Politics

Kavita Khory, Chair

Linda Chesky Fernandes, Academic Department Coordinator


109A Skinner Hall
413-538-2381
https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/politics

Overview and Contact Information

The word “politics” in ordinary conversations may refer to struggles for power or justice among antagonistic individuals or groups; the types of regimes by which people are governed; the ties that bind subjects to rulers or citizens to states; the election of representatives, passage of laws, and voicing of public opinion in democratic societies; and international relations among different polities, whether they be empires, multinational federations, or nation-states. The phrase “international politics” encompasses the waging of war and conducting of peace, the pursuit of national interests in competition with other states, norms of interaction among sovereign states, projects of humanitarian intervention, and collective efforts to enhance state security, global order, and human rights.

The study of such a complex subject has traditionally been divided into four overlapping fields:

  • Political theory tackles the contested meanings of freedom, equality, power, justice, community, and individuality, as well as the clashing ideological perspectives by which different people make sense of political life. It also explores the ideas of influential political theorists from Plato to Thomas Hobbes to Hannah Arendt.
  • American politics studies the history and current organization of political institutions at the national, state, and local level in the United States. It also examines popular conflicts in America over private rights and material interests; racial, class, and gender inequality; and public goods, including the good of American citizenship itself.
  • Comparative politics covers the spectrum of political histories, systems of government, public policies, political parties, and social movements across the world. It examines, for example, parliamentary systems, ethnic conflict, authoritarian regimes, immigration policy, and nationalist movements from Asia to Europe to the Americas to Africa and the Middle East.
  • International politics investigates U.S. foreign policy, international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the World Criminal Court; the politics of population migrations; war, terrorism, and international security; and the political dilemmas sparked by economic globalization and such border-crossing problems as resource depletion and environmental decay.

The Department of Politics at Mount Holyoke College offers students courses within all four fields as well as courses that cross the lines between them.

See Also

Faculty

This area of study is administered by the Department of Politics:

Douglas Amy, Professor of Politics, On Leave Fall 2017, Retiring Spring 2018

Kavita Khory, Professor of Politics

Christopher Pyle, Class of 1926 Professor of Politics

Preston Smith II, Professor of Politics

Calvin Chen, Associate Professor of Politics

Elizabeth Markovits, Associate Professor of Politics; Director of First-Year Seminars; Director of Teaching and Learning Initiatives

Andy Reiter, Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations

Cora Fernandez Anderson, Assistant Professor of Politics

Christopher Mitchell, Assistant Professor of International Relations and Politics

Kim Dionne, Five College Assistant Professor of Government

Ali Aslam, Visiting Lecturer in Politics

Adam Hilton, Visiting Lecturer in Politics

Requirements for the Major

A minimum of 32 credits:

Subfield Requirements
One course must be taken in each of the four subfields, ordinarily to be selected from the list below: 116
American politics:
American Politics
Constitutional Law: The Federal System
Civil Liberties
American Political Thought
Comparative politics:
Comparative Politics
Chinese Politics
Contemporary Russian Politics
East Asian Politics
Middle East Politics
International politics:
World Politics
International Law and Organization
American Foreign Policy
Political theory:
First-year Seminars taught by Professor Markovits
Introduction to Political Ideas
Classical Political Thought
Introduction to Feminist Theory
American Political Thought
300-level Course Work Requirements
Three courses (12 credits) at the 300 level: 2,312
Two of which (8 credits) must be taken at Mount Holyoke College
The remaining course (4 credits) may be completed at another institution, subject to departmental approval
4 additional credits in politics at the 200 or 300 level4
Total Credits32
1

With permission from the department chair, certain 300-level courses may substitute for a 200-level field requirement, but no 300-level course may be counted as satisfying both a field requirement and the three 300-level course requirement in politics.

2

No more than 4 credits of POLIT-395 may be counted toward this requirement of three courses at the 300 level.

3

A single course at the 200 level offered at Mount Holyoke can be taken at the 300 level with the instructor’s permission, provided the student has already taken 8 credits in politics, and provided the instructor and student agree upon additional work

Requirements for the Minor

At least 16 credits:

12 credits in politics at the 200 level or above12
At least 4 credits in politics at the 300 level4
Courses must span at least two of the department’s four subfields: 1
American Politics
Comparative Politics
International Politics
Political Theory
Total Credits16
1

 See the requirements of the Politics major for a list of which courses are approved choices within each subfield.

Additional Specifications

  • Students must obtain the approval of the department chair at the time they register for their next-to-last semester.

Teacher Licensure

Students interested in pursuing licensure in the field of politics can combine their course work in politics with a minor in education. In some instances course work in the major coincides with course work required for licensure; in other cases, it does not. For specific course requirements for licensure within the major of politics, please consult your advisor or the chair of the politics department. Further information about the minor in education and the Teacher Licensure program is available in other sections of the catalog, and consult Professor Lawrence in the psychology and education department.

Licensure also requires a formal application as well as passing scores on the Massachusetts Test of Educator Licensure (MTEL) in both the literacy component and the subject matter component. Copies of the test objectives for the MTEL are available in the politics department and in the Department of Psychology and Education.

