Academic Calendar

Know your deadlines. View the complete Academic Calendar.

Course Catalog

This list contains course descriptions for all courses offered by the Politics Department. Refer to the Brandeis University Bulletin's "politics" section for the most up-to-date information on requirements for the major, minor and for course descriptions. 

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Courses of Instruction

Course Subgroupings
  • Introductory Courses (POL 10a through POL 15a)
  • American Politics (POL 14b and POL 101a through POL 126a)
  • Comparative Politics (POL 11b and POL 127a through POL 159a)
  • International Politics (POL 15a and POL 160a through POL 180b)
  • Political Theory and Methods (POL10a and POL 181b through POL 192b)
  • Seminars for Graduate Students (POL 211a through POL 216b)
  • Supervised Study for Graduate Students (POL 302a and above)
(1-99) Primarily for Undergraduate Students

POL 10a Introduction to Political Theory 
[ ss ] 
Open to first-year students.
Examination of classical political texts and modern writings for insights on central problems of political discourse, such as power and authority, human nature, freedom, obligation, justice, and the organization of the state. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Yack or Mr. Lenowitz

POL 11b Introduction to Comparative Politics 
[ ss ] 
Open to first-year students.
Introduces key concepts and questions in comparative politics and seeks to provide students with a grounding in the basic tools of comparative analysis. It applies and evaluates competing theoretical approaches (cultural, institutional, social-structural, and leadership-centered) to explain several important phenomena such as (1) democracy and democratization; (2) revolution; and (3) ethnicity and ethnic conflict. It also explores recent debates about the importance of civil society and political institutions in shaping political outcomes. Cases will be drawn from Africa, Asia, Western Europe, the Americas, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Bellin

POL 14b Introduction to American Government 
[ ss ] 
Open to first-year students.
Analysis of American political institutions: Congress, the presidency, Supreme Court, bureaucracy, political parties, pressure groups, and problems of governmental decision making in relation to specific areas of public policy. Usually offered every semester.
Ms. Greenlee or Mr. Woll

POL 15a Introduction to International Relations 
[ ss ] 
Open to first-year students.
General introduction to international politics, emphasizing the essential characteristics of the international system as a basis for understanding the foreign policy of individual countries. Analysis of causes of war, conditions of peace, patterns of influence, the nature of the world's political economy, global environmental issues, human rights, and prospects for international organizations. Open to first-year students. Usually offered every semester.
Mr. Art or Mr. Chase

POL 79b War and World History 
[ ss ] 
Examines the subject of war in world history. We will explore answers to the following questions: why do wars, especially major wars, start? How has war affected the course of world history? How different, and how similar, does war look across the centuries? How has technological innovation influenced the conduct of war and the evolution of societies? Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Art

POL 92bj Internship 
Offered as part of JBS program.
Staff

POL 98a Independent Study 
Tutorial study on specialized topics, outside the regular curricular offerings of the departments, on interest to students and appropriate politics faculty person. Requires agreement between student and supervising faculty member on the specific topic and syllabus of readings and assignments for the tutorial, including written work required for the course (normally the equivalent of a term research paper). Students may count up to two such courses toward completion of the major. Usually offered every year.
Staff

POL 98aj Independent Study 
Tutorial study on specialized topics, outside the regular curricular offerings of the departments, on interest to students and appropriate politics faculty person. Requires agreement between student and supervising faculty member on the specific topic and syllabus of readings and assignments for the tutorial, including written work required for the course (normally the equivalent of a term research paper). Students may count up to two such courses toward completion of the major. Offered as part of JBS program.
Staff

POL 98b Independent Study 
See POL 98a. Usually offered every year.
Staff

POL 99a Senior Research: Honors Thesis 
Students will consult with the head of the politics honors program before being assigned to a professor for the supervision of their theses and will participate in a biweekly colloquium. Usually offered every year.
Staff

POL 99b Senior Research: Honors Thesis 
Students will consult with the head of the politics honors program before being assigned to a professor for the supervision of their theses and will participate in a biweekly colloquium. Usually offered every year.
Staff

POL 99d Senior Research: Honors Thesis 
Students will consult with the head of the politics honors program before being assigned to a professor for the supervision of their theses and will participate in a biweekly colloquium. Usually offered every year.
Staff

(100-199) For Both Undergraduate and Graduate Students

POL 101a Parties, Interest Groups, and Public Opinion
[ ss ]
Role and organization of political parties, interest groups, and public opinion in the American political system. Emphasis on historical development and current political behavior in the United States in relation to American democratic theory. Comparison with other countries to illuminate U.S. practice. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

