INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL STUDIES: FALL 1994
Political Studies 10 Office Hours
Dana Ward Mon 11:00-11:45
Avery 207 Tues 11:00-12:00
Extension 3177 Wed 11:00-11:45
This course introduces the study of political life by providing an overview
of the discipline variously labeled Political Studies, Political Science,
Government, or Politics. We prefer Political Studies as a label since
Government is too narrow a label to encompass all of political life, and
Political Science suggests a level of prediction and precision possible in
only limited cases. Since politics affect almost everything we do, the
purpose of the course is equally broad; from exposing you to the socio-
political world around us, to helping you clarify your own political beliefs
We will examine key concepts used in political analysis and discourse.
These concepts will include power, legitimacy, class, authority, ideology,
freedom, equality, community, democracy, the state, and so forth. These
concepts will be discussed in the context of covering the three broad areas
of the discipline: political philosophy, international relations and
comparative politics (including the U.S.). We will also relate these
concepts to contemporary issues confronting the United States and the world.
To accomplish this task it will be necessary to keep up to date on
national and world events. While this course is not a current events course,
you are expected to be aware of political issues in the news. One purpose of
the course is to help you develop habits of mind that will allow you to exercise
fully your rights and responsibilities as an informed citizen. Essential
resources are "All Things Considered" and/or "The Morning Edition" which are
ninety minute radio broadcasts from National Public Radio repeated between four
and seven o'clock in the evening or between 3:00 A.M. and 9:00 A.M. every weekday
on KCRW, 89.9 FM, as well as on several other public radio stations in the area.
The "Weekend Edition" can be heard Saturday and Sunday mornings at the regular
time and in the afternoon from five to six o'clock. If you prefer, the local
Pacifica Radio Network station, KPFK, also has excellent news coverage on its
6:00 P.M. broadcast. Listening to these broadcasts is a bare minimum. In addition,
all students will be required to read the NEW YORK TIMES. Low cost student
subscriptions are available. There will be several unannounced quizzes on
current events covered in THE NEW YORK TIMES over the course of the semester.
The current events quizzes will constitute five percent of your final grade.
In addition, all students are strongly urged to use the Claremont Colleges
computer access to newsgroups. All students must have a computer account.
After logging on, type NEWS at the prompt and you will receive all the
registered groups to which you have subscribed (it's free). You will want to
subscribe to the "clari.news" groups. These are UP and Reuters wire
services used by THE NEW YORK TIMES and National Public Radio, so it is
possible to keep up with the news simply by logging on to the VAX and typing NEWS.
The course will combine lectures and discussion. The scheduled class
meetings will be primarily lecture oriented, but I will do my best to
encourage you to turn my lectures into discussions. Every student will
meet with a Political Studies Senior Tutor once a week for discussion.
These meetings are required and failure to attend will have a negative
impact on your final grade. Since the lectures will not always coincide
with the reading, the tutorial sessions are designed to discuss issues
raised in the readings or in the lectures. It is essential that you
complete the reading assignment by class-time in order to understand the
lecture and to participate in the discussions.
Over the course of the semester other members of the Political Studies
and Economics Field Group will participate in the class, as well as some of
the authors you will be reading. These faculty members will lead several
panel discussions dealing with major themes of the course. The purpose of
these panel discussions is to introduce you to the other members of the
field group and since each of the faculty members has areas of specialization
different from mine they can provide a better introduction to their fields
than I can. The authors' appearances will give you a chance to interact
directly with some of the people you have been reading.
Finally, a few words on my general orientation toward education are in order.
You are the only person responsible for your education and you must take an
active part in that process. If you expect to sit back and have me do your
thinking for you or entertain you, you will be disappointed. I hope to challenge
you, at times to guide you, and to provide you with as much intellectual
stimulation as my abilities permit, but learning requires autonomy and initiative,
and this you must provide. I expect you to challenge me and to question my
assumptions. In the process, I expect to learn at least as much from you as you
may chance to learn from me.
