Fall 2023 Undergraduate Course Descriptions

All information in this guide is tentative and subject to change. Check the Political Science Department Office for updates.  Information on rooms and times for the classes listed can be obtained from the university-wide Time Schedule of Classes or from the Political Science office.

“Cross listed” Courses: These may applied to a Political Science major or minor without a petition, regardless of the departmental prefix. For example, if you take African-American Politics as AAS 306, you do not need to petition to apply it to your Political Science major.

"Meets With” Courses": If you take a “Meets With” course under a departmental prefix other than PSC, you will need to petition to count that course towards your Political Science major or minor.

Courses with international content are designated with an asterisk [*].

Current information on rooms and times for classes can be obtained on your MySlice or from the Political Science office.

PSC 121 m100 American National Government and Politics

Instructor: Mark Brockway

Class #: 10479

Offered: T/Th 2:00 pm - 2:55 pm

Frequency Offered: Every semester

Prerequisites: None

This course is required for all students who are majoring in Political Science.

All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course.

Discussion # 10751 (Section 101) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25 am

Discussion # 12604 (Section 102) Fridays 10:35 am-11:30 am

Discussion # 12605 (Section 103) Thursdays 11:00 am-11:55 am

Discussion # 10752 (Section 104) Fridays 8:25 am-9:20 am

Discussion # 10753 (Section 105) Thursdays 3:30 pm-4:25 pm

Discussion # 10754 (Section 106) Thursdays 5:00 pm-5:55 pm

Note: Some discussion section seats are reserved for incoming fall matriculants.

Course Description

How does the American political system operate? This course provides an introduction to American political ideas, institutions, behaviors, and processes. Topics include (among other things) public opinion, elections, Congress, the presidency, the mass media, civic participation, the Constitution, federalism, and public policy. Although we will cover the “nuts and bolts” of American government, our focus is on political science rather than civics, which means our task is to analyze and interpret political phenomena.

PSC 121 m200 American National Government and Politics

Instructor: Baobao Zhang

Class #: 11012

Offered: M/W 10:35 am – 11:30 am

Frequency Offered: Every semester

Prerequisites: None

This course is required for all students who are majoring in political science.

All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course.

Discussion # 11013 (Section 201) Thursdays 3:30 pm-4:25 pm

Discussion # 11014 (Section 202) Thursdays 5:00 pm-5:55 pm

Discussion # 11015 (Section 203) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25 am

Discussion # 11016 (Section 204) Fridays 8:25 am-9:20 am

Discussion # 11442 (Section 205) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25 am

Discussion # 11443 (Section 206) Fridays 12:45 pm-1:40 pm

Note: Some discussion section seats are reserved for incoming fall matriculants.

Course Description

How does the American political system operate? This course provides an introduction to American political ideas, institutions, behaviors, and processes. Topics include (among other things) public opinion, elections, Congress, the presidency, the mass media, civic participation, the Constitution, federalism, and public policy. Although we will cover the “nuts and bolts” of American government, our focus is on political science rather than civics, which means our task is to analyze and interpret political phenomena.

PSC 123 m100 Comparative Government and Politics *

Instructor: Margareta Estevez-Abe

Class #: 11444

Offered: M/W 11:40 am – 12:35 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course.

Discussion # 11445 (Section 101) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25 am

Discussion # 11446 (Section 102) Fridays 10:35am-11:30 am

Discussion # 11447 (Section 103) Thursdays 8:00 am-8:55 am

Discussion # 11448 (Section 104) Thursdays 5:00 pm-5:55 pm

Note: Some discussion section seats are reserved for incoming fall matriculants.

Course Description

Why are some countries wealthier than others? Why do some countries become democratic while others remain authoritarian? Do certain democratic institutions work better than others? Comparative politics is the study of variations in political outcomes across and within countries. This course provides an introduction to main topics in comparative politics (electoral systems and their outcomes, regime types, democratization, breakdowns of democracies, economic development, ethnic conflicts). The course surveys theories and case studies. Students will deepen their understanding of politics in the US and the rest of the world.

PSC 124 m100 International Relations *

Instructor: Ryan Griffiths

Class #: 10480

Offered: M/W 10:35 am – 11:30 am

Frequency Offered: Every semester

Prerequisites: None

All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course.

