Director of undergraduate studies: David Simon, 115 Prospect St., 432-5236, firstname.lastname@example.org; politicalscience.yale.edu/academics/about-undergraduate-program
Political science addresses how individuals and groups allocate, organize, and challenge the power to make collective decisions involving public issues. At Yale, the political science curriculum begins with the theoretical building blocks of the discipline, including political philosophy as well as both qualitative and quantitative methodology. With these tools in hand, faculty and students address a wide range of topics within political science, across five sub-fields: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political philosophy, and analytical political theory. Students may also construct interdisciplinary curricula, which might be based, for example, on a specific policy realm or a regional focus.
Requirements of the Major
The standard B.A. degree program Twelve term courses in political science are required. Students must take at least two courses in each of any three of the department's five fields—international relations, American government, political philosophy, analytical political theory, and comparative government. Students expecting to major in Political Science should take one or more introductory-level courses in the department early in their college careers. Introductory courses count toward the overall course requirement and toward the departmental fields requirement.
Students are encouraged to take courses related to political science that are offered by other departments. Students who elect the standard program may petition to count up to two such courses toward the major. Students may routinely count college seminars taught by members of the Political Science faculty toward the major, and they may petition to count one college seminar taught by an instructor outside the department. Students who have completed Directed Studies may, with the approval of the director of undergraduate studies (DUS), count one term of DRST 005, 006 toward the major.
The standard B.A. degree program, interdisciplinary concentration Students majoring in Political Science may choose an interdisciplinary concentration, which allows them to identify and pursue an area of study that crosses conventional disciplinary and departmental boundaries. Examples of interdisciplinary concentrations are urban studies, health politics and policy, political economy, political psychology, and global affairs. Students choosing such a concentration are required to take twelve term courses toward the major. At least seven courses must be in the field of concentration. Of the courses counting toward the major outside of the field of concentration, at least two courses must be taken in each of any two of the department's five fields. As many as three courses taken in other departments may be counted toward the major, with the permission of the DUS.
Students wishing to pursue the Political Science major with an interdisciplinary concentration must submit an application and meet with the DUS to discuss their proposed program of study. The application is due prior to the beginning of the November recess in the student's final year of enrollment.
The intensive major The intensive major gives students an opportunity to undertake more extensive course work and research for the senior essay than is possible in the standard major. Requirements for the intensive major are identical to those for the nonintensive major (standard program or interdisciplinary concentration), with the following exceptions: (1) in the spring term of the junior year, intensive majors take PLSC 474 in preparation for writing a yearlong senior essay; (2) in the senior year, intensive majors fulfill the senior essay requirement by enrolling in the yearlong course sequence PLSC 490 and PLSC 493 (PLSC 490 also counts toward the senior seminar requirement); (3) a total of fifteen term courses is required.
Juniors wishing to pursue an intensive major must apply to the DUS by November 16, 2018. The application should contain: (1) the intensive major application form signed by a faculty adviser who has agreed to supervise the student for the final three terms of enrollment; (2) a plan of study that identifies the political science courses that will be taken in those three terms; and (3) a one-to-two-page description of the proposed senior essay.
Seminar preregistration Each term, the department provides all declared Political Science majors the opportunity to apply for preregistration to its seminars. Instructors of seminars may preregister up to twelve students per course, or up to eight students for multiple-titled courses. The maximum enrollment for each seminar is eighteen. Students may be preregistered in up to two seminars per term, although they may enroll in others if they obtain instructor permission during shopping week.
Seminar requirement Students majoring in Political Science are required to take at least two seminars taught by members of the Political Science department, including at least one during the senior year.
Credit/D/Fail Students may count up to two lecture courses taken Credit/D/Fail toward the major which will count as non-A grades for purposes of calculating distinction. Seminars taken Credit/D/F will not count toward the major requirements, but will count as non-A grades for purposes of calculating distinction.
Roadmap See visual roadmap of the requirements.
Seniors in the major must complete a senior essay, as described under "Senior essay" below. The essay can be written either in one term or over both terms of the senior year. In order to graduate from Yale College, a student majoring in Political Science must achieve a passing grade on the senior essay. The senior requirement for the standard B.A. degree program with an interdisciplinary concentration is the same as for the standard program, with the provision that the essay must be written on a subject that falls within the field of concentration.
Senior essay The senior essay provides an appropriate intellectual culmination to the student's work in the major and in Yale College. The essay should ordinarily be written on a topic in an area in which the student has previously done course work. It should rest on extensive research that is appropriate to the subject matter. Essays are expected to be in the range of twenty-five to thirty double-spaced pages. At the beginning of the term in which the essay is written, students must have their senior essay topic approved by a faculty member who has agreed to advise them. Each student is expected to consult regularly with the seminar instructor or adviser and take the initiative in developing a plan of research, scheduling regular meetings, and submitting preliminary drafts for review.
One-term essays may be written either in a seminar or, with the approval of an adviser and the DUS, in PLSC 480. Senior essays written in the fall term are due on December 7, 2018. Spring-term and yearlong essays are due on April 23, 2019. More extensive information about the senior essay can be found on the department website.
Yearlong senior essay Students who wish to undertake a more extensive research project than is possible in a single term may fulfill the senior essay requirement by enrolling in the yearlong course sequence PLSC 490 and 491. PLSC 490 also counts toward the senior seminar requirement. In the fall term, students writing a yearlong senior essay develop a research prospectus for the essay and begin their research under the supervision of a member of the faculty who specializes in the area being investigated. In the spring term, students complete the essay. Yearlong senior essays are expected to be substantially longer than a regular term paper. While there is no fixed length, they are normally at least fifty pages long.
Majors who wish to enroll in the yearlong senior essay must apply for admission in the spring of their junior year. The deadline for the Class of 2020 is April 8, 2019. By that date, students should submit to the office of the director of undergraduate studies: (1) the yearlong senior essay prospectus form signed by a faculty adviser who has agreed to supervise the student during both terms of the senior year; and (2) a one-to-two-page statement describing the research project. It is expected that no more than fifteen students will be admitted each year.
The director of undergraduate studies and other members of the department can provide advice about departmental requirements, options within the major, requirements of two majors, study abroad, and other matters related to the major. Majors must secure written approval of their course selections each term from the DUS. All subsequent changes in a student's major program must also be approved. Students are also encouraged to seek advice from other departmental faculty members who are knowledgeable about their fields of interest. Information on faculty interests can be found on the departmental website.
Combined B.A./M.A. degree program Exceptionally able and well-prepared students may complete a course of study leading to the simultaneous award of the B.A. and M.A. degrees after eight terms of enrollment. See "Simultaneous Award of the Bachelor's and Master's Degrees" under Special Arrangements in the Academic Regulations. Interested students should consult the director of undergraduate studies prior to the sixth term of enrollment for specific requirements in Political Science.
Students who study in a Junior Term Abroad program or at another university during the summer may, with the approval of the DUS, count up to two courses toward the major. Students who study in a Junior Year Abroad program may, with the approval of the DUS, count up to four courses toward the major. Students may also petition to have non-Yale courses that were not taught in political science departments count toward the major. Pending approval of the DUS, these courses will count toward the maximum number of substitutions.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR
B.A. DEGREE, STANDARD PROGRAM
Number of courses Standard major—12 term courses; intensive major—15 term courses
Distribution of courses 2 courses in each of 3 of the 5 departmental fields; 2 PLSC sems, 1 in senior year
Substitution permitted 2 courses from other depts with DUS approval
B.A. DEGREE, INTERDISCIPLINARY CONCENTRATION
Number of courses Standard major with interdisciplinary concentration—12 term courses; intensive major with interdisciplinary concentration—15 term courses
Distribution of courses 7 courses in concentration; 2 courses in each of 2 of the 5 departmental fields; 2 PLSC sems, 1 in senior year
Substitution permitted 3 courses from other depts with DUS approval (2 courses from other depts with DUS approval for intensive major)
Intensive major PLSC 474 in spring term of junior year; 7 courses in concentration; 2 courses in each of 3 of the 5 departmental fields; 2-term senior essay in PLSC 490, 493 on subject within concentration
Political science involves the study of politics from the local to the global level—politics within countries, politics among countries, and theories and philosophies of politics. Consistent with its expansive spirit of inquiry, the Political Science department offers courses touching on questions about power, conflict, ideas, representation, institutions, distribution, and identity. In their research, faculty members approach the study of political phenomena from multiple directions, using different methodologies suited to the kinds of questions asked. This pluralistic and interdisciplinary approach often creates overlap with fields such as anthropology, economics, history, philosophy, psychology, and sociology. The major offers a broad liberal education, but it also serves as great preparation for many careers, including those in public and international affairs, law, and business.
