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 tentative graduate course schedule for the upcoming academic year. Courses are subject to change. Please see the left navigation for the course description archive, catalogs, and calendars.
Political Science Graduate Courses for 2020-21
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 course introduces students to games of complete information through solving problem sets. We will cover the concepts of dominant strategies, rationalizable 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: Autumn
Prequisite: Consent of instructor
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 29102
PLSC 31000. Game Theory II. 100 Units.
This course introduces students to games of incomplete information and several advanced topics through solving problem sets. We will cover the concepts of Bayes Nash equilibrium, perfect Bayesian equilibrium, and the basics of mechanism design and information design. In terms of applications, the course will extend the topics examined in the prerequisite, PLSC 30901. Game Theory I to allow for incomplete information, with a focus on the competing challenges of moral hazard and adverse selection in those settings.
Instructor(s): Z. Luo Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): PLSC 30901 or equivalent and consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 29103
PLSC 31101. Computational Tools for Social Science. 100 Units.
The purpose of this course is to provide graduate students with the critical technical skills necessary to conduct research in quantitative / computational social science. This course is not an introduction to statistics, computer science, or specialized social science methods. Rather, the focus will be on practical skills necessary to be successful in further methods work. The first portion of the class introduces students to basic computer literacy, terminologies, and programming languages, covering Bash, R, and Git. The second part of the course provides students the opportunity to use the skills they learned in part 1 towards practical applications such as webscraping, data collection through APIs, automated text analysis, etc. We will assume no prior experience with programming or computer science.
Instructor(s): R. Terman Terms Offered: Autumn
PLSC 31410. Advanced Theories of Gender and Sexuality. 100 Units.
Beginning with the breakup of the New Left and the proliferation of "new social movements" such as feminism, Black Power, and gay liberation, this seminar explores the key debates around which gender and sexuality were articulated as politically significant categories. How did feminist and queer politics come to be scripted increasingly in terms of identity and its negation? To what extent has a juridical and state-centered conception of politics come to displace quotidian practices of freedom and world-building? What are the limits to rights-oriented political movements? What are the political implications of the recent ontological turn to affect in feminist and queer theory?
Instructor(s): Linda Zerilli Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 30201, PLSC 21410, GNSE 31400, ENGL 21401, MAPH 36500, GNSE 21400
PLSC 35311. Models of Ancient Politics I: Athens, Sparta, Rome. 100 Units.
This course begins a two-quarter sequence on Athens, Sparta, and Rome as models of politics and their subsequent reception and appropriation in the history of Western political thought. This quarter, we will focus on understanding the institutions, political culture, and political theory of ancient Greece and Rome through an engagement with ancient texts and modern scholarship. Readings will include Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Xenophon, Plutarch, Polybius, Livy, and Sallust.
Instructor(s): M. Landauer Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 25311
PLSC 35312. Models of Ancient Politics II: Modern Receptions. 100 Units.
This is the second course in a two-quarter sequence on the importance of Athens, Sparta, and Rome for Western political theory. This quarter we will focus on the reception and appropriation of ancient political models in modern European political thought. Authors to be read include Machiavelli, Montesquieu, Adams, Hume, Rousseau, Mill, and Grote, as well as modern scholars.
Instructor(s): M. Landauer Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 25312
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 35901. Enlightenment Political Thought. 100 Units.
A comparative examination of the political thought of Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Immanuel Kant, with a focus upon the interrelated themes of freedom and authority; resistance and domination; and equality and inequality. We will also consider these political theories in the context of earlier sixteenth century texts on tyranny and resistance, such as the Vindiciae, Contra Tyrannos and La Boétie's Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, and in comparison with Enlightenment writings by John Locke and David Hume. (M)
Instructor(s): S. Muthu Terms Offered: Spring
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. (C)
Instructor(s): C. Cordelli, J. Wilson Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 26920
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.(M, C)
Instructor(s): J. McCormick Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 27301, FNDL 27301
PLSC 38602. American National Security Strategy. 100 Units.
This course surveys contemporary National Security Strategy around the world, focusing on the most urgent and important issues of the U.S. national security agenda. The purpose of the course is to help students better understand how the U.S. formulates national security strategy, key debates over how the U.S. should handle contemporary challenges, and provide important conceptual frameworks that will enable students to grapple with the security challenges of the decade ahead. The course covers recent changes in American grand strategy, nuclear policy, and the use of conventional forces in contemporary conflicts.