Additional information about the Licensure Program, including application materials, can be found on the Teacher Licensure Program website.

Related Courses

These courses in other departments are available for credit in politics.

International Relations

All courses taught by Profs. Mitchell, Hashmi, or Western, including:

IR-211Middle East Politics4
IR-222The United States, Israel, and the Arabs4
IR-224The United States and Iran4
IR-232Introduction to International Political Economy4
IR-323Comparative Politics of the Middle East4
IR-363Political Economy of the European Union4
IR-365Ethics and International Relations4

Russian and Eurasian Studies

All courses taught by Prof. Jones, including:

RES-240Contemporary Russian Politics: From Lenin to Putin4
RES-241Russia, the West, and the Challenge of Putinism4
RES-330Nationalism, Populism, and the New World Order4

Course Offerings

POLIT-104 American Politics

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

Offers an overview of the American political system and the theories of those who both celebrate and criticize it. Focuses on the institutions of American politics, including the Constitution, the presidency, Congress, the courts, parties, elections, interest groups, and movements seeking political change. Also includes a theoretical focus: a critical examination of the varieties of liberalism, conservatism, pluralism, and democracy that inform the practice of American politics.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
A. Hilton, C. Pyle, P. Smith

POLIT-106 Comparative Politics

Fall. Credits: 4

This course provides an introduction to comparative political analysis, one of the four subfields of political science. The primary objective is to help students understand how the 'modern' world, one characterized by the rise of industrialized nation-states, took form and what shape it might take in the post-Cold War era. We will examine how the challenges of economic development, social transformation, and nation-building sparked the emergence of alternatives to 'modernity' characterized by diverse configurations of political institutions and social forces. We will also assess how globalization and the re-emergence of local identities may be redefining our understanding of 'modernity.'

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
C. Fernandez Anderson

POLIT-116 World Politics

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

This course is a survey of contending approaches to the study of conflict and cooperation in world politics. Examines key concepts--including balance of power, imperialism, collective security, deterrence, and interdependence--with historical examples ranging from the Peloponnesian War to the post-cold war world. Analyzes the emerging world order.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
K. Khory, A. Reiter

POLIT-118 Introduction to Political Ideas

Fall. Credits: 4

This course introduces students to the study of political thought, focusing on such concepts as freedom, power, equality, justice, and democracy. Over the course of the semester, students will develop a theoretical vocabulary with which to analyze both the history of political thought and contemporary politics. This course is writing-intensive; students will have the opportunity to rigorously analyze texts and hone their ability to write confidently and effectively.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
E. Markovits

POLIT-200 Foundations of Africana Studies

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This reading and writing-intensive course draws upon the intellectual traditions of African American, African, and African diasporic studies in order to explore the connections and disjunctures among people of African descent. While the course pays attention to national, regional, and historical contexts, it asks this question: what do African descended people have in common and when and how are their experiences and interests different?

Crosslisted as: AFCNA-200
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
L. Wilson

POLIT-208 Chinese Politics

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course examines the politics of contemporary China. Beginning with an assessment of the origins of the Chinese Revolution, the course then examines core institutions and events in the People's Republic, including the Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, post-Mao reforms, and the Tiananmen Incident. In addition, the course analyzes the changing nature of state-society relations, the emergence of new social and political identities, and China's role in the international arena.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
C. Chen
Advisory: Politics 106 recommended.

POLIT-209 Contemporary Russian Politics

Fall. Credits: 4

Russia was transformed by communist revolution into a global superpower that challenged the dominant ideologies of liberalism and nationalism. It became a powerful alternative to capitalism. In 1991, this imperial state collapsed and underwent an economic, political, and cultural revolution. What explains the Soviet Union's success for 70 years and its demise in 1991? What sort of country is Russia as it enters the twenty-first century? Is it a democracy? How has Russia's transformation affected ordinary people and Russia's relationship to the West?

Crosslisted as: RES-240
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
S. Jones

POLIT-211 Classical Political Thought

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course traces the development of western political thought from classical Greece through medieval Europe. We will pay particular attention to the ways major writers characterized the relationship between the individual and community; the roles knowledge, reason, emotion, and rhetoric play in political life; the link between gender and citizenship; and the various forms political community can take.

Crosslisted as: CLASS-215
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
E. Markovits
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors

POLIT-228 East Asian Politics

Fall. Credits: 4

This course examines the dramatic rise of East Asia in the post-World War II period in comparative perspective. The focus will be on understanding the process and consequences of rapid development in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China. Assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the 'East Asian model of development' and explores how different developmental experiences and policies affect state-society relations, social and political identities, and prospects for peace and cooperation throughout the region.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
C. Chen
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Advisory: Politics 106 recommended

POLIT-229 Propaganda and War

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course explores propaganda techniques and mobilization for war. Drawing on recent comparative and historical examples, we will analyze war mobilization strategies and different forms of propaganda, its control, and dissemination from a variety of cross-cultural perspectives. We will address the following questions: Why is propaganda necessary? What is the media's relationship to state propaganda efforts? How do states control information in an age of 'citizen journalists' armed with cell phones? How do activists and protest movements contest state propaganda? We conclude by examining key trends in the development of mass media forms and technologies and their implications for global politics.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
K. Khory

