Undergraduate

Selected Topics in American Politics: Liberal Democracy, Identity, and Nation in the United States

Semester
Spring 2024
Units
4
Section
1
Number
109M
CCN
21855
Times
MWF 11am-12pm
Location
SOCS60
Course Description

This course will explore the relationship between liberal democratic governance, identity, and nation in the United States. The course is interdisciplinary in nature, approaching the issues through the lenses of history, philosophy, law, and the social sciences. We will look at the historical roots of contemporary problems in the US such as political polarization, economic inequality, and the culture wars. We will explore the relationship between liberal democracy and different forms of identity, including racial, ethnic, gender, cultural, and national identities. In doing so we will try to shed light on contemporary social problems, and will discuss how to bring about stable, productive, and just social change in the United States.

The course is divided three main parts: (1) Core Concepts; (2) Liberalism, Democracy, and Governance; and (3) National Identity and Empire.

 

Instructor: Richard Ashcroft

Subfield: American Politics

Market Governance in the Digital Age

Semester
Spring 2024
Instructor(s)
Units
4
Section
1
Number
138D
CCN
33314
Course Description

This course will examine how government, firms, and individuals interact to govern markets by surveying debates over specific substantive issues in the advanced industrial countries, especially the United States. Topics include labor regulation, antitrust policy, financial regulation, and intellectual property rights.

 

 

 

Note: The meeting time is still being confirmed. This information will be available soon, please check back for more information.

 

International Political Economy

Semester
Spring 2024
Instructor(s)
Units
4
Section
1
Number
126A
CCN
19670
Times
Tu/Th 11am-12:30pm
Location
SOCS166
Course Description

This course explores the theories, history, and issues in international political economy. International political economy has been described as “the reciprocal and dynamic interaction in international relations of the pursuit of power and the pursuit of wealth.” The purpose of this course is to examine those interactions -- between power and wealth, the state and the market -- from a number of competing perspectives and different levels of analysis. We will focus on the causes and consequences of international trade and monetary relations; the growth of regional integration; the role of hegemony in maintaining the stability of international economic systems; strategies of economic development and transition; the role of multinational corporations in both developing and developed countries; and the drivers and consequences of migration and immigration. Student evaluations will be based on quizzes, short memos, sections, and a final exam.

 

 

Subfield: International Relations

 

Note: The discussion section times for this course are still being confirmed. We will post the course on the schedule of classes and the department website soon. Please check back.

 

Prerequisites

Although there are no formal prerequisites for this course, background in international relations, international economics, or post World War II history is essential. Students who have NOT taken any economics should NOT take the class.

INTRODUCTION TO EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS AND QUANTITATIVE METHODS

Semester
Spring 2024
Instructor(s)
Units
4
Section
1
Number
3
CCN
21659
Times
MW 5-6:30pm
Location
DWIN155
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.

 

Note: The discussion section times for this course are still being confirmed. We will post the course on the schedule of classes and the department website soon. Please check back.

 

 

Jurisprudence

Semester
Spring 2024
Instructor(s)
Units
4
Section
1
Number
117L
CCN
33305
Times
Tu/Th 9:30-11am
Location
CORY277
Course Description

A Classical Approach to Law. This course consists of two main parts. The first part will be a standard course on Roman private law. Using Barry Nicholas’ Roman Law, students will study the essential features of classical Roman law: persons, property, successions, obligations, and actions. Students will also study basic legal problems through study of select cases, recorded in Justinian’s Digest. The second part of the course will then introduce students to major texts and debates in jurisprudence, such as legal positivism, modern natural law theory, and interpretivism. This is an upper-level undergraduate course. Latin is not required, but students will be expected to learn key legal vocabulary in Latin.

 

Subfields:  Political Theory and Public Law

 

PS117L "Jurisprudence" used to be numbered PS116L "Roman Law".  Students who have taken PS116L "Roman Law" in Spring 2023 cannot take PS117L "Jurisprudence" due to the substantial course overlap.  

JUNIOR SEMINAR: The Middle East at the Crossroads: Democracy and Authoritarianism in Historical Perspective

Semester
Spring 2024
Units
4
Section
5
Number
191
CCN
13589
Times
Fri 10am-12pm
Location
SOCS202
Course Description

This course is a discussion-based seminar. It provides a deep dive into the historical development and comparative politics of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It
seeks to answer the following three interrelated questions: how did the modern MENA emerge over the past century? What kinds of states and regimes exist in the region?
And why does democracy seem so scarce in the MENA, despite many popular struggles for change? In answering these questions, this class takes a thematic approach in studying the region, with each weekly seminar devoted to a different topic, such as post-colonial state formation, the effects of oil wealth, the impact of religion and Islamism, the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the legacies of the Arab Spring. In tackling these topics, students will engage in close readings of scholarly texts, discuss these ideas and debates in class, and complete various assessments (such as presentations, response papers, and a final research essay).

