Graduate Courses

Spring 2019 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 602 m001 Public Policy Analysis: Theory and Practice
Instructor: Sarah Pralle
Class #: 41799
Offered: Th 12:30 pm-3:15 pm

Cross-listed with SOS 604 m001

Course Description
This course examines the politics of public policy processes. The policy literature is characterized by attention to how politics shapes the set of issues on the policy agenda; the policy programs, solutions and instruments selected by the public and policymakers; the implementation of public policy; and how policies affect subsequent politics. We begin by exploring what is sometimes referred to as a "policy-centered" approach to understanding politics, as well as some classic texts that lay the groundwork for such an approach. Next, we investigate different stages of the policy process, including agenda-setting, policy change, design, and implementation. We also investigate specific policy institutions, such as the bureaucracy and interest groups. The course concludes with an examination of how policies, once created, may in turn restructure political processes and shape subsequent polices. Throughout the course, special attention is given to the U.S. context, although some cross-national comparisons are included. 

This course is designed for political science students with an interest in public policy and graduate students from other fields who want to understand a political approach to public policy. The course will help political science students prepare for comprehensive exams in the fields of American politics and/or public policy & public administration. Students whose research interests lie beyond the United States—as well as those whose interest might be at the state or local level—are more than welcome in the course. The U.S.-based cases are meant as a springboard for discussion of other systems.


PSC 681 m001 Comparative State, Society Relations
Instructor: SN Sangmpam
Class #: 34007
Offered: W 3:45 pm-6:30 pm

Cross-listed with AAS 681 m001

Course Description
To the extent that former Soviet-bloc East European allies and federated states have moved to the West while former Asian federated states of the Soviet Union are joining the non-Western world or the "Third World," cross-national comparative politics is and will be about Western and non-Western countries.  Its observation units are European and North American countries or Western countries, on the one hand, and African, Asian, and South American countries or non-Western countries, on the other.  This graduate course revolves around the question of how to compare Western and non-Western countries.  It provides conceptual, methodological, and theoretical tools for defining, comparing/contrasting, and explaining the politically relevant features of these two types of countries as embodied by their respective type of state-society relations.  The course deals with the question of the validity of the two dominant modes of inquiry in comparative politics that address the issue of state-society relations in Western and non-Western countries: macro-deductive theories which reflect "universalism" and micro-inductive theories which reflect "particularism."


PSC 682 m001 Social Theory and the Middle East
Instructor: Hossein Bashiriyeh
Class #: 34010
Offered: Th 12:30 pm-3:15 pm

Cross-listed with MES 682 m001; Meets with MES 430 m001

Course Description
The aim of this graduate/senior seminar is to provide a social-theoretical understanding of the resurgence of religion and politico-religious movements in the Middle East since the end of the Cold War. The main questions  we ask are as follows:
Has there been really a resurgence in religion?
What are the indications and forms of this resurgence? 
What are the main reasons or causes, in terms of Social Theory?
What are the outcomes and implications in terms of a turn to a new style of  politics?
These questions have been discussed in a recently growing literature which has been informed and inspired by various major Social Theories including Durkheimian, Marxian, Weberian and Functionalist traditions.  The main purpose of the course is to critically review this expanding literature.


PSC 684 m001 International Relations of the Middle East
Instructor: Mehrzad Boroujerdi
Class #: 41800
Offered: T 9:30 am-12:15 pm

Cross-listed with PAI 684 m001 and MES 684 m001

Course Description
The international relations of the Middle East are generally characterized as being driven by unending conflict and political tension. Competition over natural resources, external interventions, wars, local political upheavals, and sectarian tension anchor the region's history. These factors plus competing claims of nationalist and supra-identities complicates the assessment of historical and political causes. The main objectives of this course are to help students understand how International Relations theories and conceptual tools can be applied to the Middle East and what are the determinants of the foreign policies of states and non-state actors in the region. The course is divided into two parts. Part one will introduce students to the internal and external dimensions of the emergence of the Middle East state system. In part two we will examine a series of controversial case studies (i.e., Arab-Israeli conflict) that are part of the landscape of contemporary Middle East. By mixing the analysis of issues and themes, the course aims to show students the interconnectedness of regional and international factors.


PSC 694 m001 Qualitative Political Analysis
Instructor: Gavan Duffy
Class #: 31987
Offered: W 3:45 pm-6:30 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 m002 Surveys and Experiments
Instructor: Shana Gadarian
Class #: 34017
Offered: M 12:45 pm-3:30 pm

Course Description
This class will explore the use and applications of surveys and experiments as social science methods. The course will cover the advantages and disadvantages of surveys of the mass public, survey experiments, field experiments, and natural experiments. Familiarity with quantitative methods is useful but not a prerequisite.


PSC 700 m003 Civil War
Instructor: Ryan Griffiths
Class #: 41804
Offered: Th 9:30 am-12:15 pm

Course Description
Civil War represents one of the most definitive challenges to the legitimacy and authority of the sovereign state. This course is a PhD level survey of the latest literature on this topic. It will examine explanations for the causes of civil war, the strategies and tactics that occur during civil war, and civil war termination. 


