Courses in Political Science

POL 101. Controversies in Contemporary Politics. This course uses contemporary political controversies affecting the U. S. and other countries in order to understand basic concepts in politics. The issues vary from year to year.   Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 2 (Social Science). 3 credits.

POL 110. The Architecture of American Power. This course provides a survey of key developments, institutions, and issues in American politics. Topics include the ideas that shaped the original American political system; the presidency; Congress and federal courts; the operation of political parties and interest groups; domestic and foreign policy debates; and contemporary issues such as civil rights and affirmative action.   Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 2 (Social Science). 3 credits.

POL 200. The Discipline of Political Science. This course is designed as a broadly-based introduction to the discipline of political science. It will acquaint students with the concepts, structures, trends, and belief systems that form the basis of political activity throughout the world. Those taking the course will leave with an enhanced understanding of the multiple ideologies, institutions, issues, and actors that shape and drive politics.   3 credits.

POL 207. Europe in the 20th Century. An introduction to the main political, social, economic and intellectual developments in twentieth-century Europe. The major themes of the course include the experience of the two world wars; the development of fascist and communist regimes under Lenin and Stalin, Mussolini, and Hitler; the weakness of the western democracies after World War I; the Holocaust; the Cold War; the Communist Bloc; the end to colonialism; the European Union; the development of the welfare state, and the new nationalism.   Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Liberal Studies Area 1 (History). Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. 3 credits. [This course is cross-listed with HIS 207]

POL 210. Comparative Politics. This is an introduction to the study of comparative politics: the comparison of political systems in order to understand how and why these systems function differently. The course is built around three fundamental questions: What is comparative politics? What kinds of phenomena do we compare? What are the major theoretical approaches that guide our studies? We also examine distinctions between the "developing" and the "developed" worlds, and between authoritarian and democratic political regimes.  Fulfills general education requirement: Intercultural Diversity. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing, or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

POL 230. Electing the President. This course uses the current presidential election as a case study from which students can analyze the history of American parties and elections. The course will use political science concepts such as realignment and de-alignment to study the rise and fall of the various "party systems" in American history, and will attempt to place the current presidential election within its historical context.  Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. 3 credits. [This course is cross-listed with HIS 230]

POL 245. Conceptions of Global Power and World Politics. This course is designed to expose students to the study of concepts and theories of international relations. It will provide students with a conceptual approach to understanding the principal actors in the international system and a systematic analysis of advanced international relations theories, namely realism, liberalism, radicalism, constructivism, and feminism. Topics addressed include international relations theory, history of international relations, the global system, the state and the individual, global organizations, non-governmental organizations, international law, war and strife, international political economy, and transnational issues.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. 3 credits.

POL 252. Public Administration and the Crafting Of Policy. This course provides an understanding of how and why the public policymaking process functions as it does, and how policy is administered. We analyze various areas of domestic policy at the national level, such as budgeting and taxation, education, health, welfare and the environment. We also examine the relationship between politics and government bureaucrats, study the chief functions of the bureaucracy, and give students a better feel for the dilemmas facing administrators through the use of case studies and simulations. The course is of value to all citizens in a democracy and will be particularly useful for students in careers affected by public policy.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 2 (Social Science). 3 credits.

POL 256. Power of the People. A key principle of democratic theory is the sovereignty of the people. Thus, the notion of the "will" and "power" of the people matters in democratic societies such as the U. S. , and helps us understand how the political system operates. This course examines critical topics including interest group behavior, political parties, elections, public opinion, and political communication and the mass media.   3 credits.

POL 275. Understanding Human Rights. This course promotes an understanding of international law and the politics of global governance at Maastricht University in The Netherlands.   3 credits.

POL 312. American Foreign Policy. This course examines key theories and contexts that shape American foreign policy strategy and important questions of foreign policy politics. It exposes students to foreign policy strategy as the means by which U. S. national interests and policies are formulated and to foreign policy politics as the roles played by institutions and actors within the foreign policymaking process.   Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

POL 313. Contemporary Global Security. This course will examine contemporary conflict and the use of force in world politics. It introduces two schools of thought (security studies and strategic studies) and examines theories and concepts used to understand contemporary global security.   Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

POL 314. Global Politics of Wealth and Poverty. This course is for those interested in the challenges posed by massive and persistent world poverty, global wealth, and the relationship between politics and markets.   Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. 3 credits.

POL 316. Civil Liberties and Civil Rights. This course uses key cases to study important doctrines established by the Supreme Court with regard to civil rights and civil liberties. Students will examine the Court's rulings concerning the establishment and free exercise of religion, protection of freedom of speech and of the press, privacy rights (abortion and sexual freedom), the rights of the accused in the criminal justice system, and the law governing racial or sexual discrimination. The course places particular emphasis on various forms of textual interpretation used by individual justices to apply the Constitution in deciding cases and writing opinions.   Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. American Social Diversity. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. LAW 215 recommended. 3 credits. [This course is cross-listed with LAW 316]

POL 345. The Philosophical Foundations of Politics. Students in this course study the development of Western political thought from Classical Greece to modern times, examining the conceptual evolution of citizenship, civic obligation, and the nature of justice and exploring the connection between moral and positive law in the western tradition.   Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

POL 370. Conduct of Political Inquiry. This is an introduction to the design and evaluation of political research: formulating clear hypotheses, developing appropriate measures, and analyzing data using simple statistical methods and qualitative techniques. It emphasizes the clear exposition of arguments, interpretation, and findings.   Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

POL 380. EU Simulation. This course offers an enriching, hands-on, interdisciplinary exploration of the dynamic processes of policy formation in the core institutions of the European Union. Students prepare for participation in the simulation held each November in Washington D. C. , organized by the Mid-Atlantic European Union Simulation Consortium (MEUSC). This experiential learning program endeavors to connect American students to EU policy makers and policy making in a unique way, utilizing the simulation experience to bridge the gap between the academic study of the EU and the actual political processes of the European Union. Students engage in discussions and debates about the EU that are current and topical in EU decision-making circles. A distinct theme is chosen as the focus of the simulation each year.   This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes.Fulfills general education requirement: Disciplinary Perspectives. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing. Course may be repeated for credit. 3 credits. [This course is cross-listed with DSP 380]

POL 391. Special Topics in U.S. Politics. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

POL 392. Special Topics in Global Politics. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

POL 400. Internship. Field experience in a political science environment.   May be repeated for credit (up to 12 credits of internship may be counted toward the degree). Prerequisite: GPA of 2.50 in major and permission of department chair. Students taking more than six internship credits in politics please note: POL 400 may count for no more than two elective courses in the POL major. 1-12 credits.

POL 450. Politics Conference Presentation. Conduct a conference presentation in the discipline of politics.  0 credits.

POL 460. Undergraduate Research. This course is designed to provide students opportunities to obtain credit for engaging in undergraduate research projects. Students engage in research projects with faculty on a range of topics, subject to approval of the individual faculty member.  Course may be repeated up to a limit of 12 credits; but only up to 6 credits can be applied to the major. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing, 2.5 GPA, and permission of the instructor/chair. 1-6 credits.

POL 499. Seminar in Politics. This is the capstone class for politics majors, to be taken at the end of the student's junior or senior year. It is a reading- and writing-intensive course, conducted in traditional seminar style. This means that our weekly meetings are primarily discussion-driven (based on the assigned readings), with very little lecturing by the professor. The objective is for students to demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the theoretical and empirical course material, both orally and in their written work. The seminar is based on a theme that changes from year to year; recent examples have been nationalism, democratization and the Arab Spring, and political communication.   Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisites: Major in political science and junior or senior standing or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.