Courses - Spring 2020

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: Matthew Evangelista (mae10)
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GOVT 1313 Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics

This course will introduce students to comparative politics—the study of the political institutions, identities, and organized interests in countries around the world. Emphasis is on how to make meaningful comparisons between systems in different countries. Towards that goal, we will be looking at a dozen countries with different histories, political systems, and from various regions around the world.  We will also use a comparative framework to use our knowledge of these (and other) countries to examine questions about democracies and democratization, electoral systems and political parties, authoritarian regimes, political mobilization and change, economic development and globalization, nationalism and identity politics, among other topics.  The meta theme of this course is the comparative method as a unique way of leveraging our understanding about social and political phenomena.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nicolas van de Walle (nv38)
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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: Carole Boyce Davies (ceb278)
Full details for GOVT 1503 : Introduction to Africana Studies
GOVT 1615 Introduction to Political Theory

This course offers a survey of political theory in the West. We will examine some of the persistent dilemmas of politics and the attempts of several canonical political theorists to respond to them: Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, and Nietzsche. In each case, we will attend to the particular crises these theorists addressed in their work—such as imperialism, the European wars of religion, the English Civil War, the French Revolution, and industrial capitalism—as well as the broader philosophical and political issues they continue to pose to us now. Our approach will be both historical and conceptual, providing students with an understanding of political theory as a distinctive form of political inquiry.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Patchen Markell (ppm48)
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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 2041 Electoral (mal)practice

Factors ranging from the difficulty of registration and costs of voter ID, the purging of voter rolls, a bungled election featuring mis-marked butterfly ballots, concerns about foreign influence or even hacking, continued gerrymandering at the state and federal levels, and several recent Condorcet failures, lead many to question the integrity of U.S. electoral institutions and administration. How can flawed elections be detected and improved? What are the causes of declining perceptions of democracy in the U.S. and elsewhere? How does system support affect government stability and performance in a democracy? We address these questions using both U.S. state-level and cross-national evidence. Students learn how to read and conduct evidence-based social scientific research, and how to act as an effective research consultant. We touch on the emerging field of election forensics and its application to U.S. data and to recent disputes in Kenya, Armenia, and Turkey, among other high-profile cases.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Bryce Corrigan (bec74)
Full details for GOVT 2041 : Electoral (mal)practice
GOVT 2169 Survey Data in the Information Age

Data about people's attitudes and behavior play a fundamental role in science, business, and political life. This course will introduce students to survey data and its functions in modern society. Students will learn the fundaments of how data are collected and how they are used in non-profit and for-profit contexts, how to avoid being misled by data, about traditional and emerging methodologies, and what experts think about the future of surveys and data analytics. This course is open to all students; there are no pre-requisites. Guest speakers will include prominent experts from various sectors of society who will share their unique perspectives on survey analytics. We will hold receptions throughout the semester to allow students to engage professionally with the visiting speakers.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Peter Enns (pe52)
Jonathon Schuldt (jps56)
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GOVT 2806 Roman Law

This course presents a cultural and historical perspective on ideas of agency, responsibility, and punishment through foundational texts of western law. We will primarily focus on three main areas of law: (1) slavery and (2) family (both governed by the Roman law of persons), and (3) civil wrongs (the law of delict or culpable harm). Through an examination of the legal sources (in translation) and the study of the reasoning of the Roman jurists, this course will examine the evolution of jurisprudence: the development of the laws concerning power over slaves and women, and changes in the laws concerning penalties for crimes. No specific prior knowledge needed.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nicole Giannella (njg68)
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GOVT 2897 WIM: Human Rights at War

This course examines the impact of war on human rights and the impact of human-rights law and activism on war.  It addresses such topics as genocide and "ethnic cleansing," the role of international law, the Just War tradition, transnational peace activism, humanitarian interventions, environmental, economic, and resource-related sources of conflict, nonviolent movements for social change, terrorism and counterterrorism.  The readings freature approaches from a range of disciplines, including political science, history, ethics, law, anthropology, political ecology, and gender studies. Course work consists mainly of reading, lectures, discussion (in lectures and in sections), and regular writing assignments.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Matthew Evangelista (mae10)
Full details for GOVT 2897 : WIM: Human Rights at War
GOVT 3042 The Politics of Technology

