Political Science

Departmental Office: 710 International Affairs Building; 212-854-3707
http://www.polisci.columbia.edu

Director of Undergraduate Studies:
Prof. Richard Betts, 1328 International Affairs Building; 212-854-7325; rkb4@columbia.edu

Economics-Political Science Advisers:
Economics: Prof. Susan Elmes, Director of Undergraduate Studies, 1006 International Affairs Building; se5@columbia.edu
Political Science: Prof. Michael Ting, 701 International Affairs Building; 212-854-7945; mmt2033@columbia.edu

Political Science-Statistics Advisers:
Political Science: Prof. Andrew Gelman, 1016 Social Work Building; 212-851-2142; mailto:gelman@stat.columbia.edu
Statistics: Prof. Banu Baydil, 612 West 115th Street, Room 611; 212-853-1397; bb2717@columbia.edu
Statistics: Prof. Ronald Neath, 612 West 115th Street, Room 612; 212-853-1398; rcn2112@columbia.edu
 

The discipline of political science focuses on issues of power and governance and, in particular, on political institutions, both formal and informal. It also focuses on political behavior, political processes, political economy, and state-society relations.

The field consists of four substantive subfields: American politics, which covers such topics as national and local politics, elections, and constitutional law; comparative politics, which aims at understanding the political systems of other countries, both by studying individual states and by engaging in cross-national comparisons; international relations, which deals with the ways that states and other political actors behave in the international arena, including such topics as security, foreign policies, international organizations, and international economic relations; and political theory, which analyzes the history of normative political thought as well as of analytic concepts such as the nature of justice or liberty.

Other broad topics, such as “political economy,” or the study of the relationships between economic and political processes, overlap with the subfields, but also constitute a separate program (see below). Methodology, including statistical analysis and formal modeling, also occupies an important place in the discipline.

Advanced Placement

The department grants credit toward the major for work completed under the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) Advanced Placement Program. Students receive 3 academic credits and exemption from POLS UN1201 Introduction To American Government and Politics or POLS UN1501 Introduction to Comparative Politics for scores of 5 in the United States and Comparative Government and Politics AP Exams.

Advising

The Department of Political Science offers a variety of advising resources to provide undergraduate majors and concentrators with the information and support needed to successfully navigate through the program. These resources are described below.

Undergraduate Advising Office

Students should take questions or concerns about the undergraduate program to the department's undergraduate advising office first. If advisers cannot answer a student's question, they then refer the student to the appropriate person.

The undergraduate advising office is staffed by political science Ph.D. students who hold open office hours each week (the schedule can be found online at https://polisci.columbia.edu/content/undergraduate-advising). During open hours, advisers are available to respond to questions and concerns about requirements, course selection, course of study, transfer and study abroad credit, and any other aspect of the program. Students may also reach advisers by email at polisciadvising@columbia.edu.

Students should also consult the undergraduate advisers for assistance in completing the political science program planning form (available online at https://polisci.columbia.edu/content/undergraduate-forms-library). The advisers must sign and date this form in the approval column next to any listed class that requires approval to fulfill program requirements (transfer courses, non-traditional courses, etc.). Each student's planning form is kept on file in the department, so that each semester they may meet with an adviser to update it.

The advisers are also available to speak with students about academic and professional issues, including research interests, internships, and post-college plans. Since the advisers have been through the graduate school application process, they are great resources with whom students may discuss the process. Also, as current Ph.D. students in the department, they are familiar with the research interests of political science faculty and can therefore refer students to a professor whose research aligns with the students' interests for focused thesis advice, information about academic, professional, and research opportunities, or professional development.

Requesting a Faculty Adviser

Often the best way for students to obtain advising from a faculty member is to contact a professor with whom they have taken a class in an area of interest. Students also have the option of having a faculty adviser assigned by the department. To request a faculty adviser, students should complete the Faculty Adviser Request Form and submit it to the undergraduate coordinator during the first two weeks of the semester. The link to the current adviser request form may be found in the undergraduate forms library on the department website.

Students may consult with their faculty adviser for any substantive issue, but still must visit walk-in advising hours to have courses approved, to have planning forms reviewed and approved, and to discuss departmental requirements and regulations.

Director of Undergraduate Studies

The director of undergraduate studies oversees the department's undergraduate programs and is available during office hours. While a student's first stop for advising should be the undergraduate advising office, the director of undergraduate studies is available to answer any questions that the undergraduate advisers or the undergraduate coordinator cannot. 

Economics–Political Science Adviser

Economics–political science majors may consult with the economics-political science adviser during office hours. However, students should also see an undergraduate adviser to discuss major requirements and fill out a planning form. 

Political Science–Statistics Adviser

Political science–statistics majors may consult with the political science-statistics adviser during office hours. However, students should also see an undergraduate adviser to discuss major requirements and fill out a planning form. 

Faculty At-Large

All faculty are available for consultation with students during office hours or by appointment to discuss interests in political science, course selection, and other academic or post-college matters. The faculty may provide advice about graduate schools, suggest literature that the student might consult as sources for research, recommend specific courses or professors based on the student's interests, or offer information about research opportunities with faculty. However, students should note that any issues surrounding departmental regulations and requirements, major certification, course approvals, etc., should be addressed initially with the undergraduate advisers.

Honors Program

The department offers the Honors Program for a limited number of seniors who want to undertake substantial research projects and write honors theses. The honors thesis is expected to be about 75 pages in length and of exceptional quality.

Honors students perform research as part of a full-year honors seminar (POLS UN3998-POLS UN3999, 8 points total) during their senior year, in place of the seminar requirement for majors. Honors students may, however, take additional seminars to fulfill other course requirements for the major. Theses are due in late March or early April. To be awarded departmental honors, the student must satisfy all the requirements for the major, maintain a 3.6 GPA in the major, and complete a thesis of sufficiently high quality to merit honors.

The honors seminar director provides general direction for the seminar and supervises all students. Each student also works with a faculty member in his or her major subfield (American politics, comparative politics, international relations, or political theory) and a teaching assistant. The honors seminar meets weekly for part of the year and addresses general issues involved in research and thesis writing, such as how to develop research questions and projects, methodology, sources of evidence, and outlining and drafting long papers. The sessions are also used for group discussions of students’ research and thesis presentations. Students are also expected to meet periodically with the supervising professor and preceptor.

Students who wish to apply to the Honors Program must notify the department in writing by the end of the spring semester of the junior year. Please check the department website for the official deadline. Normally no more than 10% of graduating majors receive departmental honors in a given academic year. Applicants are required to have already completed the methods requirement for the major.

Application Materials

Applications to the Honors Program must include the following:

  1. A cover page with the student’s name, CUID number, e-mail address, and school (Columbia College or General Studies);
  2. An official transcript, which may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar in Kent Hall, or from Student Services Online (SSOL);
  3. A writing sample, preferably a paper written for a political science course;
  4. A brief description (no more than one page) of a possible thesis topic.

Completed applications should be sent to:

Department of Political Science
Attn: Departmental Honors
420 West 118th Street
Mail Code 3320
New York, NY 10027

In addition, students are encouraged to find a faculty sponsor for their thesis proposal. Students who have identified a faculty sponsor should indicate the sponsor in the proposal; students without a faculty sponsor should identify a faculty member with whom they would like to work. Research areas for the political science department faculty are listed on the department's website. Students will be notified by e-mail of the decision taken on their applications before fall registration.

Students who are not accepted into the honors seminar or who decide after the application deadline that they would like to write an honors thesis may take one or two semesters POLS UN3901 INDEPENDENT RESEARCH I and POLS UN3902 INDEPENDENT RESEARCH II  in order to write a thesis to submit for honors consideration. Any member of the department's full-time faculty may sponsor independent study courses. Part-time faculty are not obligated to sponsor these courses.