POL 103b Seminar: Political Leadership
[ ss ]
Examines political leadership through biographies, autobiographies, and biographical fiction. These are used to help us understand and compare different modes of political leadership, including the "apolitical-rationalist" (McGeorge Bundy), "political" (Lincoln, Johnson, Truman), and the ostensibly "non-political expert" (Robert Moses). Usually offered every year.
Mr. Levin

POL 105a Elections in America
[ ss ]
Examines modern campaigns and elections to the United States presidency and Congress. Topics include the influence of partisanship, policy differences, and candidate images on the vote; the impact of money on campaigns; the role of the mass media; and the differences among presidential, Senate, and House elections. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

POL 108a The Police and Social Movements in American Politics
[ ss wi ]
Analyses American mass political movements, their interaction with police, and their influences on American politics. Topics include the relationship between social movements and various political institutions. Explore various theories with case studies of specific political movements. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Kryder

POL 108aj Social Movements in American Politics
[ ss ]
Provides a practical introduction to the causes and effects of movements seeking social justice, with a focus on how communication technologies affect the way that activists mobilize groups, and how authorities respond to such mobilizations. We will seek to understand the evolution of social movement theory and concepts through a consideration of historical and contemporary cases, and search for mechanisms to apply to our own experiments in creating social networking applications that can matter in the real world. We will read case histories and do independent research so as to write accounts of successful and failed cases of movements for reform. Offered as part of JBS program.
Mr. Kryder

POL 109b Southern Politics: Race, Parties, and Democracy in American History
[ ss ]
Slavery and race relations have shaped southern politics and in turn American national party politics. We will explore regional and state politics at key junctures in American history, and conclude with an analysis of the role of the South today. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Herron

POL 111a The American Congress
[ ss ]
The structure and behavior of the Congress. Emphasis on the way member incentives for reelection, power on Capitol Hill, and good public policy shape Congress. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Greenlee

POL 112b Democracy in America
[ ss ]
Examines how political culture, theory, institutions, and processes define democracy in America beginning with eighteenth century constitutional framework. Also looks at the development of constitutional limits and prescriptions. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Woll

POL 113b The American Presidency
[ ss ]
Philosophical and historical origins of the presidency, examining the constitutional role of the chief executive. Historical development of the presidency, particularly the emergence of the modern presidency during the twentieth century. Contemporary relationships between the presidency and the electorate, as well as the other branches of government. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Kryder

POL 115a Constitutional Law
[ ss ]
Analysis of core principles of constitutional law as formulated by the Supreme Court. Primary focus on the First Amendment, the equal protection and due process clauses, federalism, the commerce clause, and the separation of powers. Emphasis also on the moral values and political theories that form our constitutional system. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Woll

POL 116b Civil Liberties in America
[ ss ]
The history and politics of civil liberties and civil rights in the United States, with emphasis on the period from World War I to the present. Emphasis on freedom of speech, religion, abortion, privacy, racial discrimination, and affirmative action. Readings from Supreme Court cases and influential works by historians and political philosophers. Usually offered every year.
Staff

POL 117a Administrative Law
[ ss ]
The role of administrative agencies in lawmaking and adjudication. Emphasis on the problem of defining and protecting the public interest, as well as the rights of individuals and groups directly involved in administrative proceedings. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Woll

POL 119a Red States, Blue States: Understanding Contemporary American Voters and Parties
[ ss ]
Why is support for redistributive policies weak at the same time that American economic inequality is climbing? Why are poorer states, that are more reliant on Federal support, more likely to vote for Republican candidates? In this course, students will pursue guided, independent research. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Goodhart

POL 120b The Politics of Policymaking
[ ss ]
Examines the connection between politics and policymaking to identify the political determinants of public policy since the 1970’s. By paying close attention to what policy makers say about what they are doing, the course connects the world of ideas to the world of actions. The course examines concrete cases from specific time periods across a wide range of policy areas such as health care, tax policy, Social Security, education reform, immigration, tort reform,and deregulation. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Levin

POL 121b Partisanship and Policymaking: the Clinton, Bush,and Obama Presidencies
[ ss ]
Examines how recent presidents accomplished things in the face of party opposition. Features concrete cases of the successes and failures of Clinton (welfare reform and healthcare) and Obama (Obamacare and immigration reform), as well as Bush’s aggressive foreign policies and the Politics of Fear after 9/11. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Levin

POL 122b Making Government Work: AIDS policy, Obamacare, and Ebola
[ ss ]
Development of a framework for policy analysis that integrates economic tools and political science thinking. Application of this "political economy" approach to several problems and cases. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Levin

