Political Science Courses
PS 1000. Introduction to Politics (3)
An exposure to the fundamental tools for understanding political life. The purpose and scope of politics, methods of analysis and alternative ways of organizing the political process are studied. (SRI)
PS 1100. American Federal and State Government (3)
An introductory survey of the origin, principles, powers and limitations of the American federal and state governments. Recent presidential and congressional campaigns and elections are studied to gain insight on the political process as well as major issues now facing the federal government. (SRI)
PS 3100. The American Presidency (3)
A study of the evolution of the American presidency with emphasis on the constitutional and political roles as well as personalities of presidents in guiding domestic and foreign policy. Particular attention is focused on the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt and his successors. (SRII or SRI)
PS 3150. The Congress (3)
A study of the evolution of the U.S. Congress as a political institution. The legislative process is examined as well as the constitutional and political roles of the Congress. Special attention is given to how the reforms of the 1970’s have shaped Congress today as well as what political scientists have recently had to say about the Congress. (SRII or SRI)
PS 3170 (GS 3170). Political Leadership (3)
Although political leadership is the principal focus of the course, leadership is also considered in a wider context. What is a leader? What are the qualities that are necessary to be an effective leader? How can leaders build credibility? How important are the qualities of character and competence? What constitutes “successful” leadership? Particular attention is given to the following leaders: Jesus Christ, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Mahatma Gandhi, Lyndon Johnson, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (SRII or SRI)
PS 3190. Political Parties and Voter Behavior (3)
A study of the development, organization, functions and activities of major and minor political parties, interest groups, and voting behavior in the United States at the federal, state and local levels. The focus is primarily on the response of the parties, interest groups and citizens to contemporary political problems. (SRII or SRI)
PS 3300 (GS 3300). Western European Politics (3)
A comparative study of the political institutions of Great Britain, France and Germany with particular emphasis on current problems. (SRII or SRI)
PS 3310 (GS 3310). Eastern European-Russian Politics (3)
A comparative study of the political institutions of the former communist states in Eastern Europe and Russia with particular emphasis on current problems stemming from the dramatic changes which began in 1989.
PS 3330 (GS 3330). The U.S. and the Pacific Rim (3)
The course is a comparative study of U.S. relations with the countries of East Asia (China, Japan, Korea and the Russian Far East) and Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam). Besides looking at political practices and institutions, the course also examines how U.S. relations with these countries have been affected by geographical, historical, economic and cultural factors. (SRII or SRI)
PS 3350 (GS 3350). Latin American Politics (3)
A comparative study of the political practices and institutions of major Latin American states with a major emphasis on the unique historic and cultural milieu. Particular emphasis is placed on current domestic and foreign policy issues. (SRII or SRI)
PS 3360 (GS 3360). Mexican Culture and Politics (3)
An interdisciplinary study of Mexico focusing on its unique history, culture, politics and economy. Particular emphasis is placed on current domestic and foreign policy issues and Mexico’s developing bilateral relationships with the United States.
PS 3370 (GS 3370). Middle Eastern Politics (3)
A comparative study of the political institutions of selected Middle Eastern states with particular emphasis on the Arab-Israeli conflict and the politics of oil. (SRII or SRI)
PS 3410. Ancient and Medieval Political Theory (3)
The history of Western political thought from the early Greeks to the Renaissance. Special emphasis on Plato, Aristotle, Roman law, Aquinas and Machiavelli in terms of their contributions to contemporary political and legal thinking.
PS 3500 (GS 3500). U.S. Intelligence Operations (3)
A study of the evolution of U.S. intelligence operations and national security policy from Pearl Harbor to the present post-Cold War world. Special attention is devoted to the roles of the CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency and the degree to which the dilemmas raised between the public’s right to know in a democracy and the government’s right to protect the national security can be reconciled. (SRII or SRI)
PS 3510 (GS 3510). Politics in Fiction and Film (3)
A study of how politics is depicted in fiction and films. Students read works of fiction and view films that touch upon politics and the political process from both an American and international perspective. (SRII or SRI)
PS 3520 (GS 3520). U.S. Foreign Policy (3)
This course initially focuses on the historical experiences and values shaping the foreign policy of the U.S. The role played by the major branches of the federal government as well as non-government actors then is studied. The course concludes with an analysis of U.S. policy toward selected countries and regions of the world. (SRII or SRI)
PS 3550 (GS 3550). International Relations and Organizations (3)
A study of the underlying forces influencing international affairs and the power positions of states with particular attention to the role of the United Nations and other international organizations.
