Summer Sessions | Courses | Political Science

Political Science

The Political Science Department offers a variety of courses that focus on four major areas of study: American politics, comparative politics, political theory, and international relations studies.

The courses on this page reflect Summer 2018 offerings.

 

Courses
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Global Energy and Climate Change: Security and Geopolitics
POLS S4811D 3 points.

The course focuses on the nexus between energy and security as it reveals in the policies and interaction of leading energy producers and consumers. Topics include: hydrocarbons and search for stability and security in the Persian Gulf, Caspian basin, Eurasia, Africa and Latin America; Russia as a global energy player; role of natural gas in the world energy balance and European energy security; transformation of the global energy governance structure; role and evolution of the OPEC; introduction into energy economics; dynamics and fundamentals of the global energy markets; IOCs vs NOCs; resource nationalism, cartels, sanctions and embargoes; Asia's growing energy needs and its geo-economic and strategic implications; nuclear energy and challenges to non-proliferation regime; alternative and renewable sources of energy; climate change and attempts of environmental regulation; emerging international carbon regimes and search for optimal models of sustainable development. Special focus on implications of the shale revolution and technological innovations on U.S. energy security.

Course
Number
Section/Call
Number
Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4811 001/70127 Tu Th 9:00a - 12:10p
703 HAMILTON HALL
Albert Bininachvili 3 Limited Availability
Political Theory I
POLS S1101D 4 points.

What is a just society? What is a good life? How should we live together when we disagree about justice and the good life?  Is government essential to living well? What is the best form of government? What rights do we have? How, if at all, can the coercive power of the state be justified?  These are some of the enduring questions we will explore.  A major goal of the course is to exercise techniques needed to understand a political thinker’s arguments and to construct one’s own.  

Course
Number
Section/Call
Number
Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 1101 001/77768 M W 9:00a - 12:10p
711 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS BLDG
Luke MacInnis 4 Limited Availability
The American Presidency
POLS S4316D 3 points.

The growth of presidential power, the creation and use of the institutionalized presidency, presidential-congressional and presidential-bureaucratic relationships, and the presidency and the national security apparatus.

Course
Number
Section/Call
Number
Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4316 001/10179 Tu Th 1:00p - 4:10p
711 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS BLDG
Richard Pious 3 Open
Topics in International Security
POLS S3680D 3 points.

This course explores how and why states and non-state actors use violent and non-violent strategies in international politics. While not all topics in international security can be covered thoroughly in one semester, this course will give a sampling of many of the topics, including military doctrines and strategies, diplomatic policies, social forces, civil wars, and roles of individuals. Though historical and current events will be used as examples to illustrate how various theories work, students should keep in mind that this is not a course on current events.

Course
Number
Section/Call
Number
Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3680 001/19091 Tu Th 6:15p - 9:25p
711 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS BLDG
Brian Blankenship 3 Limited Availability
Voting and American Politics
POLS S3290D 3 points.

Elections and public opinion; history of U.S. electoral politics; the problem of voter participation; partisanship and voting; accounting for voting decisions; explaining and forecasting election outcomes; elections and divided government; money and elections; electoral politics and representative democracy.

Course
Number
Section/Call
Number
Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3290 001/71343 M W 1:00p - 4:10p
703 HAMILTON HALL
Michael Miller 3 Open
Introduction to American Government and Politics
POLS S1201Q 4 points.

Introduction to national political institutions and processes. The presidency, Congress, the courts, political parties and elections, interest groups, and public opinion.

Course
Number
Section/Call
Number
Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 1201 001/62032 M W 1:00p - 4:10p
711 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS BLDG
Judith Russell 4 Limited Availability
Introduction to International Relations
POLS S1601Q 4 points.

A survey of major concepts and issues in international relations. Issues include anarchy, power, foreign policy decision-making, domestic politics and foreign policy, theories of cooperation and conflict, international security and arms control, nationalism, international law and organizations, and international economic relations.

Course
Number
Section/Call
Number
Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 1601 001/25504 M W 5:30p - 8:40p
711 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS BLDG
Rebecca Murphy 4 Limited Availability
Reforming American Elections
POLS S3296Q 3 points.

Nothing is more important to the legitimacy of a representative government than the integrity of elections. Throughout the history of the American republic, various actors have sought to shape electoral outcomes. Some have even done so legally! While contemporary citizens of the United States have tended to think of their elections as paragons of reliability, events in the last fifteen years or so have increasingly led to questions on this front. This course will examine issues of fairness, integrity, and security currently facing the American electoral system. In identifying ailments in American democracy, we will discuss both their causes and effects. Finally, we will examine potential reforms in an effort to determine to what extent American elections can be “fixed” (see what I did there?). This course will be particularly useful for students considering professional legal education as a next step.

Course
Number
Section/Call
Number
Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3296 001/28002 M W 9:00a - 12:10p
703 HAMILTON HALL
Michael Miller 3 Open
Rising Great Powers in International Relations
POLS S3625Q 3 points.

The rise of new great powers and hegemonic states has been a major engine of change in international relations, both historically and today. Predominant theories of war, trade, and empire take as their starting point the uneven growth in the power and wealth of major states and empires. Rapid economic growth and associated domestic institutional changes in rising great powers often unleash a volatile domestic politics that affects the ideologies and social interests that play a role in formulating foreign policy. In turn, the rising power’s international environment shapes the unfolding of these internal processes. This course will study these dynamics, tracing patterns in historical cases and applying the insights gained to contemporary issues.

Course
Number
Section/Call
Number
Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3625 001/62432 Tu Th 6:15p - 9:25p
711 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS BLDG
Edward Lemon 3 Open
Strategic Intelligence and Political Decision Making
POLS S4832Q 3 points.

The interaction of intelligence and political decision-making in the U.S., other Western democracies, Russia and China. Peculiarities of intelligence in the Middle East (Israel, Iran, Pakistan).  Intelligence analyzed both as a governmental institution and as a form of activity, with an emphasis on complex relations within the triangle of intelligence communities, national security organizations, and high-level political leadership.  Stages and disciplines of intelligence process. Intelligence products and political decision-making.  The function of intelligence considered against the backdrop of rapid evolution of information technologies, changing meaning of homeland security, and globalization. Particular emphasis on the role of intelligence in the prevention of terrorism and WMD proliferation.

Course
Number
Section/Call
Number
Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4832 001/26786 Tu Th 9:00a - 12:10p
703 HAMILTON HALL
Albert Bininachvili 3 Limited Availability