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Courses

Fall 2014 Course Schedule

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
11:45am to 1:45pm        
2:00 to
4:00pm

Currah (PT)
Biopolitics
(Cross Listed with WSCP 81000)
PSC 80302
4 credits [23507]
Room TBD

Buck-Morss (PT)
Critical Reason: The Basics
PSC 80301
4 credits []
Room TBD

Weiss (IR)
Humanitarian Politics
PSC 86401
4 credits []
Room TBD

Lipsitz (AP)
American Politics
PSC 72000
3 credits []
Room TBD

Mehta (PT)
Modern Political Thought
PSC 80304
4 credits []
Room TBD

Krinsky (PP)
Intro to Public Policy
PSC 73100
3 credits []
Room TBD

Cole (G)
Core Seminar in Political Science
PSC 71000
3 credits []
Room TBD

4:15 to
6:15pm

Markovitz (CP)
The Dark Side of Democracy
PSC 87800
4 credits []
Room TBD

Mollenkopf (PP)
Urban Policy
PSC 83800
(Cross Listed with SOC 82800)
4 credits []
Room TBD

Altenstetter (PP)
European Union & Public Policy
PSC 83505
(Cross Listed with IDS 81620)
4 credits []
Room TBD

Woodward (CP)
Basic Theories & Concepts of Comparative Politics Part I
PSC 77901
3 credits []
Room TBD

Gornick (PP)
Social Welfare Policy
PSC 72500
(Cross Listed with SOC 85902 & WSCP 81000)
3 credits []
Room TBD

Robin (PT)
The Political Theory of Capitalism
PSC 80303
4 credits []
Room TBD

Arbour (AP)
New Media & Politics
PSC 72001
3 credits []
Room TBD

Liberman (IR)
Security Studies
PSC 76400
3 credits []
Room TBD

6:30 to
8:30pm

Fontana (AP)
American Political Thought
PSC 72100
3 credits []
Room TBD

Shirkey (IR)
Basic Concepts and Theories of International Relations
PSC 76000
3 credits []
Room TBD

Ungar (CP)
Latin American Politics
PSC 77902
3 credits [21806]
Room TBD

Andreopoulos (IR)
International Organizations
PSC 76200
3 credits []
Room TBD

Renshon (AP)
The Modern Presidency: FDR to Obama
PSC 82001
4 credits []
Room TBD

 

 

PSC = Political Science    SOC = Sociology       HIS = History
IDS = Interdisciplinary     PHIL = Philosophy     ECON = Economics


Spring 2014 Course Descriptions

American Politics :: Comparative Politics
International Relations :: Political Theory :: Public Policy
General, Crossfield, & Related Courses

 

 

American Politics

Constitutional Law, Professor Halper, PSC 72300, 3 credits, Tuesdays 6:30-8:30pm


Constitutional Law begins by exploring several topics that will recur throughout the course: the tension between natural law and positive law; controversies about how to construe laws; the meaning and power of constitutions; and the proper role of courts in a democracy. If we cannot effectively hold them accountable, why do we want them to be powerful? If they lack the power of the purse and the sword, how can they be powerful? The course then turns to the chief substantive issues, separation of powers and federalism. Under the separation of powers, it deals with Dahl's analysis of the Supreme Court as a national decision maker, and examines cases involving Congress and the President, including INS v. Chadha, Ex parte Milligan, Hammer v. Dagenhart, Schecter Poultry v. U.S., Carter v. Carter Coal, Korematsu v. U.S., Youngstown Sheet & Tube v. Sawyer, U.S. v. Nixon, Clinton v. Jones, and Gore v. Bush. Among the issues raised are the uses to which the commerce clause can be put, the power of the national government during emergencies, addressing alleged presidential abuse, and deciding a problematical presidential election. Under federalism, the course will examine such cases as McCulloch v. Maryland, Plessy v. Ferguson, Lochner v. New York, Brown v. Board of Education, Moose Lodge v. Irvis, Milliken v. Bradley, Regents, University of California, Davis v. Baake, and Lopez v. U.S. Among the issues raised are liberty of contract, the takings clause, segregation and its removal, affirmative action, and state action. The course, in short, inquires as to how courts, constrained and empowered by unique rules and traditions, confront many of the great issues of the day. Although most of the assignments will be judicial opinions, readings from judges, lawyers, historians, and social scientists will supplement them. The course stresses thoughtful class discussion.

