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Spring 2012

semester status
Active

Electoral Behavior and Public Opinion

Semester
Units
4
Section
1
Number
169
CCN
71788
Course Description

This course deals with the ways in which individual citizens may have an impact on American politics through the electoral process.   The course will therefore focus on the political opinions and behavior of citizens as reflected in cross-section surveys of the national adult population, rather that studies of elected officials or other political elites.   Special attention will be paid to the role of partisan identification and policy-related preferences in presidential elections, to the distribution and origins of public opinion on important political issues, and to the determinants of electoral participation or turnout.

In previous years, this course in electoral behavior was offered as one of two alternative versions   PS 161, the department's core undergraduate course in political behavior.   This year, however, it is being offered as PS 169,in order to avoid confusion with the other version of PS 161, which is also being offered in Spring semester.

Please note  that due to the similarity between this course and PS 161, if
you have already taken PS 161, with either Professor Citrin or Shanks, you will NOT be able to take this course. If you are enrolled in PS 161 next semester with Professor Citrin, you will NOT be able to take both 161 and 169, again due to the topic similarity.

Prerequisites

This is an advanced course in two respects, for it presupposes both a basic knowledge of the American political system and a familiarity with political inquiry based on quantitative evidence of the sort provided by modern survey research.   Both a course in American Politics and at least one course in statistics or quantitative methods beyond PS 3 are therefore prerequisites for the course.

Religion and IR

Level
Semester
Units
4
Number
226
CCN
72461
Course Description

"How has religion shaped the structure of international system? How should IR scholars approach the role that religion plays in contemporary affairs? How does religion constrain or motivate international conflict? This seminar seeks to guide students through readings in the social sciences, from psychology and sociology to anthropology and political science, that explore the intersection of religion and international relations. We will examine a variety of theoretical approaches to the topic of religion and global politics, explore religious origins of the modern state system, and analyze the influence of religion on historical and contemporary conflicts, with a particular focus on ethnic conflict, terrorism, and peacemaking. This course is designed for advanced political science graduate students preparing to commence their dissertation research. Its orientation is theoretical rather than empirical and it is both reading and research intensive. It is not intended for undergraduates or masters students."

This course is presently scheduled as 223 and is awaiting approval by The Academic Senate at which time the course number will change to 226.

Climate,Energy,and the Politics of Change

Level
Semester
Units
4
Section
1
Number
200
CCN
71943
Course Description

This course explores the problem of climate change, the economic and
political challenges in addressing it, and the success or failure of
attempts by both individual countries and the international community
to do something about it. We begin from a consideration of the natural
and social basis of the climate problem itself, before turning to the
mainstream discussion of the politics and economics of climate
change mitigation policy. We then step back to consider climate change
as a problem of large-scale transitions in social and technological
systems, and look to other examples from history to understand how we
should expect the climate change problem and its solutions to
evolve. Finally, we consider three radical set of critiques of
climate change and mainstream climate policy, that together point out
a set of unique political and economic problems.

Junior Seminar: Climate, Energy, and the Politics of Change

Semester
Units
4
Section
8
Number
191
CCN
71849
Course Description

This course explores the problem of climate change, the economic and
political challenges in addressing it, and the success or failure of
attempts by both individual countries and the international community
to do something about it. We begin from a consideration of the natural
and social basis of the climate problem itself, before turning to the
mainstream discussion of the politics and economics of climate
change mitigation policy. We then step back to consider climate change
as a problem of large-scale transitions in social and technological
systems, and look to other examples from history to understand how we
should expect the climate change problem and its solutions to
evolve. Finally, we consider three radical set of critiques of
climate change and mainstream climate policy, that together point out
a set of unique political and economic problems.

Subfield: Comparative Politics

Requirements

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

This junior seminar fulfills an upper division requirement for the major.

Prerequisites

Political Science Majors of Junior and Senior status, with a minimum overall GPA of 3.3.

Students must place themselves on the waitlist through TeleBEARS. Selection and notification will occur around January 9, 2012.

Junior Seminar: Crisis and Crash, Global Markets, and National Strategies: Understanding Who Succeeds, Who Fails, and Why

Semester
Units
4
Section
7
Number
191
CCN
71846
Course Description

The radical collapse of the financial markets has brought dramatic policy responses in the United States and around the world. Was the debacle the product of too little regulation, or too much? Should government be stepping in to"bailout" financial interests or is it a necessary rescue of the broader economy. All these questions force us to consider the political foundations of the marketplace.

