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Department of Political Science


  • William Howell


  • John J. Brehm
  • Cathy Cohen
  • Michael Dawson
  • Andrew Eggers
  • Scott Gehlbach, Public Policy 
  • John Mark Hansen
  • Gary Herrigel
  • William Howell, Public Policy
  • John McCormick
  • John J. Mearsheimer
  • J. Eric Oliver
  • John F. Padgett
  • Robert Pape
  • Jennifer Pitts, Social Thought
  • James Robinson, Public Policy
  • Susan Stokes
  • Nathan Tarcov, Social Thought
  • Lisa Wedeen
  • Dali Yang
  • Linda Zerilli

Associate Professors

  • Michael Albertus
  • Chiara Cordelli
  • Benjamin Lessing
  • Sankar Muthu
  • Monika Nalepa
  • Paul Poast
  • Jon Rogowski
  • Paul Staniland

Assistant Professors

  • Ruth Bloch Rubin
  • Austin Carson
  • Adom Getachew
  • Robert Gulotty
  • Demetra Kasimis
  • Matthew Landauer
  • Zhaotian Luo
  • Andrew McCall
  • Molly Offer-Westort
  • Patricia Posey
  • Anton Strezhnev
  • Rochelle Terman
  • James Wilson

Emeritus Faculty

  • Charles Lipson
  • Gerald N. Rosenberg
  • William Sewell
  • Duncan Snidal
  • Ronald Suny

Associate Members

  • Daniel Abebe
  • Scott Ashworth
  • Christopher Berry
  • Christopher Blattman
  • Evelyn Z. Brodkin
  • Ethan Bueno de Mesquita
  • Elisabeth Clemens
  • Oeindrila Dube
  • Anthony Fowler
  • Thomas Ginsburg
  • Roger Myerson
  • Martha Nussbaum

The Department of Political Science offers a course of study leading to the PhD degree. A departmental faculty committee makes admission decisions based on an assessment of all the material required in the University application: biographical data, statement of interests and goals in graduate school, transcripts of grades, letters of recommendation, Graduate Record Examination scores, and a writing sample. Committee members want to know what applicants find intellectually exciting and why applicants want to study at the University of Chicago.

The department is committed to training doctoral students in political science, broadly conceived. Our department has a long history of defining some of the most enduring empirical and theoretical debates within political science. We further believe that the best work in political science often crosses subfields and disciplines. Our aim is to help students develop and pursue their intellectual interests while grounding them in the various approaches and methodologies that characterize the modern discipline. Program requirements include a mix of research papers, coursework, and exams so that students can achieve these goals as they proceed expeditiously towards the PhD degree.

The Graduate Program

Students must complete sixteen courses for quality grades by the end of the second year. Twelve of the sixteen courses must be courses taught by Department faculty, which includes visiting and associate members. In the first year, students should plan on completing a total of nine courses for quality grades. In the second year, students should plan on completing at least seven courses for quality grades. PLSC 50000 Dissertation Proposal Seminar is required of third year students and does not count as one of the sixteen required courses.

The Department strongly recommends that all graduate students acquire the skill set necessary for successful progress as producers of research within the first two years of coursework. The notion of a skill set will vary with the specific research interests of the students. Students are expected to discuss with their advisors the skill set they will need, and together they will agree on a program of study. The normal expectation for first-year quantitatively-oriented graduate students will include courses on matrix algebra, programming, linear models, and causal identification. Such students also regularly take courses in social choice and game theory. For those students who intend to pursue political theory and qualitative research, the skill set is less established but may entail language training, ethnography training, interpretive methods, archival research, or other methodological courses.

The Department currently offers comprehensive exams in six fields: Theory, American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Quantitative Methods, and Formal Theory.

Students are required to take and pass a comprehensive exam in the main field by the beginning of the third year. Course prerequisites for comprehensive exams typically include either a field seminar that is offered no less than once every other year or a sequence or collection of courses that are offered over two years. All fields provide the materials students should master in order to be considered "certified" in that area. The Department offers exams during the month of September each year. Some students—such as those entering the program with prior graduate work in political science or who complete the necessary prerequisites for an exam in their first year of study—may take the exam after the first year. Students are also required to meet a course distribution requirement for the secondary subfield by the end of the second year. Courses and criteria for meeting the requirement will be determined by each subfield. 

The MA thesis offers an early opportunity for students to undertake a substantial work of independent research and advances a number of objectives, some substantive, others more procedural. The MA thesis can offer an opportunity to launch dissertation research, to secure a publication in a professional journal, to test the viability of an idea or topic that might possibly lead to a dissertation, or to conduct work in an area students know will not be part of the dissertation but that they would like to investigate more deeply than is possible in coursework. The MA thesis gives students the experience of independent research at a manageable scale, before developing a full-fledged dissertation topic. The thesis also can help students to gain a sense of how the germ of an idea becomes an article-length piece of writing (through literature review, the IRB process, operationalization of a question, elaboration of a distinctive argument in relation to existing literature, etc.).

Students are encouraged to begin thinking about their MA paper in the context of their courses, and to consider seminar papers as bases for an MA paper. Students also may choose to enroll in PLSC 40100 Thesis Preparation with their main thesis advisor. Students may take up to two units of Thesis Preparation to count toward the sixteen required courses. The final draft of the MA paper is due no later than May 15 of the second year, though in consultation with advisors students may choose to submit the MA well in advance of this deadline.

Students who have prior graduate work may use as many as five graduate courses completed at other universities to count towards fulfillment of the department’s course requirement. Graduate courses previously completed within our department will count on a one-to-one basis towards the fulfilment of the department’s course requirement. Students may not use an MA thesis written elsewhere as a substitute for the MA thesis here. The only exception is MA theses written at the University of Chicago, where one of the faculty advisors is in the Department. Students may use a prior MA thesis as the basis for the MA paper with the consent of faculty advisors, following the above deadlines.

Mentored practical pedagogical experience is a program requirement. To satisfy the requirement, students can serve as teaching assistants in undergraduate lecture courses and in the department's methodology sequence. Advanced graduate students, selected as Grodzins Prize Lecturers, offer their own undergraduate courses. There are also opportunities to serve as teaching interns and instructors in the College's undergraduate core curriculum and as preceptors who assist the undergraduate majors with the writing of BA papers.

After completing courses and exams, students turn to the PhD dissertation. The first step is a dissertation proposal that briefly outlines the research question, significance, argument, and method of the dissertation. PLSC 50000 The Dissertation Proposal Seminar, required in the winter quarter of the third year, is a weekly seminar devoted solely to the presentation and collective discussion of several drafts of each student’s dissertation proposal. The proposal must be approved by a committee of three faculty who agree to supervise the dissertation research and present the proposal for departmental approval. The deadline for this approval is the end of Autumn Quarter of the fourth year.

Although advanced graduate research and writing is often a solitary enterprise, students in the department also typically continue to participate in one or more workshops, which are mainly devoted to students' presentation of research in progress for discussion and constructive criticism. Political science students participate in workshops devoted to American Politics, Comparative Politics, East Asia, Political Economy, Political Psychology, Political Theory, and International Politics, to name just a few. There are many other interdisciplinary workshops throughout the University ranging from Law and Economics, to Gender and Sexuality, to Russian Studies, all of which are open to political science students.

