19244

PS 104   International Relations

Jonathan Cristol

M . W . .

3:00 pm -4:20 pm

OLIN 204

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.   

 

19130

PS 218   Theories of the Self, Gender,

 and Anti-Racism

Elaine Thomas

. T . Th .

1:00 pm -2:20 pm

OLIN 308

SSCI

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. 

 

19127

PS 239   United Nations and Model UN

Jonathan Becker

. . W . .

4:30 pm –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.

      

19128

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

Mark Lindeman

M . W . .

12:00 pm -1:20 pm

OLIN 202

SSCI

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.

 

19248

PS 250   Introduction to Quantitative Analysis: How Not to Lie with Statistics

Mark Lindeman

. T . . .

. . . Th .

10:30  -11:50 am

10:30  -11:50 am

HDRANX 106

OLIN 308

MATC

Cross-listed: Environmental Studies; GISP;  Social Policy   It has been said that “figures never lie, but liars figure,” and in political debates, the incentives to “lie with figures” are ubiquitous. Meanwhile, political scientists frequently resort to statistical analysis to gain insights into social phenomena and causal relationships. This course cultivates rudiments of statistical analysis, with particular emphasis upon the ability to interpret and to evaluate inferential claims in social science literature. We will consider questions such as these: How can an opinion poll of 1000 people tell us anything about 120 million voters – and how much can it tell us? How can we evaluate the effects of changes in welfare policy? Does capital punishment affect murder rates? Who won the 2004 presidential election, and why? What is the relationship between economic growth and life expectancy worldwide? Students will gain some familiarity with software-based statistical analysis (including multivariate regression), but the course does not offer a comprehensive “cookbook” of statistical methods; instead it emphasizes training in critical assessment of quantitative analysis. Students should be competent in precalculus mathematics.

 

19547

PS 259   Spanish Politics: Democracy

after Dictatorship

Omar Encarnacion

M . W . .

12:00 pm -1:20 pm

OLIN 205

SSCI

Cross-listed:  GIS, LAIS   During the 20th century, Spain went from a paradigm of 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 contemporary Spain.  Among them: the recovery of the memory of the Spanish Civil War and the aftermath Francoist repression, the rise of separatist politics in Catalonia and terrorist activity in the Basque Country, and Spain’s rising profile in international affairs.

 

19596

PS 278   Government and Politics in South Africa and Zimbabwe

Augustine Hungwe

M . W . .

12:00 pm -1:20 pm

HEG 106

SSCI

Cross-listed:  Africana Studies   The course will focus on a comparative study of government and politics in South Africa and Zimbabwe since 1980. The course will offer a brief historical perspective to political institutions in both countries including South Africa’s experience with apartheid. The course will also examine the structure of government in Zimbabwe and South Africa. The two countries’ political culture, electoral systems, media and civil society will also be explored. The course will also review the role of historical figures such as Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Botha, De Klerk, Robert Mugabe, Ian Smith, Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma and Morgan Tsvangirai in shaping the politics of South Africa and Zimbabwe.

 

19250

PS 282   International Organizations & Domestic Politics

Monique Segarra

. T . Th .

10:30  -11:50 am

OLIN 307

SSCI

Cross-listed:  GIS,  (PIE Core Course)  This course examines how international organizations such as the World Bank, the United Nations system and large, international nongovernmental organizations seek to influence domestic policy agendas and politics in the global south and how domestic political processes, in turn, constrain or respond to international actors. Issues covered in the course range from economic reform to poverty alleviation, human rights, indigenous rights and the environment. 

 

19245

PS 330   Politics of Democratization

Omar Encarnacion

. T . . .

