Fall 2020 Courses

Body

The following courses required for the BA in Political Science degree are available for the Fall 2020 semester. A full list of courses offered by the department and requirements for the major can be found in the Undergraduate Handbook [pdf] and the Major Requirements sheet [pdf].

Additional course information can be found on BuckeyeLink.

Do you have questions about courses or scheduling? Make an appointment with an advisor by calling Arts and Sciences Advising at (614) 292-6961.

Menu:

1. Course(s) required to declare the major
2. Specialization courses:
2A. Democracy and Law
2B. Political Identities and Allegiances
2C. Political Economy and Development
2D. Cooperation, Conflict and Violence
2E. Inequality and Justice
2F. Political Leadership and Reform
2G. Political Analysis
2H. American Politics
2I. Comparative Politics
2J. International Relations
2K. Political Theory
3. Other courses

1. Course(s) required to declare the major

*Students must have at least one of these

1100: Introduction to American Politics

Image for American Politics course

Semester | 3 credit units

This course is an introduction to the institutions, processes, and influences of American government, politics, and political behavior. The first part of the course will focus on political elites, discussing the history and theories of American democracy, as well as its political institutions (Congress, Executive, and Judiciary). In the second half of the course, we will shift gears and focus on mass political behavior and interests (public opinion, contemporary political debates, voting and campaigns and elections).

This course is available for EM credit. GE soc sci orgs and polities course. SS Admis Cond course. Also offered as an online/distance learning course.


1165: Introduction to Politics

Introduction to politics and political science: power, democracy and authoritarianism, political participation, the state, political institutions, subfields of the discipline, and political research methodology. Online/distance learning course.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 165 or 165H. GE soc sci orgs and polities course. SS Admis Cond course.


1200: Introduction to Comparative Politics

Image for Comparative Politics course

Semester | 3 credit units

This is a course that introduces students to politics as it takes place outside the United States. The emphasis is on the big questions of the day: How should democracy be structured? How do countries confront the challenges of economic development, inequality, ethnic and racial cleavages, or nation building? What are the politics that make possible transitions from authoritarianism to democracy? And how are different authoritarian political systems structured? The class will address questions of this nature in the context of an analysis of selected wealthy and poor countries around the world.

This course is available for EM credit. GE soc sci orgs and polities and diversity global studies course. Also offered as an online/distance learning course.


1300: Global Politics

Image for Global Politics course

Semester | 3 credit units

What are the causes of war? What are the conditions in which people from different parts of the world can work together to tackle common problems such as climate change? This course provides you with the basic theoretical perspectives to address important issues in world politics such as these, and also covers other topics including economic relations, the role of international organizations, and human rights, so that, at the end of the course, you will be able to critically analyze the phenomena in world politics as an informed citizen.

GEC soc sci human, natural, and economic resources and diversity global studies course. Also offered as an online/distance learning course.


2150: Voters and Elections

Image for Voters and Elections course

Semester | 3 credit units

Why do people vote? Are non-voters completely disengaged, or simply engaged in other kinds of political activities that they find more satisfying and more likely to affect their lives? This course examines recent research into voting behavior, the election context of voting, and political participation. We will learn why people are turned off of politics, and consider what kinds of changes might be necessary to rekindle the interest of voters and maintain the legitimacy of elections in the future.

GE soc sci indivs and groups course. SS Admin Cond course.


2300: American Foreign Policy

American Foreign Policy

Semester | 3 credit units

Today, the United States possesses unrivaled power and influence in international politics. How is this power used? How is U.S. foreign policy developed and implemented? What interests should the United States pursue in key policy areas like terrorism, economic globalization and weapons proliferation? The goal of this course is to equip students with the knowledge and analytical skills needed to answer these questions and to critically evaluate the role of the United States in the world.

GE soc sci orgs and polities and diversity global studies course. Also offered as an online/distance learning course.


2400: Introduction to Political Theory

Image for Political Theory course

Semester | 3 credit units

Justice, it is said, requires giving people what they are due – but what exactly are people due? Does justice encompass freedom and equality, or are these often conflicting political values? If so, how do we trade them off against each other? How should a just state distribute the goods that we all need, such as rights and liberties, educational opportunities, and wealth? In addition to studying great philosophical answers to such questions, we will apply those answers to live debates about pressing political questions, for example, regulating sexual conduct, economic markets, affirmative action, environmental sustainability, immigration, and global justice.

