Location: Bowdoin / Government and Legal Studies / Courses / Spring 2012

Government and Legal Studies

Spring 2012

120. Introduction to Comparative Government
Christopher Heurlin M 8:30 - 9:25, W 8:30 - 9:25, F 8:30 - 9:25
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.

160. Introduction to International Relations
Seth Jaffe T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55
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.

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
Janet Martin M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
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 discussed.

203. Political Parties in the United States
Jeffrey Selinger M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
Throughout American political history, parties have been among the most adept institutions at organizing political conflict and, more generally, American political life. In this vein, the role of political parties in the evolution of American politics is discussed. Special attention is given to the present political context, which many characterize as an era of ideologically polarized parties. Explores and challenges this conventional wisdom

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.

225. The Politics of the European Union
Nicholas Toloudis T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 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.

236. Global Media and Politics
Henry Laurence M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25
Examines the relationship between politics, democracy, and the mass media (television, newspapers, the Internet, and “pop” culture), in cross-national perspective. Explores the different relationships between press and politicians, the political economy of global multimedia conglomerates, the commercialization and sensationalization of television news, the cultural impact of “Western” television in non-Western countries, the impact of the Internet on non-democratic regimes, and the use of media to create or distort ethnic and national identities. Special, but not exclusive, focus on the United States, Britain and Asia.

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.

245. Contemporary Political Philosophy
Paul Franco M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
A survey of political philosophy in Europe and the United States since 1945. Examines a broad array of topics, including the revival of political philosophy, relativism, rationalism, contemporary liberal theory, communitarianism, conservatism, multiculturalism, feminism, and postmodernism. Authors may include Strauss, Arendt, Oakeshott, Berlin, Hayek, Rawls, Sandel, Taylor, Walzer, Okin, Habermas, and Foucault. Previous course in political philosophy required.

250. American Political Thought
Jean Yarbrough T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
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.

255. Quantitative Analysis in Political Science
Michael Franz T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
Examines the use of quantitative methods to study political phenomena. Discusses the nature of empirical thinking and how principles used for years by natural scientists, such as causation and control, have been adopted by social scientists. Introduces what these methods are and how they might be useful in political research, and applies these methods, with particular emphasis on the use of survey data. Using quantitative methods, employs statistical computing software as a research tool, with a focus on effective presentation of data and results. This course might be useful to those who are considering a senior honors project.

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.

270. United States Foreign Policy
Seth Jaffe T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
Examines the development and conduct of United States foreign policy. Analyzes the impact of intragovernmental rivalries, the media, public opinion, and interest groups on the policy-making process, and provides case studies of contemporary foreign policy issues.

272. United States - China Relations
Christopher Heurlin T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55
Examines the development of US relations with China. We begin with a brief historical examination of the Opium War. We then examine US policy towards the Nationalists and the Communists during the Chinese Civil War. In the aftermath of the civil war and subsequent revolution we discuss the role of China in the Cold War. The second half of the course focuses on more contemporary issues in US-China relations. Here we draw links between the domestic politics of both countries and how they influence the formulation of foreign policy. Contemporary issues addressed in the course include human rights, trade, the Taiwanese independence movement, Tibet, nationalism, and China's growing economic influence in the world.

273. War, Government and Politics in Iraq
Elizabeth Austin M 6:30 - 9:25
The principles themes of this course include the wars, governments and politics of Iraq past and present. The course will examine the role of Iraq’s allies and adversaries in the Middle East, address mechanisms of minority control, issues of governance, representation and resources over time. The course provides students with a grounding in the development of a diverse, resource rich, multiethnic state, strategically significant and subject to a series of international interventions. Students will be able to apply the tools of government to internal Iraqi state dynamics, regional state relations and international involvement in the making of Modern Iraq.

284. The Politics of the Family
Brian Duff M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
Focuses on how the development of ideas about modern citizenship has gone hand in hand with changes in the ways that people think about families and live their familial lives, and the particular ways this relationship affects American politics. Looks at the way that the experience of having and raising a child has become an important part of what we think it means to be a good citizen in a democracy. Examines modern political theory, the development of psychoanalytic approaches to the study of politics, and contemporary policy and political rhetoric. Topics include why changes in ideas about family seem so politically threatening to some groups, whether the ideas about authority and freedom that animate politics are rooted in the family, and the role of rhetoric about the family in the rhetoric of political leaders and in the political attitudes of ordinary citizens.

304. Advanced Seminar in American Politics: Presidential-Congressional Relations
Janet Martin T 1:00 - 3:55
Examines presidential-congressional relations through a number of perspectives, including use of historical, quantitative, and institutional analyses. Readings consider the relationship between the executive branch and Congress in both the domestic arena (including regulatory and budgetary policy) and in the area of foreign and defense policy.

308. Money and Politics
Michael Franz T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55
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.

327. Political Development in the West
Nicholas Toloudis T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
Examines the formation and evolution of political institutions in the Western world. We will conduct this examination by studying relevant theoretical debates, including the concept of “political development” itself, along with the political, economic, and social histories of Europe and the United States. Topics include the formation of the nation state, the creation of nations and nationalism, the emergence of democracy, mass politics and welfare states, and the phenomena of globalization and European unification in the late twentieth centuries.

330. Ending Civil Wars
Elizabeth Austin 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.

332. Advanced Seminar in Japanese Politics
Henry Laurence M 2:30 - 3:55, F 2:30 - 3:55
Analyzes the political, social, and cultural underpinnings of modern politics, and asks how democracy works in Japan compared with other countries. Explores how Japan has achieved stunning material prosperity while maintaining among the best healthcare and education systems in the world, high levels of income equality, and low levels of crime. Students are also instructed in conducting independent research on topics of their own choosing.

341. Advanced Seminar iin Political Theory: Tocqueville
Jean Yarbrough T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
More than 150 years after its publication, Democracy in America remains the most powerful sympathetic critique of modern liberal democracy ever written. Careful reading of the text and selected secondary sources leads to examination of Tocqueville’s analysis of the defects to which the democratic passion for equality gives rise and consideration of possible solutions that, in contrast to the Marxist and Nietzschean critiques, aim at preserving the liberal democratic way of life.

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.

393. Religious Culture and Politics in Southeast Asia
John Holt M 6:30 - 9:25
An examination and discussion of the ways in which changes in political economy and society have fostered fundamental changes in the religious cultures of modern Southeast Asia. Questions include: How have conceptions of power embedded in the traditional Buddhist concepts of the mandala and kingship been sustained or contested in contemporary Thai, Burmese, Lao, and Khmer politics? How have contemporary machinations of governments in Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia contributed to transformations in religious culture? How have religious ideas and practices abetted resistance to state hegemony in the highland communities of Burma, Laos, and Thailand? How are the deaths of war combatants and civilians remembered and commemorated in Vietnam and Cambodia?