Grades will be assigned on the basis of the following criteria:
1) Class participation will constitute 20 percent of your grade. Unexcused
absences, especially from the tutorial sessions, will lower your final grade.
A major component of the participation grade will be the tutorial project. Each
tutorial section will develop a project analyzing a problem in the exercise of
power in a particular region of the world (e.g., sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle
East, Latin America, and so forth). Each member of the tutorial will concentrate
on a particular country in their region, focusing on three issues: 1) the
country's power structure, 2) the country's political economy, and 3) the
country's position in the international system. The individual analysis must
be prepared by October 12. Then, each tutorial section will develop a twenty
minute presentation in which the individual analyses are integrated into an
assessment of the region's status in the system of international relations.
This analysis will be presented to the entire class during a marathon session on
The participation grade will be based on two criteria. Half the participation
grade will be based on an assessment of the entire group's presentation to the
class. Upon completion of the presentation each class member will submit a
grade which will be averaged and assigned to the tutorial group as a whole.
The other half of the participation grade will be based on the assessment of
your contribution to the tutorial session throughout the semester. This
assessment will be due on the last scheduled tutorial meeting of the semester.
Each member will turn in an evaluation of each member of the tutorial group on
separate pieces of paper for each individual. On each paper the name of the
student being evaluated should be on the top left hand corner, and on the top
right hand corner give a letter grade based on how much that individual contributed
to your education in the tutorial section. Then write as detailed an evaluation as
possible, indicating areas of strength and areas in need of improvement. The
individual grades will be averaged and added into the overall participation grade.
2) Ten percent of your grade will be based on your own self evaluation. By the
end of the second week of class you will each submit a statement of your goals
for the course. This statement should be as specific and detailed as possible.
Plan your method for meeting the responsibilities of this course, set weekly
goals and time schedules, or whatever will help you to think about why you are
taking this particular course and how it fits your over-all learning goals.
Then, on the last day of class you will turn in a self-evaluation in which you
will analyze how well you met your goals, how your goals changed, and what
unforeseen goals emerged. You then will assign yourself an over-all grade
based on your total performance in this course.
3) There will be two examinations in the course: October 13 and December 1.
Each exam will cover both lectures and the readings and each will constitute
fifteen percent of your final grade.
4) Five percent of your grade will be based on unannounced quizzes covering
current events. Arrangements for newspaper subscriptions at reduced rates
will be made during the first week of classes.
5) Thirty-five percent of your grade will be based on a seven to ten page
research paper. The research paper may be on any topic covered in the course.
All topics must be approved by both the tutor and by Dana Ward. Topics must
be selected by the end of the third week of class. Drafts of the research
paper are due by November 10. Drafts will be submitted to the tutorial group,
analyzed and critiqued by the group, and then re-written for final submission
on the last day of class. You should be working on the paper throughout the
semester. If you wait until the last week, or even the last month, to work on
the paper you will not have enough time to do an adequate job. All late drafts
and papers will cause the paper grade to be downgraded one grade for each 24
hour period that the paper is late, i.e., from an AB to a B+.
Self Evaluation: 10%
October 13 Exam: 15%
December 1 Exam: 15%
Research Paper 35%
The following books are available for purchase at Huntley Bookstore:
Steve Brower, Sharing the Pie
John Danzinger, The Political World, Second Edition
Wallace Peterson, Silent Depression.
In addition, a number of articles or sections of other books will be assigned.
These will all be on reserve both at Honnold and in Mead, and photocopies will be
available for purchase in the duplicating office. As you do the reading you should
keep in mind that "introduction" is not a synonym for easy. An i
ntroduction presents the breadth of a field, including the complexities of the
material, while later courses will go into depth on each of the topics covered.
The Danziger book is a standard text and has all the standard strengths and
weaknesses of typical textbooks. In general, I do not like texts since in their
attempt to cast a broad net they tend to water concepts down, distort the diversity
of opinion on divisive issues, and present a false picture of disciplinary unanimity.
