Courses — Spring 2013

For official course schedules, restrictions, classrooms, and current enrollments, check the Registrar's schedule.
More current syllabi and course information might be available for students on my.rochester.edu.

Political Science

PSC/IR 101 Introduction to Comparative Politics

G. Bingham Powell, Jr.
Spring 2013 — MWF 10:00-10:50
Political Science Field: Comparative Politics, Introductory Courses
International Relations Track: Governance of Nations (C)
Typically offered every year

Restriction: Open to freshman only. This course is an introduction to the study of political science and comparative politics. It focuses on how citizens may be able to control public policies in different modern democracies. The course begins by applying some of these ideas briefly to the American political system. It then turns explicitly to the politics of contemporary Britain, Russia and Germany, examining the political culture, the basic institutional arrangements, the party system, the voters' choices, and the policymaking system in each country. These systems will be compared to each other, to the United States and, occasionally, to other democracies. This course is recommended for those thinking about a major, minor, or cluster in political science, or international relations, and others who are simply interested in learning more about the politics of democracies.

PSC/IR 106 Introduction to International Relations

Hein Goemans
Spring 2013 — MWF 12:00-12:50
Political Science Field: International Relations, Introductory Courses
International Relations Track: Global Security (A)
Typically offered every year

This course provides students with the background and conceptual tools they need to understand contemporary international relations. The course will introduce students to the wide range of issues that make up the study of international relations, including the workings of the state system, the causes of international conflict and violence, and international economic relations. Students will be introduced to the literature in a broad way, to make them familiar with the main theoretical traditions in the field. Students will be asked, as much as possible, to read original texts, rather than a textbook. Time permitting, we will also examine topics of particular current interest, such as the evolving nature of power in the post-Cold War environment as well as special global challenges like nation-building and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

PSC 201 Political Inquiry

Kevin A. Clarke
Spring 2013 — TR 11:05-12:20
Political Science Field: Techniques of Analysis
Typically offered every year

This course introduces students to data analysis in political science. We begin by learning how to describe political data, and then move on to making inferences about political phenomena. Along the way, we address the "science" in political science and the development of hypotheses about political behavior. We will read published research from political science journals that use the techniques we discuss in class. No mathematical knowledge beyond high school algebra is assumed. PSC 201 satisfies the Techniques of Analysis requirement for undergraduate majors and minors in Political Science.

PSC 202 Argument in Political Science

Stuart Jordan
Spring 2013 — TR 15:25-16:40
Political Science Field: Required Course
Typically offered every year

Students generally take PSC 202 in their sophomore year, but the course is also open to juniors and seniors. The course introduces students to the questions, concepts, and analytical approaches of political scientists. This version of the course examines the politics of regulation, law, and legal institutions. Specifically, we look at a series of arguments regarding the role political institutions play in the resolution of conflicts over limited resources. The arguments we examine come from a range of traditions--including political philosophy, positive political theory, and political history. Finally, although we examine a number of applications to American politics, most of what we read regards conflicts over resources in general, not just those that occur within the United States.

PSC 208 Undergraduate Research Seminar

Richard G. Niemi
Spring 2013 ("W" Required) — R 14:00-16:40
Political Science Field: Individual Research
Typically offered every year

Through reading and critiquing political science research in American politics, comparative politics, and international relations, students learn how to select a research question, formulate testable hypotheses, find and evaluate relevant literature, locate or collect data that addresses their research question, analyze the data, and write a research report. The primary task for the semester is to complete a research paper on a topic the student chooses jointly with the instructor. Students work on individual or joint projects. The course is not a prerequisite for writing a senior honors thesis, though it is good preparation for doing so. With that in mind, near the end of the semester, juniors who are interested in doing an honors project during the senior year will be assisted in their efforts to identify a faculty member with whom they can work and in formulating a plan to carry out the thesis during the ensuing year.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Open to juniors and seniors (and outstanding sophomores). Past or concurrent enrollment in a techniques of analysis course (PSC 200, 201, 203, 205, ECO 230 231, or the equivalent).

