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Fall 2014 Course Schedule

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

Currah (PT)
(Cross Listed with WSCP 81000)
PSC 80302
4 credits [25608]
Room 8202

Lewis (G)
Quantitative Methods for Policy Research
PSC 71700
3 credits [25970]
Room (Hunter College)

Buck-Morss (PT)
Critical Reason: The Basics
PSC 80301
4 credits [25613]
Room 8203

Weiss (IR)
Humanitarian Politics
PSC 86401
4 credits [25614]
Room 8202

Lipsitz (AP)
American Politics
PSC 72000
3 credits [25618]
Room 4433

Mehta (PT)
Modern Political Thought
PSC 80304
4 credits [25619]
Room 5383

Paik (PP)
Law & Society
PSC 72500
(Cross Listed with SOC 84505)
3 credits [25972]
Room 6421

Krinsky (PP)
Intro to Public Policy
PSC 73100
3 credits [25624]
Room 5382

Cole (G)
Core Seminar in Political Science
PSC 71000
3 credits [25625]
Room 3308

4:15 to

Markovitz (CP)
The Dark Side of Democracy
PSC 87800
4 credits [25609]
Room 8203

Mollenkopf & Fortner (PP)
Urban Policy
PSC 72500
(Cross Listed with SOC 82800)
3 credits [25969]
Room 5382

Wolin (PT)
The Outcome of Classical German Philosophy: From Hegel to Adorno
PSC 71902
(Cross Listed with HIST 72400)
3 credits [25841]
Room 3309

Altenstetter (PP)
European Union & Public Policy
PSC 83505
(Cross Listed with IDS 81620)
4 credits [25615]
Room 6300

Woodward (CP)
Basic Theories & Concepts of Comparative Politics Part I
PSC 77901
3 credits [25616]
Room 4422

Gornick (PP)
Social Welfare Policy
PSC 72500
(Cross Listed with SOC 85902 & WSCP 81000)
3 credits [25620]
Room 8203

Robin (PT)
The Political Theory of Capitalism
PSC 80303
4 credits [25621]
Room 5383

Arbour (AP)
New Media & Politics
PSC 72001
3 credits [25626]
Room 5212

Liberman (IR)
Security Studies
PSC 76400
3 credits [25627]
Room 3308

Politics of Enlightenment
PSC 71901
(Cross Listed with HIST 71000)
3 credits [25840]
Room 8203

6:30 to

Fontana (AP)
American Political Thought
PSC 72100
3 credits [25611]
Room 5382

Shirkey (IR)
Basic Concepts and Theories of International Relations
PSC 76000
3 credits [25612]
Room 6493

Dahbour (PT)
Cosmopolitanism and Sovereignty
PSC 80304
(Cross Listed with PHIL 77800)
3 credits [25971]
Room 6496

Ungar (CP)
Latin American Politics
PSC 77902
3 credits [21806]
Room 8203

Andreopoulos (IR)
International Organizations
PSC 76200
3 credits [25622]
Room 3307

Milanovic (PP)
Income Inequality: from National to Global
PSC 72500
(Cross Listed with SOC 84600 & IDS 81650)
3 credits [25942]
Room 3209

Renshon (AP)
The Modern Presidency: FDR to Obama
PSC 82001
4 credits [25623]
Room 3310B



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

Fall 2014 Course Descriptions

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



American Politics

American Political Thought, Professor Fontana, PSC 72100, 3 credits, Mondays 6:30 - 8:30 pm

This course presents some fundamental ideas that underlie the American political order. These ideas spring from numerous sources, the most important of which are republicanism, democracy, and liberalism. In some ways these currents merge and flow together, in other ways they diverge, become antagonistic and act against one another. Some observers point out that this political order is basically liberal, exemplified by the fundamental principles enunciated in the Declaration of Independence. Others point to elements antithetical to liberal thought. The Declaration itself may be seen as a locus of political and intellectual contestation open to divergent interpretations.

