Course Offerings

Spring 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.

FS: First-Year Seminar

POL 180 - Rush, Mark E. / Kuettner, Paul R. (Dick)

First-year seminar.

Spring 2021, POL 180-01: First-Year Seminar: Minority Voting Rights and Gerrymandering (3).  Prerequisite: First-year class standing. This course introduces students to the history of voting rights discrimination against minorities in the United States with a particular focus on African Americans and gerrymandering. The course begins with a study of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and how it has evolved through congressional amendments and Supreme Court decisions. We then investigate theories of minority representation and democracy. To place the theoretical aspects of the course into practical perspective, the class entails a lab component in which students learn to conduct basic spreadsheet and statistical analysis of data and use redistricting software (ArcMap). We will use Virginia elections and census data to produce alternative election maps of Virginia to demonstrate how we can make elections fairer, more competitive and create more opportunities for minority representation. Approved for Experiential Learning credit. (SS2) Rush and Keuttner.

 

Separation of Powers in the U.S. Constitution

POL 230 - Murchison, Brian C.

This course probes the origins, development, advantages, and disadvantages of the tripartite structure of the federal government, beginning with an examination of the background and text of Articles I, II, and III of the U.S. Constitution. We analyze structural explanations provided in the Federalist Papers, along with Classical and Enlightenment sources addressing the nature of political power, the problem of faction, the role of checks and balances, and the purpose of separated functions. In-depth analyses of leading U.S. Supreme Court decisions trace evolving conceptions of legislative. executive. and judicial powers along with attention to the relevance of war and economic crisis to the authority and function of each branch. In discussions of landmark decisions, students compare the legal thought of a number of Justices--John Marshall, William Howard Taft, Robert Jackson, William Brennan, Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and Antonin Scalia. We trace the creation of the so-called "fourth branch" of government--the administrative state-- and examine whether this "branch" can be reconciled with ideas of representative democracy and constitutional text. Students prepare and deliver two oral arguments based on assigned cases and write an appellate brief on a separation-of-powers topic.

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.

Spring 2021, POL 295A-01: Special Topics in American Politics: Rhetoric in the Structure of American Politics (3). This course explores the function and importance of rhetoric within American politics.  It will consider the purpose of rhetoric in a republican form of government; how the structure of America's Constitution was meant to foster rhetoric and deliberation; and how technological developments - such as television and the internet - have changed the meaning or use of rhetoric in America.  Students will also study how Aristotle classified and critiqued the various kinds of speeches, and that understanding will inform our examination of some of the most important political oratory in American history. (SS2) Uzzell.

Special Topics in American Politics

POL 295B - STAFF

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.

Spring 2021, POL 295B-01: Special Topics in American Politics: The Politics of Memorials: Making and Shaping History (3). From Cape Town to Charlottesville, memorials are often sources of intense controversy in the U.S. South and beyond. In this course, students explore some of the most hotly debated topics in commemoration. These include: what do memorials mean? What is their purpose? And how ought communities to balance the demands of victims, the public, and future generations? Students engage in these questions through class readings, discussion, original research projects, and site visits. (SS2) Britt.   

Special Topics in Global Politics

POL 296A - 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.

Spring 2021, POL 296A-01: Special Topics in Global Politics: Comparative Constitution-Building (3). This course introduces students to how a constitution is formed. Constitution-building processes have played a critical part in the history of many countries, including the USA, Spain, and Germany. Often they marked an important break with the past, leaving behind authoritarian rule or colonial government. Constitution-building may take place in the wake of traumatic events such as military defeat or revolutionary upheaval. It can have powerful consequences--both good and ill--for the future of the country in which it takes place. Through historical analysis, case studies, and international comparison, students investigate different processes of creating a constitution. (SS2) Strong.

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 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 - 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. / Strong, Robert A. (Bob)

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 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 - 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.

East Asian Politics

POL 227 - Lee, Inyeop

An investigation of East Asian political systems and the global, historical, and cultural contexts in which their political institutions have developed. Students consider the connections between political structure and the rapid social and economic changes in East Asia since World War II, as well as the effectiveness of varied political processes in addressing contemporary problems. Emphasis is given to China, Korea, and Japan.

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.

Classical Political Philosophy

POL 265 - Gray, Stuart J. (Stu)

An examination of some of the central questions and concerns of classical political philosophy. The course is not restricted to a historical period but extends to classical themes within contemporary culture. A mixture of plays, novels, epics, dialogues, treatises, and films are used. Authors, texts, and themes vary from year to year. Consult with the instructor for specific course details.

