11036

PS 104   International Relations

Sanjib Baruah

M . W . .

10:30 - 11:50 am

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.

 

11042

PS 105   Comparative Politics

Omar Encarnacion

M . W . .

12:00 -1:20 pm

OLIN 201

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.

 

11337

PS 115   Introduction to Political Thinking

Roger Berkowitz

. T . Th .

10:30 - 11:50 am

OLIN 202

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.

 

11372

PS 145   Human Rights in Global Politics

Omar Encarnacion

M . W . .

3:00 -4:20 pm

OLIN 201

SSCI

Cross-listed: Human Rights  This course aims to familiarize students with the principal historical and sociological explanations behind the rise of human rights, its principal actors, institutions and legal frameworks, and the main international, regional and national settings in which the debates and practices of human rights take place.  The course is divided into three core sections.  The first explores the origins of the notion of human rights, taking into consideration the importance of such historical developments as the atrocities of World War II, especially those committed by Germany's Nazi regime, and sociological explanations derived from theories of modernization and globalization and the main  actors and institutions in the human rights arena, from the basic legal framework of human rights standards (e.g., the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Convention, to name a few), to the role of major  international players, such as the United States and the European Community, to powerful non-governmental actors such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, and the Center for Transitional Justice.  The second part examines human rights activism in action, such as humanitarian interventions against genocide and the process of transitional justice in nations exiting political regimes notorious for their human rights abuses.  The third and final section examines the dominant debates within the human rights movement, such as the20rejection of the expansive “Western” view of human rights in many parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and the increasing scrutiny being paid to how mature democracies, like the United States, often fail to conform to internationally-accepted human rights norms.

 

11049

PS 227   Europe and the World:

International Relations of West European States

Elaine Thomas

. T . Th .

2:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 301

SSCI

Cross-list:  GISP, Human Rights, French Studies, German Studies   This course will examine West European states’ redefinition and renegotiation of their relations vis-à-vis their former colonies, the United States, the rest of Europe, and one another, from the late 1940s to the present.  We will look especially at the institutional and organizational effects of these renegotiations, from the emergence of such key international organizations as NATO, the Council of Europe, la Francophonie, the European Court of Human Rights, and the European Union to their changing—and often contested--roles in international affairs today.  The course will be roughly divided into three sections.  We will first look at the culmination of decolonization in the late 20th century, focusing particularly on British and French reactions to the decline of their former empires, and their respective efforts to redefine themselves positively in relation to their former colonies.  We will then turn to US-West European relations:  from the Marshall Plan, to the rise of Atlanticism in the context of the Cold War, to recent strains in US-European relations arising from the war in Iraq.  We will also consider the ongoing role and significance of European cultural expressions of anti-Americanism, a phenomenon regularly encountered by Americans travelling to West Europe.  Finally, the last segment of the course will turn to West European powers’ post-war efforts to promote European unity and integration.  Here our central focus will be on the emergence, development and changing role of the European Union.  In this context, we will consider matters such as the EU’s often troubled recent efforts to develop a Common Foreign and Security Policy and recent debates about the appropriate limits of European expansion.  There is no prerequisite for this course, but students who have previously taken West European Politics and Society (PS 125 or 225) will be given first consideration.

 

11373

PS 233   International Politics of South Asia

Sanjib Baruah

M . W . .

3:00 -4:20 pm

OLIN 301

SSCI

Cross-listed:  Asian Studies   There has been significant international interest in South Asia in recent years largely due to the threat of terrorism and nuclearization, and perhaps the emergence of India as the leading outsourcing destination for western companies. Of course, there are many other reasons to be interested in this region of 1.4 billion people. South Asia consists of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The region has twenty one percent of the world’s population. We will begin by trying to understand South Asia historically, focusing on the British colonial period. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were part of “British India.”   A number of the other countries were protectorates and buffer states in the “frontier system” of the British Empire.  After the historical overview, we will move on to topics such as the Kashmir conflict, the war in Afghanistan, India-Pakistan Relations and the regional nuclear arms race, the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation [SAARC], the politics of outsourcing, India-China relations and the border dispute, and the United States and South Asia.   Students will be expected to keep up with current developments and relevant policy debates by reading South Asian and US newspapers on-line.

11045

PS 235   Modern American Presidency

Mark Lindeman

. T . Th .

1:00 -2:20 pm

OLIN 101

SSCI

Cross-listed:  American Studies   This class explores the major dynamics affecting the office of the president of the United States, and, by extension, the workings of American politics.  Using the 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns as a point of reference, we examine historical patterns of change in party coalitions, electoral and policymaking strategies, and the institutional capacities of the presidency.  Particular attention is paid to changes in the scope of presidential power in the context of such events as the Great Depression, World War II and the Cold War, civil rights mobilization, the Vietnam War, Watergate, and the September 11 attacks. Other topics include divided government, the impact of the 1994 “Republican Revolution” in Congress, and the political manipulation of scandals.   

 

11039

PS 239B   United Nations & Model UN

Jonathan Becker

. . . . F

3:00 – 4:20 pm

OLIN 203

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.

 

11046

PS 250   Introduction to Quantitative Analysis

Mark Lindeman

. . W . F

10:30 - 11:50 am

OLIN 304

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.