Syllabus

 

 

Public Opinion, Professor Lipsitz, PSC 82410, 4 Credits, Wednesdays 11:45am-1:45pm


This course surveys theoretical approaches and empirical research in the field of public opinion. We will pay particular attention to factors affecting opinion formation, such as group identity, information processing, and the media. We will also examine the circumstances under which opinions change and governmental responsiveness to public opinion.

Syllabus

 

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Comparative Politics  

Comparative Political Economy, Professor Bowman, PSC 77902, 3 Credits, Wednesdays 4:15-6:15pm


In this course we will examine the impact of political conflict and political institutions on economic policy and performance, with a focus on the developed economies of North America and Western Europe. The course is divided into three parts. We will begin by examining some of the “building blocks” of political economy: ideas, interests, and institutions. In the second part of the course, we will look in more detail at the institutional variation characteristic of contemporary advanced capitalist economies. In the second part of the course, we will focus on the way in which institutional and political factors shape economic outcomes, especially macroeconomic performance and economic distribution.

Syllabus

 

 

Income Inequality: From National to Global, Professor Milanovic, PSC 77903, 3 Credits, Wednesdays 6:30-8:30pm


The objective of this course will be to analyze inequality from an inter-disciplinary perspective. The course will first review varied approaches that aim to explain the movement of within-national inequalities: from Pareto's "iron law" (which was anything but "iron"), Kuznets' inverted U-curve, and Tinbergen's "race" between education and technology, to Piketty's "political theory of income concentration". The second part of the course will assess the evolution of income differences across countries in the world, and in particular between developed and developing countries. In the third part, these two types of inequalities (i.e., within-national and cross-national) will be considered jointly as global inequality. We will review the evolution of global inequality from the Industrial Revolution until today, and see how the changing composition and magnitude of global inequality affects politics, economics, and migration. The class will end with an overview of positions of various political philosophers (e.g., Rawls, Pogge, Nagel) about global inequality. The course will be fairly empirical but does not require any prior specific knowledge of the issues nor techniques. It is recommended for students of economics, political science, and sociology.

Syllabus

 

 

Middle East Politics, Professor Schwedler, PSC 87620, 4 Credits, Tuesdays 4:15-6:15pm


This course will explore Middle East politics through a survey of some of the major theoretical contributions to the field rather than through a comprehensive survey of the modern and contemporary periods. Reading will entail a book a week or equivalent, with supplemental readings available. Students need not have a extensive background in the region, but such knowledge will be extremely helpful. In addition to weekly reaction papers, students will research and prepare a seminar paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the professor.

Syllabus

 

 

International Intervention: A Research Seminar, Professor Woodward (CP or IR), PSC 87801, 4 Credits, Tuesdays 6:30-8:30pm


“We live in a great age of statebuilding” (Thomas Ertman). The primary mode currently is through international intervention, either direct (war, occupation, peacebuilding) or indirect (e.g., democracy promotion, IFI-required reforms for loans, international NGOs delivering humanitarian or development aid). Regime transitions, too, cannot be separated from intervention (regional, transnational, international). New journals to study this phenomenon are sprouting at remarkable speed, and one school of international relations now calls for recognizing intervention (its history, norms, and social practices) as a distinct field of study. While scholars of democratization (e.g., Dahl, Rustow, Schmitter and Karl) explicitly exclude such cases as non-democratic by definition (non-autonomous), those who study the “glocal,” transnationalized, and globalized nature of contemporary politics focus precisely on the political interaction between external and local actors and the effect of shifting balances of power and forms of resistance (on both sides) on outcomes.

The purpose of this seminar is to give students an opportunity to do a research project on some aspect on the politics of this interaction between international and domestic political arenas and actors of their own choosing. The seminar will introduce them to this new literature, its debates, and some of its mounting empirical research (most of which is found in country case studies, not only in political science). We will pair the policy literature with relevant literature in political science (to which the policy world rarely pays much attention). Because the focus is on changes in domestic political orders, this is a course in comparative politics; at the same time, as a course on international intervention, it is a course in international relations. Students will choose which they want recorded. Also, while the readings will focus on post-Cold War political, normative, and institutional developments, students are welcome to take a historical perspective. They should also not feel constrained in their geographic scope.

