POL S 405 A: Advanced Seminar In American Politics

Meeting Time: 
TTh 10:30am - 12:20pm
MGH 278
Chris Parker
Christopher Sebastian Parker

Syllabus Description:

Political Science 405B

Advanced Seminar: Right-Wing Movements

Winter 2017


Instructor: C. Parker

Office: 112 Gowen Hall

Office Hours: by appointment.

Phone: 543.2947

Email: csparker@uw.edu

GUG 204: T-TH (1030-1220)


Course Description


We know lots about left-wing movements. The importance of the Women’s Movement, the Labor Movement, and the Civil Rights Movement are well known. Each went a long ways toward making good on an important part of the American dream: equality. We know precious little, however, when it comes to right-wing movements. Where left-wing movements work toward the expansion of democracy, right-wing movements work to contract it. Consider the Know Nothing Party, the Ku Klux Klan, the John Birch Society, and now, the Tea Party. Each of these movements claim to represent the concerns of “real Americans,” people who are “true patriots.” If this is the case, why do they work so hard to subvert the values they purport to revere? What, in other words, motivates the membership and supporters of right-wing movements to refuse to honor the principles on which their beloved country was founded? If your first impulse, as students, is to believe these people are crazy, let me assure you they’re not. This course will explain why your impulse is wrong, and why this should concern you. 


Course requirements


In lieu of a midterm, you must complete a one-page, single-spaced critique for each of the topics covered in the course. The assignments are due at the beginning of each class on the last day we cover the topic. It shall be a single-spaced, critical assessment of one or more of the readings, accounting for 25% of the course grade. Class participation accounts for another 25%; and an in-class final is worth the remaining 50% of your grade.


Required Texts


Hofstadter, R. 1963. Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. New York: Vintage Books.

____________.1965. The Paranoid Style in American Politics. New York: Vintage Books.

MaClean. N. 1994. Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan. New York: Oxford University Press.

Parker, C. and M. Barreto. 2013. Change They Can’t Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America. Princeton: Princeton University Press.  

Robin, C. 2011. The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin. New York: Oxford University Press.

Skocpol, T., and V. Williamson. 2011. The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism. Mew York: Oxford University Press.


Note: (Reserve) indicates that the designated reading may be accessed on the UW Library site associated with the class. Also, (Book) means that the entire book is to be read. Finally, (Due) indicates the due date of the one-page paper.



Catalog Description: 
Intensive reading and research in selected problems or fields of political analysis.
Department Requirements: 
American Politics Field
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
January 10, 2018 - 9:36pm