POLS 100. Visions of Justice 3 sem hrs
Examines different philosophical, literary, and
technological visions of a just society from Plato’s
Republic to the present.
Includes discussion of freedom, equality, revolution, and “the good life.”
POLS 103G. American Politics 3 sem hrs
A study of the constitutional foundations, political
processes, and institutions of American government on the national, state, and
local level. Also focuses on current and perennial issues in domestic and
POLS 120. Film and Politics
3 sem hrs
Film and visual images can help us
understand contemporary politics. The film industry is often influenced by
larger political forces and it has been used by governments to propagate
particular ideologies. Films, documentaries and television programs often shape
the public’s perception of politics. The course will examine both the politics
of movie making and politics in the movies. Each time the course is taught it
will focus on themes such as the American presidency, elections and campaigns,
law and order, war and terrorism, race, class and gender, civil rights and
POLS 200G. Introduction to Comparative
Politics 3 sem hrs
Examines diverse forms of
national politics, including industrialized democracies, communist regimes, and
developing nations. Also examines the basic conceptual and methodological tools
of comparative political inquiry.
POLS 202. Modern Japan 3 sem hrs
(Cross-listed as HIST 202) A study of the social,
economic, and political development of modern Japan, emphasizing Japanese
responses to problems posed by contacts with the West.
POLS 244. Religion
and Politics 3 sem hrs
(Cross-listed as RELG 244) The
“secularization” thesis prevailed among the social scientists during the 1950s
and 1960s. This thesis assumed that under the influence of industrialization,
urbanization, and modernization, religion will become less important in the
public and the private spheres. The emergence of highly politicized religious
movements have posed a severe challenge to the secularization thesis. In this
course, we will explore the relationship between religion and politics by
examining contemporary movements such as the Christian Right in the U.S. Hindu
fundamentalism in India and political Islam in the Middle East and South Asia.
POLS 245. The
Politics of Developing Nations 3 sem hrs
A study of selected developing
nations and the problems posed by rapid political and economic development.
Topics include: leadership strategies, the impact of modernization on
traditional cultures, and the role of political ideology.
POLS 250. Special
Topics 2–4 sem hrs
POLS 270G. Introduction to International
Relations 3 sem hrs
A study of global and regional
relationships, including state and non-state actors. Explores the influence of
nationalism, economic rivalry, power politics, and international organizations
on global behavior. Also explores the nature and causes of war.
POLS 295. The Politics of Criminal Justice 3 sem hrs
This course explores the central
concepts, institutions, policies, and controversies of criminal justice in the
United States. Included are components on police work, courts, corrections, and
the formulation of criminal justice policy. Students will be encouraged to
develop a “nuts and bolts” familiarity with day-to-day practices of criminal
justice in the U.S., a philosophical understanding of criminal justice as an
ideal, and the critical skills needed to make a meaningful comparison between
the ideal and current practices.
POLS 310. Issues
Seminar 3 sem hrs
Provides an up-to-date look at
emerging local, state, national, and international issues as well as emerging
scholarly perspectives in political science. Joins attentiveness to the latest
“news” with current analytical tools of the profession. Includes organization of
at least one debate open to the campus. This course could be repeated for
POLS 311. Parties and Elections 3 sem hrs
A study of American parties
and elections as well as the problems faced by candidates for public office.
Students are expected to participate in current political campaigns. Offered in
POLS 320. The United States Congress 3 sem hrs
This course will broadly examine the legislative branch
of the United States government. Topics will include: congressional elections,
the legislative process, committees, inter-branch negotiations, and spatial
theories of voting. The roles of Congress in our political system are twofold:
to represent the interests and concerns of the citizenry; and to make law and
policy for the nation—to “govern.” In addition to describing how Congress goes
about these roles, we want to analyze them. How does representation affect
governance? How has Congress developed over time? What is its relationship to
other branches of government, especially to the presidency? How does the
organization of Congress shape the behavior of its members? The answers to these
questions, and more, will be discovered in this course.
POLS 321. The American Presidency 3 sem hrs
This course takes a detailed look at various aspects of
the American presidency. It examines, among other things, the history of the
presidency, the extent of presidential powers relative to presidential
responsibilities, the relation of the president to congress, the performance of
presidents relative to public expectations, and the future of the presidency. It
also focuses on the living history of the presidency through close attention to
POLS 333. U.S. Foreign Policy 3 sem hrs
Introduces students to the history of American foreign
policy as well as key issues, concepts, and debates in the field. Includes
examination of the policy-making process and key figures who have made their
mark on U.S. foreign policy. Pays special attention to the transition from the
Cold War era to that of the “new world order.”
POLS 350. Judicial Process 3 sem hrs
This class is the study of the state and federal court
systems and the impact which those systems have on American politics.
POLS 351. Constitutional Law: Institutional
Powers and Restraints 3 sem hrs
This class will develop an understanding of the case law
related to the powers of the judiciary, legislature, and president. There is
also an extensive look at the relationship between these branches and between
the national government and the states.
POLS 352. Civil Liberties 3 sem hrs
Introduction to the philosophical bases and historical
development of constitutional civil liberties. Substantial emphasis is placed on
the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Bill of Rights. Investigation of cases
dealing with the First Amendment and the right to privacy is especially
POLS 366. International
Organizations 3 sem hrs
This course examines the role of international
organizations in world politics. It begins with a historical perspective,
looking at the evolution of international organizations from the end of the
nineteenth century to the present. It then looks at various theoretical
approaches to international organizations. The course closes with case studies
of the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund.
POLS 375. Environmental
Politics 3 sem hrs
An analysis of environmental politics and policy on the
national and international levels. Features an emphasis on case studies.
POLS 395. Constitutional Issues 3 sem hrs
A study of current constitutional issues in light of
constitutional history, philosophical principles, and our ever-changing
POLS 397. States and Markets 3 sem hrs
Through an integration of perspectives and most recent
research from the four main areas of political science—comparative politics,
international relations, American politics and political philosophy—this course
will examine the shifting relationship between political authority and the
economy. Open to juniors and seniors.
POLS 409. The Supreme Court 3 sem hrs
This course is intended to provide insight into the
workings of the United States Supreme Court. We will cover subjects that
include, but are not limited to: how justices are chosen to sit upon the court;
the reasons why the Supreme Court makes the decisions it does; and the impact of
the Supreme Court on the political and legal landscape in the United States.
POLS 411. Political Philosophy from Plato to the
Present 3 sem hrs
(Cross-listed as PHIL 411) A historical survey and
philosophical analysis of political philosophy from ancient Greece to the
present. Includes works by Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke,
Rousseau, Marx, and Mill.
POLS 414. American Political Thought 3 sem hrs
Examines ideas, themes, and debates at the center of
American political discourse as it has evolved since colonial times. Students
will be asked to apply the course material to contemporary politics and society.
POLS 415. Senior Seminar 4 sem hrs
Concentrated study of an issue in political science.
Students deal in depth with substantive and methodological problems associated
with the subject area. Open to juniors and seniors.
POLS 420. Independent Study or Internship 1–4 sem hrs
Includes selected readings, research, written reports,
conferences, and/or work with government officials as arranged with the
instructor. Prerequisite: Junior standing.