98493

PS 104A  International Relations

Jonathan Cristol

M.W ..

12:00-1:20 pm

OLIN 205

SSCI

 

98484

PS 104B  International Relations

Sanjib Baruah

M.W ..

1:30-2:50 pm

HEG 102

SSCI

Cross-listed: Global & Int’l Studies,  Human Rights   This course will focus on the major theories and concepts in international relations.  We will start the semester looking at the major schools of international relations theory:  realism, liberalism, and constructivism.  What are the implications of these theories for foreign policy decision making (and for the future of the world!)?  The course will also look at international organizations, including the UN and WTO, and how foreign policy is carried out.  We will end the semester by looking at some of the “hot” issues in the world today including: terrorism, preventive war, the rise of China, and the spread of democracy. The goal of the class is to see how (or if) theories of international relations can explain how organizations function and how foreign policy is made and to see what answers theory can provide for how to deal with the problems of a “post 9/11 world.”  Authors to be read include: Thucydides, Morgenthau, Russett, Huntington, and Mearsheimer, among many others.   

 

98057

PS 105   Introduction to Comparative Government

Monique Segarra

. T . Th

10:30- 11:50 am

HEG 201

SSCI

Cross-listed: Global & Int'l Studies    This course introduces students to important concepts, themes, and approaches in the comparative study of politics.  The course is organized around questions that reflect both interesting phenomena and puzzles that call for some kind of explanation.  First, we begin our intellectual journey by exploring the key analytical frameworks in comparative politics that shape political systems and outcomes:  interests, identity, and institutions.  Then, we examine themes surrounding political regime and processes through the study of politics in selected countries.  Topics include democracy, dictatorship, the economic role of the state, political parties and interest groups, as well as the issues of institutional design (parliamentarism vs. presidentialism, proportional vs. majoritarian, federalism and decentralization).  By the end of the course, the student will have acquired a broad perspective of the field of Comparative Politics and some basic analytical frameworks to examine a wide range of political phenomena.   

 

98055

PS 115 A  Introduction to Political Thinking

Elaine Thomas

. T . Th .

1:00-2:20 pm

OLIN 201

SSCI

 

98054

PS 115 B  Introduction to Political Thinking

Elaine Thomas

. . W . F

12:00-1:20 pm

OLIN 201

SSCI

From Plato to Nietzsche, great thinkers in the Western tradition have asked about the nature and practice of political action.  Thinking about politics is, knowingly or not, conducted against the background of this shared tradition. 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 explores fundamental questions of politics through a core body of writings. At its center will be a sustained reading of Plato’s Republic. Thinking with Plato and also with complementary texts from Sophocles, Nietzsche, Thoreau, and Marx, we reflect upon key political concepts such as justice, democracy, and “the individual”. We also explore such enduring questions as the relationship between the state and the individual; the conditions for peaceful political order; and the connection between morality and politics. This course is required for all political studies majors.    

 

98060

PS 122   American Politics: Issues and Institutions

Mark Lindeman

M . W . .

1:30-2:50 pm

ALBEE 106

SSCI

Cross-listed: American Studies, Social Policy   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.       

 

98062

PS 214   US-Latin American Relations

Omar Encarnacion

M . W . .

12:00-1:20 pm

OLIN 203

SSCI

Cross-listed: GIS  Despite common origins as off springs of European colonialism and close economic and political ties during their respective period of independence and state-building, conflict rests at the heart of the relationship between the United States and the nations of Latin America.  This course unpacks the historical and ideological roots of that conflict, how it has developed over the course of the years, and what possibilities exist for its resolution in the future.  The course is divided into three main sections.  The first one covers the years between the Spanish-American War of 1898 and the events leading to World War II.  It emphasizes U.S. attempts at creating a "sphere of influence" over Latin America, highlighted by numerous military interventions in places like Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, as well as Latin American responses to what they perceived to be an American project of imperialism.  The second section focuses on the dynamics of the Cold War as played out throughout Latin America.  It emphasizes the real and perceived fears by U.S. policy-makers about the advent of Marxist-inspired revolutions in Latin America, which led to interventions in Cuba, Chile, and Guatemala, among other nations, and the high toll that the Cold War exacted upon the peoples of Latin America.  The third and final section looks at the most salient issues in contemporary U.S-L.A. relations: economic integration, the illicit drug trade, and Latin American migration to the United States.   

