Course Offerings

Spring 2016

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Separation of Powers in the U.S. Constitution

POL 230 - Murchison, Brian C.

This course probes the origins, development, advantages, and disadvantages of the tripartite structure of the federal government, beginning with an examination of the background and text of Articles I, II, and III of the U.S. Constitution. We analyze structural explanations provided in the Federalist Papers, along with Classical and Enlightenment sources addressing the nature of political power, the problem of faction, the role of checks and balances, and the purpose of separated functions. In-depth analyses of leading U.S. Supreme Court decisions trace evolving conceptions of legislative. executive. and judicial powers along with attention to the relevance of war and economic crisis to the authority and function of each branch. In discussions of landmark decisions, students compare the legal thought of a number of Justices--John Marshall, William Howard Taft, Robert Jackson, William Brennan, Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and Antonin Scalia. We trace the creation of the so-called "fourth branch" of government--the administrative state-- and examine whether this "branch" can be reconciled with ideas of representative democracy and constitutional text. Students prepare and deliver two oral arguments based on assigned cases and write an appellate brief on a separation-of-powers topic.

Spring-Term Topics in Public Policy

POL 294 - Harris, Rebecca C.

This course is designed to give students additional expertise and awareness of discrete policy challenges in the United States. Students learn to explain current policy systems, including political institutions and political behavior by political actors. Students also formulate policy evaluations acknowledging the strengths and the weaknesses in the policy system.

Spring 2016, POL 294-01: Spring-Term Topics in Public Policy: Food Policy (4). Prerequisite: POL 100 or instructor consent. Majors in politics, economics, business, environmental studies, public health, or poverty are encouraged to take the course. This course introduces students to the institutions and politics of U.S. food-and-farm policy. Major considerations include farm-and-food policy history, tools of governance, and political issues. Specific topics include the farm bill (economics and conservation), poverty & nutrition programs, food industry regulation, and food safety. Spring term engagement includes investigative projects and policy analysis (SS2) Harris.

Special Topics in American Politics

POL 295 - Bragaw, Stephen G.

A seminar in political science for students at the introductory or intermediate level. Topic, hour, and instructor are announced prior to registration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2016, POL 295-01: Special Topics in American Government: Business, Government, and the International Economy (4). Prerequisite: POL 100 or instructor consent. This course examines the evolution of the relationship between businesses, governments, and the international economy. Emphasis is on how technological innovation has disrupted established relationships, leading to new forms of regulation, law, and competition, as well as how constitutional and legal norms shape political economy policy making. Examples are drawn from financial crises, the politics of globalization, and trade and development, with a particular focus on the post-1980 economy. (SS2) Bragaw.

Special Topics in Global Politics

POL 296 - Strong, Robert A. (Bob) / Settle, Frank A., Jr.

A seminar in political science for students at the introductory or intermediate level. Topic, hour, and instructor are announced prior to registration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2016, POL 296-01: Special Topics in Global Politics: Avoiding Armageddon: The Politics and Science of Nonproliferation (4). Prerequisite: POL 105 or instructor consent. This course, team-taught by a political scientist and a chemist, introduces students to complex technical and political issues connected to the proliferation of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons and the possibilities that such weapons could be used by rogue nations or terrorist groups. Students are expected to design a realistic terrorist attack involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD), engage in the debate over whether nuclear proliferation might make the world safer, and propose a specific policy proposal for enhancing global security in the age of WMD proliferation. (SS2) Strong, Settle.

Washington Term Program

POL 466 - Connelly, William F., Jr. (Bill)

The Washington Term Program aims to enlarge students' understanding of national politics and governance. Combining the practical experience of a Washington internship with academic study, it affords deeper insight into the processes and problems of government at the national level. A member of the politics faculty is the resident director, supervising students enrolled in this program while they are in Washington, D.C.

Winter 2016

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

American National Government

POL 100 - Bragaw, Stephen G.

A study of the constitutional origins and historical development of the national government with special attention to Congress, the presidency, the judiciary, and the role of political parties, interest groups, and the media in the policy process.

American National Government

POL 100 - Connelly, William F., Jr. (Bill)

A study of the constitutional origins and historical development of the national government with special attention to Congress, the presidency, the judiciary, and the role of political parties, interest groups, and the media in the policy process.

