Course

PS 104  Introduction to  International Relations

Professor

Jonathan Cristol

CRN

95460

 

Schedule

Wed  Fr   3:00 – 4:20 pm   HEG 102

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: SOCIAL SCIENCE

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

How does evangelical Christianity impact the United Nations? Why are so many UN peacekeepers from Fiji? Could a book have led to the war in Iraq? Why are most suicide bombers from the educated middle class? This course looks to provide students with an understanding of the hows and whys of state behavior: the “nuts and bolts” of international affairs. Topics will include: international relations theory; how foreign policy is made; international organizations; and some of the “hot” issues in the world today, such as terrorism, preventive war, globalization, and the spread of democracy. The goal of the class is to see how (or if) theories of international relations can explain the “way of the world.”

 

Course

PS 105   Introduction to Comparative Government

Professor

Nara Dillon

CRN

95194

 

Schedule

Mon Wed     3:00 -4:20 pm       OLIN 203

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: SOCIAL SCIENCE

Related interest:  Global & Int’l Studies

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 (Germany and the United States), communist/post-communist countries (China), and third world countries (Brazil and Iran). This course is required for all political studies majors.

 

Course

PS 115   Introduction to Political Thinking

Professor

Roger Berkowitz

CRN

95193

 

Schedule

Wed Fr        10:30 -11:50 am    OLIN 101

Distribution

OLD: A

NEW: SOCIAL SCIENCE

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.

 

Course

PS 153    Latin American Politics & Society

Professor

Omar Encarnacion

CRN

95448

 

Schedule

Mon Wed     3:00 – 4:20 pm  OLIN 306

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: SOCIAL SCIENCE / RETHINKING DIFFERENCE

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

This course examines political life in Latin America in the postcolonial period.  The course covers the entire region but emphasizes the most representative countries:  Argentina, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, and Mexico.  The overarching purpose of the course is to understand change and continuity in this region.  We will endeavor to accomplish this by emphasizing both the historical development of institutions and political actors in Latin America (e.g. the state, capital, labor, the church, the military) as well as the variety of theoretical frameworks that scholars have constructed to understand the dynamics of political development throughout the region (e.g. modernization, dependencia, and political culture).  Among the major themes covered in the course are the legacies of European colonialism, state building, revolution, corporatism and populism, military rule, and redemocratization. Open to all students.

 

Course

HR / PS 203   Terror, Torture and Truth: Human Rights After 9/11

Professor

Mark Danner

CRN

95391

 

Schedule

Mon             1:30 -2:50 pm       OLIN 203

Tu               1:00 -2:20 pm       OLIN 205

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: HISTORY

Cross-listed:  Human Rights

Related interest:  Global & Int’l Studies

When it comes to human rights, there is the world before September 11 and the world after it. On that date in 2001 America entered upon "a new paradigm," in the words of then White House counsel (now Attorney General) Alberto Gonzales -- a major shift not only in the American way of war and foreign policy but in our government's attitude toward the protection of human rights at home and abroad. Henceforth Americans would "take the gloves off" in their treatment of prisoners, their policies on interrogation, and their attitude toward the laws of war. In this course we will examine these policy changes closely. We will study the decisions government officials made, the documents they wrote to advance those policies, and, most important, the actions of those who carried those policies out in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo. We will chart the path America has followed from the attacks of 9/11 to the scandal of Abu Ghraib, and to the present controversy over the use of "extreme interrogation techniques" -- what many call torture. At the heart of this course will be a running debate on the fundamental question of whether or not those human rights embodied in international law that Americans had come to take for granted must give way before the demands of the War on Terror. Put succinctly:  Do Americans live in a nation that does not torture -- or in a nation that tortures only when it needs to?

 

Course

PS 239 The United Nations and Model UN

Professor

Jonathan Becker

CRN

95466

 

Schedule

Wed   4:30 – 5:50 pm  OLIN 107

Distribution

OLD: A/C

NEW: SOCIAL SCIENCE / RETHINKING DIFFERENCE

Cross-listed: Human Rights

Related interest:  Global & Int’l. Studies

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.

 

Course

PS 240   US / East Asian Relations

Professor

Nara Dillon

CRN

95458

 

Schedule

Mon Wed     10:30 -11:50 am    HEG 300

Distribution

OLD: A/C

NEW: SOCIAL SCIENCE / RETHINKING DIFFERENCE

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

This course provides an overview of foreign relations between the United States and the nations of East Asia, starting with their historical evolution and ending with a wide-ranging look at the region in the current post-Cold War era. We will begin our historical survey with the imperialism of the 19th and 20th centuries, turn to the origins and revolutionary consequences of WWII, and then trace the contours of the Cold War in the region. The Korean War, Vietnam War, and normalization of relations between the U.S. and China will be highlighted. In the last section of the course, we will turn to contemporary issues and problems in East Asian-U.S. relations, such as trade, the globalization of popular culture, the status of Tibet, and the current crisis in North Korea.

