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Political Science offers courses in four subfields: American Politics (AMER), Comparative World Politics (COMP), Political Philosophy and Theory (TH), and International Relations (IR). Each subfield has a 100-level introductory course. The 100-level courses can be taken in any order. The 200- and 300-level courses are of equivalent difficulty, although the 300-level courses tend to focus on more specialized topics. The 400-level courses are seminars and are limited to junior and senior political science majors. Political Science offers a disciplinary major and minor. All courses must be completed with a grade of C- or better in order to be credited toward the major.

disciplinary, 10 courses
Two introductory courses from among POL 110, POL 140, POL 160, and POL 180; one course in each of the four subfields (the introductory courses count); a seminar in the junior and senior years; and a group of four courses, one of which may be outside the department, that define a theme or focus and are approved by the adviser. Except for seminars, no more than four courses in any one subfield count toward the major. All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. Credit/no credit courses cannot be counted towards the major.

disciplinary, 5 courses
Five political science courses in at least three separate subfields (American Politics, Comparative World Politics, International Relations, Political Theory), three of which must be at the 200-level or higher. All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. Credit/no credit courses cannot be counted towards the minor.

Note: Some courses serve more than one subfield. Seminars do not count toward subfields.

American Politics Subfield
POL 110 Introduction to American Politics
POL 204 Modern American Conservatism
POL 205 Religion and American Politics
POL 207 Governing through Crime
POL 210 Midterm Campaigns and Elections
POL 211 Visions of the City
POL 212 The Sixties
POL 215 Racial and Ethnic Politics
POL 221 Voting and Elections
POL 222 Political Parties
POL 224 American Congress
POL 225 American Presidency
POL 229 State and Local Government
POL 236 Urban Politics
POL 238 Sex and Power
POL 249 Protests, Movements, Revolutions
POL 270 African American Political Thought
POL 320 Mass Media
POL 332 American Constitutional Law
POL 333 Civil Rights
POL 334 Civil Liberties
POL 335 Law and Society
POL 366 Theories of American Democracy

Comparative Politics Subfield
POL 140 Introduction to Comparative Politics
POL 202 Politics of Afghanistan
POL 208 Gender and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa
POL 243 Europe after Communism
POL 245 Politics of the New Europe
POL 248 Politics of Development
POL 249 Protests, Movements, Unions
POL 254 Globalization
POL 255 Politics of Latin American Development
POL 257 Russia/China Resurgent
POL 258 Comparative Politics of the Middle East
POL 259 African Politics
POL 281 Politics of South Asia
POL 285 International Politics of the Middle East
POL 289 Political Economy of Development in Egypt
POL 297 Europe and America
POL 312 Political Reform in the Middle East
POL 348 Racism, Class and Conflicts
POL 387 State and Markets

International Relations Subfield
POL 180 Introduction to International Relations
POL 202 Politics of Afghanistan
POL 248 Politics of Development
POL 254 Globalization
POL 280 Contemporary International Relations
POL 281 Politics of South Asia
POL 283 Terrorism
POL 285 International Politics of the Middle East
POL 289 Political Economy of Development in Egypt
POL 290 American Foreign Policy
POL 296 International Law
POL 297 Europe and America
POL 312 Political Reform in the Middle East
POL 380 Theories of International Relations
POL 387 States and Markets
POL 394 Identity and International Relations

Political Theory Subfield
POL 160 Introduction to Political Theory
POL 175 Introduction to Feminist Theory
POL 264 Legal Theory
POL 265 Modern Political Theory
POL 267 Twentieth Century Political Theory
POL 270 African American Political Thought
POL 279 Radical Thought from Karl Marx to George Bush
POL 310 Feminist Legal Theory
POL 363 Digital Networks
POL 366 Theories of American Democracy
POL 368 Contemporary Political Theory
POL 375 Feminist Legal Theory
POL 379 Radical Thought, Left and Right

Methods Courses
POL 261 Quantitative Research Methods in Political Science
POL 263 Problems and Methods in the Study of Politics

PPOL 101 Democracy and Public Policy
PPOL 219 Sexual Minority Movements and Public Policy
PPOL 328 Environmental Policy
PPOL 364 Social Policy and Community Activism

POL 110 Introduction to American Politics This course examines the capability of the American political system to respond to the needs of all its citizens. It looks at historical origins, basic institutions, distribution of power, popular influence, political parties, social movements, the relationship of capitalism to democracy, and inequalities based on class, race, and gender. (Deutchman, Lucas, Mink, Passavant, Rose offered each semester; subfield: AMER)

POL 140 Introduction to Comparative World Politics An ambitious introductory course aimed at teaching students basic theoretical and empirical concepts necessary for comparison across the world’s political systems. Students will be introduced to the fundamental tenets of diverse political and economic systems and ideologies, explore the foundations of political order and disorder (including discussions of nationalism, state-building, globalization, revolution, and more), and consider the myriad ways in which relationships between state, society, and market are ordered. Theoretical discussions will be supplemented with empirical case studies from around the world. Combining theoretical insights with political, social, and economic history and current events will help students as they endeavor to understand just why it is that the world’s political systems are organized the way they are. (Ost, Philbrick Yadav, offered each semester; subfield: COMP)

POL 160 Introduction to Political Theory This course reads classical political theory from the Ancient Greeks through the early modern period in England. The class introduces students to some of the major themes through which politics and political life have been understood. Beginning with Thucydides, it examines the virtues and values of the ancient world with attention to the dilemma between justice and expediency. Continuing with Plato and Aristotle, it considers justice, reason, and the good in the context of life in the polis. The course ends with the challenges Machiavelli’s and Hobbes’ notions of power present for the presumption of an original human sociality, for the emergence of liberal ideals of individual autonomy and national sovereignty. (Dean, offered annually; subfield: TH)

POL 175 Introduction to Feminist Theory This course introduces students to key ideas in American feminist thought. Juxtaposing the concerns motivating first, second, and third wave feminists, the course highlights changes in the politics of bodies, gender, and identities. How is it, for example, that some second wave feminists sought to politicize housework while contemporary feminists are more likely to concern themselves with complex articulations of sexuality, pleasure, and autonomy? The course situates these changes within their social, economic, and historical contexts. Course materials include films, popular culture, memoirs, and novels as well as important texts in feminist theory. (Dean, offered occasionally; subfield: TH)

POL 180 Introduction to International Relations As a broad introduction to the study of international relations (IR), this course is designed to give students an understanding of the basic concepts of world politics, an appreciation of the evolution of the current state system, and a sampling of various approaches and theories of IR. Readings come from primary documents as well as a standard text. The course is grounded in an awareness of current events. Students examine how the lens used to view the world shapes understanding of the world, its problems, and possible solutions. (Dunn, Yadav, offered every semester; subfield: IR)

POL 200 Topics This course examines a contemporary issue, usually by developing a case specific focus.

