Courses



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 foreign policy.

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 social justice.

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) “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 credit.

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 election years.

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 current events.

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 prevalent.

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 sociopolitical context.

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 offcials as arranged with the instructor. Prerequisite: Junior standing.