POL 123a Political Psychology
[ ss wi ]
Course open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students.
Explores public opinion, political socialization, and political behavior through the lens of psychology. Applying psychological theory to traditional topics in political science is emphasized. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Greenlee

POL 124b Race, Inequality, and Social Policy
[ ss ]
Explores the causes and consequences of economic, social, and political inequality in the United States. Examines trends from the perspective of both liberal and conservative social scientists. Asks what forms of inequality matter and what should be done about them. Usually offered every year.
Staff

POL 125a Women in American Politics
[ ss ]
Addresses three major dimensions of women's political participation: social reform and women-identified issues; women's organizations and institutions; and women politicians, electoral politics, and party identification. Covers historical context and contemporary developments in women's political activity. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Greenlee

POL 127a Ending Deadly Conflict
[ ss wi ]
Prerequisite: POL 127b or permission of the instructor.
Examines strategies for ending violent internal (primarily ethnic) conflicts, with emphasis on identifying conditions conducive to negotiated settlements. Case studies are examined in light of analytical literature. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Burg

POL 127b Seminar: Managing Ethnic Conflict
[ ss wi ]
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher.
Comparative study of the sources and character of interethnic conflict, with emphasis on the processes by which groups become politicized, and the strategies and techniques for managing conflict in a democratic system. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Burg

POL 128a The Politics of Revolution: State Violence and Popular Insurgency in the Third World
[ nw ss ]
Introduction to twentieth-century revolutionary movements in the Third World, focusing on the emergence of peasant-based resistance and revolution in the world beyond the West, and on the role of state violence in provoking popular involvement in protest, rebellion, and insurgency. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Thaxton

POL 129a East European Politics
[ ss ]
Politics and society in the post-Communist states of Eastern Europe, drawing general lessons about the relationships among social modernization, nationalism, and democratic transition. Usually offered every fourth year.
Mr. Burg

POL 133a Contemporary Politics in the Middle East
[ nw ss ]
Introduces the politics of the region through the study of regimes in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, and Israel. Themes include the political legacy of colonialism, the challenge of ethnic pluralism, the rise of political Islam, the politics of gender, the role of the military in politics, the dynamics of regime survival, the persistence of authoritarianism and the prospects for democratization, and the implications of the Arab spring for the future of the region. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Bellin

POL 134b The Global Migration Crisis
[ ss wi ]
Looks at immigration from the perspectives of policy-makers, migrants, and the groups affected by immigration in sender nations as well as destination countries. Introduces students to the history of migration policy, core concepts and facts about migration in the West, and to the theories and disagreements among immigrant scholars. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Klausen

POL 135b The Politics of Islamic Resurgence
[ nw ss ]
Studies the impact of Islamic resurgence on both international and intra-national politics. It explores the competing explanations for Islamic resurgence (cultural, economic, and political), Islamic movements in comparative perspective (with special emphasis on the cases of Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Britain and France), the successes and failures of Islamic revolution, the ideological content of Islamic revival (and debates over the potential conflict with Western notions of democracy and gender equality). Islamic notions of jihad, terror in the name of Islam, the politics of cultural change, and Islam as a supranational movement. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Bellin

POL 136b Social and Political Movements in Israel
[ oc ss ]
Applies the scholarship on collective action and social movements to the case of Israel. It provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the social, religious, and ethnic conflicts that have shaped Israeli society and politics through a focus on the unique movements and campaigns that have driven them. Special two-time offering, spring 2015 and spring 2016.
Ms. Norwich

POL 138b Israeli Politics In Comparative Perspective
[ ss ]
Introduces students to the Israeli political system through a comparative lens. We will discuss various issues, such as political and socioeconomic development, cultural diversity, and ethnic conflict, as well as how they are manifested in Israeli democracy. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Abu

POL 143b Israel, Iran, the Bomb and Beyond: Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East
[ ss ]
Addresses one of the most pressing international issues - the nuclearization of Iran. It focuses on Iran's nuclear ambitions, beginning with the Shah of Iran, the motivations behind the acceleration of its nuclear efforts in recent decades, the reactions of Israel, the U.S., Arab states and the international community to Iran's efforts, the implications of Iranian nuclear weapons for regional and international security, and the dynamics of the negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran which led to the recent Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- the agreement halting Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and lifting international sanctions against it. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Feldman

POL 144a Latin American Politics I
[ nw ss wi ]
Introduces the central puzzles of Latin American politics: transitions to (and away) from authoritarian rule, understanding poor democratic outcomes, and economic development and stagnation. POL 144a is independent of POL 144b. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Fried

