Bard College Catalogue

The Bard College Catalogue contains detailed descriptions of the College's undergraduate programs and courses, curriculum, admission and financial aid procedures, student activities and services, history, campus facilities, affiliated institutions including graduate programs, and faculty and administration.

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Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Political Studies


Omar G. Encarnación (director), Sanjib Baruah, Jonathan Becker, Roger Berkowitz, Michiel Bot, Jonathan L. Cristol, Simon Gilhooley, Kenneth Haig, James P. Ketterer, David Kettler, Christopher McIntosh, Walter Russell Mead, Michelle Murray


Politics can be understood in many ways: as a struggle for power over other people, groups,  and nations; as a social process that determines who has what kinds of authority and how this affects particular communities; as a series of conversations or disputations about what counts as a “public problem” and how to address public problems; or as an art or science of institutional design, especially the design of governments and international institutions. However it is defined, politics matters. Political outcomes shape the choices we can make as individuals, and the fates of communities, nations, and states. 

The Political Studies Program at Bard welcomes students who care about politics and want to reason critically about political outcomes and debates at the local, national, and international levels. The program intends to inform responsible participation in American and global public affairs. It also prepares students for work and/or further study in political science, international affairs, public policy, law, cultural studies, and related fields.

Areas of Study

At Bard, six broad ­clusters of political studies are identified: political theory, American politics, comparative politics, political economy, public law, and international relations. The clusters necessarily overlap one another and other fields. Students are encouraged to combine courses in political studies with relevant courses in other disciplines, such as history, economics, sociology, and literature.  


Prior to Moderation a student ordinarily should have taken at least four courses in the program, including two of the program’s required core courses. Depending on a student’s focus or interest, one course from another program may be counted toward this requirement. The courses in political studies must fall into at least two of the subfields. 

In the junior year the student takes at least one 300-level course designed as preparation for the independent research and writing of a Senior Project. Students take at least two other courses in the program in the Upper College.

Recent Senior Projects in Political Studies

“Agency in the Palestinian Liberation Movement: Women’s Mobilization”
“Electronic Democracy and Electronic Propaganda: The New Media as a
Political Tool”
“From Washington to Managua: Transnationalism in the Central American Peace and Solidarity Movement”
“The Rule of Law, the Rights of Labor, and the Auto Industry Bailout” 


In addition to the courses described below, the following tutorials have been offered in recent years: Globalization and the Environ­ment, Heidegger and the Law, Historical Roots of Islamic Nationalism, Intelligence and American Politics, Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil, Reading Marx, Texts and Pretexts in American War Rationales, and Women and the Law.

International Relations
Political Studies 104
cross-listed: gis, human rights
This course provides students with an understanding of the hows and whys of state behavior: the “nuts and bolts” of international affairs. Topics include international relations theory; how foreign policy is made; international organizations; and some of the “hot” issues in the world today—terrorism, preventive war, globalization, and the spread of democracy. Authors read include Thucydides, Morgenthau, Russett, Huntington, and Mearsheimer, among many others.

Comparative Politics
Political Studies 105
cross-listed: gis
The intellectual premise of comparative politics is that we can better understand the politics of almost any country by placing it in its larger, global context. This perspective allows us to address some of the most fundamental questions of politics. Students examine not only the key institutions of liberal democracies, but also democracies constructed after dictatorships (Germany, Japan) and federalism as an emerging trend in contemporary regional politics.

Political Economy
Political Studies 109
cross-listed: gis
Political economy refers to the interrelationship between politics and economics. However, political scientists and economists do not always use the term in the same sense, and within these two disciplines the term has multiple meanings. This course reviews the ideas of major thinkers such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, and John Kenneth Galbraith, and introduces two subfields: international political economy and the political economy of development.

Introduction to African States and Societies
Political Studies 110
The course explores prominent social, political, historical, and cultural narratives regarding the continent of Africa, and aims to untangle what many politicians and policymakers see as the “dilemma” of the African state. Among the overarching questions discussed: What assumptions are embedded in the notion of African thought and society, and how do they shape the social, political, and economic dynamics within and between the 54 plus African countries existing today? Readings from Fanon, Nkrumah, Nyerere, and Senghor, among others.