This course will examine the politics of technology, with an emphasis on dual use technologies such as social media, artificial intelligence, and facial recognition. It will look at political consequences of those technologies, including the way that social media can be manipulated in an electoral context, how AI and automation can affect public policies (e.g., predictive policing) and ways to mitigate algorithmic biases embedded in these technologies, and questions of whether the United States and China are locked in a technology arms race and if global governance proposals can defuse the adverse consequences of great power competition over technology.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sarah Kreps (sk2245)
Full details for GOVT 3042 : The Politics of Technology
GOVT 3044 China's Next Economy

This course provides students with an analytical framework to understand China's ongoing economic transformation. The courses goals include: 1) to familiarize students with different perspectives on China's economic development and future prospects; 2) to provide a close working knowledge of the evolving current situation, with a focus on internal variation within China—telling different Chinese stories, not one "China story"—and particularly emphasizing urbanization and the goal of shifting from manufacturing and export-led to services and domestic-led economy; and 3) to give students hands-on experience using Chinese economic data in the context of a brief research note. Each week will connect to current events and debates, with students writing three blog posts over the course of the semester to bring academic research and social scientific analysis to bear upon policy-relevant questions and developments.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jeremy Wallace (jlw397)
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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)
Full details for GOVT 3071 : Enduring Global and American Issues
GOVT 3072 The U.S. Constitution: Crisis, Change and Legitimacy

Since its ratification the U.S. Federal Constitution has been a fixed element of the American experience. And yet the meaning Americans attribute to the document—from its structural and rights provisions to its basic ethical project—has been subject to intense debate and change. This class takes an historical approach to explore periods of sustained crisis in the constitutional order—from the founding and the Civil War to the Great Depression and the Civil Rights Movement. In the process, special attention will be paid to the techniques of constitutional interpretation and judicial doctrine as well as to constitutional struggle outside the judiciary. We will also assess broader questions of inclusion, democratic legitimacy, and institutional design. The course will end by engaging with the relationship between the present and those earlier periods of crisis.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Aziz Rana (ar643)
Full details for GOVT 3072 : The U.S. Constitution: Crisis, Change and Legitimacy
GOVT 3112 Congress and the Legislative Process

The course will be a lecture course on Congress, introducing them to the political science literature on the topic and the major research questions and approaches. We will examine the development of the institution, including formal theories for congressional organization as well as historically and politically oriented accounts of rule changes, committee power, and party influence. We will also look at the determinants of legislative productivity and gridlock, approaches to measuring and analyzing congressional behavior, the changing role of the electoral connection, and the causes and consequences of polarization.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Bateman (dab465)
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GOVT 3131 The Nature, Functions, and Limits of Law

A general-education course to acquaint students with how our legal system pursues the goals of society. The course introduces students to various perspectives on the nature of law, what functions it ought to serve in society, and what it can and cannot accomplish. The course proceeds in the belief that such matters constitute a valuable and necessary part of a general education, not only for pre-law students but especially for students in other fields. Assigned readings comprise legal materials and also secondary sources on the legal process and the role of law in society. The classes include discussion and debate about current legal and social issues, including equality, safety, the environment, punishment, and autonomy.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Dawn Chutkow (dmc66)
Full details for GOVT 3131 : The Nature, Functions, and Limits of Law
GOVT 3142 Incarceration, Policy Response, and Self-Reflection

This class is intended to provoke some hard thinking about the relationship of committed "outsiders" and advocates of change to the experience of crime, punishment, and incarceration and to the men we meet at Auburn/Cayuga who have been in most instances long-confined to prison. We will read, think, talk and write about the incarceration experience and about policies that shape this experience. We will also think self-reflexively about the character of the 'outsider's' educational, political, and personal engagement. What are the motivations and what are the goals of such engagement? What are the anticipated outcomes – personal, social, educational, political, and/or moral and perhaps spiritual? In an effort to delve deeply into these questions, we will read a broad selection of work on incarceration, itself, as well as on the experience of what has come to be termed service learning or civic engagement. (AM)  

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Joseph Margulies (jm347)
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GOVT 3273 Politics and Markets

This course explores the tensions between political power and economic exchange in contemporary market economies. It provides a conceptual overview of key economic policy problems in contemporary societies, as well as the strategies for responding to them. Selected topics will include risk and insurance, social cost, taxation, welfare, agriculture, global capital flows, and others

