Fall 2024 Undergraduate Course Descriptions

All information in this guide is tentative and subject to change. Check the Political Science Department Office for updates.  Information on rooms and times for the classes listed can be obtained from the university-wide Time Schedule of Classes or from the Political Science office.

“Cross listed” Courses: These may apply to a Political Science major or minor without a petition, regardless of the departmental prefix. For example, if you take African-American Politics as AAS 306, you do not need to petition to apply it to your Political Science major.

"Meets With” Courses": If you take a “Meets With” course under a departmental prefix other than PSC, you will need to petition to count that course towards your Political Science major or minor.

Courses with international content are designated with an asterisk [*].

Current information on rooms and times for classes can be obtained on your MySlice or from the Political Science office.

PSC 121 m100 American National Government and Politics

Instructor: Christopher Faricy

Class #: 10453

Offered: T/Th 2:00 pm - 2:55 pm

Frequency Offered: Every semester

Prerequisites: None

This course is required for all students who are majoring in Political Science.

All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course.

Discussion # 10720 (Section 101) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25 am

Discussion # 12392 (Section 102) Fridays 10:35 am-11:30 am

Discussion # 12393 (Section 103) Thursdays 11:00 am-11:55 am

Discussion # 10721 (Section 104) Fridays 8:25 am-9:20 am

Discussion # 10722 (Section 105) Thursdays 3:30 pm-4:25 pm

Discussion # 10723 (Section 106) Thursdays 5:00 pm-5:55 pm

Note: Some discussion section seats are reserved for incoming fall matriculants.

Course Description

How does the American political system operate? This course provides an introduction to American political ideas, institutions, behaviors, and processes. Topics include (among other things) public opinion, elections, Congress, the presidency, the mass media, civic participation, the Constitution, federalism, and public policy. Although we will cover the “nuts and bolts” of American government, our focus is on political science rather than civics, which means our task is to analyze and interpret political phenomena.

PSC 121 m200 American National Government and Politics

Instructor: Grant Reeher

Class #: 10976

Offered: M/W 10:35 am – 11:30 am

Frequency Offered: Every semester

Prerequisites: None

This course is required for all students who are majoring in political science.

All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course.

Discussion # 10977 (Section 201) Thursdays 3:30 pm-4:25 pm

Discussion # 10978 (Section 202) Thursdays 5:00 pm-5:55 pm

Discussion # 10979 (Section 203) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25 am

Discussion # 10980 (Section 204) Fridays 8:25 am-9:20 am

Discussion # 11355 (Section 205) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25 am

Discussion # 11356 (Section 206) Fridays 12:45 pm-1:40 pm

Note: Some discussion section seats are reserved for incoming fall matriculants.

Course Description

How does the American political system operate? This course provides an introduction to American political ideas, institutions, behaviors, and processes. Topics include (among other things) public opinion, elections, Congress, the presidency, the mass media, civic participation, the Constitution, federalism, and public policy. Although we will cover the “nuts and bolts” of American government, our focus is on political science rather than civics, which means our task is to analyze and interpret political phenomena.

PSC 123 m100 Comparative Government and Politics *

Instructor: Margarita Estevez-Abe

Class #: 10453

Offered: M/W 11:40 am – 12:35 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course.

Discussion # 11358 (Section 101) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25 am

Discussion # 11359 (Section 102) Fridays 10:35am-11:30 am

Discussion # 11360 (Section 103) Thursdays 8:00 am-8:55 am

Discussion # 11361 (Section 104) Thursdays 5:00 pm-5:55 pm

Note: Some discussion section seats are reserved for incoming fall matriculants.

Course Description

Why are some countries wealthier than others? Why do some countries become democratic while others remain authoritarian? Do certain democratic institutions work better than others? Comparative politics is the study of variations in political outcomes across and within countries. This course provides an introduction to main topics in comparative politics (electoral systems and their outcomes, regime types, democratization, breakdowns of democracies, economic development, ethnic conflicts). The course surveys theories and case studies. Students will deepen their understanding of politics in the US and the rest of the world.

PSC 124 m100 International Relations *

Instructor: Ryan Griffiths

Class #: 10454

Offered: M/W 10:35 am – 11:30 am

Frequency Offered: Every semester

Prerequisites: None

All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course.

