This course is no longer offered

12009 Approaches to the Study of Politics 1

Credits: 3 graduate credits in Democracy Studies / Society and Politics

Prerequisites: Democracy: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Israeli Democracy: Selected Issues, Contemporary Democratic Theories; and exemption from bibliographic assignments on computer searches in the “Alef” catalog and databases.

The course presents a critical overview of the variety of approaches to political science and demonstrates that research approaches do not have only an operational dimension, but are strongly related to fundamental decisions concerning the essence of human behavior and to an understanding of the nature of modern science.

The course is based on a series of articles presenting different approaches, critical articles about specific approaches and review articles.

Topics: Characteristics of the behavioral approach and critiques of the approach; Politics as a system of inputs and outputs: the systems approach, the functional approach, the cybernetic communication approach; Politics as “rational” behavior: game theory, politics as an economic market; The psychological approach and its variants; Marxist critique; Leo Strauss’ critique.

1Students who took Approaches to the Study of Politics (10375) as part of their undergraduate studies may not take this course.