102 American Government
An introduction to the constitutional framework, institutions, and political processes of American government. Required of Politics majors.
104 Comparative Politics
A comparative study of politics and political structures in selected countries. Emphasis is on patterns of political organization and behavior, with particular attention to government institutions, political parties, elections, political participation and social movements. Required of Politics majors and of International Relations majors.
106 International Relations
An investigation of the scope and methods of international politics. Emphasis will be placed on analysis of the distinctive characteristics of the international arena and the recurrent patterns of interstate action. Required of Politics majors and of International Relations majors.
201 The Problem of Liberty*
This course is an introduction to concepts of politics by means of an in-depth examination of theories of freedom. Seminars, readings, and coursework will explore topics of political liberty, religious liberty, natural rights, free will, and the moral responsibilities of free persons. Texts include works by Augustine, Madison, Locke, Berlin, Tocqueville, and Mill.
203 Political Science Research Methods
Designed to equip students with the basic skills of research design, measurement, data collection, and processing for the study of political phenomenon. It promotes the ability to think systematically and critically about social and political problems, and to analyze material in professional journals. Required of Politics majors. Fulfills methods requirement for International Relations majors.
Diplomacy embraces the art, skills and practice of the conduct of relations and negotiations between countries as well as between countries, international organizations, and institutions of civil society. It covers the activities, the culture and the behavior of the diplomatist whether they be national emissaries or international civil servants; the methods by which international relations and their practical problems are managed by diplomats in embassies, consular services, and other relevant institutions; and the regulation of international relations by multilateral negotiation.
207 The Nature of Politics*
Aristotle tells us that "Man is by nature a political animal," but what does this mean, and what is the nature of politics? The nature of politics involves the distribution of power in complex communities for the purpose of securing interests and honors. The distribution of power requires a justification of power or authority - in other words, a regime's account of justice. Looked at in this way we can see that a number of themes emerge: the enduring problem of faction, and the distinction of public and private goods; the shaping of a "public" and the ordering of a regime; the empowerment - and disempowerment - of reason in public life; the relationship between justice and power; the interaction of nature and convention in politics. The texts include works by Aristotle, Xenophon, Montesquieu, Shakespeare and Machiavelli.
208 Elements of Political Theory: Classical
An examination of the nature, functions, and goals of political society in the classical period, with special attention to the concepts of justice and power, the individual and the community, and the common good. Readings include Plato's Republic, selections from Aristotle's Politics, and works chosen from Xenophon and Cicero, among others. PO208 or PO209 is required of Politics majors.
209 Elements of Political Theory: Modern
This course examines the nature, functions, and goals of political society in the modern period (roughly, since 1500) through careful readings from the works of Machiavelli, Locke, Rousseau, and Nietzsche, among others. Special attention is paid to the concepts of justice and power, the individual and society, and equality and rights. PO208 or PO209 is required of Politics majors.
210 Congressional Power
An examination of the composition, organization, and procedures of legislative bodies, with special emphasis on Congress.
211 Presidential Power
This course examines central themes in the development, organization, and functioning of the Executive Branch, with a particular emphasis on the American presidency. The course combines the study of executive behavior with an analysis of the evolving institutional framework within which that behavior occurs. It views the Executive Branch as a complex institution, one that requires the president to simultaneously play multiple political roles. The course separates these roles into their institutional and behavioral components, in order to understand their significance in an integrated theoretical and empirical conception of executive governance.
212 Constitutional Law
A study of the American Constitution in light of judicial interpretation. Basic constitutional principles defining governmental powers in the federal system and the relationship between government and the people are examined. Skills in case analysis, briefing, and argument stressed. Students prepare a moot court presentation.
214 International Law
An examination of principles, customs, and rules recognized as binding sovereign states, legal persons, and certain individuals; and application of this body of law to issues of war, socio-political justice, the environment, economic relations, and national security under nuclear and terrorist threat. Develops skills in case analysis and briefing, legal writing, and oral argument. This course fulfills the international political institution requirement for International Relations majors.
215 Politics of the Environment
This course imparts awareness of the complexity of environmental issues from political-economic standpoints as well as knowledge of the policy tools, options, and obstacles met in dealing with negative environmental conditions. Presents conceptual and empirical approaches at various levels of decision making and teaches about the analytical, diplomatic, and communication skills necessary for problem solving and policy making.
