POL 1020: Capitalism Socialism Democracy

In modern times, ideological debates have revolved around capitalism, socialism, and democracy and were intensified during the Cold War by the U.S.-U.S.SR. rivalry. Focusing on the development of capitalism and socialism in the West and their relationship to democracy, students examine different conceptualizations of democracy, the global impact of Western developments, and arguments on the compatibility of capitalism with authoritarianism.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 1120: West Meets the Non-West

An examination of historical events, social movements, and intellectual ideas that have shaped modernity from 1500 to the present. The focus is on the evolution of ideas that have influenced both Western and non-Western civilizations.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 1570: Introduction to U.S. Politics

An introduction to the institutional and ideological components of the American political system, with an emphasis on the broad spectrum of values and sources of power that, when taken together, support and challenge the foundations of American pluralism. Films, field trips, and guest lectures complement the standard classwork.

Credits: 3

Department: Political Science
POL 2010: Governments and Politics Worldwide

An introduction to current political systems. The course examines political structures and processes (e.g., parliaments, political parties, elections, legislation, and formation of governments in different political systems) and analyzes the ideological foundations of these systems (e.g., liberalism, socialism). Discussions include social, economic, and political priorities set in each system; their strengths and weaknesses; and the impact of structural constraints.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 2020: Introduction to International Relations

Examines contemporary international relations from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. Topics include East-West conflicts and the Cold War; the balance of power; colonialism, the Vietnam War, and the North-South issues; and the emerging new world order.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 2040: Women and Politics

Theoretical, historical, and empirical analyses of the relationship between women’s private roles and socialization, and their integration into politics. Topics include changes in the laws affecting women, the impact of feminism on the quality of political discourse and political action, and the vexing problem of the “gender gap."

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 2070: West African Politics and Literature

Using African novels and social science literature, both the insights of the artist and the analytic models of the social scientist are employed in the discussion of African politics and political systems. Topics include the impact of Western colonialism and imperialism on traditional African societies, the evolution of new African cultures, the widening gulf between elites and masses, and the role of the African storyteller in articulating African issues.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 2080: Environmental Justice

An introduction to the impact of environmental laws and policies on the fair treatment of people of different races and incomes in the U.S. Global climate change, nuclear energy, and public responsibility for the environment constitute the center of a political and legal analysis of the relationship of citizens and government to the environment.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 2105: Citizens Living Under Islamic Laws

Focusing on South Asia and the Middle East, this course examines how postcolonial Islamic states currently use “Islamic laws” to negotiate power and control with their citizens. Examples include Hudood, Zina, and blasphemy laws, which result in fatwas (religious decrees) that sometimes lead to extrajudicial killings.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 2115: Islam: Culture and Politics

Islam, a popular world religion, is not well known or understood in the U.S. In the public mind, it is typically associated with violence, jihad, and terrorism. This course introduces the origin and main principles of Islam and analyzes its development as a civilization and a political ideology. Topics include secularism, women’s rights, social justice, and democratization in relation to the philosophical and political divisions within Islam.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 2117: Iraq and the Arab World

The U.S. involvement in Iraq raises important questions that mirror those faced by the broader Arab world. Can democracy be brought to the Arab world? Can a people overcome deep, violent divisions to form one nation? Is it possible to have a democratic and pro-Western Arab government? Why is the region characterized by authoritarian regimes and economic stagnation? Why has political Islam taken hold with such force? Why are the U.S. and militant Islamic groups locked in an increasingly violent struggle? In this course, students explore answers to these questions and analyze the complex forces at work in the Arab world today.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 2130: Race and Politics

Decades after the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the United States remains a nation beset by racial inequalities, divisions, and tensions. This course examines some of the major issues in U.S. race relations today and their political expression.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 2170: Political Theory I: Plato to Machiavelli

The first half of a two-course survey of Western political thought. The course concentrates on the classical and medieval contributors to political discourse like Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas, and concludes with early modern thinkers like Machiavelli and Calvin.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 2180: Political Theory II: Hobbes to the Present

The second half of a two-course survey of Western political thought. Themes characteristic of the last 500 years of political theory include liberalism, feminism, nationalism, and revolution. Theorists typically read are Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Marx, and a 20th-century theorist.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 2210: Politics and the Media

An examination of the media’s impact on political life in the U.S. and its role in shaping public opinion. Both electronic and print media are surveyed and analyzed in terms of their impact on power, legal rights, and ethical obligations. Attention is also given to the media’s influence on political parties and how it shapes political attitudes and influences elections.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 2340: Beyond Voting: Democracies, Elections, and Participation

An in-depth survey of how redistricting, campaign finance laws, term limits, and other processes and laws have an impact on elections and affect democracy in the U.S.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 2350: Free Speech, Heresy, and Gender in Islamic Societies

In Islamic societies, heresy charges against women and men are leveled for different reasons, including Islamists’ opposition to democracy, modernity, and women’s education and their employment. Instances of heresy leveled by Muslims against Muslims are studied.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 2360: Politics in American Democracy

Covers the basics of the U.S. political system. Topics include Congress, the presidency, political parties, interest groups, social movements/activism, civil rights, civil liberties, and public policy. Students engage in a hands-on project related to a current issue, illustrating one or more of the topics studied.

Credits: 3

Department: Political Science
POL 2600: Courts, Judges, and Politics

The judicial process and the function of the courts in a modern democratic system. Using Supreme Court cases, documents, and readings from academic journals, the course examines how judges, lawyers, and litigants act and react to create both law and public policy.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 2610: America on Film

Examines American social and political history during the last half of the 20th century and the early 21st century as represented in films. Such topics as dissent, censorship, war and peace, and the role of government as creator and arbiter of culture serve as the conceptual center of the discussion.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 2650: Culture, Identity, and Political Behavior in American Politics

An introduction to political behavior in the U.S., tying together concepts of culture and identity to see how these social themes affect political outcomes in elections and participation in political activity. Public opinion, socialization of the electorate, the growth of political institutions, and the current state of political participation are analyzed.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3045: Sex, Politics, and Health

Though people think of health as having biological roots, health and illness actually have social and political origins. This course examines women’s health policy, the women’s health movement, and the differences between the health care needs of men and women. Topics like access to the health care system, poverty, Medicaid/Medicare, managed care, breast cancer, women and violence, HIV/AIDS, and medical research are investigated.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3050: American Constitutional Law

Introduces the historical and political debates that resulted in the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. Case law and collateral readings relevant to the construction of the U.S. constitutional government are used to explore theories of jurisprudence, structures of courts, aspects of litigation, the nature and scope of judicial review and constitutional adjudication, and the role of the judiciary in the maintenance of national power.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: POL1570 Or POL2360

Department: Political Science
POL 3070: U.S. Foreign Policy Since 1945

A study of American foreign policy since the end of World War II. U.S. involvement in Vietnam serves as a case study for studying the Cold War, the war in Iraq, and the issue of terrorism, and analyzing how foreign policy has been formulated. Topics include the powers of the president vis-à-vis Congress in the formulation of foreign policy and the role of public opinion.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3090: Race, Gender, and the Law

The legal dimensions of race and sex discrimination are examined. Fourteenth Amendment decisions of the Supreme Court and related federal antidiscrimination law are the focus of study.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3095: Queer Politics in the U.S.

Students explore lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) social and political movements and how they have fought for and achieved certain social, political, and legal rights in the U.S.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3130: Immigration: Policies, Problems, and Politics

The United States prides itself on being a nation of immigrants, but has never made it easy for the newly arrived. This course examines the policies, problems, and politics affecting immigration to the U.S. today. Topics include causes of immigration, immigration law and the undocumented, and patterns of assimilation.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3160: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

An introduction to the constitutional doctrines of rights and liberties as they have been articulated through First Amendment decisions of the Supreme Court. Relevant political analyses of the impact of court decisions and federal legislation on individual rights are included.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: POL1570 Or POL3050 Or POL2360

Department: Political Science
POL 3230: Presidential Politics

An examination of the institution of the American presidency, its relationship to the other branches of government, and the significance of particular presidents’ “stamp” on the office and U.S. policy. Topics include the impact of the media on the presidency, executive privilege, psychological explanations of presidential character, and the changing role of the president’s spouse.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3235: Globalization, Development, and Poverty

People produce enough food to feed the world’s population, yet thousands of children die every day due to malnutrition and other poverty-related factors. This course studies the scope and distribution of global poverty. Topics include political and cultural factors that cause or aggravate the problem in developing countries; economic and political aspects of globalization; and the impact of international organizations, development strategies, and relief efforts.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3245: Gender and Health: International Issues

Examines health concerns on an international scale and analyzes how gender is interwoven with these concerns. The roles of international agencies are explored, with emphasis on their support (or lack thereof) of the health needs of various populations. The role of the U.S. in the implementation of programs through funding issues, restrictions on the use of funds (the “global gag rule”), and other strategies is also analyzed.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3255: Islamic State, Gender, and Sexuality

An examination of how notions of gender and sexuality are defined in the postcolonial Islamic state. Laws, customs, and cultural practices that enforce control are investigated in South Asian and Middle Eastern contexts.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3290: Political Protest and Ideologies

A survey of major political upheavals and belief systems that have shaped and shaken the modern world. In addition to the origins, social foundations, and variants of liberalism, socialism, communism, anarchism, fascism, and feminism, discussions include examples of anti-imperialist, antiracist, and nationalist movements and ideologies from Third World countries and ethnic minorities in the West.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3300: Development and Politics of Latin America

An overview of major political structures, problems, and ideologies, concentrating particularly on South America. The first half of the semester discusses problems of land tenure, industrialization, and urbanization. The second half examines contemporary politics in detail, using one South American country as a case study.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3307: Politics and Memoir

A study of memoirs by male and female authors, politicians, activists, and ordinary citizens describing childhood, communities, social changes, and revolutions. Works are drawn from South Africa, South America, Asia, Cuba, and the U.S. The rubric is the non-West’s interaction with the West, a north-south divide.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3315: Constitutions and Rights: U.S. and China

Focuses on the origins of rights in the U.S., with emphasis on judicial review and the judicial construction and interpretation of individual and human rights. Constitutional theories and practices used in U.S. constitutional courts and scholarship are examined. A comparative approach to constitutions and the development of transnational theories of human rights are then considered in the context of current changes in Chinese legal and political institutions and discourse.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: POL1570 Or POL2360

Department: Political Science
POL 3330: Radical Organizing and Embodied Politics in the U.S.: Promises of the Political

An exploration of the extent to which linkage can be made between self-development and a radical concept of democracy. Relationships among personal identity, social location—race, gender, and class—and locality of political action in the U.S. are analyzed so as to develop a definition of an embodied politics that renews the promise of political action.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3340: United States/Latin American Relations

It is difficult to understand the culture and politics of Latin America, in particular the Caribbean basin, without examining the role of the U.S. While the U.S. has generally seen its role in Latin America as that of a protector, many Latin Americans have perceived the U.S. as a heavy-handed superpower. The first half of the course provides a historical overview of U.S. interests and interventions, and how these have shaped Latin American societies. The second half examines contemporary problems and issues.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3361: Cuba, Latin America, and the U.S.

The course revolves around the international political and economic dynamics that have existed historically between the U.S. and Cuba. Although the course emphasizes the post-1959 era (the Castro years), readings introduce students to the imperial relationship that evolved in the early 20th century. Topics include foreign policy, war, human rights, the U.S. embargo, and the politics of Fidel Castro.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3400: Health Care Crisis

Why does health care cost so much? Why are so many people without health insurance? Why do so many racial/ethnic disparities in health exist in the U.S.? These and other questions are examined as the current crisis in the U.S. health care system is investigated and proposals for reform are evaluated.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3430: Politics of South Asia

Examines the politics of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Kashmir, and Afghanistan. The British occupation from 1857 to 1947 is studied, together with the partition of Pakistan and India. Issues of religion, caste, gender, and militarization are an additional focus. Nuclear states, Pakistan, and India are also part of class discussions.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3465: Polarized Politics: Congress

While providing a comprehensive understanding of Congress, this course specifically examines the oversight and investigative role of Congress, the influence of political parties, and how elections and partisanship influence decision-making. Questions addressed include: How do the rules and norms that govern the House and the Senate differ? How has redistricting created a more polarized climate?

Credits: 4

PREREQ: POL1570 Or POL2360

Department: Political Science
POL 3570: Human Rights

Although human rights have become a significant theme in international relations, ethnic slaughter and political repression continue to afflict the world. This course examines relevant theoretical issues and practical problems, including: How are human rights viewed from different cultural, political, and religious perspectives? In a multicultural world, can common ground be found to address human rights? What is the relationship between sovereignty and the pursuit of human rights?

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3573: Human Rights and Literature

An exploration of various perspectives on human rights. Students examine some modern nation states in relation to geographies of identity and human rights. Global literature is read in colonial and postcolonial contexts that describe state control through the infringement of citizenship and rights of speech, thus violating basic human rights.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3580: The Literature of Political Violence

Discussions surrounding political readings that reflect ideological violence, the terror of state power, and the response to state power by individuals and groups. Historical and contemporary events are discussed (e.g., the Spanish Inquisition, the Nazis, military dictatorships, World War I, colonialism and imperialism in Africa, genocide in Rwanda, life and death in North Korea, presidential abuse of power in the U.S.).

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3665: Immigration Debated: A Seminar

A detailed examination of theories, issues, and policy debates about immigration, taught in a seminar format with student-led discussions. In the first part, students examine general immigration issues, including history, impact on the economy, and traditional hostility toward immigrants. The main body of the course focuses on current immigration policy and reform, and the last part is built around student papers.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3670: Politics and Religion in America

Religion in America has been at the heart of politics from the Puritans to the Christian Coalition. This course addresses the historic role of religious thinking as a significant part of American political traditions (e.g., natural rights, civil liberties, liberal individualism). Students also investigate the contemporary emergence of religion-based political interests as formidable players in the construction of the nation’s political agenda.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3740: The Middle East

An analysis of the politics of Israel and Palestine. The struggle between Israel and Palestine and the involvement of Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia are covered, as well as the role of the U.S. Issues and potential solutions are discussed.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3780: Money, Power, and Democracy

The meaning of democracy is examined in European and other democratic states. The course investigates who controls the sources and instruments of power and how public policies are made. The limits and problems of contemporary liberal democracies are studied, as is the problem of democratization in developing countries.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science
POL 3880: Junior Seminar in Political Science

A springboard to preparation for the senior project that integrates (a) critical thinking in research—developing appropriate topics, grappling with supporting evidence, and working on hypothesis testing and probabilities; (b) writing—understanding what a research paper is, how it is developed and organized coherently, with emphasis on developing an outline, introduction, and literature review; and (c) conducting research—learning data-gathering techniques and analytic skills with emphasis on conducting interviews, qualitative and quantitative data analysis, and using primary data. The use of surveys, participant observation, and multiple research practices is also discussed.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: (POL1570 Or POL2360 ) And (POL2170 Or POL2180 )

Department: Political Science
POL 4885: Political Science Senior Seminar I

In this scholarly community of political science majors in their senior year, ideas and methodologies relevant to specific senior-project topics are probed. Two semesters are required (POL 4885 and 4890). Limited to political science majors.

Credits: 1

COREQ: SPJ4990

Department: Political Science
POL 4890: Political Science Senior Seminar II

In this scholarly community of political science majors in their senior year, ideas and methodologies relevant to specific senior-project topics are probed. Two semesters are required (POL 4885 and 4890). Limited to political science majors.

Credits: 1

COREQ: SPJ4990

PREREQ: POL4885

Department: Political Science
SOC 4030: Seminar in Sociological Issues

Offers an in-depth focus on a specific sociological issue, which varies each semester. Includes research, readings, and writings on a topic related to the particular expertise of the faculty member.

Credits: 4

Department: Political Science