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Course Descriptions

Courses Primarily for Undergraduate Students

POLI_SCI 101-6 – First-Year Seminar

Topics vary.

POLI_SCI 101-6 – First-Year Seminar: African Politics Through Literature and Film

Topics vary.

POLI_SCI 101-6 – First-Year Seminar: The American Way of War

Topics vary.

POLI_SCI 101-6 – First-Year Seminar: Democracy and its Challenges in Africa - Opportunities and Challenges

The last 3 decades in sub-Saharan Africa have witnessed dramatic swings in regime change, including the transition from single party and military regimes to multiparty competition and, in some cases, democracy. The contemporary period marks new challenges to democracy around the world, and to Africa in specific ways. These challenges include economic pressures and globalization, institutional design and voting practices, term limit challenges, mobile and transnational populations, and questions of state capacity and security. We will begin by asking: what is democracy, what does it do, and what are the challenges it creates? We will analyze competing theoretical approaches to regime politics. We will look at current cases of democratization and autocratization in Africa and contribute to the news wrap section of a podcast.

POLI_SCI 101 – Freshman Seminar: Racial Politics in the Age of Obama and Trump

The election of Barack Obama, the country's first Black president, marked a historic watershed in American race relations. His presidency prompted heady expectations for greater racial tolerance and inclusion while also fueling worries about racial backlash and conflict. The contest to select a new president following Obama’s two terms and the eventual victory of Donald Trump actually amplified the concerns about deepening racial divisions. This course examines shifts in American racial politics since the Obama presidency, including the period covering Trump’s election victory and the early days of his administration.

We will consider Blacks' political fortunes, racial attitudes across groups, reactions to demographic and economic change, and racial dynamics in party politics and specific public policy areas over the course of the Obama era and the beginning of the Trump presidency. By the end of the course, students should have, at a minimum, a deeper, more fine-grained understanding of racial dynamics in American politics in the wake of the historic Obama presidency. The more ambitious aim of the seminar is to help you cultivate or refine your own perspective on enduring debates about the quest for racial equality and nature of democracy in the United States.

POLI_SCI 101 – Freshman Seminar: Democracy in the World - Opportunities and Challenges

N/A

POLI_SCI 101-6 – First-Year Seminar: Free Speech & Universities in Revolt: From the 60s to the Present Day

Topics vary.

POLI_SCI 101-6 – First-Year Seminar: Global Environmental Politics

Topics vary.

POLI_SCI 101-6 – First-Year Seminar: Political Inequality

Topics vary.

POLI_SCI 101-6 – First-Year Seminar: Politics of Debt

No description available.

POLI_SCI 101-6 – First-Year Seminar: The Politics of Undocumented Immigrants

Topics vary.

POLI_SCI 101-6 – First-Year Seminar: The Press and the Political Process

Topics vary.

POLI_SCI 101-6 – First-Year Seminar: Religion and Politics at Home and Abroad

No description available.

POLI_SCI 101 – Freshman Seminar: #WithRefugees: Politics of Sanctuary and Solidarity

#WithRefugees – Politics of Sanctuary and Solidarity. We will explore Northwestern’s historic activism on behalf of refugees in the form of the Northwestern Circus that raised funds to create and maintain the Northwestern Settlement House, later becoming the Dance Marathon that still exists today. We will use this historic entry point to explore the broader contemporary politics around standing with refugees, providing sanctuary as we consider why and ways in which some communities are welcoming while others take the position “not in my back yard.”

POLI_SCI 101 – Freshman Seminar: Undocumented Immigrant Politics

This course examines the politics of undocumented immigrants in the United States. Topics include the construction of “illegality” and unauthorized immigration policy in historical perspective; political identities among the undocumented, foregrounding the role of race and ethnic/national origin; public opinion toward and among the undocumented; media framing and representations of undocumented immigrants; participation and mobilization with a focus on undocumented youth activism (DREAMers); and policies targeting undocumented immigrants (e.g., racial and ethnic profiling, sanctuary cities, detention and deportation, birthright citizenship and mixed status families, access to work permits and public benefits). Throughout the course, we attend to how undocumented immigrants fit into larger—and increasingly contentious—local and national immigration debates in the contemporary U.S., examining the distinct challenges that undocumented immigrants face, and theories and evidence of how unauthorized immigration impacts American politics and society.

POLI_SCI 101-6 – Whales, Bombs and Genocide: the Politics of International Law

From whales to nuclear weapons to genocide and beyond, much of what people and governments do is defined, regulated, shaped, or otherwise influenced by international law. International law consists of binding commitments made between governments. This seminar examines the key concepts and practices of international law and looks at their connection with politics. The class will cross the line between political science and legal scholarship, and draws cases, readings, and debates from both.

POLI_SCI 201 – Introduction to Political Theory

Examination of texts in political theory. Topics vary but often include justice, the Greek polis, the modern state, individualism, representative democracy.

POLI_SCI 210 – Introduction to Empirical Methods in Political Science

This course provides an introduction to the empirical methods political scientists use to answer questions about politics, and the reasons why such methods matter. We begin by considering how we use data and information in social science in general and political science in particular. We then examine three basic strategies for overcoming the obstacles to reliable knowledge about the political world: experimentation, quantitative studies (statistics) and smaller case studies with a qualitative emphasis. This course will prepare you to take a more in-depth look into these methods in subsequent coursework.

POLI_SCI 211 – Introduction to Interpretive Methods in Political Science

Political science research relies on concepts (such as country, democracy, voting, power, market) that are human constructions. Their meaning, power, and utility depend on how they are used and understood, which in turn depends on processes of interpretation. This course introduces students to methodological issues raised by interpretation in political science scholarship. This course seeks not to introduce the student to interpretive methods as well as to broader questions regarding modes of scientific inquiry, disagreements about knowledge, and the philosophy of science. In so doing, it seeks to give students a firm foundation on which to conceptualize their own research with a strong match between research methods and the questions being asked.

POLI_SCI 220 – American Government and Politics

This course introduces students to the institutions and processes of national government in the United States of America. The course explores the following core questions: What are the philosophical foundations of the American republic? How does America’s constitutional design shape the functioning of the nation’s institutions? What are the 2 basic roles of the legislative, executive and judicial branches? What is the history of political parties in America? How are public policies made in the United States? What are the basic rights of American citizens? How have social movements shaped politics in the United States?

POLI_SCI 221 – Urban Politics

Structure of local and regional political power and its relation to the social and economic structure of community.

POLI_SCI 230 – Introduction to Law in the Political Arena

Roles of law in society and politics. Police and prisons, law and social change, courts and politics, legal reasoning, Supreme Court decision making, judicial discretion, legal strategies for making change.

POLI_SCI 240 – Introduction to International Relations

The course is divided in three parts. In part I we will focus on explaining the causes of war, and reflect on current security problems, particularly in terms of inter-state conflicts. In part II we turn to how we have moved from traditional inter-state relations to a globalized economic environment in which states, non-state actors, and international organizations interact.  Part III discusses some global problems that we are facing and possible solutions.

More specifically the emphasis in part I will be on achieving a theoretical understanding of how one might explain the occurrence of war or peace. This course is not a discussion of current events, although they might be introduced to clarify particular perspectives. In other words, the emphasis is on developing a “toolkit” which you can use to understand international relations in general. The emphasis is not on memorizing details and empirical data, although of course you will need to understand key concepts and definitions. Instead you should ask yourself what caused war in this instance but not others? What are the underlying causes behind these observations?

Explanations of conflict occur at the individual level; at the state level; and at the level of the international system.  We will use these different levels of analysis, or different images, to explain the outbreak of WW I. Analyzing this conflict will demonstrate the various approaches to understanding complex, macrohistorical phenomena in general. We will then apply some of these methodological insights to understand the absence of super power conflict during the Cold War, and to study security issues that have emerged since then.

