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Seats still available for Summer 2011

Notice: This item is marked as outdated.

The following courses still have seats available:

Priority: Informational

POLSC 100: Introduction to Politics: Democracy, Anarchy, and the State

Course Description

This course will provide an introduction to some of the major questions that animate the field of politics as well as some of the major approaches that define the sub-disciplines of political science: Political Theory, Comparative Politics, and International Relations. The course will engage such questions as: What is the role of the state? Must it be coercive? Can it be virtuous? What are some countries democratic and other authoritarian? What explains conflict and cooperation among states? Students will gain exposure to many of the classics of each sub-field and build the foundation for political analysis critical to their roles as citizens and as potential students of the discipline.

At the end of the semester you should expect to:

  • understand many of the foundational concepts of politics science (the state, power, authority, virtue, liberty, democracy, authoritarianism, anarchy, hierarchy, interdependence, and globalization;
  • have a good sense of the different approaches and methods that characterize the three major political science subfields: political theory, comparative politics, and international relations;
  • have developed critical reading skills in the social sciences;
  • have strengthened your writing skills and especially the capacity to build compelling, evidence-based arguments on major themes in the social sciences.

Course Requirements

  • Class participation/attendance
  • Short essays
  • Final exam


  • Plato, The Trial and Death of Socrates (Hackett)
  • J. Locke, The Second Treatise of Government (Hackett)
  • M. Weber, The Vocation Lectures, (Hackett)
  • L. Diamond and Marc Plattner, eds., Democracy: A Reader (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009)
  • R. Art and R. Jervis, eds., International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues, 9th edition. (New York: Pearson/Longman, 2010)


POLSC 211: State Government and Politics

Course Description

This Course serves as an introduction to State Government. Specifically, we will explore the State Government and other organizations that are part of the policy-making process in State Government. This is a writing intensive course, and has no specific departmental requirements.

While our focus will be on the State Government as a whole, we will also pay particular attention to the State of New York as an illustration of state decision making. Therefore, you should expect to become a much better informed citizen of the State with a greater understanding of how it operates and what you, as a citizen, can do about it.

Tentative Course Requirements

  • Midterms (1): 33%
  • Final: 33%
  • Term Paper: 33%
  • Class Participation: 1%

Class attendance is mandatory for all students (not just freshmen). We may perform a mock-simulation during the course. If that occurs, the above requirements will be adjusted. Students must complete all reading assignments prior to class, and they must submit all assignments on time.

You should expect to devote at least 6 hours per week to this course (in addition to attending class).

The full syllabus for Summer 2011 will be posted on the Bb course site prior to the start of class. If you have questions, email me at I use a great deal of technology on the course. Make sure you are familiar with blackboard prior to the start of class.

Required Text

(This book is available for a discounted e-book rate at State & Local Politics: Institutions & Reform, 2nd Edition; Donovan, Moony and Smith. ISBN-13: 978-0-495-80223-5. This is the main text for the course. Check for the best available price via services like BestBookBuys.