POL 202 Politics of Afghanistan This course examines the history and politics of Afghanistan from the emergence of the modern state to the present. The course will illuminate the complex interrelationship between a range of contending and complementary social identities, institutions, ideologies, personalities, and social movements in the Afghan polity. Students will gain an understanding of the domestic, regional, and structural causes and consequences of Afghanistan’s revolutions and conflicts since 1973. (Yadav, offered alternative years; subfields: COMP, IR)

POL 204 Modern American Conservatism One of the most significant factors in American politics over the last 40 years has been the rise of the Right in the United States. Although there has long been a tradition of an active Right in the U.S., it was for the most part politically marginalized. Over the last 25 years it has been increasingly successful and influential. This is especially true for the Religious Right or Christian Right. What happens to the post-William Buckley, post- Ronald Reagan Right will be a major focus of this course. (Deutchman, offered annually; subfield: AMER)

POL 207 Governing Through Crime Over the last thirty years, the United States has experienced an exponential rise in both the numbers of people incarcerated and the rate of incarceration. Some analysts are beginning to see comparisons between the U.S. and the Soviet gulag or apartheid South Africa in terms of the percent of the population imprisoned. Until the 1970s, criminal justice policy was seen as the domain of policy experts, while courts increasingly sought to protect the due process rights of those accused of crimes. At the end of this era, the administration of the death penalty was declared unconstitutional and considered to be anachronistic, if not “barbaric.” Then something changed. Today, it is said, we are a society that governs through crime. (Passavant, offered alternate years; subfield: AMER)

POL 208 Gender and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa This course will provide an overview of the politics of gender in the contemporary Middle East and North Africa, including the Arab countries, Iran, Israel, and Turkey. Topics covered will include women’s engagement in revolutions, political parties, monarchical government, and resistance movements; state intervention into questions of gender, including family law, inheritance and citizenship rights, dress codes, laws regulating sexuality, and state feminism; and women’s and feminist movements, including peace movements, Islamist feminisms, pro-democracy activism, and diasporic feminism. In particular, it will analyze recent and current revolutionary transformations in the Middle East and North Africa, in light of the ways that gender intersects with them. (Philbrick Yadav, offered alternate years; subfield: COMP)

POL 210 Campaigns and Elections This course provides a critical examination of American midterm elections and the campaigns that lead up to them. By examining the current general literature on campaigns and elections within the US, students will grapple key questions such as: Do elections matter? How? How is the best way to run a campaign? Given redistricting, does party trump everything so that it really does not matter who is running? (Deutchman, offered alternate years; subfield: AMER)

POL 211 Visions of the City This course examines the changing and contested meaning of urban life in the United States. Cities have been cast as disordered spaces that corrupt our most fundamental attachments. But cities have also been presented as well-ordered cosmopolitan spaces in which the American experience could be almost perfectly expressed. In interrogating the tension between these two depictions of urban life, we will specifically discuss: attempts to inform daily practices through the design of the city; anxieties about immigration and mobility; architecture’s relationship to nature and democracy; the origins of housing reform and urban planning movement; and the significance of gender, race, and class in the American experience. (Mink, offered alternate years; subfield: AMER)

POL 212 The Sixties “The Sixties” is commonly memorialized as a period of radical social, political and cultural change in the United States. This course examines the origins of the various social movements—civil rights, black power, anti-war, women’s liberation—which characterized the decade and assesses their impact on the late 20th century American political landscape. By engaging primary materials, sociological studies and autobiography, students are asked to offer critical analysis of the era’s many leaders, organizations and ideas. Additionally, this course addresses the character of conservative responses to the egalitarian overtures of Sixties oppositional movements and public policy changes. (Staff, offered occasionally; subfield: AMER)

POL 213 Politics of China This course addresses issues of central concern to Comparative Political Science, such as modernization and its discontents, nation-building and its others, democracy, class, gender, and contention. It does so however from closely reading and interpreting how they are discursively framed and contested in China. Students will be required not only to identify the salient topics and debates for each week, but more importantly, to think beyond a concept's familiar usage and track how it changes in different political contexts and narratives. The goal of the course is twofold: to provide a detailed analysis of the core issues of Chinese politics and society and, in doing so, introduce a new vocabulary of the political.

POL 215 Racial and Ethnic Politics This course examines the historical and contemporary relationship between ethnic minority and majority groups in the American political system. The course looks at the use and effectiveness of political and social power in shaping American race relations and the ability of alternative methods to change those relations. The focus of the course is largely on the relationship between U.S. society and African Americans, but Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans are also covered. (Rose, offered occasionally; subfield: AMER)

POL 221 Voting and Elections in America This course examines the relationship between voting patterns and electoral outcomes in the United States. It explores various theories to explain the voting habits of the American electorate as well as strategies and tactics used by candidates in order to win elections.. (Lucas, offered occasionally, subfield: AMER)

POL 222 Political Parties Despite early skepticism and modern contempt, political parties have become integral components of the American political process. This course examines the historical and contemporary functions of American political parties in the context of the wishes of the American public, the desires of political officials, and the needs of the nation. It outlines the operational, functional, and electoral factors that shape the American party system. The course further examines the role and challenges of third parties in the U.S. (Lucas, offered annually, subfield: AMER)

POL 224 The American Congress This course examines Congress as a major institution within the American political system. It studies the constitutional, theoretical, and practical behavior of members of the legislative branch in relation to American public policy, other political institutions, and the American public at large. Particular attention is devoted to factors that influence congressional behavior and to examining the (in)ability of the legislative branch to effectively represent the nation. (Lucas, offered annually, subfield: AMER)

POL 225 The American Presidency This course examines presidential powers from both historical and contemporary perspectives. It places the presidency within the broader analytical context of the president’s place in the constitutional order and American political development. Presidential power will be assessed not only in terms of whether the presidency has the necessary resources to pursue presidential objectives, but also in terms of the potential danger that presidential power poses to broader democratic commitments. (Mink, offered annually; subfield: AMER)

POL 229 State and Local Government This course is concerned with the structures, functions, and politics of state governments. It highlights the similarities and differences that characterize the 50 states. It examines the historical and constitutional roles of the states, the role of the states in the federal system, and variations among the states in regard to economic characteristics, citizen attitudes, voter participation, political parties, and public policy. (Staff, offered occasionally; subfield: AMER)

