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Maxwell School
Maxwell / Department of Political Science

Graduate Study

Courses

The department's graduate courses are intended to provide students with a thorough exposure to important theoretical perspectives and research in each area of specialization. They generally require extensive reading and active seminar participation. The expectation of the department is that completion of the course requirements in an area, plus attention to additional material recommended by faculty in a field, should provide adequate preparation for the qualifying examinations. Learning to pursue material independently is an important part of graduate training.

The department’s regularly offered graduate seminars are listed on the pages describing each of our fields of study: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, Public Policy, Security Studies, and Law & Courts. The list of courses currently scheduled are available here: 

 



PSC 500 Selected Topics
1-3 Credits – offered irregularly
Exploration of a topic (to be determined) not covered by the standard curriculum but of interest to faculty and students in a particular semester. 
Repeatable

PSC 600 Selected Topics
1-3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Exploration of a topic (to be determined) not covered by the standard curriculum but of interest to faculty and students in a particular semester. 
Repeatable 

PSC 602 Public Policy Analysis: Theory and Practice
Crosslisted with: SOS 604
3 Credits - Offered every year 
Overview of policy literature, including political economy and practical politics. Formal analyses and case studies.

PSC 611 American Parties and Elections
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Political parties, interest groups, and electoral behavior in American political context.

PSC 612 Development of the American Administrative State
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Origins, development, and character of the American administrative state from 1877 to the present. Welfare state, regulatory state, and the civil state.

PSC 621 Theories of American Politics
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Basic introduction to the ways in which political scientists have conceptualized and studied American politics, primarily through an examination of influential approaches and "classic" works.

PSC 651 Theories of International Relations
3 Credits - Offered every year 
Contemporary theories of international relations. Approaches to understanding and explaining international behavior at single-nation, multiple-nation, and systematic levels.

PSC 655 Global Information Technology Policy
Crosslisted with: PAI 655
3 Credits - Offered every year 
Policy implications of the increasingly important interaction between information technology development and the governance process.

PSC 670 Experience Credit
Crosslisted with: PAI 670
1-6 Credits - Offered each semester 
Participation in a discipline- or subject-related experience. Students must be evaluated by written or oral reports or an examination. Limited to those in good academic standing. 
Repeatable

PSC 671 Comparative Political Analysis
3 Credits - Offered every year 
Major theoretical approaches in comparative analysis: structural functionalism, systems, Marxism, dependency theory. Comparative research techniques: use of elite studies, aggregate data, theory, cross-national surveys, political sociology, diachronic analysis, and causal modeling.

PSC 681 Comparative State, Society Relations
Crosslisted with: AAS 681
3 Credits - Offered in even years (E.g. 2010-11) 
Conceptual, methodological, and theoretical tools in comparing state, society relations, and their political and socioeconomic outcomes in the Pan African world and the rest of the world.

PSC 682 Social Theory and Middle East Politics
Crosslisted with: MES 682
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Orientalist, Marxian, Weberian, and postmodern viewpoints about such issues as colonialism, Islamism, nationalism, secularism, authoritarianism, modernity, and patriarchy in the Middle East.

PSC 684 International Relations of the Middle East
Crosslisted with: MES 684, PAI 684
3 Credits - Offered every year 
Analysis of some of the central issues of contemporary regional and international politics of the Middle East.

PSC 690 Independent Study
1-6 Credits - Offered each semester 
In-depth exploration of a problem or problems.  Individual independent study upon a plan submitted by the student. Admission by consent of supervising instructor or instructors and the department. 
Repeatable

PSC 691 Logic of Political Inquiry
3 Credits - Offered every year 
Major debates in logic of political inquiry. Includes alternative approaches to explanation and theory, nature of political knowledge, place of values in political inquiry, and policy relevance of political science. 

PSC 693 Introduction to Quantitative Political Analysis
3 Credits - Offered every year 
Basic statistics, including measures of central tendency and dispersion, hypothesis testing, indices of association, and bivariate analysis. Application of statistics to political science data.

PSC 694 Qualitative Political Analysis
3 Credits - Offered every year 
Survey of qualitative methods in political science research. Topics include elite interviewing, participant observation, content analysis, and discourse analysis. Discussions center on research practices and exemplary applications.

PSC 700 Selected Topics
1-3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Exploration of a topic (to be determined) not covered by the standard curriculum but of interest to faculty and students in a particular semester. 
Repeatable

PSC 703 Governance and Global Civil Society
Crosslisted with: PAI 713
3 Credits - Offered every year 
Survey of perspectives and literatures on global civil society organizations and transnational NGOs. Begins the process of integrating these literatures through critical analysis.

PSC 704 Comparative Political Economy
3 Credits - Offered every year 
Political economy of economic growth, redistribution and inequality. Political institutions, origins and evolution. Cross-national variations in economic institutions.

PSC 706 United States National Security: Defense and Foreign Policy
Crosslisted with: PAI 718
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Current problems in planning and administering national security policy in the United States.

PSC 707 National Planning and Capacity to Govern
Crosslisted with: PAI 728
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Current problems of long-run policy making and execution. Social and political preconditions and consequences of economic, defense, development, or social planning. Problems of intergenerational fairness, forecasting, freedom, administration, and public private sector relationships.