PSC 213 The U.S. Congress

Michael Peress
Spring 2013 ("W" Required) — W 14:00-16:40
Political Science Field: American Politics
Typically offered every year

This course offers an overview of the legislative branch of the United States government. We will discuss the electoral process, the nature of representation, legislative organization, the committee system, floor procedure, congressional parties, and inter-branch relations. We will examine theories of lawmaking and the impact of institutional and electoral rules on legislative behavior and outcomes.

PSC 218 Emergence of the Modern Congress

Gerald Gamm
Spring 2013 ("W" Optional) — M 14:00-16:40
Political Science Field: American Politics
Typically offered every 2-3 years

Permission of instructor is required.
Through intensive reading and discussion, we will analyze major issues in congressional history and legislative institutions. We will examine the basic institutions of the House and Senate--committees, parties, leaders, and rules. We will also examine the development of careerism, the seniority system, agenda-setting, electoral concerns, the relationship between Congress and the president, divided government, and efforts at institutional reform. The course is designed to introduce students to the principal approaches used by political scientists to study Congress, with special emphasis on the development of congressional institutions over time. This is an advanced seminar, primarily for graduate students but open also to juniors and seniors with substantial background in political science, economics, and history.

PSC 222 U.S. Presidency

Stuart Jordan
Spring 2013 ("W" Optional) — TR 12:30-13:45
Political Science Field: American Politics
Typically offered every 2-3 years

This course introduces the major topics and theoretical perspectives in the study of the U.S. presidency. Topics include: rationales for and effects of separation of powers; the presidency in comparative perspective; the nature and origin of the president's influence on policy; the president's role in lawmaking and the veto; presidential management of the executive branch; war powers and the president's role in national security.

PSC 226 Black Political Leadership


Spring 2013 — TR 12:30-13:45
Political Science Field: American Politics
Typically offered every 2-3 years

Is President Barack Obama a black leader or a leader who happens to be black? This course will help students understand where the nation\'s first African-American president fits in a long stream of black political thinkers, activists, and leaders. Black elected officials, such as Barack Obama, are among the most recent leaders in the historic black struggle for civil rights and political and economic equality in the United States. Other sources of black leadership include preachers, scholars, and community organizers. In this course, we will systematically examine the strategies, agendas, and styles of black leadership from the 19th century to the present. We will attempt to answer the following questions: What is black leadership? Who are black leaders? And, how are leaders held accountable and to whom? We will consider black leaders from Booker T. Washington to W.E.B. DuBois, Martin L. King, Jr., to Malcolm X, Septima Clark to Ella Baker, and Jesse Jackson to Barack Obama.

PSC 228 Race and Ethnic Politics

Maya Sen
Spring 2013 — TR 11:05-12:20
Political Science Field: American Politics
Typically offered every year

In this course, we will examine the key role played by race and ethnicity across various facets of American political life. We will explore the distinct political and social identities of African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and others, and how these identities translate into contrasting political beliefs and different political actions. Other topics include the interaction between race and ethnicity and employment, health policy, access to criminal justice, and educational inequalities. Readings will draw upon political science, law, economics, sociology, and public health.

PSC 231 Money in Politics

Lynda W. Powell
Spring 2013 ("W" Required) — T 14:00-16:40
Political Science Field: American Politics
Typically offered rarely

We will examine two main questions: How much influence does money have in determining who seeks and who wins elective office? How much does money spent on contributions and lobbying influence government actions and policies? Political scientists have reached no consensus on the answers to these questions. We will examine the literature that debates these and closely related issues. Because many of the studies use quantitative methods, all students should have completed a basic statistics course. (This need not be a political science methods course.) Students should have a good basic understanding of American government. The course will be a small seminar and will use a discussion format. Each student will be expected to read the assigned material before class, and to take turns summarizing and critiquing particular readings, as well as participating in class discussion. Grades will be based on class discussion, on written and oral brief presentations on the readings and on a final research paper.

PSC 240 Criminal Procedure and Constitutional Principles

Edward L. Fiandach
Spring 2013 — MW 16:50-18:05
Political Science Field: Associated Courses
Typically offered every year

Through analysis of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, we examine criminal procedure as elaborated by federal and state court decisions. Topics include arrest procedures, search and seizure, right to counsel, and police interrogation and confessions. We will discuss the theoretical principles of criminal procedure and the application of those principles to the actual operation of the criminal court system.

