Course Offerings

Winter 2023

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

American National Government

POL 100 - Alexander, Brian N.

A study of the constitutional origins and historical development of the national government with special attention to Congress, the presidency, the judiciary, and the role of political parties, interest groups, and the media in the policy process.

American National Government

POL 100 - Uzzell, Lynn E.

A study of the constitutional origins and historical development of the national government with special attention to Congress, the presidency, the judiciary, and the role of political parties, interest groups, and the media in the policy process.

Introduction to Global Politics

POL 105 - Lee, Inyeop

A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.

Introduction to Global Politics

POL 105 - Strong, Robert A. (Bob)

A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.

Introduction to Global Politics

POL 105 - Ponce de Leon Seijas, Zoila

A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.

Introduction to Political Philosophy

POL 111 - Lester, Quinn

An introduction to some of the perennial themes of politics, such as the relationship between human nature and political institutions, individual freedom and community, private conscience and civic virtue, the claims of reason and faith, the nature of law, obligation, and rights, among others. Our inquiry is guided by selections from influential works in the history of political thought, ancient, modern and contemporary, as well as plays, dialogues, comedies, tragedies, novels, and films. Consult with instructor for specific reading assignments and course requirements.

Environmental Policy and Law

POL 233 - Harris, Rebecca C.

A study of major environmental laws and the history of their enactment and implementation. Discusses different theoretical approaches from law, ethics, politics, and economics. Reviews significant case law and the legal context. Emphasis is on domestic policy with some attention to international law and treaties.

European Politics and Society

POL 245 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

Same as SOAN 245. A comparative analysis of European political systems and social institutions. The course covers the established democracies of western and northern Europe, the new democracies of southern and east-central Europe, and the post-Communist regimes in eastern and southeastern Europe. Mechanisms of European integration are also discussed with attention focused on institutions such as European Union, NATO, OSCE, and Council of Europe.

Race and Equality

POL 250 - Lester, Quinn

A study of important black figures in American political thought. The course focuses on the intellectual history of black Americans but also considers contemporary social science and public policies dealing with race in America.

Terrorism

POL 274 - Cantey, Joseph M. (Seth)

The principal goal of this course is to help students understand the complexities of contemporary terrorism. We discuss definitional issues, the historical roots of modern terrorism, and various micro- and macro-explanations for this form of violence. We also investigate the life cycles of terrorist groups: How do they emerge? What kinds of organizational challenges do they face? How do they end? Other topics include leaderless movements (e.g., lone "wolves") and state sponsorship. Throughout the course, students observe that terrorism is not a phenomenon unique to one class of people. The course ends with three weeks focused on a certain kind of terrorism which some have called violent Islamic extremism.

Seminar: Law and the Judicial Process

POL 342 - Harris, Rebecca C.

A survey of legal theories and the problems of reconciling such theories with the realities of administering a legal system. The course draws upon readings from literature, philosophy, legal scholarship, and political science. Topics include the nature of law and justice, constitutionalism, the role and power of courts and judges, and the function of a legal system.

Seminar: Lincoln's Statesmanship

POL 360 - Morel, Lucas E.

This seminar examines the political thought and practice of Abraham Lincoln. Emphasis is on his speeches and writings, supplemented by scholarly commentary on his life and career.

Seminar in American Political Thought: Slavery & the Constitution

POL 370B - Uzzell, Lynn E.

According to some people, the Framers of the Constitution deliberately constructed a government that would preserve and protect slavery. However, others claim that "the foundation of our Republic," including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, "planted the seeds of the death of slavery in America." According to this narrative, even the Constitution's compromises "set the stage for abolition." Who's right? Or is the truth more complicated than either of these competing narratives? This course will explore the influence of the institution of slavery on the making of the U.S. Constitution and the influence of the U.S. Constitution on the institution of slavery. Through research into primary documents and classroom discussion, this class will not merely examine the darker side of America's history; we will also explore the enduring questions: how do statesmen solve the the most difficult moral, political, and legal problems?

