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Department of Politics

111. INTRODUCTION TO POLITICS

Februry 2005 Edition

Dr. Robert W. Sutherland, Instructor

Amanda Swygart-Hobaugh, Consulting Librarian in the Social Sciences

3 February 2005

CAUTION: The Course Outline on Line should be checked daily for updates. Reading assignments are subject to change, so the only definitive version of the Course Outline is on line. Changes in reading assignments will not, however, be made within 24 hours immediately preceding class meetings.

HOW TO REACH THE INSTRUCTOR: 304 South Hall, Ext. 4226, early in the day (8-9am). Other times by appointment arranged before and after class or by e-mail. I rarely check my voice mail and often forward my calls to the South Hall Faculty Secretary, so a prompt response from me is best gained by e-mail.rsutherland@cornellcollege.edu

 

Class Meetings: Law Hall 303; see Schedule below

Reading Materials from the Bookstore: Principles of Politics and Government (Brown & Benchmark) Universal Hunger for Liberty (Basic Boooks) Other costs incl. photocoping, estimated $5-7.

Course Synopsis:

  • Election 2004 in a Global Context
  • National Security in a Globalizing Age
  • Political Parties, Pesidential Candidates, and National Elections
  • American Voters and Presidential Elections

Course Requirements:

  1. Unannounced Quizzes over reading assignments: 10% of the final grade; missed quizzes may not be made up, except in the case of documented emergencies
  2. Exams: 2 Midterm Exams (40%) & Final Exam/Paper (30%)
  3. Group Projects on Writings of Michael Novak: 20%: Group (10%) & Individual (10%) Portfolios

Miscellaneous Red Tape: [dull, but important!]

  1. "Truth in Lending" -- Students borrowing extra time to complete their papers will be charged interest at the rate of 5% of their grade per hour. Interest free extensions will be given only in cases of documented emergency. No work can be accepted after 5 PM on the last day unless a formal application for a grade of "incomplete" has been filed with the Registrar.

  2. "Truth in Learning" -- Portions of the Compass on dishonesty in academic work are incorporated by reference into this course description. Violators will be prosecuted.

  3. "Administrative Procedures Act" -- Portions of the Catalog on adding and dropping courses are incorporated by reference into this course description.

  4. "Course Revisions Act" -- Final papers and exams remain with me until the course is offered again; they are invaluable in helping me to improve later course assignments. I reserve the right to keep copies of some papers and exams indefinitely.

GRADES

SCHEDULE & Unannounced Quizzes

Beginning times for class are firm; quitting times are flexible. Questions to guide your reading will be found on following pages (click on underlined Day #s). The questions on unannounced quizzes will largely be drawn from these reading guide questions. Those who bring notes that address these reading guide questions to class will be permitted to use their notes on unannounced quizzes, but not on exams. All assignments are to be completed by class time on the day for which they are listed.

WEEK #1

DAY ASSIGNMENT

#1 9am Law 303. Brief review of the Course Outline will be followed by an information literacy test in the Library for which no preparation is asumed. 2pm: Law 303: Study Group Organization

#2--1:30 in Law 303 President Bush's 2nd Inaugural Address, S. H. Huntington. Summer 1993. Clash of Civilizations. Foreign Affairs, 72/3 via EbscoHost or on Library Reserve, & P. Waldman. Feb. 3, 2004. Historian's Take on Islam Steers U. S. in Terrorism Fight. Wall St. Journal Library Reserve.

#3--1:30 in Law 303. Principles of Politics and Government, pp. 135-147, 163-184. Following instructions given in Tuesday's class, determine your ideological position by taking an online quiz. Universal Hunger for Liberty, Introduction, pp. ix-xxix. Contact Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh, Consulting Librarian in the Social Sciences, for a study group appointment dedicated to helping you research the range of contention associated with your group's topic.

#4--1:30 in Law 303 Principles of Politics and Government, Chapter 12. Universal Hunger for Liberty, pp. 3-21. Individual topic research meetings Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh continue.

#5--9:30, Law 303: Five Interlinked Parts of PBS Interview with Niall Ferguson on Globalization, Terrorism, and American Empire. Ivan Eland, "The Empire Strikes Out: The "New Imperialism and its Fatal Flaws, pp. 1-21; Universal Hunger for Liberty, pp. 23-47 Individual topic research meetings Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh conclude.

