Courses

Please note: Course descriptions for 2015–2016 are still being finalized by the Registrar's office.

Fall 2015

  • POSC 120: Democracy and Dictatorship

    An introduction to the array of different democratic and authoritarian political institutions in both developing and developed countries. We will also explore key issues in contemporary politics in countries around the world, such as nationalism and independence movements, revolution, regime change, state-making, and social movements. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · D. Gupta, A. Montero
  • POSC 122: Politics in America: Liberty and Equality

    An introduction to American government and politics. Focus on the Congress, Presidency, political parties and interest groups, the courts and the Constitution. Particular attention will be given to the public policy debates that divide liberals and conservatives and how these divisions are rooted in American political culture. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016 · R. Keiser, S. Schier
  • POSC 150: The Political Thought of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the American Civil Rights Movemen

    What justifies self-defense and retaliation in defending civil rights and liberty? What moral reasoning and strategies offer alternatives to using physical violence in a social movement to gain civil rights? Our seminar examines the American Civil Rights Movement 1954 and 1968, and compares the writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X to learn about nonviolent direct action, self-defense, and the use of "any means necessary" to right the wrongs of racial injustice. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2015 · B. Allen
  • POSC 160: Political Philosophy

    Introduction to ancient and modern political philosophy. We will investigate several fundamentally different approaches to the basic questions of politics--questions concerning the character of political life, the possibilities and limits of politics, justice, and the good society--and the philosophic presuppositions (concerning human nature and human flourishing) that underlie these, and all, political questions. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Fall 2015, Spring 2016 · L. Cooper, M. Czobor-Lupp
  • POSC 170: International Relations and World Politics

    What are the foundational theories and practices of international relations and world politics? This course addresses topics of a geopolitical, commercial and ideological character as they relate to global systems including: great power politics, polycentricity, and international organizations. It also explores the dynamic intersection of world politics with war, terrorism, nuclear weapons, national security, human security, human rights, and the globalization of economic and social development. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · H. Bou Nassif, T. Myint
  • POSC 201: Lobbyists, Wonks and Social Media: Public Policy Making in Democracy

    This course explores the process of policy making in the United States.  We will also explore the diffusion of US policy ideas and technology across the globe.  The effectiveness of elected officials, lobbyists, idea entrepreneurs, and grass roots activists will be contrasted; techniques of agenda setting and agenda denial will be emphasized. Students from all majors interested in careers in public policy are welcome. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2015 · R. Keiser
  • POSC 207: Urban Politics in a Global Era

    Are cities microcosms of state or nation? How has the role of immigrant-port-of-entry affected the politics of cities? What has been the impact of population shift to the suburbs? Are African-Americans and Latinos fighting over an inconsequential hole-in-the-doughnut in Chicago and Los Angeles? What is the significance of living wage and gay rights movements in cities? Why do European and American cities seem so different, and are there signs of convergence in the era of globalization?  6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · R. Keiser
  • POSC 224: Measuring and Evaluating Social and Ecological Systems

    The Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) and Social Ecological Systems (SES) Frameworks are designed to provide data on social, economic, and political institutions and the physical environment in such a way that we can understand the reciprocal effects of institutional and environmental change. We will learn these frameworks and the methods used to measure changes in various natural resource systems. Our focus in 2015 will be on the measurement of forests and the microclimates produced by trees in, for example, urban areas. 3 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · B. Allen
  • POSC 225: The Global-Local Commons: Sustainability, Diversity & Self-Government in Complex Social-Ecological S

    This course introduces students to the study of commons (common pool resources and common property), particularly natural resources commons. The dilemmas of commons governance often reveal links between "governments" and "governance" as well as the global stakes of bettering local livelihoods. Our 2015 focus is on social and ecological systems (SES) linked directly with climate change, including forests and water resources. Students are strongly encouraged to take the five-week accompanying lab, POSC 224 Measuring and Evaluating Social and Ecological Systems. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · B. Allen
  • POSC 230: Methods of Political Research

    An introduction to research method, research design, and the analysis of political data. The course is intended to introduce students to the fundamentals of scientific inquiry as they are employed in the discipline. The course will consider the philosophy of scientific research generally, the philosophy of social science research, theory building and theory testing, the components of applied (quantitative and qualitative) research across the major sub-fields of political science, and basic methodological tools. Intended for majors only. Prerequisites: Mathematics 115, 215, 245 or AP Statistics (score of 4 or 5). 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2015 · G. Marfleet, K. Freeze
  • POSC 231: American Foreign Policy

