Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Political Science B.A.

Political Science Department
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2021
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 35
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Political science examines who gets what, when, and how from government. Political scientists study voters, politicians, interest groups, political parties, social movements, institutions, states, and public policies at all levels, from local communities to the global community. The discipline covers four thematic areas: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory. Political scientists employ multiple tools to learn about politics, including historical methods, case studies, and statistical, archival, and critical analyses. Political science majors develop an array of skills acquired through coursework, research opportunities with individual faculty, and internships that open multiple career opportunities in public, private, and non-profit sectors. Students of American Politics seek to understand the way that collective governance happens in the United States. The American Politics subfield is divided into two areas: Political Behavior is the study of public opinion and electoral behavior of voting age adults, and Political Institutions is the study of the formal and informal structures of governance in the United States. Students will learn how research projects are designed and, in some courses, how to collect, examine, and present data. In Comparative Politics, we seek to identify factors that explain political outcomes across time and space, with an eye to patterns that transcend historical and geographic particularities. Although Comparative Politics is sometimes thought to refer to the study of politics outside the United States, comparativists reject the idea that American politics are not amenable to comparative analysis. Comparative Politics courses will make you a more informed and discerning citizen in our interconnected world. In International Relations, we study how the countries of the world do and don't get along. We address fundamental questions of war and peace, conflict and cooperation, trade, migration, and finance. Taking courses in International Relations helps students better understand how the world works. Students will be expected to write policy memos, conduct independent research, take part in simulations and debates, and devise policy solutions to complicated challenges. Political Theory analyzes the meaning and significance of fundamental political concepts. Starting from foundational concerns as the nature of politics, humans, power and justice, theorists explore how these basic starting assumptions organize the norms, practices, and institutions of political and social order. Students who study Political Theory become more adept at critical thinking, careful reading and clear writing, and recognizing and constructing arguments. These skills are basic for the critical, lifelong role that all of us play as members of political community. Taking classes across the subfields enables students to become more informed citizens and to pursue a wide variety of careers. Political science majors learn skills including oral and written communication, analytical and critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, and digital competencies.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
It is strongly recommended that students complete one POL 1xxx course prior to admission to the major. See "Preparatory Courses" under program requirements for suggested courses.
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
General Requirements
All students in baccalaureate degree programs are required to complete general University and college requirements including writing and liberal education courses. For more information about University-wide requirements, see the liberal education requirements. Required courses for the major, minor or certificate in which a student receives a D grade (with or without plus or minus) do not count toward the major, minor or certificate (including transfer courses).
Program Requirements
Students are required to complete 4 semester(s) of any second language. with a grade of C-, or better, or S, or demonstrate proficiency in the language(s) as defined by the department or college.
CLA BA degrees require 18 upper division (3xxx-level or higher) credits outside the major designator. These credits must be taken in designators different from the major designator and cannot include courses that are cross-listed with the major designator. The major designator for the political science BA is POL. Students may earn a BA or a minor in political science, but not both. At least 15 upper-division credits in the major must be taken at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. All incoming CLA freshmen must complete the First-Year Experience course sequence. All students must complete a capstone in at least one CLA major. The requirements for double majors completing the capstone in a different CLA major will be clearly stated. Students must also complete all major requirements in both majors to allow the additional capstone to be waived. Students completing an additional degree must complete the Capstone in each degree area.
Foundation Courses
It is strongly recommended, but not required, that majors complete lower division POL coursework.
Take 0 - 8 credit(s) from the following:
· POL 1026 - U.S. Foreign Policy (3.0 cr)
· POL 1054 - Politics Around the World [SOCS, GP] (3.0 cr)
· POL 1201 - Political Ideas [HIS, CIV] (3.0 cr)
· POL 19xx - Freshman Seminar
· POL 1001 - American Democracy in a Changing World [SOCS] (3.0 cr)
or POL 1001H - Honors Course: American Democracy in a Changing World [SOCS] (3.0 cr)
· POL 1019 - Indigenous Peoples in Global Perspective [GP] (3.0 cr)
or AMIN 1002 - Indigenous Peoples in Global Perspective [GP] (3.0 cr)
· POL 1025 - Global Politics [SOCS, GP] (3.0 cr)
or POL 1025H - Honors: Global Politics [SOCS, GP] (4.0 cr)
Electives
Take at least one course from three of the four subfields: political theory, comparative government, international relations, and American government.
Take 24 or more credit(s) from the following:
Political Theory
Take 0 or more credit(s) from the following:
· POL 3225 - American Political Thought [CIV] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3235W - Democracy and Citizenship [CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3251W - Power, Virtue, and Vice: Ancient and Early Modern Political Theory [WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3252W - Revolution, Democracy, and Empire: Modern Political Thought [AH, CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3265 - Ideas and Protest in French Postwar Thought [AH, CIV] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3272 - What Makes Political Community? [CIV] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4210 - Topics in Political Theory (3.0 cr)
· POL 4255 - Comparative Real Time Political Analysis: Marxist versus Liberal Perspectives [HIS, GP] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4267 - Imperialism and Modern Political Thought [HIS, CIV] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4275 - Domination, Exclusion, and Justice: Contemporary Political Thought (3.0 cr)
· POL 5210 - Topics in Political Theory (3.0 cr)
· POL 5280 - Topics in Political Theory (3.0-4.0 cr)
· Comparative Government
Take 0 or more credit(s) from the following:
· POL 3410 - Topics in Comparative Politics (3.0 cr)
· POL 3423 - Politics of Disruption: Violence and Its Alternatives [GP] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3431 - Politics of India [GP] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3451W - Politics and Society in the New Europe [GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3462 - Politics of Race, Class, and Ethnicity (3.0 cr)
· POL 3464 - The Politics of Economic Inequality (3.0 cr)
· POL 3477 - Political Economy of Development [SOCS, GP] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3479 - Latin American Politics [GP] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3481H - Comparative Political Economy: Governments and Markets (3.0 cr)
· POL 3489W - Citizens, Consumers, and Corporations [CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4410 - Topics in Comparative Politics (3.0 cr)
· POL 4463 - The Cuban Revolution Through the Words of Cuban Revolutionaries [GP] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4474W - Russian Politics: From Soviet Empire to Post-Soviet State [WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4481 - Comparative Political Economy: Governments and Markets (3.0 cr)
· POL 4487 - The Struggle for Democratization and Citizenship (3.0 cr)
· POL 4494W - US-Latin American Relations [WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4497 - Patronage & Corruption [GP] (3.0 cr)
· POL 5410 - Topics in Comparative Politics (1.0-3.0 cr)
· POL 5477 - Struggles and Issues in the Middle East (4.0 cr)
· POL 4403W - Constitutions, Democracy, and Rights: Comparative Perspectives [GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
or POL 5403 - Constitutions, Democracy, and Rights: Comparative Perspectives (3.0 cr)
· POL 4461W - European Government and Politics [GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
or POL 5461 - European Government and Politics (4.0 cr)
· POL 4465 - Democracy and Dictatorship in Southeast Asia [GP] (3.0 cr)
or POL 5465 - Democracy and Dictatorship in Southeast Asia [GP] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4478W - Contemporary Politics in Africa and the Colonial Legacy [GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
or AFRO 4478W - Contemporary Politics in Africa and the Colonial Legacy [GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4492 - Law and (In)Justice in Latin America (3.0 cr)
or POL 5492 - Law and (In)Justice in Latin America (3.0 cr)
· American Government
Take 0 or more credit(s) from the following:
· AMIN 4501 - Law, Sovereignty, and Treaty Rights (3.0 cr)
· POL 3306 - Presidential Leadership and American Democracy (3.0 cr)
· POL 3308 - Congressional Politics and Institutions [SOCS] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3309 - U.S. Supreme Court Decision-Making, Process, and Politics (3.0 cr)
· POL 3310 - Topics in American Politics (3.0 cr)
· POL 3317 - Food Politics: Actors, Arenas, and Agendas [SOCS] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3319 - Education and the American Dream [SOCS, DSJ] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3321 - Issues in American Public Policy (3.0 cr)
· POL 3323 - Political Tolerance in the United States (3.0 cr)
· POL 3325 - U.S. Campaigns and Elections (3.0 cr)
· POL 3329 - The Balance of Power: Federalism & Community in the United States (3.0 cr)
· POL 3733 - From Suffragettes to Senators: Gender, Politics & Policy in the U.S. [DSJ] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3766 - Political Psychology of Mass Behavior [SOCS] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3767 - Political Psychology of Elite Behavior [CIV] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4310 - Topics in American Politics (3.0 cr)
· POL 4317 - Becoming Stupid: Anti-Science in American Politics (3.0 cr)
· POL 4501W - The Supreme Court and Constitutional Interpretation [CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4737W - American Political Parties [WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4771 - Race and Politics in America: Making Sense of Racial Attitudes in the United States [DSJ] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4773W - Advocacy Organizations, Social Movements, and the Politics of Identity [DSJ, WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 5306 - Presidential Leadership and American Democracy (3.0 cr)
· POL 5310 - Topics in American Politics (3.0 cr)
· POL 5322 - Rethinking the Welfare State (3.0-4.0 cr)
· POL 5327 - Politics of American Cities and Suburbs (3.0 cr)
· POL 5331 - Thinking Strategically in Domestic Politics (3.0-4.0 cr)
· POL 3701 - Indigenous Tribal Governments and Politics [HIS, DSJ] (3.0 cr)
or AMIN 3501 - Indigenous Tribal Governments and Politics [HIS, DSJ] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3752 - Chicana/o Politics [SOCS, DSJ] (3.0 cr)
or CHIC 3852 - Chicana/o Politics [SOCS, DSJ] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3769 - Public Opinion and Voting Behavior [SOCS] (3.0 cr)
or POL 5767 - Public Opinion and Voting Behavior (3.0 cr)
· POL 4315W - State Governments: Laboratories of Democracy [WI] (3.0 cr)
or POL 5315 - State Governments: Laboratories of Democracy (3.0 cr)
· POL 4335 - African American Politics (3.0 cr)
or AFRO 4335 - African American Politics (3.0 cr)
· POL 4502W - The Supreme Court, Civil Liberties, and Civil Rights [CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
or POL 5502 - Supreme Court, Civil Liberties, and Civil Rights (3.0 cr)
· POL 4525W - Federal Indian Policy [WI] (3.0 cr)
or AMIN 4525W - Federal Indian Policy [WI] (3.0 cr)
or POL 5525 - Federal Indian Policy (3.0 cr)
· International Relations
Take 0 or more credit(s) from the following:
· POL 3810 - Topics in International Relations and Foreign Policy (3.0 cr)
· POL 3835 - International Relations [SOCS, GP] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3841 - The Consequences of War (3.0 cr)
· POL 4810 - Topics in International Politics and Foreign Policy (3.0 cr)
· POL 4881 - The Politics of International Law and Global Governance [GP] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4887 - Thinking Strategically in International Politics [MATH] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4891 - The Politics of Nuclear Weapons (3.0 cr)
· POL 5810 - Topics in International Politics and Foreign Policy (3.0 cr)
· POL 3833 - The United States and the Global Economy (3.0 cr)
or POL 5833 - The United States in the Global EconomyUS For Econ Policy (3.0-4.0 cr)
· POL 4885W - International Conflict and Security [GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
or POL 5885 - International Conflict and Security (3.0 cr)
· Additional Courses
Take 0 or more credit(s) from the following:
· POL 3065 - Political Engagement Careers: Planning and Preparing For Your Future [CIV] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3108H - Honors Tutorial: Thesis Preparation and Political Science Inquiry (3.0 cr)
· POL 3994 - Directed Research: Distinguished Undergraduate Research Program (2.0 cr)
· POL 4085 - Advanced Political Data Analysis (4.0 cr)
· POL 4910 - Topics in Political Science (3.0 cr)
· POL 4994 - Directed Research: Individual (1.0-4.0 cr)
· POL 3085 - Quantitative Analysis in Political Science [MATH] (4.0 cr)
or POL 3085H - Honors Course: Quantitative Analysis in Political Science [MATH] (4.0 cr)
· Faculty-Supervised
Take at most 6 credit(s) from the following:
· POL 3080 - Internship in Politics or Government (3.0-13.0 cr)
Capstone
The political science capstone provides students with a unique opportunity to reflect on, articulate, share, and build on their individual experiences in the major. It invites students to reflect on what they have learned as political science majors; to demonstrate their knowledge through the preparation of a portfolio of materials; and to think about how the knowledge, skills, and insights of acquired in their major experience can be used and applied outside of the University.
Students who double major and choose to complete the capstone requirement in their other major may waive the political science BA capstone, but are still responsible for taking a minimum of 35 credits towards the political science BA.
