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Past Courses

Spring 2021

PSC 72000 – 3 credits
Topic: Core, Theories & Concepts in American Politics (AP)
Faculty: Schram  
Day/Time: Monday 4:15pm-6:15pm
Course Description: This seminar surveys the major scholarly debates in the study of American politics today. It draws on prominent theoretical perspectives for understanding empirical issues regarding: (1) the history of American political development; (2) the constitutional and institutional structure of American government in its contemporary form; (3) the structure of power and the behavior of political elites; and (4) ordinary people’s political behavior as manifested in studies of public opinion and political participation broadly construed. As a seminar, the course emphasizes dialogue about assigned readings. Students are to be active participants in the conversation. 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. The course will regularly address issues in contemporary American politics and how the literature on American politics addresses these issues.

 

PSC 82601 – 4 credits
Topic: Race & Ethnic Politics (AP)
Faculty: Tien
Day/Time: Wednesday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description: This course examines critical questions and debates in race and ethnic politics in America. We will highlight political science approaches to the study of race and ethnicity in American politics. Primarily, the course will investigate theories of race and racism, and how race and ethnic politics interacts with American political and social institutions.
The goals of this graduate seminar include 1) acquainting students with some of the scholarly literature on race and ethnic politics in America; 2) formulating research questions to be answered with a research paper; 3) writing scholarly research papers suitable for presentation and publication in academic outlets.

 

PSC 72410 – 3 credits
Topic: Power, Resistance, Identities & Social Movements (PRISM) (AP/G)
Faculty: O’Brien 
Day/Time: Thursday 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). 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). It explores how identities in American social movements 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.

PSC 77905 – 3 credits
Topic: Basic Theories & Concepts in Comparative Politics II (CP)
Faculty: Schwedler
Day/Time: Monday, 2:00pm-4:00pm
Course Description: There is little consensus within political science about how to study politics. Even within the subfield of comparative politics, scholars use a range of approaches and methods and hold a variety of epistemological commitments. This course is designed to introduce students to the philosophical and epistemological disputes that have given rise to this lack of consensus, and how those various approaches affect methodology and research design. The aim of the course is to enable students to make more deeply informed judgments about the types of political science work that they encounter and undertake. Students will be encouraged to appreciate alternative approaches to comparative political analysis, weigh their relative utility in answering questions of importance to them, and determine whether and how these different approaches might fruitfully be combined.

 

PSC 87801 – 4 credits
Topic: State & Society (CP)
Faculty: Erickson
Day/Time: Monday 6:30pm-8:30pm
Course Description: Seminar/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 covers both the role of such movements in transitions to democracy and the impact of democratization on the movements themselves. It considers the impact of changing structural factors, such as the shift from heavy industry to the neoliberalism of the information era, on the agency of popular sector actors.  My Latin American politics survey courses employ a top-down perspective, emphasizing the role of the state and political elites. This seminar takes a bottom-up perspective, focusing on participation and agency by worker, peasant, popular, feminist, indigenous, religious, and other sectors of civil society and ideological and political oppositions.

 

PSC 87800 – 4 credits
Topic: International Intervention and Domestic Consequences (CP)
Faculty: Woodward 
Day/Time: Tuesday, 4:15pm-6:15pm
Course Description: The literature on early modern state-building in Europe continues to be very influential in comparative politics, but today, the issue is not states’ war-making but the interests and actions of international, external actors. As Martha Finnemore writes in The Purpose of Intervention, one of its two components are the kinds of domestic rule seen as conducive to international stability and order. Thomas Ertman notes, “We live in a great age of state-building.” Unlike early modern Europe, we cannot analyze state formation, state-building, and regime transition these days without taking the actions of external actors directly into account, including the legacy of earlier intervention through colonial rule.

This seminar will address the literature on international intervention, including the English School and normative debates, and then ask what consequences it has for domestic state-building, post-war peacebuilding, regime change, and institutional reforms. The actors are military, diplomatic, aid, humanitarian, and financial. Those who study intervention from the perspective of international relations alone tend to ignore the domestic consequences, but these are not only the intentions of these actors but also need to be studied and understood more deeply.  As a research seminar, this topic offers a wide range of possibilities for student projects, either from IR or comparative politics, or their interaction. That might even include adding the role of external actors to research they are already doing.

 

PSC 77906 – 3 credits
Topic: Crime & Violence in Comparative Politics (CP)
Faculty: Ungar
Day/Time: Thursday, 2:00pm-4:00pm
Course Description: A root cause of current political upheaval around the world is the persistence and expansion of crime and violence, ranging from state corruption and electoral crackdowns to control by transnational cartels. This course will examine the impact of crime and violence on politics and democracy in each region, with a comparative assessment of political violence, organized crime, police forces, societal violence, and criminal justice. Analytical focus will be on the interaction between criminality and regimes, particularly in the context of disintegrating democracies around the globe.

PSC 76404 – 3 credits
Topic: The Rules: International Law and International Relations Approaches to Global Issues (IR)
Faculty: Golob 
Day/Time: Monday 4:15pm-6:15pm
Course Description: This seminar will analyze key issues of interstate conflict and cooperation at the intersection of two fields that have seen increasing synergies and interdisciplinary potential: International Law (IL) and International Relations (IR). One key objective of the course is to introduce the emerging interdisciplinary subfield known as “IL/IR,” and thus to open possibilities for seminar members to locate their own research interests within (or in close proximity to) this scholarly crossroads.  As the title suggests, this seminar will examine the nature of rules – laws and treaties, formalized institutions and informal norms – on the international level that purport to ‘govern’ relations between states, to ‘police’ the behavior of governments (and, in some cases, non-state actors), and to regulate problems that states cannot easily solve on their own.

We will identify and discuss the distinct and/or converging responses of IL, IR and IL/IR scholarship to the following questions: Why, and under what conditions, do states follow rules? Who gets to make the rules, how are they to be enforced, and on what actors? How do we measure and evaluate compliance with the rules in a world of self-interested sovereign states, and in a world of rising anti-globalist populism and nationalism? What are international “norms” (related to, and distinct from, “law”), how and why are they diffused (or not) across borders, and what motivates states to formalize them? Are ‘law’ and ‘power’ in opposition, or are they in fact two sides of the same coin of authoritative discourse and action?

This conceptual investigation will lead to a comparative examination of IL, IR and IL/IR approaches to key global issues, including (but not limited to): responses to refugee flows and mass migration; the challenges of new digital technologies; human rights and international criminal justice; climate change and the environment; and rules governing (or not) private actors such as MNCs in the global economy. Special attention will be paid to the governance challenges presented by the global pandemic, asking whether we are witnessing a “critical juncture” for the rules themselves, and how scholarship in IL, IR and IL/IR might assess this hypothesis.

 

PSC 76300 – 3 credits
Topic: International Political Economy (IR)
Faculty: Lee 
Day/Time: Wednesday, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Course Description: In this class, we will explore how power, politics and ideas shape the global economic system. We will examine key questions, such as: who wins and who loses from trade, financial liberalization, foreign direct investment, and different exchange rate regimes? Do we need a hegemon to maintain free trade? What is financial power, and how does it shape the international monetary system? How can we prevent financial crises, and govern international monetary relations? What drives the politics of migration? What conditions are necessary for economic development?

 

PSC 86105 – 4 credits
Topic: Comparative Foreign Policy: Domestic Sources of Foreign Policy (IR)
Faculty: Braveboy-Wagner 
Day/Time: Thursday, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Course Description: Foreign Policy Analysis remains one of the most popular subfields of international relations. Indeed, to the layperson as well as the practitioner, foreign policy is a much more familiar term than “international relations,” simply because it refers to what countries do and how they act within the external environment. Even though rational and positivist approaches have predominated in the field in the US, elsewhere a generous dose of comparative “area studies” ethnography as well as increasingly popular constructivist and critical thinking have invigorated the field. (Hence, we are really dealing with “comparative FPA.”)

Foreign policy is the only subfield of IR that lies at the boundary of the domestic and international. That means that in order to understand foreign policy, one cannot know only the structure of the international system OR the national structure. Rather, one must be able to see how domestic factors generate external policy. In this course, we focus on the historical-political (for example, the legacies of colonialism, the evolution of democracy), governmental, bureaucratic, economic, sociocultural, identity (racial-ethnic, gender) and other factors that influence foreign policy making and diplomacy at both bilateral and multilateral levels.

We do not completely ignore the influence of system factors such as the “great power” rivalries with other nations but we look at them in the context of how they enhance, or do not fit into, domestic needs, culture and popular sentiment. Foreign policy is not just security relations but also about economic, social, environmental, global governance and many other issues.  Perhaps the most important aspect of this course is the attempt to analyze as many countries/types of countries as possible. In this respect, we focus not only on the United States and Europe but also on Africa, Asia, and Latin America, primarily on the more influential “rising” nations but without neglecting smaller countries.

PSC 80302 – 4 credits
Topic: Marxism (PT)
Faculty: Jacobs 
Day/Time: Monday, 11:45am-1:45pm
Course Description: At the turn of the century, there were pundits who proclaimed the end of history – and of Marxism. But in recent years, a spectre has been haunting Europe (and the USA). 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’ll turn next to discussing both Marxism in the era of the Second International, with particular attention to debates 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 Lukács, 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 decades 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 Žižek or Michael Hardt or a writer of particular interest to those enrolled in the seminar. 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 80606 – 4 credits
Topic: Gandhi as Political Philosopher (PT)
Faculty: Mehta 
Day/Time: Tuesday, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Course Description: Depictions of Mohandas Gandhi are routinely limited to the saintly Mahatma (“Great Soul”) and freedom fighter. Few thinks to ask how a saint can simultaneously be a freedom fighter, a fully engaged participant in the political arena. This course takes Gandhi seriously as a rigorous and creative thinker whose work touches on a remarkable range of topics including liberty, equality, constitutions, civil disobedience, non-violence, religion and politics, social hierarchies (caste, race), identity, and modernity. The course work will consist close readings of primary writings by Gandhi and selected secondary readings by leading thinkers who have explored Gandhi as philosopher. Special attention will be given to the complex relationship between “religion” and “politics” in Gandhi’s life and thought. The course will be team taught by John Thatamanil (Union Theological Seminary) along with two of the most prominent Gandhi scholars of our time, Uday Singh Mehta (CUNY Graduate Center) and Akeel Bilgrami (Columbia Philosophy).

 

PSC 71906 – 3 credits
Topic: Critical Reasons – The Basics (PT)
Faculty: Buck-Morss
Day/Time: Wednesday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description: This seminar understands “Political Theory” in a way different from much of the theory canon. Rather than dealing with philosophical writings about politics, Critical Reason reflects on the production of knowledge itself. The insight that our method of conceptualization matters for politics, that it loads the dice for political judgments made, is deeply indebted to the foundational texts that we will read together this semester. The course deals with basic concepts and problems of Western Critical Theory. The readings focus on two foundational authors, Kant, Hegel and several commentaries on them (Adorno, Marx, CLR James, Buck-Morss). Philosophy is considered from the perspective of the political. Concepts include: critical reason, transcendental claims, phenomenology, dialectics, non-identity, materialist metaphysics, history, causality, and freedom. Students are encouraged to read difficult texts with the goal of developing critical capacities for concrete, historical analyses of political, social and economic life. The challenge is not to master systems of thought, but to make the concepts of the readings and the insights they provide meaningful for contemporary projects of critical analysis. Seminar requirements: sustained, active seminar participation, one short midterm paper, and one final paper (or exam option).

 

PSC 70200 – 3 credits
Topic: Modern Political Thought (PT)
Faculty: Accetti 
Day/Time: Wednesday, 4:15pm-6:15pm
Course Description: This course offers a graduate-level introduction to modern political thought. It focuses on the work of several classical authors between the 16th and the 19th centuries: Niccolò Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Baruch Spinoza, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Charles-Louis Secondat de Montesquieu, and Karl Marx. The approach is very much text-based in that it will seek to situate close readings of these authors’ main writings in their specific historical contexts while also relating them to larger themes that run across the western tradition of modern political thought. Students will be required to give one in-class presentation about an assigned text and to work on a 8,000 word final paper to be completed before the end of the semester.

PSC 73902 – 3 credits (Crosslist: IDS 81680)
Topic: Within National Inequalities : From Pareto to Piketty (PP)
Faculty: Milanovic 
Day/Time: Wednesday 6:30pm-8:30pm
Course Description: The objective of the course is to review and analyze different theories about the forces that influence inter-personal income distribution within a single policy-making unit (that is, within a nation-state).  The first such theory was developed by Vilfredo Pareto more than 100 years ago. Pareto believes that income distribution does not change regardless of a social system and level of development. Simon Kuznets, in the 1950s, posited, on the contrary, a theory where income inequality evolves as societies get richer. Jan Tinbergen, in the 1970s, argued that the level of inequality is determined by the two opposing forces of education and technological change. More recently, Thomas Piketty argued that low growth combined with high returns to capital predisposes advanced economies to high levels of inequality. In 2016, Milanovic introduced “Kuznets waves” claiming that structural transformations (from agriculture to manufacturing, and more recently from manufacturing to services) are associated with increases in inter-personal inequality.  These theories will be considered on the real-world examples of inequality changes in the United States and other rich OECD countries, China and Brazil. The class shall focus especially on the recent evolution of income and wealth inequality in the United States and Piketty’s analytical contributions.  The class is empirical, and at times mathematical, but does not require any prior specific knowledge of the issues nor techniques. It is recommended for students of economics, political science, and sociology.

 

PSC 73904 – 3 credits (Crosslist: PSYCH 80103 & U ED 71200)
Topic: Participatory Democracy & Social Movements (PP)
Faculty: Su 
Day/Time: Tuesday 11:45am-1:45pm
Course Description: This seminar takes a look at what ordinary citizens do to shape public policies and engage in politics— in ways other than voting. We explore the notion that popular participation can make democratic governance more legitimate, fair, and effective. We examine theories and existing evidence on the promises and challenges of participatory democracy— alternatively called bottom-up participation, maximal democracy, or direct democracy. Specifically, we will examine forms and functions of civil society from a comparative perspective by looking at specific examples of (1) participatory institutions (neighborhood councils, urban budgeting, school governance, etc.), (2) participation in non-governmental organizations and development projects, and (3) social movements around the world (potential cases include landless people’s movements, transnational networks, mothers of political dissidents who have “disappeared,” AIDS protest groups, etc.). Sometimes, these three categories blur into one another. We will try to focus on case studies in “Global South” middle-income countries like Brazil, Argentina, India, and South Africa, though we also include domestic cases as a point of reference. How much should ordinary citizens participate in policymaking, and how? Under what circumstances?

 

PSC 73101 – 3 credits (Crosslist: SOC 85700 & WSCP 81000)
Topic: Social Welfare Policy (PP)
Faculty:  Gornick
Day/Time: Tuesday 4:15pm–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 assess “the big picture” of the American welfare state, through the lens of its underlying institutional framework. Third, we will analyze a set of contemporary challenges that call for active policy responses, such as severe poverty, low‐wage work, homelessness, and the care deficit. Finally, 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.

PSC 79002 – 3 credits
Topic: Writing Politics II (G)
Faculty: Beinart
Day/Time: Monday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description: Writing 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. 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.

 

PSC 80604  – 4 credits (Crosslist: HIST 72400/C L 80100)
Topic: Nietzsche for Fun & Prophet (PT)
Faculty: Wolin
Day/Time: Monday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description: In Ecce Homo, Nietzsche – never paralyzed by excessive self-modesty – exulted, “I am no man, I am dynamite.” He described his books as “assassination attempts,” rather than literary works, and he felicitously characterized his intellectual method as “philosophizing with a hammer.” Nietzsche joyfully prophesied the advent of “Great Politics,” which, in his eyes, meant “upheavals, a convulsion of earthquakes, a moving of mountains and valleys . . . as well as wars the like of which have never yet been seen on Earth.” Nietzsche was, unaccountably, the “court philosopher” of the Third Reich as well as the intellectual progenitor of French poststructuralism (Foucault, Derrida, etc.). In interrogating Nietzsche’s legacy, our central question will be: how did it come to pass that generations of intellectuals felt obligated to define themselves and to plot their course forward through a confrontation with Nietzsche’s work? In order to better understand Nietzsche and his titanic philosophical influence, our seminar will be divided into two parts. In the first half of the course, we will read and assess major texts by Nietzsche: The Birth of Tragedy, the Will to Power, Twilight of the idols, and the Antichrist. In the second half, we will focus on the major stages in the European and American reception of Nietzsche’s work: the political reception of Nietzsche in Germany, the deconstructionist reading of Nietzsche (Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault), the aesthetic interpretation of Nietzsche, and finally, recent Anglo-American studies reassessing Nietzsche’s attitude toward Darwinism.

 

PSC 89100 – 0 credits
Topic: Dissertation Proposal Workshop (G)
Faculty: Woodward 
Day/Time: Monday 6:30pm-8:30pm
Course Description: This 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. 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 can be taken more than once. That said, more than almost two decades 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
Topic: Teaching Political Science (G)
Faculty: Cole & George
Day/Time: Tuesday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description: This course serves a dual purpose: first, to encourage students to reflect on the vocation of teaching, and second, to provide an environment in which students can explore various pedagogical techniques and prepare for teaching on the campuses in the fall. We begin the semester with two classic reflections on the art of teaching as well as recent public debates about some challenges of professing, and then move on to consider such practical issues as syllabus development, effective learning goals, assessment strategies, class preparation, and grading practices. We will also discuss aspects of the profession beyond the classroom, such as mentoring students and writing letters of recommendation. In addition to our pedagogical inquiries, students will be introduced to their colleagues who are already teaching on the campuses. 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 master’s students from other programs at the Graduate Center, may also enroll.

 

PSC 77001 – 3 credits
Topic: Qualitative Methods (G)
Faculty: Fortner 
Day/Time: Tuesday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description: This course introduces students to qualitative research methods. After briefly reviewing positivist and interpretivist research traditions, the course will explore the analytical benefits and limitations of specific qualitative methods, such as case studies, archival research, process tracing, interviewing, ethnography, participant observation, and focus groups. It will also review ethical questions related to qualitative strategies. Examples come from multiple subfields within political science as well as sociology and history. Students will develop a research design that uses a particular qualitative method to answer a political question of interest to them.

 

PSC 79003 – 3 credits (Crosslist: AFCP 73100 & WSCP 81000)
Topic: Women of Color Impacting Politics (G/AP)
Faculty: O’Brien  
Day/Time: Wednesday 6:30pm-8:30pm
Course Description: This course specifically tracks the roles that women with intersectional identities have played in American politics, as well as women who are public intellectuals and heretical leaders in contemporary political thought. The course is twofold: First, it traces how women have never before had such a large impact in American politics — women of color, that is, or more precisely, women who have an additional identity besides that of gender. The course studies this impact women have had on American politics since Hillary Clinton ran for and lost the Democratic nomination in 2008. Second, this course not only studies women of color in American politics but also focuses on the intellectual impact of women with intersectional identities — such as women who are Black, multiracial, and multiethnic (e.g. LatinX), or women with disabilities — who have helped shape contemporary political thought not just under deliberative or participatory democracies, as found in Europe (such as Germany or France) or the Commonwealth nations (such as New Zealand), but also in reinventing what it means to lead in electoral politics. To be sure, an ethic of care exists within many public policies that involve legal rights and human rights that have been formed as a result of social movements such as #BLM, LGBTQI, and disability rights. But this course goes further than politics and public policy to explore how the heretical political thought of bell hooks, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Angela Davis, Audre Lorde, Alison Kafer, and the Combahee River Collective has also shaped a new notion of leadership that undermines traditional iterations of masculine notions about leading nation-states.

Fall 2020

PSC 72310 – 3 credits
Topic: Civil Liberties (AP)
Faculty: Halper  
Day/Time: Tuesday 4:15pm-6:15pm
Course Description: This 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 un-elected 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 82001 – 4 credits
Topic: Campaigns & Elections in the U.S. (AP)
Faculty: Lipsitz
Day/Time: Monday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description: This seminar approaches the study of American politics through the lens of our campaigns and elections. Students will be introduced to classics in the field of voting behavior, but will also gain insight into the role that political parties, interest groups, campaign finance, and the news media play in campaigns. We will also explore how political advertising and other forms of campaign appeals work, as well as the burgeoning field on strategies for getting voters to turn out.

 


PSC 72001 – 3 credits
Topic: The American Presidency (AP)
Faculty: O’Brien  
Cross list: WSCP 81000
Day/Time: Thursday 6:30pm-8:30pm
Course Description: Divided into four sections, the seminar first reviews a diverse array of methods and approaches to study the American presidency. Second, it underscores the leadership dilemma of how the president is the only national leader in the United States, at home and abroad, and what this means in “political time.” Third, it explores how the president’s relationship with different state, local, and national institutions, as well as their leaders and the public officials operating these institutions, has waxed and waned in modern and contemporary political time.

Fourth, this seminar raises the leadership dilemma in terms of masculinity (e.g. power, intimidation, force, and authority. Does Trump practice “New Nationalism” in his policies that advance xenophobia, racism, white supremacy, sexism, misogyny, nativism and ableism making explicit all the repressive “isms” that were embedded in liberty and empire, or what Alex Rana calls “the two faces”? Would the U.S. be better served to work with two or more presidents who identify as a woman or uses a non-masculine leadership styles balancing legitimacy and authority? (Often the first woman leader is either patriarchal in thinking or masculine in leadership style and/or cannot support women and children overtly.) Remember the supposedly post-racial Obama presidency.

PSC 87800 – 4 credits
Topic: Democratization and Regime Transitions (CP)
Faculty: Arias
Day/Time: Wednesday 6:30pm-8:30pm
Course Description: Democratization and Regime Transition examines the rapidly evolving literature of regime change in the contemporary world. Changes in political systems are a source of remarkable hope and anxiety opening up, in some cases, the possibility of more just, inclusive, and equitable political systems while, in other cases, they foreclose such possibilities exposing the citizens to greater violence and oppression. Whatever the outcome, transitions themselves, whether they occur through revolutions, coups, or pacts, are often uncertain and dangerous times. This course will begin by examining the history of debates about regime transitions including revolutions, modernization, democratic breakdown. After this, the course will examine the literature on transitions from authoritarian rule. The course will then examine contemporary debates about political instability, failed transitions, the forms of gradual authoritarianization afflicting countries in various regions including North America, South America, and Europe.

 

PSC 77908 – 3 credits
Topic: African Politics (CP)
Faculty: Mampilly
Day/Time: Wednesday, 2:00pm-4:00pm
Cross list: WSCP 81000
Course Description: Studying the politics of the second largest continent, one divided into 54 sovereign nations and containing over 1.3 billion people, can seem like an impossible task. Yet there are important intellectual commonalities, political trends and historical connections that make the study of “African Politics” not only coherent, but also urgent and essential. In this seminar, we will not attempt to approach the study of the continent chronologically nor will we attempt to sketch a comprehensive picture of political life across Africa. Instead, the seminar is divided thematically focusing on the major debates that have defined African politics since the end of the colonial period and into the current era. A partial list of themes this seminar will cover include: colonialism and its legacies, ethnicity, gender, climate change, political violence, development, political economy, social movements and Africa’s role in the international order. The readings are selected to cover all the major regions of Africa drawing together both classic readings that have endured as well as the latest research from scholars across disciplines and from around the world.

PSC 77901 – 3 credits
Topic: Basic Theories & Concepts in Comparative Politics I (CP)
Faculty: Woodward
Day/Time: Monday, 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.

PSC 76000 – 3 credits
Topic: Basic Concepts & Theories in International Relations (IR)
Faculty: Andreopoulos 
Day/Time: Wednesday 6:30pm-8:30pm
Course Description: This course is designed to introduce students to the basic theories and concepts in International Relations. It will survey fundamental theoretical debates on the role of actors, institutions and processes in both mainstream and critical schools of thought and examine their analytical relevance in understanding key developments and ongoing challenges in world politics. It will expose students to the logical structure and implications of various theoretical positions, and to the range of available explanatory frameworks for state and non-state actor conduct.

 

PSC 76203 – 3 credits
Topic: The United Nations and changing World Politics (IR)
Faculty: Weiss 
Day/Time: Tuesday, 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description: The object of this course is to situate the United Nations (UN) within the context of international relations theory and contemporary world politics. It is an introduction to the subject, which figures prominently in first exams, second exams, and other programs of study at The Graduate Center. It is geared to students who have not taken their first exams and are without significant professional or analytical exposure to the UN system. The seminar will focus on a number of concrete cases referencing the history, administration, and especially the politics and some international legal dimensions of the UN system in its three main areas of activity: international peace and security; human rights and humanitarian action; and sustainable development.

Given its impact in budgetary and political terms, the “high politics” of security receive the most emphasis. Consideration is also given to other actors (non-governmental and regional organizations) that interact with the UN in the processes of “global governance”—another topic that will appear with some regularity. Because of the importance of the United States to multilateralism, American foreign policy toward the world organization figures prominently in discussions, including the roller-coaster rides during the Clinton, Bush, Obama, and now Trump administrations. Finally, we pay attention to the role of ideas within international institutions (that is, constructivism), an important orientation in recent international relations scholarship as well as a particular interest of mine after the United Nations Intellectual History Project. Every student enrolled or auditing is expected to lead two discussions (perhaps three, depending on enrollment) of the required readings (which requires going beyond them to consult the “suggested” readings); these presentations will constitute about one-third of the final grade. About two-thirds will be constituted by two simulated “First” Exams taken under exam-like conditions.

PSC 80603 – 4 credits
Topic: Democratic Socialism (PT)
Faculty: Buck-Morss
Day/Time: Tuesday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description: This seminar focuses on Democratic Socialism as it is understood today. In this election year, we will consider not only what it means as policy, but also how to get there. What does socialism have to do with freedom? If socialism necessitates equality (of classes, races, genders), how is equality to be democratically achieved? Is revolution meaningful in this context? What is the role of social movements and/or political parties? What is the role of self-interest? Class interest? Disinterest? Is the overthrow of capitalism necessary for democratic socialist goals? How does one educate for socialism? What has art/music/performance to do with democratic socialism, and how do internet practices and (social) media become its ally? How does the aesthetic avant-garde relate to the political vanguard? What is the role of legislation for democratic socialism? Green new deal? Universal health care? Food Security? How does democratic socialism respond to national borders vs. open borders? What is socialist trans-national solidarity? What is democratic socialism’s response to the actuality of global pandemics?

Topics include: State socialism; anarcho-socialism; socialism as social justice; socialism as the antidote to neo-liberalism; socialism as ownership of the means of production; surveillance and socialism; media and mediations; cultural Marxism and its critics.

Readings include: Thucydides on civil war; Georg Lukács on class consciousness; Judith Butler on Assemblage; Jodi Dean on Crowds and Party; Naomi Klein on Corona Capitalism. And much more

 

PSC 80608 – 4 credits
Topic: Political Theory of Police (PT)
Faculty: Feldman 
Day/Time: Wednesday, 4:15pm-6:15pm
Course Description: This course will explore both how police is conceptualized in different approaches to political theory, and how different theoretical traditions can contribute to an understanding of institutionalized police forces. Topics will include: the extent to which police constitutes a distinct kind of power and formation of state violence, deeply implicated in social hierarchies; policing’s relation to the institutions, norms and practices of law, of democracy and of war; the “procedural justice” approach to police reform; and the police abolition movement. We will examine some foundational accounts of police power broadly construed, including work by Michel Foucault and the “new police science”, recent studies of the transnational nexus of war/police/counter-insurgency within US empire, normative democratic theory work on deliberative encounters between officers and members of the public, and contemporary political theory work on police and other street-level bureaucrats incorporating ethnographic methods. This is a research seminar, and students will complete a semester-long research project. Grades will be based on that project, participation in seminar discussion, and a paper/presentation on one of the week’s readings.

 

PSC 80607 – 4 credits
Topic: Global Political Thought (PT)
Faculty: Mehta
Day/Time: Wednesday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description: This seminar will consider the debates, thought and ideas of thinkers from various parts of the world – mainly in the 20th century, but not exclusively. The thinkers will include Gandhi, Nehru, J.S. Mill, Leopold Senghor Aime Cesaire, Martin Luther King Jr. It will also consider the context which may have informed them – such as colonialism, the late 19th century Victorian consensus, struggle for civil rights and issues of identity, but in the main it will be organized around texts.

PSC 72500 – 3 credits
Topic: Urban Public Policy (PP)
Faculty: DiGaetano 
Day/Time: Monday 6:30pm-8:30pm 
Course Description: This course is designed to introduce students to the scholarship on urban policy making in the United States. The course first examines some basic concepts and theoretical perspectives used in the analysis of urban policy making. The theoretical perspectives considered are Paul Kantor’s “Two Faces of American Urban Policy” framework, Clarence Stone’s urban regime theory, civic and ideological political culture approaches, and those that rely on the concept of neoliberalism to explain contemporary urban policy making. The remainder of the course examines specific urban policy areas through the lenses of each of these theoretical perspectives. The urban policy areas examined include economic development, education, fiscal, and community development.

 

PSC 73101 – 3 credits
Topic: Women, Work & Public Policy (PP)
Faculty:  Gornick
Crosslist: SOC 84600, WSCP 81000, ECON 81500
Day/Time: Tuesday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course Description: This 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. 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, e.g., 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 of 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 72510 – 3 credits
Topic: Ethnography of Public Policy (PP)
Faculty: Mollenkopf & Smith
Crosslist: SOC 82800
Day/Time: Monday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course Description: Most approaches to the study of public policy use statistical analysis to address questions of efficiency and effectiveness and/or institutional analysis to understand how actors form coalitions to advance their policy agendas (or block someone else’s). This course takes a different approach: using the tools of ethnography and qualitative analysis (participant observation, in-depth interviewing) to investigate how the participants in a given policy domain formulate, adopt, and most importantly carry out public policies. This approach begins with a focus on the “front line workers” who actually do the work of delivering public policies through their every-day interactions with clients. We will learn how to apply tools of ethnography to study and understand how front line workers “socially construct” clients in the process of co-producing public services and how the clients react to being processed.

From this focus, we will widen our focus to using these tools to examine how managers, policy decision-makers, and the broader environment try to shape or reshape the public service production process. Actors within this larger environment include agency managers and leaders, mayors and their administration, legislative elected officials, and the broader civic realm of press, policy scholars, advocacy organizations, lawyers, consultants, and the concerned public. We will begin with a close reading of Michael Lipsky’s classic Street Level Bureaucracy, then move through a series of policy case studies. Seminar participants will learn how to design and carry out a policy ethnography by constructing and developing case comparisons, tracing actors and processes, and articulating the empirical, analytical, and policy stories behind their research. If the seminar takes place on line, it will focus on readings and exercises. If personal meetings and field work are possible, they will also be included.

PSC 79100 – 3 credits
Topic: Research Design in Political Science (G)
Faculty: Alves 
Day/Time: Wednesday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course Description: This course provides a graduate-level introduction to the fundamental questions and tools that underlie the empirical study of the political world. We start by examining fundamental elements of research: standards for selecting research topics, developing research questions, using different theories to simplify the world, then defining and operationalizing concepts and variables. We then survey different methodological strategies for organizing your research project so that you can select what type of data you need and how best to draw inferences from it.

 

PSC 79001 – 3 credits
Topic: Writing Politics I (G)
Faculty: Beinart
Day/Time: Monday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description: Graduate students spend their days reading scholarly work about politics. Writing Politics 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 ideas of their own, see those ideas dissected by their classmates and the instructor, and then write the best ones up. Prominent editors and writers will join as guests.

