Courses - Spring 2021

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: Isabel Perera (imp34)
Full details for GOVT 1101 : FWS: Power and Politics
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, GLC-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kenneth Roberts (kr99)
Full details for GOVT 1313 : Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics
GOVT 1503 Introduction to Africana Studies

This course offers an introduction to the study of Africa, the U.S., the Caribbean and other diasporas.  This course will examine, through a range of disciplines, among them literature, history, politics, philosophy, the themes - including race/racism, the Middle Passage, sexuality, colonialism, and culture - that have dominated Africana Studies since its inception in the late-1960s. We will explore these issues in the attempt to understand how black lives have been shaped, in a historical sense; and, of course, the effects of these issues in the contemporary moment. This course seeks to introduce these themes, to investigate through one or more of the disciplines relevant to the question, and to provide a broad understanding of the themes so as to enable the kind of intellectual reflection critical to Africana Studies.

Distribution: (CA-AS, GLC-AS, SSC-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 introduces students to political theory as a distinctive mode of political inquiry. By surveying the wide range of forms through which political theory has been practiced—such as treatises, dialogues, plays, aphorisms, novels, manifestos, letters, speeches, illustrations, and films—we explore the ways in which political theory reflects upon, criticizes, and reshapes the basic concepts, habits of perception, and modes of feeling through which people make sense of the political world, from big events like wars and revolutions to everyday experiences of felt injustice or alienation. Our approach will be both historical and conceptual, attending to the force of each theoretical intervention in its context, while also drawing out the broader philosophical and political questions it continues to pose to us now.

Distribution: (HA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Patchen Markell (ppm48)
Full details for GOVT 1615 : Introduction to Political Theory
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, ETM-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, GLC-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jeremy Wallace (jlw397)
Full details for GOVT 3044 : China's Next Economy
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, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Silbey (ds90)
Full details for GOVT 3071 : Enduring Global and American Issues
GOVT 3121 Crime and Punishment

This is a class about the American criminal justice system—from policing to prisons, from arrest to reentry. In many ways, the operation of the modern criminal justice system is taken for granted, which frequently allows it to escape close scrutiny. But we will examine it in great detail, with a focus on how it came about, how it sustains itself, its many roles in society (only some of which involve crime and justice), and how and why it may be changing. In Spring 21, the class will take a particular look at policing and examine the calls for police reform and abolition. NB: This class is designed to challenge your settled assumptions and dearly held myths about what is right and wrong with the system. Those who have made up their mind about criminal justice in America should not take the course. This class was formerly GOVT 3141, PRISONS, taught by Prof. Margulies. It has been renamed and renumbered as GOVT 3121 to distinguish it from the distance learning course taught by Prof. Katzenstein.

Distribution: (KCM-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Joseph Margulies (jm347)
Full details for GOVT 3121 : Crime and Punishment
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 3253 Germany in Europe
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Daniel Schade (dds227)
Full details for GOVT 3253 : Germany in Europe
GOVT 3443 Southeast Asian Politics

This course will give students the historical background and theoretical tools to understand the politics of Southeast Asia, one of the world's most diverse and fascinating regions. The first part of the course traces Southeast Asia's political development from the colonial period to the present day, examining common themes such as decolonization, state building, war and insurgency, ethnic relations, democratization, economic development, and nationalism. The second part of the course focuses on key issues in contemporary Southeast Asian politics, including political culture, representation and mass politics, globalization, regional politics, and civil violence. Our course will concentrate primarily but not exclusively on the six largest countries in the region-Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam-using the comparative method to understand variation across time, across countries, and within countries.

Distribution: (HA-AS, GLC-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Thomas Pepinsky (tp253)
Full details for GOVT 3443 : Southeast Asian Politics
GOVT 3625 Modern Political Philosophy

This course will primarily focus on studying and scrutinizing general conceptions of justice. Topics explored typically include liberty,economic equality, democracy, community, the general welfare, and toleration. We will also look at implications for particular political controversies such as abortion, welfare programs and pornography.

