Political Science Department

Professors: Richard Born, Leah Haus, Sidney Plotkin, Stephen R. Rock b, Mary L. Shanley, Peter G. Stillman, Adelaide H. Villmoare; Associate Professors: Andrew Davison, Luke Charles Harris (Chair); Assistant Professors: Katherine Hite, Timothy Longman, Himadeep Muppidi; Adjunct Professors: Richard Reitano*, Wilfrid Rumble*.

Requirements for Concentration: 10 units, including two of the four introductory courses (Political Science 140, 150, 160, 170); 1 unit at the 100- or 200-level in each of the four major fields of political science, i.e., American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Politics, Political Theory; 2 units of graded 300-level work (including one 300-level seminar to be taken in senior year). No more than 1 unit of field work may be counted toward the major. After declaring a major, no course in political science may be elected NRO.

Transfer students and students taking academic leaves of absence: A minimum of 6 graded units in the political science major must be taken at Vassar.

Senior-Year Requirement: One 300-level seminar.

Recommendation: Political Analysis (207) is highly recommended to all majors because it deals specifically with a basic methodology of political science.

Sequence of Courses: The department recommends that students take Modern Political Thought (270) before electing subsequent 200- and 300-level political theory courses. There is no requirement to specialize in one of the four fields, although specialization is permitted.

Advisers: The department.

Correlate Sequences in Political Science: Four correlate sequences are available in political science: one each in American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Politics, and Political Theory. 6 political science units are required to complete each sequence. With the approval of the sequence adviser, up to 2 units of political science credit transferred from outside Vassar may count toward the completion of the sequence. With the approval of the sequence adviser, a maximum of 1 unit of fieldwork may count toward completion of the sequence. Up to 1 unit of work elected NRO, taken before declaring a correlate sequence, may count toward completion of the sequence. After declaring a correlate sequence, no course elected NRO may count toward completion of the sequence.

Correlate Sequence in American Politics: Political Science 140; three courses at the 200-level in the subfield of American politics; one additional related 200-level course (to be determined by the correlate sequence adviser and the student); and a 300-level course in the subfield of American politics. Sequence Advisers: Mr. Plotkin, Ms. Villmoare.

Correlate Sequence in Comparative Politics: Political Science 150; three courses at the 200-level in the subfield of comparative politics; one additional related 200-level course (to be determined by the correlate sequence adviser and the student); and a 300-level course in the subfield of comparative politics. Sequence Adviser: Mr. Longman.

Correlate Sequence in International Politics: Political Science 160; three courses at the 200-level in the subfield of international politics; one additional related 200-level course (to be determined by the correlate sequence adviser and the student); and a 300-level course in the subfield of international politics. Sequence Adviser: Ms. Haus.

Correlate Sequence in Political Theory: Political Science 170; three courses at the 200-level in the subfield of political theory; one additional related 200-level course (to be determined by the correlate sequence adviser and the student); and a 300-level course in the subfield of political theory. Sequence Advisers: Ms. Shanley, Mr. Stillman.


I. Introductory

The courses listed below are introductions to the four major fields of political science: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Politics, and Political Theory. First-year students would normally elect one course each semester. Two introductory courses are required of majors, and it is possible and sometimes desirable to take all four. Introductory courses may be taken either semester.

 
140a or b. American Politics
(1)
An analysis of the American political system and the structures and processes by which public policies are formulated and implemented. Attention is focused upon decision making in institutions of American national government, such as Congress, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court, and upon political behavior—public opinion, voting, and other forms of political activity. Attention is also given to evaluation of selected public policies and contemporary issues, and questions of political change. Mr. Born, Mr. Harris, Mr. Plotkin, Ms. Villmoare.
 