For registration information and more details about this process, students should contact the Academic Affairs Coordinator. Note that most honors theses are about 75 pages in length. All theses must be submitted along with a confidential assessment of the paper by the supervising instructor in order to be considered for departmental honors. Students who choose this path must also complete all the requirements for the major and maintain a minimum major GPA of 3.6. Theses are due in late March or early April, and decisions about departmental honors are announced in May.

Departmental Prizes and Fellowships

The Department of Political Science administers the following prizes and awards. Unless otherwise noted, students do not play an active part in the nomination process. Rather, faculty members nominate students at their own discretion. Departmental prizes are reserved for political science majors.

Charles A. Beard Prize

A cash prize awarded every other year to the student who writes the best paper in political science during the academic year.

Caroline Phelps Stokes Prize

A cash prize established at the bequest of Caroline Phelps Stokes is awarded to a student who has been a degree candidate at Columbia College or Barnard College for at least one academic year, and who has written the best essay in course or seminar work on the general subject of human rights.

Allan J. Willen Memorial Prize

A cash prize awarded to the Columbia College student who writes the best seminar paper on a contemporary American political problem.

Edwin Robbins Academic Research/Public Service Fellowship

The Robbins Fellowship provides a stipend each summer for at least two political science students in Columbia College who will be engaged in research in important matters of politics or policymaking or who will be working, without other compensation, as interns in a governmental office, agency, or other public service organization. Each spring, the department invites students to submit fellowship proposals. Awards are announced in late April or early May.

The Arthur Ross Foundation Award

A cash prize awarded to GS students for excellence in the field of political science.

Phyllis Stevens Sharp Fellowship in American Politics

The Phyllis Stevens Sharp Endowment Fund provides stipends each year during the summer for one or more Columbia College or School of General Studies students majoring or concentrating in political science to support research in American politics or policy making, or otherwise uncompensated internships in a government office, agency, or other public service organization. Each spring, the department invites students to submit fellowship proposals. Awards are announced in late April or early May.

Early Admission to the Master's Degree Program in Political Science for Columbia and Barnard Political Science Undergraduates

While the Department of Political Science does not offer a joint bachelor of arts/master’s degree, it does allow Columbia and Barnard undergraduates to apply for early admission to its master’s degree program. This enables qualified undergraduates majoring or concentrating in political science to obtain the B.A. degree and M.A. degree in fewer than five years (ten semesters) from the time of their entrance into Columbia or Barnard, if they fulfill the M.A. course and residency requirements through summer course work after receiving the B.A. or accelerated study during the course of their undergraduate career.

Students should apply during the fall semester of their senior year for admission to the M.A. program in the following fall semester, after completion of the B.A. degree. The department and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences may award up to one-half residence unit of advanced standing and/or up to three courses (nine to twelve credits) of transfer credit for graduate courses (4000-level and above) taken at Columbia in excess of the requirements for the Columbia bachelor's degree, as certified by the dean of the undergraduate school awarding the bachelor's degree.

For further information about the application process and minimum qualifications for early admission, please contact the director of undergraduate studies.

For further information about requirements for the M.A. degree, see https://gsas.columbia.edu/degree-programs/ma-programs/political-science.

Professors

  • Richard K. Betts
  • Jagdish Bhagwati (also Economics)
  • Alessandra Casella (also Economics)
  • Partha Chatterjee (Anthropology)
  • Jean L. Cohen
  • Michael Doyle (also School of International and Public Affairs; Law School)
  • Jon Elster
  • Robert Erikson
  • Virginia Page Fortna
  • Timothy Frye
  • Ester Fuchs (School of International and Public Affairs)
  • Andrew Gelman (also Statistics)
  • Donald P. Green
  • Bernard Harcourt (Law)
  • Fredrick Harris
  • Jeffrey Henig (Teachers College)
  • Shigeo Hirano
  • John Huber
  • Macartan Humphreys
  • Robert Jervis
  • David C. Johnston
  • Ira Katznelson (also History)
  • Sudipta Kaviraj (Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies)
  • Jeffrey Lax
  • Mahmood Mamdani (Anthropology)
  • Karuna Mantena
  • M. Victoria Murillo (also School of International and Public Affairs)
  • Andrew J. Nathan
  • Sharyn O'Halloran (also School of International and Public Affairs)
  • Justin Phillips
  • Kenneth Prewitt (School of International and Public Affairs)
  • Robert Y. Shapiro
  • Jack Snyder
  • Michael Ting (also School of International and Public Affairs)
  • Nadia Urbinati
  • Gregory Wawro (Chair)
  • Andreas Wimmer (also Sociology)
  • Keren Yarhi-Milo (also School of International and Public Affairs)
  •  

Associate Professors

  • Allison Carnegie
  • Daniel Corstange (also School of International and Public Affairs)
  • Turkuler Isiksel
  • Kimuli Kasara
  •  
  • Assistant Professors

  • Sarah Daly
  • Naoki Egami
  • Nikhar Gaikwad
  • Junyan Jiang
  • John Marshall
  • Carlo Prato
  • Joshua Simon
  • Yamil Velez

Lecturers

  • Elise Giuliano
  • Sarah Lockwood
  • Lara Nettelfield
  • Chiara Superti
  • Inga Winkler

On Leave 

  • Profs. Carnegie, Fuchs, Katznelson, Simon, Superti (2020-21)
  • Profs. Cohen, Johnston, Lax, Nathan (Fall 2020)
  • Profs. Urbinati, Velez (Spring 2021)

Guidelines for all Political Science Majors, Concentrators, and Interdepartmental Majors

Planning Forms

Major Planning forms are available on the department website.

Policy on Double-Counting Courses

  • Policies about double-counting courses to fulfill requirements in more than one major may be found here:
  • Courses in the Core Curriculum do not fulfill requirements for the Political Science major.


Policy on Counting Credits outside the Department of Political Science

  • Courses taken at other institutions or other Columbia departments may not be used to meet the requirement of a major or concentration in political science without the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the department’s undergraduate adviser. Students should secure such approval in advance of registration.


Pass/D/Fail and Grading Policy

  • A grade of “Pass” is acceptable only for the first course taken toward the major or concentration.
    • The course used to fulfill the research methods requirement cannot be taken Pass/D/Fail.
  • Students must receive a grade of at least C- in order for a course to count towards the major or concentration.


AP Credit Policy

  • Students who receive transfer credit for one or more AP exams in political science may count a maximum of one AP course toward the major or concentration, contingent upon completing an upper-level (3000 or higher) course with a grade of C or higher in the subfield in which the AP exam was taken. All transfer credits must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the undergraduate adviser.


Transfer Credit Policy

  • For the political science major, a maximum of three courses in political science may be transferred from other institutions, including study abroad and AP credit. For the political science concentration as well as the economics-political science and political science-statistics interdisciplinary majors, a maximum of two courses in political science may be transferred from other institutions.

    All transfer credits must be approved in writing by the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the undergraduate adviser.

  • Students wishing to count transfer credits toward the major or concentration should send the undergraduate adviser their transfer credit report, the syllabi of the courses they want to count toward departmental requirements, and a statement of how they want to apply the transfer credits to the requirements.


Independent Study Policy

  • Independent Study (POLS UN3901 INDEPENDENT RESEARCH I in the fall or POLS UN3902 INDEPENDENT RESEARCH II in the spring) taken in fulfillment of course requirements for the major/concentration must be taken for at least 3 points of credit.

Major in Political Science

Program of Study

To be planned with the department as soon as the student starts to register for courses toward the major. Students should not wait until they formally declare the major before meeting with an undergraduate adviser during the registration period to plan their programs for the major.

