American politics, elections, public opinion, legislative politics. On leave 2015–16.
Heather E. Hodges
Environmental policy, public policy, political behavior, political communication.
International relations, environmental politics, comparative politics, East Asian politics.
American government, public policy, political methodology, environmental policy. On sabbatical 2015–16.
Political theory, history of political thought.
Alexander H. Montgomery
International relations, network analysis, technology and politics.
Political philosophy, social theory, comparative politics.
Peter J. Steinberger
Comparative politics, Latin American politics, political participation, machine politics and clientelism. On sabbatical and leave 2015–16.
The program in political science is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to the discipline, viewed as a set of specific strategies for understanding political life. These strategies—conceptual, historical, structural, institutional, and behavioral—are approached in the light of their theoretical presuppositions and in terms of their respective research approaches. The emphasis is less on learning the facts of politics than on being able to recognize, evaluate, and use intelligently the intellectual tools of the discipline.
Specifically, the curriculum is designed to provide:
- A basic understanding of the modes of inquiry in political science: normative, empirical, and comparative analysis. The department’s distribution requirements and the structure of the introductory course sequence reflect a strong and continuing commitment to this goal. All majors are required to take three of the five basic introductory courses: Introduction to Political Behavior, Comparative Politics, Political Theory, International Relations, and Public Policy.
- Research opportunities. Students are encouraged to explore quantitative and qualitative techniques of data collection and analysis. These efforts may be facilitated by the college’s excellent computer resources and by our access to the vast data archives of the Inter-University Consortium for Social and Political Research. The department’s public policy workshop (PPW) has meeting facilities and workstations and is available to students and faculty members for research.
- Opportunities for applied research.
- Specialized knowledge in one or more particular facets of politics. This is provided by the department’s upper-level course offerings and by the senior thesis experience.
Students have found that Reed’s political science program prepares them for careers in academia, government, law, nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations, and other fields. Further information is available in the Center for Life Beyond Reed.
Requirements for the Major
- Three of the five introductory courses, two of which must be completed before taking the junior qualifying examination. The third may be in progress at that time. a. Introduction to Political Behavior (210). b. Introduction to Comparative Politics (220). c. Introduction to Political Theory (230). d. Introduction to International Relations (240). e. Introduction to Public Policy (250).
- Economics 201.
- Statistics: one of Political Science 311, Mathematics 141, Economics 311 or 312, Sociology 311, or Psychology 348. Students are strongly encouraged to complete this requirement in their sophomore year or first semester of their junior year.
- Political Science 470.
- Four additional units in political science.
- Junior qualifying examination. Students will write a literature review and research design in a regular course in place of a portion of the other assignments for that course. Course choice is left to the student, but this must be completed during the junior year in a 300- or 400-level course. Specific requirements are stated on the department junior qualifying examination page, http://academic.reed.edu/poli_sci/resources/juniorqual.html.
Competence in a foreign language is strongly recommended for all majors, especially for those with interests in comparative politics and international relations.
All courses in political science are offered as conferences. Some incorporate occasional lectures or a seminar format. Political Science 470 (thesis) may include one or more fall semester conferences made up of all political science thesis students and faculty members, depending upon enrollments. Detailed information about advanced placement, transfer credit, study abroad, and other policies is contained at http://academic.reed.edu/poli_sci/.
Political Science 210 - Introduction to Political Behavior
Full course for one semester. This course provides a gateway for the study of political science. It covers the basics of political behavior, with a focus on rational choice, institutional change, and different approaches to the study of political action. Using the facts of the American political system, political behavior will be studied within a social scientific framework. The substantive area of interest is political participation. Assignments include essays, analytical exercises, and examinations. Lecture-conference.
Political Science 220 - Introduction to Comparative Politics
Full course for one semester. This course surveys major topics and theoretical and empirical contributions in comparative politics. It addresses such issues as methodology, modernization and economic development, democracy and authoritarianism, political parties, participation, representation, social movements, institutions of government, ethnic violence, revolutions, and civil wars. Conference.