POLIT-230 Resistance and Revolution

Spring. Credits: 4

This course examines the dynamics and causes of protest, rebellion, and revolution. Topics include the three 'great' revolutions - the French, Russian, and Chinese - as well as such social science theories as moral economy, rational choice, resource mobilization, political culture, and relative deprivation. Attention will be devoted to peasant protest and elite responses to resistance movements. The objectives of the class are to familiarize students with alternative explanations of revolutionary change and to provide students with an opportunity to link general theories to specific case studies.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
C. Chen
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Prereq: 8 credits in Politics.
Advisory: POLIT-106 recommended.

POLIT-232 Introduction to International Political Economy

Fall. Credits: 4

This course examines the theory and practice of the politics of international trade and economics, focusing on the spread of global trade, global financial flows, causes and effects of globalization and migration, and the intersection of trade and environmental issues. Major themes include tensions between the developed and developing world, various development strategies, and the impact of a rising China on both the developed North American and European economies and developing economies.

Crosslisted as: IR-232
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
C. Mitchell
Prereq: POLIT-116.

POLIT-233 Introduction to Feminist Theory

Spring. Credits: 4

This course explores the overlapping dualities of the feminine and the masculine, the private and the public, the home and the world. We examine different forms of power over the body; the ways gender and sexual identities reinforce or challenge the established order; and the cultural determinants of 'women's emancipation.' We emphasize the politics of feminism, dealing with themes that include culture, democracy, and the particularly political role of theory and on theoretical attempts to grasp the complex ties and tensions between sex, gender, and power.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-212CC
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
E. Markovits
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors

POLIT-234 Black Metropolis: From MLK to Obama

Spring. Credits: 4

Black Metropolis" refers to the more than half a million black people jammed into a South Side ghetto in Chicago at mid-twentieth century that featured an entrenched black political machine, a prosperous black middle class, and a thriving black cultural scene in the midst of massive poverty and systemic inequality. This course will follow the political, economic, and cultural developments of what scholars considered to be the typical urban community in postwar United States. We will examine such topics as Martin Luther King's failed desegregation campaign; Harold Washington, first black mayor; William Julius Wilson's urban underclass thesis; and the rise of Barack Obama.

Crosslisted as: AFCNA-234
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
P. Smith

POLIT-235 Constitutional Law: The Federal System

Fall. Credits: 4

This course examines the impact of U.S. constitutional law on the legitimacy of different assertions of governmental power. Topics include judicial review; congressional control of court jurisdiction; federal regulation of the economy; and the relative powers and authority of the president, Congress, and the courts in national emergencies, foreign relations, war, and covert action, including torture and assassination. Case method.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
C. Pyle
Prereq: POLIT-104.

POLIT-236 Civil Liberties

Spring. Credits: 4

This course addresses the federal Constitution and civil liberties. Topics include the authority of the courts to read new rights into the Constitution; equal protection of the laws and affirmative action for racial minorities, women, gays, and non-citizens. Also, freedoms of expression, association, and the press. Emphasis on the appropriateness of different methods of interpreting law. Case method.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
C. Pyle
Prereq: POLIT-104.

POLIT-241 Social Housing

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course compares social housing in the Netherlands with public housing in the United States. It will examine the historical and political reasons for how social housing developed in the United States and the Netherlands. In particular, it will focus on the role of class, ethnicity, race, and immigration in development of social housing policy in both countries. Lastly, it will examine the impact of neoliberalism which has challenged both countries' ability to provide affordable housing for its working class citizens.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
P. Smith
Prereq: POLIT-105 or POLIT-106.

POLIT-242 Oil and Water Don't Mix: Geopolitics, Energy, and the Environment

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Following the collapse of the USSR and the Gulf War, Central Asia and the Caucasus became new centers of geopolitical rivalry. The new states are a source of energy (oil and gas) for Western powers and a vital transit corridor between Eastern Europe and China. While a new 'Great Game' is being fought between Western, Far Eastern, and Middle Eastern powers for control over energy pipelines, the region is threatened by environmental catastrophe and water shortages. Is the new oil industry a source of prosperity or an instrument for exploitation, corruption, and instability? How important are the new states to the West's strategic energy interests?

Crosslisted as: RES-242
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
S. Jones

POLIT-243 Introduction to Latin American Politics

Spring. Credits: 4

Why has Latin America struggled to achieve democratic stability? Why is it the region of the world with the highest economic inequality? How have the periodic political and economic crises allowed for creative experimentation with policy alternatives to create a more equal and sustainable social order? This course examines the political and economic evolution and transformation of Latin America from the time of the European conquest until these very days, with a particular focus on the 20th century. It will also analyze how these general trends took specific shapes in each of the 7 countries studied: Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Chile, Venezuela and Bolivia.

Crosslisted as: LATAM-243
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
C. Fernandez Anderson
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Advisory: Politics 106 (Comparative Politics) is recommended.