PSC 711 American Constitutional Development
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Key moments, periods, and themes in American constitutional development. The influence of constitutional ideas and institutions on political development and the influence of political ideas and institutions on the Constitution.

PSC 712 Public Opinion and Communication
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Comparative perspective, emphasizing United States. Opinion formation, political communication systems, impact of news media, propaganda, and methods, including opinion surveys and content analysis.

PSC 713 Congress and the Presidency
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Separate and shared powers of Congress and the Presidency. Consequences for policy making.

PSC 714 Federalism, State, and Local Politics
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Origins and significance of federalism for American politics. Role of states and localities. Sources of conflicts in state-local politics. Nature of state-local political processes. Intergovernmental relations.

PSC 715 Judicial Politics
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Judicial structure and process, emphasizing U.S. Supreme Court. Behavioral and institutional perspectives on judicial attitudes and behavior.

PSC 716 Foundations of American Political Thought
Crosslisted with: HST 682, SOS 716
3 Credits - Offered every year 
American political thought to about 1820. Puritans, American Revolution, establishment of the Constitution, and thought of Hamilton and Jefferson.

PSC 718 Politics and the Environment
3 Credits - Offered upon sufficient student interest 
Examines the opportunities and constraints for addressing environmental problems through the political process. Its aim is to understand how problems, political actors, and institutions come together to shape policymaking in this arena.

PSC 719 Fundamentals of Post-Conflict Reconstruction
Crosslisted with: PAI 719
3 Credits - Offered every year 
The goal of this class is to provide students with a broad overview of the field of post-conflict reconstruction (PCR) from both a theoretical and applied point of view. Over the course of the semester we will consider the various goals of PCR work, the range of actors that conduct it and the lessons learned from its application across various settings.

PSC 749 International Security Theory
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Explores key controversies and debates in contemporary security studies.

PSC 752 International Law and Organizations
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Foundations and application of international law. Institutional and political capability of international organizations. Recent theoretical and methodological development.

PSC 753 International Political Economy
3 Credits - Offered every year 
Relation between international politics and economics. Neoclassical and leftist approaches to problems of expansion, North-North relations, North-South relations, and system transformation.

PSC 754 International Conflict and Peace
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Forms of international conflict and explanations for occurrence and resolution.

PSC 755 Politics and Governance in the Information Age
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
The impact of advanced computing and communications technologies on the structure, organization, and behaviors of contemporary systems of public governance.

PSC 756 Politics of the European Union
3 Credits - Offered every year 
History, institutions, policies, and political dynamics of the European Union and its relations with the rest of the world.

PSC 757 Non-State Actors in World Affairs
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Analysis and assessment of the causes of transnational non-state activism, the means and goals chosen by activists, and the effects of non-state actors in international and domestic affairs.

PSC 758 Global Migration
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Why do people move across international borders, and where do they go? How should local communities, national governments, and international institutions respond? What are the goals of these policies, and are they effective?

PSC 759 Crisis Management
3 Credits - Offered every year 
Leadership, cooperation, and conflict in times of crisis. Key dynamics that influence the way decision makers perceive and respond to crisis and the processes that facilitate constructive crisis management.

PSC 760 Foreign Policy Seminars
3 Credits - Offered every year 
Selected aspects of foreign policy, such as American foreign policy, Soviet foreign policy, and foreign policy analysis. 
Repeatable

PSC 769 Comparative Parties and Politics
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Political parties, interest groups, the electorate, and legislative behavior in a comparative political context.

PSC 779 Political and Social Change
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Effects of long-term changes in societies on political behavior and institutions. Modernization. 

PSC 780 Seminar on Political Systems
3 Credits - Offered every year 
Political systems and political system change in selected nations and regions. Seminars may focus on one nation/region or they may analyze a substantive topic comparatively. 
Repeatable

PSC 781 Politics of the Developing World

3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
The socio-economic, political, and cultural issues shaping people's lives in the more than 140 state-societies that constitute the "Third World."

PSC 782 Politics of China
3 Credits - Offered every year 
Political development, political institutions, and political economy of China and Chinese foreign relations, emphasizing the reform era.

PSC 783 Comparative Foreign Policy
3 Credits - Offered each semester 
Systematic development of theories of foreign policy not limited to a single nation, decision, situation, or time. Definitions of foreign policy and logic of comparative analysis; historical roots of study of foreign policy; theories of war proneness, change and cooperation; examination of how foreign policy is made.

PSC 784 Comparative Social Movements
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Development of the national social movement in Europe, culture and movements, organizations, collective identity, religion, movements and state institutions, comparative political contexts for movements, and others, using cases from Europe, the United States, Asia, and elsewhere.

PSC 785 Comparative Civil-Military Relations
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Theory and practice of civil-military relations. The military's role in the modern state and in modern society. Broad geographic coverage, including the United States, Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

PSC 786 Russian and Post-Soviet Politics
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Political institutions and political development of Russia and other post-Soviet and post-communist states, particularly since 1991.

