Primarily for First and Second Year Students

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

An overview of some classic texts of Western political thought, including Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Plato, Machiavelli, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Burke, and Mill. Among the questions to be discussed: is it good for people to participate in politics? or does it require them to be immoral scoundrels? What (if anything) makes state authority legitimate? What are "conservatives" and "liberals" disagreeing about? (Herzog)

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 is designed to give students an understanding of how several major political systems work and to familiarize them with concepts used to analyze politics in these and other countries. Each of the countries selected 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, or led to communist or fascist regimes; political parties and political competition; leadership succession; the analysis of contemporary political conflicts and the future of advanced industrial societies. The course will offer two meetings per week in relatively small discussion sections designed to encourage a two-way flow of conversation. Cost:4 WL:1 (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. Cost:3 WL:1 and 4 (Organski)

185. Introduction to Modeling Political Processes. Primarily for first-year students and sophomores. (3). (SS).

An introduction to the use of models as a way of developing theories about social science phenomena such as competition for votes, conflict over territory, outbreaks of protest, alliances in business and politics, or even patterns of marriage. The models covered in the course involve many different processes such as rational choice, learning, and social diffusion. Some are mathematical and others computer-based. After a general introduction to the reasons for using models in developing theories, the course concentrates on developing modeling skills: constructing, manipulating, evaluating, and revising models. The class meets twice a week, and there is a homework problem set weekly generally done in groups. There will be a midterm and a final. (Cohen)

395/REES 395/Slavic 395/Hist. 332/Soc. 392. Survey of the Soviet Union and its Successor States. (4). (SS).

See Russian and East European Studies 395.

400. Development of Political Thought: To Modern Period. Junior standing or two courses in political science. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Ancient and Medieval Political Theory.
This lecture course teaches canonical texts of Western ancient and medieval political theory. We shall focus on themes of gender, the family, religion, citizenship and the state. Authors we shall read include Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Cicero, Aquinas, and Augustine. (Stevens)

410. American Policy Processes. Any 100-level course in political science. (3). (Excl).

This is a course on U.S. policy-making at the national level, focusing on the interaction of the executive and legislative branches.

411. American Political Processes. Any 100-level course in political science. (3). (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 (Markus)

412. The Legal Process. Two courses in political science or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

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 theory are interspersed with materials that show how legal institutions function in the United States, Germany, China and other polities. 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. Cost:3 WL:1 (Scheppele)

419/CAAS 418. Black Americans and the Political System. Two courses in political science or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course focuses upon the evolution, nature and role of African American politics within the American Political System. The concern is with African Americans as Actors and creators and initiators in the political process. And the course will focus upon the inputs, the responses of the decision makers and the outputs in terms of public policies. And finally the various controversies will be explored and analyzed in regard to African American politics. There are no prerequisites for the course. Student evaluation will be based on exams, a book review and one short paper. Of course, participation in each seminar is expected. The course will have three to four texts that will be selected later this summer. Finally, the methods of instruction will include lectures, a film presentation, and class room discussions. Cost:5 (Walton)

420/Comm. 420. Politics and the Mass Media. Pol. Sci. 111, 300, 410, or 411. (4). (Excl).

See Communication 420. (Semetko)

423. Politics of the Metropolis. Two courses in political science or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course will examine the historical development of local politics in America and explore the ways in which that history defines current problems and controversies in American local politics. In particular, we will look at the legacy of the machine and reform eras, at post-World-War II state and federal efforts to change the content of local politics, at suburbanization, and at the shifting character of both economic and racial conflicts in American local politics. A large part of the course will focus upon the politics of race, development, business, housing, and services in the governing of post-World-War-II American cities. (Burns)

428/Phil. 428/Asian Studies 428/Soc. 426. China's Evolution Under Communism. Upperclass standing or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course is intended for students who seek an introduction. There are no prior course requirements, and the lectures and readings avoid jargon. The immediate purpose is simple: to convey an understanding of the Chinese communist revolution, China's recent political history, its emergence into the world scene in the past few years, and its social, cultural, political, and economic conditions. The larger purpose is to awaken a life-long interest among students in following developments in China, because the rise of this nation is one of the major developments of our lifetime. Mr. Lieberthal will deliver most of the lectures, and the remaining lectures will be given by professors from UM's leading Center for Chinese Studies. This is an inter-disciplinary course. Requirements are an hour exam, a short term paper, and a final examination. Cost:3 WL:1 (Lieberthal)

431. Public Administration. Two courses in political science or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

The focus of this course will be public bureaucracies and various ways of talking about them.

443. Selected Topics in Western European Politics. Any 100-level course in political science or upperclass standing. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice.

Intensive examination of Contemporary Western European politics.

447. Comparative Studies in Religion and Politics. (3). (Excl).

This course examines change and conflict in religion, culture and politics and the relations between them. The particular empirical focus will change from year to year.

448. Governments and Politics of Latin America. Pol. Sci. 140 or 440; or a course on Latin America elected through another department. (3). (Excl).

This course examines the links between social conflict and political change in Latin America, and considers alternative explanations about the origins and evolution of such region-wide phenomena as underdevelopment, authoritarianism, revolution, and democratization. In the process, we will examine the different roles played by key social and political actors, including labor, the military, business elites, political party leaders, and the U.S. government. No prior knowledge of the region is assumed or required. (Gibson)

453. Government and Politics of the Middle East. Two courses in Pol. Sci. or permission of instructor. (3). (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 post war eras; the second part of the course is devoted to understanding the processes and structures that account for that evolution. (Crystal)

456. Government and Politics of Japan. Pol. Sci. 140, 440, or 450; or permission of instructor. (3). (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 science 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. Grading will be by examination and short papers. The main texts are Richardson and Flanagan, JAPANESE POLITICS, and Curtis, THE JAPANESE WAY OF POLITICS. Cost:3 (Campbell)

460. Problems in World Politics. Any 100-level course in political science. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice with permission of the instructor.

This course stresses the importance of theoretical approaches to the study of World Politics. Students will receive exposure to a wide range of theories of World Politics. More importantly, we will stress theoretical methods, hypothesis testing, and the philosophy of science. We will emphasize hands-on learning of both theory and methods in problem sets. (Pahre)

465. Political Development and Dependence. Two courses in political science or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

Prerequisite: One course in political science. An introduction to the study of political and economic change in post-colonial countries. Major theoretical issues will be presented through historical material drawn from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Important themes include imperialism, dependency, pathways from colonialism, right- and left-wing revolutions, authoritarianism, and democratization. Cost:3 WL:1 (Winters)

471. The American Foreign Policy Process. Two courses in political science or permission of instructor. (3). (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) 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+. Cost:1-2 WL:1. To get an override, the student must be a graduating senior and must bring writing samples and a copy of transcript. (Singer)

472. International Security Affairs. Two courses in political science or permission of instructor. (3). (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 Arab-Israeli Conflict and the Persian Gulf War. 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:3 WL:1 (Tanter)

495. Undergraduate Seminar in Political Theory. Senior standing, primarily for seniors concentrating in political science. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice.
Section 001 Legitimacy, Obligation, and Disobedience.
An intensive exploration of some classic and modern texts. Among the questions to be discussed: what (if anything) makes state authority legitimate? Are individuals morally obliged to obey the law, and if so why? When might disobedience be permitted? When might it be required? Students will be expected to do the assigned reading extremely carefully and actively participate in discussion. Assignments will include two 5-page papers and one 15-page paper. (Herzog)

497. Undergraduate Seminar in Comparative and Foreign Government. Senior standing, primarily for seniors concentrating in political science. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice.
Section 001 Ethnicity and Politics in the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
This seminar is designed for those with some background in Soviet or East European politics. It examines the nationalities of the former USSR, policies which affect them, the ideology which informs those policies, and the reactions of the nationalities to state policies. We examine the historical and ideological development of Soviet nationality policy and then analyze several aspects of ethnopolitics: language and personnel policies, resource allocation, ethnicity and religion, ethnic relations, and demography. The seminar concludes with an examination of the current crisis in post-Soviet ethnopolitics. The course emphasizes reading and the writing of papers, including a major research paper. There are no examinations. Cost:2 WL:1 (Gitelman)

Section 002 Political Development in the Middle East. This course is designed to explore contemporary theoretical approaches to the study of politics and political change in the Middle East. The approach is comparative. Cases are drawn predominantly from the Arab world. The goal is not (primarily) to present a detailed history of the region of any one state; rather it is to develop greater familiarity with the concepts and conceptual frameworks used in the study of politics and to apply them to the states of one region. The first part of the course deals with the region as a whole, with the basic issues of development, and with the major theoretical approaches to the study of development (including modernization and dependency). The second part analyzes economic, social, and political structures in the region. Three themes appear throughout the course: poverty and wealth, ideology and identity, and coercion and concent. The course has no formal prerequisites except the instructor's permission. Ordinarily, however, at least one prior course on the politics or history of the region is expected; this is not an introduction to Middle Eastern politics. Cost:2/3 WL:4 (Crystal)

Section 003 Democracy and Representation. There are many different types of democratic political systems, and each creates different opportunities for citizens to control what politicians do. After exploring the concept of political representation, as well as the abstract properties of majority rule, this seminar analyzes choices that different democratic countries have made in an effort to force politicians to pay attention to the demands of citizens. We will be particularly concerned with theories of party competition, theories of interest group behavior, and theories of elite interaction in plural society. One substantive focus of the course will be to examine how different countries deal with the demands of permanent minorities, such as the Catholics in Northern Ireland. We will conclude by considering proposed alternatives to the current conceptualization of the democratic nation-state. Students will be evaluated based on participation in the discussion of the readings and the successful completion of several short writing assignments. The readings for the seminar will include political philosophy, formal models of choice processes, and empirical studies of representation. There is a good deal of reading and I anticipate that the course will be rather expensive (more than 75 dollars). (Huber)

498. Undergraduate Seminar in International Politics. Senior standing, primarily for seniors concentrating in political science. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice.
Section 001 War and International Politics.
In this course alternative theoretical approaches to studying the causes of international crises and wars between states will be explored. Historical evidence will be examined to test the explanatory power of various theories. The time period to be covered will be since the early 19th century and the countries included will quite diverse ranging from the European Great Powers to the Middle East and Africa. The course will be conducted as a seminar with a heavy emphasis on discussion. Students will be graded on the basis of papers and exams. Students should have previous course work in international politics or diplomatic history. Cost:3 WL:4 (Huth)

513/Soc. 513. Detroit Area Study. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

See Sociology 513 (Rodgers)

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.