Undergraduate Political Science
2015 Fall Term
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INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL SCIENCE
Introduction to Political Science introduces students to the specialties within political science, outlines the academic emphases within the major and associated requirements, and explores public and private sector opportunities in the field of political science.
AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS (GS)
An introductory course covering the history, structure and functioning of American national government and its relation to state and local government.
ETHNIC POLITICS (DV) (GS)
The central concern of this course is to provide the student an awareness of the political development of racial and ethnic minorities in today's political arena. It will compare and contrast the development of the white ethnic communities of the 19th and 20th centuries with our modern day racial and ethnic minorities. (Offered jointly with race & ethnic cultures).
LAW AND SOCIETY (GS)
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the development of law and legal practices from a political science perspective. Special emphasis will be paid to the political factors in our society that shape law. The manner in which law affects the politics of our society will also be stressed.
ISSUES AND CRISES IN AMERICAN POLITICS (GS)
An examination of selected major issues and crises confronting the American political system today. Both domestic and foreign policy issues are analyzed. Attention also will be given the political response to these issues and crises as reflected in recent policies and policy proposals of the national government. Repeatable one time (different topic) for a maximum of 6 credits in major/degree, but not repeatable for general studies credit.
INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL THEORY (GS)
An introduction to Western political thought, the role of ideology in politics, and perennial questions in political philosophy.
INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE POLITICS (GS)
This course compares the political systems of five or six countries, reflecting the range of political institutions and political behavior around the world. Students will learn to develop explanations for similarities and differences in the political life of countries around the world, e.g. why are some countries democratic and others authoritarian?
AFRICAN-AMERICAN POLITICS (DV) (GE)
The course examines the African-American experience of race, ethnicity, class, and gender within the context of American political landscape. It will therefore explore the unique history, content and forms of African-American political participation as well as their struggle for freedom and equality as full citizens in the workings of various American political institutions.
POLITICS OF TERRORISM AND COUNTERTERRORISM (GS)
This course examines the definitions, sources, patterns, and ideologies of modern terrorism. It then analyzes the objectives of various terrorist organizations as well as their operations, including strategies, tactics, weaponry, financing and state sponsorship. The course concludes by assessing the various counterterrorist measures, with special emphasis on U.S. counterterrorism policy.
POLITICS OF URBAN INEQUALITY IN THE U.S. (DV) (GS)
The course offers a sophisticated depiction of systemic urban inequality that constrains the lives of the urban poor. The readings will feature academic books and research articles that describe and analyze the politics and life experiences in inner-city neighborhoods.
POLITICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH METHODS
An introduction to basic research methods in political science. Topics will include various data collection and analysis techniques on the U.S. Presidency, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, political socialization, political parties, interest groups, civil violence, rebellion, and revolution. Students will obtain "hands-on" experience with computer software designed specifically for political science and the social sciences. This is not a statistics course, and no previous knowledge of statistical methods is assumed.
WRITING IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
This course will allow students to improve their analytical and writing skills through various writing assignments involving different formats. Some of the assignments will involve multiple drafts, based on peer and instructor feedback.
THE AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE PROCESS
The study of the organization and functioning of the legislative bodies, with particular attention to Congress: functions, membership, committee system, executive-legislative relations, pressure groups, lobbying, movement for reform.
PUBLIC POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION
A course to introduce students to the concepts and problems of public policy and administration. Emphasis will be given to the role played by individuals and groups in large organizations; theories of organization will be set forth and operations of governmental administrative agencies in the political world will be examined.
AMERICAN INTEREST GROUP POLITICS
This course will examine the interest group system in the United States by examining the history, roles, strategies, successes, and failures of interest groups in the American political system.
PUBLIC POLICY ANALYSIS
A systematic introduction to the study of public policy issues through a public policy/issue analysis and problem solving approach. It will also examine and explore other analytical models and approaches in the study of public problems and policy issues.
POLITICS OF DEVELOPMENT
This course focuses on the comparative analysis and contending interpretations of development in the developing countries. Emphasis will be given to the role of the state intervention and the coalitional politics of dominant class factions in capital accumulation and allocation of surplus for development. The analysis also includes the influence of international economic system as exercised through direct foreign investment and commercial lending institutions. Special attention will also be paid to the impact of militarism on the Third World countries and the problems of environment and sustainable development.
SCIENCE POLICY AND HUMAN HEALTH
This course will explore the intersections between science, public policy, and human health. A number of controversial scientific issues that have the potential to affect human health will be reviewed, which may include climate change, medical marijuana, genetic engineering and childhood vaccination.
STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
A study of modern American state and local governments, their evolution from colonial beginnings, their problems and their potential. Topics include constitutional revision, the role of governors, legislatures and courts, forms of urban and rural government, and state-local relations.
A study of international law, its sources, development and content. Selected readings on theory, and form decisions and opinions of the Permanent Court of International Justice and the International Court of Justice.
An introductory survey of political relations among nation-states, including the topics of war and peace, nationalism, elements of national power, conventional and nuclear weaponry, diplomacy, economic interdependence, the Third World, and international and regional organizations.
An analysis of the impact of social cleavages and cohesion on the operation of political institutions; the composition and behavior of power elites; the social base of political power; the social functions of electoral behavior.
CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL THOUGHT
A study in depth of certain selected topics of contemporary importance, such as the resolution of power conflicts, the theory and practice of nonviolence, and the existentialist dilemma.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND THE CONSTITUTION
This course examines the role of the major participants in the criminal justice system-defendants, police, prosecutions, courts, and corrections-and the development of constitutional law regulating their behavior.
THE POLITICS OF GOVERNMENT BUDGETING
A course designed to introduce the students to the study of criteria for what services or functions should be undertaken by government and in what amounts; analyzing the effects that government spending and taxes have on the behavior of the private sector of the economy and on the political system, and evaluating the problems and solutions for allocating tax burden equitably among different groups in the society.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF LATIN AMERICA
This is a survey course of Latin American government and politics. Major concepts and principles of comparative politics are reviewed and applied to the Latin American context. Country studies may include Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Guatemala, and Venezula.
SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY
Provides students with the analysis and critical understanding of the policy issues surrounding historical and current social welfare programs, of new social welfare issues and of policy decisions that lead to changes in programming. Community organization, as an intervention approach, will be explored.
INTERNSHIP IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
Study and work with a government unit or in some area of public affairs under the direction of a faculty supervisor. Students will have the opportunity to combine academic learning with practical experience in government and politics. Repeatable for a maximum of 12 credits in major/degree.
Variable topics. See Schedule of Classes.
Study of a selected topic or topics under the direction of a faculty member. Repeatable for a maximum of 4 credits in major/degree. Department Consent required.
SENIOR HONORS THESIS
Individual research for majors writing thesis for honors degree; emphasis upon depth, scope and individual research on approved topics under the supervision of a member of the faculty.