Instructor(s): R. Pape Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 28602
PLSC 38765.The Politics of Authoritarian Regimes. 100 Units.
This course provides an overview of topics related to politics in authoritarian regimes. We begin by introducing the concept of authoritarianism: how it differs from democracy and how authoritarian regimes differ from each other. We then investigate the tools authoritarian rulers employ to maintain power, including institutions, policies, and tactics, and we examine the effects and side effects of these tools. Finally, we study transitions of power and of institutions, both on the way out of authoritarianism (democratization) and on the way in (democratic backsliding). Students who take this course will acquire a broad understanding of authoritarian politics and how it is covered in the literature.
Instructor(s): S. Gehlbach, Z. Luo
Equivalent Courses: PBPL 28765, PLSC 28765, PPHA 38765
Notes: Prior recommended coursework for undergraduates: one semester in Statistics (Stats 220 or equivalent) and current or prior training in game theory (PBPL 222, Social Science Inquiry core, or equivalent). Prior recommended coursework for graduate students: one semester of statistics and current or prior training in game theory.
PLSC 39501. International Political Economy. 100 Units.
This graduate seminar focuses on the prevailing theoretical and empirical research programs in international political economy (IPE). The course will introduce a variety of frontier research problems that animate current work in the field as well as provide experience evaluating empirical research. We will discuss relations between international markets and politics: mass politics, domestic political institutions, and international politics. A central goal of the course is to generate ideas for student research, including papers and dissertation topics.
Instructor(s): R. Gulotty Terms Offered: Spring
PLSC 40000. Readings: Political Science. 100 Units.
This is a general reading and research course for independent study.
PLSC 40100. Thesis Preparation: Polsci. 100 Units.
This is an independent study course related to master's paper or dissertation research.
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. 100 Units.
Is a general theory of militant group violence possible and, if so, what is the core logic? 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. The most important are ideological, religious, ethnic, and strategic theories, which rest on fundamentally different assumptions about the coherence of militant groups, the degree of rationality in their decision-making, and the nature of their dynamics in competition with rival states. This seminar will cover the main theories of militant power politics, encouraging students to develop their own ideas about the development of general theories to account for major modern militant groups and carry out policy-relevant research in this area.
Instructor(s): R. Pape Terms Offered: Spring
PLSC 40610. Seminar on International Security Affairs. 100 Units.
This course introduces students to a selection of the principal literature that forms the foundation of contemporary international security affairs. One set of topics focus on traditional war-related topics, including the causes of war, sources of military effectiveness, and civilian victimization in war. A second set of topics focuses on pre-war and short-of-war issues, including coercive threats, arms racing under the security dilemma, the nuclear revolution thesis, and grey zone or covert uses of force. A third set of topics focuses on ideas, individuals, and institutions, including security-related international organizations, norms, and leader-level dynamics. Each week, our purpose will be to critically assess the strengths and limits of the central arguments of the readings, on their own terms.
Instructor(s): A. Carson Terms Offered: Winter
PLSC 40815. New Directions in Formal Theory. 100 Units.
In this graduate seminar we will survey recent journal articles that develop formal (mathematical) theories of politics. The range of topics and tools we touch on will be broad. Topics include models of institutions, groups, and behavior, and will span American politics, comparative politics, and international relations. Tools include game theory, network analysis, simulation, axiomatic choice theory, and optimization theory. Our focus will be on what these models are theoretically doing: What they do and do not capture, what makes one mathematical approach more compelling than another, and what we can ultimately learn from a highly stylized (and necessarily incomplete) mathematical representation of politics. The goal of the course is for each participant, including the professor, to emerge with a new research project. Some background in formal modeling, such as a prior course in game theory, is required.
Instructor(s): Z. Luo, M. Nalepa Terms Offered: Spring
Prequisite(s): PLSC 30901 and 31000 or equivalent
PLSC 41105. Political Economy I: Formal Models of Domestic Politics. 100 Units.
This course provides an overview of formal models of domestic politics—that is, the theory of domestic politics as formalized using the language of game theory. Building on Professor Gehlbach's textbook of the same name, the course covers nine classes of models: electoral competition under certainty and uncertainty, special interest politics, veto players, delegation, coalitions, political agency, nondemocracy, and regime change. The material assumes prior coursework in game theory and proficiency in differential and integral calculus.
