as well as collective security, humanitarian intervention, and proliferation. The course will focus particularly on the ways in which global governance relates to violence and the use of force. 

Archived syllabus: Spring 2013 [pdf] 


4331: The United Nations System

The United Nations System ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Activities and potential of the United Nations system in promoting economic well-being, environmental management, resource sharing, social justice, and control of violence.

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 551


4332: Politics of Globalization

Politics of Globalization ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Examines globalization's origins, impacts on human welfare, and political conflicts that arise from it, including actions of governments, multinational corporations, and the anti-globalization movement.


4335: International Environmental Politics

International Environmental Politics ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Theories and debates over sustainable development, environment, and security, and effectiveness of international regimes with a focus on international fisheries management and global climate change.


4380 and 4380H: Political Analysis of International Economic Relations

a globe sitting on currency from multiple countriesSemester | 3 credit units

Many important facets of our daily lives are influenced by the global economy (trade, currency trading, capital flows). This course examines the relationship between political and economic events in the international system and the manner in which governments seek both to shape the global economy and respond effectively to the constraints and opportunities it provides. Topics include global interdependence, inequality, scarce resources, and periphery nation strategies.

Prereq for 4380H: Honors standing or permission of instructor. 

Archived Syllabus: Autumn 2013 [pdf]


4381: Comparative International Political Economy

Comparative International Political Economy ImageSemester | 3 credit units

A survey of foreign economic policies followed by European and other advanced industrial economies since the Napoleonic Wars, with a special emphasis on Britain, France, Germany, the United states, and Japan.

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 554


4597.01 and 4597.01H: International Cooperation and Conflict

UN delegates in sessionSemester | 3 credit units

An examination of the relationships industrialized countries have with each other and developing nations; focus on potential for cooperation and conflict.

Prereq for 4597.01: Jr or Sr standing. GE cross-disciplinary seminar.

Prereq for 4597.01H: Honors and Jr or Sr standing. GE cross-disciplinary seminar.

Archived syllabus: Spring 2014 [pdf] 


4893 and 4893H: Topics in International Politics

Topics in International Politics ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Selected topics in international politics; topics vary by section and instructor.

Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs.

Prereq for 4893H: Honors standing or permission of instructor

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2013 [pdf] 


4895 and 4895H: Topics in Public Policy

the globe in the shape of an appleSemester | 3 credit units

Selected topics in international politics; topics vary by section and instructor.

 Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs.

Prereq for 4895H: Honors standing or permission of instructor. 


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Political Theory courses

2400 and 2400H: Introduction to Political Theory

a bust Semester | 3 credit units

Justice, it is said, requires giving people what they are due – but what exactly are people due? Does justice encompass freedom and equality, or are these often conflicting political values? If so, how do we trade them off against each other? How should a just state distribute the goods that we all need, such as rights and liberties, educational opportunities, and wealth? In addition to studying great philosophical answers to such questions, we will apply those answers to live debates about pressing political questions, for example, regulating sexual conduct, economic markets, affirmative action, environmental sustainability, immigration, and global justice.

GE soc sci orgs and polities course. SS Admis Cond course.

Prereq for 2400H: Honors standing, or permission of instructor. 

Archived syllabus: 2400H Autumn 2012 [pdf] 


3420: Political Theories of Democracy

Statue of LibertySemester | 3 credit units

An examination of theories of democracy, focusing on normative and descriptive dilemmas such as participation versus liberty in democratic societies.

Prereq: 2400 (210). 


3430: Political Theories of Freedom

protester holding up a sign that says "Freedom"Semester | 3 credit units

This course provides a survey of the various ways in which the value of human freedom has been invoked and pursued in political life. Topics of discussion will include the relationship between freedom and democracy, between “political” and “market” freedom, and between freedom and the necessary conditions for its enjoyment. Anarchist, feminist, liberal, libertarian, postmodern, republican and socialist perspectives will be considered.

Prereq: 2100 (210). 

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2014 [pdf] 


3440: Political Theories of Justice

The Scales of Justice statueSemester | 3 credit units

Focuses on debates among political theorists about the meaning of justice; "What is justice?" and "How might we order our world justly?"

Prereq: 2400 (210). 


3450: Ethics and Public Policy

a bronze scale sitting on an ethics bookSemester | 3 credit units

Contemporary approaches to public policy evaluation and their ethical foundations, including efficiency, security, rights, welfare, and equity. This course will give students the basic knowledge of contemporary public policy approaches and will provide critical tools to evaluate the ethical implications of specific policy positions. 

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2013 [pdf] 


3460: Global Justice

Image for Global Justice courseSemester | 3 credit units

Is it possible to achieve global justice? What would such a world look like and what does this tell us about how to live today in our own unjust world? These important questions motivate this political theory course about the possibility of justice between states and among the people of the world. Our first unit considers leading analytic frameworks, starting from Kant’s influential 1795 essay Perpetual Peace before considering a variety of contemporary approaches. To show that these questions are not idle or utopian, the course examines particular issue areas relevant to political debates today. Subsequent units look closely at poverty, trade, and sweatshops; global environmental issues; immigration, indigenous people, and the legacy of colonialism; and global governance and accountability. Throughout, we will connect these issues to each other as well as to newsworthy developments in global politics today.


4411: Ancient and Medieval Political Thought

Ancient and Medieval Political Thought ImageSemester | 3 credit units

This course will focus on a number of foundational texts in western political thought; texts that come to us from ancient Athens, republican and imperial Rome, the Christian middle ages, and the Italian Renaissance. Although they were written in times and places that are as different from each other as they are from our own, these works deal with a set of themes that remain central in modern political life, including the nature of political wisdom, the struggle between civic virtue and self-interest, and the relationship between politics and religion. 

