Concentration Chair: Gary Herrigel, P 423, 702-8067,
Undergraduate Secretary: Mimi Walsh, P 401, 702-3040,
World Wide Web: political-science.uchicago.edu
Program of Study
The academic discipline of political science contributes to a liberal education by introducing College students to concepts, methods, and knowledge that help them understand and judge politics within and among nations. A Bachelor of Arts degree in political science can lead to professional or graduate school in various disciplines, or contribute to careers in such fields as government, journalism, politics, education, business, and law.
Courses. A concentration in political science requires eleven courses: nine political science courses and two additional social sciences courses from outside of political science. Two of the nine political science courses may be selected from courses offered outside of political science that are clearly related to the student's area of interest and have a significant political science content or focus. Prior approval of the concentration chair is required. Students are strongly advised to use this opportunity to take two quarters of the Western civilization sequence or a non-Western civilization sequence.
Course Distribution. The Department of Political Science believes that an undergraduate education in politics should include some familiarity with theoretical approaches to politics, with the politics of one's own country, with the politics of other countries, and with politics among nations. It, therefore, requires that of the nine political science courses required at least one course be taken in three of the following four subfields. To identify the subfields, refer to the boldface letter at the end of each course description.
A. Empirical and Normative Political Theory: the history of ancient and modern political philosophy, the history of American political thought, and several varieties of contemporary political theory
B. American Politics and Public Policy: American political institutions, behavior, opinions, development, and public policy
C. Comparative Politics: the politics of particular foreign countries and regions and the comparative study of particular political phenomena such as leadership or state formation
D. International Relations: theoretical approaches to the study of politics among nations, the international relations of particular regions, the foreign policies of particular countries, and such topics as international political economy and military security
Summary of Requirements
Concentration* 3 political science courses: one each in three of four subfields
4 political science courses
2 social sciences courses outside political science
1 PLSC 29800 (B.A. Paper Colloquium)
1 PLSC 29900 (B.A. Paper)
* Attendance is also required at two meetings with the B.A. preceptors and concentration chair during the spring quarter of the junior year.
Grading. Two of the nine required courses in political science may, with the consent of the instructor, be graded P/F.
Reading and Research Course. For students with a legitimate interest in pursuing a program of study that cannot be fulfilled by means of regular courses, there is the option of devising a reading and research course, to be taken individually and supervised by a member of the political science faculty. Such a course requires the approval of the political science concentration chair and the prior consent of the instructor with whom the student would like to study. Political Science 29700 is a general reading and research course for independent study not related to the B.A. paper or B.A. research. Please note that only one Political Science 29700 course may count toward the concentration requirements.
Junior Year. During the spring quarter of the junior year, all prospective political science concentrators are required to attend two meetings with the B.A. preceptors and the concentration chair (these meetings will be widely publicized). The first meeting will provide a general introduction and information on the B.A. paper process. The second meeting will focus on methods for doing research in political science. These meetings are designed to encourage initial thinking on the B.A. paper. By the end of the eighth week of the spring quarter of the junior year, all concentrators must have chosen a faculty adviser and received written approval from the faculty adviser and the preceptor for the B.A. paper proposal. A copy of the approved proposal must be filed with the department (P 401). Failure to attend the meetings and have an approved B.A. paper proposal by the deadline will prevent a student from concentrating in political science. Students not in residence in the spring quarter prior to their fourth year should be in correspondence with the concentration chair about their plans for the B.A. paper before the end of the spring quarter.
The B.A. Paper Colloquium (Political Science 29800). All concentrators must participate in the B.A. Paper Colloquium in the autumn and winter quarters of the senior year. The colloquium, which may be organized along methodological or field lines, is designed to help students carry out their B.A. paper research. It will meet weekly in the autumn quarter and biweekly in the winter quarter. The final grade for the colloquium will reflect the grade assigned by the B.A. preceptor based on the student's contribution to the colloquium. Please note that registration for Political Science 29800 is required and is limited to either the autumn or winter quarter of the senior year.
