CRN

94062

Distribution

C  / * (Social Science)

Course No.

PS 105

Title

Introduction to Comparative Government

Professor

Nara Dillon

Schedule

Tu Th            11:30 am - 12:50 pm     OLIN 204

The intellectual premise of the field of comparative politics is that we can better understand the politics of almost any country by placing it in its larger, global context. This comparative perspective allows us to address some of the most fundamental questions of politics. What are the different ways in which groups and individuals participate in politics around the world?  Why have some countries developed stable democratic political systems, while others experience frequent changes in government, or even revolutions?  What relationship does a country’s political organization have with its economic performance, social stability, and relations with other countries?  In exploring these and other questions, we will examine advanced industrial democracies (Britain and the United States), communist/post-communist countries (Russia and China), and third world countries (Brazil and Iran). This course is required for all political studies majors.

 

CRN

94074

Distribution

A  / * (Social Science)

Course No.

PS 115

Title

Introduction to Political Thinking

Professor

Elaine Thomas

Schedule

Tu Th            4:30 pm -  5:50 pm       OLIN 202

Related interest:  Human Rights

Hobbes or Rousseau?  Plato or Locke?  Machiavelli or Aristotle?  None of the above?  Serious political debate and political study are conducted against the background of a shared history of reflection.  This is no less true of political thought that aims to break away from “the classics” than of political thought that finds in them a constant resource for both critical and constructive thinking.  This course reflects on politics through reading and discussion of a core body of writings.  Looking comparatively at texts from diverse historical eras from ancient times to the present, we will critically examine different ways of thinking about key political concepts, such as justice, democracy, authority, and “the political.”  We will also reconstruct (and perhaps deconstruct) key strategic alternatives to such enduring questions as the relationship between the state and the individual; the conditions for peaceful political order; and the relationship between political action, intellectual contemplation, and morality.  This course is required for all political studies majors.

 

CRN

94069

Distribution

C  / * (Social Science)

Course No.

PS 122

Title

American Politics:Issues and Institutions

Professor

Mark Lindeman

Schedule

Tu Th            3:00 pm -  4:20 pm       OLIN 201

Cross-listed:  American Studies

This course introduces students to the basic institutions and processes of American government. The class is meant to provide students with a grasp of the fundamental dynamics of American politics and the skills to be an effective participant in and critic of the political process. During the semester, we will examine how the government works, interpret current political developments and debates, and consider how to influence the government at various levels

 

CRN

94075

Distribution

C   / * (Social Science)

Course No.

PS 125

Title

West European Politics and Society

Professor

Elaine Thomas

Schedule

Tu Th            1:30 pm -  2:50 pm       OLIN 308

Cross-listed: French Studies, German Studies, Global & Int’l Studies,  Human Rights, Italian Studies

This course will examine the political development of France, Britain, Germany and Italy from the tumultuous and divisive decade of the 1930s to present efforts to develop a “European Union” capable of counter-balancing US power.  What challenges had to be overcome for regularly warring countries with unstable regimes to be transformed into liberal democracies at lasting peace with one another?  How have the main lines of political conflict and identity in these countries changed over time?  Are the notions of “Left” and “Right,” originally born in Europe, now becoming passé there?  How do the systems of political representation and decision-making in different West European countries compare?  Do they grant citizens more meaningful voice those of the US?  We will also look at a few important areas of these countries’ policymaking.  How successful have Western Europe’s leading democracies been in ensuring social welfare, promoting sexual equality, and welcoming immigrants?  Finally, why are these countries now intentionally surrendering some of their national sovereignty to the European Union?  Drawing on a range of readings and selected European films, we will examine these issues with particular attention to the major historical events and social transformations of 20th-century Western Europe and their influence on current European political and social life.

 

CRN

94064

Distribution

C  / * (Social Science)

Course No.

PS 214

Title

US-Latin American Relations

Professor

Omar Encarnacion

Schedule

Mon Wed       11:30 am - 12:50 pm     OLIN 204

Cross-listed:  American Studies, Global & Int’l Studies, LAIS and Human Rights

A comprehensive examination of the relationships between the United States and the nations of Latin America, how this process was affected by historical and ideological events, and what possibilities exist for its future.  The course is divided into three sections: first, historical overview of the events that shaped U.S.-Latin American relations, emphasizing U.S. military interventions in Latin America, U.S. attempts to establish political and economic hegemony, and U.S. efforts to export democratic government; second, an examination of the principal issues that currently dominate the relations between the U.S. and its southern neighbors: economic integration, trade, drugs, and immigration; third, a close look at the relationships between the United States and three countries of special interest to it and its domestic politics: Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

 

CRN

94070

Distribution

C  / * (Social Science)

Course No.

