• 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 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Huan Gao, Juan Diego Prieto
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Richard Keiser, Christina Farhart, Krissy Lunz Trujillo
  • POSC 150: The Political Thought of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. & the American Civil Rights Movement

    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 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Barbara 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 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Mihaela Czobor-Lupp, Laurence Cooper
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Summer Forester, Tun Myint
  • 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 six-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.

    6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 204: Media and Electoral Politics: 2020 United States Election

    Our analysis of media influences on politics will draw from three fields of study: political psychology, political behavior and participation, and public opinion. Students will conduct a study of the effects of campaign ads and news using our multi-year data set of content analyzed election ads and news. We study a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods to learn how political communication affects U.S. elections. Taking this course in conjunction with Political Science 223 is highly recommended to learn methods such as focus group and depth interview methods and experiment design for conducting original research on elections.

    6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 205: News Media and Democratic Electoral Processes

    How have news media affected democratic elections in the U.S., UK, and EU? Case studies show traditional and new media—from citizen journalism to bots—shaping views of candidates and issues—and democracy itself. Using recent elections worldwide as a base, we will investigate traditional media as an institution in a challenging environment of new media sources and charges of “fake news.” Coursework includes learning about research design through original data collection, data analysis, and visual representation of data. Political Science 223 is recommended as a way to learn quantitative and qualitative methods of social science research.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 207: Global Decline of Democracy: Urban Revanchism and Popular Resistance

    Our focus will be on policing, gentrification, gated communities and other tools for reclaiming and fortifying metropolitan space, as well as citizen responses. What community exists, for whom?

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 209: Money and Politics

    Modern elections have become multibillion-dollar ventures. How does money influence electoral and policy outcomes in the United States? Who donates and why do people or groups donate? Where does all the money go? How has campaign finance been regulated and what are proposed reforms? Focusing on recent elections, we will explore these questions by delving into the world of campaign finance.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 210: Misinformation, Political Rumors, and Conspiracy Theories

    Why do people believe in conspiracy theories, hold on to misinformed beliefs even in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary, and/or spread political and social rumors that may have little basis in fact? Who is most vulnerable to these various forms of misinformation? What are the normative and political consequences of misperceptions (if any)? This course explores the psychological, political, and philosophical approaches to the study of the causes, consequences, and tenacity of conspiracy beliefs, misinformation, and political rumors, as well as possible approaches that journalists could employ to combat misperceptions.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2022 · Christina Farhart
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Kimberly Smith
  • POSC 213: Psychology of Mass Political Behavior

    This course explores the political psychology of individual judgment and choice. We will examine the role of cognition, emotions, values, predispositions, and social identities on judgment and choice. From this approach, we will address the larger debate regarding the quality of democratic citizenship.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2022 · Krissy Lunz Trujillo
  • POSC 214: Visual Representations of Political Thought and Action

    Visual media offer an alternative method of framing political ideas and events. Images found in such texts as film, posters, and even in statistical tables can enlighten–or mislead. Readings in visual theory, political psychology, and graphic representation will enable you to read images and use these powerful media to convey your ideas and research.

    3 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 215: Political Communications in Comparative Context

    This five-week course will focus on the major theories of political communication in an election context. Our case studies will be the French and German 2017 elections. We compare the legal and cultural contexts of election news coverage and advertising in these countries and analyze media effects on voter perceptions using political psychology studies based on research in the U.S. and EU.

    3 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 216: Politics in the Post-Truth Society

    We live in an age marked by attacks on democratic institutions, suspicion of expertise, and a general sense that facts are disposable in the face of inconvenient truths. This course will examine misinformation and anti-intellectualism in the past and today, how and why people adopt misinformation and conspiracy theories, the political effects of the post-truth era, and what mitigates the spread of misinformation. Through readings, discussions, and investigative projects, students will both advance their knowledge on the topic and learn to better evaluate information and evidence. This course focuses on the United States but occasionally includes a comparative and/or non-U.S. perspective.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 217: Monuments, Museums & Meaning: How Politics Shapes Memory in Artifacts

    Why was naming the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian “political?” Why is the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum not on the Washington DC Mall? What is memorialized by the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum? Why care about the eight Confederate leaders in the U.S. Capitol (or other public places)? This class examines museums and monuments as important types of political communication that preserve cultural artifacts, create historical records, and tell present and future generations the meaning of communities and individuals. We learn about various practices including funding, naming, acquiring, appropriating, placing, designing, and constructing the artifacts that house community memories.

    3 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2021 · Richard Keiser
  • POSC 219: Poverty and Public Policy in the U.S.

    Deindustrialization, inequality, housing policy, and welfare will be major topics.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • 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, When the Levees Broke.

    6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Juan Diego Prieto
  • POSC 222: Political Science Lab: Interviewing Techniques

    This class provides a hands-on introduction to how researchers devise, conduct, and analyze interviews in political science. Students will learn about different types of interview methodologies, including elite and non-elite, structured, semi-structured, and intensive approaches. Over the course of the class, students will consider the types of questions most appropriately answered by interviews, the fundamentals of different sampling strategies, how to devise questionnaires, and how to use the information collected for both quantitative and qualitative analysis. We will also cover interview ethics, how to employ culturally sensitive techniques, and how to employ interviews in individual, group, and crowd situations.

