This course considers the relationship between wealth and democracy primarily through the lens of political theory. Topics to be investigated include: classical concerns that democracy is undesirable because it is rule by the poor; the role of property in liberal government; whether the U.S. Constitution was designed to protect property interests; the nature of political corruption; political and legal debates about campaign finance reform from the late 20th century to the present, including whether money is speech and whether campaigns should be publicly financed. Readings will be drawn from canonical ancient and early modern philosophers and political theorists, contemporary studies of the impact of wealth on American democracy, and key Supreme Court decisions including Citizens United. The course is recommended for juniors and seniors but is open to all students.
This class, which will focuses mostly on the domestic politics of India, has multiple aims. In addition to providing an overview of political developments in India since independence, this online course assesses the nature of democratic participation and representation in contemporary India-the world's largest democracy. Course is scheduled to run Session C (June 20 - August 12).
Please note you will NOT be able to take Political Science W145A, if you are enrolled or have completed Political Science 145A. This is an on-line variation of the course.
Note: Course description is from Summer 2013
This course will investigate the major sources of conflict in the modern international system, as well as consider how these dangers can be managed. We will focus on traditional interstate rivalry, rogue states, and terrorism, along with a number of responses to these challenges, including sanctions, airstrikes, and nation-building. Particular focus will be given to U.S. foreign policy and how it can be used to promote global stability.
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. After examining a myriad of reasons behind social protests and movements in the region, this course will turn to comparative as well as case study approaches by focusing primarily on important changes in the Middle East landscape. We will pay special attention in the second half of the semester to the following cases: Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Syria, and Tunisia, as well as Israeli-Palestinian front. We also take a thematic approach to examining causes of social unrest, human rights and democratic struggles, identity formation, and sectarian divide/tensions in the region.
Please note the course description is from Summer 2014
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.
Note: Course description is from Summer 2013
Instructor: Tara Buss
Politics is how we determine who gets what under conditions of scare resources. Politics is also the struggle to create and preserve a civilization that is free, fair, just, diverse, and legitimate. PS1AC asks, does American politics reinforce these principles, or does it weaken them? In particular, we will investigate the ways in which race and ethnicity, as well as wealth and socioeconomic class, operate through the formal and informal institutions of American politics to create the social outcomes we observe and experience in our daily lives. The primary goal of the course is to help students become more critical, sophisticated observers and participants in American politics.
POL SCI N1AC will still fulfill all the requirements that PS1 fulfills (e.g., major, American Institutions) but now also fulfills the "American Cultures" campus requirement.
Instructor: Jacob Grumbach
The class starts from the premise that the institutions that form a legal system have distinct advantages and disadvantages and that some institutions may be more efficacious in one regulatory context than in another. Students will be exposed to the multiple forms of lawmaking, ranging from the elaboration of common law and constitutional rules by judges, to the fashioning of statutes by members of Congress representing disparate constituencies, 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. Each differs with respect to such criteria as democratic accountability and legitimacy, efficiency, stability, and capacity to incorporate policy expertise. Students will learn to think critically about the costs and benefits of each institution when solving different kinds of policy problems.
Instructor: Susan Ostermann
This course presents a broad introduction to contemporary politics and society in Russia. What was Soviet-type socialism and how is its legacy shaping post-Soviet Russia? Where is Russia headed: toward democracy as it is known in the West, a new form of authoritarianism, reversion to the old system, or something else? The political upheaval and social movements that swept Russia and the other Soviet republics during the Gorbachev period will be explored. We will then examine the Yeltsin and Putin periods and current problems of political change. The topics to be investigated include the transformation of political institutions, dilemmas of movement from a command economy to a market economy, struggles among emerging social interests, public opinion, social integration and disintegration, nationalism, and Russia’s place in the world. The course is recommended for juniors and seniors only but is open to all students.
Note: Course description is from Summer 2010
Requirements consist of a midterm and final exam and attendance at all class sessions. Each of the two exams counts for one-third of the grade. Attendance in lectures and discussion sections, participation in discussions and debates, and performance on quizzes count for one-third of the grade. Students are expected to do the readings for the week in their entirety before the meeting of their discussion section.
The readings for the class are in the three texts listed below and the course reader. The pieces that appear in the reader are marked with an asterisk(*); all other readings are in the books. The reader is available at University Copy Service, 2425 Channing Way. Students are required to obtain the books and the reader.
Political science deals with the behavior of individuals in settings of collective or group choice. The best course of action for any individual to take in such settings generally depends on the course of action taken by others with whom they interact. For instance, the best strategy by a candidate in an election campaign might depend on the strategy adopted by other candidates. The best approach for achieving gains in a peace settlement for one nation-state depends on how other nation-states will
react. Game theory is the analysis of decision making in situations where one individual's best action depends on the actions taken by other individuals. This course provides a relatively non-technical introduction to game theory and its application in social science, especially political science and also economics.
Course runs during Session C (June 20-August 12, 2016)
Please note you will NOT be able to take Political Science W135, if you are enrolled or have completed Political Science C135/ECON C110. This is an on-line variation of the course.
In addition, PS W135 is an advanced METHODS course. The course can NOT be used as a substitute for PS 3. It also does NOT count towards the Political Theory distribution requirement.
Note: This description is from Summer 2015