Take exactly 1 course(s) totaling 3 or more credit(s) from the following:
· POL 4991 - Political Science Capstone (3.0 cr)
or Honors Option
POL 4993 - Honors Thesis: Directed Studies (1.0-6.0 cr)
Upper Division Writing Intensive within the major
Students are required to take one upper division writing intensive course within the major. If that requirement has not been satisfied within the core major requirements, students must choose one course from the following list. Some of these courses may also fulfill other major requirements.
Take 0 - 1 course(s) from the following:
· POL 3235W - Democracy and Citizenship [CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3251W - Power, Virtue, and Vice: Ancient and Early Modern Political Theory [WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3252W - Revolution, Democracy, and Empire: Modern Political Thought [AH, CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3451W - Politics and Society in the New Europe [GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 3489W - Citizens, Consumers, and Corporations [CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4315W - State Governments: Laboratories of Democracy [WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4403W - Constitutions, Democracy, and Rights: Comparative Perspectives [GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4461W - European Government and Politics [GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4474W - Russian Politics: From Soviet Empire to Post-Soviet State [WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4494W - US-Latin American Relations [WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4501W - The Supreme Court and Constitutional Interpretation [CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4502W - The Supreme Court, Civil Liberties, and Civil Rights [CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4737W - American Political Parties [WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4773W - Advocacy Organizations, Social Movements, and the Politics of Identity [DSJ, WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4885W - International Conflict and Security [GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
· AFRO 4478W - Contemporary Politics in Africa and the Colonial Legacy [GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
or POL 4478W - Contemporary Politics in Africa and the Colonial Legacy [GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 4525W - Federal Indian Policy [WI] (3.0 cr)
or AMIN 4525W - Federal Indian Policy [WI] (3.0 cr)
 
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POL 1026 - U.S. Foreign Policy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
The United States is the most powerful country in the world. This makes the question of what the role in the U.S. is in the world and how the United States interacts with other countries, international organizations, and other actors in international politics a question of real importance. US foreign policy will play a crucial role in determining the world we live in four, ten, and fifty years time. As a result, we should all try to better understand how the United States behaves in international politics, why it behaves in that way, how it should behave, and how it has behaved in the past. These are the questions that this class tackles. For example, we'll ask: why does the United States play such an active role in world politics? Might this change in the future and how has US foreign policy varied in the past? What do past conflicts in which the United States has been involved tell us about current U.S. foreign policy? Why is the United States so often at war despite being so militarily secure? Does the rise of China pose a threat to the United States and if so, what should the United States do about it? How serious is the threat of cyber war? Why does the United States care so much about stopping other countries from getting nuclear weapons?
POL 1054 - Politics Around the World (SOCS, GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
This course is an introduction to the study of politics in different countries around the world. It focuses on domestic politics within countries, as opposed to a course in international relations, which focuses on relations between countries. Some of the questions we tackle include: Why are some countries prone to violent conflict while others remain peaceful? Why do some countries grow rich while others remain poor? Why does democracy emerge in some countries, while dictators hold onto power elsewhere? How do attitudes about gender and sexuality influence politics? Do particular religions, or the strength of religious faith, strengthen or weaken democracy? The readings and assignments help you make sense of the complexity of world politics - to sift through and distill the avalanche of information available and learn how to develop your own arguments about pertinent global issues. Upon completion of this course you will be able to understand and provide examples of 1) the difference between strong and weak states; 2) the distinctions between democratic and non-democratic forms of government; 3) the various ways democracies are governed; 4) arguments explaining the origin of democracy and the persistence of non-democracy; 5) the significance of different forms of political identity such as ethnicity, religion, and gender; 6) why some countries are rich while others remain poor; and 7) why some countries tax and spend more than others. Assignments seek to develop your skills at developing arguments through logic and evidence and to give you the ability to distinguish between a persuasive argument about politics and simply stating an opinion.
POL 1201 - Political Ideas (HIS, CIV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
This course serves as an introduction to the study of political theory. Political theory analyzes the meaning and significance of fundamental concepts in politics. Starting from such basic concerns as the nature of politics, humans, power and justice, political theorists explore how these basic starting assumptions organize the norms, practices, and institutions of political and social order. To explore these topics, the field turns to key texts, as well as to political and social events and other media (film, historical documents, etc.). In this introductory course, students will investigate some of the basic texts in political theory, with the goal of learning how to read texts more analytically and to address fundamental questions in political theory. Among the topics that might be the nature of justice and injustice, political obligation and civil disobedience, democracy and other forms of governance. Students who complete this course will understand the deep issues about the nature of politics, will have learned to read and to analyze complex texts. They will also have had the opportunity to reflect upon their own ethical engagement in political life and upon the ways in which historically, political ideas change.
POL 1001 - American Democracy in a Changing World (SOCS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 1001/Pol 1001H
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
This course is intended to introduce students to the expressed hopes of the American people for their government and to the institutions and processes that have been created and recreated to achieve these hopes. The course is designed to help students understand what liberal education is by engaging in the study of American politics as a fundamentally critical and creative enterprise, and by grappling with the most complex and challenging problems of political life, such as the sources of political equality and inequality, and the tension between individual aspirations and political control. Questions of power and choice, opportunity and discrimination, freedom and restrictions on freedom are fundamental to the historical development of and current controversies within the American political system, and we will attend to all of these. We will explore topics including the ideas underlying the nation?s founding and its constitutional foundations; civil rights and civil liberties; the role of the United States in an increasingly globalized world; the structure and function of American political institutions; and the behavior of American citizens in the political process. In addition, we will learn to think and communicate like political scientists. We will read primary documents, such as the Federalist papers, engage with scholarly arguments about the way the American political system works, and critically evaluate critiques of the American political system that have been offered from a variety of perspectives. By the end of the semester students should have a basic understanding of the structure and function of American government as well as an increased ability to critically reflect on the degree to which our institutions, processes, and citizens live up to the expectations placed on them. Students will be able to identify, define, and solve problems and to locate and critically evaluate information. Students will have mastered a body of knowledge and a mode of inquiry. This course fulfills the liberal education requirements for the Social Sciences Core.
POL 1001H - Honors Course: American Democracy in a Changing World (SOCS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 1001/Pol 1001H
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course is intended to introduce students to the expressed hopes of the American people for their government and to the institutions and processes that have been created and recreated to achieve these hopes. The course is designed to help students understand what liberal education is by engaging in the study of American politics as a fundamentally critical and creative enterprise, and by grappling with the most complex and challenging problems of political life, such as the sources of political equality and inequality, and the tension between individual aspirations and political control. Questions of power and choice, opportunity and discrimination, freedom and restrictions on freedom are fundamental to the historical development of and current controversies within the American political system, and we will attend to all of these. We will explore topics including the ideas underlying the nation?s founding and its constitutional foundations; civil rights and civil liberties; the role of the United States in an increasingly globalized world; the structure and function of American political institutions; and the behavior of American citizens in the political process. In addition, we will learn to think and communicate like political scientists. We will read primary documents, such as the Federalist papers, engage with scholarly arguments about the way the American political system works, and critically evaluate critiques of the American political system that have been offered from a variety of perspectives. By the end of the semester students should have a basic understanding of the structure and function of American government as well as an increased ability to critically reflect on the degree to which our institutions, processes, and citizens live up to the expectations placed on them. Students will be able to identify, define, and solve problems and to locate and critically evaluate information. Students will have mastered a body of knowledge and a mode of inquiry. This course fulfills the liberal education requirements for the Social Sciences Core.
POL 1019 - Indigenous Peoples in Global Perspective (GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: AmIn 1002/Pol 1019
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Colonial experiences of selected indigenous peoples in Americas, Euroasia, Pacific Rim.
AMIN 1002 - Indigenous Peoples in Global Perspective (GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: AmIn 1002/Pol 1019
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Colonial experiences of selected indigenous peoples in Americas, Euroasia, Pacific Rim.
POL 1025 - Global Politics (SOCS, GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 1025/Pol 1025H
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Global politics is complex, fast-paced, and often confusing. Seeking to reveal the deeper processes at work in the international system, this introductory course explores both the enduring challenges of international politics as well as more recent transformative trends? What has changed and what has stayed the same. It introduces theoretical traditions, but the course's focus is on making sense of real-world problems, both today and in the past. Why and when do states go to war and use military force? Why do they sign international agreements and treaties, on matters from arms control to investment? What effect does international trade have on the distribution of global wealth, and why do barriers to trade arise? Why has human rights emerged as a central problem in world politics? Why has our world become an increasingly legalized and regulated space? And what difference does it make? What good are nuclear weapons? Why do some turn to terrorism to advance their political agenda? Does foreign aid make the world a better place? How can we reduce global inequality? What are the prospects for international cooperation to address climate change? These are among the pressing real-world questions that this course in Global Politics will address? And that it will give you the tools to answer, though particular instructors will naturally choose to emphasize different topics and questions. But the course will also highlight how our answers to these questions are changing along with the deep power structures of global politics-as US dominance wanes and others, most notably China, rise; as core ideas and discourses underpinning the international system, such as sovereignty, come under assault; and as institutions, such as those governing international law, thicken. Global Politics is an essential guide to our increasingly globalized world.
POL 1025H - Honors: Global Politics (SOCS, GP)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 1025/Pol 1025H
Prerequisites: Honors student
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to international relations/issues in contemporary world affairs. War, peace, nuclear proliferation. Politics of humanitarian intervention. Global monetary/trading systems. Activities of international institutions/non-governmental organizations. prereq: Honors student
POL 3225 - American Political Thought (CIV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
This course provides an introduction to several key periods and some of the leading concepts and debates in American political thought. It might also focus on a broader theme such as: conceptions of destiny, mission, and exceptionalism; arguments over economic development and inequality; or debates over government and corporate power. The course will begin with Puritan religious and political thought, tracing its secularization over time. Considerable attention will be paid to the ideas behind the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, such as the social contract and the right of resistance to civil authority, civic republicanism, and the founders? new science of politics and government. The course will consider some if not all of the following: debates over slavery and emancipation, women?s rights, the rise of imperialism and nationalism, race and racism, and the rise of rule by public and private bureaucratic organizations, and the consequences of these developments for the possibility of continued individual liberty, equality, and justice. This course requires considerable reading of difficult texts. The ultimate goal of this course is for students to gain a deeper understanding of American political thought as a product of the country?s ever-evolving political discourse. prereq: Suggested prerequisite POL 1201
POL 3235W - Democracy and Citizenship (CIV, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course considers the nature of contemporary democracy and the role that members of the political community do, can, and should play. While approaches in teaching the class vary, students can expect to read historical and contemporary texts, see films and videos, to approach questions about the nature of democracy, justifications for democracy, and challenges faced by contemporary democracy. Topics will include such questions as the role of civil society in democratic life, deliberative democracy, as well as questions about how members of political communities can best participate in democratic life. Students will write a longer essay that allows them to demonstrate their capacities to understand and explain complex ideas and to make a theoretically compelling argument, using appropriate supporting evidence. prereq: Suggested prerequisite 1201
POL 3251W - Power, Virtue, and Vice: Ancient and Early Modern Political Theory (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 3251/5251
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Key concepts of contemporary political life such as ‘democracy’, ‘tyranny’, ‘authority’— and indeed ‘politics’ itself— derive from ancient sources. This course offers students an opportunity to return to the foundations of this vocabulary by delving into work by such major thinkers as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and Machiavelli. Lectures and discussion shall consider the endurance of certain basic questions of political life, such as: What is justice? What is the best regime? What is the relationship between human nature and political order? Can politics be virtuous and, if so, in what way? The course will also consider the radically diverse responses to these essential questions through examination of a wide range of historical periods and the unique terms of political order each offered. Previous iterations of the course have included examination of the Classical Greek city-state system and its fragile experiments with democracy; the rise and fall of the Roman empire; the establishment of Western Christendom; the Renaissance, so-called ‘discovery’ of the New World, and dawn of the modern era. Students will gain a glimpse into worlds preoccupied by matters of truth, virtue and nobility, but also widely populated by slavery, imperialism, violence, and religious strife. In this way, the study of ancient theory is intended to serve as both supplement and challenge to the terms of contemporary political life.