 

 

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International Relations

International Relations and International Law Approaches to Global Issues, Professor Golob, PSC 76400, 3 Credits, Tuesdays 2-4pm


This seminar looks at the key issues of interstate conflict and cooperation which lie at the heart of the intersection of two fields that often appear at odds: International Relations (with its focus on power, interests, and identity) and International Law (with its focus on rules, roles and procedures). We will address the following questions: Why, and under what conditions, do states follow rules? And who gets to make those rules, how are they to be enforced, and on what actors? Why have treaty-based international institutions been constructed, by which actors, in what form, for what purpose and in whose interest? How effective have these institutions been in changing state – and non-state actor - behavior? What are “norms,” and under what conditions do states seek to formalize them? How are norms diffused and enforced across borders, and which domestic and international actors are involved? And under what conditions do we see compliance with international norms – and does that compliance advance state interests, ideas/ideologies, identities, or all of the above? Why do states (or those who act in their name) “do the right thing,” vis à vis other states and/or their own citizens, and what would make continued rule-compliance (rather than rule-breaking) more likely over time? What is the role of ethics and morality in relations between states? This theoretical investigation will lead us to a close, comparative examination of IR and IL approaches to selected global issues, among them humanitarian intervention and the use of force; international criminal justice; and rules governing (or not) private actors such as MNCs in the global economy.

 

 

International Intervention: A Research Seminar, Professor Woodward (CP or IR), PSC 87801, 4 Credits, Tuesdays 6:30-8:30pm


“We live in a great age of statebuilding” (Thomas Ertman). The primary mode currently is through international intervention, either direct (war, occupation, peacebuilding) or indirect (e.g., democracy promotion, IFI-required reforms for loans, international NGOs delivering humanitarian or development aid). Regime transitions, too, cannot be separated from intervention (regional, transnational, international). New journals to study this phenomenon are sprouting at remarkable speed, and one school of international relations now calls for recognizing intervention (its history, norms, and social practices) as a distinct field of study. While scholars of democratization (e.g., Dahl, Rustow, Schmitter and Karl) explicitly exclude such cases as non-democratic by definition (non-autonomous), those who study the “glocal,” transnationalized, and globalized nature of contemporary politics focus precisely on the political interaction between external and local actors and the effect of shifting balances of power and forms of resistance (on both sides) on outcomes.

The purpose of this seminar is to give students an opportunity to do a research project on some aspect on the politics of this interaction between international and domestic political arenas and actors of their own choosing. The seminar will introduce them to this new literature, its debates, and some of its mounting empirical research (most of which is found in country case studies, not only in political science). We will pair the policy literature with relevant literature in political science (to which the policy world rarely pays much attention). Because the focus is on changes in domestic political orders, this is a course in comparative politics; at the same time, as a course on international intervention, it is a course in international relations. Students will choose which they want recorded. Also, while the readings will focus on post-Cold War political, normative, and institutional developments, students are welcome to take a historical perspective. They should also not feel constrained in their geographic scope.

 

 

 

International Political Economy, Professor Xia, PSC 76300, 3 Credits, Thursdays 2-4pm


International Political Economy (IPE, or global political economy) is defined as “a collection of orientations, perspectives, theories, and methods addressed to understanding the relations between diverse political and economic phenomena at the global level”. In this course, the ongoing global financial crises that broke out in 2008 provides an entry point to examine the following contents: (1) evolution (a historical review of capitalism and the formation of global political economy), (2) theories and methods (normative theories include liberalism, mercantilism, Marxism, constructivism and critical approaches; research approaches include global vs. domestic-level, statist vs. societal explanations and rational choice approach), (3) structures (thematic issues include production, trade, finance and development). The course concludes with a discussion on the global governance in IPE and global responses to globalization (both “good” and “bad” ones, e.g., illicit markets).

