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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 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 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 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.
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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.
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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:
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.
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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 3303 : Politics of the Global North
Crosslisted as: ILRIC 4330 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Lowell Turner
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 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 3131 : The Nature, Functions, and Limits of Law
Crosslisted as: AMST 3131, LAW 4131 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Dawn Chutkow
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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