Graduate Courses

Spring 2020 Courses

All information in this guide is tentative and subject to change. Check the Political Science Department Office for updates. Information on rooms and times for the classes listed can be obtained from the university-wide Time Schedule of Classes or from the Political Science office. 

PSC 600 m001 Politics of Gender

Instructor: Jenn Jackson
Class #: 42414
Offered: T 12:30 pm-3:15 pm

Course Description
This course examines the intersection of gender and politics in the United States. We will begin the course by examining gender formation, naming, social group inclusion/exclusion, and the work of conforming to or transgressing gender norms. In the remainder of the course, we will cover the following topics: gender in society; media, politics, and gendered expectations and stereotypes; women’s social movements of the left—and the right; gender and power, political engagement and political participation; voice, choice and party identification; the gender gap in running for office; political representation and policy-making; the effects of public policy on gender; the political intersection of gender with race, class, sexual orientation, and embodiment; and gender and politics across countries.

PSC 694 m001 Qualitative Political Analysis

Instructor: Audie Klotz
Class #: 31916
Offered: M 12:45 pm-3:30 pm

Course Description
This course introduces the research techniques most often associated with the "qualitative" label: case selection, ethnography, historiography, discourse analysis, and process tracing. We will also reassess the distinctions between qualitative, quantitative, and formal methods. Readings will draw from Political Science and, to a lesser extent, other disciplines. The overarching goal is to hone your abilities to assess published works and to select appropriate tools of analysis for your own research. Therefore, the course should be useful both to those in the early stages of graduate work and to those starting dissertations.

PSC 700 m001 Politics, Demography & the Welfare State

Instructor: Margarita Estevez-Abe
Class #: 41966
Offered: T 9:30 am-12:15 pm

Course Description
Demographic change is one of the biggest problems facing mature economies.  Demographic aging not only affects the welfare state but also the economy. The rising demands for healthcare and pension create fiscal pressures, while the ever-growing number of retirees reduces the size of the workforce and domestic demand.  The future seems grim.  Can politics rescue us from the demographic destiny? More immigration? More working mothers? This course compares why and how different OECD countries have addressed the problems differently; and, considers multiple political-economic trajectories of super-aging societies. 


PSC 700 m002 Climate Change: Science, Policy & Perception

Instructor: Sarah Pralle
Class #: 33598
Offered: M 2:15 pm-5:00 pm

Meets with PAI 770.001, LAW 891.001 , and BIO 600.m007 

Course Description

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century. This course introduces students to the challenges posed by climate change through a unique multi-disciplinary exploration of the issue. Faculty in law, economics, political science, and biology will co-teach this course and bring to students a unique dialogue that crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries. Emphasis will be placed on drawing out the general lessons obtained from a multi-disciplinary approach to climate change: many of the insights will be applicable to other complex, highly technical environmental problems. This course is meant to bring together students from a diverse range of backgrounds and does not have specific prerequisites.


PSC 700 m003 Democratic Representation/Accountability

Instructor: Simon Weschle
Class #: 34178
Offered: W 9:30 am-12:15 pm

Course Description
In this seminar, we study the nuts and bolts of democracy. One of its core characteristic is that policy is supposed to represent the preferences of citizens, and that the latter can hold the former accountable if they don’t do a good job. How is this supposed to work, and what are factors that can impede democratic representation and accountability? Topics covered include elections, parties and party platforms, candidate selection, descriptive representation, retrospective voting, special interest politics, clientelism, election fraud, electoral systems, and inequality.