POL 144b Latin American Politics II
[ nw ss ]
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. May be repeated for credit in spring 2015 by students who took POL 144b in prior years.
Emphasis on elite control, the military, the political role of populist politics, and the uncertain process of democratization. Brazil and Argentina are examined specifically. POL 144b is independent of POL 144a. Usually offered every year.
Staff

POL 145b Muslims in the West: Politics, Religion, and Law
[ ss ]
Few issues have caused more public furor than the accommodation of Islam in Europe and the United States. It is often overlooked that Muslims are developing the institutions of their faith in societies that offer everyone the freedom of choice and expression. This seminar looks at religious discrimination as a barrier to the civic and political inclusion of Muslim immigrants, the responses of governments, courts, and the general public, and what we know about the balance among "fundamentalist, " "moderate," and "progressive" Muslim viewpoints. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Klausen

POL 146b Seminar: Topics in Revolutions in the Third World
[ nw ss ]
May be repeated for credit with permission of the instructor.
Explores revolutionary situations, revolutionary movements (successful and unsuccessful), and revolutionary regimes in the Third World since World War II. Specific topics may vary from year to year. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Hindley

POL 147a The Government and Politics of China
[ nw ss ]
Introduction to major themes of Chinese politics, emphasizing the rise of the Chinese Communists and the post-1949 trends in domestic politics, while also surveying historical, sociological, and cultural influences in Chinese politics. Attention to the nature of the traditional state, impact of colonialism, national revolution, and the course of contemporary state development. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Thaxton

POL 148a Seminar: Contemporary Chinese Politics
[ nw ss ]
A broad and in-depth understanding of key issues in contemporary Chinese politics--China after 1949. Emphasis on the role of the state in promoting economic development, social betterment, political stability, and justice. Special attention to the Tiananmen Protest Movement of 1989. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Thaxton

POL 149b Narco-Politics
[ ss wi ]
Analyzes patterns of national politics shaped by the illicit drug trade, their causes and effects. Research on corruption and violence will be applied mainly to Latin American and American settings, with the goal of improving policy interventions. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Fried

POL 150a Politics of Southeast Asia
[ nw ss ]
Introduction to the politics of modern Southeast Asia, with the focus on the indigenous peoples and their cultures, societies, and histories. The greatly changed and changing political systems of Indonesia and Thailand are examined individually in some depth. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Hindley

POL 151a Seminar: Cultural Pluralism and Democratic Governance
[ ss wi ]
Prerequisites: Sophomore or junior class standing and at least two prior politics courses.
How liberal democracies respond to the social and political challenges of linguistic, cultural, religious, racial, and gender differences. Examines legal, political, and normative issues arising out of these differences, and the implications of various responses for the stability of a liberal democratic state. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Burg

POL 153a The New Europe: European Economic and Political Integration
[ ss ]
The institutions and policymaking processes of the European Union (EU). Western European political and economic integration since 1945 and the resurgence of European integration since the mid-1980s. Social policy issues, policy harmonization and economic integration, European citizenship, and the reorientation of national politics in response to community expansion. The future of European unity and national cultures. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

POL 154aj Seminar: Citizenship
[ ss ]
Liberal theory presumes the progress of history to be, in the words of John Stuart Mill, a gradual "doing away with privilege." Examines the frontiers of social and political justice through readings drawn from literature, political science, and history. Offered as part of JBS program.
Mr. Kryder

POL 156b European Culture & Politics
[ ss ]
The comparative politics of Western Europe. Focuses on the development of political parties and social movements in Britain, France, and Germany--particularly since 1945--to determine how they affect policies and the citizenry's participation in modern democracies. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Klausen

POL 160a The War on Global Terrorism
[ ss ]
Intended for juniors and seniors, but open to all students.
Explores how 9/11 changed our lives. The course surveys the build-up of Al Queda leading up to the 9/11 attacks and ten years of counter terrorism. Students are given an introduction to Jihadist doctrines and Al Queda's structure, as well as theories about the cause of terrorism. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Klausen

POL 163a Creating World Order: Power, Purpose, and American Diplomacy 1939-1950
[ ss wi ]
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
Investigates the founding of international organizations in the 1940s, using original research and digital archival materials to uncover how US diplomats shaped this new world order, why they launched these initiatives, and what this legacy means for global governance today. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Chase

POL 164a Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East
[ ss ]
Provides students with historical and analytic mastery of the Arab- Israeli conflict in a novel way. Through immersion in three competing narratives - Israeli, Palestinian, and pan-Arab - students will gain proficiency in the history of the conflict as well as analytic leverage on the possibility of its resolution. The course is organized as a seminar and is premised on active student participation. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Feldman

