The information below is taken from the printed catalog the college produces each year. For more up to date information, including links to course websites, faculty homepages, reserve readings, and more, use the 'courses' or semester specific link to your left.
01. Political Identities. The assertion of group identities based on language, region, religion, race, gender, sexuality, and class, among others, has increasingly animated politics cross-nationally. However, the extent to which identities become politicized varies enormously across time and place. We will explore what it means to describe an identity as political. This exercise entails assessing the conditions under which states, civil societies, and political societies recognize certain identities while ignoring or repressing others. In other words, it entails analyzing the ways in which political processes make and remake identities. What do groups gain and lose from identity-based movements? And what are the broader implications of identity-based movements for democratic politics?
Limited to 30 students. First semester. Professor Basu.
03. Secrets and Lies. Politics seems almost unimaginable without secrecy and lying. From the noble lie of Plato's Republic to Oliver North's claim that he lied to Congress in the name of a higher good, from the need to preserve secrets in the name of national security to the endless spinning of political campaigns, from President Kennedy's behavior during the Cuban missile crisis to current controversies concerning lies by the tobacco industry, from Freud's efforts to decode the secrets beneath civilized life to contemporary exposés of the private lives of politicians, politics and deception seem to go hand-in-hand. This course investigates how the practices of politics are informed by the keeping and telling of secrets, and the telling and exposing of lies. We will address such questions as: When, if ever, is it right to lie or to breach confidences? When is it right to expose secrets and lies? Is it necessary to be prepared to lie in order to advance the cause of justice? Or, must we do justice justly? When is secrecy really necessary and when is it merely a pretext for Machiavellian manipulation? Are secrecy and deceit more prevalent in some kinds of regimes than in others? As we explore those questions we will discuss the place of candor and civility in politics; the relationship between the claims of privacy (e.g., the closeting of sexual desire) and secrecy and deception in public arenas; conspiracy theories as they are applied to politics; and the importance of secrecy in resistance and revolutionary movements. We will examine the treatment of secrecy and lying in political theory as well as their appearance in literature and popular culture, for example, King Lear, Wag the Dog, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Year of Living Dangerously, and Quiz Show.
Limited to 30 students. Omitted 2007-08. Professor Dumm.
04. The State. Most humans live in territories that are controlled by a state. Why do different nations have different types of states? Why are some states more repressive than others, more war-prone than others, better promoters of development than others, more inclusive than others? How can we make sense of the varied reactions to state domination, ranging from active support to negotiated limits to apathy to vigorous contestation? Does globalization make states more or less democratic, more or less efficient, more or less able to promote development?
This course goes to the heart of current debates on the "state of the state." How significant is the state in an era in which its sovereignty is increasingly challenged both by global and domestic forces? What ought to be the proper role of the state in the twenty-first century? These questions are central to the current debates taking place - in the U.S. and abroad - on the extent to which countries should open up their economies, privatize social services, incorporate minorities and immigrants, recognize gay marriages, counterbalance U.S. pop culture, accommodate religious fundamentalism, etc. We will explore these questions by studying political theorists and empirical cases from around the world.
Limited to 30 students. Second semester. Professor Corrales.
05. Politics, Statecraft, and the Art of Ruling. In the teaching of the classic philosophers, the central questions of politics are questions of justice: What are the grounds of our judgment on the things that are just or unjust, right or wrong? What is the nature of the just, or the best, political order? What measures would we be "justified" in imposing with the force of "law"? What is the nature of that regime we would seek to preserve in this country--or, on the other hand, what are the regimes that we would be justified in resisting in other places, even with the force of arms? The problem of judgment must point to the principles, or the standards, of judgment, and to an understanding that is distinctly philosophic. But political men and women also need a certain sense of the ways of the world: the things that hold people in alliance or impart a movement to events; the ways in which the character of politics is affected by the presence of bureaucracies or elections; the arts of persuasion; the strains of rendering judgments. And the knowledge of these things must depend on experience. In this style of introduction to political science, a central place will be given over to the study of statesmen and politicians: Lincoln, Churchill, Eisenhower, but also Kennedy, Johnson, Reagan. The course will draw us back to Aristotle and Plato, to Machiavelli and the American Founders, but then it will also encompass the study of voting and campaigns, and the more recent politics of race and gender.
Limited to 30 students. First semester. Professor Arkes.
07. Leadership, Citizens and Democracy. A study of democracy at home and abroad. The paradox of American democracy, or of any democracy, is that effective self-government requires a perpetual struggle between the people and their leaders. Citizens must be active but wary; governments must be efficient yet accountable. The result is that democracy is frustrating and self-contradictory, even while it is the best, or the least bad system of government. In the world order, America’s claim to an international leadership role is also based on a contradiction. The United States is simultaneously a Liberal Democracy and a Great Power, caught inevitably between democratic ideals and the responsibilities and temptations of having so much power. The result is that America is simultaneously very promising and very dangerous.
Limited to 25 students. Second semester. Professor Tiersky.