WEEK #2

#6--9:30am Law 303 Principles, Ch. 3; Liberty Chs. 7-8

#7--9:30am Law 303. Midterm Exam: 400 pts, 5/7 short answer questions

#8--1:30 pm Law 303 Principles, Ch. 4; Liberty Ch. 9

#9--1:30pm Law 303: Principles, Ch. 9; Liberty Chs. 3-4

#10: 9:30am Law 303 ;Principles, Ch. 6 Liberty, Chs. 5-6 + Epilogue

WEEK #3

DAY ASSIGNMENT

#11-- 9:30 am Law 303 Midterm Exam: 400 pts, 5/7 short answer questions

#12--1:30pm Law 303 Study Group on Case for Democracy & Pres. Bush's Second Inaugural Address Readings & Questions Due in South 304, noon Sunday, Feb. 13th

#13-- 10:45am Hedges Novak's Address; 1:30 Law 303 Michael Novak in Class

#14--1:30pm Law 303: Study Group on Novak's Religious & Moral Thought. Readings and Questions due in 1:30pm Law 303, Tuesday, Feb. 15th

#15--9:30am Law 303: Study Group on Novak & America's Role in the World Readings and Questions due 1:30pm Law 303, Wednesday, Feb. 16th

WEEK #4

DAY ASSIGNMENT

#16--9:30am Law 303: Study Group on Novak's Economic & Political Writings Readings and Questions due 9:30am Law 303, Friday, Feb. 18th

#17--9:30am Law 303: Study Group on Novak's Historical Writings Readings and Questions due 9:30am Law 303, Sunday, Feb. 20th. 5pm: Portfolios due South 304

#18-8:30am Law 303: Final Exam (600 pts: 6/8 100 pt mini-essays),

Novak Project

Objective: To introduce students to the work of leading public intellectuals, primarily Michael Novak but also Anatoly Sharansky, and to understand the importance of such figures in framing and making American public policy at the outset of President Bush's 2nd Term.

Method: Reading and discussing what Novak and Sharansky have written as they contend with others who disagree with their proposals and arguments. Five study groups with five students each will be assigned a set of writings in which Novak and Sharansky develop a major argument that has implications for policy choices confronting President Bush: These groups are: 1) Sharansky and the 2nd Inaugural Address, 2) Novak's religious and moral writings, 3) Novak's writings on America's role in the world, 4) Novak's writings on politics and economics, 5) Novak's selected philosophical and historical writings.

Assignment: Group: identify, make available, and prepare study guide questions for the class session scheduled for each group in the the 3rd & 4th week Assign to each individual in your group a particular argument, or part of an argument, and whatever controversy surrounds it. Individual: Prepare a question for Mr. Novak drawn from the material for which your group is responsible. Ask it, if and when given the opportunity. Submit the question with short discussion of why it is important and what response it got, if any. Also, submit a short essay on the debate surrounding an argument or proposal assigned to you by the group.

Grading: Group Portfolio (10% or 200 pts): The group grade depends on the success of the group on the day for which the group is responsible. Also to be considered is a complete written record of group meetings including all agreements with other groups about material to be covered and assignments of specific material to particular individuals. Major duplication or repetition in coverage is a main reason for losing points as is an incomplete record of meetings, decisions, and assignments. Individual Portfolio (10% or 200 pts): Question for Novak. Short essay with bibliography (approx. 1000 words) on an argument advanced by Novak or Sharansky and the contentions that have supported or discounted the argument, as they emerge out of your research. The argument you select may be from a any one of a number of sources, including your question for Novak, your questions for class reading assignments, or your own individual interests.

Assignment Stages: The three stages outlined below are only illustrative. You may, in fact, be in all three at once during some days of the term but most people will find that one leads to the other in a rough sequence.

  1. EXPLORING AND ORGANIZING: 1a: Initial photocopying of material designated for the group to which you belong and review of material designated for other groups to see if they have what your group needs to consider. If another group does have material that is important for yours, reach and record an agreement with the other group(s) to prevent or avoid duplicate assignments. 1b: Read the material, noting the main contentions or arguments made in it. Identify the specific argument, or side of the argument, on which each individual is to focus.
  2. RESEARCH: Arrange a group meeting with Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh, our Consulting Librarian in the Social Sciences. Appointments may be made with her by e-mail, mailto:ASwygart@cornellcollege.edu. She will guide you in locating materials related to the writings and arguments for which a group is responsible. Follow-up individual meetings with Mandy on specific research tasks may be necessary.
  3. PREPARATION: Two fulll days before the class for which your group is responsible, the instructor must be provided with an unmarked, complete copy of the readings the class will be assigned (each person needing a copy arranges to make it from the provided pages) and the questions that will help classmembers to get the most out of their work.
  4. CLASS PERFORMANCE: Plan use of the time available carefully, consult with the instructor about whether time will be needed for a quiz, allow about 10 minutes to each member of your group and be sure that all know what each person is to do. Remember that you are free to refer to each other's work and to the work of other groups in order to make transitions and connections in thought clear, but major duplication or repetition of discussion must be avoided.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

