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Political Science Courses

Program | Faculty | Courses


All courses carry 3 credits unless otherwise specified.


Thesis and Dissertation

699 Master’s Thesis
Credit, 6.

899 Doctoral Dissertation
Credit, 10.

American National Government and Politics

701 Directed Studies in American Government and Politics

702 The American Presidency

Constitutional framework and politics of the modern institutional presidency. Problems of presidential leadership and decision making in selected areas of domestic and foreign policy. Analysis of presidential power and responsibility.

703 The Legislative Process
Analysis of the structures, procedures, and norms of the U.S. Congress. Emphasis on congressional elections, representation, committees, legislative parties, roll call votes, and congressional interaction with interest groups and the executive branch.

704 American Federalism
American system of federalism as it has developed and expanded from the early years of the Republic to the present time. Emphasis on changing nature of intergovernmental relations in both legal and programmatic terms.

705 The American Founding
Survey of American political thought from the Puritans through the Civil War. Emphasis on the framing of the Constitution and its interpretation. Focus on the development of republican institutions and the nature of the federal union.

707 The American Voter
Citizen participation in American politics. Nature of elections. Structure and patterns of voting and non-voting; role of psychological and sociological variables. Citizen attitudes and other modes of public actvity. Introduction to analytical methods and techniques in the study of political behavior.

708 American Political Party Systems
Structure and activities of American national and state parties. Origin and dynamics of the party system. Impact on individual and group political behavior and on government and public policy.

Public Administration

524 Administrative Law
The law governing public administration. Attention to legal reasoning, liability, due process, informalism, and public access. The apparatus of administration.

620 Public Administration
Organization of bureaucracy, bureaucratic life, constitutional position and political role of governmental bureaucracy. Not open to candidates for graduate degrees in Political Science.

730 Proseminar in Public Administration

731 Tutorial in Public Administration

732 Problems in Public Administration
Special seminars on issues and controversies in the study and practice of public administration and management.

733 Public Management
Public administration as activity, profession, and discipline; attention to the contributions and limitations of organization theory and political science.

734 Public Administration: Responsibility
Ethical obligations of the public administrator. Whether membership in a large governmental bureaucracy vitiates individual moral responsibility. To whom or what the public administrator has moral obligations: elected officials, the law, hierarchal superiors, professional standards, agency ethos, regime values, universal moral standards.

735 Public Personnel Administration
Comprehensive examination of employee relations in government, covering issues such as hiring and firing, political executives and the career service, work organizations and institutional authority, employee rights and collective action.

736 Public Budgeting
Theory and techniques of budgeting in governmental fiscal relations and the political processes that relate to decision making within the governmental organization.

737 Public Sector Labor Relations
Nature of labor relations processes and practices at all levels of American government. Attention to the political variables that distinguish public sector from private sector labor relations.

Comparative Politics and Area Studies

631 Political Development and Modernization
Issues of generating and managing political change in the third world; formal and informal roles of institutions such as parties, legislatures, bureaucracy, and the military; analysis of institutional under-development; stabilizing and preserving the state; leadership; theories of political development.

632 Government and Politics of Scandinavia
The rise of the Scandinavian states—Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden; emphasis on the interplay of political, social, and economic factors in shaping democracy. The Scandinavian welfare state model and its domestic and international dimensions.

636 Government and Politics of Russia
Historical and ideological influences on politics; the interconnection of social and political institutions and processes; membership, organization, and operation of political parties; the constitution and the governmental structure and their operation; the politics of change, resistance, and ethnicity; and prospects for the future.

640 Government and Politics of South America
Comparative analysis of interest groups, political parties, and government institutions of the South American countries. Emphasis on background and political culture in which Latin American politics and government take place. Alternative models of social and political modernization.

641 Government and Politics of Central America and the Caribbean
Comparative analysis of the interest groups, political parties, and government institutions of the Central American and Caribbean countries. Emphasis on revolution and the role of the U.S. Globalization, democratization, and development.

643 Government and Politics of East Africa
Issues of development in Kenya and Tanzania. Comparative analyses of post-independence development models: free-market capitalism vs. agrarian socialism. Impact of global capitalism on dependent peripheral economies. Issues of democratization and multipartyism in the 1990s.

645 Government and Politics of the Caribbean
Comparative political analyses of four English-speaking Caribbean nations: Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Grenada. Course examines the political institutions, processes and movements which give expression to the forces at work in these societies, especially those of race, class, ethnicity, relations of production, and global capitalism.

685 Comparative Public Policy
Political aspects of economic and social policy in advanced industrial states. Focus on political economy and policy innovations in several Western industrial states. Areas compared: economic management, including taxation, stabilization, and distribution, labor relations, health, and education.

710 Proseminar in Comparative Politics
New methodologies and theories that focus on institutions, ideologies, and systems. Also, interdisciplinary theoretical approaches to the study of culture and history. Guest speakers with expertise in area studies.

711 Tutorial in Comparative Politics

712 Directed Studies in Comparative Polities

771 Tutorial in Area Studies

772 Directed Studies in Area Studies

777 Latin American Politics
Comparative study of Latin American politics and government.

778 European Politics
A comparative study of major contemporary themes and issues in western European democratic politics including historical and institutional development, parties, interest groups and elections, public policy, and issues of integration and globalization. Analysis includes the nation-state, and subnational and supranational entities, and combines theoretical and empirical approaches.

793A Nationalism, Ethnicity and Identity
The diverse methodological and epistemological approaches to the study of nationalism; the relationship between nationalism and other axes of social, cultural, and political identity, such as those forged around gender, race, ethnicity, and class; the various manifestations of nationalist ideology and practice in different spatial and temporal contexts. Topics include nationalism and state-formation, modernity and nationalism, colonialism and nationalism, nationalism and ethnic conflict, and globalization and nationalism.

