Introduction to Politics

Fall 2005 Requirements and Readings

Political Studies 10
MWF 10:00-11:00
Professor Dana Ward
Office: A222
Phone: 73177
Office Hours:
Mon 11:00-11:45
Tues 2:30-3:30
Wed 11:00-11:45
Thur 2:30-3:30

Course Description

This course introduces students to the study of politics and its four main sub-divisions, political philosophy, American politics, comparative politics, and international relations. We will examine concepts such as human nature, power, community, the state, citizenship, rights, authority, legitimacy, freedom, equality, democracy, ideology and justice. The ways different peoples, classes, cultures and nations organize themselves politically for common purposes and for addressing conflicts will be examined also. Lectures and reading material address contemporary political issues ranging from our campus to national and global politics. The course is required of Political Studies concentrators but also serves as an appropriate general course for all other students interested in politics.

The class will meet two times each week for lectures and once each week in discussion section. Regular attendance is expected at the lectures and regular attendance and participation is expected in the discussion section. Students are responsible for all required readings. Required texts are available for purchase from Huntley Bookstore. The texts will also be available on 2hr reserve in Honnold Library. Additional required reading will also be available online through Electronic Reserves at Honold.

Course Content

The course is divided into four parts: (i) political concepts and theory, (ii) comparative politics, (iii) American politics and, (iv) global politics. In the first half of the course, we explore some of the concepts most important to the study of politics--power, human nature, community, nationality, the state, citizenship, rights, freedom, equality, ideology and justice. We examine how political systems, particularly nation-states, are organized and we discuss the tools for comparing these systems in different parts of the world. We examine in some detail a number of specific political systems. A midterm completes the first half of the course.

The second half of the course examines how politics are organized and institutionalized in the United States. The American political system is often regarded as distinctive from other systems. We explore the American system with this comparative hypothesis in mind. The final section of the course treats international and global politics. We examine some basic theories of international relations, explore the causes and consequences of war, and look at the growing importance of economic and environmental issues as well as human rights in this era of globalization. We also look at the unique position of the United States as the world's sole superpower and the challengers and opportunities this role presents to American leaders and American democratic politics. A comprehensive final examination completes the course.

Course Requirements and Grades

Grades will be determined by student performance on weekly discussion papers (20%), on a midtem exam (20%), a research paper (20%), a final exam (30%), and class attendance and participation (10%). You are expected to come to each class session having read the assigned materials for the class and be prepared to comment on them. It is important to keep up with the readings both to benefit from the lectures and to help you write weekly 2-3 page discussion papers. These papers are due at the beginning of the Friday discussion section and late papers will not be accepted. The research paper will be a 7-10 page paper on the concept of power in analyzing politics. You will be given a more detailed assignment early in the semester and we will devote one discussion session to developing criteria for the term paper, but the power analysis can focus on any level of government from local to international. The research paper is due on Friday, November 11.The final exam will cover readings and lectures for the entire semester, but with a greater emphasis on the material after the midterm.

Current political events will play an important role in class discussions, papers, and exams. Each student is expected to read a daily newspaper. Good choices are The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, and the Financial Times, which are available by subscription and/or online. Set aside a half hour each day and develop the habit of reading a good newspaper. It will pay dividends in this course and in others.

Required Texts: (available in Huntley Bookstore)

James N. Danziger, Understanding the Political World, 7th edition.
Anthony Giddens, Runaway World.
J.S. Mill, On Liberty.

Additional readings are on reserve at Honnold Library through ERes or are available through Electronic Reserves at Honold on the internet.


Aug 31: Introduction to the course

Sept 2: On Knowing the Political World

Danziger, Understanding the Political World, Chapter 1, pp. 3-23.

     Note: there will be no class meeting on this date, but you are still responsible for the reading assignment.

Part I: Political Philosophy (Sharon Snowiss)

Sept 5: Nature of Politics and Power

Aristotle, The Politics, Bk.I Electronic Reserves at Honold
Arendt, On Violence, selections Electronic Reserves at Honold

Sept 7: Nature of Politics and Power

Machiavelli, The Prince, chpts. 1,6, 15-18, 25-26 Electronic Reserves at Honold
Hobbes, Leviathan, chpts. 10,11,13,17 Electronic Reserves at Honold
Dahl, "On Power" Electronic Reserves at Honold

Sept 9: Discussion: Do Terrorists have Power? Explain why or why not. What is the relationship between violence and power? Discuss with reference to Arendt and either Machiavelli or Hobbes.

