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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 - Le Blanc, Rush, STAFF / Morel (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 - STAFF / Morel (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.

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.

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.

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

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.


Winter 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 - Hale, Le Blanc (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 - Morel (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.

International Development

POL 215 - Dickovick (Multiple Sections)

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.

Congress and the Legislative Process

POL 234 - Connelly

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.

Elections and Law in Comparative Perspective

POL 240 - McCaughrin

A comparative analysis of the constitutions, elections, and political processes around the world. The course addresses issues of election law, theories of good government, issues of political and institutional reform, and the debates about democratization.

Classical Political Philosophy

POL 265 - Velasquez

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 or visit http://contemplativepoliticalphilosophy.com/classicaleddievcpp265/.

Social Revolutions

POL 272 - McCaughrin

This seminar provides an in-depth exploration of a variety of social revolutions. The overarching goal of the course is to discern whether or not a single "theory of revolutions" can be constructed. Are there common patterns to be observed in (and common causes behind) events as separated by time, place, and ideology as the 17th-century "Glorious Revolution" in England, the French Revolution, Latin American revolutions (including the Wars of Independence and the Mexican Revolution), the Russian Revolution, and more recent events such as the revolution that brought the current regime in Iran to power? To this end, students read and discuss a variety of such theories that have been put forward by sociologists, historians, and political scientists and then consider case studies of the aforementioned social revolutions in order to scrutinize these theories.

Seminar in Politics, Literature and the Arts

POL 290 - Hale

In this course, we study how literature, film, and other media are used to examine political themes and how they are used to achieve political ends. We address how politics shapes the arts and how the arts shape politics. The topic is announced at registration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. Only one such seminar may be counted towards the politics major.

Winter 2014 Topic:

POL 290: Seminar in Politics, Literature and the Arts: Utopian Political Thought: The Pursuit of Perfection (3). Political societies are formed to organize and improve human life. The proper scope and substance of those improvements remain hotly debated. What is the source of human happiness? Is it liberty? Security? Wealth? Pleasure? Can political society be perfected? If so, what sacrifices would that perfection entail? This course focuses on utopian thought (and its dystopian consequences) in works of political philosophy and political literature ranging from ancient Athens to the 21st century. Though a variety of dialogues, treatises, novels, and films, we examine common features of utopian thinking and how utopian thinking affects the politics of our time. (SS2)

Special Topics in Global Politics

POL 296 - McCaughrin

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 297 - 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

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 - Le Blanc

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

Winter 2014 Topic:

POL 380: Global Politics Seminar: Food, Shelter, Space, Voice: Movements for Democratic Renewal (3). Prerequisite: One 100-level politics course or instructor consent. Open to majors and non-majors of all classes. Meets the global politics field requirement in the politics major. This class studies grassroots efforts to re-vision liberal democracy in the midst of prolonged economic crisis. We 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)

Directed Individual Study

POL 403 - Rush

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.

Winter 2014 topic:

POL 403-01: Directed Individual Study: Game Theory (3). Applied game theory. Introductory-level applications of 2-sided zero-sum and variable-sum game theory to global politics. McCaughrin

Fall 2013 topic:

POL 403: Directed Individual Study: Plato on Love and Ambition (3). In this course, we engage in concentrated reading and discussion of four Platonic dialogues which examine love, friendship, and political ambition. We consider questions such as: What is friendship? What is love? Do we ever really love a friend or a beloved more than ourselves? Should we? What do lovers ultimately want? Can love lead us to a truly fulfilled life, or does it promise more than it can deliver? What is political ambition? Does it resemble love, in its aims or possibilities? What are its dangers, for the individual as well as society? What is the relationship between love and knowledge? Between ambition and knowledge? Between knowledge and happiness? Hansen. Fall 2013

Directed Individual Study

POL 403 - Connelly, McCaughrin (Multiple Sections)

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.

Winter 2014 topic:

POL 403-01: Directed Individual Study: Game Theory (3). Applied game theory. Introductory-level applications of 2-sided zero-sum and variable-sum game theory to global politics. McCaughrin

Fall 2013 topic:

POL 403: Directed Individual Study: Plato on Love and Ambition (3). In this course, we engage in concentrated reading and discussion of four Platonic dialogues which examine love, friendship, and political ambition. We consider questions such as: What is friendship? What is love? Do we ever really love a friend or a beloved more than ourselves? Should we? What do lovers ultimately want? Can love lead us to a truly fulfilled life, or does it promise more than it can deliver? What is political ambition? Does it resemble love, in its aims or possibilities? What are its dangers, for the individual as well as society? What is the relationship between love and knowledge? Between ambition and knowledge? Between knowledge and happiness? Hansen. Fall 2013