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Government Course Descriptions
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GO111fs Introduction to American Government and Politics How does the American government work? An examination of the relationships among American values, politics, government institutions, and public policy. Focus on the methodologies of political science as tools for expanding understanding of political phenomena and behavior. Credit cannot be earned for both Government 111 and 115. Four credit hours. S, U. MAISEL, RIDGE
[GO113] Overview of the U.S. Legal System A discussion-oriented study of constitutional, criminal, and civil law, through readings, legal research, outside speakers, attending court, and visiting a maximum-security prison. Some field trips last all day. The fourth meeting of the week may vary between Thursday and Friday, depending on speaker availability. Three credit hours.
GO115s Great Issues in Contemporary American Government Controversial issues such as environmental policy or tax policy divide the American public and decision makers on a recurring basis. An introduction to the institutions of American government through the lens of these issues. Students will explore the linkages between citizens and government, the effectiveness of the electoral process as a means of resolving policy debates, and the checks and balances inherent in our system as each issue is examined. They will learn how to write about issues in a variety of formats, e.g., newspaper articles, speeches, and research papers, and how to make effective oral presentations. Credit cannot be earned for both Government 111 and 115. Four credit hours. S,W1. MAISEL
GO116j News Literacy An exploration of various news media—traditional newspapers, online news organizations, blogs, network television, cable outlets, and others—seeking to understand how news is gathered and how the media differ in terms of news gathering techniques, emphasis on fairness and reliability, and interpretation. Three credit hours. OFFER
GO131fs Introduction to International Relations An introduction to the basic concepts and theories of international relations, focusing primarily on the core issues of war and peace as they have evolved in the international system, as well as the prospects for cooperation through international institutions to address issues such as human rights, nuclear proliferation, the world economy, and the global environment. Four credit hours. S. HATCH, RODMAN
GO171fs Introduction to Political Theory What is the nature and purpose of a political community? What is freedom? What is justice? How do such ideals relate to the design and functioning of political institutions? Political theory is the subfield within political science that addresses these and related normative and methodologically foundational questions. Introduction to classic works of political theory by Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, and Mill. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the primary texts and their ability to formulate original arguments in political theory by means of papers and exams; class sessions are conducted as a mixture of lecture and discussion. Four credit hours. S, I. CORRADO, REISERT
GO197j Whose Land Is It?: Aboriginal Land Rights in Maine In 1968, Maine's Passamaquoddy tribe sued the state to regain lands it claimed under a 1794 treaty; eventually, the Maine Tribes asserted claims to more than half the territory of the state. Examines issues surrounding land ownership and sovereignty and analyzes state-tribal and U.S.-tribal relations through the lens of the Maine Indian Lands Claim case, following the case through the courts, the Congress, and the White House. Readings are drawn from scholarly and journalistic articles, case law, law review articles, and materials from Native American sources. Students conduct a simulation, playing the roles of the parties, planning strategies, and arguing their case. Grades are based on oral and written work in the simulation and exams. Three credit hours. U. MERRILL
[GO210] Interest-Group Politics Examines the role and behavior of organized interest groups in American politics. Provides students with opportunities to develop their substantive knowledge of group behavior, to develop their writing skills through the completion of an independent research paper, and to develop their oral communication skills. Four credit hours.
[GO211] The American Presidency The organization, powers, and actions of the executive branch of the American government examined in historical and contemporary perspective. Students will use the tools and methodologies of political science to assess the modern presidency and its incumbents. Prerequisite: Government 111 or 115. Four credit hours. U.
[GO214] Parties and the Electoral Process An exploration of the electoral process in the United States, emphasizing the historical development of American parties and elections, the legal and constitutional contexts in which they exist, the practical aspects of modern campaigns, and the democratic values inherent in our electoral system and those of other nations. Prerequisite: Government 111 and sophomore or higher standing. Four credit hours.