POL 236 Urban Politics This course interrogates how American political and economic commitments have informed the urban experience. Specifically, the course examines the organization of urban governments, the relationship between local, state, and federal governments, and the concentration of power in urban settings including the politics of segregation, suburbanization, and urban renewal. More specifically, this course considers these topics in terms of the challenges posed by American democratic commitments and gives special attention to ‘public’ space (both material and figurative) as a necessary requirement for democratic practice.This is one of the core courses in the Urban Studies program. (Mink, offered annually; subfield: AMER)

POL 238 Sex and Power The overwhelmingly male bias in the American political system raises fundamental questions about equity, justice, and the representation of all interests. The feminist movement, in an attempt to answer some of these questions, has in effect redefined politics itself, fundamentally altering the terms of the debate. This course uses the framework that “the personal is political” to critique the American political system from a variety of feminist perspectives. Specifically, the course focuses on the issues of the sexual revolution, rape and pornography, and the sexuality debates within the feminist community. (Deutchman, offered annually; subfield: AMER)

POL 243 Eastern Europe in Transition An old Chinese curse says, “May you live in interesting times!” East Europeans have, living through all the great (and awful) “isms” of the last century up to post-communist global capitalism today. Because of all these changes, studying Eastern Europe is the perfect laboratory for understanding political change in general. The course begins with the region’s status as the peripheral part of Europe, and then explores independence, nationalism, and the appeal of communism. We explore why communism fell, focusing on the Solidarity experience in Poland, and then look at the revolutions of 1989, the dilemmas of democratization, the wars in Yugoslavia, economic privatization, the evolution of civil society, and entry into the European Union. Is Eastern Europe still different from the west? Will the new unity survive? We end with a consideration of the growing importance of the east to Europe as a whole. (Ost, offered occasionally; subfield: COMP)

POL 245 Politics of the New Europe This course studies the evolution of postwar Europe—from radicalism to globalism, the welfare state to Blairist Thatcherism, Stalinism to the fall of the Berlin wall, American domination to the rise of the European Union. The focus of the course is the rise and fall of class politics. It explores what capitalism and socialism have meant to Europe and contrasts European with U.S. politics. Topics include the crisis of prewar Europe, Keynesianism and communism, the meaning of 1968, radicalism, populism, the new right, and the New Europe. (Ost, offered alternate years; subfield: COMP)

POL 248 Politics of Development This course examines contending historical and contemporary explanations for the phenomenon of entrenched global poverty and critically assesses proposed policy solutions to ending absolute poverty in our time. The course contrasts micro-level approaches, which seek to build an “inclusive capitalism” through the extension of property rights and the enhancement of individual capacity, with macro-level approaches that seek to restructure the international regime on debt relief and international development organizations. (Yadav, offered alternate years; subfields: IR, COMP)

POL 249 Protests, Movements, Unions This is a course in “unconventional” politics around the globe. In recent years, movements have become an inexorable part of the current political system. What are movements? How and why do they come about? What are their aims and purposes? How have movements changed over the past century? Why and when do movements become revolutions? Topics include the Russian Revolution, the lure of communism, the civil rights movement in the U.S., the struggle against communism in Eastern Europe, transnational social movements, and the “alternative globalization” movement. The course also includes theoretical social science readings on the causes, nature, and consequences of protests and movements. (Ost, offered alternate years; subfields: AMER, COMP)

POL 254 Globalization This course looks at five themes: global economics, global migration, global civil society, global human rights, and global institutions. Students examine how international mobility of both capital and labor transforms both lives and politics, and in different ways in different places. Questions include: Why do jobs and people go abroad? Who does it help and who does it hurt? What are the politics of the Caribbean nanny in the middle-class New York home? How does globalization weaken the state and why is that so dangerous for democracy? Can transnational civil activism make things better? Can the UN or World Bank do a better job? Do “global human rights” exist? Should they? (Ost, Yadav, offered alternate years; subfields: COMP, IR)

POL 255 The Politics of Latin American Development This course examines how politics in Latin American countries have been shaped by their differing historical role in supplying raw materials for First World consumption, tracing how the production of various crops (coffee, bananas, wheat) or goods (tin, beef) have led countries to develop different social structures and corresponding political systems. It also considers how recent efforts by social groups (women, indigenous people) to gain a greater voice in government have been both inspired and impeded by neoliberal reforms. (Staff, offered occasionally; subfield: COMP)

POL 257 Russia/China Resurgent This course explores the evolution and transformation of these two great powers over the last century. Students begin with trying to understand communism through a close look at Soviet practices for building the “new society.” Students follow Russia’s trajectory from superpower to beleaguered nation, then turn to parallel developments in China and the reverse evolution from struggling nation to potential world power today. Why has China evolved so differently than Russia? What do the differences mean for the people who live there? What do these experiences tell about the nature of communism? What do they tell about America with its historic fears of communism? (Ost, offered alternative years; subfield: COMP)

POL 258 Comparative Politics of the Middle East This course explores the complex and shifting relationships between state and society in the late colonial and postcolonial Middle East. Paying particular attention to questions of state building and development, it explores the ways in which state legitimacy is variously supported and challenged by alternative sites of authority in society. Course topics will address a variety of secular and religious movements, the role of state and anti-state violence, and the impact of economic and cultural globalization, among others. (Philbrick Yadav, offered annually, subfield: COMP)

POL 259 African Politics The course traces the evolution of the African state from its colonial creation to its modern day “crisis” through an examination of how political, economic and social considerations have shaped and transformed African politics. The first section of the course examines the historical creation of contemporary African polities from the era of European colonization. In the second section, attention is paid to the creative solutions that African societies have employed as a response to both unique and universal problems of governance. (Dunn, offered alternate years; subfield: COMP)

POL 261 Quantitative Research Methods in Political Science This course focuses on the application of empirical, quantitative methodology to political analysis. The goal is to acquaint students with the analytical and statistical tools used to understand the political process, to evaluate various theories of politics, and to assess the cause effect relationships within the political system. This course is designed to introduce undergraduate students to the basic principles of research design and analysis, and to provide them with the tools to do their own empirical research. (Lucas, offered alternative years; subfield: Methods)

POL 263 Problems and Methods in the Study of Politics What is politics? Is there a science of politics? Ought we to strive towards a science of politics? This course looks at how social scientists have come to understand the world of politics. How and why is it that the questions we ask shape the answers we find? We look at empirical theories, linguistic theories, philosophy of science, phenomenology, critical theory, and other approaches to the study of politics. The goal is to enable students to become more sophisticated and critical in their understanding of politics. (Philbrick Yadav, offered alternative years; subfield: Methods)

POL 264 Legal Theory This course addresses the relationship between liberalism and democracy, as well as the question of law’s relation to justice. The course engages in a critical inquiry into the values and weaknesses of law as a mechanism for seeking justice. Among the questions asked: is it possible or desirable for independent law to serve as a neutral ground for resolving conflict? What is the value of rights? Is liberal law inclusive and tolerant of diversity? Is democracy? Should we aspire to tolerance and diversity? What is democracy and does liberalism assist or hinder it? Should we assist or hinder democracy? Should we seek to escape the limits of law in order to do justice? (Passavant, offered alternate years; subfield: TH).