POL 3252W - Revolution, Democracy, and Empire: Modern Political Thought (AH, CIV, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
From the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries, Europe and its colonies were wracked by large scale, sweeping changes: from the violent emergence of the sovereign state, to intense religious conflict, to geographic expansions at once transformative and brutal in search of new economic markets. These changes posed extraordinary challenges to usual ways of conceiving of political order and governance. Our course this semester will read these changes through three key concepts – revolution, democracy, and empire. Class discussion will seek to understand different meanings of these concepts, their political stakes, and ways of knowing how to move between political ideals and historical examples. Students will read a range of materials – from primary historical sources, to philosophic texts, political pamphlets and treatises, and travel journals – so as to study the effects on both the European context and beyond. prereq: Suggested prerequisite 1201
POL 3265 - Ideas and Protest in French Postwar Thought (AH, CIV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
France witnessed a number of extraordinary events in the 20th century: the carnage and trauma of World Wars I and II; the Vichy regime’s collaboration with German Nazis; the general strike and student protests of the 1960s; the tensions prompted by anti-colonialism and later decolonization in North Africa; and the challenges of post-colonialism and racial politics. This course will examine these events, the political and ethical challenges they raised, and the intellectuals who shaped the ensuing public debates. It will draw on historical documents, cultural media (e.g. posters, art, film), and philosophical texts to explore contemporary France in its century of politics and protest. Thinkers range from film-maker Gillo Pontecorvo, to philosopher-playwright Jean-Paul Sartre, to philosopher Michel Foucault.
POL 3272 - What Makes Political Community? (CIV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
If politics classically is the exercise of power by rulers over the ruled, how have different communities, traditions, and contexts sought to organize this power and render it just? What are the lessons to be learned from looking to past experiences with political communities ranging in size from the face-to-face polis to the far-flung reaches of empire? How does the ?discovery? of other societies disorient our usual frames of reference for thinking about political community? What different frames might we use? What should we make of problems that seem to exceed the capacity of existing institutions to manage, such as mass violence and total war? The aim of this course is to examine exemplary moments that consider the radical conflict of interpretations that can arise when different cultures come into contact with one another (whether through trade, war, intellectual exchange, or the like), and how these exchanges transform the scale of political community (local, regional, global, universal). Here, we are concerned with large-scale upheaval, processes that are more than simply difficult political problems, but in fact transform the very institutions, relationships, and concepts through which we come to understand what political community is and can be. The substantive focus of the course varies according to instructor, and may include: Colonial Encounters; the Black Atlantic; Revolutionary Moments; Colonialism and the Post-colony.
POL 4210 - Topics in Political Theory
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Topics in political theory, as specified in Class Schedule.
POL 4255 - Comparative Real Time Political Analysis: Marxist versus Liberal Perspectives (HIS, GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels had better democratic credentials than Alexis de Tocqueville and John Stuart Mill. Vladimir Lenin, too, had better democratic credentials than Max Weber and Woodrow Wilson. That?s the provocative argument of this course. Performing what it calls ?comparative real-time political analysis,? it presents convincing evidence to sustain both claims. When the two sets of protagonists are compared and contrasted in how they read and responded to big political events in motion, in real-time, the Marxists, it contends, proved to be better democrats than the Liberals. Real-time analysis argues that responding to and making decisions about events in motion is the real test of political perspective and theory; on Monday morning, we can all look smart. The writings and actions of all seven protagonists are the primary course materials?reading them in their own words. The European Spring of 1848, the United States Civil War, the 1905 Russian Revolution and, the 1917 Russian Revolution and end of World War I, all consequential in the democratic quest, are the main scenarios the course employs to test its claims. The findings, course participants will learn, challenge assumed political wisdom like never before. Employing the lessons of the comparisons to trying to make sense of current politics?given the unprecedented moment in which we find ourselves?is the other goal of the course.
POL 4267 - Imperialism and Modern Political Thought (HIS, CIV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
How has political theory been shaped by imperialism? We will investigate this question through a study of such key thinkers as Kant, Mill, Marx, Lenin, Césaire, Fanon, and Gandhi, reading them through the lens of empire. Our goal is to analyze how such thinkers reflected upon, problematized and, at times, justified forms of Western imperialism. We will look at their explicit reflections on empire, as well as more tangential or ostensibly separate themes that may have only been shaped by the imperial context in indirect ways. Finally, we will reflect upon our contemporary location as readers and agents situated in the wake of these political and intellectual developments, analyzed through the question of what it means to engage in anti-colonial, decolonial, and/or postcolonial critique. This course will combine lectures by the professor with student-led seminar discussion.
POL 4275 - Domination, Exclusion, and Justice: Contemporary Political Thought
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Contemporary Political Theory systematically analyzes the meaning and significance of concepts central to current politics: domination, exclusion, and justice. Starting from basic concerns about the nature of politics, humans, power and justice, this course will explore how these basic starting assumptions organize the norms, practices, and institutions of political and social order. To explore these topics, the field turns to key texts, as well as to political and social events and other media (film, historical documents, etc.). Through this course, students will also be introduced to different interpretive approaches, ranging from democratic theory, feminist, queer and critical race theories, as well as ethics and moral philosophy. Organized around the politics of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the course will pursue a range of questions about democratic legitimation, the exclusion of historically marginalized communities, systematic inequalities of different kinds, as well as ideals of democracy and justice. It will range from theoretical inquiry to practical questions of implementing different political projects. Through this course, students will develop skills in critical thinking, careful reading and clear writing, as well as recognizing and constructing arguments. These skills are basic for the critical, lifelong role that all of us play as members of political community. prereq: 1201 recommended
POL 5210 - Topics in Political Theory
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics specified in the Class Schedule.
POL 5280 - Topics in Political Theory
Credits: 3.0 -4.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4280/Pol 5280
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics in historical, analytical, or normative political theory. Topics vary, see Class Schedule. prereq: grad student
POL 3410 - Topics in Comparative Politics
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Topics of current analytical or policy importance to comparative politics. Topics vary, as specified in Class Schedule.
POL 3423 - Politics of Disruption: Violence and Its Alternatives (GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Political struggles aimed at undermining the existing political order have been a pervasive feature of global politics. Modern states have constantly been sites of relentless challenges from their citizenry, which sometimes take the form of non-violent action while on other occasions manifest in terrorism and violence. This course introduces students to the politics of disruption and violent and non-violent struggles targeted at bringing about political change. We will study a range of manifestations of such struggles focusing on some well-known cases such as the US civil rights movement, the Arab Springs, the Ferguson riots and the Islamic State (ISIS). Can non-violent resistance succeed against a coercive state? Why do individuals and groups participate in high-risk political struggles? What explains patterns of violence in civil conflicts? What are the effects of violence? What facilitates peace? This course will enable you to answer these questions.
POL 3431 - Politics of India (GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
The course introduces students to the politics of India; a non-Western, parliamentary political system that stands out as a bastion of democracy in the developing world, despite underdevelopment & significant ethno-religious divisions. By focusing on India, we offer an understanding of the problems of democratization, underdevelopment, governance & political violence. We examine India’s political institutions & challenges confronting the institutions such as socio-economic inequalities, social exclusion, social divisions, ethno-religious & ideological insurgencies, criminalization of politics & rampant corruption. The course enables students to answer important questions: Why did democracy endure in post-colonial India when much of the developing world endured authoritarian regimes? What accounts for the persistence of ethno-religious conflict & violence? What determines a country’s approach to socio-economic development? What accounts for India’s economic development over the last few decades? How do we explain the existence of political democracy and rampant corruption?
POL 3451W - Politics and Society in the New Europe (GP, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even, Spring Odd Year
The devastation of Europe through two World Wars put the deadly results of ultra-nationalism on full display. To avoid such destruction again, a group of European technocrats and leaders embarked on a mission of incrementally deepening economic and later, social partnerships between an ever-expanding number of European countries. These efforts culminated in the birth of the European Union in the late 20th Century. From its inception, the Union has found obstacles in the forms of a weak institutional structure and authority, deep skepticism of a central European authority, financial crisis, ethnic anxiety, and resurgent nationalism. Yet, the continuation and strengthening of the Union is seen as the antidote to the rise of anti-democratic and authoritarian tendencies on the continent. Some of the key questions that we will engage in are: What are the ideological and historical roots of the European Union? What are the structural flaws of the Union? What are the obstacles to a stronger Union? Is the Union still or even more essential than ever? What are the ways the Union could collapse from within and from the intervention of outside forces?
POL 3462 - Politics of Race, Class, and Ethnicity
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Is it true that since the election of Donald Trump the United States is more racist than ever? Is racism on the rise elsewhere in the world? Consistent with the goals of liberal education, this course helps students navigate their way through what is often seen as one of the most perplexing and intractable problems in today's world?racial and ethnic conflicts. It supplies a set of theoretical tools that can be utilized in the most diverse of settings?including, though to a lesser extent, gender. Rather than looking at these conflicts, as the media and popular knowledge often does, as centuries-old conflicts deeply set in our memory banks, a script from which none of us can escape, the course argues that inequalities in power and authority?in other words, class?go a long way in explaining racial and ethnic dynamics. To support this argument, the course examines the so-called ?black-white? conflict in three settings, the U.S., South Africa and Cuba. While all three share certain similarities, their differences provide the most explanatory power. Most instructive is the Cuba versus U.S. and South Africa comparison. Specifically, what are the consequences for race relations when a society, Cuba, attempts to eliminate class inequalities? The course hopes to show that while we all carry with us the legacy of the past, we are not necessarily its prisoners.
POL 3464 - The Politics of Economic Inequality
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Democracy is premised on formal political equality. Yet if economic wealth can be transformed into political influence, then we have good reason to worry about the quality of democracy. In this course students engage the question of the relationship between inequality and democracy in comparative perspective. The course first explores core conceptual and normative issues: how do we measure economic inequality, and why should we care about it? We then turn to the origins of inequality and explanations of its evolution, and then consider political efforts to redress inequalities, starting with the question of why the poor do not soak the rich under democracy ? the ?Robin Hood Paradox.? We then turn to efforts to explain real-world variation in economic redistribution around the world. Finally, we explore consequences of inequality for democracy: the extent to which the rich ?win? over everyone else in terms of policy representation, and the impact of economic inequality on the long-term evolution of democracy itself.
POL 3477 - Political Economy of Development (SOCS, GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
How can the vast disparities of wealth between countries be explained? Why have some countries in the post-colonial world, in particular, those of East Asia, experienced stunning economic growth, while those in other parts have not? We will explore inequality among nations through an engagement with competing explanations from multiple disciplines. Do free markets, the legacies of colonialism, state power, culture, or geography offer the most persuasive account of current patterns of global inequality? The course also examines what we mean by "development" and exposes students to cutting-edge debates in contemporary development studies. By the end of the course, students will have a better understanding of the causes of and possible solutions to global inequality.
POL 3479 - Latin American Politics (GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: LAS 4479/Pol 3479/Pol 5479
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course offers an introduction to the political history and contemporary politics of Latin America, along with some of the main concepts and theories used by social scientists to explain the region?s political dynamics. Through a comparative, historical approach, the course aims to help students understand the continued challenges faced by countries in the region-- to the establishment of security, the rule of law and rights protection, to the stability and quality of democracy, and to sustainable and equitable economic growth?and how these interact. The objective of the course is not only to help students understand the similarities and differences in outcomes in Latin America over time, but also to reflect on what the region?s experiences can teach us about the requirements of and barriers to meaningful democracy and sustainable and equitable development around the world, including ?north of the border.? In other words, the course seeks not just to provide students? knowledge about Latin America, but to help them learn from Latin America.
POL 3481H - Comparative Political Economy: Governments and Markets
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 3481H/Pol 4481
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This course analyzes the compatibility of democracy and markets-whether democratic institutions undermine (enhance) the workings of market institutions and vice versa. Competing theoretical perspectives in political economy are critically evaluated. And the experiences of countries with different forms of democratic market systems are studied. Among the topics singled out for in-depth investigation are the economics of voting, producer group politics, the politics of monetary and fiscal policy, political business cycles, and trade politics.
POL 3489W - Citizens, Consumers, and Corporations (CIV, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Corporations are among the most powerful actors in the global political economy. They employ millions of people, produce a variety of goods, and have massive effects on the ecological and social environments in which they do business. How do ordinary people act in order to hold corporations accountable for the effects that their activities have on communities and individuals? This course focuses on two ways that people have mobilized to counter corporate power--as citizens and as consumers. When people mobilize as citizens, they put pressure on corporations through the political system--e.g. through mass protests, lobbying politicians, and pursuing claims through the courts. When people mobilize as consumers, they use the power of their purchasing decisions to encourage corporations to change their behavior. We will explore these different modes of action through an examination of corporate social responsibility/sweatshops, the industrial food system in the US, and the privatization of life (e.g. genes), water, and war.
POL 4410 - Topics in Comparative Politics
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Topics of current analytical or policy importance to comparative politics. Topics vary, as specified in Class Schedule.
