Political Science

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

Director of Undergraduate Studies:
Prof. David Johnston, 720 International Affairs Building; 212-854-3955; dcj1@columbia.edu

Economics-Political Science Advisers:
Economics: Prof. Susan Elmes, Director of Undergraduate Studies, 1006 International Affairs Building; se5@columbia.edu
Political Science: Prof. Carlo Prato, 718 International Affairs Building; 212-854-7540; cp2928@columbia.edu

Political Science-Statistics Advisers:
Political Science: Prof. Naoki Egami, 734 International Affairs Building; 212-854-3623; naoki.egami@columbia.edu
Statistics: Prof. Ronald Neath, 612 West 115th Street, Room 612; 212-853-1398; rcn2112@columbia.edu
Statistics: Prof. Gabriel Young, 612 West 115th Street, Room 614; 212-853-1395; gjy2107@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. 

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
  • Yamil Velez
  •  

Lecturers

  • Alexander de la Paz
    Elise Giuliano
    Clara Maier
    Oliver McClelland
    Lara Nettelfield
    Michael Parrott
    Chiara Superti
  •  
  • Visiting Associate Professor

  • Daniel Smith

On Leave 

  • Profs. Elster, Katznelson, Shapiro, Parrott (2021-22)
  • Prof. Mantena (Fall 2021)
  • Profs. Hirano, Kasara, Urbinati (Spring 2022)

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. 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 the 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 REG 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 2021: POLS UN1201
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 1201 001/13271 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
417 International Affairs Bldg
Oliver McClellan 4 296/400

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 3 153/180

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 82/120

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 2021: POLS UN3222
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3222 001/12969 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
402 Chandler
Gregory Wawro 3 96/107

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
310 Fayerweather
Robert Tortoriello 4 19/27

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 2021: POLS UN3285
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3285 001/13272 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
501 Schermerhorn Hall
Lee Bollinger 3 145/199

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 2021: POLS UN3290
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3290 001/12904 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
428 Pupin Laboratories
Robert Erikson 3 113/120

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 2021: POLS UN3921
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3921 001/12895 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
405 Kent Hall
Michael Ting 4 10/20
POLS 3921 002/12896 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Sat Alfred Lerner Hall
Shigeo Hirano 4 10/20
POLS 3921 003/12899 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
711 International Affairs Bldg
Justin Phillips 4 21/20
POLS 3921 004/18154 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
711 International Affairs Bldg
Brigitte Nacos 4 15/13
POLS 3921 005/16020 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
711 International Affairs Bldg
Judith Russell 4 22/21
POLS 3921 006/16172 W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
711 International Affairs Bldg
Carlos Vargas-Ramos 4 9/20
POLS 3921 007/16021 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Robert Amdur 4 20/20
POLS 3921 008/18452 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
711 International Affairs Bldg
Oliver McClellan 4 9/20

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 17/20
POLS 3922 002/10156 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Online Only
Brigitte Nacos 4.00 22/21
POLS 3922 003/10157 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Online Only
Robert Amdur 4.00 23/21
POLS 3922 004/10158 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
707 Hamilton Hall
Judith Russell 4.00 21/20
POLS 3922 005/10159 W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Online Only
Gerrard Bushell 4.00 5/20
POLS 3922 006/10160 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Lincoln Mitchell 4.00 18/20

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 2021: POLS UN1501
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 1501 001/12955 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Pb Faculty House
Kimuli Kasara 4 97/100

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 2021: POLS UN3534
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3534 001/12965 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
517 Hamilton Hall
Timothy Frye 3.00 59/86

POLS UN3528 New and Old Forms of Political Protest. 3 points.

This course will introduce the students to the important topic of political protest. Each week we will address different aspects of the phenomenon: from the determinant to the actors and strategies of protest. We will discuss how the forms of protest have changed and the current role of the internet in general and social media in particular. Finally, we will discuss the role of the state and state repression, in particular censorship in the dynamics of protest. Since this is a comparative politics course, we will cover a range of different countries, including the United States, as well as both democratic and authoritarian regimes.

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 22/25

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 17/20

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 2021: POLS GU4453
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4453 001/13280 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
825 Seeley W. Mudd Building
Elise Giuliano 4 18/25

POLS GU4471 CHINESE POLITICS. 3.00 points.