American National Government

POL 100 - Bragaw, Stephen G.

A study of the constitutional origins and historical development of the national government with special attention to Congress, the presidency, the judiciary, and the role of political parties, interest groups, and the media in the policy process.

Introduction to Global Politics

POL 105 - Strong, Robert A. (Bob)

A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.

Introduction to Global Politics

POL 105 - Strong, Robert A. (Bob)

A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.

Introduction to Global Politics

POL 105 - Williams, Thomas M.

A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.

Introduction to Global Politics

POL 105 - Williams, Thomas M.

A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.

Introduction to Political Philosophy

POL 111 - Gray, Stuart J., Jr. (Stu)

An introduction to some of the perennial themes of politics, such as the relationship between human nature and political institutions, individual freedom and community, private conscience and civic virtue, the claims of reason and faith, the nature of law, obligation, and rights, among others. Our inquiry is guided by selections from influential works in the history of political thought, ancient, modern and contemporary, as well as plays, dialogues, comedies, tragedies, novels, and films. Consult with instructor for specific reading assignments and course requirements.

Introduction to Political Philosophy

POL 111 - Gray, Stuart J., Jr. (Stu)

An introduction to some of the perennial themes of politics, such as the relationship between human nature and political institutions, individual freedom and community, private conscience and civic virtue, the claims of reason and faith, the nature of law, obligation, and rights, among others. Our inquiry is guided by selections from influential works in the history of political thought, ancient, modern and contemporary, as well as plays, dialogues, comedies, tragedies, novels, and films. Consult with instructor for specific reading assignments and course requirements.

Introduction to Political Philosophy

POL 111 - Le Blanc, Robin M.

An introduction to some of the perennial themes of politics, such as the relationship between human nature and political institutions, individual freedom and community, private conscience and civic virtue, the claims of reason and faith, the nature of law, obligation, and rights, among others. Our inquiry is guided by selections from influential works in the history of political thought, ancient, modern and contemporary, as well as plays, dialogues, comedies, tragedies, novels, and films. Consult with instructor for specific reading assignments and course requirements.

Public Policy

POL 232 - Harris, Rebecca C.

Introduction to public policy formation and implementation, decision making in government, the concepts and techniques of policy analysis, and ethical analysis of policy. Policy issues such as education, the environment, and public health are used as illustrations.

Environmental Policy and Law

POL 233 - Harris, Rebecca C.

A study of major environmental laws and the history of their enactment and implementation. Discusses different theoretical approaches from law, ethics, politics, and economics. Reviews significant case law and the legal context. Emphasis is on domestic policy with some attention to international law and treaties.

Congress and the Legislative Process

POL 234 - Connelly, William F., Jr. (Bill)

A review of the constitutional origins and historical development of Congress as a representative and deliberative institution. Course focus includes the relation between the President and Congress, bicameralism, congressional elections, congressional reform, legislative rules and procedures, and the policy process. The course follows the current Congress using C-SPAN and Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report.

Gender and Politics

POL 255 - Le Blanc, Robin M.

This course investigates the gendered terms under which women and men participate in political life. Attention is given to the causes of men's and women's different patterns of participation in politics, to processes that are likely to decrease the inequalities between men's and women's political power, and the processes by which society's gender expectations shape electoral and institutional politics. The different effects of gender on the practice of politics in different nations are compared, with a special emphasis placed on advanced industrial democracies.

Special Topics in Global Politics

POL 296 - Williams, Thomas M.

A seminar in political science for students at the introductory or intermediate level. Topic, hour, and instructor are announced prior to registration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2016, POL 296-01: Special Topics in Global Politics: Geopolitics: Geography, Technology, and Power (3) . Prerequisite: POL 105 or instructor consent. Geopolitics is the study of the natural world and the constraints it places on human societies in their development, political organization, conflict, and sustainability. Food, energy, transportation, communication, resources, and warfare are all fundamentally tied to the physical environment and the technology harnessed by humans to overcome the limitations they face. This course surveys international history to trace the interaction between human societies and the forces of geography, how this interaction continues to shape our world today, and whether modern technology has fundamentally altered the balance between society and geography. (SS2) T. Williams.