 

98485

PS 219   Politics of Civil Wars

Sanjib Baruah

M . W . .

10:30-11:50 am

RKC 102

SSCI

Cross-listed:  Human Rights, PIE core course   Internal armed conflicts are a major part of contemporary world politics, they certainly occur far more frequently than inter-state wars.  These conflicts are not all the same, and the same conflict can have many layers. It has been said that ambiguity is endemic to civil wars, and that the quest for a deep structure is unproductive.  The academic literature relates them to processes of nation-building and state-building; questions of identity; ideologies of ethno-nationalism and separatism, as well as that of majoritarianism and anti-separatism; contests over legitimacy, distributive justice and control over natural resources; and simply greed rather than grievances. The course will focus on a few Asian cases -- Burma, Northeast India, Southern Thailand, Sri Lanka and Tibet; but the readings will include texts that introduce students to the theoretical literature. Interested students may wish to consult the Policy Studies series of the East-West Center. The readings will include a number of these papers: http://www.eastwestcenter.org/publications/series/     

 

98919

PS 223   The Rhetoric of Politics

Adam Rosen

. . W .  .

4:30 – 5:50 pm

OLIN 101

SSCI

2 credits   This course examines the place of rhetoric in political culture. In the first half, we explore political life as structured by rhetorical techniques that determine who counts as a viable member of the political community, who is excluded from effectively voicing their concerns, and what sorts of conversations count as properly political. Major topics include: (1) how rhetoric mobilizes identity formation, community belonging, and collective commitments; (2) how rhetoric structures social imaginaries, especially those in which “we” are aligned against “them” (e.g., “threats” or “enemies”); and (3) how, though rhetoric, certain types of speech or speakers are discounted in advance. In the second half, we examine the political consequences of particularly powerful – but not always conspicuous – rhetorical techniques. Major topics include: (1) the operations and consequences of the rhetoric of “war,” “danger,” and “terror”; (2) the use of apocalyptic and utopian rhetoric in both mobilizing and shutting down political activism; and (3) rhetorical techniques that contribute to dehumanization, misrepresentation, and psychic numbing. Finally, we confront the question of what types of rhetoric effectively galvanize political activism and what types lead to the formation of a politically bankrupt, self-satisfied good conscience. This is a two-semester course, 2 credits each semester.

 

98059

PS 235   Modern American Presidency

Mark Lindeman

. T . Th .

9:00- 10:20 am

OLIN 204

SSCI

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 and 2008 presidential campaigns as a point of reference, we examine historical patterns of change in party coalitions, electoral and policymaking strategies, and the institutional capacities of the presidency.  Particular attention is paid to changes in the scope of presidential power in the context of such events as the Great Depression, World War II and the Cold War, civil rights mobilization, the Vietnam War, 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.   

 

98063

PS 239   United Nations and Model UN

Jonathan Becker

. . W . .

4:30-5:50 pm

OLIN 201

SSCI

Cross-listed: GIS, 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. 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.       

 

98048

PS 253   Introduction to Latin American Politics

Pierre Ostiguy

. T . Th .

4:00-5:20 pm

OLIN 202

SSCI/DIFF

Cross-listed: LAIS, Global and International Studies, History    This course is an introduction to the politics of Latin America.  We will focus on the political regimes, social actors, and historical processes that have characterized and structured the political life of Latin America.   The course is divided in two complementary parts.   The first focuses on the widely different political regimes that have marked the continent in the 20th century up to today, and on the reasons for the transition from one type of regime to another. It thus provides a broad and comprehensive picture of the very distinct political phases and regimes that have characterized Latin American societies.  Students will become familiar with: “oligarchical liberalism”, “neo-patrimonialism”, “populism”, revolutionary socialism (through guerrilla warfare), “bureaucratic-authoritarianism”, and liberal democracy.  Since the return to electoral democracy in the 1980s, the region has undergone major sociopolitical shifts, first to the neoliberal right in the 1990s and then, this decade, to the left. We will pay attention to issues of inequality, class, race (or color), and representation, with the unifying theme of the “incorporation of the popular sectors.”   