Intelligence and National Security

POL 278 - Cantey, Joseph M. (Seth)

This course examines the responsibilities of, and challenges faced by, the U.S. intelligence community (IC). Drawing on current literature and case studies, topics include the history and evolution of the IC, the intelligence cycle (direction, collection, processing, analysis, dissemination), ethical and moral issues, oversight and accountability, covert action, and intelligence reform. Through an intelligence lens, we explore the rise of al Qaeda, 9/11 and its aftermath, successes and failures associated with the Iraq War, Russian efforts to sway the 2016 US presidential election, and more.

Special Topics in American Politics

POL 295A - Uzzell, Lynn E. / 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.

Winter 2021, POL 295A-01: Special Topics in American Politics: Creating the U.S. Constitution (3). No prerequisite. 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. (SS2) Uzzell.

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.

Architecture of Urban Community

POL 388 - LeBlanc, Robin M.

This seminar investigates the literal and social architecture of democratic community in cities around the globe, examining how the physical spaces and political and economic power structures of urban life support or constrain the civic relationships of residents of varying backgrounds and unequal socioeconomic positions, shaping citizens' opportunities for collective empowerment and self-determination. Course addresses issues of poverty, exclusion, and environmental limits.

Internship

POL 453 - Strong, Robert A. (Bob)

Supervised off-campus experience in a governmental agency or political institution. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.  May be carried out during the summer.

Internship

POL 456 - Strong, Robert A. (Bob)

Supervised off-campus experience in a governmental agency or political institution. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. May be carried out during the summer.

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - Gray, Stuart J. (Stu)

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - Harris, Rebecca C.

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - Ponce de Leon Seijas, Zoila

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - Alexander, Brian N.

Honors Thesis.

Fall 2020

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.

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 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.

FS: First-Year Seminar

POL 180 - Strong, Robert A. (Bob)

First-year seminar.

Fall 2020, POL 180-01: First-Year Seminar: Elections (3).  First-Year Seminar.  Prerequisite: First-year class standing. This seminar will follow the major events in the 2020 American presidential election while providing context and content for critical analysis of the current election cycle.  Topics covered will include: the history of presidential selection in the American political regime, the origins and evolution of the primary/caucus nomination system, the role of media in presidential politics, the lessons learned from the presidential election of 2016, the contested issues in 2020 and the future of presidential politics following the unusual events that have occurred in the current presidential selection process. (SS2) Strong.

FS: First-Year Seminar

POL 180 - Strong, Robert A. (Bob)

First-year seminar.

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 - Cantey, Joseph M. (Seth)

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.

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.

The Presidency

POL 235 - Alexander, Brian N.

A review of the origins and development of the office of the presidency from Washington to the present, with an emphasis on post-war administrations. Topics include constitutional issues arising from presidential powers, policy making within the executive branch, and modern presidential leadership styles.

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. In Fall, 2020, special attention will be given to the impact of COVID-19 on the constitution.

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 - 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.

Fall 2020, POL 295A-01: Special Topics in American Politics: Elections (3). Open to students of all classes and majors. No prerequisite. A special offering for students to follow the major events in the 2020 presidential election and attempt to put those events in context by studying the structure of American presidential elections, recent campaigns, candidate biographies, long-term issues in national politics, and the current state of partisan division in American political life.  Students write short papers on matters related to the election and a substantial paper analyzing its results. (SS2) Strong.

Special Topics in American Politics

POL 295B - LeBlanc, Robin M. / Fuchs, Ronald W. (Ron)

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.

Fall 2020, POL 295B-01: Special Topics in American Politics: The Material Culture of Protest (3). No prerequisite. What is the meaning of that rainbow sticker on your friend's computer? Does the slogan on your t-shirt make history? Why did millions of women don hand-knitted pink pussy hats for the 2017 Women's March? Objects from 18th-century anti-slavery medallions to 21st-century bumper stickers have long been important tools for social, economic, and political change. Students investigate the relationship between this kind of material culture and political protest, curating an exhibit about the objects of protest they have studied. Students travel on a required class field 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. (SS2) LeBlanc and Fuchs.

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: Freedom

POL 385 - Gray, Stuart J. (Stu)

An examination of differing conceptions of political and individual freedom in the modern world. We explore the political thought of thinkers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Foucault, and Emma Goldman. Students analyze the meaning of freedom through novels and/or short stories, including the work of authors such as Jonathan Franzen and Franz Kafka. Key questions include the meaning and ends of freedom, its conditions, and connections between personal and political articulations of freedom.

Directed Individual Study

POL 403 - Cantey, Joseph M. (Seth)

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 - Harris, Rebecca C.

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - Alexander, Brian N.

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - Gray, Stuart J. (Stu)

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

POL 493 - Ponce de Leon Seijas, Zoila

Honors Thesis.