Introduction to Political Thinking
Political Studies 115
cross-listed: human rights
This course examines politics through a core body of writings. It takes a comparative look at texts from diverse historical eras and reflects critically on different ways of thinking about political concepts such as justice, democracy, authority, and “the political.” Stu­dents reconstruct (and perhaps deconstruct) key strategic alternatives to such enduring questions as the relationship between the state and the individual, the conditions for peaceful political order, and the relationship between political action, intellectual contemplation, and morality.

Introduction to Political Philosophy
Political Studies 117 / Philosophy 117
cross-listed: human rights
From Plato’s “philosopher kings” to Hegel’s “master-slave dialectic” to Foucault’s “disciplined subject,” political philosophers have struggled with the concept of authority. This course explores various themes in political philosophy, all of which revolve around or branch out from the concept of authority: the state, rights, law, liberty, justice, citizenship, duty, obedience, and sovereignty. Texts are drawn from works by Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Arendt, Foucault, and Derrida.

American Politics: Issues and Institutions
Political Studies 122
cross-listed: american studies
This course introduces students to the basic institutions and processes of American ­government. It aims to provide students with a grasp of the fundamental dynamics of American politics and the skills to be an effective participant in and critic of the political process. During the semester, students examine how the government works, interpret current political developments and debates, and consider how to influence the government at various levels.

Constitutional Law
Political Studies 134
cross-listed: human rights
This course provides an introduction to constitutional legal systems including, but not limited to, the legal system of the United States.

Human Rights in Global Politics
Political Studies 145
cross-listed: human rights
This course examines the principal historical and sociological explanations behind the rise of human rights; its principal actors, institutions, and legal frameworks; and the main international, regional, and national settings in which the debates and practices of human rights take place. The course is divided into three core sections, which explore, respectively, the origins of the notion of human rights, human rights activism in action, and the dominant debates within the human rights movement. 

Foundations of the Law
Political Studies 167 / Philosophy 167
cross-listed: human rights
As the novelist William Gaddis writes: “Justice? You get justice in the next world. In this world, you have the law.” This course explores the apparent disconnect between law and justice. Through readings of legal cases as well as political, literary, and philosophical texts, students grapple with the problem of administering justice as it emerges in the context of contemporary legal institutions. Texts include Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Melville’s Billy Budd, and selections from Dostoevsky, Twain, Plato, and others.

U.S.–Latin American Relations
Political Studies 214
cross-listed: american studies, gis, human rights, lais
A comprehensive overview of the relationships between the United States and the nations of Latin America, how they were affected by historical and ideological events, and what possibilities exist for the future. The course provides a his­torical over­view of the events that shaped U.S.–Latin American relations; an examination of the principal issues that currently dominate the relations between the United States and its southern neighbors; and a close look at the ­relationships between the United States and Cuba, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

Latin American Politics and Society
Political Studies 222
cross-listed: gis, human rights, lais
Latin America’s political experience is characterized by an inability to hang on to stable ­democratic government. Throughout the 20th century, Latin America gravitated between democracy and a variety of nondemocratic regimes (caudillos, military juntas, and revolutionary governments), with the last wave of democratization occurring over the last three decades. While all Latin American nations (save Cuba) now operate under democratic rule, the quality of democracy leaves a lot to be desired. This course looks at the social, economic, and political roots of this trajectory.

Sex, Power, Politics
Political Studies 224
cross-listed: american studies, gss, human rights
This course brings work in feminist and queer theory to bear on the study of contemporary public policy controversies, and vice versa, to see how sex, power, and politics are related to one another in the United States. Students explore the history and politics of several recent social movements and critically assess the assumptions embedded in U.S. law and public policy. Topics may include debates over reproductive freedom, pornography, marriage, adoption, and gay rights, among others.

West European Politics and Society
Political Studies 225
cross-listed: french studies, german studies, gis, human rights
Western Europe has been a key arena for some of the most remarkable late 20th- and early 21st-century ventures and experiments in globalization, democratic political reform, acceptance of cultural diversity, developments in social policy, and the viability of socialism. The course looks at what brought these experiments into being, their relative historical success, and how they have fared in the face of new global and international challenges.

Religion in American Politics
Political Studies 226
cross-listed: american studies, religion
Topics covered include critical constitutional questions, the activities of major religious interest groups (e.g., the Christian Right), the impact of religion on political behavior, the place of religious values in democratic discussion, and the influence of religion on various public policies, from education and public prayer to medical politics.