Sept 12: What is it all about? Regime Aims: Happiness, Justice, Freedom, Equality

Plato, Republic, Bk.I, Bk.II chpt. V Electronic Reserves at Honold
Aristotle, The Politics, Bk. III, chpts. 1-4, 9; Bk. VII, chpt 8 Electronic Reserves at Honold
Rawls, A Theory of Justice Electronic Reserves at Honold
J.S. Mill, On Liberty, chpts. 1 & 2
Marx, Communist Manifesto, Electronic Reserves at Honold

Sept 14: Organization of Regimes: How are the aims implemented?

Aristotle, Politics, Bk. IV, chpts. 1-4 Electronic Reserves at Honold
Madison, Jay, Hamilton, Federalist Papers, # 1, 10, 48, 51 Electronic Reserves at Honold
Gellner, Nations and Nationalism Electronic Reserves at Honold (optional: discussion)
Wallerstein, The Construction of Peoplehood, Electronic Reserves at Honold (optional: discussion)

Sept 16: Discussion and Paper topic: "Justice demands that clones are and should be treated as human beings with full rights of citizenship." Argue for or against

Sept 19: Individual versus Community

JS Mill On Liberty, chpts. 3-5
Locke, Toleration and Government Electronic Reserves at Honold
Confucius, The Analects Electronic Reserves at Honold
Le Guin, Nine Lives Electronic Reserves at Honold

Sept 21: Obligations and Rights

Bill of Rights Electronic Reserves at Honold
Declaration of Independence Electronic Reserves at Honold
Declaration of Rights of Man and of Citizen Electronic Reserves at Honold
The General Assembly of the UN, Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Electronic Reserves at Honold
Letter from Birmingham Jail, ML King Electronic Reserves at Honold
Vindication of the Rights of Women, Wollstonecraft Electronic Reserves at Honold
Weil, The Need for Roots Electronic Reserves at Honold

Sept 23: Discussion and paper topic: "A right which goes unrecognized by anybody is not worth very much": --Weil
Chose one example from the readings and analyze the basis or source of the right claimed and its recognition or enforcement. Would a stateless person hve such a right?

Part II: Comparative Politics (Nigel Boyle)

Sept 26: Comparative Politics: ways of making comparisons

Danzinger, Understanding the Political World, chapter 5, pp. 109-135 and chapter 6, pp. 137-61.

Sept 28: States & Nations

Danziger, Understanding the Political World, chapter 13, pp. 343-377.
E. Gellner "Nations and Nationalism: definitions Electronic Reserves at Honold
"Anthems" Electronic Reserves at Honold
Benedict Anderson "The Origins of National Consciousness" Electronic Reserves at Honold

Sept 30: Discussion: Are national identities 'imagined'?

Oct  3: Capitalism, Imperialism, Globalization

Danziger, Understanding the Political World, chapter 7, pp. 163-197, chapter 8, pp. 199-223.

Oct  5: Cases in comparative analysis: Venezuela

Danziger, Understanding the Political World, Chapter 14, pp. 379-427.
Documentary Film "The Revolution will not be televised"

Oct  6, 8:00PM Film:"The Revolution will not be televised:

Oct 10: Cases in comparative analysis: China

Deng Xiao Peng's Reforms, Electronic Reserves at Honold
Melanie Manion. "Politics in China" Electronic Reserves at Honold
Documentary Film: PBS "China in the Red"

Oct 12: The Political Economy of Growth: Ireland, Botswana, and China

Danziger, Understanding the Political World, chapter 10, pp. 245-273.
"Minding the Merits of the Miracle" (Botswana) Electronic Reserves at Honold
"Botswana and Diamond-Dependent Development" Electronic Reserves at Honold

Oct 13 8:00 PM, film: "China in the Red"

