(for 2012–2013 academic year)
Professors Brubaker, Byrnes, Chernoff, Hayes, Herbst, M. Johnston, Kraynak, Shain (Chair), Wagner
A. Lindsay O’Connor Professor Sela
Associate Professors Macdonald, Moore, Rutherford
Assistant Professors Dauber, Epstein, Fogarty, Koter, Morkevicius, Murshid, Nam, Teodoro
Visiting Assistant Professors Babík, Pellerin
Charles Evans Hughes Chair Yee
The department’s program is designed to provide students with an understanding and appreciation of politics in the broadest sense and give them a solid foundation of skills for research and analysis.
The curriculum includes courses in the principal fields of the discipline, including American and comparative government and politics, international relations, and political theory. Through coursework and independent study projects, students confront some of the enduring questions of politics while studying political institutions, processes, behavior, and political theory. Internships in the Washington Study Group combine rigorous analysis of politics and government with direct exposure to Congress, the national executive, political parties, interest groups, think tanks, and media. The honors program offers opportunities to conduct significant research under the supervision of a faculty member. The Colgate Political Union, a student-faculty organization, sponsors debates on important current issues and visits by distinguished political figures. Students who major in political science receive excellent preparation for future careers or graduate study in such fields as law, public service, international affairs, business management, teaching, and journalism.
The requirements for major in political science are as follows:
1. Nine political science courses that must include
a. Three 150-level courses, which may be taken in any order. No more than three 150-level courses may count toward the major.
b. Six courses at the 200, 300, or 400 level, including
(1) No more than three 200-level courses
(2) At least one 400-level seminar (neither POSC 498 nor 499 fulfills this requirement)
2. Fulfillment of the major requires a minimum of two courses in each of three subfields: politics and government (PG), international relations (IR), and theory (TH). At least one course in each subfield must be taken at the 300 or 400 level.
3. Students seeking honors or high honors in political science will need to complete ten courses in political science, including both semesters of the honors colloquium, POSC 498-499. Major credit and grades used in determining departmental GPA will be awarded for both courses, but neither will count toward satisfying departmental subfield requirements.
4. Normally, no more than two independent study courses or political science courses taken on an off-campus study group are accepted for major credit. Requests for all transfer credits from other programs must be approved by the faculty member designated to evaluate them. For the two study groups sponsored by the Department of Political Science, in Geneva, Switzerland, and in Washington, DC, a maximum of three course credits can be applied toward fulfilling departmental major credit.
5. No course with a grade below C will count for major credit.
6. For students electing a double major in political science and international relations, no more than two courses may be counted for completion of both majors. For students seeking a major in political science and a minor in international relations, no courses may be double-counted.
7. Students may take no more than 12 courses in the department, unless special approval is received from the chair.
The requirements for a minor in political science are as follows:
1. The minor consists of five political science courses. Of these five courses, no more than two can be at the 100 or 200 level and at least one course must be in each of the three subfields: politics and government (PG), international relations (IR), and theory (TH).
2. Normally, no more than one independent study course, transfer credit, or political science course taken while participating in a Colgate off-campus study group (except those study groups sponsored by the Department of Political Science) is accepted for credit toward a minor. Requests for exceptions must be approved in advance by the faculty member designated to authorize transfer credits.
3. No course with a grade below C will count as credit for the minor.
4. A student may not count toward a political science minor any courses being counted toward a major in international relations.
Courses in the department are distributed among three groups as follows:
Politics and Government: 150, 153, 208, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 217, 225, 303, 304, 305, 306, 313, 315, 319, 320, 321, 322, 330, 331, 334, 335, 340, 344, 346, 348, 354, 357, 359, 360, 362, 364, 367, 368, 371, 373, 377, 408, 416, 418, 420, 425, 428, 430, 451, 459; Washington Study Group, 410, 412, 414.
International Relations: 152, 214, 215, 217, 232, 304, 306, 307, 320, 348, 349, 350, 351, 352, 353, 354, 357, 358, 359, 360, 361, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 370, 372, 374, 383, 390 (formerly 355), 392 (formerly 365), 425, 430, 433, 436, 437, 450, 451, 454, 455, 456, 470, 475.
Theory: 151, 260, 334, 379, 380, 382, 385, 386, 387, 388, 389, 463, 464, 466, 467, 468, 469, 475.
Other courses: 291, 391, 491, Independent Study; 498, 499, Honors Colloquium.
Students planning to major in political science begin their studies with courses at the 150 and 200 levels. In consultation with their faculty advisers, they should plan course sequences that fulfill major requirements and develop their particular interests in some depth, while providing sufficient breadth in the discipline. All majors should select some of their electives from the other social sciences.
The 100-level courses are ordinarily open to first-year students and sophomores, 200-level courses are open to sophomores and juniors, and 300- and 400-level courses are open to juniors and seniors. Majors and others who are interested in one particular area of the discipline should pursue advanced courses, seminars, or independent study projects in that area during their upper-class years.
Students with outstanding records in political science may pursue honors. To qualify, a student must have, at graduation, an overall GPA of 3.25 and a departmental GPA of 3.40 in the ten or more courses taken to satisfy the major requirement for honors. A student must enroll in the year-long honors colloquium (POSC 498 and POSC 499). Each student in the fall while enrolled in POSC 498 will complete an in-depth written literature review of his or her subject of interest; then in the spring while enrolled in POSC 499, each student will write a lengthy honors thesis. Each course is graded separately, but enrollment in POSC 499 is contingent on the successful completion of POSC 498, and the recommendation of the seminar director and the student’s primary adviser. Although these courses are designed for and required of those hoping to stand for honors or high honors at graduation, neither is restricted to them; majors with a strong interest in a particular area of research and a proven academic record of accomplishment who would like to explore further their chosen subject in a collaborative environment should also consider enrolling. POSC 362, Scope and Methods of Political Science, is highly recommended for those intending to write a thesis involving empirical research, but it is not required for honors. It is critically important that junior majors interested in doing an honors thesis in their senior year, speak with their advisers and faculty members conducting research in an area of common interest while searching for a primary adviser to guide their independent research during the following year.
All students who have successfully completed the honors sequence will be eligible for honors or high honors. Whether a student receives honors or high honors depends entirely upon the outcome of their thesis research that is submitted at the completion of POSC 499. To be awarded honors, a thesis must be judged superior by the faculty member guiding the student’s research and the seminar director of POSC 499. A paper judged by these readers to be potentially worthy of high honors will, with the agreement of the student, be submitted to a third reader. An oral defense will then be scheduled at which time the student is examined both on the content of the thesis and his or her general field of inquiry. The three readers then make the final decision as to whether the student will receive high honors.
For information about academic awards, see “Honors and Awards: Political Science” in Chapter VI. The Colgate Political Union is an honorary society, recognizing accomplishments of political science students. This student-faculty group sponsors Oxford Union-style debates, dinners, and lectures by distinguished political and scholarly figures.
Advanced placement credits are not ordinarily accepted for credit in the political science major or minor programs.