PSC 787 Democracy and Democratization
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Nature of modern democracy, contemporary transitions to democracy in countries around the world, problems of democratic consolidation and democratic theory, and the effects of democracy on the economy and world politics.

PSC 788 Political Leadership
3 Credits - Offered every year 
The relationship between what political leaders are like, the behavior of the institutions or governments they lead, and the effects of leaders and leadership on politics.

PSC 792 Research Design
3 Credits - Offered every year 
Logic of designing research in political science. Conceptual, theoretical, and empirical analysis. Focus on developing dissertation proposals.

PSC 793 Constructing the World Polity
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Survey of constructivist research. Comparisons of constructivist theories, comparisons to other theories of world politics, and reviews of exemplary empirical applications.

PSC 794 Advanced Quantitative Political Analysis
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Multivariate data analysis, including regression, causal analysis, time series, and factor analysis. Theoretical uses, implications, and meanings of techniques. Techniques applied through computer analyses using SPSS, SAS.

PSC 795 Antonio Gramsci and the Development of Cultural Marxism
3 Credits - Offered upon sufficient student interest 
Power, cultural hegemony, and ideological struggle in capitalist societies. Theoretical currents running through Marx, Gramsci, and contemporary interpreters. Includes substantial readings from Gramsci's major theoretical statement, the "Prison Notebooks."

PSC 796 Formal Theories of Choice
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Production of collective states from individual choice. Role of evaluative concepts like equality, liberty, and rights in such efforts. Design theory, game theory, impossibility theorems, voting rules, distributive justice, market models.

PSC 797 Contemporary Normative Theory
3 Credits - Offered every year 
Major debates in contemporary democratic theory: extent of and rationale for political participation; relation of material and political equality; tension between liberty and equality. Theories of justice: Rawls, utilitarianism, Nozick.

PSC 798 Political Cognition
3 Credits - Offered upon sufficient student interest 
Research seminar applying constructs and techniques of cognitive science and allied fields to political psychology questions. Foundational works in cognitive science. Applications to participation, socialization, attitude formation, and political decision making.

PSC 800 Selected Topics
1-3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Seminar 
Repeatable

PSC 810 Selected Topics in Public Administration
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Seminar 
Repeatable

PSC 820 Selected Topics in American Politics
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Seminar 
Repeatable

PSC 860 Selected Topics in International Relations
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Seminar 
Repeatable

PSC 880 Selected Topics in Comparative Politics
3 Credits - Offered irregularly 
Seminar 
Repeatable

PSC 901 Readings and Research on Political Theory and Methodology
1-3 Credits - Offered each semester 
Repeatable

PSC 911 Readings and Research on Public Administration and Policy
Crosslisted with: PAI 930
1-3 Credits - Offered each semester 
Repeatable 2 time(s), 9 credits maximum

PSC 920 Readings and Research on American Politics
1-3 Credits - Offered each semester 
Repeatable


PSC 960 Readings and Research on International Relations
1-3 Credits - Offered each semester 
Repeatable


PSC 970 Experience Credit
1-6 Credits - Offered each semester 
Participation in a discipline- or subject-related experience. Students must be evaluated by written or oral reports or an examination. Limited to those in good academic standing. 
Repeatable

PSC 980 Readings and Research on Comparative Politics
1-3 Credits - Offered each semester 
Repeatable


PSC 990 Independent Study
1-6 Credits - Offered each semester 
In-depth exploration of a problem or problems.  Individual independent study upon a plan submitted by the student. Admission by consent of supervising instructor or instructors and the department. 
Repeatable

PSC 997, Master’s Thesis
6 Credits - Offered each semester
Repeatable


PSC 999 Dissertation
1-15 Credits - Offered each semester 
Repeatable


Currently in process of being regularized:
PSC 804 Advanced Topics in Qualitative Methods

Selected Topics Courses:
PSC 500/PSC 300/HST 300/IRP 300 Republic to Super Power: American in the World
PSC 500/PS 335/IRP 300 Politics of East Asia

PSC 600 Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Religion, IR & the Media
PSC 600/LAW 602 Constitutional Law I
PSC 600/LAW 699 Constitutional Law II

PSC 700 Comparative Federalism
PSC 700 Classical Social Theory
PSC 700 Comparative Law & Courts 
PSC 700 East Asian Politics & Economy
PSC 700 Ethics in International Relations 
PSC 700 EU & US vs. Non-State Threats
PSC 700/PAI 730 Homeland Security: Federal Policy & Implementation Challenges 
PSC 700/PAI 765 Humanitarian Action
PSC 700 International Security Theory 
PSC 700 Jurisprudence & Legal Philosophy
PSC 700 Law & War
PSC 700/LAW 839/NEW 500 Law, Politics, and the Media
PSC 700 Political Economy of Development 
PSC 700 Political Economy of Institutions 
PSC 700 Political Realism in IR 
PSC 700 Surveys & Experiments

PSC 800/LAW 854 Law and the Social Sciences 
PSC 800/LAW 882 Judicial Decision-Making
PSC 800 Recent Work on Democratic Theory
PSC 800 Human Rights and Equality