This course begins by examining the changing balance of economic and political power as new economic titans arise and establish powers struggle. There are a number of steps to usefully understand that shifting balance. First, we have to step back to the political creation of the market system. Second, we have to consider the multiple flavors of capitalism and their historical origins. Third, we explore the evolving logic of value creation in the global markets, the place of outsourcing and the meaning of information technology. Indeed, the course will argue that globalization is in fact a sequence of national and regional stories played out on a larger stage. Fourth, we then examine what countries have done and the choices they now have to adapt to radical changes in the marketplace. An important purpose of the course as we proceed through this substantive material is to develop the analytic tools needed to understand historical development and today's choices. As part of that we will develop the analytic writing skills essential in all professional life.

A junior seminar fulfills an upper-DIV requirement for the major.

Subfield: Comparative Politics

Preference will be given to upper-division political science, economics, and political economy majors with a 3.3 GPA.

Prerequisites

Political Science Majors of Junior or Senior status, with a minimum overall GPA of 3.3. Students must place themselves on the waitlist through TeleBEARS in Phase II. Selection and notification will occur around January 9, 2012.

Texts

1. Cohen, Steven and Bradford Delong. (2010) The End of Influence: What Happens when other Countries have the Money. Basic Books, New York, N.Y. 

2. Rodrik, Dani. (2011). The Globalization Paradox. W.W. Norton and Company, New York, N.Y.

Special Topics on States, Elites, and Bureaucracies

Level
Semester
Units
4
Number
239
CCN
71989
Course Description
The course will have an eclectic approach and rely on both qualitative readings and formal
models to study themes related to state formation, conflict, the development of state capacity,
the role of economic and political elites in weakly institutionalized settings, themes of political
persistence, and the formation and control of public bureaucracies.


This course counts toward completion of the course-out option in Models and Politics.
Knowledge of game theory at the level of PS232A will be assumed

Social and Revolutionay Movements in the Middle East

Semester
Units
4
Number
149Z
CCN
71746
Course Description
This course will attempt to put the current popular uprisings sweeping
across the Middle East and North Africa into historical and comparative
perspective. We will begin by analyzing the causes, objectives, methods,
ideologies (nationalist, anti-colonial, Islamist, democratic),
configuration of supporters, and leadership characteristics of the
important social and revolutionary movements in the Middle East during the
20th Century. What distinguished the movements that succeeded in
achieving their objectives from the ones that failed?

We will then turn to the current wave of protests. Why did the protesters
in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya manage to topple their respective
governments, and what is the likelihood that other countries in the region
will follow their examples. Do having close relations with the US, being
a rentier state, having a military that is institutionally autonomous, and
being divided along ethnic, sectarian, and tribal lines help or hinder the
task of regime change or modification? We will conclude by assessing the
prospects for transitions to democracy in the aftermath of successful
government/regime ousters. Is it possible to increase the likelihood that
transitions to democracy, should they come about, will be made sustainable
and enduring?

Insurgency and Ethnic Conflict in South Asia

Semester
Units
4
Number
149J
CCN
71737
Course Description
South Asia-which comprises eight different countries (India, Pakistan,Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, 
Bhutan, and the Maldives)-is home to over one-fifth of the world's population, much of it living in abject poverty.
The region contains a bewildering number of ethnic groups that are based on the multidimensional mixture of
various linguistic, religious, sub-regional, cultural, and tribal identities. The departing colonial powers, especially
the British in 1947, largely defined the political demarcations (e.g., borders) between the various emerging
countries in the region. The demarcation of these political boundaries left some ethnic groups residing among
others in newly independent multiethnic states; whereas others became divided between countries across
boundaries in the post-colonial set-up. This course seeks to examine the interplay between identity, politics,
and violence in contemporary South Asia. The course starts by providing the analytical/theoretical lens
through which to analyze political violence and the underpinning of the modern state in South Asia.
It subsequently, analyzes the major cases of identity-based political violence-ranging from ethnic
separatist insurgency and challenges to state authority to communal violence and ethnic conflict-in South Asia.
The primary goal of this course is to provide students with a critical understanding of these phenomena in the
South Asian context, and to spark intellectual curiosity for future
comparative and area-studies research.

Selected Topics in American Government:

Level
Semester
Units
4
Number
279
CCN
72005
Course Description

The purpose of this course is to carefully consider some fundamental issues
regarding race/ethnicity in American politics, including its roots or
‘causes’ and its ‘consequences’ or impacts, through a broad examination of
the political science research which addresses a range of dimensions
relevant to the topic. We aim to understand and critically assess the
sources, nature and extent of impact of race/ethnicity in American politics
as revealed in systematic studies of these phenomena, demonstrated in the
body of research An underlying assumption of the course is that
race/ethnicity has been and continues to be an important feature of American
politics, albeit in changing ways and to varying degrees. Beyond being a
substantial social factor or force in itself, understanding race/ethnicity
helps illuminate (and is illuminated by) core ideas and institutions of the
political system.