The department will accept for major credit a maximum of two political science courses taken at other institutions. Only one transfer credit will be accepted toward the minor. These courses must have been approved for transfer credit by the Colgate registrar and by the member of the Department of Political Science designated to evaluate them. In all instances, courses accepted for major or minor credit must be comparable in quality, quantity of reading and writing, and scope of coverage to courses offered in the department. Transfer credits will not be offered for POSC 150, 151, or 152. Students who anticipate applying for major or minor credit for a course or courses to be taken at another institution should consult with the faculty member evaluating them before enrolling in courses taken elsewhere.
Asian Studies Students may select a topical major in Asian studies with a focus on India, China, or Japan, including a related departmental program in political science.
Peace and Conflict Studies Students interested in this major may enroll in the interdisciplinary Peace and Conflict Studies Program.
For more information on these two programs, see “Asian Studies” or “Peace and Conflict Studies.”
Directors S. Brubaker, T. Byrnes
The Washington Study Group program, conducted in the spring term each year, provides a unique opportunity for a select group of Colgate students to study the working processes of the national government at close range. See “Off-Campus Study Group Programs: United States” in Chapter VI. Study group members take four courses during the term in Washington. Students successfully completing the term receive three course credits toward the political science major (POSC 410, 412, and 414) and one university credit toward graduation (POSC 413). Prerequisites: POSC 150, 210, or 211.
The Geneva Study Group program, conducted in the spring term each year, provides a rewarding opportunity for a select group of Colgate students to study the workings of international organizations, the politics of the European Union and Western European nations, and other related matters while living and traveling in the heart of Western Europe. Internship opportunities, working in international and non-governmental organizations, may also be available. For further information, please see “Off-Campus Study Group Programs,” in Chapter VI. At least one college-level French course is a prerequisite for the study group. Study group directors may specify other prerequisites, but as a general rule it is strongly recommended that students take POSC 152 or 232, and at least one other political science or history course in politics, culture, history, international relations, or economies of Europe.
POSC courses count toward the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry/social science distribution requirement, unless otherwise noted.
150 America as a Democracy (PG)
While most Americans take it for granted that our political system is a democracy and that it serves as an ideal by which other systems might be measured, the United States is only one of many stable democratic polities in existence today. This course identifies various characteristics of democratic systems that set them apart from others, and compares the operation of our presidential system with the parliamentary model adopted by many industrialized democracies.
151 Politics and Moral Vision (TH)
B. Shain, J. Wagner
This introduction to political theory addresses the ways in which personal morality and ideas of human flourishing determine one’s perceptions and responses to political institutions that shape the life and culture of one’s nation. Using a wide variety of texts, the moral underpinnings of different political systems are discussed in terms of fundamental normative concepts such as right, duty, virtue, liberty, and equality. Other essential terms, basic to building a foundational political vocabulary, such as liberalism, conservatism, individualism, communalism, and modernity are also explored. This introduction to normative political theory gives special emphasis to the genesis and development of liberal democracy and the tensions between its component parts, particularly as they relate to visions of a well-lived, moral life. This course is designed to enrich one’s perceptions of the evening news and the political discourse of our times.
152 Global Peace and War (IR)
F. Chernoff, E. Fogarty, V. Morkevicius, N. Murshid
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of how international politics — politics between governments — differs from politics within a state. It considers how the international system has evolved and currently operates, and examines some of the enduring questions of international relations: Why there is war? How can war be avoided? Is international equality a prerequisite for order? Can order, justice, and cooperation be achieved in a non-institutionalized and non-hierarchical system?
153 Introduction to Comparative Politics (PG)
Nearly 200 independent states coexist in the world today. Although they are all unique, political scientists study them in systematic ways, comparing them to discover fundamental political patterns that can help produce broadly applicable generalizations across different cultures and geographies. Themes such as democratic or authoritarian regime type, models of economic development, state institutions, civil society, and issues of national and ethnic identity all form important realms of inquiry for researchers engaged in the practice of comparative politics. This course introduces students to the principle themes and basic theories of comparative politics using examples from Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, including both authoritarian and unstable democratic countries.
208 Comparative Democracies (PG)
This course offers a comparative examination of the social bases of democracy and of different forms of constitutional government and competitive politics in advanced industrial societies. The theory and practice of representative and participatory democracy in selected West European countries are compared with nations in several other parts of the world. Other topics include the European Union, the Single European Act, and relationships with the rapidly changing nations of Eastern Europe.
210 Congress (PG)
M. Hayes, N. Moore
This course analyzes the legislative process with a special emphasis on the relationship between Congress and the presidency. This course examines the historical development and structural attributes of Congress that determine its role in the executive-legislative relationship. Since the decision-making process varies enormously by issue area, the course focuses on several distinct policy areas. Course materials include classics of congressional scholarship as well as results from some of the latest research in the field.
211 The Presidency and Executive Leadership (PG)
An examination of the complex and controversial role the presidency plays in the American political system. The course begins with the founders and with the creation of the presidency at the Constitutional Convention. This is followed by an examination of the powers vested in the office and the ways in which they check and are checked by Congress. Discussion then turns to what has come to be called the “managerial presidency.” Descriptive and analytical treatment of the ways in which the country elects presidents is a major topic. At many points the American presidency is compared to executive power in other democracies.
212 The Politics of Race and Ethnicity (PG)
This course examines the political dynamics of race in American society, focusing primarily on the experience of blacks as a socio-political group and to a lesser degree on that of other racial and ethnic minorities. The overriding theme is how race has influenced American politics and, conversely, how certain political phenomena have shaped the development of race. The specific topics around which the course is organized include the following: the most enduring and predominant racial issue — racial inequality; competing explanations for the origins and continuance of racial inequality; leadership approaches and ideologies for redressing the race problem; mass political strategies for dealing with the problem; majority attitudes and opinions regarding racial issues (including racial inequality); and the comparative experience of non-black minorities. These topics, individually and collectively, represent the essence of racial politics. This course is crosslisted as ALST 212.
213 Comparative Politics: The Third World (PG)
What is the Third World? Should countries as diverse as India and Cuba be included in its description? Why is democracy so fragile in Latin America? How can women contribute to development? This course tries to answer these questions by examining the historical origins, political evolution, and economic development of Third World countries from Thailand to Tanzania. Using the tools and methods of comparative inquiry, students explore the states, societies, and economies of different regions included under the rubric of the “Third World” such as the Caribbean, South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. The role of women, health, population, migration, and democratization issues in these regions are discussed, as well as the theories and methods used by comparativists in order to explain political systems and economic changes in the “Third World.”
214 Comparative Politics: East Asia (PG, IR)
This course covers the government, politics, society, and economics of the People’s Republic of China, Japan, North Korea (Democratic Republic of Korea), and South Korea (Republic of Korea). It reviews the political history of each country from 1945 to the present, examines the organization and operation of each political system, and compares and contrasts their political, historical, and sociological dynamics. No previous study of East Asia or government is required or presupposed. Students learn to understand each political system today in light of its own distinctive history and development goals, its sociopolitical values and traditions, and its international situation. These countries are compared with the United States, focusing on such topics as political leadership, political culture, governmental structure, constitutions, and economic policies.
215 Comparative Politics: Middle East (PG, IR)
An introduction to Middle Eastern politics, including historical foundations of the modern Middle East, competing strategies of state building, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Gulf War, the rise of political Islam, and American policy toward the region. This course is crosslisted as MIST 215.