Course Requirements

Students must choose a Primary Subfield and a Secondary Subfield to study. The subfields are as follows:

  • American Politics (AP)
  • Comparative Politics (CP)
  • International Relations (IR)
  • Political Theory (PT)

The major in political science requires a minimum of 9 courses in political science, to be distributed as follows:

Introductory Courses
Students must take two of the following introductory courses:
Introduction To American Government and Politics
Introduction to Comparative Politics
INTERNATIONAL POLITICS
Political Theory I
NOTE: Introductory courses taken that do not fit into the Primary or Secondary Subfield will be counted in the Political Science Elective category.
Primary Subfield
Minimum three courses.
Minor Subfield
Minimum two courses.
Seminars
Two 4-point 3000-level seminars, at least one of which is in the student’s Primary Subfield.
(See "Seminars" section below for more information)
Research Methods *
Minimum one course in research methods. Courses that satisfy the research methods requirement are:
Logic of Collective Choice
RESEARCH DESIGN: DATA ANALYSIS
RESEARCH DESIGN: SCOPE AND METHODS
Empirical Research Methods in Political Science
Experimental Research
PRINC OF QUANT POL RESEARCH 1
PRINC OF QUANT POL RESEARCH 2
QUANT METH 1 APPL REG CAUS INF
QUANT METH 2 STAT THEO&CAUS INF
QUANT METH 3 EXPERIMENTAL METH
Politics in the Lab
Design and Analysis of Sample Surveys
Advanced Topics in Quantitative Research
Quantitative Methods: Research Topics
Political Science Electives
Minimum one course (in any subfield).

Seminars

Students are expected to take two 3000-level 4-point seminars: one in their junior year and another in their senior year (with exceptions made for students on leave or studying abroad). They may choose from among the seminars offered, though at least one of the seminars taken must be in the student’s Primary Subfield (that in which at least 9 other points have been completed). Entry into seminars requires instructor's permission.

For detailed seminar registration guidelines, see the department website. Seminars cannot be taken for R credit or Pass/D/Fail.

Barnard colloquia are open to students with the permission of the instructor. However, Barnard colloquia may not be used to fulfill the seminar requirement, though they may be used to fulfill subfield or elective requirements. Note that admission to Barnard colloquia is by application to the Barnard Political Science Department only. Please consult with the Barnard Political Science Department for more information.

Recommended Courses

In addition to political science courses, students are strongly advised, but not required, to take six points in a related social science field.


Major in Economics–Political Science

The major in economics-political science is an interdisciplinary major that introduces students to the methodologies of economics and political science and stresses areas of particular concern to both. This program is particularly beneficial to students planning to do graduate work in schools of public policy and international affairs.

Two advisers are assigned for the interdepartmental major, one in the Department of Economics and one in the Department of Political Science. Please note that the economics adviser can only advise on economics requirements and the political science adviser can only advise on political science requirements.

Course Requirements

For the political science part of the major, students must choose a Primary Subfield and a Secondary Subfield to study. The corresponding introductory courses in both subfields must be taken, plus two electives in the Primary Subfield and one in the Secondary Subfield. The subfields are as follows:

  • American Politics (AP)
  • Comparative Politics (CP)
  • International Relations (IR)
  • Political Theory (PT)

The economics–political science major requires a total of 59 points: 22 points in economics, 17 points in political science, 6 points in mathematics, 6 points in statistical methods, 4 points in a political science seminar, and 4 points in the interdisciplinary seminar as follows:

Core Requirements in Economics
Students must take all of the following core economics courses:
Principles of Economics
Intermediate Microeconomics
Intermediate Macroeconomics
Introduction To Econometrics
PRINC OF QUANT POL RESEARCH 2
Political Economy
Core Requirements in Mathematics and Statistics
Students must take all of the following core mathematics and statistics courses:
CALCULUS I
Calculus III
Calculus-Based Introduction to Statistics
Economics Electives
Students must take two electives at the 3000 level or higher in the Department of Economics.
Political Science Courses
Students must choose a Primary Subfield and a Secondary Subfield to study. The subfields are as follows: American Politics (AP), Comparative Politics (CP), International Relations (IR), and Political Theory (PT).
Primary Subfield: Minimum three courses, one of which must be the subfield’s introductory course.
Secondary Subfield: Minimum two courses, one of which must be the subfield’s introductory course.
Seminars
Students must take the following two seminars:
Seminar In Political Economy
and a Political Science Department seminar, in the student's Primary Subfield. Please select one of the following: *
SEMINAR IN POLITCAL THEORY
Seminar in Political Theory
AMERICAN POLITICS SEMINAR
AMERICAN POLITICS SEMINAR
Seminar in Comparative Politics
Seminar in Comparative Politics
INTERNATIONAL POLITICS SEMINAR
INTERNATIONAL POLITICS SEMINAR

Major in Political Science–Statistics

The interdepartmental major of political science–statistics is designed for students who desire an understanding of political science to pursue advanced study in this field and who also wish to have at their command a broad range of sophisticated statistical tools to analyze data related to social science and public policy research.

Students should be aware of the rules regarding the use of the Pass/D/Fail option. Courses in which a grade of D has been received do not count toward the major requirements.

Political science–statistics students are eligible for all prizes reserved for political science majors.

The political science-statistics major requires a minimum of 15 courses in political science, statistics, and mathematics, to be distributed as follows:

POLITICAL SCIENCE
Primary Subfield
-Students must choose a Primary Subfield to study. Within the subfield, students must take a minimum of three courses, including the subfield's introductory course. The subfields and their corresponding introductory courses are as follows:
American Politics:
Introduction To American Government and Politics
Comparative Politics:
Introduction to Comparative Politics
International Relations:
INTERNATIONAL POLITICS
Political Theory:
Political Theory I
-Additionally, students must take one 4-point 3000-level seminar in their Primary Subfield.
Research Methods
-Students must take the following two research methods courses:
PRINC OF QUANT POL RESEARCH 1
RESEARCH DESIGN: DATA ANALYSIS
PRINC OF QUANT POL RESEARCH 2
STATISTICS
-Students must take one of the following sequences:
Sequence A — recommended for students preparing for graduate study in statistics 1
CALCULUS I
Calculus II
Linear Algebra
Calculus-Based Introduction to Statistics
PROBABILITY THEORY
Statistical Inference
Linear Regression Models
Statistical Computing and Introduction to Data Science
or
Sequence B — recommended for students preparing to apply statistical methods to other fields
Introduction to Statistics
Applied Statistical Computing
Applied Linear Regression Analysis
Applied Categorical Data Analysis
Applied Statistical Methods
Applied Data Mining
Statistics Elective
-Students must take an approved elective in a statistics or a quantitatively oriented course in a social science.

Concentration in Political Science

Program of Study

To be planned with the department as soon as the student starts to register for courses toward the concentration. Students should not wait until they formally declare the concentration before meeting with an undergraduate adviser during the registration period to plan their programs for the concentration.

Concentration Requirements

Students must choose a Primary Subfield and a Secondary Subfield to study. The subfields are as follows:

  • American Politics (AP)
  • Comparative Politics (CP)
  • International Relations (IR)
  • Political Theory (PT)

The concentration in political science requires a minimum of 7 courses in political science, to be distributed as follows:

Introductory Courses
Students must take two of the following introductory courses:
Introduction To American Government and Politics
Introduction to Comparative Politics
INTERNATIONAL POLITICS
Political Theory I
NOTE: Introductory courses taken that do not fit into the Primary or Secondary Subfield will be counted in the Political Science Elective category.
Primary Subfield
Minimum two courses.
Secondary Subfield
Minimum two courses.
Research Methods *
Minimum one course in research methods. Courses that satisfy the methods requirement are:
Logic of Collective Choice
RESEARCH DESIGN: DATA ANALYSIS
Empirical Research Methods in Political Science
RESEARCH DESIGN: SCOPE AND METHODS
Experimental Research
PRINC OF QUANT POL RESEARCH 1
PRINC OF QUANT POL RESEARCH 2
QUANT METH 1 APPL REG CAUS INF
QUANT METH 2 STAT THEO&CAUS INF
QUANT METH 3 EXPERIMENTAL METH
Politics in the Lab
Design and Analysis of Sample Surveys
Advanced Topics in Quantitative Research
Advanced Topics in Quantitative Research
Quantitative Methods: Research Topics
Political Science Electives
Minimum two courses (in any subfield).