GE soc sci orgs and polities course. SS Admis Cond course.


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2. Specialization courses

*Students must have a minimum of 33 hours of course work at the 2000 level or higher, and at least 24 of those hours must be at the 3000 level or higher. Students must have at least four courses in one of the areas of specializations, and at least one course from each of the four traditional subfields: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory.

2A. Democracy and Law

2367: Contemporary Issues in American Politics

Semester | 3 credit units

Discussion of and critical writing about controversies in contemporary American politics; aimed at fostering analytical abilities in reading comprehension, oral, and written expression.
Prereq: 101 or 300, and English 110 or 111, and Soph standing; or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 367.01 or 367.01H. GE writing and comm course: level 2 and soc sci orgs and polities course.


3115: Introduction to the Policy Process

Image for Policy Process course

Semester | 3 credit units

This course provides students with an introductory overview of the policy-making process, paying particular attention to the actors who play a pivotal role in crafting public policies and the institutions through which they interact. Note that this is not a course on policy analysis. Rather, it is a course about the politics behind successful policy change (and the pitfalls of policy failure). The objective of the course is to encourage students to think like strategic political operatives, who can take idealistic policy goals and design strategies to translate these goals into law.


3420: Political Theories of Democracy

An examination of theories of democracy, focusing on normative and descriptive dilemmas such as participation versus liberty in democratic societies. 

Prereq: 2400 (210).  Not open to students with credit for 571.


3450: Ethics and Public Policy

Semester | 3 credit units

Contemporary approaches to public policy evaluation and their ethical foundations, including efficiency, security, rights, welfare, and equity. This course will give students the basic knowledge of contemporary public policy approaches and will provide critical tools to evaluate the ethical implications of specific policy positions.


4110: The American Presidency

An examination of the American presidency, emphasizing the contemporary role of the president, the institutionalized presidency, and theories of presidential behavior.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 501.


4127: Governing Urban America

In this course, students will watch HBO's "The Wire" and complete readings that address the key themes of the show. In particular, we will focus on: (1) the major problems facing urban communities; (2) the economic, social and political forces that have shaped their development; (3) the structure and role of government in addressing urban problems; and (4) the major participants and stakeholders in city politics. Our examination will focus on the biggest policy challenges confronting big cities, including economic development, criminal justice issues, and education reform.

This course will examine the major problems facing urban communities in the 21st Century; the economic, social, and political forces that have historically shaped - and continue to influence - their development; the role of government in addressing urban problems; and the major participants and stakeholders in city politics.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 505.


4130: Law and Politics

This class examines the intersection of law, politics, and political science. We will look at a variety of current legal controversies -- from voter ID laws and voting technology to campaign finance regulations and partisan gerrymandering -- that shape the way that elections and politics work. We will carefully analyze Supreme Court decisions that govern the electoral process and the empirical research aimed at influencing policymakers and judges.

Analysis of the roles of judges and lawyers as participants in the American political process; analysis of courts as political institutions.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 516.


4132H: Supreme Court Decision Making

Study of explanations for Supreme Court decisions; use of those explanations and independent research to predict justices' positions in current cases.

Prereq: Honors standing or permission of instructor.  Not open to students with credit for 521H.


4136: Civil Liberties

Civil Liberties

Semester | 3 credit units

An examination of the civil liberties decisions by American courts, their legal and political bases, and their effects on government and society.


4200: Politics of Modern Democracies 

A survey of the basic institutions and politics of modern democracies, with emphasis on representativeness and democratic stability. Online/distance learning course.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 535.


4285: Comparative Politics of the Welfare State

Semester | 3 credit units

Analyzes different kinds of welfare capitalism including social, economic, and political considerations shaping welfare policy; and contemporary welfare reform as an exercise in reallocation, reorganization, and budget-cutting.
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 578.


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2B. Political Identities and Allegiances

2150: Voters and Elections

Image for Voters and Elections course

Semester | 3 credit units

Why do people vote? Are non-voters completely disengaged, or simply engaged in other kinds of political activities that they find more satisfying and more likely to affect their lives? This course examines recent research into voting behavior, the election context of voting, and political participation. We will learn why people are turned off of politics, and consider what kinds of changes might be necessary to rekindle the interest of voters and maintain the legitimacy of elections in the future.

