You're logged in as |

Political Science

 Traditionally, political science splits into four subfields: (1) the study of politics in the United States (American politics); (2) the comparative study of different political systems and individual nations around the globe (comparative politics); (3) the study of relations among states and peoples (international relations); and (4) the philosophical study of political ideas (political theory). What particularly moves us at Brown are the big questions about political life – both at home and around the world. We engage these questions in a wide range of different political contexts, often in ways that cross between the traditional subfields. We also pay particular attention to how our analyses touch the real world of people and politics.

You’ll find us involved all around the campus: at the A. Alfred Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy, the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, the Political Theory Project, Development Studies, India Initiative, Middle East Studies, China Initiative, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Pembroke Center, Cogut Center for the Humanities among many others.

For additional information, please visit the department's website: http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Political_Science/

Course usage information

POLS 0010. Introduction to the American Political Process.

This course is designed to be an introduction to the American political process, broadly defined. We will cover topics including but not limited to: Constitution, Federalism, Federal Budget, Congress, Presidency, Bureaucracy, Judiciary, Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, Public Opinion, Media, Interest Groups, Political Parties, Campaigns, Elections, and Participation.

Course usage information

POLS 0110. Introduction to Political Thought.

What is justice? What is freedom? What is the basis of political authority? What is the nature of the best regime? Why should we obey the laws? When may we legitimately resist? These and other perennial questions of political life are explored. Readings includes Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, and J.S. Mill.

Course usage information

POLS 0200. Introduction to Comparative Politics.

Introduces students to the sub-field of comparative politics or politics within states. Topics include types of regimes (i.e., democratic, authoritarian-with-adjectives, totalitarian); transitions to democracy; collapse of democratic regimes; democratizing, revolutionary and ethnic challenges to the state; and globalization. The course also pays attention to modes of analysis in comparative politics. Cases will be drawn from various regions, including Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Course usage information

POLS 0220. City Politics.

Bosses, reformers, states, bureaucrats, politicians, the poor, the homeless, and the citizen. An introduction to the major themes of urban politics.

Course usage information

POLS 0400. Introduction to International Politics.

This course provides a basic introduction to the central theoretical perspectives and debates in international relations. The second part of the course applies these models to current problems in international relations, including globalization, state failure, humanitarian intervention, NGOs, terrorist networks, environmental issues, and possible future change in international politics.

Course usage information

POLS 0500. Foundations of Political Analysis.

This course provides an introduction for undergraduate students to the methods that political scientists (and other social scientists) use to generate and answer questions about the world around us. This course will provide you with the tools to evaluate critically social science research, and it will improve your ability to pose and answer research questions of your own. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches are covered. Not open to first year students.

Course usage information

POLS 0600. Introduction to Modern South Asia (SAST 0700).

Interested students must register for SAST 0700.

Course usage information

POLS 0820A. American Presidency.

The origins and evolution of the current presidency and the role of the presidential institution in the American political and policy-making system. Evaluation of the present role of the office and critical examination of recent administrations.

Course usage information

POLS 0820B. The Politics of Leadership.

Many people are placed in leadership positions but most never become real leaders. What separates leaders and non-leaders? What are the characteristics of a real leader? The course will focus on American politics and investigate two institutional arenas: the presidency and congress. Several case studies will be investigated where people use different skills to perform leaderhsip roles. Among the factors to be considered are; personal qualities, prior preparation, selection of a challenge and the use of rhetorical skills. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students.

Course usage information

POLS 0820D. Freedom.

What is freedom? Is it important? How do we know? What should we do about it? We will analyze the different conceptions of liberty - liberal egalitarian, classical liberal, Marxist, and fascist views. We will determine how the various aspects of freedom - political, personal, psychological, economic, and moral - are complementary, and determine what sorts of institutions promote or undermine these aspects. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students.

Course usage information

POLS 0820E. Slavery and Political Philosophy.

This course looks at the various ways in which the experience of slavery has shaped political philosophy and political thinking from its origins. In what ways has the experience of freedom not just been tied to but presupposed the slavery of others? What ways of thinking about freedom are or are not compatible with the external enslavement of others? What kinds of ideas had to change for a systematic critique of slavery to develop? Have we overcome all forms of slavery or are their forms that are still with us?

Course usage information

POLS 0820F. Politics of Aviation.

Who are the key players in aviation conflicts? Congress and congressional committees, bureaucratic agencies and pressure groups. Governmental regulation of airlines; past, present and future. Current market trends examined. Two dominant themes in aviation politics: avoid safety failures (crashes); avoid security problems (terrorism). How 9-11 changed the industry.

Course usage information

POLS 0820G. Race and Political Representation.

While representation is a central tenet of democracy, much disagreement exists over what political representation means and the best way to ensure equitable representation for all citizens. We will study representation and its various forms. We will then use these concepts to examine research on how well American democratic institutions capture the interest of racial and ethnic minorities. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students.

Course usage information

POLS 0820H. Race and Visions of Justice.

This course is both an introduction to and critical assessment of the tradition of liberalism and its ability or inability to address racial inequality. We will explore the re-emergence of liberalism in the 20th century and move on to critical accounts of the tradition by scholars of race, inequality, and social movements. Given that liberalism remains a fundamental aspect of our political lives in the United States, we want to know whether it is capable in theory and practice to address the on-going question for racial justice.

Course usage information

POLS 0820I. Crime, Mafias and Prison.

Will develop framework for analysis of criminal behavior in a variety of contemporary and historical settings. Examines the rationality behind criminal choices, how governments seek to control crime, alternatives to state-enforcement of criminal law, origins and operation of organized crime and mafia groups, and how crime affects regions characterized by failed or weak states. Study crime in a variety of contexts, including in the Sicilian Mafia, 18th century piracy, contemporary drug and sex markets, and prison gangs. Will develop tools that can be used to understand the observed variation in criminal activity, the organizational structure of criminal activity, and their broader consequences.

Course usage information

POLS 0820L. Philosophy of the American Founding.

In framing our political system in the Constitution, who did the Founders rely on for their theoretical framework? In this course, we will explore the works of Montesquieu, Adams, Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and other contributors to the Constitution. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students.

Course usage information

POLS 0820N. Political Thinking for a Global World.

This course will consider how we should think, and act, in a world increasingly marked by global interconnectedness. We will devote our attention to the intellectual and epistemological issues raised by cross-cultural exchange, and survey how theorists in both "the West" and elsewhere have thought about and formulated responses to issues like citizenship, human rights, feminism, and cultural identity.

Course usage information

POLS 0820P. Fourth Branch of Government.

Administrative agencies have been called the fourth branch of government. They write regulations that have the force of law and they are responsible for the implementation of virtually all public policies. How do these agencies fit into our constitutional form of government? How do they relate to the other branches of government? This course traces the rise of the administrative state and it examines the basic elements of command-and-control regulation, along with various alternatives to regulation. Written permission required.

Course usage information

POLS 0820Q. Politics of American Federal Holidays.

Why were ten national holidays created? The answer requires a review of key events in American political history from 1775 to 1983. Why was the Civil War pivotal? Which presidents were most important in generating support for special days? Conflicts occurred not only in creating the day but which day would be the holiday. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students.

Course usage information

POLS 0820R. Global Governance.

"Global governance" denotes the myriad ways in which states, institutions, networks, and associations help administer global affairs. In this seminar, we will explore who governs the world and how, and we will evaluate different normative theories of global governance, including the liberal/political, cosmopolitan democratic, and republican approaches. We will focus on the values and the global structure that their proponents deem most desirable. What values, if any, ought to govern the practice of global politics? And how should such values be institutionalized? Are there any good reasons for favoring a centralized global authority akin to a world state, or should we prefer a different global institutional arrangement? What role do we envision for the nation-state?

Course usage information

POLS 0820S. Capitalism For and Against.

What is capitalism? What are its defining traits and institutions, and the roles of the market and the state? How should individual rights and social responsibilities be balanced? What are capitalisms' strengths and weaknesses? Are capitalist societies or other types of systems the best way to achieve justice, promote excellence, and provide freedom, happiness, and material well-being? What are the coherent criticisms of and alternatives to capitalism? This course will study some of the seminal philosophical arguments about capitalism, focusing especially on Smith, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, and Hayek. Enrollment limited to 20 freshmen and sophomores.

Course usage information

POLS 0820T. Women's Work and Welfare in Global Perspective.

The seminar looks at how welfare systems structure women’s participation in the workplace, family and society, including: women’s roles in domestic economies; migration flows from poor to rich states, gendered divisions of labor; human trafficking; and pro-natalist responses to population decline. Attention is devoted to policies that support women and families, including welfare, work-and-family reconciliation; micro-financing, conditional income support programs; and the growing role of women’s and non-governmental organizations in welfare policy. Cases are drawn from Europe, Latin America, Asia, Russia and the United States.

Course usage information

POLS 0820U. Drug War Politics.

This seminar examines the politics, practice, and consequences of government efforts to regulate mind-altering substances since the early 20th century. Although much of the focus is on the contemporary United States and Latin America, the coverage is broadly historical, comparative, and global. The main drugs focused on are cocaine, opium, and cannabis, but will include alcohol, tobacco, and synthetics. The course also evaluates policy alternatives and the obstacles to policy reform. The course draws on readings from fields such as political science, anthropology, criminology, and history. The seminar is reading intensive, and is designed to cultivate critical writing and presentation skills. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students.

Fall POLS0820U S01 17282 M 3:00-5:30 (P. Andreas)
Course usage information

POLS 0820V. Land and Conflict.

This first-year seminar considers the connection between land and political conflict. Disputes over territory have been a primary cause of war for centuries. Likewise, other types of conflicts over land continue to be a major factor in political struggles worldwide. Why, how, and when does territory become the subject of violent—or non-violent—conflict? The seminar will begin by thinking broadly about how land has factored into political conflict, both historically and today, and then we will move on to a series of case studies of recent or ongoing conflicts, including Israel/Palestine, Kashmir, the South China Sea, the Arctic, and global farmland.

Course usage information

POLS 0820W. Bleeding Heart Libertarianism.

What is libertarianism? In what sense can libertarians claim to combine the best of the “right” with the best of the “left?” Why do libertarians emphasize private property? Why are they skeptical of political agency? Are libertarians anti-democratic? Can they care about social justice? How do libertarians approach problems such as racism, sexism, militarism, state surveillance, global inequality, and environmental sustainability? This course will explore such questions, as illuminated by a variety of texts in the libertarian tradition, classical and contemporary.

Course usage information

POLS 0820X. Introduction to Modern South Asia.

The seminar aims to introduce South Asia in terms of a plurality in ways of being. It shall study themes beginning with colonialism and ranging from the colonial mapping of tradition; anticolonial ethics; partition and the creation of a separate state; communalism; democracy; secularism; nationalism; welfare; and the global war on terror. The seminar will be an intensive reading and writing experience that transgresses academic disciplines. Writings include important tracts and speeches of intellectuals and thinkers of South Asia; writings of scholars and activists; and literary and artistic works. There are no prerequisites for taking this course.

Course usage information

POLS 0920A. Bleeding Heart Libertarianism.

What is libertarianism? In what sense can libertarians claim to combine the best of the “right” with the best of the “left?” Why do libertarians emphasize private property? Why are they skeptical of political agency? Are libertarians anti-democratic? Can they care about social justice? How do libertarians approach problems such as racism, sexism, militarism, state surveillance, global inequality, and environmental sustainability? This course will consider such questions from a variety of texts in the libertarian tradition, contemporary and classical.

Fall POLS0920A S01 17247 F 3:00-5:30 (J. Tomasi)
Course usage information

POLS 0920B. Introduction to Indigenous Politics with Pacific Islander Focus.

This introductory course in Indigenous political thought engages with critical Indigenous thinkers in order to understand Indigenous political praxis, resurgence and decolonization. Because Indigenous study is place-based and kinship relationships to land and all existents of that land are fundamental to understanding Indigenous political thought, Indigenous politics must be studied in the context of particular indigenous peoples. To that end this course focuses on political movements of contemporary Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian). In addition to developing a fuller understanding of Indigenous political thought, this class also explores what it means to move beyond colonial relationships with the State.

Course usage information

POLS 0920C. Media and Democracy.

What role should media play in democracy? What impact do media forms such as social media have on democracy? As Americans increasingly get their news through social media and a wide variety of partisan online sources, they face an array of new challenges in gathering the information necessary of citizenship. The 2016 election and its aftermath added to a long list of worries about how media interacts with democracy—from Russian trolls to partisan bubbles to fake news to manipulative social media algorithms. Yet, at the same time, social media has enabled citizens to participate in shaping and contesting their informational environment in previously unimaginable ways—from #BlackLivesMatter to #MeToo.

Course usage information

POLS 0920F. The Passions in Modern Political Thought.

We love. We hate. We are proud of ourselves. We are envious of others. Misery triggers sympathy. Fury triggers fear. These psychological phenomena appear natural to human beings. We can't help experiencing them. We try to understand ourselves and our world through them. We act accordingly and in this way make a difference to ourselves and the people around us, for better or worse.
All these phenomena can be linked to one concept: passion. But what is passion? Why does it matter to politics and society? This course examines several passions (sympathy, self-love, fear, resentment, etc.) and their social and political implications.

Course usage information

POLS 0920G. US Populism in Comparative Perspective.

When Donald Trump won the United States presidential election in 2016 with an unconventional “outsider” campaign, academics and journalists sought answers for the unexpected victory, examining explanations including attitudes of racial anxiety, deindustrialization, and growing economic inequality. This course introduces students to these debates through offering a wider comparative perspective on instances of populist movements and leaders around the world. We will work to build an understanding of the causes and consequences of this complicated phenomenon by comparing current and historical cases of US populism with those in Europe and Latin America.

Course usage information

POLS 1010. Topics in American Constitutional Law.

This course will examine major constitutional controversies within the context of wider debates in political and legal theory. Readings from Supreme Court cases and prominent texts in political/legal theory. Each year we will focus on a different theme and set of constitutional issues. Topics might include a mix of federalism, separation of powers, privacy, free speech, and abortion. We will also focus how political and legal theory helps us to consider these topics in tandem

Fall POLS1010 S01 15592 MWF 1:00-1:50(06) (C. Brettschneider)
Course usage information

POLS 1015. Politics and Nature.

Examines the relationship between human beings and the earth as it has been conceived in the tradition of Western political thought from the ancient Greeks to the present day. The first part of the course draws from the history of political thought to understand the background against which our contemporary environmental problems have evolved and the conceptual resources that current theory draws from. The second part of the course investigates environmental political theory at the cutting edge today, engaging a wide range of perspectives and methods in the field.

Course usage information

POLS 1020. Politics of the Illicit Global Economy.

This course is about the "underside" of globalization. It introduces key sectors of the illicit global economy, including the clandestine flow of drugs, arms, people, body parts, arts and antiquities, endangered species, and toxic waste. The course compares these illicit sectors across time and place, and evaluates the practice and politics of state regulatory efforts. Particular attention is given to the role of the U.S. in the illicit global economy.

Course usage information

POLS 1030. Modern Political Thought.

What is justice? In a just society how would wealth be distributed? Would such distribution respect property rights? Does the state have the exclusive right to punish and if so why? Should the family be regarded as beyond justice? Is there a tension between democratic self-governance and freedoms from coercion? With an emphasize on both lectures and Socratic dialogue, this course is designed to engage students in conversations with the most important work in modern and contemporary political thought and to get them to engage with the most fundamental questions faced by our polity. We will draw on canonical modern and contemporary writers to see understand the most important debates of the modern period and as importantly to help us dig deep into fundamental questions of justice and legitimacy. Readings from Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, Rawls, Okin, Cohen and others. Some prior work in political theory or philosophy suggested.

Course usage information

POLS 1035. Democracy and Its Nineteenth Century Critics.

What exactly is democracy, or 'the rule of the people'? Our unreflective support for democracy often blinds us to the fact that historically, democracy has not always been viewed favorably, but rather, with skepticism—particularly as it was rising to the forefront of political life in the United States and Western Europe in the 19th century. This course investigates claims about democracy through historical and philosophical readings. What exactly is democracy? How is it justified (or not)? How is democracy related to representation, gender, and class? We investigate these questions through Burke, Paine, Wollstonecraft, deTocqueville, Marx, Mill, Taylor, and Nietzsche.

Course usage information

POLS 1040. Ancient Political Thought.

The Greeks stand at the beginning of the Western tradition of political philosophy, yet their thought is somehow foreign. What was the special perspective from which they viewed political life? In what ways does their perspective vitalize, contest, deepen, or affirm our own thinking on justice, politics, and the good life? This course will examine these and other questions with a special emphasis on the works of Plato and Aristotle.

Course usage information

POLS 1045. American Political Thought.

This course will explore key themes that have (re)defined life in this country since its beginning, such as liberty, democracy, religion, and race. We will read core documents like the Declaration of Independence, along with important works by thinkers like John Winthrop, the Founding Fathers, Tocqueville, Lincoln, and more recent authors like Robert Dahl. Our goal is to understand what they thought the American enterprise was and should be. Can the country meet their expectations? This course assumes a basic familiarity with American government and history, that is, with important dates and events, as well as certain concepts and institutions.

Course usage information

POLS 1050. Ethics and Public Policy.

What are the ethical dimensions of public service? How should people act when faced with ethical dilemmas in public life? This course will engage those broad questions beginning with an examination of five modern day political scandals: Watergate, Iran-Contra, the Keating Five, the Clinton impeachment, and the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections. We will then consider various issues in regulating ethics from nepotism and conflicts of interest to the revolving door and financial disclosure. Finally, we will consider several ethical values that are relevant to public service, including loyalty, honesty, and the role of official disobedience.