POL 265 Modern Political Theory Reading texts from Locke through Nietzsche, this course considers the relation between freedom and slavery in modern European and American political theory. It interrogates the notion of the autonomous subject and the idea of instrumental reason that animates it. Additionally, it reads the self-criticism that is always part of the Enlightenment tradition for alternative conceptions of equality, interconnection, and human flourishing. (Dean, offered annually; subfield: TH)

POL 267 Twentieth Century Political Theory This course focuses on key problems in 20th century political theory. The 20th century was marked by extreme violence—two world wars, the use of atomic weapons, genocide on a mass scale—as well as grand experiments in participatory government, extensions of basic rights, and developments in technology and science. As the century ended, some theorists claimed that ideology had ended as well; they argued that one version of human flourishing, one based in economic markets, had clearly triumphed. Other theorists were deeply critical of the claim for the end of ideology, as well as of the association of markets and flourishing, not to mention of the suppositions that technologies were unambiguously beneficial and that rights were the best ways to secure freedom. Readings will vary by term but will be chosen from key texts from European and American political theorists and their critics; for example, Freud, Lenin, Gramsci, Simone de Beauvoir, Habermas, Hardt and Negri. (Dean, offered annually; subfield: TH)

POL 270 African American Political Thought This course examines the political, economic, and social statuses of African Americans in American society, as depicted in the speeches and writings of distinguished African American thinkers, scholars and artists, from slavery to the present. It explores some fundamental tensions in African American thought that are manifest in diverse and seemingly contradictory solutions, such as accommodation vs. protest, emigration vs. assimilation, and separatism vs. integration. (Rose, offered occasionally; subfields: TH, AMER)

POL 279 Radical Thought from Karl Marx to George Bush This course examines left and right radical thought of the past 150 years. Students read the left radicals Marx and Lenin and anti-Soviet leftists such as the Frankfurt School and Sartre, as well as the anomalous approach of the anarchists and Freud, who influenced both left and right thinkers. Students then examine right-wing radicalism, reading the work of influential fascists, followed by postwar American radical thought. On the left, that means Herbert Marcuse’s New Left classic One Dimensional Man, Fanon and “Third Worldism,” and the re-embrace of liberalism with the discovery of “civil society.” On the right, that means the rise of the neoconservatives, from Allen Bloom to William Kristol, both important influences on George Bush and his entourage. Finally, students look at left responses to neo-conservatism, from Russell Jacoby to Zizek. (Ost, offered alternate years; subfield: TH)

POL 280 Contemporary International Relations This course examines contemporary issues within world politics, usually by developing a case specific focus. Such topics may include the Middle East conflict, political transitions in central Asia, or other current issues of the day. (Staff, offered occasionally; subfield: IR)

POL 281 Politics of South Asia This course provides an introduction to the major contemporary political issues and trends in the region of South Asia (i.e. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka). The first half of the course examines topics of concern in the largest South Asian country, India. The second half of the course is organized thematically to address issues of nuclear and conventional security, state failure and civil war, terrorism, poverty and development, trade and investment, human security and gender discrimination, regional integration, and environmental concerns. (Yadav, offered alternate years; subfield: COMP, IR)

POL 283 Terrorism Conflict has been a central issue in the relations among states since the advent of the modern nationstate system. Well before Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism had become a central feature of how conflict has been expressed in the modern international system. This course examines the causes of terrorism, the ways in which individuals and social groups have chosen to wage terrorism, the goals they have established, and the ways in which political and military leaders have chosen to engage in counter-terrorist strategies. Using specific case studies, the course compares the motivations and implications of ethnonationalist terrorism, political terrorism, and religious terrorism, and the future of terrorism in a post-Sept. 11 world. (Dunn, offered alternate years; subfield: IR)

POL 285 International Politics of the Middle East This course examines international politics in the Middle East in the late colonial and post-colonial periods, focusing on the relationships between states, societies, and markets. Placing particular emphasis on the many ways in which the “high politics” of states shape the lived experiences of different communities in the region, it works within existing theoretical frameworks in International Relations that envision politics as influenced by shifting constellations of interests, ideas, and institutions.  (Philbrick Yadav, offered annually; subfield: COMP, IR)

POL 289 Political Economy of Development in Egypt This three-week faculty-led short course combines an analysis of basic concepts in the political economy of development with the detailed study of a range of development initiatives and challenges in contemporary Egypt. In particular, we will address issues of gender and development, the challenge of a persistent and growing divide between the needs and interests of urban and rural residents, the unique challenges of agricultural development in the politically-charged Nile Valley region, desert development, and other topics. Admission to the off-campus Egypt program is required. (Philbrick Yadav, Yadav, offered occasionally; subfield: COMP, IR)

POL 290 American Foreign Policy This course is an introduction to the study of American foreign policy. The first section provides an historical overview of American foreign policy since World War II, highlighting the important events, themes, and trends that have shaped—and continue to shape—the making and practice of American foreign policy. The second section explores the process of foreign policy making within the American political context. This section examines the “nuts-and-bolts” of how decisions are made and implemented. The third and final section presents key foreign policy issues facing the United States today. (Dunn, offered annually; subfield: IR)

POL 296 International Law This course focuses on public international law. Subject matter includes human rights, issues relating to the environment, the use of force, the relationship between international law and domestic law, international dispute resolution, and questions of sovereignty and self-determination. (Passavant, offered occasionally; subfield: IR)

POL 297 Europe and America Is this historic alliance coming to an end? With the recent rise of serious rifts, particularly due to the US in Iraq, this course takes a close look at the evolution of US-Europe relations and at similarities and differences in policies and sensibilities. We begin with a discussion of historical imagination, looking at attitudes of Americans and Europeans to each other from the time of the Revolution, and then explore what happens when America became a world power. We read about the “cultural cold war” and explore long-lasting divisions over styles of politics on issues such as consumerism, military power, and international law. We read key primary texts of the debate leading up to the invasion of Iraq, and look at the implications of the burgeoning European Union. Will the relationship survive? Should it? Many of our readings touch on France and America’s eternal mutual love/hate affair. (Ost, offered alternate years; subfields: COMP, IR)

POL 300 Advanced Topics This course examines a contemporary issue in depth, usually be developing a case specific focus.

POL 301 Politics of India This course examines the history, domestic politics, and international relations of the modern state of India. The course will focus on the democratic-federal institutions, political parties, social movements, ideologies and identities that shape the contemporary Indian polity as well as India's foreign policy in its region and globally.

