Session A

Special Topics in American Politics: The Politics of Public Policy

Level
Semester
Summer 2022
Instructor(s)
Units
4
Section
1
Number
109B
CCN
15517
Times
N/A
Location
INTR
Course Description

Government policy deeply influences every aspect of our lives, including the quality of the universities we attend, how much it costs for a gallon of gas, what training we must obtain to take what jobs, what technologies are available to us to use, who we can marry, whether we can afford critical necessities such as housing, and what medical treatments we are allowed or not allowed to obtain. Why do governments make the policies they do? How can advocates craft effective political strategies to influence government policy? This course focuses on understanding the political forces that shape public policy, including interest groups, public pressure, political parties, and voters. In contrast to a public policy course, this course will not consider what ideal public policies should be, but rather consider why governments make the policies they do. This course is suitable for anyone interested in politics or policy. Students will learn tools that will allow them to think like political strategists and understand how they and others influence government in practice.

 

Summer 2022 Asynchronous Lecture and Discussions will be offered ONLINE only.

 

If you have completed PS191 with Prof. Trachtman you cannot also enroll in PS109B due to content overlap.

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT IN EASTERN EUROPE

Level
Semester
Summer 2022
Instructor(s)
Units
4
Section
1
Number
141C
CCN
14098
Times
MTW 2-5pm
Location
BIRG50
Course Description

Why are some post-communist countries more politically and economically successful than others? What underlies the many conflicts in this region? What can happen in the future, and what can we learn from the East European experience? This course is designed to help you answer these and similar questions. Topics include state-socialism and its collapse, the emergence of ethnic and religious conflict, the transitions to democracy and market economics, entry into NATO and the European Union, democratic backsliding, and Russia's conflict with Ukraine.

Selected Topics in Comparative Politics: Women in Politics in Comparative Perspective

Level
Semester
Summer 2021
Units
4
Number
140M
CCN
14351
Times
MTWR 2-4pm
Location
REMOTE
Course Description

   Women make up around 49.5% of the global population, yet they are strikingly underrepresented when it comes to political office. Looking at the global average, women only hold 24% of seats at the parliamentary level. The percent of women in office varies drastically between countries. For example, quota-based countries like Rwanda have 60% women in parliament, whereas countries with unique electoral systems like Lebanon only have 4.7%. This course looks to explain this variation, and further understand the consequences of it. We will focus on questions such as: How do electoral systems affect women’s access to elected office?  What, if any, are the negative effects of imposing gender quotas? If elected, do women promote greater substantive representation? We will look into the potential for gender-based discrimination among socialized gender roles, voters, political parties, campaign policies, and the media. Please be advised that this is not a course on feminist theory, but rather an investigation of the barriers to women’s representation and political participation.

 

Instructor: Melanie Phillips

The Politics of European Integration

Level
Semester
Summer 2021
Units
4
Number
122A
CCN
15392
Times
MTWR 10am-12pm
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

 

 

CIVIL CONFLICT AND INTERNATIONAL INTERVENTION

Level
Semester
Summer 2021
Instructor(s)
Units
4
Section
1
Number
125
CCN
15567
Times
MTWR 12-2pm
Location
REMOTE
Course Description

Civil conflicts—civil wars and terrorist campaigns—are among the major threats to peace in the current system. This course addresses explores why, and to what end, civil conflicts fought. It then focuses in on the question of when, why, and how international actors intervene in civil conflicts—especially to end them. Students will have the opportunity to better understand what we know about civil conflict termination and international intervention in that process. These questions also produce answers about the processes by which peace agreements are signed; why peace sometimes lasts and what can be done to make peace more durable; as well as the longer-term prospects for rebuilding after war. This course draws on different theoretical and empirical approaches to actively ask and answer these questions. It is designed to help you: (1) actively engage with the existing research to begin to understand the causes, strategies, and consequences of civil conflict and international intervention, (2) broaden your theoretical framework in international relations generally, (3) develop your critical thinking and writing on these topics through in-class exercises, assignments, and discussion in sections.

 

Recommended:   Familiarity with social science methodology at the level of PS 3 is needed for this course.

 

Psychology of Politics

Level
Semester
Summer 2020
Units
4
Section
1
Number
N164A
CCN
12760
Times
MTWT 4-6
Location
REMOTE
Course Description

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a basic framework for understanding howpsychological processes impact citizens’ political decision-making, attitudes, behaviors, and identities.
Over six weeks, we will look at theories and evidence from social, cognitive, behavioral, anddevelopmental psychology, which will we then apply to modern and historical political conflicts and
dilemmas. Throughout the course, we will also consider how well psychology explains various political phenomena, relative to approaches from economics and other fields.

Instructor: Sean Freeder

TOPICS IN AREA STUDIES: DICTATORSHIP AND ITS DISCONTENTS

Level
Semester
Summer 2020
Instructor(s)
Units
4
Section
1
Number
149W
CCN
12410
Times
MTW 1-4pm
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

Selected Topics in Comparative Politics: Women in Politics in Comparative Perspective

Level
Semester
Summer 2020
Units
4
Section
1
Number
140M
CCN
15332
Times
MTWR 10-12
Location
REMOTE
Course Description

Women make up around 49.5% of the global population, yet they are strikingly underrepresented when it comes to political office. Looking at the global average, women only hold 24% of seats at the parliamentary level. The percent of women in office varies drastically between countries. For example, quota-based countries like Rwanda have 60% women in parliament, whereas countries with unique electoral systems like Lebanon only have 4.7%. This course looks to explain this variation, and further understand the consequences of it. We will focus on questions such as: How do electoral systems affect women’s access to elected office?  What, if any, are the negative effects of imposing gender quotas? If elected, do women promote greater substantive representation? We will look into the potential for gender-based discrimination among socialized gender roles, voters, political parties, campaign policies, and the media. Please be advised that this is not a course on feminist theory, but rather an investigation of the barriers to women’s representation and political participation.

Instructor: Melanie Phillips

The Politics of European Integration

Level
Semester
Summer 2019
Units
4
Section
1
Number
122A
CCN
15916
Times
MTWR 10-12
Location
390 Hearst Memorial Mining Building
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

 

 

Special Topics in American Politics: Conservatism, From Burke to Bannon

Level
Semester
Summer 2019
Units
4
Section
1
Number
109D
CCN
15844
Times
MTWR 12pm-2pm
Location
Dwinelle 145
Course Description

What is conservatism?  Is it distinct from liberalism—that is, is conservatism a body of ideas contrary to liberalism, or is it a branch of liberalism?  In other words, is conservatism in fact an “ism”?  What are the fundamental differences between conservative and liberal perspectives today?  Is conservatism the most significant challenge to the liberal idea today, or its erstwhile ally?

This course will explore these and related questions, such as the range of conservative perspectives on human nature, authority, religion, social change and progress, science and technology, race and ethnicity, economics and markets, equality, individual rights, the State and civil society, and ethics.  The first half of the course will explore the philosophical, historical, and trans-Atlantic roots of conservative philosophy and social thought before turning to the specifically American variants of conservatism. The subdivisions of modern conservatism—libertarianism, traditional/“paleo,” neoconservatism, religious conservatism, etc.—will be defined and contrasted with each other. 

The second half of the course will transition to contemporary issues of social policy, the debates over economics, “neoliberalism,” equality, race, sex, class, national identity, immigration, and social justice. Ultimately the course is about what it means to be a free human being, and what are the requirements and institutions of a free society that support a free human being.

Instructor: Steven F. Hayward