POL (Politics)

POL 101 Introduction to American Politics  (4 hours)

This course is an introduction to the fundamental questions of politics through an examination of the American founding and political institutions. Offered every year.

POL 111 International Relations  (4 hours)

This course is an introduction to the conduct of politics in a condition of anarchy. The central issues will be how and whether independent states can establish and preserve international order and cooperate for the achievement of their common interests in an anarchic environment. These questions will be explored through a reading of relevant history and theoretical writings and an examination of present and future trends influencing world politics. Offered fall semester.

POL 121 Introduction to Comparative Politics  (4 hours)

This course traces the evolution of major theories and methodologies of comparative politics from the 1960s to present, analyzing both their distinguishing characteristics and how these theories respond to the prominent political issues and intellectual debates of their times. Topics to be covered include: political behavior, political culture, revolutions, modernization, political economy, rational choice, institutions and the state with democratization serving as an overarching theme. Offered spring semester.

POL 200 Independent Study in Politics  (1-4 hours)

This course will be conducted as supervised research on a selected topic. Prerequisites: Submission of an application which contains a proposed, detailed outline of study approved by the instructor, the division chair, the student’s advisor and the provost or associate provost. The completed application must be submitted to the office of enrollment services no later than the final day of the drop/add period of the semester of study. For additional criteria, see Independent Study Policy (Sec. 6.15.).

POL 201 Constitutional Law  (4 hours)

In this course, we will examine the Constitution and the efforts of the United States Supreme Court to expound and interpret it. In addition to reading and briefing many Supreme Court decisions, students will examine some leading contemporary works in constitutional and legal theory. Offered spring semester in alternate years. Prerequisite: POL 101.

POL 211  War  (4 hours)

What is war? How and to what extent has it changed through the ages? Why are wars won or lost? When is war just? How will war be fought in the future, with what results? Offered alternate years.

POL 231 Asian Politics  (4 hours)

This course is a general introduction to the variety of political systems in Asia, concentrating particularly on the nations of East Asia. It will emphasize the methods of comparative political study and will focus on understanding the factors that determine different political outcomes in nations that share a geographical region and many similar cultural and historical influences.

POL 290 Special Topics in Politics  (4 hours)

Courses of selected topics will be offered periodically as determined by the needs of the curriculum. Prerequisite: See individual course listing in the current semester course schedule.

POL 302 American Political Parties (4 hours)

An in-depth study of the development of party organizations in the United States and an analysis of their bases of power. Offered fall semester of alternate years. Prerequisite: POL 101.

POL 303 Congress and the Presidency (4 hours)

An examination of the original arguments for the current American governmental structure and the problems now faced by these institutions. Offered spring semester of alternate years. Prerequisite: POL 101.

POL 304 African-American Politics (4 hours)

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the various strategies and tactics used by African-Americans to advance their economic, social and political agendas. As such, the course will provide a detailed examination of the successes and failures of the interaction between the United States political system and African-Americans from both an historic and present-day perspective. Offered every year. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

POL 311 United States Foreign Policy (4 hours)

A history of American foreign policy since 1945, emphasis in this course will be on the description, explanation and evaluation of events and policies, not the study of policy-making as such. It is strongly recommended that students successfully complete POL 111 International Relations before enrolling in POL 311.

POL 321 Political Development  (4 hours)

This course surveys substantive themes and theoretical debates in the study of political development including: what is meant by ‘political development,’ cultural versus structural explanations for change, whether development is driven by domestic or international influences, political transitions and the relative significance of particular groups or institutions. Readings build from theoretical touchstones from Human Nature and the Social Order II (Smith, Marx, Weber) to address contemporary cases in developing and developed countries. Prerequisite: POL 121 and COR 202, or permission of the instructor.

POL 331 Comparative Politics of China and Japan  (4 hours)

While Japan and China have both become prominent nation-states with increasing international influence, each country has achieved this feat through very different means. This course seeks to ascertain the sources and strength of their respective development paths as well as the prognosis for their political and economic futures. Topics to be covered include: state formation, ideology and political order, political and economic institutions, economic development strategies, ‘Asian values,’ state-society relations, regional and international relations. Prerequisite: POL 121 and POL 231, or permission of the instructor.