Fall POLS1050 S01 15596 TTh 1:00-2:20(08) (R. Cheit)
Course usage information

POLS 1060. The Political Economy of U.S. Monetary Policy.

This course will utilize political economy models of American political institutions to explain the relationship between politics and U.S. monetary policy. The course will provide a foundational understanding of how branches of the U.S. government relate to one another and how they relate to the Federal Reserve. We will explore several eras of monetary policy decisions in American history concluding with the recent financial crisis. In addition to providing a deeper understanding of American political institutions and the history of American monetary policy the course will explore how the Federal Reserve operates internally and how that impacts U.S. monetary policy. Instructor permission required.

Course usage information

POLS 1070. Rights.

Investigates the moral and political foundations of rights through a reading of classical and contemporary theories of rights. Readings include Hobbes, Locke, Tocqueville, Kant, J.S. Mill, Burke, Marx, Nozick, Waldron, Okin, Ignatieff, and others. Topics include rights and justice; multiculturalism and group rights; human rights in the global context; animal rights and environmentalism; communitarian and postmodern critiques of rights; and rights in the context of American citizenship.

Course usage information

POLS 1075. Ancients and Moderns.

Examines the political thought of Plato and Aristotle and three modern thinkers who were especially animated by these ancient views of politics: Machiavelli, Rousseau, and Nietzsche. Topics include the ends of politics and the nature of good government; the meaning of justice; the value of equality and of hierarchy; the nature of freedom; the role of virtue in political life; and the relationship between philosophy and politics. In reading these ancient and modern thinkers together, we gain a richer understanding of both the quarrels and the continuities between ancient and modern political thought – and the dynamic relationship between them.

Course usage information

POLS 1080. Politics of Transportation Policy.

Three transportation modes are emphasized: planes, trains, and automobiles. Three sets of actors are studied: Congress, pressure groups, and governmental agencies. The focus is on historical patterns of usage and current policy questions including airlines vs. airports, problematic drivers, and cars vs. transit. Background in the rudiments of American politics is desired.

Course usage information

POLS 1085. Injustice.

How should we respond to injustice? Violently or non-violently? Lawfully or disobediently? Should we try legal channels first or are some injustices too severe and urgent? When do we have an obligation to join those already resisting injustices? History presents us with an enormous repertoire of ways people have resisted injustice: conscientious refusal, passive resistance, non-violent direct action, sabotage, civil disobedience, strikes, mass protests, and revolution. This course will read works of political philosophy next to signature events of our own time, such as Arab Spring, Black Lives Matter Movement, the Tea Party, and labor strikes, to discuss the above questions.

Course usage information

POLS 1090. Polarized Politics.

Focus will be on growing partisan polarization in American politics. Existence of polarization in institutions like House of Representatives, Senate, the presidency, federal courts, media, and religion will be examined. Emphasis will include the roles of political elites, non-elites, lobbyists, money in politics, red states/blue states, House and Senate rules, particular pressures created by budget, domestic, foreign policy, defense and homeland security issues. Requires extensive reading, detailed paper, take-home final exam and active class participation. Expectation to remain informed about current events as they apply to partisan polarization and to weigh the impacts of polarized politics on a democratic nation.

Course usage information

POLS 1100. U.S. Congress.

The Founders established the U.S. Congress in Article I of the Constitution. It created that body as guardian of the nation’s purse strings and empowered it to "make all laws necessary and proper." Will examine the Congress's structure, rules and procedures, traditions, precedents, campaigns, elections, parties, budget process, Member's constituencies and role in the system of checks and balances with the president and the courts. The impact of procedure on policy outcomes and the impacts of the 2020 election on the House and Senate will be explored. The course will consistently relate the characteristics and history of Congress to current events.

Course usage information

POLS 1110. Mass Media.

Dramatic changes are unfolding in the structure and operations of the U.S. media. We discuss how the media have changed over history; what the changes mean for American culture, society, and politics; and how we should evaluate the contemporary media.

Course usage information

POLS 1120. Campaigns and Elections.

This course will focus on both historical and contemporary elections at the congressional, state and local and presidential levels, emphasizing the 2020 elections. Topics include campaigns, parties, candidates, voting behavior, public opinion, polling, campaign finance, voting rights, the electoral college, gerrymandering and the media.

Fall POLS1120 S01 15632 MWF 11:00-11:50(16) (R. Arenberg)
Course usage information

POLS 1130. The American Presidency.

The origins and evolution of the Presidency in the American political and policy-making system. Special emphasis on the impact of presidential policies from Franklin Delano Roosevelt through Donald Trump; the presidential nomination and general election system with special focus on the 2020 election; and an exploration of the future challenges facing the winner of the 2020 Presidential election. The course will consistently relate the characteristics and history of the presidency to current events.

Course usage information

POLS 1140. Public Opinion and American Democracy.

Public opinion is an essential component of democracy. Considering the lack of familiarity about current events, how does public opinion affect public policy? Perhaps more importantly, should it? To assess these questions, we will explore how to measure public opinion and what polls tell us. We will then assess the roots of public opinion and analyze the public policy and representational impact of people's preferences.

Course usage information

POLS 1150. Prosperity: The Ethics and Economics of Wealth Creation.

What is prosperity? Whom does prosperity benefit? Which institutions and attitudes produce prosperity? What is the relation of prosperity to other values such as efficiency, happiness, equality, fairness, religious faith or personal freedom? This course explores the problem of prosperity from a variety of disciplinary perspectives: philosophical, economic, historical, religious, and literary. No Prerequisites. Freshmen welcome.

Course usage information

POLS 1160. Constitutional Law: Governmental Powers.

This course examines governmental powers under the United States Constitution, addressing the powers of Congress, the President, and the courts, as well as the relationship between the national and state governments. The primary reading materials will be leading Supreme Court cases, supplemented by additional reading materials on history and legal theory. The course will consider the role of the courts in enforcing constitutional principles in a democratic system, as well as theories of constitutional interpretation and constitutional change.

Course usage information

POLS 1170. Constitutional Law: Individual Rights.

Examines the scope of individual rights under the United States Constitution and will focus on equal protection, due process, free speech, and religion. The primary reading materials will be leading Supreme Court opinions interpreting and applying the First and Fourteenth Amendments, supplemented by readings on legal history and theory. The course will consider the role of the courts in protecting individual rights in a constitutional democracy, as well as theories of constitutional interpretation and constitutional change.

Course usage information

POLS 1180. Feminist Thoughts for a Heated Climate.

The ecological crises - the “sixth extinction,” “global warming,” “the eruption of Gaia” - have forced many humans to challenge contingent boundaries drawn in more or less compelling ways in the Western world. Dualisms opposing nature to culture, the human and the nonhuman, the natural and the technological, the feminine and the masculine, seem more destabilized than ever. When geologists came up with a new epoch called the “Anthropocene,” feminist theory was well equipped to problematize this allegedly omnipotent “anthropos.” Reciprocally, queer, post-colonial, and feminist theories have re-thought the never so normative, hardly stable, greatly unknown, nature of nature.

Course usage information

POLS 1185. Environmental Political Thought.

In our context of ecological crises, Environmental Political Theory (or Ecosophy) has boomed, attesting of the need for new concepts with which to think our unprecedented situation. Ecosophers think of nuclear energy, GMOs, climate change, the 6th extinction, etc, in terms of responsibility toward future generations, “de-growth,” sustainability, the anthropocene, Gaia, etc. This course will survey some major schools of thought within Ecosophy, highlighting the diversity of the environmentalist movement. We will focus on one common thread weaving eclectic ecosophical currents and concepts: the question of humans’ relationship to the nonhuman.

Course usage information

POLS 1190. The Politics of Climate Change.

In 1992, the international community committed itself to the goal of preventing dangerous anthropogenic climate change. Taking stock more than a quarter century later reveals a still-warming world well and seemingly little progress. Why do we collectively find ourselves in this dangerous position? The purpose of this course is to provide a set of answers to this question from the perspective of political science. Our focus will be on exploring the range of our collective governance efforts from the international regime on down. Is there a pathway to successful climate governance?

Course usage information

POLS 1200. Reimagining Capitalism.

Debates over capitalism and its alternatives date back centuries. Proponents say that market institutions have enabled extraordinary productivity growth and life-saving innovations. Trade and the division of labor have been central to human progress in recent centuries. Capitalism’s critics point out that the growth of market economies has often had unacceptable consequences. The course is organized around four main challenges facing market economies today: environmental degradation, labor exploitation, inequality, and crisis. Can capitalism be reformed to solve the problems that it has helped generate, or is a market system unequipped to grapple with social and environmental challenges?

Fall POLS1200 S01 16170 TTh 8:30-10:00(06) (R. Locke)
Course usage information

POLS 1210. Latin American Politics.

Focuses on political and economic transformation in contemporary Latin America. Special attention is given to the processes of market-oriented economic reforms and democratization that have swept the region during the last twenty-five years. Includes in-depth country case studies where key themes can be discussed and elaborated.

Course usage information

POLS 1215. Fiction and Methods in Social Research: Debates on Inequality, Poverty, and Violence.

In this course, students will read, comment, and discuss renowned novels on inequality, exclusion, poverty, and (political, religious, racial, and gender) violence in cases as diverse as Nigeria, India, and Afghanistan.
These novels will submerge students in some of the complexities and richness of the selected cases. By reading them, students will explore and discuss concepts, stories and historical context, political and socioeconomic processes, the roles of characters, and arguments.

Course usage information

POLS 1220. Politics in Russia and Eastern Europe.

How do Putin and other leaders in Eastern Europe maintain political power? Why did some states democratize after communism’s collapse, and why are successful democratizers (Hungary, Poland) now moving toward semi-authoritarian populism? Why has Ukraine become a battleground between Russia and the West? We will study how international economic integration, the European Union, and the migrant crisis have affected the region’s domestic politics. Focus will be on the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and Poland. Background in social sciences recommended.

Course usage information

POLS 1240. Politics, Markets and States in Developing Countries.

How can we explain fundamental differences in economic performance and policy across developing countries in the face of Globalization? Why are some countries praised as economic "miracles," yet others seem mired in inescapable stagnation? This course addresses these questions by introducing the basic topics, concepts, and theoretical approaches that comprise the field of political economy of development. The course draws on case studies from Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Course usage information

POLS 1250. The Politics of European Democracies.

Topics covered include the state and challenges to the state of social class, ethnicity, immigration and religion; political parties and the formation of governing coalitions; new social movements and new political identities; voting behavior and other forms of mass politics; the European Union.

Course usage information

POLS 1260. Maps and Politics.

How do maps affect politics, and vice versa? Maps fundamentally shape the way that we see our world and how we interact politically, economically, and socially, but maps are also shaped by political actors, interests, and institutions. This course will consider historical and contemporary issues that link maps and politics, including the connections between mapping and nation-states, colonialism, warfare, democratic politics, and indigenous rights. The course is suitable for all students with an interest in the topic.

Course usage information

POLS 1265. Political Institutions of East Asian Democracies.

Will discuss present-day government and politics of South Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines as well as the decades leading up to democratic transitions in these countries. Will discuss economic miracles in Japan and the four "Asian tigers," and democratization in these high-growing regions. Throughout, reference will be made to similarities and differences – and implications thereof – between the "rules of the game" in these countries and in other new democracies. We will focus on several areas of policy that have been at the center of political science and economics debates concerning policy making in Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines.

Course usage information

POLS 1270. Middle East Politics.

For decades, the Middle East was widely perceived as a bastion of authoritarianism and a hotbed of identity politics and political violence. What has sustained these perspectives and how has the Arab Spring challenged them? This course combines analytical approaches with concrete case studies to provide an overview and critical understanding of regional developments. Students will gain insights on key questions and debates in Middle East politics. Topics include "persistent authoritarianism" in the Middle East, Political Islam, sectarian violence, economic development, and social mobilization. The course is suitable for students with all levels of knowledge on the region.

Course usage information

POLS 1280. Politics, Economy and Society in India.

This course will concentrate on three aspects of the "Indian experience": democracy, ethnic and religious diversity, and political economy. With a brief exception, India has continued to be democratic since 1947. No developing country matches India's democratic record. Second, remarkable cultural, ethnic and religious diversity marks India's social landscape, and influences its politics. Third, Indian economy has of late been going through a serious economic transformation, drawing comparisons with China. Is the comparison valid?

Course usage information

POLS 1285. Quality of Democracy in Latin America.

Focus on democratic quality in modern Latin America, its failures as well as its successes. Topics include police violence, the rule of law, indigenous movements, gender and gay rights, anti-poverty policy, and direct democracy. Will draw on material from across the Spanish and Portuguese speaking democracies in the region. We will engage with different theories of what makes democracies representative and accountable to their citizens. Not open to first years.

Fall POLS1285 S02 17486 MWF 11:00-11:50(16) (R. Weitz-Shapiro)
Course usage information

POLS 1290. The Rise of China.

This course examines the causes and consequences of China's societal transformation and emergence as a global power. Employing perspectives from comparative politics, international relations, and economics, the course explores the connections between China's domestic transformation and its integration with the global system. Lectures and readings cover the historical antecedents of China's rise, the contemporary relationship between state and citizen, the nature of China’s global competitiveness, and likely future avenues for socio-political change.

Fall POLS1290 S01 15620 TTh 9:00-10:20(02) (E. Steinfeld)
Fall POLS1290 C01 18259 T 5:00-5:50 (H. Li)
Fall POLS1290 C02 18260 T 7:00-7:50 (H. Li)
Fall POLS1290 C03 18261 T 12:00-12:50 (Z. Zhang)
Fall POLS1290 C04 18262 Th 12:00-12:50 (Z. Zhang)
Fall POLS1290 C05 18263 T 4:00-4:50 (K. Chakrabarti)
Fall POLS1290 C06 18264 T 5:00-5:50 (K. Chakrabarti)
Fall POLS1290 C07 18489 M 12:00-12:50 (B. Pervaiz)
Fall POLS1290 C08 18490 W 12:00-12:50 (B. Pervaiz)
Course usage information

POLS 1300. Latino Politics and Public Opinion.

Over 50 million Latinos reside in the United States today, making them the largest minority group in the country. The current population size, projected growth trajectory, and population density of Latinos in many political battleground states have made this group a favored topic among politicians, interest groups and mass media. Yet, what do we really know about the politics and opinions associated with the diverse and expanding Latino population? How are Latinos incorporated into American political life? What difference does it make to be of Latino descent in the U.S.? This course presents an in-depth examination of this important population.

Course usage information

POLS 1310. African American Politics.

Focuses on the contemporary African American politics in various spheres of the American political environment. Examines also how the concept of an African American community has evolved and shifted historically. We will pay particular attention to the growing diversity within the African American community and discuss what these changes mean for black political participation, representation, and organizing.

Course usage information

POLS 1315. Social Groups in American Politics.

In this course, students examine the politics of social groups in order to gain a broader perspective of the American political process. Topics can vary, and include a review of the major developments in American politics for historically discriminated groups including women.

Course usage information

POLS 1321. Urban Politics and Urban Policy (URBN 1270).

Interested students must register for URBN 1270.

Course usage information

POLS 1325. Political Organizations and Social Change in America.

Will examine efforts to create significant policy change in contemporary political and social life in United States. We examine strategies of social change; explore the characteristics of advocacy organizations; and consider how organizations can expand their political toolkits as they seek to create social change. In addition, we will examine the relationship between organizations, members, and activists. Why do so many organizations lack active members? What does it take to turn members into activists? Among the cases we examine are the Civil Rights Movement, the Tea Party, Alinsky organizations, Black Lives Matter, the Koch Brothers Network, Dreamers, and organized labor.

Fall POLS1325 S01 15628 MWF 2:00-2:50(10) (M. Weir)
Fall POLS1325 C01 18265 M 4:00-4:50 (K. Clark)
Fall POLS1325 C02 18266 Th 4:00-4:50 (K. Clark)
Course usage information

POLS 1350. Asian American Politics.

Examination of the historical and contemporary political experiences of Asian Americans and their respective pursuits for immigration, equality, citizenship, political identity, racial justice, cross-racial/ethnic coalition-building, and incorporation into the U.S. political system. The course will also explore the effectiveness of the “pan-ethnic” identity in contemporary US politics.

Course usage information

POLS 1360. U.S. Gender Politics.

This course covers the politics of U.S. women as activists, voters, candidates, and elected officials. What explains the emergence of the modern-day women’s movement? How do women win political seats? Do women legislate differently than men? How did women become legislative and party leaders? How does sexuality and gender affect U.S. electoral politics? This course will also consider the ways in which social class, race-ethnicity, marital status, parenthood, feminism, religiosity, political orientation, and cultural beliefs or stereotypes influence women’s public policy and social beliefs. To what extent does gender define all women’s political and social viewpoints?

Course usage information

POLS 1380. Ethnic Politics and Conflict.

Course focuses on the politics of rising national consciousness and the development of ethnic conflicts. It covers sources of contemporary nationalism; nationalist political mobilization; emergence of conflicts; impact on societies of internal strife and wars; international interventions; explanations for resolution or persistence of conflict; politics of post-conflict states. The course combines analytical texts and case studies. Cases from Eastern and Western Europe, North America, South Asia, and Africa.

Course usage information

POLS 1390. Global Governance.

