Courses

Spring 2019

Course descriptions by subfield can be found below the weekly schedule, or click the following links directly:
American Politics
Comparative Politics
International Relations
Political Theory
Public Policy
General Courses

[Click here for past semesters]

 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursday
11:45-1:45The Politics of Wartime Humanitarian Action
Thomas Weiss (IR)
PSC 86401
(Class # )
4 Credits
RM
American Political Development
Ruth O'Brien (AP)
PSC 82210
(Class # )
4 Credits
RM
(Crosslist with WSP 81000)
2:00-4:00Writing Politics II
Peter Beinart (G/WP)
PSC 79002
(Class # )
3 Credits
RM

Research Seminar on Globalization: Between the Soverign and the Trans-Sovereign
Stephanie Golob (IR/CP)
PSC 86402
(Class #)
4 Credits
RM
Teaching Political Science
Peter Liberman (G/PD)
PSC 71300
(Class # )
3 Credits
RM

Marxism
Jack Jacobs (PT)
PSC 80601
(Class # )
4 Credits
RM

Feminist Political Theory
Alyson Cole (PT)
PSC 80300
(Class # )
4 Credits
RM
Crosslist with
WSCP 81000
4:15-6:15Core Seminar in Urban Studies
John Mollenkopf/Marta Gutman (PP)
PSC 83501
(Class #)
4 Credits
RM

The Philosophy of
W.E. Du Bois

Charles Mills (PT)
PSC 80606
(Class # )
4 Credits
RM
(Crosslist with PHIL 76100)



Comparative Political Order
Susan Woodward (CP)
PSC 87601
(Class # )
4 Credits
RM

Women, Work & Public Policy
Janet Gornick (PP)
PSC 83502
(Class # )
4 Credits
(Crosslist with SOC 85700)
(Crosslist with WSP 81000)
RM
Politics of Inequality
Leslie McCall (PP)
PSC 73901
(Class # )
3 Credits
(Cross list with SOC 84600)
RM

Civil Liberties
Thomas Halper (AP)
PSC 72301
(Class # )
3 Credits
RM


Mind the Gap: Technologies, Trends, and Policies Shaping the Future of Work
Ann Kirschner (G/IDS)
PSC 77001
(Class # )
3 Credits
RM
(Crosslist IDS 81670)
PROGRAM EVENTS
6:30-8:30Dissertation Proposal Workshop
Susan Woodward (G)
PSC 89100
(Class # )
0 Credits
RM



State and Society

Kenneth Erickson (CP)
PSC 87800
(Class # )
4 Credits
RM

Walter Benjamin
Susan Buck-Morss (PT)
PSC 80602
(Class # )
4 Credits
RM
Power, Resistance, Identities, and Social Movements
Ruth O'Brien (G/AP/WP)
PSC 82601
(Class # )
4 Credits
RM
(Crosslist with UED 75200)

Applied Quantitative Research
Till Weber(G/M)
PSC 89101
(Class # )
4 Credits
RM


Latin American Politics

Forest Colburn (CP)
PSC 77906
(Class # )
3 Credits
RM

War & Law
George Andreopoulos(IR)
PSC 86403
(Class # )
4 Credits
RM

Political Interpretation: On Meaning & Power
John Wallach (PT/M)
PSC 80608
(Class # )
4 Credits
RM
Political Parties & Polarization
David Jones (CP)
PSC 82602
(Class # )
4 Credits
RM


Comparative Foreign Policy
Jacqueline Braveboy-Wagner (CP)
PSC 76100
(Class # )
3 Credits
RM

American Politics


PSC 82210 – 4 credits
Course Description: American Political Development
Topic: American Political Development
Faculty: Ruth O’Brien
Cross list: WSP 81000
Day/Time: Thursday 11:45am–1:45pm
Course DescriptionAmerican Political Development is politics and history broadly cast.  Put differently, it pursues meta-themes or narratives over time from a presentist perspective, like cultural studies (i.e. American Studies) does. The theme for this semester is political violence or vigilantism against vulnerable peoples.  It examines American governors during the colonial era and American presidents who were vigilantes.  To do so, it introduces and explains key concepts for studying sexism, misogyny, and white supremacy from a long historical and cultural-studies perspective, going back to 1492.  It pays particular attention to the nation-building by these colonial governors and presidents, as this is a course on political institutions, albeit influenced by the discourse of civic associations, interest groups, social movements, and political parties.

This course will help prepare American Politics students for the first examination in that field, particularly those interested in National Institutions.  It is a foundational course in that it covers two of the three branches of the federal government — the presidency and the judiciary.  It’s also a broad course that will be invaluable to students teaching introductory politics given that it covers intergovernmental relations such as federalism, judicial review, and the separation of powers.