PSC 244K Politics and Markets: Innovation and The Global Business Environment

David Primo
Spring 2013 — TR 12:30-13:45
Political Science Field: American Politics
International Relations Track: Political Economy and Development (B)
Typically offered every other year

Innovation is a driving force behind the massive increases in wealth that occurred in the 20th century, and the globalization of business is causing changes in the world\'s economy that we are only beginning to understand. In this course, we will spend several weeks studying how entrepreneurship and innovation are affected by government institutions. We will then spend several weeks studying business strategy in the global business environment, focusing on the role of regulations imposed by foreign governments and international organizations. Class meetings will be a mix of lecture and discussion, use real-world cases, and feature guest speakers. By the end of the course, you will have a stronger understanding of how businesses shape and are shaped by government policies. There are no prerequisites for this course, though some exposure to political science or economics is useful.

PSC 247 Green Markets: Environmental Opportunities and Pitfalls

Lawrence Rothenberg
Spring 2013 ("W" Optional) — TR 11:05-12:20
Political Science Field: American Politics
Typically offered rarely

In recent years, there has been much discussion of the possibility of a green economy. This course examines the potential for "green markets," focusing on three drivers-social, political, and economic-that can both constrain firms and potentially condition whether issues of environment and sustainability can be exploited as a means for competitive advantage. Among issues covered will be demand and willingness to pay for green goods, the roles of NGOs and investors, regulation and its alternatives, firm reputation and product differentiation, supply chain management, and green production processes. Special attention will be given to the need of firms to deal with climate change now and in the future.

PSC/IR 255 Institutions and Underdevelopment

Avidit Acharya
Spring 2013 — TR 9:40-10:55
Political Science Field: Comparative Politics, International Relations
International Relations Track: Political Economy and Development (B)
Typically offered every year

Why are some societies so much less developed than others? We will discuss the importance of political and economic institutions, ethnic and class conflict, the role and organization of the state, and political beliefs and culture in answering the question above. Cases will be taken from Africa, South Asia, and East Asia.

PSC/IR 263 Comparative Law and Courts

Gretchen Helmke
Spring 2013 ("W" Optional) — W 14:00-16:40
Political Science Field: Comparative Politics
International Relations Track: Governance of Nations (C)
Typically offered every 2-3 years

This course examines courts from a comparative perspective. Although long a central focus of American politics, increasingly courts have become important political institutions around the world. Among the questions that we will examine throughout the course include: Why are some judiciaries more independent than others? What effect does independence have on economic development and democratic consolidation? What role do formal institutional guarantees play in shaping the role of courts? How accountable are judges to the public or elected officials? What factors account for judicial decision-making? Taking the U.S. experience as a starting point, the course will explore answers to these questions by drawing on the recent literature on judicial politics from Europe, Russia, Africa, and Latin America.

PSC/IR 267 Identity, Ethnicity and Nationalism

Bonnie M. Meguid
Spring 2013 — TR 14:00-15:15
Political Science Field: Comparative Politics
International Relations Track: Governance of Nations (C)
Typically offered every 2-3 years

This course explores the concepts of identity, ethnicity and nationalism from a comparative perspective. Drawing upon theories from political science, anthropology, sociology and economics, we will examine how identity is defined and how societies use these constructions in, among other things, nation-building, war, and party competition. Theoretical readings will be supplemented with empirical studies from developed and developing countries across different time periods.

PSC 288 Game Theory

Konstantinos Matakos
Spring 2013 — MW 15:25-16:40
Political Science Field: Positive Theory
Typically offered every year

Game theory is a systematic study of strategic situations. It is a theory that helps us analyze economic and political strategic issues, such as behavior of individuals in a group, competition among firms in a market, platform choices of political candidates, and so on. We will develop the basic concepts and results of game theory, including simultaneous and sequential move games, repeated games and games with incomplete information. The objective of the course is to enable the student to analyze strategic situations on his/her own. The emphasis of the course is on theoretical aspects of strategic behavior, so familiarity with mathematical formalism is desirable.