 

PSC 71000 – 3 credits
Topic: M.A. Core Course (G)
Faculty: Fortner 
Day/Time: Tuesday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description: This course has two primary 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. The seminar proceeds through the various subfields of the political science discipline engaging key texts and debates in these modes of analysis through course sessions led by faculty members in the program. These sessions will explore how various subfields approach the study of power, difference, and democracy.

 

PSC 89100 – 0 credits
Topic: Dissertation Proposal Workshop (G)
Faculty: Marasco 
Day/Time: Thursday 2:00pm-4:00pm
Course Description: This 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 framing and research strategies, and raises methodological questions and considerations. It is a genuine workshop, where students provide each other a mutually supportive setting to share written drafts, get feedback, identify and resolve common issues, and learn the skills of analytical criticism necessary to one’s own future research and teaching.

Each participant works at a personal, self-identified pace, but also accepts the obligation of reciprocity to attend all meetings of the workshop and read drafts from all other workshop members. Most importantly, workshop participants assume the obligation to write every single week, even if it is only a paragraph (although, of course, one hopes for more).

The first meeting of the workshop will introduce the elements of a successful dissertation proposal and offer some preliminary advice about how to proceed; anyone missing the first session will be at a distinct, even possibly irreparable, disadvantage for the rest of the semester. The workshop does not give course credit, therefore has no grading. Students are permitted to take the course more than once.

 

PSC 85509 – 4 credits
Topic: Applied Quantitative Research II (G)
Faculty: Weber
Day/Time: Tuesday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description: [Note: This is the third course in the new three-semester methods sequence of the political science program. It is more advanced than the basic course that was previously offered under a similar title.]
Since you are reading this, it seems that the prospect of another quantitative course does not appall you. Congratulations! You are well on the way to selling out the noble reasons why you joined the GC in return for a successful mainstream career devoid of ambition or purpose. Soon you will be hired by a kick-ass research university, hang out on Colbert and Ellen, spend your sabbaticals in California, and finally write that book about Biden.
But wait, do you really have to choose between content and method? This instructor believes that you can do research that is both politically meaningful and methodologically sophisticated, and since he never got to do it himself (neither meaningful nor sophisticated, for that matter), his motivation to help you excel is all the greater.

Here’s a few good reasons why you may want to consider my offer:
• You have taken some version of Quant I (either in-house or elsewhere), and you feel that you need more experience, practice, or guidance to use statistics effectively in your work.
• You are a self-taught maverick, having muddled your way through online forums and help files, and you long for a more systematic perspective on quantitative research.
• You have embraced advanced stats in some other program, written your own maximum likelihood estimator, and learned to see the matrix, but you just can’t get those damn papers published.
• You heard that there is free dinner in this course.
• You like unicorns.

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.
Our approach will be hands-on and pragmatic. In the first part, we refresh your knowledge of basic statistics and get (re)acquainted with the software Stata. In the second part, we proceed with a systematic and applied review of more advanced methods of inference (such as time series, panel, multilevel, event history, quasi-experiments, etc.). In the third part, we focus on topics proposed from the floor, practicing data management and analysis in the context of ongoing projects. Students will 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. 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.

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PSC 71907 – 3 credits
Topic: Africana Philosophy (PT)
Faculty: Mills 
Day/Time: Monday, 4:15pm-6:15pm
Crosslist: PHIL 70500
Course Description: “Africana Philosophy” is the term that has been coined to designate philosophy in Africa and the African Diaspora (primarily the Caribbean and the two Americas, North and South, but in principle extending to Europe and Asia also), both in the pre-modern and modern periods. In modernity, this philosophy will be fundamentally shaped by the experience of transnational racial subordination: racial chattel slavery in the Atlantic world, colonialism, and then continuing diasporic racial oppression in nominally post-slavery and post-colonial societies. Thus, it is arguably in modernity that a subset of Africana Philosophy becomes “Black” Philosophy. As such, black philosophers have played a crucial role in pioneering what is now known as Critical Philosophy of Race: the philosophical examination of race from a “critical,” anti-racist perspective. This course will focus on modern Africana Philosophy, as it has developed over the past few hundred years, looking at classic figures from the past (Quobna Ottobah Cugoano, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Ida B. Wells, and others) as well as contemporary thinkers of the present, as they have grappled with both traditional and non-traditional philosophical questions arising from the challenge of understanding modern society’s actual social ontology, dealing with existential trauma, developing an emancipatory political theory, and formulating appropriate epistemologies, ethics, and aesthetics for a racialized world.

 

PSC 71908  – 3 credits
Topic: Neofascism: from the New Right to the Alt-Right (PT)
Faculty: Wolin
Day/Time: Monday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Crosslist: HIST 72800
Course Description:

How did the far-right reestablish political legitimacy after its crushing defeat in 1945? How did it recertify the discredited ideas of race, hierarchy, anti-parliamentarism, autocracy, and patriarchy after seemingly hitting rock bottom? To what extent – and by what methods – have its efforts to counteract the intellectual hegemony of left-wing thought by popularizing a “Gramscism of the right” been successful? To what extent have New Right ideas influenced the political self-understanding of the leading authoritarian populist parties, whose proliferation has been one of the hallmarks of twenty-first century global politics? Finally, to what extent have the depredations of “neo-liberalism” prepared the terrain for the New Right’s success?

Here, it is worth noting that the slogan, the “Great Replacement,” which was invoked by the mass murderers in Utoya, Norway, Christ Church, NZ, El Paso, and Pittsburgh, was originally a New Right slogan. One explanation for the New Right’s success pertains to its successful rehabilitation of German conservative revolutionary thought from the 1920s: the political doctrines of Carl Schmitt, Martin Heidegger, Oswald Spengler, etc., while cleansing their work of its ties to Nazism. Finally, at what point in time did the New Right worldview cross the Atlantic to provide ideological support for the Alt-Right? In what ways do the New Right and the Alt-Right differ from the traditional Right? Did the Alt-Right contribute to Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election? Is the Alt-Right still a force in contemporary American politics, or was it merely a passing political fad?

 

PSC 71904 (Crosslist PHIL 77700) – 3 credits 
Topic: Critical Social Theory (PT)

Faculty: Gould 
Day/Time: Tuesday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Crosslist: PHIL 77700
Course Description: This seminar will explore the notion of critique and attempt to achieve some clarity on the parameters of critical social theory: first, by considering the origins of this project in Marx’s dialectical method, its development in Lukacs and Gramsci (in regard to ideology and power), and in the critical theory of Horkheimer, Marcuse, and the early Habermas, and more recently in Jaeggi. We will go on to consider the distinctive approach to revolution and critique found in Arendt, and the original features introduced by feminist thought, especially by standpoint theory (Hartsock et al), along with the provocations of Foucault and the recent call to “decolonize” theory by Allen. Contemporary efforts in analytic political philosophy to appeal to nonideal theory instead of, or in addition to, ideal theory also bear scrutiny. As we proceed, we can consider some possibilities for integrating these diverse approaches in new ways. The course will then turn to a focus on how norms and forms of knowledge emerge and change with transformations in social practices (Wartofsky), as an enterprise of political and historical epistemology (beyond existing social epistemologies). Through all these various analyses, we will explicitly confront the questions of how normativity can persist without wholly devolving to social context, and also how we can develop critical perspectives while avoiding imperialist critiques from above.

Finally, the course will take up three current practical challenges as test cases for effective social theoretical response. The first concerns the need for a critical democratic theory that takes the political economy of capitalism seriously, investigating how economic and political power can distort or diminish democracy (Gould), and relatedly how to make room for oppositional consciousness (Mansbridge), counterpower, and resistance. The second challenge arises in regard to the cross-cultural understanding and critique of practices confronting women (from femicide to sex trafficking to the #MeToo movement), where deference to those affected is obviously important but insufficient for social and political transformation. A final issue is how to differentiate negative uses of solidarity, as in contemporary white supremacist and nationalist movements, from the constructive solidarities that may characterize liberatory social movements, as in the cases of mutual aid efforts in the United States and refugee support networks in southern Europe and elsewhere. Throughout the seminar, students will be encouraged to relate the course materials to their ongoing research through an oral presentation and an analytical term paper and will be expected to be active participants in class discussions.

 

PSC 71902 – 3 credits
Topic: Comparative Revolutions: from the English Revolutions of 1688 to the Arab Spring (PT)
Faculty: Rosenblatt 
Day/Time: Monday, 4:15pm-6:15pm
Crosslist: HIST 71000 & IDS MALS 78500
Course Description: What makes a revolution a revolution? Scholarship has recently moved away from social-scientific, Marxist-inspired explanations to approaches that explore how revolutionaries themselves understood what they were doing, how they interpreted their contexts, and how their ideas shaped their actions. With such questions in mind, we will look at and compare a number of revolutions, including the so-called “Glorious Revolution” of 1688, the American, French and Haitian Revolutions, the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the recent Arab Spring. In the eyes of their participants, what characteristics did these revolutions share? What might they have learned and borrowed from each other? Is there something we can call a revolutionary “script”?

Spring 2020

PSC 72009 – 3 credits
Topic: Gender, Race and American Political Development (AP)
Faculty: O’Brien & Waldstreicher
Cross list: HIST 74600, WSCP 81000
Day/Time: Tuesday 11:45am–1:45pm
Course Description: This course explores persistent binaries that have arguably structured political thought and practice in the United States. On the one hand, the U.S. has been imagined as a place where people can rise through merit and opportunity, unconstrained by the oppressions of the past and of other places. Geographic mobility – settlement, migration, immigration – is mapped on to social mobility in the accepted meaning of the phrase “American Dream.” Yet U.S. history is marked by war and violence, to such a striking extent that scholars and pundits have periodically diagnosed the culture as peculiarly, even uniquely violent.

Given the recent resurgence of angry and martial rhetoric at the center of national politics, how might we understand the relationship between the revolutionary or Enlightenment dreams of progress on the one hand, and the recurrent dread or nightmare of decline and oppression, as shaping facts of specifically political traditions? To what extent, in what ways, are exceptionalist understandings of U.S. political traditions a problem or a solution? Do accounts that stress race, or gender, or the confluence of the two, provide a necessary or sufficient theory or counter narrative of political development? Do frameworks developed in European politics, in critical theory, postcolonial thought, or in domestic vernaculars comprehend the dream/dread in the past and present? What kinds of analytical scholarship and storytelling have been adequate to the task?

PSC 82008 – 4 credits
Topic: U.S. Congress (AP)
Faculty: Jones
Day/Time: Tuesday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description: The United States Congress is one of the most powerful representative assemblies and the most extensively studied political institutions in the world. This course is designed to help students develop a basic understanding of the major works and debates in the scholarly study of Congress, as well as the ability to explain, synthesize, and critique them.

The course is targeted for students seeking to complete the department’s first exam in American politics. Required readings for the course include those in the Congress section of the American Politics Reading List, among many others that are foundational in the literature. The course will cover Congress both from the perspective of individual members, including roll call voting and representation, and the institution as a whole, including committees, parties, leaders, and rules. We will conclude by discussing the ability of Congress to adequately carry out its Constitutional duties in our current era of polarized politics.

PSC 87800 – 4 credits
Topic: Civil War (CP)
Faculty: Woodward
Day/Time: Tuesday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course Description: Civil war is a subject of scholarly study as old as the field of political science itself. The topic has taken on a new prominence, however, in the post-cold war international environment, and academic research has exploded in the past 25 years. Although the topic is by definition in the field of comparative politics – civil wars are wars that are internal to a particular country and its sovereign borders – this definition does not reflect the reality of contemporary civil wars, including structural causes located in globalization, their regional and transnational dynamics, and the new normative consensus internationally on both the right and the responsibility to intervene to stop the violence.

Thus, the study of civil wars crosses back and forth between the subfields of comparative politics and international relations. In the three aspects of civil war on which the readings and discussion of the seminar will focus – the literatures on their causes, on their political dynamics, and (less) on their termination and possible solutions, whether done autonomously or by international intervention – students in the seminar have ample room to choose which literatures of political science are most of interest to their study and research, even though the seminar itself is classified as a course in comparative politics.

This is a research seminar, which means that the readings and discussion will aim to make the student as knowledgeable about the literature, its debates, unanswered questions, and research frontiers as possible, while each student’s goal is a research project and paper. Projects will be defined early in the semester, and collaborative work will be encouraged. Grading will be based on participation in discussion on the readings as well as the final research paper.

PSC 77904 – 3 credits
Topic: Basic Theories & Concepts in Comparative Politics II (CP)
Faculty: George
Day/Time: Thursday 11:45am–1:45pm
Course Description: Practitioners of comparative politics leverage myriad tools in order to examine, understand, measure, and predict political behavior across state contexts. At its heart, political science is an effort to understand political phenomena, but its practitioners often disagree about the best ways to infer meaning from them. This course will introduce students to some of the main methods used in Comparative Politics, with the goal of not only making students good consumers of comparative politics research methodologically, but also enable their next steps in developing and conducting their own independent comparative politics work.

The course proceeds along three main lines of inquiry. First, it offers a framework for students to recognize the benefits and tradeoffs associated with methodological choice in comparative politics. Second, the course will provide students practical insights into their own research projects, delving into the everyday process of the creation of political knowledge and complexities undertaken in designing and implementing research tasks. To this end, we will examine how political scientists have faced the practical mission of finding a research question, placing it in a theoretical literature, and conducting the research to draw valid and reliable conclusions. Finally, students will practice various methods to examine research questions.

PSC 86207 – 4 credits
Topic: Global Terrorism (IR)
Faculty: Romaniuk
Day/Time: Tuesday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description: In the period since the attacks of 11 September 2001 in the United States, terrorism has become a permanent fixture on the international security agenda, as well as being a primary domestic security concern for many states. Terrorist violence and state responses to terrorism have had broad and deep impacts on international relations and on human security. Prior to 9/11, and in the years since, the strategies and tactics of terrorism (and counterterrorism) have continued to evolve.

Today and into the future, knowledge of global terrorism is critical for students and scholars seeking to understand international security. This course is an advanced-level survey of terrorism and the politics that surround it. The course aims to: prepare students to become informed and critical consumers of claims to knowledge about terrorism, whether they are manifested in scholarship, policy, popular debates in the media, or elsewhere, and; advance student’s capacity to produce robust social science research about terrorism and counterterrorism.

PSC 86101 – 4 credits
Topic: United States Foreign Policy (IR/AP)
Faculty: Liberman
Day/Time: Wednesday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course Description: An examination of the sources of U.S. foreign policies. Since the United States is in many ways similar to other democracies, capitalist states, great powers, etc., lessons from the U.S. experience are relevant to general theories of foreign policy. International relations students and practitioners also need to understand the foreign policies of the world’s predominant power, including how it behaves differently from other states. The course should also interest Americanists, for there is much overlap between the politics of foreign and domestic policymaking.

The course is generally divided by policy area, rather than by chronology, theoretical approach, or method. Most sessions examine alternative theories and methods applied to a single foreign policy behavior. The theoretical approaches include realist, institutionalist, organizational, cultural/ideational, psychological, and political-economy explanations. The course applies these theories to several U.S. security, economic, environmental, and humanitarian policies, though the emphasis will be on security policy, which consumes the greatest share of governmental attention and resources (especially nowadays).

The course readings include both synthetic review essays, which are helpful for suggesting research topics, as well as examples of state-of-the-art research, which provide useful models of research design and execution. The latter readings reflect a variety of research methods, including qualitative historical research as well quantitative public opinion and congressional voting research. As a research seminar, class discussion will focus on research design and unanswered questions and puzzles that could help students generate their own research projects, both in the context of the course and beyond.

PSC 86105 – 3 credits
Topic: Comparative Foreign Policy Analysis (IR/CP)
Faculty: Braveboy-Wagner
Day/Time: Thursday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description: Foreign Policy Analysis remains one of the most popular subfields of international relations. Even though rational and positivist approaches have predominated in the field in the US, elsewhere a generous dose of comparative “area studies” ethnography as well as increasingly popular constructivist and critical thinking have invigorated the field. In this specialized course we first ask how the study of foreign policy is different from international relations as a whole.

We then walk through the approaches used to analyze foreign policy, from realist views of the state as a protector and promoter of “national interests” to the Comparative Foreign Policy movement that came to the fore when so many Africa and Asian nations became independent, to the FPA of today which is rather too U.S.-dominated, and now to a renewed interest in two not incompatible approaches: regionalizing foreign policy and *worlding* foreign policy (that is, focusing on how a really universal approach to foreign policy can be attained; this is part of the overall Global IR movement).

PSC 71901 – 3 credits
Topic: Contemporary Political Theory (PT)
Faculty: Marasco
Day/Time: Monday 11:45am–1:45pm (Cross list with WSCP 81000)
Course Description: This course provides a rigorous introduction to major works of political theory in the twentieth century. Our seminar will proceed as close readings of whole books and essays, on the assumption that political theory is best digested in non-excerpted form and that a different group of interpretive muscles are flexed when we linger on a work in its (exhaustive and exhausting) entirety.

Readings will include works by Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss, Hannah Arendt, CLR James, Theodor Adorno, Louis Althusser, Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, John Rawls, Catherine MacKinnon, and Jacques Ranciere. This seminar is designed primarily for Political Science graduate students preparing a concentration in political theory, but it is also open to students in Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology, Women’s Studies, and related fields. This seminar will be especially useful for students preparing for their comprehensive exams in political theory.

By the end of the semester, you should expect to:

• Distinguish among various approaches to contemporary political theory and the traditions upon which they build.
• Develop reading & writing skills and, especially, the capacity to build compelling, arguments on major thinkers and topics in contemporary political theory.
• Acquire the foundations for preparation of the contemporary political theory portion of your comprehensive exam in political theory.

PSC 80602 – 4 credits
Topic: Benjamin as Method (PT)
Faculty: Buck-Morss
Day/Time: Tuesday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description: In-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 80304 – 4 credits
Topic: Ancient Greek Political Thought (PT)
Faculty: Mehta
Day/Time: Wednesday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description: This course will offer an introduction to the political thought of Plato and Aristotle; it is organized around important and classic texts of the Western philosophic tradition. The questions that will structure this course will include: Why is the study of politics and ethics something about which we need and can have general theories? What is the status of an “ideal” polity with respect to actual polities? What do the thinkers take to be the original motivation underlying the formation of political society? How do these motivations conform to the normative prescriptions that they propose? How do notions such as friendship and virtue relate to the understanding of citizenship? What are the justifications underlying the various proposed institutional arrangements and under what conditions can these arrangements be legitimately suspended? Finally, does the organizing of political life of necessity do violence to a more noble conception of human potentiality?

PSC 71906 – 3 credits
Topic: Machiavelli (PT)
Faculty: Fontana
Day/Time: Thursday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description: This course will focus on Machiavelli and his interpreters. It will engage his thought through a close reading of his major political works, The Prince, the Discourses and The Art of War, as well as some of his minor works, The Life of Castruccio Castracani, A Provision for Infantry, Discourse on Remodeling the Government of Florence, the Tercets on Ambition and On Fortune. There is no need to underline the importance of such a course for a student of politics and of political theory. That he has had a broad and profound influence on political thought cannot be denied. He has been called teacher of evil, founder of modernity, partisan of republicanism, defender of tyranny, discoverer of a new science of politics, amoral realist and impassioned idealist. The very ambiguity (and popularity) of the term “Machiavellian” testifies to the range and depth of this influence. In addition, the course will examine different interpretations, or different ways of reading, Machiavelli—such as reason of state, republican, democratic, Straussian, rhetorical and revolutionary. In effect, the course will offer a reading of several of Machiavelli’s writings, and it will at the same time delve into the various approaches to, and interpretations of, his politics and thought.

PSC 83800 – 4 credits
Topic: Immigrant Communities & Politics in NYC (PP)
Faculty: Mollenkopf
Crosslist: SOC 82800
Day/Time: Monday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course Description: The vast flow of immigrants into New York City (and the surrounding metro area) since 1965 has reshaped the composition of its population and potential electorate, altered neighborhood dynamics, and created new ethnic political constituencies over the last several decades. Caribbean, Latin American, East and South Asian, European, and African immigrants and their native-born children are making our already cosmopolitan mix of racial and ethnic groups even more varied, posing new challenges for inter-group relations and the fair and vigorous political representation of all groups. The emerging new immigrant communities are now contending for power not just against older native-born white political elites, but also against native-born minority groups. They are redefining what it means to be a New Yorker, and, ultimately, to be American. Such a profound transformation raises many major research questions for social scientists.

This seminar uses New York City as a laboratory to analyze the political changes brought about by the new immigration. It will cover the existing theoretical and empirical literatures on racial and immigrant ethnic political incorporation and will enable you to do a “hands on” research project for the immigrant-origin constituency of your choice.

Students will use quantitative data provided by the instructor (Census data, election results), secondary sources (such as the immigrant and neighborhood press), and their own interviews to describe and analyze the civic and political engagement of an immigrant ethnic group
in the process, students will study the patterns of political activism within the group (in terms of developing political goals and strategies and tactics to realize them) and how they interact with other racial/ethnic groups in their environment (with attention to patterns of conflict and/or cooperation.
The goal of this research is to understand how leadership is developing within your study group, how those leaders seek to promote group identity and activism, and how they become elected or appointed office holders as the larger civic and political culture gradually integrates them.
Class members will pursue these goals by: 1) reviewing key studies on the overall process of immigrant political incorporation in New York and other cities, 2) reading studies about political participation within the major immigrant groups, 3) analyzing Census data, election results, and voter history, and available public opinion polls regarding the political engagement and leanings of your chosen group, and 4) undertaking interviews of political elites from your group, focused on the coming 2020 and 2021 state and local elections. (We will hold a workshop for students who lack basic quantitative skills and may also substitute further qualitative work for the quantitative analysis.)

PSC 73903 – 3 credits
Topic: Social Policy and Socio-Economic Outcomes in Industrialized Countries (PP)
Faculty: Janet Gornick
Crosslist: SOC 84001, WSCP 81000
Day/Time: Tuesday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course Description: This course provides an introduction to cross-national comparative research, with a focus on socio-economic outcomes and on the policies and institutions that shape those outcomes. The course will draw heavily on research based on data available through LIS, a data archive located in Luxembourg, with a satellite office here at the Graduate Center. (See https://www.lisdatacenter.org for details).

LIS contains two main micro-databases. The Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database includes 300+ micro-datasets from over 50 high- and middle-income countries. These datasets contain comprehensive measures of income, employment, and household characteristics. A smaller, companion dataset – the Luxembourg Wealth Study (LWS) Database – provides microdata on assets and debt. Since the mid-1980s, the LIS data have been used by more than 5000 researchers – mostly sociologists, economists, and political scientists – to analyze cross-country and over-time variation in diverse outcomes such as poverty, income inequality, employment status, wage patterns, gender inequality and family structure. Many researchers have combined LIS’ microdata with various macro-datasets to study, for example, the effects of national social or labor market policies on socio-economic outcomes, or to link socio-economic variation to national-level outcomes such as immigration, child well-being, health status, political attitudes and voting behavior.

The course has two goals: (1) to review and synthesize 30+ years of research results based on the LIS data; and (2) to enable students with programming skills (in SAS, SPSS, Stata, or R) to carry out and complete an original piece of empirical research. (The LIS and LWS data are accessed through an internet-based “remote-execution system”. All students are permitted to use the LIS microdata at no cost and without limit.)

The course will require a semester-long research project. Students with programming skills (which will not be taught in the course) will be encouraged to complete an empirical analysis, reported in a term paper. Ideally, these term papers will be circulated as LIS/LWS Working Papers – and ultimately in published venues. Students without programming skills will have the option to write a synthetic research paper. A minimum requirement is the capacity to read articles that present quantitative research results.

PSC 73901 – 3 credits
Topic: Politics of Inequality (PP)
Faculty: McCall
Day/Time: Wednesday 4:15pm–6:15pm (Cross list with SOC 84600, WSCP 81000)
Course Description: This 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.

PSC 72500 – 3 credits
Topic: Race and the Evolution of Public Policy in the US (PP)
Faculty: Fortner
Day/Time: Wednesday 6:30pm–8:30pm (Crosslist: WSCP 81000)
Course Description: This course examines the relationship between race and public policy development in the United States. The course begins by exploring a series of conceptual, theoretical, and historical questions: How do we conceptualize and measure white supremacy? How does white supremacy interact with other structural forms of inequality, specifically gender and class? How has race shaped American political development? Then we will then turn to case-by-case examinations of the impact of race, class, and gender on several contemporary federal public policy areas like social welfare, immigration, and crime. This course draws primarily from political science, but also incorporates historical, sociological, legal scholarship and critically assess race and public policy.

PSC 79002 – 3 credits
Topic: Writing Politics II (G)
Faculty: Beinart
Day/Time: Monday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description: Writing Politics II is the successor to Writing Politics I, although students may take it without taking the predecessor. The biggest difference is that we will 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 is critical to understand its particular style and perspective. If a piece is ready for publication on the first draft, I will not 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.

PSC 85506 – 4 credits
Topic: Advanced Qualitative Methods(G)
Faculty: Majic
Day/Time: Monday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course Description: This course will introduce students to the principles and methods of qualitative research. During the semester, we will consider epistemological debates about this research and cover the primary qualitative methods used by researchers in the social sciences, including interviews, focus groups, ethnography, participant observation, archival research, feminist methods, and research with visual materials. In addition to analyzing the comparative strengths and weaknesses of each method, students will gain experience using each approach and learn about the major steps of the research process, including project design and implementation, data analysis, and writing and publishing.

PSC 85507 – 4 credits
Topic: Regression Analysis (G)
Faculty: Tien
Day/Time: Wednesday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description: This is the second course in a three-course quantitative methods sequence in the CUNY graduate political science program. Students should take Research Design before registering for this course, which is open to MA and PhD students. The aim of this course is to introduce graduate students to linear regression models. These models are the foundation of empirical political science research and the most commonly used statistical method in the field. Thus, it is important for graduate students to understand the theory and practice of regression analysis. The course will start with a review of univariate statistics and then proceed to bivariate statistics. By the end of the course, students will understand the assumptions behind ordinary least squares regression, be able to locate and analyze data of their choice using univariate and bivariate statistics and linear regression, and be ready to tackle more advanced methods.

Another aim of the course is to have students think of themselves as future contributors of empirical work, as well as critical consumers. In that spirit, there will be an emphasis on “learning-by-doing.” Student will locate a political science data set of interest to them by the third week of the semester that will be used to carry out weekly homework exercises. By doing so, students will complete preliminary analysis on a quantitative project that could be the foundation of a research paper in a higher level class that could be presented at a conference or submitted for publication. Students will be evaluated on weekly homework assignments and an in-class final exam.

PSC 89100 – 0 credits
Topic: Dissertation Proposal Workshop (G)
Faculty: Woodward
Day/Time: Monday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description: This 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 89101 – 4 credits
Topic: Applied Quantitative Research: Correlation, Comparison, Causality (G)
Faculty: Weber
Day/Time: Tuesday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description: Statistics 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? On the other hand, 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. 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 do not 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.

Alternatively, 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 boot camp™, 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.

From the fall of 2020 on, a more advanced version of this course will be the third in a three-course methods sequence in the political science program. If you wonder whether to take the more basic version now, the more advanced version next fall, or both, please contact the instructor. Please also note that two sections of this course are offered in the spring (the other one being Prof. Tien’s). Feel free to ask our advice if you are torn between these two.

PSC 71300 – 3 credits
Topic: Teaching Political Science (G)
Faculty: Cole
Day/Time: Thursday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description: This course serves a dual purpose: first, to encourage students to reflect on the vocation of teaching, and second, to provide an environment in which students can explore various pedagogical techniques and prepare for teaching on the campuses in the fall. We begin the semester with two classic reflections on the art of teaching as well as recent public debates about some challenges of professing, and then move on to consider such practical issues as syllabus development, effective learning goals, assessment strategies, class preparation, and grading practices.

We will also discuss aspects of the profession beyond the classroom, such as mentoring students and writing letters of recommendation. In addition to our pedagogical inquiries, students will be introduced to their colleagues who are already teaching on the campuses. 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 71908 (Crosslist with HIST. 72400) – 3 credits
Topic: The Political Thought of Hannah Arendt (PT)
Faculty: Wolin
Day/Time: Monday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description: Since her untimely death in 1975, Hannah Arendt’s stature as a political thinker has increased exponentially. In 1950 she authored the first important study of totalitarianism – a work that, today, among scholars remains an indispensable point of reference. In the late 1950s and early 1960s she published, in rapid succession, a series of path breaking works that consolidated her reputation as one of the twentieth-century’s most significant and innovative political philosophers: the Human Condition (1958), On Revolution (1962), and Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963). During the 1920s she studied philosophy with the two titans of German existentialism, Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers, and she played an indispensable role in introducing their ideas to the English-speaking world. During her Paris exile, she befriended the literary critic Walter Benjamin and helped to introduce his work to an American public. Arendt also excelled as a letter writer and as a public intellectual, contributing regularly to Partisan Review and the New York Review of Books. She has been the subject of numerous biographical and academic studies. Plays and films have been devoted to her fascinating intellectual itinerary.

In Germany there are not one, but two think tanks devoted to her work (Hamburg and Dresden). And during the 1990s, also in the country of her birth, she received the ultimate accolade: a high-speed train was named in her honor. As a thinker Arendt never shied away from taking risks – “thinking without bannisters,” she called it. Aspects of her work have proved controversial: above all, her employment of the epithet, “the banality of evil,” to describe Adolf Eichmann’s role in the Final Solution. In our course, we will focus primarily on Arendt’s contributions as a political thinker, in major works such as Origins of Totalitarianism, The Human Condition, and On Revolution. But we will also consider her status and role as a flashpoint for some of the major intellectual controversies and debates of her time – and ours.

PSC 73902 (Crosslist with SOC 84600 & IDS 81600) – 3 credits
Topic: Within National Inequalities: From Pareto to Piketty (PP)
Faculty: Milanovic
Day/Time: Wednesday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description: The objective of the course is to review and analyze different theories about the forces that influence inter-personal income distribution within a single policy-making unit (that is, within a nation-state). The first such theory was developed by Vilfredo Pareto more than 100 years ago. Pareto believes that income distribution does not change regardless of a social system and level of development. Simon Kuznets, in the 1950s, posited, on the contrary, a theory where income inequality evolves as societies get richer. Jan Tinbergen, in the 1970s, argued that the level of inequality is determined by the two opposing forces of education and technological change. More recently, Thomas Piketty argued that low growth combined with high returns to capital predisposes advanced economies to high levels of inequality. In 2016, Milanovic introduced “Kuznets waves” claiming that structural transformations (from agriculture to manufacturing, and more recently from manufacturing to services) are associated with increases in interpersonal inequality.

These theories will be considered on the real-world examples of inequality changes in the United States and other rich OECD countries, China and Brazil. The class shall focus especially on the recent evolution of income and wealth inequality in the United States and Piketty’s analytical contributions. The class is empirical, and at times mathematical, but does not require any prior specific knowledge of the issues nor techniques. It is recommended for students of economics, political science, and sociology.

