Introduction to Politics
Political Studies 10A

TuTh 9:35-10:50

Spring 2011 Requirements and Readings

Professor Sharon Snowiss
Office: Scott 206
Phone: 73178
Office Hours:
Tu 4:15-5:15
Th 1:15-2:20
or by appointment
                Professor Dana Ward
Office: A222
Phone: 73177
Office Hours:
MW 3:15-4:15
TT 11:00-12:00

Course Description

This course introduces students to the study of political philosophy and American politics. We will examine concepts such as human nature, power, community, the state, citizenship, rights, authority, legitimacy, freedom, equality, democracy, ideology and justice. 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 political philosophy and American politics.

Students are responsible for all required readings. Required reading will be from assigned texts or available online through Sakai.

Books recommended for purchase:
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
Plato, The Republic (Conford ed., Oxford U. Press)
Aristotle, The Politics (Barker ed. Oxford U. Press)
Hobbes, The Leviathan,
Locke, Two Treatises of Government
William Flanigan and Nancy Zingale, Political Behavior of the American Electorate, 12 ed.

Course Requirements and Grades

Grades will be determined by student performance on six bi-weekly discussion papers (10% each), on 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 bi-weekly 2-3 page discussion papers. The final exam will cover readings and lectures for the entire semester. Note: The Pitzer Writing Center is available for help on papers.

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 Washington Post, 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.

The final exam will be on May 13, 9-noon.


Jan 18: Introduction to the course

Jan 20: Politics and Power

Arendt, On Violence
Aristotle, The Politics (Book 1)

Jan 25: Politics and Power

Machiavelli, The Prince, chpts 1, 6, 15-18, 25-26
Hobbes, Leviathan, Introduction, chapters 4, 5, 6, 10, and 11.

Jan 27: Power

M. Mann, The Sources of Social Power, Chapter 1, pp. 1-33. On Sakai.
Dahl, Preface to Democratic Theory, Chapter 3, pp. 63-89. On Sakai.

Feb 1: Power in the US

P. Bachrach and M. Baratz, "The Two Faces of Power." APSR, v.56., pp. 947-52. On Sakai.
J. Gaventa, "Power and Participation," in Power and Powerlessness. On Sakai.
G.W. Domhoff, The Power Elite and the State, chapters 1 and 2. On Sakai.

Feb 3: Theories of Human Nature and Foundations of Political Regimes
Plato, The Republic, Part II, chapters 6-8, 10-14, Part III, chs. 18-19. (Conford edition)
Plato, The Republic, Bk II, Bk. IV, VI, and VII to page 215. (Jowett Translation)

Feb 8: Theories of Human Nature and Foundations of Political Regimes

Descartes, Discourse on Method, Parts 1 and 6.
Hobbes, Leviathan, chapters 13, 14, 16, 17, 18

Feb 10: Theories of Human Nature and Foundations of Political Regimes

Locke, Second Treatise on Government, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 (pp. 323-26. Paragraphs 87-91), 8, pages 330-335 (Paragraphs 95-102), and 9.

Feb 15: Political Psychology

Ward, D., "Political Psychology: Origins and Development," in Political Psychology, K. Monroe, ed., pp. 61-78. On Sakai.
Altemeyer, Bob, "The Other Authoritarian Personality," in Political Psychology, Jost and Sidanius, eds., pp. 85-107. On Sakai.
Milgram, Obedience to Authority, chapter 10, pp. 123-134. On Sakai.
Janis, Irving, The Groupthink Syndrome, in Groupthink, pp. 174-197. On Sakai.

Feb 17: Belief systems and Political Ideology in the US

Converse, P., "The Nature of Belief Systems in Mass Publics", in Political Psychology, Jost and Sidanius, eds., pp. 181-199. On Sakai.
Ward, D., Keynote Address, "Still Hearing Voices: The Persistent Myth of Gendered Judgment.", VIIIth Conference, International Society For Justice Research, College of Management, Rishon LeZion, Israel, September 18-21, 2000. On Sakai.
W. Flanigan and N. Zingale, Political Behavior of the American Electorate, 12th ed., pp. 135-168.

Feb 22: Theories of Human Nature and Foundations of Political Regimes

Marx, Karl, The Communist Manifesto
Arendt, Hannah, The Human Condition, Prologue, Chs. 1, and 6 (parts 35, 36, and 45)

Feb 24: Varieties of Regimes

Aristotle, The Politics, Book III, chpts. 1-8; Book IV chpts.1-11.
Federalist Papers, Numbers 1, 10 48, 49, 51, 52, and 53.