POLIT-246 American Political Thought

Fall. Credits: 4

This course explores limited government, popular sovereignty, representative institutions, checks and balances, republicanism, liberty, equality, democracy, pluralism, liberalism, and conservatism, and how these concepts have developed during three centuries of American politics and in contrast to European thought. The focus is not on the writings of the 'great thinkers' but on the 'habits of thought' of the American people and on ideas implicit in laws and institutions that affect the allocation of authority and power within the constitutional order.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
C. Pyle
Prereq: POLIT-104, or HIST-270, or HIST-170 and HIST-171.

POLIT-247 International Law and Organization

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course presents international norms and institutions for regulating conflict, including promoting economic well-being, protecting human rights, exploring and using outer space, and controlling exploitation and pollution of the oceans. The course considers international agreements, problems of lawmaking, interpretation, and compliance; nationality and the status of foreigners and their investments; the principle of self-determination; and interests of postcolonial states as they impinge on the international legal order.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
A. Reiter
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors

POLIT-248 Topics in Politics

POLIT-248CW Topics in Politics: 'Imagining Cold War Competition'

Spring. Credits: 4

The development of nuclear weapons and the ascendance of the Soviet Union following World War II led to the rise of an influential class of professionals tasked with managing the contours of American Empire. This course seeks to answer three questions: first, how did these thinkers understand the dynamics of world order and the place of the United States in superpower competition? Second, what were the social, cultural, and political contexts that influenced and underwrote these theories of global domination? And finally, how were these theories put into practice in American foreign policy and with what consequences for competition with the Soviet Union and the rest of the world?

Crosslisted as: IR-250CW
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
B. Nakayama

POLIT-248PM Topics in Politics: 'Parties and Movements in American Politics'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course explores the relationship between political parties and social movements in the United States. Through a historical examination of abolitionist, labor, civil rights, and other movements, we will analyze how formal electoral politics intersects with the more fluid politics of protest and direct action. We will look at how parties have grown out of, allied with, co-opted or eschewed movements for social change. Students will develop a clear analytical sense of the conditions that facilitate successful movement-party dynamics, concluding with critical assessments concerning the impact of the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, and Black Lives Matter.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
A. Hilton
Prereq: POLIT-104.

POLIT-252 Urban Politics

Fall. Credits: 4

This course draws on both historical and contemporary sources to address critical issues and problems facing cities. Topics are organized around the following questions: How have cities come to take their shape and character over time? How are economic and social inequalities mapped onto the urban landscape? How are differences of race, class, and gender negotiated through urban institutions and community struggles?

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
P. Smith
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Advisory: Introductory course in American history or social sciences.

POLIT-254 Social Housing

Spring. Credits: 4

This course compares social housing in the Netherlands with public housing in the United States. It will examine the historical, social and political factors in the development of social housing in the U.S. and the Netherlands. In particular it will focus on the role of class, ethnicity, race, and immigration on the evolution of social housing policy in both countries. It will examine the more recent impact of neoliberalism on both countries' ability to provide affordable housing to its citizens. Students will engage in community-based research on affordable housing in cities within the Pioneer Valley. We will share our research with affordable housing organizations as well as municipal planning offices.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
P. Smith
Prereq: POLIT-104, POLIT-106, POLIT-252.
Notes: This class will feature guest lectures via Skype from social housing providers and policy experts from the Netherlands.

POLIT-255PA Gender and Power in Global Contexts: 'The Politics of Abortion in the Americas'

Fall. Credits: 4

The Americas have been characterized by the strictness of their laws in the criminalization of abortion. In some countries abortion is criminalized even when the woman's life is at risk. What role have women's movements played in advancing abortion rights? What has mattered most for a movement's success, its internal characteristics or external forces? Has the way the movement framed its demands mattered? How has the political influence of the Catholic and Evangelical churches influenced policies in this area? We will answer these questions by exploring examples from across the region through primary and secondary sources.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
C. Fernandez Anderson

POLIT-255RP Gender and Power in Global Contexts: 'Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Latin America'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Since the 1990s Latin America has witnessed increasing societal and political debates over sexual and reproductive rights. Issues such as abortion, gay marriage, transgender rights, sexual education and assisted reproductive technology have risen to the top of some countries' agendas after decades of silence, taboos, and restrictive or non-existent legislation. The course aims to provide a survey of sexual and reproductive rights in the region as a whole while at the same time highlighting the disparities that exist within it. The course analyzes the multiple factors behind the current policies focusing particularly on the role of women and LGBT movements advancing more liberal legislation.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-250RP, LATAM-287RP
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
C. Fernandez Anderson
Advisory: Previous coursework in Latin American Studies and/or Gender Studies recommended.

POLIT-264 Russia, the West, and Putinism

Spring. Credits: 4

Since its creation at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Soviet Union dominated the minds of Western foreign policymakers. None of the West's policies in the Middle East, the Third World, Europe, or China after World War II can be understood without the study of Soviet foreign policy. We will examine the development of Soviet foreign policy since 1917 and, following the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the role played by Russia and Russia and the former Soviet republics in the far more complex and multipolar "New World Order." What should U.S. policy be toward the emerging new states of the Baltics, Central Asia, and Caucasia?

Crosslisted as: RES-241
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
S. Jones

POLIT-269 Social Movements: Theory and Praxis

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Why do people mobilize? When do they do so? Why and how do they create movements? Are social movements successful paths towards social change? If so, under which conditions? This course will review the main theories of social movements and use them to analyze cases from around the world. Some of the cases we will take upon are the Arab Spring, the American civil rights movement, women and indigenous movements in Latin America, the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, and the environmental movement in Europe.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
C. Fernandez Anderson
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Advisory: Politics 106 (Comparative Politics) is recommended.

POLIT-270 American Foreign Policy

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

In this examination of American foreign policy since 1898, topics include the emergence of the United States as a global power, its role in World War I and II, its conduct and interests in the cold war, and its possible objectives in a post-cold war world. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between domestic interests and foreign policy, the role of nuclear weapons in determining policy, and the special difficulties in implementing a democratic foreign policy. See for a more detailed description.

Crosslisted as: IR-270
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
B. Nakayama
Prereq: POLIT-116.

POLIT-272 Trade and American Foreign Policy

Spring. Credits: 4

Trade policy has been central to American political debates since independence. Whether free trade, fair trade, or protectionism is best for America has been hotly debated for centuries. Decisions to trade or not to trade have also long been linked to other domestic and foreign policy issues including abolitionism and the Civil War, securing allies in the Cold War, building peaceful relations with China, and cementing U.S. global leadership. This course examines the shifting coalitions arguing over U.S. trade policy, the shifting goals they seek to accomplish via U.S. trade policy, and the international effects of U.S. trade.

Crosslisted as: IR-272
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
C. Mitchell
Prereq: IR-232 or POLIT-232.

POLIT-278 U.S. Elections

Spring. Credits: 4

Elections have been at the core of both the vitality and fragility of American democracy. Free and responsive government is hard to imagine without elections, yet U.S. elections suffer from low turnout, increasing polarization, invisible money, gender inequality, partisan gerrymandering, and new forms of voter disenfranchisement. This course offers an overview of American elections by placing them in historical and comparative perspective. We will look at how the institutions that structure the electoral process developed, how they differ from those in other democratic countries, and how they shape the behavior of candidates, voters, and activists, and influence the policymaking process.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
A. Hilton
Prereq: POLIT-104.

POLIT-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

POLIT-302 Urban Policy

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Gentrification, unemployment, crime, failing schools, disinvestment, mass incarceration--what comes to mind when you think of the inner city? In response to a constrained fiscal environment, cities have increasingly adopted neoliberal policy approaches to address seemingly intractable urban problems. The seminar will study current research to assess the political and economic impact of this neoliberal policy regime on housing, education, and public safety.

Crosslisted as: AFCNA-302
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
P. Smith
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: 8 credits in the department.

POLIT-308 Nationalism, Populism, and the New World Order

Spring. Credits: 4

Nationalism is one of the greatest challenges to multiethnic states. They have had to create new strategies to deal with the demands of ethnic minorities. Taking the four states of Spain, Canada, Russia, and the former Yugoslavia as examples, we will focus on nationalist movements within these states and the central governments' responses. What has been the effect of the Communist legacy? Are there alternatives to federalism as a way of managing national claims? What socioeconomic policies have governments used to control ethnic tensions? What role can international organizations play in finding solutions to ethnic conflict?

Crosslisted as: RES-330
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
S. Jones
Prereq: 8 credits from politics, international relations or Russian and Eurasian studies.

POLIT-314 Political Violence: Causes and Solutions

Fall. Credits: 4

This course is an examination of political violence. Throughout the semester, the course covers the various manifestations of political violence, focusing on diverse topics such as genocide, ethnic conflict, interstate war, terrorism, and civil war. The course explores the debates in the field of political science regarding the nature and causal factors behind these types of violence. The course also examines how to end violence, how to maintain peace, and how societies should attempt to heal from periods of violence.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
A. Reiter
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: 8 credits in Politics.

POLIT-316 European Studies Seminar

POLIT-316FO European Studies Seminar: 'Foreigners Within, Foreigners Without: The EU and its New Neighbors'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

The enlargement of the European Union (EU) to Central and Eastern European countries has generated new neighbors to the east and south - the Western Newly Independent States (WNIS) of Russia, Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine, and Southern Mediterranean countries (SMCs) Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. Europe's new neighbors make up 410 million inhabitants, but their GDP capita is barely one tenth of the European Union's. This has brought problems for the EU, including migration pressures, human trafficking, and refugees. How is the EU dealing with these issues and how will relations with the new neighbors affect the domestic and foreign policies of the EU?

Crosslisted as: RES-316FR
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
S. Jones
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: 4 credits at the 200 level in a Division III subject.
Advisory: Students not meeting the prerequisite but with a 200-level Division I course may contact the instructor for permission.

