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GOVT 1101 : FWS: Power and Politics
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This First-Year Writing Seminar is devoted to the study of political power and the interaction of citizens and governments and provides the opportunity to write extensively about these issues. Topics vary by semester.
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GOVT 1111 : Introduction to American Government and Politics
Crosslisted as: AMST 1115 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
A policy-centered approach to the study of government in the American experience.  Considers the American Founding and how it influenced the structure of government;  how national institutions operate in shaping law and public policy; who has a voice in American politics and why some are more influential than others; and how existing public policies themselves influence social, economic, and political power.  Students will gain an introductory knowledge of the founding principles and structure of American government, political institutions, political processes, political behavior, and public policy.
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GOVT 1313 : Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course will introduce students to comparative politics—the study of the political institutions, identities, and organized interests in countries around the world. Emphasis is on how to make meaningful comparisons between systems in different countries. Towards that goal, we will be looking at a dozen countries with different histories, political systems, and from various regions around the world.  We will also use a comparative framework to use our knowledge of these (and other) countries to examine questions about democracies and democratization, electoral systems and political parties, authoritarian regimes, political mobilization and change, economic development and globalization, nationalism and identity politics, among other topics.  The meta theme of this course is the comparative method as a unique way of leveraging our understanding about social and political phenomena.
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GOVT 1503 : Introduction to Africana Studies
Crosslisted as: AMST 1500, ASRC 1500 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course offers an introduction to the study of Africa, the U.S., the Caribbean and other diasporas.  This course will examine, through a range of disciplines, among them literature, history, politics, philosophy, the themes - including race/racism, the Middle Passage, sexuality, colonialism, and culture - that have dominated Africana Studies since its inception in the late-1960s. We will explore these issues in the attempt to understand how black lives have been shaped, in a historical sense; and, of course, the effects of these issues in the contemporary moment. This course seeks to introduce these themes, to investigate through one or more of the disciplines relevant to the question, and to provide a broad understanding of the themes so as to enable the kind of intellectual reflection critical to Africana Studies.
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GOVT 1623 : The World of Modern Japan
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 2222, CAPS 1622, HIST 1622 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
In 1868, samurai revolutionaries and their allies seized the reins of power and established a new capital they called Tokyo.  Against all odds, this fragile regime survived and made Tokyo a center of power that would transform both Japan and the world.  This survey of Japanese history explores the rise and fall of Japan as a modern imperial power; its foreign relations; its economic and scientific development from "feudalism" to futuristic technologies; and Japan's many modern revolutions, from the rule of the samurai to Westernization and democracy, from democratic collapse to fascism and World War II, and from Japan's postwar rebirth to the present.  We will examine not only big events but also everyday life, including gender and sexuality, family and schools, and art and popular culture.
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GOVT 1817 : Making Sense of World Politics
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
An introduction to the basic concepts and practice of international politics with an emphasis on learning critical thinking.  The course is divided into two parts. In the first half, we will learn about different explanations.  In the second half, we will apply these explanations to a set of international events.  
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GOVT 1901 : Discussions of Justice
Crosslisted as: PHIL 1901, SOC 1900, PHIL 1901, SOC 1900, PHIL 1901, SOC 1900, PHIL 1901, SOC 1900 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course will address questions of justice posed by current political controversies, for example, controversies over immigration, economic inequality, American nationalism, the government's role in healthcare and the environment, racial inequality, the political power of elites, populism, authoritarianism, globalization, and the proper use of America's global power. Brief readings in political philosophy and social science will be starting points for informal discussion and mutual learning among diverse perspectives.
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GOVT 1901 : Discussions of Justice
Crosslisted as: PHIL 1901, SOC 1900, PHIL 1901, SOC 1900, PHIL 1901, SOC 1900, PHIL 1901, SOC 1900 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course will address questions of justice posed by current political controversies, for example, controversies over immigration, economic inequality, American nationalism, the government's role in healthcare and the environment, racial inequality, the political power of elites, populism, authoritarianism, globalization, and the proper use of America's global power. Brief readings in political philosophy and social science will be starting points for informal discussion and mutual learning among diverse perspectives.
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GOVT 2041 : Electoral (mal)practice
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Factors ranging from the difficulty of registration and costs of voter ID, the purging of voter rolls, a bungled election featuring mis-marked butterfly ballots, concerns about foreign influence or even hacking, continued gerrymandering at the state and federal levels, and several recent Condorcet failures, lead many to question the integrity of U.S. electoral institutions and administration. How can flawed elections be detected and improved? What are the causes of declining perceptions of democracy in the U.S. and elsewhere? How does system support affect government stability and performance in a democracy? We address these questions using both U.S. state-level and cross-national evidence. Students learn how to read and conduct evidence-based social scientific research, and how to act as an effective research consultant. We touch on the emerging field of election forensics and its application to U.S. data and to recent disputes in Kenya, Armenia, and Turkey, among other high-profile cases.
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GOVT 2225 : Controversies About Inequality
Crosslisted as: AMST 2225, DSOC 2220, ILROB 2220, PAM 2220, PHIL 1950, SOC 2220 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
In recent years, poverty and inequality have become increasingly common topics of public debate, as academics, journalists, and politicians attempt to come to terms with growing income inequality, with the increasing visibility of inter-country differences in wealth and income, and with the persistence of racial, ethnic, and gender stratification. This course introduces students to ongoing social scientific debates about the sources and consequences of inequality, as well as the types of public policy that might appropriately be pursued to reduce (or increase) inequality. These topics will be addressed in related units, some of which include guest lectures by faculty from other universities (funded by the Center for the Study of Inequality). Each unit culminates with a highly spirited class discussion and debate.
