Political Science

The Department of Political Science offers courses in American government and politics, race and ethnicity in American politics, voting, urban politics, social welfare policy, the American presidency, the European Union, Chinese politics, Japanese politics, the politics of the Middle East and Africa, the history of political thought, mass media and politics, Latin American politics, political theory, American foreign policy, nationalism, and mathematics and qualitative research for political science and political research. The department also offers seminars in comparative politics, American politics, and international politics.

For questions about specific courses, contact the department:

Departmental Office: 710 International Affairs Building
212-854-3646
Office Hours: Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Web: www.columbia.edu/cu/polisci


Directory of Classes

The course information displayed on this page relies on an external system and may be incomplete. Please visit Political Science on the Directory of Classes for complete course information.

After finding your course in the Directory of Classes, click on the section number to open an expanded view. The "Open To" field will indicate whether the course is open to School of Professional Studies students. If School of Professional Studies is not included in the field, students may still be able to cross-register for the course by obtaining permission after being admitted to an academic program.


POLS BC3055 * Colloquium on Political Violence and Terrorism. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: POLS V1501 or POLS V1601 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Barnard syllabus.

What causes political violence and terrorism? How should we define "terrorism"--is it true, as the old saw goes, that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter? What is the role of religious belief, as opposed to more immediate political goals, in fomenting terrorist action? Are al Qaeda and those linked to it different from terrorists we’ve seen in various places around the world in the past, or does all terrorism and political violence stem from the same variety of goals and purposes? Can governments take effective action to prevent or counter terrorism, or are we all doomed to live in insecurity? What is the proper balance between protection against terrorism and protection of civil liberties? This course examines these questions through weekly assigned readings, analysis and discussion.

POLS BC3101 * Colloquium on Black Political Thought. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: POLS W1013 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Barnard syllabus.

Advanced political theory colloquium treats black political thought as concerned with the universal problem of domination. Examines how black thinkers relate democracy, slavery and race; redefine race consciousness as linked fate; articulate new social theories to suggest new "meanings" for race; redefine the political to address social and aesthetic concerns.

POLS BC3102 * Colloquium on Race and Modern Political Thought. 4 points.

Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

Prerequisites: POLS 1013 or the equivalent.

Race and Modern Political Thought is a Political Theory colloquium that explores how the concept of race became available to modern thought as a legitimate conceptualization of human being and difference and to political thought as an idea useful to structuring political communities.  Is race best understood in ideological terms, i.e., as a viewpoint shared by philosophers and lay-persons alike about difference that usefully reflected the needs and aspirations of slaveholders and colonialists?  Or is race instead an artifact of modern forms of reasoning?  Or should we ignore questions of origin and simply take seriously the notion that the only practical—ethically correct or politically progressive—approach to theorizing race is to attend critically to the organization of racial power?   What kind of idea is race?

Fall 2017: POLS BC3102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3102 001/06291 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
302 Milbank Hall
Michelle Smith 4 21

POLS BC3118 * Colloquium on Problems in International Security. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS V1501 or POLS V1601 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Barnard syllabus.

Examination of causes and consequences of major current problems in international security. Topics include state power dynamics and the rise of China, nuclear deterrence and proliferation, military intervention and R2P, ethnic nationalism and sectarianism, state failure and warlordism, transnational terrorism.

Fall 2017: POLS BC3118
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3118 001/04040 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
227 Milbank Hall
0. FACULTY 4 8

POLS BC3200 American Political Development, 1789-1980. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).

Prerequisites: V 1201 or equivalent intro course in American Politics.

American Political Development (APD) is an emerging subfield within American Politics that focuses on the ways that political culture, ideology, governing structures (executives, legislatures, judiciaries, and subnational governments) and structures of political linkage (political parties and organized interests) shape the development of political conflict and public policy. Rejecting the fragmentation of the field of American Politics into narrow specialties, it links government, politics, policy, culture, and economics in a broad-gauged search for understanding.  (Cross-listed by the American Studies Program.)

POLS BC3304 * Colloquium on Politics and Policy-Making in American Federalism. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS W1201 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Barnard syllabus.

Examines increasingly complex relationships existing amongst all levels of American government and theoretical and practical challenges these relationships present for policy-makers and citizens. Themes include which levels of government ought to be doing what, the role of exit and voice, and what it means to produce coherent public policy.

POLS BC3306 *Colloquium on Politics of Judicial Interpretation. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS 1201 Intro to American politics or an equivalent American Politics course. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

Focusing on the development of constiutional doctrine across time, we will consider the growth of Supreme Court authority over constitutional questions (and challenges to that authority), the Court's relation to the other federal branches, and the relationship between constitutional change and social movements

POLS BC3307 *Colloquium on Racial Violence. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS 1201 Intro to American Politics or an equivalent American Politics course. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

This colloquium examines two particular episodes of racial violence, each of which situates the political differently: lynchings and prisons. The goal is to not only explore how to bring the state back in but also examine the differences, similarities and points of intersections across disciplines.

POLS BC3328 * Colloquium on Politics of Urban Development. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS W 1201 (Introduction to American Government and Politics), POLS V 3313 (American Urban Politics), or permission from the instructor. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

Explores the development policies that American cities are pursuing and the political, economic, and social contexts in which they pursue them.  Emphasis will be placed on developing both a theoretical and practical understanding of the challenges cities face as they seek economic prosperity.

POLS BC3329 * Colloquium on Harlem in Theory. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

Harlem in Theory is an advanced political theory colloquium.  Its focus is both thematic and methodological.  Joining a two-thousand year tradition of doing philosophy in and for the city, we theorize Harlem as urbs and civitas (place and socio-political association) and bring Harlem to bear on philosophy.  We explore the political theorist's craft by engaging different theoretical approaches and methodologies used by political, social and critical theorists.  Our readings include political philosophy, critical frameworks for interpretation and historical, social scientific and literary works about Harlem - supplemented by film, music and of course periodic trips to various Harlem venues. General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC).

Spring 2017: POLS BC3329
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3329 001/09992 M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
308 Diana Center
Michelle Smith 4 16

POLS BC3330 Women in American Politics. 4 points.

Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

Prerequisites: V 1201 or equivalent

A well-functioning democracy should certainly reflect the intent of its citizens, but it is worthwhile to consider whether this goal is achievable when the legislative assembly does not take on the characteristics of the population. In Congress, membership is comprised of fewer than 20% of women. Women constitute a somewhat greater proportion of the various state assemblies, but still not at levels that approach their share of the population. In this class, we will discuss the electoral experiences of women who run for office. We will also consider whether the women who are elected to public office behave differently, and what, if any, implications such a difference might have for public policy. We will also study how gender intersects with race and socio-economics in American political life. This course will introduce students to the concepts, major themes, and debates in the study of gender in American politics. Students who complete the class will learn how to: 1. Identify the key concepts, trends, and debates in the empirical study of women in American politics. 2. Draw linkages between theoretical political science and practical politics in describing how gender affects political outcomes. 3. Critically engage media coverage of women in politics. 4. Assess the theoretical and/or empirical quality of academic arguments about women in politics. 5. Use empirical evidence to present an effective argument, both written and verbal. 6. Produce a high-quality, original research paper that contributes to our understanding of gender in American political life.

Fall 2017: POLS BC3330
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3330 001/02400 W 11:00am - 12:50pm
407 Barnard Hall
0. FACULTY 4 14

POLS BC3331 * Colloquium on American Political Decisionmaking. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: POLS W1201 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Barnard syllabus.

Readings on decisionmaking, policy analysis, and the political setting of the administrative process. Students will simulate an ad hoc Cabinet Committee assigned to prepare a presidential program to deal with aspects of the foreign aid program involving hunger and malnutrition. (Cross-listed by the American Studies Program and by the Athena Center for Leadership Studies.)

POLS BC3332 * Colloquium on Exploring Political Leadership in the U.S.. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: POLS W1201 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Barnard syllabus.

Exploration of the effect of political leadership on political outcomes in the United States, with special attention to how individual characteristics, like personality, political style, ideology, gender, race and class, interact with the political environment in shaping political outcomes. (Cross-listed by the American Studies Program and by the Athena Center for Leadership Studies.)

POLS BC3334 *Colloquium on American Elections and Campaigns. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS V 1201 or equivalent American Politics course. POLS V 3222 or equivalent Research Methods course is recommended. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

The purpose of this course is to examine how political science can inform the real-world campaign environment, improving our understanding of strategy and outcomes in American elections.

Fall 2017: POLS BC3334
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3334 001/08666 M 11:00am - 12:50pm
407 Barnard Hall
0. FACULTY 4 12

POLS BC3337 *Colloquium on Election Reform. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS 1201 or an equivalent intro-level course in American Politics.

The purpose of this course is to examine problems in American democracy, and to critically evaluate proposals for reform.  We will examine the manner in which political science has engaged "real-world" problems in election systems and administration, campaign finance, and fraud.

POLS BC3402 The Comparative Politics of Gender Inequality. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I).

Prerequisites: Not an introductory-level course. Not open to students who have taken the colloquium POLS BC 3507. Enrollment limited to 20 students; L-course sign-up through eBear. Barnard syllabus.

Uses major analytical perspectives in comparative politics to understand the persistence of gender inequality in advanced industrial states. Topics include: political representation and participation; political economy and capitalism; the historical development of welfare states; electoral systems, electoral quotas; the role of supranational and international organizations; and social policy.

Fall 2017: POLS BC3402
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3402 001/04616 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
502 Diana Center
Claire Ullman 3 16/20

POLS BC3410 *Colloquium on Human Rights in a Diverse World. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS V1013 or W3001 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Barnard syllabus.

Exploration of the nature of human rights and questions of their validity and relevance, protection and redefinition, in this world of cultural diversity and diversity of national interests. (Cross-listed by the Human Rights Program.)