219 State and Local Government
An examination and study of American politics and government at the state and local levels. Topics covered include governors and state legislatures, county government, city government, and the New England town meeting.
224 International Organization: Global goverance and The United Nations System
An examination of the historical and conceptual questions of international organization. Emphasis is on the structural characteristics of the United Nations system as well as its activities, including peace keeping, development, technical assistance, and social justice. Comparisons are made with other international and regional organizations, such as the
European Union, and with non-governmental organizations. This course fulfills the international political institution requirement for International Relations majors.
227 European Politics
A comparative study of politics and political structures in selected European countries individually, with special focus on France, German and England. The gradual building of the European Union receive special attention.
228 East Asian Politics
This survey course is designed to help students appreciate the forces of change and continuity in the political systems of East Asia embracing the regions of the Northeast (significantly China, Japan, Vietnam and the Koreas) and the Southeast (specifically Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Burma). Students will be taught the distinctiveness of the political ethos of East Asian countries. Several factors are considered including political culture, modernization, military conflicts, class politics, party and elite politics, civil society, power structure, external relations and globalization to shed light on politics and the dynamics of change in these political systems.
229 Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa
This course provides an introduction to the politics of contemporary Sub- Saharan Africa, a region of the world viewed by many as "left behind." It takes a cross-national and cross-temporal comparative approach to help students understand the current challenges and opportunities faced by Sub-Saharan African states. Students will be encouraged to see Sub- Saharan Africa's connections to the world and to use the Sub-Saharan African experience to interrogate traditional social science concepts such as that of the nation-state.
230 The Politics of Rich and Poor States
This course examines the relationships among rich and poor states in the post-World War II international political economy. It explores alternative theoretical approaches to the problem of "development:" liberal internationalism, structuralism, neo-liberalism, Marxism, feminism and post-modernism. It examines historically the conflicts, institutions and policies related to development. It then applies these theoretical and historical insights to contemporary issues in North-South relations, such as globalization, environmental sustainability, war and reconstruction, and reform of international institutions.
235 American Foreign Policy
An analysis of American foreign policy. Emphasis is on the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and post-1989 developments. Attention is also given to the present administration's response to changes in the international environment.
248 Public Policy Process
An examination of the creation of public policy at the federal and state levels. Attention will be given to the actors and politics of agenda-building, formulation, legitimization, and implementation. Emphasis is on the political and ethical context in which policy decisions are made.
250 Gender and Politics
This course examines the role of gender in political life, with an emphasis on U.S. politics. The course addresses the history of women's political development and social movements, and political theories of gender, including both masculine and feminine. Students will examine the role of gender in shaping patterns of political participation (both traditional and non-traditional) and public policy issues.
255 Campaigns and Elections
This course examines campaigns and elections in the American context, including voting, political parties, trends and tactics in campaigning, and campaign finance. These are examined at both the presidential and congressional levels.
270 Theories and Ideologies in Environmental Politics
Given the extents of world attention and political controversy generated by different perceptions of environmental change and its potential impact on the human condition, it is important that students be exposed to the wide ranging political thinking and interests on the subject, which stem from the different theories, ideologies and values of the actors. This course will pilot students through controversies- the arguments and counter arguments- that separate the scientist's observations of developments, the public perceptions of problems. It will be up to the students to dig further into the ideas that are presented-gathering other positions and bringing into the light the broad spectrum of theoretical thinking and ideological programs that underlie decisions for action or inaction on a particular issue.
275 Human Rights
Human rights is presented as an ideal, a movement, a subject of international law and world politics. The course covers the origins of human rights, their scope, evolution, conflict and confluence with national sovereignty. Examined is the question of the centrality of human rights in the building of a just and peaceful world community.
320 International Relations Theory*
An examination of the primary approaches in the field of International Relations (IR), including realism, liberalism, and constructivism. Topics covered include the causes and prevention of major wars, the relationship between human nature and international politics, popular culture and identity formation, globalization, and the return of normative and religious concerns to the study of IR. Readings will draw from a mixture of the traditional IR canon and innovative new ways of examining these subjects.
Prerequisites for the course: The course is open to Politics and IR major who have completed PO104 and PO106.