POL 302 Politics of Afghanistan This course examines the history and politics of Afghanistan from the emergence of the modern state to the present. The course will illuminate the complex interrelationship between a range of contending and complementary social identities, institutions, ideologies, personalities, and social movements in the Afghan polity. Students will gain an understanding of the domestic, regional, and structural causes and consequences of Afghanistan’s revolutions and conflicts since 1973. The course is oriented toward understanding the history, society,, and politics of Afghanistan for its own sake. This is not a course devoted to US foreign policy, counter-terrorism, counter -narcotics, or counter-insurgency strategy-although minor aspects of the course will touch on each of those issues.

POL 312 Political Reform in the Middle East This course explores the theoretical and practical questions raised by recent democracy-promotion initiatives in the Middle East. Organized around five case studies, we will explore the interrelationship between international and domestic politics and the ways in which international organizations and bilateral agreements are helping and hindering local promoters of political reform. In addition, this course will explore the history and development of local practices and institutions that serve as powerful sources of democratic (if not liberal) practice and relate them to current strategies of democracy promotion. (Philbrick Yadav, offered alternate years; subfields: COMP, IR)

POL 320 Mass Media We live in a world of mediated political realities. Like Plato’s prisoners in the cave, we see only shadows, not realities. Yet these shadows have become our reality through the power of the mass media. This, of course, raises a fundamental question about our ability to be self-governing when our understanding of politics is determined not by the events themselves, but by those who create and report them. (Deutchman, offered annually; subfield: AMER)

POL 332 American Constitutional Law This course is concerned with the nature and development of the U.S. constitutional structure. Emphasis is placed on judicial review, the powers of national and state governments, limits on those powers, and the separation of powers. It addresses such issues as the regulation of private property, the constitutional powers of Congress and the Presidency, and the law and politics of impeachment. (Passavant, offered annually; subfield: AMER)

POL 333 Civil Rights This course addresses the constitutional and statutory protection of civil rights in America. It studies the gradual recognition and enforcement of civil rights, recent retreats, and contemporary difficulties in the implementation of egalitarian principles which inform citizenship in a democracy. Substantive areas of focus include desegregation, voting rights, gender discrimination, affirmative action, and the problems involved with proving discrimination that violates the Constitution. (Passavant, offered annually; subfield: AMER)

POL 334 Civil Liberties This course analyzes key constitutional liberties like freedom of religion, the “wall of separation” between church and state, and freedoms of speech and press. It also addresses the USA PATRIOT Act’s implications for civil liberties. It studies how governments are obliged to act and the constitutional limits placed on the way governments may act. (Passavant, offered annually; subfield: AMER)

POL 335 Law and Society This course addresses the relationship of “law” and “society”—does law stand above society and adjudicate disputes in a neutral manner, or do law and society bleed into each other such that law is corrupted by social interests and therefore invariably “political” in the way that it is used to address disputes? Additionally, how does law frame our perception of such issues as ownership and value? How does law affect “who gets what”? What are the implications of these findings for America’s belief in liberalism and the value of liberalism’s individual rights? Substantive areas of focus may include the problems of objectivity in interpretation, whether legal rights matter, conflicts between rights to free speech and private property in the area of Intellectual Property law, the consequences for law and freedom posed by “gated communities,” or other topical issues. (Passavant, offered alternate years; subfield: AMER)

POL 348 Racism, Class and Conflicts Why is racism so prevalent? What makes nationalism, anti-Semitism, or anti-Islamism such compelling “narratives” that so many people and countries adopt them? What purposes do racisms and hatreds serve? And why do class conflicts serve the cause of democracy better than identity conflicts do? This course explores the role that organized conflicts and hatreds play around the world, the ways they are used to gain power, consolidate nations, legitimate domination, secure dignity (at others’ expense), or deflect attention. Polities cannot do without conflicts, but how these conflicts are organized has profound implications for how inclusive, or not, the political system will be. We explore histories of racist thought, and politicized animosities such as racisms in the US, anti-Semitism in Europe, ethnic conflicts in Africa, apartheid, anti-Chinese campaigns, anti-Islamism, as well as conflicts based on class. We will see hatreds less as psychological phenomena than political ones, which can be combatted on that level as well. (Ost, offered occasionally; subfield: COMP)

POL 363 Digital Networks That globally networked communications media are radically changing the world is widely accepted. What these changes mean, however, is widely debated. This course focuses on these debates, asking whether networked media enhance democratic practices or facilitate new forms of political control and economic exclusion. It takes up issues of privacy, surveillance, virtual communities, speed, and the differing logics of networks. (Dean, offered alternate years; subfield: TH)

POL 366 Theories of American Democracy This survey of American democratic theory covers a variety of competing ideas about politics, political identities, and political institutions. The class examines not only such issues as the roles of states and markets, but also how to balance collective goods with individual freedoms, obligations to citizenship and charity, and how particular narratives and myths have structured an American national identity. Readings span American history from the Puritans to the “New Right,” from Benjamin Franklin to Malcolm X, and come in a variety of forms – e.g., manifestos, essays, speeches, memoirs, novels, Supreme Court decisions, and movies. (Mink, offered alternate years; subfield: AMER, TH)

POL 368 Contemporary Political Theory Concentrating on late 20th century and early 21st century texts, this course grapples with the ways politics and the political have been configured and reconfigured under contemporary conditions of globally networked technoculture and communicative capitalism. How does a given conceptualization of the sites of politics link up with the designation of a matter as political? Although the texts vary from year to year, an emphasis on critical and poststructuralist theory, as well as an attunement to cultural studies, can be expected. (Dean, offered alternate years; subfield: TH)

POL 375 Feminist Legal Theory This course examines the gender(s) of law. Students prepare court cases and feminist legal analyses to investigate the relationship between power and law as it establishes the boundaries separating public from private, straight from gay, qualified from unqualified, madonna from whore. Topics include workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, prostitution, pornography, abortion, rape, and child custody. (Dean, offered alternate years; subfield: TH)

POL 380 Theories of International Relations Theories of international relations are plentiful and debatable. This course examines a number of theory traditions in the study of international relations and involves the student in efforts to further develop the theory and/or to test some of its claims empirically. The theories selected vary from semester to semester, but come from such areas as structural realism, liberal internationalism, globalism, constructivism, and world systems. (Dunn, offered annually; subfield: IR)

POL 387 States and Markets This course investigates and problematizes the role of the state in promoting rapid economic growth and development. Specifically, students will focus on understanding and critiquing the fierce debate between developmental state theorists, neo-liberal economists, and the market-enhancing synthesizers.  The course will deal alternately with different specific cases and countries, including the Tiger Economies and the Big Emerging Asian Markets, comparative European economies, and the emerging Russian developmentalist state. (Yadav, Ost, offered alternate years; subfield: IR, COMP)

