PLSC 404: Selected Problems in American Politics
Th 7:00pm / LSC
This course will survey recent literature in the field of political behavior, including research on political participation, public opinion, and the intersection between psychology and political research. Particular attention will be given to the strengths and weaknesses of the various (typically quantitative) methods used to address questions related to political behavior. Most of topics we examine will be addressed in the American context, but some research from elsewhere will also be discussed. Students will be expected to conduct original quantitative analysis on a topic of their choosing.
PLSC 429: Selected Problems in Comparative Politics
Th 4:15pm / LSC
This course will consider foundational debates regarding the meaning of representation. We will use the models of representation discussed in these debates as frameworks for assessing the extent to which the American political system offers effective representation to the public. Many of the questions we address in this course will focus on the relationship between the public and policymakers. Do policy-makers respond to, shape, or ignore public opinion? How do citizens want the representation relationship to work? How do the practices of institutions and organizations ranging from mass media outlets to congress either facilitate or interfere with effective representation?
PLSC 421: Democratic Political Systems
Mon 7:00pm / LSC
This graduate seminar will examine global democratization, the largest general area of research in comparative politics and a major area of research in international relations and political theory. We will explore democracy and democratization mostly from an empirical and comparative, rather than a theoretical, perspective. While we will consider the meaning of democracy, most of the course will be devoted to examining theories of democratic transition and consolidation, the effects of democracy, and the international dimensions of democratization. At the end of this course you will have a solid understanding of some of the key ideas and findings in the democratization literature as well as some of the theoretical paradigms employed by scholars to study democratization.
PLSC 433: International Organizations
Wed 7:00pm / LSC
This course is designed to introduce students to the major concepts and theories in the study of international organizations (IOs). In order to illustrate various theoretical approaches, we will discuss some of the best known organizations (such as the U.N., the European Union, and the World Trade Organization). We will try to understand why such organizations have been created in the first place and why they function the way they do. We will compare the successes of IOs (or lack thereof) in different realms such as security, trade, human rights, environment, development and international law. As a final project, students will conduct in-depth research of an international organization of their choosing.
PLSC 476: Political Analysis II
Tu 7:00pm / LSC
This is an intermediate course in the application of statistical methods to political analysis. The primary focus of the course is the theory and practice of multiple regression, the most important statistical technique in the social sciences. Among the specific topics examined are the assumptions underlying regression and the consequences of violating them; analysis of residuals; collinearity; dummy regression; analysis of variance and covariance; hierarchical regression; nonlinearity and nonadditivity; pooled cross-sectional/time series analysis; probit/logit analysis; structural equations; and factor analysis. Emphasis throughout the course will be on practical applications and extensive use will be made of SPSS and Stata, computer programs commonly used in social science analysis. Prerequisite: the successful completion of Political Science 475, Techniques of Political Science I, or the instructor's permission.
PLSC 546: Political Philosophy Selected Problems
Th 4:15pm / LSC
Political philosophy—or rational inquiry into the human good, or the best way of life for human beings—began in Greece two and a half millennia ago. It has a long and distinguished history which includes many of the greatest thinkers of the western tradition. During the past century, however, that tradition seemed to come to an end. Some have argued that political philosophy is dead, or finished. Thus “contemporary political thought” is a problematic notion. To understand why, we will explore the roots of the crisis of western rationalism, as it is sometimes described, in the writings of the last two centuries. Our focus will thus be on what political thought means today, and how it has come to be in its present situation.