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

Government and Legal Studies

Spring 2011

018. NGOs in Politics
Laura Henry M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are thought to play a crucial role in politics—monitoring the state, facilitating citizen participation in politics, and articulating policy alternatives. Yet the activities of NGOs vary significantly from one political system to another, most notably differing among developing and developed states and democratic and authoritarian states. In addition, NGOs’ role in the political process is being transformed by globalization and the increasingly transnational nature of political activism. Explores the following questions: How do factors such as a state’s level of economic development, its political culture, the nature of the political regime, and the arrangement of its political institutions shape NGOs’ role and influence in the political process? When and where have NGOs been successful in influencing political developments? How do the growing transnational linkages among NGOs affect their role in domestic politics?

120. Introduction to Comparative Government
Henry Laurence M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25
Provides a broad introduction to key concepts in comparative politics. Most generally, asks why states are governed differently, both historically and in contemporary politics. Begins by examining foundational texts, including works by Marx, Smith, and Weber. Surveys subfields within comparative politics (the state, regime types, nations and nationalism, party systems, development, and civil society) to familiarize students with major debates and questions.

150. Introduction to American Government
Giorgi Areshidze M 10:30 - 11:25, W 10:30 - 11:25, F 10:30 - 11:25
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.

201. Law and Society
Richard Morgan T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
An examination of the American criminal justice system. Although primary focus is on the constitutional requirements bearing on criminal justice, attention is paid to conflicting strategies on crime control, to police and prison reform, and to the philosophical underpinnings of the criminal law.

202. The American Presidency
Giorgi Areshidze M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
An examination of the presidency in the American political system, including the “road to the White House” (party nomination process and role of the electoral college), advisory systems, the institutional presidency, relations with Congress and the courts, and decision-making in the White House. Drawing upon the instructor’s own research and a growing body of literature in this area, the role of women as advisors within the White House and Executive branch, and influence of outside groups on the White House’s consideration of “women’s issues,” especially since 1960, are also topics of discussion.

204. Congress and the Policy Process
Jeffrey Selinger T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 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.

211. Constitutional Law II: Civil Rights and Liberties
Richard Morgan T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
Examines questions arising under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

222. Politics and Societies in Africa
Ericka Albaugh T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55
Surveys societies and politics in sub-Saharan Africa, seeking to understand the sources of current conditions and the prospects for political stability and economic growth. Looks briefly at pre-colonial society and colonial influence on state-construction in Africa, and concentrates on three broad phases in Africa’s contemporary political development: (1) independence and consolidation of authoritarian rule; (2) economic decline and challenges to authoritarianism; (3) democratization and civil conflict. Presumes no prior knowledge of the region.

225. The Politics of the European Union
Laura Henry M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
Explores the historical foundations, scope, and consequences of European political and economic integration since 1951. Examines how the European Union’s supranational political institutions, law, and policies have developed and how they affect the domestic politics of member states. Considers challenges faced by the European Union: enlargement to include Eastern European members, the loss of national sovereignty and the “democratic deficit,” the creation of a European identity, and the development of a coordinated foreign policy.

233. Advanced Comparative Politics: Government, War, and Society
Christian Potholm M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
An examination of the forces and processes by which governments and societies approach and wage or avoid wars. The theories and practices of warfare of various political systems will be analyzed and particular attention will be paid to the interface where politics, society, and the military come together under governmental auspices in various comparative contexts. Specific examples from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America are examined.

241. Modern Political Philosophy
Paul Franco M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
A survey of modern political philosophy from Machiavelli to Mill. Examines the overthrow of the classical horizon, the movement of human will and freedom to the center of political thought, the idea of the social contract, the origin and meaning of rights, the relationship between freedom and equality, the role of democracy, and the replacement of nature by history as the source of human meaning. Authors may include Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, and Mill.

243. Might and Right among Nations
Seth Jaffe T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 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.

250. American Political Thought
Seth Jaffe T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55
Examines the political thought of American statesmen and writers from the founding to the twentieth century, with special emphasis on three pivotal moments: the Founding, the Crisis of the House Divided, and the growth of the modern welfare state. Readings include the Federalist Papers, the Anti-federalists, Jefferson and Hamilton, Calhoun, Lincoln, William Graham Sumner, the Progressives, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and contemporary thinkers on both the right and the left.

