Comparative Politics seeks to understand the domestic political patterns and processes of other countries in the world by comparing the political systems of different nations or regions.
140 Gender Politics
A study of the social, economic, political and legal status of women in contemporary America and in other countries. The course examines the dynamic changes taking place in the relationship between women and men. Topics include the history of women’s liberation movements, the Equal Rights Amendment, abortion, sexism in the workplace, feminist social theory and women in politics. Satisfies Community Engagement of the Core Curriculum.
A comparative study of failed and successful revolutions of the 20th Century, examining revolutionary theory and the debates between revolutionaries. Using primary texts, students read the theorists and practitioners of each revolution studied. Cases include the successful Russian Revolution as the first model, followed by the unsuccessful German and Spanish revolutions, the Chinese and the Cuban Revolutions, the attempted French Revolution of May 1968, the Chilean revolutionary process of 1970-73, the Vietnamese Civil War, the Iranian and Nicaraguan revolutions of 1979. Eastern European revolutions of 1989 are examined as the completion of the failed process of imposed revolutions from above and without after 1945. The causes and basis of social conflict are explored as well as the way rebellions, riots and insurrections can turn into revolutions. Questions are posed for the contemporary post-cold war world: after the Seattle ferment around globalization and the rise of religious nationalism and terror in the post-September 11th reaction, are revolutions in order?
143 Middle East Politics
An introductory comparative politics course in the Middle East, the course analyzes such specific problems as the role of the military, the process of modernization, the impact of state proliferation, and the consequences of socioeconomic disparities resulting from the influx of oil wealth. In addition to providing a brief survey of major historical developments since World War I and their impact on current issues, the course examines intra-Arab and Israeli-Arab conflicts. Offered in alternate years.
144 Asian Politics
A survey of political systems in northeast Asia (including China, Japan, Korean peninsula) and southeast Asia (including Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines). Emphasis on modern history, economic development, democratization, political culture and international relations. Offered in alternate years.
An examination of the historical evolution and present state of political systems in Mexico, Central America, and Southern Cone countries. Alternative theoretical explanations of democratization, democratic consolidation, and the links between public policy and socio-economic development are emphasized. Major themes of the course include measuring and explaining the quality of democratic governance, institutional variations, social justice, human rights, ideologies, and US policy toward the region. Offered in alternate years.
Examination of politics, institutions, ideologies, patterns of stability and change in selected countries such as Great Britain, France and Germany. Theory of comparative studies. Offered in alternate years.
A survey of the historical, political, social, and economic development, and disintegration and demise of the Soviet Union from the revolution to the present. The course takes an interdisciplinary and theoretical approach beginning with Marx, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin, and goes on to Gorbachev’s attempted reform, and the disintegration of the USSR. The course finishes with an examination of the contradictions facing the present Russian government in its attempt at integration into the world economy and its response to the terminal crisis of a system in collapse.
148 Eastern European Politics
East Europeans have lived through all the great ‘isms’ of the last century, ending up with post-Soviet global neo-liberal capitalism today. The course focuses on the creation and evolution of the Soviet bloc, the attempts at reform in Eastern Europe, looking at case histories of Hungary, Poland, the former Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, the absorption of East Germany by West Germany, and the process of integration into the world economy. Topics include the revolutions of 1989, the dilemmas of democratization, the rise of nationalism, the problem of privatization, the rise and decline of civil society, and the social costs of transformation. A large part of the course is devoted to an examination of ongoing changes and toward that end a variety of topical issues are explored in some detail. Offered at least once in a three-year period.
Examination of political systems not covered in other courses, investigating selected areas such as African, Canadian, or Pacific Rim countries. May be repeated for credit as content varies.