Syllabus

 

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Political Theory

Software, Globalization, & Political Action, Professors Buck-Morss & Manovich, PSC 80301, 4 Credits, Tuesdays 2-4pm


This is an interdisciplinary seminar with an interest in both critical theory and software practices of the internet, taught as a collaborative venture by Susan Buck-Morss (http://susanbuckmorss.info/), and Lev Manovich (http://www.manovich.net/). We will focus on three themes:

1) Vision and Image - From Walter Benjamin and Dziga Vertov to Instagram and machine vision: new strategies of seeing and representation in modern and software societies. Image v. Concept (Hegel against ‘picture thinking’) Image and historical matter (Benjamin on the “dialectical image”). Aesthetics and Politics: Images as a (trans- local) language for political action; vision and democracy: the “ethical turn.”

2) Data and Knowledge - Knowledge production in the age of "big data." Images as sources of knowledge; computerization of thinking and culture. Interactive visualization as research method in humanities (including art history.) Political critique of methods (positivism, abstraction, categorical givens) and goals (surveillance, marketing, positivism). Surveillance: how it is down, and what to do about it? Knowledge of, by and for whom?

3) Crowds and Networks - What are the new forms of sociality and political action enabled by global networks? Networked Images as political instruments. Crowds and the decentered brain. Crowds and/as a medium of global political action since the Arab Spring. The new body politic as a body without skin.

 

 

Feminist Political Theory, Professor Cole, PSC 80301 (Cross listed with WSCP 81000), 4 Credits, Thursdays 2-4pm


Feminist political theory attempts to reimagine political life by scrutinizing our understanding of sex, sexuality, and gender. In doing so, it provides new perspectives on the meanings and limitations of central political concepts such as rights, equality, identity, and agency, as well as the scope and content of politics itself. At the same time, feminism continually confronts questions regarding its own boundaries, agendas, and even its subjects, e.g., what is a woman? How does the category of gender illuminate or eclipse power relations involving other categories of difference, such as those of culture, race, class, and sexuality?

This course introduces students to central questions, approaches, and quandaries in contemporary feminist political thought. We begin by investigating how traditional political theory has viewed women, and how feminists have theorized the political. We then turn to think more comprehensively about what “sex” and “gender” are, and how they might be relevant to politics and to theorizing. Next, we read a range of texts addressing the intersection of gender with other forms of subjection, exploitation and discrimination. The course ends by surveying current political and cultural trends (from potty parity and “50 Shades,” to slut walks and “Gagafeminism”).

Students will be expected to write short weekly reflections on the readings, make one or more class presentations, and write a final paper. Texts will include work by Sara Ahmed, Linda Alcoff, Gloria Anzaldúa, Wendy Brown, Judith Butler, Cathy Cohen, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Simone deBeauvoir, Mary Dietz, J. Jack Halberstam, Luce Irigaray, Catherine MacKinnon, Chandra Mohanty, Carole Pateman, Adrienne Rich, Gayle Rubin, Gayatri Spivak, Iris Young, Linda Zerilli, among others.

 

 

 

The Philosophy of Karl Marx, Professor Gould, PSC 71902 (Cross listed with PHIL 76200), 3 Credits, Tuesdays 6:30pm-8:30pm


This seminar aims to enhance the understanding of Marx through a focus on his social and political theory and his role in the history of philosophy. Readings will be drawn primarily from Marx’s more philosophical writings, including the 1844 Manuscripts, the German Ideology, the Grundrisse, and parts of Capital. A study of these works (most not published in his lifetime) can shed light not only on the continuity of his own thinking but also on current theoretical controversies—e.g., concerning the sociality of individuals and the possibility of a social ontology; the connection of justice to the critique of exploitation and oppression; and the epistemic significance of historical and social context for social and political norms. The reconstruction of Marx’s philosophy can also help to reclaim its political import from some of the unfortunate uses to which it was put during the 20th century, and may suggest some new directions for contemporary politics.

The course will begin by examining Marx’s relation to Hegel and Feuerbach, and especially his transformation of a Hegelian dialectical logic into a logic of history. It will go on to analyze the key concepts of “species being,” as a way of understanding the relation of humans to the rest of nature; objectification, alienation, and the centrality of labor and purposive activity; the sociality (as relationality) of individuals and their equality under socialism; the concept of class; the role of reproduction and the notion of women as instruments of production; and the concepts of the commodity-form and of commodity fetishism. Attention will be given to Marx’s distinctive synthesis of philosophy with social theory and the ways it can illuminate his core critique of capitalism and his work in political economy. His understanding of the varying relations of state to society and his criticisms of utopian theorizing and of liberal concepts like rights will be scrutinized. The course will also bring in some interpretations of Marx’s philosophy from the perspective of critical and feminist theories, analytical Marxism, and poststructuralism, including Arendt (on labor and work), Habermas (on instrumental vs. communicative action), Derrida (on ideology), G.A.Cohen (on the materialist theory of history), Iris Young (on the critique of oppression and domination), Nancy Hartsock (on standpoint theory), and Alison Jaggar (on the possibility of a socialist feminism).