This course offers a historical and thematic survey of Chinese politics and of salient issues in China’s public policy and governance. The first half of the course reviews the patterns and dynamics of political development in China, focusing mainly on the last two hundred years, during which the country has been on a rugged yet fascinating path toward modernity. We will examine major political events including the collapse of the Imperial China, the rise of the Communist Party, the Cultural Revolution, and the post-Mao shift toward reform and opening. The second half of the course will look various special topics, including the structure of the party and the state, the relationship between state and society, the modes of economic development, and the governance of the media and the Internet. Throughout the course, special attention will be paid to how China’s domestic political and economic processes intersected with major world events and transnational forces, such as imperialism, world wars, and economic globalization

Fall 2021: POLS GU4471
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4471 001/13287 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
303 Hamilton Hall
Junyan Jiang 3.00 21/40

POLS GU4472 JAPANESE POLITICS. 3.00 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 2021: POLS GU4472
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4472 001/20278 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
418 International Affairs Bldg
Daniel Smith 3.00 9/20

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 2021: POLS GU4496
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4496 001/12909 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
707 Hamilton Hall
Kimuli Kasara 3.00 21/25

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 2021: POLS UN3951
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3951 002/13341 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
401 Hamilton Hall
John Marshall 4 14/20

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 19/20

International Relations

POLS UN1601 INTERNATIONAL POLITICS. 4.00 points.

Lecture and discussion. The basic setting and dynamics of international politics, with emphasis on enduring impulses and processes

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 4.00 191/222
POLS 1601 AU1/20400  
Katrin Katz 4.00 1/3
Fall 2021: POLS UN1601
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 1601 001/00293 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
202 Altschul Hall
Kimberly Marten 4.00 205/220

POLS UN3623 ENDING WAR & BUILDING PEACE. 3.00 points.

This course provides an introduction to the politics of war termination and peace consolidation. The course examines the challenges posed by ending wars and the process by which parties to a conflict arrive at victory, ceasefires, and peace negotiations. It explores how peace is sustained, why peace lasts in some cases and breaks down in others and what can be done to make peace more stable, focusing on the role of international interventions, power-sharing arrangements, reconciliation between adversaries, and reconstruction

Fall 2021: POLS UN3623
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3623 001/12918 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
516 Hamilton Hall
Sarah Daly 3.00 34/40

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 46/86

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.

POLS GU4808 CYBER STRATEGY & INT'L POLS. 4.00 points.

The emergence of cyberspace as an arena for strategic competition and, potentially, conflict between political actors has prompted scholars and practitioners alike to seek to understand behavior in cyberspace and its implications through the lens of central concepts in international politics. In this course, we will explore the causes and consequences of state and non-state behavior in cyberspace from the perspective of international relations theory and grand strategy. Specifically, the course aims to answer three related, foundational questions. First, what accounts for the behavior of political organizations in cyberspace, as well as patterns of cyber behavior in the international system? Second, how can core theories of international politics and security studies account for state and non-state behavior in cyberspace, and where do they fall short? And finally, what are the implications for significant outcomes in international politics, including systemic stability, the balance of power, escalation, warfighting, arms control, global governance, and other important variables? The course will further assess the consequences for U.S. cyber policy, and U.S. strategy in general, although it will also cover strategies and policies of a number of different important actors around the world from both a U.S. and non-U.S. perspective. The course is organized into three blocks. The first block covers key definitions and theoretical concepts and their application to cyberspace; the second explores implications for international politics; and the third is focused on policy applications

Fall 2021: POLS GU4808
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4808 001/16029 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
1302 International Affairs Bldg
Erica Borghard 4.00 16/20

POLS GU4845 National Security Strategies of the Middle East: A Comparative Perspective. 4 points.

At the crossroads of three continents, the Middle East is home to many diverse peoples, with ancient and proud cultures, in varying stages of political and socio-economic development, often in conflict. Following the Arab Spring and subsequent upheaval in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and more, the region is in a state of historic flux. The Sunni-Shia rivalry, especially between Saudi Arabia and Iran, growing Iranian-Israeli conflict, population explosion, poverty and authoritarian control, Russian ascendance and US retrenchment, are the primary regional drivers today. Together, these factors have transformed the Middle Eastern landscape, with great consequence for the national security of the countries of the region and their foreign relations. The primary source of the world's energy resources, the Middle East remains the locus of the terror-WMD-fundamentalist nexus, which continues to pose a significant threat to both regional and international security.
The course surveys the national security challenges facing the region's primary players (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinians and Turkey,) and how the convolutions of recent years have affected them. Unlike many Middle East courses, which focus on US policy in the region, the course concentrates on the regional players' perceptions of the threats and opportunities they face and the strategies they have adopted to deal with them. It thus provides an essential vantage point for those interested in gaining a deeper understanding of a region, which stands at the center of many of the foreign policy issues of our era. The course is designed for those with a general interest in the Middle East, especially those interested in national security issues, students of comparative politics and future practitioners, with an interest in "real world" international relations and national security

POLS GU4848 ISRAELI NATL SEC STRAT POL DEC. 4 points.

