Courses - Summer 2021

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, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Claire Leavitt (ccl228)
Full details for GOVT 1111 : Introduction to American Government and Politics
GOVT 1616 Introduction to Political Philosophy

This course offers a survey of Western political Philosophy. We will be reading and discussing the spectrum of great canonical theorists that include Plato, Aristotle, Christ, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft, J.S. Mill, Burke, Marx, Fanon, Malcolm X and M. L. King. Our approach will be both historical and conceptual, as we explore the nature of justice, freedom and equality—their presence and absence--in the Western Tradition.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Alexander Moon (am63)
Full details for GOVT 1616 : Introduction to Political Philosophy
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, GLC-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Chip Gagnon (vpg1)
Full details for GOVT 1817 : Making Sense of World Politics
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 Full details for GOVT 3071 : Enduring Global and American Issues
GOVT 3141 Prisons

The United States stands alone among Western, industrialized countries with its persistent, high rates of incarceration, long sentences, and continued use of the death penalty. This "American exceptionalism" -- the turn to mass incarceration -- has been fostered by the use of sharply-delineated categories that define vast numbers of people as outlaws and others as law-abiding. These categories that are based on ideas of personal responsibility and assumptions about race are modified somewhat by a liberal commitment to human rights.   Our purpose in this course is to understand how such ideas have taken root and to locate the consequences of these ideas for policy and practice. 

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Mary Katzenstein (mfk2)
Full details for GOVT 3141 : Prisons
GOVT 3284 Populism, Democracy and Authoritarianism

Populist leaders, movements, and parties who claim to represent "the people" (however defined) and challenge political establishments have shaken up the traditional political order in many countries around the world in recent times. Yet, the populist label is loosely applied to a wide range of political phenomena, on both the left- and right-wings of the political establishment. It includes iconic figures as Juan Perón and Hugo Chávez in Latin America, as well as Marine Le Pen, Matteo Salvini, Beppe Grillo, and Jimmie Akesson in contemporary Europe - not to mention Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the United States. Many followers of such leaders see populism as providing a corrective to flawed or failed representative institutions under democracy; critics of populism, on the other hand, believe it has intrinsic authoritarian tendencies, and thus see populism as a serious threat to democratic rule.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, GLC-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Adele Lebano (al953)
Full details for GOVT 3284 : Populism, Democracy and Authoritarianism
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 Full details for GOVT 3683 : Comparative Corruption
GOVT 3827 China and the World

Study of the dramatic rise of China through reviewing major developments in contemporary Chinese foreign policy since the establishment of the People's Republic of China (PRC), and concentrating more specifically on major developments in Chinese foreign policy during the 1980s and 1990s. Such a wide-ranging survey of Chinese foreign policy involves not only a consideration of the evolution of China's relations with its major bilateral partners but also an investigation of how China has defined its broader relationship with the international system. In addition, students are asked to consider which causal factors have been of primary importance in motivating Chinese behavior.

Distribution: (CA-AS, GLC-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Allen Carlson (arc26)
Full details for GOVT 3827 : China and the World
GOVT 3887 International Human Rights in Theory and Practice

This course will introduce students to the law, theory, and practice of international human rights. Students will think critically about the effectiveness of the international human rights system by examining its successes, failures, and dilemmas in preventing and responding to human rights abuse. Topics covered will include the origins and foundations of international human rights; the role of international, regional, and domestic institutions and actors in enforcing human rights; critiques of the human rights movement; and the relationship of the United States to the international system for the protection of human rights. The course will also explore issues such as the death penalty, women's human rights, migration, climate change, global poverty, racism and xenophobia, and responses to mass atrocities. During in-class activities, students will have the opportunity to step into the shoes of a human rights advocate and work with their classmates to address simulated human rights problems.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Elizabeth Brundige (eb456)
Full details for GOVT 3887 : International Human Rights in Theory and Practice