POLS BC3411 *Colloquium on Building Peace. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS 1601 (Intro to International Politics) or equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

How can we build peace in the aftermath of extensive violence? How can international actors help in this process? This colloquium focuses on international peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding efforts in recent conflicts. It covers general concepts, theories, and debates, as well as specific cases of peacebuilding successes and failures. Cross-listed with Human Rights.

POLS BC3417 *Colloquium on Sovereignty and its Challenges. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS 1601 or equivalent Introduction to International Relations course. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

States are often assumed to maintain control over their sovereign affairs, yet in our contemporary era a variety of external actors regularly violate state sovereignty, pressure governments or challenge their domestic policy autonomy.  This course explores how the traditional political, economic and security functions of states are being undermined and reconfigured.

Fall 2017: POLS BC3417
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3417 001/01122 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
202 Milbank Hall
0. FACULTY 4 9

POLS BC3500 *Colloquium on Political Economy of Corruption and Its Control. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS V1501 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Barnard syllabus.

Comparative political economy course which addresses some important questions concerning corruption and its control: the concept, causes, patterns, consequences, and control of corruption. Introduces students to and engages them in several key social science debates on the causes and effects of political corruption.

Fall 2017: POLS BC3500
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3500 001/03576 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
102 Sulzberger Annex
Xiaobo Lu 4 11

POLS BC3501 Urban Violence In Comparative Perspective. 4 points.

Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

Prerequisites: V 1501 or equivalent

One of the key contemporary challenges for democracy and development across both the developing and developed worlds is urban violence. From urban gangs to paramilitaries to vigilantes to citizen defense committees, the city is increasing a key setting for a range of armed actors that engage in equally diverse forms of criminality and the exercise of coercive force. Major cities throughout the world thus lead two lives: as control and command centers in a globalized (and urbanized) economy, and as the stages where the monopoly over the legitimate use of violence that Max Weber identified as a defining attribute of the state is contested on a daily basis. This course has two overarching objectives. The first objective is to examine and critically assess existing theories of the drivers, functions, and consequences of urban crime and violence.  The second objective is to situate existing research within a broader range of classic and emerging political science research on state building, institutions, democracy,  development, and conflict. The methodological emphasis of the course is comparative analysis, and therefore empirical material will largely draw on analyses of crime and violence in Latin America and Africa, and the United States. This course will introduce students to the key theories, debates, and empirical studies of urban crime and violence. Students who successfully complete the class will: 1.      Acquire a broad knowledge of the theories and concepts used to analyze urban crime and violence. 2.      Develop a theoretically informed and empirically grounded understanding of both historical and contemporary trends in crime and violence in major cities across Latin America, Africa, and the United States. 3.      Draw linkages between news coverage of urban crime and violence and political science theories on a range of broader issues regarding state building, institutions, democracy, and development. 4.      Use existing theories to analyze, assess, and present empirical data, both written and verbal.   5.      Produce a major, original research paper that advances existing knowledge of the origins, dynamics, and/or consequences of urban crime and violence.

Fall 2017: POLS BC3501
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3501 001/06187 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
102 Sulzberger Annex
Eduardo Moncada 4 16

POLS BC3504 * Colloquium on Social Movements across Time and Space. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: POLS V1501 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Barnard syllabus.

Examines the origins, trajectories, and effects of social movements, from 18th century Britain to 19th century Iran to late 20th century Argentina, China, and the United States. Focuses on social movements’ relation to political parties, the state, and transnational forces and asks whether social movements promote or undermine democratization.

POLS BC3505 * Colloquium on Making Democracy Work. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS V1501 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Barnard syllabus.

Examination of democratic consolidation and promotion. What makes democracy work and what, if anything, can outside actors do to help this process along? Topics include the theoretical literature on democratic consolidation, historical cases of intervention, debates about America’s role in promoting democracy, and examination of some of the research on democracy promotion. (Cross-listed by the Europen Studies and Human Rights Programs.)

POLS BC3507 *Colloquium on Gender, Politics, and Markets. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS V1501 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Barnard syllabus.

Considers why men more than women control political and economic resources in advanced industrial states of the world.  Examines how labor markets, welfare states, and political institutions have a different impact on women than men.  Evaluates attempts at increasing gender equality in political representation, labor market participation, and household work.  *Please note, students who have already taken BC 3402 The Compative Politics of Gender Inequality may not register for this colloquium.* (Cross-listed by the Womens Studies Program.)

POLS BC3521 Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. 3 points.

Prerequisites: POLS W1201 or the equivalent. Not an introductory-level course. Not open to students who have taken the colloquium POLS BC3326. Enrollment limited to 25 students; L-course sign-up through eBear. Barnard syllabus.

Explores seminal caselaw to inform contemporary civil rights and civil liberties jurisprudence and policy.  Specifically, the readings examine historical and contemporary first amendment values, including freedom of speech and the press, economic liberties, takings law, discrimination based on race, gender, class and sexual preference, affirmative action, the right to privacy, reproductive freedom, the right to die, criminal procedure and adjudication, the rights of the criminally accused post-9/11 and the death penalty. (Cross-listed by the American Studies and Human Rights Programs.)

