Professors Corlett, Kessler, and Richter; Visiting Professor Hooglund; Associate Professors MacLeod, Hill, Baughman (chair), and Ásgeirsdóttir; Visiting Assistant Professors Plastas, Kawar, and Trichur; Instructor Pérez-Armendáriz; Lecturer King
The major in politics offers students the opportunity to examine politics from a variety of theoretical, cultural, and methodological perspectives. By raising fundamental questions about politics, courses encourage students to reflect carefully about the behaviors, institutions, ideologies, and dynamics of political life. Students are asked to reexamine their commonsense assumptions regarding politics, and to learn to think and write critically about political questions. As the study of politics is inherently multicultural and multidisciplinary, courses stress the importance of the diversity of the political experience, including a global range of cultural issues that address the roles of race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender in political life. More information on the politics department is available on the Web site (www.bates.edu/PLTC.xml).
Major Requirements. Students majoring in politics must complete eleven courses including:
1) At least five courses, including a senior thesis, in a major concentration (described below) or a self-designed major concentration approved by the department. Proposals for self-designed major concentrations must be submitted to the department chair no later than the second semester of a student's junior year. Students may not count internships or transferred courses toward the major concentration.
2) Three courses in politics not listed among the courses in the major concentration. These courses must be taken from at least two different concentrations.
3) One 300-level seminar in the student's major concentration.
4) s49 (Political Inquiry), which must be taken in the sophomore or junior year and is a prerequisite for 457 or 458, the senior thesis.
5) 457 or 458. The senior thesis must be related to the major concentration unless the student petitions successfully for a waiver no later than the sixth day of classes in the senior year.
Subject to departmental approval, students may receive credit for a maximum of two relevant off-campus courses. To receive approval, students are expected to write a short essay describing the relevance of each course taken off campus to their studies at Bates.
Subject to departmental approval, transfer students may receive credit for up to four courses toward the major taken prior to their arrival at Bates, and must take at least six courses in the major on the Bates campus.
Students may count no more than two 100-level courses and no more than two Short Term courses, including s49, toward the major.
Major Concentrations. Students must complete five courses, including the senior thesis, in one of the approved major concentrations or successfully petition the department to develop their own major concentration. Students must complete one 300-level seminar in their major concentration, and no more than one 100-level course, in order to fulfill the major concentration requirement. The courses that fulfill major concentrations can be found on the departmental Web site.
Institutional Politics: Formal organizations with written rules such as political and electoral institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and international organizations.
Identities and Interests: Politics, power relations, and movements embedded in and constructed through issues such as ethnicity, nationality, gender, race, sexuality, religion, kinship, class, and political affiliation.
Political Economy: Interactions of political and economic institutions and organizations, among states, within states, and across ethnic or national boundaries.
Philosophical, Literary, and Legal Studies: Close study of texts in political philosophy and contemporary theory, literature and other cultural productions, and legal cases and interpretations.
Governance and Conflict: Global politics; conflict resolution; issues of legitimacy, civil strife, peace, and war.
Declaring a Major in Politics. To declare a major in politics, the student must complete both the College's and the department's major declaration forms. The student should complete the department's form in consultation with a major advisor, who is assigned after consultation with the department chair. The student is expected to select courses within a major concentration that will serve as the area of interest for the development of a thesis topic. A new form must be completed if the student's interests change.
Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may be elected for one course applied toward the major. This course must be below the 300 level.
General Education Information for the Class of 2010. Any two courses, only one of which may be numbered at the 100 level, may serve as a department-designated set. No Short Term courses may serve as part of a set or as an option for the third course. The quantitative requirement may be satisfied through Politics 310. Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or A-Level credit awarded by the department may not be used toward fulfillment of any General Education requirements.
PLTC 114. Constitutional Interpretation.This course examines processes by which the United States Constitution is interpreted and applied by justices, public officials, and citizens. What is the constitution that is to be interpreted and what does it do for the polity? Who may legitimately interpret it? How is interpretation accomplished and justified? Students read, discuss, and critically analyze constitutional interpretations by judges in written legal opinions and by others outside of courts. Special attention is given to legal disputes involving the powers of national political institutions and to interactions between legal interpretation and politics. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every year. L. Kawar. Concentrations
PLTC 115. American Political Institutions and Processes.An introductory description and analysis of American governmental and political institutions and processes, with particular focus upon the conditions and strategies for political decision making. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 115. Enrollment limited to 40 per section. Normally offered every year. J. Baughman. Interdisciplinary Programs.
PLTC 121. Moral Questions and Political Choice.The world is growing smaller, and life in a global context involves making decisions about controversial political questions. On what basis do we make these decisions? What is the right way to think about questions of poverty, violence, women's roles, or human rights, and how do we know? This course explores the moral questions embedded in discussions of political change. Students read a diverse range of theoretical, historical, and fictional materials to think about questions of human nature, proper human interactions, justice, freedom, responsibility, and potentiality. The objective is to better understand the moral and political questions involved in citizenship in a global world. Not open to students who have received credit for First-Year Seminars 330 or Political Science 121. Enrollment limited to 40. A. MacLeod.
PLTC 122. Government and Politics in Global Perspective.Citizens of the United States tend to be relatively ill-informed about and even uninterested in politics in other countries. As a result, many of us misinterpret events in other countries and fail to adequately evaluate our own political system and way of life. This course offers concepts and theories to analyze politics throughout the globe. It covers the party and interest group systems of West European countries, Islam and the possibility for democracy in the Middle East, processes of democratization in Latin America, and efforts at "consensus" politics and development in South and East Asia. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 122. Enrollment limited to 40 per section. Normally offered every year. C. Pérez-Armendáriz.
PLTC 125. States and Markets.Given the current debate over globalization, questions about the relationship between states and markets—domestic and global—have become increasingly contested. With that in mind, the course examines how the relationship between states and markets has changed over the past two centuries, exploring such questions as: What is a state? What is a market? How do markets constrain the state? To what extent can the state rein in market forces? How has the relationship between states and markets changed over time? Do states differ in their ability to influence markets? Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 125. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every year. Á. Ásgeirsdóttir. Concentrations
PLTC 155. Women, Power, and Political Systems.This course examines women's status, roles, and activities in a variety of political systems and studies the impact of women's participation on political life and public policy. Does sex make a difference in politics? Does women's participation affect gender power relations? This introduction uses the lenses of various fields—voter behavior, constitutional law, comparative politics, and international relations—to examine women as political actors and to consider how notions of gender difference affect women's access to and exercise of power in public decision making and government. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 155. Enrollment limited to 40 per section. L. Hill. Interdisciplinary Programs.
PLTC 160. Politics of the Muslim World.This course explores the impact of historical memory with colonialism, class and ethnic conflict, economic and social change, international relations/globalization, religious revivalism, and women's changing status on politics in countries with Muslim majority populations, an area of the world that extends from the Atlantic coast of North Africa and across northern Africa, through west and south Asia to the islands of Indonesia in the Indian/Pacific oceans. Enrollment limited to 40. E. Hooglund.
PLTC 165. Environmental Conflicts in Latin America.This course studies the conflicts generated by the social, cultural, economic, and ecological impacts of large-scale infrastructural and industrial projects in various Latin American cases. Students analyze the political processes behind such conflicts; the strategies of political mobilization; state efforts to control, mediate, or repress; the roles of transnational development institutions, multinational corporations, and nongovernmental organizations; the framing of debates over rights, biodiversity, and sustainable development; and prospects for cooperation. Enrollment limited to 40. Staff. Concentrations
PLTC 171. International Politics.This course explores some of the many structures and processes that organize world politics, including the system of sovereign states, the global capitalist economy, and the varied meanings assigned to "nation" and "gender." To examine how these structures reinforce, intrude upon, and sometimes subvert each other, this course focuses on specific case studies such as international efforts to regulate climate change, nuclear proliferation, international trade, and intellectual property rights. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 171. Enrollment limited to 40 per section. Normally offered every year. G. Trichur. Concentrations
PLTC 191. Western Political Theory.The course examines the relation of Western political thought to current struggles against various forms of oppression. When white Western male theorists use the language of truth and justice, law and order, or rights and liberty, do they speak for everyone? Or do their writings reinforce asymmetries of economic and social power? Students consider various responses to questions such as these, while reading and discussing selections from Plato, Locke, Wollstonecraft, and Marx. Enrollment limited to 40 per section. Normally offered every year. W. Corlett.
PLTC 211. American Parties and Elections.The origins, structures, activities, and functions of parties in the American political system. Students analyze elections, voter behavior, campaign strategy and finance, and the role of parties in the operation of government. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 211. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. J. Baughman.
PLTC 212. Several Sides of the Cold War.This course examines the diplomatic history of the cold war as a vehicle to explore some of the theoretical literature on conflict and foreign policy. Course materials include secondary sources on U.S., Soviet, and Chinese foreign policies of the period, as well as newly opened archival material from the United States, Western Europe, and Eastern Europe. The course also reviews the theoretical literature on issues such as deterrence, decision making, crisis bargaining, perception and misperception, and conflict resolution. Recommended background: Politics 171. Not open to students who have received credit for First-Year Seminars 375 or Political Science 212. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. [W1] J. Richter. Interdisciplinary Programs.
PLTC 215. Political Participation in the United States.Citizen participation lies at the heart of democratic decision making, but its importance extends well beyond formal tools like voting. This course explores the many ways in which Americans participate in politics and voice demands on the government, both formally and informally, from letters to the president to demonstrations in the streets. Students also look at who uses these tools, including the ways in which class, race, and gender circumscribe political influence. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 215. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. J. Baughman. Interdisciplinary Programs.
PLTC 219. Social Movements in Latin America.Social movements have often played key roles in Latin American politics. In the 1980s, grassroots movements against dictatorships raised hopes that poor and marginalized groups might spur processes of democratization. In the new democratic regimes, however, many social movements faded away, even though great social and economic inequalities persisted. This course examines specific cases to analyze the emergence and retreat of social movements, and the role of ideology, identity, and context. Recommended background: Politics 122 and 249. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 219. Enrollment limited to 30. Staff. Interdisciplinary Programs.
PT/WS 220. Gender, War, and Peace.This course uses gender as an analytical tool to examine the history of war and peace. Questions include: How do war and militarization construct masculinities and femininities? What types of roles have women played in the making of war and in the making of peace? How has gender socialization influenced people's analysis of and participation in war and in peace activism? What are the gender politics of the politics of war and of peacemaking? How is gender deployed in current war zones and in current movements for peace? Recommended background: Women and Gender Studies 100. Not open to students who have received credit for PS/WS 220 or Women and Gender Studies 224. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. M. Plastas. Concentrations
PLTC 222. International Political Economy.This course offers an introduction to the theories and debates regarding the politics of trade, multinational corporations, money and finance, and regional integration of developed and developing countries. Students are encouraged to explore the connections between international politics and economics both historically and in the contemporary era of "globalization." Specific topics addressed include the power of transnational corporations, the emergence and significance of the World Trade Organization and the European Union, the role of the International Monetary Fund in the development world, and transitions from state socialism to free-market capitalism. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 222. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every year. Á. Ásgeirsdóttir. Concentrations
PLTC 224. Politics of International Trade.International trade is a contentious political issue within developed as well as developing nations. This course explores the political impact of international trade on governments and societies. Students discuss the economic and political aspects of free trade as well as the changes in the politics of international trade over the past two centuries. Specific topics covered include trade protection, regional and global trade agreements, trade in agricultural goods, international trade and human rights, intellectual property rights, and the impact of trade on the environment. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 224. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Á. Ásgeirsdóttir. Concentrations
PLTC 226. Constitutional Rights and Criminal Justice.This course focuses on the interplay of constitutional rights of criminal defendants as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court and the application of rights by criminal justice personnel such as police, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and trial court judges. Students critically analyze decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court interpreting constitutional provisions in legal cases involving individuals accused of crime, as well as empirical research assessing the extent to which such provisions are consistently applied by criminal justice personnel. Topics may include search and seizure, the exclusionary rule, the privilege against self-incrimination, stop and frisk, plea bargaining, racial profiling, the right to counsel, the composition of juries, and the imposition of the death penalty. Recommended background: Politics 119. Not open to students who have received credit for Politics 118. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. [W2] Staff. Concentrations
PLTC 227. Judicial Power and Economic Policy.An introduction to the political nature and policy-making role of the U.S. Supreme Court. The course concentrates on 1) the establishment of judicial review and some limits on the exercise of this power and 2) the role of American courts in making public policy with respect to such matters as taxation, labor unions, and the regulation of business and industry. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 227. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. L. Kawar. Concentrations
PLTC 228. Constitutional Freedoms.An analysis of judicial interpretations of freedoms provided in the First Amendment. Topics may include subversive advocacy, obscenity and pornography, libel, fighting words, hate speech, and commercial expression. Students read and discuss Supreme Court opinions and commentaries. Recommended background: Politics 118 and/or 227. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 228. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Staff. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
PLTC 229. Race and Civil Rights in Constitutional Interpretation.An examination of judicial responses to issues of race and civil rights throughout United States history. Topics may include slavery, segregation in public accommodations, school desegregation, employment discrimination, and affirmative action. Students read and discuss Supreme Court opinions and commentaries. Recommended background: Politics 227 and/or 228. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 229. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Staff. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
PLTC 230. The U.S. Congress. This course explores the U.S. Congress and legislative politics. Students examine the practice and significance of congressional elections and the organization and behavior of congressional institutions, including their historical development, with a special emphasis on the connection between electoral behavior and lawmaking. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 230. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. J. Baughman.
PLTC 231. Leaders and Leadership.Philip of Macedon (350 B.C.E.) wrote, "There is more to be feared from an army of deer led by a lion than from an army of lions led by a deer." This course draws from multiple disciplines to focus on the theories and practice of leadership through case studies. The essence of the inquiry is to discover the qualities of leaders, whether those qualities can be learned, and how the qualities are put into practice (or not) in real-life situations. Ernest Shackleton, Martin Luther Kind Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Sanger, Winston Churchill, and Abraham Lincoln are among those studied. Classes are augmented by such films as Apollo 13, On the Waterfront, Thirteen Days, and Twelve Angry Men. Enrollment limited to 30. Offered with varying frequency. A. King.
PLTC 232. The Politics of Post-Communism.The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and Asia provide a unique opportunity to examine why things change and why things stay the same. This course examines how Russia and at least one other post-communist country have dealt with the three fundamental challenges that all such countries had to face: the transformation of political institutions; the transformation of economic institutions; and the redefinition of national identity. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 232. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. J. Richter.
PLTC 233. Chinese Political Economy.The course focuses on the 1978–1979 Deng Reforms in China and their effects on domestic, regional, and world politics. These effects include the struggles of workers, farmers, and migrant laborers in relation to the party-state; the political exchange between the overseas Chinese diaspora and the People's Republic of China in the reintegration of the East Asian region; and the larger geopolitical effects of China's economic ascent. Enrollment limited to 30. One-time offering. G. Trichur.
PLTC 235. Black Women in the Americas.This course focuses on the political and feminist thought and activism of women of African descent in the Americas. In some years, the course features only one sociopolitical location: the United States or the Caribbean and Latin America; in other years, multiple regions form the locus of inquiry. Students use a historical lens to review Africana women's experiences in the context of struggles to democratize politics and society, and a comparative lens to better understand their location in social, cultural, legal, and economic structures. Examining testimonies of black women, students review their collective efforts to extend democracy and justice in some cases, or support the status quo in others. The course explores the tensions, affirmations, critiques, and contributions made by Africana women to gender, race, sexual, and national politics in their home countries and globally. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 235. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. L. Hill. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
PLTC 243. Politics and Literature.This course explores the links between politics and literature, focusing on the unique powers of fiction for understanding and expressing politics. Students read and discuss novels, short stories, and plays drawn from diverse historical and cultural settings, including the Middle East and China. Topics include the construction of authority; women and politics; war, violence, and narratives; change of regime and political power; the construction of alternative realities; private and political virtue; and the relationship between stories and democratic and authoritarian politics. Students also write short stories of their own. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 243. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. A. MacLeod. Concentrations
PLTC 244. Political Imagination.Has our society lost the ability to imagine and create alternative political arrangements? This course uses theoretical and cross-cultural materials to explore the nature of political imagination. What are the sources of political imagination? What constraints limit the envisioning of alternative polities? How do identity differences shape imagining, and who typically voices alternatives? What is the relationship between art, popular culture, and politics? This course explores the politics of ideology, consciousness, and change in the West, the Middle East, and China to better understand the nature of political creativity. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 244. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. A. MacLeod.
PLTC 245. Democracy in the State and in the Home.What is the connection between democracy and gender relations? Do democracy movements create possibilities for women's activism and for extending political equality to women? This course uses a comparative approach to investigate cases of regime change in Latin America, east and central Europe, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa in order to understand the effects of democratization on women's political lives. Students consider transitions, state-civil society relations, and their impact on gender relations. Recommended background: Politics 118, 120, 155, 161, or Women and Gender Studies 100. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 245. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. L. Hill. Interdisciplinary Programs.
PLTC 247. Transition and Transformation in Southern Africa.Two questions inform this study of politics in Southern Africa: What are the dimensions of internal political change? How do they affect the prospects of building democracy in the region? This course examines political, economic, and social features of anticolonial and liberation struggles, civil and regional wars, and antiapartheid resistance to discover the enduring factors underlying new state formation, regional political economy, and democratization. Close scrutiny of political change in South Africa and its impact on development in the region provides a substantial focus for the course. Recommended background: Politics 122, 155, 171, or 290. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 247. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. L. Hill. Concentrations
PLTC 248. The Arctic: Politics, Economics, Peoples.Overlapping political and ecological political boundaries, valuable resources, and indigenous politics combine to make the Arctic region an important area in international affairs. The impact of global climate change is creating new conflicts while exacerbating old ones. This course explores the linkages among the areas bordering the Arctic while discussing the political economy of resource use such as fisheries, oil drilling, mining, reindeer herding, whaling, sealing, and polar bears. Students explore the actors in the area — Canada, Greenland, Norway, Alaska, Sweden, Russia, and their respective indigenous populations — and study efforts to increase international cooperation in the area. Enrollment limited to 30. Á. Ásgeirsdóttir. Concentrations
PLTC 249. Politics of Latin America.This course introduces some key issues in current Latin American politics: economic development and social inequality, international debt, the breakdown of democracies, as well as transitions from authoritarian rule, revolutions, and the role of working-class, women's, peasant, and ethnic movements. Students learn how history, economics, culture, politics, and society shape the complex realities of Latin America today. Recommended background: Politics 120, 168, or 171. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 249. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. C. Pérez-Armendáriz. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
PLTC 250. Politics of Third World Development.Does the Third World exist? Is it underdeveloped, developing, or something else? This course is an introductory exploration of the relationships, struggles, issues, and actors that drive Third World politics. Because the idea of "development" has underpinned much of the discourse in and about the Third World, the course is centered on the politics of development in poorer countries. While much of the course emphasizes the broad processes, theories, and issues of development, it also gives some attention to the ways ordinary people are affected by development, and what ordinary (and in some cases, extraordinary) people do to adapt to or confront development. Recommended background: Politics 122, 155, 222, 234, 247, or 249. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 250. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Staff. Concentrations
PLTC 252. Religion and Politics in the Middle East.This course examines how Islamic popular imagery and symbolic language are used to mobilize people into social protest movements that have impacted politics in several Middle Eastern countries. The course uses as a framework for analysis Barrington Moore's theories of how popular notions of justice and injustice sustain political obedience or promote protest and resistance/rebellion, and it applies these ideas to case studies in such countries as Algeria, Egypt, Iran, and Turkey. Recommended background: Politics 160. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. E. Hooglund. Concentrations
PLTC 253. U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East.This course follows a thematic rather than a chronological approach to exploring the ideological underpinnings of major U.S. policy issues such as the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians; war in Iraq; containment of Iran; globalization, especially as it affects Middle East energy resources; and the war on terrorism. The course aims to understand the role of ideological perspectives in shaping U.S. policy, the impact of that policy on the Middle East, and the "blowback" effect on the United States. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. E. Hooglund. Interdisciplinary Programs.
PLTC 255. Sex Matters? U.S. Women and Politics.During the last quarter of the twentieth century women made a visible entry into U.S. politics. Their political influence—as decisive voters, social movement activists, persuasive legislators, and more—is increasingly recognized. Are women in government making a difference in public policy or political practice? How has politics shaped women's lives, as workers, mothers, and members of communities comprising the racial, class, sexual, and cultural mosaic of America? This course examines these questions and women's changing political status using a gender lens to understand citizenship, politics, and women's political lives. Prerequisite(s): one course in politics, one course in women and gender studies, or one course in American cultural studies. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 255. Enrollment limited to 20. L. Hill.
INDS 257. African American Women's History and Social Transformation.This course examines the political, social, and cultural traditions African American women have created from slavery to the current moment. The course considers the influence of African American women on the major social movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries including abolition, woman's suffrage, the club movement, women's liberation, the black arts movement, the civil rights movement, and Black Power. Through novels, plays, autobiography, music, and nonfiction produced by and about African American women, students explore a range of intellecutal and cultural traditions. Recommended background: one course in women and gender studies and/or one course in African American studies. Cross-listed in African American studies, politics, and women and gender studies. Not open to students who have received credit for African American Studies/Women and Gender Studies 257. Not open to students who have received credit for AA/WS 257. Enrollment limited to 30. M. Plastas. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
PLTC 258. Environmental Diplomacy.Environmental hazards rarely recognize state boundaries; people acting to eliminate these hazards often cannot avoid them. Through a series of case studies, this course examines the obstacles to international cooperation on the environment and the strategies people use to overcome them. Case studies include the politics surrounding the depletion of the ozone layer, the depletion of international fisheries, deforestation, and urbanization. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 258. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. J. Richter.
PLTC 270. Human Rights in Comparative and International Perspective.Human rights ideals deeply inform the practice of law at both the national and international levels. The history of rights discourse dates to eighteenth-century classical liberal theory, but "rights talk" has enjoyed a resurgence in the second half of the twentieth century. This course examines the early history of human rights as well as recent expansions of rights. It looks at the ways in which courts in a variety of national and international contexts have interpreted and implemented human rights. Recommended background: Politics 114, 171, or 221. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every year. L. Kawar.
PLTC 290. Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa.In the 1990s the promise of political transformation emerged in Africa, giving cause for both optimism and pessimism about the continent's political and economic future. While some states have realized unprecedented degrees of political stability, others have fragmented into civil chaos. Novel democratic experiments have persisted while authoritarian impulses remain entrenched. And despite some of the highest levels of poverty in the world, Africa as a whole witnessed economic growth for the first time in decades. This course exposes students to the diverse mosaic of political life in Africa and examines factors that have shaped development and governance since the close of the colonial era. Attention is given to Africa's historical experiences, economic heritage, and the international context in which they are embedded. Students also explore the unfolding patterns of change witnessed at the opening of the twenty-first century and the way that Africans continue to shape their own political and economic situations. Recommended background: Politics 115, 122, or 171. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 290. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. L. Hill. Concentrations
PLTC 295. Reading Marx, Rethinking Marxisms.Students practice different ways of reading and rethinking the work of Karl Marx. The first part of the course permits unrushed, close reading and discussion of Marx's best-known texts. The second part emphasizes recent efforts by critical theorists to revise the original doctrine without abandoning radical politics. Topics for reading and discussion include various Marxist feminisms, Marxist literary theory, and other Marxist interventions against capitalism. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 295. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. W. Corlett. Concentrations
PLTC 296. Contract and Community.Western political thought frequently explores relationships—including contracts and community—between individuals and the state, but the terms of this discourse are hotly contested. Why do "contracts" so often seem to ignore the unequal power of the parties involved? Must terms like "community" erase the politics of human difference? How do categories such as "individual" and "state" restrict even the politics of privileged men as well as neglect considerations of gender, race, and class? Students read and discuss a variety of texts, including Hobbes, Rousseau, and contemporary theorists. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 296. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. W. Corlett.
PLTC 297. The Household and Political Theory.Western political theories often acknowledge, either implicitly or explicitly, the importance of domestic considerations—such as child bearing, sexual relations, and issues of home economics—but rarely appreciate their political significance. And sometimes theorists who acknowledge that the personal is political miss the significance of the so-called racial classification or class position of the domestic situations they study. Drawing from Western and non-Western feminist, socialist, and other sources, this course stresses close reading of theories that highlight the politics of domestic life. Because many of these arguments involve criticism of Western political thought, students also examine how various Western classics (for example, Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, or Hegel) situate domesticity. Recommended background: Politics 191. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 297. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. W. Corlett. Interdisciplinary Programs.
PLTC 298. Sexuality and the Politics of Difference.Picture females and males learning how to be women and men by distancing themselves from each others' prescribed gender roles. What's missing from this picture? Identity politics often gives the impression that patterns of self and other are fixed in nature, culture, or both. The politics of difference marks a refusal to reduce life's ambiguities to orderly patterns. Various gay and lesbian constructions of sexuality provide suggestive terrain for exploring how theories of difference undermine fixed patterns of sexuality. Students read, discuss, and write about recent work in political theory within a context of difference influenced in part by Foucault, Lacan, and Derrida. Recommended background: Politics 191. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 298. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. W. Corlett. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
PLTC 307. Historical Capitalism, Hegemonic Transitions.This seminar considers three long-term global dynamics. The first is the endless accumulation of capital on a world scale. The second is war-making and state-making in the nation-state system. World hegemonic systems combine these two dynamics to produce order in the world-system. The counter-movements—workers' movements, anti-colonial struggles, and other movements for the protection of society—represent a third long-term dynamic that undermines hegemonic orders to produce crises of transition. Students evaluate some of the key dimensions of the current systemic transition to suggest possible political futures in the new century. Enrollment limited to 15. One-time offering. G. Trichur.
PLTC 310. Public Opinion.An analysis of controversies concerning the formation, nature, and role of public opinion in American politics. The course examines attitudes on selected current issues among persons with a variety of social and economic backgrounds. Students learn the methodology of sample surveys (polls), appropriate statistics, and the use of computers to analyze data. No previous knowledge of statistics or computing is assumed. Prerequisite(s): Politics 115, 211, or 215. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 310. Enrollment limited to 16. [Q] J. Baughman. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
PLTC 315. International Cooperation.In this course students analyze the dual questions of why nations cooperate and how they cooperate. The course begins with the problems of cooperation in an anarchic world and investigates how nations overcome these problems. In the process, the course examines different analytical perspectives such as realism, liberalism, and regime theory, as well as solutions to cooperative problems proposed by game theory and negotiation analysis. Substantively, the course examines cooperation over trade issues, financial affairs, global commons, and the environment. Recommended background: Politics 171, 222, and 234. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 315. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every year. Á. Ásgeirsdóttir.
PLTC 325. Constitutional Rights and Social Change.An exploration of relationships between constitutional rights and movements for social change. Rights are examined as legal declarations that empower the oppressed, as ideological constructions that reinforce privilege, and as resources of unknown value that may be employed in political struggle. The utility of rights is examined in the civil rights and women's rights movements. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: Politics 118, 227, 228, or 329. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 325. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] Staff. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
PLTC 328. Representation in Theory and Practice.Are citizens in a representative democracy more like stage directors or probation officers? This course is an analysis of the purpose and limits of political representation. Topics include the role of formal representation in democratic government, the ways citizens hold governments accountable, the responsiveness of political leaders, representation of and by women and minorities, and alternative mechanisms for ensuring accountability. Students consider historical and contemporary sources on the United States, Europe, and Latin America. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: Politics 115, 122, 211, 230, or 249. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 328. Enrollment limited to 15. J. Baughman.
PLTC 329. Law, Gender, and Sexuality. An analysis of legal constructions of sex, gender, and sexuality in legal documents, legal processes, and judicial decisions. Among the theoretical issues addressed are debates over conventional equality approaches in legal doctrine; sameness, difference, dominance, and postmodern perspectives in feminist jurisprudence; ways in which legal language constructs sex, gender, and sexuality; the incorporation of sex, gender, and sexuality in ideologies of law; and intersections of sex, gender, sexuality, race, and class in legal theory and doctrine. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: Politics 118, 227, 228, 229, or any course in women and gender studies. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 329. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] Staff. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
PLTC 335. Democratic Transition.Authoritarian regimes may fall but what legacies remain? How are democratic institutions created and consolidated? This course examines the issues in conceptual terms and then explores three problems in cases from Latin America and Europe. First, does the pursuit of justice threaten democratic transition? Second, how are political rules and institutions defined? And third, what is the state role in the economy and society? Recommended background: Politics 122, 232, 247, 249, or 250. Enrollment limited to 15. Staff. Concentrations
PLTC 340. Democracy in South Africa.This seminar explores the dynamics of building a democratic state and political community in South Africa following a century of white minority rule. Reviewing scholarship on the state, political economy, and democratization, students assess the political transition as well as efforts aimed at social and economic transformation. In a complementary approach that views grassroots politics, students examine the role of civil society to understand how government and citizens are addressing the challenges of building a democratic society. They study HIV/AIDS as a problem of democratic development. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: Politics 122, 168, 171, 222, 234, 235, 243, 244, 249, 290, or any 300-level seminar. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 340. Enrollment limited to 15. L. Hill. Concentrations
PLTC 344. Ethnicity and Conflict.Every day the news media brings us horrifying accounts of bloody conflict described as the result of ethnic or cultural difference. This course examines different ways to understand and investigate how such conflicts start and how they can be resolved. Are such conflicts more prevalent now than during the cold war era? If so, why? Is cultural difference really the cause of such conflicts, or is difference merely a convenient frame, obscuring more fundamental causes? What makes neighbors turn against each other? Can there be lasting reconciliation? What role should the international community play in such conflicts? Prerequisite(s): any 100-level course in politics. Enrollment limited to 15. J. Richter.
PLTC 346. Power and Protest.The role of subordinates in power relations ranges from resigned acceptance of exploitation to active revolution. This course examines the nature of power; the focus is a comparative study of the parts played by subordinate groups in different power relationships and cultural contexts. Readings and discussion center on a combination of theoretical studies of power, and case materials, primarily on peasants and women in the developing world. The goal is to better understand the complex meaning of "resistance." Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 346. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] A. MacLeod.
PLTC 347. Gender and the State.Two key questions provide the focus for this course: How does gender define citizenship, politics, and the state? What roles do states play in shaping notions of masculinity and womanhood? Theoretical framings of gender and politics form the basis for reviewing women's varying relationships to states. Students examine processes through which gender ideologies shape state power and policy as well as how state projects, such as economic development or war, influences gender relations. Using case studies of women's political activism, students investigate how women (re)define their political roles and seek access to state power, thus pursuing different relationships to the state. Prerequisite(s): one 200-level course in politics or women and gender studies. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 347. Enrollment limited to 15. L. Hill. Interdisciplinary Programs.
PLTC 348. Islam and Democracy.This seminar examines the debate among non-Muslims in the West and Muslims in Islamic countries as to whether Islam as a religious ideology and practice is compatible with classic notions of democratic government. It explores the religious and ideological origins of the debate in the West and the diverse ways this "external" debate impacts the "internal" debate in different Muslim societies. Political Islam is studied in several Muslim countries to understand views of autonomous civil society organizations, elections, and political participation. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 348. Enrollment limited to 15. E. Hooglund. Concentrations
PLTC 360. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Normally offered every semester. Staff.
PLTC 365. Special Topics.A course or seminar offered from time to time and reserved for a special topic selected by the department. A course satisfies the department's 300-level requirement only if specified in the individual course description. Staff.
PLTC 376. National Identity and Foreign Policy.This course examines how notions of national identity influence foreign policy decisions in the United States and in other countries. It begins with a brief discussion of constructivist approaches to international politics and their implications for foreign policy. It proceeds with a discussion of nationalism and the complex interplay between domestic politics and the international environment in the construction of national identity. Finally, the course critically examines the role of national identity in the formation of foreign policy in the United States and Russia. Prerequisite(s): Politics 122, 125, 171, or 195. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 376. Enrollment limited to 15. J. Richter.
PLTC 380. Climate Change and Public Policy.Climate change is a complex issue and has been called the fundamental public policy challenge facing the global community in the twenty-first century. How well has the U.S. political process responded to this potentially catastrophic trend? Who are the stakeholders in this debate? What do scientists point to as the causes and consequences of global climate change? How do the skeptics respond? What is the role of innovation in the private sector as individuals and organizations work to address this growing concern? Invited speakers and experts provide a real-world context for understanding climate change. Prerequisite(s): Politics 115, 122, 242, Environmental Studies 204, Environmental Studies/Politics 218, or Environmental Studies 225. Enrollment limited to 15. Staff. Interdisciplinary Programs.
PT/WS 390. Race and U.S. Women's Movements.This course focuses on how racial formations develop in women's movements and how gender ideologies take shape through racialization. Some of the movements examined include the woman's suffrage movement, the anti-lynching movement, the civil rights movement, moral reform movements, the welfare rights movement, the women's liberation movement, and the peace movement. Students analyze how the intertwined categories of race and gender shape various women's responses to debates about issues including citizenship, U.S. foreign policy, reproductive rights, and immigration. Students consider current theoretical and methodological debates and examine the topic through the perspectives of women in various ethnic and racial groups. Prerequisite(s): five core courses in women and gender studies. Not open to students who have received credit for Women and Gender Studies 400E. Enrollment limited to 15. M. Plastas.
PLTC 394. Contemporary Liberalism and Democratic Action.Twentieth-century Western liberalism has faced new challenges of cultural pluralism: including people previously excluded on the grounds of race, gender, and sexuality; speaking to both sides of the widening gap between rich and poor nations; coming to terms with the rights of indigenous peoples; and reconciling capitalism and democracy. Do contemporary formulations of this diverse and venerable tradition show how to negotiate the contested terrain of twenty-first-century cultural politics? Or is Western liberalism necessarily an apologist for the exclusionary politics of a bygone era? Students read and criticize recent authors who discuss these questions against the backdrop of canonical texts. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: Politics 191, 296, 346, Philosophy 256 or 257. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 394. Enrollment limited to 15. W. Corlett.
PLTC 396. Poverty and Democracy.This seminar examines new developments in democratic theory against the backdrop of public policies concerned with the stubborn problem of poverty. Beginning with specific issues in poverty studies, such as food security, prison construction, and healthcare, students gain familiarity with options available to policymakers. Turning to specific issues in democratic theory, such as distributive justice, public deliberation, and self-determination, students consider a variety of arguments concerned with popular rule. Reading and criticizing texts that address both poverty and democracy make the problem of physical survival more visible in contemporary social justice debates concerning sexuality, race, gender, and class. Prerequisite(s): two courses in politics. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 396. Enrollment limited to 15. W. Corlett. Concentrations
PLTC 421. Congressional Internship.Part-time internships, primarily in local offices of members of the Maine delegation in the United States Congress. Readings and writing focus on congressional staffs, constituencies, and relations with the bureaucracy. Prerequisite(s): Politics 115, 230, or 328. Enrollment is limited to available positions. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 421. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every semester. J. Baughman.
PLTC 423. Internships in Public Policy Research.This internship-based course is designed for students interested in public policy and current issues facing Maine. It considers the political process by which policy is formed, the institutions that influence it, and the factors affecting its implementation. The course focuses on a policy research project of the student's own choosing, undertaken for a government agency or policy advocacy group; class discussions link readings to the research projects, and student-instructor conferences guide students' projects. Students also explore the ethical considerations of the policy issues they are researching and visit the State House to observe the legislative process and to meet with stakeholders. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 423. Enrollment limited to 10. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations
PLTC 457. Senior Thesis.Discussion of methods of research and writing, oral reports, and regular individual consultation with instructors. Students undertake a one-semester thesis by registering for Politics 457 in the fall semester or Politics 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Politics 457 and 458. Prerequisite(s): one 300-level seminar in politics and Politics s49. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 457. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
PLTC 457, 458. Senior Thesis.Discussion of methods of research and writing, oral reports, and regular individual consultation with instructors. Students undertake a one-semester thesis by registering for Politics 457 in the fall semester or Politics 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Politics 457 and 458. Prerequisite(s): one 300-level seminar in politics and Politics s49. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 457. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
PLTC 458. Senior Thesis.Discussion of methods of research and writing, oral reports, and regular individual consultation with instructors. Students undertake a one-semester thesis by registering for Politics 457 in the fall semester or Politics 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Politics 457 and 458. Prerequisite(s): one 300-level seminar in politics and Politics s49. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.Short Term Courses
PLTC s16. Arab and Iranian Film as Indicators of Social Change.Indigenous cinema in the Middle East has been a medium not only of entertainment but also of social criticism and, implicitly, of governmental indifference to social justice issues. Films by prominent directors, including many women, are shown for insights they provide into everyday life in cities and their depiction of such urban challenges as anonymity, class consciousness, consumerism, drug addiction, educational problems, family disintegration, gender relations and roles in flux, poverty, and workplace abuses. Recommended background: Politics 160. Enrollment limited to 30. E. Hooglund.
PLTC s17. Latin American Politics in Film.Latin American art and literature often have political themes at their center; in some cases, politics serves as a context for human drama. This course explores political issues and events in Latin America through the lens of film, both fictional works and documentaries. Students examine the portraits of famous leaders and events. They explore how images, story line, and characterization present a political perspective and contrast different interpretations of the same or similar people or phenomena. Topics include revolution, military dictatorship, human rights crimes, the pursuit of social justice, foreign influence, migration, and friendship and betrayal. Students also compare some treatments of these themes in films from other areas of the world. Recommended background: Politics 249. Enrollment limited to 30. Staff. Concentrations
PLTC s18. Immigrant Rights Theory and Practice.How does law exclude both undocumented migrants and short-term migrant farm workers from membership in the community? How do these legally excluded migrants use the language of rights to empower themselves and to assert political claims? Students address these questions through three different levels of analysis: close reading of the scholarly literature on the politics of rights, examinations of film and media representations of the contemporary global politics of immigration, and participation in a service-learning project to assist organizations in southern and central Maine that advocate on behalf of immigrant rights. The service-learning component to the course culminates in a group project documenting the practice of immigrant rights in Maine. Enrollment limited to 20. L. Kawar. Concentrations
PLTC s20. Spy Games: The Role of Espionage in International Affairs.What is espionage? Why do nations spy? Espionage is often referred to as the world's second-oldest profession. Intelligence operations have often played an important role in international affairs, especially during wartime. This course looks at the role of espionage in international affairs with a focus on the twentieth century. Topics covered include the political implications of spying, the myths and realities of espionage, overt operations, counterintelligence, intelligence operations in the global north (CIA, MI5, MI6, Mossad), intelligence operations in the global south, and the role of women in espionage. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science s20. Enrollment limited to 20. Á. Ásgeirsdóttir.
PLTC s21. Politics and Community Service.Students gain exposure to daily living experiences different from their own through service internship placements in such settings as shelters for the homeless and for abused women, soup kitchens, and food banks. Participants meet with the instructor to explore relationships between their experiences and academic writings on community service and the people that they serve. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science s21. Enrollment limited to 20. Staff. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
PLTC s23. Simulating the Legislative Process.Students engage in a simulation of the federal legislative process by playing the roles of interest groups and officeholders in writing a major law. They explore the goals, strategies, and constraints of political actors in making policy. At the same time, attention is paid to the policy process generally and how in particular cases the process can be altered or subverted to suit the interests of actors. Parallels are drawn with real-world instances of contemporary congressional lawmaking. Recommended background: Politics 115 and 230. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science s23. Enrollment limited to 20. J. Baughman. Concentrations
PLTC s25. Labor, Class, Community Action.Students practice using class as an organizing principle in political theory. The course emphasizes analysis and evaluation of arguments that relate class to problems of labor organization and community action. Readings include selections from the classics (such as Marx and Weber) as well as recent theoretical work that pays close attention to gender and race. Projects may focus on local community organization, the politics of labor in the United States, or international labor movements. Recommended background: Politics 191. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science s25. Enrollment limited to 20. W. Corlett.
PT/WS s27. Feminisms of the 1970s and 1980s.This course explores the rise of multiple feminist theories and forms of activism during the 1970s and 1980s. Students critically examine the genealogy of the conceptualization of "second wave feminism," and explore the role of gay, Chicano, and black liberation, civil rights, and labor struggles on the development of feminist thinking and action. The course pays particular attention to how feminists of this period addressed questions of U.S. foreign policy in Vietnam, Central America, and South Africa; the nuclear arms race; and U.S. domestic race relations. Students read from primary source material and study the literature produced by Marxist feminisms, black feminisms, lesbian feminisms, liberal feminisms, and radical feminisms. Recommended background: Women and Gender Studies 100. Not open to students who have received credit for Women and Gender Studies s25. Enrollment limited to 25. M. Plastas.
PLTC s29. Politics and the Essay.The essay is experiencing a renaissance, appropriated by a diverse range of writers for new purposes. In this course, students examine the politics of the essay by studying the special qualities of this genre and by reading a wide range of essays drawn from diverse historical periods and cultural locations. Students also write and discuss a series of essays of their own, and may experiment with photo or video essays. Special attention is paid to understanding the politics of the essay genre, constructions of self and other, questions of identity and expression, and women writers and the essay. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science s29. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 12. [W2] A. MacLeod.
PT/WS s32. Global Flows: Gender and Globalization.Globalization processes underlie profound changes in politics from the state to private lives. This course focuses on sex and gender—as aspects of global economics, war, and politics—to uncover how power is structured, used, and challenged in the transnational age. Sex trafficking, militarized prostitution, women's factory work, and intimate labor are some of the topics through which students examine flows of people, ideas, capital, and political strategies. In doing so, students ask: How do gender relations and gender ideologies affect global restructuring? How does globalization (re)shape notions of manhood, womanhood, and the ways people live out those ideas in sex, politics, and war? Recommended background: any of the following: Politics 168, 171, 222, 232, 234, 235, 243, 245, 289, 329, 345, 346, 347, 352, 383, Women and Gender Studies 234 or s25. Not open to students who have received credit for PS/WS s32. Enrollment limited to 20. L. Hill. Concentrations
PLTC s49. Political Inquiry.To prepare for writing a senior thesis, students are introduced to many of the approaches used to study politics. By reading and discussing texts from a variety of perspectives, students learn to identify and evaluate crucial research decisions. These include how to formulate a precise and answerable research question, relate it to the work of other scholars, construct an argument to answer the question, assess evidence pertaining to the argument, and present the findings in a manner of interest to other scholars. After critically assessing the work of others, students engage in writing tasks to design their own independent research project. Prerequisite(s): two courses in politics. Enrollment limited to 60. Normally offered every year. Staff.
PLTC s50. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study during a Short Term. Normally offered every year. Staff.