    An introduction to the actors and processes of American foreign policymaking and to the substance of American foreign policy. The course aims to provide students with an understanding of how knowledge of the past, the global policy environment, the processes of foreign policymaking, and the specifics of a foreign policy issue come together to help determine modern American foreign policy. The course will review the structure of the international system of states, state power and interests, the historical context of American foreign policy, actors in American foreign affairs, models of foreign policy decision making, and the instruments of foreign policy. Prerequisites: POSC 122 or AP American Government or AP US History highly recommended. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · S. Schier
  • POSC 241: Ethnic Conflict

    Ethnic conflict is a persistent and troubling challenge for those interested in preserving international peace and stability. By one account, ethnic violence has claimed more than ten million lives since 1945, and in the 1990s, ethnic conflicts comprised nearly half of all ongoing conflicts around the world. In this course, we will attempt to understand the conditions that contribute to ethnic tensions, identify the triggers that lead to escalation, and evaluate alternative ideas for managing and solving such disputes. The course will draw on a number of cases, including Rwanda, Bosnia, and Northern Ireland. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · D. Gupta
  • POSC 248: The U.S.-China Relationship

    This course will examine the interaction between China and America from the inception in the late eighteenth century to the present, with greater emphasis on more recent events. The focus will be on evaluating the underlying and persisting factors which have made Sino-U.S. relations so special and difficult. 3 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · B. Levin
  • POSC 250: Ancient Political Philosophy: Plato's Republic

    Cross-listed with POSC 350. In this course we will examine ancient political philosophy through the intensive study of Plato's Republic, perhaps the greatest work of political philosophy ever written. What is morality? Why should a person behave morally? Wouldn't it be more satisfying to be a tyrant? What is the best way of life? What would a perfect society look like? What would be its customs and institutions, and who would rule? What would it demand of us, and would that price be worth paying? These are some of the politically (and personally) vital questions addressed by the book. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Fall 2015 · L. Cooper
  • POSC 251: Modern Political Philosophy: Science and Humanity

    The modern age has been characterized by the unprecedented advance of natural science and the attempt to achieve technological mastery of nature. How did this come about? What worldview does this express, and how does that worldview affect the way we live and think? We will investigate these questions by studying classic works by some of modernity's philosophic founders (including Bacon, Descartes, and Hobbes) and some of its most penetrating interpreters and critics (including Jonathan Swift and Nietzsche). 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · L. Cooper
  • POSC 268: Global Environmental Politics and Policy

    Global environmental politics and policy is the most prominent field that challenges traditional state-centric ways of thinking about international problems and solutions. This course examines local-global dynamics of environmental problems. The course will cover five arenas crucial to understanding the nature and origin of global environmental politics and policymaking mechanisms: (1) international environmental law; (2) world political orders; (3) human-environment interactions through politics and markets; (4) paradigms of sustainable development; and (5) dynamics of human values and rules. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · T. Myint
  • POSC 271: Constitutional Law I

    Covers American constitutional law and history from the founding to the breakdown of the constitution in secession crisis. Extensive attention will be paid to the constitutional convention and other sources of constitutional law in addition to Supreme Court cases. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2015 · K. Smith
  • POSC 274: Political Psychology of Presidential Foreign Policy Decision Making

    This course examines the intersection of politics, personality and social psychology as applied to the analysis of U.S. foreign policy. It investigates the impact of individuals, group processes, political and social cognition, and political context on foreign policy decision-making. It explores questions such as: How do personalities of political leaders affect decision-making? How do processes of group decision making affect outcomes? How do individual differences in social and political perception shape elite decision-making? Case studies will be drawn from major episodes in U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War and post-Cold War era. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · G. Marfleet
  • POSC 276: Imagination in Politics

    The course explores the bipolarity of imagination, the fact that imagination can be both a source of freedom and domination in contemporary politics.  The main focus of the course is the capacity literature and film have to either increase the autonomous capacity of individuals to engage culture and language in a creative and interactive manner in the construction of their identities, or in a direction that increases their fascination with images and myths and, consequently, the escapist desire to pull these out of the living dialogue with others. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · M. Czobor-Lupp
  • POSC 313: Legal Issues in Higher Education

