Fall 2022 Courses

POLS-102: Intro to Comparative Politics

Leah Gilbert MWF 11:30AM - 12:30PM

Introduction to the central questions in comparative politics. Fundamental differences in the organization of states, democratic political institutions (presidentialism versus parliamentarianism, for example), and domestic social forces (for example, social capital, ethnic versus nonethnic identities). The impact of
political organization on economic performance and social peace.

Prerequisites: None
Restrictions: None

POLS-102: Intro to Comparative Politics

Ben Gaskins MWF 9:10 am - 10:10 am 

Introduction to the central questions in comparative politics. Fundamental differences in the organization of states, democratic political institutions (presidentialism versus parliamentarianism, for example), and domestic social forces (for example, social capital, ethnic versus nonethnic identities). The impact of
political organization on economic performance and social peace.

Prerequisites: None
Restrictions: None

POLS-103: Intro to American Politics

Todd Lochner MWF 10:20 am - 11:20 am

The politics of the founding period; interactions within and among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches; the federal division of institutionalized powers; public opinion, interest groups, and political parties; the policy process in areas such as defense, welfare, civil rights and liberties, and international affairs.

Prerequisites: None
Restrictions: None

POLS-201-01: Research Methods Political Science

Ellen Seljan MWF 9:10 am - 10:10 am 

Introduction to the methodological principles and issues in political science research, using readings within and beyond political science. Identifying variables and mechanisms, developing and testing theories, collecting and measuring data, and assessing a study’s ability to achieve causal inference. Introduction to different approaches to research, including experiments, case studies, and regression analysis. Strongly
recommended for sophomores or juniors who have declared a POLS major, as this course is a prerequisite for thesis and some senior capstone courses.

Prerequisites: POLS 102 or POLS 103
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required

POLS-301: American Constitutional Law: Equal Protection and Due Process

Todd R. Lochner MW 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm 

The U.S. Supreme Court and judicial review from 1787 to the present. The court’s landmark constitutional decisions, as well as the theory and techniques of constitutional interpretation. The court’s authority within the wider political and social context of American government, with emphasis on the court’s jurisprudence in the areas of equal protection (including segregation and desegregation, affirmative action, gender discrimination, and sexual orientation discrimination) and due process (including privacy and abortion rights). Discussions of actual Supreme Court rulings, majority opinions, and dissenting arguments, as well as the political and historical context of those decisions in an effort to understand how and why the Supreme Court has played such an influential role in American politics and political thought.

Prerequisites: POLS 103
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required

POLS-307: Government and the Economy

Ellen Seljan TTh 9:40 am - 11:10 am 

A framework for analysis of the policy-making process. History, dynamics, and trends of major U.S. economic policies. The scope of American domestic policy; subsidies and aids to business, labor, agriculture, consumers; antitrust policy and the Federal Trade Commission; public-utility regulation; natural-resources policies; full employment; antipoverty and defense spending.

Prerequisites: None
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required

POLS-312:  Pillars of Western Political Thought: The Fate of Democracy

John Holzwarth Th 1:50 pm - 3:20 pm 

Democracy aspires to level the political playing field, but when power is taken from the hands of elites, where does it go? How thoroughly can democratic politics transform a culture, and what, if anything, can check its influence? Is the democratic age safer from radical evil, or does it help produce fascism and totalitarianism?
This course examines the pros, cons, and prospects of the democratic age, with primary emphasis on foundational thinkers from the early 19th century to the present. Readings may include Alexis de Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Nietzsche, Walt Whitman, Hannah Arendt, Isaiah Berlin, and Michel Foucault, among others.

Prerequisites: None
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required

POLS-313: Global Justice

John Holzwarth TTh 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Normative issues in international politics, including such topics as national sovereignty, just war theory, international intervention, human rights, cultural rights, secession and self-determination, the competing ethics of patriotism, nationalism, and cosmopolitanism. Historical approaches through such thinkers as Thucydides, Hobbes, Kant, Mill, followed by contemporary readings, including such authors as Rawls, Walzer, Kymlicka, Rorty, Nussbaum.

Prerequisites: None
Restrictions: Junior standing required

POLS-325: European Politics

Leah Gilbert MW 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Political challenges that face individual European countries and the European Union in the 21st century. Investigation of Europe’s historical political development, followed by a combination of in-depth case studies and comparative analyses to examine topics such as political parties, electoral systems, political participation, immigration, and postcommunism. Frequent comparisons of the trajectory of Europe and
individual European countries with the United States.

Prerequisites: POLS 102
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.

POLS-435: Topics in Comparative Politics

Ben Gaskins TTh 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Advanced seminar focusing on problems and concepts in comparative politics. Specific content varies;
examples of topics include state failure and civil war, electoral competition and legislative behavior, migration and integration, institutional design, and ethnicity and nationalism. Assignments are organized around a substantial seminar paper (25 pages or longer).

Prerequisites: POLS 102
Restrictions: Senior standing required