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GOVT 2293 : Politics and Music
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Entertainment forms of political communication such as popular music are very often neglected in research of political communication, although popular music has a long and varied association with politics. It has provided the soundtrack to political protest and been the object of political censorship; politicians have courted pop stars and pop stars — like Bono of U2 — have acted as politicians. This class will therefore examine the various interaction between popular music and politics, and how popular music can contribute to our understanding of political thought and action, but also critically reflect upon the effects of popular music on people's political perceptions, attitudes and behavior.
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GOVT 2293 : Politics and Music
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Entertainment forms of political communication such as popular music are very often neglected in research of political communication, although popular music has a long and varied association with politics. It has provided the soundtrack to political protest and been the object of political censorship; politicians have courted pop stars and pop stars — like Bono of U2 — have acted as politicians. This class will therefore examine the various interaction between popular music and politics, and how popular music can contribute to our understanding of political thought and action, but also critically reflect upon the effects of popular music on people's political perceptions, attitudes and behavior.
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GOVT 2553 : Inside Europe
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course will cover current events in Europe as they unfold during the semester. Each week the two meetings will features a "topic" day in which students learn about a current issue of importance for Europe and a "analytical" day in which we see how social science tools and methods can help us better understand that issue. Faculty from across the university will be invited  to deepen students' understanding of elections, European Union actions and debates, refugee issues, security issues, and other relevant political and social events occurring in Europe. The course will respond flexibly to unforeseen events, teach students to become intelligent consumer of high quality news sources on Europe, expose students to different points of view on these issues, and introduce them to relevant social science theories and methods.  (CP)
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GOVT 2604 : Obama and the Meaning of Race
Crosslisted as: AMST 2504, ASRC 2504, SOC 2520 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The election of Barack Obama to the presidency has raised new questions in the American debate on race, politics, and social science. Has America entered a post-racial society in which racism and inequality are things of the past? Or does Obama's post-Black, race-neutral approach to governing signal the end of Black politics, race-based activism and prescriptive policy? In this course, students will use the Obama presidency to think, talk, and write about how race works in America. We'll examine the symbolism of Obama's personal narrative and biracialism to analyze his race-neutral campaigns and governing within the context of history, politics, and policies. We'll look at the public image of Michelle Obama, especially how she is gendered as Black radical and fashionista.
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GOVT 3012 : The Politics of Poverty in the U.S.
Crosslisted as: AMST 3012 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Poverty is a phenomenon of enduring importance with significant implications for democratic governance. This course explores contemporary poverty in America, with a particular emphasis on its political causes and consequences. What is the proper role of government in addressing poverty? Under what conditions are the poor able to gain power despite their relative lack of privilege? What is the relationship between race and poverty? How do notions of "culture" shape conceptualizations of the poor? We will tackle these questions by drawing on insights from seminal texts in political science and sociology, supplemented with journalistic accounts of poverty.
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GOVT 3032 : Politics of Public Policy in the U.S.
Crosslisted as: AMST 3033 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Public policies are political outcomes determined by processes that are complex, convoluted and often controversial. The aim of this course is to equip students with the conceptual tools necessary to understand these processes. We will begin with a review of popular approaches to studying policy and then move on to explore the various stages of policy development: agenda-setting, policy design, policy implementation, policy feedback and policy change. We will consider the roles played by both institutions (congress, the bureaucracy and interests groups) and everyday people. Finally, we will closely study several specific policy arenas (a few likely candidates include: education policy, health policy, social welfare policy and housing policy). As we engage all of these ideas, students will be consistently challenged to grapple with the paradoxes of policy making in a democratic polity and to envision pathways for substantive political change.  
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GOVT 3044 : China's Next Economy
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 3304, CAPS 3049 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course provides students with an analytical framework to understand China's ongoing economic transformation. The courses goals include: 1) to familiarize students with different perspectives on China's economic development and future prospects; 2) to provide a close working knowledge of the evolving current situation, with a focus on internal variation within China—telling different Chinese stories, not one "China story"—and particularly emphasizing urbanization and the goal of shifting from manufacturing and export-led to services and domestic-led economy; and 3) to give students hands-on experience using Chinese economic data in the context of a brief research note. Each week will connect to current events and debates, with students writing three blog posts over the course of the semester to bring academic research and social scientific analysis to bear upon policy-relevant questions and developments.
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GOVT 3082 : American Political Campaigns
Crosslisted as: AMST 3082 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course focuses on political campaigns, a central feature of American democracy. We will examine how they work and the conditions under which they affect citizens' decisions. The course looks at campaign strategies and attributes of candidates, as well as how and whether they affect key outcomes such as the decision to turn out, who to vote for, and whether to spend money and volunteer time helping favored candidates win.
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GOVT 3112 : Congress and the Legislative Process
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The course will be a lecture course on Congress, introducing them to the political science literature on the topic and the major research questions and approaches. We will examine the development of the institution, including formal theories for congressional organization as well as historically and politically oriented accounts of rule changes, committee power, and party influence. We will also look at the determinants of legislative productivity and gridlock, approaches to measuring and analyzing congressional behavior, the changing role of the electoral connection, and the causes and consequences of polarization.
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GOVT 3131 : The Nature, Functions, and Limits of Law
Crosslisted as: AMST 3131, LAW 4131 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
A general-education course to acquaint students with how our legal system pursues the goals of society. The course introduces students to various perspectives on the nature of law, what functions it ought to serve in society, and what it can and cannot accomplish. The course proceeds in the belief that such matters constitute a valuable and necessary part of a general education, not only for pre-law students but especially for students in other fields. Assigned readings comprise legal materials and also secondary sources on the legal process and the role of law in society. The classes include discussion and debate about current legal and social issues, including equality, safety, the environment, punishment, and autonomy.
