Current Courses

The following courses required for the B.A. in Political Science degree are available for the Autumn 2015 semester. A full list of courses offered by the department and requirements for the major can be found in the  Undergraduate Handbook [pdf] and the  Major Requirements handout.

Students should consult with an academic advisor prior to scheduling. You can make an appointment with an advisor by calling (614) 292-6961.

Course(s) required to declare the major 

*Students must have at least one of these

1100: Introduction to American Politics

Image of American FlagSemester | 3 credit units

This course is an introduction to the institutions, processes, and influences of American government, politics, and political behavior. The first part of the course will focus on political elites, discussing the history and theories of American democracy, as well as its political institutions (Congress, Executive, and Judiciary). In the second half of the course, we will shift gears and focus on mass political behavior and interests (public opinion, contemporary political debates, voting and campaigns and elections).  

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 3100 (300), 101, or 101H. This course is available for EM credit. GE soc sci orgs and polities course. SS Admis Cond course.


1200: Introduction to Comparative Politics

Image for Comparative Politics courseSemester | 3 credit units

This is a course that introduces students to politics as it takes place outside the United States.  The emphasis is on the big questions of the day: How should democracy be structured? How do countries confront the challenges of economic development, inequality, ethnic and racial cleavages, or nation building?  What are the politics that make possible transitions from authoritarianism to democracy?  And how are different authoritarian political systems structured?  The class will address questions of this nature in the context of an analysis of selected wealthy and poor countries around the world.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 100 or 101H. This course is available for EM credit. GE soc sci orgs and polities and diversity global studies course.


1200H: Honors Introduction to Comparative Politics 

Image for Comparative Politics courseSemester | 3 credit units

This is a course that introduces students to politics as it takes place outside the United States.  The emphasis is on the big questions of the day: How should democracy be structured? How do countries confront the challenges of economic development, inequality, ethnic and racial cleavages, or nation building?  What are the politics that make possible transitions from authoritarianism to democracy?  And how are different authoritarian political systems structured?  The class will address questions of this nature in the context of an analysis of selected wealthy and poor countries around the world.

Prereq: Honors standing, or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 100 or 100H. GE soc sci orgs and polities and diversity global studies course. SS Admis Cond course.


1300: Global Politics

Image for Global Politics courseSemester | 3 credit units

What are the causes of war? What are the conditions in which people from different parts of the world can work together to tackle common problems such as climate change? This course provides you with the basic theoretical perspectives to address important issues in world politics such as these, and also covers other topics including economic relations, the role of international organizations, and human rights, so that, at the end of the course, you will be able to critically analyze the phenomena in world politics as an informed citizen.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 105. GEC soc sci human, natural, and economic resources and diversity global studies course.


2150: Voters and Elections

Image for Voters and Elections courseSemester | 3 credit units

Study of US elections, focusing on voter attitudes, group behavior, and political participation.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 201 or 201H. GE soc sci indivs and groups course. SS Admin Cond course.


2300: American Foreign Policy

Image for American Foreign Policy courseSemester | 3 credit units

 Today, the United States possesses unrivaled power and influence in international politics. How is this power used? How is U.S. foreign policy developed and implemented? What interests should the United States pursue in key policy areas like terrorism, economic globalization and weapons proliferation? The goal of this course is to equip students with the knowledge and analytical skills needed to answer these questions and to critically evaluate the role of the United States in the world.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 245 or 245H. GE soc sci orgs and polities and diversity global studies course.


2400: Introduction to Political Theory

Image for Political Theory courseSemester | 3 credit units

Justice, it is said, requires giving people what they are due – but what exactly are people due? Does justice encompass freedom and equality, or are these often conflicting political values? If so, how do we trade them off against each other? How should a just state distribute the goods that we all need, such as rights and liberties, educational opportunities, and wealth? In addition to studying great philosophical answers to such questions, we will apply those answers to live debates about pressing political questions, for example, regulating sexual conduct, economic markets, affirmative action, environmental sustainability, immigration, and global justice.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 210 or 210H. GE soc sci orgs and polities course. SS Admis Cond course.


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Subfield courses

*Students must have a minimum of 33 hours of course work at the 2000 level of higher, and at least 24 of those hours must be at the 3000 level or higher. Students must have at least four courses in one of the subfields, and at least one course from each of the other three subfields:

American Politics

1105: American Political Controversies

Image for American Political Controversies courseSemester | 3 credit units

Introduction to politics and political science: power, democracy and authoritarianism, political participation, the state, political institutions, subfields of the discipline, and political research methodology.

GEC soc sci organizations and polities course. SS Admins Cond course.


2150: Voters and Elections

Image for Voters and Elections courseSemester | 3 credit units

Study of US elections, focusing on voter attitudes, group behavior, and political participation.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 201 or 201H. GE soc sci indivs and groups course. SS Admin Cond course.


3115: Introduction to the Policy Process

Image for Policy Process courseSemester | 3 credit units

Introduction to the workings of policy-making processes within governments, and the use of social science reasoning to evaluate and improve the content of policies.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 305.


3170: Political Psychology

Image for Political Psychology courseSemester | 3 credit units

Introduces students to political psychology, its development from parent disciplines, its topics and problems, its research results and methods, and their applications to current affairs.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 403 or Psych 403.


3905: Political Manipulation

Image for Political Manipulation courseSemester | 3 credit units

Examines how political actors manipulate the rules and the salience and availability of information to shift political outcomes in their favor.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 577.


4130: Law and Politics

Image for Law and Politics courseSemester | 3 credit units

This class examines the intersection of law, politics, and political science. We will look at a variety of major issues — ranging from voter ID laws and voting machine technology to campaign finance and gerrymandering — that affect the way that elections and politics work. We will also carefully analyze the legal decisions that govern the electoral process and the academic research aimed at influencing policymakers and judges. Students will need to complete the assigned readings on time, come to class ready to discuss the material, work in groups to compose a legal brief, and argue their case before a mock Supreme Court.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 516.

Autumn 2015 Syllabus [pdf]


4132H: Supreme Court Decision Making 

Image for Supreme Court courseSemester | 3 credit units

Study of explanations for Supreme Court decisions; use of those explanations and independent research to predict justices' positions in current cases.

Prereq: Honors standing or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 521H.


4137: The Politics of Legal Decision Making

Image for Legal Decision Making courseSemester | 3 credit units

An examination of the literature relating social-science theories and research to the law, focusing on the criminal justice system.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 515.


4162: Religion and American Politics

Image for Religion and American Politics courseSemester | 3 credit units

Investigates the relationship between politics and religion in America, considering historical context and influence of religion on political culture, coalitions and political behavior.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 576.


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Comparative Politics

3220: Politics of the Developing World

Image for Politics of the Developing World courseSemester | 3 credit units

A general introduction to the theoretical and substantive literature dealing with the historical development and contemporary characteristics of the new states of Asia and Africa.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 541. GE soc sci human, nat, and econ resources and diversity global studies course.


3596: Nationalism and Ethnicity

Image for Nationalism and Ethnicity courseSemester | 3 credit units

Nationalism and Ethnicity explores identity and the politics of belonging — especially nationalism and ethnicity — around the world. Students will learn about where these identities come from and how they are formed, as well as the impacts of nationalism and ethnicity on how democracy functions, whether development occurs, and where we see violence and civil war. The course also allows students to gain first hand experience with conducting research: students will collect original ethnographic data on campus and learn how to analyze it using qualitative research practices,  as well as learn how to analyze public opinion data on nationalism and ethnicity using quantitative methods. The course will be discussion (rather than lecture) based.


4212: From Dictatorship to Democracy in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece

Image for Dictatorship to Democracy courseSemester | 3 credit units

Survey of the emergence and distinguishing characteristics of stable democracies and modern societies in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. 

GE soc sci orgs and polities and diversity global studies course. 


4219: European Political Development

Image for European Political Development courseSemester | 3 credit units

Examines the origins of contemporary crisis in Europe.  Topics include the politics of immigration and the rise of radical far-right parties; the reinvention of social democracy and the resulting counter-revolution of the far-left; a financial crisis that has crippled some countries while allowing others to pick up the pieces relatively quickly; and the increasingly contentious issue of how to incorporate women equally into political and economic life. 

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 529.


4236: Southeast Asian Politics

Image for Southeast Asia Politics courseSemester | 3 credit units

Government and politics in the Philippines, Indonesia, Indo-China, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma; problems of this region in relation to world politics.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 636.


4240: Latin American Politics

Image for Latin American Politics courseSemester | 3 credit units

A study of political processes, institutions, and groups in Latin America, with emphasis on constitutional, geographical, social, and economic environments in which they operate.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 540.01.


4250: African Politics

Image for African Politics courseSemester | 3 credit units

An introductory survey of Sub-Saharan African politics from the pre-colonial period to the contemporary era. It will examine the common themes, issues, and trends that shape politics and development across forty-nine countries. Students will gain an understanding of how context shapes political behavior and how historical and political forces have influenced African politics. 

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 4597.02 (Au13, African Politics), 4250H, or AfAmASt 4250. GE soc sci orgs and polities and diversity global studies course. Cross-listed in AfAmASt. 


4282: The Politics of Income Inequality

Image for Income Inequality courseSemester | 3 credit units

Introduces fundamental politics of income inequality and redistribution, including social policy development, redistributional policy differences between countries, and popularity of differing welfare programs.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 582.