Special Topics in Political Philosophy

POL 297 - Kemerli, Pinar

A seminar in political science for students at the introductory or intermediate level. Topic, hour, and instructor are announced prior to registration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2016, POL 297-01: Special Topics in Political Philosophy: Resistance and the State (3). Prerequisite: POL 111 or instructor consent. States claim to benefit the people they represent. But the relationship between the modern state and the people is not always a happy one, nor devoid of conflict and violence. In this course, we examine the grounds and reach of state power, and diverse forms of resistance to it. What makes state power legitimate? What happens when the state itself is involved in the oppression of the people it claims to represent? When are the people justified in resisting the state and disobeying the law? What forms such disobedience may justifiably take? We explore these questions through reading a wide range of literature on state and resistance from Sophocles' Antigone to Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham Jail . Examples of resistance around the world are considered including revolution, anticolonial resistance, hunger strikes, conscientious objection to military draft, and the civil rights movement in the US. We also question the role of contemporary global powers -- "empires" -- and the resistance to them. Thinkers considered include Hobbes, Foucault, Fanon, Gandhi, Frederick Douglas, and Malcolm X. (SS2) Kemerli .

Seminar: Lincoln's Statesmanship

POL 360 - Morel, Lucas E.

This seminar examines the political thought and practice of Abraham Lincoln. Emphasis is on his speeches and writings, supplemented by scholarly commentary on his life and career.

Seminar on Middle Eastern Politics

POL 384 - Cantey, Joseph M., Jr. (Seth)

This course examines contemporary politics in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Topics include the role of colonial legacies in state formation, the region's democratic deficit, nationalism, sectarianism, and the influence of religion in politics. We explore inter- and intrastate conflict, including the use of terrorism, economic development and underdevelopment, and the recent Arab uprisings (commonly referred to as the Arab Spring). Throughout, we consider why the Middle East attracts as much attention from policymakers and scholars as it does, how analysts have studied the region across time and space, and why understanding different cultural perspectives is critical to understanding the region.

Seminar in Political Philosophy

POL 396 - Gray, Stuart J., Jr. (Stu)

An examination of selected questions and problems in political philosophy and/or political theory. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2016, POL 396-01: Seminar in Political Philosophy: Freedom (3). Prerequisite: POL 111 or instructor consent. It is no exaggeration to say that the maximization of individual freedom is one of the central goals of modern and contemporary politics. But, what does freedom mean, and what should we be doing with it? Is freedom just the absence of restraint, or are there special purposes toward which freedom ought to be dedicated? What role does politics play in the articulation and pursuit of freedom? This seminar explores the concept and meaning of freedom as it develops in modern and contemporary political thought. We examine contending conceptions of public (civic republican) and private (liberal) freedom, robust subjectivism, constraints of disciplinary power, and anarchism. Throughout the course, we track these various conceptions of freedom in contemporary American life by reading Jonathan Franzen's novel, Freedom. We also consider other thinkers including Rousseau, J.S. Mill, Nietzsche, Foucault, and Goldman. (SS2) Gray .

Directed Individual Study

POL 403 - Connelly, William F., Jr. (Bill)

This course permits a student to follow a program of directed reading, library research, or data collection and analysis in some area not covered in other courses. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

POL 403 - Cantey, Joseph M., Jr. (Seth)

This course permits a student to follow a program of directed reading, library research, or data collection and analysis in some area not covered in other courses. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2015

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

American National Government

POL 100 - Harris, Rebecca C.

A study of the constitutional origins and historical development of the national government with special attention to Congress, the presidency, the judiciary, and the role of political parties, interest groups, and the media in the policy process.

American National Government

POL 100 - Harris, Rebecca C.

A study of the constitutional origins and historical development of the national government with special attention to Congress, the presidency, the judiciary, and the role of political parties, interest groups, and the media in the policy process.

American National Government

POL 100 - Connelly, William F., Jr. (Bill)

A study of the constitutional origins and historical development of the national government with special attention to Congress, the presidency, the judiciary, and the role of political parties, interest groups, and the media in the policy process.

Introduction to Global Politics

POL 105 - Le Blanc, Robin M.

A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.

Introduction to Global Politics

POL 105 - Le Blanc, Robin M.

A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.

Introduction to Global Politics

POL 105 - Cantey, Joseph M., Jr. (Seth)

A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.

Introduction to Global Politics

POL 105 - Cantey, Joseph M., Jr. (Seth)

A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.