12. Political Obligations. (LP) (PT) The mark of the polity, or the political order, has always been the presence of "law"--the capacity to make decisions that are binding, or obligatory, for everyone within the territory. The roots of obligation and law are the same: "ligare," to bind. When the law imposes a decision, it restricts personal freedom and displaces "private choice" in favor of a public obligation, an obligation applied uniformly or universally. The law may commit us then on matters that run counter even to our own convictions, strongly held, about the things that are right or wrong, and even on matters of our private lives. The law may forbid people to discriminate on grounds of race even in their private businesses; the law may forbid abortions or, on the other hand, the law may compel the funding of abortions even by people who find them abhorrent. This state of affairs, this logic of the law, has always called out for justification, and in facing that question, we are led back to the original understanding of the connection between morality and law. The law can justify itself only if it can establish, as its ground, propositions about the things that are in principle right or wrong, just or unjust--which is to say, right or wrong, just or unjust, for others as well as ourselves. The questions of law and obligation then must point to the questions at the root of moral philosophy: What is the nature of the good or the just, and the grounds on which we may claim to "know" moral truths?
The course will proceed through a series of cases after it returns to the beginning of political philosophy and lays the groundwork for the argument. We will begin with Aristotle on the polis, and the debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas on "natural rights." We will draw on Kant and Hume, on Thomas Reid and Bertrand Russell, as we seek to set the groundwork in place. The argument of the course will then be unfolded further, and tested, through a train of cases and problems: conscientious objection, the war in Vietnam, the obligation to rescue, the claims of privacy. And the culmination will come on the issues of abortion, euthanasia, and assisted suicide.
Limited to 30 students. Second semester. Professor Arkes.
13. World Politics. (IR) This is an introductory course which examines the interaction of military, political, economic, social and cultural forces in present-day world politics. Close attention is paid to the complex relationship between two central components of this system: great power relations and global capitalist dynamics. Among the topics covered are hegemonic stability and the rise and fall of the great powers, the changing role of state sovereignty, the strengths and weaknesses of international civil society, as well as the role of justice and international/transnational legal institutions in world politics. Other issues to be discussed include the relations of the world’s sole superpower (the United States) vis-à-vis the newly emerging geopolitical centers of power, namely the European Union, China, India and Russia, as well as such regions as the Middle East and Latin America. The course does not rely on a single theoretical framework; instead, we will follow in the path of such world classics as Kautylia, Sun Tzu, Thucydides, Clausewitz, Locke, Kant, and Karl Marx.
Limited to 25 students. First semester. Professor Machala.
18. The Social Organization of Law. (AP) (LP) (Also Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought 01.) See Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought 01.
First semester. Professor Sarat.
20. Rethinking Post-Colonial Nationalism. Nationalist fervor seemed likely to diminish once so-called Third World nations achieved independence. However, the past few years have witnessed the resurgence and transformation of nationalism in the post-colonial world. Where anti-colonial nationalist movements appeared to be progressive forces of social change, many contemporary forms of nationalism appear to be reactionary. Did nationalist leaders and theoreticians fail to identify the exclusionary qualities of earlier incarnations of nationalism? Were they blind to its chauvinism? Or has nationalism become increasingly intolerant? Was the first wave of nationalist movements excessively marked by European liberal influences? Or was it insufficiently committed to universal principles? We will explore expressions of nationalism in democratic, revolutionary, religious nationalist, and ethnic separatist movements in the post-colonial world.
Omitted 2007-08. Professor Basu.
24. Human Rights Activism. (CP) (GP) (Also Women’s and Gender Studies 32.) See Women’s and Gender Studies 32.
Second semester. Professors Basu and Saxton.
27. Russian Politics Past and Present. (CP) (IR) How and why did a revolution that began as a dream of heaven on earth end up in a nightmare in which as many as 20 million perished? To what extent was Stalin's brand of totalitarianism rooted in such sources as Marxism-Leninism itself, in traditional Russian political culture, and in Stalin's own paranoid personality? How did Stalinism express itself in politics, economics, culture, and ethnic and foreign policy? What was its impact on reforms under Khrushchev and Gorbachev? The first part of the course will examine the rise and fall of the USSR. The second, post-Soviet, section will focus on three transitions (from totalitarianism toward democracy, from a supercentralized economy to a more or less free market, and from a multinational empire to fifteen separate nation-states) as well as new Russia's relations with the world and especially the United States. In addition, we will discuss other general political issues as they work themselves out in Soviet and Russian contexts: the nature of revolution and nationalism, the causes and consequences of tyranny, the perils of political and social reform, and the role of power and ideology in foreign policy.
Omitted 2007-08. Professor Taubman.
28. Modern Classics in Political Philosophy. (PT) This course will be an introduction to the study of modern political philosophy. The course is organized around four classic texts which will be considered chronologically; they are: Hobbes, Leviathon; Locke, The Two Treatise of Government; J.S. Mill, On Liberty and Considerations on Representative Government; and Nietszche, Beyond Good and Evil. The questions that will structure this study will include: What do the various philosophers take to be the original motivation underlying the formation of political society? How do these motivations conform to the normative 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 and under what conditions can these arrangements be legitimately suspended? Finally, does the organizing of political life of necessity do violence to a more noble conception of human potentiality?