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Thomas Pepinsky (tp253)
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GOVT 3293 Comparative Politics of Latin America

This course is designed as an introduction to political, economic, and social issues in 20th century Latin America. Topics are organized chronologically, beginning with the crisis of agro-export economies and oligarchic rule in the 1930s, the onset of state-led development and mass politics in the 1930s and 40s, the military takeovers and revolutionary struggles of the 1960s and 70s, patterns of democratization and market liberalization in the 1980s and 90s, and the recent experience with populist and leftist governments in much of the region. Among the main issues covered are populism and corporatism, dependency theory and import-substitution industrialization, different patterns of authoritarian rule, social movements and revolution, democratic breakdowns and transitions, the debt crisis and market reforms, and U.S.-Latin American relations. Throughout the semester, we will draw on examples from the entire region, but focus on paradigmatic national cases. Knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese is not required.  

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kenneth Roberts (kr99)
Full details for GOVT 3293 : Comparative Politics of Latin America
GOVT 3333 China-Africa Relations

Put into questions, the aims of this course are as follow: Should anyone worry about China's presence in Africa? Is China's presence part of the recolonizing of the Continent? Alternatively, is China's foray part of a global struggle for positioning between an emergent China and Africa's so-called traditional allies in the West?

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Siba Grovogui (sng52)
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GOVT 3384 The Asian Century: The Rise of China and India

The course will be thoroughly comparative in order to highlight both the specificity of each country as well as more generalizable dynamics of 21st century development. It will be divided into a number of inter-related modules. After a framing lecture, we will briefly cover the two countries' distinct experiences with colonialism and centralized planning. Then we will move on to dynamics of growth, which will seek to explain the relative success of China in the era of market reforms. In analyzing political consequences, we will assess how new forms of cooperation and conflict have emerged. This will involve attention to both internal dynamics as well as how rapid development has seen an increasing accumulation of political power in the East. It goes without saying that accelerating growth has led to huge social change, resulting in profound reorganizations of Chinese and Indian society. Finally, the course will conclude by returning to our original question – is this indeed The Asian Century? What does the rise of China and India mean for the rest of the world, and how are these two giant nations likely to develop in the future?

Distribution: (LA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Eli Friedman (edf48)
Sarosh Kuruvilla (sck4)
Full details for GOVT 3384 : The Asian Century: The Rise of China and India
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 3696 Race and Slavery, Old and Modern

What does it mean to live in the aftermath of slavery? How has the human history of slavery contributed to the production of "natural" values that we take for granted—such as community, property, citizenship, gender, individuality, and freedom? This course explores the history of enslavement throughout the human past, from the ancient world to the modern era. We will pay particular attention to the relationship between slavery and the construction of racial blackness. We will explore various institutionalized forms of servitude throughout time and space, from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic worlds, from eunuchism to concubinage, from slavery in the Roman Empire to "modern slavery" and sex trafficking. Readings will be in English and will engage a variety of dynamic sources: theoretical, historiographical, anthropological, religious, legal, literary and multimedia.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Parisa Vaziri (pv248)
Full details for GOVT 3696 : Race and Slavery, Old and Modern
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)
Full details for GOVT 3785 : Civil Disobedience
GOVT 3977 History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

This course examines the history of the conflict between two peoples with claims to the same land (Palestine/Israel), from the rise of their national movements at the turn of the 20th century and their eventual clash down to the present crisis. We will investigate the various stable and shifting elements in the evolution of the conflict including conflicting Israeli and Palestinian narratives and mythologies about the nature of the conflict. Among many issues to be addressed are: the relationship of this conflict to the history of European colonialism in the Middle East, the emergence of Pan-Arabism and Islamism, the various currents in Zionism and its relationship to Judaism, the implication of great power rivalry in the Middle East, the different causes and political repercussions of the four Arab-Israeli wars, efforts at peacemaking including Oslo and Camp David, and the significance of the two Palestinian uprisings.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Ross Brann (rb23)
Full details for GOVT 3977 : History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
GOVT 3990 Puzzle Solving with Data