217 Identity Politics (PG, IR)
This course examines the politics of identity in comparative perspectives. The course introduces students to a variety of theoretical approaches concerning the origin, transformation, and mobilization of national, ethnic, and other forms of collective identity. The course considers empirical applications of these theories: students identify processes through which identity becomes politicized, explore why some identity conflicts manifest as violence, and analyze the various ways — ranging from electoral solutions to genocide — in which states manage difference. Case studies are drawn from Europe, the former Soviet Union, Africa, the Asian sub-continent, and the United States.
225 Social Science Research Methods (PG)
This course is crosslisted as GEOG 225, EDUC 225, and SOAN 225. For course description, please see “Geography: Course Offerings.”
232 Fundamentals of International Relations (IR)
F. Chernoff, E. Fogarty, V. Morkevicius, N. Murshid
This course is an introduction to the basic approaches to international relations, such as realism, idealism, and the interdependence school. It also considers fundamental problems of national security, the uses of power, the causes of war, the nature of international institutions, the relationships among security, deterrence, conflict escalation, and nuclear proliferation.
260 Foundations of Political Thought (TH)
N. Dauber, R. Kraynak, B. Shain, J. Wagner
This introduction to political thought explores the questions: What is a just society? What is the best way of life? The course examines major alternatives from Plato to Nietzsche, as well as recent critics and defenders of American liberal democracy.
303 British Politics (PG)
This course considers the evolution and dynamics of the contemporary British political system. Major topics include the development of the constitutional order; political culture; elections, parties, and the parliamentary system; political participation and interest groups; Britain as a multi-national society; and the continuing role of the monarchy. Also considered are a variety of contemporary issues, including relationships with the United States and Europe, urban planning and problems, immigration, managing and changing a mixed economy, and the origins and consequences of relative economic decline.
304 Islam and Politics (PG, IR)
This course studies the impact of the Islamic resurgence on international and intra-national politics. The course begins with an introduction to the Islamic faith. Students explore the origins of the Islamic resurgence, the ideas of influential Islamic political thinkers, and Islamic movements in comparative perspective (Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, the United States, and France). The class concludes by examining two issues of great contemporary importance: the impact of Islam on democracy and the future relationship between the Islamic world and the West. This course is crosslisted as MIST 304.
305 The Political Economy of East and Southeast Asia (PG)
This course studies the role of the state in economic and social development and the relationship between economic development and democratization in Southeast Asia. Two subjects are discussed: the relationship between the state and the market in economic development, and the relationship between security concerns and economic development. Students explore the interplay of traditional culture, authoritative state, market economy, and democratic institution building.
306 Politics in Contemporary China (PG, IR)
This course is a study of the government and politics of the People’s Republic of China. Topics include the rise and development of communism in China, the ideology of Marxism-Leninism and the thought of Mao Zedong, the impact of historical and economic factors on Chinese politics, political mobilization and participation, the processes of decision making, and developments in China since the death of Mao. The relationship between domestic and foreign policies is also examined.
307 The Foreign Policy of the People’s Republic of China (IR)
This systematic study of the foreign policy of the People’s Republic of China examines the mainsprings of China’s foreign policy and its development since 1949. The relationships between domestic and foreign policies and between ideology and national interest are also considered.
313 Political Corruption (PG)
Like it or not, corruption is a significant form of political influence, as much a part of politics as voting or writing a member of Congress. Indeed, in some parts of the world, corruption is not the exception, but the norm. This course examines the limits of privately interested political action in a variety of societies and considers possible explanations for corruption, examines case studies drawn from American politics and from other nations, and identifies the consequences of corruption, both for whole societies and for important groups within them. Reforms are a concern as well. Finally, the class considers the ways people in a variety of cultures judge right and wrong, and how they respond to the wrongdoing they perceive around them. Prerequisite: POSC 150, 151, 152, or 153.
315 Government and the Economy (PG)
The course examines the inevitable intrusion of politics into economic policy making, with examples drawn from a variety of policy areas including traditional economic regulation, the new social regulation, energy and environmental policies, and recent trends toward deregulation. The course begins with elementary economic theory: the case for free markets, a review of the various ways unregulated markets break down, and rational prescriptions for remedying market failures. The bulk of the course then examines the factors operating to make these market failures more complex than at first they appear, producing policies that depart from economic ideals.
319 Power and Protest in Southern Africa (PG)
The course focuses on selected themes in the politics of Africa in order to illuminate the problems and challenges present in the region. From pre-colonialism to the contemporary period, this course examines attempts to establish political authority and construct state institutions. It looks at how different states used language and identity, power and privilege, and myth and memory to secure wealth or create legitimacy. The course investigates the resistance and social protest that often accompanied these attempts, and whether they succeeded in their objectives. These issues are examined with particular regard to several countries in Southern Africa such as Angola, South Africa, Zambia, and Mozambique. The course concludes with an examination of the resourceful ways that African people seek economic opportunities within their countries and across international borders and also what they think about democracy. Throughout the course, consideration is paid to the continuities from their pasts as well as the discontinuities of their current political and economic development.
320 States, Markets, and Global Change (PG, IR)
Do states intervene in the economy too much as conservatives and libertarians claim, or should they intervene more as many liberals and progressives argue? Does business have too much power or have the critics of “big business” and multinationals been too alarmist? Is the role of the government diminishing as the world becomes more global? This course discusses ancient and contemporary controversies regarding the relationship between government and the economy. It evaluates and examines the extent and kinds of state intervention into markets and the private sector, the influence and impact of corporations and business leaders on government institutions and policy from the United States to Latin America, and what role there is for domestic and international civic engagement in a world where transnational political and economic power has drastically increased.
321 Political Parties and Electoral Process (PG)
D. Epstein, M. Hayes, J. Wagner
Political parties are some of the most influential entities in politics, and this course examines them as they pursue pork, policy, and power in the arenas of elections and elected institutions. After providing a strong background in party theory and the American party system, the remainder of the course highlights important commonalities by comparing party activity and party system development in four countries that straddle the developed and developing world: Britain, German, Brazil, and Russia.
322 The Politics of Privatization in Comparative Perspective (PG)
The adoption of neoliberal economic policies has been one of the most significant reforms undertaken around the world in the last two decades. Privatization, in particular, has been so popular and so widespread that one writer has remarked that even the United States, that quintessential free market economy, was “looking for something to sell.” This course examines political and economic explanations for the global adoption of privatization and economic restructuring in the 1980s and 1990s. It looks at the conditions under which governments enacted policies and compares the outcome of privatization measures in selected countries and sectors in East and Central Europe, Latin America, and Africa. It analyzes the claims of critics of privatization and the responses of privatization’s winners and losers. Students examine recent changes in the approach to the distribution of public goods and explore innovative public-private partnerships such as that between the development agency, CARE, and the coffee company, Starbucks, to provide water, sanitation, or micro-credit in developing countries.
330 Political Change in Latin America (PG)
The past decade has produced major changes in the political systems of Latin America, including the international debt crisis, the declining attraction of communist movements and ideologies, and a possible shift toward more democratic civilian governments. Focusing on the political and economic systems of such major nations as Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Chile, and Brazil, this course considers the sources and consequences of these and other developments. Related concerns include the political impact of the Catholic church, peasant movements, organized labor, debt, and United States influence in the region. POSC 213 strongly recommended.