Fall 2019

PSC 72100 – 4 credits
Course Description: American Political Thought
Topic: American Political Thought (AP/PT)
Faculty: Ruth O’Brien
Cross list: UED 75100, WSCP 81000
Day/Time: Tuesday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description:
American Political Thought is one of the core subfields in the American Politics field. It can also be counted as part of the political theory concentration. This seminar asks the big questions: What is justice? What is equality? What does it mean to be free? It does so in historical perspective, breaking the periods down into perspectives provided by the revolution; founding, civil war; Social Darwinist; bourgeois individualist; progressive; industrial capitalist, New Deal; and identity politics periods. Original texts ranging from: James Madison’s Federalist Papers; John Dewey’s The Public and Its Problems; Malcolm X’s Autobiography to Gloria E. Anzaldua’s This Bridge Called my Back will be read. In addition, to concentrating on the standard interpretations of these texts, some radical interpretations will be emphasized, particularly black feminist thought. In addition, the seminar gives more weight to the latter half of American political thought written about capitalism and identity politics in the late-19th and 20th centuries rather than the founding or the civil war eras in the 18th, early, and mid-19th centuries.

PSC 72000 – 3 credits
Course Description: ST: American Politics
Topic: Theories & Core Concepts (AP)
Faculty: Brian Arbour
Day/Time: Wednesday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description:
This seminar surveys the major scholarly debates in the study of American politics today. It draws on prominent theoretical perspectives for understanding empirical issues regarding: (1) the history of American political development; (2) the constitutional and institutional structure of American government in its contemporary form; (3) the structure of power and the behavior of political elites; and (4) ordinary people’s political behavior as manifested in studies of public opinion and political participation broadly construed. As a seminar, the course emphasizes dialogue about assigned readings. Students are to be active participants in the conversation. 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. The course will regularly address issues in contemporary American politics and how the literature on American politics addresses these issues.

PSC 72009 – 3 credits
Course Description: ST: American Politics
Topic: Constitutional Law (AP)
Faculty: Thomas Halper
Day/Time: Wednesday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course Description:
The course will cover the following topics: natural law and positivism; judicial review; implied powers and national supremacy; the Supreme Court and Congress; the Supreme Court and the Presidency; commerce; takings clause; segregation and its removal; affirmative action; state action. Most of the assigned readings will be drawn from judicial opinions, though some will come from academic and other sources. Robust, good natured debate will be strongly encouraged.

Course Description: ST: Comparative Politics
Topic: Social Movements (CP/PP)
Faculty: John Krinsky
Day/Time: Tuesday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description:
This course is an introduction to social movements and the politics of protest. It sounds straightforward, but it’s odd. It’s a bit odd because it’s a field that is fairly disconnected from practice. It grew up largely around the meeting of the older sociology of mass behavior and newer concerns among left-leaning sociologists in the 1960s and 70s both around contemporary movements and around the historical sociology of revolutions, class-formation, and the state. It thus inherited a kind of objectivist, ivory-tower-ish cast, even though many of the practitioners of social movement scholarship are themselves active or former activists.
It’s also a bit of an odd beast, since typically the field separates out interest-group politics on one side and revolutions, terrorism, and strikes on the other. This division of the field is problematic, and it’s something we’ll discuss. Some scholars prefer a more encompassing term, “contentious politics,” but even here, social movements tend to be studied as a separate case. There are some good reasons for this, but as with all good reasons, there are problems, too.
Finally, it’s a field in which many of the writers and researchers aren’t political scientists. Some, of course, are. But many are in sociology, and this is a standard course in sociology departments, as well (in fact, it is being taught in the sociology department this very semester). I am a sociologist by training, but I have done my best to lean the syllabus in the direction of the concerns and approaches that have typically attracted the political scientists who work in this field. Most of these are in the comparative politics subfield, and this course is offered in that spirit. Accordingly, we’ll spend a little time on comparative method, most of our time on cases that are from distant corners of the world, and perhaps a little more time than I would in sociology on repression and states and capital (sociology’s loss).

PSC 77901 – 3 credits
Course Description: ST: Comparative Politics
Topic: Basic Theories & Concepts in Comparative Politics (CP)
Faculty: Susan Woodward
Day/Time: Tuesday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course Description:
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), their origins, stability, and transition, political institutions, revolution and civil war, collective action, identity politics, institutions of political participation, and the state and economic development in both economically developed states and less developed countries.
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, to analyze their limitations and biases, and understand the status of our current knowledge in this field; (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.

PSC 87609 – 3 credits
Course Description: ST: Comparative Politics
Topic: Comparative Politics of International Migration (CP)
Faculty: Michael Sharpe
Day/Time: Wednesday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description:
International migration is interactively shaping and being shaped by politics, economics, and social relations around the world. The politics of the state in relation to nationality, race, ethnicity, and citizenship are at the heart of the debate on international migration and immigration. This course will focus on both sending and receiving countries and examine the politics of international migration from a historical and comparative perspective. We will analyze why people migrate, the ways in which states and citizens initiate and respond to migration, and how states deal with and adapt to migration on both the domestic and international levels. The seminar includes: analysis of migration of the last few decades; examination of the historical relationship between immigration, citizenship, and nationality using the examples of the United States, France, Germany, the Netherlands as well as Japan and South Korea and the politics of immigration policy and membership and belonging in our contemporary global world.

I expect all students to get the most out of this class by doing all assigned readings every week, participating actively in seminar discussions, and completing all assignments. By the end of this course, you should have: (1) a good understanding of the major debates in the study of migration and immigration and (2) hands on experience doing analysis of a migration/immigration policy. Each student will write a critique of the class readings for one week of assigned readings and lead the seminar at least once during the semester. Each student will write a critique of the class readings for one week of assigned readings and lead the seminar at least once during the semester. In addition, all students must prepare a case study/final research paper of a particular migration and/or immigration policy to be chosen by the student in consultation with the instructor.

PSC 76200 – 3 credits
Course Description: Interntl Org/Interdep/Transnat
Topic: International Organization (IR)
Faculty: Bruce Cronin
Day/Time: Monday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course Description:
This course will introduce students to the theoretical and empirical study of international institutions, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and global governance. Specifically, the course will critically examine different theoretical perspectives in International Relations and International Law for understanding the emergence, growth, diversity and effects of international organizations on world politics. In this context, the course will explore how specific organizations facilitate cooperation and compliance with international norms and rules. In doing so, we will also examine how organizations in specified issue areas — such as security, international political economy, and the environment — try to implement the goals of collective security, economic development, humanitarianism, global ecology, and economic stability.

PSC 76000 – 3 credits
Course Description: Conc/Thry Coop/Conflct Int Pol
Topic: Basic Theories & Concepts in International Relations (IR)
Faculty: Zachary Shirkey
Day/Time: Tuesday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description:
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the different theories and concepts that scholars use to understand and explain world politics. The focus of this course will be theoretical rather than empirical. The course examines major theories and central theoretical debates in the field of International Relations (IR). Thus, each class will be devoted to an in-depth critical discussion of a different theoretical perspective in IR, focusing on its key concepts, foundational assumptions, and central arguments.

PSC 76405 – 3 credits
Course Description: ST: International Politics
Topic: International Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs (IR)
Faculty: George Andreopoulos
Day/Time: Wednesday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description:
This course will focus on key concepts in human rights and humanitarianism, and examine their analytical value in the context of varying approaches towards the promotion and protection of internationally recognized human rights and humanitarian norms. In particular, the course will examine these concepts in light of (a) the recent debates in international relations theory on the role of ideas and norms, and the intersections between international relations and international law research agendas; and (b) the growing convergence between international human rights law and international humanitarian law. It will assess the impact of normative considerations, as well as the role of the relevant state and non-state actors on a whole set of critical issue areas including accountability, human protection, political membership, human development, and legal empowerment. The course will conclude with a critical discussion of recent UN initiatives in these issue areas.

PSC 80607 – 4 credits
Course Description: ST: Political Theory
Topic: Beyond the Canon: Recent Trends in Political Theory (PT)
Faculty: Susan Buck-Morss

Day/Time: Monday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description:
How might the canon of political theory be thought/taught differently? This seminar is an experiment, a Spiel-raum for considering what canonical readings might say to us today. Rather than adding on to the white-male-western-canon some supplemental readings on race, gender, or non-western thought, we will consider, without prior categorization and concepts, some of the most basic problems and paradoxes of our discipline. Juxtapositions of texts will be unorthodox: theories of the state (Hobbes, Wynter on witchcraft, Caesaire on solidarity,); the paradox of the General Will (Rousseau, Lenin, and Daigne on African Socialism); The good life and the City (Aristotle, al-Farabi, and David Harvey on Gentrification); Fortune and/as Rape (Machiavelli, John of Patmos, and Agamben on kairos); Constitutions as fate (Federalist Papers, W. Benjamin, and Max Tomba on Insurgency); Oppression as Freedom: (Marx, Federici, and Fred Moten on performance).

PSC 80304 – 4 credits
Course Description: Topics in Political Theory
Topic: Classics in Modern Philosophy
Faculty: Uday Mehta
Day/Time: Wednesday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description:
This course is an introduction to the study of modern Western political philosophy. The course is organized around five classic texts. The orientation of the course will be mainly textual and not contextual. We will be concerned with the broad structure and the details of the arguments made in these texts regarding the basis of political society, the authority of government and the rights of citizens. Some of the recurring questions that inform these works are the following: What is the original motivation underlying the formation of political society? How do these motivations conform to the institutional arrangements that are proposed? What are the limits of legitimate political authority, and what are the philosophical justifications for these limits? What are the justifications underlying the various proposed institutional arrangements and under what conditions can these arrangements be legitimately suspended? Finally, does the organizing of political life do violence to other conceptions of human potentiality and social order?

PSC 72500 – 3 credits
Course Description: Topics in Public Policy and Public Administration
Topic: Urban Politics (PP)
Faculty: Alan DiGaetano
Day/Time: Monday 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. The first section examines urban political development, with a review of some of the work that situates political analysis in historical perspective. Next, the focus turns to the question of governance, considering political cultural and regime theory approaches to the politics of building and maintaining urban governing coalitions. The fourth section examines the role of leadership in urban politics and the fifth investigates the ways in which race and ethnicity have shaped the contours of urban political alliances and conflict. The sixth portion looks at the manner in which citizens are mobilized in local elections and community organization. The penultimate section looks at the role of the federal system in shaping urban. The final part of the course assesses the impact of globalization on urban politics.

PSC 73906 – 3 credits
Course Description: ST: Public Policy
Topic: Social Welfare Policy (PP)
Faculty: Janet Gornick
Crosslist: SOC 85902 and WSCP 81000
Day/Time: Tuesday 4:15pm–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 U.S. 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 assess “the big picture” of the American welfare state, through the lens of its underlying institutional framework. Third, we will analyze a set of contemporary challenges in the U.S. that call for active policy responses, such as inequality, health insurance, low‐wage work, and care. Finally, 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 U.S.

PSC 73101 – 3 credits
Course Description: ST: Introduction to Policy Analysis
Topic: Introduction to Public Policy (PP)
Faculty: Michael Fortner
Day/Time: Tuesday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description:
This course will provide an introduction to the policy‐making process, with a focus on the United States. The first section of the course will offer an overview of major theories, concepts, and models of public policy‐making. The second section will focus on the politics of public policy-making, exploring how institutions, social movements, and public opinion shape policy development and how public policies in turn shape institutions, social movements, and public opinion. The final section will address policy-making in specific contexts: Congress, cities, and bureaucracies.

PSC 83503– 3 credits
Course Description: ST: Public Policy
Topic: Urban Studies Core Seminar II (PP)
Faculty: John Mollenkopf/Marta Gutman
Crosslist: SOC 82800
Day/Time: Wednesday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course Description:
The second semester of the Core Seminar in Urban Studies will continue to build on the work of the first semester, which was designed to equip doctoral students in the humanities, social sciences, and urban-oriented sciences with the theoretical perspectives that will help them situate and conceptualize their research questions and also apply them to a case study neighborhood. The second semester will focus on the research methods that students can use to begin to answer their research questions and the ways in which they can inform policy-making. They will apply these methods both to their own long-term research projects and to the Queens waterfront case study, investigating the question of “What is the future of LIC after Amazon?” This site exemplifies the challenges of redeveloping post-industrial urban landscapes, particularly on shorelines. Students will learn how to use field work, in depth interviewing, archival research, visual and auditory inventories, survey research, administrative data analysis, GIS and other methods to explore policy questions about land use, zoning, gentrification, climate change, the development industrial ecologies, neighborhood cohesion, and other pressing topics. We will continue to treat this neighborhood as an ecology of work, consumption, recreation, and residence and ask now these elements both frame and are shaped by politics and policy-making.

PSC 79001 – 3 credits
Course Description: Writing Politics Workshop
Topic: Writing Politics I (G)
Faculty: Peter Beinart
Day/Time: Monday 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 that 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 do not always answer their email. Editors will join us to explain

PSC 79100 – 3 credits
Course Description: Resrch Design in Political Sci
Topic: Research Design In Political Science (G/RD)
Faculty: Keena Lipsitz
Day/Time: Wednesday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description:
This seminar is a graduate-level introduction to how political scientists conduct empirical research. It will teach students how to develop research questions and methods for gathering data to answer those questions. Students will need to take other courses in the department to learn how to analyze the data they collect. Taking this course, however, will ensure that students design research that will produce high quality data for analysis. Even the best data analysis skills cannot compensate for poorly designed studies. As they say, “garbage in, garbage out.”

PSC 71000 – 3 credits
Course Description: Core Seminar in Political Sci
Topic: M.A. Core Course (G)
Faculty: Sherrie Baver
Day/Time: Thursday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description:
This course has two primary 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 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.

PSC 79003 (Crosslist with Hist. 72200, SOC 84505, WSCP 81000) – 3 credits
Course Description: Role of Amer Public Intlctual
Topic: Mothers in Law (G)
Faculty: Julie Suk/Sara McDougall
Day/Time: Monday 11:45am-1:45pm
Course Description:
This course will introduce students to central issues in the history and sociology of law, through the study of motherhood. The lens of motherhood will open up broader themes in the study of law and society, including categories such as gender, constitutionalism, and criminal justice. Studying the socio-legal history of motherhood will enable students to learn the skills of legal reasoning, utilize methods of legal-historical research, and pursue experiential learning through field studies, panel discussions open to the public, and the authoring of publicly available teaching materials on select topics.
First, we will explore how ideas of women as mothers have been enshrined in law, from the legal definition of the mother in civil law, to the legal treatment of pregnancy.
Second, this course will study women as lawmakers, as “founding mothers” of twentieth-century constitutions, and laws more generally. We will explore biographies of women lawyers and lawmakers.
Third, we will consider mothers as law-breakers, by engaging the history of mothers in prison, and the current legal issues arising from incarceration of mothers. This component of the course may include field trips to engage the criminal justice system.

PSC 71902 (Crosslist with Hist. 72400) – 3 credits
Course Description: ST: Political Theory
Topic: The Outcome of Classical German Philosophy: From Hegel to Adorno (PT)
Faculty: Richard Wolin
Day/Time: Monday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description:
In 1886, Friedrich Engels wrote a perfectly mediocre book, Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy, which nevertheless managed to raise a fascinating and important question that is still being debated today: how should we go about evaluating the legacy of German Idealism following the mid-nineteenth century breakdown of the Hegelian system? For Engels, the answer was relatively simple: the rightful heir of classical German philosophy was Marx’s doctrine of historical materialism. But, in truth, Engels’ response was merely one of many possible approaches. Nor would it be much of an exaggeration to claim that, in the twentieth-century, there is hardly a philosopher worth reading who has not sought to define him or herself via a confrontation with the legacy of Kant and Hegel.
Our approach to this very rich material will combine a reading of the canonical texts of German Idealism (e.g., Kant and Hegel) with a sustained and complementary focus on major twentieth-century thinkers who have sought to establish their originality via a critical reading of Hegel and his heirs: Alexandre Kojève, Georges Bataille, Jean Hyppolite, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Theodor Adorno, and Jürgen Habermas. But we will also seek acknowledge the importance of the contemporary North American Hegel renaissance, as exemplified by the work of philosophers such as Charles Taylor, Robert Pippin, Michael Forster, Terry Pinkard, and Allen Wood.
In his “Discourse on Language” Foucault warns us appositely that, “Truly to escape Hegel involves an exact appreciation of the price we have to pay to detach ourselves from him. It assumes that we are aware of the extent to which Hegel, insidiously perhaps, is close to us; it implies a knowledge that permits us to think against Hegel, of that which remains Hegelian. Thus we have to determine the extent to which our anti-Hegelianism is possibly one of his tricks directed against us, at the end of which he stands, motionless, waiting for us.” Foucault’s insightful caveat will, in many respects, function as our interpretive watchword as we seek to decode and reconstruct German Idealism and its innovative contemporary legacies.

PSC 71903 (Crosslist with Hist. 70310) – 3 credits
Course Description: ST: Political Theory
Topic: Thucydides, Politics, Philosophy (PT)
Faculty: Jennifer Roberts
Day/Time: Monday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description:
This interdisciplinary course will be guided in part by the particular interests of the students who choose to enroll in it: historians, classicists, archaeologists, political scientists, philosophers. Although there will be common readings, students are encouraged to pursue their own perspectives on Thucydides while at the same time coming to appreciate his relevance to other disciplines. The text will be read in English, but I am happy to meet separately with students who would like to read selections in the original Greek.
A masterpiece of both narrative and analysis, Thucydides’ account of the war between the Athenian Empire and Peloponnesian League also merits study as a work of profound philosophical import. The work of a man filled with a plangent sense of the sorrows of the human condition, Thucydides’ history offered a non-fiction counterpart to the tragic drama of his contemporaries Sophocles and Euripides.

The father of political science, Thucydides has often been labeled the father of political realism. We will explore in what ways this is and is not accurate. Thucydides has been co-opted by one generation after another, on one continent after another, as a spokesman for its own society and identified as the one person who best understood the problems of the day. From monarchists to republicans in Europe to 20th and 21st century American neoconservatives, his readers have proudly cited him in defense of their ideologies. Today students of international relations wring their hands over the newly dubbed menace, “the Thucydides trap,” a concept that draws parallels between the diplomatic situation that led up to the Peloponnesian War and America’s growing tensions with China. Both Thucydides and his legacy will be the subjects of this course.

PSC 73907 (Crosslist with SOC 80201) – 3 credits
Course Description: ST: Public Policy
Topic: Sociology Consequences of Digitalization (PP)
Faculty: John Torpey
Day/Time: Tuesday 2:00pm-4:00pm
Course Description:
This course examines the social consequences of the digitalization of modern life. We will explore the nature and extent to which digitalization constitutes a social transformation and the character of that transformation. Areas to be addressed include changes in the nature of social ties, the political consequences of social media, bias in artificial intelligence, the future of work, universal basic income, changes in warfare, the remaking of philanthropy, utopian possibilities and dystopian nightmares of new technologies, and the like.

PSC 77907 (Crosslist with MES 74900, WSCP 81000) – 3 credits
Course Description: ST: Comparative Politics
Topic: Gender, Sexuality, and Body Politics in the Middle East (CP)
Faculty: Elhum Haghighat
Day/Time: Thursday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description:
This course offers an overview of the key issues in the study of gender in the contemporary Middle East region. It goes deeper into the understanding of how conceptions of gender, sexuality and body politics are negotiated, positioned, and reproduced in a variety of social and political contexts in the Middle East region and to some degree in the Diasporas. Gendered understanding of the prevailing discourses, social practices, norms and trends in the Middle East societies and politics are being discussed.

Spring 2019

PSC 72300 – 3 credits
Course Description: Const Law – Civil Liberties
Topic: Civil Liberties
Faculty: Thomas Halper
Day/Time: Wednesday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course Description: This 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 Description: Has 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.

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 Description: Seminar/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 Orders
Faculty: Susan Woodward
Day/Time: Tuesday 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course Description: The 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 Description: This 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.

To download the Spring 2019 syllabi, click here

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 Description: As 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 Description: Over 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 Description: This 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 Description: The 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.

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 Description: Few 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 Description: In-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 Description: At 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 Description: The 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 Description: Feminist 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.

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 Description: This 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 Description: This 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 Description: This 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.

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 Description: Writing 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 Description: This 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: Tuesday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description: This 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 Description: Statistics 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 Description: The 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?

Fall 2018

Sanford Schram – Politics of Neoliberalism (AP)
PSC 82609 – 4 credits
Monday, 4:15pm–6:15pm
Course Description:
An examination of neoliberalism as today’s default logic for choice making across all spheres of society, on the collective as well as individual level. Historical background provided on the genealogy of neoliberalism as a theoretical perspective and ideological orientation. Focus is on neoliberalism’s influence in the current period in structuring relationships between politics and economics, specifically state-market relations and most especially public policymaking. The marketization of the state is examined indepth. Prognosis for change and strategies for responses for conducting politics and making public policy in an age of neoliberalism. Seminar format with student led-discussion and independent term paper projects.

Brian Arbour – American Politics: Theories & Core Concepts (AP)
PSC 72000 – 3 credits 
Monday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description:
This seminar surveys the major scholarly debates in the study of American politics today. It draws on prominent theoretical perspectives for understanding empirical issues regarding: (1) the history of American political development; (2) the constitutional and institutional structure of American government in its contemporary form; (3) the structure of power and the behavior of political elites; and (4) ordinary people’s political behavior as manifested in studies of public opinion and political participation broadly construed. As a seminar, the course emphasizes dialogue about assigned readings. Students are to be active participants in the conversation. 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. The course will regularly address issues in contemporary American politics and how the literature on American politics addresses these issues.

Susan Woodward – Basic Theories and Concepts of Comparative Politics (CP)
PSC 77901 – 3 credits 
Tuesday, 4:15pm – 6:15pm
Course Description:
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, but the foundation comes first. Requirements include reading the assigned material prior to each class meeting, participation in class discussion, three brief written essays summarizing and analyzing the readings on one substantive topic in the syllabus, and a final examination.

Julie George – Politics of Identity (CP/RD)
PSC 87800 – 4 credits 
Thursday 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Course Description:
Identity helps shape how people understand their interests, how they interpret the world around them, and how they interact with power. Likewise, governments and societies interact with identity groups variously, often constructing hierarchies that either open or limit outcomes and opportunities. This class investigates the politics of identity and identity salience. It highlights the main theoretical frameworks that have come to dominate the scholarly discourse, focusing particularly on the politics of ethnicity, nationalism, race, and religion.

The course will take a geographically comparative approach, closely examining identity politics in Eurasia, Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. Students will also have an opportunity to read on areas of their own geographical or identity interest. The course will have a paper component and focus on research design components that underpin scholarly inquiry. In engaging the readings, we will pay attention to the arguments and findings therein, but also in the underlying structures of the study, the evidence considered, and the effectiveness of the choices made by the author. We will likewise engage with literature of varied methodologies. Students will write a research paper during the course, as well as short reading analyses. Students will read an equivalent of a book a week and will lead the discussions.

Mark Ungar – Crime and Violence in Comparative Politics (CP)
PSC 77902 – 3 credits 
Thursday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Course Description:
This course examines the impact of crime and violence on politics and democracy around the world. From a comparative perspective, we will examine the political impacts and changing roles of violent crime, organized crime networks, state security forces, policing, citizen rights, and criminal justice. Analytical focus will be on the interaction between criminality and regime: in particular, how crime shapes democratic and non-democratic regimes in the contemporary world

Bruce Cronin –International Law (IR)
PSC 76210 – 3 credits (CRN#)
Monday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Course Description:
This course will focus on the role of public international law in regulating the relations among sovereign states from both a theoretical and practical perspective. We will begin by examining various approaches toward the concept of “rules” in world politics and discuss the development and changes in international law over the past several hundred years. We will then explore the nature and sources of international law, its relationship to domestic law, the rights and duties of states, sovereignty, territoriality, international treaties, jurisdiction, international adjudication, the role of international institutions, the use of force and human rights.

Peter Romaniuk – Basic Theories and Concepts in International Relations (IR)
PSC 76000 – 3 credits 
Monday, 4:15pm – 6:15pm
Course Description:
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the different theories and concepts that scholars use to understand and explain world politics. The course examines the major theories in the field of International Relations (IR) and some of the central theoretical debates. Throughout the course, the relevance of specific theories and theory in general for how we make sense of world politics will be critically assessed. The focus of this course will be theoretical rather than empirical. Thus, each class will be devoted to an in-depth discussion of a different theoretical perspective in IR, focusing on its key concepts, foundational assumptions, and central arguments.

Thomas Weiss – UN & Changing World Politics (IR)
PSC 76203– 3 credits (CRN#)
Tuesday, 11:45am – 1:45pm
Course Description:
The object of this course is to situate the United Nations (UN) within the context of international relations theory and contemporary world politics. It is an introduction to the subject, which figures prominently in first exams, second exams, and other programs of study at The Graduate Center. It is geared to students who have not taken their first exams and are without significant professional or analytical exposure to the UN system.

The seminar will focus on a number of concrete cases referencing the history, administration, and especially the politics and some international legal dimensions of the UN system in its three main areas of activity: international peace and security; human rights and humanitarian action; and sustainable development. Given its impact in budgetary and political terms, the “high politics” of security receive the most emphasis. Consideration is also given to other actors (non-governmental and regional organizations) that interact with the UN in the processes of “global governance”—another topic that will appear with some regularity. Because of the importance of the United States to multilateralism, American foreign policy toward the world organization figures prominently in discussions, including the roller-coaster rides during the Clinton, Bush, Obama, and now Trump administrations. Finally, we pay attention to the role of ideas within international institutions (that is, constructivism), an important orientation in recent international relations scholarship as well as a particular interest of mine after the United Nations Intellectual History Project.

Every student enrolled or auditing is expected to lead two discussions (perhaps three, depending on enrollment) of the required readings (which requires going beyond them to consult the “suggested” readings); these presentations will constitute about one-third of the final grade. About two-thirds will be constituted by two simulated “First” Exams taken under exam-like conditions on 18 October and 6 December.

Zachary Shirkey – Causes of War (IR)
PSC 86404– 4 credits 
Wednesday, 4:15pm – 6:15pm
Course Description:
The course will familiarize students with many of the theories about the causes of war and war duration prevalent in the field of political science, especially rationalist and psychological causes. One theme that will run throughout the course is that causes of war and peace are intrinsically linked. Students should be advised that this is an upper-level course and that a familiarity with the basic concepts in international relations is assumed. Students should also note this is not a course on foreign policy or current events, but instead will focus on the theoretical concepts which underlie the behavior of states and rebel groups regarding war and peace. Both interstate and civil wars will be examined.

Richard Wolin – Authoritarian National Populism and The Crisis of Democracy (PT)
PSC 71902 – 3 credits 
Monday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Cross list with HIST 72400
Course Description:
With communism’s unexpected demise in 1989, optimistic forecasts concerning the worldwide triumph of democracy proliferated. During the 1980s and 1990s, authoritarian regimes unraveled not only in Europe, but also in Asia, Latin America, and South Africa, spurring hopes that a long overdue “Third Wave” of democratization was underway.
Recently, it has become painfully evident just how premature and naïve these prognoses were. Over the last ten years, instead of the triumph of liberal democracy, we have witnessed the global ascendancy of authoritarian national populism.
In part, these developments signify a defensive response to the depredations of globalization and neoliberalism. But they also represent a rejoinder to problems that, historically, have been endemic to modern democracy – problems such as: (1) how to determine who counts as part of the demos (women? those without property? religious and ethnic minorities?); and (2) which institutional mechanisms ensure that that the “will of the people” is adequately reflected by the representatives who purportedly govern in its name.
Today, the disturbing rise of political authoritarianism and ethnic nationalism reflects diminished confidence in the capacity of parliamentary democracy to remedy the acute social disequilibrium – economic, cultural, and political – intrinsic to political liberalism. Our approach to these problems will be threefold: (1) historical, (2) theoretical, and (3) political. Among the noteworthy theorists of political authoritarianism that we will discuss are: Hannah Arendt, Carl Schmitt, and leading representatives of the Frankfurt School (T. W. Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, etc.)

George Shulman – Race, Nation & Narrative (PT/RD)
PSC 80609 – 4 credits 
Thursday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Crosslist with ASCP 81500 & WSCP 81000
Course Description:
This course uses social analysis, political speeches, and artistic fictions to explore the relation of race making, nation building, and narrating in the case of the United States. Our broadest premise is that collective subjects (nations, peoples, classes, religions, races) are formed and reformed through narratives joined to collective action. Our specific premise is that “American nationhood has been formed by racial domination and opposition to it, as represented in and through contesting narratives.” The first half of the semester therefore uses social theory to explore the intersections of settler colonialism, chattel slavery, and immigration restriction -and of social movements and counter-narratives opposing them- in shaping imagined (national) community and conceptions of democracy.

The second half of the course attends to and explores idioms of critique: what difference does it make to contest racialized nationalism by a scholarly treatise, by a political speech, or by a work of literary or cinematic fiction? What can and cannot be said (and thereby done) through these different genres of expression? How do we assess the rhetorical and literary dimensions of theoretical texts and how might we discern the theoretical implications of literary and cinematic fictions? Texts of theory include Michael Rogin, Glenn Coulthard, Mae Ngai, Loic Waquant, Hortense Spillers, Saidiyah Hartman, Frank Wilderson, Fred Moton. Authors include James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Colson Whitehead, Claudia Rankine; Films include Bamboozled, GET OUT, and Black Panther.

Benedetto Fontana – Machiavelli (PT)
PSC 71908 – 3 credits 
Thursday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm 
Course Description:

This course focuses on Machiavelli and his interpreters.  Machiavelli is one of the most contentious and protean thinkers in the history of Western political thought. That he has had, and continues to have, a broad and profound influence on political thought cannot be denied. He has been called teacher of evil, a founder of modernity, partisan of republican government, defender of tyranny, defender of the liberty and equality of the people (the many), discoverer of the autonomy of politics and of a new science of politics, amoral realist, impassioned idealist and ardent patriot. In his thought and action he combines simultaneously ferocity and cold calculation. It seems that one cannot discuss politics without confronting and coming to terms with his thought.

The course will examine different interpretations, or different ways of reading, Machiavelli-—such as reason of state, republican, democratic, Straussian, feminist, rhetorical and revolutionary. What is striking about Machiavelli is his complexity—-of ideas, levels of historical reflection, motivations, methods and style. Benedetto Croce long ago observed that Machiavelli is an enigma that can never be resolved, and his resistance to simple categorization makes him perennially open to controversy and reinterpretation. The course explores the various stands of the densely textured web that is his thought. In effect, it offers a reading of several of Machiavelli’s writings, and at the same time looks at the various approaches to, and interpretations of, his politics and thought.

The major political works and some of the minor writings will be read. The former are: The Prince, the Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livius, and the Art of War. The latter are: The Life of Castruccio Castracani, A Provision for Infantry, Tercets on Ambition and On Fortune, A Pastoral: the Ideal Ruler, An Exhortation to Penitence, Description of the Method Used by Duke Valentino in Killing, Discourse on Remodeling the Government of Florence. The critically trenchant comedy Mandragola will also be read.

Course requirements: One take-home final examination and one paper on a subject chosen by the student, both due at the end of the semester.