First semester. Professor Mehta.
29. Women and Politics in Africa. (Also Black Studies 25 and Women's and Gender Studies 61.) This course will explore the genesis and effects of political activism by women in Africa, which some believe represents a new African feminism, and its implications for state/civil society relations in contemporary Africa. Topics will include the historical effects of colonialism on the economic, social, and political roles of African women, the nature of urban/rural distinctions, and the diverse responses by women to the economic and political crises of post-colonial African policies. This course will also explore case studies of specific African countries, with readings of novels and women's life histories as well as analyses by social scientists.
Second semester. Five College Professor Newbury.
30. American Politics/Foreign Policy. (AP) (IR) The attacks of September 11, the continuing war in Iraq and America’s growing relative industrial decline, have cast a long shadow over current U.S. foreign policy. But while these events dominate much of the news, the purpose of this course will not be to analyze any specific foreign policies, but, instead, to examine how foreign policy is made in the United States. We will explore the domestic political, socio-economic and cultural forces which have historically shaped major foreign policy debates as well as the grand strategies which have sustained America’s role in world affairs. After familiarizing ourselves with the four main foreign policy ideological traditions (Jeffersonian, Hamiltonian, Jacksonian and Wilsonian) which typically compete for political dominance, we will scrutinize how the rules set in the Constitution structure the foreign policy making process. Special attention will be paid to the shifting and evolving power of the Presidency, Congress, the mass media, public opinion, elections, think-tanks, ethnic, religious and class-based lobbies and grass roots social movements. The course will also examine the rise of the power elite and the national security state, the role of the military and intelligence agencies, the power of secrecy and deception, and the significance of the political psychology of presidents and their key advisors, as well as the function of gender in the making of foreign policy.
Limited to 70 students. Second semester. Professor Machala.
32. Political Economy of Development. (CP) (IR) This course surveys some of the principal themes in the political economy of lower-income countries. Questions will cover a broad terrain. What are the key characteristics of poor economies? Why did these countries fail to catch up economically with the West in the 20th century? Who are the key political actors? What are their beliefs, ideologies and motivations? What are their political constraints, locally, nationally and globally? We will review definitions of development, explanations for the wealth and poverty of nations, the role of ideas, positive and dysfunctional links between the state and business groups, the role of non-state actors, the causes and consequences of poverty, inequality, disease and corruption, the impact of financial globalization and trade opening, the role of the IMF and the World Bank, and the arguments of anti-developmentalists. We will look at the connection between regime type and development. (Are democracies at a disadvantage in promoting development?) We will also devote a couple of weeks to education in developing countries. We know education is a human good, but is it also an economic good? Does education stimulate economic growth? What are the obstacles to education expansion? We will not focus on a given region, but rather on themes. Familiarity with the politics or economics of some developing country is helpful but not necessary.
Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2007-08. Professor Corrales.
34. American Political Thought. (AP) (PT) This course is a study of aspects of the canon of American political thought. While examining the roots of American thought in Puritanism and Quakerism, the primary focus will be on American transcendentalism and its impact on subsequent thought. Among those whose works we are likely to consider are Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Walt Whitman, W.E.B. DuBois, William James, Jane Addams, John Dewey, Martin Luther King, Hannah Arendt, Richard Rorty, and Stanley Cavell.
Not open to first-year students. Second semester. Professor Dumm.
36. American Diplomacy I. (AP) (Also History 49.) See History 49.
Omitted 2007-08. Professors Machala and Levin.
37. The American Founding. (PT) (AP) Lincoln famously said at Gettysburg that the nation had been brought forth "four score and seven years" earlier. Counting back 87 years from Gettysburg brought the beginning of the republic to 1776, not 1789. The American Founding included the ingenious crafting of the Constitution, but the Founding, and the Union, did not begin with the Constitution. It began with the Declaration of Independence and the articulation of that "proposition" as Lincoln called it, which marked the character of the regime: "all men are created equal." From that proposition sprang the principle for government by consent, and as Lincoln and the Founders understood, the case in principle against slavery. Lincoln thought it a stroke of genius on the part of Jefferson that, on the occasion of a revolution, he inserted in the Declaration an "abstract truth applicable to all men and all times." And yet, now, that truth of the Declaration has become controversial; it is often denied on both sides of the political divide, by conservatives, as well as liberals. But the claim for the Founders remains: if that central moral "truth" of the Declaration is not true, it may not be possible to give a coherent account of the American regime and the rights it was meant to secure.
The course will explore the writings and work of that uncommon generation that made the case for the American revolution and framed a "new order for the ages." The topics will include the political philosophy of "natural rights"; the debates during the Constitutional Convention in 1787, and during the contest over ratification; the Federalist and Anti-federalist papers; the political economy of the new Constitution; the jurisprudence of Alexander Hamilton, James Wilson, and John Marshall; and some of the leading cases in the founding period of the Supreme Court.
Second semester. Professor Arkes.
38. American Diplomacy II. (AP) (Also History 50.) See History 50.
Omitted 2007-08. Professors Levin and Machala.
40. The Political Thought of Kant, Hegel and Marx. (PT) This seminar will consider some of the main moral and political themes in the writings by Kant, Hegel and Marx. The readings will include Kant's Critique of Practical Reason, selections from Hegel's Philosophy of Right and his Philosophy of History, and selections from Marx's Capital. An underlying and organizing theme of this seminar will be the role of history in the political thought of these thinkers.
Limited to 30 students. Omitted 2007-08. Professor Mehta.
41. The American Constitution I: The Structure of Rights. (LP) (AP) This course will focus on the questions arising from the relations of the three main institutions that define the structure of the national government under the Constitution. We will begin, at all times, with cases, but the cases will draw us back to the "first principles" of constitutional government, and to the logic that was built into the American Constitution. The topics will include: the standing of the President and Congress as interpreters of the Constitution; the authority of the Congress to counter the judgments - and alter the jurisdiction - of the federal courts on matters such as abortion and busing; the logic of "rights" and the regulation of "speech" (including such "symbolic expression" as the burning of crosses); and the original warning of the Federalists about the effect of the Bill of Rights in narrowing the range of our rights.
First semester. Professor Arkes.
42. The American Constitution II: Federalism, Privacy, and the "Equal Protection of the Laws." (LP) (AP) In applying the Constitution to particular cases, it becomes necessary to appeal to certain "principles of law" that were antecedent to the Constitution--principles that existed before the Constitution, and which did not depend, for their authority, on the text of the Constitution. But in some cases it is necessary to appeal to principles that were peculiar to the government that was established in the "decision of 1787"; the decisions that framed a new government under a new Constitution. This course will try to illuminate that problem by considering the grounds on which the national government claims to vindicate certain rights by overriding the authority of the States and private institutions. Is the federal government obliged to act as a government of "second resort" after it becomes clear that the State and local governments will not act? Or may the federal government act in the first instance, for example, to bar discriminations based on race, and may it reach, with its authority, to private businesses, private clubs, even private households? The course will pursue these questions as it deals with a number of issues arising from the "equal protection of the laws"--most notably, with the problem of discriminations based on race and sex, with racial quotas and "reverse discrimination." In addition, the course will deal with such topics as: self-incrimination, the exclusionary rule, the regulation of "vices," and censorship over literature and the arts. (This course may be taken independently of Political Science 41, The American Constitution I.)
Omitted 2007-08. Professor Arkes.
45. Contemporary Europe. (CP) (IR) An analysis of Europe's role in the world order and the substance, significance and contradictions of European integration. What are Europe's strengths and weaknesses as an international power? Does Europe pull its weight in international relations or is it content to be a free rider on the policies and ambitions of other countries? What is the European Union? How does it work, what are its successes and failures? What are the relationships between the separate European countries and the EU? What about the European Union? Is European integration still the future for the Old Continent, or is there now "enough Europe"? Underlying these questions is the larger historical issue: Is Europe an exhausted civilization?
Not open to first-year students. Limited to 20 students. First semester. Professor Tiersky.
47. American Diplomacy III. (AP) (Also History 51). See History 51.
First semester. Professors Levin and Machala.
48. Cuba: The Politics of Extremism. (CP) (IR) The study of Cuba's politics presents opportunities to address issues of universal concern to social scientists and humanists in general, not just Latin Americanists. When is it rational to be radical? Why has Cuban politics forced so many individuals to adopt extreme positions? What are the causes of radical revolutions? Is pre-revolutionary Cuba a case of too little development, uneven development or too rapid development? What is the role of leaders: Do they make history, are they the product of history, or are they the makers of unintended histories? Was the revolution inevitable? Was it necessary? How are new (radical) states constructed? What is the role of foreign actors, existing political institutions, ethnicity, nationalism, religion and sexuality in this process? How does a small nation manage to become influential in world affairs, even altering the behavior of superpowers? What are the conditions that account for the survival of authoritarianism? To what extent is the revolution capable of self-reform? Is the current intention of state leaders of pursuing closed politics with open economics viable? What are the most effective mechanisms to change the regime? Why does the embargo survive? Why did Cubans (at home and abroad) care about Elián González? Although the readings will be mostly from social scientists, the course also includes selections from primary sources, literary works and films (of Cuban and non-Cuban origin). As with almost everything in politics, there are more than just two sides to the issue of Cuba. One aim of the course is to expose the students to as many different sides as possible.
Limited to 25 students. First semester . Professor Corrales.
49. Ancient Political Philosophy. (PT) This course provides an introduction to the political thought of Plato, Aristotle, and Saint Augustine. It is organized around classic texts which will be considered chronologically: Plato's Republic (selections); Aristotle, The Politics, and The Ethics; and St. Augustine, The City of God. The questions that will structure this study will include: Why is the study of politics something about which we need and can have general theories? What is the significance and the status of an "ideal" polity with respect to actual polities? What do the various philosophers take to be the original motivation underlying the formation of political society? How do these motivations conform with the normative prescriptions that are proposed? How do questions of hierarchy and equality inform ancient thought. And finally, what is the status of philosophy itself in offering political prescriptions?