Discussion # 10724 (Section 101) Fridays 12:45 pm-1:40 pm

Discussion # 10725 (Section 102) Fridays 5:00 pm-10:25 am

Discussion # 10726 (Section 103) Thursdays 3:30 pm-4:25 pm

Discussion # 10727 (Section 104) Thursdays 5:00 pm-5:55 pm

Discussion # 10999 (Section 105) Fridays 10:35 am-11:30 am

Discussion # 11000 (Section 106) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25am

Note: Some discussion section seats are reserved for incoming fall matriculants.

Course Description

This course introduces students to the main issues and actors in contemporary international relations, organized around three major topical perspectives: world structure and theoretical views of that structure; international political economy; and international conflict, cooperation, and security. It will focus on current debates around global topics such as human rights, economic interdependence, nationalism, the global environment, and economic disparities. During section meetings, students are encouraged to explore and discuss how states, international institutions, and non-state actors shape current international affairs and future forms of global governance.

PSC 124 m300 International Relations *

Instructor: Caglayan Baser

Class #: 21247

Offered: M/W 3:45pm –4:40 pm

Frequency Offered: Every semester

Prerequisites: None

Note: All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course.

Discussion # 21250 (Section 301) Thursdays 3:30 pm-4:25 pm

Discussion # 21251 (Section 302) Fridays 10:35 am-11:30 pm

Discussion # 21252 (Section 303) Fridays 12:45 pm-1:40 pm

Discussion # 21253 (Section 304) Thursdays 5:00 pm- 5:55 pm

Note: Some discussion section seats are reserved for incoming fall matriculants.

Course Description

This course introduces students to the main issues and actors in contemporary international relations, organized around three major topical perspectives: world structure and theoretical views of that structure; international political economy; and international conflict, cooperation, and security. It will focus on current debates around global topics such as human rights, economic interdependence, nationalism, the global environment, and economic disparities. During section meetings, students are encouraged to explore and discuss how states, international institutions, and non-state actors shape current international affairs and future forms of global governance.

PSC 125 m001 Political Theory

Instructor: Dennis Rasmussen

Class #: 11265

Offered: M/W 10:35 am – 11:30 am

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course.

Discussion # 11877 (Section 003) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25 pm

Discussion # 11878 (Section 004) Fridays 10:35 am-11:30 am

Discussion # 11879 (Section 005) Fridays 10:35 am-11:30 am

Discussion # 11880 (Section 006) Fridays 12:45 pm-1:40 pm

Cross-listed with PHI 125

Note: Some discussion section seats are reserved for incoming fall matriculants.

Course Description

This course examines some of the most important thinkers and concepts of modern political philosophy, including the rejection of ancient political philosophy and the rise of liberalism (Hobbes, Locke, and Mill) as well as critiques of the liberal outlook in the name of nature and virtue (Rousseau), tradition and custom (Burke), equality and liberation (Marx), and creativity and greatness (Nietzsche). In addition to exploring the various conceptions of nature, human nature, justice, freedom, history, and the good life in the works of these thinkers, we will also use their arguments to reflect on the health or illness of liberal democracy in today’s world.

PSC 200 m001 US Immigration Politics and Policy *

Instructor: Audie Klotz

Class #: 13283

Offered: Tu/Th 2:00 pm – 3:20 pm

Frequency Offered: Special Offering

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

People have incredibly intense opinions about immigration, but too often these views lack factual foundations or understanding of how policies work. Political polarization exacerbates tendencies toward inflammatory rhetoric, rather than analysis. As a partial remedy, this course delves into legislative reforms and policy mechanisms. By the end, you will be ready to scrutinize partisan debates in the run-up to the 2024 election. (No pre-requisites)

PSC 202 m100 Introduction to Political Analysis

Instructor: Liwu Gan

Class #: 11052

Offered: M/W 3:45 pm – 4:40 pm

Frequency Offered: Every semester

Prerequisites: None

This course is required for all students who are majoring in political science.

All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course.

