(3 Cr.) (LER-SSC)
Politics exist all around us and affects our daily lives in numerous ways. Each section of this course will introduce students to the ubiquity of politics through a unique perspective. Students will be presented with a political problem at the outset of the course, and throughout the semester learn ways in which political actors and institutions have dealt with or responded to the problem, instilling a set of skills which include knowledge and a sense of agency. Students will also develop analytical and theoretical skills through guided writing assignment, reading and discussion. This course fulfills the liberal education requirement for the social sciences and is intended for majors and non-majors alike. Fall semester, repeated Spring semester.
Classical Political Thought
This course introduces the political thought of Ancient Greek and Medieval thinkers whose work forms a tradition whose aftermath we inhabit, even as they reflect and speak to a world that is in many ways radically different from our own. Through sustained readings of works by Homer, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Thucydides, Herodotus and Plato the course considers themes of authority and equality, tyranny and democracy, knowledge and critique. The transformation of classical themes by Christianity is approached by a study of Augustine and the course finishes with readings by Christine de Pisan and Marsilius of Padua reflecting on the medieval political order. Prerequisite: PSC 100.
Modern Political Thought
This course introduces key texts and thinkers in modern political theory. Of particular concern in this course is the notion that theorists between Machiavelli and Marx explore the idea that politics is a realm of human artifice. These two thinkers, as well as the social contract theorists (Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau), consider the artificial nature of the political in terms of certain central concerns. These include: the source and authority of law; the nature and sources of property; the relations between justice and power, politics and morality, and politics and religion; the nature and limits of legitimate political power, the state and sovereignty; the relation between political order and religion. Prerequisite: PSC 100.
Contemporary Political Thought
This course provides students with the groundwork for engaging with some of the more challenging areas of contemporary political theory. The course begins with Nietzsche's critique of central claims of modernity about scientific, intellectual and moral progress, as well as the roots of individual identity and agency. This beginning gives access to a series of twentieth century who draw upon Nietzsche's insights to consider the distinctive character of the political (Arendt); the constitution of power (Foucault); and the nature of sovereignty (Schmitt). The course uses this groundwork as preparation for reading a series of contemporary political theorists including Sheldon Wolin, William Connolly, and Wendy Brown. Prerequisite: PSC 100.
Research Methods in Political Science
Introduction to some of the basic quantitative research techniques used in contemporary political science. Skills in understanding and evaluating empirical research. The logic and structure of research designs; measurement; and ways to test relationships, such as descriptive statistics, basic probability, hypothesis testing, correlation, and regression. Introduction to computer analysis. Four hours lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: PSC 100. Spring semester. Kromer.
Practicum in Survey Research
This course conducts a survey project from beginning to end. Having a community organization as a client, students determine what kind of survey information is desired. The class then develops a questionnaire, designs the survey instrument, tests the instrument, selects a random sample, conducts the survey, and processes the data. The course will culminate in a presentation of the survey results to the community organization. Prerequisite: PSC 100. Variable semesters. Kasniunas, Kromer.
Development and Social Change in Costa Rica
This course examines the development path and processes of social change in Costa Rica, with an emphasis on the post-World War II paradigm that gave rise to the social-democratic structure of Costa Rican society. Drawing on the body of literature from Latin American theorists, students will explore notions of exceptionalism, myth-making and myth-breaking, conservation and the Green Republic, and the rise of ecotourism in Costa Rica. Prerequisite: 100-level course in social science. Spring semester.
Comparative Political Analysis
Examines theories of the state, nationalism, democratization and democratic institutions, economic development and under-development, ethnic politics and religious politics. Case studies are drawn from Western and Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. Prerequisite: PSC 100. Spring semester. Hwang.
State and Local Government
The dynamics of state and local government, including the legislative process, the role of the executive and judicial branches, their constitutional bases, and the impact of political parties on policymaking. Maryland is used as a case study of state and local political processes. Speakers and field trips. Prerequisite: PSC 100. Variable semesters. Kromer.
Religion and Politics in America
This course will cover the roots of the American separation of church and state, its practical application in the courts and in public policy and some of the trends and evolutions of this understanding resulting from changing aspects of the American political, social, and religious landscape. Using a combination of governmental documents, primary sources from politicians, theologians, and everyday Americans, students will examine the relationship between religion and politics in America in the context or race, gender, immigration, warfare, social reform and international relations. Spring 2017 and alternate years thereafter. Duncan.
America and the Vietnam War
An examination of the reasons for U.S. involvement in Vietnam, with emphasis on the decisions made and policies pursued over a period spanning five administrations. The Vietnam War is approached as a critical period in American politics and in U.S. foreign relations. Prerequisite: PSC 100 and 250. Variable semesters. Honick.
The American Political System
An overview of the American national political system with attention to political culture, voting behavior, interest groups, political parties, public opinion, Congress, and the presidency. Prerequisite: PSC 100. Spring semester. Kasniunas.
Organized Advocacy in American Politics
Advocacy is fundamental to our notions of democracy and plays a strong role in our political system. Organized advocates have had a persistent presence in our system but yet are some of the most understood actors. We treat lobbyists, special interests and PACs with skepticism yet look favorably upon advocates. This course will give you an understanding of organized advocacy in its many manifestations, exploring theoretical and normative considerations alongside the strategies and practices employed. Prerequisite: PSC 100. Variable semesters. Kasniunas.
An Introduction to Education Policy
This course will offer students an introduction to public policy through the lens of education policy in the United States. Students will learn about the various actors involved in making education policy at the local, state and federal levels of government and policy process. Students will also be taught the tools and resources needed in order to analyze and assess education policy. This course does not have any pre-requisites only a desire to better understand how education policy is made in the United States and the impact it has on students. Political science students seeking an introduction to public policy may be interested in this course as well as future educators. Spring 2017 and every two years. Kasniunas.
The 2016 Election
Examines the place of political parties in the American political system. The course also studies congressional and presidential elections, focusing on the upcoming November elections. The course will examine both theoretical and practical aspects of parties and elections. Students will be required to volunteer and work on an actual political campaign. Prerequisite: PSC 100. Variable semesters. Kasniunas.
Special Topic in Politics
Theories of International Politics
Introduction to theories and approaches to problems of explanation and analysis of international politics. Emphasis on the questions and problems raised by contemporary events. Prerequisite: PSC 100. Fall semester. Kehoe.
The UN in changing global politics
This course introduces and explores the history, institutions, and the impact of the United Nations in the context of changing global politics. The current operations and future potential of the UN creates a framework for assessing the UN response to current global issues. Emphasis is placed on the UN role in a changing global security environment, with a focus on UN peacekeeping, the challenges of environmental and climate change, sustainability, and the protection of human rights. Assessment of the UN's role includes its interactions with global actors such as other IGO's, NGO's and other non-state actors, international civil society, and the private sector. Prerequisite: PSC 100. Fall semester. Honick.
Problems in International Political Economy
An examination of the linkages between economic and political problems in the contemporary international system. Attention to the role of international economic institutions and the politics of economic issues such as resource scarcity, development assistance, ecological management, and multinational trade. Prerequisite: PSC 250. Fall semester. Kehoe.
The International Politics of the Middle East
Examination of regional and international issues in the Middle East. Topics include the Arab-Israeli conflict, inter-Arab rivalries, instability in the Persian Gulf, and the crisis in Lebanon. Prerequisite: PSC 100. Spring semester. Offered 2009-10 and alternate years. Honick.
An examination of African politics and societies since 1885. Exploration of the influences of Islam and Christianity, the colonization of the continent by imperial European powers, and the liberation movements, which brought about the demise of colonization. Consideration of contemporary issues and trends. Prerequisites: PSC 221 or 250, or permission of the instructor. Variable semesters. Singer.
Democracy and Violence in Southeast Asia
This course examines colonial experiences, political systems and the dynamics of conflict and violence in Southeast Asia. The course first focuses on the colonial experience of each core case under study: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, and the Philippines. The second segment of the course highlights the variations in the core democratic and semi-democratic cases. The third segment of the course examines the dynamics of conflict, including war, genocide, secessionism and rebellion. Prerequisite: PSC 100. Fall semester, alternate years. Hwang.
The Pacific Rim
An examination of the geography, culture, politics, and economics of the Pacific Rim with special emphasis on Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the coastal region of the People's Republic of China. Consideration of Japan's place in this region. Course provides a basis for Understanding the rapid growth and growing world significance of this area of the world. Prerequisite: PSC 100. Variable semesters. Honick.
Religion and Politics in Asia
This course highlights central themes in religion and politics across India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Burma. Drawing on the above cases, we will examine the intersection of politics with Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity. Topics addressed will include the historical relationship between the state and religious groups; religious parties and social movements; underground religious movements and new religious movements; gender and minority rights; citizenship; and terrorism and political violence. Prerequisite: PSC 100. Spring semester. Hwang.
Intensive Course Abroad
(3 Cr.) (LER - SA)
American Political Behavior
This course is organized around three broad questions: (1) How do people form their political beliefs? (2) How do those beliefs translate into political behavior? (3) What are the political outcomes and ramifications of these behaviors? The first part of this course addresses the nature and origins of political beliefs and mass opinion. We will focus on the roles that socialization, gender, religion, political knowledge, party identification, socioeconomic standing, and even genetics play in conditioning mass level political behavior. Next, we will explore vote determinants and theories of mass level participation. Particular attention will be paid to the variation of behavioral patterns across different demographics, while addressing general trends in participation and theories of voting behavior. Finally, we will consider the outcomes and patterns of political behavior drawing connections between public opinion and the behavior of government officials and institutions. The major goal of this course is for students to gain an understanding of the origins of our political beliefs and the role of these beliefs in our American political system. Upon completion of this course, students should be familiar with the major theories of American political behavior, the development of the political behavior literature, and the current direction of the subfield. A secondary goal of this course is to familiarize students with the quantitative approach to the study of politics. Students should also be able to read, discuss, and critique the scholarly work done in the field. Prerequisite: PSC 100. Variable semesters. Kromer.