    This seminar will explore pressing legal and policy issues facing American colleges and universities. The course will address the ways core academic values (e.g., academic freedom; the creation and maintenance of a community based on shared values) fit or conflict with legal rules and political dynamics that operate beyond the academy.  Likely topics include how college admissions are shaped by legal principles, with particular emphasis on debates over affirmative action; on-campus speech; faculty tenure; intellectual property; student rights and student discipline (including discipline for sexual assault); and college and university relations with the outside world. 3 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2015 · S. Poskanzer
  • POSC 332: Religion and Politics*

    In this class, we will investigate the relationship between politics and religion around the world. It is not a class on theology or belief systems. Instead, we will focus on describing and explaining how religious beliefs and organizations affect political outcomes and vice-versa. Topics will include the relationship between religion and the state, the political dimensions of religious movements, the religious dimensions of political movements, and how religious perspectives on such issues as gender, sexuality, race, and war reinforce or clash with political values and policy.  6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · D. Gupta
  • POSC 334: Global Public Health*

    This seminar covers a variety of public health issues in advanced capitalist and developing countries, including communicable diseases, neglected tropical diseases and scourges such as malaria, dengue, and AIDS, the effectiveness of foreign aid, and the challenges of reforming health care systems. Emphasis will be on how these issues interact with patterns of economic and social development and the capacity of states and international regimes. Students will develop a perspective on public policy using materials from diverse fields such as political science, epidemiology, history, economics, and sociology. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · A. Montero
  • POSC 337: Political Economy of Happiness*

    This course explores the political determinants of happiness in the United States and around the world. What makes citizens happier in one country compared to another? When might political institutions be most successful at producing happiness among people? What is the relationship between economic inequality, development, redistribution and happiness? The course starts by examining how happiness is conceptualized and measured in public opinion data, before exploring the political economy of happiness globally. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · K. Freeze
  • POSC 338: Politics of Inequality and Poverty*

    The unequal distribution of income and assets is arguably the most important issue in many political systems around the world, and debates over the appropriate role of government in fighting inequality form a primary dimension of political competition. In this course, we will explore the politics surrounding economic inequality around the world. We will discuss how inequality influences political participation in democracies and dictatorships, shapes prospects for democratic transition/consolidation, and affects economic growth and social well-being. We will also examine when and how political institutions can mitigate negative aspects of inequality. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · K. Freeze
  • POSC 361: Approaches to Development*

    The meaning of "development" has been contested across multiple disciplines. The development and continual existence of past civilizations has been at the core of the discourse among those who study factors leading to the rise and fall of civilizations. Can we reconcile the meaning of development in economic terms with cultural, ecological, political, religious, social and spiritual terms? How can we measure it quantitatively? What and how do the UNDP Human Development Indexes and the World Development Reports measure? What are the exemplary cases that illustrate development? How do individual choices and patterns of livelihood activities link to development trends? 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · T. Myint
  • POSC 371: Modern Political Philosophy: Science and Humanity*

    The modern age has been characterized by the unprecedented advance of natural science and the attempt to achieve technological mastery of nature. How did this come about? What worldview does this express, and how does that worldview affect the way we live and think? We will investigate these questions by studying classic works by some of modernity's philosophic founders (including Bacon, Descartes, and Hobbes) and some of its most penetrating interpreters and critics (including Jonathan Swift and Nietzsche). 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · L. Cooper
  • POSC 400: Integrative Exercise

    6 credit; S/NC; offered Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016 · Staff

Winter 2016

  • POSC 122: Politics in America: Liberty and Equality

    An introduction to American government and politics. Focus on the Congress, Presidency, political parties and interest groups, the courts and the Constitution. Particular attention will be given to the public policy debates that divide liberals and conservatives and how these divisions are rooted in American political culture. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016 · R. Keiser, S. Schier
  • POSC 203: Political Communication: Political Advertising in Elections and Public Policy

    Crosslisted with POSC 303. How does political advertising influence the electorate? How does political advertising influence our understanding of policy proposals? Election ads along with the 6-second "sound bite" are now among the major forms of political communication in modern democracies. Add to these forms a battery of visual "arguments" seen in news media, film, and paid ads aimed at persuading us to adopt various policy positions. We will study how ads are created and "work" from the standpoint of political psychology and film analysis. Our policy focus for 2016 will be on climate change and the 2016 general election. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Winter 2016 · B. Allen
  • POSC 211: Environment and the Evolution of Rules: Designing Institutions to Solve Political Problems