POL 166b Seminar: The Middle East in International Relations
[ ss ]
Explores how the concepts, theories, and paradigms from the field of International Relations can be used to analyze the politics of the Middle East. This class provides students a toolbox for understanding current and future developments in the ever-changing relations between the region's states. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Feldman

POL 167a United States and China in World Politics
[ ss ]
Issues in U.S.-China relations, including Taiwan and Tibet, the formation of a Greater China, military security and use of nuclear weapons, human rights, Chinese and American versions of nationalism and internationalism, and others. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Thaxton

POL 168b American Foreign Policy
[ ss ]
Overview of America's foreign policy since 1945. Topics include the Cold War era, the economic competitiveness of the United States, the role of the United States in selected world regions, the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, the U.S. participation in the United Nations, post-Cold War foreign policy, and the making and implementing of foreign policy. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Art

POL 171b National Intelligence: Theory, Practice, and Cinematic
[ ss ]
Examines the challenges of developing useful "intelligence" for policymaking, the nature of covert operations for intelligence, and how spy/espionage films shape popular understanding of intelligence and covert operations. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Burg

POL 172b Seminar: International Political Economy
[ ss ]
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher.
The politics and modern evolution of international economic relations, comprising trade, money, multinational productions, and development. Also the role of states and transnational actors in international markets and the global differentiation of power, and distribution of wealth. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Chase

POL 173a U.S. Foreign Economic Policy
[ oc ss wi ]
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above.
Presents the history and politics of the foreign economic policy in the United States. Emphasis is on political and economic considerations that influence the domestic actors and institutions involved in the formulation of policy. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Chase

POL 174b Seminar: Problems of National Security
[ ss ]
Analysis of the role and utility of military power in international politics. Selected case studies from the last fifty years. Selected topics on post-Cold War military issues, including the spread of weapons of mass destruction, collective approaches to coercion, and the role of U.S. military power in world stability. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Art

POL 176a Seminar: International Intervention
[ ss ]
The evolution of international law and practice in use of force for the resolution of conflicts. Case study of major post-cold war cases of international intervention, including humanitarian intervention. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Burg

POL 179a China's Global Rise: The Challenge to Democratic Order
[ nw ss wi ]
Explores the implications of China's global rise for the global democratic order constructed by the United States in the aftermath of World War II. Among other issues, we will ask whether China's international strategy in Asia, Africa, and Latin America poses a serious challenge to democratic nations and their support for democratization. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Thaxton

POL 184a Global Justice
[ ss wi ]
Prerequisites: One course in Political Theory or Moral, Social and Political Philosophy.
Explores the development of the topic of global justice and its contents. Issues to be covered include international distributive justice, duties owed to the global poor, humanitarian intervention, the ethics of climate change, and immigration. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Lenowitz

POL 184b Political Theories of Medicine: Distribution, Recognition, and Democracy
[ ss wi ]
Introduces the political theory of health and medicine. It is divided into three parts: justice and the distribution of health care, medicalization and the politics of identity, and a selection of special issues. Special one-time offering, spring 2016.
Mr. Smith

POL 186b Classical Political Thought
[ hum ss ]
Major ancient political philosophers and the meaning and implications of their work for contemporary political issues. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Yack

POL 187b Conservative Political Thought
[ ss ]
Focuses on American and European thinkers, with an emphasis on critics of equality and unlimited commercial and civil liberty. Readings include political philosophy and literature. Authors may include Burke, Oakeshott, Calhoun, Conrad, Hayek, Macintyre, and Strauss. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Yack

POL 188b Modern Political Thought
[ ss ]
Provides a survey of major works of modern political thought, beginning with Machiavelli and ending with John Rawls. It proceeds by way of careful reading and discussion of their most important arguments and the issues that they raise. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Yack

POL 189a Marx, Nietzsche, and Twentieth-Century Radicalism
[ ss ]
Comparison of two powerful and influential critiques of modern politics and society. Explanation of Marx's work, both for its own insights and as a model for radical theorists; and of Nietzsche's work as an alternative conception of radical social criticism. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Yack

POL 190b Seminar: Democratic Theory
[ ss ]
Explores in depth the nature, virtues, and limitations of democracy as a way of organizing political affairs. Brings together classic texts, for example, Rousseau's Social Contract, with more recent topical readings on topics like democracy and nationalism. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Yack

POL 191a Seminar: Punishment and Crime
[ ss ]
Examines theories justifying criminal punishment, and the practice of law enforcement, as a means of understanding our society and its values. Topics may include hate crimes, the law of self-defense, rape and others. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Lawrence