Examines the institutions and the processes by which states and other actors seek to provide "governance" in the international system. The class explores the history of, and various theoretical perspectives on, the role of the UN and other international organizations in the state system. It also considers their roles in a range of political, military, economic, environmental, and humanitarian issues. Pre-requisite: POLS 0400

Fall POLS1390 S01 15621 MWF 10:00-10:50(14) (N. Tannenwald)
Fall POLS1390 C01 18268 F 12:00-12:50 (I. Bellezza-Smull)
Fall POLS1390 C02 18269 Th 12:00-12:50 (I. Bellezza-Smull)
Fall POLS1390 C03 18270 M 4:00-4:50 (C. Bennouna)
Fall POLS1390 C04 18271 T 4:00-4:50 (C. Bennouna)
Course usage information

POLS 1400. Europe and America.

Explores the contours of North Atlantic international politics through a variety of theoretical lenses. Examines the grand outlines of European, American, and transatlantic international affairs; the politics and legacies of the Cold War; and the history, theory, and politics of European integration. Then turns to North Atlantic affairs and transatlantic relations post-Cold War, and to Europe and America in the (twenty-first century) world to come.

Course usage information

POLS 1410. International Security in a Changing World.

Analyzes the most pressing global security problems today utilizing current theories of international politics. Examines the changing nature of security threats and considers the likely challenges we will face in the future. Issues covered include the causes of war and peace, weapons proliferation, terrorism and insurgencies, the role of technology, pandemics, humanitarian intervention and human security, and alliances and collective security. The course will include an international security simulation exercise. Pre-requisite: POLS 0400.

Course usage information

POLS 1415. Classics of Political Economy.

Traces the most important classical statements of political economy through consideration of the major contributions to the "political" study of the economy from the seventeenth century to the present; Locke, Ricardo, Smith, Rousseau, Mill, Bentham, Marx, Mill, Marshall, Keynes, Hayek, Friedman, and Lucas. By mapping the parallel evolution of the liberal/capitalist economy and the liberal/democratic notion of the individual, both a product of and a producer within this economy, the course will demonstrate the political nature of economics and the economic bases of politics. First year students require instructor permission.

Fall POLS1415 S01 15599 TTh 2:30-3:50(12) (A. Gourevitch)
Course usage information

POLS 1420. Money and Power in the International Political Economy.

Examines how the interaction of states and markets create distinct global monetary and political orders. Class analyzes the shift from the classical liberal Gold Standard through the Post-War Bretton Woods arrangements through to the globalized IPE of today.

Course usage information

POLS 1430. Roots of Radical Islam.

Why has radical political Islam emerged as a global threat in our lifetime? This course examines potential domestic sources, such as repressive governments and poverty, as well as international sources, such as U.S. foreign policy, with a special emphasis on the various strategies that governments of states with predominantly Muslim populations have taken toward political Islam. Instructor permission required.

Course usage information

POLS 1435. Politics of Climate Change.

Climate change is arguably the most important global challenge in the 21st century. It will reshape weather patterns, storms, sea levels, and agricultural output worldwide. Mitigating climate change will require massive economic transformations, affecting energy, transportation, and industrial sectors. What are the politics of that transformation? What are the political forces obstructing it? How do social movements, institutions, and economic interests interact to shape the national and global response to climate change? This course offers answers and insights, primarily from the perspective of political science. It also draws on knowledge from other disciplines.

Fall POLS1435 S01 17389 TTh 1:00-2:20(08) (J. Colgan)
Fall POLS1435 C01 18277 Th 12:00-12:50 (J. Stockbruegger)
Fall POLS1435 C02 18278 Th 4:00-4:50 (J. Stockbruegger)
Fall POLS1435 C03 18279 W 12:00-12:50 (M. Afzaal)
Fall POLS1435 C04 18280 T 12:00-12:50 (M. Afzaal)
Course usage information

POLS 1440. Security, Governance and Development in Africa.

Some of the fastest-growing economies in the world now lie in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet Africa is also home to some of the world’s most corrupt and violent states. This course will provide a variety of lenses through which to view these and other paradoxes on the continent, with a focus on security, governance and economic development. Topics will include the long-term consequences of colonialism and the slave trade; the politics of independence; the causes and effects of crime, violence and civil war; democracy and democratization; the promise and pitfalls of foreign aid; and the challenges of building strong, stable states.

Course usage information

POLS 1450. Development in Theory and Practice.

Focuses on the political economy of development and underdevelopment Topics include comparisons of state and market building among "early" and "late" developers, theories of development, prescriptions for development and their shortcomings, and the challenges for developing countries in the context of a globalizing economy.

Course usage information

POLS 1460. International Political Economy.

An introduction to the politics of international economic relations. Examines the history of international political economy and theoretical approaches to understanding it. Also analyzes several key contemporary issues in international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization, globalization and its consequences, and challenges in foreign economic policy-making.

Course usage information

POLS 1465. Introduction to Political Economy.

This class provides an introduction to topics in political economy with a focus on using basic models to understand both individuals and groups facing a variety of social dilemmas. Simple formal models will provide a framework for understanding problems in politics and political economy, including the collective action problem, prisoner’s dilemma, coordination problems, and more generally the importance of formal and informal institutions in guiding social outcomes. The class surveys major thinkers in political economy and uses their ideas to understand major changes in society, markets, and states from an historical perspective.

Course usage information

POLS 1470. International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.

Analyzes negotiation process in international relations. Emphasizes how the negotiation process impacts the relations among states, non-state actors, and multilateral institutions in international politics. Deals explicitly with the 'art and science' of negotiations as a means to resolve the conflicts and misunderstandings that are a ubiquitous feature of international relations. Includes simulation exercises and case discussions, drawing on issues ranging from formal diplomatic negotiations to the role of non-governmental organizations in promoting the resolution of international conflicts and on issues such as national and international security, as well as economic, environmental, and humanitarian concerns. Primarily for students with some prior background in the field of international politics. Prerequisite: POLS 0400 or instructor permission.

Course usage information

POLS 1475. War and Peace.

Why is armed force used in international politics? What are the causes of war, the preconditions for peace? How do political, moral and legal discourse shape the possibilities for peace? What is the role of violence in the formation of modern statehood and the contemporary international order? What are the interrelations between war and peace within a continuum of violence: what justifies both war and peace? When is military violence a solution to conflict, how is peace sustained? What are the psychological, social and economic effects of military conflict? What is the nature of military violence in peacetime?

Course usage information

POLS 1480. Theory of International Relations.

Provides an overview of basic thinking about international relations. Focuses on the conceptual fundaments, grand intellectual traditions and main theoretical trajectories, and key scholarly disagreements that have shaped the discipline of international relations over the past century and on the principal theoretical fault lines that define it today. Also scrutinizes a number of central topics in contemporary international affairs. Prerequisite: POLS 0400 recommended but not required.

Course usage information

POLS 1485. Global Justice.

Traditionally, in a world formed by states, moral responsibilities of governments, private corporations and individuals have been confined within national boundaries. Today, economic and ecological interdependence as well as global migrations of capital, goods, people, ideas and diseases challenge the Westphalian distinction between the domestic and the international. Moreover, global problems challenge the traditional inter-state organization of the world. Does globalization also enlarge our moral responsibilities beyond state borders? If governments, private corporations and peoples begin to accept moral responsibilities beyond the boundaries of nation-states, how should the Westphalian inter-state structure be transformed to make room for cosmopolitan duties?

Course usage information

POLS 1490. Building a Better World: Film and Social Change.

This class explores some of today's key policy challenges: economic development and poverty alleviation, the provision of basic public services, corruption, management of natural resources, environmental protection, intergroup violent conflict, and related issues. For each topic, the course (1) presents the problem, (2) reviews potential solutions, (3) discusses failed approaches, and (4) identifies concrete successes. Examples are drawn from around the world. Instructor Permission required.

Course usage information

POLS 1500. The International Law and Politics of Human Rights.

Introduces students to the law and politics of international human rights; examines the construction of an international human rights regime and its influence on international politics. Will survey the actors and organizations involved in the promotion of human rights around the globe, as well as the obstacles. Will review competing conceptions of human rights, whether human rights are universal, problems of enforcement, and the role of human rights in foreign policy. Major topics include civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; genocide, torture, women's rights, humanitarian intervention, and the international criminal court. POLS 0400 strongly encouraged as a prerequisite.

Course usage information

POLS 1530. Gender, Slavery, and Freedom.

Will examine how gender shaped slavery in the Americas. How did the experiences of enslaved men and women differ? Did the experiences of enslaved women result in specific practices that formed the basis for resistance to slavery and dehumanization? How did gendered experiences of slavery in turn affect the notions of freedom that were developed in post- emancipation societies? We will also consider how practices or ideas developed during slavery have contributed to the “afterlife” of slavery after official emancipation. We will analyze slavery as a concrete set of practices that were experienced and negotiated differently by enslaved men and women.

Fall POLS1530 S01 15602 TTh 10:30-11:50(13) (J. Hooker)
Fall POLS1530 C01 18281 T 5:00-5:50 (S. Sindhu)
Fall POLS1530 C02 18282 T 7:00-7:50 (S. Sindhu)
Fall POLS1530 C03 18283 T 12:00-12:50 (A. Alcaraz Escarcega)
Fall POLS1530 C04 18284 Th 12:00-12:50 (A. Alcaraz Escarcega)
Fall POLS1530 C05 18285 T 5:00-5:50 (C. Pruitt)
Fall POLS1530 C06 18286 T 4:00-4:50 (C. Pruitt)
Course usage information

POLS 1540. Politics of Nuclear Weapons.

Nuclear weapons have occupied a central role in international politics since their introduction in 1945. As weapons of overwhelming destructive power, their use today would be widely regarded as a disaster, yet nations continue to rely on them for security and deterrence, as well as associate them with status and prestige. The advent of nuclear weapons has challenged traditional conceptions of power, security, defense, and even morality. Vast disagreements continue to exist about many aspects of these weapons. Today, nuclear weapons pose a major global governance challenge for the world.

Course usage information

POLS 1550. War and Politics.

This course provides an examination of the intersection between political ends and military means. This includes an overview of theories of military strategy and combat tactics including challenges related to terrorism, insurgency and counter-insurgency. The bulk of the class will cover, in depth, historical details of specific conflicts from the Peloponnesian War through the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Detailed discussion of the evolution of specific weapon systems and their impact on military tactics will be included. Student will be required to watch several films as part of the course requirements.

Course usage information

POLS 1560. American Foreign Policy.

This course provides an overview of American Foreign Policy since World War I. The emphasis will be on defense and security policy, and not on foreign economic policy. This course covers significant historical events and personalities over the course of the twentieth century. When events dictate, part of any given daily class may be devoted to current events in American Foreign Policy, with emphasis on their historical source and context. Prerequisite: POLS 0400.

Course usage information

POLS 1570. International Law (INTL 1700).

Interested students must register for INTL 1700.

Course usage information

POLS 1600. Political Research Methods.

Introduction to quantitative research methods in political science. Topics include research design, descriptive statistics, statistical hypothesis testing, and bivariate and multivariate regression. By the end of the course, students will have the requisite skills to intelligently consume and produce basic quantitative social science research. Enrollment limited to 24 sophomore, junior, and senior Political Science, International Relations, or Public Policy concentrators.

Course usage information

POLS 1730. Politics of Globalization.

This is the ultimate PPE course (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics). Will explain the big changes in world politics and political economy over the last two hundred years. Why did slavery end? Why did European imperialism and colonialism fade away? Why did World Wars happen? Why did the great powers set up a system of international trade and finance and who benefits from that system? What are the politics of migration? How do global oil politics work? Course is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to the field of international political economy to help address questions like these ones.

Course usage information

POLS 1740. Politics of Food.

How do politics and public policy shape the nature of farming and the price of food in the US? What is the extent of hunger and malnutrition in the country, and how to politics and public policy shape the responses to these issues? How well does government regulate the safety and healthfulness of food? This course will draw on a combination of case studies and scholarly work to examine these questions. The significance of globalization will also be considered but the emphasis of the course will be on American politics and policy. The course is not open to first-year students. This course is not capped but TA allocations are made based on pre-enrollment and the course might be closed the first day, depending on the availability of TAs beyond the original allocation.

Course usage information

POLS 1750. Black Political Leadership.

This course uses black political thought to understand historical and contemporary forms of black political leadership. It explores the diversity of voices, ideologies, and strategies adopted by black leaders to address an array of political and social challenges. It also focuses on how shifting goals, political contexts, and generational changes shape black leadership. Certain black leaders such as W.E.B. DuBois and Barack Obama are used to understand the different types of black political leadership.

Course usage information

POLS 1760. Infrastructure Policy.

The focus is on transportation infrastructure: roads, bridges, rail, transit and airports. How has our infrastructure developed over the past two centuries? Which presidents have been leaders? How does Obama compare with his predecessors? Who are the key actors in congress and bureaucracy that control the distribution of money? What are the key interest groups?

Course usage information

POLS 1770. Education, Inequality, and American Democracy.

How are public schools and the educational programs they offer products of political inequality? How might public schools remedy those inequalities or exacerbate them? This course examines the ways in which education contributes to democratic governance; how the development of American public schools builds on and reproduces political, economic and social privilege and inequality; and the promise and limitations of various types of reforms designed to redress inequality, including the Common Core. This course focuses primarily on the United States, but looks to other democracies, including Canada and Mexico, to understand the intersection of education, inequality and democratic governance.

Course usage information

POLS 1780. Use of Symbols in American Politics.

What do a flag, Martin Luther King, Jr. and socialized medicine have in common? They are all political symbols that have produced a strong public response. The political process is complicated beyond the understanding of most. But it becomes manageable when converted into sets of conflicting symbols. How does the public learn about political symbols? What is their role in the policy making process? Three types of symbols will be considered: community, regime and situational symbols. Course coverage limited to American domestic politics.

Course usage information

POLS 1820A. American Political Development.

No description available. Enrollment limited to juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1820B. Roots of Radical Islam.

Why has radical, political Islam emerged as a global threat in our lifetime? This course examines potential domestic sources, such as repressive governments and poverty, as well as international sources, such as U.S. foreign policy, with a special emphasis on the various strategies that governments of states with predominantly Muslim populations have taken toward political Islam.

Course usage information

POLS 1820C. The Political Theory of the Economy.

What is an economy? Is an economy different from government? Or is 'the economy' a special way of governing people? Is capitalism an economy or a form of government? If the latter, what is distinctive about the ways of governing that are said to define capitalism? What principles should be invoked for the defense or criticism of a capitalist society? How should it be compared to its alternatives? This course asks these questions historically by pairing central figures in the history of political economy with important interpreters of them.

Course usage information

POLS 1820D. Civil Liberties: Moral, Political and Legal Approaches.

This course will examine major constitutional controversies within the context of wider debates in political and legal theory. Readings from Supreme Court cases and prominent texts in political/legal theory. Topics include free speech, privacy, abortion, takings and capital punishment. Prior course work in political theory or philosophy recommended. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors concentrating in Political Science.

Course usage information

POLS 1820E. Pragmatism in Black and White: Race, Domination, and Democratic Faith.

This course interrogates the emergence of the 19th century philosophical movement known as pragmatism, focusing on William James and John Dewey, and investigates its intimations and resonances in African American intellectuals such as Anna Julia Cooper, W. E. B. Du Bois, Alain Locke, and James Baldwin. We explore the crisis of religious certainty, and pragmatism’s attempt to provide an alternative framework for thinking about democratic governance. We also investigate the persistence of racism that politicized a group of thinkers who, in various ways, overlapped with pragmatists as they offered a normative vision of democracy to address domination.

Course usage information

POLS 1820F. Black Protest: Theory and Praxis.

This course explores the theory and praxis of black protest in the Americas, which were formulated in response to the different racial orders that developed in the U.S. and Latin America. We will analyze how black populations mobilized to escape slavery, resist racial terror and white supremacy, gain rights from the state, protect black life, and overcome various forms of dehumanization. Examples will include anti-lynching campaigns in the U.S., the civil rights and other black movement of the 1960s, the Black Lives Matter movement, and mobilizations against “black genocide,” police violence, and displacement in Brazil and other Latin American countries.

Course usage information

POLS 1820G. Politics and Nature.

This course investigates the politics of the relationship between people and the earth; examines the environmental consequences of this relationship as it currently exists, as well as its impact on human justice and freedom; and explores alternative political imaginaries and institutional forms that include the non-human, evaluating their implications for sustainability, justice, and freedom. In the course of considering the political relationship between human beings and the earth, we examine core political concepts including domination, freedom, agency, sovereignty, democracy, justice, liberalism, rights, representation, and the political. We also explore the relationship between politics and ethical life.

Course usage information

POLS 1820H. Contraband Capitalism: States and Illegal Global Markets.

This course explores the clandestine side of the global economy (including flows of drugs, people, weapons, and money) and state policing efforts. We will examine the organization of these activities, how they intersect with the state and legal economy, their relationship to armed conflicts, and how they shape (and are shaped by) domestic and international politics. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors concentrating in Development Studies, Political Science, or International Relations. Course is not open to students who have taken POLS 1020.

Course usage information

POLS 1820I. Indigenous Politics in Hawai'i: Resurgence and Decolonization.