POL 4463 - The Cuban Revolution Through the Words of Cuban Revolutionaries (GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Why do policy makers in Washington, D.C. continue to rail against the Cuban Revolution? Despite their best efforts, both Republican and Democratic administrations, the Revolution is still in place after six decades. How to explain? This is the central research question of the course. A definitive answer would require a thorough examination of the revolution from its initiation until today?which is beyond what can be done in a semester. The focus, rather, is more limited. First, how was the revolution made and consolidated?from 1953 until about 1969?and, second, how has it been able to survive and advance since the collapse of the Soviet Union, that is, since 1991? The emphasis here is on the role of leadership and strategy, how the Cubans and their leaders saw and see what they are doing?in their own words. This is an attempt to get into their heads, their understandings, through documents, speeches and writings. In keeping with the goals of liberal education, this course helps students to think outside the box of conventional wisdom. Why, for example, an underdeveloped society lacking many of the characteristics of a liberal democracy can do a better job in meeting the basic needs of its citizens than its far richer neighbor to the north? What the Cubans seek to do is reorganize human relations on the basis of solidarity and not individual self-interest. How successful they have been in that pursuit is exactly one of the questions to which the course seeks to provide an answer. These questions are not simply of intellectual interest. Given the deepening crisis of world capitalism with the accompanying human misery, to know about Cuba's reality can have life and death consequences. Given, also, that the U.S. government doesn?t make it easy for most of its citizens to travel to the island to make up their own minds about its reality, this course is a unique educational opportunity.
POL 4474W - Russian Politics: From Soviet Empire to Post-Soviet State (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Twenty five years ago, Russia appeared to be democratizing and was even on friendly relations with the US and NATO. Now Vladimir Putin runs the state with the FSB (KGB), and US-Russian relations are at their worst point since the 1970s. This course examines major themes and periods in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russian politics. It begins with the Russian Revolution of 1917, and continues with a study of the creation of the USSR and Soviet rule under Lenin, Stalin, and later decades. We look in depth at the economic and political system set up by the Communist Party, and at the causes of its collapse in 1991, which has had profound legacies for the post-Soviet development of Russia. Then in the second half of the course we turn to themes of political, economic, social and civic development under Yeltsin and Putin. We will pose the following questions: Why does democratization begin and why does it fail? How is economic reform undermined? What type of state and regime is Russia now? What caused the Chechen wars and the massive bloodshed in the Caucasus during this period? Is Putin trying to recreate the Soviet Union and retake control of its neighbors? Are US-Russian relations improving as a result of Obama's "Reset," or are we now in an era of a new Cold War? What is Russia's goal in Syria, Iran, or Central Asia? Is Putin rebuilding Russia, or driving it to disaster, and how will this impact the West?
POL 4481 - Comparative Political Economy: Governments and Markets
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 3481H/Pol 4481
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This course analyzes the compatibility of democracy and markets - whether democratic institutions undermine (enhance) the workings of market institutions and vice versa. Competing theoretical perspectives in political economy are critically evaluated. And the experiences of countries with different forms of democratic market systems are studied. Among the topics singled out for in-depth investigation are the economics of voting, producer group politics, the politics of monetary and fiscal policy, political business cycles, and trade politics.
POL 4487 - The Struggle for Democratization and Citizenship
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
How best to advance democracy?through the ballot box or in the streets? This question more than any other is what informs the course. As well as the streets, the barricades and the battlefields, it argues, are decisive in the democratic quest. If democracy means the rule of the demos, the people, then who gets to be included in ?the people"? An underlying assumption of the course is that the inclusion of previously disenfranchised layers of society into the category of the people, the citizens, is due to social struggles or the threat of such?an assumption to be examined in the course. Struggles refer to any kinds of movement for social change, from protests and strikes to revolutions broadly defined. This course seeks to see if there are lessons of struggle. The course traces the history of the democratic movement from its earliest moments in human history and attempts to draw a balance sheet. In the process it seeks to answer a number of questions. Did social inequality always exist? How do property rights figure in the inclusion process? What is the relationship between the state, social inequality and democracy? Which social layers played a decisive role in the democratic breakthrough? What are the effective strategies and tactics in the democratic struggle? How crucial is leadership? And lastly, can the lessons of the past inform current practice? A particular feature of the course is to read about the thinking and actions of activists on both sides of the democratic struggle in, as much as possible, their own words.
POL 4494W - US-Latin American Relations (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
US foreign policy toward Latin America. Immigration, trade policy, relations with Cuba, drug war, relations with Venezuela.
POL 4497 - Patronage & Corruption (GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course examines dysfunction within the state apparatus -- in the specific forms of patronage, corruption, and clientalism -- and asks why such dysfunction persists and what factors drive it to change. The first half of the course will be primarily devoted to patronage. It will examine the functioning of the patronage mechanism; ask when and why patronage is abandoned in favor of meritocracy; and will assess the relationship between merit reforms and changes in the quality of governance. The second half of the course will be devoted to corruption. Specific topics to be covered will include: an examination of different forms of corruption, both at the level of political leaders and of bureaucratic officials; the relationship between corruption, democracy, transparency and accountability; governments' manipulation of corruption to provide incentives to bureaucratic and party officials; and different means of combating corruption. The course will conclude with an examination of the relationship between patronage, corruption, clientalism and party politics, with a particular focus on the mechanisms that cause the correlation between these different forms of mis-governance.
POL 5410 - Topics in Comparative Politics
Credits: 1.0 -3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Topics of current analytical or policy importance. Topics vary, see Class Schedule. prereq: grad student
POL 5477 - Struggles and Issues in the Middle East
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Turkey, Iran, Israel, and selected Arab states. Domestic politics of religious/secular, ethnic, economic, environmental, and other policy/identity issues. Regional politics of water access, Israeli/Palestinian/Arab world relationships, oil and Persian/Arabian Gulf, human rights. prereq: Credit will not be granted if credit has been received for: : 4477; 1054 or 3051 or non-pol sci grad student or instr consent
POL 4403W - Constitutions, Democracy, and Rights: Comparative Perspectives (GP, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: POL 4403W / POL 5403
Typically offered: Fall Even, Spring Odd Year
Around the world, fundamental political questions are often debated and decided in constitutional terms, and in the United States, the constitution is invoked at almost every turn to endorse or condemn different policies. Is adhering to constitutional terms the best way to safeguard rights and to achieve a successful democracy? When and how do constitutions matter to political outcomes? This course centers on these questions as it moves from debates over how constitutional drafting processes should be structured and how detailed constitutions should be, to the risks and benefits of different institutional structures (federal v. unitary, and the distribution of powers between the executive, legislature, and judiciary), to which rights (if any) should be constitutionalized and when and why different rights are protected, closing with a discussion of what rules should guide constitutional amendment and rewrite. For each topic, we compare how these issues have been resolved in the U.S. with alternative approaches in a wide variety of other countries around the globe. The goal is not only to expose students to the variety of ways, successful or unsuccessful, that other political communities have addressed these issues, but also to gain a more contextualized and clearer understanding of the pros and cons of the U.S. model, its relevance for other democratic or democratizing countries, whether and how it might be reformed, and, generally speaking, when/how constitutions matter for democratic quality and stability.
POL 5403 - Constitutions, Democracy, and Rights: Comparative Perspectives
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: POL 4403W / POL 5403
Typically offered: Fall Even, Spring Odd Year
Around the world, fundamental political questions are often debated and decided in constitutional terms, and in the United States, the constitution is invoked at almost every turn to endorse or condemn different policies. Is adhering to constitutional terms the best way to safeguard rights and to achieve a successful democracy? When and how do constitutions matter to political outcomes? This course centers on these questions as it moves from debates over how constitutional drafting processes should be structured and how detailed constitutions should be, to the risks and benefits of different institutional structures (federal v. unitary, and the distribution of powers between the executive, legislature, and judiciary), to which rights (if any) should be constitutionalized and when and why different rights are protected, closing with a discussion of what rules should guide constitutional amendment and rewrite. For each topic, we compare how these issues have been resolved in the U.S. with alternative approaches in a wide variety of other countries around the globe. The goal is not only to expose students to the variety of ways, successful or unsuccessful, that other political communities have addressed these issues, but also to gain a more contextualized and clearer understanding of the pros and cons of the U.S. model, its relevance for other democratic or democratizing countries, whether and how it might be reformed, and, generally speaking, when/how constitutions matter for democratic quality and stability.
POL 4461W - European Government and Politics (GP, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4461W/5461
Typically offered: Fall Odd, Spring Even Year
This course will introduce you to three major topics that shape European social and political life today: 1) the struggle over what makes for a national/European identity: how contested national identities matter to European democratic politics and to the new populist movements, and the historical role of Islam in shaping European identities 2) the role of institutions in shaping popular representation and citizen agency; 3) European Union policies: dealing with immigration, the single currency and foreign and security policy especially in regard to Eastern/Central Europe and Russia. Each section will conclude with a comparative class debate, led by students, on the way contested historical interpretations and identities, institutions and policies matter also to US political and civic life. This is a writing intensive course and you will be asked to write a 12-15 page research essay on a European country of your choice. Several assignments, preceded by a writing workshop, will help you complete your final essay. The course will consist of lectures with PPTs, class discussions and group work, and at least one guest lecturer working in a local business connected with Europe. Indeed this course aims at preparing you to live and work in a deeply interconnected world, with special attention to the historical, social, political and economic ties between the US and Europe. Small changes will be made to the syllabus if current events or unexpected class needs require it, but the main themes, most readings and the assignments will remain as indicated in the syllabus. prereq: 1054 or 3051 or non-pol sci grad or instr consent
POL 5461 - European Government and Politics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4461W/5461
Typically offered: Every Spring
European political institutions in their social settings. Power and responsibility. Governmental stability. Political decision making. Government and economic order. prereq: grad student or instr consent
POL 4465 - Democracy and Dictatorship in Southeast Asia (GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4465/Pol 5465
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
A fundamental question of politics is why some regimes endure for many years while others do not. This course examines the "menu of manipulation" through which dictators and democrats claim and retain power, and the conditions under which average citizens mobilize to challenge their governments, despite the risks and in the face of what may seem to be insurmountable odds. We will explore these political dynamics in Southeast Asia, one of the most culturally and politically diverse regions of the globe. Composed of eleven countries, Southeast Asia covers a wide geographical region stretching from India to China. With a rich endowment of natural resources, a dynamic manufacturing base, and a strategic location on China's southern flank, the region has come to play an increasingly important role in the political and economic affairs of the globe. Culturally and ethnically diverse, hundreds of languages are spoken, and the religions practiced include Buddhism, Catholicism, Hinduism, and Islam. The region is similarly diverse in its political systems, which range from democratic to semi-democratic to fully authoritarian.
POL 5465 - Democracy and Dictatorship in Southeast Asia (GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4465/Pol 5465
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
A fundamental question of politics is why some regimes endure for many years while others do not. This course examines the "menu of manipulation" through which dictators and democrats claim and retain power, and the conditions under which average citizens mobilize to challenge their governments, despite the risks and in the face of what may seem to be insurmountable odds. We will explore these political dynamics in Southeast Asia, one of the most culturally and politically diverse regions of the globe. Composed of eleven countries, Southeast Asia covers a wide geographical region stretching from India to China. With a rich endowment of natural resources, a dynamic manufacturing base, and a strategic location on China's southern flank, the region has come to play an increasingly important role in the political and economic affairs of the globe. Culturally and ethnically diverse, hundreds of languages are spoken, and the religions practiced include Buddhism, Catholicism, Hinduism, and Islam. The region is similarly diverse in its political systems, which range from democratic to semi-democratic to fully authoritarian.
POL 4478W - Contemporary Politics in Africa and the Colonial Legacy (GP, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Afro 4478W/Afro 5478/Pol 4478W
Typically offered: Every Spring
Examines how current politics in mainly, though not exclusively, sub-Saharan Africa have been shaped by the pre-colonial and colonial processes. Reality of independence; recurrent political and economic crises, global context and prospects for effective democracy. prereq: 1054 or 3051 or non-pol sci grad or instr consent
AFRO 4478W - Contemporary Politics in Africa and the Colonial Legacy (GP, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Afro 4478W/Afro 5478/Pol 4478W
Typically offered: Every Spring
Examines how current politics in mainly, though not exclusively, sub-Saharan Africa have been shaped by the pre-colonial and colonial processes. Reality of independence; recurrent political and economic crises, global context, and prospects for effective democracy. prereq: POL 1054 or POL 3051 or non-pol sci grad or instr consent
POL 4492 - Law and (In)Justice in Latin America
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4492/Pol 5492
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
How law and justice function in contemporary Latin America. Similarities/differences within/between countries and issue areas. Causes behind varied outcomes. Effectiveness of different reform efforts. Transitional justice, judicial review, judicial independence, access to justice, criminal justice (police, courts, and prisons), corruption, non-state alternatives. Issues of class, race/ethnicity, and gender.
