Course

PS 104   International Relations

Professor

Jonathan Cristol

CRN

16121

 

Schedule

Tu Th          2:30  -3:50 pm     OLIN 305

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

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

Do domestic politics affect international politics? Is the United Nations an organization for collective security or just for smaller, functional problems? Can we wish away the state system? And why are so many peacekeepers from Fiji? This course provides 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 including: 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.” Authors to be read include: Thucydides, Morgenthau, Russett, Huntington, and Mearsheimer, among many others. On-line

 

Course

PS 105   Introduction to Comparative Government

Professor

Eri Hotta

CRN

16467

 

Schedule

Mon Wed   12:00  -1:20 pm   OLIN 301

Distribution

OLD: C

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. The main questions of this course, therefore, are: What are the different ways in which groups and individuals participate in politics around the world? Do different political institutions and political practices yield different policies and levels of performance? Accordingly, the course addresses more specific questions of how various forms and processes of political institutions emerge and develop. What determines the initial choice of institutions, such as the electoral system? What determines their subsequent development? What effects do different institutional arrangements have, for example, on the distribution of power across the polity? In examining these questions, the course will look primarily, but not exclusively, at key institutions of liberal democracies. After an overview of some of the fundamental concepts and methods of comparative political analysis, the first part of the course studies attempts to construct democracies after dictatorships, such as in Germany, Japan, and Iraq. It will then draw attention to federalism in such major states as Australia, Germany, India, and Brazil, and federalism as an emerging trend in contemporary regional politics -- the EU, ASEAN. In those discussions, the United States will be used as both an explicit and implicit basis for comparison.

 

Course

PS 122   American Politics: Issues & Institutions

Professor

Mark Lindeman

CRN

16524

 

Schedule

Tu Th          10:30  - 11:50 am OLIN 205

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

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. On-line

 

Course

LAIS / PS 203   Modern Latin America

Professor

Pierre Ostiguy

CRN

16099

 

Schedule

Tu Th          8:00  - 9:20 pm    ASP 302

Distribution

OLD: C/D

NEW: Social Science / Rethinking Difference

See LAIS section for description.

 

Course

PS 214   US-Latin American Relations

Professor

Omar Encarnacion

CRN

16101

 

Schedule

Mon Wed   12:00  -1:20 pm   OLIN 201

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

Cross-listed:  American Studies; GISP; 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.  On-line

 

Course

PS 219   Intra-State Conflicts

Professor

Sanjib Baruah

CRN

16115

 

Schedule

Wed Fr       10:30  - 11:50 am OLIN 306

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

Cross-listed: GISP, Human Rights, SRE

While the number of inter-state wars in the world is decreasing, there  are a growing number of intra-state wars, leaving aside 'extra-systemic  wars'; i.e. armed combat between a state and a non-state entity. While explanation of intra-state armed conflicts traditionally focused on  'grievances'-- inequality, lack of political rights, or ethnic and  religious discrimination -- a newer tradition focuses attention on  'greed,' i.e. gains made by conflict entrepreneurs and war profiteers. Then there is the perspective of authors such as Francis Fukuyama who put  the phenomenon in the context of state-building: weak or failed states are especially prone to intra-state armed conflicts. The course will engage these theoretical issues with examples from  Asia (e.g.Nepal, Southern Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka and Northeast India)  and Africa (e.g. the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Liberia  and Sierra Leone). Students will be expected to write theoretically  informed case studies, i.e. papers on particular  intra-state conflicts that engage the theoretical literature.  Readings will include. V. L. Elliot et al., Breaking the Conflict Trap; Paul Collier and Ian Bannon,  Natural Resources and Violent Conflict;  Francis Fukayama, State-Building: Governance and World Order in the  21st Century; Stefan Wolff, Disputed Territories: The Transnational Dynamics of Ethnic Conflict Settlement.