GE soc sci indivs and groups course. SS Admin Cond course.


2367: Contemporary Issues in American Politics

Semester | 3 credit units

Discussion of and critical writing about controversies in contemporary American politics; aimed at fostering analytical abilities in reading comprehension, oral, and written expression.
Prereq: 101 or 300, and English 110 or 111, and Soph standing; or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 367.01 or 367.01H. GE writing and comm course: level 2 and soc sci orgs and polities course.


2400: Introduction to Political Theory

Image for Political Theory course

Semester | 3 credit units

Justice, it is said, requires giving people what they are due – but what exactly are people due? Does justice encompass freedom and equality, or are these often conflicting political values? If so, how do we trade them off against each other? How should a just state distribute the goods that we all need, such as rights and liberties, educational opportunities, and wealth? In addition to studying great philosophical answers to such questions, we will apply those answers to live debates about pressing political questions, for example, regulating sexual conduct, economic markets, affirmative action, environmental sustainability, immigration, and global justice.

GE soc sci orgs and polities course. SS Admis Cond course.


3170: Political Psychology

Introduces students to political psychology, its development from parent disciplines, its topics and problems, its research results and methods, and their applications to current affairs.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 403 or Psych 403.


3549: Survey Research Political Science

Semester | 3 credit units

The conducting of public opinion polls.
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 449, 581, or Comm 449.


3910: Identity Politics

Semester | 3 credit units    

Explores who controls the meaning of identity in society; examining identity from the perspective of liberal, sociological, and social psychological, structuralist, and institutionalist theories.
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 547.


4143: Race, Ethnicity, and American Politics

The goal of this course is to explore, discuss, and better understand the relationship between perceptions of racial identity, attributions of racial difference, and politics, broadly defined.


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2C. Political Economy and Development

3001: Economy, Polity, and Community

Examines how different ways of thinking about human nature shape our understanding of philosophy, politics, and economics.

Prereq: Econ 2001.XX or 2002.01 or 2002.03H; and Philos 2400 or PolitSc 2400 or 2400H; and Econ 5001 or Philos 2500 or 5540 or PolitSc 4553 or 4553H; and Philos 3300; and Econ 3400 or IntStds 3400 or PolitSc 3780 or 3780H; and PolitSc 4280 or 4380. Not open to students with credit for Econ 3001 or Philos 3001. Cross-listed in Econ and Philos.


3220: Politics of the Developing World

Image for the Politics of the Developing World course

Semester | 3 credit units

The international system is characterized by tremendous inequality, and the gaps between the poorest and wealthiest countries commonly grow larger and larger. This class asks, given this, what is a developing country to do? That is, what are the political strategies, institutions, and problems that shape whether rapid economic and social development is possible, or whether poverty, marginalization, and malgovernance are likely to remain endemic. The course covers experiences selected from around the developing world (from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and even the European periphery), and is organized around three periods: (1) the post-war boom from the 1945 to the mid-1970s, (2) the return of free-market economics in the 1980s-90s, and (3) the contemporary era for financial globalization and crisis. This is a class about the politics of development, and no formal economics training is presumed.

GE soc sci human, nat, and econ resources and diversity global studies course.


4285: Comparative Politics of the Welfare State

Semester | 3 credit units

Analyzes different kinds of welfare capitalism including social, economic, and political considerations shaping welfare policy; and contemporary welfare reform as an exercise in reallocation, reorganization, and budget-cutting.
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 578.


4327: Politics in the Middle East

Semester | 3 credit units

Politics of Arab-Israeli relations, Perisan Gulf, Islamic fundamentalism, and oil; processes of change and their effects on governments and international relations.


4331: UN Systems

Semester | 3 credit units

Activities and potential of the United Nations system in promoting economic well-being, environmental management, resource sharing, social justice, and control of violence.
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 551.


4335: International Environmental Politics

Theories and debates over sustainable development, environment, and security, and effectiveness of international regimes with a focus on international fisheries management and global climate change.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 559.