In Part II we turn to global issues in the areas of international economic management (particularly trade).  How did the post-war international economic order differ from the 1930s? How will the rise of economic powers such as China possibly affect this international order?  

Part III, touches on global problems that go beyond traditional inter-state relations such as trans-boundary environmental problems. We will particularly examine two global commons issues. First, we will analyze the problems of global oceans management, particularly fisheries. Second we will turn to the international agreements on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and conversely the failure of the Kyoto protocol. We will also briefly touch on the state of play on the Paris accord.

POLI_SCI 250 – Introduction to Comparative Politics

Why is the experience of politics so different across countries? Why are some structured by a debate between left (liberal) and right (conservative) ideologies, while others mostly involve competition among religious or ethnic communities? Why are police helpful and friendly in some contexts, but hostile, corrupt, or simply absent in others? Why are some countries governed by representative democratic institutions, whereas others are governed by repressive authoritarian regimes? Why do some countries entertain years of peace and stability whereas others are plagued by civil conflict and violence? The course provides an introduction to the field of comparative politics. We will explore the causes that scholars and popular thinkers have offered for these differences, and learn how political scientists think about differentiating between better and worse explanations. Students will gain the ability to understand the complexity of contemporary political systems, and the underlying causal factors that help us to explain the divergences between countries across the world. The students will be expected to identify key themes in comparative politics, problematize the divergence in global outcomes between states and societies, pose competing explanations for analysis, and evaluate the competing claims to identify which hypotheses are most convincing to explain certain country cases and national outcomes.

POLI_SCI 301 – Classical Political Theory

Political thought of Greece and Rome in historical context and with attention to contemporary theoretical interest.

POLI_SCI 302 – Subjects, Citizens, Revolutionaries: Early Modern Political Thought

Political philosophers from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Topics include sources of power and their impact on justice, equality, and law. No prerequisites, but some knowledge of political theory is desirable.

POLI_SCI 303 – Modernity and Its Discontents

Examination of late 19th- and early 20th-century social and political thought in the works of writers such as Marx, Weber, Mill, Kafka, Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud, and de Beauvoir. No prerequisites, but some knowledge of political theory is desirable.

POLI_SCI 304 – Human Rights Between East and West

In this course, students consider challenges leveled against the declared universalism of human rights. They assess these challenges from the perspective of two non-western traditions: Islam and Confucianism.

POLI_SCI 306 – American Political Thought

Advanced introduction to the development of political thought in the United States from the revolutionaries to the 20th-century pragmatists.

POLI_SCI 307 – Deportation Law and Politics

Analysis of deportation law and politics from colonial America through today. Requires two visits to Chicago immigration courts.

POLI_SCI 308-SA – Critical Theory and the Study of Politics

Critical theory examines and contests hegemonic thinking about politics and envisages alternate worlds of political possibility. This study abroad course is restricted to students in Northwestern’s Paris program in critical theory, literature, and media.

POLI_SCI 309 – Political Theories of the Rule of Law

Key documents and debates in the development of theories of law and jurisprudence. From Aeschylus to contemporary democratic and legal theories and major court cases on topics ranging from torture to Title IX. Taught with LEGAL ST 309-0; may not receive credit for both courses.

POLI_SCI 310 – Methods of Political Inference

Methods for inferences based on data in political research. Research design and quantitative and qualitative methods of inference. Focuses on descriptive, statistical, and causal inference and the application of different methods to substantive problems.

POLI_SCI 311 – Logics of Political Inquiry

Political science as “science.” Identity sources, construction, functions, and validation of social science theory and explanation from varied perspectives.

POLI_SCI 312 – Statistical Research Methods

How racist is the average American, and what makes some more racist than others? Why can’t Democrats and Republicans just get along? Does a country’s colonial experience shape its future political and economic possibilities? These questions, and many more, have been addressed by statistical research in political science. This course explores quantitative/statistical research methods in the social sciences, with the goal of determining what makes a good descriptive or causal inference about politics. For the first half of the course, we will review the basics of statistical theory and quantitative research design. In the second half, we will examine applications of these methods to various topics in political science. For each application, we will consider the technical requirements and properties of the method being employed, as well as the available evidence regarding how these requirements and properties fit with the specific application at hand. With this information, we will determine what we can legitimately claim to have learned from the application and consider alternative designs that might serve to supplement or improve our learning. Throughout the quarter, you will work on hands-on projects involving a research question and data set of your own choosing. Thus, you will learn how to evaluate other people’s statistical work, but also how to design, execute, and interpret their own statistical models.

POLI_SCI 320 – The American Presidency

Structural foundations and historical development of the American presidency; predominant scholarly theories of presidential power and leadership; contemporary issues and debates. Prerequisite: 220 or equivalent.

POLI_SCI 321 – Urban Politics

Structure of local and regional political power and its relation to the social and economic structure of community.

POLI_SCI 322 – Ideas and Institutions in Urban Politics

Advanced urban politics. Analyzes opportunities for action in local politics and challenges for effective governance in the modern metropolis.

Most politics in the US is local, but few Americans know much about or participate in local politics. For students interested in politics in the Chicago area or similar large cities, understanding the political traditions, contemporary debates, and avenues for fruitful action are key elements of thoughtful political analysis. Taught from an historical-institutional perspective, this course focuses on the key institutions of local governance, and how entrepreneurial actors can navigate and/or change those institutions to achieve their policy goals. Using this lens, it identifies both opportunities for meaningful political action and challenges for successful local governance in large cities. The course capstone is a case study of a particular contemporary political actor and an analysis of that actor’s strategy for pursuing a specific goal, with attention to both the hurdles and opportunities that present themselves to local political actors. Over the term, students learn current models of local politics; encounter illustrations of how actors can design institutions that structure outcomes, and how layered institutions intersect with each other; and learn how these ideas have been important in shaping the course of Chicago’s political and social realities. This year's edition will also include significant attention to the ongoing 2019 Chicago election.

POLI_SCI 323 – Public Opinion and Voting Behavior

Who votes and for whom. Social, psychological, economic, and political factors influencing election choices. Sources of opinions. Focus on American presidential elections with some comparative and non-presidential material. Prerequisite: 220 or equivalent.

POLI_SCI 324 – Political Parties and Elections

Elections have regularly occurred since the inception of this country. Highly visible elections occur every 2 to 4 years, and less visible elections occur more frequently. How do political campaigns and elections produce representation? And how do citizens assess how well they are represented? This class addresses these questions by focusing on three domains. First, we will examine how the process and structures of representation and American Elections. Then, we will investigate the contributions of key political actors to campaigns: parties, interest groups, and the media, and they interact through elections. Finally, we will examine voter perceptions of parties and campaigns, and how voters are targeted (or not) by political actors. The class will focus on critical political science articles (and can follow along with the text) to investigate these topics. Time will also be spent observing and interacting with the current presidential primary campaigns as well.

POLI_SCI 325 – Congress and the Legislative Process

Organization of legislatures to make public policy; impact of constituents and political parties on legislative decision making; polarization; legislative-executive relations. Emphasis on the US Congress and contemporary politics. Prerequisite: 220 or equivalent.

POLI_SCI 326 – Race and Public Policy

Analysis of how diversity shapes policy in the United States and how policies contribute to racial and ethnic diversity. Immigration reform, school choice, residential segregation, and criminal justice.

POLI_SCI 327 – African American Politics

Survey of black politics in the United States, including blacks' relations with government, whites, political parties, public policy, and electoral politics.

This course takes stock of African-American politics in the decades since the Civil Rights Movement. We will explore the complex internal dynamics of Black political life, paying attention to the “who-gets-what-when-where-how” dimension of politics. As we chart the shifts in the political fortunes and policy interests of Blacks, we will focus on class, gender, and other cleavages within the population. One of our chief aims will be to consider how different segments of the population have been affected by these shifts and changing fortunes. We also will examine Blacks’ relations with whites and their engagement with mainstream political institutions. In doing so, we will take up several topics that have occupied students of race and American politics since the Civil Rights Movement: party politics, racial dynamics in voting patterns, intergroup conflict and prejudice, the tension between integration and segregation, welfare and criminal justice policies, and political representation, including the election of the country's first Black president. Ultimately, the goal of the course is to shed light on the nature of American democracy by analyzing the contemporary political experiences of African Americans.

POLI_SCI 328 – Public Policy

This course examines the policymaking process in the contemporary United States. Our study of the politics of public policy relies on two core analytical claims. First, policy is the prize that animates political conflict in the United States. The reasons why are straightforward. Policy entails using the coercive power of the state to shape the economy and society, whether by directing the government or private sector to undertake new activities, or by constraining what the government is allowed to do. Policy decisions can have profound effects on society, influencing everything from our life choices to the future of our planet. Those who control the government have the ability to shape these decisions. Second, once enacted, policies help to constitute the terrain on which future political battles are waged. This is because policies channel resources (material and symbolic) towards some groups or individuals and away from others. Policies set new defaults. They can shift people’s expectations about the government, as well as the political implications of future stalemates. In addition to considering how these two claims help us to understand the politics of policymaking more broadly, we will consider how they inform our understanding of the prospects for the Trump Administration’s policy agenda specifically.

POLI_SCI 329 – US Environmental Politics

Political problems associated with human impact on natural environment; pollution, natural resources, public lands, land use, energy, and population.

This course explores the ongoing socio-political challenges of addressing environmental problems. Drawing primarily on research in political science and political ecology, we will analyze the diverse types of social dilemmas that produce environmental problems. We begin by examining the nature of environmental problems through different theoretical frameworks, including collective action, distributive, and ideational explanations of environmental problems. We then explore three core debates in environmental politics that interrogate the role of science, ethics, and economics in shaping environmental policy solutions. In the third part of the course we shift our gaze to evaluate different policy approaches to solving environmental problems. Throughout the course, we will pay particular attention to the values conflicts that shape environmental policy and how politicians respond. This course is designed to give students an understanding of important conceptual issues in environmental politics and policy.

The course is comprised of interactive lectures and discussion sections. The lectures will provide an opportunity for students to contemplate different approaches to explaining and addressing environmental challenges. Discussion sections will challenge students to delve more deeply into a particular topic by applying concepts introduced in readings and lectures to a specific US-based case, as well as seek to understand the critical variables that explain how a case evolved.

Note that this course is not an environmental law class. As such, you should not expect a full survey of environmental policies in the US. Instead, our treatment of US environmental policies is designed to assist students in understanding and applying concepts so that they may independently understand and evaluate a variety of environmental problems and solutions.

POLI_SCI 330 – U.S. Refugee Policy & Localities

We will study how the U.S. 1980 Refugee Act, a national policy premised on human rights obligations in the 1951 International Convention for the Protection of Refugee and 1967 Protocol, meets the street in Chicago neighborhoods and other localities in the United States. As we learn about the politics of refugee resettlement by examining street-level bureaucracy, we will consider what local understandings of refugee policy can teach us about integration, housing instability and ongoing cycles of poverty as part of broader discourses on constitutional governance, federalism and civil society. We will also look comparatively at the perspectives, policies and ideologies of other countries in their refugee resettlement programs as part of the broader question of humanitarian governance and the role of Western Liberal Democracies. Through these explorations, students will gain insight into the complexities of refugee resettlement policy as a durable solution for refugees seeking protection. Students will gain exposure to GIS and qualitative interpretive methodology and have a chance to conduct archival and field research of Chicago neighborhoods.

POLI_SCI 331 – Politics of the Supreme Court

Operation of appellate courts, with emphasis on the US Supreme Court. 144 Arts and Sciences • Political Science Decision making by appellate courts and the development of public policy. Prerequisite: 220 or 230.

POLI_SCI 332 – Constitutional Law I

Introduction to interpretation of the US Constitution by the Supreme Court. Judicial review, federalism, congressional and executive authority, separation of powers. Taught with LEGAL ST 332; may not receive credit for both courses. Prerequisite: 220 or 230.

POLI_SCI 333 – Constitutional Law II: Civil and Political Rights

Consideration of US Supreme Court decisions dealing with civil and political rights, including equality, freedom of speech and religion, and criminal procedures. Taught with LEGAL ST 333; may not receive credit for both courses. Prerequisite: 220 or 230.

POLI_SCI 334 – Latino Politics

Implications of Latino politics including contemporary social and political developments of Latino communities in the United States from a comparative urban framework. Focus on Mexican and Cuban Americans and Puerto Ricans.

POLI_SCI 335 – Political Psychology

Examination of mental processes that underpin political judgments. The origins of political views, the influence of political parties and other groups, reactions to political news, common decision-making heuristics and biases, and causes and effects of political ignorance. Emphasis on the political thinking of ordinary citizens, with some attention to political elites.

POLI_SCI 340 – International Relations Theory

Conceptual approaches to international relations, including “national interest,” sovereignty, international norms and law, and rationality. Prerequisite: 240 or consent of instructor. 

POLI_SCI 341 – International Political Economy

Introduction to the politics of international economic relations. Roots and evolution of the international political economy. Fundamental controversies about international trade, finance, and development. Prerequisite: 240 or consent of instructor.

This course focuses on the forces shaping countries’ foreign economic policies. Why do governments choose to protect some industries behind high tariff walls while leaving others exposed to the vagaries of international competition? Why do most countries rely on the U.S. dollar for their primary reserve currency – and will the dollar continue to serve that function? Why have many countries removed barriers to cross-border financial flows – and what are the social and political consequences of financial market openness? Does international trade and investment make military conflict less or more likely? Do economic sanctions even work? Have the series of economic crises over the past half-decade – the 2008 financial market meltdown in the U.S., the global credit crunch the followed, and the ongoing sovereign debt crises (in the Eurozone countries and elsewhere) – shifted the distribution of global economic and political power?

In this course we will develop an analytical toolkit to provide some insight into these and other questions, paying particular attention to evaluating the theoretical arguments with two types of evidence: qualitative and historical and quantitative and cross-national.

The course is organized thematically. We start with an introduction to the study of International Political Economy (IPE) and explore why it is distinct from international economics; following the introduction to the course we will discuss the problem of international cooperation when national economic policies have spillover effects. The next three topics (weeks 2-6) are devoted to three of the main issue areas that concern IPE specialists: the politics of the international trade, monetary, and financial systems. We then turn our attention to economic development strategies pursued by low- and middle-income countries and the role of foreign development aid in promoting growth. The last two weeks of the course are devoted to the relationship between transnational economic linkages and conflict and to the rise of new economic powerhouses (namely, China) and the possible consequences of this shift for American influence in global economic affairs.

POLI_SCI 342 – International Organizations

Institutions that govern the interactions of states, including the WTO, UN, ICJ, and ICC; informal norms, such as international intervention, international criminal law, and sovereignty. Taught with LEGAL ST 342; may not receive credit for both courses. Prerequisite: 240 or consent of instructor.

POLI_SCI 343 – Politics of International Law

Non-utopian political science analysis of how law is used to promote collective goals and regulate international relations.

POLI_SCI 344 – US Foreign Policy

How US foreign policy is formulated, executed, legitimated, and contested. Topics include 9/11 and its aftermath, covert action, interventionism, trade, US respect for international norms, and US engagement with the Middle East.

POLI_SCI 345 – National Security

Basic issues in national security, focusing primarily on the United States. Topics include the nature of "national interest," major actors in national security policy making and military strategy, and the influence and role of the defense establishment.

POLI_SCI 346 – The European Union

The European Union (EU) is unique in world history. Never before have twenty-eight sovereign states cooperated more intensely on political, economic, social, judicial and security affairs than is currently the case under the European Union umbrella. This course examines how this “multi-state” entity operates in international affairs. What are the power assets of the European Union? How do EU member states cooperate in economic affairs? How do they project power in security affairs? What does the EU do to fight terrorism, to resolve the conflict in Ukraine or to deal with refugees? How does it cooperate with the United States? Is this cooperation successful? What does the future hold for the EU?

POLI_SCI 347 – Ethics in International Relations

Role of ethical considerations in international relations: where and when ethical questions are raised and by whom; causes and predictability of tensions between the ethics and self interests of nations and political figures.

POLI_SCI 348 – Globalization

Analysis of changes in the world economy and their implications for politics, economics, and society. Politics of multinational production, finance, and trade in the context of governance problems in a globalizing world. Prerequisite: 240 or equivalent.

POLI_SCI 349 – International Environmental Politics

International cooperation and conflict resolution of global and transnational environmental problems such as climate change. Role of political, economic, and normative considerations in the formation of politically feasible solutions to international environmental problems.

POLI_SCI 350 – Social Movements

Theory and case studies examining the processes shaping collective challenges to authority. Topics include causes and mechanics of mobilization, the contexts in which movements emerge, repression and violence, strategies, and determinants of movement outcomes.

POLI_SCI 351 – Politics of the Middle East

This course explores the comparative politics of the Middle East and North Africa. The first half of the course focuses on the historical and institutional context of politics and government. Here we examine the emergence of independent nation-states, the consolidation of regimes, issues of identity and religion, and patterns in the relationship between state, society, and economy. We compare explanations for the endurance of authoritarian regimes in Arab countries, as well as political systems in Turkey and Iran. The second half of the course concentrates on dynamics of mobilization and conflict. Here we explore the Arab uprisings that began in late 2010 and political developments in their aftermath, including the war in Syria and emergence of ISIS. We also study the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as their respective domestic politics. The two halves of the course are interconnected and students are encouraged and expected to use the material presented each week to inform their engagement with material presented during the weeks that follow. The goals of this course are to assist students (1) to acquire basic knowledge about the politics of the modern Middle East and North Africa; (2) to engage in critical reading and analysis of a range of sources; (3) to employ scholarly theories and concepts to promote a nuanced analysis of events in the region and debates about those events; and (4) to develop an appreciation for how politics in the region is shaped by history and institutions on the one hand and a dynamic multiplicity of identities and interests on the other. Assignments are designed to assess progress toward the achievement of these goals.

POLI_SCI 353 – Politics of Latin America

Patterns of socioeconomic development and regime forms in Latin America. Interaction of internal and international economic and political structures and processes.

POLI_SCI 354 – Politics of Southeast Asia

Political economy of selected Southeast Asian countries, 1945 to present. Important themes include oligarchy and human rights.

POLI_SCI 355 – Politics of China

Chinese politics since 1949, focusing on social issues and state-society relations since 1989. Basic foundation for the nonspecialist as well as preparation for advanced study.

POLI_SCI 356 – Constitutional Challenges in Comparative Perspective

Constitutional controversies and resolutions in liberal democracies. Constitutional traditions and governance, rule of law, legitimacy and authority in diverse societies, human rights, social transformation. Taught with LEGAL ST 356-0; may not receive credit for both courses.

In this course we will be thinking about how and whether constitutions shape national values and offer a framework for legitimacy and governance to hold together diverse societies and resolve deeply rooted social tensions and ethnic divisions. We will consider the constitutional responses of other democratic countries such as the U.S., Canada, India, France, Germany, Great Britain, South Africa and Australia to the challenges of capital crimes, right to life/abortion, terrorism, racism, gender disparities, religious discrimination. In learning about the varying traditions of written and unwritten constitutions, civil and common law and the foundations and structures of separation of powers and judicial review of the constitutionality of laws in these countries, students will learn to think critically about the U.S. Constitution and the different ways in which constitutional democracies provide for public order, counter-majoritarian governance, equality and protection of the rights of minorities through rule of law and question whether constitutional solutions can address the kinds of social and political problems we have today.

POLI_SCI 357-SA – Political Economy of Israel

Influence of demographics, political factors, and Israeli-Palestinian conflict on development, economic policy, government spending, public health, and socio-economy. Restricted to students in Northwestern's Israel program.

POLI_SCI 358-SA – Contemporary South Africa: A Political Economy/Policy Perspective

Analysis of the political outcomes of South Africa's transition to democracy, democratic consolidation, the state of the South African political economy, and major policy issues, such as gender equality and HIV/AIDS. Restricted to students in Northwestern's South Africa program.

POLI_SCI 359 – Politics of Africa

Political structures and relation of cultural factors to political stability and change; development of modern political systems.

This class will consider some key questions about politics in Africa at the present time. This will not be a survey. The primary focus will be the nation state: governance, democracy, and development. A second theme, sometimes explicit, sometimes implicit, is what happens when an African state fails and when international intervention such as humanitarian aid appears necessary. Our case studies will be Ethiopia and Rwanda (genocide/post genocide) and famine). Sub-themes will include the strength of internal institutions and government effectiveness.

POLI_SCI 361 – Democratic Transitions

Theories of the emergence and breakdown of democracy with a focus on cases from Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

POLI_SCI 362 – Politics of Europe

Impact of historical development on contemporary institutions, political and political-economic institutions, interest groups and parties, policy making, and social and economic policy.

POLI_SCI 363-SA – Political Economy of the European Union

The political production, structure, and regulation of economic activity in the EU. Restricted to students in Northwestern's Paris program.

POLI_SCI 364-SA – France: Politics, Culture, and Society

Introduction to French politics in the framework of European integration. Covers French efforts to promote integration and France's role in the international system and adaptation to the EU. Restricted to students in Northwestern's Paris program.

POLI_SCI 365-SA – Decision Making in the European Union

Analysis, by lecture and simulation, of the EU's complicated institutional structure for political decision making. Restricted to students in Northwestern's Paris program.

POLI_SCI 366-SA – Dynamics of Law Making in the European Union

Examination of the dynamics of law making in the EU and conflict/balance between domestic and regional law. Restricted to students in Northwestern's Paris program.

POLI_SCI 368 – Political Economy of Development

Major analytical perspectives of modern political economy seen through concrete problems of development and underdevelopment in the least developed countries.

Why are some countries rich and others poor? This course explores key factors that shape the development trajectory of nations, drawing on work from political science, economics, and sociology. We will examine various aspects of development, including but not limited to economic growth. A primary focus of the course is how political institutions influence development outcomes. Topics covered include the relationship between democracy and development, the role of the state, consequences of natural resources and corruption, and the impact of foreign aid. Lectures and readings will include examples from various countries around the world.

POLI_SCI 369 – Politics of Post-Soviet Russia

Analysis of Russia's political and economic revolutions after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Examines key concepts in comparative politics, such as revolution, regime change, market formation, nationalism, and state building.

POLI_SCI 372 – The Middle East in International Politics

International history and politics of the Arab states, Israel, Iran, and Turkey. Colonialism and nationalism, political Islam and secularism, the Iranian Revolution, the Gulf War of 1991, the US-led occupation of Iraq, relations between Turkey and the European Union. Recommended but not required: 240.

POLI_SCI 373 – Chinese Foreign Policy

Basic dynamics of Chinese foreign policy toward a variety of countries and regions.

POLI_SCI 374 – Politics of Capitalism

Effects of politics on the economy and vice versa, especially in advanced industrial economies. The welfare state, varieties of capitalism, and neoliberalism.

POLI_SCI 376 – Civil Wars

The decades following WW II are sometimes described by students of International Relations as “The Long Peace.” Despite obvious tensions and a Cold War between the superpowers and despite major differences in ideology and economic policies, major power war did not erupt. Indeed, some scholars wonder whether such war has become obsolete.

        Be that as it may, by some counts, the past half century has seen more than 20 million deaths in many other conflicts. Among these conflicts, civil wars have been some of the bloodiest and costliest. This course will examine the causes behind such conflicts as well as study how such conflicts might be terminated or prevented altogether. Some of the causes of civil wars will be internal to the states in question, other causes might be due to international actors and external forces. Correspondingly some efforts to terminate or prevent such conflicts will reside at the domestic level while others will operate in the international arena.

        The class will be a mixture of lectures and seminar style participation, culminating in a short research project that is of particular interest to the student and which will be designed in cooperation with the professor. Throughout the course, students will be expected to keep up with the readings and to actively contribute to the discussions in class.

        Although our main attention will go to conflicts after 1945, the course is not focused on any specific geographic area or any specific war. Instead, the aim of the course is to increase your understanding of the phenomenon of civil wars in general. With this general theoretical knowledge of civil wars, the student will then design a research project of a case or cases that are of particular interest to the student. One-on-one meetings with the professor will help you with the research design.

POLI_SCI 377 – Drugs and Politics

Analysis of the links between illegal drugs and politics, from the politics of local communities to international public policy. Regional focus on North, Central, and South America.

POLI_SCI 378 – America and the World

Key debates and developments in the history and politics of American foreign relations. Domestic politics and foreign policy, political culture, interventionism, legal globalization, international institutions.

POLI_SCI 379-SA – China in Transition: Ideology, Political Economy, Law, and Relations with the United States

Broad issues confronting China in its long, tumultuous transition. For students with no background as well as those with extensive prior knowledge of China. Restricted to students in Northwestern's program in China.

POLI_SCI 380 – Refugee Crises and Human Rights

Development of international human rights. Comparative state and regional responses to forced migration due to war, conflict, and generalized violence. Humanitarian intervention, international law, and policy issues, such as gender-based violence, migrants at sea, and human trafficking.

POLI_SCI 381-SA – Political Economy of Contemporary China

State capitalism, the role of state-owned enterprises in China's economic development, China as a regulatory state, social consequences, financial reforms. Restricted to students in Northwestern's program in China.

POLI_SCI 382 – Politics of Religious Diversity

Intersection of religion, law, and politics in comparative and global perspective. Legal, political, and religious history; discrimination and identity; religion, race, indigeneity, empire; religious liberalization; rule of law; national security.

POLI_SCI 383 – War and Change in International Politics

Historical and contemporary forms of international order. Western and non-Eurocentric systems; how international order emerges; whether the post-1945 order will change.

POLI_SCI 388 – Institutions and Society

Institutions in a broad societal context. How institutional frameworks apply to government, family, education, and the environment; implications of institutions. Taught with SOCIOL 288; may not receive credit for both courses.

POLI_SCI 389 – Understanding Genocide

Key debates in the comparative study of genocide. Why genocide occurs, why people become killers, how these processes relate to each other. Taught with SOCIOL 379; may not receive credit for both courses.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topics in Political Science: A Brief History of US Government

Designed for investigation of topics of interest to students and Arts and Sciences faculty that are not covered by other course offerings. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topic: International Response to Mass Atrocities

This class is about what, if anything, the international community can and should do in
response to mass atrocities around the globe. We will proceed in four parts. In the first,
we will discuss the causes of mass atrocities and examine one prominent historical case,
the Holocaust. In the second, we will discuss the different options in the international
policymaker’s “toolkit” when it comes to confronting mass atrocities (e.g., military
intervention, humanitarian assistance, economic sanctions, human rights prosecutions,
etc.). In the third, we will discuss two relatively recent cases, Bosnia and Rwanda. In the
fourth, students will give in-class presentations on contemporary cases of mass atrocities
in the form of mock National Security Council briefings (see “Requirements and
Grading” for more details on this assignment).
The objective of this course is to give students the intellectual tools required to
comprehend world affairs – particularly how international actors can respond to mass
atrocities – in a sophisticated manner. As such, we will work to bridge the gap between
the academic literature and the real world. This will occur in both our class discussions
and the student presentations. Students are therefore expected to stay up to date on
current world affairs by reading a major newspaper on a daily basis. I recommended the
New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Financial Times.

 

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topics in Political Science: Bad News

Bad News. That is what Americans are experiencing as a result of the corporate media mergers that took place in the closing years of the last century. Today there are six major companies that control much of what people read, hear and see. Those firms are AOL-Time Warner, General Electric, Walt Disney, News Corporation, Viacom/CBS, and Bertelsman. This course will examine the monetary forces that are driving the industry away from its primary mission of information. Critics contend that the drive for higher ratings, circulation and web page clicks is coming at the expense of the quality of news on television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet. Charges of Fake News combined with the ever-diminishing number of news providers is threatening democracy by limiting the number of voices that can be heard in our society. 

POLI_SCI 390 (cap 15) – Special Topics in Political Science: Contemporary Turkish Politics

Designed for investigation of topics of interest to students and Arts and Sciences faculty that are not covered by other course offerings. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topics in Political Science: Critical Studies in World Politics

Designed for investigation of topics of interest to students and Arts and Sciences faculty that are not covered by other course offerings. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topics in Political Science: International Responses to Mass Atrocities

Designed for investigation of topics of interest to students and Arts and Sciences faculty that are not covered by other course offerings. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topics in Political Science: Non-State Armed Groups

Designed for investigation of topics of interest to students and Arts and Sciences faculty that are not covered by other course offerings. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topics in Political Science: Political Behavior

Designed for investigation of topics of interest to students and Arts and Sciences faculty that are not covered by other course offerings. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topics in Political Science: Political Psychology

Designed for investigation of topics of interest to students and Arts and Sciences faculty that are not covered by other course offerings. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topics in Political Science: Politics of International Aid

Designed for investigation of topics of interest to students and Arts and Sciences faculty that are not covered by other course offerings. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topics in Political Science: The Press and Presidential Elections

This class will examine presidential elections and how they have evolved since 1952, the first year TV advertising began to have an impact on the races. This class will challenge some of the myths about elections and their outcomes. We will also examine the 2008 campaign, which was dubbed the “YouTube” election and was historic by virtue of its outcome, the candidates who ran and the impact the Internet and new technologies had on the race. In 2012 the Obama campaign had the most intense “ground game” of any campaign in history, we will examine how the campaign succeeded in this effort. In 2016 Donald Trump bypassed typical advertising methods of reaching voters by unleashing a torrent of Twitter messages and finding a willing press that was, at least in the primaries, willing to give him uncritical or challenging coverage. We will also examine the historical roles of Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Jackson and Hillary Clinton in presidential races.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topics in Political Science: Racial and Ethnic Politics

Designed for investigation of topics of interest to students and Arts and Sciences faculty that are not covered by other course offerings. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

Race, Ethnicity, and American Democracy: This course introduces students to the dynamics of the social and historical construction of race and ethnicity in American political life. The course explores the following core questions: What are race and ethnicity? What are the best ways to think about the impact of race and ethnicity on American citizens? What is the history of racial and ethnic formation in American political life? How do race and ethnicity link up with other identities animating political actions like gender and class? What role do American political institutions—the Congress, presidency, judiciary, state and local governments, etc.—play in constructing and maintaining these identity categories? Can we use these institutions to overcome the points of division in American society?

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topics in Political Science: Refugee Law and Policy

Designed for investigation of topics of interest to students and Arts and Sciences faculty that are not covered by other course offerings. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topics in Political Science: Religion and Politics in the State of Israel

Designed for investigation of topics of interest to students and Arts and Sciences faculty that are not covered by other course offerings. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topics in Political Science: Rule of Law

Designed for investigation of topics of interest to students and Arts and Sciences faculty that are not covered by other course offerings. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topic in Political Science: Global Development

This course explores the economic and social changes that have constituted "development," and that have radically transformed human society. The course focuses on both the historical experience of Europe and the contemporary experience of countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In the historical discussion, we explore the birth of the "nation state" as the basic organizing unit of the international system; the transition from agrarian to industrial economic systems; and the expansion of European colonialism across the globe. In our discussion of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, we consider the legacies of colonialism for development; the ways in which countries have attempted to promote economic development and industrialization; and issues of inequality and human welfare in an increasingly globally connected world.

POLI_SCI-390 – Special Topics in Political Science: Social Protest and Social Change Around the World

How and why social protests can initiate major social change within societies and social groups around the world. Combined with SOCIOL 334

POLI_SCI-390 Bouchat Auth – Special Topics in Political Science: Authoritarian Politics

No description available.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topic: Race, Ethnicity, and American Politcs

N/A

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topic: The Press and Presidential Elections

N/A

POLI_SCI-390 – Special Topic: The Politics of Global Cities

Democracy in the Global City will focus on the distinctive political role of hubs in the global economy. Massive global flows of capital and people have changed demographic patterns and weakened national borders, leading to a new kind of place: the global city. Global cities are hubs in the global economy, characterized by very high levels of movement, international connectedness, inequality, and social change. Despite being the economic headquarters of their home nations, however, they often sit uneasily within them,
and recent waves of nationalist politics in several countries revealed that big cities may share more political affinity across nations than within them. How are cities changing around the U.S. and the world? How well can these both renew their own democratic commitments and contribute to solutions to our most challenging social problems of our age? The course will proceed along two parallel tracks: each week, we will engage with a central development in world-city politics, including inequality, economic transformation, and housing affordability crises. At the same time, students will work in groups to build a set of comparative cases assessing policy and political change in particular world cities. By the conclusion of the course, we will discover together the perils and promise of 21st century urban democracy. Special attention will be paid to the ongoing Chicago election.

 

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topic in Political Science: Reporting Islam

Co-taught by Professors Elizabeth Shakman Hurd and Brannon Ingram, Fall 2018

This course will bring together Medill and Weinberg students with an interest in the politics and practices of reporting on Islam and Muslims in the United States and in U.S. foreign policy. Through a combination of readings, site visits, individual and group projects, and critical writing assignments, the goals of this course are, first, to empower students to recognize the pitfalls of how Islam and Muslims are reported and represented in U.S. print media and other formats, and second, to innovate new ways of writing about Islam and Muslims that do not replicate the Islamophobic or Islamophilic tropes that dominate much of this reporting. To these ends, the course will include a ?master class' on reporting religion led by by Manya Brachear, religion reporter for the Chicago Tribune. The course is part of the "Talking ?Religion': Publics, Politics and the Media" project which is co-directed by the instructors, and students will have an opportunity to participate in project related activities including lectures and a spring 2019 workshop.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topic in Political Science: Immigration Politics and Policy

This course provides an introduction to immigration politics and policy in the United States with a focus on the contemporary incorporation of post-1965 immigrants. We begin by foregrounding the role of the state and the history of U.S. immigration policies that continue to shape social and political experiences among the foreign-born. We then examine public opinion toward immigrants and immigration issues, highlighting the ways in which they are ideologically contested. Building from this, we turn our attention to how immigrants are incorporated in the U.S., with an emphasis on the significance of race and ethnicity in immigrant communities. Finally, drawing on empirical studies in the field of American politics, we focus on questions and explanations of immigrant participation and mobilization in the twenty-first century.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topics in Political Science: Strategy and the Politics of War

Designed for investigation of topics of interest to students and Arts and Sciences faculty that are not covered by other course offerings. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topics: Interactions Among and Between the Branches of U.S. Government

Course description: This seminar on American government will focus on the shifting power arrangements between the executive, legislative and judicial branches,, and the continuing saga of efforts to reconcile the philosophical underpinnings of democratic government with a structure required to be flexible and resilient in light of changing times. The course will address not only history and constitutional law issues, but also the role of civil society in policy making and the influence race and gender have had and continue to have on outcomes. Invited guests will include policy makers from all levels and arenas of government, including diplomats, judges, bureaucrats, executives and legislators.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topic: GEOpolitics of Energy

Energy is one of the driving forces of the modern world. Derived from fossil fuels, nuclear power, and a growing range of alternative sources, energy is tightly linked to economic development and military power. In spite of efforts to achieve “energy independence,” no major economy is able to claim energy self-sufficiency. Moreover, energy supply choices have implications for the global climate, while technological innovations are creating new opportunities and risks for governments, firms, and other international actors.

The course draws on an interdisciplinary literature, with the goal of bringing academic research into dialogue with real-world policy problems. It explores such questions as: What factors shape the geopolitical landscape for energy? How have producing/exporting and consuming/importing countries sought to advance their economic and security goals in the energy sphere? What are the prospects for international cooperation on energy and climate governance? While the course does address numerous sources of energy, the primary emphasis is on oil and gas.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topic: The Politics of Friends and Enemies

N/A

CFS 394 – Professional Linkage Program: American Foreign Policy From President JFK to Obama

No description available.

POLI_SCI-394 – Professional Linkage Program: Speechwriting

What goes into a great speech, and how do you write one? This seminar explores what makes speeches effective, persuasive, and memorable. We'll cover every aspect of the speechwriting process, from early research to final flourish. We'll explore why some speeches endure and most are forgotten. We'll consider the role of a speech in today's ever-changing political and media environment. And by the end, students will learn how to craft speeches that help leaders in any industry move audiences, win the battle of ideas, and change the world.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Religion and Politics in Africa

Although most Sub-Saharan African states are ostensibly “secular”, various strands of Islam, Christianism and a number of other local systems of beliefs (including witchcraft) are particularly central to current political dynamics on the continent. This course explores the role of religion in the politics of African societies with particular attention to the modern period. Moving beyond a normative distinction between religion and politics, this research seminar examines the evolving relationship between religions (s) and political/social developments in Sub-Saharan Africa by way of concrete regional and national examples. Drawings on insights from sociology, history, anthropology and political science, the course focuses on ways of understanding the shifting relationship between religion, power and society in Africa in comparative perspective.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar

Required of all political science majors; ordinarily taken during junior year or in fall quarter of senior year. With consent of the department, students may receive full credit for more than 1 395 seminar provided that 399 and 395 courses together do not exceed a total of 4 course credits.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Fixing the U.S. Constitution

The Political Research Seminar is required of all political science majors; ordinarily taken during junior year or in fall quarter of senior year. With consent of the department, students may receive full credit for more than 1 395 seminar provided that 399 and 395 courses together do not exceed a total of 4 course credits.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Illiberalism and the Retreat of Democracy: A New Global Era?

The Political Research Seminar is required of all political science majors; ordinarily taken during junior year or in fall quarter of senior year. With consent of the department, students may receive full credit for more than 1 395 seminar provided that 399 and 395 courses together do not exceed a total of 4 course credits.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Immigration Politics and Policy

Required of all political science majors; ordinarily taken during junior year or in fall quarter of senior year. With consent of the department, students may receive full credit for more than 1 395 seminar provided that 399 and 395 courses together do not exceed a total of 4 course credits.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The Political Research Seminar is required of all political science majors; ordinarily taken during junior year or in fall quarter of senior year. With consent of the department, students may receive full credit for more than 1 395 seminar provided that 399 and 395 courses together do not exceed a total of 4 course credits.

This course explores the history and politics of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. We will study the conflict’s development from its origins until the present, as well as a range of perspectives on topics such as the sources of violence, the rise and fall of the peace process, United States policy toward the conflict, and the nature of internal politics for both Israelis and Palestinians.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Constitutional Challenges in Comparative Perspective

Required of all political science majors; ordinarily taken during junior year or in fall quarter of senior year. With consent of the department, students may receive full credit for more than 1 395 seminar provided that 399 and 395 courses together do not exceed a total of 4 course credits.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Party Polarization

The Political Research Seminar is required of all political science majors; ordinarily taken during junior year or in fall quarter of senior year. With consent of the department, students may receive full credit for more than 1 395 seminar provided that 399 and 395 courses together do not exceed a total of 4 course credits.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Civilians in War

The Political Research Seminar is required of all political science majors; ordinarily taken during junior year or in fall quarter of senior year. With consent of the department, students may receive full credit for more than 1 395 seminar provided that 399 and 395 courses together do not exceed a total of 4 course credits.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Environmental Justice

The Political Research Seminar is required of all political science majors; ordinarily taken during junior year or in fall quarter of senior year. With consent of the department, students may receive full credit for more than 1 395 seminar provided that 399 and 395 courses together do not exceed a total of 4 course credits.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Politics of Corruption

The Political Research Seminar is required of all political science majors; ordinarily taken during junior year or in fall quarter of senior year. With consent of the department, students may receive full credit for more than 1 395 seminar provided that 399 and 395 courses together do not exceed a total of 4 course credits.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Politics of Social Welfare

The Political Research Seminar is required of all political science majors; ordinarily taken during junior year or in fall quarter of senior year. With consent of the department, students may receive full credit for more than 1 395 seminar provided that 399 and 395 courses together do not exceed a total of 4 course credits.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: State, Conflict, and Democracy: Comparative African Experiences

Required of all political science majors; ordinarily taken during junior year or in fall quarter of senior year. With consent of the department, students may receive full credit for more than 1 395 seminar provided that 399 and 395 courses together do not exceed a total of 4 course credits.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Studying Public Opinion

Required of all political science majors; ordinarily taken during junior year or in fall quarter of senior year. With consent of the department, students may receive full credit for more than 1 395 seminar provided that 399 and 395 courses together do not exceed a total of 4 course credits.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Tyranny and Resistance

The Political Research Seminar is required of all political science majors; ordinarily taken during junior year or in fall quarter of senior year. With consent of the department, students may receive full credit for more than 1 395 seminar provided that 399 and 395 courses together do not exceed a total of 4 course credits.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: U.S. Party Development

The Political Research Seminar is required of all political science majors; ordinarily taken during junior year or in fall quarter of senior year. With consent of the department, students may receive full credit for more than 1 395 seminar provided that 399 and 395 courses together do not exceed a total of 4 course credits.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Wealth and Power in America

This seminar concerns economic and political inequality in the United States:  the nature of gaps between the rich and the poor in this country, and how those gaps relate to political power.  Who has how much influence over policy making?  Average citizens?  Affluent citizens?  The truly wealthy?  Business corporations and other organized interest groups?  How much impact do they have on various kinds of public policies?  Under what circumstances?  What are the techniques and mechanisms of influence?

The chief requirement of the course (for 60% of the grade) will be a substantial research paper related to one or more of these questions.  The hope is that students will build on these papers for honors theses, writing samples for grad school applications, publication as journal articles, or other purposes.  Papers may focus on the United States or any other country or political subdivision (state, city, etc.).   Methods may involve analytical or normative theory, literature review, personal observation, interviewing, quantitative data analysis, and/or any other generally accepted technique for advancing knowledge.  No length requirement.  Write as much – but only as much – as is appropriate to your project.

Spring quarter will zoom by quickly.  IMMEDIATELY begin to THINK ABOUT YOUR PAPER TOPIC.  As soon as possible, begin relevant readings from any part of this syllabus and also from outside it.  Volunteer to help lead discussion sessions on relevant topics.  Write short papers that will help your main paper.

Be sure to read the assigned readings before each class session, and pick one or two sessions to help lead discussions.  (Participation will count for roughly 20% of your grade.)  Addition requirements include two very short (two page, double-spaced) papers on any aspect of our subject – preferably related to our readings and/or to your research paper (for roughly 20% of your grade); and one ungraded substantive outline of your research paper, so that you can receive feedback before you complete the paper.

POLI_SCI-395 – Political Research Seminar: Democratic Theory: Contemporary Issues

This is an upper-level seminar dealing with democratic expectations. It revolves around three sets of questions. 

First, if we are democrats, what should we morally expect from individual citizens? More specifically: when, how, and to what extent should we demand that individual citizens in a democracy oppose unjust laws? When, how, and why should we shift from viewing individual citizens not as perpetrators of (or complicit in) injustices, but as victims of injustice?

Second, what moral hopes should we attach to democratic institutions at the global level? How much moral weight should we attach to each nation in the world achieving democracy? How much moral weight should we attach to ideals of global democracy? Should we believe in a human right to democracy, and what might such a right mean? 

Finally, what should we expect of the study of democracy? Should normative and empirical democratic theory inform one another, and if so, how? If, for example, international relations scholars have reason to think that all great powers in the future will be democracies, should this matter morally? If so, why? If scholars studying domestic politics repeatedly find that democratic voters are ignorant and irrational, should this really undermine our moral confidence in democracy as a system of government?

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Racial Politics in American Cities

This course explores how race and place influence political dynamics in American cities and suburbs. We consider specific cases in cities such as Ferguson, Missouri, New York City, Chicago, and Atlanta to explore mobilization, political and civic engagement, contests for political representation, coalition building, democratic responsiveness, and patterns of socioeconomic mobility and inequality. Our overarching aim will be to understand how these two dominant features of American urban life-race and place-interplay and shape the quest for political power, policy influence, and socioeconomic advancement in American cities.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Criminal Justice Politics and Policy

This course explores topics on the American criminal justice system. Each week we will cover a new topic in criminal justice. The goal of the course is to help students produce a 12-15 page independent research paper that they will develop based on one of the topics covered in the course.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Military Interventions

Military interventions are the most costly foreign policy tool extent. The purpose of this research seminar is to examine systematically and comparatively why military interventions are launched and what results they produce on the ground. The seminar, in particular, tries to find answers to the following questions: (1) What were the broad policy arguments in favor of or opposed to a particular intervention? (2) Who were the principal players arguing for intervention? (3) What role did international institutions play in the set-up of the intervention? (4) What specific kinds of military force proved particularly useful in the actual intervention? (6) In each case, do we judge the intervention a success or failure, and how do we explain the success or failure?

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Multiculturalism

N/A

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Public Opinion and Representation in the United States

Public Opinion and Representation in the United States. The course is about Americans’ views of political issues (“public opinion’’) and the extent to which their views influence elected officials (“representation’’). The first and larger part of the course takes up public opinion. The second part takes up representation.

This is not a course about statistics or computing. That said, background in statistics or econometrics is sure to help, as many of the assigned readings contain statistical analyses of data on public opinion or representation.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Black Political Thought

Black Political Thought: This course traces the evolution of the concepts of race, gender, class, and nation through the writings of African American intellectuals. It begins with a theoretical overview of these constructs. It then moves on to the following questions: Have African Americans historically seen race, gender, class, and nation differently than their white counterparts? How has the existence of America’s system of racial classification and exclusion shaped African American ideas about these constructs? How do African American intellectuals see racial equality? Do African American intellectuals believe that a “post-racial” society is possible?