POL 192b Seminar: Topics in Law and Political Theory
[ ss ]
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher. May be repeated for credit if different topic.
Interplay among law, morality, and political theory. Specific topics vary from year to year. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Yack or Mr. Lenowitz

POL 193b Track-II Diplomacy: Theory and Practice
[ ss ]
Explores the theory, conceptual framework, and practicalities of Track-II diplomacy using case studies in the Middle East and Africa. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Feldman and Mr. Lempureur

POL 194a Politics and the Novel
[ ss ]
Selected works of fiction as sources of political ideas and pictures of political and social life. How modern fiction helps us understand social change, societies in transition and decay, revolution, law, bureaucracy, and ethnicity. Authors such as Kafka, Conrad, Borges, Dostoevsky, Ford Madox Ford, Babel, Greene, Malraux, and Carpenter. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Levin

POL 195b Shakespeare and the Politics of Leadership
[ ss ]
Shakespeare as sources for understanding selected work of the role of leaders and followers, elites and masses, class and ethnicity, social change, the relations between disparate social orders, and societies ins transition. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Levin

POL 197a The Supreme Court Colloquium
[ ss ]
Intensive interdisciplinary study of the supreme court, with a particular emphasis on its current docket. After introducing students to the procedures of Supreme Court decision-making, the clash of interpretive methods, and the ebb and flow of the breadth and depth of the court’s power, the course will evaluate select cases from the 2014-2015 docket in real time, focusing on, among other things, social and political origins, institutional factors, legal argument and advocacy, and likely rulings and their possible effects. The Colloquium will also host numerous distinguished speakers to present on individual cases. Special yearlong offering 2015-2016.
Mr. Kryder and Mr. Lenowitz

(200 and above) Primarily for Graduate Students

POL 200b Quantitative Methods for Social Science
Open to GSAS students.
Introduces graduate students in the social sciences to statistics and quantitative methods, including purposes and objectives of statistical inference, graphical and visual display of data, significance testing, and regression analysis. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

POL 211a Graduate Seminar: Political Theory
Core course in political theory, required of all Politics Ph.D. students.
Explores a few themes, such as justice, freedom, and community, by means of careful reading of a selection of classical and contemporary texts. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Yack

POL 212a Graduate Seminar: Research Methods and Methodology
Familiarizes students with the major research techniques of a qualitative nature for political science and addresses central issues in the logic of inquiry in social science. Issues and techniques include the case study method, the comparative method, counterfactual, and research design. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Kryder

POL 213a Graduate Seminar: Comparative Political Institutions and Public Policy
Studies the ideas and institutions of representative democracy from a comparative perspective. Topics include parties and party systems, variations in constitutional government from presidentialism to parliamentarianism, the process and prerequisites of democratization, and the comparative politics of the welfare state. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Burg, Ms. Klausen, or Ms. Bellin

POL 213b Graduate Seminar: Selected Topics in Comparative Politics
Provides graduate students an opportunity to engage in research and discussion of selected issues in comparative politics. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Burg or Ms. Klausen or Ms. Bellin

POL 214a Graduate Seminar: International Relations
Examines the international relations of national political systems. Topics include the impact of evolving international institutions and norms on the course of world politics; the effects of security, economic, and environmental factors; and the interaction between domestic politics and foreign policy. Special attention is given to American foreign policy and the changing place of the United States in world politics. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Art

POL 214b Graduate Seminar: Selected Topics in World Politics
Provides graduate students an opportunity to engage in research and discussion of selected issues in the international dimensions of world politics. Each term it deals with a different topic in greater depth than is possible in the context of the program's field seminar in this area. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Art or Mr. Chase

POL 215a Graduate Seminar: American Political Behavior
Examines the creation and evolution of national institutions in the United States. Themes include the influence of ideas on institutional development; the influence of institutional arrangements on conflicts and policies; and the changing nature of ideas and institutions, especially in such pivotal periods as the founding, the Civil War, the progressive era, the New Deal, and the 1960s and 1970s. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Greenlee or Mr. Kryder

POL 298a Independent Study
Staff

POL 302a Readings in Politics
Specific sections for individual faculty members as requested.
Offered every year.
Staff

POL 302b Readings in Politics
Usually offered every year.
Staff

POL 340d Proseminar
Required of all PhD and MA students. Not for credit.
Year-long course that meets biweekly. Focuses on professional development, including teaching competency. Offered every year.
Staff

POL 349a Directed Study
Usually offered every year.
Staff

POL 350a Master's Project
Master's project research and preparation. Usually offered every year.
Staff

POL 400d Dissertation Research
Independent research for the PhD degree. Specific sections for individual faculty members as requested.
Staff

