Spring 2019 Class Schedule
|POLI_SCI 101-6||First-Year Seminar: Democracy and its Challenges in Africa - Opportunities and Challenges||Riedl||W 2:00-4:50||15|
POLI_SCI 101-6 First-Year Seminar: Democracy and its Challenges in Africa - Opportunities and Challenges
|POLI_SCI 210||Introduction to Empirical Methods in Political Science||Clipperton||MW 9:30-10:50||W 11:00-11:50 (2)|
W 1:00-1:50 (2)
POLI_SCI 210 Introduction to Empirical Methods in Political Science
This course provides an introduction to the empirical methods political scientists use to answer questions about politics, and the reasons why such methods matter. We begin by considering how we use data and information in social science in general and political science in particular. We then examine three basic strategies for overcoming the obstacles to reliable knowledge about the political world: experimentation, quantitative studies (statistics) and smaller case studies with a qualitative emphasis. This course will prepare you to take a more in-depth look into these methods in subsequent coursework.
|POLI_SCI 220||American Government and Politics||Tillery||MW 2:00-3:20||F 9:00-9:50 (2)|
F 10:00-10:50 (2)
F 11:00-11:50 (2)
POLI_SCI 220 American Government and Politics
This course introduces students to the institutions and processes of national government in the United States of America. The course explores the following core questions: What are the philosophical foundations of the American republic? How does America’s constitutional design shape the functioning of the nation’s institutions? What are the 2 basic roles of the legislative, executive and judicial branches? What is the history of political parties in America? How are public policies made in the United States? What are the basic rights of American citizens? How have social movements shaped politics in the United States?
|POLI_SCI 240||Introduction to International Relations||Spruyt||TuTh 9:30-10:50||Th 11:00-11:50 (2)|
Th 12:00-12:50 (2)
Th 5:00-5:50 (2)
POLI_SCI 240 Introduction to International Relations
The course is divided in three parts. In part I we will focus on explaining the causes of war, and reflect on current security problems, particularly in terms of inter-state conflicts. In part II we turn to how we have moved from traditional inter-state relations to a globalized economic environment in which states, non-state actors, and international organizations interact. Part III discusses some global problems that we are facing and possible solutions.
More specifically the emphasis in part I will be on achieving a theoretical understanding of how one might explain the occurrence of war or peace. This course is not a discussion of current events, although they might be introduced to clarify particular perspectives. In other words, the emphasis is on developing a “toolkit” which you can use to understand international relations in general. The emphasis is not on memorizing details and empirical data, although of course you will need to understand key concepts and definitions. Instead you should ask yourself what caused war in this instance but not others? What are the underlying causes behind these observations?
Explanations of conflict occur at the individual level; at the state level; and at the level of the international system. We will use these different levels of analysis, or different images, to explain the outbreak of WW I. Analyzing this conflict will demonstrate the various approaches to understanding complex, macrohistorical phenomena in general. We will then apply some of these methodological insights to understand the absence of super power conflict during the Cold War, and to study security issues that have emerged since then.
In Part II we turn to global issues in the areas of international economic management (particularly trade). How did the post-war international economic order differ from the 1930s? How will the rise of economic powers such as China possibly affect this international order?Part III, touches on global problems that go beyond traditional inter-state relations such as trans-boundary environmental problems. We will particularly examine two global commons issues. First, we will analyze the problems of global oceans management, particularly fisheries. Second we will turn to the international agreements on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and conversely the failure of the Kyoto protocol. We will also briefly touch on the state of play on the Paris accord.
|POLI_SCI 250||Introduction to Comparative Politics||Seawright||TuTh 2:00-3:20||Th 4:00-4:50 (2)|
Th 5:00-5:50 (2)
F 11:00-11:50 (2)
POLI_SCI 250 Introduction to Comparative Politics
Why is the experience of politics so different across countries? Why are some structured by a debate between left (liberal) and right (conservative) ideologies, while others mostly involve competition among religious or ethnic communities? Why are police helpful and friendly in some contexts, but hostile, corrupt, or simply absent in others? Why are some countries governed by representative democratic institutions, whereas others are governed by repressive authoritarian regimes? Why do some countries entertain years of peace and stability whereas others are plagued by civil conflict and violence? The course provides an introduction to the field of comparative politics. We will explore the causes that scholars and popular thinkers have offered for these differences, and learn how political scientists think about differentiating between better and worse explanations. Students will gain the ability to understand the complexity of contemporary political systems, and the underlying causal factors that help us to explain the divergences between countries across the world. The students will be expected to identify key themes in comparative politics, problematize the divergence in global outcomes between states and societies, pose competing explanations for analysis, and evaluate the competing claims to identify which hypotheses are most convincing to explain certain country cases and national outcomes.
