Political Science offers a large number of courses each year, covering a wide range of subject matters from classic to cutting-edge topics. Below is the course schedule for the upcoming academic year. Please see the left navigation for the course description archive, catalogs, and calendars.  

Tentative Course Schedule for 2018-19

The University uses a five-digit course numbering system. Courses whose first digit is less than “3” are considered College-level courses. Those courses whose first digit is “3” or higher are considered graduate-level. In general, College courses whose first digit is “1” are considered to be introductory or meeting first-year general education requirements.

Undergraduate Courses

PLSC 20280. The Politics of Popular Sovereignty: Participation and Protest. 100 Units.
If government is of, by and for the people, what kinds of politics are possible? Certainly, politics will operate through established institutions such as elections and legislatures. But popular politics may also take other forms: petitions, social movements, protest in the streets, and cultural critique. These efforts often fail, sometimes dramatically, but they have also contributed to major social change including the abolition of slavery, the expansion of rights, and demands for new understandings of justice. This course will explore the history of popular politics within democratizing societies, the development of new forms of collective mobilization and technologies of political influence, and the changing relation of popular politics to formal political institutions.
Instructor(s): E. Clemens
Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20280

PLSC 21410. Advanced Theories of Gender and Sexuality. 100 Units.
Beginning with the extension of the democratic revolution in the breakup of the New Left, this seminar will explore the key debates (foundations, psychoanalysis, sexual difference, universalism, multiculturalism) around which gender and sexuality came to be articulated as politically significant categories in the late 1980s and the 1990s.
Instructor(s): L. Zerilli
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 31410, ARTH 21400, ARTH 31400, ENGL 21401, ENGL 30201, GNSE 31400, MAPH 36500

PLSC 21820. Global Justice and the Ethics of Immigration. 100 Units.
This course examines different theories of global justice and justice in migration that have been developed by political theorists since the 1980s. It explores urgent ethical questions in international affairs, with a particular focus on global poverty, global inequality and the ethics of immigration. Addressed questions will include the following: what does justice require at the global level? Does the very idea of global justice make sense? Are economic inequalities between countries morally objectionable and, if so, why? What do affluent countries (and their citizens) owe to less affluent countries (and their citizens)? Should states have a right to control their territorial borders? To what extent do they have a right to exclude immigrants? What are the obligations of states towards newly arrived immigrants? We will address these normative questions by reading and critically assessing important texts written by leading scholars within the field of political theory and applied ethics, including John Rawls, Charles Beitz, Peter Singer, Thomas Pogge, Joseph Carens and many others.
Instructor(s): C. Cordelli     
Terms Offered: Autumn

PLSC 22150. Contemporary African American Politics. 100 Units.
This course explores the issues, actions, and arguments that comprise black politics today. Our specific task is to explore the question of how do African Americans currently engage in politics an d political struggles in the United States. This analysis is rooted in a discussion of contemporary issues, including the election of the first African American president, Barack Obama, the emergence of the Movement for Black Lives, the exponential incarceration of black people, and the intersection of identities and the role black feminism in shaping the radical freedom tradition in black politics. Throughout the course we attempt to situate the politics of African Americans into the larger design we call American politics. Is there such a thing as black politics? If there is, what does it tell us more generally about American politics?
Instructor(s): C. Cohen
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 22150, LLSO 29502

PLSC 22400. Public Opinion. 100 Units.
What is the relationship between the mass citizenry and government in the U.S.? Does the public meet the conditions for a functioning democratic polity? This course considers the origins of mass opinion about politics and public policy, including the role of core values and beliefs, information, expectations about political actors, the mass media, economic self-interest, and racial attitudes. This course also examines problems of political representation, from the level of political elites communicating with constituents, and from the possibility of aggregate representation.
Instructor(s): J. Brehm     
Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): LLSO 26802, CRES 22400
Prerequisite: STAT 22000 or equivalent

PLSC 22913. The Practice of Social Science Research. 100 Units.
This is a first course in empirical research as it is practiced across a broad range of the social sciences, including political science. It is meant to enable critical evaluation of statements of fact and cause in discussions of the polity, economy, and society. One aim is to improve students' ability to produce original research, perhaps in course papers or a senior thesis. A second objective is to improve students' ability to evaluate claims made by others in scholarship, commentary, or public discourse. The specific research tools that the course develops are statistical, but the approach is more general. It will be useful as a guide to critical thinking whether the research to be evaluated, or to be done, is quantitative or not. Above all, the course seeks to demonstrate the use of empirical research in the service of an argument.
Instructor(s): P. Conley    
Terms Offered: Autumn, Spring, Winter
Notes: Open to Political Science Majors only

PLSC 23100. Democracy and the Information Technology Revolution. 100 Units.
The revolution in information technologies has serious implications for democratic societies. We concentrate, though not exclusively, on the United States. We look at which populations have the most access to technology-based information sources (the digital divide), and how individual and group identities are being forged online. We ask how is the responsiveness of government being affected, and how representative is the online community. Severe conflict over the tension between national security and individual privacy rights in the U.S., United Kingdom and Ireland will be explored as well. We analyze both modern works (such as those by Turkle and Gilder) and the work of modern democratic theorists (such as Habermas).
Instructor(s): M. Dawson
Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): LLSO 27101

PLSC 23313. Democracy and Equality. 100 Units.
Democracy has often been celebrated (and often criticized) for expressing some kind of equality among citizens. This course will investigate a series of questions prompted by this supposed relationship between democracy and equality. Is democracy an important part of a just society? What institutions and practices does democracy require? Is equality a meaningful or important political ideal? If so, what kind of equality? Does democracy require some kind of equality, or vice-versa? The course will begin by studying classical arguments for democracy by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Stuart Mill, and then focus on contemporary approaches to these questions. The course will conclude with some treatment of current democratic controversies, potentially including issues of race and representation; the fair design of elections; the role of wealth in political processes; and the role of judicial review. The course aims to deepen participants' understanding of these and related issues, and to develop our abilities to engage in argument about moral and political life.
Instructor(s): J. Wilson
Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 42201, LLSO 23313

PLSC 23900. Thucydides. 100 Units.
This course offers an introductory reading of Thucydides’s history of the Peloponnesian War, one of the classic guides to politics, both domestic and international. Themes may include: progress and decline; justice, necessity, and expediency; fear, honor, and gain as motives of political action; the strengths and weaknesses of democracies and oligarchies in domestic and foreign policy; stability and revolution; strategy, statesmanship, and prudence; the causes and effects of war; relations between stronger and weaker powers; imperialism, isolationism, and alliances; and piety, chance, and the limits of rationality. We will conclude by reading the first books of Xenophon’s Hellenica to see how the war ended.
Instructor(s): N. Tarcov
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 53900, LLSO 24900, SCTH

