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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

John Higley

Professor Emeritus Ph.D., University of Connecticut

John Higley

Contact

Biography

Professor Higley's interests include general comparative politics, political sociology, and the comparative study of political elites. He has written extensively about elite theory and analysis. Having been chair of the Government Dept. between 2001- 2006, he is currently chair of the International Political Science Association's Research Committee on Political Elites. As director of the Edward A. Clark Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies, which Professor Higley founded in 1988, he also writes about domestic, security, foreign and trade policy issues in those countries and how they affect U.S. relations with them (e.g., Elites in Australia, 1979; The Challenge of NAFTA: North America, Australia, New Zealand, and the World Trade Regime, 1993; "Australia: The Politics of Becoming a Republic," 2000; "The U.S.-Australia Alliance: An American Political Perspective," 2006).

Recent Publications:
Elites and Democratic Consolidation in Latin America and Southern Europe, 1992; Elites, Crises, and the Origins of Regimes, 1998; Post-communist Elites and Democracy in Eastern Europe, 1998;  Elites after State Socialism, 2000; Elite Foundations of Liberal Democracy, 2006.

Interests

Comparative Politics, Political Sociology, Political Elites

GOV 355M • Political Sociology

38735 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 301
(also listed as SOC 320K )
show description

Description: Political sociology relates major political continuities and changes to three main determinants: (1) relatively autonomous and contingent choices and actions of political elites; (2) relatively fixed political orientations, discontents, and proclivities of mass publics; (3) ideologies and doctrines that shape elite and mass views of political possibilities. In the context of a general theory of elites, mass publics, and politics, Part I examines the elite foundations of stable and unstable democratic regimes and takes stock of democratic advances and setbacks in today’s world; Part II focuses on mass publics and revolutions, especially fascist revolutions, during the modern historical period; Part III concentrates on how political projects of Western, especially American, elites and mass publics have been molded by apocalyptic religious and secular utopian beliefs and what the “death of utopia” portends. With a primary, but also skeptical, focus on democracy, this course canvases modern historical and contemporary politics and societies worldwide.

Requirements: Three in-class hour examinations, each worth 33.3% of the final grade. There will be no final examination. The hour examinations will be essay, short-answer, and multiple-choice in format. Class attendance will be crucial for examination performance, and students who anticipate missing more than two or three classes are advised not to enroll. Likewise, reading and absorbing the three assigned books will be crucial, with roughly half of each examination concentrating on the relevant book’s content. Students unwilling to read the three relatively sophisticated but compact books are advised not to enroll. The instructor reserves the right to curve hour examination and final grades in order to secure a reasonable grade profile for the course.

Books in the order assigned:John Higley and Michael Burton, Elite Foundations of Liberal Democracy. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers 2006 (paperback).Robert O. Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism. Vintage Books 2005 (paperback).John Gray, Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia. Farrar Straus Giroux 2008 (paperback).

GOV 365N • Polit In Australia/New Zealand

38810 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm BUR 130
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Description: Australia is the principal democratic, economic, and military power in the Southwest Pacific. Inhabited originally and for some 50,000 years by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Australia was settled by Europeans, mainly British, at the start of the nineteenth century, after which it consisted of six distinct British colonies that federated voluntarily in 1901 to form the independent Commonwealth of Australia. With a multi-ethnic and multi-racial population of 22 million dispersed across a continent nearly the size of the lower 48 US states, Australia has been a key US ally since World War II. It is an important economic and political actor in the entire Asia Pacific region, with strong trading links to China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, the Philippines, and, increasingly, India. This course will seek to accomplish three principal goals: (1) provide a succinct overview of Australia’s history and constitutional development; (2) examine Australia’s political institutions, party politics, and major public policies, such as energy, immigration, and health care; (3) consider Australia’s foreign policy dilemmas and challenges, mainly vis-à-vis Southeast Asia and China, at present and in the foreseeable future. Throughout the course, Australia will be compared and contrasted with Texas, the United States, and the other Anglo-American democracies – Britain, Canada, and New Zealand.  

 

 

Requirements: (1) Three in-class hour examinations, each worth 33.3% of the final grade. There will be no final examination. The examination format will be a combination of essay, short-answer, and multiple-choice questions. Attending lectures will be crucial for examination performance, and students who anticipate missing more than two or three classes are advised not to enroll. Likewise, reading and absorbing assigned books will be important, with roughly half of each examination concentrating on the relevant book’s content. Students unwilling to read three relatively compact books about Australia are advised not to enroll. The instructor reserves the right to curve final grades in order to achieve a reasonable overall grade profile for the course.