POL 394 Identity Politics in International Relations This course examines how concepts of identity form and matter in the international system. Students consider how national, ethnic, and other identities are shaped by international incentives and constraints such as trade interests, security, cultural flows, media, communication networks, and international norms like human rights or environmental protection. Examining a range of topics varying with the latest world events, students also develop a theoretical basis for understanding the significance of identity politics in world affairs. (Staff, offered occasionally; subfield: IR)

POL 400 Junior Seminar Majors in political science must enroll in a seminar their junior year and a seminar their senior year. The seminars address a range of topics, often in accordance with the current scholarly interests of the political science faculty. Therefore, the topics do vary as they address timely issues of research in the field. What unites the seminars is their pedagogy. There is a focus on student participation, and the workload is substantial. Typically, students will read a book a week (or the equivalent in articles). The main assignment in the Junior Seminar is a "literature review" on a topic of the student's choosing. The purpose of the Junior Seminar is to give students an opportunity to acquire the skills for conducting independent research. It is intended to provide the foundation of a "capstone experience" in the study of Political Science for our majors. For some, a Junior Seminar research becomes a first step towards an Honors project. Junior Seminars are generally limited to political science majors, unless there is available space and the professor signs in a non-major.

POL 401 Junior-Senior Research Topics Seminar
Majors in political science must enroll in a seminar their junior year and a seminar their senior year. The seminars address a range of topics, often in accordance with the current scholarly interests of the political science faculty. Therefore, the topics do vary as they address timely issues of research in the field. What unites the seminars is their pedagogy. There is a focus on student participation, and the workload is substantial. Typically, students will read a book a week (or the equivalent in articles). The main assignment is a “seminar length” research paper on a topic of the student’s choosing. The purpose of the seminar is to give students an opportunity to do some of their best work at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. It is intended to provide something of a “capstone experience” in the study of political science for our majors. For some, seminar research becomes a first step towards an Honors project. Additionally, the seminars give students a taste of what graduate school might be like as they are concluding their undergraduate careers—to give students a taste of, and preparation for, the next academic level. Seminars are generally limited to political science majors, unless there is available space and the professor signs in a non-major.

Seminar Topics Include:

• Varieties of Capitalism
There has been a lot of discussion lately about whether a “different kind of system” is possible. This seminar will explore differences in the political economy of capitalist systems already out there in the world today. Ideally suited for students who have done work in comparative politics/political economy, this seminar will explore the historical and institutional evolution of different capitalist systems, as well as compare and assess the ways they operate today. This is not an economics course, so the focus will be on the rules by which different capitalist systems are governed, with a particular focus on business-labor interaction, industrial relations, and comparative welfare states. While there will be a regional focus on European capitalisms, as well as on differences between America and Europe, the course will also explore varieties outside the capitalist “core.” What exactly do Asian capitalisms do differently? What are some new models in India and Latin America? Does social democracy have a chance in the Third World? Finally, while many observers have come to doubt the importance of labor movements in shaping the political system, we read one recent account that looks at the changing role of labor in global society over the last century. Readings include Hall & Soskice, Varieties of Capitalism; Thelen, The Political Economy of Skills in Germany, Britain, the United States and Japan; Hacker, The Great Risk Shift; Sandbrook et. al., Social Democracy in the Global Periphery; Pierson & Castles, The Welfare State Reader; Silver, Workers Movements and Globalization Since 1870. (Ost)

This seminar deals with a major challenge faced by liberal democracies and republics: what to do in the case of an emergency? Should constitutions explicitly provide for states of emergency where the latter will be used to suspend the laws and rights that govern under normal conditions? This course will examine how constitutional theory and public law scholarship have treated the question of “states of exception” or “emergencies.” The course will also examine how the United States constitutional system and its political tradition have treated states of emergency. The course will examine not only political or military emergencies, but other emergencies—such as economic emergencies—as well. Finally, the course will examine U.S. law and politics post-September 11 both in light of twentieth century institutional development and in light of the public law concept of “emergency.” Throughout, we will want to bear in mind certain questions, such as: Is a state of emergency a necessary provision for the security of the republic or liberal democracy? Is it possible to resort to states of emergency to meet temporary exigencies without producing a gradual slide towards tyrannical government? Do contemporary conditions require that emergency provisions become permanent? Is the concept of “emergency” descriptively useful for contemporary politics, or does “emergency” denote an alternative state or legal formation struggling to emerge against a previously established state or legal formation? Illustrative readings include John Locke, Second Treatise; Clinton Rossiter, Constitutional Dictatorship; Carl Schmitt, Concept of the Political; William Scheuerman, Liberal Democracy and the Social Acceleration of Time; Amy Zegart, Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC; Henry Giroux, Stormy Weather: Hurricane Katrina and the Politics of Disposability. (Passavant)

The Coming Insurrection? Italian Political Thought Today
In the face of Italian political repression in the late 1970s, a movement for “autonomy” was born: autonomy from law, the state, and from the capitalist appropriation of labor’s value. Opposed to centralized command and division, the movement for autonomy tried to imagine inclusive cooperation and how to update Marxism to account for postmodern conditions. Today, there is a proliferation of political theory being produced by Italian intellectuals that has been recently translated into English. These works indicate how influential the autonomy movement has been on a generation of thinkers, Marxist and non-Marxist, in Italy. With the 1998 translation of Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, and the 2000 publication of the academic blockbuster by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire, Italian political thought is having a major impact on both academic theory in the United States (and elsewhere), and political activism as well. This seminar will introduce students to the major concepts and theorists writing in what is quickly becoming a significant genre of contemporary theory. Illustrative readings may include Sylvère Lotringer and Christian Marazzi, eds. Autonomia: Post-Political Writings; Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life; Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire; Paolo Virno, A Grammar of the Multitude; Roberto Esposito, Bios: Biopolitics and Philosophy; The Invisible Committee, The Coming Insurrection. (Passavant)

