Courses in Political Science (Division 450)

Primarily for First and Second Year Students

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

The course will present students with some fundamental texts of Western political philosophy, Plato to Marx. The aim 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 includes two lecture sessions (one hour each) and a two-hour discussion session each week. Students will be required to prepare readings in advance of classes to participate in discussions, and to write papers showing their grasping of the material covered in the course. (Gobetti)

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

This is a broad survey of government and politics in the United States which explores a wide range of topics including elections, interest groups, the presidency, Congress and the courts. 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? How do members of Congress decide how to vote? In what ways do presidents and bureaucrats affect public policies? This is not a comprehensive list but suggests the kinds of issues that are discussed in this course. There are two lectures and two discussion section meetings each week. There is generally a midterm, a final examination, and some other written work. [Cost:2] [WL:1] (Kingdon)

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

This course will provide students with an understanding of politics in Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union, and familiarize them with concepts used to analyze politics. Each of the 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 political life; 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. (Oksenberg)

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. [Cost:3] [WL:1 and 4] (Organski)

Primarily for Juniors and Seniors

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

The purpose of this course is to provide you with a conceptual framework for understanding and interpreting elections in the United States. Elections form a critical link between citizens and government; to make sense of the electoral process, and to participate in it intelligently, one should know something about: 1)the political values and attitudes of the American public; 2)contending ideas about the proper functions of American government; 3)the conduct of political campaigns; and 4)the emerging role of the mass media in the political process. Political Science 300 differs from other courses that deal with these themes in that this course stresses the utility of scholarly knowledge as a means to make sense of current events especially those events related to campaigns and elections. To that end, scholarly readings are intermixed with articles about current issues and events, and our discussions often move freely from assigned readings to the latest news. In addition, candidates for office and other guests typically meet with us throughout the term. [Cost:2] [WL:1] (Markus)

361. Current Issues in World Politics. (1-4). (Excl).

"EAST ASIA AND GLOBAL CHANGE." Events are moving so rapidly that every day brings startling news. Changes of global significance are occurring in many spheres political, economic, environmental, cultural, and military. At the same time, the world for the first time in the modern era has a non-Western area East Asia which stands on a coequal footing with the United States and Europe. This combination of dramatic changes in many spheres and the emergence of a dynamic East Asian region is virtually reconfiguring our understanding of international relations and of America's future. This mini-course seeks to explore these issues in a way that is appropriate for undergraduates from freshmen to seniors, and students are welcome from all undergraduate units of the university. No previous background is necessary. The course consists of keynote addresses by five noted speakers on five different dimensions of the relations between East Asia and global change. Additional lectures are given by Kenneth Lieberthal and by other faculty at the U. of M. Reading is light-roughly one article per major topic. There is no paper assignment only an exam at the end of each term. Students should register to take the course on a pass/fail basis. Both terms (PS 361 and PS 362) MUST be taken (students receive a "Y" grade for the first term), with each term worth one credit. The class most likely will meet most Thursday nights, 8-9:30 p.m. Regular lectures are in Room 1800 Dow Chemical Building; keynote addresses are in the Rackham Amphitheatre. (Lieberthal)

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. (Szporluk)

400(402). Development of Political Thought: To Modern Period. Junior standing or two courses in political science. (4). (Excl).

The aim of this course is two-fold: 1) to give the student a sense of the history of political philosophy from the ancient Greek period to the end of the sixteenth century, and 2) to help the student become aware of the complexities and assumptions entailed in the articulation of a coherent political theory. We will be reading the works of such major political philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Machiavelli. We will be concerned with such issues as the relation between nature and convention, the sources of legitimacy, the role of the individual in the political community and the value and purpose of political life. Readings will be from primary sources. [Cost:4] [WL:1] (Saxonhouse)

410. American Policy Processes. Any 100-level course in political science. (4). (Excl).

This course examines the creation and implementation of public programs in the United States. Lectures and readings focus on the major institutions of American government, how those institutions work together, the effects of federalism on public policy, and how we go about paying for all of this.

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

COURSE OBJECTIVES: 1) Provide an understanding of American mass politics, especially electoral politics, from both normative and empirical points of view and from the perspectives of mass publics and elites 2) Explore the extent, causes, and consequences of recent changes (or alleged changes) in public attitudes toward politics. 3)Introduce the modes of thinking and the analytical tools employed in the systematic study of American political behavior. COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Midterm and final examinations, plus a term paper. The paper will involve original research. [Cost:3] [WL:1] (Jennings)

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

This is a Collegiate Fellows course, emphasizing critical thinking. See page 3 of this Course Guide for a complete list of Collegiate Fellows courses.

Legal Process combines the study of legal theory with selected case studies in American and comparative law. The course examines the nature of legal interpretation, the organization of legal institutions, the role of constitutions in structuring governments and legal systems, and the relation between law and politics. Readings in legal philosophy are interspersed with materials that show how legal institutions function in the United States, England, West Germany, China, the Soviet Union and other polities, including several tribal legal systems. Through reading original materials and discussing them in class, students are expected to improve their abilities to relate theory and evidence and to learn to think more critically. Classes are run in modified "Socratic method" format, with heavy emphasis on class participation. Exams and papers require students to use their analytic skills to reason through the empirical and theoretical puzzles, developing their own arguments in response to the challenges of the subject matter. (Scheppele)

439/Econ. 325/Am. Inst. 439. Inequality in the United States. Econ. 201 or Poli. Sci. 111. (3). (Excl).

See Economics 325. (Corcoran and Courant)

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

This course will focus on four topics:

  1. Democracy in Historical perspective;
  2. Democracy and Dictatorship in the contemporary world;
  3. Political parties and institutions in advanced industrial society;
  4. Political conflict in advanced industrial societies.

We will examine the conditions that lead to the emergence of democracy, and those which are conductive to authoritarian forms of government; analyze factors that make politics in third world countries differ from those of industrialized societies; and examine patterns of political cleavages in mature industrial nations. (Inglehart)

441. Comparative Politics of Advanced Industrial Democracies. Any 100-level course in political science or upperclass standing. (4). (Excl).

This course examines the politics in the democracies of Western Europe, North America, and Japan. The focus is on political parties, elections, patterns of participation, public policy, and political economy. It should not be elected by students without a course in Political Science, or by students who have taken Political Science 440 or 442. Students will be evaluated by midterm and final examinations and by a paper. Lecture and discussion. (Barnes)

445. Eastern Europe: Revolution, Reaction, and Reform. (4). (Excl).

This course traces the political development of the socialist countries of Eastern Europe from revolution through reaction to attempts at reform. After examining the political cultures of the region, the course analyzes the Stalinist period, attempts at de-Stalinization and the search for political alternatives. The interaction of rulers and the ruled is examined by studying the elites, ethnic and social groups, public opinion and dissent in the area. Attempts at political and economic reform and the fundamental changes of 1989-1990 are also included. This is a lecture course requiring a final examination and a choice of midterm examination or term paper. [Cost:2] [WL:4] (Gitelman)

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

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). (Excl).

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. [WL:4] (Crystal)

454. Governments and Politics of Southeast Asia. Two courses in political science or permission of instructor. (4). (Excl).

This is an introductory course concerned with the ten nations of Southeast Asia. Major points of interest will be the political culture, religions, militaries, and economics of these countries. The subject matter of this course will be almost exclusively domestic policies, with little coverage of the international relations of the region. Grading will be based on short papers, a final exam, and in-class discussions. [Cost:2] [WL:1] (Hawes)

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

The Chinese government is guiding nearly one-quarter of mankind through the industrial revolution. This historically unprecedented effort is being directed by a revolutionary party that gained power through a massive rural insurgency in a country that had over the centuries made world renowned achievements in culture and statecraft. GOVERNMENT AND POLTICS OF CHINA uses these three broad dimensions China's traditions, the revolutionary history of the Chinese Communist Party, and the strains of the transition to industrial society to analyze the politics of the People's Republic of China since 1949. In addition to providing a detailed political history of the PRC, this course focuses on two efforts: 1) explaining key decisions in terms of both the political forces at play and the decision making processes themselves; and 2) understanding in depth the substantive issues on the current Chinese political agenda. There will be some treatment of foreign affairs, but the major effort centers on domestic politics. This course complements rather than overlaps with Political Science 428 but Pol. Sci 428 is NOT a prerequisite for Political Science 455. Grades are based on a midterm and a final examination, and a paper. (Lieberthal)

456. Government and Politics of Japan. Pol. Sci. 140, 440, or 450; or permission of instructor. (4). (Excl).

Japan is an ever-more interesting country to study, due to both its obvious importance, and the fact that it is the only post-industrial non-western country. This course offers an overview of contemporary Japanese politics, designed for students with a general interest in Japan as well as political concentrators. Special attention is given to how politics has affected, and has been affected by, cultural patterns, social organization, economic growth and Japan's position in the world. (Campbell)

460. Problems in World Politics. Any 100-level course in political science. (4). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice with permission of the instructor.

This course deals with the shifts in superpower relations during the post-1945 period, and, in particular, their effects on the international system.

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

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. (Crystal)

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

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. [Cost:4] [WL:1] (Evangelista)

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

U.S. FOREIGN POLICY: PROCESS and SUBSTANCE. This course has several objectives: (a) to help illuminate the process and setting that produces American foreign policy; (b) to help familiarize students with scientific method and quantitative historical analysis in the context of U.S. role in world politics; and (c) enhance the student's ability to read, analyze, and write in a manner that is conceptually precise, analytically rigorous, and semantically clear. There will be quite a few short abstracts, memos, and analyses, plus one larger written assignment. There will be assigned reading in: (a) two or three required texts; (b) a course pack, and (c) in the scholarly journals. This is not an "oral textbook" course; therefore lectures will be minimal, and informal but rigorous and interactive. This is not the best course for students who are passive or excessively concerned with admission to law school. Prerequisites: Political Science 160 and one 400-level social science course with grades of B+. (Singer)

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

The course concerns the changing nature of East-West and North-South relations, focuses on the process by which American national security decisions are made, and treats alternative explanations of national security affairs. A special focus will be on the relationship between arms control and ballistic missile defense. The course uses a computer-assisted simulation of national security decision-making to provide participants first hand experience on constraints to rational action. Students should have taken an introductory course in international politics, such as PS 160. There will be two exams, a midterm and a final. Students will be evaluated regarding the quality and quantity of their participation in the simulation. Methods of instruction include lecture, discussion, and the simulation. [Cost:4] [WL:1] (Tanter)

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

SECTION 001. 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. [Cost:2] [WL:1] (Langton)

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.

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

This is a small seminar devoted to selected topics in political theory. Topic will be announced later.

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

SECTION 001 DEMOCRATIZATION IN GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. This course will examine long-term changes among advanced industrial-societies that lead toward democratization. Although the most dramatic recent examples of the shift toward democracy have been found in Eastern Europe, this seminar will examine the thesis that this is only one case of a global trend. At the origins of this process are economic and technological changes that lead to changes in the nature of work, education and communications. These in turn produce cultural changes among the publics of advanced industrial societies which lead to 1) An increasingly high priority being given to self-expression by an increasingly large segment of the public; and 2) Rising levels of political skills which mean that these publics not only are increasingly likely to want to have a say in government decisions, but are increasingly effective in forcing governments to pay attention to their preferences. We will examine evidence from Europe, North America, East Asia and Latin America relating to this question. (Inglehart)

498. Undergraduate Seminar in International Politics. Permission of instructor. Intended for senior concentrators. (4). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice.

SECTION 001 PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACHES TO INTERNATIONAL THEORY. This course introduces students to various alternatives to "rational" approaches to the study of the outbreak of war, peace, and cooperation. Students are expected to participate actively discussions, make presentations and write a research paper that applies one or more theories to an historical case-study. (Hopf)

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.

585/IPPS 585. Political Environment of Public Policy Analysis. Permission of instructor. (4). (Excl).

To be successful, the policy analyst or administrator must understand the system in which he or she operates: the actors who share power within a policy domain, the ways in which they perceive both problems and solutions, the sorts of ideas and evidence they find persuasive, the interests likely to motivate their actions. The specific goal of this course is to help prospective analysts approach their political environment more critically and reflectively. Somewhat less directly, it should help them to deal more effectively with the relevant political actors in a complex decision making system. The course will begin with some critical reflections on policy analysis by exploring its political uses and limitations. We will then turn to a detailed examination of the American political system, focusing our attention on the institutions, actors, and decision-making processes at the national level. Where possible, we will try to raise the relevant issues of politics and policy analysis through the examination of substantive policy areas and particular cases. We will conclude by examining the several issues that the course raises in the context of an in-depth examination of a single case: the development of national social security policy. Requirements: 7-8 papers, 1 oral presentation. (Enrollment restricted to IPPS students or permission of instructor.) [Cost:4] [WL:4] (Hall)

591. Advanced Internship in Political Science. Two courses in political science at the 400 level or above and concentration in political science; or graduate standing. Permission of supervising instructor and review by the Department's internship advisor. No more than 4 credits of internship may be included as part of a concentration plan in political science. (2-6). (Excl). (EXPERIENTIAL). All internship courses may be elected for a maximum total of 8 credits.

Advanced Internship requires careful, individual planning between senior students in Political Science and individual faculty members who approve the internship and provide instruction. To register for the course, the student must complete the internship form and obtain an override to enter the course. The form is available in 6619 Haven Hall.

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.