Oct 19: Jihad versus McWorld: democracy, globalization and comparative politics

Benjamin Barber, Jihad versus McWorld, Introduction (2000 edition) Electronic Reserves at Honold
Benjamin Barber, "2001 Introduction: Terrorism's Challenge to Democracy" Electronic Reserves at Honold

Oct 21: Midterm

Part III: American Politics (Dana Ward)

Oct 24: The U.S. Power Structure

Danziger, Understanding the Political World, Chapter 9, pp. 225-243.
P. Bachrach and M. Baratz, "The Two Faces of Power." APSR v.56.pp. 947-52. Electronic Reserves at Honold.
J. Gaventa, "Power and Participation," in Power and Powerlesness. Electronic Reserves at Honold.
G.W. Domhoff, The Power Elite and the State, chapters 1 and 2, pp. 1-28. Electronic Reserves at Honold.
M. Mann, Chapter 1, The Sources of Social Power, "Societies as Organized Power Networks," pp. 1-33. Electronic Reserves at Honold.

Oct 26: Belief Systems Research

Danziger, Understanding the Political World, Chapter 2, pp. 25-49 and Chapter 4, pp. 79-107.

Oct 28: Discussion

Oct 31: Theories of Democracy

Federalist Papers, Nos. 10, 15, 16, 23, 47, 48, 49, 51, and 52.

Nov  2: The U.S. Congress

B.A. Loomis, "Congressional Decentralization in Design and Evolution" (Course Readings).

Nov  4: Discussion

Nov  7: The U.S. Presidency

B.A. Rockman, "The American Presidency in Comparative Perspective: Systems, Situations, and Leaders" Electronic Reserves at Honold.

Nov  9: The U.S. Electoral System

Danziger, Understanding the Political World, Chapter 3, pp. 51-77.
L.S. Maisel, "The Development of the American Parties," Electronic Reserves at Honold.
W. Flanigan and N. Zingale, Political Behavior of the American Electorate, chapters 4 and 5 Electronic Reserves at Honold.

Nov 11: Discussion

Nov 14: U.S. Foreign Policy

E. Wittkopf, C.W. Kegley, Jr., James M. Scott, American Foreign Policy: Pattern and Process, chapters 1-3, pp. 3-72. Electronic Reserves at Honold.

Part IV: International Relations (Tom Ilgen)

Nov 16: Realism, Idealism and International Relations

Danziger, Understanding the Political World, Chapter 11, pp. 275-305, and chapter 12, pp. 307-341.

Nov 18: Discussion

Nov 21: What is War and Why Does it Keep Happening?

Danziger, Understanding the Political World, Chapter 12, pp. 307-341.
N. Ferguson, "Rethinking Power" Electronic Reserves at Honold
L. Freedman, "War" Electronic Reserves at Honold

Nov 23: Unipolarity, Globalization, and the Future of Global Politics

J. Nye, "U.S. Power and Strategy After Iraq" Electronic Reserves at Honold
R. Jervis, "The Compulsive Empire," Electronic Reserves at Honold
I. Wallerstein, "The Incredible Shrinking Eagle" Electronic Reserves at Honold

Nov 28: The Nation-State and the Global Economy

Danziger, Understanding the Political World, chapter 15, pp. 429-465.
R. Gilpin, "The Nature of Political Economy," Electronic Reserves at Honold

Nov 30: Pax Americana and the Birth of the Global Economy

D. Balaam and M. Veseth, "International Trade" Electronic Reserves at Honold
D. Balaam and M. Veseth, "The International Monetary System," Electronic Reserves at Honold

Dec  2: Discussion

Globalization: Good or Evil? Giddens, Runaway World (entire)

Dec  5: Global Governance: Human Rights

S. Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations?" Electronic Reserves at Honold
M. Keck and K. Sikkink, "Transnational Activist Networks," Electronic Reserves at Honold

Dec 7: Global Governance: The Commons

G. Hardin, "The Tragedy of the Commons," Electronic Reserves at Honold
J. Simon, "The Infinite Supply of Natural Resources," Electronic Reserves at Honold
T. Homer-Dixon, "Cornucopians and Neo-Malthusians," WebCTBR

Dec 9: Final Thoughts and Review

Danziger, Understanding the Political World, Chapter 16, pp. 467-480.

Final Exam, December 13.