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GOVT 3294 : Post-Truth Politics
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Alexandra Cirone
We are in an era of unprecedented access to information via digital news, the internet, and social media. This also comes with significant misinformation — for example, in 2016, Oxford Dictionaries named 'post-truth' as its word of the year. Yet how prevalent is fake news, and how has this shaped modern politics? To what extent do "echo chambers" or the "backfire effect" exist as a result of social media, and are they interfering with our ability to separate fact from fiction? The course will first define the challenges faced, using examples of how misinformation affected elections both historically and recently in the US, the UK, and Europe. It will survey academic studies in political behavior that analyze both how individuals consume political information from social media, and how partisanship and polarization are making the problem worse. The course will conclude by discussing the nascent policy solutions to combat the spread of fake news — from Facebook's crowdsourcing initiatives to France's proposed legislation regarding election campaigns. Through readings, discussions, and written assignments, students will learn how to better evaluate evidence when it comes to politics and policy.
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GOVT 3281 : Constitutional Politics: The U.S. Supreme Court
Crosslisted as: AMST 3281, LAW 3281 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Dawn Chutkow
This course investigates the United States Supreme Court and its role in politics and government. It traces the development of constitutional doctrine, the growth of the Court's institutional power, and the Court's interaction with Congress, the president, and society. Discussed are major constitutional law decisions, their political contexts, and the social and behavioral factors that affect judges, justices, and federal court jurisprudence.
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GOVT 3242 : Down the School to Prison Track, and Back
Crosslisted as: EDUC 3142 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Rob Scott
The "school-to-prison track" refers to policies and practices that facilitate the transfer of students out of the school system and into the prison system (including juvenile detention, county jail, immigration detention centers, or adult prison). While all schools participate in the enforcement of rules/laws, the school-to-prison track represents an injection of punitive social policy into the realm of education. The 1994 statutory denial of financial aid for college-aspiring prison inmates also pulled educational policy into alignment with policies aimed at punishment rather than rehabilitation. Programs such as the Cornell Prison Education Program (CPEP) have aimed to help construct pathways "back" to college. This course takes a critical analytical look at the intersections of prisons and schooling, emphasizing pedagogy, history, and policy.
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GOVT 3161 : The American Presidency
Crosslisted as: AMST 3161 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Mildred Sanders
This course will explore and seek explanations for the performance of the 20-21st century presidency, focusing on its institutional and political development, recruitment process (nominations and elections), relationships to social groups, economic forces, and "political time."  We will also analyze the parameters of foreign & domestic policy making.
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GOVT 3082 : American Political Campaigns
Crosslisted as: AMST 3082 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Adam Levine
This course focuses on political campaigns, a central feature of American democracy. We will examine how they work and the conditions under which they affect citizens' decisions. The course looks at campaign strategies and attributes of candidates, as well as how and whether they affect key outcomes such as the decision to turn out, who to vote for, and whether to spend money and volunteer time helping favored candidates win.
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GOVT 3071 : Enduring Global and American Issues
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
David Silbey
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."
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GOVT 3044 : China's Next Economy
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 3304, CAPS 3049 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Jeremy Wallace
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.
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GOVT 3012 : The Politics of Poverty in the U.S.
Crosslisted as: AMST 3012 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Jamila Michener
Poverty is a phenomenon of enduring importance with significant implications for democratic governance. This course explores contemporary poverty in America, with a particular emphasis on its political causes and consequences. What is the proper role of government in addressing poverty? Under what conditions are the poor able to gain power despite their relative lack of privilege? What is the relationship between race and poverty? How do notions of "culture" shape conceptualizations of the poor? We will tackle these questions by drawing on insights from seminal texts in political science and sociology, supplemented with journalistic accounts of poverty.
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GOVT 2553 : Inside Europe
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Christopher Way
This course will cover current events in Europe as they unfold during the semester. Each week the two meetings will features a "topic" day in which students learn about a current issue of importance for Europe and a "analytical" day in which we see how social science tools and methods can help us better understand that issue. Faculty from across the university will be invited  to deepen students' understanding of elections, European Union actions and debates, refugee issues, security issues, and other relevant political and social events occurring in Europe. The course will respond flexibly to unforeseen events, teach students to become intelligent consumer of high quality news sources on Europe, expose students to different points of view on these issues, and introduce them to relevant social science theories and methods.  (CP)
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GOVT 2293 : Politics and Music
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Mona Krewel
Entertainment forms of political communication such as popular music are very often neglected in research of political communication, although popular music has a long and varied association with politics. It has provided the soundtrack to political protest and been the object of political censorship; politicians have courted pop stars and pop stars — like Bono of U2 — have acted as politicians. This class will therefore examine the various interaction between popular music and politics, and how popular music can contribute to our understanding of political thought and action, but also critically reflect upon the effects of popular music on people's political perceptions, attitudes and behavior.
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