PS 235

Title

The Modern American Presidency

Professor

Mark Lindeman

Schedule

Tu Fr             10:00 am - 11:20 am     OLIN 205

Cross-listed:  American Studies

This class explores the major dynamics affecting the office of the president of the United States, and, by extension, the workings of American politics.  Using the 2004 presidential election as a starting point, we examine historical patterns of change in dominant issues, party coalitions, and the institutional capacities of the presidency.  Particular attention is paid to the struggles and crises that have led to the enlargement and contraction presidential power, including the Great Depression, World War II and the Cold War, civil rights mobilization, Vietnam, Watergate, and the September 11 attacks. Other topics include divided government, the impact of the 1994 “Republican Revolution” in Congress, and the political manipulation of scandals

 

CRN

94123

Distribution

C  / * (Social Science)

Course No.

PS 239

Title

The United Nations and Model UN

Professor

Jonathan Becker

Schedule

Alternate Wed   4:30 pm -  5:50 pm     OLIN 303

Cross-listed: Human Rights

1 credit* The course will be divided into two parts. The first part will explore the history of the United Nations and will introduce students to its structure and principal aims. It will also focus on the role of specialized agencies and the ways in which alliances impact on the UN’s day-to-day operations. The second part of the course will focus on an assigned country (for each Model UN, each college is assigned a country to represent: this year Bard  represented Azerbaijan and Moldova). It will entail a study of the country’s history, politics and economics and will conclude with the writing of ‘position papers’ that reflect that country’s approach to issues confronting the UN. In addition, there will be a public speaking component. Students taking the course will have the opportunity to participate in a Model United Nations. Students wishing to participate should e-mail jbecker@bard.edu with 1-2 paragraphs indicating why they would like to participate.

*One credit per semester, two-credit course. Students must take both halves to obtain credit.

 

CRN

94030

Distribution

A / * (Social Science)

Course No.

SOC / PS 241

Title

Late Modern Political Theory: Knowledge and Organization

Professor

David Kettler

Schedule

Mon Wed       1:30 pm -  2:50 pm       OLIN 107

Since the end of the nineteenth century, political theory has been influenced by its confrontation with the question whether politics can be reduced to a science. Conflicting theories share common features. First, late modern approaches are strongly marked by attention to social theory, the intellectual project centered on problems of modern rationality. Second, conceptions of political knowledge are closely linked to conceptions of organization (and the fear of disorganization). Earlier emphases on justice and authority are overshadowed by questions about the intelligence of political rule. The course will compare major nineteenth- and twentieth-century proposals for institutionalizing rationality in the political system including Mill, Engels/Marx, Weber, Mannheim, Dewey, Marcuse and Habermas, as well as some outstanding critics of the project, including Nietzsche, Hayek, and Foucault.

 

CRN

94061

Distribution

C  / * (Social Science)

Course No.

PS 255

Title

Politics of Russia and the Soviet Successor States:  1985-Present

Professor

Jonathan Becker

Schedule

Mon Wed       1:30 pm -  2:50 pm       OLIN 305

Cross-listed: Global & Int’l Studies, Russian and Eurasian Studies

This course examines the monumental political, social and economic changes that have swept Russia since 1985. We will ask a number of inter-related questions: Why did Communism collapse? What political, economic, social and historical factors explain the relative difficulties of Russia’s post-Communist transition? Where is Putin’s Russia heading? What role did the United States play in the collapse of Communism and the apparent failure of Russia’s transition? In answering these questions we will examine political, social and economic structures, the mass media, legal systems, and societal attitudes. We explore the transformation of Russia not only through academic books and articles, but also through literature, film, and the speeches and writings of political figures. The course attempts to put the Russian transformation in perspective through a selective examination of changes in neighboring countries, including Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, and the Baltic States.

 

CRN

94065

Distribution

C / * (Social Science)

Course No.

