Spring 2022 Class Offerings

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Student must have credit in one of 3 courses : 1165, 1200 or 1300

Spring 2022 offers:

POLITSC 1200: Introduction to Comparative Politics

Semester | 3 credit units 

Introduction to modern nation-states outside the United States: problems of state- and nation-building, representation, conflict, and making of government policy in selected countries. Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 100 or 100H. This course is available for EM credit. GE soc sci orgs and polities and diversity global studies course.

POLITSC 1300: Global Politics

Semester | 3 credit units 

Cooperation and conflict in world politics. Covers basic theories of international relations and key issues, including security, political economy, international organizations, and the environment. Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 145 or 145H. GE soc sci human, nat, and econ resources and diversity global studies course.


Specialization Areas and Courses (consult a department advisor for availability). Other courses can be applied to the major with approval of the department.

Major programs must include at least 4 courses at the 2000 level or higher in one of the 4 specializations, and at least 1 course at the 2000 level or higher in each of the other 3 specializations.

POLITSC 3780 Data Literacy and Data Visualization, POLITSC 4781 Data Analysis in Political Science I, and POLITSC 4782 Data Analysis in Political Science II may be taken as a part of the major, but cannot be counted in one of the substantive course areas.


Foreign Policy and Security

POLITSC 2300: American Foreign Policy

Semester | 3 credit units

The role of the United States in world politics since the Second World War, emphasizing structural change in economic and political-military relations. Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 245 or 245H. GE soc sci orgs and polities and diversity global studies course.

POLITSC 3310: Defense Policy and National Security

Semester | 3 credit units 

This course addresses some of the basic issues surrounding national security policy. The primary focus is on policy issues related to the use of force between and within countries. The goal of the course is to provide the analytical tools and factual knowledge that are necessary to identify and assess current and future threats to national security.

POLITSC 4310: Security Policy

Semester | 3 credit units 

National security and military policy issues and trends since 1945; covers containment, deterrence, Vietnam, nuclear weapons, terrorism, and globalization. Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 552.

POLITSC 4315: International Security and the Causes of War

Semester | 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.

POLITSC 4318: The Politics of International Terrorism

Semester | 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.


Political Institutions and Processes 

POLITSC 4200: Politics of Modern Democracies

Semester | 3 credit units

A survey of the basic institutions and politics of modern democracies, with emphasis on representativeness and democratic stability. Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 535.

POLITSC 4218: Russian Politics

Survey of the politics of Russia and the former soviet states with emphasis on democratization, economic reform, institutional development, elites, mass behavior, and ideology. Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 533.

POLITSC 4285: Comparative Politics of the Welfare State

Semester | 3 credit units

Analyzes different kinds of welfare capitalism including social, economic, and political considerations shaping welfare policy; and contemporary welfare reform as an exercise in reallocation, reorganization, and budget-cutting.
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 578.


Political Economy and Development

POLITSC 3220: Politics of the Developing World

Semester | 3 credit units

The international system is characterized by tremendous inequality, and the gaps between the poorest and wealthiest countries commonly grow larger and larger. This class asks, given this, what is a developing country to do? That is, what are the political strategies, institutions, and problems that shape whether rapid economic and social development is possible, or whether poverty, marginalization, and malgovernance are likely to remain endemic. The course covers experiences selected from around the developing world (from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and even the European periphery), and is organized around three periods: (1) the post-war boom from the 1945 to the mid-1970s, (2) the return of free-market economics in the 1980s-90s, and (3) the contemporary era for financial globalization and crisis. This is a class about the politics of development, and no formal economics training is presumed.

POLITSC 4250: African Politics

Semester | 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.

POLITSC 4285: Comparative Politics of the Welfare State

Semester | 3 credit units

Analyzes different kinds of welfare capitalism including social, economic, and political considerations shaping welfare policy; and contemporary welfare reform as an exercise in reallocation, reorganization, and budget-cutting.
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 578.

POLITSC 4327: Politics in the Middle East

Semester | 3 credit units

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


International Theory

POLITSC 3430: Political Theories of 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: 2400 (210). Not open to students with credit for 570.

POLITSC 3910: Identity Politics

Semester | 3 credit units 

Explores who controls the meaning of identity in society; examining identity from the perspective of liberal, sociological, and social psychological, structuralist, and institutionalist theories. Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 547.

3912: Political Leadership

Semester | 3 credit units

Establishment of a working definition of political leadership, investigation of recruitment of leaders, analysis of major functions political leaders perform, and assessment of consequences of political leadership. Prereq: 1100 (100), 1200 (101), or 3100 (300). Not open to students with credit for 612.


A maximum combined total of 6 credit hours in the major can be included from the following categories: independent study; internships; and relevant research, problems and topics courses. Internship experiences must be distinct to count for more than 1 course.

POLITSC 3191: Political Science Internship

March-April | 1 Credit unit 

Combines experience in political institutions or policy processes with analysis of that experience. Prereq: Permission of the department. Repeatable to a maximum of 4 cr hrs. This course is graded S/U.

POLITSC 4998: Undergraduate Research in Political Science

March- April | 1- 10 credit units

Undergraduate research in variable topics. Prereq: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of 10 cr hrs or 10 completions. This course is graded S/U.

POLITSC 4999: Undergraduate Thesis Research

Semester | 2-4 Credit Units 

Thesis research with thesis adviser. Minimum of two semesters required of candidates for BA with research distinction in political science. Must meet standards for graduation with research distinction. Prereq: Sr standing, and enrollment in PolitSc major, and permission of instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of 12 cr hrs or 4 completions. This course is graded S/U.

POLITSC 4999H: Honors Thesis Research

Semester | 2-4 credit units

Honors thesis research with thesis adviser. Minimum of two semesters required of candidates for BA with distinction in political science. Prereq: Honors standing, and Sr standing, and enrollment in Political Science major, and permission of instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of 12 cr hrs or 4 completions. This course is graded S/U.