Courses - Fall 2020

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)
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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: N'Dri Assie-Lumumba (na12)
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GOVT 1623 The World of Modern Japan

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.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kristin Roebuck (kar79)
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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 2152 (Im)migration and (Im)migrants: Then and Now

One in ten residents of the United States was born outside the country. These people include international students, temporary workers, refugees, asylees, permanent residents, naturalized U.S. citizens and undocumented migrants. The arrival of these newcomers affects the cultural, economic, political and social dynamics of the country. Since immigration shows no signs of slowing down—in the United States or in many other nations of the world—the causes, consequences and repercussions of immigration will be one of the most important topics of the 21- century. Therefore this class will examine the history and contemporary role of immigration in the U.S. political system. The class will focus on two aspects of immigration: First, a historical examination of immigration policy from the founding of the country all the way forward to the current debate over immigration reform. Second, we will evaluate and assess the political incorporation and political participation of immigrant groups in the U.S. and determine whether immigrants are being incorporated, and if not, why? We will reflect on many important questions including the costs and benefits of immigration, issues related to civil rights and civil liberties, and finally propose our own ideas and solutions to the current immigration reform debate.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sergio Garcia-Rios (sig35)
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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: Anna Haskins (arh96)
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GOVT 2274 Global Studies Gateway

This overview course will take a thematic and interdisciplinary approach to major questions of our time, including health, development, migrations, security, technology, inequality, and innovation. We will explore issues that span international borders, and yet observe variation in unique places, contexts, and time periods.  The course endeavors to prepare students for the world through cultivating knowledge of different cultures, and deepening understanding of global affairs through innovative research.  We will think comparatively across major world regions, and work on issues that integrate specific regions within the larger international community. By applying multi-disciplinary knowledge from the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities, students will better understand the character of world regions, their respective trajectories, and the way those trajectories fit within the larger context of globalization.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Rachel Riedl (rbr87)
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GOVT 2283 Political Institutions Under Autocrats

Why do so many autocracies today have electoral systems, political parties, legislatures, and courts that mimic the institutions of a democracy? How do institutions help autocrats to maintain political order and what risks do they pose? This course will examine various models and modes of authoritarian rule, emphasizing the wide variation within the category of nondemocratic regimes. In particular, we will explore why some authoritarian regimes are more institutionalized than others and consider how legislatures, ruling parties, and other authoritarian institutions affect regime longevity, economic development, and the likelihood of violent conflict. We will conclude by studying cases of de-democratization and consider how democratic institutions can be used to undermine democracy.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Bryn Rosenfeld (brr59)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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 3189 Taking America's Pulse: Creating and Conducting a National Opinion Poll

In this course, students will design, conduct, and analyze a national-level public opinion survey. Students will determine all survey questions based on their research interests. There are no prerequisites, as students will learn all necessary survey research skills in the class.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Peter Enns (pe52)
Jonathon Schuldt (jps56)
Full details for GOVT 3189 : Taking America's Pulse: Creating and Conducting a National Opinion Poll
GOVT 3281 Constitutional Politics

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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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GOVT 3401 Refugees and the Politics of Vulnerability: Intersections of Feminist Theory and Practice

Topic Spring 2019: Child Refugees and Politics: Children comprised 52 percent of the worldwide refugee population of 68.5 million in 2017. Traveling with families as well as unaccompanied, they appear in media accounts as the most vulnerable and at risk of all refugees. In this course, we will consider to what degree this assignation of vulnerability, often corresponding with victimhood, shapes the journeys and lives of refugee children. We will use the growing body of feminist scholarship on vulnerability in law, philosophy, migration studies, and other fields to investigate how "vulnerability" creates categories of worthy and unworthy victims. In the U.S., for example, images of babies and toddlers being separated from Central American parents prompted outrage. Yet images of teenage boys in makeshift tents in the New Mexico desert went largely uncovered. At what age does a child no longer deserve sympathy and protection? In what ways does vulnerability overshadow children's agency? How might vulnerability be rearticulated so as to address children's specific needs, at different ages? Our main focus will be Central American and Mexican children crossing into the U.S. at the southern border, but we will make comparisons to other groups throughout the world.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jane Juffer (jaj93)
Full details for GOVT 3401 : Refugees and the Politics of Vulnerability: Intersections of Feminist Theory and Practice
GOVT 3431 American Impeachment

