Course

PS  104    International Relations

Professor

Jonathan Cristol

CRN

17517

 

Schedule

Mon Wed   3:00  - 4:20 pm    HEG 201

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

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.On-line registration

 

Course

PS 130   Introduction to Chinese Politics

Professor

Nara Dillon

CRN

17051

 

Schedule

Wed Fr       10:30 - 11:50 am  OLIN 202

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science / Rethinking Difference

Cross-listed: Asian Studies, Global & Int’l Studies, 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. On-line registration

 

Course

PS / LAIS 217   Populism and Popular Culture in Latin America

Professor

Pierre Ostiguy

CRN

17231

 

Schedule

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

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science / Rethinking Difference

Cross-listed: LAIS

Representing the poor majorities of the population, and socially incorporating them, have been a tumultuous and salient issue in 20th century Latin American politics, from the Mexican revolution, to Peronism in Argentina, to Hugo Chavez and the “Bolivarian revolution” in Venezuela today.  In Latin American, the notion of the pueblo, or “the people” as a collective, has played a central role in politics. But the “leader” also plays a key role in this emergence of “the people.” We will discuss the theoretical foundations, representational claims, and concrete appeal of populism. We will look at the role of populism in the creation of popular identities and at the relation between populism and “popular claims”. We will analyze the problematic relation between populism and liberalism, as well as that of both with democracy --or the Arule by the people.@  Populism as Aredemptive politics@ is often at odds with the Arule of law,@ while Athe people@ can also certainly mean quite different things. In the third part of the seminar, we will look at empirical cases of Latin American populism, examining classic populism in the 1930s-1950s and various ”new” populism from the late 1980s to its current spread this decade. Finally, we will explore the intriguing relation between populism and popular culture in Latin America, from Indigenism in Mexico to creolism in Argentina, back to politicized indigenous identities in the Andes. Issues of representation of Athe people,@ democracy, popular mobilization, and popular culture are thus key themes of this seminar on populism in Latin America. Priority for enrollment will be given to students who have taken PS 153 (or LAIS 203).

On-line registration

 

Course

PS 218   Theories of the Self, Gender Politics and Anti-Racism

Professor

Elaine Thomas

CRN

17227

 

Schedule

Tu Th          1:00 -2:20 pm      OLIN 101

Distribution

OLD: A

NEW: Social Science / Rethinking Difference

Cross listed: Gender and Sexuality Studies, Human Rights, SRE

This course critically considers different theoretical perspectives on the “self,” their generalizability to other cultural contexts, and their relevance in shaping current political theorizing and responses to issues of gender, sexuality and race.  In the first part of the course, we will consider competing ways of understanding the self, from Freud’s classic and still controversial “psycho-analytic” approach to the more socially oriented perspectives of Erving Goffman, Michel Foucault and Louis Althusser.  We will then turn to contemporary issues of gender, sexuality and race, with critical attention to how current thinking and practices of contestation in this area continue to be informed—for better or worse--by the major approaches to theorizing the self we have examined.  Taking the recently very politicized issue of women and veiling as a focal point, we will also investigate the extent to which those understandings of the self can be legitimately extended to women and men in other social and cultural contexts, and with what implications.

 On-line registration

 

Course

PS 239B   United Nations and Model UN

Professor

Jonathan Becker

CRN

17560

 

Schedule

Wed  4:30 – 5:50 pm  Olin 201

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social

Related interest:  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.    

 

Course

PS 240   US / East Asian Relations

Professor

Nara Dillon

CRN

17053

 

Schedule

Tu Th          10:30 - 11:50 am  OLIN 308

Distribution

OLD: 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. On-line registration

 

Course

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

Professor

Mark Lindeman

CRN

17054

 

Schedule

Tu Th          10:30 - 11:50 am  OLIN 307

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. On-line registration

 

Course

PS 266   Holy War and Sacred Peace: Religious Conflict in the 21st Century

Professor

Walter Mead

CRN

17228

 