 

Course

PS 228   Russian and Eastern European Politics and Society

Professor

Jonathan Becker

CRN

16118

 

Schedule

Mon Wed   1:30  -2:50 pm     OLIN 310

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

Cross-listed: GISP, Human Rights, Russian and Eurasian Studies

This course examines the monumental political, social and economic changes that have swept Russia and Eastern Europe since 1985. We will ask a number of inter-related questions: Why did Communism collapse? Why did some countries experience peaceful political transitions and others violence? How have countries attempted to reconcile themselves with the crimes of the past (Lustration)? What political, economic, social and historical factors explain the relative success of some countries in the post-Communist transition and the failure of others? What role have international organizations, like the OSCE, the European Union and NATO played in the transitions? 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 the region not only through academic books and articles, but also through literature, film, and the speeches and writings of political figures ranging from Vaclav Havel to Vladimir Putin. Countries examined will include Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Belarus, Ukraine, Serbia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Open to all students.  On-line

 

Course

PS 239   United Nations and Model UN

Professor

Jonathan Becker

CRN

16434

 

Schedule

Wed            4:30  -5:50 pm     OLIN 201

Distribution

OLD: n/a

NEW: n/a

Cross-listed:  GISP, 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.  On-line

 

Course

PS 259   From Anarchy to Democracy: Contemporary Spanish Politics

Professor

Omar Encarnacion

CRN

16100

 

Schedule

Mon Wed   3:00  -4:20 pm      OLIN 201

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: History

Cross-listed: GISP

During the 20th century, Spain went from a paradigm of anarchist politics, civil war and fascist uprising during the inter-war years to an emblematic example of right-wing authoritarianism during the cold war to a stunning case of “Third Wave” democratization by the late 1970s.   What explains this series of political transformations and what do they teach us about the domestic and international factors that condition political development in general and the rise of democracy in particular?  This class explores these questions together with a variety of subjects that animate democratic politics in present-day Spain.  Among them: the recovery of the memory of civil war and dictatorship, the rise of separatist politics and terrorist activity in the Basque country, the recent wave of Latin American immigrants to major Spanish cities, and Spain’s rising profile in international affairs.  On-line

 

Course

PS 260   Environmental Politics in the U S

Professor

Mark Lindeman

CRN

16123

 

Schedule

Wed Fr       12:00  -1:20 pm    OLIN 203

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

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. On-line

 

Course

PS 264   America and the Arab World

Professor

Jonathan Cristol

CRN

16114

 

Schedule

Tu Th          1:00  -2:20 pm     OLIN 305

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

Cross-listed: GISP

This seminar will focus on the complex and contradictory relationship between the United States and the Arab World.  The first half of the course will put US-Arab relations in historical perspective.  We will discuss the creation of Arab nation-states, the pivotal year 1948, Nasserism, the Cold War, the Six Day War, and the first Gulf War, among other topics.  The second half of the course will focus on challenges to the American role (if any) in the Arab World.  Topics to be discussed include: oil; fundamentalism; terrorism; democratization; trade; the gulf emirates as liberals; and the war in Iraq.  The class will emphasize reading and class discussion. There are no formal prerequisites for the class, but a good knowledge of American diplomatic history, current events, and/or Middle Eastern history would be helpful.  On-line

 

Course

PS 267   The Foundation of the Law: The Quest for Justice

Professor

Roger Berkowitz

CRN

16126

 

Schedule

Mon Wed   10:30  - 11:50 am PRE 128

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

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.  On-line

Course

PS 274   Politics of Globalization

Professor

Sanjib Baruah

CRN

16117

 

Schedule

Wed Fr       3:00  -4:20 pm     OLIN 107

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

PIE core course

Cross-listed:  GISP, Human Rights

Advocates of  free markets see globalization as a positive force which can generate employment and raise the world’s living standards.  Critics see it as an excuse for the exploitation of workers and the expropriation of resources of poor countries,  environmental degradation, cultural homogenization and a race to the bottom in living standards.  The course will be framed by the question:  what is new about globalization and what is not?  If globalization is new, what does one make of  earlier historical processes that were global in scope, e.g. western colonial expansion,  global networks of production and exchange,  the settling of entire continents by peoples from another continent,  the slave trade,  pre-modern empires or attempts to create universal communities of faith?   Does globalization describe a distinct and linear process of social change taking place in our time?   We will read about globalization – old and new.  We will conclude with a discussion exploring the causes and consequences of September 11th and ask:  is it possible that we are seeing yet another historical phase of a period of intensive global interaction being checked by countervailing forces generated by the forces of globalization?

