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Spring 2013

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Topics in Comparative Political Economy

Level
Semester
Units
4
Section
3
Number
210
CCN
72065
Course Description

PS 210: Topics in Comparative Political Economy

Translating substantively significant political economy issues into researchable research problems is a challenge. The course objective will be to consider how these topics can provide the basis for research projects and dissertations in comparative politics and comparative political economy. Each class will explore both the substance of a particular problem to identify significant issues and the relation of those issues to questions of general interest in political economy and political science. The final course assignment will be a research paper that can be a master’s essay, an elaborated research design such as a draft dissertation prospectus, or a dissertation chapter.

Topics will include:

· The politics and the transformation of finance: Has the evolution of finance affected how governments and business interact. Was the transformation an inevitable result of technology and globalization or a policy choice? Was the crisis of 2008 the first financial collapse of the digital age?

o Financial systems, once principally national and rooted around domestic deposits and investments, have been transformed. They are now both market-based and often global in character. Arguably this transformation, facilitated by Information Technology tools, is at the root of the financial collapse of 2008, and more generally has consequences for the politics of domestic economic governance and strategies for growth.

 

· Green Growth, Energy Transformations, and the Climate Debate: Domestic and International Issues

o While the Climate problem is “global”, the solutions will lie in major part in the transition of domestic energy systems from high carbon low efficiency to high efficiency low carbon. That transformation will be costly in the short run and does not produce automatic or evident economic gain. Why do some countries pursue strategies to transform energy systems while others do not? Can Green Sustain Growth?

 

· The Third Globalization and the Commodity Trap: Can Wealthy Countries Stay Rich in the face of emerging market competition? There are an array of questions here.

o The decomposition of production and the transformation of services force us to reconsider the logic of value creation and, consequently, the dynamics of political economy. As production is outsourced and off-shored, where are jobs and who captures the value? Nationally rooted vertically integrated companies were the focus of debate and concern in the 20th century. They have given rise to cross national production net works. Services once feared to be the black hole of advanced economies have, enabled by information technology, become productivity drivers. For advanced countries these developments have created at once both a commodity trap potentially limiting productivity and wage increases, and escapes from that trap. These developments have also influenced the distribution of gains from growth.

§ For emerging markets we consider how the fragmentation of production and the evolution of finance creates diverse points of entry into the global economy. What are the politics of Rapid Innovation Based Growth that has been central to growth strategies?

§ For advanced countries the expanded competition across the value chain makes everything seem like a commodity and puts pressure on prices. Advanced country work forces face competition, thus, from increasingly diverse and skilled work forces in a variety of places.

– Are there escapes from the commodity trap? How can firms create and capture value in the advanced countries?

– The jobs producing an Apple product may be in China, but the value add is in the US. But can workers in the US share in that Bonanza?

§ Will cloud computing, which is an ICT evolution of significance and not just an advertising slogan, make the commodity trap worse? Or will it provide advance countries a way out? The answer is not in the technology, but in the policies and politics of adoption and diffusion.

 

· Technology, International Trade, and Policy: What drives jobs, income and wealth?

o What policies can affect the distributive outcomes of the transformation of work?

 

· Globalization with Borders: Will borders evaporate, change meaning, or be redrawn in a era of globalization? Is the world flat, or was Christopher Columbus right?

o Europe and the Euro Crisis: Have politics created an economic crisis, or, conversely, has economic misjudgment generated a political debacle? Does the current crisis have implications for our understanding of the origins and evolution of the European community?

o How does a nation’s regional neighborhood matter to its political and economic trajectory?

o Are tribal challenges to state authority in Iraq and the Catalan challenge to Spanish authority part of the same larger story.

Electoral Behavior and Public Opinion

Semester
Units
4
Section
1
Number
169
CCN
71892
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 than 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.

Course Procedures. There will be two lectures weekly and some additional discussions in smaller groups. Those smaller group sessions will sometimes be held in the teaching lab operated by the Social Sciences Computing Laboratory (in the basement of Barrows Hall), where students will carry out their own computer-based analyses. Grades will be determined by a final examination and several quizzes and exercises, as well as participation in class discussions

PLEASE NOTE that if you have already taken PS161 with PROFESSOR SHANKS [i.e., Spring 2010], [renumbered as PS169] you will NOT be able to take this course.

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 PS3 are therefore prerequisites for the course.

International Organizations, Networks and Domestic Institutions

Level
Semester
Units
4
Section
2
Number
223
CCN
72076
Course Description

We will examine how international organizations and transnational networks develop international law and use legal and non-legal tools to shape domestic practices. While international organizations have limited enforcement capabilities, \\"almost all nations observe almost all principles of international law almost all of the time.\\" Drawing from legal and social science literatures, we will study how hard and soft international law shape the conduct of governments, courts, NGOs, expert networks and mass publics. We will investigate mechanisms that generate conformity and non-conformity with international norms, including coercion, political economy considerations, learning and socialization. The course has no prerequisites, and will provide a good opportunity for students interested in writing on international law topics. Students will be asked to write a 20-30 page paper on a topic of their Choice.

Students will receive printout of the materials which will also be available on b-space.

