Courses in Political Science (Division 450)

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 examines how democracy evolves and functions in different settings. We start with the emergence of democracy in Western Europe, examining the factors that give rise to it and help it survive. We then examine the origins of fascism in Germany and Japan; and the rise of communism in Russia and China, attempting to understand why these alternatives to democracy flourished in those settings and why they later collapsed. This leads to an analysis of the current struggle between reformers and hardliners over the move to market economies and liberal democracy in Russia, China and Eastern Europe. Finally, we examine the probable evolution of democracy in advanced industrial societies. In addition to two lectures, there are two meetings a week in relatively small discussion sections, designed to encourage active discussion of these topics. (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)

Primarily for Juniors and Seniors

362/UC 441. Global Interdependence. Upperclass standing. (3). (Excl).

This course examines historical, cultural, political, economic and technological factors underlying increasing global interdependence, with a special focus on international economic exchange in different historical periods and cultures. The course is open to upper-level undergraduates and graduate students from throughout the University; there are no other prerequisites for admission. The course will feature lectures by professors from different departments who are experts in the particular topics to be studied. Students will be expected to actively discuss readings drawn from different disciplines, and to prepare a series of short papers. There will be a final short-essay exam. No texts will be required; course pack. This course will combine lecture and discussion sessions. The course will meet TuTh 2:30-4. (Pahre)

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 class will consider themes of justice, the family, politics, language, the state, and truth in European canonical texts. Authors we shall read include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Pisan. The lectures will explore these works in the context of their historical periods, and will attend to certain post-modern and feminist critiques of them. (Stevens)

407. Marxism and 20th Century Radicalism. Pol. Sci. 101 or 401. (3). (Excl).

An exploration of some of the most important and influential critiques of modern society and politics. Topic to be announced.

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.

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)

417. Legislative Process. Two courses in political science or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

The purpose of this course is to study general legislative processes by concentrating on the United States Congress. The perspective we shall use sees members as purposive and strategic agents, having goals and using the best means to achieve those goals. A prime concern of the class is determining why Congress looks and acts the way it does. The method of presentation is lecture. No special background is needed, although some mathematics is involved. Students will be evaluated on the basis of examinations and an optional final paper. (Dion)

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.

428/Asian Studies 428/Phil. 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. The course will begin with an examination of what we mean by bureaucracy. Then, metaphores of bureaucracies (as symptoms based on expertise, as systems oriented to internal functioning, as systems oriented to external interest groups) will be explored. The readings will focus primarily at the national level, but the course itself will cover aspects of bureaucracies common to all levels. Students write one paper that is divided into three parts and take a final exam. (Feldman)

441. Comparative Politics of Advanced Industrial Democracies. Any 100-level course in political science or upperclass standing. (3). (Excl).

This course examines 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. (Huber)

444. Soviet and Post Soviet Politics. Two courses in political science or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

The proseminar in Russian foreign policy focuses on two kinds of comparisons: post-Soviet, Russian foreign policy vs. Soviet foreign policy and Soviet and post-Soviet Russian foreign policy vs. American foreign policy. The emphasis throughout is on the links between domestic political system and elite and mass attitudes and perspectives on the one hand and foreign policy behavior on the other. (Zimmerman)

445. Eastern Europe: Revolution, Reaction, and Reform. (3). (Excl).

This course traces the political development of the socialist countries of Eastern Europe from revolution through reaction, to attempts at reform, and to the post-Communist period. 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. We study attempts at political and economic reform, the fundamental changes of 1989-1990 and the present state of politics in Eastern Europe. This lecture course requires a final examination and a choice of midterm examination or term paper. Cost:2 WL:4 (Gitelman)

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

This course examines change and conflict in religion, culture, and politics, and in the relations between them. An interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approach is taken, with emphasis on the analysis and explanation of historical and contemporary patterns. The particular empirical focus will change from year to year, although as a rule stress will be given to Third World experiences, including Latin America Catholicism, Islam, and developments in Africa and Asia. Studies on Europe and the United States will also be incorporated. Students will be expected to read widely in these materials, as well as in the theoretical literature. The course will be offered every other year. Several mid length papers (8-12 pp), a midterm and a final examination. Cost:2 or 3 WL:4 (Levine)

452. Israeli Society and Politics. (3). (Excl).

The course focuses around the conception of Israel as an ethno-national democracy, the inherent contradictions in an ethno-national democracy and the manner in which Israeli elites and masses respond to these contradictions. (Liebman)

455. Government and Politics of China. (3). (Excl).

An introduction to the politics of the People's Republic of China. Examines both the origins of the communist revolution and the consolidation of communist power. The themes of the course include: major political and socioeconomic campaigns since 1949; the role and the function of ideology and the communist party; conflicts between state and society; and impetus to and impact of economic and political reform instituted since Mao's death. (Huang)

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. Cost:3 WL:1 (Campbell)

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

This course is designed to introduce students to some of the issues in the politics of "developing" nations. The course will be focused around how ideas about development and the interests of political actors, in conjunction with each other, have influenced the political and economic development of these nation states. The first part of the course will begin with modernization theory, its particular understanding of the relationship of the individual to the state, the pressures for economic development and their impact on the construction of states in the immediate post-colonial era. We will then discuss whether this state has been able to provide either for economic growth or for the removal of poverty. The inability of the state to deliver the necessary goods has been attributed to its weakness in relationship to social forces, especially the multiple ethnic groups which compose many of these nation states. In the final segment of the course we will evaluate the nature of ethnic conflict and examine reasons for the resurgence of religion as a political force in parts of the developing world. Grading will be based on three written assignments - a 25 page paper, midterm and final examination and class participation. Students should be prepared to read extensively. (Chhibber)

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). Laboratory fee ($30) required.

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)

483. American Political Parties and Electoral Problems. Political Science 111, 140, 410, or 411; or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

In this class we seek a broad understanding of what the American political parties are, how they operate and how they evolved. We will study them mainly in the context of presidential elections, although we will also consider local parties, party organization, and comparative perspectives. To enhance our understanding of recent American elections, we will also spend time on the major political changes in the South and on the role of racial and ethnic minorities in electoral politics. There will be two exams (short answer and essay), and one short paper. Students will be expected to read assigned books and articles and be prepared to discuss the material. Lecture and discussion will be the format. Cost:3 WL:1 (Kollman)

486. Public Opinion, Political Participation, and Pressure Groups. One course in political science or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

Prereq: One prior course in American politics. This is a course on democratic government as an interrelated system of actors. Topics include public opinion and socialization, interest groups and social movements, political parties, and the governmental process, along with issues of economic growth and democratic stability. Students are assumed to be familiar with the American political system, and the reading and lectures emphasize classic theories and arguments rather than current events. Grades will be based on a series of short papers, along with a midterm and a final examination. Cost:3 WL:4 (Achen)

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 one to six credits. A maximum of four 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.

496. Undergraduate Seminar in American Government and Politics. Senior standing, primarily for seniors concentrating in political science. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice.
Section 001 Decision Making.
This course will examine decision making as part of the behavior in which organizational members engage. This, we will begin by exploring briefly who is behaving and how meaning is attributed to behavior. This some common ways of thinking about decision making (as rational behavior, as political behavior, as routine following behavior, as symbolic behavior) will be discussed. This course will end with an examination of the usefulness of the concept of decision making. (Feldman)

Section 002 Interest Groups in National Policy Making. This course will examine the place of public and private interest groups in contemporary U.S. policy making. The focus will be primarily at the national level, though there may be some attention to scholarship and cases in the subnational and comparative domains as well. Topics will include the formation and maintenance of interest groups, the internal politics of interest groups, and the effects of both public lobbies and private groups on the electoral, legislative, and executive rule-making processes. Requirements: active participation in seminar; 2 exams; several papers. Cost:4 WL:4 (Hall)

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 Religious Transformation and Social Change: Judaism in Israel and the United States.
Religious culture evolves, in part, as a response to challenges posed by the society in which it is located. This seminar will explore the changing interpretation of Judaism or the changing meaning which Jews impose upon Judaism, in two distinct socio-political environments. You will be asked to compare how Jews have interpreted and transformed the traditional understanding of Judaism in the United States and in Israel. (Liebman)

Section 002. This seminar has two purposes: (1) to introduce recent controversies about how to interpret Japan in the light of political science or political economy theories (e.g., principal-agent analysis); and (2) to guide students in substantial individual research projects on Japanese politics or political economy. Classes will consist mainly of discussion based on intensive reading. Students should either have previously worked on Japan or be willing to do some background reading as well as the course assignments. Grades will be based on the research project plus a couple of short papers and class participation. Cost:3 WL:1 (Campbell)

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.

529/IPPS 529. Statistics. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

An introductory course (intended for graduate students at the Institute of Public Policy Studies) that covers descriptive statistics, elementary probability theory, normal and binomial distributions, sampling theory, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. There is also an introduction to simple regression analysis and to statistical decision theory. Cost:3 WL:3 (Chamberlin)

585/IPPS 585. Political Environment of Public Policy Analysis. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
Section 001.
A review of the political and organizational environment for policy analysis and design in the American governmental system. The course will begin with some critical reflections on policy analysis by exploring its political uses and limitations. We will pay particular attention to the importance of political values in the analysis of policy problems and solutions. 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. Permission of instructor is required. Cost:3 (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 5619 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.