Political Science Department

Professors: Richard Borna, Leah Haus (Chair), Sidney Plotkin, Stephen R. Rockb, Mary L. Shanleyb, Peter G. Stillman, Adelaide H. Villmoare; Associate Professors: Andrew Davison, Luke Charles Harris, Katherine Hiteb, Timothy Longman; Assistant Professors: Himadeep Muppidi, Fubing Sua; Adjunct Professors: Richard Reitano*, Wilfrid Rumble*.

a Absent on leave, first semester.

b Absent on leave, second semester.

Requirements for Concentration: 10 units, including 1 unit at the 100-level in Political Science; 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 (i.e. a course with a number in the 340s, 350s, 360s, 370s, or 380s). Students are required to take I unit at the 100-level in political science, and are allowed to count up to 2 units at the 100-level in political science toward the major. 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 (i.e. a course with a number in the 340s, 350s, 360s, 370s, or 380s)

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 graded course in the subfield of American politics.Sequence Advisers: Mr. Born, Mr. Harris, 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 graded course in the subfield of comparative politics. Sequence Advisers: Ms. Hite, Mr. Longman, Mr. Su.

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 graded course in the subfield of international politics. Sequence Advisers: Ms. Haus, Mr. Muppidi, Mr. Rock.

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 graded course in the subfield of political theory.Sequence Advisers: Mr. Davison, Ms. Shanley, Mr. Stillman.

I. Introductory

The courses listed below are introductions to the discipline of political science and the four major fields of political science: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Politics, and Political Theory. One introductory course is required of majors. No more than two introductory courses may be counted towards the major. Enrollment of juniors and seniors for 100-level courses by permission of the instructor only.

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.

140a or b. American Politics: A Multiracial and Multicultural Approach to U.S. Politics (1)

This course represents a multiracial and multicultural approach to the study of American Politics. It examines American social history, political ideologies, and governmental institutions. It covers a broad range of topics including the Constitution, federalism, Congress, the judiciary, and the politics of difference in the United States. The thematic core of the class engages the evolution of the ideas of “equality” and “citizenship” in American society. Mr. Harris.

140a or b. American Politics: Conflict and Power (1)

An analysis of US politics as an example of the uses of conflict to uphold and/or to change established relationships of power and public policy. A main focus is on alternative theories and strategies of conflict, especially as reflected in such institutions as the constitution, court, party system, interest groups, the media, and presidency. A major focus is on the conflict implications of business as a system of power, its relation to the warfare state and the US international project. Materials may be drawn from comparisons with other political systems. Mr. Plotkin.

140 a or b. American Politics: Democracy and Citizenship (1)

This course examines tensions and conflicts surrounding contemporary US democracy within the context of a global, post 9/11 world. Issues of citizenship and immigration, liberty, security, class, race, ethnicity, and gender inform a consideration of federal government institutions and processes. Specific topics vary according to changing political events and circumstances. Ms. Villmoare.

150a or b. Comparative Politics (1)

An examination of political systems across the world chosen to illustrate different types of political regimes, states, and societies. 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. Instructor to be announced.

150a or b. Comparative Politics: Analyzing Politics in the World (1)

This course introduces how comparativists analyze politics within states in the world. Topics include state formation, democracy and dictatorship, political economy, social movements, revolution, ethnicity, and political culture. The course draws from both theoretical work and country and regional case studies that may include the US, Chile, China, India, Cuba, Great Britain, Iran, the Middle East, South Africa and East Asia. The course uses cases to analyze and compare basic concepts and patterns of the political process. Students should come away from the course with both an understanding of the diversity of the world’s political systems, as well as an appreciation of the questions and concepts that inform the work of political scientists. Ms. Hite, Mr. Su.

150a or b. Comparative Politics: States and Societies (1)

The study of relations between states and their societies serves as an introduction to the field of comparative politics. Using a case study approach and sources ranging from autobiographies and poetry to traditional political science texts, the course examines domestic political processes in China, Chile, Great Britain, and South Africa. Issues studied include the impacts of history and culture on politics, the balance between coercion and legitimacy, struggles over human rights and democracy, conflicts over racial, religious, gender, and sexual orientation identities, and efforts to obtain economic opportunity and growth and how these involve and affect people in their daily lives. The central concern of the course is how people in various countries both seek to influence and are affected by their political systems. 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 what are considered classic works in the field. The course emphasizes the relevance of these ideas to current political developments and scholarship. Mr. Davison, Ms. Shanley.

