Courses

Department of Political Science Courses

Course descriptions listed on this page for the Department of Political Science are from the 2021-2022 College Catalog. For more information on the courses offered during the fall and spring semesters, please log in to the course schedule through STAR.

POLS 100 — Principles American Government

Provides an introductory overview of American government through study of the principal public documents, speeches, and constitutional law cases that define the American political tradition. By tracing the development of U.S. political institutions from the founding to the present, the course examines the ways in which American political ideals have become embodied in institutions as well as the ways in which practice has fallen short of these ideals. Introduces students to contemporary ideological and policy debates, and prepares them for the role of citizen. American Government.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

POLS 101 — Intro To Political Philosophy

A concise survey of the history of political philosophy. Intended to introduce students to some of the major alternative philosophic answers that have been given to the fundamental questions of political life, such as the nature of the best political order and the relation of the individual to the community. Authors to be studied include Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, Marx and Nietzsche. Political Philosophy.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Philosophical Studies, Social Science
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

POLS 102 — Intro To Comparative Politics

A comparative analysis of political processes and institutions in Western liberal democracies, Communist and post-Communist states, and developing nations. Focuses on alternative models of economic and political modernization and on the causes of and prospects for the current wave of democratization throughout the world. Comparative Politics.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

POLS 103 — Intro To Internat'l Relations

Introduces students to major theories and concepts in international politics and examines the evolution of the international system during the modern era. Principal topics include: the causes of war and peace, the dynamics of imperialism and post-colonialism, the emergence of global environmental issues, the nature and functioning of international institutions, the legal and ethical obligations of states, and the international sources of wealth and poverty. International Relations.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

POLS 201 — Const. Law: National Powers

Course examines the ways in which the U.S. Constitution defines national powers, both between the branches and their relationships to states and individuals in our federal system. Using Supreme Court opinions as a guide, topics include: the formation of the Constitution, the separation of powers, judicial review, constitutional interpretation, the authorities of the political branches and the authorities of state governments. Particular emphasis is placed on legal reasoning and the judicial process. American Government.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 202 — Const Law: Rights & Liberties

Course examines the ways in which the U.S. Constitution defines individual rights and their limits relative to governmental powers. Using Supreme Court opinions as a guide, topics include: the formation of the Bill of Rights, the Fourteenth Amendment, incorporation doctrines, citizenship, suffrage and representation, individual liberties, equal protection and discrimination. Particular emphasis is placed on legal reasoning and the judicial process. American Government.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 206 — Public Policy

Seeks to broaden the student's understanding of policymaking in the United States. Begins with an overview of the theory and practice of public policy, then builds upon this through multiple case studies of specific policy areas. Case studies vary by semester, but may include social welfare policy, education policy, environmental policy, and civil rights. Special attention is paid to the ways in which the distinctive features of the American political system influence policy outcomes. Students evaluate the effectiveness of existing policies and explore alternatives. American Government.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 207 — American Presidency

Studies the presidency as an office that shapes its occupants just as profoundly as specific presidents have shaped the character of the office. Traces the historical evolution of the presidency from the founding to the present. Among the topics considered are: presidential selection, the president as party leader, war powers and the president as commander in chief, the president as the nation's chief administrator, and the president as legislative leader. American Government.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

POLS 209 — National Security Enterprise

The course is a study of the development and structure of the institutions of American national security. Students will study the bureaucratic structure and processes that influence how national security decisions are made. Topic areas include the civilian-military divide, the relationship between elected, political leadership and nonpartisan, career defense professionals, the the bureaucratic processes associated with the national security infrastructure.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 211 — The Policymaking Process

In the United States, public policy is often the product of complex interactions between different institutions of government. This course focuses on the processes by which policies are created, implemented, and reformed. Through a series of case studies, students will be asked to explore the distinctive roles that legislators, bureaucrats, judges, and other actors play in the policymaking process. (Prerequisite POLS 100, Principles of American Government)
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

POLS 214 — Presidential Selection

This course will examine the way the United States chooses its presidents. This course is generally taught during presidential campaigns and focuses considerable attention on current events, but it seeks to understand each campaign in its institutional and historical context. We study the historical development of the presidential selection system from the American Founding to the contemporary period, focusing particular attention on the rise of political parties and the development of the primary system. We examine the strengths and weaknesses of the electoral college, the role of presidential debates, the influence that the media and campaign ads have in determining voter preferences, and the plausibility of claims that presidential elections provide mandates for governance. American Government.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Every Third Year

POLS 217 — The Constitution in Wartime

Examines the interpretation and operation of the U.S. Constitution in times of war. Investigates how the Constitution's war powers are allocated between the branches of government and the ways in which constitutional rights and liberties are protected - or not protected - in wartime. The inquiry includes a series of historical and contemporary case studies, including the Civil War, World War II, the Cold War, and the war on terror. American Politics.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 219 — State and Local Politics

State and local governments are the most visible and impactful forms of government for most Americans. The course introduces students to the functions of state government, the roles of important actors, and the details of important policy issues. Throughout the course, students will conduct research on an assigned state and share their findings with the class to better understand how state government policies and politics vary across states. Students will also engage in a Community Based Learning activity, providing hands-on opportunities for students to actively participate in the work of a state or local government or political organization.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

POLS 220 — Capitalism in Crisis

The use of markets to allocate economic resources is the dominant mode of economic organization in the modern world. Market systems, however, have at times experienced crises that have threatened the foundations of their economic order. These crises, which go beyond the travails associated with recessions in the ebb and flow of the business cycle, raise questions about the political, economic and cultural preconditions of a capitalist economic order. This course examines various theories regarding the causes of two such crises, the Great Depression and the current Great Recession, and appropriate policy responses to them. American Government.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

POLS 227 — Classical Political Philosophy

Close study of several works by major classical political thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, Aristophanes, and/or Cicero. Focus is on such themes as the nature of justice; the relation among politics, science, and religion; the variety of political regimes; and the possibilities and limits of political reform. Political Philosophy.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Philosophical Studies, Social Science
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

POLS 228 — Modern Political Philosophy

Close study of works by several major modern political philosophers such as Bacon, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Burke, Hume, and Nietzsche. Central themes include the rise and political consequences of the modern project of "mastering" nature; the political effects of commerce; the replacement of virtue by freedom and/or security as the goal of politics; the relation of political philosophy to history; and the Nietzschean critique of modern egalitarianism. Political Philosophy.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Philosophical Studies, Social Science
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

POLS 230 — Politics and Literature

Examination of fundamental problems of political life through the study of literary works such as Aristophanes, Sophocles, Shakespeare, Swift, Melville, and Faulkner. Themes include the effects of various forms of government on human character; the central ethical conflicts of political life; and the problem of race in the American polity. Political Philosophy.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Literature
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

POLS 232 — Machiavelli's Politics

In this course we will study Machiavelli's major political writings and some of his literary works. While we will focus on Machiavelli's political thought, we will also consider the moral implications of his thought. By the end of the course we ought to have a solid understanding of Machiavelli's thought and to be able to think clearly and speak articulately about the relationship between morality and politics.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Philosophical Studies
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 233 — American Political Thought 1

Focuses on some of the most important texts setting forth the principles underlying the founding of the American regime, as well as the subsequent development of those principles in the early nineteenth century. Two non-American writers (Locke and Tocqueville) are included because of the influence of their works on American political thought. Other writers and works studied include John Winthrop, Jefferson, The Federalist, and the Antifederalists. Political Philosophy.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Philosophical Studies, Social Science
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

POLS 234 — American Political Thought 2

Traces the development of American political thought from the slavery controversy and the Civil War up to the present. Major themes include Lincoln's refounding of the American regime, the transformation of American liberalism by Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt, and New Left and neoconservative thought. Other readings include works by Calhoun, Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, and Mark Twain. Political Philosophy.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Philosophical Studies, Social Science
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

POLS 235 — Islamic Political Thought

Political movements inspired by Islam continue to shape politics across the world. In this course we will attempt to get behind the headlines and familiarize ourselves with the various currents of political thought in Islam. We will study the historical origins of political thought in Islam, the fundamentalist currents, and the efforts to present a liberal understanding of Islam. We will consider a range of political issues including: Islam and democracy, Islam and women's rights, Islam and the rights of minorities, and Islam and political violence. We will study a range of authors from the medieval period to present day.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Every Third Year

POLS 236 — Science, Technology & Politics

This course is designed to introduce students to the ways in which science and technology have historically been viewed through the lens of American political values. This means both that there are ways in which political actors attempt to shape the trajectory of scientific and technological development, and ways in which the rhetoric of science and technology shapes political decisions. Through an examination of social scientific, historical, literary, and philosophical works, the course examines how this has happened in the past, and invites students to think about how it continues to shape politics today. American Government.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Every Third Year

POLS 237 — Rhetoric In Politics

Do markets emerge spontaneously, or are they constructed by governments? Once markets have been established, under what circumstances are markets properly subject to government regulation? Economists have extensively analyzed markets. Ideally, competitive markets optimally price commodities and efficiently allocate resources. In the real world, however, markets never live up to the ideal. Markets are subject to market failures, which may require government intervention to remediate or mitigate the failure. On the other hand, governments are not ideal either. Market failures must be weighed against government failures. In some circumstances government attempts to correct market failures can produce worse outcomes than the market failure they seek to correct. In such circumstances deregulation rather regulation may be preferable. This course will cover a variety of examples of regulation and deregulation. We will begin our analysis with a focus on financial markets and financial crises, and the response of government in this sector of capitalism. We will then turn our attention to regulation in non-financial markets. The course will conclude with a look at corporate malfeasance and corporate governance.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 238 — Government & Business

Government and Business explores the regulatory role that government plays in a market economy. The course considers the justifications for government actions (public goods, externalities, information asymmetries, and other market failures), the strengths and weaknesses of government regulation (bureaucratic efficiencies and inefficiencies, adversarial legalism), and the various interactions among Congress, the President, and the courts in the regulatory process. We will examine cases of regulatory success and regulatory failure; cases of successful deregulation and cases of failed deregulation.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

POLS 239 — Justice and Power

The quest for justice and desire for power are profoundly compelling human motivations, and arguably the most politically decisive. But what exactly are justice and power? Why do we want them? In what sense is power or justice good or bad for us, as individuals and as a society? Is love of justice or power intrinsically good or evil, how do we evaluate their ethical worth? What is the relation between power and justice? Opposition or tension or potential harmony? What is the basis of political authority does power depend on justice, or does justice depend on power? We will study ancient and modern conceptions of justice and power, including consideration of their philosophical or theological foundations. Attention to their significance for liberal-democratic understandings of freedom and rights, equality and difference, the sovereign state and market society, and war and peace. Readings from Aristotle, Augustine, Hobbes, and Nietzsche. One Unit.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Philosophical Studies, Social Science
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

POLS 242 — European Political Parties

This course examines the role that political parties play in modern European democracies. The course is organized around the following questions: What factors shape party systems in different countries? How do parties craft electoral rules? How are governments formed? Does it matter who governs for policy outcomes? How to explain the rise of populist and far-right parties? Are European democracies in peril? The first part of the course focuses on Western Europe, while the second examines Eastern Europe.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 245 — American Political Development

Examines the recurring problems associated with political change, the evolution of national institutions, and the emergence of increased state capacities in the unique context of America's restlessness with authority and attachment to democratic ideals. Considers how a nation committed to what Samuel Huntington identifies as a creed of "opposition to power and concentrated authority," created solutions to the unique problems of governance in the "modern" age. Course is both historical survey and historical analysis, and covers the emergent national state in the immediate post-Founding era, the Jacksonian hostility to centralization, the effect of the Civil War on national capacities, the reform of the civil service in the nineteenth century, and the construction of the American welfare state under Roosevelt's New Deal. This is not a history course, but a political science course that takes history seriously, using it as a departure for resolving persistent problems in American politics. American Government.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 248 — U.S. Environmental Policy

This course introduces students to the politics surrounding the formation and administration of environmental policies in the United States. Students in this course use a variety of sources, including academic research, essays, journalistic articles, and government reports to better understand the history and current state of American environmentalism. The course begins with an examination of Americans' relationships with the natural world and how these conceptions have informed our environmental practices. Next, we explore the roles of actors such as politicians, public officials, corporations, and interest groups in creating environmental policies and influencing public opinion of environmental issues. Finally, we examine the politics and policies surrounding a variety of important environmental problems.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 251 — Latin-American Politics

A comparative study of political institutions and processes in selected Latin American countries, and an analysis of theories that attempt to explain Latin American development and underdevelopment. Examination of Latin America's experience with authoritarianism, democracy, revolution, and civil war, and of contemporary political challenges including drug trafficking, environmental degradation, human rights abuses, regional integration, and economic globalization. Comparative Politics.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 252 — The Politics of Post-Communism

This course explores the politics of the successor states to the former Soviet Union. It will focus in particular on Russia, Ukraine, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Topics to be covered include: democratization vs. a reversion to authoritarian rule, the transition to market economy, organized crime and corruption, the search for new post-Communist national identities, the Chechen conflict, the impact of so-called "color revolutions" in former Soviet republics, Russia and the West, and the roles of Islam and oil politics in Central Asia. Comparative Politics.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 257 — Politics Of Development

How can the world's less developed countries achieve sustainable development (in environmental, economic, and political terms)? This course discusses structural and institutional challenges to sustainable development in the global South, investigates different responses to these challenges (and their different degrees of success), and assesses the impact of development--and underdevelopment--on both societies and the environment.Comparative Politics.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 265 — European Politics

Explores the relationship between states and citizens in Western Europe, with particular focus on Britain, France, Germany, and Italy. Major topics include the nature and sources of nationalism, the ongoing transformation of national identity, revolutionary and reactionary traditions in European politics, the politics of immigration, the political effects of economic modernization, and the politics of European integration. Comparative Politics.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 269 — Power & Protest: A View From Below

What is the meaning and impact of politics seen from the perspective of those at the bottom of the pyramid of political power rather than from the usual focus on the actions and perceptions of political elites? In what ways do "the masses" become involved in politics? Under what circumstances are they likely to be successful in bringing about change? This course addresses these questions by exploring political power, political participation and political change from a broad historical and cross-cultural perspective - but always focusing on a view of politics from the bottom up. Cases studied include peasant protests and city mobs in pre-industrial Europe, the rise of labor politics in the United States, the Chinese Communist Revolution, post-World War II Third World national liberation movements, and the Black Power movement in the United States. Comparative Politics.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 270 — African Politics

This course is designed to examine the countries of Africa in comparative perspective. In doing so, the class highlights the most important issues in African politics and governance and the most difficult problems that African states face. The course presents a holistic view of Africa and a multifaceted look at countries found on the continent. Instead of merely focusing on the various problems facing the continent, this course looks at examples of both the successes and failures of African states in addressing the challenges they face. Comparative Politics.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 271 — International Peace

Through this course, students are introduced to practices of conflict management and peace drawing upon both international and domestic contexts. Students will address historical and contemporary cases of peaceful conflict settlement; the theory and practice of international mediation, conflict management, including the assumptions, norms, and rules for the achievement of international peace; and the emerging role of both inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations in these areas. This course combines the issues of formal diplomatic and institutional approaches with informal diplomacy and reconciliation initiatives. Throughout the course, students will analyze for the conditions that foster peaceful conflict resolution. In this course, students will learn to develop and present a structured single argument in a logical and coherent method on the topic of international peace.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 272 — Politics Of The Middle East