Because kinship relationships to land and all existents of that land are fundamental to Indigenous Peoples, resurgence and decolonization must be studied in the context of specific Indigenous Peoples and the ways they resist colonial violence and build resurgent practices. This course then focuses on these issues with respect to Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians). We will read works from Kanaka Maoli scholar/activists in order to understand the genealogy of Kanaka Maoli resistance and resurgent practices. We also engage with critical Indigenous thinkers in order to understand Indigenous political praxis that is shared across difference and those that are not.

Course usage information

POLS 1820J. Dynamics of Agenda Building.

How do new issues make the political agenda? Why aren't elections crucial? Who are the "problem pushers" and "solution savers?" How are they linked? What factors determine the life of an issue? The key processes include problem identification, conflict expansion through issue redefinition, the role of institutional actors and issue activists. Focus limited to domestic American politics. Prerequisite: POLS 0010. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1820N. International Relations in Europe.

Reviews central issues in European international affairs from a variety of theoretical and analytic perspectives. Substantive issues considered include the politics of European integration, "Europeanization," European foreign and security policy, Europe as part of the North Atlantic world and transatlantic relations, issues of European identity and Europe in the world to come. Time also allocated for discussions of course participants' research. Designed mainly for advanced undergraduates, but graduate students are welcome. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors concentrating in Political Science or International Relations.

Course usage information

POLS 1820O. Adam Smith: Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Referred to as the “father of economics” or “father of capitalism,” Adam Smith was a moral philosopher, political thinker, and social scientist of the Scottish Enlightenment. A deep exploration of his major works including The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations, as well as the Lectures on Jurisprudence and his essays on philosophical subjects. We will grapple with big questions such as, “What is the nature of virtue and morality, and how do individuals learn moral behavior?”, “What makes some societies rich and others poor?”, and “What are the political preconditions and moral consequences of economic growth?”

Course usage information

POLS 1820R. Extralegal Governance and the Problem of Social Order.

This class studies cases of extra-legal governance to understand how people who cannot, or who choose not to, rely on strong, effective states facilitate social and economic order. The class does not cover or engage with normative and philosophical arguments. The entire focus is on a positive, social scientific question and the requisite engagement with empirical facts that this entails. The class will examine and test claims about whether it is possible for extra-legal governance to produce human flourishing.

Course usage information

POLS 1820S. Two Liberal Traditions: English and French.

What does it mean to be a liberal? In America, we regularly take our “liberal heritage” for granted, so much so that liberal principles are simply accepted as political necessities, even truisms. Many of these principles come to us from English thinkers like John Locke and John Stuart Mill. Yet theorists in the French tradition offered an equally rich, though distinct perspective on these values. We will consider the “two liberal traditions,” Anglo-American and French, to gain a better grasp of liberalism’s beginnings and its legacy. Can the study of liberal thought teach us anything about contemporary politics and economics?

Course usage information

POLS 1820T. Race, Crime, and Public Policy.

This course will provide students with an in-depth analysis of the social and political connections between criminal justice policies and race. The first section of the course will cover the concepts of race and ethnicity and the social construction of target populations. Secondly, students will learn what public policy is, how it is made, and methods of analysis. Next, we will cover the history of the criminal justice system and the creation of mass incarceration. Lastly, we will cover specific criminal justice policies and practices and their ramifications for the civil liberties and rights of racial minorities.

Course usage information

POLS 1820V. Institutions: Questions of Power and Democracy.

Institutions are constraints that structure political, economic, and social interactions. They consist of both informal and formal rules, evolve incrementally, connecting the past with the present and the future; history in consequence is largely a story of institutional evolution in which the historical performance can only be understood as a part of a story. Institutions shape the role of the state over time and are repeated patterns of behavior around which beliefs are deposited. Institutions are also political actors. Multiple disciplinary perspectives, careful scholarly analysis, and the search for recurrent historical patterns inspire this course offering and serve as its framework.

Course usage information

POLS 1820W. Market Liberalism: Origins, Principles and Contemporary Applications.

What is liberalism? What are the differences between capitalist, democratic and socialist versions of liberalism? Is it true that liberal theory has undergone a form of moral evolution between its "classical" and its "modern" forms? Are there common moral values that all liberals---capitalist, democratic and socialist---affirm? If so, by what dimensions of value are these rival liberal traditions to be distinguished? Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors; all others require instructor permission.

Course usage information

POLS 1820X. Democratic Erosion.

This course explores the causes and consequences of democratic erosion in comparative and historical perspective. The course will provide an opportunity for students to engage, critically and carefully, with the claims they have doubtlessly already heard about the state of democracy in the US and Europe; to evaluate whether those claims are valid; and, if they are, to consider strategies for combating democratic erosion here and abroad. The course will be taught simultaneously at roughly two dozen universities, with a number of cross-campus collaborative assignments. Interested students should attend the first day of class to apply for admission.

Fall POLS1820X S01 15583 W 3:00-5:30 (R. Blair)
Course usage information

POLS 1820Z. The Rise of Populism and Illiberalismin East-Central Europe.

Why are Poland, Hungary, and other East-Central European (ECE) States moving away from democracy, market economies and the European Union toward populist politics? After the collapse of Communism in 1989, ECE states embraced democracy, liberal economics and their ‘return to Europe’ after decades of Soviet domination. By 2007 all had entered the European Union, and political scientists viewed most as ‘consolidated’ democracies. In the years since, populist parties have emerged, won elections, and promoted illiberal, nationalistic and anti-EU policies. The class focuses on explaining this dramatic political change, focusing on economic pressures, identity politics, societal welfare, and other factors.

Course usage information

POLS 1821C. Economic Freedom and Social Justice.

Can capitalists care about social justice? This course considers the proposition that capitalists can, and should. Readings include a variety of classical and contemporary sources about the idea of economic freedom and its relationship to social justice. Enrollment limited to 20 seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1821G. Representation, Parties and Interest Groups.

Examination of the role of political parties and interest groups in translating the will of citizens into policy outcomes. Covers the extent to which voters use party as a guideline, the possibility of a viable third party at the Presidential level, the effect of parties on Presidential/Congressional relations, and the interaction of interest groups and parties in politics. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors concentrating in Political Science and Public Policy.

Course usage information

POLS 1821H. Authority and Legitimacy.

What gives people in power the right to make and enforce laws? The course examines classic and contemporary conceptions of political authority and legitimacy. What is authority and when is it legitimate? Does legitimate authority depend on the consent of citizens, or on the justice of decisions? Can the people hold ultimate authority over the law, or is this merely empty rhetoric? Authors include Hobbes, Rousseau, Weber, Schmitt, Arendt, Althusser, Wolff, Nozick, and Habermas. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1821I. Issues in Democratic Theory.

This seminar engages contemporary issues in democratic theory. Topics explored include the meaning of democracy (and the political consequence of different answers to that question); representation and citizenship; democracy and rights, (free speech, religious freedom, and privacy); democracy and judicial review; deliberative democracy. We will read works of political theory and United States Supreme Court cases. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors concentrating in Political Science.

Course usage information

POLS 1821J. Rhode Island Government and Politics.

Students participate in an approved internship in Rhode Island State Politics. Students will be expected to work 8-10 hours a week in an office of state government and, at the end of the semester, reflect on what they've learned. Enrollment limited to 20.

Course usage information

POLS 1821K. Just War Theory.

Survey of just war theory, with emphasis on ancient, medieval Christian, and contemporary thinkers. What standards should we use to judge the justness or rightness of a war and of conduct during war? Should our judgments on these separate phases of war be related? Who is the relevant agent? Where does its moral authority come from? Are there any post-war obligations? How has the ideal of the warrior/soldier changed over time and why? Prior coursework in the humanities or social sciences is required.

Course usage information

POLS 1821L. International Relations of Russia, Europe and Asia.

What role does Russia seek to play in the contemporary international system? Can NATO hold together as an effective military alliance willing and able to defend its member states? How is the rise of China affecting Russia, Europe and the international system? The seminar will discuss these and related questions, considering Russia’s evolving relations with the centers of global power West and East, its efforts to retain control in the former Soviet space and to extend its reach into the Arctic; its agendas in trying to influence US and European domestic politics through ‘soft’ power, and related topics.

Course usage information

POLS 1821M. War in Film and Literature.

This course introduces students to a study of warfare, and some of the central issues raised in war, through the use of movies and novels. Central themes include civil-military relations, leadership, the role of women in war, managing the homefront as well as issues related to battlefield tactics and strategy. Students will be encouraged to address these topics in applications related to World War I, World War II, and Vietnam in particular. This course will take place in a seminar format which stresses discussion of the relevant materials. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors concentrating in Political Science.

Course usage information

POLS 1821N. Political Journalism.

Exploration of the development of political reporting and analysis of contemporary public affairs reporting. Will address key elements of the best political journalism, as well as the manner in which political journalism affects public opinion, political attitudes, and campaigns and elections. Enrollment limited to 20 junior and senior Political Science concentrators.

Course usage information

POLS 1821O. Politics of Economic Development in Asia.

It is accepted that development is not an economic phenomenon. Political processes are tied with economic development. Does the political system affect development? Does democracy slow down economic growth? If countries embrace political freedoms and market-oriented economic reforms, should one expect both to succeed equally? Since the Second World War, an enormous amount of intellectual effort has gone into understanding these issues. Asia has been at the heart of much of this literature. Emphasis will be on China, India and South Korea. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors concentrating in Political Science or International Relations.

Course usage information

POLS 1821P. Political Psychology of International Relations.

This course covers basic methods and theories in the use of political psychology to study topics in international relations. The second part of the course applies these models to particular topics, including leadership, group dynamics, and the role of emotion in decision making. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1821Q. The United States in World Politics.

Examines major aspects of American foreign policy after the Cold War and 9/11 in terms of domestic and international challenges. Discussions of the United States as 'empire' and 'republic,' with independent research and a foreign policy game. Emphasis is on the connections between the processes of policy making and the substance of policies pursued. Pre-requisite: POLS 0400. Open to senior Political Science and International Relations concentrators.

Course usage information

POLS 1821R. State Sovereignty and International Law.

How should international law affect domestic politics and authority? What kinds of international rules, regulations and norms are there? What authority do they have? Should states obey international law even when it conflicts with their interests and that of their citizens? Is a law-governed order attainable in a world of sovereign states? This seminar explores the evolution of international law and its relation to state sovereignty. Authors include Bodin, Gentili, Grotius, Pufendorf, Rabkin, and Held. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1821S. Women and Politics.

How has the importance of gender in politics changed over time? Must women represent women? Can men also represent women? Do women and men participate politically in different ways? Why is there a persistent gender gap in political leadership? Do women campaign differently than men? What are "women's issues"? Do they affect all women equally? This course explores these and other questions, drawing on a range of literature from political science and public policy. We will also examine contemporary political debates and investigate varying ways in which the categories of gender, race and ethnicity, and other politically-relevant categories intersect. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1821T. Criminal Justice System.

An examination of police, criminal courts, and prisons in the contemporary United States. Major topics include police discretion, plea bargaining, and theories of punishment. We will also examine the politics of crime, including federal efforts to influence these traditional state functions. Major assignments are based in the Rhode Island criminal justice system. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors concentrating in Political Science or Public Policy. Instructor permission required.

Course usage information

POLS 1821U. Democracy and its Critics.

To what degree does democracy help realize or impede important goals of social justice and prosperity? How much democracy do we really want, all things considered? Readings might include: Rousseau, Joshua Cohen, Alasdair MacIntyre, Jeffrey Stout, Diana Mutz, Bryan Caplan. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1821V. Democracy and Inequality in American Cities.

Explores the relationship between democracy and inequality in contemporary American cities. The seminar considers different kinds of inequality - economic, political and group/horizontal – from the standpoint of national politics in the United States. The focus then shifts to the literature on urban politics in the United States, assessing the major contrasting theoretical perspectives on the causes of local inequalities in American cities. Finally, we focus on unequal access to public safety and justice. Over the course of the semester, students will be expected to carry out “fieldwork” involving first-hand observation of local inequalities in the Greater Providence area.

Fall POLS1821V S01 15619 M 3:00-5:30 (R. Snyder)
Course usage information

POLS 1821W. The Politics of Race and Gender.

Politicians and scholars make a number of predictions about political life based on assumptions about race and gender. This course examines the roles of race and gender in American politics with a particular emphasis on women of color. The course focuses in social movements, political participation, and political representation. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1821X. The Politics of Social Welfare in the Middle East.

This seminar explores the politics of social welfare in the Middle East. The first section of the course examines the concept and origins of welfare systems in developing countries as well as the relationship between the state, NGOs, civil society and informal networks in social service provision. This segment of the course also provides an overview and brief history of welfare regimes in the Middle East as well as concepts of charity and justice in Islam. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors concentrating in Political Science and International Relations. Preference for remaining spots given to concentrators in Developmental Studies and Middle East Studies.

Course usage information

POLS 1821Z. Peacekeeping and Statebuilding after Civil War.

What can the international community do to keep peace in countries wracked by civil war? Why does peacekeeping succeed in some countries but not others? How has peacekeeping evolved over the past 50 years, what lessons have been learned, how can those lessons be applied to better anticipate, prevent and mediate civil wars in the future? This senior seminar addresses these questions through a combination of case studies, in-class discussions and debates, and readings from a wide variety of academic, policy and philosophical sources. While there are no prerequisites for the course, familiarity with quantitative data analysis will be useful.

Course usage information

POLS 1822A. Nuclear Weapons and International Politics.

This seminar explores the causes and consequences of nuclear weapons proliferation in international politics. Each week we will explore a different dimension of nuclear proliferation, drawing on academic theory and historical evidence. Specific topics examined include the causes of nuclear proliferation, nonproliferation and counterproliferation policies, nuclear strategy, the effect of nuclear weapons on international conflict, and nuclear terrorism. Enrollment limited to 20 junior and senior Political Science or International Relations concentrators.

Course usage information

POLS 1822B. Foundations of Political Economy.

This course is both historical and theoretical and overlaps with the disciplines of political science, history, economics, and political theory. Based around an in-depth reading of "the classics" of political economy, the course traces the evolution of political economy through a consideration of some of its major contributions from the seventeenth century to the present; Locke, Ricardo, Smith, Rousseau, Mill, Bentham, Marx, Keynes, Kalecki, Hayek, Friedman, Lucas and Minsky shall be examined.

Course usage information

POLS 1822C. Congress.

Takes a comprehensive view of the U.S. Congress, its structure, procedures, elections, parties, constituencies and its interactions with the president and the courts. The Constitution establishes the Congress as the first branch and guardian of the nation's purse strings. This course will examine the strengths and vulnerabilities of the modern Congress with its highly polarized political parties. Requires extensive reading, a detailed paper and active class participation. Students are expected to pay careful attention to current events in the U.S Congress. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors in Political Science.

Course usage information

POLS 1822D. Democracy and Education – A Focus on Jackson, MS.

The primary purpose of this course is to immerse students in the history, culture, and politics of Jackson, MS, while developing research skills that help us better understand the current state of public education in Jackson. As a result, the course will draw on two different types of research. First, the course will cover humanistic research that informs us about the history and culture of Mississippi. Second, the course will also explore social science research that describes the way in which political and public schooling institutions of MS behave both in theory and in practice. Students will spend 7 days in Jackson, MS.

Course usage information

POLS 1822E. Islam and Democracy in the Middle East.

This course covers key questions, arguments, and debates concerning the relationship between Islam (as a rubric for identity and mobilization) and democracy (as a political form and value) in the Middle East. The course is organized around major topics concerning the history, culture, and politics of the Middle East since the end of World War I: Islam and modernity, nationalism and independence, authoritarian state building, the European imperial legacy, revolution and fundamentalist resurgence, political Islam and democracy, democracy promotion, and the future prospects for democracy in the region. Enrollment limited to 25 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1822F. Social Movements and Struggles for Justice.

Social movements struggle for many things: policy change, changes in social relations, fundamental changes in the structures of government. We will focus on how social movements struggle to achieve justice, and specifically consider how social movements interact with efforts to strengthen the accountability of states and the rule of law. We will examine the central debates of scholars who look at how social movements and the law interact, and reflect on whether and under what circumstances we think law is a useful tool for social movements, and when it may hinder the achievement of justice.

Course usage information

POLS 1822G. The Political Economy of Hard Policy Problems.

Will tackle the “hard problems” governments sometimes have to deal with. For example, while governments are often cajoled and enjoined to produce economic growth, especially during recessions, do something about economic inequality and social mobility, and improve the life chances of millions through purposive action, actually delivering these things is incredibly hard. These areas constitute ‘“hard problems” for two main reasons. Economically, we don’t really have much of a clue about how to do many of these things. Politically, there are powerful interests that like these areas of policy just as they are, and they work to keep them “hard problems.”

Course usage information

POLS 1822H. Corruption and Governance Across Democracies.

In recent years, the issue of "governance" has attracted increasing attention. Why are some countries more corrupt than others? Why do some governments distribute government programs equitably, while others manipulate them for political ends? The purpose of this class is to characterize, examine, and, to the extent possible, explain the persistence of these "bad governance" practices in many democracies in the developing world. We will draw on examples from Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and we will also make comparisons with appropriate current and historical cases from Western Europe and the United States. Enrollment limited to 20 junior and senior Political Science concentrators.

Fall POLS1822H S01 17488 W 3:00-5:30 (R. Weitz-Shapiro)
Course usage information

POLS 1822I. Geopolitics of Oil and Energy.

