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.

Bard College Catalogue 2016-17


Bard College Catalogue 2016-17

Political Studies

politicalstudies.bard.edu

Faculty

Omar G. Encarnación (director), Sanjib Baruah, Jonathan Becker, Roger Berkowitz, Kevin Duong, Simon Gilhooley, James P. Ketterer, David Kettler, Christopher McIntosh, Walter Russell Mead, Michelle Murray

Overview

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.

Requirements

Prior to Moderation, a student must have taken at least four courses in the program, including two from the core curriculum (see “Courses”). After Moderation, students are required to take three politics seminars. Depending on the interests of the student, and with the approval of the academic adviser, one of the seminars may come from a related social science discipline, such as economics or sociology; from study abroad; or from Bard’s Global and International Affairs (BGIA) Program in New York City. All students are required to complete a Senior Project that examines a political problem/puzzle or that synthesizes the political science literature on a major subject, such as democracy, development, or war.

Recent Senior Projects in Political Studies

  • “Aid Yes, but for Whom? To Do What? Understanding Chinese Foreign Aid”
  • “Combatting Terrorist Financing after 9/11”
  • “Legal Shadows: An Examination of Evidence in State v. Zimmerman
  • “Power and Dominion: Strategy and Political Science in Hannibal’s War”

Courses

Political Studies offers a core curriculum comprising the following courses: Introduction to Political Thinking, Comparative Politics, American Politics: Issues and Institutions, Political Economy, Foundations of the Law, and International Relations. In addition to this curriculum, the program offers a wide range of courses in area studies (Africa, Latin America, East Asia, and the Middle East), and thematic seminars on American foreign policy, international security, democratization, terrorism, civil society, development, and political methodology, among other topics.

International Relations
Political Studies 104
cross-listed: gis, human rights
An introduction to competing theories about the structure, functioning, and transformative potential of the international system. The course begins with the traditional problem of international life: maintaining order among relatively equal states in a condition of anarchy. Part two calls the assumption of anarchy into question by looking at hierarchical power relationships in a variety of issue areas. The course concludes by addressing contemporary challenges to the state’s authority and the problems of governing in an increasingly global community.

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: eus, gis, human rights
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 Political Thinking
Political Studies 115
cross-listed: human rights
From Plato to Nietzsche, great thinkers in the Western tradition have asked about the nature and practice of political action. Thinking about politics is, knowingly or not, conducted against the background of this shared tradition. This is no less true of political thought that aims to break away from “the classics” than of political thought that finds in them a constant resource for both critical and constructive thinking. This course explores fundamental questions of politics through a core body of writings.

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.

Case Study in International Policy: Burma
Political Studies 124
cross-listed: gis, human rights
This one-credit course uses recent U.S.-Burmese relations as a case study to introduce students to the dynamics and difficulties of American foreign policy. Following a brief introduction to core concepts of American global strategy, students dig into the Burma situation, exploring such factors as the regime’s motivations and policies, the internal situation in Burma from the political and economic points of view, the role of external actors like China and of international bodies such as the IMF and UN, and the nature of American interests and humanitarian concerns.

Human Rights in Global Politics
Political Studies 145
cross-listed: gis, human rights
This course addresses the main actors and debates behind the rise of human rights in global politics. The course is divided into three core sections: the philosophical foundations of the notion of human rights and its contested universality; the evolution of the so-called international human rights regime; and the shifts from “first generation” human rights (political freedoms) to “second generation” human rights (social and economic rights, such as housing, employment, and education), to “third generation human rights” and beyond (cultural self-determination, economic sustainability, and sexual freedoms, among others).

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.

American Political Thought
Political Studies 181
cross-listed: american studies 
Drawing upon material from across the entire span of American history, the course attempts to develop an understanding of concepts such as democracy, liberty, individuality, and republicanism, and to discuss how understandings of these concepts have influenced political and social choices in the United States. Readings include works by Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Emma Goldman.

Radical Political Thought
Political Studies 202
Tracing the historical development of radical thought from the German tradition of critical theory in the so-called Frankfurt School through the emergence of poststructuralism in France, students examine questions of power, critique, and reason as well as the relationship between political action and critical thinking. Readings include works by Marx, Horkheimer, Adorno, Foucault, Habermas, and Butler.

Gender and the Politics of National Security
Political Studies 206 / GIS 206
See GIS 206 for a full course description.

Global Citizenship
Political Studies 181
cross-listed: gis, human rights
question has gained increasing salience as the world has become more globalized, and new problems surface that cut across national borders and fall outside the jurisdiction of individual nation-states. In response, new forms of political organization have emerged that challenge the state as the primary locus of political authority and individual rights. This course critically examines the conceptual and theoretical foundations of the concept of global citizenship and investigates how the idea might work in practice.