GO216j Political Rhetoric An introduction to the theory and practice of political rhetoric through the study of historically significant political speeches and the composition and delivery of original addresses, including intensive practice in persuasive writing and public speaking. Topics include the moral status of rhetoric and the identification and use of rhetorical figures and modes of persuasion. Works studied include the funeral oration of Pericles, speeches from Shakespeare such as Antony's subversive "Friends, Romans, countrymen," Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and King's "I Have a Dream." For the culminating exercise, students will compose and deliver their own political speeches. Three credit hours. REISERT
GO231s U.S. Foreign Policy: The Cold War An analysis of the major events facing the United States during the Cold War and the controversies surrounding them. Academic and policy debates over national security doctrines, the proper place of ideology in foreign policy, the role of economic factors, and domestic political institutions. Topics include the origin of the Cold War, nuclear weapons strategy, the Vietnam War, containment and detente, and the end of the Cold War. Prerequisite: Government 131. Four credit hours. RODMAN
GO238f Politics of War Crime Tribunals Examines the politics of establishing tribunals to hold individuals criminally accountable for genocide and other atrocity crimes, from the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials after World War II through the International Criminal Court. Central questions involve the nature of post-conflict justice, the degree to which international legal bodies are insulated from or influenced by politics, and the impact of prosecution on transitions from war and dictatorship to peace and democracy. Academic and legal analysis combined with simulated court proceedings. Areas of application include South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Milosevic trial, the Pinochet extradition hearing, and issues surrounding Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Four credit hours. S. RODMAN
GO243j Politics of Subnational Culture and Identity in Europe Examines the varieties of regional identities, social movements, and political parties in Europe. Explores questions such as, "Where are regional identities the strongest and why?" Considers whether the rise of regional movements and the devolution of power in many countries challenge the primacy of the nation-state in Europe. To what extent is the European Union a "Europe of the regions," where subnational political actors can find new opportunities to shape the political agenda? Three credit hours. I. YODER
GO251s Israelis and Palestinians: Conflict and Accommodation An examination of the roots, evolution, and changing dynamics of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Focuses on key historical junctures, from the British mandate over Palestine, through the "Oslo Process" and its collapse, to the new situation created by the events of the past few years including Hamas's victory in the parliamentary elections of January 2006, the Hezbollah-Israel war of July-August 2006, the growing divide between the West Bank and Gaza, and Israel's military assault on Gaza in December 2008-January 2009. Some attention is paid to media coverage of, and U.S. policy toward, the conflict. Prerequisite: Sophomore or higher standing. Four credit hours. S, I. DENOEUX
GO252f Politics of the Middle East An introduction to politics in the Middle East. Provides essential historical background, analyzes the socioeconomic and cultural context in which Middle Eastern politics takes place, examines the relationship between Islam and politics, and presents the most salient challenges faced by the region. Explores the roots and dynamics of authoritarianism in the region and delves into recent and ongoing efforts at political and economic reform in selected Arab countries. Topics selected for special attention include the resiliency and adaptability of authoritarian regimes in that part of the world, failed Arab democratization experiments and what can be learned from them, and key impediments to substantive democratization. Prerequisite: Sophomore or higher standing. Four credit hours. I. DENOEUX
GO253f Latin American Politics An introduction to the political development of Latin America. Discussion of key ideas about economic development, authoritarianism, revolution and, in particular, democracy. Includes a look at the work of some of the most important political analysts writing about Latin America today. Employs both multidisciplinary and disciplinary approaches to examine key political issues in Latin American politics. The main objective is to develop analytical and critical-thinking skills as well as the ability to think comparatively about political problems. Four credit hours. I. SANDOVAL PEREA
[GO256] Conflict in East Asia Introduces the domestic politics and foreign policies of nations/territories in East Asia, then pushes students to apply what they have learned to three specific cases of international conflict in Northeast Asia: the political status of Taiwan, competing memories of World War II, and the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula. A survey in which students learn about the countries of this region, about the volatile mix of fears and aspirations, and also how to think more deeply, communicate more effectively, and collaborate more successfully. Four credit hours. S, I.