Upon receiving final approval of the dissertation by the members of the dissertation committee, the candidate gives a formal presentation based on the dissertation. Following the presentation, which is open to the public, the candidate is questioned by an examining committee of at least three faculty members.

For more information about current faculty, students, requirements, and courses, consult the department webpage at

Information on How to Apply

The application process for admission and financial aid for all Social Sciences graduate programs is administered through the divisional Office of the Dean of Students. The Application for Admission and Financial Aid, with instructions, deadlines, and department specific information is available online at:  

Questions pertaining to admissions and aid should be directed to or (773) 702-8415.

Political Science Courses for 2021-22

PLSC 30102. Introduction to Causal Inference. 100 Units.

This course is designed for graduate students and advanced undergraduate students from the social sciences, education, public health science, public policy, social service administration, and statistics who are involved in quantitative research and are interested in studying causality. The goal of this course is to equip students with basic knowledge of and analytic skills in causal inference. Topics for the course will include the potential outcomes framework for causal inference; experimental and observational studies; identification assumptions for causal parameters; potential pitfalls of using ANCOVA to estimate a causal effect; propensity score based methods including matching, stratification, inverse-probability-of-treatment-weighting (IPTW), marginal mean weighting through stratification (MMWS), and doubly robust estimation; the instrumental variable (IV) method; regression discontinuity design (RDD) including sharp RDD and fuzzy RDD; difference in difference (DID) and generalized DID methods for cross-section and panel data, and fixed effects model. Intermediate Statistics or equivalent such as STAT 224/PBHS 324, PP 31301, BUS 41100, or SOC 30005 is a prerequisite. This course is a prerequisite for "Advanced Topics in Causal Inference" and "Mediation, moderation, and spillover effects."

Instructor(s): G. Hong     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Intermediate Statistics or equivalent such as STAT 224/PBHS 324, PP 31301, BUS 41100, or SOC 30005
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: M; M
Equivalent Course(s): PBHS 43201, SOCI 30315, CHDV 30102, MACS 51000, STAT 31900

PLSC 30301. American Politics Field Seminar I. 100 Units.

A survey of some of the main themes, topics and approaches in the study of American politics and government.

Instructor(s): R. Bloch Rubin, J. Rogowski     Terms Offered: Autumn

PLSC 30401. American Politics Field Seminar II. 100 Units.

A survey of some of the main themes, topics and approaches in the study of American politics and government.

Instructor(s): C. Cohen, J. Rogowski     Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 30500. Introduction to Quantitative Social Science. 100 Units.

This is the first course in the quantitative methods sequence in political science. Students will build skills to execute and evaluate key research designs for causal and descriptive research. The course also lays the necessary foundation for future coursework in quantitative methods.

Instructor(s): A. Eggers, M. Offer-Westort     Terms Offered: Autumn

PLSC 30506. Cities, Space, Power: Introduction to urban social science. 100 Units.

This lecture course provides a broad, multidisciplinary introduction to the study of urbanization in the social sciences. The course surveys a broad range of research traditions from across the social sciences, as well as the work of urban planners, architects, and environmental scientists. Topics include: theoretical conceptualizations of the city and urbanization; methods of urban studies; the politics of urban knowledges; the historical geographies of capitalist urbanization; political strategies to shape and reshape the built and unbuilt environment; cities and planetary ecological transformation; post-1970s patterns and pathways of urban restructuring; and struggles for the right to the city.

Instructor(s): N. Brenner     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CHST 20506, PLSC 20506, CHSS 30506, SOCI 30506, ARCH 20506, HIPS 20506, ENST 20506, CCCT 30506, SOCI 20506

PLSC 30600. Causal Inference. 100 Units.

This is the third course in quantitative methods in the Political Science PhD program. The course is an introduction to the theory and practice of causal inference from quantitative data. It will cover the potential outcomes framework, the design and analysis of experiments, matching, weighting, regression adjustment, differences-in-differences, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity designs and more. Students will examine and implement these approaches through a variety of examples from across the social sciences. The course will use the R programming language for statistical computing.

Instructor(s): A. Strezhnev     Terms Offered: Spring

PLSC 30700. Introduction to Linear Models. 100 Units.

This course will provide an introduction to the linear model, the dominant form of statistical inference in the social sciences. The goals of the course are to teach students the statistical methods needed to pursue independent large-n research projects and to develop the skills necessary to pursue further methods training in the social sciences. Part I of the course reviews the simple linear model (as seen in STAT 22000 or its equivalent) with attention to the theory of statistical inference and the derivation of estimators. Basic calculus and linear algebra will be introduced. Part II extends the linear model to the multivariate case. Emphasis will be placed on model selection and specification. Part III examines the consequences of data that is "poorly behaved" and how to cope with the problem. Depending on time, Part IV will introduce special topics like systems of simultaneous equations, logit and probit models, time-series methods, etc. Little prior knowledge of math or statistics is expected, but students are expected to work hard to develop the tools introduced in class.

Instructor(s): R. Gulotty, J. Hansen     Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 30901. Game Theory I. 100 Units.

This course introduces students to games of complete information through solving problem sets. We will cover the concepts of dominant strategies, rationalizable strategies, Nash equilibrium, subgame perfection, backward induction, and imperfect information. The course will be centered around several applications of game theory to politics: electoral competition, agenda control, lobbying, voting in legislatures and coalition games.

Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 29102

PLSC 31000. Game Theory II. 100 Units.

This course introduces students to games of incomplete information and several advanced topics through solving problem sets. We will cover the concepts of Bayes Nash equilibrium, perfect Bayesian equilibrium, and the basics of mechanism design and information design. In terms of applications, the course will extend the topics examined in the prerequisite, PLSC 30901. Game Theory I to allow for incomplete information, with a focus on the competing challenges of moral hazard and adverse selection in those settings.

Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): PLSC 30901 or equivalent and consent of instructor. Undergraduates by consent only.
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 29103

PLSC 31510. Introduction to Text as Data for Social Science. 100 Units.

Social scientists increasingly use large quantities of text-based data to address problems in industry and academy. This course provides students with an overview of popular techniques for collecting, processing, and analyzing text data from a social science perspective. We will first learn how to collect text data from a variety of sources, including application programming interfaces (APIs) and web-scraping. The second portion of the class provides an overview of popular methods to analyze text data, including sentiment analysis, topic models, supervised classification, and word embeddings. The course is applied in nature. While many of the techniques we discuss have their origins in computer science or statistics, this is not a CS or statistics course. Ultimately, the goal is to introduce students to modern techniques for computational text analysis and help them apply these methods to their own research.

Instructor(s): R. Terman     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Students should have at least one class in statistics and/or quantitative methods before taking this course. We will also assume basic familiarity with the R programming language.
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 21510

PLSC 31716. Xenophon's Socrates. 100 Units.

This course offers an introductory reading of Xenophon's Socratic works,which provide the chief alternative tot he account provided by Plato's Socratic dialogues. We will read and discuss Xenophon's Apology of Socrates, Symposium, Oeconomicus, and Memorabilia, make some comparisons to Platonic works, and consider some secondary interpretations. Themes may include piety, teaching and corruption, virtue, justice and law economics, family, friendship, and eros.

Instructor(s): Nathan Tarcov     Terms Offered: 2018
Prerequisite(s): Open to undergrads by consent.
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 21718, SCTH 31716

PLSC 31719. Xenophon's Education of Cyrus. 100 Units.

This seminar is intended as an introductory reading of one of the classic treatments of political leadership, Xenophon's The Education of Cyrus. Themes will include the qualities and motives of a successful leader or ruler, especially in acquiring and expanding rule, relations between rulers and ruled, Xenophon's portrayals of Cyrus and other characters in the book, the relation between political and military leadership and more broadly between politics and war, the tension between empire and freedom, Cyrus's bi-cultural education and multinational rule, the roles of morality, religion, and love in politics, and differences between constitutional or legitimate and tyrannical or despotic rule. We will consider Xenophon's art of writing and the literary character of the book. Open to undergraduates with instructor consent.

Instructor(s): Nathan Tarcov     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Open to undergraduates with instructor consent.
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 25103, SCTH 31719

PLSC 31901. The Politics of Industrial Transformation. 100 Units.

This course examines the political sources of and responses to industrial and technological development, a key determinant of the wealth of nations and a crucial component of solutions to global challenges. Key topics include the relationship between state and market; institutional sources of comparative advantage; the role of national security; the relationship between the national and the global; the challenges of regulating new industries; and the potential of mobilizing industries to address climate change. Readings will focus on the post-WWII era, and the experiences of developed countries, particularly those of the U.S., will be discussed in conjunction with those of developing countries.

Instructor(s): Xu, Yan     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): MAPS 31901, PLSC 21601, MAPS 21901

PLSC 32100. Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy. 100 Units.

This course is devoted to reading Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy supplemented by substantial selections from Livy's history of Rome. Themes include princes, peoples, and elites; republics and principalities; pagan and Christian religion and morality; war and empire; founding and reform; virtue, corruption, liberty, and fortune; ancient history and modern experience; reading and writing; and theory and practice.

Instructor(s): Nathan Tarcov     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Familiarity with Machiavelli's, Prince.
Equivalent Course(s): SCTH 31710, FNDL 29300, PLSC 20800

PLSC 32605. African Political Theory. 100 Units.

The idea of this course is to understand what a study of political theory/philosophy can contribute to the understanding of Africa's political history. By talking of "Africa" we follow Gyekye (1995) who, in making the case that one could talk about an "African philosophy", while he recognized that there is terrific variation and heterogeneity within Africa, also argued that there are common elements in many of the cultures in Africa. Our starting point is the research of Vansina (1990) and McIntosh (1999) who emphasized the way in which African political institutions diverged from those of Eurasia over the longue durée. Specifically, Africa did not generally see the emergence of large bureaucratized and centralized states, but instead saw a proliferation of less decentralized polities governed in many different ways. Henn and Robinson (2021) calculate using historical estimates of political institutions and population that at the time of the scramble for Africa at most 30% of Africans lived in what anthropologists classify as states. Social scientists, such as Goody (1971) and Herbst (2000) have proposed various explanations for this pattern, such as the absence of cavalry and horses (Law, 1980) and low population densities. But Vansina himself proposed a basically cultural explanation. He argued that Central Africans wished to "preserve the autonomy of the local community" and instead of creating states innovated all sorts of other institutions to take advantage of scale.

Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 32740. Order and Violence. 100 Units.

Most countries in the world have been independent for about 50 years. Some are peaceful and have prospered, while some remain poor, war-torn, or both. What explains why some countries have succeeded while others remain poor, violent, and unequal? Moreover, fifty years on, a lot of smart people are genuinely surprised that these countries' leaders have not been able to make more progress in implementing good policies. If there are good examples to follow, why haven't more countries followed these examples into peace and prosperity? Finally, we see poverty and violence despite 50 years of outside intervention. Shouldn't foreign aid, democracy promotion, peacekeeping, and maybe even military intervention have promoted order and growth? If not why not, and what should we do about it as citizens? This class is going to try to demystify what's going on. There are good explanations for violence and disorder. There are some good reasons leaders don't make headway, bureaucrats seem slothful, and programs get perverted. The idea is to talk about the political, economic, and natural logics that lead to function and dysfunction.

Instructor(s): Blattman, C     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 32740


This course examines the role of negative emotions in the history of political thought and subsequently, in feminist and queer politics. Emotions in general, and negative emotions in particular, tend to be thought of as antithetical to politics. The liberal tradition boasts a longstanding view of emotions as personal and pre-political. When it does take emotions seriously, it tends to emphasize the democratic value of 'good vibes' like love, empathy, and generosity. Feminist and queer critics of liberalism have long challenged this view of emotions, and indeed, have drawn upon negative emotions in particular to articulate their critiques of, as well as imagine alternatives to, liberal conceptions of justice, freedom, and equality. In the first part of this course, we will familiarize ourselves with the way negative emotions have been theorized in the writings of Aristotle, Nietzsche, and Freud, among other canonical thinkers in the history of political thought. In the second part, this seminar will turn to focus each week on the way 'bad vibes' like envy, resentment, rage, and grief have informed queer-feminist critiques of liberal notions of equality, justice, and freedom. Readings will include Ahmed, Ngai, Butler, and Hartman. Students will consider how negative emotions or affects like rage, grief, and the like can be mobilized towards political ends, as well as the theoretical and practical consequences of these emotions' characterization as political.

Instructor(s): Agatha A. Slupek     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): MAPS 32805

PLSC 33002. Ethics in International Relations. 100 Units.

Ethical questions pervade international politics. Do affluent states have an obligation to make economic sacrifices to mitigate the progression of global warming? Are human rights universal? Should states waive the intellectual property rights of pharmaceutical companies to enable global access to vaccines? Can military intervention be justified despite its breach of sovereignty? Despite the frequent invocation of normative language in global politics, scholars of international relations have only recently started to turn their attention toward studying ethics as an important political phenomenon. This marks a shift away from considering ethics as epiphenomena to interests and power. This seminar explores the role of ethics in international relations, both in theory and in practice. It draws on readings from normative international relations theory and political philosophy to take up ethical dilemmas encountered in world affairs in the context of debates about the environment, humanitarian intervention, nuclear weapons, development, and global health.

Instructor(s): Turco, Linnea     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Open to undergraduates with instructor consent
Equivalent Course(s): INRE 33000, PLSC 23002

PLSC 33300. Interpretive Methods in the Social Sciences. 100 Units.

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to interpretive methods in the social sciences. Students will learn to "read" texts and images while also becoming familiar with contemporary thinking about interpretation, narrative, ethnography, and social construction. Among the methods we shall explore are: semiotics, hermeneutics, ordinary language theory, and discourse analysis.

Instructor(s): L. Wedeen     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CCCT 33300, ANTH 33300

PLSC 33501. International Political Economy. 100 Units.

What explains a government's decision to block a trade deal, prevent foreign investors from gaining control of a local factory, or ban the export of rare earth minerals? This course develops theory and evidence that these decisions reflect domestic and international politics. We will discuss the political dimension of the integration of the global economy and the way that globalization separates workers, business, and consumers. Drawing on methods and theory from international political economy, we will critically examine the prospects for international cooperation on trade and immigration, as well as the future of international governance.

Instructor(s): R. Gulotty     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 23501

PLSC 35705. Radical Enlightenments. 100 Units.