331 Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa (PG)
This course provides an understanding of politics in 48 countries that constitute sub-Saharan Africa. Following the independence era of the early 1960s and 1970s, much of the sub-continent exploded into a seemingly endless cycle of violence underscored by military coups d’état and civil wars. Over the last decade, various conflicts subsided enough for some states to institute political and market reforms. Others remained stuck in the throes of economic stagnation, on the verge of disintegration and vulnerable to terrorist groups and drug runners who exploit their vast ungovernable territories. What explains the various transitions that some states have experienced in sub-Saharan Africa? Why did most states disintegrate in violence following the end of colonial rule? Drawing upon pre-colonial accounts and histories of state formation and the theoretical, methodological, and conceptual tools that various Africanists have used to analyze key events, this course offers answers to these and other important questions about political and socio-economic developments on the continent of Africa.
334 Liberal Democracy and Its Limits (PG, TH)
S. Brubaker, R. Garland, M. Johnston
Liberal democracy is a regime type generally defined in terms of its limits — respect for personal freedom, reliance on market mechanisms for the production and distribution of resources, and governance through the rule of law articulated through representative government responsive to people in periodic elections. It also limits its aspirations. It does not seek, at least not directly, “to make its citizens good and doers of noble deeds” (Aristotle); nor does it seek to steer them in the direction of the right faith. Nonetheless, if not “the end of history,” as some enthusiasts have described it, liberal democracy has become the prevailing regime aspiration. Yet much about it remains unknown, and much is contested. Just what is liberal democracy? How did it come into being? How good is it? Is it good for all times and all places, or only for some places some of the time? What are the political, economic, and cultural dynamics that might lead to liberalism, to democracy, and to liberal democracy? What are the relations between property, rule of law, corruption, economic development, and the civic virtues required by liberal democracy? To what extent should the United States and other countries champion the spread of liberal democracy?
335 U.S. Environmental Politics (PG)
Public policies to protect the environment are among the most important and controversial issues in local, state, and national government. This course analyzes the politics of environmental protection in the United States through the use of social science theory and a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods. The course introduces frameworks for understanding environmental policy problems and reviews several important American environmental laws. Readings include social science “classics” on the environment, as well as recent scholarship on environmental politics and emerging environmental issues. Topics covered in the course include the politics of environmental science, environmentalism as a social movement, environmental lawmaking in Congress, bureaucracy and environmental regulation, federalism, environmental law, and environmental justice. Prerequisite: POSC 150 or ECON 151.
340 Politics of the American Metropolis (PG)
The United States is an urban society: today nearly 80 percent of Americans live in urbanized, metropolitan areas. These urban areas are governed by a dizzying array of local, state, and federal institutions whose policies affect citizens’ lives enormously and in myriad ways. This course explores the politics of urban America in the context of the contemporary metropolis. The legal and philosophical origins of local American government are discussed, along with the political economy of the city and classic theories of urban politics. The course traces the history of urbanization and the accompanying growth of government institutions, and addresses issues of suburbanization, regional balkanization, and federalism. Other issues addressed in the course include land use, segregation, housing, economic development, and poverty. Prerequisite: POSC 150.
344 Politics of Poverty (PG)
This course examines the nature and extent of poverty in the United States, with particular emphasis on public policies designed to alleviate poverty and recent proposals for reform. Political factors affecting the formulation and implementation of poverty policies are examined, drawing on case studies of selected issues such as the war on poverty, Medicare, food stamps, aid to families with dependent children, and negative income tax proposals.
346 Beneath the Black Robes: Courts as Political Institutions (PG)
This course focuses on the causal dynamics of judicial behavior. It introduces students to the study of courts as political institutions and, in doing so, provides some understanding of the political nature of the role of courts in American society. The course departs from the view that landmark national decisions such as Roe v. Wade, Baker v. Carr, and Brown v. Bd. of Education, along with their more recent conservative corollaries, are solely the product of adherence to constitutional standards of interpretation. Instead, it posits that these controversial rulings and judicial policy in general can be explained through careful examination of certain political factors. In short, the course is based on the premise that the judiciary is a permeable structure that is responsive to democratic processes and that, in turn, exerts influence upon those processes. Two major theoretical concerns integrate the lectures and materials covered in the course: 1) the dynamic relationship between court decision-making processes and major features of the larger American political arena, and 2) the inherent tensions between judicial independence and democratic politics. Prerequisite: 100-level POSC course or permission of instructor.
348 Communism and Post-Communist Transition (PG, IR)
This course examines the spread of political and economic ideas and practices in the rise and demise of state socialism and transition to market capitalism. The course focuses on the countries of East Central Europe and the former Soviet Union but addresses an entire system of states where such transformative processes occurred in the 20th century. It explores the politics, implementation, and impact of economic ideas. Students devote particular attention to the relationship between local polities and economies and processes of global ideological development.
349 The International Political Economy (IR)
E. Fogarty, N. Murshid
This course looks at the historical and theoretical development of the international political economy. Some of the major topics considered include the interaction between politics and economics in trade and protectionism, capital flows, exchange rates, debt, globalization, and problems in development.
350 Africa in World Politics (IR)
This course examines relations between African states and between African and foreign states. Major topics include the effects of the international system on economic and political development, African states’ use of foreign policy to achieve development goals, the role of the major outside powers, intra-African conflicts, African organization, the role of African thought in foreign policies, and the international relations of southern Africa.
351 Foreign Relations of East Asia (IR)
This course is a survey of East Asian international relations from the breakdown of the traditional Chinese world order to the emergence of the Pacific Rim system. Emphasis is on foreign policies of East Asian nations, security, and trade issues.
352 U.S. Defense Policy (IR)
The course examines the nature of defense policy making in the United States. Problems of the defense policy process are considered, including the estimation of defense requirements, budget formulation, the roles of Congress, the armed services, the President, and other actors. Major issues in the defense budget are examined, including estimation of force levels, strategic programs, manpower, and conventional weapons. Prerequisite: POSC 232.
353 National Security (IR)
This course discusses and analyzes the idea of national security in theory and practice, as well as the impact of nuclear weapons on contemporary statecraft topics including deterrence theory, arms control and disarmament, nuclear proliferation, and recent strategic developments. An optional three-week extended study in New York City, POSC 383, deepens students’ understanding of several issues that are treated in class during the term. Prerequisite: POSC 232 or permission of instructor.
354 Political Economy of Development in Latin America (PG, IR)
Perhaps the most important aspect of international affairs for the countries of Latin America since the dawn of the 20th century has been how they fit into the world economy. Although neither wars nor diplomacy put Latin America at the center of the international stage, it has been of great importance in international markets for trade, investment, and debt. The place of Latin American countries in world markets has influenced domestic politics and economies, and at the same time trends in economic development and government policies have had a large impact on the changing roles that Latin American countries have played in those markets. Thus, this course focuses mostly on the evolving position of several Latin American countries in the world economy over the past century, and how international and domestic forces combined to shape their economic development. An additional, related topic to be considered is the region’s role in the competition between the US and the USSR that monopolized the second half of the 20th century, and this is examined through considering the cases of Cuba and Chile in Cold War politics.
