POLITICAL SCIENCE 503: SCOPE AND METHODS II

 

Spring, 2007

DuSable 466

Mondays, 6:30-9:10 p.m.

 

Larry Arnhart

Office: Zulauf 404

Office hours:  W-F, 12:30-2:00, other times by appointment

Telephone: 815-753-7049

E-mail: larnhart@niu.edu

 

 

TEXTS

 

David Ricci, The Tragedy of Political Science (Yale University Press, 1984)

Edward O. Wilson, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (Vintage Books, 1998)

Robert Axelrod, The Evolution of Cooperation (Basic Books, 1984)

Robert Putnam, Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy (Princeton University Press, 1993)

Robert Wright, Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny (Vintage Books, 2000).

Paul Pierson, Politics in Time (Princeton University Press, 2004)

Karen Orren & Stephen Skowronek, The Search for American Political Development (Cambridge University Press, 2004)

 

 

GRADING

 

The final grade will be based on the grades for the journal writing (25% for journal entries #1-6 and journal responses #1-5, 25% for journal entries #7-13 and journal responses #6-12), class participation (15% for the first half of the semester and 15% for the second half), and a final paper (20%).  Grades for the first half of the semester will be handed out in class on March 19.

 

For the journal writing, you will be put into a journal group with two other students.  You should bring to class three copies of your journal entries and journal responses—one for the professor and two for the other two members of your group.  You will join a new journal group at the middle of the semester.

 

The journal entry should be at least two double-spaced pages on the reading for the week.  The point of the journal entry is for you to set down your thoughts about anything in the reading.  This will be your attempt to struggle with any issue that comes up in the reading.  Usually it is best to take up one issue that you can develop a little in two pages.

 

You will write journal responses for each of the two journal entries you have received.  Each journal response should be at least one double-spaced page.  The point of the journal response is for you to respond in some fruitful way to the thoughts of your journal group members.

 

The final paper should be at least ten double-spaced pages.  The point of the final paper is for you to elaborate your thinking about some topic related to the readings and discussions in the course.  You might build upon something that has come up in your journal writing.  The final paper will be due no later than 12 noon, May 7 in the professor’s office.  (You may slip the paper under the office door.)

 

 

 

SCHEDULE OF READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS

 

Jan 22: Introduction

 

 

I.  IS POLITICAL SCIENCE A SCIENCE?

 

Jan 29: Ricci

            Jour #1

 

 

II. WHAT MAKES A SCIENCE A SCIENCE?

 

Feb  5: Wilson, 3-104

            Resp #1, Jour #2

 

Feb12: Wilson, 105-228

            Resp #2, Jour #3

 

Feb19: Wilson, 229-326

            Resp #3, Jour #4

 

 

III. IF POLITICAL SCIENCE WERE A SCIENCE, WHAT KIND OF SCIENCE WOULD IT BE?

 

    A.  A GAME THEORETIC SCIENCE OF COOPERATION?

 

Feb 26: Axelrod, 3-105

            Resp #4, Jour #5

 

Mar  5: Axelrod, 109-215

            Resp #5, Jour #6

 

 

 

 

SPRING BREAK

 

  1. A COMPARATIVE SCIENCE OF SOCIAL CAPITAL?

 

Mar 19: Putnam

            Resp #6, Jour #7

 

 

  1. A SCIENCE OF POLITICAL HISTORY?

 

Mar 26:  Pierson, 1-102

              Resp #7, Jour #8

 

Apr   2:  Pierson, 103-178

              Resp #8, Jour #9

 

 

    D.  A SCIENCE OF AMERICAN POLITICAL HISTORY?

 

Apr   9:  Orren & Skowronek, 1-119

              Resp #9, Jour #10

 

Apr  16:  Orren & Skowronek, 120-201

               Resp #10, Jour #11

 

 

  1.  A SCIENCE OF THE BIOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL EVOLUTION OF COOPERATION?

 

Apr  23: Wright, 3-173

            Resp #11, Jour #12

 

Apr 30: Wright. 174-334

            Resp #12, Jour #13