PLSC 23901. The Federalist Papers and Anti-Federalist Writings. 100 Units.
This course examines the debate over the ratification of the Constitution through a reading of The Federalist Papers and selected Anti-Federalist writings as works of continuing relevance to current practical and theoretical debates. Issues include war and peace, interests and the problem of faction, commerce, justice and the common good as ends of government, human nature, federalism, republican government, representation, separation of powers, executive power, the need for energy and stability, the need for a bill of rights, and constitutionalism.
Instructor(s): N. Tarcov
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 33930, LLSO 23901, SCTH

PLSC 24810. Politics of the U.S. Congress. 100 Units.
This course examines Congress from the perspective of the 535 senators and representatives who constitute it. It examines congressional elections, legislators' relationships with their constituents, lawmakers' dealings in and with committees, and representatives' give-and-take with congressional leadership, the executive, and pressure groups.
Instructor(s): J. Hansen    
Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LLSO 24810

PLSC 25110. Empire and International Justice. 100 Units.
How did European thinkers from 1492 onward understand and evaluate the extraordinary developments by which some European countries came to rule over much of the non-European world? This seminar examines theories of international justice and global relations from the early sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. Philosophers, theologians, and political actors in this period responded to the key issues of global politics in the modern age, including the seizure of non-European lands; the establishment of slavery and the slave trade; the religious and cultural conversion of colonized peoples; the emerging institutions and practices of global commerce; and the impact of these developments upon both European and non-European societies.  Indeed, many dilemmas that confront citizens and states today about humanitarian intervention, national sovereignty, conquest and occupation, empire, and human rights in a global context have an intriguing and complex intellectual history.  The readings are primary texts by influential thinkers from the period of the initial Spanish conquests of the Americas through the mid-nineteenth century, including Montesquieu, Diderot, Burke, Bentham, Adam Smith, Cugoano, Kant, Herder, Constant, Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill, and Karl Marx.
Instructor(s): S. Muthu  
Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): LLSO 25110

PLSC 25205. Racial Justice and Injustice. 100 Units.
The course will explore moral and political problems of racial justice and injustice. Topics may include antidiscrimination theory, the fair political representation of racial minorities, reparations for racial injustice, racial segregation, the use of racial preferences in various practices of selection, and the evaluation of practices of law enforcement and punishment. We will use reflections on particular problems such as these to inquire about the uses of racial concepts in political theory; the connections between racial justice and ostensibly more general conceptions of justice; and the connections between racial equality and other egalitarian ideals.
Instructor(s): J. Wilson
Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 35205, LLSO 25205

PLSC 25215. The American Presidency. 100 Units.
This course examines the institution of the American presidency. It surveys the foundations of presidential power, both as the Founders conceived it, and as it is practiced in the modern era. This course also traces the historical development of the institutional presidency, the president's relationships with Congress and the courts, the influence presidents wield in domestic and foreign policymaking, and the ways in which presidents make decisions in a system of separated powers.
Instructor(s): W. Howell
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): LLSO 25215, PBPL 25215

PLSC 25501. Race and Imperialism in the 20th Century. 100 Units.
The turn of the 20th C. marked the legal sanctioning of Jim Crow segregation in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision while the Scramble for Africa only a decade earlier had inaugurated a new era of imperial expansion. For W.E.B. Du Bois and others, these confluences indicated a singularity about the global experience of race in the 20th C. Focusing on the period prior to WWII, this course is an effort at understanding this specificity through an engagement with the politicians, statesmen, activists, and intellectuals writing in the midst of “the problem of the color line.” The course exposes students to thinkers on both sides of the color line as we read Sir Frederick Lugard, the colonial administrator of Nigeria and a member of the League of Nations' Permanent Mandates Commission, alongside George Padmore, the anticolonialist of Trinidadian descent who played a central role in Ghana’s independence movement. To further our insights, we engage recent commentary by scholars who have sought to understand the racial formations of the 20th C. The course aims are 1) to trace the processes—ideological, political, and economic—through which the Jim Crow color line became international and consider the reverberations of this internationalism, 2) to reexamine the crisis of WWI and the creation of the League of Nations in light of the “problem of the color line,” and 3) to trace the intellectual roots of a global anticolonial movement concerned with securing racial equality.
Instructor(s): A. Getachew
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 25501

PLSC 25818. Stoic Ethics Through Roman Eyes. 100 Units.
The major ideas of the Stoic school about virtue, appropriate action, emotion, and how to live in harmony with the rational structure of the universe are preserved in Greek only in fragmentary texts and incomplete summaries.  But the Roman philosophers give us much more, and we will study closely a group of key texts from Cicero and Seneca, including Cicero’s De Finibus book III, his Tusculan Disputations book IV, a group of Seneca’s letters, and, finally, a short extract from Cicero’s De Officiis, to get a sense of Stoic political thought.  For fun we will also read a few letters of Cicero’s where he makes it clear that he is unable to follow the Stoics in the crises of his own life.  We will try to understand why Stoicism had such deep and wide influence at Rome, influencing statesmen, poets, and many others, and becoming so to speak the religion of the Roman world.
Instructor(s): M. Nussbaum
Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisites: Ability to read the material in Latin at a sufficiently high level, usually about two-three years at the college level. Assignment will usually be about 8 Oxford Classical Text pages per week, and in-class translation will be the norm.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 25818, PHIL 35818, CLCV 28518, CLAS 35818, PLSC 35818

PLSC 26005. International Relations of South Asia. 100 Units.
South Asia is one of the most complex, dynamic, and dangerous foreign policy environments in the world, encompassing decades of warfare in Afghanistan, the rise of India as a major power, instability in and around a nuclear-armed Pakistan, and Myanmar's tenuous opening to the world. This course will systematically explore the foreign policies of the region's states, extra-regional involvement and intervention by China, the United States, and Russia/Soviet Union, and the domestic politics and internal conflicts that have shaped international politics. It will combine international relations theory, detailed research on individual countries, and thematic topics (such as alliances, nuclear weapons, the domestic politics of security policy, international implications of insurgencies and coups, economic globalization, and the causes and prevention of interstate war), using a blend of lecture and discussion. Though the primary focus will be on India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, the course will also cover Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar.
Instructor(s): P. Staniland
Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 36005
Note(s): There is a substantial reading load. Students are strongly encouraged, though not required, to have taken PLSC 29000: Introduction to International Relations or some other prior IR course.

PLSC 26300. Comparative Politics of the Middle East and North Africa. 100 Units.
This course examines major theoretical concerns in comparative politics using cases from the Middle East. It investigates the relationships between political and economic change in the processes of state-building, economic development, and national integration. The course begins by comparing the experience of early and late developing countries, which will provide students with a broad historical overview of market formation and state-building in Europe and will cover the legacies of the Ottoman empire, European colonialism, and the Mandate period in the Middle East. The course then explores topics such as: the failure of constitutional regimes and the role of the military, class formation and inequality, the conflict between Pan-Arabism and state-centered nationalisms, the role of political parties, revolutionary and Islamicist movements, labor migration and remittances, and political and economic liberalization in the 1990s.
Instructor(s): L. Wedeen
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 39300.