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GOVT 3142 : Incarceration, Policy Response, and Self-Reflection
Crosslisted as: AMST 3142 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This class is intended to provoke some hard thinking about the relationship of committed "outsiders" and advocates of change to the experience of crime, punishment, and incarceration and to the men we meet at Auburn/Cayuga who have been in most instances long-confined to prison. We will read, think, talk and write about the incarceration experience and about policies that shape this experience. We will also think self-reflexively about the character of the 'outsider's' educational, political, and personal engagement.   What are the motivations and what are the goals of such engagement? What are the anticipated outcomes - personal, social, educational, political, and/or moral and perhaps spiritual? In an effort to delve deeply into these questions, we will read a broad selection of work on incarceration, itself, as well as on the experience of what has come to be termed service learning or civic engagement.
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GOVT 3161 : The American Presidency
Crosslisted as: AMST 3161 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course will explore and seek explanations for the performance of the 20-21st century presidency, focusing on its institutional and political development, recruitment process (nominations and elections), relationships to social groups, economic forces, and "political time."  We will also analyze the parameters of foreign & domestic policy making.
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GOVT 3281 : Constitutional Politics: The U.S. Supreme Court
Crosslisted as: AMST 3281, LAW 3281 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course investigates the United States Supreme Court and its role in politics and government. It traces the development of constitutional doctrine, the growth of the Court's institutional power, and the Court's interaction with Congress, the president, and society. Discussed are major constitutional law decisions, their political contexts, and the social and behavioral factors that affect judges, justices, and federal court jurisprudence.
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GOVT 3294 : Post-Truth Politics
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
GOVT 3303 : Politics of the Global North
Crosslisted as: ILRIC 4330 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
From a perspective based on comparative political economy, this course examines pressing contemporary issues such as the politics of growing inequality.  We consider conflicts around markets, democracy, economic and social justice, including the efforts of actors such as governments and labor unions aimed at economic recovery, reducing inequality, and the reform of national and global economic policy and institutions.  We also look at distinctive types of political and economic organization, especially in Europe and the United States, and the capacities of these societies to meet current economic, political, and social challenges, both domestic and international.
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GOVT 3333 : China-Africa Relations
Crosslisted as: ASRC 3330 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
GOVT 3353 : African Politics
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
GOVT 3353 : African Politics
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This is an introductory course on the politics of Sub-Saharan Africa.  The goal is to provide students with historical background and theoretical tools to understand present-day politics on the continent.  The first part of the course will survey African political history, touching on: pre-colonial political structures, colonial experiences and legacies, nationalism and independence movements, post-independence optimism and state-building, the authoritarian turn, economic crises, and recent political and economic liberalizations.  The second part of the course will examine some contemporary political and economic issues.  These include: the effects of political and social identities in Africa (ethnicity, social ties, class, citizenship); the politics of poverty, war, and dysfunction; Africa in the international system; and current attempts to strengthen democracy and rule of law on the continent.
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GOVT 3423 : The Trans-Sahara Anti-Terrorist Campaign: Chasing AQMI, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS in an African Desert
Crosslisted as: ASRC 3420, NES 3920 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Since the events of September 11, 2001, the war on terrorism has been the focus of US foreign policy in Africa. This focus has led to major adjustments in US priorities in Africa, including the pairing of diplomacy, defense, and development into new forms of cooperation and intervention. One of the framework for the new approach is the Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP) under which the US has associated ten African countries in its global fight against terrorism. The TSCTP is predicated on the idea that significant areas of Africa, peopled as they are by weak states, could become a safe haven for terrorist groups linked with al-Qaeda, the Salafists, and other radical Islamic groups including ISIL today. This course explores the operations of the TSCTP and points of friction between the US and the populations of the zone of implementation. We will place special emphasis on African suspicions of some key tenets of the war on terrorism and skepticism of the methods adopted in the war on terrorism. Key among these are the principle of securing the primary of counterterrorism and the necessary institutional frictions that arise when considering development and good governance.
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GOVT 3494 : Special Topics in Regional Development and Globalization
Crosslisted as: AMST 3854, CRP 3854 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course addresses pertinent issues relative to the subject of regional development and globalization. Topics vary each semester.
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GOVT 3606 : Fables of Capitalism
Crosslisted as: COML 3542, GERST 3610 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course examines the economic forces at work in defining and configuring the modern subject, from Adam Smith through Marx and Nietzsche, Simmel and Weber, up to the current neoliberal subject.  The course will investigate figures (as both tropes and subjects) of the human conceived according to three economic paradigms: exchange, debt, and interest. The course will focus on both literary and theoretical sources, including examinations of guiding metaphors (the invisible hand, Schuld as both debt and guilt); the intersection of religious and secular economies; pacts with the devil; economies of salvation/redemption; figures of money/value.
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GOVT 3633 : Politics and Culture
Crosslisted as: SOC 3480 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Focuses on currently salient themes of nationalism, multiculturalism, and democracy. It explores such questions as who is a citizen; what is a nation; what is a political institution; and how do bonds of solidarity form in modern civil society. Readings are drawn principally from sociology and where applicable from political science and history. Journalist accounts, films, and web site research supplement readings.