 

 

Texts:* Stuart Macintyre, A Concise History of Australia. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009 (3nd edition). * The instructor is currently searching for two compact and inexpensive books dealing with  Australia’s public and foreign policies. He anticipates locating these when in Australia late this spring and to have them available for purchase in the Co-op by September. The course’s first month will, in any event, center on the above-listed Concise History, should students wish to begin reading in advance of the course’s start.   

GOV 355M • Political Sociology

38555 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 301
(also listed as SOC 320K )
show description

Meets with GOV 355/38555

Description: Political sociology relates major political continuities and changes to three main determinants: (1) relatively autonomous and contingent choices and actions of political elites; (2) relatively fixed political orientations, discontents, and proclivities of mass publics; (3) ideologies and doctrines that shape elite and mass views of political possibilities. In the context of a general theory of elites, mass publics, and politics, Part I examines the elite foundations of stable and unstable democratic regimes and takes stock of democratic advances and setbacks in today’s world; Part II focuses on mass publics and revolutions, especially fascist revolutions, during the modern historical period; Part III concentrates on how political projects of Western, especially American, elites and mass publics have been molded by apocalyptic religious and secular utopian beliefs and what the “death of utopia” portends. With a primary, but also skeptical, focus on democracy, this course canvases modern historical and contemporary politics and societies worldwide.

 

Requirements: Three in-class hour examinations, each worth 33.3% of the final grade. There will be no final examination. The hour examinations will be essay, short-answer, and multiple-choice in format. Class attendance will be crucial for examination performance and students who anticipate missing more than two classes are advised not to enroll. The instructor reserves the right to curve hour examination and final grades in order to secure a reasonable grade profile for the course.

 

Texts in the order they will be assigned:

John Higley and Michael Burton, Elite Foundations of Liberal Democracy. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers 2006 (paperback).

Robert O. Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism. Vintage Books 2005 (paperback).

John Gray, Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia. Farrar Straus Giroux 2008 (paperback).

GOV 365N • Polit In Australia/New Zealand

38655 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm BUR 130
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Course Description:

Australia is the principal democratic, economic, and military power in the Southwest Pacific and Southeast Asia. Inhabited originally by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Australia was settled by Europeans at the start of the nineteenth century, after which it consisted of six distinct British colonies that federated voluntarily in 1901 to form the independent Commonwealth of Australia. With a multi-ethnic and multi-racial population of 21 million dispersed across a continent nearly the size of the U.S., Australia has been a key US ally since World War II. It is an important economic and political actor in the entire Asia Pacific region, with strong trading links to China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, the Philippines, and, increasingly, India and South Asia. After providing students with an overview of Australia’s history and constitutional development, this course focuses on contemporary Australian political institutions, party politics, major public policy domains, and international relations. Throughout, Australia will be compared and contrasted with the other Anglo-American democracies.  

Grading Policy/Requirements: (1) Two in-class hour examinations, each worth 30% of the final grade; (2) A 10-12 page research paper, worth 40% of the final grade, and analyzing a facet of Australia’s history, political institutions, public policies, or international relations, perhaps compared/contrasted with the U.S. There will be no final examination. Hour examination format will be a combination of essay, short-answer, and multiple-choice questions. The instructor reserves the right to curve grades in order to achieve a reasonable overall grade profile for the course. Attending lectures will be crucial for examination and research paper performance, so students who anticipate missing more than two classes are advised not to enroll.

Texts:

Stuart Macintyre, A Concise History of Australia. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009 (3nd edition).

Andrew Parkin, John Summers, and Dennis Woodward, eds., Government, Politics, Power and Policy in Australia. Melbourne, Pearson/Longman Publishers, 2009 (9th edition).

GOV 355M • Political Sociology

39180 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 1100-1230pm PAR 201
(also listed as SOC 320K )
show description

Instructor: Prof. John Higley, Government & Sociology

Teaching Assistant: Julie Beicken, Sociology

Unique #’s: 46480 / 39180

Time & Place: 11.00-12.30 TTH, Parlin 201

Office hours: Higley:  Batts 4.154, Wednesdays 2.30-5.00 p.m.