Second semester. Professor Mehta.
51. The Political Economy of Petro States. (CP) (IR) This is a modified version of Political Science 32, The Political Economy of Development. The first half of the course is identical to 32, but the second half will have a different focus: the political economy of oil. This section will explore the extent to which oil is a "resource curse," the neo-structuralist notion that an abundance of a natural resource, in this case oil, is detrimental for development because it distorts economic incentives (away from diversification) and distorts politics (by facilitating corruption, raising the stakes of power-holding, increasing the chance for abuse of state power, and weakening society's capacity to hold the state accountable). We will examine these hypotheses by focusing on Venezuela, one of the world's leading oil producers. Until the 1980s, Venezuela was considered an example of democratization. In the 1990s, Venezuela became instead a paradigmatic case of policy incoherence. In the early 2000s, under the Hugo Chávez administration, Venezuela became a case of political polarization, and some argue, rising authoritarianism. The second half of this course will assess whether the resource-curse theory provides the best account of Venezuela’s politics since the 1980s. To address this question, we will: (1) compare the resource-curse argument with other competing theories of development that might account for Venezuelan politics; and (2) compare the Venezuelan case with other cases in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. This course fulfills requirements for the Five College Certificates in Latin American Studies and International Relations.
Not open to students who have taken Political Science 32. Limited to 35 students. Second semester. Professor Corrales.
53. Representing Domestic Violence. (GP) (LP) (Also Women's and Gender Studies 53.) See Women's and Gender Studies 53.
Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2007-08. Professors Bumiller and Sánchez-Eppler.
56. Regulating Citizenship. (AP) (PT) This course considers a fundamental issue that faces all democratic societies: How do we decide when and whether to include or exclude individuals from the rights and privileges of citizenship? In the context of immigration policy, this is an issue of state power to control boundaries and preserve national identity. The state also exercises penal power that justifies segregating and/or denying privileges to individuals faced with criminal sanctions. Citizenship is regulated not only through the direct exercise of force by the state, but also by educational systems, social norms, and private organizations. Exclusion is also the result of poverty, disability, and discrimination based on gender, race, age, and ethnic identity. This course will describe and examine the many forms of exclusion and inclusion that occur in contemporary democracies and raise questions about the purpose and justice of these processes. We will also explore models of social change that would promote more inclusive societies. This course will be conducted inside a correctional facility and enroll an equal number of Amherst students and residents of the facility. Permission to enroll will be granted on the basis of a questionnaire and personal interview with the instructor.
Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Second semester. Professor Bumiller.
59. The Politics of Moral Reasoning. (GP) (PT) This course is an exploration of the connections between the experience of ordinary life and the judgments humans and citizens make concerning good and bad, and competing goods. We will use as the core text Stanley Cavell's Cities of Words, which organizes themes concerning moral reasoning around a series of thinkers - Emerson, Aristotle, Plato, Rawls, Nietzsche, Locke, Mill and others - and couples each thinker with a movie from the classic age of American cinema. While we will be relying on Cavell's study as a primary source, students will also be reading essays by the thinkers Cavell identifies. Each week we will discuss the reading in the first class exclusively, and then screen the film prior to the second class meeting, when we will broaden the discussion.
Not open to first-year students. First semester. Professor Dumm.
60. Punishment, Politics, and Culture. (AP) (GP) Other than war, punishment is the most dramatic manifestation of state power. Whom a society punishes and how it punishes are key political questions as well as indicators of its character and the character of the people in whose name it acts. This course will explore the connections between punishment and politics with particular reference to the contemporary American situation. We will consider the ways crime and punishment have been politicized in recent national elections as well as the racialization of punishment in the United States. We will ask whether we punish too much and too severely, or too little and too leniently. We will examine particular modalities of punishment, e.g., maximum security prisons, torture, the death penalty, and inquire about the character of those charged with imposing those punishments, e.g., prison guards, executioners, etc. Among the questions we will discuss are: Does punishment express our noblest aspirations for justice or our basest desires for vengeance? Can it ever be an adequate expression of, or response to, the pain of victims of crime? When is it appropriate to forgive rather than punish? We will consider these questions in the context of arguments about the right way to deal with juvenile offenders, drug offenders, sexual predators ("Megan's Law"), rapists, and murderers. We will, in addition, discuss the meaning of punishment by examining its treatment in literature and popular culture. Readings may include selections from The Book of Job, Greek tragedy, Kafka, Nietzsche, Freud, George Herbert Mead, and contemporary treatments of punishment such as Foucault's Discipline and Punish, Butterfield's All God's Children, Scarry's Body in Pain, Garland's Punishment in Modern Society, Hart's Punishment and Reasonability, and Mailer's Executioner’s Song. Films may include The Shawshank Redemption, Dead Man Walking, Mrs. Soffel, Minority Report, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
Limited to 15 students. First semester. Professor Sarat.
63. Global Women's Activism. (Also Women's and Gender Studies 44.) See Women's and Gender Studies 44.
Omitted 2007-08. Professor Basu.
