This course provides students with the background and conceptual tools they need to understand contemporary international relations. The course will introduce students to the wide range of issues that make up the study of international relations, including the workings of the state system, the causes of international conflict and violence, and international economic relations. Students will be introduced to the literature in a broad way, to make them familiar with the main theoretical traditions in the field. Students will be asked, as much as possible, to read original texts, rather than a textbook. Time permitting, we will also examine topics of particular current interest, such as the evolving nature of power in the post-Cold War environment as well as special global challenges like nation-building and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
This course introduces students to positive political theory, a rigorous set of tools that helps clarify key questions in political science. Through examples drawn from all aspects of the political process (from elections to lawmaking to regulation) as well as from everyday life (where should we go for dinner?) and Hollywood (Russell Crowe and Reese Witherspoon as political scientists?), we will study how the rules of the game affect the decisions politicians make as well as the policy outcomes we observe.
Athenian democracy is often pointed to as one of the precursors of our own political system, but where did it come from, how did it function, and what did Athenians, and other Greeks, think of their system of government? This course will examine: 1) the development of radical democracy as practiced in ancient Athens both in its theoretical and practical aspects; 2) the impact this form of government had on both Greek culture and history and on later cultures; and 3) the proponents and opponents of this system of government, both ancient and modern. In addition to reading, discussing, and analyzing ancient sources, the course will include a series of debates on the merits of various forms of government, including our own, in which students will have to argue either for or against that form of government, and students will then vote, Athenian style, for the winner.
An introduction to the understanding of politics through data analysis. No prior computer or statistical expertise is expected. PSC 200 satisfies the Techniques of Analysis requirement for undergraduate majors and minors in political science.
This course builds on PSC 200, Data Analysis I, taking the linear regression model as its starting point. We will explore various statistical techniques for analyzing a world of data that is relevant to political science in particular, and to the social sciences more broadly. We will examine models for binary data, durations, counts, censoring and truncation, self-selection, and strategic choice, among others. These models will be applied to topics such as international conflict, civil war onset, parliamentary cabinet survival, international sanctions, campaign contributions, and voting. Students will be taught how to (1) frame research hypotheses, (2) analyze data using the appropriate statistical model, and (3) interpret and present their results. Statistical analysis will be conducted using R. Prerequisites: Students should have taken a course (such as PSC 200, ECO 230, STT 211, STT 212, STT 213, or STT 214) that introduces them to hypothesis tests, confidence intervals, and linear regression. Students who have not used R in a previous course should familiarize themselves with it prior to the first class. Specifically, students should be able to load a data set, print summary statistics, create a scatterplot, and conduct linear regression.
The course is about the legal and social justice framework for urgent public health issues, such as regulation of vaccinations, e-cigarettes, and abortion.
An examination of major policy issues at the federal level. The normative justifications for governmental actions are discussed as well as the limitations imposed by bureaucracy and the decision-making process. Governmental programs that affect the poor are examined in detail, with special attention paid to an assessment of their impact and alternatives now under consideration.
An examination of international environmental law and policy with a special focus on efforts to address climate change, including efforts to forge an international climate change agreement at the 2015 United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference. This course serves as a companion to PSC 246, but PSC 246 is not a prerequisite. The goal of this course is to provide a foundational understanding of this rapidly developing, controversial field. Topics include consideration of the scientific, political, and economic drivers of international environmental law; the variety of tools (e.g., treaties, agreements, "soft law," voluntary incentive programs and market based approaches); and examples of how some international environmental issues have been addressed to date. Finally, we will examine the results of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference - are we any closer to a "grand climate solution"? This course will be taught through lectures, discussion, several concise papers, and a group project.
Through analysis of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, we examine criminal procedure as elaborated by federal and state court decisions. Topics include arrest procedures, search and seizure, right to counsel, and police interrogation and confessions. We will discuss the theoretical principles of criminal procedure and the application of those principles to the actual operation of the criminal court system.
Innovation is a driving force behind the massive increases in wealth that occurred in the 20th century, and the globalization of business is causing changes in the world's economy that we are only beginning to understand. In this course, we will spend several weeks studying how entrepreneurship and innovation are affected by government institutions. We will then spend several weeks studying business strategy in the global business environment, focusing on the role of regulations imposed by foreign governments and international organizations. Class meetings will be a mix of lecture and discussion, use real-world cases, and feature guest speakers. By the end of the course, you will have a stronger understanding of how businesses shape and are shaped by government policies. There are no prerequisites for this course, though some exposure to political science or economics is useful.
