POL SCI 119

Special Studies in Political Theory

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PROFESSORS

Kye Barker See Full Profile

Overall 5.0 Easiness 5.0 Workload 5.0 Clarity 5.0 Helpfulness 5.0

Most Helpful Review

Barker is a fantastic educator! The focus for this quarter was Environmental Political Theory, which was really interesting. The grade in the class was measured by three 3-4 page essays as well as discussion posts due each Friday, except on the weeks that papers were due. The prompts for the papers were very straightforward as long as you paid attention during the lectures (which were recorded and uploaded to the class website) where he discusses the assigned readings. All of the readings were posted online for free and were relatively short, very interesting, and (mostly) easy to understand. For the more challenging and/or longer material, Barker did an especially great job of breaking them down and focusing on the most important aspects. He also has a great personality and was very responsive to emails! Additionally, because of the ongoing pandemic, Barker kept an open line of communication for us through a Google Form where he gave us the opportunity to rate various aspects of the course and anonymously submit suggestions/concerns/etc. throughout the quarter if we weren't comfortable emailing him about them. Lastly, he was very understanding about the news of police violence/BLM protests towards the end of the quarter and adjusted the final paper so that it was optional and no-harm, meaning it didn't count against our grade if we chose to submit it and did poorly. Overall, Barker is an amazing professor and I definitely recommend taking a class with him during your time at UCLA!

Spring Quarter 2020
Elizabeth Barringer Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Elizabeth Barringer See Full Profile

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John Branstetter See Full Profile

Overall 4.8 Easiness 3.8 Workload 3.8 Clarity 4.8 Helpfulness 5.0

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There are two sets of assignments in this class. You need to do 10 journals by week 6 and the other 10 by week 11. Each individual journal has to be 400-500 words long. For the first set, I got 100/100 and I did them in a span of three days. You have 5-6 weeks to do each so please do not risk yourself as I did. I just got lucky I guess. For the second set, I got an 88/100 and I think this was due to the fact that I did not do the last two journals as the professor made them optional. I did the last set in a span of two days so I ran out of time to do the last two. I think I would have ended with an A+ if I had done these two optional statement journals but oh well, I don't plan to go to law school anyway. Do not procrastinate like I did guys and you might end with an A+. Also, I do not think he gives A-. He only gives an A+, A, B+ and so on. Good luck guys!

Fall Quarter 2020
Stephen Cucharo See Full Profile

Overall 5.0 Easiness 4.0 Workload 4.0 Clarity 5.0 Helpfulness 5.0

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This was a class on Fascism, and this professor was great. He had engaging lectures and understood the density of the material, so he spent a great deal of time going over the readings and going into more depth using his own knowledge base. Assignments included two 3 page reading "memos" both worth 20% of your grade and very fairly graded. Participation was 20% of your grade, and the final was 40%. We were given 5 questions and had to choose 1, and write 5-6 pages on it. Overall I loved this class, the professor and his energy and teaching style, and would gladly take another course with him.

Summer Quarter 2020
Megan Gallagher Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Megan Gallagher See Full Profile

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Emily Hallock Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Emily Hallock See Full Profile

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Kirstie McClure Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Kirstie McClure See Full Profile

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John McCumber Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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John McCumber See Full Profile

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Anthony Pagden See Full Profile

Overall 5.0 Easiness 2.3 Workload 2.4 Clarity 4.4 Helpfulness 4.1

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Professor Pagden is absolutely brilliant! I had initial qualms about taking this class, and sitting through the first lecture did not really help at all because he is so smart and talks a little too fast sometimes, that it just seems like his mind is all over the place!

But I'm glad that I decided to stick with this class-it was very interesting. The class is graded according to 2 papers- and he gives you several prompts for each paper topic that it's just very hard not to get an A in this class. Just pick one that suits you best!

I think that one of the ngatives of this course was the reading-it was a little difficult to understand. However, Professor Pagden does go through the important points during lecture, so I would recommend going to lecture so you know what to write your paper on... he also doesn't post the lecture slides online either, so bring a laptop to class and take good notes!!

But overall, wonderful professor. Now that I graduated from UCLA with a polisci degree, I can look back and say that he is one of the most knowledgeble and best professors I had here in my four years.

June 23, 2009
Nahshon Perez See Full Profile

Overall 3.8 Easiness 2.0 Workload 1.8 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness 3.0

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Course: PS 119- Politics and Human Rights in Israel

Prof. Perez is a good professor, but I wouldn't rate him up there with the best. He's very knowledgeable about the subject (Israeli Politics), but can be somewhat hard to follow in lecture. He hardly ever writes anything on the board, speaks in an accident, doesn't post lecture slides online, and talks pretty fast. That being said, he makes himself available in office hours, and enjoys student participation. He has always been open to hearing students' opinions, even though he may not necessarily agree with you.

The course itself was very reading-intensive. More so than any other class I've taken here. We were assigned about 60-100 pages of PDF reading each week, and an additional 120 pages or so for the midterm and paper. I found it impossible to do it all (the supplemental reading for the midterm/paper basically forces you to get behind on the normal assigned reading), and think I would have learned more had I had time to digest what I was reading rather than constantly struggling to do it all. I think this part of the class was kindof overkill, and something that Prof. Perez will hopefully improve in the future. That being said, the reading was usually at least moderately interesting, so it wasn't boring; just a lot in volume.

Also, do not take this class if you don't think you can be awake enough to follow along at 8 am. For the aforementioned reasons, you really do have to pay attention in lecture, and he will call you out if you arrive late, leave early, or fall asleep. It has already happened 2 or 3 times this quarter.

Lastly, I will warn future students that this class is pretty challenging if you don't know anything about Israeli politics. The country is very complex politically and religiously, something I underestimated coming into the class. I feel that I've learned a lot, and I'm happy I took the course. But, do not count on it being an easy A. Kudos to the student below me for earning an A+; based on my conversations with my classmates, that's a rarity in this course.

In short: Take this class if only if you're truly interested in the subject. If you take it because you have a passion for learning about Israel, and think the benefits of doing so will outweigh an easy-A grade, take it. Professor Perez will show you an interesting side of democracy. If you're looking for an A without much work, definitely look elsewhere.

Dec. 4, 2009
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