Courses

Courses in Political Science
(refer to the course catalogue for semesters and times taught)

110. The American Political System. Covers operation of American political processes and governmental institutions. Also addresses political culture of American democracy, political philosophy of the Constitution, relationship between organization of the economy and political power, linkages between mass public and governing elites, and operation of institutions of national
government. (M4) Reynolds

115. International Politics: How the World Works. Topics include world politics and your life, origins of the modern world system, human rights, nationalism, terrorism, violence, modern warfare, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization, United Nations, international law, global ecology, and North/South conflict. Attention to leaders of the three global blocs: United States, Germany, and Japan. (M4) Olson

120. Introduction to Political Thinking. How can we ask better political questions and provide better political answers? This course introduces students to the habits of mind of famous thinkers across the centuries: Plato, Machiavelli, Shakespeare, de Tocqueville, Students for a Democratic Society, and Hannah Arendt. Topics include personal choice, democratic citizenship, justice, and totalitarianism. Haddad

125. Introduction to Comparative Politics. A thematic approach to the study of politics in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. It exposes students to the diversity of the modern world, teaches methods for studying other countries comparatively, and emphasizes critical analysis. Topic selection varies by semester. (M5) Staff

130. The First Amendment. Issues of freedom of speech and expression. Supreme Court interpretations of the First Amendment, including major cases that have defined parameters of free speech in America. Philosophical debate about value of free expression in a democratic society. Topics include subversive speech and political dissent, protest speech, prior restraint, obscenity, libel, symbolic speech, hate speech, and provocation. Reynolds

210. U.S. Workers in the New Globalized Economy. What does “working for a living” mean today? What are prospects for good jobs in a world dominated by labor-displacing technology? Who should control the shape and purpose of technology? Do some people deserve better working conditions and more fulfilling jobs than others? How have workers organized to protect themselves? Should corporations have “rights”? What conditions prompt or retard class awareness and organization among workers, including bonds across national borders? Do global market forces produce the best outcomes for workers? Course addresses these and related questions. (M4) Olson

215. Modern Political Theory. Why should we obey the law? What makes state violence legitimate? Close textual investigations of the works of great modern political theorists such as Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft, Marx, and Mill, with an emphasis on the social contract and its limits as a form of political foundation. Haddad

218. Basic Issues in Political Science. Scope and method of political science as a discipline. Defines the boundary of the political, surveys the major contemporary approaches to study of politics. Staff

220. American Constitutional Law. Role of the Supreme Court and its relationship to the legislative and executive branches of American political system. Attention to judicial decisions of constitutional and historic significance in development of American government. (Also Sociology 220) Reynolds

221. Civil Liberties and the U.S. Constitution. Civil liberties of Americans as delineated in the Bill of Rights. Issues of freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, right to counsel, searches and seizures, self-incrimination, cruel and unusual punishment, and fair trial. Judicial policy-making and problem of individual freedoms in conflict with federal and local police powers. (Also Sociology 221) Staff

225. Congress and the Presidency. Organization and operation of legislative and executive branches; interaction between them. Attention to the rise of the administrative state and struggle for control of public policy. Writing Intensive. Reynolds

235. Contemporary European Politics. Efforts to set up, organize, and implement the European Union, from the end of World War II to the present. Review of political, economic, and social factors that have influenced these efforts. Topics include national interests of the larger countries ( Germany, France, and Great Britain); role of smaller countries; reunification of Germany; relations with the United States and Japan; recent enlargement of the EU to include central and eastern European countries. Special attention given to the creation, implementation, and meaning of the euro, the EU’s common currency. (M4) Lalande

237. Public Administration and Public Policy. Principles and practice of public administration in the U.S. Organization and operation of executive branch and its role in formulation and implementation of public policy. Topics include organization theory, bureaucratic discretion, power and accountability, administrative process, budgeting, theories of decision-making, and regulatory policy. (M4) Reynolds

240. Environmental Policy. Contemporary American politics and policy on environmental issues. Current controversies in legislative and regulatory areas. Examination of environmental issues and the political process. Staff

245. Topics in the Politics of the Third World. Most recent focus has been on the Middle East: Israeli-Palestinian conflict, oil politics, Islam, U.S. policy in the region, with attention to Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. (M5) Farbod, Olson

247. Introduction to Chinese Politics. This course provides an introduction to contemporary Chinese politics.  Using scholarly articles, literature, journalistic accounts, and films, the course presents and overview of China in world history and then moves on to issues, groups, and individuals that animate current Chinese politics, including economic and political reforms, social and cultural problems, quality of life dilemmas, the new generation of leaders, foreign policy, and China's future. (M5) Staff    

250. Contemporary Political Theory. This course provides a selective introduction to authors, texts, and concerns that shaped the political theory landscape during the twentieth century. Texts studied represent a range of models for political analysis that have become successful enough to become shared points of reference for political theorists and political scientists in the past century. Although the political crises of mid-twentieth century Europe frame inquiry, concerns will be thematically diverse. Topics have included democracy, totalitarianism, existential political thought, Marxism, nationalism. Haddad

257. Politics of Women's Rights in East Asia. Course explores the history and politics of women's rights in China, Japan, and Korea through readings, discussions, writing, interviews, videos, and debates. Focus will be on cultural and gender differences and the politics concerning women that emerge from the different written and visual sources covered. Writing intensive. (M5) Staff

310. The Politics of Personal Identity. Seminar on politics of family, ethnic, community, gender, workplace, lifestyle, education, class, and religious identities. Connection between forging an authentic identity and societal factors that present barriers to this pursuit. Course assumption is that marriage between self-knowledge and critical awareness of the world is essential. This requires examination of agencies by which sexism, racism, classism, and homophobia are reproduced and how these structures influence character development. (U2) Olson

327. Topics in Comparative Politics. This seminar covers the politics of Latin America, Asia, and Africa through reading and research. Provides the means and the methods to understand and analyze other countries. Topics change by semester and will include: women in the developing world, the politics of human rights, contentious politics, comparative revolutions, democratization and authoritarianism, states and social movements, and comparative political transitions. Writing Intensive (M5) Staff

330.Topics in American Politics: Politics and Popular Culture. Covers how popular culture shapes outcomes of American political process; how cultural processes structure comprehension and evaluation of politics; relationship between culture and political power; how political beliefs and values are manifest in popular culture. Discussion of consumerism, violence, race and ethnicity, gender conflicts, and religion, as treated in television, movies, music, and the Internet. Writing intensive. (M4) Reynolds

340. Energy Policy. Explores how contemporary society uses energy and how its use is shaped by politics and public policy, especially how energy consumption and choices of energy technologies shape patterns of human settlement, structure of social life, distribution of income, and allocation of political power. Examines implications of energy choices for the viability of the environment, levels of personal freedom, and possibilities of democratic government. (U1) Reynolds

347. Topics in Chinese Politics. Using scholarly articles, literature, journalistic accounts, and films, the course addresses a variety of topics that vary by semester, including leadership, regime change, foreign policy, domestic politics, contentious politics, social movements and the state, women in politics, political economy, political and economic development, and the effects of globalization within China. Writing Intensive (M5) Staff

348. Topics in Chinese Art, Culture, and Politics. A thematic approach to Chinese politics and cultural movements. Using scholarly articles, literature, journalistic accounts, films, and other materials, the course addresses particular topics each term, including political culture and pop culture, politics and the cinema, art and politics, culture and politics, politics and literature, and symbolic politics and social movement in China over the last century. Writing Intensive (M6) Staff

190-199, 290-299, 390-399. Special Topics.

381-384. Independent Study.

386-389. Field Study.

400-401. Honors.