Discussion # 10755 (Section 101) Fridays 12:45 pm-1:40 pm

Discussion # 10756 (Section 102) Thursdays 9:30 am-10:25 am

Discussion # 10757 (Section 103) Thursdays 3:30 pm-4:25 pm

Discussion # 10758 (Section 104) Thursdays 5:00 pm-5:55 pm

Discussion # 11035 (Section 105) Fridays 10:35 am-11:30 am

Discussion # 11036 (Section 106) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25am

Note: Some discussion section seats are reserved for incoming fall matriculants.

Course Description

This course introduces students to the main issues and actors in contemporary international relations, organized around three major topical perspectives: world structure and theoretical views of that structure; international political economy; and international conflict, cooperation, and security. It will focus on current debates around global topics such as human rights, economic interdependence, nationalism, the global environment, and economic disparities. During section meetings, students are encouraged to explore and discuss how states, international institutions, and non-state actors shape current international affairs and future forms of global governance.

PSC 124 m200 International Relations *

Instructor: Gregory Smith

Class #: 10481

Offered: Tu/Th 8:00 am –8:55 am

Frequency Offered: Every semester

Prerequisites: None

Note: All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course.

Discussion # 10788 (Section 201) Thursdays 5:00 pm-5:55 pm

Discussion # 10789 (Section 202) Thursdays 3:30 pm-4:25 pm

Discussion # 10790 (Section 203) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25 am

Discussion # 10791 (Section 204) Fridays 10:35am-11:30am

Note: Some discussion section seats are reserved for incoming fall matriculants.

Course Description

This course introduces students to the main issues and actors in contemporary international relations, organized around three major topical perspectives: world structure and theoretical views of that structure; international political economy; and international conflict, cooperation, and security. It will focus on current debates around global topics such as human rights, economic interdependence, nationalism, the global environment, and economic disparities. During section meetings, students are encouraged to explore and discuss how states, international institutions, and non-state actors shape current international affairs and future forms of global governance.

PSC 125 m001 Political Theory

Instructor: Dennis Rasmussen

Class #: 11346

Offered: M/W 10:35 am – 11:30 am

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course.

Discussion # 12005 (Section 003) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25 pm

Discussion # 12006 (Section 004) Fridays 10:35 am-11:30 am

Discussion # 12007 (Section 005) Fridays 10:35 am-11:30 am

Discussion # 12008 (Section 006) Fridays 12:45 pm-1:40 pm

Cross-listed with PHI 125

Note: Some discussion section seats are reserved for incoming fall matriculants.

Course Description

This class reads and discusses texts that address the basic questions of political theory: What is happiness? What is justice? What is law? Can the law make us happy and just? What are the legitimate limits of freedom? Do we need families? What role should the state play in the raising of children? Do we have an obligation to obey the law? Among the texts we read: Plato, The Republic; Augustine, City of God; Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Hobbes, Leviathan; Mill, Subjection of Women.

PSC 139 m001 International Relations (Honors) *

Instructor: Francine D’Amico

Class #: 20866

Offered: M/W/F 11:40 am – 12:35 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This course introduces students to the main issues and actors in contemporary international relations, organized around three major topical perspectives: world structure and theoretical views of that structure; international political economy; and international conflict, cooperation, and security. It will focus on current debates around global topics such as human rights, economic interdependence, nationalism, the global environment, and economic disparities.  Students are encouraged to explore and discuss how states, international institutions, and non-state actors shape current international affairs and future forms of global governance.

PSC 200 m001 US Immigration Politics and Policy *

Instructor: Audie Klotz

Class #: 20741

Offered: Tu/Th 12:30 pm – 1:50 pm

Frequency Offered: Special Offering

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

Description to follow

PSC 200 m002 Crime, Violence, and Policing *

Instructor: Jessie Trudeau

Class #: 20744

Offered: M/W 2:15 pm – 3:35 pm

Frequency Offered: Special Offering

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

Description to follow

PSC 200 m003 Understanding Italy & Democracy

Instructors: Margarita Estevez-Abe and Stefano Giannini

Class #: 21123

Offered: Tu/Th 3:30 pm – 4:50 pm

Frequency Offered: Special Offering

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This course engages students to think about democratic citizenship and challenges it faces. This is a unique course that uses Italy as a focus and adopts a multi-disciplinary approach using film, literature and social science. Why Italy? Italy was often the first country to experience the most important political events in the 20th and 21st centuries: fascism, domestic terrorism, internet-based populism, etc. Italian artists have captured the key moments of political and social upheavals in their internationally renowned works. Students will gain cultural competence as well as a broader knowledge of political life.

PSC 202 m100 Introduction to Political Analysis

Instructor: Simon Weschle

Class #: 11091

Offered: M/W 3:45 pm – 4:40 pm

Frequency Offered: Every semester

Prerequisites: None

This course is required for all students who are majoring in political science.

All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course.

Discussion # 11092 (Section 101) Fridays 10:35-11:30 am

Discussion # 11093 (Section 102) Fridays 10:35-11:30 am

Discussion # 11094 (Section 103) Fridays 12:45-1:40 pm

Discussion # 11095 (Section 104) Fridays 12:45-1:40 pm

Note: Some discussion section seats are reserved for political science majors.

Course Description

The purpose of this course, required for political science majors, is to build skills for conducting, interpreting, and presenting political science research. These skills include: basic research and data collection practices, techniques for measuring political science concepts quantitatively, hypothesis testing, interpretation of statistical evidence, and the presentation of findings in a clear and compelling manner. Tying these components together is a thematic focus on important political science concepts such as democracy, power, or representation.

PSC 300 m101 Policy Implementation

Instructor: Zach Huitink

Class #: 11882

Offered: T/Th 2:00 pm – 3:20 pm

Frequency Offered: Special Offering

Prerequisites: None

Meets with PAI 305.001

Course Description

This course is about how public policy gets put into action, with a focus on developing knowledge and skills essential for addressing some of society’s most complex problems. The course will help you understand what we really mean when we say “policy implementation,” as well as some realities of implementation as it is done in practice. The course will stress, in particular, the widespread roles of not only government but also the private and nonprofit sectors at all levels in the implementation process, and how these actors use policy tools like regulations, grants, vouchers, and public-private partnerships to get things done. Government and non-governmental actors have taken numerous approaches to achieving public policy goals, from (among many others) reducing poverty and improving education to ensuring public health and safety, protecting the environment, and recovering from disasters. What are the trade-offs of different strategies to pursuing goals like these, and why has the record of achievement been mixed? How do government, business, nonprofits, and individual members of the public contribute to implementation efforts? How can they work better with one another to make public policy successful? How do we assess whether policies have had their intended impacts on people and communities? Students will consider these questions through a mix of lecture, discussion, examples, and hands-on exercises, and develop abilities in areas including policy field mapping, logic modelling, planning, and applied implementation analysis.

PSC 300 m104 US Intelligence Community *

Instructor: Robert Murrett

Co-Instructor: Kristin Patel

Class#: 12571

Offered: M/W 2:15 pm – 3:35 pm

Frequency Offered: Special Offering

Prerequisites: None

Meets with PAI 338 m003, IRP 338 m001

Course Description

This course will focus on the practice, structure and governance of the intelligence field, and material that has a direct bearing on its current posture. In order to understand the full range of today’s intelligence activities, students will examine the evolution of the U.S. Intelligence Community (I.C.) since its inception in 1947 through the present day. Key phases and specific events will be explored, including I.C. efforts throughout the Cold War, The Cuban Missile Crisis, The Vietnam Conflict, the Church Committee, the Balkans Conflicts, pre and post-9/11 operations, the 911 and WMD Commissions and the subsequent executive and legislative changes implemented over the past ten years. The course will also review governance and oversight of the I.C., including roles of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government. In addition to understanding the development of the I.C., students will study the functional elements of intelligence tradecraft (human intelligence, signals intelligence, imagery analysis, etc.), and engagement with international counterparts. The class will participate in case studies, in which the students will evaluate, provide briefings and recommend decisions in realistic scenarios, both in terms of analysis and intelligence-driven decision-making on policy and operational matters.

PSC 300 m111 New York State Government

Instructor: William Magnarelli

Class#: 20761

Offered: TTH 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Frequency Offered: Special Offering

Prerequisites: None

Meets with PST 300 m002

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to give students an understanding of New York State government. The course will go over the formal structures of government - the executive, legislative & judicial parts as well as public authorities. The class will also cover how political parties, lobbyists, interest groups, and the media interact with government and shape public policy. Classwork will emphasize participation and teamwork. Written assignments will apply course concepts to the real world work of New York state legislators like bill sponsor memos and letters in support or opposition of policy.