We introduce basic statistical reasoning with an emphasis on problems encountered in social science research. We explore the use of statistical tools to answer scientific research questions, and investigate the pitfalls associated with the misuse of statistics. By the end of the course students will be equipped to take more advanced statistics courses, and better prepared to evaluate quantitative claims made by social scientists and the media. Topics include: measurement and summary of data, exploratory data analysis, commonly-used probability distributions, statistical inference, basic linear regression and data visualization.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sergio Garcia-Rios (sig35)
Full details for GOVT 3990 : Puzzle Solving with Data
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: Alexandra Cirone (aec287)
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GOVT 4015 Existentialism or Marxism

The most intense public encounter between Existentialism and Marxism occurred in immediate post-WWII Europe, its structure remaining alive internationally. Existentialist questions have been traced from pre-Socratic thinkers through Dante, Shakespeare, and Cervantes onward; just as roots of modern materialism extend to Epicurus and Lucretius, or Leopardi. This course will focus on differing theories and concomitant practices concerned with "alienation," "anxiety," "crisis," "death of God," "nihilism," "rebellion or revolution." Crucial are possible relations between fiction and non-fiction; also among philosophy, theology, psychoanalysis, and political theory. Other authors may include: Althusser, de Beauvoir, Beckett, Büchner, Camus, Che, Dostoevsky, Fanon, Genet, Gide, Gramsci, O. Gross, Hamsun, Heidegger, Husserl, Jaspers, C.L.R. James, Kafka, Kierkegaard, Lagerkvist, Lacan, Lenin, Marx, Merleau-Ponty, Mishima, G. Novack, Nietzsche, Ortega, Pirandello, W. Reich, Sartre, Shestov, Tillich, Unamuno. There is also cinema.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Geoffrey Waite (gcw1)
Full details for GOVT 4015 : Existentialism or Marxism
GOVT 4037 Making Sense of China: The Capstone Seminar

This course serves as a survey of major issues within Chinese politics and foreign policy and constitutes the capstone seminar for CAPS students.  is intended to give students an opportunity to explore aspects related to Chinese politics, economics, and society that they may have touched upon in other China-focused courses at Cornell, but have not been able to examine as fully, and with the degree of care, that they would like.  In this regard, the substance of the course will be developed through an iterative process between the instructor and the seminar participants.  We will spend the first part of the course doing a series of recent influential readings on contemporary China and developing initial research projects.  The second half of the class will be organized around student led presentations of research projects (accompanied by relevant academic, media, and policy readings).

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Allen Carlson (arc26)
Full details for GOVT 4037 : Making Sense of China: The Capstone Seminar
GOVT 4339 Nationalism(s) in the Arab World

This seminar examines the emergence of national identities, nationalist movements, and nation-states in the modern Arab world. First, we will examine various approaches to the question of nationalism, using Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities as our basic reference. We will then test the applicability of these general theories to the Arab World through our examination of specific case studies.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Ziad Fahmy (zaf3)
Full details for GOVT 4339 : Nationalism(s) in the Arab World
GOVT 4356 Race and Critical Theory

As a philosophical approach to culture and society emerging out of European contexts, Critical Theory has traditionally excluded questions about the history of racial difference. Yet Critical Theory's insights into processes of subject formation, social relations, mass culture, and general emancipatory drive continue to inform and be of value to scholars of race concerned with the everyday production and transmission of ideas about normative humanity. This course explores contemporary critical scholarship on race, as defined by its relationship to anti-positivist epistemologies, theories of the subject, critiques of traditional ontology and of the aesthetic, and engagement with postcolonial theory, environmental humanities, indigenous studies, and the Black radical tradition. Some familiarity with key figures and ideas in postcolonial studies and Black studies is desirable, but not necessary. Readings will include Sylvia Wynter, Frantz Fanon, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Fred Moten, Kathryn Yusoff, Tiffany Lethabo King, Ronald Judy, Immanuel Kant, Martin Heidegger, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Parisa Vaziri (pv248)
Full details for GOVT 4356 : Race and Critical Theory
GOVT 4451 Making Science Policy: The Real World

This course focuses on what happens when science meet the policy-making world. We will discuss theoretical and empirical studies in Science & Technology Studies that analyze the interactions between science, society and politics. We will specifically investigate the mechanisms by which science may impact policy-making by focusing on: the rise of science diplomacy, initiatives to use science in order to further development goals, and efforts to produce evidence-based foreign policy. We will also focus on currently hotly debated political issues in government affairs, including the politization and militarization of space, the rise of big data, the politics of climate change, and the construction of border walls. As part of this course we will hear from experts in the federal government on how they attempt to integrate science into the everyday workings of governance.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christine Leuenberger (cal22)
Full details for GOVT 4451 : Making Science Policy: The Real World
GOVT 4503 Becoming a China Hand

