111. INTRODUCTION TO POLITICS
Februry 2005 Edition
Dr. Robert W.
Consulting Librarian in the Social Sciences
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 email@example.com
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.
- Election 2004 in a Global Context
- National Security in a Globalizing Age
- Political Parties, Pesidential Candidates, and National Elections
- American Voters and Presidential Elections
- Unannounced Quizzes over reading
assignments: 10% of the final grade; missed quizzes may
not be made up, except in the case of documented emergencies
- Exams: 2 Midterm Exams (40%) & Final Exam/Paper
- Group Projects on Writings
of Michael Novak: 20%: Group (10%) & Individual
Miscellaneous Red Tape: [dull, but important!]
- "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.
- "Truth in Learning" -- Portions of the Compass
in academic work are incorporated by reference into this course
description. Violators will be prosecuted.
- "Administrative Procedures Act" -- Portions of the Catalog
on adding and dropping courses are incorporated by reference into
this course description.
- "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.
SCHEDULE & Unannounced
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.
#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
#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
#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
#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
Law 303: Study Group on Novak & America's Role in the World Readings
and Questions due 1:30pm Law 303, Wednesday, Feb. 16th
#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
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
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
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:
How does Professor Huntington define a civilization.
What is his thesis and why is he convinced that
civilizations will clash?
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
What are the two sources of conflict between the
West and other civilizations? What is a torn country and how is
the tare resolved?
How is the Confucian-Islamic connection related
to the "West versus the rest"?
What values are at the heart of Western Civilization,
according to Professor Huntington?
What are Huntington's short and long term recommendations?
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?
What is "Pax Americana" and why does it
guarantee that the U.S. will never be loved by Muslims?
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?
What is President Bush's apparent response to the
challenge "Get Tough or Get Out"? Why is the obvious answer
What is the global role that President Bush forsees
our country fulfilling? How is it to be accomplished?
What specific resources will be required and how
are they related to domestic policies to be pursued in a new term
LEARNING OBJECTIVES -- DAY #3
Define: ideology. Describe the origin of
the concepts of "ideological right" and "ideological left."
Identify and explain the pairs of characteristics
which Coulter calls "tendencies of the left" and "tendencies
of the right."
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?
Which of the prerequisites for political
democracy are more cultural than constitutional?
Explain the four key individuals for the
evolution of classic liberalism and the ideas most associated
with each. What is neo-liberalism?
What fundamental difference distinguishes
classic from modern conservatism? What are the main features
of the "New Right" How is it extended by "libertarians" &
What supplement to Coulter's discussion
is necessary to update it for Election 2004?
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?
- 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?
- According to Novak, what uncertainty surrounds the growth of liberty
in Islamic countries and what prospects do Judeo-Christianity encourage?
- Why are successful 21st century societies unlikely to be secular,
according to Novak?
- What is the primary purpose of Novak's book and how does he propose
to accomplish it?
LEARNING OBJECTIVES -- DAY #4
How is national interest related to foreign policy?
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)
What are the organizing principles of national security
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
What is a balance of power and why is it important
in international relations?
For what purposes was the U.N. created, how was
it organized for pursuit of them, and why are both subject to intense
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?
What distinguishes guerrilla war from terrorism
and how does Coulter explain the growth of the latter? What solution
does he suggest?
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.
What is the "two-truth theory" and why
is it important?
What are the "three axial issues" on which
Islam differs from the Judaism & Christianity? Detail?
What resolution does Novak offer and how is it related
to his imaginary city?
LEARNING OBJECTIVES -- DAY #5
What connects globalization to terrorism, according
to Niall Ferguson?
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?
What dispute exists between Professor Ferguson and
the unholy alliance he critizes?
Why is America, especially New York, hated by Islamic
What other empire is America most likely to resemble
According to Eland, what is "enlightened imperialism,"
out of what background does it come, and what debate surrounds the
US role in such imperialism?
What is the theory of "hegemonic stability"
and what is the underlying logic for the strategy of empire?
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.
Why is insecurity likely to increase the more the
US commits itself to the strategy of empire?
According to Novak, what details characterize the
political, economic,and cultural dimensions of globalization?
What is "moral ecology," why is it problematic
(be specific) and in what direction does Novak seek help?
