Political Science | Intro to The Study of Politics
Y570 | 12237 | Scheuerman


This course is the core seminar in the graduate program in political
science. Its main purpose is to provide Ph.D. students with a basic
introduction to three seemingly straightforward but foundational
questions for all political scientists: What is power, and how best
can we study it? What is the modern state, where does it come from,
and where is it going? Last but by no means least: what is science,
and how best can we pursue it? Of course, political scientists and
their allies have tackled many other important issues. Nonetheless,
these three have remained central to the discipline since its
inception over a century ago. Presumably, they will remain so in the
future as well. Students can expect to leave the course with an
overview of some of the most fruitful attempts to answer them, as
well as useful practical knowledge about the discipline and its
history, as well as the competing analytic and methodological
approaches scholars have employed in trying to answer them.
Hopefully, the materials discussed in the seminar will prove useful
as you pursue your graduate course work and then write a
dissertation. An implicit assumption underlying the organization of
the seminar is that the best way to garner a sense of the strengths
and weaknesses of competing approaches to political inquiry is by
engaging those key questions most political scientists tackle either
directly or indirectly.