Republican thought rests upon the ideas of non-domination and autonomy, while democratic thought emphasizes the primacy of self-government by the people, and liberalism underscores the values of individualism and tolerance. Thus American political thought is a bundle of ideas and concepts which are simultaneously the cause and product of an on-going and contentious debate regarding the very nature of the American political enterprise. It encompasses, moreover, a continual struggle between nature and convention, interest/appetite and virtue/ethics, liberty and equality, despotism and slavery, liberalism and republicanism, democracy and elitism, individualism and community, universalism and nationalism. Download syllabus



American Politics, Professor Lipsitz, PSC 72000, 3 credits, Wednesdays 2:00 – 4:00 pm

This seminar provides an introduction to classic and contemporary studies in American politics. It is designed for graduate students, especially those who plan to take the American politics field exam. The semester will be organized around two central themes: institutions (e.g. Congress, the Presidency, and the media) and behavior (e.g. political participation and public opinion), beginning with the former. By the end of the course, students will have a basic familiarity with many of the fundamental works in the subfield, understand the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to studying the American political system, and be familiar with many of debates that have animated and continue to animate research in the discipline. Download syllabus



The Modern Presidency: FDR to Obama, Professor Renshon, PSC 82001, 4 credits, Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:30 pm

The American presidency holds a central, if paradoxical position in American politics. Since its creation, supporters for a strong presidency have viewed it as the source of “energy,” “decision,” and “activity” in American political life. And, over time, the modern presidency has amassed much power while becoming a singular focus of public expectations.
Yet, it has become increasingly clear that how the president exercises that power is just as important as having it. Moreover, simply accruing power doesn’t necessarily translate into effective political leadership.
Using policy, politics, leadership and public expectations as four core frames of analysis, this course examines how and why the modern presidency developed as it did from a revered to a contested institution. We will examine how the men who occupied the office shaped it, tried to make use of it, in some cases misused it, and in others were undone by it.

Among the topics to be covered are: the continuing debate about the resurgence of “big government;” the nature of America’s role in the international system after 9/11;” the changing nature of presidential leadership; issues of governance in a divided electorate; and how modern presidents have tried to navigate the increasingly fractured relationship between wining office, governing the country and finding common policy ground.



New Media & Politics, Professor Arbour, PSC 72001, 3 credits, Thursdays 4:15 – 6:15 pm.

The media world has changed greatly over the last generation--the internet, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Cable news (Fox News, MSNBC, Al-Jazeera, etc. These changes in media content and delivery have thus changed how individuals interact with the news and how politicians and other political actors interact with the public. New Media & Politics examines these changes in the media world and pays particular attention to how these changes change and/or alter classic theories of media effects. The course focuses primarily on American politics, but will also touch on new media in comparative perspective. Download syllabus







Comparative Politics  

The Dark Side of Democracy, Professor Markovitz, PSC 87800, 4 credits, Mondays 4:15 - 6:15 pm

Winston Churchill famously declared: "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried." The Federalist authors proclaimed that they did not want to create “an elected despotism”. De Tocqueville was terrified by the inevitability of the spread of equality. Clinton Rositer maintained that the American Presidency was “a matrix for dictatorship”. Democracies are not supposed to go to war with each other. However, at least some democracies in modern times have been associated with extremist policies in war and peace. Among the questions this seminar will consider are:  Is there an association between democracy and ethnic cleansing? Do democratic institutions facilitate genocide? Are there complex processes that push democratic constituencies in murderous directions? Is “empowerment” of the “people” always progressive? How do ordinary people behave during the breakdown of democracy? Does greater equality make societies stronger? Why and when do democratic institutions and procedures produce growing inequality? How is democracy gendered? Is democracy no better than competitive authoritarianism? Does democracy inevitably supersede or does it accommodate oligarchy? What are the forces of globalization that impact processes of democratization? What are the limits and dangers of the internet in confronting authoritarian regimes? Download syllabus



Latin American Politics, Professor Ungar, PSC 77902, 3 credits, Tuesdays 6:30 – 8:30 pm.



Basic Theories & Concepts of Comparative Politics Part I, Professor Woodward, PSC 77901, 3 credits Tuesdays 4:15 – 6:15 pm

Students are strongly encouraged to take this course the first semester in their graduate program, if at all possible.