Unmaking of Americans: Are There Still American Values Worth Fighting For?
Political Studies 213
cross-listed: American Studies, Experimental Humanities
Several recent books have bemoaned the fading of the American ideal. The Unwinding by George Packer tells the tale of the demise of American institutions and the loss of American ideals as an inspiring dream. In Coming Apart, Charles Murray argues that Americans in wealthy zip codes have pitifully little in common with their countrymen in poor zip codes, suggesting that America no longer exists as a single nation. Are there ideals that we still share as Americans? Can we reinvigorate the American Dream?

U.S.–Latin American Relations
Political Studies 214
cross-listed: american studies, gis, human rights, lais
Despite common origins and close economic and political ties during their respective periods of independence and state-building, conflict rests at the heart of the relationship between the United States and the nations of Latin America. This course looks at the historical and ideological roots of that conflict, how it has developed over the years, and such salient issues in contemporary U.S.–Latin American relations as economic integration, the illicit drug trade, and Latin American migration to the United States.

The Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement
Political Studies 221
cross-listed: american studies, human rights
The 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act provides an opportunity to reflect on the history and legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. The course explores the domestic, international, and ideological origins of the movement; the structures and actions of organizations such as SNCC, SCLC, NAACP, and CORE; and the consequences and legacies of the “classical” period of 1954–66. Also considered are the effects of the movement on subsequent mobilizations, contemporary American society, and the modern American political landscape.

Latin American Politics and Society 
Political Studies 222
cross-listed: gis, human rights, lais
The course is organized in three main sections, beginning with a broad overview of patterns of political development in Latin America from the independence period to the present. The second part highlights theoretical approaches to Latin American political development drawn from cultural analysis, Marxism, and state-centric perspectives. The final section examines democratic development in six countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Cuba, and Venezuela.

Religion and Political Thought
Political Studies 230
cross-listed: human rights, religion
Modern secular wisdom has it that religion is a private affair, and as such it must be kept separate from political life. But historically, political philosophers have had complicated views concerning religion’s role in political life. Some blamed religion for political oppression, violence, alienation, and the subordination of minorities and women, while others saw religion as the primary source of political morality, and an important basis of national community. The class explores the political consequences of these different ways of theorizing about religion.

Humanitarian Military Intervention
Political Studies 231 / GIS 231
See GIS 231 for a full course description.

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.

Occupy Political Theory: Social Theory Critics from Montesquieu to Marcuse
Political Studies 234
The course considers the challenges to political theory from social theory, which was initiated by Montesquieu; expanded by Rousseau and Ferguson; and further developed in the 19th and 20th centuries by Harriet Martineau, Karl Marx, Peter Kropotkin, Karl Mannheim, and Herbert Marcuse. Students examine thinkers who challenge the social foundations that give meaning to the political forms that ordinary political theory takes as its focus.

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.

U.S. Politics in the Long Term 
Political Studies 236
cross-listed: american studies
Why are there two parties in the United States? Why is there no universal health care? Why did the civil rights movement happen in the 1950s and 1960s? This course addresses a different theme each week (e.g., race, welfare, political parties), looking at the ways in which these areas of politics can be seen as the consequence of developments occurring over long periods of time. Also explored are the consequences of past decisions, unintended results of policies, and the development of institutions. 

Comparative Politics of the Middle East and North Africa 
Political Studies 237
cross-listed: africana studies, gis, mes
An introduction to the major questions and theoretical approaches involved in the study of comparative politics as applied to the states of the Middle East and North Africa. Topics include state formation and consolidation, the persistence of authoritarianism, nationalism and identity, civil society and democratization, uprisings and revolutions, the role of oil, political economy of the state, gender, and Islamist politics. The course covers core literature in the field, relevant case studies, and pressing issues facing policymakers.

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.

Politics and Violence
Political Studies 241
This course interrogates the relationship of violence to sovereignty, legality, legitimacy, and morality. Exploring theoretical debates about the aims and consequences of political violence, it inquires into the ways passions—nationalist, revolutionary, religious—figure in the legitimization and condemnations of political violence. The class also addresses particular case studies such as 19th-century terrorism, the First and Second World Wars, Algerian resistance, Rwandan genocide, 9/11, and the War on Terror.

Public Opinion and the Challenges of Democracy
Political Studies 242
Public opinion is considered by many to be the key legitimation of modern democratic politics. However, how public opinion is constituted—and by whom—has always been a matter of great controversy. The class explores how theorists and critics imagine the relations in democratic politics between truth and fiction, the public and the private sphere, speech and “popular” voice, ideology and critique, reason and affect. Texts by Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, Tocqueville, Marx, Mill, Lippmann, Schmitt, Gramsci, Adorno, Marcuse, Fanon, Arendt, Habermas, Derrida, and Rancière.