Ideological Media
This seminar is focused on politics and the media, particularly questions of so-called media bias. Many analysts argue that the traditional functions of the media in a democratic society include informing us to give us the kind of information which will allow us to make well reasoned and logical political and social decisions. Without the media as an objective conveyer of information, we are trapped by politicians who will often slant a story to support their political position (don’t we all do this?). In a democratic society we depend upon the “objective” or “mainstream” media to supply us with facts. Many people on both the political left and the political right argue that the media are not objective and do not inform us well. Over the past 10 years, the political right in particular has been arguing that the so-called mainstream media are really left of center. From another perspective, some analysts (not all on the left) have pointed out that the owners of the media (both of them!) are quite conservative, as is the case with most extremely high-end profiteers (exceptions noted). Thus, the notion of a “left-wing” mainstream media simply makes no sense. Why would the very rich subsidize a media which was aiming to destroy the parent company? Finally, of course, other people raise very important questions about the extent to which an objective media can even exist (just the facts, ma’am, just the facts). First of all, the media consist of humans studying humans. Given that we as human beings are a product of our race, class, gender, sexuality, upbringing, genes, etc., etc., how can we put all of that aside when we analyze a political phenomenon? Some would say we cannot, and thus the media can never really be objective, because all the people doing the analysis bring to their job their race, their gender, their background, etc. and that influences what they see. It has to. (Deutchman)

Iconic Books of Modern American Conservatism
This seminar focuses on the great or iconic books which have helped to define the modern American conservative movement (post World War II). As modern conservatism has hit electoral brick walls in the post-Bush II era, many self-described conservatives are asking: what do conservatives really believe? What does it mean to be a conservative? Are there core beliefs which every conservative shares or should share? Ronald Reagan was largely associated with what has been called Big Tent conservatism, where the conservative movement was seen as large enough to comfortably accommodate conservatives of different stripes. Has this type of conservatism disappeared? What will take its place? In order to understand the possible future(s) of conservatism, we begin by understanding its past. We look at a number of great books by great writers (Friedman, Hayek, Goldwater, etc.), which have traditionally helped to define conservatism. We do so in order to understand what it has meant to be a conservative as the movement developed, and to thus gain some insight into what it might mean in the future. (Deutchman)

Evangelical Christians and the Republican Party
This seminar will examine the long and complicated relationship between Christian evangelicals and the modern Republican Party.  It will focus on many of the issues which have galvanized evangelicals like abortion, gay rights, science versus creationism, etc. Regarding these issues (and others) evangelicals position themselves on the right side of the political divide. Hence, this helps explain both their affinity with the Republican Party and their success in helping to move the party further and further to the right. However, the traditional relationship between evangelicals and the right wing of the Republican Party is now being challenged by a small, but important, emerging evangelical movement more concerned with issues of social equality than the hot button issues of abortion, etc. The seminar will focus on that emerging movement as well. (Deutchman)

Popular Music, Globalization and Political Critique
What are the complex processes of cultural transmission and transculturation at play within the spread of popular music, particularly within the global-local intersection? How are popular musical forms related to the processes of globalization? Is there a possibility of political critique, or even resistance, to be found in popular musical forms and their related subcultures? What are limitations of popular music as a form of political critique and resistance? This seminar seeks to investigate these and other questions concerning Western popular musical forms and their concomitant subcultures. (Dunn)

Sex and Race in International Relations
Across the globe, men tend to define and direct the various elements of international relations. Men predominate in international security apparatuses and in the conduct of war, the global economy continues to be based on a relatively rigid gender division of labor, and despite recently becoming accepted as citizens, women continue to be underrepresented in the corridors of political power. For many, gender is a constitutive force enabling security practices, global capitalism, and power politics. In other words, gender makes possible current international political and economic practices. Despite the importance of gender, the field of international relations has only recently begun to take it seriously. This seminar introduces students to contemporary feminist interventions into the field of international relations. Students will engage with some of the major theoretical strands of feminist thinking and survey contemporary literature in the sub-fields of political economy, global governance, and security studies. It seeks to enable students to look at international relations through a feminist lens, and seeks to help them explore what it means to do feminist work within international relations. (Dunn)

International Travel
In most academic disciplines, travel has often been regarded as a trivial activity, not worthy of serious intellectual interest. This has been especially true for the study of international relations. Yet, travel is undoubtedly foundational to both the practice and theorizing of world politics. The act of travel is fundamentally about encountering difference and traversing borders and boundaries. The history of international relations is, arguably, about encounters with the Other, displacement, and movement. At the very least, it is important to recognize that international tourism has become one of the word’s largest industries – transforming the places in which we live, from major cities to the seemingly remotest regions of the globe. Travel at its core brings together people of different backgrounds into close but also invariably transient relationships. This course is designed to explore the multiple and varied ways that travel is related to international relations. As such, the topics explored during this semester cover, but are not limited to, imperialism and (neo)colonialism, international political economy and development, refugees and migration, ideology and nationalism, and diplomacy and security. In so doing, this course attempts to illustrate the centrality of travel to the study of international relations in the 21st century. (Dunn)

Political Crises in Africa’s Great Lakes Region
The African Great Lakes region (made up of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) is the proverbial “Heart of Darkness,” the trope that has shaped Western perceptions about Central Africa for over a century. Western understandings of the African Great Lakes region, even in the 21st century, rely heavily upon earlier, colonial representations. This has led to an interesting paradox: while Westerners are generally uninformed about the region’s history and politics, they feel they know it well because of the powerful images of it encountered everyday. As historian David Newbury notes, it “is a region not well known in the West, but one nonetheless enveloped in a century of powerful imagery—ranging from the ‘Heart of Darkness’ to the ‘Noble Savage.’” The images that shape Western understandings of the region are numerous and come from such sources as Heart of Darkness, Tarzan, National Geographic, media reports on the Ebola virus, AIDS, famine or continuing “tribal” violence, and countless cinematic and fictional portrayals of the region and its inhabitants. In the past decade, the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and the regional war in the Congo have helped make the region an even more powerful trope for the problems of post-colonial Africa. Unfortunately, most of the region’s political, social, and economic problems are framed in the West through the lens of primitivism, backwardness, and irrationality. This seminar examines the historical evolution of the political crises in the African Great Lakes region with the goal of providing students with a deeper, more nuanced understand of the dynamics involved than typically available to most Western observers. (Dunn)

Partisanship in the 21st Century
Since the early 1980s, there has been a remarkable upsurge in the level of partisan polarization in American discourse.  Party voting in both chambers of Congress, in national and state elections, and in policy and ideological preferences has increasingly split the country along Democratic and Republican lines. Despite calls for more compromise and less division, the American public nevertheless continues to return these polarized forces to Washington every year. The goal of this course is to examine the factors that have fostered contemporary polarization in the electorate and among elected officials. This seminar looks at the role of a variety of socioeconomic groups within each political party and examines how those groups relate to and influence the country’s partisan divides. (Lucas)