    3 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2022 · Dev Gupta
  • POSC 223: Political Science Lab: Content Analysis

    How do we know if a news organization is ideologically biased? How do we show that gender influences how world leaders approach defense policy? How do we track the growth in misinformation in political advertising worldwide? One foundational methodology for studying questions like these is content analysis. This course will enable you to analyze the texts of speeches, debates, news stories, tweets, press conferences, letters, ad texts–and the visual representations that accompany many of these forms of communication. Students will learn the basics of defining content, operationalizing variables, and conducting the analysis to get valid, reliable data.

    3 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2021, Fall 2021 · Barbara Allen
  • POSC 229: The U.S. Congress: Coordination and Conflict

    How does Congress make public policy? What factors inhibit or enhance legislative productivity? Is the policymaking process too partisan? This course provides a comprehensive introduction to congressional organization and procedures, the policy process, and the core debates and theories surrounding legislative politics in the United States Congress. The path of policy within Congress is an incredibly complex and conflict-ridden coordination problem. As a class, we will explore how the underlying motivations to win office, produce policy, and gain prestige drive congressional member behaviors. We will also carefully consider the institutional details of the House and Senate that constrain these legislative actors and influence legislative outcomes. 

    6 credits; Social Inquiry; not offered 2021–2022
  • 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: Statistics 120, 230, 250, (formerly Mathematics 215, 245, 275) or AP Statistics (score of 4 or 5) 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Christina Farhart, Greg Marfleet
  • 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: Political Science 122, AP American Government, or AP U.S. History is highly recommended 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 232: Chinese Foreign Policy

    The “Rise of China” over the past thirty-five 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 credits; International Studies, Social Inquiry; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 235: The Endless War on Terror

    In the aftermath of 9/11, the U.S. launched the Global War on Terror to purportedly find, stop,and defeat every terrorist group with a global reach. Without question, the Global War on Terror has radically shaped everything from U.S. foreign policies and domestic institutions to civil liberties and pop culture. In this course, we will examine the events of 9/11 and then critically assess the immediate and long-term ramifications of the endless Global War on Terror on different states and communities around the world. While we will certainly spend time interrogating U.S. policies from the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations, we will also examine reactions to those policies across both the global north and the global south.

    6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Summer Forester
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 238: Sport & Globalization London/Seville Pgm: Globalization and Development: Lessons from Int’l Football

    This course uses international football (soccer) as a lens to analyze topics in globalization, such as immigration and labor, inequality, foreign investment, trade in services, and intellectual property. Students will be presented with key debates in these areas and then use cases from international football as illustrations. Focusing on the two wealthiest leagues in Europe, the English Premier League and the Spanish Liga, students will address key issues in the study of globalization and development, and in doing so enhance their understanding of the world, sports, and sport’s place in the world. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Bob Carlson
  • POSC 239: The Poor and the Powerless

    This course examines the foundations of development and globalization, their representations as historical processes, their manifestations over time, and their advocates and detractors. This will be done against the backdrop of empirical and substantive representations of actually-existing development outcomes and globalization processes, their organization, and their practices. This course employs a critical approach to development and is taught from a political economy perspective. In particular, it deals with the relationship between theory, ideology and practice by contrasting classical approaches with critical, Marxist, and radical approaches. It examines outcomes of development practice, both positive and negative, through a focus on globalization.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 242: Middle East Politics

    This course introduces the politics and political structures of states in the Middle East. We explore the political origins of Middle Eastern states, and investigate how regional politics are shaped by colonialism, religion, tribes, the family, and more. We examine the persistence of authoritarianism and its links to other issues like nationalism and militarism. The course covers how recent and current events like the revolutionary movements of the ‘Arab Spring’ civil society affect the states and their societies. We conclude with a consideration of the future of Middle Eastern politics, evaluating lingering concerns and emerging prospects for liberalization and reform.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 244: The Politics of Eurovision

    At first glance, Eurovision, the decades-long, continent-wide singing contest, is nothing more than a mindless pop culture event. Dismissed as a celebration of (at best) mediocre music, Eurovision seems like it would be the last place to learn about serious politics. In this class, however, we will explore Eurovision as a place where art is deeply political and often engages in debates about gender and sexuality, race, the legacies of colonialism, war and revolution, nationalism, and democracy—not just within the context of the competition itself but how these discussions spill over into broader social and political dynamics.

    3 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2022 · Dev Gupta
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Dev Gupta
  • POSC 249: From the International to the Global: Critical Theories of World Politics

    Why is the world divided territorially? Why are some states considered more powerful than others? What can be done about violent conflict? This course will introduce students with critical approaches to world politics that ask these and other big questions. Marxist, feminist, post-structuralist and post-colonial scholars have challenged classical approaches of thinking about the international in terms of states and power. They have also questioned the dominance of western conceptions of politics in the way political scientists view the world. In this course will read and debate their contributions and apply them to real cases. 