PLSC 26615. Democracy’s Life and Death. 100 Units.
How are democracies founded and maintained? What are their advantages and disadvantages with respect to stability, security, liberty, equality and justice? Why do democracies decline and die? This course addresses these questions by examining democracies, republics and popular governments in both the ancient and modern worlds. We will read and discuss primary texts from and social scientific analyses of Athenian democracy, the Roman Republic, the United States and modern representative governments throughout the globe.
Instructor(s): J. McCormick
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): LLSO 26615

PLSC 26703. Political Parties in the United States. 100 Units.
Political parties are a central feature of American government. In this course we will explore their role in contemporary politics and learn about their development over the course of American history. We will start by asking the following questions: What is a political party? Why do we have a two-party system, and how did that system develop? We will then proceed to study shifts in party coalitions, parties’ evolving structures, their role in policymaking, and trends in popular attitudes about parties. Although our primary empirical focus will be on parties in the United States, we will spend some time on comparative approaches to political parties.
Instructor(s): R. Bloch Rubin
Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): LLSO 26703

PLSC 26920. Freedom, Justice and Legitimacy. 100 Units.
In this course we will explore two main questions, which are central to both contemporary political theory and political discourse: (1) how different concepts and conceptions of freedom ground different theories of social justice and political legitimacy and (2) how to understand the relationship between justice and legitimacy. To what extent are justice and legitimacy separate ideas? Does legitimacy require justice? Are just states necessarily legitimate? We will critically analyze and normatively assess how different contemporary theories have answered, whether explicitly or implicitly, such questions. The course will focus on five major contemporary theories: liberal-egalitarianism as represented by the work of John Rawls; libertarianism, as represented by the work of Robert Nozick, neo-Lockean theories as represented by the work of John Simmons, neo-republicanism as represented by the work of Philip Pettit, and neo-Kantian theories as represented by the work of Arthur Ripstein.
Instructor(s): C. Cordelli, J. Wilson
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 36920

PLSC 27216. Machiavelli’s Political Thought. 100 Units.
This course is devoted to the political writings of Niccolo Machiavelli. Readings include The Prince, Discourses on Livy, Florentine Histories and the "Discourses on Florentine Affairs." Themes to be explored include: the relationship between the person and the polity; the compatibility of moral and political virtue; the utility of class conflict; the advantages of mixed institutions; the principles of self-government, deliberation, and participation; the meaning of liberty and the question of military conquest.
Instructor(s): J. McCormick
Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 52316, LLSO 28233, FNDL 28102

PLSC 27301. Weimar Political Theology: Schmitt and Strauss. 100 Units.
This course is devoted to the idea of "political theology" that developed during the interwar period in twentieth-century Central Europe, specifically Germany's Weimar Republic. The course's agenda is set by Carl Schmitt, who claimed that both serious intellectual endeavors and political authority require extra-rational and transcendent foundations. Along with Schmitt's works from the period, such as Political Theology and the Concept of the Political, we read and discuss the related writings of perhaps his greatest interlocutor, Leo Strauss.
Instructor(s): J. McCormick
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 37301, FNDL 27301

PLSC 27500. Organizational Decision Making. 100 Units.
This course is an examination of the process of decision making in modern complex organizations such as universities, schools, hospitals, business firms, and public bureaucracies. The course also considers the impact of information, power, resources, organizational structure, and the environment, as well as alternative models of choice and other implications.
Instructor(s): J. Padgett
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 37500, SOCI 30301

PLSC 28300. Seminar on Realism. 100 Units.
The aim of this course is to read the key works dealing with the international relations theory called "realism."
Instructor(s): J. Mearsheimer
Terms Offered: Spring

PLSC 28400. American Grand Strategy. 100 Units.
This course examines the evolution of American grand strategy since 1900, when the United States first emerged on the world stage as a great power. The focus is on assessing how its leaders have thought over time about which areas of the world are worth fighting and dying for, when it is necessary to fight in those strategically important areas, and what kinds of military forces are needed for deterrence and war-fighting in those regions.
Instructor(s): J. Mearsheimer
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 49500

PLSC 28620. The Intelligible Self. 100 Units.
The Delphic maxim "know thyself" is one of the cornerstones of Western philosophy. But how, exactly, do we figure ourselves out? This course examines three approaches to self-knowledge: Buddhism, Psychoanalytic Theory, and Social Neuroscience. We will learn both the theories behind each approach and how they can foster deeper perspectives on our own condition. We will explore the nature of love, guilt, anxiety, and other emotions, the origins of morality, and the many biases in our cognition. Readings include Sigmund Freud, Patricia Churchland, Daniel Kahneman, Pema Chodron, and Walpola Sri Rahula.
Instructor(s): E. Oliver    
Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 28701. Introduction to Political Theory. 100 Units.
An introduction to political theory that focuses upon the interrelated themes of inhumanity, injustice, and inequality in the history of political thought and contemporary political theory.
Instructor(s): S. Muthu
Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 28800. Introduction to Constitutional Law. 100 Units.
This course is designed as an introduction to the constitutional doctrines and political role of the U.S. Supreme Court, focusing on its evolving priorities and its responses to basic governmental and political problems. Topics include the development of judicial power, the interaction of states and the federal government, judicial involvement in economic policy, and the Court’s treatment of minority rights. The course aims to provide students with an understanding of the political history of the Court as well as some knowledge of doctrinal developments. Students should complete the course with an awareness of the political nature of much of what the Court does and with the ability to read, follow, and intelligently discuss Supreme Court decisions. It is not a law school course. No prior knowledge of the U.S. Supreme Court or its decisions is expected or required. There are no prerequisites.
Instructor(s): G. Rosenberg
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 48800, LLSO 23900

PLSC 28801. Introduction to American Politics. 100 Units.
This survey course canvasses the basic behavioral, institutional, and historical factors that comprise the study of American politics. We will evaluate various modes of survey opinion formation and political participation both inside and outside of elections. In addition to studying the primary branches of U.S. government, we will consider the role of interest groups, the media, and political action committees in American politics. We also will evaluate the persistent roles of race, class, and money in historical and contemporary political life.
Instructor(s): M. Hansen
Terms Offered: Autumn

PLSC 28850. Chinese Foreign and Global Policy. 100 Units.
China’s rapid development in recent decades is as transformative within China as it has been momentous for the rest of the world. Some see reformist China becoming a global citizen and responsible stakeholder while others view China’s growth with alarm and believe a rising China will challenge the existing global order. This course describes and analyzes elements of China’s Chinese foreign and global policy. We consider historical, organizational, cultural, ideological, and organizational and other factors that influence the making of Chinese foreign policy, examine China’s relations with major countries and regions, and look at China’s approaches to international organizations and key global issues. We also pay attention to how other countries/regions have responded to China’s rise.
Instructor(s): D. Yang
Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 28900. Strategy. 100 Units.
This course covers American national security policy in the post–cold war world, especially the principal issues of military strategy that are likely to face the United States in the next decade. This course is structured in five parts: (1) examining the key changes in strategic environment since 1990, (2) looking at the effects of multipolarity on American grand strategy and basic national goals, (3) focusing on nuclear strategy, (4) examining conventional strategy, and (5) discussing the future of war and peace in the Pacific Rim.
Instructor(s): R. Pape    
Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 39900

PLSC 28901. Introduction to Comparative Politics. 100 Units.
Why are some nations rich and others are poor? Why is inequality skyrocketing across the developed world? Why are some countries democratic and others are dictatorships, and what determines switching between regimes? Does democracy matter for health, wealth, and happiness? Why are some countries beset by civil violence and revolution whereas others are politically stable? Why do political parties organize themselves politically around ethnicity, language, religion, or ideology? This course explores these and other similar questions that lie at the core of comparative politics. Drawing on political science, economics, sociology, and anthropology, while utilizing a wealth of data and case studies of major countries, we will examine how power is exercised to shape and control political, cultural, and economic institutions and, in turn, how these institutions generate policies that affect what we learn, what we earn, how long we live, and even who we are.
Instructor(s): B. Lessing    
Terms Offered: Spring

PLSC 29000. Introduction to International Relations. 100 Units.
Humans face many challenges today. These range from wars and nuclear proliferation, to economic crises and the collapse of global order. International Relations—the study of global anarchy and the commitment problems it creates between sovereign governments—offers analytical tools for understanding the causes and consequences of these challenges. This course introduces students to the scientific study of world politics, focusing on the areas of security, economic cooperation, and international law.
Instructor(s): P. Poast    
Terms Offered: Autumn

PLSC 29102. Game Theory I. 100 Units.
This is a course for graduate students in Political Science. It introduces students to games of complete information through solving problem sets. We will cover the concepts of equilibrium in dominant strategies, weak dominance, iterated elimination of weakly dominated strategies, Nash equilibrium, subgame perfection, backward induction, and imperfect information. The course will be centered around several applications of game theory to politics: electoral competition, agenda control, lobbying, voting in legislatures, and coalition games.
Instructor(s): M. Nalepa
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 30901

Graduate Courses

PLSC 30700. Introduction to Linear Models. 100 Units.
This course will provide an introduction to the linear model, the dominant form of statistical inference in the social sciences. The goals of the course are to teach students the statistical methods needed to pursue independent large-n research projects and to develop the skills necessary to pursue further methods training in the social sciences. Part I of the course reviews the simple linear model (as seen in STAT 22000 or its equivalent) with attention to the theory of statistical inference and the derivation of estimators. Basic calculus and linear algebra will be introduced. Part II extends the linear model to the multivariate case. Emphasis will be placed on model selection and specification. Part III examines the consequences of data that is "poorly behaved" and how to cope with the problem. Depending on time, Part IV will introduce special topics like systems of simultaneous equations, logit and probit models, time-series methods, etc. Little prior knowledge of math or statistics is expected, but students are expected to work hard to develop the tools introduced in class.
Instructor(s): J. Hansen 
Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 30901. Game Theory I. 100 Units.
This is a course for graduate students in Political Science. It introduces students to games of complete information through solving problem sets. We will cover the concepts of equilibrium in dominant strategies, weak dominance, iterated elimination of weakly dominated strategies, Nash equilibrium, subgame perfection, backward induction, and imperfect information. The course will be centered around several applications of game theory to politics: electoral competition, agenda control, lobbying, voting in legislatures, and coalition games.
Instructor(s): M. Nalepa
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 29102

PLSC 31410. Advanced Theories of Gender and Sexuality. 100 Units.
Beginning with the extension of the democratic revolution in the breakup of the New Left, this seminar will explore the key debates (foundations, psychoanalysis, sexual difference, universalism, multiculturalism) around which gender and sexuality came to be articulated as politically significant categories in the late 1980s and the 1990s.
Instructor(s): L. Zerilli
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 21410, ARTH 21400, ARTH 31400, ENGL 21401, ENGL 30201, GNSE 31400, MAPH 36500

PLSC 33901. Xenophon’s Socrates. 100 Units.
This course offers an introductory reading of Xenophon’s Socratic works, which provide the chief alternative to the account provided by Plato’s Socratic dialogues. We will read and discuss Xenophon’s Apology of Socrates, Symposium, Oeconomicus, and Memorabilia, make some comparisons to Platonic works, and consider some secondary interpretations. Themes may include piety, teaching and corruption, virtue, justice and law, economics, family, friendship, and eros.
Instructor(s): N. Tarcov
Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): SCTH

PLSC 33930. The Federalist Papers and Anti-Federalist Writings. 100 Units.
This course examines the debate over the ratification of the Constitution through a reading of The Federalist Papers and selected Anti-Federalist writings as works of continuing relevance to current practical and theoretical debates. Issues include war and peace, interests and the problem of faction, commerce, justice and the common good as ends of government, human nature, federalism, republican government, representation, separation of powers, executive power, the need for energy and stability, the need for a bill of rights, and constitutionalism.
Instructor(s): N. Tarcov
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 23901, LLSO 23901, SCTH

PLSC 35205. Racial Justice and Injustice. 100 Units.
The course will explore moral and political problems of racial justice and injustice. Topics may include antidiscrimination theory, the fair political representation of racial minorities, reparations for racial injustice, racial segregation, the use of racial preferences in various practices of selection, and the evaluation of practices of law enforcement and punishment. We will use reflections on particular problems such as these to inquire about the uses of racial concepts in political theory; the connections between racial justice and ostensibly more general conceptions of justice; and the connections between racial equality and other egalitarian ideals.
Instructor(s): J. Wilson
Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 25205, LLSO 25205

PLSC 35500. Public Opinion. 100 Units.
A close examination of techniques employed, categories utilized and assumptions made by contemporary American students of public opinion. Criticism of these approaches from historical, philosophical and comparative perspectives will be encouraged.
Instructor(s): E. Oliver
Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 35601. The Evolution of Ideology and Partisanship. 100 Units.
The seminar examines the evolution of partisanship and ideology in America over the past sixty years. We will examine the factors that shape ideological movements, how ideology has altered the nature of political parties, and what factors party attachment in an era of increasing polarization. Students will conduct original research projects based on readings and class discussion.
Instructor(s): E. Oliver
Terms Offered: Autumn

PLSC 35818. Stoic Ethics Through Roman Eyes. 100 Units.
The major ideas of the Stoic school about virtue, appropriate action, emotion, and how to live in harmony with the rational structure of the universe are preserved in Greek only in fragmentary texts and incomplete summaries.  But the Roman philosophers give us much more, and we will study closely a group of key texts from Cicero and Seneca, including Cicero’s De Finibus book III, his Tusculan Disputations book IV, a group of Seneca’s letters, and, finally, a short extract from Cicero’s De Officiis, to get a sense of Stoic political thought.  For fun we will also read a few letters of Cicero’s where he makes it clear that he is unable to follow the Stoics in the crises of his own life.  We will try to understand why Stoicism had such deep and wide influence at Rome, influencing statesmen, poets, and many others, and becoming so to speak the religion of the Roman world.
Instructor(s): M. Nussbaum
Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisites: Ability to read the material in Latin at a sufficiently high level, usually about two-three years at the college level. Assignment will usually be about 8 Oxford Classical Text pages per week, and in-class translation will be the norm.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 25818, PHIL 35818, CLCV 28518, CLAS 35818, PLSC 25818

