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Courses

Spring 2015 Course Schedule

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
11:45am to 1:45pm

Romaniuk (IR)
Global Terrorism
PSC 76400
(Crosslisted with WSCP 81000)
3 credits []
Room TBD

George (CP)
The Politics of Identity
PSC 77903
(crosslisted with WSCP 81000)
3 Credits []
Room TBD

 

Schwedler (CP)
Basic Theories and Concepts of Comparative Politics Part II
PSC 77904
3 Credits [27223]
Room TBD

2:00 to
4:00pm

Beinart (G)
Writing Politics Workshop
PSC 79002
3 Credits [27208]
Room TBD

Wolin (PT)
Adventures in Marxism: from the Communist Manifesto to Alain Badiou
PSC 71903
(crosslisted with HIST 72400)
3 Credits []
Room TBD

Buck-Morss (PT)
Transcendence and Public Life
PSC 80301
4 Credits [27213]
Room TBD

Golob (IR)
International Law and International Relations Approaches to Global Issues
PSC 76400
3 Credits [27214]
Room TBD

Gould (PT)
Social Ontology and Democracy
PSC 80302
(crosslisted with PHIL 78500)
4 Credits []
Room TBD

DiSalvo (AP)
U.S. Political Parties & Interest Groups
PSC 72001
3 Credits [27218]
Room TBD

Jacobs (PT)
Psychoanalysis and Political Thought
PSC 71902
(Crosslisted with WSCP 81000)
3 Credits []
Room TBD

Cole (G)
Political Science: Teaching Strategies
PDEV 79401 [27903]
0 credits
Room TBD

4:15 to
6:15pm

Rollins (G)
Research Design
PSC 79100
3 credits []
Room TBD

Woodward (CP)
Comparative Political Institutions
PSC 77902
3/4 Credits []
Room TBD

Marasco (PT)
Contemporary Political Theory
PSC 71901
3 Credits [27220]
Room TBD

Mollenkopf & Duneier (PP)
Ethnography of Public Policy
PSC 72500
(Crosslisted with SOC 82800)
4 Credits []
Room TBD

Roldan (G)
Media, Politics & the Public Spere in Latin America
PSC 77905
(crosslisted with HIST 77100)
3 credits []
Room TBD

6:30 to
8:30pm

DiGaetano (PP)
Comparative Urban Politics & Policy
PSC 84501
4 Credits [27211]
Room TBD

Woodward (G)
Dissertation Proposal Workshop
PSC 77902
0 Credits []
Room TBD

Halper (AP)
Civil Liberties
PSC 72310
(Crosslisted with WSCP 81000)
3 Credits [27217]
Room TBD

Xia (IR)
International Political Economy of Emerging Asia
PSC 86401
4 Credits [27216]
Room TBD

Braveboy-Wagner (IR)
Comparative Foreign Policy
PSC 86105
4 Credits [27221]
Room TBD

Jones (AP)
Polarization in American Politics
PSC 82001
4 Credits []
Room TBD

Milanovic (PP)
Theories of Income Distribution: from Pareto to Piketty
PSC 72500
(Crosslisted with IDS 81620)
3 Credits [27832]
Room TBD

 

 

PSC = Political Science    SOC = Sociology       HIS = History
IDS = Interdisciplinary     PHIL = Philosophy     ECON = Economics


Spring 2015 Course Descriptions

American Politics :: Comparative Politics
International Relations :: Political Theory :: Public Policy
General, Crossfield, & Related Courses

 

 

American Politics

U.S. Political Parties & Interest Groups, Professor DiSalvo, PSC 72001, 3 credits, Wednesdays 2:00 - 4:00 pm

For most Americans, elections—especially, presidential elections—are the most engaging of all political events.  Elections have elements of drama—from the tragic and the noble to the pathetic and the ridiculous.  Political parties and interest groups are key actors in the electoral drama. They are also the organizations that organize and attempt to influence the government after the election. Therefore, topics treated in this course will include: modes of candidate selection; the character of modern campaign organizations; party ideologies; the role of interest groups in the policy process; the voting behavior of American citizens; the campaign finance system; and the relationship between campaigning and winning elections on the one hand, and governing, on the other. This seminar is designed as a theoretical and empirical examination of political parties for graduate students seeking to complete their comprehensive PhD exam in American politics and possibly considering dissertation topics. Our goals for the semester are to gain an understanding of the origins and consequences of American parties and interest groups and to examine the political science approaches to the study of them. The course will introduce students to the classic works as well as contemporary theoretical and empirical work. Although we will spend some time on comparative approaches, our primary empirical focus will be on political parties and interest groups in the United States.

 

 

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.

 

 

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Comparative Politics  

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.

 

 

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International Relations

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 76400, (Cross listed with WSCP 81000) 3 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.

 

 

International Political Economy of Emerging Asia, Professor Xia, PSC 86401, 4 credits, Tuesdays 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Applying a methodological square of political and economic views at the international level  interacting with institutionalist (or statist) and societal views at the domestic level, this course highlights, but is not limited to, the unique and significant contributions of rising Asia (East, South East and South Asia) to the field of IPE. The course discusses the following major theoretical and substantive topics: the oriental despotism and the grand debate on the Asiatic mode of production (e.g., Wittfogel), the Meiji strategy and the Japanese developmental state model (e.g., Chalmers Johnson), the East Asian miracle, the ASEAN Way and the network regime of regionalism (e.g., Peter Katzenstein), the Zomia studies (James Scott), totalitarianism in IPE (the case of China), the West (mainly the U.S.) in Asia, cosmopolitanism and the prospect for an Asian Union. Through analyzing the above-mentioned topics, this course intends to construct a theoretical framework for major IPE issues in Asia, such as the production system, development, trading and financial systems, globalization and the resistance of it, regional integration, the role of the state in economy, Asia’s interaction with the U.S. and Asian countries in the global governance of political economy.

 

 

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Political Theory

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 71902 (Cross Listed with WSCP 81000), 3 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 Luk√°cs’ 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.

 

 

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Public Policy

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 classic Street Level Bureaucracy then moves to several ethnographic policy case studies, including public housing restructuring, homeless services, policing, and school reform.

 

 

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General and Crossfield

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.

 

 

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