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Political Science Courses


LEG-400: Legal Survey Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year

An overview of the legal principles and procedures in major areas of the law, including civil procedure, torts, criminal law, contracts, real property, domestic law, wills and estates, and corporations. Open to juniors and seniors only. Permission from the Director of the Paralegal Program is required to enroll.
 


LEG-401: Legal Research Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year

Legal bibliography and research methods.  Included are court reports, statutes and digests; legal encyclopedias, treatises and periodicals; computer research; legal citation form; Shepard's citations; introduction to legal writing.  Open to juniors and seniors only. Permission of the Director of the Paralegal Program is required to enroll. Prerequisite: LEG-400.
 


LEG-402: Law Office Management Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year

Students will gain an understanding of the role of the paralegal in the law office.  Students will gain a thorough knowledge of the N.C. Rules of Professional Conduct and their applicability to attorneys and paralegals.  Students will be able to identify ethical issues a paralegal may encounter and determine the appropriate response.  Students will become familiar with a variety of law office procedures and management techniques.  Topics include the definition, role and responsibilities of the paralegal; confidentiality; conflicts of interest; unauthorized practice of law; professional negligence; developing forms and systems; time keeping and billing; tickler systems; communications skills.  Students are expected to be proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.  Prerequisite/corequisite: LEG-400, LEG-401.


POL-100: American Political Systems 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-200: Law and Society Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only

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-203: American Public Policy Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only

A study of public policies and their ethical implications.. Models and methods used by policy analysts will be studied.


POL-204: Comparative Politics 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 Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Every Year

Selected readings from original sources in the area of modern and contemporary political philosophy. Topics covered include various ideologies, ideal government, liberty, equality, individualism, and the role of women in the public sphere. Emphasis is on writing and speaking skills. Prerequisite: ENG-111. 


POL-207: Campaigns and Elections Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only

This course is an in-depth examination of campaigns and elections. Students will learn how successful campaigns are run, how elections are conducted, as well as assisting with the composition and conducting of the Meredith Poll. Topics of the poll will vary. 


POL-210: International Politics 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 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-301: Civil Liberties Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only

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-302: Civil Rights Law Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only

This course is an examination of the development of United States civil rights law in the areas of gender and race.  Students will read Supreme Court opinions and analyze how these decisions might be applied to modern racial and gender issues. The case method and intensive discussion are used to introduce the process of legal reasoning and disciplined analytic thinking.


POL-305: Public Administration Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Odd-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-306: Nonprofit Administration Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only

This course will introduce students to the role that non‐profit organizations play in American life and how they intersect with government. Students will also learn about topics affecting how non‐profits are managed, including: leadership, budgeting, fundraising, and advocacy. This course offers a theoretical and practical overview of the sector.


POL-310: Women and Politics Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head

This course will examine the role women play in politics and the participation of women in government as voters, elected and appointed officials, and party leaders. Topics of discussion will include women in political theory, the history of women in American politics, and current gender issues.


POL-320: International Political Economy 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-322: Public Opinion and American Politics Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head

This course explores the structure and dynamics of American Public opinion, providing a broad-based introduction to the forces that shape citizens’ social and political attitudes in the contemporary United States.  The content of the course will focus on three major areas: definitions of public opinion and theories of opinion formation, how public opinion is influenced and how it in turn influences governmental policy, and public opinion in specific areas of the contemporary American political scene.


POL-330: Modern US Foreign Policy 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 Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head

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 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 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-351: Political Leadership Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head

What does it take to be an effective political leader? How can you become a political leader—at the local, state, or even national level? This course examines theories of effective political leadership. It also helps students develop the attitudes, knowledge, and skills necessary for contemporary political leaders. 


POL-367: Lobbying and Advocacy Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head

The course will cover the history and current practices of legislative lobbying and public issue advocacy. The students will learn to prepare legislation and lobby for its passage, as well as how to move public opinion through advocacy. Students will learn how to build effective political coalitions and conduct policy campaigns. 


POL-370: World Politics Simulation Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head

This course will introduce students to the origins, function, structure and issues facing the contemporary International Organizations such as the United Nations and prepare a student delegation to participate in a simulation such as a Model United Nations conference, a Model Arab League conference, or an online world politics simulation among other venues. Participation in the conference or simulation is a requirement for the course. Students will earn 3 credits the first time they complete the course. The course may be repeated for 1–2 hours of credit.


POL-380: Political Science Internship Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year

This course exposes students to the workplace environments in which political scientists and practical politicians function; puts “flesh on the bones” of the theory of political science that students learn in the classroom; demonstrates how the ideals of political science sometimes inform and sometimes are transformed by actual practices in the field.  May be repeated for credit.


POL-401: Moot Court Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only

This course will prepare students to participate in moot court competitions, which simulate the experience of arguing a constitutional law case before the Supreme Court. Students will gain hands-on experience in legal research, critical thinking, and effective argument. Prerequisites: POL-301 or POL-302 recommended.


POL-450: Politics Practicum Session(s): Summer | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only

This course will involve traveling to either Washington, DC or political conventions in order to see and experience politics in action, with a particular focus on the importance of democratic engagement.  Convention trips will focus on themes of the current election, while Washington, DC trips will involve a current topic in political discourse.  Topics will be chosen in accordance with faculty and student interest and may include current events, current trends in research, and/or professional practice.  May be repeated for credit but no more than three hours may be applied to POL elective credit.  Prerequisite: POL 100.


POL-480: Advanced Fieldwork Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year

This course is a capstone experience for the Political Science majors and is an opportunity for them to use their political science training to understand the interplay between theory and methods and the actual world of political organization and movements. Students will complete a placement with a community or government agency involved in a political campaign or other activity, as approved by the instructor. All students will utilize political science theories, literature, methods and data to explore the phenomena they encounter in their fieldwork. Findings of the semester long project will be presented to political science faculty, students, and the broader Meredith Community.
Prerequisite: POL-380 or permission of instructor.


POL-498: Honors Thesis in Political Studies 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 Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year

This course is a capstone experience for Political Science majors 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-344 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.



Curriculum requirements and course descriptions are subject to changes with each catalogue.



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Contact Information
Gregory Vitarbo
Head, History, Political Science, & International Studies Department
214 Joyner Hall
(919) 760-8089
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