Introduction to Global Politics

POL 105 - Williams, Thomas M.

A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.

Introduction to Global Politics

POL 105 - Williams, Thomas M.

A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.

Introduction to Political Philosophy

POL 111 - Gray, Stuart J., Jr. (Stu)

An introduction to some of the perennial themes of politics, such as the relationship between human nature and political institutions, individual freedom and community, private conscience and civic virtue, the claims of reason and faith, the nature of law, obligation, and rights, among others. Our inquiry is guided by selections from influential works in the history of political thought, ancient, modern and contemporary, as well as plays, dialogues, comedies, tragedies, novels, and films. Consult with instructor for specific reading assignments and course requirements.

Introduction to Political Philosophy

POL 111 - Bragaw, Stephen G.

An introduction to some of the perennial themes of politics, such as the relationship between human nature and political institutions, individual freedom and community, private conscience and civic virtue, the claims of reason and faith, the nature of law, obligation, and rights, among others. Our inquiry is guided by selections from influential works in the history of political thought, ancient, modern and contemporary, as well as plays, dialogues, comedies, tragedies, novels, and films. Consult with instructor for specific reading assignments and course requirements.

FS: First-year seminar

POL 180 - Kemerli, Pinar

First-year seminar.

Fall 2015, POL 180-01: The Ethics of Citizenship (3). First-Year Seminar. Prerequisite: First-Year class standing only. This seminar is a thorough survey of the concept of citizenship, with a focus on its historical origins, ethical implications, and contemporary global challenges. We start with a historical overview of the origins of the concept of citizenship in classical Greece and continue with its historical developments. This introduction to the different historical traditions informs our understanding of citizenship--including the civic republican, liberal, cosmopolitan, and multiculturalist approaches--provides the background for the second part of the course where we turn to the applications of these approaches to concrete ethical dilemmas concerning citizenship in our societies. We examine a wide range of issues that raise important ethical and political questions concerning citizenship today including difference, inequality, poverty, immigration, and global governance. (HU) Kemerli. Fall 2015

State and Local Government

POL 203 - Finch, Kevin D.

An introduction to the structures and functions of United States subnational governments, with particular emphasis on the policy-making process and on the relationships between policy makers and the public. Computer-assisted analysis of survey-research data is included.

The Conduct of American Foreign Policy

POL 214 - Strong, Robert A. (Bob)

Constitutional basis, role of the President and the Congress, the State Department and the Foreign Service, role of public opinion, political parties, and pressure groups. Relation to other political areas and to the United Nations and other international agencies.

The Presidency

POL 235 - Connelly, William F., Jr. (Bill)

A review of the origins and development of the office of the presidency from Washington to the present, with an emphasis on post-war administrations. Topics include constitutional issues arising from presidential powers, policy making within the executive branch, and modern presidential leadership styles.

The American Supreme Court and Constitutional Law

POL 236 - Bragaw, Stephen G.

A survey of the development of American constitutional law and a study of the role of the Supreme Court as both a political institution and principal expositor of the Constitution.

Classical Political Philosophy

POL 265 - Gray, Stuart J., Jr. (Stu)

An examination of some of the central questions and concerns of classical political philosophy. The course is not restricted to a historical period but extends to classical themes within contemporary culture. A mixture of plays, novels, epics, dialogues, treatises, and films are used. Authors, texts, and themes vary from year to year. Consult with the instructor for specific course details.

Modern Islamic Political Thought

POL 270 - Blecher, Joel A.

This course investigates Islamic political thought and action from the 18th century to the present. The course begins with an examination of the commentaries, treatises, and debates among Muslim political thinkers in light of their historical context and the writings on Islamic politics from the classical and middle ages. Then, students compare historical case studies of modern Islamic political movements in practice in Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, France and the U.S. Throughout the course, we contemplate a variety of themes: the relationship of Islamic law to the state, the meaning of "lslamism" and fundamentalism, the relationship of democracy and constitutionalism to the Islamic tradition, the influence of women's changing participation in the public sphere, the impact of colonialism, technology and new media. and the limits placed on political speech. the place of non-Muslims and Muslim minorities in the West. and the changing role of religious education and traditional authority.

Terrorism

POL 274 - Cantey, Joseph M., Jr. (Seth)

The principal goal of this course is to help students understand the complexities of contemporary terrorism. We discuss definitional issues, the historical roots of modern terrorism, and various micro- and macro-explanations for this form of violence. We also investigate the life cycles of terrorist groups: How do they emerge? What kinds of organizational challenges do they face? How do they end? Other topics include leaderless movements (e.g., "lone wolves") and state sponsorship. Throughout the course, students observe that terrorism is not a phenomenon unique to one class of people. The course ends with three weeks focused on a certain kind of terrorism which some have called violent Islamic extremism.

Special Topics in Global Politics

POL 296 - Williams, Thomas M.

A seminar in political science for students at the introductory or intermediate level. Topic, hour, and instructor are announced prior to registration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2015, POL 296-02: Special Topics in Global Politics: The International Politics of Civil Wars (3). Prerequisite: POL 105 or instructor consent. Ongoing civil wars in Ukraine and Syria have captured the attention of the world and the interests of the great powers. How and why are civil wars important to international politics?  This course examines how civil wars helped to create the international system, what accounts for global patterns of civil war, how international politics affects civil wars (and vice versa), and the problems of intervention: from proxy wars, to humanitarian interventions, to drone strikes. (SS2) Williams .

Seminar in American Political Thought

POL 370 - Bragaw, Stephen G.

An examination of classic themes and current issues in American political thought. Depending on the instructor, emphases may include the Federalists, Anti-Federalists, Alexis de Tocqueville, Abraham Lincoln, and voices from the Progressive and civil rights eras. Course readings stress primary sources including speeches, essays, and books by politicians and theorists. The course explores the effort to reconcile liberty and equality, individualism and community, liberalism and republicanism, politics and religion, among other themes. The course highlights the contemporary relevance of the enduring tensions between political principles and practice.

Global Politics Seminar

POL 380 - Rush, Mark E.

Examination of selected topics dealing with international and comparative politics. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2015, POL 380-01: Fighting Faiths: Law, Science and Religion in Global Perspective (3). Prerequisites: At least three credits at the 200-level in politics or instructor consent. This course examines the intersection of three of the principle belief systems that organize our lives, our politics and our conscience. All three frequently clash because they are premised on incompatible beliefs. The clashes transcend culture and invariably become legal or political matters. Accordingly, we study conflicts such as conscientious objections to vaccinations, conflicts between religious pluralism and women's rights, legal and scientific notions of proof and certainty, legal definitions of 'religion' and so forth. Our approach is international and cross-cultural. Students undertake research projects on a topic of their choice and present their findings and their seminar papers to the class. (SS2) Rush. Fall 2015

Global Politics Seminar

POL 380A - Le Blanc, Robin M.

Examination of selected topics dealing with international and comparative politics. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2015, POL 380A-01: Global Politics Seminar: Food, Shelter, Space, Voice: Movements for Democratic Renewal (3). Prerequisite: Three credits in politics or instructor consent. This seminar studies grassroots efforts to re-vision liberal democracy in the midst of prolonged economic crisis. Students examine the political critique embedded in international movements to rethink how and what we eat; investigate the reworking of the relationship between community belonging and housing practices following the global mortgage crisis; and dig into the challenges to the demarcation of the public and private posed by movements such as Occupy, the Puerto del Sol protests in Madrid, and the recent conflict that emerged from government plans to redevelop Taksim Gezi Park in Istanbul. (SS2) Le Blanc. Fall 2015

Special Topics in Political Philosophy

POL 397 - Strong, Robert A. (Bob)

A seminar in political science for students at the introductory or intermediate level. Topic, hour, and instructor are announced prior to registration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2015, POL 397-01: Seminar: Bill Clinton (3). This seminar focuses on the presidential administration of William Jefferson Clinton and explores the domestic and foreign policy issues that he encountered in the White House including: the budget and tax policies of 1993, the failed effort at health care reform, the response to international emergencies in Haiti and Bosnia, welfare reform, the movement toward a balanced budget, the negotiation of a peace agreement in Northern Ireland, the failure to secure a peace agreement in the Middle East, and the impeachment process that preoccupied Clinton's second term. Students evaluate the Clinton administration using recently opened archives of presidential oral history and write major research papers on topics related to this presidency. (SS2) Strong.