Political Science (POSC)

POSC 116  United States Foreign Policy  (3)  

An introductory survey of the internal and external forces that influence the formulation and execution of the foreign and defense policies of the United States. Studies major issues, values, purposes, methods, and events of U.S. foreign policy.

POSC 120  Congress and the Legislative Process  (3)  

An analysis of the structure, processes, and behavior of the United States Congress as a representative institution.

POSC 122  The Presidency  (3)  

POSC 122 is an introductory study of the U.S. presidency. It focuses on the role of the American president in the political system, including the expectations of the Constitution and the public of the presidency, the different duties and powers of the president, presidential selection, presidential achievements, and uses of power.

POSC 140  Digital Politics  (3)  

This course explores the intersections between politics and the digital world. Together, we’ll consider such questions as: Whom do our digital technologies include (or exclude)? How does the digital world — including social media — impact elections? Do digital technologies negatively impact any of our constitutional rights? How do such technologies impact our expectations about privacy? Do digital technologies have any implications for the way(s) we think about bias, equality, and access? As we explore these questions, students will have the opportunity to develop research skills that will enable them to gather, analyze, and interpret data gathered from digital sources (e.g. web pages, Twitter feeds, location data, etc.). These skills will assist students in answering their own questions about digital technologies and their political impact(s).

POSC 150  Politics and Film  (3)  

In Politics and Film, students will learn how to identify, understand, analyze, and communicate political ideas as portrayed and presented in films. While most of the films, readings, and class discussions focus on American politics, some content will pertain to the political science fields of political theory, international relations, and comparative politics.

POSC 151  Political Issues  (3)  

An analysis of various political ideas, systems, issues, and/or phenomena designed to introduce students to political thinking.

POSC 160  Global Political Issues  (3)  

This course will introduce students to some of the most important contemporary global political issues such as the impact of economic globalization on politics and culture, the sources of war and political conflict, gender inequality, poverty, United States foreign policy, and the role of international institutions.

POSC 190  Special Topics  (1-3)  

The presentation of selected subjects of special relevance not included in regular departmental offerings. Prerequisite determined by instructor. May be repeated.

POSC 201  American Politics  (3)  

This course serves as an introductory survey of the major principles, institutions, processes, functions, and behavioral patterns of the American political system. It helps students to develop a broad, diverse, and articulate base of knowledge and understanding of American politics and government.

POSC 203RM  Contemp Italian Problems  (3)  

The development of Italian political institutions in the post-World War II period with special emphasis on the roles of Italian political parties, and a review of Italian economic problems in the recent period (also listed as MLIT 203RM). Taught in Rome.

POSC 204  Political Thought  (3)  

The evolution of Western political theories surveyed through a discussion of leading political thinkers and their values.

POSC 206  International Politics  (3)  

An introduction to the theories which attempt to explain the ways nations interact with each other, and an application of these theories to selected problems of the contemporary international scene.

POSC 207  Comparative Politics  (3)  

An introduction to the use of theory, analytic concepts, and evidence to compare political history, processes, institutions, and outcomes in select nation-states.

POSC 210  Research Methods in Political Science  (3)  

An introduction to the principle research methods used by political scientists. You will learn and understand the key terms used in the scientific method and how they are applied to both quantitative and qualitative political analysis.

POSC 280  Model UN  (1)  

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the structure, activities and procedures of the United Nations, as well some of the central features and challenges of international law and diplomacy. Student will represent a UN member at the American Model UN Conference in Chicago. May be repeated for credit.

POSC 290  Special Topics  (1-3)  

The presentation of selected subjects of special relevance not included in regular departmental offerings. Prerequisite determined by instructor. May be repeated with different topic.

POSC 301  The Quest for Human Rights  (3)  

This course discusses the history of conceptions of rights. It also looks at the strategies involved in political debates about rights.

POSC 304  Latin American Politics  (3)  

A study of politics and political institutions in selected Latin American states with special attention to problems of development and institution-building.

POSC 307  Introduction to American Law  (3)  

A study of American law examining the Common Law tradition, federal and state court systems, criminal and civil law and procedure, and current legal issues.