POL 5492 - Law and (In)Justice in Latin America
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4492/Pol 5492
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
How law and justice function in contemporary Latin America. Similarities/differences within/between countries and issue areas. Causes behind varied outcomes. Effectiveness of different reform efforts. Transitional justice, judicial review, judicial independence, access to justice, criminal justice (police, courts, and prisons), corruption, non-state alternatives. Issues of class, race/ethnicity, and gender.
AMIN 4501 - Law, Sovereignty, and Treaty Rights
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: AmIn 4501/Pol 4507
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
History of American Indian law and the post-contact effects of colonial and U.S. law on American Indians through the 20th century. prereq: 1001
POL 3306 - Presidential Leadership and American Democracy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
To most Americans?if not most human beings?the President of the United States is probably the most powerful person on the planet. This course examines how, why, and whether that is the case. What does the US President do, and why? Why is so much power entrusted to just one person? Students will critically analyze these questions and synthesize answers by evaluating the history, evolution, and current state of the "highest office in the land."
POL 3308 - Congressional Politics and Institutions (SOCS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4308/Pol 5308
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
This course is an introduction to the politics of the U.S. Congress and the federal legislative process. Throughout the semester, we will focus on the behavior of individual legislators and the role that they play in crafting federal legislation in policy areas such as healthcare, civil rights and the environment. We will devote special attention to changes in Congress, as well as current political and scholarly controversies such as congressional confirmation process of Supreme Court justices, congressional war powers, the influence of parties, and campaign finance. The theme of the course is why do legislators behave as they do and who interests do they represent.
POL 3309 - U.S. Supreme Court Decision-Making, Process, and Politics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 3309/Pol 4309/Pol 5309
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
The principal purpose of this course is to introduce you to judicial politics and decision-making of the U.S. Supreme Court. Specifically, we will examine theoretical issues regarding judicial process and politics. Unlike constitutional law and civil liberties classes, this course does not study legal doctrine. Rather, it examines political aspects of the legal system with an emphasis on the social scientific literature about how the U.S. Supreme Court functions. Thus, we will cover nominations of justices, decision making models, and how justices interact with one another and the political world beyond the ivory tower. Recommended prerequisite: POL 1001
POL 3310 - Topics in American Politics
Credits: 3.0 [max 15.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Topic in American politics, as specified in Class Schedule.
POL 3317 - Food Politics: Actors, Arenas, and Agendas (SOCS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Food: Everyone eats it but we increasingly fight about how it is grown, transported, processed and consumed. This disagreements find their ways into politics, whether it is neighbors battling over backyard chicken ordinances, Members of Congress arguing over how best to protect the safety of the food supply, or countries engaging in trade wars to limit the importation of agricultural products. This course takes a broad, multi-disciplinary perspective on food politics drawing on concepts and ideas from political science, sociology, and economics to analyze several contemporary "food fights," including agricultural trade, U.S. farm bills, the National School Lunch Program, proposals for taxing sodas and fatty foods, and the labeling of genetically modified food. Take this course if you want to learn more about the various resources, arguments, evidence, and rules of engagement that structure contemporary food politics. This course satisfies the Social Science Core of the Liberal Education requirements and is an eligible elective for the public health minor in CLA and the Food Systems major in CFANS.
POL 3319 - Education and the American Dream (SOCS, DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
What role does education play in American democracy? What role should it play? Does American education, particularly public education, live up to its citizens’ hopes and expectations? And, perhaps most importantly, what do we mean by a “good education”? This is a question with deep historical roots in this country, one that is the subject of current policy debates and one that cannot be separated from questions of discrimination and inequality. The over-arching theme of the course is to wrestle with what it means to be an educated citizen in the context of historical struggles to achieve that vision in the face of multiple and inter-related inequalities and competing visions about how to make the American dream a reality in the field of public education. No one political perspective will be offered or favored. No magic powder will be revealed on the last day of the course. The fact is that the underlying issues are really complicated, often seemingly intractable, and very, very political. This course is intended as introduction to education politics and policy in the United States. It will focus on K-12 education, especially in the public system. It is designed for any student who might have an interest in exploring education, public policy, or American government. Topics will include equality of educational opportunity, educating democratic citizens, school finance, the role of political institutions in making educational policy, and efforts to reform and remake American education, including charter schools, private school vouchers, and standardized testing. By the end of the course, students should have a basic understanding of the provision of public education in the United States, including the ways in which education is governed and the institutions involved in that governance. Students should be able to critically reflect on the degree to which American education fulfills the sometimes-competing goals Americans have for their schools. This course fulfills the Social Sciences Core of the University liberal education requirements. In this course students will act as policy analysts, with all of the complexity that such a task entails in the field of American public education. This course also fulfills the Diversity and Social Justice in the United States theme of the University liberal education requirements.
POL 3321 - Issues in American Public Policy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
This course examines the politics of social policy in the United States. Recent controversies over Social Security reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (?Obamacare?), and the No Child Left Behind Act and Common Core showcase the profound political and substantive impact of this topic. The first half of the course places the United States in comparative perspective. Scholars typically describe the United States as a ?laggard? where social policies developed relatively late, grew relatively slowly, and are less generous than are corresponding policies in other advanced industrial democracies. Is this an accurate portrayal of American social policy? Recent scholarship challenges the conventional wisdom, suggesting that the United States does not necessarily do less in terms of social policy but that it relies on an unusual set of policy tools to pursue objectives like poverty alleviation. What explains the distinctive shape of American social policy? This course investigates the impact of political culture, the relative power of various interest groups, the American constitutional system, and other factors. The second half of the course examines recent trends in American social policy, focusing on four specific policy areas: pensions, health care, education, and income support. It examines both the historical origins of contemporary American policies and recent reform proposals. A major theme of the course is that it is impossible to understand the contemporary shape of social policy, and the positions of specific stakeholders, without understanding the long-term historical processes that have shaped, and that continue to shape, the present political terrain of preferences and actors. New generations of leaders do not have the opportunity to build social policy from scratch. Rather, they have to react to what already exists. Some reforms will seem like logical extensions of what is already in place, while existing programs might make other alternatives difficult if not impossible to pursue. By understanding the roots of contemporary American social policy it becomes possible to devise a political strategy for major policy change.
POL 3323 - Political Tolerance in the United States
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Intergroup conflict continues to be one of the defining fault lines in American politics. Most obviously, the existence of racial inequality has consequences for any given individual?s social and economic standing. However, it also has had an enormous impact on the pattern of attitudes and beliefs that have served as the backdrop for many of society?s most pressing political debates and conflicts. The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction to how political scientists have studied ethno-racial attitudes and the larger problem of inter-ethnic conflict in American society.
POL 3325 - U.S. Campaigns and Elections
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Presidential/congressional campaigns/elections in the United States. How political scientists study electoral politics. Theoretical generalizations about candidates, voters, parties, and the media. Ways electoral context and "rules of the game" matter.
POL 3329 - The Balance of Power: Federalism & Community in the United States
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
The appropriate balance of power between the national government and the states has been the subject of intense debate since the United States became an independent country in the eighteenth century, and it has never been resolved. This unresolved controversy has profound democratic and policy implications. Some of the political and social rights that are part and parcel of what it means to be a member of the American community are influenced by geography and the specific state in which an individual resides. For example, state governments make numerous decisions that define voter eligibility, an especially important form of community membership and political participation. In addition, federalism strongly affects the policymaking process. In fields as diverse as environmental protection and health care, the relationship between the national government and the states affects which policies are adopted and how they work in practice. While federalism is rarely at the forefront of the minds of the American public, it plays a central and increasingly important role in the U.S. political system. This course seeks to give students a better understanding of American federalism. By examining both the historical evolution of intergovernmental relations in the United States and contemporary policy debates, it also aims to help students develop the substantive knowledge and analytical skills they need to become critical thinkers. All of the writing assignments that students will complete in the course have been designed with this objective in mind, and the course will emphasize systematic thinking about politics, the explication of logically coherent arguments, and the use of relevant and appropriate empirical evidence to evaluate those arguments. The successful development of the critical thinking and writing skills emphasized in this course will enable students to communicate effectively in a variety of future roles, including as employees and citizens.
POL 3733 - From Suffragettes to Senators: Gender, Politics & Policy in the U.S. (DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Overview to field of gender/politics. Examine role women play in U.S. policy process. How public policies are "gendered." How policies compare to feminist thinking about related issue area. Theories of role(s) gender plays in various aspects of politics.
POL 3766 - Political Psychology of Mass Behavior (SOCS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
How political behavior of citizens and political elites is shaped by psychological factors, including personality, attitudes, values, emotions, and cognitive sophistication. Political activism/apathy, leadership charisma, mass media, group identifications, political culture.
POL 3767 - Political Psychology of Elite Behavior (CIV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd, Spring Even Year
Why do some world leaders seek cooperation while others advocate war? Why do some Presidents effect major change while others are relegated to the dustbin of history? How does the personality of leaders affect how they behave in office? In this class, we will address questions like these by exploring the psychology of political elites, those members of society who wield outsized influence over political decisions. This outsized influence means that understanding how elites think is particularly important. It is also unusually difficult, leading some to argue that political psychology can play little role in understanding elite decision-making. Students will exit the class having mastered a body of knowledge about elite decision-making and learned about the different approaches that scholars take to study these decisions. They will also gain the critical capacity to judge arguments about politics, the ability to identify, define, and solve problems, and the skill to locate and critically evaluate information relevant to these tasks. Finally, this course takes a cooperative approach to learning, and many course activities will be structured around learning and working with a group of fellow students over the course of the semester. This course fulfills the Civic Life and Ethics theme requirement.
POL 4310 - Topics in American Politics
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
See Class Schedule for description. prereq: 1001 or equiv or instr consent
POL 4317 - Becoming Stupid: Anti-Science in American Politics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
(1) Political attacks on basic science, including climatology & global warming, vaccines, the Big Bang, evolution, human reproduction, sexuality, and much more. (2) Pseudoscience and anti-intellectualism in American political culture. (3) Money, political interests, and propaganda that drive attacks on science.
POL 4501W - The Supreme Court and Constitutional Interpretation (CIV, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
This Course is designed to introduce students to constitutional law, with an emphasis on the U.S. Supreme Court?s interpretation of Articles I, II, and III. This means that we will discuss how the nation?s Court of last resort has helped shape the powers of and constraints on the three branches of our federal government. We will also discuss and analyze the development of law surrounding the separation of powers, the structure of federalism, congressional power over the commerce clause, and the creation and demise of the concept of substantive due process. Successful completion of this course will satisfy the liberal education requirement of Civic Life and Ethics. Effective citizenship in the 21st century requires an understanding of our how government was created, is structured, and has been interpreted by the Supreme Court over the past two centuries. This course is premised on the notion that such an understanding is best achieved by reading the primary sources that led to these goals ? the opinions handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court.
POL 4737W - American Political Parties (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4737/5737
Typically offered: Fall Odd, Spring Even Year
This course focuses on U.S. political parties. We will cover the following themes this term: (1) what parties are and what they do; (2) party factions and coalitions; (3) social and issue cleavages; (4) how Democratic and Republicans view the world; (5) elite and mass polarization; and (6) the future of the Democratic and Republican parties. By the end of the semester you?ll have a broad and deep understanding of the key role parties play in American politics, where they have been, and where they are going. Successful completion of the course will satisfy the Liberal Education Writing Intensive requirement. prereq: 1001 or equiv or instr consent
POL 4771 - Race and Politics in America: Making Sense of Racial Attitudes in the United States (DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Race continues to be one of the defining fault lines in American politics. Most obviously, the existence of racial inequality has enormous consequences for any given individual's social and economic standing. However, it also has had an enormous impact on the pattern of attitudes and beliefs which have served as the backdrop for many of society's most pressing political debates and conflicts. The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction to how political scientists have studied racial attitudes and the larger problem of inter-ethnic conflict in American society. We will begin with a look at the historical circumstances which have given rise to the major research questions in the area. From there, we'll look at the major research perspectives in the area, and see how well they actually explain public opinion on matters of race. In doing so, we'll also get a look at some of the major controversies in this area of study, particularly the issues of whether the "old-fashioned racism" of the pre-civil-rights era has been replaced by new forms of racism; and the degree to which debates over policy matters with no apparent link to race - such as crime and social welfare - may actually have a lot to do with racial attitudes. Finally, we will conclude by taking an informed look at racial attitudes in recent American history, focusing on how racial attitudes and their political consequences of have changed - and not changed - over the course of the Obama presidency and the tumultuous 2016 election.