                      Beicken: Burdine 554, Tuesdays 1.00-3.00 p.m.

E-mail: jhigley@austin.utexas.edu

             juliebeicken@gmail.com

 

Description: With a primary but also skeptical focus on democratization, this course canvases modern historical and contemporary politics and societies worldwide. It relates democratization to three broad determinants: (1) the relatively fixed political orientations of mass publics; (2) the relatively autonomous and contingent configurations of political elites; (3) the secular ideologies and apocalyptic beliefs that affect how elites and mass publics view political possibilities. Part I outlines a framework incorporating the three determinants; Part II takes stock of mass aspects of democratization and the main advances and setbacks it has recently undergone; Part III focuses on elite transformations that facilitate or inhibit democratization; Part IV considers the thesis of elite degeneration and era-ending crises in the U.S. and U.K. after 1980 and its portents for this century.

 

Requirements: There will be in-class hour examinations, each worth 25% of the final grade, on October 13 and November 10, and a three-hour final examination on Monday, December 14, 2.00-5.00 p.m., worth 50% of the final grade. The examinations will be essay, short-answer, and multiple-choice in format. Students who know they cannot sit for the December 14th final examination should not enroll because no alternative date will be allowed. Class attendance, though not obligatory, will be crucial to examination performance and students who anticipate missing more than two or three class meetings are strongly advised not to enroll. Final grades will be reported with the plus/minus grade system. The instructor reserves the right to curve examination and final grades in order to secure a reasonable grade profile for the course. Students using laptops in class meetings are asked to sit in rear classroom rows to avoid distracting others.

 

Texts (On  24-hour reserve at PCL with copies available for purchase at the Co-op) .

 

Larry Diamond, The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World. Times Books, 2008 (paperback).

 

John Gray, Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2007 (paperback).

 

John Higley and Michael Burton, Elite Foundations of Liberal Democracy. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers 2006 (paperback). 

Required University Notices and Policies

 

All faculty are required to provide students with a course syllabus by the first meeting day of all classes.

 

? University of Texas Honor Code

The core values of The University of Texas at Austin are learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility. Each member of the university is expected to uphold these values through integrity, honesty, trust, fairness, and respect toward peers and community.

 

? Use of E-Mail for Official Correspondence to Students

Email is recognized as an official mode of university correspondence; therefore, you are responsible for reading your email for university and course-related information and announcements. You are responsible to keep the university informed about changes to your e-mail address. You should check your e-mail regularly and frequently—I recommend daily, but at minimum twice a week—to stay current with university-related communications, some of which may be time-critical. You can find UT Austin’s policies and instructions for updating your e-mail address at http://www.utexas.edu/its/policies/ emailnotify.php.

 

? Documented Disability Statement

If you require special accommodations, you must obtain a letter that documents your disability from the Services for Students with Disabilities area of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (471-6259 voice or 471-4641 TTY for users who are deaf or hard of hearing). Present the letter to me at the beginning of the semester so we can discuss the accommodations you need. No later than five business days before an exam, you should remind me of any testing accommodations you will need. For more information, visit http://www.utexas.edu/

diversity/ddce/ssd/.

 

? Religious Holidays

By UT Austin policy, you must notify me of your pending absence at least fourteen days prior to the date of observance of a religious holy day. If you must miss a class, an examination, a work assignment, or a project in order to observe a religious holy day, I will give you an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence.

 

? Behavior Concerns Advice Line (BCAL)

If you are worried about someone who is acting differently, you may use the Behavior Concerns Advice Line to discuss by phone your concerns about another individual’s behavior. This service is provided through a partnership among the Office of the Dean of Students, the Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC), the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and The University of Texas Police Department (UTPD). Call 512-232-5050 or visit http://www.utexas.edu/safety/bcal.

 

? Emergency Evacuation Policy

Occupants of buildings on the UT Austin campus are required to evacuate and assemble outside when a fire alarm is activated or an announcement is made.  Please be aware of the following policies regarding evacuation:

  • Familiarize yourself with all exit doors of the classroom and the building. Remember that the nearest exit door may not be the one you used when you entered the building.
  • If you require assistance to evacuate, inform me in writing during the first week of class.
  • In the event of an evacuation, follow my instructions or those of class instructors.
  • Do not re-enter a building unless you’re given instructions by the Austin Fire Department, the UT Austin Police Department, or the Fire Prevention Services office.

 

 

 

 

Schedule of Lectures and Examinations

 

08/27   Introduction

 

            Political Sociology’s broad determinants: mass publics; political elites;        ideologies and beliefs. Some themes in this course.

 

Part I: A Framework for Political Sociology

 

09/01   Political Orientations and Behaviors of Mass Publics          

 

            How best to conceive of mass publics’ broad political orientations and behaviors?             Is there some universal value such as “democracy”?

           

            Reading: Diamond, Spirit, 1-38

 

09/03  Political Elites and Regimes

 

            Political elites defined. Types of elites and the political regimes each type creates;             origins and transformations of elite types and associated regimes.

           

            Reading: Higley & Burton, EFLD, 1-32

 

09/08  Apocalyptic Beliefs and Secular Ideologies

 

            The pursuit of millenarian and secular utopias before, during, and perhaps after      “The Age of Ideology,” roughly 1500-2000

 

            Reading: Gray, Black Mass, 1-35

 

09/10: The Framework Summarized

 

            How masses, elites, and beliefs limit what is possible in politics.

 

            Reading: Review assigned Diamond, Higley & Burton, and Gray chapters.

 

Part II: Democratization Yesterday and Today

 

09/15  The Modal Pattern of Politics

 

            The ubiquity of disunited elites and unstable, usually authoritarian regimes in         modern world history

 

            Reading: Higley & Burton, EFLD, 33-54

 

 

09/17: Waves and Reverse Waves of Democratization and their Ostensible Sources

 

            The three waves and two reverse waves of democratization. Is a third reverse         wave underway? The Pakistan example. Ostensible mass sources of            democratization: political culture, civil society, socioeconomic development, rule       of law, etc.

 

            Reading: Diamond, Spirit, 38-168

 

09/22: Democratization in Latin America: Generally Progressing?

 

            Three patterns: the Southern Cone, Andean, and Central American countries;

            Mexico’s travails; the Venezuelan regime.

 

            Reading: Diamond, Spirit, 171-189

 

09/24: Democratization in Eastern Europe: Taking Hold?

 

            “Roundtable democracy” in Poland, Hungary, ant the Czech Republic; more          halting democratizations elsewhere; Ukraine embattled; Russian autocracy?

 

            Reading: Diamond, Spirit, 190-206

 

09/29: Democratization in Asia: A Mish-Mash?

 

            Recognizably liberal democracy in Japan, the “Tigers,” Malaysia, India, and           perhaps Indonesia; illiberal democracy in Bangladesh, the Philippines, Sri Lanka,   and Thailand; public versus coordination goods in China, Singapore, and         Vietnam; no goods at all in North Korea.

 

            Reading: Diamond, Spirit, 208-237

 

10/01:  Democratization in Africa: Not Much Hope?

 

            Illiberal democracy in Kenya and Nigeria; “big men” and kleptocracy nearly           everywhere else, other than Senegal and Ghana, and perhaps Mozambique; the      complex situation in South Africa.

 

            Reading: Diamond, Spirit, 238-262

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10/06: Democratization in the Middle East: A Short Story?

 

            A toxic mix: petroleum, monarchy (crowned or uncrowned), and apocalyptic         religious belief; weakened theocracy in Iran; embattled democratic regimes in          Lebanon, Morocco, and Turkey; a word about the singular Israeli case.         

 

            Reading: Diamond, Spirit, 263-290

 

10/08: Review of Parts I & II

 

10/13: FIRST HOUR EXAMINATION

 

Part II: Elite Transformations and Democratization

 

10/15: Leveling Revolutions as Elite Transformations

 

            The classic cases: England 1648-49, France 1789-94, Russia 1917-21; the  Mexican, Chinese, Cuban and Vietnamese variants. Are leveling revolutions any     longer likely?

 

            Reading: Gray, Black Mass, 36-55

 

10/20: Anti-Leveling Revolutions as Elite Transformations

 

            The Italian and German fascist/Nazi cases and their echoes in Austria,        Hungary, and elsewhere; Fascism: a peculiarity of the interwar period? How to      classify Iran’s             theocratic revolution?

 

            Reading: Gray, Black Mass, 55-73

 

10/22: Origins of Liberal Democracy: Elite Settlements

 

            The dynamics of elite settlements and formations of consensually united elites

            operating stable representative regimes, with special attention to the watershed

            elite settlements in England, 1688-89 and Spain 1976-78.

