Course

PS 104   Introduction to International Relations

Professor

James Ketterer

CRN

15476

 

Schedule

Wed  Fri   3:00 – 4:20 pm  ASP 302

Distribution

OLD: C  

NEW: Social Science

Cross-listed: GISP,  Human Rights

The course introduces basic concepts of International Relations as a field of study. It is organized around the question: how is world order maintained?  Projects to create world order are necessarily fraught with tension and conflict.  The course will examine the role of military power, alliance systems, international organizations, and international law.  The rules and institutions that govern global cooperation in areas such as trade, economic development, environmental policy, human rights or health-care will be among our concerns.  Are we seeing the emergence of a new world order?  Would it be different from the world order that prevailed during the second half of the 20th century?   What are the consequences of civil conflicts, state failure, and international terrorism for world order?  What are the implications of the Bush administration’s new national security posture of pre-emptive action against hostile states?  The goal of the course will be to learn to think theoretically about “current events.”

 

Course

PS 105   Introduction to Comparative Government

Professor

Nara Dillon

CRN

15415

 

Schedule

Tu  Th  11:30 – 12:50   OLIN 101

Distribution

OLD: A

NEW: Social Science

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.

 

Course

PS 115   Introduction to Political Thinking

Professor

David Kettler

CRN

15371

 

Schedule

Mon Wed     1:30 -2:50 pm       OLIN 303

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 130  Chinese Politics

Professor

Nara Dillon

CRN

15416

 

Schedule

Wed Fri       11:30 - 12:50 pm   OLIN 101

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

Cross-listed: Asian Studies, GISP,  Human Rights

This course offers a broad introduction to the politics of contemporary China and Taiwan.  After providing some background on the Imperial and Republican periods and the development of the Communist Revolution, we focus on some of the major political events on both sides of the Taiwan straits, such as the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, market reforms, political liberalization and democratization, and the Tiananmen Uprising.  Then we proceed to a more thematic discussion of popular participation and elite control in contemporary politics, examining the role of women, national minorities, entrepreneurs, intellectuals and others.  In the last section of the course we will turn to comparative issues, including economic development, human rights, and the potential for democracy.

 

Course

PS 153   Latin American Politics and Society

Professor

Omar Encarnacion

CRN

15370

 

Schedule

Mon Wed     11:30 - 12:50 pm   OLIN 205

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

Cross-listed: GISP, 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, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru.  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

PS 230   Political Theories of Human Rights

Professor

Elaine Thomas

CRN

15131

 

Schedule

Wed Fr        3:00 -4:20 pm       OLIN L.C. 208

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

Human Rights Core Course

Through critical discussion of key recent works by liberal rights theorists and their critics, this course examines some basic questions regarding the nature of human rights claims and their theoretical foundations.  The first part of this course examines the nature of human rights claims and the assumptions behind them.  What does it mean to say that something is a “human right”?  What assumptions does such a statement require us to make, and what sorts of claims does it make on other people?  To what extent do human rights claims require us to make a quasi-religious “leap of faith,” and to what extent are they subject to rational argument and dispute?  The second part of the course will then consider some of the main arguments among political theorists and philosophers about what sorts of human rights people have and how extensive they are.  What would be the entailments of some of the more radical human rights claims in terms of global distribution and social welfare policy?  Do human rights apply only to individuals, or also collectively to certain groups?  Finally, in the last part of the class, we will turn to critical reflection on the power and possible hidden problems with relying on “human rights talk” as a language for addressing social and political issues.  Why are human rights sometimes seen as just the unfortunate lot of second-class citizens? 

 

Course

PS 239   The United Nations and Model UN

Professor

Jonathan Becker

CRN

15465

 

Schedule

alternate Wed  4:30 - 5:50 pm   OLIN 107

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW:  Social Science

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.

 

Course

PS 245   Public Opinion,  Political  Participation,  and Democracy in America

Professor

Mark Lindeman

CRN

15147

 

Schedule

Mon Wed     10:00 - 11:20 pm   OLIN 205

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

Cross-listed: American Studies

Many political observers and players make sweeping claims about what Americans want, how they think, and to what extent

they live up to ideals of citizenship.  This course looks closely at what we know about the American people’s political and social

beliefs and their political participation in all its various forms.  We give particular attention to public opinion polls (how and how

well they work, who pays for them and why), people’s voting decisions (both whether to vote and whom to vote for), the scope of citizen political activism, and fundamental attitudes toward government – and what they mean for the future of democracy in America.

