Courses in Political Science (Division 450)

Primarily for First and Second Year Students

101. Introduction to Political Theory. (4). (SS).

An introduction to some of the classic questions and key texts of the history of political thought. Among them: What role does politics play in achieving a good life? What if anything makes the state legitimate? Are people obliged to obey the law? What is politics for, anyway? What are the legitimate ends of state action? Readings will include Plato, Aristophanes, Sophocles, Shakespeare, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Marx and Engels, Bakunin, and others. Two hours of lecture a week; two hours of discussion section; two 5-page papers, a midterm, and a final exam. (Herzog)

111. Introduction to American Politics. (4). (SS).

This is a wide-ranging survey of government and politics throughout the United States. Most of the course centers upon national government and politics. Among the main topics to be explored are the constitutional base, elections, political parties and interest groups, the presidency, Congress, the courts, and policy formulation in designated areas. The kinds of questions considered might include the following: What impact do interest groups have on governmental policy? Are there real differences between the two major political parties? What accounts for swings in voting behavior and election outcome from one time to another? Why is it that public policy emerges as it does in the United States? What is the level of trust in government? And how does that level change? These and others are issues confronted in the course. There are two lectures and two discussion sessions each week. The basis for grading includes a midterm and a final examination for all students; and written work as well as other forms of participation in each of the sections, under the guidance of individual instructors. (Grassmuck)

140. Introduction to Comparative Politics. (4). (SS).

This course will provide students with an understanding of politics in Western Europe, China, the Soviet Union and Japan, and familiarize them with concepts used to analyze politics. Each of these countries will be discussed separately in order to introduce its distinctive features and to ensure that students understand how it operates. As the course progresses, we will draw increasingly broad comparisons. Certain key concepts will be introduced and used for comparative purposes. In particular, we will be concerned with the social and economic forces that influence the emergence of democracy, political parties and political competition; leadership succession; the role of political institutions; and the analysis of contemporary political conflicts. The course will offer two lectures per week, plus two meetings in relatively small discussion sections designed to encourage a two-way flow of communication. (Inglehart)

160. Introduction to World Politics. (4). (SS).

The primary purpose of this beginning course is to expose the student to the core questions that should be asked at any beginning of the study of international politics. Who are the major actors in international affairs? What kind of order exists in relations among nations? What mechanisms exist for change? What regularities exist in the behavior of actors toward one another that give shape and direction to the system? We shall try to get at some of the questions raised by using three of the major approaches students in the field utilize to select the behaviors they wish to study. One approach is to study the process of decision-making in foreign policy. Another approach is to study the effects that differences in national growth have on the politics among nations. A third way is to study the way the international system constrains the actions of individuals and groups. The major elements of the course are contained in four sets of lectures. (1) The decision-making approach; (2) effects of national growth on international politics; (3) problems and consequences of different types of international systems; (4) global trends in contemporary world politics including such topics as imperialism, neocolonialism, international economics and interdependence, developed-developing world relations, international organizations, and the limits to growth. There will be one, possibly two, exams during the term, plus a final. Other requirements may include a 12-15 page essay and such additional assignments as may be made by individual section leaders. (Organski)

Primarily for Juniors and Seniors

300. Contemporary Political Issues. (4). (SS).

It is recommended that the student has taken at least Political Science 111. The course will focus on the implications of recent political change for the conduct of political campaigns and the governance of the country. Critical issues in the study of political behavior will be addressed by examining the following five questions: 1) How are candidates for political office evaluated by the public? 2) Does the recent increase in political independence indicate that Independents are alienated from political parties or that they think parties are irrelevant? 3) Is the electorate more ideological today than in the past? 4) Are non-partisan group attachments replacing political parties as the mobilizing force in American politics? 5) Does the media select our candidates for high office?

309. The Politics of Liberation. (4). (SS). May be elected for credit three times, provided that content is different.

BLACKS. This course will center on the investigation and discussion of the various frameworks of analysis used to examine the roles of Blacks in politics.

359/CAAS 351. The Struggle for Southern Africa. Lectures: 2 credits; lectures and discussion: 4 credits. (SS).

This course will examine the social, economic and political problems of development within Southern Africa.

391. Introductory Internship in Political Science. One 100-level course in political science, permission of supervising instructor before the internship period, and review by Department's internship adviser. Intended for non-concentrators. (2-4). (Excl). (EXPERIENTIAL). All internship courses may be elected for a maximum total of 8 credits.

Supervised internship, primarily for non-concentrators. Requires the approval of the instructor and review by the department's internship coordinator. (2-4 each)

395/Econ. 395/REES 395/Slavic 395/Hist. 332/Soc. 392. Survey of the Soviet Union. (4). (SS).

See REES 395.

402. Development of Political Thought: To Modern Period. Junior standing or two courses in political science. (4). (SS).

The course will introduce students to the main currents of political philosophy in the Western tradition, Plato through Machiavelli. The purpose of the course is to make students acquainted with a tradition that develops a specific mode of inquiry political philosophy in the attempt to answer the question: How can human beings live together peacefully? How can we harmonize individual and collective good? The course will analyze Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and the Stoic tradition, Christianity, Augustine, Aquinas, the humanists, and Machiavelli. The course is structured in two weekly sessions, which will alternate lecture and discussion. The course is especially intended for students concentrating in Political Science who want to satisfy part of their distribution requirements by taking one course in Political Theory. The course is especially recommended to students who intend to take more advanced lecture courses or seminars in ancient and early modern political theory. Although no formal requirement is yet necessary to take the latter kinds of courses, students enrolling in them will be expected to have knowledge of the period and authors comparable to the knowledge they can acquire by taking the 402 course. A paper showing the command of the material presented in the course will constitute the basis for evaluation, together with in-class participation. (Gobetti)

408. Communist Political Thought: From Marx to the Present. Two courses in political science or permission of instructor. (4). (SS).

This course provides an introduction to Marxism and its development from Hegel to contemporary schools. Emphasis is placed on a thorough exploration of the basic ideas and concepts presented in the writings of Engels and Marx as well as on unresolved questions and contradictions in the Marxist heritage. Readings include extensive assignments from the writings of Marx, Engels, and Bolshevism. Each student is expected to write a major paper on a pertinent topic of the student's choice. The class format is a lecture/discussion combination.

409/CAAS 456. Comparative Black Political Thought. Two courses in political science or permission of instructor. (4). (SS).

This is a comparative analysis of Black political thought with the following themes; Africa and the Black Diaspora; A Vortex of Ideas; Nationalism and Pan-African and Pan-Black Movements; The Triple Heritage in African Thought: Indigenous, Islamic and Western tendencies; African Thought and the Legacy of Slavery; The Warrior Tradition in Black Political Cultures. Other topics include: Negritude, Marxism and African Socialism; Patriarchy and Gender Roles; Religion and Black Political Thought; Language, Literature and Black Political Thought. Select Black thinkers, chosen from African, Caribbean and Black American writers and ideological leaders will be studied. (Mazrui)

411. American Political Processes. Any 100-level course in political science. (4). (SS).

A theoretically motivated introduction to American politics. We focus on two broad areas: the impact of economic conditions on (supposedly) democratic political processes, and vice versa; the dynamics of political campaigns and elections. The course emphasizes conceptual formulations (also known as theories) that have been put forward to explain major features of American politics. Democratic theory, social choice theory and the theory of political attitudes are all introduced, at various points, the idea being to see how far they help in trying to understand American politics. The course takes the view that studying American politics means more than merely accumulating facts and telling stories. At least rudimentary prior familiarity with the basic institutional features of American government is assumed. (Mebane)

412. The Legal Process. Two courses in political science or permission of instructor. (4). (SS).

The legal Process will concentrate on exploring the structure of legal institutions, asking what makes them distinctive and examining their relationship with other political and social institutions. We will spend much of our time on the American legal system, but will cover selected case studies from other cultures. Our first aim in the course is descriptive: to depict how the law works in diverse settings. Our second aim is jurisprudential: to understand the fragile nature of legal legitimacy, to explore the reliance of law on complex social custom, to see how reality is constructed in a legal context and to map the relation between legal logic and other forms of reasoning. This course will require of the student a large time commitment for reading and it will assume its students have flexible and critical minds. (Scheppele)

415. The American Chief Executive. Pol. Sci. 111, 410, or 411; or junior standing. (4). (SS).

An advanced survey of the American presidency. Topics include the development of the institution, the selection of the President with special emphasis on the current election, installation and operation of the new administration, and the development of selected executive policies. A basic knowledge of American government and politics is requisite.

440. Comparative Politics. Any 100-level course in political science or upperclass standing. (4). (SS).

This course analyzes politics in contemporary Western democracies, communist systems, and developing countries. The emphasis is on common patterns of governing, political behavior, and emerging trends in different political systems. Topics covered include political parties and patterns of citizen participation; equality, protest, and revolution; the evolution of communist, democratic, and developing systems; problems of the welfare state and the impact of economics on politics. Lectures and discussion. Students are evaluated on papers and examinations. (Barnes)

442. Governments and Politics in Western Europe. Any 100-level course in political science or upperclass standing. (4). (SS).

This course focuses on politics in Great Britain, France, West Germany and Italy, the largest nations of Western Europe. It is appropriate for political science concentrators; history concentrators who are interested in Western Europe; students concentrating in French, German or Italian who would like to know more about the society whose language they are studying; or students who are simply curious about how the political systems of these countries work. Topics include the influence of the past on contemporary politics, the relationship between the social structure and political cleavages, the forces and groups that affect government policy, protest movements (including the "Greens"), the contrasting programs and policies of the contending parties, and the forces making for political change. Requirements include a midterm, a final, and a term paper of no more than 2000 words. (Pierce)

444. Government and Politics of the Soviet Union. Two courses in political science or permission of instructor. (4). (SS).

This course examines the contemporary Soviet political system. It will discuss the government and the party. (Evangelista)

448. Governments and Politics of Latin America. Pol. Sci. 140 or 440; or a course on Latin America elected through another department. (4). (SS).

An introduction to the study of social and political conflict and change in contemporary Latin America. The class combines attention to major issues and trends with in-depth analysis of selected cases. Among the issues and cases to be considered in Winter 1986 are the following: the changing role of the Catholic Church, the expansion of the state, patterns of economic transformation and their political implications, formation and mobilization of peasantries, international influences on domestic politics. Detailed attention will be paid to cases such as Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, Chili, Peru, Brazil, Columbia. Class format combines lecture with discussion. There will be a midterm examination and a final examination. (Levine)

453. Government and Politics of the Middle East. Two courses in Poli. Sci. or permission of instructor. (4). (SS).

This course is designed to introduce students to politics and political change in the Arab Middle East and North Africa. Its approach is comparative, and its primary concern is with understanding and explaining domestic politics in the Arab states of the region. The first part of the course focuses on the historical evolution of regimes in the inter-and postwar eras; the second part of the course is devoted to understanding the processes and structures that account for that evolution. (Crystal)

455. Government and Politics of China. (4). (SS).

The aim of this course is to offer students a way of understanding the politics of China as a process of grappling with long-standing political and social issues the country continues to confront. We will do this by looking at various aspects and styles of politics, policy-making, and state-populace relations, and by reviewing the major episodes and periods in the political history of post-1949 China and the events since the death of Mao Zedong in 1976.

460. Problems in World Politics. Any 100-level course in Poli. Sci. (4). (SS). May be elected for credit twice with permission of instructor.

This course will introduce the student to theoretical approaches to the explanation of international conflict. The course falls roughly into three parts, first, an illustration of the scientific approach to theory through an examination of flawed theories of war; second, a presentation of two useful theories of war, expected utility and bureaucratic politics; and finally, an application of those two theories to the nuclear age. The student should emerge from the course with a better understanding of both why international conflict occurs and how the scientific process works. The material will generally be presented as lectures with opportunities for discussion. No special background is required of the student, only an open mind and a willingness to challenge accepted wisdom. Students will be evaluated from two midterm and one final examination. (Morrow)

465. Political Development and Dependence. Two courses in political science or permission of instructor. (4). (SS).

The purpose of this course is to review major theories of political development. The course is divided into five parts: (1) Major Approaches to Political Development; (2) Agrarian Movements; (3) Revolutions Left and Right; (4) Varieties of Authoritarianism; and (5) International Dependence. (Hawes)

470. Comparative Foreign Policy. Any 100-level course in political science. (4). (SS).

This course explores the sources of differences in foreign policy processes and outcomes between and within states. One school of thought holds that differences in the characteristics of the countries in question (large versus small, democratic versus authoritarian, industrialized versus developing, etc.) leads to differences in their foreign policies. Another argues that the important differences are not so much between countries as between "issue-areas," for example, military policy versus trade policy. In this course, students will evaluate the competing explanations by looking at a number of aspects of foreign policy including diplomacy, strategy, economic policy in several areas and historical cases: the World Wars, the Cold War, arms control and the arms race, North-South political and economic relations, foreign economic policies of advanced industrial states, and economic relations in Eastern Europe. (Evangelista)

471. The American Foreign Policy Process. Two courses in political science or permission of instructor. (4). (SS).

The course is designed to provide the advanced undergraduate student with: (a) an understanding of the global and domestic context within which US foreign policy is formulated, executed, evaluated, and modified; (b) alternative interpretations of the policy process and context; (c) methods by which these interpretations can be compared and tested against the empirical evidence; and (d) the ability to evaluate past policy decisions and propose future ones. In pursuit of these objectives, we will examine and discuss some case histories (World War I and II, formation of the UN, Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam War, SALT negotiations, GATT agreements, etc.), along with memoirs of participants and scholarly analyses of the cases. Equally important will be the efforts of scholars to generalize from such cases, using methods that range from the impressionistic to the highly quantitative. We will meet twice per week for lectures and discussions combined, and there will be assigned as well as suggested readings each week. Evaluation will rest on take-home final exam, several brief memos during the term, intelligent participation in discussion, and additional work of an optional nature. Prior work in scientific method is desirable but not essential. Texts not yet selected. (Singer)

472. International Security Affairs. Two courses in political science or permission of instructor. (4). (SS).

This course covers defense, deterrence, and arms control in the contemporary context. Special emphasis is given to the policies, perspectives, and capabilities of the United States and the Soviet Union, but consideration is also given to Western Europe and China. Illustrative issues are alternative strategic nuclear doctrines, prospects for arms control, conscription, organization of the Executive Branch for foreign and military policy formation, and interalliance politics. (Tanter)

479/CAAS 479. International Relations of Africa. (4). (SS).

Africa as an international subsystem; the foreign policies of African states; aid and trade in African international relations; race and culture in African diplomacy; alliances and alignments in world politics; the political economy of dependency; liberation, and development; Africa in East-West relations; Africa in North-South relations; Africa and Arab-Israeli Conflict; The Struggle for Southern Africa. (Mazrui)

481. Junior Honors Proseminar. Open only to Honors concentrators with junior standing. (4). (SS).

This is the first seminar in the Political Science Honors program. It has two aims. First, it will alert students to the scope and method of the study of politics through a critical discussion of key concepts and their function in some of the classics of political theory. Second, it will introduce students to the range of specialized interests and methodological skills of the University's Political Science faculty. The purpose of this is not only to help students see what forms the age-old questions about politics take in contemporary research, but also to help them find faculty supervisors for their Honors theses. Open to Honors concentrators in Political Science. There is no prerequisite, but Political Science 101 or 400 might be useful preparations. (Meyer)

483. American Political Parties and Electoral Problems. Political Science 111, 140, 410, or 411; or permission of instructor. (4). (SS).

This course examines American political parties within a comparative context. After a brief discussion of the historical development of the American party system the following topics are considered: party organization, party leadership, campaigns and party finance, leadership recruitment, nominations and the national presidential convention and primary systems, elections and voting behavior, and party leadership in the policy process and in government.

486. Public Opinion, Political Participation, and Pressure Groups. One course in political science or permission of instructor. (4). (SS).

This course focuses on (1) the formation and nature of public opinion and mass political participation and (2) the link between public opinion and participation and public policy. It will familiarize students with survey and other methods for generating opinion and participation data. Particular attention will be given to the effects of race, gender, media, family, church, work environment, pressure groups, and political institutions on public opinion, participation and policy. Course requirements include a final exam, midterm and an optional research paper. (Langton)

490. Political Socialization. One course in Poli. Sci. (4). (SS).

Course focuses on the influence of early learning, the family, peer groups, school, work place, and adult organizations on the political attitudes and behavior of the mass public and political elites. We examine selected learning models as a means of organizing and understanding the literature and its relevance to adult political behavior. (Jennings)

491. Directed Studies. Two courses in political science and permission of instructor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies. (1-6). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). Political Science 491 and 492 may be elected for a total of eight credits. No more than four hours of directed study credit may be elected as part of a concentration program in Political Science.

A directed study on any subject agreed upon by a student and an advising instructor that does not duplicate a regular course offering. May be elected for 1-6 hours; a maximum of 4 credits may be applied toward the concentration core in political science. Students wishing to enroll for a directed study course are urged to work out the details of the course before the start of the term.

493. Senior Honors Proseminar. Open only to Honors concentrators with senior standing. (4). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). No more than four hours of Honors credit may be elected as part of a concentration plan in Political Science.

Open to seniors with Honors concentration in Political Science. Thesis writing course.

495. Undergraduate Seminar in Political Theory. Permission of instructor. Intended for senior concentrators. (4). (SS). May be elected for credit twice.

SECTION 001 LITERATURE AND POLITICS OF EVERYDAY LIFE. An exploration of the senses in which everyday life the family, the workplace, interaction between men and women, and the like might be called "political." Assigned readings will be novels, some classics of Western literature, some recent fiction. The reading should be enjoyable, but in sheer pages there will be lots of it; students will be expected to show up for seminar ready for discussion. In addition, there will be three 5-page papers and one 10-page paper, using the novels to reflect on the politics of everyday life. (Herzog)

SECTION 002 PSYCHOANALYSIS AND POLITICAL THINKING. Most of the best political thought of the 20th century has been developed in relation to psychoanalysis. This course will attempt to define the issues for political theorists that are raised by the various schools of psychoanalytic theory, discuss the strategies for dealing with those issues in the work of Freud, Reich, Marcuse, Rogin, Deleuze, Guattari, and Kristeva, and seek to develop independent perspectives on the relations between psychoanalysis and political thinking. Some background in psychoanalytic theory is helpful but not required. Course requirements include extensive reading and a research paper. (Northrup)

496. Undergraduate Seminar in American Government and Politics. Permission of instructor. Intended for senior concentrators. (4). (SS). May be elected for credit twice.

SECTION 001 SEMINAR ON THE UNDERCLASS. Currently it is fashionable in poverty policy circles to focus on problems of the underclass. Supposedly, the "underclass" are poor urban people who live in areas where a large proportion of the other residents are poor. Besides being poor, members of the underclass are beset by a number of social ills cultural isolation, family instability, high crime rates, drug abuse, and a lack of educational and job opportunities. These social ills combined with the poverty, make it virtually impossible for members of the underclass to escape poverty. In this class, we will examine the newly emerging theories about the underclass, will assess evidence on the size, nature and problems of the underclass, and will try to evaluate policy strategies for helping the underclass. (Corcoran)

Section 002 UNDERGRADUATE SEMINAR IN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS. This course will examine decision making as part of the behavior in which organizational members engage. Thus, we will begin by exploring briefly who is behaving and how meaning is attributed to behavior. Then some common ways of thinking about decision making (as rational behavior, as political behavior, as routine following behavior, as symbolic behavior) will be discussed. The course will end with an examination of the usefulness of the concept of decision making. Students will write discussion papers and take a final examination. (Feldman)

Section 003 CONGRESS IN THE NATIONAL POLICY PROCESS. This seminar will examine the role of Congress in shaping national domestic policy. We will focus on at least four areas tax and budget policy, transportation, health, and agriculture and consider several themes, the effectiveness of Congress, its strengths and limitations as a representative institution, the variable nature of its relationship with the president and the executive bureaucracy. Course requirements include active participation in seminar discussions, a major research paper on a topic to be negotiated between student and instructor, and a final exam. (Hall)

497. Undergraduate Seminar in Comparative and Foreign Government. Permission of instructor. Intended for senior concentrators. (4). (SS). May be elected for credit twice.

SECTION 001 ELECTORAL POLITICS IN FRANCE AND THE UNITED STATES. Within the framework of democratic theory, electoral practices in France and the U.S. will be analyzed from the perspectives of the voters and the candidates. Both presidential and legislative elections will be considered, but as 1988 is a presidential election year in both countries, we will emphasize presidential elections by monitoring the U.S. presidential election in November and comparing it with the earlier French presidential election in May. Discussion will focus on such topics as factors in electoral choice; nominations and campaign strategies; the impact of differing party systems and electoral laws on political behavior and electoral results; the role of the media; and the character of governance that emerges. Each student will write two short papers and a longer research paper, making brief oral reports on the shorter ones and a fuller report on the research paper toward the end of the term. Students will perform computer analysis of sample survey data, but no prior computer or statistical experience is required or assumed. A reading knowledge of French is recommended but not required. (Pierce)

514. The Use of Social Science Computer Programs. Pol. Sci. 499 or equivalent; or permission of instructor. (1). (Excl).

This course introduces the student to the computer and to campus software systems. Topics considered include how the computer can be used to analyze social science data. Instruction will be provided in the use of a Decwriter terminal and a display (CRT) terminal. The course will cover statistical packages such as MIDAS, conferencing and electronic mail.


lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.