By Joe Pickett, OCW Publication Director

In this post, we continue our Greatest Hits series, highlighting here the most visited OCW courses from the departments of Political Science and Global Studies and Languages.

As with other departments, introductory courses get the most visits.

Photo of a wooden gavel on a tabletop.

(Photo courtesy of Daniel Bersak.)

Political Science

  • 17.03 Introduction to Political Thought taught by Sarah Song
    “This course examines major texts in the history of political thought and the questions they raise about the design of the political and social order. It considers the ways in which thinkers have responded to the particular political problems of their day, and the ways in which they contribute to a broader conversation about human goods and needs, justice, democracy, and the proper relationship of the individual to the state.”
  • 17.158 Political Economy of Western Europe taught by Professor Suzanne Berger
    “This course examines the role of European states in postwar period of rapid economic growth and current crisis. Includes analysis of different state traditions (“etatist,” liberal, authoritarian); government’s role in decline of some economies and rise of others; why and where Keynesianism, indicative planning, and state enterprises were introduced; alternative conceptions of contemporary economic problems . . . and of policies to deal with them.”
  • 17.881 Game Theory and Political Theory taught by Professor James Snyder
    “This course aims to give students an entry-level understanding of the basic concepts of game theory, and how these concepts have been applied to the study of political phenomena. Because an important component of game theory in political science and political economy is the analysis of substantive political phenomena, we will cover illustrative examples each week in combination with methodological developments. The political and economic phenomena that we will examine include legislative rules, nuclear deterrence, electoral competition, and imperfect markets.”
  • 17.20 Introduction to American Politics taught by Professor Devin Caughey
    “This course provides a substantive overview of U.S. politics and an introduction to the discipline of political science. It surveys the institutional foundations of U.S. politics as well as the activities of political elites, organizations, and ordinary citizens. It also explores the application of general political science concepts and analytic frameworks to specific episodes and phenomena in U.S. politics.”
  • 17.000J Political Philosophy: Global Justice taught by Professors Joshua Cohen, Thomas Scanlon, and Amartya Sen
    “This course explores the foundations and content of norms of justice that apply beyond the borders of a single state. We examine issues of political justice, economic justice, and human rights. Topics include the case for skepticism about global justice; the idea of global democracy; intellectual property rights; the nature of distributive justice at the global level; pluralism and human rights; and rights to control borders.”

Photo of a Japanese temple gate with red-leaved maple tree out front.

(Photo courtesy of eien no dreamer on Flickr. CC-BY-NC-SA.)

Global Studies and Languages

  • 21G.701 Spanish I taught by Margueritas Ribas Groeger and Solivia Márquez
    “This course deals with all basic language skills: aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. This class assumes no previous knowledge of Spanish . . . The central component of the text and workbook is a series of 26 half-hour video episodes. The videos allow students to learn authentic Spanish and experience its cultural diversity while following a good story full of surprises and human emotions. Students also listen to an audio-only program integrated with the text and workbook. In the classroom, students do a variety of activities and exercises, which include talking in Spanish about the video program, practicing pronunciation and grammar, and interacting in Spanish with classmates in pairs and small groups.”
  • 21G.501 Japanese I taught by Masami Ikeda-Lamm and Yoshimi Nagaya
    “The main objective of this course is to build up four basic skills in Japanese: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students will acquire the basic understanding of the Japanese language structures as well as learning kana and some kanji, the Japanese characters. It is important to keep in mind that you are expected to develop the ability to communicate in the Japanese language appropriately in the given social situations. Therefore, you will be given a lot of oral practices aiming at cultivating active command of Japanese.”
  • 21G.223 Listening, Speaking, and Pronouncing taught by Isaiah WonHo Yoo
    “This course is designed for high-intermediate ESL students who need to develop better listening comprehension and oral skills, which will primarily be achieved by detailed instructions on pronunciation. Our focus will be on (1) producing accurate and intelligible English, (2) becoming more comfortable listening to rapidly spoken English, and (3) learning common expressions, gambits, and idioms used in both formal and informal contexts.”
  • 21G.101 Chinese I (Regular) taught by Dr. Haohsiang Liao
    “This subject is the first semester of four that forms an introduction to modern standard Chinese, commonly called Mandarin, the language with the largest number of native speakers in the world . . . The course presupposes no prior background in the language. Course objectives are to master Mandarin pronunciation, including the recognition and writing of Pinyin romanization, basic reading and writing skills . . . and to develop the ability to participate in simple, practical conversations on everyday topics.” This course features video Instructor Insights in both English and Chinese in which Dr. Liao explains how he teaches.
  • 21G.301 French I taught by Cathy Culot, Gilberte Furstenberg, Johann Sadock, Laura Ceia-Minjares, and Sabine Levet
    “This is an introductory course that is conducted entirely in French. The goals for this semester are: to be able to understand, speak, write and read in the present, future and past tenses; to be able to write short compositions without the use of a dictionary; to become acquainted with French and Francophone customs, history and civilization on a simple scale; and to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for your own culture as well as others’.”