357 International Institutions (PG, IR)
T. Byrnes, E. Fogarty
This analysis of the role of international institutions in international politics emphasizes both the United Nations and the major international economic institutions (WTO, the IMF, and the World Bank).
358 Transnational Politics (IR)
T. Byrnes, E. Fogarty
This course examines the segment of world politics that includes interactions and transactions between actors who are not representatives of governments or intergovernmental institutions. Non-state actors as diverse as global social movements, multinational corporations, religious communities, and even terrorist networks are now recognized as playing crucial roles on the world’s political stage. This course focuses on a variety of these transnational actors, as we seek to stretch the limits of state-based approaches, and emphasize the rich variety of relationships and interactions that characterizes contemporary world politics. This course is crosslisted as PCON 358.
359 Russia and Its World (PG, IR)
This course examines the domestic and international politics of the world’s largest country, the Russian Federation. It begins by assessing the problems of the late Soviet period, and then studies the breakdown of its economic and political systems, and the birth of a new system in Russia, the USSR’s principal successor state. Russia’s political system, with special attention to issues of democracy and institutional development, is the principal focus of the course, drawing in related questions of sovereignty and separatism of various peoples of the former Soviet Union, Russia’s evolving international position (especially in the former Soviet “near abroad,” but also more widely), and the roller-coaster of the Russian economy in the post-Soviet period. This course is crosslisted as REST 359.
360 Domestic Sources of American Foreign Policy (PG, IR)
T. Byrnes, M. Hayes
To the extent that the U.S. sets its own course in international affairs, domestic sources of American foreign policy become a crucial consideration. This course examines the role of domestic politics in formulating U.S. foreign policy. Special emphasis is placed on the function of representative institutions, bureaucracies, and public opinion in determining and implementing American foreign policy. Students are presented with a comprehensive framework of analysis that permits them to describe and perhaps predict actions taken by the U.S. government.
361 Humanitarian Interventions (IR)
Peace operations have been widely deployed to contain and promote resolution of conflicts. This course focuses primarily on humanitarian intervention and probes the different contexts in which peacekeepers have been introduced: interstate conflicts, civil conflicts, and humanitarian emergencies. Students consider how humanitarian interventions differ in practical terms from other types of peace operations, considering questions of strategy, mandates, and political will. Students also analyze the ethical implications of humanitarian intervention, particularly questions of responsibility, legitimacy, sovereignty, and unintended consequences. Theoretical readings are combined with comparative case studies are drawn from Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans, and elsewhere.
362 Scope and Methods of Political Science (PG)
F. Chernoff, M. Johnston, J. Wagner
The nature of concept formation and theory construction in political science are considered. This course is intended to help students understand some of the fundamental problems encountered by political science theory — for example, the typical problems that arise in making causal claims, as well as the inevitable attempt to bridge the gap between fact and values. The objective is to develop students’ analytic skills and cultivate tools necessary for research and writing. Emphasis is given to the process of identifying and articulating good research questions, constructing an honors thesis proposal, and executing a research project. Prerequisite: one political science course or permission of instructor.
363 International Relations of the Middle East (IR)
This course focuses on the process of foreign policy formation in Middle Eastern countries from the point of view of these nations themselves. Topics studied include the Arab-Israeli conflict, the political economy of the region, state formation and development, democratization, political Islam, and U.S. policy toward the Middle East. Some prior study of the Middle East is strongly recommended. This course is crosslisted as MIST 363.
364 Politics of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan (PG, IR)
Modern South Asia is the product of the partition of British India into India and Pakistan in 1947. The secession of Bangladesh changed the map of South Asia again in 1971. The history of South Asia is, thus, one of division and rivalry. This course focuses on the broad developments since colonial times: nationalism, the rise and fall of democratic processes, ethnic strife, communal divisions, secession incentives, power imbalances, and emergence of a nuclear South Asia, and the recent links between Islamic fundamentalist groups and terrorists in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
365 Just War in Comparative Perspective (IR)
This course aims to introduce students to a wide variety of ways of thinking about justice and warfare, across time, space, and religion. Using political science — rather than theology or philosophy — as the lens for inquiry emphasizes the role played by political power in the creation and transmission of these systems of value. Beginning with an exploration of the roots of Western Just War thinking in the ancient world (Greece, Rome, and Israel), the course explores traditional just war thinking in Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism. Students delve into source texts, examining the evolution of just war thought in a historical and comparative context, and the course illustrates the ways in which concepts of justice may be contingent on both a society’s religious/ethnical beliefs and its military capabilities. Finally, the course turns to contemporary scholarship to ask, is just war theory still relevant today? Modern just war responses to weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and counter-insurgency warfare provide students the opportunity to apply these ancient theories to the modern world.
366 Contemporary American Foreign Policy (IR)
F. Chernoff, E. Fogarty, D. Macdonald
This course provides students with both an historical overview of modern U.S. foreign policy (since Pearl Harbor) and a review of current thinking on issues of the day since 9/11 and how they are shaped and driven by traditional American political culture, such as globalization, the “long war” on terror, policies toward the Third World, relations with traditional allies following the Cold War, civil-military relations, and competing ideologies. The analytical emphasis is on elite decision making and security issues. Prerequisite: POSC 232. Students wishing to learn more about the domestic processes of American foreign policy should take POSC 360, Domestic Sources of American Foreign Policy.
367 The European Union (PG, IR)
This course examines the development and consequences of European unification after World War II. Major topics include the nature and history of integration, concepts of sovereignty and the nation-state, the role of international organizations in world politics, the institutional structure of the EU, major initiatives such as the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Market, the meaning and repercussions of the Maastrict Treaty, and the development of a single currency. The course includes the opportunity to participate in a model European union with American and European students.
368 American Policy toward China (PG, IR)
China has been a major concern for American foreign policy makers for many years. The course begins with a historical review of American relations with China and then considers World War II, the Communist takeover, the Korean War and the ensuing Cold War, and the Nixon and post-Nixon eras. Other topics include the Taiwan and Hong Kong issues, current economic relationships, and questions of arms control.
370 International Relations in the Post-Cold War Environment (IR)
F. Chernoff, E. Fogarty
The end of the Cold War and the introduction of a large number of non-traditional issues (environmental, economic, and normative) to the international agenda have raised very serious questions about the discipline of international relations itself. How new or old will the new international relations be? What conceptual framework should be used to explore these issues? What issues should be the focus? The course begins with a reassessment of the grand tradition in international relations and of how the order, upon which it was based, fell. The emerging world order and the agenda of new issues with which it confronts us, the likely new patterns of cooperation and conflict those issues will foster, and the possibilities for a new consensus are considered. Prerequisite: POSC 232.
371 West European Politics (PG)
This course looks at the history and political development of Britain, France, Germany, and Italy. The course studies these countries within the context of not only their distinct histories but also provides a comparison of how these histories impacted the development of diverging domestic interests, the creation of societal cleavages, and consequently the construction of political institutions to mediate and regulate internal conflict. Major policies within the countries are considered, including their involvement with NATO and the European Union.