Oil is the single most valuable commodity traded on global markets. This course is designed to introduce students to the international political economy and security dimensions of oil and energy. The course explores the industry’s many impacts on politics and economics, including: Dutch disease and the resource curse; the relationship between oil, authoritarianism, and civil wars; the role of the rentier state; the influence of oil on international warfare; global energy governance (e.g., OPEC); political differences within OPEC; US energy policy and energy security. The materials focus primarily on the political economy of oil-exporters, especially those in the Middle East.

Course usage information

POLS 1822J. Ethics of War and Peace.

While killing another human being is widely considered a wrong, war - a social institution that involves such killing on a massive scale - is an accepted practice that brings honor to those who carry it out on behalf of their respective political communities. This course explores the ethical dimensions of this paradox: how and why institutionalized violence is sometimes conceived of as moral action and what moral distinctions make this conception possible. The course will investigate a range of ethical approaches to these issues - including just war, pacifist, feminist, and poststructuralist approaches - treating them both sympathetically and critically. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1822K. Laws of Violence.

States kill. Law enforcement officers may kill to protect innocent victims. The military kills to protect the nation. And a handful of states still impose the death penalty. These are all lawful killings. This seminar introduces the basic elements of conventional theories of law and state, and explores the centrality that legalized violence plays in both the constitution of law and the state. The goal of the seminar is to identify and examine the constitutive though unstable relation between law and violence. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1822L. Comparative Constitutional Law.

An introduction to constitutional law of other countries and a comparison of their constitutional law to U.S. constitutional law. We will read court cases and other materials from most of the G-20 countries including: Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, India, Canada, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, the European Court of Human Rights, and the United States. Topics include: constitutionalism, judicial review, separation of powers, federalism, free speech law, freedom of religion, criminal procedure, rights to property or welfare, rights of privacy and human dignity, judicial policing of the political process, states of emergency, and constitutional amendment processes.

Course usage information

POLS 1822M. Capitalism: For and Against.

Is capitalism just, or is it exploitive? Does the value we place on freedom create a negative right to own property free from interference, or a positive right to a certain level of subsistence? Does capitalism ennoble culture, or debase it? Does it empower individuals, or alienate them? To what extent, if any, can capitalism's downsides be mitigated through redistributive schemes? This course will examine these questions through study of some of the seminal philosophical arguments for and against capitalism, from its origins to the present day.

Course usage information

POLS 1822N. Freedom.

This course examines the meaning and conditions of human agency and freedom with a special focus on the experiences of those who are marginalized. What do these experiences tell us about the social practices, political institutions, and self-understandings that are necessary to sustain individual freedom? How do ostensibly free societies such as the U.S. instantiate freedom successfully and where do they fail? How can we enhance the experience of individual freedom today, especially for members of marginalized or oppressed groups? Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1822O. The Presidency.

The individual who occupies the office of the President of the United States is one of the most powerful individuals in the world. The consequences of presidential leadership are enormous and well worth of study from multiple dimensions. This seminar will survey the origins of the modern presidency; leadership attributes of the chief executive; and how presidents have initiated, reacted, and managed domestic and foreign affairs. Topics include nominations, elections, staff and bureaucracy, rhetoric, public relations, the party system, the "imperial presidency," congressional relations, policies, and political science theories of the presidency. Enrollment limited to 20 junior and senior concentrators in Political Science and Public Policy.

Course usage information

POLS 1822P. Defenses of Capitalism.

The moral justification for laissez-faire capitalism accepted in late eighteenth century came under attack in the nineteenth. Will examine four schools of thought that arose to defend capitalism: schools of free-market economists, Protestants and Catholics, Ayn Rand's followers, and libertarians. We will find the differences between these schools are as charged and fundamental as any between capitalism and its critics. Primary sources (including Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged) will provide the bulk of our reading. The course will conclude with an application of the rival theories to a few current public policy issues. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1822R. The Politics of Food Security.

There is enough food on the planet to feed everyone, and yet currently approximately 875 million people go hungry. Why is this the case? This course explores the politics of international food security, dividing the semester into four sections to examine food through the lens of development, human rights, governance, and security concerns.

Course usage information

POLS 1822S. The Politics of Urban Transformation.

This seminar examines political economic change in U.S. cities. The seminar considers various external forces that act upon the city, principally: (a) migration patterns, (b) economic and technological change, and (c) public policy. We will also consider how various groups and political leaders respond to these forces and on what resources they draw. The seminar pays special attention to political and economic change in Providence, Rhode Island. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors in Political Science, Public Policy, and Urban Studies.

Course usage information

POLS 1822T. Politics of Health in the Global South.

Public health poses some of the most pressing challenges of our times. Explores the political factors that shape health and access to health care in the Global South. How does the nature of the state and welfare policies and institutions shape health and access to health care? What is the role of non-state actors, whether NGOs, religious charities, "terrorist" organizations, or other groups, in assuring the basic health needs of populations in developing countries? How do ethnic or religious social divisions affect health and health systems? Why do some health crises capture the attention of powerful global actors? Instructor permission required.

Course usage information

POLS 1822U. War and Human Rights.

This seminar will begin by studying the rise and spread of the notion of human rights, examining some of the core debates over human rights, including their enforcement in times of war. It will then turn to the laws of war, focusing especially on the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the challenges posed to the Conventions by the rise of non-state actors wielding significant violence. Topics include child soldiers, war crimes, humanitarian intervention, torture, targeted killings, humanitarianism, and the international justice. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors concentrating in Political Science or International Relations.

Fall POLS1822U S01 15622 M 3:00-5:30 (N. Tannenwald)
Course usage information

POLS 1822V. Pluralism and Democratic Imagination.

In this course, we will investigate the contours of historical debates about pluralism and democracy in the public imagination. Our goal will be to make the terms "pluralism" and "democracy," which simultaneously serve as hollow tropes in contemporary political discourse and as the basis for a secular religious faith for many on the left and the right, more difficult. Rather than cleansing these terms of their complications, we will strive to see them from all sides, interrogating their maddening paradoxes and ugly undertones while never losing sight of their awesome possibilities. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1822W. Congressional Investigations.

This seminar will explore the role that Congressional investigations have historically played at the intersection of politics, public policy, tension between the executive and legislative branches, law and media, focusing on certain of the seminal Congressional investigations that both reflected and re-shaped the politics of the day. These will include the Pecora investigation into the 1929 stock market crash, the Truman Committee investigation into defense contracting during World War II, the House Un-American Activities Committee, the McCarthy hearings, Watergate. the Iran-Contra hearings and the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearings into the financial services industry.

Fall POLS1822W S01 15634 T 4:00-6:30 (J. Robbins)
Course usage information

POLS 1822X. Technology and International Politics.

This seminar examines the connections between technological change and international politics. Technologies have always been central to how states conduct war, cooperate with one another, and rule their subjects. We will consider this connection both theoretically and through a number of historical and contemporary case studies of technological changes and their relationship to international politics, including the technologies of warfare, communication, and transport. It is strongly recommended that students have taken the introductory international relations course (POLS 0400) before enrolling in this seminar. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1822Y. Nuclear Nonproliferation.

This seminar focuses on the challenges to the security of states and peoples posed by the spread of weapons of mass destruction and on efforts to control these weapons. The class will review the history and technology of weapons of mass destruction and will examine different explanations for arms control and nonproliferation outcomes. The course will analyze key contemporary issues including the prospects for the nuclear nonproliferation regime, global nuclear inequality, nuclear terrorism, nuclear energy, democratic control of nuclear weapons, and disarmament. Much of the course will focus on nuclear weapons but we will also consider chemical and biological weapons.

Course usage information

POLS 1822Z. Social Attitudes and their Impact on U.S. Politics.

The course first documents trends and sources of change in social attitudes. It then evaluates the debate between psychological, sociological and political explanations for opposition to social rights policies. We then transition from the policy realm to the impact of ethnic and gender attitudes on electoral politics. In this half of the class we will study how social attitudes have influenced present-day partisan and presidential politics, how parties and politicians use gender and ethnic appeals for electoral gain, how these attitudes affected presidential candidates in a post-social rights United States. Enrollment limited to 20.

Course usage information

POLS 1823A. Constitutional Theory.

Will introduce the key theories that have been put forward in the last 100 years in Constitutional interpratation and how the Supreme Court exercises the power of judicial review. We will read and study key works by famous constitutional theorists of the past like James Bradley Thayer, Alexander Bickel, Charles Black, and John Hart Elly as well as reading the works of contemporary theorists such as Ronald Dworkin, Richard Posner, Robert H. Bork Antonin Scalia, Richard Fallon, Larry Kramer, and Jack Balkin. We will devote one week to each theorist and class participation in discussions is expected. Open to juniors and seniors concentrating in Political Science and Public Policy. Prerequisite: POLS 1160 or 1170.

Course usage information

POLS 1823B. Reforming the State in New Democracies.

This course analyzes the politics and reform of the administrative state in new democracies. Our general focus will be on how electoral, legislative, and bureaucratic institutions affect the nature of governance in advanced and developing democracies. We will then focus specifically on the extent to which elected politicians are able to control bureaucrats. Finally, we will turn to several policy areas – civil service reform, regulatory and administrative procedural reforms and fiscal policy – and discuss the politics of each in comparative and theoretical terms. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1823C. Ancient Political Thought.

What is the purpose of politics? Who should rule? What is justice? Plato and Aristotle instigated the tradition of political philosophy in the West, and our modern democracy is deeply indebted to their ideas. Yet their answers to many of the fundamental questions of politics differ dramatically from our own. Among other things, they valued virtue over personal freedom, duties over rights, and nobility of soul over equality of access. In this course we reflect critically on the value and implications of their ideas, and we evaluate our own modern political principles and practices in light of what they taught. Enrollment limited to 20.

Course usage information

POLS 1823D. War and Peace in International Society.

The decline in the frequency of interstate war and the illegality of international aggression are among the most significant changes in international relations in the last century. However, international violence has not disappeared from the world. This class charts and analyzes the changes in warmaking and peacemaking up to and through the twentieth century. How has the nature and practice of war changed? Are we entering an era of global peace? Other topics covered include mercenaries, plunder, peace treaties, and robots. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors in International Relations and Political Science.

Course usage information

POLS 1823E. Market Democracy in Chile.

Market democracy is a political philosophy that combines concern for social justice with concern for private economic liberty, a fusion of left and right ideologies in which governments and societies do not need to choose between social justice and economic freedom, but to strongly endorse both. Class discussions will focus on how to apply this model at the public policy level in Chile by examining a variety of texts in the libertarian tradition, classical and contemporary from both North and South American perspectives. Instructor permission required.

Course usage information

POLS 1823F. Between Colonialism and Self-Determination: A History of the International Order.

Explores the encounter between 'Europe' and the 'non-Western' world. The ways in which the Western international order has conceived and managed the encounter with the 'non-Western,' 'developing' or 'Third World.' This encounter has been fraught with violence and war. From the Spanish conquest of the 'New World' to the scramble for Africa in the 19th century, Western states have sought to extend their rule overseas by force. International order sanctioned violent colonial dispossession, recognizing titles to Western states – redefining overseas territories as terra nullius – and providing a general justification to colonialism. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1823G. Women and War.

This course provides an examination of the links between the security of women and the security of nations. It explores the productive and reproductive roles of women in society from an evolutionary feminist perspective which identifies the female body as a site of important societal contestation. It investigates the reciprocal relationship between individual and societal choices and structures in areas as diverse as family law, development, education and the sex trade. Students will be required to watch several films as part of the course requirements. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1823H. Public Opinion.

We will examine public opinion on a variety of current issues. The course's principal objective is to help students understand the role of public opinion in democratic governments. In addition, students learn how to integrate data analysis into their analysis of public opinion trends. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors concentrating in Political Science and Public Policy.

Course usage information

POLS 1823I. Urban Politics and Policy.

In this course, students examine the politics of urban America, and the causes and consequences of urban poverty and inequality. Enrollment limited to 20.

Fall POLS1823I S01 15623 Th 4:00-6:30 (K. Tate)
Course usage information

POLS 1823J. Freedom, Work, Leisure.

When are we most free, at work or at leisure? Is work the same as paid employment? Is leisure the same as idleness? When, in turn, are we unfree at work, and what kinds of unfreedom are we subject to that are peculiar to modern life? Such questions press with particular urgency at a time when both unemployment and overwork are major complaints, and when many people find that work takes up the majority of their day yet is unsatisfying. Readings will include philosophers like Aristotle, Bertrand Russell, G.A. Cohen and Charles Taylor, and writings from the sociology of work. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1823K. Are there Universal Political Values?.

Does one standard of goodness or rightness apply everywhere? Are political values local or relativistic? Are there different standards of justice and rightness, and so attempting to evaluate them all is simply hubris. Or might there be a spectrum with options somewhere between these two? Do such universal values exist and how to evaluate such values in the context of particular societies that change over time. We will read a number of texts on issues relating to liberalism, relativism, multiculturalism, and pluralism. Will focus on Montesquieu, whose insights raise fascinating questions as well as discuss contemporary issues.

Course usage information

POLS 1823L. Human Rights: For and Against.

Should, or do, human rights exist? If so, have they always existed? If not, where did they come from? We will search for historical and philosophical answers to these questions. Natural law and rights were invoked in the aftermath of the Conquest of the Americas, in the American, French and Haitian Revolutions, and in the founding of the United Nations. Yet, inalienable rights have not only had friends but also foes such as Jeremy Bentham or Karl Marx. We will examine how contemporary proponents and critics of human rights view their value and impact on domestic and international politics. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1823M. Democracy Among the Ruins.

In 19th century US, certain kinds of motion/mobility were a new experience which, to some, meant freedom, and to others -- the end of meaning. Democracy was identified WITH speed, mobility, and destruction, specifically, the destruction of established public goods, social arrangements, traditions, laws of land inheritance, identities, and patterns of work. These day, these same things are identified with neoliberalism and are seen as threats to democracy, which is now often identified with slowness, deliberation, and procedure. In this seminar, we read two classic texts that explore these issues: Tocqueville's Democracy in America and Melville's Moby-Dick. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1823N. Nationalism: Problems, Paradoxes and Power.

This seminar examines nationalism's historical evolution and reconstructs its role in contemporary political life. Drawing from a broad, interdisciplinary range of materials—from political philosophy to history and political science—the class interrogates the relationship between nationalism and other ideas considered constitutive of “modernity,” like capitalism and popular sovereignty. In so doing, the class aims to understand the sources of nationalism’s enduring power. Despite predictions of nationalism’s demise, we are currently witnessing its revival in the developed democracies of the West. What explains nationalisms persistence? What are the roots of nationalism’s continued imaginative appeal and political potential?

Course usage information

POLS 1823O. The Political Economy of Renewable Energy.

Given the challenges presented by climate change, environmental degradation, and resource scarcity, virtually everybody agrees that "business as usual" in energy production and consumption is no longer tenable. Global-scale innovation has become imperative, particularly in the area of renewable energy. Costs must come down, new solutions must be developed, and new opportunities for deployment must be opened up. But there is more than just technology involved. As this course will demonstrate, energy systems involve the intersection of technologies, markets, domestic political institutions, interest groups, commercial strategies, and international competition. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors concentrating in Political Science and International Relations, others by instructor permission.

Course usage information

POLS 1823P. Politics and Philosophy of Ayn Rand.

This seminar will examine the political and philosophical thought of Ayn Rand (1905–1982). We will begin with her political ideology and continue to the philosophical foundations she claims justify that ideology. The latter quarter of the seminar will explore applications of her philosophy to foreign affairs, religion, current events, and areas of student interest. Our sources will include Rand’s non-fiction essays, her novel Atlas Shrugged, the main exposition of her work Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, and criticisms by Robert Nozick and others. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1823Q. Democratic Theory and Globalization.

What should democracy require in a globalized world? Is there a human right to democracy, so that all people should be governed democratically, or are there other legitimate forms of government? Should the United Nations and other international organizations be reformed to become more democratic? What does democracy call for when we affect the lives of people outside of our country? In this course, students will examine the leading ethical debates about democratic theory in an international context. It begins with three influential theories of democracy – the competitive, participatory, and deliberative – and applies them to important global issues. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

POLS 1823R. Greek Tragedy in Politics, Philosophy, Theater and Film (MCM 1504C).

Interested students must register for MCM 1504C.

Course usage information

POLS 1823S. Crafting Citizens: Democratic Theory and Civic Education.

How should liberal democracies educate members for citizenship? What is the appropriate role of the state in defining an appropriate civic education? Students will develop well-researched normative arguments on civic education policy. Will examine the tension in contemporary democratic theory between value pluralist calls for restraint on the part of the state and a liberal-democratic insistence on the need to promote and sustain allegiance to core values. Will draw on current empirical insights and controversies, will consider ways in which pressing needs for social action to counteract inequitable social dynamics may complicate a normative liberal democratic vision for civic education.

Course usage information

POLS 1823T. Democracy and Crisis in Political Theory: Freedom, Order and Emergency Politics.

What becomes of individual freedom, political equality, and the accountability of government to its citizens when a crisis breaks? What pressures are these core political values, and the institutions built to uphold them, placed under when our leaders have to tackle extraordinary circumstances where the security, integrity and perhaps survival of our societies are at stake? Can our representatives act outside the rules when protecting liberal democracy, without fatally undermining it? How can (and should) we think about and shape our political institutions and public debate to ensure our best chance of staying both free and safe?

Course usage information

POLS 1823U. Individual Liberty and Mass Incarceration.