Carol Gould – Social Ontology: Between Theory and Practice (PT)
PSC 80605 – 4 credits 
Tuesday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Crosslist with PHIL 80300 
Course Description:

Does a social or political collective exist over and above the individuals who comprise it? Are individuals constituted by their social relations or are they free to choose the relations they have with other people? What are collective intentions and actions? Are gender and sex socially constructed or are they natural kinds? And do the answers to these questions have important normative implications for contemporary politics? These and related questions arise at the intersection of metaphysics and political theory and have garnered interest in both Anglo-American and Continental traditions of thought. It can be suggested, too, that social and political theories operate (however tacitly) with conceptions of the entities that make up social reality—of the nature of individuals and of their relations, where these conceptions range from radically individualistic to fully holistic ones of a community or body politic within which individuals gain their identities. Moreover, philosophical theories themselves, however abstract, may reflect ways of thinking rooted in forms of practical life, which in turn delimit their universality or reach. These various issues form the core of the project of social ontology.
This seminar will begin by analyzing this project as it emerges in the work of Hegel, Marx and Lukacs, and as it has developed in contemporary analytic theories such as those of Margaret Gilbert and Michael Bratman. It will consider notions of alterity, plurality, and the second-person perspective in Simone de Beauvoir, Emmanuel Levinas, Hannah Arendt, and Stephen Darwall, and will take up feminist relational ontologies and care approaches (e.g., in Seyla Benhabib and Virginia Held). The course will then focus on key topics in social ontology, including collective intentionality (Raimo Tuomela and the Bratman-Gilbert debate), the nature of institutions (John Searle, Steven Lukes), and of structures (Anthony Giddens and Sally Haslanger), moving to the ontology of groups in both continental and analytic frames (Jean-Paul Sartre, Iris Young, and Philip Pettit). The seminar will then consider some of the normative and practical implications of social ontological perspectives, including the vexed question of collective responsibility (e.g., Larry May), the metaphysics of sex and gender (Carol Gould, Asta Sveinsdottir), the ontology of race (Anthony Appiah, Philip Kitcher, and Charles Mills), and finally, feminist notions of relational autonomy and intersectional group identities and their import for understanding contemporary social and political life (Jennifer Nedelsky and Diana Meyers, among others). Seminar members will be encouraged to relate the course materials to their ongoing research projects through oral presentations and analytical term papers, and will be expected to be active participants in the seminar discussions.

Alan DiGaetano – Comparative Urban Politics and Policy (PP)
PSC 84501 – 4 credits 
Wednesday, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Course Description:
This course is designed to furnish students with sufficient knowledge of comparative methods and analysis to conduct a cross-national study of urban politics and policy. The first part of the course explains how comparative methods have been applied to urban political and policy analysis, such as case studies and cross-national quantitative approaches. The next portion of the course critically examines how different theoretical perspectives—political economy, political culture, and governance theories—have been employed to explain cross-national differences and similarities in the processes, institutions, and outcomes of urban politics and policy making. The third portion of the course investigates comparative analysis of political phenomena (e.g., governing, leadership, elections, and so on), while the final segment focuses on comparisons of particular policy areas (environmental, development, education, and public safety).

John Krinsky – Introduction to Public Policy (PP)
PSC 73100 – 3 credits 
Tuesday, 2:00pm-4:00pm
Course Description:
This course is an introduction to public policy or the study of a large part of what states do within their borders, and what governmental leaders try to do—through a variety of institutions—about a wide range of issues. The course deals with policy as a process, rather than as accomplished fact, and through the lens of policy, considers the ways in which power, institutions, states, and subjects and objects of states take shape. Put differently, policy is a process in which people who want something try to get it, and often, people who don’t want it, try to prevent it; it’s a process in which people do things to other people, deeply affecting their lives, and hope to get the sanction of the state—a more universal legitimacy—for their actions, and, perhaps, too, to get employees of the state to carry out those actions for them. In many respects, then, the study of policy is the study of politics more broadly.

Michael Jacobson – Public and Social Policy Development, Analysis, and Evaluation (PP)
PSC 73901 – 3 credits 
Tuesday, 4:15pm – 6:15pm
Cross list with SOC 84700
Course Description:
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of public policy development, implementation, and evaluation in real-world settings, using local and national examples from the work of the Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG), a research and policy organization within the City University of New York (CUNY). The Institute currently has 40 full time staff and has projects in over 40 cities nationally.  ISLG works with government, nonprofit, private, and philanthropic organizations to reform and improve the structure, financing, delivery, measurement, and evaluation of vital public services in areas that include criminal justice, health care, child welfare and governmental budgeting. Specifically, the Institute provides state and local governments a range of  technical assistance, research and analytical expertise, including project development and management, performance measurement and evaluation, cost-benefit analysis, and fiscal planning.

During the course, students will develop a foundational knowledge of the formal and informal policy making process with particular attention to how reforms can be proposed and implemented in what have become deeply politicized and resource constrained environments. Specific areas of focus will include the translation of research into policy and practice, the importance of relationship building, and the role of fiscal constraints in state and local decision-making.

Students will complete a semester-long capstone project that addresses the learning objectives in the context of the work of the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance.  Students will complete readings and assignments related to social and public policy development, analysis, and evaluation to supplement their capstone work.

John Mollenkopf – Ethnography of Public Policy (PP/RD)
PSC 72500 – 3 credits 
Wednesday, 4:15pm – 6:15pm
Cross list with SOC 82800
Course Description:
Most approaches to the study of public policy either use statistical analysis to address questions of efficiency and effectiveness or institutional analysis to understand how actors form (or block) coalitions to advance their policy agenda within a particular political opportunity structure. This course investigates a third approach: using the tools of ethnography and qualitative analysis (participant observation, in-depth interviewing) to investigate how the participants inside a given policy domain interact to formulate, adopt, and most importantly carry out programs. This approach focuses on the “front line workers” who actually do the work of delivering public policies by interacting with clients on an every-day basis. We are particularly interested not only in the details of how such interactions ‘socially construct’ clients, but how clients react to the ways in which public and nonprofit programs process them, but also in how front line workers interact with the managers and policy-makers who try to reshape the co-production of public services from time to time. In other words, we will examine the operating context for “street level bureaucrats,” including not only their interactions with clients and managers, but also with elected officials, the press, advocacy organizations, consultants, policy scholars, and the concerned public. The course introduces approaches these issues through a close reading of Michael Lipsky’s classic Street Level Bureaucracy, then moves takes up a series of policy ethnography case studies, which will be chosen to reflect the interests of the seminar members and instructors.

Peter Beinart – Writing Politics (WP)
PSC 79001 – 3 credits 
Monday 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, essays and blog posts of their own, see those ideas dissected by their classmates and the instructor, and then write the best ones up. Prominent editors and writers will come as guests.

Sherrie Baver – M.A. Core Course (G)
PSC 71000 – 3 credits 
Tuesday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description:
This course has two primary 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. The seminar proceeds through the various subfields of the political science discipline engaging key texts and debates in these modes of analysis 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 conceptions of democracy, democratization, and de-democratization now inform political questions and political science inquiry

Ann Kirschner – The Future of Work (G)
PSC 70100 – 3 credits 
Tuesday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description:
Mind the Gap will address this question: 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? The 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. The focus will not only be on technology but on drivers for change, the context in which they are taking place, from changing demographics to globalization to climate change. The course assumes that technology is not created in a vacuum, that the future is a page not yet written, and that we have a window of time in which business, government, and the individual can proactively adapt and shape a better future.

Keena Lipsitz – Introduction to Research Design (G/RD)
PSC 79100 – 3 credits 
Wednesday 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Course Description:
This course will provide students with an overview of the quantitative and qualitative research methods commonly used in political science. They will learn how researchers move between theories, concepts, variables, and hypotheses, as well as the techniques they use for collecting data. Students will generate a number of brief research proposals based on the methods discussed, as well as a full dissertation proposal that follows the department’s guidelines.

Spring 2018

Charles Tien – Quantitative Analysis (AP/M)
PSC 89101 – 4 credits
Monday 4:15pm–6:15pm

Course Description:
The aim of this course is to introduce graduate students to statistical analysis in political science. I want students to think of themselves as future contributors of empirical work, as well as critical consumers. In that spirit, there will be an emphasis on “learning-by-doing.” Each student should locate a data set of interest to them by the third week of the semester that will be used to carry out statistical exercises. By the end of the course, students will have a working understanding of ordinary least squares regression analysis.

The course will start with a review of univariate statistics and then proceed to bivariate statistics. By the end of the semester we will have worked our way through the regression assumptions. Students will conduct weekly homework assignments using political science data sets of their own choosing.

To help students see the linkages between the material we cover and the work in the discipline, students will also read journal articles in addition to the assigned books. It is my hope that students will be more tolerant of the technical material if they can see the payoff in terms of a better understanding of political science rather than statistics.

 


Lynda Dodd – American Constitutional Development (AP)
PSC 72100 – 3 credits
Wednesday, 11:45am–1:45pm
Course Description:
The most honored and fundamental principles of the American political system, and many of this country’s most divisive crises, have been debated and challenged in terms of constitutional law. In this course, we will examine the nature and scope of the powers of the federal judiciary, Congress, the presidency, and the relationship between the federal government and the states, as well as the impact of the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment.

One goal of this seminar is to emphasize that answers to questions about the proper ways in which to organize a political system around even the most fundamental principles – such as separation of powers, federalism, representative democracy, liberty, equality, and the rule of law – have changed throughout this country’s history. The modern constitutional regime is, in complex ways, vastly different from what the Framers of the Constitution imagined. These changes raise fascinating questions aboumethods of constitutional interpretation, as well as judicial and political fidelity to our constitutional regime – all of which we will consider as we review these historical developments and the leading cases in the constitutional law canon.

The second goal of this seminar is to situate these debates in the political science literature on American political development. The seminar readings will thus cover not only the major decisions of the Supreme Court, but also the debates and decisions that occur within Congress, the executive branch, the states, and the larger public sphere. By highlighting the role of ideas and normative debates in American constitutional development, the seminar will be of interest to political theorists, Americanists, and students interested in the interplay of constitutional law and social movements in U.S. history.

Susan Woodward – Peacebuilding (CP/IR)
PSC 86207 – 4 credits 
Tuesday, 4:15pm – 6:15pm
Course Description: 
This seminar is simultaneously one in international relations and in comparative politics. As an IR course, peacebuilding is primarily about intervention in the domestic affairs of countries, both in general and by specific international actors such as the UN, regional security organizations such as the African Union and NATO, and both bilateral and multilateral development donors and banks.

Addressing the primary contemporary form of armed conflict (intrastate rather than interstate), the literature on mediation, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding is now quite extensive, both in academic and policy spheres. Because peacebuilding is about ending this violence, building peace (currently called “sustainable peace”), and either restoring or creating states within countries, it is simultaneously a topic of comparative politics, especially its very long tradition on the relation between war and state formation and, more recently, on the causes and termination of civil wars. The seminar will read into both sets of literatures, IR and comparative.

I propose that this is a particularly interesting moment for us, as political scientists, to analyze peacebuilding and to make a contribution. First, the practice of peacebuilding is in turmoil, both at the UN and with Northern development donors, because of a decade or more of disappointing outcomes. The UN is in the process of defining a significant reform of peacekeeping and peacebuilding while donors such as the British aid agency, DFID, say they need a new “paradigm” for their work in these countries and would welcome our suggestions. Second, a consensus has emerged in the policy world (policymakers and practitioners) to explain poor outcomes that they have not taken into account that peacebuilding is profoundly political. This is not a new idea, but it appears to have gained legitimacy and heightened awareness recently.

As political scientists, we have a special opportunity to contribute to this discussion, by bringing analyses of power relations and literatures in comparative politics on domestic politics to analyses of peacebuilding interventions. Third, the concepts of strategic interaction and that of two-level games both give us leverage on an essential aspect of this world that is little studied — the interaction between international and domestic actors, such as in the domestication or not of international norms (e.g., human rights, transitional justice, responsibility to protect), the role of third parties in mediating and then implementing peace agreements, and local resistance against external imposition.

The syllabus will be organized topically according to the aspects of peacebuilding that researchers and practitioners have studied, but within an overall framework of general debates in the literature and these three possible contributions from us. Specific countries will be used for illustration of each topic, not as detailed case studies, but students are encouraged to focus on a country or several in detail during the semester. This is a research seminar. Students in the seminar should choose whatever topic or case studies (individual or comparative) are of interest to them for their final paper.


Jillian Schwedler – Basic Methods & Theories in Comparative Politics II (CP/M)
PSC 77904 – 3 credits
Tuesday 6:30pm – 8:30pm 
Course Description:
There is little consensus within comparative politics, let alone the discipline of political science, about how to study politics. Comparativists use a range of approaches and hold a variety of methodological commitments. This course is designed to introduce students to the philosophical and epistemological disputes that have given rise to this lack of consensus. The aim of the course is to enable students to make more deeply informed judgments about the types of political science work that they encounter and undertake. Students will be encouraged to appreciate alternative methodological approaches to comparative analysis, weigh their relative utility in answering questions of importance to them, and determine whether and how these different approaches might fruitfully be combined.


Forrest Colburn – Development (CP)
PSC 80301 – 4 credits 
Wednesday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Course Description:

This course studies key works in the comparative analysis of development, with an emphasis on the major political explanations for differences in nation and state building and in economic development. The readings cover a wide range of approaches. Beyond analyzing development per se, the course uses debates about development to explore the strengths and weaknesses of theoretical approaches to the study of countries.

The course concentrates more on methodological disputes than on debates over the practical merits of particular policies or development strategies. Readings are selected for their salience rather than any deliberate regional or country focus. However, the emphasis of the course is on the poorer countries of the world, most former European colonies, which have made such a determined effort at economic development since the end of World War II.

Stephanie Golob – The Rules: International Law and International Relations Approaches to Global Issues (IR)
PSC 76400 – 3 credits 
Monday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Course Description:

This seminar will analyze key issues of interstate conflict and cooperation at the intersection of two fields that have seen increasing synergies and interdisciplinary potential: International Law (IL) and International Relations (IR). One key objective of the course is to introduce the emerging interdisciplinary subfield known as “IL/IR,” and thus to open possibilities for seminar members to locate their own research interests within (or in close proximity to) this scholarly crossroads.

As the title suggests, this seminar will examine the nature of rules – laws and treaties, formalized institutions and informal norms – on the international level that purport to ‘govern’ relations between states, to ‘police’ the behavior of governments (and, in some cases, non-state actors), and to regulate problems that states cannot easily solve on their own. We will identify and discuss the distinct and/or converging responses of IL, IR and IL/IR scholarship to the following questions: Why, and under what conditions, do states follow rules? Who gets to make the rules, how are they to be enforced, and on what actors? How do we measure and evaluate compliance with the rules in a world of self-interested sovereign states? What are international “norms” (related to, and distinct from, “law”), how and why are they diffused across borders, and what motivates states to formalize them? Are ‘law’ and ‘power’ in opposition, or are they in fact two sides of the same coin of authoritative discourse and action?

This conceptual investigation will lead to a comparative examination of IL, IR and IL/IR approaches to key global issues, including (but not limited to): humanitarian intervention and the use of force; responses to refugee flows and mass migration; human rights and international criminal justice; climate change and the environment; and rules governing (or not) private actors such as MNCs in the global economy.

Michael Lee – International Political Economy (IR)
PSC 76200 – 3 credits 
Thursday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Course Description:
The contemporary global economy is characterized by an intense interdependence – people, capital and goods flow across borders to a degree that is in many respects unprecedented (although there have been past eras of globalization). In this class, we will examine the ways in which political forces influence these flows – jockeying domestic interests? Realpolitik? Hegemon prerogatives? International regimes and institutions?

The interests of global capital? Budget-maximizing bureaucrats? Norms and ideas fostered by transnational activist networks? In the class, we will look at the politics of trade, foreign investment, immigration & remittances, the role of currency in the international economy, financial crises, and the politics of development, with an eye to important current debates. Is the contemporary rise of far-right populism a Polanyian backlash against globalization or something else? Will the Chinese yuan (or the Bitcoin) replace the US dollar as global reserve currency? Is another global financial crisis in the works?

Susan Buck-Morss – Critical Reasons: The Basics (PT/M)
PSC 71901 – 3 credits 
Monday, 4:15pm – 6:15pm
Course Description:
This course deals with basic concepts and problems of Western Critical Theory. The readings focus on three key authors: Kant, Hegel and Adorno. Philosophy is considered from the perspective of the political. Concepts include: critical reason, transcendental claims, phenomenology, dialectics, non-identity, materialist metaphysics, history, causality, and freedom. Students who are non-specialists are encouraged to read extremely difficult texts (Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, Hegel’s Phenomenology, Adorno’s Lectures on History and Freedom) with the goal of developing critical capacities for concrete, historical analyses of political, social and economic life. The challenge is to make the concepts of the readings meaningful for contemporary projects of critique. Seminar requirements: sustained, active seminar participation, one short midterm paper, and one final paper (or exam option).

Corey Robin – Political Theory of Capitalism (PT) 
PSC 80303 – 4 credits 
Monday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm 
Course Description:
In ancient Greece, the dominant political form was the city-state. In Rome, it was the republic and the empire. After the fall of Rome, it was the Church. In the early modern era, it became the state. Today, it is capitalism. But where Greece, Rome, the Church, and the state all produced their own distinctive political theories, capitalism has not. Indeed, it’s greatest—and, with the exception of Hayek, perhaps only—political theorist devoted his attentions to capitalism solely in order to bring it to an end. For many, capitalism is not a political form at all; it is strictly a mode of economic organization. What is entailed in that distinction—between the political and the economic—and whether and how it can be sustained will be a central preoccupation of this course.

Through an examination of the classics of political economy, as well as some less canonical texts, we will assess whether capitalism has (or can have) a political theory, and if so, what that theory is. Rather than assume that the political question of capitalism is exhausted by the state’s relationship to the economy, we will examine how capitalism produces a distinctive and independent political form of its own, with its own rules and values. Readings will be drawn from some combination of the following thinkers: Aristotle, Locke, Hume, Smith, Hegel, Malthus, Ricardo, Marx, Jevons, Weber, Keynes, Schumpeter, Arendt, Hayek, Becker, Friedman, Foucault, Brown, Harvey.


Richard Wolin – Existentialism: from Dostoevsky to Sartre (PT)
PSC 71902 – 3 credits 
Monday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Cross list with HIST 72400
Course Description:
Existentialism revolutionized twentieth-century thought and culture. Heidegger’s Being and Time (1927) and Sartre’s Being and Nothingness (1943) established the movement’s contours and tenets, although Karl Jaspers and Simone de Beauvoir also made essential contributions.
Existentialism challenged Western metaphysics by rejecting the notion of “essence” as a conceptual straitjacket that restricted the notion of human possibility. Its watchword may be succinctly summarized as: existence is prior to essence. As an intellectual current, existentialism followed in the wake of Nietzsche’s critique of European nihilism: since traditional Western values had lost their cogency and meaning, a “transvaluation of values” was required.

Nineteenth-century developments provided the backdrop for existentialism’s emergence. Both Schelling and Kierkegaard lamented traditional philosophy’s trafficking in lifeless abstractions and lack of concern with “lived experience.” Theories of “alienation” in the work of Marx, Durkheim, and Simmel provided existentialism with a grounding in contemporary social theory and critique.

Existentialism also derived inspiration from major works of literature: Dostoevsky’s “Notes from Underground,” Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilych,” and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary became indispensable points of reference. According to one witness, Heidegger’s constant companions while composing Being and Time were Dostoevsky’s novels and a recent edition of van Gogh’s letters. Sartre’s novels and plays, Nausea and No Exit, are often treated as exemplars of literary existentialism.

Finally, existentialism has often been criticized from the left for glorifying alienation and (bourgeois) decadence. During the late 1940s, the Frankfurt School philosopher and exHeidegger student, Herbert Marcuse, wrote a landmark critique of Sartre’s Being and Nothingness. During the 1960s, Theodor Adorno accused Heidegger’s approach of smoothing over the tensions of late capitalism by offering a “pseudo-concreteness” in place of a critical social theory.


Uday Mehta – Modern Social Theory (PT)
PSC 80304 – 4 credits 
Tuesday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Course Description:
This seminar will consider the following broad questions with respect to Tocqueville, Marx, Durkheim and Weber: 1) what makes society cohere as a unit of subjective, social and political experience. 2) How do societies change, develop, and come apart? Relatedly, how does one understand social change? 3) What is gained and lost in conceiving of societies in terms of the material interests of its members or groups of members, as distinct from viewing them in terms of the values and beliefs of its members? 4) What is the relationship between social and political institutions and the cohesion of societies? What, for instance, makes societies prone to revolutionary transformation? 5) What is the role of ideas in development and transformation of societies? 6) What is the standing of “traditions” in societies that are wedded to the idea of individual freedom?

Helena Rosenblatt – The History of Liberalism from Locke to Rawls (PT)
PSC 71902 – 3 credits 
Tuesday, 4:15pm – 6:15pm
Cross list with HIST 72100
Course Description:
This course is an in-depth introduction to some of the founding thinkers and texts of the liberal tradition. We will read canonical texts and works of interpretation in an effort to answer questions such as: What do we mean when we speak of liberalism? What if any, are its core principles and values? What is alive and what is dead in the liberal tradition? We will focus on works by Locke, Wollstonecraft, Rousseau, Constant, Mill, Green and Spencer, and conclude with an examination of Rawls. Main Themes: Property and the Role of Government; Women’s Rights and Roles; Social Contract and the Individual; Morals and Empire.

Benedetto Fontana – Ancient & Medieval Political Thought (PT)
PSC 71000 – 3 credits 
Thursday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Course Description:
The course focuses on basic texts of selected political thinkers, from the ancient Greeks to the Renaissance, namely, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, and Machiavelli. In the process, central political ideas (for example, liberty, equality, law, justice, community, property, meaning and change in history) are examined and related to the writers’ political and theoretical projects. In addition, it considers the relation between the nature of rule and the forms of rule (types of government or regimes): monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, tyranny, despotism, oligarchy, dictatorship, constitutionalism, republicanism, and the master/slave (domination/subordination) relation.

Jesse Prinz – Political Psychology (PT)
PSC 83505 – 4 credits (Crosslist with PHIL 76900)
Wednesday, 11:45am-1:45pm
Course Description:
Political psychology is the investigation of attitudes and behaviors in the public sphere. Examples include partisan polarization, voter ignorance, right-wing populism, national character, class conflict, imperialism, wartime atrocities and trauma, suicide terrorism, attitudes towards immigrants, and identity politics. Researchers in various fields have investigated the mechanisms that motivate these phenomena, including human nature, personality, emotions, propaganda, a ruling elite, material conditions, historical events, culture, ideology, and institutional structures.

Philosophers have been interested in such issues too, along with questions that tie into core debates in ethics, metaphysics, mind, and political philosophy: Are we naturally peaceable or pugnacious? What is the relationship between political attitudes and personal identity? Can political disagreements be rationally adjudicated (e.g., by deliberating behind a veil of ignorance)? In this seminar, we will take an interdisciplinary look at the political mind.

Alexandra Moffet-Bateau – Qualitative Research Methods for Political Science (PP/M)
PSC 79100 – 3 credits 
Tuesday, 4:15pm-6:15pm
Course Description:
This is a practicum course designed to help graduate students in all subfields successfully get a qualitative research project into the field. As a result the course will be most useful for those students who enter the course with some idea of their research question, what population they would like to study, and why.

The focus of the seminar is on the connection between data and theory. What counts as qualitative research? What is distinctive about qualitative research? What are the implications of choosing a qualitative research strategy for methods, techniques, data and interpretation? While we will review theoretical perspectives on qualitative research, the primary focus of the course is on doing qualitative research. With that in mind you will have the opportunity to pilot a qualitative research project you are currently working on.

The course will begin with an overview of what a qualitative research framework brings to the study of political science and the understanding of public policy. From there the course will dive into the creation of a research proposal for your pilot study. We will discuss the process of how to go about choosing the appropriate qualitative research modality when drafting your proposal. At this point, we will discuss practical matters regarding the design of the project, pre-planning your fieldwork, and entering the field for the first time. Over the course of the semester, students will begin a pilot of their proposed project. In class, we will discuss the field experience of students and the process of taking field notes. Finally, the course will review coding and data analysis. Please note: this course does not duplicate the dissertation workshop and the course on research design.


Leslie McCall – Politics of Inequality (PP)
PSC 73100 – 3 credits 
Wednesday, 4:15pm-6:15pm
Cross list with SOC 83300
Course Description:
This 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.


John Mollenkopf – The Future of Urban Studies (PP)
PSC 73100 – 3 credits 
Wednesday, 4:15pm – 6:15pm
Cross list with SOC 84700, ANTH 71400
Course Description:
This seminar explores the new substantive, methodological, and theoretical directions being undertaken by urban studies scholars from a variety of disciplines to addressing the pressing issues facing urban and metropolitan life in the 21st century. The focus will be interdisciplinary, seeking to explore not just the best thinking from each discipline, but how the disciplines intersect or interact with each other. While we will inevitably pay attention to the larger cities of the US and West Europe, the scope is intended to include urbanization at a planetary scale and the new forms it is taking in China, India, Africa, and Latin America.

Each week will explore a specific topic or theme, such as the impact of technological innovation and “smart cities,” the challenges of governing racially and ethnically diverse, segmented, and unequal cities, or the rise and dynamics of urban counter-cultures and social movements. (These are illustrative but seminar participants will help to shape the final list.) One aim of the seminar is to help inform the Graduate Center’s new urban initiative under the leadership of Provost Joy Connolly.


Celina Su – Participatory Democracy and Social Movements (PP)
PSC 71905 – 3 credits 
Thursday, 11:45am – 1:45pm
Cross list with PSYC 80103
Course Description:
This seminar takes a look at what ordinary citizens do to shape public programs and engage in politics— in ways other than voting. We explore the notion that popular participation can make democratic governance more legitimate, fair, and effective. Is participatory democracy— alternatively called bottom-up participation, maximal democracy, or direct democracy— really better? Specifically, we will examine forms and functions of civil society from a comparative perspective by looking at specific examples of (1) participatory institutions (neighborhood councils, urban budgeting, school governance, etc.), (2) participation in non-governmental organizations and development projects, and (3) social movements around the world (landless people’s movements, transnational networks, mothers of political dissidents who have “disappeared,” AIDS protest groups, etc.).

Sometimes, these three categories blur into one another. We will try to focus on case studies in “Global South” middle-income countries like Brazil, Argentina, India, and South Africa, though we also include domestic cases as a point of reference. How much should ordinary citizens participate in policymaking, and how? Under what circumstances? We will pay special attention to equity in participation, uses and construction of identity, and policy impacts in each case.

Peter Beinart – Writing Politics II (G/WP)
PSC 79002 – 3 credits 
Monday 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, essays and blog posts of their own, see those ideas dissected by their classmates and the instructor, and then write the best ones up. Prominent editors and writers will come as guests.

Susan Woodward – Dissertation Proposal Workshop (G/PD)
PSC 89100 – 0 credits 
Monday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description:
This 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.


Alyson Cole – Teaching Political Science (G/PD)
PSC 77900 – 3 credits
Thursday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Cross list with WSCP 81000
This course serves a dual purpose: first, to encourage students to reflect on the vocation of teaching, and second, to provide an environment in which students can explore various pedagogical techniques and prepare for teaching on the campuses in the fall. We begin the semester with two classic reflections on the art of teaching as well as recent public debates about some challenges of professing, and then move on to consider such practical issues as syllabus development, effective learning goals, assessment strategies, class preparation, and grading practices.

We will also discuss aspects of the profession beyond the classroom, such as mentoring students and writing letters of recommendation. In addition to our pedagogical inquiries, students will be introduced to their colleagues who are already teaching on the campuses.
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.

Fall 2017

Sanford Schram – American Politics: Theories and Core Concepts (AP)
PSC 72001 – 3 credits (CRN#36252)
Monday 4:15pm–6:15pm

Course Description:
This seminar surveys the major scholarly debates in the study of American politics today. It draws on prominent theoretical perspectives for understanding empirical issues regarding: (1) the history of American political development; (2) the constitutional and institutional structure of American government in its contemporary form; (3) the structure of power and the behavior of political elites; and (4) ordinary people’s political behavior as manifested in studies of public opinion and political participation broadly construed. As a seminar, course emphasizes dialogue about assigned readings. Students are to be active participants in the conversation. Each student will lead one session. 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. The course will regularly address issues and problems in teaching an undergraduate American politics survey course.


Ruth O’Brien – American Political Thought (AP)
PSC 72100 – 3 credits (CRN#36607) 
Tuesday 11:45am – 1:45am
Cross list with WSCP 81000
Course Description:
American Political Thought is one of the core subfields in the American Politics field. It can also be counted as part of the political theory concentration. This seminar asks the big questions: What is justice? What is equality? What does it mean to be free? It does so in historical perspective, breaking the periods down into perspectives provided by the revolution; founding, civil war; Social Darwinist; bourgeois individualist; progressive; industrial capitalist, New Deal; and identity politics periods. Original texts ranging from: James Madison’s Federalist Papers; John Dewey’s The Public and Its Problems; Malcolm X’s Autobiography to Gloria E. Anzaldua’s This Bridge Called my Back will be read. In addition, to concentrating on the standard interpretations of these texts, some radical interpretations will be emphasized, particularly black feminist thought. In addition, the seminar gives more weight to the latter half of American political thought written about capitalism and identity politics in the late-19th and 20th centuries rather than the founding or the civil war eras in the 18th, early, and mid-19th centuries.


Stanley Renshon – The Modern Presidency: FDR to Trump (AP)
PSC 82001 – 4 credits (CRN#36257)
Thursday 6:30pm–8:30pm

Cross list with IDS 81650
Course Description:
The American presidency holds a central, if paradoxical position in American politics. Since its creation, supporters for a strong presidency have viewed it as the primary source of “energy,” “decision,” and “activity” in American political life. Moreover, over time, the modern presidency has amassed so much power while becoming a singular focus of public expectations that it has more than fulfilled these expectations. That “success,” however, has become a mixed blessing. The more powerful presidents have become, the harder it has been for them to succeed. It has become increasingly clear that how the president exercises executive power is just as important as having it. Moreover, simply accruing power does not necessarily translate into effective political leadership or successful governing.
Using policy, politics, leadership and public expectations as four core frames of analysis, this course examines how and why the modern presidency developed as it did from a revered to a contested institution. We will examine how the men who occupied the office shaped it, tried to make use of it, in some cases misused it, and in others were undone by it. Among the topics to be covered are: the changing nature of presidential leadership; issues of governance in a divided electorate; and how modern presidents have tried to navigate the increasingly fractured relationship between wining office and governing, and the very consequential and controversial presidencies of Barack Obama and Donald Trump and what they suggest about the nature and direction of American politics.

Susan Woodward –Basic Theories & Concepts in Comparative Politics (CP)
PSC 77901 – 3 credits (CRN#36238)
Monday 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.


Till Weber – Applied Quantitative Research Correlation, Comparison, Causality (CP/M)
PSC 89101 – 4 credits (CRN#36248 )
Tuesday 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Course Description:
Statistics 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? Alternatively, 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. 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 doctoral program. 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 do not 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. Alternatively, 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 boot camp™, 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 will be awarded for achievement relative to initial proficiency.


Kenneth Erickson – State & Society(CP)
PSC 87801 – 4 credits (CRN# 36255)
Wednesday 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Course Description:

Seminar/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.

Mark Ungar – Democratization (CP)
PSC 77903 – 3 credits (CRN#36256 )
Thursday 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Course Description:
For the first time, a majority of the world’s countries have adopted democracy, making democratization a key focus of political science. Drawing on the histories and current developments in each region, this course comparatively assesses the quality of democratic regimes around the globe by examining the range of weaknesses (such as in the rule of law, economic policy, and the balance of power) and challenges (such as corruption, crime, and inequality) that trap most regimes in a grey area between transition and consolidation. The critical analysis of democratization that the class undertakes will also strengthen understanding of comparative and international politics more broadly.

