Fall 2014 Course Descriptions

Fall 2014 Course Descriptions

CNST 20002 - Section 01: American Politics (CRN 16952)

Course Description:
In this course we examine the fundamental components of American politics and government, including political culture, interest representation, mass participation, government institutions, and public policy?making. The goal of this course is to help students develop a basic knowledge of American politics and the tools for careful and critical evaluation of current events and political phenomenon.

 

CNST 20200 - Section 01: World Politics: Intro to Comp (CRN 16953)

Long Title: World Politics: An Introduction to Comparative Politics

Course Description:
This course teaches students how to think comparatively about politics. We study how nation-states emerged as the dominant form of political organization, explain the differences among various states, and explore diverse responses to economic, cultural, and military globalization. The empirical material is drawn from around the globe.This introductory course fufills the comparative politics breadth requirement for the political science major.

 

CNST 20202 - Section 01: Making Australia (CRN 20635)

Course Description:
The struggle to 'make' Australia, as opposed to replicating Britain, got underway early on after European settlement, and it has been in process ever since. This course will seek to understand this nation-building process. Most of the course will be devoted to examining the major issues in Australia's history, beginning with an appropriate treatment of Aboriginal history through to the present debates over Australian identity and the nation's future. The final part of the course will explore important issues in contemporary society and culture. This course will have special interest for students who either have studied or plan to study in the Notre Dame Australia program. (It is of special benefit to the latter group.) In addition to reading 5-6 books, students must view a number of important Australian documentary and feature films. A willingness to participate in extracurricular activities is a prerequisite for the course. (Please don't sign up for the course if you can't attend out-of-class events.)

 

CNST 20400 - Section 01: Medical Ethics (CRN 16955)

Course Description:
An exploration from the point of view of ethical theory of a number of ethical problems in contemporary biomedicine. Topics discussed will include euthanasia, abortion, the allocation of scarce medical resources, truth-telling in the doctor-patient relationship, the right to medical care and informed consent, and human experimentation.

 

CNST 20402 - Section 01: Markets & Morality (CRN 20535)

Course Description:
In many ways we live in an age dominated by markets. Rather than relying upon the whip of authoritarianism or the yoke of tradition, markets purport to efficiently allocate resources simply by allowing each person to pursue his or her own advantage. Markets, it is said, best satisfy preferences, increase overall happiness, and can solve various social problems. The seeming success of markets has led to ?market thinking? permeating many fields ? from public policy, to law, to philosophy. Yet markets and market thinking are not without their critics. In this course, we will examine moral and political issues as they relate to markets. Some of the issues we will examine include: Are there things that should not be for sale at any price? How do markets affect freedom? What is the relationship between markets and justice? Does one have a right to property? Do markets presuppose a particular moral framework? Does having more options make us happier? In the course of examining these issues, it is hoped that you 1) develop certain philosophical skills such as the careful analysis of texts and arguments, and 2) develop your own views on these issues.

 

CNST 20602 - Section 01: Political Theory (CRN 16956)

Course Description:
This course is an introduction to political theory as a tradition of discourse and as a way of thinking about politics. The course surveys selected works of political theory and explores some of the recurring themes and questions that political theory addresses, especially the question of justice. This introductory course fulfils the political theory breadth requirement for the political science major.

 

CNST 20605 - Section 01: Shakespeare,Religion&Politics (CRN 20636)


Long Title: Shakespeare, Religion and Politics

Course Description:
In the modern world, we tend to think of religion and politics as separate spheres. Recent movements, however?from the Arab spring to the increasing influence of religious figures on American politics?might caution us otherwise. The ?Great Separation? of religion and politics is often traced to various processes of secularization in the Renaissance, of which Shakespearian drama is said to be a catalyst. Shakespeare, we are told, discovered ?the human? free from dogma and superstition. But the Renaissance was also a period of enormous religious fervor, speculation, and contention. In this class, we will explore how Renaissance dramatists, alongside theologians and philosophers, conceived of the relation between drama and the religious / political imagination, and how their work might speak to our contemporary moment. In particular, we will consider how creative art might function alongside or parallel to religion, as a seed-bed of the political imaginary, and how that might force us to reconsider the relation between church and state today. Readings will be drawn primarily from Shakespeare?including Hamlet, Richard II, and The Winter?s Tale?but we will also examine plays by Marlowe, as well as the writings of figures like Augustine, Plato, Calvin, Machiavelli, and Hobbes. Reading List - Hebrew Bible: Exodus 20:2-17, Exodus 31-34 (Golden Calf and Ten Commandments); 1 Samuel 8 (Kingship as Idolatry); 2 Kings 5 (Naaman the Syrian) New Testament: John 1:1-5; 3:14-5 (the brazen serpent) 1 Corinthians 10Plato, Republic, 491a-521a.Augustine, The City of God, 6.1-8.Calvin, Institutes, 1.11-2; 2.1-2Marlowe, Doctor FaustusShakespeare, Richard IIMachiavelli, Discourses on Livy 1.Preface-1.2, 1.7, 1.9-1.16, 3.1, 3.3, 3.30, 3.49 Montaigne, ?On Custom?