GO259s European Politics Examines the development of European political systems and their institutional arrangements, specifically how particular political arrangements may affect policymaking and implementation. Also explores several important questions and debates in European politics. Exposes students to a variety of viewpoints and, through a range of class assignments, helps students sharpen their research, analysis, writing, and oral presentation skills. Four credit hours. YODER
GO263f Democracy Assistance An introduction to the field of democracy assistance, taught from a practitioner's perspective. Students are exposed to key concepts, analytical frameworks, and techniques used by donors. Examines the main issues and debates in the field, the challenges and pitfalls specific to this craft, and what may be learned from both the successes and failures encountered by development professionals who have sought to support democratic forces abroad. Debates over the legitimacy, effectiveness, and evolving role of democracy promotion in U.S. foreign policy will be examined. Formerly offered as Government 398C (spring 2010). Four credit hours. S, I. DENOEUX
[GO266] German Politics Examination of the political system of the Federal Republic of Germany, culminating in a discussion of the September 2009 parliamentary elections. Explores the German political parties, leaders, and policy debates central to the election. Students participate in a simulation of the negotiations to form a coalition government. Allows students to compare the German and American electorates, election campaign processes, and electoral and party systems. Three credit hours.
GO272s Modern Political Theory A survey of major works by Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche. Modern understanding of the social contract, the individual, and the state; psychology; religion and politics; knowledge and political power; and the definition of freedom. Prerequisite: Government 171. Four credit hours. I. REISERT
[GO273] American Political Thought A survey of fundamental principles of American political thought as presented in the writings of such authors as Hamilton, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. General themes include the notion of republican government, concepts of liberty and equality, and the role of property in democratic society. Designed to provide students with an opportunity to develop critical-thinking and writing skills. Four credit hours.
GO281s Concepts and Methods of Political Science Research An introduction to a variety of approaches to the study of political phenomena, intended to prepare students to craft and complete more sophisticated research projects in political science. After discussion of the nature and aims of scientific inquiry and the general features of effective research design, focus is on two broad methodological perspectives: explanation and interpretation. Within the former, topics covered include hypothesis testing and statistical analysis; within the latter, topics include the problem of historical truth, symbolic representation, and discourse analysis. Assignments will include response papers, problem sets, and exams. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Four credit hours. Q. SANDOVAL PEREA
[GO297] Comparative Law: U.S. and Cuban Legal Systems Through study of the U.S. and Cuban legal systems, students will gain an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of legal and governmental systems based upon fundamentally different principles. The first week will be spent on campus studying the U.S. legal system through lectures, readings, observing court proceedings, and meetings with judges. Study of the Cuban legal and governmental systems, with an introduction to Cuban history, culture, and geography, will also begin then. We will then travel to Miami for two days and Cuba for 11 days to continue the study. Cost: $4,240. Prerequisite: Government 111 or 113, and permission of the instructor. Three credit hours.
GO297Af Politics of the U.S.-Mexican Border An examination of the historical development and current politics of the U.S.-Mexican border region. Topics include historical processes leading to the formation of the current U.S.-Mexico borderlands; historical economic development of the region; and social and cultural changes since the border's formation. Contemporary issues include the environment, public health, the illicit trade of drugs and arms, security, migration, economic integration, and trans-border cooperation. Main goals are to critically assess the complexities of border regions and to understand the relevance of international cooperation as a mechanism to promote more stable borders around the world. Assignments include presentations, debates/simulations, and papers. Four credit hours. SANDOVAL PEREA
GO297Bf Women in Politics Covers a wide variety of issues concerning women in American politics. Part one will give students brief overviews of feminist thought, women's political rhetoric, and the history of women in politics in the United States. Parts two and three build on this knowledge by exploring how the legacy of women's political activism affects women in politics today. Part two addresses women's political behavior outside of elective office and part three addresses women in elective office. Emphasizes argument building, critical-thinking skills, and group work. Four credit hours. RIDGE
GO298s Development of Legislatures in the United States The history of legislatures in the United States, focusing on institutional and normative changes in state legislatures. Topics include the origins of bicameral legislatures, the use and development of the filibuster, changes in seniority systems, and the impact of term limits, initiatives, and referenda on state legislatures. Students will consider how past choices affect representation today. Readings include current research in political science and history in addition to historical documents. Students will compose papers on legislative institutions and procedures, give speeches on a proposed improvement to the Maine legislature, and debate the impact of direct democracy on state legislatures. Prerequisite: Government 111. Four credit hours. RIDGE
[GO313] Federalism in American Constitutional Law An examination of constitutional debates that have defined the structure and powers of the modern national government. Topics include constitutional interpretation; the operation and desirability (or not) of judicial review; the scope of the states' police powers in relation to congressional power; the conflict between economic rights and the modern regulatory state; and powers of the president, especially in times of terrorism, emergency, and war. Readings include U.S. Supreme Court decisions and related documents as well as secondary works in political science and law. Assignments include case briefs, class participation, papers, simulations (e.g., moot courts), and exams. Prerequisite: Government 111 or 115. Four credit hours. U.
