Social Sciences: Political Science, 2012-2013
The political science curriculum seeks to address issues of power, citizenship and justice in the United States and throughout the world. Our courses explore political processes and governmental institutions from multiple vantage points—at the grassroots, the nation-state and the global community—and from a variety of theoretical, conceptual, historical and experiential perspectives. Our goal is to provide students with a deep understanding of the core concepts and practices of politics and government while developing the analytical, research and writing skills that will enable them to think critically and creatively about existing structures of power and privilege. In doing so, we hope to nurture a lifelong fascination and engagement with the political realm.
Associate ProfessorCraig Borowiak, chair
Visiting Assistant Professor P.J. Brendese
Professor Harvey Glickman, emeritus
Benjamin R. Collins 1920 Professor of Social Sciences Anita Isaacs
Associate Professor Steve McGovern
Assistant Professor Barak Mendelsohn
Assistant Professor Zachary Oberfield
Associate Professor Susanna Wing
Professor Sidney R. Waldman, emeritus
Courses fall into five subfields of the discipline of political science: American politics (A); comparative politics (C); international politics (I); global governance (G); and political theory (T). The following is required of all majors:
- Two one-semester courses are required to enter the major: POLS 121, 123, 131, 151, 161 and 171 at Haverford; 121, 131, 141, 151 at Bryn Mawr College. These courses must represent two different subfields.
- Seven elective courses above the 100-level, including at least two 300-level research seminars. The 300-level research seminars must be taken with at least two different faculty members and are open to seniors and juniors, and sophomores with the consent of the instructor. One of the 300-level research seminars must be taken during the fall semester of the senior year. The combination of introductory and elective courses is expected to include representation of three of the five subfields, with work at the intermediate or advanced level in at least two subfields. Some courses may count in either of the two subfields but not in both. With the consent of a member of the department, students may substitute two or three intermediate- or advanced-level courses from another department for those in the student’s third subfield, where this serves to complement and strengthen the student’s work within the political science department. For example, a student concentrating in international politics might offer international economics courses as a subfield; a student in political theory might offer social and political philosophy courses; or a student in comparative politics might offer courses in an area study; or a student in American politics might offer social policy courses, and so forth.
- All senior majors write a thesis and complete an oral defense of the thesis through enrollment in POLS 400.
- Related Studies: Four courses outside political science at Haverford or Bryn Mawr which are related to the major. Some examples of possible interests around which the courses could cluster are: American or other area studies; political and social theory; international affairs; environmental policies; urban affairs; intermediate and advanced foreign language work related to work in the major; or courses from one or more of the other social sciences.
Honors will be awarded to senior majors who, in the Department's judgment, have demonstrated excellence in their course-work in political science and senior thesis. High honors may be granted to a very select number of senior majors who have attained an outstanding level of distinction in their political science courses and senior thesis.
121 American Politics and Its Dynamics (A) SO
The course examines the primary institutions and processes of American government and politics, including the Congress, the Presidency, the judiciary, political parties, elections, interest groups, public opinion and the media in assessing issues of power, justice and democracy.
123 American Politics: Difference and Discrimination (A) SO (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies)
Introduction to American politics and government through the perspective of individuals who have experienced discrimination, including people of color, the poor, women, and gays and lesbians. Particular attention to how the political system maintains inequality with respect to race, class, gender and sexual orientation and the extent to which it provides opportunities for empowerment.
131 Comparative Government and Politics (C) SO
An introduction to basic concepts and themes in comparative politics analyzed through case studies from around the world. Themes include political authority and governance structures; political culture and identity politics; political participation and representation; and political economy. Lottery Preference: 35 space for Freshmen and Sophomores; 5 spaces for Juniors and Seniors.
151 International Politics (I) SO (Cross-listed in Peace, Conflict and Social Justice Studies and Peace, Justice, and Human Rights)
An introduction to the major issues and trends in world politics, especially since World War II: realism and idealism, bi-polarity and multi-polarity, emergence of the Third World, role of force and diplomacy, the post-Cold War era, foreign policy-making, the United Nations, and humanitarian intervention.