Discussion #11053 (Section 101) Fridays 10:35-11:30 am

Discussion # 11054 (Section 102) Fridays 10:35-11:30 am

Discussion # 11055 (Section 103) Fridays 12:45-1:40 pm

Discussion # 11056 (Section 104) Fridays 12:45-1:40 pm

Note: Some discussion section seats are reserved for political science majors.

Course Description

The purpose of this course, required for political science majors, is to build skills for conducting, interpreting, and presenting political science research. These skills include: basic research and data collection practices, techniques for measuring political science concepts quantitatively, hypothesis testing, interpretation of statistical evidence, and the presentation of findings in a clear and compelling manner. Tying these components together is a thematic focus on important political science concepts such as democracy, power, or representation.

PSC 300 m101 Policy Implementation

Instructor: Zach Huitink

Class #: 11769

Offered: T/Th 2:00 pm – 3:20 pm

Frequency Offered: Special Offering

Prerequisites: None

Meets with PAI 305.001

Course Description

This course is about how public policy gets put into action, with a focus on developing knowledge and skills essential for addressing some of society’s most complex problems. The course will help you understand what we really mean when we say “policy implementation,” as well as some realities of implementation as it is done in practice. The course will stress, in particular, the widespread roles of not only government but also the private and nonprofit sectors at all levels in the implementation process, and how these actors use policy tools like regulations, grants, vouchers, and public-private partnerships to get things done. Government and non-governmental actors have taken numerous approaches to achieving public policy goals, from (among many others) reducing poverty and improving education to ensuring public health and safety, protecting the environment, and recovering from disasters. What are the trade-offs of different strategies to pursuing goals like these, and why has the record of achievement been mixed? How do government, business, nonprofits, and individual members of the public contribute to implementation efforts? How can they work better with one another to make public policy successful? How do we assess whether policies have had their intended impacts on people and communities? Students will consider these questions through a mix of lecture, discussion, examples, and hands-on exercises, and develop abilities in areas including policy field mapping, logic modelling, planning, and applied implementation analysis.

PSC 300 m104 US Intelligence Community *

Instructor: Robert Murrett

Co-Instructor: Kristin Patel

Class#: 12365

Offered: M/W 2:15 pm – 3:35 pm

Frequency Offered: Special Offering

Prerequisites: None

Meets with PAI 338 m003, IRP 338 m001

Course Description

This course will focus on the practice, structure and governance of the intelligence field, and material that has a direct bearing on its current posture. In order to understand the full range of today’s intelligence activities, students will examine the evolution of the U.S. Intelligence Community (I.C.) since its inception in 1947 through the present day. Key phases and specific events will be explored, including I.C. efforts throughout the Cold War, The Cuban Missile Crisis, The Vietnam Conflict, the Church Committee, the Balkans Conflicts, pre and post-9/11 operations, the 911 and WMD Commissions and the subsequent executive and legislative changes implemented over the past ten years. The course will also review governance and oversight of the I.C., including roles of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government. In addition to understanding the development of the I.C., students will study the functional elements of intelligence tradecraft (human intelligence, signals intelligence, imagery analysis, etc.), and engagement with international counterparts. The class will participate in case studies, in which the students will evaluate, provide briefings and recommend decisions in realistic scenarios, both in terms of analysis and intelligence-driven decision-making on policy and operational matters.

PSC 300 m202 Global Landmark and Judgements

Instructor: Yuksel Sezgin

Class#: 20900

Offered: M/W 12:45pm– 2:05pm

Frequency Offered: Special Offering

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This course will introduce students to recent developments in comparative constitutional law and emerging rights discourses around the globe by reading and analyzing landmark judgments issued by international courts and national apex courts in Western Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Students will gain critical skills to examine legal cases and learn about the possibilities and limitations of constitutional law through engagement with cross-national conversations about freedom of speech, freedom of religion, gender, environment, race, social class, and disability, among others.

