Political Science Courses

General Course Listings

Sub CRSE Title
LAS 220 Politics and Economics of Brazil (= POL 344)
Prerequisites & Notes

(Fall)

Instructor
B. Crandall

Treatment of political and economic change in modern Brazil.  Focus on inequality, violence, environmental protection, and US-Brazil relations.  Course includes historical background from 1946 forward.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement
Meets the Cultural Diversity requirement

LAS 222 The Political Economy of the Southern Cone (=POL 354)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
B. Crandall

Course offers brief historical overview of Southern Cone nations Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay and then moves to in-depth study of political and economic institutions.  Themes include bureaucratic authoritarianism, economic shocks, military rule and the return to democracy, regional integration, and globalization.

Satisfies a major requirement in Latin American Studies and Political Science
Satisfies a concentration requirement in International Studies
Satisfies Liberal Studies distribution requirement
Meets the Cultural Diversity requirement
 

POL 101 Contemporary Political Ideologies
Prerequisites & Notes

Not open to juniors until drop-add; not open to seniors except with permission of the instructor and only once the semester begins.

Instructor
Ahrensdorf

This course investigates the theories at the foundation of liberal democracy, capitalism, communism, fascism, Nazism, and political Islam.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

 

POL 121 American Politics
Prerequisites & Notes

Not open to juniors until drop-add; not open to seniors except with permission of the instructor and only once the semester begins.

Instructors
Bullock, O'Geen, Roberts

Analysis of American political processes, institutions, and problems.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

 

POL 140 Comparative Global Politics
Prerequisites & Notes

Not open to juniors until drop-add; not open to seniors except with permission of the instructor and only once the semester begins. 

Instructors
Menkhaus, Rigger

Introduction to the comparative study of political institutions, selected public policy challenges, and political trends in selected countries and regions around the world. Students are introduced to aspects of critical analysis and comparative methods as part of exploration of topics such as comparative electoral systems, executive-legislative relations, health care policies, gun control, immigration, taxation, and democratization.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.
Credit towards International Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.

 

POL 161 International Relations
Prerequisites & Notes

Not open to juniors until drop-add; not open to seniors except with permission of the instructor and only once the semester begins.

Instructors
Alexander, R. Crandall, Ceka

Global issues, foreign policy, and the structures and processes of conflict and cooperation in a dynamically changing world environment.

Satisfied the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.
Credit towards International Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.
 

 

POL 201 Methods and Statistics in Political Science
Prerequisites & Notes

Not open to first-year students.

Instructors
Ceka, Menkhaus, O'Geen, Rigger, Sellers, Toska

The framework of social science analysis, and the use of statistics for studying political problems. Topics range from research design and hypothesis testing to correlation and multiple regression.

Satisfies the Mathematical and Quantitative Thought distribution requirement. 

 

POL 202 Classical Political Theory
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Ahrensdorf

Through a study of works by Aristophanes, Plato, and Aristotle, this course examines the Socratic revolution in the history of thought, why Socrates founded political philosophy, and the radical challenge that classical political philosophy poses to modern and contemporary political thought.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.
Counts towards the major in Classics.

 

POL 203 Medieval Political Theory
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructors
Ahrensdorf, Shaw

Major political thinkers of medieval Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

 

POL 204 Modern Political Theory
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Shaw

Leading political philosophers from the Renaissance to the latter part of the 19th century.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

 

POL 206 Contemporary Political Theory
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Shaw

Major political philosophers from Nietzsche to the present.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

 

POL 207 Family and Justice
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Shaw

Examination of the ways in which families and political and economic institutions shape one another, with special emphasis on policies that promote marriage over 'alternative' family arrangements; state-mandated family leave policies; 'family-friendly' corporate employment practices; same-sex marriage; divorce law; and welfare reform.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

 

POL 220 The US Congress
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructors
Roberts


Legislative behavior and policy-making in the United States, with particular emphasis on the Congress.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

 

POL 222 Parties and Interest Groups
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Roberts

Analysis of the internal operation of parties and interest groups and their role in the American electoral and legislative process.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

 

POL 223 The Presidency
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructors
O'Geen, Roberts

The modern American presidency from a policy-making perspective, including consideration of the various internal and external factors that constrain the behavior of incumbent presidents.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

 

POL 224 Political Institutions
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
O'Geen

This course will examine the origins and maintenance of political institutions, as well as the role of institutions in shaping outcomes and behavior. Theories drawing on insights from Political Science, Economics, History, and Sociology will be explored with a focus on applications in American politics.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

 

POL 225 Public Policy
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructors
Bullock, Roberts 

Formation, implementation, and evaluation of governmental responses to public needs. Focus on special topics such as environmental policy and health care.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

 

POL 226 Racial and Ethnic Politics
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

An exploration of the role of ethnic and racial identities in American political life, with special attention to debates about how best to incorporate various American minority groups into the political process.

Fulfills cultural diversity requirement.

POL 227 Law, Politics and Society
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
O'Geen

This course is a survey of issues and themes connecting law, politics, and society. Reading and discussion will focus on American politics and explore topics as wide-ranging as racial inequality in sentencing and imprisonment, historical changes in the interpretation of rights and liberties, and civil procedure.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.
 

POL 228 US Environmental Politics and Policy
Prerequisites & Notes

Offered every other year, in rotation with POL 398.

Instructor
Bullock

This course will explore the political challenges and opportunities associated with environmental problems in the United States. Through in-depth cases and role-playing simulations at the local, state, and national levels, students study the competing interests, values, narratives, and knowledge claims in the politics of energy, pollution, natural resources, biodiversity, and climate change.

Satisfies depth and breadth course requirement in Social Science track of the Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

 

POL 229 Business and Politics
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Bullock

This course introduces students to a variety of analytical perspectives on the relationship between the public and private sectors in the United States. It has a particular focus on the characteristics of US political institutions and corporate actors that influence this relationship, the role of corporate activities in the political arena, and the effects of public policies on American businesses.

Satisfies a major requirement in Political Science

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement

 

POL 239 Special Topics in American Politics
Prerequisites & Notes

The content of this course changes from year to year.

Section A: Women and Politics
MWF 2:30pm - 3:20pm
Phan

The objective of this course is to examine the role that gender has on elected officials, the electorate, and public policy. This class will examine three central questions: Where are all the women and how do gender roles in society shape women's pathways to power? What are the policy consequences of women's representation? What interventions have policy makers (worldwide) taken to increase women's representation?

Satisfies a Social Scientific Thought distribution requirement (this topic only).

Counts as a Society and Politics course in the Gender and Sexuality Studies major and minor (this topic only).

 

Section B: Constitutional Police Procedure
MWF 2:30pm - 3:20pm
Boddery

This course introduces students to police procedure through the study of U.S constitutional law.  Relying on Supreme Court and lower federal court decisions that interpret clauses contained in the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments, this course examines law enforcement liability, responsibility, and authority, as well as the constraints and requirements to surveillance, traffic stops, arrests, and searches and seizures.

POL 242 West European Politics
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Ceka

Comparative analysis of the political culture, party systems, political economy, and foreign policies of France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and other selected Western European states.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.
Satisfies a requirement of the International Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.

 

POL 259 Special Topics
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

 

The content of this course changes from year to year. 

 

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 269 Special Topics in International Politics
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

An upper division course dealing with a topic in International Politics. Past courses have included Causes of War, Globalization, and International Relations Theory.

The content of this course changes from year to year.  Please see the departmental website for a detailed description of this year's offerings.

POL 280 Contemporary Political History
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Menkhaus

A survey and critical analysis of global events, trends, and controversies in the past five decades-with special focus on the post-Cold War era-that have had an enduring impact on contemporary politics.

Satisfies minor credit in International Studies.
 

POL 281 Capitalism and the History of Economic Thought
Prerequisites & Notes

ECO 101

Instructor
R. Crandall

Traces the historical evolution, philosophical underpinnings, and current debates related to one of the most consequential ideologies of all time: capitalism. Outlines key historical episodes that influenced capitalism's ascent to its present unrivaled status. 
 

POL 288 Davidson in Washington Independent Study
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

Project involving student research conducted in Washington, D.C., as part of the summer program of Davidson in Washington. Must have a significant political component.

POL 289 Independent Study
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor.

Instructor
Staff

Research leading to the submission of a major paper under the direction and supervision of a faculty member who reviews and approves the topic of the independent study and evaluates the student's work.

POL 290 Politics of Africa
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Menkhaus

Survey of contemporary political conflicts, development  and international relations of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Sub-field = International and Comparative


Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.
Fulfills cultural diversity requirement.
Satisfies a requirement of the Africana Studies major.
Satisfies a requirement of the International Studies interdisciplinary minor.

POL 291 Politics of the Middle East
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Toska

Survey of contemporary political and economic issues facing the Middle East, including international relations of the Middle East.

Sub-field = International and Comparative
Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.
Provides credit towards the Arab Studies minor.
Satisfies the Middle East Studies interdisciplinary minor.

POL 293 Politics of the Americas
Prerequisites & Notes

(Spring)

Instructor
R. Crandall

This course examines the history, politics, economics, and society of the countries and regions comprising the Americas and Latin America in particular. 

Sub-field = International and Comparative
Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.
Satisfies a requirement of the International Studies Interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies a requirement of the Latin American Studies major.
 

POL 302 Special Topics in Classical Political Theory
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Rathnam

This course explores such central themes of classical political thought as "education and politics," "idealism and realism," and "politics and literature." 

The content of this course changes from year to year. 

Fall 2016 Difference and Disagreement

It is often suggested that contemporary liberal democracies are becoming more and more diverse, and even that such diversity is an inevitable result of free institutions. This diversity takes various forms: ethnic, racial, and religious diversity, most prominently, but also all kinds of theoretical disagreements about how we should live and how our communities should to be organized.  All of this makes the practical question of how we ought to respond, politically speaking, to these forms of difference and disagreement an urgent one.  While this is often understood as a distinctively modern question, it in fact goes back to the roots of political theory in ancient Greece.  

This course examines the treatments of diversity and disagreement in the works of some of the greatest philosophers (Plato), historians (Herodotus), and playwrights (Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Sophocles) of ancient Greece.  Through our study of these writers, we will think through questions such as the following: what is the relationship between the world's cultures and the good life?  Is the latter as varied as the former? How should we think about our responsibilities?  Are they given universally by reason or human nature, or instead by our cultural and social roles?  We will also consider the ways in which selected early modern writers, such as Michel de Montaigne and Bartolomé de las Casas, and contemporary writers, such as Kwame Anthony Appiah, Amartya Sen, and Iris Marion Young, have addressed these and related questions.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 304 Foundations of Liberalism
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Shaw

Major political philosophers within the liberal tradition, including Locke, Kant, de Tocqueville, Mill, Hayek, and Rawls.

Satisifies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

 

POL 305 Education and Politics
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Ahrensdorf

This course examines the proper political and moral education of aspiring leaders in works by Plato, Machiavelli, and Shakespeare.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

 

POL 306 Special Topics in American Political Theory
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Ahrensdorf

This course explores such themes of American political theory as, for example, Machiavelli and the American Founding.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

 

POL 307 Lincoln and the Crisis of American Democracy
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Ahrensdorf
 

This course examines the political thought of Lincoln, his predecessors, and his contemporaries concerning such themes as slavery, democracy, the Founding, and the Constitution.

Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 318 Special Topics in Contemporary Political Theory
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Shaw

The course explores topics of special relevance to debates in contemporary political theory such as "multicultural citizenship," "democratic theory," and "conservative political theory."

The content of this course changes from year to year.  Please see the departmental website for a detailed description of this year's offerings.

 

POL 325 Constitutional Law
Prerequisites & Notes

Not open to first-year students. 

Instructor
O'Geen

Development and interpretation of the Constitution of the United States through analysis of the decisions of the Supreme Court. 

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

 

POL 326 Legal Research and Writing
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Boddery

Introduces students to fundamental legal research, analysis, and writing.  Not open to first-year students.

Satisfies a major requirement in Political Science

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement

POL 327 Civil Liberties
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
O'Geen

Analysis of Constitutional guarantees of civil liberties in the United States with special focus on the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

 

POL 328 Politics of Information
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Bullock

Ratings, rankings and certifications have become a ubiquitous form of power in American society.  Through in-depth case studies, this course explores the validity, credibility and effectiveness of these hotly-contested "information-based governance" strategies (such as food sustainability certifications, corporate "green" rankings, or doctor quality ratings), particularly in the health and environmental fields.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.
Satisfies depth and breadth course requirement in the Social Science track of the Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor.

 

POL 330 Campaign Strategy
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructors
Roberts

Analysis of the strategic and ethical dilemmas that political candidates face in election campaigns.

 

POL 334 Public Opinion
Prerequisites & Notes

(Offered alternate years.)

Instructors
Staff


Formation, change and measurement of political attitudes.

 

POL 336 Politics and the Media
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructors
Roberts

An assessment of the role mass media plays in American politics with emphasis on systematic as well as individual effects.

 

POL 341 The Rise of New Democracies
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Rigger

The study of selected countries undergoing democratic transitions using theories of democratization in contemporary societies as a framework.


Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.
Provides credit towards the International Studies interdisciplinary minor.

POL 342 Politics, Economics, & Society in China
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Rigger

Introduces the political institutions, behavior, and foreign relations of the People's Republic of China.


Satisfies the Liberal Studies distribution requirement.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.
Provides credit towards the International Studies Interdisciplinary minor.
Provides credit towards the Asian Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.

POL 343 The Politics of Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Rigger

Introduces the political institutions and behavior of Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and North Korea.


Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.
Satisfies a requirement of the International Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.
Satisfies a requirement of the Asian Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.

POL 344 Politics and Economics of Brazil (= LAS 220)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
B. Crandall

Treatment of political and economic change in modern Brazil. Focus on inequality, violence, environmental protection, and US-Brazil relations. Course includes historical background from 1946 forward.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.
Provides credit towards the Latin American Studies major.

POL 347 Politics of Development
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Menkhaus

Theories of development and underdevelopment, assessment of development policies in practice, and study of political change in the Global South.


Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.
Counts toward the International Studies interdisciplinary minor.

POL 348 Russian/Post-Soviet States' Politics
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

Comparative analysis of the political systems, political economies, and foreign policies of Russia and former Soviet republics, including Ukraine, the Caucasian republics, and Central Asian states.


Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.
Counts toward the International Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.

POL 350 Politics of North Africa
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Alexander

Introduces major themes in the political development in North Africa, with particular emphasis on explaining variation in political development across states of the contemporary Maghreb. Examines cultural, historical, economic, and political questions extending back to the early nineteenth century.


Provides credit towards the International Studies interdisciplinary minor.
Provides credit towards the Arab Studies minor.

POL 351 South Asian Politics
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

This course focuses on contemporary politics, institutions and public policy issues in India as well as selected topics on the politics of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.
Satisfies a requirement of the Asian Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.
Satisfies a requirement of the International Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.

POL 353 The Latin American Political Novel
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
R. Crandall

This course analyzes the political messages and discussions within some of Latin America's most widely read works of fiction.  The course also examines the broader political, economic, and social context in which these stories take place.  The novels will be read in English translation.


Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.
Satisfies a major requirement in Latin American Studies. 
Satisfies a requirement of the International Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.

POL 354 Political Economy of the Southern Cone (=LAS 222)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
B. Crandall

Course offers brief historical overview of Southern Cone nations Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay and then moves to in-depth study of political and economic institutions.  Themes include bureaucratic authoritarianism, economic shocks, military rule and the return to democracy, regional integration, and globalization.

Satisfies a major requirement in Latin American Studies and Political Science

Satisfies a concentration requirement in International Studies

Satisfies Liberal Studies distribution requirement

Meets the Cultural Diversity requirement
 

POL 360 International Political Economy
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
B. Crandall

This course explores theories and policy debates involving international trade, finance, development, labor, and global financial crises. 

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.
Counts toward the International Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.

POL 361 U.S.-Latin American Relations
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
R. Crandall

This course traces the evolution of United States involvement in Latin America beginning with the War of 1898 and continuing through the present day. It focuses on recent US-Latin American issues such as the war on drugs, undocumented immigration, and intermittent U.S. interventions in the hemisphere.

Satisfies the Historical Thought distribution requirement.
Counts toward the Latin American Studies Major.
Counts toward the International Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.

POL 362 American Foreign Policy
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Alexander, R. Crandall, Menkhaus

Analysis of the foreign policy process, and selected American foreign policy challenges and debates.


Counts toward International Studies interdisciplinary minor.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement

POL 363 International Organization
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Ceka

Survey of theories of international cooperation, conflict, and organization; the historical evolution, functions, and current politics of key international organizations, especially the United Nations; U.S. foreign policy toward the U.N.; and selected issues and case studies with a focus on the politics of intervention and international peacekeeping.


Counts toward International Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement

POL 364 Global Security
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructors
Menkhaus

Analysis of old and emerging global security threats, including nuclear proliferation, terrorism, cyber-terrorism, civil wars, transnational crime, and climate change.


Counts toward International Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement

POL 365 The International Relations of the Asia Pacific
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Rigger

Considers the foreign policies of and relationships among nations in the Asia-Pacific region.


Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.
Satisfies a requirement of the International Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.
Satisfies a requirement of the Asian Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.

POL 374 Indian Ocean Relations
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Menkhaus

This course explores critical transnational issues in Indian Ocean affairs, including commerce, labor migration, energy politics, regional security, piracy, terrorism and migration. It also devotes class sessions to inter-state relations in the region, especially Indian relations with Pakistan and China. US policies and interests in the region are also covered.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.
Satisfies a requirement of the Asian Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.
Satisfies a requirement of the International Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.
 

POL 379 Topics in International Relations
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

An upper division course dealing with a topic in international relations. Past courses have included Causes of War, International Law, and Terrorism in the 20th century.

The content of this course changes from year to year.  Please see the departmental website for a detailed descripton of this year's offerings.

 

POL 380 Symposium: Davidson in Washington
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

A symposium on topics of contemporary politics conducted in Washington as part of the Davidson in Washington summer program. Past topics have included: "National Security," "Citizenship in the 21st Century," "Justice and the Family."

Satisfies a major requirement in Political Science.

POL 381 Philanthropy and the Non-Profit Sector
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Menkhaus
 
Multi-disciplinary exploration of the changing roles of the non-profit sector and philanthropy in service delivery, advocacy, civic life and public policy.  Focus is primarily on the non-profit sector in the US.  Topics include venture philanthropy; social entrepreneurism; foundations; patterns of giving and volunteerism; best practices in non-profit management; and critiques of philanthropic giving and the non-profit sector.  Includes a lab component of the course, funded by the "Learning by Giving Foundation," in which students solicit project proposals and allocate $10,000 to local non-profits.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 383 Peruvian Political Thought since the Conquest (=HIS 362)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

This seminar uses primary-source readings to explore the history of political ideas in Peru since the conquest, with an emphasis on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The course includes a wide range of Peruvian voices, including indigenous-, Spanish-, and African-descended Peruvians; women and men; leftists and rightists. It also includes multiple genres, including novels (several), works of formal political theory, indigenous oral histories, and distinctively Peruvian "traditions" (short works of historical fiction).

Satisfies the Historical Thought distribution requirement.
Satisfies a requirement of the International Studies interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies a requirement of the Latin American Studies interdisciplinary minor.
 

POL 384 Psychology of Political Leadership
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Ceka

This is an interdisciplinary course that uses concepts, theories and methodological approaches from psychology to explore political leadership and its many facets. The course has two overarching goals. First, it will explore the factors that influence who becomes a political leader. Here the focus will be on how political leaders are chosen and socialized and what their motivations for seeking political office are. Second, this course will seek to understand how character traits affect leadership and decision making with a particular focus on how leaders' personalities and experiences affect their ability to govern accountably and effectively.

POL 389 Tutorial
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor. (Offered every semester.)

Instructor
Staff

Individual programs of supervised study conducted through the preparation and discussion of a series of essays under the direction and supervision of a faculty member who reviews and approves the topic of the tutorial.

POL 398 Global Environmental Politics
Prerequisites & Notes

Offered every other year, in rotation with POL 228.

Instructor
Bullock

Through in-depth case studies and research projects, this course introduces students to comparative and international perspectives on three major environmental challenges - climate change, biodiversity loss, and access to clean water.  Students will learn about the strengths and limitations of efforts by both governmental and non-governmental actors across a range of different countries and scales to tackle these challenges. 

Satisfies a major requirement in Political Science

Satisfies a major requirement in Environmental Studies

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement

POL 399 Legislatures
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

Comparative analysis of the legislative process in presidential and parliamentary systems.  Considers elections, law-making and executive-legislative elections.

Sub-field = Comparative and American

 

POL 400 Seminars in Political Theory, POL 400-419
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor. Individual courses may have additional prerequisites. At least one seminar is offered in each sub-field every year.

Instructors
Ahrensdorf, Shaw

Reading, research, reports, and discussions on selected topics within the sub-field. Past seminars include "Lincoln and the Crisis of American Democracy," "The City and Justice," "Kant," and "Politics and Heroism."

A list of available seminars will be posted on the department webpage prior to each semester's registration.

POL 401 Thucydides on Justice and War
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
Ahrensdorf

This course investigates arguments for and against both political realism and political idealism through a study of the founder of classical realism, Thucydides.

Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 402 Kant, Liberalism, and Rights
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Shaw

A focused examination of Kant's principal moral and political writings.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 403 Against Liberalism
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Shaw

An examination of influential 19th and 20th century critiques of liberal democracy.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

 

POL 404 Politics and Heroism
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
Ahrensdorf

This course explores the relation between heroism and political life through an examination of such thinkers as Homer, Plato, and Nietzsche.

Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 405 Justice and the City
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Shaw

An examination of contemporary urban design and regional planning practices in light of normative debates about property rights, democracy, and federalism.

Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 406 Religion, Politics, and Law
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
Ahrensdorf

This course explores the perennial issue of the relation between religion, politics, and law (both human and divine), through a study of such thinkers as Plato and Montesquieu.

Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 407 Liberalism, Feminism, and Manliness
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Shaw

An examination of the tensions between liberalism and feminism in the works of Wollstonecraft, Rousseau, Mill, Tocqueville, Mansfield, and de Beauvoir.

Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 408 Special Topics in Political Theory
Prerequisites & Notes

Fall 2016 - Chinese Political Thought: Ancient and Modern

Given China's current prominence in global affairs, there has been a recent revival of interest in what China might teach us about the nature of political life.  While many earlier interpreters regarded traditional Chinese political theories, most notably Confucianism, as an obstacle to economic and political modernization, some more recent political theorists have suggested that Chinese political thought offers a powerful alternative to modern Western thought.  In this course, we will seek to examine these debates through the careful study of both the central Chinese texts (in translation) and contemporary works in the field.  

In the first part of the course, we will examine the major schools of ancient Chinese political thought-- Confucianism, Daoism, Legalism, and Mohism.  We will consider the ways in which each one responds to questions such as the following: what is the best way of life for human beings?  How does can particular policies or approaches to government help or hinder human wellbeing?  What forms of education support a flourishing community?  What is the place of the family in political life?  In the second part of the course, we will bring these theories, particularly Confucianism, into dialogue with contemporary Western political thought.  Here we will discuss, for example, the ways in which concepts such as democracy and human rights might be understood within a Confucian framework.  

POL 420 Seminars in American Politics, POL 420-439
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

 

A list of available seminars will be posted on the department webpage prior to each semester's registration.

POL 421 Judicial Politics
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
O'Geen

This seminar provides an introduction to the study of the law and courts in American politics.   This includes examination of courts as policy-shaping institutions, the motivation and behavior of judges, and the political contexts of courts and judging.  The readings draw on current and classic work in political science and law and represents a range of theoretical and methodological perspectives.  Courts and judges sit at the intersection of law and politics in the U.S.  This seminar is particularly suited for students interested in understanding and studying this connection.      

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 422 Political Communication
Prerequisites & Notes

Methods & Statistics in Political Science (POL 201) and permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
Sellers

This seminar examines the use and effectiveness of different rhetorical and communication strategies in contemporary politics, from campaigns and elections and policy debates to crisis management and new media.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 423 Politics of Reproduction
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
Roberts

This seminar examines political and policy questions regarding reproductive politics such as contraception, access to abortion, eugenics, artificial reproductive technology, egg donation, sperm banking, stem cell technology, sex education and surrogacy.  The politics of reproduction touches on nearly all avenues of politics: policymaking, public opinion, framing, activism, legislation, constitutional questions, and elections.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 428 Special Topics in American Politics
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Seminar in American Politics.

POL 434 Political Psychology
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
Staff

The goal of political science is to explain why citizens engage in certain types of political behavior, and how citizens think about politics. Psychology offers a way to explain how and why individuals behave the way they do. This course considers the role of personality, emotions, stereotypes, and group dynamics in politics, campaigns, and voting. We will learn about key psychology concepts, apply these concepts to politics, and investigate how experimental methods can identify the psychology behind politics.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 440 European Integration
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
Ceka


The European Union (EU) is one of the world's most ambitious experiments in governance. Consequently, it is both one of the most complex and intriguing international organizations to study and understand. In this course, we will review the history of European integration and we will investigate in detail the main institutions of the EU and how they relate to one another. We will also explore some of the most important current debates revolving around the EU, including the role of public opinion and identity politics for European integration, the 'democratic deficit' and the most recent global financial crisis.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 441 The Rise of China
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
Rigger

This course offers advanced students an opportunity to explore contemporary Chinese politics, economics, and society in detail.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 443 Political Islam
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
Toska

This course examines how modern Islam, from the middle of the nineteenth century to today, "became" political. It explores the role of theology and domestic and international politics in the development of Islamic movements, political parties, Islamic jihad, and Islamic rule in various countries. It also focuses on contemporary issues - the relationship between Islam and democracy, the rise of violent non-state groups, and global responses to them.

Satisfies a major requirement in Political Science

Satisfies a minor requirement in Arab Studies

Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement in Middle East Studies

Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement in International Studies

Satisfies the Cultural Diversity requirement

POL 448 Special Topics in Comparative Politics
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Seminar in Comparative Politics.

POL 460 State-building and Peacebuilding
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructors
Menkhaus


Failed and fragile states have been identified as a major threat to both development and security.  This seminar explores the enterprise of peacebuilding and state-building in post-conflict settings, and the many challenges faced by the international community as it attempts to support the revival of states and good governance in countries emerging from war.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

 

POL 461 American Grand Strategy
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
R. Crandall

This course considers the historical and conceptual evolution of American grand stratgey from the Colonial era to the present day.

Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 462 Humanitarian Intervention
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
Menkhaus

An exploration of the politics, policies, debates, and controversies surrounding humanitarian interventionism, including emergency relief operations, refugee politics, UN peace operations, and emerging global norms and enforcement mechanisms on war crimes, war economies, and human rights violations.  Case studies of interventions in the name of humanitarian principles in countries such as Bosnia, Somalia, South Sudan, Haiti, and East Timor will be explored to complement thematic readings.

Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 468 Special Topics in International Politics
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Seminar in International Politics.

POL 470 Forecasting and Political Risk Analysis
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
Menkhaus

Governments, private sector firms, international organizations, and non-profits all engage in political risk analysis and forecasting.  This type of analysis draws heavily on the theories and methods of political science to evaluate conflict vulnerability, political stability, corruption, rule of law, crime and security threats, regime change, and a host of other factors that can create unwanted risks.  This seminar explores the many facets of political risk analysis and forecasting, and requires students to take on the role of risk analyst to produce a country or regional risk assessment.

Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 471 Leaders vs. Entrepreneurs
Prerequisites & Notes

Offered every other year, in rotation with POL 472.
Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
Bullock

This course examines the characteristics of great leaders and successful entrepreneurs, and the roles they play in politics and society.  Building on insights from political science, economics, and psychology, students use different theories and concepts, such as social entrepreneurship and transformative leadership, to analyze individuals as diverse as Jane Goodall, Steve Jobs, and Teddy Roosevelt.

Satisfies depth and breadth course requirement in Social Science track of the Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

 

POL 472 Citizens vs. Consumers
Prerequisites & Notes

Offered every other year, in rotation with POL 471.
Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
Bullock

This seminar investigates the roles of citizens and consumers in politics and society.  Students compare different forms of citizenship, discuss the implications of political consumerism, and examine the tensions and complementarities between our identities as citizens and consumers in the context of different environmental arenas, including water pollution, air quality, and climate change. 


Satisfies depth and breadth course requirement in Social Science track of the Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought distribution requirement.

POL 485 Advanced Independent Study
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
Staff

Research leading to the submission of a major paper under the direction and supervision of a faculty member who reviews and approves the topic of the independent study.

POL 488 Honors Thesis
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

Required of and limited to seniors in the Honors Program. Thesis is written under supervision of an appropriate instructor and is defended orally before at least two members of the political science faculty.