Seminar members will be encouraged to relate the course materials to their ongoing research projects through oral presentations and analytical term papers, and will be expected to be active participants in the class discussions.

For more information, please contact carolcgould@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Conceptualizing Global Political Thought, Professor Mehta, PSC 71901, 3 Credits, Wednesdays 2-4pm


This course will consider some of the ways in which normative thought has conceptualized “the global” in different traditions of thinking and in different time periods. The course will contrast such forms of thought with those that were not global, and instead self consciously particularistic, i.e. norms that apply to particular people and particular places. The basic question that the course will explore is, on what basis do some ideas and practices acquire a global normative reach, while others clearly do not. We do not, for example, typically think of there being a global basis to norms of etiquette or modes of greeting. But we do increasingly thinks that certain matters, which are typically taken to be political and scientific - such as not torturing people or diagnosing and curing diseases - should have a normative basis that is global.

The readings will draw on religious, secular and scientific thinking from diverse traditions.

 

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Public Policy

Urban Politics, Professor DiGaetano, PSC 72500 (Cross listed with ASCP 81500), 3 Credits, Mondays 6:30-8:30pm


This course is designed to introduce students the study of urban politics. The first part of the course critically examines the leading theoretical perspectives on urban politics: regime theory, political culture, and political economy. The second portion of the course traces the development of urban political institutions and practices from the early 19th century to the present. This part will assess not only urban political development in the United States, but also the ability of the three perspectives to explain this development. The final section of the course takes stock of the state of urban political theorizing and analysis, evaluating their strengths and weaknesses.

Syllabus

 

 

Public Policy Research Seminar: The Politics of Urban Inequality, Professor Mollenkopf, PSC 83300, 4 Credits, Mondays 4:15-6:15pm


Cities in general and New York in particular have always been characterized by substantial inequalities in terms of class, race, gender, and space or place. Urban inequality has waned at certain points only to wax once more in the current period. This seminar will use New York City as a case study to understand the forces driving the changing patterns of urban inequality, the political responses to these trends, and the policy initiatives being advanced to reduce inequalities and promote upward mobility. Particular emphasis will be given to the proposals under consideration by the new mayoral administration in New York City in 2014 and beyond. Students will review empirical analyses of these trends, consider alternative explanations for them, and examine and interrogate proposed policy responses. Each member of the class will pick one policy are to investigate. In addition to readings, discussion, and research, the seminar will draw on policy activists inside and outside the new administration.

 

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General and Crossfield

Writing Politics Seminar, Professor Beinart, PSC 79001, 3 Credits, Mondays 6:30-8:30pm


Graduate students in political science spend their days reading scholarly work about politics. This class aims to teach them how to write about it so non-scholars will care. Since this is the second class in the Writing Politics sequence, there will be less reading and more writing than in Writing Politics I, in a wider variety of genres, with more of an emphasis on publication. But the overall goal will remain the same: to learn how to translate the knowledge you are gaining as political scientists into lucid and provocative writing for the general public. This class is open both to students who took the first class in the Writing Politics sequence, and to those who did not.

 

 

Teaching Strategies: Political Science, Professor Altenstetter, PDEV 79401, 0 Credits, Mondays 2-4pm


This course serves as a training workshop for students interested in teaching political science. We will consider such issues as syllabus development, effective learning goals and assessment strategies, lecture preparation, grading practices, and creating an appropriate classroom environment. We will also discuss aspects of the profession such as going on the job market, the transition from graduate education to a faculty position, writing a curriculum vitae, and mentoring students. In addition to our pedagogical inquiries, students will be introduced to their colleagues who are already teaching on the campuses, as well as to the Chairs of the departments where they will be assigned.

 

 

Dissertation Proposal Workshop, Professor Woodward, PSC 89100, 0 Credits, Mondays 6:30-8:30pm

 

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