Ever since its establishment, Israel has confronted an external environment of nearly unremitting hostility. Repeated wars, perpetual hostilities at lower levels, the failed peace processes with the Palestinians and Syria, and even the “cold” peace with Egypt and Jordan, have reinforced this image. As a result, national security has been at the forefront of Israeli life for six decades. Israel has responded by building a disproportionate national security establishment and by developing a "hunkering down" decision making style. Due to the importance of the Middle East, from the Cold War to this day, as well as its own unique circumstances, Israel has also become an important player in the international arena, far beyond its size.


The course is designed for those with a general interest in Israel and the Middle East, especially those interested in national security affairs, military strategy, foreign policy and decision making, students of comparative politics and practitioners/future practitioners, with an interest in "real world" international relations and national security. It focuses on the basic tenets of Israeli foreign and defense strategy, the threats and opportunities facing Israel today, structures and processes of Israeli national security decision making, including their strengths and weaknesses, and the role of the peace process in Israel’s national security strategic thinking.


The course presumes reasonable familiarity with Israel and the Middle East. For those in need of further background, a number of basic texts are suggested below.

Fall 2021: POLS GU4848
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4848 001/17889 F 10:10am - 12:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Charles Freilich 4 18/20

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.

POLS GU4865 INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY. 3.00 points.

This course explores key frameworks and issue areas within international political economy. It examines the history and key characteristics of (economic) globalization, the theories of international cooperation, as well as the nature and role of international organizations (such as the World Trade Organization) in fostering trade and international economic cooperation. Furthermore, the course discusses the pros and cons of globalization and its implications on domestic policies of nation-states, with a particular focus on the tensions globalization creates and the lines of cleavages between winners and losers from globalization. Finally, the course reflects on the future of globalization and international trade and the challenges faced by national and supranational policy makers

Spring 2021: POLS GU4865
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4865 001/19252 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
602 Hamilton Hall
Davit Sahakyan 3.00 17/40
Fall 2021: POLS GU4865
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4865 001/16024 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
6ab Kraft Center
Davit Sahakyan 3.00 32/40

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 2021: POLS GU4895
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4895 001/12906 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
207 Mathematics Building
Richard Betts 4 33/100

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 2021: POLS UN3961
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3961 001/12941 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
1302 International Affairs Bldg
Allison Carnegie 4.00 9/20
POLS 3961 002/12943 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
1302 International Affairs Bldg
Sarah Daly 4.00 18/20
POLS 3961 004/18049 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
324 International Affairs Bldg
Alexander de la Paz 4.00 20/20
POLS 3961 005/16028 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
467 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
David Spiro 4.00 12/20
POLS 3961 006/16016 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
1302 International Affairs Bldg
Jack Snyder 4.00 14/20
POLS 3961 007/18895 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
501b International Affairs Bldg
Giulio Gallarotti 4.00 19/20

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 20/20
POLS 3962 002/10423 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Keren Yarhi-Milo 4.00 22/21
POLS 3962 003/16179 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Jeremiah Pam 4.00 17/21
POLS 3962 004/16837 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Online Only
Jean Krasno 4.00 17/20
POLS 3962 005/19296 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Giulio Gallarotti 4.00 17/20

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
Online Only
Ayten Gundogdu 4 137/150

POLS UN3100 Justice. 3 points.

An inquiry into the nature and implications of justice in areas ranging from criminal justice to social justice to the circumstances of war and peace, considering issues such as abortion, the criminalization of behavior, the death penalty, climate change, global poverty, civil disobedience, and international conflict.

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 Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Online Only
Karuna Mantena 4.00 78/100

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 2021: POLS UN3176
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3176 001/16019 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
414 Pupin Laboratories
Luke MacInnis 3 23/30

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 2021: POLS GU4132
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4132 001/17671 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
316 Hamilton Hall
Giovanni Giorgini 3.00 8/22

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 2021: POLS GU4134
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4134 001/12897 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
407 Mathematics Building
Nadia Urbinati 4 26/32

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 2021: POLS UN3911
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3911 001/12907 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
711 International Affairs Bldg
Jean Cohen 4.00 10/20
POLS 3911 002/12921 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
711 International Affairs Bldg
David Johnston 4.00 11/20

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 12/20
POLS 3912 002/10173 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Jean Cohen 4 13/20

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 2021: POLS UN3704
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3704 001/12885 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
633 Seeley W. Mudd Building
Shigeo Hirano 3.00 56/70

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.