Political Science courses are organized into five subfields: comparative government examines politics in one, several, or many countries; international relations explores politics among nations, including wars, international negotiations, and international institutions; American government encompasses politics at local, state, and federal levels; political philosophy involves the history of political ideas and theories of politics; and analytical political theory develops the statistical methods and formal logic used to formulate and test hypotheses about politics. Majors in Political Science gain experience in a wide range of areas by taking courses in three of the department’s five subfields. Although there is no specific course required for the major, the department offers introductory surveys of various subfields of the discipline (see below).
The programs in Global Affairs and in Ethics, Politics, and Economics have substantial overlap with Political Science. Many courses offered by these programs may count toward requirements of more than one of the three majors.
First-year students considering Political Science as a major may find it useful to take some introductory courses in the field. These courses provide a good orientation to issues explored at a deeper level in more advanced offerings, such as departmental seminars reserved mostly for majors.
- PLSC 111, Introduction to International Relations
- PLSC 113, Introduction to American Politics
- PLSC 114, Introduction to Political Philosophy
- PLSC 116, Comparative Politics: States, Regimes, and Conflict
- PLSC 118, The Moral Foundations of Politics
For more information, visit the undergraduate section of the departmental website.
FACULTY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE
Professors Bruce Ackerman, Akhil Amar, Seyla Benhabib, Paul Bracken, David Cameron, Benjamin Cashore, Bryan Garsten, Alan Gerber, Jacob Hacker, Oona Hathaway, Gregory Huber, Joseph LaPalombara (Emeritus), Isabela Mares, David Mayhew (Emeritus), Gerard Pedro-i-Miquel, Thomas Pogge, Douglas Rae, John Roemer, Susan Rose-Ackerman, Frances Rosenbluth, Bruce Russett (Emeritus), James Scott, Ian Shapiro, Stephen Skowronek, Steven Smith, Milan Svolik, Peter Swenson, John Wargo, Ebonya Washington, Steven Wilkinson, Elisabeth Wood
Associate Professors Peter Aronow, Ana De La O, Alexandre Debs, Hélène Landemore, Jason Lyall, Karuna Mantena, Nuno Monteiro
Assistant Professors Katharine Baldwin, Deborah Beim, Daniela Cammack, Alexander Coppock, John Henderson, Joshua Kalla, Daniel Mattingly, Elizabeth Nugent, Giulia Oskian, Tyler Pratt, Didac Queralt, Kelly Rader, Thania Sanchez, Fredrik Savje, Ian Turner
Senior Lecturers Boris Kapustin, Steven Latham, David Simon
Lecturers Elizabeth Acord, Andrea Aldrich, Paris Aslanidis, Leanna Barlow, Steven Calabresi, John DeStefano, Albert Fang, Michael Fotos, Andrew Gooch, Thomas Graham, Allison Hartnett, Maria Jose Hierro, Jane Karr, Tally Kritzman-Amir, Brian Libgober, Adam Liu, Nicholas Lotito, Matthew Mahler, Patrick O'Brien, Nilakshi Parndigamage, Joan Ricart-Huguet, Alexander Rosas, Walter Shapiro, Gordon Silverstein, Rebecca Sinderbrand, Derek Slap, James Sleeper, Jonny Steinberg, Bonnie Weir, Graeme Wood
* PLSC 027a, From Protest to Power: Social Movements in Comparative Perspective Leanna Barlow
This course seeks to provide students with a general understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of the social movement as a form of collective action. Social movements, at heart, aim to bring about political, economic, or cultural change. From the American Civil Rights Movement to the formation of Transnational Advocacy Networks, social movements have shaped the contemporary political landscape in countries all over the world. This course draws on a range of historical and contemporary case studies to examine social movements in a comparative perspective. Key questions include: Why do movements occur, who participates, what strategies or tactics are used, how do institutions respond, and what is the impact of collective action? Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. SO
* PLSC 028a, American Constitutionalism: Power and its Limits Gordon Silverstein
What happens when a modern superpower tries to govern itself under an 18th Century Constitution? Using original documents, contemporaneous books, and U.S. Supreme Court cases, this course explores the debates that have defined America's struggle to live up to its sometimes conflicting commitments to liberty, equality and the consent of the governed. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. SO
* PLSC 030a, Law and the Limits of Freedom Alexander Rosas
This course evaluates the desired role of law in free and modern societies and dissects, more broadly, the relationship between law, the state, and the individual in such societies. Particularly, this course considers when, if ever, it is appropriate to use law to limit freedom in the name of equality, security, community, utility, and/or morality. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program. SO
PLSC 111b / GLBL 268b, Introduction to International Relations Jason Lyall
Survey of key debates and concepts in international relations. Exploration of historical and contemporary issues using Western and non-Western cases and evidence. Topics include the rise of states; causes, conduct, and outcomes of wars; the emergence of new actors and forms of conflict; and evolution of global economy. SO
PLSC 113a, Introduction to American Politics Greg Huber
Introduction to American national government. The Constitution, American political culture, civil rights, Congress, the executive, political parties, public opinion, interest groups, the media, social movements, and the policy-making process. SO
PLSC 114a, Introduction to Political Philosophy Hélène Landemore
Fundamental issues in contemporary politics investigated through reflection on classic texts in the history of political thought. Emphasis on topics linked to modern constitutional democracies, including executive power, representation, and political parties. Readings from Plato, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Madison and Hamilton, Lincoln, and Tocqueville, in addition to recent articles on contemporary issues. SO
PLSC 116a, Comparative Politics: States, Regimes, and Conflict David Simon
Introduction to the study of politics and political life in the world outside the United States. State formation and nationalism, the causes and consequences of democracy, the functioning of authoritarian regimes, social movements and collective action, and violence. SO
PLSC 118b, The Moral Foundations of Politics Ian Shapiro
An introduction to contemporary discussions about the foundations of political argument. Emphasis on the relations between political theory and policy debate (e.g., social welfare provision and affirmative action). Readings from Bentham, Mill, Marx, Burke, Rawls, Nozick, and others. SO
PLSC 121a / MMES 121a, International Security in the Middle East Nicholas Lotito
This course explores the multiple causes of insecurity in the Middle East and North Africa, a region of paramount geostrategic interest, whose populations have suffered from armed conflicts both within and across national borders. The first half of the course interrogates traditional security concepts like war, terrorism, and revolution, as well as the political, economic, and social contexts which give rise to these phenomena. The course then turns to foreign policy analysis in case studies of the region's major states. Previous coursework in international relations and/or Middle East politics or history recommended but not required. SO
PLSC 128a / GLBL 247a, Development Under Fire Jason Lyall
The recent emergence of foreign assistance as a tool of counterinsurgency and post-conflict reconciliation. Evaluation of the effects of aid in settings such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia, and the Philippines. Examination of both theory and practice of conducting development work in the shadow of violence. Strengths and weaknesses of different evaluation methods, including randomized control trials (RCTs) and survey experiments. SO
PLSC 130b / GLBL 260b, Nuclear Politics Alexandre Debs
The pursuit, use, and non-use of nuclear weapons from the Manhattan Project to the present. The effect of the international system, regional dynamics, alliance politics, and domestic politics in the decision to pursue or forgo nuclear weapons. The role of nuclear weapons in international relations, the history of the Cold War, and recent challenges in stemming nuclear proliferation. SO
* PLSC 135b / AFST 135b, Media and Conflict Graeme Wood
The theory and practice of reporting on international conflict and war, and its relation to political discourse in the United States and abroad. Materials include case studies of media coverage of war in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
