Fall 2021 Courses

American Politics

POLS 60038 - Race, Representation and Politics
Dianne Pinderhughes
T 3:30 - 6:15 pm
CRN 20450

Cross-listed with Sociology and Law. The course introduces students to racial and ethnic politics in comparative, international perspective. Whereas many nation states previously operated racially hierarchical political systems, nations in the western hemisphere, European nations, and postcolonial states, began to democratize their systems of political representation during the latter half of the twentieth century. These reforms continue to have significant influences on political, economic and legal systems across the globe. This course incorporates broad reviews in several areas:  US political issues of racial and ethnic representation; the roles of American political institutions in framing reform; comparative cases of, and differing approaches to political reform in multiracial nations; and examination of varied methodologies for gathering evidence on race, representation and politics. The course traverses the range of substantive, theoretical, institutional, legal and methodological issues associated with race, representation and politics.

This seminar is designed to introduce graduate and advanced undergraduate students in the social sciences and history, as well as professional students in law and business, to the varied ways in which issues of political representation have developed across the world. Academics who teach in American colleges and universities, lawyers and business professionals who function in increasingly sophisticated national and international multiracial environments, will need to have basic conceptions of the foundations of and the dynamics that shape political life in those public spaces as well as those private spaces in which businesses function. The issue of gender will be addressed, although it will not be a central focus in the course. 

Comparative Politics

POLS 60453: Comparative Field Seminar
Michael Coppedge and Michael Hoffman
W 6:30 - 9:15 pm
CRN 20447

Cross-listed with Sociology. Theoretical Approaches to Comparative Politics This course surveys the major approaches to the comparative study of politics and evaluates the great variety of methods employed. Many of the most important books and articles are used as examples. This course is designed to be helpful to those preparing to take the comprehensive examination in comparative politics.

Constitutional Studies

POLS 60108: Islamic Law and Constitutions 
Emilia Powell
T 9:00 - 11:30 am
CRN 16887

Also counts towards International Relations. Cross-listed with Law. This seminar offers an introduction to Islamic law and Islamic constitutionalism. How does the world of Islam understand the concept of law? What is Islamic justice? Do constitutions of Islamic law states differ from those of the West? How does governance relate to religion in the Islamic world? How did this relationship evolve? 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 Muslim religion in the shaping of the law, and how a faith-based concept of law relates to modern governance. The aim of this seminar is to acquire a better understanding of Islamic law as an expression of the divine will, and as a system of laws and justice, through focusing on classic texts, Islamic law states' constitutions, as well as photography, art and sculpture.

POLS 60115: American Political Thought and Constitutional History 
Phillip Muñoz
W 9:15 - 10:55 am*
CRN 21170

Cross-listed with Law. In "American Political Thought and Constitutional History," we shall discuss the nature(s) of the American regime and her most important principles. We will explore the creation of American Constitution, including and the philosophical and political debates that animated the Founding, as well as some of the debates that animated the Constitution's subsequent development. Since we lack the time for a comprehensive survey of American political thinkers, we shall examine select statesmen and critical historical periods - specifically, the Founding era, Lincoln and the slavery crisis, and the Progressives. We shall also reflect on how the American regime relates to the larger tradition of Western political thought.

POLS 60118: Freedom of Religion
Rick Garnett
MW 11:00 - 12:15 pm

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.

International Relations

POLS 60226: International Security
Michael Desch
W 3:30 - 6:15 pm
CRN 20448

This seminar offers an introduction to the field of international security studies. We will survey the dominant and emerging theories of international conflict, and analyze various efforts to use these theories to understand important substantive areas of international politics.

POLS 60246: Coercion and Persuasion: Sanctions, Incentives and Diplomacy in Global Policy
George Lopez
W 11 am - 1:45 pm
CRN 21400

Cross-listed with Peace Studies. Since the end of the Cold War, multilateral action for peace and security has included the increased use of economic tools in the form of sanctions [sticks] designed to coerce targets into new behavior, or incentives [carrots] to persuade targets to this same behavior. This course provides a comprehensive overview of the political economy of carrots and sticks as used in theory and practice by the UN, EU and the U.S. This course is meant to be a scholar-practitioner seminar in which those who are PhD students in any social science department will find research support and themes to explore for a publishable article, especially through the Sanctions and Security Research Program MGA level students will find the course useful for careers with their own governments, international agencies, or various groups which analyze and advocate against sanctions.

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

See Constitutional Studies for description.

Political Theory

POLS 60691:  Monsters of Modern Political Thought: Hobbes to Wollstonecraft
Eileen Botting
TTh 2:00 - 3:15 pm
CRN 20446

Cross-listed with English and Gender Studies. In this graduate course in political theory and literature, we will discuss the classics of Enlightenment-era political thought from Hobbes to Wollstonecraft that evolved in relation to English and French fantasy, gothic-romantic, science fictional, and adventure-exploration verse epic and novels from the 1648 Peace of Westphalia to the immediate aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and the 1815 Congress of Vienna. To trace the transmogrification of the concept and trope of the monster in modern European political thought on sovereignty, freedom, rights, revolution, legitimate constitutional government, gender, sexuality, family, race, rank, education, war, peace, conquest, slavery, colonialism, empire, and international relations, we will read Hobbes's Leviathan (1651); selections from Milton's verse epic Paradise Lost (1667); Locke's Second Treatise of Government (1689-90); Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe (1719); Rousseau's First Discourse (1750), Second Discourse (1755), and his novel Emile, or On Education (1762); Kant's "What is Enlightenment?" (1784) and "Speculative Beginning of Human History" (1786); Madison's Federalist No. 51 (1788); Kant's "Theory and Practice" (1793)  and "Perpetual Peace" (1795); selections from Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790); Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790), selections from her A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), and her novel Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman (1798); and Shelley's novel Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus (1818). We will also cover the related scholarly debates in political theory, intellectual history, feminist theory, and literature on these topics. 

POLS 60692 - Confronting Democracy: Mill, Tocqueville, Nietzsche
Patrick Deneen
W 3:30 - 6:15 pm
CRN 20445

We will read key works by three thinkers who address the rise of mass democracy in the 19th century.

POLS 60693: Arendt and the Frankfurt School
Dana Villa
M 3:30 - 6:15 pm
CRN 20444

Cross-listed with English and Philosophy. This year the focus will be on the conflicting analyses of nature and sources of totalitarianism given by Hannah Arendt (on the one hand) and Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno (on the other).  This topic will be pursued through the close reading of Arendt's "Origins of Totalitarianism" (1951) and Horkheimer and Adorno's classic "Dialectic of Enlightenment."


POLS 63800: Proseminar
Benjamin Radcliff
M 3:30 - 6:15 pm
CRN 11775

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 60833: Introduction to Quantitative Methods
Luis Schiumerini
MW 9:30 - 10:45 am
CRN 12530

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 60885: Causal Inference
Jeff Harden
TTh 9:30 - 10:45 am
CRN 20443

This course is an introduction to causal inference methods used in quantitative social science research. It begins with theoretical and conceptual discussions of causality, then moves to the statistical theory underlying the potential outcomes model. It then covers a variety of methods designed to assist with identification of causal effects in both experimental and observational data. The course focuses on the two complementary goals of learning the theory behind causal inference as well as practical implementation in statistical software. Students will walk away from the course with an understanding of how to apply causal inference methods and what is going on "under the hood" with their results. Class time is spent in lecture and working hands-on with example data.

POLS 60830: Qualitative Research Methods
Gary Goertz
Th 3:30 - 6:15 pm
CRN 16107

Cross-listed with Sociology. This course surveys some of the key issues in qualitative methods and research design. Major sections of the course deal with causal complexity, necessary and sufficient conditions, concepts, case study methodology, case selection, within-case causal inference, and philosophy of causation. Students will do 8-10 page projects on (1) causal complexity, (2) concepts, (3) case selection or case studies. These papers require the student to examine the issue in some particular area of application, and put together the three papers can form most of a research design or dissertation prospectus.


POLS 60900: Social Movements, Democracy and Development
Juan Albarracin Dierolf
TTh - 2:00 - 3:15 pm
CRN 2142

Cross-listed with MGA. Massive street protests against racial and ethnic inequalities in the United States, the Indian farmers' protest (2020-2021), and mass mobilization by women's collectives in Latin America are just a few recent examples of mobilizations that have reminded world audiences about the impact of social movements in democratization processes and in shaping democratic politics and development policies. At the beginning of the course, we will develop the conceptual and theoretical language to analyze social movements and contentious politics. We will then explore how social movements have contributed to transitions from authoritarian rule to democracy and the expansion of rights for formerly excluded groups. In a final section, we will discuss how social movements shape decision-making processes in contemporary democracies and, in particular, how they redefine practices of development and inclusion. Throughout the semester, we will engage with literature from several social sciences and a wide range of methodologies and will engage deeply with cases from different world regions.


POLS 61001: American Politics Research Lab
Matthew Hall
F 1:30 - 4:15 pm; 08/27, 09/10, 09/24, 10/08, 10/29, 11/12, 12/03
CRN 20442

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.

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.

Course Schedule

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