PSC 300 m302 AI Ethics and Governance

Instructor: Baobao Zhang

Class#: 20898

Offered: M/W 2:15 pm – 3:35 pm

Frequency Offered: Special Offering

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a general-purpose technology that will affect nearly all aspects of society, including criminal justice, health care, employment, and international security. Private and governmental entities are already deploying autonomous systems that affect everyday life, such as facial recognition, hiring decisions, and disease diagnoses. Meanwhile, researchers are quickly making advances in developing algorithms that could outperform humans in tasks that require intelligence. While AI has enormous potential to benefit society, it can also introduce many risks to human safety and well-being. This class uses a cross-disciplinary approach to study how tech companies, national governments, international organizations, and civil society groups could manage the development and deployment of AI in the public interest. The class material draws upon research in political science, public policy, philosophy, legal studies, economics, and computer science. Topics include algorithmic fairness; privacy, transparency, and safety; automation and the future of work; the impact of AI on international security.

PSC 300 m304 Geoeconomics and Statecraft

Instructor: Daniel McDowell

Class#: 20901

Offered: T/TH 12:30 pm – 1:50pm

Frequency Offered: Special Offering

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This course surveys how strategic and security considerations are transforming interstate economic relations, including how states wield their economic power toward coercive ends, but also how they work to enhance their strategic autonomy and resilience in a riskier, more crisis prone world. The topics we will survey include economic sanctions, domestic reactions to economic coercion, financial statecraft, the weaponization of energy, private sector responses to geopolitical risk, and de-risking in international trade and investment. Weekly readings draw on academic research as well as policy-oriented writing. We will engage with historical cases for additional context and comparison, though contemporary issues are the main event.

PSC 304 m001 The Judicial Process

Instructor: Domenic Trunfio

Class #: 13301

Offered: T/Th 3:30 pm-4:50 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites:  None

Course Description

This course will take an in-depth examination of the Criminal Justice System from arrest to appeal, taught by an experienced prosecutor. Students will get a practical, realistic view of criminal justice and the court system through readings, lectures, class discussion and guest speakers who work in the legal system. This course is designed to give students a basic understanding of constitutional law and criminal procedure and will attempt to improve analytical ability and critical thought process.  It will examine how the rights of those accused of a crime are balanced against the rights of those who are victims of crime.  This course will also explore how the judicial process affects average citizens, their communities and American society, and how the system is often inaccurately portrayed in the media and by Hollywood.

PSC 305 m001 U.S. Congressional Politics

Instructor: Danny Daneri

Class #: 13488

Offered: M/W 2:15 pm – 3:35 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This course is about the politics of the United States Congress. We will discuss the historical and contemporary functions of the U.S. Congress, with a focus on representation, elections, political parties, special interest groups, inter-branch relations, and the changing character of legislative politicking and policymaking. As we do so, we continuously consider the questions of how and why certain policy topics rise and fall on the agenda of the U.S. Congress over time.

PSC 306 m001 African American Politics

Instructor: SN Sangmpam

Class #: 12705

Offered: M/W 12:45 pm – 2:05 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisites: None

Cross Listed with: AAS 306.001

Course Description

This course is an examination of the African American Political experience in the United States with a focus on the nature of the American political system and the status of African Americans in it. The approach will be analytical and theoretical, but the main focus will be on the historical and contemporary political dynamic. Special attention will be given to the interplay of society, state, ideology, and political struggles.

PSC 309 m001 Interest Group Politics

Instructor: Danny Daneri

Class #: 21455

Offered: M/W 3:45 pm – 5:05 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

Uses theoretical and real-world materials to examine the strengths and weaknesses of interest groups in American politics. The role of groups in shaping public interest and influencing policy decisions.

PSC 310 m001 Refugees in International Politics *

Instructor: Lamis Abdelaaty

Class #: 13302

Offered: Tu/Th 12:30 pm – 1:50 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This course deals with the global politics of refugee issues, broadly defined to include the movement of people displaced by persecution, conflict, natural or human-made disasters, environmental change, or development projects. It is grounded in the international relations subfield, but students are expected to engage with ideas from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Topics covered include historical trends in, analytical approaches to, and the international legal framework-governing refugees. We also explore the causes, consequences, and responses by state and non-state actors to refugee flows. A series of examples from recent and current events are examined, including a case study on refugees and the Syrian civil war.