* PLSC 137a or b / GLBL 274a or b, Terrorism Bonnie Weir
Theoretical and empirical literature used to examine a host of questions about terrorism. The definition(s) of terrorism, the application of the term to individuals and groups, the historical use and potential causes of terrorism, suicide and so-called religious terrorism, dynamics within groups that use terrorism, and counterterrorism strategies and tactics. Theoretical readings supplemented by case studies. SO
* PLSC 138a / MGRK 236a / SOCY 221a, The Euro Crisis Paris Aslanidis
Examination of how Europe continues to struggle with repercussions of the Great Recession and the impact of the Eurozone crisis in countries such as Portugal, Ireland, Spain, and, especially, Greece. Topics include the euro as a viable common currency; why and how the Eurozone crisis erupted and spread; and whether this catastrophe could have been averted. SO
* PLSC 141a / GLBL 279a, Global Governance Yuriy Sergeyev
Examination of global policy problems, the acceleration of interdependence, and the role, potential, and limits of the institutions of global governance to articulate collective interests and to work out cooperative problem solving arrangements. Consideration of gaps in global governance and controversies between globalization and state sovereignty, universality, and tradition. SO
PLSC 146b / EVST 245b / F&ES 245b, Global Environmental Governance Benjamin Cashore
The development of international environmental policy and the functioning of global environmental governance. Critical evaluation of theoretical claims in the literature and the reasoning of policy makers. Introduction of analytical and theoretical tools used to assess environmental problems. Case studies emphasize climate, forestry, and fisheries. SO
PLSC 148b / HMRT 100b, Theories, Practices, and Politics of Human Rights Thania Sanchez
Introduction to core human-rights issues, ideas, practices, and controversies. The concept of human rights as a philosophical construct, a legal instrument, a political tool, an approach to economic and equity issues, a social agenda, and an international locus of contestation and legitimation. Required for students in the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights. SO
PLSC 149a / EVST 292a / GLBL 217a, Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century Daniel Esty
Sustainability as a guiding concept for addressing twenty-first century tensions between economic, environmental, and social progress. Using a cross-disciplinary set of materials from the “sustainability canon,” students explore the interlocking challenges of providing abundant energy, reducing pollution, addressing climate change, conserving natural resources, and mitigating the other impacts of economic development. SO
* PLSC 152a / EP&E 245a, Global Firms and National Governments Joseph LaPalombara
Interactions between large-scale firms that make international investments and policy makers and government officials in the “host” countries. National and subnational officials who work to attract investments (or not) and who set policies regulating global firms and their investments. Focus on less-developed countries. Theories as to why firms “globalize”; case studies of controversies created by overseas corporate investments; the changing economic landscape associated with investments by countries such as China, Brazil, and India. SO
* PLSC 157b / HIST 333Jb / PLSC 672, The Persian Gulf and the Great Powers Jeffrey Macris
Since the dawn of the Age of Discovery, the world’s great powers have been drawn to the Persian (Arabian) Gulf region. This course explores how outside powers have used hard and soft power in the region in pursuit of their national interests, and the impact that this involvement has had on the region and its resident populations. Students write an original research paper, drawing upon the extensive holdings in the Yale University Libraries of published British and American archival documents on the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. HU, SO
* PLSC 161a / GLBL 344 / HIST 483Ja, Studies in Grand Strategy II Beverly Gage and Ian Johnson
The study of grand strategy, of how individuals and groups can accomplish large ends with limited means. During the fall term, students put into action the ideas studied in the spring term by applying concepts of grand strategy to present day issues. Admission is by application only; the cycle for the current year is closed. This course does not fulfill the history seminar requirement, but may count toward geographical distributional credit within the History major for any region studied, upon application to the director of undergraduate studies. Prerequisite: PLSC 321. Previous study courses in political science, history, global affairs, or subjects with broad interdisciplinary relevance encouraged. SO
PLSC 172a, Strategy, Technology, and War Paul Bracken
This course deals with the strategic management of technology and innovation in the highly dynamic national security space. As more new technologies (cyberwar, ASAT, drones, AI, quantum computing, hypersonic missiles, nuclear weapons) come into military postures a major technological arms race has come about. Strat Tech covers the new technologies; competitive strategies in Europe and Asia; and foreign investment in the US technology sector. Silicon Valley and the Pentagon, and global technology companies receive special focus. SO
PLSC 186a / GLBL 203a, Introduction to International Political Economy Didac Queralt
Examination of the political and institutional conditions that explain why some politicians and interest groups (e.g. lobbies, unions, voters, NGOs) prevail over others in crafting foreign policy. Consideration of traditional global economic exchange (trade, monetary policy and finance) as well as new topics in the international political economy (IPE), such as migration and environmental policy.
PLSC 346a / EP&E 231a / GLBL 180a, Game Theory and International Relations Alexandre Debs
Introduction to game theory and its applications in political science and economics, with a focus on international relations. Standard solution concepts in game theory; case studies from important episodes in the history of international relations, including World War II, the Cuban missile crisis, and the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Recommended preparation: introductory microeconomics. QR, SO
* PLSC 208b, The Unbelievable Campaigns of 2016, 2018, & 2020 In Context Mark Mellman
The course examines the campaigns of 2016 and 2018 from several perspectives. We examine just how important the campaigns themselves are and what they say about our country, its people, and its politics, while also viewing these events through the eyes of campaign strategists. Finally, we use that background to speculate on the contours of the 2020 election. SO
* PLSC 212a / EP&E 390a / EVST 212a, Democracy and Sustainability Michael Fotos
Democracy, liberty, and the sustainable use of natural resources. Concepts include institutional analysis, democratic consent, property rights, market failure, and common pool resources. Topics of policy substance are related to human use of the environment and to U.S. and global political institutions. WR, SO
PLSC 214b, The Politics of American Public Policy Jacob Hacker
Public policy in the United States and the methodological and theoretical tools used to study the forces that shape it. Economic and political science perspectives on the policy process and contemporary American governance. Domestic policy issues such as health care, economic inequality, job insecurity, the federal debt, environmental protection, criminal justice, financial regulation, and primary and higher education. SO
PLSC 215b / EVST 255b / F&ES 255b, Global Food Challenges: Environmental Politics and Law John Wargo
Exploration of the politics, policy, and law associated with attempts to manage environmental quality and natural resources. Themes of democracy, liberty, power, property, equality, causation, and risk. Case histories include air quality, water quality and quantity, pesticides and toxic substances, land use, agriculture and food, parks and protected areas, and energy. SO
* PLSC 217a, U.S. National Elections David Mayhew
A study of presidential and congressional elections with an emphasis on history and trends. Topics include party ideologies, participation, economic conditions, incumbency advantage, districting, midterm voter balancing, the Electoral College, and political geography. SO
PLSC 218b / ECON 275b, Public Economics Staff