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Paul Petzschmann
  • POSC 250: Kings, Tyrants, Philosophers: Plato’s Republic

    Cross-listed with POSC 350. In this course we will read Plato’s Republic, perhaps the greatest and surely the most important work of political philosophy ever written. What are the deepest needs and the most powerful longings of human nature? Can they be fulfilled, and, if so, how? What are the deepest needs of society, and can they be fulfilled? What is the relation between individual happiness and societal well-being? Are they compatible or in conflict with one another? And where they are in conflict, what does justice require that we do? The Republic explores these questions in an imaginative and unforgettable way.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Winter 2022 · Laurence Cooper
  • POSC 251: Modern Political Philosophy: Liberalism and Its Critics

    Cross-listed with POSC 371. Liberalism is the dominant political philosophy of our time. Living in a liberal polity, each of us has been shaped by liberalism. But is liberalism the best political order? Do we even know what liberalism is? What are the strongest arguments in its favor, and what are the deepest criticisms we might level against it? In this course we will examine liberalism’s philosophic roots and engage with some of its most forceful advocates and most profound critics. Our readings will include authors such as Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville, Mill, and Nietzsche.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 252: Free Expression: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

    Freedom of expression has never lacked obstacles or opponents, even if its opponents have often claimed to be friends. In recent years, however, both the possibility and the desirability of free expression have been openly contested on moral, political, and philosophic grounds. Is free expression simply good, or does it also impose costs? What is the relation between freedom of expression and freedom of thought or mind? Is freedom of mind even possible? These will be our questions. Readings will be drawn from philosophers ranging from Plato to Nietzsche and from political essayists such as George Orwell and Vaclav Havel.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Fall 2021 · Laurence Cooper
  • POSC 253: Welfare Capitalisms in Post-War Europe

    In this course students will explore the different kinds of welfare states that exist in Europe, the political economic and social conditions that made them possible and the debates about their strengths, weaknesses and prospects. We will review the so-called “varieties of capitalism” literature along with key welfare policies such as social insurance, health care, education, unemployment insurance, family and income support, and pensions. Welfare states use combinations of these policies differently to insure citizens against “old” and “new” risks. Finally, the course looks at how welfare regimes have responded of migration, financial, and public health crises.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Paul Petzschmann
  • POSC 254: Freedom, Excellence, Happiness: Aristotle’s Ethics

    Cross-listed with POSC 354. What does it mean to be morally excellent? To be politically excellent? To be intellectually and spiritually excellent? Are these things mutually compatible? Do they lie within the reach of everyone? And what is the relation between excellence and pleasure? Between excellence and happiness? Aristotle addresses these questions in intricate and illuminating detail in the Nicomachean Ethics, which we will study in this course. The Ethics is more accessible than some of Aristotle’s other works. But it is also a multifaceted and multi-layered book, and one that reveals more to those who study it with care.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; not offered 2021–2022
  • 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 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Winter 2022 · Mihaela Czobor-Lupp
  • POSC 256: Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil

    Cross-listed 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, stunningly, the “death of God.” He regarded these endings as an unprecedented disaster for humanity but also as an unprecedented opportunity, and he pointed the way to a new ideal and a new culture that would be life-affirming and life-enhancing. This course will center on 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 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Spring 2022 · Laurence Cooper
  • POSC 258: Politics and Ambition

    Cross-listed with POSC 357. 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? And what is the nature of political ambition, especially the ambition to rule: what does the would-be ruler really want? We will take up these and related questions by studying several classic works of philosophy and literature. Readings will likely include works by Plato, Xenophon, and Shakespeare as well as American founders, statesmen, and moral leaders. 

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 260: “A Savage Made to Inhabit Cities”: The Political Philosophy of Rousseau

    Cross-listed with POSC 350. In this course we will study what Rousseau considered his greatest and best book: Emile. Emile is a philosophic novel. It uses a thought experiment–the rearing of a child from infancy to adulthood–to explore human nature and the human condition, including their political dimensions. Among Emile‘s themes are natural goodness and the origins of evil; self-love and sociability; the differences and relations between the sexes; citizenship; and the principles of political right. The book also addresses the question of how one might live naturally and happily amid an unnatural and unhappy civilization.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 262: Displaced Lives: Freedom and Meaning

    To feel secure and accepted by society are essential human needs. However, even a cursory look at the 20th century shows how often and unexpectedly the lives of individuals were profoundly disrupted and crushed by the forces of nature and history. Security and social acceptance are fragile gifts of history. If so, what freedom and meaning, if at all, are to be found in living a displaced life, against and through the destructive tidal waves of history? The course tries to answer this question through an engagement with the memoirs and writings of Stefan Zweig, Edward Said, Norman Manea, Mikhail Bulgakov, Karl Ove Knausgaard, and James Baldwin.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 263: Digital Democracy in the Age of Internet

    This course addresses how the internet and social media present challenges to and possibilities of expanding freedom and democracy beyond the borders of the nation-state. Is individual freedom/agency different in the physical world and virtual world? How do the internet and social media shape the notion of Hobbesian individuals and their freedom? How can democracy capitalize on digital freedom and what are the challenges of doing so? The course will primarily focus on the democracy movement in Myanmar/Burma but will draw lessons from cases around the world to understand the rise of digital individuals and the future of democracy.

    6 credits; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 264: Politics of Contemporary China

    This course examines the political, social, and economic transformation of China over the past century. Though contemporary issues are at the heart of the course, students will delve into an entire century of changes and upheaval to understand the roots of current affairs in China. Particular emphasis will be placed on state-building and how this has changed state-society relations at the grassroots. Students will also explore how the Chinese Communist Party has survived and even thrived while many other Communist regimes have fallen and assess the relationship between economic development and democratization.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Huan Gao
  • POSC 265: Public Policy and Global Capitalism

    This course provides a comprehensive introduction to comparative and international public policy. It examines major theories and approaches to public policy design and implementation in several major areas: international policy economy (including the study of international trade and monetary policy, financial regulation, and comparative welfare policy), global public health and comparative healthcare policy, institutional development (including democratic governance, accountability systems, and judicial reform), and environmental public policy.