PSC 291 First Amendment and Religion

Thomas H. Jackson
Spring 2013 — T 14:00-16:40
Political Science Field: American Politics, Political Philosophy
Typically offered every year

The Constitution helps define, as it perhaps reflects, American society. In this scheme, religion has a special role. It, arguably uniquely, is given both Constitutional protection (free exercise) as well as Constitutional limitation (no establishment). Religion's placement in the Bill of Rights (as a part of the First Amendment) suggests its importance (both in protection and in limitation) to the founders, and religion's role in society today remains important and controversial. This course examines the historical forces that led to the adoption of the religion clauses of the First Amendment, the subsequent development of those clauses (importantly through the close reading of key Supreme Court opinions), and religion's role in modern American society.

PSC/IR 355 Democratic Processes

G. Bingham Powell, Jr.
Spring 2013 — T 9:30-12:15
Political Science Field: Comparative Politics
International Relations Track: Governance of Nations (C)
Typically offered every 2-3 years

This course is a graduate seminar, involving collective discussion of core readings and student presentations on special topics and specific countries. The comparative democratic political processes subfield focuses on the process of choosing political leaders and making political decisions in the context of competitive elections and relative freedom of political action. We begin by discussing the empirical meaning of contemporary democracies, the nature of democratic transitions, and the effect of social and economic context. We then take quick looks at differing citizen values, constitutional rules, and the comparative study of citizens' attitudes and behavior. The second half of the course focuses on groups and, especially, political parties: competition, organization, coalitions, legislative and executive behavior, connections between citizens and policy makers. Although for graduate students the course fulfills requirements for the democratic political processes subfield in comparative politics, no specific background is assumed and the course is appropriate for any graduate student.

PSC 380 Scope of Political Science

James Johnson
Spring 2013 — M 16:50-19:30
Political Science Field: Political Philosophy
Typically offered every year

The aim of the seminar is to encourage students to examine political science in a reflective, disciplined, critical way. It is primarily designed for entering Ph.D. students, but may be appropriate for undergraduate seniors considering graduate work in political science. We use basic concepts in the philosophy of science to explore a range of specific examples of research in the discipline with the aim of discerning more clearly what it means to say that social and political inquiry is scientific.

PSC 394 Local Law and Politics Internships

Lynda W. Powell
Spring 2013
Political Science Field: Internship
Typically offered every semester

Most internship placements are in the District Attorney's or Public Defender's offices or in the local offices of U.S. members of Congress or Senators. Other internships are available depending on student interest. Interns work 10-12 hours per week through the entire semester. Grades are primarily based on a research paper. Applicants should have an appropriate course background for the internship and at least a B average. Students must be accepted in the course before approaching an agency for an internship. Applications are available from Professor L. Powell and an interest meeting is held just before preregistration each semester.

PSC 396 Washington Semester

Lynda W. Powell
Spring 2013
Political Science Field: Internship
Typically offered every semester

These internships provide an opportunity to learn experientially one or more of the following: how government functions; how public policies are created, adopted and implemented; and how political campaigns work. Placements would typically be in Congress, the executive branch, party campaign committees, and possibly lobbying and advocacy groups. For applications and information, students should contact Professor L. Powell. An interest meeting is held each semester.

PSC/IR 397 European Political Internship

Lynda W. Powell
Spring 2013
Political Science Field: Internship
International Relations Track: Governance of Nations (C)
Typically offered every semester

Internships are available for students in Edinburgh, London, Brussels, Bonn, Berlin and Madrid. Internships are in English in Edinburgh, London, and Brussels: students need proficiency in the language for the latter four placements. For applications and information, students should contact the Study Abroad Office in Dewey Hall 2147.

PSC 405 Linear Models

Michael Peress
Spring 2013 — TR 14:00-15:15
Political Science Field: Techniques of Analysis
Typically offered every year

In this course, we will examine the linear regression model and its variants. The course has two goals: (1) to provide students with the statistical theory of the linear model, and (2) to provide students with skills for analyzing data. The linear model is a natural starting point for understanding regression models in general, inferences based on them, and problems with our inferences due to data issues or to model misspecification. The model's relative tractability has made it an attractive tool for political scientists, resulting in volumes of research using the methods studied here. Familiarity with the linear model is now essentially required if one wants to be a consumer or producer of modern political science research.

