GOVERNMENT

GOVT-496
Selected Topics: Non-recurring (1-6)

Course Level: Undergraduate

Topics vary by section, may be repeated for credit with different topic. Prerequisite: minimum 2.5 GPA.

GOVT-496
002
GOVERNMENT
FALL 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

Selected Topics: Non-recurring (1-6)

Campaign Finance

Money in politics is one of the most consistently controversial and compelling topics in American elections. Fundamental issues of free speech, government regulation and public participation in the democratic process are all central to campaign finance policy and law. This rigorous course explores campaign finance in federal elections and public policy. This course examines how American campaign finance policy has evolved, the intersection of policy and law, and considers how money and politics are important in campaigns and governing. Few other areas of American politics and law have evolved as substantially as campaign finance in recent years. This course provides a unique opportunity to learn about an area that is politically, practically, and academically essential to the democratic process. Meets with GOVT-696 002.

GOVT-496
001
GOVERNMENT
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Selected Topics: Non-recurring (1-6)

Tocqueville's America and the Meaning of Modernity

This course analyzes the nature of American democracy, the meaning of modernity, and the interplay between the United States and the shaping of the modern world. It consists of systematic reading of Tocqueville's Democracy in America and later writings, writings by other astute observers of America and the modern condition, deep reflection of what exactly modernity is, and analysis of ways to promote democracy's and modernity's good aspects and check their bad ones. Themes include the nature of democracy, progress, and modernity; materialism v. spiritualism; and the idea of American exceptionalism. Meets with GOVT-696 001.

GOVT-496
002
GOVERNMENT
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Selected Topics: Non-recurring (1-6)

Political Opinion in the United States

This course examines Americans' political beliefs and attitudes as well as the reasons why they hold the views they do. Topics include party identification and ideology; political knowledge and rationality; historical trends; and social and media influences on opinion. Students also design, implement, and analyze an opinion survey. Meets with GOVT-696 002.

GOVT-496
003
GOVERNMENT
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Selected Topics: Non-recurring (1-6)

Political Economy of Globalization and Inequality

This seminar reviews literature devoted to explaining the unequal distribution of resources and power in developing world cases, with particular attention given to structural features of the region's economies, the configuration of social and political interests and the distributive impact of different combinations of public policies. Perspectives from political economy and political sociology are deployed in an effort to understand and explain changes in income and resource distribution. Although Latin America provides the geographic focus of the course, the class engages broader currents of thinking about how inequalities arise and persist over time, both in that region and elsewhere, in the context of increasingly integrated economic systems characteristic of the era of globalization. Meets with GOVT-696 003.

GOVT-496
004
GOVERNMENT
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Selected Topics: Non-recurring (1-6)

Inequality and Democracy

Does economic inequality threaten the institutions of representative democracy, and if so, how is the threat best understood? Students explore the moral assumptions underlying these urgent questions by interpreting and evaluating texts by political philosophers including Aristotle, Rousseau, Locke, Tocqueville, and Marx, as well as contemporary authors including John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Charles Murray, and Thomas Piketty. Meets with GOVT-696 004.