In recent years, there has been much discussion of the possibility of a green economy. This course examines the potential for "green markets," focusing on three drivers-social, political, and economic-that can both constrain firms and potentially condition whether issues of environment and sustainability can be exploited as a means for competitive advantage. Among issues covered will be demand and willingness to pay for green goods, the roles of NGOs and investors, regulation and its alternatives, firm reputation and product differentiation, supply chain management, and green production processes. Special attention will be given to the need of firms to deal with climate change now and in the future.
An examination of the role of environmental organizations in the development and implementation of environmental policy through experiential and academic learning. This is a small class that meets once a week. Through assigned readings, discussion and lectures, we will examine how environmental groups are formed, organized, funded and staffed to fulfill various objectives, and how the role/mission they play in developing and implementing environmental policy has evolved. Students will deepen their understanding of these issues through first-hand experience working on "real world" research for a local environmental organization. Each student will be responsible for a final paper examining these issues through the lens of a particular conservation or environmental group, completion of the project for the environmental group partner, and class discussion/participation. This course is instructor permission only and is limited to upper level students. PSC 246 or PSC 239 is a prerequisite.
This course will provide a non-partisan introduction to the conflict between these two national movements. Discussion will focus on an examination of historical documents, in addition to understanding of how it plays out in literature and film.
Despite three waves of democratization, many countries around the world are still governed by leaders who hold power by means other than free and fair elections. In this course we will examine topics including how authoritarian regimes survive, the conditions under which they democratize, and their human welfare consequences. We will cover historical authoritarian cases such as twentieth-century communist and fascist regimes, and current authoritarian regimes in China, the Middle East, and Africa. The course will cover political science theories of authoritarian regimes and individual country case studies. Class will be conducted in a weekly discussion format.
This course is designed to give students a background in the causes and consequences of the changes in political, economic and social changes that have so profoundly altered the world over the past five centuries, and a basic knowledge of both classic and contemporary scholarly accounts of these changes. After describing political and economic conditions in the pre-modern world, it describes how a distinctively ''modern'' political economy emerged in Western Europe, how this political economy became pervasive over the rest of the world, and the long term and continuing consequences of these changes. The reading mixes classic historical and social scientific accounts. While there are no prerequisites, students should note that the course will involve an unusually high, and enforced, level of required reading.
The bargaining model of war is the main theoretical tool in the study of international conflict these days. But the model brackets, i.e., ignores, the question of what gets put on the bargaining table in the first place, and what leaders and states choose not to contest. In this course, we examine the issues states fight over from both a historical as well as contemporary perspective. The course will involve some basic new analytical tools such as GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and some very basic data analysis.
This course explores the rational choice approach to understanding political phenomena. The main results of social choice theory, game theory, and spatial modeling are presented through application to a broad range of political situations: voting, legislative politics, political campaigns, comparison of electoral systems, the evolution of cooperation, and international relations. While there are no formal mathematical prerequisites for the course, some familiarity with mathematical reasoning and formalism is a must.
Game theory is a systematic study of strategic situations. It is a theory that helps us analyze economic and political strategic issues, such as behavior of individuals in a group, competition among firms in a market, platform choices of political candidates, and so on. We will develop the basic concepts and results of game theory, including simultaneous and sequential move games, repeated games and games with incomplete information. The objective of the course is to enable the student to analyze strategic situations on his/her own. The emphasis of the course is on theoretical aspects of strategic behavior, so familiarity with mathematical formalism is desirable.
Two-credit course. Cannot be used to satisfy any requirements for the major or minor. This interactive course teaches "real life" communication skills and strategies that help students present their best professional selves and develop a fulfilling career. Students will explore and articulate their internship, career and graduate school goals for distinct audiences and purposes as they develop a professional communication portfolio of materials such as resumes, cover letters, statements of purpose, electronic communications, elevator pitches, project descriptions and abstracts, and online profiles (i.e., LinkedIn). Students will revise and refine their written and spoken work across the semester based on feedback from peers, instructors, and alumni. By the semester's end, students will have gained extensive experience with the communication skills expected in today's competitive environment. This course is suitable for second-semester sophomores, juniors and first-semester seniors; all others require permission of the instructor.
This course offers a unique opportunity for students to engage critically with justice in courthouses in local communities. Students will participate in hands-on experiential work in a selected area of focus at the Monroe County Courthouse in Rochester. Areas of focus to choose from include adult criminal justice, juvenile justice, treatment courts, domestic violence court, court-community partnerships, or equity disparities in the court. Weekly class meetings include university faculty and Judge Craig Doran, Chief Supervising Judge of all courts in the region, who share their perspectives, research, and experience on the matters addressed by students at the courthouse. This provides students with immediate immersion in both the theoretical and practical applications of justice in society. This course requires students spend 6 hours per week at the Monroe County Courts at the Hall of Justice in Rochester.
