Politics and Public Policy
Credits / Language / Semester
2Credits / English / Summer
This course is a general introduction to political science. We will survey a wide range of topics in order to acquaint students with the basic concepts and theories that are useful for understanding politics in the modern world. Since political science is a vast discipline, our coverage is limited to the most important topics. Students will learn why politics has been considered as a crucial aspect of human life, how political decisions are made, and how those decisions are related to the fundamental goals of our society such as freedom, equality, and justice.
Politics, Justice, Power, Nationalism, Ethnicity, Citizenship, Democracy, Elections, Party Systems, Bureaucracy, Public Policy, Political Economy, Globalization, International Security
2. Normative Foundations of Politics
3. The Modern State
4. Nationalism and Ethnicity
5. Democracy and Dictatorship
6. Political Transitions
7. Two Forms of Democracy
8. Elections and Voting Behavior
9. Elections and Party Systems
10. Political Economy of Development
11. Political Economy of Redistribution
12. International Security
The course combines lectures with discussions of the reading materials. The lectures are designed on the assumption that students have completed all the readings before coming to class. Students will occasionally be asked to summarize certain sections of the readings and to present a review of the argument and evidence.
Class attendance is mandatory. Each student is required to write two papers during the semester. The final grade will be based on class participation (20%), the midterm paper (30%), and the final paper (50%).
This course is not based on a single textbook. The readings are selected from various books and journal articles that have had a major impact on the discipline. The instructor will distribute materials that are not available online. Here are some of the books that we will cover:
- Aristotle, The Politics, Penguin.
- John Locke, Two Treatises of Government, Cambridge.
- Gerth and Mills, From Max Weber, Oxford.
- Joseph Schumpeter, 1942, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, Harper Perrenial.
- Robert A. Dahl, 1971, Polyarchy, Yale.
- John Rawls, 1971, A Theory of Justice, Cambridge.
- Benedict Anderson, 1983, Imagined Communities, Verso.
- James C. Scott, 1998, Seeing Like a State, Yale.
- Arend Lijphart, 1999, Patterns of Democracy, Yale.
- Peter A. Hall and David Soskice, 2001, Varieties of Capitalism, Oxford.
- Larry Bartels, 2008, Unequal Democracy, Princeton.
- Dani Rodrik, 2011, Globalization Paradox, Cambridge.
Notes on Taking the Course
There are no formal requirements for taking this course, but fluency in both written and spoken English is preferred.