This seminar is a graduate-level introduction to the literature in comparative politics.  It can serve as a survey or review for advanced students as well.  Because the key theories and concepts are also key political science concepts and theories, it is not exclusively intended for those majoring or minoring in comparative politics; all are welcome.  It is not a course in methods or methodologies of research.  The focus will be on concept formation, theoretical approaches, theory formulation, and competing theories, not on theory testing or verification.

Students in this seminar will vary in their goals depending on the extent of their prior knowledge of the subject matter, their particular substantive interests, and their field specialization within the discipline.  Overall, the course should prepare them (1) to think, articulate orally, and write theoretically: to identify a theory in a reading, define its key concepts, articulate its causal mechanisms, and evaluate its empirical demonstration; (2) to know the evolution of questions, concepts, and theories within the discipline of comparative politics so as to understand those theories better and to analyze their limitations and biases; (3) to pass the first exam in comparative politics comfortably; and (4) to feel solidly grounded in the questions and literature of comparative politics so as to identify areas of further interest and specialization and to begin to prepare a dissertation proposal.  These goals are basic, foundational; many other benefits for critical thinking and analysis will also result, but the foundation comes first.

Requirements including reading the assigned material prior to each class meeting, participation in class discussion, three brief written essays summarizing and analyzing the readings on one substantive topic, and a final examination.






International Relations

International Organizations, Professor Andreopoulos, PSC 76200, 3 credits, Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

This course will introduce students to the theoretical and empirical study of international organizations. More specifically, the course will critically examine the different theoretical perspectives in International Relations and International Law for understanding the emergence, growth, diversity and effects of international organizations on world politics. In this context, the course will look at the internal workings of specific organizations and how they work in the real world.  Some of the key focal issues and questions that will be addressed include: How and to what extent do international organizations shape state interests and identities? How do international organizations advance interstate cooperation? How do they promote compliance with international rules? Why do international organizations exhibit dysfunctional behavior? How can international organizations be rendered accountable for their conduct? We will conclude by discussing the strengths and limitations of international organizations as active agents of global change.



Security Studies, Professor Liberman, PSC 76400, 3 credits, Thursdays 4:15 – 6:15 pm

This course provides a survey of the field of international security studies, focusing on the control and use of force among states and transnational actors. It addresses questions such as: What are the leading causes war and peace, and have these changed over time? What is the utility of military force for deterrence, coercion, reputations for credibility, halting civil wars, and nation-building? What determines alliance formation and other security strategies, and what are their consequences for their security and for international stability. When and why do states opt for self-defeating strategies, and what political, psychological, and cultural factors lead states to choose badly? How do nuclear weapons affect international conflict?

Requirements for the course include active in-class participation, oral presentations, papers synthesizing course readings and developing a research design, and a timed exam modeled after the international security section of the IR First Exam. The course is designed to provide useful preparation for research in the field, for conducting security policy analysis, and for the IR First Exam. Download syllabus



Basic Concepts and Theories of International Relations, Professor Shirkey, PSC 76000, 3 credits, Mondays 6:30 - 8:30 pm

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the different theories and concepts that scholars use to understand and explain world politics. The course examines the major theories in the field of International Relations (IR) and some of the central theoretical debates. Throughout the course, the relevance of specific theories and theory in general for how we make sense of world politics will be critically assessed. The focus of this course, however, will be theoretical rather than empirical. Thus, each class will be devoted to an in-depth discussion of a different theoretical perspective in IR, focusing on its key concepts, foundational assumptions, and central arguments. Download syllabus



Humanitarian Politics, Professor Weiss, PSC 86401, 4 credits, Tuesdays 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Over the last two centuries, and more particularly over the quarter century, we have witnessed an impressive expansion of organized humanitarianism, or the institutionalization of the desire to reduce the suffering of others. Efforts in war zones, the focus here, are considerably more fraught than those where natural disasters have struck. There is now a network of states, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) along with private military companies and transnational corporations that populate the international humanitarian marketplace. Their existence has helped to create and been nourished in turn by a complex array of norms and legal principles. This network and the normative fabric have resulted in something that resembles a “system” of global humanitarian governance—that is, humanitarian action is organized to help protect and assist distant strangers, and more recently to address the causes of suffering as well. The intertwining of compassion and governance, however, signals that humanitarianism is more complicated than merely helping those in need. After all, “isms” invariably are less pure in practice than in theory. Responding with the heart requires responding with the head as well.