 

            Reading: Higley & Burton, EFLD, 55-106

 

10/27: Origins of Liberal Democracy: Colonial Experience

 

            The experience of relatively benign home rule and unifying struggles for      independence, with special attention to the Anglo-American and Indian cases;

            origins that are no longer possible?

 

            Reading: Higley & Burton, EFLD, 107-138

 

 

 

10/29: Origins of Liberal Democracy: Elite Convergences

 

            Dynamics of elites in prospering countries with competitive elections; the

            paradigmatic French and Italian cases, 1960-1980; the West German and

            Japanese variants; were convergences limited to the Cold War and robust

            European Union years?

 

            Reading: Higley & Burton, EFLD, 139-180

 

11/03: Elite Transformations and Democratization in the 21st Century

 

            The persistence of disunited elites and unstable regimes; the finite persistence of    ideologically united elites and stable unrepresentative regimes and likely result of   their breakdown; can the few consensually united elites and stable            representative             regimes in developing countries persist?

 

            Reading: Higley & Burton, EFLD, 181-194

 

11/05: Review of Part III

 

11/10: SECOND HOUR EXAMINATION

 

Part IV: The Thesis of Elite Degeneration in the U.K. and U.S.

 

11/12: Do Ruling Elites Inevitably Degenerate?

 

            Pareto’s theory of leonine and vulpine ruling elites and their degenerations;             leonine elite rule and neo-liberalism’s ascendancy under Thatcher and Blair and      the crisis of 2008-09 in the U.K.

           

            Reading: Gray, Black Mass, 74-106

 

11/17: Neo-Conservatism and Elite Degeneration in the U.S.

 

            Leonine elite rule and neo-conservatism’s ascendancy under Reagan, the two          Bushes, and Clinton and the crisis of 2008-09 in the U.S.

           

            Reading: Gray, Black Mass, 107-145

 

 

 

 

 

 

11/19: Whither the “War on Terror”?

 

            Al Queda et al.: mortal threat or nuisance? Iraq’s desert and Afghanistan’s

            mountains.

 

            Reading: Gray, Black Mass, 146-183

 

11/24: An Intractable 21st-Century World?

 

            Machiavelli’s teachings and those of elite theory; has a new cycle of ruling elites    begun in the U.S. and U.K.? 

           

            Reading: Gray, Black Mass, 184-210

 

11/26: Thanksgiving holiday

 

12/01: Review of Part IV

 

12/03: Review of Entire Course

 

12/14: FINAL EXAMINATION: 2:00-5:00 P.M. (Room t.b.a.)

 

 

Supplementary Readings and Reference Sources

 

T. Janoski, R. Alford, A. Hicks, & M. Schwartz, eds., The Handbook of Political Sociology. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005 (paperback).

 

S.M. Lipset, ed., The Encyclopedia of Democracy. Washington: Congressional Quarterly Press, 1995 (4 vols.).

 

J. A. Goldstone, ed., The Encyclopedia of Political Revolutions. Washington: Congressional Quarterly Press, 1998.

 

E. Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914-1991. New York: Pantheon, 1994 (paperback).

 

S.P. Huntington, The Third Wave. Norman OK: Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1991 (paperback).

 

T. Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945. New York: Penguin, 2004 (paperback)

 

D.S. Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations. New York: Norton, 1998.

 

J. Linz, Robert Michels, Political Sociology, and the Future of Democracy. New Brunswick NJ: Transaction Books, 2006.

 

J. Linz, Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2000 (paperback).

 

J. Linz & A. Stepan. Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995 (paperback).

 

N. Machiavelli, The Prince and Other Writings. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2003 (paperback).

 

R. Michels, Politcal Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of

Modern Democracy. New York: Collier Books, 1915/1962.

 

G. Mosca, The Ruling Class. New York: McGraw Hill, 1923/1939.

 

J. Mueller, The Remnants of War. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004 (paperback).

 

V. Pareto. The Mind and Society: Treatise on General Sociology. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co. 1916/1935 (4 vols.).

 

R.O. Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism. New York: Knopf, 2004 (paperback).

 

G. Sartori, The Theory of Democracy Revisited. Chatham NJ: Chatham House, 1987 (paperback).

 

F. Zakaria, The Future of Freedom. New York: Pantheon Books 2003 (paperback).

 

 

             

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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