    Prerequisites: Statistics 120 (formerly Mathematics 215) strongly recommended, or instructor permission 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Greg Marfleet
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 267: Comparative Foreign Policy

    Why do states act the way they do internationally? Why do some states act like “rogues” while others support the system? How do countries choose their allies or enemies? How do governments define their country’s national interest and respond to global changes? Foreign policy is where internal politics and external politics intersect. Understanding any country’s foreign policy requires that we pay attention to its position in the international system and its internal politics. In this course we will employ approaches from international relations and comparative politics to explore these questions across a range of countries. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 270: Political Philosophy and the Book of Genesis

    Cross-listed with Political Science 350. Much of the moral and political architecture of the post-modern, secular world traces back to pre-modern, religious scriptures–especially Genesis, the first book of the Bible. For this reason alone Genesis deserves attention. But there are even stronger reasons: With its accounts of creation, humanity’s relation to nature and the divine, human aspiration and failure, the origins of community, and the good life for both individuals and societies, Genesis offers enormous riches even for those who approach it from an “external” philosophic standpoint (as we will in this class) rather than an “internal” religious one. Readings include Genesis and commentary.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; not offered 2021–2022
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 272: Constitutional Law II

    Covers American constitutional law and history from Reconstruction to the contemporary era. Extensive attention will be paid to the effort to refound the American constitution following the Civil War as manifest in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments, and to the successive transformations which the Supreme Court worked in the new constitutional order. Political Science 271 is not a prerequisite. 6 credits; Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2021 · Kimberly Smith
  • POSC 273: Race and Politics in the U.S.

    This course addresses race and ethnicity in U.S. politics. Following an introduction to historical, sociological, and psychological approaches to the study of race and ethnicity, we apply these approaches to understanding the ways in which racial attitudes have been structured along a number of political and policy dimensions, e.g., welfare, education, criminal justice. Students will gain an increased understanding of the multiple contexts that shape contemporary racial and ethnic politics and policies in the U.S., and will consider the role of institutional design, policy development, representation, and racial attitudes among the general U.S. public and political environment.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Christina Farhart
  • POSC 274: Globalization, Pandemics, and Human Security

    What are the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic on global politics and public policy? How do state responses to COVID-19 as well as historical cases such as the Black Death in Europe, the SARS outbreak in East Asia and Middle East, and the Ebola outbreak in Africa help us understand the scientific, political, and economic challenges of pandemics on countries and communities around the world? We will apply theories and concepts from IR, political economy, and natural sciences to explore these questions and consider what we can learn from those responses to address other global challenges like climate change.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Tun Myint
  • POSC 275: Black Radical Political Thought, 1919-1969

    This course examines the history of Black radical political thought in the United States between 1919 and 1969. It also explores internationalist and diasporic linkages that shaped, and were shaped by, the U.S. context. “Black Radicalism” refers to the forms of politics and thought that have challenged, nationally and globally, economic exploitation, social inequality, political marginalization, and private and state-sanctioned anti-blackness. The political ideologies and practices we will consider include: Black nationalism, pan-Africanism, socialism and communism, and Black feminisms. The course will also pay special attention to the socio-historical and political economic contexts that give rise to different forms of Black radicalism.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 276: Imagination in Politics: Resisting Totalitarianism

    Ideological fanaticism is on the rise today. Individuals prefer the incantation of slogans and clichés to autonomous thinking, moderation, and care for the diversity and complexity of circumstances and of human beings. The results are the inability to converse across differences and the tendency to ostracize and exclude others in the name of tribal and populist nationalism, as well as of racism. Hannah Arendt called totalitarianism this form of ideological hypnosis, which characterizes not only totalitarian political regimes, but can also colonize liberal-democracies. In this class we will read some of the works of Arendt to better understand the power of imagination to enhance critical and independent thinking and resist totalitarianism.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • 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 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 278: Memory and Politics

    Central to individual and collective identity, memory can be abused through the excess of commemoration. Is memory just a tool in the hands of nationalistic and divisive politics or can it be used for the cosmopolitan purpose of fighting oppression and injustice? To answer this question, we will read in this class literature on the nationalistic and cosmopolitan uses and abuses of memory and apply the theory to two case studies: the memory of the Jewish presence in Romanian society and politics and the role the memory of the Holocaust and Naqba plays in the relationship between Israel and Palestine.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Mihaela Czobor-Lupp
  • POSC 279: Comparative Civil Society

    This course explores the role of civil society in politics and society. It examines the debate over what civil society is, comparing classic literature developed in the west and concepts of civic tradition from other parts of the world. Can civil society, a concept first originating from American churches, English coffeehouses, and French revolutionaries, be applied meaningfully to societal actors and political changes in entirely different cultural and historical settings? Or do we need alternative concepts? The course examines civil society both as an outcome to be explained and an explanatory factor for political and social changes.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Huan Gao
  • POSC 280: Feminist Security Studies