An examination of some of the modern roots of radical critical inquiry in the writings of eighteenth-century thinkers on topics such as injustice, domination and oppression, prejudice, oligarchic interests, slavery and empire, equality of the sexes, private and public goods, commerce and economic relations, the politics of arts and aesthetics, state power, and revolution/reform.

Instructor(s): S. Muthu     Terms Offered: Spring

PLSC 36100. Civil War. 100 Units.

Civil war is the dominant form of political violence in the contemporary world. This graduate seminar will introduce students to cutting edge scholarly work and to the task of carrying out research on internal conflict. We will study the origins, dynamics, and termination of civil wars, as well as international interventions, post-conflict legacies, and policy responses to war. A variety of research approaches will be explored, including qualitative, quantitative, and interpretive methods, micro- and macro-level levels of analysis, and sub- and cross-national comparative designs. Our emphasis throughout will be on designing rigorous research that persuasively addresses important questions.

Instructor(s): P. Staniland     Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 36205. Formal Models of Race and Ethnic Politics. 100 Units.

This course will examine ways in which the methods of formal theory can deepen our insight into questions concerning race and ethnic politics. It will cover both models developed to address racialized phenomena, as well as classes of models well suited to studying classic questions within REP.

Instructor(s): A. McCall     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Completion of PLSC 30901 and PLSC 31001 recommended

PLSC 36413. The Politics of Executives and Bureaucracies. 100 Units.

The growth of power in the presidency and the administrative state is among the most important developments in American governance over the last century. This course surveys the politics of executive branch. It addresses questions about presidential power, electoral influences on presidential behavior, the relationship between presidents and Congress, bureaucratic autonomy, patronage and presidential appointments, and political influences on bureaucratic decision making. While much of the course material will focus on national institutions in the US, students will be encouraged to explore applications at the subnational level and in contexts outside the US. The course aims to help graduate students develop research agendas that address these and related questions and is appropriate for students with research interests in American politics, presidential systems outside the US, and political institutions and political economy more generally.

Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 37312. Rousseau and the Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 51909, SCTH 37312, FNDL 27312

PLSC 37313. Leo Strauss: Thoughts on Machiavelli. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 37313, FNDL 27313, SCTH 37313

PLSC 37314. The Right of Politics and the Knowledge of the Philosopher: Rousseau's On the Social Contract. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 27907, SCTH 37314, PHIL 37314

PLSC 37315. Friedrich Nietzsche's: The Antichrist or What is a Philosopher? 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 27315, SCTH 37315, GRMN 27313, GRMN 37313, PHIL 34711

PLSC 37316. Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 37314, PHIL 34716, SCTH 37316, PHIL 24716, FNDL 27316

PLSC 37317. Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra - Books III and IV. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): SCTH 37317, PHIL 24717, GRMN 37315, PHIL 34717, FNDL 27317

PLSC 37324. Philosophy and Comedy: Leo Strauss's "Socrates and Aristophanes" 100 Units.

Leo Strauss's Socrates and Aristophanes (1966) discusses not only the most important and most influential of all comedies, The Clouds, but also all the other comedies by Aristophanes that have come down to us. The book is the only writing of Strauss's that deals with the whole corpus of a philosopher or poet. And it is the most intense and most demanding interpretation of Aristophanes a philosopher has presented up to now. In Socrates and Aristophanes Strauss carries on a dialogue with Aristophanes on the wisdom of the poet, on the just and unjust speech, on philosophy and politics, on the diversity of human natures, and on an œuvre that asks the question: quid est deus? what is a god?

Instructor(s): Heinrich Meier     Terms Offered: Spring. Course will be taught Spring 2022.
Prerequisite(s): Open to undergraduates with instructor consent.
Note(s): The seminar will take place on Monday/Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. – 1:20 p.m.*, during the first five weeks of the term (March 28 – April 27, 2022).
Equivalent Course(s): CLAS 37521, PHIL 37324, FNDL 27003, SCTH 37324

PLSC 37815. Politics and Public Policy in China. 100 Units.

This course offers a historical and thematic survey of Chinese politics and of salient issues in China's public policy. We review the patterns and dynamics of political development or lack thereof in the Mao and reform eras, including the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and the politics of reforms. Later sections of the course look at China's political institutions, leadership, as well as various issues of governance and public policy, including state-society relations, the relationship between Beijing and the provinces, corruption, population and environment. Emphasis is on how institutions have provided the incentives for change as well as how institutions have been transformed.

Instructor(s): D. Yang     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): LLSO 27815, PLSC 27815

PLSC 38502. Law and Gender in the US and Israel: Comparative Perspectives. 100 Units.

This course will revolve around the axis of feminist critique of the law in Israel and the US. Various feminist approaches to the law will be introduced with attention to the main beneficiaries of the legal system. The interrelation between law and gender in contemporary Israel and the United States will be discussed in classic public law legal fields-for example, criminal law and the legal construction of gender-based violence, women's representation in public space and offices-as well as in private law, with particular emphasis on personal injury law. The course will delve into the interrelations between the legal system, society and the perception of gender roles. We will consider the intersection of these topics with issues of race, class, sexual orientation, and immigrant status. Class discussions will feature abstract philosophical arguments as well as concrete legal questions concerning both Israeli and American societies.

Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): co-undergraduate/graduate course
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 25804, JWSC 28502, PLSC 28502, GNSE 35804

PLSC 38602. American National Security Strategy. 100 Units.

This course surveys contemporary National Security Strategy around the world, focusing on the most urgent and important issues of the U.S. national security agenda. The purpose of the course is to help students better understand how the U.S. formulates national security strategy, key debates over how the U.S. should handle contemporary challenges, and provide important conceptual frameworks that will enable students to grapple with the security challenges of the decade ahead. The course covers recent changes in American grand strategy, nuclear policy, and the use of conventional forces in contemporary conflicts.

Instructor(s): R. Pape     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 28602

PLSC 38740. Conflict and Applied Data Science. 100 Units.

This course will examine why people fight, the effects of fighting, and possible solutions to prevent conflict in the future. The reasons people fight, and the ways in which they fight, depend on economics, politics and psychology; we will draw on all three disciplines throughout the course. Different forms of fighting, whether terrorism or civil wars, have typically been studied separately; we will bridge this divide and study them together, assessing common root causes and approaches for resolving these conflicts.

Instructor(s): Dube, O     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 38740

PLSC 38765. Politics of Authoritarian Regimes. 100 Units.

This course provides an overview of topics related to politics in authoritarian regimes. We begin by introducing the concept of authoritarianism: how it differs from democracy and how authoritarian regimes differ from each other. We then investigate the tools authoritarian rulers employ to maintain power, including institutions, policies, and tactics, and we examine the effects and side effects of these tools. Finally, we study transitions of power and of institutions, both on the way out of authoritarianism (democratization) and on the way in (democratic backsliding). Students who take this course will acquire a broad understanding of authoritarian politics and how it is covered in the literature.

Instructor(s): Zakharov, Alexei     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 38765

PLSC 38801. Politics and Cinema under Authority. 100 Units.