PSC 313.001 Campaign Analysis

Instructor: Mark Brockway

Class #: 20903

Offered: T/Th 5:00 pm – 6:20 pm

Frequency Offered: Special Offering

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

The 2020 election cycle was one of the most contentious, and craziest, in modern memory. Barely a day went by without a scandal, momentous change, or seething conflict in presidential, and congressional races. This course is designed for political junkies who want to participate in an intricate post-mortem of the 2020 election cycle while remaining rooted in scholarship about modern campaigns and elections. Who won and why? How did the campaigns adapt and react to a political environment that transformed at a furious pace? What can we learn about the strategies of the two major parties and their electoral hopes for the future? These questions will guide our investigation of individual races, and the 2020 electoral landscape. Our goal is to gain practical skills informed by rigorous academic research. Your job will be to play the part of a campaign manager and advisor. You will be asked to pick one Congressional race and dive into the strategies and outcomes of the race. You will watch debates and speeches, gather communications and press releases, and comb websites and polling data to see what worked, what didn't, and why to produce memos and suggestions based on the information you have gathered.


PSC 314 m001 Public Opinion & Electoral Behavior

Instructor: Emily Thorson

Class #: 13303

Offered: T/Th 2:00 - 3:20 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This course will tackle a series of big questions about the role of citizens' attitudes and opinions in contemporary democracy: How do people make sense of the political world? How does public opinion shape policies? How can we understand today's politically polarized climate? We will consider the history of public opinion as well as how our understanding of it is changing in an era of Facebook and Twitter. The course will go beyond discussions of polling data to explore the role of media content, political talk, and social identities in shaping what we think about politics and public life. Students will write an original research paper about a public opinion topic of their choice.

PSC 317.001 Local Internship

Instructor: Grant Reeher

Class #: 10456

Offered: M/W/F 11:40 am – 12:35 pm

Frequency Offered: Every semester

Prerequisites: The internship program is intended for juniors and seniors only.

Course Description

The course is based on a local internship experience in politics, public affairs, or the law. Placements are found at the beginning of the semester based on a list provided by the professor. Students also meet once a week in the classroom for organizational discussions, Q&A sessions with local political figures, and advice from professional development experts. Interested students are advised to review a FAQ sheet and recent syllabus, which can be found in 100 Eggers Hall or by contacting the professor.

PSC 319 m001 Gender and Politics

Instructor: Jenn M. Jackson

Class #: 20927

Offered: M/W 2:15 pm – 3:35 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

Cross-listed with WGS 319

Course Description

This course examines the intersection of gender and politics in the United States with an emphasis on women and formal political processes like elections, political institutions and legislation, public opinion formation, running for elected office, and political participation. We will begin the course by examining gender formation, the history of gender in political struggle, gender as an organizing category for both politics and Political Science, and the work of conforming to or transgressing gender norms in electoral politics. In the remainder of the course, we will cover the following topics: gender in society; media, politics, and gendered expectations and stereotypes; women’s social movements; gender and power, political engagement and political participation; voice, choice and party identification; the gender gap in running for office; political representation and policy-making; the effects of public policy on gender; and the political intersection of gender with race, class, sexual orientation, and embodiment.

In this course, we will use gender and identity politics as a way to enter debates about inclusion and democracy in political life. Although gender is the primary lens through which we will examine efforts of underrepresented groups to achieve equality, students are encouraged to examine how gender is mediated by multiple and overlapping identities such as race, class, sexuality, and religion both within the U.S. and in other national contexts.

PSC 324 m100 Constitutional Law I

Instructor: To be Announced

Class #: 10820

Offered: T/Th 9:30 am – 10:50 am

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

Does the US Constitution impose adequate safeguards to prevent a sitting President from undermining free and fair elections? Does it authorize Congress to enact a law requiring all Americans to have health insurance? Does it require all states to allow same-sex couples to legally marry? Does it give the President free rein, as commander in chief of the US military, to authorize warrantless wiretapping of suspected terrorists? If you are interested in any or all of these questions, then this course is for you. In Constitutional Law I, you will learn everything you ever wanted to know about the development of the American constitutional system from the founding through the mid-twentieth century. In Constitutional Law II, offered in the Spring, we will continue this inquiry right up to the present day. Recent versions of the syllabi are available on the instructor’s website, though there will be a number of updates for the coming year.