In the end, texts invariably commit the bias of "neutrality". Politics
are never neutral nor are the concepts we use to study politics. Such neutrality
is an epistemological impossibility and it is best to dispense with any such
pretense. While reading the text, focus on the "hidden" ideology and
discuss its consequences in the tutorial section.
The following books are available for purchase if you want to buy them.
We will be reading only a portion of these books, but you may find them
sufficiently interesting and useful to warrant purchasing them.
Ward Churchill, Indians are Us?
Thomas Edsall & Mary Edsall, Chain Reaction
Paul Kennedy, The Rise & Fall of Great Powers
John Schwarz & T. Volgy, The Forgotten Americans
Cornel West, Race Matters
Sept 1: Orientation.
Sept 6: James Danziger, The Political World, pp. 4-23, 28-47.
Michael Parenti, "What we Mean by 'Power'", on reserve.
Sept 8: Danziger, pp. 222-239.
Aristotle, The Politics, "Book One", pp. 25-53, on reserve.
Hannah Arendt, "On Violence", on reserve.
Sept 13: Danziger, pp. 241-258.
Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent,
pp. xi-35, on reserve.
Sept 15: Bagdikian, The Media Monopoly, pp. 3-21, 27-45, 90-101, 105-
133, on reserve.
Sept 20: Danziger, pp. 50-71, 74-93.
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol. 1, Chapters
14-15, and Vol. II, Chapters 1-6, on reserve.
Sept 22: Danziger, pp. 96-113, 118-140, 143-162.
Sept 27: Madison, et al., The Federalist Papers, numbers 10, 15, 16, 23,
47-49, 51, 70, & 78, on reserve.
Sept 29: Karl Marx, "1844 Economic & Philosophic Manuscripts", vol. 3,
Collected Works, pp. 235-289, on reserve.
Oct 4: Karl Marx, "1844 Economic & Philosophic Manuscripts", vol. 3,
Collected Works, pp. 290-346, on reserve.
Oct 6: Petr Kropotkin, "The State: Its Historic Role", in Selected
Writings, pp. 211-264, on reserve.
Oct 11: Max Weber, From Max Weber, "On Bureaucracy", pp. 196-244, on reserve.
Oct 13: Michael Mann, The Sources of Social Power, pp. 1-32, on reserve.
Robert Dahl, "Who Governs", pp. 93-114, on reserve.
Bachrach & Baratz, "Two Faces of Power", pp. 239-249, on reserve.
Gaventa, "Power & Powerlessness", pp. 3-32, on reserve.
Oct 20: Danziger, pp. 165-194, 196-216, 261-283.
Oct 25: Danziger, pp. 286-303, 308-335.
Hinton, William, Fanshen, pp. 17-25, 37-57, 103-117.
Oct 27: Danziger, pp. 338-365.
Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, pp. xv-xxv, 3-30, on
Nov 1: Kennedy, pp. 31-41, 70-76, 86, 143-150, 178-182, 191-202,
242-256, 333-343, on reserve.
Nov 3: Kennedy, pp. 457-372, 413-446, bottom of 530-540, on reserve.
Nov 8: Danziger, pp. 368-400, 403-442.
Nov 10: Wallace Peterson, Silent Depression, pp. 9-11, 17-66.
Nov 15: Peterson, pp. 67-128.
Nov 17: Peterson, pp. 129-196.
Nov 22: Steve Brouwer, Sharing the Pie, pp. 1-77.
Nov 29: Schwarz, John, The Forgotten Americans, pp. 3-92, on reserve.
Dec 1: Thomas Edsall, Chain Reaction, pp. 3-73, on reserve.
Dec 6: Cornel West , Race Matters, pp. ix-79, on reserve.
Dec 8: Richard Rodriguez, Days of Obligation, pp. 158-174, on reserve.
Ward Churchill, Indians Are Us?, pp. 11-46, 89-108, on reserve.