Cross-Listed in Politics

AAAS 82a Urban Politics
[ ss ]
Examines urban politics in the United States from the early twentieth century to the present. Topics include urban political machines; minority political participation; the evolution of American suburbs; and racial, economic, and political inequities that challenge public policymaking. Usually offered every year.
Staff

AAAS 114b Race, Ethnicity, and Electoral Politics in the United States
[ ss ]
Explores the role that racial and ethnic politics play in American political campaigns and elections. Readings provide historical, theoretical, and empirical overviews of racial and ethnic politics in four contexts: political parties, presidential elections, congressional campaigns, and state legislative contests. Usually offered every year.
Staff

AAAS 118b Race, Prisons and Social Justice
[ ss ]
Explores race, prisons and social justice from approximately the late nineteenth century to the present. It in particular examines the impact of the thirteenth amendment, the rise of the convict leasing, the prisoners' rights movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the rise and fall of the "decarceration" programs, and neo-conservative politics of law and order on the era of mass incarceration and on social inequality in America. Special one-time offering, spring 2016.
Ms. Lynch

AAAS 175a Comparative Politics of North Africa
[ nw ss ]
Explores the formation and development of political cleavages and cleavage systems, and of mass-based political groups, analyzing the expansion of mass political participation, elections, the impact of the military on political groups, and international factors. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Nyangoni

AMST 185b The Culture of the Cold War
[ ss ]
Addresses American political culture from the end of World War II until the revival of liberal movements and radical criticism. Focuses on the specter of totalitarianism, the "end of ideology," McCarthyism, the crisis of civil liberties, and the strains on the pluralistic consensus in an era of anti-Communism. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Whitfield

AMST 188b Louis Brandeis: Law, Business and Politics
[ ss ]
Brandeis's legal career serves as model and guide for exploring the ideals and anxieties of American legal culture throughout the twentieth century. Focuses on how legal values evolve in response to new technologies, corporate capitalism, and threats to personal liberty. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Breen

FREN 111a The Republic
[ fl hum wi ]
Prerequisite: FREN 106b or the equivalent, or permission of the instructor.
The "Republic" analyzes how the republican ideal of the citizen devoid of religious, ethnic, or gender identity has fared in different Francophone political milieux. Course involves understanding how political institutions such as constitutions, parliaments, and court systems interact with reality of modern societies in which religious, ethnic, and gender identities play important roles. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Randall

HIST 130b Crime and Punishment in U.S. History
[ ss ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FYS 32b in prior years.
The United States incarcerates more of its people per capita than any other nation on the planet. How did this come to be? This course examines how Americans have defined, represented, and punished crime, from the birth of the penitentiary to the present day. We will discuss an eclectic mix of historical texts and genres — criminal codes, trial records, true-crime journalism, historical studies, social theory, urban sociology, and films. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Willrich

HIST 133a Politics of the Enlightenment
[ ss ]
Examines the Enlightenment as a source of the intellectual world we live in today. Examination of some of the political, philosophical, and scientific writings of the philosophers. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Hulliung

HIST 160a American Legal History I
[ ss ]
Surveys American legal development from colonial settlement to the Civil War. Major issues include law as an instrument of revolution, capitalism and contract, invention of the police, family law, slavery law, and the Civil War as a constitutional crisis. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Willrich

HIST 160b American Legal History II
[ ss ]
Survey of American legal development from 1865 to the present. Major topics include constitutionalism and racial inequality, the legal response to industrialization, progressivism and the transformation of liberalism, the rise of the administrative state, and rights-based movements for social justice. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Willrich

HIST 168b America in the Progressive Era: 1890-1920
[ ss ]
Surveys social and political history during the pivotal decades when America became a "modern" society and nation-state. Topics include populism, racial segregation, social science and public policy, the Roosevelt and Wilson administrations, environmental conservation, and the domestic impact of World War I. Usually offered every fourth year.
Mr. Willrich

HIST 181b Red Flags/Black Flags: Marxism vs. Anarchism, 1845-1968
[ ss ]
From Marx's first major book in 1845 to the French upheavals of 1968, the history of left-wing politics and ideas. The struggles between Marxist orthodoxy and anarchist-inspired, left Marxist alternatives. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Hulliung

HIST 192b Romantic and Existentialist Political Thought
[ ss ]
Readings from Camus, Sartre, Beckett, and others. Examination and criticism of romantic and existentialist theories of politics. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Hulliung

HS 104b American Health Care
[ ss ]
Examines and critically analyzes the United States health care system, emphasizing the major trends and issues that have led to the current sense of "crisis." In addition to providing a historical perspective, this course will establish a context for analyzing the current, varied approaches to health care reform. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Altman