International Relations

650 Russian, Soviet, and Post-Soviet Foreign Policy
Major aspects of Soviet foreign policy from 1917 to 1991 and of the current transitions. Soviet and post-Soviet goals, motivations, and capability; the relation between domestic and foreign policy; continuity and change among the Imperial, Soviet and post-Soviet eras; changes in the foreign policy decision-making process; relations with the U.S. and policy towards other regions.

654 International Relations
The nation-state system and conceptions of national interest in modern world politics. Emphasis on forms and distribution of power, making of foreign policy, and issues of war and peace.

656 International Law
Examination of the basic legal rules regulating relations among states and between states and other entities. Analysis of theories of international law and of how and to what extent legal rules and legal reasoning affect the policies of governments.

658 International Relations: Asia
Introduction to general problems in Asia, focusing primarily on the period since 1859. Emphasis on China, Japan, and other states of East and Southeast Asia in their regional and global relations.

720 Proseminar on International Relations
Survey of theory, research, and methodology in the field of international relations; its interdisciplinary dimensions.

721 Tutorial in International Relations
Guided reading and discussion of specific topics as agreed with a faculty member.

722 Directed Studies in International Relations
Research on an international relations topic of the student’s choosing under guidance of a faculty member.

723 Problems of International Relations
Analysis of selected contemporary problems in international relations. A recent offering examined contemporary world order projects.

724 International Institutions
Research seminar combining discussion of selected aspects of international institutions, broadly defined, with student preparation and presentation of research papers.

725 Theory and International Politics
Conceptualization and analysis of the forces and drives that shape world politics.

Public Law and the Judicial Process

660 Constitutional Law
Development of American constitutional law and a study of the Supreme Court as a policy-making institution. Emphasis on landmark cases and the substantive impact of the Supreme Court in the American polity during different political eras.

661 Civil Liberties
Developments in American constitutional law with regard to the concept of civil liberty, including the fields of free speech and religion, fair trial, and race discrimination. The function of courts in determining the scope of these liberties.

662 Politics, Law and Judicial Behavior
American court systems, including examination of the processing of cases, judicial backgrounds and selection, judicial decisional behavior, some major court policies and the responses to them from groups and institutions within the larger political system.

740 Constitutional Interpretation

741 Tutorial in Public Law

742 Directed Studies in Public Law

743 Law and the Political Process
Interrelationships between law and politics, and the functions of law in organized societies.

744 Jurisprudence
Theories of law, jurisprudence, and judicial behavior.

Political Theory

670 Ancient and Medieval Political Thought
Examination of Western political theory from Classical Greek philosophy to its confrontation with the Judeo-Christian tradition. Focus on the relationship of political theory to history, drama, and theology, and consideration of particular issues of special interest to individual instructors such as: the problem of slavery, the function of prophecy, and the role of women and the family in the tradition.

671 Modern Political Thought
Development of political thought and its relation to culture and institutions from the rise of the modern state to the present.

674 Issues in Contemporary Political Theory
Some basic problems of political science, political ethics, and political philosophy through study of selected classical and modern political thinkers.

675 Feminist Theory and Politics
Examination of the foundation of different forms of feminism in relation to classical and contemporary political theory. The distinction between public and private, production and reproduction, and “difference” as an issue of race, class, sexual preference, and religious and ethnic identity.

761 Tutorial in Political Theory
Seminars involving various problems and themes of mutual interest among faculty and graduate students. Recent topics have included studies of Christianity, Greek tragedy, theories of interpretation, theories of conspicuous consumption.

762 Directed Studies in Political Theory

763 Recent Political Theory
Consideration of themes and problems from contemporary political, social, and cultural theories.

Public Policy

685 Comparative Public Policy
Comparative analysis of policy formation; process of social and economic policy decision making in selected industrial societies; interaction of institutions, ideas, and power in decisions concerning social welfare, economic policies, and related policy areas.

687 American Public Policy
In-depth study of selected areas of American policy. May include theory of, and approaches to, the study of public policy.

780 Policy Studies
Theories and techniques of decision making and implementation, logical and ethical aspects of social choice, with illustrative case studies from different substantive policy fields.

782 The Political Economy of Public Policy
Nature and functions of public policy and problems of choice within the constraints of law, politics, and resource scarcity. Concepts of public interest and public goods; problems related to revenue and taxation. Basic economic and mathematical tools as appropriate.

783 Public Welfare Policy
Critical examination of American welfare state development. Analysis of the nature of social policy and of the social, political, economic, and cultural conditions that contribute to the adoption and implementation of particular policies at particular times.

784 Environmental Policy
The capacity of the American political system and the American political economy to cope with the challenge of ecological scarcity and environmental degradation. The policy-making process and the politics of implementation of selected environmental programs.

785 Criminal Justice Policy
Theories of criminal motivation and the philosophies of punishment related to them. The criteria by which one selects the most appropriate conceptual paradigm for the analysis of crime in a liberal society. Comparison of sociological, economic, and political perspectives on crime and deviant behavior.

786 Policy Evaluation
Information sources on state and federal governments, methods of legal research and census analysis, field research study design, data collection, tabular presentations, and report writing.

787 Policy Analysis and Choice
Survey of techniques for systematic analysis and evaluation of policy questions and programs, formulation of policy alternatives, cost-benefit analysis, and application of statistical computer models.

Research Methods

750 Research Design
Introduction to the principles of research design, with particular emphasis on qualitative methods. Topics include philosophy of science, concept formation, case studies, casual inference, fieldwork, and content analysis. Practical aspects of research also covered, such as finding grant opportunities, preparing proposals, and completing a dissertation prospectus.