The daily "Learning Objectives" point to the most important ideas and concepts to be discussed in class on a particular day. The habit of mastering such material will assure good performance in unannounced quizzes. Notes made to answer the questions may be used for quizzes but not for exams.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES -- DAY #2

Before class meets, you should be able to answer these questions:

  1. How does Professor Huntington define a civilization.
  2. What is his thesis and why is he convinced that civilizations will clash?
  3. What is the kin country syndrome and how does it support Professor Huntington's thesis? Distinguish between micro & macro clashes. What are the "weapon states" & why are they important?
  4. What are the two sources of conflict between the West and other civilizations? What is a torn country and how is the tare resolved?
  5. How is the Confucian-Islamic connection related to the "West versus the rest"?
  6. What values are at the heart of Western Civilization, according to Professor Huntington?
  7. What are Huntington's short and long term recommendations?
  8. What is the "Lewis Doctrine" and why is it important? How is it related to Huntington's arguments? To what extent is Saudi Arabia an exception to the policy change provoked by the doctrine?
  9. What is "Pax Americana" and why does it guarantee that the U.S. will never be loved by Muslims?
  10. What links bind Lewis to policy makers in Washington, Ankara, and Tel Aviv? What concerns have been expressed by critics of his work and influence?
  11. What is President Bush's apparent response to the challenge "Get Tough or Get Out"? Why is the obvious answer mistaken?
  12. What is the global role that President Bush forsees our country fulfilling? How is it to be accomplished?
  13. What specific resources will be required and how are they related to domestic policies to be pursued in a new term of office?
LEARNING OBJECTIVES -- DAY #3
  1. Define: ideology. Describe the origin of the concepts of "ideological right" and "ideological left."
  2. Identify and explain the pairs of characteristics which Coulter calls "tendencies of the left" and "tendencies of the right."
  3. How is political democracy related to these ideologies, why does Coulter consider it to be so fragile, even as it seems to triumph and spread?
  4. Which of the prerequisites for political democracy are more cultural than constitutional?
  5. Explain the four key individuals for the evolution of classic liberalism and the ideas most associated with each. What is neo-liberalism?
  6. What fundamental difference distinguishes classic from modern conservatism? What are the main features of the "New Right" How is it extended by "libertarians" & "neoconservatives?"
  7. What supplement to Coulter's discussion is necessary to update it for Election 2004?
  8. What is classic socialism and from what early sources did it draw? How has it been extended by the two distinct versions of social democratic parties? What is the likely future of state socialism, according to Coulter?
  9. How does Novak characterize World War IV, the key battles fought to date in it, and the role of the U.S.? Why is it unlikely to gain assistance from Europe?
  10. According to Novak, what uncertainty surrounds the growth of liberty in Islamic countries and what prospects do Judeo-Christianity encourage?
  11. Why are successful 21st century societies unlikely to be secular, according to Novak?
  12. What is the primary purpose of Novak's book and how does he propose to accomplish it?
LEARNING OBJECTIVES -- DAY #4
  1. How is national interest related to foreign policy?
  2. What concerns does Edwin Coulter have with the way national security is defined and to what extent have they been superceded by events. Distinguish with particular care between what Coulter calls the "threat system" vs. its alternative. (see especially pp. 262, 264, & 268-69)
  3. What are the organizing principles of national security structures?
  4. What do diplomats do and what customs are required to support it. Explain in some detail the methods of third party diplomacy & the limited role of international law in settling disputes.
  5. What is a balance of power and why is it important in international relations?
  6. For what purposes was the U.N. created, how was it organized for pursuit of them, and why are both subject to intense criticism
  7. How does the UN response to the Sudan government's support of Arab militias in the Dafur region of Sudan demonstrate what is wrong with the UN? What distinction did President Bush make in his State of the Union speech between Saudi Arabi and Syria? How does Syria's conduct since 2001 show the failure of the UN?
  8. What distinguishes guerrilla war from terrorism and how does Coulter explain the growth of the latter? What solution does he suggest?
  9. According to Novak, what is the central role of Aristotle in relations between Islam and the West and against what geopolitical and historical background did it occur.
  10. What is the "two-truth theory" and why is it important?
  11. What are the "three axial issues" on which Islam differs from the Judaism & Christianity? Detail?
  12. What resolution does Novak offer and how is it related to his imaginary city?