150a or b. Comparative Politics
(1)
An examination of the political systems of selected foreign societies chosen to illustrate major types: Western and non-Western, democratic and authoritarian, and mature and developing. The political system is seen to include formal institutions of government, such as parliaments and bureaucracies; political parties and other forms of group life; those aspects of the history and social and economic structure of a society that are relevant to politics; and political beliefs, values, and ideologies. Special attention is given to the question of political change and development, whether through revolutionary or constitutional process. Ms. Hite, Mr. Longman.
 
160a or b. International Politics
(1)
An examination of major issues in international politics, including national and international security and production and distribution of wealth, along with selected global issues such as human rights, ethnic nationalism and ethnic conflict, migration and refugees, environmental degradation and protection, and the impact of developments in communication and information technologies. Attention is also given to the origins, evolution, and the future of the contemporary international system, as well as to competing theoretical perspectives on world politics. Ms. Haus, Mr. Rock, Mr. Muppidi.
 
170a or b. Political Theory
(1)
An introduction to the nature, types, and problems of political theory. The core of the readings consists of selections from the classic works of Western political philosophy. The relevance of the ideas of the classical political philosophers to current political developments and scholarship is emphasized. Mr. Davison, Ms. Shanley, Mr. Stillman.
       Open to juniors and seniors by permission only.
 

II. Intermediate

Prerequisite: 1 unit of introductory political science, or by permission of instructor which is generally granted to juniors and seniors with sufficient preparation in related disciplines.

 
207. Political Analysis
(1)
A study of the methods for collecting quantitative and qualitative data in political science. In addition to exploring the logic of scientific inquiry and methods of analysis, normative questions are raised concerning the potential biases and limitations of particular modes of inquiry. Research examples emphasize the special problems in cross-cultural validation. Mr. Born.
 

A. American Politics

 
[234. Media and Politics]
(1)
This course explores various forms of media, including newspapers and journals, television, film, radio, and the internet as well as politics in the contemporary United States. Among the topics examined are the relationships between mass media and 1) electoral politics; 2) governance at the national level; 3) crime and law and order; 4) politics of race, class and gender. Ms. Villmoare.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
238. Power and Public Policy
(1)
An examination of the policy consequences of power in the United States, including the role of the corporation as a policy making institution and the influence of citizens and social movements on public policy. The emphasis is on theories of power, relationships between economic and political power, and the impact of power on ideology and the structuring of policy alternatives, policy making, and policy implementation. Case studies may include policy areas such as health, environment, tobacco, technology, and mass media. Mr. Plotkin.
 
240. The American Presidency
(1)
An analysis of the American presidency, with emphasis on recent presidents. Topics include presidential nominations and elections; the nature and use of presi-dential power; the institutionalized presidency; policy making in the White House; the relationship between presidents and other key political factors, e.g., the Congress, the bureaucracy, the media, and public opinion; and the role of presidential personality and style. Mr. Born.
 
241. Congress
(1)
An analysis of the contemporary and evolving U.S. Congress, its organization, functions, and politics. Topics include congressional elections and representation; the internal life and norms of the House and Senate; the structure of power in Congress; interest groups and lobbying; presidential-congressional relations; the congressional response to selected public problems; and political change and the future of Congress. Mr. Born.
 
242. Law, Justice, and Politics
(1)
An analysis of the interrelationships between law and politics in civil and criminal spheres in the United States, focusing on the role of the police, courtroom participants, and prison officials. Special emphasis is given to decision making in criminal law at the local level—e.g., pretrial negotiations, bail, and sentencing. Ms. Villmoare.
 
243. Constitutional Law
(1)
Leading decisions of the Supreme Court interpreting the Constitution of the United States, with special reference to the powers of government and the rights of individuals. Mr. Rumble.
 
[244. Political Parties and Public Opinion]
(1)
An examination of the nature and roles of public opinion and political parties in American politics, with emphasis on democratic means of political participation and influence in contemporary America. Special attention is paid to mass and elite political attitudes and behavior, techniques of public opinion polling, the impact of public opinion on policy making, recent national elections, campaign techniques and strategies, and the changing party system. Mr. Born.
       Alternate years: not offered in 2003/04.
 
