11168

PS 104   International Relations

Michelle Murray

M . W . .

10:10  - 11:30 am

OLIN 203

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.    Class size: 22

 

11160

PS 105   Comparative Politics

Ken Haig

. T . Th .

11:50  - 1:10 pm

OLIN 201

SSCI

(PS core course)   Cross-listed:  Global & Int’l Studies   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. Class size: 22

 

11305

PS 109   Political Economy

Sanjib Baruah

. . W . F

1:30  - 2:50 pm

OLIN 205

SSCI

(PS core course)   Cross-listed:  Global & Int’l Studies   The term Political Economy refers to the interrelationship between politics and economics. However, political scientists and economists do not always use the term in the same sense. Even within these two disciplines the term has multiple meanings. The course will review the ideas of a few major thinkers such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Karl Polanyi, Thorstein Veblen, John Maynard Keynes, and John Kenneth Galbraith, and will introduce students to two subfields in particular: international political economy and the political economy of development. Among the questions we would ask are: Why are some countries rich and others poor? What is development? What are the prime movers of globalization? Is the US an empire given its influence and power in the global economy? How can development be redefined to tackle the challenge of climate change? Among issues that we will look at closely is the role of organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization in managing the global economy and the current debates about reforming these institutions. Class size: 22

 

11159

PS 115   Introduction to Political Thinking

Roger Berkowitz

. . W . F

10:10  - 11:30 am

OLIN 301

SSCI

(PS core course)   Cross-listed: Philosophy 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. Class size: 22

 

11645

PS 122   American Politics: Issues and Institutions

Verity Smith

. T . Th .

11:50  - 1:10 pm

HEG 102

SSCI

Cross-listed: American Studies, Social Policy   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.    Class size: 22

 

11161

PS 145   Human Rights in Global Politics

Omar Encarnacion

M . W . .

3:10  - 4:30 pm

OLIN 201

SSCI

Cross-listed: Global & Int’l Studies;  Human Rights  (core course) 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 the rejection 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. Class size: 22

 

11307

PS 222   Democracy in Latin America

Omar Encarnacion

M . W . .

11:50  - 1:10 pm

OLIN 301

SSCI

Cross-listed: Global & Int’l Studies, Human Rights, LAIS  Save the obvious exception of Cuba, all of Latin America today is ruled by democratically elected governments.  Yet democracy across Latin America leaves a lot to be desired, which explains characterization of Latin American democracy as “low-quality, “delegative,” and even “illiberal.”  Throughout the course, we will review the main schools of thought about democratic development in Latin America, such as the extent to which the struggle to get the democracy off the ground might be rooted in poor political leadership and flawed political institutions, such as a very powerful presidency and under-institutionalized political parties.  Or perhaps the region’s problems with democracy stem from the lack of sustainable economic and social development or the absence of the right political culture, as an earlier generation of students of Latin American politics argued.  Finally, what weight is to be accorded to external factors, such as the centuries of European colonialism and American imperialism inflicted upon the nations of Latin America?  The course is organized in three main sections.  The first provides a global overview of the history and quality of Latin America democracy.  The second section examines theories of political development across the region.  The third and final section examines democratic development in a number of Latin American countries as seen through pivotal junctures of political development, such as caudillismo, populism, bureaucratic-authoritarianism, and democratization.

Class size: 22

 

11309

PS 224   Sex, Power & Politics

Verity Smith

. T . Th .

3:10  - 4:30 pm

OLIN 204

SSCI

Cross-listed: American Studies, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Human Rights  This course asks how sex, power, and politics are related to one another in the United States by bringing work in feminist and queer theory to bear on the study of contemporary public policy controversies, and vice versa.   The course explores the history and politics of several recent social movements:  Second Wave Feminism, Gay Liberation, and the Men’s Movement, and provides students with the theoretical and philosophical tools with which to critically assess the assumptions embedded in U.S. law and public policy.   Topics considered may include, but are not limited to:  debates over reproductive freedom, pornography, marriage, adoption, gay rights, the role of race, ethnicity, and nationality, and gender and political leadership. Class size: 22

 

11656

HR 235  Dignity and Human Rights

Traditions

Roger Berkowitz

. . W . .

