POS-Political Science

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Course Descriptons By Program

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POS100 - Introduction to Political Science

This course is designed to introduce students to key ideas, institutions, processes and actors in the political world. It is intended to be a general, not detailed, examination, and attempts to encourage understanding, reflection and critical thinking. (3 crs.) Fall and spring.

POS101 - Contemporary Policy and Politics

A critical examination of contemporary issues and strategic players with an emphasis on policy outcomes. (3 crs.)

POS102 - American Government for Elementary Education

This course provides an introduction to the major institutions and processes in the American political system, and addresses how attitudes and beliefs impact elections and policy.

POS105 - American Politics

This is an introductory course in American government focusing on the major institutions and processes in the American political system. Topics discussed in the course include separation of powers, checks and balances, civil liberties, political parties, the Congress, the president, the Supreme Court, federalism, and policy-making processes. (3 crs.) Fall and spring.

POS210 - Politics of Western Europe

This course is designed to introduce students to the political institutions, processes, values and culture of selected Western European nations, and the emerging political structures of the European Union.

POS300 - Public Policy

The course covers theoretical and applied components of public policy and analysis, including an examination of decision making concepts and models and their application to various policy areas, policy development, implementation, and adjustment, the political context, and report writing. Recommended: POS 105

POS301 - Research Methods in Political Science

A scope and methods course with an emphasis on research methods, research design, writing techniques, and statistics used in political science. (3 crs.)

POS303 - Mass Media and American Politics

The interaction of politics and the mass media within American society is covered. Topics include media effects on political socialization, techniques of opinion manipulation, propaganda, press responsibility, public opinion polling and government control of the media. Special attention is devoted to the use of television as an instrument of communication. Recommended: POS 100 or 105. (3 crs.)

POS306 - The Congress

In this intensive examination of the legislative problems and procedures of Congress, students are introduced to such topics as the representational functions of Congress, the role of parties and leaders in Congress, the importance of the committee system, and the forces affecting congressional decision making. Recommended: POS 100 or POS 105. (3 crs.)

POS307 - Revolution

A comparative study of the phenomenon of revolution, encompassing the causes, events and principal actors in those periods that culminate in the outbreak of violent political change. Recommended: POS 100 or POS 105. (3 crs.)

POS308 - Municipal Government

The course is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the organizational forms of municipal governments, the process of decision making and implementation, and proposed solutions to problems of urban society. Recommended: POS 100 or POS 105. (3 crs.)

POS310 - The Presidency

Intensive study of the American presidency, focusing on personality, organization of the office, use and misuse of power, and policy making. Recommended: POS 105. (3 crs.) Alternate fall.

POS311 - Cyberpolitics

An examination of the impact of the Internet on American democratic institutions and processes, focusing on campaigns and elections, civil liberties, law enforcement, national security, and public policies, including cyber democracy, cyber terrorism, law enforcement issues of wire tapping and encryption, education, taxes, entitlements, business, and medicine. Recommended: POS 100 or POS 105. (3 crs.)

POS312 - Politics of the World Economy

This course will be concerned with understanding the politics of the world economy. The emphasis will be on the contemporary structure of the international political economy, how it emerged, and what actions and policy responses – by international institutions, governments, multinational corporations and labor unions – continue to shape its order. Students will also gain knowledge of how their lives are impacted by the world economy and what future opportunity exists there. Recommended: POS 100 or POS 105. (3 crs.)

POS314 - Constitutional Law: Governmental Powers

A study of the major provisions of the American Constitution and the growth of American constitutional law based on analysis and discussion of leading judicial decisions. Recommended: POS 100 or POS 105. (3 crs.)

POS315 - Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

A study of the development and meaning of the rights and liberties guaranteed to persons under the Constitution of the United States. Special emphasis is placed on the antecedents of and the adoption of the Bill of Rights and a description of the court structure through which the meaning of civil liberties is determined in specific situations. Recommended: POS 100 or POS 105. (3 crs.)

POS316 - Judicial Policy and Politics

Intensive study of the judicial process in the United States and the relationship between the judicial system and the larger American social system. Recommended: POS 100 or POS 105. (3 crs.)

POS317 - Nonquantitative Techniques for Policy Planning

This is a course on nonquantitative techniques used in decision making: case studies, field research (e.g., theoretical sampling and semi-structured interviews), nominal group technique, idea writing, future imaging, timelines, Delphi questionnaires and focus groups. Recommended: POS 100 or POS 105. (3 crs.)

POS318 - Political Parties and Pressure Groups

This course examines the roles political parties and pressure groups play in electoral politics and policy making. Recommended: POS 100 or POS 105. (3 crs.)

POS319 - Campaign Management

A course on political campaigns and elections that combines theory and practice. The emphasis is placed on campaign strategy. Recommended: POS 105. (3 crs.)

POS320 - U.S. Foreign Policy

Policy objectives, patterns of decision making and U.S. foreign policy actions. The roles of interest groups, public opinion, Congress and other external influences in U.S. foreign policy are also examined. Recommended: POS 100 or POS 105. (3 crs.)

