Tower

Courses Offered in Political Science

Arab-Israeli Conflict: Analysis (Woods)
The course focuses on two points: (1) the development of analytical skills in order to be able to analyze controversial political issues; and (2) the development of substantive knowledge of the conflict we have come to call the Arab-Israeli Conflict. The course will address the conflict as it developed in the 20th century among the various branches of the Zionist movement, local Palestinians, Arab nationalism, post-colonial powers, and, later, newly established states in the Middle East. Students will be exposed to controversial histories based on evidence recounted from different sides of the conflict. The course requires detailed analysis of reading materials for central argument, evidence, and fit between the two. These skills will be developed over the course of the semester.

Judaism and Politics (Wald)
The course focuses on the questions of how Jews have governed themselves and how they have related to the governments of the nations where they resided. We begin with governance in the Biblical period, move on to the Middle Ages (when most Jews lived under either Muslim or Christian sovereignty), and explore the experience of Jewish emancipation in early modern Europe. Following the historical survey, we contrast the politicalThe evolution of the state of Israel and its attempts to cope with contemporary challenges. Controversial and explosive questions such as the contemporary meaning of Zionism and the character of the state, the search for effective and responsive governance, and the management of domestic cleavages over religion, nationality, ethnicity, and gender. The Arab-Israeli conflict is considered only insofar as it affects the internal politics of the state.

Politics of the Middle East (Woods)
The course examines key movements and institutions through which people and politics intersect in the Middle East in the 19th and 20th centuries, including (Pan-)Arabism, nation-state nationalism, feminism, religion and law, and religious resurgence. States from North Africa to Pakistan will be addressed. A question underlying the course will be the extent to which these social and political changes in the Middle East have resulted from external influences or internal debates within the region.

Religion and Politics in the U.S. (Wald)
This course has two broad goals. The first is to acquaint students with the significance and variability of religious influence in contemporary American political life. By religion, I refer not only to formal theological creeds but also to the social beliefs, organizations and subcultures associated with various religious communities. We will examine the impact of religion (so defined) on the major dimensions of politics in the United States. The second goal is to provide students with an opportunity to learn how to utilize the internet for the location and communication of information. To achieve this goal, the World Wide Web will be used for presentation of some class material and as a resource for research papers.

Religion, Law, and Politics: Israel in Comparative Perspective (Woods)
This course examines the intersections between law, religion, and politics through analysis of the conflict over the role of religion in the state in Israel. Attention will be given to issues of: judicial politics; institutional sources of religious personal status law in Israel and the Middle East; gender aspects of family law; individual rights and state authority; social movements (religious and secular); and more. The course focuses on Israel and will include attention to other cases around the world.

Courses Offered in Other Departments:
African & Asian Languages and Literature, Anthropology, English, Geography, German and Slavic Studies, History, Linguistics, Music, Religion, Jewish Studies

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African & Asian Languages and Literature, Anthropology, English, Geography, German and Slavic Studies, History, Linguistics, Music, Religion, Jewish Studies

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