 

11047

PS 258   Strategies of Political and

Social Change

Pierre Ostiguy

. . W . F

3:00 -4:20 pm

OLIN 202

SSCI

Cross-listed: Sociology;  Related interest: GISP   How can we change the political condition of society? A century ago, Lenin concisely asked ‘What is to be Done?’ Can we achieve political change through force of will, organization, and political strategies, as ‘Che’ Guevara or Mao, on the left, argued? 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, social scientists have highlighted the importance of historical repertoires of collective action in the form our protests take, while Gramscians have stressed the need to think about hegemony, cultural traditions, and the ‘role of the party’ or political organization. This course examines various strategies designed to trigger and achieve social and political change. Within the voluntaristic views, two drastically opposed strategies have existed for a long time: violence as a trigger of change, and non-violent strategies. Which one is more effective? Which one more ethical? We will look at and discuss, for example, the guerrilla strategy used historically in Latin America. Such armed struggles are then compared to non-violent strategies, from Gandhi to contemporary civil disobedience. While there are certainly ethical reasons for choosing one over the other, we will also discuss key factors such as state penetration of society, stricter and more standardized legal codes, as well as developments in law enforcement technologies.      

 

11575

PS 264  The  US and the  Modern Middle East

Jonny Cristol

M . W . .

12:00 -1:20 pm

OLIN 205

SSCI

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. 

 

11613

HIST 2812  The  History of International Institutions

Jonny Cristol

M . . . .

 . . W . .

3:00 -4:20 pm

3:00-4:20 pm

OLIN 202

RKC 115

HIST

See Historical Studies section for description

 

11608

PS 282  NGOs, Civil Society, and Development

Monique Segarra

. T . Th .

9:00 -10:20 pm

OLIN 205

SSCI

Non-state actors play an increasingly visible role in global governance and in the domestic politics of countries in the global south.  The dramatic growth of transnational social movements and NGOs has generated intense academic and policy interest in, and debates over, the roles that NGOs and civil society can play in promoting political and economic development.  Some argue that NGOs and other civil society actors are critical players in supporting democracy and good governance; others that the pre-occupation with them reflects a bourgeois fetish held by the international development community that sustains liberalism and the market, and helps to spread it around the world. This class provides an overview of the theories and debates surround NGOs and civil society, and examines them by using case studies of specific transnational networks, movements, and project work in the areas of the environment, sustainable development, global health and poverty alleviation programs. The cases are drawn from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Questions addressed in the course include: What explains the growing prominence of non-state actors in global politics and development practice? What are the opportunities and challenges to transnational collaboration in networks or development partnerships? How accountable are NGOs? What are the limits of transnational activism? How does transnational development work ‘fit’ with national development policies?

 

11572

SST 298   Exiles, Refugees, and Survivors: The Exodus from Hitler’s Germany

David Kettler

. . . Th .

4:00 -6:20 pm

OLIN 306

SSCI

See Social Studies section for description.

 

11037

PS 314   Political  Economy of Development

Sanjib Baruah

. T . . .

4:00 -6:20 pm

OLIN 306

SSCI

The study of economic development of the “Third World” has gone through several intellectual phases. The first generation of scholars viewed the process somewhat optimistically as the global extension of modernity. Neo-Marxist critics tried to locate Third World underdevelopment in the history of colonialism and in the persistence of structures of dependency of Third World countries.   “Post-development” theorists took on the idea of development itself.   Globalization and the emergence of a new international division of labor, has reframed the debates. Developing countries like Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa are now members of the G-20 group of countries, which many see as a likely successor to the G8 group of leading industrial economies.  After reading representative authors of competing theoretical traditions, we will move on to concrete cases. This segment will be shaped partly by student interest. The course is meant as an Upper College seminar for students with some prior background in issues of development (through  PS 222: Political Economy, or other courses).  Research papers and class presentations are among the requirements.

 

11012

SOC 338   Welfare States in Comparative Perspective

Michael Donnelly

. T . . .

1:30 -3:50 pm

ALBEE 106

SSCI

See Sociology section for description.

 

11371

PS 339   Populism and Popular  Culture in Latin America

Pierre Ostiguy

M . . . .

7:30 -9:50 pm

ASP 302/

RKC 101

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.

 

11374

PS 368   Crusader America: Democratic Promotion in US Foreign Policy

Omar Encarnacion

. T . . .

9:30 - 11:50 am

OLIN 301

SSCI

Cross-listed:  American Studies, GIS   Almost alone among the world’s superpowers, the United States has made promoting democracy abroad a central objective of its foreign policy.  The origins of what has been called “America’s Mission” runs from the very birth of the American state in 1776, when the founding fathers declared the United States to be an exemplar state to guide the political development of other nations, to the ongoing attempt by the George W. Bush administration to give Iraq a democratic makeover.  This course explores three core questions about America’s attempts to promote democracy abroad.  What explains the genesis and persistence of the centrality of democracy in American foreign policy?  How have American administrations endeavored to construct policies to advance democratic development abroad?  And why have American attempts on behalf of the promotion of democracy abroad so often fallen short of their intended goal of creating stable democratic states, a point underscored by the American experience in Iraq. Readings will include Abraham Lowenthal, ed., Exporting Democracy: The United States and Latin America; Tony Smith, America’s Mission: The United States and the Global Struggle for Democracy in the Twentieth Century; Thomas Carothers, Aiding Democracy Abroad: The Learning Curve; Walter Russell Mead, Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How it Changed the World; and Larry Diamond, Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq.   

 

11338

PS 380   Political & Legal Thinking

Roger Berkowitz

M . . . .

4:30 -6:50 pm

OLIN 204

HUM

Cross-listed: Human Rights, Philosophy  This course will focus on a 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 texts as well as to comprehend its place in the history of political thought.  This semester, the focus will be Martin Heidegger’s Letter on Humanism.