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2D. Cooperation, Conflict, and Violence

2300: American Foreign Policy

Image for American Foreign Policy course

Semester | 3 credit units

Today, the United States possesses unrivaled power and influence in international politics. How is this power used? How is U.S. foreign policy developed and implemented? What interests should the United States pursue in key policy areas like terrorism, economic globalization and weapons proliferation? The goal of this course is to equip students with the knowledge and analytical skills needed to answer these questions and to critically evaluate the role of the United States in the world.

GE soc sci orgs and polities and diversity global studies course. Also offered as an online/distance learning course.


3240: Political Violence

This course will expose students to major theoretical debates and broad empirical patterns of intrastate conflict during the post-World War II era.


4315: International Security and the Causes of War

Image for International Security course

Semester | 3 credit units

This course examines various issues regarding international conflict and cooperation, including theories of strategic interaction and the causes of war.


4318: The Politics of International Terrorism

Semester | 3 credit units

Examines international terrorism's concepts and actors, the motivations and causes of terrorism, the experience of the United States, and tensions between freedoms and security.


4327: Politics in the Middle East

Semester | 3 credit units

Politics of Arab-Israeli relations, Perisan Gulf, Islamic fundamentalism, and oil; processes of change and their effects on governments and international relations.


4331: UN Systems

Semester | 3 credit units

Activities and potential of the United Nations system in promoting economic well-being, environmental management, resource sharing, social justice, and control of violence.
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 551.


4335: International Environmental Politics

Theories and debates over sustainable development, environment, and security, and effectiveness of international regimes with a focus on international fisheries management and global climate change.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 559.


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2E. Inequality and Justice

2400: Introduction to Political Theory

Image for Political Theory course

Semester | 3 credit units

Justice, it is said, requires giving people what they are due – but what exactly are people due? Does justice encompass freedom and equality, or are these often conflicting political values? If so, how do we trade them off against each other? How should a just state distribute the goods that we all need, such as rights and liberties, educational opportunities, and wealth? In addition to studying great philosophical answers to such questions, we will apply those answers to live debates about pressing political questions, for example, regulating sexual conduct, economic markets, affirmative action, environmental sustainability, immigration, and global justice.

GE soc sci orgs and polities course. SS Admis Cond course.


3220: Politics of the Developing World

Image for the Politics of the Developing World course

Semester | 3 credit units

The international system is characterized by tremendous inequality, and the gaps between the poorest and wealthiest countries commonly grow larger and larger. This class asks, given this, what is a developing country to do? That is, what are the political strategies, institutions, and problems that shape whether rapid economic and social development is possible, or whether poverty, marginalization, and malgovernance are likely to remain endemic. The course covers experiences selected from around the developing world (from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and even the European periphery), and is organized around three periods: (1) the post-war boom from the 1945 to the mid-1970s, (2) the return of free-market economics in the 1980s-90s, and (3) the contemporary era for financial globalization and crisis. This is a class about the politics of development, and no formal economics training is presumed.

GE soc sci human, nat, and econ resources and diversity global studies course.


3420: Political Theories of Democracy

An examination of theories of democracy, focusing on normative and descriptive dilemmas such as participation versus liberty in democratic societies. 

Prereq: 2400 (210).  Not open to students with credit for 571.


3450: Ethics and Public Policy

Semester | 3 credit units

Contemporary approaches to public policy evaluation and their ethical foundations, including efficiency, security, rights, welfare, and equity. This course will give students the basic knowledge of contemporary public policy approaches and will provide critical tools to evaluate the ethical implications of specific policy positions.


4130: Law and Politics

This class examines the intersection of law, politics, and political science. We will look at a variety of current legal controversies -- from voter ID laws and voting technology to campaign finance regulations and partisan gerrymandering -- that shape the way that elections and politics work. We will carefully analyze Supreme Court decisions that govern the electoral process and the empirical research aimed at influencing policymakers and judges.

Analysis of the roles of judges and lawyers as participants in the American political process; analysis of courts as political institutions.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 516.


4136: Civil Liberties

Semester | 3 credit units

An examination of the civil liberties decisions by American courts, their legal and political bases, and their effects on government and society.


4140: Black Politics

Economic, political, and social constraints on the development of black political power; the efforts made by black people in recent times to organize for effective political action.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 504 or AfAmASt 4504 (504). Cross-listed in AfAmASt 4504.


4143: Race, Ethnicity, and American Politics

The goal of this course is to explore, discuss, and better understand the relationship between perceptions of racial identity, attributions of racial difference, and politics, broadly defined.


4285: Comparative Politics of the Welfare State

Semester | 3 credit units

Analyzes different kinds of welfare capitalism including social, economic, and political considerations shaping welfare policy; and contemporary welfare reform as an exercise in reallocation, reorganization, and budget-cutting.
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 578.


5412: Life, Liberty, and Property: Early Modern Political Thought

Why do we have government? What are the proper limits of its authority? What should we do when its demands conflict with our moral or religious beliefs? These questions lie at the center of early modern political thought, and gave rise to the idea of the social contract.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 4412 (471) or 6412 (671).


5413: Democracy, Equality, and Revolution: 19th Century Political Thought

This course examines some of the earliest and most influential attempts to wrestle with the practical implications of living in a world where people were not only considered equal in theory, but were becoming equal in fact. Topics of discussion will include the relationship between liberty and equality, individualism and conformity, alienation and exploitation, and morality and power.

Not open to students with credit for 6413 (672) or 4413 (472).


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2F. Political Leadership and Reform

2400: Introduction to Political Theory

Image for Political Theory course

Semester | 3 credit units

Justice, it is said, requires giving people what they are due – but what exactly are people due? Does justice encompass freedom and equality, or are these often conflicting political values? If so, how do we trade them off against each other? How should a just state distribute the goods that we all need, such as rights and liberties, educational opportunities, and wealth? In addition to studying great philosophical answers to such questions, we will apply those answers to live debates about pressing political questions, for example, regulating sexual conduct, economic markets, affirmative action, environmental sustainability, immigration, and global justice.

GE soc sci orgs and polities course. SS Admis Cond course.


3115: Introduction to the Policy Process

Image for Policy Process course

Semester | 3 credit units

This course provides students with an introductory overview of the policy-making process, paying particular attention to the actors who play a pivotal role in crafting public policies and the institutions through which they interact. Note that this is not a course on policy analysis. Rather, it is a course about the politics behind successful policy change (and the pitfalls of policy failure). The objective of the course is to encourage students to think like strategic political operatives, who can take idealistic policy goals and design strategies to translate these goals into law.


3420: Political Theories of Democracy

An examination of theories of democracy, focusing on normative and descriptive dilemmas such as participation versus liberty in democratic societies. 

Prereq: 2400 (210).  Not open to students with credit for 571.


3450: Ethics and Public Policy

Semester | 3 credit units

Contemporary approaches to public policy evaluation and their ethical foundations, including efficiency, security, rights, welfare, and equity. This course will give students the basic knowledge of contemporary public policy approaches and will provide critical tools to evaluate the ethical implications of specific policy positions.


3912: Political Leadership

Semester | 3 credit units

Interest in the role of leaders in foreign policy decision-making and international relations has resurfaced in recent years. How much do leaders matter? What traits and contexts make leaders matter more? In what ways do leaders shape their states' foreign policies? What traits and behaviors lead to "good" leadership? What counts as "good" leadership? This class serves as a review of the classic and contemporary literature concerning leaders in international politics. Time will also be spent attempting to understand historical and contemporary political leaders' foreign policy behavior. Topics covered include but are not limited to: Age, Illness, Biology, Gender, Operational Code, Motivations, Personality, Life Experiences, and Narcissism.

Establishment of a working definition of political leadership, investigation of recruitment of leaders, analysis of major functions political leaders perform, and assessment of consequences of political leadership.
Prereq: 1100 (100), 1200 (101), or 3100 (300).  Not open to students with credit for 612.


4130: Law and Politics

This class examines the intersection of law, politics, and political science. We will look at a variety of current legal controversies -- from voter ID laws and voting technology to campaign finance regulations and partisan gerrymandering -- that shape the way that elections and politics work. We will carefully analyze Supreme Court decisions that govern the electoral process and the empirical research aimed at influencing policymakers and judges.

Analysis of the roles of judges and lawyers as participants in the American political process; analysis of courts as political institutions.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 516.


4136: Civil Liberties

Semester | 3 credit units

An examination of the civil liberties decisions by American courts, their legal and political bases, and their effects on government and society.