161 The Politics of Globalization (G) SO
An introduction to the major academic and policy debates over globalization and global governance. Key themes will include: sovereignty; free/fair trade; immigration; anti-globalization and violence; democratic governance and international economic institutions; and the global justice movement.
171 Introduction to Political Theory: Democratic Authority (T) SO
An introduction to central concepts of political life through exploring the questions and problems surrounding democratic freedom, power, authority and citizenship. Reading from ancient, modern and contemporary sources, literary as well as philosophical, American as well as European, will be included.
223 American Political Process: The Congress (A) SO
Functional and behavioral analysis of the policy-making process in Congress, from the electoral process as it affects Congress to the distribution of power and influence in Congress, and the relations of Congress with the Executive Branch. Prerequisite: POLS 121 or 123, or consent.
224 The American Presidency (A) SO
The institution of the Presidency in the past few decades; how the President relates to (1) Congress, (2) others in the executive branch, (3) his party and (4) the public. Prerequisite: POLS 121 or 123 or consent.
225 Mobilization Politics (A) SO
Explores how ordinary citizens in the U.S. seek to advance their interests, both inside and outside of the conventional political system. Evaluation of theories of contentious politics with an emphasis on social movements, public interest groups, direct democracy and community organizing. Prerequisite: POLS 121 or 123 or consent of instructor.
226 Social Movement Theory (A) SO
Theoretical analysis of origins and development of mass-based protest movements in the U.S. Scholarly explanations of recruitment of individuals, modes of organization and leadership, strategies and tactics, countermovements and the impact of movements on policy and politics. Prerequisite: One course in political science or the instructor’s consent.
227 Urban Politics (A) SO
Examines who wields power in American cities amidst broad social and economic change. Includes both historical and contemporary analysis of urban politics, with close attention to the influence of race, ethnicity and class. Prerequisite: One course in Political Science or Urban Studies or the instructor’s consent.
228 Urban Policy (A) SO
Assessment of public policies aimed at revitalizing U.S. cities following several decades of suburbanization and capital disinvestment. Focus on economic development, housing and community development, environmental protection, transportation, education, crime and the management of regional sprawl. Prerequisite: One course in political science or urban studies or consent.
230 Topics in Comparative Politics (C) SO
232 Peace Building: Reintegration, Reconciliation, and Reconstruction (C,I) SO (Cross-listed in Latin American and Iberian Studies)
Peace building in the aftermath of civil war. Combines theory with case studies in exploring triple challenges of reintegration (demilitarization and refugee repatriation); reconciliation (alternative approaches to dealing with wartime violations of human rights); and reconstruction (fostering democracy and socio-economic development). Prerequisite: One course in political science or peace studies, and field experience.
233 Perspectives on Civil War and Revolution: Southern Europe and Central America (C) SO (Cross-listed in History)
An examination of the history and politics of civil war and revolution. A central concern is theories of revolution, guerrilla warfare and counterinsurgency, in light of Southern European (Greece and Spain) and Central American (El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua) experiences. Prerequisite: One course in history or one course in political science.
235 African Politics (C) SO (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies and Peace, Conflict and Social Justice Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Peace, Justice, and Human Rights)
Analysis of political change in Africa from the colonial period to contemporary politics. Selected case studies will be used to address central themes including democracy, human rights, gender, interstate relations, economic development, and globalization. Prerequisite: A course in political science or the instructor’s consent.
237 Latin American Politics (C) SO (Cross-listed in Latin American and Iberian Studies)
Processes of political change in selected Latin American countries. Theoretical approaches will be combined with case studies in assessing processes of revolutionary change, military rule and democratization. Prerequisite: One political science course or the instructor’s consent.
239 The United States and Latin America (C) SO (Cross-listed in Latin American and Iberian Studies)
Prerequisite: One course in Political Science or the instructor's consent.
240 Inter-American Dialogue (I) SO (Cross-listed in Latin American and Iberian Studies)
Examines major issues in Inter-American Relations from United States and Latin American perspectives. Conference format: Working in sub-committees, contributing to a collective policy report and writing individual papers, students explore the history and current state of policy in select issue areas and formulate alternatives, with the objective of promoting better understanding and enhancing mutual cooperation between the United States and Latin America. An outside evaluator critiques the policy report. Prerequisite: One course in political science or Latin American studies or the instructor’s consent.