This course crosses disciplinary divides by using “political development” the state and society or civic associations as Theda Skocpol put it.  It is a Political Institutions course that treats APD as a methodology with three analytical axes: the roles of ideas or discourse and ideologies, institutions, and civil society.  APD relies on comparative-politics methodology, which is to say the United States must be studied in context with other nations, not alone.  It is conversant with literature on epistemic communities, regime change, and civil societies.  The seminar is also informed by American Studies and Women’s Studies literature, given its emphasis on difference as the United States built a strong nation-state and became a global hegemon.

Pedagogy: Position-paper pedagogy
Requirements:  A Research Component (i.e. a paper that can be turned into an M.A. or a topic for dissertation proposal exploration)

 


PSC 72300 – 3 credits
Course Description: Const Law – Civil Liberties
Topic: Civil Liberties
Faculty: Thomas Halper
Day/Time: Wednesday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course DescriptionThis is a course in applied political theory, in which we inquire as to the meaning of freedom and privacy in concrete situations, where they may conflict with other values we cherish. A secondary theme is the role of unelected courts resolving these conflicts. The outline for the course includes the following:
I. Freedom/Freedom of expression: philosophical perspectives – A) Defamation & lying, B) Hate speech & offensive speech, C) Movies, broadcasting, cable, & the Internet, D) Campaign finance, E) Commercial speech, F) Public nuisances, G) Speech plus/symbolic speech, H) National security
II. Privacy: philosophical perspectives – A) Torts, B) Constitutional rights, C) Abortion, D) Right to die and E) Gay rights

PSC 82601 – 4 credits
Course Description: ST: American Politics
Topic: Political Parties & Polarization
Faculty: David Jones
Day/Time: Thursday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course DescriptionHas the American public become more polarized? What about political elites running in elections and serving in government? Is there any connection between mass and elite polarization? Why does polarization seem to be taking place, and what are its consequences? This class will delve deeply into all of these questions. We will begin by taking a historical perspective and asking whether current levels of polarization within the U.S. government are unusually high, or whether the seemingly low levels from a half century ago were the real aberration. We will explore several different possible causes for why the parties in government have become more divided from each other over the past 50 years or so, including institutional, electoral, and activist-based explanations. After that, we will shift our attention to the mass public.

We will examine evidence both for and against the notion that the American public is currently polarized, and try to document the specific ways in which the American public has—and has not—become more polarized over time (e.g., culturally, economically, geographically). To the extent that the public has polarized, we will explore possible causes including the influence of polarized elites and of polarized news media. Finally, we will analyze the consequences of elite and mass polarization—for public policy, for representation, and for public’s attitudes towards politics and government. Many of the readings in the class will be drawn from the American politics reading list – integrating both American institutions and processes.

Comparative Politics


PSC 87800 – 4 credits
Course Description: Topics in Comparative Politics
Topic: State and Society
Faculty: Kenneth Erickson
Day/Time: Monday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course DescriptionSeminar/colloquium on social movements, civil society, and the state. Readings and discussion cover historical and contemporary cases of social movements, contentious politics, and participation by civil society. In the contemporary era of democratic transition and consolidation, the course examines contentious popular and opposition movements that seek to revise the very nature of citizenship, particularly by expanding citizens’ rights of participation so as to include formerly excluded people and groups, and to win benefits for them. It also examines the role of such movements in transitions to democracy, and the impact of democratization on the movements themselves. My Latin American politics survey courses employ a top-down perspective, emphasizing the role of state institutions and political elites. This seminar examines many world regions and takes a bottom-up perspective, focusing on participation by worker, peasant, popular, feminist, indigenous, religious, and other sectors of civil society and ideological and political oppositions.

Contemporary scholarly interest in social movements and civil society developed in the 1970s and 1980s, when a body of literature on “New Social Movements” emerged in response to changing political realities, as “post-materialist” environmental, peace, and women’s movements developed in Western Europe and North America; as opposition to authoritarian rule crystallized in Latin America; and as unrest challenged the weakening communist party-states in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. This literature, inspired by the work of scholars and activists, began to gain recognition by North American specialists on Latin America only in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In Latin America, scholars and activists raised very optimistic normative expectations that contentious social, economic, and political engagement by hitherto oppressed and excluded lower strata would create new, superior, forms of participatory democracy. The disappointing, or at best mixed, results on these headings prompted a sobering normative reappraisal by scholars, then a reappraisal of that reappraisal, followed by a focus on “contentious politics” by one school and on participatory politics within democratic institutions by others. In sum, in their empirical work on various world regions, researchers advanced a seemingly dominant interpretive paradigm and then, under challenge, refined it more than once. The trajectory of concepts covered will illustrate this process while providing students with an array of useful interpretive tools.