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 4 103/110

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 2021: POLS UN3768
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3768 001/12961 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
415 Schapiro Cepser
Yamil Velez 4 37/40

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 2021: POLS GU4700
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4700 001/13274 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
511 Hamilton Hall
Naoki Egami 4.00 18/20

POLS GU4702 Methods of Inquiry and Research Design. 4 points.

This course will cover research methods and research design in political science. We will focus on concrete and practical issues of conducting research: picking a topic, generating hypotheses, case selection, measurement issues, designing and conducting experiments, interviews, field work, archival research, coding data and working with data sets, combining quantitative and qualitative methods, etc.


The course is designed for several audiences, including: (1) PhD students in Political Science, (2) MAO students undertaking a major research project, and (3) advanced undergrads contemplating an honors thesis, or another major research project.

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

We will go through the first half of the book, Regression and Other Stories, by Andrew Gelman, Jennifer Hill, and Aki Vehtari (Cambridge University Press). There is a follow-up course, Principles of Quantitative Political Research 2 (POLS 4712), which covers the second half of the book, including logistic regression, generalized linear models, poststratification, design of studies, and causal inference. Topics covered in the course include: • Applied regression: measurement, data visualization, modeling and inference, transformations, and linear regression. • Simulation, model fitting, and programming in R. • Key statistical problems include adjusting for differences between sample and population, adjusting for differences between treatment and control groups, extrapolating from past to future, and using observed data to learn about latent constructs of interest. • We focus on social science applications, including but not limited to: public opinion and voting, economic and social behavior, and policy analysis

Spring 2021: POLS GU4710
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4710 001/10385 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
203 Mathematics Building
Robert Shapiro 4.00 36/45
Fall 2021: POLS GU4710
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4710 001/13431 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
207 Mathematics Building
Andrew Gelman 4.00 34/70

POLS GU4712 PRINC OF QUANT POL RESEARCH 2. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: POLS W4710 or the equivalent.
Prerequisites: POLS W4710 or the equivalent. We will go through the second half of the book, Regression and Other Stories, by Andrew Gelman, Jennifer Hill, and Aki Vehtari (Cambridge University Press). This is a follow-up to the course, Principles of Quantitative Political Research 1 (POLS 4710), which covers the first half of the book, including measurement, data visualization, modeling and inference, transformations, and linear regression. Topics covered in the course include: • Applied regression: logistic regression, generalized linear models, poststratification, and design of studies. • Causal inference from experiments and observational studies using regression, matching, instrumental variables, discontinuity analysis, and other identification strategies. • Simulation, model fitting, and programming in R. • Key statistical problems include adjusting for differences between sample and population, adjusting for differences between treatment and control groups, extrapolating from past to future, and using observed data to learn about latent constructs of interest. • We focus on social science applications, including but not limited to: public opinion and voting, economic and social behavior, and policy analysis

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

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 29/40

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 2021: POLS GU4724
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4724 001/12964 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
703 Hamilton Hall
Donald Green 4.00 26/30

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 7/30

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 2021: POLS GU4732
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4732 001/12983 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
304 Hamilton Hall
Carlo Prato 4 8/25

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 2021: POLS UN3998
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3998 001/13283 M 8:10am - 10:00am
1102 International Affairs Bldg
Macartan Humphreys 4 16/16

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 17/20

Independent Reading and Research

POLS UN3901 INDEPENDENT RESEARCH I. 1.00-6.00 points.

Fall 2021: POLS UN3901
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3901 001/13282  
Jean Cohen 1.00-6.00 1/1
POLS 3901 002/20268  
Robert Amdur 1.00-6.00 1/1
POLS 3901 003/20564  
Allison Carnegie 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  
Robert Amdur 1.00-6.00 1/1
POLS 3902 002/19323  
Robert Shapiro 1.00-6.00 1/1
POLS 3902 003/19345  
Tamar Mitts 1.00-6.00 1/1
POLS 3902 004/19901  
Sharyn O'Halloran 1.00-6.00 1/1
POLS 3902 005/20017  
Robert Erikson 1.00-6.00 1/1
POLS 3902 006/20128  
Bernard Harcourt 1.00-6.00 1/1

Of Related Interest

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