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Political Science

Course Descriptions


PS130 AMERICAN POLITICS (4). An introduction to American politics, focusing on issues, ideas, and institutions. Topics include the structural foundation of American government, political linkages between citizens and government officials, dynamics of governmental institutions, and policy outcomes in the areas of civil liberties and rights, economic and social welfare, and international affairs. [Skill: T]

PS231G-SS HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE JUDICIAL PROCESS (4). An analysis of human rights in the context of national and international politics. Students will study recent American cases in civil rights and civil liberties, as well as global problems involving genocide, religious freedom, ethnic cleansing, and access to medical care. Students will master skills in logical reasoning and argument and apply these skills to material covered in the class. [Skill: T] Prerequisite: PS130, SY130, or PS234G-SS.

PS234G-SS GLOBAL POLITICS (4). An introduction to global politics investigating the behavior of countries and other actors in the global system. Students will be introduced to theories and approaches to global politics and will apply these to historical and contemporary events. Key actors such as countries, international governmental and nongovernmental organizations, terrorists, and others will be analyzed. Substantive topics examined include the global political economy, conflict and security, human rights etc. [Skill:I]

PS330 THE PHILOSOPHICAL FOUNDATIONS OF WESTERN POLITICAL THOUGHT (4). An overview of modern social and political thought with a focus on its origins in Western rationality and its application to contemporary issues and ideologies. Philosophers include Socrates, Augustine, Machiavelli, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. [Skill: W] Prerequisite: PS130, SY130, or PS234G-SS.

PS333G-SS CASE STUDIES IN NONVIOLENCE AND RECONCILIATION (4). Using several historical and contemporary cases, this course will introduce students to the power of strategic nonviolence against some of the most repressive governments in history, including Hitler, Milosevic, the Soviet Union, etc.The course will also examine attempts at post-conflict nonviolent reconciliation. The motivation behind these nonviolent movements and approaches to reconcilitation, their strategies, and why so little is known about them will be considered. [Skill: T] Prerequisite: Jr/Sr Standing.

PS337G-SS GLOBAL POLITICS OF FOOD (4). How can one billion of earth’s people be hungry at that same time that one billion people are obese? Who influences what food you eat and the price you pay for it? This course will answer these and many other questions by examining the global politics of food and the power dynamics between key actors such as countries, global corporations, international government organizations, nongovernmental organizations, communities, and individuals. Alternative models of food policies will also be explored. [Skill: T] Prerequisite: Jr/Sr Standing.

PS340 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (4). An examination of the history, politics, and substantive decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, with particular emphasis on individual rights, judicial selection and the values of the justices, and the allocation of authority between the federal government, states, and individual citizens. Prerequisite: PS130 or PS231G-SS.

PS344 POLITICAL PROBLEMS (4). A critical examination of the causes, consequences, and policy implications of current problems in domestic and international politics. Topics include protective democracy, stratification, the politics of energy and the environment, and the regulation of corporations. [Skill: W] Prerequisite: PS130, SY130, or PS234G-SS.

PS348G-SS THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF GLOBALIZATION (4). This course will focus on foundational concepts in politicaleconomy and globalization. Special emphasis will be placed on the differential experience of globalization for individuals living in more developed countries and less developed ones. [Skill: W] Prerequisite: PS130, SY130, or PS234G-SS.

PS350 TOPICS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE (4). This course develops knowledge of international politics with respect to a specific context. It explores in detail the politics of a region, the politics of an issue or issue area, or a specific theory in the discipline of international politics. Topics vary and may include, but are not limited to, the Middle East, US foreign policy issues, Human Rights, and the Politics of Women. May be taken two times for credit. [Skill: O] Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing.

PS495 SENIOR RESEARCH SEMINAR (4). This course is designed to be the capstone course for political science and criminal justice majors. Students will apply their research and writing skills by engaging in a focused research project. The end product will be a high quality research paper. Students will gain valuable experience by presenting the paper at a research conference. [Skill: W] Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing.