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Summer 2013

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Introduction to Political Theory

Level
Semester
Summer 2013
Units
4
Number
4
CCN
75978
Course Description

This course looks at political theory as an attempt to answer the question, How should we live together as members of a political community? We will consider this question in light of a key political problem: disagreement among citizens about how our political community should look like. This problem of pluralism will inform our discussions of more particular political questions: What, if anything, is the common good in a pluralistic society? What is the role of law and the Constitution? How can we justify civil disobedience? How can one be a patriot if one’s country follows a course with which one disagrees?

We will begin by considering political theories that deny pluralism and will examine how they understand the common good and justify the obligation to obey the law. These theories will serve us as a comparison to the problems that emerge once we acknowledge the fact of pluralism. Having considered the grounds for pluralism and the fact of reasonable disagreement, we will turn to contemporary political theories that take pluralism for granted but nonetheless search for a shared public ground. These theories will include political liberalism and deliberative democracy. In the last part of the course we will consider theories that deny the existence of a shared political culture and will ask how they define the common good, justify obeying the law, and explain the possibility of patriotism.

 

 

Topics in Area Studies: Dictatorship and its Discontents

Level
Semester
Summer 2013
Units
4
Number
149W
CCN
76240
Course Description

The overwhelming majority of governments throughout history have been dictatorial. Even the recent spread of democracy has not extirpated authoritarian rule: as recently as 2006 only 90 out of 193 countries were considered democracies, and 45 were full-blown autocracies. Whatever the benefits of democracy, it seems dictatorship is here to stay. This course explores the characteristics and dynamics of non-democratic regimes: how and why they come about, what sustains them, why some people resist them and others do not, and how and why they decline and fall. We will explore a variety of examples from Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Using films and novels in addition to political science literature, we will investigate how dictators maintain their power, how ordinary people react to repression, and the links between dictatorship and security and economic development.

Subfield: Comparative Politics

Public Problems

Level
Semester
Summer 2013
Units
4
Number
186
CCN
76085
Course Description

Homelessness, global warming, corruption, bankrupt pension systems, educational inequality... This course explores what we can learn in general about the way societies try to address and solve difficult and seemingly intractable public problems. Can we attribute success or failure to institutions and their capacity to solve problems? Are problems difficult to solve because they are so complex and we lack know-how or because of a failure of political will? What are the characteristics of organizations or communities able to solve problems proactively or creatively? How do public problems get politically framed and how are they used to mobilize constituencies? The course draws on literature in public administration, public policy studies, and democratic theory to try to better understand some of the major social, political, environmental, and economic problems of our contemporary world.

Political Psychology

Level
Semester
Summer 2013
Units
4
Number
N164A
CCN
76060
Course Description

This course explores the sources of public opinion and political behavior through the application of psychological theories about personality, learning, cognition, emotion, social influence and group dynamics. The first part of the course focuses directly on psychological theories and concepts, illustrating them with political applications. The second part of the course focuses upon topics traditionally taken up by political scientists, bringing psychological perspectives to bear. There are no prerequisites.

American Legal System

Level
Semester
Summer 2013
Units
4
Number
150
CCN
76035
Course Description

The class exposes students to the multiple forms of lawmaking in the American legal system, ranging from the elaboration of common law and constitutional rules by judges, to the fashioning of statutes by members of Congress, to the dissemination of regulations by executive agencies, to the use ballot initiatives to put legal rules up for direct vote by the people themselves. Together these forms of law constitute the American legal system. The course explores how each of these distinct forms law differs with respect to such criteria as democratic accountability and legitimacy, efficiency, stability, and their capacity to incorporate policy expertise. A primary lens through which the course approaches law is by reading and discussing court opinions."  

 

 

Professor Farhang's 150 "American Legal System" is the same as his Public Policy 190 "Special Topics in Public Policy". This is the exact same course listed under Political Science.

IMPORTANT! Please note you will NOT be able to take Political Science 150 with Professor Farhang, if you have already completed (or plan to take) Political Science 150 with either Kagan or Farhang, or Public Policy 190 with Farhang.