An examination of politics in selected Middle Eastern countries. Begins with a brief overview of the rise and spread of Islam in the region and the establishment of Muslim empires, then turns to an exploration of the role of European colonialism in post-independence Middle Eastern politics. Analyzes various explanations for the difficulty of establishing durable democracies in the region, explores the political implications of religious identity and secular nationalism, and assesses prospects for peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Comparative Politics.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 274 — China from Mao to Market

Explores the history of modern China from the Opium Wars of the 1840s to the present. Two central themes are the tension between reform and revolution as alternative paths for the modernization of China and whether, in order to emerge as a great power, China should embrace or reject Western models and values. This course focuses on the following questions: (1) the rise of the Communist Party and the reasons for its victory over the Nationalists; (2) Mao's ideological campaigns of the 1950s and 1960s, culminating in the Cultural Revolution; (3) the dynamics and dilemmas of post-Mao economic and political reform; (4) the 1989 Democracy Movement and the prospects for democratization in present-day China. Comparative Politics.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Historical Studies
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 275 — International Political Economy

This course is designed to be an introduction to international political economy. Provides an overview of theories of international political economy, a historical review of the international political economy in light of these theories, and an application of the theoretical approaches to issues of trade, monetary relations, finance, and development. Readings and discussion focus on issues of conflict and cooperation; the relationship between the international system and domestic politics; economic growth, development, and equity; and the connections between the study of economics and politics. International Relations.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 276 — South Asian Politics

This course offers an introduction to the politics of South Asia, broadly understood to consist of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Maldives, Myanmar, and Bhutan. A core organizing principle of the course is the concept of the state and variations in state strength as observed in the South Asian region. Why are some states able to better provide for the needs of their populations than others? This organizing principle is leveraged to illuminate several key themes pertinent to the study of South Asia, including democracy and authoritarianism, civil-military relations, gender politics, and nuclear proliferation.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 278 — East Asia in World Politics

This course examines China's emergence as a major power, and surveys the relationships of East Asian states with each other and with external powers including the United States. In addition to China, substantial attention is given to Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Topics covered include military competition and regional security, trade relations, globalization, human rights, and potential conflict flashpoints such as North Korea and Taiwan. International Relations.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 281 — Global Governance

Although the international system is characterized by anarchy by the absence of central government it is not without order. Relations among states and other actors are increasingly characterized by transnational rules, regulations, and authority relationships. How is global order produced, sustained, and regulated? Whose order is it? This course examines the structures through which international actors attempt to organize their relations with each other. Topics include the history and function of international organizations (including the United Nations), rules governing the use of force, economic integration, and global civil society. International Relations.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 282 — American Foreign Policy

Explores major themes in U.S. foreign policy, focusing on the longstanding and ongoing debate between international engagement and isolationism. Topics discussed include the historical evolution of U.S. foreign policy, the roles played by specific institutional and societal actors in the formulation of policy, and contemporary issues facing the United States including international trade and finance, proliferation and regional security, the resort to force, human rights, and humanitarian intervention. International Relations.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 284 — Human Rights

Since World War II, questions of human rights have come to occupy a central place in international politics. This course examines the historical evolution and political effects of international human rights norms. Topics include the philosophical and legal basis of human rights, the origins of modern human rights, the origins of modern human rights covenants in the aftermath of Nazi atrocities, the effects of the Cold War on human rights politics, the tensions between national sovereignty and international human rights standards, the debate between universalist and particularist conceptions of human rights, patterns of compliance with human rights agreements, and the development of human rights enforcement mechanisms. International Relations.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 287 — Humanitarianism