    How can we design democratic institutions to deal with environmental and social problems? Are there universal approaches to solving political problems in physically and socially diverse communities? Do people come up with different institutional ways to address shared problems because of environmental or cultural differences? By examining basic principles of institutional design you will learn how to analyze constitutions, public policies, international treaties, and other "rule ordered relationships" that different people have created to deal with environmental concerns and, generally, the health and welfare of their communities. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Winter 2016 · B. Allen
  • POSC 212: Environmental Justice

    The environmental justice movement seeks greater participation by marginalized communities in environmental policy, and equity in the distribution of environmental harms and benefits. This course will examine the meaning of "environmental justice," the history of the movement, the empirical foundation for the movement's claims, and specific policy questions. Our focus is the United States, but students will have the opportunity to research environmental justice in other countries. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2016 · K. Smith
  • POSC 220: Politics and Political History in Film

    How do representations of politics in film influence our ideas about governance, citizenship, power, and authority? How do film and TV reflect values and beliefs of democratic society, particularly in the United States? These are two questions that we will consider in the course as we study films representing politics and historical events in fiction and non-fiction genres for entertainment and education. Films to be analyzed include: Battle of Algiers, Fog of War, Cape Fear (1963), Manchurian Candidate (1960), Advise and Consent, All the President's Men, Primary, War Room, The Mushroom Club, Fahrenheit 9/11, When the Levees Broke. 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; offered Winter 2016 · B. Allen
  • POSC 221: Latin American Politics

    Comparative study of political institutions and conflicts in selected Latin American countries. Attention is focused on general problems and patterns of development, with some emphasis on U.S.-Latin American relations. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2016 · A. Montero
  • POSC 245: Politics of the Middle East I (1918-67)

    This course covers the colonial and early post-colonial period of Middle East history and politics. When the Ottoman Empire collapsed in 1918, France and Britain redrew the map of the region drastically, and new states such as Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon were carved out of old Ottoman provinces. Since this formative period the quest for stability in the Middle East has proved elusive. Many ills still plaguing the region today find their roots in the dynamics of the era under study. The main goal of the course is to explore the historical origins of current Middle East politics. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2016 · H. Bou Nassif
  • POSC 256: Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil

    Crosslisted with POSC 350 Nietzsche understood himself to be living at a moment of great endings: the exhaustion of modernity, the self-undermining of rationalism, the self-overcoming of morality--in short, and most stunningly, the "death of God." Nietzsche both foresaw and tried to accelerate these endings. But he also tried to bring about a new beginning, a culture that he believed would be life-affirming and life-enhancing. In this course we will engage in a close study of Beyond Good and Evil, perhaps Nietzsche's most beautiful book and probably his most political one. Selections from some of his other books will also be assigned. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Winter 2016 · L. Cooper
  • POSC 259: Justice Among Nations

    Crosslisted with POSC 349. The purpose of this course is to bring to bear great works of political philosophy on the foundational questions of international politics.  Our primary text will be Thucydides' gripping history of The Peloponnesian War. Thucydides was perhaps the greatest thinker about international relations that the world has seen. He was also a political philosopher--and psychologist--of the first rank.  His book teaches much not only about politics but about human nature. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Winter 2016 · L. Cooper
  • POSC 265: Capitalist Crises, Power, and Policy

    This course examines the interaction of national politics and international economic activity. Topics include the relationship between national and international finance, global competitiveness, and economic development. Case studies drawn from every continent. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Winter 2016 · K. Freeze
  • POSC 266: Urban Political Economy

    City revenue is increasingly dependent on tourism. Cities manufacture identity and entertainment, whether we think of Las Vegas or Jerusalem, Berlin or Bilbao, the ethnoscapes of Copenhagen or the red light district of Amsterdam. As cities compete in the global economy to become playgrounds for a transnational tourist class, what is the role of urban residents? Who governs? Who benefits? Short essays or exams will be required. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2016 · R. Keiser
  • POSC 277: Religion in Politics: Conflict or Dialogue?