The second part of the course examines the political history of some of the most representative countries of Latin America, from the most developed countries to the poorest ones. We will cover Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile (Allende/ Pinochet), Peru, Nicaragua or Cuba, and Venezuela (here, especially under Chavez). The course will either provide an overview of the broad political history of such countries during the 20th century or focus on one key political event or process that has contributed to make some of those countries well-known politically

 

98064

PS 256   Politics and News Media

Jonathan Becker

M . W . .

10:30- 11:50 am

OLIN 202

SSCI

Related interest: Global & Int’l Studies, Human Rights,  Social Policy, PIE core course   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.

  

98047

PS 258   Strategies of Radical Political

and Social Change

Pierre Ostiguy

. . W . F

3:00-4:20 pm

OLINLC 208

SSCI

Cross-listed: Sociology;  Related interest: Global & Int’l Studies   How can we change the political condition of society? A century ago, Lenin concisely asked ‘What is to be Done?’ Can we achieve political change through force of will, organization, and political strategies, as ‘Che’ Guevara or Mao, on the left, argued? 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, social scientists have highlighted the importance of historical repertoires of collective action in the form our protests take, while Gramscians have stressed the need to think about hegemony, cultural traditions, and the ‘role of the party’ or political organization. This course examines various strategies designed to trigger and achieve social and political change. Within the voluntaristic views, two drastically opposed strategies have existed for a long time: violence as a trigger of change, and non-violent strategies. Which one is more effective? Which one more ethical? We will look at and discuss, for example, the guerrilla strategy used historically in Latin America. Such armed struggles are then compared to non-violent strategies, from Gandhi to contemporary civil disobedience. While there are certainly ethical reasons for choosing one over the other, we will also discuss key factors such as state penetration of society, stricter and more standardized legal codes, as well as developments in law enforcement technologies.      

 

98052

PS 267   The Quest for Justice

Roger Berkowitz

. T . Th . .

4:00-5:20 pm

OLIN 204

SSCI

Cross-listed: Human Rights   Corporate executives hire high-priced lawyers to flout the law with impunity. Indigent defendants are falsely convicted, and even executed for crimes they did not commit. We say that law is the institutional embodiment of justice. And yet, it is equally true that law, as it is practiced, seems to have little connection to justice. As the novelist William Gaddis writes: “Justice? You get justice in the next world. In this world, you have the law.” This course explores the apparent disconnect between law and justice. Can contemporary legal systems offer justice? Can we, today, still speak of a duty to obey the law? Is it possible to do justice?  Through readings of legal cases as well as political, literary, and philosophical texts, we seek to understand the problem of administering justice as it emerges in the context of contemporary legal institutions. Texts will include selections from Dostoyevsky, Kant, Twain, Melville, Plato, Blackstone, Holmes, Milton, and others.   

 

98911

PS 276   African Politics

Augustine Hungwe

M . W . .

9:00-10:20 am

OLIN 201

SSCI

The course will examine the government and politics in Africa since 1960. The course will thus raise a number of inter-related questions:  In what ways have pre-colonial and colonial historical processes shaped politics in post-colonial Africa? What are the socio-economic factors that have shaped contemporary African politics? What are the human rights and democracy challenges that post-colonial Africa face? In response to these questions, we will explore Africa's political culture, the role of civil society in African politics, the character of African politics and the role of the media in shaping public political opinion in Africa. We will use books, media products, speeches and writings of African political figures. The class will emphasize the following cases: South Africa, Sudan, Senegal and Nigeria.

 

98053

PS 311   Immigration & Citizenship

Elaine Thomas

M . . . .

1:30-3:50 pm

OLIN 303

SSCI/DIFF

Cross-listed:  GIS, Human Rights, Social Policy, SRE; Related interest:  French Studies, German Studies   This course examines the ways that responses to immigration have affected existing policies and practices of citizenship. The course will focus primarily on the post-World War II experience of developed countries and the practical and theoretical issues it has raised. One of the challenges that migration to these countries has presented has been that of politically integrating culturally and religiously diverse new social groups of immigrant origin. The course will explore the often contrasting ways in which different countries have confronted this task and the historical, social, and intellectual roots of variations in their approaches, and levels of enthusiasm. Topics addressed include multiculturalism, minority rights, visions of state and nationhood, nationality law, alien voting rights, migration-related social movements, and citizenship of the EU.   