263. International Environmental Policy
Allen Springer T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
Examines the political, legal, and institutional dimension of international efforts to protect the environment. Problems discussed include transboundary and marine pollution, maintaining biodiversity, and global climate change.

264. Energy, Climate, and Air Quality
DeWitt John M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
Examines how the federal government in the United States, as well as states, communities, businesses, and nonprofits, can address climate change and energy issues. Compares American policies and politics with efforts in other countries and examines the links between American policies and efforts in other nations.

268. Bridging Divisions: Ethnonational Conflict Regulation
Shelley Deane M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
Aims to consider the devices used for the regulation of national and ethnic conflicts. Seeks to provide students with an understanding of the tools available to states and policymakers to regulate conflict through an examination of divided territories and societies such as Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland, Israel-Palestine, Cyprus, Lebanon, and Rwanda. Considers the definitional and theoretical controversies associated with the conflict regulation and resolution literature.

308. Money and Politics
Michael Franz T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
Considers the historical and contemporary relationship between money and government. In what ways have moneyed interests always had distinctive influences on American politics? Does this threaten the vibrancy of our representative democracy? Are recent controversies over campaign finance reform and lobbying reform signs that American government is in trouble? Reading, writing, and discussion intensive, considers the large academic literature on this subject, as well as the reflections of journalists and political practitioners, with the overall goal of understanding the money/politics relationship in ways that facilitate the evaluation of American democracy.

309. American Political Development
Jeffrey Selinger T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
Examines how the United States developed from a modest, agrarian republic into a “modern,” mass democracy. How have the forces often associated with the process of modernization (e.g., the expansion of commerce and new media, the growth of industry, the rise of a welfare and regulatory state) changed the shape of America’s representative institutions and the nature of American political culture? Readings focus on the development of the electoral system, the emergence of a “modern” bureaucratic establishment, and the rise of the presidency as the focal point of party politics. Discussion will examine how these and other developments have shaped America’s liberal democratic values and transformed its political institutions.

325. State-Building in Comparative Perspective
Ericka Albaugh T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
States form the foundation of modern politics. Comparative government explores their variation; international relations examine their interaction. States can be instruments of oppression or engines of progress, and recent scholarship has focused on their strength, weakness, and failure. This capstone course explores the processes that produced the early modern state in Europe, then looks at more recent attempts to replicate state development in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The role of war in state formation and the subject of citizenship receive particular attention.

330. Ending Civil Wars
Shelley Deane M 10:00 - 11:25, W 10:00 - 11:25
Considers the means and mechanisms adopted to end civil wars. Examines the nature of post-conflict transformation and negotiated settlements. As wars end, peace settlements are varied and complex, often negotiated and agreed, sometimes imposed. Considers associated issues of insecurity, the nature of the settlement reached, the problems of implementation, and third party intervention, along with the dilemmas associated with peacekeeping and enforcement. The transition from war to settlement implementation is considered theoretically and empirically. Historical and contemporary civil wars selected from every continent illuminate the theoretical imperatives associated with implementing peace agreements.

337. Advanced Seminar in Democracy and Development in Asia
Henry Laurence M 2:30 - 3:55, F 2:30 - 3:55
Examines development from a variety of political, economic, moral, and cultural perspectives. Is democracy a luxury that poor countries cannot afford? Are authoritarian governments better at promoting economic growth than democracies? Does prosperity lead to democratization? Are democratic values and human rights universal, or culturally specific? Emphasis on Japan, China, India, and the Koreas.

342. Advanced Seminar in Political Theory: Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Paul Franco M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
An examination of the multifaceted and revolutionary thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, including his critique of the Enlightenment, his rejection of classical liberalism, his defense of democracy, his relationship to the French Revolution, his contribution to Romanticism, and his views on freedom, equality, education, religion, art, economics, the family, love, and the self.

361. Advanced Seminar in International Relations: Conflict Simulation and Conflict Resolution
Christian Potholm M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
An upper-level interdisciplinary seminar on the nature of both international and national conflict. A variety of contexts and influence vectors are examined and students are encouraged to look at the ways conflicts can be solved short of actual warfare, as well as by it.

363. Advanced Seminar in International Relations: Law, Politics, and the Search for Justice
Allen Springer T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
Examines the complex relationship between law and policy in international relations by focusing on two important and rapidly developing areas of international concern: environmental protection and humanitarian rights. Fulfills the environmental studies senior seminar requirement.