College of Arts and Sciences
Political Science

Current Student Bulletin

  • Professor Jacquelyn Miller, a former chair of both the History and Communications departments, is stepping in as acting chair in Political Science for summer and fall quarters 2015.

    Please review your online program evaluation (Academic Evaluation) at least once every quarter. This document displays progress toward your BA Degree, including requirements, major requirements, and general electives.

    For complete information on the Political Science degrees, including Political Science major and minor, Legal Studies track, and Departmental Honors go to the catalog here.

    FALL QUARTER COURSE DESCRIPTIONS


    PLSC 2000-01 INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN POLITICS
    TTh 10:15-12:20, R. Ernst
    Foundation
                

    This course examines the historical and contemporary structure and distribution of power in the American Political system. We will explore formal governing channels and political participation. The course will have a special emphasis on the notion of political agency by citizens both inside and outside formal systems of government in the form of social movements, interest groups, political parties and elections. The role of the media in framing these political interactions will also be scrutinized both as an independent entity and as a vehicle in the struggle for power. Class sessions will be designed to elicit your active participation in both the course material and the real-world politics; therefore, we will apply the course material to current political issues as frequently as possible. By the end of the quarter, students should understand the structure of American government and should have an increased ability to reflect critically on the degree to which American democracy lives up to its promises.

    PLSC 2300-01 COMPARING NATIONS
    MW 6:00-8:05, O. Bakiner
    Foundation


    Democratization or welfare policy, civil wars or identity politics, constitutional courts or peasant revolutions: comparing across and within nations is the key to understanding social and political processes, actors and institutions. This course is primarily about comparative politics, a political science subfield field that presents a rich variety of possibilities to understand real-world phenomena. Throughout the course, you will explore political institutions, state building and state failure, regime change, nationalism, violence and social movements from a comparative perspective.

    PLSC 2500-01 INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL THEORY
    TTh 1:30-3:35, E. Olsen
    Foundation

    Exploration of theoretical and philosophical issues pertaining to justice, freedom, and political authority. Western traditions of political theory are examined from feminist and multicultural perspectives.

    PLSC 2600-01 INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL POLITICS
    TTh 8:00-10:05,E. Zhang
    Foundation          
     

    This introductory course surveys the basic concepts, principles, theoretical perspectives, and contemporary issues of international politics. We will consider a broad range of topics, including the modern international system, foreign policy international conflict and war, international organization and law, trade, and globalization, among others. During this process, we will seek a better understanding of some of the most pressing issues at the core in international politics.

    PLSC 3010-01,THE EVOLVING PRESIDENCY
    TTh 1:30-3:35 Staff
    American


    An exploration of the factors that explain presidential success or failure. Personality and presidential performance. The crisis presidency.

    PLSC 3190-01 LAW POLITICS AND SOCIETY
    MWF 10:55-12:20 A. Davis
    American


    “Law” is the medium for sociopolitical contestation in which individuals and groups promote and institutionalize their vision for social order and justice. Thus, this course examines the inextricable links between law, society, and politics in the United States.  This course will analyze the role of “law” in America, the structure of the legal system, and the societal influences that shape the information and application of law.  By the end of this course you will develop an understanding of the structure of the American legal system and develop the ability to critically reflect on the relationship between law, politics, and society in the United States.

    PLSC 3550-01 CONTEMPORARY POLTICAL THOUGHT
    TTh 3:45-5:50 E. Olsen
    Theory/Law


    The question of a crisis in modern Western political thought, explored in relation to Freud and modern identity, existentialism.  Marx and critical theory, the critique of global capitalism.  Arendt and civic, republicanism, postmodernism, and feminism.

    PLSC 3910-01 SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
    TTh 8:00-10:05 R. Ernst
    American


    This course introduces students to concepts of collective resistance, domination, and the politics of institutional and societal change. Why do social movements emerge? What factors explain differing goals, strategies and tactics employed? What is the relationship between movements and the state? What are “identity” movements and are they really different than “traditional” movements? These are just a few of the questions which we will explore in this course. While we will explore traditional social movement scholarship in this course, we will also include a more robust consideration of power at an individual and collective level. We will accomplish this through a series of historical and contemporary case studies of individual movements in the United States.

    PLSC 3910-02 MIDDLE EAST POLITICS
    MW 3:40-5:45 O. Bakiner
    Comparative


    The Middle East is at the center of international policy debates nowadays, but the
    regions’ significance goes way back: as the birthplace and meeting point of numerous civilizations and religions, the Middle East has always been a site of conflict and cooperation, war and peace, poverty and prosperity. The course surveys the main political, social, cultural and economic issues in the Greater Middle East region, past and present.


    PLSC 3910-03 NATIONAL SECURITY
    TTh 3:45-5:50 A. Hudgins
    International


    This seminar will introduce students to national security and its application in an international context. We will trace the historical foundations of national security, study the key national security personnel, organizations and decision-making processes, understand the instruments of national power and explore contemporary national security issues in selected regions of the world.

    PLSC 4950-01INTERNSHIP
    Days and times to be arranged, Staff
    Major elective, requires permission of a Political Science faculty member  
     

    Work experience with advocacy or interest organizations, legislative or executive government at local, state, or national levels. Students need to approach a member of the Political Science faculty for mentoring and with whom they wish to work.

    PLSC 4960-01 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    Days and times to be arranged
    Major elective; requires permission of a Political Science faculty member.


    Students undertake advanced work with faculty.