Instructor(s): S. Gehlbach Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 41101
Note: Political Science Ph.D. students will have satisfied the prior recommended coursework if they have taken Game Theory I, have taken or are concurrently enrolled in Game Theory II, and have taken Mathematical Foundations of Political Methodology.
PLSC 41500. Nationalism in the Age of Globalization. 100 Units.
Nationalism has been the most powerful political ideology in the world for the past two centuries. This course examines its future in the age of globalization, focusing in particular on the widespread belief that it is an outmoded ideology. Specific topics covered in the course include: the causes of nationalism, its effects on international stability, nationalism and empires, globalization and the future of the state, globalization and national identities, the clash of civilizations, American nationalism, and the clash between Zionism and Palestinian nationalism.
Instructor(s): J. Mearsheimer 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 42020. Greek Tragedy and Philosophy. 100 Units.
Ancient Greek tragedy has been of continuous interest to philosophers in the Western tradition, whether they love it or hate it. But they do not agree about what it is and does, or about what insights it offers. This seminar will study the tragic festivals and a select number of tragedies, also consulting some modern studies of ancient tragedy. Then we shall turn to philosophical accounts of the tragic genre, including Plato, Aristotle, the Greek and Roman Stoics, Seneca, Lessing, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Sartre, and Bernard Williams. If we have time we will include some study of ancient Greek comedy and its philosophical significance.
Instructor(s): M.Nussbaum Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 50250, CLAS 42020, RETH 50250, LAWS 96303
Notes: Admission by permission of the instructor. Permission must be sought in writing by September 15. Prerequisite: An undergraduate major in philosophy or some equivalent solid philosophy preparation, plus my permission. PhDstudents in Philosophy, Classics, and Political Theory may enroll without permission. Law students with ample philosophical background are welcome to enroll but should contact the instructor. Interested Political Science students may contact Kathy Anderson for a copy of the syllabus.
PLSC 42315. Democracy, Populism and Plutocracy. 100 Units.
How should contemporary democratic societies address the threat to liberty and equality posed by increasing economic inequality and intensifying oligarchic encroachment? Is populism a legitimate response, and if so what kind of populism? Readings include: Arendt, Green, Laclau Levitsky and Ziblatt, Mouffe, Ranciere, Rosanvallon, Urbinati, Winters and Wolin. (C)
Instructor(s): J. McCormick Terms Offered: Spring
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, and the relations between state and economy and between state and society as the Chinese society, economy and the level of technology have undergone dramatic changes in recent decades. Throughout the course we'll also 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 42805. Empire, Law, and Global Justice. 100 Units.
In this research seminar we will read recent scholarship examining the law and politics of empire from the early modern period through the early twentieth century. Empires present particular problems of constitutional law, in particular the relationship between center and periphery. They are sites of conflict over membership, commerce, and the rights of colonized peoples. They are arenas in which conceptions of sovereignty, authority, and regulation are created and fought over. We will read works by historians, political scientists, and legal scholars that situate these issues in the context of particular empires, in both the Atlantic and Pacific worlds, as well as in relation to a more broadly imperial global order.
Instructor(s): J. Pitts Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): This class is complementary with International Law and Global Domination, a primary-text-based course primarily for undergraduates but open to graduate students.)
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 43300. Political Psychology. 100 Units.
This course is about how the human mind can shape our attitudes and behaviors in the realm of politics. Do our personalities matter for our political choices? How much does what we learn from others determine our political beliefs, or is it most given by self- interested status? When we introduce heuristics, or cognitive short- cuts, to our decisions, what biases follow? How much of what we think about politics comes from our sense of identity, or those we feel are most similar to? Can we trust political actors, and under what kinds of conditions? When is a message persuasive, and why?
Instructor(s): J. Brehm Terms Offered: Spring
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. Students are expected to have completed SOSC 30100: Mathematics for Social Sciences.
Instructor(s): R. Gulotty Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Students are expected to have completed SOSC 30100: Mathematics for Social Sciences.
Note(s): This course is a prerequisite for PLSC 30901 Game Theory I
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: Spring
PLSC 43801. Plato's Legacies. 100 Units.
Some of the most significant efforts to question political theory's core concepts, unsettle its approaches, and expose its dangerous ideals have depended on major re-interpretations of Plato's thought. This course investigates the broad critical impulse to treat Plato as the originator of political positions and interpretive assumptions that late modernity frequently seeks to critique and less often to celebrate. We consider the charges of essentialism, authoritarianism, and foundationalism, among others, and ask to what (if any) extent considerations of the texts' historical contexts and dramaturgical conditions have factored into these assessments. Readings will include works by Popper, Strauss, Arendt, Derrida, Castoriadis, Wolin, Irigaray, Cavarero, Butler, and Rancière alongside Plato's dialogues. Students are expected to be familiar with Plato's thought upon enrolling.
