The Caroline McCormick Slade Department of Political Science

Students may complete a major or minor in Political Science. Within the major, students may complete a concentration in environmental studies. Please note: Students who have already declared the major may be eligible to satisfy the former requirements in lieu of those set out below, and should consult their departmental adviser.

Faculty

Michael Allen, Professor of Political Science on the Harvey Wexler Chair in Political Science and Co-Director of the International Studies Program

Daniel Chomsky, Lecturer

Jeremy Elkins, Associate Professor of Political Science (on leave semester II)

Marissa Golden, Associate Professor of Political Science on the Joan Coward Chair in Political Economics

Carol Hager, Chair and Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Social Sciences on the Clowes Professorship in Science and Social Policy

Seung-Youn Oh, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Stephen Salkever, Mary Katherine Woodworth Professor Emeritus in Political Science

Joel Alden Schlosser, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Major Requirements

What is Political Science, and what will the major prepare me for?

Political Science is the study of justice and authority, peace and conflict, public policies and elections, government and law, democracy and autocracy, freedom and oppression. More than any other social science, Political Science uses a wide variety of approaches to explain how and why political events and institutions come about as they do, and to evaluate the actions of polities, policies, and leaders.

The Political Science major develops reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for a critical understanding of the political world. The major is excellent preparation for those planning to go on to law or public policy schools as well as to graduate work in Political Science. Majors in the department have pursued careers worldwide in public service, journalism, advocacy, law, and education, to name a few.

Majoring in Political Science at Bryn Mawr: getting started.

There are a variety of ways to begin studying Political Science, and so we offer a wide variety of introductory courses. While it is not necessary to begin right away, by the end of the sophomore year prospective majors should have completed at least two of the following Political Science courses: 101, 121, 123 (at HC), 131, 141, 143 (at HC), 151 (at HC), 228, and 231. These courses may be taken in any order.

Students who wish to declare Political Science as a major should choose an advisor, who can be any member of the Political Science faculty. It is generally best to choose an advisor whose courses are in at least one substantive area in which the student intends to focus. Students should write a brief essay (~2 pages) on the kinds of questions or problems that they would like to pursue in the study of politics. The essay should be submitted and discussed with the advisor. Based on this discussion, the student and advisor will formulate a course plan for the major.

All Haverford Political Science courses count toward the Bryn Mawr major (the same is generally true for courses at Swarthmore and UPenn). Majors in the Bryn Mawr department must take at least three of their major courses here, in addition to the 398-399 sequence. We therefore strongly advise that at least one of your initial courses in Political Science be taken at Bryn Mawr.

Course requirements

The study of politics covers a wide ground, and the Political Science major is designed to give students an opportunity to focus their study while also attending to questions, issues, and problems that run through the study of politics more generally, and that connect the study of politics to other fields. We have organized the major along the lines of four general themes/categories. They are:

  • Identity and Difference
  • Policy Formation and Political Action
  • Interdependence and Conflict
  • Political Theory.

The Political Science major consists of a minimum of 10 courses:

  • Two introductory-level courses (see list above)
  • Two concentrations, at least one of which should be from among the four themes/categories. The second concentration is generally chosen as well from those themes/categories, but it can be based on a more substantive focus, to be determined in consultation with the student’s advisor. Each concentration requires a total of three courses, at least one of which must be at the 300 level and all of which must be either at the 200 or 300 level.
  • Senior Conference and Senior Essay
  • At least three courses, in addition to 398 and 399, must be taken in the Bryn Mawr Political Science Department.

Major Credit for Courses Outside the Political Science Department

Up to three courses from departments other than Political Science may be accepted for major credit, if in the judgment of the department these courses are an integral part of a student’s major plan. This may occur when courses taken in related departments or programs are closely linked with courses the student takes in Political Science. For example, a student with a focus in “Interdependence and Conflict” may count a relevant course in History, Psychology, etc. Decisions as to which outside courses count for Political Science major credit are made by the faculty on a case by case basis. When in doubt, consult your major advisor or the department chair. Ordinarily, 100-level courses (non-Political Science) taken in other departments may not be used for major credit in Political Science.

We encourage students to spend a semester abroad during their junior year. We generally count one course taken abroad for credit toward the major. Courses taken abroad count at the 200 level only.

Writing Intensive Courses

Students are required to take at least one writing intensive course or two writing attentive courses in their major. Political Science currently offers Pols 272 as a writing intensive course. In addition, a number of 300-level courses that count as writing attentive will be offered annually.

Departmental Honors

Students who have done distinguished work in their courses in the major and who write outstanding senior essays will be considered for departmental honors.

Minor Requirements

A minor in political science consists of six courses distributed across at least two fields, at least four of which must be at the 200 or 300 level and at least two of which must be at the 300 level. At least three of the courses must be taken from the Bryn Mawr Department of Political Science course offerings.

The four fields are:

  • Identity and Difference
  • Policy Formation and Political Action
  • Interdependence and Conflict
  • Political Theory

Course Designations

Almost every course offered in the Political Science Department at Bryn Mawr and Haverford will count for at least one of the four fields, and some may count for more than one (no single course, however, may be counted as part of more than one field of concentration.) Many courses offered at Swarthmore and Penn will also count toward these. Students should consult their advisor or the Political Science Department chair for information on classifying any courses that do not appear on this list.