 

98056

PS 345   Political Economy of Development

Monique Segarra

M . . . .

9:30-11:50 am

OLIN 101

SSCI/DIFF

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.   

 

98049

PS 348   Political Representation and 

Social Differences

Pierre Ostiguy

M . . . .

7:30-9:50 pm

OLIN 202

SSCI/DIFF

Cross-listed:  Social Policy, 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.   

 

98494

PS 349   The Nature of Power

Jonathan Cristol

M . . . .

1:30-3:50 pm

OLIN 301

SSCI

Cross-listed:  Global & Int’l Studies; Human Rights   Hans Morgenthau, one of the preeminent international relations theorists, wrote in his “Six Principles of Political Realism” that “power may comprise anything that establishes and maintains control of man over man.  Thus power covers all social relationships which serve that end, from physical violence to the most subtle psychological ties by which one mind controls another.”  This seminar will investigate “physical violence,” “subtle psychological ties,” and everything in between in an attempt to understand the nature and role of power in the international system.  At West Point, it will also examine the implications of power for contemporary foreign policy.  The seminar will focus on the great books of international relations that explore power in all of the major schools of international relations theory.  Each week we will read and discuss one of the major books on power and the international system, including: Morgenthau’s Politics Among Nations, Mearsheimer’s The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, Zakaria’s From Wealth to Power, Nye’s Soft Power, Keohane’s Power and Interdependence, and Kagan’s Of Paradise and Power, among others. Our debates on the nature and use of power will benefit from joint sessions with Professor Scott Silverstone and his students at the United States Military Academy, West Point.  (Approximately one third of class meetings will be with West Point cadets.)  Prerequisite:  Either PS 104, BGIA 306, or BGIA 310 and/or the permission of the instructor.   

 

98058

PS 363   After "Big Government"?

Debating the Future

Mark Lindeman

. T . . .

1:30-3:50 pm

OLIN 306

SSCI

Cross-listed:  American Studies   When President Bill Clinton declared in 1996 that “the era of big government is over,” some observers perceived it as an epitaph for the Democratic Party’s longstanding philosophy of governance. In the eighth year of George W. Bush’s presidency, “big government” is alive and well, but to what ends? Many thinkers are casting about for the ideas, principles, and/or slogans that will characterize the major parties’ raison d’etre going forward – and will effectively engage problems ranging from health care to ecological crisis. After reviewing how some familiar “big ideas” about big government emerged, we will explore contemporary arguments about the future of government, assessing both their political salience and their likely consequences if adopted. Readings will range from the academic (e.g., portions of Lowi’s The End of Liberalism and Ophuls’ Requiem for Modern Politics) to the popular (e.g., Gingrich’s Contract with the Earth, Bai’s The Argument).   

 

98419

PS 368   Crusader America: Democratic Promotion in US Foreign Policy

Omar Encarnacion

. T . . .

9:30- 11:50 am

OLIN 303

SSCI

Cross-listed:  American Studies, GIS,   PIE core course   Almost alone among the world’s superpowers, the United States has made promoting democracy abroad a central objective of its foreign policy.  The origins of what has been called “America’s Mission” runs from the very birth of the American state in 1776, when the founding fathers declared the United States to be an exemplar state to guide the political development of other nations, to the ongoing attempt by the George W. Bush administration to give Iraq a democratic makeover.  This course explores three core questions about America’s attempts to promote democracy abroad.  What explains the genesis and persistence of the centrality of democracy in American foreign policy?  How have American administrations endeavored to construct policies to advance democratic development abroad?  And why have American attempts on behalf of the promotion of democracy abroad so often fallen short of their intended goal of creating stable democratic states, a point underscored by the American experience in Iraq. Readings will include Abraham Lowenthal, ed., Exporting Democracy: The United States and Latin America); Tony Smith, America’s Mission: The United States and the Global Struggle for Democracy in the Twentieth Century; Thomas Carothers, Aiding Democracy Abroad: The Learning Curve; Walter Russell Mead, Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How it Changed the World; and Larry Diamond, Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq.