Political Science (POSC)

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. 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 (also listed as JUST 301).

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 313  Mass Media and Public Opinion  (3)  

A study of the nature and development of public opinion focusing on the socializing role of the family, school, and the workplace. Special attention is given to the mass media and new media as a socializing agents. Prerequisite: POSC 201.

POSC 314  Political Participation  (3)  

A study of various forms of political participation, their causes, and their impact on democratic rule in the United States. Differences between elections and related conventional participation and other unconventional methods of participation are discussed. Prerequisite: POSC 201.

POSC 315  Political Parties and Interest Groups  (3)  

An examination of the structure and behavior of American parties and interest groups and their impact on public policy. Prerequisite: POSC 201.

POSC 316  International Law and Organization  (3)  

A study of the nature and scope of international law; the various types of international organizations, their goals and functions; and international regimes. Prerequisite: POSC 206.

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 201.

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 325  American Political Development  (3)  

A study of how certain American political eras introduced new political ideas, movements, policies, and institutional changes, such as the 1930s, 1960s, and 1980s. May be repeated with a different instructor.

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 333  Transnational Feminisms  (3)  

In this course, we will discuss feminist analyses of gender, colonialism, and economic globalization. The first part of this course will consider a variety of feminist theoretical perspectives on the gendered, classed, and racialized dynamics of colonialism and globalization. Next, we will examine the particularities of women's lives globally and their different histories and social histories. Finally, we will look at some of the feminist transnational activism and mobilization around issues of conflict, environment, capitalism, and labor. Some of the questions we will consider are: How does globalization impact existing (gender) inequalities? How does globalization trouble the "North-South" divide? What political, social, and economic ramifications does the outsourcing of reproductive labor have?

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 342  American Political Thought  (3)  

This course is a survey of American political thought that takes a historical approach, considering representative writings from each of the major periods in the history of political thought in the United States.

POSC 344  Catholic Political Thought  (3)  

A survey of Catholic political thought that considers the work of authors ranging from St. Augustine to John Courtney Murray and that examines issues such as the relationship between reason and revelation, the proper relationship between religious and civil authority, the dignity of the human person, and the necessary political implications of that dignity. Prerequisite: POSC 204. RLST 225 and 232 recommended.

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 355  Public Administration  (3)  

A study of bureaucratic behavior in the United States including the origins of bureaucracy, organization theory, problems of agency management, personnel and budgeting, and the interaction of bureaus with other political institutions.

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 370  Democratization  (3)  

This course will use a wide range of case studies to analyze the complex factors shaping the formation and consolidation of democratic governments within diverse political, cultural, and historical conditions. Special attention will be paid to the issues of gender and globalization. Prerequisite: POSC 207 or permission of 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)  

An analysis of the internal and external factors which influence the formulation and execution of the foreign policy of the United States. Major concepts, issues, and case studies of foreign policy are discussed.

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.