Political Science 230 - Introduction to Political Theory
Full course for one semester. This course introduces major ancient and early modern political thinkers as antecedents of contemporary political philosophy and social theory. Concepts covered may include the state, power, freedom, order, obligation, justice, values, authority, rights, interests, parties, ideology, class, and legitimacy, depending on the semester. Conference.
Political Science 240 - Introduction to International Relations
Full course for one semester. This course introduces the theoretical study of international relations. Students will learn to perform basic research and analysis through writing and thinking about events in world politics from different perspectives, including realism, liberalism, and feminism. Readings are drawn from historic and contemporary scholars of international relations, cover a wide variety of issues, and are grouped together in conflicting pairs where possible. Assignments are a mixture of analysis, research, and experiential learning. Conference.
Political Science 250 - Introduction to Public Policy
Full course for one semester. Public policy can be conceived of as what governments decide to do or not to do, the structure of government involvement, and the resources they allocate for these decisions. This course can, thus, be seen as an introduction to the process by which public policies are considered, designed, and implemented. We focus specifically on process elements endemic to American public policy; however, the general framework for the policy process is one that occurs across democratic governments. Lecture-conference.
Political Science 311 - Political Science Laboratory: Data Analysis and Statistics for Political Scientists
Full course for one semester. This course is designed to provide students with the skills necessary to conduct quantitative research in the social sciences. The course provides a hands-on approach to obtaining, managing, and using data. Students will learn how to formulate appropriate research questions, obtain relevant information, and input and analyze data in a statistical program. To the degree possible, data will be obtained from a variety of sources and relevant to a variety of political science questions in multiple subfields. Statistical topics will include tabular analysis, regression, dichotomous linear models (logit, probit), and graphical display of data. Students who have previously taken Economics 311, Sociology 311, or Mathematics 141 are discouraged from taking this course due to overlap in coverage. Prerequisite: one course in political science, economics, or sociology; or consent of the instructor. Lecture-laboratory.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 330 - The U.S. Congress
Full course for one semester. This course will examine the development and current state of America’s preeminent political institution: the U.S. Congress. We explore the “environment” of Congress in two main ways: external (mainly electoral) and internal (institutional rules, procedures and inertia). Since Congress makes its own rules, we will talk about the institution of Congress as a product of the goals and motivations of the members. These two views of Congress—a 200-year-old institution and a noisy aggregate of members—are a centerpiece of this course. The second theme of the course is politics vs. policy. Nothing can be “good” policy that has no chance of passing. The tension between politics and policy is one of the enduring features (and frustrations!) of Congress. Assignments in the class include a series of short papers and longer research papers. Course readings and some assignments may include quantitative and analytical materials. An understanding of strategic behavior, rational choice, or parliamentary rules is helpful, but not necessary. We may, if the class chooses, engage in a group project analyzing a current or recently passed piece of legislation. Prerequisite: one introductory political science course. Conference.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 331 - State and Local Politics
Full course for one semester. Understanding state and local politics in this course involves an inquiry proceeding in three general stages. First, the course engages in a broad survey of the varied institutional arrangements that serve to administer subnational governments in the United States. Second, the course examines the varied political environment in which state governments operate, including an examination of state-level political culture and opinion. Finally, the course will use institutional arrangements and political environment to investigate variation in policy choices at the state and local level—particularly environmental policy. Prerequisite: any introductory political science course or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 332 - Vox Populi? Public Opinion and American Democracy
Full course for one semester. This course examines the role of public opinion in modern American politics. Topics include the capacities of the mass public, sources and uses of political information, and public opinion on areas such as race, egalitarianism and income redistribution, democratic norms and values, religion and religious minorities, and trust in government. Much of the material is quantitative in nature. Prerequisite: one introductory political science course, or Sociology 211 and a course in statistics. Conference.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 333 - Elections: American Style
