Political Science Courses

PSC
101
SB
Hours
3
Intro American Politics

Survey of the principles, political institutions, and practices of American national, state, and local politics.

Social and Behavioral Sciences
PSC
103
Hours
3
Intro Public Policy

Survey of problems encountered by American governmental units in fields such as agriculture, welfare, education, health, and business regulation.

PSC
201
Hours
3
Scope Political Science

Survey of the political processes and institutions of contemporary societies and an introduction to the concepts and concerns of political research.

PSC
202
Hours
3
Political Science Methods

Introduction to the conduct of political inquiry and methods of political research.

PSC
203
Hours
3
Comparative Politics

Theoretical approaches to the comparative study of national political systems.

PSC
204
Hours
3
International Relations

Survey of the evolution of the modern state system and the basic forces in international relations.

PSC
205
Hours
3
Political Theory

Survey of fundamental concepts in political theory such as liberty, equality, and authority.

PSC
206
Hours
3
Public Administration

Study of the administrative principles and practices in the areas of organization, personnel management, budgeting, government regulation, and democratic controls.

PSC
211
Hours
3
State & Local Govt

Study of the institutions and functions of American state and local governments and their relationship to the political process.

PSC
311
Hours
3
Pol Party & Elections

Activities of parties and pressure groups in American politics. Attention is given to the social composition, organization, finance, and nominating processes of parties.

PSC
312
Hours
3
Amer Legislative Syst

Analysis of the politics and processes of the U.S. Congress, including its Constitutional origins, evolution, current structures and rules, elections, and relationships with the public and other political actors.

PSC
313
Hours
3
The American Executive

Examination of the U.S. Presidency, including its Constitutional origins and historical evolution; current structure, selection, and powers; and relationships with the broader executive bureaucracy, Congress, and the public.

PSC
314
Hours
3
Amer Judicial System

Introductory analysis of judicial organization, processes, and behavior, with emphasis on the institutional characteristics of the courts.

PSC
316
Hours
3
Southern Politics

Examination of the party system of the Southern states in terms of its origin, nature, distribution of power, and impact on national politics.

PSC
318
Hours
3
Constitn Law Limits Gov Power

Study of the constitutional foundations of federalism and the separation of powers, with emphasis on the role of the Supreme Court.

Prerequisite(s): PSC 101
PSC
319
Hours
3
Con Law Civ Rts and Libs

Study of the Constitution's protections for civil rights and civil liberties, and the Supreme Court's interpretations of them.

Prerequisite(s): PSC 101
PSC
320
Hours
1-3
Special Studies In Psc

Supervised independent reading and research. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours, with permission of the department.

PSC
321
Hours
3
Special Topics In Psc

Course content varies from offering to offering. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 hours, with permission of the department.

PSC
330
Hours
3
Democratization

Examination of democratization processes and outcomes in different areas of the world, as well as success and failure in institutionalizing fully democratic systems.

Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor
PSC
331
Hours
3
Politics of Developing Nations

This course explores political and economic development within the regions of Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Prerequisite(s): None
Prerequisite(s) with concurrency: None
PSC
333
Hours
3
Soviet Post Sov Politics

Study of institutions and processes in the USSR and the post-Soviet republics, with attention to concepts of authoritarianism, systemic change, and democratization.

PSC
334
Hours
3
Government Politics West Europ

Analysis of the democracies of Western Europe. Attention is given to participation, societal cleavages, elections, parties, government institutions, policy making, and the European Union.

PSC
335
Hours
3
Soc Movements & Cont Politics

Examination of social movements. Particular attention will be paid to the impact of movements on political processes.

PSC
336
W
Hours
3
African Politics

This course introduces students to the politics of contemporary Africa. It challenges the dominant representations of the continent as conflict prone, economically underdeveloped, and political unstable. Instead, the course presents Africa as a dynamic region comprised of 54 independent states with diverse political and economic realities. Students will explore core themes such as the politics of the state, politics of identity, economic and political development, the politics of conflict and cooperation, and the role of Africa in global affairs. These themes are examined through a variety of learning materials and collaborative-learning methods that expose students to dominant theoretical approaches and political science methodologies. It is important to note that this class is designated as a “W” course, which means “writing proficiency within the discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.”.