China's prominence in the news cycle and policy discourse reflects the immense and growing tension in China's relations with the United States and other countries around the world. Substantively, there is hardly a profession or sector where what happens inside China does not touch upon or impact what happens outside China. Throughout this course, we will grapple with ongoing debates over China's rise and whether policies of engagement with China have succeeded or failed. These debates are unfolding in many different communities and idea marketplaces, across many different modes and styles of analysis and writing. Each of the reading and writing assignments are aimed at developing literacy and proficiency in three different modes of analysis and writing about China: academic, policy, and journalistic. While many courses provide introductions to different aspects of China, and many seminars examine more specialized questions at even deeper levels, there are few that directly invite students to examine and explore the different ways in which scholars and professionals have written about and come to understand China.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jessica Weiss (jcw335)
Full details for GOVT 4503 : Becoming a China Hand
GOVT 4723 Peace Building in Conflict Regions: Case Studies Sub-Saharan Africa Israel Palestinian Territories

This course focuses on issues of conflict, peace, and reconciliation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories as well as Sub-Saharan Africa. Both regions exemplify how issues ranging from nationalism and ethnocentrism to land, water and resource management, climate change and migration, as well as socio-psychological dynamics, can exacerbate conflicts. At the same time, these regions also exemplify how trans-border collaboration and regional integration, civilian peace building efforts, strategies for achieving historical justice, as well as science education and science diplomacy can become crucial tools for long-term peace-building, reconciliation and development. In this course we will work with and discuss issues of peace and conflict with policy-makers and local stakeholders involved in peace-building efforts.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christine Leuenberger (cal22)
Full details for GOVT 4723 : Peace Building in Conflict Regions: Case Studies Sub-Saharan Africa Israel Palestinian Territories
GOVT 4846 Equality

This seminar inquires into the interrelations among three meanings of equality that initially appeared in the ancient world: equality before the law, isonomia; equality of voice or participation, isegoria; and equality of power, isokratia. Tacking back and forth between ancient texts and contemporary materials in law and analytic and continental political philosophy, this course will explore how these different practices of equality circulate and interact in popular and institutional (judicial and legislative) settings marked by historical injustice, scarce resources, and asymmetries of wealth and power. This seminar will include texts by Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle, Ta-Nehisi Coates, John Rawls, Bernard Williams, Amartya Sen, Danielle Allen, Etienne Balibar, among others, probing the meaning of equality.

Distribution: (KCM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jill Frank (jf725)
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GOVT 4959 Honors Thesis: Research and Writing

GOVT 4959 is the second semester of honors thesis research, limited to students who have completed GOVT 4949 - Honors Seminar: Thesis Clarification and Research. There is no formal class meeting. Instead, students will work on their own, with their advisers and other faculty they may consult. Following the plan developed in the fall semester, they will proceed to gather and analyze data or texts, turning in thesis chapters to the adviser on a regular schedule that the student and adviser develop.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sergio Garcia-Rios (sig35)
Full details for GOVT 4959 : Honors Thesis: Research and Writing
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: David Bateman (dab465)
Full details for GOVT 4999 : Undergraduate Independent Study
GOVT 6029 Advanced Regression Analysis

This course builds upon 6019, covering in detail the interpretation and estimation of multivariate linear regression models. We derive the Ordinary Least Squares estimator and its characteristics using matrix algebra and determine the conditions under which it achieves statistical optimality. We then consider the circumstances in social scientific contexts which commonly lead to assumption violations, and the detection and implications of these problems. This leads to modified regression estimators that can offer limited forms of robustness in some of these cases. Finally, we briefly introduce likelihood-based techniques that incorporate assumptions about the distribution of the response variable, focusing on logistic regression for binary dependent variables. Students are expected to produce a research paper built around a quantitative analysis that is suitable for presentation at a professional conference. Some time will be spent reviewing matrix algebra, and discussing ways to implement computations using statistical software.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Sergio Garcia-Rios (sig35)
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GOVT 6045 Law and Literature