Identity and Difference

123 American Politics: Difference and Discrimination (H)
131 Introduction to Comparative Politics
206 Conflict and Conflict Management
220 Constitutional Law
226 Social Movement Theory (H)
228 Introduction to Political Philosophy: Ancient and Early Modern
229 Latino Politics in the U.S. (H)
231 Introduction to Political Philosophy: Modern
235 African Politics (H)
242 Women in War and Peace (H)
245 Philosophy of Law
248 Modern Middle East Cities
253 Feminist Theory
282 The Exotic Other
285 Religion and the Limits of Liberalism (H)
286 Religion and American Public Life (H)
287 Media and Politics: The Middle East Transformed
316 Ethnic Group Politics—Identity and conflict
320 Democracy in America (H)
336 Democracy and Democratization (H)
340 Postcolonialism and the Politics of Nation-building (H)
345 Islam, Democracy and Development (H)
348 Culture and Ethnic Conflict identity and conflict
354 Comparative Social Movements
358 Political Psychology and Ethnic Conflict
370 Becoming a People: Power, Justice, and the Political (H)
375 Perspectives on Work, and Family in the U.S.
379 Feminist Political Theory (H)
383 Islamic Reform and Radicalism

Policy Formation and Political Action

121 American Politics
121 American Politics and Its Dynamics (H)
131 Introduction to Comparative Politics
123 American Politics: Difference and Discrimination (H)
131 Comparative Government and Politics (H)
131 Introduction to Comparative Politics
205 European Politics
222 Introduction to Environmental Issues: Policy Making in Comparative Perspective
223 American Political Process: The Congress (H)
224 The American Presidency (H)
225 Mobilization Politics (H)
226 Social Movement Theory (H)
227 Urban Politics (H)
228 Urban Policy (H)
230 Topics in Comparative Politics (H)
235 African Politics (H)
237 Latin American Politics (H)
242 Women in War and Peace (H)
248 Modern Middle East Cities
249 The Soviet System and Its Demise (H)
254 Bureaucracy and Democracy
257 The State System (H)
259 Comparative Social Movements in Latin American
265 Politics, Markets and Theories of Capitalism (H)
274 Education Politics and Policy
278 Oil, Politics, Society, and Economy
279 State Transformation/Conflict
288 The Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa
287 Media and Politics: The Middle East Transformed
308 Political Transformation in Eastern and Western Europe: Germany and Its Neighbors
310 Comparative Public Policy
314 Strategic Advocacy: Lobbying and Interest Group Politics in Washington, D.C. (H)
315 Public Policy Analysis (H)
320 Democracy in America (H)
321 Technology and Politics
325 Grassroots Politics in Philadelphia (H)
333 Transformations in American Politics: late 20th-early 21st century
334 Politics of Violence (H)
339 The Policymaking Process
345 Islam, Democracy and Development (H)
354 Comparative Social Movements: Power, Protest, and Mobilization
375 Perspectives on Work and Family in the U.S.
378 Origins of American Constitutionalism
385 Democracy and Development
393 US Welfare Politics: Theory and Practice

Interdependence and Conflict

151 International Politics (H)
205 European Politics
206 Conflict and Conflict Management
211 Politics of Humanitarianism
233 Perspectives on Civil War and Revolution: Southern Europe and Central America (H)
235 Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Societies
239 The United States and Latin America (H)
240 Inter-American Dialogue (H)
242 Women in War and Peace (H)
247 Political Economy of Developing Countries (H)
248 Modern Middle East Cities
250 International Politics
252 International Politics of the Middle East (H)
253 Introduction to Terrorism Studies (H)
256 The Evolution of the Jihadi Movement (H)
258 The Politics of International Institutions (H)
259 American Foreign Policy (H)
261 Global Civil Society (H)
262 Human Rights and Global Politics (H)
264 Politics of Commodities
265 Politics, Markets and Theories of Capitalism (H)
278 Oil, Politics, Society, and Economy
279 State Transformation/Conflict
283 Modern Middle East/North Africa
288 The Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa
287 Media and Politics: The Middle East Transformed
308 Political Transformation in Eastern and Western Europe: Germany and Its Neighbors
316 Ethnic Group Politics—Identity and conflict
339 Transitional Justice (H)
347 Advanced Issues in Peace and Conflict
340 Postcolonialism and the Politics of Nation-building (H)
348 Culture and Ethnic Conflict identity and conflict
350 Topics in International Politics (H)
357 International Relations Theory: Conflict and the Middle East (H)
358 The War on Terrorism (H)
358 Political Psychology and Ethnic Conflict
361 Democracy and Global Governance (H)
362 Global Justice (H)
365 Solidarity Economy Movements (H)
378 Origins of American Constitutionalism
379 The United Nations and World Order
383 Islamic Reform and Radicalism
385 Democracy and Development
392 State in Theory and History