The B.A. Paper (Political Science 29900). During their senior year, concentrators must register with their B.A. paper faculty adviser for one (and only one) quarter of Political Science 29900. The final grade for the course will be based on the grade given the B.A. paper by the faculty adviser. The final deadline for submission of the B.A. paper is Friday of eighth week of the quarter in which the student expects to graduate (see honors deadline below). This deadline represents a final, formal submission; students should expect to submit and defend substantial drafts much earlier. One copy of the B.A. paper must be submitted to the department office (P 401) for delivery to the appropriate faculty adviser. The B.A. paper page requirement is thirty to fifty pages, with the upper limit being firm.
Honors. Students who have done exceptionally well in their course work and have written an outstanding B.A. paper are recommended for honors in political science. Faculty readers will nominate B.A. papers that appear to be of particular distinction. If the Honors Committee concurs and the corresponding grade point average is 3.25 or better in the concentration, the student may graduate with honors; there is no required overall grade point average. To be considered for honors, students must submit two copies of their B.A. paper by Friday of the fifth week of the quarter in which they expect to graduate.
DANIELLE ALLEN, Associate Professor, Departments of Political Science and Classical Languages & Literatures, and the College
CARLES BOIX, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
JOHN BREHM, Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
CATHY COHEN, Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
Joseph Cropsey, Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science and the College
Michael Dawson, Professor, Department of Political Science and the College; Director, Center for the Study of Race, Politics, & Culture
DANIEL DREZNER, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
MELISSA HARRIS-LACEWELL, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
Gary Herrigel, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
STATHIS KALYVAS, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
Charles Larmore, Professor, Departments of Political Science and Philosophy, and the College
JACOB LEVY, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
Charles Lipson, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and the College; Director, Program on International Politics, Economics, & Security
PATCHEN MARKELL, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
LUIS MEDINA, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
John Padgett, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
ROBERT PAPE, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
Gerald N. Rosenberg, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
Lloyd I. Rudolph, Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, William Benton Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
William Sewell, Max Palevsky Professor, Departments of Political Science and History, and the College
Bernard S. Silberman, Professor, Department of Political Science, Center for East Asian Studies, and the College
Duncan Snidal, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, and the College; Director, Program on International Politics, Economics, & Security
Susan Stokes, Professor, Department of Political Science and the College; Director, Chicago Center on Democracy
Cass R. Sunstein, Karl N. Llewellyn Professor, the Law School, Department of Political Science, and the College; Director, Center for the Study of Constitutionalism in Eastern Europe
Ronald Suny, Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
Nathan Tarcov, Professor, Committee on Social Thought, Department of Political Science, and the College; Director, John M. Olin Center for Inquiry into the Theory & Practice of Democracy
LISA WEDEEN, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
ALEXANDER WENDT, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
Dali Yang, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
IRIS YOUNG, Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
For a description of the numbering guidelines for the following courses, consult the section on reading the catalog on page 15.
Boldface letters in parentheses refer to the course distribution areas noted in the preceding Program Requirements section.