The role of government in the economy and in our economic lives. Reasons for government intervention in the market economy and the impact of government expenditure programs and taxation systems on welfare and behavior. Tools of microeconomics applied to issues such as government response to global warming, the impact of redistribution and social insurance on individual behavior, school choice, social security vs. private retirement savings accounts, and government vs. private health insurance. After introductory microeconomics. SO
* PLSC 219b / EP&E 497b / EVST 247b, Politics of the Environment Peter Swenson
Historical and contemporary politics aimed at regulating human behavior to limit damage to the environment. Goals, strategies, successes, and failures of movements, organizations, corporations, scientists, and politicians in conflicts over environmental policy. Focus on politics in the U.S., including the role of public opinion; attention to international regulatory efforts, especially with regard to climate change. SO
* PLSC 220a / WGSS 220a, Gender Politics Andrea Aldrich
Exploration of theoretical and empirical work in political science to study the relationship between gender and politics in the United States and around the world. Topics include women's representative in legislative and executive branch politics in democratic regimes; the impact of gender stereotypes on elections and public opinion; conditions that impact the supply and demand of candidates across genders; and the underrepresentation of women in political institutions. WR, SO
* PLSC 221b, American Extremism in Comparative Perspective Nicholas Lotito
This course interrogates the rise of violent extremism in the United States from a political science perspective. The course draws from research on terrorism and political violence to explain current trends in extremism. We compare made-in-America ideologies like white nationalism and the "alt-right" to extremist movements abroad, from the Red Army Faction to the Islamic State. SO
* PLSC 222b / AFAM 224b / AMST 240b, Athletes, Activism, Public Policy, and the Media Douglas Glanville
This course examines the current relationship between sports, athletes, and the power of communication when addressing issues of social relevance in the public and political domain. Through case studies, review of current events, and empirical evidence from direct experience, students learn to evaluate the patterns and strategies that athletes have employed to elevate socially significant topics. This course pulls from hot-button and often controversial moments in our current and political landscape, which impact uniquely throughout the kaleidoscope of identities that shape our world. SO
* PLSC 227b / EP&E 310b, Refugee Law and Policy Tally Kritzman-Amir
Controversies and challenges in U.S. and international refugee law and policy, with a focus on asylum law and practice in the United States. Emphasis on legal reasoning and analysis through close reading of statutes, regulations, and case law. Final project is a legal brief on behalf of a client. SO
* PLSC 228a / EP&E 306a, First Amendment and Ethics of Law Karen Goodrow
This course addresses the First Amendment and freedom of speech, focusing on the ethical implications of restrictions on free speech, as well as the exercise of free speech. Course topics and discussions include the “fighting words” doctrine, hate speech, true threats, content regulated speech, freedom of speech and the internet, and the so-called “right to be forgotten.” By the end of the course, students recognize the role free speech plays in society, including its negative and positive impacts on various segments of society. Students also have an understanding of the competing interests arising from the First Amendment’s right to free speech, and can analyze how these competing interests are weighed and measured in the United States as compared with other countries. SO
PLSC 233a, Constitutional Law Akhil Reed Amar
An introduction to the main themes of the American Constitution—popular sovereignty, separation of powers, federalism, and rights—and to basic techniques of constitutional interpretation. Special emphasis on the interplay of constitutional text, judicial doctrine, and constitutional decision making outside the judiciary. SO
* PLSC 235a, Political Journalism and Public Policy Derek Slap
The effects of political journalism on American public policy from 1960 to the present. Focus on changes in the media during the past few decades. The Dewey-Lippmann debate on the role journalism should play in politics, marketing in the 1968 presidential campaign, broadcast news and audience fragmentation in the 1970s, media dysfunction and the Clinton and Obama health care initiatives, the Internet, hyperpartisanship, media bias, and recent gun control initiatives. SO
* PLSC 236b, Presidential Campaigns and the Media Walter Shapiro
The intersection of two institutions in the midst of major transformations—the political campaign industry and the news business. Presidential campaign coverage during the last third of the twentieth century; the beleaguered economic structure of the news business in the twenty-first century; media coverage of the 2008 and 2012 presidential races, with emphasis on how campaigns adapted to the changed news landscape and to new ways of communicating with voters. SO
* PLSC 238a / EDST 238a, Policy, Politics and Learning on the Education Beat Jane Karr
Exploration of the national conversation around education issues, and how to write smartly about them. Classes delve into top stories of the last few years—diversity and desegregation, school choice and culture wars—and their impact on policy. Students learn to develop strong, marketable ideas while crafting features aimed at publication. Journalists on the K-12 beat are frequent guests. SO
* PLSC 241a / SOCY 365a, The Making of Political News Matthew Mahler
The processes through which political news gets made. How the form and content of political news are shaped in and through the ongoing relationships between political operatives and journalists; ways in which these actors attempt to structure and restructure such relationships to their benefit. SO
* PLSC 244a / EP&E 324a, Journalism, Liberalism, Democracy James Sleeper
The news media's role in configuring the democratic public sphere, from the early synergy of print capitalism and liberalism through the corporate consolidation of mass media and the recent fragmentation and fluidity of "news." Classical-humanist and civic-republican responses to these trends. SO
* PLSC 251a / AMST 469a / EP&E 396a, American Progressivism and Its Critics Stephen Skowronek
The progressive reform tradition in American politics. The tradition's conceptual underpinnings, social supports, practical manifestations in policy and in new governmental arrangements, and conservative critics. Emphasis on the origins of progressivism in the early decades of the twentieth century, with attention to latter-day manifestations and to changes in the progressive impulse over time. SO
* PLSC 253a or b / ENGL 467a or b, Journalism Staff
Examination of the practices, methods, and impact of journalism, with focus on reporting and writing; consideration of how others have done it, what works, and what doesn’t. Students learn how to improve story drafts, follow best practices in journalism, improve methods for obtaining, skeptically evaluating, and assessing information, as well as writing a story for others to read. The core course for Yale Journalism Scholars. No prerequisites. WR
PLSC 254b, Political Parties in the American System John Henderson
The evolution of American political parties and the role of parties and partisanship in contemporary government and elections. Empirical and theoretical accounts of parties, including divided government, parties in Congress, realignment, responsible party government, party identification, and ideology. Elite-led polarization, decline and resurgence of strong parties, and the antiparty constitutional tradition. SO
* PLSC 256b / EP&E 248b, American Political Institutions Michael Fotos
The origins and development of American political institutions, especially in relation to how institutions shape the policy process. Issues of temporality, policy feedback, and policy substance. WR, SO
PLSC 257b, Bioethics and Law Stephen Latham
The treatment by American law of major issues in contemporary biomedical ethics: informed consent, assisted reproduction, abortion, end-of-life care, research on human subjects, stem cell research, and public health law. Readings include legal cases, statutes, and regulations. No background in law assumed. SO
* PLSC 260a / EP&E 304a, Ethics, Politics, and Economics in Today's World Frances Rosenbluth
This seminar is designed as a venue for integrating EP&E studies into an intellectually coherent approach to some of the world’s greatest challenges. As with the major itself, the seminar is deliberately inter-disciplinary in order to give students the opportunity to put together for themselves, as world citizens and future leaders, a broad platform of usable knowledge.