Political Theory

171 Introduction to Political Theory: Democratic Authority (H)
228 Introduction to Political Philosophy: Ancient and Early Modern
231 Introduction to Political Philosophy: Modern
234 Legal Rights in the Administrative State
245 Philosophy of Law
253 Feminist Theory
266 Sovereignty (H)
272 Democratic Theory: Membership, Citizenship and Community (H)
276 American Political Thought from Founding to Civil War (H)
277 American Political Thought: Post Civil War (H)
284 Modernity and its Discontents
300 Nietzsche, Kant, Plato: Modes of Practical Philosophy
320 Greek Political Philosophy
327 Political Philosophy: 1950-Present
336 Democracy and Democratization (H)
365 Erotica: Love and Art in Plato and Shakespeare
370 Becoming a People: Power, Justice, and the Political (H)
371 Topics in Legal and Political Philosophy
378 Origins of American Constitutionalism
379 Feminist Political Theory (H)380 Persons, Morality and Modernity
381 Nietzsche, Self, and Morality
392 State in Theory and History

COURSES

POLS B101 Introduction to Political Science

This course, which is required of all majors, is designed to introduce students to the study of politics in general and to the four thematic categories around which the major is structured: identity and difference, policy formation and political action, interdependence and conflict, and political theory. The course introduces different but related approaches to understanding political phenomena, and focuses in particular on some central questions and problems of democracy politics.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B121 Introduction to American Politics

An introduction to the major features and characteristics of the American political system. Features examined include voting and elections; the institutions of government (Congress, the Presidency, the courts and the bureaucracy); the policy-making process; and the role of groups (interest groups, women, and ethnic and racial minorities) in the political process.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Golden,M.
(Spring 2016)

POLS B131 Introduction to Comparative Politics

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the discipline of comparative politics. We will explore the primary approaches and concepts scholars employ in order to systematically analyze the political world. In doing so, we will also examine the political structures, institutions, and behaviors of a number of countries around the world. Questions we will engage include: What is power and how is it exercised? What are the differences between democratic and authoritarian regimes? How do different countries develop their economies? What factors affect the way countries behave in the international arena? By the end of this course, students will be equipped to answer these questions and prepared for further study in political science.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Oh,S.
(Fall 2015)

POLS B141 Introduction to International Politics

An introduction to international relations, exploring its main subdivisions and theoretical approaches. Phenomena and problems in world politics examined include systems of power management, imperialism, globalization, war, bargaining, and peace. Problems and institutions of international economy and international law are also addressed. This course assumes a reasonable knowledge of modern world history.
Counts towards: International Studies; Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Allen,M.
(Fall 2015)

POLS B211 Politics of Humanitarianism

This course examines the international politics and history that underlie the ideas, social movement, and system of organizations designed to regulate the conduct of war and improve the welfare of those victimizes by war. It begins with ethical, legal and organizational foundations, and then examines to post-Cold War cases and beyond. Topics include just war theory, international humanitarian law, humanitarian action and intervention, and transitional justice. Prerequisites: one class in Political Science or comparable course by permission of the instructor.
Counts towards: Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B220 Topics in Constitutional Law

Through a reading of (mostly) Supreme Court cases and other materials, this course takes up some central theoretical questions concerning the role of constitutional principles and constitutional review in mediating the relationship between public and private power with respect to both difference and hierarchy.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Elkins,J.
(Fall 2015)

POLS B222 Environmental Issues: Movements and Policy Making in Comparative Perspective

An exploration of the ways in which different cultural, economic, and political settings have shaped issue emergence and policy making. We examine the politics of particular environmental issues in selected countries and regions, paying special attention to the impact of environmental movements. We also assess the prospects for international cooperation in addressing global environmental problems such as climate change.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Counts towards: Environmental Studies
Crosslisting(s): CITY-B222
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B224 Comparative Political Phil: China, Greece, and the “West”

An introduction to the dialogic construction of comparative political philosophy, using texts from several cultures or worlds of thought: ancient and modern China, ancient Greece, and the modern West. The course will have three parts. First, a consideration of the synchronous emergence of philosophy in ancient (Axial Age) China and Greece; second, the 19th century invention of the modern “West” and Chinese responses to this development; and third, the current discussions and debates about globalization, democracy, and human rights now going on in China and the West. Prerequisite: At least one course in either Philosophy, Political Theory, or East Asian Studies, or consent of the instructor.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Crosslisting(s): PHIL-B224
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Salkever,S.
(Fall 2015)

POLS B225 Global Ethical Issues

The need for a critical analysis of what justice is and requires has become urgent in a context of increasing globalization, the emergence of new forms of conflict and war, high rates of poverty within and across borders and the prospect of environmental devastation. This course examines prevailing theories and issues of justice as well as approaches and challenges by non-western, post-colonial, feminist, race, class, and disability theorists.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies; International Studies
Crosslisting(s): PHIL-B225
Units: 1.0
(Spring 2016)

POLS B228 Introduction to Political Philosophy: Ancient and Early Modern

An introduction to the fundamental problems of political philosophy, especially the relationship between political life and the human good or goods. Readings from Aristotle, Hobbes, Machiavelli, Plato, and Rousseau.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Crosslisting(s): PHIL-B228
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Schlosser,J.
(Fall 2015)