PSC 408 Positive Political Theory

John Duggan
Spring 2013 — MW 10:00-12:00
Political Science Field: Positive Theory
Typically offered every year

This course is part of a rigorous introduction to the main concepts and results in positive political theory. It is the second half of a two-course sequence consisting of PSC 407 and PSC 408. This course will focus on the basics of game theory, which analyzes individual behavior in strategic situations. It will also cover the mathematical tools required to express the theory. Examples and applications will be drawn from several different areas in political science, including the American Congress, voting, international relations, political economy, and law.

PSC 480 Scope of Political Science

James Johnson
Spring 2013 — M 16:50-19:30
Political Science Field: Political Philosophy
Typically offered every year

The aim of the seminar is to encourage students to examine political science in a reflective, disciplined, critical way. It is primarily designed for entering Ph.D. students, but may be appropriate for undergraduate seniors considering graduate work in political science. We use basic concepts in the philosophy of science to explore a range of specific examples of research in the discipline with the aim of discerning more clearly what it means to say that social and political inquiry is scientific.

PSC 503 Formal Modeling in Comparative Politics

Avidit Acharya
Spring 2013 — W 9:00-12:00
Political Science Field: Comparative Politics, Positive Theory
Typically offered rarely

Comparative politics is concerned with a variety of questions. For example: What are the consequences of different political institutions on various outcomes? What are the causes and motivations for mass political movements, and what is the mechanism by which they are organized? What are the political causes of underdevelopment? How are identities created, and what role do they play in politics? Why are redistribution and the size of government greater in some countries than others? And many other questions can be addressed using formal models. This course is designed to provide students with the skills to develop their own models for answering these and related questions. We will begin with a brief review of established modeling techniques. Then, we will study particular models that have been developed by the previous literature in comparative political economy. We will conclude by discussing new modeling techniques and their relevance for comparative politics.

PSC 504 Causal Inference

Matthew Blackwell
Spring 2013 — R 15:30-18:10
Political Science Field: Techniques of Analysis
Typically offered every year

Substantive questions in empirical social science research are often causal. Does voter outreach increase turnout? Do political institutions affect economic development? Are job training programs effective? This class will introduce students to both the theory and the practice behind making these kinds of causal inferences. We will cover causal identification, potential outcomes, experiments, matching, regression, difference-in-differences, instrumental variables estimation, regression discontinuity designs, sensitivity analysis, dynamic causal inference, and more. The course will draw upon examples from political science, economics, sociology, public health, and public policy.

PSC 518 Emergence of the Modern Congress

Gerald Gamm
Spring 2013 — M 14:00-16:40
Political Science Field: American Politics
Typically offered every 2-3 years

Through intensive reading and discussion, we will analyze major issues in congressional history and legislative institutions. We will examine the basic institutions of the House and Senate--committees, parties, leaders, and rules. We will also examine the development of careerism, the seniority system, agenda-setting, electoral concerns, the relationship between Congress and the president, divided government, and efforts at institutional reform. The course is designed to introduce students to the principal approaches used by political scientists to study Congress, with special emphasis on the development of congressional institutions over time. This is an advanced seminar, primarily for graduate students but open also to juniors and seniors with substantial background in political science, economics, and history.

PSC 555 Democratic Political Processes

G. Bingham Powell, Jr.
Spring 2013 — T 9:30-12:15
Political Science Field: Comparative Politics
Typically offered every 2-3 years

This course is a graduate seminar, involving collective discussion of core readings and student presentations on special topics and specific countries. The comparative democratic political processes subfield focuses on the process of choosing political leaders and making political decisions in the context of competitive elections and relative freedom of political action. We begin by discussing the empirical meaning of contemporary democracies, the nature of democratic transitions, and the effect of social and economic context. We then take quick looks at differing citizen values, constitutional rules, and the comparative study of citizens' attitudes and behavior. The second half of the course focuses on groups and, especially, political parties: competition, organization, coalitions, legislative and executive behavior, connections between citizens and policy makers. Although for graduate students the course fulfills requirements for the democratic political processes subfield in comparative politics, no specific background is assumed and the course is appropriate for any graduate student.

