1 SPRING 2008 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS November 12, 2007 American Politics Professor Jones PSC  Congress 3 credits, Thursdays 4:15-6:15, Cross-listed: ASCP The United States Congress is one of the most powerful representative assemblies and the most extensively studied political institutions in the world. This course is designed to help students develop a basic understanding of the major works and debates in the study of Congress, as well as the ability to explain, synthesize, and critique them. The course is targeted for students seeking to complete the department s first exam in American politics. Required readings for the course will include all those in the Congress section of the American Politics Reading List, among others. The course will cover Congress both from the perspective of individual members, including elections and representation, and from the perspective of the institution as a whole, including committees, parties, leaders, and rules. All students will be expected to complete, and be prepared to discuss, each week s readings. Students will periodically be required to submit, prior to class, a page of reactions to the week s readings. In addition, each student will introduce the discussion of at least one of the weeks readings. I intend for the final exam to be similar in format and content to the type of question(s) given on the first exam in American politics, providing good practice for those who later choose to take it. Professor Krinsky PSC  Social Movements in the United States, Crosslisted with ASCP credits, Thursdays 6:30-8:30 p.m. This course is a survey of historical and current developments in the study of social movements, political protest, and contentious politics. It covers the following topics, as well as others that will develop according to students interest over the course of the semester: Definitions of social movements; historical changes in the form of protest; the relation of movements to institutional politics; modes and strategies of movements; the relationship between movement goals and tactics; cultural dynamics in social movements; and geography and temporality in the study of protest. The course will be structured around intensive readings, and, in the second part of the semester, around student work. Professor Stanley Renshon PSC  The Modern Presidency: Character, Leadership, and Politics in the 2008 Presidential Election 4 credits, Tuesdays 6:30-8:30, Cross-listed: IDS & ASCP What kind of person and what policies will it take to be a successful, effective president as America enters the 21st century? The country is now trying to answer that question. Presidential candidates present themselves as they prefer to be seen, making claims about their experience, judgment, vision, policies, leadership and character. Voters struggle to discern the truths behind these competing claims.
2 The primary season, already underway, puts candidates and the public though an obstacle course in which nomination strategies both reflect and obscure the most important questions about a candidate s suitability for the presidency. Is Barack Obama too inexperienced? Is Rudi Giuliani too combatative; should his three marriages be disqualifying? Is Hillary Clinton too liberal or alternatively, not liberal enough? Is John McCain s political identity as a maverick an asset or a liability? Is Fred Thompson s persona and Senate career sufficient to merit him becoming president? Beyond candidate psychology, there are critical policy issues to be addressed. What do candidates think about the big issues and what does their thinking reflect about their likely approaches to presidential leadership? Is the public s primary concern being safe from 9/11 type attacks, or has the war on terror become only one of many issues it wants addressed and not necessarily the most important? How realistic are candidates abstract policy prescriptions when measured against the realities of governing domestically in a highly divided society? What foreign policies can make the United States both safe in a dangerous world and respected in an international system in which the American leadership is often necessary, but frequently questioned. The course focus will be on the relevant psychological and political literature and the extent to which it helps us to understand and assess individual candidates, the state of American politics and the policy choices that this country faces.comparative Politics Professor John Bowman PSC  Comparative Political Economy 3 credits, Mondays 4:15-6:15 In this course we will examine the impact of political conflict and political institutions on economic policy and performance in advanced industrial democracies. The course is divided into three sections. In the first section, we will focus on general depictions of the relationship between the state and the economy drawn from the major theoretical traditions of political economy. These include neoclassical microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, Marxism, and economic sociology. The second part of the course deals with political explanations for variations in policy and performance. We will examine such factors as partisanship (which party governs?), labor market organization (e.g., corporatism), the organization of the state and political institutions, the organization of the welfare regime and forms of business cooperation and competition. The final section of the course examines the phenomenon of globalization and the politics of institutional reform. Professor Forrest Colburn PSC  Revolutions 4 credits, Thursdays 6:30-8:30 This class will examine the theoretical literature on dissent and revolution, with a comparison, too, of this literature with two well-studied cases-france and Russia-and three less examined cases: Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and Iran. A major effort will be made to gauge how the lessening of ideological conflict since, say 1989, has changed the frequency and kind of political violence, and shaped, too, political outcomes. There is little theoretical guidance for help with this important question, but there are many cases to study and from which to seek inferences. We will