Fall 2017: POLS BC3521
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3521 001/04891 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
323 Milbank Hall
Paula Franzese 3 54/60

POLS BC3540 *Colloquium on Constructing States, Nations, and Democracy. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS V1501 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

The course will examine the development of, and relationship among, the three constituent features of the modern political world: states, nations and democracy. The course will analyze both historical and contemporary cases, tracing how causal processes unfold over time and space and what past conditions and experiences lie behind today's political dynamics and problems.

Fall 2017: POLS BC3540
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3540 001/04660 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
118 Barnard Hall
Sheri Berman 4 18/16

POLS BC3801 Politics of Economic Development In the World. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC II).
Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

Prerequisites: V 1501 or equivalent

Description: The semester-long course aims to study political and social factors behind economic development and exam empirical cases of the success and failure in economic growth in order to understand the key features of the development processes. In the last two centuries, some countries successfully achieved economic growth and development, while other failed to do so. Even in the post-WWII period, the world has witnessed the rise and decline of economies around the world. Why do nations succeed or fail in economic development? How do political institutions affect economic outcomes? What are the ways in which state and market interact and influence each other? Can democracy be considered a cause of development, an outgrowth of development, or neither and to which extent? How do external factors such as foreign aid encourage or discourage development? We will try to examine these questions by taking a historical-institutional and comparative approach and take a critical look at the role of political and other institutions by applying theoretical guidelines and empirical cases. We will explore competing explanations for the successes and failures of economic development in the world. Objective:1. Understand some important concepts and theories within the fields of comparative politics and political economy. To explore the interconnections between politics, economy, and society in the context of development policy and practice.2. Develop basic analytic skills to explore various factors that shape political, economic, and social development and underdevelopment in the world;3. Understand some country specific political economy processes and how these processes prove or disprove certain theories and policies.

Spring 2017: POLS BC3801
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3801 001/04651 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
502 Diana Center
Xiaobo Lu 4 17

POLS BC3805 *Colloquium on International Organization. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS V1601 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Barnard syllabus.

Exploration of the various structures, institutions, and processes that order relations among states and/or actors in the international system. Emphasis will be placed on contemporary issues such as dilemmas of humanitarian intervention, the politics of international institutions, the rise of non-governmental organizations, and globalization.

POLS BC3810 *Colloquium on Aid, Politics & Violence in Africa. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS V1601 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Barnard syllabus.

Explores the concepts, theoretical traditions and debates around development and humanitarian aid, focusing on the relationships between aid, politics, and violence. It looks at the political and military impacts of aid, the linkage between humanitarian aid and conflict resolution, and aid's contribution to perpetuating subtle forms of domination. (Cross-listed by the Africana Studies and the Human Rights Programs.)

POLS BC3812 * Colloquium on State Failure, Warlords, and Pirates. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: POLS V1501 or POLS V1601 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Barnard syllabus.

What are sovereign states, why do they fail, does their failure matter, and can the international community help? This course examines these questions using social science theories and historical case studies. It focuses on the political economy and security consequences of two current forms of state failure: warlordism and piracy.

Spring 2017: POLS BC3812
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3812 001/03774 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
117 Barnard Hall
Kimberly Marten 4 13

POLS G4110 Recent Continental Political Thought. 4 points.

This course will compare and contrast the theories of the political, the state,freedom, democracy, sovereignty and law, in the works of the following key 20th and 21st century continental theorists: Arendt, Castoriadis, Foucault, Habermas, Kelsen, Lefort, Schmitt, and Weber. It will be taught in seminar format.

POLS G4132 Political Thought - Classical and Medieval. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Contemporary Civilization or a comparable introduction to political theory course.

In this course, we will read classical and medieval writings that span multiple linguistic, historic and religious contexts. The goal is to explore similar notions of the just world that span these varied writings, from Plato's Republic to Zoroastrian and Early Islamic writings on just rule. Such similarities will highlight how some of these works represent cultural amalgams that blend Greek, Persian and Arabic elements. Yet, we will also consider how these writings differ and how their authors constructed them to respond to their unique political concerns. Throughout this course, we will consider how authors drew upon their foreign status, as aliens, outsiders, or clients to conquering tribes, to transform politics. And we will ask why these authors invoke and re-imagine particular models of the just world to represent their ideal notions of sovereignty, equity and justice. In the end, we will question how the foreign roots of ancient and medieval thought can help us fathom the basic underpinnings of founding documents today.

POLS G4240 Great Books on Race, Politics and Society. 4 points.

This seminar introduces students to classic works on race, social science, and public policy. The course will explore how social scientists have defined and constructed the conditions of black communities and how those definitions and constructions have varied and influenced policy debates over time.  Students are required to write an original research paper on a policy area that examines the tensions between individual and structural explanations for the persistence of racial inequality.

POLS G4471 Chinese Politics. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

An introduction to the politics of the People's Republic of China since 1978 that examines why and how a Leninist system attempts to reform and the consequences. Topics covered include one party rule, market transition, property rights, and grassroots democracy among many others.

