Courses

Fall 2022

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]
 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
9:30am-11:30am
11:45-1:45
2:00-4:00American Politics: Theories and Core Concepts
Schram (AP)
PSC 72000
Class # 45541
RM 6421

Writing Politics I
Beinart (G)
PSC 79001
Class # 57413
RM 3207
Social Movements and Public Policy
Krinsky (CP/PP)
PSC 73100
Class # 45447
RM 5382

Modern Social Theory
Mehta (PT)
PSC 80304
Class # 45448
RM 3309


4:15-6:15Race, Representation, and Redistricting: The Case of New York City
Mollenkopf/Lipsitz (AP/PP)
PSC 82604
Class # 45434
*cross-listed with SOC 82800*
RM 5417









Social Welfare Policy
Gornick (PP)
PSC 73906
Class # 45438
*cross-listing in SOC 85700 and WSCP 81000*
RM 6494

Basic Theories and Concepts in Comparative Politics
Woodward (CP)
P SC 77902
Class # 45437
RM 3207





Politics of the Image
Buck-Morss (PT)
PSC 71906
Class # 45441
RM 6495

Civil Liberties
Halper (AP)
PSC 72310
Class # 45442
RM 5417




PROGRAM EVENTS
6:30-8:30Urban Politics
DiGaetano (PP)
PSC 72500
Class # 45436
RM 6417

Understanding the Radical Right
Richard Wolin (PT)
PSC 80607
Class # 45435
*cross listed with CL 45104 and HIST 72100*
RM 5382
Basic Theories and Concepts in International Relations
Romaniuk (IR)
PSC 76000
Class # 45440
RM 6494


Applied Quantitative Research II
Weber (G)
PSC 85509
Class # 45439
RM 6418


International Relations and International Law Approaches to Global Issues.
Andreopoulos (IR)
PSC 76400
Class # 45443
RM 3308

MA Core Course
Colburn (G)
PSC 71000
Class # 45444
RM 6421



Research Design
Lee (G)
PSC 79100
Class # 45446
RM 5383

Democratization
Ungar (CP)
PSC 77903
Class # 45445
RM 5417






AP – American Politics    <>CP- Comparative Politics     <>IR – International Relations      <>PT – Political Theory                <> PP – Public Policy      <> G – General Course

American Politics

PSC 72000– 3 credits
Topic: American Politics: Theories and Core Concepts (AP)
Faculty: Schram
Day/Time: Mondays, 2:00 PM-4:00PM
Course Description: This seminar surveys the major scholarly debates in the study of the fundamental issues of American politics, especially as related to the current constitutional crisis regarding Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the Republican Party’s related campaign to undermine advancement to achieving a multi-racial democracy. The course draws on prominent theoretical perspectives in the literature for understanding key issues regarding: (1) the effect of the history of American political development in creating opportunities and obstacles for realizing an inclusive multi-racial democracy; (2) the strengths and limitations of the constitutional and institutional structure of American government enabling and constraining the democratic backsliding we are currently witnessing; (3) the overhanging influence of the structure of power and the behavior of political elites in affecting democratic possibilities; and (4) the perplexing role of ordinary people’s changing political behavior for enhancing and undermining democracy as best understood in studies of public opinion and political participation broadly construed. The seminar encourages discussion of the relevance of assigned readings for assessing the sustainability of the constitutional system in the United States going forward. Students are to be active participants in the conversation by applying the assigned readings to diagnosing the current crisis. The course is designed to help students prepare for the doctoral exam in American politics and to acquire the background to teach American politics at the undergraduate level in a way that helps students become active participants in today’s politics.