Topics in Social Science
Targeting social science majors, this course will be team-taught by Monteverde Institute (MVI) and visiting faculty, with topics reflecting the expertise of visiting faculty and MVI's thematic emphasis on water, ecotourism, land-use planning and development, community health, and tropical ecology and biodiversity. In addition, students will learn social science research methodologies applicable to their research projects. Prerequisites: 200-level course in social sciences. Methods course encouraged. Spring semester.
Political Science and International Relations Internship
Full-time internships in legislative, judicial, and administrative areas of government and nongovernmental organizations at national, state, and local levels. Prerequisites: a political science course and permission of director. Students are accepted on the basis of course background and availability to upper-level students. First-year students are eligible. Preliminary application and interview required. May be taken for letter grade only.
An independent research project and presentation of findings or a special program of directed readings. Students arrange individually with any member of the program. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.
Seminar in Comparative Politics
Intensive study of a special region or topic in comparative politics. Focus on the politics of particular regions or on topics such as nationalism, ethnic identity, religion, and citizenship. Areas of comparison will vary from year to year and include U.S.-Latin America, Europe, Asia, and divided societies such as Northern Ireland. Prerequisites: 200 level Comp. course Variable semesters. Hwang.
Seminar in Political Theory
The topic of this seminar will vary between semesters: students are advised to check with the instructor for upcoming themes. Topics may include some of the following: Aristotle; the political theory of cosmopolitanism; theories of sovereignty; Thucydides and imperialism. Whatever the theme, the seminar requires students to sustain a deep engagement with difficult texts and to participate fully in class discussions. A research paper is required. Prerequisites: 200 level Theory course. Variable semesters.
Seminar in Scope and Method in Political Science
What is politics and how should we study it? Review of competing views. Emphasis on some of the classics in the field. Prerequisite: Senior Standing. Spring semester.
Terrorism and Political Violence
This course examines the life cycle of terrorist groups and terrorists, including becoming a terrorist, being a terrorist and ceasing participation in acts of terrorism. Students will learn about theories of terrorism, tactics, recruitment, radicalization and the end of terrorist campaigns. Cases will be drawn from nationalist, right wing, left wing and religious terrorist groups. Prerequisite: two courses in political science, junior standing, or permission of the instructor. Hwang.
Seminar in Presidential Politics
This course examines what many are calling the “postmodern” presidency, and the issues this change poses for American political culture and the political system in the new millennium. Prerequisites: 200 level American Politics course Variable semesters. Kasniunas.
Seminar in Congressional Politics
A study of the legislative branch in the American system of government. This course considers the incentives and goals of members of Congress and the nature of institutional arrangements. Special attention is given to the changes and reforms occurring since 1995 and their implications for policy-making. Prerequisites: 200 level American Politics course Variable semesters. Kasniunas.
Seminar in International Relations Theories
Designed primarily for senior international relations majors, students examine the major theoretical currents that inform contemporary scholarship in international relations. In addition, they will survey the history of 20th-century international relations as a means of locating the context in which the production of knowledge occurs. Prerequisite: PSC 250 or PSC 257, and Senior standing. Spring semester. Chatterjee.
Seminar on African Politics
Examination of the internal and external dynamics that affect the domestic and foreign policies of African states. Seminar participants are expected to develop a research topic and present their findings. Prerequisite: PSC 259 or permission of the instructor. Spring 2012. Singer.
The seminar in Asian Security will focus on security issues in Asia, most notably South and Southeast Asia. Topics include nuclear proliferation, the war over Kashmir, environmental security, food security, the drug trade and terrorism. Prerequisite: two courses in political science, junior standing, or permission of the instructor. Hwang.
Political Islam is among the most salient, interesting, and misunderstood concepts in our political vocabulary today. This course will endeavor to unpack political Islam, focusing on the theoretical trends in the scholarship as well as the key Islamic social movements and political parties, which are affecting the political discourse. The course will draw on cases of both Sunni and Shia; Arab and non-Arab; and democratic, semi-democratic, and authoritarian polities. Prerequisite: two courses in political science, junior standing, or permission of the instructor. Spring semester. Hwang.
Advanced Independent Work
Independent work leading to the senior thesis, which may be written as part of a student's pursuit of honors in political science. Prerequisites: senior status, permission of instructor.
(4 Cr. each semester)
Fall semester and spring semester.