PSC 300 m201 Politics of Geography

Instructor: JessieTrudeau

Class#: 20757

Offered: MW 5:15 pm – 6:35 pm

Frequency Offered: Special Offering

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

Description to follow

PSC 302 m001 Environmental Politics & Policy

Instructor: Sarah Pralle

Class #: 12789

Offered: T/Th 2:00 pm – 3:20 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This course will examine the political processes surrounding environmental decision making in the United States. Emphasis will be placed on how environmental issues reach the governmental agenda, why and how natural resource and pollution policies change (or do not), and the challenges involved in implementing environmental policies. Theoretical readings will be interspersed with case studies of environmental policymaking.

PSC 304 m001 The Judicial Process

Instructor: Domenic Trunfio

Class #: 20789

Offered: T/Th 3:30 pm-4:50 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites:  None

Course Description

This course will take an in-depth examination of the Criminal Justice System from arrest to appeal, taught by an experienced prosecutor. Students will get a practical, realistic view of criminal justice and the court system through readings, lectures, class discussion and guest speakers who work in the legal system. This course is designed to give students a basic understanding of constitutional law and criminal procedure and will attempt to improve analytical ability and critical thought process.  It will examine how the rights of those accused of a crime are balanced against the rights of those who are victims of crime.  This course will also explore how the judicial process affects average citizens, their communities and American society, and how the system is often inaccurately portrayed in the media and by Hollywood.

PSC 306 m001 African American Politics

Instructor: SN Sangmpam

Class #: 13088

Offered: M/W 12:45 pm – 2:05 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisites: None

Cross Listed with: AAS 306.001

Course Description

This course is an examination of the African American Political experience in the United States with a focus on the nature of the American political system and the status of African Americans in it. The approach will be analytical and theoretical, but the main focus will be on the historical and contemporary political dynamic. Special attention will be given to the interplay of society, state, ideology, and political struggles.

PSC 310 m001 Refugees in International Politics *

Instructor: Lamis Abdelaaty

Class #: 20790

Offered: M/W 3:45 pm – 5:05 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This course deals with the global politics of refugee issues, broadly defined to include the movement of people displaced by persecution, conflict, natural or human-made disasters, environmental change, or development projects. It is grounded in the international relations subfield, but students are expected to engage with ideas from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Topics covered include historical trends in, analytical approaches to, and the international legal framework-governing refugees. We also explore the causes, consequences, and responses by state and non-state actors to refugee flows. A series of examples from recent and current events are examined, including a case study on refugees and the Syrian civil war.

PSC 312.001 New Deal and American Politics

Instructor: Steven White

Class #: 13111

Offered: T/Th 5:00 pm – 6:20 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

The New Deal transformed American politics, setting the framework for modern day debates about the role of the federal government in American society. This course examines the New Deal and the years immediately following it (roughly 1933-1953) from a range of historical and theoretical perspectives, as well as original source materials. Among other topics, we will consider the crisis of the Great Depression; the international context of fascism, Nazism, and Communism; the development of major public policies like Social Security; the role of labor unions and business; the role of southern Democrats in “limiting liberalism,” especially when it seemed to involve issues of race; and the Second World War. We will also examine how the New Deal set into motion important shifts in party politics that would define the remainder of the twentieth century.

PSC 314 m001 Public Opinion & Electoral Behavior

Instructor: Emily Thorson

Class #: 20791

Offered: T/Th 2:00 - 3:20 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This course will tackle a series of big questions about the role of citizens' attitudes and opinions in contemporary democracy: How do people make sense of the political world? How does public opinion shape policies? How can we understand today's politically polarized climate? We will consider the history of public opinion as well as how our understanding of it is changing in an era of Facebook and Twitter. The course will go beyond discussions of polling data to explore the role of media content, political talk, and social identities in shaping what we think about politics and public life. Students will write an original research paper about a public opinion topic of their choice.

PSC 317.001 Local Internship

Instructor: Grant Reeher

Class #: 10482

Offered: M/W/F 11:40 am – 12:35 pm

Frequency Offered: Every semester

Prerequisites: The internship program is intended for juniors and seniors only.

Course Description

The course is based on a local internship experience in politics, public affairs, or the law. Placements are found at the beginning of the semester based on a list provided by the professor. Students also meet once a week in the classroom for organizational discussions, Q&A sessions with local political figures, and advice from professional development experts. Interested students are advised to review a FAQ sheet and recent syllabus, which can be found in 100 Eggers Hall or by contacting the professor.