back to top

PSC 82604– 4 credits
Topic: Race, Representation, and Redistricting: The Case of New York City (AP/PP)
Faculty: Mollenkopf/Lipsitz
Day/Time: Mondays, 4:15PM-6:15PM
Course Description: Focusing on the case of New York City, this course investigates how the single-member district, winner-take-all electoral system of the U.S. mediates the relationships between the spatial distribution of different kinds of racial, ethnic, and other communities and their ability to achieve political representation and empowerment.  In particular, it will examine whether the current round of redistricting reflects or dampens the political impact of the tremendous demographic changes that the city has undergone in the last decade, including not only the emergence of new immigrant communities but the movement of young progressives into the corona of blue collar minority neighborhoods around the job centers of Manhattan, the decline of old, white ethnic Catholic and Jewish neighborhoods, and the emergence of new forms of movement activism. At the outset, the course will review theories of political representation, the history of racial exclusion and voting rights legislation, the conflicts over creating “majority minority” districts, and the quality and content of the Census and other data used for redistricting. It then proceeds to a hands-on examination of the forces at play in the current process of redistricting City Council seats. Students will be introduced to the nuts and bolts of redistricting technology, the practical delineation of “communities of interest,” and the proper design city-wide districting plans. In addition to thoroughly digesting and discussing the assigned readings in the first part of the seminar, participants will undertake field research in the latter part of the seminar on how their choice of a social group (whether racial, ethnic, religious, political, national origin, lifestyle, sexual preference, etc.) or set of neighborhoods has organized itself to affect the redistricting process. This may include testimony to the Districting Commission about their findings. The seminar is co-taught by one expert in political communications, campaigns, and elections and another in political demography. Admission is by permission of instructors and reference will be given to applicants with data analysis and mapping and/or community ethnography skills.

back to top

PSC 72310– 3 credits
Topic: Civil Liberties (PP)
Faculty: Halper
Day/Time: Wednesdays, 4:15PM-6:15PM
Course Description: The focus of the course will be on two topics, free expression and privacy. Each will be considered conceptually, but the main business of the course will be to examine them in particular contexts in the light of judicial opinions. In this sense, the course is an exercise in applied theory. The subtopics within free expression include defamation, hate speech, campaign finance reform, public nuisances, commercial speech, and national security; the subtopics within privacy include abortion, right to die, and gay rights. Complicating matters is the status of courts as counter majoritarian defenders of the Constitution as they see it.

back to top

Comparative Politics 

PSC 73100– 3 credits
Topic: Social Movements and Public Policy (CP/PP)
Faculty: Krinsky
Day/Time: Tuesdays, 2:00 PM-4:00PM
Course Description: TBA

back to top

P SC 77902-4 credits
Topic: Basic Theories and Concepts in Comparative Politics (CP)
Faculty: Woodward
Day/Time: Tuesdays, 4:15PM-6:15PM
Course Description: Students are strongly encouraged to take this course the first semester in their graduate program, if possible. This seminar is a graduate-level introduction to the literature in comparative politics. It can serve as a survey or review for advanced students as well. Because the key theories and concepts are also key political science concepts and theories, it is not exclusively intended for those majoring or minoring in comparative politics; all are welcome. It is not a course in methods or methodologies of research. The focus is on substantive topics within comparative politics: the role of concepts and theoretical approaches, the state, political regimes (e.g., democracy, authoritarian government) – origins, stability, and transition, political institutions, revolution and civil war, collective action, identity politics, institutions of political participation, the state and economic development, and the global context of domestic politics and policy.

Students in this seminar will vary in their goals depending on the extent of their prior knowledge of the subject matter, their particular substantive interests, and their field specialization within the discipline. Overall, the course should prepare them (1) to think, articulate orally, and write theoretically: to identify a theory in a reading, define its key concepts, articulate its causal mechanisms, and evaluate its empirical demonstration; (2) to know the evolution of questions, concepts, and theories within the discipline of comparative politics so as to understand those theories better and to analyze their limitations and biases; (3) to pass the first exam in comparative politics comfortably; and (4) to feel solidly grounded in the questions and literature of comparative politics so as to identify areas of further interest and specialization and to begin to prepare a dissertation proposal. These goals are basic, foundational; many other benefits for critical thinking and analysis will also result, including bonding and camaraderie among students in the seminar (as previous participants can recount), but the foundation comes first. Requirements include reading the assigned material prior to each class meeting, active participation in class discussion, three brief written essays summarizing and analyzing the readings on one substantive topic in the syllabus, and a final examination.

back to top

PSC 77903:-3 credits
Topic: Democratization (CP)
Faculty: Ungar
Day/Time: Thursdays, 6:30PM-8:30PM
Course Description: Democracy is the core of political stability and political science – and never more than at the start of the 21st Century, when more democracies existed than any time in history. Twenty years later, democratization has gone rapidly in reverse.  What happened?  Drawing on each world region, this course comparatively assesses democratic regimes to show how a range of conditions – such as corruption, socio-economic divisions, imbalances of power, a weak rule of law, nationalist identity, rights abuse, violence, and inequality – have derailed them.  Along with a better grasp of current threats to democracy, the class’s analysis will also strengthen understanding of comparative and international politics.