 


4150: American Political Parties

Semester | 3 credit units

This course will study the role and behavior of the three parts of American political parties – the party organization, the party in the electorate (the voters supporting the parties), and the party in government (party members in the three branches of government) – and their interrelationships and competition throughout American history. With particular attention to the upcoming 2016 election campaigns, it will focus on how American parties have changed in recent years and what these changes mean for American politics.

GE soc sci orgs and polities course.


4152: Campaign Politics

The organization and strategy of American political campaigns; practical politics seen in the light of knowledge about political behavior and public opinion.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 502.


4200: Politics of Modern Democracies 

A survey of the basic institutions and politics of modern democracies, with emphasis on representativeness and democratic stability. Online/distance learning course.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 535.


4335: International Environmental Politics

Theories and debates over sustainable development, environment, and security, and effectiveness of international regimes with a focus on international fisheries management and global climate change.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 559.


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2G. Political Analysis

3001: Economy, Polity, and Community

Examines how different ways of thinking about human nature shape our understanding of philosophy, politics, and economics.

Prereq: Econ 2001.XX or 2002.01 or 2002.03H; and Philos 2400 or PolitSc 2400 or 2400H; and Econ 5001 or Philos 2500 or 5540 or PolitSc 4553 or 4553H; and Philos 3300; and Econ 3400 or IntStds 3400 or PolitSc 3780 or 3780H; and PolitSc 4280 or 4380. Not open to students with credit for Econ 3001 or Philos 3001. Cross-listed in Econ and Philos.


3780: Data Literacy and Data Visualization

Image for Data Literacy course

Semester | 3 credit units

Most social science debates can be addressed with data, and sources of data are growing exponentially. This course introduces students to tools of data analysis and principles behind their use in the context of social-science applications.


3905: Political Manipulation

Image for Political Manipulation course

Semester | 3 credit units

Examines how political actors manipulate the rules and the salience and availability of information to shift political outcomes in their favor.


4553: Game Theory for Political Scientists

Provides entry-level understanding of the basic concepts of game theory and how these concepts are applied to the study of political phenomena.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 587.


4781: Techniques of Political Analysis (Data Analysis I)

Semester | 3 credit units

This course is an introduction to the ways in which social scientists leverage quantitative data to answer questions about human behavior and society. Students will learn how to critically evaluate social scientific research and will get hands-on experience in analyzing data. This course also trains students to use the R statistical software, which is used for all analyses.

Prereq for 4781: One course in political science at the 3000 level or above. GE data anly course.


4784: Complexity Science and the Study of Politics

Familiarize students with agent-based models and complexity science to better understand political behavior.

Prereq: 3780 or 4781, or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 4784E.


5412: Life, Liberty, and Property: Early Modern Political Thought

Why do we have government? What are the proper limits of its authority? What should we do when its demands conflict with our moral or religious beliefs? These questions lie at the center of early modern political thought, and gave rise to the idea of the social contract.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 4412 (471) or 6412 (671).


5413: Democracy, Equality, and Revolution: 19th Century Political Thought

This course examines some of the earliest and most influential attempts to wrestle with the practical implications of living in a world where people were not only considered equal in theory, but were becoming equal in fact. Topics of discussion will include the relationship between liberty and equality, individualism and conformity, alienation and exploitation, and morality and power.

Not open to students with credit for 6413 (672) or 4413 (472).


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2H. American Politics

2150: Voters and Elections

Image for Voters and Elections course

Semester | 3 credit units

Why do people vote? Are non-voters completely disengaged, or simply engaged in other kinds of political activities that they find more satisfying and more likely to affect their lives? This course examines recent research into voting behavior, the election context of voting, and political participation. We will learn why people are turned off of politics, and consider what kinds of changes might be necessary to rekindle the interest of voters and maintain the legitimacy of elections in the future.

GE soc sci indivs and groups course. SS Admin Cond course.


2367: Contemporary Issues in American Politics

Semester | 3 credit units

Discussion of and critical writing about controversies in contemporary American politics; aimed at fostering analytical abilities in reading comprehension, oral, and written expression.
Prereq: 101 or 300, and English 110 or 111, and Soph standing; or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 367.01 or 367.01H. GE writing and comm course: level 2 and soc sci orgs and polities course.