9:30  -11:50 am

OLIN 301

SSCI

Cross-listed:  GISP, Human Rights,  (PIE Core Course)     The American invasion of Iraq and the attempt to implant democracy in the very heart of the Middle East has awakened interest in the politics of democratization. Underlying this interest is a cluster of questions and inquiries such as what makes for a successful transition from dictatorship to democracy? Can democracy be successfully imposed from the outside? What kind of governing institutions (parliamentary versus presidential, for instance) are best suited for a new democracy? Is the stability and longevity of democracy the result of structural factors such as the level of social and economic development, the density of civil society or the talents of politicians? These questions are examined in this seminar through the lenses of the expansive literature on democratization accumulated since the late 1970s. The course is divided into three main sections. The first looks at key concepts in the study of democratization. The second examines theoretical approaches to understanding the sources of democratic stability and performance. The final section examines the politics of democratization in four distinct historical and geographic settings: Spain, Brazil, Russia and Iraq.   

 

19251

PS 336   Crisis of the Rule of Law

David Kettler

. . . . F

9:30  -11:50 am

OLIN 107

SSCI

After an introduction to the concept of “rule of law,”  drawing on some classical formulations, the course focuses on areas in American legal practice, such as regulatory law in relation to property rights, labor law, family law, and presidential emergency powers, where some serious commentators speak of “crisis.”   If time permits, some comparative materials relating to “transitional justice” will also be considered.  

 

19141

PS 339   Populism and Popular

Culture in Latin America

Pierre Ostiguy

. T . . .

7:30 pm -9:50 pm

OLIN 202

SSCI/DIFF

Cross-listed:  GIS, LAIS   Representing the poor majorities of the population--socially and culturally incorporating them--has been a tumultuous central issue in Latin American politics, ranging from the tragic to the outrageously “humorous”. One may think of larger-than-life figures such as Perón and Evita in Argentina, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Velasco Ibarra (Ecuador) and/or of outlandish populists such as Carlos Menem (Argentina), Abdala Bucaram (Ecuador), Color de Melo (Brazil) or even Huey Long (Louisiana’s “Kingfish”). In Latin America, the notion of the pueblo, or “the people” as one collective, has played a central role in politics. Together with the leader “embodying” the movement, it has defined populism. 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 vice-versa. We will analyze the quite problematic relation between populism and liberalism, as well as that of both with democracy --or “rule by the people.”   Populism as “redemptive politics” is often at odds with the “rule of law”. “The people” can also mean quite different things, depending on who is targeted as the “non-people”, or out-of-touch elite. In the second part of the seminar, we will look at empirical cases of Latin American populism and populists, whether from the classic era (1930s-1950s) or in the last two decades. Complementing the readings, we will watch numerous videos depicting rallies, political advertising, and propaganda, as well as documentaries.  Finally, we will explore the intriguing relation between populism and popular culture in Latin America, from Indigenism in Mexico, to creolism and folk culture in Argentina, back to politicized indigenous identities in the Andes. While one can view populist leaders as using their ties to popular culture to gain political advantage, reality often involves unforeseen dynamics and outcomes. Issues of representation of “the people,” democracy, popular mobilization, and popular culture are thus key themes of this seminar on populism in Latin America.

 

19585

PS 358   Radical American Democracy

Roger Berkowitz

. T . . .

4:00 pm -6:20 pm

RKC 200

SSCI

Cross-listed: American Studies,  Human Rights   This seminar is an exploration of radical American democracy. While most characterizations of democracy see it as a form of government, this course explores the essence of democracy as a specifically modern way of life. To do so, it turns to some great thinkers of American democracy such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Ralph Ellison, W. E. B. DuBois, and Hannah Arendt. What unites these radical democrats is the conviction that democracy is a practice of individuals rather than an institutional form of governance. As an ideal of radical individualism, American democratic thought offers, perhaps surprisingly, an aristocratic critique of the limits of democratic government even as it, seen from another side, makes possible our culture of narcissistic consumerism. Our aim is to understand the democratic spirit of radical individualism that has proven so seductive and powerful since its modern birth in the American revolution. Texts will include Emerson’s essays The American Scholar and Experience, Thoreau’s Walden, Ellison’s Invisible Man and Arendt’s On Revolution.

 

19129

PS 371   Public Policy Seminar

Mark Lindeman

. . . . F

9:30  -11:50 am

OLIN 310

SSCI

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).