4597.02: Illicit Markets and Organized Crime

Image for Political Problems of the Contemporary World course2nd Session | 3 credit units

Despite efforts by states to prevent trade in certain goods, illicit markets thrive in a variety of contexts. To make sense of the prevalence of such markets, as well as their impacts on important social, political, and economic issues, this course provides an overview of the development and organization of domestic and transnational markets for illegal goods. The course examines social scientific and popular work on the development of markets for various illicit goods, as well as the ways in which black market trafficking of humans, natural resources, drugs, weapons, protection, etc. affect outcomes such as order, violence, welfare, and development. 

Prereq: Jr or Sr standing. Not open to students with credit for 597.02, 597.02E, or 597.02H. GE cross-disciplinary seminar.


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International Relations

2300: American Foreign Policy

Image for American Foreign Policy courseSemester | 3 credit units

Today, the United States possesses unrivaled power and influence in international politics. How is this power used? How is U.S. foreign policy developed and implemented? What interests should the United States pursue in key policy areas like terrorism, economic globalization and weapons proliferation? The goal of this course is to equip students with the knowledge and analytical skills needed to answer these questions and to critically evaluate the role of the United States in the world.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 245 or 245H. GE soc sci orgs and polities and diversity global studies course.


4300: Theories of International Relations

Image for International Relations courseSemester | 3 credit units

Various theories of world politics, such as realism, liberalism, long cycles, domestic and bureaucratic politics, and decision-making level theory.

Prereq: 1300 (145). Not open to students with credit for 550.


4315: International Security and the Causes of War

Image for International Security courseSemester | 3 credit units

Examines various issues regarding international conflict and cooperation, including theories of strategic interaction and the causes of war.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 544.


4318: The Politics of International Terrorism

The Politics of International Terrorism ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Examines international terrorism's concepts and actors, the motivations and causes of terrorism, the experience of the United States, and tensions between freedoms and security.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 548.


4320: Strategies for War and Peace

Strategies of War and Peace ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Examination of how political leaders make decisions, emphasizing such issues as leaders' reasoning processes and the impact of public opinion and foreign policy bureaucracies.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 545.


4327: Politics in the Middle East

Politics in the Middle East ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Politics of Arab-Israeli relations, Perisan Gulf, Islamic fundamentalism, and oil; processes of change and their effects on governments and international relations.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 546.


4331: The United Nations System

The United Nations System ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Activities and potential of the United Nations system in promoting economic well-being, environmental management, resource sharing, social justice, and control of violence.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 551.


4380: Political Analysis of International Economic Relations

a globe sitting on currency from multiple countriesSemester | 3 credit units

Examines the relationship between political and economic events in the international system; topics include global interdependence, inequality, scarce resources, and periphery nation strategies.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 553 or 553H.


4597.01: International Cooperation and Conflict

a U.S. soldier walking with children in a forgein countrySemester | 3 credit units

An examination of the relationships industrialized countries have with each other and developing nations; focus on potential for cooperation and conflict.

Prereq: Honors and Jr or Sr standing. Not open to students with credit for 597.01 or 597.01H. GE cross-disciplinary seminar.


4893H: Honors Seminar in International Politics 

Honors Seminar in International Politics ImageSemester | 3 credit units

Intensive study of selected political science topics and issues in a seminar format; topics vary. Topic for Fall 2015: critical security and global governance. 

Prereq: Honors standing or permission of instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of 12 cr hrs.


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Political Theory

2400: Introduction to Political Theory

Image for Political Theory courseSemester | 3 credit units

Justice, it is said, requires giving people what they are due – but what exactly are people due? Does justice encompass freedom and equality, or are these often conflicting political values? If so, how do we trade them off against each other? How should a just state distribute the goods that we all need, such as rights and liberties, educational opportunities, and wealth? In addition to studying great philosophical answers to such questions, we will apply those answers to live debates about pressing political questions, for example, regulating sexual conduct, economic markets, affirmative action, environmental sustainability, immigration, and global justice.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 210 or 210H. GE soc sci orgs and polities course. SS Admis Cond course.


3430: Political Theories of Freedom

protester holding up a sign that says "Freedom"Semester | 3 credit units

Provides an overview of the various ways in which the value of human freedom has been understood and pursued in political life.

Prereq: 2100 (210). Not open to students with credit for 570.


3450: Ethics and Public Policy

a bronze scale sitting on an ethics bookSemester | 3 credit units

Contemporary approaches to public policy evaluation and their ethical foundations, including efficiency, security, rights, welfare, and equity.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 304.


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Other courses:

3191: Political Science Internship

4191: Political Science Internship

4998: Undergraduate Research in Political Science

4999: Undergraduate Thesis Research

4999H: Honors Thesis Research

5797: Study at a Foreign Institution

 

Note: These requirements are effective for students entering the university June 1, 2012 or after. Students who entered the university before June 2012 should talk with a political science advisor and consult the transition policies from quarters to semesters. 

 


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