Course is cross listed with Law 261.17

Course Starts January 9, 2013

 

Selected Topics in Comparative Politics

Level
Semester
Units
4
Number
210
CCN
72060
Course Description

This course offers an introduction to the philosophical underpinnings of contemporary political (and more generally social) science. Our goal is to reflect on the epistemological and ontological biases inherent in methodological approaches such as rational choice, interpretivism, behavioralism, institutionalism, and post-modernism. For example, what counts as knowledge in each approach, and how is such knowledge ascertained? To what extent does each consider social reality "out there" to be discovered rather than "in here" (our heads)-- constructed by us? Are there universal criteria by which one can compare the usefulness or validity of different approaches? Should there be? We will begin by reviewing some of the dualisms that currently preoccupy Western philosophy: naturalism/anti-naturalism, realism/constructivism, and objectivity/relativism. We then examine our methodological approaches in light of these conceptions of knowledge.

Junior Seminar: Comparative Electoral Violence

Semester
Units
4
Section
6
Number
191
CCN
71934
Course Description
Multiparty elections have become common around the world, but many of
those elections are affected by violent conflict between the parties
competing for power. This Junior Seminar examines three broad
questions related to electoral violence in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin
America, South and Southeast Asia. First, the course explores the
political, economic, and sociological factors precipitating the
outbreak of electoral violence. Second, it examines the strategies
pursued by the international community to minimize the outbreak and
duration of electoral violence. Third, it studies the consequences of
electoral violence in countries where the future of democracy remains
in doubt.

The Junior Seminars are intense writing seminars which focus on the research area of the faculty member teaching the course. The seminars will 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 falls within the "Comparative Politics" subfield, and can fulfill an upper division requirement for the major.

Prerequisites

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 in Phase II. Selection and notification will occur around January 14, 2013.   Priority may be given to students who have not yet taken a junior seminar.

Junior Seminar: Remaking American Politics: Political Transformations from the 1930s to the Present

Semester
Units
4
Section
5
Number
191
CCN
71931
Course Description

This seminar will consider the dynamics of several major transformations in American politics since the 1930s. Major topics will include: the rise and consolidation of the New Deal in the 1930s-40s; the rise of the U.S. as a military superpower and the changes in institutional arrangements brought about by World War II and the Cold War; the civil rights movement and party realignment on issues of race; the development of the conservative movement in the 1970s-80s; and the sharp increase in partisan-ideological polarization since the 1980s. In each case, we will consider the role of the mass public, national political elites, and organized groups in driving, guiding, and limiting change. For example, we will explore the sources of both the accomplishments and the limitations of New Deal liberalism in the 1930s-40s. Students will be expected to participate actively in seminar discussions and to write a substantial (i.e. approximately 20 page) research paper.

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 falls within the \\"American Politics\\" subfield, and can fulfill an upper division requirement for the major.

Prerequisites

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 in Phase II. Selection and notification will occur around January 14, 2013.  

Priority may be given to students who have not yet taken a junior seminar.   Additional priority may be given to qualified students who have completed PS103 \\"Congress\\" with Prof. Schickler.

Junior Seminar: Power and Prosperity in Urban America

Semester
Units
4
Section
2
Number
191
CCN
71922
Course Description

Over the past twenty years, many American cities have experienced comebacks: growing numbers of upper- income residents have relocated to cities; downtowns have been transformed into lively arts and entertainment districts; and crime has fallen. This course will examine the causes and implications of these recent upswings in urban fortunes. The questions we will consider include: How did cities achieve these transformations? Why were some cities much more successful than others? How has the revitalization of cities affected the urban poor? The course will also examine the impact of the recession on cities. Does the recession jeopardize recent gains in urban prosperity? How have cities coped with the fiscal strains presented by reduced tax revenues and limits on state and federal assistance?

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 falls within the "American Politics" subfield, and can fulfill an upper division requirement for the major.

Prerequisites

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 in Phase II. Selection and notification will occur around January 14, 2013.   Priority may be given to students who have not yet taken a junior seminar.

Theories of Governance

Semester
Units
4
Number
114A
CCN
71667
Course Description

What is governance? How should we explain its emergence? What are its implications for public policy and democracy? This course uses debates about contemporary governance to examine four approaches to political science and political theory. The approaches are rational choice theory, institutionalism, Marxism, and poststructuralism. The course looks at the narrative that each approach provides of the origins and workings of governance since 1979, and at the way these narratives embody theoretical commitments about rationality and power, structure and agency, and democracy. It thus promotes an awareness of the way questions about contemporary governance are inextricably linked to philosophical and normative commitments. This course has a required discussion section.

Prerequisites

Prerequisites: *** Priority will be given to Political Science majors graduating in Spring 2013 in need of “Theory” for their distribution and/or specialization requirements.

Topics in American Politics: Roles of Polls and Public Opinion

Semester
Units
4
Number
109A
CCN
71631
Course Description

This course endeavors to explore the myriad uses of public opinion in leadership and decision-making. We will examine what public opinion research is, how it is conducted, and how it is used in a wide range of contexts, both public and private. We will reference actual case studies involving public opinion in political campaigns, constituency organizing, crisis management, and a variety of other contexts to provide an inside view of how opinion research is actually conducted and used. Specific questions will be addressed, such as: How does an incumbent politician formulate strategy and successfully communicate messages in the midst of a dirty politics/decidedly anti-incumbent senatorial campaign? What would you do if you were governor and your roads and highways needed improvements, but the public opposed a new gas tax? If you were a CEO of a large company and you had safety concerns about some of your products, how would you balance your corporate image and reputation against the independence from government influence? As a news organization interested in probing public concern on a variety of current social and political events, how do you decide what questions to ask, and how do you translate these results into news?

This course falls within the American Politics subfield.