Comparative Politics

CAS PO 324 Comparative Public Policy
Prerequisite: CAS PO 141 or consent of instructor. Comparative study of the public policies of advanced industrialized societies in such areas as health training, unemployment, poverty, and budget. Explores why countries develop different solutions to policy needs, and evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of various national approaches. Meets with CAS IR340.

CAS PO 325 Campaigns and Elections Around the World
Prerequisite: CAS PO 151 or consent of instructor. Electoral campaigns in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Changes in campaigns over time; role of international political consultants; influence of party systems, electoral systems, campaign finance regulation, vote buying, and mass media; campaign effects on voting behavior and public opinion. Meets with CAS IR 302.

CAS PO 329 International Political Economy
Prerequisite: CAS EC 101 and EC 102. Emphasizes the dynamic interaction between politics and economics to understand and explain historical and contemporary issues in international political economy, including international monetary, trade, investment, financial, and environmental relations. Considers emerging challenges and structures in the international political economy. Meets with CAS IR 390.

CAS PO 330 Special Topics in Comparative Politics
May be repeated for credit if topics are different. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: The European Crisis, Social Movements and Contentious Politics, A Democracy in the Middle East: Israel as a Case for Comparative Analysis.

CAS PO 333 Democratic Erosion
Trends in American and European politics have engendered fears about a turn toward authoritarianism where it was once unthinkable. This course explores the causes and consequences of democratic erosion, helping students to put recent developments into comparative and historical perspective. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry II, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Research and Information Literacy.

CAS PO 334 Political Violence
This course examines the causes and consequences of political violence around the world. Topics include civil war, electoral violence, riots, protests, and government repression. Particular emphasis on Africa and South/Southeast Asia. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry II, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Critical Thinking.

CAS PO 341 European Politics
Comparative study of politics in member states of the European Union, with emphasis on political development, institutions, major issues in contemporary politics, and the impact of European integration. Selective references to original and new member states of the EU. Meets with CAS IR 362.

CAS PO 344 Democracy: Origins and Breakdown
How do political scientists explain the emergence of democratic regimes? And what factors explain their breakdown? We look at these questions across a range of countries in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and other regions of the world.

CAS PO 346 Bombs and Bombshells: Gender, Armed Conflict, and Political Violence
Prerequisites: sophomore, junior, or senior standing. Interdisciplinary course surveying women’s relationship to political violence with a focus on the evolution of women’s international participation in non-state, religiously-motivated groups. Women’s roles in political violence throughout Western Europe, North America, and the Middle East are explored. Meets with CAS WS 325.

CAS PO 350 Making of Asia
Explores the diverse experiences of modernization and development in China, Japan, Korea, as well as the countries of Southeast Asia. Also examines the domestic and international impacts of growing social-economic ties, as well as the complex security challenges among Asian states. Meets with CAS IR 275.

CAS PO 351 China From Revolution to Reform
Explores the economic, political, and social upheavals that followed the Chinese revolution in 1949 and the cause of subsequent inauguration of reform in the late 1970’s. Analyzes the tensions that brought about the 1989 upheaval in Tiananmen Square, as well as the implications of China’s emergence as an economic power. Meets with CAS IR 370.

CAS PO3 358 Issues in Contemporary Politics
Examines how states administer their nuclear weapons and energy programs at the domestic and international levels. Explores the bureaucracies, military services, and government officials responsible for creating and maintaining nuclear weapons and energy. Also offered as CAS HI 335 and CAS IR 315. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry I, Writing- Intensive Course.

CAS PO 360 Introduction to Latin American Politics and International Relations
Introduction to the patterns and complexities of Latin American politics and foreign policies. Focuses on the distinctive Latin American political experience and alternative explanations for it, including colonization, the international economy, and human and material resource capacity and utilization. Includes an honors section. Meets with PO IR 367.

CAS PO 368 Introduction to Middle East Politics
Employs social science theories to explain the political development of the Middle East since World War I. Part 1 examines state formation and competing explanations for authoritarianism. Part 2 analyzes social movements ranging from Islamist groups to mass mobilization. Meets with CAS IR 307.

CAS PO 373 African Politics Today
An introduction to the issues dominating African political life today. Core course debates revolve around recent trends in African economic growth, democratic governance, and armed conflict, in addition to several other issues of contemporary concern. Meets with CAS IR 343.

CAS PO 376 Understanding Modern Northern Africa
Considers political, cultural, economic, and social developments in the modern states of Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya as they struggle to gain independence from colonial domination and to consolidate viable, secure, and legitimate states and prosperous national communities. Meets with CAS IR 383.

CAS PO 378 International Human Rights: Applying Human Rights in Africa
Studies the growing international influence on politics of human rights principles, documents, and organizations, drawing especially on African cases such as Congo, Zimbabwe, and Sudan. Topics include universality vs. cultural relativism, individual vs. group rights, and issues in human rights enforcement. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Ethical Reasoning, Teamwork/Collaboration. Meets with CAS IR 352.

CAS PO 379 Religion and Politics
Introduction to the comparative study of the political role of religious institutions and beliefs. Covers issues such as religion’s relationship to violence and terrorism, democracy and human rights, group identity, gender and sexuality, and modernity and secularism. Meets with CAS IR 337 and CAS RN 379.

CAS PO 425 State Building and Failure in the Developing World
Considers the political significance of failed and fragile states in the developing world in the post-9/11 era. Students analyze historical patterns of state formation and its relevance in contemporary society. Meets with GRS SO 839.

CAS PO 458 Immigration and Development in Asia
Transnational immigration and economic development in Asia, focusing on China, India, and South Korea. Cases examined include the rise of manufacturing prowess in China, India’s software industry, and Korea’s corporate competitiveness in the world. Meets with CAS IR 441.

CAS PO 509 Legislative Behavior
How has Congress evolved from the best club in town characterized by convivial relations between members to being a cockpit for partisan conflict? How do American legislators compare to legislators in other advanced democracies like Canada, Germany, and the UK?

CAS PO 528 The Political Economy of Advanced Industrialized Societies
Survey forces contributing to national differences in social and economic policy; identifies current challenges to state sovereignty, such as globalization and immigration; and examines how nations from different welfare regimes are coping with these threats to the nation-state. Meets with GRS IR 723.

CAS PO 529 Globalization and Contemporary Capitalism in Advanced Industrialized Nations
Considers the impact of globalization on advanced industrialized nations. Explores global and regional governance of finance, trade, and multinationals. Examines changes in national economic practices in Europe, Asia, and the US, and their effects on jobs, inequality, welfare, and democracy. Meets with CAS IR 596.

CAS PO 530 Readings in Comparative Politics
Topics vary. Topic for Fall 2019: Electoral Politics in Africa. After decades of military and single-party rule, the vast majority of African countries now hold multiparty elections. The course explores electoral politics in contemporary Africa, with a focus on democratic transitions, electoral authoritarianism, ethnic politics, distributive politics, and election-related violence.

CAS PO 533 Globalization of Nationalism
Focuses on the problem of nationalism, distinguishing types, examining origins, and analyzing political, social, and economic implications. Emphasis is on nationalism’s spread into territories in Asia, specifically China, and under the cover of religion (e.g., ISIL) and secular social movements (e.g., “June Days” in Brazil).

CAS PO 535 European Integration
Explores present, past, and potential future of the European Union. Investigates who is in charge and who matters in policymaking and politics. Examines a wide range of EU policies, including economics, security, and trade, and their impact on EU member-states. Meets with CAS IR 550.

CAS PO 537 The British Political System
Links developments in U.K. politics to broader themes in comparative politics, ranging from identity politics to the evolution of bureaucracies, parties, and voting behavior. Examines the general failure to export the Westminster model in the aftermath of colonialism. Meets with CAS IR 537.

CAS PO 542 Immigration: Politics and Policy
Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or consent of instructor. Immigration has become a subject of much debate and controversy in democratic polities. This course explores the politics, economics, and social consequences of immigration policies across a number of countries, including European states and the United States.

CAS PO 548 Political Economy of China
Prerequisite: junior standing or consent of instructor. How did China implement economic reform? What were the progresses and limitations? How is China’s political-economic development influencing the global system? Discussions are conducted in a comparative perspective. Countries of reference include Japan and India. Meets with CAS IR 527.

CAS PO 549 Problems and Issues in Post-Mao China
An in-depth examination of politics in post-Mao China, this course focuses on several critical issues, uses various conceptual frameworks to try to understand why the reform process broke down and examines prospects for the future. Meets with CAS IR 585.

CAS PO 550 The State and Public Purpose of Asia
Explores how noncommunist Asian governments have attempted to advance public purpose, and how organizational factors in countries’ governments affect their ability to do so. These questions are addressed in a comparative framework, considering theory and cases. Effective Spring 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Social Inquiry II, Critical Thinking. Meets with IR520.

CAS PO 553 Taiwan: Politics and Transformation
Examines Taiwan’s history, economic development, ethnic identity, democratization, and its controversial position in international politics as a key to understanding questions of political economy, democratic transition, and East Asian security. Meets with CAS IR 582.

CAS PO 549 Problems and Issues in Post-Mao China
An in-depth examination of politics in post-Mao China, the course focuses on several critical issues and uses various conceptual frameworks to try to understand why the reform process broke down and examines prospects for the future. Meets with CAS IR 585.

CAS PO 554 Conflict and Cooperation in Asia
Investigates patterns of conflict and cooperation in South and East Asia surrounding issues ranging from water resources and health to borders and war. Analyzes how such issues contribute to instability in the region, as well as methods of cooperation. Meets with CAS IR 501.

CAS PO 562 Political Economy of Latin America
Prerequisites: CAS EC 101 and CAS EC 102. Recommended: CAS EC 369. Addresses historical and contemporary issues in Latin American political economy. Uses case studies and cross-regional comparisons to assess competing explanations. Analyzes the current political and economic situation facing Latin America in its quest for economic growth and development. Meets with CAS IR 590.

CAS PO 566 Conflict and Conflict Resolution in Latin American
Examines a range of historical and contemporary conflicts and wars in Latin America, both internal and regional, examining their causes and consequences, and the most important factors that explain how they were resolved or why they persist. Meets with CAS IR 411.

CAS PO 569 Money, Guns, and Power
What is the relationship between money and war? This course explores the relationship between money, guns, and power through the lens of American and European military spending and through larger theoretical conversations on the concept of power. Meets with CAS PO 569.

CAS PO 571 Government and Politics of Contemporary Africa
Analysis of independent black Africa; factors of continuity and change in modern Africa, problems of political order, ambiguities of independence. Case studies of individual countries selected for additional emphasis on specific issues and problems of the developing countries. Meets with CAS IR 534.

CAS PO 576 The Foreign Policy of the People’s Republic of China
Explores China’s perception of its role in the world, its evolution from a regional to a world power, and its security and economic relationships within the international system. Relationships with the superpowers, Third World, and world economy, focusing on technology and capital transfers. Meets with CAS IR 577.

GRS PO 751 Approaches to the Study of Comparative Politics
Graduate Core Seminar. An intensive reading seminar on the political approaches to the study of comparative politics, student get acquainted with the key epistemological and methodological writings that have formed the basic inquiry known today as comparative politics.

GRS PO 760 Problems and Issues of Contemporary Africa
The range of problems selected for emphasis varies from year to year but has recurrently encompassed such issues as governance, state-society relations, the ambiguities of independence, nation building, and democratization, the role of the military, the incidence of religion and ethnicity, the problematics of grass roots participation, mobilization, class consciousness, civil society, and electoral systems.