Course Offerings

Winter 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, Morel (Multiple Sections)

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 - Dickovick, Strong (Multiple Sections)

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 - Hale, Le Blanc (Multiple Sections)

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.

The Conduct of American Foreign Policy

POL 214 - Cantey

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.

International Development

POL 215 - Dickovick

A study of international development and human capability, with a focus on Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The course analyzes theories to explain development successes and failures, with a focus on the structures, institutions, and actors that shape human societies and social change. Key questions include measuring economic growth and poverty, discussing the roles of states and markets in development, and examining the role of industrialized countries in reducing global poverty. The course explores links between politics and other social sciences and humanities.

East Asian Politics

POL 227 - Le Blanc

An investigation of East Asian political systems and the global, historical, and cultural contexts in which their political institutions have developed. Students consider the connections between political structure and the rapid social and economic changes in East Asia since World War II, as well as the effectiveness of varied political processes in addressing contemporary problems. Emphasis is given to China, Korea, and Japan.

Black American Politics

POL 250 - Morel

A study of important black figures in American political thought. The course focuses on the intellectual history of black Americans but also considers contemporary social science and public policies dealing with race in America.

Modern Political Philosophy

POL 266 - Hale

An examination of some of the central questions and concerns of modern political philosophy. The course is not restricted to a historical period but extends to modern 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. 

Seminar: Law and the Judicial Process

POL 342 - Harris

A survey of legal theories and the problems of reconciling such theories with the realities of administering a legal system. The course draws upon readings from literature, philosophy, legal scholarship, and political science. Topics include the nature of law and justice, constitutionalism, the role and power of courts and judges, and the function of a legal system.

Global Politics Seminar

POL 380 - Cantey

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

Fall 2014 topics:

POL 380-01: Seminar: George H. W. Bush (3). Prerequisite: POL 105. This seminar focuses on the presidential administration of George H. W. Bush and explores the domestic and foreign policy issues that he encountered in the White House including: the savings and loan crisis, mounting deficits, legislation on clean air and the treatment of Americans with disabilities, the end of the Cold War, the breakup of the Soviet Union, the transformation of regimes in Eastern Europe, and military interventions in Panama, Somalia and the Persian Gulf.  Students evaluate the Bush presidency after the passage of a quarter century and use recently opened archives of presidential oral history interviews in writing research papers on topics related to this presidency. (SS2) Strong.

POL 380-02: Seminar: Science and Religion in the Courts (3). Prerequisite: POL 105. An investigation into the manner in which courts address questions of fact, proof, knowledge, and evidence in cases dealing with science and religion. What constitutes a religious belief? When does science provide "proof" as opposed to conjecture? The course examines cases in the United States and other countries. (SS2) Rush.

Seminar in Political Philosophy

POL 396 - Hale

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.

 

Seminar in Political Philosophy

POL 396 - Connelly

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.

 

Directed Individual Study

POL 403 - Dickovick

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 2014

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 - Connelly, Harris (Multiple Sections)

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 - Cantey, Le Blanc, Rush (Multiple Sections)

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 - Hale (Multiple Sections)

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.

State and Local Government

POL 203 - Richardson

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.

Political Parties, Interest Groups, and the Media

POL 229 - Connelly

A study of the three central extra-constitutional mediating institutions in the American political system: political parties, interest groups, and the media. The course explores theoretical and practical, historical and contemporary developments in party politics, interest group politics, and media politics. Special attention to the debate between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists.

Public Policy

POL 232 - Harris

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.

The Presidency

POL 235 - Strong

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 - Rush

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.

Post-Communism and New Democracies

POL 246 - Jasiewicz (Multiple Sections)

A comparative analysis of transition from Communism in the countries of the former Soviet bloc. Cases of successful and unsuccessful transitions to civil society, pluralist democracy, and market economy are examined. The comparative framework includes analysis of transition from non-Communist authoritarianism and democratic consolidation in selected countries of Latin America, the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and South Africa.

Classical Political Philosophy

POL 265 - Hale

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.

Seminar: Lincoln's Statesmanship

POL 360 - Morel

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.

Global Politics Seminar

POL 380 - Strong

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

Fall 2014 topics:

POL 380-01: Seminar: George H. W. Bush (3). Prerequisite: POL 105. This seminar focuses on the presidential administration of George H. W. Bush and explores the domestic and foreign policy issues that he encountered in the White House including: the savings and loan crisis, mounting deficits, legislation on clean air and the treatment of Americans with disabilities, the end of the Cold War, the breakup of the Soviet Union, the transformation of regimes in Eastern Europe, and military interventions in Panama, Somalia and the Persian Gulf.  Students evaluate the Bush presidency after the passage of a quarter century and use recently opened archives of presidential oral history interviews in writing research papers on topics related to this presidency. (SS2) Strong.

POL 380-02: Seminar: Science and Religion in the Courts (3). Prerequisite: POL 105. An investigation into the manner in which courts address questions of fact, proof, knowledge, and evidence in cases dealing with science and religion. What constitutes a religious belief? When does science provide "proof" as opposed to conjecture? The course examines cases in the United States and other countries. (SS2) Rush.

Global Politics Seminar

POL 380 - Rush

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

Fall 2014 topics:

POL 380-01: Seminar: George H. W. Bush (3). Prerequisite: POL 105. This seminar focuses on the presidential administration of George H. W. Bush and explores the domestic and foreign policy issues that he encountered in the White House including: the savings and loan crisis, mounting deficits, legislation on clean air and the treatment of Americans with disabilities, the end of the Cold War, the breakup of the Soviet Union, the transformation of regimes in Eastern Europe, and military interventions in Panama, Somalia and the Persian Gulf.  Students evaluate the Bush presidency after the passage of a quarter century and use recently opened archives of presidential oral history interviews in writing research papers on topics related to this presidency. (SS2) Strong.

POL 380-02: Seminar: Science and Religion in the Courts (3). Prerequisite: POL 105. An investigation into the manner in which courts address questions of fact, proof, knowledge, and evidence in cases dealing with science and religion. What constitutes a religious belief? When does science provide "proof" as opposed to conjecture? The course examines cases in the United States and other countries. (SS2) Rush.

Seminar in International Political Economy

POL 381 - Dickovick

This course provides an intermediate-level introduction to the major actors, questions, and theories in the field of international political economy (IPE). Course participants discuss political and economic interactions in the areas of international trade, fiscal and monetary policy, and exchange rates; discuss globalization in historical and contemporary perspectives; and examine the international politics of the major intergovernmental organizations, multinational corporations, states, and other institutional actors in the global economy.

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - Dickovick

Honors Thesis.


Spring 2014

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.

African Politics

POL 249 - Dickovick

This course focuses on the politics, society, and economy of Africa during the 20th and 21st centuries. Major topics include: politics and economics of development, poverty, and human capability; authoritarian rule and transitions to democracy; causes and consequences of social change; and relations between Africa and the rest of the world. The course enables students to select country case studies for individual and group research, with a view toward testing hypotheses and formulating theories about comparative politics in Africa.

Politics and Film

POL 282 - McCaughrin / McCaughrin

This is an interdisciplinary study combining social science and humanistic models to help explain the dynamics of political entities. Grading based on class discussion and essays.

Spring-Term Topics in Public Policy

POL 294 - Harris

This course is designed to give students additional expertise and awareness of discrete policy challenges in the United States. Students will be able to explain current policy systems, including political institutions and political behavior by political actors. Students will also formulate policy evaluations acknowledging the strengths and the weaknesses in the policy system. (SS2)

Special Topics in Global Politics

POL 296 - Rush

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 2014 topic:

POL 296: Fighting Faiths: Law, Science and Religion in Modern Society (4). Prerequisite: First-year, sophomore, or junior class standing. An investigation of the interaction of law, science, and religion. Each embodies a unique belief system that has undergone and continues to undergo "scientific" or conceptual revolutions due either to shortcomings or inconsistencies in their respective intellectual paradigms or conflict between or among them. In the course we focus on particular instances of conflict between science and religion where the courts were called in to mediate. We discuss the nature of and difference between scientific and religious knowledge and the impact on both of the manner by which the courts manage conflicts between them. (SS2) Rush. Spring 2014

Fall 2013 topics:

POL 296-01: Strategic Studies (3). No prerequisites. Open to majors and non-majors of all classes. Recommended for students interested in diplomacy, military science, national security policy, policy forecasting and consulting, or political science / public policy graduate study. We explain national and international political outcomes from a state or alliance's decision rules under variable risk or uncertainty. Special attention to decision rules emphasizing national interest (utility), risk-assessment, and logistics (target location in space and time). Cases (using films) span all levels of strategic (policy-level) and tactical (theater-of-operations level) escalation from total war to mutual détente. Student assignments include simulated US Homeland Security Department task force reports (see www.dhs.gov/index.shtm). On-line syllabus and other information: mccaughrinc@wlu.edu. (SS2) McCaughrin.

POL 296-02: Negotiation Analysis (3). No prerequisites. Open to majors and non-majors of all classes. Meets the global politics field requirement or elective credit in the politics major. Recommended for students interested in diplomacy, estate management, labor-manager relations, alternative dispute resolution, civil law, or political science / public policy graduate study. We explain national and international political outcomes from selected negotiation rules constrained by mutually agreeable fairness norms. Special attention to sealed-bid auctions, point allocation rules under varied entitlements, and weighted-vote rules. Cases (via feature films) span variably complex disputes from one indivisible good with two claimants to multiple goods and fragmented claimants. Student assignments include application and evaluation of such rules to cases and data from the Harvard Negotiation Project (see www.pon.harvard.edu). On-line syllabus and other details: mccaughrinc@wlu.edu. (SS2) McCaughrin.  

Special Topics in Political Philosophy

POL 297H - Velasquez

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 2014 topic:

POL 297H: A Course About Nothing (4). An introduction to contemplative inquiry and practice. We distinguish contemplative traditions that established academies and the universities in the West from the various forms of mindfulness practices in American popular culture. Students hone their critical thinking skills by cultivating secular mind-body disciplines vouchsafed by the latest research in sciences of mind and brain. This course introduces students to contemplative studies, one of the fastest growing and innovative disciplines in the university today. Ashtanga, Bikram yoga, and spin are integrated into time-honored traditions of learning in higher education. (HU) Velásquez.

Winter 2014 topic:

POL 297: Special Topic in Political Philosophy: Commerce, Capitalism, Compassion (3). Open to all classes and majors. A reading of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations (WN) and The Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS). We revisit the "Adam Smith Problem" by comparing and contrasting his "selfish" economic actor as it allegedly appears in the WN with Smith's "compassionate" moral actor as it appears in the TMS. We then consider current findings in neuroscience that illumine the ways in which rationality is itself emotional, and the self social and socially constituted. Might contemporary science show that Smith did not have a "Adam Smith Problem?" (SS2) Velásquez. Winter 2014

Washington Term Program

POL 466 - Connelly

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.