 

Course

PS 247 The American Foreign Policy Tradition

Professor

Walter Mead

CRN

95486

 

Schedule

Th    7:00 – 9:20 pm   OLIN 202

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: SOCIAL SCIENCE

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

This course will be an introduction to the history of American foreign policy and to the connections between foreign policy and domestic policy that have developed throughout the course of American history. Students will be introduced to the principal geopolitical, economic and ideological pillars that have shaped American strategic thought. Particular attention will be devoted to how popular religious, cultural and political movements have attempted to influence American foreign policy, including anti-war movements: What, for example, are the similarities between today’s anti-war movements and those that have existed since the War of 1812? In the context of the course, students will be asked to read key documents that have defined American foreign policy.

 

Course

PS 256   Politics and News Media

Professor

Jonathan Becker

CRN

95192

 

Schedule

Mon Wed     10:30 -11:50 am    OLIN 305

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: SOCIAL SCIENCE

Related interest:  Global & Int’l Studies

This course examines broad questions about the relationship between the news media and politics. It addresses the interaction between government and news media, concentrating on the characteristics of different national media systems, legal regulation of the media, the impact of corporate ownership and globalization, and the role of new media technologies. Particular attention will be devoted to the role of media in elections and restrictions related to national security concerns. A little more than half of the course will be devoted to media and the system of political communication in the United States. The rest of the course will involve thematic comparisons of media in a number countries, including Russia, Hungary, Sweden, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

 

Course

PS 258   Strategies of Political and Social Change

Professor

Pierre Ostiguy

CRN

95459

 

Schedule

Mon  Wed   3:00 – 4:20 pm  OLIN 202

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: SOCIAL SCIENCE

Cross-listed: Human Rights, Sociology

How can we change the political condition of our society?  A century ago, Lenin concisely asked “What is to be Done?”.  Can we achieve political change through force of will and political strategies, as “Che” Guevara or Sorel on the left, Hitler on the right, and most of the democratic transition literature in the “center” argue?  Or is long-lasting political change a product of slower, more “passive” transformations of the social fabric, such as industrialization, increased literacy and education, or the rise of so-called “post-materialist values”?  Somewhere between will and structure, sociologists have highlighted the importance of historical repertoires of collective action for achieving radical transformation, while Gramscians have stressed the need to think about hegemony, the “role of the party” and cultural traditions. This course examines various theories that have sought to explain –and at times trigger—social and political change. With regard to means of political change, the course will examine electoral democratic paths, as well as non-liberal ones seeking to use violence and mobilization to achieve change.  The course will compare three sorts of theories: radical theories associated with political will, from Lenin to Gramsci, “Che,” and Maoism; socially-induced theories of political change, from modernization theory to Inglehart; and actor-centered theories, from macro institutionalist theories to the contras-ting perspectives of individualist rational choice and the sociology of collective action.

 

Course

PS 337   Bowling Leagues and NGO’s: Civil Society in World Politics

Professor

Omar Encarnacion

CRN

95457

 

Schedule

Tu    9:30 – 11:50 am  OLIN 203

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: SOCIAL SCIENCE / RETHINKING DIFFERENCE

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

PIE Core Course

This seminar examines the 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).

 

Course

PS 345  The  Politics of Economic Development

Professor

Nara Dillon

CRN

95195

 

Schedule

Tu               1:30 - 3:50 pm      OLIN 101

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: SOCIAL SCIENCE / RETHINKING DIFFERENCE

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

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.

 

Course

PS  348  Political Representation and Social Differences

Professor

Pierre Ostiguy

CRN

95200

 

Schedule

Th               7:30 -9:50 pm       OLIN 201

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: SOCIAL SCIENCE / DIFF

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.

 

Course

PS 358  Radical American Democracy from Emerson to Arendt

Professor

Roger Berkowitz

CRN

95407

 

Schedule

Tu       4:00 – 6:20 pm      OLIN 303

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: SOCIAL SCIENCE

Cross-listed Human Rights

This seminar is an exploration of radical American democracy. While most characterizations of democracy see it as a form of government, this course explores the essence of democracy as a specifically modern way of life. To do so, it turns to some great thinkers of American democracy such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Ralph Ellison, W. E. B. DuBois, and Hannah Arendt. What unites these radical democrats is the conviction that democracy is a practice of individuals rather than an institutional form of governance. As an ideal of radical individualism, American democratic thought offers, perhaps surprisingly, an aristocratic critique of the limits of democratic government even as it, seen from another side, makes possible our culture of narcissistic consumerism. Our aim is to understand the democratic spirit of radical individualism that has proven so seductive and powerful since its modern birth in the American revolution. Texts will include Emerson’s essays The American Scholar and Experience, Thoreau’s Walden, Ellison’s Invisible Man and Arendt’s On Revolution.