Bruce E. Kochis
Studies the nature, structure, and functions of political institutions. Develops a theoretical and empirical analysis of both formal (state and government) and informal (non-state) institutions and actors:
As Aristotle pointed out, we humans are political animals and must collectively decide how to organize our world. This course examines how political communities--states, governments, citizenry--work (or somethimes do not work)to solve domestic and global problems. We will explore the role of institutions (governments and their components), political forces (parties and movements), and economies in shaping the public order and providing for the public good. We will critically look at democracies and their discontents, international organizations and their challenges, and the notion of "governance," that is, how formal and informal institutions shape political outcomes.
Student learning goals
Students will practice their critical thinking abilities on the particular issues that politics engages, namely, the production, distribution, and consumption of power.
Through small and large group interactions students will hone their political vocabulary and their abilities to articulate positions and questions.
Students will practice interdisciplinary research through the integration of points of view, e.g., studying political psychology or political discourse or gender politics.
Students will develop their own distinct political voice through writing.
General method of instruction
Lecture/discussion; online discussion. The course will use small seminars as an important vehicle of discussion and engagement.
Reading a national newspaper daily; basic history; basic philosophy.
Class assignments and grading
Moderate amount of reading, short weekly writing assignments, and a five-page paper.
Participation in class and on-line; quality of writing.