242 Women in War and Peace (C) SO (Cross-listed in Gender and Sexuality Studies, Peace, Conflict and Social Justice Studies, and Peace, Justice, and Human Rights)
Analysis of the complex issues surrounding women as political actors and the ways in which citizenship relates to men and women differently. Selected cases from the United States, Africa, Latin America and Asia are studied as we discuss gender, domestic politics and international relations from a global perspective. Prerequisite: One course in political science or the instructor’s consent.
247 Political Economy of Developing Countries (C) SO (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies)
Explores concepts and dynamics of political and economic reform in developing countries and the social and international context in which policy is formulated and implemented. Combines theories of development with case studies from Africa, Latin America and Asia. Prerequisite: One course in Comparative Politics or International Relations, or the instructor’s consent.
249 The Soviet System and Its Demise SO (Cross-listed in Economics and Russian)
Prerequisite: Two one-semester courses in economics, political science or history.
252 International Politics of the Middle East (I) SO
253 Introduction to Terrorism Studies SO
After being marginalized in international relations scholarship for years, in the aftermath of 9/11 terrorism has moved to the forefront of scholarly interest. The purpose of this course is to survey the various theories concerning terrorism from diverse perspectives employing rationalist and psychological theories to explain terrorism-related phenomena.
256 The Evolution of the Jihadi Movement (I) SO
This course explores the evolution of the jihadi movement, focusing on its ideological development throughout the 20th century, and the structural changes it has gone through since the jihad to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan during the 1980s. Prerequisite: POLS 131, 151, or 161 or the instructor’s consent.
257 The State System (I) SO (Cross-listed in Peace, Conflict and Social Justice Studies)
Theoretical and policy issues growing out of the state system model of international politics. Selected case studies in foreign policy and international political economy and issues in regional sub-systems and North-South relations also are studied. Prerequisite: One course in International Politics or the instructor’s consent.
258 The Politics of International Institutions (I) SO (Cross-listed in Peace, Conflict and Social Justice Studies)
The role of the United Nations and regional organizations in the settlement of international disputes; patterns of global bargaining in international institutions and regimes are considered. Prerequisite: One course in international politics or comparative politics or the instructor’s consent.
259 US Foreign Policy (I) SO
Prerequisite: One course in International Relations or Comparative Government.
261 Global Civil Society (G) SO
An introduction to the theories and debates behind the concept of a global civil society, and the role of transnational civil society actors in shaping global governance. Case studies of specific transnational networks, movements and coalitions will be examined. Prerequisite: One political science course or the instructor’s consent.
262 Human Rights and Global Politics (G) SO
Critically examines the principles, history and practice underlying the international human rights regimes. Will explore theoretical debates over the cultural specificity of human rights, policy debates over national sovereignty and international law, and questions of accountability for human rights abuses. Attention will also be paid to the impact of globalization and the role of civil society in the human rights movement. Prerequisite: One political science course or the instructor’s consent.
265 Politics, Markets and Theories of Capitalism (G) SO
Theoretical approach to the role of politics and markets in modern capitalism. Draws from the history of political economic thought (including Adam Smith, Marx, Karl Polanyi, Schumpeter and Hayek) and from contemporary political economists to address the meanings of "capitalism" and the effects of global markets on domestic politics. Prerequisite: One political science course or the instructor’s consent.
266 Sovereignty SO
An examination of the concept sovereignty as it figures within international politics and democratic theory. Explores the theoretical and historical origins of the concept as well as contemporary adaptations, challenges and critiques. Topics include the state system and international intervention, democratic authority and globalization, indigenous and food sovereignty, and proposals for post-sovereign forms of polity. Prerequisite: One 100-level course in political science or the instructor’s consent.
272 Democratic Theory: Membership, Citizenship and Community (T) SO
Particular attention will be paid to questions of identity in the American context (Chicano/Latino, African American, gay/lesbian, etc.) and the relationship between group identity and democracy in the critical examination of the relationship between democratic theory and practice. Topics include political freedom, civil disobedience and political obligation, civic and social equality, political legitimacy and the relationship of the individual to the community. Prerequisite: One course in Political Theory or American Politics or the instructor’s consent.