Recommended Courses

In addition to courses in political science, students are strongly advised, but not required, to take six credits in a related social science field.

American Politics

POLS UN1201 Introduction To American Government and Politics. 4 points.

Lecture and discussion. Dynamics of political institutions and processes, chiefly of the national government. Emphasis on the actual exercise of political power by interest groups, elites, political parties, and public opinion.

Fall 2020: POLS UN1201
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 1201 001/00238 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Michael Miller 4 292/350

POLS UN3208 State Politics. 3 points.

This course is intended to provide students with a detailed understanding of politics in the American states. The topics covered are divided into four broad sections. The first explores the role of the states in America's federal system of government. Attention is given to the basic features of intergovernmental relations and the historical evolution of American federalism. The second part of the course focuses on state-level political institutions. The organization and processes associated with the legislative, executive, and judicial branches are discussed in depth. The third section examines state elections, political parties, and interest groups. Finally, the course concludes by looking closely at various policy areas. Budgeting, welfare, education, and morality policy are among those considered.

Spring 2021: POLS UN3208
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3208 001/10151 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
Justin Phillips 3 54/86

POLS UN3213 American Urban Politics. 3 points.

This course examines the pattern of political development in urban America, as the country's population has grown in urbanized locations. It explores the process by which cities and suburbs are governed, how immigrants and migrants are incorporated, and how people of different races and ethnicities interact in urbanized settings as well as the institutional relations of cities and suburbs with other jurisdictions of government. The course focuses both on the historical as well the theoretical understandings of politics in urban areas.

Spring 2021: POLS UN3213
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3213 001/10152 M W 6:10pm - 7:25pm
Online Only
Carlos Vargas-Ramos 3 32/86

POLS UN3222 The American Congress. 3 points.

Prerequisites: POLS UN1201 or the equivalent, or the instructor's permission.

Inquiry into the dynamics, organization, and policy-making processes of the American Congress. Particular emphasis on the relationship of legislators to constituents, lobbyists, bureaucrats, the president, and with one another.

Fall 2020: POLS UN3222
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3222 001/14025 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Online Only
Gregory Wawro 3 72/115

POLS UN3225 American Constitutional History. 4 points.

This Course is intended to look at key developments of American History through the prism of Supreme Court decisions and their aftermath.  In essence, this Course will address three questions: 1. How did the Supreme Court reflect, and affect, historic patterns of U.S. development, and how did it impact the legal and economic framework of the United States? 2. How did the Supreme Court respond to, or worsen, crises in U.S. history? 3. How did the perception of individual and collective rights and liberties, and of the function and role of Governments -- both Federal and State -- evolve over time?

Spring 2021: POLS UN3225
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3225 001/10153 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Robert Tortoriello 4 27/27

POLS UN3285 Freedom of Speech and Press. 3 points.

Examines the constitutional right of freedom of speech and press in the United States. Examines, in depth, various areas of law, including extremist or seditious speech, obscenity, libel, fighting words, the public forum doctrine, and public access to the mass media. Follows the law school course model, with readings focused on actual judicial decisions.

Fall 2020: POLS UN3285
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3285 001/14026 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Online Only
Lee Bollinger 3 144/250

POLS UN3290 Voting and American Politics. 3 points.

Elections and public opinion; history of U.S. electoral politics; the problem of voter participation; partisanship and voting; accounting for voting decisions; explaining and forecasting election outcomes; elections and divided government; money and elections; electoral politics and representative democracy.

Fall 2020: POLS UN3290
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3290 001/14027 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Robert Erikson 3 93/120

American Politics Seminars

POLS UN3921 AMERICAN POLITICS SEMINAR. 4 points.

Priority given to senior majors, followed by junior majors, then all other students.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission. Pre-registration is not permitted.

Prerequisites: the instructors permission. Pre-registration is not permitted. Seminar in American Politics Seminar. Students who would like to register should join the electronic wait list. For list of topics and descriptions see: https://polisci.columbia.edu/content/undergraduate-seminars

Fall 2020: POLS UN3921
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3921 001/15461 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Online Only
Justin Phillips 4 19/20
POLS 3921 002/14029 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Online Only
Brigitte Nacos 4 23/21
POLS 3921 004/14031 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Online Only
Judith Russell 4 21/20
POLS 3921 005/14032 W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Online Only
Carlos Vargas-Ramos 4 15/20
POLS 3921 006/14033 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Lincoln Mitchell 4 14/20
POLS 3921 008/14035 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Yamil Velez 4 16/20
POLS 3921 009/14036 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Online Only
Michael Ting 4 11/20

POLS UN3922 AMERICAN POLITICS SEMINAR. 4.00 points.

Priority given to senior majors, followed by junior majors, then all other students.

Prerequisites: POLS UN1201 or the equivalent, and the instructor's permission. Pre-registration is not permitted.
Prerequisites: POLS UN1201 or the equivalent, and the instructors permission. Pre-registration is not permitted. Seminar in American Politics. Students who would like to register should join the electronic wait list. For list of topics and descriptions see: https://polisci.columbia.edu/content/undergraduate-seminars

Spring 2021: POLS UN3922
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3922 001/10155 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Robert Erikson 4.00 0/20
POLS 3922 002/10156 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Online Only
Brigitte Nacos 4.00 0/20
POLS 3922 003/10157 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Online Only
Robert Amdur 4.00 0/20
POLS 3922 004/10158 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Online Only
Judith Russell 4.00 1/20
POLS 3922 005/10159 W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Online Only
Gerrard Bushell 4.00 0/20
POLS 3922 006/10160 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Lincoln Mitchell 4.00 0/20

Comparative Politics

POLS UN1501 Introduction to Comparative Politics. 4 points.

This course provides a broad overview of the comparative politics subfield by focusing on important substantive questions about the world today. The course is organized around four questions. First, why can only some people depend upon the state to enforce order? Second, how can we account for the differences between autocracies and democracies? Third, what different institutional forms does democratic government take? Finally, are some institutions more likely than others to produce desirable social outcomes such as accountability, redistribution, and political stability?

Fall 2020: POLS UN1501
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 1501 001/13697 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Kimuli Kasara 4 101/120

POLS UN3534 AUTOCRACY AND DEMOCRACY. 3.00 points.

With longstanding democracies in Europe and the US faltering, autocratic regimes in Russia and China consolidating, and hybrid regimes that mix elements of democracy and autocracy on the rise, scholars, policymakers, and citizens are re-evaluating the causes and consequences of different forms of government. This course is designed to give students the tools to understand these trends in global politics. Among other topics, we will explore: How do democracies and autocracies differ in theory and in practice? Why are some countries autocratic? Why are some democratic? What are the roots of democratic erosion? How does economic inequality influence a country’s form of government? Is the current period of institutional foment different past periods of global instability? This course will help students keep up with rapidly unfolding events, but is designed primarily to help them develop tools for interpreting and understanding the current condition of democracy and autocracy in the world.

Fall 2020: POLS UN3534
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3534 001/15497 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Timothy Frye 3.00 43/86

POLS UN3591 CIVIL WARS &POLITICAL VIOLENCE. 3 points.

This course will introduce students to leading contemporary research on civil wars and political violence. We will seek to answer questions including: Why does political violence occur? Does the presence of natural resources make civil wars more or less likely? When do rebel groups choose to target civilians? And how does the international community choose which conflicts to intervene in?


The course is broadly split into two parts. The first half will explore the causes, dynamics and consequences of civil wars, while the second half will focus on other forms of political violence, including terrorism, riots and anti-regime protests.

Spring 2021: POLS UN3591
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3591 001/10164 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Sarah Lockwood 3 25/25

POLS GU4406 Politics in Contemporary China. 4 points.

This course will be taught in Chinese.