PSC 700 m004 Security, Economic, and Political Challenges in Asia
Instructor: James Steinberg
Class #: 34022
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 706 m001 U.S. National Security Policy
Instructor: Renée de Nevers
Class #: 34037
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 716 m001 Foundations of American Political Thought
Instructor: Mark Schmeller
Class #: 41798
Offered: Th 9:30 am-12:15 pm

Cross-listed with HST 682 m001

Course Description
The seminar is based on primary source readings in American political thought before 1860. Thorough attention is given to Puritan political ideas, the ideologies of the American Revolution, the debate over the Constitution of 1787, the expansion of democracy, women's rights, slavery, and the origins of the Civil War. The focus is on understanding the political ideas that undergird the fundamental, still-in-force documents of the American polity, especially the United States Constitution.  


PSC 749 m001 International Security Theory
Instructor: Brian Taylor
Class #: 41806
Offered: Th 12:30 pm-3:15 pm

Course Description
This course is a graduate seminar on the main themes, literatures, and debates in the sub-field of security studies.  The course is particularly appropriate for Political Science Ph.D. students interested in international relations and security studies; it also may be appropriate for M.A. students in International Relations, Political Science, and other programs, as well as Ph.D. graduate students from other departments.  The key requirement is that students be interested in learning the theoretical literature in security studies.  Although there are no prerequisites for the course, it is expected that students are coming into it with a basic familiarity with the general approaches and debates in international relations theory.  Topics to be covered include: causes of war; balance of power, polarity, and hegemony; the security dilemma; coercion, deterrence, compellence, and bargaining; security institutions, cooperation, and collective security; civil war and internal conflict; military strategy and effectiveness; intervention and peacekeeping.   Readings will be a mix of classics, review essays, and newer works, and draw from different theoretical and methodological traditions. 


PSC 752 m001 International Law and Organizations
Instructor: Lamis Abdelaaty
Class #: 41807
Offered: T 9:30 am-12:15 pm

Course Description 
Global governance, from formal organizations to soft law, establishes the “rules of the game” in international affairs. This course surveys the varying character and density of these rules across issues. Topics may include war, intervention, human rights, trade, development, self-determination, migration, and environment. Students will delve deeper through research papers.


PSC 756 m001 Politics of the European Union
Instructor: Seth Jolly
Class #41808
Offered: T 12:30 pm-3:15 pm

Course Description
In this course, we will engage theories explaining the shift of authority from the national to the supranational level. We will examine general theories, paying special attention to the European integration process, which is the most advanced and most theorized case of multi-level governance. In the first part of the course, we cover integration theories, such as neo-functionalism and liberal intergovernmentalism, which attempt to explain the development of supranational institutions.

In the second part of the course, we address questions regarding power and interests in the European Union. During this section, we will consider topics such as partisan conflict over the EU, redistribution, regulation and policies at the supranational level, including monetary policy and foreign affairs. Finally, we will evaluate the generalizability of the lessons from Europe for other regional economic regimes.


PSC 758 m001 Global Migration
Instructor: Audie Klotz
Class #: 41809
Offered: W 12:45 pm-3:30 pm

Course Description 
People increasingly move across international borders.  Some seek jobs in more prosperous regions; others flee political persecution, war, or ecological disasters.  What are the social, economic and political consequences of these transnational population pressures?  How should national governments and international institutions meet these new challenges?  Are immigration restrictions justified?  Can international institutions provide better or supplementary responses?


PSC 780 m001 Latin American Politics
Instructor: Matthew Cleary
Class #: 13582
Offered: W 9:30 am-12:15 pm

Course Description
Latin American Politics. This graduate seminar introduces students to many of the central concepts and puzzles relevant to understanding politics in Latin America.  The course is structured thematically; we will analyze politics among a different subset of countries each week, depending on the context of the readings and discussion.  Important themes in the course include political and economic development, democratization, institutional design and performance, social movements, economic policies/reforms, gender, ethnicity and indigenous politics, and socioeconomic inequality. We also draw on a wide variety of theoretical approaches to politics, including cultural, structural, institutional, and rationalist explanations for political outcomes. The reading list comes mostly from political science, but we also will draw from relevant literature in economics, history, sociology, anthropology, and other social sciences.


PSC 783 m002 Comparative Foreign Policy
Instructor: Margaret Hermann
Class #: 41810
Offered: W 12:45 pm-3:30 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? 

In addition to learning about concepts and theories, students will become acquainted with the actual foreign policies of several different actors and attach theory to a reality. To accomplish this task, students will write an Evolving Essay. The Essay begins with each member of the class selecting a foreign policy incident that involves at least two different actors.  The Essay has three sections, each of which responds to a set of questions that center around:  (1) describing the nature of the incident from each of the actor’s perspectives; (2) understanding the incident and why each actor made the decisions that they did using potential sources of explanation involving the international system, the geographic/economic/military/political attributes of the actor, or domestic politics; and (3) understanding the incident and why each actor made the decisions that they did focusing on the decision unit and decision making.


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. A copy is attached for your convenience.