What can lawyers and judges learn from the study of literature? This course explores the relevance of imaginative literature (novels, drama, poetry, and film) to questions of law and social justice from a range of perspectives. We will consider debates about how literature can help to humanize legal decision-making; how storytelling has helped to give voice to oppressed populations over history; how narratives of suffering cultivate popular support for human rights; the role played by storytelling in a trial; and how literature can shed light on the limits of law and public policy.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Elizabeth Anker (esa52)
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GOVT 6053 Comparative Method in International and Comparative Politics

An in-depth, graduate-level introduction to qualitative and comparative methods of political analysis, with special emphasis on the application of these methods in comparative and international politics. Through readings, discussions, and written assignments, students will explore strategies for concept formation, theory construction, and theory testing, using the craft and tools of comparative political analysis.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Gustavo Flores-Macias (gaf44)
Full details for GOVT 6053 : Comparative Method in International and Comparative Politics
GOVT 6079 Advanced Topics Mini-Course

In this 7-week seminar we elaborate social statistics topics only briefly covered in earlier courses, depending on student research interests. Example broad approaches could include Bayesian or nonparametric methods, and more specific applications could include textual analysis, survival analysis, structural equation modeling, and growth curve models. Students are encouraged to attend the first organizational meeting of the course to discuss possible foci.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Bryce Corrigan (bec74)
Full details for GOVT 6079 : Advanced Topics Mini-Course
GOVT 6344 Reading History Forward

This course provides an overview of recent advances in historical political economy and experimental methods, and the corresponding methodological tools. Each week presents the foundations of new method and/or innovative applications. Students will leave the course with a better understanding of methodologies such as regression discontinuity design, instrumental variables, differences-in-differences, and quasi versus natural experiments; as well as applications using plausibly exogenous geographic, climatic, or economic shocks, and potentially endogenous historical institutions. The class is entitled "Reading History Forward" to emphasize the point that all identification strategies using historical data must not only fulfill the appropriate methodological assumptions and utilize historical context, but must consider the people, institutions, and choices made at the time of inception. While not all assigned readings use historical data, all present the advantages and challenges of causal inference in research design based inference. 

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Alexandra Cirone (aec287)
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GOVT 6356 Race and Critical Theory

As a philosophical approach to culture and society emerging out of European contexts, Critical Theory has traditionally excluded questions about the history of racial difference. Yet Critical Theory's insights into processes of subject formation, social relations, mass culture, and general emancipatory drive continue to inform and be of value to scholars of race concerned with the everyday production and transmission of ideas about normative humanity. This course explores contemporary critical scholarship on race, as defined by its relationship to anti-positivist epistemologies, theories of the subject, critiques of traditional ontology and of the aesthetic, and engagement with postcolonial theory, environmental humanities, indigenous studies, and the Black radical tradition. Some familiarity with key figures and ideas in postcolonial studies and Black studies is desirable, but not necessary. Readings will include Sylvia Wynter, Frantz Fanon, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Fred Moten, Kathryn Yusoff, Tiffany Lethabo King, Ronald Judy, Immanuel Kant, Martin Heidegger, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Parisa Vaziri (pv248)
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GOVT 6384 The Asian Century: The Rise of China and India

The course will be thoroughly comparative in order to highlight both the specificity of each country as well as more generalizable dynamics of 21st century development. It will be divided into a number of inter-related modules. After a framing lecture, we will briefly cover the two countries' distinct experiences with colonialism and centralized planning. Then we will move on to dynamics of growth, which will seek to explain the relative success of China in the era of market reforms. In analyzing political consequences, we will assess how new forms of cooperation and conflict have emerged. This will involve attention to both internal dynamics as well as how rapid development has seen an increasing accumulation of political power in the East. It goes without saying that accelerating growth has led to huge social change, resulting in profound reorganizations of Chinese and Indian society. Finally, the course will conclude by returning to our original question – is this indeed The Asian Century? What does the rise of China and India mean for the rest of the world, and how are these two giant nations likely to develop in the future?