POLS B231 Introduction to Political Philosophy: Modern

A continuation of POLS 228, although 228 is not a prerequisite. Particular attention is given to the various ways in which the concept of freedom is used in explaining political life. Readings from Hegel, Locke, Marx, J.S. Mill, and Nietzsche.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Crosslisting(s): PHIL-B231
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Schlosser,J.
(Spring 2016)

POLS B232 American Foreign Policy

This course introduces basic elements of American foreign policy and examines the modern legacy and continuing impact of U.S. foreign policy on the world. We consider how different forces - domestic, international, institutional, cultural, or personal - shape policy goals and examine the nature and implications of American power in contemporary politics. Prerequisites: One course in political science or comparable course by permission of the instructor.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B240 Environmental Ethics

This course surveys rights- and justice-based justifications for ethical positions on the environment. It examines approaches such as stewardship, intrinsic value, land ethic, deep ecology, ecofeminism, Asian and aboriginal. It explores issues such as obligations to future generations, to nonhumans and to the biosphere.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Environmental Studies
Crosslisting(s): PHIL-B240
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B241 The Politics of International Law and Institutions

An introduction to international law, which assumes a working knowledge of modern world history and politics since World War II. The origins of modern international legal norms in philosophy and political necessity are explored, showing the schools of thought to which the understandings of these origins give rise. Significant cases are used to illustrate various principles and problems. Prerequisite: POLS B250.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: International Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B243 African and Caribbean Perspectives in World Politics

This course makes African and Caribbean voices audible as they create or adopt visions of the world that explain their positions and challenges in world politics. Students learn analytical tools useful in understanding other parts of the world. Prerequisite: POLS 141 or 1 course in African or Latin American history.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Counts towards: Africana Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B244 Great Empires of the Ancient Near East

A survey of the history, material culture, political and religious ideologies of, and interactions among, the five great empires of the ancient Near East of the second and first millennia B.C.E.: New Kingdom Egypt, the Hittite Empire in Anatolia, the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires in Mesopotamia, and the Persian Empire in Iran.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Crosslisting(s): ARCH-B244; HIST-B244; CITY-B244
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B245 Philosophy of Law

Introduces students to a variety of questions in the philosophy of law. Readings will be concerned with the nature of law, the character of law as a system, the ethical character of law, and the relationship of law to politics, power, authority, and society. Readings will include abstract philosophical arguments about the concept of law, as well as theoretical arguments about the nature of law as they arise within specific contexts, and judicial cases. Most or all of the specific issues discussed will be taken from Anglo-American law, although the general issues considered are not limited to those legal systems.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Crosslisting(s): PHIL-B245
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Elkins,J.
(Spring 2016)

POLS B249 Politics of Economic Development

How do we explain the variations of political and economic systems in the world? What is the relationship between the state and the market? To what extent does the timing of industrialization affect the viability of certain developmental strategies? This seminar introduces the intellectual history of comparative political economy and development studies with readings on both comparative political economy and international political economy. First, we will examine the debates on the dynamics of the state and the market in the development and globalization process. Second, we will explore specific case studies to discuss: 1) how the political and economic processes have changed in response to the interaction of the domestic and international arenas, 2) whether and how the late developers learned from the experiences of early developers, 3) how the international economy and international financial crisis shaped domestic development strategies. Lastly, we will analyze the developmental concerns at the sub-national level with financial liberalization.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Oh,S.
(Spring 2016)

POLS B251 Politics and the Mass Media

A consideration of the mass media as a pervasive fact of U.S. political life and how they influence American politics. Topics include how the media have altered American political institutions and campaigns, how selective attention to particular issues and exclusion of others shape public concerns, and the conditions under which the media directly influence the content of political beliefs and the behavior of citizens. Prerequisite: one course in political science, preferably POLS 121.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Chomsky,D.
(Fall 2015)

POLS B253 Feminist Theory

Beliefs that gender discrimination has been eliminated and women have achieved equality have become commonplace. We challenge these assumptions examining the concepts of patriarchy, sexism, and oppression. Exploring concepts central to feminist theory, we attend to the history of feminist theory and contemporary accounts of women’s place and status in different societies, varied experiences, and the impact of the phenomenon of globalization. We then explore the relevance of gender to philosophical questions about identity and agency with respect to moral, social and political theory. Prerequisite: one course in philosophy or permission of instructor.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Crosslisting(s): PHIL-B252
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Bell,M.
(Fall 2015)

POLS B256 Global Politics of Climate Change

This course will introduce students to important political issues raised by climate change locally, nationally, and internationally, paying particular attention to the global implications of actions at the national and subnational levels. It will focus not only on specific problems, but also on solutions; students will learn about some of the technological and policy innovations that are being developed worldwide in response to the challenges of climate change.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Counts towards: Environmental Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Hager,C.
(Fall 2015)

