Courses - Fall 2019

GOVT 1101 FWS: Power and Politics

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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jeremy Wallace (jlw397)
Full details for GOVT 1101 : FWS: Power and Politics
GOVT 1111 Introduction to American Government and Politics

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.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Douglas Kriner (dlk265)
Full details for GOVT 1111 : Introduction to American Government and Politics
GOVT 1503 Introduction to Africana Studies

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.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Siba Grovogui (sng52)
Full details for GOVT 1503 : Introduction to Africana Studies
GOVT 1817 Making Sense of World Politics

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.  

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sarah Kreps (sk2245)
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GOVT 1901 Discussions of Justice

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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Avi Appel (aa2263)
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GOVT 2225 Controversies About Inequality

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.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Cristobal Young (cy469)
Full details for GOVT 2225 : Controversies About Inequality
GOVT 2264 Political Violence

This course explores the causes and consequences of modern day civil wars. The first part of the course looks at individual, group, and state level factors that might cause civil wars to break out. The second part of the course looks at the dynamics of civil wars including intensity and types of violence. The third part assesses the consequences of civil war and the last part assesses how civil wars end. 

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sabrina Karim (smk349)
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GOVT 2432 Moral Dilemmas in the Law

The course concerns the principles and philosophical arguments underlying conflicts and moral dilemmas of central and ongoing concern to society as they arise within legal contexts. We consider questions such as what justifies using state power to punish people for wrongdoing, what kinds of conduct are rightly criminalized, what justifies the Supreme Court's power to strike down Congressional legislation, what justifies the right to private property and its boundaries, what is the right to privacy and why it is important, what are human rights, and what is the morality and law of war. Throughout we will be reading legal cases and philosophical commentaries that engage with the deep issues that the cases pose.

Distribution: (KCM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Andrei Marmor (am2773)
Full details for GOVT 2432 : Moral Dilemmas in the Law
GOVT 2523 Islamophobia and Judeophobia

Islamophobia and Judeophobia are ideas and like all ideas they have a history of their own. Although today many might think of Islamophobia or Judeophobia as unchangeable---fear of and hatred for Islam and Muslims or Judaism and Jews---these ideas and the social and political practices informed by them have varied greatly over time and place. They even intersected during the Middle Age and in Ottoman times when "the Jew" was frequently represented as allied with "The Muslim". The first part of this course traces the history, trajectory, and political agency of Judeophobia and Islamophobia in texts and other forms of culture from late antiquity through the present. The second part of the course is devoted to modernity and the present especially in Europe and the United States focusing on representational practices---how Muslims/Islam and Jews/Judaism are portrayed in various discourses including the media, film and on the internet. We will investigate how these figures (the Muslim, the Jew) serve as a prism through which we can understand various social, political and cultural processes and the interests of those who produce and consume them.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Ross Brann (rb23)
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GOVT 2553 Inside Europe

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)

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christopher Way (crw12)
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GOVT 2605 Social and Political Philosophy

This course will examine key issues in social and political philosophy. Topics may include the legitimacy of the state, political obligation, the nature and demands of justice, equality, liberty, and autonomy. Selected readings may be drawn from historical as well as contemporary sources.

Distribution: (KCM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Benjamin Yost (bsy9)
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GOVT 2755 Introduction to Humanities

This seminar offers an introduction to the humanities by exploring the historical, cultural, social and political stakes of the Society for the Humanities annual focal theme. Students will consider novels, films, short stories and historical texts as they explore the theme in dialogue with literature, cinema, art, media, and philosophy. Guest speakers, including Cornell faculty and Society Fellows, will present from different disciplines and points of view. Students will make field trips to local sites relevant to the theme, and visit Cornell special collections and archives. Students enrolled in this seminar will have the opportunity to participate in additional programming related to the Society's theme and the Humanities Scholars Program for undergraduate humanities research. For more information visit the Society for the Humanities webpage.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Karen Pinkus (kep44)
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GOVT 2817 America Confronts the World

Donald Trump and Barack Obama give us two visions of America and of the world: xenophobic nationalism and pragmatic cosmopolitanism.  America and the world are thus constituted by great diversity. The first half of the course seeks to understand that diversity in American politics and foreign policy viewed through the prisms of region, ideology, region, race, class and religion. The second half inquires into the U.S. and American engagement of different world regions and civilizations: Europe, Russia, North America, Latin America, China, Japan, India and the Middle East. U.S. hard power and American soft power find expression in far-reaching processes of American-infused globalization and U.S.-centered anti-Americanism reverberating around the world. Advocates of one-size-fits-all solutions to America's and the world's variegated politics are in for great disappointments.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Peter Katzenstein (pjk2)
Full details for GOVT 2817 : America Confronts the World
GOVT 3032 Politics of Public Policy in the U.S.

