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Fall 2021 Courses

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PSCI 105 Introduction to U.S. Politics
Dan Alexander
Fall 2021 — TR 9:40 - 10:55
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This course will introduce students to the foundations of the United States government. Students will examine important political institutions and the interactions among them to understand how they shape the behavior of political actors and ordinary U.S. citizens. Specific topics will include: the need for a state, the purposes of elections, federalism, the three branches of U.S. government, and the role of interest groups in U.S. politics. Throughout, the course employs concepts from the rational-choice approach to political science to model key concepts; however, no background in this is necessary. This course is appropriate for majors and non-majors with an interest in understanding how and why the U.S. political system works as it does.


PSCI/INTR 106 Introduction to International Relations
Scott Abramson
Fall 2021 — MWF 10:25 - 11:15
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International relations is the study of how states interact with each other. This course builds a working knowledge of our field, introducing the background, theoretical, and empirical tools necessary to understand international relations today. Students will learn about important findings in a variety of subfields, including war, international political economy, institutions, and nuclear proliferation. To do so, the course emphasizes readings from original research material rather than from a textbook. Further, students will solve problem sets and work with common international relations datasets to obtain a working understanding of the discipline's methodological foundations.


PSCI 107 Introduction to Positive Political Theory
Stuart Jordan
Fall 2021 — TR 14:00 - 15:15
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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.


PSCI 200 Data Analysis I
Curtis S. Signorino
Fall 2021 — TR 11:05 - 12:20
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Data analysis has become a key part of many fields including politics, business, law, and public policy. This course covers the fundamentals of data analysis, giving students the necessary statistical skills to understand and critically analyze contemporary political, legal, and policy puzzles. Lectures will focus on the theory and practice of quantitative analysis, and lab sessions will guide students through the particulars of statistical software. Core topics include descriptive statistics, probability, hypothesis testing, and linear regression. No prior knowledge of statistics or data analysis is required. Without special permission of the instructor, students may not enroll in this course if they have earned credit and a letter grade for ECO 230, PSC 205, PSY/CSP 211, STT 211, STT 212, STT 213, STT 214, or any other course in statistics, or if they have received a score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement exam in Statistics.


PSCI 202W Argument in Political Science
Gerald Gamm
Fall 2021 — MWF 10:25 - 11:15
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Students generally take PSC 202 in their sophomore year, but the course is also open to juniors and seniors. The course introduces students to the questions, concepts, and analytical approaches of political scientists. This version of the course focuses on the tension between majority rule and minority rights in the American political tradition. Issues include tyranny of the majority, slavery, individual rights, civic engagement, parties and interest groups, international diplomacy, legislative organization, and representation. Readings are drawn from classic texts in American thought--the Declaration of Independence, "The Federalist," Tocqueville's "Democracy in America," the Gettysburg Address--as well as from books and articles written by contemporary political scientists.


INTR 205 Global Sustainable Development
Milena Novy-Marx
Fall 2021 — R 14:00 - 16:40
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With world population of nearly 8 billion and global GDP of $85 trillion, human impacts on the environment have already reached dangerous levels. By 2050, world population could reach 9 billion and global GDP $200 trillion. Despite unprecedented growth in countries such as China and India, over 700 million people still live in extreme poverty-concentrated especially in South and Central Asia and Africa. The central challenge for humanity in the 21st century is the triple endeavor of ending extreme poverty, improving social inclusion, and achieving sustainability for the planet. Any effort to address these three complex, interlinked challenges must be interdisciplinary. Policies at the local, national and global level will need to draw on the best of our knowledge and innovation across sectors such as energy, biodiversity and conservation, health, sustainable business practices, food and nutritional security, social service delivery, and good governance. Interventions and policies in these sectors must be gender sensitive, address racial inequalities and discrimination, and be in keeping with international standards of human rights. They must involve governments, the private sector, and civil society. In September 2015, the world adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2015 to 2030 at the UN General Assembly while the historic Paris Climate accord was also reached under the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change.