 

CNST 30002 - Section 01: Constitutional Law (CRN 16958)

Course Description:
This course introduces the basic themes of the American constitution, its historical development, and debates in constitutional politics. The course employs a variety of instructional methods including Socratic method lectures, class debates, and moot court exercises in which students play the role of lawyers and justices arguing a Supreme Court case. Students will explore the social and political struggles that have defined the allocation of constitutional power, including debates over presidential war-powers, states? rights, judicial supremacy, federal power to enforce civil rights, and the recent healthcare controversy.

 

CNST 30203 - Section 01: European Politics (CRN 20137)

Course Description:
In this course on European politics we will examine the literature on three major issues: regional integration, origins of modern political authority, and industrial political economy. We will seek to understand the origin, current functioning, and possible futures for key European institutions, including the EU, nation-states, social provision, unions, and political parties. Readings on the European Union, monetary politics, Germany, France, and Spain will be drawn from both scholarly sources and contemporary analyses of political events.

 

CNST 30204 - Section 01: Modern France (CRN 20536)

Course Description:
This course will survey the history of France in the 19th and 20th centuries and will balance attention to political and social developments with an interest in French culture. Themes will include: the revolutions of the 19th century that culminated in a democratic republic; industrialization and the persistence of the peasant ideal; changes in women's roles, gender relations, and sexuality; colonialism and imperialism; victory in World War I; defeat and collaboration in World War II; the role of intellectuals in French social life; decolonization and postcolonialism; cultural and ethnic differences in contemporary France; and Franco-American relations. Students will develop an appreciation for the vitality of the French past and an understanding of the current role of France in Europe and the world. The format will be lectures supplemented by discussions, readings, and some films.

 

CNST 30211 - Section 01: International Criminal Justice (CRN 16962)

Course Description:
This course critically examines the phenomena of international judicial intervention and ?criminalization of world politics?; the actors, ideas, and rationales behind the international criminal justice project; the operation of international criminal justice in a world of power politics; its accomplishments, failures, and financial costs; and the future of international criminal justice. The course includes Skype conferences with a war crimes investigator, a war crimes analyst, a defense counsel, a victim representative, a State Department official, and a staff member of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court.

 

CNST 30212 - Section 01: Comparative Law (CRN 16963)

Course Description:
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the main legal systems around the world. We will focus on the major legal traditions (present and past) such as the indigenous law, civil law, common law, Islamic law, Hindu law, and Asian law. We will concentrate on the history of each legal system, sources of law, and their main characteristics. In addition to the domestic legal systems, we will also examine the main features of international law, its history and sources. The course begins with a general discussion of what law is, how it develops, and where it comes from. Later sections of the course center on sources, features, and defining characteristics of each domestic legal tradition. Finally, we will analyze international law. Upon completion of this course, students should be familiar with the main features of major legal families present in the world today and in the past.

 

CNST 30215 - Section 01: Catholicism and Politics (CRN 20138)

Course Description:
Catholicism and Politics poses the question, both simple and complex: How ought Catholics to think about the political order and political issues within it? The first part of the course will survey major responses to this question drawn from Church history: the early church, the medieval church, and the modern church. The second part applies these models to contemporary issues ranging among war, intervention, globalization, abortion, the death penalty, religious freedom, gender issues, and economic development. The course culminates in "Vatican III," where teams of students, representing church factions, gather to discover church teachings on selected controversial political issues.

 

CNST 30405 - Section 01: Early Childhood Policy in U.S. (CRN 20538)

Course Description:
"This course covers the various issues relevant to the current early childhood education landscape. This includes theories of early learning and child development, policy development in the United States, the issues of inequality and the achievement gap (particularly related to K-12 Education Reform) and research on interventions or "what works" in early childhood programming. The advantage to understanding the theories of child development, the policy context and the intervention research is that it gives future teachers and future policymakers a foundational premise upon which to grow, analyze, learn and teach. Topics covered will include: Theories of Child Development (Infant Schools to Present), Head Start and the CCDBG, State Preschool, Inequality and the Achievement Gap in the Early Years and Interventions in Early Childhood (HighScope/Perry Preschool, Abecedarian and Chicago Parent Studies, Head Start Research). The goal of this class is to come away with a greater understanding of the language, the history, the goals and the possibilities in this policy area as well as its connections to other social welfare programs and to K-12 schooling. Students will become more fluent in the language of early childhood education and will gain the foundational knowledge of past and current theories, laws, policies and educational interventions."