 

Course

PS 256    Politics and News Media

Professor

Jonathan Becker

CRN

15461

 

Schedule

Mon Wed     1:30 - 2:50 pm       ROSE 108

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW:  Social Science

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. About one-third of the course will be devoted to media 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 311  Immigration and Citizenship

Professor

Elaine Thomas

CRN

15475

 

Schedule

Tu               4:00 – 6:20 pm      OLIN 307

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science / Rethinking Difference

Cross-listed:  GISP, Human Rights, SRE

PIE CORE COURSE

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.

 

Course

PS 320   The Spread of Democracy

Professor

Omar Encarnacion

CRN

15372

 

Schedule

Tu               10:30 - 12:50 pm   OLIN 310

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW:

Cross-listed: GISP, Human Rights, LAIS

PIE CORE COURSE

Since the mid-1970s, over forty nations in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia have exited authoritarian rule and inaugurated democratic government, occasioning a global democratic revolution of unprecedented proportions.  The rise of open and competitive political systems in parts of the world once seemingly condemned to dictatorship raises at least two critical questions to students of political development in general and democracy in particular.  What accounts for the triumphant rise of democracy at the end of the twentieth century?  And what are the prospects for democratic consolidation among fledgling democracies?  These questions provide the anchor for this seminar on the politics of democratization.  They frame a wide range of issues and theoretical questions in the study of the politics of democratization such as whether democracy is the outcome of material prosperity or skillful political actors, which kinds of political institutions and arrangements are best suited to a new democracy, how democratizing societies settle the legacies of repression of the retreating authoritarian regime, and the links between democratization and political violence.  The cases covered by the seminar include Spain, Argentina, Russia and South Africa.  Open to students with a background in the social sciences.

 

Course

PS 327   American Politics Seminar: Religion and Politics

Professor

Mark Lindeman

CRN

15146

 

Schedule

Th               10:30 - 12:50 pm   OLIN 303

Distribution

OLD: C / E

NEW: Social Science / Rethinking Difference

Cross-listed:  American Studies, Religion

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.

 

Course

PS 339   Populism and Popular Culture in Latin America

Professor

Pierre Ostiguy

CRN

15472

 

Schedule

Wed  Fr     3:00 – 4:20 pm  OLIN 201

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science / Rethinking Difference

Cross-listed: GISP, LAIS

Politically incorporating the voices and claims of the poor mass of the population has been an extraordinarily tumultuous and salient issue in 20th century Latin America, from the Mexican revolution to Peronism in Argentina to Chavez in Venezuela today.  This course will first present the very different kinds of political regimes that have developed in Latin America, and their logic, from personalistic dictatorships and “oligarchical liberalism” to populism, modernizing dictatorships, and liberal democracy.  Then we will explore the connections between political phenomena, especially clientelism and populism, and concrete forms of popular culture in Latin America.  Examples of popular culture covered include the culture of soccer fans in Argentina; tango, its lyrics, and “manly” demeanor; carnival, rogues, and messiahs in Brazil; and icons of popular and national identity in Mexico.  In examining these cultural forms, we will look at understandings of sexuality in Latin American popular culture and how these understandings figure in political discourse and appeals.  We will discuss how popular culture is used instrumentally in politics but also provides resources for resistance.

 

Course

PS 346  Democrats, Theocrats and Tyrants:  Seminar on Middle East Politics

Professor

James Ketterer

CRN

15477

 

Schedule

Wed    10:30 – 12:50 pm  OLIN 301

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

Cross-listed:  GISP, Human Rights, Jewish Studies

This seminar is designed to give students an overview of approaches to the study of Middle Eastern politics, a background in selected salient issues, and a general knowledge of significant political events in the region. The course material covers a variety of topics in the Arab World, including the Mashreq (Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, etc.) and the Maghreb (North Africa). The course also focuses on the non-Arab Middle Eastern countries of Israel and Iran - and to a lesser extent Turkey.  Within that context, the course examines issues central to both the study of the region and the mastery of key concepts in comparative politics.  These include the role of Islam in Middle Eastern politics, chances for and obstacles to democratization, terrorism, the development of institutions, the ways and means of dictatorships, and revolution. Readings will include Ajami’s Dream Palace of the Arabs, Munson’s Islam and Revolution in the Middle East, Esposito’s Islam and Democracy, Political Liberalization and Democratization in the Arab World (by Brynen, et. al.), Makiya’s Republic of Fear, Baaklini’s, Legislative Politics in the Arab World, and The Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin.  We will  also watch some films including, The Battle of Algiers, Lawrence of Arabia, and Wedding in Galilee. 

 

Course

PS 357   Theories of Political and Social Change

Professor

Pierre Ostiguy

CRN

15132

 

Schedule

Mon   7:30 – 9:50 pm  OLIN 205

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.