372 Conflict and Cooperation in Europe (IR)
This 0.50-credit, three-week extended study course examines the origins and development of European cooperation within the context of the European Union (EU). The EU is often viewed primarily as an economic venture. This course helps students understand the political roots of European cooperation by visiting sites in European conflict from the first two World Wars in Germany and France. The students then have the opportunity to see how far the countries of the EU have come by visiting EU institutions in Brussels, Belgium. Most importantly, students see how these EU institutions work by participating in the Model European Union, an annual activity sponsored by the New York State European Union Simulation Studies consortium of which Colgate has been a participant for over 10 years. Prerequisite: POSC 367 and permission of instructor.
373 The Public Policy Process (PG)
This course examines how the executive and legislative branches of government interact to formulate public policies. The influence of political parties, interest groups, business organizations, and public opinion on these institutions is explored in depth. The course also highlights the impact of federalism within the American political system, pointing both to intergovernmental implementation of national policies and to policy innovation at the state level. An overarching theme of the course is the inevitable tension between oligarchy and democracy in a system where only a few actors wield direct influence over policy decisions.
374 International Law (IR)
This course introduces students to public international law through an examination of the key concepts and principles that underlie the foundations of international law, as well as through the legal norms that regulate relations between states. Although states are considered the central actors in international law, the involvement of nonstate actors, intergovernmental organizations, and other participants is also examined. Substantive areas of international law, humanitarian law, and international law and the environment are also analyzed. The course concludes with a discussion of the future role of international law in world politics. Prerequisite: POSC 152 or POSC 232.
377 Political Psychology (PG)
How do the forces that shape personality and motivation affect the political behavior of individuals? What role do factors such as schooling, religion, social class, mass media, race, and gender have upon individual beliefs and attitudes? How does the use of stereotypes and political symbols shape the popular understanding of politics and affect the relationship between the rulers and the ruled? By employing an individualistic perspective, this course investigates the formation of public opinion and the structure of political beliefs, values, and attitudes.
379 The Development of the Modern State (TH)
Though the state is now the standard form of political organization, this was not always the case. For centuries, political organization was dominated by city-states, feudal relations, and tribal or clan organizations. This course examines the emergence of the modern state as the predominant form of political organization. It explores various arguments for state sovereignty and examines several challenges to it as well. Finally, it considers the state of the state in today’s globalized world.
380 Reason, Faith, and Politics (TH)
This course examines the claims of reason and revelation as sources of ultimate truth and as guides for the political world. Readings are from the great theologians of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions.
382 American Political Thought (TH)
N. Dauber, R. Kraynak, B. Shain
This study of the principles of American government as articulated by leading statesmen and political thinkers gives particular attention to the founding period and the Constitution and to their relationship to later periods of reform.
383 National Security Extended Study (IR)
This 0.50-credit extended study course is intended for students who have completed POSC 353. The extended study in New York City explores four topics covered in POSC 353: conflict in the Middle East, conflict in the Balkans, NATO and European security, and the UN peacekeeping system. The class meets with academics and representatives of roughly a dozen countries who deal with these issues. The study includes panels of military scholars from the US Army War College and the United States Military Academy at West Point. Prerequisite: POSC 353 and permission of instructor.
385 Modernity and its Conservative Critics (TH)
R. Kraynak, B. Shain
What is wrong with the modern world, especially with the political culture of liberal and progressive intellectual elites? Such questions are explored by studying the radical critique of modernity offered by philosophical, classical, and Christian conservatives.
386 Enlightenment Political and Social Thought (TH)
Important Enlightenment-era political treatises are explored in this course. The bourgeois sensibilities of Montesquieu, Hume, and Voltaire are compared — culminating in the tenets of classical liberalism — to the more radical and perfectionist aspirations of Rousseau, Beccaria, Diderot, and Condorcet. For both schools of thought, the focus is the aspects and ideas that cast light on matters of continuing concern to modern democratic politics and capitalist economies.
387 Reason and Relativism in Social and Political Thought (TH)
N. Dauber, J. Wagner
How can one understand human beings when they seem to have such a complicated variety of interests and motives? Not only does behavior vary dramatically across cultures and over time, but so do conceptions of truth, God, religion, morality, justice, and the good. Differences abound. The intent of this course is to look at the controversies that divide social and political theorists in their effort to understand human beings and the human condition. In the process students discover that beneath conflicting theories are recurring themes concerning subjectivity and objectivity, the nature of human beings, theories of self and other, as well as a debate over rationality, irrationality, truth, and knowledge. By better understanding these controversies students gain new insights into human nature, human knowledge, and the human condition.
388 Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties (TH)
In this course, students examine the nature of civil rights and liberties under the Constitution; such include freedom of speech and the press, religious freedom, equal protection (with major attention to race and gender), due process, property, and privacy/autonomy (abortion, right to die, sexual orientation). Students also explore the role of the Supreme Court in the definition and protection of these rights and engage the several controversies surrounding the larger enterprise of constitutional interpretation, such as originalism v. nonoriginalism, natural law v. positivism, judicial activism v. judicial restraint, and so forth.
389 Constitutional Law: Structures and Powers (TH)
The focus of this course is what Aristotle identified as the central question of political science, the character of regime — the organization of offices and the distribution of power that is designed to achieve an understanding of justice and the human good. More specifically, students focus on the structural characteristics of the American regime, or Constitution — separation of powers, federalism, emergency powers, property rights; but students are equally concerned with the politics of interpretation itself — the complex process by which people determine what is the Constitution, how it is to be understood, and who has authority to interpret it. The responsibility for constitutional interpretation is broadly distributed, but it is also obvious that the pre-eminent voice for interpreting the Constitution has become the Supreme Court. Accordingly, students spend the greater portion of the course with the analysis of cases, that is, the Court’s opinion of what the Constitution means.
390 Silent Warfare (IR)
This course introduces students to the complex and crucial process of obtaining, analyzing, and producing intelligence in the making of American foreign policy. Subjects covered include cognitive and psychological impediments to the successful uses of intelligence, covert action, bureaucratic constraints on the intelligence process, product sharing with other nations, the uses of disinformation, counterintelligence, moral and ethical issues raised in a democratic society, and efforts to improve the intelligence process since 9/11. Historical and contemporary case studies are used, with an emphasis on the “long war” against terrorism. (Formerly POSC 355.) Prerequisite: POSC 366 (may be taken concurrently).
392 The United States in East and Southeast Asia (IR)
This course examines America’s role in East and Southeast Asia from 1900 to the present. After an overview historical introduction to that role, the course deals with the current issues affecting American interests such as globalization, human rights, and terrorism. There is an emphasis on security issues, both regional efforts and those with extra-regional countries such as the U.S., Australia, Japan, China, and India. (Formerly POSC 365.) Prerequisite: POSC 366 (may be taken concurrently). Prior study of Asia, either in the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum or the Asian Studies Program, is strongly recommended.
408 Seminar: Social Justice Politics and Policy (PG)
This course focuses on the issues and problems confronting certain socially and politically marginalized groups in contemporary American society. Such groups include racial and ethnic minorities, the poor, women, and gays and lesbians. Of particular concern is how well these groups have fared in the American political arena, the sources of and constraints upon their political clout, and the political system’s response to their concerns and demands. The course examines both the political process as it pertains to marginalized groups and also the major public policy developments affecting these groups. More specifically, it utilizes traditional political science tools and methodologies in an attempt to disentangle the dynamic interplay between American political process, public policy, and the politics of social justice.
410 Our Constitutional Order: Continuity and Change (PG)
S. Brubaker, T. Byrnes, M. Hayes, R. Kraynak
This Washington, DC, study group course is an inquiry into the enduring principles and changing features of our constitutional order. Topics include the design of the founders (their underlying propositions about human nature and the common good, expectations for institutional performance, and hopes for the way of life fostered by this constitutional order), significant changes within this order (as marked by shifts in the underlying premises of the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution and parallel realignments of the political party system), and contemporary features of institutions and political mores. The class meets as a daily seminar for the first two weeks of the program, then in weekly seminars for the following six weeks.
412 Readings and Research on American Government (PG)
This Washington, DC, study group course combines common readings pertaining to the internship (focusing on organization theory) and individualized readings on an independent research project. For the latter, students are encouraged to select topics that further enhance and complement the experiential learning of their internships.
413 Study Group Sponsored Internships: Washington and Geneva
Students taking part in the department’s Washington, DC, study group are placed in a twelve-week internship in an American federal governmental or a political office matching the student’s interest. Most placements are in the executive branch of the federal government; but under special circumstances students are placed in Washington-area interest groups, think tanks, media organizations, or on Capitol Hill. The readings and research course (POSC 412) is designed to enhance and complement this internship experience. Students taking part in the department’s Geneva, Switzerland, study group may be placed in internships of varying length in international organizations, non-governmental organizations, or private concerns with interests related to international relations or comparative politics. This course is graded as satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) and provides one university credit toward graduation.
414 Seminar: Contemporary Policy Process (PG)
S. Brubaker, T. Byrnes, M. Hayes, R. Kraynak
This Washington, DC, study group course is an inquiry into the contemporary process by which policy is developed and enacted, with special attention to a case study of a subject currently under consideration in Washington. Previous topics have included reforms of welfare, Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security, and campaign finance. Questions include a) the role of interest groups, parties, political action committees, and the press; b) the impact of constitutional and contemporary structures and processes of decision making; and c) the desirability of reform of the constitutional system itself. This class meets as a daily seminar for the first two weeks after the term break, then in semi-weekly seminars for the next five weeks.
416 Seminar: Democratic Transitions and Consolidation (PG)
What are the chances that the new democracies established around the world in the past quarter century will survive? Most have had relatively free and honest elections; some have even had peaceful transfers of power later on; most are somewhere in the process of changing to market economies. But in many places, the quality of life has deteriorated in important respects, and democratization is stalemated by economic crises, ethnic and religious conflicts, low levels of political participation, crime, and other problems. This seminar explores democratic transitions — the removal of repressive regimes and the establishment of new democratic institutions — and democratic consolidation — the process of “deepening” democracy and making it sustainable. Major topics include the role of civil society, relationships between wealth and power, ethnic conflicts and national identity, political participation and accountability, building democratic cultures, and models of democracy appropriate for different societies. Each student specializes in a particular country but also analyzes more general issues. This seminar places considerable emphasis upon assessing democratization and understanding its correlates; working in groups, students assemble a data set of country-level indicators and learn basic statistical techniques for analyzing and interpreting them. Students make extensive use of online resources for research, sharing information and discussion materials, and perhaps conferring with other scholars off campus. Prerequisite: POSC 150.
418 Seminar: Urbanism and Civil Society: Decline and . . . ? (PG)
In this seminar, students consider both the life cycles of American industrial cities and the rise and fall of “urbanism” — informal, interpersonal processes of leadership, problem solving, and street-level self-government that took root as such cities developed and then eroded as they declined. Urbanism is one important variety of “social capital” and “civil society,” and helps students understand such concepts in detail. With strong urbanism in place, an unambitious local government can succeed; without it, even the best ideas backed by generous funding are likely to fail. The class focuses on the city of New Haven, Connecticut, and close reading of several classic texts. Students use the “Sim City 4” urban simulator to explore the processes outlined in the readings, and build and analyze simulated cities of their own. More recent readings on urban trends and styles of development round out the class’s consideration of the ways in which cities once governed themselves and of the problems they face in the future. Prerequisite: POSC 150 or permission of instructor.
420 Street-Level Bureaucracy (PG)
We live in an age of bureaucratic organization. Bureaucracies defend us, educate us, collect our taxes, provide us with basic services, protect our health and safety, and occasionally kill us. Effective bureaucratic agencies are necessary for the creation and sustenance of modern, democratic government. At the same time, bureaucratic power can be a threat to democracy. Legislatures may pass laws, executives may issue orders, and courts may judge, but real governance happens when a soldier fires a gun, a teacher grades a paper, an inspector certifies an aircraft, and a police officer writes a speeding ticket. The difference between effective and dysfunctional bureaucracy at the street level — where governments and people interact — can make the difference between flourishing and failing democracy. This seminar offers an introduction to organizational theory and the politics of bureaucracy, with discussions and analysis centered on the HBO series “The Wire.” Students learn classic theories and emerging research on human organization and bureaucratic politics by applying them to the characters and stories of the acclaimed television series. Prerequisites: POSC 150 or ECON 151 or PSYC 150 or SOAN 204.
425 Seminar: Secular and Religious Wars: The Challenge of Nationalism (PG, IR)
This course looks at the challenge nationalism has posed to the international community in the 20th century and beyond, the collapse of the USSR and Yugoslavia, and the growing assertiveness of “rejected nationalities” such as the Irish, Palestinians, and Kurds.
428 Seminar: Religion and Politics in Democratic Systems (PG)
Exciting new ideas and research have emerged in the past decade, dealing with the complex relationship between religion and politics. At the empirical level, that research examines the role played by religious leaders and groups in democratic politics, while at the theoretical level it assesses the degree to which “religious politics” either supports or undercuts democratic values and principles. This seminar considers the many ways both politics and political science can be fruitfully analyzed by looking at them through the prism of religion.
430 Seminar: Problems and Issues in Post-Mao China (PG, IR)
This seminar examines a selected set of problems and issues in the post-Mao reform of China’s political system, including the role of ideology, mechanisms of control, the personnel and economic planning systems, the decision-making process, the character and role of the Communist Party, economic development strategies, and the succession of leadership.
433 Seminar: Topics in Globalization (IR)
E. Fogarty, N. Murshid
The seminar analyzes the political implications of economic trends and developments that affect the operation of the international system and its constituent parts: North-North, North-South, and South-South relations.
436 Seminar: Continuity and Change in International Politics (IR)
This course is an analysis of contemporary conceptual approaches to international politics and of the trends and developments that are altering some traditional assumptions about the nature of the international arena. It is recommended for all international relations honors students and for students going to graduate school.
437 Seminar: Democratization and Prospects for Peace and Prosperity (IR)
This seminar examines the politics of democratic transition and the political and economic performance of existing democracies with a focus on the developing world. The class pays particular attention to the distinctive challenges of democratizing amidst globalization and resurgent nationalism, and analyzes the effects of democratization on international and internal conflict, economic development, equity, and political stability. Students evaluate the current debate over how the U.S. can aid democratization. Countries studied include Russia, Mexico, Turkey, and South Korea.