GO314f Civil Liberties in American Constitutional Law An examination of legal, moral, and philosophical controversies involving rights and liberties arising under the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment. Topics include the nature of rights and theories of constitutional interpretation; the right to the free exercise of religion and the establishment clause; freedom of expression; the "right of privacy" and protections for contraception, abortion, and homosexuality; and affirmative action and the status of women and minorities under the law. Readings include U.S. Supreme Court cases and related works of moral and political philosophy. Prerequisite: Government 111 or 115. Four credit hours. U. REISERT
GO316f Presidential Electoral Politics The procedural and electoral environment of presidential elections and the strategies employed in presidential campaigns by candidates, party organizations, and political committees. Topics include campaign communication strategies, media coverage of elections, and recent controversies associated with the voting process, with a focus on the current or most recent election. Prerequisite: Government 111 or 115. Four credit hours. CORRADO
[GO317] The Policymaking Process The policymaking process, including agenda setting, program formulation, consensus building, implementation, and the use and misuse of policy analysis. Special attention to methods and techniques of policy evaluation. Primary focus on policymaking at the national level in the U.S. government. Prerequisite: Government 111 or 115. Four credit hours. U.
GO318s Money and Politics The role of money in the political process and the policy debates on various campaign finance reform alternatives. Formerly offered as Government 419. Prerequisite: Government 111 or 115. Four credit hours. CORRADO
[GO320] The Rights Revolution and Its Discontents The changing role of the national government in American society since the beginning of the 20th century, especially government involvement in defining and protecting individual and civil rights. Critical analyses of the movements that led to those expansions, the government programs that resulted, and the opposition and reaction they inspired. Prerequisite: Government 111 or 115. Four credit hours. U.
[GO331] Business and American Foreign Policy Examination of competing theories about the relationship between business and the state in the conduct of foreign policy. The relevance of these theories will be tested vis-à-vis cases of Cold War interventionism, East-West trade, economic sanctions, trade policy, the role of international banking, the arms industry, and the oil companies. Prerequisite: Government 131. Four credit hours.
GO332f International Organization The structure, politics, and current operation of international organizations within the nation-state system. Topics include conflict resolution, nonproliferation, human rights, and international economic cooperation. Prerequisite: Government 131. Four credit hours. RODMAN
[GO333] Globalization and Social Innovation Exploration of some important debates in globalization, new developments and ideas shaping markets and other arenas, and different global approaches to address the issue of poverty. Centers on the phenomenon of social innovation, which has become one of the most talked-about and controversial themes in the fields of development and governance. The key notion underlying the idea of social innovation is that initiatives of individuals and communities are important to make society more democratic, more equal, and more sustainable. Students discuss, analyze, and challenge new ideas oriented to meet social needs and build more equitable societies. Prerequisite: Two courses focused on international issues and permission of the instructor. Four credit hours.
GO335s U.S.-Latin American Relations The evolving relationship between Latin America and the United States. Analysis will focus on the continuities and changes in U.S. policy toward Latin America as well as Latin American perceptions and policies toward the United States. Special attention to post-Cold War issues such as the war on drugs, democracy promotion, international migration, hemispheric trade, financial crises, crime, and terrorism. Prerequisite: Government 131, 151, or 253. Four credit hours. SANDOVAL PEREA
[GO344] Post-Communist Transformations Examines the rise and fall of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe. Offers analysis of the post-communist political, economic, and social transformation processes. Formerly offered as Government 398A (spring 2010). Prerequisite: Government 257, 258, or 259. Four credit hours.