International Relations


PSC 76000-3 credits
Topic: Basic Theories and Concepts in International Relations (IR)
Faculty: Romaniuk
Day/Time: Tuesdays, 6:30PM-8:30PM
Course Description: This course introduces students to the different theories and concepts that scholars of international relations have developed to describe, interpret and explain world politics. In the course of the emergence and evolution of IR as a discipline, theoretical developments have often been framed in terms of “debates.” Initially, these debates pitted realism against idealism while later they were extended to include neorealism and neoliberalism, as well as different versions of Marxism and constructivism. More recently, IR theory has become more diverse and pluralistic, including through the contributions of feminist, post-colonial and critical scholars. Across these theoretical perspectives, a series of core concepts (including anarchy, sovereignty and the security dilemma) have been introduced, adapted and reinterpreted. Beyond specific theories and concepts themselves, the course also reflects on the role that they play in the discipline, exploring how different theoretical and conceptual approaches often entail different methodological and normative commitments, as well as omissions and biases. In sum, the course aims to impart substantive knowledge about the conceptual architecture of IR as a field of study and, in this way, to prepare students to be rigorous consumers and producers of knowledge about world politics.

back to top

PSC 76400-3 credits
Topic: International Relations and International Law Approaches to Global Issues (IR)
Faculty: Andreopoulos
Day/Time: Wednesdays, 6:30PM-8:30PM
Course Description: TBA

back to top

Political Theory

P SC 80607-4 credits
Topic: Understanding the Radical Right (PT) (Cross listed with CL and HIST)
Faculty: Wolin
Day/Time: Mondays, 6:30PM-8:30PM
Course Description:
Vladimir Putin in Russia, Viktor Orbán in Hungary, Marine Le Pen in France, Matteo Salvini in Italy, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, and so forth: the world is awash in authoritarian populism. In order to better understand the origins and efficacity of these “soft dictatorships” or “illiberal democracies” (Orbán), we will pursue a twofold approach. First, we will review the leading theories of dictatorship and the authoritarian state as outlined by luminaries such as Carl Schmitt (The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy; 1923)), Horkheimer and Adorno (Dialectic of Enlightenment; 1947), and Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism; 1951). Second, we will investigate the leading ideologues of fascism and the “total state,” thinkers who have recently experienced an enthusiastic revival among conservatives and reactionaries worldwide: Oswald Spengler, Carl Schmitt (again), Julius Evola, and the American paleocon Samuel Francis (1947-2005). In conclusion, we will examine the origins of “population replacement” ideology (Renaud Camus, Generation Identity, the Alt-Right) among representatives of the European “New Right”: Alain de Benoist and disciples such as Vladimir Putin-advisor and Steve Bannon-intimate, Alexander Dugin.

(The course is intended for PhD students; master’s students must receive permission of the instructor)

back to top

PSC 80304-4 credits
Topic: Modern Social Theory (PT)
Faculty: Mehta
Day/Time: Wednesdays, 2:00PM-4:00PM
Course Description: This seminar will consider the following broad questions with respect to Edmund Burke, Alex de Tocqueville, Franz Fanon, and Ashis Nandy.

1) What is the cement of society i.e., what makes society a coherent unit of experience and analysis? Relatedly what are the conditions that threaten the cohesiveness of the social? Through what institutions does the social get articulated? Linked to these questions is the issue of the relationship between the social and the political vision of society and the detritus produced in by latter in the former and by the former in the latter.

2) How do social institutions change, develop, and come apart and how do they respond to changing circumstances?

3) What is the role of ideas, as distinct say from the role of interests, in the cohesion and development of societies?