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: National Security, Military Strategy, & Human Rights

This seminar will pose a straightforward and critical question, can you have national security without human rights and can you have human rights without national security. To address this we will consider three topics: Human Rights, Political Strategy and Military Strategy.  Needless to say, these are not autonomous categories, especially as the military is being asked to engage in state building which clearly implicates political strategies. And how states are built engages with topics that fall under the rubric of human rights. We will not address this in a theoretical manner but rather using examples drawn from the books as well as participants will choose countries that irrelevant to the topic.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Oligarchs and Elites

N/A

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Protest in the Global South

N/A

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Wealth and Power in America

N/A

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: The Refugee Knowledge Hub: Action Research, Ethics & Practice

This class introduces students to the methods, ethics and practice of action research in political science and refugee studies. We will learn about the concept of participatory action research as a bridge between theory and practice in studying vulnerable and at-risk populations. Students will have the opportunity to conduct social science research and utilize new technologies such as geographic information system (GIS) mapping to assist with ongoing legal cases for refugee and asylum protection and with the Refugee Knowledge Hub’s participatory action research project with refugee and asylee individuals and families in the Evanston area.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Machiavelli Reconciled

Was Machiavelli really Machiavellian? We will read from all of Machiavelli’s major works and many of his lesser works including diplomatic dispatches and observations, comedies, and later histories in chronological order to explore how his ideas evolved in context. Did the ends justify the means; do they still? If that question is not a tautology, what ends and what means? Was Machiavelli shocking because he said what everyone already knew but were afraid to say? If so, why were negative reactions unheard of until much later? The course was created on the premise that there is much more to Machiavelli than is commonly understood and that his political theory is still compelling 500 years later and that it still exerts its influence. Discussion and targeted writing assignments will aim at cultivating in students a deeper understanding of Machiavelli’s political-theoretical, literary, and historical attitudes, placing Nic in his rightful place among political theorists.

POLI_SCI 398 1/2 – Senior Thesis Seminar

This course is deigned to guide students as they design, research, and write their honors thesis. Students will engage with their own topic and study, as well as with more general topics of research design.

POLI_SCI 398 - 1,2 – Senior Thesis Seminar

Two consecutive quarters (fall and winter) during which students work on their senior theses. Prerequisite: 395 and admission to the honors program.

POLI_SCI 399 – Independent Study

Study and research projects carried out under faculty supervision. A written proposal, signed by the professor with whom the student will study, should be submitted to the director of undergraduate studies. Consent of department required.

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Hunger Games: The Politics of Famine

POLI_SCI 395 – Political Research Seminar: Student Activism and Free Speech

Universities across time and geography have been the locus of radical student protest. In the 1960s, Civil Rights and Anti-Vietnam protests rocked American campuses including Northwestern. One of the earliest of these was at the University of California, Berkeley where the campus was shut down while students demanded the right of free speech. Fast forward to today when some protests 'appear' to want to limit free speech in the name of equality. In fact, we now have a vast literature on the confrontation of equality and free speech which focuses on such issues as hate speech, triggers, etc. Additionally we now have a debate over "BDS" in which the topic of academic and cultural boycotts is raised as a means of protesting on behalf of Palestinian independence.

This seminar will address these topic from the historical case of UCal to the present moment and consider ways of negotiating the paradox over free speech; i.e. whether to limit free speech in deference to a higher principle or to maintain it at all costs.

POLI_SCI 390 – Special Topic: Turkey and the World: Foreign Policy, History and Identity

This course examines Turkey’s regional and global role, including Turkey’s relations with the United States, the European Union, Russia, and its neighbors. We will consider how these relations have been influenced by history, identity politics and foreign policy strategies. Overarching course themes include the role of historical legacies, political economy, international relations and domestic governance. 

POLI_SCI 201-0-1 – Introduction to Political Theory

In this course we will read classic texts in the history of political thought and contemporary political theory. We will build understanding of key political concepts like the social contract, justice, democracy, and virtue. The readings will include Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Machiavelli, Rousseau, Marx, and Arendt.

POLI_SCI 220-0-24 – American Government and Politics

This course introduces students to topics related to the development and maintenance of the U.S. system of government. It surveys the nature of American political institutions, behavior, and ideas while understanding the importance of these features for sustaining American democracy. Topics include the Constitution, federalism, civil rights, civil liberties, Congress, the Presidency, the Courts, political parties, interest groups, public opinion, the media, and campaigns and elections. Contemporary issues and debates in American politics and elections are discussed throughout. (This course counts toward WCAS Distribution Requirements, Division III; fulfills Major and Minor requirements in Political Science; and satisfies requirements in other majors and schools as well, e.g., Medill distribution requirement).

POLI_SCI 369-0-18 – Politics of Post-Soviet Russia

From civil war to nuclear weapons, mafia thugs to oligarchs, and natural resource battles to
modern-day dictators, Russia has experienced a remarkable range of political phenomena over
the past two decades. This course analyzes the political, economic, and foreign policy
revolutions that shook Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Through the lens of the
Russian experience, we will examine key concepts in comparative politics, such as revolution,
regime change, market formation, nationalism, and state building.

Whether you plan to professionally engage in politics, conduct international business, or simply
be a well-educated global citizen, you need to know about Russia. It is the world’s largest
country by geographic size and the ninth largest country by population. It remains one of the
world’s only two nuclear superpowers. It is the world’s largest oil producer and exporter. And it
widely is considered – along with China, India, and Brazil – to be one of the world’s most
important emerging economies.

POLI_SCI 390-0-25 – Special Topic: 1968: The year of "revolution"

In the year of 1968 Students and others revolted across the globe: Chicago, Prague,Tokyo, Mexico City, Paris and others. People fought the police, engaged in the destruction of property and challenged the authority of the state. Some were protesting the War in Vietnam and racism, others capitalism, others political repression and still others the boredom of modern society. This class will focus on Paris, Prague and Chicago and we will ask why these revolts, in varying contexts, broke out in the same year and what did they have in common and what separated them.

POLI_SCI 390-0-35 – Special Topic: Humanitarian Disasters and International Intervention

This class will address humanitarian disasters past and present and ask what other nations did (if anything), what could have been done, and why something or nothing occurred. We will begin with the idea of "Responsibility to Protect" as an alternative to international anarchy or nations choosing inaction as being in their national interests. We will choose one crisis from the past and one from the present, one with intervention and one without. We will attempt to find a logic behind both decisions.

POLI_SCI 395-0-1 – Political Research Seminar: Politics of Corruption

What is corruption? How does it affect politics, economics, and the overall quality of life around the world? This course explores these and related questions. The first part of the course investigates various types of corruption – such as bribery, vote buying, and financial kickbacks – with a focus on recent examples from numerous countries. The second part of the course considers the consequences of corruption, with a particular emphasis on its impact on democracy and economic development. The final part of the course focuses on corruption’s roots and examines a variety of anti-­‐corruption policies.

POLI_SCI 395-0-2 – Political Research Seminar: Machiavelli Reconciled

Was Machiavelli really Machiavellian? We will read from all of Machiavelli's major works and many of his lesser works including diplomatic dispatches and observations, comedies, and later histories in chronological order to explore how his ideas evolved in context. Did the ends justify the means; do they still? If that question is not a tautology, what ends and what means? Was Machiavelli shocking because he said what everyone already knew but were afraid to say? If so, why were negative reactions unheard of until much later? The course was created on the premise that there is much more to Machiavelli than is commonly understood and that his political theory is still compelling 500 years later and that it still exerts its influence. Discussion and targeted writing assignments will aim at cultivating in students a deeper understanding of Machiavelli's political-theoretical, literary, and historical attitudes, placing Nic in his rightful place among political theorists.

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