PSC 326 m001 Foundations of American Political Thought

Instructor: Dennis Rasmussen

Class #: 20796

Offered: M/W 2:15 pm– 3:35 pm

Frequency Offered:

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This course examines American political thought through the mid-nineteenth century, concentrating on the founding debate, the development of Lincoln’s thought and the Civil War, and Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. Topics include the nation’s founding documents, the challenges posed by the Anti-Federalists, the defense of the large republic in The Federalist, the problems presented by slavery, the proper role of a democratic statesman, and Tocqueville's hopes and worries about liberal democratic society and government (especially its American variant).

PSC 329 m001 Modern American Presidency

Instructor: Susan Thompson

Class #: 20795

Offered: T/Th 12:30 pm – 1:50 pm

Frequency Offered:

Prerequisites: None

Cross-listed with HST 341.001

Course Description

This course will analyze the evolution of the modern presidency and its present operation. The focus of our attention will be on the years since the Second World War, and especially on those since 1960. The decision-making process and operation of presidential administrations from Kennedy through Trump will be studied in detail; we also will discuss the early challenges faced by the Biden administration. We shall consider the various roles that the president plays in government, politics and society. The presidency as an institution and as an individual office will be examined to identify factors that have contributed to the successes and failures of particular administrations. This course shall also examine the roles and influence of unelected officials (esp. senior White House staff), and popular attitudes toward both the symbolic and the practical presidency—especially as they have been shaped by the traditional mass media and the “new media” (especially online interactivity). We will consider what lasting effects, if any, events during the last quarter century have had upon the presidency as an institution. Finally, we will leave space for discussion of breaking news and unexpected developments, especially those related to presidential politics.

 

PSC 333 m001 Politics of Latin America *

Instructor: Matthew Cleary

Class #: 12698

Offered: T/Th 3:30 pm – 4:50 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisites: None

Cross-listed with LAS 333.001

Course Description

This course has two main goals. The first is to introduce students to several themes that are most relevant to Latin American politics today, including the nature of the state, democratization and threats to democracy, the politics of economic development and reform, the formation and politicization of ethnic identities, and several more. The second goal is to teach students how social scientists use theoretical ideas and methodological tools to explain and understand the contemporary Latin American experience. This requires careful analysis of the political and historical experiences of specific Latin American countries, and an ability to compare outcomes across countries to identify patterns, trends, and exceptions. We will learn about all of the major Latin American republics, and students will have options to focus their written work on particular countries of interest.

PSC 342 U001 Israeli -Palestinian Conflict

Instructor: Ivy Raines

Class #: 21158

Offered: M/W 5:15 pm – 6:35 pm

Frequency Offered:

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s most contested and protracted conflicts. However, any analysis and understanding of the conflict are incomplete without taking into account the regional relations between Israel and other Middle Eastern states. The objective of this course is to broaden student understanding of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as it relates to the larger regional politics in the Middle East and North Africa. This course will examine conflict origins; major historical milestones; and the different narratives and perceptions of the conflict, from the perspective of Palestinians, Israelis, and key regional and international actors. By offering cross-disciplinary and comparative approaches, this course aims to highlight the multifaceted nature of the Arab-Israeli conflict and how the region’s complexity impedes conflict resolution, and looking forward, requires creative solutions for any prospect of peace.

PSC 344 m001 Comparative 3rd World Politics

Instructor: SN Sangmpam

Class #: 21408

Offered: M/W 3:45 pm – 5:05 pm

Frequency Offered:

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This course offers a thematic approach to the study of contemporary Middle East politics and society. We will review the major questions that leading scholars and policymakers ask about the Middle East today. The class will proceed both thematically and chronologically, beginning with the region’s long-standing authoritarianism, proceeding to challenges to the long-time status quo (e.g. the Arab Uprisings of 2011), and ending with the ongoing, diverging consequences of these challenges. Geographically, the class will focus on Egypt, Syria, and Tunisia, as well as examine more general patterns and trends across the region. 