Most internship placements are in the District Attorney's or Public Defender's offices or in the local offices of U.S. members of Congress or Senators. Other internships are available depending on student interest. Interns work 10-12 hours per week through the entire semester. Grades are primarily based on a research paper. Applicants should have an appropriate course background for the internship and at least a B average. Students must be accepted in the course before approaching an agency for an internship. Applications are available from Professor L. Powell and an interest meeting is held just before preregistration each semester.
These internships provide an opportunity to learn experientially one or more of the following: how government functions; how public policies are created, adopted and implemented; and how political campaigns work. Students intern in Congress, the executive branch, party campaign committees, and lobbying and advocacy groups. For applications and information, students should contact Professor L. Powell. An interest meeting is held each semester.
In this course, we will examine the linear regression model and its variants. The course has two goals: (1) to provide students with the statistical theory of the linear model, and (2) to provide students with skills for analyzing data. The linear model is a natural starting point for understanding regression models in general, inferences based on them, and problems with our inferences due to data issues or to model misspecification. The model's relative tractability has made it an attractive tool for political scientists, resulting in volumes of research using the methods studied here. Familiarity with the linear model is now essentially required if one wants to be a consumer or producer of modern political science research.
This course is part of a rigorous introduction to the main concepts and results in positive political theory. It is the second half of a two-course sequence consisting of PSC 407 and PSC 408. This course will focus on the basics of game theory, which analyzes individual behavior in strategic situations. It will also cover the mathematical tools required to express the theory. Examples and applications will be drawn from several different areas in political science, including the American Congress, voting, international relations, political economy, and law.
This course is designed for graduate students intending to pursue political methodology as a major field. It covers advanced statistical methods that are not yet standard fare in political methodology courses: e.g., semiparametric methods, nonparametric regression, time-series econometrics, Bayesian methods, and ideal point estimation. Course content will vary year to year, and this semester will focus more heavily on Bayesian methods, simulation-based estimation, and ideal point estimation. As a research workshop, this course also allows students to pursue areas of individual interest in more depth, and therefore course content is determined based on the interests of both the professor and the students. Prerequisites: PSC 404, PSC 405, and PSC 505.
This course will survey recent research on the politics of bureaucracy. We will begin with a study of why and when elected politicians create bureaucracies and delegate authority to them. We will then study a series of topics regarding the operation and design of existing bureaucracies. Depending on the interest of students, topics may include: oversight and control of bureaucracies by elected politicians; bureaucratic capacity and performance; the political economy of regulatory bureaucracies; "red tape" and corruption; judicial control of bureaucracy; institutions and practices for the staffing of bureaucracies (e.g. patronage systems); advisory bureaucracies and bureaucratic expertise in policymaking; and military and intelligence bureaucracies. The course will draw heavily, but not exclusively, on formal theories and statistical evidence. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor, or at least one course in Techniques of Analysis at the 200 level or above and one course in Positive Theory at the 200 level or above.
How and why do political parties emerge? What are the causes and consequences of adopting different electoral rules? Under what conditions do voters behave strategically? This course examines the growing literature on parties, electoral systems, and voting in comparative politics. We consider multiple methodological approaches to these questions and explore the dynamics of voting, elections, and party competition in a range of empirical contexts.
An advanced course intended to prepare Ph.D. students for comprehensive exams in international relations. The course conducts a broad survey of influential works in the field and of current research into the causes of international conflict and cooperation. Extraordinarily well-prepared undergraduates may be admitted.
Designed as a forum for upper-level doctoral students who have completed formal coursework to present ongoing research. Students regularly present research either stemming from their dissertations or from ancillary projects.
This year the broad focus is on the role of vision and representation in politics. We will start be reading the debate between John Dewey and Walter Lippmann in order to identify why vision and representation are central to democratic politics. We then will explore a wide variety of efforts to represent broadly political phenomena and events such as famine, epidemics, torture, migration and so forth across a broad spectrum of media. The aim of our explorations will be to cultivate a broadly instrumental view of how vision and representation figure in the "art" of politics.
The course covers the primary results in preference aggregation and applies them to models of elections and policy-making. The focus of the course is especially on dynamic models of politics. We begin by studying Arrow's theorem and majority voting, we review the workhorse models of elections in the political economy literature, and we use these models to study taxation and inequality, interest groups and lobbying, etc. In the second part of the course, we extend the analysis to repeated elections and electoral accountability. We cover the literature on political agency with moral hazard and adverse selection. The course will consist of a mix of lectures, discussion, and student presentation of assigned readings.