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.

The Politics of the Civilian-Military Divide in the United States
Political Studies 244
cross-listed: american studies
Since at least Eisenhower’s warning of the developing military-industrial complex, scholars have been concerned with the intrusion of the military into modern civilian life. This course critically examines the claim that a militarization of society has occurred, how it may have taken place, and what the consequences of such a development would be. Topics include the rise of privatized military companies, the growth of paramilitary police units, military-industrial relations, and the effects of the Afghan and Iraq wars on U.S. society.

The Politics of Central Asia
Political Studies 246
cross-listed: asian studies
Caught in the middle of such neighbors as Russia, China, Afghanistan, and Iran, the countries of Central Asia present a mix of problems in comparative politics. This course, anchored on the theme of state building, takes up a range of issues salient for the region: the Soviet legacy, informal politics, authoritarianism, corruption, identity politics, and geopolitics. The course also specifically posits the question of the possibility of democracy and the challenge of democratization in a difficult geopolitical context.

American Foreign Policy Traditions
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.

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.

Race and Political Theory
Political Studies 262
cross-listed: human rights
Topics addressed include the political production of the excluded; the relations between race, nation, and class; imperialism and anticolonial liberation struggles; the relations between racism, secularism, and religion; intersections of antiracist politics and feminism; multiculturalism as a reality and as ideology; and the concept of dispossession. Texts by Hannah Arendt, Aimé Césaire, Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Frantz Fanon, bell hooks, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Talal Asad, Mahmood Mamdani, Athena Athanasiou, Angela Davis, and Drucilla Cornell.

The Practice of Courage: Self-Thinking and Political Courage from Antigone to Edward Snowden
Political Studies 269 / Philosophy 269
cross-listed: human rights
An anonymous protestor in a white shirt faced down tanks in Tiananmen Square and halted a massacre. Rosa Parks would not give up her seat and launched the civil rights movement. What makes some people dare to resist injustice while others cooperate in oppression or evil? Where can we find the courage to be advocates for good in a world where all the incentives lead us to turn quietly away? Class readings combine theoretical accounts (Arendt, Emerson, Plato, Milgram, Tillich) with examples of political courage, including Antigone, Lincoln, Kennedy, Ellison, Gandhi, and Snowden, among others.

All Politics Is Local
Political Studies 270
Students meet with local, county, and state officials; attend sessions of local government bodies; and read primary and secondary sources concerning the issue of local governance. Fieldwork allows them to contextualize their in-class study. Several sessions occur at night to accommodate public meetings of local governing bodies.

East Asian Security
Political Studies 272
cross-listed: asian studies, gis
East Asia has always been imagined as an important area of concern for those studying international security, and the potential for instability animates much of American foreign policy. Topics discussed include intraregional concerns, such as the proliferation and development of nuclear weapons and the potential remilitarization of Japan; regional maritime disputes; tensions between China and Taiwan; multilateral security institutions; and potential areas for security and cooperation within the region as well as with major players internationally.

Diplomacy in International Politics
Political Studies 273 / GIS 273
See GIS 273 for a full course description.

Nations, States, and Nationalism
Political Studies 280
cross-listed: gis, human rights, mes
The course examines the idea of the nation, its historical and contemporary competitors, the emergence of the nation-state system, and the challenges confronting this system. The approach is comparative and draws on the experiences of all world regions.

Privacy: Why Does It Matter?
Political Studies 285
cross-listed: experimental humanities, human rights, philosophy
Edward Snowden’s revelations inaugurated a national discussion about the right of privacy. Over 50 percent of Americans still support the National Security Administration (over 60 percent of those under 30). We share our private lives on social media sites and think little of leaving digital signatures as we shop, read, and drive. We willingly trade privacy for the promise of both increased security and convenience. Privacy is being lost and few seem to care. Students read material on privacy by Hannah Arendt and others.

International Relations of the Middle East and North Africa
Political Studies 289
cross-listed: gis, mes
While the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region continues to be a site of conflict, developing trends, emerging actors, and competing explanations are often overlooked. Major themes in this course include the nature of the state system and causes of conflict within the region; the roles played by outside powers; and the causes and effects of transnational forces such as Arab nationalism, Islamic radicalism, criminal networks, media, and global economic actors.

