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Political Science / Courses

POL-100 American Political Systems (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year
An introduction to American government and politics with an emphasis on the basic constitutional structure of the government and on the political institutions that surround it. Attention given to current political events and issues.

POL-203 Contemporary American Policy & Politics (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year
A study of public policies and the political processes that support them. Models and methods used by policy analysts will be studied.

POL-204 Comparative Politics (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only
An introduction to the theory and practice of government in major contrasting political systems. Liberal democratic, authoritarian and developing systems are considered.

POL-205 Political Ideas Seminar (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Every Year
Selected readings from original sources in the area of modern and contemporary political philosophy. Topics covered include democracy, liberalism, Marxism, and liberation ideologies. Emphasis is on developing writing and analytic skills. [Required for political science majors who should take it in their sophomore or junior year.] Also offered as PHI-205. Prerequisite: ENG-111.

POL-207 Political Leadership Practicum (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head
Students will design and implement the Meredith Votes campaign, a campus-wide, nonpartisan voter registration, education and turn out effort. This is a service learning course.

POL-210 International Politics (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year
An introduction to world politics. A survey of current issues and trends in major regions and the principles of interactions among nations, blocks, international organizations, and multinational corporations.

POL-282 The Modern Middle East (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Every Year
This course will address cultural, social and political issues in the Middle East since the late 19th and into the 21st century. Topics covered will include imperialism, nationalism, the creation of modern states, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Iranian Revolution, the politics of oil, U.S. - Middle East relations, and the emergence of activist Islamic groups. Also offered as HIS-282.

POL-300 Law and Society (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Every Year
An introduction to the nature and function of law, to the structure and operation of the court systems of the United States and to the legal professions. Also considers current legal controversies.

POL-301 Constitution & Rights of Americans (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year
The law and practice of constitutional interpretation with a focus on civil liberties and the bill of rights. The case method and intensive discussion are used to introduce the process of legal reasoning and disciplined analytic thinking.

POL-305 Introduction to Public Administration (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only
An introduction to the field of public administration. The executive branch of American government will be examined. Methods, theories, and skills of administration in the public sector will be studied.

POL-309 The Politics of the Vietnam War (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head
The course will offer an in-depth examination of the war in Vietnam and the participation of the United States in that war. There will be an extensive study of the causes of the war. The political environment of the prosecution and termination of the conflict will be addressed. Foreign and defense policy will be a primary perspective.

POL-310 Gender Issues in Law & Policy (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head
This course explores current law and policy concerning contemporary gender issues as well as conflicting perspectives on those issues. Students will critically analyze and compare a wide range of different feminist and masculinist approaches to issues like workplace discrimination, violence against women, abortion and pornography.

POL-320 International Political Economy (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
This course examines the politics of international economic relations between countries and in the world as a whole. The course orients students with the basic underpinnings of international economic policymaking and the basic theoretical paradigms of the field of international political economy. Specific topics of discussion include the politics of international trade, the effect of globalization on the U.S. economy and political system, the role of multinational corporations and nongovernmental organizations in global politics, relations between the developed and developing worlds, and the rise of regional economic blocs.

POL-330 Modern US Foreign Policy (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head
A study of global issues involving the United States vis-a-vis Europe, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, Africa, Middle East, and Asia. May be taken for credit in political science or history. Also offered as HIS-330.

POL-331 Environmental Politics & Policy (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only
This course will examine the politics and policy of environmental issues both in the United States and globally. We will study the forces and constraints that shape policy at local, state and national levels of government. We will also examine the issues and problems of the global environment and international policy being developed to address those issues. Students will examine and assess proposed solutions to the problems.

POL-334 Research Design and Methods (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Every Year
This course provides a broad overview of the nature of inquiry in political science and is intended to give students an understanding of how to do empirical research. Students will finish the course knowing how philosophy of science, research design, and statistical and causal inference are understood in the discipline of political science. To be taken during semester before POL-498/9.

POL-340 State & Local Political Systems (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
This course provides a survey of politics and policy at the state and local levels of government. Institutions, processes, and behaviors of governments and political participants will be studied. The federal system will be examined from the viewpoint of states and localities.

POL-350 Congress and the Presidency (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
This course will examine the elective branches of government: the Congress and the President. Students will examine the structure and function of each branch separately and then study the relationship of each to the other.

POL-360 British Parliamentary Government (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Meredith Abroad | Course Offered Every Year
This course introduces students to the nature and background of the British form of government with an emphasis on Parliament and the European Union. Because this course is taught in London and meets several times in Westminster Palace, students have a unique opportunity to observe government at work. Students supplement what they learn in class and in their texts with what they see as they attend committee meetings and sessions of both Houses and what they hear from the broad spectrum of members of Parliament, peers, and parliamentary staff who speak to them.

POL-370 Model United Nations (1.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year
This course will introduce students to the origins, functions, structure and issues facing the contemporary world and prepares students to participate in a world politics simulation. Participation in the simulation is a requirement for this course. Students will earn 3 credits the first time they complete this course. The course may be repeated for 1-2 hours of credit.

POL-498 Honors Thesis in Political Studies (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year
A research and seminar course required of Honors Scholars and Teaching Fellows in which each student will formulate and execute an original research project that will culminate in a paper and an oral presentation. The director of the research project must approve a preliminary research proposal during the semester before the student takes this course, as must the appropriate director(s) of Honors and/or Teaching Fellows. The project must meet Honors and Teaching Fellows requirements as well as those of the History and Political Science Department. This course substitutes for the POL-499 requirement. Prerequisites: Students must complete one WI course and POL-334 or LEG-401, or permission of instructor. A student who completes the POL-498 Research Seminar as a prerequisite may undertake a second elective POL-498 or POL-499 research project on her own with an individual faculty director without attending the seminar a second time.

POL-499 Senior Research (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year
A research and seminar course required of all majors not in Honors or Teaching Fellows, in which each student will formulate and execute an original research project that will culminate in a paper. The director of the research project must approve a preliminary research proposal during the semester before the student takes this course. Prerequisites: Students must complete one WI course and POL-334 or LEG-401, or permission of instructor. A student who completes the POL-499 Research Seminar as a prerequisite may undertake a second elective POL- 499 research project on her own with an individual faculty director without attending the seminar a second time.

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Contact Information

Dan Fountain, Department Head
226 Joyner Hall
(919) 760-8507
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