Political Science

An analysis of governance and political citizenship in the United States. Includes examination of national institutions (Congress, Courts and the Presidency), other public offices, election cycles, and subnational politics. Compares democracy with other governing models, and examines types of political information and practice in deliberative political discussion. Fall.

Survey of U.S. politics at the federal level. Emphasis is on the context and development of the Constitution and the evolution of political institutions, such as Congress, the presidency, and the courts. Other topics include political economy, media, public opinion, parties, elections, interest groups, and social movements. Fall, Spring.

The role of power and institutions in the states and their government subdivisions. Comparative state and local cultures, federalism, revenues and expenditures, and contemporary problems. Spring.

Local government planning and administration techniques emphasizing field study and observation of local public institutions at work. Consideration of public/private partnership and conflict. Spring, odd years.

International politics in the era of globalization. International security frameworks, the global political economy, and critical agendas. Fall, Spring.

Introduction to comparative analysis, usually focusing on a pair of cases (such as Canada and the United States) that have similar histories and societies, but different governments and policy outcomes. Primary emphasis: the context and evolution of political traditions, institutions, and behavior. Secondary emphasis: the methods of comparative analysis. Spring.

Survey of important concepts in global politics that can be studied through such media as documentaries, films, and novels. The course treats important political questions and provocative theories about the international environment, hegemony, the international monetary regime, and the use of war. Occasionally.

Introduction to the political philosophies that framed political action and governance in the West between the Classical Era and the end of the 17th century. Students learn the political contributions of Greek, Roman, Church, Reformation, and Enlightenment thinkers. Students also learn how to ask, answer, and assess philosophical questions about political power. Fall, Spring.

Study of a selected topic in Political Science. May be repeated as topic changes.

Introductory work-learning experience related to career interests, for which compensation may be received. Positions arranged by students with sponsorship, approval, and evaluation by full-time faculty. Elective credit only (normally 120 hours per credit) for a total of 12 credits per degree program. Prerequisites: 24 total credits earned, 2.0 cumulative GPA, and permission of instructor. Graded Pass/Fail.

Individualized study of an issue, problem, or topic, selected and pursued in consultation with a faculty member. May be repeated. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

Emphasizes the background study and the writing tasks that are intrinsic to applied public policy analysis and scholarly analysis. Students will complete a thoroughly researched and carefully revised analytical study that will be an exemplary demonstration of their research and writing skills. Prerequisite: Two courses in Political Science at the 200 level or higher. Must be taken at least one semester prior to POSC 401. Fall, Spring.

An examination of American elections and voting, assessing the quality of modern democracy. Theories about participatory democracy will be analyzed and used to evaluate alternative forms of citizen action proposed or practiced in America. Class experience will include some form of active participation or observation in the political arena. Prerequisite: ISPOSC 210 is strongly recommended but not required. Fall, even years.

Emphasis is on the study of public policy and the profession of policy analysis. Central to the course will be an understanding of three main ideological approaches to policy problems and the ability to see these approaches enacted in real-life cases. Application of popular models of how policy is made and to understand the role of institutions and actors in policy. Prerequisite: ISPOSC 210 or permission of instructor. Spring, even years.

Critical discussion of specific environmental policies broken into two categories: policies dealing with pollution and public health and policies dealing with land management and the public realm. Includes a brief history and discussion of policy theory applied to the environment. Prerequisite: ISPOSC 210 or permission of instructor. Spring, odd years.

The Constitution as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court, nature and origins of judicial review, battles over strict and loose construction and judicial activism, recent cases in political and civil rights, economic regulation, and distribution and scope of government powers. Prerequisite: ISPOSC 210, ISPOSC 220, or ISPOSC 223, or permission of instructor. Fall.

This course examines the modern American presidency. It provides a broad introduction to the executive branch and covers a range of topics, including campaigns and elections, rhetoric and speechmaking, and foreign and domestic policymaking. A key theme concerns the nature and paradoxes of presidential power. Prerequisite: ISPOSC 210 is recommended but not required. Fall.

This course is a comprehensive examination of the legislative branch. Topics include: institutional design, representation and elections, rules and procedures, committee power, party leadership, and inter-branch relations. Students will be introduced to major theoretical and research approaches in the congressional literature. Prerequisite: ISPOSC 210 is recommended but not required. Spring, even years.

Analysis of foreign policy formation in the United States as it interacts with the international system, and investigation of the major role of the United States in shaping the ideology and institutions of the international monetary regime. Includes historical setting and contemporary policies and problems. Prerequisite: ISPOSC 210, ISPOSC 220, or ISPOSC 223, or permission of instructor. Fall, odd years.

Investigation of the interrelationships between political and economic interests, institutions and processes that form an international monetary regime, and the political resources determining the relative power of global actors to affect the allocation of scarce resources on the planet. Prerequisite: ISPOSC 210, ISPOSC 220, or ISPOSC 223, or permission of instructor. Fall, even years.

Focuses on key concepts and techniques of comparative analysis, and provides an opportunity to conduct original comparative research on polities of interest to the student. Prerequisite: ISPOSC 223 is strongly recommended but not required. Fall, odd years.

Critical study of political philosophies that have explained and critiqued political action and governance since the 17th century. Students integrate knowledge of foundational political thought with modern political thought. ISPOSC 230 is strongly recommended, but is not required. Spring, even years.

This course introduces students to the logic and strategies of qualitative research design. Students will learn how to design comparative case studies, conduct process tracing, and manage the challenges of elite interviews. Students will also be exposed to competing beliefs about how the socio-political world operates. Spring, odd years.

1-4 credits Study of a selected topic in Political Science. May be repeated as topic changes. Occasionally.

Advanced study and writing about politics that integrates the individual student's previous work in political analysis through the scholarly study of a topic that the student and instructor jointly select. Prerequisites: ISPOSC 210, ISPOSC 220, ISPOSC 230, POSC 301. Fall, Spring.

POSC497 Internship

1-4 credits

Application of a political science background to the practical affairs and activities of a political organization or institution as a participant observer. May be repeated for a total of 8 credits. Prerequisites: A minimum of 12 credits in Political Science, 2.5 cumulative GPA in major, and permission of instructor.

Intensive study of an issue, problem, or topic. May be repeated. Prerequisite: A minimum of 12 credits in Political Science at the 200 level or higher, and permission of instructor.