70. The Political Theory of Globalization. (IR) (PT) "Globalization" can mean many things. To some, it means equal integration of individual societies into worldwide political, economic and cultural processes. To others it means accentuated uneven economic development, accompanied by cultural imperialism, which merely exaggerates the political dependence of "peripheral" on "core" societies. For still others, globalization is shorthand for the social and cultural changes that follow when societies become linked with and, in an escalating way, dependent upon the world capitalist market. The idea that underlies these multiple meanings of globalization is the radical intensification of worldwide social relations and the lifting of social activities out of local and national conditions. The course will examine the major theoretical discourses raised by this idea, such as (1) the effect of globalizing material production on the integrity of liberal democracy and the welfare state, (2) the nexus between globalizing cultural production and the politics of otherness, (3) the impact of globalizing communication technologies and mass consumerism on the formation of transnational "gated class communities," and (4) the relationship between globalizing corporate capitalist governance and the democratization of discrete state formations. We will also explore the connection between the theories of modernity/post-modernity and globalizing civil society as well as the ideological partnership of liberalism, neoliberalism and poststructuralism in legitimizing the current globalizing "human condition." This course fulfills the requirement of an advanced seminar in Political Science.
Requisite: Two courses--one from each cluster or their equivalent: (a) Political Science 13, 20; (b) 28, 44, 56, 81, 85, 86, 89. Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2007-08. Professor Machala.
72. Culture and Politics in 20th-Century Europe. (CP) (IR) (Also European Studies 35.) This seminar discusses political ideas, ideologies and political culture in 20th-century Europe. Some themes are Nationalism; Marxism, Socialism and Communism; Fascism; anti-Semitism; Existentialism; the "Century of Total War"; the year 1968; Pope John Paul II; Soccer Hooliganism; "The Idea of Europe," and the question of whether there is a "European identity." Throughout the course, ideas are connected to historical context. The syllabus is a mix of books and films. This course can be taken as a regular course or it can fulfill the requirement for an advanced seminar in Political Science.
Preference to Political Science and European Studies majors, and third- and fourth-year students. Limited to 20 students. Second semester. Professor Tiersky.
73. U.S.-Latin American Relations. (CP) (IR) Can small and non-powerful nations ever profit from a relationship with a more powerful hegemon? Who gains and who loses in this type of asymmetrical relationship? This seminar attempts to answer these questions by looking at the relations between the U.S. and Latin American nations. The seminar begins by presenting different ways in which intellectuals have tried to conceptualize and analyze the relations between the U.S. and Latin America. These approaches are then applied to different dimensions of the relationship: (1) intra-hemispheric relations prior to World War II (the sources of U.S. interventionism and the response of Latin America); (2) political and security issues after World War II (the role of the Cold War in the hemisphere and U.S. reaction to instability in the region, with special emphasis on Cuba in the early 1960s, Peru in the late 1960s, Chile in the early 1970s, The Falklands War and Nicaragua in the 1980s); and (3) economic and business issues (the politics of foreign direct investment and trade, and the debt crisis in the 1980s). Finally, we examine contemporary trends: the emerging hemispheric convergence, economic integration, drug trade, immigration, the defense of democracy regime, and the re-emergence of multilateral interventionism. This course fulfills the requirement for an advanced seminar in political science.
Requisite: Political Science 13 or its equivalent. Limited to 15 students. Admission with consent of the instructor. Omitted 2007-08. Professor Corrales.
74. Norms, Rights, and Social Justice: Feminists, Disability Rights Activists and the Poor at the Boundaries of the Law. (GP) (LP) (Also Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought 74.) This seminar explores how the civil rights movement began a process of social change and identity-based activism. We evaluate the successes and failures of "excluded" groups' efforts to use the law. We primarily focus on the recent scholarship of theorists, legal professionals, and activists to define "post-identity politics" strategies and to counteract the social processes that "normalize" persons on the basis of gender, sexuality, disability, and class. This course fulfills the requirement for an advanced seminar in Political Science.
Requisite: One introductory Political Science course or its equivalent. Limited to 15 students. First semester. Professor Bumiller.
75. Problems of International Politics. (CP) (IR) The topic changes from year to year. In 2007-08, the topic will be "Gorbachev, the End of the Cold War and the Collapse of the Soviet Union." When Mikhail Gorbachev became its leader in 1985, the Soviet Union, while plagued by internal and external troubles, was still one of the world's two superpowers. By 1991, the cold war was over, and on the day he left the Kremlin for the last time, December 25, 1991, the USSR ceased to exist. Of course, Gorbachev was not solely responsible for this upheaval. Developments in the USSR and the world prepared the way. But he set decisive change in motion, and no one else in the Soviet leadership would have done so. This course is therefore a case study of the impact of personality on politics, but also of the limits of that impact, and of the importance of other causes (economic, political, social, ideological, international) of events that changed the world. This course fulfills the requirement for an advanced seminar in Political Science.
Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Second semester. Professor Taubman.
76. Modern Social Theory. (PT) This course will consider the following broad questions with respect to Tocqueville, Marx, Durkheim and Weber: (1) What is the cement of society, i.e., what makes society a coherent unit of experience and analysis? (2) What are the rigidities and flexibilities in society, i.e., how do societies change, develop, and come apart? (3) What is the role of ideas in the cohesion and development of societies? (4) What normative constraints do the answers to the above questions place on societies? With respect to this question the focus in this course will be on the political constraints in contrast with, for instance, the technological, cultural or economic constraints. This course fulfills the requirement for an advanced seminar in Political Science.
Limited to 20 students. First semester. Professor Mehta.
77D. Senior Departmental Honors. Totaling three full courses, usually a double course in the fall and one regular course in the spring.
Open to seniors who have satisfied the necessary requirements. First and second semesters. The Department.
78. Senior Departmental Honors. Totaling three full courses, usually a double course in the fall and one regular course in the spring.
Open to seniors who have satisfied the necessary requirements. First and second semesters. The Department.
79. Seminar on War and Peace. (IR) (PT) A conceptual and theoretical study of war and peace. Neither a history of war nor a policy study of wars and crises today, the seminar considers a variety of cases across time and space to examine the causes and consequences of war and the possibilities of peace. Readings range from classical sources to contemporary debates, including Euripides, Quintus Curtius Rufus, Kant, Clausewitz, Sun Tsu, Margaret Mead, Gandhi; K. Waltz, Michael Walzer, and the Geneva Conventions. Students should have some relevant background in the study of international relations, moral aspects of political life and/or international law. This course fulfills the requirement for an advanced seminar in Political Science.
Requisite: Some background in international relations study; in morality, law and politics; and/or international law. Limited to 20 students. Not open to first-year students. First semester. Professor Tiersky.
80. Contemporary Political Theory. (PT) A consideration of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Western political theory. Topics to be considered include the fate of modernity, identity and difference, power, representation, freedom, and the state. This year's readings may include works by the following authors: Freud, Weber, Benjamin, Heidegger, Arendt, Derrida, Foucault, Berlin, Butler, Connolly, and Agamben. This course fulfills the requirement for an advanced seminar in Political Science.
Limited to 20 students. Second semester. Professor Dumm.
81. Taking Marx Seriously. (PT) Should Marx be given yet another chance? Is there anything left to gain by returning to texts whose earnest exegesis has occupied countless interpreters, both friendly and hostile, for generations? Has Marx's credibility survived the global debacle of those regimes and movements which drew inspiration from his work, however poorly they understood it? Or, conversely, have we entered a new era in which post-Marxism has joined a host of other "post-"phenomena? This seminar will deal with these and related questions in the context of a close and critical reading of Marx's texts. The main themes we will discuss include Marx's conception of capitalist modernity, material and intellectual production, power, class conflicts and social consciousness, and his critique of alienation, bourgeois freedom and representative democracy. We will also examine Marx's theories of historical progress, capitalist exploitation, globalization and human emancipation. This course fulfills the requirement for an advanced seminar in Political Science.
Requisite: One of Political Science 28, 29, 49, 85, 86 or an equivalent. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2007-08. Professor Machala.
82. United States Foreign Policy: Democracy and Human Rights. (IR) (AP) Is the United States committed to promoting democracy and human rights abroad or just advancing its own strategic and domestic corporate interests? What influence does the United States have on the development of democracy around the world and the emergence of - and compliance with - international human rights conventions, protocols and laws? This seminar begins with an historical overview of American democracy and human rights rhetoric and policies and seeks to uncover the range of political, economic, cultural and geostrategic motivations underlying U.S. behavior. We will then examine American foreign policy responses to contemporary human rights and democracy issues as they relate to women, regional and civil violence, state-sponsored violence and repression, development, globalization, and environmental degradation and resource scarcity. Throughout the semester we will examine how these policies have influenced events in Latin America, East Asia, Eastern Europe, and sub-Saharan and southern Africa. Previous course work relating to international relations, American politics or foreign policy, or political theory required. This course fulfills the requirement for advanced seminar in Political Science.
Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2007-08. Five College Professor Western.
83. Topics in Contemporary Political Philosophy. (PT) This seminar will consider works in political philosophy that have been published within the last decade. It will be organized around the following four topics: justice, equality, the normative force of history and ethical/cultural pluralism. The readings will include works by the following thinkers: John Rawls, Amartya Sen, Michael Sandel, Ronald Dworkin, Charles Taylor, Alistair MacIntyre, David Bromwich, Jurgen Habermas, Martha Nussbaum, Jean-Francois Lyotard, and Bikhu Parekh. This course fulfills the requirement for an advanced seminar in Political Science.
Limited to 20 students. Second semester. Professor Mehta.
84. Seminar on International Politics: Global Resource Politics. (IR) An intensive investigation of new and emerging problems in international peace and security affairs. We will examine such issues as: international terrorism; global resource competition; the security implications of globalization; international migrations; transboundary environmental problems; illegal trafficking in guns, drugs, and people. Participants in the seminar will be required to choose a particular problem for in-depth investigation, entailing a study of the nature and evolution of the problem, the existing international response to it, and proposals for its solution. Students will prepare a major paper on the topic and give an oral presentation to the class on their findings. This course fulfills the requirement for an advanced seminar in Political Science.
Limited to 25 students. First semester. Five College Professor Klare.
85. States of Poverty. (AP) (GP) (Also Women’s and Gender Studies 85.) In this course the students will examine the role of the modern welfare state in people's everyday lives. We will study the historical growth and retrenchment of the modern welfare state in the United States and other Western democracies. The course will critically examine the ideologies of "dependency" and the role of the state as an agent of social control. In particular, we will study the ways in which state action has implications for gender identities. In this course we will analyze the construction of social problems linked to states of poverty, including hunger, homelessness, health care, disability, discrimination, and violence. We will ask how these conditions disproportionately affect the lives of women and children. We will take a broad view of the interventions of the welfare state by considering not only the impact of public assistance and social service programs, but the role of the police, family courts, therapeutic professionals, and schools in creating and responding to the conditions of impoverishment. The work of the seminar will culminate in the production of a research paper and students will be given the option of incorporating field work into the independent project. This course fulfills the requirement for an advanced seminar in Political Science.
Requisite: Some previous exposure to background material. Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 20 students. Second semester. Professor Bumiller.
86. Globalization, Social Movements and Human Rights. (CP) (Also Women’s and Gender Studies 68.) This seminar will explore the changing trajectories of social movements amidst economic, political and cultural globalization. Social movements have organized in opposition to the environmental destruction, increased class inequalities and diminished accountability of nation states that have often accompanied the global spread of capitalism. Globalization from above has given rise to globalization from below as activists have organized transnationally, employing new technologies of communication and appealing to universal human rights. However, in organizing transnationally and appealing to universal principles, activists may find their energies displaced from local to transnational arenas, from substantive to procedural inequalities, and from grass roots activism to routinized activity within the judicial process. We will consider the extent to which globalization heightens divisions between universalistic and particularistic movements or contributes to the creation of a global civil society which can protect and extend human rights. We will examine women’s movements, environmental movements, and democracy movements in several regions of the world. This course fulfills the requirement of an advanced seminar in Political Science.
Requisite: One of Political Science 13, 20, 31, 46, 48, 70, 73, or 74. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2007-08. Professor Basu.
87. Political Thought and Statecraft of Abraham Lincoln. (LP) (PT) This seminar will study the statesmanship of Lincoln, and it will weave together two strands, which accord with different parts in the understanding of the statesman. First, there is the understanding of the ends of political life and the grounds of moral judgment. Here, we would consider Lincoln's reflection on the character of the American republic, the principles that mark a lawful regime, and the crisis of principle posed in "the house divided." But second, there is the understanding drawn from the actual experience of politics, the understanding that informs the prudence of the political man as he seeks to gain his ends, or apply his principles, in a party. The main materials will be supplied by the writings of Lincoln: the speeches, the extended debates with Stephen Douglas, the presidential messages and papers of State. The problem of his statesmanship will be carried over then to his exercise of the war powers, his direction of the military, and his conduct of diplomacy. This course fulfills the requirement of an advanced seminar in Political Science.
Requisite: One of Political Science 12, 18, 41, 42, or 49. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2007-08. Professor Arkes.
89. Markets and Democracy in Latin America. (CP) (IR) In the 1980s an unprecedented process of change began in Latin America: nations turned toward democracy and the market. This seminar explores the literature on regime and economic change and, at the same time, encourages students to think about ways to study the post-reform period. The seminar begins by looking at the situation prior to the transition: the sources of Latin America's over expanded state, economic decay, political instability, and democratic deficit. The seminar then focuses directly on the processes of transition, paying particular attention to the challenges encountered. It explores, theoretically and empirically, the extent to which democracy and markets are compatible. The seminar then places Latin America's process of change in a global context: comparisons will be drawn with Asian and post-Socialist European cases. The seminar concludes with an overview of current shortcomings of the transition: Latin America's remaining international vulnerability (the Tequila Crisis of 1995 and the Asian Flu of 1997), the rise of crime, drug trade, and neopopulism, the cleavage between nationalists and internationalists, the prospects for further deepening of reforms and the political backlash against reforms in the 2000s. This course fulfills the requirements of an advanced seminar in Political Science.
Requisite: Some background in the economics and politics of developing areas. Limited to 15 students. Not open to first- and second-year students. Omitted 2007-08. Professor Corrales.
97, 98. Special Topics.
First and second semesters.
Personality and Political Leadership. See Colloquium 14. This course fulfills the requirement for an advanced seminar in Political Science.
Limited enrollment. Admission with consent of the instructors. Omitted 2007-08. Professors W. Taubman and Demorest.
Post-Cold War American Diplomatic History. See Colloquium 18.
Limited to 30 students. Admission with consent of the instructors with preference given to students who have taken one of the following courses: Political Science 26, 30, History 49, 50, and 51. Not open to first-year students. Second semester. Professors Machala and Levin.
American Diplomacy in the Middle East from the Second World War to the Iraq War. See Colloquium 19.
Omitted 2007-08. Professors Levin and Machala.
Murder. See Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought 20.
Omitted 2007-08. Professor Sarat.