3115: Introduction to Policy Process

Image for Policy Process course

Semester | 3 credit units

This course provides students with an introductory overview of the policy-making process, paying particular attention to the actors who play a pivotal role in crafting public policies and the institutions through which they interact. Note that this is not a course on policy analysis. Rather, it is a course about the politics behind successful policy change (and the pitfalls of policy failure). The objective of the course is to encourage students to think like strategic political operatives, who can take idealistic policy goals and design strategies to translate these goals into law.


3170: Political Psychology

Introduces students to political psychology, its development from parent disciplines, its topics and problems, its research results and methods, and their applications to current affairs.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 403 or Psych 403.


3905: Political Manipulation

Image for Political Manipulation course

Semester | 3 credit units

Examines how political actors manipulate the rules and the salience and availability of information to shift political outcomes in their favor.


4110: The American Presidency

An examination of the American presidency, emphasizing the contemporary role of the president, the institutionalized presidency, and theories of presidential behavior.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 501.


4127: Governing Urban America

In this course, students will watch HBO's "The Wire" and complete readings that address the key themes of the show. In particular, we will focus on: (1) the major problems facing urban communities; (2) the economic, social and political forces that have shaped their development; (3) the structure and role of government in addressing urban problems; and (4) the major participants and stakeholders in city politics. Our examination will focus on the biggest policy challenges confronting big cities, including economic development, criminal justice issues, and education reform.

This course will examine the major problems facing urban communities in the 21st Century; the economic, social, and political forces that have historically shaped - and continue to influence - their development; the role of government in addressing urban problems; and the major participants and stakeholders in city politics.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 505.


4130: Law and Politics

This class examines the intersection of law, politics, and political science. We will look at a variety of current legal controversies -- from voter ID laws and voting technology to campaign finance regulations and partisan gerrymandering -- that shape the way that elections and politics work. We will carefully analyze Supreme Court decisions that govern the electoral process and the empirical research aimed at influencing policymakers and judges.

Analysis of the roles of judges and lawyers as participants in the American political process; analysis of courts as political institutions.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 516.


4132H: Supreme Court Decision Making

Study of explanations for Supreme Court decisions; use of those explanations and independent research to predict justices' positions in current cases.

Prereq: Honors standing or permission of instructor.  Not open to students with credit for 521H.


4136: Civil Liberties

Semester | 3 credit units

An examination of the civil liberties decisions by American courts, their legal and political bases, and their effects on government and society.


4140: Black Politics

Economic, political, and social constraints on the development of black political power; the efforts made by black people in recent times to organize for effective political action.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 504 or AfAmASt 4504 (504). Cross-listed in AfAmASt 4504.


4143: Race, Ethnicity, and American Politics

The goal of this course is to explore, discuss, and better understand the relationship between perceptions of racial identity, attributions of racial difference, and politics, broadly defined.


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2I. Comparative Politics

3220: Politics of the Developing World

Image for the Politics of the Developing World course

Semester | 3 credit units

The international system is characterized by tremendous inequality, and the gaps between the poorest and wealthiest countries commonly grow larger and larger. This class asks, given this, what is a developing country to do? That is, what are the political strategies, institutions, and problems that shape whether rapid economic and social development is possible, or whether poverty, marginalization, and malgovernance are likely to remain endemic. The course covers experiences selected from around the developing world (from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and even the European periphery), and is organized around three periods: (1) the post-war boom from the 1945 to the mid-1970s, (2) the return of free-market economics in the 1980s-90s, and (3) the contemporary era for financial globalization and crisis. This is a class about the politics of development, and no formal economics training is presumed.

GE soc sci human, nat, and econ resources and diversity global studies course.


3240: Political Violence

This course will expose students to major theoretical debates and broad empirical patterns of intrastate conflict during the post-World War II era.


4200: Politics of Modern Democracies 

A survey of the basic institutions and politics of modern democracies, with emphasis on representativeness and democratic stability. Online/distance learning course.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 535.


4231: China: State and Society

The 21st-century rise of China and its effects on Chinese politics and society.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 536.


4240: Latin American Politics

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Semester | 3 credit units

This course serves as in introduction to Latin American politics, and it is organized thematically to cover a broad swath of countries. The course provides a historical overview and theoretical debates surrounding many political, economic, and social actors and events in the region. It also analyzes the quality of democracy and the current problems and political developments Latin America. Students will engage critically, analytically, and thoughtfully with theories in political science and developments in the scholarship of Latin American Politics.