PLSC 35901. Enlightenment Political Thought. 100 Units.
An intensive examination and comparative analysis of the political thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant. We will examine writings about a broad range of topics, including human nature, freedom, social relations, property, government, justice, religion, history and progress, equality and inequality, patriotism, cosmopolitanism, and international relations.
Instructor(s): S. Muthu
Terms Offered: Spring

PLSC 36005. International Relations of South Asia. 100 Units.
South Asia is one of the most complex, dynamic, and dangerous foreign policy environments in the world, encompassing decades of warfare in Afghanistan, the rise of India as a major power, instability in and around a nuclear-armed Pakistan, and Myanmar's tenuous opening to the world. This course will systematically explore the foreign policies of the region's states, extra-regional involvement and intervention by China, the United States, and Russia/Soviet Union, and the domestic politics and internal conflicts that have shaped international politics. It will combine international relations theory, detailed research on individual countries, and thematic topics (such as alliances, nuclear weapons, the domestic politics of security policy, international implications of insurgencies and coups, economic globalization, and the causes and prevention of interstate war), using a blend of lecture and discussion. Though the primary focus will be on India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, the course will also cover Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar.
Instructor(s): P. Staniland
Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 26005
Note(s): There is a substantial reading load. Students are strongly encouraged, though not required, to have taken PLSC 29000: Introduction to International Relations or some other prior IR course.

PLSC 36301. Ideology and Partisanship in Contemporary American Politics. 100 Units.
The seminar examines the evolution of partisanship and ideology in America over the past sixty years. We will examine the factors that shape ideological movements, how ideology has altered the nature of political parties, and what factors party attachment in an era of increasing polarization. Students will conduct original research projects based on readings and class discussion.
Instructor(s): E. Oliver
Terms Offered: Autumn

PLSC 36920. Freedom, Justice and Legitimacy. 100 Units.
In this course we will explore two main questions, which are central to both contemporary political theory and political discourse: (1) how different concepts and conceptions of freedom ground different theories of social justice and political legitimacy and (2) how to understand the relationship between justice and legitimacy. To what extent are justice and legitimacy separate ideas? Does legitimacy require justice? Are just states necessarily legitimate? We will critically analyze and normatively assess how different contemporary theories have answered, whether explicitly or implicitly, such questions. The course will focus on five major contemporary theories: liberal-egalitarianism as represented by the work of John Rawls; libertarianism, as represented by the work of Robert Nozick, neo-Lockean theories as represented by the work of John Simmons, neo-republicanism as represented by the work of Philip Pettit, and neo-Kantian theories as represented by the work of Arthur Ripstein.
Instructor(s): C. Cordelli, J. Wilson
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 26920

PLSC 37000. U.S. Courts as Political Institutions. 100 Units.
The purpose of this seminar is two-fold. First, the seminar aims to introduce students to the political science literature on courts understood as political institutions. In examining foundational parts of this literature, the seminar will focus on the relationship between the courts and other political institutions. The sorts of questions to be asked include: Are there interests that courts are particularly prone to support? What factors influence judicial decision-making? What effect does congressional or executive action have on court decisions? What is the relationship between courts and public opinion? What impact do court decisions have? While the answers will not always be clear, students should complete the seminar with an awareness of and sensitivity to the political nature of the American legal system. Second, by critically assessing approaches to the study of the courts, the seminar seeks to highlight intelligent and sound approaches to the study of political institutions. Particular concern will focus on what assumptions students of courts have made, how evidence has been integrated into their studies, and what a good research design looks like.
Instructor(s): G. Rosenberg
Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Mandatory preliminary meeting and consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): LAWS 51302

PLSC 37301. Weimar Political Theology: Schmitt and Strauss. 100 Units.
This course is devoted to the idea of "political theology" that developed during the interwar period in twentieth-century Central Europe, specifically Germany's Weimar Republic. The course's agenda is set by Carl Schmitt, who claimed that both serious intellectual endeavors and political authority require extra-rational and transcendent foundations. Along with Schmitt's works from the period, such as Political Theology and the Concept of the Political, we read and discuss the related writings of perhaps his greatest interlocutor, Leo Strauss.
Instructor(s): J. McCormick
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 27301, FNDL 27301

PLSC 37500. Organizational Decision Making. 100 Units.
This course is an examination of the process of decision making in modern complex organizations such as universities, schools, hospitals, business firms, and public bureaucracies. The course also considers the impact of information, power, resources, organizational structure, and the environment, as well as alternative models of choice and other implications.
Instructor(s): J. Padgett
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 27500, SOCI 30301

PLSC 39300. Comparative Politics of the Middle East and North Africa. 100 Units.
This course examines major theoretical concerns in comparative politics using cases from the Middle East. It investigates the relationships between political and economic change in the processes of state-building, economic development, and national integration. The course begins by comparing the experience of early and late developing countries, which will provide students with a broad historical overview of market formation and state-building in Europe and will cover the legacies of the Ottoman empire, European colonialism, and the Mandate period in the Middle East. The course then explores topics such as: the failure of constitutional regimes and the role of the military, class formation and inequality, the conflict between Pan-Arabism and state-centered nationalisms, the role of political parties, revolutionary and Islamicist movements, labor migration and remittances, and political and economic liberalization in the 1990s.
Instructor(s): L. Wedeen
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 26300.

PLSC 39900. Strategy. 100 Units.
This course covers American national security policy in the post–cold war world, especially the principal issues of military strategy that are likely to face the United States in the next decade. This course is structured in five parts: (1) examining the key changes in strategic environment since 1990, (2) looking at the effects of multipolarity on American grand strategy and basic national goals, (3) focusing on nuclear strategy, (4) examining conventional strategy, and (5) discussing the future of war and peace in the Pacific Rim.
Instructor(s): R. Pape    
Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 28900

PLSC 40600. Seminar on IR Theory. 100 Units.
This course is a PhD-level introductory survey of the major scholarly traditions in the field of International Relations. It provides an introduction to the central theoretical approaches including realism, liberalism, and constructivism and their variants. The course also exposes students to more recent non-paradigmatic research programs, reflections on the field’s development over time, and the recurring “meta-debates” which underlie many of the differences in applied areas. Seminar discussion will identify and criticize the central arguments advanced by different scholars in order to assess the relative merits of different theoretical perspectives. The course is designed to help students prepare for the Department’s IR general exam: assigned and suggested readings are a starting point for building a reading list; the course offers practice with answering exam questions; students will exercise modes of critical analysis during seminar critical to passing the exam.
Instructor(s): R. Pape
Terms Offered: Autumn