246. African American Politics
(1)
(Same as Africana Studies 246) This course analyzes the diverse ways in which African Americans have engaged in politics in the United States. After briefly considering challenges facing the African American community, the course looks at approaches to politics including active engagement in the political system, Pan-Africanism and Black nationalism, accommodation and assimilation, class-based struggle, and everyday forms of resistance. The course concludes with a consideration of possible policy alternatives advocated by various African American leaders. Writers to be studied may include W.E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Booker T. Washington, Malcom X, Martin Luther King, Jr., William Julius Wilson, bell hooks, Manning Marable, Robin Kelley, Angela Davis, and Patricia Williams. Mr. Longman.
 
[249. The Politics of City, Suburb, and Neighborhood]
(1)
An examination of the development, organization, and practice of the varied forms of politics in metropolitan areas. Main themes include struggles between machine and reform politicians in cities; fiscal politics and urban pre-occupations with economic development; racial and class politics in cities; changes in federal urban policies; neighborhood politics and alternative forms of community organization; suburban politics and race/class exclusion. Mr. Plotkin.
       Not offered in 2003/04.

B. Comparative Politics

 
250. African Politics
(1)
(Same as Africana Studies 250) This course introduces students to the great diversity of peoples, ideas, cultures, and political practices found on the African continent. The course first investigates the causes of the contemporary social, economic, and political challenges facing African states, then analyzes the ways in which African populations have responded to foreign domination, authoritarian government, unfavorable economic conditions, and social divisions. The course uses case studies of African countries to explore political issues within specific contexts and pays particular attention to international involvement in Africa. Mr. Longman.
 
252. The Politics of Modern Social Movements
(1)
This course examines continuities and transformations in both the study and practice of modern political and social movements. The course explores why movements emerge, how they develop, and what they accomplish. We study several dimensions of collective action, including their organization, leadership, ideology or programmatic content, and objectives. Our case studies are rich and diverse, spanning actors and geographic regions, yet we consciously draw comparisons across the cases concerning movements’ origins, the context of power relations and political positioning within society. We also seek to understand the sometimes powerful, sometimes subtle influences of social movements on the nature of socioeconomic, gender, racial, ethnic, national and transnational relations today. Ms. Hite.
 
253. Transitions In Europe
(1)
This course considers transitions in Europe, with a focus on Russia and the European Union. An analysis of such changes as the collapse of authoritarianism and emergence of democracy in the former Soviet Union, the emerging democratic deficit in the European Union, marketization in Russia, and the transition to a single European market in the European Union. Ms. Haus.
 
[254. Western European Politics]
(1)
A comparative analysis of political phenomena in Western Europe, with a focus on Britain, France, and Germany. The course considers institutional, economic and cultural approaches to analyze changes in social coalitions and cleavages, and policy-making. Subjects discussed include unemployment, labour unions, immigrant incorporation, and the rise and decline of radical right wing parties. Ms. Haus.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
[255. Government and Politics in South Asia]
(1)
A comparative analysis of political phenomena in South Asia with special attention to the interaction between traditional cultural patterns, such as religion, caste, and language, and modern political forms, such as parties, parliamentary institutions, bureaucracy, political associations, and the military. Primary attention is given to India with some reference to Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Mr. Muppidi.
       Alternate years: not offered in 2003/04.
 
256. Politics and Conflict in the Middle East
(1)
A comparative analysis of the causes and dynamics of selected intra- and interstate conflicts in the Middle East with special attention to: the Arab/Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the gulf conflicts of the last two decades. Also receiving attention are the various institutional, economic, ideological, cultural, and technological factors shaping these conflicts, their competing interpretations, and questions concerning “just resolution.” Mr. Davison.
 