Middle East Politics

Level
Semester
Summer 2013
Units
4
Number
142A
CCN
76023
Course Description

Political Science 142A

This course begins with a brief historical review of the demise of the Ottoman Empire, followed by the British and French mandate over the Middle East region, the anti-colonialist revolt, the emergence of Israel, Arab-Israeli conflicts, the rise of secular nationalism, and the resurgence of Islamism in all its populist, revolutionary, conservative, and revivalist forms. We will then shift our focus to new modes of thinking about the region—grounded in political economy, economic insecurity, youth bulge, and the burgeoning revolts against authoritarianism and the status quo. While examining a myriad of reasons behind social protests and movements in the region, this course will adopt both a case study approach—focusing primarily on Iran, the new Arab revolts since 2011, especially in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, and Syria—and a comparative study of revolts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. We also take a thematic approach to the causes of social unrest and identity formation in the region.

Requirements

 

Texts
-William L. Cleveland and Martin Bunton, 5th Ed., A History of Modern Middle East (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2013)
--Ellen Lust, ed., The Middle East, 13th Ed., (Thousand Oaks, CA: CQ Press, 2014)
--Karl Yambert, ed., The Contemporary Middle East: A Westview Reader, 3rd Ed. (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2013)
--James L. Gelvin, The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know (NY: Oxford University Press, 2012)
--And possibly: Mahmood Monshipouri, Democratic Uprisings in the New Middle East: Youth, Technology, Human Rights, and US Foreign Policy (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, date of publication: June 2013).

What is Development? International Inequality in Historical Perspective

Level
Semester
Summer 2013
Units
4
Number
139B
CCN
76005
Course Description

A world without the West,” “Islamic banking,” “leap-frogging development,” “failed states,” “virtual economy vs. real economy,” “neo-mercantilism” – these are only a few of a long list of real-world phenomena which are in the news today. Important shifts in the distribution of power and wealth in the world raise a central question: are we witnessing the dissolution of the post-1945 world political and economic order? The declining hegemony of the United States in the world economy, the rise of oil-based authoritarianisms, the linking-up of various tribal and semi-feudal societies to the world of latest technology, the wholesale questioning of the universality of human behavior, the unexpected return of religion and mysticism into politics, the growing fuzziness surrounding the very definitions of labor, production and services stagger our minds and boggle our imaginations. These developments are often described as unexpected and even stunning. Yet, as this course will argue, the shocking nature of these developments, the sensationalism which accompanies them, are in fact a result of a hugely insufficient knowledge of the history of the rise of the international market economy and the circumstances which conditioned that rise.

Subfield: Comparative Politics


Requirements

Introduction to Empirical Analysis and Quantitative Methods

Level
Semester
Summer 2013
Units
4
Section
1
Number
3
CCN
75955
Course Description

This course is an introduction to the methods employed in empirical political science research. We will cover basic topics in research design, statistics, and formal modeling, considering many examples along the way. The two primary goals of the course are: (1) to provide students with analytic tools that will help them to understand how political scientists do empirical research, and (2) to improve students' ability to pose and answer research questions on their own. There are no prerequisites.

Introduction to Comparative Politics

Level
Semester
Summer 2013
Units
4
Section
1
Number
2
CCN
75930
Course Description

This course will introduce students to some key concepts used in contemporary comparative political analysis. It will do so through an examination of the reasons for why some modern nation states provide better living conditions for their citizens. Are these differences due to factors such as political institutions, legislative arrangements, parties and party systems, or social forces such as culture and ethnicity? Class lectures will focus on developing an understanding of how political scientists use these terms and whether they provide adequate explanations for why states vary so substantially in their performance. There will be two lectures per week and one required discussion section.


This course can satisfy either the Social & Behaviorial Sciences or International Studies breadth requirement.

Introduction To American Politics

Level
Semester
Summer 2013
Units
4
Number
1
CCN
75905
Course Description

This class is an introduction to the American political system. The course is designed to make you think about the logic of our government's institutions, and the consequences - both intended and unintended - of these institutions for the political behavior of citizens, legislators, and other political leaders and activists. Topics to be covered include the Constitution, American political culture, civil rights, the presidency, Congress, Supreme Court, political parties, elections, public opinion, and interest groups.