POSC 319  The Global Politics of International Development  (3)  

This course will examine the historical roots of the inequality between the Global North and Global South as well as some of the principle theories and policies which have been put forward to address it over the past century. We will analyze competing conceptions of “development” present in academic writings as well as the policies of national governments, international lending institutions, and non-governmental organizations carrying out development projects. With this historical and theoretical foundation, we will look more closely at several major policy issues facing the Global South today, including economic development, poverty, gender justice, and the environment.

POSC 320  Congress and the Legislative Process  (3)  

An analysis of the structure, processes, and behavior of the United States Congress as a representative institution. Prerequisite:

POSC 322  The Presidency  (3)  

The course focuses on the role of the American president in the political system, including the expectations of the Constitution and public about the role of the president, presidential selection, presidential achievements, and uses of power.

POSC 323  The United States Constitution  (3)  

A study of the interpretation of the Constitution by the U.S. Supreme Court, with emphasis on the judicial interpretation of presidential and congressional powers, judicial review, federalism, the role of government in the economy, and a broad survey of individual rights.

POSC 326  Global Environmental Politics  (3)  

This course introduces students to major global environmental problems and to the negotiations, treaties, and diplomacy regarding attempts to solve them. Topics we will focus on include social pressure groups, population pressures, biodiversity, climate change, epistemic communities, regimes, global and regional environmental governance, trade and the environment, sustainable development, environmental refugees, bio-safety, and energy.

POSC 329  Middle East Politics  (3)  

A study of politics and relationships of Middle Eastern countries with emphasis on the contemporary situation. Prerequisite: POSC 206 or POSC 207.

POSC 340  Digital Politics  (3)  

This course explores the intersections between politics and the digital world. Together, we’ll consider such questions as: Whom do our digital technologies include (or exclude)? How does the digital world — including social media — impact elections? Do digital technologies negatively impact any of our constitutional rights? How do such technologies impact our expectations about privacy? Do digital technologies have any implications for the way(s) we think about bias, equality, and access? As we explore these questions, students will have the opportunity to develop research skills that will enable them to gather, analyze, and interpret data gathered from digital sources (e.g. web pages, Twitter feeds, location data, etc.). These skills will assist students in answering their own questions about digital technologies and their political impact(s).

POSC 341  Politics and Religion  (3)  

This course engages students in thinking critically about the relationship between religion and politics in the U.S. and in selected other countries. How religion and politics ought to relate, and how they relate in actual practice will be considered.

POSC 350  Politics and Film  (3)  

In Politics and Film, students will learn how to identify, understand, analyze, and communicate political ideas as portrayed and presented in films. While most of the films, readings, and class discussions focus on American politics, some content will pertain to the political science fields of political theory, international relations, and comparative politics.

POSC 360  The Politics of Race  (3)  

This course will examine the political uses of race as a social and political idea through comparative study of selected case studies from the around the world. The course will emphasize the diverse ways race has been used to build political power.

POSC 365  Gender and Politics  (3)  

This course will combine theoretical and empirical analysis of gender as a political issue. Case studies will permit comparative analysis of the diverse ways in which gender emerges as a political issue within distinct social, economic, cultural, and political contexts. The course will also assess the value of gender analysis in the field of political science. This course may be repeated with a different instructor.

POSC 390  Special Topics in Political Science  (3)  

The presentation of selected subjects of special relevance not included in regular departmental offerings. Prerequisite determined by instructor. May be repeated with a different topic.

POSC 416  United States Foreign Policy  (3)  

Studies major issues, values, purposes, methods, and events of U.S. foreign policy.

POSC 490  Special Topics in POSC  (3)  

The presentation of selected subjects of special relevance not included in regular departmental offerings. Prerequisite determined by instructor. May be repeated with a different topic.

POSC 495  Senior Thesis I  (1)  

Tutorial provided on the writing of the senior thesis. Graded S/U.

POSC 496  Senior Thesis II  (1)  

Tutorial provided on the writing of the senior thesis. Graded S/U.

POSC 497  Independent Study  (1-3)  

Specialized research supervised in a tutorial setting. No more than six hours of independent study in any one department may be used to meet graduation requirements. Independent study does not fulfill elective requirements for majors or minors. May be repeated.

POSC 499  Internship in Politics  (1-3)  

Supervised field work in an agency of government. Open only to junior or senior majors who have completed POSC 201 and two elective courses in the department. It does not fulfill elective requirements for majors or minors. Graded S/U. May be repeated.