Junior seminars fulfill upper division requirements for the major.

Subfield:   Comparative Politics

Instructor: Hicham Alaoui

Prerequisites

Political Science Majors of Junior and Senior Status.

JUNIOR SEMINAR: The Politics of Climate Change

Semester
Spring 2024
Instructor(s)
Units
4
Section
6
Number
191
CCN
13590
Times
Wed 12-2pm
Location
SOCS791
Course Description

Climate change is one of the most pressing global challenges of our generation. This junior seminar investigates the political dimensions of that challenge. Over the course of the semester we will explore a number of key questions, such as: Why is it so challenging for nations to cooperate on climate change? Why are some governments more climate-friendly than others? What leads firms and individuals to be more or less supportive of green policies? What are possible solutions to the problem? And, finally, which of these solutions shows the most promise?

Junior seminars fulfill upper division requirements for the major.

Subfield: International Relations

 

Prerequisites

Political Science Majors of Junior and Senior Status.

Berkeley Connect

Semester
Spring 2024
Instructor(s)
Units
4
Section
1
Number
198BC
Times
Tues 5-6pm
Location
SOCS202
Course Description

Berkeley Connect is a mentoring program, offered through various academic departments, that helps students build intellectual community. Over the course of a semester, enrolled students participate in regular small-group discussions facilitated by a graduate student mentor (following a faculty-directed curriculum), meet with their graduate student mentor for one-on-one academic advising, attend events and/or panel discussions, and go on field trips to campus resources. Students are not required to be declared majors in order to participate. There is no homework associated with Berkeley Connect: no exams, no papers, no quizzes.

JUNIOR SEMINAR: Data and Elections

Semester
Spring 2024
Instructor(s)
Units
4
Section
3
Number
191
CCN
13587
Times
Tues 10am-12pm
Location
SOCS791
Course Description

How do we know how supportive the public is of a president, whether they support existing or new policies, or otherwise measure the pulse of the nation?  How do campaigns decide where to send volunteers, where to buy advertising, or who is most persuadable?  How can we determine the effect of audits or observers on electoral fraud?  This class will investigate how data is used by campaigns during elections, as well as how data is used to study the impact of campaigns and events on elections.  “Big data” is powerful and how to understand and best use data in decision-making is rooted in basic statistical principles.  This class will focus on three core concepts in statistical inference, descriptive, predictive, and causal inference.  We will study descriptive inference through survey sampling and measuring public opinion; predictive inference through how campaigns use statistical (“machine”) learning to allocate resources; and causal inference through experimental and observational studies of electoral fraud and fairness.  This course will include an intensive data analysis portion.  Based on skills we learn in this class, students will analyze surveys, build predictive models, and conduct and interpret data analyses using the R programming language.  Students will conduct their own original analysis in a final project.

Junior seminars fulfill upper division requirements for the major.

Subfield:   Methods

Prerequisites

Political Science Majors of Junior and Senior Status.

Completion of PS3 or Data C8/PS88.

PS3 or Data C8/PS88 is a prerequisite for this class. Students who have not taken PS3 or Data C8/PS88 will not be admitted to PS191 Sec 003, without exception, since PS191 Sec 003 assumes familiarity of political science methods. 

We will be monitoring enrollment. If you have not taken PS3 or Data C8/PS88, you will be DROPPED.

JUNIOR SEMINAR: Institutions, Development, and Legacies of New World Empires

Semester
Spring 2024
Instructor(s)
Units
4
Section
4
Number
191
CCN
13588
Times
Thurs 1-3pm
Location
SOCS791
Course Description

Most of the "New World" was at one time governed by a European colonial empire. Moreover, the governing institutions of these empires powerfully affects the nation-states of the western hemisphere today. In this seminar we will investigate the political-economic institutions of major New World empires, especially those of Spain, England, and France. We will focus on the character of their institutions, why they were established, how they evolved over time, and their legacies for political-economic development in contemporary North and South America. We will focus on readings from political science, economics, and history.

 

Junior seminars fulfill upper division requirements for the major.

 

 

Prerequisites

Political Science Majors of Junior and Senior Status.

Completion of PS3.

PS3 is a prerequisite for this class. Students who have not taken PS3 will not be admitted to PS191 Sec 004, without exception, since PS191 Sec 004 assumes familiarity of political science methods.  We will be monitoring enrollment. If you have not taken PS3, you will be DROPPED. The course will include assessment of quantitative evidence and simple models of strategic reasoning. PS3 or permission of instructor is a prerequisite.