PLSC 40604. Militant Power Politics
In what way does ISIS calculate its options differently than great powers or states in general? Over the past twenty years, the study of militant power politics has exploded both empirically, but especially theoretically. Today, there are a variety of theories of the causes, conduct and consequences of violence by militant non-state actors that rest on fundamentally different assumptions about the coherence of militant groups, the degree of rationality in their decision-making, and and the nature of their dynamics in competition with rival states. The most important are ideological, religious, ethnic, and strategic theories which also drive the principle policy choices about how to respond to militant power politics. This seminar will cover the main theories of militant power politics, encouraging students to carry out policy relevant research in this area.
Instructor(s): R. Pape
Terms Offered: Spring

PLSC 41501. Foundations of Realism. 100 Units.
The aim of this course is to explore some of the core concepts and theoretical ideas that underpin realist thinking. Given the richness of the realist tradition and the limits of the quarter system, many important issues cannot be addressed in any detail.
Instructor(s): J. Mearsheimer
Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 41600. Liberalism and American Foreign Policy. 100 Units.
This course examines how America's liberal tradition affects its foreign policy.
Instructor(s): J. Mearsheimer
Terms Offered: Spring

PLSC 41700. Social Movements. 100 Units.
This course is an introduction to theoretical and empirical research on social movements. In this course we will take social movements to mean national-level collective mobilizations organized for political change. During the quarter we will examine and debate what a range of scholars across disciplines have written about some of the fundamental questions regarding the emergence, evolution and political impact of social movements. For example, what types of collective action qualify as social movements? What factors lead to or shape the development of social movements? What role do social movements play in the working of American democracy? Finally, why have political scientists largely ignored social movements as a topic for extensive and careful study?
Instructor(s): C. Cohen
Terms Offered: Autumn

PLSC 42201. Democracy and Equality. 100 Units.
Democracy has often been celebrated (and often criticized) for expressing some kind of equality among citizens. This course will investigate a series of questions prompted by this supposed relationship between democracy and equality. Is democracy an important part of a just society? What institutions and practices does democracy require? Is equality a meaningful or important political ideal? If so, what kind of equality? Does democracy require some kind of equality, or vice-versa? The course will begin by studying classical arguments for democracy by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Stuart Mill, and then focus on contemporary approaches to these questions. The course will conclude with some treatment of current democratic controversies, potentially including issues of race and representation; the fair design of elections; the role of wealth in political processes; and the role of judicial review. The course aims to deepen participants' understanding of these and related issues, and to develop our abilities to engage in argument about moral and political life.
Instructor(s): J. Wilson
Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 23313, LLSO 23313

PLSC 42701. Seminar in Chinese Politics. 100 Units.
This is a research-oriented seminar for graduate students interested in exploring current research on China and in conducting their own research. Our emphasis will be on the changing nature of the Chinese Party-state, central-local relations, media and censorship, corruption and anticorruption, subnational governance, the politics of law and order, regulatory politics, and political reforms. Throughout the course we’ll pay attention to the course, dynamics, and challenges of making reform. Though the readings are on China, we are to consider China’s development comparatively and in view of recent developments in political science.
Instructor(s): D. Yang    
Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 43002. State Formations and Types of States: Global Perspectives. 100 Units.
Why, historically, did states emerge, and what did they do? The course begins by investigating standard narratives of European state formation, then proceeds to ask whether non-European and premodern state formations conform to the scholarly theories. Finally, we wonder whether theories of state formation fit empires or federal states. This course asks students simultaneously to take seriously social science explanations for state formation and the historical record.
Instructor(s): J. Robinson, S. Pincus
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Courses: HIST 43002, SOCI

PLSC 43100. Maximum Likelihood. 100 Units.
The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the estimation and interpretation of maximum likelihood, a statistical method which permits a close linkage of deductive theory and empirical estimation. Among the problems considered in this course include: models of dichotomous choice, such as turnout and vote choice; models of limited categorical data, such as those for multi-party elections and survey responses; models for counts of uncorrelated events, such as executive orders and bookburnings; models for duration, such as the length of parliamentary coalitions or the tenure of bureaucracies; models for compositional data, such as allocation of time by bureaucrats to task and district vote shares; and models for latent variables, such as for predispositions. The emphasis in this course will be on the extraction of information about political and social phenomena, not upon properties of estimators.
Instructor(s): J. Brehm    
Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): PLSC 30700 Intro to Linear Models or consent of instructor.

PLSC 43401. Mathematical Foundations of Political Methodology. 100 Units.
This is a first course on the theory and practice of mathematical methods in social science research. These mathematical and computer skills are needed for the quantitative and formal modeling courses offered in the political science department and are increasingly necessary for courses in American, Comparative, and International Relations. We will cover mathematical techniques (linear algebra, calculus, probability) and methods of logical and statistical inference (proofs and statistics). A weekly computing lab will apply these methods, as well as introduce the R statistical computing environment.
Instructor(s): R. Gulotty
Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Students are expected to have completed SOCS 30100: Mathematics for Social Sciences.

PLSC 43701. Constructivism. 100 Units.
This seminar traces the development of the constructivist program in international relations in order to better understand its elements, assumptions, and methods, and apply those to current issues. We start by uncovering the roots of constructivism in sociology and philosophy and examine structuation theory, the English School, world systems theory, regime theory, and sociological institutionalism. The second part of this course focuses on the constructivist agenda in international relations, its boundaries and its critics. In the last part of the course we examine current research in international relations that draws on constructivist methods, including work on the role of norms, epistemic communities, transnational civil society, and the origins of the state.
Instructor(s): R. Terman
Terms Offered: Winter 