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GOVT 3636 : Introduction to Critical Theory
Crosslisted as: COML 3541, ENGL 3920, GERST 3620 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Shortly after the last election, The New Yorker published an article entitled "The Frankfurt School Knew Trump was Coming." This course examines what the Frankfurt School knew by introducing students to Critical Theory, beginning with its roots in the 19th century (i.e., Kant, Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche) and then focusing on its most prominent manifestation in the 20th century, the Frankfurt School (e.g., Kracauer, Adorno, Benjamin, Horkheimer, Marcuse), particularly in its engagement with politics, society, culture, and literature (e.g. Brecht, Kafka, and Beckett).  Established in 1920s at the Institute for Social Research, the assorted circle of scholars comprising the Frankfurt School played a pivotal role in the intellectual developments of post-war American and European social, political, and aesthetic theory: from analyses of authoritarianism and democracy to commentaries on the entertainment industry, high art, commodity fetishism, and mass society. This introduction to Critical Theory explores both the prescience of these diverse thinkers for today's world ("what they knew") as well as what they perhaps could not anticipate in the 21st century (e.g., developments in technology, economy, political orders), and thus how to critically address these changes today.
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GOVT 3705 : Political Theory and Cinema
Crosslisted as: COML 3300, GERST 3550, PMA 3490 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
An introduction (without prerequisites) to fundamental problems of current political theory, filmmaking, and film analysis, along with their interrelationship.  Particular emphasis on comparing and contrasting European and alternative cinema with Hollywood in terms of post-Marxist, psychoanalytic, postmodernist, and postcolonial types of interpretation.  Filmmakers/theorists might include: David Cronenberg, Michael Curtiz, Kathryn Bigelow, Gilles Deleuze, Rainer Fassbinder, John Ford, Jean-Luc Godard, Marleen Gorris, Werner Herzog, Alfred Hitchcock, Allen & Albert Hughes, Stanley Kubrick, Fredric Jameson, Chris Marker, Pier-Paolo Pasolini, Gillo Pontecorvo, Robert Ray, Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, Oliver Stone, George Romero, Steven Shaviro, Kidlat Tahimik, Maurizio Viano, Slavoj Zizek.  Although this is a lecture course, there will be ample time for class discussions.
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GOVT 3715 : Political Theories of Colonialism
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This seminar overviews political theories of colonialism and empire, and in doing so, allows us to pose questions about the constitutive elements of our modernity, such as slavery, racism, dependency, and dispossession. Throughout the semester, we will examine the relationship between former colonies and political and economic configurations (nationalism, internationalism, capitalism, socialism), as well as philosophical and epistemological questions about the relationship between the universal and the particular, and the imperatives of history-writing. The course material will give us an opportunity to conclude with questions about whether or not the process of decolonizing our world and our study of it is complete or an ongoing project.
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GOVT 3736 : Ancient Political Thought
Crosslisted as: CLASS 3676 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course explores Ancient Greek and Roman political theory. We study key texts of thinkers such as Sophocles, Aristophanes Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero, to learn about differing constitutional forms and the source and authority of law, and also about justice, equality, and power, politics and morality, and politics and religion. Through the writings of dramatists, historians, philosophers, and politicians, we explore fundamental questions of political thought in their historical context (5th century BCE - 5th century CE) and also with a view to their ongoing relevance for contemporary political life.  
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GOVT 3837 : The Cold War
Crosslisted as: HIST 3837 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
During more than four decades following the end of World War II international politics was dominated by a phenomenon known as the Cold War. This class examines the origins, course, and ultimate demise of this conflict that pitted the United States and NATO against the Soviet Union and its allies. It seeks to evaluate the competing explanations that political scientists and historians have put forward to explain the Cold War by drawing on the new evidence that has become available. The course considers political, economic, and strategic aspects of the Cold War, including the nuclear arms race, with particular focus on the link between domestic and foreign policy. The course emphasizes writing, and includes a final research paper for which students will use original archival materials. Please contact the instructor if you are interested in an optional extra-credit Russian-language section.
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GOVT 3867 : War: Causes and Conduct
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course surveys leading theories of the causes of interstate war-that is, large-scale organized violence between the armed forces of states. Why is war a recurring feature of international politics? Are democracies more peaceful than other types of states, and if so what explains this "democratic peace?" Why do democratic publics seem to reward threats to use force by "rallying around the flag" in support of their governments? Does the inexorable pattern of the rise and fall of nations lead to cycles of great power wars throughout history? These and other questions will be examined in our survey of theories of war at three levels of analysis: the individual and small groups, domestic politics, and the international system. Topics include (1) theoretical explanations for war; (2) evaluation of the evidence for the various explanations; (3) the impact of nuclear weapons on international politics; (4) ethics and warfare; (5) the uses and limitations of air power.
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GOVT 3990 : Puzzle Solving with Data
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
We introduce basic statistical reasoning with an emphasis on problems encountered in social science research. We explore the use of statistical tools to answer scientific research questions, and investigate the pitfalls associated with the misuse of statistics. By the end of the course students will be equipped to take more advanced statistics courses, and better prepared to evaluate quantitative claims made by social scientists and the media. Topics include: measurement and summary of data, exploratory data analysis, commonly-used probability distributions, statistical inference, basic linear regression and data visualization.
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GOVT 3999 : How Do You Know That?
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Does allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons reduce violent crime? Do affirmative action policies at law schools cause black students to fail the bar? Do micro-finance policies make the poor better off? Do the militaries of democracies fight better in the field than those of non-democracies? Does the death penalty save lives by deterring murders? Answering questions like these about the effects of public policy implies cause and effect knowledge: if we implement policy X, we will get effect Y. But on what evidence should answers to questions like these rest? How do you know the answer, and under what conditions can you? Providing robust answers to cause-and-effect questions in a (mostly) non-experimental field like political science is devilishly difficult. In this course, we will learn some of the pitfalls that make it so hard to evaluate evidence in the public policy realm, how to judge the quality of evidence cited in the media, and how to ask the right questions to get the best possible evidence. We'll do so by working through the evidence supporting "yes" or "no" answers to the questions listed above.