HS 110a Wealth and Poverty
[ ss ]
Examines why the gap between richer and poorer citizens appears to be widening in the United States and elsewhere, what could be done to reverse this trend, and how the widening disparity affects major issues of public policy. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Shapiro

HS 217f Eli J. Segal Seminar in Citizen Leadership
Meets for one-half semester and yields half-course credit.
Engages students in a rigorous examination of the concepts of Citizen Leadership and Citizen Service, as they have been used in the past, in an effort to support them in integrating these ideas into their career plans and personal development. Each session will involve readings on a specific aspect of Citizen Leadership or Service and an opportunity to discuss these aspects with guest speakers and resources, most of whom are Segal Program Founders, men and women who have exemplified them. Usually offered every year.
Staff

IGS/LGLS 128b Networks of Global Justice
[ ss ]
Course to be taught at Brandeis program in The Hague.
Examines how global justice is actively shaped by dynamic institutions, contested ideas, and evolving cultures. Using liberal arts methods, the course explores prospects for advancing peace and justice in a complex world. For a laboratory it accesses courts, tribunals, rights initiatives, and research projects found in The Hague—a global hub for some of the world’s most intractable conflicts. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Gaskins

IGS/LGLS 180a The Spirit of International Law
[ ss ]
Course to be taught at Brandeis program in The Hague.
This course provides a broad survey of international law--how it aspires to peace, justice, and human rights; and how it meets the hard realities of a complex world. Building on direct contact with international tribunals, the course considers social, cultural, political, and economic factors shaping global justice, along with the impact of legal values on nations, regions, and communities. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Gaskins

IGS/LGLS 185b Advocacy in the International Criminal Court
[ ss ]
Course to be taught at Brandeis program in The Hague.
After setting the historical and critical framework for international criminal law, this course features intensive workshops with advocates and officials of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, in cooperation with Leiden University. Sessions will include moot court exercises and discussions with judges from the major international tribunals. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Gaskins

LGLS 116b Civil Rights and Civil Liberties: Constitutional Debates
[ ss ]
Formerly offered as LGLS/POL 116b.
The history and politics of civil liberties and civil rights in the United States, with emphasis on the period from World War I to the present. Emphasis on freedom of speech, religion, abortion, privacy, racial discrimination, and affirmative action. Readings from Supreme Court cases and influential works by historians and political philosophers. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Breen

LGLS 125b International Law and Organizations
[ ss ]
Introduction to international law, its nature, sources, and application, for example, its role in the management of international conflicts. Topics may include international agreements, international organizations including the United Nations and the International Court of Justice, states and recognition, nationality and alien rights, territorial and maritime jurisdiction, international claims, and the laws of war and human rights. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

PHIL 111a What Is Justice?
[ hum ]
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or political theory or permission of the instructor.
What is justice and what does justice require? The course examines theories of justice, both classical and contemporary. Topics include liberty and equality, "who gets what and how much," welfare- and resource-based principles of justice, justice as a virtue, liberalism, multiculturalism, and globalization. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Smiley

PHIL 112a Social Contract Theory and its Critics
[ hum ]
Explores a variety of normative arguments for and against the legitimacy of the state that have been put forward by key figures in the history of western political philosophy; e.g. Hobbes, Kant, Rousseau, Hume, and Dewey. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Smiley

PHIL 116a Topics in Political Philosophy
[ hum ]
Prerequisite: PHIL 1a, PHIL 17a, or POL 10a.
Explores social contract theories of political obligation, the right to rebel against the state, and the possibility of a global political community. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Smiley

PHIL 121a Normative Questions of the Welfare State
[ hum ]
Sets out to develop a normative framework for arguing about the value of particular aspects of the welfare state broadly understood. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Smiley

SOC 123b The Welfare State and Nonprofit America
[ ss ]
Studies major programs of the welfare state in social security, health, and welfare, as well as local nonprofits in youth development and other human services, national foundations, social entrepreneurism, AmeriCorps, and other forms of community service. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Sirianni

SOC 155b Protest, Politics, and Change: Social Movements
[ ss ]
Utilizes case studies of actual movements to examine a variety of approaches to contentious politics. Covers collective behavior, resource mobilization, rational choice, and newer interactive models. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Vijayakumar

WMGS 213b Gender in American Politics
Examines how gender shapes the political attitudes and actions of individuals in the U.S. We consider the ways in which women - as ordinary citizens and political elites - have contributed to political trends and outcomes in politics and policy. Usually offered every fourth year.
Ms. Greenlee