POLS B259 Comparative Social Movements in Latin America

An examination of resistance movements to the power of the state and globalization in three Latin American societies: Mexico, Columbia, and Peru. The course explores the political, legal, and socio-economic factors underlying contemporary struggles for human and social rights, and the role of race, ethnicity, and coloniality play in these struggles.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Crosslisting(s): SOCL-B259; CITY-B220
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B262 Who Believes What and Why: the Sociology of Public Opinion

This course explores public opinion: what it is, how it is measured, how it is shaped, and how it changes over time. Specific attention is given to the role of elites, the mass media, and religion in shaping public opinion. Examples include racial/ethnic civil rights, abortion, gay/lesbian/transgendered sexuality, and inequalities.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Crosslisting(s): SOCL-B262
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B264 Politics of Global Commodities

This class critically analyzes the international politics that underpin the production and distribution of global commodities. Marketization and privatization pressures that have produced economic arrangements are examined for their impact in altering governance systems, distorting markets and development, and fomenting conflicts. The course starts with concepts, theories, and history, and then investigates key case studies. Prerequisites: The prerequisites for the class are either International Politics (POLS B250) or International Political Economy (POLS B391), or permission of the instructor.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B272 The Power of the People: Democratic Revolutions

We often invoke “democracy” as the very ground of political legitimacy, but there is very little agreement on what democracy means, why we might desire it, or how state institutions, law, and political culture might embody it. In this seminar we will grapple with some recent and influential accounts of democratic governance and democratic movements today. Our objective will be to develop a critical vocabulary for understanding what democracy might mean, what conditions it requires, and what “best practices” citizens committed to democracy might enlist to confront political challenges such as the structural divisions that persist among class, gender, and race; persistent inequality and influence of money and corporations; and the potential for democratic, grass-roots power as a vital ingredient to democratic flourishing.
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Intensive
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Schlosser,J.
(Spring 2016)

POLS B273 Race and the Law in the American Context

An examination of the intersection of race and law, evaluating the legal regulations of race, the history and meanings of race, and how law, history and the Supreme Court helped shape and produce those meanings. It will draw on materials from law, history, public policy, and critical race theory.
Crosslisting(s): SOCL-B273
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B283 Introduction to the Politics of the Modern Middle East and North Africa

This course is a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the politics of the region, using works of history, political science, political economy, film, and fiction as well as primary sources. The course will concern itself with three broad areas: the legacy of colonialism and the importance of international forces; the role of Islam in politics; and the political and social effects of particular economic conditions, policies, and practices.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Counts towards: Middle Eastern Studies
Crosslisting(s): HIST-B283; HEBR-B283
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Foda,O.
(Spring 2016)

POLS B284 Modernity and Its Discontents

This course examines the nature, historical emergence, dilemmas, and prospects of modern society in the west, seeking to build up an integrated analysis of the processes by which this kind of society developed over the past two centuries and continues to transform itself. Its larger aim is to help students develop a coherent frame­work with which to understand what kind of society they live in, what makes it the way it is, and how it shapes their lives. Some central themes (and controversies) will include the growth and transformations of capitalism; the significance of the democratic and industrial revolutions; the social impact of a market economy; the culture of individualism and its dilemmas; the transformations of intimacy and the family; mass politics and mass society; and the different kinds of inter­play between social structure and personal experience. No specific prerequisites, but some previous familiarity with modern European and American history and/or with social and political theory would be useful.
Approach: Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Crosslisting(s): SOCL-B284; HIST-B284
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B286 Topics in the British Empire

This is a topics course covering various “topics” in the study of the British Empire. Course content varies.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Crosslisting(s): HIST-B286; CITY-B286
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B290 Power and Resistance

What more is there to politics than power? What is the force of the “political” for specifying power as a practice or institutional form? What distinguishes power from authority, violence, coercion, and domination? How is power embedded in and generated by cultural practices, institutional arrangements, and processes of normalization? This course seeks to address questions of power and politics in the context of domination, oppression, and the arts of resistance. Our general topics will include authority, the moralization of politics, the dimensions of power, the politics of violence (and the violence of politics), language, sovereignty, emancipation, revolution, domination, normalization, governmentality, genealogy, and democratic power. Writing projects will seek to integrate analytical and reflective analyses as we pursue these questions in common.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B291 Arts of Freedom

Observing political life in the early United States, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote: “It cannot be repeated too often: nothing is more fertile in wondrous effects than the art of being free, but nothing is harder than freedom’s apprenticeship.” What is this “art of freedom” and how can we take up “freedom’s apprenticeship”? This course investigates questions of freedom in the contexts of democracy, oppression, and revolution. Together we will study not just the historical meanings of freedom but also who has experienced freedom and who struggles for freedom in concrete terms. Over the course of the semester, we will develop a theoretical vocabulary with which to analyze freedom in different social and political contexts; we will, moreover, learn these concepts through their use, analyzing how they function within theories of freedom and how different theorists and actors understand and actualize freedom. All of this work will culminate in taking the theoretical insights we develop to contemporary politics and society by writing an extended reflective letter integrating the analytical work we have done over the course of the semester (in short essays) and reflecting on the arts and apprenticeship of freedom in our own lives today.
Approach: Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Attentive
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Schlosser,J.
(Fall 2015)