This course examines the history as well as the domestic and international politics that undergird the ideas, social movements, and organizations designed to regulate the conduct of war, to improve the welfare of those victimized by armed conflicts, and to prosecute war criminals. Beginning with a look at the political, philosophical, and ethical underpinnings to humanitarian thought, the seminar concentrates on the emergence of the international humanitarian system, and more specifically still international humanitarian law and aid agencies. With these foundations in mind, the class then examines the behavior of agencies and the outcomes of their actions in specific crises as well as the value of legal mechanisms in constraining the use of force and in holding violators of law accountable. We begin with the nineteenth century and continue to the present but emphasize the post-Cold War period. In particular, case-by-case analyses of crises since 1989 help inform the overall study of trends in the humanitarian sector and illustrate contemporary challenges.  We also take up innovations such as the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P). Finally, the seminar evaluates the current system of protection and delivery as well as its future in light of “new wars” and “new humanitarianisms.” Download syllabus






Political Theory

Critical Reason: The Basics, Professor Buck-Morss, PSC 80301, 4 credits, Tuesdays 2:00 – 4:00 pm

This course deals with basic concepts and problems of Western Critical Theory. The readings focus on three key authors: Kant, Hegel and Adorno. Philosophy is considered from the perspective of the political. Concepts include: critical reason, transcendental claims, phenomenology, dialectics, non-identity, materialist metaphysics, history, causality, and freedom.  Students who are non-specialists are encouraged to read extremely difficult texts (Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, Hegel's Phenomenology, Adorno's Lectures on History and Freedom) with the goal of developing critical capacities for concrete, historical analyses of political, social and economic life. The challenge is to make the concepts of the readings meaningful for contemporary projects of critique. Seminar requirements: sustained, active seminar participation, one short midterm paper, and one final paper (or exam option). Download syllabus



Biopolitics, Professor Currah, PSC 80302 (Cross Listed with WSCP 81000 ), 4 credits, Mondays 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Governments kill, but they foster life as well. States attend to the health of their populations by counting and measuring inhabitants (vital statistics), by regulating the health of the population, by tracking them through the issuance of identity documents,  by marking life passages with birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates. After setting out the theoretical scaffolding of biopolitics, we will examine technologies of power and the development of mechanisms for governing the life, health, and death of populations by exploring their operation in particular institutions and discourses such as public health, immigration, surveillance apparatuses, and human security studies. We will read theories of biopower and apply those theories to issues such as reproduction and reproductive technologies, biocitizenship and genetic testing, legal and social constructions of citizenship, terror, security, surveillance, homelessness, and incarceration. This course will center feminist, anti-racist, queer and post-colonial perspectives on biopolitics. Download syllabus



Cosmopolitanism and Sovereignty, Professor Dahbour, PSC 80304 (Cross Listed with PHIL 77800), 3 credits, Tuesdays 6:30 – 8:30 pm

In the last generation, the conceptualization of global justice has been the paramount concern of many, if not most, political philosophers. This course explores the problem of global justice in terms of what has become the most contentious issue between its adherents and critics. This issue is about what relation obtains between the cosmopolitan ideals underlying the goal of global justice and the norm of sovereignty that legitimates and/or constrains global political actors (e.g., states, corporations, international institutions).

We will ask the following questions about this relation. Is global justice—understood as the establishment of an equitable global distribution of income and resources, based on interpersonal comparisons—realizable and/or desirable? Does its realization entail the “end of sovereignty” or the creation of a new type of sovereignty regime? And, is the possible achievement of global (distributive) justice a sufficient justification for the violation of the self-determination rights of peoples that sovereignty claims are designed to protect? Finally, if the project of global justice fails, what are some alternative characterizations of global ethics, and how might they affect the relation between cosmopolitan values and sovereignty regimes?