This course focuses on the evolution of Chinese politics since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took power in 1949. It introduces and discusses the relationship between the two “three decades” (the three decades under Mao and the three decades of “reform and opening up”). More specifically, the course aims to (1) clarify some important historical facts, (2) analyze the ideological consideration of the “official” history sanctioned by the CCP and its epistemological impact, (3) make a comparison between official view and that of independent scholars about the history; (4) try to respond to some urgent problems faced by contemporary China, and (5) provide suggestions and principles for the reconstruction of the historiography of contemporary China. Students will learn how to understand the recent development Chinese politics, how to analyze the complex contemporary history and reality of China, and how to approach issues about China from a systematic perspective.

Spring 2021: POLS GU4406
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4406 001/10166 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Online Only
Boshu Zhang 4 6/25

POLS GU4407 Nine Thought Trends in China. 4 points.

This course will be taught in Chinese.

Prerequisites: fluency in Chinese (the course will be taught in Chinese, and a large number of readings will be in Chinese).

This is an elective course designed for both undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in the contemporary politics in China. The course focuses on nine major thought trends in China today that include 1) the Liberalism; 2) the New Authoritarianism; 3) the New Left; 4) Mao Left; 5) the Democratic Group within the Communist Party; 6) Governing through Confucian Theory; 7) Constitutional Socialism; 8) the so-called " Neither-Left and Nor-Right " Governing Theory; and 9) the New Nationalism Calling Tough Foreign Policies. China is deep in the social and political transition process, and the thoughts and actions of intellects themself have formed an important part in this transition. In this sense, the course not only helps understand the thoughts of intellects, but also better help understand today's China affairs as a whole.

Fall 2020: POLS GU4407
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4407 001/14315 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Online Only
Boshu Zhang 4 18/27

POLS GU4423 POLITICAL ECONOMY ANALYSIS OF ELITES & INSTITUTIONS. 4.00 points.

This course examines political institutions and elite behavior from a political economy perspective. This course has three core goals. First, the substantive goal is to familiarize students with foundational theoretical arguments and frontier empirical evidence pertaining to central questions in political economy relating to political elite and institutions. Second, the methodological goal is to empower students to implement research designs that can effectively address the substantive questions driving their research. Third, the professionalization goal is to expose students to the academic processes of writing reviews, replicating and extending others’ studies, presenting research projects, and writing original research designs or academic papers

Fall 2020: POLS GU4423
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4423 002/22240 T Th 5:40pm - 6:55pm
Online Only
John Marshall 4.00 12/30

POLS GU4434 Ethnic Politics Across Post-Soviet Eurasia. 4 points.

Various forms of ethnic politics have characterized politics in many states throughout Eurasia since 1991, from nationalist separatism to violent conflict to political competition among ethnic minorities and majorities. This course is designed to encourage students to think deeply about the relationship between ethnicity and politics. We will consider several questions. First, why does ethnicity become politicized? We investigate this question by examining nationalist secessionism and ethnic conflict—phenomena that mushroomed at the end of the Cold War. We will focus on East Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, devoting special attention to the cases of Yugoslavia, the USSR, Moldova, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and Chechnya. However, we will also study cases in which the dog didn’t bark, i.e. places where nationalist mobilization and ethnic violence either did not occur, or emerged and then receded as in the ethnic republics of the Russian Federation (including the “Muslim” regions of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, etc.). In the second part of the course, we will analyze ethnic politics after independent statehood was achieved throughout the post-Soviet space. How do nationalist state-builders try to construct a nation and a state at the same time? Have they incorporated or discriminated against minorities living within “their” states? How have ethnic minorities responded? We will study Ukraine, the Baltics and Kazakhstan where ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking populations form large portions of the population, devoting particular attention to the crisis in Ukraine. We will also examine how the post-conflict regions of Bosnia and Kosovo have dealt with ethnic pluralism. These cases allow us to gain greater understanding of how multi-ethnic states use forms of federalism, consociationalism, and power-sharing as state-building strategies.

Spring 2021: POLS GU4434
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4434 001/13482 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Online Only
Elise Giuliano 4 19/20

POLS GU4436 POPULISM IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD. 4 points.

Populism is one of the political buzzwords of the early 21st century. It is central to current debates about politics, from radical right parties in Europe to left-wing presidents in Latin America to the Tea Party, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump in the United States. But populism is also one of the most contested concepts in the social sciences. In line with a growing body of literature, populism should be defined in ideational terms, i.e., as a worldview that considers society to be separated into two homogeneous and antagonistic camps, “the pure people” versus “the corrupt elite,” and which argues that politics should be an expression of the volont´e g´en´erale (general will) of the people. This course will provide an introduction to populism in theory and practice.


The first part of the course will discuss how scholars from different parts of the world studied populism since this phenomenon entered the political and social science agenda in the late 1960s. Is populism an ideology? A strategy? A style of politics? A certain type of discourse? Something else? And, crucially, who are “the people” in populism? Could we, possibly, re-conceptualize populism in a way that is at the same time minimal and with sufficient discriminatory power, politically relevant, analytically compelling, operationally feasible, and clearly pointing to an opposite pole?


Beyond defining populism, this course also examines the phenomenon in the entirety of its geographical variants. Populism is an omnipresent, multifaceted, and ideologically boundless phenomenon. What distinguishes its various manifestations in Europe, Latin America, the United States, and elsewhere across time (old vs. new populisms), region (western vs. eastern; but also Nordic, Baltic, and Southern European), regime type in which they develop (democracy vs. non-democracy), and ideological hue (right vs. left populisms)?


A second part of this course will look at actual populist strategies, how populist leaders gain their appeal, what social conditions increase the likelihood of a populist victory, how populists gain and maintain power. What are the determinants of voting motivation for populist parties? And how do they differ from mainstream parties? This course will also examine what happens once populists come into office, as has happened several times in both Europe and Latin America? Cases such as Hungary, Greece and Venezuela are studied in order to understand the way in which populism comes to power and governs.

Spring 2021: POLS GU4436
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4436 001/10167 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Paula Ganga 4 20/20

POLS GU4453 Politics in Russia. 4 points.

This course begins by studying the late Soviet era—the 1970s through the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991--in order to understand what kind of political system and political culture Russia inherited. We spend some time analyzing why and how the Soviet Union—a superpower for 75 years—disintegrated suddenly and for the most part, peacefully. Then, the bulk of the course focuses on state-building in the Russian Federation. Russia’s effort to construct new political institutions, a functioning economy, and a healthy society represents one of the greatest political dramas of our time. Beginning with Yeltsin’s presidency in 1991 and continuing through the current eras of Putin, Medvedev, and Putin again, we consider phenomena such as economic reform, nationalism, separatism, federalism, war, legal reform, civil society, and democratization. The third part of the course addresses Russia’s foreign relations. Like its predecessor states, the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, Russia is concerned with what kind of state it is (or should be) and where it stands in the international order. We will study how Russian elites make sense of Russia’s identity, as well as Russia’s policies toward the US, Europe, its “near abroad,” the Middle East, and China.

Fall 2020: POLS GU4453
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4453 001/14145 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Online Only
Elise Giuliano 4 23/25

POLS GU4454 POLITICL SYSTEMS OF SOUTH ASIA. 4.00 points.

This course first compares the post-independence political histories of South Asian countries, particularly India and Pakistan. It then explores selected topics across countries: social and cultural dimensions of politics; structures of power; and political behavior. The underlying theme is to explain the development and durability of the particular political regimes - democratic or authoritarian - in each country

Fall 2020: POLS GU4454
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4454 001/15277 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Online Only
Philip Oldenburg 4.00 10/33

POLS GU4461 Latin American Politics. 4 points.