Peter Romaniuk – Global Terrorism (IR)
PSC 86207 – 4 credits (CRN#36242)
Monday 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Course Description:

In the period since the attacks of 11 September 2001 in the United States, terrorism has become a permanent fixture on the international security agenda, as well as being a primary domestic security concern for many states. Terrorist violence and state responses to terrorism have had broad and deep impacts on international relations and on human security. Prior to 9/11, and in the years since, the strategies and tactics of terrorism (and counterterrorism) have continued to evolve. Today and into the future, knowledge of global terrorism is critical for students and scholars seeking to understand international security. This course is an advanced-level survey of terrorism and the politics that surround it. The course aims to: prepare students to become informed and critical consumers of claims to knowledge about terrorism, whether they are manifested in scholarship, policy, popular debates in the media, or elsewhere, and; advance student’s capacity to produce robust social science research about terrorism and counterterrorism.


Zachary Shirkey – Basic Concepts & Theories in International Relations (IR)
PSC 76000 – 3 credits (CRN#36239)
Tuesday 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Course Description:
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the different theories and concepts that scholars use to understand and explain world politics. The course examines the major theories in the field of International Relations (IR) and some of the central theoretical debates. Throughout the course, the relevance of specific theories and theory in general for how we make sense of world politics will be critically assessed. The focus of this course will be theoretical rather than empirical. Thus, each class will be devoted to an in-depth discussion of a different theoretical perspective in IR, focusing on its key concepts, foundational assumptions, and central arguments.

Peter Liberman – Security Studies (IR)
PSC 76400 – 3 credits (CRN#36247)
Tuesday 4:15pm – 6:15pm
Course Description:
This course examines contemporary theory-testing research in security studies. Topics examined include the sources of peace and war, coercion, strategy, arms races, alliances, and international institutions designed to control arms and conflict. The focus is on states, but we will also examine insurgencies and terrorism insofar as these have international reach. The works studied represent diverse methodologies and theoretical approaches; each week’s readings address a common question (or a set of related questions) using different theories and methods. This is not a security policy course per se, but most of the work examined focuses on questions whose answers would help policymakers (not necessarily U.S. ones) make important decisions about peace and security.

The course has seven main goals:
· To familiarize students with a wide range of leading theories on international security issues.
· To develop students’ understanding of multiple methodological approaches employed in contemporary international relations research.
· To enhance students’ ability to critically analyze political science research, especially in the field of international security.
· To improve students’ ability to critically analyze security policy issues and debates.
· To enhance students theoretical reasoning and their writing, verbal communication, and critical thinking skills.
· To help students identify promising research projects.
· To prepare students to answer international security questions on the PhD First Exam in International Relations.

Jack Jacobs – Marxism (PT)
PSC 80302 – 4 credits (CRN#36244)
Monday 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Course Description:
This course, which will be conducted as a seminar, will be devoted to discussing and critique 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 – on the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution of 1917! The political ideas of Vladimir Lenin. I intend, in a somewhat later section of the course, to devote particularly 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 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.


Susan Buck-Morss – Walter Benjamin (PT)
PSC 80602 – 4 credits (CRN#36250)
Monday 4:15pm – 6:15pm
Course Description:
In-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 5 volumes of his Selected Works will be consulted.


Richard Wolin – The Outcome of German Classical Philosophy (PT)
PSC 71902 – 3 credits (CRN#36240)
Monday 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Cross list with HIST 72400
Course Description:
The course will primarily focus on the nexus between philosophy, reason, and, autonomy. We will also examine the substantive arguments that the school’s leading representatives have set forth, with special attention to the “healing” role of both reason and the aesthetic dimension. If thought and being are sundered in real life, art and reason offer the prospect of making the world whole once more. Thus, in German Classical philosophy, aesthetic consciousness often plays what one might describe as a redemptory or reconciliatory function. In his “Discourse on Language” Foucault warns us appositely that, “Truly to escape Hegel involves an exact appreciation of the price we have to pay to detach ourselves from him. It assumes that we are aware of the extent to which Hegel, insidiously perhaps, is close to us; it implies a knowledge that permits us to think against Hegel, of that which remains Hegelian. Thus we have to determine the extent to which our anti-Hegelianism is possibly one of his tricks directed against us, at the end of which he stands, motionless, waiting for us.” Foucault’s insightful caveat will, in many respects, function as our interpretive watchword as we seek to decode and reconstruct German Idealism and its innovative contemporary legacies.


Carol Gould – Socialism & Democracy (PT)
PSC 80302 – 4 credits (CRN#36258)
Tuesday 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Cross list with PHIL 77900
Course Description:
An exploration of core issues at the intersection of socialist theory and democratic theory, and of the prospects for rethinking democratic socialism for the 21st century. The seminar will draw on literature from the history of both Marxist/socialist and liberal democratic thought and will go on to consider leading critiques of both traditions. We will then focus on key conceptual problems in delineating new democratic and cooperative forms of social, economic, and political organization, including worker self-management; structural injustice and ecological justice; the question of markets, coordination, and distribution; the problem of scale (local, national, and global); and the role of feminist notions of reproduction, recognition, and care. Readings will include, among others, works by Karl Marx, Rosa Luxemburg, Emma Goldman, Peter Kropotkin, Karl Kautsky, Hannah Arendt, Franz Fanon, Robert Dahl, C. B. Macpherson, Carole Pateman, Andre Gorz, Erik Olin Wright, Jane Mansbridge, G. A. Cohen, Nancy Fraser, and Elizabeth Anderson.


Leonard Feldman – Modern Political Thought (PT)
PSC 70200 – 3 credits (CRN#36253)
Wednesday 4:15pm-6:15pm
Course Description:
This course will examine key texts of modern Western political thought and the different ways they have been interpreted by contemporary political theorists. We will concentrate on works by Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Mill and Nietzsche. Some questions that will guide us include: If the period we loosely and contentiously describe as modern places stress on the problem of value, how do modern political systems gain and maintain legitimacy? What particular institutions are justified and on what basis? What are the affective dimensions of political order and political disorder? How are visions of political subjectivity linked to political orders and who is excluded from political subjectivity? Does modernity signify an age of progress in terms of knowledge about the world and freedom for human beings or a new kind of violent containment?

In addition, we will engage two to three important contemporary readings of each primary text, coming from Straussian, Cambridge School, feminist, post-colonial and post-structuralist perspectives. The goals here are (a) to gain new insight into the primary texts under consideration, (b) develop a familiarity with the core assumptions, commitments and methods of key interpretive approaches, and (c) evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of those approaches. The primary texts will come from the department’s political theory reading list and the seminar will be useful for students in preparation for their comprehensive exams in political theory. But it is by no means limited to that goal or that group of students.

Katherine Chen – Organization, Markets, and the State (PP)
PSC 72500 – 3 credits (CRN#36687)
Monday 11:45am-1:45pm
Cross list with SOC 84700
Course Description:
Organizations are one of the main “building blocks” of contemporary society.  Despite their central role in shaping our experiences from education to the workplace to governance, these actors and their form of collective action are often overlooked or taken-for-granted among researchers and laypersons.  Learn why organizations form, how they develop, and how they can exacerbate inequality or improve people’s life chances.  The content will cover a variety of organizations, from conventional bureaucracies to alternative, democratic organizations.  Theories studied will include classics, as well as cutting edge synthetic work like Strategic Action Fields (SAFs).

Participation in this course could be helpful for preparing for comprehensives, widening cross-over expertise in a substantive area (i.e. social movements, urban sociology, etc.), designing and carrying out research, and professional development.  One of the aims includes developing a community of supportive scholars for emerging research.


John Krinksy – Social Movements (PP/CP)
PSC 73100 – 3 credits (CRN#36243)
Tuesday 2:00pm-4:00pm
Course Description:
This course will investigate the causes and processes of political protest and efforts to remake the world through non-institutional politics. It will focus on the principal theories of social movements and assess them for their rigor and breadth of applicability over geographically and historically varied cases. It will also treat questions of the relationship of non-institutional and institutional politics, political speech and organization, reformism and radicalism, and what protest tells us–and can tell us–about the constitution of power across geographical scales


Janet Gornick – Women, Work, and Public Policy (PP)
PSC 82503 – 4 credits (CRN#36245) 
Tuesday, 4:15pm-6:15pm 
Cross list with SOC 84700, WSCP 81000
Course Description:
This 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. 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, and nativity, and examine the recent rise of the “precariat” – a segment of the labor force characterized by little or no employment security and few legal protections. We will analyze the ways in which public policies have addressed these issues, and evaluate their impact.

The course also examines the effects on women workers – of all classes, races, and ethnic groups, and on immigrants as well as natives – of 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.


John Mollenkopf – Politics and Government of New York (PP)
PSC 82510 – 4 credits (CRN#36254) 
Wednesday 4:15pm – 6:15pm
Cross list with SOC 84700, AFCP 73100
Course Description:
In the past, political scientists described New York City both as an exemplary case of machine politics (from Boss Tweed of Tammany Hall to the Queens County Democratic machine) and of urban reform (from Mayor LaGuardia through Mayor De Blasio). This strongly liberal city, with a large municipal welfare state and a unionized public labor force, nonetheless elected Republican mayors between 1993 and 2013. Despite being a majority minority city and electorate, it has elected only one minority mayor, David Dinkins and no Latino has been elected to city-wide office. This course uses the 2017 mayoral elections to explore the construction of electoral majorities and the exercise of political power in this large, complex, multicultural setting, with a particular focus on what difference having a left liberal or progressive mayor makes and the difficulties facing attempts at reform governance in various policy areas, including housing criminal justice, and homeless services.


Alan DiGaetano – Urban Public Policy (PP)
PSC 72500 – 3 credits (CRN# 36241)
Wednesday 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Course Description:
This course is designed to introduce students to the scholarship on urban policy making in the United States. The course first examines some basic concepts and theoretical perspectives used in the analysis of urban policy making. The theoretical perspectives considered are Paul Kantor’s “Two Faces of American Urban Policy” framework, Clarence Stone’s urban regime theory, civic and ideological political culture approaches, and those that rely on the concept of neoliberalism to explain contemporary urban policy making. The remainder of the course examines specific urban policy areas through the lenses of each of these theoretical perspectives. The urban policy areas examined include economic development, education, fiscal, and community development.

Peter Beinart – Writing Politics (G/WP)
PSC 79001 – 3 credits (CRN#36237)
Monday 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, essays and blog posts of their own, see those ideas dissected by their classmates and the instructor, and then write the best ones up. Prominent editors and writers will come as guests.


Ruth O’Brien – Dissertation Proposal Workshop (G/PD)
PSC 89100 – 0 credits (CRN#36251)
Wednesday 2:00pm–4:00pm
Course Description:
This workshop helps students prepare for the second examination. All students who have finished or near finished their course work are strongly encouraged to attend so they can discover how to write a dissertation proposal. This workshop will help them develop a clear and detailed description of their topic, convincing enough to show experienced scholars why her or his topic is worthy of pursuing. It will cover principles and organization, conceptualization and research strategies, and, where appropriate, methodological questions. As a zero-credit course, it has no grading, yet students participate intensely and enthusiastically, providing both strong support and honest criticism of each other’s work while learning to identify and resolve issues and develop the analytical skills that will be needed for research and teaching. To this end, each workshop member will read and discuss the drafts of all other members—a process as important for improving one’s own proposal as it is for those of one’s fellow participants. Workshop members attend all meetings and make a commitment to do some new writing every week. Also, students who have completed their dissertation proposals are welcome to take the seminar again to help them refine dissertation-research grant applications. Important guidelines, procedures, and advice will be given at the first meeting, which students interested in the workshop are strongly encouraged to attend.


Sherrie Baver – M.A. Core Course (G)
PSC 71902 – 3 credits (CRN#36249)
Tuesday 6:30pm–8:30pm
Course Description:
This course has two primary 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. The seminar proceeds through the various subfields of the political science discipline engaging key texts and debates in these modes of analysis 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 conceptions of democracy, democratization, and de-democratization now inform political questions and political science inquiry

Spring 2017

Ruth O’Brien – American Political Development (AP)
PSC 82210 – 4 credits (CRN # 35248)
Monday 11:45am – 1:45pm

Course Description:

American Political Development, more properly titled – Neos, Isms, & Information Imperialism is an American-politics seminar that crosses political science disciplinary divides and political history by relying on “political development” as a comparative-politics and international-relations good-governance methodology with two analytical axes: the role of ideas, and hybrid institutionalism in the increasingly horizontal global social sphere. The seminar is also informed by Women’s Studies literature, given its emphasis on difference as the United States built a relatively strong nation-state and became a global hegemon. It pays particular attention to masculinity and misogynistic nation-building by focusing on what I call neotribalism – or intersections in inequality, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and bodies in re-volt (volt refers to the energy derived from creative difference), who resist despite our President who may continue waging the “war on women.”


Charles Tien – Minority Politics (AP)
PSC 82001 – 4 credits (CRN # 35245)
Monday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Course Description: (TBA)

This course examines critical questions and debates in race and ethnic politics in America. We will highlight political science approaches to the study of the histories of minorities in American politics, but also read in other fields. Primarily, the course will investigate theories of race and racism, and how race and ethnic politics interacts with American political and social institutions.


David Jones – Congress (AP)
PSC 72210 – 3 credits (CRN # 35260)
Thursday 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Course Description:


The United States Congress is one of the most powerful representative assemblies and the most extensively studied political institutions in the world. This course is designed to help students develop a basic understanding of the major works and debates in the scholarly study of Congress, as well as the ability to explain, synthesize, and critique them. The course is targeted for students seeking to complete the department’s first exam in American politics. Required readings for the course include all those in the Congress section of the American Politics Reading List, among many others. The course will cover Congress both from the perspective of individual members, including roll call voting and representation, and the institution as a whole, including committees, parties, leaders, and rules. We will also discuss contemporary political phenomena such as congressional polarization and the consequences of divided party control of the legislative and executive branches of government.

John Bowman – Comparative Political Economy (CP)

PSC 77902 – 3 credits (CRN# 35252)

Tuesday 4:15pm – 6:15pm

Course Description:

This course focuses on the relationship between politics and the structure and performance of advanced capitalist economies. Key questions include the following: What alternatives to neoliberal institutions and policies exist? What is their economic and political basis? In what direction are they headed? Why do some countries perform better than terms of outcomes like equality and unemployment rates? We will begin by exploring some classic themes in political economy–the social embeddedness of the economy and the distribution of power in capitalist economies–as well as examining some key features of the current political economic context, including globalization, post-industrialism, and Financialization.


Robert Jenkins – Comparative Politics and Economic Development in Contemporary India (CP)
PSC 87630 – 4 credits (CRN# 35262)
Tuesday 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Course Description:

This course examines aspects of India’s economic transformation over the past quarter-century, particularly the country’s transition to a more market-led and internationally oriented development paradigm. The material covers both traditional dimensions of development (growth, industrialization, etc.) and issues of human development (education, health, etc.). The course emphasizes the ways in which analysis of the Indian case can inform, and be informed by, conceptual frameworks and theoretical insights from the cross-national literature on development politics. The merits and shortcomings of intro-national comparison as a research strategy are also explored. Both substantive and methodological issues are addressed through a close reading of several recent monographs on aspects of Indian development. Before the course begins, students should read Ramachandra Guha, India after Gandhi (2008), a lively analytical history of independent India that engages with research from a range of academic disciplines.


Mark Ungar – Latin American Politics (CP)
PSC 77902 – 3 credits (CRN# 35256)
Thursday 11:45am – 1:45pm

Course Description:

This course is a critical and policy-centered examination of Latin American politics. Following a historical overview from the pre-colonial through the 20th Century authoritarian eras, we will assess key issues such as democratization, civil society, and electoral politics. Particular attention will be paid to regional challenges such as crime, the environment, justice, corruption, and inequality. Students will have the opportunity to focus both on specific countries as well as broader themes.

 


Janet E. Johnson – Basic Concepts & Methods in Comparative Politics (CP/M)
PSC 77904 – 3 credits (CRN# 35257)
Thursday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Course Description:

One of the defining characteristics of comparative politics is its epistemological and methodological eclecticism. In other words, the subfield stretches from positivist and quantitative cross-national statistical analyses to the interpretivist and qualitative approaches of ethnography within single case studies, with the subfield-defining comparative method in the middle. The first goal of this course is for you to become familiar enough with the most important methods that you can assess work across the subfield. The second is for you to “try on” different methods to answer the research questions that you are starting to explore. We will begin by discussing the process of theory building, theory testing, and research design. Each week, we will read about the various methods and examine examples of how political scientists have used these methods to explore important questions of comparative politics. For these weeks, you will be required to summarize one of the assigned readings and attempt to use the method to address your research. The final assignment, allowing us to assess the degree which you have met these goals, will be a 7-10 page research proposal for a project in comparative politics.

Ming Xia – International Political Economy (IR)

PSC 76300 – 3 credits (CRN# 35251)

Tuesday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Course Description:

International Political Economy (IPE, or global political economy) is defined as “a collection of orientations, perspectives, theories, and methods addressed to understanding the relations between diverse political and economic phenomena at the global level”. In this course, the global financial crisis provides an entry point to examine the following contents: (1) evolution (a historical review of capitalism and the formation of global political economy), (2) theories and methods (normative theories include liberalism, mercantilism, Marxism, constructivism and critical approaches; research approaches include global vs. domestic-level, statist vs. societal explanations and rational choice approach), (3) structures (thematic issues  include production, trade, finance and development). The course concludes with a discussion on the global governance in IPE and global responses to globalization (both “good” and “bad” ones, e.g., illicit markets).


Kosal Path – Asian Security (IR)
PSC 76210 – 3 credits (CRN# 35253)
Tuesday 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Course Description:

This course is designed for advanced graduate students with prior knowledge of basic concepts and theories of international relations. It focuses on regional security dynamics and specific foreign policies of states in East Asia and Southeast Asia. Since the end of the Cold War, Asia-Pacific security dynamics have remarkably changed, exposing trajectory of both conflict and cooperation. At the turn of the twenty-first century, a pattern of increased economic interdependence and prosperity is oddly accompanied by great power rivalry and conflict. While the U.S. hub-and-spoke alliance system in Asia remains the corner stone of the regional security order, China’s assertiveness is challenging America’s primacy in the region.  In this course, we analyze contemporary security challenges in Asia from diverse IR theoretical perspectives. In doing so, we delve into the historical context of international relations in Asia, a region with diverse civilizations and complex historical interactions, and critically evaluate how such historical experiences can enrich Western IR theories.


Jacqueline Braveboy-Wagner – Comparative Foreign Policy (IR)
PSC 86105 – 4 credits (CRN# 35261)
Wednesday 4:15pm – 6:15pm

Course Description:

Foreign Policy Analysis remains one of the most popular subfields of international relations. Even though rational and positivist approaches have predominated in the field in the US, elsewhere a generous dose of comparative “area studies” ethnography as well as increasingly popular constructivist and critical thinking have invigorated the field.  In this specialized course we first ask how the study of foreign policy is different from international relations as a whole.  We then walk through the approaches used to analyze foreign policy, from realist views of the state as a protector and promoter of “national interests” to the Comparative Foreign Policy movement that came to the fore when so many Africa and Asian nations became independent, to the FPA of today which is rather too U.S.-dominated, and now to a renewed interest in two not incompatible approaches: regionalizing foreign policy and *worlding* foreign policy (that is, focusing on how a really universal approach to foreign policy can be attained; this is part of the overall Global IR movement).


Mojubaolu Olufunke Okome – Critical Perspectives on African Political Economy (IR)
PSC 77903 – 3 credits (CRN# 35249)
Thursday 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Course Description:

The course will conceptually and theoretically examine topics relevant to African political economy, including colonialism, imperialism, nationalism, development (and “modernization”), neoliberalism, and globalization. It will also consider radical theoretical critiques of African political economy. Through a consideration of Africa’s contemporary political and economic history, its precolonial structures, and external influences from colonialism, imperialism and globalization, on African states.  We will consider the relevance and usefulness of accepted terminologies, assumptions and theories for studying African political economy.  We will also consider the social forces that influence contemporary African political and economic relations including ethnicity, race, class, religion, and civil society.

Benjamin Vilhauer – Kant on the Freedom & Morality (PT)
PSC 80303 – 4 credits (CRN# 35579)
Monday 11:45am – 1:45pm
(Cross list with PHIL 76000)

Course Description:

This course will cover selections from Kant’s major moral writings, including parts of the Critique of Pure Reason, the Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, the Critique of Practical Reason, and the Metaphysics of Morals, along with the writings of recent commentators. The goal will be to explore Kant’s texts as well as their connections to issues in contemporary ethics and free will theory.


Charles Mills – Contrarianism and its Critics (PT)
PSC 80303 – 4 credits (CRN# 35580)
Monday 2:00pm – 4:00pm
(Cross list with PHIL 77500)

Course Description:

This course will look at classic social contract theory—Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Kant—which was dramatically revived as a result of John Rawls’1971 A Theory of Justice. We will try to get clear on both the important commonalities in their divergent versions of the “contract” as a way of understanding the creation of society, the polity, and people’s resulting obligations, and the crucial differences among their versions. We will then turn to some of the criticisms of the contract idea, whether the classic “communitarian” critique or critiques oriented by class, gender, and racial concerns. The course should be useful in its own right as an exploration of a central strand in modern Western political theory, but for those interested in the subject, it should also be a valuable foundation for a fall 2017 course I hope to co-teach with Sibyl Schwarzenbach on Rawls’ and gender and racial justice.


Corey Robin – Political Theory of Capitalism (PT)
PSC 80303 – 4 credits (CRN# 35246)
Monday 4:15pm – 6:15pm

Course Description:

In ancient Greece, the dominant political form was the city-state. In Rome, it was the republic and the empire. After the fall of Rome, it was the Church. In the early modern era, it became the state. Today, it is capitalism. But where Greece, Rome, the Church, and the state all produced their own distinctive political theories, capitalism has not. Indeed, it’s greatest—and, with the exception of Hayek, perhaps only—political theorist devoted his attentions to capitalism solely in order to bring it to an end. For many, capitalism is not a political form at all; it is strictly a mode of economic organization. What is entailed in that distinction—between the political and the economic—and whether and how it can be sustained will be a central preoccupation of this course. Through an examination of the classics of political economy, as well as some less canonical texts, we will assess whether capitalism has (or can have) a political theory, and if so, what that theory is.  Rather than assume that the political question of capitalism is exhausted by the state’s relationship to the economy, we will examine how capitalism produces a distinctive and independent political form of its own, with its own rules and values. Readings will be drawn from some combination of the following thinkers: Aristotle, Locke, Hume, Smith, Hegel, Malthus, Ricardo, Marx, Jevons, Weber, Keynes, Schumpeter, Arendt, Hayek, Becker, Friedman, Foucault, Brown, Harvey.


Justin Steinberg – Spinoza (PT)
PSC 80303 – 4 credits (CRN# 35581)
Wednesday 2:00pm-4:00pm
(Cross list with PHIL 76200)

Course Description:

Baruch de Spinoza was the most scandalous philosopher of his age. His aggressive naturalism challenged the sensibilities and orthodoxies of a seventeenth-century audience. And his philosophy remains provocative, even if not scandalous, today. In this course we will investigate the full range of Spinoza’s thought: metaphysics, epistemology; theory of mind, account of the affects, ethical theory, and political philosophy. We will explore how core features of Spinoza’s thought—including his monism, dual-aspect theory of mind, account of belief-formation, sentimentalist model of evaluative judgments, and defense of democratic governance—can be brought fruitfully into dialogue with contemporary philosophical work, while seeking to remain alive to the strangeness of Spinoza’s views. We will read the Ethics along with selections from his two political treatises, attending to the extent to which Spinoza is a systematic philosopher whose normative philosophy depends on his account of psychology and whose his account of psychology is firmly anchored in his metaphysics.


John Wallach – Democratic Theory (PT)
PSC 80402 – 4 credits (CRN # 35258)
Thursday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Course Description:

This seminar offers a wide-ranging, in-depth, historical and theoretical analysis of democracy as a form of political life.  It begins with two assumptions.  The first is that democracy, at root, needs to be understood as authoritative political power (kratos) exercised by the people (e.g., demos).  As such, the kind of democracy we imagine when we use the term never has existed.  Athenian democracy was overly exclusive in terms of its conception of the demos;  modern democracy mostly offers chewed-over crumbs for the popular exercise of political power.  In this respect, references to American democracy today are mostly metaphorical or rhetorical legerdemain.  The second assumption is that “democracy,” as a form of power, is not self-legitimating.  For no exercise of power by anyone, individually or collectively, is automatically good.  For democracy to live as a political formation, it needs justification as an agent of liberty and equality in the world — one that wins support across differences and divisions among the people.  From this perspective, we shall look at principal texts from historical and contemporary political theory that argue for practical forms of legitimation for democratic political life.  These include virtue (e.g., Aristotle, Rousseau); representation (e.g., Hobbes, Madison); civil rightness and liberalism (e.g., J. S. Mill); capitalism, organization (Marx, Michels, E. Wood); legitimacy (Rawls, Abensour, Wolin), and human rights (Sen, Asad).  The approach followed is historicist, focusing on how democracy has been and could be legitimately enacted while analytically attending to theoretical coherence.  Connections between the past, present, and future will be presupposed but carefully distinguished as much as possible.  Students will be asked to required to write a mid-term on assigned texts and a free-standing paper (@ 15-20 pages) on a topic in democratic theory discussed in the seminar or related to it and rooted in its concerns (and approved).  The contours of the course stem from a forthcoming book of mine, being published by Cambridge University Press in early 2018.

Hector Cordero-Guzman – Community Based Organization & Public Policy (PP)
PSC 72500 – 3 credits (CRN# 35263)
Tuesday 11:45am – 1:45pm

(Cross list with SOC 84700)

Course Description:

This course reviews the academic literature and current theoretical and empirical debates focusing on Community Based Groups, Organizations and Service providers and their connections to public policy debates and processes. The class explores who these organizations are; how they set and achieve their mission and related goals; what activities they tend to engage in; how they connect to their communities and other stakeholders; how they manage and find material, monetary and other resources to support their work; and how they connect to public policy institutions and policy debates. The course will focus on presenting, discussing, and analyzing materials and cases from a range of social service, labor and workforce based, advocacy, and community action oriented non-profit organizations and will explore how their experience informs contemporary debates and understandings about the role of civil society organizations in the lives and outcomes of communities and community residents.


Michael Jacobson – Public and Social Policy Development, Analysis, and Evaluation (PP)
PSC 72500 – 3 credits (CRN# 35657)
Tuesday 4:15pm – 6:15pm
(Cross list with SOC 84700)

Course Description:

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of public policy development, implementation, and evaluation in real-world settings, using local and national examples from the work of the Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG), a research and policy organization within the City University of New York (CUNY). During the course, students will develop a foundational knowledge of the formal and informal policy making process with particular attention to how reforms can be proposed and implemented in what have become deeply politicized and resource constrained environments. Specific areas of focus will include the translation of research into policy and practice, the importance of relationship building, and the role of fiscal constraints in state and local decision-making. Students will complete a semester-long capstone project that addresses the learning objectives in the context of the work of the Institute. Students will complete readings and assignments related to social and public policy development, analysis, and evaluation to supplement their capstone work.


John Mollenkopf & Leslie McCall – Working Class Politics (PP)
PSC 72500 – 3 credits (CRN# 35254)
Wednesday 4:15pm – 6:15pm
(Cross list with SOC 84700)

Course Description:

This seminar addresses a variety of theoretical perspectives and empirical studies on 1) what we mean by “class” and the “working class,” 2) what forces have been reshaping the working class in the U.S. and beyond, such as technological innovation, globalization, the rising share of income going to the top one percent, changing gender and family roles and work-family relations, and the changing gender, racial, ethnic, and nativity composition of the workforce (including how the “white male working class” may be distinctive), and 3) how class membership and more general socio-economic position relate to the adoption of distinctive political values and identities, forms of political mobilization and participation, and policy preferences.  The course concludes by looking at the role that class played in the 2016 presidential election and the ensuing political dynamics of the city and nation.


Michael Fortner – Race & American Public Policy (PP)
PSC 72001 – 3 credits (CRN# 35255)
Wednesdays, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Course Description:

This course examines the relationship between race and public policy development in the United States.  The course begins by exploring a series of conceptual, theoretical, and historical questions: How do we conceptualize and measure white supremacy?  How does white supremacy interact with other structural forms of inequality, specifically gender and class?  How has race shaped American political development?  Then we will then turn to case-by-case examinations of the impact of race, class, and gender on several contemporary federal public policy areas like social welfare, immigration, and crime.  This course draws primarily from political science, but also incorporates historical, sociological, and legal scholarship to critically assess race and public policy.


Branko Milanovic – Within National inequalities: from Pareto to Piketty (PP)
PSC 72500 – 3 credits (CRN# 35574)
Wednesdays, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
(Cross list with ECON 81500)

Course Description:

The objective of the course is be to review, analyze, and allow students to develop a much better understanding of the theories and empirics of personal income distribution within a single policy-making unit (that is, normally within a nation-state). The first such theory was developed by Vilfredo Pareto more than 100 years ago. Pareto believes that income distribution does not change regardless of a social system and level of development. Simon Kuznets, in the 1950s, posited, on the contrary, a theory where income inequality evolves as societies get richer.  These theories will be considered on the real-world examples of movements of inequality in Brazil, China, “transition countries” and the United States and other advanced economies. We shall focus especially on the recent evolution of income and wealth inequality in the United States and Piketty’s analytical contributions. The class will be fairly empirical but does not require any prior specific knowledge of the issues nor techniques. It is recommended for students of economics, political science, and sociology.


Alexander Reichl – Housing Politics & Policy (PP)
PSC 73202 – 3 credits (CRN# 35259)
Thursdays, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Course Description:

Housing is one of life’s basic necessities, but it’s also more than that: it is a major sector of the US economy, a primary source of personal wealth, and a resource that determines access to other resources like quality schools, good jobs, and safe streets. Although the vast majority of housing is rented and sold for profit, the housing market is heavily influenced by government policies. In this course we will examine the main factors that affect the production and consumption of housing in the US with a focus on what government does, why it does those things, and who wins and losses as a result. Topics include public housing, gentrification, sub-urbanization, segregation, and more.

Peter Beinart (G)
PSC 79002 – 3 credits (CRN#35244)
Monday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Course Description:

Writing 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, hopefully several, 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. We will focus in more detail on how to make contact with particular editors at those publications and part of the assignments themselves will be figuring out (with my help) how to make the connections necessary to get your pieces seriously considered.

I’ll tailor my guest speaker invitations to the particular publications students decide to target. 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 some of my own writing in concept or draft form and submit it to 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. I will likely set up a special session near the beginning to go over some of the basics about story organization and sentence structure that we covered in that class. 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.
Peter Liberman – Dissertation Proposal Workshop (G/PD)
PSC 89100 – 0 credits (CRN # 35250)
Tuesday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Course Description:

This workshop aims to assist students in writing their dissertation proposal in political science and taking 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.  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 and advice; 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 can be taken more than once.

Ruth O’Brien – American Political Development (AP)
PSC 82210 – 4 credits (CRN # 35248)
Monday 11:45am – 1:45pm

Course Description:

American Political Development, more properly titled – Neos, Isms, & Information Imperialism is an American-politics seminar that crosses political science disciplinary divides and political history by relying on “political development” as a comparative-politics and international-relations good-governance methodology with two analytical axes: the role of ideas, and hybrid institutionalism in the increasingly horizontal global social sphere. The seminar is also informed by Women’s Studies literature, given its emphasis on difference as the United States built a relatively strong nation-state and became a global hegemon. It pays particular attention to masculinity and misogynistic nation-building by focusing on what I call neotribalism – or intersections in inequality, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and bodies in re-volt (volt refers to the energy derived from creative difference), who resist despite our President who may continue waging the “war on women.”