POL 4773W - Advocacy Organizations, Social Movements, and the Politics of Identity (DSJ, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course introduces students to the major theoretical concepts and empirical findings in the study of U.S interest group politics. Students will read books and articles from a wide range of topics that include how interest groups are formed and maintained; various strategies and tactics that groups use to influence Congress, the courts, and executive branch; and whether those strategies result in fair and effective representation for all citizens in society. Throughout the semester students will be exposed to research using a variety of methodologies and intellectual approaches. Further, the class discussions will emphasize general concepts that reoccur in the readings and in other classes. The goal is to assist students in mastering the key concepts in group politics. This is also a writing intensive course. Effective writing is encouraged through several writing assignments that require you to think clearly and express your thoughts concisely.
POL 5306 - Presidential Leadership and American Democracy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4306/Pol 5306
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Examines whether president's political and constitutional powers are sufficient to satisfy citizens' high expectations and whether president should be expected to dominate American politics. prereq: grad student or instr consent
POL 5310 - Topics in American Politics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
See Class Schedule for description.
POL 5322 - Rethinking the Welfare State
Credits: 3.0 -4.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Competing arguments about welfare states in advanced industrial countries. Whether welfare states result from sectional interests, class relations, or citizenship rights. Compares American social policy with policies in other western countries. prereq: grad student
POL 5327 - Politics of American Cities and Suburbs
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Development/role of American local government. Forms and structures. Relationships with states and federal government. Local politics and patterns of power/influence. prereq: Credit will not be granted if credit has been received for: : 4327; [[1001 or 1002], [non-pol sci grad major or equiv]] or instr consent
POL 5331 - Thinking Strategically in Domestic Politics
Credits: 3.0 -4.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Applications of rational-choice and game theories to important features of domestic politics in the United States and elsewhere. prereq: Credit will not be granted if credit has been received for: : 4331; grad student
POL 3701 - Indigenous Tribal Governments and Politics (HIS, DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: AmIn 3501/Pol 3701
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
History, development, structure, politics of American Indian Governments. North American indigenous societies from pre-colonial times to present. Evolution of aboriginal governments confronted/affected by colonizing forces of European/Euro-American states. Bearing of dual citizenship on nature/powers of tribal governments in relation to states and federal government.
AMIN 3501 - Indigenous Tribal Governments and Politics (HIS, DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: AmIn 3501/Pol 3701
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
History, development, structure, politics of American Indian Governments. North American indigenous societies from pre-colonial times to present. Evolution of aboriginal governments confronted/affected by colonizing forces of European/Euro-American states. Bearing of dual citizenship on nature/powers of tribal governments in relation to states, federal government.
POL 3752 - Chicana/o Politics (SOCS, DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Chic 3852/Pol 3752
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Theory/practice of Chicana/o politics through analysis of Mexican American experience, social agency. Response to larger political systems/behaviors using social science methods of inquiry. Unequal power relations, social justice, political economy.
CHIC 3852 - Chicana/o Politics (SOCS, DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Chic 3852/Pol 3752
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Theory/practice of Chicana/o politics through an analysis of Mexican American experience, social agency, and response to larger political systems and behaviors using social science methods of inquiry. Unequal power relations, social justice, and the political economy.
POL 3769 - Public Opinion and Voting Behavior (SOCS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4767/5767
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Polls are ubiquitous, measuring what Americans think on topics big and small. This course examines the nature, measurement, and consequences of public opinion in the contemporary United States, with a particular emphasis on understanding why some voters preferred Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton - vice versa ? in the 2016 presidential election. We?ll address the following questions throughout the term. First, how do pollsters measure what the public thinks about government and public affairs? Second, can we assume that the responses people give to survey questions reflect their true thoughts and feelings about politics? Third, what are the major factors that shape voter decision making in U.S. presidential elections? By the end of this semester you will have a broader and deeper understanding of the nature, measurement, meaning, and consequences of public opinion.
POL 5767 - Public Opinion and Voting Behavior
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4767/5767
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Major factors influencing electoral decisions. Political attitude formation/change. Data analysis lab required. prereq: grad student or instr consent
POL 4315W - State Governments: Laboratories of Democracy (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4315W/Pol 5315
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
State governments are rarely at the forefront of the minds of the American public, but in recent years they have made critical decisions about issues like education, health care, climate change, and same-sex marriage. State governments perform a host of vital services, and they regulate and tax a wide array of business activities. Moreover, the states have adopted a very wide range of approaches in addressing these and other policy issues. This course examines the institutional and political changes that sparked the recent ?resurgence of the states,? and it investigates why state policies differ so dramatically from one another. In addition to playing a central and increasingly important role in the U.S. political system, the American states provide an unusually advantageous venue in which to conduct research about political behavior and policymaking. They are broadly similar in many ways, but they also offer significant variation across a range of social, political, economic, and institutional characteristics that are central to theories about politics. As a result, it becomes possible for scholars to evaluate hypotheses about cause-and-effect relationships in a valid way. This course pursues two related objectives. Its first goal is to give students a better understanding of American state governments? substantive significance. Its second goal is to use the states as an analytical venue in which students can hone their research and writing skills. Students will design and complete an original research paper on an aspect of state politics of their choosing. They will develop a research question, gather and critically evaluate appropriate and relevant evidence, and discuss the implications of their research. prereq: 1001 or equiv, non-pol sci grad major or instr consent
POL 5315 - State Governments: Laboratories of Democracy
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4315W/Pol 5315
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
State governments are rarely at the forefront of the minds of the American public, but in recent years they have made critical decisions about issues like education, health care, climate change, and same-sex marriage. State governments perform a host of vital services, and they regulate and tax a wide array of business activities. Moreover, the states have adopted a very wide range of approaches in addressing these and other policy issues. This course examines the institutional and political changes that sparked the recent ?resurgence of the states,? and it investigates why state policies differ so dramatically from one another. In addition to playing a central and increasingly important role in the U.S. political system, the American states provide an unusually advantageous venue in which to conduct research about political behavior and policymaking. They are broadly similar in many ways, but they also offer significant variation across a range of social, political, economic, and institutional characteristics that are central to theories about politics. As a result, it becomes possible for scholars to evaluate hypotheses about cause-and-effect relationships in a valid way. This course pursues two related objectives. Its first goal is to give students a better understanding of American state governments? substantive significance. Its second goal is to use the states as an analytical venue in which students can hone their research and writing skills. Students will design and complete an original research paper on an aspect of state politics of their choosing. They will develop a research question, gather and critically evaluate appropriate and relevant evidence, and discuss the implications of their research. prereq: grad student or instr consent
POL 4335 - African American Politics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Afro 4335/Pol 4335
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This course examines the historical and contemporary efforts by African Americans to gain full inclusion as citizens in the US political system. Specifically, the course explores advocacy efforts by civil rights organizations and political parties to obtain and enforce civil and political rights for blacks. An examination of these efforts begins in the Reconstruction Era and concludes with the historic election of the nation's first African American president. The course will cover topics such as the politics of the civil rights movement, black presidential bids and racialized voting in federal and state elections. Finally, the course examines how political parties and organized interests used the Voting Rights Act to increase the number of minorities in Congress. The course focuses on whether the growing number of minorities in Congress increases citizens' trust in government and their involvement in voting and participation in political organizations.
AFRO 4335 - African American Politics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Afro 4335/Pol 4335
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This course examines the historical and contemporary efforts by African Americans to gain full inclusion as citizens in the U.S. political system. Specifically, the course explores advocacy efforts by civil rights organizations and political parties to obtain and enforce civil and political rights for blacks. An examination of these efforts begins in the Reconstruction Era and concludes with the historic election of the nation?s first African American president. The course will cover topics such as the politics of the civil rights movement, black presidential bids and racialized voting in federal and state elections. Finally, the course examines how political parties and organized interests used the Voting Rights Act to increase the number of minorities in Congress. The course focuses on whether the growing number of minorities in Congress increases citizens? trust in government and their involvement in voting and participation in political organizations.
POL 4502W - The Supreme Court, Civil Liberties, and Civil Rights (CIV, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Supreme Court's interpretation of Bill of Rights, 14th amendment. Freedom of speech, press, religion; crime/punishment; segregation/desegregation, affirmative action; abortion/privacy.
POL 5502 - Supreme Court, Civil Liberties, and Civil Rights
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Supreme Court's interpretation of Bill of Rights, 14th amendment. Freedom of speech, press, religion. Crime/punishment. Segregation/desegregation, affirmative action. Abortion/privacy. prereq: Credit will not be granted if credit has been received for: : 4502; 1001 or 1002 or equiv or non-pol sci grad student or instr consent
POL 4525W - Federal Indian Policy (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: AmIn 4525W/Pol 4525W
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
Formulation, implementation, evolution, comparison of Indian policy from pre-colonial times to self-governance of new millennium. Theoretical approaches to federal Indian policy. Major federal Indian policies. Views/attitudes of policy-makers, reactions of indigenous nations to policies. Effect of bodies of literature on policies.
AMIN 4525W - Federal Indian Policy (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: AmIn 4525W/Pol 4525W
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
Formulation, implementation, evolution, comparison of Indian policy from pre-colonial times to self-governance new millennium. Theoretical approaches to federal Indian policy. Major federal Indian policies. Views/attitudes of policy-makers, reactions of indigenous nations to policies. Effect of bodies of literature related to policies.
POL 5525 - Federal Indian Policy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Formulation, implementation, evolution, comparison of Indian policy from pre-colonial times to self-governance of new millennium. Theoretical approaches to federal Indian policy. Major federal Indian policies. Views/attitudes of policy-makers, reactions of indigenous nations to policies. Effect of bodies of literature on policies. prereq: Credit will not be granted if credit has been received for: : 4525, AmIn 4525; grad student
POL 3810 - Topics in International Relations and Foreign Policy
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Topics courses delve in-depth into important issues in contemporary international politics. They aim to give students the theoretical, conceptual, and historical understanding, and/or empirical tools needed to understand the complexity of international politics today. Topics courses vary substantially from year to year as specified in the class schedule, but recent topics courses have included: 'Technology and War', International Law', 'Drones, Detention and Torture: The Laws of War', and 'The Consequences of War.'
POL 3835 - International Relations (SOCS, GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Why do countries go to war? Are individuals, organizations, and states driven by their interests or their ideas? What role does power play in international relations and is there any role for justice in global politics? Do international laws and transnational advocacy groups matter in a world dominated by powerful states? Whose interests are served by a globalizing world economy? These questions are central to the study of international relations, yet different theoretical approaches have been developed in an attempt to answer them. Often these approaches disagree with one another, leading to markedly different policy prescriptions and predictions for future events. This course provides the conceptual and theoretical means for analyzing these issues, processes, and events in international politics. By the end of this class, you will be able to understand the assumptions, the logics, and the implications of major theories and concepts of international relations. These include realism and neorealism, liberalism and liberal institutionalism, constructivism, feminism, Marxism, and critical theory. A special effort is made to relate the course material to world events, developments, or conflicts in the past decade or so.
POL 3841 - The Consequences of War
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
War?both between and within states?is often horrific. With good reason, when the field of international relations emerged in the wake of the world wars, it was centrally preoccupied with shedding light on the causes of war so as thereby to prevent another one. But both interstate and civil wars are remarkably complex affairs. Notwithstanding wars? alarming human costs, their consequences are varied, often cross-cutting, and sometimes contradictory, and they resist our efforts to narrate their consequences in simple and straightforward ways. Wars can increase executive authority and strengthen the state, but they can also undermine inequitable international and domestic political orders?empires, authoritarian regimes?and make it possible for more just ones to take their place. In the name of insecurity and war, governments sometimes trample liberty, but those measures may eventually come to seem unwarranted and even provoke a backlash that expands human liberty. War is filled with privation and trauma, but its horrors can also inspire veterans and victims to mobilize and promote more humane norms. We are properly taught to hate war, to avoid it at all costs. Yet social and political good has sometimes, surprisingly, come out of war too. This course explores the consequences of violent conflict in all its dimensions?the threat of conflict, mobilization for conflict, and the experience of warfare?on, among others, international order and norms, the fate of states and empires, population movements, state-building, nationalism, democracy, civil society, gender roles, economic growth and inequality, the military-industrial complex, public health, and political culture. At this course?s end, you will emerge not only with greater substantive understanding of war?s consequences, but also with greater appreciation of war?s complexity. For better or worse, you will never look at war the same way again.
POL 4810 - Topics in International Politics and Foreign Policy
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Analysis of selected issues in contemporary international relations. Topics vary, as specified in Class Schedule.
POL 4881 - The Politics of International Law and Global Governance (GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4881/5881
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
A dense and expanding network of international rules and regulations now covers the globe. These laws seek to regulate almost every activity that takes place across and sometimes within borders. How and to what extent have they been helpful in resolving conflicts between countries or in facilitating the achievement of common goals? How does international law impact government, foreign policies, domestic politics or national legal systems? In addressing these questions, this course provides an introduction to public international law for students of world politics. Throughout, we emphasize the relationship between law and politics and seek to understand why international law operates as it does. We will draw from historical and recent developments to explore these issues, including: the use of drones; the issue of war crimes and the formation of an International Criminal Court; the use of force for humanitarian purposes; the domestic impact of international human rights treaties; foreign investment disputes; and the relationship between international trade, development, and the environment.
POL 4887 - Thinking Strategically in International Politics (MATH)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4887/Pol 5887
Typically offered: Fall Odd, Spring Even Year
The purpose of this class is threefold: First, to introduce students to the use and value of formal models of strategic interaction (game theoretic models) in international relations. Second, to impart some basic tools of such modeling to students. And third, to examine the contribution of theoretical models to substantive areas in international relations. In keeping with these three goals, the course is divided into three sections. The first two weeks will devoted to such questions as: What is a theoretical model? What are rational choice and game theory? How are game theoretic models employed in international relations and what have been seminal contributions to the literature? The next portion of the class will introduce students to the basic tools employed in game theoretic analysis. The readings will illustrate the use of the tools introduced in class. And five problem sets will be administered, requiring students to make use of these tools. The final portion of the class will examine substantive questions in international relations through the lens of game theory. The topics to be presented include: Domestic Politics and War, International Agreements and Treaties, International Finance and Trade, Conditionality, Terrorism, and Human Rights.
POL 4891 - The Politics of Nuclear Weapons
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Nuclear weapons have been a feature of international politics since the first use of nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. But how exactly do nuclear weapons affect international politics? Are they a force for peace or for instability and war? How likely is nuclear war or nuclear terrorism? How dangerous is nuclear proliferation? Why does the United States have so many nuclear weapons? Is nuclear disarmament possible or desirable? This course examines these questions. We will first examine the the technologies that underpin nuclear weapons and their effects and the major theories used to understand the ways in which nuclear weapons affect international politics. Second, we will examine the major historical episodes of the nuclear age, including the Manhattan Project and bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the evolution of nuclear strategy and the arms race between the Soviet Union and the United States; the proliferation of nuclear weapons to regional powers and the development of the global non-proliferation regime; nuclear crises including the Cuban Missile Crisis and Korean War; and the rise of arms control. Finally, we'll consider a range of contemporary issues, including nuclear terrorism; the role nuclear energy will (and should) play in the future, the feasibility of nuclear disarmament; the role of nuclear weapons in India-Pakistan and future US-China relations; and the possibility of nuclear deals with so-called "rogue states" like Iran or North Korea.
POL 5810 - Topics in International Politics and Foreign Policy
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Selected issues in contemporary international relations. Topics vary, see Class Schedule.
POL 3833 - The United States and the Global Economy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
POL 3833 teaches students about the politics of the global economy with a focus on the role the United States plays within it. The class covers a variety of topics in international political economy, including international trade, international investment, and international finance. Students will learn about the factors that drive politicians' decision-making, interest-group stances, and citizens' preferences over such salient issues as tariffs and other forms of trade protection, trade and investment agreements, central banking, interest rates, international migration, and more. No background in economics is required or assumed.
POL 5833 - The United States in the Global EconomyUS For Econ Policy
Credits: 3.0 -4.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Domestic/international politics of United States. Foreign economic policy (trade, aid, investment, monetary, migration policies). Effects of policies and international economic relations on U.S. economy/politics. prereq: Credit will not be granted if credit has been received for: : 4833; grad student; 3835 recommended
POL 4885W - International Conflict and Security (GP, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4885/Pol 5885
Typically offered: Fall Odd, Spring Even Year
Why do states turn to military force and for what purposes? What are the causes of war and peace? What renders the threat to use force credible? Can intervention in civil wars stall bloodshed and bring stability? How effective is military force compared to other tools of statecraft? How can states cope with the threat posed by would-be terrorists? What is counterinsurgency doctrine? What is the future of military force in global politics? This course addresses these questions—and others. The course is organized loosely into three sections or themes. The first section explores the causes and consequences of interstate war and peace. We will examine whether and how the international system, domestic institutions and politics, ideas and culture, and even human psychology shape the path to war. Along the way, we debate whether war has become obsolete and why great power rivalry might be raising its ugly head once again. Attention is also devoted to the impact of war on economy and politics as well as the relations between armed forces and civilian government. The second section of the class explores the possibilities, limits, and challenges of more limited uses of force—such as the threat of force (coercion), peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention, and terrorism and counterterrorism. A third theme explores the strategic and ethical implications of the use of force and especially of innovation in military technologies—nuclear weapons, cyber, drones. The course is organized around theoretical arguments, historical cases and data, and policy debates. Sessions are deeply interactive, engaged discussion is a must, and the class often divides into smaller groups for more intensive debate. Class time is also devoted to helping students craft an effective final research paper.
POL 5885 - International Conflict and Security
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4885/Pol 5885
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Alternative theories of sources of militarized international conflict. Theories applied to past conflicts. Theories' relevance to present. prereq: grad student
POL 3065 - Political Engagement Careers: Planning and Preparing For Your Future (CIV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Are you interested in pursuing a career in public service? Do you plan to run for office in the future, or work in a government agency (such as the State Department or the FBI or the MN DNR), or become a professional campaign manager or lobbyist, or work as an issue activist on a cause important to you? Would you like to learn more about the variety of public service careers open to a college graduate? Do you wonder what motivates people to pursue careers in politics, public administration, and community service, and how these motivations vary across career fields? Would you like to explore some options for future internship or service learning while at the University? Then this course is for you! This course is the Political Science Department's introduction to careers in political and civic engagement. Through readings focused on theories about and case studies of political engagement, and on the ethics of politics and public service, numerous guest speakers with extensive experience as public service professionals, and a discussion-oriented class format, we will explore the meaning of public service and the main types of public service careers that you could pursue. We will think about the virtues and challenges associated with doing public service work, and how these differ across different types of jobs and venues for serving the public. Finally, you will acquire practical knowledge and skills related to the search for public service work opportunities, including how to write a resume and cover letter, how to conduct an informational interview, networking, and the job search and application process. Intended primarily for first- and second-year undergraduates, but open to students of any major at any point in their undergraduate program.
POL 3108H - Honors Tutorial: Thesis Preparation and Political Science Inquiry
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
In this course, students will improve their research skills in preparation to write their senior theses. Students will enter with a few ideas for topics about which they might like to write their theses. They will leave the class with a clear and tractable research question, a literature review that describes how this question fits in with the existing scholarly literature, and a research design that will enable them to answer the question. Along the way, they will advance their understanding of what constitutes political science research and how to conduct political science research. Students will be graded on the basis of drafts of their annotated bibliography, literature review and research design, a class presentation of the ?front half? of their senior thesis, and class participation including short weekly assignments. Students are expected to keep up with the reading and, most importantly, to begin to conduct their own independent research. prereq: Pol sci major, honors
POL 3994 - Directed Research: Distinguished Undergraduate Research Program
Credits: 2.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Students accepted into the Distinguished Undergraduate Research Program work closely with a faculty mentor on supervised projects related to faculty research. Through these activities, students will deepen research, organizational, and communication skills that will prove useful for further training in political science or for other careers. Students are chosen through a highly competitive online application the semester prior to registration. Students should check with Political Science advising for details about the application process. This course is only open to Political Science majors.
POL 4085 - Advanced Political Data Analysis
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
In this course, students learn how to use statistical methods to answer a wide variety of questions in political science. More specifically, students will focus on how to test hypotheses where the dependent variable is dichotomous, ordered categories, unordered categories, counts, and more. The course covers advanced topics in linear regression, including time series data, multilevel modeling, and interaction terms. Assignments focus on how to convey statistical results in many different ways, ranging from technical reports, to blog posts, to personal communication. Students will learn and improve their skills in the R statistical software package. Prior knowledge of R is not required. This class is especially recommended for students completing an undergraduate thesis with a quantitative component as well as students who want to pursue graduate studies in political science.
POL 4910 - Topics in Political Science
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics courses provide students the opportunity to study key concepts and themes in political science with an interdisciplinary approach. Subject matter will vary course to course.
POL 4994 - Directed Research: Individual
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Directed individual reading and research between a student and faculty member. Prerequisite instructor and department consent.
POL 3085 - Quantitative Analysis in Political Science (MATH)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
POL 3085 teaches students how to study politics scientifically and introduces them to how to use quantitative analysis to answer political questions. The first part of the class covers how to formulate a theory (a possible answer to a question), specify testable hypotheses (what you would see if the theory is correct or incorrect), and set up a research design to test those hypotheses. In the second part of the class, we cover quantitative data analysis, beginning from preliminary statistical analysis to multivariate linear regression. There is no mathematical or statistical background required for this course. By the end of the class, students should be able to ask and answer political questions using quantitative data and fluently evaluate statistical analyses of political phenomena in the media and many academic articles.
POL 3085H - Honors Course: Quantitative Analysis in Political Science (MATH)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
POL 3085 teaches students how to study politics scientifically and introduces them to how to use quantitative analysis to answer political questions. The first part of the class covers how to formulate a theory (a possible answer to a question), specify testable hypotheses (what you would see if the theory is correct or incorrect), and set up a research design to test those hypotheses. In the second part of the class, we cover quantitative data analysis, beginning from preliminary statistical analysis to multivariate linear regression. There is no mathematical or statistical background required for this course. By the end of the class, students should be able to ask and answer political questions using quantitative data and fluently evaluate statistical analyses of political phenomena in the media and many academic articles. prereq: Honors student
POL 3080 - Internship in Politics or Government
Credits: 3.0 -13.0 [max 15.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 3080/Pol 3896
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Students search for and arrange an internship with an organization or office working in government or politics, and then complete academic coursework in association with their internship. prereq: instr consent, dept consent
POL 4991 - Political Science Capstone
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
The Political Science Capstone is a required course that provides students with a unique opportunity to reflect on, articulate, share, and build on their individual experiences in the major. It invites students to reflect on what they have learned as political science majors; to demonstrate their knowledge through the preparation of a portfolio of materials; and to think about how the knowledge, skills, and insights of acquired in their major experience can be used and applied outside of the University. Students double majoring in Political Science and another discipline may choose to take this course or complete the capstone in their other major. Political Science majors who are writing an Honors thesis are exempt from this capstone requirement, as the department will recognize the senior thesis as the capstone experience.
POL 4993 - Honors Thesis: Directed Studies
Credits: 1.0 -6.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Individual research/writing of departmental honors thesis.
POL 3235W - Democracy and Citizenship (CIV, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course considers the nature of contemporary democracy and the role that members of the political community do, can, and should play. While approaches in teaching the class vary, students can expect to read historical and contemporary texts, see films and videos, to approach questions about the nature of democracy, justifications for democracy, and challenges faced by contemporary democracy. Topics will include such questions as the role of civil society in democratic life, deliberative democracy, as well as questions about how members of political communities can best participate in democratic life. Students will write a longer essay that allows them to demonstrate their capacities to understand and explain complex ideas and to make a theoretically compelling argument, using appropriate supporting evidence. prereq: Suggested prerequisite 1201
POL 3251W - Power, Virtue, and Vice: Ancient and Early Modern Political Theory (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 3251/5251
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Key concepts of contemporary political life such as ‘democracy’, ‘tyranny’, ‘authority’— and indeed ‘politics’ itself— derive from ancient sources. This course offers students an opportunity to return to the foundations of this vocabulary by delving into work by such major thinkers as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and Machiavelli. Lectures and discussion shall consider the endurance of certain basic questions of political life, such as: What is justice? What is the best regime? What is the relationship between human nature and political order? Can politics be virtuous and, if so, in what way? The course will also consider the radically diverse responses to these essential questions through examination of a wide range of historical periods and the unique terms of political order each offered. Previous iterations of the course have included examination of the Classical Greek city-state system and its fragile experiments with democracy; the rise and fall of the Roman empire; the establishment of Western Christendom; the Renaissance, so-called ‘discovery’ of the New World, and dawn of the modern era. Students will gain a glimpse into worlds preoccupied by matters of truth, virtue and nobility, but also widely populated by slavery, imperialism, violence, and religious strife. In this way, the study of ancient theory is intended to serve as both supplement and challenge to the terms of contemporary political life.
POL 3252W - Revolution, Democracy, and Empire: Modern Political Thought (AH, CIV, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
From the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries, Europe and its colonies were wracked by large scale, sweeping changes: from the violent emergence of the sovereign state, to intense religious conflict, to geographic expansions at once transformative and brutal in search of new economic markets. These changes posed extraordinary challenges to usual ways of conceiving of political order and governance. Our course this semester will read these changes through three key concepts – revolution, democracy, and empire. Class discussion will seek to understand different meanings of these concepts, their political stakes, and ways of knowing how to move between political ideals and historical examples. Students will read a range of materials – from primary historical sources, to philosophic texts, political pamphlets and treatises, and travel journals – so as to study the effects on both the European context and beyond. prereq: Suggested prerequisite 1201
POL 3451W - Politics and Society in the New Europe (GP, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even, Spring Odd Year
The devastation of Europe through two World Wars put the deadly results of ultra-nationalism on full display. To avoid such destruction again, a group of European technocrats and leaders embarked on a mission of incrementally deepening economic and later, social partnerships between an ever-expanding number of European countries. These efforts culminated in the birth of the European Union in the late 20th Century. From its inception, the Union has found obstacles in the forms of a weak institutional structure and authority, deep skepticism of a central European authority, financial crisis, ethnic anxiety, and resurgent nationalism. Yet, the continuation and strengthening of the Union is seen as the antidote to the rise of anti-democratic and authoritarian tendencies on the continent. Some of the key questions that we will engage in are: What are the ideological and historical roots of the European Union? What are the structural flaws of the Union? What are the obstacles to a stronger Union? Is the Union still or even more essential than ever? What are the ways the Union could collapse from within and from the intervention of outside forces?
POL 3489W - Citizens, Consumers, and Corporations (CIV, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Corporations are among the most powerful actors in the global political economy. They employ millions of people, produce a variety of goods, and have massive effects on the ecological and social environments in which they do business. How do ordinary people act in order to hold corporations accountable for the effects that their activities have on communities and individuals? This course focuses on two ways that people have mobilized to counter corporate power--as citizens and as consumers. When people mobilize as citizens, they put pressure on corporations through the political system--e.g. through mass protests, lobbying politicians, and pursuing claims through the courts. When people mobilize as consumers, they use the power of their purchasing decisions to encourage corporations to change their behavior. We will explore these different modes of action through an examination of corporate social responsibility/sweatshops, the industrial food system in the US, and the privatization of life (e.g. genes), water, and war.
POL 4315W - State Governments: Laboratories of Democracy (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4315W/Pol 5315
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
State governments are rarely at the forefront of the minds of the American public, but in recent years they have made critical decisions about issues like education, health care, climate change, and same-sex marriage. State governments perform a host of vital services, and they regulate and tax a wide array of business activities. Moreover, the states have adopted a very wide range of approaches in addressing these and other policy issues. This course examines the institutional and political changes that sparked the recent ?resurgence of the states,? and it investigates why state policies differ so dramatically from one another. In addition to playing a central and increasingly important role in the U.S. political system, the American states provide an unusually advantageous venue in which to conduct research about political behavior and policymaking. They are broadly similar in many ways, but they also offer significant variation across a range of social, political, economic, and institutional characteristics that are central to theories about politics. As a result, it becomes possible for scholars to evaluate hypotheses about cause-and-effect relationships in a valid way. This course pursues two related objectives. Its first goal is to give students a better understanding of American state governments? substantive significance. Its second goal is to use the states as an analytical venue in which students can hone their research and writing skills. Students will design and complete an original research paper on an aspect of state politics of their choosing. They will develop a research question, gather and critically evaluate appropriate and relevant evidence, and discuss the implications of their research. prereq: 1001 or equiv, non-pol sci grad major or instr consent
POL 4403W - Constitutions, Democracy, and Rights: Comparative Perspectives (GP, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: POL 4403W / POL 5403
Typically offered: Fall Even, Spring Odd Year
Around the world, fundamental political questions are often debated and decided in constitutional terms, and in the United States, the constitution is invoked at almost every turn to endorse or condemn different policies. Is adhering to constitutional terms the best way to safeguard rights and to achieve a successful democracy? When and how do constitutions matter to political outcomes? This course centers on these questions as it moves from debates over how constitutional drafting processes should be structured and how detailed constitutions should be, to the risks and benefits of different institutional structures (federal v. unitary, and the distribution of powers between the executive, legislature, and judiciary), to which rights (if any) should be constitutionalized and when and why different rights are protected, closing with a discussion of what rules should guide constitutional amendment and rewrite. For each topic, we compare how these issues have been resolved in the U.S. with alternative approaches in a wide variety of other countries around the globe. The goal is not only to expose students to the variety of ways, successful or unsuccessful, that other political communities have addressed these issues, but also to gain a more contextualized and clearer understanding of the pros and cons of the U.S. model, its relevance for other democratic or democratizing countries, whether and how it might be reformed, and, generally speaking, when/how constitutions matter for democratic quality and stability.
POL 4461W - European Government and Politics (GP, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4461W/5461
Typically offered: Fall Odd, Spring Even Year
This course will introduce you to three major topics that shape European social and political life today: 1) the struggle over what makes for a national/European identity: how contested national identities matter to European democratic politics and to the new populist movements, and the historical role of Islam in shaping European identities 2) the role of institutions in shaping popular representation and citizen agency; 3) European Union policies: dealing with immigration, the single currency and foreign and security policy especially in regard to Eastern/Central Europe and Russia. Each section will conclude with a comparative class debate, led by students, on the way contested historical interpretations and identities, institutions and policies matter also to US political and civic life. This is a writing intensive course and you will be asked to write a 12-15 page research essay on a European country of your choice. Several assignments, preceded by a writing workshop, will help you complete your final essay. The course will consist of lectures with PPTs, class discussions and group work, and at least one guest lecturer working in a local business connected with Europe. Indeed this course aims at preparing you to live and work in a deeply interconnected world, with special attention to the historical, social, political and economic ties between the US and Europe. Small changes will be made to the syllabus if current events or unexpected class needs require it, but the main themes, most readings and the assignments will remain as indicated in the syllabus. prereq: 1054 or 3051 or non-pol sci grad or instr consent
POL 4474W - Russian Politics: From Soviet Empire to Post-Soviet State (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Twenty five years ago, Russia appeared to be democratizing and was even on friendly relations with the US and NATO. Now Vladimir Putin runs the state with the FSB (KGB), and US-Russian relations are at their worst point since the 1970s. This course examines major themes and periods in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russian politics. It begins with the Russian Revolution of 1917, and continues with a study of the creation of the USSR and Soviet rule under Lenin, Stalin, and later decades. We look in depth at the economic and political system set up by the Communist Party, and at the causes of its collapse in 1991, which has had profound legacies for the post-Soviet development of Russia. Then in the second half of the course we turn to themes of political, economic, social and civic development under Yeltsin and Putin. We will pose the following questions: Why does democratization begin and why does it fail? How is economic reform undermined? What type of state and regime is Russia now? What caused the Chechen wars and the massive bloodshed in the Caucasus during this period? Is Putin trying to recreate the Soviet Union and retake control of its neighbors? Are US-Russian relations improving as a result of Obama's "Reset," or are we now in an era of a new Cold War? What is Russia's goal in Syria, Iran, or Central Asia? Is Putin rebuilding Russia, or driving it to disaster, and how will this impact the West?
POL 4494W - US-Latin American Relations (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
US foreign policy toward Latin America. Immigration, trade policy, relations with Cuba, drug war, relations with Venezuela.
POL 4501W - The Supreme Court and Constitutional Interpretation (CIV, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
This Course is designed to introduce students to constitutional law, with an emphasis on the U.S. Supreme Court?s interpretation of Articles I, II, and III. This means that we will discuss how the nation?s Court of last resort has helped shape the powers of and constraints on the three branches of our federal government. We will also discuss and analyze the development of law surrounding the separation of powers, the structure of federalism, congressional power over the commerce clause, and the creation and demise of the concept of substantive due process. Successful completion of this course will satisfy the liberal education requirement of Civic Life and Ethics. Effective citizenship in the 21st century requires an understanding of our how government was created, is structured, and has been interpreted by the Supreme Court over the past two centuries. This course is premised on the notion that such an understanding is best achieved by reading the primary sources that led to these goals ? the opinions handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court.
POL 4502W - The Supreme Court, Civil Liberties, and Civil Rights (CIV, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Supreme Court's interpretation of Bill of Rights, 14th amendment. Freedom of speech, press, religion; crime/punishment; segregation/desegregation, affirmative action; abortion/privacy.
POL 4737W - American Political Parties (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4737/5737
Typically offered: Fall Odd, Spring Even Year
This course focuses on U.S. political parties. We will cover the following themes this term: (1) what parties are and what they do; (2) party factions and coalitions; (3) social and issue cleavages; (4) how Democratic and Republicans view the world; (5) elite and mass polarization; and (6) the future of the Democratic and Republican parties. By the end of the semester you?ll have a broad and deep understanding of the key role parties play in American politics, where they have been, and where they are going. Successful completion of the course will satisfy the Liberal Education Writing Intensive requirement. prereq: 1001 or equiv or instr consent
POL 4773W - Advocacy Organizations, Social Movements, and the Politics of Identity (DSJ, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course introduces students to the major theoretical concepts and empirical findings in the study of U.S interest group politics. Students will read books and articles from a wide range of topics that include how interest groups are formed and maintained; various strategies and tactics that groups use to influence Congress, the courts, and executive branch; and whether those strategies result in fair and effective representation for all citizens in society. Throughout the semester students will be exposed to research using a variety of methodologies and intellectual approaches. Further, the class discussions will emphasize general concepts that reoccur in the readings and in other classes. The goal is to assist students in mastering the key concepts in group politics. This is also a writing intensive course. Effective writing is encouraged through several writing assignments that require you to think clearly and express your thoughts concisely.
POL 4885W - International Conflict and Security (GP, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Pol 4885/Pol 5885
Typically offered: Fall Odd, Spring Even Year
Why do states turn to military force and for what purposes? What are the causes of war and peace? What renders the threat to use force credible? Can intervention in civil wars stall bloodshed and bring stability? How effective is military force compared to other tools of statecraft? How can states cope with the threat posed by would-be terrorists? What is counterinsurgency doctrine? What is the future of military force in global politics? This course addresses these questions—and others. The course is organized loosely into three sections or themes. The first section explores the causes and consequences of interstate war and peace. We will examine whether and how the international system, domestic institutions and politics, ideas and culture, and even human psychology shape the path to war. Along the way, we debate whether war has become obsolete and why great power rivalry might be raising its ugly head once again. Attention is also devoted to the impact of war on economy and politics as well as the relations between armed forces and civilian government. The second section of the class explores the possibilities, limits, and challenges of more limited uses of force—such as the threat of force (coercion), peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention, and terrorism and counterterrorism. A third theme explores the strategic and ethical implications of the use of force and especially of innovation in military technologies—nuclear weapons, cyber, drones. The course is organized around theoretical arguments, historical cases and data, and policy debates. Sessions are deeply interactive, engaged discussion is a must, and the class often divides into smaller groups for more intensive debate. Class time is also devoted to helping students craft an effective final research paper.
AFRO 4478W - Contemporary Politics in Africa and the Colonial Legacy (GP, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Afro 4478W/Afro 5478/Pol 4478W
Typically offered: Every Spring
Examines how current politics in mainly, though not exclusively, sub-Saharan Africa have been shaped by the pre-colonial and colonial processes. Reality of independence; recurrent political and economic crises, global context, and prospects for effective democracy. prereq: POL 1054 or POL 3051 or non-pol sci grad or instr consent
POL 4478W - Contemporary Politics in Africa and the Colonial Legacy (GP, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Afro 4478W/Afro 5478/Pol 4478W
Typically offered: Every Spring
Examines how current politics in mainly, though not exclusively, sub-Saharan Africa have been shaped by the pre-colonial and colonial processes. Reality of independence; recurrent political and economic crises, global context and prospects for effective democracy. prereq: 1054 or 3051 or non-pol sci grad or instr consent
POL 4525W - Federal Indian Policy (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: AmIn 4525W/Pol 4525W
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
Formulation, implementation, evolution, comparison of Indian policy from pre-colonial times to self-governance of new millennium. Theoretical approaches to federal Indian policy. Major federal Indian policies. Views/attitudes of policy-makers, reactions of indigenous nations to policies. Effect of bodies of literature on policies.
AMIN 4525W - Federal Indian Policy (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: AmIn 4525W/Pol 4525W
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
Formulation, implementation, evolution, comparison of Indian policy from pre-colonial times to self-governance new millennium. Theoretical approaches to federal Indian policy. Major federal Indian policies. Views/attitudes of policy-makers, reactions of indigenous nations to policies. Effect of bodies of literature related to policies.