PLSC 43902. U.S. Congress. 100 Units.
The purpose of this seminar is to introduce graduate students to the literature on the U.S. Congress. Although we will read a range of studies with different methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives, including some comparative research, we will focus in particular on the development of the U.S. Congress over time. We will be concerned with analyzing, explaining, and understanding key transformative sequences in American legislative politics—tracing the implications of these transformations through to contemporary times. To discuss these questions in appropriate depth, we will limit our inquiry to Congress as an institution (e.g., internal processes and behavior), discussing congressional campaigns and elections only as they relate to these subjects.
Instructor(s): R. Bloch Rubin
Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 44810. Hannah Arendt: From Kantian Aesthetics to the Practice of Political Judgment. 100 Units.
The third volume of Hannah Arendt's The Life of the Mind was never written. As her editor, Mary McCarthy, observed: "After her death, a sheet of paper was found in her typewriter, blank except for the heading 'Judging' and two epigraphs. Sometime between the Saturday of finishing 'Willing' [the second volume of the aforementioned work] and the Thursday of her death, she must have sat down to confront the final section." Fond of quoting McCarthy, commentators have turned the missing volume on Judging into an enigma of spectral proportions. It is said that Arendt's reflections on the faculty of judging suggest a turn away from the vita activa and toward the life of the mind; in short, judging brought Arendt back home to Western philosophy, especially the philosophy of Kant. Arendt's attempt to develop an account of political judgment based on Kant's theory of aesthetic judgment, say critics like Ronald Beiner and Jürgen Habermas, was deeply mistaken, for his transcendental philosophical approach to judgment leads away from the empirical realm and from anything that could possibly be considered political. Even more problematic, so the accusation goes, Arendt's attempt to model political judgment on a non-cognitive aesthetic judgment, (i.e., on a judgment that cannot be demonstrated by proofs and that is only "an example of a rule that we cannot state," as Kant puts it), bypasses the central problem of political judgment, namely the rational adjudication of competing validity claims. In this course we will consider the possibility that Arendt does in fact address the problem of validity (which, with Kant she calls "subjective validity"), with one important caveat: she does not think that validity in itself is the all-important problem or task for political judgment-the affirmation of political community as the realm of human plurality and freedom is. To develop this reading of Arendt, we will examine those aspects of Kant's Critique of Judgment that she neglected, such as the non-cognitive function of productive imagination and the limits of reproductive imagination in the aesthetic of the sublime. In this way we shall also consider the rather different critical view, advanced by postmodern thinkers like Lyotard, that Arendt does not repudiate but rather shares Habermas' attempt to ground political community on a practice of judgment at whose center stands not the demand to create political community anew, but the idea that radical differences of opinion are in principle resolvable by means of proofs.
Instructor(s): L. Zerilli
Terms Offered: Spring

PLSC 45010. Social Theory and the Economy. 100 Units.
This course surveys social theoretic writing on the boundaries and character of economic process. Topics include theories of reflexivity and agency, recombinant organizational forms, and alternative forms of governance.
Instructor(s): G. Herrigel
Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 40227

PLSC 45501. Black Political Thought: The Problem of Freedom. 100 Units.
In the history of political thought slavery constitutes the paradigmatic metaphor of unfreedom against which normative visions of freedom are articulated. But as historians and theorists have noted, this juxtaposition of slavery and freedom often appears with little regard to the historical experience of the most expansive modern system of slavery—the transatlantic slave trade and chattel slavery in the New World. This course examines the “problem of freedom” by centering this experience. Drawing on texts that range from the slave narrative to the novel, it examines how visions of freedom were articulated through the experience of new world slavery, considers the ambivalence and limits of emancipation and explores why and how the figure of the slave recurs in contemporary political culture. These questions and aims are informed by two broader impulses. First, contemporary political theory has much to gain from a more explicit and nuanced engagement with the experience and legacy of slavery. Second, the transatlantic slave trade and new world slavery are constitutive of black modernity and black political thought. Returning to and rethinking this site is thus one way of better grasping its contours.
Instructor(s): A. Getachew
Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 45601. Theories of Capitalism since Veblen. 100 Units.
This course serves as an introduction to the literature on political economy in the twentieth century. Emphasis will be placed on the way in which various authors normatively understand the relationship between politics and economic process. Works by Veblen, Keynes, Hayek, Schumpeter, Mandel, Piore & Sabel, Stiglitz, Lucas, Romer, Krugman and others will be considered.
Instructor(s): G. Herrigel
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 40222

PLSC 45710. Race and Capitalism. 100 Units.
Instructor(s): M. Dawson
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 45700

PLSC 46401. Co-evolution of States and Markets. 100 Units.
This course will focus on the emergence of alternative forms of organization control (e.g., centralized bureaucracy, multiple hierarchies, elite networks, and clientage) in different social structural contexts (e.g., the interaction of kinship, class, nation states, markets and heterodox mobilization). Themes will be illustrated in numerous cross-cultural contexts.
Instructor(s): J. Padgett
Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 40232

PLSC 48001. Field Seminar in Comparative Politics I. 100 Units.
This seminar broadly surveys the study of comparative politics in contemporary political science.
Instructor(s): S. Stokes
Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): PLSC 30901 Game Theory 1 can be taken in the same quarter

PLSC 48101. Field Seminar in Comparative Politics II. 100 Units.
This seminar broadly surveys the study of comparative politics in contemporary political science.
Instructor(s): M. Nalepa, S. Stokes
Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): PLSC 30901 Game Theory 1 or equivalent

PLSC 48301. Inference in Diplomatic History and International Relations. 100 Units.
This is the first course in the two course sequence "Evidence and Analysis in International Relations Research." The course will address a host of questions fundamental to international relations research, particularly when that research entails writing historical case studies. These questions include: What does it mean to identify a causal relationship? What is the relationship between diplomatic history and IR? What controversies have arisen over the use of archival evidence, diplomatic histories, and memoirs in international relations scholarship? What are the techniques for acquiring and using such source materials? How should one interpret information found in such source materials? How have scholars used diplomatic histories to create large-n data? Students who complete this course will be prepared to smoothly transition into the sequence's second course, "Quantitative Security" (offered in the Winter term).
Instructor(s): P. Poast
Terms Offered: Autumn

PLSC 48401. Quantitative Security. 100 Units.
Since Quincy Wright's A Study of War, scholars of war and security have collected and analyzed data. This course guides students through an intellectual history of the quantitative study of war. The course begins with Wright, moves to the founding of the Correlates of War project in the late 1960s, and then explores the proliferation of quantitative conflict studies in the 1990s and 2000s. The course ends by considering the recent focus on experimental and quasi-experimental analysis. Throughout the course, students will be introduced to the empirical methods used to study conflict and the data issues facing quantitative conflict scholars. For students with limited training in quantitative methods, this course will serve as a useful introduction to such methods. For students with extensive experience with quantitative methods, this course will deepen their understanding of when and how to apply these methods.
Instructor(s): P. Poast    
Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 48700. Crime, Conflict and the State. 100 Units.
Scholars of civil war emphasize the importance, and perhaps primacy, of criminal profits for insurgencies, especially in the post-cold war era. But theories of civil war generally rest on an assumption that insurgents aim to replace state power. This seminar approaches the issue from the other end of the spectrum: armed conflict between states and “purely” criminal groups--particularly drug cartels. Cartel-state conflict poses a fundamental puzzle: Why attack the state if you seek neither to topple nor secede from it? After a brief survey of the literature on civil war and organized crime, we will study recent work on criminal conflict, particularly in Latin America. We also consider the related topics of prison-based criminal networks and paramilitaries, and explore how crime and political insurgency interact in places like West Africa and Afghanistan. Throughout, we evaluate the concepts, questions and designs underpinning current research.
Instructor(s): B. Lessing
Terms Offered: Spring

PLSC 48800. Introduction to Constitutional Law. 100 Units.
This course is designed as an introduction to the constitutional doctrines and political role of the U.S. Supreme Court, focusing on its evolving priorities and its responses to basic governmental and political problems. Topics include the development of judicial power, the interaction of states and the federal government, judicial involvement in economic policy, and the Court’s treatment of minority rights. The course aims to provide students with an understanding of the political history of the Court as well as some knowledge of doctrinal developments. Students should complete the course with an awareness of the political nature of much of what the Court does and with the ability to read, follow, and intelligently discuss Supreme Court decisions. It is not a law school course. No prior knowledge of the U.S. Supreme Court or its decisions is expected or required. There are no prerequisites.
Instructor(s): G. Rosenberg
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 28800, LLSO 23900

