Students should contact the departmental representative with course-related questions.

Political Science

Departmental Representative:
Prof. Robert Amdur
311 Hamilton Hall
212-854-4049
rla2@columbia.edu

To request a syllabus, please contact the course instructor. You can find contact information for an instructor on the university directory.

POLS S3290D 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.

Summer 2017: POLS S3290D
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3290 001/24990 T Th 1:00pm - 4:10pm
407 Hamilton Hall
Michael Miller 3 16/20

POLS S4316Q The American Presidency. 3 points.

The growth of presidential power, the creation and use of the institutionalized presidency, presidential-congressional and presidential-bureaucratic relationships, and the presidency and the national security apparatus.

Summer 2017: POLS S4316Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4316 001/76026 M W 1:00pm - 4:10pm
405a International Affairs Bldg
Richard Pious 3 15/18

POLS S4811D Global Energy and Climate Change: Security and Geopolitics. 3 points.

The course focuses on the nexus between energy and security as it reveals in the policies and interaction of leading energy producers and consumers. Topics include: hydrocarbons and search for stability and security in the Persian Gulf, Caspian basin, Eurasia, Africa and Latin America; Russia as a global energy player; role of natural gas in the world energy balance and European energy security; transformation of the global energy governance structure; role and evolution of the OPEC; introduction into energy economics; dynamics and fundamentals of the global energy markets; IOCs vs NOCs; resource nationalism, cartels, sanctions and embargoes; Asia's growing energy needs and its geo-economic and strategic implications; nuclear energy and challenges to non-proliferation regime; alternative and renewable sources of energy; climate change and attempts of environmental regulation; emerging international carbon regimes and search for optimal models of sustainable development. Special focus on implications of the shale revolution and technological innovations on U.S. energy security.

Summer 2017: POLS S4811D
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4811 001/16078 T Th 9:00am - 12:10pm
418 International Affairs Bldg
Albert Bininachvili 3 25/25

POLS S4832Q Strategic Intelligence and Political Decision Making. 3 points.

The interaction of intelligence and political decision-making in the U.S., other Western democracies, Russia and China. Peculiarities of intelligence in the Middle East (Israel, Iran, Pakistan).  Intelligence analyzed both as a governmental institution and as a form of activity, with an emphasis on complex relations within the triangle of intelligence communities, national security organizations, and high-level political leadership.  Stages and disciplines of intelligence process. Intelligence products and political decision-making.  The function of intelligence considered against the backdrop of rapid evolution of information technologies, changing meaning of homeland security, and globalization. Particular emphasis on the role of intelligence in the prevention of terrorism and WMD proliferation.

Summer 2017: POLS S4832Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4832 001/67115 T Th 9:00am - 12:10pm
418 International Affairs Bldg
Albert Bininachvili 3 24/25

POLS S3296Q Reforming American Elections. 3 points.

Nothing is more important to the legitimacy of a representative government than the integrity of elections. Throughout the history of the American republic, various actors have sought to shape electoral outcomes. Some have even done so legally! While contemporary citizens of the United States have tended to think of their elections as paragons of reliability, events in the last fifteen years or so have increasingly led to questions on this front. This course will examine issues of fairness, integrity, and security currently facing the American electoral system. In identifying ailments in American democracy, we will discuss both their causes and effects. Finally, we will examine potential reforms in an effort to determine to what extent American elections can be “fixed” (see what I did there?). This course will be particularly useful for students considering professional legal education as a next step.

Summer 2017: POLS S3296Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3296 001/11780 M W 9:00am - 12:10pm
Room TBA
Michael Miller 3 1/20

POLS S3961D Seminar in International Politics:Contemporary Diplomacy . 4 points.

Just Added

This seminar focuses on diplomacy in the modern era and examines major diplomatic events since the end of the Cold War. The course approaches the study of contemporary diplomacy by combining international relations theory and empirical cases to analyze the influence of diplomacy, as an instrument of statecraft, including its methods, practices and strategies, on how states interact and pursue their goals. The purposes of this course are to examine how states manage and shape external relations through diplomacy, either alone or in combination with other instruments as well as to analyze the conditions under which diplomatic statecraft has had positive, negative or no impact on various foreign policies and international outcomes.


While this is not a course about American diplomacy, the United States will often be discussed given its continued and unique significance to post-Cold War diplomatic statecraft. We critically assess and analyze the practice of diplomacy amid a range of post-Cold War cases and developments including the reunification of Germany, Israeli-Palestinian relations since the Oslo Accords, coercive diplomacy against Iraq, Haiti, and Iran, the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement, the Dayton Accords, the fight against terrorism, an evolving international environmental agenda, and technological changes in the digital domain.

Summer 2017: POLS S3961D
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3961 001/69254 T Th 6:15pm - 9:25pm
Room TBA
Rebecca Murphy 4 2/18

POLS S3680D Topics in International Security. 3 points.

Just Added

This course explores how and why states and non-state actors use violent and non-violent strategies in international politics. While not all topics in international security can be covered thoroughly in one semester, this course will give a sampling of many of the topics, including military doctrines and strategies, diplomatic policies, social forces, civil wars, and roles of individuals. Though historical and current events will be used as examples to illustrate how various theories work, students should keep in mind that this is not a course on current events.

Summer 2017: POLS S3680D
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3680 001/73196 T Th 1:00pm - 4:10pm
Room TBA
Michael Beckley 3 0/18

POLS S3625Q Rising Great Powers in International Relations. 3 points.

The rise of new great powers and hegemonic states has been a major engine of change in international relations, both historically and today. Predominant theories of war, trade, and empire take as their starting point the uneven growth in the power and wealth of major states and empires. Rapid economic growth and associated domestic institutional changes in rising great powers often unleash a volatile domestic politics that affects the ideologies and social interests that play a role in formulating foreign policy. In turn, the rising power’s international environment shapes the unfolding of these internal processes. This course will study these dynamics, tracing patterns in historical cases and applying the insights gained to contemporary issues.

Summer 2017: POLS S3625Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3625 001/82283 T Th 1:00pm - 4:10pm
Room TBA
Michael Beckley 3 3/18

POLS S1201Q Introduction to American Government and Politics. 4 points.

Just Added

Introduction to national political institutions and processes. The presidency, Congress, the courts, political parties and elections, interest groups, and public opinion.

Summer 2017: POLS S1201Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 1201 001/23146 M W 1:00pm - 4:10pm
Room TBA
Judith Russell 4 14/18

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