PSC 571 Quantitative Approaches to International Politics

Kevin A. Clarke, Curtis S. Signorino
Spring 2013 — W 14:00-17:00
Political Science Field: Techniques of Analysis, International Relations
Typically offered every other year

This course examines statistical issues relevant to the study of international politics. We will consider issues such as strategic decision making, geographic interdependence, temporal dynamics, and the operationalization of major concepts, such as power. Of particular interest will be the use and limitations of dyadic data and cross-sectional time series data. Prerequisites: PSC 505 and PSC 572 (or similar course) required; PSC 506 recommended.

PSC 572 International Politics Field Seminar

Randall Stone
Spring 2013 — F 9:30-12:15
Political Science Field: International Relations
Typically offered every other year

An advanced course intended to prepare Ph.D. students for comprehensive exams in international relations. The course conducts a broad survey of influential works in the field and of current research into the causes of international conflict and cooperation. Extraordinarily well-prepared undergraduates may be admitted.

PSC 582 Political Economy II

Avidit Acharya
Spring 2013 — W 9:00-12:00
Political Science Field: Positive Theory
Typically offered every year

Comparative politics is concerned with a variety of questions. For example: What are the consequences of different political institutions on various outcomes? What are the causes and motivations for mass political movements, and what is the mechanism by which they are organized? What are the political causes of underdevelopment? How are identities created, and what role do they play in politics? Why are redistribution and the size of government greater in some countries than others? And many other questions that can be addressed using formal models. This course is designed to provide students with the skills to develop their own models for answering these and related questions. We will begin with a brief review of established modeling techniques. Then, we will study particular models that have been developed by the previous literature in comparative political economy. We will conclude by discussing new modeling techniques and their relevance for comparative politics.

International Relations

PSC/IR 101 Introduction to Comparative Politics

G. Bingham Powell, Jr.
Spring 2013 — MWF 10:00-10:50
Political Science Field: Comparative Politics, Introductory Courses
International Relations Track: Governance of Nations (C)
Typically offered every year

Restriction: Open to freshman only. This course is an introduction to the study of political science and comparative politics. It focuses on how citizens may be able to control public policies in different modern democracies. The course begins by applying some of these ideas briefly to the American political system. It then turns explicitly to the politics of contemporary Britain, Russia and Germany, examining the political culture, the basic institutional arrangements, the party system, the voters' choices, and the policymaking system in each country. These systems will be compared to each other, to the United States and, occasionally, to other democracies. This course is recommended for those thinking about a major, minor, or cluster in political science, or international relations, and others who are simply interested in learning more about the politics of democracies.

PSC/IR 106 Introduction to International Relations

Hein Goemans
Spring 2013 — MWF 12:00-12:50
Political Science Field: International Relations, Introductory Courses
International Relations Track: Global Security (A)
Typically offered every year

This course provides students with the background and conceptual tools they need to understand contemporary international relations. The course will introduce students to the wide range of issues that make up the study of international relations, including the workings of the state system, the causes of international conflict and violence, and international economic relations. Students will be introduced to the literature in a broad way, to make them familiar with the main theoretical traditions in the field. Students will be asked, as much as possible, to read original texts, rather than a textbook. Time permitting, we will also examine topics of particular current interest, such as the evolving nature of power in the post-Cold War environment as well as special global challenges like nation-building and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

IR 216 Political Economy of Post-Communism

Karel Svoboda
Spring 2013 — MWF 10:00-10:50
Political Science Field: Associated Courses
International Relations Track: Political Economy and Development (B)
Typically offered rarely

The course offers a comparative perspective on the political and economic development of post-communist countries. It begins with an analysis of the socialist system, its development, and crisis, and proceeds to the problems of post-communist economic transformation,covering Central and Eastern Europe, China, Vietnam and other countries. The main questions to be discussed are: What led to the creation of the communist economic system? What were the main political influences? How did the communist system operate? Was the system reformable? How did the transformation take place after the collapse of communist rule? What is the role of democracy? Why did some states become market oriented democracies, while others failed to reform or reverted to command economy dictatorships?

