Federalist # 78 speaks of the United States Supreme Court as "the least dangerous branch" because it possesses so little political power. What are the conditions under which the Court gets its way? When does it fail to do so? From Marbury vs. Madison to Roe vs. Wade and beyond, we will explore this pair of questions, devoting particular scrutiny to the dynamics of "power". Book: William Muir, Law and Attitude Change (to be purchased in class). Assignments: One major research paper (20-30 pages), several shorter papers, midterm exam, and final exam. (Text of cases will be available on departmental website.)
All revolutions contain a fundamental contradiction. On the one hand, a
revolution is the outcome of very specific socio-economic and political
conditions in a country. On the other hand, revolutionaries perceive
their experience as having universal significance. As a result, they seek
to address and influence foreign populations over the heads of their
respective governments. This means that a revolutionary state engages in
both government-to-government and government-to-people diplomacy. The
Iranian case is not different from this general pattern, except that here
the universalistic appeal of the revolution was limited by its sectarian
This course is divided into three parts. We will first focus on Iran's
political economy during the pre-revolutionary period. The nature of the
Shah’s regime, the revolution, and Khomeini’s ideology will be examined.
We will then analyze certain key areas of Iranian foreign policy, such as
the Iran-Iraq War, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Lebanon, security in the
Persian Gulf, and Central Asia. Our primary focus, however, will be on
countries with large Shi’ite populations. How were these nations affected
by the Iranian revolution? Can revolutions be “exported”? Was Iran's
foreign policy motivated by ideological considerations or the economic and
political interests of the regime? We will then return to Iran's internal
dynamics and political economy during the Rafsanjani, Khatami. and
Ahmadinejad presidencies. We will conclude by analyzing the causes behind
the failure of the reform movement, the rise of the Revolutionary Guards,
the Green Movement and the prospects for the modification or
transformation of the present system, as well as Iran's quest for nuclear
capability and its domestic and foreign policy ramifications.
World Order and Revolution: The Global Challenges of Communism, Fascism and Radical Salvationism
This course is one on modern world history taught by a political sociologist. As such its purposes are twofold. One is to introduce new perspectives into global history by focusing on order, revolution and change (from pre-to postmodernity). The other is to revisit existing bodies of theory pertaining to these concepts, to hold them up to historical experience. This means that the narratives of order (the European "concert" before 1914, or the bipolar " balance of theory" of the cold war) and revolution ( see above) will also serve as instruments of testing and rethinking theory. The exercises of the course (lectures,discussion sections, and exams) will all be addressing this interplay of history and social theory.
Recommended for students with background in Comparative Politics and International Relations with at least one course in modern European or world history required.
A collection of readings (Reader) will be available with one or two additional readings to be announced later.
This seminar will focus on postwar relations among the countries in East Asia. Asia was long divided by colonialis, the Cold War, and America's " hub and spoke" alliance system. Nationalist sentiments and suspicions remain strong; one schoolar characterized the region as " the cockpit of great power rivalries." Northeast Asia has seen no shooting wars between states since the Korean armistice in 1953; Southeast Asia has been at peace since the pullback of Vietnam from Cambodia in 1979
This course has three main objectives; to expose students to debates in the study of post-1949 Chinese politics; to consider how research on contemporary China both draws from the informs political science; and to explore characterizations of the Chinese state and state-society relations. Emphasis on questions such as: What can we learn by examining Chinese culture and institutions? Do concepts such as fragmented authoritarianism, neotraditionlism, state "reach," civil society, and corporatism produce insights into the structure and dynamics of Chinese politics. ?
The creation, maintenance, transformation and decay of international arrangements designed to manage or regulate interstate activities relating to trade, money, resources use, technology, and physical environment.
Please contact Professor Aggarwal to receive a listing of the first week's readings and the course syllabus.
This course will first analyze Marx’s writings on capitalism (primarily Capital and Grundrisse) and then turn to contemporary critical formulations of neoliberalism (Foucault, Peck, Clarke, Laval, Comoroff and others). We will spend a fair amount of time with Foucault’s lectures on neoliberalism (The Birth of Biopolitics) and with commentary on those lectures.
We will focus on grasping what is and isn’t distinctive about neoliberalism as a theory, description and form of capitalism. We will also consider which parts of Marx’s analysis of capitalism remain useful and which do notâ€”commodities, fetishism, surplus value, capital accumulation, theory of value, productive/unproductive labor, etc. And we will be exploring shifts from exchange to structured competition, laissez faire to governmentality, materialism to normative reason, labor to human capital, interest to entrepreneurialism, productivity to financialization, freedom to responsibilization, concentration to devolution.
This course is not an introduction to Marx or neoliberalism. It presumes knowledge of both, even as we will attempt to defamiliarize and rethink both.
Enrollment by permission of instructor. Students interested in the course should place themselves onto the wait list.
This course is a graduate seminar in comparative politics. It aims to provide students with the conceptual, theoretical, and analytical tools necessary for comparative research. The course is divided into five parts. The first explores some of the central ideas and philosophies that animate comparative politics. The second introduces the field and explores some basic methodological problems. The third investigates core topics and theoretical approaches; the fourth centers on political regimes; and the fifth focuses on interest representation and state-society relations. This is a reading and discussion seminar. Our class sessions will focus on discussions of course readings. Students are required to do all of the readings for the week in advance of class meetings and to participate actively in class discussions.
A weekly seminar on approaches to the history of political thought. Theoretical topics, typically including the nature of meaning and textuality, validity and interpretation, and historical explanation.
This course investigates the connections between the American economy and the American political system. Emphasis will be placed on comparisons of the American political economy with those of other affluent democracies, and on the evolution of the political economy in a context of increasing globalization and rising inequality. The course will also consider the distinctive political economies of particular sectors, including energy, finance, and health care.
The Junior Seminars are intense writing seminars which focus on the research area of the faculty member teaching the course. The seminars provide an opportunity for students to have direct intellectual interactions with faculty members while also giving the students an understanding for faculty research. Junior seminars fulfill upper-DIV requirements in the major.
Subfield: American Politics
Political Science Majors of Junior and Senior status, with a minimum overall UC GPA of 3.3. Students must place themselves on the waitlist through TeleBEARS. Selection and notification will occur around August 13, 2012. Priority may be given to students who have not yet taken a junior seminar.