3 read widely, but students will be given ample opportunity to pursue research on particular countries or regions of interest. Professor Ken Erickson PSC  Comparative Social Movements 4 credits, Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 Colloquium examining key works and approaches to social movements and civil society. Readings and discussion cover historical and contemporary cases of contentious social movements and of political participation by civil society. In the contemporary era of democratic transition and consolidation, the course examines contentious popular and opposition movements that seek to revise the very nature of citizenship, particularly by expanding citizens rights of participation so as to include formerly excluded people and groups, and to win benefits for them. It also examines the role of such movements in transitions to democracy, and the impact of democratization on the movements themselves. My Latin American politics survey courses employ a top-down perspective, emphasizing the role of the state and political elites. This colloquium examines many of the world s regions, and it takes a bottom-up perspective, focusing on participation by worker, peasant, popular, feminist, indigenous, religious, and other sectors of civil society and political oppositions. Class sessions will be part lecture and part colloquium on the assigned readings. Students are responsible for the entire books listed in the course outline, unless selected pages are indicated. Class members are required to prepare, in advance of each weekly session, a 3-to-6 page (double-spaced) review of the readings under discussion that week, for a total of 6 reviews during the term. The review should be an analysis and evaluation of the book or readings, rather than a summary; it should discuss the author's approach or methodology, the appropriateness of the evidence, and the effectiveness of the argument. Where appropriate, compare the readings under review to others assigned this term or that you are familiar with. Students may, if they wish, turn in 8 reviews, of which the 6 best will count toward their grades. Attendance is required, because in a colloquium all students serve as resource persons for their colleagues. Students are expected to have read and to be prepared to discuss those readings covered in sessions when they do not prepare written reviews. Grades will be based on participation in class discussion and on the six written assignments. In view of the weight of the readings and written assignments, there will be no research paper and no final exam. Professor Kaufmann PSC  Political Economy of the European Union 4 credits, Thursdays 4:15-6:15 The Interdisciplinary Seminar on The Political Economy of the European Union: Past, Present Future in the spring 2008 semester will deal with the analytical foundation, development, prospects and the salient political-economic issues concerning the European Union (EU). We
4 will examine pertinent theories and the real world of politics and economics that are tightly interlinked in the case of the EU. With the latest enlargements of the EU (ten new Member States on May1, 2004 and two more on January 1, 2007), European integration has entered a new phase in what has been a remarkable achievement in voluntary reduction of national/nationalistic preferences. The center of decisionmaking in many policy areas (such as monetary, labor, fiscal, trade and environmental policy, for instance), has partially moved from the national to the transnational (international) level. Participants in the seminar will gain a thorough understanding of what makes Europe tick its successes and challenges. The European Union is a work in progress how is the European Union responding to globalization, the rise of China and India and the challenges unleashed by a drastically and rapidly depreciating dollar. Is the European currency, the euro, ready to take the dollar s position has the process already started? Professor Roman PSC [ 92121] Latin America 4 credits, Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 The purpose of this seminar is to analyze and understand the historical background and the political, economic, and social structures prevalent in Latin America. The first part will begin with a study of the colonial heritage of Latin America, trace the history to the present-day conditions, including the search for alternatives. The second part will be a study of the recent history and current conditions of selected countries which exemplify models based on therousseau style democracy and those based on liberal democracy. These will include but not necessarily be limited to Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico. There will be one textbook which covers the whole semester (Harry Vanden and Gary Prevost, Politics of Latin America, Second Edition, Oxford, 2006), plus additional reading for each topic. I will place the books and articles on reserve wherever possible. Books can be ordered through the Graduate Center s Virtual Bookshop ( and 5% of the proceeds will go to the Graduate Center Library, and at the Barnes and Nobles Bookstore on 18th Street and Fifth Avenue. I will also be sending you articles by and distributing photocopies of others. You should go to coha.org, which is the web site for the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, and enter your address under Receive COHA press releases. You should also keep track of events sponsored by the Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center, such as the upcoming conference on Cuba, March 12-15, There will be a series of movies to be shown in the Political Science Program thesis room at an agreed upon time. These will include Burn, Life and Debt, The Revolution will not be Televised, Cuba: The Accidental Revolution, Suite Habana, Argentina: Crecer o Desaparecer, The Official Story, Salvador Allende, and some shorts. We will have guest speakers in the seminars.