|POLI_SCI 312||Statistical Research Methods||Seawright||TuTh 9:30-10:50||Th 11:00-11:50|
POLI_SCI 312 Statistical Research Methods
How racist is the average American, and what makes some more racist than others? Why can’t Democrats and Republicans just get along? Does a country’s colonial experience shape its future political and economic possibilities? These questions, and many more, have been addressed by statistical research in political science. This course explores quantitative/statistical research methods in the social sciences, with the goal of determining what makes a good descriptive or causal inference about politics. For the first half of the course, we will review the basics of statistical theory and quantitative research design. In the second half, we will examine applications of these methods to various topics in political science. For each application, we will consider the technical requirements and properties of the method being employed, as well as the available evidence regarding how these requirements and properties fit with the specific application at hand. With this information, we will determine what we can legitimately claim to have learned from the application and consider alternative designs that might serve to supplement or improve our learning. Throughout the quarter, you will work on hands-on projects involving a research question and data set of your own choosing. Thus, you will learn how to evaluate other people’s statistical work, but also how to design, execute, and interpret their own statistical models.
|POLI_SCI 324||Political Parties and Elections||Bonilla||MW 12:30-1:50||20|
POLI_SCI 324 Political Parties and Elections
Elections have regularly occurred since the inception of this country. Highly visible elections occur every 2 to 4 years, and less visible elections occur more frequently. How do political campaigns and elections produce representation? And how do citizens assess how well they are represented? This class addresses these questions by focusing on three domains. First, we will examine how the process and structures of representation and American Elections. Then, we will investigate the contributions of key political actors to campaigns: parties, interest groups, and the media, and they interact through elections. Finally, we will examine voter perceptions of parties and campaigns, and how voters are targeted (or not) by political actors. The class will focus on critical political science articles (and can follow along with the text) to investigate these topics. Time will also be spent observing and interacting with the current presidential primary campaigns as well.
|POLI_SCI 328||Public Policy||Thurston||TuTh 11:00-12:20||Th 1:00-1:50 (2)|
Th 5:00-5:50 (2)
POLI_SCI 328 Public Policy
This course examines the policymaking process in the contemporary United States. Our study of the politics of public policy relies on two core analytical claims. First, policy is the prize that animates political conflict in the United States. The reasons why are straightforward. Policy entails using the coercive power of the state to shape the economy and society, whether by directing the government or private sector to undertake new activities, or by constraining what the government is allowed to do. Policy decisions can have profound effects on society, influencing everything from our life choices to the future of our planet. Those who control the government have the ability to shape these decisions. Second, once enacted, policies help to constitute the terrain on which future political battles are waged. This is because policies channel resources (material and symbolic) towards some groups or individuals and away from others. Policies set new defaults. They can shift people’s expectations about the government, as well as the political implications of future stalemates. In addition to considering how these two claims help us to understand the politics of policymaking more broadly, we will consider how they inform our understanding of the prospects for the Trump Administration’s policy agenda specifically.
|POLI_SCI 330||U.S. Refugee Policy & Localities||Ben-Arieh||MW 2:00-3:20||30|
POLI_SCI 330 U.S. Refugee Policy & Localities
We will study how the U.S. 1980 Refugee Act, a national policy premised on human rights obligations in the 1951 International Convention for the Protection of Refugee and 1967 Protocol, meets the street in Chicago neighborhoods and other localities in the United States. As we learn about the politics of refugee resettlement by examining street-level bureaucracy, we will consider what local understandings of refugee policy can teach us about integration, housing instability and ongoing cycles of poverty as part of broader discourses on constitutional governance, federalism and civil society. We will also look comparatively at the perspectives, policies and ideologies of other countries in their refugee resettlement programs as part of the broader question of humanitarian governance and the role of Western Liberal Democracies. Through these explorations, students will gain insight into the complexities of refugee resettlement policy as a durable solution for refugees seeking protection. Students will gain exposure to GIS and qualitative interpretive methodology and have a chance to conduct archival and field research of Chicago neighborhoods.
|POLI_SCI 344||US Foreign Policy||Krcmaric||MW 5:00-6:20||F 10:00-10:50 (2)|
F 11:00-11:50 (2)
POLI_SCI 344 US Foreign Policy
How US foreign policy is formulated, executed, legitimated, and contested. Topics include 9/11 and its aftermath, covert action, interventionism, trade, US respect for international norms, and US engagement with the Middle East.
|POLI_SCI 346||The European Union||Henke||M 9:30-12:20||18|
POLI_SCI 346 The European Union
The European Union (EU) is unique in world history. Never before have twenty-eight sovereign states cooperated more intensely on political, economic, social, judicial and security affairs than is currently the case under the European Union umbrella. This course examines how this “multi-state” entity operates in international affairs. What are the power assets of the European Union? How do EU member states cooperate in economic affairs? How do they project power in security affairs? What does the EU do to fight terrorism, to resolve the conflict in Ukraine or to deal with refugees? How does it cooperate with the United States? Is this cooperation successful? What does the future hold for the EU?
|POLI_SCI 351||Politics of the Middle East||Pearlman||TuTh 2:00-3:20||Th 4:00-4:50 (2)|
Th 5:00-5:50 (2)
POLI_SCI 351 Politics of the Middle East
This course explores the comparative politics of the Middle East and North Africa. The first half of the course focuses on the historical and institutional context of politics and government. Here we examine the emergence of independent nation-states, the consolidation of regimes, issues of identity and religion, and patterns in the relationship between state, society, and economy. We compare explanations for the endurance of authoritarian regimes in Arab countries, as well as political systems in Turkey and Iran. The second half of the course concentrates on dynamics of mobilization and conflict. Here we explore the Arab uprisings that began in late 2010 and political developments in their aftermath, including the war in Syria and emergence of ISIS. We also study the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as their respective domestic politics. The two halves of the course are interconnected and students are encouraged and expected to use the material presented each week to inform their engagement with material presented during the weeks that follow. The goals of this course are to assist students (1) to acquire basic knowledge about the politics of the modern Middle East and North Africa; (2) to engage in critical reading and analysis of a range of sources; (3) to employ scholarly theories and concepts to promote a nuanced analysis of events in the region and debates about those events; and (4) to develop an appreciation for how politics in the region is shaped by history and institutions on the one hand and a dynamic multiplicity of identities and interests on the other. Assignments are designed to assess progress toward the achievement of these goals.
|POLI_SCI 376||Civil Wars||Spruyt||W 9:00-11:50||20|
POLI_SCI 376 Civil Wars
The decades following WW II are sometimes described by students of International Relations as “The Long Peace.” Despite obvious tensions and a Cold War between the superpowers and despite major differences in ideology and economic policies, major power war did not erupt. Indeed, some scholars wonder whether such war has become obsolete.
Be that as it may, by some counts, the past half century has seen more than 20 million deaths in many other conflicts. Among these conflicts, civil wars have been some of the bloodiest and costliest. This course will examine the causes behind such conflicts as well as study how such conflicts might be terminated or prevented altogether. Some of the causes of civil wars will be internal to the states in question, other causes might be due to international actors and external forces. Correspondingly some efforts to terminate or prevent such conflicts will reside at the domestic level while others will operate in the international arena.
The class will be a mixture of lectures and seminar style participation, culminating in a short research project that is of particular interest to the student and which will be designed in cooperation with the professor. Throughout the course, students will be expected to keep up with the readings and to actively contribute to the discussions in class.
Although our main attention will go to conflicts after 1945, the course is not focused on any specific geographic area or any specific war. Instead, the aim of the course is to increase your understanding of the phenomenon of civil wars in general. With this general theoretical knowledge of civil wars, the student will then design a research project of a case or cases that are of particular interest to the student. One-on-one meetings with the professor will help you with the research design.
|POLI_SCI-390||Special Topics in Political Science: The Press and Presidential Elections||Stuelpnagel||MW 11:00-12:20||15|
POLI_SCI-390 Special Topics in Political Science: The Press and Presidential Elections
This class will examine presidential elections and how they have evolved since 1952, the first year TV advertising began to have an impact on the races. This class will challenge some of the myths about elections and their outcomes. We will also examine the 2008 campaign, which was dubbed the “YouTube” election and was historic by virtue of its outcome, the candidates who ran and the impact the Internet and new technologies had on the race. In 2012 the Obama campaign had the most intense “ground game” of any campaign in history, we will examine how the campaign succeeded in this effort. In 2016 Donald Trump bypassed typical advertising methods of reaching voters by unleashing a torrent of Twitter messages and finding a willing press that was, at least in the primaries, willing to give him uncritical or challenging coverage. We will also examine the historical roles of Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Jackson and Hillary Clinton in presidential races.
|POLI_SCI-390||Special Topics: Interactions Among and Between the Branches of U.S. Government||Moseley Braun||Tu 3:00-5:50||20|
POLI_SCI-390 Special Topics: Interactions Among and Between the Branches of U.S. Government
|POLI_SCI 390||Special Topic: GEOpolitics of Energy||Weygandt||TuTh 9:30-10:50||15|
POLI_SCI 390 Special Topic: GEOpolitics of Energy
Energy is one of the driving forces of the modern world. Derived from fossil fuels, nuclear power, and a growing range of alternative sources, energy is tightly linked to economic development and military power. In spite of efforts to achieve “energy independence,” no major economy is able to claim energy self-sufficiency. Moreover, energy supply choices have implications for the global climate, while technological innovations are creating new opportunities and risks for governments, firms, and other international actors.