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GOVT 4000 : Major Seminar
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Major seminars in the Government department are small, advanced courses that cover an important theme or topic in contemporary politics in depth. Courses place particular emphasis on careful reading and classroom discussion, and students can expect to write a significant research paper. The enrollment limit is 15 students. These courses are open to all Cornell students, but preference in admissions is given to seniors over juniors, and to Government majors over other students.  Topics vary by semester and section.
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GOVT 4000 : Major Seminar
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Major seminars in the Government department are small, advanced courses that cover an important theme or topic in contemporary politics in depth. Courses place particular emphasis on careful reading and classroom discussion, and students can expect to write a significant research paper. The enrollment limit is 15 students. These courses are open to all Cornell students, but preference in admissions is given to seniors over juniors, and to Government majors over other students.  Topics vary by semester and section.
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GOVT 4019 : Introductory Probability and Applied Statistics
Crosslisted as: GOVT 6019 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The goal of this course is to introduce probability and statistics as fundamental building blocks for quantitative political analysis, with regression modeling as a focal application. We will begin with a brief survey of probability theory, types of measurements, and descriptive statistics. The bulk of the course then addresses inferential statistics, covering in detail sampling, methods for estimating unknown quantities, and methods for evaluating competing hypotheses. We will see how to formally assess estimators, and some basic principles that help to ensure optimality. Along the way, we will introduce the use of regression models to specify social scientific hypotheses, and employ our expanding repertoire of statistical concepts to understand and interpret estimates based on our data. Weekly lab exercises require students to deploy the methods both 'by hand' so they can grasp the basic mathematics, and by computer to meet the conceptual demands of non-trivial examples and prepare for independent research. Some time will be spent reviewing algebra, calculus, and elementary logic, as well as introducing computer statistical packages.
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GOVT 4021 : American Conservative Thought
Crosslisted as: AMST 4021 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
American conservative thought rests on assumptions that are strikingly different from those made by mainstream American liberals.  However, conservative thinkers are themselves committed to principles that are both quite varied and sometimes contradictory.  This course examines the assumptions upon which rest the libertarian, market/economic, and cultural/traditional strains of American conservatism and asks whether the tensions between them weaken or strengthen conservative thought as an alternative to mainstream liberalism.
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GOVT 4031 : Social Movements in American Politics: Then and Now
Crosslisted as: AMST 4031 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Social movements are collective efforts through which people at the margins of power unite to press their grievances on the state. It is difficult to name a major political reform that did not begin with a social movement. They are essential to the functioning of democracy.
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GOVT 4265 : Postcolonial Theory
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This seminar presents an overview of postcolonial thought. We will start by situating the emergence of postcolonial theory in the context of anti-imperialism and decolonization struggles during the early and mid-twentieth century. We will then read scholars of subaltern studies and orientalism in order to understand their approach to questions of agency and representation within a broader "cultural turn" in the literature. Finally, we will turn to contemporary debates in postcolonial studies about race, class, and settler colonialisms, with attendant conversations about anti-imperialist internationalist imaginaries and political economy. Possible readings include C.L.R James, Aimé Césaire, Amilcar Cabral, Edward Said, Ranajit Guha, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Gayatri Spivak, Lila Abu-Lughod, Ella Shohat, Vivek Chibber, and Steven Salaita.
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GOVT 4403 : War and the State in Comparative Perspective
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The goal of the course is to introduce students to the study of the nexus between violence and the creation of the modern state. It is intended to familiarize students with the role that war and other forms of violence have played in shaping the state in comparative perspective. Relying on the emergence of the modern state in Western Europe as a point of departure, the course studies the processes of state formation and state building in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.
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GOVT 4626 : Disobedience, Resistance, Refusal
Crosslisted as: AMST 4626, AMST 6627, PHIL 4427, PHIL 6427, SHUM 4627, SHUM 6627 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This seminar surveys contemporary political theories of disobedience and resistance. We will examine liberal, republican, and radical perspectives on the logic of political protest, its functions, justifications, and limits, as well as how transformations in law, economy, and technology are redefining dissent in the twenty-first century. Topics to be discussed will include the terms of political obligation, the relationship between law-breaking and law-making, conceptions of justice, resistance and popular sovereignty, the politics of civility, violence and self-defense, public space and privatization, the digitalization of protest, resistance in non-democratic regimes, as well as deviance and refusal as modes of dissent.
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GOVT 4745 : Humanitarian Affects
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4176, ANTHR 7176, FGSS 4876, FGSS 6876, GOVT 6745 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
GOVT 4807 : Social Studies of Space, Technologies and Borders
Crosslisted as: DSOC 4301, STS 4301 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
In this course we will discuss how society, culture and politics shape technological artifacts and the natural and built environment, such as bridges, roads, and landscapes in diverse cultural contexts. We will examine reasons for the rise in bordering mechanisms - ranging from walls, barriers to fences within cities as well as along national borders, in such countries such as Ireland, Korea, Germany, the US, and Israel. We will compare how such 'strategies of exclusion' impact local communities, transnational relations and social connectivity across such divides. We will also examine how the growth of gated communities has reconfigured urban spaces and given rise to new forms of spatial and social segregation.
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GOVT 4816 : Topographies of Power
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course examines the role of space and geography in shaping political projects, imaginaries, and subjectivities. We will approach the question of space from multiple scales (urban, national, transnational) and address topics such as the relationship between cities and mobility, circulation and sovereignty, territory and governance, anarchism and geography, land and inequality, infrastructure and resistance. The readings will bring political theory in conversation with political economy, architecture, geography and urban studies, including writings by Henri Lefebvre, David Harvey, Michel de Certeau, Doreen Massey, Michel Foucault, James Scott, Kristin Ross, Keller Easterling, Eyal Weizman. 