The course will be divided into 4 sections. First, we engage in a preliminary clarification of the concepts of cosmopolitanism and sovereignty. The varieties of cosmopolitanism will be examined, as well as their relation both to other forms of internationalism, and to recent theorizations of globalization. Definitions of sovereignty, including its relation to the value of political self-determination, will be compared. Criticisms of both—e.g., the alleged complicity of cosmopolitanism with illegitimate military interventions, and the use of the sovereignty doctrine to legitimate authoritarian regimes—will be discussed. Possible readings: J. H. Hinsley, Robert Jackson, Christopher Morris, John Gray, Daniel Philpott.

Second, the debate about global justice will be examined, both through some classic, and some recent, statements. We will explore how the cosmopolitanism-sovereignty problem manifests itself in answering the following questions. How are global interpersonal comparisons to be made? Who can make legitimate claims on which resources? What institutional mechanisms are necessary to equalize incomes globally, and how can their authority be legitimated? Readings: Charles Beitz, Eric Mack, David Miller, Thomas Nagel, Richard Miller, Gillian Brock.

Third, alternative conceptions of global ethics that downplay or reject the idea of global distributive justice will be examined. In particular, notions of universal human rights, international legal reform, and the ethics of sustainable development will be discussed. We will consider such questions as the following. Can a robust notion of human rights be justified that will provide a universal standard of political legitimacy? Are there legal reforms that could help to ameliorate the inequalities of power and wealth between states? And is there a model of development that can deal with both local and global barriers to sustainability? Readings: Hannah Arendt, John Rawls, Amartya Sen, Allen Buchanan, Douglas Husak, Vandana Shiva, Thomas Pogge.

Finally, if there is time, we will consider whether a reconstruction of the sovereignty doctrine itself can provide a means for aiding economic development and strengthening political self-determination in struggles against hegemonic states, banks, and other powerful global institutions. We will consider some models, ranging from the European Union to anti-E.U. activism, food sovereignty struggles, and indigenous rights movements. Readings: Susan George, John Agnew, Jean Cohen, John McCormick, Seyla Benhabib.

The course is designed both to introduce students with limited background in political philosophy to some of the most exciting recent debates in global ethics, and to enable advanced students with knowledge of the field to identify promising directions for future research.


Modern Political Thought, Professor Mehta, PSC 80304, 4 credits, Wednesdays 2:00 – 4:00 pm

This course will be an introduction to the study of modern political philosophy organized around classic texts by Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Hegel.  The questions that will structure this course will include: 

What do the various philosophers take to be the underlying motivations and contexts for the formation of political society?
How do these motivations and contexts conform with the normative and institutional prescriptions that are proposed?
What are the limits of legitimate political authority, and what are the philosophical justifications for them? 

What are the justifications underlying the various proposed institutional arrangements? 

Finally, does the organizing of political life as advanced by these philosophers do violence to other conceptions of human potentiality? Download syllabus



The Political Theory of Capitalism, Professor Robin, PSC 80303, 4 credits, Wednesdays 4:15 – 6:15 pm

In this course we'll examine the classics of political economy in order to assess whether capitalism has (or can have) a political theory, and if so, what that political theory is. We will be especially interested in how political economy as an idiom translates or sublimates some perennial themes of political theory: authority, obedience, consent, fortuna. Specific topics to be considered will include: the nature of value; labor as a mode of obedience and action; rent and profit as distinctive political modes of accumulation; slavery and imperialism; risk. We'll also be interested in whether and how capitalism reproduces aristocracy and dynastic accumulations of wealth and power. We will open with programmatic readings from Arendt and Albert Hirschman and close with a reading of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Along the way we'll read Smith, Malthus, Ricardo, Mill, Marx, Schumpeter, Luxemburg, Keynes, and Hayek. With perhaps some supplemental readings about slavery in the Old South. Download syllabus



Politics of Enlightenment, Professor Rosenblatt, PSC 71901 (Cross Listed with HIST 71000), 3 credits, Thursdays 4:15 – 6:15 pm

