Political Science (PO)
Professor: L. M. Schwab; Associate Professors: L. L. Bowen (Associate Academic Vice President), A. Sobisch, P. A. Mason, E. A. Stiles, M. J. Peden (Associate Dean); Assistant Professors: D. R. Hahn, D. N. Birch (Chair), J. J. Ziemke
The Department of Political Science seeks to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge about politics and to hone intellectual skills that encourage analysis and evaluation of that knowledge. Political science is a social science discipline in the tradition of the liberal arts and sciences. Its subject matter embraces political institutions of government, political behavior, and political theory. The goals of the Political Science Department are: (1) to promote student learning about politics and political science; (2) to improve basic intellectual skills—analytical reasoning, critical thinking, written communication, and problem solving; (3) to promote awareness, interest, concern, and involvement in community affairs at all levels; and (4) to provide a foundation for post-graduate studies (public affairs, political science, public policy, public administration, law, and other related fields) and careers, particularly in public service (e.g., public policy analysis, public administration, non-profit administration, electoral politics), education, political journalism, law, and the private sector (domestic and international).
The major includes five core courses and seven elective courses beyond the 100 level (with no more than three at the 200 level and at least one at the 400 level exclusive of PO 403). The five core courses are: United States Politics (PO 101), Comparative Politics (PO 102), International Relations (PO 103), Political Thought (PO 104), and Political Science Research Methods (PO 300). Students are strongly encouraged to take PO 300 in their junior year. The seven elective courses may be concentrated in one area or distributed across several areas. Political science majors are required to take the Major Field Achievement Test during the second semester of their senior year. The test is administered by the Political Science Department. Before taking an upper-level course in a given area (such as United States Politics), the department recommends that students first take the 100-level foundational course corresponding to that area of study.
Political science students pursue careers in a variety of fields. These include government, politics, law, education, business, and journalism. Students intent on acquiring a secondary teaching licensure for social studies or history and government should seek the advice of the Political Science Department and be admitted as special students to an appropriate core and set of specialized courses.
The Department of Political Science sponsors the Mu Upsilon chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honorary society. Membership is open to students whose academic record reflects outstanding achievement and demonstrated interest in the study of political science. The department also sponsors the Political Science Association, which provides students with the opportunity to participate in activities such as model UN programs.
Major and Minor Requirements
Major in Political Science: 36 credit hours. The political science core: PO 101, 102, 103, 104, 300; 21 hours of elective courses (200, 300, and 400 level) concentrated in one area or distributed across several areas; no more than nine hours can be at the 200 level; one of the elective courses must be a 400-level course (3 hours but exclusive of PO 403). Team-taught courses will count toward the major at the chair’s discretion.
Minor in United States Politics: 18 hours. PO 101 and 15 hours elected from among PO 204, 207, 213, 241, 295, 301, 302, 303, 305, 309, 310, 312, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 343, 344, 361, 363, 395, 417, 440, with no more than 6 hours at the 200 level.
Minor in Foreign Affairs: 18 hours. PO 102 and 103 and 12 hours elected from among PO 220, 241, 254, 296, 297, 311, 320, 321, 334, 335, 337, 344, 351, 355, 356, 357, 396, 397, 428, 445, 458, with no more than 6 hours at the 200 level.
Minor in General Political Science: 18 hours. Two courses at the 100 level and four additional courses (which can include AR 291), with no more than 6 hours at the 200 level.
NOTE: With the permission of the department chair, PO 398 can be used to fulfill minor requirements in either U.S. Politics or Foreign Affairs depending on the specific emphasis of a particular PO 398 offering. All special topics courses count toward the minor in General Political Science.
Minors and Concentrations
Majors of departments other than political science are encouraged to pursue a minor in either American politics, foreign affairs, or general political science.
The department participates in the following interdisciplinary minors and concentrations: Africana Studies, Public Administration and Policy Studies, International Studies, Perspectives on Sex and Gender, Environmental Studies, Latin American Studies, Modern European Studies, Political Communication, and East Asian Studies. Students interested in one of these programs should consult the department chair. See the section on interdisciplinary minors and concentrations in this Bulletin (pages 84-91).
Political Science Core
101. UNITED STATES POLITICS 3 cr. The U.S. political system in theory and practice; political processes, institutions, individual and group behavior; the relationship of the political system to the organizational and economic environments.
102. COMPARATIVE POLITICS 3 cr. Introduction to the study of political behavior and institutions through a comparative perspective.
103. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 3 cr. Origin, nature, and development of the Western state system. International conflict and its management by political and legal means. Concepts of international relations: sovereignty, nationalism, national power and security, balance of power. Contemporary international issues.
104. POLITICAL THOUGHT 3 cr. Examination of the assumptions, methods, and substantive positions of selected political theorists as a basis of analyzing political life. Themes include sovereignty, power, equality, slavery, peace, representation, identity, force, and violence.
204. INTRODUCTION TO POLICY STUDIES 3 cr. Introduction to the public policy process; institutions that structure and implement policy responses, models of decision-making, analytical and evaluative methodologies, epistemological approaches, normative concerns. Policy areas investigated to illustrate both the actual and symbolic impact of the policy process within diverse political settings.
207. POLITICS OF EQUALITY 3 cr. Defining the concept of equality within political, social, and economic parameters; analysis of equality as policy goal. Categories of race, sex, and sexual orientation considered in terms of the meaning and value of the concept of equality.
213. POLITICS IN THE 50 STATES 3 cr. Comparative study of the political systems in the fifty states with emphasis on legislatures, governors, bureaucracies, courts, political parties, interest groups, political participation, elections, and public policies.
220. EUROPEAN UNION SIMULATION 3 cr. Simulation course that models the policy-making process within the European Union. Includes a three-day conference in November in Washington, D.C. Each student will take on the role of a political decision-maker from an EU member. Offered fall term of even-numbered years.
240. LAW AND FILM 3 cr. Explores the interplay between law and popular culture as represented by film. Also considers important themes in the study of law and judicial politics, including the relationship between law and justice, the practice of law, and the role of courts and trials in a political system.
241. RELIGION, CULTURE, AND POLITICS 3 cr. Explores ways that relationships among religion, culture, and politics are expressed within nations and across national borders. Incorporates comparative perspectives and field opportunities.
242. JAPANESE POLITICS AND POLITICAL CULTURE 3 cr. Explores foundational issues in political science through consideration of Japanese political culture, politics, and government, as well as Japan’s situation in a changing Asia.
243. CHINESE POLITICS AND POLITICAL CULTURE 3 cr. Considers Chinese politics and government—both regional and national—as they evolve in a rapidly changing society, as well as China’s “peaceful rise.”
254. LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS 3 cr. Broad historical and regional overview of the political, economic, and social issues that have shaped today’s Latin American politics. Focus on various countries suited to student interest and current events.
295. SPECIAL TOPICS IN UNITED STATES POLITICS 3 cr. Course title will be listed in the semester course schedule. 200-level special-topics courses are designed for first and second-year students or for prospective majors.
296. SPECIAL TOPICS IN COMPARATIVE POLITICS 3 cr. Course title will be listed in the semester course schedule. 200-level special-topics courses are designed for first and second-year students or for prospective majors.
297. SPECIAL TOPICS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 3 cr. Course title will be listed in the semester course schedule. 200-level special-topics courses are designed for first and second year students or for prospective majors.
298. SPECIAL TOPICS IN POLITICAL THOUGHT 3 cr. Course title will be listed in the semester course schedule. 200-level special-topics courses are designed for first and second-year students or for prospective majors.
300. POLITICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH METHODS 3 cr. Introduction to principles of political (and social) science research. The key concepts of social science research: the philosophy of science, variables, hypotheses, measurement, research designs, sampling, data collection, and data analysis. Should be taken by the end of the junior year.
301. U.S. CONGRESS 3 cr. Committees, leaders, party organizations, and floor proceedings in Congress; elections, legislative reform, lobbyists, and legislative behavior.
302. PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION 3 cr. Principles and practices of public administration; theories of bureaucracy with an emphasis on the U.S. experience; proposals for reconciling effective administration of public policy with democratic norms.
305. SEX, GENDER, AND POLITICS 3 cr. Examination of theories of gender and their implication for public policies affecting the political, economic, and social status of women and men in the U.S.
309. BUDGET AND SOCIAL WELFARE POLICIES 3 cr. Analysis of policy issues related to the federal budget and social programs, e.g., Social Security, welfare, and healthcare.
310. THE POLITICS OF RACE 3 cr. Analysis of race as a social, political, and legal construct; examines social and political implications of these constructions. Social movements organized around the politics of race; responses of political systems to issues of racial inequality.
311. U.S. FOREIGN POLICY 3 cr. Sources, conduct, and effects of U.S. foreign policy from the standpoint of various analytical frameworks. The historical dimension of the course includes the expansion of the “western frontier” in the 19th century to the “global war on terror” and use of “smart power” in the 21st century.
312. URBAN POLITICS 3 cr. Comparative study of the political systems of urban areas with emphasis on the forms of urban government, metropolitan government, political machines, elections, interest groups, local executives, city councils, and bureaucracies.
314. CONSTITUTIONAL POLITICS 3 cr. Investigation of Supreme Court interpretations of the Constitution. Case-study approach to the politics of judicial review, intergovernmental relations, and the commerce, taxing, treaty, and war powers.
315. CIVIL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES 3 cr. Conflict in American society between majority rule and minority rights. Case-study approach to freedom of speech, press, religion, and association, the protections of due process, the rights of the accused, the equal protection of the laws, voting rights, and privacy.
316. SOCIAL MOVEMENTS 3 cr. Focusing primarily on the U.S., how and why social movements form in a democratic society, the use of extra-institutional political tactics, the ways they maintain themselves against strenuous opposition, and the dynamics of movement decline.
317. JUDICIAL PROCESS 3 cr. Analysis of the role of the courts in the political process and the impact of law on society: structure of federal and state judiciaries, judicial selection, models of judicial decision making, and the implementation of judicial decisions.
318. INTEREST GROUPS AND POLITICAL PARTIES 3 cr. How interest groups affect the American political process. Analysis of interest-group behavior in electoral politics and in the policy process; theory and structure of groups, the rise of political action committees (PACs) and single-issue voters, the functions and activities of the political parties.
319. U.S. ELECTIONS 3 cr. Analysis of candidate recruitment, nomination processes, campaign strategies, campaign finance, voting behavior, and reform proposals in congressional and presidential elections.
320. CHRISTIAN DEMOCRACY IN EUROPE 3 cr. One of the most important contemporary political movements in Europe. Development of Catholic political and social thought from the French Revolution to the present; the role played by Christian Democratic parties in eight countries today.
321. WEST EUROPEAN POLITICS 3 cr. Prerequisite: PO 102. Political systems and processes of the nations of Western Europe: their different constitutional arrangements, political parties, political behavior, and public policies. Emphasis on the European Union and politics of European integration.
330. INTERNATIONAL POLITICS OF THE MIDDLE EAST 3 cr. The international issues and conflicts of the Middle East studied within the context of the history of the area and theories of international relations.
331. U.S. FOREIGN POLICY IN THE MIDDLE EAST 3 cr. Overview of U.S. policy in the Middle East since the end of World War II. Examines U.S. policy through the interplay of factors such as national interest, the Cold War, containment, and affiliation.
332. AFRICAN POLITICS 3 cr. Historical perspective on topics of colonialism, independence movements, neopatrimonialism, nationalism, democratization, conflict, genocide, women’s movements, civil society, and HIV/AIDS, with an emphasis on variation across space and time.
333. INTERNATIONAL SECURITY 3 cr. Sources of insecurity for states and individuals, including genocide, insurgency, civil wars, interstate conflicts, and other global threats. Discusses the psychological, social, and material impact of insecurity and war on combatants and their families.
334. INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, LAW, AND HUMAN RIGHTS 3 cr. Focus on international organizations such as the International Criminal Court and Amnesty International that have emerged to help the international community cope with egregious abusers of human rights. Analysis of their structure, theory, procedure, operation, and problems, as well as their role in maintaining peace and security among member states.
335. THE NEW TERRORISM 3 cr. Varieties of politically motivated violence with an emphasis on terrorism; theoretical and normative problems of defining terrorism and classifying various groups as agents of terrorism; major terrorist groups in existence today; political motivations of terrorist and other extremist groups as well as dilemmas faced by U.S. counter-terrorism policies and strategies.
336. INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY 3 cr. Trends in the global economy, including institutions designed to facilitate rules between world states; processes shaping globalization; and questions related to development and poverty, debt, and fair trade.
341. ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL POLITICAL THOUGHT 3 cr. The foundations of Western political thought. Particular emphases may vary in different semesters, but will include competing and changing conceptions of human nature and community, ideas about law, the emergence of the secular and the “people” in Europe, and basics of medieval Islamic thinking about politics.
342. MODERN POLITICAL THOUGHT 3 cr. Impact of science on the study of politics, rise of the “individual” and social contract theory, the relationship between Enlightenment and revolutionary thought, critiques of Enlightenment and liberalism, examination of European biases and their meanings for political thought.
343. CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL THOUGHT 3 cr. The relationship between morality and politics, centered on the “redistribution versus recognition” debate in contemporary political thought. Impact of Rawls and the social contract tradition, feminist responses to the definition of the political, the meaning of the Holocaust to Enlightenment-influenced political thought, application of post-structural analyses.
344. ISSUES AND PROBLEMS IN DEMOCRATIC THOUGHT 3 cr. Historical, comparative, and theoretical perspectives on topics related to democratic thought and practice, including human rights, civil rights, majoritarianism, representation, nationalism, and collective violence.
351. BERLIN SEMINAR 3 cr. Intensive introduction to the city of Berlin, Germany, focusing on Berlin as capital of empire, republic, and the Nazi regime; as divided city during the Cold War; and as center of the reunified Federal Republic. Includes a ten-day study tour of Berlin during spring break preceded by a series of seminar meetings in preparation for the trip. Offered spring semester of odd-numbered years. Requires additional fee for travel.
355. CATHOLICISM IN THE POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT OF LATIN AMERICA 3 cr. Catholic tradition in Latin America and its role in the development of political institutions, policies, and economic practices in the region. Includes a historical overview of Latin America and the interactions of Catholicism with political traditions important in Latin American political development.
356. POLITICAL TRANSFORMATION: CASE STUDIES FROM LATIN AMERICA 3 cr. An intensive examination and comparison of recent political and economic developments in major countries or regions of Latin America, e.g., Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, the Andes, or Central America.
359. COMPARATIVE POLITICS OF THE MIDDLE EAST 3 cr. The diverse cultures, religious movements, and political systems of the countries of the Middle East.
361. ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS AND POLICY 3 cr. Analysis of the impact of public policy on environmental quality and natural resources; ecology; relationship between U.S. environmental policy and global environmental issues; environmental ethics.
363. ENVIRONMENTAL LAW 3 cr. Investigation of the role of law in protecting the environment and managing natural resources. Analysis of the nature of law, courts, administrative procedure, regulatory agencies, environmentalism, ecology, law and policy.
390. INTERNSHIP 1-6 cr. Internship in government and political organizations. Internship prerequisites to be arranged with intern advisor. (Only 3 credits may count toward political science major or minor.)
395. SPECIAL TOPICS IN U.S. POLITICS 3 cr. Course subject will be listed in the semester schedule. Students may register for more than one 395 course with the advice of their academic advisor.
396. SPECIAL TOPICS IN COMPARATIVE POLITICS 3 cr. Course topic will be listed in the semester schedule. Students may register for more than one 396 course with the advice of their academic advisor.
397. SPECIAL TOPICS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 3 cr. Course topic will be listed in the semester schedule. Students may register for more than one 397 course with the advice of their academic advisor.
398. SPECIAL TOPICS IN POLITICAL THOUGHT 3 cr. Course topic will be listed in the semester schedule. Students may register for more than one 398 course with the advice of their academic advisor.
399. INDEPENDENT STUDY 1-3 cr. Directed reading or individual research. Department chair permission required.
401. SENIOR THESIS 3 cr. Prerequisites: PO 300 and instructor permission. Research of a topic in political science. Reviewing past research, developing a research plan, carrying out the research plan, and writing the thesis.
403. SENIOR EXPERIENCE 3 cr. Structured experience that provides the opportunity to address a specific problem, issue, concern, or theme in politics through a number of innovative formats, the nature of which will be determined by a collaboration between the student and instructor. Possible formats include service learning, political advocacy, a practicum, and tutorials, among others. Instructor permission required. Does not fulfill 400-level major requirement.
410. AMERICAN PRESIDENCY 3 cr. Institutions, personalities, and political processes centered in the presidency; implications of the shifting balance of powers between the presidency and the other federal branches; analysis of media and public expectations in light of effective leadership and public accountability.
417. THE U.S. SUPREME COURT 3 cr. Prerequisite: PO 314 or 315 or 317 or permission of instructor. History and role of the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. politics. Special attention given to how and why the Court renders its decisions, how it determines its docket and case load, and the impact of Supreme Court decisions. Course will have significant independent research component.
428. COMPARATIVE PUBLIC POLICY 3 cr. Prerequisite: PO 102 or EC 201 or 211, or EC 202 or 212. Interrelationship between politics and economics from a comparative perspective, including the philosophical underpinnings of the major political-economic systems; relationship between capitalism and democracy; origin and problems of the modern welfare state; instruments of economic policy making; relationship between economic performance and political behavior; and behavior of elected officials within the context of the competitive democratic system.
440. JURISPRUDENCE 3 cr. Nature of law through the prism of two principal concerns in jurisprudence—the separation of law and morality, and judicial discretion. Jurisprudential concepts such as legal validity, rules of law, principles, rights, moral and legal obligation, legal norms, ontology in natural law, natural law reconsidered, positive law, and realism.
445. NATIONALISM AND CITIZENSHIP 3 cr. The two dominant ways of interpreting political identity in the modern world, with both a theoretical and empirical component. Relationship between ascriptive identity and democracy, the meaning of patriotism, the impact of colonialism and race-thinking, and examination of the possibilities for shared political life beyond the nation-state.
446. MARXIST THOUGHT 3 cr. The varieties of Marxism, including Marx, Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg, and Antonio Gramsci. Significant emphasis on leadership and party politics, hegemony, imperialism, culture, ideology, and the role of gender and race analysis in Marxist thought. Course involves significant reading and writing.
457. SEMINAR IN COMPARATIVE POLITICAL THOUGHT 3 cr. Compares contemporary Confucian, Islamic, and varieties of Western political thinking on contemporary political issues. Thematic focus varies by semester.
458. TOPICS IN POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT 3 cr. Prerequisite: PO 102 or permission of instructor. Uses a different theme each semester it is offered. Examines topics from around the globe related to political transformation and economic development.
459. RESISTANCE AND DECOLONIZATION IN THE ANDES 3 cr. Indigenous resistance to Spanish colonization of the Andes beginning in the 16th century and the current project of “decolonization” in Bolivia. Students undertake their own research projects on indigenous politics in the Americas or resistance to (neo) colonialism elsewhere in the world.
464. UTOPIAN THOUGHT 3 cr. Role of utopian thought in the development and evolution of Western political theory. Readings on both political theory and literary utopias. Application of utopian thought to such contemporary issues as the destruction of the natural environment, political and social inequality, globalization and community, science and technology, and moral relativism.
498. ADVANCED INDEPENDENT STUDY 1-3 cr. Senior and/or graduate level directed reading or independent research. Permission of department chair required.
499. SEMINAR 3 cr. Courses on a variety of topics taught in a seminar format.