    The course explores the relationship between religion and politics, especially in multicultural societies where believers and nonbelievers alike must live together. The leading question of the course is if religion is a source of violence, as seems to be so much the case in the world today, or if it can enter the public sphere in ways that educate and enhance the sensibility and ability of modern individuals to live with radically different others. In the attempt to answer these questions we will read, among others, from the writings of Kant, Habermas, Herder, Derrida, Ricoeur, Taylor, and Zizek. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2016 · M. Czobor-Lupp
  • POSC 278: Memory and Politics

    The ways in which human societies narrate their past can powerfully impact their politics. It can enhance their capacity to be just or it can undermine it. The fashion in which history is told can help societies avoid conflict and it can heal the lingering memory of previous wars. At the same time, historical narratives can escalate violence and deepen socio-cultural and political divisions, inequality, and oppression. In this course we will learn about the various connections between history and politics by reading the works of G. W. F. Hegel, Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Foucault, Hannah Arendt, and Paul Ricoeur. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2016 · M. Czobor-Lupp
  • POSC 303: Political Communication: Political Advertising in Elections and Public Policy*

    Crosslisted with POSC 203.  How does political advertising influence the electorate? How does political advertising influence our understanding of policy proposals? Election ads along with the 6-second "sound bite" are now among the major forms of political communication in modern democracies. Add to these forms a battery of visual "arguments" seen in news media, film, and paid ads aimed at persuading us to adopt various policy positions. We will study how ads are created and "work" from the standpoint of political psychology and film analysis. Our policy focus for 2016 will be on climate change and the 2016 general election. Students enrolled in the 303 version will conduct more extensive analysis of data for their seminar papers. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Winter 2016 · B. Allen
  • POSC 330: The Complexity of Politics*

    Theories of complexity and emergence relate to how large-scale collective properties and characteristics of a system can arise from the behavior and attributes of component parts. This course explores the relevance of these concepts, studied mainly in physics and biology, for the social sciences. Students will explore agent-based modeling to discover emergent properties of social systems through computer simulations they create using NetLogo software. Reading and seminar discussion topics include conflict and cooperation, electoral competition, transmission of culture and social networks. Completion of the stats/methods sequence is highly recommended. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2016 · G. Marfleet
  • POSC 349: Justice Among Nations

    Crosslisted with POSC 259. The purpose of this course is to bring to bear great works of political philosophy on the foundational questions of international politics.  Our primary text will be Thucydides gripping History of The Peloponnesian War. Thucydides was perhaps the greatest thinker about international relations that the world has seen. He was also a political philosopher--and psychologist--of the first rank.  His book teaches much not only about politics but about human nature. Students enrolled in the 359 version will complete a more detailed and longer seminar paper that may be the basis for comps in a subsequent term. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Winter 2016 · L. Cooper
  • POSC 366: Urban Political Economy*

    City revenue is increasingly dependent on tourism. Cities manufacture identity and entertainment, whether we think of Las Vegas or Jerusalem, Berlin or Bilbao, the ethnoscapes of Copenhagen or the red light district of Amsterdam. As cities compete in the global economy to become playgrounds for a transnational tourist class, what is the role of urban residents? Who governs? Who benefits? A research paper will be required. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2016 · R. Keiser
  • POSC 378: Political Economy & Ecology of Southeast Asia: Social Changes in Southeast Asia

    Informed by the assigned readings, students will visit markets, factories, farms, and various cultural and natural sites to see first-hand the changes and challenges occurring in these areas. The course covers: (1) issues of livelihood transition from rural to urban; (2) the interaction between market systems and social relations; and (3) the impact on society of changes in physical infrastructures such as roads and telecommunication. Students will keep a journal and produce three thematic short essays, a 15-20-minute video, or a well-organized blog to document their learning. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2016 · T. Myint, Local Faculty
  • POSC 379: Political Econ & Ecology of S.E. Asia: Diversity of Social Ecological Systems in Southeast Asia

    Connecting the first and the second components, this course examines key actors, issues, and interests in the political economy of and ecology of Southeast Asia. Students will connect economy to ecology in Southeast Asia by connecting field experiences and observation to real data, facts, and cases that illustrate the interaction between economy and ecology. This course requires students to identify a topic of interest based on their field experience, research it using techniques taught in the field research and methods course, and write a research report in the form of a term paper.  6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2016 · T. Myint
  • POSC 400: Integrative Exercise

    6 credit; S/NC; offered Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016 · Staff

Spring 2016

  • POSC 122: Politics in America: Liberty and Equality

    An introduction to American government and politics. Focus on the Congress, Presidency, political parties and interest groups, the courts and the Constitution. Particular attention will be given to the public policy debates that divide liberals and conservatives and how these divisions are rooted in American political culture. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016 · R. Keiser, S. Schier
  • POSC 160: Political Philosophy

    Introduction to ancient and modern political philosophy. We will investigate several fundamentally different approaches to the basic questions of politics--questions concerning the character of political life, the possibilities and limits of politics, justice, and the good society--and the philosophic presuppositions (concerning human nature and human flourishing) that underlie these, and all, political questions. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Fall 2015, Spring 2016 · L. Cooper, M. Czobor-Lupp
  • POSC 208: The American Presidency

    A study of the contemporary presidency, with a focus on the development of the institutional presidency, presidential personality, and the presidency's relations with other institutions in the American and international political systems. Particular attention will be devoted to the presidencies of Barack Obama and George W. Bush. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2016 · S. Schier
  • POSC 218: Schools, Scholarship and Policy in the United States

    What can scholarship tell us about educational strategies to reduce achievement gaps and economic opportunity? Do the policies promoted at the city, state and federal levels reflect that knowledge? How are these policies made? What is the relationship between schools and the economic class, racial composition and housing stock of their neighborhoods? Prerequisites: Sophomore Standing 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2016 · R. Keiser
  • POSC 232: Chinese Foreign Policy

    The "Rise of China" over the past 35 years presents challenges and opportunities for the United States and other countries around the world. This course examines China's growing and changing influence in the world.  The course starts by exploring historical Chinese foreign policy, from Imperial China through the Cold War. The course then examines a variety of different theories and factors explaining the general nature of China's foreign policy. The course concludes by detailing China's current bilateral relationships with specific countries and regions around the world. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2016 · K. Freeze
  • POSC 236: Global, National and Human Security

    What are the greatest threats to national and global security? In this course we will explore a range of traditional security topics including: the proliferation of WMDs, terrorism, piracy, insurgencies, arms races, territorial disputes and strategic rivalries. In addition to these classic concerns, we also consider newer ones such as cyber-security, the threat of global pandemics, unmanned warfare and the impact of climate change. Our study begins and concludes with the debate over the concept of security in the twenty-first century. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2016 · G. Marfleet
  • POSC 240: On America and Its Wars

    From a nation which prided itself on remaining aloof from the intrigues and struggles of foreign powers, the United States over the past century has become regularly involved in a series of major and limited wars. The course will examine a number of these conflicts and the debates that surrounded them in the hope of discerning the influence they may have on America's ongoing role and behavior in the international arena. 3 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2016
  • POSC 246: Politics of the Middle East II (1967-2011)

    The course covers the major political events in the Middle East between 1967 and 2011, including the continuation of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the 1973 war and its aftermath, and the rise of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in Arab politics. We will also probe the upsurge of political Islam with special emphasis on the Muslim Brothers in Egypt and Hezbollah in Lebanon. In addition, the course covers the crises of the Arab authoritarian order in the last two decades leading to the Arab 2011 uprising, failure to foster economic development, and the consequences on Arab societies in the Middle East. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2016 · H. Bou Nassif
  • POSC 247: Comparative Nationalism

    Nationalism is an ideology that political actors have frequently harnessed to support a wide variety of policies ranging from intensive economic development to genocide. But what is nationalism? Where does it come from? And what gives it such emotional and political power? This course investigates competing ideas about the sources of nationalism, its evolution, and its political uses in state building, legitimation, development, and war. We will consider both historic examples of nationalism, as well as contemporary cases drawn from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the United States. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2016 · D. Gupta
  • POSC 255: Post-Modern Political Thought

    The thought and practice of the modern age have been found irredeemably oppressive, alienating, dehumanizing, and/or exhausted by a number of leading philosophic thinkers in recent years. In this course we will explore the critiques and alternative visions offered by a variety of post-modern thinkers, including Nietzsche (in many ways the first post-modern), Heidegger, Foucault, and Derrida. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Spring 2016 · M. Czobor-Lupp
  • POSC 258: Politics and Ambition