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.  

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jamila Michener (jm2362)
Full details for GOVT 3032 : Politics of Public Policy in the U.S.
GOVT 3071 Enduring Global and American Issues

The US and the global community face a number of complex, interconnected and enduring issues that pose challenges for our political and policy governance institutions and society at large.  Exploring how the US and the world conceive of the challenges and take action on them is fundamental to understanding them.  This course investigates such issues, especially ones that fit into the critically important areas of sustainability, social justice, technology, public health and globalization, security and conflict, among others. Students will engage with these areas and issues and the challenges they pose, using multiple frameworks and approaches, through weekly class discussions and lectures."

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Silbey (ds90)
Full details for GOVT 3071 : Enduring Global and American Issues
GOVT 3082 American Political Campaigns

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.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Adam Levine (asl22)
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GOVT 3091 Science in the American Polity, 1960 to Now

This course reviews the changing political relations between science, technology, and the state in America from 1960 to the present. It focuses on policy choices involving science and technology in different institutional settings, such as Congress, the court system, and regulatory agencies. The tension between the concepts of science as an autonomous republic and as just another interest group is a central theme.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Stephen Hilgartner (shh6)
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GOVT 3152 Prisons, Politics & Policy

Prisons are social and political institutions governed by local, state and national policies. They have a profound influence on American society, especially on our political community.  They amplify inequality and disadvantage. The massive number of people imprisoned in the United States speaks volumes about our policy priorities and about our democracy. How did things get this way? How did we end up being the nation that incarcerates more of its population than virtually any other? What policy processes directly and indirectly account for this? What explains the change that we now appear to be experiencing? What is the future of the U.S. prison system? What is the future of our democracy? This course will tackle these and other pressing questions. Students will gain an empirically grounded and theoretically far-reaching understanding of one of the most fundamental and transformative institutions in America.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jamila Michener (jm2362)
Full details for GOVT 3152 : Prisons, Politics & Policy
GOVT 3161 The American Presidency

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.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Douglas Kriner (dlk265)
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GOVT 3192 Reflecting on the Prison Classroom

This course offers students a chance to write and reflect intensively on their engagement inside Auburn, Cayuga, Elmira or Five Points Correctional Facilities. We will read essays by incarcerated writers and advocates for change to the criminal legal system, and fiction about prison experience. These readings will provoke our thinking about crime and punishment, confinement and "rehabilitation" and the project of higher education in correctional setting, and inspire our own writing about our motivations and discoveries as in-prison volunteers -- personal, social, educational, political, moral and spiritual.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Tess Wheelwright (ttw27)
Full details for GOVT 3192 : Reflecting on the Prison Classroom
GOVT 3281 Constitutional Politics: The U.S. Supreme Court

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.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Dawn Chutkow (dmc66)
Full details for GOVT 3281 : Constitutional Politics: The U.S. Supreme Court
GOVT 3303 Politics of the Global North

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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Lowell Turner (lrt4)
Full details for GOVT 3303 : Politics of the Global North
GOVT 3353 African Politics

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.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nicolas van de Walle (nv38)
Full details for GOVT 3353 : African Politics
GOVT 3354 Transformation of Socialist Societies

Three decades from the fall of the Berlin Wall, we have gained broad perspective on the challenges of societal transformations away from socialism.  This course explores the process and social consequences of opening the economies of Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and China to market forces.  We will answer questions about how individuals and social systems respond to the particular challenges of rapid economic and political openings, including growing inequality, demographic challenges, and corruption.  We will compare the Eastern European and Post-Soviet experiences of these issues with the Chinese experience, and highlight the similarities and distinctions between transformations in these societies.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Patricia Young (pty6)
Full details for GOVT 3354 : Transformation of Socialist Societies
GOVT 3494 Special Topics in Regional Development and Globalization

This course addresses pertinent issues relative to the subject of regional development and globalization. Topics vary each semester.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Daniella Fridl (df296)
Full details for GOVT 3494 : Special Topics in Regional Development and Globalization
GOVT 3547 WIM: America, Business and International Political Economy

