11903

PS 104   International Relations

Christopher McIntosh

M . W . .

1:30 -2:50 pm

HEG 106

SSCI

(PS core course)  Cross-listed:  Global & Int’l Studies, Human Rights  This course provides an introduction to competing theories about the structure, functioning and transformative potential of the international system.  Part 1 deals with the traditional problem of international life, maintaining order among relatively equal states in a condition of anarchy.  Part 2 calls the assumption of anarchy into question by looking at hierarchical power relationships in a variety of issue areas.  Part 3 addresses contemporary challenges to the state’s authority and the problems of governing in an increasingly global community.  Throughout the course an effort will be made to illustrate the relevance of theoretical disagreements for the real world.  Students will be evaluated on their understanding of the assumptions and logics of competing theories as well as their ability to apply those theories to historical and contemporary global problems.  Class size: 20

 

11904

PS 105   Comparative Politics

Omar Encarnacion

M . W . .

11:50 -1:10 pm

OLIN 203

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

 

11905

PS 109   Political Economy

Sanjib Baruah

M . W . .

8:30 -9:50 am

OLIN 204

SSCI

(PS core course)   Cross-listed:  Global & Int’l Studies; Human Rights   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

 

11906

PS 122   American Politics: Issues

and Institutions

Simon Gilhooley

. . W . F

10:10 - 11:30 am

RKC 200

SSCI

(PS core course ) 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.  Class size: 16

 

11909

PS 222   Democracy in Latin America

Omar Encarnacion

M . W . .

3:10 -4:30 pm

OLIN 307

SSCI

Cross-listed: Global & Int’l Studies, Human Rights, LAIS   In contrast to the United States and Western Europe, Latin America’s political experience is characterized by an inability to hang on to stable democratic government.  Throughout the 20th century, Latin America gravitated between democracy and variety of non-democratic regimes (caudillos, military juntas, and revolutionary governments), with the last wave of democratization occurring in the last three decades.  At the present time all the Latin American nations (save Cuba) operate under democratic rules, but the quality of democracy leaves a lot to be desired, leading many scholars to qualify contemporary Latin American democracy as “low-quality, “delegative” and even “illiberal.”  Understanding the social, economic, and political roots of this political trajectory is the main concern of this course. The course is organized in three main sections.  The first section provides a broad historical overview of patterns of political development in Latin American from the independence period to the present.  The second section examines theories of political development in Latin America, with an emphasis on the major schools of thought: “cultural” approaches that focus on Latin America’s Iberian heritage, “economic” approaches such as the Marxist inspired “dependency” theory, which views domestic politics in Latin America as intimately tied to European and American imperialism, and “political” approaches” that emphasize the weakness of the post-independence state and the disorganization of civil society.  The third and final section examines democratic development in selected Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Cuba, and Venezuela).  These countries are selected for their importance in suggesting paradigmatic political junctures of political development in Latin America, such as corporatism, populism, and bureaucratic-authoritarianism. Class size: 18

 

11910

PS 234   Occupy Political Theory

David Kettler

. T . . .

3:10 -5:30 pm

OLIN 302

SSCI

Cross-listed: Human Rights This seminar examines the challenges to Political Theory from Social Theory (initiated by Montesquieu, expanded by Rousseau and Ferguson, and developed in the nineteenth century by Harriet Martineau, Karl Marx, and Peter Kropotkin).   Twentieth-century continuators are Karl Mannheim and Herbert Marcuse.   As the title suggests, the course examines thinkers who challenge the social foundations that they maintain actually give meaning to the political forms that ordinary political theory takes as its focus, just as the recent Occupy movement challenged the ordinary terms of reference of American democracy. Class meetings will alternate between lecture and discussion sessions.  Class size: 12

 

11911

PS 238   The Politics of Nuclear Proliferation

Michelle Murray

M . W . .