    Feminist security studies question and challenge traditional approaches to international relations and security, highlighting the myriad ways that state security practices can actually increase insecurity for many people. How and why does this security paradox exist and how do we escape it? In this class, we will explore the theoretical and analytical contributions of feminist security scholars and use these lessons to analyze a variety of policies, issues, and conflicts. The cases that we will cover include the UN resolution on women, peace, and security, Sweden’s feminist foreign policy, violence against women, and conflicts in Syria, Uganda, and Yemen.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Summer Forester
  • POSC 282: Terrorism and Counterterrorism

    This course focuses on the historic and modern use of violence or the threat of violence by non-state actors to secure political outcomes. We will review the strategy and tactics of various terror groups, use case studies to understand the logic of terrorism, assess why some groups succeed while others fail, and study terrorist organizations’ efforts at recruitment and indoctrination. These topics will be addressed from theoretical and practical perspectives, with input from expert guest speakers. Finally, we will assess counterterrorism measures, including the moral, ethical, legal, and practical approaches to creating security in the modern world.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 285: The U.S. Intelligence Community

    This course covers the U.S. Intelligence Community, how intelligence supports national security policy development, and how intelligence is applied to execute strategy in pursuit of policy objectives (specifically, implementation of national security and foreign policy initiatives). Studying the structure, processes, procedures, oversight, and capabilities of the Intelligence Community will enhance understanding of how intelligence supported or failed policymakers in national security decision-making, including the areas of deterrence, conventional war, counterinsurgency, and counterterrorism. The course concludes with the study of asymmetric warfare in our modern age and how intelligence might be used to better understand the changing dynamics of future global conflict.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 288: Politics & Pub Policy in Washington DC Program: Politics and Public Policy in Washington DC

    Students will participate in a seminar centered around meetings with experts in areas of global and domestic politics and policy. Over the course of the term they will collaborate in groups to produce a presentation exploring the political dimensions of public policy with a focus on how problem identification, institutional capacity, and stakeholder interests combine to shape policy options. 

    Prerequisites: Mathematics 215, Statistics 120 or other statistics courses 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Greg Marfleet
  • POSC 293: Politics & Pub Policy in Washington DC Program: Global Conservation Internship

    All students will intern in the office of a legislator, executive agency, interest group, or media outlet, keeping a journal of experiences and writing a summary paper.

    6 credits; S/CR/NC; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2022 · Greg Marfleet, Aaron Swoboda
  • POSC 294: Central and Eastern European Politics Program: Perceptions of Otherness in Modern Eastern and Central Europe

    Is nationalism fundamentally flawed in its inclusionary capacity? Can the same power of imagination to bring strangers together, which made nation-building possible, be deployed for inventing post-national forms of solidarity? The course will explore representations of strangers and foreigners in Central and Eastern Europe, throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century, with a special focus on Roma and Jews. The aim will be to understand how these representations will work to legitimize different forms of exclusionary politics. An important part of the course will explore the role that exiled and displaced people can play in reimagining identities on a cosmopolitan level.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 295: Central and Eastern European Politics Program: Nation-Building in Central and Eastern Europe between Politics and Art

    The state and its cultural politics played a pivotal role in building the Romanian nation. The first part of the course will analyze the difficulties of nation-building in modern Romania, with a special emphasis on the incapacity of Romanian liberalism to prevent the rise of extreme right wing politics. The second part will explore different images of Romanian national identity that art provided both during the communist regime and in the post-1989 decades, also in a comparative perspective with Hungary, Bulgaria, and Serbia. The course will include visits to galleries, architectural sites and neighborhoods in Bucharest and its surroundings.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 296: Central and Eastern European Politics Program: Challenges to the Nation-State in Eastern and Central Europe: Immigrants and Minorities

    How do democracies react when confronted with massive bodies of immigrants? Do the problems that Eastern and Central European countries face in dealing with immigrants reflect deeper challenges to their capacity of thinking of the nation along inclusionary lines? We will explore the legal and political issues that EU countries and their societies, particularly, in Eastern and Central Europe, face when confronted with a migration crisis. Then we will look at Roma’s history of exploitation and injustice in Eastern and Central Europe. The course will include visits with community groups and NGOs, as well as encounters with minority rights activists.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 300: Political Research Experience

    This course is a collaborative, hands-on, research seminar related to a faculty member’s research program. Students should expect to meet regularly with the faculty supervisor and, depending on the stage or type of research, collect and analyze data, read and interpret primary literature and engage its criticism, submit written material and prepare presentation content. To enroll, students must complete the application form (available on line or in the department office) in consultation with the professor. 

    Prerequisites: Instructor Permission 1 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2021 · Barbara Allen, Greg Marfleet
  • POSC 302: Subordinated Politics and Intergroup Relations*

    How do social and political groups interact? How do we understand these interactions in relation to power? This course will introduce the basic approaches and debates in the study of prejudice, racial attitudes, and intergroup relations. We will focus on three main questions. First, how do we understand and study prejudice and racism as they relate to U.S. politics? Second, how do group identities, stereotyping, and other factors help us understand the legitimation of discrimination, group hierarchy, and social domination? Third, what are the political and social challenges associated with reducing prejudice?