Charles Tien – Minority Politics (AP)
PSC 82001 – 4 credits (CRN # 35245)
Monday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Course Description: (TBA)

This course examines critical questions and debates in race and ethnic politics in America. We will highlight political science approaches to the study of the histories of minorities in American politics, but also read in other fields. Primarily, the course will investigate theories of race and racism, and how race and ethnic politics interacts with American political and social institutions.


David Jones – Congress (AP)
PSC 72210 – 3 credits (CRN # 35260)
Thursday 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Course Description:


The United States Congress is one of the most powerful representative assemblies and the most extensively studied political institutions in the world. This course is designed to help students develop a basic understanding of the major works and debates in the scholarly study of Congress, as well as the ability to explain, synthesize, and critique them. The course is targeted for students seeking to complete the department’s first exam in American politics. Required readings for the course include all those in the Congress section of the American Politics Reading List, among many others. The course will cover Congress both from the perspective of individual members, including roll call voting and representation, and the institution as a whole, including committees, parties, leaders, and rules. We will also discuss contemporary political phenomena such as congressional polarization and the consequences of divided party control of the legislative and executive branches of government.

John Bowman – Comparative Political Economy (CP)

PSC 77902 – 3 credits (CRN# 35252)

Tuesday 4:15pm – 6:15pm

Course Description:

This course focuses on the relationship between politics and the structure and performance of advanced capitalist economies. Key questions include the following: What alternatives to neoliberal institutions and policies exist? What is their economic and political basis? In what direction are they headed? Why do some countries perform better than terms of outcomes like equality and unemployment rates? We will begin by exploring some classic themes in political economy–the social embeddedness of the economy and the distribution of power in capitalist economies–as well as examining some key features of the current political economic context, including globalization, post-industrialism, and Financialization.


Robert Jenkins – Comparative Politics and Economic Development in Contemporary India (CP)
PSC 87630 – 4 credits (CRN# 35262)
Tuesday 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Course Description:

This course examines aspects of India’s economic transformation over the past quarter-century, particularly the country’s transition to a more market-led and internationally oriented development paradigm. The material covers both traditional dimensions of development (growth, industrialization, etc.) and issues of human development (education, health, etc.). The course emphasizes the ways in which analysis of the Indian case can inform, and be informed by, conceptual frameworks and theoretical insights from the cross-national literature on development politics. The merits and shortcomings of intro-national comparison as a research strategy are also explored. Both substantive and methodological issues are addressed through a close reading of several recent monographs on aspects of Indian development. Before the course begins, students should read Ramachandra Guha, India after Gandhi (2008), a lively analytical history of independent India that engages with research from a range of academic disciplines.


Mark Ungar – Latin American Politics (CP)
PSC 77902 – 3 credits (CRN# 35256)
Thursday 11:45am – 1:45pm

Course Description:

This course is a critical and policy-centered examination of Latin American politics. Following a historical overview from the pre-colonial through the 20th Century authoritarian eras, we will assess key issues such as democratization, civil society, and electoral politics. Particular attention will be paid to regional challenges such as crime, the environment, justice, corruption, and inequality. Students will have the opportunity to focus both on specific countries as well as broader themes.

 


Janet E. Johnson – Basic Concepts & Methods in Comparative Politics (CP/M)
PSC 77904 – 3 credits (CRN# 35257)
Thursday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Course Description:

One of the defining characteristics of comparative politics is its epistemological and methodological eclecticism. In other words, the subfield stretches from positivist and quantitative cross-national statistical analyses to the interpretivist and qualitative approaches of ethnography within single case studies, with the subfield-defining comparative method in the middle. The first goal of this course is for you to become familiar enough with the most important methods that you can assess work across the subfield. The second is for you to “try on” different methods to answer the research questions that you are starting to explore. We will begin by discussing the process of theory building, theory testing, and research design. Each week, we will read about the various methods and examine examples of how political scientists have used these methods to explore important questions of comparative politics. For these weeks, you will be required to summarize one of the assigned readings and attempt to use the method to address your research. The final assignment, allowing us to assess the degree which you have met these goals, will be a 7-10 page research proposal for a project in comparative politics.

Ming Xia – International Political Economy (IR)

PSC 76300 – 3 credits (CRN# 35251)

Tuesday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Course Description:

International Political Economy (IPE, or global political economy) is defined as “a collection of orientations, perspectives, theories, and methods addressed to understanding the relations between diverse political and economic phenomena at the global level”. In this course, the global financial crisis provides an entry point to examine the following contents: (1) evolution (a historical review of capitalism and the formation of global political economy), (2) theories and methods (normative theories include liberalism, mercantilism, Marxism, constructivism and critical approaches; research approaches include global vs. domestic-level, statist vs. societal explanations and rational choice approach), (3) structures (thematic issues  include production, trade, finance and development). The course concludes with a discussion on the global governance in IPE and global responses to globalization (both “good” and “bad” ones, e.g., illicit markets).


Kosal Path – Asian Security (IR)
PSC 76210 – 3 credits (CRN# 35253)
Tuesday 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Course Description:

This course is designed for advanced graduate students with prior knowledge of basic concepts and theories of international relations. It focuses on regional security dynamics and specific foreign policies of states in East Asia and Southeast Asia. Since the end of the Cold War, Asia-Pacific security dynamics have remarkably changed, exposing trajectory of both conflict and cooperation. At the turn of the twenty-first century, a pattern of increased economic interdependence and prosperity is oddly accompanied by great power rivalry and conflict. While the U.S. hub-and-spoke alliance system in Asia remains the corner stone of the regional security order, China’s assertiveness is challenging America’s primacy in the region.  In this course, we analyze contemporary security challenges in Asia from diverse IR theoretical perspectives. In doing so, we delve into the historical context of international relations in Asia, a region with diverse civilizations and complex historical interactions, and critically evaluate how such historical experiences can enrich Western IR theories.


Jacqueline Braveboy-Wagner – Comparative Foreign Policy (IR)
PSC 86105 – 4 credits (CRN# 35261)
Wednesday 4:15pm – 6:15pm

Course Description:

Foreign Policy Analysis remains one of the most popular subfields of international relations. Even though rational and positivist approaches have predominated in the field in the US, elsewhere a generous dose of comparative “area studies” ethnography as well as increasingly popular constructivist and critical thinking have invigorated the field.  In this specialized course we first ask how the study of foreign policy is different from international relations as a whole.  We then walk through the approaches used to analyze foreign policy, from realist views of the state as a protector and promoter of “national interests” to the Comparative Foreign Policy movement that came to the fore when so many Africa and Asian nations became independent, to the FPA of today which is rather too U.S.-dominated, and now to a renewed interest in two not incompatible approaches: regionalizing foreign policy and *worlding* foreign policy (that is, focusing on how a really universal approach to foreign policy can be attained; this is part of the overall Global IR movement).


Mojubaolu Olufunke Okome – Critical Perspectives on African Political Economy (IR)
PSC 77903 – 3 credits (CRN# 35249)
Thursday 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Course Description:

The course will conceptually and theoretically examine topics relevant to African political economy, including colonialism, imperialism, nationalism, development (and “modernization”), neoliberalism, and globalization. It will also consider radical theoretical critiques of African political economy. Through a consideration of Africa’s contemporary political and economic history, its precolonial structures, and external influences from colonialism, imperialism and globalization, on African states.  We will consider the relevance and usefulness of accepted terminologies, assumptions and theories for studying African political economy.  We will also consider the social forces that influence contemporary African political and economic relations including ethnicity, race, class, religion, and civil society.

Benjamin Vilhauer – Kant on the Freedom & Morality (PT)
PSC 80303 – 4 credits (CRN# 35579)
Monday 11:45am – 1:45pm
(Cross list with PHIL 76000)

Course Description:

This course will cover selections from Kant’s major moral writings, including parts of the Critique of Pure Reason, the Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, the Critique of Practical Reason, and the Metaphysics of Morals, along with the writings of recent commentators. The goal will be to explore Kant’s texts as well as their connections to issues in contemporary ethics and free will theory.


Charles Mills – Contrarianism and its Critics (PT)
PSC 80303 – 4 credits (CRN# 35580)
Monday 2:00pm – 4:00pm
(Cross list with PHIL 77500)

Course Description:

This course will look at classic social contract theory—Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Kant—which was dramatically revived as a result of John Rawls’1971 A Theory of Justice. We will try to get clear on both the important commonalities in their divergent versions of the “contract” as a way of understanding the creation of society, the polity, and people’s resulting obligations, and the crucial differences among their versions. We will then turn to some of the criticisms of the contract idea, whether the classic “communitarian” critique or critiques oriented by class, gender, and racial concerns. The course should be useful in its own right as an exploration of a central strand in modern Western political theory, but for those interested in the subject, it should also be a valuable foundation for a fall 2017 course I hope to co-teach with Sibyl Schwarzenbach on Rawls’ and gender and racial justice.


Corey Robin – Political Theory of Capitalism (PT)
PSC 80303 – 4 credits (CRN# 35246)
Monday 4:15pm – 6:15pm

Course Description:

In ancient Greece, the dominant political form was the city-state. In Rome, it was the republic and the empire. After the fall of Rome, it was the Church. In the early modern era, it became the state. Today, it is capitalism. But where Greece, Rome, the Church, and the state all produced their own distinctive political theories, capitalism has not. Indeed, it’s greatest—and, with the exception of Hayek, perhaps only—political theorist devoted his attentions to capitalism solely in order to bring it to an end. For many, capitalism is not a political form at all; it is strictly a mode of economic organization. What is entailed in that distinction—between the political and the economic—and whether and how it can be sustained will be a central preoccupation of this course. Through an examination of the classics of political economy, as well as some less canonical texts, we will assess whether capitalism has (or can have) a political theory, and if so, what that theory is.  Rather than assume that the political question of capitalism is exhausted by the state’s relationship to the economy, we will examine how capitalism produces a distinctive and independent political form of its own, with its own rules and values. Readings will be drawn from some combination of the following thinkers: Aristotle, Locke, Hume, Smith, Hegel, Malthus, Ricardo, Marx, Jevons, Weber, Keynes, Schumpeter, Arendt, Hayek, Becker, Friedman, Foucault, Brown, Harvey.


Justin Steinberg – Spinoza (PT)
PSC 80303 – 4 credits (CRN# 35581)
Wednesday 2:00pm-4:00pm
(Cross list with PHIL 76200)

Course Description:

Baruch de Spinoza was the most scandalous philosopher of his age. His aggressive naturalism challenged the sensibilities and orthodoxies of a seventeenth-century audience. And his philosophy remains provocative, even if not scandalous, today. In this course we will investigate the full range of Spinoza’s thought: metaphysics, epistemology; theory of mind, account of the affects, ethical theory, and political philosophy. We will explore how core features of Spinoza’s thought—including his monism, dual-aspect theory of mind, account of belief-formation, sentimentalist model of evaluative judgments, and defense of democratic governance—can be brought fruitfully into dialogue with contemporary philosophical work, while seeking to remain alive to the strangeness of Spinoza’s views. We will read the Ethics along with selections from his two political treatises, attending to the extent to which Spinoza is a systematic philosopher whose normative philosophy depends on his account of psychology and whose his account of psychology is firmly anchored in his metaphysics.


John Wallach – Democratic Theory (PT)
PSC 80402 – 4 credits (CRN # 35258)
Thursday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Course Description:

This seminar offers a wide-ranging, in-depth, historical and theoretical analysis of democracy as a form of political life.  It begins with two assumptions.  The first is that democracy, at root, needs to be understood as authoritative political power (kratos) exercised by the people (e.g., demos).  As such, the kind of democracy we imagine when we use the term never has existed.  Athenian democracy was overly exclusive in terms of its conception of the demos;  modern democracy mostly offers chewed-over crumbs for the popular exercise of political power.  In this respect, references to American democracy today are mostly metaphorical or rhetorical legerdemain.  The second assumption is that “democracy,” as a form of power, is not self-legitimating.  For no exercise of power by anyone, individually or collectively, is automatically good.  For democracy to live as a political formation, it needs justification as an agent of liberty and equality in the world — one that wins support across differences and divisions among the people.  From this perspective, we shall look at principal texts from historical and contemporary political theory that argue for practical forms of legitimation for democratic political life.  These include virtue (e.g., Aristotle, Rousseau); representation (e.g., Hobbes, Madison); civil rightness and liberalism (e.g., J. S. Mill); capitalism, organization (Marx, Michels, E. Wood); legitimacy (Rawls, Abensour, Wolin), and human rights (Sen, Asad).  The approach followed is historicist, focusing on how democracy has been and could be legitimately enacted while analytically attending to theoretical coherence.  Connections between the past, present, and future will be presupposed but carefully distinguished as much as possible.  Students will be asked to required to write a mid-term on assigned texts and a free-standing paper (@ 15-20 pages) on a topic in democratic theory discussed in the seminar or related to it and rooted in its concerns (and approved).  The contours of the course stem from a forthcoming book of mine, being published by Cambridge University Press in early 2018.

Hector Cordero-Guzman – Community Based Organization & Public Policy (PP)
PSC 72500 – 3 credits (CRN# 35263)
Tuesday 11:45am – 1:45pm

(Cross list with SOC 84700)

Course Description:

This course reviews the academic literature and current theoretical and empirical debates focusing on Community Based Groups, Organizations and Service providers and their connections to public policy debates and processes. The class explores who these organizations are; how they set and achieve their mission and related goals; what activities they tend to engage in; how they connect to their communities and other stakeholders; how they manage and find material, monetary and other resources to support their work; and how they connect to public policy institutions and policy debates. The course will focus on presenting, discussing, and analyzing materials and cases from a range of social service, labor and workforce based, advocacy, and community action oriented non-profit organizations and will explore how their experience informs contemporary debates and understandings about the role of civil society organizations in the lives and outcomes of communities and community residents.


Michael Jacobson – Public and Social Policy Development, Analysis, and Evaluation (PP)
PSC 72500 – 3 credits (CRN# 35657)
Tuesday 4:15pm – 6:15pm
(Cross list with SOC 84700)

Course Description:

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of public policy development, implementation, and evaluation in real-world settings, using local and national examples from the work of the Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG), a research and policy organization within the City University of New York (CUNY). During the course, students will develop a foundational knowledge of the formal and informal policy making process with particular attention to how reforms can be proposed and implemented in what have become deeply politicized and resource constrained environments. Specific areas of focus will include the translation of research into policy and practice, the importance of relationship building, and the role of fiscal constraints in state and local decision-making. Students will complete a semester-long capstone project that addresses the learning objectives in the context of the work of the Institute. Students will complete readings and assignments related to social and public policy development, analysis, and evaluation to supplement their capstone work.


John Mollenkopf & Leslie McCall – Working Class Politics (PP)
PSC 72500 – 3 credits (CRN# 35254)
Wednesday 4:15pm – 6:15pm
(Cross list with SOC 84700)

Course Description:

This seminar addresses a variety of theoretical perspectives and empirical studies on 1) what we mean by “class” and the “working class,” 2) what forces have been reshaping the working class in the U.S. and beyond, such as technological innovation, globalization, the rising share of income going to the top one percent, changing gender and family roles and work-family relations, and the changing gender, racial, ethnic, and nativity composition of the workforce (including how the “white male working class” may be distinctive), and 3) how class membership and more general socio-economic position relate to the adoption of distinctive political values and identities, forms of political mobilization and participation, and policy preferences.  The course concludes by looking at the role that class played in the 2016 presidential election and the ensuing political dynamics of the city and nation.


Michael Fortner – Race & American Public Policy (PP)
PSC 72001 – 3 credits (CRN# 35255)
Wednesdays, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Course Description:

This course examines the relationship between race and public policy development in the United States.  The course begins by exploring a series of conceptual, theoretical, and historical questions: How do we conceptualize and measure white supremacy?  How does white supremacy interact with other structural forms of inequality, specifically gender and class?  How has race shaped American political development?  Then we will then turn to case-by-case examinations of the impact of race, class, and gender on several contemporary federal public policy areas like social welfare, immigration, and crime.  This course draws primarily from political science, but also incorporates historical, sociological, and legal scholarship to critically assess race and public policy.


Branko Milanovic – Within National inequalities: from Pareto to Piketty (PP)
PSC 72500 – 3 credits (CRN# 35574)
Wednesdays, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
(Cross list with ECON 81500)

Course Description:

The objective of the course is be to review, analyze, and allow students to develop a much better understanding of the theories and empirics of personal income distribution within a single policy-making unit (that is, normally within a nation-state). The first such theory was developed by Vilfredo Pareto more than 100 years ago. Pareto believes that income distribution does not change regardless of a social system and level of development. Simon Kuznets, in the 1950s, posited, on the contrary, a theory where income inequality evolves as societies get richer.  These theories will be considered on the real-world examples of movements of inequality in Brazil, China, “transition countries” and the United States and other advanced economies. We shall focus especially on the recent evolution of income and wealth inequality in the United States and Piketty’s analytical contributions. The class will be fairly empirical but does not require any prior specific knowledge of the issues nor techniques. It is recommended for students of economics, political science, and sociology.


Alexander Reichl – Housing Politics & Policy (PP)
PSC 73202 – 3 credits (CRN# 35259)
Thursdays, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Course Description:

Housing is one of life’s basic necessities, but it’s also more than that: it is a major sector of the US economy, a primary source of personal wealth, and a resource that determines access to other resources like quality schools, good jobs, and safe streets. Although the vast majority of housing is rented and sold for profit, the housing market is heavily influenced by government policies. In this course we will examine the main factors that affect the production and consumption of housing in the US with a focus on what government does, why it does those things, and who wins and losses as a result. Topics include public housing, gentrification, sub-urbanization, segregation, and more.

Peter Beinart (G)
PSC 79002 – 3 credits (CRN#35244)
Monday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Course Description:

Writing 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, hopefully several, 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. We will focus in more detail on how to make contact with particular editors at those publications and part of the assignments themselves will be figuring out (with my help) how to make the connections necessary to get your pieces seriously considered.

I’ll tailor my guest speaker invitations to the particular publications students decide to target. 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 some of my own writing in concept or draft form and submit it to 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. I will likely set up a special session near the beginning to go over some of the basics about story organization and sentence structure that we covered in that class. 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.
Peter Liberman – Dissertation Proposal Workshop (G/PD)
PSC 89100 – 0 credits (CRN # 35250)
Tuesday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Course Description:

This workshop aims to assist students in writing their dissertation proposal in political science and taking 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.  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 and advice; 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 can be taken more than once.

Fall 2016

O’Brien – Intro to American Politics (AP)
PSC 72000 – 3 credits (CRN # 32186)
Monday 11:45am – 1:45pm

This seminar reviews and surveys the secondary scholarly literature about the American political system.  First, it presents a number of competing conceptual frameworks, such as new institutionalism, rational choice, cultural analysis, and feminism, to gain an understanding of the debates with the subfield of American politics.  Second, the historical foundations of American politics and the roots of American culture will be reviewed.  Third, the seminar examines the development of American political parties and interest group as vehicles for political reform and social change.  Also, how public opinion affects the political process will be discussed.  Fourth, it studies the historical development of federal institutions — Congress, the presidency, the judiciary, and the bureaucracy — and how they govern.  Finally, the seminar explores how different vehicles for political reform have contributed to the development of specific public policy areas, like labor policy, which, in turn, have helped construct the American state.

Lipsitz – Campaign and Elections (AP/WP)
PSC 72000 – 3 credits (CRN# 32192)
Tuesday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

What explains the rise of Trump and Sanders in 2016? Does money really matter in campaigns? Does anyone pay attention to political advertising? Have parties become totally irrelevant in elections? Are polls ever right? And doesn’t it all just boil down to, “it’s the economy, stupid”? These are the questions we will address with the 2016 election cycle serving as a backdrop. This course will be of interest not only to students who want to understand central debates in the political behavior and public opinion literatures regarding elections, but to students participating in the Writing Politics specialization. Special attention will be given to critiquing how the media cover campaigns and what journalists can do differently. Students will also be introduced to data sources and organizations providing data analysis to journalists writing about elections. Representatives from some of these organizations and journalists covering the election will be guest speakers.

Halper – Civil Liberties (AP) PSC 72300 – 3 credits (CRN# 32196)
Tuesday 6:30pm – 8:30pm

The course is largely an examination of two civil liberties issues, free expression and privacy, in the context of judicial decisions, and may be viewed as an exercise in applied political theory. Repeatedly, we will be asked to consider choosing among competing goods and to weigh the role of courts in a democracy.

Schwedler – Middle East and North Africa (CP)
PSC 87620 – 4 credits (CRN# 32191)
Tuesday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the key debates in the comparative study of Middle East politics.  No prior knowledge of the region is required, but would be helpful.  The readings are organized thematically rather than geographically, covering major issues in comparative politics and many of the key readings in Middle East politics.


Weber – Applied Quantitative Research: Correlation, Comparison, Causality (CP/M)PSC 89101 – 4 credits (CRN# 32194)
Tuesday 4:15pm – 6:15pm
Studying statistics makes your life more exciting and fulfilling.
Well, what can I say—you have just read past a course title containing the word “quantitative,” so you deserve immediate gratification. But I stand by my claim. 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 quantitative research tools you can uncover structure in the political world where before there was only fog or chaos.  Even better, while learning all these wonderful things you will also fulfill the methods requirement of the doctoral program.

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).

Over the course of the semester, students will conduct their own quantitative research, present their work in class and produce a final paper. The instructor supports each project and makes sure that it builds on and advances the existing methodological proficiency of the student(s) involved.

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.


George – Basic Theories and Concepts in Comparative Politics (CP)
PSC 77901 – 3 credits (CRN# 32201)
Thursday 6:30pm – 8:30pm

This seminar offers a comprehensive introduction to the heterogeneous subfield of comparative politics. Its goals is to provide students with a substantive understanding of the myriad theoretical approaches engaged by scholars, their strengths and weaknesses, and their various use in particular questions of interest to comparative politics. While the primary emphasis of the class will be in parsing the breadth of theoretical approaches, the nature of the subject matter demands substantive application as well as some inquiry into methodological implications. Thus, the students taking this course will become familiar with key research questions that preoccupy the subfield, as well as the concepts, theories, and approaches that underpin possible answers.

Golob – Research Seminar on Globalization: Between the Sovereign & the Trans-Sovereign (IR/CP)
PSC 80602 – 4 credits (CRN# 32865)
Tuesday 11:45am – 1:45pm

As 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.” 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.  As such, this course is designed for more advanced students beyond the first year in the program.


Shirkey – Basic Concepts and Theories of International Relations (IR)
PSC 76000 – 3 credits (CRN# 32197)
Wednesday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

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


Andreopoulos – International Justice: Political & Legal Dimensions (IR)PSC 86800 – 4 credits (CRN# 32199)
Wednesday 6:30pm – 8:30pm

This course will critically examine one of the most interesting developments in world politics since the end of the cold war: the proliferation of judicial and non-judicial mechanisms created to address impunity, promote accountability and advance the rule of law in conflict and post-conflict societies. The dynamic interplay between international (ad hoc international tribunals, hybrid courts, ICC) and domestic (courts operating under the principle of universal jurisdiction, truth and reconciliation commissions, traditional courts) justice options has shaped actors’ agendas and expectations in the domestic as well as in the international arena. By using the major theoretical approaches in international law and relations, this course will explore issues relating to the creation and design of these mechanisms and to state cooperation, analyze their evolving jurisprudence and assess their role in norm promotion and in shaping outcomes in international affairs.

Mehta – Modern Classics in Political Philosophy (PT)
PSC 80304 – 4 credits (CRN# 32188)
Monday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

This course will be an introduction to the study of modern political philosophy organized around classic texts by Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Hegel.  The questions that will structure this course will include: What interests, values and anxieties motivate the formation of political society? How might political society be distinguished from other social forms? How do the motivations underlying political society conform to the normative and institutional prescriptions proposed by different philosophers?  What are the limits of legitimate political authority, and what are the philosophical justifications for them?  What are the justifications underlying the various proposed institutional arrangements? Finally, does the organizing of political life as advanced by these philosophers do violence to other conceptions of human potentiality?


O’Brien – American Political Thought (AP/PT)
PSC 72100 – 3 credits (CRN# 32203)
Monday 4:15pm – 6:15pm

This seminar examines American political thought in historical perspective. It breaks this perspective down into the revolutionary; founding, civil war; populist; Social Darwinist; bourgeois individualist; progressive; industrial capitalist, New Deal; and identity politics periods. Original texts ranging from: James Madison’s Federalist Papers; John Dewey’s The Public and Its Problems; Malcolm X’s Autobiography to Gloria E. Anzaldua’s This Bridge Called my Back will be read. In addition, to concentrating on the standard interpretations of these texts, some radical interpretations will be emphasized, particularly black feminist thought. Also, the seminar gives more weight to the latter half of American political thought written about capitalism and identity politics in the late-19th and 20th centuries rather than the founding or the civil war eras in the 18th and early and mid-19th centuries.


Wolin – The Political Thought of Hannah Arendt (Cross list with HIST 72400) (PT)
CRN # 32171 PSC 72100 – 3 credits Monday 6:30pm-8:30pm

Since her untimely death in 1975, Hannah Arendt’s stature as a political thinker has increased exponentially. In 1950 she authored the first important study of totalitarianism – a work that, today, among scholars remains an indispensable point of reference. In the late 1950s and early 1960s she published, in rapid succession, a series of path breaking works that consolidated her reputation as one of the twentieth-century’s most significant and innovative political philosophers: the Human Condition (1958), On Revolution (1962), and Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963). During the 1920s she studied philosophy with the two titans of German existentialism, Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers, and she played an indispensable role in introducing their ideas to the English-speaking world. During her Paris exile, she befriended the literary critic Walter Benjamin and helped to introduce his work to an American public. Arendt also excelled as a letter writer and as a public intellectual, contributing regularly to Partisan Review and the New York Review of Books. She has been the subject of numerous biographical and academic studies. Plays and films have been devoted to her fascinating intellectual itinerary. In Germany there are not one, but two think tanks devoted to her work (Hamburg and Dresden). And during the 1990s, also in the country of her birth, she received the ultimate accolade: a high-speed train was named in her honor.

  • As a thinker Arendt never shied away from taking risks – “thinking without bannisters,” she called it. Aspects of her work have proved controversial: above all, her employment of the epithet, “the banality of evil,” to describe Adolf Eichmann’s role in the Final Solution.
  • In our course, we will focus primarily on Arendt’s contributions as a political thinker, in major works such as Origins of Totalitarianism, The Human Condition, and On Revolution. But we will also consider her status and role as a flashpoint for some of the major intellectual controversies and debates of her time – and ours.


Currah – Bio Politics (PT)
PSC 80302 – 4 credits (CRN # 32193)
Tuesday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

If sovereign power is the power to “take life or let live,” biopower is “the power to foster life or disallow it to the point of death.” In this course we will spend the first few weeks closely examining Foucault’s writings and lectures on the concept of bio politics, which operates through both the bio political regulation of populations and the disciplinary institutions and discourses brought to bear on individuals. After becoming familiar with the historical and theoretical scaffolding Foucault provides, we will consider reappraisals and re-deployments of biopolitics in light of new techniques for disassembling the individual and convening populations. Centering feminist, anti-racist, queer, post-colonial perspectives, readings may cover: population racism; the commodification of reproduction on a global scale; new forms of neoliberal governance; precarity and slow death, bio-citizenship; bio-medicalization; gender, nationalism, and the policing of bodies and borders; the securitization of risk; the carceral state; and necropolitics and the refigured relation between death and politics. Students will be encouraged to apply the theoretical and empirical work on biopower to their own research interests.


Gould – Borders, Boundaries and the Ethics of Immigration (PT)
PSC 87800 – (Cross list with PHIL 77600) – 4 credits, CRN 32400
Tuesday 2:00pm-4:00pm

This seminar will address the hard theoretical questions that arise from the pervasive distinction between citizens and aliens, especially with regard to the exclusion of immigrants from liberal democratic states and the subsequent treatment of the undocumented within them. We will begin by investigating the notions of external borders and internal boundaries between groups from the standpoint of social ontology. We will then take up the much-debated normative questions concerning the rights of states to exclude and the rights of people to migrate, whether as political, religious, or climate refugees, or due to poverty, unemployment, or other immiserating conditions. Here, core concepts of political theory and the alternative justifications for them require investigation: self-determination (as collective or national), legitimacy, citizenship, rights to freedom of movement, and economic and social human rights. The implications of justice—both domestic and cosmopolitan—will be considered, along with remedial responsibilities of powerful states arising from historical injustice and from the structural inequalities within the contemporary political economy. Throughout, our discussion will bring feminist theory to bear in regard to the differential impacts of migration and immigration restriction on women and children.


Wilson – Political Philosophy: Smith, Rousseau and Kant (PT)
PSC 80203 – 4 credits (Cross list with PHIL 76200) – CRN 32402
Tuesday 6:30pm – 8:30pm

This course will focus on the moral and political philosophy of these three 18th century philosophers and their contemporaries. Topics to be addressed include the roles of convention and sentiment in moral philosophy and the Kantian reaction against this development, philosophical attitudes to war and conquest, ‘stadial’ theories of history, theories of progress, and the role of women. Readings will include portions of Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments and Wealth of Nations; Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origins of Inequality; and portions of Kant’s Anthropology and his political essays, along with selections from Buffon, Diderot, Condorcet, and Fourier.


Marasco – Contemporary Political Theory (PT)
PSC 71901 – 3 credits (CRN# 32564)
Thursday 11:45am – 1:45pm

This course provides a rigorous introduction to major works of political theory in the twentieth century.  Our seminar will proceed as close readings of whole books and essays, on the assumption that political theory is best digested in non-excerpted form and that a different group of interpretive muscles are flexed when we linger on a work in its (exhaustive and exhausting) entirety. Readings will include works by Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss, Hannah Arendt, CLR James, Theodor Adorno, Louis Althusser, Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, John Rawls, Catherine MacKinnon, and Jacques Ranciere.  This seminar is designed primarily for Political Science graduate students preparing a concentration in political theory, but it is also open to students in Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology, Women’s Studies, and related fields.  This seminar will be especially useful for students preparing for their comprehensive exams in political theory.
By the end of the semester, you should expect to:

  1. Distinguish among various approaches to contemporary political theory and the traditions upon which they build.
  2. Develop reading & writing skills and, especially, the capacity to build compelling, arguments on major thinkers and topics in contemporary political theory.
  3. Acquire the foundations for preparation of the contemporary political theory portion of your comprehensive exam in political theory.

 

Dahbour/Menser – Ecology and Political Theory (PT)
PSC 80303 (Cross list with PHIL 77900) – 4 credits (CRN # 32398)
Monday 6:30pm – 8:30pm
In the Age of the Anthropocene, philosophy no longer needs to argue for the moral value of the preservation and non-exploitation of nature. It must now attempt to formulate political ideas that can point toward an equitable, sustainable, and resilient maintenance of the conditions for human life. That is the premise of this course. In it, we hope to explore the emerging literature of environmental political theory, but from a wider perspective that is not premised on the human-environment dichotomy, but assumes that all forms of human society depend upon, and therefore require the justification of, particular systems of political ecology. We will explore this idea in its various facets—historical, institutional, local, and global. First, recent literature re-reading the history of political philosophy (Plato to Adorno) from an ecological perspective will be considered. Second, ecological theories of democracy and the state—rethinking local political institutions for a sustainable future—will be discussed. Third, concepts of global environmentalism and ecological sovereignty—and which is more appropriate for addressing such concerns as food and water shortages, climate and ecosystem change, and environmental security and ecological refugees—will be examined. Finally, normative concepts employed in environmental policy debates, such as ecological modernization, sustainable development, and ecosystem resilience, will be explored. Readings will be selected from such authors as André Gorz, William Ophuls, John Bellamy Foster, Maria Mies, Madhav Gadgil, Melissa Lane, John O’Neill, Piers Stephens, Robyn Eckersley, John Gray, Andrew Dobson, Kyle Pows Whyte, Andrew Light, Dale Jamieson, Michel Serres, and Daniel Deudney, among others.

