An introduction to the structure, institutions and processes of American government. Topics include an analysis of the system of American federalism, separation of powers, Congress, the Presidency, Supreme Court policy-making, elections and voting behavior, political parties and interest groups. Offered each semester.
A theoretical and historical basis for analyzing and understanding international politics. It does so by examining the major conceptual approaches to the study of war, peace, and the interactions of nations and states. The class seeks to place contemporary and historical events into a broader analytical context, and to understand the forces of change in the international system from a number of theoretical perspectives. Offered each semester.
Compares the peoples, geography, political culture (attitudes and values of citizens), and government (structures, processes, and policy-making) across a range of countries in order to better understand how politics works. Offered annually.
Internationally, advocates of multiculturalism promote the cultural and religious interests of national minorities, immigrants, and dispersed communities within the nation state. This course focuses on liberal multiculturalism, which claims that individual rights are necessary but insufficient for the protection of minority group interests. Critics see tensions between multicultural protections and (1) national unity, (2) feminism, and (3) the liberal ideal of state neutrality. Offered in alternate years.
This course examines the variations among and conflicts between the different "political cultures" in America. These include varying values, attitudes, beliefs and symbols.The course analyzes several "cultural clashes" over the public policy decisions of government. Offered occasionally.
Analysis of the different structures and political cultures of state and local governments in the United States. Focus is on institutional structures, behavioral patterns and trends, public policies, and on the interplay of levels of government in a Federal system. Prerequisite: PSCI 101 or consent of instructor. Offered in alternate years.
An introduction to the challenges of contemporary citizenship, the course teaches students the basic skills of action research. Students work in teams on projects with community partners. Students learn to conduct stakeholder analyses, locate communities in the context of power and social capital, complete “best practice” studies, and create and implement action plans. Sophomore standing recommended. Offered each spring.
This seminar introduces students to multiple perspectives on democratic theory and practice. These include expectations surrounding citizen competence and involvement in governance, the evolution of democratic institutions, and prospects for saving democracy from the economic and cultural crises of our era. This is a team-taught seminar involving the entire department. Prerequisites: at least sophomore standing, or instructor approval. Offered annually.
This course of International Politics of East Asia seeks to develop students’ capacity in understanding the challenges and opportunities that East Asian countries currently face and predicting the future of dynamics of regional security and political economy. Offered annually.
The highly-modified communist Chinese party-state as it adopts the competitive economic model. Institutions of the Party and the State civil rights problems, economic privatization and incentives policies, and the changing roles of the army, the regions and zones, private business, and institutions like education. For general education credit. Offered occasionally.
A study of emerging societies with marked problems evidenced in their political behavior and structures, cultural diffusion, unequally progressing systems, and international acts. Examples will include nations in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, or Latin America. Offered in alternate years.
Examines trajectories of political and economic development in Africa. Considers the impact of colonialism on economic, social and cultural organization in Africa, the nature of postcolonial African elites, and the sources of their power. Analyzes the politics of 'development' in Africa through African states' relationship to international financial institutions. Offered in alternate years.
This course examines South Africa's transition from authoritarian apartheid rule to a democratic dispensation. It focuses on the legacies of apartheid and the characteristics of the liberation struggle; emerging political cultures; the design of new political institutions; the political economy of uneven development; the challenges of poverty and social reconstruction. Offered in alternate years.
Course explores politics in post-industrial democracies (primarily Western Europe, North America and Australasia). Through readings and assignments students will evaluate the role that differences in political culture and institutional structure play in explaining country-level responses to common welfare state challenges. Offered in alternate years.
Analyzes the status of women in American political and social life. Emphasis is placed upon political participation, voting, and policies that affect women at home and in the workplace. This status is then compared with the status of women in other advanced industrial societies, developing and theocratic societies, and the communist and post-communist systems. Offered in alternate years.
Based on the model of a think tank, students in this class will learn the logic and strategies of comparative method in order to apply those in cross-national research aimed at solving real-world problems. Short practice assignments build toward an original research design and Working Paper. Offered in alternate Spring Terms.