LEARNING OBJECTIVES -- DAY #5

  1. What connects globalization to terrorism, according to Niall Ferguson?
  2. What asymmetry lead to the illusion that America could remain safely detached from political conflicts and from area conficts that plagued other parts of the globe?
  3. What dispute exists between Professor Ferguson and the unholy alliance he critizes?
  4. Why is America, especially New York, hated by Islamic fundamentalists?
  5. What other empire is America most likely to resemble and why?
  6. According to Eland, what is "enlightened imperialism," out of what background does it come, and what debate surrounds the US role in such imperialism?
  7. What is the theory of "hegemonic stability" and what is the underlying logic for the strategy of empire?
  8. What do "realists" claim will eventually befall imperial powers, no matter how strong? Give three reasons for such an outcome and be able to explain each in detail. Key terms: free riders, balance-prone powers, strategic overextension, challenges invited by extended deterence, deteriorating competitive advantage of states burdened by providing security, the cost/benefit test.
  9. Why is insecurity likely to increase the more the US commits itself to the strategy of empire?
  10. According to Novak, what details characterize the political, economic,and cultural dimensions of globalization?
  11. What is "moral ecology," why is it problematic (be specific) and in what direction does Novak seek help?
  12. How does Novak attempt to restore realism byreference to a "blue revolution?"

LEARNING OBJECTIVES -- DAY #6

  1. Define: state, nation-state, and nationalism
  2. Distinguish competing theories as to the origins of the state. How is Coulter's discussion related to the civilizational clash between Islamic militants and the West?
  3. Distinguish the social contract theories of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. Why are all at odds with Islamic militants?
  4. Describe the political organization of the feudal state and its symbiotic relationship with the Christian church. Describe the role of the Protestant Reformation in the creation of the modern state.
  5. Define ultranationalism and explain several major problems associated with it. How is it related to Islamic revolutionary movements?
  6. Describe the causes and consequences of nationalism in the modern world.
  7. According to Novak, why are voluntary associations so important for what is distinctively American and why (3 reasons) is religion the primary political institution of democracy?
  8. Apart from eternal benefits, what strengths does religion offer democracy? What alternative to religion seems to exist?
  9. What major confusion and variability preceded the effort to define the basic ideas of democracy?
  10. What ideas and institutions are crucial to democracy, especially to a healthy civil society?
  11. What role does relativism and poverty play in the decline of democracy?

DAY #7--FIRST MIDTERM EXAMINATION

LEARNING OBJECTIVES -- DAY #8

  1. What distinction does Aristotle make between a polity and a democracy; how are both distinguished from political democracies of today?
  2. How are constitutional governments distinguished from others?
  3. Explain the locus of sovereignty in unitary, confederal, and federal forms of government.
  4. Explain the basic federal division of authority in the American constitution; how much importance should be attached to it, according to Coulter? What principles are essential to any authentic federal system?
  5. Distinguish the presidential system of government in the United States from the parliamentary system in Great Britain in terms of general characteristics, the role of the political parties, the method of election, and the role of the political minority.
  6. Describe the locus of executive, legislative, and judicial authority under the presidential and parliamentary systems referred to above.
  7. Explain the features of a coalition government and the problems associated with it.
  8. Explain the advantages of the parliamentary system over the presidential system according to Coulter.
  9. What circumstances stimulated Novak's interest in a "Muslim doctine of human rights?"
  10. What was the Battle of Lepanto and why does Novak think it important as a prelude to resurgent Islam today?
  11. What is the main factor behind the resurgence, what recent stages characterize it, and why is terrorism so significant to it?
  12. What is "political Islamism" and what is its relationship to Islam as a religion?
  13. What other "pessimistic aspects" are a concern, esp. to Novak, about Islam?
  14. What direction seems to Novak to favor democracy, however it may differ from Western democracy?
  15. What are the primary considerations that lead Novak to his answer to the question in the chapter title, despite the differences and uncertainties of the the future?