DiGaetano – Urban Politics (PP/AP)
PSC 72500 – 3 credits (CRN# 32189)
Monday 6:30pm – 8:30pm

This course is designed to introduce students to the study of urban politics and prepare them for the first exam.  The method employed is to undertake a close examination of classic and contemporary readings and journal articles on urban politics in classroom discussions and then write short analytical essays on selected topics.  The content of the course is organized around fundamental questions in political science as they are applied to the study of urban politics.  The first part of the course examines the question of political development, with a review of some of the work that situates urban political analysis in historical perspective.  Next the focus turns to the question of urban governance, considering political cultural and regime theory approaches to the politics of agenda building and the formation of urban governing coalitions.  The third section investigates the role of leadership in urban politics with a particular focus on big city mayors.  The fourth part considers the ways in which race and ethnicity have shaped the contours of urban political alliances and conflict.  The fifth portion looks at questions of political participation, including the effects of local elections and community-based political mobilization on urban political decision making.  The final segment of the course analyzes urban politics in the Global Era by evaluating the impact of globalization and neoliberalism on the way cities are governed.


Gornick – Social Welfare Policy (PP/AP)
PSC 72500 – (Cross list with SOC 85902) 3 credits (CRN# 32198)
Wednesday 4:15pm – 6:15pm

This course will examine social welfare policy in the United States, in both historical and cross-national perspective. We will begin with an overview of the development of social welfare policy in the U.S. 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 assess “the big picture” of the American welfare state, through the lens of its underlying institutional framework. Third, we will analyze contemporary challenges in the U.S. that call for active policy responses, such as inequality, health insurance, low-wage work, and care. Finally, 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 U.S.


Krinsky – Public Policy Analysis (PP/M)
PSC 73100 – 3 credits (CRN# 32200)
Thursday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

This course covers the key theoretical approaches to the study of public policy, with a focus on US policy-making. It introduces key perspectives on the policy process, policy networks, and policy-making institutions, as well as the political implications of these perspectives. The course’s readings focus on social and urban policy making, but students are encouraged to write about policy areas beyond these, as well. Readings will include foundational texts, responses to them, and actual policy writing and analysis.

Milanovic – Global inequality: Measurement, analysis and political implications (PP)
PSC 71903 – 3 credits (Crosslist with IDS 81300)
CRN# 32867
Wednesdays, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

The focus of the class is on global inequality which is defined as inequality between citizens of the world (as if they were members of a same nation). We will review the evolution of global inequality from the Industrial Revolution until today, and see how the changing composition and magnitude of global inequality affects politics, economics, and migration. Two types of inequalities, within-national (inequality among individuals within a single nation) and cross-national (inequality in mean incomes across nations) combine to determine global inequality. We shall thus also review the changes in within- and between-national inequalities. The class ends with an overview of positions of various political philosophers (e.g., Rawls, Pogge, Sen, and Nagel) regarding global inequality and migration.  The course will be fairly empirical but does not require any prior specific knowledge of the issues nor techniques. It is recommended for students of economics, political science, and sociology. This class is a follow-up of the one on “The theories of income distribution: from Pareto to Piketty” but can be taken independently.

Beinart – Writing Politics (G)
PSC 79002 – 3 credits (CRN# 32187)
Monday 2:00pm – 4:00pm

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, essays and blog posts of their own, see those ideas dissected by their classmates and the instructor, and then write the best ones up. Prominent editors and writers will come as guests.

Brown – M.A. Core Course (G)
PSC 71000 – 3 credits (CRN # 32195)
Tuesday 6:30pm – 8:30pm

This course will introduce students to and provide an overview of major perspectives, problems, and approaches in political science. The seminar proceeds through the various subfields of the political science discipline, engaging key texts and debates in these modes of analysis. An important theme throughout the course is how money, influence, and power inform political questions and political science inquiry.

Spring 2016

Jones – Polarization in American Politics
PSC 72001 – 3 credits
Tues 6:30 – 8:30

Has 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.

 

Law – US Immigration Law and Policy
PSC 82001 – 4 credits
Tues 4:15 – 6:15

This course is designed to provide a multidisciplinary overview of the key current theoretical and policy debates in the study of the politics of U.S. immigration and citizenship. A second goal is to understand the historical context of some of the current legal and policies responses to migration at the national and subnational levels. Finally, emphasis will be placed on exploring not just the theoretical and policy debates of the field, but also on the evaluation of the empirical data and research design of these studies on which the debates/theories are based.

Bowman – Basic Methods in Comparative Politics
PSC 77904 – 3 credits
Tues 4:15 – 6:15

This course focuses on political science as a research activity–one whose goal is to produce compelling descriptions and explanations of political reality. In the first half of the course we will undertake a critical examination of social science methodology–concept formation, measurement, causal analysis, and research strategies–with a focus on the subfield of comparative politics. Methodology in this sense refers not to quantitative techniques, but to commonly shared standards that are independent of any particular research method: what are the building blocks of a research project that generates a good explanatory argument?  The goal of this section of the course is two-fold: first, students should acquire the tools to evaluate the substantive literature in the light of methodology-based standards.  Second, students should acquire a deeper understand of how to approach their own substantive research interests.  In the second part of the course, we put these tools to work by undertaking a “methodology–centric” reading of two substantive comparative politics literatures: the politics of welfare states, and the politics of mass electoral participation. Although the course leans toward the subfield of comparative politics, it contains much material that will be useful to students from other subfields who plan to read and to carry out empirical research.  No prior background in research methods or comparative politics is expected.

 

George – States and Legitimacy: Autocracy, Democracy, and Hybrid Regimes
PSC 72001 – 3 credits
Thurs 6:30 – 8:30

This course examines power structures in states, examining, in turn, the structures that underpin the foundations of autocratic and democratic regimes. The course will focus on institutional, economic, social, and behavior underpinning of autocratic and democratic authority. How do authoritarian regimes maintain power and legitimacy? What are the economic and political requisites for democracy? Are autocracy and democracy mutually exclusive conceptions, or do some regimes harbor elements of both?  Why are some regimes stable, while others collapse?  This course will explore structural, institutional, and behavioral explanations for state authority, as well as examine the interactions between masses and elites.

 

Woodward – Civil War: Causes, Dynamics, Settlements
PSC 87800 – 4 credits
Wed 4:15 – 6:15

Civil war is a subject of scholarly study as old as the field of political science itself.  The topic has taken on a new prominence, however, in the post-cold war international environment, and academic research has exploded in the past 25 years. Although the topic is by definition in the field of comparative politics – civil wars are wars that are internal to a particular country and its sovereign borders – this definition does not reflect the reality of contemporary civil wars, including structural causes located in globalization, their regional and transnational dynamics, and the new normative consensus internationally on both the right and the responsibility to intervene to stop the violence.

Thus, the study of civil wars crosses back and forth between the subfields of comparative politics and international relations.  In the three aspects of civil war on which the readings and discussion of the seminar will focus – the literatures on their causes, on their political dynamics, and (less) on their termination and possible solutions, whether done autonomously or by international intervention – students in the seminar have ample room to choose which literatures of political science are most of interest to their study and research, even though the seminar itself is classified as a course in comparative politics.

This is a research seminar, which means that the readings and discussion will aim to make the student as knowledgeable about the literature, its debates, unanswered questions, and research frontiers as possible, while each student’s goal is a research project and paper.  Projects will be defined early in the semester, and collaborative work will be encouraged.  Grading will be based on participation in discussion on the readings as well as the final research paper.

Golob – The Rules: International Law and Relations Approaches to Global Issues
PSC 86400 – 4 credits
Wed 4:15 – 6:15

This research seminar will analyze the key issues of interstate conflict and cooperation at the intersection of two related and yet often infra-related fields of study:  International Relations (IR) and International Law (IL).  As the title of the course suggests, we will be examining the nature of rules – laws and treaties, formalized institutions and informal norms –  on the international level that purport to ‘govern’ relations between states, to ‘police’ the behavior of governments, and to regulate problems that states cannot easily solve on their own. As seminar members develop their own research projects, together we will identify and discuss the distinct and/or converging responses of these two fields to the following questions: Why, and under what conditions, do states follow rules? Who gets to make the rules, how are they to be enforced, and on what actors? What are “norms” and under what conditions do states seek to formalize them? How are norms diffused across borders, and which domestic and international actors are involved? Under what conditions do we see compliance with such international norms – and does that compliance advance state (or sub-state actors’) interests, ideas/ideologies, identities, or all of the above? This collective investigation will lead us to a closer examination of IL, IR, and IL/IR approaches to explaining various dimensions of international collective action, including (but not limited to): humanitarian intervention and the use of force; counterterrorism and drone warfare; responses to refugee flows and illegal migration; international criminal justice; international piracy; climate change and the environment; and rules governing (or not) private actors such as MNCs in the global economy.

 

Weiss – The Politics of Wartime Humanitarian Action
PSC 86401 – 4 credits
Tues 11:45 – 1:45

Over the last 150 years, and more particularly over the last quarter-century 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.”

 

Xia – International Political Economy
PSC 76300 – 3 credits
Tues 6:30 – 8:30

International Political Economy (IPE, or global political economy) is defined as “a collection of orientations, perspectives, theories, and methods addressed to understanding the relations between diverse political and economic phenomena at the global level”. In this course, the 2008 global financial crisis provides an entry point to examine the following contents: (1) evolution (a historical review of capitalism and the formation of global political economy), (2) theories and methods (normative theories include liberalism, mercantilism, Marxism, constructivism and critical approaches; research approaches include global vs. domestic-level, statist vs. societal explanations and rational choice approach), (3) structures (thematic issues  include production, trade, finance and development). The course concludes with a discussion on the global governance in IPE and global responses to globalization (both “good” and “bad” ones, e.g., illicit markets).

 

Andreopoulos – The Laws of War (IR)
PSC 72001 – 3 credits
Thurs 4:15 – 6:15

This 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 address 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 analyze and assess current humanitarian law challenges in light of key post-cold war developments, including the movement to ban the use of landmines, the creation and evolving jurisprudence of international justice institutions, recent efforts to address sexual violence in conflict situations and the policies and practices adopted in the global campaign against terror.

Fontana – Machiavelli
PSC 72001 – 3 credits
Thurs 6:30 – 8:30

This course will focus on Machiavelli and his interpreters. It will engage his thought through a close reading of his major political works, The Prince, the Discourses and The Art of War, as well as some of his minor works, The Life of Castruccio Castracani, A Provision for Infantry, Discourse on Remodeling the Government of Florence, the Tercets on Ambition and On Fortune. There is no need to underline the importance of such a course for a student of politics and of political theory. That he has had a broad and profound influence on political thought cannot be denied. He has been called teacher of evil, founder of modernity, partisan of republicanism, defender of tyranny, discoverer of a new science of politics, amoral realist and impassioned idealist. The very ambiguity (and popularity) of the term “Machiavellian” testifies to the range and depth of this influence. In addition, the course will examine different interpretations, or different ways of reading, Machiavelli—such as reason of state, republican, democratic, Straussian, rhetorical and revolutionary. In effect, the course will offer a reading of several of Machiavelli’s writings, and it will at the same time delve into the various approaches to, and interpretations of, his politics and thought.

 

Buck-Morss – Post-Democracy
PSC 82001 – 4 credits
Wed 2:00 – 4:00

In a US election year, this seminar asks the question: Are We “Post-Democracy”? Is national democracy a viable political form 200 years after its one-time revolutionary role? Can party politics deliver representation of, by, and for “the people”? Is it possible to believe in democracy when, after electing a 2-term Black President, a social movement is required to insist that Black Lives Matter? Is “bringing democracy to Europe” a viable project, when victories in democratic elections have not changed the course of economic austerity, and the identity of Europe is challenged by half a million refugees? Does global capitalism vitiate popular rule? Does neo-liberalism undermine it?  Given vast migrations of human beings, and given our interconnectedness ecologically, economically, and technologically, how should “the people” be defined? Is state sovereignty democracy’s friend or foe? Has the democratic goal of national liberation failed the post-colonial world? What are the potentials of social media, anarchist practices, and trans-local solidarities for redefining democracy? We will consider new political movements (Arab Spring, Syriza/Indignados, OWS, Black Lives Matter) and read recent works in political theory (W. Brown, D. McKesson, K. Ross, J. Rancière, R. Rorty, N. Loraux, J .Derrida, G. Wilder) that are relevant to this set of questions.

 

Wolin – After Theory
PSC 71900 – 3 credits
Mon 4:15 – 6:15

“Theory” has become historical.

During the 1980s Theory’s cryptic messages and provisos coursed through departments of comparative literature and humanities promising, if always obliquely, a qualitative transformation of our conventional and retrograde intellectual and practical habitudes. Theory traded on the fading aura of 1960s radicalism, implying that, whereas the soixante-huitards (’68ers) had foundered, it would write the next chapter in the Book of Revolution. Its heightened awareness of past failures, nourished by a skepticism vis-à-vis metanarratives, seemingly enhanced its prospects of success.

But, when all is said and done, how might one, going forward, define “success”? When the entirety of a tradition is presumptively jettisoned or consigned to desuetude, it is difficult to know exactly where to begin – or to re-begin. Derrida implied that once the demons of logocentrism had been vanquished, life and thought would be permanently and positively transformed. However, both he and his acolytes refrained from pointing out that the thinker who had coined the term “logocentrism” was the well nigh unreadable, proto-fascist German Lebensphilosoph Ludwig Klages (cf. Geist als Widersacher der Seele; 3 vols. 1929-32).

In The History of Sexuality, Foucault, mistrusting the allure of collective action, or, in Hannah Arendt’s words, “people acting in concert,” recommended that we pursue “a different economy of bodies and pleasures,” going so far as to invoke – in what can only be described as a prototypical instance of “Orientalism” – the Kama Sutra (sic) by way of illustration. However, in retrospect, this prescription seemed merely to dovetail with the “culture of narcissism” (cf. Christopher Lasch) that succeeded the demise of the contestatory spirit of the 1960s – as such, grist for the mill of an apolitical “lifestyle” or “identity” politics. In other words: an “apolitical politics.”

Circa 1971, Foucault had internalized the deleterious linkage between “knowledge” and “domination” – or, “power-knowledge” – to the point where he was prepared to abandon both “writing” and “discourse” tout court, having concluded that both were merely expressions of hegemony. If we accept the Nietzschean claim that “truth” is little more than an efflux or manifestation of “power” (as Foucault suggests: “truth isn’t a reward for free spirits . . . it is produced by multiple forms of constraint. It induces regular effects of power. Each society has its regime of truth”), and if all norms are “normalizing,” what, then, is the basis of contestation and critique? Has the concept of emancipation remained meaningful, or must it, too, be cynically consigned to the rubbish heap of lost illusions?

The story of French Theory coincides with the reception of Nietzsche and Heidegger’s thought in France during the 1950s and 1960s. Here, Deleuze’s 1962 book on Nietzsche as well as Foucault’s essay, “Nietzsche, Genealogy, and History” (1971) signify important way stations. Deconstruction, for its part, takes its inspiration from Heidegger’s appeal in Being and Time for a “destruction of the history of Western ontology.” At the outset, we will focus on pivotal German and French texts in order to secure a solid philosophical grounding in Theory’s conceptual intricacies. Thereby, in a post-enlightenment spirit, the obscure shall be rendered clear – or, at least, clearer.

Marx once said: “We recognize only one science, the science of history.” What, then, might it mean to historicize poststructuralism?

 

Shippen – The Politics of Death and Dying
PSC 82001 – TBD credits
Tues 4:15 – 6:15

This course examines what death and dying mean in a selection of political theory and literary texts, and considers how death itself contests and disrupts more traditional understandings of political theoretical concepts. Using political theory as our guide, we will explore how the respective and related theories derived from political, critical, feminist, post-colonial, and afro-pessimism theorize the significance of death and dying for informing the human condition and the meaning of the political theoretical concepts of reciprocity, interdependence, autonomy, freedom, equality, and justice. Our thinking will be intersectional and dialectical in order to consider how gender, sexuality, race, class, and ability inform the politics of death and dying. Judith Butler has persuasively argued that “Part of the very problem of contemporary political life is that not everyone counts as a subject” (2009, 31). Therefore, we will also analyze the political-economic and cultural conditions which most contribute to civil, social, and premature death. In this sense, the politics of death primarily refers to the various ways that conditions of inequality and alterity distort and ultimately shorten lives.  The class is guided by a Hegelian framework, specifically the master/slave dialectic and the question of reciprocity by way of incorporating the theoretical insights of Orlando Patterson’s original concept of “social death,” Jared Sexton’s “social death,” Judith Butler’s concept of “precarious life,” and Achille Mbembe’s “necropolitics” and considering how interdependence and relationality function when distorted by extreme conditions of inequality.

Digaetano – Urban Politics
PSC 72500 – 3 credits
Mon 6:30 – 8:30

This course is designed to introduce students the study of urban politics.  The course is organized around fundamental questions in political science as they are applied to the study of urban politics.  The first part of the course critically examines the leading theoretical perspectives on urban politics:  regime theory, political culture, and political economy.  Next, the focus turns to the question of political development, with a review of some of the work that situates urban political analysis in historical perspective.   The third portion of the course takes up the question of governance, considering political cultural and regime theory approaches to the politics of building and maintaining urban governing coalitions.  The fourth section examines the role of leadership in urban politics and the fifth investigates the ways in which race and ethnicity have shaped the contours of urban political alliances and conflict.  The sixth portion looks at the manner in which political institutions such as political parties and nonpartisan forms of elections have affected the processes and outcomes of urban political decision making.  The final part of the course takes stock of the state of urban political analysis, evaluating its strengths and weaknesses.

 

Fortner – Race, Class and the Politics of Crime
PSC 72001 – 3 credits
Wed 6:30 – 8:30

Course Description Pending

 

Su – Participatory Democracy and Social Movements
PSC 71900 – 3 credits
Thurs 11:45 – 1:45

This seminar takes a look at what ordinary citizens do to shape public programs and engage in politics— in ways other than voting. We explore the notion that popular participation can make democratic governance more legitimate, fair, and effective. Is participatory democracy— alternatively called bottom-up participation, maximal democracy, or direct democracy— really better? Specifically, we will examine forms and functions of civil society from a comparative perspective by looking at specific examples of (1) participatory institutions (neighborhood councils, urban budgeting, school governance, etc.), (2) participation in non-governmental organizations and development projects, and (3) social movements around the world (landless people’s movements, transnational networks, mothers of political dissidents who have “disappeared,” AIDS protest groups, etc.). Sometimes, these three categories blur into one another. We will try to focus on case studies in “Global South” middle-income countries like Brazil, Argentina, India, and South Africa, though we also include domestic cases as a point of reference. How much should ordinary citizens participate in policymaking, and how? Under what circumstances? We will pay special attention to equity in participation, uses and construction of identity, and policy impacts in each case.

Milanovic – Theories of Income Distribution: From Pareto to Piketty
PSC 72500 – 3 Credits
Wed 6:30 – 8:30

The objective of the course is be to review, analyze, and allow students to develop a much better understanding of the theories and empirics of personal income distribution within a single policy-making unit (that is, normally within a nation-state). The first such theory was developed by Vilfredo Pareto more than 100 years ago. Pareto believes that income distribution does not change regardless of a social system and level of development. Simon Kuznets, in the 1950s, posited, on the contrary, a theory where income inequality evolves as societies get richer. Jan Tinbergen, in the 1970s, argued that the level of inequality is determined by the two opposing forces of education (increasing the supply of highly skilled workers) and technological change (increasing the demand for them). Most recently, Thomas Piketty argues that low growth combined with high returns to capital predisposes advanced economies to high levels of inequality. These theories will be considered on the real-world examples of movements of inequality in Brazil, China, “transition countries” and the United States and other advanced economies.  We shall focus especially on the recent evolution of income and wealth inequality in the United States and Piketty’s analytical contributions. The class will be fairly empirical but does not require any prior specific knowledge of the issues nor techniques. It is recommended for students of economics, political science, and sociology.

Beinart – Writing Politics I
PSC 79002 – 3 credits
Mon 2:00 – 4:00

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, essays and blog posts of their own, see those ideas dissected by their classmates and the instructor, and then write the best ones up. Prominent editors and writers will come as guests.

Woodward – Dissertation Proposal Workshop
PS 89100 – 0 credits
Mon 6:30 – 8:30

This workshop aims to assist students in writing their dissertation proposal in political science and taking 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.  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 and advice; 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 can be taken more than once.

 

Cole – Teaching Political Science
PSC 77904 – 3 credits
Thurs 2:00 – 4:00

This course serves as a training workshop for students interested in teaching political science.  We will consider such issues as syllabus development, effective learning goals and assessment strategies, lecture preparation, grading practices, and creating an appropriate classroom environment.  We will also discuss aspects of the profession such as going on the job market, the transition from graduate education to a faculty position, writing a curriculum vitae, and mentoring students.  In addition to our pedagogical inquiries, students will be introduced to their colleagues who are already teaching on the campuses, as well as to the Chairs of the departments where they will be assigned. This class is a required course for all first year doctoral students in our program whose fellowship entails teaching on the campuses in fall 2016. However, all political science students, both doctoral or MA, who are interested are welcome to enroll.

 

Tien – Quantitative Analysis
PSC 89101 – 4 credits
Mon 4:15 – 6:15

The aim of this course is to introduce graduate students to statistical analysis in political science. I want students to think of themselves as future contributors of empirical work, as well as critical consumers. In that spirit, there will be an emphasis on “learning-by-doing.” Each student should locate a data set of interest to them by the third week of the semester that will be used to carry out statistical exercises.

To help students see the linkages between the material we cover and the work in the discipline, I am also listing some articles from our journals in addition to the assigned books. It is my hope that students will be more tolerant of the technical material if they can see the payoff in terms of a better understanding of political science rather than statistics. For some of the topics, I have also suggested additional readings that may increase your understanding of the technical material. With technical material, I have found that it helps to read two or three different presentations of the same topic to understand it more clearly. These readings should be done actively with paper and pencil in hand. By the end of this course students will have a working understanding of regression analysis.

O’Brien – Blogging & the Role of Public Intellectuals Writing Politics Specialization
PSC 79003 – 3 credits
Tues 6:30 – 8:30 (Online Course)

This is an online course, part of the Writing Politics Specialization sequence. It explores the unique role that academics can play as public intellectuals in the global social sphere of blogging, as well as other types of social media. There is a substantial practicum element to this purely online seminar, though we will also examine past cases of public intellectuals’ media impact. Questions we will consider are: Who is a public intellectual? Does a vacuum exist in the blogosphere, and if so, has it created a place for journalists or academics? Do academics have a blogging advantage, being independent of commercial concerns, or is the present-day academy a disadvantage? Can social and/or public intellectuals be transgressive bloggers? Can ideas have impact? Do gadflies, muckrakers, and journalists (i.e. non-academic public intellectuals) enjoy more freedom of speech?

The course will also analyze several overlapping themes within American political thought, including the rise of the Right, the role of religion, the decline of the ivory-tower conception of a university, and how blogging can help turn these conservative trends around. Students will practice blogging that attempts to have idea impact, or to constitute what the wider social world of entrepreneurs calls “thought leadership.” The course also offers recommended texts in American political thought by Alexis de Tocqueville, John Dewey, W. E. B. DuBois, and Allan Bloom, in addition to contemporary bloggers who went viral.

Fall 2015

Constitutional Law, Professor Halper, PSC 72300, 3 credits, Tuesdays 6:30pm – 8:30 pm.
Constitutional Law begins by exploring several topics that will recur throughout the course: the tension between natural law and positive law; controversies about how to construe laws; the meaning and power of constitutions; and the proper role of courts in a democracy.  If we cannot effectively hold them accountable, why do we want them to be powerful?  If they lack the power of the purse and the sword, how can they be powerful? The course then turns to the chief substantive issues, separation of powers and federalism.  Under the separation of powers, it deals with Dahl’s analysis of the Supreme Court as a national decision maker, and examines cases involving Congress and the President, including INS v. Chadha, Ex parte Milligan, Hammer v. Dagenhart, Schecter Poultry v. U.S., Carter v. Carter Coal, Korematsu v. U.S., Youngstown Sheet & Tube v. Sawyer, U.S. v. Nixon, Clinton v. Jones, and Gore v. Bush.  Among the issues raised are the uses to which the commerce clause can be put, the power of the national government during emergencies, addressing alleged presidential abuse, and deciding a problematical presidential election. Under federalism, the course will examine such cases as McCulloch v. Maryland, Plessy v. Ferguson, Lochner v. New York, Brown v. Board of Education, Moose Lodge v. Irvis,  Milliken v. Bradley, Regents, University of California, Davis v. Baake, and Lopez v. U.S.  Among the issues raised are liberty of contract, the takings clause, segregation and its removal, affirmative action, and state action. The course, in short, inquires as to how courts, constrained and empowered by unique rules and traditions, confront many of the great issues of the day. Although most of the assignments will be judicial opinions, readings from judges, lawyers, historians, and social scientists will supplement them. The course stresses thoughtful class discussion.

 

 

American Political Thought, Professor Fontana, PSC 72100, 3 credits, Thursdays 2pm – 4pm.

 

 

American Politics, Professor Lipsitz, PSC 82001, 4 credits, Mondays 2pm – 4pm.
This seminar provides an introduction to classic and contemporary studies in American politics. It is designed for graduate students, especially those who plan to take the American politics field exam. The semester will be organized around two central themes: institutions (e.g. Congress, the Presidency, and the media) and behavior (e.g. political participation and public opinion), beginning with the former. By the end of the course, students will have a basic familiarity with many of the fundamental works in the subfield, understand the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to studying the American political system, and be familiar with many of debates that have animated and continue to animate research in the discipline.

 

 

American Foreign Policy: National Security Strategy, PSC 82001, 4 credits, Wednesdays 4:15pm – 6:15pm.

Modern American Foreign Policy can be usefully divided into three periods: The Cold War; the 9/11 Decade, and the Post 9/11 Transition. Each period had it’s own “Doctrine:” Truman’s, Bush’s, and Obama’s.

This seminar examines the major challenges that American foreign policy faced during each period, and the adequacy of the presidential doctrines and strategies that were developed to meet them.

State and Society, Professor Erickson, PSC 87801, 4 credits, Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:30pm.

Seminar/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.

 

 

Democratization, Professor Unger, PSC 77903, 3 credits Tuesdays 6:30pm – 8:30pm.

For the first time in history, a vast majority of countries have adopted democracy, making democratization a key focus of comparative politics.  Drawing on histories and current developments in each world region, this course comparatively assesses the strength and quality of democratic regimes around the globe by examining civil society, the balance of powers, policymaking, the rule of law, and the many entrenched problems – such as corruption, organized crime, and inequality – that trap most regimes in a grey area between transition and consolidation.  The critical analysis of democratization that the class develops will also strengthen understand comparative and international politics more broadly.

 

 

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

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

This seminar is a graduate-level introduction to the literature in comparative politics.  It can serve as a survey or review for advanced students as well.  Because the key theories and concepts are also key political science concepts and theories, it is not exclusively intended for those majoring or minoring in comparative politics; all are welcome.  It is not a course in methods or methodologies of research.  The focus 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, but the foundation comes first.

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

Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Professor Andreopoulos, PSC 86401 (Cross Listed with WSCP 81000), 4 credits, Wednesdays 6:30pm – 8:30pm.

This course will focus on key concepts in human rights and humanitarianism, and examine their analytical value in the context of varying approaches towards the promotion and protection of internationally recognized human rights and humanitarian norms. In particular, the course will examine these concepts in light of (a) the recent debates in international relations theory on the role of ideas and norms, and the intersections between international relations and international law research agendas; and (b) the growing convergence between international human rights law and international humanitarian law. It will assess the impact of normative considerations, as well as the role of the relevant state and non-state actors on a whole set of critical issue areas including discrimination, accountability, human protection, political membership, human development, and legal empowerment. The course will conclude with a critical discussion of recent UN initiatives in these issue areas.

 

 

Seminar in International Security, Professor Liberman, PSC 86402, 4 credits, Tuesdays 4:15pm – 6:15pm.

This seminar has two goals: to develop students’ understanding of alternative theoretical and methodological approaches to understanding international security, and to develop students’ ability to conduct research in the field. Although the course readings feature works using a wide variety of methods, we will devote a week at the beginning of the semester to the fundamentals of research design and to qualitative case-study methods, to prepare students to engage in their own qualitative research.

“International security” is defined broadly in the course as the politics surrounding the threat, control, and employment of military force. Although time is too short to survey all topics, the course will begin by examining fundamental questions such as why states go to war, how they perceive threats and formulate military postures, and how these are affected by domestic politics and political culture. The course readings emphasize recent contributions and policy-relevant theory, rather than “the classics” or the intellectual history of the field. A variety of time periods and regions are examined in the empirical studies, although students are encouraged to focus their research papers more specifically if they wish. The students will help select the topics addressed in the course, and 4-5 weeks of the semester will be customized to address their interests.

Students will write a substantial research paper over the course of the semester, and present their findings during the final class meeting. Students will present their research plans mid-semester, with feedback provided by the class and by the instructor.

 

 

Basic Theories and Concepts in International Relations, Professor Shirkey, PSC 76000, 3 credits, Thursdays 2pm – 4pm.

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

 

 

UN & Changing World Politics, Professor Weiss, PSC 76203, 3 credits, Tuesdays 2pm – 4pm.

The object of this course is to situate the United Nations (UN) within the context of international relations theory and contemporary world politics. It is an introduction to the subject, which figures prominently in first exams, second exams, and other programs of study at The Graduate Center. It is geared to students who have not taken their first exams and are without significant professional or analytical exposure to the UN system.

The seminar will focus on a number of concrete cases using references to the history, administration, and especially the politics and some international legal dimensions of the UN system in its three main areas of activity: international peace and security; human rights and humanitarian action; and sustainable development. Given its impact in budgetary and political terms, the “high politics” of security receive the most emphasis. Consideration is also given to other actors (non-governmental and regional organizations) that interact with the UN in the processes of “global governance”—another topic that will appear with some regularity. Because of the importance of the United States to multilateralism, American foreign policy toward the world organization figures prominently in discussions, including the roller-coaster ride during the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations. Finally, we pay attention to the role of ideas within international institutions (that is, constructivism), an important orientation in recent international relations scholarship as well as a particular interest of mine after over a decade of research by the United Nations Intellectual History Project.

Every student enrolled or auditing is expected to lead two discussions (perhaps three, depending on enrollment) of the required readings (which requires going beyond them to consult the “suggested” readings); these presentations will constitute about one-third of the final grade. About two-thirds will be constituted by two “First” Exams taken under exam-like conditions on 27 October and 15 December.

Critical Reason: The Basics, Professor Buck-Morss, PSC 71901, 3 credits, Tuesdays 2pm – 4pm.

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

 

Policing the Social: Aristotle, Arendt, Foucault, Ranciere, Professor Feldman, PSC 80302, 4 credits, Thursdays 11:45am – 1:45 pm.