PS 337                         *Rethinking Difference

Title

Civil Society in World Politics

Professor

Omar Encarnacion

Schedule

Tu                 10:30 am - 12:50 pm     OLIN 307

Cross-listed: Global & Int’l Studies,  Human Rights

This seminar examines the rise and politics of civil society at home and abroad.  It explores, first, debates over the meaning of civil society and related terminology such as "social capital" and "civic engagement," and the importance of civil society organizations, from civic associations to protest groups, to democratic performance and stability.  The seminar then looks at the configuration of civil society across a wide range of states, from the United States to Western Europe to Latin America to the post-Communist world.  The aim is to compare and contrast how civil society affects the nature and quality of democracy in different countries.  The final part of the seminar examines the economic and political effects of what has been termed "global civil society,” from the Internet to the rise of international NGOs.  Readings include Omar G. Encarnación, The Myth of Civil Society: Social Capital and Democratic Consolidation in Spain and Brazil (2003), Bob Edwards and Michael W. Foley, ed., Beyond Tocqueville: Civil Society and the Social Capital Debate in Comparative Perspective (2001), Robert Putnam, Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy (1992), Grzegotz Ekiert and Jan Kubik, Rebellious Civil Society: Popular Protest and Democratic Consolidation in Poland (1999), and Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikking, Activists Without Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (1998).

 

CRN

94063

Distribution

C / * (Social Science)

Course No.

PS 345

Title

The Politics of Economic Development

Professor

Nara Dillon

Schedule

Wed               1:30 pm -  3:50 pm       HEG 300

Cross-listed: Global & Int’l Studies, LAIS and Asian Studies

This seminar explores the intersection between politics and economics, centering on the vital problem of economic development.  We will explore some of the fundamental questions of political economy: What is development?  Are some political systems “better” at economic development than others?  Is there a trade-off between political freedom and economic growth?  How does economic development affect politics?  The first third of the course provides a broad overview of the dominant theoretical approaches to political economy.  After this orientation, the rest of the course will be devoted to examining contemporary issues and problems of development.  Topics covered include inequality, labor, democratic transitions, post-communist transitions, structural adjustment, globalization, and the reversal of development.  Empirical cases will be drawn from almost every region in the world, especially Europe, East Asia and Latin America.

 

CRN

94073

Distribution

C / * (Social Science)

Course No.

PS 348                           *Rethinking Difference

Title

Political Representation and Social Differences

Professor

Pierre Ostiguy

Schedule

Tu                 4:00 pm -  6:20 pm       OLIN 306

Cross-listed: Global & Int’l Studies, Sociology

What are the main lines of political division in the U.S. and in countries around the world?  How does the divide between liberals and conservatives relate to questions of class, gender, race and regions, if at all? Are values independent from social positions? This seminar crosses borders between political sociology, electoral analysis, identity formation and what political scientists call “spatial analysis.” We will examine the conflicts associated with political representation both from the subjective angle of identities, as they relate to “self” and “experience,” and from a macro-sociological perspective on society.  In other words, we will examine the relation between political divides, historical social transformations, “values,” and collective identities. Do party systems mirror social differences or have they become disconnected from society? How can we tell? What are the electoral strategies of political parties when they compete for votes, within a “space”?  Along the way, we will look at topics in political sociology such as electoral sociology, social movements, and identity politics, while from a political theory perspective we will analyze the relational and discursive mechanisms of identity formation.

 

CRN

94068

Distribution

C  / * (Social Science)

Course No.

PS 360

Title

War is Hell: The Use of Force in International Relations

Professor

James Ketterer

Schedule

Th                 10:30 am - 12:50 pm     OLIN 307

Cross-listed: Global & Int’l Studies, Human Rights

"War is the continuation of politics by other means." So said the Prussian military theorist Karl von Clausewitz more than 170 years ago, and it remains true today. But what has changed is the nature of conflicts that oftentimes fail to adhere to classical principles of great power battles. This course introduces students to the major debates and issues concerning the use of or threat of using force in international politics, with a focus on the changing nature of security studies. Some of the issues to be studied are: how wars start and end; how wars are influenced by various political and other factors; civil-military relations; asymmetrical conflict; interventions; ethnic conflict; the role of non-state actors; responses to terrorism; and weapons of mass destruction. This course will help students develop a broad theoretical context as well as the opportunity to apply those theories to specific case studies including Iraq, Somalia, Congo, India-Pakistan, Algeria, Afghanistan and Ireland.