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2022 · Christina Farhart
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 304: Media and Electoral Politics: 2020 United States Elections

    Our analysis of media influences on politics will draw from three fields of study: political psychology, political behavior and participation, and public opinion. Students will conduct a study of the effects of campaign ads and news using our multi-year data set of content analyzed election ads and news. We study a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods to learn how political communication affects U.S. elections. Students enrolled in the POSC 304 version will conduct more extensive analysis of data for their seminar papers. Taking POSC 304 in conjunction with Political Science 223 is highly recommended to learn methods such as focus group, depth interview methods, and experiment design for conducting original research on elections.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 305: News Media and Democratic Electoral Processes*

    How have news media affected democratic elections in the U.S., UK, and EU? Case studies show traditional and new media—from citizen journalism to bots—shaping views of candidates and issues—and democracy itself. Using recent elections worldwide as a base, we will investigate traditional media as an institution in a challenging environment of new media sources and charges of “fake news.” Coursework includes learning about research design through original data collection, data analysis, and visual representation of data. POSC 223 is recommended as a way to learn quantitative and qualitative methods of social science research. Research paper required.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 306: The Psychology of Identity Politics and Group Behavior*

    In recent years we have heard a lot about “identity politics.” This course aims to answer the question, why do people form group-based identities and how do they impact mass political attitudes and behavior? Using examples from American politics, we will examine the psychological underpinnings of identity and group-based affiliations as well as their political consequences. In doing so, we will explore how bias, prejudice, and social hierarchy are formed, maintained, and changed. Such evaluations will be based on discussions of various dominant and minority group identities including partisanship, race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, religion, and place. 

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Krissy Lunz Trujillo
  • POSC 307: Go Our Own Way: Autonomy in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement*

    “Every civil rights bill was passed for white people, not black people. I am a human being. I know … I have right(s). White people didn’t know that. … so [they] had to … to tell that white man, ‘he’s a human being, don’t stop him.’ That bill was for the white man…. I knew [my rights] all the time.” Stokely Carmichael spoke for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee viewpoint in 1966. The Black Panther Party enacted basic civic responsibilities in their programs. Ella Baker spoke of autonomy in community. This seminar brings voices across generations speaking to current affairs.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Barbara Allen
  • POSC 308: Global Gender Politics*

    How have gendered divisions of power, labor, and resources contributed to the global crises of violence, sustainability, and inequity? Where and why has the pursuit of gender justice elicited intense backlash, especially within the last two decades? In this course, we will explore the global consequences of gender inequality and the ongoing pursuit of gender justice both transnationally and in different regions of the world. We will investigate a variety of cases ranging from land rights movements in East Africa, to the international movement to ban nuclear weapons. Finally, we will pay special attention to how hard-won gains in women’s rights and other related inequalities in world affairs are being jeopardized by new and old authoritarianisms.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Summer Forester
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 314: Constitutional Convention 2020

    Students in this course will create a podcast to consider proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Proposed amendments will be developed by students in other courses at Carleton, St. Olaf, and other participating institutions. Students will review and select proposals to be debated, and each proposal will be voted on at the end of the course. This advanced seminar will include work outside of class, independently and in collaboration with other students.

    Prerequisites: Political Science 271, 272 or 313 or instructor permission 3 credits; Social Inquiry; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 315: Polarization, Parties, and Power*

    How have political parties shaped the distribution of power and political landscape in the United States? This course explores theories of political party development, third-party dynamics in a two-party system, and the rise of ideological and party polarization in the United States. We will engage with scholarly debates that grapple with the extent and implications of polarization in the American case at all levels of government, in the electorate, and in interpersonal interactions.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 316: Nonviolent Revolutions in Latin America

    In this course, students will encounter ideas about nonviolent direct action from practitioners alongside theories from a rapidly growing literature in political science about the causes, dynamics, and consequences of civil resistance campaigns. We will then study major social movements in Latin America, including the Mapuche movement, the #NiUnaMenos campaign against femicide, and Brazil’s Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Teto (MTST). The course’s main focus, however, will be on nonviolent struggles for democratization: the No campaign against Pinochet’s regime in Chile, the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) in Bolivia, the Movimiento Autoconvocado in Nicaragua, and recent democratic crises in Venezuela, Bolivia, and El Salvador.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 318: Advanced Topics Urban Policy*

    This course is a discussion seminar for students who seek to build on previous knowledge of public policy within the cities and suburbs of the United States or in comparisons of the U.S. to other urban cases. Focus will be on Housing, Education, Policing, Infrastructure and Social Regulation. Students will produce a research essay using Social Science and Humanities methods.

    Prerequisites: Political Science 201, 207, 209, 218, or 266 or instructor permission 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 323: Revolutionary Latin America

    Cycles of revolutionary upheaval and counterrevolutionary violence punctuated Latin America’s tumultuous twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This course compares “successful” revolutions (Cuba [1959], Nicaragua [1979]) with “unsuccessful” (Bolivia [1952], Chile [1970]) and abortive (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Peru in the 1970s and 1980s) attempts at revolutionary change. We will examine questions including, why do revolutionary outbreaks occur? Why do revolutionaries take power in some countries and fail in others? How can we explain (counter-)revolutionary mobilization, violence, and terror? Do revolutions produce enduring social change, or reproduce enduring problems? What do Latin America’s revolutionary legacies mean for twenty-first century politics?