Full course for one semester. Elections are fundamental to democratic government, but there seem to be as many variations in electoral institutions, party systems, and campaign styles as there are democratic societies. In this course, we review the expansive literature covering elections, electoral rules, and electoral behavior in the United States. The course focuses on three main areas. First, we review electoral institutions, including laws, regulations, and the current state of electoral reforms. Second, we will survey the campaign literature, likely focusing on the presidency. Finally, we will examine individual vote choice—why individuals choose to vote, how they integrate information from the political environment, and how they cast their ballot. Students should be comfortable with analytical and quantitative material, since it makes up such a large portion of the literature in this area. Prerequisite: Political Science 210 and one upper-division course in the social sciences. Conference.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 335 - Political Psychology
Full course for one semester. Political psychology, as an interdisciplinary pursuit, applies psychological concepts and methods to test theories about elite and mass political behavior. In essence, political psychologists go “inside the mind” of elites and members of the mass public to explain various aspects of political behavior. Class topics include attitude formation, organization, and recall; cognition and information processing; values and ideology; emotion; personality; ethnocentrism; authoritarianism; and polarization. Prerequisite: one introductory political science course, or one 100-level psychology course, or approval of the instructor. Conference.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 336 - Race and American Politics
Full course for one semester. This course examines the effects of race on various aspects of the American political system. We first focus on the complex role of slavery in American political development. We then move on to take a look at race-based policies and several Supreme Court decisions. Finally, we examine the centrality of racial attitudes in American public opinion and political behavior. Prerequisite: one introductory political science course or approval of the instructor. Conference.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 337 - Navigating Wildfire Policy
Full course for one semester. In the case of wildfire there is a clear disconnect between the science and policy and management objectives. This course seeks to address where this disconnect stems from and what can be done to address it. As such we will cover wildfire as a science, the historical foundations of wildfire management in the western U.S., how this has changed over time, the various institutions and considerations at play, and what we can expect under increased threat from climate change. Prerequisite: one introductory political science course, one course qualified in the environmental studies program, or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Political Science 338 - Environmental Politics and Policy
Full course for one semester. The purpose of this course is to meld the science of environmental problems with the policy and politics surrounding them. Over the semester, we will cover the sources of environmental problems, the foundations of environmental policy, how environmental policy changes over time, the role of science and uncertainty, environmental policy in practice and alternative routes towards addressing these issues. Throughout, we will focus on the conflicts that arise between the science of these problems, how they are perceived by the public and elites, and the role institutions play in addressing them. Prerequisite: any introductory political science course or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Political Science 340 - Media and Politics
Full course for one semester. This course addresses the role of communications media and their influence on politics. What constitutes “news” and the way it is conveyed shape public thinking on political issues and affect candidates, causes, and public perceptions of government institutions. We will explore this process and, in particular, investigate how it is changing under the Internet and digital media. Prerequisite: any introductory political science course or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Political Science 342 - Politics, Resistance, and Grassroots Movements
Full course for one semester. This course examines the broad theoretical subject of political participation by using empirical evidence from party rallies. Why do parties conduct rallies? Why do voters participate in rallies? What is the relationship (if any) between voter turnout at rallies and elections? Will parties continue conducting rallies in the mass media era? We are going to examine these questions by studying classical theoretical works about political participation, and empirical works about rallies in authoritarian, semiauthoritarian, and democratic regimes in western and eastern Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and Latin America. Prerequisite: one introductory political science course. Conference.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 343 - Torture in Wars
Full course for one semester. Widespread torture in war does not happen in every war, and to the extent that it does, there are great variations. In fact, there are strong strategic and tactical incentives not to use it in many conflicts. And even if cruelty towards prisoners does occur, it does not characterize every side in a conflict, and not every unit within an army. These variations suggest politicians, generals, midtier officers, and soldiers must confront different situations in which they may choose to torture prisoners. What are these conditions? How might one explain them? After a review of earlier wars (the Philippine-American War, World War II, the Korean War, the Algerian and Vietnam Wars), this course focuses on explanations of torture in war, focusing on the multiple wars in Iraq between 1980 and 2015: the Iran-Iraq War (1980—1988), the Iraq-Kuwait War (1991), Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm (1991—1992), the Second American Gulf War (2003), the Iraq insurgency (2003—2011), and the Iraq Civil War and Da’esh conflicts (2011—present). Prerequisite: any introductory political science course or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Political Science 347 - Mobilizing Poor Voters: Machine Politics, Clientelism, Patronage, and Vote Buying
Full course for one semester. What transformations and continuities can we find in comparing past and present forms of clientelism and vote buying? What does the existence of political machines imply for the quality of democracy? What are the prospects for the persistence or extinction of machine politics in the future? We will address these questions by studying various theoretical and historical explanations, as well as by careful examination of empirical evidence about the persistence and demise of machine politics in the early history of the U.S. and present-day advanced European democracies. We will also examine in detail cases in Latin America: Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, and Peru; and beyond the region: India, Africa, and Japan. Prerequisite: one introductory political science course. Conference.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 352 - Politics of East Asia
Full course for one semester. Since the middle of the twentieth century, East Asia has attracted great attention from the rest of the world due to its successful economic growth, political turmoil, the significance of security matters, and cultural uniqueness. The rise of Japan and China as key players in the international settings has been outstanding. This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of both domestic and international affairs in East Asian countries. Political, social, and economic aspects of China, Japan, and South and North Korea will be examined in the regional context. Students should become able to discern the similarities and differences among these countries plus the United States. Conference.
Political Science 357 - Politics, Violence, and Human Rights in Latin America
Full course for one semester. This course combines normative theory, empirical research, and a historical perspective to critically examine human rights in Latin America. By reviewing civil, political, and economic rights in Argentina, Peru, and Chile, the course seeks to familiarize students with human rights in the region. To accomplish this goal, the course reviews human rights issues that have afflicted (and continue to affect) Latin American countries since the Cuban Revolution (1959). The topics covered in the class include the emergence, development, and disappearance of urban and rural guerrillas; transitions from authoritarianism to democracy; violations to human rights and their effects on the selected countries; the creation, work, and consequences of Truth Commissions; and drug cartels, violence, and human rights abuses in present day Mexico and Colombia. Prerequisite: Humanities 110. Students are expected to have familiarity with Latin American history. Conference.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 358 - Strategy, War, and Politics
Full course for one semester. This course examines contemporary problems of war and peace from a historical and theoretical perspective. What were the causes of war in the past and what can we learn from that experience? What strategies do actors in the international system use to employ force, and how have they changed in the nuclear age? What are the current problems facing decision makers today? The course begins with a review of political, economic, organizational, cultural, and psychological theories of the causes of war, using these theories to examine the origins and character of both historical and contemporary conflicts, including the First and Second World Wars and the Iraq War. It continues by examining the effects on conflict of the nuclear revolution. The course concludes by examining the major contemporary threats to national and international security that may be faced in the coming decade. Prerequisite: Political Science 240. Conference.
Political Science 359 - Weapons, Technology, and War
Full course for one semester. This course examines the historical evolution of the conduct of war from a theoretical and normative perspective. What elements of war have changed over time, and what core precepts remain the same? What advances the technology of war, and how do these advances alter the conduct and outcomes of war? Why have some weapons been deemed cruel and inhumane at times and merciful at others? Who fights, and who suffers? We will explore the interrelationships among military technology, society, politics, and war, asking how different forces have shaped warfare from antiquity to the present. Prerequisite: one introductory course in political science, one course from History 300–308, or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 372 - International Environmental Politics
Full course for one semester. This course aims to analyze the relationships between the environment and the world, particularly the environment and the economy, and the environment and globalization. It provides students with information on the development of global environmental politics through looking at participation of various actors in international environmental discourses. It will also look at a variety of environmental issues including regional and global ones through the processes of international environmental regime creation. The course will cover transboundary air pollution in Europe, North America and Asia; ozone depletion; climate change; and desertification. Along with understanding various topics, students will be trained to write a solid research paper on particular environmental issues or the participation of particular countries in global environmental politics. Conference.
