Location: Bowdoin / Government and Legal Studies / Courses / Fall 2011

Government and Legal Studies

Fall 2011

010. The Pursuit of Peace
Allen Springer T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
Examines different strategies for preventing and controlling armed conflict in international society, and emphasizes the role of diplomacy, international law, and international organizations in the peace-making process.

011. The Korean War
Christian Potholm M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
The Korean War is often called “the forgotten war” because it is overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War, yet many important aspects and results of it are mirrored in the contemporary world. Korea is still divided and its situation as a buffer state between China, Russia, and Japan continues to have important policy ramifications for the United States. Focuses not just on the course of the war, but on the foreign policy assumptions of the two Korean governments, the United States, the People’s Republic of China, and Russia.

019. East Asian Politics: Introductory Seminar
Henry Laurence M 2:30 - 3:55, F 2:30 - 3:55
Surveys the diverse political, social, and economic arrangements across East Asia. China, Japan, and North and South Korea are the main focus, but attention is also paid to the other countries in the region. Examines the relationship between democracy and economic change in East Asia, and asks if the relationship is different in Asia than elsewhere in the world. Other questions include: Are there common “Asian values” and if so, what are they? What is the role of Confucianism in shaping social, political, and economic life in the region? How are economic and technological developments affecting traditional social institutions such as families? How is the status of women changing? What lies ahead for Asia?

021. Citizenship and Representation in American Politics
Michael Franz T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55
Examines the issues of citizenship and representation in American politics by investigating a number of diverse and contemporary political debates. By discussing such controversies as (comparatively low) rates of voter turnout, implementation of campaign finance reform, responses to terrorism, and debates over economic policies (such as taxes), first considers how citizens can or should participate in American politics. For example, is a non-voter (or an ill informed voter) irresponsible? Is money in elections equivalent to speech? Is racial profiling to prevent terrorism legitimate? Are tax cuts or personal social security accounts empowering? Also evaluates how the American political system reacts to citizen input. Who do politicians represent when elected with low turnout? Does money in elections lead to access or corruption? What do we sacrifice or gain when we trade civil liberties for security? Is the government responsible for poverty? Uses these and other political debates to identify links between citizen inputs and governmental outputs, and to help students evaluate the implications of different linkages.

025. American Politics: Representation, Participation, and Power
Janet Martin M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
An introductory seminar in American national politics. Readings, papers, and discussion explore the changing nature of power and participation in the American polity, with a focus on the interaction between individuals (non-voters, voters, party leaders, members of Congress, the President) and political institutions (parties, Congress, the executive branch, the judiciary). Not open to students who have credit for or are concurrently taking Government 150.

026. Fundamental Questions: Exercises in Political Theory
Jean Yarbrough T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
Explores the fundamental questions in political life: What is justice? What is happiness? Are human beings equal or unequal by nature? Do they even have a nature, or are they “socially constructed”? Are there ethical standards for political action that exist prior to law and, if so, where do they come from? Nature? God? History? Readings may include Plato, the Bible, Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Marx, Mill, and Nietzsche.

028. Human Being and Citizen
Paul Franco M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
An introduction to the fundamental issues of political philosophy: human nature, the relationship between individual and political community, the nature of justice, the place of virtue, the idea of freedom, and the role of history. Readings span both ancient and modern philosophical literature. Authors may include Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, the American Founders, Tocqueville, Mill, and Nietzsche.

150. Introduction to American Government
Michael Franz T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
Provides a comprehensive overview of the American political process. Specifically, traces the foundations of American government (the Constitution, federalism, civil rights, and civil liberties), its political institutions (Congress, Presidency, courts, and bureaucracy), and its electoral processes (elections, voting, and political parties). Also examines other influences, such as public opinion and the mass media, which fall outside the traditional institutional boundaries, but have an increasingly large effect on political outcomes.

160. Introduction to International Relations
Seth Jaffe M 8:00 - 9:25, W 8:00 - 9:25
Provides a broad introduction to the study of international relations. Designed to strike a balance between empirical and historical knowledge and the obligatory theoretical understanding and schools of thought in IR. Designed as an introductory course to familiarize students with no prior background in the subject, and recommended for first- and second-year students intending to take upper-level international relations courses.

204. Congress and the Policy Process
Janet Martin M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
An examination of the United States Congress, with a focus on members, leaders, constituent relations, the congressional role in the policy-making process, congressional procedures and their impact on policy outcomes, and executive-congressional relations.

206. Public Policy in the United States
Jeffrey Selinger M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
How is public policy in the United States shaped by the political process? How does public policy and state-building define the contours of American politics? Examines the qualitative differences between redistributive, regulatory, and “patronage” policy, and evaluates the impact of public policy on American political development. Readings explore in some detail a number of key policy areas including healthcare, immigration reform, and homeland security.

210. Constitutional Law I
Richard Morgan T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
Examines the development of American constitutionalism, the power of judicial review, federalism, and separation of powers.

216. Maine Politics
Christian Potholm M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
An analysis of politics in the state of Maine since World War II. Subjects covered include the dynamics of Republican and Democratic rivalries and the efficacy of the Independent voter, the rise of the Green and Reform parties, the growing importance of ballot measure initiatives, and the interaction of ethnicity and politics in the Pine Tree State. An analysis of key precincts and Maine voting paradigms is included, as well as a look at the efficacy of such phenomena as the north/south geographic split, the environmental movement, and the impact of such interest groups as SAM and the Roman Catholic Church. Students are expected to follow contemporary political events on a regular basis.