5 You will be responsible for writing a research paper (approximately thirty pages) on a topic of your choice related to one country in Latin America. We will reserve seminar time towards the end of the semester for students to report on their research. Just a reminder that all writing must be fully documented with footnotes or endnotes, and a bibliography. Plagiarism is not acceptable, nor is use of material taken from the internet which lacks an author, such as Wikipedia. For each topic one or more (depending on the number enrolled) students will be responsible for writing a summary of, reporting on, and leading the discussion regarding the assigned readings. Professor Bruce Cronin PSC  Basic Theories and Concepts in International Relations 3 credits, Mondays 6:30-8:30 This course is designed as an introduction to the contemporary theories, debates, and scholarly traditions in the field of International Relations. As the core course offered in this area, it will provide the student with both a general overview of the field and an in-depth examination of each scholarly approach toward understanding and explaining world politics and international relations. The emphasis of our work will be on theoretical frameworks and ontologies; therefore this course is not an Introduction to I.R. For example, we will not cover the four main substantive areas in the discipline in any detail (security, international political economy, international organization and U.S. foreign policy), however we will examine various approaches toward understanding them. Professor Maivan Lam PSC  Public International Law 4 credits, Thursdays 6:30-8:30 Professor Liberman PSC  International Security 3 credits, Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 This course surveys contemporary political science research on international peace and conflict. Topics examined include the sources of peace and war, grand strategies, military doctrines, arms races, military alliances, and institutions designed to control arms and conflict. The effectiveness of many of these tools, as well as of military coercion strategies, in achieving political objectives will also be considered. We will study diverse theoretical and methodological approaches, and wide-ranging case studies and data, including great powers and weak ones, wealthy and poor, North and South, recent and historical. For the most part the focus is on states, but we will also examine insurgencies and terrorism insofar as these has international reach, and can be illuminated with approaches developed within the international security field. The goal is to provide students with a map of the field of security studies, and analytical tools for research and for critically analyzing security policy debates. Political Theory
6 Professor Alyson Cole PSC , WSCP 81000, The Politics of Identity 4 credits, Monday, 6:30-8:30 Room TBA In this class we will explore the meanings, problems and possibilities of contemporary identity politics. Identity politics is typically associated with the political mobilization of marginal groups since the 1960s, that fought against oppressions based on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and disability. Beyond the struggle for inclusion in conventional forms of the political process, identity politics reconfigured the basis of political affiliations and transformed the scope of politics itself. This course combines a macro-historical inquiry into the rise of identity politics as a challenge to liberal universalism with an examination of how individuals and groups have interpreted, contested, and negotiated their "identities". We will begin by pursuing the following questions: How important is identity to political action? How is political subjectivity forged? Do different political identities function similarly? How might the subject be both a discursive product and an existential necessity? During the semester, we revisit central debates about identity politics the problem of essentialism, the challenge of representation, recognition versus redistribution, and the hazards of ressentiment. Our readings will include works by Hegel, Freud, Foucault, Fanon, Iris Young, Charles Taylor, Judith Butler, Linda Alcoff, William Connolly, Anne Chen, Wendy Brown, among others. Professor Rosalind Petchesky PSC  Contemporary Political Theory: Biopolitics 3 credits, Tuesdays, 4:15-6:15, cross-listed with WSCP This course will be an in-depth inquiry into the work of Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben (reading from The Foucault Reader, History of Sexuality Vol. I, and the College de France Lectures of Foucault; Homo Sacer and State of Exception of Agamben, among others), along with a number of contemporary feminist and queer writers. We will attempt to unpack the meanings and recent applications of 'biopolitics" as a theoretical approach to understanding states, governance, and geopolitics in the late-20th/early-21st century world. We will also look at some specific issues or case studies--refugee and IDP camps, biometric surveillance, policies regarding sex workers and sexual minorities (particularly immigration policies), "advanced interrogation methods" in the "war on terror", and the regulation of sexualities--to test these theories. In all of this, we will be concerned with how gender, race and sexuality intersect with global capitalism and militarism, in both theories and political practices. Professor Joan Tronto PSC  Women and Gender in Western Poltiical Thought 4 credits, Thursdays, 4:15-6:15, cross-listed with WSCP  Until the late 1970s, political theorists believed that women had no place in Western political thought and that gender issues were irrelevant to the great tradition of political theory. A generation of work by feminist political theorists have made clear that virtually all important