Political Science 373 - Global Environmental Controversies
Full course for one semester. Our world has encountered various controversies as well as uncertainties over global environmental issues. Some argue nuclear energy is clean and safe, but others argue it is not that clean and even dangerous. Some argue global warming and climate change is a natural phenomenon in the view of a long-term natural cycle, but others argue it originates from human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases. This course investigates these environmental controversies and public debates. Starting with reading an evolutional perspective on global institutions and the environment, this course covers topics of climate change, deforestation, nuclear power, whaling, biodiversity, trade liberalization, sustainable development, and population growth. Prerequisite: one introductory political science course, one course qualified in the environmental studies program, or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Political Science 381 - Constitutional Law and Judicial Politics
Full course for one semester. This course will focus on the nature of judicial, legislative, and executive institutional power in the American political system, with special reference to the developments since 9/11 and its influence. This includes the rise of executive power both domestic and international during the Bush administration (Article II), the limits and potential of congressional power in meeting the economic crisis (Article I), and the changing nature of the Supreme Court as the constitutional “umpire” of federal policy and action in terms of the liberal/conservative dimension (Article III). Prerequisite: Political Science 210, 230, or 250, or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 386 - Ancient Political Philosophy
Full course for one semester. An exploration of philosophical thinking about politics in antiquity—specifically in the West—with a focus on the thought of Plato. We will examine some of the intellectual/cultural contexts in which Plato operated, as reflected in, for example, the work of historians and tragic poets. Principal Platonic texts will include Protagoras, Meno, Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Gorgias, Republic, and Statesman. Implications and criticisms of Plato’s thought will be traced variously in Aristotle’s Ethics and Politics, and the course will conclude by reading an important secondary text. Conference.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 388 - Power
Full course for one semester. This course explores the concept of power, examining basic tools in any social scientific enterprise. The basic questions include: Is power a relationship, an attribute of an actor, or something else? Is it proper to say an actor has power if it is latent? Must power be exercised intentionally to be power? Is power necessarily conflictual or consensual? Should power be conceived as narrowly coercive, or more broadly as positive or productive? How these questions are answered has specific implications for how one conducts social inquiry. The emphasis will be on the practical application—how to study events differently depending on one’s view of power, and how to know whether the claims made in each analysis are true or false? Prerequisite: one introductory political science course and Humanities 110 or consent of the instructor. Conference. (Previously numbered Political Science 320.)
Political Science 389 - Torture Prevention
Full course for one semester. This course examines the two waves of the modern torture prevention movement internationally after World War II. It considers the reemergence of torture abolitionism and the “naming and shaming” strategies that appear next in the 1960s. The course will consider moral and religious arguments for torture prevention, legal recommendations, institutional policies, and social scientific evaluation of various human rights strategies and the prospects for torture prevention in the twenty-first century. Prerequisite: one introductory political science course. Conference.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 392 - Hobbes and Schmitt
Full course for one semester. This course considers the works of two major political theorists, Thomas Hobbes and Carl Schmitt. It engages Hobbes through the lens of Schmitt’s work and engages Schmitt by way of reading Hobbes’s analytics of power. Readings will cover the entire Leviathan and several of Schmitt’s texts between 1922 and 1961, as well as pre-Hobbesian and post-Schmittian analyses of the problem of friend and enemy. Prerequisite: one introductory political science course. Conference.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 393 - Liberalism and Its Critics
Full course for one semester. In this course we explore contemporary political theory through critical engagement with works of prominent twentieth-century liberal thinkers and their critics. We address questions including: What makes a thinker liberal or not? What grounds different varieties of liberalism (religion, reason, power, pragmatics)? What is, or ought to be, the connection between liberal political philosophy, liberal justifications, and liberal institutions? We consider the topics of freedom, progress, knowledge, power, equality, law and institutions, the relationships between individual and community, democracy and liberalism, public and private, toleration and unity, difference and gender. We will focus on the positions in this literature regarding what political theory is and why and how we ought to do it. The focus will provide a critical lever for the evaluation of materials and will result in the writing of a major research project in political theory. Prerequisite: one introductory political science course and Humanities 110 or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Political Science 394 - Sex, Gender, and Political Theory
Full course for one semester. This course provides an intensive study of Western political thought through the lenses of sex and gender. At least since Plato proposed abolishing the family in the name of justice, questions about sex, gender, power, and politics have been central to Western political thought. Does biological difference matter in political life? Why or why not? Should it? Can it not? What is “sex”? What is “gender”? Is either, or are both, socially constructed or naturally existing? Can we change the way sex and/or gender figure into political life? Should we? Why or why not? What is “political”? What is “power”? We shall engage these questions with thinkers from Plato to Simone de Beauvoir, Harvey Mansfield, and Judith Butler. Prerequisite: Humanities 110. Conference.