219. Education and Law
George Isaacson M 8:00 - 9:25, W 8:00 - 9:25
A study of the impact of the American legal system on the functioning of schools in the United States through an examination of Supreme Court decisions and federal legislation. Analyzes the public policy considerations that underlie court decisions in the field of education and considers how those judicial interests may differ from the concerns of school boards, administrators, and teachers. Issues to be discussed include constitutional and statutory developments affecting schools in such areas as free speech, sex discrimination, religious objections to compulsory education, race relations, teachers’ rights, school financing, and education of the handicapped.

221. Division and Consensus: The Government and Politics of Ireland
Shelley Deane M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
Familiarizes students with the contemporary politics and political history of the two jurisdictions on the Island of Ireland. Provides an understanding of the political institutions in Ireland north and south; studies constitutional and public policy issues such as church and state, while offering the means to critically assess the relevance of social science theories of nationalism, religion, and conflict resolution to the Ireland case

224. West European Politics
Nicholas Toloudis T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
Analyzes the dynamics of West European political systems, including the varieties of parliamentary and electoral systems and the formation of governments and lawmaking. Addresses contemporary political challenges in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and other states, considering topics such as institutional reform, welfare state policies, economic growth and unemployment, immigration, relations with the United States, and other foreign policy concerns. The European Union is not examined, as it is a separate course, Government 225: The Politics of the European Union.

226. Government and Politics of the Middle East
Shelley Deane M 8:00 - 9:25, W 8:00 - 9:25
A study of the politics of the Middle East region. Begins with a history of the region, focusing on the period since the end of World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Proceeds to examine a number of topics of importance in the contemporary politics of the region. Some of the major topics addressed are colonialism and its legacy; nationalism; religion and politics; authoritarianism, democratization, and civil society; ethnicity and sectarianism; regional security and the role of outside powers. Presumes no previous knowledge of the region.

227. Contemporary Chinese Politics
Christopher Heurlin T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
Examines Chinese politics in the context of a prolonged revolution. After a survey of the political system as established in the 1950s and patterns of politics emerging from it, the analytic focus turns to political change in the reform era (since 1979) and the forces driving it. Topics include the political impact of decentralization and marketization, the reintegration into the capitalist world economy, and the development of the legal system. The adaptation by the Communist Party to these changes and the prospects of democratization are also examined.

232. Japanese Politics and Society
Henry Laurence M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25
Comprehensive overview of modern Japanese politics in historical, social, and cultural context. Analyzes the electoral dominance of the Liberal Democratic Party, the nature of democratic politics, and the rise and fall of the economy. Other topics include the status of women and ethnic minorities, education, war guilt, nationalism, and the role of the media.

240. Classical Political Philosophy
Jean Yarbrough T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
A survey of classical political philosophy focusing on four major works: Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Politics, and St. Augustine’s City of God. Examines ancient Greek and early Christian reflections on human nature, justice, the best regime, the relationship of the individual to the political community, the relationship of philosophy to politics, democracy, education, religion, and international relations.

243. Might and Right among Nations
Seth Jaffe M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
Anchored by a reading of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, an examination of justice among nations, focusing on the relationship between justice and necessity in the work of ancient and modern authors. Explores the question of whether international justice is genuine or largely spurious, the extent to which nations are bound to consider the good of other nations, to what extent it is reasonable to expect them to do so, as well as the prospects for a just international order. Readings will include Walzer and Thucydides and may include Cicero, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Grotius, Montesquieu, and Kant.

246. Religion and Politics
Paul Franco M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
Examines the relationship between religion and politics—the so-called theological-political question—primarily in modern Europe and America. Focuses first on the tension between and eventual separation of church and state in the early modern period; then considers the implications and complications of this historic separation, looking at recent Supreme Court cases, as well as contemporary discussion of the relationship between religion and politics. Comparisons with the treatment of this issue in the Islamic world are made throughout the course. Authors include Machiavelli, Luther, Calvin, Spinoza, Locke, Jefferson, Madison, Tocqueville, as well as a variety of contemporary and Islamic writers.

260. International Law
Allen Springer T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
The modern state system, the role of law in its operation, the principles and practices that have developed, and the problems involved in their application.

275. Rioters, Rebels, and Revolutionaries: Contentious Politics
Christopher Heurlin T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55
Examines the rough and tumble world of contentious politics, which includes forms of social mobilization as diverse as riots, revolutions and rebellions. While much of “routine politics” takes place through elections, this course examines activities that cross over into the extraordinary and asks questions such as: what is the relationship between elections and riots? Why do some revolutionary movements succeed while others fail? Given great personal risks, why do some people protest in dictatorships? How do states respond to protests and why? We examine the commonalities and differences between these diverse events through case studies throughout the developing world, including Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

283. Social Movements and Popular Protest
Nicholas Toloudis T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
Analyzes the role of social movements in generating political change on issues such as civil rights, environmentalism, women’s rights, indigenous rights, and globalization. Considers different theoretical approaches to understanding the emergence, sustenance, and effectiveness of social movements. Comparative analysis of cases from North and South America, Europe, and other regions in time periods dating as far back as the 19th century. Concludes with discussion of 21st century political activism in the context of globalization and the changing status of the national state in world politics.

303. The Law and Politics of Freedom of Speech
Richard Morgan T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
While focusing primarily on American material, students have the option of choosing speech controversies in other polities as the subject of their seminar papers.