American Impeachments: Four times in US History, Congress has moved to impeach the President—in fact this has happened three times in the last 46 years, after only one instance in the first 184.  The US Constitution provides impeachment as one of the most obvious checks on executive power.  This course will consider the history, politics, law, and possible future of impeachment in a divided US.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Edward Baptist (eeb36)
Joseph Margulies (jm347)
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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)
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GOVT 3557 Exceptionalism Questioned: America and Europe

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 so this course may be for you. Since the beginning of the republic, American intellectuals, politicians and businessmen have extolled the exceptionalism of America. In a world of diverse forms of capitalism, can this view be sustained? Is America a shining city on the hill or a darkened city in the valley? Comparison is an effective way to discern and assess what is unique and what is general in the distinctive form of America's capitalist democracy. In this course the liberal market economy of the United States with its distinctive strengths and weaknesses is put side-by-side with different forms of liberal, corporatist and statist market economies that characterize different European countries in the emerging European polity. The diversity of capitalism points to one overarching conclusion: all of these countries are arguably capitalist, democratic market economies belonging to "the West;" and each of them has distinctive strengths and weaknesses. Like all other countries, America is ordinary in mobilizing its formidable capacities and displaying its glaring weaknesses as it copes with change. 

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Peter Katzenstein (pjk2)
Full details for GOVT 3557 : Exceptionalism Questioned: America and Europe
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 3687 The US and the Middle East
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Ross Brann (rb23)
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GOVT 3705 Political Theory and Cinema

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.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Geoffrey Waite (gcw1)
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GOVT 3715 Colonialism and Postcolonialism

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)
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GOVT 3785 Civil Disobedience

This course examines the political theory of civil disobedience. Do citizens have obligations to obey unjust laws? What makes disobedience civil rather than criminal? How do acts of protest influence public opinion and policy? Do disruptive protests endanger democracy or strengthen the rule of law? How is the distinction between violence and non-violence political constructed and contested? How has political dissent transformed in a digital era? We will study classical writings and contemporary scholarship in pursuit of answers to these questions and related debates concerning the rule of law, conscience, justice, violence and non-violence, whistleblowing, direct action, rioting, and hacktivism.

Distribution: (KCM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Alexander Livingston (pal229)
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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 3967 What is China?

China is often thought of as being isolated from the outside world. It is imagined as existing in historic seclusion, and, following the establishment of the People's Republic, as pursuing a path of autarky. Such separation has then only been somewhat modified by the set of economic reforms that Deng Xiaoping first instituted in the late 1970s. In this lecture we will seek to turn such conventional wisdom on its head through examining "what China is" via a consideration of transnational currents within the country's development. However, the course's primary focus will not be upon the past, but rather the present and attempting to determine just where the point of intersection between China and the rest of the world is. Coming to terms with such an issue will provide those who enroll in the class with a deeper, more nuanced, understanding of China's rise and this trend's implications for the rest of the world. We will accomplish this task through a combination of surveying the existing literature on China and transnational politics, and considering new theoretical perspectives on both.  

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Allen Carlson (arc26)
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GOVT 3999 How Do You Know That?

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.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christopher Way (crw12)
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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: Suzanne Mettler (sbm24)
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GOVT 4012 Labor, Class and Race in American Politics

This course examines working class politics in the United States, as it has developed historically and as it exists today, including the ideas and institutions of industrial democracy, the participatory and civic influence of union, contemporary alt-labor politics, and more. Integrated throughout the course is an attention to the complex and contradictory history of racial politics inside and outside the labor movement and broader working class, as well as gendered constructions of 'labor' in cultural forms and legal and workplace institutions. The course material is rooted in the discipline of political science, but draws extensively on history and law as well.