7 political ideas in the Western intellectual tradition are both obviously and more deeply constructed upon certain views of women and men, gender, the family, and assumptions about the relationship of public and private life. Rather than being peripheral to the study of political thought, these ideas turn out to be fundamental in shaping the ways that theorists have viewed political possibilities. This course will explore this body of scholarship and the issues that it raises about the nature of politics. We will also consider related methodological questions about how to study political theory: from whence come the questions that political theorists ask of the texts that they read? What avenues of interpretation are best suited for understanding texts in political theory? We shall proceed historically through some great theorists and issues in the tradition to consider these questions, but not addressing contemporary feminist political theory, which is the subject of another course. Basic grasp of the canon in political theory is presumed. Students will make class presentations and assume a large responsibility for organizing and participating in the class discussions, as is appropriate for an 800-level class. Students will write a major research paper and comment upon the work of classmates. Professor Richard Wolin PSC  Radical Political Thought 4 credits, Monday, 4:15 6:15 pm. Cross-listed: History We will survey the development and transformation of modern political radicalism, beginning with Rousseau s ideas and their impact on Jacobin thought during the French Revolution. We will then examine in detail the strengths and weaknesses of Marx s critique of liberal democracy, before turning to various twentieth century currents: Jewish secular messianism (Walter Benjamin and Ernst Bloch), the Frankfurt School (T. W. Adorno), the French New Left (the Guy Debord and Cornelius Castoriadis), Foucault and contemporary feminism (Judith Butler). Public Policy Professor Christa Altenstetter PSC  Comparative Public Policy, 4 credits, Thursdays, 4:15-6: 15 p.m The escalating importance of regulatory governance as a dominant form of multi-level policymaking - international, transnational, regional and national and subnational raises new challenging questions for applied comparative policy research. How can regulatory governance and related transformations be studied? Is the traditional distinction in political science between international relations and comparative politics, on the one hand, and American politics and comparative politics, on the other, somewhat dated? Why, how, and under what conditions? Even if only partially applicable, what are the implications for applied comparative policy research in general and on regulation and governance in particular? Theories of public policy and policy processes are limited in their applicability to other countries when, as is often the case, they are exclusively rooted in American experience. How can these limitations and existing subfield boundaries be overcome in efforts to understand multi-level governance and
8 regulatory policy-making? While the focus of the course in on how to bridge policy-making at several levels, considerable attention will be paid to comparisons across nations and across policy sectors drawing on several bodies of literature: comparative public policy, regulation and regulatory governance, policy networks, standard-setting bodies and others. The seminar will be conducted as a research seminar and requires the active participation of participants. Professor Marilyn Gittell PSC  Citizen Participation and Community Organization Tuesday 4:15-6:15, Crosslisted: WSCP An in-depth analysis of democratic theory and its relevance to the creation of responsive public policies, especially as regards excluded populations. Issues of race and gender will be of primary concern. The single most important question to be addressed by the seminar is how policies which undermine the democratic process and marginalize large segments of the population can be changed. Emphasis will be on the role of democratic localism, citizen participation and community organization and their effect on the building of social capital and civil society. How these concepts and practices contribute to policies which work towards inclusion and social change will be discussed. Although a major portion of the reading will be on the U.S. political experience the course will also include comparative readings on other political systems. A research paper will be required. Professor Janet Gornick PSC  Social Policy and Socio-Economic Outcomes in Industrialized Countries: Lessons from the Luxembourg Income Study 4 credits, Monday, 4:15-6:15 This course -- which is crossed-listed in sociology, economics, and political science -- will provide an introduction to cross-national comparative research based on the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), a data archive located in Luxembourg. LIS has made comparable over 160 large microdatasets from 30 industrialized countries. (See for the list of countries.) The datasets contain comprehensive measures of income, employment and household characteristics. As of 2008, wealth data will be available for 10 countries. Over the last two decades, the LIS data have been used by more than 1000 researchers -- mostly sociologists, economists, and political scientists -- to analyze cross-country and over-time variation in diverse outcomes such as poverty, income inequality, employment status, wage patterns, gender inequality and family formation. Many researchers have combined LIS' microdata with various macrodatasets to study, for example, the effects of national social and labor market policies on socio-economic outcomes, or to link micro-level variation to nationallevel outcomes such as immigration, child well-being, health status, voting behavior and economic growth.