 

PSC 355 m001 International Political Economy

Instructor: Daniel McDowell

Class #: 13534

Offered: T/Th 3:30 pm – 4:50 pm

Frequency Offered:

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

From the rise of Donald Trump’s economic populism to Great Britain’s “Brexit” from the European Union, it is impossible to deny the tenuous political underpinnings of economic globalization today. To borrow from Prof. Jeffry Frieden, globalization is a choice, not a fact. That is, the global economic integration we observe today is the product of governments’ policy decisions over a period of many decades. This course introduces the student to the field of international political economy (IPE). IPE studies how politics impacts the global economy and, in return, how the global economy impacts politics. There are two central questions that we will wrestle with in this class. First, what explains the international economic policy choices governments make? Second, what are the effects of those policy choices both within and across countries? Over the course of the session, we will engage with a number of key topics in IPE including: international trade, economic development, multinational corporations, international capital flows, exchange rates, sovereign debt, and financial crises. We will rely on two primary analytic tools: basic economic principles to explain how economic policies influence the distribution of income and political economy theories that explain how politicians set policies. Together, we will use these tools to help understand historical and contemporary phenomena.

PSC 357 m001 US Foreign Policy *

Instructor: Gregory Smith

Class #: 12712

Offered: T/Th 12:30 pm – 1:50 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This course examines contemporary issues in U.S. foreign policy. The central goal of this course is to provide students with the knowledge and analytical skills necessary to grapple with the question: what should America’s role in a turbulent world be? Within the U.S. foreign policy community, an active debate has been raging about whether or not the U.S. should pull back its forces from around the world and return to a sort of neo-isolationism or if it should remain actively engaged in world affairs and continue to assert itself militarily and economically. The culmination of this class will require students to take a position on this central debate within U.S. foreign policy and to argue for the particular grand strategy that the United States should adopt moving forward. The course is broadly divided into two parts. The first part provides a theoretical foundation for the study of U.S. foreign policy. The second half of the class applies contemporary social science research to many of the most critical issues in U.S. foreign policy.

PSC 363 m001 Ethics & International Politics

Instructor: Glyn Morgan

Class #: 12713

Offered: T/Th 6:30 pm – 7:50 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

Cross Listed with PHI 363 m001

Course Description

This course examines the fundamental questions of ethics and international relations.  Among the topics addressed: raison d’état; the just war tradition; humanitarian intervention; terrorism; torture; fair trade; foreign aid; immigration; human rights; nationalism; and climate change.

PSC 364 m001 African International Relations *

Instructor: Horace Campbell

Class #: 13319

Offered: T/Th 9:30 am – 10:50 am

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisite: None

Cross-listed with AAS 364 m001

Course Description

The course focuses on the relations between African societies and peoples and the wider international system. In the process, there will be the effort to seek to understand the imperial forces that shaped contemporary African international relations. Why is Africa viewed as an untapped treasure house for external forces? What accounts for the militarization of the state and the high propensity towards external military interventions, wars and environmental destruction? Is racial capitalism central to International Relations theory? Is there a need for the Decolonization of International Relations? What theories best explain the centrality of mineral extraction in African international relations? Is realism the best approach towards understanding the international relations of Africa? What forms of international cooperation are necessary for peace, reconstruction and restorative justice?

To answer these questions the course analyzes the humanity of Africans using an emancipatory gendered approach to the theory of African International Relations. In order to grasp the recursive impact of the politics of retrogression, the course will examine the nested loop of force, masculinity, plunder and militarism. This militarism will be linked to the global armaments culture and the legacies of racism and imperialism in Africa. Traditional IR conceptions of Africa will be interrogated to grasp how humanitarianism and the concepts of “failed states” constitute a component of the psychological warfare against Africans. How can the peoples of the planet develop a greater sense of solidarity and an appreciation of the principles of ubuntu? We seek to learn from the new interventions of the democratic forces and the impact of the ideas of Truth on the politics of reparations.

PSC 374 m001 Law & Society

Instructor: Yuksel Sezgin

Class #: 12516

Offered: M/W 2:15 pm – 3:35 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisite: None

Course Description

This course looks at how the rules of the game are made and remade through interactions between the state and society. It takes a diachronic view of legal institutions and norms in the making rather than a view of “the” law as a body of synchronic and pre-established norms. Students will learn about the law’s complex role as a constitutive, regulative, and coercive force in public and private spheres. In the process, they will think critically about how law shapes and enables social and individual interactions, how law constructs difference, how law mediates power relationships, how law demarcates communal boundaries, and how the law operates as an instrument of violence, domination, and control in various jurisdictions across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the US.