PSC 318 m001 Technology, Politics & Environment

Instructor: W. Henry Lambright

Class #: 12599

Offered: M/W 2:15 pm – 3:35 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This course analyzes the relation of government to policymaking in the domain of environment, where technology and politics intersect in many crucial ways. Attention is given primarily to politics and administration of environmental policy in the US at all levels of government. Comparative and international aspects of the problem are also examined. Particular emphasis is given to the processes by which policy is formulated, implemented and modified.

PSC 324 m100 Constitutional Law I

Instructor: Tom Keck

Class #: 10852

Offered: T/Th 9:30 am – 10:50 am

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

Does the US Constitution impose adequate safeguards to prevent a sitting President from undermining free and fair elections? Does it authorize Congress to enact a law requiring all Americans to have health insurance? Does it require all states to allow same-sex couples to legally marry? Does it give the President free rein, as commander in chief of the US military, to authorize warrantless wiretapping of suspected terrorists? If you are interested in any or all of these questions, then this course is for you. In Constitutional Law I, you will learn everything you ever wanted to know about the development of the American constitutional system from the founding through the mid-twentieth century. In Constitutional Law II, offered in the Spring, we will continue this inquiry right up to the present day. Recent versions of the syllabi are available on the instructor’s website, though there will be a number of updates for the coming year.

PSC 328 m001 American Social Movements

Instructor: Sarah Pralle

Class #: 12790

Offered: T/Th 11:00 am – 12:20 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

From Earth Day in 1970s to the Black Lives Matter protests, social movements have been an essential part of American politics. This course examines how social movements emerge, why people join them, the strategies they use to challenge the status quo, and why some succeed while others seemingly fail. Much of our attention will be on 20th century social movements, including the labor, civil rights, and environmental movements. We will also spend time discussion 21st century movements on both the ideological right and left.

PSC 333 m001 Comparative Government: Latin America *

Instructor: Matthew Cleary

Class #: 13071

Offered: T/Th 3:30 pm – 4:50 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisites: None

Cross-listed with LAS 333.001

Course Description

This course has two main objectives.  The first is to introduce the students to several themes that are most relevant to understanding Latin American politics today, such as democratization and democratic backsliding, the politics of economic development and reform, the formation and transformation of politically relevant ethnic identities, and several more.  The second objective is to teach the students how to apply general arguments about politics to the contemporary Latin American experience.  To do this well, the students will need to 1) study the political and historical experiences of specific Latin American countries, and 2) learn how to compare these different cases with the aim of evaluating theoretical arguments and understanding why political outcomes differ from one country to the next.   In the latter half of the course, we will focus on the cases of Chile, Mexico, and Venezuela, with extensive comparisons to other Latin American countries.

PSC 339 m001 Transitions to Democracy *

Instructor: Dimitar Gueorguiev

Class #: 20794

Offered: T/Th 2:00 pm – 3:20 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

Description to follow

PSC 343 m001 Politics of Europe *

Instructor: Seth Jolly

Class #: 12792

Offered: T/Th 9:30 am - 10:50 am

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to familiarize you with the politics of Europe, not on a country by country basis, but in a truly comparative way. We will study various aspects of European politics including domestic political and economic institutions, the process of European integration, and current events such as immigration and the Euro crisis. For each topic we will compare a range of European countries, but, following the textbook, we will focus on several European countries in more detail.

PSC 344 m001 Politics of Middle East *

Instructor: Yael Zeira

Class #: 20795

Offered: T/Th 12:30 pm - 1:50 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This course offers a thematic approach to the study of contemporary Middle East politics and society. We will review the major questions that leading scholars and policymakers ask about the Middle East today. The class will proceed both thematically and chronologically, beginning with the region’s long-standing authoritarianism, proceeding to challenges to the long-time status quo (e.g. the Arab Uprisings of 2011), and ending with the ongoing, diverging consequences of these challenges. Geographically, the class will focus on Egypt, Syria, and Tunisia, as well as examine more general patterns and trends across the region.

PSC 353 m001 International Organization

Instructor: Francine D’Amico

Class #: 20863

Offered: MW 3:45 pm – 5:05 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

In this course we examine the origins and operations of international organizations in international relations.  We begin with an exploration of the membership, structure, purpose, and function of the United Nations Organization (UNO), then undertake a comparative analysis of three multipurpose regional intergovernmental organizations (IGOs):  the European Union (EU), the Organization of American States (OAS), and the African Union (formerly the Organization for African Unity-OAU).  We will also investigate several nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) engaged in work on human rights and globalization.  Our goal is to understand the role and significance of each organization in contemporary international relations.