 

Course

PS 310   Rule of the People

Professor

Mark Lindeman

CRN

16124

 

Schedule

Th               1:30  -3:50 pm     OLIN 307

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

Cross-listed: Human Rights

“Democracy” means, more or less, “rule of the people.”  H. L. Mencken said, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”  Do people rule in the United States?  Do people know what they want?  Should people get what they want?  Do people get what they want (or perhaps what they deserve)?  These issues point to empirical questions about the American political system and the citizens who putatively run it.    This course addresses our knowledge about the public’s role in policymaking, and its intellectual and moral competence to make policy.  We pay special attention to racial politics, gender issues, and other controversies that complicate our evaluation of majority rule.  Ample time and support is devoted to student

research projects, which may run the gamut of topics in American politics. On-line

 

Course

PS 320   The Spread of Democracy

Professor

Omar Encarnacion

CRN

16113

 

Schedule

Tu               9:30  - 11:50 am  OLIN 310

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

PIE core course

Cross-listed: GISP, Human Rights, LAIS

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.  On-line

 

Course

PS 322   America’s Role in the World: Topics in Contemporary American Foregin Policy

Professor

Walter Mead

CRN

16450

 

Schedule

Th   7:00 – 9:20 pm   OLIN 205

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

This course, open to students who have completed an introductory course in American foreign policy, is a research seminar that focuses on developing students' grasp of the overall nature of America's global foreign policy while challenging students to develop an in-depth knowledge of the policy and political context around one major policy issue facing the United States.  Students will read a combination of background works in American foreign policy theory and strategy to provide the basis for an in-depth exploration of American foreign policy today.  They will pay particular attention to the intersection between the domestic realities of American politics and the forces and interests shaping the international arena.  Balancing the theoretical and historical reading will be a systematic study of world and American newsas this affects American foreign policy.

 

Course

PS 344   International Politics of South Asia

Professor

Sanjib Baruah

CRN

16116

 

Schedule

Th               1:30  -3:50 pm     OLIN 304

Distribution

OLD: A

NEW: Social Science

Cross-listed: Asian Studies, GISP

South Asia consists of eight countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh,  Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.  The region is a site of major international tensions today.  Bill Clinton described Kashmir, the focus of the Indo-Pakistani conflict, as the world's most dangerous place. The war on terrorism, especially the possibility of an enduring US military presence not only in Afghanistan,  but in surrounding countries including the Central Asian republics,  raises the specter of the unfolding of a 21st century Great Game. (The phrase, memorialized by Rudyard Kipling, described the 19th century rivalry between Imperial Russia and Britain.)  In this scenario of a new Great Game,  the US would seek to control not territories, but access to oil and gas reserves. The purpose of the course is to provide the historical and cultural background necessary to understand today's conflicts and to examine closely a few key issues. Among the selected topics are the war in Afghanistan and the politics of central Asian oil, Indo-Pakistani relations and the Kashmir dispute, the nuclear tests by India and Pakistan,  and the prospects of  SAARC -- the Kathmandu-based organization of regional cooperation.  While the major conflicts will get the bulk of our attention, a focus on the regional organization,  SAARC, will provide an opportunity to look at the foreign policy concerns of countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. There are no prerequisites, but a solid interest in the subject is necessary.  Apart from doing the assigned readings,  students will be expected to be up to date with current debates, they will be expected to regularly read English language South Asian newspapers on the internet.