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GOVT 4949 : Honors Seminar: Thesis Clarification and Research
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This seminar creates a structured environment in which honors students will examine different  research approaches and methods and construct a research design for their own theses—a thesis proposal that probes a new or inadequately researched question of importance to the discipline of political science or political theory. Apart from being a thesis writing workshop, the honors research class serves as a capstone course giving an overview of the different topics and methods addressed by students of politics. Members of the class will do extensive reading in published work relevant to their topics, and write a critical summary of that literature. Each member of the class will present their research design and central question(s) to the class for constructive criticism. By the end of the class, each honors student will have written the first chapter of the thesis, including the statement of the question, literature review, key definitions, methodology, and identification of data source(s). They will be working closely with an individual faculty adviser, as well as interacting with the research class. Students are strongly encouraged to examine some past honors theses on reserve at Kroch library in order to get an idea of the standards a government thesis must meet.
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GOVT 4959 : Honors Thesis: Research and Writing
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
GOVT 4959 is the second semester of honors thesis research, limited to students who have completed GOVT 4949 - Honors Seminar: Thesis Clarification and Research. There is no formal class meeting. Instead, students will work on their own, with their advisers and other faculty they may consult. Following the plan developed in the fall semester, they will proceed to gather and analyze data or texts, turning in thesis chapters to the adviser on a regular schedule that the student and adviser develop.
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GOVT 4986 : Other Feminisms
Crosslisted as: GOVT 6986 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Other Feminisms is a survey of contemporary critical approaches to feminist theory today. it seeks to complicate the traditional depiction of feminist theory as "white," "transphobic," "Eurocentic"/western.  Canonical works of feminist theory such as Shulamith Firestone or Simone de Beauvoir are re-situated in relation to contemporaneous writing such as the Combahee River Collective's Black Feminist Statement as well as projected into the speculative fiction of Octavia Butler and Ursula Le Guin. "Other feminisms" will comprise experiments in genre as well as gender in Kathy Acker, Donna Haraway, Hélène Cixous, Rokeya Sakhawat Hossein ("Sultana's Dream"). We will explore the contributions of theories of intersectionality, object-oriented ontologies, disability studies, affect theory, transnational explorations of Islamic piety movements and Iranian trans and same sex communities to what Clare Hemmings calls "the political grammar of feminist theory."
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GOVT 4999 : Undergraduate Independent Study
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
One-on-one tutorial arranged by the student with a faculty member of his or her choosing. Open to government majors doing superior work, and it is the responsibility of the student to establish the research proposal and to find a faculty sponsor. Applicants for independent study must present a well-defined program of study that cannot be satisfied by pursuing courses in the regularly scheduled curriculum. No more than 4 credits of independent study may count toward fulfillment of the major. Students who elect to continue taking this course for more than one semester must select a new theme or subject each semester. Credit can be given only for work that results in a satisfactory amount of writing. Emphasis is on the capacity to subject a body of related readings to analysis and criticism. Keep in mind that independent study cannot be used to fulfill the seminar requirement. The application form for independent study must be completed at the beginning of the semester in which the course is being taken.
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GOVT 4999 : Undergraduate Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
One-on-one tutorial arranged by the student with a faculty member of his or her choosing. Open to government majors doing superior work, and it is the responsibility of the student to establish the research proposal and to find a faculty sponsor. Applicants for independent study must present a well-defined program of study that cannot be satisfied by pursuing courses in the regularly scheduled curriculum. No more than 4 credits of independent study may count toward fulfillment of the major. Students who elect to continue taking this course for more than one semester must select a new theme or subject each semester. Credit can be given only for work that results in a satisfactory amount of writing. Emphasis is on the capacity to subject a body of related readings to analysis and criticism. Keep in mind that independent study cannot be used to fulfill the seminar requirement. The application form for independent study must be completed at the beginning of the semester in which the course is being taken.
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GOVT 6011 : The American State
Crosslisted as: AMST 6011 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The American state is depicted by many scholars as small and unusual, and yet in many respects it has been at least as involved in American society and the economy as that of other nations. How is the work of governance carried out in the United States? What kinds of institutional arrangements are employed, and how have they developed? What are the consequences for governance? Answering these questions immerses us in the study of American political development to assess the evolution, character, and scope of the administrative state and of other arrangements-typically channeled through the private sector-through which the nation implements public policies. In the processes, the course grapples with analytical questions about processes of political change and considers a variety of theoretical approaches. Variants of "new institutionalism" will be highlighted, as well as reflections on the puzzles of American exceptionalism. The body of the course will investigate such topics as the development of public bureaucracy, the emergence of the civil service, and the evolution of the regulatory state and the welfare state. The course examines the late nineteenth century through the present, focusing primarily on the twentieth century.
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GOVT 6019 : Introduction to Probability and Applied Statistics
Crosslisted as: GOVT 4019 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The goal of this course is to introduce probability and statistics as fundamental building blocks for quantitative political analysis, with regression modeling as a focal application. We will begin with a brief survey of probability theory, types of measurements, and descriptive statistics. The bulk of the course then addresses inferential statistics, covering in detail sampling, methods for estimating unknown quantities, and methods for evaluating competing hypotheses. We will see how to formally assess estimators, and some basic principles that help to ensure optimality. Along the way, we will introduce the use of regression models to specify social scientific hypotheses, and employ our expanding repertoire of statistical concepts to understand and interpret estimates based on our data. Weekly lab exercises require students to deploy the methods both 'by hand' so they can grasp the basic mathematics, and by computer to meet the conceptual demands of non-trivial examples and prepare for independent research. Some time will be spent reviewing algebra, calculus, and elementary logic, as well as introducing computer statistical packages.
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GOVT 6022 : Racial and Ethnic Politics in the U.S.