POLS B300 Three Approaches to the Phiolosophy of Praxis: Nietzsche, Kant and Plato

A study of three important ways of thinking about theory and practice in Western political philosophy. Prerequisites: POLS 228 and 231, or PHIL 101 and 201.
Crosslisting(s): PHIL-B300
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B310 Comparative Public Policy

A comparison of policy processes and outcomes across space and time. Focusing on particular issues such as health care, domestic security, water and land use, we identify institutional, historical, and cultural factors that shape policies. We also examine the growing importance of international-level policy making and the interplay between international and domestic pressures on policy makers. Prerequisite: One course in Political Science or public policy.
Counts towards: Environmental Studies; Health Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Hager,C.
(Spring 2016)

POLS B312 The Intelligence Community: Practice, Problems & Prospects

The events of 9/11 and ongoing “War on Terror” focused new attention on issues of national intelligence. We will examine the origins, structure and functions of the U.S. Intelligence Community, its relationship to national security policy, interactions with policymakers, and the challenges defining its future role. Prerequisites: One course in political science or comparable coursework with instructor permission.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B313 Advanced Topics in Constitutional Law

This course will focus on cases that are on the Supreme Court’s docket for decision in the current term. Through readings of cases and secondary material, students will examine the background of the current controversies, and the political and social issues that they raise. As a part of the course, each student will participate in mock hearings on the cases, acting sometimes as an advocate for one party and sometimes as a judge. In preparation for this, students will conduct research under supervision. Students will also participate in gathering materials on the broader political-social implications of the controversies which will be read and discussed by the class. Prerequisite: one course requiring the reading of legal cases (POLS B220, POLS/PHIL B245, POLS B273, POLS H215, H216) or consent of instructor.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Elkins,J.
(Spring 2016)

POLS B316 The Politics of Ethnic, Racial, and National Groups

An analysis of ethnic and racial conflict and cooperation that will compare and contrast the experiences of racial minorities in the United States and Muslim minorities in Europe. Particular attention is paid to the processes of group identification and political organization; the politicization of racial and ethnic identity; patterns of conflict and cooperation between minorities and the majority population over time; and different paths to citizenship. The course will emphasize how the politics of differentiation has similarities across setting and historical periods as well as important differences
Counts towards: Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B320 Topics in Greek Political Philosophy

This is a topics course, course content varies. Past topics include: Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Politics and Thucydides,Plato, Aristotle. Prerequisites: At least two semesters of philosophy or political theory, including some work with Greek texts, or consent of the instructor.
Crosslisting(s): PHIL-B321
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Salkever,S.
(Spring 2016)

POLS B321 Technology and Politics

An multi-media analysis of the complex role of technology in political and social life. We focus on the relationship between technological change and democratic governance. We begin with historical and contemporary Luddism as well as pro-technology movements around the world. Substantive issue areas include security and surveillance, electoral politics, warfare, social media, internet freedom, GMO foods and industrial agriculture, climate change and energy politics.
Counts towards: Environmental Studies
Crosslisting(s): CITY-B321
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B324 Politics of the Arab Uprisings

The recent uprisings in Arab countries have shocked the world. Long-entrenched authoritarian regimes have fallen. US allies have been ousted. This seminar is designed to introduce the politics of these recent uprisings. Their origins will be viewed through the lens of political and economic theories of authoritarianism and revolution. The outcomes will be assessed with an eye toward existing ideas about democracy. The course will aim to establish what political science can tell us about these events, and how political science must grow in reaction to them. Prerequisite: One course in political science or Middle East studies or consent of instructor.
Counts towards: International Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B334 Three Faces of Chinese Power: Money, Might, and Minds

China’s extraordinary growth for the past 30 years has confirmed the power of free markets, while simultaneously challenging our thoughts on the foundations and limits of the market economy. Moreover, China’s ever-increasing economic freedom and prosperity have been accompanied by only limited steps toward greater political freedom and political liberalization, running counter to one of the most consistent patterns of political economic development in recent history. This course examines China’s unique economic and political development path, and the opportunities and challenges it accompanies. This course has three aims: 1) to facilitate an in-depth understanding of the political and economic development with Chinese characteristics, 2) to conduct a comprehensive analysis of three dimensions of Chinese economic, political and cultural power, and 3) to construct a thorough understanding of challenges and opportunities for China from its extraordinary developmental path. Prerequisite: two courses either in Political Science or East Asian Languages and Culture. Junior or Senior Standing required.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Oh,S.
(Spring 2016)

POLS B344 Development Ethics

This course explores the meaning of and moral issues raised by development. In what direction and by what means should a society “develop”? What role, if any, does the globalization of markets and capitalism play in processes of development and in systems of discrimination on the basis of factors such as race and gender? Answers to these sorts of questions will be explored through an examination of some of the most prominent theorists and recent literature. Prerequisites: a philosophy, political theory or economics course or permission of the instructor.
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Intensive
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies; International Studies
Crosslisting(s): PHIL-B344
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B348 Culture and Ethnic Conflict

