Examination of the major ideas of important theorists about the relationships among democracy, capitalism, and socialism. A consideration of the actual strengths and shortcomings of some of the current world's major political/economic systems that attempt to put these ideas into practice. Satisfies GE Area D5 (Contemporary International Perspectives).
Examination of the major writings from Machiavelli to the present. Emphasis on original sources and development of student opinions on ideas discussed.
An examination of the development of American political ideas as reflected in the works and careers of representative writers and political leaders.
Using race and gender as analytical tools, we investigate how major authors in the field "deconstruct" concepts such as rights, democracy, the autonomous individual, and freedom. We will evaluate the central proposition of critical theory that these political principles have been used to "disguise" disparities in power and resources in this country. The ultimate question students will answer, is how useful critical theory is in reevaluating our political values as we face an increasingly diverse and interdependent world.
This course covers contemporary political theory related to the environment, human/nature relations, theories of environmental and social justice and related movements, and theories of sustainability. Texts include works on feminism, justice, sustainability, political ideologies, political economy, and democracy.
Study of the political structure and process at the state, county, and municipal levels, with emphasis on urban and regional problems. The changing relationships between the state and federal governments will be explored. Political decision making at all three levels will be discussed in depth. Satisfies, by petition, the state code requirement in California state and local government. Can be used to fulfill prerequisite courses for the M.P.A. program for structure of state and local government agencies, as well as the political science requirement for the California cultural studies major.
A survey of the unique impact of race and ethnicity on American politics, including analysis of constitutional, legal, and historical factors affecting the status of persons of color. Attention to the role race and ethnicity play in the media, elections, political participation and representation, public opinion, public policy, and popular culture.
Introduction to the political structure and functions of the United Nations, with emphasis on team participation at the Western MUN or National MUN in New York. Students play decision-maker roles that they research for preparation of position papers on agenda items. Consent of instructor required.
The theory and practice of democratic government in Britain, France, and Germany. Using the United States as a basis for comparison, the course will consider the many important variations in the ways parties, parliaments, bureaucracies, and executives have developed and perform in the European political arena.
The political evolution of Russia in the post-Soviet era. Evaluation of Russian political institutions and political culture. Appraisal of the most significant problems affecting democratic transition. Review of Soviet political traditions.