POLS G4487 Politics in Russia. 4 points.

This course begins by studying the late Soviet era—the 1970s through the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991--in order to understand what kind of political system and political culture Russia inherited. We spend some time analyzing why and how the Soviet Union—a superpower for 75 years—disintegrated suddenly and for the most part, peacefully. Then, the bulk of the course focuses on state-building in the Russian Federation. Russia’s effort to construct new political institutions, a functioning economy, and a healthy society represents one of the greatest political dramas of our time. Beginning with Yeltsin’s presidency in 1991 and continuing through the current eras of Putin, Medvedev, and Putin again, we consider phenomena such as economic reform, nationalism, separatism, federalism, war, legal reform, civil society, and democratization. The third part of the course addresses Russia’s foreign relations. Like its predecessor states, the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, Russia is concerned with what kind of state it is (or should be) and where it stands in the international order. We will study how Russian elites make sense of Russia’s identity, as well as Russia’s policies toward the US, Europe, its “near abroad,” the Middle East, and China.

POLS G4491 Post-Soviet States and Markets. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: Recommended preparation: some familiarity with Communist or post-Communist states.

Considers the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union and the challenge of building new political and economic systems in the post-Communist space. Evaluates contending theories of markets, transitions, constitutions, federalism, and democratic institutions. Primary focus on the post-Soviet states, with some reference to Eastern Europe and China.

POLS G4610 Recent Continental Political Thought. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

This course will compare and contrast the theories of the political, the state,freedom, democracy, sovereignty and law, in the works of the following key 20th and 21st century continental theorists: Arendt, Castoriadis, Foucault, Habermas, Kelsen, Lefort, Schmitt, and Weber. It will be taught in seminar format. As of academic year 2016-2017, this course is now POLS 4110.

POLS G8151 Normative Theories of Justice. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Theories of retributive and distributive justice, with emphasis on work published during the last thirty years.  Competing formulations of the principle that people should not suffer as a result of brute bad luck and that relative advantages and disadvantages should as far as possible arise from voluntary choices.

POLS G8203 Colloquium on State Politics. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission prior to registration.

This seminar is designed as an overview of the major debates in the comparative study of U.S. state politics. The primary goals of the course are to familiarize students with the principal questions being asked by scholars in this subfield, the methodological approaches employed, and the avenues available for future research. Students will be asked to critically evaluate the existing literature. Throughout the course, special emphasis will be placed on states as laboratories for the empirical examination of political institutions, behavior, and the policy-making process.

POLS G8625 Imperialism and Political Theory. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: permission of the instructor prior to registration.

This is a reading course for graduate students, surveying the literature from an interesting new area of study in political theory. By reading and discussing a number of recent works and a couple of classics, we will attempt to identify the common characteristics of the various entities that have been described as “empires” from ancient Greece to the present day, and to evaluate the ideas that have been offered as justifications for and critiques of imperial projects. Issues for consideration will include: What is an empire? How has imperialism informed the arguments of canonical works of political philosophy? Do commerce and capitalism stimulate or suppress imperialism? Can imperialism persist after de-colonization? What strategies are appropriate for combatting imperialism? Are international institutions imperialist? Has the United States ever been an empire? Is it one now? And is any sort of imperialism acceptable?

POLS G8651 Normative Theories of Justice. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Theories of retributive and distributive justice, with emphasis on work published during the last thirty years.  Competing formulations of the principle that people should not suffer as a result of brute bad luck and that relative advantages and disadvantages should as far as possible arise from voluntary choices. As of academic year 2016-2017, this course is now POLS 8151.

POLS G8839 The Causes and Consequences of Terrorism. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: POLS G6801 or the instructor's permission.

This course examines the politics of terrorism, with a focus on theoretical and empirical studies of its causes and consequences. We will look at both domestic and transnational forms of terrorism. We begin with issues of definition, and theoretical and empirical approaches to the study of terrorism. We then turn to the causes of terrorism, considering questions such as when, where, and why terrorism occurs, which individuals and which groups resort to terror and why, and who are the targets of terrorist attacks. We then turn to the consequences of terrorism, both for the outcome of conflicts, and for domestic politics.

POLS GR4454 Comparative Politics of South Asia. 4 points.

This course first compares the post-independence political histories of South Asian countries, particularly India and Pakistan.  It then explores selected topics across countries: social and cultural dimensions of politics; structures of power; and political behavior.  The underlying theme is to explain the development and durability of the particular political regimes – democratic or authoritarian – in each country.

Fall 2017: POLS GR4454
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4454 001/71128 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
261 Macy Hall
Philip Oldenburg 4 5/30

POLS GU4445 Politics of the Middle East and North Africa. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: POLS V1501 or the equivalent. Enrollment limited to 70 students. L-course sign-up through eBear. Barnard syllabus.

This course has two objectives: studying the political economy and history of the Arab states, Israel, Turkey, and Iran, and reviewing major themes in the Middle East political science literature. Topics include: historical legacies of colonialism, the political economy of state-society relations, the politics of religion, the politics of democratization, and burgeoning forms of new media.