PSC 357 m001 US Foreign Policy *

Instructor: Gregory Smith

Class #: 13112

Offered: T/Th 12:30 pm – 1:50 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This course examines contemporary issues in U.S. foreign policy. The central goal of this course is to provide students with the knowledge and analytical skills necessary to grapple with the question: what should America’s role in a turbulent world be? Within the U.S. foreign policy community, an active debate has been raging about whether or not the U.S. should pull back its forces from around the world and return to a sort of neo-isolationism or if it should remain actively engaged in world affairs and continue to assert itself militarily and economically. The culmination of this class will require students to take a position on this central debate within U.S. foreign policy and to argue for the particular grand strategy that the United States should adopt moving forward. The course is broadly divided into two parts. The first part provides a theoretical foundation for the study of U.S. foreign policy. The second half of the class applies contemporary social science research to many of the most critical issues in U.S. foreign policy.

PSC 358 m001 Latin American International Relations *

Instructor: Francine D’Amico

Class #: 13287

Offered: M/W 2:15 pm – 3:35 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

Cross-listed with LAS 358 m001

Course Description

This course examines Organization of American States and other regional institutions. It will consider how regional cooperation efforts have been shaped by political, economic, and cultural diversity of the countries in the region and by the changing global context.

PSC 363 m001 Ethics & International Politics *

Instructor: Glyn Morgan

Class #: 13114

Offered: T/Th 6:30 pm – 7:50 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

Cross Listed with PHI 363 m001

Course Description

This course examines the fundamental questions of ethics and international relations.  Among the topics addressed: raison d’état; the just war tradition; humanitarian intervention; terrorism; torture; fair trade; foreign aid; immigration; human rights; nationalism; and climate change.

PSC 364 m001 African International Relations *

Instructor: Horace Campbell

Class #: 20816

Offered: T/Th 9:30 am – 10:50 am

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisite: None

Cross-listed with AAS 364 m001

Course Description

The course focuses on the relations between African societies and peoples and the wider international system. In the process, there will be the effort to seek to understand the imperial forces that shaped contemporary African international relations. Why is Africa viewed as an untapped treasure house for external forces? What accounts for the militarization of the state and the high propensity towards external military interventions, wars and environmental destruction? Is racial capitalism central to International Relations theory? Is there a need for the Decolonization of International Relations? What theories best explain the centrality of mineral extraction in African international relations? Is realism the best approach towards understanding the international relations of Africa? What forms of international cooperation are necessary for peace, reconstruction and restorative justice?

To answer these questions the course analyzes the humanity of Africans using an emancipatory gendered approach to the theory of African International Relations. In order to grasp the recursive impact of the politics of retrogression, the course will examine the nested loop of force, masculinity, plunder and militarism. This militarism will be linked to the global armaments culture and the legacies of racism and imperialism in Africa. Traditional IR conceptions of Africa will be interrogated to grasp how humanitarianism and the concepts of “failed states” constitute a component of the psychological warfare against Africans. How can the peoples of the planet develop a greater sense of solidarity and an appreciation of the principles of ubuntu? We seek to learn from the new interventions of the democratic forces and the impact of the ideas of Truth on the politics of reparations.

PSC 374 m001 Law & Society

Instructor: Yuksel Sezgin

Class #: 12787

Offered: M/W 2:15 pm – 3:35 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisite: None

Course Description

This course will examine the American legal system as embedded within America's separation of powers system. Legal institutions and legal decision making can define, refine, or uproot congressional policy; they can enable or hinder its implementation by the executive branch; and they can manage and regulate private behavior. This course will consider the scope, capacity, and potential of the American legal system as an integral component of policymaking and policy implementation in the American political system, and will address three guiding questions:

What is the regulatory potential, or limits, of law and the American legal system?

How has litigation developed as a tool for regulation in America?

How does the American legal system differ from that of other countries and what political factors explain this variation?

