Course Offerings

Spring 2018

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.

Special Topics in American Politics

POL 295 - STAFF / Morel, Lucas E.

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 2018, POL 295-01: In it to Win It: Planning and Financing Successful Political Campaigns (4). Prerequisite: Preference given to Strategic Communication and Politics majors; instructor consent required. Cycle after cycle, the price tag for competitive races for elective office continues to grow. Tens of millions are committed on both sides of the partisan divide with the hopes of persuading a diminishing group of uncommitted voters. As the influence of big dollar donors and the outside groups they fund are playing a greater role, competition for their attention is fierce among political candidates. In this course, students will learn about the pursuit of financing by being divided into teams tasked with developing a comprehensive campaign strategy to be presented to a panel of "influencers" who will decide which candidate to support financially. (SS2) Allen.

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 295-02: Special Topics in American Government: Business, Government, and the International Economy (3). 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 - O'Dell, Wesley B. (Wes)

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 2018, POL 296-01: Special Topics in Global Politics: International Crises and National Security (4) . Prerequisite: POL 105 or instructor consent. This course examines international crisis behavior through a combination of classroom instruction and participatory National Security Council simulation scenarios. Students study theories of international crisis alongside historical case studies such as the July Crisis of 1914, the Suez Crisis, and the Cuban Missile Crisis, among others, with students assuming a role on a model National Security Council. Using crisis scenarios derived from the Council on Foreign Relations Model Diplomacy series, students research past and present policymakers on the NSC, adopt a policy persona, and work toward the resolution of crises guided by the instructor and guest participants from the policy community. The combination of readings and enactment encourages critical examination of both theories of national security and the vicissitudes of its practice. Multiple outside-of-class meetings are required. (SS2) O'Dell.

Special Topics in Global Politics

POL 296 - Blick, Andrew

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 2018, POL 296-02: Special Topics in Global Politics: Comparative Constitution-Building (4). This course introduces students to how a constitution is formed. Constitution-building processes have played a critical part in the history of many countries, including the USA, Spain, and Germany. Often they marked an important break with the past, leaving behind authoritarian rule or colonial government. Constitution-building may take place in the wake of traumatic events such as military defeat or revolutionary upheaval. It can have powerful consequences--both good and ill--for the future of the country in which it takes place. Through historical analysis, case studies, and international comparison, students investigate different processes of creating a constitution. (SS2) Blick. Spring 2018 only.

Summer 2017, POL 296-01: Special Topics in Global Politics: South Africa (3). This course provides students with an introductory account of the post-apartheid political landscape in South Africa. The course gives an overview of the political and economic forces that shaped South African society during the colonial period. It examines the Apartheid era, emphasizing the domestic and global politics that led to the rise and fall of the National Party Government, and it examines the system of apartheid and how the transition process structured the post-apartheid political system and societal landscape. The course also considers key questions facing South Africans, from national identity to economic inequality. (SS2) Le Blanc. Summer 2017

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 2018

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 - Alexander, Brian N.

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 - O'Dell, Wesley B. (Wes)

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, Lucas E.

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 - Morel, Lucas E.

First-year seminar.

Winter 2018, POL 180-01: FS: Black American Politics (3) . First-year seminar. Prerequsite: First-year standing. This course explores the diverse political philosophies of influential black Americans as they sought to secure their dignity as human beings and rights as citizens. In particular, we examine the fundamental tension between human equality and government by consent, a tension present at the birth of the American Union in 1776. (SS2) Morel .

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.

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 - Rush, Mark E.

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 2018, POL 296-01: Special Topics in Global Politics: Global Challenges to Democracy (3). Prerequisite: POL 100 or 105 or instructor consent. This seminar explores contemporary challenges to democracy from theoretical and practical perspectives. Following an examination of the theoretical foundations of democracy, students then analyze measures of democratic performance around the world, and how the structure of governmental systems conditions that performance. We then assess shifts in global attitudes towards traditional visions of liberal democracy, including notions of sovereignty and, in the current global context, secession. (SS2) Rush.

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Seminar: Law and the Judicial Process

POL 342 - Harris, Rebecca C.

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.

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 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.

Seminar in Political Philosophy

POL 396 - Connelly, William F., Jr. (Bill)

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 - O'Dell, Wesley B. (Wes)

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 2018, POL 403-01: Directed Individual Study: Party Machines and Institutional Effectiveness (3). TA cancas of the literature of American political development on the subject of Progressive-era machine politics, pairing it with directed original research comparing the activities of the Byrd Machine in central and southwestern Virginia with its near contemporaries in the Deep South. Students address fundamental questions about the institutional effectiveness of state and local government through a critical examination of how state machines concentrated and dispersed authority to obtain and retain political power through constituent service. O'Dell.

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - Cantey, Joseph M., Jr. (Seth)

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - Strong, Robert A. (Bob)

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - O'Dell, Wesley B. (Wes)

Honors Thesis.

Fall 2017

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 - Morel, Lucas E.

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 - 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 - O'Dell, Wesley B. (Wes)

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.

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 - Alexander, Brian N.

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 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.

International Development

POL 215 - Dickovick, James T. (Tyler)

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.

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.

Congress and the Legislative Process

POL 234 - Alexander, Brian N.

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.

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.

Post-Communism and New Democracies

POL 246 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

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 - 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.

Special Topics in American Government: Washington and the Arts of Leadership

POL 291 - Morel, Lucas E. / Fuchs, Ronald

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.

Global Politics Seminar

POL 380 - O'Dell, Wesley B. (Wes)

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

Fall 2017, POL 380-01: The Global Politics of Churchill (3). Prerequisite: POL 105 or instructor consent. Open to majors and non-majors. Meets the 300-level seminar requirement for the politics major. Winston Spencer-Churchill was one of the most significant figures of early 20th-century global politics. The breadth of his experience—journalist, parliamentarian, soldier, government minister with responsibility for the Royal Navy and later the British economy, and ultimately prime minister—helped to shape the contemporary world. He was also an author and historian who famously proclaimed that history would be kind to him because he would write it. This course uses his extensive writings to examine the global politics of his time, pairing them with selections drawn from international relations theory and comparative politics. Topics include the twilight of European colonialism (1890-1955), the British political system and the Irish question, the gold standard and free trade, the origins and conduct of both World Wars, and the postwar international order. (SS2) O'Dell.

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.

Directed Individual Study

POL 403 - Gray, Stuart J., Jr. (Stu)

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.

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - Strong, Robert A. (Bob)

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - Cantey, Joseph M., Jr. (Seth)

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - O'Dell, Wesley B. (Wes)

Honors Thesis.