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)
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GOVT 4051 The Postmodern Presidency: Election 2020
Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Diane Rubenstein (dsr27)
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GOVT 4264 Social Movements in Latin America

This course analyzes different types of historical and contemporary social movements in Latin America. It begins with an overview of class-based labor and peasant movements, including their relationships with populist or leftist political parties. The class will then study revolutionary movements and the social actors that participate within them. The second half of the course will focus on various "new" social movements that have altered the region's social and political landscape over the past twenty years, including movements organized around gender issues, human rights, environmental protection, shantytown communities, and indigenous rights. Special attention will be given to the construction and transformation of collective identities, and to new patterns of social protest in response to market globalization in the region.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kenneth Roberts (kr99)
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GOVT 4365 From Existential Conflict to Coexistence? The Case of Israel-Palestine

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 : From Existential Conflict to Coexistence? The Case of Israel-Palestine
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)
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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)
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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: Jeremy Wallace (jlw397)
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: Uriel Abulof (ua42)
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GOVT 6012 Labor, Class and Race in American Politics

This course examines working class politics in the United States, as it has developed historically and as it exists today, including the ideas and institutions of industrial democracy, the participatory and civic influence of union, contemporary alt-labor politics, and more. Integrated throughout the course is an attention to the complex and contradictory history of racial politics inside and outside the labor movement and broader working class, as well as gendered constructions of 'labor' in cultural forms and legal and workplace institutions. The course material is rooted in the discipline of political science, but draws extensively on history and law as well.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: David Bateman (dab465)
Full details for GOVT 6012 : Labor, Class and Race in American Politics
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)
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GOVT 6021 Poverty and Social Policy

Poverty is an enduring phenomenon that baffles policymakers and confounds those who would offer simple solutions. This course explores the causes of poverty in the United States and analyzes the various policy strategies meant to address it. The first part of the course will assess the economic, social, and cultural theories that scholars have offered as explanations of persistent poverty while the second segment will examine specific policies related to welfare, labor markets, urban neighborhoods, family structure and the criminal justice system. Through all this, we will foreground the consequences of policy for the well-being of the poor and the role that the poor themselves play in shaping and responding to policy environments.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jamila Michener (jm2362)
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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: Douglas Kriner (dlk265)
Full details for GOVT 6031 : Field Seminar in American Politics
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)
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GOVT 6067 Field Seminar in International Relations

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jessica Weiss (jcw335)
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GOVT 6075 Field Seminar in Political Thought

The seminar will explore readings in the history of political thought from Homer to the Twenty-first century.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Patchen Markell (ppm48)
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GOVT 6201 The United States Congress

The United States Congress will be examined: first, as a "closed system" in which institutional arrangements decisively apportion political power; and, second, as the product of electoral and social forces outside the institution. Emphasis will be placed on the historical relationship between institutional growth and state formation, parliamentary rules as both arrangements within which the "rational choices" of legislators are played out and as deliberate, constructions and allocations of political influence, and the use of legislative behavior as evidence in the analysis of fundamental principles of politics. Because the literature on the lower chamber is generally more rich, the House of Representatives will receive greater attention than the Senate.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: David Bateman (dab465)
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GOVT 6264 Social Movements in Latin America
Academic Career: GR Instructor: Kenneth Roberts (kr99)
Full details for GOVT 6264 : Social Movements in Latin America
GOVT 6284 Culture, Religion, and Politics

What types of political outcomes can religion and culture help explain? What political and social factors affect religious identity and institutions? This course is designed to provide graduate students with an overview of theoretical approaches to the study of religion and culture in the social sciences. This course has three objectives. First, students will be able to identify traditional ways in which religion and culture have been theorized and operationalized in political science. Second, students will use empirical evidence to evaluate these theories and measurement strategies and assess potential threats to inference. Finally, students will complete their own research project on the relationship between politics and religion.

Academic Career: GR Full details for GOVT 6284 : Culture, Religion, and Politics
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)
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GOVT 6483 Authoritarianism and Democracy

Officials come to their positions of power in ways that vary over time and space. Comparativists have, historically, focused their attentions on democracies and on transitions from authoritarian regimes to democratic ones. This seminar will consider definitions of these regime types but aims to have a different, broader focus: the politics of authoritarian regimes and regime transitions of all kinds.  

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jeremy Wallace (jlw397)
Full details for GOVT 6483 : Authoritarianism and Democracy
GOVT 6676 Critical Continental Thought

This seminar will focus on Nietzsche's legacy on 20th/21st century French thought.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Diane Rubenstein (dsr27)
Full details for GOVT 6676 : Critical Continental Thought
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)
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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)
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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