IR 219 Democracy in Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico

Adam Cohon
Spring 2013 — TR 12:30-13:45
Political Science Field: Associated Courses
International Relations Track: Governance of Nations (C)
Typically offered rarely

This course examines the challenges facing three of Latin America's largest democracies, focused around four main topics: social policy, representation of marginalized groups, crime, and violence, and environmental conservation. Before we address these topics, however, we review the actors and institutions that operate in each country. We discuss how political institutions in each country shape how policy is made and implemented. The course examines contemporary attempts to address each of the four challenges, and provides opportunity for students wishing to conduct research on related maters.

IR 230 American Foreign Policy


Spring 2013 — MWF 10:00-10:50
Political Science Field: Associated Courses
International Relations Track: Global Security (A)
Typically offered rarely

The United States has left Iraq and is drawing down its forces in Afghanistan, closing the door on a decade of invasion, occupation, and attempted state-building abroad that was intended to increase Americans' security at home. Today, the debate is over how to shape the military and the U.S. national security strategy for an uncertain future. This course analyzes the utility of the tools of U.S. foreign policy in the context of contemporary threats. Students will consider the traditional theoretical elements of Cold War security thinking, including deterrence, compellence, and defense. Students will also analyze the efficacy of other U.S. efforts, including economic and other types of sanctions; the training and arming of foreign militaries; the strengthening of weak states; counter-terrorism efforts from financial interdiction to Special Forces operations; humanitarian intervention; peacekeeping operations; and cyber operations.

IR 233 Internal Conflict and International Intervention


Spring 2013 ("W" Required) — MWF 11:00-11:50
Political Science Field: Associated Courses
International Relations Track: Global Security (A)
Typically offered rarely

This course considers major power military intervention in the internal conflicts of other states. It explores the uses and limitations of military force for powers attempting to change the behavior of other states and non-state actors. Students will consider the factors that lead to intervention as well as to the decision to not intervene, will learn what types of intervention are possible, and will debate what success looks like in different types of cases. Case studies may include Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Somalia, Rwanda, and Ivory Coast.

IR 234 Comparative Authoritarianism

Ora John Reuter
Spring 2013 — W 14:00-16:40
Political Science Field: Associated Courses
International Relations Track: Governance of Nations (C)
Typically offered rarely

This course focuses on the politics of authoritarian regimes. The course begins with an investigation of the conceptual and operational differences between democracies and authoritarian regimes, as well as the consequences of those differences. We also examine conceptual distinctions between empirical examples of personalist, monarchical, totalitarian, military, and single party regimes. The remainder of the course considers the means by which authoritarian governments maintain and exercise their power. Topics covered include ideology, coercion, political socialization, cooptation, electoral fraud, vote buying, institution building, and patronage distribution.

IR 235 Elections under Democracy and Dictatorship

Ora John Reuter
Spring 2013 — TR 11:05-12:20
Political Science Field: Associated Courses
International Relations Track: Governance of Nations (C)
Typically offered rarely

Elections have become a near universal phenomenon in the modern world. In democracies, elections are the primary means of linking citizens to the government. In many new democracies, elections aspire to this function, but often fall short. Meanwhile, elections in modern authoritarian regimes serve functions that have little to do with representation and accountability. This course considers the promise and practice of elections in the modern world. It begins by considering the functions that elections should fulfill in democracies, then how elections in new democracies succeed and fail in fulfilling these functions, and finally the role of elections in authoritarian regimes. The course proceeds thematically, but readings will examine recent elections in new democracies such as Kenya, Lebanon, Brazil, and Ukraine, while the conduct of authoritarian elections will be examined in countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Nigeria, and Russia.