Europe and the World: International Relations of West European States
Political Studies 227
cross-listed: french studies, german studies, gis, human rights
This course examines the redefinition of West European states and the renegotiation of their relations with their former colonies, the United States, the rest of Europe, and one another, from the late 1940s to the present. It is especially concerned with the institutional and organizational effects of these renegotiations, from the emergence of such key international organizations as NATO, the Council of Europe, and the European Union to their changing—and often contested—roles in international affairs today.

Immigration and Citizenship
Political Studies 229
cross-listed: gis, human rights
This course examines the way that responses to immigration have affected existing policies and practices of citizenship. Studies focus primarily on the post–World War II experience of developed countries and the practical and theoretical issues raised by that experience, such as the challenge of integrating culturally and religiously diverse new social groups of immigrant origin and the ways in which different countries have confronted this task. Topics include multiculturalism, minority rights, visions of state and nationhood, and alien voting rights.

Humanitarian Military Intervention
Political Studies 231
cross-listed: gis, human rights
The international states system is built upon the principles of sovereignty and nonintervention. Yet over the past two decades human rights have emerged as an increasingly accepted justification for the use of force. This tension between the respect for state sovereignty and the inevitable violations that result from the use of military force is at the center of the debate over human rights in the field of international relations. This course explores these dilemmas and controversies.

International Politics of South Asia
Political Studies 233
cross-listed: asian studies
This course provides a historical overview of South Asia, a region that has 21 percent of the world’s population. It covers the British colonial period, the Kashmir conflict, the war in Afghanistan, India-Pakistan relations and the regional nuclear arms race, the politics of outsourcing, and the United States and South Asia, among other topics. Students are expected to keep up with current developments and relevant policy debates by reading South Asian and U.S. newspapers online.

The Modern American Presidency
Political Studies 235
cross-listed: american studies
An introduction to the office of the presidency and, more generally, to the major dynamics affecting American politics today. Using the 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns as a point of reference, the course examines historical patterns of change in party coalitions, electoral and policy-making strategies, and the institutional capacities of the presidency. Particular attention is paid to changes in the scope of presidential power in the context of the Great Depression, World War II, and 9/11. 

The United Nations and Model UN
Political Studies 239
cross-listed: gis, human rights
The first part of this two-semester course explores the history of the United Nations, providing an introduction to its structure and principal aims. It examines the role of specialized agencies and how alliances impact on the UN’s day-to-day operations. The second part of the course focuses on an assigned country whose history, politics, and economics are studied. The course concludes with the writing of position papers that reflect that country’s approach to issues confronting the UN. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

Public Intellectuals in the Age of the Internet
Political Studies 243
Public intellectuals and journalists today must adapt to shorter news cycles, short attention spans, new economic models, and a flood of competing commentary and information. For young journalists and emerging public intellectuals, blogging has become a “threshold skill” that opens the door to entry-level jobs and launches careers. This course analyzes con­­temporary and historical short-form political ­writing and helps students write professional-quality blog posts.

Public Opinion, Political Participation, and Democracy in America
Political Studies 245
cross-listed: american studies
Many political observers and players make sweeping claims about what Americans want, how they think, and to what extent they live up to ideals of citizenship. This course looks closely at what we know about the American people’s political and social beliefs and their political participation in all its various forms. Topics include public opinion polls, people’s voting decisions, the scope of citizen political activism, and fundamental attitudes toward government—and what they mean for the future of American democracy.

American Foreign Policy Debates
Political Studies 247
cross-listed: gis
An examination of the questions facing American foreign policy today through several lenses: global geopolitics, economics, resource issues, culture and ideology, and regional politics. The course stresses the connections between domestic and international policy and explores the schools of thought currently contending to shape the foreign policy agenda of the Obama administration and of various critics and opponents. Readings include essays and books by leading scholars and practitioners.

East Asian Politics and Society
Political Studies 248
cross-listed: asian studies, gis
An introduction to the comparative politics of Japan, Korea, and greater China. The first part of the course focuses on economic development: how can industrialization and sustained economic growth be achieved? Next, students consider the causes underlying social revolutions. Finally, the class addresses the question of democracy in a region with a long history of authoritarian rule. Besides examining democratization in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, students explore different cultural conceptions of democracy and their impact on political reform.