PSC 700 m004 Security, Economic, and Political Challenges in Asia

Instructor: James Steinberg
Class #: 33602
Offered: M 9:30 am-12:15 pm

Course Description
Asia accounts for well over half of the world’s population, a third of global GDP, and a quarter of the world’s military spending.  Projections suggest that these figures will continue to increase dramatically over the coming decade.  This class will explore key domestic and international security, political, and economic dynamics of this critical region, with a particular focus on the policies and strategies of the United States, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.  Through intensive class discussions, exercises, and presentations, it will allow students to develop a thorough familiarity with the key trends and challenges in Asia.  It will also offer students the opportunity to explore topics of particular interest to them in more depth.  Finally, it will help students build the skills and mindset necessary for strategic, economic, and political analysis and planning in general, both in the region and beyond

PSC 700 m005 Ethics and International Relations

Instructor: Glyn Morgan
Class #: 42479
Offered: W 6:45pm-9:30 pm

Course Description
International Relations (IR) is a field of study that focuses on the behavior of international actors (typically states and international organizations). Ethics as a field of study focuses on the rights and wrongs of actions, policies, and institutions. The ethics of international relations focuses on the rights and wrongs of international actions, policies, and institutions. This class will read some of the classic works in International Political Theory (including works by Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Kant, Morgenthau, Walzer, Habermas, and Rawls).  We will discuss the pros and cons of the realist tradition.  And we will examine a number of current ethical dilemmas, including terrorism, torture, global inequality, immigration, and climate change.

PSC 706 m001 U.S. National Security Policy

Instructor: Renée de Nevers
Class #: 33614
Offered: W 9:30 am-12:15 pm

Cross-listed with PAI 718 m001

Course Description

This course will explore U.S. national security and foreign policy.  We will examine U.S. policy during the cold war to establish a framework for understanding the policy challenges the U.S. faces today; foreign and security policy decision-making; and current policy issues. The course will use a combination of readings, case studies, exercises, and guest speakers to explore issues ranging from the U.S. national security structure, diplomacy and the use of force, and U.S. relations with allies and potential adversaries.

PSC 719 m001 Fundamentals of Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Instructor: Masood Hyder
Class #: 42555
Offered: M 9:30 am-12:15 pm

Cross-listed with PAI 719.001

Course Description
The goal of this class is to familiarize students with the main concepts of post conflict reconstruction, the various dimensions and goals of post-conflict work, the types of actors that conduct it, the trade-offs and dilemmas they face, and the lessons learned from its application across various settings. The course will devote considerable attention to the applied side of post-conflict reconstruction; that is, the techniques and tools used by international intermediaries (states, IOs and NGOs) as well as local stakeholders to transition societies from violence to sustainable peace. It will also address many of the key issues that frame the debate in post-conflict reconstruction work: the tension between externally and internally generated recovery efforts; the possibilities and weaknesses of formal peace and reconciliation commissions; the challenges of civilian-military cooperation in post-conflict zones; the trade-offs between stability and liberty; and the quest for viable exit strategies for international actors.

PSC 759 m001 Crisis Management

Instructor: Margaret Hermann
Class #: 42382
Offered: W 12:45 pm-3:30 pm

Course Description
This course examines leadership, cooperation, and conflict in times of crisis. An emphasis is placed on understanding the key dynamics that influence the way that decision makers perceive and respond to crises and the kinds of processes that facilitate constructive crisis management. Real life case illustrations, exercises, and simulations are used to give participants an interactive experience and a realistic understanding of the limitations and opportunities that arise in high-pressure crisis management situations. The course familiarizes students with contrasting points of view on crisis management from across disciplinary boundaries; in particular, international relations, public administration, and public communication. Students write a case study on a crisis of their choosing that follows a pre-set research methodology developed at the Maxwell School.

PSC 767 m001 International Human Rights

Instructor: Lamis Abdelaaty
Class #: 42383
Offered: T 9:30 am-12:15 pm

Course Description 

This graduate seminar surveys human rights issues in world politics. It is grounded in the international relations field, but students are expected to engage with ideas from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Topics covered include the sources of violations, the role of international institutions and non-state actors, and explanations for commitment and compliance. We also explore transitional justice and rights-based approaches to development. The emphasis throughout the course is on critically assessing the rationales, trade-off, and outcomes associated with international human rights.