This course surveys the American presidency from its founding to the current period, with an emphasis on the modern presidency. Several perspectives on understanding presidential power are examined. Particular attention is given to presidential relations with Congress and the courts. Students produce a research paper. Recommended prerequisite: PSCI 101. Offered in alternate years.
Designed to explore the idiosyncratic nature of the American electoral process and political party system. It includes an analysis of divergent political sub-cultures, public opinion, the impact of electoral structures or different "rules of the game," electoral history, change, partisan realignment and the critical factors which affect individual voting decisions such as party identification, ideology, issues and candidate images. It will also examine political institutions in the era of modern "new style" election campaigns. Recommended: PSCI 101. Offered in alternate years.
Introduces students to the major themes in American public opinion and political behavior. Emphasis is given to the mechanics of opinion polling, political learning and opinion formation, media influences, connections between opinion and behavior, and linkages between public opinion and public policy. Offered in alternate years.
Is the Voting Rights Act still needed after the Obama era? Was the city of Chicago justified in shutting down nightly Occupy protests in Grant Park? Is net neutrality a First Amendment right? Should Twitter be held to free speech standards? These and other issues will be featured in this discussion-based class. Students will master the persuasive essay form, and will research, write, present, and publish Wikipedia entries on a variety of civil liberties topics. Offered in alternate years.
Independent research under the supervision of a department faculty member. Prerequisite: consent of faculty supervisor prior to registration. Offered occasionally.
Basic introduction to the institutional and legal framework of contemporary American environmental policy and to environmental politics in the United States. Policy issues explored include water and air pollution, solid and hazardous waste, endangered species and wilderness preservation, energy development, growth management, and environmental justice. Offered in alternate years, fall semester.
A periodic course dealing with political issues of current or unique interest. May be repeated once for credit if the topic is not repeated. See current Program of Classes to determine if this course fulfills general education requirements. Offered occasionally.
Examines the controversies of a different public area each time offered (such as, but not limited to, civil rights, environment policy, health care, social welfare and urban policy). The historical evolution of the policies are examined as well as the contemporary controversies and problems. May be repeated once for credit if the topic is not repeated. Offered occasionally.
This course surveys some major social programs in the U.S. Topics include Social Security, welfare, foodstamps, Medicare and Medicaid, housing assistance and homelessness, and affirmative action, among others. Students will examine the trade-off between federal and state roles, and the cultural and economic values the programs involve. Offered in alternate years.
Examines the distinctive political culture of the American South (its collective values, beliefs, history and demographic characteristics) and the central role of race in forming this uniqueness. Offered in alternate years.
Through an examination of case studies and theoretical approaches, this course examines the politics of popular protest and rebellion. Topics include: resources and prerequisites for movement mobilization and success; the role of cultures/ ideologies in mobilization; changing protest 'repertoires' and tactics; 'old' and 'new' social movements; how state institutions structure the characteristics of social movements. Offered in alternate years.
The sources and nature of international law. Concern for current legal issues such as the use of force, human rights, war crimes, outer space, ecology, and international organizations, both general and economic. Case law course. Offered in alternate years.
The course of Theories of International Relations seeks to examine major theoretical approaches to international relations. Its primary goal is to give students the analytic tools to understand contemporary issues in international politics, including the causes of war and peace, economic cooperation and conflict, and the role on international institutions. Offered occasionally.
The Constitution governs the relations between the executive branch and Congress and the federal government and the states. But is a Constitution more than a set of rules?; who has the ultimate authority to interpret it?; and how should it be done? With these questions, we interrogate the classic cases of Calder v. Bull, Marbury v. Madison, McCulloch v. Maryland, Missouri v. Holland, and Roe v. Wade among others. Offered in alternate years.
This course uses Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, the dialogues of Plato, and the plays of Sophocles and Aristophanes to examine the values and ideals of Athenian democracy. The American case is used to spur debate. Issues addressed include: the rules of war, realist and constructivist views of power, and the merits of democratic participation. Offered in alternate years.
This class uses the defining texts of modern political theory—Hobbes' Leviathan, Locke's Second Treatise on Government, and Rousseau's On the Social Contract—to develop a working definition of liberalism. Problems that plague the application of liberal principles are raised as we address the conundrum of voluntary servitude, the shifting basis of the social contract in consent and reason, the claim that property is a pre-political right, the distinction between negative and positive liberty, and the role of religion in public life. Offered in alternate years.
American political ideals often express a liberal commitment to individual freedom, but a republican commitment to citizen independence and ascriptive commitments to particular ethnic and religious traditions have also characterized mainstream political ideology in the United States. This class assesses the claim that the liberal tradition dominates American politics. Offered in alternate years.
This seminar course covers many influential writings in political science in order to examine why we ask the questions we ask and why we tend to look for the types of evidence we often gather.We read these texts paying at least as much attention to the theoretical and epistemological approaches used as to the substance of the findings and conclusions. Several short papers are required. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing or consent of constructor. Offered in alternate years.
The course of Politics of the European Union seeks to examine the history of European integration, European institutions, European policies, and the challenges and opportunities of European integration (e.g., Europeanization, the democratic deficit, European identity, transatlantic relations, the Eurozone crisis, etc.). Offered occasionally.
This course explores the establishment, functioning, and collapse of the system of rule developed in the Soviet Union and exported to states in East Central Europe (ECE). Students will evaluate the legacies of communist rule for contemporary politics and uncover national diversity in a region once treated as homogeneous. Suggested prerequisite: PSCI 103. Offered in alternate years.
The focus will be on both the sources and the nature of conflict in the various areas of the Third World: Africa, Latin America, Asia. Offered in alternate years.
Explores the roots of global poverty and inequality by examining the interplay of ideas and power that shape poor countries' development strategies. Analyzes foundational ideas of classical thinkers: Smith, Marx, Durkheim, Weber. Assesses concepts of modernization, dependency and neoliberalism. Analyzes effects of multilateral organizations, states, markets, civil society organizations and local cultures. Offered in alternate years.
This course introduces students to the contemporary U.S. Congress. Topics include explanations of how Congress organizes itself and the implications of those perspectives, and how Congress relates to the executive branch and the courts. Individual research projects allow examination of a topic of particular interest to a student. Prerequisite: PSCI 101. Offered in alternate years.
Women and minorities are still under-represented in legislatures worldwide. What explains this? Does it matter? This course begins with classical theories of democratic representation; develops arguments for a "politics of presence"; and uncovers factors that improve or hinder the representation of marginalized groups. Offered in alternate years.
Through reading, writing, and simulation exercises, students will: (1) examine the historical emergence and evolution of political parties and legislatures and the original problems they were meant to address; (2) explore literature on the changing role of these national institutions in the face of globalization; and (3) examine the links between legislatures, parties, and the problem of making democracy work. Offered occasionally.
An examination of the ways in which the interplay between political and economic factors shape the global system. Prerequisite: PSCI 102 or ECON 100 or consent of instructor. Offered in alternate years.
Examination of how different political-economic systems shape the environmental policy process and impact the environment. This course considers how party-structure, mode of interest articulation, economic system and level of development affect environmental policy. Countries studied include the United States, Germany, former Soviet Union/Russia, China, India, Brazil and Nigeria. Prerequisite: a course in either political science or environmental studies strongly recommended. Offered in alternate years, spring semester.
Introduction to the international politics behind efforts to deal with tropical deforestation, ozone depletion, global warming, loss of biodiversity and transnational transfer of hazardous wastes. Actors, conferences, and accords involved in the international environmental policy process are discussed, with particular attention to different positions of industrialized versus developing countries. Offered in alternate years, spring semester.
Does humanism provide a coherent lens for evaluating environmental issues? If not, when should non-human needs trump human interests? How should humanist institutions like zoos, farms, and forest preserves be managed? Utilitarian, rights based, social contract, and holist theories will be used to debate these questions. Case studies focus on wilderness management, habitat restoration, and common property regimes. Offered in alternate years.
An upper level course examining a specialized sub-field in the discipline. Examples include "Ethnic Nationalism," "The American South and the Politics of Race," and "Public Finance and Budgeting." Students will be able to repeat the course if the subject is not duplicated. Prerequisite: any 100 level political science course. See current Program of Classes to determine if this course fulfills general education requirements. Offered occasionally.
An introduction to the logic, process and methodology of conducting empirical research in political science. It includes discussions of theory/hypothesis and analysis. The latter often involves the use of statistics. However, the approach to statistical analysis in the course is upon how and why statistics are used to study political behavior and not upon memorizing particular formulas or mathematical proofs. Offered each fall.
This seminar bridges theory and applied research in community action. The course introduces the student as scholar-citizen to the multiple ways of seeking information on communities and examining community issues. On teams with community partners and faculty, students develop action plans and implement research projects. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered each semester.
Qualified students may arrange an action research project in consultation with a department member and a community partner. Visit the Career Center or the Action Research Center (ARC) website for potential projects. Requirements include a journal, demonstrated citizenship skills, attendance at a weekly seminar, a supervisor's evaluation, and a formal project outcome. May be repeated for a total of two course units. Prerequisites: a learning contract and consent of instructor. Offered each semester.
Qualified students may arrange work-study programs in consultation with a faculty member and a sponsor associated with a public agency, law firm, social service agency, the local branch of a non-profit or non-governmental agency. Requirements to be specified in the internship learning contract include a journal and an oral presentation at a departmental internship colloquium (offered in December and April). Prerequisite: consent of instructor and fourth semester standing. Offered each semester.
Grants are a funding challenge and opportunity for non-profits. Successful grants must construct a compelling argument and align with funder priorities. Students partner with community leaders to complete applications in support of actual programs. This course is designed for upper level students and does not count toward the major or minor in Sociology or Political Science. Offered by arrangement.
A major original research project developed and implemented in consultation with a department faculty mentor. Particularly appropriate for qualified students seeking to graduate with Research Honors. Prerequisite: consent of faculty mentor prior to registration. Offered occasionally.
This seminar provides students the opportunity to develop an original research project on political attitude formation and expression. Topics include attitude formation, persuasion, public opinion polling, media effects, voting, and participation. Students will develop an original research question, write a literature review, develop a theory-based empirical analysis, and will present their significant project to the class at the end of the term. Prerequisites: PSCI 101; political science major or consent of instructor; junior or senior standing. Recommended: PSCI 392. Offered as needed.
This seminar explores two sides of democratic participation; arguments and mechanisms that promote inclusion versus ideologies and organizations that define the people in exclusionary terms. Students are required to develop an original research project situated in one of those literatures. Course culminates in a research report and oral presentation. Recommended: PSCI 103 and 392. Offered as needed.
This seminar provides students the opportunity to develop an original research project on topics in American political development. Class units may cover American political thought, political regimes, racial orders, religion and politics, policy history, and constitutional law. Students will develop an original research question, write a literature review, develop a theory-based empirical analysis, and will present their significant project to the class at the end of the term. Recommended: PSCI 317. Offered in alternate years.
This seminar provides students the opportunity to develop an original research project on international security. Topics include terrorism, democratic peace, nuclear proliferation, territorial disputes, American foreign policy, and economic interdependence and peace/war. Students will develop an original research question, write a literature review, develop a theory-based empirical analysis, and will present their significant project to the class at the end of the term. Prerequisites: PSCI 102 and 212, or consent of instructor. Recommended: PSCI 305 and 392. Offered as needed.
This seminar provides students the opportunity to develop an original research project on how public opinion and/or elections affect public policy actions of governments. The effects of public policies upon citizens may also be examined. Recommended prerequisite: PSCI 392. Prerequisite: PSCI 101. Offered as needed.
Democracy is the institutional and normative lodestone of modern political communities: politicians assert it; citizens claim it; protestors demand it. Yet democratic governance and citizenship remain unfinished political projects, repeatedly undermined, assailed, and unconsolidated. This seminar offers students an opportunity to develop an original research project that explores a selected aspect of democracy using established political science research techniques. Students will be required to develop an original research question, write a literature review, develop a theory-based empirical analysis, and present their project to peers and faculty at the end of the term.