Mar 1: Regime Aims and Structures: Happiness

Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Marx and Arenbdt.

Mar 3: Regime Structure and Aims: Justice

Plato, The Republic, Book 1, II, chpt.5;
Rawls, A Theory of Justice , on Sakai.

Mar 8: US Political History
Phillips, Kevin, Wealth and Democracy, Introduction, pp. xi-xxii, Chapter one, pp. 3-46, and Chapter two, 47-107.

Mar 10: History of Radicalism in the US

Paine, Common Sense, Parts one and two.
Josiah Warren, Manifesto: A Libertarian Document.
Lysander Spooner, No Treason No. 1.
The Pittsburg Manifesto, The Alarm, Nov. 1, 1884.
Emma Goldman, Anarchism: What It Really Stands For.
Preamble to the IWW Constitution.
Noam Chomsky, "Notes on Anarchism."

Mar 22: Regime Structure and Aims: Equality

De Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol. 1: Chapter 15. Chapter 16, Vol 2: Chpt. 8, Book 2, Chpt. 2, Chpt. 4, Chpt. 5, Chpt. 8, Book 3: Chpt. 9, 10, 12, Chpt. 11
The Equal Rights Amendment.
Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Author's Introduction and Dedication, Chapter 1, Chapter 9.

Mar 24: Regime Structure and Aims: Equality

Federalist Papers No. 54.
King, Letter from Birmingham Jail.
Lincoln, Cooper Union speech.
Brown v. Board of Education

Mar 29: U.S. Constitution

The Constitution of the United States of America
Akhil Reed Amar, America's Constitution: A Biography, pp. 5-53.

Mar 31: Regime Structure and Aims: Freedom

JS Mill, On Liberty

Apr 5: Democracy

Mansbridge, Jane, "Introduction" and "Unitary versus Adversary Democracy", in Beyond Adversary Democracy, pp. 3-22. On Sakai.
Ward, D., "Occupy, Resist, and Produce: Workers Take Control in Argentina," Divergences, Vol. 1, No. 4 November 2006.
Lijphart, Arend, "Consociational Democracy," in Democracy in Plural Societies, pp. 25-52. On Sakai.

Apr 7: Regime Structure and Aims: Legitimacy

Locke, Second Treatise on Government, chpt. 4, 6, 14, 18, and 19.
US Declaration of Independence.
Lincoln: Lyceum Address.

Apr 12: U.S. Electoral system

W. Flanigan and N. Zingale, Political Behavior of the American Electorate, 12th ed., pp. 39-64, 67-85, 89-108, 111-131

Apr 14: Congress

Loomis, B.A., "Congressional Decentralization in Design and Evolution", in The Contemporary Congress, pp. 16-33. On Sakai.
Smith, S. S., and Gerald Gamm, "The Dynamics of Party Government in Congress," in Congress Reconsidered, Dodd and Oppenheimer eds., pp. 141-164. On Sakai.

Apr 19: The Presidency

B.A. Rockman, "The American Presidency in Comparative Perspective: Systems, Situations, and Leaders", The Presidency & The Political System, ed. Nelson, pp. 28-54. On Sakai.
Pious, R., The Presidency. On Sakai.

Apr 21: The Judiciary

Akhil Reed Amar, America's Constitution: A Biography, pp. 207-245. On Sakai.
Binder, S.A. and F. Maltzman, "The Politics of Advice and Consent: Putting Judges on the Federal Bench", in Congress Reconsidered, Dodd and Oppenheimer eds., pp. 241-261. On Sakai.

Apr 26: History of US Foreign policy

Kinzer, S., "Catastrophic Success", in Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq, pp. 300-322. On Sakai.
Mead, W. A., Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How it Changed the World, pp. 3-55. On Sakai.

Apr 28: U.S. Foreign Policy Decision-Making

Allison, Graham and Philip Zelikow, Essence of Decision, pp.13-26, 143-147, 163-184, 255-258, 294-313. On Sakai.

May 3: Review

May 5: Senior final exam.

May 13: Final exam, 9-noon.

Student Learning Outcomes:
Students will learn fundamental philosophical concepts such as equality, freedom, justice, power, legitimacy as understood by various theorists; students will learn how these concepts were interpreted by the founders and institutionalized in the US Constitution and how some of the concepts have been contested and changed historically; students will learn the basic institutional structure of the United States Government and the processes of governing; and students will learn to think and write critically about historical and contemporary issues and concepts pertaining to governance.