326 Latin American Politics
This course examines the government and politics of Latin America, taking both a regional and country-specific approach. It examines region-wide patterns such as the colonial inheritance, relations with the United States, and experiences with democratization and economic development. It also examines a number of individual Latin American countries in-depth, focusing on their government structures, political cultures, records of regime change, and state-society relations. Additionally, the course considers contemporary policy challenges, such as regional integration, immigration, and illegal trafficking.
327 Middle East Politics
The purpose of this survey course is to familiarize students with the culture, institutions, and peoples of the modern Middle East. The class examines patterns of modernization and development across several regional polities, with particular attention devoted to the effect of colonial legacies and strategies of resistance, pan-Arab nationalism, the re-emergence of political Islam, economic underdevelopment and the politics of oil.
329 Russian Area Politics
Analysis of contemporary politics in Russia. The course emphasizes those historical, geographical, and economic features which have influenced Russian political development. Attention is also given to the uniqueness of Russian political thought and its cultures.
330 International Political Economy
A practical inquiry into the global framework for international economic relations and its regulation; considers the interactions of states, cultures, institutions and markets in transforming international relations. It offers theoretical analysis of the politics and principles governing global relations in trade, finance, monetary affairs, foreign investment, development, as well as the impacts of all these activities on the world food supplies and the environment. This course provides students with familiarity with the major ideological perspectives of the actors on the world political-economic state as well as skills in analyzing and resolving conflicts thereon.
331 Politics of South Asia
This course examines politics and government in the two leading South Asian nations of India and Pakistan. It will also serve as an introduction to some of the major intellectual and theoretical concerns in the field of South Asian political studies, including the legacies of colonialism, political instability, the role of the military, the threat of nuclear war, ongoing problems of poverty, the situation in Kashmir and religious tensions.
345 Public Administration
This course considers several analytic perspectives for understanding the dynamics of public administration, with a particular emphasis on the president's role in that process. The course examines how the president interacts with the federal bureaucracy to formulate and implement policy, and negotiates with Congress to pass legislation enacting that policy. The course also considers the impact of these central relationships on the broader institutional and electoral contexts in which these political actors function.
347 Justice and War in International Relations*
This course studies two great theoretical themes, justice and power, as they are worked out in times of war. We begin with selections from Thucydides, who defines and describes the problem of justice and power for us. We conclude with Kant, who offers a hope that justice and power may be brought into accord (if not entirely reconciled). Several questions emerge: What causes wars, and what makes the cause right? Is patriotism a moral duty? Is war or peace the more natural condition for states? Is it possible to combine justice with power? Are some regimes better for this purpose than others? To engage these questions we read the works of leading thinkers from the perspectives of the Christian just war tradition, political realism, and international law, including Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Vitoria, and Grotius.
350 Political Catholicism
This course taught in a seminar format examines the political role of the Roman Catholic Church from a social science perspective. The focus is both on the church as an international actor and as a domestic political force in various countries. Topics considered will include issues of church and state, religious freedom, Catholicism and democracy, Catholicism and dictatorships, and the church as an actor on issues of peace and war. The course will also begin with a brief consideration of Saint Augustine's political theology and end with a consideration of contemporary Catholic social teaching.
352 Political Theory and Contemporary Problems: The Economy*
This course aims to unite the study of political theory and contemporary politics by analyzing the problem of political economy as it currently exists in the United States in light of the understandings of this problem proposed by various political theorists. The course is a combination of lecture and discussion, involving the analysis of empirical literature on the problem of political economy, faction, and the extent of government power in America today as well as the careful reading of primary texts in political theory. Thinkers to be read include Aristotle, Locke, Smith, and others, and, from an American perspective, Madison, Hamilton, Herbert Croly, Friedrich Hayek, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Tocqueville.
353 Politics of Diversity*
This course focuses on the question: How can a pluralistic democracy, specifically America, deal justly with diversity? In order to address this question, we will divide our inquiry into two parts. First, we will look at issues concerning racial, religious,moral, intellectual, gender, and sexual diversity in American. Second, we will examine various democratic political options for dealing justly with diversity. Students will be asked to formulate their response to this question and defend their position both orally and in writing.
354 Media and Politics
This course examines the role of media in U.S. politics. The focus of the course is to analyze how the media shapes American government and politics, particularly through its influence on public opinion , elections, governance, and public policy, and the strategic use of the media by political actors.