Spring 2017: POLS GU4445
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4445 001/07620 T Th 6:10pm - 7:25pm
302 Barnard Hall
Lisel Hintz 3 23/30

POLS GU4461 Latin American Politics. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., Discussion Section Required

This is a lecture class that seeks to introduce students to social scientific analysis while discuss the shifting dynamics of political representation in Latin America. In analyzing political representation in the region, it focuses on demands for political inclusion by different actors and how they were resisted or accepted by established elites in a process that moved from regime change to electoral rotation in power. The course covers these political dynamics and their institutional consequences since the onset of the twentieth century, starting with the Mexican Revolution, until the contemporary period where democracy is the predominant form of government and elections a crucial tool for social and political change. While analyzing the politics of Latin America, we will cover important political science concepts associated with democratic representation, social inclusion and the rule of the law, such as social movement mobilization, political regime change, presidentialism, political party systems, political identities, state capacity, and institutional weakness.

Fall 2017: POLS GU4461
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4461 001/72524 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
602 Hamilton Hall
Maria Victoria Murillo 4 70/70

POLS GU4732 Research Topics in Game Theory. 4 points.

Discussion Section Required

Prerequisites: POLS W4730 or the instructor's permission.

Advanced topics in game theory will cover the study of repeated games, games of incomplete information and principal-agent models with applications in the fields of voting, bargaining, lobbying and violent conflict. Results from the study of social choice theory, mechanism design and auction theory will also be treated. The course will concentrate on mathematical techniques for constructing and solving games. Students will be required to develop a topic relating political science and game theory and to write a formal research paper.

Fall 2017: POLS GU4732
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4732 001/66187 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
303 Hamilton Hall
Carlo Prato 4 12/40

POLS GU4875 Russia and the West. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC II).
Enrollment limited to 40.Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Exploration of Russia's ambiguous relationship with the Western world. Cultural, philosophical, and historical explanations will be examined alongside theories of domestic political economy and international relations, to gain an understanding of current events. Select cases from the Tsarist, Soviet, and recent periods will be compared and contrasted, to see if patterns emerge. This course counts as an introductory-level course in international relations.

Spring 2017: POLS GU4875
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4875 001/00352 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
409 Barnard Hall
Kimberly Marten 4 28/30

POLS GU4895 War, Peace, and Strategy. 4 points.

Discussion Section Required

Survey of the causes of war and peace, functions of military strategy, interaction of political ends and military means. Emphasis on 20th-century conflicts; nuclear deterrence; economic, technological, and moral aspects of strategy; crisis management; and institutional norms and mechanisms for promoting stability.

Fall 2017: POLS GU4895
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4895 001/74922 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
417 International Affairs Bldg
Richard Betts 4 62/100

POLS UN1601 Introduction to International Politics. 4 points.

Discussion Section Required

Lecture and discussion. The basic setting and dynamics of global politics, with emphasis on contemporary problems and processes.

Spring 2017: POLS UN1601
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 1601 001/61729 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
417 International Affairs Bldg
Robert Jervis 4 197/300

POLS UN3212 Environmental Politics. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I).

Prerequisites: None. Some knowledge of American politics and government (i.e. prior high school or college coursework) is recommended. Barnard syllabus. \n \n "L" sign-up through myBarnard.

The political setting in which environmental policy-making occurs. The course will focus on grassroots and top-down policy-making in the United States with some comparative examples.Topics include the conservation movement and national agenda politics, pollution control and iron triangle politics, alternative energy policy and subsidy politics, climate change and issue networks, and transnational environmental issues and negotiation of international policy regimes. (Cross-listed by the American Studies Program.)

Fall 2017: POLS UN3212
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3212 001/06299 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Ll104 Diana Center
Richard Pious 3 22/50

POLS UN3220 Logic of Collective Choice. 3 points.

Much of politics is about combining individual preferences or actions into collective choices. We will make use of two theoretical approaches. Our primary approach will be social choice theory, which studies how we aggregate what individuals want into what the collective “wants.” The second approach, game theory, covers how we aggregate what individuals want into what the group gets, given that social, economic, and political outcomes usually depend on the interaction of individual choices. The aggregation of preferences or choices is usually governed by some set of institutional rules, formal or informal. Our main themes include the rationality of individual and group preferences, the underpinnings and implications of using majority rule, tradeoffs between aggregation methods, the fairness of group choice, the effects of institutional constraints on choice (e.g., agenda control), and the implications for democratic choice. Most of the course material is highly abstract, but these abstract issues turn up in many real-world problems, from bargaining between the branches of government to campus elections to judicial decisions on multi-member courts to the allocation of relief funds among victims of natural disasters to the scoring of Olympic events. The collective choice problem is one faced by society as a whole and by the smallest group alike.

Fall 2017: POLS UN3220
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3220 001/64661 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Ren Kraft Center
Jeffrey Lax 3 62/100

POLS UN3222 The American Congress. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC II).

Prerequisites: POLS W1201 or the equivalent, or the instructor's permission.