PLSC 48801. Constitutional Law for LLM Students. 100 Units.
This course is designed to introduce LL.M. students to U.S. constitutional law. Topics to be covered include the theory, development and practice of judicial review, the allocation of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, and the role of and interactions between the states and the federal government in the federal structure. In addition, the course will cover key doctrines in the areas of equal protection and substantive due process.
Instructor(s): G. Rosenberg
Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LAWS 40801

PLSC 49200. American Political Development. 100 Units.
In this course we will explore long-term changes in the American political system. Covering key works in the field, course readings will be organized around several core questions. How did we get the political institutions we have today? How has American political culture shaped these institutions? What is the relationship between changes in the economy and changes in state and party organization? We will also attend to issues of method, especially the links between history and social science.
Instructor(s): R. Bloch Rubin
Terms Offered: Spring

PLSC 49500. American Grand Strategy. 100 Units.
This course examines the evolution of American grand strategy since 1900, when the United States first emerged on the world stage as a great power. The focus is on assessing how its leaders have thought over time about which areas of the world are worth fighting and dying for, when it is necessary to fight in those strategically important areas, and what kinds of military forces are needed for deterrence and war-fighting in those regions.
Instructor(s): J. Mearsheimer
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 28400

PLSC 50000. Dissertation Proposal Seminar. 100 Units.
A weekly seminar devoted to the presentation and collective discussion of several drafts of each student's dissertation proposal.
Instructor(s): Staff
Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 51800. Ideology. 100 Units.
This course examines selections from the vast literature on ideology—with attention to the political commitments and intellectual genealogies that have made the concept both important and vexed. We begin with Weber and then explore a variety of trajectories in the Marxist tradition. The bulk of the course will entail considering ideology’s relationship to material practice, the notion of interpellation, and concepts linked to ideology, such as hegemony and false consciousness. We shall also analyze ideology’s connection to contemporary concerns, such as those related to “subject” formation, new developments in capitalism, and dynamics associated with contemporary.
Instructor(s): L. Wedeen
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 54505

PLSC 51901. Ethnography. 100 Units.
Instructor(s): L. Wedeen
Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH XXXXX

PLSC 52316. Machiavelli’s Political Thought. 100 Units.
This course is devoted to the political writings of Niccolo Machiavelli. Readings include The Prince, Discourses on Livy, Florentine Histories and the "Discourses on Florentine Affairs." Themes to be explored include: the relationship between the person and the polity; the compatibility of moral and political virtue; the utility of class conflict; the advantages of mixed institutions; the principles of self-government, deliberation, and participation; the meaning of liberty and the question of military conquest.
Instructor(s): J. McCormick
Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 27216, LLSO 28233, FNDL 28102

PLSC 53100. Democracy and the Information Technology Revolution. 100 Units.
The revolution in information technologies has serious implications for democratic societies. We concentrate, though not exclusively, on the United States. We look at which populations have the most access to technology-based information sources (the digital divide), and how individual and group identities are being forged online. We ask how is the responsiveness of government being affected, and how representative is the online community. Severe conflict over the tension between national security and individual privacy rights in the U.S., United Kingdom and Ireland will be explored as well. We analyze both modern works (such as those by Turkle and Gilder) and the work of modern democratic theorists (such as Habermas). An emphasis in this course will be the methodologies and research agendas utilized by scholars in this field.
Instructor(s): M. Dawson
Terms Offered: Spring

PLSC 53900. Thucydides. 100 Units.
This course offers an introductory reading of Thucydides’s history of the Peloponnesian War, one of the classic guides to politics, both domestic and international. Themes may include: progress and decline; justice, necessity, and expediency; fear, honor, and gain as motives of political action; the strengths and weaknesses of democracies and oligarchies in domestic and foreign policy; stability and revolution; strategy, statesmanship, and prudence; the causes and effects of war; relations between stronger and weaker powers; imperialism, isolationism, and alliances; and piety, chance, and the limits of rationality. We will conclude by reading the first books of Xenophon’s Hellenica to see how the war ended.
Instructor(s): N. Tarcov
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 23900, LLSO 24900, SCTH

PLSC 55818. Hellenistic Ethics. 100 Units.
The three leading schools of the Hellenistic era (starting in Greece in  the late fourth century B. C. E. and extending through the second century C. E. in Rome) – Epicureans, Skeptics, and Stoics – produced philosophical work of lasting value, frequently neglected because of the fragmentary nature of the Greek evidence and people’s (unjustified) contempt for Roman philosophy. We will study in a detailed and philosophically careful way the major ethical arguments of all three schools. Topics to be addressed include: the nature and role of pleasure; the role of the fear of death in human life; other sources of disturbance (such as having definite ethical beliefs?); the nature of the emotions and their role in a moral life; the nature of appropriate action; the meaning of the injunction to “live in accordance with nature”. If time permits we will say something about Stoic political philosophy and its idea of global duty. Major sources (read in English) will include the three surviving letters of Epicurus and other fragments; the skeptical writings of Sextus Empiricus; the presentation of Stoic ideas in the Greek biographer Diogenes Laertius and the Roman philosophers Cicero and Seneca.
Instructor(s): M. Nussbaum
Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Admission by permission of the instructor. Permission must be sought in writing by September 15.
Prerequisite(s): An undergraduate major in philosophy or some equivalent solid philosophy preparation, plus my permission. PhD students in Philosophy, Classics, and Political Theory may enroll without permission.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 55818

PLSC 56300. The Global Plantation. 100 Units.
From its emergence in the late-medieval Mediterranean, to the slave societies of the New World, through its late colonial heritage in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, the plantation has been a paradigmatic institution of racial-capitalist modernity. Through a range of texts that includes slave narratives, novels, political economy, sociological studies and recent histories of capitalism, this course explores how the plantation opened a vexed problem-space in which concepts central to the modern world (such as sovereignty, freedom, and labor) emerged, were debated, and continuously refigured. While the plantation is frequently figured as an institution of the past, this transnationally and transhistorically oriented course will examine a set of thinkers who argue for the aliveness of the plantation’s present in the shaping of political, economic, and social trajectories in the postcolonial world.
Instructor(s): A. Getachew, C. Taylor
Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CDIN 56300, ENGL 55603, ANTH 50405

PLSC 57200. Social Networks. 100 Units.
This seminar explores the sociological utility of the network" as a unit of analysis. How do the patterns of social ties in which individuals are embedded differentially affect their ability to cope with crises, their decisions to move or change jobs, their eagerness to adopt new attitudes and behaviors? The seminar group will consider (a) how the network differs from other units of analysis, (b) structural properties of networks, consequences of flows (or content) in network ties, and (d) dynamics of those ties.
Instructor(s): J. Padgett
Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 50096