An examination of the role of culture in the origin, escalation, and settlement of ethnic conflicts. This course examines the politics of culture and how it constrains and offers opportunities for ethnic conflict and cooperation. The role of narratives, rituals, and symbols is emphasized in examining political contestation over cultural representations and expressions such as parades, holy sites, public dress, museums, monuments, and language in culturally framed ethnic conflicts from all regions of the world. Prerequisites: two courses in the social sciences.
Counts towards: Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Crosslisting(s): CITY-B348
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B352 Feminism and Philosophy

It has been said that one of the most important feminist contributions to theory is its uncovering of the ways in which theory in the Western tradition, whether of science, knowledge, morality, or politics has a hidden male bias. This course will explore feminist criticisms of and alternatives to traditional Western theory by examining feminist challenges to traditional liberal moral and political theory. Specific questions may include how to understand the power relations at the root of women’s oppression, how to theorize across differences, or how ordinary individuals are to take responsibility for pervasive and complex systems of oppression.
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Crosslisting(s): PHIL-B352
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B354 Comparative Social Movements: Power and Mobilization

A consideration of the conceptualizations of power and “legitimate” and “illegitimate” participation, the political opportunity structure facing potential activists, the mobilizing resources available to them, and the cultural framing within which these processes occur. Specific attention is paid to recent movements within and across countries, such as feminist, environmental, and anti-globalization movements, and to emerging forms of citizen mobilization, including transnational and global networks, electronic mobilization, and collaborative policymaking institutions. Prerequisite: one course in POLS or SOCL or permission of instructor.
Counts towards: Environmental Studies
Crosslisting(s): SOCL-B354
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B358 Political Psychology of Ethnic Conflict

This seminar explores the common interests of psychologists and political scientists in ethnic identification and ethnic-group conflict. Rational choice theories of conflict from political science will be compared with social psychological theories of conflict that focus more on emotion and essentializing. Each student will contribute a 200-300 word post in response to a reading or film assignment each week. Students will represent their posts in seminar discussion of readings and films. Each student will write a final paper analyzing the origins and trajectory of a case of violent ethnic conflict chosen by agreement with the instructor. Grading includes posts, participation in discussion, and the final paper. Prerequisite: PSYC B208, or PSYC B120, or PSYC B125, or one 200 level course in political science, or instructor’s permission.
Counts towards: Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Crosslisting(s): PSYC-B358
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): McCauley,C.
(Fall 2015)

POLS B363 Islamism in Theory, Practice, and Comparison

This seminar examines whether Islam possesses “a politics.” Does “Islam” explain protest, activism, economics, gender, nationalism, sectarianism, revolution, assimilation, the Arab uprisings, or even jihad in the Muslim world? We begin with theories of identification and Muslim affiliation, invoking materials from philosophy, anthropology, social science, history, and primary resources. The course is an “advanced introduction” and is thus eclectic – its objectives are both empirical and methodological: we examine social and political problems and the tools we need to approach them fruitfully. Together and in individual research, we will explore case studies of “Muslim politics” to apply, test, or stretch theories of religious identification, political action, and social power. Prerequisite: POLS B101.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B365 Erotica: Love and Art in Plato and Shakespeare

The course explores the relationship between love and art, “eros” and “poesis,” through in-depth study of Plato’s “Phaedus” and “Symposium,” Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” and “Antony and Cleopatra,” and essays by modern commentators (including David Halperin, Anne Carson, Martha Nussbaum, Marjorie Garber, and Stanley Cavell). We will also read Shakespeare’s Sonnets and “Romeo and Juliet.”
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Crosslisting(s): ENGL-B365; PHIL-B365; COML-B365
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B367 China and the World: Implications of China’s Rise

In the 20th Century, China’s rise has been one of the most distinctive political affairs changing the landscape of regional and world politics. Especially, China’s breathtaking growth has challenged the foundations and limits of the market economy and political liberalization theoretically and empirically. This course examines the Chinese economic and political development and its implications for other Asian countries and the world. This course has three aims: 1) to facilitate an in-depth understanding of the Chinese Economic development model in comparison to other development models, 2) to conduct a comprehensive analysis of political and socio-economic exchanges of China and its relations with other major countries in East Asia, and 3) to construct a thorough understanding of challenges and opportunities for China from its extraordinary economic growth. Prerequisite: junior or senior.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Oh,S.
(Fall 2015)

POLS B371 Topics in Political Philosophy

An advanced seminar on a topic in political or legal philosophy/theory. Topics vary by year. Prerequisite: At least one course in political theory or philosophy or consent of instructor.
Crosslisting(s): PHIL-B371
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B374 Education Politics & Policy

This course will examine education policy through the lens of federalism and federalism through a case study of education policy. The dual aims are to enhance our understanding of this specific policy area and our understanding of the impact that our federal system of government has on policy effectiveness.
Crosslisting(s): SOCL-B374; EDUC-B374
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Golden,M.
(Fall 2015)

POLS B375 Gender, Work and Family

As the number of women participating in the paid workforce who are also mothers exceeds 50 percent, it becomes increasingly important to study the issues raised by these dual roles. This seminar will examine the experiences of working and nonworking mothers in the United States, the roles of fathers, the impact of working mothers on children, and the policy implications of women, work, and family.
Counts towards: Child and Family Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies
Crosslisting(s): SOCL-B375
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B378 Origins of American Constitutionalism

