International Relations and Comparative Government

Comparative Politics

Description and analysis of the principal types of modern political systems, including types of democracies and dictatorships found in Western systems, Eastern systems, and the Third World. Occasional comparison made with American institutions and political processes. Deals both with structures and major policy problems confronting these political systems: the politics of education, human rights, demands for regional autonomy, ethnic conflict and diversity, political violence, demand for welfare services, crises in agriculture, and other topics of relevance.

International Relations

How and why states act as they do in their contemporary international relations. Continuing factors, such as power, war, ideology, and governmental organizations, and recently emerging influences, including supranational organizations, multinational corporations, and natural resource allocation analyzed. Diverse approaches and theories examined.

Introduction to East Asian Civilization
Survey of the traditional cultures and modern history of China and Japan. Emphasis on political systems, intellectual and religious history, and cultural developments.
Conflict and Conflict Resolution 

Introduction to the study of the biological, economic, political-historical, and cultural bases of war and group conflict.

West European Politics

Postwar western European politics and policy-making in comparative perspective. Political institutions and the role and behavior of political parties. European integration, environmental policy, welfare policy, regionalism, and immigration.

Non-Western Politics

Introduction to the politics of the Third World nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Evolution of post-colonial state, the origins and explanations of political violence, and the effects of economic weakness, cultural pluralism, and social structure on politics. Examined within the context of the international political and economic system.

Developmental Politics in East Asia

Political economy of development in the "Asian Tigers": Taiwan, South Korea, and Malaysia. Historical roots of these "developmental states." Political and economic structures associated with rapid development. Process of democratization and political change that have occurred as these states modernize.

Post-Communist Politics and Change

Post-communist politics of East Central, Central Europe or Eastern Europe (includes twelve countries) focusing on the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and the Yugoslav states. Politics and history of the region.

Latin American Politics

Constitutional and political development of selected Latin American countries; contemporary problems and institutions. Latin America in world affairs with special reference to the inter-American relations and the United States.

Challenges to the State

Challenges to the state related to human rights and gender issues. How growth of non-state actors affects individuals and groups and their rights. Gendered notions of the state, national security, women's rights, and humanitarian intervention.

Immigration and Politics

Immigration as a multifaceted sociopolitical phenomenon. The history of different waves of immigration to the United States. Emphasis on the diversity within every immigrant group, as well as differences and similarities regarding their acculturation process. Public attitudes towards immigration in historical perspective. The American political system's capacity to incorporate newcomers into civic life.

Understanding World Politics

Advanced concepts and theories central to understanding world politics, including dependency, hegemony, geopolitics, regional integration, multilateralism, transnationalism, nationalism, and ethnic conflict.

The United Nations and World Politics

Analysis of the role and influence of the United Nations in international relations. Comparison of the UN with the League of Nations and with regional international organizations such as the Organization of American States and NATO. Attention to UN programs concerning security, human rights, economic development, and environmental protection.

United States Foreign Policy 

Major domestic factors affecting how US foreign policy is made and the resulting patterns of policy. US foreign policy in four issue-areas: security, human rights, economics, and ecology.

The United States and Latin America

The relations between the United States, Latin America, and between the individual nations of the region. 

Politics of the European Union

European Union from its inception in the early postwar period to the present. How the balancing act between individual countries' national interests and the transfer of sovereignty to the supranational government of the EU affects policy making, administration, and the construction of EU institutions.

Russian Politics

Political, economic, and social changes currently affecting the Russian Federation. External and internal factors affecting Russian domestic and foreign policy. Problems and challenges of democratization and economic reform.

Japanese Politics

Introduction and overview of post-war Japanese politics, focusing on rise and fall of one party democracy and political economy of Japan's capitalist development state, and examining impact of rapid development to Japanese society.

Chinese Politics

Contemporary Chinese politics. Post-Mao period. Political, economic, and social consequences of Deng Xiaoping's reforms. Prospects for the post-Deng period.

Special Topics


International Political Economy

Interface of politics and economics in the international arena. Political dimension of international economic issues emphasized. Includes: liberal, mercantile, and radical approaches; theories of imperialism; dependency and interdependency; distribution of the global product; the global division of labor; the political aspects of markets; the politics of trade, aid, investment, multinational corporations, food, and energy.

Political Economy of the Asia-Pacific

International relations of the Asia-Pacific. Security, economics, and interaction between China, Japan, the United States, and other regional powers.

Pro-seminar in International Relations I

Topic varies

Ethnic Conflict and Identity 

Theories of natinalism and ethnic conflict. Case studies of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The post-Cold War era as multi-polar and multi-cilizational. The states and different cultures that compete for influence and authority to dominate the "New World order." The division of the world along ethnic, religious, and class lines rather than by ideology. The future of international politics and the reassessment of the causes of "conflicts of culture" and their containment.

Organizing World Order

Structures and forces relevant to creation of order in world politics. Contents may vary according to semester and instructor. Topics: trends within the United Nations system; transnational economic integration; patterns in arms control and disarmament; prospects for a United States of Europe; human rights and international violence; the United States' response to terrorism and guerrilla warfare; the management of conflict; economic development and world order.

International Law

Rules and principles accepted by the members of the community of nations as defining their rights and duties, and the procedure employed in protecting their rights and performing their duties.

Comparative Public Policy: A Cross-National Approach

Various approaches to public policy outside the United States with emphasis on Western industrial societies. Includes policy formation and the various factors that influence policy outputs, the relationship between policy outputs and policy outcomes, efforts to classify and evaluate various types of policy outputs, and the influence of policy on politics.

Comparative Institutions

Formal and informal institutions such as constitutions, electoral rules, property rights, and civil rights. How and why people in different groups, countries, and cultures construct institutions to facilitate collective action. Whether different groups construct distinctly different institutions to deal with similar problems and why similar institutions seem to work differently in distinct societies.

Israel and the Middle East

Israeli politics, society, and relations with its neighbors, particularly the Palestinians. Rise of Zionism and the Palestinian response to it; wars between Israel and Arab neighbors, and the eventual peace agreements between the two; the internal dynamics of Israeli political life; and state of Zionism today.

Pro-seminar in Latin American Studies

An interdisciplinary analysis of topical issues in Latin American Studies.