PLSC 262b / AMST 209b / ER&M 223b, Race, Politics, and the Law Daniel HoSang
Examination of how race—as a mode of domination and resistance—has developed and transformed in the United States since the early-twentieth-century. How political actors and social movements engage the law to shape visions of freedom, democracy, and political life. Consideration of critical race theory, political discourse analysis, intersectionality and women of color feminism, and American political development. SO
* PLSC 266b, The Press and the Presidency Rebecca Sinderbrand
Press coverage of the presidency in recent history and contemporary times. Focus on the choices facing journalists covering the presidency, and the impact of presidential press coverage on American and world politics. SO
* PLSC 272b, Social Media and Politics Adam Thal
Examination of how social media is shaping politics. Topics include the role of social media in elections, polarization, protest movements, racial and ethnic tension, and government censorship. We also consider whether or not the government should do more to regulate social media. SO
* PLSC 274a, Cities: Making Public Choices in New Haven John DeStefano
Examination of cities, particularly the relationship of people to place and most importantly to one another, through the prism and experiences of the City of New Haven. Exploration of how concepts of social capital and legitimacy of institutions in policy design and execution, are key to the well being of community residents. How cities, in the context of retreating or antagonistic strategies by the state and federal governments, can be key platforms for future economic and social wealth creation. SO
* PLSC 276b / SOCY 238b, Wrongful Convictions in Law and Politics Nilakshi Parndigamage
This course will examine the problem of wrongful convictions and the various political and social factors that result in innocent people being convicted of serious crimes. Topics include eye-witness misidentifications, unreliable forensic science, false confessions, jailhouse informants, prosecutorial and law enforcement misconduct, race and gender, criminal justice reform, and varied approaches to wrongful convictions across the world. SO
* PLSC 278b, Politics and the Supreme Court Kelly Rader
The role of the U.S. Supreme Court in the American political system. Ways in which the political preferences of Congress, the President, and the American public shape, constrain, or compel the Court's decision making. Supreme Court justices as political actors who issue decisions that make policy. SO
* PLSC 286a, The Tasks of Political Philosophy, Postwar Interpretations Lucas Entel
A close discussion of some of the twentieth century's most prominent interpretations of what (political) philosophy is, and what it should be. Readings by Karl Popper, Isaiah Berlin, Hannah Arendt, Leo Strauss, and Jürgen Habermas. Prerequisites: At least two previous courses in political philosophy, or instructor's permission. HU
* PLSC 287a / EP&E 411a, Democracy and Distribution Ian Shapiro
An examination of relations between democracy and the distribution of income and wealth. Focus on ways in which different classes and coalitions affect, and are affected by, democratic distributive politics. Open to juniors and seniors. SO
* PLSC 288a / CLCV 288a / EP&E 322a / PHIL 288a, Advanced Topics in Ancient Political Thought: Plato, Aristotle, Cicero Daniela Cammack
An opportunity to read, or to re-read, the most significant political statements of three foundational figures in Western political thought, paying attention to both historical context and philosophical argument. Particular focus on the relationships between a) the just (to dikaion) and the advantageous (to sympheron) and b) the honourable (honesta) and the useful (utilis). Some experience of political theory or intellectual history is expected. HU, SO
PLSC 290a / SOCY 151a, Foundations of Modern Social Theory Emily Erikson
Major works of social thought from the beginning of the modern era through the 190s. Attention to social and intellectual concepts, conceptual frameworks and methods, and contributions to contemporary social analysis. Writers include W.E.B. Du Bois, Simone De Beauvoir, Adam Smith, Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Karl Marx. SO
* PLSC 291b / PHIL 464b, Justice, Taxes, and Global Financial Integrity Thomas Pogge
Study of the formulation, interpretation, and enforcement of national and international tax rules from the perspective of national and global economic justice. Previous courses in one or two of the following: law, economics, political science, or political philosophy. HU
* PLSC 294a / PLSC 628a, Theories of Political Action Karuna Mantena
The course examines 20th century theories of political action, focusing on Marxist, existentialist, progressive, anarchist, and anticolonial thinkers and activists. We look at how they wrestled with the legitimacy and efficacy of new forms of mass political action, such as the boycott, the general strike, as well as revolutionary violence. We cover debates on the use of violence and nonviolence as a technique of popular protest and collective mobilization. Thinkers to be considered include: Lenin, Sorel, Weber, Niebuhr, Gandhi, Camus, Fanon, King, Arendt. Prerequisite: Prior coursework in political theory. SO
* PLSC 297a / EP&E 312a, Moral Choices in Politics Boris Kapustin
A study of how and why people make costly moral choices in politics. Figures studied include Thomas More, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Václav Havel, and Aung San Suu Kyi. SO
* PLSC 300a / HUMS 268a / RLST 274a, Analyzing Antisemitism Adam Stern
Analysis of the “longest hatred" from a historical as well as theoretical point of view; and the development of antisemitism and key manifestations from the ancient world to the present moment. Topics include how hatred of Jews relates to other forms of bigotry and prejudice; how antisemitism mutates in different times and places; antisemitism before the modern period; why antisemitism exists in countries that have no Jews; why antisemitism is once again on the rise around the world and how it can be combated.
* PLSC 301a / EP&E 280a, Ancient Greek Political Development Daniela Cammack
Varieties of political experience in the ancient Greek world during the archaic, classical, and hellenistic periods. Attention to different regime types, places, political forms, institutions, and persons. SO
* PLSC 304b / EP&E 325b, Business Ethics and Law Robin Landis
This seminar is intended to provide frameworks for the analysis of ethical issues that may arise in the context of business decisions, including such aspects as the role of ethics, competing values and interests, and tools for making principled decisions. The course also covers, as appropriate, some aspects of law as they relate to business ethics. Previous courses in philosophy and ethics may be helpful. SO
* PLSC 305b / EP&E 353b, Critique of Political Violence Boris Kapustin
Methods of conceptualizing political violence that are prevalent in contemporary political philosophical discourse. Use of theoretical-analytical tools to examine the modes violence assumes and the functions it performs in modern political life as well as the meanings and possibilities of nonviolence in politics. SO
* PLSC 309a / GMAN 314a / PHIL 472a, Contemporary Critical Theory Seyla Benhabib
Frankfurt School and Critical Theory focuses on a number of unresolved questions such as pragmatic Kantianism; modernity and post-colonial theory; the idea of progress in critical theory; and judgment as amoral, political, aesthetic. Readings from: Habermas, McCarthy, Baynes, Honneth, A. Allen, Ferrara, and Zerilli. Prerequisite: Directed Studies or two or more advanced courses in modern political philosophy. SO
* PLSC 310b, 20th-Century Interpretations of Plato Lucas Entel
In depth study of twentieth-century interpretations of Plato by foremost thinkers for whom Plato was not only the founder of the Western philosophic tradition but also the basis of their own thought. Particular emphasis on the relation between philosophy, language, and politics. Readings include Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Karl Jaspers, Hans-Georg Gadamer, and Leo Strauss. At least two previous courses in political philosophy, as well as some working knowledge of Plato, are recommended. HU
* PLSC 313a / EP&E 380a, Bioethics, Politics, and Economics Stephen Latham
Ethical, political, and economic aspects of a number of contemporary issues in biomedical ethics. Topics include abortion, assisted reproduction, end-of-life care, research on human subjects, and stem cell research. SO
PLSC 317a / EP&E 315a, Constitutionalism Giulia Oskian
An introduction to the political philosophy of constitutionalism combined with a trans-historical and comparative study of constitution-making processes including the US, France, Mexico, Germany, Italy, and India.
PLSC 318a, Lincoln's Statecraft and Rhetoric Steven Smith
Close reading of major speeches and letters by Abraham Lincoln, with a focus on his views concerning slavery, equality, and race in American society. The relation of words to deeds in Lincoln's practice of statecraft; his place in the history and theory of statesmanship. The emergence of Lincoln's thought from an engagement with views of the American founders; ways in which his vision of American democracy both drew upon and transformed the founders' vision. SO
* PLSC 320b / EP&E 421b, Ethics, Law, and Current Issues Karen Goodrow
Examination of how freedom of speech and bias influence the criminal justice system, focusing on wrongful convictions and administration of the death penalty. Understanding the role of potential bias at various levels and the competing interests of protecting speech, due process, and the innocent. Topics include limitations on speech, practical effects of speech, the efficacy of the death penalty, actual innocence, gender/race/economic bias and its effects on the justice system, as well as best practices for improving our sense of justice.
* PLSC 321b / GLBL 342b / HIST 482Jb, Studies in Grand Strategy I Beverly Gage, Bryan Garsten, and Ian Johnson
The study of grand strategy, of how individuals and groups can accomplish large ends with limited means. The spring term focuses on key moments in history that illustrate strategic thinking in action. During the summer, students undertake research projects or internships analyzing strategic problems or aspects of strategy. The following fall, students put their ideas into action by applying concepts of grand strategy to present day issues. Admission is by application only; the cycle for the current year is closed. This course does not fulfill the history seminar requirement, but may count toward geographical distributional credit within the History major for any region studied, upon application to the director of undergraduate studies. Previous study courses in political science, history, global affairs, or subjects with broad interdisciplinary relevance encouraged. HU, SO
* PLSC 324a / AFST 324a / EP&E 317a / HIST 368Ja, Nelson Mandela Jonathan Steinberg
A study of Nelson Mandela’s life and career and the political and philosophical questions his career engages. Students examine his ideas on race and on the colonial experience and compare them to those of Mohandas Gandhi and Franz Fanon. Students also read recent philosophical work on forgiveness in order to critically assess Mandela’s politics of reconciliation. Examination of Mandela as a global celebrity, as well as the political career of Winnie Mandela.