[257. Legacies of Violence]
(1)
A comparative analysis of the legacies of political violence for both democratic and democratizing regimes. Legacies expressed through “formal” political institutions (i.e., constitutions, laws, political parties), and through more “informal”, or cultural, expressions of authoritarianism (i.e., collective memories, symbolic acts and phenomena, day-to-day social relations) which together influence the scope and depth of democracy in post-authoritarian politics. Case studies include Italy, Germany, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, the former Yugoslavia, and the Czech Republic. Ms. Hite.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
258. Latin American Politics
(1)
An examination of major political issues and challenges facing contemporary Latin America, from ongoing processes of democratization and economic liberalization, to new efforts at regional integration and peace-keeping. The course also explores movements for socially sustainable development and citizenship rights on the part of non-governmental organizations and networks. The course uses country cases from throughout the region, including the Southern Cone, the Andes, Central America, and Mexico. Ms. Hite.

C. International Politics

 
[261. Theories of War and Peace]
(1)
An inquiry into the causes of war and peace among states. Explanations at various levels—human, societal, governmental, international—are considered. The course aims at an understanding of those factors which lead individual states into conflict with one another as well as those which incline the broader international system toward stability or instability. Mr. Rock.
       Alternate years: not offered in 2003/04.
 
263. Critical International Relations
(1)
The study of world politics is marked by a rich debate between rationalist and critical approaches. While rationalist approaches typically encompass realist/neo-realist and liberal/neo-liberal theories, critical approaches include social constructivist, historical materialist, post-structural and post-colonial theories of world politics. This course is a focused examination of some of the more prominent critical theories of international relations. It aims to a) familiarize students with the core concepts and conceptual relations implicit in these theories and b) acquaint them with the ways in which these theories can be applied to generate fresh insights into the traditional concerns, such as war, anarchy, nationalism, sovereignty, global order, economic integration, and security dilemmas of world politics. Mr. Muppidi.
       Two 75-minute periods.
 
[264. The Foreign Policy of the United States]
(1)
Key factors which shape the formulation and execution of American foreign policy are identified, primarily through a series of case studies drawn from post–World War II experience in world affairs. Normative issues concerning the decision-making process and foreign policy goals and means are also discussed. Mr. Rock.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
265. International Political Economy
(1)
This course analyzes the relationship between politics and economics, and explores change in the global political economy. Subjects considered include the rise and decline of empires; international institutions and their implications for cooperation and conflict; and globalization and its implications for inequality and democracy. Ms. Haus.
 
266. Defense Policy and Arms Control
(1)
An examination of American defense and arms control policy since 1945. Particular atention is given to the theory and practice of conventional and nuclear deterrence, and to the analysis of such contemporary issues as proliferation, the role of women and gays in the military, and the problem of economic conversion. Mr. Rock.
 
268. The Politics of Globalization
(1)
Globalization is increasingly seen as a new and powerful force in world politics, but there is intense debate over what this new force is and what its effects are. This course introduces students to some of the more prominent ways of theorizing globalization and explaining the politics underlying the economic, social and cultural effects it generates. Mr. Muppidi.
 
269. National Model United Nations
(1)
Prepares students to participate in the National Model U.N. in New York. Students represent a country and its policies, research the country’s history, its economic and political systems, and its foreign policy. Participation in the Model U.N. occurs in April. Mr. Reitano.
       Prerequisite: by permission of instructor; requires application early in the a-term.
       One 4-hour period.

D. Political Theory

 
270. Modern Political Thought
(1)
A study of selected modern political theorists, such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, Mill, and Arendt. Among the themes stressed are theories of sovereignty, the development and varieties of liberalism and individualism, different theories of community, the relationships between politics and economics, and the relationship between the individual and the state. Mr. Stillman.
 
[271. American Political Theory]
(1)
Studies of American political theory, particularly issues surrounding the meanings of democracy, political obligation, and equality. Readings include works about the government of Native American peoples, Spanish and English colonial rule, the U.S. Constitution, the post–Civil War amendments, women’s suffrage and women’s rights, and the political and constitutional challenges posed by a pluralistic or multicultural society. Mr. Stillman, Ms. Shanley.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
[273. Interpreting Politics]
(1)
A detailed study of the philosophical underpinnings of various modes of interpreting politics: empiricism/positivism; interpretive/hermeneutic inquiry, critical theory, rational choice theory, realism, and discourse analysis. Aim is to understand the central concepts and goals of each approach, the kinds of explanations they seek to offer, and the views they posit regarding the relationship between politics and theory, on the one hand, and politics and the political analyst, on the other. Mr. Davison.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
274. Thorstein Veblen and the Politics of Capitalism
(1)
Among the critics of American capitalism, Thorstein Veblen produced an original and penetrating study of American society. Veblen’s critique focused on capitalism as a business culture whose archaic political habits distort its economic promise. This course surveys Veblen’s critique as a guide to the politics of contemporary American capitalism. Themes include connections between money and the price system, consumption, waste, absentee ownership, democracy, militarism, and gender. Veblen’s influence on such later critics of the system as C. Wright Mills and Herbert Marcuse are examined, along with trenchant critics of Veblen, such as Theodore Adorno. Mr. Plotkin.
 
[276. Utopian Political Thought]
(1)
A study of major Western utopias from Thomas More’s to the present, including proposed “good societies,” dystopias such as Brave New World, and existing communities, such as theme parks, suburbs, and malls, that are utopian or can be analyzed through utopian principles. Central themes include the treatment of change, progress, and ideals; idealism versus realism; and problems of political critique and political programs. Mr. Stillman.
       Alternate years: not offered in 2003/04.
 
278. Feminism and Political Theory
(1)
Explores selected topics of importance for both political philosophy and feminist theory. Examines disputes surrounding such concepts as equality, liberty, reverse discrimination, autonomy, privacy, and citizenship, and may utilize classic texts as well as contemporary writings. Particular attention is paid to the diversity of experiences and perspectives among American feminists. Ms. Shanley.
 
282b. The Art of Power: Understanding Politics Aesthetically
(1)
This course examines the intersection of the political and the aesthetic from a political theory perspective. The main objective of the course is to explore the idea that political action per se can be understood as an aesthetic practice. Rather then following the long-standing tradition of seeing political theory as ethics, we borrow the language of aesthetics to understand political life. The concepts of representation, creativity, virtue, imagination, emotion, rhetoric, and form, inter alia, are applied to politics. In addition, we see two other aspects of the relationship of art and politics: the way that works of art have unintended political meanings (such as the imagery of the Arab world in camus, The Stranger) and the way that art is used for political mobilization and propaganda (such as the use of the work of Leni Riefenstahl and the use of art by Italian Fascism). Readings include works by Plato, Machiavelli, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Burke, Collingwood, Ankersmit, Dickie, Danto, Bourdieu. Mr. von Vacano.
       One unit introductory Political Science
       Two 75-minute periods.
 
287b. Problems of Democracy
(1)
Almost everyone claims to be an advocate of democracy, but the meaning and practical requirements of democracy are sharply contested even by its adherents. Theoretical differences among competing conceptions of democracy often entail very different--and sometimes even conflicting--kinds of responses to political problems involving individual and minority rights, technological innovations, institutional design, and group representation, among others. The first part of this course examines several of the most compelling theories and critiques of democracy in modern and contemporary political thought, while the second part focuses on the normative implications of these arguments in the context of contemporary issues in American politics. The course aims to stimulate critical reflection about both the meaning and the value of democracy in order to enrich our understanding of democracy as both a form of government and a way of life. Some of the questions we consider throughout the semester include: What are the cultural and socio-economic foundations of democracy? Does more active political participation reinforce certain kinds of inequalities? Does democracy stifle individuality? Does a successful democracy require a certain kind of personality? Does it require the exclusion of individuals or groups who reject democratic values? Is greater political deliberation among citizens necessarily desirable? What trade-offs are involved in instituting more direct forms of democracy? Is it necessarily "undemocratic" for the majority to limit the rights of others? Do efforts to guarantee and institutionalize democracy end up undermining it? Readings for this course include selections from texts Jean-Jacques Rousseau, James Madison, Alexis de Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill, Carl Schmitt, Richard Rorty, Iris Marion Young, Benjamin R. Barber, Jürgen Habermas, and others. Mr. Fatovic.
       1 unit introductory Political Science.
       Two 75-minute periods.
 
288b. Modernity and Its Critics
(1)
This course explores the political meanings of modernity in various writings from the seventeenth century to the present. In particular, the course focuses on the political implications of central themes in modern political thought: scientific mastery over nature, individualism, rationalism, universalism, and the social construction of values. These ideas constitute a major break with the scientific assumptions and political values associated with ancient and medieval political thought. A good deal of modern political thought has self-consciously sought to challenge and destabilize the communal foundations, theological certainties, and historical orientations of ancient and medieval political thought. In doing so, modern political thought has often expressed great confidence in the ability of individuals to transform and order society, nature, and even humanity itself according to newly "discovered" principles of abstract reason, science, and historical progress. Although many of these ideas have been contested by various post-modern thinkers who often claim that modern attempts to establish universal standards on rational foundations reflect contingent relations of power, these ideas were often contested within modern political thought itself. This course examines criticisms of the modern project by both modern and post-modern thinkers. Readings for this course may include selections from the following thinkers: René Descartes, Thomas Hobbes, Immanuel Kant, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Weber, Michel Foucault, and Donna Haraway. Mr. Fatovic.
       1 unit introductory Political Science.
       Two 75-minute periods.
 
289. Zionisms
(1)
(Same as Jewish Studies 289)

E. Other

 
290a or b. Field Work
(1/2 or 1)
Individual or group field projects or internships with prior approval of the adviser. Students are expected to do substantial directed reading in theoretical material specifically related to the field placement prior to or in conjunction with the field experience; to develop in consultation with a faculty supervisor a set of questions based on the theoretical reading to guide the field observations; to submit a written report relating the theoretical reading to the field observations or, in lieu of a report and at the option of the department, to take a final oral examination administered by two faculty members. No more than 1 unit of field work (either 290, 291, or a combination of the two) may be counted toward fulfilling the requirements of the minimum major. The department.
 
298a or b. Independent Work
(1/2 or 1)
Independent work is normally based on a student’s desire to study with an instruc-
       tor a specialized aspect of a course taken with that instructor. One unit normally entails substantial directed reading and/or the writing of a long paper and biweekly conferences with the instructor. In no case shall independent work satisfy the sub-field distribution requirement. The department.

III. Advanced

Prerequisite for all advanced seminars: permission of the instructor and normally a relevant course at a lower level. Enrollments, in general, are limited to twelve students. The content of seminars can vary from year to year depending upon inter-ests of students and instructors. Seminars might focus on topics too specialized to receive exhaustive treatment in lower-level courses; they might explore particular approaches to the discipline or particular methods of research; they might be concerned with especially difficult problems in political life, or be oriented toward a research project of the instructor.


A. Optional Senior Thesis

 
300. Senior Thesis
(1)
A 1-unit thesis, written in the fall semester.
 
301-302. Senior Thesis
(1 or 2)
A 1-unit thesis written in two semesters or a 2-unit thesis written in two semesters.

B. American Politics Seminars

 
341. Seminar in Congressional Politics
(1)
This seminar focuses on the theme of congresspeople and their constituents—a subject that has become quite popular among congressional scholars. While the theme is broadly construed, most of our attention is focused on congressional elections. Here we study reapportionment and redistricting, campaign finance reform, the too-often ignored subject of recruitment of congressional candidates, the role of national party organizations in congressional campaigns, the emergence of sophisticated campaign techniques, how the Republicans managed to “nationalize” the 1994 midterms and win their landslide victory, why divided party control of government has been so pervasive in the U.S., and how congresspeople continually cultivate the support of constituents over their entire term of office through casework and project assistance. Mr. Born.
       Prerequisite: by permission of instructor.
       One 2-hour period.
 
343. Seminar in Constitutional Theory
(1)
This seminar focuses on some core problems pertaining to constitutional interpretation, examining questions of constitutional theory and interpretation as they relate to issues of equality and full citizenship. The course discusses the nature and function of the constitution, explores theories about how the Constitution should be interpreted, and examines the methods that interpreters use to decipher the meanings of constitutional provisions. These concerns are addressed by focusing on various dimensions of constitutional theories and decisions pertaining to questions related to anti-discrimination law. Some of the issues covered include standards of judicial review, Supreme Court interpretations of equal protection, the constitutional protection of groups as well as individuals, and the appropriateness of constitutional protections rooted in color-blind and gender-blind principles. Mr. Harris.
       Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
       One 2-hour period.
 
346. Seminar in American Politics
(1)
An examination of selected topics in American politics. Ms. Villmoare.
       Prerequisite: by permission, normally an intermediate-level course in American politics.
       One 2-hour period.
 
348. Seminar in Democracy and Power in America
(1)
An examination of tensions and adjustments between democratic ideals and the structures and practices of political and economic power in the United States. Mr. Plotkin.
       Prerequisite: by permission of instructor, normally an intermediate-level course in American Politics.
       One 2-hour period.

C. Comparative Politics Seminars

 
352. Seminar on Multiculturalism in Comparative Perspective
(1)
(Same as Africana Studies 352) This seminar explores the political significance of cultural diversity. Based on the comparative analysis of the United States and other multicultural states, the course examines how and why racial, ethnic, linguistic, and religious identities become grounds for political action. The course examines the formation of identity groups and considers the origins of prejudice, racism, and discrimination. The course also considers peaceful means that governments can use to accommodate cultural diversity. In addition to the United States, countries studied may include South Africa, Rwanda, India, and Yugoslavia. Mr. Longman.
       Prerequisite: by permission of instructor.
       One 2-hour period.
 
355. Seminar on Violence
(1)
This seminar explores the many manifestations of political violence. Drawing from cases around the world, we examine: 1) a range of theoretical explanations of violence; 2) how governments and societies address systematic violations of human rights of their pasts; 3) organized insurgency and counterinsurgency response; and 4) extremely high levels of violence as an every day social phenomenon. The seminar attempts to address the influences, linkages, and implications of past and present violence for these societies; present and future politics and culture. Case studies come from Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the United States. Ms. Hite.
       Prerequisite: by permission of instructor.
       One 2-hour period.

D. International Politics Seminars

 
360. Seminar in International Conflict and Cooperation
(1)
An examination of selected topics in international conflict and cooperation. Mr. Rock.
       Prerequisite: by permission of instructor.
       One 2-hour period.
 
362. Seminar in International Politics: Migration and Citizenship
(1)
An inquiry into the causes and consequences of migration from developing countries (such as China, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Algeria) to developed countries (e.g., The U.S., France, Britain, and Germany). The seminar first addresses different explanations for why people move across state borders, and considers the role of economic forces, smuggler networks, transnational social networks, and the legacies of colonialism. The seminar then addresses immigrant incorporation and reactions to immigration in developed countries through an analysis of such subjects as immigrant entrepreneurship in New York City, relations between unions and immigrants, citizenship policy in France, Germany and the U.S., and the incorporation of immigrant children of the second generation. Ms. Haus.
       Prerequisite: by permission of instructor.
       One 2-hour period.
 