War, Sovereignty, and the Subject of International Politics
Political Studies 249
cross-listed: gis, human rights
What does it mean to identify a particular act of violence as a “war” rather than a civil conflict, terrorism, or genocide? The initial focus of the course is on the underlying ideas that inform international politics and theory. Contemporary foreign policy issues (the war on terror, humanitarian interventions, U.S. [in]action in Darfur) are then examined to see how these conceptions of war operate in practice.

Introduction to Quantitative Analysis
Political Studies 250
cross-listed: eus, gis
It has been said that “figures never lie, but liars figure,” and in political debates, the incentives to lie with figures are ubiquitous. Political scientists, however, frequently resort to statistical analysis to gain insights into social phenomena and causal relationships. This course cultivates rudiments of statistical analysis, with emphasis on the ability to interpret and evaluate inferential claims in social science literature.

Human Rights in Asia
Political Studies 251
cross-listed: asian studies, human rights
This course challenges assumptions about cultural relativism by comparing and contrasting the different ways in which societies in East, Southeast, and South Asia have confronted increasing social diversification and changing norms about class, gender, ethnic, and religious minorities. In addition to comparing the extent to which human rights protections have been incorporated into domestic legal institutions, students also consider efforts to build regional and transnational dialogue on these issues.

Security and International Politics
Political Studies 254
cross-listed: gis, human rights
Security is one of the foundational concepts in the study of international politics. As the principal rationale for war, the quest for security influences the behavior of states both internationally and domestically. This course interrogates the concept of security in an attempt to denaturalize the ways in which security is taken for granted. Students consider critical approaches to the politics of threat construction, alternative conceptualizations of security, and the ethics of conducting torture and suspending civil liberties in the name of national security.

The Politics of Russia and the Soviet Successor States
Political Studies 255
cross-listed: gis, res
Why did communism collapse? What political, economic, social, and historical factors explain the difficulties of Russia’s postcommunist transition? This course examines the monumental political, social, and economic changes that have swept Russia since 1985. Students explore the transformation of Russia not only through academic books and articles, but also through literature, film, and the speeches and writings of political figures.

Politics and News Media
Political Studies 256
This seminar addresses the interaction between government and news media, concentrating on the characteristics of different media systems, the role of news media in elections, the impact of news media on the formation of foreign and domestic policy, and recent news media restrictions related to national security concerns. Although the course focuses on contemporary news media in the United States, some attention is devoted to comparisons of media in other countries.

Strategies of Radical Political and Social Change
Political Studies 258
cross-listed: sociology
How can we change the political condition of society? Can such change be achieved through force of will, organization, and political strategies, or is long-lasting political change a product of slower transformations of the social fabric? This course examines various strategies designed to trigger and achieve social and political change. Students compare, for example, the guerrilla strategy used historically in Latin America with nonviolent strategies from Gandhi to contemporary civil disobedience. 

Environmental Politics in the United States
Political Studies 260
cross-listed: american studies, eus
Environmental politics involves many crucial themes in American politics. This course considers how government regulation works and fails to work, how competing interests and values shape policy outcomes, how policy makers grapple with (or evade) complex technical issues, and such topics as toxic waste, environmental justice, climate change, wilderness conservation, and endangered species protection.

Democracy and the Rise of Fascism: The “Twenty Years” Crisis
Political Studies 263
cross-listed: historical studies, philosophy
Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party highlight the growing consciousness of a systemic crisis in American democracy. This course explores the fissures in our political system through the lens of a historical moment when modern democracy had its deepest crisis of faith. The interwar years in Europe saw the repeated failure of democratic experiments and the rise of fascism. Readings from Keynes, Weber, Lenin, and Heidegger provide a sense of the moment as well as pro- and antidemocratic arguments.

The United States and the Modern Middle East
Political Studies 264
cross-listed: gis, mes
This seminar focuses on the complex and contradictory relationship between the United States and the Arab world. Students discuss the creation of Arab nation-states, the pivotal year 1948, Nasserism, the Cold War, the Six-Day War, and the first Gulf War, among other topics. The class then considers challenges to the American role (if any) in the Arab world as well as fundamentalism, terrorism, democratization, trade, the Gulf emirates as liberals, and the war in Iraq.

