99252

PS 104 A  International Relations

Jonathan Cristol

M . W . .

12:00 -1:20 pm

OLIN 204

SSCI

(PS core course)  Cross-listed: GIS,  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.   

 

99246

PS 104 B  International Relations

Sanjib Baruah

M . W . .

10:30 -11:50 am

OLIN 201

SSCI

(PS core course)   See above.

 

99254

PS 105   Comparative Politics

Omar Encarnacion

M . W . .

12:00 -1:20 pm

OLIN 301

SSCI

(PS core course)   Cross-listed:  GIS   The basic intellectual premise of comparative politics is that we can better understand the politics of any country by placing it within a broader, global context.  This comparative “method” allows us to address some of the most fundamental questions in the study of politics, such as what makes democracy possible, how is political representation organized around the world, and why some nations are more successful than others at generating wealth and prosperity, while contributing to the building of theories about the nature and evolution of states, interest groups, civil society, and the dynamics of political processes such as revolution, modernization, and democratization.  Class lectures and discussions will cover developed and developing states, as well as democratic and non-democratic ones.

 

99261

PS 115   Introduction to Political Thinking

Elaine Thomas

. . W . F

12:00 -1:20 pm

ASP 302

SSCI

(PS core course)   From Plato to Hannah Arendt, 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 readings by thinkers including Plato, More, Machiavelli, Rousseau, Marx, and Arendt.   Looking comparatively at texts from ancient to recent times, we will compare more “utopian” with more cynical or “realist” approaches to political thinking while reflecting upon key political concepts such as justice, democracy, and “the individual”. We will 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.

 

99251

PS 134   Constitutional Law

Roger Berkowitz

. T . Th .

2:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 203

SSCI

Cross-listed:  Human Rights (core course)  This course provides an introduction to constitutional legal systems including but not limited to the United States.

 

99468

PS 208   Political Economy

Sanjib Baruah

M . W .

1:30 - 2:50 pm

OLIN 203

SSCI

(PS core course)   Cross-listed:  GIS   The term Political Economy refers to the interrelationship between politics and economics. However, political scientists and economists do not always use the term in the same sense. Even within these two disciplines the term has multiple meanings. The course will review the ideas of a few major thinkers such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Karl Polanyi, Thorstein Veblen, John Maynard Keynes, and John Kenneth Galbraith, and will introduce students to two subfields in particular: international political economy and the political economy of development. Among the questions we would ask are: Why are some countries rich and others poor? What is development? What are the prime movers of globalization? Is the US an empire given its influence and power in the global economy? How can development be redefined to tackle the challenge of climate change? Among issues that we will look at closely is the role of organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization in managing the global economy and the current debates about reforming these institutions. 

 

99255

PS 214   US-Latin American Relations

Omar Encarnacion

M . W . .

3:00 -4:20 pm

OLIN 205

SSCI

Cross-listed: GIS, LAIS  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.   

 

99469

PS 220   American Politics: Issues and Institutions

Mark Lindeman

. . W . F

10:30 - 11:50 am

OLIN 203

SSCI

(PS core course)   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.       

 

99470

PS 225   West European Politics

and Society

Elaine Thomas

. T . Th .

2:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 301

SSCI

Cross-listed: French Studies, German Studies, GIS, Human Rights, Social Policy    This course will be of especially great interest not only for those concerned about contemporary Europe, but also for those concerned about globalization, democratic political reform, acceptance of cultural diversity, developments in social policy, or the viability of socialism.  Western Europe has been a key arena for some of the most remarkable late-20th and early-21st-century ventures and experiments in each of these areas.  We will look at what brought these experiments into being, their relative historical success, and how they have fared in the face of new global and international challenges.  Focusing on Britain, France and Germany, the course examines the often dramatic transformation of Western European political life from the Great Depression, the rise of fascism, and World War II in the 1930s and 1940s to our contemporary period, including the present day conflicts and challenges facing the region.  We will be especially concerned with the future prospects of European welfare states which, in contrast to the United States, provide most or all citizens benefits like free health care, childcare, and even free university education.  We will also trace the influence of the Greens and other radical or unconventional parties; political leaders’ often troubled efforts to develop a ‘European Union’ conducive to peace, prosperity and human rights; and changing responses to immigration, particularly from the Muslim world.  The course will draw on both a range of readings and selected European films. This course addresses issues of social class, globalization, nationalism, and social justice and therefore fulfills the Rethinking Difference requirement.