    Is personal ambition a threat to peace and the public good or is it a prod to nobility and heroism? Does it exemplify the opposition between self and society or does it represent their intersection and mutual support­--or both? Drawing on literary, philosophical, and historical works this course will take up these and other questions as part of a broad examination of the role of ambition in politics.  6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Spring 2016 · L. Cooper
  • POSC 282: Terrorism and Violence in World Politics

    This course will focus on the use of violence in world politics, with a specific emphasis on terrorism and crimes against humanity. The atrocities perpetrated by ISIS are the latest examples of violence targeting non-combatants. What is the strategic logic of terrorism? Why do some militant organizations resort to terror tactics but not others? What are the micro-dynamics of terrorist organizations pertaining to recruitment and indoctrination? We will tackle these questions from theoretical and empirical perspectives. We will also discuss issues such as genocides, humanitarian intervention, and the emergence of the right to protect doctrine. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2016 · H. Bou Nassif
  • POSC 283: Separatist Movements

    This course explores the emergence and resolution of separatist movements around the world. While separatist movements are often associated with the violent dissolution of states, not all separatist movements result in violence and not all separatist movements seek independence. We will investigate the conditions under which separatist pressures are most likely to develop and when such pressures result in actual separation. We will contrast the tactics of movements, from peaceful approaches in places like contemporary Quebec or Scotland, to peaceful outcomes like the "velvet divorce" of Czechoslovakia, to violent insurrections in places like the Philippines, Spain, and Northern Ireland. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Spring 2016 · D. Gupta
  • POSC 284: War and Peace in Northern Ireland

    This class examines the decades-long conflict in Northern Ireland between Catholics and Protestants known as "The Troubles." We will investigate the causes of violence in this region and explore the different phases of the conflict, including initial mobilization of peaceful protestors, radicalization into violent resistance, and de-escalation. We will also consider the international dimensions of the conflict and how groups forged transnational ties with diaspora groups and separatist movements around the world. Finally, we will explore the consequences of this conflict on present-day Northern Ireland's politics and identify lessons from the peace process for other societies in conflict. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2016 · D. Gupta
  • POSC 286: The Vietnam War with Reflections on Iraq and Afghanistan

    The course will examine America's wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. The similarities and differences between these conflicts will be analyzed in an effort to determine the influences that shape America's decision to go to war. 3 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2016 · B. Levin
  • POSC 320: Authoritarianism and Democratization in the Middle East*

    This course analyzes theories of authoritarianism and prospects for democratization in the Middle East. The course is divided into three sections: the first covers the main theoretical perspectives explaining the persistence of authoritarian rule in the Middle East. The second is devoted to the events of the Arab Spring, with an emphasis on Egypt, Syria, and Tunisia. Finally, the third section deals with two of the most pressing issues facing the countries of the Arab Spring: 1) the political role of Arab armed forces, 2) the integration of the long-banned Islamist groups into the public sphere as legitimate political parties. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2016 · H. Bou Nassif
  • POSC 348: Strangers, Foreigners and Exiles*

    The course explores the role that strangers play in human life, the challenges that foreigners create for democratic politics, the promises they bring to it, as well as the role of exiles in improving the cultural capacity of societies to live with difference. We will read texts by Arendt, Kafka, Derrida, Sophocles, Said, Joseph Conrad, Tzvetan Todorov, and Julia Kristeva. Special attention will be given to the plight of Roma in Europe, as a typical case of strangers that are still perceived nowadays as a menace to the modern sedentary civilization. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2016 · M. Czobor-Lupp
  • POSC 359: Cosmopolitanism*

    Stoic philosophers saw themselves as citizens of the world (cosmopolitans). In the 18th century, Kant thought that the increasingly global nature of the world requires international political institutions to guarantee peace and human rights. After the Cold War cosmopolitanism was back in fashion. Even the favorite drink of the girls on TV's Sex and the City was called Cosmopolitan. This course explores different meanings of cosmopolitanism: moral, political, and cultural. The intention is to show that cosmopolitanism is a complex reality that requires political institutions, as well as a new ethics to be cultivated through a particular engagement of culture. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Spring 2016 · M. Czobor-Lupp
  • POSC 400: Integrative Exercise

    6 credit; S/NC; offered Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016 · Staff