* PLSC 327b, Advanced Topics in Modern Political Philosophy Giulia Oskian
Advanced survey of modern political philosophy. Focus on democracy and inequality from Rousseau to Marx. The identity of the modern representative republic, the nature of capitalism or commercial society, and the relation between the two. Close analysis of the writings of Rousseau, Smith, and Marx. Prerequisite: substantial course work in intellectual history and/or political theory. HU, SO
PLSC 330b, Democracy Ancient and Modern Daniela Cammack
Dêmokratia, democratia, democracy. What did this term mean to the ancient Greeks who coined it, to the Romans who borrowed it, to the early modern Europeans who discussed it—and what does it mean today? Who or what was the original dêmos, how did it rule, and how different is the interpretation of “rule by the people” that now predominates? Starting with the first attestations of da-mo in the 12th century BCE and ending with Iceland’s recent attempt to crowdsource its constitution, this course offers a chronological exploration of the idea and practice of democracy intended to broaden our imaginative horizons with respect to what democracy has been, is, and could become. HU, SO
* PLSC 332b / EP&E 299b, Philosophy of Science for the Study of Politics Hélène Landemore
An examination of the philosophy of science from the perspective of the study of politics. Particular attention to the ways in which assumptions about science influence models of political behavior, the methods adopted to study that behavior, and the relations between science and democracy. Readings include works by both classic and contemporary authors. SO
* PLSC 334b / HIST 420Jb / HUMS 237b, Liberalism Mordechai Levy-Eichel
What is liberalism? And why do arguments about it stand at the epicenter of our political life? Is it a political idea (and what are ideas in politics, anyways?), or is it a philosophy that tries to carve out a space apart from high politics—and is that even possible? Is it about rights, or about equality? Is it about freedom and liberty, or laws and regulations? (And why are these dichotomies anyways)? Is it ancient? Is it modern? Can we even define what liberalism means, or does the attempt to do so in some way even miss the point? This class is a historical, philosophical, and political examination of one of the most important and contested ideas in the modern world. We read both critics and advocates of liberalism. We also examine it historically, sociologically, and comparatively, in order to gain a better sense of what it means in practice, and how that differs from the theories of both some of it’s most strong supporters and defenders, and critics. Special attention is paid to the development of the ethos and examples of liberalism. This course is also be a meditation on how to study politics and political theory. What does liberalism mean, and how should we examine it? Where did it come from, and how has it changed over time? SO
* PLSC 336b / HUMS 413b, Interpretations: Montaigne Steven Smith and Giulia Oskian
This course offers a close reading of the Essays by Michel de Montaigne (1533-92). The Essays are commonly considered a classic text of European early modernity. Some (but by no means all) of the topics engaged in the Essays include autobiography and the discovery of the self, freedom of thought and toleration, individualism, the role of nature and the body, custom and the limits of rationality, otherness and diversity, experience, and moderation. An important theme is the politics of the Essays. The course includes some brief selections from readers of Montaigne who have tried to bring him into conversation of their times including Emerson, Jean Starobinski, Judith Shklar, Tzevtan Toderov, and Alexander Nehamas. HU, SO
* PLSC 337b, Democracy and Truth Lucas Entel
A close reading of historical and contemporary debates on the relation between democracy and truth. Topics include deliberation, public reason, judgment, and post-truth. Two previous political theory courses recommended. HU, SO
Analytical Political Theory
PLSC 326a / PHIL 474a, Borders, Culture, and Citizenship Seyla Benhabib
The contemporary refugee crisis in Europe and elsewhere; new patterns of migration; increasing demands for multicultural rights of Muslim minorities in the West; and transnational effects of globalization faced by modern societies. Examination of these issues in a multidisciplinary perspective in light of political theories of citizenship and migration, as well as laws concerning refugees and migrants in Europe and the United States. SO
PLSC 342a / EP&E 220a, Strategic Models of Politics Milan Svolik
Introduction to formal political theory including application of rational choice and game theoretic analysis. Key topics and findings include: why voters vote in elections; how candidates choose platforms; why common resources tend to be overexploited; whether the state is needed for public good provision; how electoral systems shape politicians' and voters' behavior; whether voters can hold politicians accountable for their performance in office; how constitutions affect politicians' incentives to compromise; and why countries fight wars. SO
* PLSC 343b / ECON 473b / EP&E 227b, Equality John Roemer
Egalitarian theories of justice and their critics. Readings in philosophy are paired with analytic methods from economics. Topics include Rawlsian justice, utilitarianism, the veil of ignorance, Dworkin's resource egalitarianism, Roemer's equality of opportunity, Marxian exploitation, and Nozickian procedural justice. Some discussion of American economic inequality, Nordic social democracy, and the politics of inequality. Recommended preparation: intermediate microeconomics. SO
PLSC 344b / EP&E 295b, Game Theory and Political Science Christian Salas
Introduction to game theory—a method by which strategic interactions among individuals and groups in society are mathematically modeled—and its applications to political science. Concepts employed by game theorists, such as Nash equilibrium, subgame perfect equilibrium, and perfect Bayesian equilibrium. Problems of cooperation, time-consistency, signaling, and reputation formation. Political applications include candidate competition, policy making, political bargaining, and international conflict. No prerequisites other than high school algebra. Political Science majors who take this course may not count ECON 159 toward the major. QR, SO
* PLSC 345a, Introduction to Research Design Maria Jose Hierro
This course is specially recommended to students planning to write a one-term senior essay in political science. More generally, the course is addressed to students who want to learn how to do research in political science or other social sciences. Students learn how to pose a research question, how to conceptualize and operationalize problems, how to draw hypotheses from theories, and the best methodology for testing hypotheses. Students design their own research projects. SO
* PLSC 347b / S&DS 172b, YData: Data Science for Political Campaigns Joshua Kalla
Political campaigns have become increasingly data driven. Data science is used to inform where campaigns compete, which messages they use, how they deliver them, and among which voters. In this course, we explore how data science is being used to design winning campaigns. Students gain an understanding of what data is available to campaigns, how campaigns use this data to identify supporters, and the use of experiments in campaigns. This course provides students with an introduction to political campaigns, an introduction to data science tools necessary for studying politics, and opportunities to practice the data science skills presented in S&DS 123, YData.
Prerequisite: S&DS 123, which may be taken concurrently. ½ Course cr
* PLSC 352b / PLSC 523, Mixed Methods Research Elizabeth Nugent
This course is intended as an overview for creating and critiquing sophisticated research designs using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies and data. The course begins with fundamental definitions and assumptions underpinning mixed methods research, and then moves on to analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of specific combinations of quantitative tests, case studies, and narrative and interpretive work. Next, the course discusses the research design choices of two award-winning books using mixed methods research, and then evaluates the qualitative and quantitative data in isolation and in combination. The final assignment builds on the course material to produce a mixed method research design proposal. This course is ideal for upper level undergraduates who are interested in learning more about designing and carrying out mixed methods research in seminar papers, senior essays, and independent research projects. SO
* PLSC 354a / EP&E 250a, The European Union David Cameron
Origins and development of the European Community and Union over the past fifty years; ways in which the often-conflicting ambitions of its member states have shaped the EU; relations between member states and the EU's supranational institutions and politics; and economic, political, and geopolitical challenges. SO
PLSC 357a / EAST 310a / GLBL 309a, The Rise of China Daniel Mattingly
Analysis of contemporary Chinese politics, with focus on how the country has become a major power and how the regime has endured. Topics include China's recent history, state, ruling party, economy, censorship, elite politics, and foreign policy. SO
PLSC 359b / ECON 340b, Economics and Politics of Development Gerard Padro
This course coves recent scholarship on the political economy of development. It starts with the study of macro-historical facts and move on to micro issues, such as conflict and corruption. Prerequisite: Intermediate microeconomics and Econometrics (ECON 117 or equivalent).