 . . . . F

3:10 -4:30 pm

1:30  - 2:50 pm

OLIN 205

OLIN 204

HUM/DIFF

Cross-listed: Political Studies, Philosophy  We live at a time when the claim to human rights is both taken for granted and regularly disregarded. One reason for the disconnect between the reality and the ideal of human rights is that human rights have never been given a secure philosophical foundation. Indeed, many have argued that absent a religiously grounded faith in human dignity, there is no legal ground for human rights. Might it be that human rights are simply well-meaning aspirations without legal or philosophical foundation? And what is dignity anyway? Ought we to abandon talk about dignity and admit that human rights are groundless? Against this view, human rights advocates, international lawyers, and constitutional judges continue to speak of dignity as the core value of the international legal system. Indeed, lawyers in Germany and South Africa are developing a "dignity jurisprudence" that might guarantee human rights on the foundation of human dignity. Is it possible, therefore, to develop a secular and legally meaningful idea of dignity that can offer a ground for human rights? This class explores both the modern challenge to dignity and human rights as well as attempts to resuscitate a new and more coherent secular ideal of dignity as a legally valid guarantee of human rights. In addition to texts including Hannah Arendt's book, The Origins of Totalitarianism, we read legal cases, and documents from international law.  Class size: 22

 

11653

PS 239   United Nations and Model UN

Jonathan Becker

. . . . F

1:30 – 2:50 pm

OLIN 201

SSCI

Cross-listed: Global & Int’l Studies , Human Rights   1 credit* This is a year-long course,  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. Class size: 22

 

11308

PS 251   Human Rights in Asia

Ken Haig

. T . Th .

3:10  - 4:30 pm

OLIN 201

SSCI

Cross-listed: Asian Studies, Human Rights  This course challenges assumptions about cultural relativism by comparing and contrasting the different ways in which societies in East, Southeast, and South Asia have confronted increasing social diversification and changing norms about class, gender, ethnic, and religious minorities.  In addition to comparing the varied extent to which human rights protections have been incorporated into domestic legal institutions, we will also consider efforts to build regional and trans-national dialogue on these issues.  Though the course is broadly concerned with making cross-national comparisons, students will be encouraged to pursue their own thematic or country-specific interests in their research papers. Class size: 22

 

11224

PS 271   American Foreign Policy

Traditions II

Walter Mead

. . W . F

11:50  - 1:10 pm

OLIN 204

HIST

Cross-listed: Global & Int’l Studies, Human Rights   This course is the continuation of PS 247, a study of the American foreign policy tradition.  In the second semester, students will continue their study of American foreign policy, covering the period from the Spanish-American war to the present. The course will explore how the United States gradually replaced Great Britain at the center of the evolving world order.  Particular attention will be devoted to how popular religious, cultural and political movements have attempted to influence American foreign policy. Enrollment is open to students who have completed PS 247 or its equivalent in past years. Class size: 22

 

11158

PS 274   Politics of Globalization

Sanjib Baruah

. . W . F

8:30  - 9:50 am

OLIN 101

SSCI

Cross-listed: 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?  Class size: 22

 

11182

HIST 3131   Jewish Power & Politics

Cecile Kuznitz

M . . . .

4:40  - 7:00 pm

OLIN 204

HIST/DIFF

Cross-listed: Jewish Studies, Political Studies, Russian & Eurasian Studies  This course will focus on modern Jewish political movements such as Zionism and Diaspora Nationalism, as well as on attitudes towards power and powerlessness in Jewish culture. We will first consider how Jews as an oppressed minority responded to their lack of political power, and what constitutes “politics” for a stateless group living in the Diaspora.  We will then explore the rise of modern nationalist movements that challenged the traditional view of Jewish powerlessness, primarily in Eastern Europe, including political, cultural, labor, religious and Revisionist Zionism; Territorialism; and socialist and liberal Diaspora Nationalism. We will examine the answers proposed by each movement to the problems of anti-Semitism and assimilation, as well as to the question: Does combating powerlessness require Jews to have a state of their own? We will concentrate on European movements and thinkers but also consider how these ideas played out in the United States and Israel.  Class size: 15

 

11157

PS 314   Political Economy of Development

Sanjib Baruah

. . . Th .

10:10  - 12:30 pm

OLIN 307

SSCI

Cross-listed: Global & Int’l Studies  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. Class size: 15

 

11166

PS 338   Strategy and Power

Walter Mead

. . . Th .

1:30  - 3:50 pm

OLIN 308

SSCI

The goal of this advanced seminar is to add to students’ basic knowledge of important ideas and events in world history while helping them to develop the ability to identify the most important and strategic elements in a complex mix of circumstance and conflicting priorities.  Based loosely on the Grand Strategy curriculum developed by John Gaddis, Paul Kennedy and Charles Hill at Yale, the seminar examines a series of key texts in grand strategy and a set of case studies that examine the question of strategy in important world conflicts from ancient times through the twentieth century.  Texts include Sun Tzu, Thucydides, Machiavelli, Ibn Khaldun and von Clausewitz.  Students will also read books on the grand strategies of Elizabeth I, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill.  Students are encouraged to think critically about these conflicts and these leaders, asking what could or should have been done differently. Class size: 15

 