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Eli Friedman (edf48)
Sarosh Kuruvilla (sck4)
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GOVT 6517 Contemporary Aesthetic Theory and its Discontents

After having been reduced to a mere ideological formation of bourgeois origin, aesthetics has recently made a strong comeback in the field of theory. This course probes the reasons for this historical change. From the arguments of the critics we will derive a catalogue of criteria for a viable aesthetics in order to examine how contemporary aesthetic theory relates to cognitive theories, the historicity of art and taste (including specific practices and institutions), and the emancipatory potentials of ethics and politics. Readings may include Adorno, Berger, de Bolla, Bourdieu, Noël Carroll, Cavell, Danto, Derrida, Dickie, Eagleton, Goodman, Guillory, Gumbrecht, Halsall, Luhmann, Lyotard, de Man, Walter Benn Michaels, Obrist, Ohmann, Scarry, Seel, Shustermann, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Williams and others.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Peter Gilgen (pg33)
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GOVT 6585 American Political Thought

This seminar will provide an advanced survey of the history of American political thought, with emphasis placed on four significant periods: Puritan New England, the Revolution and Founding, Abolition and Civil War, and the Progressive Era.  Authors read may include: Winthrop, Hutchinson, Franklin, Paine, Jefferson, Madison, Warren, Tocqueville, Fitzhugh, Calhoun, Douglas, Garrison, Thoreau, Melville, Whitman, Lincoln, Adams, DuBois, Goldman, Dewey, Lippmann, Taylor, and Bourne.  (PT)  

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jason Frank (jf273)
Alexander Livingston (pal229)
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GOVT 6593 HOPE: Human Odyssey to Political Existentialism

What sets us apart, and brings us together, as humans – and what are the socio-political implications? Seeking understanding, this course is an odyssey onto the human condition and its politics, honing together a new theoretical-empirical lens: political existentialism. As a philosophy, existentialism examines mortal man's search for meaning in a meaningless universe. Most philosophers ask, "what is the good life?" and answer: to feel good, or to be good, or to do good. Existentialism asks, "what is life good for?" and is still searching for answers. A host of fascinating quandaries emerge from this quest: Are we truly different than animals and machines? What does it mean to "be yourself"? What's the difference between freedom and liberty? Should we pursue happiness? Why do we yield to fear and anxiety? What are the roles of reflection, truth and morality in our society and politics? Is God dead, but religion alive? Can we defeat alienation? Is love all we need? How much can, and should, we hope for? In this course, utilizing edX HOPE online course, we will address these questions, and then some more. We shall examine, one by one, a dozen themes, on both the individual/universal level and the socio-political plane: Human/nature, identity & authenticity, freedom, reflection, happiness, death & dread, meaning, morality, truth & trust, God & religion, alienation & love, and finally – hope.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Uriel Abulof (ua42)
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GOVT 6594 Comparative Political Behavior
Academic Career: GR Instructor: Bryn Rosenfeld (brr59)
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GOVT 6706 Marx and Marxisms

The terms "Marx" and "Marxisms" have meant different things to different people, beginning with Marx himself and continuing in his legacy today.  As obviously, this legacy remains global (Europe, North and Latin America, India and Pakistan, Vietnam, Africa, Near East and Far East)—all still including imagined allies, neutrals, and foes.  This seminar is an approach to this otherwise bewildering complexity: we focus on two things: (1) a possible Marxist (or Communist or Anarchist) theory of all language and any semiotics; alongside (2) its equally possible inter-action with manuals of guerrilla warfare.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Geoffrey Waite (gcw1)
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GOVT 6846 Equality

This seminar inquires into the interrelations among three meanings of equality that initially appeared in the ancient world: equality before the law, isonomia; equality of voice or participation, isegoria; and equality of power, isokratia. Tacking back and forth between ancient texts and contemporary materials in law and analytic and continental political philosophy, this course will explore how these different practices of equality circulate and interact in popular and institutional (judicial and legislative) settings marked by historical injustice, scarce resources, and asymmetries of wealth and power. This seminar will include texts by Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle, Ta-Nehisi Coates, John Rawls, Bernard Williams, Amartya Sen, Danielle Allen, Etienne Balibar, among others, probing the meaning of equality. 

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jill Frank (jf725)
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GOVT 6857 International Political Economy
Academic Career: GR Instructor: Christopher Way (crw12)
Full details for GOVT 6857 : International Political Economy
GOVT 7274 Research Seminar in Political Violence

This course provides a survey of classic and contemporary work on civil war by political scientists.  It begins by exploring the conceptualization of civil wars, including an assessment of how social scientists study civil war.  It then dives into the literature on the causes, dynamics of, and consequences of civil war.  The last part of the class looks at conflict management and investigates how civil wars end. 

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Sabrina Karim (smk349)
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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 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