Since the mid 20th century, the Enlightenment has been under attack for a variety of purported sins, including Eurocentrism, imperialism, racism, sexism, and proto-totalitarianism. In fact, Enlightenment-bashing has become such a popular sport that many intellectuals are now feeling the need to “rescue,” “reclaim” and “redeem” it for the progressive goals they say were at its core.  In this course, we will read texts by some of the most important political writers of the Enlightenment (Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Ferguson, Jefferson and Wollstonecraft) with a focus on the following themes: the social contract and the role of government, property and commerce, race and slavery, women and religion. We will also read recent critiques and defenses of the Enlightenment, with a view to deciding for ourselves whether it is worth “reclaiming”.



The Outcome of Classical German Philosophy: From Hegel to Adorno, Professor Wolin, PSC 71902 (Cross Listed with HIST 72400), 3 credits, Mondays 4:15 – 6:15 pm

In 1886, Friedrich Engels wrote a perfectly mediocre book, Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy, which nevertheless managed to raise a fascinating and important question that is still being vigorously debated today: how should we go about evaluating the legacy of German Idealism following the mid-nineteenth century breakdown of the Hegelian system? For Engels, the answer was relatively simple: the rightful heir of classical German philosophy was Marx’s doctrine of historical materialism. But, in truth, Engels’ response was merely one of many possible approaches. Nor would it be much of an exaggeration to claim that, in the twentieth-century, there is hardly a thinker worth reading who has not sought to define him orherself via a confrontation with the heritage of Kant and Hegel.

Our approach to this extremely rich material will combine a reading of the canonical texts of German Idealism (e.g., Kant and Hegel) with a sustained and complementary focus on major twentieth-century thinkers who have sought to establish their originality via a critical reading of Hegel and his heirs: Alexandre Kojève, Georges Bataille, Jean Hyppolite, Jacques Derrida, MichelFoucault, Theodor Adorno, and Jürgen Habermas. But we will also seek acknowledge the importance of the contemporary North American Hegel renaissance, as exemplified by the work of philosophers such as Robert Pippin, Michael Forster, Terry Pinkard, and Allen Wood.

In his “Discourse on Language” Foucault warns us appositely that, “Truly to escape Hegel involves an exact appreciation of the price we have to pay to detach ourselves from him. It assumes that we are aware of the extent to which Hegel, insidiously perhaps, is close to us; it implies a knowledge that permits us to think against Hegel, of that which remains Hegelian. Thus we have to determine the extent to which our anti-Hegelianism is possibly one of his tricks directed against us, at the end of which he stands, motionless, waiting for us.” Foucault’s insightful caveat will, in many respects, function as our interpretive watchword as we seek to decode and reconstruct the legacy of German Idealism and its most significant contemporary heirs.






Public Policy

European Union & Public Policy, Professor Altenstetter, PSC 83505 (Cross Listed with IDS 81620), 4 credits, Tuesdays 4:15 - 6:15 pm

The area of EU studies is characterized by diverse scholarship with complex disciplinary and subfield boundaries. A primary objective of this course is to learn from contemporary scholarship on EU policymaking and institution-building in order to advance our understanding of both the politics of policymaking within a two-tiered governance system and the rapidly emerging new forms of transnational governance.

European transnational governance is driven by extraordinarily complex yet interconnected and mutually reinforcing dynamics that result in major transformations of government and public administration within the 28 member states. To understand the roots of these dynamics, the course will begin with the historical foundations of European integration, followed by an in-depth study of several new policy-making models alien to the conventional model of a nation-state. In addition, we will discuss the different paths and timing of EU membership and explore the extent to which this affects domestic transformation processes. Finally, we will address the growing Europeanization of public affairs both at the EU and national levels, combined with the limited ability of EU institutions to enforce compliance with EU policy objectives and/or monitor policy implementation at the member state level.