[GO353] Citizen Participation in Comparative Perspective Cross-regional study of the role of organized citizens in political life. Topics include civil society and its critics, transnational movements, and nongovernmental organization politics. Prerequisite: Any of the "gateway" courses to comparative politics. Four credit hours.
GO354f The European Union How should we understand the European Union? Is it a regional trade bloc, an international organization, or even a state—and, if so, what kind? Is it, as some have suggested, a superpower on par with the United States? If it is as significant as many attest, what are the implications for the primacy of nation-states and national sovereignty? A detailed and critical understanding of what the EU is and how it works. Through a variety of assignments, students analyze the design, construction, and operation of the new institutions of governance in Europe. Prerequisite: Government 131 or 151. Four credit hours. YODER
GO355s Winners and Losers in Chinese Politics An exploration of contemporary Chinese politics, especially the political and social fallout from post-Mao economic reforms. Four credit hours. HATCH
[GO356] Winners and Losers in Japanese Politics An exploration of Japanese politics, with a focus on the evolving struggle between traditional insiders (such as government bureaucrats and corporate executives) and traditional outsiders (such as labor unions and housewives). Four credit hours.
GO357s Political Economy of Regionalism Comparative analysis of economic and political integration in three regions: Europe (the EU), North America (NAFTA), and Asia. Why do states agree to give up some sovereignty by cooperating on regional projects? Why do these projects vary so much from region to region? Four credit hours. HATCH
GO358s Comparative Arab Politics Builds on knowledge acquired in Government 252 to explore the political dynamics of selected Arab countries. Highlights both similarities and differences in political processes across countries, evaluates the political changes taking place in each of them, and delves into the nature of the challenges they confront. For each country, key political actors are identified, and their resources, interests, and strategies are analyzed. Examines how these actors relate to one another according to both formal and informal "rules of the game" that confer a distinctive flavor on each country's political dynamics. Prerequisite: Government 252 Four credit hours. DENOEUX
GO359s Political Ideologies and Revolutionary Movements in Europe An exploration of major ideological currents and movements in modern Europe. Focuses on various forms of radicalism on the right and left of the political spectrum against the background of important political developments in Europe in the last century, such as the Bolshevik revolution, the rise of fascism and Nazism, the emergence of domestic terrorism, the explosion of nationalisms and fundamentalisms, and the collapse of Soviet-style communism. Prerequisite: Government 131, 151, or 171. Four credit hours. YODER
GO371f Foundations of American Constitutionalism An examination of the philosophical foundations of the Constitution and American political thought at the time of the founding through an analysis of Revolution-era documents, the writings of Locke and Montesquieu, and selected Federalist and anti-Federalist essays. Prerequisite: Government 111 or 115. Four credit hours. CORRADO
[GO398A] Wilson and Wilsonianism in U.S. Foreign Policy A critical examination of the international thought and practice of President Woodrow Wilson and his legacy in U.S. foreign policy. Participants will gain a detailed understanding of Wilson's statecraft, historical and intellectual context, and influence on subsequent American diplomacy. Specific policies such as the Mexican intervention, World War I entry, and the League of Nations will be discussed against the broader background of Wilson's views on religion, liberty, democracy, historical progress, and America's manifest destiny. Assignments will include exams, presentations, and a research paper. Prerequisite: Government 131 or History 132. Four credit hours.
[GO398B] Religion and Politics in the United States We will examine the question of how religion and politics intersect in the United States. Not long ago it was widely assumed that modernization would eventually eliminate religion as a significant force in American society and that religion no longer mattered in American politics. These claims have proven to be completely and utterly wrong. The United States is, and always has been, a religious society. Religion has historically played a substantial role in American politics and continues to do so. Students will engage in thoughtful and critical examination of the many ways that religion affects American politics and politics affects matters of religion. Prerequisite: Government 111. Four credit hours.
[GO413] Seminar: Policy Advocacy Intensive study of selected public-policy issues and the techniques of policy advocacy; emphasis on oral presentations of policy positions. Prerequisite: Government 111. Four credit hours.