355 Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
A study of the American Bill of Rights. This course will examine civil liberties (individual rights to act and be protected in the criminal process) and civil rights (protections against discrimination) in terms of four broad areas: the relationship between Church and State, freedom of expression, equal protection of the laws, and criminal rights. By means of a careful study of Supreme Court opinions as well as commentaries on some of these controversial issues, this course will explore how our understanding and interpretation of these liberties and rights have evolved over time.
356 Liberalism, Pluralism and Community*
One of the fundamental and enduring political problems is finding the right balance between the goods of individuals and the good of the community. Over the last century this problem was explored by liberals (who emphasized the liberty of individuals), pluralists (who describe political life not as an association of individuals but rather a dynamic interaction of identity groups), and by critics of these two approaches who tend to give emphasis to the claims of community and the maintenance of public ethics. This course explores key texts in this contemporary debate. Each of the authors we consider (Rawls, Hayek, Sandel, MacIntyre, and others) is looking to explain how a contemporary political community can incorporate individual freedom with social cohesion - liberty with community.
Prerequisites for the course: Open to Junior or Seniors
357 Medieval Political Thought *
The medieval political philosophers - Christian, Jewish, and Muslim - confronted the inherent and inevitable tension between the demands of faith and the necessities of the nation most deeply. It is this issue above all that distinguishes the medieval political thinker from the ancient (whose polytheism means the problem does not surface) and the modern (whose doctrine of toleration buries the problem without fully addressing it). Why do philosophers like Augustine recognize such a distance between the city of God and the human city? What does that distance imply for political practice? What do our faith commitments require of us in our political lives, and what limits might the political world impose on those commitments? To address these questions and others, seminars will examine texts by Augustine, Aquinas, Maimonides, al-Farabi and others.
358 American Political Thought*
Selections from a variety of authors, with special attention to the prominent figures like Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison, Lincoln, and Tocqueville. A number of enduring political issues emerge from these readings (federal-state relations, the role of government in the private sector, the relationship between liberty and equality, the American science of politics, the place of commerce and industry in a free society, the character of a free people), and we will trace the development of these themes.]
359 Contemporary Christian Political Thought*
This course is a survey of the variety of Christian understandings of politics that have developed in the wake of WWII. Readings will include various papal encyclicals, as well as primary texts by authors like Reinhold Niebuhr, John Howard Yoder, and Yves Simon that cover topics like the best kinds of government, economics, race, human rights and war. As a combination of lecture and group discussion, students are required to read the assignments carefully and to participate actively in class.
360 Comparative Democratization
A study of the process of democratization in light of the recent worldwide expansion of democratic regimes. The course reviews the principal theories of democratization, and then compares and contrasts selected cases.
365 Globalism and Nationalism
This course explores the origins and different forms of nationalism and nationalism as a reaction to globalization. Several case studies of nationalism in the North and South are examined. Topics covered include the links between identity and institution building, extreme nationalism, state conflict, and the relationship of religion and other belief systems to national collective identity.
400 Independent Study
Students wishing to explore topics of their own choosing may design courses of independent study with the advice and consent of a member of the department.
425 Selected Topics in Political Thought *
Topics vary by semester, and may include theoretical approaches to works of literature, religion and politics, or advanced courses dedicated to the study of a particular political thinker or school of thought.
442 Selected Topics in World Politics
This course will examine a contemporary topic confronting world politics. Its objective is to provide an opportunity for a critical examination and discussion of relevant issues in world affairs. Topics vary by semester, and may include the Mideast Peace Process, ideological approaches to global politics, Islamic fundamentalism, and social justice issues in the Third World.
446 Selected Topics in American Politics
An examination of a current topic in American politics and society. Topics vary by semester, and include campaigns and elections, legislation and lobbying, media relations in politics, women in politics, and ethical issues in politics.
456 Integrated Studies Seminar
478 Senior Seminar
This seminar is required of all Politics and International Relations majors during the senior year. Seniors are expected to write an independent guided research paper which constitutes the senior thesis.
480 Government Internship (One course)
Students are placed in a federal or state government agency.
Prerequisite: Permission of the Chair.
485 Government Internship (Two courses)
Students are placed in a federal or state agency.
486 Internship - Summer School 487-488-489 Washington Internship
Students are placed in a federal agency in Washington, D.C.
Prerequisite: Permission of the Chair
490 Concord Experience Program (3 courses)
491, 492, 493 New York Internship Program (Five courses)
494 Campaign Internship
Students will work with a national, state or local campaign for a candidate for public office.