POLIT-327 Transitional Justice

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

As societies emerge from authoritarian rule or civil war, they face the daunting task of engaging past human rights violations. States have a myriad of options at their disposal, ranging from granting blanket amnesties to hosting complex trials and truth commissions. In making these decisions, new leaders face pressures from former authoritarian actors, victims' groups, and international organizations. This course analyzes the problems facing societies with past human rights violations, the numerous options they have at their disposal to engage these abuses, and the political, legal, economic, and moral ramifications of each choice. Most importantly, it asks--does transitional justice work?

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
A. Reiter
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: 8 credits in Politics.

POLIT-350 Revolutions

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

By the 1980s, after the failure of Marxist revolutions, scholars and politicians declared that "history" and with it, the age of revolution was over. From now on, they said, all states will move toward the model of market capitalism. But the last decade of the 20th century and the first fifteen years of the 21st century have shown that history, and with it, revolution, is far from over. We will look at the American and Russian revolutions, at Nazism, the Iranian revolution of 1979, Eastern Europe in 1989, the 'colored revolutions,' and the Arab Spring. Revolutions are still with us, and we will study why.

Crosslisted as: RES-350
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
S. Jones

POLIT-353 The Politics of Work

Fall. Credits: 4

This seminar explores the contentious relationship between work and politics. The focus will be on workplace dynamics and how technological change, gender, methods of labor organization, and management philosophy affect the way in which authority is structured and perpetuated. The experiences of such regions as the United States, Japan, and China will also be used to shed light on the future of labor and work in an age of increasing globalization.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
C. Chen
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.

POLIT-356 Black Migrations

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This seminar is a comparative examination of the migration of African-descended people within and to the United States. In succession, it looks at the original African diaspora through the Atlantic slave trade; the Great Migration of African Americans from the South; the immigration to the U.S. of African-descended people from the West Indies; and last, the movement of Africans from the continent to the United States since 1965 when immigration laws became more inclusive. We will evaluate the process of African Americanization for each new migratory group in all of its cultural and political ramifications. Course material includes articles, books, films, novels, and guest speakers.

Crosslisted as: AFCNA-356
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
P. Smith
Prereq: AFCNA-200.

POLIT-358 Justice: Theory and Practice

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This 
course explores various theories of justice, examining the most dominant approaches 
to the subject within modern and contemporary political theory, as well as the relation of justice 
to democracy and questions of identity, recognition, and inclusion. The course will also focus 
on the implications of those theories for political, social, and economic institutions by
 offering students a problem-based learning environment in which they will work together to 
bring theoretical insights to bear on actual political problems.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
E. Markovits
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: 8 credits in the department.

POLIT-359 Democratization and Civil Society in East Asia

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course examines the dramatic emergence of democratic institutions and civil society in East Asia. The primary aim of the class is to help students understand and analyze the process of democratic unfolding in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. We will also evaluate China's recent, albeit limited experiments with democratic practices. We will begin by contrasting Western perspectives of democracy with both traditional and more contemporary Asian understandings of democracy. We will then focus on the actual processes of democratic consolidation in each of the cases, especially the developments that precipitated political crisis and ultimately, political change.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
C. Chen
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.

POLIT-361 Politics and Rhetoric

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

People have long accused politicians of using rhetoric to pander to audiences and get what they want regardless of the truth. But democratic politics depends on communication to persuade and motivate others. In this course, we will analyze classical writings on rhetoric, contemporary democratic political theory, and hear from professionals in order to probe the relationship between rhetoric and politics. Students will also engage in an extended campaign simulation, in which they devise, implement, and react to campaign rhetorical strategies. Prior work in political theory is required and prior work in American Politics is strongly recommended.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
E. Markovits
Prereq: 8 credits from Politics including at least one theory course.

POLIT-363 Political Economy of the European Union

Fall. Credits: 4

This course examines the political, economic, and cultural forces driving debates around the creation, expansion, and reform of the European Union. It examines the economic and political logic for integration, as well as the cultural and economic challenges pushing against integration, and provides an in-depth look at the specific challenges facing the EU.

Crosslisted as: IR-363
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
C. Mitchell
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: 8 credits in Politics/International Relations.

POLIT-364 Human Rights Abuses and Accountability Mechanisms in the Southern Cone of Latin America

Spring. Credits: 4

During the 1960s and 1970s military coups brought authoritarian regimes to power in the Southern Cone (Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay). Human rights movements emerged demanding information about victims of torture, executions and disappearances which became the way military regimes attempted to eliminate dissent. What accounts for the different role these movements in the transition and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law? Did they take part to the same extent in the design and implementation of accountability mechanisms to prosecute those responsible for the abuses? We will answer these questions through the analysis of academic readings, movies, and primary sources.

Crosslisted as: LATAM-387HR
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
C. Fernandez Anderson
Advisory: Previous coursework in Latin American studies and/or comparative politics recommended.