Why do authoritarian regimes take interest in art and culture? How do citizens respond to these efforts? Between authoritarian propaganda and outright contestation of authoritarianism is a wide niche of art and media production that is just independent enough to capture the attention of the citizens and yet subtle enough to not alarm authoritarian rulers. This is relevant for film and television in particular, which cannot function under authoritarian regimes without official approval. In this course, we explore the compromises filmmakers make to continue their creative practice and the concessions state actors grant to accommodate artistic work using the 10-episode television series, Dekalog (1988), by the acclaimed Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski. To answer our questions, we draw on literature and methodology from political science and film and media studies. We investigate what is to be gained by combining approaches from two disciplines that are rarely in conversation with each other.

Instructor(s): Maria Belodubrovskaya and Monika Nalepa     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Enrollment limit: 18
Equivalent Course(s): CDIN 38800, REES 38800, CMST 38800

PLSC 38813. Justice and the Economy. 100 Units.

This seminar will explore how contemporary political philosophy conceptualizes the economy, frames the question of economic justice and injustice, and provides a normative case for and against ways of organizing economic institutions. By focusing on a set of specific issues including the justification of property rights, the moral and institutional demands of economic justice, freedom and domination within the labor market, the normative status of corporations, capitalism as a form of structural injustice, and the possibility (or lack thereof) of just financial markets, the seminar will offer a chance to read both classical authors in contemporary political philosophy, including John Rawls, Iris Young, Elizabeth Anderson, and Robert Nozick, as well as more recent and less known literature on the subject. A focus on economic justice will also provide an opportunity to discuss how contemporary political philosophy is either indebted or oblivious to a series of theoretical frameworks traditionally used to approach questions of economic justice, including classical liberalism, republicanism, utilitarianism, Marxism, critical theory, and utopian thought.

Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 28813

PLSC 39501. International Political Economy. 100 Units.

This graduate seminar focuses on the prevailing theoretical and empirical research programs in international political economy (IPE). The course will introduce a variety of frontier research problems that animate current work in the field as well as provide experience evaluating empirical research. We will discuss relations between international markets and politics: mass politics, domestic political institutions, and international politics. A central goal of the course is to generate ideas for student research, including papers and dissertation topics.

Instructor(s): R. Gulotty     Terms Offered: Spring

PLSC 39901. What Was Multilateralism? 100 Units.

A foundational institution of modern international relations, multilateralism has been "in crisis" since its emergence in the 19th century. As a practice for reordering international relations, it has failed to universalize its normative goal of equivalence among states. Why? The "no universalism" school proliferates the study of functional alternatives to multilateralism, including the rise of networked bilateralism and the (re-)turn to informal coordination among the few under the guise of inclusive conference diplomacy. The "no equivalence" school narrates the failure of multilateralism as a revival and path-dependent evolution of its imperialist predecessor. We will explore how each school developed based on a close reading of bedrock social theory and the speech of practitioners. The goal of the course is to appreciate how multilateralism's crisis is endemic for structural reasons. In addition to the usual accoutrements, students will write in one of three public-facing formats: encyclopedia entry, syllabus, or op-ed blog post.

Instructor(s): Staisch, Matthias     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Open to undergraduates with instructor consent
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 29901, INRE 39900

PLSC 40000. Readings: Political Science. 100 Units.

This is a general reading and research course for independent study.

PLSC 40100. Thesis Preparation: Polsci. 100 Units.

This is an independent study course related to master's paper or dissertation research.

PLSC 40102. Advanced Topics in Causal Inference. 100 Units.

This is a graduate-level course considering modern advances in causal inference and experimental design. In particular, we will consider how machine learning methods can be leveraged to address causal questions. We will read a selection of papers introducing and implementing techniques and research designs, with applications to the social and health sciences and public policy. We will discuss what these new methods are able to offer, and where they may have limitations. The course will be oriented around class discussion and student presentations on the readings. An introductory course in probability and statistics is required; this prerequisite can be met by courses in statistics, biostatistics, economics, political science, sociology, or related fields. Coursework in causal inference is recommended but not required; additional reading references will be provided for students who have not had prior exposure to causal inference methodology.

Terms Offered: Spring

PLSC 40110. Formal Political Theory I. 100 Units.

This is the first course in a three-quarter sequence in Formal Political Theory that introduces foundational concepts in decision theory and noncooperative game theory, the key mathematical tools needed for applied theory, and applications from political economy. This quarter focuses primarily on static games of complete and incomplete information and related solution concepts, including (Bayesian) Nash equilibrium and mixed-strategy Nash equilibrium. Students must have recently completed coursework in differential and integral calculus, optimization theory, and methods of mathematical proof. Enrollment of master's students is at the discretion of the instructor.

Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 40110, PECO 40110

PLSC 40111. Formal Political Theory II. 100 Units.

This course follows on Formal Political Theory I, which it takes as a prerequisite. This quarter focuses on dynamic games of complete information and related solution concepts, including subgame-perfect Nash equilibrium and Markov perfect equilibrium. Applications include folk theorems for repeated games, bargaining models, and moral hazard.

Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): PECO 40110
Equivalent Course(s): PECO 40111, PPHA 40111

PLSC 40112. Formal Political Theory III. 100 Units.

This course follows on Formal Political Theory I and II, which it takes as prerequisite. This quarter focuses primarily on dynamic games of incomplete information and related solution concepts, including weak perfect Bayesian equilibrium and sequential equilibrium. Applications include models of costly signaling and cheap talk.

Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): PECO 40110, PECO 40111
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 40112, PECO 40112

PLSC 40315. Black Fugitivity & Fugitive Democracy Radical Democratic Theory and Race. 100 Units.

What does "fugitivity" mean as a concept? As a trope, what kind of rhetorical and political work is it being used to perform by scholars across the humanities and social sciences? How should we assess its appeal, value, limitations, and dangers? This seminar pursues these broad questions by comparing figurations of fugitivity in Black Studies and political theory, specifically in works of Black Study by Hortense Spillers, Fred Moten, and Saidiyah Hartman, and in works of political theory by Sheldon Wolin and Hannah Arendt. In these texts fugitivity gains its meanings by juxtaposing social death and impasse to insurgent movement, creative natality, and aliveness, but theorists represent the meaning, location, protagonists, and characteristic practices of fugitivity differently. Our goal is to discern the stakes in these differences about sociality, maternity, Blackness, and the "grammar" of the democratic and the political. Additional reading includes Neil Roberts' Freedom as Marronage, Christina Sharpe's In the Wake, and recent political theory on the relation between "fugitive democracy" and "Black fugitivity" as well as Toni Morrison's Paradise and Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad, literary fiction as a form of political theory by reading.

Instructor(s): George Shulman     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 40315, AMER 40315, CRES 40315, GNSE 40315

PLSC 40510. Political Violence in America Today. 100 Units.

Political violence is rising in America, but there is great confusion about why. The purpose of this graduate seminar is to help understand our current situation by studying literature that bears on a number of crucial questions: How do violent mass movements evolve? How does the political violence America has experienced in 2020 and 2021 differ from past periods of heightened right-wing political violence in the 1970s and 1990s and heightened racial tensions in the 1960s? What are the impact of structural factors such as changing American national identity and the evolution of social capital in American society on contemporary political violence? What roles does technology and media play is spreading dissent and organizing protests? The main requirements for this seminar are to participate actively in weekly class discussion and write a 20 page exploratory research paper.

Instructor(s): R. Pape     Terms Offered: Spring

PLSC 40600. Seminar on IR Theory. 100 Units.