The aim of this course is to develop a nuanced understanding of the history and practice of humanitarianism, defined as the desire to relieve the suffering of distant strangers. Once the domain of volunteers, humanitarianism is today an expansive, professional field of endeavor; its study offers insights into the motivations as well as consequences of organized forms of compassionate action. Students in this course investigate current themes and debates in the field of humanitarianism, including questions of politicization and military intervention, professionalization, human rights and advocacy, and accountability; explore different hypotheses regarding the causes and consequences of humanitarian crises; and critically analyze the effects intended and unintended of humanitarian action. International Relations.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 288 — Politics of Globalization

Economic globalization has wrought far-reaching changes on the United States and the world. Although globalization has made the world wealthier, it has not met with universal approval. In the United States, some of the changes associated with globalization such as the outsourcing of large numbers of factory jobs and the influx of large numbers of immigrants have provoked a political backlash. This course examines the political consequences of globalization, especially in the United States, and asks how the United States might adapt itself more effectively to a globalized world. International Relations.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 289 — International Law

Given the anarchical structure of the international system, the very existence of international law is paradoxical. Nevertheless, despite the emphasis often placed upon conflict and discord in global politics, for centuries states have propagated rules to facilitate cooperation and mutual restraint. What motivates these efforts? How successful are they in moderating the effects of international anarchy? This course will address these questions. Topics will include the historical development of international law, defenses and critiques of international law in theories of global politics, how international law is made, interpreted and enforced in international institutions, and the working of international law in various issue-areas, including the use of military force, the regulation of global trade, and the protection of the global environment. International Relations.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 290 — National Security Policy

Focuses on contemporary national security problems faced by the United States as it seeks to manage the post-Cold War international order. Topics include relations with other major powers and with the Islamic world, U.S. military interventions abroad, terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and nuclear strategy. Attention is also given to the domestic dimensions of U.S. security policy, including the politics of weapons procurement and the longstanding ideological debate regarding American national interest. International Relations.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 300 — Law, Politics & Society

Course examines the relationship between law and American society across critical social issues. After a survey of principles at the core of the American system, the course turns to address the relationship of the law and U.S. courts to contemporary social issues that may include: race in American life, community policing and mass incarceration, drug and pharmaceutical laws, women's rights, homosexual rights, discrimination, and other issues. Particular attention is focused on the courts' role in enacting (or failing to enact) social change, as well as challenges of the law in addressing critical social concerns. American Government.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 301 — Politics and Technology

This course examines the effect of technology on the practice of politics. While there are a number of ways of conceptualizing the politics of technology, the focus here will be on how the adaptation of technology to political life alters the practice of politics itself. Contemplating such change is particularly important in the early 21st century because we live in an age in which pundits are constantly telling us that technology will change the way we practice politics. To the extent that they are correct, it is important to anticipate exactly how such changes will affect politics; but it is also important to separate the overwrought claims that technology will change everything from the more realistic recognition that politics-as-usual is the norm. This seminar points to the question: how have the Internet and related technologies changed politics? But it does so by asking how technology has tended to change politics over time by looking at the effect of technology on politics in history, from the printing press to the railroad to television, before turning to the ways in which politics in the twenty-first century operates in the shadow of technology. Along the way we will think about how technology shapes advocacy, campaigning, government operations, policy-making, public discourse, public information, and civic engagement. American Government.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

POLS 310 — Democratization&Women's Rights

Democratization" is the process of changing an authoritarian political system - in which leaders are not chosen in free elections and individual rights are limited - to a democratic political system with regular, fair elections and extensive political and civil rights. This class will examine transitions to democracy in Argentina, South Africa, and Tunisia, explore Egypt's return to military rule, and analyze possibilities for democratization in China. These cases will test the relevance of contending schools of thought about how authoritarian regimes collapse and democracies replace them. The first are structural arguments, which suggest that the democratization is more likely the wealthier, more industrialized, and better educated a country is. If structural arguments explain democratization, why did Argentina, with the highest education rates in Latin America, also produce an extreme authoritarian regime? The second school of thought prioritizes the role of political agency, contending that the decisions of elites are central to establishing democracy. Did South Africa dismantle apartheid because of the skill with which negotiators such as Nelson Mandela decreased the white minority's fears of democracy, or because black miners threatened wealth through strikes? We will also explore the conditions under which democratization increases women's rights. Democracy can empower women's rights groups, but it can also strengthen groups with conservative views of women's role, such as Islamist movements in the Arab world and the institutional Catholic Church in much of Latin America. We will also examine the relationship between women's representation in government, women's rights in the law and women's right in practice. For example, post-apartheid South Africa has very high levels of representation of women in parliament (42%) and strong protections for women's rights in the constitution, but rates of sexual violence are among the world's highest.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 315 — Feminist Political Theory