PSC 768 m001 Law, Courts, and Human Rights

Instructor: Yüksel Sezgin
Class #: 42191
Offered: M 3:45 pm-6:30 pm

Course Description
The interaction between law, courts and politics is gaining increasing interest among scholars in recent years. This renewed interest in comparative study of judicial institutions, human rights and socio-legal change in non-American contexts have given rise to emergence of new schools of thought as well as theoretical, methodological innovations and challenges. This course will introduce graduate students to inner workings of judicial institutions in a comparative perspective, and familiarize them with various theories and methodologies employed by scholars, professionals and practitioners for conducting research on comparative legal systems and institutions. Drawing from comparative politics, comparative law, socio-legal studies, legal anthropology, and international relations literatures, the course will analyze dispute-resolution, policymaking, social control and regime legitimation functions of courts (state courts and non-state tribunals alike –i.e., tribal courts, religious tribunals, international courts etc.) and examine the question of which of these core functions courts in different societies choose to emphasize, and why. In other words, in respect to the function and role that courts have come to play in their respective social and political systems, there is  a considerable variation across time and space, why that is the case; and what intrinsic or extrinsic factors determine the specific role and function a court plays at a given point in time and place.

PSC 783 m002 Comparative Foreign Policy

Instructor: Ryan Griffiths
Class #: 34184
Offered: Th 9:30 am-12:15 pm

Course Description
This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the comparative study of foreign policy, that is, the examination of how policymakers across the world go about making foreign policy decisions.  We will explore a range of actors, situations, types of activities, and points in time across the course as we try to both understand and explain why certain kinds of policies are chosen.  Students will learn the theories and methods that are currently being used to guide research in this area of inquiry.  The seminar has three parts.  In the first part, we will determine what foreign policy is as well as explore who makes foreign policy, the logic of comparative inquiry, some ways of analyzing foreign policy, and levels of analysis issues.  What are we trying to analyze in the study of foreign policy and what are the dilemmas to such understanding?  In the second part of the course, we will explore some middle-range theories that have developed to explain war proneness, change, and cooperation focusing on the effects of a number of different types of independent variables emphasized in the literature.  In the third part of the course we will open up the "black box" of foreign policy decision making and examine how foreign policy is made.  How does the nature of those involved in the choice process shape what happens?  

PSC 794 m001 Advanced Topics in Quantitative Political Analysis

Instructor: Dimitar Gueorguiev
Class #: 31990
Offered: T 3:30 pm - 6:15 pm

Course Description
This course has several goals. First, to provide you with the ability to understand, utilize, and evaluate the classical linear regression model in an informed manner. Second, to explore alternative specifications and modeling approaches that better conform to the nature of your data and your questions. Third, to think carefully about the interpretations you draw from statistical analysis and to improve inference by design. Specific topics to be covered include, bivariate and multivariate linear regression, non-linear and limited dependent variables, panel and spatial data, experimental methods, and quasi-experimental methods like instrumental variables estimation and regression discontinuity.  The connection between the course material and applied research will be highlighted throughout the course.  Students will have regular problem sets, practice with statistical software, mainly Stata, and an exam.

PSC 997 m001 Master’s Thesis

Register for class # 34041, PSC 997 m001, 6 credit hours -or-
Register for class # 33292, PSC 997 m002, 0 credit hours

PSC 999 Dissertation Credits

Register for class # 30755 for 1 to 15 credits

GRD 998 Degree in Progress (Zero Hour Registration)

Register for class number 37375, GRD 998.001 or 37376, GRD 998.002

When you have completed all of your coursework and your dissertation credits, you should be registered each fall and spring semester for “Degree in Progress”, GRD 998.  Please see Candy Brooks if you have any questions about your credits.

Remember to complete a “Certification of Full-Time Status” form each time you register for zero credit hours to continue your full time status.