The first portion of the course will be a colloquium devoted to a close reading and discussion of the conceptual and case materials that should catalyze or orient individuals’ research projects. I will open each session by asking students to set the agenda for discussion on the assigned materials, agenda points they will have posted on Blackboard’s discussion board by the previous evening. The final portion of the course will be devoted to presentation of students’ research projects. Several days before the presentation, students will distribute via the discussion board a brief written précis of the project and other relevant documents to enrich discussion.


PSC 87601 – 4 credits
Course Description: ST: Comparative Politics
Topic: Comparative Political Order
Faculty: Susan Woodward
Day/Time: Tuesday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course DescriptionThe empirically dominant and normatively preferred form of contemporary political order is based on the historical model of west European state formation and theorists, above all Max Weber, of the modern state.  The primary reason for this, however, is international order: sovereignty as defined and consolidated after 1945 and the requirements of participating in the current international system.  Once we look to domestic political order, we not only see a historically rich literature on alternatives that tends to be ignored to our detriment, but also a vast variety of domestic political orders, the different challenges and tasks they address politically, and ways of analyzing contemporary political orders that are not driven by comparison with this dominant model.

The seminar will be organized around a set of theoretical questions to escape that empirical and theoretical straightjacket and a literature on alternatives.  It also, however, aims to provide an opportunity to students to pose their own question for the group (with the possibility of even changing parts of the syllabus as we go along, with my assistance) and for thinking creatively through their research project and paper.  The focus of all the readings and discussion will be comparative, primarily but not entirely outside Europe.

The topics will include: ways of analyzing contemporary political order, such as ongoing negotiation or contests with the imperatives of globalization; the relation between a political system and its economic system; the nature of political order in empires; the importance of land (including property rights) to political order; the struggles to create political order during insurgencies, revolutions, immediately after an independence struggle, or after a civil war; and the alternative paths of state formation for the purpose of national defense that were different from the west European story.  The syllabus will be ready for more information before registration.

 

PSC 77906 – 3 credits
Course Description: ST: Comparative Politics
Topic: Latin American Politics
Faculty: Forrest Colburn
Day/Time: Wednesday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course DescriptionThis course surveys major topics in Latin American politics. It addresses such issues as nation-building and state construction, institutions of government, public policy (especially economic policy), authoritarianism, populism, and democracy, political stability and violence, the sources and consequences of influential ideas for the conduct of politics, the impact of other regions of the world, and mass and elite political behavior.

This is an era of uncertainty. Established political and economic regimes have lost much of their hold, at least intellectually. But it is not clear how they will be replaced. Likewise, long-dominant conceptual models are less persuasive. Finally, how scholarship is presented—and diffused—is in transition. With the explicit goal of exploring how research in Latin American politics should be pursued in the future, reading will be drawn from a variety of methodological approaches. Similarly, there will be an exploration of how different media are employed to comment on Latin American politics, from traditional journal articles to university press books to websites to “blogs” to “DVDs.” Clear, concise writing, though, is—and will always be—valued, and we will discuss writing conventions.

We will meet weekly to discuss the topics laid out below and the assigned reading. Students should be prepared to comment on the assigned reading. Students are asked to write two essays, the first of which will be brief (say four or five, typed, double-spaced pages) and the second of more substance and length (of perhaps ten to twelve, typed, double-spaced pages). We will read and discuss a well-regarded guide to composition to help prepare ourselves for writing. Topics should be discussed with the professor. Due dates will be set at the onset of the semester. Late papers are neither expected nor accepted.  The course has a number of objectives: 1) to familiarize students with research on the subject of Latin American politics, 2) to teach students how to do research themselves on Latin American politics, 3) to assist students write clear, cogent prose, and 4) to help students prepare themselves for a productive academic career, able to accommodate themselves to shifting intellectual currents and changes in how research is presented and diffused.

International Relations


PSC 86402 – 4 credits
Course Description: ST: International Politics
Topic: Research Seminar on Globalization: Between the Sovereign and the Trans-Sovereign
Faculty: Stephanie Golob
Day/Time: Monday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course DescriptionAs the so-called “Age of Globalization” moves through its third decade, this seminar will critically assess the research agenda that examines the causes and effects of contemporary global integration – political, economic, social, cultural, legal, ideational – across national boundaries. We will consider both the internal impact of external flows, and the bottom-up demands for new forms of governance to meet the challenge of “trans sovereign problems.”  At the center of this examination will be the concept of state sovereignty, which has hardly ‘withered away’ or been rendered obsolete, and yet its legal solidity belies a somewhat more fluid status in practice within a globalizing context.