PS 3580 (GS 3580). Politics and Religion (3)
A study of the impact of religion on the political processes of selected nation-states as well as in the international arena. The political dimensions
of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism are considered.
PS 3700. The Constitution (3)
A study of the main features of the U.S. Constitution and the practical significance of its most important provisions as interpreted by the Supreme Court.
PS 3710. Legal Process and Systems (3)
This course examines the sources and historic roots of the American Legal System as well as selected areas of substantive and procedural law. The course will focus on identifying legal issues and applying legal principles to resolving those issues in various forms.
PS 3720. The Supreme Court (3)
A study of the relationship between the Court and Federal and State governments. Following an examination of the Court’s interaction with Congress, the President and the States, the course concludes by looking at the pressures Congress and the President bring to bear on the Court. (SRII or SRI)
PS 3725. The Supreme Court and Race (3)
This course will analyze the Supreme Court's evolving treatment of racial issues. The focus will be upon the Supreme Court trends in the law both historically and politically. We will look to treatment of various minority groups from Dred Scott and the Chinese Exclusion Cases through modern race discrimination, reverse discrimination, and evolving trends in affirmative action. A portion of the course will analyze racial bias in the criminal justice system, including racial disparity on death row and racial profiling. This class is directed at preparing students for graduate school and law school.
PS 3750. Civil Rights (3)
A study of civil rights issues (freedom of expression, press, religion, etc.) by examining Supreme Court decisions of these constitutional questions.
PS 3860 (CT 3860). Media and Politics (3)
A study of the growing importance of mass media in American politics and their interaction with the formal and informal elements of the decision-making process. (SRII or SRI)
PS 3870 (GS 3870). The Depiction of the Post-Cold War U.S. Presidency in Film and Fiction (1-3)
The course examines how the U.S. Presidency is being depicted in film and fiction in the post-Cold War world. The model of the Presidency set forth in the 1950s by Clinton Rossiter is evaluated and contrasted with post-Cold War movies and fictional accounts of the U.S. Presidency. After viewing movies and reading fictional accounts of post-Cold War U.S. Presidency, Rossiter’s model is revisited and updated.
PS 3880. The Legacy of John Fitzgerald Kennedy (3)
A study of the presidency and political legacy of John F. Kennedy. Particular attention is given to the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Kennedy assassination. The writings of historians and political scientists about the Kennedy Administration are examined along with how scholarly thinking has evolved down through the years. (SRII)
PS 4600 (PL 4600). Modern Political Philosophy (3)
After a brief survey of ancient and medieval political theories, this course examines those political theories developed by major philosophers since the 16th century. It also examines the ways in which these theories have influenced political policies and decisions in our day. Prerequisite: PL 3100.
PS 4620 (PL 4620). The Just War and International Ethics (3)
In this course, the student engages alternative viewpoints in the classical debate about the "just war." Knowledge of this debate is useful today in examining the entire spectrum of international relations, especially as they concern human rights and various kinds of intervention. This course will exmaine the usefulness of the just war tradition in examining contemporary rationale for engaging in and prosecuting war, including religious motivations and reasons for war. Prerequisites: PL 3100.
PS 4640 (PL 4640). Justice within Society (3)
Starting with an historical review, the course concentrates on modern and contemporary American and British efforts to think through the problems of justice within a modern Western society. Prerequisite: PL 3100.
PS 4660 (PL 4660). International Distributive Justice (3)
A critique of major ethical theories currently employed in public debate to examine problems of international justice, especially in reference to economic goods as distributed between “rich and poor” nations. Prerequisite: PL 3100.
PS 4670 (GS 4670). Democracy: Theory and Practice (3)
This course examines what “democracy” is and what it means. Different theories about democracy are identified. Each of these theories is compared and contrasted in terms of both citizenship and education. A key component of this course is a practicum or field experience that enables course members to integrate theoretical reflection on citizen education with some practical public work in helping young citizens to educate themselves about the public world. (SRII or SRI)
PS 4700H (GS 4700H). Seminar on Leadership (3)
This seminar will use the tools and methods available to the political scientist to examine leadership and specific leaders. The life and career of Winston Churchill will be considered and evaluated. There will be a service learning dimension as well. This course is limited to honors students. Prerequisite: Junior standing and honors program.
PS 4900 (GS 4900). The United States and the Post-Cold War World (3)
This course examines the end of the Cold War and the issues and responsibilities that confront the United States and the American people in the post-Cold War world. Special attention is given to developments in the republics of the former Soviet