This is a lecture class that seeks to introduce students to social scientific analysis while discuss the shifting dynamics of political representation in Latin America. In analyzing political representation in the region, it focuses on demands for political inclusion by different actors and how they were resisted or accepted by established elites in a process that moved from regime change to electoral rotation in power. The course covers these political dynamics and their institutional consequences since the onset of the twentieth century, starting with the Mexican Revolution, until the contemporary period where democracy is the predominant form of government and elections a crucial tool for social and political change. While analyzing the politics of Latin America, we will cover important political science concepts associated with democratic representation, social inclusion and the rule of the law, such as social movement mobilization, political regime change, presidentialism, political party systems, political identities, state capacity, and institutional weakness.

Fall 2020: POLS GU4461
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4461 001/14046 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Maria Victoria Murillo 4 49/70

POLS GU4472 Japanese Politics. 4 points.

Surveys key features of the Japanese political system, with focus on political institutions and processes. Themes include party politics, bureaucratic power, the role of the Diet, voting behavior, the role of the state in the economy, and the domestic politics of foreign policy.

Fall 2020: POLS GU4472
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4472 001/14129 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
302 Hamilton Hall
Takako Hikotani 4 19/20

POLS GU4476 Korean Politics. 4 points.

The course Korean Politics and Foreign Policy aims to advance knowledge of Korea’s politics and foreign policy, with emphasis on that of South Korea, but with additional focus on North Korea. This course covers relevant political theory, contemporary history and issues of particular significance to Korean politics, including the growth of civil society and the contest for legitimacy internally and internationally. The course addresses the Peninsula’s unique geopolitics, democratic and economic development in South Korea, and the politics and economics of the communist and Confucian North. Given today’s tremendous global concern over North Korea’s security challenges, the course examines in detail the ideological and political background behind the North’s rapidly developing missile and nuclear capabilities and human rights violations. The course posits the aims and objectives of South Korea’s international relations and success in the regional and global arena--which contrast starkly with that of North Korea. It assesses South Korea’s relations with the United States and near neighbors China and Japan. Finally, it weighs prospects for inter-Korean cooperation, integration and unification.

Fall 2020: POLS GU4476
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4476 001/15263 F 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Stephen Noerper 4 13/33

POLS GU4496 CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN POLITICS. 3.00 points.

This course aims to teach students what, if any, answers social scientists have to the questions that concern anyone with an interest in African politics: 1) Why have democratic governments flourished in some countries and not others? 2) What institutions may enable Africans to hold their leaders accountable? 3) How do people participate in politics? 4) In what ways do aspiring African political leaders build public support? 5) To what extent does persistent poverty on the continent have political causes? and 6) Why is violence used to resolve some political disputes and not others?

Fall 2020: POLS GU4496
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4496 001/14047 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Online Only
Kimuli Kasara 3.00 24/33

Comparative Politics Seminars

POLS UN3951 Seminar in Comparative Politics. 4 points.

Priority given to senior majors, followed by junior majors, then all other students.

Prerequisites: POLS V1501 or the equivalent, and the instructor's permission. Pre-registration is not permitted. Please see here for detailed seminar registration guidelines: http://polisci.columbia.edu/undergraduate-programs/seminar-registration-guidelines.

Seminar in Comparative Politics. Students who would like to register should join the electronic wait list. For list of topics and descriptions see: https://polisci.columbia.edu/content/undergraduate-seminars

Fall 2020: POLS UN3951
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3951 001/14039 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Online Only
Sarah Lockwood 4 15/20
POLS 3951 003/14038 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Timothy Frye 4 15/20

POLS UN3952 Seminar in Comparative Politics. 4 points.

Priority given to senior majors, followed by junior majors, then all other students.

Prerequisites: POLS V1501 or the equivalent, and the instructor's permission. Pre-registration is not permitted. Please see here for detailed seminar registration guidelines: http://polisci.columbia.edu/undergraduate-programs/seminar-registration-guidelines.

Seminar in Comparative Politics. For most seminars, interested students must attend the first class meeting, after which the instructor will decide whom to admit.

Spring 2021: POLS UN3952
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3952 001/10429 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Online Only
John Marshall 4 0/20

International Relations

POLS UN1601 INTERNATIONAL POLITICS. 4 points.

Lecture and discussion. The basic setting and dynamics of global politics, with emphasis on contemporary problems and processes.

Fall 2020: POLS UN1601
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 1601 001/00243 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Kimberly Marten 4 241/270
Spring 2021: POLS UN1601
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 1601 001/10382 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Online Only
Katrin Katz 4 26/100

POLS UN3619 Nationalism and Contemporary World Politics. 3 points.

The causes and consequences of nationalism. Nationalism as a cause of conflict in contemporary world politics. Strategies for mitigating nationalist and ethnic conflict.

Spring 2021: POLS UN3619
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3619 001/10383 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Jack Snyder 3 22/86

POLS UN3631 American Foreign Policy. 4 points.

This course is concerned with what policy the American government should adopt toward several foreign policy issues in the next decade or so, using materials from contradictory viewpoints.  Students will be required to state fairly alternative positions and to use policy analysis (goals, alternatives, consequences, and choice) to reach conclusions.   

Fall 2020: POLS UN3631
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3631 001/14144 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Online Only
Roy Licklider 4 34/70

POLS UN3648 Governing the Global Economy. 4 points.

Who governs the world economy? Why do countries succeed or fail to cooperate in setting their economic policies? When and how do international institutions help countries cooperate? When and why do countries adopt good and bad economic policies? This course examines how domestic and international politics determine how the global economy is governed. We will study the politics of trade, international investment, monetary, immigration, and environmental policies to answer these questions. The course will approach each topic by examining alternative theoretical approaches and evaluate these theories using historical and contemporary evidence. There will be an emphasis on applying concepts through the analysis of policy-relevant case studies designed specifically for this course.

Fall 2020: POLS UN3648
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3648 001/14138 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Nikhar Gaikwad 4 54/60

POLS UN3871 CHINA'S FOREIGN RELATIONS. 4 points.

This course will review and analyze the foreign policy of the People's Republic of China from 1949 to the present. It will examine Beijing's relations with the Soviet Union, the United States, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Third World during the Cold War, and will discuss Chinese foreign policy in light of the end of the Cold War, changes in the Chinese economy in the reform era, the post-Tiananmen legitimacy crisis in Beijing, and the continuing rise of Chinese power and influence in Asia and beyond.


This lecture course will analyze the causes and consequences of Beijing’s foreign policies from 1949 to the present.


Students must register for a mandatory discussion section.

Spring 2021: POLS UN3871
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3871 001/10171 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Thomas Christensen 4 42/110

POLS GU4863 INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES. 4 points.

This course examines how domestic and international politics influence the economic policies of developing countries. We will critically evaluate different theoretical debates related to foreign economic policymaking in emerging markets, and introduce chief methodological approaches used in contemporary analyses. We will focus attention on different types of cross-border flows: the flow of goods (trade policy), the flow of people (immigration policy), the flow and location of production (foreign investment policy), the flow of capital (financial and monetary policy), and the flow of pollution (environment policy). In the process, we will address several themes that are central to understanding the politics of economic policymaking in emerging economies, including, the legacies of colonialism, trade protectionism and liberalization, globalization and the race to the bottom, the relationship between economic policy and culture, and development and redistribution. There will be an emphasis on applying concepts through the analysis of policy-relevant case studies designed for this course.

Fall 2020: POLS GU4863
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4863 001/14048 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Online Only
Nikhar Gaikwad 4 18/20

POLS GU4895 War, Peace, and Strategy. 4 points.

Discussion Section Required

Survey of the causes of war and peace, functions of military strategy, interaction of political ends and military means. Emphasis on 20th-century conflicts; nuclear deterrence; economic, technological, and moral aspects of strategy; crisis management; and institutional norms and mechanisms for promoting stability.

Fall 2020: POLS GU4895
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4895 001/14050 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Richard Betts 4 34/100

International Relations Seminars

POLS UN3961 INTERNATIONAL POLITICS SEMINAR. 4.00 points.

Priority given to senior majors, followed by junior majors, then all other students.