4285: Comparative Politics of the Welfare State

Semester | 3 credit units

Analyzes different kinds of welfare capitalism including social, economic, and political considerations shaping welfare policy; and contemporary welfare reform as an exercise in reallocation, reorganization, and budget-cutting.
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 578.


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2J. International Relations

2300: American Foreign Policy

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Semester | 3 credit units

Today, the United States possesses unrivaled power and influence in international politics. How is this power used? How is U.S. foreign policy developed and implemented? What interests should the United States pursue in key policy areas like terrorism, economic globalization and weapons proliferation? The goal of this course is to equip students with the knowledge and analytical skills needed to answer these questions and to critically evaluate the role of the United States in the world.

GE soc sci orgs and polities and diversity global studies course. Also offered as an online/distance learning course.


3240: Political Violence

This course will expose students to major theoretical debates and broad empirical patterns of intrastate conflict during the post-World War II era.


3910: Identity Politics

Semester | 3 credit units    

Explores who controls the meaning of identity in society; examining identity from the perspective of liberal, sociological, and social psychological, structuralist, and institutionalist theories.
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 547.


4231: China: State and Society

The 21st-century rise of China and its effects on Chinese politics and society.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 536.


4315: International Security and the Causes of War

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Semester | 3 credit units

This course examines various issues regarding international conflict and cooperation, including theories of strategic interaction and the causes of war.


4318: The Politics of International Terrorism

Semester | 3 credit units

Examines international terrorism's concepts and actors, the motivations and causes of terrorism, the experience of the United States, and tensions between freedoms and security.


4327: Politics in the Middle East

Semester | 3 credit units

Politics of Arab-Israeli relations, Perisan Gulf, Islamic fundamentalism, and oil; processes of change and their effects on governments and international relations.


4331: UN Systems

Semester | 3 credit units

Activities and potential of the United Nations system in promoting economic well-being, environmental management, resource sharing, social justice, and control of violence.
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 551.


4335: International Environmental Politics

Theories and debates over sustainable development, environment, and security, and effectiveness of international regimes with a focus on international fisheries management and global climate change.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 559.


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2K. Political Theory

2400: Introduction to Political Theory

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Semester | 3 credit units

Justice, it is said, requires giving people what they are due – but what exactly are people due? Does justice encompass freedom and equality, or are these often conflicting political values? If so, how do we trade them off against each other? How should a just state distribute the goods that we all need, such as rights and liberties, educational opportunities, and wealth? In addition to studying great philosophical answers to such questions, we will apply those answers to live debates about pressing political questions, for example, regulating sexual conduct, economic markets, affirmative action, environmental sustainability, immigration, and global justice.

GE soc sci orgs and polities course. SS Admis Cond course.


3420: Political Theories of Democracy

An examination of theories of democracy, focusing on normative and descriptive dilemmas such as participation versus liberty in democratic societies. 

Prereq: 2400 (210).  Not open to students with credit for 571.


3450: Ethics and Public Policy

Semester | 3 credit units

Contemporary approaches to public policy evaluation and their ethical foundations, including efficiency, security, rights, welfare, and equity. This course will give students the basic knowledge of contemporary public policy approaches and will provide critical tools to evaluate the ethical implications of specific policy positions.


5412: Life, Liberty, and Property: Early Modern Political Thought

Why do we have government? What are the proper limits of its authority? What should we do when its demands conflict with our moral or religious beliefs? These questions lie at the center of early modern political thought, and gave rise to the idea of the social contract.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 4412 (471) or 6412 (671).


5413: Democracy, Equality, and Revolution: 19th Century Political Thought

This course examines some of the earliest and most influential attempts to wrestle with the practical implications of living in a world where people were not only considered equal in theory, but were becoming equal in fact. Topics of discussion will include the relationship between liberty and equality, individualism and conformity, alienation and exploitation, and morality and power.

Not open to students with credit for 6413 (672) or 4413 (472).


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3. Other Courses

  • 3191: Political Science Internship
  • 4191: Political Science Internship
  • 4193: Individual Studies
  • 4998: Undergraduate Research in Political Science
  • 4999: Undergraduate Thesis Research
  • 4999H: Honors Thesis Research
  • 5797: Study at a Foreign Institution

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