Political Science 398 - What is Political Freedom?
Full course for one semester. What is political freedom? This course investigates the central question of the modern canon of Western political thought. Our materials include that canon and its commentators, contemporary scholarship, and the real world of politics. The course is organized thematically, but with an eye to the history of ideas. Our inquiry draws on a range of methodological traditions or approaches housed in the contemporary discipline of political theory. The course is designed to help students to develop a comfortable but critical understanding of these approaches. Prerequisite: Political Science 230 or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 400 - The Idea of the State
Full course for one semester. This course is a study of the metaphysics of the state. The focus will be on three basic problems: the problem of consent—to what extent is the authority of the state independent of individual volitional acts? the problem of toleration—is mutual indifference compatible with the ethical nature of the social order? and the problem of democracy—does citizenship require a system of ruling and being ruled in turn? In each case, the fundamental claims of modern politics (Rawls, Raz, Taylor, Walzer) will be assessed in the light of emergent conceptions of human action (Bourdieu, Gadamer, Habermas, Oakeshott). Conference.
Political Science 401 - Dangerous Speech
Full course for one semester. This course is a course in political theory and the Islamic humanities. It follows a particular problem from Greek and Hellenic philosophical texts into the Islamic tradition of adab or moral self-cultivation. The particular problem is the problem of parrhesia, what we might today call “speaking truth to power.” On this view, one cannot take care of oneself without a relationship to another person. And this person’s role is to tell the truth, the whole truth, or at least what is necessary, and in a particular form. A parrhesiastes speaks frankly, without adornment or rhetoric, about what is actually the case. And what he says coincides with what is really true about the world. In doing so, he may anger those who hear him, and so risks humiliation, contempt, personal criticism, loss, injury, and, at the most extreme point, death. Parrhesia then is a form of criticism, of oneself or others, but always from a position of inferiority to power. It may be done in public to the demos (as in the Apology) or in private to a tyrant (as in Plato’s Seventh Letter). In his final years Michel Foucault has followed this problematic into Christian and modern thought. After reviewing key Hellenic texts, we will follow how Islamic scholars at key moments treated the same theme of parrhesia. Prerequisite: Humanities 110 completed or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Political Science 403 - Hegel and Marx
Full course for one semester. This course examines the principal political writings of Hegel and Marx. Much emphasis will be placed on Hegel’s Philosophy of Right and its conceptual and historical foundations. Readings from Marx will include Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, Paris Manuscripts, Theses on Feuerbach, German Ideology, Capital, and Critique of the Gotha Program. Contemporary ideas on the question of Hegel and Marx will be traced in various writings, including those of Habermas and Althusser. Conference.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 405 - Judgment
Full course for one semester. How are particulars subsumed under, or otherwise connected with, universals? This problem of judgment is treated with respect to a range of related concepts: taste, rhetoric, phronesis, interpretation, common sense, and the like. The initial texts are Kant’s Critique of Judgment and Gadamer’s Truth and Method. Particular issues emerging from these texts are treated variously in the writings of Arendt on politics, Dworkin and Fish on textual interpretation, Habermas on communication, and Oakeshott on conversation. All of these issues bear on the broad question of rationality, objectivity, and human understanding. Conference.