[GO414] Seminar: Ethics in Politics A discussion of critical ethical issues faced by American and other national leaders. Case studies of 20th-century decisions, including those involved with violence (e.g., Truman's decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki), deception in government (e.g., Oliver North's decision to lie to Congress about Iran-Contra), disobedience of those in authority (e.g., Daniel Ellsberg's release of the Pentagon Papers), policies regarding life and death (e.g., abortion and euthanasia laws), and others. Prerequisite: Government 111 or 115 and permission of the instructor. Four credit hours. U.
[GO415] Seminar: Group Tutorial in American Government Intensive, small-group study of a set of contemporary challenges to government in America. The focus is on the digital revolution; its impacts on social, economic, and political life; and the consequences for government. The group will assess the potential impacts of the digital revolution, relying in part on comparisons with transportation, communications, and other sweeping technological developments of the past. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Four credit hours.
GO421f Seminar: Prospects for Political Reform Examines issues and various policy alternatives associated with reform of the electoral process. Topics vary but may include reform of candidate selection process and methods of voter participation. Designed to advance research, writing, and communication skills by requiring students to conduct an independent written research project and present the results to the seminar. Prerequisite: Senior standing as a government major. Four credit hours. CORRADO
GO432s Seminar: U.S. Foreign Policy Examines debates surrounding U.S. foreign policy and multilateral institutions with a principal focus on national security issues in the post-Cold War world. Central questions focus on when the United States should define its security in terms of acting within or strengthening international laws and institutions or whether it should maintain its freedom to engage in unilateral actions in a dangerous world. Areas of application include the use of force, counterterrorism, nuclear nonproliferation, and arms control. Prerequisite: Government 131 and senior standing. Four credit hours. RODMAN
[GO435] Seminar: Memory and Politics An exploration of domestic and international attempts to answer difficult questions about justice, collective memory, and democratic transition, particularly as they relate to whether and how a society should address a difficult past. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Four credit hours.
[GO450] Seminar: Democratization in Latin America The transition from authoritarianism and the challenges of democratization. Theoretical analysis is combined with an in-depth study of specific cases, with the opportunity to think comparatively across regions. Prerequisite: Senior standing in the major and one course on Latin America. Four credit hours. I.
GO451f Seminar: Political Violence A seminar exploring a variety of theoretical perspectives on political violence, with particular emphasis on terrorism and ethnic and religious violence. Introduces key relevant concepts and analytical frameworks and provides students with an opportunity to apply them to a case study of their choice. Students present the preliminary results of their research projects to the class. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Four credit hours. I. DENOEUX
GO454s Seminar: Politics of Development: State, Society, and Markets An inquiry into why some developing nations have managed to achieve industrialization and rising standards of living while others have not, with special attention to the relationship between state and society as one of the key factors in the development process. Cases include South Korea, Nigeria, Brazil, and India. Prerequisite: Senior standing as a Government or Global Studies major. Four credit hours. I. HATCH
GO483f, 484s Honors Workshop Individual and group meetings of seniors and faculty members participating in the government honors program. Prerequisite: Admission to the honors program. Four credit hours. FACULTY
GO483Jj Honors Workshop Noncredit. MAISEL, REISERT
GO491f, 492s Independent Study A study of government through individual projects. Prerequisite: Government major and permission of the instructor. One to four credit hours. FACULTY
GO497f Seminar: Germany and Europe The development of Germany's postwar roles in Europe and international politics. The impact of the past, particularly the Nazi and communist regimes, Cold War division, generational change, and the end of the Cold War are among the topics considered as influences on Germany's foreign and security policies. Four credit hours. YODER
GO498s Seminar: Democracy in America An examination of Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America and the philosophical and empirical issues it raises. Theoretical topics include the nature of democracy, its relationship with liberty, the nature of civil society and a democratic culture, and the methodology of the social sciences. Empirical topics include assessing the vitality and success of American democracy in Tocqueville's time and in the present. Readings also include other works by Tocqueville and selections from the secondary literature. Assignments include two short essays and presentations as well as a seminar paper that satisfies the departmental writing requirement. Prerequisite: Government 171. Four credit hours. REISERT