11313

PS 343   Civil Liberties and States

of Emergency

Verity Smith

. . . . F

10:10  - 12:30 pm

OLIN 309

SSCI

Cross-listed: American Studies,  Human Rights  In his now classic work, Constitutional Dictatorship:  Crisis Government in the Modern Democracies, Clinton Rossiter wrote that “No form of government can survive that excludes dictatorship when the life of the nation is at stake.”  He further argued that dictatorship can be constitutional – that is, government can – indeed, sometimes should –  suspend the “normal” constitution during states of emergency in order to preserve the constitutional order itself.   He also notes, however, the danger that “temporary” suspensions of civil liberties may become permanent ones.   The problem, then, is whether a government by law can take measures to subvert the rule of law and the democratic state without destroying the essence of the very thing it seeks to save.   This seminar takes up the question of how the United States should be governed during times of crisis by situating the War on Terrorism in historical and comparative context, and by asking broader questions about the relationship between the rule of law, sovereignty, and democracy.    A special focus of the seminar will be on how and when civil liberties have been rescinded in the United States, and with what longer-term effects.   We will read case law alongside work in democratic and constitutional theory, and legal history.  Authors considered may include Carl Friedrich, Clinton Rossiter, Hannah Arendt, Giorgio Agamben, Andrew Arato, David Dyzenhaus, and Bonnie Honig. Class size: 15

 

11312

PS 349   The Nature of Power

Jonny Cristol

M . . . .

1:30  - 3:50 pm

OLIN 310

SSCI

Cross-listed:  Global & Int’l Studies; Human Rights   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.  At West Point, it will also examine the implications of power for contemporary foreign policy.  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.   Class size: 12

 

11311

PS 353   The End of Trade Unionism

David Kettler

M . . . .

10:10  - 12:30 pm

OLIN 307

SSCI

The principal aim of the course is to examine the political importance of organized labor, especially in the post World War Two period and primarily in the United States, in order to assess the causes and consequences of the present steep decline in union power, whose dimensions have been increasingly clear during the past thirty years.  The common reading during the first half of the semester will cover both empirical-historical and theoretical studies.  The second half will consist of  seminar reports on group or individual projects (depending on enrollment). Class size: 15

 

11315

PS 368   Promoting Democracy Abroad

Omar Encarnacion

. T . . .

10:10  - 12:30 pm

OLIN 307

SSCI

Cross-listed:  American Studies, Global & Int’l Studies, Human Rights   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.   Class size: 15

 

11314

PS 370   Politics of Population Control

Ken Haig

. . W . .

1:30  - 3:50 pm

OLIN 309

SSCI

Cross-listed:  Asian Studies, Human Rights, Global & Int’l Studies, and Social Policy; of related interest: Science, Technology, & Society For much of history, rulers saw having large populations as the key to military and economic strength: more people meant a larger workforce and larger armies.  Ever since the introduction of Malthusian theory, however, nation-states have taken a more direct, ‘scientific’ approach to regulating population growth.  Today, developing countries almost universally view overpopulation as a threat to social, economic, and political stability.  Developing superpowers like China and India have actively pursued population control as a part of their development strategies, even over concerns about widespread female infanticide and the cost to the individual and human rights of their citizens.  Meanwhile, for an increasing number of advanced industrial societies from Western Europe to East Asia, the problem is the opposite.  Worried about the effect of aging and shrinking populations on their countries’ economic and fiscal futures, policymakers in places like France, Russia, Singapore and Japan are experimenting with policies geared at increasing birthrates and expanding immigration.  But these policies have created their own controversies, leading to debates over multiculturalism and immigrants’ rights; gender roles and reproductive rights; the role of the family in the welfare state; and, more generally, who determines what is in the public’s best interest in pluralistic societies.  After looking at the various theories and social scientific approaches that have historically informed state responses to population change, we consider the range of population-controlling or population-growing policy solutions tried in different national settings and the political conflicts that they have prompted.  Class size: 15

 

11310

PS 373   Human Rights & the Environment

Monique Segarra

. . . Th .

10:10  - 12:30 pm

HEG 200

SSCI

Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies, Human Rights  Across the global south, social mobilizations against oil and mineral extraction, and for improved access to clean and to sufficient water, are occurring with increasing frequency. The ongoing pollution generated by oil wells, mines and industry pose severe threats to the health and cultural survival of many groups within the developing world. Individuals and communities are fighting oil companies in the courtroom, lodging complaints against states with multilateral and regional human rights organizations, and taking to the streets in a variety of ‘water wars’ to fight privatization and demand better and more equitable service. Drawing on a range of international agreements, soft laws, and domestic legislation, new activist networks composed of indigenous groups, popular sectors, and  environmental and human rights NGOs are working to frame environmental degradation and conversely, environmental sustainability, as a critical aspect of human rights. In short, the environment has become both a means and an end for pursuing social, economic and human rights in the region. This course will examine these connections, drawing on cases from Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia. Class size: 15