11:50 -1:10 pm

OLIN 205

SSCI

Cross-listed: Global & Int’l Studies  This course examines nuclear weapons proliferation and its impact on the United States’ national and international security interests.  To do this, we will consider the central academic debates about why states want nuclear weapons and evaluate these ideas against the major cases of nuclear acquisition and restraint in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.  The objective of the course is to think analytically and critically about the causes and consequences of nuclear proliferation and to develop theoretically informed policy recommendations for how the United States can stop and/or manage the spread of nuclear weapons in the years to come. Class size: 22

 

 

12322

PS 239   The United Nations and Model U.N.

Jonathan Becker /

James Ketterer

. . . . F

1:30pm – 2:50 pm

OLIN 202

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 enroll should e-mail jbecker@bard.edu with 1-2 paragraphs indicating why they would like to participate. Class size: 15

 

11907

PS 242   Public Opinion and the Challenges of Democracy

Michiel Bot

. T . Th .

1:30 -2:50 pm

OLIN 308

SSCI

Public opinion is often considered the key legitimation of modern democratic politics. However, how public opinion is constituted and by whom has always been a matter of great controversy. For instance, various twentieth century thinkers have argued that while public opinion may ideally be the outcome of critical discussion among all citizens united in a well-informed public, in practice it is little more than ideology administered by the mass media to support the powers that be. Other critics have claimed that emotions rather than reasons are at the heart of democratic politics. In this class, we will explore how theorists and critics of public opinion imagine the relations in democratic politics between truth and fiction; between the public and the private sphere; between speech and (“popular”) voice; between ideology and critique; and between reason and affect. We will give special attention to questions of representation and medium, and conclude by exploring the possibilities for public opinion in an age of globalization, blogs, and WikiLeaks. The syllabus will include work by Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, Tocqueville, Marx, Mill, Lippmann, Schmitt, Gramsci, Adorno, Marcuse, Fanon, Arendt, Habermas, Derrida, and Rancière. Class size: 18

 

11908

PS 247   American Foreign Policy Tradition

Walter Mead

. . W . F

11:50 -1:10 pm

RKC 102

SSCI

Cross-listed: Global & Int’l Studies This course, which normally requires some background in American history, invites students to examine the questions facing American foreign policy today through several lenses: global geopolitics, economics, resource issues, culture and ideology, and regional politics.  The course will stress the connections between domestic and international policy and help students understand the leading alternative schools of thought currently contending to shape the foreign policy agenda of the Obama administration and of various critics and opponents.  The readings will include essays and books by leading scholars and practitioners.  Class size: 22

 

11912

PS 254   Security & International Politics

Michelle Murray

M . W . .

10:10 - 11:30 am

OLIN 202

SSCI

Cross-listed: Gender & Sexuality Studies; Global & Int’l Studies; Human Rights    Security is one of the foundational concepts in the study of international politics.  As the principle rationale for war, the quest for security influences both states’ behavior in the international system as well as the structure of state and society relations in domestic politics.  Too often, however, the meaning of security is taken for granted in the study of world politics, with individuals, societies and states homogenized into one coherent model.  This course will interrogate the concept of security in an attempt to denaturalize the taken-for-grantedness of the traditional understanding of security.  Some of the broad theoretical themes covered include challenges to the mainstream approach to security, the construction of dominant discourses of security and its representation in international politics, critical and discursive approaches to security and the politics of threat construction.  The aim is to assess the validity of these alternative approaches and highlight their value-added to security studies.  We will then (re)consider some contemporary security problems in light of these alternative conceptualizations of security:  migration, the environment, health, development, the war on terror, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, among others.  The course ends with a discussion of the ethics of national security by looking at the politics of torture, human rights and the suspension of civil liberties in the state of exception.  Class size: 22

 

11915

PS 314   Political Economy of Development

Sanjib Baruah

. T . . .

10:10 - 12:30 pm

HEG 201

SSCI

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

 

11913

PS 321   The US Constitution as a Political Text

Simon Gilhooley

. . . Th .

