arrow grid linear view icon
The College of Arts Sciences Search
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. 
View course details
Description
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.
View course details
Description
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.
View course details
Description
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.
View course details
Description
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.
View course details
Description
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.
View course details
Description
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.  
View course details
Description
GOVT 3636 : Introduction to Critical Theory
Crosslisted as: COML 3541, ENGL 3920, GERST 3620 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Paul Fleming
Marc Kohlbry
Klas Erik Molde
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.
View course details
Description
GOVT 3633 : Politics and Culture
Crosslisted as: SOC 3480 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Mabel Berezin
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.
View course details
Description
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:
Siba Grovogui
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.
View course details
Description

Pages