Fall 2022 Courses

American Politics

POLS 60040: American Political Institutions
Rachel Porter
T 3:30 - 6:15 pm
CRN 20009

This course explores the role of national institutions in the American political system, with an emphasis on Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court. Students will consider three functions commonly ascribed to political institutions in relation to elite behavior: channeling individual preferences, constraining strategic choices, and structuring political opportunities. The goal of the course is for students to gain a basic understanding of American political institutions, synthesize the main themes in the literature, and grapple with current debates in the field.

Comparative Politics

POLS 60471: Comparative Authoritarianism
Karrie Koesel
Th 3:30 - 6:15 pm
CRN 20007

This seminar examines the nature and varieties of modern authoritarian regimes, the causes of their emergence, and the processes that lead to their endurance as well as their destruction. We will examine both the recent and (to a lesser extent) the older literature on dictatorship to analyze the origins, structure, and practices of contemporary authoritarian regimes throughout the world, along with some earlier examples of authoritarian polities, such as communist regimes, that have largely passed from the political scene. The readings for this course have been guided by three goals. One was maximizing the range of regimes analyzed. Another was identifying scholarship that highlights different methodological approaches in political science. Finally, to focus on core issues that are central to the analysis of all regimes, whether democratic or authoritarian---for example, institutional design; competing arguments about a regime origins; the relationship between the state and the economy, the state and the international system, and the regime and society; the management of both competition for power and leadership succession; and issues of regime legitimacy and accountability. This course is open to PhD students in the social sciences and humanities and MGA students, subject to prior permission from the instructor.

Constitutional Studies

POLS 60108: ​​Islamic Law and Constitutions
Emilia Justyna Powell
T 9:00 - 11:30 am
CRN 16197

Also counts towards International Relations. Cross-listed with Law. This seminar offers an introduction to Islamic law, Islamic international law, and Islamic constitutionalism. Lectures and readings focus on sources and functioning of classical Islamic law as well as on the characteristics of modern Islamic constitutional and subconstitutional legal systems across Muslim-majority states. Students will consider the meaning of Islamic justice, its embodiment in the legal system, its execution, the way it has evolved, and the principles that underpin it. We will examine the role of Islamic jurisprudence in the shaping of law, and how a faith-based concept of law relates to modern domestic governance and modern international law. 

POLS 60109: Introduction to International Human Rights Law
Paolo Carozza
MT - 3:30 - 4:45 pm
CRN 21336

Cross-listed with Law. Also counts towards IR. A foundational course in international human rights law. Focuses primarily on examples from United Nations-related human rights regimes, and examines: the historical and jurisprudential bases of international human rights law, the normative frameworks of the principal universal human rights treaties and of customary international law and the institutional mechanisms for interpreting, monitoring compliance with and enforcing those norms.

POLS 60118: Freedom of Religion
Richard Garnett
TTh 2:00 - 3:15 pm
CRN 21325

Cross-listed with Law. The Freedom of Religion is widely regarded as a fundamental human right and as Americans' "first freedom." But what, exactly, are the content, implications, and foundations of this freedom? This course examines the precedents and doctrines relating to the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment, the history and purposes of these provisions, and the theoretical foundations of the freedom they protect. The approaches taken to religious-freedom questions in other legal regimes will also be considered. Topics include public funding for religious education, religious expression and activity in public spaces, exemptions from generally applicable laws for religious believers and religiously motivated conduct, the extent to which state action and laws may reflect religious purposes and values, the autonomy and independence of religious institutions, and the ability of government to protect and promote religious freedom as a human good.

POLS 60119: Catholic Social Thought and the Law Seminar
Paolo Carozza
M - 9:00 - 10:40 am
CRN 21604

Cross-listed with Law. Over the last century and a half, the Catholic tradition has developed a body of thought that responds to a variety of political, legal, and social questions presented by the modern world. During this period, the Church has concerned itself with questions of individualism, totalitarianism, statism, legal positivism, human rights, and social justice. The seminar will consist of the reading and discussion of major documents in that tradition and of representative figures such as John Courtney Murray, SJ and Jacques Maritain. Topics explored through these readings will include the common good, the nature of the state, the state's relationship to society, the relationship of the state to the Catholic Church and to other churches, social justice and charity, pluralism, subsidiarity, authority, natural law, and natural rights.

POLS 60697: Science, Technology, Political Philosophy
Patrick Deneen
T 3:30 - 6:15 pm
CRN 20965

See Political Theory

International Relations

POLS 60242: Theories of International Relations
Sebastian Rosato
M 3:30 - 6:15 pm
CRN 20008

This graduate seminar provides a survey of major theoretical traditions and their applications in the study of international relations. The course explores recent changes in and debates on the key theoretical approaches (realism, liberalism, and constructivism) with a particular emphasis on identifying and criticizing their central assumptions and causal logics. A second objective of the course is to clarify and assess various methodological perspectives, ranging from empiricism to constructivism, and their consequences for the design and conduct of research.

POLS 60108: ​​Islamic Law and Constitutions
Emilia Justyna Powell
T 9:00 - 11:30 am
CRN 16197

See Constitutional Studies


POLS 60109: Introduction to International Human Rights Law
Paolo Carozza
MT - 3:30 - 4:45 pm
CRN 21336

See Constitutional Studies

Political Theory

POLS 60690: Christian Political Thought
James Philpott
M 6:30 - 9:15 pm
CRN 20006

The course introduces graduate students to Christian thought about the political order. It begins with the classical writings of Augustine and Aquinas and then moves to the past century-and-a-half, looking at major schools of thought and thinkers, among these Catholic magisterial writings, major Protestant thinkers, radical Christian critics, liberation theology, and African political theology. Major themes include the basis of political authority, rights, liberalism, democracy, Church-state relations, the meaning of justice, structural injustice, war and peace, and religious liberty.

POLS 60697: Science, Technology, Political Philosophy
Patrick Deneen
T 3:30 - 6:15 pm
CRN 20965

Also counts towards Constitutional Studies. In this seminar, we will read widely in the history of political thought, philosophy, theology, and literature to explore longstanding debates about the promises and perils of technology, philosophies of science, debates over material and moral progress, and the complex interplay of human nature and technology. Among the authors we will read are Plato, Pico Della Mirandola, Francis Bacon, Martin Heidegger, Shulamith Firestone, and Wendell Berry.

POLS 60698: Existentialism and Disaster Literature
Eileen Hunt
TTh - 2:00- 3:15 pm
CRN 21602

Cross-listed with Political Science (UG), English, and Gender Studies. In this political theory seminar, we will read the classics of modern existentialist philosophy alongside the defining works of modern disaster literature, in order to theorize the meaning of freedom, happiness, courage, justice, and love in the face of the struggles, injustices, tragedies, hardships, and conflicts of human existence. Authors include Shelley, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Wells, DuBois, Wright, Sartre, Beauvoir, Camus, Ellison, Spark, Hansberry, and Butler.


POLS 60833: Introduction to Quantitative Methods
Erin Rossiter
MW 11:00 - 12:15 pm
CRN 12397


This the first course in the quantitative methods sequence for Ph.D. students in Political Science. The course has three components. We start with a hands-on introduction to quantitative data analysis using the R computing and programming environment. We will cover measurement, causality and regression, and learn how to describe and plot politically relevant statistics. The second part of the course takes a step back to build up some mathematical foundation. We will cover calculus, optimization, and linear algebra. The third and last part of the course focuses on probability theory and statistical inference. We will cover distributions, large sample theorems, hypothesis tests, and confidence intervals.

POLS 60884: Advanced Quantitative Methods
Jeffrey Harden
TTh 9:30 - 10:45 am
CRN 21322

This course extends the basic linear model to several other types of models. These are typically called "generalized linear models," although for historical reasons people in political science often call them "maximum likelihood models." The principle we will care about is how to adapt the standard linear model that you know and love so that a tremendously broader class of outcome variables and data structures can be accommodated. The outcome variables we will coerce the linear model into fitting include: dichotomous outcomes, counts, ordered categorical outcomes, un-ordered categorical outcomes, bounded variables, and more. Lastly, we will examine some special topics that come up frequently in applied political science research.

POLS 63800: Proseminar
Guillermo Trejo
W 3:30 - 6:15 pm
CRN 11671

This is a required course for all first-year graduate students in the Department of Political Science. It is what is commonly called a "scope and methods" course; that is, a course designed to survey the great variety of themes and approaches in political science and to guide you through the fundamental debates about what political science is or should be. This course is also about democracy because the best way to teach about methods is to apply them to an interesting topic, and democracy is a topic of central interest to almost all of us these days. There is abundant literature that demonstrates the relevance of our course themes to democracy. Therefore, in the process of learning about the scope and methods of political science, this course will also familiarize you with some key ideas about what democracy is, what it could be, how it is changing, what causes it, and how we measure it.


POLS 61001 : American Politics Research Lab
Matthew Hall
F 2:00 - 4:45 pm; 08/26, 09/09, 09/23, 10/07, 10/28, 11/11, 12/02
CRN 17567

The American Politics Research Lab provides resources, training, guidance and coordination for research projects in American politics. The lab supports research efforts by graduate students, undergraduate students, and faculty. Regular activities include training workshops, research presentations, question-and-answer sessions, project updates, and special topic discussions.

POLS 98702: Research, Dissertation, and Publication Workshop
Mary Keys
CRN 18697

This workshop is for all Theory and Constitutional Studies Ph.D. students working on Dissertations, Dissertation Prospectuses, conference papers, and scholarly articles for publication. Every student will submit and present their research and writing to the group for constructive criticism and guidance. Students must be at least in their second year of the program, and the course is especially important for those who are preparing dissertation prospectuses and chapters. The course will meet every other week through the year.

Directed Readings & Research

All are variable credit courses. See Class Search for all sections offered for these courses.

POLS 66900 - Directed Readings (Letter grade)*
POLS 66903 - Directed Readings (S/U grade)*
POLS 67950 - Examination Preparation**
POLS 98699 - Research and Dissertation
POLS 98700 - Nonresident Dissertation Research**

*Directed Readings require email approval from the faculty member. If the course is going to count toward field requirements, prior, written approval is required by the field chair and DGS and filed by the Graduate Studies Coordinator. Contact the Graduate Studies Coordinator for more information. 

**Contact the Graduate Studies Coordinator to set up a section.