9 The course has two goals: (1) To review and synthesize 20 years of research results based on the LIS data; and (2) to enable students with programming skills (in SAS, SPSS, or Stata) to carry out and complete an original piece of empirical research. (All students are permitted to use the LIS microdata, which are accessed through an -based "remote access system", at no cost and without limit.) The course will require a semester-long research project. Students will be encouraged to complete an empirical analysis, reported in a term paper ultimately intended for publication. Students without programming skills will have the option to write a synthetic research paper. Professor Donna Kirchheimer PSC  Policy Implementation 3 credits, Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 Anyone who sees a doctor, teaches school, joins the military, pays at the gas pump, or enjoys a tax break personally engages the implementation of public policy. But despite its ubiquity, policy implementation was conceptualized as a field of study only in the early 1970s when research and graduate programs began to proliferate, while responsibilities of the public sector expanded. This course takes a wide-angle view and understands implementation as a political process which is inherently complex, dynamic, and perpetual. The starting point for implementation is the adoption of public policies originating in federal and state constitutions, legislation, regulation, and judicial decisions, but achieving public purposes is not automatic. The power of implementation is to convey legal authority and public funds, and it is shaped by continuing policy interests. Over time, the process of implementation produces strategies for public and private initiatives; generates change in institutions and industries; enhances chosen producer and user interests; stirs ideas, evaluations, and critics; and redefines problems which change policy agendas. The course will examine the evolving theoretical frameworks to explain implementation and will also draw on various critiques, using democratic and egalitarian values, market values, and benefit-cost ratios from various standpoints. Students will gain in-depth insight from doing policy research projects on a contemporary or historical case in a chosen country and policy area. Professor Christa Altenstetter PSC  Advanced Qualitative Analysis 4 credits, Tuesdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m Theory, data and methods are the foundation of scientific work. This course counts as your methodology requirement. It will focus on the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of the major approaches to qualitative data analysis and methods. It will focus on how to compare, what to compare, and why to compare. After a critical review of some leading academic writings on qualitative analysis, the course will turn to applications. Early in the semester, each participant will be asked to define a topic for research. This choice should be made on the basis of a participant s primary research interest. During the semester each participant will work on several exercises which serve as a basis for class discussions along
10 with the assigned readings. Each exercise should be written prior to the class. Exercises # 1 through # 6 are stand-alone exercises. The remaining exercises should become part of your final paper. However, all exercises eventually need to be integrated into a paper to be handed in no later than May 15, Guidance on how to integrate the exercises into a coherent paper will be distributed. This paper may eventually become the methodology section of a dissertation proposal, a second year paper or a Master thesis. You are urged to consult with me about research plans as soon as possible. Don t be discouraged. The exercises, all of them, have been designed to help you make the intellectual transition from the readings to your own work. The more you exercise, the better shape you will be in at the end of the course, and you will find that you have moved forward toward the completion of your goal: you final paper. Always remember that your paper may eventually turn into your dissertation proposal, your second year paper or even your Master thesis. Professor Hsiao PSC  Writing Politics Workshop 3 credits, Wednesday 4:15-6:15 Professor Charles Tien PSC  Quantitative Analysis I 3 credits, Monday 6:30-8:30 The aim of this course is to introduce graduate students to statistical analysis in political science. I want students to think of themselves as future contributors of empirical work, as well as critical consumers. In that spirit, there will be an emphasis on learning-by-doing. Students will work with a data set of interest to them substantively to carry out statistical exercises. We will cover univariate statistics, sampling distributions, probability, significance tests, bivariate statistics, and multivariate analyses. Students will learn and use SPSS for weekly assignments. Professor Susan Woodward PSC  Dissertation Proposal Workshop 0 credits, Tuesdays 6:30 8:30 This workshop aims to assist students in writing their dissertation proposal in political science and taking the second examination. It introduces students to the principles and organization of an acceptable proposal, provides advice on conceptualization and research strategies, and, where relevant to the workshop participants, discusses methodological questions. It is a genuine workshop, where students provide each other a mutually supportive setting to share the stages of their written drafts, get feedback, identify and resolve issues being faced by many, and learn the skills of analytical criticism necessary to one s own future research and teaching. Each member works at a personal, self-identified pace, but also accepts the obligation of reciprocity to attend all meetings of the workshop and read the drafts of all other workshop members. The first meeting of the workshop will lay out the principles and advice; anyone missing it will be at a distinct, even possibly irreparable, disadvantage for the rest of the workshop.
11 The workshop meets the first six weeks of the semester, and then continues as long as the group wishes; it does not give course credit, therefore has no grading; and can be taken more than once. Readings will be available on electronic reserve as resources for specific proposal tasks, but only as recommended aids.