Politics of Globalization
Political Studies 274
cross-listed: gis, human rights
Advocates of free markets see globalization as a positive force that can generate employment and raise world living standards. Critics see it as an excuse for the exploitation of workers and the expropriation of resources of poor ­countries, environmental degradation, and a host of other ills. This course is framed by the question: What is new about globalization and what is not? 

Nations, States, Nationalism
Political Studies 280
cross-listed: gis, human rights, mes
The 20th century was the century of nationalism. The national conflicts that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union were only the most recent manifestations of the power of nationalism. But terms such as nations, nationalities, and nationalism are difficult to define. This course makes use of a number of key theoretical texts to examine the history of the idea of nations and the “nation-state.”

Equality and American Democracy
Political Studies 281
cross-listed: human rights
In the United States, one-tenth of the population owns 71 percent of the nation’s wealth. The New York City school-age population is over 70 percent African American or Hispanic, and yet at Stuyvesant High School, one of the city’s best, less than 4 percent of the students come from these groups. On average, American women earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn in comparable jobs. How should we regard these and other inequalities? This course explores several theories of egalitarianism and applies them to American case studies in inequality.

NGOs, Civil Society, and Development
Political Studies 282
How accountable are nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)? What are the limits of transnational activism? How does transnational development work “fit” with national development policies? This course provides an overview of the theories and debates involving NGOs and civil society. It examines these issues through case studies of specific transnational networks, movements, and project work in the areas of the environment, sustainable development, global health, and poverty alleviation. The cases are drawn from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. 

Environmental Politics in East Asia
Political Studies 283 / History 283
See History 283 for a full course description.

Political Studies 287
cross-listed: human rights, philosophy
Anarchism is the political theory of government without rulers, or the idea that communities can organize themselves politically without hierarchical authority. Often utopian, there are many practical and historical examples of anarchic politics and self-organization. Most recently, large elements of the Occupy Wall Street movement have embraced fundamental anarchist ideas. This course explores the intellectual history of anarchism in order to understand its place in contemporary politics. Readings include Emma Goldman, Martin Heidegger, Subcomandante Marcos, David Graeber, and others.

Political Economy of Development
Political Studies 314
This Upper College seminar examines the economic development of the “Third World” through the lens of several generations of scholars. After reading representative authors of competing theoretical traditions, students move on to concrete cases.

Nuclear Proliferation Seminar
Political Studies 326
This seminar reviews the origins of the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the impact of this proliferation on U.S. national and international security. Students consider the central academic debates about why states want nuclear weapons and evaluate these ideas against the major cases of nuclear acquisition and restraint in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

The Politics of Human Rights
Political Studies 335
cross-listed: gis, human rights
Are human rights a misguided form of liberalism or a new form of Western imperialism that allows affluent nations to impose their values upon the rest of the world? What is the connection between human rights and development, democratization, and globalization? This seminar looks at the intersection of human rights and political science, with an emphasis on these and other concerns that human rights poses for students of political theory, international relations, and comparative politics.

Strategy and Power
Political Studies 338
Based loosely on the “Grand Strategy” curriculum developed by John Gaddis, Paul Kennedy, and Charles Hill at Yale University, this seminar examines a series of key texts in grand strategy and a set of case studies that analyze strategy in important world conflicts from ancient times through the 20th century. Texts include works by Sun Tzu, Thucydides, Machiavelli, von Clausewitz, and others. Students are encouraged to think critically about these conflicts and the world leaders who engaged with them.

Civil Liberties in States of Emergency
Political Studies 343
cross-listed: american studies, human rights
Clinton Rossiter wrote, “No form of government can survive that excludes dictatorship when the life of the nation is at stake.” This seminar takes up the question of how the United States should be governed during times of crisis by situating the “War on Terrorism” in historical and comparative context, and by asking broader questions about the relationship between the rule of law, sovereignty, and democracy. A special focus is on how and when civil liberties have been rescinded in America, and to what effect.

Bard–West Point Seminar: The Nature of Power
Political Studies 349
cross-listed: gis, human rights
Hans Morgenthau wrote that “power may comprise anything that establishes and maintains control of man over man. Thus power covers all social relationships which serve that end, from physical violence to the most subtle psychological ties by which one mind controls another.” This seminar investigates “physical violence,” “subtle psychological ties,” and everything in between in an attempt to understand the nature and role of power in the international system. Joint sessions are held with Professor Scott Silverstone and his students at the United States Military Academy. Prerequisites: Political Studies 104 and permission of the instructor.