This course is a PhD-level introductory survey of the major scholarly traditions in the field of International Relations. It provides an introduction to the central theoretical approaches including realism, liberalism, and constructivism and their variants. The course also exposes students to more recent non-paradigmatic research programs, reflections on the field's development over time, and the recurring "meta-debates" which underlie many of the differences in applied areas. Seminar discussion will identify and criticize the central arguments advanced by different scholars in order to assess the relative merits of different theoretical perspectives. The course is designed to help students prepare for the Department's IR general exam: assigned and suggested readings are a starting point for building a reading list; the course offers practice with answering exam questions; students will exercise modes of critical analysis during seminar critical to passing the exam.

Instructor(s): A. Carson     Terms Offered: Autumn

PLSC 40601. Advanced Topics in Causal Inference. 100 Units.

This is a graduate-level course considering modern advances in causal inference and experimental design. In particular, we will consider how machine learning methods can be leveraged to address causal questions. We will read a selection of papers introducing and implementing techniques and research designs, with applications to the social and health sciences and public policy. We will discuss what these new methods are able to offer, and where they may have limitations. The course will be oriented around class discussion and student presentations on the readings. An introductory course in probability and statistics is required; this prerequisite can be met by courses in statistics, biostatistics, economics, political science, sociology, or related fields. Coursework in causal inference is recommended but not required; additional reading references will be provided for students who have not had prior exposure to causal inference methodology. Instructor consent required.

Terms Offered: Spring

PLSC 40610. Seminar on International Security Affairs. 100 Units.

This course introduces students to a selection of the principal literature that forms the foundation of contemporary international security affairs. One set of topics focus on traditional war-related topics, including the causes of war, sources of military effectiveness, and civilian victimization in war. A second set of topics focuses on pre-war and short-of-war issues, including coercive threats, arms racing under the security dilemma, the nuclear revolution thesis, and grey zone or covert uses of force. A third set of topics focuses on ideas, individuals, and institutions, including security-related international organizations, norms, and leader-level dynamics. Each week, our purpose will be to critically assess the strengths and limits of the central arguments of the readings, on their own terms.

Instructor(s): R. Pape     Terms Offered: Autumn

PLSC 40815. New Directions in Formal Theory. 100 Units.

In this graduate seminar we will survey recent journal articles that develop formal (mathematical) theories of politics. The range of topics and tools we touch on will be broad. Topics include models of institutions, groups, and behavior, and will span American politics, comparative politics, and international relations. Tools include game theory, network analysis, simulation, axiomatic choice theory, and optimization theory. Our focus will be on what these models are theoretically doing: What they do and do not capture, what makes one mathematical approach more compelling than another, and what we can ultimately learn from a highly stylized (and necessarily incomplete) mathematical representation of politics. The goal of the course is for each participant, including the professor, to emerge with a new research project.

Instructor(s): Z. Luo     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): PLSC 30901, PLSC 31000 or consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): PECO 40815, PBPL 40815, PPHA 40815

PLSC 41102. Inequality and Redistribution. 100 Units.

Inequality is a defining issue of our time. Why are some societies more unequal than others, and why are some more proactive in tackling inequality through policies of redistribution? This graduate seminar will introduce students to the scholarly literature on inequality redistribution, focusing primarily on recent work. We will study the causes and consequences of inequality and redistribution, focusing both on the institutions that shape incentives for governments to implement redistribution, as well as the mechanisms, actors, and international conditions that can erode government incentives or capabilities to redistribute. The emphasis of the course will be twofold: rigorously examining the inferences we can draw from existing work, and designing research that can contribute to a better understanding of the fundamental questions regarding redistributive policies.

Instructor(s): M. Albertus     Terms Offered: Autumn

PLSC 41105. Political Economy I: Formal Models of Politics. 100 Units.

This course provides an overview of formal models of politics, including models of electoral competition, coalition formation, political agency, and nondemocracy. Students must have completed the three-quarter sequence in Formal Political Theory or analogous coursework in game theory and mathematical methods. Enrollment of master's students is at the discretion of the instructor.

Instructor(s): Gehlbach, S     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): PhD Students Only
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 40102, PECO 40102

PLSC 41203. Political Regimes and Transitions. 100 Units.

Despite a shift toward democracy in much of the world, many states have remained solidly autocratic while others are plagued by political instability. This graduate seminar will introduce students to fundamental questions in the study of political regimes: What distinguishes democracy from dictatorship? How does the functioning of democratic institutions affect democratic survival? Why are some dictatorships more stable than others, and what role do institutions such as legislatures, parties, and elections play in their stability? What political and economic factors explain regime transitions, and why do transitions tend to cluster both spatially and temporally? The course will examine how these questions are addressed in current scholarship, with an emphasis on enabling students to design research projects that contribute to our understanding of how political regimes function, persist, and change.

Instructor(s): M. Albertus     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 41203

PLSC 42420. Approaches to the History of Political Thought. 100 Units.

This course will examine some of the most influential recent statements of method in the history of political thought, alongside work by the same authors that may (or may not) put those methods or approaches into practice. We will read works by Quentin Skinner, Reinhart Koselleck, J.GA. Pocock, Leo Strauss, Sheldon Wolin, Michel Foucault, and David Scott among others, with some emphasis on writings about Hobbes and questions of sovereignty and the state. (E)

Instructor(s): J. Pitts     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CCCT 42420, SCTH 42420

PLSC 42701. Seminar in Chinese Politics. 100 Units.

This is a research-oriented seminar for graduate students interested in exploring current research on China and in conducting their own research. Our emphasis will be on the changing nature of the Chinese Party-state, and the relations between state and economy and between state and society as the Chinese society, economy and the level of technology have undergone dramatic changes in recent decades. Throughout the course we'll also pay attention to the course, dynamics, and challenges of making reform. Though the readings are on China, we are to consider China's development comparatively and in view of recent developments in political science.

Instructor(s): D. Yang     Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 43701. Constructivism. 100 Units.

This seminar traces the development of the constructivist program in international relations in order to better understand its elements, assumptions, and methods, and apply those to current issues. We start by uncovering the roots of constructivism in sociology and philosophy and examine structuation theory, the English School, world systems theory, regime theory, and sociological institutionalism. The second part of this course focuses on the constructivist agenda in international relations, its boundaries and its critics. In the last part of the course we examine current research in international relations that draws on constructivist methods, including work on the role of norms, epistemic communities, transnational civil society, and the origins of the state.

Instructor(s): R. Terman     Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 44702. Lab and Field Experiments in Comparative Politics and Policy. 100 Units.

Over the last several decades in what has become known as an "experimental revolution," social scientists have used experimental designs to study the effects of interventions and policies. The growing popularity of experimental methodology gives researchers leverage on causal questions, and bringing these designs to the field helps to bring their research designs closer to the real social phenomena they seek to understand. In this course, we will study how these methods have been used to study politics and policy, with examples from Africa, Latin America, and India. We will ask what types of questions experiments can answer, and what types of things we can manipulate and measure. We will review design considerations, such as methods to account for treatment spillover, and randomization procedures. We will also read critiques of experimental methods and field experiments; students will discuss ethical considerations, and will consider tradeoffs to limitations of experimental designs in field settings. While we will carry out some calculations, this course will not be oriented towards statistical programming, and there are no prerequisites for this course.

Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 45505. Agriculture, Environment and Political Economy. 100 Units.

This course will look at the industrialization of Agriculture both as an historical phenomenon and as a contemporary problem in the debate about climate change. Literatures on peasants and economic development, anti-monopoly and cooperatives, food regimes, economic planning, shifts in employment and the changing relations between rural and urban economic life will be surveyed. In general, the aim will be to explore the extent to which agricultural development, particularly in advanced political economies, has been shaped by political economic struggles and changing clusters of ideas about employment, food, the environment and democracy.

Instructor(s): G. Herrigel     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 40245

PLSC 45605. Political Theories of the Corporation. 100 Units.

This course will survey political ideas about the corporation in Europe, the US and Japan. The first part of the course will explore historical debates about the relationship between the corporation and democracy, while the second part will be devoted to a range of contemporary debates on the democratization of the corporation itself and to problems of monopoly in contemporary democratic order.

Instructor(s): G. Herrigel     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 40246

PLSC 45710. Race and Capitalism. 100 Units.

This course will address issues of race and capitalism.

Instructor(s): M. Dawson     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 45700

PLSC 46401. Co-evolution of States and Markets. 100 Units.

This course will focus on the emergence of alternative forms of organization control (e.g., centralized bureaucracy, multiple hierarchies, elite networks, and clientage) in different social structural contexts (e.g., the interaction of kinship, class, nation states, markets and heterodox mobilization). Themes will be illustrated in numerous cross-cultural contexts.

Instructor(s): J. Padgett     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 40232

PLSC 46600. Political Economy of Development. 100 Units.

This course is intended as an introduction for Ph.D. students to the research literature in the political economy of development. Its purpose is to give students both a sense of the frontier research topics and a good command of how social science methodological tools are used in the area.

Instructor(s): Blattman, C; Robinson, J     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Harris PhD or instructor permission required
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 41120, ECON 35570

PLSC 48001. Field Seminar in Comparative Politics I. 100 Units.

This seminar broadly surveys the study of comparative politics in contemporary political science.

Instructor(s): B. Lessing     Terms Offered: Autumn

PLSC 48101. Field Seminar in Comparative Politics II. 100 Units.

This seminar broadly surveys the study of comparative politics in contemporary political science.

Instructor(s): A. Eggers     Terms Offered: Spring

PLSC 48110. Lab and Field Experiments in Comparative Politics and Policy. 100 Units.

Over the last several decades in what has become known as an "experimental revolution," social scientists have used experimental designs to study the effects of interventions and policies. The growing popularity of experimental methodology gives researchers leverage on causal questions, and bringing these designs to the field helps to bring their research designs closer to the real social phenomena they seek to understand. In this course, we will study how these methods have been used to study politics and policy, with examples from Africa, Latin America, and India. We will ask what types of questions experiments can answer, and what types of things we can manipulate and measure. We will review design considerations, such as methods to account for treatment spillover, and randomization procedures. We will also read critiques of experimental methods and field experiments; students will discuss ethical considerations, and will consider tradeoffs to limitations of experimental designs in field settings. While we will carry out some calculations, this course will not be oriented towards statistical programming, and there are no prerequisites for this course.

Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 48401. Quantitative Security. 100 Units.

Since Quincy Wright's A Study of War, scholars of war and security have collected and analyzed data. This course guides students through an intellectual history of the quantitative study of war. The course begins with Wright, moves to the founding of the Correlates of War project in the late 1960s, and then explores the proliferation of quantitative conflict studies in the 1990s and 2000s. The course ends by considering the recent focus on experimental and quasi-experimental analysis. Throughout the course, students will be introduced to the empirical methods used to study conflict and the data issues facing quantitative conflict scholars. For students with limited training in quantitative methods, this course will serve as a useful introduction to such methods. For students with extensive experience with quantitative methods, this course will deepen their understanding of when and how to apply these methods.

Instructor(s): P. Poast     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 39830

PLSC 48700. Crime, Conflict and the State. 100 Units.

Scholars of civil war emphasize the importance, and perhaps primacy, of criminal profits for insurgencies, especially in the post-cold war era. But theories of civil war generally rest on an assumption that insurgents aim to replace state power. This seminar approaches the issue from the other end of the spectrum: armed conflict between states and "purely" criminal groups--particularly drug cartels. Cartel-state conflict poses a fundamental puzzle: Why attack the state if you seek neither to topple nor secede from it? After a brief survey of the literature on civil war and organized crime, we will study recent work on criminal conflict, particularly in Latin America. We also consider the related topics of prison-based criminal networks and paramilitaries, and explore how crime and political insurgency interact in places like West Africa and Afghanistan. Throughout, we evaluate the concepts, questions and designs underpinning current research.

Instructor(s): B. Lessing     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 48700, PPHA 37105

PLSC 49100. On Violence. 100 Units.

This seminar begins by covering major theorists of and debates about violence. Among the authors we shall read are Arendt, Fanon, Sartre, Benjamin, Foucault, Mbembe, Zizek, and Butler. We shall then explore a few ethnographies that explore issues related to violence in theoretically motivated, grounded research, including works by Masco, Scheper-Hughes, Siegel, and Taussig. The aims of the course are to combine political theory and comparative politics concerns with theoretically-motivated work in anthropology and literary studies. Considering the relationship between overt coercion and systemic violence, attending to genres of writing about violence, and focusing on the everyday lived experiences of violence, the course grapples with questions of race, class, gender, mediation, representation, and political power. The course will also reflect on the cathartic pleasures, ethical conundrums, and anti-political dimensions of violence. Students will participate avidly in class discussions and write one seminar paper OR take a final take-home exam.

Instructor(s): L. Wedeen     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): CCCT 49100, ANTH 52515

PLSC 49301. Emotions, Reason, and Law. 100 Units.

Emotions figure in many areas of the law, and many legal doctrines (from reasonable provocation in homicide to mercy in criminal sentencing) invite us to think about emotions and their relationship to reason. In addition, some prominent theories of the limits of law make reference to emotions. (Thus Lord Devlin and, more recently, Leon Kass have argued that the disgust of the average member of society is a sufficient reason for rendering a practice illegal, even though it does no harm to others. J. S. Mill and Herbert Hart argue against this view, but preserve a role for some emotions in the law.) Emotions, however, are all too rarely studied closely, with the result that both theory and doctrine are often confused. The first part of this course will study major theories of emotion, asking about the relationship between emotion and cognition, focusing on philosophical accounts, but also learning from anthropology, psychology, and psychoanalytic thought. We will ask how far emotions embody cognitions, and of what type, and then we will ask whether there is reason to consider some or all emotions "irrational" in a normative sense. We then turn to the criminal law and select areas of constitutional law, asking how specific emotions figure in doctrine and theory: anger, fear, compassion, disgust, guilt, and shame. (A) (I)

Instructor(s): M. Nussbaum     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Undergraduates may enroll only with the permission of the instructor. All other students may enroll without permission.
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 38300, PHIL 35209, GNSE 28210, PHIL 25209, RETH 32900

PLSC 50000. Dissertation Proposal Seminar. 100 Units.

A weekly seminar devoted to the presentation and collective discussion of several drafts of each student's dissertation proposal.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Winter

PLSC 50901. Qualitative Methods and Research Design. 100 Units.

This course examines small-N research designs and methods for engaging in qualitative research. We will discuss concept formation, case selection, comparative case studies, process-tracing, combinations with other methods, and the virtues and limitations of different approaches to theory development and causal inference. We will then consider some of the tools that are often associated with qualitative research, including ethnography, interviews, archival work, and historiography. Because other courses in the department and university cover some of these methods in greater depth, this class will particularly emphasize their relationship to research design.

Instructor(s): A. Carson, P. Staniland     Terms Offered: Autumn

PLSC 51404. Global Inequality. 100 Units.

Global income and wealth are highly concentrated. The richest 2% of the population own about half of the global assets. Per capita income in the United States is around $47,000 and in Europe it is around $30,500, while in India it is $3,400 and in Congo, it is $329. There are equally unsettling inequalities in longevity, health, and education. In this interdisciplinary seminar, we ask what duties nations and individuals have to address these inequalities and what are the best strategies for doing so. What role must each country play in helping itself? What is the role of international agreements and agencies, of NGOs, of political institutions, and of corporations in addressing global poverty? How do we weigh policies that emphasize growth against policies that emphasize within-country equality, health, or education? In seeking answers to these questions, the class will combine readings on the law and economics of global development with readings on the philosophy of global justice. A particular focus will be on the role that legal institutions, both domestic and international, play in discharging these duties. For, example, we might focus on how a nation with natural resources can design legal institutions to ensure they are exploited for the benefit of the citizens of the country. (I)

Instructor(s): M. Nussbaum; D. Weisbach     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Students will be expected to write a paper, which may qualify for substantial writing credit. This is a seminar scheduled through the Law School, but we are happy to admit by permission about ten non-law students.
Equivalent Course(s): RETH 51404, PHIL 51404

PLSC 52403. Cicero on Friendship and Aging. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 24208, PHIL 24208, CLAS 28614, RETH 38614, PHIL 34208, LATN 28614

PLSC 53025. Philosophy of Animal Rights. 100 Units.

A close study of some recent philosophical classics about animal ethics and animal rights, including Christine Korsgaard's Fellow Creatures, Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka's Zoopolis, and a manuscript of my own, Justice for Animals, that is due at the end of 2021. We will also read some of the recent work by scientists such as Frans De Waal, Mark Bekoff, and Victoria Braithwaite on animal cognition.

Instructor(s): M. Nussbaum     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): An undergraduate major in philosophy or some equivalent solid philosophy preparation. Ph.D. students in Philosophy and Political Theory may enroll without permission.
Note(s): This course meets the CS Committee distribution requirement for Divinity students. Admission by permission of the instructor. Permission must be sought in writing at least ten days before the beginning of Law School classes, Monday, September 20. The class will be offered on the Law School calendar.
Equivalent Course(s): RETH 53025, PHIL 53025

PLSC 53101. Seminar: Democracy and the Information Technology Revolution. 100 Units.

The revolution in information technologies has serious implications for democratic societies. We concentrate, though not exclusively, on the United States. We look at which populations have the most access to technology-based information sources (the digital divide), and how individual and group identities are being forged online. We ask how is the responsiveness of government being affected, and how representative is the online community. Severe conflict over the tension between national security and individual privacy rights in the U.S., United Kingdom and Ireland will be explored as well. We analyze both modern works (such as those by Turkle and Gilder) and the work of modern democratic theorists (such as Habermas). An emphasis in this course will be the methodologies and research agendas utilized by scholars in this field.

Instructor(s): M. Dawson     Terms Offered: Spring

PLSC 53300. Seminar on Nuclear Weapons and International Politics. 100 Units.

The aim of this course is to examine how nuclear weapons have affected the conduct of international relations. Special attention will be paid to subjects like: 1) nuclear deterrence, 2) the causes of nuclear proliferation, 3) the consequences of nuclear proliferation, 4) strategies for employing nuclear weapons, 4) the role of nuclear weapons in the Cold War, 5) how nuclear weapons will affect relations among the great powers in the emerging multipolar world, and 6) whether there has been a "nuclear revolution."

Instructor(s): J. Mearsheimer     Terms Offered: Spring

PLSC 55818. Hellenistic Ethics. 100 Units.

The three leading schools of the Hellenistic era (starting in Greece in the late fourth century B. C. E. and extending through the second century C. E. in Rome) - Epicureans, Skeptics, and Stoics - produced philosophical work of lasting value, frequently neglected because of the fragmentary nature of the Greek evidence and people's (unjustified) contempt for Roman philosophy. We will study in a detailed and philosophically careful way the major ethical arguments of all three schools. Topics to be addressed include: the nature and role of pleasure; the role of the fear of death in human life; other sources of disturbance (such as having definite ethical beliefs?); the nature of the emotions and their role in a moral life; the nature of appropriate action; the meaning of the injunction to "live in accordance with nature." If time permits we will say something about Stoic political philosophy and its idea of global duty. Major sources (read in English) will include the three surviving letters of Epicurus and other fragments; the skeptical writings of Sextus Empiricus; the presentation of Stoic ideas in the Greek biographer Diogenes Laertius and the Roman philosophers Cicero and Seneca. (I) (III)

Instructor(s): M. Nussbaum     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): *This class will begin on Tuesday, September 27 (one day before the rest of the Law classes begin). Attendance for the class is required. This class requires a 20-25 page paper and an in-class presentation. Admission by permission of the instructor. Permission must be sought in writing by September 15. The class meets on the law school calendar and therefore begins the week of September 19. PhD students in Philosophy, Classics, and Political theory do not need permission to enroll. Prerequisite for others: An undergraduate major in philosophy or some equivalent solid philosophy preparation, comparable to that of first-year PhD students, plus my permission. This is a 500 level course.
Equivalent Course(s): RETH 55818, PHIL 55818, CLAS 45818

PLSC 57200. Network Analysis. 100 Units.

This seminar explores the sociological utility of the network as a unit of analysis. How do the patterns of social ties in which individuals are embedded differentially affect their ability to cope with crises, their decisions to move or change jobs, their eagerness to adopt new attitudes and behaviors? The seminar group will consider (a) how the network differs from other units of analysis, (b) structural properties of networks, consequences of flows (or content) in network ties, and (c) dynamics of those ties.

Instructor(s): J. Padgett     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 50096

PLSC 59903. Modern Indian Political and Legal Thought. 100 Units.

India has made important contributions to political and legal thought, most of which are too little-known in the West. These contributions draw on ancient traditions, Hindu and Buddhist, but transform them, often radically, to fit the needs of an anti-imperial nation aspiring to inclusiveness and equality. We will study the thought of Rabindranath Tagore (Nationalism, The Religion of Man, selected literary works); Mohandas Gandhi (Hind Swaraj (Indian Self-Rule), Autobiography, and selected speeches); B. R. Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Indian Constitution (The Annihilation of Caste, The Buddha and his Dhamma, and selected speeches and interventions in the Constituent Assembly); and, most recently, Amartya Sen, whose The Idea of Justice is rooted, as he describes, both in ancient Indian traditions and in the thought of Tagore.

Instructor(s): M. Nussbaum     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): This course meets the CS Committee distribution requirement for Divinity students. Students not from Law or Philosophy need instructor's permission. Undergraduates are not eligible.
Equivalent Course(s): RETH 59903, PHIL 59903