Political Science 415 - Special Topics in Political Science
Junior Research Seminar
One-half course for one semester. This course focuses on preparing students for political science research, particularly the junior qualifying examination and subsequent thesis. Topics include research design, research methodology, shaping and framing a research question, locating data, and presenting results. All areas of inquiry in political science will be given ample coverage. While focused on students who are writing their junior qualifying examination in political science, the course may be helpful to students in the first semester of their thesis research. Prerequisite: junior or senior status in political science or consent of instructor. Conference.
Neoliberalism and Its Critics
Full course for one semester. What is neoliberal thought, what are neoliberal policies, what characterizes the neoliberal age, and what are the major critiques that have been leveled against neoliberalism? We will explore these questions, focusing on primary texts that are generally associated with neoliberalism (e.g., F.A. Hayek and Milton Friedman), as well as the most important critical attacks on neoliberalism (e.g., David Harvey, Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, Wendy Brown, James Ferguson, etc.). We consider work of scholars who aim simply to describe neoliberal policies and geopolitical economic structures. The term neoliberalism is contested. In this course, we will study the concept in depth in order to get a firm understanding of its theoretical and practical implications. Prerequisites: Political Science 230 or 393 or consent of the instructor. Conference. Not offered 2015–16.
Political Science 420 - Food Politics and Policy
Full course for one semester. This course examines the intersection of the political, social, economic, and ecological systems surrounding the production and consumption of what we generally call “food.” The dimensions of the semester-length study of food and food policy ask questions related to the modes of agricultural production—including policies that promote production for the sake of production, the rise and subsequent bureaucratization of the organic movement, and impacts of animal welfare and husbandry tactics. However, interlinked with these modes of production are socioenvironmental implications of consumption in the form of nutrition standards, food deserts, food justice, and the impacts of so-called locavores. The course will explore structures designed to govern food systems across a variety of federal, state, and local jurisdictions. Students will get an overview of food system components, key policies and policy instruments used to govern the food system, influential institutions and policy actors, and emerging food system trends. Prerequisites: sophomore standing, Political Science 210 or 250, and one upper-division political science or environmental studies–history course. Conference.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 422 - Nuclear Politics
Full course for one semester. This course examines contemporary international nuclear politics, covering a number of historical and recent suspected nuclear weapons programs. The course begins with an overview of nuclear technology, the history and morality of nuclear use, motives for proliferation, nuclear doctrines, and nuclear safety issues. It then explores a number of cases of states that did or did not pursue or acquire nuclear weapons. Additionally, we will explore the role of faulty intelligence, clandestine proliferation networks, and nuclear assistance from third parties on proliferators’ programs and U.S. policy. Prerequisite: Political Science 240, Political Science 358, or consent of instructor. Conference.
Not offered 2015—16.
Political Science 444 - Global Risk Politics
Full course for one semester. This course investigates the politics of global risks—challenges, some created by humans and others by nature—that have the potential to drastically alter human civilization, the planet, or life itself. Such “apocalyptic” risks include extreme climate change, ecological catastrophes, global pandemics, nuclear war, artificial intelligence, and asteroid impacts. The course will analyze these nascent Armageddons using a variety of theoretical perspectives including the precautionary principle, the social construction of risk, normal accidents theory, and concepts of high-reliability operations. Prerequisites: junior standing and Political Science 240, or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Political Science 470 - Thesis
Full course for one year.
Political Science 481 - Independent Reading
One-half or full course for one semester. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing and approval of instructor and division.