4) What normative constraints do the answers to the above questions place on societies and on the political vision associated with them?

back to top

PSC 71906-3 credits
Topic: Politics of the Image (PT)
Faculty: Buck-Morss
Day/Time: Wednesdays, 4:15PM-6:15PM
Course Description:This is a course on the image as political representation and historical revelation. The image will be analyzed as the capture of transitory (historically specific) experiences of the political, that can be (re)viewed in another time, at another place, by others.  Everything we deal with will be as image, even when these are of existing objects (photos, paintings, films, even texts). Topics include Political Theology (Sovereignty as Representation, Sovereignty and Cinema) Seeing the Truth of the World (Capitalism, Globalization, Imperialism): Politics through the Image (Resistance, Critique, Liberation). Readings/Viewings include: Kantorowicz, Skinner, Foucault, Velasquez, Riefenstahl, Sontag, Sokurov, Debord, Baudrillard, Benjamin, Eisenstein, Fassbinder, Farocki, Sekula, Trinh Minh-ha, Azoulay, Arendt, and others.

back to top

Public Policy

PSC 82604– 4 credits
Topic: Race, Representation, and Redistricting: The Case of New York City (PP/AP)
Faculty: Mollenkopf/Lipsitz
Day/Time: Mondays, 4:15PM-6:15PM
Course Description: Focusing on the case of New York City, this course investigates how the single-member district, winner-take-all electoral system of the U.S. mediates the relationships between the spatial distribution of different kinds of racial, ethnic, and other communities and their ability to achieve political representation and empowerment.  In particular, it will examine whether the current round of redistricting reflects or dampens the political impact of the tremendous demographic changes that the city has undergone in the last decade, including not only the emergence of new immigrant communities but the movement of young progressives into the corona of blue collar minority neighborhoods around the job centers of Manhattan, the decline of old, white ethnic Catholic and Jewish neighborhoods, and the emergence of new forms of movement activism. At the outset, the course will review theories of political representation, the history of racial exclusion and voting rights legislation, the conflicts over creating “majority minority” districts, and the quality and content of the Census and other data used for redistricting. It then proceeds to a hands-on examination of the forces at play in the current process of redistricting City Council seats. Students will be introduced to the nuts and bolts of redistricting technology, the practical delineation of “communities of interest,” and the proper design city-wide districting plans. In addition to thoroughly digesting and discussing the assigned readings in the first part of the seminar, participants will undertake field research in the latter part of the seminar on how their choice of a social group (whether racial, ethnic, religious, political, national origin, lifestyle, sexual preference, etc.) or set of neighborhoods has organized itself to affect the redistricting process. This may include testimony to the Districting Commission about their findings. The seminar is co-taught by one expert in political communications, campaigns, and elections and another in political demography. Admission is by permission of instructors and reference will be given to applicants with data analysis and mapping and/or community ethnography skills.

back to top

PSC 72500-3 credits
Topic: Urban Politics (PP)
Faculty: DiGaetano
Day/Time: Mondays, 6:30PM-8:30PM
Course Description: This course is designed to introduce students the study of urban politics.  The course is organized around fundamental concepts and questions in political science as they are applied to the study of urban politics.  One area that perhaps gave birth to the study of urban politics as field of political science in the late 1950s and early 1960s is the examination of how power structures affect the way in which cities are governed.  Through the decades this approach developed into what is now a broad and rich subfield of urban governance, which spawned a host of theoretical perspectives on the workings of coalition building and the role of institutions.  A second line of inquiry is the political development of cities, which entails the application of political science sensibilities to the history of urban politics.  While less mature than the subfield of urban governance, the study of urban political development affords scholars the opportunity to ask how changes in the social, economic, and political context shape the life cycles of local political institutions.  Another concern of the course is the ways in which race, ethnicity, and identity have shaped the contours of urban political alliances and conflict.  This portion of the course draws on both historical and contemporary analyses of these dimensions of urban politics.  Cultural and ideological analyses urban political processes and institutions constitute another area of inquiry pursued in the course.  The final part of the course assesses the importance of leadership in urban politics, with a special focus on big city mayors.

back to top

PSC 73100– 3 credits
Topic: Social Movements and Public Policy (PP/CP)
Faculty: Krinsky
Day/Time: Tuesdays, 2:00 PM-4:00PM
Course Description: TBA

back to top

PSC 73906-3 credits
Topic: Social Welfare Policy (PP) (Crosslist with SOC and WSCP)
Faculty: Gornick
Day/Time: Tuesdays, 4:15 pm-6:15pm
Course Description: This course will examine social welfare policy in the United States, in historical and cross‐national perspective.

We will begin with an overview of the development of social welfare policy in the United States. We will focus on crucial historical periods – including the Civil War years, the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the Great Society, and the “welfare reform” of the 1990s and early 2000s.