21000. International Institutions, Organizations, and World Politics. The role of formalized international institutions and organizations becomes more and more distinctive in various fields of world politics: economic, environmental, human rights, and some political issues areas. This course: (1) reviews theoretical developments in the IR field from decentralized cooperation theory, regime theory, and traditional institutionalists arguments; (2) introduces recent theoretical arguments of formal institutional organizations; and (3) presents case studies of several important international organizations. D. Moon. Winter. (D)
21100. Introduction to the Political Economy of Regulation. Whether it can be perceived or not, our everyday life is constrained by a complex array of government regulation ranging from food safety to bank deposits to clean air and water. Because of the huge impact on the economic life of consumers and businesses, regulation is regarded as an economic phenomenon. However, regulation, whether economic or social, is an outcome of the political process. In this light, the question of how to juxtapose an economic consideration within a political context is important in understanding the mechanisms of regulation. J. Choi. Spring. (B)
21200. Congress, Bureaucracy, and U.S. Public Policy. This course investigates the political dynamics of Congress and the U.S. federal bureaucracy with an eye toward how these institutions interact to produce public policies. We explore a world in which Congress passes laws that cannot be implemented, agencies actively oppose Congressional mandates, and bureaucracies become political actors with interests, providing the genesis for some of the laws they eventually enforce. We evaluate incentives in Congressional elections, inter-institutional conflict, policy ambiguity, and interest-group activity as possible explanations for this apparent chaos. We conclude by critiquing popular proposals to reform Congress and bureaucracy and formulate our own approaches to the problems endemic to these institutions. M. Heaney. Spring. (B)
21300/31300. Freedom, State, and Society. PQ: Knowledge of statistics and economics not required. There are a number of possible ways to understand the relationship between freedom and the institutions, associations, and communities that stand between the individual and a central state family, religious community, and ethnocultural community; local and provincial levels of government; and so on. This course is structured around the question of how secondary institutions relate to freedom, and around debates between those who provide different answers. We draw on history, economics, law, political science, and, especially, political theory. J. Levy. Spring. (A)
21500/32500. World Politics in the Twentieth Century, 1914-1945: A History. This course provides a survey of major wars, the development of states' military and financial capacity, the maintenance of European empires, diplomatic alignments and alliances, and arrangements for international trade and investment, as well as efforts to create international institutions. It surveys the history of modern inter-state relations in the first half of the twentieth century (the period from the outset of World War I to the end of World War II). It deals with key elements of international history needed for further study of international politics and IR theory, including long-term trends in diplomacy, economic development, and military force. C. Lipson. Autumn. (D)
21600/32600. World Politics in the Twentieth Century, 1945-1991: A History. This course provides a survey of major wars, the development of states' military and financial capacity, imperial retreat, diplomatic alignments and alliances, and arrangements for international trade and investment, as well as efforts to create international institutions. It surveys the history of modern inter-state relations in the latter half of the twentieth century. It focuses on the cold war and the development of an integrated world economy under U.S. leadership. It deals with key elements of international history needed for further study of international politics and IR theory, including long-term trends in diplomacy, economic development, and military force. C. Lipson. Winter. (D)
21700. Game Theory. PQ: Some knowledge of algebra, basic calculus, and elementary probability theory. This course presents the most commonly used techniques of game theory, (i.e., the branch of rational choice theory that deals with interdependent actions). It focuses on simple games and examples relevant to political science with and without uncertainty, and in both static and dynamic settings. L. Medina. Spring. (A)
23100. Democracy and the Information/Technology Revolution. The revolution in information technologies has serious implications for democratic societies. We concentrate, though not exclusively, on the United States. We look at which populations have the most access to technology-based information sources (the digital divide), and how individual and group identities are being forged online. We ask how the responsiveness of government is being affected, and how representative the online community is. Severe conflict over the tension between national security and individual privacy rights in the United States, United Kingdom, and Ireland are explored as well. We analyze both modern works (e.g., those by Turkle and Gilder) and the work of modern democratic theorists (e.g., Habermas). M. Dawson. Winter. (B)
23300. Springtime for Hitler and Germany: The Advocates of the Aesthetic State. This course introduces students to the idea of the aesthetic state and the rise of political modernism. Readings include Benjamin, Mussolini, Marinetti, Schmitt, Rosenberg, and Hitler. The aim of the course is to make sense out of the rise of politics for politics' sake in the first half of the twentieth century. B. Silberman. Winter. (A)
23400/32800. Capitalism in Modern Europe (=HIST 23300/33300, PLSC 23400/32800). This course investigates the emergence of capitalism in Europe and the world as a whole between the early sixteenth and the late eighteenth centuries. We discuss the political and cultural (as well as the economic) sources of capitalism, and explore Marxist, neoclassical, and cultural approaches. W. Sewell. Spring. (C)
23800/43800. Plato's Laws (=FNDL 23400, LLSO 28500, PLSC 23800/48300, SCTH 30300). PQ: Consent of instructor. Enrollment limited. An introductory reading of Plato's Laws with attention to such themes as the following: war and peace; courage and moderation; rule of law; music, poetry, drinking, and education; sex, marriage, and gender; property and class structure; crime and punishment; religion and theology; and philosophy. N. Tarcov. Winter. (A)
24500/35900. Gandhi (=ENST 24500, FNDL 24900, PLSC 24500/35900). Course readings deal with Gandhi's life (including his autobiography), texts that articulate his thought and practice, and critical and interpretative works that assess his meaning and influence. Topics include nonviolent collective action in pursuit of truth and justice, strategy for cooperation and conflict resolution, and alternatives to industrial society and centralized state. L. Rudolph. Spring. (A)
24700. Politics of the European Union. PQ: Admission
to the winter Paris Program. This course is designed around a series of lectures
whose topics range from the History of the European Union (EU), its institutional
system, the study of the European political forces, the common policies, and
the role of the EU in a globalizing world. Staff. Winter.