PSC 375 m001 Philosophy of Law

Instructor: Verena Erlenbusch-Anderson

Class #: 12768

Offered: T/Th 9:30 am – 10:50 am

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

Cross-listed with PHI 397 m001

Course Description

This course is an introduction to philosophical debates about the nature, source, and authority of law. The fundamental question we will explore is “what is law?” but we will also consider how natural law theorists, positivists, realists, and critical legal scholars answer questions such as: Are there different kinds of law? Is law based on universal principles or does it depend on context? What is the relationship between law and justice? What is the source of law? Who is authorized to interpret law and what are the principles of its interpretation? When and why is punishment justified? When and why should individual rights be limited?

PSC 376 m001 Creation of the US Constitution

Instructor: Dennis Rasmussen

Class #: 12801

Offered: M/W 2:15 pm — 3:35 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisite: None

Course Description

This course will examine the creation of the basic framework for America’s government and laws, the U.S. Constitution. The first half of the course will focus on the debates at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, which formulated and proposed the Constitution, and the second half will focus on the ratification debates between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists in 1787-88. A study of these debates allows us to see the choices that were made—as well as the arguments behind the choices that were made—in the creation of the world’s longest-lasting and most influential national constitution.

PSC 377 m001 Religion & Politics *

Instructor: Mark Brockway

Class#: 13262

Offered: T/Th 3:30 pm – 4:50 pm

Frequency Offered: Special Offering

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

Religions and governments are arguably the two most important and powerful forces that connect people and societies. Religious ideas garner the following of billions, political leaders have transformed nations, and each wields incredible influence over the thoughts and actions of individuals. As two powerful forces, they often cooperate and collide with momentous consequences. We begin by examining the tumultuous relationship between religion and politics throughout history, asking if efforts to separate these two fundamental human experiences have been successful or worthwhile. In the second part of the course, we examine the wide variety of strategies that religions and governments pursue to coexist throughout the world. From the theocracies of Iran and Vatican City to the militant secularism of France and China, governments use religion (or irreligion) to influence individuals, justify policies, and bolster claims to their own legitimacy. Finally, we try and find the utility of religion in international institutions and NGOs, peacebuilding efforts, and transnational justice. How governments and citizens navigate religious and political institutions and identities is at the heart of our investigation.

PSC 382 m001 Contemporary Political Philosophy

Instructor: Kenneth Baynes

Class #: 11800

Offered: T/Th 11:00 am – 12:20 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisite: None

Cross-listed with PHI 417 m001

Course Description

This course examines the works of prominent 20th and 21st century theorists of politics and power through the lens of “big questions” about how we organize our political lives, what is fair, who gets what, and who should hold power. We discuss: freedom, rights, nationalism, distributive justice, citizenship, animal rights, and multiculturalism. Readings will include both abstract theoretical works written by authors including Rawls, Nussbaum, Manne, and others, as well as more concrete and immediately relevant political case studies.

PSC 393 m001 Middle Eastern Political Systems *

Instructor: Hossein Bashiriyeh

Class #: 11801

Offered: M/W 3:45 pm – 5:05 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisites: None

Cross-listed with MES 393 m001

Course Description

What are the factors that hinder the development of well-functioning political systems in the Middle East? This is the main question of the course. Political development is usually defined in terms of 1) national unification and the consolidation of national identity; 2) the development of legitimate authority; 3) the development of channels of popular participation in politics and the rise of a civil society; 4) political and administrative efficiency; 5) equitable distribution of resources or the development of a basic welfare state. In trying to answer the main question, we argue that several factors impede political development in the region. These include: 1) Structural ones like geographical/geopolitical, demographic, historical, and religious factors; 2) Social forces, particularly the landed classes, tribes, ethnic groups and sects. In the first part of the course, we will discuss these obstacles in general across the region; in the second part, we will explain the political systems in the region in terms of the impact of various obstacles.

PSC 394 m001 Islamic Political Thought *

Instructor: Hossein Bashiriyeh

Class #: 11449

Offered: M/W 12:45 pm – 2:05 pm

Frequency Offered: Irregularly

Prerequisites: None

Cross-listed with MES 394 m001

Course Description

The aim of this course is to study some of the major issues and discourses in Islamic political thought, especially those of more contemporary significance such as dissent, apostasy, intolerance, human obligations and rights, women's status, the status of minorities, war and peace, universal government and the idea of the Caliphate.