Distribution: (KCM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Rachana Kamtekar (rk579)
Full details for GOVT 3625 : Modern Political Philosophy
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, GLC-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Patricia Young (pty6)
Full details for GOVT 3683 : Comparative Corruption
GOVT 3837 WIM: The Cold War

During more than four decades following the end of World War II international politics was dominated by a phenomenon known as the Cold War. This class examines the origins, course, and ultimate demise of this conflict that pitted the United States and NATO against the Soviet Union and its allies. It seeks to evaluate the competing explanations that political scientists and historians have put forward to explain the Cold War by drawing on the new evidence that has become available. The course considers political, economic, and strategic aspects of the Cold War, including the nuclear arms race, with particular focus on the link between domestic and foreign policy. The course emphasizes writing, and includes a final research paper for which students will use original archival materials. Please contact the instructor if you are interested in an optional extra-credit Russian-language section.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Matthew Evangelista (mae10)
Full details for GOVT 3837 : WIM: The Cold War
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)
Full details for GOVT 4000 : Major Seminar
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, ALC-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Allen Carlson (arc26)
Full details for GOVT 4037 : Making Sense of China: The Capstone Seminar
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, SSC-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: (SBA-AS, GLC-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, GLC-AS, SSC-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 4745 Humanitarian Affects

Liberal feminists and political theorists argue that sentiments such as compassion and empathy have the capacity to alert us to suffering, injustice, and oppression, and thus incite transformative political action. This interdisciplinary seminar explores the challenges to this theory by staging a conversation between postcolonial, feminist, and queer theories of affect, and anthropological critiques of humanitarian projects. Sentiments are mobilized to defend borders, wage wars, grant asylum to refugees, provide medical care and disaster relief, and inspire feminist activism. We will analyze how these gendered and racialized ethical projects and political regimes are co-constituted, and how they mediate access to resources and survival, as well as political agency, subjectivity, citizenship, and national belonging.

Distribution: (CA-AS, GLC-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Saida Hodzic (sh888)
Full details for GOVT 4745 : Humanitarian Affects
GOVT 4846 Making Equality

This seminar inquires into the interrelations among three meanings of equality that initially appeared in the ancient world: equality of voice or participation, isegoria; equality before the law, isonomia; and equality of power, isokratia. Through legal, political theoretical, historical, philosophical, and poetic texts, we will explore how these different practices of equality circulate and interact in institutional settings marked by injustice, scarce resources, and asymmetries of wealth and power. For longer description and instructor bio visit The Society for the Humanities website.

Distribution: (KCM-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jill Frank (jf725)
Full details for GOVT 4846 : Making Equality
GOVT 4877 China and Asian Security

This course focuses primarily on China's evolving role in both Asia and world politics. While China may not necessarily be the sole determinant of the type of security order that will prevail in Asia, it has a profound influence on the region and potentially on the global order as well. To gain an understanding of security issues in Asia today, the seminar attempts to come to terms with the evolving nature of China's foreign policy and national security strategies. The course then concentrates on the most influential academic work on China's foreign relations and national security policies that has been published since the end of the Cold War.  

Distribution: (SBA-AS, GLC-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jessica Weiss (jcw335)
Full details for GOVT 4877 : China and Asian Security
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: Jeremy Wallace (jlw397)
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 6011 The American State

Contemporary politics raise profound questions about the American past and how aspects of it have traveled across time and into the present, shaping US government and politics. This PhD-level seminar uses historical and institutional lenses to examine analytical questions about the origins and development of the American state as well as processes of political change. In Spring 2021, we will explore American political development with an eye toward understanding how threats to democracy have waxed and waned and combined over time, and the implications for the present. We will focus on topics such as political parties and polarization; conflict over belongs, with respect to race and gender; economic inequality; and executive aggrandizement. We will read some classic texts as well as new and recent ones. 