* PLSC 363a / MMES 378a, Turkish Politics Aysen Candas
Issues in contemporary Turkish politics, particularly continuity and change in historical institutional legacies, with specific focus on internal contradictions between these legacies (Ottomanism, Kemalism, secular versus religious nationalism, and Islamism). Major issues include Turkey's "divided society" concerning the ends of state; secularism versus Islamism; top down reformism versus majoritarianism; and minority rights. SO
* PLSC 367a, Contemporary Spanish Politics Maria Jose Hierro
During the second part of 2017 and the first part of 2018, Spanish politics has been in turmoil. Today, a new central government is in power. What will be the consequences of this change in everyday Spanish politics? In this seminar, we consider contemporary problems in Spanish politics and we study these problems in comparative perspective. Topics include secession, transitional justice, corruption, terrorism, institutional crisis, and populism. SO
* PLSC 368b / PLSC 729b, Authoritarianism and Totalitarianism Aysen Candas
The aim of the course is to familiarize students with the political science literature on two political regime types called authoritarianism and totalitarianism. These regime types are most frequently studied with reference to their systematized negation of liberalism, freedoms, equality, and democracy. This background on literature is followed with readings on the current regimes in Turkey, Russia, Hungary, and Poland to determine the similarities and differences of these new regimes from their forerunners in history and ends with reflections on the new “populisms.” SO
PLSC 369b / CPSC 210b, Power, Security, and Surveillance: Political Challenges of the Computer Age Joan Feigenbaum and Steven Wilkinson
Twenty-first century societies are faced with both threats and opportunities that combine sophisticated computation with politics and international relations in critical ways. Examples include cyber warfare; cyber espionage; cyber crime; the role of social media in democratic self-governance, authoritarian control, and election "hacking"; cryptocurrencies; and mass surveillance. This course examines the political challenges wrought by massive increases in the power of computational and communication technologies and the potential for citizens and governments to harness those technologies to solve problems. It is co-taught by one faculty member in computer science and one in political science. No previous programming experience required. Meets with CPSC 310. Students may earn credit for CPSC 210/PLSC 369 or for CPSC 310; not for both. Prerequisite: Internet literacy. SO
* PLSC 373a / EDST 215a, Equity and Innovation in International Education Cassandra Walker Harvey
This course provides an introduction to the field of international education and a close look at how innovation can address some of the world’s most pressing education barriers. Through discussions, case studies, and guest speakers, students are exposed to how different education systems around the globe function; the roles and responsibilities different stakeholders play across these systems; and how innovation within existing systems and from outside groups can help overcome barriers to education. Topics include: research, policy, and practice of international education, including global standards of education, provision of education, and barriers to education; the field of social entrepreneurship and innovation, and how disruptive innovation can help or hinder education systems; what it means to provide a quality education system, who should provide it, and how we can achieve quality education for all children globally; and how to analyse, and develop innovative and system change solutions to education equity issues. Prerequisite: EDST 110 recommended. SO
* PLSC 374b / ECON 449b / EP&E 244b, The Economic Analysis of Conflict Gerard Padro
Introduction to the microeconomic analysis of internal conflict. In particular, how conflict imposes economic costs on the population and how people react to conflict. Topics include the correlates of war; the economic legacies of conflict on human capital, local institutions, households’ income, and firma performance; and the causes and impacts of forced displacement. Prerequisites: Intermediate microeconomics and econometrics. SO
* PLSC 375a / GLBL 215a / LAST 386a / MGRK 237a / SOCY 389a, Populism from Chavez to Trump Paris Aslanidis
Investigation of the nature of the populist phenomenon and its impact on politics, society, and the economy in various regions of the world. Conceptual and methodological analyses are supported by comparative assessments of various empirical instances, from populist politicians such as Hugo Chavez and Donald Trump, to populist social movements such as the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. SO
* PLSC 376b / ER&M 376b / MGRK 304b / SOCY 307b, Extreme and Radical Right Movements Paris Aslanidis
Extreme and radical right movements and political parties are a recurrent phenomenon found in most parts of the world. Discussion of their foundational values and the causes of their continuous, even increasing, support among citizens and voters. SO
* PLSC 377b / SAST 344b / WGSS 397b, Political Economy of Gender in South Asia Sarah Khan
This course focuses on the political and economic underpinnings and implications of gender inequality in South Asia. We draw on evidence from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India to guide our theoretical and empirical inquiry into the following broad questions: What is gender, and what approaches do social scientists use to study gender inequality? How does gender inequality manifest in different social, economic, and political spheres e.g. the household, the labor market, the electorate, the government? What are the cultural and structural drivers of gender inequality? How effective are different approaches to tackling gender inequality in South Asia? Previous course work in statistical data analysis is helpful, but not required. SO
PLSC 378b / AFAM 186b / LAST 214b / SOCY 170b, Contesting Injustice Elisabeth Wood
Exploration of why, when, and how people organize collectively to challenge political, social, and economic injustice. Cross-national comparison of the extent, causes, and consequences of inequality. Analysis of mobilizations for social justice in both U.S. and international settings. Intended primarily for freshmen and sophomores. SO
PLSC 381b / AFST 381b, Government and Politics in Africa Katharine Baldwin
The establishment and use of political power in selected countries of tropical Africa. The political role of ethnic and class cleavages, military coups, and the relation between politics and economic development. SO
PLSC 382b, Introduction to Latin American Politics Emily Sellars
Introduction to major theories of political and economic change in Latin America, and to the political and economic systems of particular countries. Questions include why the continent has been prone to unstable democratic rule, why countries in the region have adopted alternatively state-centered and market-centered economic models, and, with the most recent wave of democratization, what the remaining obstacles might be to attaining high-quality democracy. SO
* PLSC 385b / RSEE 385b / SOCY 349b, Contentious Politics and Political Mobilization in Post-Soviet Russia Andrei Semenov
This course aims at exploring and discussing the patterns and trends in collective actions in post-Soviet Russia; it also aims at unraveling the interplay between contention and regime dynamics. Students examine the ebbs and flows of mobilization, its cross-temporal and cross-regional specifics, and its impact on the political processes. Russian language proficiency not required. SO
* PLSC 389b / EAST 407b / GLBL 533b / PLSC 747b, The Political Economy of Reform in China Adam Liu
This class seeks to explain how politics and the evolution of political institutions help explain the patterns and outcomes of major economic reforms in a single-party authoritarian state. While the focus is on China, important themes in political economy are drawn and discussed. For upper-level undergraduates. SO
* PLSC 391b / EP&E 302b / GLBL 259b / HIST 469Jb, State Formation Didac Queralt
Study of the domestic and international determinants of functional states from antiquity to date. Analysis of state-formation in Europe in pre-modern and outside Europe from colonial times to date. Topics include centralization of power, capacity to tax, and contract enforcement. SO
* PLSC 393a, Comparative Constitutionalism and Legal Institutions Steven Calabresi
Introduction to the field of comparative constitutional law. Constitutional texts, materials, and cases drawn primarily from those constitutional democracies that are also members of the Group of Twenty Nations and that respect judicial independence. SO
* PLSC 394b / PLSC 703, The Political Economy of Authoritarianism Allison Hartnett
With the marked rise of authoritarianism worldwide, this course analyzes how the political relationships between individuals, institutions, and the economy affect (and are affected by) authoritarian rule. Students evaluate theoretical concepts from courses in democratization and the political economy of development in the context of persistent and rising authoritarian rule, including redistribution, political competition, and institutions. Students also have the opportunity to choose a country case in which to gain expertise during the course. Prerequisite: PLSC 116. SO
PLSC 396a / MMES 364a, Politics of the Contemporary Middle East Elizabeth Nugent
This course is an overview of contemporary politics of the Middle East, and is organized thematically and (more or less) chronologically. We examine prominent explanations for the democratic deficit in the Middle East, and challenge the notion that the region is completely devoid of competitive and meaningful politics. We also explore the ways in which a variety of factors—including foreign intervention, persistent authoritarianism, oil, and Islam, among others—has affected domestic politics. We consider different aspects of domestic politics, including redistribution, gender politics, and public opinion. We end the course by building on what we learned to make sense of the 2010-2011 'Arab Spring' uprisings, in an effort to understand whether these developments mark change or continuity. SO
* PLSC 398b / EP&E 253b, Comparative Political Economy Frances Rosenbluth
Introduction to issues in political economy across time and place. The field's diverse theoretical underpinnings and its place in the context of political science and of the social sciences more generally; theoretical perspectives such as materialism, institutionalism, and cognition/culture/beliefs; interactions between government and the economy in democratic and nondemocratic regimes and in developed and developing countries. Enrollment limited to senior Political Science majors. SO
* PLSC 399b / EP&E 257b / LAST 251b, Political Power and Inequality in Latin America Ana De La O
Overview and analysis of politics in Latin America. The emergence of democracy and the forces that led to the unprecedented increase in inequality in the twentieth century. Topics include institutional design, historical legacies, corruption, clientelism, and violence. SO
PLSC 400a / RSEE 400a, Legacies of Communism and Conflict in Europe Andrea Aldrich
This course examines the challenges of democratic transition and consolidation in Europe in an exciting way using contemporary and historical political research, documentary and dramatic film, a graphic non-fiction novel, and a field trip to MOMA in NYC (optional). Together we explore political themes like authoritarianism, state collapse, nationalism, ethnic conflict, transitional justice, and democratic development through the turbulent political history of Southeastern Europe, which provides a solid theoretical foundation for the understanding of past and current events around the world. SO
* PLSC 407b, Illiberal Democracy and the Media in Turkey and Beyond Staff
This course analyzes the contours of the trajectory of failed 'refolutions' (reform and revolution), using examples from both developed and developing countries discussing the populist surge and the commonalities one can find in countries as diverse as Turkey, Hungary, and India. It exposes the insidious destruction of press freedoms throughout the World. It concludes with a search on ways to counter these trends and restore the vitality of the expectations that the "Third Wave" of democratization and “refolutions” of 30 years ago in Eastern Europe raised. Such a task also necessitates a biopsy of the relations between information technology, citizenship, and democracy. SO
* PLSC 409a or b / GLBL 261a or b, Civil Conflict Bonnie Weir
Forms of civil conflict and political violence and theories about reasons for and implications of these types of violence. Natural and philosophical foundations of political violence; the potential roles of ethnicity, economic factors, territory, and political institutions and structures in the onset and dynamics of civil conflict; problems of conflict termination.