POL 341 Political Philosophy I: Ancient and Medieval  (4 hours)

This is an examination of the origins of philosophical reflection on the fundamental issues of politics, which is designed to lead to the critical consideration of the political views of our time. Among the topics discussed are the relationship between knowledge and political power and the character of political justice. Portions of the works of Aristophanes, Plato, Cicero and Alfarabi are examined. Offered fall semester in alternate years. Prerequisite: COR 201 or permission of the instructor.

POL 342 Political Philosophy II: Modern  (4 hours)

This is a critical examination of the peculiarly modern political and philosophical stance beginning where Political Philosophy I concludes. Among the authors discussed are Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant and Kojeve. Offered spring semester in alternate years. Prerequisite: POL 341, or permission of the instructor.

POL 361  European Politics (4 hours)

This course is a factual, conceptual and historical introduction to politics on the European continent, including (but not necessarily limited to) Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the European Union. These regimes will be studied through a comparison of their social structures, party systems, institutions and constitutions, political cultures and (if possible) their domestic policies. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: POL 101.

POL 371 Survey of Research Methods  (4 hours)

This course introduces students to qualitative and quantitative methods such as surveys, experiments, archival research, hermeneutical research, case studies and causal analysis. The class will examine these research methods from several different angles including research techniques specific to each method, skills to critically evaluate such research, the epistemological considerations and practical consequences of undertaking such research. Students considering graduate school or careers that require them to sue and assess research may find this course particularly valuable. Cross-listed as CRS 415 and SOC 310. Offered spring semester in alternate years. Prerequisite: Students with junior standing or permission of the instructor.

POL 400 Advanced Independent Study in Politics  (1-4 hours)

Supervised research on a selected topic. Prerequisite: Submission of a proposed outline of study that includes a schedule of meetings and assignments approved by the instructor, the division chair and the provost or associate provost. The completed application must be submitted to the office of enrollment services no later than the final day of the drop/add period of the semester of study. For additional criteria, see Independent Study Policy (Sec. 6.15.).

POL 411 War, Peace and Security (4 hours)

An in-depth treatment of one or more of the issues introduced in International Relations. The course will be conducted as a seminar, with the emphasis on reading, discussion and research. It will address the following questions: When and why do statesmen resort to force to resolve international conflicts? When does the threat of force succeed or fail and when and how ought one to employ it? When and why do states make peace? What are the causes of conflict in the present and future? What are the prospects for peace? Topics vary from year to year. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: POL 111 or POL 311.

POL 422 Seminar in Chinese Politics (4 hours)

This course explores the ongoing political, social and economic transformations in Communist China, with emphasis on the post-Mao era (1978 to the present). General themes include Maoist versus Dengist politics, revolution versus reform, market reform in a communist state, factionalism, central-local relations, state-society relations and China in the international order. The course also examines current political and social issues. Prerequisite: POL 121 and POL 231, or permission of the instructor.

POL 431 Seminar in Politics and Culture (4 hours)

This will be an upper level seminar in the study of the relationship of politics and culture. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the nature and difficulties of cultural study, with particular attention to ethnographic or participant observer research methods. Focus of the seminar changes yearly but has included such topics as Judaism and Jewishness, Women and Politics and Language and Politics. Prerequisite: POL 101 or junior standing.

POL 441 Seminar in Political Philosophy (4 hours)

An intensive examination of a text or theme introduced in the Political Philosophy sequence. Among the topics have been Rousseau’s Emile, Spinoza and The German Enlightenment. Offered spring semester in alternate years. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

POL 451 Internship in Politics  (1-4 hours)

An internship is designed to provide a formalized experiential learning opportunity to qualified students. The internship generally requires the student to: obtain a faculty supervisor in the relevant field of study; submit an application which addresses both the on-site and the academic components of the internship; and satisfy all internship requirements developed by the academic program which oversees the internship. The career development office maintains an extensive list of internships, all of which are graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisites: These are determined by the academic program overseeing the internship course, but typically include: permission of the faculty supervisor; meeting the qualifications for the internship program; obtaining permission of an internship site supervisor; and development of an internship plan which is acceptable to relevant parties including the faculty supervisor and others, as required by the relevant academic program.

POL 490 Advanced Special Topics in Politics  (4 hours)

A variety of courses will be offered to respond to topical needs of the curriculum. Recent courses include Moral and Political Leadership, Dealing with Diversity, Criminal Law and Citizenship in Theory and Practice. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.