276 American Political Thought from Founding to Civil War (A,T) SO
An examination of American historical thinking on a variety of political topics dealing with the American founding. Beginning with the nation's birth in conquest and its repeated struggles over social subordination, we will explore some of the most important ways in which both dominant and dissident figures have handled such themes as revolution, authority, community, equality, liberty, slavery and war. The course examines American responses to fundamental questions about the appropriate scope of federal and state power, the workings of constitutional democracy, the meaning of citizenship and national identity, and the character of American political culture. Prerequisite: POLS 121, 123, or 171 or the instructor’s consent.
277 American Political Thought: Post Civil War (A,T) SO
An examination of American historical and contemporary thinking on a variety of political topics. The course explores American responses to fundamental questions about the appropriate scope of federal and state power, the workings of constitutional democracy, the meaning of citizenship and national identity, and the character of American political culture. An exploration of both the mainstream tradition and some branches of the counter tradition of political ideas in America, focusing on the themes of community, equality, authority, liberty and individualism. Prerequisite: POLS 121, 123, 171 or 276 or the instructor’s consent.
315 Public Policy Analysis (A) SO
Each student will select a public policy to analyze, looking at the nature of the problem being addressed as well as benefits, costs and risks. Alternative policy solutions to the problem will be examined and a final proposal put forward. Prerequisite: Jr. or Sr. standing or the instructor’s consent.
316 Race, Poverty, and the U.S. Welfare State SO
This course is designed to help students gain a deeper understanding of the contours and politics of the U.S. welfare state—the cluster of policies designed to address poverty and inequality. Throughout the course, we will use the lens of race in understanding these policies and politics. Prerequisite: Junior and Senior standing or the instructor’s consent.
320 Democracy in America (A) SO
This seminar explores some of the most pressing challenges to American democracy today, including the intensification of ideological and partisan polarization, increasing economic inequality, ongoing constraints faced by marginalized groups and concerns about the diminishing quality of citizen participation in politics. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing or the instructor’s consent.
325 Grassroots Politics in Philadelphia (A) SO
Advanced seminar on city politics, public policy and grassroots activism. Traditional seminar format combined with an experiential learning component featuring internships with city government agencies, public interest groups or community-based organizations in Philadelphia. Prerequisite: Two courses in political science or urban studies or the instructor’s consent. Course limited to juniors and seniors.
330 Topics in Comparative Politics (C) SO (Cross-listed in Latin American and Iberian Studies)
Prerequisite: One course in comparative politics or the instructor's consent.
333 International Security SO
This course offers an introduction to the study of international security. It considers examples from history and addresses contemporary issues, while introducing and evaluating the political theories that have been used by scholars to explain those events. The principal goal of the course is to develop a general set of analytical approaches that can be used to gain insight into the nature of world politics—past, present and future. The first section introduces key conceptual issues and review main theoretical approaches in the field. The second section addresses specific issues in international security such as war, military doctrines, alliances, crisis, deterrence, grand strategy and proliferation.
334 Politics of Violence (C) SO (Cross-listed in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights and Peace and Conflict Studies)
Examines the evolution, the nature and the causes of violent, intra-state conflict. It pays attention to assessing alternative explanations that include the fear and insecurity provoked by failing states, resource scarcity and the spread of infectious disease and/or a manipulative and self-serving leadership. It places these conflicts in the context of writings about collective violence, revolutions and genocide and asks about the contribution and the responsibility of the international community to resolving civil strife. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing or the instructor’s consent.
336 Democracy and Democratization (C) SO
The processes of democratization in historical and comparative perspective. It investigates the meaning of democracy and assesses factors that facilitate or impede democratic transition and durability; including strategies of elites, civil society and external actors, civil-military relations, institutional design and the relationship between democratization and economic transformation. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing or the instructor’s consent.
339 Transitional Justice: The Politics of Accountability (C) SO
Challenges of transitional justice—confronting human rights violations in the aftermath of violent conflict and repressive dictatorship. We will address questions raised in transitional justice studies, focusing on purpose, goals and implications, and assessing practical experiences with key transitional justice mechanisms, including truth commissions, trials and reparations. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing or the instructor’s consent.