Prerequisite(s): N/A
Prerequisite(s) with concurrency: N/A
Writing
PSC
340
Hours
3
Civil Wars

This course covers a variety of topics related to civil war using a theoretical and scientific perspective. Topics include the distribution, onset, outcome, recurrence and duration of civil wars, and the management of civil war though third party mediation and negotiated settlements.

PSC
342
Hours
3
For Pol Sov Un Suc State

Examination of the influence of the Soviet Union in the evolution of the international system as well as the interests and strategies of Russia and other successor states.

PSC
344
Hours
3
The Israel-Palestine Conflict

How are we to make sense of the present-day conflict between Israelis and Palestinians? How do the parties involved see that conflict, and how does it fit into our own conceptions of religion and politics, war and peace, place and space? Why does it seem so intractable? Why does it occupy such prominence in contemporary political discourse? Through an examination of primary and secondary historical texts, literary works, films and artwork, we will explore the origins and unfolding of this conflict both internally (ie, as emerging from within distinct social-political moments for the people involved) and externally (in relation to broader geopolitical and economic developments). As the conflict remains ongoing, we will strive for compassionate, nuanced engagement; to understand rather than judge; and to find hope for new possibilities.

Prerequisite(s): Background in Middle Eastern politics is not required, but will be of benefit
PSC
353
Hours
3
Modern Political Thought

Key political theorists from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. Assigned texts may vary, but typically include works by Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, J. S. Mill, Marx, and Nietzsche. Topics include conceptions of a just society, the state, the value of political participation, liberty, and equality.

PSC
361
Hours
3
Fiscal Policy & Budget

Study of governmental revenue and expenditure policies with emphasis on the budget as a method of administrative and fiscal control.

PSC
362
Hours
3
Organization Theory

An examination of traditional and contemporary organizational theory and its application to public administration.

PSC
364
Hours
3
African Amer & Polit Sys

A historical and contemporary assessment of the political, social and economic development of African-Americans in the American political system.

PSC
365
Hours
3
Introduction to Environmental Policy

This introductory environmental policy course reviews major developments in environmental regulation in the United States, considered in a global context. Readings examine the evolution of U.S. environmental policy, the form and function of social institutions used to govern human-environment interactions, including markets, state and civil society, and conventions, norms, and morals. U.S. and U.N. legal structures, agencies, and NGOs are addressed, with attention to comparative regulatory frameworks. The “new institutional approach,” “resource regimes,” and various incremental and transformative institutional reforms are discussed. The impact of economic and cultural factors—including class, race, gender, and location—on resource use and other policy decisions affecting the physical and built environments will be explored. Evolving institutional approaches to energy use, such as sustainability, “wise use,” adaptive management, and resilience are examined. This course is cross-listed with NEW 365.

Prerequisite(s): No prerequisites are required.
PSC
370
Hours
3
American Public Policy

This course provides a broad overview of public policy in the United States. In addition to learning about the policy process and policy analysis, we will examine the historical context and contemporary status of several policy issues.

Prerequisite(s): None
Prerequisite(s) with concurrency: None
PSC
399
Hours
3-6
Internship In Psc

No description available.

PSC
411
Hours
3
Public Opinion

The formation, distribution, structure, properties, and techniques of measuring public opinions in the United States.

PSC
413
Hours
3
Amer Foreign Policy

Examination of the forces and processes affecting United States foreign relations. Attention is also given to the content and problems of contemporary American foreign policy.

PSC
414
Hours
3
Foreign Policy Decisionmaking

This is an overview of the key components of Foreign Policy Decision Making (FPDM). Students are expected to learn the theories and models of FPDM and be able to apply them to case studies of foreign decisions. This course is distinguished from PSC 413 by specifically focusing on how and why decisions are made.

PSC
416
Hours
3
Migration and American Politics

This course examines how great movements of people have shaped American politics and policy.

Prerequisite(s): None
Prerequisite(s) with concurrency: None
PSC
421
W
Hours
3
Seminar in Political Science, Writing Intensive

May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours. Selected problems in various areas of political science. Topics, instructors, and political science subfields covered will vary by instructor and semester. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in the course.

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing or permission of instructor.
Writing
PSC
422
Hours
3
Seminar Political Science

May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours. Selected problems in various areas in political science. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.

PSC
433
Hours
3
Communism Europe 1945-89

Examination of the interaction of Marxist theory and practice in various national settings. Attention is given to the differential evolution of parties and regimes and to reasons for the dissolution of communist systems.