PSCI 210 Pandemic Politics
David Primo
Fall 2021 — M 14:00 - 16:40

The initial governmental responses to the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the foundations of the world's economy. Decisions to "shut down the economy," however, were not universally praised and remain controversial. Science became more politicized during the pandemic, and Americans could not even agree on whether mask wearing was necessary, often dividing along party lines. In this seminar, we will study the COVID-19 pandemic from a political economy perspective, focusing on the United States and asking difficult questions. Did the shutdowns go too far, or were they necessary to protect public health? Was the run-up in government debt due to the pandemic fiscally irresponsible or necessary to prevent an economic depression? Did political polarization make the pandemic worse? Were dissenters who challenged dominant scientific explanations for the pandemic silenced or given a fair hearing? In the spirit of free and open inquiry, seminar participants will consider cutting-edge research and discuss competing viewpoints on these and other pandemic-related topics.


PSCI 212 The United States Supreme Court: The Constitution at a Crossroads
Joel Seligman
Fall 2021 — MW 14:00 - 15:15
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This course is about our Constitutional system of government, particularly focusing on leading United States Supreme Court decisions, including those that address the separation of powers, the powers of the President, Congress and Judiciary, racial equality, freedom of expression and the religion clauses of the First Amendment, economic regulation, marital and voting rights.


PSCI 213 Black Politics
Alexander Moon
Fall 2021 — WF 9:00 - 10:15
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This course is about the politics of racial subordination and emancipation in the United States. We begin by thinking about different explanations of the rise, dynamics, and persistence of racial domination in the United States and of the cultural and political challenges to it. We will pay special attention to the Great Migration, the subsequent emergence of blacks as an important constituency of the Democratic Party, the Civil Rights Movement, and the role of race in structuring current party divisions. Next, we will examine the politics of black communities. Topics include the legacy of demobilization of the Civil Rights Movement and the channeling of political activity into electoral institutions; the politics of urban regimes; the challenge to political solidarity posed by increasing social economic and social inequality within the black community; the Black Lives Matter movement; and debates about the effectiveness of identity-based, class based, and coalitional strategies of political mobilization. In conclusion we will reflect upon the differences between the nature and dynamics of racial subordination today compared with the past and what, if any, prospects for change there are.


INTR 221 Nationalism v. Liberalism
Piotr Klodkowski
Fall 2021 — MW 10:25 - 11:40

The idea of Central Europe, which originally had a strong German affiliation, is historically linked with the legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. On a 21st-century map, Central Europe is made up of Austria, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, southeastern Poland, and western Ukraine. After WW II most of Central Europe became a strategic part of the external Soviet empire, and all Central European countries experienced political oppression, economic underdevelopment, and social stagnation. Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary contributed to the final collapse of communist ideology in 1989-90 and collectively embarked on the path leading to full integration with the European Union. In this course, we examine the place of Central Europe in the EU, with a focus on immigration, ethnic minorities, democratic governance, and the role of religion in the state. Nationalism, authoritarianism, and illiberal democracy have become significant elements of the political message provided by mainstream parties, though many Central European politicians claim that the region is going through a "strategic awakening" with initiatives such as the Central European Initiative or the Visegrad Four Group.


INTR 223 Russian Politics
Guzel Garifullina
Fall 2021 — MW 9:00 - 10:15
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In the past thirty years, Russia has gone through major transformations. After a period of democratic hopes, we have been observing the consolidation of a new authoritarian regime. How much are the current political developments the result of Russia's historical legacy, and how much was determined by the political leaders? How does society react and contribute to the regime transformation? This course will include a brief overview of the Soviet experience and the main elements of the transition and focus on the contemporary developments in Russian politics.


PSCI 223 Constitutional Structure and Rights
Alexander Moon
Fall 2021 — MWF 15:25 - 16:15
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Through the lens of the Constitution and Supreme Court cases, examines the structure of the American legal system (both separation of powers at the federal level and the authority of, and relationship among, states and the federal government), as well as the nature of civil rights of citizens.