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 324: Rebels and Risk Takers: Women and War in the Middle East*

    How are women (and gender more broadly) shaping and shaped by war and conflict in the Middle East? Far from the trope of the subjugated, veiled, and abused Middle Eastern woman, women in the Middle East are active social and political agents. In wars and conflicts in the Middle East region, women have, for example, been combatants, soldiers, activists, spies, homemakers, writers, and political leaders. This course surveys conflicts involving Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, and Iraq–along with Western powers like the U.S., UK, and Australia–through the wartime experiences of women.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 328: Foreign Policy Analysis*

    Foreign policy analysis is a distinct sub-field within international relations that focuses on explaining the actions and choices of actors in world politics. After a review of the historical development of the sub-field, we will explore approaches to foreign policy that emphasize the empirical testing of hypotheses that explain how policies and choices are formulated and implemented. The psychological sources of foreign policy decisions (including leaders’ beliefs and personalities and the effect of decision-making groups) are a central theme. Completion of a lower level IR course and the stats/methods sequence is recommended. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 329: Reinventing Humanism: A Dialogue with Tzvetan Todorov

    Humanism is today severely criticized for reducing humanity to Western culture and history and for its aggressive control and destruction of the non-human. Concomitantly, the history of the twentieth century reveals a growing totalitarian and anti-humanistic tendency in (post)modern societies and their politics, to replace individual agency, freedom, and responsibility with systemic solutions. The course explores, through a dialogue with the work of the French thinker, Tzvetan Todorov, how being human could be reinvented today in ways that avoid the moral and political pitfalls of the previous humanistic tradition, without devaluing, in the process, the idea of a shared humanity.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Spring 2022 · Mihaela Czobor-Lupp
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2022 · Greg Marfleet
  • POSC 331: Cooperation and Conflict*

    Why do countries go to war? What conditions promote a lasting peace? These may well be the two most important and enduring questions in international politics. The course combines an exploration of various theoretical approaches to war and peace—including rational, psychological and structural models—with an empirical analysis of the onset, escalation, and resolution of conflict. We investigate changing patterns in the frequency of global violence and identify where it occurs more (and less) often and assess whether there is an overall trend toward a more peaceful world.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 333: Global Social Changes and Sustainability*

    This course is about the relationship between social changes and ecological changes to understand and to be able to advance analytical concepts, research methods, and theories of society-nature interactions. How do livelihoods of individuals and groups change over time and how do the changes affect ecological sustainability? What are the roles of human institutions in ecological sustainability? What are the roles of ecosystem dynamics in institutional sustainability? Students will learn fundamental theories and concepts that explain linkages between social change and environmental changes and gain methods and skills to measure social changes qualitatively and quantitatively. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Spring 2022 · Tun Myint
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 336: Global Populist Politics*

    Are populist politicians scoundrels or saviors? Regardless of the answer, populism is undeniably a growing force in politics around the world: in democracies as well as autocracies, rich and poor countries, and involving different ideologies. How can we understand this diversity? In this class, we will explore populism using a variety of comparative frameworks: temporal (situating the current crop of populism in historical context), ideological (comparing populisms of the left versus the right), as well as geographic. We will try to understand the hallmarks of populism, when and why it emerges, and its impact on political institutions and society.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Dev Gupta
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 345: Politics of Dictatorship*

    With over half of the world’s population living in non-democracies, understanding the nature of authoritarian regimes is a critical component of comparative political science. We will examine the variety of authoritarian regimes around the world, the nature of state-society relations in different authoritarian regimes, as well as the strategies employed by dictators to maintain stability and control. We will supplement the more general theories of authoritarian rule with detailed case studies of particular regimes.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 350: “A Savage Made to Inhabit Cities”: The Political Philosophy of Rousseau

    Cross-listed with Political Science 260. In this course we will study what Rousseau considered his greatest and best book: Emile. Emile is a philosophic novel. It uses a thought experiment–the rearing of a child from infancy to adulthood–to explore human nature and the human condition, including their political dimensions. Among Emile‘s themes are natural goodness and the origins of evil; self-love and sociability; the differences and relations between the sexes; citizenship; and the principles of political right. The book also addresses the question of how one might live naturally and happily amid an unnatural and unhappy civilization.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 350: Kings, Tyrants, Philosophers: Plato’s Republic*

    Cross-listed with Political Science 250. In this course we will read Plato’s Republic, perhaps the greatest and surely the most important work of political philosophy ever written. What are the deepest needs and the most powerful longings of human nature? Can they be fulfilled, and, if so, how? What are the deepest needs of society, and can they be fulfilled? What is the relation between individual happiness and societal well-being? Are they compatible or in conflict with one another? And where they are in conflict, what does justice require that we do? The Republic explores these questions in an imaginative and unforgettable way.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Winter 2022 · Laurence Cooper
  • POSC 350: Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil*

    Cross-listed with POSC 256. 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 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Spring 2022 · Laurence Cooper
  • POSC 350: Political Philosophy and the Book of Genesis*

    Cross-listed with Political Science 270. Much of the moral and political architecture of the post-modern, secular world traces back to pre-modern, religious scriptures–especially Genesis, the first book of the Bible. For this reason alone Genesis deserves attention. But there are even stronger reasons: With its accounts of creation, humanity’s relation to nature and the divine, human aspiration and failure, the origins of community, and the good life for both individuals and societies, Genesis offers enormous riches even for those who approach it from an “external” philosophic standpoint (as we will in this class) rather than an “internal” religious one. Readings include Genesis and commentary.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 351: Political Theory of Martin Luther King, Jr.