24800/34800. Ethics in International Affairs and Development.
Enrollment limited. This course examines issues of normative judgment
in the context of international affairs and economic and social development.
It introduces several basic conceptual frameworks for such normative analysis:
utilitarianism, rights theories, capabilities approach, and others. It compares
and applies these frameworks to specific issues such as war and peace, intervention,
international distributive justice, debt, development immigration and refugees,
environment, and development. Among authors we are likely to read are Robert
Goodin, Joseph Carens, Simon Caney, James Woodward, Onora O'Neill, Amartya Sen,
and Martha Nussbaum. I. Young. Winter. (D)
25000/35100. Comparative Politics of Latin America. This course introduces major theories of Latin American political and social change, and the political systems of three countries. We focus on the determinants and dynamics of regime change in Latin America. We first read general studies of modernization and political change and then focus on these issues as they worked themselves out in Chile, Mexico, and Nicaragua. S. Stokes. Autumn. (C)
25100/31600. Ancient and Medieval Political Thought (=CLAS 30300, CLCV 20300, PLSC 25100/31600). This course provides an upper-level survey of political thought from Homer to Aquinas, with central emphasis falling on the sophists, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, Livy, Tacitus, and Augustine. We investigate, among other topics, these thinkers' accounts of the origins, nature, and problems of human sociality; their diverse theories of justice; their varying efforts to draw connections between ethical and political reasoning or between morality and law (whether mortal or divine); and their different stresses on utopian and realist approaches to political thought. D. Allen. Winter. (A)
25300/36300. State, Society, and Economy in South Asia. This is an introductory course designed to familiarize students with the institutional structures of the Indian state and political processes, as well as the social and economic forces that shape and are shaped by the state and politics. There is special emphasis on the way in which state and polity have provided an arena for contests about the nature and role of caste, class and religion, and urban/rural differences. S. Rudolph. Spring. (C)
25400/35400. Marxism, Peronism, and the National Question in Latin America (=LTAM 25400/35400, PLSC 25400/35400). This course analyzes the political and ideological convergences and conflicts between Marxists and Peronists in twentieth-century Argentina, and the implications of both movements for the idea of nation and national development in the region. S. Amaral. Winter. (C)
25500. Societies and the Social Sciences: Violence and Civil Strife. Intrastate or civil wars have become the dominant form of war. Out of ninety-six armed conflicts that took place between 1989 and 1996, only five were wars between sovereign states ("interstate wars"). Civil wars (both ethnic and non-ethnic) tend to be deadlier than interstate wars. What makes their violence even worse is that they primarily, and often deliberately, target civilians: eight out of ten people killed in contemporary civil wars have been civilians. Moreover, in many cases, victimizers and victims tend to know each other; they are neighbors who had been living together peacefully. We analyze and attempt to understand the nature of violence in civil wars via both a critical reading of descriptions of this phenomenon and the application of social science tools to it. S. Kalyvas. Winter. (C)
26200/36200. Women and Political Theory (=GNDR 26200, PLSC 26200/36200). Enrollment limited. This course reads some of the major writings of modern political theory in which sexuality and gender issues are thematically related to political values of citizenship, equality, and freedom (e.g., works of Rousseau, Wollstonecraft, and Mill). It also reads some contemporary feminist interpretation of these and other modern political theorists. The course then proceeds to consider some works of contemporary feminist political theory engaging themes such as gender and democracy; intersections of gender and racial positioning in politics; justice, gender, and sexuality; and normative analysis of women and public policy issues. Among writers who may appear in that segment of the course are Anne Phillips, Patricia Hill Collins, Carole Pateman, and Anna Marie Smith. I. Young. Spring. (A)