 

99250

PS 239   United Nations and Model UN

Jonathan Becker

. . . . F

3:00 – 4:20 pm

OLIN 202

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.

 

99259

PS 253   Latin American Politics

Pierre Ostiguy

M . W . .

3:00 -4:20 pm

OLIN 204

SSCI/DIFF

Cross-listed: LAIS (core course), GIS, 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.

 

99249

PS 255   The Politics  of Russia

& the Soviet Successor States

Jonathan Becker

M . W . .

10:30 - 11:50 am

OLIN 307

SSCI

Cross-listed: GIS; Russian/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. 

 

99257

PS 260   Environmental Politics in

the United States

Mark Lindeman

. . W . F

3:00 -4:20 pm

OLIN 305

SSCI

Cross-listed: American Studies; Environmental Studies, Social Policy   Environmental politics involve many crucial themes in American politics: How does government regulation work and fail to work? How do competing interests and values shape policy outcomes? How do federal, state, and local governments interact? How do policymakers grapple with (or evade) complex technical issues? Why is political powerlessness hazardous to one's health? What role does the United States play in international politics, and why? What do the American people really value, and what do they really understand? How do social movements and activists try to change "the system"? We will consider major issues in American environmental politics, including toxic waste and environmental justice, climate change and energy policy, wilderness conservation, endangered species protection, and others.

 

99546

PS 279   Hannah Arendt Reading Seminar

Roger Berkowitz

. . W .  .

4:30 – 6:50 pm

RKC 200

 

Cross-listed:  Human Rights   2 credits   This course is dedicated to reading some of Hannah Arendt's  seminal works. In addition to Bard students, the participants will include visiting fellows from the Hannah Arendt Center for Ethical and Political Thinking. Beyond scheduled class meetings, students are expected, whenever possible, to attend lectures and other events sponsored by the Arendt Center. The seminar will meet every other week.

 

99263

PS 311   Immigration & Citizenship

Elaine Thomas

M . . . .

1:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 302

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.   

 

99258

PS 327   American Religion and Politics

Mark Lindeman

. . . Th .

9:30 - 11:50 am

OLIN 301

SSCI/DIFF

Cross-listed:  American Studies, Religion; Social Policy    This course illustrates the application of various research methods to a major theme in American politics: the impact of religious identities, movements, and divides – including the apparent contemporary cleavage between religious and secular Americans. We will consider, for instance, Supreme Court rulings, oral history and other historical accounts, quantitative public opinion analysis, and empirical tests of hypotheses about how divergent religious beliefs play out in public policy debates. Topics include the role of religious beliefs and institutions in major social movements such as the civil rights and anti-abortion movements; and contemporary debates about the proper relationship between “church and state.” Texts will include portions of George Lakoff’s Moral Politics, James Morone’s Hellfire Nation, Stephen Carter’s The Culture of Disbelief, Pat Robertson’s The New World Order, Donna Minkowitz’s Ferocious Romance, Bruce Bawer’s Stealing Jesus, Kristin Luker’s Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood, and others.  Students will write responses to readings and make oral presentations about topics relevant to the major theme of the course.  Students will also write research papers, which (by arrangement with the instructor) may treat any topic in American politics. 

 

99260

PS 348   Political Representation and

Social Differences

Pierre Ostiguy

. T . . .

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.   

 

99253

PS 349   The Nature of Power

Jonathan Cristol

. . W . .

3:00 -5:20 pm

OLIN 306

SSCI

Cross-listed:  GIS; 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.