Inquiry into the dynamics, organization, and policy-making processes of the American Congress. Particular emphasis on the relationship of legislators to constituents, lobbyists, bureaucrats, the president, and with one another.

Fall 2017: POLS UN3222
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3222 001/10113 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
413 Kent Hall
Gregory Wawro 3 55/70

POLS UN3285 Freedom of Speech and Press. 3 points.

Examines the constitutional right of freedom of speech and press in the United States. Examines, in depth, various areas of law, including extremist or seditious speech, obscenity, libel, fighting words, the public forum doctrine, and public access to the mass media. Follows the law school course model, with readings focused on actual judicial decisions.

Fall 2017: POLS UN3285
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3285 001/60905 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
501 Schermerhorn Hall
Lee Bollinger 3 160/189

POLS UN3290 Voting and American Politics. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC II).

Elections and public opinion; history of U.S. electoral politics; the problem of voter participation; partisanship and voting; accounting for voting decisions; explaining and forecasting election outcomes; elections and divided government; money and elections; electoral politics and representative democracy.

Fall 2017: POLS UN3290
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3290 001/64475 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
207 Mathematics Building
Robert Erikson 3 120/130

POLS V3222 Political Science Research Methods. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., Lab Required

Prerequisites: At least sophomore standing recommended. No prior experience with statistics is assumed.
Corequisites: POLS V 3223 Computer Lab: TBD (50 minutes per week). Enrollment limited to 40 students: "L" sign-up through eBear. Not an introductory-level course. Barnard syllabus.

The course introduces students to the systematic study of political phenomena. Students will learn how to develop research questions and executable research designs. Then, taking an applied approach, students learn basic statistical and case study techniques for evaluating evidence and making empirical claims. No prior experience with statistics is assumed.

POLS V3240 Race, Law, and American Politics. 3 points.

Prerequisites: POLS V 1201 or equivalent

This class focuses on the broader implications of race as it relates to constitutional law, resistance movements and political economy. This class examines the dynamic relationship between race, law and American politics as a lens by which to interrogate core concepts in legal, social and political decision-making. Enrollment limited to 40 students.

POLS V3250 Voting and Political Behavior. 3 points.

Prerequisites: POLS 1201 is suggested but not required.

This course examines political behavior in the United States, including voting, contributing, and volunteering.  It also considers how people interpret information and use it to form preferences, and also how external forces can affect individuals' propensity to participate.

POLS V3313 American Urban Politics. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Patterns of government and politics in America's large cities and suburbs: the urban socioeconomic environment; the influence of party leaders, local officials, social and economic notables, and racial, ethnic, and other interest groups; mass media, the general public, and the state and federal governments; and the impact of urban governments on ghetto and other urban conditions. As of academic year 2016-2017, this course is now POLS 3213.

POLS V3413 Political Movements in the Middle East and North Africa. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: Limited to 40 students. L-course sign-up through eBear. This course counts as an introductory-level course in Comparative Politics. Barnard syllabus.

The 2011 "Arab Spring" took all observers by surprise. Yet the region has a rich history of bottom-up demands for accountable government. This course examines the diverse forms of popular mobilization in the Middle East region from the 19th century to 2011, including women's, human rights, and labor movements. (Cross-listed by the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures)

POLS W3002 Human Rights and Immigration. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values.
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: A Political Theory or a Human Rights course. Not an introductory-level course. Enrollment limited to 25 students; L-course sign-up through eBear. Barnard syllabus.

This course inquires into the challenges posed by international immigration to the existing system of human rights. It provides a theoretical understanding of the imortance of citizenship and sovereignty within this system. It combines theoretical readings on human rights with case studies on asylum-seekers, refugees and undocumented immigrants. (Cross-listed by the Human Rights Program.)

POLS W3208 State Politics. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

This course is intended to provide students with a detailed understanding of politics in the American states.  The topics covered are divided into four broad sections.  The first explores the role of the states in America's federal system of government.  Attention is given to the basic features of intergovernmental relations as well as the historic evolution of American federalism.  The second part of the course focuses on state-level political institutions.  The organization and processes associated with the legislative, executive, and judicial branches are discussed in depth.  The third part examines state elections, political parties, and interest groups.  Finally, the fourth section looks closely at various policy areas.  Budgeting, welfare, education, gay marriage, and environmental policy are each considered.

POLS W3245 Race and Ethnicity In American Politics. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC II).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

The course focuses on the historical and contemporary roles of various racial and ethnic groups; and the initiation, demands, leadership and organizational styles, orientation, benefits, and impact on the structures and outputs of governance in the United States.

POLS W3260 The Latino Political Experience. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC II).

This course focuses on the political incorporation of Latinos into the American polity. Among the topics to be discussed are patterns of historical exclusion, the impact of the Voting Rights Act, organizational and electoral behavior, and the effects of immigration on the Latino national political agenda.

POLS W3322 The American Congress. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC II).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: POLS W1201 or the equivalent, or the instructor's permission.