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Suzanne Mettler (sbm24)
Full details for GOVT 6011 : The American State
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)
Full details for GOVT 6029 : Advanced Regression Analysis
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)
Bryn Rosenfeld (brr59)
Full details for GOVT 6053 : Comparative Method in International and Comparative Politics
GOVT 6109 Field Methods

This graduate seminar introduces students to methods currently used by political scientists to develop and test for observable implications of theoretically-derived arguments using data collected away from their home institutions. Topics covered include the relationships between fieldwork and research design, case and site selection, ethnography and participant observation, interview methods, surveys and experiments in the context of field research, research ethics and human subjects, logistics of field research, grant-writing, safety protocols, and knowing when to come home. The course is designed primarily for students working on dissertation proposals or early stages of dissertation field research, but it may be helpful for students at other stages as well. A goal is to encourage students to specify a field research strategy that links testable hypotheses with methods of data gathering and analysis before commencing field work. Students, therefore, will develop their own research projects as the semester progresses, including writing actual grant proposals, IRB applications, and pre-analysis plans. 

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Sabrina Karim (smk349)
Full details for GOVT 6109 : Field Methods
GOVT 6122 Foundations of the Social Sciences

Social science research almost always combines empirical observation (data), the construction of concepts (language), and the logical analysis of the relations between observations and concepts (statistics).  This course examines the relations between these three dimensions as the analyst moves from one to the other both as practice and in the crafting of a formal summary of findings and argument. We will be particularly interested in the foundational assumptions that underpin the connections between empirical reality, language, and statistical analysis. While these foundational assumptions are often taken for granted by social scientists, they vary dramatically between social science disciplines.  The implicit contradiction between that variance and their doxic acceptance within disciplines will be a primary focus of the course.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Richard Bensel (rfb2)
Full details for GOVT 6122 : Foundations of the Social Sciences
GOVT 6223 Comparative Social Policy
Academic Career: GR Instructor: Isabel Perera (imp34)
Full details for GOVT 6223 : Comparative Social Policy
GOVT 6254 The End of Regionalism?
Academic Career: GR Instructor: Daniel Schade (dds227)
Full details for GOVT 6254 : The End of Regionalism?
GOVT 6304 Historical Analysis in Comparative Politics

This is a graduate seminar in political science on the application of historical analysis in comparative politics. The goals of the course are for students to understand the contemporary application of historical analysis in comparative politics and to familiarize themselves with current scholarly standards of such research, and then to produce research that meets those standards. Students will read and analyze peer-reviewed research (or near published research) on this topic each week and write a final research paper.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Nicolas van de Walle (nv38)
Full details for GOVT 6304 : Historical Analysis in Comparative Politics
GOVT 6495 The Politics of Critical Theory

"Critical theory" is a mode of theory that aims not merely to understand the world as it is, but to place that understanding in the service of emancipation from domination. In this seminar, we will read works of critical theory from the eighteenth century to the present, some associated with the "Frankfurt School" but many not, which deal with such subjects as capitalism, authoritarianism, mass culture, enlightenment and reason, communication and violence, alienation and recognition, the domination of nature, European colonialism, white supremacy, and patriarchy; and we will ask how the practice of critical theory has been shaped by controversies (across generations, national contexts, intellectual and political orientations, and institutional settings) about what counts as "critical."

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Patchen Markell (ppm48)
Full details for GOVT 6495 : The Politics of Critical Theory
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)
Full details for GOVT 6593 : HOPE: Human Odyssey to Political Existentialism
GOVT 6596 Violence, Power, and Nonviolence

This course pursues a theoretical and comparative understanding of the relationship between violence and power. Beginning with an overview of disputes over the politics of 'naming' violence, we will examine a series of intersecting historical disputes about the nature, justification, and functions of political violence between a series of realist, Marxist, and pacifist thinkers. Topics to be discussed will include the relationship between tactics and strategy, means and ends, the dynamics of political contention, revolution and mass politics, the relationship coercion and persuasion, and the power of nonviolence, as well as revolutionary terror, general strikes, civil disobedience, hunger strikes, and political rioting. Thinkers studied may include Clausewitz, Tolstoy, Lenin, Luxemburg, Weber, Sorel, Gandhi, Trotsky, Niebuhr, Du Bois, Fanon, King, Arendt, and Deming.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Alexander Livingston (pal229)
Full details for GOVT 6596 : Violence, Power, and Nonviolence
GOVT 6645 Democratic Theory

In contemporary political contexts "democracy" is often invoked as the very ground of political legitimacy. There is very little agreement, however, on what democracy means or how it is best embodied in state institutions and law. This seminar will introduce students to select debates in contemporary democratic theory over the normative meaning of democracy and the limitations of contemporary democratic practice. Beginning with the work of Rousseau and ending with debates over "radical democracy," we will explore the following themes: How do democratic theorists and democratic actors negotiate the paradoxes of collective self-rule? What is the relationship between liberalism and democracy? Do rights suspend democracy or establish its preconditions? What are the best procedures for democratic decision-making? How does democracy deal with difference? Is democracy best understood as a form of government or a practice of resistance to domination?