Crosslisted as: ASRC 6022 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course examines racial and ethnic politics in the United States, highlighting its fundamental and constitutive role in shaping American politics more broadly. We will explore the political origins of the American racial order and the ways it has both persisted and changed over time. Focusing on participation, representation and resistance, we will emphasize the political agency of racialized groups while recognizing the power of institutions and policies in shaping their trajectory. This course should provide students with the knowledge and analytical tools necessary to better understand and more effectively study the complexities of race that loom large in a post-Ferguson, post-Obama America.  
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GOVT 6029 : Advanced Regression Analysis
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course builds upon 6019, covering in detail the interpretation and estimation of multivariate linear regression models. We derive the Ordinary Least Squares estimator and its characteristics using matrix algebra and determine the conditions under which it achieves statistical optimality. We then consider the circumstances in social scientific contexts which commonly lead to assumption violations, and the detection and implications of these problems. This leads to modified regression estimators that can offer limited forms of robustness in some of these cases. Finally, we briefly introduce likelihood-based techniques that incorporate assumptions about the distribution of the response variable, focusing on logistic regression for binary dependent variables. Students are expected to produce a research paper built around a quantitative analysis that is suitable for presentation at a professional conference. Some time will be spent reviewing matrix algebra, and discussing ways to implement computations using statistical software.
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GOVT 6031 : Field Seminar in American Politics
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The major issues, approaches, and institutions of American government and the various subfields of American politics are introduced. The focus is on both substantive information and theoretical analysis, plus identification of big questions that have animated the field.
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GOVT 6045 : Law and Literature
Crosslisted as: ENGL 3762, ENGL 6710, LAW 6710 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
What can lawyers and judges learn from the study of literature? This course explores the relevance of imaginative literature (novels, drama, poetry, and film) to questions of law and social justice from a range of perspectives. We will consider debates about how literature can help to humanize legal decision-making; how storytelling has helped to give voice to oppressed populations over history; how narratives of suffering cultivate popular support for human rights; the role played by storytelling in a trial; and how literature can shed light on the limits of law and public policy.
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GOVT 6053 : Comparative Method in International and Comparative Politics
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
An in-depth, graduate-level introduction to qualitative and comparative methods of political analysis, with special emphasis on the application of these methods in comparative and international politics. Through readings, discussions, and written assignments, students will explore strategies for concept formation, theory construction, and theory testing, using the craft and tools of comparative political analysis.
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GOVT 6067 : Field Seminar in International Relations
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
General survey of the literature and propositions of the international relations field. Criteria are developed for judging theoretical propositions and are applied to the major findings. Participants are expected to do extensive reading in the literature as well as research.
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GOVT 6075 : Field Seminar in Political Thought
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The seminar will explore readings in the history of political thought from Homer to the Twenty-first century.
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GOVT 6089 : Time Series Analysis
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course considers statistical techniques to analyze time series data. We will pay particular attention to common time series methods, assumptions, and examples from political and social science. The course will offer a general introduction to the topic and will cover more advanced topics, such as cointegration, error correction models, vector autoregression, fractional integration, and time-series cross-sectional analysis.
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GOVT 6109 : Field Methods
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
GOVT 6122 : Foundations of the Social Sciences
Crosslisted as: ECON 6910, PHIL 6422 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Social science research almost always combines empirical observation (data), the construction of concepts (language), and the logical analysis of the relations between observations and concepts (statistics).  This course examines the relations between these three dimensions as the analyst moves from one to the other both as practice and in the crafting of a formal summary of findings and argument. We will be particularly interested in the foundational assumptions that underpin the connections between empirical reality, language, and statistical analysis. While these foundational assumptions are often taken for granted by social scientists, they vary dramatically between social science disciplines.  The implicit contradiction between that variance and their doxic acceptance within disciplines will be a primary focus of the course.
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GOVT 6202 : Political Culture
Crosslisted as: AMST 6202, ANTHR 6102, HIST 6202, SOC 6200 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course will explore the relationship between popular belief, political action, and the institutional deployment of social power. The class will be roughly divided in three parts, opening with a discussion of how the material world influences the culture of a society. The middle section will connect culture to political ideology, including symbolism and the construction of group identity. The last part of the course will consider ways in which cultural symbols and ideology can be manipulated in order to legitimate government authority. We will then, coming full circle, trace how political regimes can influence the social practices from which culture originates.
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GOVT 6215 : Michel Foucault: Sovereignty to BioPolitics
Crosslisted as: ASRC 6212, ENGL 6912 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course will explore the ways in which Michel Foucault's oeuvre transitions from a concern with sovereignty to a preoccupation with biopolitics. Foucault's early work (one understands that there is no absolute Foucaultian division into "sovereignty" and "biopolitics"), such as "Madness and Civilization," attends to the structure, the construction and the force of the institution -- the birth of asylum, the prison, while his later career takes up the question of, for want of a better term, "political efficiency." That is, Foucault offers a critique of sovereignty insofar as sovereignty is inefficient (neither the sovereign nor sovereign power can be everywhere; certainly not everywhere it needs or wants to be; ubiquity is impossible, even/especially for a project such as sovereignty) while biopower is not. Biopower marks this recognition; in place of sovereignty biopower "devolves" to the individual subject the right, always an intensely political phenomenon, to make decisions about everyday decisions -- decisions about health, sexuality, "lifestyle." In tracing the foucaultian trajectory from sovereignty to biopower we will read the major foucaultian texts -- "Madness and Civilization," "Birth of the Prison," "History of Sexuality" as well as the various seminars where Foucault works out important issues.
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GOVT 6242 : Experiment and Survey Design
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course is designed to provide doctoral students in political science with an introduction to experiment and survey design. Students will discuss all major types of experiments (e.g. field, lab, survey, natural, and economics), methods for analyzing experimental data, and methods for designing questionnaires that appear in experiments. The goal will be to convey a rich appreciation for the possibilities that experimental research offers, as well as a thoughtful understanding of the shortcomings of this research method. In addition, students will gain valuable knowledge in questionnaire design that can be used not only in experiments but in all forms of research that involve surveys (such as focus groups, one-on-one interviews, etc.).  
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GOVT 6294 : Parties, Populism and Movements
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Political parties, populism, and social movements are all forms of political representation, but typically they are studied in isolation from one another.  This research seminar will explore the interrelationships between them—namely, how populism and social movements tend to emerge where partisan representation is weak or ineffectual, and how populism and social movements can break down or reconfigure party systems.  Readings will include classic theoretical and empirical analyses of parties, populism, and movements, as well as recent works that explore the intersections among them. Students will help lead seminar discussions and write a research paper in one of the three areas of interest.
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GOVT 6303 : Comparative Political Economy and Global Debates
Crosslisted as: ILRIC 6330 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
From a perspective rooted in comparative political economy, this graduate seminar examines the politics of economic inequality in the United States and Europe.  The emphasis is contemporary: growing inequality, causes and consequences.  Active participation in discussion is expected, and each student will write a substantial term paper.
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GOVT 6353 : Field Seminar in Comparative Politics
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course provides a graduate-level survey of the field of comparative politics, introducing students to classic works as well as recent contributions that build upon those works. Readings will draw from leading theoretical approaches-including structural, institutional, rational choice, and cultural perspectives-and cover a broad range of substantive topics, such as democratization, authoritarianism, states and civil society, political economy, and political participation and representation.
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GOVT 6433 : Quantitative Text Analysis
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course is designed to provide doctoral students in political science with an introduction to advanced quantitative text analysis. Students will learn about all major types of content analyses, including manual, machine learning and automated content analysis techniques as well as methods for analyzing content analysis data. The class will demonstrate, how quantitative text analysis can be a useful tool in analyzing a variety of politically relevant texts (e.g. party manifestos, legislative outputs, social media). It will also provide an opportunity for doctoral candidates to present recent work based on text analysis techniques.
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GOVT 6745 : Humanitarian Affects
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4176, ANTHR 7176, FGSS 4876, FGSS 6876, GOVT 4745 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
GOVT 6775 : Language and Politics
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course explores the nature and power of speech in ancient political theory alongside contemporary debates over the political and epistemological consequences of different philosophies of language.  Writers examined will include Aeschylus, Euripides, Thucydides, Plato, and Aristotle.
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GOVT 6857 : International Political Economy
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Exploration into a range of contemporary theories and research topics in the field of international political economy. The seminar covers different theoretical perspectives and a number of substantive problems.
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GOVT 6897 : International Security
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course will examine a variety of international relations theories in studying a broad range of security issues, including the causes of war, alliance formation, balance-of-power politics, security regimes, nuclear and conventional deterrence, the democratic peace, military strategy, international terrorism, and domestic constraints on the use of force. We will use a variety of theoretical perspectives to investigate these and other issues, paying particular attention to evaluating the theoretical arguments with both historical and systematic evidence. 
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GOVT 6986 : Other Feminisms
Crosslisted as: GOVT 4986 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Other Feminisms is a survey of contemporary critical approaches to feminist theory today. it seeks to complicate the traditional depiction of feminist theory as "white," "transphobic," "Eurocentic"/western.  Canonical works of feminist theory such as Shulamith Firestone or Simone de Beauvoir are re-situated in relation to contemporaneous writing such as the Combahee River Collective's Black Feminist Statement as well as projected into the speculative fiction of Octavia Butler and Ursula Le Guin. "Other feminisms" will comprise experiments in genre as well as gender in Kathy Acker, Donna Haraway, Hélène Cixous, Rokeya Sakhawat Hossein ("Sultana's Dream"). We will explore the contributions of theories of intersectionality, object-oriented ontologies, disability studies, affect theory, transnational explorations of Islamic piety movements and Iranian trans and same sex communities to what Clare Hemmings calls "the political grammar of feminist theory."
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GOVT 7073 : Game Theory 1
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This is the first in a two course sequence that introduces graduate students in political science to game theory, a tool for studying strategic interaction that is now used throughout the discipline. In the first course, students will learn the basics concepts of game theory and how to solve most of types of games used in applied political science work. The course requires only high-school level mathematics, and no prior training in game theory or formal methods.
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GOVT 7937 : Proseminar in Peace Studies
Crosslisted as: HIST 7937, STS 7937 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The Proseminar in Peace Studies offers a multidisciplinary review of issues related to peace and conflict at the graduate level. The course is led by the director of the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies and is based on the Institute's weekly seminar series, featuring outside visitors and Cornell faculty. 
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GOVT 7999 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Individualized readings and research for graduate students. Topics, readings, and writing requirements are designed through consultation between the student and the instructor. Graduate students in government who are looking to use this as an option to fulfill their course requirements should check with their chairs to be certain that the program of study is acceptable for this purpose. Applications must be completed and signed by the instructor and by the chairs of their special committees. They are available from, and must be returned to, the graduate assistant in 212 White Hall.
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GOVT 7999 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Individualized readings and research for graduate students. Topics, readings, and writing requirements are designed through consultation between the student and the instructor. Graduate students in government who are looking to use this as an option to fulfill their course requirements should check with their chairs to be certain that the program of study is acceptable for this purpose. Applications must be completed and signed by the instructor and by the chairs of their special committees. They are available from, and must be returned to, the graduate assistant in 212 White Hall.
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