POLIT-366 International Migration

Fall. Credits: 4

This course examines migration and transnational processes from a comparative perspective. It focuses on the relationship between globalization and international migration, with special attention to transnational networks and diaspora politics. We will explore major theories, forms, and patterns of migration in global politics; the involvement of diaspora organizations in the politics of host and home states; and the implications of migration and refugee flows for state sovereignty, national identity, and citizenship. We will conclude by analyzing the key debates and framing of immigration policies and models of citizenship in Europe and the United States.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
K. Khory
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: 8 Credits from Politics

POLIT-367 Decision Making

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

On decision making, and the pathologies of decision making, in American politics. When, and to what extent, can we say that a particular policy decision is the result of rational choice, institutional processes, pluralistic pressures, or other forces? When are individual or collective decisions likely to be marred by 'groupthink,' selective attention, or self-deception? To what extent, if at all, may collective decisions be considered rational or moral? When are challenges to authority, or to dominant opinion, likely to make a difference?

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
C. Pyle
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: POLIT-104, 8 credits in department.

POLIT-369 Black Radicalism

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

The struggles and ideas of transatlantic black radicals have changed the ways we think and study -- through the formation of Africana/African-American/Black-Studies -- and the ways in which we express thoughts and ideas -- through culture and politics. In this seminar, we will study the interdisciplinary history of black radicalism in the 20th century in the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa. This interdisciplinary history is animated by a central debate over the role of black internationalism, if any, in domestic black radical thought and action in the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa.

Crosslisted as: AFCNA-369
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
P. Smith
Prereq: AFCNA-200 or POLIT-200.
Notes: There will be a number of shared classes/discussions with the Africana Studies Senior Seminar at Williams College, both in person and through video-conference, who will be sharing the same syllabus. We will make a class visit to Williams, and we will host a visit from the Williams seminar. The shared meetings will be organized around speakers, presentations, and local activists.

POLIT-373 The Politics of Transformation in China and India

Spring. Credits: 4

This seminar provides a structured comparison of two 'emerging giants,' China and India. Interdisciplinary in scope, the class draws upon various approaches and frameworks to analyze the economic, social, and political development of the two countries. Topics include the impact of market-based reforms and migration, demands for representation and increased political participation, nationalism, environmental degradation, and human capital. We will conclude with a focus on China-India relations and their aspirations for great power status in Asia and beyond. Students will develop and refine 'real world' skill sets through the writing of policy memos, simulations, and formal presentations.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
C. Chen, K. Khory
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: 8 credits in department.

POLIT-377 American Political Development

Spring. Credits: 4

When and why does politics change in the United States? How do past transformations shape later political and policy choices? This course combines historical, institutional, and comparative perspectives to examine the growth and development of American political institutions and the evolution of state-society relations in the U.S. Key themes include: the distinctive or "exceptional" status of American politics compared to other advanced democracies; the role of culture and ideas in shaping American institutions and civic identities over time; and the ways in which race and gender have figured historically in the articulation of state power.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
A. Hilton
Prereq: POLIT-104.

POLIT-380 Nationalism in Global Politics

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This seminar explores nationalist ideologies and movements in global politics. We will examine the different--and contested--conceptions of nationalism, the relationship of nationalism to state-building and modern warfare, and the sources of ethnic conflict and political violence. The course will conclude by analyzing the role of nationalism in shaping the foreign policy of "rising" powers like China and India. Case studies from Europe, Asia and the Middle East will be selected for their contemporary relevance.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
K. Khory
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: 8 credits in politics.

POLIT-382 Global Capitalism and Its Critiques

Spring. Credits: 4

Beyond the immediate debate about the political and economic dynamics of the global economy is a centuries-long conversation about the social, political, and economic consequences of a capitalist global economy and its potential variants and alternatives. This course will engage with this conversation by reading major thinkers both within and outside of the West who seek to alternately defend, critique, or overturn the global economic order, including Smith, Keynes, Marx, Polanyi, and their intellectual followers. Our goal will be to explore both the intellectual conversation and how it both shapes and explains the political and economic struggles over the global liberal economic order.

Crosslisted as: IR-382
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
C. Mitchell
Prereq: IR-232 or POLIT-232.

POLIT-384 Ending War and Securing the Peace: Conflict Mediation and Resolution in the 21st Century

Spring. Credits: 4

How do we end political violence and achieve peace? This course focuses on the context for negotiation and bargaining strategies, including what types of actors are involved in negotiations, the contours of the mediation environment, the timing of intervention and talks, the use of leverage to get warring parties to the table, and the transformation of processes across multiple stages from initial mediation to implementation to enforcement. The course also examines several peacemaking strategies in depth, including resource sharing, territorial autonomy and partitions, elections and powersharing agreements, refugee crisis management,and demobilization and reintegration programs.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
A. Reiter
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: 8 credits in Politics.

POLIT-385 International Security

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course focuses on the recasting of global security concerns after the end of the cold war. It pays special attention to the problems of economic and ecological security; the relationship between security and democracy; humanitarian intervention; nuclear proliferation; and terrorism. The course concludes with analysis of specific initiatives for achieving both common and comprehensive security.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
K. Khory
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: 8 credits from Politics including POLIT-116.