Potential topics include: globalized trade, finance, production and labor; the “development” agenda; climate change and the environment; social movements, social media and challenges to political order; refugee flows and irregular migration; extremist groups and their transnational recruitment; and the transnational diffusion of human rights norms and “transitional justice culture.” Also under consideration are backlash movements seeking to slow, stop or reverse these global flows.  Seminar members will be encouraged to develop independent research projects that engage with, and potentially challenge, approaches within IR and comparative politics, and at their intersection.


PSC 86401 – 4 credits
Course Description: ST: International Politics
Topic: The Politics of Wartime Humanitarian Action
Faculty: Thomas Weiss
Day/Time: Tuesday 11:45am–1:45pm
Course DescriptionOver the last 150 years, and more particularly over the last three decades since the end of the Cold War, we have witnessed an impressive expansion of organized humanitarianism, or the institutionalization of the desire to reduce the suffering of others. Efforts in war zones, the focus here, are considerably more fraught than those where natural disasters strike. There is now a network of states, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) along with private military companies and transnational corporations that populate the international humanitarian marketplace. Their existence has helped to create and been nourished in turn by a complex array of norms and legal principles.

This network and the normative fabric have resulted in something that resembles a “system” of global humanitarian governance—that is, humanitarian action is organized to help protect and assist distant strangers, and more recently to address the causes of suffering as well. The intertwining of compassion and governance, however, signals that humanitarianism is more complicated than merely helping those in need. After all, “isms” invariably are less pure in practice than in theory. Responding with the heart requires responding with the head as well.

Beginning with a look at the political, philosophical, and ethical underpinnings of humanitarian thought, the seminar concentrates on the emergence of the international humanitarian system, including specifically of international humanitarian law and even more especially of aid agencies. With these foundations in mind, the class examines the behavior of agencies and the outcomes of their actions in specific crises as well as the value of legal mechanisms in constraining the use of force and in holding violators of law accountable.

We begin with the nineteenth century and continue to the present but emphasize the post-Cold War period. In particular, case-by-case analyses of crises since 1989 help inform the overall study of trends in the humanitarian sector and illustrate contemporary challenges.  We also take up institutional innovations such as the International Criminal Court (ICC) and normative ones such as the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P). Finally, the seminar evaluates the current system of protection and delivery as well as its future in light of “new wars” and “new humanitarianisms.”  Requirements will be oral presentations and two simulated “first exams.” For those PhD students who have passed their first exams, a research paper can replace the exams.


PSC 86403 – 4 credits
Course Description: ST: International Politics
Topic: War and Law
Faculty: George Andreopoulos
Day/Time: Wednesday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course DescriptionThis course will survey both formal constraints on the conduct of war and unwritten conventions as to what was ‘done’ or not ‘done’ in the course of military operations. It will examine the evolution of key normative constraints and practices, and assess the relations of such practices to the common culture of the time.

In particular, it will examine perceptions of the just war tradition, the intersections between human rights and humanitarian law, as well as such issues as methods of warfare, belligerent rights, treatment of specifically protected persons and objects, observation of truces and immunities, the principle of distinction, military necessity, the acceptability or otherwise of particular weapons and weapons-systems, codes of honor and war crimes.  The course will also address evolving perceptions of the main challenges in these issue areas in light of key post-cold war developments, including the challenges posed to the normative framework by the ongoing ‘war on terror.’


PSC 76100 – 3 credits
Course Description: Foreign Policy Analysis
Topic: Comparative Foreign Policy 
Faculty: Jacqueline Braveboy-Wagner
Day/Time: Thursday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course DescriptionThe foreign policy approach is one of the oldest approaches within IR even though solid theoretical work dates only as far back as the 1960s. Not only is “foreign policy” the recognized handle of IR for the general public but it is also a highly accommodating framework of analysis, including as it does both domestic and external foci, particular applications of the prevailing IR theories, and aspects of political economy, psychology, organizational theory — even though you’ll find that most courses taught in the United States focus only on aspects of decision making. Even though the boundaries between IR and foreign policy are not as sharp today as in the 1960s when the FPA subfield was established, the foreign policy field still has its own unique theories and it is important for any IR scholar to become acquainted with them.

This course is designed primarily to familiarize you with the basic approaches and theories that allow us to explain and understand why nations act as they do. At the same time, it is also designed to give you the opportunity to engage in empirical work on specific countries of your choosing, for, as you may know, foreign policy analysts are usually also either area specialists who are highly familiar with a particular region of the world or issue-specialists who are very familiar with the activities of key global actors with regard to the selected issue-area.

