Curriculum

Political Science Major (36 Credits)

PO 111 World Politics

World Politics investigates the origins and structure of contemporary governmental institutions and the different forms that political activity takes in the early 21st century. In this introductory-level course, we will examine how the modern state came to be, how different governments are organized, and what contemporary problems are transforming traditional notions of politics and the role of governments. We will explore defining issues in world politics including, among others, democratization, political economy, governmental design, courts and constitutions, participation, and violence in politics. Case studies of countries will be used to illustrate differing political systems and their relationship to each country’s history and culture. General education choice for Part B. 3 credits

PO 112 American Politics and Government

American Politics and Government examines the institutions, values, and issues that define the American political community. In particular, it will focus on the ideals that continue to animate American political culture—equality, liberty, and democracy—and how these principles are and are not realized in practice. The course also covers the structure of American government, including Congress, the Presidency, the courts, and bureaucracy. General education choice for Part B. 3 credits

PO 273 Classical Political Theory

An introduction to political philosophy through the writings of major political thinkers of the classical period. The primary focus is a critical analysis of Plato and Aristotle. The course is concerned with the enduring issues of political life: the nature of freedom, the proper relationship of the individual to the state, the nature of justice, the nature and function of law, the rightful use of power, and the relative value of different forms of government. P: Sophomore standing. General education choice for Part C. 3 credits

PO 274 Modern Political Theory

An examination of Western political thought through the writings of important modern political theorists: Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, and Marx. A central focus of the course is the nature of liberalism, and the meaning of concepts such as rights, justice, freedom, equality, and democracy. P: Sophomore standing. General Education Choice for Part C. 3 credits

PO 391 Political Science Seminar

This course provides the political science major an opportunity for creative research. The goal is to expose students to the various ways of acquiring knowledge of politics and to philosophical problems involved in social inquiry, as well as to train them in the use of the scientific method. This course is required of political science majors and is to be taken either in the junior or senior year. It is open to any junior or senior social science major. 3 credits

Seven courses from among the following: (21 credits)

PO 231 Constitutional Law

An introduction to the constitutional doctrines and political role of the U.S. Supreme Court, focusing on its evolving constitutional priorities and its response to basic governmental and political problems. The course examines the nature of the Constitution and various theoretical approaches to interpreting it. Special emphasis is given to close textual analysis of various Supreme Court decisions. P: Sophomore standing. General education choice for Part C. 3 credits

PO 252 Topics in Political Science

A course in any area of Political Science that will focus on a single topic or theme. 3 credits

PO 253 Topics in Political Science

A course in any area of Political Science that will focus on a single topic or theme. 3 credits

PO 257 International Relations

An introduction to the political interaction of nations and non-national actors on the global stage. The course focuses on strategies nations employ in pursuit of national security, economic development, and global influence. Attention is given both to theories of international relations such as realism, idealism, and neo-realism as well as specific case studies. P: Sophomore standing. General education choice for Part C. 3 credits each

PO 259 American Foreign Policy

This course will focus on the American tradition in foreign policy with particular attention to the post-World War II era, including the Cold War and the post-Cold War era. Study includes the role of economic, social, scientific, and cultural aspects of foreign policy as well as diplomatic and national security concerns. P: Sophomore standing. General education choice for Part C. 3 credits

PO 261 Politics of the Developing World

This course examines the unique issues in the politics of the developing world, in particular the role that colonialism and development play in the politics of these states. Additional themes may include democracy, war, religion, ethnicity, environment, disease and gender. The course combines theoretical accounts of these concepts and issues with case studies and examples of contemporary political events in the developing world. P: Sophomore standing. General education choice for Part C. 3 credits

PO 322 Politics Through Film

This course focuses on film as a medium for the presentation of political events and ideas and as a means of shaping political opinion. P: Sophomore standing. General Education Choice for Part C. 3 credits

PO 323 Politics and Literature

This course explores the links between politics and literature, focusing on the unique powers of fiction for understanding, expressing, and responding to politics. The course situates literary texts in their specific historical and political contexts, and confronts the philosophical and conceptual problems at the intersection of literature and politics. Students read and discuss novels, short stories, and plays drawn from diverse historical and cultural settings, as well as secondary readings in history, political science, and literary criticism. General education choice for Part C. 3 credits

PO 325 Democracy and Its Critics

This course examines the theoretical and practical development of democracy from ancient Athens to the present by reading key thinkers and critics of democracy. Concepts to be addressed include majority rule, representation, participation, democratic citizenship, among others. Authors may include Rousseau, Marx, Dewey, Schmitt, Schumpeter, Dahl, Held, among others. General education choice for Part C. 3 credits

PO 341 World Revolution in the Twentieth Century (same as HI 341)

A study of the major revolutions of the twentieth century with special attention to the theoretical approaches to the nature of revolution. Primary attention will be given to the Mexican Revolution of l9l0, the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Chinese Revolutions of 1911 and 1949, and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. P: Sophomore standing. General education choice for Part C. 3 credits

PO 343 Imagining Heaven and Hell: Utopias and Dystopias in Theory and Practice (same as HI 343)

An examination of conceptions of utopia and dystopia throughout history and of efforts to bring utopian visions into practice. Utopian visions read and discussed will be both literary and political. In examining efforts to create ideal worlds, focus will be on what worked, what didn’t, and why. P: Sophomore standing. General education choice for Part C. 3 credits