Course Offerings

Winter 2019

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 - 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 - Ponce de Leon Seijas, Zoila

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.

Political Parties, Interest Groups, and the Media

POL 229 - Connelly, William F., Jr. (Bill)

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.

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.

Race and Equality

POL 250 - Morel, Lucas E.

Not to be repeated by students who completed POL 180: FS: Black American Politics in Winter 2018. 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.

Gender and Politics

POL 255 - LeBlanc, 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.

Contemporary Political Philosophy

POL 267 - Gray, Stuart J., Jr. (Stu)

The principal aim of this course is to help students understand and think critically about contemporary political life and the crises facing democracy. We examine central questions and concerns in contemporary political philosophy surrounding the topics of democracy, (neo)liberalism, identity, race, and gender. Attention is given to the sources and implications of crises threatening democratic governance, to processes of neo-liberalization, and to how we might better (re)cognize identity, hierarchy, and solidarity in contemporary conditions of pluralism. Consult with the instructor for specific course details.

Migration, Identity, and Conflict

POL 268 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

This course focuses on the complex relationship between migration, political institutions, group identities, and inter-group conflict. The course is a hybrid of a seminar and research lab in which students (a) read some of the key social-scientific literature on these subjects, and (b) conduct team-based research making use of existing survey data about the integration of migrant populations into various polities.

Intelligence and National Security

POL 278 - Cantey, Joseph M., Jr. (Seth)

This course examines the responsibilities of, and challenges faced by, the U.S. intelligence community (IC). Drawing on current literature and case studies, topics include the history and evolution of the IC, the intelligence cycle (direction, collection, processing, analysis, dissemination), ethical and moral issues, oversight and accountability, covert action, and intelligence reform. Through an intelligence lens, we explore the rise of al Qaeda, 9/11 and its aftermath, successes and failures associated with the Iraq War, Russian efforts to sway the 2016 US presidential election, and more.

Special Topics in American Politics

POL 295A - Murchison, Brian C.

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 2019, POL 295A-01: Topic: The Administrative State - Law, Ethics, and Change (3). An introduction to the legal framework of American constitutional and administrative government. This course covers the development of principles of separated legislative, executive and judicial functions; the combination of those functions in the modern administrative agency; and the predominantly procedural responses of the legal system to the continuing questions of legitimacy raised by this allocation of authority. (SS2) Murchison.

Special Topics in American Politics

POL 295B - LeBlanc, Robin M. / 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.

Winter 2019, POL 295B-01: Special Topic: The Material Culture of Protest (3). What is the meaning of that rainbow sticker on your friend's computer? Does the slogan on your t-shirt make history? Why did millions of women don hand-knitted pink pussy hats for the 2017 Women's March? Objects from 18th-century anti-slavery medallions to 21st-century bumper stickers have long been important tools for social, economic, and political change. Students investigate the relationship between this kind of material culture and political protest, curating an exhibit about the objects of protest they have studied. Students should plan on a required, fully funded field trip to Washington D.C. to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History. (SS2) LeBlanc, Fuchs.

Special Topics in Global Politics

POL 296A - 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.

Winter 2019, POL 296A-01: Topics in Global Politics: International Order and Crises, 1919-2019 (3). Prerequisite: POL 105. This course examines international order between 1919 and 2019. Students explore four arrangements of international order, each embodied by a dominant or representative institution: the Versailles period (the League of Nations), the Cold War (NATO), liberal international order (the European Union), and the contemporary world ("Brexit"). Lectures and class discussion elucidate the theories behind each of these orders, their history, and their characteristic crises. Particular reference is made to key topical anniversaries and relevant current events, including the 100th anniversary of the Versailles conference and the 70th of the North Atlantic Treaty as well as the scheduled disaffiliation of Great Britain from the European Union in late March 2019. Texts are drawn from international relations theory, history, contemporary political commentary, and biographical and autobiographical accounts of relevant statespeople such as Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill, George C. Marshall, and Margaret Thatcher. (SS2) O'Dell.

 

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.

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - Gray, Stuart J., Jr. (Stu)

Honors Thesis.

Fall 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 - 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 - 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 - LeBlanc, 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 - 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 Global Politics

POL 105 - Rush, Mark E.

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 - 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.

Issues in World Affairs

POL 191 - Knapp, Elizabeth P.

Experiential Learning. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. Open to students of any class year or major. Requires completion of a winter-term trip to New York City. This course exposes students to ideas, issues, and individuals that play a role in contemporary debates about world affairs and American foreign policy. The program, sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), provides an opportunity for students to participate in national conversations with leading experts on international relations and contemporary foreign-policy problems. On six occasions in the fall term, students meet for an hour to hear a conference call presentation by a CFR expert and then, along with students on campuses across the county, pose questions to the speaker about the topic at hand. Each conference call includes a set of background readings and is transcribed for posting on the CFR website. In order to receive credit, students must travel with all class participants in the winter term to New York City to meet individuals, including W&L graduates, who are actively practicing careers in international relations. May not be taken more than once.

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

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.

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.

The Presidency

POL 235 - Alexander, Brian N.

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.

European Politics and Society

POL 245 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

A comparative analysis of European political systems and social institutions. The course covers the established democracies of western and northern Europe, the new democracies of southern and east-central Europe, and the post-Communist regimes in eastern and southeastern Europe. Mechanisms of European integration are also discussed with attention focused on institutions such as European Union, NATO, OSCE, and Council of Europe.

Latin American Politics

POL 247 - Ponce de Leon Seijas, Zoila

This course focuses on Latin American politics during the 20th and 21st centuries. Major topics include: democracy and authoritarianism; representation and power; populism, corporatism, socialism, and communism; and questions of poverty, inequality, and economic growth. The course places particular emphasis on the Cuban and Mexican Revolutions, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, and Peru. In addition, the course examines political and economic relations between the United States and Latin America.

Global Politics Seminar

POL 380B - LeBlanc, Robin M.

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

Fall 2018, POL 380B-01: Global Politics Seminar: Food, Shelter, Space, Voice: Movements for Democratic Renewal (3). Prerequisite: One 100-level politics course. A study of grassroots efforts to re-vision liberal democracy in the midst of a prolonged economic crisis. Students examine the political critique embedded in international movements to rethink how and what we eat, investigate alternative visions of the relationship between community belonging and housing practices that have arisen since the global mortgage crisis in 2008, and dig into the challenges to the demarcation of the public and private posed by movements such as Occupy and the Puerto del Sol protests in Madrid. (SS2) LeBlanc.

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.

Freedom

POL 385 - Gray, Stuart J., Jr. (Stu)

An examination of differing conceptions of political and individual freedom in the modern world. We explore the political thought of thinkers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Foucault, and Emma Goldman. Students analyze the meaning of freedom through novels and/or short stories, including the work of authors such as Jonathan Franzen and Franz Kafka. Key questions include the meaning and ends of freedom, its conditions, and connections between personal and political articulations of freedom.

Seminar in American Government

POL 397 - Alexander, Brian N.

Examination of selected topics in American political institutions, ideas, and processes. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2018, POL 397-01: Seminar: Politics for Poets (3). Prerequisites: POL 100 or instructor consent. A course for people who want to change the world but don't know what to do. Politics involves strategy but also imagination. Focusing largely on the American context, this seminar examines the intersection between creativity and the world of politics. In addition to studying works of political imagination (art, film, poetry), students learn from political science the means of successful political influence (activism, lobbying, campaigns). (SS2) Alexander .

 

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - Gray, Stuart J., Jr. (Stu)

Honors Thesis.

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 - Allen, Daniel J. (Dan) / 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. (EXP) (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.