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jason Frank (jf273)
Full details for GOVT 6645 : Democratic Theory
GOVT 6745 Humanitarian Affects

Liberal feminists and political theorists argue that sentiments such as compassion and empathy have the capacity to alert us to suffering, injustice, and oppression, and thus incite transformative political action. This interdisciplinary seminar explores the challenges to this theory by staging a conversation between postcolonial, feminist, and queer theories of affect, and anthropological critiques of humanitarian projects. Sentiments are mobilized to defend borders, wage wars, grant asylum to refugees, provide medical care and disaster relief, and inspire feminist activism. We will analyze how these gendered and racialized ethical projects and political regimes are co-constituted, and how they mediate access to resources and survival, as well as political agency, subjectivity, citizenship, and national belonging.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Saida Hodzic (sh888)
Full details for GOVT 6745 : Humanitarian Affects
GOVT 6846 Making Equality

This seminar inquires into the interrelations among three meanings of equality that initially appeared in the ancient world: equality of voice or participation, isegoria; equality before the law, isonomia; and equality of power, isokratia. Through legal, political theoretical, historical, philosophical, and poetic texts, we will explore how these different practices of equality circulate and interact in institutional settings marked by injustice, scarce resources, and asymmetries of wealth and power. For longer description and instructor bio visit The Society for the Humanities website.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jill Frank (jf725)
Full details for GOVT 6846 : Making Equality
GOVT 6857 International Political Economy

Exploration into a range of contemporary theories and research topics in the field of international political economy. The seminar covers different theoretical perspectives and a number of substantive problems.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Christopher Way (crw12)
Full details for GOVT 6857 : International Political Economy
GOVT 6877 China and Asian Security

This course focuses primarily on China's evolving role in both Asia and world politics. It does so based on the premise that what China does in Asia may not necessarily be the sole determinant of the type of security order that will prevail there, but, that it does have a profound influence on the region (and, potentially, on the global order as well). In other words, in order to gain an understanding of the state of security issues in Asia today the seminar attempts to come to terms with the evolving nature of China's foreign policy and national security strategies. The course then concentrates on the most influential academic work on China's foreign relations and national security policies that has been published since the end of the Cold War.  

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jessica Weiss (jcw335)
Full details for GOVT 6877 : China and Asian Security
GOVT 6945 Pleasure and Neoliberalism

This course examines how African writers, filmmakers, and internet media content creators engage with and revise public images of bodies—specifically pleasure, gender, queerness, genital surgeries, sex strike, etc. Our inquiry also surveys African theorists' commitment in highlighting forms of agency on the continent in addition to troubling longstanding and problematic colonialist tropes of pathologization of Africans. These topical explorations will be achieved through analyses of storytelling, digitality, the aestheticization of violence, and social change theories. Through contemporary films, digital platforms, novels, and essays, we will reflect on the precarious, yet empowering, nature of the body in the post-independence African experience. Public speaking (class discussions, student presentation) and deep attention to writing (reaction papers, an abstract, and annotated bibliography, and a final paper) will help you to refine your understanding of body politics.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Naminata Diabate (nd326)
Full details for GOVT 6945 : Pleasure and Neoliberalism
GOVT 7073 Game Theory 1

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

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

The Proseminar in Peace Studies offers a multidisciplinary review of issues related to peace and conflict at the graduate level. The course is led by the director of the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies and is based on the Institute's weekly seminar series, featuring outside visitors and Cornell faculty. 

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Rebecca Slayton (rs849)
Full details for GOVT 7937 : Proseminar in Peace Studies
GOVT 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: David Bateman (dab465)
Full details for GOVT 7999 : Independent Study