LEARNING OBJECTIVES-- Day 9

  1. How does Coulter define political parties in such a way as to lead to the conclusion that the U.S. "lacks political parties." (See p. 213: "The American party system is really a 'no-party' system."
  2. Which parties prevailed in what periods and why? Be especially specific about the period after 1932.
  3. What does Coulter mean by a "policy realignment without a party realignment?"
  4. What is the role of American political parties and how does it reflect the qualities most often associated with American voters?
  5. Identify three characteristics of interest groups and what important role do they play in the political process.
  6. How do interest groups operate differently in the U.S. compared to European systems?
  7. What philosophical error does Novak consider must be set aside in order to develop the first level of inquiry for a philosphy of economics?
  8. Why are capitalism and socialism asymetrical, what conditions must exist before capitalism can, and what levels of discourse and range of basic concepts must be clear to avoid confusion about captalism?
  9. What are the main accusations of Professor Rieger and how does Novak respond to them?
  10. Contrast the arrogance and pretense of academic leftist with the more modest realism of conservatives like Thomas Sowell.
  11. What do the terms like "absolute" and "comparative" advantage mean and why are they important?
  12. What is the "Whig tendency" and how is it matched to "natural instincts," esp. as applied to Novak's discussion of India & China?
  13. What does Novak mean by the "three sided interdependence of the free society?" How does it help explain why China's future is risker than India's?

LEARNING OBJECTIVES--Day 10

  1. Distinguish normative from positive law. Which tends to prevail in the West today and why?
  2. Distinguish criminal (public) from civil (private) law. Why does the strength and superiority of the West rest upon its achievements in civil law?
  3. How does Coulter define the rule of law and to what extent does his treatment of the subject promote doubts about his thoughts on legal concepts?
  4. Explain four stages often associated with the evolution of legal systems and distinguish Roman from the Anglo-Saxon Common law.
  5. Explain the problems Coulter considers important in the qualifications, selection, and tenure of U. S. judges, why the problems persist, and what measures the Supreme Court has adopted to address them? Are Coulter's exalted views and expectations of the judiciary exaggerated?
  6. Define equity law and five writs associated with it.
  7. Distinguish original from appellate jurisdiction. What is summary jurisdiction? What primary purpose is served by state supreme courts? Define "judicial review" and explain its importance for constitutional government.
  1. Why is the "third wave" of capitalism likely to be the largest and most diverse of all such waves?
  2. What stream of resistance to capitalism is likely, esp. due to its close association with English and American liberalism?
  3. How far has Catholic thought gone in settling the question of what economic system is best? What challenge to Catholic thought has resulted from the examples of Quebec and Ireland?
  4. What does Novak propose?
  5. Why does Novak consider his environmentalism to be more realistic than earlier forms?
  6. Why are the achievements of environmentalism so little known?
  7. What links economic progress to environmental progress?
  8. What do the public and private sectors contribute to public goods for the poor, esp. clean water?
  9. What five principles do Chistian, Jews, and Muslims potentially share and why do they matter for environmentalism?
  10. What foundations underlie Novak's optimism, esp. in the Epilogue?
  11. What virtues and institutions does he trust for the future?

LEARNING OBJECTIVES--Day 12

  1. Explain in a few sentences why Sharansky thinks that democracies tend to be more peaceful than other forms of government. Compare his rationale to America's weapons policy and how it creates a double standard, i.e. the reason Amerca thinks it ok for them to have nuclear weapons, but certain other nations not).
  2. Why does Hanson say that democracies are "war prone"? What one word term that was explained by Coulter might be used to explain war prone democracy? What else might Coulter add about why democracies tend to go to war (at least America)? What happens when a democracy is attacked and why? Why might Hanson's examples of war prone democracies of old be flawed in modern times?
  3. How does Eland in his "US Foreign Policy: Question all Assumptions" explain a shift in American idealism, specifically its concept of spreading democracy, in the last 50 years? And how does Eland argue against Sharansky's ideas about the relationship of liberty, peace, and democracy (list specific examples)? Furthermore, even if Sharansky is right about his assumptions, why does Eland proclaim that America is still doomed if it continues its current policy?
  4. What are the two central arguments that Sharansky bases his policies for democracy on and how might they be deemed unrealistic by critics?
  5. After reading Bush 2nd Inaugural Address and the Washington Post "The Case for Democracy: A Perfect Peace," what strong evidence shows that there's a direct correlation between Bush's intended goals for the next four years and Sharansky's democratic idealism?
  6. Given Sharansky's apparent influence on Bush, what actions will the U.S. likely take in building an Iraqi government?
  7. With support for Sharansky's views growing, esp. in the U.S., what effect would Sharon's disagreement have in shaping the peace process?
  8. What are Sharansky and Bush's beliefs for the Middle East?
  9. How does Sharansky see the Middle East becoming democratic?
  10. What are the two basic flaws in Sharansky's book?


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