Do you want to learn the discussion-based case method as taught at the Harvard Business School? Do you want to learn how to write a long research paper? Do you not want to take a final examination? If you answer these questions affirmatively, this course may be for you. We are told often that American primacy is in decline and that other powers are rising. What does this mean when we examine the experience of Government and Business in different countries around the world?  Is the international political economy a hydraulic system in which some units rise and others fall? Are the dynamics of the international political economy all pointing in one direction? Or are they marked by cross-currents?  This course seeks answers to these questions by teaching the basics of macro-economics, examining a range of powerful states (among others China, India, Russia and Japan) and persisting issues (financial globalization and foreign investment; oil and OPEC; trade and aid) as they play themselves out in different countries (such as Malaysia, Korea; Saudi Arabia, Nigeria; Mexico, Brazil, Uganda, Indonesia).

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Peter Katzenstein (pjk2)
Full details for GOVT 3547 : WIM: America, Business and International Political Economy
GOVT 3595 Academe, Work, Politics

This course examines the contemporary transformation processes in the higher education with special emphasis on everyday academic life. The course starts with an exploration of space accorded to (academic) knowledge production in capitalism. It proceeds to the discussion of the way academic life—both in terms of campus and office spaces, and the academics' involvement in knowledge production regimes—has evolved throughout the different phases of capitalism. The focus of the course is the contemporary phase. In all the layers of the course we will discuss the dominant discourse on academic work – 'myths' – the historical conditions of existence in the academe – 'traditions' – from within a critical frame that ties academe to the general socio-political context – 'realities'. Within the scope of the course, we will read, among others, Foucault, Bourdieu, Harvey, Giroux, Berg and Seeber, Eisenstein, Dardot and Laval.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Hatice Cosar (hsc45)
Full details for GOVT 3595 : Academe, Work, Politics
GOVT 3636 Introduction to Critical Theory

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, and Marx) 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.

Distribution: (LA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Paul Fleming (pf239)
Full details for GOVT 3636 : Introduction to Critical Theory
GOVT 3683 Comparative Corruption

Corruption, and the perception of corruption, pervades many aspects of society and has become a source of political protest around the world. This course focuses on the similarities and differences between forms, causes, and effects of corruption in various environments. The course starts with a discussion of the definitions, causes, and effects of corruption across countries, and then turns to particular forms and contexts where corruption is observed: for example, developed and developing countries, conflict-ridden societies, and international investment. We will also discuss some of the potential solutions to corruption and their costs and benefits for political and civil society.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Patricia Young (pty6)
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GOVT 3715 Political Theories of Colonialism

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.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Begum Adalet (ba375)
Full details for GOVT 3715 : Political Theories of Colonialism
GOVT 3736 Ancient Political Thought

Ancient political debates about democracy, empire, and justice appear in late fifth-century BCE Athenian dramatic, historical, and philosophical literatures composed against the backdrop of the 27-year Peloponnesian War over the control of Greece (which Athens lost). Reading selected tragedies of Euripides, comedies of Aristophanes, and philosophical dialogues of Plato, in combination with the history of Thucydides, this course retraces, explores, and interrogates these texts' complex, provocative, and surprisingly relevant arguments for and against the pursuit of equality (democracy), security (war and imperialism), goodness (aretê from "excellence" to "virtue"), and fairness (justice), and their often unexpected results in practice. All the readings for this course are in English and there are no prerequisites.

Distribution: (KCM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jill Frank (jf725)
Jeffrey Rusten (jsr5)
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GOVT 3786 What is a People? The Social Contract and its Discontents

When Jean-Jacques Rousseau introduced the concept of the "general will" in his classic text The Social Contract, he made what was then an unprecedented and scandalous claim: that the people as a whole, and not an individual agent, could be the subject of political will and self-determination.  This claim was all the more revolutionary in that historically "the people" [ie peuple] named those poor masses who had no political representation, and who were subjects of the state only to the extent that they were subject to the will of a sovereign monarch.  What then is "the people," and how is it constituted as a collective subject?  How does a people speak, or make its will known?  Can that will be represented or institutionalized?  Do all people belong to the people?  How inclusive is the social contract?  This course will examine crucial moments in the constitution of the people from the French Revolution to the present day, considering the crisis of political representation they have alternately exposed or engendered and the forms of the social contract to which they have given rise.  Our discussions will range from major political events (the French and Haitian Revolutions, the Paris Commune, colonialism and decolonization, May '68) to contemporary debates around universalism, secularism, immigration, and "marriage for all."  Readings by Rousseau, Robespierre, L'Ouverture, Michelet, Marx, Freud, Arendt, Balibar, and Rancière.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Tracy McNulty (tkm9)
Full details for GOVT 3786 : What is a People? The Social Contract and its Discontents
GOVT 3805 Israeli Politics