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 470 or 6411 (670).

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2014 [pdf] 


4414: Contemporary Political Thought

Contemporary Political Thought ImageSemester | 3 credit units

An advanced undergraduate-level survey of significant debates in contemporary political theory.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 6414 (673) or 473.


4420H: Debating Democracy

Debating Democracy ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Intensive examination of theories of democracy, focusing on normative and descriptive dilemmas such as participation versus liberty in democratic societies.

Prereq: Honors standing or permission of instructor.


4450H: Politics and Ethics

Politics and Ethics ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Explores the relationship between ethical action and political reality, including the problem of "dirty hands" in political theory and the conflicts among ethical frameworks that appear to give rise to it.

Prereq: Honors standing or permission of instructor. 


4455: Human Rights

Human Rights ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Examines human rights, including the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights; coercive enforcement of rights; as well as hunger, violence, persecution, and economic rights.


4460: American Political Ideas

American Political Ideas ImageSemester | 3 credit units

An analysis of American ideas on law and government, authority and liberty, oligarchy and democracy.

Prereq: 2400 (210).

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 573


4465: Feminist Political Theory

Image for Feminist Political Theory course

Semester | 3 credit units

Examines concepts in feminist political theory including the articulation of feminism, the subjects of feminist theory, the relation of race, class and sexuality to gender experience, and the use of feminist theory to transform conceptions of justice. 

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for WGSSt 4465. Cross-listed in WGSSt. 


4894 and 4894H: Topics in Political Theory

booksSemester | 3 credit units

Selected topics in international politics; topics vary by section and instructor.

Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs.

Prereq for 4894H: Honors standing or permission of instructor. 


5412: Early Modern Political Thought

Early Modern Political Thought ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Why do we have government? What are the proper limits of its authority? What should we do when its demands conflict with our moral or religious beliefs? These questions lie at the center of early modern political thought, and gave rise to the idea of the “social contract.” The problems addressed by these thinkers include the problem of defining the conditions under which the exercise of political power is legitimate, striking the right balance between individual freedom and the common good, and controlling a selfish and potentially violent human nature. Taken together, these texts provide the theoretical underpinnings for modern liberal democracies.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 471 or 6412 (671).


5413: 19th Century Political Thought

image for political theory courseSemester | 3 credit units

In the 19th century the hierarchies that had traditionally dominated European politics were collapsing: kings had been overthrown or seen their powers sharply limited, feudal aristocracies were dying off, the working class was enfranchised, and democratic government was becoming the order of the day. In this course we will examine some of the earliest and most influential attempts to wrestle with the practical implications of living in a world where people were not only considered equal in theory, but were becoming equal in fact. Topics of discussion will include the relationship between liberty and equality, individualism and conformity, alienation and exploitation, and morality and power. 


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Methods courses

3549: Survey Research in Political Science

Image for Survey Research courseSemester | 3 credit units

The conducting of public opinion polls. 


3780: Data Literacy and Data Visualization

Image for Data Literacy courseSemester | 3 credit units

Most social science debates can be addressed with data, and sources of data are growing exponentially. This course introduces students to tools of data analysis and principles behind their use in the context of social-science applications. 


4192: Policy Analysis

Policy Analysis ImageSemester | 3 credit units

An analysis of the policy process emphasizing the determinants of public policy, theories of public choice, and the implementation, impact, and evaluation of policy decisions.


4553: Game Theory for Political Scientists

Game Theory for Political Scientists ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Provides entry-level understanding of the basic concepts of game theory and how these concepts are applied to the study of political phenomena.

Archived Syllabus - Quarter Course: 587


4780: Thesis Research Colloquium

image for thesis colloquiumSemester | 3 credit units

This research colloquium is designed for students who are planning to graduate with Research Distinction or Honors Research Distinction as part of their BA or BS in Political Science or their BA in World Politics. The colloquium is targeted to students at the earliest stages of thesis research, generally second semester juniors, and gives them the opportunity to explore in depth a topic of their choice in Political Science, broadly understood. Over the course of the semester, students learn how to formulate a viable research question, determine the appropriate method for investigating the question, conduct good research, provide constructive feedback to colleagues, and, finally, to turn their research into a term paper of 10,000-12,000 words. 


4781 and 4781H: Techniques of Political Analysis

graphes and stock chartsSemester | 3 credit units

This course is an introduction to the ways in which social scientists leverage quantitative data to answer questions about human behavior and society. Students will learn how to critically evaluate social scientific research and will get hands-on experience in analyzing data. This course also trains students to use the R statistical software, which is used for all analyses. 

Prereq for 4781: One course in political science at the 300 level or above. GE data anly course.

Prereq for 4781H: Honors standing or permission of instructor. One course in political science at the 300 level or above, and Math 150. GE data anly course.

Archived syllabus: Autumn 2015 [pdf]


4782: Research Methods in Political Science

Research Methods in Political Science ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Our focus in this course will be on research questions and the methods we can use to answer them.  Key to understanding the “how” of research is a good grasp of basic statistics and probability theory, which we will review briefly, and model estimation, on which we will spend several weeks.  The second section of the course is meant to illuminate research methods at work.  We will do this through reading and discussion of political science articles that apply the methods we’ve discussed in class and through your development and presentation of an original research project to address a research question of your choosing. The overall goal is that by the end of the course you will have learned the mathematics and assumptions that underpin social science models, allowing you to be a more critical consumer of published information both in the social sciences and in the world at large.

 Archived syllabus: Autumn 2015 [pdf]


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Other courses

4191: Internship

Internship ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Combines experience in political institutions or policy processes with analysis of that experience in light of relevant scholarly literature.

Prereq: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of 9 cr hrs or 3 completions.


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