Prerequisites: POLS UN1601 or the equivalent, and the instructor's permission.
Prerequisites: POLS UN1601 or the equivalent, and the instructors permission. Seminar in International Politics. Students who would like to register should join the electronic wait list. For list of topics and descriptions see: https://polisci.columbia.edu/content/undergraduate-seminars

Fall 2020: POLS UN3961
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3961 001/15307 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
David Spiro 4.00 17/20
POLS 3961 003/14041 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Online Only
Richard Betts 4.00 14/20
POLS 3961 004/14042 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Robert Jervis 4.00 12/20
POLS 3961 006/22657 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Online Only
Katrin Katz 4.00 14/20

POLS UN3962 INTERNATIONAL POLITICS SEMINAR. 4.00 points.

Priority given to senior majors, followed by junior majors, then all other students.

Prerequisites: POLS V1601 or the equivalent, and the instructor's permission.
Prerequisites: POLS UN1601 or the equivalent, and the instructors permission. Seminar in International Relations. Students who would like to register should join the electronic wait list. For list of topics and descriptions see: https://polisci.columbia.edu/content/undergraduate-seminars

Spring 2021: POLS UN3962
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3962 001/10422 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Jack Snyder 4.00 0/20
POLS 3962 002/10423 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Keren Yarhi-Milo 4.00 0/20
POLS 3962 003/16179 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Jeremiah Pam 4.00 17/20
POLS 3962 004/16837  
Jean Krasno 4.00 0/20

Political Theory

POLS UN1101 Political Theory I. 4 points.

What is the relationship between law and justice? Are capacities of political judgment shared by the many or reserved for the few? What does human equality consist of and what are its implications? Can individual freedom be reconciled with the demands of political community? What are the origins and effects of persistent gender inequalities? These are some of the crucial questions that we will address in this introductory course in political theory. The course is divided into five thematic sections, each addressing an enduring political problem or issue and centered on a key text in the history of political thought: 1. Laws, Obligations, and the Question of Disobedience; Sophocles, Antigone; 2. Democratic Citizenship and the Capacities of Political Judgment; Plato, Republic; 3. Origins and Effects of (In)equality; John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government; 4. Paradoxes of Freedom; Jean Jacques Rousseau, On the Social Contract; 5. The Woman Question; John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of Women.

Spring 2021: POLS UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 1101 001/00529 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Ayten Gundogdu 4 19/80

POLS UN3112 GANDHI, KING & POLS OF NONVIOLENCE. 4.00 points.

Since Gandhi’s experiments in mass satyagraha over a century ago, nonviolence has become a staple of protest politics across the globe. From the Occupy movements to the Arab Spring to Movement for Black Lives, it might even be entering a new phase of revitalization. At the same time, what exactly nonviolence is and what it can accomplish in politics is very much under debate. This course aims to understand the politics of nonviolence by examining the political ideas and political careers of its most well-known twentieth-century advocates, M.K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Though still venerated as founding figures of nonviolent protest, Gandhi and King have come to be remembered in ways that can misconstrue how they understood and practiced nonviolent politics. To many, Gandhi is a saintly idealist, who wanted to imbue politics with the spirit of ahimsa, truth, and conscience. Likewise, King is taken to be a spokesman for interracial brotherhood and Christian love. While partly true, these images also downplay the political side of their nonviolence – the techniques of organizing and strategies of protest that made their movements successful. We will examine the evolution of Gandhi’s and King’s political thinking in relation to the movements they led – the Indian independence movement and the civil rights movement in the US. We will consider how the theory and practice of nonviolence evolved and changed as it moved from one context to another. We will be especially focused on understanding the dynamics of nonviolent protest

Spring 2021: POLS UN3112
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3112 001/17010 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Online Only
Karuna Mantena 4.00 10/100

POLS UN3176 Liberalism: Origins and Challenges. 3 points.

Liberalism is a moral and political outlook that stresses the equal worth of individuals and advocates a range of rights protecting individual conscience, speech, association, movement, and property. This course explores the historical origins, moral claims, and contemporary controversies of liberal thought. Students will investigate the conceptual foundations of liberalism and consider several contemporary critical challenges liberals face. The course is divided into topics that each focus on a particular type of challenge. How, if at all, can liberals accommodate the claims of equality, community, national, multiculturalism, feminism, value pluralism, and moral skepticism?

Fall 2020: POLS UN3176
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3176 001/14128 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Luke MacInnis 3 41/55

POLS GU4110 RECENT CONTINENTAL POL THOUGHT. 4.00 points.

This course will compare and contrast the theories of the political, the state,freedom, democracy, sovereignty and law, in the works of the following key 20th and 21st century continental theorists: Arendt, Castoriadis, Foucault, Habermas, Kelsen, Lefort, Schmitt, and Weber. It will be taught in seminar format

Spring 2021: POLS GU4110
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4110 001/10427 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Jean Cohen 4.00 2/25

POLS GU4132 POLIT THOUGHT-CLASSICL AND MEDIEVAL. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: Contemporary Civilization or a comparable introduction to political theory course.
Prerequisites: Contemporary Civilization or a comparable introduction to political theory course. The course examines the historical and theoretical foundations of democracy. The underlying assumption is that political arrangements and institutions are the embodiment of political ideas and theories. The course will investigate the historical emergence of democracy as a form of government based on equality before the law and equal access to all citizens to the deliberative, decisional and control processes. The historical starting point is identified in Solon’s reforms in Athens which dramatically broke the hegemony of ancient nobility; we will then study Cleisthenes’ reforms and their redefinition of citizenry; in the context of the new political ideal of isonomia. We will proceed to examine the theoretical debate of the fifth century BCE, which includes Herodotus (III, 80-82), Thucydides and Protagoras. We will then examine the criticism levelled at democracy by Socrates, Plato and Aristotle: their thought enables us to compare the ancient idea of democracy to our own. Finally, we will study the Roman contribution to the theory of democracy, namely Cicero’s ideal of ‘republic’ and the role that ius, codified law, played in it

Fall 2020: POLS GU4132
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4132 001/14044 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
Giovanni Giorgini 3.00 21/22

POLS GU4134 Modern Political Thought. 4 points.

Interpretations of civil society and the foundations of political order according to the two main traditions of political thought--contraction and Aristotelian. Readings include works by Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Montesquieu, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Saint-Simon, Tocqueville, Marx, and Mill.

Fall 2020: POLS GU4134
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4134 001/14045 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Nadia Urbinati 4 17/32

POLS GU4139 TOCQUEVILLE AND REVOLUTION. 4.00 points.

Alexis de Tocqueville probably understood the dynamics of revolutions better than anyone before or since. He was an observer of the French 1830 revolution, a participant observer of the 1848 revolution, and arguably the most insightful analyst of the revolution of 1789 and its precursors. In the class we shall engage in a close reading of his writing on the ancient regime and on the first year of the Revolution. We shall also consider some recent writings on France before 1789 and on revolution, notably the Instructor's recent book

Spring 2021: POLS GU4139
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4139 001/15082 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Online Only
Jon Elster 4.00 0/20

Political Theory Seminars

POLS UN3911 SEMINAR IN POLITCAL THEORY. 4.00 points.

Priority given to senior majors, followed by junior majors, then all other students.

Seminar in Political Theory. Students who would like to register should join the electronic wait list. For list of topics and descriptions see: https://polisci.columbia.edu/content/undergraduate-seminars

Fall 2020: POLS UN3911
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3911 001/15279 Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Online Only
Benjamin Mylius 4.00 21/20

POLS UN3912 Seminar in Political Theory. 4 points.

Priority given to senior majors, followed by junior majors, then all other students.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission. Pre-registration is not permitted.

Prerequisites: the instructors permission. Pre-registration is not permitted.

,

Seminar in Political Theory. Students who would like to register should join the electronic wait list.