Many of the most renowned theorists of classical criminologists were in fact self identified political economists and political philosophers amidst the classical liberal and enlightenment tradition. Patterns of crime and punishment have significantly changed since the enlightenment period. This course asks simply: what would the enlightenment classical liberals have to say about today’s unique trends? Whereas Adam Smith was fascinated by and arguably successful in comprehending why some countries are rich and others poor; we borrow his analytical tool kit to investigate why some societies incarcerate more than others.

Course usage information

POLS 1823V. Politics of Ethnic Conflict.

Course looks at the politics of identity-based contention and conflicts. Why do some multi-ethnic states remain politically stable for decades, then collapse into conflict, while others end deep and violent divisions with peaceful resolutions? Why do authoritarian regional hegemons encourage or repress ethnic consciousness? Why are democratic federations under strain, and when does ethnic polarization result in genocide? The course addresses these questions through analytical case studies of recent and contemporary contention in post-Yugoslav states, Ireland, South Africa, Rwanda, China, Russia, and Iraq. We conclude with intensive case studies of the conflict in Ukraine and recent Scottish independence referendum.

Course usage information

POLS 1823W. American Political Thought.

This course surveys the various ideas and practices associated with the term “democracy” in the course of American political history. Its chief purpose is to give you an idea of how contested this term was in the course of our political tradition, as a means of situating our present political disputes in historical context. We examine rival conceptions and applications of democracy in the Revolutionary era, at the Founding, in Jacksonian and antebellum America, during the Civil War, in the Gilded Age and the Progressive era, through the New Deal, the 1950s, the 1960s, and the 1980s.

Course usage information

POLS 1823X. Survey of Comparative Politics.

Why do some countries develop authoritarian regimes, while others build democracies? Why do people protest only under some conditions? How do only some countries seem to thrive with a diverse, multiethnic society? These questions are among the most pressing within comparative politics yet we struggle to understand the underlying phenomena that yield the political behavior and institutions we observe across the globe. We will look at the methodological approaches comparative politics utilizes to answer these questions. As we do so, we will keep a critical stance as to what the field neglects or heralds as a concrete finding.

Course usage information

POLS 1823Y. Global Governance.

This seminar explores the changing nature of global governance. Governance refers to the systems of authoritative rules, norms, institutions, and practices by means of which the international community manages its common affairs. Emphasizing in-depth readings of sustained arguments, this seminar examines key global governance processes and how they differ across different issue areas. It explores the variety of actors involved in managing global issues, surveys emerging trends, and explores possible ways of improving the capacity of the international community to deal with global challenges. Key issues examined include the global economy, nuclear weapons, the global environment, and human rights and justice.

Course usage information

POLS 1823Z. Gender and Public Policy.

This course explores when and how gender matters to U.S. policymaking, and how views about gender affect the development and implementation of different kinds of public policies. The course will examine gender in the context of key parts of the policymaking process including agenda-setting, group mobilization, issue framing, institutional decision-making (in the executive, legislative and judicial branches), and policy implementation. Class readings will cover four different public policy domains including social welfare policy, health policy, abortion rights, and marriage equality. Students will be able to examine other policy domains in the course of classroom discussions and in their written work.

Fall POLS1823Z S01 17280 W 3:00-5:30 (W. Schiller)
Course usage information

POLS 1824A. Counterinsurgency and Civil War.

Since the end of World War II, civil wars have killed vastly more people than interstate wars. Oftentimes, these conflicts have taken on the character of insurgencies, with rebels utilizing guerrilla tactics against more powerful state opponents. The goal of this course is provide students with a theoretical and historical understanding of this increasingly dominant form of conflict. Specific topics explored include the causes of civil war, mobilization and recruitment into rebel groups, patterns of violence, counterinsurgency, war termination, conflict recurrence, and the aftermath of civil war. Enrollment limited to 20 junior and senior Political Science or International Relations concentrators.

Course usage information

POLS 1824B. Post Conflict Politics.

What, if anything, can the international community do to keep peace in countries wracked by civil war? Why does international intervention succeed in some countries but not others? How can war-torn societies overcome the myriad challenges inherent in post- conflict politics, including disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex- combatants; repatriation of refugees; transitional justice; and reconciliation of wartime adversaries. This senior seminar addresses these questions through a combination of case studies, in-class discussions and debates, and readings from a wide variety of academic, policy and philosophical sources. While there are no prerequisites for the course, some familiarity with quantitative data analysis will be useful.

Course usage information

POLS 1824C. Political Communication.

This course will focus on the importance of written and oral communication in public decision-making, particularly in the Congressional context. The course will examine the impact on political interactions, and the influencing of public policy decisions and outcomes. The course will emphasize some of the practical tools for producing relevant, useful material in the professional policy and the political communications arenas. The course requires several writing assignments focusing on different public policy analyses and political communications tools as well as active class participation including oral presentations.

Course usage information

POLS 1824D. Power and Prosperity in Urban America.

Over the past twenty years, many American cities have experienced comebacks: growing numbers of upper- income residents have relocated to cities; downtowns have been transformed into lively arts and entertainment districts; and crime has fallen. How did cities achieve these transformations? Why were some cities more successful than others? How has the revitalization of cities affected the urban poor? The course will also examine the impact of the “Great Recession” on cities. Did the recession jeopardize recent gains in urban prosperity? How have cities coped with the fiscal strains presented by reduced tax revenues and limits on state and federal assistance?

Course usage information

POLS 1824E. Liberalism.

Liberalism is a political theory about the limitation of state power based on basic constitutional rights. These institutional mechanisms have been justified on a liberal philosophical outlook. This course examines the central values of the liberal worldview including freedom, equality, toleration, individualism, secularism, pluralism, constitutionalism and the public and private divide. The course offers a philosophical analysis of the main tenets of liberalism as well as critical and competing interpretations of each of the liberal values examined. The purpose of this philosophical and conceptual exploration is to understand the justificatory basis of liberalism and eventually assess its achievements and limitations.

Course usage information

POLS 1824F. Meritocracy.

First we will discuss the role of merit in politics. In a democracy, the most popular candidate wins. Often this is not the most competent candidate. Is that a problem? Could we justifiably constrain the democratic process in order to get more meritorious people in government? What are the theoretical limitations, and the benefits, of democracy? Second, we will consider how wealth and income should be distributed. In a meritocracy, citizens are not guaranteed equal prosperity, but they are guaranteed an equal opportunity to pursue prosperity. How efficient is such a society? And how just?

Course usage information

POLS 1824G. Farms, Fisheries, and Politics.

This seminar compares and contrasts the politics of agriculture and the politics of fisheries in the United States. The course examines the rise of the farm bloc and the agricultural welfare state, along with the evolving politics of the farm bill. It then turns to the governance of fisheries and the apparent disconnect between fisheries management and “fish as food.” The final part of the course is devoted to a synthesis of perspectives on food and fisheries, including case studies developed through student research. Limited to Political Science concentrators.

Course usage information

POLS 1824H. Minority Political Behavior.

This seminar is meant to examine the history and contemporary role of minority groups in the U.S. political system. We will focus on political relationships between several minority groups and their relationship to political participation, party affiliation, voting coalitions, and public opinion, in addition to other groups. Throughout American history, the United States passed laws to restrict the rights of racial and ethnic minorities to purposely keep them outside the political system. In recent years, there has been a growing trend by political parties and politicians to court minority voters and promote diversity. We will explore the current state of racial and ethnic politics in the U.S.

Course usage information

POLS 1824J. Culture, Identity and Development.

There is a consensus, in scholarly and policy circles, on the importance of cultural processes and identity for a range of development outcomes across the world. There is far less understanding of how culture and identity influence development. The aim of this course is to develop this understanding. We will draw on readings across the social sciences as well as an analysis of development interventions across the globe to gain a comprehensive understanding of the ways in which culture and identity, conceptualized as actively constructed and changing, influence a range of outcomes including health, sanitation, education, inequality and economic development.

Course usage information

POLS 1824K. The American Welfare State in Comparative Perspective.

Will examine the development of social policy in the United States and the political conflicts that drive contemporary debates. We begin by identifying the distinctive features of American public policy, limited spending on the poor and the use of tax expenditures to achieve social goals. How the politics of race, immigration, gender, and federalism have shaped American approaches to social welfare. We will explore the role of public opinion, interest groups, and partisan polarization in shaping the agenda and outcome of reform efforts. Topics include diverse forms of public assistance, employment policy, health care, and social security.

Course usage information

POLS 1824L. Environmental Political Thought.

In our context of ecological crises, Environmental Political Theory (or Ecosophy) has boomed, attesting of the need for new concepts with which to think our unprecedented situation. Ecosophers think of nuclear energy, GMOs, climate change, the 6th extinction, etc, in terms of responsibility toward future generations, “de-growth,” sustainability, the anthropocene, Gaia, etc. This course will survey some major schools of thought within Ecosophy, highlighting the diversity of the environmentalist movement. We will focus on one common thread weaving eclectic ecosophical currents and concepts: the question of humans’ relationship to the nonhuman.

Course usage information

POLS 1824M. The Politics of Race and the Criminal Justice System.

This course examines the politics of race and the criminal justice system in the U.S. It proceeds in three parts. First, it examines the political origins and consequences of racial disparities in citizens’ interactions with the police, courts and prisons. Next, it considers how the public, the media, and politicians relate and respond to these issues. Finally, the course concludes by examining the prospects for reform and the consequences of inaction.

Course usage information

POLS 1824N. Feminist Theory for a Heated Planet.

The ecological crises - the “sixth extinction,” “global warming,” “the eruption of Gaia” - have forced many humans to challenge contingent boundaries drawn in more or less compelling ways in the Western world. Dualisms opposing nature to culture, the human and the nonhuman, the natural and the technological, the feminine and the masculine, seem more destabilized than ever. When geologists came up with a new epoch called the “Anthropocene,” feminist theory was well equipped to problematize this allegedly omnipotent “anthropos.” Reciprocally, queer, post-colonial, and feminist theories have re-thought the never so normative, hardly stable, greatly unknown, nature of nature.

Course usage information

POLS 1824O. Democracy.

In this course we will seek to understand the evolution of democracy as a word, as a regime type, as a decision-making mechanism, as a modus vivendi, and as an essentially contested concept. We will also probe the relationships between democracy and law, democracy and peace, and democracy and sovereignty.

Course usage information

POLS 1824P. Markets Without Limits.

In the last sixty years, the market economy has experienced a unique triumph across the globe. The main goal of this seminar is to analyze the moral boundaries of the marketplace. In particular, we will focus on getting a better understanding of which conditions make it morally permissible for modern societies to rely on markets to meet individual needs and to achieve social goals. In order to get a better understanding of the limits of the market, this course will focus on a few complex examples, such as the organ trade, prostitution, sweatshops, and surrogacy.

Course usage information

POLS 1824Q. The International Politics of Climate Change.

Addresses the problem of climate change from the perspective of political science, and in particular its international dimensions. Will provide students a chance to discuss the current state of affairs and to ultimately be able to form an opinion of what can and should be done to address the problem. Broadly, the course has two parts. The first part is a three-week introduction to the subject matter, addressing basic themes, mechanisms, and institutions. The second part is a seven week set of three units, each addressing a set of issues: common solutions to climate change, geopolitical debates, and future controversies.

Course usage information

POLS 1824R. Democracy, Race and Education.

This course is to be an in-depth investigation of the relationship between democracy and public education. We will explore different normative theories of democracy in education. We will highlight the centrality of race to education politics and policy. We will also analyze different forms of governance structure and key policy areas where questions of democracy become vital. The material covered in this course includes: political theory, empirical studies of political science, and applied studies of policy.

Course usage information

POLS 1824T. Foreign Policy in the People's Republic of China.

Will examines the foreign policy of the People’s Republic of China. Will teach students theoretical perspectives on international relations and critically evaluate whether these theories explain past and present Chinese foreign policy. What explains China’s historical use of military force? Why did the alliance between China and the Soviet Union fall apart despite their institutional and ideological similarities? Has China’s leaders or its domestic institutions affected its international behavior? Why is China modernizing its military and how concerned should we be? To what extent has the world changed China and to what extent does it seek to change the world?

Course usage information

POLS 1824U. Bleeding Heart Liberalism.

What is libertarianism? In what sense can libertarians claim to combine the best of the “right” with the best of the “left?” Why do libertarians emphasize private property? Why are they skeptical of political agency? Are libertarians anti-democratic? Can they care about social justice? How do libertarians approach problems such as racism, sexism, militarism, state surveillance, global inequality, and environmental sustainability? This course will explore such questions, as illuminated by a variety of texts in the libertarian tradition, classical and contemporary. Instructor permission required.

Course usage information

POLS 1824V. Women in Western Political Thought.

Much of the tradition of western political philosophy has either ignored or justified the subordination of women, despite elucidating principles of alleged universality. This course challenges the traditional “canon” of western political thought by recovering a long—and often forgotten—history of debates, ideas, and texts written by, about, and for women. This course is intended for upper-division undergraduate students. Its methodological approach emphasizes close readings of texts in their historical context, but also draws on the approaches of contemporary feminist political philosophy as a framework for discussion and debate.

Course usage information

POLS 1824W. Political Violence.

This course explores the main debates on the causes and consequences of political violence. We will focus on three major topics: civil wars, state-sponsored violence, and terrorism. Since the end of World War II, domestic conflict has largely outpaced international wars as the dominant type of violence. But what makes civil wars so prevalent in recent years? What are the conditions under which a state decides to attack its own citizens? Why do some groups resort to terrorism while others use nonviolent tactics?

Course usage information

POLS 1824X. People and populism: constructions, discourses and critique.

Populism and populist politics are everywhere. However, it is far for being entirely clear what populism is and what this category ought to include. Prominent philosophical paradigms conceive populism as an ideology, as a discursive frame, as a strategy of mobilization, as a special configuration of political power inside and (maybe) outside liberal democracies. By combining sources from history of political thought and ideology critique with the most recent developments in the field, this seminar looks at how the people has been constituted, re-constituted, constructed and de-constructed in modern and contemporary times.

Course usage information

POLS 1825D. The Politics of International Development.

This course explores the politics of international development. Why are some countries rich and other countries poor? The seminar investigates the structural constraints, historical legacies, and political institutions that account for differences in development across and within countries. Furthermore, the seminar critically analyzes the relationship between development and economic growth. After examining accounts offered by different theories of development, students will analyze the institutions and norms governing international development, particularly foreign aid. The final section brings students up to date on current research on how the rise of China and other emerging powers is shifting the international development landscape.

Course usage information

POLS 1825F. Moral Pluralism.

Moral pluralism is an unmistakable characteristic of modern liberal societies. Even though the dire conflicts of religion which fuel wars and civil unrest appear to be a thing of the past, fundamental moral disagreements are still plentiful today. These disagreements expose tensions among the core of ideas upon which liberal societies are built. This course explores moral pluralism and engages with questions such as: should the state be neutral in relation to different religious and moral convictions? Are there common values? How should citizens engage with each other when they debate controversial moral questions in the public forum?

Course usage information

POLS 1825G. Race, The Classics and Democratic Theory.

Rather than looking establishing wholly new traditions, many black political thinkers have chosen to engage with ancient narratives and concepts to arm contemporary struggles. Political theorists often overlook this strange choice. After all, these concepts have been used to justify anti-black assumptions. In this course we explore a series of black ‘classical receptions’ in which authors take up key classical concepts and enrich and extend them in their critiques of the US racial order. We will discuss this approach as well as the broader implications it has for democratic theory.

Course usage information

POLS 1825H. Race, Political Categorization, and Political Activism in the United States.

Will trace American political, economic, and cultural institutions as both products of race and contributors to racial formation. The course proceeds chronologically, exploring race formation in the antebellum period, the Civil War, the long civil rights movement, and the post-civil rights era. Students will learn the role that race plays in American politics, and of the role American politics plays in shaping race. How do we best theorize race in the United States? Can race be separated from American liberalism? What federal and state institutions make race politically salient? Which institutions have proved to be helpful in combating that salience?

Course usage information

POLS 1825I. The Politics of the Harlem Renaissance.

The Harlem Renaissance was a social and cultural movement that attempted to gain recognition of the humanity and equal dignity of African Americans through arts and letters. Leaders argued over whether self-expression or propaganda ought to be the priority of artists in the movement, while figures opponents offered competing political visions. We will evaluate the intersections between key artists and figures of the movement and political activism in the time period. Will look at the role of civil rights organizations such as the NAACP and the Urban League as well as the shape that politics took for those in marginalized positions.

Fall POLS1825I S01 17588 T 4:00-6:30 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

POLS 1826I. Politics of Poverty in America.

This course will examine various measures of poverty, debates about the nature of poverty, perspectives on what causes poverty, the characteristics of poverty in America, how the federal government uses policy to fight poverty, particularly since the War on Poverty began in 1964. The course will discuss recent trends in American poverty, and focus on the political effects of poverty and anti-poverty policy in the United States. This course will examine the relationships between poverty & civic participation, poverty & public opinion, poverty & race, poverty & health, and poverty & education.

Course usage information

POLS 1826J. The History of Liberalism.

Liberalism, we often hear today, is in crisis. Yet, do we know what ‘liberalism’ is? In this course, we will study liberalism’s origins, development and legacy. Students will encounter a series of well-known and less well-known figures such as Montesquieu, Benjamin Constant, Tocqueville, Mill, Hayek and Raymond Aron. Four questions will guide our thinking: (1) are there different ways of justifying individual liberty? (2) What are the institutional conditions under which liberty can be preserved? (3) Is liberalism ‘democratic’? (4) Do liberals require a certain type of morality from citizens?