America Voted? Patterns and Assessments of Voting
Since the founding of the United States, the nation has at least rhetorically placed considerable emphasis on the value and importance of citizen participation in the electoral process. Admittedly, in its initial decades, the United States restricted voting to property-owners. Nonetheless, over the last century the country systematically has removed many of the barriers to voting. Despite these efforts voter turnout rates for the U.S. remain staggeringly—and disappointingly—below our democratic counterparts. Likewise, while arguments have suggested that more educated, better off, and more politically aware citizens are more likely to participate, the nation has witnessed an increase in educational and economic well being associated with increased political participation—and a related decline in voter turnout. The goal of this seminar is to examine the significance and importance of voting to the American identity and the reasons that help to explain why Americans vote—and don’t vote. The course examines systematic, institutional, ideological/opinion, and sociological factors that influence the decision to vote or not in the United States. (Lucas)

Islamic Political Thought
The objective of this course is to introduce students to some of the major continuities and shifts in themes addressed by political theorists working within the Islamic tradition. The course will cover material from the medieval, early modern, and contemporary periods, principally through a reading of primary sources available in translation. Texts will include work by thinkers in the Arab Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and Europe and North America, and we will examine debates in Islamic political thought under conditions of political autonomy, colonialism, and post-colonial global integration and disintegration. Substantive themes will include the development of a just political order, the struggle to reconcile reason and revelation (particularly in the perceived struggle between tradition and modernity), and topical debates over issues like human rights, equality, heresy and apostasy, war, and democracy. While this course is open to any junior or senior major in political science, a prior course in the Islamic religious tradition, Muslim history or politics, or political theory is strongly recommended before taking this course. Supplementary readings will be made available for students without prior preparatory coursework. (Philbrick Yadav)

Yemen: Politics of the Periphery
At once on the periphery of the Arab Middle East and at the crossroads of Africa and the Indian subcontinent, Yemen serves as a crucible for evaluating some of the most basic concepts in comparative politics. This course will explore the shifting terrain of politics in Southern Arabia from the 19th to 21st centuries as a means of exploring issues of sovereignty, legitimacy, and variations in the relationship between state, society, and market. Throughout the course, we will identify the conditions that have produced both demand for and challenges to Yemeni unity, expressed by a series of dual regimes in North and South Yemen (from Imamate and British protectorate, to “tribal state” and Marxist republic) and their eventual unification under a democratic constitution. The course will conclude with an examination of post-unification challenges, ranging from the insurgency in the North and secessionist movement in the South, to impending water and refugee crises, and the implications of Yemen’s role as the newest front in the Global War on Terror. Illustrative texts include: Sheila Carapico, Civil Society in Yemen: A Political Economy of Activism in Southern Arabia; Steven Caton, Yemen Chronicle: An Anthropology of War and Mediation; Paul Dresch, Tribes, Government, and History in Yemen; Sarah Philips, Yemen’s Democracy Experiment in Regional Perspective: Patronage and Pluralized Authoritarianism; Jillian Schwedler, Faith in Moderation: Islamist Parties in Jordan and Yemen; Gabriele vom Bruck. Islam, Memory, and Morality in Yemen; Lisa Wedeen, Peripheral Visions: Publics, Performance, and Politics in Yemen. (Philbrick Yadav)

This junior-senior seminar examines the history and politics of the Taliban movement/government and the “Neo- Taliban” insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We will explore the Taliban’s Deobandi intellectual roots and tribal structure, as well as the anti-traditional ethos of this group, which has articulated a radical vision of an alternate modernity. The Taliban movement and insurgency will be placed in the context of broader regional and global struggles for power and influence in South Asia and Central Asia. (Yadav)

Colloquium: Critical Approaches to Asia
What do we mean when we refer to Asia? How has Asia been conceptualized? This colloquium, taught by two professors with expertise in Asian Studies, is designed to familiarize students with critical and theoretical readings in the humanities and social sciences that explore the formation of Asia as a subject and address distinctive cultures within East Asia, South Asia, and/or Southeast Asia. Topics may include some subset of the following: Asian nationalism, pan-Asianisms, Asian traditions and modernizations, currents in Asia, and East vs. West. Students are expected to research specific Asia-related topics or themes. Taught as part of ASN 401. (Yadav)

• I Got a Feeling: Affect and Emotion in Politics
The sense of the majority, the mood of the nation, the feeling of the party…the politics of everyday life often points to a complex array of senses that underlie political actions and judgments, yet often elude political understanding. This seminar focuses on recent attempts to explore and theorize affect and emotions in politics. Readings will likely include empirical accounts of emotion in social movements (Passionate Politics), the geopolitics of fear (The Geopolitics of Emotion), and the “animal spirits” set loose in financial bubbles and crises (Animal Spirits). The majority of readings, however, will be from contemporary political theorists such as Alain Badiou (The Meaning of Sarkozy), Jane Bennett (Vibrant Matter), Teresa Brennan (The Transmission of Affect), William Connolly (Neuropolitics), and Brian Massumi (Parables of the Virtual). (Dean)

• The Idea of Communism
In recent years, the idea of communism has returned as a central concern of critical theory. A number of contemporary theorists are endeavoring to reinvigorate the category, connecting it with a critique of capitalism as well as with changes in technology and property. This course will focus on the contemporary debate, while anchoring the debate in some of the classic work of the communist tradition. It will consider the relationship between the philosophical idea of communism and the political history of communism. It will ask which categories from previous centuries (class struggle, bourgeoisie, dictatorship of the proletariat) remain useful and which require revision, abandonment, and supplement. (Dean)

• Modern American Progressivism
In this seminar, we will interrogate progressive political thought in the United States from some of its shared origins with the pragmatic tradition in philosophy to the ways in which it influences political debates today. Although progressives at the end the nineteenth century often articulated concerns about political corruption and social decline that were similar to conservatives, progressives argued that political reform was necessary because government action was essential in meeting the social, economic, and political challenges of an increasing complex world. This faith in collective action through political institutions marked a significant break with the previous American tradition that emphasized individualism and limited government. Specifically in this course, we will examine how progressivism presented itself as a comprehensive reform effort addressing issues of race, gender, class, labor, education and religion. And, we examine the ways in which progressive thought developed and continues to inform contemporary understandings of liberalism. (Mink)

Race and Social Justice
This course will examine contemporary theoretical conceptions of the intersections of race and the struggle for social justice in America. The course will cover material from both ideal and non-ideal political theorists as well as other non-theory oriented political and social scientists. Beginning with examinations of the concept of race, this course will progress to an inquiry about the ways in which race remains(?) a political reality that is vital to the continual quest of achieving a more equitable and just American society. In addition to those thinkers who directly link race and social justice, students will also read authors who offer more general accounts of social justice, and will be asked to evaluate whether these accounts are adequate or deficient in addressing the racialized injustices in America. Finally, this course will explore the racial inequities that persist in the areas of education, housing, wealth accumulation and medical care—among others. (Rose)  

POL 450 Independent Study

POL 495 Honors


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