We are all the living dead – alive but bound to die, and know it. In this course we will learn how existential fears and anxieties shape our politics, partly through moral meaning-making. While the politics of fear is on the rise worldwide, Israel has seen it long ago. Throughout its existence, Israel has grown strong, but its existential fears have not subsided. Israel, moreover, can teach us about the role of freedom and morality in politics. Israel's existential fears, alongside the realization of choice, has prompted Zionists to seek existential legitimation. In recent years, however, a growing frustration at attainting such legitimacy has fostered "bad faith politics," substituting freedom with a sense of "no choice."

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Uriel Abulof (ua42)
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GOVT 3867 War: Causes and Conduct

The possibility of major war – on the Korean Peninsula, in the Persian Gulf, in Eastern Europe, in the South China Sea – is higher today than it has been at any point since the end of the Cold War. This makes it critical for informed citizens to understand the dynamics of armed conflict between states. What kinds of factors make war more or less likely? How do shifts in power – like the rise of China – affect the likelihood of war? What role do nuclear weapons – which China, Russia, and now North Korea have – play? How do the personal and psychological characteristics of leaders – like Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Kim Jong Un – matter? What about domestic politics? Do political crises and polarization make war more or less likely? In this course, we will investigate all of these questions and more through a survey of relevant theoretical work by political scientists, an exploration of significant conflicts from modern history, and an application of these insights to contemporary conflict hot spots.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Steven Ward (smw347)
Full details for GOVT 3867 : War: Causes and Conduct
GOVT 4000 Major Seminar

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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Bateman (dab465)
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GOVT 4019 Introductory Probability and Applied Statistics

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.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Bryce Corrigan (bec74)
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GOVT 4021 American Conservative Thought

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.

Distribution: (KCM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Richard Bensel (rfb2)
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GOVT 4022 Politics, Media and Popular Culture

This course explores how a rapidly changing media environment and popular cultural are changing American governance and popular perceptions of democratic institutions. The course examines more than eighty years of American political history through the lens of television and film and analyzes our contemporary politics in which a presidency seemingly guided by "Reality TV" strategies - and responses to them - has blurred the line between entertainment and political discourse. (AM)

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Steve Israel (sji23)
Full details for GOVT 4022 : Politics, Media and Popular Culture
GOVT 4283 Latino Politics as Racial Politics

This class will examine the history and contemporary role of Latinos as a minority group in the U.S. political system. This course is intended as an overview of the political position of Latinos y Latinas in the United States. We place special emphasis on how Latinos became racial group which allows us to focus on political relationships between Latinos and non-Latinos as they relate to political institutions, political parties, voting coalitions, representation and public policy.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sergio Garcia-Rios (sig35)
Full details for GOVT 4283 : Latino Politics as Racial Politics
GOVT 4293 Comparative Urbanization

For the first time in history, more than half of the world's people reside in cities. Why do people congregate in cities? How do states address urbanization, and how does urbanization affect states? This course investigates cities and their political economy. Particular emphasis will be placed on contemporary urbanization in the developing world, where most of the growth in cities is taking place.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jeremy Wallace (jlw397)
Full details for GOVT 4293 : Comparative Urbanization
GOVT 4365 Ethnonational Communities and Conflicts

Throughout human history, and its modern incarnation, communities have clashed just as often as states. This course sheds light on ethnic communities and conflicts, explicating their historical dynamics and social intricacies. What are ethnic identities and how do they emerge? What distinguishes ethnic identity from other social identities, such as religious and ideological identities? When does ethnicity mature into ethnonationalism, and why and how does it propel conflict and political violence? What are the possible ways to prevent, manage, transform and resolve ethnic conflicts? We shall address these and related questions drawing on key insights from various disciplines, focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, probing the resonance and dissonance of key theoretical arguments with the reality of that clash and of comparative conflicts.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Uriel Abulof (ua42)
Full details for GOVT 4365 : Ethnonational Communities and Conflicts
GOVT 4403 War and the State in Comparative Perspective

