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Session D

The Politics of groups and identities

Level
Semester
Units
4
Number
109R
CCN
15661
Times
MTWR 8-10am
Location
REMOTE
Course Description

   Many scholars agree that groups and group identities are central to politics. But what constitutes a group? Why are some groups more salient than others? What is identity? And how do certain identities become central to political conflicts? This class combines theoretical and empirical approaches to these questions and emphasizes the complexity of group identity. We focus on racial and ethnic politics in the United States. Additionally, this class considers psychological theories of identity, comparative perspectives on immigration and racial identity, and the relationship between ethnic and non-ethnic identities including gender, class, and geography. We discuss foundational scholarship on Black politics and also emerging scholarship on White identity. We adopt a developmental and comparative perspective for the analysis of Latino and Asian-American panethnic identification. We also consider mechanisms of change in group identities. 

  The course is structured around a series of debates. What do we mean by “identity politics”? Does in-group bias arise from conflicting group interests and, if not, where does it come from? Can descriptive representation be a useful means for furthering group interests? How are group interests defined, and how do they change over time? Is it coherent to speak of group interests at all, or will the interests of groups always be contested? Finally, what effects (if any) can we expect demographic change to have on American politics? For each of these issues, this course aims to provide students with conceptual and empirical tools necessary to develop informed understandings of these debates.

 

Instructor: Joseph Warren

INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN POLITICS

Level
Semester
Units
4
Section
1
Number
1
CCN
15386
Times
MTWR 12-2pm
Location
REMOTE
Course Description

This course provides an overview of the U.S. political system from the nation's founding to the present. In addition to examining the core structures of our federal system, we will also explore a number of special topics, such as the evolution of civil rights and the causes of partisan gridlock. The course will pay particular attention to the role institutions play in shaping political conflict and, ultimately,in determining who wins and who loses.

Instructor: Thomas Kent

 

 

 

Comparative Political Economy of Developed Countries

Level
Semester
Units
4
Number
149I
CCN
15865
Times
MTWR 2-4pm
Location
REMOTE
Course Description
     While the struggle to develop is no small matter, once countries successfully join the  club of “developed” countries challenges do not disappear. Where developing countries  struggle to build, organize, and marshal the resources and institutions necessary to develop,  once countries have developed they are faced with new challenges of what to do with their  newfound (or long standing) capacity to execute public policy. Should they continue on an  endless spiral of economic growth? Are “post material” issues of equity which may have been  swept under the rug of material development now national priorities? What about new  frontiers and new challenges which seemed out of reach such as global standards, global  systems, climate crises, or the final frontier? There are very real and important questions of  what countries should do when they are heavily constrained by crime or accident of history  and are striving to develop on an uneven playing field. But once they have broken through  and developed, new questions begin to be asked. It is a tragedy when people starve because  there simply isn’t enough to go around but is it not more puzzling when people starve despite  their being more than enough to go around?  
        This course focuses on the problems, crises, and choices which face those countries  who have seemingly achieved what all countries desire: development and prosperity for their  citizens. It adopts a comparative, cross-national perspective to analyze the variety of ways  that different countries have attempted to address the common and specific challenges they  face once they have, in a very real sense, developed the capacity to do almost anything they  choose.  
        Empirical examples will be drawn from throughout the world and throughout the  history of developed countries after the industrial revolution. Particular emphasis will be  placed on the East Asian, European, and American experiences. 

 

Instructor: Konrad Posch

TOPICS IN AREA STUDIES: DICTATORSHIP AND ITS DISCONTENTS

Level
Semester
Instructor(s)
Units
4
Section
1
Number
149W
CCN
15395
Times
MTW 2-5pm
Location
REMOTE
Course Description

The overwhelming majority of governments throughout history have been dictatorial. Even the recent spread of democracy has not extirpated authoritarian rule: as of 2012 roughly one quarter of all countries are considered 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

 

Note: Course description is from Summer 2014

HISTORY OF POLITICAL THEORY: EARLY MODERN TO FRENCH REVOLUTION

Level
Semester
Instructor(s)
Units
4
Section
1
Number
112B
CCN
15399
Times
MTWR 10-12
Location
REMOTE
Course Description

The aim of this course is to introduce students to key texts and topics by some of the most significant and well known thinkers in the history early modern political thought writing roughly between 1500 and 1770. The works we will consider span the periods characterized by European historians as the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Enlightenment.

 

Please note that this course description is from Spring 2014.

American Constitutional Law

Level
Semester
Instructor(s)
Units
4
Section
1
Number
157A
CCN
12912
Times
MTWR 2-4pm
Location
REMOTE
Course Description

This course is designed as an introduction to the basic features of American constitutional law. Topics to be explored include the makeup and structure of government, the relationship of each branch to its peers and to the states, and the power granted to, and limits placed upon, the federal government by the Constitution. In the second half of the course, we will shift to explore the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantees of equal protection and due process, including questions regarding race, sex, and sexual orientation discrimination.

 

 

Instructor: David Schraub

INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN POLITICS

Level
Semester
Units
4
Section
1
Number
1
CCN
12768
Times
MTWT 4-6
Location
REMOTE
Course Description

This course provides an overview of the U.S. political system from the nation's founding to the present. In addition to examining the core structures of our federal system, we will also explore a number of special topics, such as the evolution of civil rights and the causes of partisan gridlock. The course will pay particular attention to the role institutions play in shaping political conflict and, ultimately,in determining who wins and who loses.

Instructor: Thomas Kent

 

 

 

The Politics of European Integration

Level
Semester
Units
4
Section
1
Number
122A
CCN
13104
Times
MTWR 10-12
Location
REMOTE
Course Description

For more than sixty years, the European Union has represented the world’s most advanced experiment in governance beyond the nation-state. More recently, however, this experiment has become mired in financial turbulence and growing social protest, and for the first time faces the withdrawal of a member. This course takes a broad view of the promise as well as the challenges of European integration. It looks at the EU’s institutional components, the events leading to the single currency in the 1990s, enlargement eastward into the post-socialist world, and the major crises that have been challenging Europe since 2008: the financial crisis, the rise of populism, and Brexit. These topics allow us to assess Europe’s ability to craft adequate responses to the challenges posed by economic transformation, terrorism, multiculturalism, and worldwide financial interdependence, and to come to a better understanding of the EU’s current and future role on the world stage.

Instructor: Matthew Stenberg

 

 

TOPICS IN AREA STUDIES: DICTATORSHIP AND ITS DISCONTENTS

Level
Semester
Instructor(s)
Units
4
Number
149W
CCN
13961
Times
MTW 9a-12p
Course Description

The overwhelming majority of governments throughout history have been dictatorial. Even the recent spread of democracy has not extirpated authoritarian rule: as of 2012 roughly one quarter of all countries are considered 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

 

Note: Course description is from Summer 2014

HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT: ANCIENT & MEDIEVAL

Level
Semester
Instructor(s)
Units
4
Number
N112A
CCN
14492
Times
MTWT 12p-2p
Location
Dwinelle 145
Course Description

This course will study the major texts of political theory in Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages, including (but not limited to) Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Politics, Cicero’s De Re Publica and De Legibus, Augustine’s De Civitate Dei, Aquinas’ Summa, and Marsilius’ Defensor Pacis.  Topics for study and examination will include the theory of the state in Antiquity and the Middle Ages; the concept of law and its relation to justice; theories concerning the source and scope of legitimate political authority; pre-modern ideas of democratic and non-democratic forms of rule; the nature of citizenship; pre-modern systems of political values.