Fall POLS1826J S02 18553 T 4:00-6:30 (A. Ghins)
Course usage information

POLS 1910. Senior Honors Thesis Preparation.

Concentrators who have given evidence of superior work in political science may be admitted to honors seminar on the basis of an application submitted in the spring of their junior year. Application and guidelines may be obtained on the Department of Political Science website. Prerequisite: Fulfillment of Methods requirement. Enrollment limited to 20 senior Political Science concentrators. Instructor permission required.

Fall POLS1910 S01 15597 W 3:00-5:30 (R. Cheit)
Course usage information

POLS 1920. Senior Honors Thesis Preparation.

This course is a continuation of POLS 1910. Political Science Honors students who are completing their theses should enroll. Prerequisite: POLS 1910. Instructor permission required.

Course usage information

POLS 1924C. Political Communication (PLCY 1702F).

Interested students must register for PLCY 1702F.

Course usage information

POLS 1970. Individual Reading and Research.

Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.

Course usage information

POLS 1971. Individual Reading and Research.

Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.

Course usage information

POLS 2000. Strategies of Inquiry and Research Design.

Introduction to research methods common in political science research. Topics include theory development, problems of explanation and causation, problem identification, research design, and other fundamentals of empirical research. FIRST YEAR POLITICAL SCIENCE GRADUATE STUDENTS ONLY. Enrollment limited to 14.

Course usage information

POLS 2020. American Political Development.

No description available.

Course usage information

POLS 2025. American Social Policy in Comparative Perspective.

This course provides a graduate-level survey of the politics that shape social and redistributive policies in the United States. We will consider what is distinctive about American social policy compared with social protection in other advanced economies. Will begin with different approaches to understanding variation in welfare states. Will examine distinctive features of American policy including reliance on tax benefits, federalism, racial politics, politics of gender, strategies of privatization, and housing in economic security. We conclude by considering factors that will shape the future of social policy including the politics of retrenchment, social investment, and racial and ethnic diversity.

Course usage information

POLS 2030. Seminar in the History of Modern Political Thought.

An advanced seminar in the history of modern political thought from Machiavelli to Foucault. Themes include the nature of political sovereignty and the basis of civil authority; the emergence of liberal constitutionalism; democratic, socialist and aristocratic critiques of liberalism; the meaning of freedom; the relation between liberty and equality; and the ideas of social progress and individual development. Graduate students only; qualified undergraduates with instructor's permission.

Course usage information

POLS 2040. Institutions, Crime, and Violence.

Will examine relationships and interactions among institutions, criminal actors, and violence. State-based institutions play an important role in explaining the level of disorganized or organized crime. Organized crime groups, in turn, influence both state-based institutions (for example, through corrupting officials) and other criminal activity, often by creating the “rules of the game” by which other criminals can act. Finally, both state-based and criminal actors and institutions influence the level of violence in society. Each of these three influences, and is influenced by, the others. This course offers the opportunity to better understand how these three factors relate to each other.

Fall POLS2040 S01 15618 Th 1:30-4:00 (D. Skarbek)
Course usage information

POLS 2050. Preparing the Prospectus I.

This course covers selected topics in research design and methodology and is designed to help students enrolled in the Political Science PhD program to write and defend a prospectus in their third year of study.

Fall POLS2050 S01 15611 Th 4:00-6:30 (J. Morone)
Course usage information

POLS 2051. Preparing the Prospectus II.

This course covers selected topics in research design and methodology and is designed to help students enrolled in the Political Science PhD program to write and defend a prospectus in their third year of study. Prerequisite: POLS 2050.

Course usage information

POLS 2060. International Relations and History.

This graduate seminar considers history both as a topic and as a method of international relations scholarship, and in other subfields of political science as well. We will read and discuss works that fall at the intersection of history and international relations, on topics including the sources of interstate conflict, the origins of the nation-state, and colonialism and postcolonialism. Open to Political Science Graduate students only.

Course usage information

POLS 2070. U.S. Public Opinion.

This class provides an introduction to the major theoretical approaches and applied research in the study of U.S. public opinion. We examine opinions on a variety of topics. Enrollment limited to 14 Political Science graduate students.

Fall POLS2070 S01 15624 W 1:30-4:00 (K. Tate)
Course usage information

POLS 2075. Social Groups in U.S. Politics.

This class provides students an introduction to the major theoretical approaches and applied research in the study of the role of social groups in U.S. politics. This course surveys a number of social groups, including ethnics, non-ethnic women, and other social groups, including the poor. This course will identify the theoretical perspectives that structure the research on social groups in U.S. politics. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the methodological approaches used? Also, how could research in this area be improved? What are the major implications of the findings for public policy, policymakers, and democratic theory?

Course usage information

POLS 2080. Market Democracy.

Social democracy was the progressive political program of the 20th Century. Social democracy treats economic liberty as morally less important than civil or political liberty. Social democracy is often contrasted with libertarianism, a political system that treats the economic liberties of citizens as moral absolutes. Between social democracy and libertarianism there is conceptual space for a third view: market democracy. Market democracy treats economic liberty as on a par with civil and political liberty. This course examines the moral foundations of social democracy, libertarianism, and market democracy. Could market democracy be a progressive political program for the 21st Century? Graduate students only; qualified undergraduates with instructor's permission.

Course usage information

POLS 2090D. Models of Excellence in Comparative Research: Classic Works and the Scholars Who Produced Them.

Explores major works that span the range of theoretical approaches and intellectual styles in modern comparative research. Includes in-depth interviews with leading scholars where they reflect on their intellectual formation, their works and ideas, the nuts and bolts of the research process, and the evolution of the field. Enrollment limited to 14. Graduate students only; qualified undergraduates with instructor permission.

Course usage information

POLS 2090G. Readings in American Institutions.

This course is designed as a readings and research course for graduate students and advance undergraduate students. Students will be required to read and analyze the latest work political science in the subfields of American politics, including but not limited to: public opinion, voting behavior, presidency, racial politics and representation, legislative institutions, political economy, and bicameralism. Open to graduate students only.

Course usage information

POLS 2090H. Readings in Comparative Politics.

A research and readings course on political behavior -from voting to violence, which applies rational choice theory, the Michigan model, the social logic of politics, and other theoretical perspectives.

Course usage information

POLS 2090I. American and Comparative Political Behavior.

This course is designed for graduate students to explore the core theoretical concepts and empirical research in the fields of political behavior and political participation in the American and Comparative context.

Course usage information

POLS 2100. Proseminar in American Politics.

Introduction to broad issues in American politics. Topics include the interplay of political institutions in the American setting, public opinion formation, the process of policy-making, and voting behavior. Enrollment limited to 14. Graduate students only; qualified undergraduates with instructor permission.

Course usage information

POLS 2110. Proseminar in Comparative Politics.

Provides a survey of major approaches, issues, and debates in the field of comparative politics. Topics: state formation, revolutions and civil wars, ethnic conflict and nationalism, state-market relations; systems of representation, hegemony and domination, etc. Works of theoretical importance on each topic, focusing on authors' arguments and controversies within the literature. Open to graduate students only.

Course usage information

POLS 2111. Comparative Politics Grad Research Workshop.

The Comparative Politics Research Workshop will be a new core element of the doctoral program in the Political Science department aimed at helping students transition effectively from the coursework phase of the PhD to doing their own independent scholarship and presenting it in a public forum. The course will be required for all Political Science PhD students working in the area of comparative politics, will also be an available resource for doctoral students in other social science departments who are conducting research on topics relating to the politics, political economy, and society of countries around the globe.

Course usage information

POLS 2112. Comparative Politics Grad Research Workshop.

This course is a continuation of POLS 2111.

Course usage information

POLS 2120. Proseminar in Political Theory.

An overview of central debates in political theory today. Readings include contemporary writings on justice, liberalism, democratic theory, critical theory, feminism, power, multiculturalism, and citizenship and political economy. Enrollment limited to 14 graduate students in Political Science; advanced undergraduates may enroll with permission of the instructor.

Fall POLS2120 S01 15601 F 8:30-11:00(06) (A. Gourevitch)
Course usage information

POLS 2121. Writing and Methods in Political Theory I.

The study of politics requires historical and analytic, interpretive and normative, critical and geneaological, humanist and post-humanist methods. We will first look at reading and discussing assigned methodological material on language, interpretation, causality, history, gender, and genre, all relevant to the various approaches to political thought. Second will be the circulation, presentation and critique of graduate student papers. Each participant will be expected to present a pre-circulated, article length paper, and respond to a designated discussant, as well as field questions from seminar participants. The aim is to help students learn how to prepare their work for publication.

Course usage information

POLS 2122. Writing and Methods in Political Theory II.

The study of politics requires historical and analytic, interpretive and normative, critical and geneaological, humanist and post-humanist methods. We will first look at reading and discussing assigned methodological material on language, interpretation, causality, history, gender, and genre, all relevant to the various approaches to political thought. Second will be the circulation, presentation and critique of graduate student papers. Each participant will be expected to present a pre-circulated, article length paper, and respond to a designated discussant, as well as field questions from seminar participants. The aim is to help students learn how to prepare their work for publication.

Course usage information

POLS 2130. Proseminar in International Relations.

Surveys the main theoretical trajectories and intellectual disagreements that define International Relations as a discipline today. Positions examined include varieties of rationalism and constructivism; realism-liberalism-sociological approaches; and systemic and subsystemic theories. Also considers debates about the contours of contemporary world politics, America and the world, moral issues, and the links between theory and policy. Enrollment limited to 14. Not open to undergraduates.

Course usage information

POLS 2131. Politics of Gender.

Topics include gender and personal identity; the impact of gender on moral reasoning and political agency; feminism in relation to liberalism and radical democracy, feminism and the law; the gendering of political institutions and interstate relations; and the implications of multiculturalism for feminist politics. Open to qualified undergraduates with permission of the instructor.

Course usage information

POLS 2135. International Order.

This course investigates the roots of international conflict and security, with a special emphasis on political economy factors. As a field, international relations has gradually separated into two fairly distinct sub-fields, international political economy and international security. This course seeks to bridge the two. Special attention will be paid to understanding macro-historical shifts, such as the end of empire and the emergence of the Long Peace after World War II.

Course usage information

POLS 2140. Contemporary Security Issues.

This graduate seminar explores the transformed security landscape of the 21st century. We will cover prominent contemporary security issues and debates in the field of international relations, including internal war and international intervention, American primacy and the rise of China, the privatization of security, nuclear proliferation, cross-border crime and border security, and terrorism and counterterrorism in the aftermath of 9/11. Enrollment limited to 14. Graduate students only; qualified undergraduates with instructor permission.

Course usage information

POLS 2145. Transnational Governance in the Global Economy.

Will examine an array of transnational governance schemes which seek to address social and environmental problems in a globalized world. Whether it is global warming, deforestation in the Amazon, inhumane working conditions in Asian factories of global supply chains, limited access to medicine, or child poverty – the elaboration of cross-border institutions that potentially can help to resolve these problems is likely to require the involvement of variety of actors with different types of information and knowledge from geographically and socially distant parts of the world.

Course usage information

POLS 2150. Democratic Theory, Justice, and the Law.

This course will examine contemporary and historical work in the area of democratic political and legal theory. Topics include the relationship between democracy and individual rights, deliberative vs. aggregative conceptions of democracy, the substance/procedure controversy, and the role of judicial review in a democracy. Open to graduate students only.

Fall POLS2150 S01 15594 M 3:00-5:30 (C. Brettschneider)
Course usage information

POLS 2155. The Political Economy of Labor and Development: The Future of Work.

This seminar explores the relationship between work and technological change. New technologies have enabled machines to perform predictable (and in some cases unpredictable) tasks with increasing skill. The widely discussed improvements of “machine intelligence” have the potential to reshape labor markets across the world. Reactions among scholars, policymakers, and the public have varied from optimism about the social and economic benefits of these innovations to fears about the joblessness and inequality that might result. How can we understand the impact of new technological developments on the labor market, the experience of working, and the identity of workers?

Course usage information

POLS 2160. International Political Economy.

Graduate seminar that surveys the subfield of international political economy. Outlines the historical development of the subfield as it moved from questions of US decline to issues of international cooperation and compliance and back to issues of US decline. Places the US research agenda in comparison with schools of IPE in the rest of the world. Topics covered include globalization and distribution, development, IGOs and NGOs in the IPE, Public and Private Authority, the rise and fall of nations. Open to graduate students only.

Fall POLS2160 S01 15590 M 1:30-4:00(06) (M. Blyth)
Course usage information

POLS 2165. Territorial Conflict.

This graduate seminar examines the relationship between territory and conflict. Territorial claims have been central to numerous violent and intractable disputes, both between states and within them. Why, how, and when does territory become the subject of violent conflict? Topics covered in this seminar include the origins of territoriality, historical and contemporary territorial disputes, and theoretical explanations for these conflicts. Graduate students only.

Course usage information

POLS 2170. Market-Liberalism: Origins, Principles and Contemporary Applications.

This course explores the relationship between economic freedom and social justice. The economic liberties of capitalism have often been said to be in tension with the moral ideal of distributive justice. What are the economic liberties of capitalism and what moral value, if any, do they have? What does a commitment to social justice require? Why are libertarians traditionally skeptical of social justice as a moral ideal? How do liberal conceptions of social justice compare to socialist ones? Can capitalists care about social justice? Should they? Enrollment limited to 14. Open to graduate students concentrating in Political Science.

Course usage information

POLS 2175. Ideas, Institutions and Politics.

A Graduate level survey of the literatures on institutions and ideas in political science, and on occasion, in related fields. These literatures are often seen as rival bodies of literature. These literatures are in fact compliments, with much empirical work combining both approaches in a productive manner. The point engaging the literature in this way is to question the presumption that interests should remain the most popular conceptual tool for political science explanation. This is a puzzle when one considers that interests are always formed within, and are causally affected by, both institutional environments and the ideas that they enshrine.

Course usage information

POLS 2180. Business-State Relations in the Advanced Industrial Countries.

This seminar provides an introduction to debates in comparative political economy, focusing on the creation, evolution and reform of market institutions. Readings emphasize the affluent democracies, it covers debates that have direct implications for other regions, which be explored by interested students through related readings. We begin by surveying the classic works in political economy, including those of Smith, Marx, Polanyi, and Gerschenkron. We then examine the central historical challenges precipitated by economic growth over the last two centuries. Topics include the Great Depression, postwar reconstruction, inflation, corporate governance, social protection, economic development, post-socialist transformation, and the globalization of competition.

Course usage information

POLS 2185. Political Theory of the American Constitution.

This course will examine major constitutional controversies within the context of wider debates in political and legal theory. Readings will come from Supreme Court cases and prominent texts in political/legal theory. Topics will include free speech, privacy, abortion, and capital punishment. Our aim is two fold. We want to understand the basic framework and content of the United States constitution as it has been elaborated by the Supreme Court. But we also want to go beyond this legal understanding and to challenge existing jurisprudence. To this end we draw on classic and contemporary texts in political theory.

Course usage information

POLS 2190. Comparative and Global Politics of Welfare States.

Why and how have welfare states been constructed, and how are they adapting to globalization? How does gender map onto contemporary welfare states, and how do different systems of welfare provision affect women and men in labor markets, families, access to health care and education? How do growing markets, insecurity, and labor migration affect welfare provision?The course looks at formal and informal social provision, changing roles of men and women, privatization and informalization of welfare, drawing on case studies from Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. Enrollment limited to 20 graduate students and advanced undergraduates (with instructor's permission).

Course usage information

POLS 2195. The Politics of Love and Friendship.

What is the relationship between love, friendship, and politics? To what extent do the desires for care, affection, and companionship make themselves felt in political life? To what extent does politics require channeling or repressing them? This course examines prominent thinkers in the history of political thought who have dealt with these questions. By considering their compelling and contrasting perspectives on relationship between politics and the various forms of affection, love, and longing that are present in political communities, the course aims to equip students to think carefully about the proper place of love and friendship in politics today.

Course usage information

POLS 2200. Fundamentals of Security Studies.

This seminar surveys foundational and cutting edge research in the security studies subfield. The course largely takes a traditional view of the subfield in that it (1) focuses on the threat or use of military force, and (2) examines interstate rather than intra-state dynamics. The first four weeks of the course are devoted to reading and discussing several “great books” in the subfield, while the remainder of the course will expose students to a large number of classic and contemporary studies on various subtopics within security studies. Enrollment is limited to graduate students.

Course usage information

POLS 2210. Governing Federal Systems.

Federated systems of government present opportunities and challenges for democratic accountability, managing collective action problems, economic stability, and distribution of goods and services. Course will take up the theory and practice of governing federated systems using a comparative approach that examines federated systems in several countries including the United States, Canada, Germany, Brazil, and India. Questions this course will examine include: What helps explain the emergence, persistence, and erosion of federalism? What are the implications of federalism for democratic accountability? What are the implications of federalism for fiscal stability? What are the implications of federalism for political, social, and economic inequality?

Course usage information

POLS 2220. Urban Politics.

Covers a number of topics linked to urban politics and urban public policy. Topics include the politics of urban education, affordable housing, downtown development. Examines how state and federal policy actions have contributed to the nature of the urban condition; and how race, class and ethnicity are interwoven with urban politics and urban public policy. Enrollment limited to 14. Graduate Students only; all others by permission only.

Course usage information

POLS 2230. Political Loss.