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.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Gustavo Flores-Macias (gaf44)
Full details for GOVT 4403 : War and the State in Comparative Perspective
GOVT 4543 Fascism, Nationalism and Populism

This course a offers comparative political sociology of democratic and non-democratic institutions in the United States and beyond. Topics will include nationalism, fascism and populism. My focus will be contemporary politics but we will also look at historical fascism. Students will write seminar papers that are based on class exercises.  It will be a hands-on seminar with multiple course materials—scholarly articles, films, novels, and the occasional guest lecturer.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Mabel Berezin (mmb39)
Full details for GOVT 4543 : Fascism, Nationalism and Populism
GOVT 4735 Marx, Nietzsche, Freud

This is an introduction to the three 'master thinkers' who have helped determine the discourses of modernity and post-modernity. We consider basic aspects of their work: (a) specific critical and historical analyses; (b) theoretical and methodological writings; (c) programs and manifestos; and (d) styles of argumentation, documentation, and persuasion. This also entails an introduction, for non-specialists, to essential problems of political economy, continental philosophy, psychology, and literary and cultural criticism. Second, we compare the underlying assumptions and the interpretive yields of the various disciplines and practices founded by Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud: historical materialism and communism, existentialism and power-knowledge analysis, and psychoanalysis, respectively. We also consider how these three writers have been fused into a single constellation, 'Marx-Nietzsche-Freud,' and how they have been interpreted by others, including L. Althusser, A. Badiou, A. Camus, H. Cixous, G. Deleuze, J. Derrida, M. Foucault, H.-G. Gadamer, M. Heidegger, L. Irigaray, K. Karatani, J. Lacan, P. Ricoeur, L. Strauss, S. Zizek.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Geoffrey Waite (gcw1)
Full details for GOVT 4735 : Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
GOVT 4816 Space, Territory, Politics

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. 

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Begum Adalet (ba375)
Full details for GOVT 4816 : Space, Territory, Politics
GOVT 4827 China, Tibet and Xinjiang

Seminar intended to examine the increasingly complex relationship that has evolved between China and the rest of the international system, with particular focus on the rise of Chinese nationalism and the extent to which those in Tibet, Xinjiang, and, to a lesser extent, Taiwan, are contesting such a trend. In so doing, the course emphasizes the interrelated, yet often contradictory, challenges facing Beijing in regards to the task of furthering the cause of national unity while promoting policies of integration with international society and interdependence with the global economy.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Allen Carlson (arc26)
Full details for GOVT 4827 : China, Tibet and Xinjiang
GOVT 4949 Honors Seminar: Thesis Clarification and Research

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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sergio Garcia-Rios (sig35)
Full details for GOVT 4949 : Honors Seminar: Thesis Clarification and Research
GOVT 4999 Undergraduate Independent Study

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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Richard Bensel (rfb2)
Full details for GOVT 4999 : Undergraduate Independent Study
GOVT 6019 Introduction to Probability and Applied Statistics

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Bryce Corrigan (bec74)
Full details for GOVT 6019 : Introduction to Probability and Applied Statistics
GOVT 6031 Field Seminar in American Politics

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: David Bateman (dab465)
Full details for GOVT 6031 : Field Seminar in American Politics
GOVT 6049 Categorical and Count Data

This course continues the path of 6019 and 6029 in offering a hybrid of applied social statistics and econometric modeling for graduate students, with a focus on the analysis of categorical and count data as dependent variables. These forms of data are now extremely common in the social sciences. In the first three weeks we attain mastery of some of the more intricate Stata and R post-estimation procedures. These are essential for interpreting typical models of categories and counts, since in the typical application, effects on the mean of the dependent variable are not constant but vary with settings of the explanatory variables. We then proceed to the key application, the analysis of non-continuous dependent variables. Each student will be required to actively participate in a group presentation of the nuts and bolts of a data analysis using this kind of data, either assigned by the instructor or based off peer research. Students with active quantitative research projects are encouraged to join the course for an opportunity to hone the analysis, and to receive feedback from peers and the instructor.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Bryce Corrigan (bec74)
Full details for GOVT 6049 : Categorical and Count Data
GOVT 6059 Panel and Multilevel Data

