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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 6045 : Law and Literature
Crosslisted as: ENGL 3762, ENGL 6710, LAW 6710 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Elizabeth Anker
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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