Instructor(s): D. Kasimis Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CLAS 33815
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: Autumn
PLSC 44205. Decolonization and Political Theory. 100 Units.
This course turns to the renewed attention to decolonization in political theory, intellectual history, and social theory. Reading the recent and growing literature on decolonization, it explores two threads. First, it seeks to understand how the recent work on constitutionalism, popular sovereignty, and indigeneity reframes problem of decolonization, revising and reconfiguring the dilemmas of politics after empire. Second, it examines how the context and lens of decolonization and postcolonial social formations might help us to rethink and reframe key concepts of political theory including democracy and sovereignty. This is reading intensive course focused on recent works rather than primary texts. (C)
Instructor(s): A. Getachew Terms Offered: Winter
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: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 45510
PLSC 45710. Race and Capitalism. 100 Units.
This course will address issues of race and capitalism.
Instructor(s): Dawson, Michael 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 47703. Exemplary Leaders: Livy, Plutarch, and Machiavelli. 100 Units.
Cicero famously called history the "schoolmistress of life." This course explores how ancient and early modern authors-in particular, Livy, Plutarch, and Machiavelli-used the lives and actions of great individuals from the Greek and Roman past to establish models of political behavior for their own day and for posterity. Such figures include Solon, Lycurgus, Alexander, Romulus, Brutus, Camillus, Fabius Maximus, Scipio Africanus, Julius Caesar, and Augustus. We will consider how their actions are submitted to praise or blame, presented as examples for imitation or avoidance, and examine how the comparisons and contrasts established among the different historical individuals allow new models and norms to emerge. No one figure can provide a definitive model. Illustrious individuals help define values even when we mere mortals cannot aspire to reach their level of virtue or depravity. Course open to undergraduates and graduate students. Readings will be in English. Students wishing to read Latin, Greek, or Italian will receive support from the professors.(A, M)
Instructor(s): J. McCormick, M. Lowrie Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CLCV 27716, PLSC 27703, CLAS 37716, FNDL 27716
PLSC 47805. Normativity After Wittgenstein. 100 Units.
You must bear in mind that the language game is so to say something unpredictable. I mean: it is not based on grounds. It is not reasonable (or unreasonable). It is there-like our life." -On Certainty §559 In the now longstanding debate over positivism, Wittgenstein has appeared to many social and political theorists as offering an alternative to the impossible choice between objectivism and subjectivism. Wittgenstein's understanding of rules and rule-following, it is said, offers a third way of thinking about normativity that takes into account the (subjectivist) notion of the unique or meaningful nature of human thought and action, without relinquishing the (objectivist) idea that normativity necessarily transcends individuals, their actual practices of speaking and acting. Accordingly, Wittgenstein is seen as replacing the positivist's law-governed (nomothetic) view of human speech and action with a rule-governed account that does not reduce meaning to individual subjective states. In this course we critically interrogate this view of normativity in Wittgenstein's thought. We take up the "therapeutic reading" of his work pioneered by Stanley Cavell, according to which Wittgenstein does not put forward an alternative theory of linguistic meaning but seeks to expose misunderstandings about what kinds of structures must underwrite everything that humans can meaningfully do or say.
Instructor(s): L. Zerilli Terms Offered: Spring
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: Autumn
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): S. Stokes Terms Offered: Winter
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
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 39830
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): L. Zerilli Terms Offered: Winter
PLSC 53101. Seminar: 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 61901. Colloquium: Historical Texts of Hindu Nationalism. 100 Units.
This course will discuss and analyze some classic texts of Hindu nationalism, including those by Vivekananda, Savarkar, Golwalkar, and others.
Instructor(s): D. Chakrabarty and J. Pitts Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 61901, SALC 61901
PLSC 67001. Colloquium: The Emergence of Capitalism. 100 Units.
This colloquium investigates the emergence of capitalism in the world as a whole between the early sixteenth and the late eighteenth centuries. We discuss the political and cultural, as well as the economic, sources of capitalism and explore Marxist, neoclassical, and cultural approaches.
Instructor(s): J. Levy & W. Sewell Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 67001, SCTH 67001