This course continues the path of 6019 and 6029 in offering a hybrid of applied social statistics and econometric modeling for graduate students, with a focus on panel, time-series cross-section, and multilevel data. Such data are now commonplace, presenting additional complications but also offering statistical and quasi-experimental leverage via repeated measurements and change-points. The main topics will be the use and choice among robust standard errors and fixed and random effects estimators, a variety of multi-level specifications and their estimation and interpretation, and a key application called multi-level regression and post-stratification (MRP). At the end of the course, we will examine dynamic models, focusing on their assumptions, interpretation, and related pitfalls. Each student will be required to actively participate in a group presentation of the nuts and bolts of a data analysis using this kind of data, either assigned by the instructor or based off peer research. Students with active quantitative research projects are encouraged to join the course for an opportunity to hone the analysis, and to receive feedback from peers and the instructor.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Bryce Corrigan (bec74)
Full details for GOVT 6059 : Panel and Multilevel Data
GOVT 6202 Political Culture

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Richard Bensel (rfb2)
Full details for GOVT 6202 : Political Culture
GOVT 6293 Comparative Urbanization

For the first time in history, more than half of the world's people reside in cities. Why do people congregate in cities? How do states address urbanization, and how does urbanization affect states? This course investigates cities and their political economy. Particular emphasis will be placed on contemporary urbanization in the developing world, where most of the growth in cities is taking place.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jeremy Wallace (jlw397)
Full details for GOVT 6293 : Comparative Urbanization
GOVT 6353 Field Seminar in Comparative Politics

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Thomas Pepinsky (tp253)
Full details for GOVT 6353 : Field Seminar in Comparative Politics
GOVT 6426 Contemporaries Read Ancients

Contemporaries Read Ancients has twin pedagogic goals. The first is to deepen the understanding of antique thought and build upon prior study of canonical texts (Phaedrus, Republic, Nicomachean Ethics); the second is to introduce the work of contemporary continental thinkers (Agamben, Badiou, Caverero, Derrida, Irigaray, Kofman). These projects are interwoven ones. For, while continental thought (especially its contemporary avatars) have often elaborated their philosophic projects and concepts through a close reading of the ancients, graduate curricula have often kept them as separate objects of inquiry. At the same time, a new generation of N. American political theorists have built upon these continental philosophemes (khora, pharmakon, parrhesia; energeia) to open ancient texts to proximate political -theoretic issues such as immigration, translation, the interrelation of aesthetics and philosophy, matters of "free" democratic speech. This semester we will focus upon French and Italian thinkers and subject them to a double reading. To what extent are their philosophic projects unthinkable without the ancients? How might these ancient texts in turn both enable but also resist recuperation? How might both strands-contemporary and ancient- inform our present?

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jill Frank (jf725)
Diane Rubenstein (dsr27)
Full details for GOVT 6426 : Contemporaries Read Ancients
GOVT 6525 Contemporary Political Theory & Its Histories

What is the relationship of history to the practice of contemporary political theory? What role does attention to history—or its neglect—play in the reproduction and contestation of theoretical authority? What is the relationship between the history of political thought (whatever that is!) and other modes of historical research and writing? What relevance might methodological disputes among historians (of political thought and of other things) have for theoretical engagement with the present? What light do the histories of academic institutions, of the disciplines, and of canon-formation shed on contemporary theoretical practice? This graduate seminar will consider these and related issues through an idiosyncratic and selective survey of important recent work in the field, chosen and supplemented with an eye toward the disclosure of its own historical contexts, and toward the critical evaluation of its investments in, stances toward, and, sometimes, disavowals of history.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Patchen Markell (ppm48)
Full details for GOVT 6525 : Contemporary Political Theory & Its Histories
GOVT 6619 Text and Networks in Social Science Research

This is a course on networks and text in quantitative social science. The course will cover published research using text and social network data, focusing on health, politics, and everyday life, and it will introduce methods and approaches for incorporating high-dimensional data into familiar research designs. Students will evaluate past studies and propose original research.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Will Hobbs (wrh75)
Full details for GOVT 6619 : Text and Networks in Social Science Research
GOVT 6779 Cosmopolitanism and Post-Enlightenment

This course will examine cosmopolitanism as a cultural, moral, and political concept both historically, with reference primarily to the eighteenth century, and theoretically, in contemporary debates. The aim will be to elaborate critically the universalist and egalitarian premises of the Enlightenment notion of cosmopolitical subjects and to evaluate what progressive or ideological functions this notion continues to play in discourses on sovereignty, human rights, religious tolerance, and cultural dissemination and aesthetic community. Works by Cicero, Hobbes, Adam Smith, Rousseau, Kant, and Marx will be read with those by Arendt, Balibar, Derrida, Habermas, Honig, and other contemporary theorists.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Neil Saccamano (ncs5)
Full details for GOVT 6779 : Cosmopolitanism and Post-Enlightenment
GOVT 6826 Space, Territory, Politics

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. 