This course examines the writings of three political theorists—Arendt, Foucault, and Ranciere—who sought to make sense of distinctively modern forms of governance, ordering and exclusion in part through critical engagement with, and selective appropriation of, Aristotle’s Politics. We will look at some of the key contributions of each including Focuault’s account of biopower, governmentality and police in History of Sexuality vol 1, and selections from his 1978 and 1979 lectures Security, Territory, Population and The Birth of Biopolitcs, Ranciere’s distinction between (democratic) politics and police and the notion of the police order, and Arendt’s theory of the rise of the social and critique of natural rights in the nation-state system. The course will also examine three texts of 21st century political theory that each draw upon one of these thinkers to provide insight into contemporary political problems: Wendy Brown on neoliberalism (Foucault); Ayten Gundogdu on migrants and statelessness (Arendt) and Davide Panagia on the sensory basis of democracy (Ranciere).

 

Ancient Political Thought, Professor Mehta, PSC 80301, 4 credits, Wednesdays 2pm – 4pm.

This course will offer an introduction to the political thought of Plato, Aristotle and Cicero. It is organized around five important and classic texts of the Western philosophic tradition.

The questions around which the course will be structured will include: Why is the study of politics and ethics some thing about which we need to, and can, have abstract theories? What is the status of an “ideal” polity with respect to actual polities? How does the question of justice relate to issues of interests, human identity and knowledge? What is the meaning of constitutionalism? What do Plato, Aristotle and Cicero take to be the original motivation underlying the formation of political society? How do these motivations conform to the normative prescriptions that they propose? How do notions such as friendship, duty and virtue relate to the understanding of citizenship? What are the justifications underlying the various proposed institutional arrangements? Finally, does the organizing of political life related to other conceptions of human needs and potentiality?

 

Social Contract Theory, Professor Morgenstern, PSC 71902, 3 credits, Wednesdays 4:15pm – 6:15 pm.

This course examines the social contract tradition and its effect on modern political discourse. While the social contract tradition is popularly identified with early modern political thought, approximations and appreciations of this idea are found in Plato, as well as in the more well known texts associated with this tradition: Hobbes (Leviathan), Locke (Second Discourse ;and other essays), Rousseau (Social Contract & Discourses), Rawls (A Theory of Justice, The Law of Peoples). We will also look at early modern appraisals (Hume) and emendations (Freud) of social contract discourse, as well as more contemporary rereadings and critiques of the social contract tradition (Pateman, Mills, Sen). Course requirements include class attendance and participation, an oral presentation, and a research paper.

 

Dictatorship: The Career of a Concept from Robespierre to Lenin and Beyond, Professor Wolin, PSC 71903, 72500 (Cross Listed with HIST 72100), 3 credits, Mondays 4:15pm – 6:15 pm.

The Austerity Crisis & Failures in National Urban Policy, Professor Goering, PSC 82503, 4 credits, Thursdays 2pm – 4pm.

National urban polices in the U.S. have confronted multiple political, sociological, and fiscal challenges over the past century. Conditions of permanent austerity and uncertainly characterize the complex realities of routine policy-making in and for cities.  While Thomas Piketty concludes “the rich world is rich, but the governments of the rich world are poor,” policy choices are seldom so simply framed.  Unyielding in many ways and pliable in others, cities are complex instruments for examining inequalities and change, including policy-driven effects.  In this course will examine federal attempts to make progressive political choices in the face of partisan political polarization, exploring the limits, frailties, and political successes of U.S. urban policies. This should enable a clearer assessment of cities as potential sites of and instruments for policy change.

 

 

Introduction to Policy Process, Professor Gornick, PSC 73101, (Cross Listed with SOC 85700), 3 credits, Tuesdays 4:15pm – 6:15 pm.

This course will provide an introduction to theories of the policy-making process, with a focus on the United States.

The first section of the course will offer an overview of major theories, concepts, and models of public policy-making.

The second section of the course will address problem definition and agenda-setting, and will situate policy-making in the political landscape.

The third section will focus on the impact of social movements on the policy process.

The final section of the course will assess the implementation process, with a focus on “street-level bureaucracy”.

Readings will include works by leaders in the field, including David Rochefort and Roger Cobb, Paul Sabatier, Deborah Stone, Anne Schneider and Helen Ingram, Frank Baumgartner and Bryan Jones, John Kingdon, Jeffrey Pressman and Aaron Wildavsky, and Michael Lipsky.

The requirements include a set of written summaries of class readings; supervision of one class session, and two exams.

 

 

Global Inequality: Measurement, Analysis, and Political Implications. Professor Milanovic, PSC 72500, (Cross Listed with SOC 84606), 3 credits, Wednesdays 6:30pm – 8:30pm.

The focus of the class is on global inequality which is defined as inequality between citizens of the world (as if they were members of a same nation). We will review the evolution of global inequality from the Industrial Revolution until today, and see how the changing composition and magnitude of global inequality affects politics, economics, and migration. Two types of inequalities, within-national (inequality among individuals within a single nation) and cross-national (inequality in mean incomes across nations) combine to determine global inequality. We shall thus also review the changes in within- and between-national inequalities. The class ends with an overview of positions of various political philosophers (e.g., Rawls, Pogge, Sen, Nagel) regarding global inequality and migration.

The course will be fairly empirical but does not require any prior specific knowledge of the issues nor techniques. It is recommended for students of economics, political science, and sociology. This class is a follow-up of the one on “The theories of income distribution: from Pareto to Piketty” but can be taken independently.

 

 

Theories of Neighborhood and Community Change, Professors Mollenkopf & Kornblum, PSC 72500 (Cross Listed with SOC 82800), 4 credits, Wednesdays 4:15pm – 6:15 pm.

Neighborhoods are the basic units of community formation in urban settings. People are sustained the attachments they form with their neighbors and neighborhoods – and they in turn play important roles in identity-formation, family-formation, child-rearing, primary education, friendship networks, sociability, shopping, dining, recreation and entertainment, worship, access to work, civic engagement, political representation, and so on. The clustering of similar people in neighborhoods is thought to generate both positive and negative feedbacks. In the ideal case, these building blocks of urban community are resilient in the face of change, or at least achieve new equilibria when circumstance require them. (In the worst case, people abandon their neighborhoods.) At the same time, neighborhoods constantly evolve, as people come and go, while those who stay age through the life cycle. Larger trends in politics and government, the housing and job markets, and society and culture operate on them, if unevenly. We have surprisingly little systematic theory about how patterns of neighborhood change result from the interplay of individual and family choices about where to live nested in the larger framework of housing markets, political institutions and regulations, and social change. This course begins by reviewing some classic theoretical orientations, such as the Chicago School, urban political economy, and the gentrification debates. It will then interrogate a series of case studies in New York City. While the specific cases will depend on the research interests of seminar participants, whom we expect to join in elaborating the case studies, they may include East Williamsburg/Bushwick/Ridgewood, the neighborhoods around Jamaica Bay, and the New York City working waterfront. We will use these case studies to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the theoretical perspectives and consider how to improve them.

Core Seminar in Political Science, Professor Cole, PSC 71000, 3 credits, Thursdays 11:45am-1:45pm.

This course has two primary 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 Department. The seminar proceeds through the various subfields of the political science discipline, engaging key texts and debates in these modes of analysis 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 gender, race, sex, and sexuality inform political questions and political science inquiry.

Topics in Women’s & Gender Studies: Trans Theories, Practices, Politics, Professor Currah, PSC 71904 (Cross Listed with WSCP U81601), 3 credits, Tuesdays 2:00 – 4:00 pm.

In this course, “trans” will be looked at as an identity, a set of practices, a site of activism, and a point of entry for the study of gender. We will become familiar with different approaches to the topic of transgender—some that understand the category as a basic for gender self determination and some that see trans* as a way to move away from norms organized around the gender binary. Many of the texts will be situated on a continuum between gender fundamentalist projects and gender subversive projects. We will begin with an overview of some canonical texts on sex, gender, and the relation between them and then move on to the public history of transsexuality, the emergence of movements for transgender equality, medical accounts of gender non-conformity, struggles for de-pathologization, debates about quests for recognition and redistribution, the racialization of transsexuality and transgender subjectivities, trans-feminism, minoritizing and universalizing approaches to (trans)gender, and intersections with other interdisciplinary areas (e.g. animal studies, disability studies, post-colonial studies). The last section of the course will focus on particular topics reflecting the interests of those in the class, possibly including: sex classification, incarceration, discrimination, pedagogy, art and activism, quantitative and qualitative research questions (e.g., methodology, ethics) on transgender and gender non-conforming communities.

Spring 2015

Civil Liberties, Professor Halper, PSC 72310, (cross listed with WSCP 81000), 3 credits, Tuesdays 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Civil Liberties focuses on freedom of expression and privacy, each viewed from normative and constitutional perspectives. Among the specific topics considered are defamation, hate speech and offensive speech, broadcast regulation, obscenity and indecency, public nuisances, commercial speech, speech plus, national security, privacy as withholding information, privacy as seclusion, and privacy as bodily integrity. Robust class discussion is encouraged. A final examination and critiques of three articles/chapters are required.

 

 

Polarization in American Politics, Professor Jones, PSC 82001, 4 credits, Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Has 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.

The Politics of Identity, Professor George, PSC 77903, 3 credits, Tuesdays 11:45 – 1:45 pm

This course focuses on the politics of ethnicity and nationalism, with a comparative focus. We will investigate theoretical arguments regarding the roots and power of ethnic identity and the ways that such identification enters into the political sphere. We will analyze arguments about whether and how ethnic diversity might affect political competition and conflict. The course will examine general theories and then also examine identity politics in further depth in particular geographic regions including, but not limited to Africa, postcommunist Europe and Eurasia, Latin America, and South Asia. Students will also have an opportunity to read further on geographical areas of their own scholarly interest. In addition to being a course on the subject matter of identity, students will hone their analytical skills through close readings of texts and examination of how authors construct and implement their research agenda.

Students will read the equivalent of a book per week as well as prepare written reading analyses and questions. Students will lead the discussions. In addition to the reading analyses and participation, students will write a short paper and submit a final exam.

 

 

Basic Theories and Concepts of Comparative Politics Part II, Professor Schwedler, PSC 77904, 3 credits, Thursdays 11:45 – 1:45 pm

There is little consensus within comparative politics, let alone the discipline of political science, about how to study politics. Comparativists use a range of approaches and hold a variety of methodological commitments. This course is designed to introduce students to the philosophical and epistemological disputes that have given rise to this lack of consensus. The aim of the course is to enable students to make more deeply informed judgments about the types of political science work that they encounter and undertake. Students will be encouraged to appreciate alternative methodological approaches to comparative analysis, weigh their relative utility in answering questions of importance to them, and determine whether and how these different approaches might fruitfully be combined.

 

 

Comparative Political Institutions, Professor Woodward, PSC 77902, 3/4 credits Tuesdays 4:15 – 6:15 pm

Many consider political institutions and institutional analysis to be the essence of comparative politics; after all, for example, states and regimes are particular complexes of institutions, and much of the variation in political outcomes across countries is best explained by variation in their institutions.  This course has two objectives: (1) an introduction to the concept of institutions, to institutional analysis, and to key debates and studies in the literature on political institutions, all aimed at preparing students for the first exam in comparative politics, and (2) an exploration of some key questions of the day that an institutional focus addresses – the causes of and solutions to civil war, stability or instability in ethnically heterogeneous countries, the bases of stability of authoritarian vs. democratic regimes (including variation within these types, such as military regimes, one-party systems, parliamentary vs. presidential democracies), ongoing academic and policy debates on the role of institutions in economic growth and development, the nature of political order under empire, colony, or regional integration, the consequences of the neoliberal attack on the state, the choice of institutions, including during periods of political transition, and how institutions evolve.  Students may take this seminar at the 700-level, for 3 credits with an examination as the final evaluation, or at the 800-level, for 4 credits and with a research paper as the culminating product.  I will contact students who register for this course and wish to take it at the 800-level to make sure that readings are tailored to their research interests, while students wishing to take this at the 700-level should be reassured that the course will provide the introduction and appropriate reading level that they seek.

Comparative Foreign Policy, Professor Braveboy-Wagner, PSC 86105, 4 credits, Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Foreign Policy Analysis is one of the most popular subfields of international relations. Even though you can rational and positivist approaches have predominated in the field in the US, elsewhere a generous dose of comparative “area studies” ethnography as well as increasingly popular constructivist and critical thinking have invigorated the field. In this course we first ask how is the study of foreign policy different from international relations as a whole (some constructivists think it should not be)? We then walk through the movement from Comparative Foreign Policy to FPA. From there we move into substantive areas: what are the influences on foreign policy at the individual, state and system levels? What goes on in that “black box” of decision making? What happens before and after a decision is made? What is the role of the bureaucracy? What is the role of non-state actors? What is the relationship between “diplomacy” and foreign policy? Finally, let’s compare U.S. foreign policy with that of other selected countries and regions? What differences are there in both substance and influences? Why? These are some of the questions discussed in this course.

Grading: 40% of the grade will be based on class participation and preparation of the reading assignments; 40% on a research paper with an outline and bibliographic essay presented midway through (20%). Many students use this research paper as the basis for future thesis/dissertation work. Critique of how we IR folk study foreign policy is encouraged!

 

 

International Law and International Relations Approaches to Global Issues, Professor Golob, PSC 76400, 3 credits, Tuesdays 2:00 – 4:00 pm

This seminar looks at the key issues of interstate conflict and cooperation which lie at the intersection of two fields that often appear at odds, but which have seen increasing synergies and interdisciplinary potential: International Law/IL (with its focus on rules, roles and procedures) and International Relations/IR (with its focus on power, interests, institutions, and identity). One key objective of the course is to introduce seminar members to the emerging interdisciplinary subfield known as “IL/IR,” located at the fruitful but often fraught intersection between the two fields, and to thus open possibilities for students to locate their own research interests within (or in close proximity to) this scholarly crossroads.

Following an introductory theoretical unit, we will look at key paired concepts forming this intellectual intersection:  norms and institutions, and enforcement and compliance.  We will address the following questions: Why, and under what conditions, do states follow rules? Who gets to make those rules, how are they deemed legitimate, how are they enforced, and on what actors? What are international norms, as opposed to (or in relation to) international laws, and under what conditions do states seek to formalize them?  How are norms diffused, socialized and enforced across borders, and under what conditions do we see compliance with international norms? Why have treaty-based international institutions – and in particular, international courts and tribunals – been constructed, by which actors, in what form, for what purpose and in whose interest? How effective have these institutions been in influencing state – and non-state actor – behavior?  Are ‘law’ and ‘power’ really two sides of the same coin of authoritative discourse and action?

This conceptual investigation will lead to a comparative examination of IL, IR and IL/IR approaches to four key global issues:

  • The Use of Force:  The UN, R2P, and Humanitarian Intervention
  • War With No Walls:  Confronting Global Terrorism
  • Globalizing Justice:  Human Rights & Int’l. Criminal TribunalsGoverning
  • Globalization: Non-State Actors Skirting, Shaping and Enforcing IL

 

 

Global Terrorism, Professor Romaniuk, PSC 86207, (Cross listed with WSCP 81000) 4 credits, Mondays 11:45 – 1:45 pm

What is “terrorism”? What causes terrorism and how does radicalization occur? How do terrorists organize and finance their activities? How are the strategies and tactics of counterterrorism determined and are they effective? How do terrorism and counterterrorism affect relations among states? Addressing these and related questions, this course is an advanced-level survey of terrorism and the politics that surround it. The course aims to prepare students to become informed and critical consumers of claims to knowledge about terrorism whether they are presented in scholarship, government policy, in the media, or elsewhere. It also aims to advance the capacity of students to produce robust social science research about terrorism and counterterrorism. While political scientists have a longstanding interest in research topics related to terrorism, the course draws upon materials from the emerging (and contested) inter-disciplinary field of “terrorism studies.” In this way, students will compare terrorist threats and counterterrorist responses across regions and over time.

Transcendence and Public Life, Professor Buck-Morss, PSC 80301, 4 credits, Tuesdays 2:00 – 4:00 pm

This seminar will question the modernist premise of immanence as the organizing frame of political life. In our global era, ethical and moral practice may demand more. Political theology meets its challenge in theological politics. Beginning with Theodor W. Adorno’s lectures on modern moral philosophy (post-Kant), we will consider the continuities of Christian belief in Western history (Kantorowicz), and Karl Marx’s secularization of the theological goal. Walter Benjamin’s early writings will provide a bridge to Philo of Alexandria’s 1st-century allegoresis of Jewish Scripture as Platonic philosophy. We will discover Islam’s enhancement of Aristotlelianism and the Jesuit’s anti-colonial debt to Andalusian Judaism. As contemporary examples of theological politics and/as moral practice, we will consider Mahatma Gandhi, Cornel West, Enrique Dussel, and Waed Hallaq. As hermeneutical strategies against theological politics (Carl Schmitt, Salim Sayyid), we will read the Musllima author Jerusha Tanner Lamptey, the late writing of Walter Benjamin, and Talal Asad on the Islamic state.

 

 

Social Ontology and Democracy, Professor Gould, PSC 71903, (Cross Listed with PHIL 78500), 3 credits, Tuesdays 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Despite a large literature on social ontology and an even wider one on democratic theory, there has been little attention to the ways that social ontology can illuminate the hard questions concerning the justification of democracy and its manifold deficiencies in practice. Going beyond existing individualist interpretations of democracy in terms of interests or rights, as well as older communitarian approaches, this seminar will work towards constructing a relational, interactive, and cooperative account of democracy, drawing on analytic, continental, and feminist perspectives.  We will bring to bear social ontological work on joint commitment (Gilbert), shared intention (Bratman), the “we-mode” (Tuomela), and collective intentionality (Searle); theories of recognition (Honneth), plurality (Arendt, Levinas), and the critique of “atomic” individualism (Taylor); feminist conceptions of relational autonomy (Nedelsky, Stoljar) and intersectional identities (e.g., Meyers); the social connections model of shared responsibility (Young); group agency and deliberative rationality (Pettit); and the conceptions of individuals-in-relations and positive freedom (Gould).

The specific issues we will address include the following:

  • Can joint action and group agency be explained in individualist terms? What are the implications for understanding democratic institutions and communities, as well as corporate and other nongovernmental actors?
  • The social justifications for democracy and for political obligation (Gould, Gilbert).
  • The significance of recent network notions for understanding democratic solidarity and transnational social movements.
  • The analysis of domination, oppression, and other forms of one-sided recognition within democracies (Young).
  • Diverse understandings of democracy, e.g., African consultative models (Wiredu).
  • Group rights—a human right to democracy; cultural rights within democracies and the interpretation of groups in collective or aggregative terms; processes of constitution of social groups and the self-determination of nations.
  • The problem of collective responsibility: Can individuals, even dissenting ones, be held accountable for the wrongdoing of their governments? Can nation-states as a whole be responsible for such wrongdoing?
  • The role of historical context in the genesis of democratic norms, and whether norms are essentially constitutive of group action.
  • The “democratic personality”—The implications of a relational approach for understanding dispositions to empathy and receptivity as they bear on notions of active citizenry and democratic participation.

Seminar members will be encouraged to relate the course materials to their ongoing research projects through oral presentations and analytical term papers, and will be expected to be active participants in the class discussions.

For more information, please contact carolcgould@gmail.com.
Psychoanalysis and Political Thought, Professor Jacobs, PSC 80405, 4 credits, Wednesdays,
2:00  –  4:00 PM

This seminar will be devoted to exploring and debating the hotly contested relationship(s) between psychoanalytic ideas (and of approaches derived from or engaged in dialogue with psychoanalysis) on the one hand and political theory on the other.  We will focus particular attention this semester on a range of attempts, made over an extended period of time, to link Marxist approaches with psychoanalytic insights, and will attempt to assess the degree to which each of these attempts does – or does not – remain compelling.  Accent will be placed on close reading of classic texts chosen from among the works of such writers as Freud, Jung, Reich, Fromm, Marcuse, Adler, Fanon, Lacan and Althusser.  Students will be encouraged to actively participate, to lead specific class sessions, and to explore their own interests by writing research papers on relevant topics.
Contemporary Political Theory, Professor Marasco, PSC 71901, 3 credits, Wednesdays 4:15 – 6:15 pm

This seminar is designed primarily for Political Science graduate students preparing a concentration in political theory, but it is also open to students in Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology, Women’s Studies, and related fields.  This course provides a rigorous introduction to major works of political theory since the 1971 publication of John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice.  We will launch our study with a close reading of this pivotal work in its entirety and pose questions about why the publication of this book has been claimed as a moment of “revival” for political philosophy.  Was philosophical thinking about politics dead or dormant before Rawls?  How, precisely, does Rawls bring political philosophy back to life?  What are the basic features and elements of Rawlsian justice?  What does the book tell us about its historical context and condition of possibility?

Our seminar will proceed as close readings of whole books, under the assumption that political theory is best digested in non-excerpted form and that a different group of interpretive muscles are flexed when we linger on a work in its (exhaustive) entirety.  After Rawls, we will turn to The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Anti-Oedipus, The History of Sexuality, Black Marxism, and Gender Trouble.  This course will be especially useful for students preparing for their comprehensive exams in political theory.

 

 

Adventures in Marxism: from the Communist Manifesto to Alain Badiou, Professor Wolin, PSC 71903, 3 credits, Mondays 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Je ne suis pas Marxiste!” Karl Marx, cited by Engels, 1882

In his “Theses on Feuerbach” (1846) Marx, seeking to free himself from Hegel’s tutelage, famously declared that, “Heretofore, philosophers have only interpreted the world; however, the point is to change it!” At the time, little did Marx realize the immense historical influence his ideas and doctrines would have. For decades to come, Marx’s theories would inspire intellectuals and political activists in Europe, Latin America, and Asia – although, often in ways that would have undoubtedly astonished Marx himself. After all, the first “successful” communist revolution occurred not in a highly industrialized society, as Marx had prophesied, but instead in Tsarist Russia: a nation that had only recently freed its serfs and that was still largely agrarian. Although as late as 1956, Jean-Paul Sartre could still refer to Marxism optimistically as, “The unsurpassable philosophy of our time,” following World War II, with the rising tide of decolonization, the torch of World Revolution had clearly passed (in the words of Franz Fanon) to the “wretched of the earth” – to the denizens of the so-called “Third World.” To add to this litany of well-known paradoxes: in contemporary China, one of the few remaining communist nations, Marxism has paradoxically become the reigning ideology of a society that is unabashedly oriented toward exponential economic growth and conspicuous consumption. (Or, as Deng Xiaoping proclaimed during the early 1980s: “To get rich is glorious!”) Looking back from 1989 – the watershed year in which the Marxist regimes of Eastern Europe unraveled with breathtaking rapidity – intellectuals and pundits openly wondered whether the time had finally come to write Marxism’s epitaph. However, in light of the rise of neo-liberalism and the prodigious rise of social inequality, forecasts concerning Marxism’s demise would seem premature.

Our primary focus will be the legacy of Marxist thought. As such, we will begin by examining the way in which Marx’s youthful confrontation with Hegel prepared the ground for the development of his notion of “historical materialism.” But very quickly, under the tutelage of the later Engels and the Second International, this conception congealed into a dogmatic body of received truths, precipitating what some have called the “crisis of Marxism.” At the time, one of the main responses to Marxism-in-crisis was “Leninism”: the idea that, since the European proletariat seemed increasingly lethargic, a vanguard party was required in order to focus its attention on the long-term goal of world revolution.

Under the guise of a “return to Hegel,” and as an antidote to Soviet Marxism, the interwar period witnessed an efflorescence of philosophical Marxism. Among the highlights of this movement were Lukács’ History and Class Consciousness as well as the work of Walter Benjamin and the Frankfurt School – a renewal Marxist thought that has been largely responsible for the postwar renaissance of “critical Marxism.” More recently, in books such as Revolution at the Gates, Slavoj Zizek has encouraged a “return to Lenin.” Similarly, the French Maoist, Alain Badiou, in part inspired by Sartre, has sought to resurrect Marx’s theory of the “subject.” Insisting that, as a critique of capitalism, Marxism has lost none of its historical relevance, Badiou claims that, by learning from its past defeats, Marxism can be resurrected.

Comparative Urban Politics & Policy, Professor DiGaetano, PSC 84501, 4 credits, Mondays 6:30 – 8:30 pm

This course is designed to furnish students with sufficient knowledge of comparative methods and analysis to conduct a cross-national study of urban politics.  As such, the central purpose of the course is to write a research paper on urban politics using the comparative tools gained from the readings and class discussion.  The first part of the course explains how comparative methods have been applied to urban political analysis, such as case studies and cross-national quantitative approaches.  The next portion of the course critically examines how different theoretical perspectives (political economy, political culture, and governance) have been employed to explain cross-national differences and similarities in the processes, institutions, and outcomes of urban politics.  The remainder of the course will focus on the use of comparative methods and analyses to in explaining cross-national variations in political institutions, behavior, and policy.

 

 

Theories of Income Distribution: from Pareto to Piketty, Professor Milanovic, PSC 72500 (Cross Listed with IDS 81620), 3 credits, Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:30 pm

The objective of the course is be to review, analyze, and allow students to develop a much better understanding of the theories and empirics of personal income distribution within a single policy-making unit (that is, normally within a nation-state). The first such theory was developed by Vilfredo Pareto more than 100 years ago. Pareto believes that income distribution does not change regardless of a social system and level of development. Simon Kuznets, in the 1950s, posited, on the contrary, a theory where income inequality evolves as societies get richer. Jan Tinbergen, in the 1970s, argued that the level of inequality is determined by the two opposing forces of education (increasing the supply of highly skilled workers) and technological change (increasing the demand for them). Most recently, Thomas Piketty argues that low growth combined with high returns to capital predisposes advanced economies to high levels of inequality. These theories will be considered on the real-world examples of movements of inequality in Brazil, China, “transition countries” and the United States and other advanced economies.  We shall focus especially on the recent evolution of income and wealth inequality in the United States and Piketty’s analytical contributions. The class will be fairly empirical but does not require any prior specific knowledge of the issues nor techniques. It is recommended for students of economics, political science, and sociology.

 

Ethnography of Public Policy, Professor Mollenkopf & Duneier, PSC 72500 (Cross Listed with SOC 82800), 4 credits, Thursdays 4:15 – 6:15 pm

Most approaches to the study of public policy either use statistical analysis to address questions of efficiency and effectiveness or institutional analysis to understand how actors form coalitions (or block coalitions) to advance their policy agenda within a particular political opportunity structure. This course investigates a third approach: using the tools of ethnography and qualitative analysis (participant observation, in-depth interviewing) to investigate how the participants inside a given Apolicy domain@ interact to formulate, adopt, and most importantly carry out programs. This approach puts the focus on “front line workers” who actually do the work of delivering public policies by interacting with clients on an every-day basis.  We are particularly interested not only in the details of how such interactions Asocially construct@ clients, but how clients react to these processes as well as how higher levels of management and policy decision-makers try to reshape them from time to time.  In other words, we will examine the role of “street level bureaucrats” in their operating context, including not only managers and clients, but the larger fields of elected officials, legislators, the press, policy scholars, advocacy organizations, consultants, or the concerned public. The course introduces these issues with a close reading of Michael Lipskys classicStreet Level Bureaucracy then moves to several ethnographic policy case studies, including public housing restructuring, homeless services, policing, and school reform.

Writing Politics Workshop, Professor Beinart, PSC 79002, 3 credits, Mondays 2:00 – 4:00 pm

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, essays and blog posts of their own, see those ideas dissected by their classmates and the instructor, and then write the best ones up. Prominent editors and writers will come as guests.

 

 

Political Science: Teaching Strategies, Professor Cole, PDEV 79401, 0 credits, Thursdays 2:00 – 4:00 pm

This course serves as a training workshop for students interested in teaching political science. We will consider such issues as syllabus development, effective learning goals and assessment strategies, lecture preparation, grading practices, and creating an appropriate classroom environment. We will also discuss aspects of the profession such as going on the job market, the transition from graduate education to a faculty position, writing a curriculum vitae, and mentoring students. In addition to our pedagogical inquiries, students will be introduced to their colleagues who are already teaching on the campuses, as well as to the Chairs of the departments where they will be assigned.

 

 

Media, Politics & the Public Sphere in Latin America, Professor Roldan, PSC 77905, 3 credits, Wednesdays 4:15 – 6:15 pm

The transistor is a much more revolutionary factor than Karl Marx” – Eduardo Frei, Chile

This course examines the role of the media, particularly mass media technologies like radio, newspapers, television, documentary film, and the internet in shaping politics and the public sphere in Latin America.  The course takes a comparative, transnational, historical and theoretical perspective, exploring both the possibilities and limits in mass media technologies for the emergence of “counter-publics” and the expression of alternative or divergent points of view. The emphasis will be on 20th century Latin America – but our inquiry will be framed by a consideration of a centuries old oral poetry/troubadour tradition, broadsheets, caricature, theater and the penny press as both propagandistic and subversive technologies in shaping politics and public opinion. Particular attention will be paid to the emergence of photography, radio and documentary filmmaking as social and political commentary and to the rise of telenovelas, cronicas, indigenous and community radio, and digital blogs in recent decades.

 

 

Research Design, Professor Rollins, PSC 79100, 3 credits, Mondays 4:15 – 6:15 pm

This course is designed to provide students with a better understanding of research design and data analysis.  The first part of the semester will focus students’ attention on the various methods researchers have used to address questions of interest to social scientists.  The second section of the course will emphasize reading and discussing quantitative research in order to develop critical skills.  The goal is to help students learn to read, evaluate, and analyze such materials for themselves but is not intended to provide students with a mathematical background on statistical methods.  Students will, however, be expected to learn STATA and to perform analysis on data sets of their choosing.  Projects for the semester will be assigned so that they advance each student’s research agenda.

 

 

Dissertation Proposal Workshop, Professor Woodward, PSC 89100, 0 credits, Mondays 6:30-8:30 pm

This course serves as a training workshop for students interested in teaching political science. We will consider such issues as syllabus development, effective learning goals and assessment strategies, lecture preparation, grading practices, and creating an appropriate classroom environment. We will also discuss aspects of the profession such as going on the job market, the transition from graduate education to a faculty position, writing a curriculum vitae, and mentoring students. In addition to our pedagogical inquiries, students will be introduced to their colleagues who are already teaching on the campuses, as well as to the Chairs of the departments where they will be assigned.

Fall 2014

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

What do the various philosophers take to be the underlying motivations and contexts for the formation of political society?

How do these motivations and contexts conform with the normative and institutional prescriptions that are proposed?

What are the limits of legitimate political authority, and what are the philosophical justifications for them?

What are the justifications underlying the various proposed institutional arrangements?

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Download syllabus

 

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

The objective of this course will be to analyze inequality from an inter-disciplinary perspective. The course will first review varied approaches that aim to explain the movement of within-national inequalities: from Pareto’s “iron law” (which was anything but “iron”), Kuznets’ inverted U-curve,  and Tinbergen’s “race” between education and technology, to Piketty’s “political theory of income concentration”.  The second part of the course will assess the evolution of income differences across countries in the world, and in particular between developed and developing countries. In the third part, these two types of inequalities (i.e., within-national and cross-national) will be considered jointly as global inequality. We will review the evolution of global inequality from the Industrial Revolution until today, and see how the changing composition and magnitude of global inequality affects politics, economics, and migration. The class will end with an overview of positions of various political philosophers  (e.g., Rawls, Pogge, Nagel) about  global inequality. The course will be fairly empirical but does not require any prior specific knowledge of the issues nor techniques. It is recommended for students of economics, political science, and sociology. Download syllabus.

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

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