How does Novak attempt to restore realism byreference
to a "blue revolution?"
LEARNING OBJECTIVES -- DAY #6
Define: state, nation-state, and nationalism
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?
Distinguish the social contract theories of Hobbes,
Locke, and Rousseau. Why are all at odds with Islamic militants?
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.
Define ultranationalism and explain several major
problems associated with it. How is it related to Islamic revolutionary
Describe the causes and consequences of nationalism
in the modern world.
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?
Apart from eternal benefits, what strengths does
religion offer democracy? What alternative to religion seems to
What major confusion and variability preceded the
effort to define the basic ideas of democracy?
What ideas and institutions are crucial to democracy,
especially to a healthy civil society?
What role does relativism and poverty play in the
decline of democracy?
DAY #7--FIRST MIDTERM EXAMINATION
LEARNING OBJECTIVES -- DAY #8
What distinction does Aristotle make between a polity
and a democracy; how are both distinguished from political democracies
How are constitutional governments distinguished
Explain the locus of sovereignty in unitary, confederal,
and federal forms of government.
Describe the locus of executive, legislative, and
judicial authority under the presidential and parliamentary systems
referred to above.
Explain the features of a coalition government
and the problems associated with it.
Explain the advantages of the parliamentary system
over the presidential system according to Coulter.
- What circumstances stimulated Novak's interest in a "Muslim
doctine of human rights?"
What was the Battle of Lepanto and why does Novak
think it important as a prelude to resurgent Islam today?
What is the main factor behind the resurgence, what
recent stages characterize it, and why is terrorism so significant
What is "political Islamism" and what
is its relationship to Islam as a religion?
What other "pessimistic aspects" are a
concern, esp. to Novak, about Islam?
What direction seems to Novak to favor democracy,
however it may differ from Western democracy?
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
- 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'
- Which parties prevailed in what periods and why? Be especially
specific about the period after 1932.
- What does Coulter mean by a "policy realignment without
a party realignment?"
- What is the role of American political parties and how does it
reflect the qualities most often associated with American voters?
- Identify three characteristics of interest groups and what important
role do they play in the political process.
- How do interest groups operate differently in the U.S. compared
to European systems?
- What philosophical error does Novak consider must be set aside
in order to develop the first level of inquiry for a philosphy of
- 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?
- What are the main accusations of Professor Rieger and how does
Novak respond to them?
- Contrast the arrogance and pretense of academic leftist with the
more modest realism of conservatives like Thomas Sowell.
- What do the terms like "absolute" and "comparative"
advantage mean and why are they important?
- What is the "Whig tendency" and how is it matched to
"natural instincts," esp. as applied to Novak's discussion
of India & China?
- 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
Distinguish normative from positive law. Which
tends to prevail in the West today and why?
Distinguish criminal (public) from civil (private)
law. Why does the strength and superiority of the West rest upon
its achievements in civil law?
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?
Explain four stages often associated with the
evolution of legal systems and distinguish Roman from the Anglo-Saxon
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?
Define equity law and five writs associated with
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.
Why is the "third wave" of capitalism
likely to be the largest and most diverse of all such waves?
What stream of resistance to capitalism is likely,
esp. due to its close association with English and American liberalism?
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?
What does Novak propose?
Why does Novak consider his environmentalism to
be more realistic than earlier forms?
Why are the achievements of environmentalism so
What links economic progress to environmental progress?
What do the public and private sectors contribute
to public goods for the poor, esp. clean water?
What five principles do Chistian, Jews, and Muslims
potentially share and why do they matter for environmentalism?
What foundations underlie Novak's optimism, esp.
in the Epilogue?
What virtues and institutions does he trust for
LEARNING OBJECTIVES--Day 12
- 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).
- 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?
- 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?
- What are the two central arguments that Sharansky bases his policies
for democracy on and how might they be deemed unrealistic by critics?
- 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?
- Given Sharansky's apparent influence on Bush, what actions will the
U.S. likely take in building an Iraqi government?
- With support for Sharansky's views growing, esp. in the U.S., what
effect would Sharon's disagreement have in shaping the peace process?
- What are Sharansky and Bush's beliefs for the Middle East?
- How does Sharansky see the Middle East becoming democratic?
- What are the two basic flaws in Sharansky's book?