170a or b. Political Theory: Central Political Concepts and Practices (1)

An examination of central political concepts and practices with reading from the history of political philosophy and contemporary thinkers. The course treats concepts and practices such as freedom, citizenship, equality, the state, revolution, the Socratic question of how best to lead one’s life, conservatism, and anarchism, using readings by thinkers such as Aristotle, Machiavelli, Locke, Mill, Ghandi, Arendt, Foucault, and current authors. Mr. Stillman.

II. Intermediate

Prerequisite: Freshmen may take a 200-level course only with the permission of the instructor, which usually requires satisfactory completion of an introductory course. For sophomores, juniors, and seniors, an introductory course is recommended but not required.

[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.

Not offered in 2006/07.

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 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.

[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.

Not offered in 2006/07.

[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 presidential 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.

Not offered in 2006/07.

[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.

Not offered in 2006/07.

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.

Not offered in 2006/07.

[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, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., William Julius Wilson, bell hooks, Manning Marable, Robin Kelley, Angela Davis, and Patricia Williams. Mr. Longman.

Not offered in 2006/07.

247. The Politics of Difference (1)

This course relates to the meanings of various group experiences in American politics. It explicitly explores, for example, issues of race, class, gender, disability, and sexual orientation. Among other things, this course addresses the contributions of the Critical Legal Studies Movement, the Feminist Jurisprudence Movement, the Critical Race Movement, and Queer Studies to the legal academy. Mr. Harris.

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.

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.

251. United states: Turkey and Iraq (1)

An analysis of the historical and contemporary political dynamics shaping politics in Turkey and Iraq. Special attention is given to various axes of domestic conflict, the circumstances of those conflicts and alternative forms of accommodation and struggle that have been adopted. Integral to this project is consideration of ongoing regional and global forces that have influenced both circumstance and possibility within each state. Mr. Davison.

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.

Not offered in 2006/07.

[254. Chinese Politics and Economy] (1)

(Same as Asian Studies 254) This course offers a historical and thematic survey of Chinese politics, with an emphasis on the patterns and dynamics of political development and reforms since the Communist takeover in 1949. In the historical section, we examine major political events up to the reform era, including China’s imperial political system, the collapse of dynasties, civil war, the Communist Party’s rise to power, land reform, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and the launch of reform. The thematic section deals with some general issues of governance, economic reform, democratization, globalization and China’s relations with Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States. This course is designed to help students gain some perspectives to comprehend political issues in contemporary China. Mr. Su.

Not offered in 2006/07.

[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 2006/07.

[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.

Not offered in 2006/07.

259. Human Rights and Politics (1)

(Same as Africana Studies 259) This course examines the growing international influence of human rights principles, documents, and organizations on politics. We study how human rights discourse has emerged as a major factor in modern politics and review the documents that serve as a basis drawn from Africa and the United States to explore issues such as universality versus cultural specificity of human rights discourses, civil and political rights versus cultural versus economic, social, and cultural rights, individual versus group rights, the crime of genocide, efforts to expand human rights law to include rights for children, women, gays, lesbians and others, and the activities of national and international human rights organizations. Mr. Longman.

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.

Not offered in 2006/07.

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.

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.

[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.

Not offered in 2006/07.

[266. Defense Policy and Arms Control] (1)

An examination of American defense and arms control policy since 1945. Particular attention 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.

Not offered in 2006/07.

[267. East Asian Security] (1)

(Same as Asian Studies 267) This course surveys major security issues, broadly defined as political, military, and economic, in East Asia. Some historical background about this region is introduced, including western and Japanese imperialism, Cold War in East Asia, Korean War, Vietnam War, and Sino-American normalization. Then we examine some contemporary challenges in the region: US-Japan Relations, the Taiwan Strait, the Korean Peninsula, and the rise of China and its implications for the regional stability and the world order. East Asian economic success and recent troubles will also be discussed. Mr. Su.

Not offered in 2006/07.

[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.

Not offered in 2006/07.

269. National Model United Nations (1)

Prepares students to participate in the National Model United Nations in New York City. Students represent a country, research its history, its political, economic and social systems, and its foreign policy. There is also a comprehensive evaluation of the UN system, and the role of states and non-state actors, such as NGOs. Participation in the Model UN simulation occurs in the spring. Mr. Reitano.

Prerequisite: by permission of instructor. Application is required 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. Race, Gender, and Class in American Political Thought] (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 2006/07.

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.

278. Feminist Theory, Policy Issues, and Law (1)

Explores the relationship between selected topics in feminist theory and public policy issues in the United States. Concepts we examine in feminist theory may include autonomy, liberty, equality, privacy, citizenship, and the ethics of care, and policy issues may include family and workplace policies, marriage law (including same-sex marriage), affirmative action, pornography and sex work, and welfare reform. The emphasis throughout is on diverse theoretical perspectives and their policy implications. Ms. Shanley.

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 instructor 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 subfield distribution requirement. The department.

III. Advanced

Prerequisite for all advanced courses and seminars: permission of the instructor and normally a relevant course at a lower level. Enrollments for advanced courses in the Political Science 310s, in general, are limited to nineteen students. Enrollments for seminars in the 340s, 350s, 360s, and 370s, in general, are limited to twelve students. The content of seminars can vary from year to year depending upon interests 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.

B. Advanced Courses

310. Feminism of Color in the Law (1)

This course examines the legal history of feminisms of color in the United States. It also explores mainstream feminism’s transformative impact on the law. The course considers a broad range of issues including reproductive rights, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, -immigrant rights, violence against women, and affirmative action. This class is taught from a multidisciplinary perspective embracing readings from legal scholars, political philosophers, economists, journalists, lay persons, et al. Mr. Harris.

Prerequisite: by permission of instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

311. 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 Theordor Adorno. Mr. Plotkin.

Prerequisite: by permission of instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

312. Green Utopias (1)

(Same as Environmental Studies 312) Although utopias since More’s have been concerned with the human relation to nature, green utopias have flourished in the past half century as environmental concerns have come to the fore. This course examines typical and exemplary green utopias (and dystopias), asking about the value of applying utopian methods to environmental issues and about the environmental insights the utopias (and dystopias) offer. Students may (but need not) write their own green utopia. Mr. Stillman.

Prerequisite: by permission of instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

314b. The Politics of Public and Private (1)

This course examines the political significance of public and private in the contemporary US. Theoretical arguments as well as specific issues and contexts within which debates about public and private unfold are analyzed. Of particular thematic concern is the privatization of governmental responsibilities and the "public" and "private" rights claims of individuals and communities. Among the issues studied are privatization of the US military and prisons, gated and other "private" communities and their relationship to the larger political communities within which they exist, intellectual property and the public domain, and the "privacy" of personal decisions. Ms. Villmoare.

Prerequisite: by permission of instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

C. 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: by 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 of instructor, normally an intermediate-level course in American politics.

One 2-hour period.

Not offered in 2006/07.

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.

D. 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.

358. Comparative Political Economy (1)

This course surveys some classic writings in the study of political economy and examines a variety of choices countries have made in different time periods and in different regions of the world, including Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The primary objective of the course is to explore how politics and economics have interacted in the real world. By the end of the course students should also have gained familiarity with some analytical tools in the field of political economy. Mr. Su.

E. 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.

F. 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.

Not offered in 2006/07.

[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.

Not offered in 2006/07.

[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 2006/07.

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.

385. Families, Politics, and Law (1)

This course examines emerging perspectives on family forms and state regulation of families that have appeared in response to such developments as same-sex marriage and parenting; multi-racial families created by intermarriage and by transracial and intercountry adoption; increasing numbers of single-parent households; and reproductive technologies that enable people to procreate by using donated eggs and sperm and/or hired gestational service (and in the future, perhaps, by cloning). The course explores these issues from the perspective of theories of social justice that put concerns of race, economic class, and gender at the center of their analysis. Ms. Shanley.

G. 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.