PSC 375 m001 Philosophy of Law

Instructor: Chris Bousquet

Class #: 12505

Offered: T/Th 9:30 am – 10:50 am

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

Cross-listed with PHI 397 m001

Course Description

This course is an introduction to philosophical debates about the nature, source, and authority of law. The fundamental question we will explore is “what is law?” but we will also consider how natural law theorists, positivists, realists, and critical legal scholars answer questions such as: Are there different kinds of law? Is law based on universal principles or does it depend on context? What is the relationship between law and justice? What is the source of law? Who is authorized to interpret law and what are the principles of its interpretation? When and why is punishment justified? When and why should individual rights be limited?

PSC 382 m001 Contemporary Political Philosophy

Instructor: Dave Sobel

Class #: 11690

Offered: T/Th 3:30 pm – 4:50 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisite: None

Cross-listed with PHI 417 m001

Course Description

This course examines the works of prominent 20th and 21st century theorists of politics and power through the lens of “big questions” about how we organize our political lives, what is fair, who gets what, and who should hold power. We discuss: freedom, rights, nationalism, distributive justice, citizenship, animal rights, and multiculturalism. Readings will include both abstract theoretical works written by authors including Rawls, Nussbaum, Manne, and others, as well as more concrete and immediately relevant political case studies.

PSC 393 m001 Middle Eastern Political Systems *

Instructor: Hossein Bashiriyeh

Class #: 11691

Offered: M/W 3:45 pm – 5:05 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisites: None

Cross-listed with MES 393 m001

Course Description

What are the factors that hinder the development of well-functioning political systems in the Middle East? This is the main question of the course. Political development is usually defined in terms of 1) national unification and the consolidation of national identity; 2) the development of legitimate authority; 3) the development of channels of popular participation in politics and the rise of a civil society; 4) political and administrative efficiency; 5) equitable distribution of resources or the development of a basic welfare state. In trying to answer the main question, we argue that several factors impede political development in the region. These include: 1) Structural ones like geographical/geopolitical, demographic, historical, and religious factors; 2) Social forces, particularly the landed classes, tribes, ethnic groups and sects. In the first part of the course, we will discuss these obstacles in general across the region; in the second part, we will explain the political systems in the region in terms of the impact of various obstacles.

PSC 394 m001 Islamic Political Thought *

Instructor: Hossein Bashiriyeh

Class #: 11362

Offered: M/W 12:45 pm – 2:05 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisites: None

Cross-listed with MES 394 m001

Course Description

The aim of this course is to study some of the major issues and discourses in Islamic political thought, especially those of more contemporary significance such as dissent, apostasy, intolerance, human obligations and rights, women's status, the status of minorities, war and peace, universal government and the idea of the Caliphate.

PSC 412 m001 Global Governance: The United Nations System *

Instructor: Vivian Ike

Class #: 12053

Offered: M/W 3:45 pm – 5:05 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

Meets with IRP 495, Cross-listed with IRP 412. This course is open to official PSC seniors only.

Course Description

The United Nations System. This course explores the theory and practice of global governance and international diplomacy through an in-depth study of the UN system. Class meetings analyze and critique assigned readings and discuss current UN-related events in a seminar format. Each student will undertake an in-depth research project to investigate one aspect of the UN system, such as security, development, peacekeeping, or human rights. Each student will submit an original research paper and present a formal evaluation of that piece of the UN puzzle in a public presentation at the conclusion of the semester. This course employs a professional development model for academic research.

PSC 495 m001 Distinction Thesis I

Instructor: Erin Hern

Class #: 11253

Offered: W 12:45 pm – 3:30 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: Permission from department – must have an overall GPA of 3.5 for admittance

Course Description

The program requires the student to produce a senior thesis that reflects an understanding of the contemporary literature relevant to the thesis topic, advances an original argument, and presents evidence appropriate to the underlying inquiry. The thesis should generally be modeled after a typical academic journal article in the field of Political Science. The thesis will be read and evaluated by a committee of three, consisting of the main advisor and two additional readers. Two of the readers must be members of the Political Science department. One of the readers may be a graduate student in Political Science. An oral defense will determine if the thesis meets the departmental requirements for distinction.

  • No labels