POS322 - Politics of the Middle East

This course will consider the nature and types of politics found throughout the Middle East. Consideration will begin with the diversity of peoples in this area, both in terms of religion and ethnicity, and how these were shaped by the Ottoman and European imperial systems of government. This will be followed by an examination of how contemporary Arab, Israeli, Turkish and Iranian governments have dealt with this legacy even as they respond to the challenges of the modern world. Recommended: POS 100 or POS 105. (3 crs.)

POS323 - Politics of Latin America

A comparative analysis of institutions, processes and politics of Latin American countries and how these have been shaped by the international relations of the region. Recommended: POS 100 or POS 105. (3 crs.)

POS325 - Politics of Asia

A comparative analysis of the institutions, processes and policies of China, Japan, and India and how these nations relate to the system in the United States.

POS326 - Politics of Africa

A comparative analysis of the institutions, processes and politics of selected African nations and their place in the international arena. Recommended: POS 100 or POS 105. (3 crs.)

POS327 - Contemporary Political Thought

A general survey of the major political ideas and representative thinkers of the 19th and 20th centuries, drawing connections between these ideas and contemporary developments in philosophy, religion, psychology, sociology, and the natural sciences.

POS329 - Internship in Political Science

Application of political science methodologies to various professional environments under faculty supervision.

POS330 - American Political Ideas

An advanced course in political theory: the major political ideas and controversies that are associated with the development of American political thought. Recommended: POS 100 or POS 105. (3 crs.)

POS336 - International Organizations

This course presents and analysis and evaluation of the United Nations Organization and other International Organizations, and some of the theoretical concepts and practical problems.

POS340 - The Politics of Empires

This course will explore how the organization and evolution of international order has been influenced and determined by empires and imperial political systems from the classical era to the contemporary age. The student will study not only the structure and practice of imperial institutions and patterns of international order, but their impact upon the social, economic and cultural life of those who lived within their authority. The nature of empires will also be considered according to the nature of their political legitimacy, from royal legitimacy to the development of trade to more modern ideological manifestations. The course will conclude with a treatment of the prospect and validity of empire and imperial organization in our own time. Recommended: POS 100 or POS 105. (3 crs.)

POS344 - Intergovernmental Relations

The course is an examination of the legal, political, fiscal, and administrative dimensions of intergovernmental relations in the United States. Recommended: POS 105

POS346 - International Relations

This course will be concerned with understanding the world of international politics and how it operates and impacts the lives of citizens. The student will gain a familiarity and understanding with not only how ideas shape foreign policy, but also how the real world of diplomacy operates, from the level of the embassy to the world of international organizations. Finally, the student will explore possible career tracks and venues within the contemporary world of international relations.

POS347 - Development of Political Thought: Classical and Medieval

The basic ideas, values, and method of the profound political thinkers and philosophers from the Axial Age, including Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Daoism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Platonism, Legalism, and Aristotelianism.

POS348 - Political Thought: Medieval and Modern

This course will explore and develop an understanding of the nature and content of political thought from the medieval period to the modern world. The student will also develop an understanding of how political thought shapes government and political institutions and through them, the larger world. Among the thinkers considered will be Dante, Machiavelli, More, Luther, Calvin, Jefferson and Burke. The course will conclude with an examination of how the modern political world was, in large part, a creation of these thinkers and their institutions from modern representative government to trading empires to emergent international organizations.

POS355 - Public Administration

Topics covered in the course include both theoretical and applied components, with an emphasis on public bureaucracies, administrative leadership, intergovernmental relations, organized interests, and making rules and implementing government decisions. Recommended: POS 105

POS360 - Politics, Palaces and Art in Islam

This course will be concerned with understanding the classical and royalist patterns of Islamic politics and how these have been an enduring and formative influence in contemporary Islamic thought and practice. The emphasis will be on the arrangement of Islamic political and religious power and how these are reflected in public architecture and art. The student will also gain knowledge and familiarity with the Umayyad, Tuqluq, Timurid, Fatimid, Safavid, Ottoman and Mughal cultures and empires and how these continue to have resonance and meaning for today's Muslims. Recommended: POS 100 or POS 105. (3 crs.)

POS365 - Public Sector Organizational Theory and Behavior

The course centers on organizational theory, behavior, and performance in public and nonprofit organizations, including the organizational environment, decision making procedures and choices, inter-agency and intra-agency teamwork, and organizational politics. Recommended: POS 105

POS370 - Public Sector Personnel Management

The course centers on public personnel management and administrative theories and practices, public sector employment law, diversity recruitment, and labor relations. Recommended: POS 105

POS375 - Public and Nonprofit Strategic Planning

The course focuses on strategic planning as it relates to public and nonprofit organizations, including theories and methodologies, organizational dynamics, and frameworks. Recommended: POS 105

POS379 - Special Topics in Political Science

Topical study of a political problem, policy issue, or discipline controversy determined by departmental faculty. (3 crs.)

POS415 - Public Opinion and Political Behavior

A course on the fundamentals of public opinion research, including measurement methods. The study of political behavior as it relates to political participation and public policy. Prerequisites: Recommended POS 105 or permission of the instructor (3 crs.)

POS450 - Seminar in Politics

A seminar designed to provide an intensive examination of a specific and narrowly focused problem or controversy in the discipline. Prerequisite: Students taking this course must be seniors majoring in political science. (3 crs.)