Course Information

Fall 2021 Courses

POLS 102: Introduction to Comparative Politics

Matthew Scroggs MWF 1:50 pm - 2:50 pm

Ian McDonald TTh 1:50 pm - 3:20 pm

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: Introduction 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: Research Methods in 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 255: Law, Lawyers, and Society

Todd Lochner MWF 12:40 pm - 1:40 pm

The role of law and legal institutions in the American political system. Examination of institutional actors such as lawyers, judges, and juries, as well as an examination of discrete case studies such as “mass torts” and the criminal justice system. What features define the American legal system; how does this system compare to those of other countries; what are its respective advantages and disadvantages?

Prerequisites: POLS 103.

Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.

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

Todd 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 310: Pillars of Western Political Thought: Plato to Machiavelli

John Holzwarth T Th 1:50 pm - 3:20 pm

Great works of political philosophy from ancient Greece and Rome, early Christianity, and the Renaissance. Themes include the foundations of morality and justice, the role of hierarchy in politics, and the role of politics in cultivating human excellence. Works may include Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War; Plato’s Apology, Crito, and Republic; Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethicsand Politics; Augustine’s City of God; and Machiavelli’s The Prince, among others.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.

POLS 420: Policy Analysis

Ellen Seljan T Th 9:40 am - 11:10 am

This course aims to introduce students to the public policy problems pertinent to Portland, Oregon, and teach quantitative policy analysis skills. We will examine the policies that Portland has tried in the past, evaluating their effectiveness, and consider policy solutions for the future. Students will learn several commonly used public policy methodologies, including cost-benefit analysis, systematic reviews, and the development and analysis of randomized control trials. The course will include numerous guest speakers who are experts in Portland public policy.

Prerequisites: ECON 103, MATH 105, MATH 123, MATH 255, POLS 201, or PSY


Restrictions: Junior standing required.