363. Decolonizing International Relations
(1)
Colonial frameworks are deeply constitutive of mainstream international relations. Issues of global security, economy, and politics continue to be analyzed through perspectives that either silence or are impervious to the voices and agencies of global majorities. This seminar challenges students to enter into, reconstruct, and critically evaluate the differently imagined worlds of ordinary, subaltern peoples and political groups. We draw upon postcolonial theories to explore alternatives to the historically dominant explanations of international relations. Mr. Muppidi.
       Prerequisite: by permission of instructor.
       One 2-hour period.

E. Political Theory Seminars

 
372. Contested Rights
(1)
This course examines the concept of “rights” as it has developed in Western political thought, and contemporary controversies concerning rights. Ms. Shanley.
       Prerequisite: by permission of instructor.
       One 2-hour period.
 
373. Seminar in Political Philosophy
(1)
A study of a major theorist, school, or problem in political philosophy. Mr. Stillman.
       Prerequisite: by permission of instructor.
       One 2-hour period.
 
[376. Seminar in Feminist Theory In Political Thought]
(1)
This seminar studies a major theorist, school, or problem in feminist theory. Ms. Shanley.
       Prerequisite: by permission of instructor.
       One 2-hour period.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
382a. The Political Thought of the American Founding
(1)
This seminar explores central themes in the political thought of the American Foundling through an analysis of important primary documents and secondary sources. Recent scholarship on the political thought of this period has focused on a perceived opposition between the centripetal forces of a civic republican tradition that draws citizens into active and virtuous public service and the centrifugal tendencies of a liberal tradition that gravitates towards excessive individualism and an attendant suspicion of government. The readings assigned for this course are used to assess the usefulness of such organizing categories in understanding American political thought and in the study of political ideas more generally. Some of the specific topics covered include early American attitudes towards work, slavery, individual rights, religion, and political participation. Mr. Fatovic.
       One 2-hour period.
 
383a. Latin American Political Thought
(1)
The main purpose of this course is to explore various traditions in Latin American political theorizing. Generally, the canon in the discipline of political theory/philosophy is limited to European and North American contributions. Moreover, most courses in Latin American politics focus on empirical problems. In this course we address these two concerns by examining key texts in the history of political theory in the Spanish-American continent. In this way we see how the unique experience of Latin American theorists draws on both indigenous and European sources to create something new. We begin by considering the work of Bartolomé de las Casas, Francisco de Vitoria, and other Catholic thinkers of the Colonial period. As we consider Latin American republican thought, we shall see how Simon Bolivar was influenced by the European continental republican tradition. We explore the thought of José Martí, Rodó, and Sarmiento. The Marxist tradition, in dialogue with the European experience, is also examined as we read Mariátegui and the later work of Ernesto 'Ché' Guevara. Liberation theology isassessed through the work of Gustavo Gutierrez. We end the course with selections of more contemporary work by Vargas Llosa, Hernando de Soto and other neo-liberals, as well as the subaltern women's writing of Domitila Chungara and the post-modern indigenismo of Subcomandate Marcos. The work of recent U.S. Latino authors, Jorge Gracia and Ilan Stavans, is also examined as part of a transnational 'Latin Americanism.' Mr. von Vacano.
       One 2-hour period.
 
[384. Seminar in Political Theory]
(1)
An examination of selected theorists and problems in contemporary political theory. Mr. Davison.
       Prerequisite: by permission of instructor.
       One 2-hour period.
       Not offered in 2003/04.

F. Other

 
399a or b. Senior Independent Work
(1/2 or 1)
Independent work is normally based on a student’s desire to study with an instructor a specialized aspect of a course taken with that instructor. Normally 1 unit entails substantial directed reading, the writing of a long paper, and biweekly conferences with the instructor. This course cannot be used to satisfy the requirement of 2 units of 300-level work in the major. In no case shall independent work satisfy the subfield distribution requirement. The department.