Political Science course descriptions

PO 105. American Politics. 3 Credits.

A study of the theoretical, institutional, and behavioral elements of the U.S. political system. Offered both semesters. Open freshman only, except by permission of department chair or unless a major requirement for another program or major.

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PO 106. Introduction to Public Policy and Administration. 3 Credits.

An introductory examinatin of theoretical and practical approaches to policymaking and administration, the essential steps in the proces, and the roles of key actors at all levels. This course prepares students for more in-depth study of all other facets of the political realm. 3 lecture hours. Open freshman only, except by permission of department chair or unless a major requirement for another program or major.

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PO 202. Introduction to Comparative Politics. 3 Credits.

An introductory course that acquaints students with the comparative study of politics. The course will compare executive and legislative relationships, electoral systems, ideologies, and political parties. Various countries from around the world will be used to illustrate the application and consequences of different institutions and ideas. Not open to freshman without instructor¿s permission.

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PO 215. International Relations. 3 Credits.

An inquiry in assumptions, theories, and dogmas of the modern state system. Examination and evaluation of such topics as realist theory; conflict resolution; game theory; decision-making theory; and ecopolitics. Not open to freshman without instructor¿s permission.

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PO 220. Research Methods. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the methods of political analysis, standard nomenclature, and basic research methods relied upon in the study of politics. Emphasis is placed on quantitative methods and ethical issues in conducting research. Not open to freshman without instructor¿s permission.

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PO 300. Special Topics in Politics. 3 Credits.

Select topics offered on occasion. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 301. Special Topics in International Relations. 3 Credits.

Select topics in the area of international Relations offered on occasion. Topics courses may be repeated for credit as long as a different topic is offered. 3 lecture hours. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 303. Political Philosophy. 3 Credits.

After introducing the political philosophies of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, this course explores the ideas of major Western thinkers from the Renaissance through the Industrial Revolution. The course not only examines each philosopher's understandings of power, justice, equality and freedom, but also contemporary applications and implications of these ideas. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 305. Geopolitics. 3 Credits.

Geopolitics will give students an increased appreciation of the influence of geography on political decision-making. This course will help students "visualize" world politics and understand how geography affects both national and transnational political behaviors. Students will learn to think and write critically about such issues and forces as globalization, development, and conflict. Students will develop an understanding of how interests and perceptions are shaped by geography. Offered alternate years. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 310. European Politics. 3 Credits.

A study of the political systems, cultures, and issues of selected countries from western, northern and southern Europe as well as Russia and the European Union. This course will also consider the relationship between domestic and foreign policies and the relationship between the United States and Europe. Offered alternate years. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 312. The Presidency. 3 Credits.

A study of the presidential office and its relationship with the major American political institutions. Offered alternate years. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 313. Political Parties and Interest Groups. 3 Credits.

A study of political parties and interest groups as they influence the decision making process, the formulation of government policy, and the selection of official personnel. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 314. The Legislative Process. 3 Credits.

A study of the national and state legislatures in the United States through a combination of lectures, readings, contact with legislators, and actual investigations on the state legislative scene itself. Offered alternate years. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 315. Public Opinion and Political Behavior. 3 Credits.

A study of the development of political attitudes and the formation of public opinion; the influence of public opinion on governmental policy through its relationship to political participation representation and leadership. Offered alternate years. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 320. Topics in Area Studies. 3 Credits.

Selected topics in area studies will be offered on occasion. This course will be used to cover subjects not included in the regular offerings in comparative politics. Topics may include the politics of a particular country or region such as Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, or the Middle East. A topics course may also be offered on a particular issue area such as foreign and defense policy, healthcare policy, welfare policy, or environmental policy. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 321. U.S. Constitutional Law. 3 Credits.

Introduction to the evolution and structure of the American constitutional system, focusing on the federal relationship, the separation of powers, and judicial review, relying primarily upon the case method of analysis. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 324. Civil Liberties. 3 Credits.

An examination of the relationship of individuals to government, relying primarily upon the case method of study, with specific consideration of problems of equal protection, due process, privacy, and freedoms of speech and religion. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 330. American Citizenship. 3 Credits.

Using the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as a foundation, this course examines what it means to be a citizen of the United States. The course addresses such questions as: What are citizens entitled to and what do they owe the state and each other? Is there an obligation to obey political authority? Is there ever an obligation to disobey authority? An important consideration is the role of the military in American political life and in particular, the relationship between the military ethic and republican values. Offered alternate years.

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PO 331. State and Local Politics. 3 Credits.

The primary objective of this course is to gain an understanding of the role of the state and local political institutions within the context of American federalism. Emphasis is placed on procedural and policy differences as well as political issues in state, regional, and local governments. 3 lecture hours. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 333. American Foreign Policy. 3 Credits.

Through studies of the three "levels of analysis" personal political psychology, bureaucratic politics, and international relations-this course examines the processes of American foreign policy formulation and execution; it explores the objectives, methods, and consequences of major U.S. foreign and military policies. If practicable, students will take part in role-playing simulations. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 340. Revolution and Forces of Change. 3 Credits.

A critical analysis of several revolutions that will examine causes, outcomes, and accepted explanations in an attempt to discern generalities applicable to all revolutions. Offered alternate years. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 348. Asian Politics. 3 Credits.

A study of the political systems, cultures, and issues of the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, North and South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan, and India. This course will pay particular attention to the relationship between the West and Asia, the processes of "modernization," and the role of Asia in contemporary international relations. Offered alternate years. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 400. Independent Study. 3 Credits.

An opportunity for qualified upperclass students to engage in an intensive reading or research program in fields of interest not satisfactorily covered by regular course offerings. Periodic conferences will be required. Prerequisite: written consent of the instructor to a specific project presented by the applicant. Offered as occasion demands. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 403. Internship. 3-15 Credit.

Direct participation in the practical workings of state, municipal, and Federal government. Ordinarily open only to seniors. Offered on availability to internships. Credits to be determined by instructor. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Not open to freshmen. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 405. International Organizations. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on the increasingly influential and varied roles international organizations play in the world today from peace and security to international development, human rights, and environmental protection. It traces the evolution of the thinking behind, and efforts to establish international organizations, and analyzes not only their promise and challenges, but also their successes and failures to date. Although particular attention is paid to the United Nations and its many affiliated bodies, regional organizations (e.g. European Union, Organization of American States, African Union, NATO), international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multi-national corporations are also assessed. Offered alternate years. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 410. Capstone Seminar in Political Science. 3 Credits.

A research and writing course designed to introduce students to graduate standards of original research and critical writing in political science. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 412. War and Peace. 3 Credits.

An inquiry into the ostensible causes of war-- biological, economic, psychological, strategic, and theological; and an examination of the purported causes of war -- personal probity, military counterpoise, political utopia, and world government. Preparation of a substantial paper is required. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 415. International Law. 3 Credits.

This course examines the development of international law, and assesses its effectiveness in governing the relations among nation-states. The course examines early as well as more recent efforts to build a body of such law. It compares international law with domestic law, and explores the principal sources of international law. The course uses cases to analyze the development of international law in areas such as extraterritorial jurisdiction, the range of sovereignty, diplomatic relations, the treaty system, arbitration and adjudication, the use of force, human rights, the environment, and economic relations. Offered alternate years. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 490. Honors in Political Science. 3 Credits.

A substantial, sequential, research and writing project. See description of department honors program. Offered as occasion demands. Students must take this course for two successive semesters. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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PO 491. Honors in Political Science. 3 Credits.

The second semester of honors in political science. Devoted to writing and defending the honors thesis. 3 lecture hours. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

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