PSC 400 m202 Social Movements and Political Conflict *

Instructor: Yael Zeira

Class#: 20804

Offered: T/Th 9:30 am – 10:50 am

Frequency Offered: Special Offering

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This course offers an introduction to the study of social movements, protest, and nonviolent resistance. Drawing on research from political science, sociology, and other disciplines, we will study how social movements matter, when and why they emerge, who joins and/or supports them, and the role of racial and ethnic identity within them. To do so, we will examine both the main theories developed to answer these questions to date and real-life social movements and protest campaigns, including the American civil rights movement, Black Lives Matter, the Arab Uprisings, and the recent protests in Iran and China. Students will also study a social movement or protest campaigns(s) of their choosing as part of the required final research paper for this course.

PSC 400 m401 Strategic Choice and Politics *

Instructor: Minju Kim

Class#: 13214

Offered: M/W 3:45 pm – 5:05 pm

Frequency Offered: Special Offering

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

Under what conditions do countries cooperate for peace or free trade, and can this cooperation be sustained? When do politicians promise moderate or extreme policies in elections? Under what conditions do firms decide to enter a competitive market?  

This course introduces the student to game theory and its application in political science, economics, and business. Game theory provides a lens to view human decisions as strategic choices under constraints. In class, you will learn critical concepts in game theory such as the “Nash equilibrium” and “Subgame Perfect Nash Equilibrium.” Examples of where these concepts apply include bargaining for cooperation in international politics, electoral competition, and firm entry in a competitive market. The game-theoretic tools covered in this course also have practical value; the tools can be applied in various real-world contexts such as management and strategic consulting. *High school algebra is required to take this class.

PSC 400 m402 Data Visualization

Instructor: Liwu Gan

Class#: 20806

Offered: T/Th 9:30 – 10:5 am

Frequency Offered: Special Offering

Prerequisites: None

Course Description

Many, if not most, of the major debates in modern political science revolve around questions that can be addressed with data. The sources of voting behavior, the correlates of war, the determinants of development, political economy, psychology, institutions, and conflict---all are issues that are amenable to data-based analysis. At the same time, the amount of available data and the number of publicly-available open-source tools for cleaning, transforming, analyzing and visualizing it have increased exponentially. This course introduces students to those tools and the principles behind their use in the context of applications in political science. It focuses particularly on the methodologies of data visualization and exploratory data analysis. It neither requires nor imparts any statistical background: it is designed to serve either as a standalone course or as a gateway to a more advanced data-analytics class. In this course, we will use the statistical software called R and its companion, R Studio.

PSC 412 m001 Global Governance: The United Nations System *

Instructor: Vivian Ike

Class #: 12205

Offered: M/W 3:45 pm – 5:05 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: None

Meets with IRP 495, Cross-listed with IRP 412. This course is open to official PSC seniors only.

Course Description

The United Nations System. This course explores the theory and practice of global governance and international diplomacy through an in-depth study of the UN system. Class meetings analyze and critique assigned readings and discuss current UN-related events in a seminar format. Each student will undertake an in-depth research project to investigate one aspect of the UN system, such as security, development, peacekeeping, or human rights. Each student will submit an original research paper and present a formal evaluation of that piece of the UN puzzle in a public presentation at the conclusion of the semester. This course employs a professional development model for academic research.

PSC 469 m001 Global Migration **IRP capstone**

Instructor: Audie Klotz

Class #: 20796

Offered: T/Th 9:30 am – 10:50 am

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Course Description

People increasingly move across international borders. Some seek jobs in more prosperous regions; others flee political persecution, war, or ecological disasters. What are the social, economic, and political consequences of these transnational population pressures? How should national governments and international institutions meet these new challenges? Are immigration restrictions justified? Can international institutions provide better or supplementary responses?

PSC 495 m001 Distinction Thesis I

Instructor: Emily Hern

Class #: 11253

Offered: W 12:45 pm – 3:30 pm

Frequency Offered: Yearly

Prerequisites: Permission from department – must have an overall GPA of 3.5 for admittance

Course Description

The program requires the student to produce a senior thesis that reflects an understanding of the contemporary literature relevant to the thesis topic, advances an original argument, and presents evidence appropriate to the underlying inquiry. The thesis should generally be modeled after a typical academic journal article in the field of Political Science. The thesis will be read and evaluated by a committee of three, consisting of the main advisor and two additional readers. Two of the readers must be members of the Political Science department. One of the readers may be a graduate student in Political Science. An oral defense will determine if the thesis meets the departmental requirements for distinction.

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