Political Science & International Relations

Graduate Courses

Spring 2014

POSC 805-010 Topics in Law and Politics:
Comparative Constitutional Law
Batchis #15223 W 0125-0425 PM

Using American Constitutional Law as a foundation, this course will offer a comparative perspective on constitutionalism and constitutional interpretation. Intensive readings of case law – from the United States and numerous other countries – will be central to the course. Topics may include: the structure of government, personal privacy and autonomy, equality, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, property rights, election law and war powers.


POSC 806-010 Normative Issues in Global Governance
Rasmussen #9557 T 0330-0630 PM

Normative questions ask us to consider distinctions between right and wrong in order to consider what ought to be done. In the context of global governance this requires thinking about moral and political obligations from the scale of the individual up to the scale of the state and global systems. Today’s global context requires a normative approach to issues concerning the distribution of resources and power globally and the proper exercise of power as well as questions about the nature of human beings and our responsibilities, both politically and personal, to others. This course will consider a range of normative issues, touching on classics in political theory to more recent texts considering specific questions. We will begin with a broad examination of debates over the nature and purpose of governance and power before turning to questions of human rights, citizenship, political violence, terrorism, imperialism, gender and race. Our goal will be to familiarize ourselves with some of the most important normative debates that have informed the development of the field as well as to provide ourselves with tools for evaluating contemporary normative questions.

Students will be expected to do extensive weekly readings and will be asked to complete weekly response papers as well as one longer paper (7-10 pages) and a presentation on an author which they will select. Students will be asked to complete a final essay of 18-25 pages addressing a normative issue of their choice.


POSC 813-010 American Foreign Policy
Kaufman #14836 T 0200-0500 PM

This course examines three of the scholarly literature themes: the causes, conduct and effects of American foreign policy. We begin with studies of the history and historiography of American foreign policy in the twentieth century, with emphasis on the post-1940 period. Next we will examine models and theories of foreign policy formation, including bureaucratic, public-opinion, interest-group and other influences on the making of foreign policy in a comparative context. Finally, we will examine various interpretations of the nature and effects of U.S. foreign policy, including debates about the efficacy of different policies. The focus will be on international security and international economic issues, but issues of the environment, human rights and other issues will also be discussed.


POSC 840-010 International Political Economy
Kinderman #9547 M 0500-0800 PM

With the financial crisis, political economy has forcefully and rudely returned to the forefront of public concern. This graduate seminar examines some central dynamics of contemporary capitalism. It provides an overview of analytical tools and debates in International Political Economy and Economic Sociology. Despite their different emphases, each of these subfields is concerned with the interactions between politics and economics. The course has two principal foci. On one hand, we will focus on the construction of IPE as a field of inquiry, and contrast sociological and rationalist modes of analysis (also known as the ‘American’ and ‘British’ schools of IPE). On the other hand, we will cover a range of substantive topics including globalization, currencies, sovereign debt, and the financial crisis. In terms of its geographical focus, the course will cover the set of countries variously called the “OECD democracies” or “advanced capitalist democracies.”


POSC 843-010 Global Governance: Theory and Cases
Lobasz #7227 W 0330-0630 PM

The term “governance” – which was previously restricted primarily to domestic politics – has increasingly been applied to the “global” realm. Not surprisingly, the precise meaning of “global governance” is contested; its place in the IR lexicon subject to debate. The purpose of this course is to introduce graduate students in Political Science and International Relations to the many – often competing – ways in which global governance is conceptualized in our field. We will investigate what global governance means in various theoretical contexts, and how it both complements and diverges from previous analyses of international organization and world order.


POSC 845-010 Human Rights and Global Governance
Meyer #9549 R 0230-0530 PM

This seminar will consider human rights as an area of study from a global governance perspective. We begin with a brief review of normative IR theory as it relates to human rights. Seminar topics will also include: women’s rights, group rights, indigenous rights, cultural relativism, foreign policy and rights, corporate social responsibility, globalization and rights, human rights regimes and documents, human rights NGOs, and just war theory.

Course requirements include two papers and a take-home exam.


POSC 850-010 Colloquium: Global Governance and Society
Rasmussen #5829 F 0230-0530 PM

This course corresponds with the department’s annual speaker series. The theme of the colloquium varies from year to year, addressing important aspects of global governance. We will be welcoming 5-6 speakers over the course of the semester, in addition to presentations by graduate students. This course is required of all graduate students. MA students and PhD students in their first two years will take the course for one credit, attending the speaker series and preparing response papers for the talks. Third year PhD students will take the course for three credits as a research seminar and will present their work as part of the speaker series.



NOTE: Graduate students may also seek permission from faculty members to attend their 400-level specialized courses and arrange graduate credit under POSC 866. See the Graduate Handbook for rules, and Lynn Corbett for a permission form.