The European Union faces tremendous challenges in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis: the rise of anti-European Union populist sentiments, the growing strength of Euro-skeptics and increasing anti-immigrant movements, as well as the transformation of the labor market and rising economic inequalities in the 28 member states. Whatever the results of the forthcoming European elections in May 2014, the top leadership of the EU institutions will change, including who fills the roles of president of the Commission, the term-limited president of the Council and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs.  Will the new leadership further promote technical rule-making via so-called implementing and delegated acts, changing the nature of policy-making of their predecessors and abnegating more responsibilities to the member states? These and other issues are of concern to this seminar.

The course will be conducted as a research seminar. It is interdisciplinary in scope (political science, law, and public administration), comprehensive in subject matter, and pursues a comparative/international tenor. Students will be challenged to conduct original research on salient issues of public policy and reevaluate time-tested social science theories and methods in the context of the rapidly changing policy and institutional developments in the European Union. Members of the seminar are encouraged to select a topic for their research focus in this class that may eventually become an M.A. thesis or part of a Ph.D. thesis, and present their on-going research to the class. Students are expected to discuss substantive and methodological problems they encounter in both the context of EU scholarship, as well as in the context of rigorous research in general.



Social Welfare Policy, Professor Gornick, PSC 72500 (Cross Listed with SOC 85902  & WSCP 81000), 3 credits, Wednesdays 4:15 – 6:15 pm

This course will examine social welfare policy in the United States, in both historical and cross-national perspective.

The course will begin with an overview of the development of social welfare policy in the U.S. We will focus on three important historical periods: the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and the War on Poverty. We will end the first section with a review of developments in the tumultuous 1990s.

Second, we will assess “the big picture” of the American welfare state, through the lens of its underlying institutional framework.

Third, we will survey selected areas of social policy provision, such as anti-poverty policy; health policy; employment-related social policy; social policy for the elderly; and/or work-family reconciliation policies. In each of these policy areas, we will assess current provisions and evaluate contemporary debates, integrating political, sociological, and economic perspectives.

In the final section of the course, we will assess selected social policy lessons from Europe, where provisions are typically much more extensive than they are in the U.S.  We will close by analyzing the question of "American exceptionalism" in social policy, and will assess a range of institutional, ideological, and demographic explanations. Download syllabus



Intro to Public Policy, Professor Krinsky, PSC 73100, 3 credits, Thursdays 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Download syllabus


Income Inequality: from National to Global, Professor Milanovic, PSC 72500 (Cross Listed with IDS 81650 & SOC 82800), 3 credits, Wednesdays 6:30 - 8:30 pm

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. Download syllabus



Urban Policy, Professors Mollenkopf & Fortner, PSC 72500 (Cross Listed with SOC  82800), 3 credits, Mondays 4:15 - 6:15 pm

Urban life has changed dramatically over the last 50 years as big central cities have evolved from industrial production, blue collar workers, and machine politics, through deindustrialization, suburbanization, and racial succession, to a new period in which information-era service activities, high technology, immigration, and globalization are once more reshaping the metropolitan terrain.  Using New York City as a case in point, this course begins with an overview of the pressing problems now facing cities and the possible responses that national, state, and local governments are considering, or should be considering, in response.  It will then turn to an in-depth analysis of four basic issue areas in New York City: i) crime, policing, public safety, and the neighborhood impacts of high levels of incarceration; ii) rent burdens, housing production, and expanding the supply of social housing; and iii) the neighborhood impacts of the environmental crisis and responses that build social as well as physical resilience. Students will expect to undertake an in-depth investigation of one of these topics. Download syllabus



Urban Policy, Professor Palk, PSC 72500 (Cross Listed with SOC 84505), 3 credits, Wednesdays 2:00 - 4:00 pm







General and Crossfield

Quantitative Methods for Policy Research, Professor Lewis, PSC 71700, 3 credits, Mondays 2:00 – 4:00 pm


Core Seminar in Political Science, Professor Cole, PSC 71000, 3 credits, Thursdays 2:00 – 4:00 pm

This course provides students with a broad introduction to the discipline of political science.  Organized around general themes (e.g., power, hegemony, globalization, migration, development, identity, rights), each section of the course will expose students to the theories, literature, and methodologies found in the traditional sub-fields of the discipline, i.e., American Politics, Political Theory, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Public Policy.  The class is required for all new MA students and recommended for first year doctoral students.