Examines some of the core concepts, questions and tensions that cut across various strands of contemporary feminism. Topics include: What is feminist political theory trying to explain, and how might we go about it? Why is it that feminist inquiries into political matters so often lead to questions about the foundations of knowledge? What are the political implications of feminist struggles to combine unity and difference? How have questions of race and class transformed feminist theory? This course also applies various feminist perspectives to specific policy debates. Political Philosophy.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Every Third Year

POLS 316 — Nietzsche and Modernity

The focus of this seminar is Friedrich Nietzsche's provocative and controversial critique of the ideals associated with modernity and the alternative view he proposed in response. The sense in which we shall consider "modernity" encompasses both the philosophical and political ideas that took center stage in Europe during what is known as the Enlightenment, and to the crisis of legitimacy and justification with regard to those very ideals that also emerged, especially into the 19th century. This course will also explore the lasting influence of Nietzsche's work. Since it is impossible to do justice to the full range of that influence (which extends across many disciplines)in one semester, we shall focus in particular on the way he has influenced how contemporary political theorists understand power and freedom. Students will engage in close study of at least three of Nietzsche's major works, along with works by contemporary theorists (such as Foucault) who were influenced by Nietzsche, and finally one modernist novel that dramatizes (in its narrative as well as its structure) some of the ideas Nietzsche popularized. Political Philosophy.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Every Third Year

POLS 320 — Political Violence

Explores contemporary political violence through a series of in-depth case studies across time and space. Topics include the psychological/sociological profile of revolutionaries or terrorists, the causes of and justifications for political violence, the internal dynamics of revolutionary or terrorist movements, explanations for their success or failure, and the ways in which states have attempted to deal with the aftermath of mass political violence. Comparative Politics.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

POLS 333 — Sem: Ethics & Intn'l Relations

Can considerations of justice and morality be incorporated successfully into national foreign policies, given the will to do so? Or must a successful foreign policy always be amoral? This course examines problems of ethical choice as they relate to international politics. Topics include the relationship between ethical norms and international law, the laws of war, the tension between human rights and state sovereignty, the ethical implications of global inequity, and the difficulties involved in applying standards of moral judgment to the international sphere. International Relations.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 360 — Women, War, and Violence

According to a wealth of studies in anthropology, history, literary studies, political science, and sociology, periods of political conflict hold distinct ramifications for the lives of women. Whether it is the kidnapping and abduction of young girls as witnessed in Borno state, Nigeria in 2014 or the use of rape as a tool of war as seen in Rwanda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and during the Partition of British India, the challenges posed by war often bear often disproportionately impact women. Furthermore, even during peacetime, sexual assault and domestic violence remain grave problems in many parts of the world.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 451 — Tutorial

Individual research on selected topics or projects. Permission of the instructor and the department chair is required.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

POLS 490 — Political Science Honors Thesis

An individual, student-designed, professor-directed, major research project. Usually available only to out-standing fourth-year majors. A lengthy final paper and public presentation are expected. By permission.
GPA units: 0
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 491 — Political Science Honors Thesis

An individual, student-designed, professor-directed, major research project. Usually available only to out-standing fourth-year majors. A lengthy final paper and public presentation are expected. By permission.
GPA units: 2
Typically Offered: Annually