Political Theory


PSC 80606 – 4 credits
Course Description: ST: Political Theory
Topic: The Philosophy of W.E.B. Dubois
Faculty: Charles Mills
Crosslist: PHIL 76100
Day/Time: Monday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course DescriptionFew American intellectuals of any race have surpassed the achievements of W.E.B Du Bois, who over a long (1868-1963) and remarkably productive activist and scholarly life made invaluable contributions across a wide variety of fields. Long recognized as black America’s towering thinker, he has only recently begun to get his due from the mainstream “white” academy, in disciplines ranging from sociology and history to literature and international relations theory (IR). In this course, we will look specifically at his pioneering role in helping to establish Africana Philosophy as a distinctive oppositional philosophical worldview in Western modernity.


PSC 80602 – 4 credits
Course Description: ST: Political Theory
Topic: Walter Benjamin
Faculty: Susan Buck-Morss
Day/Time: Monday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course DescriptionIn-depth readings of a wide range of Walter Benjamin’s writings in historical-political context, from World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution, to World War II and the Vichy Regime. We will focus on philosophical method. What in his way of working escapes certain modern and post-modern dead-ends of theory? Excerpts from all five volumes of his Selected Works will be consulted.


PSC 80601 – 4 credits
Course Description: ST: Political Theory
Topic: Marxism
Faculty: Jack Jacobs
Day/Time: Wednesday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course DescriptionAt the turn of the century, there were pundits who proclaimed the end of history – and of Marxism.  But in recent years, a specter has been haunting Europe (and other parts of the globe).  This course, which will be conducted as a seminar, will be devoted to discussing and critiquing the ideas of Karl Marx and some of the major thinkers who have been influenced by Marx.  We will begin by exploring Marx’s analysis of alienation, his understanding of history, and his notions of the state and of class.  We will turn next to discussing both Marxism in the era of the Second International, with particular attention to the Revisionist Debate between Eduard Bernstein and Rosa Luxemburg, and the political ideas of Vladimir Lenin.

I intend, in a somewhat later section of the course, to devote sustained attention to the development of Western Marxism, including the contributions of figures like Lukacs, Korsch, Horkheimer, Adorno, Benjamin, and Marcuse, many of whom attempted to explain why the revolution predicted by Marx had not (yet) taken place.  Finally: we will end this course by examining Marxist thought in the latter portions of the 20th century, and the first years of the 21st.

I expect that we will cover a work by Louis Althusser, and hope to also discuss relevant portions of the thought of Slavoj Zizek.    Throughout the semester, we will engage in a close examination of key texts, and will debate the extent to which the ideas we will discuss (and the controversies which they generated) can be explained by knowledge of the contexts in which they arose.  We will also explore the degree to which the ideas of the thinkers whose works we will read help to illuminate contemporary issues.


PSC 80608 – 4 credits
Course Description: ST: Political Theory
Topic: Political Interpretation: On Meaning & Power
Faculty: John Wallach
Day/Time: Wednesday 6:30pm–8:30pm 

Course DescriptionThe recent, radical partisanship that now promotes dysfunctional logjams in American politics calls into question the meaning and character of political knowledge. Concomitantly, it jeopardizes the value of public discourse. This problem is exacerbated by intellectual trends that have undermined the stability of natural or social scientific and moral knowledge – even knowledge itself – during the past generation, despite the often illuminating value of the arguments put forth in these trends.

A gap in political understanding has emerged from the waning interest in intuitive frames for girding political ethics – such as conservatisms (Strauss, etc.), liberalisms (Rawls, etc.), and Marxisms (the collapse of the dysfunctional Soviet Union
and Warsaw Pact), and the delegitimation of political theory itself that stems from Foucault’s power/knowledge perspective. The manipulation of publics by corporations, authoritarian populisms, and states, the tools for which have been enhanced by the internet (despite its value), and growing socio-economic inequality, extend and deepen the challenge.

Drawing on Dewey, Popper, Arendt, Skinner, Foucault, and Wolin for conceptualizing political knowledge, the seminar addresses political interpretation as a problem of meaning and power, a practice that is dedicated to exposing common worlds even as its practice changes them. This problem and its associated practices evidence a kind of indeterminate knowledge and worldly engagement that calls for our attention. Material from classic texts in political theory, philosophy, practices of interpretation (e.g., journalism, social media, blogs), spheres of socioeconomic
practice (e.g., health care, education), recent articles, and contemporary political/public discourse form bases of our interrogations and explorations.

This seminar satisfies the program’s “methodology” requirement. It will be useful for graduate students at any level and particularly those who have backgrounds in Western political thought and/or theories of social science. It is intended to aid political and democratic understanding as well as research projects (e.g., dissertations) – particularly in political theory but potentially for those mostly writing in other “sub-fields.” Writing requirements include a mid-term assignment and a final research paper, based on but not limited to course readings.


PSC 80300 – 4 credits
Course Description: ST: Political Theory
Topic: Feminist Political Theory
Faculty: Alyson Cole
Crosslist: WSP 81000
Day/Time: Thursday 2:00pm-4:00pm
Course DescriptionFeminist political theory attempts to reimagine political life by scrutinizing our understandings of sex, sexuality, and gender. In doing so it provides new perspectives on the meanings and limitations of salient political concepts such as rights, equality, identity, and agency, as well as the scope and content of politics itself. At the same time, feminism continually confronts questions regarding its own boundaries, agendas, and even its subjects (as Simone de Beauvoir asked, “what is a woman”?). How does the category of gender illuminate or eclipse power dynamics involving other categories of difference, such as those of culture, race, and class?

This course introduces students to central questions, approaches, and quandaries in contemporary feminist political thought. We begin by surveying the notable uptick in feminist activism, such as #MeToo and other forms of “hashtag feminism.” We then turn to investigate how traditional political theory has viewed women, and how feminists have theorized the political. Next, we attempt to think more comprehensively about what “sex” and “gender” are, and how they might be relevant to politics and to theorizing. The course ends with a range of texts addressing the intersection of gender with other forms of subjection, exploitation, and discrimination.

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

 

Public Policy


PSC 83501 – 4 credits
Course Description: ST: Public Policy
Topic: Core Seminar in Urban Studies
Faculty: John Mollenkopf /Marta Gutman
Day/Time: Monday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course DescriptionThis two-semester, interdisciplinary seminar provides a common core for urban studies across the disciplines at the Graduate School.  It will combine the close reading and analysis of key theoretical texts from the social sciences and humanities with an application to specific case study examples that will illustrate the different approaches that the humanities and social sciences take to understanding cities and urban life.

The seminar will familiarize students interested in engaging in urban studies with many of the necessary research methods, whether historical and textual and visual analysis to participant observation and in-depth interviewing to quantitative data gathering and analysis techniques, including mapping, Census data, administrative data, and open data sources.  Key Graduate Center professors from many disciplines will also present their perspectives on how to conduct cutting edge research.  The seminar seeks both to be a focal point for a new urban studies initiative at the Graduate Center and to prepare students to conceptualize and launch their own urban research project.


PSC 83502 – 4 credits
Course Description: ST: Public Policy
Topic: Women, Work and Public Policy
Faculty: Janet Gornick
Crosslist: SOC 85700 and WSP 81000
Day/Time: Tuesday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course DescriptionThis course will provide an overview of key issues affecting women in the contemporary workplace in the United States and other high-income countries. We will begin with an overview of women’s position in the labor market. Here we will take a multidimensional approach to capturing gender inequality at work, covering gender gaps in employment rates, in working time, in occupation, and in earnings; one section of the course will focus on paid care workers. We will assess growing class inequalities among women, which have led to polarization in the labor market, especially between women with more and less education; we will consider divisions by race, ethnicity, nativity, and sexuality. We will analyze the ways in which public policies have addressed these concerns, and evaluate their impacts.

The course also examines the effects on women workers persistent inequalities in divisions of labor within households. Despite the enormous increase in women’s employment rates during the past half century, women continue to carry out the bulk of unpaid work in their homes. Altering these inequalities has proven even more challenging than transforming the structures that shape paid work. We will consider recent research on the effects of “work-family reconciliation policies”– that is, public policies aimed at supporting women (and men) as they balance the responsibilities of paid work and family care. The key question now under consideration is whether some of these policies – e.g., paid family leave, rights to part-time work, and flexible scheduling – create new forms of gender inequality.

Students will complete weekly reaction papers and a semester-long research project.


PSC 73901 – 3 credits
Course Description: ST: Public Policy
Topic: Politics of Inequality
Faculty: Leslie McCall
Crosslist: SOC 84600
Day/Time: Wednesday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course DescriptionThis course will cover both substantive developments and measurement issues and analytic approaches across the social sciences.  It focuses on both the substantive and analytical/methodological aspects of the relationship between politics and economic inequality. Specifically, the objectives are to become familiar with (1) the different levels of analysis involved in the study of the politics of inequality, opportunity, and redistribution, namely, the role of political institutions (i.e., parties, electoral systems, policy regimes, etc.) on the one hand, and behavioral dynamics (e.g., individual beliefs, policy preferences, and voting choices) on the other hand, in shaping political and economic outcomes, and (2) the strengths and weaknesses of various methodological approaches to analyzing institutional and behavioral processes, such as political economy, public opinion and survey research, experimental research, ethnography, and discourse/textual analysis.

To accomplish these objectives, readings will be interdisciplinary and include theoretical texts at the start of the course and empirically-based, substantive and methodological studies employing quantitative (including experimental) and qualitative data and methods throughout the rest of the semester (though the balance will be toward quantitative studies). Students will therefore learn both theoretical and methodological skills, and their interdependence, in the study of the politics of inequality, opportunity, and redistribution. We will also integrate the research on class inequality with ongoing research on other dimensions of inequality, such as gender and racial/ethnic inequality.