,

For list of topics and descriptions see: https://polisci.columbia.edu/content/undergraduate-seminars

Spring 2021: POLS UN3912
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3912 001/10172 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Jon Elster 4 0/20
POLS 3912 002/10173 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Jean Cohen 4 0/20

Research Methods

POLS UN3704 RESEARCH DESIGN: DATA ANALYSIS. 3.00 points.

This course examines the basic methods data analysis and statistics that political scientists use in quantitative research that attempts to make causal inferences about how the political world works. The same methods apply to other kinds of problems about cause and effect relationships more generally. The course will provide students with extensive experience in analyzing data and in writing (and thus reading) research papers about testable theories and hypotheses. It will cover basic data analysis and statistical methods, from univariate and bivariate descriptive and inferential statistics through multivariate regression analysis. Computer applications will be emphasized. The course will focus largely on observational data used in cross-sectional statistical analysis, but it will consider issues of research design more broadly as well. It will assume that students have no mathematical background beyond high school algebra and no experience using computers for data analysis

Fall 2020: POLS UN3704
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3704 001/15937 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
Shigeo Hirano 3.00 23/70

POLS UN3720 RESEARCH DESIGN: SCOPE AND METHODS. 4 points.

This class aims to introduce students to the logic of social scientific inquiry and research design. Although it is a course in political science, our emphasis will be on the science part rather than the political part — we’ll be reading about interesting substantive topics, but only insofar as they can teach us something about ways we can do systematic research. This class will introduce students to a medley of different methods to conduct social scientific research.

Fall 2020: POLS UN3720
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3720 001/21598 M W 5:40pm - 6:55pm
Online Only
Abdullah Aydogan 4 34/110
Spring 2021: POLS UN3720
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3720 001/13404 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
Daniel Corstange 4 29/110

POLS UN3768 Experimental Research. 4 points.

Randomized experimentation is an important methodology in political science.  In this course, we will discuss the logic of experimentation, its strengths and weaknesses compared to other methodologies, and the ways in which experimentation has been -- and could be -- used to investigate political phenomena.  Students will learn how to interpret, design, and execute experiments.

Fall 2020: POLS UN3768
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3768 001/21404 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Online Only
Donald Green 4 13/40

POLS GU4700 MATH & STATS FOR POLI SCI. 4.00 points.

This course presents basic mathematical and statistical concepts that are essential for formal and quantitative analysis in political science research. It prepares students for the graduate-level sequence on formal models and quantitative political methodology offered in the department. The first half of the course will cover basic mathematics, such as calculus and linear algebra. The second half of the course will focus on probability theory and statistics. We will rigorously cover the topics that are directly relevant to formal and quantitative analysis in political science such that students can build both intuitions and technical skills. There is no prerequisite. The course is aimed for both students with little exposure to mathematics and those who have taken some courses but wish to gain a more solid foundation. NOTE: This course does not satisfy the Political Science Major/Concentration research methods requirement

Fall 2020: POLS GU4700
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4700 001/21606 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Online Only
Naoki Egami 4.00 16/20

POLS GU4710 PRINC OF QUANT POL RESEARCH 1. 4.00 points.

This course examines the basic methods of data analysis and statistics that political scientists use in quantitative research that attempts to make causal inferences about how the political world works. The same methods apply to other kinds of problems about cause and effect relationships more generally. The course will provide students with extensive experience in analyzing data and in writing (and thus reading) research papers about testable theories and hypotheses

Spring 2021: POLS GU4710
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4710 001/10385 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Robert Shapiro 4.00 7/45

POLS GU4720 QUANT METH 1 APPL REG CAUS INF. 4.00 points.

Fitting and understanding linear regression and generalized linear models, simulation, causal inference, and the basics of design of quantitative studies. Computation in R. Textbook: Regression and Other Stories by Gelman, Hill, and Vehtari

Fall 2020: POLS GU4720
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4720 001/15720 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
Andrew Gelman 4.00 22/50

POLS GU4722 QUANT METH 2 STAT THEO&CAUS INF. 4.00 points.

This course is the second course in the graduate-level sequence on quantitative political methodology offered in the Department of Political Science. Students will learn (1) a framework and methodologies for making causal inferences from experimental and observational data, and (2) statistical theories essential for causal inference. Topics include randomized experiments, estimation under ignorability, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity, difference-indifferences, and causal inference with panel data. We also cover statistical theories, such as theories of ordinary least squares and maximum likelihood estimation, by connecting them to causal inference methods. This course builds on the materials covered in POLS 4700 and 4720 or theirequivalent (i.e., probability, statistics, linear regression, and logistic regression)

Spring 2021: POLS GU4722
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4722 001/11148 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Online Only
Naoki Egami 4.00 1/40

POLS GU4724 QUANT METH 3 EXPERIMENTAL METH. 4.00 points.

In this course, we will discuss the logic of experimentation, its strengths and weaknesses compared to other methodologies, and the ways in which experimentation has been — and could be — used to investigate social phenomena. Students will learn how to interpret, design, and execute experiments. Special attention will be devoted to field experiments, or randomized trials conducted in real-world settings. Prerequisites: Students should have taken at least one or two semesters of statistics. Some understanding of probability, hypothesis testing, and regression are assumed. Familiarity with statistical software such as R is helpful. We will be working with data in class throughout the term. The examples used in the textbook and lectures are written in R, and R tutorials will be taught in special sessions early in the term

Fall 2020: POLS GU4724
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4724 001/15523 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Online Only
Donald Green 4.00 29/30

POLS GU4730 Game Theory and Political Theory. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS GU4700 or equivalent level of calculus.

Introduction to noncooperative game theory and its application to strategic situations in politics. Topics include solution concepts, asymmetric information, and incomplete information. Students should have taken POLS GU4700 or have equivalent background in calculus. Permission of instructor required.

Spring 2021: POLS GU4730
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4730 001/15998 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
John Huber 4 8/30

POLS GU4732 Research Topics in Game Theory. 4 points.

Discussion Section Required

Prerequisites: POLS W4730 or the instructor's permission.

Advanced topics in game theory will cover the study of repeated games, games of incomplete information and principal-agent models with applications in the fields of voting, bargaining, lobbying and violent conflict. Results from the study of social choice theory, mechanism design and auction theory will also be treated. The course will concentrate on mathematical techniques for constructing and solving games. Students will be required to develop a topic relating political science and game theory and to write a formal research paper.

Fall 2020: POLS GU4732
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4732 001/14139 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
402 Chandler
Carlo Prato 4 11/25

Senior Honors Seminar

POLS UN3998 Senior Honors Seminar. 4 points.

Prerequisites: admission to the departmental honors program.

A two-term seminar for students writing the senior honors thesis.

Fall 2020: POLS UN3998
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3998 001/14043 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Macartan Humphreys 4 18/22

POLS UN3999 Senior Honors Seminar. 4 points.

Prerequisites: admission to the departmental honors program.

A two-term seminar for students writing the senior honors thesis.

Spring 2021: POLS UN3999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3999 001/10165 M 8:10am - 10:00am
Online Only
Macartan Humphreys 4 0/20

Independent Reading and Research

POLS UN3901 INDEPENDENT RESEARCH I. 1.00-6.00 points.

Fall 2020: POLS UN3901
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3901 001/14140  
Kimberly Marten 1.00-6.00 1/1
POLS 3901 002/24778  
David Spiro 1.00-6.00 1/1
POLS 3901 003/24839  
Takako Hikotani 1.00-6.00 0/1
POLS 3901 004/24841  
Fredrick Harris 1.00-6.00 1/1
POLS 3901 005/24843  
Bernard Harcourt 1.00-6.00 1/1

POLS UN3902 INDEPENDENT RESEARCH II. 1.00-6.00 points.

Spring 2021: POLS UN3902
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3902 001/13384  
1.00-6.00 0/1

Of Related Interest

Economics
ECPS GU4921Seminar In Political Economy
Human Rights
HRTS UN3001Introduction to Human Rights
HRTS W3930International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights