Course offerings reflect the 2023-2024. One unit of credit equals four semester hours.

This course provides a college-level introduction to the subject of politics. Students examine major theories, concepts and themes across the subfields of political science and are challenged to think critically and analytically about politics.

An introduction to the essential principles and fundamental structure of the American system of government.

An introduction to state and local government and their basic roles in the American federal system. Special attention is given to the problems of cities, villages, counties, townships and other units of local government.

This course introduces the fundamental concepts, theories, perspectives, and actors that exist within world politics. It will explore historical and contemporary political issues and provide students with a broad understanding of what is occurring politically within countries and what is occurring politically between countries.

See BID 205.

This course introduces students to the law as part of the systematic study of social and behavioral phenomena. The course introduces students to current systems, practices and theories of American public law.

This course is an introduction to urban politics in the United States. The vast majority of Americans now live in or around urban areas. The social, economic, governmental and political questions facing the United States today are, by and large, problems of cities and their surrounding metropolitan regions. The course focuses on the problems and achievements of metropolitan areas, including suburbs as well as cities. Socioeconomic issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, poverty, wealth and power are highlighted.

This course is a comparative study of the political institutions, processes and policy outcomes across European states and the European Union from post–World War II to the present. Topics examined include executive, legislative and judicial structures; provincial government; political culture; political socialization; citizen participation and interest groups; parties and elections; and economic and foreign policy.

A comparative study of politics in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Topics may include imperialism and colonialism, nationalism, poverty and inequality, tradition and modernity, revolution, women, and strategies for growth and development.

An analysis of the major issues and problems that dominate the Middle Eastern political scene. A consideration of the region’s involvement in international affairs as well as an examination of the indigenous concerns of people and states in the region.

This course examines the constitutional foundations of the presidency, the organization of the executive branch, the selection process, the various roles and characteristics of the president, the president’s relationship with both formal and informal institutions, and the president’s impact on public policy.

Prerequisite: POL 201 or permission of the instructor.

This course explores the major theoretical perspectives and predominant issues in international politics. It analyzes and applies realist, liberal and postmodernist approaches to the dynamics of the international system, focusing on how these approaches explain conflict and cooperation between states. Topics addressed include superpower relations, military conflict and terrorism, globalization and development, ethnic conflict and nation-building, environmental degradation and the role of the United States in world affairs.

An examination of the making and implementation of American foreign policy. This course begins with a review of the history of American foreign policy, focusing on patterns in foreign policy goals and instruments, and highlighting key persons, ideas and events. It proceeds to an assessment of the international and societal influences on U.S. foreign policy, an examination of the roles of governmental institutions in the formulation of U.S. foreign policy, and an analysis of the theories political scientists put forth to explain foreign policy decision making. Throughout, the course focuses on controversial issues in contemporary U.S. foreign policy.

See BID 308.

This course is designed to provide an orientation to several international organizations, particularly the United Nations. The course is intended to teach students about the history, functional roles and decision-making processes within selected international organizations. Students will encounter global problems such as economic, environmental, human rights and security issues, and will carefully study specific international treaties, conventions and legal interpretations that address those problems. POL 306 is recommended.

.50 credits

This course covers the structure/organization, functions, history and procedures of intergovernmental organizations, focusing primarily on the United Nations (UN). The course provides a first-hand opportunity to learn about the UN through participation in the American Model United Nations Conference. Students are required to research a specific UN committee or agency, an international topic that will be considered by their assigned committee at the conference, or a UN member state.

In this course we will examine political philosophy from its birth in ancient Greece to the dawn of modernity. Specific attention will be given to the works of Plato, Aristotle and Machiavelli. Throughout, we will explore the relationship between philosophy and politics, reason and passion, and the individual and the community. We will ask such questions as: What is justice? What is the best form of government? What does the citizen owe to the political community?

This course focuses on the nature and purpose of political association as it has been understood since the birth of modernity in the 16th century through the present day. Specifically, we will study five movements that characterize the modern and postmodern theoretical and political world: liberalism, conservatism, socialism, feminism and postmodernism. We will read selections from John Locke, Edmund Burke, Karl Marx, John Rawls, Catherine MacKinnon and Richard Rorty. Each of these thinkers offers a different enlightening, yet distinctly modern/contemporary, perspective on the human political condition.

Political thought in the United States reflects the revolutionary attempt to balance the traditional political goal of order with the call for individual liberty. This attempt to balance order with liberty revealed another possible value for politics —equality. The history of political thought and practice in the United States, is a history of an attempt to balance order with liberty and liberty with equality. In this course, we will examine a variety of voices, key texts and movements in the U.S. that have helped to shape this evolution. This entails an examination of statespersons as well as political philosophers in U.S. history.

This course explores the dual nature of Congress through the examination of the constitutional foundations and evolution of Congress, the election process, the organization of the legislative branch, formal and informal congressional rules and procedures, Congress’s relationship with both formal and informal institutions, and its policymaking role in public policy.

Prerequisite: POL 201 or permission of the instructor.

See BID 330.

See BID 335.

The course provides an introduction to the structure of the U.S. legal system, with a focus on fundamental civil law doctrines and legal procedures. Students will be introduced to how to read and brief legal cases, statutory analysis and construction, legal research and writing, civil and criminal procedure and substantive civil law. Substantive civil law topics include: torts, contracts, real property, business entities, employment law, and wills and trusts.

This course offers students an opportunity to learn first-hand about the American legal system with a special emphasis on courtroom civil and criminal trial procedures. The course prepares students for local, regional and national mock trial competitions under the sponsorship of the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA). Through discussion, lectures, role-playing opportunities and competitions, this course will stimulate students’ abilities to think critically about the foundations of the American legal system and to participate as informed citizens. Courses may require regional and/or national travel.

Mock Trial demands participation in three contiguous terms beginning in Fall Term, extending over January Term and ending with the Spring Term. Mock Trial I is offered in the fall for 1.00 credit, if taken for credit. Mock Trial II is offered in the spring for .50 credit, if taken for credit. Mock Trial I and Mock Trial II are each repeatable for credit twice. May be taken for non-credit. May count for one credit toward the major or minor and must be taken for credit to count toward the major or minor. Students who complete a full year of Mock Trial are eligible for the Experiential Learning designation in the Integrated Curriculum. Students who complete a full year of Mock Trial for credit are eligible to receive the Oral Communication tag in the Integrated Curriculum. P/NP Grading Only.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

This non-credit section is for students who have not completed Mock Trial I. Students joining this Spring Term–only course play a limited role on the team. P/NP Grading Only.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

See BID 355.

See BID 357.

An examination of public policy and public administration in the United States. Students are asked to consider how and why some problems reach the public agenda, how and why some solutions are adopted and others rejected, and how and why some policies appear to succeed, while others appear to fail. Special attention is paid to how and why politics and policy are interdependent and the implementation of public policy. Students are exposed to theoretical and analytical frameworks used by political scientists to help describe and explain governmental policymaking and administration.

Prerequisite: POL 201.

This course is an introduction to the study of domestic and international environmental politics and policy. The course explores the interaction of culture and politics on environmental policy formation and implementation. The course focuses on the processes, actors and cultural values involved in environmental policy making in the U.S. and internationally. In addition to providing an overview of major U.S. environmental laws and international environmental regimes, the course examines various perspectives on solving environmental problems. Topics may include: air and water pollution, hazardous waste, climate change and natural resources. In addition, civic engagement in relation to environmental policy is explored throughout the course.

Feminist political theory began in a challenge to the political order by those who questioned the liberal promise of freedom and equality. It grew to challenge the economic, social, reproductive, sexual and, finally, global order—all from the perspective of persons marginalized in every sphere of private and public life. This course will trace these evolving challenges to contemporary private and public life, exploring social and political reality from the perspective of those at the margins, those who are “other.” Particular attention will be devoted to the various feminist concerns about the distinctions between theory and practice, public and private, equality and difference. Course content and pedagogy will call into question any singular, exclusive notion of identity, giving class members the opportunity to recognize and learn from others and their diverse cultural and political experiences.

This course will examine the multiple meanings of justice as it has evolved in Western political philosophy and as it is challenged by non-Western traditions and global circumstances. The course begins with the notion of justice as harmony, in which political justice reflects personal and social justice, and will contrast this with the notion of justice as power, as the product of an agreement between people and enforced by the state. The course will also contrast this with the more contemporary notion of justice as fairness, and conclude with a look at recent challenges to the modern attempt to separate political justice from social justice and global justice. Also examined are the multiple meanings of justice as it is used in contemporary society and everyday discussion.

Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing or permission of the instructor.

This course is an introduction to Environmental Law. Students are exposed to the complex mix of federal and state laws, regulations, and agreements that share the goal of protecting the environment as they examine major environmental statues in the U.S., as well as international environmental law/ agreements. This course provides an overview of the legal framework for environmental protection framed under broad themes in distinct areas of environmental law that includes, but not limited to: clean air, clean water, endangered species, pesticides, toxic substances, and waste management. Additionally, students will learn about a vast array of considerations concerning environmental law such as technology, ethics and values, science, social justice, and human and non-human health.

The focus of this course is the First Amendment and civil liberties. Through a review of U.S. Supreme Court cases, we will trace the various interpretations of the U.S. Constitution and the Amendments by examining the concepts of freedom of religion, speech, press and assembly, and the right to privacy.

Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing or POL 201 or permission of the instructor.

The focus of this course is civil rights. Through a review of U.S. Supreme Court cases, we will trace the various interpretations of the U.S. Constitution and the Amendments that apply to topics such as the rights of the accused, search and seizure, racial discrimination, gender and juvenile issues, rights of prisoners and poor people, and political participation.

Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing or POL 201 or permission of the instructor.

.25, .50 or 1.00 credit

This course requires students to engage in political and/or public advocacy experiences with governmental officials/ agencies, political parties and/or nonprofit charitable organizations. By encouraging students to apply political science theories and concepts to understand civic engagement experiences, this course furthers student abilities to think critically about politics at the local and national levels and to participate in active citizenship. Permission is required. Offered as needed.

This seminar serves as a capstone experience for political science majors and is to be taken in the fall of a student’s final year. The seminar seeks to foster in students the abilities to 1) analyze contemporary political problems utilizing political science concepts, methodologies and theories; and 2) conduct and present scholarly research on contemporary political problems. In their capstone research paper, students will explore an important political problem from the perspective of one of the subfields and methodologies in political science. Through a focus on research design and methodology, information literacy, and process and conventions of writing in political science, the seminar will provide the supportive framework for students to complete the senior research paper. By permission only.

.50 or 1.00 credit

This course will allow students to pursue advanced study in political science beyond the regular departmental offerings. Repeatable for credit.

.50 or 1.00 credit

Credit to students who are employed by government agencies, legal offices and institutions, or by interest groups and political campaigns. Students are expected to understand the relationship of their field experience to the discipline of political science and to demonstrate this understanding in written and oral reports to the faculty supervisor. Internships can be graded with letter grades if a written research paper is completed under faculty direction. Otherwise the grade will be P/NP.

Repeatable for credit. Permission of department chair is required. The prerequisite for field experience is the completion of at least two courses in political science, or the consent of the chair of the Department of Political Science. One of the prerequisite courses must be either POL 201, 202 or 300.

Approval of the political science instructor is required. Repeatable for credit.

.50 credit

This course gives Honors Program students the opportunity to design and implement a significant research project in the field of political science, culminating in an appropriate public dissemination of research methods and findings. This research must build upon previous coursework taken within the major or minor, facilitating faculty supervision and guidance.

Repeatable for credit. Permission of the faculty supervisor and the director of the Honors Program required prior to registration.

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