This course will explore the concept of political loss as it has been sketched by political theorists. Questions of grief and grievance have been at the center of contemporary political debates in the U.S. and elsewhere, even as political theorists have begun to pay increasing attention to the relation between affect and politics more generally, and to the role of mourning and loss in political life specifically. While the course explores the concept of loss generally, it is particularly concerned with the central role narratives of loss have played in debates about racial justice.

Course usage information

POLS 2235. Disobedience and Resistance.

Should we to obey the laws that states make? Unsurprisingly, there are numerous counter-theories, practices of disobedience: revolution, mass strikes, sabotage, civil disobedience and conscientious objection. Other kinds of resistance – like mass protests, political strikes, and boycotts – hover on the border of disobedience itself. This course begins with a brief examination of theories of political obligation before moving to a discussion of different, concrete examples of disobedience and the political ideas that they produced. We will discuss revolution, mass strikes, and civil disobedience as paradigm cases of the political problems raised by actually existing, illegitimate laws and governments.

Course usage information

POLS 2245. The International Political Economy of Global Finance.

Although global finance is back in vogue since the 2008 crisis, it remains a frontier of research in mainstream political science. It is an excellent area to conduct research since it remains an ‘open range’ of inquiry. The course is divided into three parts. First covers classic accounts of the politics of global finance from within political science and related areas. Second focuses in on the best accounts of the 2008 crisis. Third discusses areas such as Risk Management, Hedge Funds, Money Laundering, Quantitative Finance, and Sovereign Debt that occupy the new frontier of political science research.

Course usage information

POLS 2250. Extreme Politics: How Radicals Affect Political Change.

Scholarship has increasingly focused on why radical groups emerge. Yet, there is little research to date on how and whether these groups actually have a socio-political impact. This course will examine the mechanisms whereby and the conditions under which political extremists affect political and/or social change across time and space. We will base our analysis on several historical case studies that deliberately vary radical groups according to important characteristics such as: the degree of their prominence in social and political discourse; the extent of their lifespan in a particular country; and whether their tactics include the use of violence. Graduate students only; qualified undergraduates with instructor's permission.

Course usage information

POLS 2260. Comparative Politics and China.

Will explore the main theoretical, empirical, and methodological approaches to the study of contemporary Chinese politics. Will relate these approaches to broader analytical issues in the field of comparative politics. What phenomena are generally studied in Chinese politics, and how are they studied? How are arguments made, and how could they be made more effectively? What is not studied that should be? How should regionally-focused empirical research be structured? What are the most effective ways to integrate area studies, broader comparative approaches, and theory? Course will prepare graduate students for dissertation research on China specifically and comparative politics more generally.

Course usage information

POLS 2270. Political Economy of Industrial Development.

Will explore the mechanisms by which assets, institutions, and governance interact to shape patterns of industrial development across the world. The seminar has four main objectives: 1) to review competing schools of thought on why some countries have attained the cutting edge of industrial development and upgrading while others have not, 2) to examine the relationship between evolving structures of industrial production and evolving conditions of politics in particular national settings, 3) to consider how conditions of globalization affect the developmental challenge for industrializing nations, and 4) to consider how new concerns surrounding environmental sustainability affect the process of industrialization.

Course usage information

POLS 2280. Ecology and Political Theory.

Explores the field’s most important recent contributions to the study of political theory and the environment with a focus on several core questions: (1) What are the political challenges that current environmental issues generate today, and what challenges can we expect in the near future? (2) What obligations do we have to the natural world, including non-human animals and the inanimate environment? What are our obligations to other human beings and to ourselves in relation to environmental matters? (3) What political principles, institutions, and practices might best enable us to meet these obligations? Readings reflect diverse perspectives and methodological approaches.

Course usage information

POLS 2290. Particularism in Latin America and Comparative Persepctive.

This course will characterize, examine, and explain the use of particularistic practices in today's democracies in Latin America and in comparative perspective. Among these practices, we pay most attention to the phenomenon known as clientelism. Graduate students only; qualified undergraduates with instructor's permission.

Course usage information

POLS 2300. Latin American Political Thought.

Latin American political thinkers, who have been tremendously influential in their own region, remain marginal to the canon of Western political thought. This course is an overview of the various traditions in the history of Latin American political thought. It examines the answers Latin American thinkers have given to some of the fundamental preoccupations of political theory from the perspective of the region’s social and political realities. The course will introduce students to figures in Latin American political thought—such as Bartolomé de las Casas, Simón Bolivar, Domingo F. Sarmiento, José Martí, José Vasconcelos, José Carlos Mariátegui, and contemporary Latino political theorists.

Course usage information

POLS 2320. Ethnic Conflict.

What is ethnicity? What does it share with nationalism and in what respects is it different? Why do ethnic groups fight violently and kill wantonly, especially after living peacefully for a long time? Under what conditions do they manage their relations peacefully? Do people participate in ethnic insurgencies because of greed or grievance? Will ethnic groups disappear as modernity proceeds further? These questions will guide our intellectual journey over the semester. Graduate students only; qualified undergraduates with instructor's permission. Enrollment limited to 14.

Fall POLS2320 S01 15627 W 3:00-5:30 (A. Varshney)
Course usage information

POLS 2330. Politics in India.

This seminar will present Indian politics in a comparative and theoretical framework. It will focus on four themes: British India and Indian Nationalism; India's democratic experience; politics of ethnic and religious diversity; and political economy, concentrating especially on India's economic rise. Readings include the classics of the subfield of Indian politics and political economy, but also quite a lot of recent scholarship. Enrollment limited to 14 graduate students.

Course usage information

POLS 2340. Political Philosophy of W. E. B. Du Bois.

Through close readings of Du Bois's texts, we will explore the relationship between his political philosophy and his conceptualization of race at different stages of his intellectual and activist career as well as his understanding of democratic politics, the place of the black masses therein, and the status of women. We will also pay attention to Du Bois’s retrospective self-criticisms, to his reliance on fictional and other artistic genres of writing to advance philosophical claims. Drawing on reflections by Du Bois and Locke, we will reflect on how to think about art as a site of moral and political transformation in matters of race.

Fall POLS2340 S01 15614 W 4:00-6:30 (M. Rogers)
Course usage information

POLS 2350. Freedom.

Examines the meaning of freedom together with the self-understandings, social practices, and political institutions that underlie and constitute it. Considers literature on freedom from the contemporary liberal, republican, and democratic traditions, including Berlin, Pettit, Arendt, Butler, and others. Open to graduate students only.

Course usage information

POLS 2360. Ancients and Moderns: Quarrels and Continuities.

Examines the political thought of Plato and Aristotle together with three modern thinkers whose work was especially influenced (or animated) by engagement with these ancient views of politics: Machiavelli, Rousseau, and Nietzsche. In exploring these moderns in particular, we also get a view of early modern, high modern, and postmodern receptions of the ancients. Enrollment limited to 14. Open to graduate students.

Course usage information

POLS 2370. Political Philosophy and Economic Theory.

Political philosophy relates to economic theory in two ways. It takes primary texts of economic theory and draws out their philosophical, ethical, and political implications. It also begins from normative theory, like theories of justice, and brings these independently developed principles to bear on economic concerns. This class takes both approaches. The first half will attempt read foundational economic thinkers (e.g. Jevons, Keynes, Schumpeter, Hayek, Polanyi) as political philosophers. The second half will take an external approach, looking at how competing libertarian, socialist, post-socialist, classical liberal and high liberal traditions (e.g Smith, Friedman, Rawls, Cohen, Tomasi) think about economic freedom. Enrollment limited to 14.

Course usage information

POLS 2400. Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research.

This graduate seminar offers an introduction to the design and implementation of social science research that deploys qualitative data and analysis in conjunction with other methods of inquiry. We explore the set of tools that is conventionally considered to comprise qualitative methods, including case studies, small-N comparisons, process tracing, sequential analysis, interviews and participant observation. Starting from the premise that each research method has its strengths and weaknesses, we also consider how qualitative methods can be combined productively with other methods of inquiry, including “large-N” quantitative analysis, experiments, spatial/geographic analysis, and multilevel analysis spanning different scales.

Course usage information

POLS 2450. Exchange Scholar Program.

Fall POLS2450 S01 15526 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

POLS 2580. Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods.

This course introduces students to statistical theory and quantitative methods commonly used in political science and public policy. The course focuses on statistical inference using multiple techniques of regression analysis and gives students opportunities to become proficient users of the statistical software package Stata as they develop statistical models and analyze their data. Enrollment limited to 14. Open to graduate students in Political Science only.

Fall POLS2580 S01 15615 M 4:00-6:30 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

POLS 2590. Quantitative Research Methods.

An intermediate statistics course for graduate students. Topics include multiple regression, statistical inference, categorical dependent variable models, instrumental variable models, and an introduction to time series. Course readings and applications examine models used in different fields of political science and public policy including American institutions, comparative politics, and international relations. Open to graduate students concentrating in Political Science or Public Policy.

Course usage information

POLS 2600. Survey Research.

Public opinion is an essential element in politics. Understanding how and what mass publics think is critical for assessing the capacity of mass electorates to participate politically and how well political institutions represent mass interests. To understand public opinion we rely on the sample survey which allows us to make inferences about populations from representative subsets. But how should we design survey questionnaires, identify and properly construct survey samples, and analyze these data? This course addresses these topics and more.

Course usage information

POLS 2970. Preliminary Examination Preparation.

An independent study directed by a tenure-line faculty member of the Department of Political Science. Only second-year graduate students may register for the course; it is intended to provide a framework to help prepare for preliminary examinations.

Course usage information

POLS 2971. Preliminary Examination Preparation.

An independent study directed by a tenure-line faculty member of the Department of Political Science. It is intended to provide a framework to help prepare for preliminary examinations. This course is open to second and third year graduate students only.

Course usage information

POLS 2975. Field Survey and Research Design.

An independent study directed by a tenure-line faculty member of the Department of Political Science. Only third-year graduate students may register for the course; it is intended to provide a framework for producing a formal research design modeled on the dissertation prospectus.

Course usage information

POLS 2976. Field Survey and Research Design.

An independent study directed by a tenure-line faculty member of the Department of Political Science. Only third-year graduate students may register for the course; it is intended to provide a framework for producing a formal research design modeled on the dissertation prospectus.

Course usage information

POLS 2980. Individual Reading and Research.

An independent study course directed by a tenure-line faculty member in the Department of Political Science. Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.

Course usage information

POLS 2981. Individual Reading and Research.

An independent study course directed by a tenure-line faculty member in the Department of Political Science. Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.

Course usage information

POLS 2990. Thesis Preparation.

For graduate students who have met the residency requirement and are continuing research on a full time basis.

Fall POLS2990 S01 15527 Arranged (R. Cheit)
Course usage information

POLS 2991. Thesis Research and Preparation.

Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.

Chair

Wendy J. Schiller

Professor

Peter R. Andreas
John Hay Professor of International Studies and Political Science

Mark M. Blyth
William R. Rhodes Professor of International Economics

Corey L. Brettschneider
Professor of Political Science

Ross E. Cheit
Professor of International and Public Affairs and Professor of Political Science

Roger Cobb
Professor Emeritus of Political Science

Linda J. Cook
Professor of Political Science; Professor of Slavic Studies

Bonnie H. Honig
Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Modern Culture and Media and Political Science

Juliet Hooker
Professor of Political Science

Philip Terrence Hopmann
Professor Emeritus of Political Science

Ying-Mao Kau
Professor Emeritus of Political Science

Sharon R. Krause
William R. Kenan, Jr. University Professor of Political Science

Richard M. Locke
Provost, Schreiber Family Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs

Rose McDermott
David and Marianna Fisher University Professor of International Relations

James A. Morone
John Hazen White Professor of Public Policy, Professor of Political Science and Urban Studies

Marion E. Orr
Frederick Lippitt Professor of Public Policy, Professor of Political Science and Urban Studies

Eric M. Patashnik
Julis-Rabinowitz Professor of Public Policy and Political Science

Wendy J. Schiller
Professor of Political Science

Richard O. Snyder
Professor of Political Science

Edward S. Steinfeld
Dean's Professor of China Studies, Professor of Political Science

Newell Maynard Stultz
Professor Emeritus of Political Science

Katherine Tate
Professor of Political Science

John O. Tomasi
Romeo Elton Professor of Natural Theology, Professor of Political Science

Ashutosh Varshney
Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and Political Science

Margaret M. Weir
Wilson Professor of International and Public Affairs and Political Science

Kenneth K. Wong
Walter and Lenore Annenberg Professor of Education Policy

Associate Professor

Jeffrey D. Colgan
Richard Holbrooke Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies

Alexander H. Gourevitch
Associate Professor of Political Science

Susan L. Moffitt
Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs and Political Science

Melvin L. Rogers
Associate Professor of Political Science

Prerna Singh
Mahatma Gandhi Associate Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs

David B. Skarbek
Associate Professor of Political Science

Rebecca B. Weitz-Shapiro
Associate Professor of Political Science

Assistant Professor

Robert A. Blair
Joukowsky Family Assistant Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs

Tyler Jost
Watson Institute Assistant Professor of China Studies

Paul F. Testa
Assistant Professor of Political Science

Senior Lecturer

Nina Tannenwald
Senior Lecturer in Political Science

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Shankar Kasinadhuni Prasad
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Political Science

Political Science

Why do Hindus and Muslims live in harmony in one city and fight bitterly in another just a few miles away? Why is the U.S. the only industrialized nation without a complete national health insurance? What is the legacy of slavery in the U.S.? Why are there so few women in Congress? How is radicalism in the Middle East changing? Why and how does democracy flourish? Just what is democracy? How do emotions shape our political behavior? What do war movies tell us about the USA? Would less government lead to more social justice? What is social justice? How does smuggling (of drugs, guns, and people) reshape international relations? How do immigrants see the American Dream? What is the American dream?

Political science is about questions like these. You can grapple with every one of them –and many more— in the classrooms of the Brown political science department. We study how people –nations, regions, cities, communities— live their common lives. How people solve (or duck) their common problems. How people govern themselves. How they think, talk, argue, fight, and vote. Students passionate about social challenges may also choose to pursue the Engaged Scholars Program, which allows them to connect theory and practice and gain hands-on experience working with community partners.

The undergraduate concentration is organized around three broad tracks, or programs of study: American politics, international and comparative politics, and political theory.  Twelve courses are required overall: ten within the Department of Political Science and two from areas outside the department related to your chosen track. Thirteen courses are required if the methods requirement is fulfilled with a course outside the department.

Requirements:

Two introductory courses:2
For the American politics track, the following two introductory courses are required
Introduction to the American Political Process
- and -
Introduction to Political Thought
Introduction to Comparative Politics
Introduction to International Politics
For the international and comparative politics track; the following two introductory courses are required:
Introduction to Comparative Politics
Introduction to International Politics
- and -
Introduction to the American Political Process
Introduction to Political Thought
For the Political Theory track, the following two introductory courses are required
Introduction to Political Thought
- and -
Introduction to the American Political Process
Introduction to Comparative Politics
Introduction to International Politics
One course in the American politics subfield1
One course in the political theory subfield1
Two courses in the international and comparative politics subfield2
Three upper-level courses in the chosen subfield3
One methods course from Political Science: 11
Foundations of Political Analysis
Political Research Methods
One research seminar from the POLS 1820, 1821, 1822, 1823 or 1824 offerings that is track related1
Two upper-level courses from outside the department related to the specialized track, chosen with the approval of the concentration advisor. 22

To obtain an advisor contact the Concentration Coordinator Patti Gardner.

Honors

Students wishing to undertake the honors program need to complete the same requirements as shown for the concentration. Completion of the methods requirement is required prior to applying to the Honors program. Students must also complete an honors research project and take POLS 1910 and POLS 1920 during the senior year. POLS 1910 and POLS 1920 will count as one credit towards the 10 required Political Science courses for the concentration.

Political Science

The department of Political Science offers a 5-th year Masters (A.M.), a Master of Arts (A.M.) Degree* and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree.

Completion Requirements

5-th year Masters (A.M.):

The 5th-Year Master’s Degree option allows Brown undergraduates to continue at the University for a master's degree after completing their bachelor's degree.

  • Eight 2000 level Political Sciences courses are required
  • Students can take up to two graduate level courses during their undergraduate studies
  • POLS courses must be completed with a grade of B or better
  • A minimum of six semester courses must be taken during 5th year
  • Courses taken as an undergrad cannot count for both concentration and the masters program

Students must apply for this program before they complete their undergraduate studies. They do so through the Graduate School's online application system.  Admission must be approved by the Political Science department and by the Graduate School.

Master of Arts (A.M.) Degree:

 *The Political Science department does not have a separate master's program; graduate students can earn the A.M. on the way to the Ph.D.  This  A.M. requires passing eight 2000-level Political Science courses with a grade of B or better. 

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree:

  • Pass thirteen graduate level courses with a grade of B or better
  • A minimum of 10 courses must be within the Political Science department (two may be taken in a related discipline)
  • Research Methods POLS2000
  • Quantitative Research Methods I POLS2580
  • Two field proseminars (choose two of four - POLS2100 American, POLS2110 Comparative,  POLS2120 Theory or POLS2130 IR)
  • One theory course
  • The Prospectus Writing POLS2050 and POLS2051 sequence
  • Pass written and oral preliminary examinations in two subfields
  • Written and oral presentation of a dissertation proposal
  • Written and oral presentation of a dissertation
  • A minimum of two semesters as a teaching assistant

For more information on admission and program requirements, please visit the following website

http://www.brown.edu/academics/gradschool/programs/political-science