Inquiry into the dynamics, organization, and policy-making processes of the American Congress. Particular emphasis on the relationship of legislators to constituents, lobbyists, bureaucrats, the president, and with one another. As of academic year 2016-2017, this course is now POLS 3222.

POLS W3631 American Foreign Policy. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Introduction to American foreign policy since 1945 with an emphasis on post-cold war topics. Will cover major schools of American thought, the policy making process, and key policies and issues.

POLS W4150 Crisis and Critique: The Frankfurt School. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

This course centers on the writings of the key figures associated with the "first generation" of the Frankfurt School: Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Franz Neumann, Otto Kirschheimer, Friedrich Pollock, and Herbert Marcuse. In addition, it includes various background readings from thinkers whose works were key references for the critical theorists of the Frankfurt School: Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Max Weber and Gyorgy Lukacs. The course takes the Holocaust as a turning point for the members of this group, as this event brought their conception of critical theory into a crisis, urged them to rethink their assumptions about the relationship between theory and practice, dampened their hopes for revolutionary social change, and compelled them to undertake a much more radical critique of the Enlightenment. We will study the changing and divergent trajectories of critical theory by convering a wide range of material, including different perspetives on reason and rationality, the relationship between theory and practice, intertwinement of freedom and domination in modernity, and pathologies of mass society.

POLS W4316 The American Presidency. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: POLS W1201 or any course that qualifies for the the introductory-level American Politics course. Barnard syllabus. \n \n "L" sign-up through eBear.

Growth of presidential power, creation and use of the institutionalized presidency, presidential-congressional and presidential-bureaucratic relationships, and the presidency and the national security apparatus. (Cross-listed by the American Studies Program.)

POLS W4435 Political Corruption and Governance. 3 points.

Prerequisites: POLS V1501 or its equivalent. Additional courses in comparative politics are recommended. Open to undergraduate students with at least sophomore standing and graduate students.

Survey of the social science discourse on political corruption in the contemporary world and its relationship to political and economic development. Exploration of questions concerning political corruption, its causes, consequences, patterns, and effective mechanisms to reduce, contain, and eliminate corruption. Barnard syllabus.

POLS W4474 Politics and Justice in Southeast Asia. 4 points.

The course starts from the premise that questions of justice are essentially political, and their study cannot be safely left in the sole hands of lawyers and legal experts. In recent years, a number of important global trends have become evident in the study of justice. These include a growing focus on transitional justice – especially how the transition from an authoritarian regime, or from conditions of violent conflict, may best be handled. Another important trend is the so-called ‘new constitutionalism’ – efforts to strengthen checks and balances through establishing new institutions such as constitutional courts. A third trend concerns disturbing developments in the use of the criminal justice system for essentially political purposes. This course will explore how these recent trends are being played out in various parts of Southeast Asia.

POLS W4496 Contemporary African Politics. 3 points.

This course aims to teach students what, if any, answers social scientists have to the questions that concern anyone with an interest in African politics: 1) Why have democratic governments flourished in some countries and not others? 2) What institutions may enable Africans to hold their leaders accountable? 3) How do people participate in politics? 4) In what ways do aspiring African political leaders build public support? 5) To what extent does persistent poverty on the continent have political causes? and 6) Why is violence used to resolve some political disputes and not others?

POLS W4764 Design and Analysis of Sample Surveys. 4 points.

Discussion Section Required

Prerequisites: basic statistics and regression analysis (for example: POLS 4712, STAT 2024 or 4315, SOCI 4075, etc.)

Survey sampling is central to modern social science. We discuss how to design, conduct, and analyze surveys, with a particular focus on public opinion surveys in the United States.

POLS W4790 Advanced Topics in Quantitative Research. 4 points.

Discussion Section Required

Instruction in methods for models that have dependent variables that are not continuous, including dichotomous and polychotomous response models, models for censored and truncated data, sample selection models and duration models.

POLS W4792 Advanced Topics in Quantitative Research: Models for Panel and Time-Series Cross-Section Data. 4 points.

Discussion Section Required

This course covers methods for models for repeated observations data. These kinds of data represent tremendous opportunities as well as formidable challenges for making inferences. The course will focus on how to estimate models for panel and time-series cross-section data. Topics covered include fixed effects, random effects, dynamic panel models, random coefficient models, and models for qualitative dependent variables.

POLS W4820 International Relations of a Post-Western World. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: POLS 1601 or an equivalent introductory course in international politics; an introductory course in Economics or international finance is recommended for background, but not required.

Examines emerging challenges to the Western-built order of international politics, including emerging powers and the Bretton Woods economic institutions, the reslience of the US-led security system, and the contestation of Western values issues such as human rights and democracy promotion.  Focus on Eurasia, Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia.

POLS W4867 U.S.-Japan Relations. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

This course surveys postwar U.S.-Japan relations with a particular emphasis on the areas of economic trade and miltary security. In each of these areas we will also examine how Japan's East Asian neighbors have influenced the bilateral relationship over time. While focusing on a number of specific case studies of policymaking and political maneuvering, we will investigate how domestic and international forces interact to shape outcomes of relations between the two countries.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.