Course Offerings

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)

Through a critical engagement with the television series "Black Mirror", this course is intended to help students understand and think critically about how various technologies are actively shaping what it means - and what it might mean in the future - to be human, live a good life, and act as a socio-political agent. We examine some of the central questions and themes presented in each episode through supplementary readings drawn from various fields, including political philosophy, literature, science fiction, and journalism. Topics include technology's impact on romantic and family relationships, social surveillance and punishment, and political leadership, among others.

Supervised Study Abroad

POL 288 - LeBlanc, Robin M.

This spring-term course covers a topic of current interest for which foreign travel provides a unique opportunity for significantly greater understanding. Topics and locations change from year to year and is announced each year, well in advance of registration. This course may be repeated if the topics are different. Offered when interest and expressed and department resources permit.

Seminar in Politics, Literature and the Arts

POL 290A - Ponce de Leon Seijas, Zoila

In this course, we study how literature, film, and other media are used to examine political themes and how they are used to achieve political ends. We address how politics shapes the arts and how the arts shape politics. The topic is announced at registration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. Only one such seminar may be counted towards the politics major.

Spring 2022, POL 290A-01: Seminar in Politics, Literature and the Arts: Dystopian Fiction, Horror, and Politics (3). An examination of the political commentary included in dystopian fiction and horror novels and films. Through the analysis of seminal novels such as 1984 and Brave New World , and recent films such as US , students assess different political concepts, including power, government, freedom, and equality. Literature and film can offer the most mesmerizing yet frightening depictions of our present and future world. At the same time, they can provide us with the opportunity to critically compare our contemporary experiences to those portrayed in them. Our main goal is to critically assess the role of the government and powerful actors in our society. We complement our analysis with a variety of academic readings and opinion pieces. (SS2) Ponce de Leon.

Special Topics in American Politics

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. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

 

Special Topics in American Politics

POL 295A - Uzzell, Lynn E.

A seminar in political science for students at the introductory or intermediate level. Topic, hour, and instructor are announced prior to registration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

 

Washington Term Program

POL 466 - Alexander, Brian N.

The Washington Term Program aims to enlarge students' understanding of national politics and governance. Combining academic study with practical experience in the setting of a government office, think tank, or other organization in Washington, it affords deeper insight into the processes and problems of government at the national level. A member of the politics faculty is the resident director, supervising students enrolled in this program while they are in Washington, D.C.

Winter 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 - 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.

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.

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 - Gray, Stuart J. (Stu)

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 - Miller, Caleb R.

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 - LeBlanc, Robin M.

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.

European Politics and Society

POL 245 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

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 - Morel, Lucas E.

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.

Gender and Politics

POL 255 - LeBlanc, Robin M.

This course investigates the gendered terms under which women and men participate in political life. Attention is given to the causes of men's and women's different patterns of participation in politics, to processes that are likely to decrease the inequalities between men's and women's political power, and the processes by which society's gender expectations shape electoral and institutional politics. The different effects of gender on the practice of politics in different nations are compared, with a special emphasis placed on advanced industrial democracies.

Contemporary Political Philosophy

POL 267 - Gray, Stuart J. (Stu)

The principal aim of this course is to help students understand and think critically about contemporary political life and the crises facing democracy. We examine central questions and concerns in contemporary political philosophy surrounding the topics of democracy, (neo)liberalism, identity, race, and gender. Attention is given to the sources and implications of crises threatening democratic governance, to processes of neo-liberalization, and to how we might better (re)cognize identity, hierarchy, and solidarity in contemporary conditions of pluralism. Consult with the instructor for specific course details.

Special Topics in Political Philosophy

POL 297A - Miller, Caleb R.

A seminar in political science for students at the introductory or intermediate level. Topic, hour, and instructor are announced prior to registration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2022, POL 297A-01: Special Topics in Political Philosophy: Populism and Fascism (3). At a time when many are worried about the rise of "illiberal" or "authoritarian" democracy, how should we think about both the increasing popularity of populist leaders and positions and growing fears around emerging forms of fascism? Are the two related? If so, in what ways? How should we define "populism" and "fascism"? In this course, we will survey recent debates surrounding the return of both populism and fascism within contemporary political discourse. In doing so, we will pay special attention to the respective intellectual traditions from which they hail, as well as the connections—conceptual, historical, and political—often drawn between them in an effort to both broaden and complicate our understandings of each. (SS2) Miller.

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

POL 370 - Uzzell, Lynn E.

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.

Winter 2022, POL 370-01: Seminar in American Political Thought: Slavery and the Constitution (3). 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? (SS2) Uzzell.

Seminar in Global Politics

POL 380A - Ponce de Leon Seijas, Zoila

Examination of selected topics dealing with international and comparative politics. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2022, POL 380A-01: Seminar in Global Politics: Immigration Attitudes (3). Prerequisite: POL 105 or instructor consent . 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. (SS2) Ponce de Leon Seijas.
 

 

Seminar in Political Philosophy

POL 396A - Miller, Caleb R.

An examination of selected questions and problems in political philosophy and/or political theory. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

POL 401 - Rush, Mark E. / Strong, Robert A. (Bob)

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. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

POL 403 - Gray, Stuart J. (Stu)

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. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - Alexander, Brian N.

Honors Thesis.

Fall 2021

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 - 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 - 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 - 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 Political Philosophy

POL 111 - Gray, Stuart J. (Stu)

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 - Miller, Caleb R.

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.

FS: First-Year Seminar

POL 180 - Miller, Caleb R.

First-year seminar.

Fall 2021, POL 180-01: FS: First-Year Seminar: Democracy and Its Critics (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only.  What's so good about democracy, anyway? From Hong Kong to Washington, D.C., democratic ideals of free and fair elections, informed public discourse, civil disobedience, and representative government are being tested, pushing citizens to ask themselves what they value about democracy and why they value it. In this course, we'll explore democratic theory from its beginnings in ancient Athens to the present, focusing on its relevance to the lived experience of 21st century citizens. In addition to reading classic works by Rousseau and Tocqueville, as well as more recent writings from thinkers like Hannah Arendt and David Foster Wallace, this course will incorporate various criticisms of democratic governance on the basis of both principle and practice, challenging students to consider whether democracy really is the best form of government, or if "true" democracy can ever be achieved. (SS2) C. Miller.

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.

The Conduct of American Foreign Policy

POL 214 - Strong, Robert A. (Bob)

Constitutional basis, role of the President and the Congress, the State Department and the Foreign Service, role of public opinion, political parties, and pressure groups. Relation to other political areas and to the United Nations and other international agencies.

Political Parties, Interest Groups, and the Media

POL 229 - Alexander, Brian N.

A study of the three central extra-constitutional mediating institutions in the American political system: political parties, interest groups, and the media. The course explores theoretical and practical, historical and contemporary developments in party politics, interest group politics, and media politics. Special attention to the debate between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists.

Post-Communism and New Democracies

POL 246 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

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 American Politics

POL 295A - Uzzell, Lynn E.

A seminar in political science for students at the introductory or intermediate level. Topic, hour, and instructor are announced prior to registration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

 

Special Topics in Global Politics

POL 296A - Lee, Inyeop

A seminar in political science for students at the introductory or intermediate level. Topic, hour, and instructor are announced prior to registration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Seminar in American Political Thought

POL 370 - 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.

Seminar in Global Politics

POL 380A - Rush, Mark E.

Examination of selected topics dealing with international and comparative politics. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Seminar in Political Philosophy

POL 396A - Gray, Stuart J. (Stu)

An examination of selected questions and problems in political philosophy and/or political theory. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - Alexander, Brian N.

Honors Thesis.