Minor courses

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This page lists courses that were offered during the Fall 2021 semester and fulfill minor program requirements. This page will be updated for the Spring 2021 semester when the course schedule is finalized. For a full list of courses offered by the department and the minor program requirements, please refer to the undergraduate handbook, accessible below.


Campaigns and Elections minor

Required course: 

4160: Public Opinion

Semester | 3 credit units

Origins and nature of political attitudes; the content of public opinion; the public's influence on policy-making.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 503.


Elective courses:

3115: Introduction to the Policy Process

Semester | 3 credit units

This course provides students with an introductory overview of the policy-making process, paying particular attention to the actors who play a pivotal role in crafting public policies and the institutions through which they interact. Note that this is not a course on policy analysis. Rather, it is a course about the politics behind successful policy change (and the pitfalls of policy failure). The objective of the course is to encourage students to think like strategic political operatives, who can take idealistic policy goals and design strategies to translate these goals into law.


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Comparative Politics minor

Required courses:

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.

GE soc sci human, nat, and econ resources and diversity global studies course.


Elective courses:

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.

GE soc sci human, nat, and econ resources and diversity global studies course.


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.


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.


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Judicial Politics minor

Required course: 

4130: Law and Politics

Semester | 3 credit units

This class examines the intersection of law, politics, and political science. We will look at a variety of current legal controversies -- from voter ID laws and voting technology to campaign finance regulations and partisan gerrymandering -- that shape the way that elections and politics work. We will carefully analyze Supreme Court decisions that govern the electoral process and the empirical research aimed at influencing policymakers and judges.

Analysis of the roles of judges and lawyers as participants in the American political process; analysis of courts as political institutions.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 516.

Elective courses:

2400: Introduction to Political Theory

Semester | 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.

GE soc sci orgs and polities course. SS Admis Cond course.


4135: American Constitutional Law

Semester | 3 credit units

Assessment of the contemporary realties of Us governmental authority as interpreted by the judiciary; emphasis on judicial review, case and controversy requirements, and legislative and executive power.

Prereq; Not open to students with credit for 520.


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Legal Foundations of Society minor

Required course:

SOCIOL 2309- Introduction to Law and Society

Semester | 3 Credit units

Introduction to the law as a social institution, including the origins of law and its relationship to other social institutions, social control, and social change.

Required foundational course: 

2400: Introduction to Political Theory

Semester | 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.

GE soc sci orgs and polities course. SS Admis Cond course.


Elective Political Science courses: 

2400: Introduction to Political Theory

Semester | 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.

GE soc sci orgs and polities course. SS Admis Cond course.


3440: Political Theories of Justice

Semester | 3 credit units

Focuses on debates among political theorists about the meaning of justice; "What is justice?" and "How might we order our world justly?"

Prereq: 2499 (210). Not open to students with credit for 572.


4130: Law and Politics

Semester | 3 credit units

This class examines the intersection of law, politics, and political science. We will look at a variety of current legal controversies -- from voter ID laws and voting technology to campaign finance regulations and partisan gerrymandering -- that shape the way that elections and politics work. We will carefully analyze Supreme Court decisions that govern the electoral process and the empirical research aimed at influencing policymakers and judges.

Analysis of the roles of judges and lawyers as participants in the American political process; analysis of courts as political institutions.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 516.


4132H: Supreme Court Decision Making

Semester | 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.


4135: American Constitutional Law

Semester | 3 credit units

Assessment of the contemporary realties of Us governmental authority as interpreted by the judiciary; emphasis on judicial review, case and controversy requirements, and legislative and executive power.

Prereq; Not open to students with credit for 520.


Legal Foundations of Society is a interdisciplinary minor. Please consult the program requirement sheet for more details for other courses offered outside of the Political Science Department.


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Political Decision Making minor

Required course:

4120: US Congress

Semester | 3 credit units

Analysis of legislatures and legislators, with a focus on the US Congress and some attention to state legislatures and representative assemblies in other countries.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 517. GE soci sci orgs and polities course.


Elective courses: 

3115: Introduction to the Policy Process
 Semester | 3 credit units

This course provides students with an introductory overview of the policy-making process, paying particular attention to the actors who play a pivotal role in crafting public policies and the institutions through which they interact. Note that this is not a course on policy analysis. Rather, it is a course about the politics behind successful policy change (and the pitfalls of policy failure). The objective of the course is to encourage students to think like strategic political operatives, who can take idealistic policy goals and design strategies to translate these goals into law.


3912: Political Leadership

Semester | 3 credit units

Interest in the role of leaders in foreign policy decision-making and international relations has resurfaced in recent years. How much do leaders matter? What traits and contexts make leaders matter more? In what ways do leaders shape their states' foreign policies? What traits and behaviors lead to "good" leadership? What counts as "good" leadership? This class serves as a review of the classic and contemporary literature concerning leaders in international politics. Time will also be spent attempting to understand historical and contemporary political leaders' foreign policy behavior. Topics covered include but are not limited to: Age, Illness, Biology, Gender, Operational Code, Motivations, Personality, Life Experiences, and Narcissism.

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.


4132H: Supreme Court Decision Making

Semester | 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.


4160: Public Opinion

Semester | 3 credit units

Origins and nature of political attitudes; the content of public opinion; the public's influence on policy-making.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 503.


4320: Strategies for War and Peace

Semester | 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.


4331: UN Systems

Semester | 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.


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Political Theory minor

Required course: 

2400: Introduction to Political Theory

Semester | 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.

GE soc sci orgs and polities course. SS Admis Cond course.


Elective courses: 

3430: Political Theories of Freedom

Semester | 3 credit units

This course provides a survey of the various ways in which the value of human freedom has been invoked and pursued in political life. Topics of discussion will include the relationship between freedom and democracy, between “political” and “market” freedom, and between freedom and the necessary conditions for its enjoyment. Anarchist, feminist, liberal, libertarian, postmodern, republican and socialist perspectives will be considered.


3440: Political Theories of Justice

Semester | 3 credit units

Focuses on debates among political theorists about the meaning of justice; "What is justice?" and "How might we order our world justly?"

Prereq: 2499 (210). Not open to students with credit for 572.


4465: Feminist Political Theory

Semester | 3 credit units

Examines concepts in feminist political theory including the articulation of feminism, the subjects of feminist theory, the relation of race, class and sexuality to gender experience, and the use of feminist theory to transform conceptions of justice.
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for WGSSt 4465. Cross-listed in WGSSt.


5413: Democracy, Equality, and Revolution: 19th Century Political Thought

Semester | 3 credit units

This course examines some of the earliest and most influential attempts to wrestle with the practical implications of living in a world where people were not only considered equal in theory, but were becoming equal in fact. Topics of discussion will include the relationship between liberty and equality, individualism and conformity, alienation and exploitation, and morality and power.

Not open to students with credit for 6413 (672) or 4413 (472).


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World Politics minor

Required course: 

2300: American Foreign Policy

Semester | 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.

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


Elective courses: 

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.


3380: Political Analysis of International Economic Relations

Semester | 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 tp students with credit for 4380.


4300: Theories of International Relations

Semester | 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

Semester | 3 credit units

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


 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.


4320: Strategies for War and Peace

Semester | 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

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.


4331: UN Systems

Semester | 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.


4335: International Environmental Politics

Semester | 3 credit units

Theories and debates over sustainable development, environment, and security, and effectiveness of international regimes with a focus on international fisheries management and global climate change.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 559.

 


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