|POLI_SCI 395||Political Research Seminar: The Refugee Knowledge Hub: Action Research, Ethics & Practice||Ben-Arieh||MW 9:30-10:50||15|
POLI_SCI 395 Political Research Seminar: The Refugee Knowledge Hub: Action Research, Ethics & Practice
This class introduces students to the methods, ethics and practice of action research in political science and refugee studies. We will learn about the concept of participatory action research as a bridge between theory and practice in studying vulnerable and at-risk populations. Students will have the opportunity to conduct social science research and utilize new technologies such as geographic information system (GIS) mapping to assist with ongoing legal cases for refugee and asylum protection and with the Refugee Knowledge Hub’s participatory action research project with refugee and asylee individuals and families in the Evanston area.
|POLI_SCI 395||Political Research Seminar: National Security, Military Strategy, & Human Rights||Rice||Th 9:30-12:20||15|
POLI_SCI 395 Political Research Seminar: National Security, Military Strategy, & Human Rights
This seminar will pose a straightforward and critical question, can you have national security without human rights and can you have human rights without national security. To address this we will consider three topics: Human Rights, Political Strategy and Military Strategy. Needless to say, these are not autonomous categories, especially as the military is being asked to engage in state building which clearly implicates political strategies. And how states are built engages with topics that fall under the rubric of human rights. We will not address this in a theoretical manner but rather using examples drawn from the books as well as participants will choose countries that irrelevant to the topic.
|POLI_SCI 395||Political Research Seminar: Student Activism and Free Speech||Rice||Tu 9:30-12:20||15|
POLI_SCI 395 Political Research Seminar: Student Activism and Free Speech
Universities across time and geography have been the locus of radical student protest. In the 1960s, Civil Rights and Anti-Vietnam protests rocked American campuses including Northwestern. One of the earliest of these was at the University of California, Berkeley where the campus was shut down while students demanded the right of free speech. Fast forward to today when some protests 'appear' to want to limit free speech in the name of equality. In fact, we now have a vast literature on the confrontation of equality and free speech which focuses on such issues as hate speech, triggers, etc. Additionally we now have a debate over "BDS" in which the topic of academic and cultural boycotts is raised as a means of protesting on behalf of Palestinian independence.
|POLI_SCI 395||Political Research Seminar: Wealth and Power in America||Page||M 2:00-4:50||15|
POLI_SCI 395 Political Research Seminar: Wealth and Power in America
This seminar concerns economic and political inequality in the United States: the nature of gaps between the rich and the poor in this country, and how those gaps relate to political power. Who has how much influence over policy making? Average citizens? Affluent citizens? The truly wealthy? Business corporations and other organized interest groups? How much impact do they have on various kinds of public policies? Under what circumstances? What are the techniques and mechanisms of influence?
The chief requirement of the course (for 60% of the grade) will be a substantial research paper related to one or more of these questions. The hope is that students will build on these papers for honors theses, writing samples for grad school applications, publication as journal articles, or other purposes. Papers may focus on the United States or any other country or political subdivision (state, city, etc.). Methods may involve analytical or normative theory, literature review, personal observation, interviewing, quantitative data analysis, and/or any other generally accepted technique for advancing knowledge. No length requirement. Write as much – but only as much – as is appropriate to your project.
Spring quarter will zoom by quickly. IMMEDIATELY begin to THINK ABOUT YOUR PAPER TOPIC. As soon as possible, begin relevant readings from any part of this syllabus and also from outside it. Volunteer to help lead discussion sessions on relevant topics. Write short papers that will help your main paper.
Be sure to read the assigned readings before each class session, and pick one or two sessions to help lead discussions. (Participation will count for roughly 20% of your grade.) Addition requirements include two very short (two page, double-spaced) papers on any aspect of our subject – preferably related to our readings and/or to your research paper (for roughly 20% of your grade); and one ungraded substantive outline of your research paper, so that you can receive feedback before you complete the paper.
|POLI_SCI 395||Political Research Seminar: Religion and Politics in Africa||Ahmed Salem||Th 2:00-4:50||15|
POLI_SCI 395 Political Research Seminar: Religion and Politics in Africa
Although most Sub-Saharan African states are ostensibly “secular”, various strands of Islam, Christianism and a number of other local systems of beliefs (including witchcraft) are particularly central to current political dynamics on the continent. This course explores the role of religion in the politics of African societies with particular attention to the modern period. Moving beyond a normative distinction between religion and politics, this research seminar examines the evolving relationship between religions (s) and political/social developments in Sub-Saharan Africa by way of concrete regional and national examples. Drawings on insights from sociology, history, anthropology and political science, the course focuses on ways of understanding the shifting relationship between religion, power and society in Africa in comparative perspective.