Professors Corlett, Kessler, and Richter (chair); Associate Professors MacLeod and Hill; Assistant Professors Baughman, Ásgeirsdóttir, and Nelson; Visiting Assistant Professor Haughney; Visiting Instructor Gayazova
The major in political science 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 political science department is available on the Web site (http://www.bates.edu/POLS.xml).
Note that unless otherwise specified, when a department/program references a course or unit in the department/program, it includes courses and units cross-listed with the department/program.
Students majoring in political science must complete ten courses or units.
1) At least four courses in an approved major concentration of political science (described below) or a self-designed concentration approved by the department. Students may not count internships or transfer courses for the major concentration requirement.
2) At least three political science courses in multicultural studies (described below), one of which must be non-Western. Courses in the major concentration may meet the multicultural requirement.
3) At least one 300-level seminar in political science. This seminar serves as a prerequisite for Political Science 457 or 458, the senior thesis.
4) Political Science 457, 458. The senior thesis must be related to the major concentration, unless the student petitions successfully for a waiver.
5) Subject to departmental approval, students may receive credit toward the major for no more than two nondepartmental courses in African American studies or women and gender studies offered by the College. Students may also petition for departmental approval of a maximum of two relevant courses completed in a junior year abroad or junior semester abroad program or the Washington Semester Program. Beginning with the class of 2009, students will no longer be able to apply courses taken in African American Studies or Womens and Gender Studies toward the major in political science. Students may continue to petition for departmental approval of a maximum of two relevant courses completed in a junior year abroad or junior semester abroad program or the Washington Semester Program.
6) Students may count no more than three 100-level courses and one Short Term unit toward the major.
Students must either complete four courses/units in one of these approved areas or successfully petition the department to develop their own concentration. The following courses currently satisfy the concentration requirement:
U.S. National Institutions (115, 211, 215, 227, 230, 242, 276, 328).
U.S. Political Processes (115, 118, 211, 215, 230, 242, 310, 328, s23, s25).
Legal Studies (118, 227, 228, 229, 230, 242, 296, 325, 329, 394).
Cultural Politics (121, 243, 244, 254, 293, 298, 310, 325, 346, 348, 349, s29, s33).
Postcolonial Politics (195, 235, 247, 249, 250, 254, 290, 295, 346, 349, 365A, s33).
Economic Aspects of Politics (171, 191, 222, 224, 227, 232, 249, 250, 258, 276, 293, 295, 315, s23, s25).
International Studies (121, 122, 171, 195, 219, 222, 224, 247, 249, 250, 254, 258, 276, 290, 315, 345, 347, 348, 349, 383, s33).
History of Western Political Thought (121, 191, 243, 244, 293, 295, 296, 297, 346, 394, s29).
Women and Politics (118, 155, 191, 235, 245, 297, 298, 329, 346, 347).
Politics of Development and Transformation (121, 195, 219, 222, 232, 235, 243, 244, 245, 247, 249, 250, 254, 258, 290, 346, 348, 349, s29, s33).
Multicultural studies explore the complexity of human difference and political activity in local and global settings. Multicultural courses in political science contribute, each in specific ways, to discussions of human diversity across asymmetries of social, political, and economic power.
If the courses selected within the major concentration do not already meet this requirement, the student must complete three courses in multicultural studies, one of which must be non-Western. Non-Western courses/units include Political Science 121, 195, 219, 232, 235, 245, 247, 249, 250, 254, 290, 340, 346, 348, 349. Other courses in multicultural studies include Political Science 118, 155, 191, 195, 229, 243, 244, 254, 293, 295, 298, 310, 325, 329, 347, 348.
Declaring a Major in Political Science
To declare a major in political science, 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 will be 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 a potential 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.
Any two courses listed below, only one of which may be numbered at the 100 level, may serve as a department-designated set. No Short Term units are designated as serving as part of a set or as an option for the third course. The quantitative requirement may be satisfied through Political Science 310. Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or A-Level credit awarded by the department may not be used towards fulfillment of any general education requirements.
POLS 115. American Government and Public Policy.An introductory description and analysis of American governmental and political institutions and processes, with particular focus upon the formulation and administration of public policy. Enrollment limited to 40 per section. Normally offered every year. J. Baughman.
POLS 118. Law and Politics.An examination of the political nature of law, legal processes, and legal institutions. Special emphasis is placed on the participation of women and people of color in the legal system and the impact of race and class on legal processes and outcomes. Topics may include stratification in the legal profession, the law school experience, criminal justice, legal discourse, and the utility of law for effecting social and political change. Enrollment limited to 40 per section. Normally offered every year. M. Kessler.
POLS 121. Morality and Political Change.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. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. A. MacLeod.
POLS 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. Enrollment limited to 40 per section. Normally offered every year. Staff.
POLS 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? 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 225. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every year. Á. Ásgeirsdóttir.
POLS 155. Women, Power, and Political Systems: Introduction to Women and Politics.Recent scholarship examines roles and activities of women in political systems and the impact of women's participation on political life and public policy. Does sex make a difference? Does women's participation affect power relations between the sexes? This introduction uses the lenses of various fields in the discipline—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. Enrollment limited to 40 per section. Normally offered every year. L. Hill.
POLS 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 ozone depletion, nuclear proliferation, the politics of international trade, and world population policies. Enrollment limited to 40 per section. Normally offered every year. J. Richter.
POLS 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, Machiavelli, Locke, Wollstonecraft, and Marx. Enrollment limited to 40 per section. Normally offered every year. W. Corlett.
POLS 195. Postcolonial States and Societies.This course provides a general introduction to state-society relations in the postcolonial world, stretching from Africa and Latin America to the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia. Each week the class engages an important theoretical theme, and combines a discussion of this theme with at least two case studies. The course begins with an examination of postcolonial state formation in Africa. It then proceeds with an analysis of economic exploitation in Latin America, cultural transformation in the Middle East, and political collapse in various parts of South and Southeast Asia. The course concludes with an effort to illuminate emerging patterns of globalization and "development." Enrollment limited to 40. M. Nelson.
POLS 211. American Parties and Elections.The 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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. J. Baughman.
POLS 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: Political Science 171.New Course beginning Fall 2005. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Offered with varying frequency. J. Richter.
POLS 215. Political Participation in the United States.Citizen participation lies at the very 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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. J. Baughman.
ES/PS 218. U.S. Environmental Politics and Policy.This course examines the development and current state of environmental policy in the United States at the federal, state, and local levels, while at the same time placing the making of this policy in the broader context of American politics, economics, and society. The course begins with a short history of environmentalism and the current state of American environmental politics and policy. Students then take a case study approach to a specific environmental issue relevant to the local area. This case study provides an opportunity for students to meet and interact with stakeholders involved with this issue. Prerequisite(s): Environmental Studies 204 or any political science course. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 218. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. P. Rogers.
POLS 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: Political Science 122 and 249. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. D. Haughney.
PS/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.New cross-listing beginning Winter 2007 Not open to students who have received credit for Women and Gender Studies 224. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. M. Plastas.
POLS 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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every year. Á. Ásgeirsdóttir.
POLS 223. Politics of International Finance.This course examines the tension between increasing international capital flows and the ability of governments to determine domestic financial and monetary policy. This tension is not new, but the tremendous growth of international financial markets in the past thirty years poses new challenges to governments, while presenting new opportunities to individuals and firms. Topics covered include international capital mobility, periodic financial crises, the history of the world's financial system, state responses to increasing financial flows, differential access to capital, periodic financial and debt crises, the role of the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank and European monetary cooperation. Recommended background: Political Science 171 or 222. Enrollment limited to 30. Offered with varying frequency. Á. Ásgeirsdóttir.
POLS 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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. Á. Ásgeirsdóttir.
POLS 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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. M. Kessler.
POLS 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: Political Science 118 and/or 227. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. M. Kessler.
POLS 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: Political Science 227 and/or 228. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. M. Kessler.
POLS 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, with a special emphasis on the connection between electoral behavior and lawmaking. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. J. Baughman.
POLS 232. The Politics of Post-Communism.The continuing upheaval in the countries of the former Soviet Union provides a unique opportunity to examine why things change and why they stay the same. This course investigates the experience of Russia and at least one of the new states in Central Asia to compare and contrast different responses to issues that all countries abandoning Soviet-style communism must face, including the creation of a civil society, economic and institutional transformation, the rearrangement of class structures, the status of women, and nationalism. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. J. Richter.
POLS 235. Black Women in the Americas.This course focuses on the political and feminist thought as well as the activism of women of African descent in the Americas. In some years, the course features only one socio-political 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 the polity, and a comparative lens—viewing black women in relation to women of other racial-ethnic groups—to better understand their location in social, cultural, legal, and economic structures. They examine testimonies of black women and 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 politics—gender, race, sexual, and national—in their home country and globally. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Offered with varying frequency. L. Hill.
POLS 242. U.S. Public Policy.This course considers the political processes through which public policy is made in the United States. It is structured around three components: an overview of the theories of public policy making, an analysis of major institutions of U.S. national government and their relationship to the policy-making process, and a number of case studies that allow more detailed investigation of political struggles over pressing domestic issues. The course includes some basic comparative public policy to highlight the exceptionalism of U.S. political institutions and the policy outcomes. Recommended background: Political Science 115. Enrollment limited to 30. J. Richter.
POLS 243. Politics and Literature.This course explores the links between politics and literature, focusing on the origins and consequences of the unique powers of fictional reality. Students read and discuss novels, short stories, and plays drawn from diverse historical and cultural settings, including the Middle East and China. Topics may include the construction of authority; fiction, women, and politics; war, violence, and narratives; forms 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 create short stories (historical or science fiction) of their own. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. A. MacLeod.
POLS 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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. A. MacLeod.
POLS 245. Democracy in the State and in the Home.What is the connection between democracy and gender relations? Democracy movements create possibilities for women's activism and for enhancing women's political status. This course uses a comparative approach to investigate cases of regime change in Latin America, Eastern and Central Europe, and Southern Africa and 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: Political Science 118, 120, 155, 161, or Women and Gender Studies 100. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Offered with varying frequency. L. Hill.
POLS 247. Regional Politics in Southern Africa: Transition and Transformation.Two questions inform this study of politics in Southern Africa: What are the dimensions of internal political transformation? How do they affect interstate political and economic relations in the region? This course examines political, economic, and social features of anti-colonial and liberation struggles, civil and regional wars, and anti-apartheid resistance to discover the enduring factors underlying new state formation, regional political economy, and interstate relations. 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: Political Science 122, 155, 171, or 290. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Offered with varying frequency. L. Hill.
POLS 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 in this course learn how history, economics, culture, politics, and society shape the complex realities of Latin America today. Recommended background: Political Science 120, 168, or 171. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. Staff.
POLS 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: Political Science 122, 155, 222, 234, 247, or 249. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. Staff.
POLS 254. Religion and Politics in South Asia.This course combines the study of religion and politics in South Asia with a series of general ideas concerning institutional parameters of modern secularism. Students explore the role of colonial rule, postcolonial democracy, constitutional law, and political ideology, first in the context of ethnic war in Sri Lanka and then in the context of Hindu nationalism in India, sectarianism in Pakistan, and fundamentalism in Afghanistan. The course concludes with an effort to understand the relationship between religion and politics in the wake of 11 September 2001. Recommended background: course work in the politics of identity and/or South Asian history. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. M. Nelson.
POLS 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 "soccer mom" voters, social movement activists, Supreme Court justices, and more—is increasingly recognized. Why only recently are women in government making a difference in public policy or political practice? How have women shaped politics in their own 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, the gendering of politics, and women's political lives. Prerequisite(s): One course in political science, or one course in women and gender studies, or one course in American cultural studies. New Course beginning Fall 2005. Enrollment limited to 20. Offered with varying frequency. L. Hill.
POLS 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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. J. Richter.
POLS 290. Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa.The 1990s represented a period of great transformation 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 the highest levels of poverty in the world, Africa as a whole has witnessed economic growth for the first time in two decades. This course exposes students to the diverse mosaic of political life in Africa and examines the 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: Political Science 115, 122, or 171. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Offered with varying frequency. L. Hill.
POLS 293. Environmental Justice.A critical examination of environmental thought at the intersection of contemporary arguments on political rights, social equality, and economic development. When does public regulation of health in the workplace and community conflict with the property rights of private corporations? Where does environmental thought illuminate and where does it obfuscate local and global problems related to racism and sexism? How does contemporary thinking about environmental problems come to terms with uneven economic development at home and abroad? Students think critically about arguments concerning environmental racism, ecofeminism, sustainable development, deep ecology, green political activism, and other issues from a variety of political perspectives. Not open to students who have received credit for Political Science 393. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. W. Corlett.
POLS 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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Offered with varying frequency. W. Corlett.
POLS 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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. W. Corlett.
POLS 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: Political Science 191. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. W. Corlett.
POLS 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: Political Science 191. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. W. Corlett.
POLS 305. Approaches to International Security.What is "security"? How do we define it? Who defines it? Who, or what, constitutes a threat? Why are "they" threatening? Where do threats begin? Where do they end? Who, or what, is being "secured"? How far can anyone of us go in order to "secure" ourselves? This course explores these and related questions from within a variety of theoretical approaches to international security, grouped loosely into "traditional" National Security approaches and "alternative" Critical Security approaches, the latter representing a peculiar mix of (Neo-Marxist) Frankfurt School, French Deconstructivism, and Copenhagen (De)Securitization Theory.
Recommended background: Excellent reading skills, interest in theoretical analysis.New Course beginning Winter 2006 Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. O. Gayazova.
POLS 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): Political Science 115 or 211. Enrollment limited to 16. Normally offered every other year. J. Baughman.
POLS 315. International Cooperation.In this course students analyze the twin 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: Political Science 171, 222, and 234. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every year. Á. Ásgeirsdóttir.
POLS 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: Political Science 118, 227, 228, or 329. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every other year. M. Kessler.
POLS 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. Recommended background: one of the following: Political Science 115, 122, 211, 230, or 249. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. J. Baughman.
POLS 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: Political Science 118, 227, 228, 229, or any course in women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every other year. M. Kessler.
POLS 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. Using theoretical scholarship on the state, political economy, and democratization students consider the political transition as well as efforts aimed at social and economic transformation. In a complementary approach from the bottom up, students examine case studies of critical formations in civil society—labor unions, youth, women, nationalist enclaves, and "tribal authorities"—to understand their influence on nation-building processes. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: Political Science 122, 168, 171, 222, 234, 235, 243, 244, 249, 290, or any 300-level seminar. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every other year. L. Hill.
POLS 345. NGOs and World Politics.The phenomenal growth of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in recent decades has made them increasingly influential actors in international politics. This course examines NGO strategies in human rights (including the rights of women) and environmental policy, and critically evaluates their role in global affairs. What is the relation between international NGOs, their donors, and their constituents? What happens when relatively rich international NGOs interact with relatively poor indigenous organizations and populations? Has growing NGO activity caused changes in current understandings of state sovereignty? Prerequisite(s): one of the following: Political Science 161, 171, 234, 236, 245, or 278. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every other year. J. Richter.
POLS 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." Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every other year. A. MacLeod.
POLS 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 masculinities and notions of womanhood? Theoretical framings of gender and politics form the basis for reviewing women's relationships to states. Students examine processes through which gender ideologies and gender regimes shape state power and policy while being subject themselves to change by state projects such as economic development or war. Using case studies of women's political activism, students investigate how women redefine their political roles and seek access to state power, thus articulating different visions of gender's relationship to the state. Prerequisite(s): one course in comparative politics; political theory; or women, gender, and politics. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every other year. L. Hill.
POLS 348. Islam and Democracy.This seminar uses the study of Islam and democracy to reexamine the relationship between "rights" and "religious practice." It begins with an introduction to Islam and Islamic political thought, including the Quran, the relationship between religious scholarship and political leadership (especially in the context of Islamic law), diverse conceptions of Islamic piety, and a careful examination of the Islamic "public sphere." Following this introduction, it returns to conventional theories of democracy, looking for points of conflict, compromise, and consensus. The course concludes with a discussion of several different countries throughout the Muslim world, including Turkey, Malaysia, Egypt, Pakistan, Iran, and India. Enrollment limited to 15. M. Nelson.
POLS 349. Indigenous Movements in Latin America.During the last twenty years one of the most marginalized groups in Latin America has become a consequential political actor. This course examines the origins, agency, and impact of indigenous peoples' movements through four questions: Do colonial practices or contemporary conditions shape indigenous peoples' grievances? Are indigenous movements different from other social movements in Latin America? How do indigenous movements act politically and with what consequences? How do national and global contexts shape possibilities for indigenous advancement? Students consider these questions by working with conceptual material on race and ethnicity, social movements, and postcolonialism, and through comparison with other movements in Latin America and beyond. Recommended background: Political Science 119, 235, 244, or 249, and/or Sociology 120 or 256. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every other year. Staff.
POLS 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.
POLS 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.
POLS 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 survey of realist, economistic, and constructivist approaches to foreign policy and international politics. 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): Political Science 125, 171, or 195. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every other year. J. Richter.
POLS 383. Change in the International System.This course examines different theoretical approaches to international politics and their explanations for international change. Readings and discussion focus particularly on different and changing conceptions of state sovereignty in a world in which economic organization and political activism increasingly transcend state boundaries. Students are required to write a research paper applying these approaches to a case study of contemporary interest in international relations. Prerequisite(s): Political Science 171. Enrollment limited to 20. Normally offered every other year. J. Richter.
POLS 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: Political Science 191, 296, 346, Philosophy 256 or 257. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every other year. W. Corlett.
POLS 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 makes the problem of physical survival more visible in contemporary social justice debates concerning sexuality, race, gender, and class. Prerequisite(s): Two courses in political science or permission of the instructor.New Course beginning Winter 2006. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every other year. W. Corlett.
POLS 421. Congressional Internship.Part-time internships, primarily in local offices of members of the Maine delegation in the United States Congress. Reading and writing on congressional staffs, constituencies, and relations with the bureaucracy. Prerequisite(s): Political Science 115 or 322. Enrollment is limited to available positions. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every semester. J. Baughman.
POLS 422. Social Justice Internships.Part-time internships in several community organizations that deal with problems of racism, heteronormativity, gender inequity, and economic distress. Students work on projects in policy areas such as health care, environmental justice, and HIV prevention. Students read and write about community organizing, action research, and public policy. Prerequisite(s): one course in political science. Open to first-year students. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every semester. M. Kessler.
POLS 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 explores 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.New course beginning Winter 2006. Enrollment limited to 10. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. D. Scobey.
POLS 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 Political Science 457 in the fall semester or Political Science 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Political Science 457 and 458. Prerequisite(s): one 300-level seminar in political science. Normally offered every year. Staff.
POLS 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 Political Science 457 in the fall semester or Political Science 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Political Science 457 and 458. Prerequisite(s): one 300-level seminar in political science. Normally offered every year. Staff.
Short Term Courses
POLS 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 Political Science 457 in the fall semester or Political Science 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Political Science 457 and 458. Prerequisite(s): one 300-level seminar in political science. Normally offered every year. Staff.
POLS 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 unit 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. Enrollment limited to 20. Offered with varying frequency. Á. Ásgeirsdóttir.
POLS 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. Enrollment limited to 20. Offered with varying frequency. M. Kessler.
AN/PS s22. The Politics of Cultural Production: African Films and Filmmaking.As self-representation, African films challenge the stereotypical images of the continent presented in Hollywood movies. They are part of the effort to create new images in the post-independence era, helping to forge national identities through a reinvention of a shared past. Using feature films produced by Africans for an African audience, this unit explores the challenges faced in contemporary African society as seen through African eyes. Recommended background: one course in African studies or film studies. Not open to students who have received credit for Anthropology s22 or Political Science s22. Enrollment limited to 35. Offered with varying frequency. E. Eames, L. Hill.
POLS s23. Simulating the Legislative Process.Over the course of the Short Term, 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: Political Science 115 and 230. Enrollment limited to 20. Offered with varying frequency. J. Baughman.
POLS s25. Labor, Class, Community Action.Students practice using class as an organizing principle in political theory. The unit 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: Political Science 191. Enrollment limited to 20. Offered with varying frequency. W. Corlett.
POLS s26. Environmental Conflicts in Latin America.This unit examines environmental politics in Latin America by analyzing political processes behind these conflicts; the links among actors at the local, state, and international levels; the role of international lending institutions and corporations; and conflicts over rights. Issues include sustainable development, biodiversity, individually anchored rights versus collective rights, and the prospects for global cooperation on environmental issues. Activities include debates, role-playing, and oral presentations in addition to written assignments. Recommended background: Political Science 122, 171, 249, 258, and 293. Enrollment limited to 30. Offered with varying frequency. D. Haughney.
POLS s27. Politics of Conservation in Chile.This unit explores the efforts of a Chilean environmental organization to save the endangered mountain deer. At Bates, students begin with overview of recent Chilean history and politics, then they depart for four weeks in Chile, where meetings with Chilean environmentalists provide insight into conservation initiatives and problems. Students learn about habitat requirements (food sources, water, terrain, shelter) and current threats, gather data on use of habitat sites and daily and seasonal movements, and observe the impacts of current development (logging, ranching, human settlements, oil and natural gas pipelines) through extended backpacking trips into the mountains. Students keep a journal of interviews, a field notebook on ecological data, and write a final report discussing the achievements and challenges facing environmentalists in Chile in their efforts to save the endangered mountain deer.New course beginning Short Term 2005. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. D. Haughney.
PS/WS s27. Feminisms of the 1970s and 1980s.This unit 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 unit 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.New cross-listing beginning Short term 2007 Not open to students who have received credit for Women and Gender Studies s25. Enrollment limited to 25. M. Plastas.
AS/PS s28. Sufi Saints and Muslim Missionaries.This unit offers an introduction to the study of Islam in South Asia, focusing on Chishti Sufi saints, their shrines, and the work of the Tablighi Jama'at, a distantly related movement devoted to the cause of religious revival and reform (tajdid) around the world. During four weeks in India, students attend lectures by faculty at local universities and travel to mosques, shrines, and other sites of religious and historical significance in Delhi, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. A tolerance for very high temperatures is essential. Recommended background: previous course work concerning Islam and/or non-Western countries.New unit beginning Short Term 2005. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. M. Nelson.
POLS s28. International Law.How and why does law emerge at the international level? How do we ascertain the rules and norms of international law? What reasons do states have to comply with those norms? Through the prism of these and other questions, students examine how international law operates on its functional and normative levels. On the functional level, it provides a set of reliable frameworks of international cooperation (e.g., the regulation of global air traffic), as well as certain rudimentary procedures for dispute settlement (e.g., the World Court). On the normative level, international law embodies and facilitates the debate on world order values. Prerequisite(s): Any one political science course.New course beginning Short Term 2006. Enrollment limited to 30. O. Gayazova.
POLS s29. Politics and the Essay.The essay is experiencing a renaissance, appropriated by a diverse range of writers for new purposes. In this unit, 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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 12. Normally offered every other year. A. MacLeod.
PS/WS s32. Global Flows: Sex, Politics, and War.Globalization processes underlie profound changes in politics from the state to "private" lives. This unit 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, Political Science 168, 171, 222, 232, 234, 235, 243, 245, 289, 329, 345, 346, 347, 352, 383, Women and Gender Studies 234 or s25. Enrollment limited to 20. Offered with varying frequency. L. Hill.
POLS s33. Territoriality and Transnationalism.International relations scholar John Ruggie stated that neglecting territoriality in studying world politics is akin to not looking at the ground one walks upon. This unit takes a step toward correcting this oversight by examining how visions and orderings of space or "areas" shape the theory and practice of international and national politics. It brings together literature from human geography, political science, and cultural studies to understand and critique how countries, regions, and "the globe" are made and transformed through the representation and manipulation of spaces and identities. Taking the 11 September 2001 attacks as a focus, students engage in research that includes interviews with local residents. Recommended background: Political Science 122. Enrollment limited to 20. Offered with varying frequency. Staff.
POLS 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.