1:30 – 3:50 pm

OLIN 309

SSCI

Cross-listed: American Studies  This course offers a consideration of the United States Constitution as a constitutional document, seeking to consider the origins of the Constitution, the manner in which it has developed, and the influence and importance of it within contemporary America. In place of traditional constitutional law courses that cover the accepted and contested meanings of the law derived from the Constitution, this course would consider the influence that the Constitution has had upon American society. While it would necessarily engage with legal discussions, these interactions would be aimed at exploring the Constitution’s role within American society, not at providing a background in law. Proceeding in three broad parts, the course would initially introduce students to the debates within political thought regarding the nature of the Constitution. A second segment would draw from those actors operating after the Founding, and as such considering the Constitution as an existing institution. A final section would turn to the Constitution as it now exists in contemporary political life. Looking to the first two amendments of the Bill of Rights, the class would consider the way in which the text of the constitutional document shapes notions of free speech and fire-arms regulation within the American polity. Class size: 15

 

11974

PS 328   Post Cold War International Relations Theory

Jonathann Cristol

M . . . .

3:10 -5:30 pm

OLINLC 118

SSCI

The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union took most international relations theorists by surprise.  Indeed it was commonly thought that either the Cold War would persist for decades (if not centuries), or it would end in war.  The idea that a state could voluntarily disintegrate for any reason other than total military defeat was thought to be theoretically impossible.  In this class we will examine how international relations theorists reacted to the end of the Cold War, both in terms of rethinking and/or reexplaining their own theories, and creating new ones.  After a unit on neorealism/Ken Waltz before and after, the class will spend a significant amount of time studying the major theoretical articles of the immediate cold war period including:  Fukuyama’s “The End of History”; Huntington’s “The Clash of Civilizations”; Mearsheimer’s “Back to the Future: Instability in Europe After the Cold War;” and Kaplan’s “The Coming Anarchy”; as well as the numerous major responses to these works that have emerged over the last two decades.  The course will end by examining the changing course of the field after the Cold War and recent developments and ideas that could not have been conceived before 1989.  The class does not require knowledge of Cold War history and we will not be directly discussing the politics of the USSR or US-Soviet policy. This class will benefit from joint meetings with Professor Scott Silverstone’s class at the United States Military Academy at West Point. At least one of: PS 104, PS 254, PS349, PS369, and/or the permission of the instructor is required. Class size: 15

 

11914

PS 352   Terrorism

Christopher McIntosh

. T . . .

10:10 - 12:30 pm

RKC 200

SSCI

Cross-listed: Global & Int’l Studies   The September 2001 terrorist attacks irrevocably changed US politics and foreign policy, giving rise to more than a decade of war, expanded surveillance domestically and abroad, the use of torture and indefinite detention and most recently a targeted killing policy through the use of drone strikes around the globe.  While only recently coming to dominate the US national security agenda, terrorism as a political activity has a long history.  This seminar will provide a theoretical and empirical examination of terrorism as a political phenomenon.  The first part of the course will explore the conceptual and theoretical debates surrounding terrorism.  Topics discussed will include the distinctions between terrorism and other forms of political violence, why individuals and groups resort to terrorism to achieve political goals, the role of religion and ideology in motivating terrorist groups, and the importance of state sponsorship in supporting terrorist activity.  The second part will address the challenges of counterterrorism, including the strengths and weaknesses of counterterrorist tools such as military force, diplomacy, intelligence and law enforcement, the relationship between counterterrorism and democracy, the role of the international community in stopping terrorism.  Throughout the course special effort will be made to situate the US experience with terrorism in a comparative and historical perspective through an examination of prominent case studies drawn from different regions and time periods. Class size: 15

 

11916

PS 377   Grand Strategy From Sun Tzu

to Clausewitz

Walter Mead

. . . Th .

1:30 -3:50 pm

HEG 201

SSCI/DIFF

Cross-listed: Global & Int’l Studies, Human Rights  The question of what war is and how wars can be won has exercised great minds from the dawn of recorded history.  In this advanced seminar, students will explore classic texts on conflict from ancient China to modern Europe.  The class will examine the nature of conflict, the role of chance in human affairs, the definition of power and the development of strategic thought.  Students will be expected to produce a significant research paper.  Class size: 15