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Courses: Political Science (POLS)

Undergraduate Bulletin
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Undergraduate & Graduate Dates to Remember*

Fall Term 2009

August 26-30 Wolfpack Welcome
August 31 Classes begin
September 4
Add deadline
October 30 Last day to withdraw & last day
to apply for graduation
December 11 Last day of classes
December 12-18 Final Exams

Spring Term 2010

January 8 New Student Orientation
January 11 Classes begin
January 15 Add deadline
March 12 Last day to withdraw & last day to apply for graduation
April 28 Last day of classes
April 30 - May 6 Final Exams
May 8 Commencement - all colleges

*College of Law dates on Law Bulletin

Social Sciences

POLS A100 Introduction to American Government 3 crs.

Structure, development, powers, and limits of the federal government are discussed.

POLS A200 European and Comparative Government I 3 crs.

This course discusses comparative political theory and exploration of cross national categories for political analysis. Discussions involve: Great Britain–origin of British constitution; the Crown, Parliament, etc., and France–heritage of the revolution and subsequent political structures; emphasis on politics of the fifth republic. The British and French systems will be compared.

POLS A201 European and Comparative Government II 3 crs.

Topics covered concern Germany from 1871 to present; the background to the 1917 Communist Revolution in Russia; and Lenin, Stalin, and the Russian government today. An introduction to Chinese politics is included.

POLS A210 Introduction to Administrative Process 3 crs.

This course introduces the nature and role of public administration in contemporary America. Emphasis is on values and political influences which shape modern administration.

POLS A211 The American Presidency 3 crs.

This course is an examination of the American presidency in American government and politics. Emphasis is on interaction between the chief executive and other main national policy-makers, Congress, and the Supreme Court. The nature of presidential leadership, its development, and influence of personality on growth of the office receive special attention.

POLS A212 The Legislative Process 3 crs.

National, state, and local legislatures as lawmaking and political bodies are discussed with emphasis on the U.S. Congress. The course also concerns the legislative process including procedures, performance, and the role of the executive and parties and interest groups.

POLS A213 American Political Thought 3 crs.

This course is a roughly chronological survey of basic themes in American political thought, beginning with the 17th-century European origins of American political thought and extending to modern attempts to strike a balance between individual rights and social needs.

POLS A215 Introduction to State and Local Politics 3 crs.

This course examines the role of the states and localities in the American federal system. Emphasis is on political cultures and styles, policy-making institutions, and the changes reshaping their place in American government.

POLS A216 Politics of Race and Ethnicity 3 crs.

This course examines the significance of race and ethnicity in American politics, beginning with a historical look at early immigrant groups in the political system and then focusing on the experiences of particular groups today, including African-Americans, Latinos, and Asians. Finally, case studies from various U.S. cities are utilized to evaluate the gains that minority groups can achieve through electoral politics.

POLS A218 Courts/Judges/Politics 3 crs.

The course examines the role of the judiciary in the governmental policy-making process at both the federal and state levels. Emphasis is made on the role of political and social factors in the selection of judges and in judicial decision-making, as well as the interrelationship between law and politics in the American political and social systems.

POLS A220 The Urban Process 3 crs.

This course examines the nature of the modern city, with special attention to forces shaping the city, including the social, political, economic, ecological, and value systems which underlie the dynamics of urban life and culture. Attention is given to the various forms which cities have taken in the past and may take in the future.

POLS A230 History of Political Thought I 3 crs.

This course approaches the development of political thought from a traditional view, employing cultural and intellectual history and traditional philosophy to review the social, historical, and political contexts of thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, and others.

POLS A231 History of Political Thought II 3 crs.

This course utilizes the same approach of POLS A230, but covers the period from 1500 to the present. It includes considerable discussion of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Bentham, Mill, Hegel, and Marx.

POLS A300 Constitutional Law I 3 crs.

Discussions include the origins of constitutionalism and the framing of the U.S. Constitution; nature and scope of judicial review; sources and nature of legislative and executive power; the commerce power and state power to regulate; and introduction to 14th Amendment due process.

POLS A301 Constitutional Law II 3 crs.

This course discusses individual rights and liberties, with emphasis on post-1937 developments in areas of First Amendment and 14th Amendment equal protection.

POLS A305 Political Parties and Pressure Groups 3 crs.

This course involves party system, theory, and practice on national, state, and local levels; nominations, conventions, etc.; major pressure groups; methods used to mobilize public opinion; and the influence of pressure groups on government.

POLS A315 International Relations 3 crs.

This is a comprehensive, systematic study of fundamental principles that govern international politics.

POLS A320 U.S. Foreign Policy 3 crs.

This course examines post WWII U.S. behavior in the international arena with emphasis divided between U.S. actions and reactions on a worldwide scale. Discussions of current events are held weekly.

POLS A325 Foreign Policy of Russia 3 crs.

Russian foreign policy since the revolution is presented and evaluated. Discussions of current events are held weekly.

POLS A340 Law Among Nations 3 crs.

The course utilizes legal and political approaches to understand the relationship between national sovereignty and the increasing need for communitarian action on issues of peace, war, human rights, and North-South relations. Treaty texts and cases of international and municipal courts are analyzed.

POLS A341 International Organizations 3 crs.

This course examines the historical origins and theories of international organizations and the patterns of communitarian behavior in the international system. Concentration will be on the United Nations, European Community, and N.A.T.O.

POLS A344 Scope and Methods in Political Science 3 crs.

An introduction to the methods of political analysis and criticism, the course analyzes political language, the media, the foundations of political argument, the science of politics, and the methodology of social science.

Prerequisites: POLS A100, A200 or A201 or A315 or permission of instructor.

POLS A346 Polling and Voting Behavior 3 crs.

This course is an examination of the psychological, cultural, and social bases of political behavior, including the study of attitude formation, group affiliation, collective behavior, and the role of values in political behavior.

POLS A347 Political Economy 3 crs.

This course is an introduction to the study of political economy and focuses on the development of the discipline from the 18th century to the present and engages the student in the debates surrounding some of the most important texts in political economy. The student will read Locke, Smith, Marx, and others who have influenced political-economic arguments in the modern west.

POLS A495 Special Project arranged

The main project for this course is a research paper, with a variety of topics, supervised by the entire faculty of the department. In addition, students will have an opportunity to discuss and critique the department curriculum, and to engage in conversations with guest speakers on current issues in each of the major subfields of the discipline.

POLS A497 Internship/ Practicum arranged

An internship is supervised practical experience. A practicum is supervised practical application of previously studied theory.

POLS A499 Independent Study arranged

POLS W249 Ancient and Medieval Political Thought 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Behavioral/Social Sciences Pre-modern

This course examines the development of political thought from the ancient Hebrews to the end of the Middle Ages, with special emphasis on Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas. Cultural and intellectual history as well as traditional philosophy are utilized to place these thinkers (and others) in their social, historical, and political contexts.

POLS X234 Politics and Corruption 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Behavioral/Social Sciences Modern

This course covers issues of morality and corruption in American political life. Basic questions are: What moral standards guide–and should guide–the politician to make the system work better? How widespread is corruption in America and what forms does it take?

POLS X246 Politics and Society 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Behavioral/Social Sciences Modern

The course is designed to introduce the student to the tools available for understanding and making decisions about both current and recurring political problems in modern society: Who should govern, who does govern, what is just government, are all citizens equal, must the individual or society prevail, what are rights, what is law?

POLS X252 The Bill of Rights 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Behavioral/Social Sciences Modern

This course examines the nature and scope of civil liberties in America by focusing on the U.S. Constitution’s chief source of fundamental liberties–the Bill of Rights. Major topics of discussion include origins and antecedents; the incorporation debate; and Supreme Court interpretations (and limitations) of fundamental freedoms.

POLS X254 American Political Ideas 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Behavioral/Social Sciences Modern

This course discusses basic political concepts like freedom, equality, tradition, and success by introducing students to some of the most influential political and social thinkers writing about America. We will explore the history of some of these concepts and the debates surrounding them.

POLS X256 The Urban Form 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Behavior/Social Sciences Modern

This course is an exploration of the cultural values expressed in the built form of 19th- and 20th-century cities in the U.S. and Europe. Through the works of historians, architects, planners, urban geographers, and other theorists–and through slides and films–students will examine modern and postmodern urban forms and critically assess their impact on society.

POLS X258 Global Political Issues 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Behavioral/Social Sciences Modern

The global economy and wide accessibility of new technologies present serious political challenges. This course considers the dilemmas politicians face in addressing global problems ranging from nuclear politics to North-South issues. Other topics include global problem solving, related changes in national sovereignty, and detailed study of specific global issues.

POLS X259 Politics and the Media 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Behavioral/Social Sciences Modern

This course examines how the media affect people’s opinions and decision making. Significant events such as the Vietnam war will be analyzed to learn how communications affects decisions.