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Political Science

Course Descriptions

POS 110 American Political Process (3 crs)
Operations of the American government and their consequences for the population. Policies on management of the economy, defense and foreign policy, poverty, race relations. Roles of the Presidency, bureaucracy, Congress, courts. Nature of elite and mass political ideas and opinions.

POS 211 Comparative Politics (3 crs)
Introduction to comparative politics as an approach and as a body of knowledge. Several aspects of various selected foreign systems will be compared (such as governments, political parties, interest groups, political culture, etc.).

POS 212 Global Politics (3 crs)
This course serves as an introduction to the study of global politics. Different approaches of studying the relations between countries; the forces that motivate countries (nationalism, ideology, etc.); and the instruments available to them (power, international law, etc.) will be discussed. The politics of global issues such as human rights, the environment, population growth, and free trade will also be considered. It is recommended that this course be taken prior to other 300-level international relation courses.

POS 228 Latin America in the 20th Century (3 crs)
An examination of Latin America from 1880 to the present. The focus will be on the problems that Latin American countries have encountered in their struggle for economic and political development. Social and cultural aspects of the region will also be examined. Several countries will be selected for in-depth analysis.

POS 241 Public Policy (3 crs)
This course will explore the policy making process in the United States. It will examine how the agendas of policy makers are set, how the policy is formulated and how it is implemented. It will also question who benefits from the policy making process. Topical issues of national policy will be used to illustrate the process. Prerequisite: POS 110.

POS 242 State and Local Government (3 crs)
This course will examine the structure and functions of government at the state and local level. It will compare and contrast the various types of governments that exist across the United States. It will also examine the intergovernmental relationships between the localities, the states and the national government. Prerequisite: POS 110.

POS 250 (HIS 250) Revolution and Ideology (3 crs)
This course encourages students to come to terms with revolutionary ideas and thinkers in a number of ways. First, the instructor provides the historical background to the epochs when ideas such as Marxism and Fascism appeared. Then students study revolutionary writings to analyze the writers' criticisms of society, suggested methods of change, and ultimate goals.

POS 305 The American Presidency (3 crs)
This course will examine the highest political office in the United States of America. Is the President the most powerful person in the world, or is he relatively powerless, depending on other branches of the government to voluntarily do as he wishes? How does a President affect policy? What type of individual makes a good President? The course will focus on six major areas of concern: 1) Presidential Selection; 2) Presidential Power; 3) Presidential Accountability; 4) Presidential Decision-Making; 5) presidential Character; and 6) Presidential Leadership. Prerequisite: POS 110.

POS 306 The American Congress (3 crs)
This course will examine the development and contemporary workings of the United States Congress. It will dissect Congress to look at its component parts (party leadership, committees, staff), and its internal decision-making process. It will explore Congressional relations with other actors in the policy-making process (interest groups, constituents, the President, executive agencies). We will examine how the structure of the institution, and the incentives provided to its members, greatly impact on how government affects our daily lives. Prerequisite: POS 110.

POS 311 War and Peace: Philosophical and Political Issues (3 crs)
An examination of various issues related to war and peace. The focus will be on three general issues: the causes of war; theories of war-avoidance; and various moral questions (i.e., just war, non-violent strategies, etc.).

POS 312, 313 Major Political Philosophers I & II (3 crs each)
Two-semester survey of major political philosophers in Western civilization and their political philosophy. In the first semester, classical philosophers ranging from Plato and Aristotle to Locke and Rousseau will be considered. In the second semester, we shall examine leading thinkers of the recent past, including Tocqueville, Burke, Marx, Weber. Note: Either half can be taken separately for three credits.

POS 316 (HIS 316) Rise of the United States as a World Power (3 crs)
American diplomacy since about 1890 when the U.S. emerged as a major political, economic, and military power in the world.

POS 321 (HIS 321) History of Germany, II (3 crs)
Germany from the eve of unification (1870) to the present.

POS 327 (CRJ 327) Comparative Systems of Justice and Social Control (3 crs)
Introduction to the concepts of justice, law, deviance, and social control. Examination of informal and formal systems of justice and social control, including traditional systems, common law, civil law, Marxist law, and Islamic law.

POS 329 Constitutional Law (3 crs)
Examines the evolution of American national government through the development and interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Judicial review, separation of powers, commerce power, contracts, taxing, the power to make war, and due process are among the topics studied. Prerequisite: POS 110.

POS 330 Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (3 crs)
A companion course to Constitutional Law (POS 330), this course analyses Bill of Rights guarantees of individual freedom, due process and equal protection interpretations, as well as modern policies flowing from civil rights legislation in areas affecting employment, education and welfare benefits.

POS 331 (HIS 331) History of Russia, II (3 crs)
History of the Russia from the Bolshevik revolution to the present.

POS 332 (PSY 332) Conflict Resolution (3 crs)
An examination of psychological and political theories as to why conflicts arise and how they can be resolved in a nonviolent manner. Application of these theories to real and hypothetical conflicts.

POS 333 Global Political Economy (3 crs)
This course focuses on the intersection between politics and economics. Different schools of thought (Liberalism, Marxism, Mercantilism) will be examined in detail. Additional attention is given to free trade and its critics, the global political economy of the environment, food, the newly industrialized countries, and North-South relations. Recommended prerequisite: POS 212.

POS 334 International Organization (3 crs)
The historical development of international organizations, their organizational structure and the inherent political processes will be examined. The impact of international organizations on global issues such as conflict, economics, human rights, global resources, population will also be considered. Special attention is given to the United Nations. Recommended prerequisite: POS 212.

POS 340 Issues in American Politics (3 crs)
Analysis of specific topics, depending on student interest and current importance.

POS 341 Global Issues (3 crs)
A special topics course dealing with one or more current problems, e.g., hunger, Third World development, international environment politics, U.S.-Latin American relations. Prerequisite: POS 212.

POS 355 (WST 355) Gender and Politics (3 crs)
Introduction to theories of the relationship between gender and political power. Detailed examination of a topic relating to gender and politics, e.g., the women's movement in the United States, women in the Third World.

POS 473 Internship (variable credit)
A field experience course in which the student is involved actively in the community under the direction of the Social Science Department. Enrollment requires the approval of the department; a member meets periodically with the student during the internship to examine the relationships between the theoretical concepts found in the assigned readings and the field experience. The number of credits is negotiable.

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