Second, we will analyze a set of contemporary challenges that call for active social welfare policy responses in the United States – including inequality, poverty, housing affordability, retirement security, mass incarceration, and the need for care, both paid and unpaid.

Third, we will survey selected social policy lessons from other high‐income countries, especially in Europe, where social provisions are typically more extensive than they are in the United States.

Students will complete weekly reaction papers, and a semester-long research project which will culminate in a paper.

*All Master’s students must obtain permission from Professor Gornick before registering.*

back to top

General and Cross-field

PSC 79001-3 credits
Topic: Writing Politics I (G)
Faculty: Beinart
Day/Time: Mondays, 2:00PM-4:00PM
Course Description: Graduate students spend their days reading scholarly work about politics. This class aims to teach them how to write about it so non-scholars will care. To that end, students will read a lot of political writing, most of it fabulous, some of it awful, and try to figure out what distinguishes the two. They will also come up with many, many ideas for political columns and book reviews of their own, see those ideas dissected by their classmates and the instructor, and then write the best ones up. After that, the process will begin again: dissection, followed by rewriting, followed by more dissection. In between, we will discuss the less edifying aspects of non-academic publishing, such as why editors don’t always answer their email. Editors may join us to explain.

PSC 85509-4 credits
Topic: Applied Quantitative Research II (G)
Faculty: Weber
Day/Time: Tuesdays, 6:30PM- 8:30PM
Course Description: This is the third course in the three-semester methods sequence of the political science program. Taking this class will turn you from a curious student with versatile interests into a grim paper machine scornful of critical perspectives and deviant methodologies. You typically qualify for this level if you have completed introductory statistics (either in-house or elsewhere), and you want to acquire the expertise to apply quantitative methods effectively in your research. Say goodbye to fieldwork in exotic countries and immersive discussions about ontology and deconstruction; say hello to all-white-male panels, summer school in Michigan, and those envious looks of your peers as you parade through the job market.

Our approach will be hands-on and pragmatic. We begin by refreshing your knowledge of basic statistics and getting (re)acquainted with the software Stata. Previous knowledge of Stata is helpful (contact me if unsure how to catch up). The course proceeds with a systematic review of advanced methods for particular data structures: cross-sectional, time series, panel, multilevel, event history, and spatial. Understanding the challenges and opportunities of these structures is essential to developing an instinct for promising research design. To hone our practical command, the lectures will be accompanied by regular replication exercises. Finally, we turn to topics proposed from the floor, practicing data management and analysis in the context of ongoing projects. For example, these modules may focus on particular maximum-likelihood estimators (such as selection models or choice problems) or on strategies for causal inference (such as matching algorithms, regression discontinuity, or instrumental variables).

Over the course of the semester, students will work with replication data, 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 advances the methodological expertise of its author(s). Credit is awarded for achievement relative to initial proficiency.

If you wonder whether the course would be of use to you, please feel free to contact me (tweber@gc.cuny.edu). Students from other programs are welcome, but they need to request permission to register.

back to top

PSC 71000-3 credits
Topic: M.A. Core Course (G)
Faculty: Colburn
Day/Time: Wednesdays, 6:30PM- 8:30PM
Course Description: This course has two primary Learning Objectives: (1) to introduce students to and provide an overview of major perspectives, problems, and approaches in political science; (2) to foster intellectual community within our program and department. The seminar proceeds through the various subfields of the political science discipline, engaging key texts and debates in these subfields through course sessions led by faculty members in the program. It also engages the conduct of current scholarship in the discipline through course sessions where advanced graduate students discuss their own research. An important theme throughout the course is how democratic institutions, democratization, and sustainability inform political questions and political science inquiry.

*MA Students Only*

back to top

PSC 79100-3 credits
Topic: Research Design (G)
Faculty: Lee
Day/Time: Thursdays, 6:30PM-8:30PM
Course Description: This seminar aims to prepare graduate students to design research studies in political science. Together we will look at both qualitative and quantitative approaches to the gathering and analysis of evidence, to help ensure that you can design research that will produce useful, high quality data. The class will examine issues like how to design case studies, how to select good cases, what to do with statistical data, experimental design, survey research, conductive interviews, using history to test hypotheses, formal modeling, and more.

back to top

css.php
Need help with the Commons? Visit our
help page
Send us a message
Skip to toolbar