Seminar in Global Politics: Immigration Attitudes

POL 380D - Ponce de Leon Seijas, Zoila

An examination of immigration attitudes in Europe, the United States, and Latin America. When and why do individuals choose to migrate to a different country? How do natives of the receiving country react to immigration and form preferences on the issue depending on their socio-economic and political context? The study of immigration has received a lot of attention in recent times as a consequence of the increased political salience of the topic. We examine the different factors that determine immigration attitudes in European countries and the United States, as well as the transportability of these explanatory factors to other regions of the world, such as Latin America. Immigration has become a pressing issue in this region, as the flow of people to countries outside the region has reduced since the 2000s while immigration across Latin American countries has increased. 

Seminar in American Government: George H.W. Bush Presidency

POL 397C - Strong, Robert A. (Bob)

This seminar focuses on the presidential administration of George H. W. Bush and explores the domestic and foreign policy issues that he encountered in the White House including: the savings and loan crisis, mounting deficits, legislation on clean air and the treatment of Americans with disabilities, the end of the Cold War, the breakup of the Soviet Union, the transformation of regimes in Eastern Europe, and military interventions in Panama, Somalia and the Persian Gulf.  Students evaluate the Bush presidency after the passage of a quarter century and use recently opened archives of presidential oral history interviews in writing research papers on topics related to this presidency.

Directed Individual Study: Serbia’s Pro-Russian Policy: Causes and Consequences

POL 403C - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

This course permits a student to follow a program of directed reading, library research, or data collection and analysis in some area not covered in other courses.

Washington Term Orientation

POL 465 - Alexander, Brian N.

Graded Pass/Fail only. This orientation prepares students to succeed in the W&L Washington Term Program. The weekly class consists of discussion, lectures, guest speakers, and reading assignments that help students hit the ground running as policy professionals and public intellectuals in Washington, DC, during Spring Term. Limited to and required for students permitted to enroll in POL 466 Washington Term during Spring Term.

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - Alexander, Brian N.

Honors Thesis.

Fall 2022

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

American National Government

POL 100 - Harris, Rebecca C.

A study of the constitutional origins and historical development of the national government with special attention to Congress, the presidency, the judiciary, and the role of political parties, interest groups, and the media in the policy process.

American National Government

POL 100 - Morel, Lucas E.

A study of the constitutional origins and historical development of the national government with special attention to Congress, the presidency, the judiciary, and the role of political parties, interest groups, and the media in the policy process.

American National Government

POL 100 - Uzzell, Lynn E.

A study of the constitutional origins and historical development of the national government with special attention to Congress, the presidency, the judiciary, and the role of political parties, interest groups, and the media in the policy process.

Introduction to Global Politics

POL 105 - Rush, Mark E.

A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.

Introduction to Global Politics

POL 105 - LeBlanc, Robin M.

A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.

Introduction to Global Politics

POL 105 - Lee, Inyeop

A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.

Introduction to Global Politics

POL 105 - Strong, Robert A. (Bob)

A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.

Introduction to Political Philosophy

POL 111 - Lester, Quinn

An introduction to some of the perennial themes of politics, such as the relationship between human nature and political institutions, individual freedom and community, private conscience and civic virtue, the claims of reason and faith, the nature of law, obligation, and rights, among others. Our inquiry is guided by selections from influential works in the history of political thought, ancient, modern and contemporary, as well as plays, dialogues, comedies, tragedies, novels, and films. Consult with instructor for specific reading assignments and course requirements.

Introduction to Political Philosophy

POL 111 - Morel, Lucas E.

An introduction to some of the perennial themes of politics, such as the relationship between human nature and political institutions, individual freedom and community, private conscience and civic virtue, the claims of reason and faith, the nature of law, obligation, and rights, among others. Our inquiry is guided by selections from influential works in the history of political thought, ancient, modern and contemporary, as well as plays, dialogues, comedies, tragedies, novels, and films. Consult with instructor for specific reading assignments and course requirements.

State and Local Government

POL 203 - Finch, Kevin D.

An introduction to the structures and functions of United States subnational governments, with particular emphasis on the policy-making process and on the relationships between policy makers and the public. Computer-assisted analysis of survey-research data is included.

Public Policy

POL 232 - Harris, Rebecca C.

Introduction to public policy formation and implementation, decision making in government, the concepts and techniques of policy analysis, and ethical analysis of policy. Policy issues such as education, the environment, and public health are used as illustrations.

Congress and the Legislative Process

POL 234 - Alexander, Brian N.

A review of the constitutional origins and historical development of Congress as a representative and deliberative institution. Course focus includes the relation between the President and Congress, bicameralism, congressional elections, congressional reform, legislative rules and procedures, and the policy process. The course follows the current Congress using C-SPAN and Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report.

The American Supreme Court and Constitutional Law

POL 236 - Rush, Mark E.

A survey of the development of American constitutional law and a study of the role of the Supreme Court as both a political institution and principal expositor of the Constitution.

Post-Communism and New Democracies

POL 246 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

Same as SOAN 246. A comparative analysis of transition from Communism in the countries of the former Soviet bloc. Cases of successful and unsuccessful transitions to civil society, pluralist democracy, and market economy are examined. The comparative framework includes analysis of transition from non-Communist authoritarianism and democratic consolidation in selected countries of Latin America, the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and South Africa.

Latin American Politics

POL 247 - Ponce de Leon Seijas, Zoila

This course focuses on Latin American politics during the 20th and 21st centuries. Major topics include: democracy and authoritarianism; representation and power; populism, socialism, and neoliberalism; and economic development and inequality. The course places particular emphasis on Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, and Cuba. In addition, the course examines political relations between the United States and Latin America.

Special Topics in Politics: Presidential Scandals

POL 295A - Strong, Robert A. (Bob)

A seminar in political science for students at the introductory or intermediate level. Topic, hour, and instructor are announced prior to registration.

Special Topics in in American Politics: Creating the U.S. Constitution

POL 295C - Uzzell, Lynn E.

This course both examines and reenacts the creation of the U.S. Constitution. Students will study the historic debates of the 1787 Convention and then, in a role-playing game, frame a constitution through persuasion, compromise, private deals and parliamentary procedure.

Seminar in American Political Thought: Thomas Jefferson

POL 370A - Alexander, Brian N.

An examination of classic themes and current issues in American political thought. Depending on the instructor, emphases may include the Federalists, Anti-Federalists, Alexis de Tocqueville, Abraham Lincoln, and voices from the Progressive and civil rights eras. Course readings stress primary sources including speeches, essays, and books by politicians and theorists. The course explores the effort to reconcile liberty and equality, individualism and community, liberalism and republicanism, politics and religion, among other themes. The course highlights the contemporary relevance of the enduring tensions between political principles and practice.

Comparative Politics Seminar: The Material Culture of Politics

POL 380A - / Fuchs, Ronald W. (Ron)

What is the political purpose of architecture like the United States Capitol building or Tiananmen Square? How does jewelry work in diplomacy? Why have protestors all over the globe been toppling statues for centuries? Objects from 18th-century anti-slavery medallions to 21st-century bumper stickers to monumental architecture have long been important tools to assert regime authority and to press for social, economic, and political change. Students will investigate the relationship between various forms of material culture and politics. There will be a required class trip (fully funded) to Washington D.C. to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History.

Seminar in Middle Eastern Politics

POL 384 - Cantey, Joseph M. (Seth)

This course examines contemporary politics in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Topics include the role of colonial legacies in state formation, the region's democratic deficit, nationalism, sectarianism, and the influence of religion in politics. We explore inter- and intrastate conflict, including the use of terrorism, economic development and underdevelopment, and the recent Arab uprisings (commonly referred to as the Arab Spring). Throughout, we consider why the Middle East attracts as much attention from policymakers and scholars as it does, how analysts have studied the region across time and space, and why understanding different cultural perspectives is critical to understanding the region.

Directed Individual Study: Environmental Politics Reading Group

POL 401A - / Rush, Mark E.

Students will read Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Ministry for the Future is a fictional account of the near future in which global warming has reached catastrophic levels, and what measures—governmental and clandestine--will be necessary to bring global warming under control.   

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - Alexander, Brian N.

Honors Thesis.

Spring 2022

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

BLACK MIRROR

POL 271 - Gray, Stuart J. (Stu)

ABROAD: ITALY-FOOD,SHELTR,SPAC

POL 288 - LeBlanc, Robin M.

TOPIC:DYSTOPIAN LIT/FILM & POL

POL 290A - Ponce de Leon Seijas, Zoila

TOPIC: PRESIDENTIAL SCANDALS

POL 295A - Strong, Robert A. (Bob)

TOPIC:RHETORIC IN AMER POLITIC

POL 295A - Uzzell, Lynn E.

WASHINGTON TERM PROGRAM

POL 466 - Alexander, Brian N.