This course will explore some aspects of early American constitutional thought, particularly in the periods immediately preceding and following the American Revolution. The premise of the course is that many of the questions that arose during that period—concerning, for example, the nature of law, the idea of sovereignty, and the character of legitimate political authority—remain important questions for political, legal, and constitutional thought today, and that studying the debates of the revolutionary period can help sharpen our understanding of these issues. Prerequisites: sophomore standing and previous course work in American history, American government, political theory, or legal studies.
Crosslisting(s): HIST-B378
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B379 The United Nations and World Order

Initially founded in 1945 to address the challenges of international armed aggression, the United Nations has since evolved, and is now charged with confronting a wide range of threats, including atrocities, poverty, hunger, disease, and climate change. This class examines the organization’s pre-eminent role in international peace and security, economic development, and human rights and humanitarian affairs. Prerequisites: Students are required to have completed at least a year of Political Science or Peace and Conflict Studies courses (one class must be International Politics (POLS B250) or have the permission of the instructor.
Counts towards: Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B381 Nietzsche

This course examines Nietzsche’s thought, with particular focus on such questions as the nature of the self, truth , irony, aggression, play, joy, love, and morality. The texts for the course are drawn mostly from Nietzsche’s own writing, but these are complemented by some contemporary work in moral philosophy and philosophy of mind that has a Nietzschean influence.
Crosslisting(s): PHIL-B381
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Elkins,J.
(Fall 2015)

POLS B383 Two Hundred Years of Islamic Reform, Radicalism, and Revolution

This course will examine the transformation of Islamic politics in the past two hundred years, emphasizing historical accounts, comparative analysis of developments in different parts of the Islamic world. Topics covered include the rationalist Salafy movement; the so-called conservative movements (Sanussi of Libya, the Mahdi in the Sudan, and the Wahhabi movement in Arabia); the Caliphate movement; contemporary debates over Islamic constitutions; among others. The course is not restricted to the Middle East or Arab world. Prerequisites: a course on Islam and modern European history, or an earlier course on the Modern Middle East or 19th-century India, or permission of instructor.
Counts towards: Middle Eastern Studies
Crosslisting(s): HIST-B383
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B385 Democracy and Development

From 1974 to the late 1990’s the number of democracies grew from 39 to 117. This “third wave,” the collapse of communism and developmental successes in East Asia have led some to argue the triumph of democracy and markets. Since the late 1990’s, democracy’s third wave has stalled, and some fear a reverse wave and democratic breakdowns. We will question this phenomenon through the disciplines of economics, history, political science and sociology drawing from theoretical, case study and classical literature. Prerequisite: one year of study in political science or economics.
Counts towards: International Studies; Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Crosslisting(s): ECON-B385
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Rock,M.
(Spring 2016)

POLS B391 International Political Economy

This seminar examines the growing importance of economic issues in world politics and traces the development of the modern world economy from its origins in colonialism and the industrial revolution, through to the globalization of recent decades. Major paradigms in political economy are critically examined. Aspects of and issues in international economic relations such as development, finance, trade, migration, and foreign investment are examined in the light of selected approaches. One course in International Politics or Economics is required. Preference is given to seniors although juniors are accepted.
Counts towards: International Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Allen,M.
(Fall 2015)

POLS B392 State in Theory and History

This class connects the fields of historical sociology and international relations to survey the roots of states as the predominant form of political authority, to assess its behavior in global affairs, and to consider its future. Concepts include: class coalitions, democracy, capitalism, socialism, authoritarianism, revolutions, international organizations, and empires. Prerequisites: two courses in Political Science, or Peace and Conflict Studies, or permission of the instructor. Enrollment is limited to 18 students.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B393 U.S. Welfare Politics: Theory and Practice

Major theoretical perspectives concerning the welfare state with a focus on social policy politics, including recent welfare reforms and how in an era of globalization there has been a turn to a more restrictive system of social provision. Special attention is paid to the ways class, race, and gender are involved in making of social welfare policy and the role of social welfare policy in reinforcing class, race, and gender inequities. Prerequisite: POLS B121 or SOCL B102.
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Crosslisting(s): SOCL-B393
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B398 Senior Conference

Required of senior majors. In weekly group meetings as well as individual tutorials, faculty work with students on research strategies, on refining research topics, and on supervising research progress for the senior thesis.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Golden,M., Oh,S.
(Fall 2015)

POLS B399 Senior Essay

Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Hager,C., Elkins,J., Schlosser,J.
(Spring 2016)

POLS B403 Supervised Work

Units: 1.0
(Fall 2015)

POLS B425 Praxis III: Independent Study

Praxis III courses are Independent Study courses and are developed by individual students, in collaboration with faculty and field supervisors. A Praxis courses is distinguished by genuine collaboration with fieldsite organizations and by a dynamic process of reflection that incorporates lessons learned in the field into the classroom setting and applies theoretical understanding gained through classroom study to work done in the broader community.
Counts towards: Praxis Program
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)