26300/39300. Comparative Politics of the Middle East and North Africa. This course examines major theoretical concerns in comparative politics using cases from the Middle East. It investigates the relationships between political and economic change in the processes of state-building, economic development, and national integration. The course begins by comparing the experience of early and late developing countries. The course then explores topics such as the failure of constitutional regimes and the role of the military, class formation and inequality, the conflict between Pan-Arabism and state-centered nationalisms, the role of political parties, revolutionary and Islamicist movements, labor migration and remittances, and political and economic liberalization in the 1990s. L. Wedeen. Winter. (C)
26600. History of Philosophy III: Kant and the Nineteenth
Century (=PHIL 27000, PLSC 26600). PQ: Completion of the general education
requirement in humanities. This course studies a number of important moral
and political philosophers of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Kant, Bentham, Hegel, Marx, Mill, Nietzsche, and others may be read. C. Larmore.
27400. Politics of Industry in Advanced Industrial States. This course surveys the experience of industrial development in the three major developed regions of the world in the twentieth century. Key themes are struggles over the control of the corporation (e.g., separation of management and ownership, codetermination, and stakeholder capitalism); differences in corporate structure (e.g., Konzern and multidivisional company, and Zaibatsu/Keiretsu); the role of small and medium size firms in the economy; and the development of industrial relations systems, industrial policy, and welfare state institutions. G. Herrigel. Winter. (C)
27500/37500. Organizational Decision Making (=PBPL 33500, PLSC 27500/37500, SOCI 35000). This course is an examination of the process of decision making in modern complex organizations such as universities, schools, hospitals, business firms, and public bureaucracies. The course also considers the impact of information, power, resources, organizational structure, and the environment, as well as alternative models of choice and other implications. J. Padgett. Autumn. (B)
27800/38400. Introduction to Chinese Politics. This course offers a historical and thematic survey of Chinese politics in the twentieth century. Particular attention is given to the formation of the party-state, the imposition of central planning, the Great Leap forward, the Cultural Revolution, reform and liberalization, and prospects for democracy. The discussion is framed in terms that allow comparison with other countries. D. Yang. Winter. (C)
27900. American Foreign Policy. The study of foreign policy lies on the fault-line between international relations, domestic politics, and policy analysis. In analyzing the foreign affairs of the United States, there is the added tension of pursuing the national interest versus advancing our nation's ideals. This course surveys the contending theories explaining U.S. foreign policy. It then examines significant episodes of the past century to identify the important factors and tradeoffs affecting U.S. policymakers. D. Drezner. Autumn. (D)
28000/38000. Organization, Ideology, and Political Change. This course centers on the comparative analysis of the emergence and institutionalization of public bureaucracies in the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, and the former Soviet Union. The aim is to see whether there are distinctly different patterns of organizational rationality or whether bureaucracies are all culturally unique. B. Silberman. Autumn. (C)
28300. Seminar on Realism. The aim of this course is to read the key works dealing with the international relations theory called "realism." J. Mearsheimer. Spring. (D)
28500/48500. Quantum Social Science. PQ: Basic familiarity
with social theory or philosophy of social science. Knowledge of physics is
helpful but not required. The scientific study of society has long been based
on the ontological and epistemological assumptions of classical physics. In
the twentieth century, quantum mechanics revolutionized physics and other natural
sciences, but it has been thought irrelevant to social science because quantum
effects are significant only at the micro-physical level, washing out at the
macro-level of reality of interest to social scientists. Some recent work in
neuroscience, however, has suggested that mind or consciousness (the foundation
of social life and normally understood in classical terms) may be a quantum
mechanical phenomenon. (It is important to say "may" because this remains highly
speculative.) On the heroic assumption that this conjecture proves to be correct,
this course explores possible implications of quantum consciousness for social
science and society. After reviewing the essentials of quantum philosophy and
consciousness, topics addressed will include the nature of human agency, free
will, rationality, individualism versus holism on social structure, the possibility
of group minds, the debate between positivism and interpretivism over the proper
methodology of social inquiry, and normative implications for political theory.