450 Seminar: Theory, Knowledge, and Prediction (IR)
This course examines the nature of theories of international relations, with particular attention to whether they are capable of predicting future events. The most dramatic international development of the last half century — the end of the Cold War — was not predicted by international relations theories. The course seeks the reasons for this failure: is it that the scientific theories of international relations have not been sufficiently refined after just 30 years, or is the field inherently incapable of generating predictive theories? Those who prefer the latter answer — and criticize the natural science model — argue that international relations theories, like those of other social sciences, must account for human agency and free will, and thus are inherently different from those of natural sciences and incapable of prediction. The course attempts to answer these questions by considering the proper use of concepts such as “law,” ”cause,” “explanation,” and “understanding” in international relations. Prerequisite: POSC 232.
451 Seminar: Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa (PG, IR)
More than 30 years after formal independence, what is the contemporary condition of many African countries? What has been the impact of economic and political reforms such as democratization and structural adjustment? This seminar discusses these and other relevant questions in African politics through comparative study of the states and regions south of the Sahara. The course explores the causes and consequences of political unrest or stability, social stagnation or change, and economic development or the lack thereof. It looks at the global spread of ideas and institutions as well as local response to globalization and regionalism in the cities as well as in the countryside. It examines not only how institutions, culture, and policies have shaped the lives of Africans but also how the people of Africa, collectively and individually, have shaped their own experiences.
454 Seminar: The Cold War and After (IR)
D. Macdonald, N. Murshid
This seminar considers the interrelationships between two great land-based nations, the U.S. and Russia, which expanded territorially, developed economically, and emerged to strategic dominance at much the same time. It examines the competition between those two states, looks at the prospects for their cooperation, and how the end of the Cold War has created new opportunities and problems for each of them.
455 Seminar: American Foreign Policy (IR)
F. Chernoff, E. Fogarty, D. Macdonald
The course focuses on theorists, thinkers, and critics of American foreign policy. Emphasis is on the values, strategies, and doctrines that have been the basis for our foreign relations, and on the perennial themes of isolationism, interventionism, realism, and idealism. Prerequisite: POSC 366.
456 Seminar: War — Theories and Practices (IR)
F. Chernoff, V. Morkevicius
Theories of warfare and explanations of the outbreak of war are the focus of this course. Explanations of warfare as a general characteristic of the international system and case studies are examined, as is the evidence on the economic, political, and social consequences of war. The course deals both with general patterns and with particular 20th-century wars. Prerequisite: POSC 232.
459 Seminar: Politics and Development in Comparative Perspective (PG)
Why are some countries politically stable while others are afflicted by frequent changes of government? Why do some countries experience growth and others remain impoverished? Do political choices shape economic outcomes or do economic factors constrain political decisions? These questions are central to the study of politics and development. This seminar compares the developmental experiences of industrialized countries such as the United States and Great Britain with newly industrializing countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, and Brazil, as well as less-developed countries such as Tanzania and Kenya. Students explore development theories from modernization to underdevelopment to rational choice and theories of weak and strong, stable and unstable states. Particular factors such as state intervention, political corruption, class formation, privatization, and foreign investment are looked at closely, to help explain the practice of politics and development in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
463 Seminar: Plato’s Political Philosophy (TH)
Many of Plato’s greatest dialogues have as their theme the perfect political community — a city governed by wise and virtuous rulers who care for the souls of citizens through moral education. Does Plato’s vision of politics have relevance for us today? Does it make him an enemy of democracy or a friendly critic who would like to improve and perfect democracy? What responsibility does the philosopher have for political and civic life? These questions are examined by a careful study of selected Platonic dialogues on politics, such as the Republic, Laws, Statesman, or Gorgias.
464 Seminar: Freedom and Authority in Modern Political Philosophy (TH)
What is freedom and how much freedom is good for society? What kind of justification do modern political philosophers offer in defense of freedom or in favor of restricting freedom? These questions are examined by studying selected works of authors such as Kant, Burke, Nietzsche, and Solzhenitsyn.
466 Seminar: Towards 1789: The Historical Development of American Constitutionalism (TH)
In this seminar, the development of American constitutionalism up to 1789 is explored. The examination has three foci: the constitutional and theoretical arguments made in defense of the colonial position advanced during the British-American crisis of 1765–1776; the debates in the Philadelphia Convention that shaped the framing of the Federal Constitution of 1789; and once proposed, the debates in the press and ratifying conventions from defenders and opponents regarding the wisdom of adopting the Constitution. The seminar’s approach to this development focuses less on the putative influence of European political theorists or radical transformations, and more on the long established constitutional and political practices and thought of 18th-century British and American political actors and authors.
467 Seminar: Modern Theories of Justice (TH)
This course develops an appreciation of conflicting and alternative approaches to these questions: What is “just”? What do differences in theories reveal about contemporary understanding of justice and the possibility of rational resolution of controversies concerning the nature of rights, economic distribution, civil rights, and political obligations?
468 Seminar: Political Thought and Literature in the Age of Reason (TH)
The rise of a new moral sensibility in the political theory and literature of the late 18th century is examined in this course. In particular, the most popular works of Rousseau, selected English novelists, and the moral-sense school of the Scottish Enlightenment are investigated for their elevation of sentiment and passion over reason. The significance of this new sensibility to familial or gender relationships and to the politics of Romanticism is central to the investigation.
469 Seminar: Constitutional Theory (TH)
An inquiry into the philosophic foundations of the Constitution as well as contemporary schools of thought on how it is to be interpreted. Beyond these general themes, the course focuses on a particular area of constitutional interpretation, such as freedom of speech, religious freedom, equal protection, separation of powers, or property rights.
470 Seminar: American Decision Making and the Vietnam War, 1950–1975 (IR)
New historical information continues to expand our knowledge of the Vietnam War, one of the most traumatic events and overdrawn “lessons” in American history. Rather than utilize many case studies to examine decision-making processes in the American political system, this course takes one case study, Vietnam, and follows the shifts in strategy and tactics in policy at the global, regional, and local levels over 25 years. Bureaucratic politics and the role of specific individuals are also included. Both decision-making theories and historical materials are used in the course. Students should be prepared to challenge their pre-existing views on the Vietnam War, no matter what they are, especially if they have been shaped by Hollywood. Prerequisite: POSC 366 (may be taken concurrently).
475 Seminar: The Theory of Natural and International Law (IR, TH)
R. Kraynak, B. Shain
Are there universal and unchanging rules of morality that transcend particular cultures and nations? Do they exist by nature and can they be known through reason? This course examines the questions of natural and international law as they have been debated by the ancient Greeks and Romans, the medieval scholastics, the early-modern creators of international law, the American founders, and contemporary cultural relativists.
Other Course Offerings
291, 391, 491 Independent Study
These courses offer opportunities for independent study projects in political science. Permission of the supervising faculty member and the department chair’s approval of a detailed project proposal and bibliography are required.
498, 499 Honors Colloquium
This course sequence is designed to provide the training and supervision for a select group of students to write honors theses in political science. The honors colloquium is described under “Honors and High Honors in Political Science” earlier in the Political Science section.