Schedule

Th      7:00 – 9:20 pm  OLIN 202

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

Cross-listed:  Human Rights

After a century in which religion was widely believed to be fading from international politics, the twenty-first century opens with religion playing an increasingly prominent role in world affairs. The “secularization paradigm”  that as countries became more economically advanced they would become more secular and rational in their politics no longer seems solid. The course will look at the rise of new religious and quasi-religious movements in the world today: the rise of Islam and political Islam, the explosive growth in Christianity in the United States and the developing world; new forms of radical Hindu politics, and the return of religion to the formerly communist world. The course will examine the rise of apocalyptic thinking in the new religious communities as well as the rise of “fundamentalism” (and the differences between fundamentalisms) and place the new forms of religious mobilization in the context of broader forces of economic and social change in the contemporary world. Readings will include contemporary studies of religious change like those of Phillip Jenkins (Christianity) and Olivier Roy (Islam) as well as studies of the rising evangelical and fundamentalist forces in the United States and their effect of the American foreign policy debate.  On-line registration   (Contact Jonathan Becker with questions.)

 

Course

PS 267   Foundations of Law

Professor

Roger Berkowitz

CRN

17468

 

Schedule

Mon Wed   12:00 -1:20 pm     OLIN 205

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 registration

 

Course

PS 329   Popular Protest in the Modern World

Professor

Nara Dillon

CRN

17052

 

Schedule

Th               4:00 -6:20 pm      OLIN 107

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

Cross-listed: Human Rights; PIE core course

What moves people to take to the streets to protest injustice?  Why do people risk their lives for political change?  Under what conditions are these kinds of political actions effective? This research seminar aims to give students command over the major social science theories about protest movements, social movements, rebellions, and revolutions.  After an overview of the historical development of this school of social science theory, students will read a range of the leading theoretical approaches employed by scholars today, including moral economy, rational choice, popular culture, and social movement theory, among others.  These theoretical readings will be matched with empirical case studies of protest movements.   This semester our case studies will focus on transnational protest movements such as the anti-Communist movements of 1989, anti-globalization protests, as well as movements for human rights and the environment. On-line registration

 

Course

PS 348   Political Representation and Social Differences

Professor

Pierre Ostiguy

CRN

17058

 

Schedule

Mon            7:30 -9:50 pm      ASP 302

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science/ Rethinking Difference

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. On-line registration

 

Course

PS 349  Bard-West Point Seminar: The Nature of Power

Professor

Jonathan Cristol

CRN

17547

 

Schedule

Mon  4:30 – 6:50 pm  Olin 310

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

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.  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.  On-line registration

 

Course

PS 371   Public Policy Seminar

Professor

Mark Lindeman

CRN

17055

 

Schedule

Tu               1:30 -3:50 pm      OLIN 308

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

Cross-listed:  Social Policy

Public policy can be loosely defined as what governments “do about” various issues: for instance, by making laws and regulations, and by allocating funds for specific programs. Some public policy analysis focuses on understanding the policymaking process – how a wide range of actors and conditions influence the policymaking agenda and policy outcomes. Other public policy analysis focuses instead on evaluating the effects of public policy, both intended and unintended, and considering how policy can be designed to achieve desired outcomes. If public policy matters, then we need to consider both how it is made and what it does or can do. This seminar begins with an overview of policymaking in the United States through broad themes such as policy entrepreneurship, agenda-setting, federalism, and cost-benefit analysis. It then examines the sources and effects of selected policies, mostly drawn from social welfare policy, with some attention to education and election administration. Students will write research papers examining specific issues in public policy (not necessarily limited to the United States). On-line registration

 

Course

PS 380  Advanced Topics in  Political  and  Legal Thinking

Professor

Roger Berkowitz

CRN

17230

 

Schedule

Tu               4:00 -6:20 pm      OLIN 304

Distribution

OLD: C

NEW: Social Science

Cross-listed:  Human Rights

This course will focus on a close reading of one thinker or book. While the text or texts will vary, our approach will be a page-by-page reading of important works in the tradition of political and legal theory. Our effort will be both to understand the selected text as well as to comprehend its place in the history of political thought. This semester the topic of the seminar will be selected works by Hannah Arendt. On-line registration