Dealing with Data in Political Science
Political Studies 291
The central element of making a convincing argument in politics is the ability to show that it is supported in the “real” world. This course examines the different ways in which scholars of politics make use of data in constructing and supporting their arguments, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of various approaches, including game theory, discourse analysis, experimentation, and historical analysis. For students considering a Senior Project in political studies, the course provides the opportunity to think about how to construct a research project.

Revolutionary Constitutionalism
Political Studies 295
cross-listed: human rights, philosophy
In the United States and around the world we are experiencing a radical loss of political legitimacy. On the most existential political questions of war, taxes, corruption, and trust, there is a credibility gap—not only are those in power not believed, they are held in contempt. It is in periods like these when the possibility of new political systems emerges. These are revolutionary times. But what makes a successful revolution? The class reads Arendt’s On Revolution with a focus on the constitutional aspects of her argument.

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.

The U.S. Constitution as a Political Text
Political Studies 321
In place of a traditional constitutional law course that covers the accepted and contested meanings of the law derived from the Constitution, this course considers the influence that the Constitution has had on American society. Students are introduced to the debates within political thought about the nature of the Constitution and to the Constitution as it now exists in contemporary political life, specifically with regard to the first two amendments of the Bill of Rights, which deal with free speech and firearms regulation, respectively.

Post–Cold War International Relations Theory
Political Studies 328
The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union took most international relations theorists by surprise. That a state could voluntarily disintegrate for any reason other than total military defeat was thought to be theoretically impossible. This course examines how international relations theorists reacted to the end of the Cold War, both in terms of rethinking their theories and creating new ones. Students benefit from joint meetings with Professor Scott Silverstone’s class at the United States Military Academy.

Democracy after Dictatorship
Political Studies 331
What makes democracy possible in the wake of dictatorial rule? This question serves as an entry point for the seminar. The first half examines concepts and issues in the study of democratization, such as the meaning of democracy and the factors aiding in the rise and consolidation of democratic governance. The second half explores the politics of democratization in five cases: Germany after the Nazi regime, Spain after the Franco dictatorship, Argentina after military rule, Russia after Communism, and Egypt after Mubarak.

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.

Humanism, Human Rights, and the Human Condition
Political Studies 341
cross-listed: human rights, philosophy
In 1946, just after the defeat of the Nazis, a French schoolteacher wrote to the German philosopher Martin Heidegger, asking two questions: How are we, in the wake of the Holocaust, to restore sense to the word “humanism”? And how are we to understand the relationship between philosophy and ethics? Heidegger’s response, later published as “The Letter on Humanism,” is one of the great efforts to think through the ethical and philosophical significance of the human being. Texts by Heidegger, Sartre, Arendt, and Sloterdijk.

Terrorism 
Political Studies 352
The September 2001 terrorist attacks irrevocably changed U.S. politics and foreign policy, giving rise to more than a decade of war, expanded surveillance domestically and abroad, the use of torture and indefinite detention, and a targeted killing policy through the use of drone strikes around the globe. This seminar examines terrorism as a political phenomenon, the role of religion and ideology in motivating terrorist groups, the importance of state sponsorship in supporting terrorist activity, and the challenges of counterterrorism.

The End of Trade Unionism
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.

Radical American Democracy
Political Studies 358
cross-listed: american studies, human rights, philosophy
This course explores the essence of democracy as a specifically modern way of life, rather than as a form of government. To do so, it turns to such great thinkers on American democracy as Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Ellison, Du Bois, and Arendt. What unites these radical democrats is the conviction that democracy is a practice of individuals rather than an institutional form of governance. Texts include Emerson’s The American Scholar and Experience, Thoreau’s Walden, Ellison’s Invisible Man, and Arendt’s On Revolution.

Ethics and International Affairs
Political Studies 363
cross-listed: gis, human rights
Current foreign policy debates have centered on drone strikes, civilian casualties, the targeted killing of Americans, and humanitarian intervention, with advocates on both sides citing moral and ethical justifications for their respective positions. Each of these debates begs the central question: What does it mean to be ethical in international politics? To whom are we responsible? Do ethical concerns cross borders? This course explores the issues and tensions informing these questions by engaging the underlying theoretical traditions.

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
cross-listed: gis
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. Students gain an understanding of the relevance of great power politics to international order and learn the art of using historical research in international relations.

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.

Hannah Arendt Seminar
Political Studies 420 / Philosophy 420
cross-listed: human rights
Students read some of Hannah Arendt’s seminal works, with a particular focus on citizenship and thinking as these two activities relate to the human condition. Texts include Arendt’s The Human Condition, “The Crisis in Education,” “Reflections on Little Rock,” and other essays. Undergraduates are joined in the class by visiting fellows from Bard’s Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities and the Center for Curatorial Studies.