This course is centered around three influential “great debates” in political science: cultural identity and international relations, social capital and political participation, and consociational democracy and group conflict. Each debate is introduced by reading a key book on it and is followed up by a discussion of its various aspects through several examples of research on the original debate. Students will learn to understand particular issues from several perspectives, including different theoretical and methodological approaches and themselves apply political science concepts to analyses the issues at hand.
Goal 1: The course will introduce students to several recent major debates in political science both in terms of their substance and in terms of the different standards of empirical evidence used in the debates.
Goal 2: The course will make students aware of the different theoretical and methodological approaches to the academic study of major issues in political science.
Books: Arend Lijphart, Democracy in Plural Societies; Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and Robert D Putnam, Bowling Alone (any editions)
Articles: to be assigned in the syllabus
A final exam.
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