PSC
434
Hours
3
Internatl Polit Econom

The course deals with the international trade and finance regimes, foreign economic policy, transnational corporations in the world economy, North/South and East/West relations, and the implications of economic interdependence.

PSC
435
Hours
3
War And Peace

Study of the causes of war at the individual, societal and international levels of analysis with particular emphasis on international relations research using the scientific method.

Prerequisite(s): PSC 204 or PSC 413
PSC
436
Hours
3
Non-Communst East Europe

An examination of the political issues, processes, and institutions, primarily in the formerly communist states of East-Central Europe.

PSC
437
Hours
3
Post Communism

Examination of processes of democratization and reversion to authoritarianism in East Central Europe and Eurasia. Political, social, and economic alterations of communist arrangements are discussed. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.

PSC
438
Hours
3
Govt and Politics of S. Asia

Examination of South Asian states. Attention is given to the legacies of colonialism, political institutions, democratization, economic development, political conflict and regional security.

PSC
441
Hours
3
Terrorism

Explores the definition and dynamics of domestic and international terrorism, terrorist ideas and terrorist organization, and the political problems of suppressing terrorism.

PSC
442
Hours
3
Internatl Conflict

Examination of the various kinds of violent conflicts in which nation-states become involved.

PSC
443
W
Hours
3
Comparative Pub Policy

Analysis of domestic policy in advanced industrialized democracies, looking at both policy process and policy substance. Attention will be given to the questions of how and why policies differ across countries, and how one might evaluate policy performance cross-nationally. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.

Writing
PSC
444
Hours
3
International Organizations

An examination of the essential structures and processes in international organizations, both governmental and nongovernmental, and their roles in the area of global security, economy, and social welfare. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.

PSC
446
Hours
3
Political Economy of Security

The course will cover a variety of topics that link security and political economy. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.

PSC
448
Hours
3
Human Rights & Institutions

This class examines how domestic and international institutions create incentives or constraints leading to human rights violations or protections from a social science perspective.

PSC
452
Hours
3
American Political Thought

Investigates primary sources and secondary literature covering the origin and direction of the U.S. political ideology. Topics typically include liberalism, civic republicanism, and debates between contemporary scholars concerning American exceptionalism.

Prerequisite(s): PSC 205
PSC
455
Hours
3
Political Traditions and Dilemmas

This course is a sustained examination of the history of political thought in the western tradition coupled with philosophical investigation into contemporary issues.

PSC
462
Hours
3
Public Personnel Admin

Study of the American public personnel system at the local, state, and national level. Emphasis is on such areas as the political activity of government employees, the application of the principle of equal opportunity and affirmative action, and the role of collective bargaining in government.

PSC
464
Hours
3
The Politics of Health Policy

We examine health policy at all levels of government, with particular focus on the interdependence of the national, state, and local governments to provide health services. The political environment of health policymaking and implementation is explored. Health policies such as Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act will be examined, as well as other policies that impact health. We examine the policymaking process in general, applying health policy to the concepts and theories. We compare the US health care system with systems in other industrialized democracies.

Prerequisite(s): Approval of academic advisor and at least junior status.
PSC
465
Hours
3
The Politics of Sex

There are three key components to this course: 1) the status of women in politics and society, 2) the role of social movements and the Supreme Court regarding the status of women in politics and society, and 3) a substantive policy issue related to the politics of sex determined by class vote (possibilities include reproductive rights, marriage equality, sexual assault on campus, and others).

Prerequisite(s): Junior status.
PSC
466
W
Hours
3
The Politics of Poverty

In this course we will examine one of the most enduring social problems in the United States – poverty. The course is divided into three sections. In the first section, we will primarily focus on the conceptualization and measurement of poverty, as well as the demographic groups that are most likely to suffer from high poverty rates. In the second part of the course, we will review in detail the major government programs aimed at alleviating poverty. We will examine their historical development, their structure and the social science research on their effectiveness. In the third section of the course we will review alternative explanations for poverty, focusing on the distinction between individual and structural explanations and how it influences public discourse and the politics of poverty. As this is an upper level course that fulfills the university’s writing requirement, there will be a significant amount of writing in this class. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course. These written assignments will require coherent, logical, and carefully edited prose. In addition, these assignments will require students to demonstrate higher-level critical thinking skills, such as analysis and synthesis.

Writing