The End of Unions
Political Studies 353
This course examines the political importance of organized labor, especially in the post–World War II period and primarily in the United States, in order to assess the causes and consequences of the present steep decline in the power of unions. The common reading during the first half of the semester covers both empirical-historical and theoretical studies. The second half consists of seminar reports on group or individual projects.

Anglo-American Grand Strategy
Political Studies 354 
cross-listed: gis
The American world system that exists today can be seen as version 2.0 of the liberal capitalist system first built by Great Britain. The builders of these systems developed a distinct style of strategic thought around the needs of a maritime, global, and commercial system. Students read works by important thinkers in this tradition, such as Admiral Mahan and Winston Churchill, and study the grand strategies of the two powers from the War of the Spanish Succession through the Cold War.

God’s Country? U.S. Foreign Policy and Religion in the United States
Political Studies 365
cross-listed: gis, human rights
The United States is an intensely religious country, affected by an individualistic form of Christianity with roots in the British Isles and the Protestant Reformation. Both religious and nonreligious citizens today have been shaped by this heritage, and America’s engagement with the world continues to reflect the ideas and values of that past. This course examines the ideological, cultural, and social consequences of that influence on American foreign policy.

American Political Development
Political Studies 366
cross-listed: american studies
Since the early 1980s, there has been an explosion of research falling under the purview of American political development (APD). APD uses history as data, aiming to systematically explore institutional change and the trajectories of U.S. public policy. This course provides an introduction to the APD body of research, organized around a guiding theme: the influence of ideas and emotions in American politics. Topics include populism, liberalism, conservatism, racism, fear, and political passion.

Promoting Democracy Abroad
Political Studies 368
cross-listed: american studies, gis
Almost alone among the world’s superpowers, the United States has made promoting democracy abroad a central objective of its foreign policy. This course explores three questions about this “mission” to spread democracy: What explains the genesis and persistence of the centrality of democracy in American foreign policy? How have American administrations tried to construct policies to advance democratic development abroad? Why have these attempts to promote democracy abroad so often fallen short of their intended goals?

Great Power Politics
Political Studies 369
This course explores the military, economic, and social sources of great power competition in international politics. Historical cases covered include the rise of U.S. hegemony in the Western Hemisphere, the Anglo-German naval race, World Wars I and II, and the Cold War. Contemporary topics include the emergence of new nuclear powers, the war on terror, and the rise of China.

Politics of Population Control
Political Studies 370
cross-listed: asian studies, gis, human rights
For much of history, rulers knew that having large populations was the key to military and economic strength: more people meant a larger workforce and larger armies. Today, however, developing countries almost universally view overpopulation as a threat to social, economic, and political stability. This course examines the various theories and approaches that have historically informed state responses to population change. It considers the range of population-controlling or population-growing policy solutions that have been tried by different nations and the political conflicts they have prompted.

Human Rights and the Environment
Political Studies 373
cross-listed: eus, human rights
Across the global south, social mobilizations against oil and mineral extraction, and for improved access to clean and sufficient water, are occurring with increasing frequency. The ongoing pollution generated by oil wells, mines, and industry pose severe threats to the health and cultural survival of many people within the developing world. This course examines the work being done by various groups to frame environmental degradation and, conversely, environmental sustainability, as a critical aspect of human rights.

Grand Strategy from Sun Tzu to Clausewitz
Political Studies 377
cross-listed: gis
The question of what war is and how wars can be won has exercised great minds from the dawn of recorded history. Students in this advanced seminar examine classic texts on conflict, from ancient China to modern Europe. Issues addressed include the nature of conflict, the role of chance in human affairs, the definition of power, and the development of strategic thought.

Advanced Topics in Political Thinking
Political Studies 380
cross-listed: human rights, philosophy
This course focuses on a close reading of one important thinker or book in the tradition of political and legal theory. Authors and books vary from semester to semester. 

Hannah Arendt Seminar
Political Studies 420
cross-listed: human rights
Students read some of Hannah Arendt’s seminal works, paying particular attention to her thoughts about how science and art relate to the human condition. The course also explores the challenge that scientific rationality and artificial intelligence pose to the humanity of humans. Beyond scheduled class meetings, students are expected to attend lectures and other events sponsored by the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities and Bard’s Center for Curatorial Studies.