    This seminar will examine the speeches, writings, and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Students will study King as an example of the responsible citizen envisioned by the theory expressed in The Federalist, as a contributor to the discourse of civil religion, and as a figure in recent American social history. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 352: Political Theory of Alexis de Tocqueville*

    This course will be devoted to close study of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, which has plausibly been described as the best book ever written about democracy and the best book every written about America. Tocqueville uncovers the myriad ways in which equality, including especially the passion for equality, determines the character and the possibilities of modern humanity. Tocqueville thereby provides a political education that is also an education toward self-knowledge.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 354: Freedom, Excellence, Happiness: Aristotle’s Ethics*

    Cross-listed with POSC 254. What does it mean to be morally excellent? To be politically excellent? To be intellectually and spiritually excellent? Are these things mutually compatible? Do they lie within the reach of everyone? And what is the relation between excellence and pleasure? Between excellence and happiness? Aristotle addresses these questions in intricate and illuminating detail in the Nicomachean Ethics, which we will study in this course. The Ethics is more accessible than some of Aristotle’s other works. But it is also a multifaceted and multi-layered book, and one that reveals more to those who study it with care. Seminar paper required.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 355: Identity, Culture and Rights*

    This course will look at the contemporary debate in multiculturalism in the context of a variety of liberal philosophical traditions, including contractarians, libertarians, and Utilitarians. These views of the relationship of individual to community will be compared to those of the communitarian and egalitarian traditions. Research papers may use a number of feminist theory frameworks and methods.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 357: Politics and Ambition*

    Cross-listed with POSC 258. 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? And what is the nature of political ambition, especially the ambition to rule: what does the would-be ruler really want? We will take up these and related questions by studying several classic works of philosophy and literature. Readings will likely include works by Plato, Xenophon, and Shakespeare as well as American founders, statesmen, and moral leaders. Seminar paper required.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 358: Comparative Social Movements*

    This course will examine the role that social movements play in political life. The first part of the course will critically review the major theories that have been developed to explain how social movements form, operate and seek to influence politics at both the domestic and international levels. In the second part of the course, these theoretical approaches will be used to explore a number of case studies involving social movements that span several different issue areas and political regions. Potential case studies include the transnational environmental movement, religious movements in Latin America and the recent growth of far right activism in northern Europe. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 359: Cosmopolitanism

    Stoic philosophers saw themselves as citizens of the world (cosmopolitans), a position that Kant enthusiastically revived in the eighteenth century. After the end of 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. However, today it seems that nationalism and xenophobia are making a powerful comeback. Is cosmopolitanism dead? This course explores the promises and dangers of globalization, as well as the inexhaustible attraction of nationalism. The attempt is to show that the escape from the unsettling complexity of globalization is not within tribalistic nationalism, but rather in the cosmopolitan transformation of identity, as well as of the sense of being at home and of belonging.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; not offered 2021–2022
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Tun Myint
  • 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. Students who have taken POSC 266 remain welcome to take POSC 366.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 367: Social Welfare in a Time of Crisis*

    During COVID-19, many countries adopted new cash transfers, wage subsidies, and basic income experiments, among other innovative social policies, prompting major debates on the need to transform existing social protection systems. We will examine the origins and evolution of formal welfare institutions in the global north and south, with an intersectional focus on their consequences for diverse groups. We will also explore how non-state actors contribute to the construction and maintenance of social safety nets around the world. Based on these insights, we will consider how states, markets, families, and communities may shape the future of welfare states.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2022 · Juan Diego Prieto
  • POSC 371: Modern Political Philosophy: Liberalism and Its Critics*

    Cross-listed with POSC 251. Liberalism is the dominant political philosophy of our time. Living in a liberal polity, each of us has been shaped by liberalism. But is liberalism the best political order? Do we even know what liberalism is? What are the strongest arguments in its favor, and what are the deepest criticisms we might level against it? In this course we will examine liberalism’s philosophic roots and engage with some of its most forceful advocates and most profound critics. Our readings will include authors such as Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville, Mill, and Nietzsche. Research paper required.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 372: Mansions and Shantytowns: Politics of the Spaces We Live In*

    This course explores theories about spaces/places and investigates the impact of our physical environment on a broad range of social and political issues. We will look at how parks, monuments, residential communities, and other features of our cities and towns are made, who makes them, and in turn, their effects on our daily lives. Students will engage with important contemporary issues such as residential segregation, public space management, protest policing, etc. Most of the course will focus on urban politics, with a brief foray into rural issues. The goal of this course is to encourage students to think about everyday environmental features in a more systematic and theoretic manner and design social scientific inquiries into spatial issues.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Huan Gao
  • 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 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 379: Political Economy and 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 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022
  • POSC 380: Political Economy of China and Zomia* 

    The role of China in world politics is the focus of this course. We will study the relationship between China and Zomia (regions of Southeast, South, and Central Asia), the South China Sea conflict, seaport and airport projects, gas-pipelines, OBOR, the ZTE-case, and several Chinese-led infrastructure projects. How is the Chinese model of political economic development different from and similar to the neoliberal economic model? How do contemporary Chinese policy and activities in Zomia, and around the world, explain the history and development of China’s centralized political order from the Qing dynasty to modern China?  

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022