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Begum Adalet (ba375)
Full details for GOVT 6826 : Space, Territory, Politics
GOVT 6827 China, Tibet and Xinjiang

This seminar is intended to examine the increasingly complex relationship that has evolved between China and the rest of the international system, with particular focus on the rise of Chinese nationalism and the extent to which those in Tibet, Xinjiang, and, to a lesser extent, Taiwan, are contesting such a trend. In so doing, the course emphasizes the interrelated, yet often contradictory, challenges facing Beijing in regards to the task of furthering the cause of national unity while promoting policies of integration with international society and interdependence with the global economy.  

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Allen Carlson (arc26)
Full details for GOVT 6827 : China, Tibet and Xinjiang
GOVT 6897 International Security

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. 

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Steven Ward (smw347)
Full details for GOVT 6897 : International Security
GOVT 6946 Biopolitics: New Directions

This course explores the philosophical concept of biopolitics and its diverse translations and/or adaptations across multiple disciplines and across the globe (Africa, Far East, South East Asia, and the Americas). We will trace the concept of biopolitics and its attendant notions—Sovereignty, Governmentality—as they emerge in the work of Michel Foucault and analyze the multiple disciplinary and geographical directions in which they have travelled. Throughout the semester, we shall examine 1) the innovative thinking around biopolitics in the works of Arendt, Esposito, Agamben, Hardt and Negri, Wolfe, 2) the connections and entanglements of the concept with postcolonial theory/black studies in Mbembe, Weheliye, Comaroff, Mezzadra, 3) the extension and complication of biopolitics in gender, feministand sexuality studies, and new media studies.  Ultimately, we will examine theorizations of new stylistics of power as well as emerging forms of agency and political organizing in the biopolitical sphere. Key terms include race, postcoloniality, feminism, agency, and new media.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Naminata Diabate (nd326)
Full details for GOVT 6946 : Biopolitics: New Directions
GOVT 6987 Domestic Politics and International Relations

How do states make foreign policy decisions? What factors influence states' international behavior and prospects for war and peace? This seminar has two main goals: to familiarize students with the burgeoning literature on the relationship between domestic politics and international relations, and to help students bridge the academic and policy gap in international relations. Topics will include regime type, war, and peace; diversionary conflict; public opinion; nationalism and democratization; individual leaders' personality traits and time in office; perceptions and misperceptions; signaling; international cooperation; and trade and economic policy.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jessica Weiss (jcw335)
Full details for GOVT 6987 : Domestic Politics and International Relations
GOVT 7073 Game Theory 1

Game theory provides a scientific approach to the study of social, political, and economic interactions that focuses on the strategic aspects of decision-making between two or more individuals or groups. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of formal theory, as well as how to solve basic games frequently used in political science research. The first part of the course will focus on strategic coordination, games in normal and in extensive form, and Nash Equilibria. The second part of the course will cover repeated games and games where informational uncertainty plays a role. Each week will also focus on applications to political science and economics, which includes topics of legislative bargaining and veto players, elections and candidate selection, clientelism, as well as deterrence and international relations. Students will be expected to complete weekly problem sets, participate in class games and simulations, and complete an independent final paper.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Alexandra Cirone (aec287)
Full details for GOVT 7073 : Game Theory 1
GOVT 7937 Proseminar in Peace Studies

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. 

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Rebecca Slayton (rs849)
Full details for GOVT 7937 : Proseminar in Peace Studies
GOVT 7998 Independent Study - PIRIP
Academic Career: GR Instructor: Alexander Livingston (pal229)
Full details for GOVT 7998 : Independent Study - PIRIP
GOVT 7999 Independent Study

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Richard Bensel (rfb2)
Full details for GOVT 7999 : Independent Study