340 Postcolonialism and the Politics of Nation-building (C) SO (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies)
An examination of the challenges of nation-building in postcolonial states. Explores ethnicity, democracy, citizenship and legal reform. Theoretical approaches are combined with case studies from Africa, Southeast Asia and other regions of the world. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing or the instructor’s consent.
345 Islam, Democracy and Development (C) SO (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies)
An examination of political dynamics of Islam. Islam is analyzed with respect to democracy, human rights, cultural pluralism and development. Case studies from Africa, Europe and other regions of the world will be explored. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing or the instructor’s consent.
350 Topics in International Politics (I) SO
Prerequisite: A course in international or comparative politics or the instructor's consent.
357 International Relations Theory: Conflict and the Middle East (I) SO
Conflicts in the Middle East since World War I. Cleavages are discussed that have contributed to the emergence of violent conflicts in the region and discusses particular conflicts. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing or the instructor’s consent.
358 The War on Terrorism (I) SO
Exposes students to the broad range of activities undertaken within the framework of the global war on terrorism and to enhance understanding of the diverse military and political challenges comprising this confrontation. The seminar surveys the multiple components of the war on terrorism and examines them through several relevant analytical prisms. The course also discusses the implications of the war on terrorism for foreign policy and international relations theory. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing, or the instructor’s consent.
361 Democracy and Global Governance (G) SO
Examination of contemporary theoretical and practical debates about the extension of democratic principles beyond the nation-state. This course will explore sources of legitimacy in world politics and consider innovative ways to cope with global power asymmetries and democratic deficits caused by globalization. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing, or the instructor’s consent.
362 Global Justice SO
An examination of issues of justice that cross national borders, including world poverty and global distributive justice, corporate accountability, humanitarian intervention and global environmental justice. Readings chosen from recent works in political philosophy and globalization studies. Prerequisite: At least one 100-level and one 200-level political science course or the instructor’s consent.
365 Solidarity Economy Movements SO
An intensive research seminar critically examining the politics, theory and social networks behind solidarity economy movements that seek to create solidarity-based alternatives to capitalism. Includes study of the fair trade movement, eco-villages, cooperative movements and participatory budgeting, among other initiatives. Prerequisite: One 200-level political science course.
370 Becoming a People: Power, Justice, and the Political (T) SO (Cross-listed in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights)
Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing or the instructor's consent.
379 Feminist Political Theory (T) SO
An advanced seminar focusing on the ways in which feminist theory can inform and shape our understanding of Western political thought. Prerequisite: One course in political theory or the instructor’s consent.
400 Senior Thesis SO
This course consists of tutorials and intensive research, culminating in a senior thesis. Prerequisite: Limited to political science senior majors.
460 Teaching Assistant SO
480 Independent Study SO
286 Religion and American Public Life [A] HU (Cross-listed in Religion)
COURSES OFFERED AT BRYN MAWR COLLEGE
101 Introduction to Political Science
111 Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies
121 American Politics
131 Comparative Politics
205 European Politics
211 Politics of Humanitarianism
220 Constitutional Law
222 Introduction to Environmental Issues: Policy Making in Comparative Perspective
228 Western Political Philosophy (Ancient and Early Modern)
231 Western Political Theory (Modern)
241 The Politics of International Law and Institutions
243 African and Caribbean Perspectives in World Politics
245 Philosophy of Law
250 International Politics
251 Politics and the Mass Media
253 Feminist Theory
254 Bureaucracy and Democracy
259 Comparative Social Movements in Latin America
264 Politics of Global Commodities
274 Education Politics and Policy
283 Modern Middle East/North Africa
286 Themes in British Empire: Birth of Nations—Nationalism and Decolonization
310 Comparative Public Policy
316 Ethnic Group Politics
320 Greek Political Philosophy
344 Developmental Ethics
358 Political Psychology and Ethnic Conflict
365 Erotica: Love and Art in Plato and Shakespeare
375 Women, Work and Family
379 The United Nations and World Order
383 Islamic Reform and Radicalism
385 Democracy and Development
391 International Political Economy
392 State in Theory and History
393 U.S. Welfare Politics: Theory and Practice