* PLSC 410b, Political Protests Maria Jose Hierro
The study of political protest, with discussion of theoretical approaches explaining the origin and decline of social movements and protest. Topics include the conditions under which individuals coordinate and start protest actions; what favors individual participation in protests; and when do protests succeed. SO
* PLSC 415a / EP&E 241a / SOCY 172a, Religion and Politics in the World Katharine Baldwin
A broad overview of the relationship between religion and politics around the world, especially Christianity and Islam. Religions are considered to constitute not just theologies but also sets of institutions, networks, interests, and sub-cultures. The course’s principal aim is to understand how religion affects politics as an empirical matter, rather than to explore moral dimensions of this relationship. SO
* PLSC 417b / EAST 400b, Politics and Economics in Japan Scott Wilbur
Japan has undergone far-reaching political and economic transformations since the 1990s, from elections characterized by personalistic appeals to elections characterized by increasingly programmatic party competition, and from insulated markets to open markets. However, in the new context of prolonged low growth and structural developments, Japan continues to experience major political changes and face important political challenges. This seminar offers an introduction to current politics and economics in Japan. To begin, it puts politics and economics in Japan in a historical perspective. Then, it addresses a range of contemporary issues, including demographics, migration, and women’s role in society. SO
* PLSC 420a / ANTH 406a / EVST 424a, Rivers: Nature and Politics James Scott
The natural history of rivers and river systems and the politics surrounding the efforts of states to manage and engineer them. SO
* PLSC 423a / EP&E 243a / GLBL 336a / LAST 423a, Political Economy of Poverty Alleviation Ana De La O
Overview of classic and contemporary approaches to the question of why some countries have done better than others at reducing poverty. Emphasis on the role of politics. SO
PLSC 424b / AFAM 195b / SAST 440b, Gandhi, King, and the Politics of Nonviolence Karuna Mantena
A study of the theory and practice of nonviolent political action, as proposed and practiced by M. K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. The origins of nonviolence in Gandhian politics and the Indian independence movement; Gandhian influences on the Civil Rights movement; King’s development of nonviolent politics; the legacies and lessons for nonviolent politics today. SO
PLSC 437b / ER&M 206b / SOCY 223b, The Politics of Ethnic and National Identity Maria Jose Hierro
Introduction to the study of ethnic and national identity, their determinants and consequences in comparative perspective. SO
PLSC 439b / GLBL 263b, Challenges of Young Democracies Ana De La O
Challenges faced by young democracies, such as organizing free and fair elections, controlling government corruption, building an accountable system of governance, sustaining development, and curtailing conflict and violence. Factors that lead to the consolidation of democratic politics or to stagnation and a return to nondemocratic political systems. SO
* PLSC 448a / EP&E 496a, Business and Government after Communism Ian Shapiro
Reassessment of business's place in society—and its relations with government—in an era when alternatives to capitalism are moribund. Topics include the role of business in regime change, corruption and attempts to combat it, business and the provision of low income housing and social services, and privatization of such core functions of government as prisons, the military, and local public services. Prerequisites: three courses in political science. SO
* PLSC 469b / ANTH 389b / MMES 376b / NELC 385b / SOCY 359b, Politics of Culture in Iran Nahid Siamdoust
Examination of cultural production in post-revolutionary Iran (1979 to the present) through works of noteworthy cultural and sociopolitical content in cinema, music, and newspaper journalism. Consideration of the policies the new Islamic Republic has put in place in order to regulate the field of cultural production, and the strategies that cultural producers have devised to navigate the given constraints.
Statistical and Mathematical Methods
PLSC 452a / EP&E 203a / S&DS 102a, Introduction to Statistics: Political Science Jonathan Reuning-Scherer
Statistical analysis of politics, elections, and political psychology. Problems presented with reference to a wide array of examples: public opinion, campaign finance, racially motivated crime, and public policy. QR
PLSC 453a / EP&E 209a / S&DS 103a, Introduction to Statistics: Social Sciences Jonathan Reuning-Scherer
Descriptive and inferential statistics applied to analysis of data from the social sciences. Introduction of concepts and skills for understanding and conducting quantitative research. QR
* PLSC 454b / EVST 454b, Data Science for Politics and Policy Fredrik Sävje
Data plays an increasingly important role in policy making and politics. The ability to draw valid conclusions from quantitative information can tilt elections or be the difference between a successful or failed policy. This course teaches how to use tools from statistics, data science, and machine learning to solve problems and challenges faced in policy making and politics. Students learn how data can help people make campaign decisions, detect election fraud, predict election outcomes, and investigate if a policy had the intended effect. Students receive an introduction to statistical programming in R, supervised and unsupervised machine learning, and causal inference. QR, SO
* PLSC 471a and PLSC 472b, Individual Reading for Majors David Simon
Special reading courses may be established with individual members of the department. They must satisfy the following conditions: (1) a prospectus describing the nature of the program and the readings to be covered must be approved by both the instructor and the director of undergraduate studies; (2) the student must meet regularly with the instructor for an average of at least two hours per week; (3) the course must include a term essay, several short essays, or a final examination; (4) the topic and/or content must not be substantially encompassed by an existing undergraduate or graduate course. All coursework must be submitted no later than the last day of reading period.
* PLSC 474b, Directed Reading and Research for Junior Intensive Majors David Simon
For juniors preparing to write yearlong senior essays as intensive majors. The student acquires the methodological skills necessary in research, identifies a basic reading list pertinent to the research, and prepares a research design for the project. All coursework must be submitted no later than the last day of reading period.
* PLSC 480a or b, One-Term Senior Essay David Simon
For seniors writing the senior essay who do not wish, or are unable, to write the essay in a department seminar. Students must receive the prior agreement of a member of the department who will serve as the senior essay adviser, and must arrange to meet with that adviser on a regular basis throughout the term.
* PLSC 490a, The Senior Colloquium Albert Fang
Presentation and discussion of students' research proposals, with particular attention to choice of topic and research design. Each student frames the structure of the essay, chooses research methods, begins the research, and presents and discusses a draft of the introductory section of the essay. Enrollment limited to Political Science majors writing a yearlong senior essay.
* PLSC 491b, The Senior Essay David Simon
Each student writing a yearlong senior essay establishes a regular consultation schedule with a department member who, working from the prospectus prepared for PLSC 490, advises the student about preparation of the essay and changes to successive drafts. Enrollment limited to Political Science majors writing a yearlong senior essay.
* PLSC 493b, Senior Essay for Intensive Majors David Simon
Each student in the intensive major establishes a regular consultation schedule with a department member who, working from the prospectus prepared for PLSC 490, advises the student about preparation of the essay and changes to successive drafts, as well as reporting the student's progress until submission of the final essay. Enrollment limited to Political Science intensive majors.