IR 236 Contentious Politics and Social Movements

Adam Cohon
Spring 2013 — M 14:00-16:40
Political Science Field: Associated Courses
International Relations Track: Governance of Nations (C)
Typically offered rarely

From the salons of Rochester to the shipyards of Gdansk to streets of Cairo, ordinary people have joined together to act outside of regular political institutions and push for change. They have formed organizations to protest, used nonviolence and violence, and fought to keep movements alive. These movements persist despite great personal risk and costs for participants. In this course we examine why and how social movements begin, organize, and succeed or fail. We examine how leaders develop new protest techniques, and how elites try to counter or neutralize these activities. Finally, we explore the impact of protest on macro-level outcomes such as political liberalization, new conceptions of citizenship and public policy. The course ends with a study of contemporary pro-democracy protests in the Middle East, considering hypotheses on the new use of social media. Throughout the semester, students will apply course theories to social movement organizations of their choice in independent research projects. Note: The course is a seminar capped at 20 students. Students will be expected to participate actively in class and complete three short research papers over the course of the semester.

PSC/IR 255 Institutions and Underdevelopment

Avidit Acharya
Spring 2013 — TR 9:40-10:55
Political Science Field: Comparative Politics, International Relations
International Relations Track: Political Economy and Development (B)
Typically offered every year

Why are some societies so much less developed than others? We will discuss the importance of political and economic institutions, ethnic and class conflict, the role and organization of the state, and political beliefs and culture in answering the question above. Cases will be taken from Africa, South Asia, and East Asia.

PSC/IR 263 Comparative Law and Courts

Gretchen Helmke
Spring 2013 ("W" Optional) — W 14:00-16:40
Political Science Field: Comparative Politics
International Relations Track: Governance of Nations (C)
Typically offered every 2-3 years

This course examines courts from a comparative perspective. Although long a central focus of American politics, increasingly courts have become important political institutions around the world. Among the questions that we will examine throughout the course include: Why are some judiciaries more independent than others? What effect does independence have on economic development and democratic consolidation? What role do formal institutional guarantees play in shaping the role of courts? How accountable are judges to the public or elected officials? What factors account for judicial decision-making? Taking the U.S. experience as a starting point, the course will explore answers to these questions by drawing on the recent literature on judicial politics from Europe, Russia, Africa, and Latin America.

PSC/IR 267 Identity, Ethnicity and Nationalism

Bonnie M. Meguid
Spring 2013 — TR 14:00-15:15
Political Science Field: Comparative Politics
International Relations Track: Governance of Nations (C)
Typically offered every 2-3 years

This course explores the concepts of identity, ethnicity and nationalism from a comparative perspective. Drawing upon theories from political science, anthropology, sociology and economics, we will examine how identity is defined and how societies use these constructions in, among other things, nation-building, war, and party competition. Theoretical readings will be supplemented with empirical studies from developed and developing countries across different time periods.

PSC/IR 355 Democratic Processes

G. Bingham Powell, Jr.
Spring 2013 — T 9:30-12:15
Political Science Field: Comparative Politics
International Relations Track: Governance of Nations (C)
Typically offered every 2-3 years

This course is a graduate seminar, involving collective discussion of core readings and student presentations on special topics and specific countries. The comparative democratic political processes subfield focuses on the process of choosing political leaders and making political decisions in the context of competitive elections and relative freedom of political action. We begin by discussing the empirical meaning of contemporary democracies, the nature of democratic transitions, and the effect of social and economic context. We then take quick looks at differing citizen values, constitutional rules, and the comparative study of citizens' attitudes and behavior. The second half of the course focuses on groups and, especially, political parties: competition, organization, coalitions, legislative and executive behavior, connections between citizens and policy makers. Although for graduate students the course fulfills requirements for the democratic political processes subfield in comparative politics, no specific background is assumed and the course is appropriate for any graduate student.

PSC/IR 397 European Political Internship

Lynda W. Powell
Spring 2013
Political Science Field: Internship
International Relations Track: Governance of Nations (C)
Typically offered every semester

Internships are available for students in Edinburgh, London, Brussels, Bonn, Berlin and Madrid. Internships are in English in Edinburgh, London, and Brussels: students need proficiency in the language for the latter four placements. For applications and information, students should contact the Study Abroad Office in Dewey Hall 2147.