General and Cross-field


PSC 79002 – 3 credits
Course Description: Writing Politics Workshop
Topic: Writing Politics II
Faculty: Peter Beinart
Crosslist: PHIL 76100
Day/Time: Monday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course DescriptionWriting Politics II is the successor to Writing Politics I, although students may take it without taking the predecessor. The biggest difference is that we’ll focus more on writing for publication. The goal will be for each student to publish at least one of the columns they write. We will start by coming up with a list of the publications that each student wants to target. We will then focus our reading on those publications, since in submitting to a particular publication, it’s critical to understand its particular style and perspective. If a piece is ready for publication on the first draft, I won’t ask for a rewrite. If the first draft suggests no hope of publication, I may suggest we choose a different topic rather than requesting a second draft.

If there’s a danger of the window of opportunity on a certain subject closing, I may change the due dates for certain assignments. The goal is to give us maximum flexibility to increase the chances of publication. Because this course is more of a workshop than Writing Politics I, I may also bring in my own writing in concept or draft form and submit it for the same critical review that I give the students’ work. If there is student interest, I will also assign a longer essay (2000-4000 words) in addition to columns. Students who did not take Writing Politics I are welcome. And as the semester progresses, I will vary readings and assignments to make sure that students who need additional grounding in non-academic political writing get it. In the past, students who have not taken Writing Politics I have nonetheless thrived in Writing Politics II.

PSC 89100 – 0 credits
Course Description: ST: Dissertation Proposal Workshop
Topic: Dissertation Proposal Workshop
Faculty: Susan Woodward
Day/Time: Monday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course DescriptionThis workshop aims to assist students in writing their dissertation proposal in political science and passing the second examination.  It introduces students to the principles and organization of a defensible proposal, provides advice on conceptualization and research strategies, and, where relevant to the workshop participants, discusses methodological questions. It is a genuine workshop, where students provide each other a mutually supportive setting to share the stages of their written drafts, get feedback, identify and resolve issues being faced by many, and learn the skills of analytical criticism necessary to one’s own future research and teaching.  Each member works at a personal, self-identified pace, but also accepts the obligation of reciprocity to attend all meetings of the workshop and read the drafts of all other workshop members.

The key to progress is the obligation to write every single week, even if it only means a paragraph (although, of course, one hopes more).  The first meeting of the workshop will lay out the principles of a dissertation proposal and advice about how to proceed; anyone missing it will be at a distinct, even possibly irreparable, disadvantage for the rest of the workshop.  The workshop does not give course credit, therefore has no grading, and you can take the course more than once.  More than a decade of experience shows that a very large percentage of those who take the workshop produce a completed dissertation proposal within the one semester and succeed in passing the second exam either at the end of the spring semester or at the end of the summer before the deadline for moving to Level III in the fall.


PSC 71300 – 3 credits
Course Description: ST: Research Design in Political Science
Topic: Teaching Political Science
Faculty: Peter Liberman
Day/Time: Monday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course DescriptionThis course is designed to help graduate students prepare to teach their own political science courses.  Topics addressed include learning goals, civic education, syllabi design, methods for teaching reasoning and writing, active learning methods, assessment, lectures and projectors, digital teaching and learning tools, mentoring, letters of recommendation, and current trends and debates about higher education. There will an emphasis on evidence-based teaching methods.  Before the end of the semester, seminar participants will design their own syllabi and demonstrate their own short lesson plans.

This class is designed for doctoral students in political science who are obligated to teach at the colleges as part of their fellowship agreement, but it is open to any political science doctoral student. With instructor permission political science MA students, and doctoral and masters students from other programs at the graduate center, may also enroll.


PSC 89101 – 4 credits
Course Description: ST: Quantitative Analysis I
Topic: Applied Quantitative Research
Faculty: Till Weber
Day/Time: Tuesday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course DescriptionStatistics show that students who take statistics classes are professionally more successful, socially more popular and physically more attractive than their peers. So, which side are you on now?  Or perhaps you are more interested in the analytical value of statistics, which is no less profound. Knowing about the powers of quantitative analysis will make you ask questions about politics you might otherwise never have considered. And with a manageable kit of statistical tools, you can uncover structure in the political world where before was only fog or chaos. Even better, while learning all these wonderful things, you will also fulfill the methods requirement of the political science programs.

The course follows the credo that comparison is at the heart of all analysis. While this might be particularly appealing to “comparativists,” we consider comparative politics as a universal method of inference, not as a subfield of the discipline. The class is equally valuable for all substantive specializations concerned with empirical regularities and causal explanations. Distilling causality from regularity is the job of comparison. This is of course a widely shared aim, and the quantie world has some particularly neat tricks in store. You don’t need to be a math whiz to master these (this instructor is living proof).

Our approach will be hands-on and pragmatic. The course cuts across the conventional division of basic and advanced statistics to facilitate the immediate implementation of diverse quantitative designs. Everyone is welcome irrespective of prior statistical training. If you are currently conducting quantitative research, feel encouraged to bring your problems to class. If you are considering collecting your own data, use the opportunity to anticipate the challenges waiting down the road. If you believe that quantitative methods inherently reproduce capitalist exploitation, help us liberate oppressed regression coefficients from the clutches of neoliberal positivism. Or if you are just looking for something new, come along to get inspiration and pick up versatile skills.

Over the course of the semester, students will enjoy the quantie bootcamp™, learn how to use the statistical software Stata, conduct their own quantitative research, present their work in class, and produce a final paper. The instructor actively supports each project and makes sure that it builds on and advances the methodological expertise of the student(s) involved. Credit is awarded for achievement relative to initial proficiency.


PSC 86201 – 4 credits
Course Description: ST: American Politics
Topic: Power, Resistance, Identities and Social Movements
Faculty: Ruth O’Brien
Crosslist: UED 75200
Day/Time: Tuesday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description: This course focuses on individual forms of socially constructed identity (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, and humanness or bodies), intersectional forms of identity (e.g., gender and bodies), and collective forms of identity (e.g., citizen, worker or labor, and anarchist collectives or horizontal non-state civil movements, referred to as social movements in American politics).  It explores how these identities affect power and resistance, as understood by social theorists and contemporary philosophers such as Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, and Judith Butler, who in turn draw upon Gilles Deleuze, Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, Michel Foucault, Antonio Gramsci, Karl Marx, and G. W. F. Hegel, among others.

It applies how the intersection of epistemology/ontology can be applied to the politics of social movements today.  It looks at how social theory helps social movements strategize.  It manifests Ideas in Action and (Re)Action.  This course is cross-listed with Urban Education, American Studies, and International Studies, and it is especially pertinent for M.A. students in Political Science, because it offers theories and then applications to help students exploring writing an M.A. thesis or capstone project.  Several social movements will be explored as case studies.First, we will consider the worldwide struggle to end political and social violence against women (including #MeTooism), and if/how it is having global impact. We will examine, for example, the Combahee River Collective — an organization of Black feminists who attained international reach by coining the term “identity politics” — and assess the movement’s global impact, as seen for instance in “Women’s Internationalism against Global Patriarchy,” by Dilar Dirik (and PM Press).Second, we will consider American school desegregation in urban education as a precursor to income inequality under neoliberalism — or, put more simply: How white flight meant the Democrats abandoned one of their main constituencies during and after the Great Society.  This is a historical case study from the 1970s.Third, we will compare American and global counterinsurgency (right-wing vigilantism), juxtaposing liberal and illiberal states and civil societies, showing how it has increased violence against women and children in the United States (intimate-partner violence) and worldwide as a means of shutting up women, from honor killings to what I call neotribalism.  This is contemporary, though more emphasis is placed on the juxtaposition between the United States and Europe.

Each social movement, whether left or right — insurgency or counterinsurgency, horizontal or vertical — navigates juxtapositions that can save or harm or have a boomerang effect.  Students write position outlines (not papers) and turn in a short topic paper exploring their own interest in social movements and how to apply social or political theory or thought.  This seminar is an American Politics course that helps students prepare for Social Movements, Political Parties and Interest Groups in the Elections and Behaviors literature in the field of American Politics. It also helps students in American Political Thought since social movements and interest groups are vehicles of change that influence governance from the outside, whereas political parties reside both in and outside the government.  All these vehicles of change influence public discourse (or the creation of epistemology/ontology or public-private opinion) — what many call cultures, epistemes, beliefs, values, traditions, and ideologies.  For this reason, it is useful for students in American Political Thought (APT) and American Political Development (APD).

Pedagogy: Position-paper pedagogy
Requirements: 3 blogs — Idea Impact Strategy Position Papers (WordPress page or blog size) and short paper
.


PSC 77001- 3 credits
Course Description: ST: Cross-Sys Analy/Meth/Concepts
Topic: Mind the Gap: Mind the Gap: Technologies, Trends, and Policies Shaping the Future of Work
Faculty: Ann Kirschner
Crosslist: IDS 81670
Day/Time: Wednesday: 4:15pm-6:15pm
Course DescriptionThe course will examine the historical role of work, the outcomes of previous technological shifts, and the ethical dimensions that should inform our planning for the future. As we think about the range of possibilities — from the utopian to the dystopian — what are the policies, technologies, and social systems that should be anticipated today to ensure positive outcomes for the future?

 

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