PSCI 225 Cultural Politics of Prison Towns
Joshua Dubler, Kristin Doughty
Fall 2021 — M 14:00 - 16:40
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Rochester sits in one of the world's most explicitly carceral landscapes, with more than a dozen state prisons within a 90 min drive. This co-taught course is a collaborative ethnographic research project designed to examine how the presence of prisons in towns around Rochester reflects and shapes the political, economic, and cultural lives of those who live in the region. Students will be introduced to methods and practices of ethnography and conduct firsthand research on the cultural politics of prison towns. Through assigned reading, students will learn about the history, sociology, and cultural logics of Rochester and the wider region, and of mass incarceration. What does a prison mean for a person living near one? How does the presence of prisons shape people's notions of justice, citizenship, and punishment? How do these nearby but largely invisible institutions shape the ways that we live in Rochester? Recommended prior courses: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology or Incarceration Nation.


PSCI 234W The Past and Future of Our Financial System
Joel Seligman
Fall 2021 ("W" Required) — T 17:00 - 19:30
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Financial Regulation will address the 2007-2009 near complete meltdown of the United States system of finance during which unemployment soared, debt markets ceased to operate and stock markets crashed. How was this possible in the most sophisticated system of financial regulation ever developed which had not seen a comparable breakdown since 1929-1933? The seminar will seek to address this question by studying the history and structure of banking, securities, insurance and housing regulation and then asking whether the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 was a sufficient response. If not, what is a wiser approach? Opportunities to write seminar papers are open for all students.


PSCI 236 Health Care and the Law
Molly McNulty
Fall 2021 — TR 14:00 - 15:15
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This course introduces the legal foundations of healthcare in America. The material covers a broad range of legal issues in medical care, including constitutional issues related to federalism, an introduction to legal thinking, and judicial review. The course also provides an overview of specific legal issues in the health law and policymaking universe, which may include COVID, immunizations, health care reform including the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), the Americans with Disabilities Act, abortion, the doctrine of informed consent, surrogate decision making in health care, and end-of-life advance directives. The course introduces problem-solving skills in healthcare and law and explores the various legal solutions reached by legislatures and the courts. The course is divided into modules.


PSCI 241 Urban Change and City Politics
Gerald Gamm
Fall 2021 ("W" Optional) — T 12:30 - 15:15
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Through intensive reading and discussion, we examine the politics and history of American cities. While we read scholarship drawing on the experiences of an array of cities--including Chicago, New York, Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, New Haven, Atlanta, Buffalo, and Charlotte--our emphasis is on commonalities in the urban experience as well as on systematic differences. We analyze the relationship of cities to their hinterlands in the early stages of urban development, the rise of ethnic neighborhoods, suburbanization, industrialization, de-industrialization, housing and jobs, concentrated poverty, and population changes. Race, ethnicity, and class are central to this course, not only in understanding changes in neighborhoods but also in the nature of politics and governmental arrangements.


PSCI 243 Environmental Politics
Lawrence Rothenberg
Fall 2021 ("W" Optional) — TR 9:40 - 10:55
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An examination of environmental issues from a social scientific perspective. Topics covered include the reasons for environmental regulation, the history of environmental policy, the state of contemporary environmental policy, the role of state and local governments, the impact of environmental activists, and a comparison of domestic and international regulation of environmental affairs. Although there is considerable time devoted to lecture, students are encouraged to participate. Each student will also develop and briefly present a research paper which investigates a relevant issue of interest.


PSCI 246 Environmental Law and Policy
Terry Noto
Fall 2021 — TR 15:25 - 16:40
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An examination of federal environmental law and policy from a practical and historical perspective. This course will provide a basic foundational understanding of U.S. environmental law and help students develop the tools necessary to critique and improve environmental policy making. Topics include an overview of key federal environmental laws, some of the major loopholes, how environmental laws are shaped through agency regulation, judicial interpretation, political pressure, and their efficacy at safeguarding the environment and the public. The course will be taught through a combination of lectures, a group project focused on a specific case study, and student-led discussions about key aspects of environmental laws. Students will finish by considering emerging environmental issues and ways to address them.


PSCI 248 Discrimination
Kevin A. Clarke
Fall 2021 ("W" Optional) — TR 12:30 - 13:45
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An examination of discrimination from a social scientific perspective. Topics covered include defining discrimination, types of discrimination under the law, testing for discrimination, discrimination experiments, and a survey of what social scientists have discovered about discrimination in the areas of policing, bail, retail sales, automobile sales, and home mortgages. Although there is considerable time devoted to lecture, students are encouraged to participate.


INTR 249 Israel/Palestine
Aaron Hughes
Fall 2021 ("W" Optional) — TR 12:30 - 13:45
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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.


PSCI 249 Environmental Policy in Action
Terry Noto
Fall 2021 — W 15:25 - 18:05
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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.


PSCI/INTR 251 Authoritarian Politics
Jack Paine
Fall 2021 ("W" Optional) — TR 11:05 - 12:20
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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.


PSCI/INTR 253 Comparative Political Parties
Bonnie M. Meguid
Fall 2021 ("W" Optional) — M 14:00 - 16:40
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This seminar examines the nature of political parties and political competition across democracies in the developed and developing worlds. Issues analyzed include the formation of different types of parties, their role in agenda-setting, policy-making and representation, and their transformation in the post-World War II era. Class to be taught online Fall 2021. Contact Professor Meguid for the Zoom link.


PSCI/INTR 257 The Origins of the Modern World
Alexander Lee
Fall 2021 ("W" Optional) — W 14:00 - 16:40
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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.


PSCI/INTR 262 Elections in Developing Countries
Anderson Frey
Fall 2021 ("W" Optional) — TR 9:40 - 10:55
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Examines the implications of economic globalization for domestic and international politics.


PSCI/INTR 264 Comparative Political Institutions
Tasos Kalandrakis
Fall 2021 ("W" Optional) — T 14:00 - 16:40
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This seminar deals with political institutions and their implications for the behavior of political actors and their effects on social outcomes. We will emphasize both theoretical ideas and empirical research on political institutions and consider some of the core topics of scientific inquiry in modern comparative politics. These include: electoral systems, political parties and party systems, legislatures, parliamentary government, government and coalition formation, presidential institutions, courts and judicial power, federalism, etc. In addition to examining existing institutional arrangements, questions of institutional design will also be emphasized where appropriate. Prerequisite: Any course in statistics, econometrics, techniques of analysis, or the equivalent


PSCI/INTR 265 Civil War and the International System
Bethany Lacina
Fall 2021 — MW 9:00 - 10:15
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Addresses the question of when and where civil wars occur and what their effects are domestically and internationally. Also examine role played by external actors in civil war, such as financial support to governments or insurgents, armed interventions, and peacekeeping missions.


PSCI 281 Formal Models in Political Science
Mark Fey
Fall 2021 — MW 14:00 - 15:15
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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.


PSCI 293 Politics, Philosophy, and Economics: How to Change the World
James Johnson, Rosa Terlazzo
Fall 2021 — MW 12:30 - 1:45
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This course analyzes major social and political problems from the multi-disciplinary perspectives of politics, philosophy, and economics. Topics covered may include: Income inequality and wage gaps, environmental policy and climate change, race and incarceration, democratic structures and norms, and immigration.


PSCI/INTR 299 Communicating Your Professional Identity - Law, Policy, and Social Good
Kellie Hernandez
Fall 2021 — W 15:25 - 16:40
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Two-credit course. Cannot be used to satisfy any requirements for the major or minor in Political Science or International Relations. 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, and online profiles. Students will revise and refine their written and spoken work 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 through first-semester seniors; all others require permission of the instructor.


PSCI/INTR 389W Senior Honors Seminar
Jack Paine
Fall 2021 ("W" Required) — R 14:00 - 16:40
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Through reading and critiquing political science research in American politics, comparative politics, and international relations, students learn how to select a research question, formulate testable hypotheses, find and evaluate relevant literature, locate or collect data that addresses their research question, analyze the data, and write a research report. Course requires instructor's permission.


PSCI 394 Local Law and Politics Internships
Stuart Jordan
Fall 2021 ("W" Optional)
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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. Please contact Professor Stu Jordan for information on scholarships.


PSCI/INTR 394A European Political Internship
Stuart Jordan
Fall 2021
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Internships are available for students in Edinburgh, London, Brussels, Bonn, Berlin and Madrid. Internships are in English in Edinburgh, London, and Brussels: students need proficiency in the language for the latter four placements. For applications and information, students should contact the Study Abroad Office in Dewey Hall 2147. Please contact Professor Stu Jordan for information on scholarships.


PSCI 394B European Political Internship Belgium
Fall 2021
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[G] Special application required. Please contact Professor Stu Jordan for information on scholarships.


PSCI/INTR 394C Washington Semester Internship
Stuart Jordan
Fall 2021
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Please contact Professor Stu Jordan for information on scholarships.


PSCI 399 Washington Semester
Stuart Jordan
Fall 2021
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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. Please contact Professor Stu Jordan for information on scholarships.


PSCI 404 Probability and Inference
Kevin A. Clarke
Fall 2021 — TR 15:25 - 16:40
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This course in mathematical statistics provides graduate students in political science with a solid foundation in probability and statistical inference. The focus of the course is on the empirical modeling of non-experimental data. While substantive political science will never be far from our minds, our primary goal is to acquire the tools necessary for success in the rest of the econometric sequence. As such, this course serves as a prerequisite for the advanced political science graduate courses in statistical methods (PSC 405, 505, and 506).


PSCI 407 Mathematical Modeling
Mark Fey
Fall 2021 — TR 10:00 - 12:00
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This course is the first half of a two-course sequence consisting of PSC 407 and PSC 408. The goal of the sequence is to give a rigorous introduction to the main concepts and results in positive political theory. At the same time, we will teach you the mathematical tools necessary to understand these results, to use them and (if it suits you) to surpass them in your own research in political science. The course will emphasize rigorous logical and deductive reasoning - this skill will prove valuable, even to the student primarily interested in empirical analysis rather than modeling. The sequence is designed to be both a rigorous foundation for students planning on taking further courses in the positive political theory field and a self-contained overview of the field for students who do not intend to do additional coursework in the field.


PSCI 446 Environmental Law and Policy
Terry Noto
Fall 2021 — TR 15:25 - 16:40
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An examination of federal environmental law and policy from a practical and historical perspective. This course will provide a basic foundational understanding of U.S. environmental law and help students develop the tools necessary to critique and improve environmental policy making. Topics include an overview of key federal environmental laws, some of the major loopholes, how environmental laws are shaped through agency regulation, judicial interpretation, political pressure, and their efficacy at safeguarding the environment and the public. The course will be taught through a combination of lectures, a group project focused on a specific case study, and student-led discussions about key aspects of environmental laws. Students will finish by considering emerging environmental issues and ways to address them.


PSCI 449 Environmental Policy in Action
Terry Noto
Fall 2021 — W 15:25 - 18:05
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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.


PSCI 530 Urban Change and City Politics
Gerald Gamm
Fall 2021 — T 12:30 - 15:15
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Through intensive reading and discussion, we examine the politics and history of American cities. While we read scholarship drawing on the experiences of an array of cities--including Chicago, New York, Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, New Haven, Atlanta, Buffalo, and Charlotte--our emphasis is on commonalities in the urban experience as well as on systematic differences. We analyze the relationship of cities to their hinterlands in the early stages of urban development, the rise of ethnic neighborhoods, suburbanization, industrialization, de-industrialization, housing and jobs, concentrated poverty, and population changes. Race, ethnicity, and class are central to this course, not only in understanding changes in neighborhoods but also in the nature of politics and governmental arrangements.


PSCI 564 Development and Political Economy
Alexander Lee
Fall 2021 — R 12:30 - 15:15
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This course examines the politics of poor countries, classic social scientific theories of development, and empirical methods of analysis in comparative politics. Topics include clientelism, corruption, economic growth, colonialism and identity.


PSCI 566 International Relations Field Seminar I
Bethany Lacina
Fall 2021 — W 14:00 - 16:40
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This is the first of two courses in the International Relations field seminar sequence. It is required of all students who will take the field exam in international relations. The course is not open to undergraduates.


PSCI 576 Graduate Research Seminar
Bethany Lacina, Sergio Montero
Fall 2021 — M 15:25 - 16:40
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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.