 

CNST 30602 - Section 01: Politics and Conscience (CRN 20139)

Course Description:
Against a backdrop of large-scale society, mass movements, and technological bureaucracy, the invocation of "conscience" recalls the individual human person as a meaningful actor in the political sphere. But what is conscience, and what are its rights and responsibilities? What is it about conscience that ought to command governmental respect? Are there limits to its autonomy? What role should conscience play in questions of war and peace, law-abidingness and civil disobedience, citizenship and political leadership? And how does the notion of conscience relate to concepts of natural law and natural rights, rationality and prudence, religion and toleration? This course engages such questions through readings from the Catholic intellectual tradition (Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas More, Fransisco de Vitoria, Desiderius Erasmus, John Henry Newman, Karol Wojty'a/John Paul II, and Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI) and other writers of the history of ethical-political thought (Cicero, Seneca, John Locke, Mahatma Ghandi, Jan Pato'ka, and Alexandr Solzhenitsyn). We consider also various contemporary reflections on conscience expressed in films, essays, letters, plays, short stories, speeches, and declarations, beginning with Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" and Václav Havel's speech "Politics and Conscience." This class serves as both the capstone course for the interdisciplinary minor Philosophy in the Catholic Tradition and an upper-level elective for Political Science majors and Peace Studies minors. Its format combines lecture and seminar-style discussion.

 

CNST 30604 - Section 01: Tudor England: Pol & Honor (CRN 20539)

Long Title: Tudor England: Politics and Honor

Course Description:
The period from 1485 to 1603, often feted as something of a 'Golden Age' for England, saw that country undergo serious changes that challenged the traditional ways in which the nation conceived of itself. These included the break from Rome, the loss of England's foothold in France, and the unprecedented experience of monarchical rule by women. Each of these challenges demanded creative political responses and apologetic strategies harnessing intellectual resources from classical, Biblical, legal, chivalric and ecclesiastical sources. This course will examine these developments. It will also look at how the English, emerging from under the shadow of the internecine dynastic warfare of the fifteenth century, sought to preserve political stability and ensure a balance between continuity and change, and, furthermore, how individuals could use these unique circumstances to their own advantage.

 

CNST 30607 - Section 01: Age of Charlemagne (CRN 20634)

Course Description:
The Carolingian (from Carolus, Latin for Charles: Charles the Great--Charlemagne--was the most famous Carolingian) period, roughly the 8th and 9th centuries, was foundational for Western Europe. But this was also the time when the mid-Byzantine Empire consolidated its position and when the Abbasid family of caliphs introduced important and durable changes in the Islamic world. This course will focus on the West in the age of Charlemagne, but will draw frequent comparisons with and make continuous reference to Europe's Byzantine and Islamic neighbors. The course will explore such themes as: Europe's Roman and Christian inheritances from antiquity; the peoples of the Carolingian world; kingship and empire; political and social institutions and ideologies; religious and secular law; war and diplomacy; agriculture and trade; the church--popes, bishops, monks, and nuns; theology; art and architecture; Latin and vernacular literature. Reading assignments will combine modern scholarship and primary sources (in translation). Students will write midterm and final examinations and will choose between several short papers or one long paper.

 

CNST 40401 - Section 01: Constitutional Interpretation (CRN 16969)

Course Description:
Americans have always debated Supreme Court opinions on specific constitutional questions involving the powers of government and the rights of individuals and minorities. The leading objective of this course is to acquaint students with the basic issues of constitutional interpretation and to show how they influence questions involving constitutional rights and powers and the scope of judicial review.

 

CNST 43400 - Section 01: International Migration & Huma (CRN 16970)

Long Title: International Migration and Human Rights

Course Description:
This course is an extension from the mini-course to a full term, with a wider coverage of international migration experiences in the world with an emphasis on human rights. It starts with a historical approach to various immigration waves to the United States, from the years of the Industrial Revolution to the present. It focuses on the current debate on the impact of the undocumented immigration from Mexico and Central America, with a discussion of the gap between public perceptions and research findings. Differences between Mexico and the United States' migration policies, and its social and economic implications, are discussed. The recent developments within the context of the United Nations' Commission of Human Rights on the relationship between migration and human rights are also covered.

 

CNST 43600 - Section 01: Aquinas on Virtue and Law (CRN 20541)

Course Description:
A close study of virtue and law, and of their relation to one another, in the moral theory of St. Thomas Aquinas, as laid out in the First Part of the Second Part of the Summa Theologiae.

 

CNST 50001 - Section 01: Constitutionalism, Law & Pol (CRN 16971)

Long Title: Constitutionalism, Law & Politics

Course Description:
What is a "constitution"? Americans know the answer to that question - we can point to the American constitution, a document with a distinct theoretical origin, an eloquent record of justification in the Federalist Papers, and competing theories of interpretation. However, according to Aristotle, a "constitution" is a "regime," which includes not only law and arrangements of government, but which aims to foster a way of life and a certain conception of the Good. In this course, we will explore the long tradition of constitutionalism in the Aristotlelian understanding, and then turn to the more familiar American constitution to ask what kind of "regime," or way of life, it seeks to establish.