A. Wendt. Spring.
28800/48800. Introduction to Constitutional Law (=LLSO 23900,
PLSC 28800/48800). This course is an introduction to the constitutional
doctrines and political role of the U.S. Supreme Court, focusing on its evolving
constitutional priorities and its response to basic governmental and political
problems, including maintenance of the federal system, promotion of economic
welfare, and protection of individual and minority rights. G. Rosenberg.
28900/39900. Strategy. This course is about American national security policy in the post-cold war world, especially the principal issues of military strategy that are likely to face the United States in the next decade. The course is structured in five parts. The first component examines the key changes in strategic environment since 1990. The second looks at the effects of multipolarity on American grand strategy and basic national goals. The third block focuses on nuclear strategy. The fourth section is about conventional strategy. The last block discusses the future of war and peace in the Pacific Rim. J. Mearsheimer. Winter. (D)
29000. Shakespeare on Tyranny (=FNDL 29000,
PLSC 20901/31801, SCTH 34800). PQ: Consent of instructor. Enrollment
limited. An exploration of Shakespeare's portrayals of tyrants and
tyrannies in such plays as Macbeth and Richard III. R. Lerner,
N. Tarcov. Autumn.
29000/39800. Introduction to International Relations.
This course introduces the main themes in international relations,
including the problems of war and peace, and conflict and cooperation.
The course begins by considering some basic theoretical tools used
to study international politics. It then focuses on several prominent
security issues in modern international relations, such as the cold
war and post-cold war world, nuclear weapons, arms control, and
nationalism. The last part of the course deals with economic aspects
of international relations. It concentrates on issues where politics
and economics are closely intertwined: world trade, foreign investment,
environmental pollution, and European unification. C. Lipson.
29200. Civil Rights/Civil Liberties (=LLSO 24000, PLSC 29200). PQ: PLSC 28800 or equivalent, and consent of instructor. This course examines selected civil rights and civil liberties decisions of U.S. courts with particular emphasis on the broader political context. Areas covered include speech, race, and gender. G. Rosenberg. Spring. (B)
29700. Independent Study/Reading Course. PQ: Consent of faculty supervisor and concentration chair. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. This is a general reading and research course for independent study not related to the B.A. paper or B.A. research. Staff. Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring.
29800. The B.A. Paper Colloquium. Required of fourth-year political science concentrators. The colloquium, which may be organized along methodological or field lines, meets weekly in the autumn quarter and biweekly in the winter quarter to provide students with a forum within which research problems are addressed, conceptual frameworks are refined, and drafts of the B.A. paper are presented and critiqued. Staff. Autumn, Winter.
29900. The B.A. Paper. PQ: Consent of instructor and concentration chair. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. This is a reading and research course for independent study related to B.A. research and B.A. paper preparation. Staff. Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring.
31200. Political Philosophy: Plato (=FNDL 29200, LLSO 29200, PLSC 31200). This course is a close reading of Plato's Parmenides. J. Cropsey. Winter. (A)