POLIT-387 Advanced Topics in Political Theory

POLIT-387PD Advanced Topics in Politics: 'Other Political Dreams'

Spring. Credits: 4

This course examines dreams of other politics, trying to recognize what is distinctive in a diverse set of traditions beyond their resistance to liberal-democracy's entwinement with contemporary capitalism. Spanning anarchism, Afro-pessimism and Afro-futurism, and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, we will examine political actions and thought that do not identify themselves as democratic and even define themselves as anti-democratic in order to name politics they aspire towards. Special attention will be given the picture of collective belonging and action that emerges in these works along with the techniques of figuring these visions and of gathering community around them.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
A. Aslam
Prereq: 8 credits in Politics.

POLIT-387SC Advanced Topics in Politics: 'Why Is There No Socialism in the United States'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, Occupy Wall Street, and Senator Bernie Sanders's primary campaign, socialism has entered the mainstream of American politics, giving rise to questions concerning why the US can't be more like, say, Denmark. But while the question of why there is no socialism in the US may be on the minds of many, the puzzle is not new. This course will examine the long history of socialist politics in the United States while analyzing why it never established roots in the American system. Drawing comparisons with other advanced democracies, this course will explore what socialism has meant in the American context and what factors have shaped its minority status.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
A. Hilton
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.

POLIT-387SP Advanced Topics in Political Theory: 'U.S. Foreign Policy in Space'

Spring. Credits: 4

Once the crown jewel of U.S. Cold War public diplomacy, NASA has fallen into decline due to faltering public interest and budget. At the same time, there has been a "space rush" as private corporations have sought to normalize civilian space travel. This seminar explores the dynamics of the United States' foreign policy in space -- how it was developed and with what effects. By engaging with archival materials and scholarship this course will answer the following questions (among others): Why hasn't space been weaponized? What role does technological prestige play in public diplomacy? What are the roots and future of the commercial space industry?

Crosslisted as: IR-350SP
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
B. Nakayama
Prereq: 8 credits from Politics or International Relations.

POLIT-391 Pivotal Political Ideas

POLIT-391CP Pivotal Political Ideas: 'Capitalism II'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

The gains of global capitalism since the 2009 Great Recession and the laws and institutions organized to sustain the market have been breathtaking. What explains how and why citizens around the world have been unwilling or unable to imagine an alternative to free market competition? If citizens are genuinely committed to capitalism, why? During the first part of the course, we will consider these questions and the heightened fear that the triumph of the economy means the end of politics, at least in its democratic form. The second half of the course will conclude by examining the possibilities for post-capitalist politics, economic democracy, and alter-capitalism. Readings will include works by Hayek, Arendt, Lauren Berlant, Gar Alperovitz, and JK Gibson-Graham.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
A. Aslam

POLIT-391CT Pivotal Political Ideas: 'Capitalism'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

After reviewing the classic defense of capitalism as an engine of freedom, progress, and productivity, we will examine major shifts in the critique of capitalism from the early 19th to the early 21st century. This critical conceptual history will range over successive claims that capitalism foments labor exploitation and class inequality, imperialism, instrumentalism, the commodification of culture, the privatization of the commons, and the re-making of subjectivities to suit market imperatives. The course will conclude with Pope Francis's charge that the global capitalist system endangers 'whatever is fragile, like the environment' and devours everything 'in the way of increased profits.' Is Francis right, and if so, what are possible cures for these ills?

Crosslisted as: CST-391CT
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
A. Aslam
Prereq: One course in political theory or critical social thought.

POLIT-391DC Pivotal Political Ideas: 'Democracy and Its Critics'

Fall. Credits: 4

Today democracy has acquired an unquestioned moral legitimacy, but the ubiquity of democratic states risks obscuring what is central to the practice of democracy. In this course, we will examine democracy as a historical tradition through its critics and defenders. Key historical moments will include 5th century BCE Athens, the Atlantic revolutions (France, US, Haiti), as well as 19th and 20th century Anglo-American debates about the democratization and expansion of state powers.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
A. Aslam
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: 4 credits in Politics.

POLIT-391DT Pivotal Political Ideas: 'Democratic Theory'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Today democracy is seen as the only legitimate regime type, but there is very little consensus about what democracy refers to. This course will explore competing understandings of democracy and its relationship to state institutions and laws. Students will be introduced to contemporary debates over the normative basis of democracy and difficulties of democratic practice and citizenship. Among the questions we will explore are: what is the relationship between liberalism and democracy? Do rights represent the beginning or the end of democratic citizenship? Can democracy exist within a government or does it take form in opposition to it?

Crosslisted as: CST-391DT
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
A. Aslam
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: 8 credits in politics.

POLIT-391FW Pivotal Political Ideas: 'The Future of Work'

Spring. Credits: 4

Rapid change in how we work has frequently accompanied technological disruption, bringing with it both enlarged possibilities for freedom in the form of remote work and flexible schedules and new forms of discipline through freedom as technology demands and makes possible ever greater responsiveness. In this course, we will examine the politics of working today, from the promises of the new economy and to the distance between what is promised and what workers actually experience. We will consider alternatives within the share economy, from Uber to cooperatives, arguments for a universal basic income, and more radical experiments in political economy.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
A. Aslam
Prereq: 8 credits in Politics.

POLIT-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.