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Fall 2012 Courses & Descriptions

Political Science Expanded Course Descriptions                               Fall Term 2012

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PS 201, Section 001          INTRODUCTION TO U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS                            4 credits

CRN 11943                                                                                                                                          TR 12:00-1:50

Instructor:  Rorie Solberg                                                                                                                                        

This course explores the ideas, institutions, processes and behavior that constitute the national political life of the United States. Topics include the Constitution, Congress, the presidency, bureaucracy, the courts, civil rights and liberties, federalism, parties, interest groups, media, and elections. We will look at how these elements contribute to the exercise of politics as well as how they affect two core values of American political life; liberty and equality. We will examine some domestic and foreign policy issues that have been instrumental in shaping American politics. This course will involve lecture, discussion, group work, and debate. (Bacc Core/Social Sciences course)



PS 204                                    INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE POLITICS                                  4 credits

CRN 13011                                                                                                                                        TR 10:00-11:50

Instructor: Tamas Golya

This course examines the political systems of major democracies, authoritarian regimes, and those of countries making transitions toward democracy.  In order to understand how each political system works, four subject areas are studied: the impact of the past; key institutions; political processes; and political economy.  (Bacc Core/Social Sciences Course)



PS 205                                INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS                              4 credits

CRN 12280                                                                                                                                        MW 12:00-1:50

Instructor: David Bernell

Introduction to International Relations examines the relations among states and non-state actors around the world.  The course will look at the history behind current international relations, the major concepts and theories that inform and explain international relations, and significant issues that occupy contemporary nation-states, such as globalization, intervention, trade and development, the UN and international law, terrorism, the spread of nuclear weapons, and the rise of China. (Bacc Core/Social Sciences Course)



PS 206                                       INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL THOUGHT                                     4 credits

CRN 18297                                                                                                                                      MW 10:00-11:50

Instructor: TBD

Introduction to political philosophy. Major ideas and issues of selected political thinkers. (Bacc Core/Humanities Course)



PS 321                                             AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW                                           4 credits

CRN 19611                                                                                                                                            TR 8:00-9:50

Instructor:  Rorie Solberg

The Supreme Court's work from 1789 to 1876; origins of judicial power, issues of federalism, contracts clause, status of blacks, women, and Native Americans. (PS 321, PS 322, and PS 323 form a sequence, though each course may be taken independently.) PREREQS: PS 201



PS 341                     POLITICS OF WESTERN EUROPE AND THE EUROPEAN UNION                   4 credits

CRN 19612                                                                                                                                          TR 12:00-1:50

Instructor:  Alison Johnston

Describes and analyzes the political situation in Europe and the European Union. Special focus is given to issues concerning European security and the European Union, its institutions, politics, and the challenges it faces since the opening of Europe to the East. PREREQS: PS 204



PS 345                                            POLITICS OF DEVELOPING NATIONS                                          4 credits

CRN 16340                                                                                                                                          MW 4:00-5:50

Instructor:  Doug Clark

This course introduces the political economy of ‘development’ in the countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America within the context of the globalization of capitalism.  The class provides students with an overview of the colonial history of these regions, the liberation struggles leading to the emergence of more than 140 new nations in the Twentieth Century, the ‘modernizing strategies’ initiated by former colonizers and the US, and the contemporary political and economic characteristics of this ‘developing’ world.  The central focus is on the various strategies proposed and implemented in an effort to overcome the endemic poverty and political instability that entraps a majority of the world’s citizens.  Topics include: NAFTA, migration, civil war, foreign aid, appropriate technology, micro-finance, and sustainability.  (Bacc Core/Non-Western Culture) PREREQS: PS 204



PS 361                                               CLASSICAL POLITICAL THOUGHT                                            4 credits

CRN 19614                                                                                                                                          MW 2:00-3:50

Instructor:  TBD

Major political theorists from the pre-Socratics through the Scholastics. (H) PREREQS: PS 206



PS 399                              CURRENT PROBLEMS: CAUSES OF WAR AND PEACE                           4 credits

CRN 19615                                                                                                                                            TR 4:00-5:50

Instructor:  Tamas Golya

This course on international security explores established and evolving theories on the causes of war and peace. These causes can be found on the individual, state, interstate and global level of analysis, and reflect insights from related disciplines such as history, sociology, psychology and game theory. Students will also learn how to examine the evidence for and against these theories.  While the explanation of specific conflicts plays a prominent role in this class, it is equally important to explain the long-term trends towards peace in some parts of the world. PREREQS: PS 205



PS 400                                                          POLITICAL ANALYSIS                                                        4 credits

Lecture: CRN 13663, Section 001                                                                           W 10:00-11:50 & F 10:00-10:50

Lab: CRN 13664 Section 010                                                                                                              F 11:00-11:50

Instructor: Hubbard

This course is designed to introduce students into the methodology or theory of research and then instruct them how to apply the methodologies through the conducting of statistical tests used by sociologists and political scientists today.  This course include lectures and information on ethics and politics involved in research, theoretical frameworks, political paradigms, the conceptualization and operationalization of variables, designing research studies, sampling, data collection methods, and data analysis.    This should allow for students not only to conduct their own research but become adept at the deciphering of studies conducted and published by all forms of media.

Each student must sign up for one lab and lecture session.  Within the lab, SPSS software will be used to instruct students on the creation of data sets and the manipulation of previously collected data sets.  Each week will contain one hour of lab work in which the instructor will give a short lecture and examples of statistical tests and expectations of written assessments of those tests.  Students will be required to use blackboard for the submission of assignments as well as their ONID account information for the use of laboratory computers.  This course is restricted to Political Science majors only, and the No-Show/Drop policy will be enforced.


PS 475                                        ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS AND POLICY                                      4 credits

CRN 19730                                                                                                                                            TR 4:00-5:50

Instructor:  Ed Weber

Over the past 40 years, numerous agencies and public policies have been created that have been instrumental in cleaning up pollution and changing the ways in which natural resources are managed in the U.S.  In addition, the American public consistently has supported environmental protection as a policy issue of national importance. Yet in spite of the seeming internalization of environmental values among policymakers and the general public, and despite clear successes cleaning up pollution, the world of environmental, natural resources, and public lands policymaking is beset by widespread pressure for policy reform and institutional reinvention. What is all the fuss about?

This course is designed to answer this question. The course starts by cutting the world of environmental policy along two major dimensions—empirical and theoretical.  Within the empirical dimension, the debates over environmental policy focus on the three basic sectors of action—markets, government (hierarchy), and civil society--within which policy is set.  For most all of the 20th (and now the 21st) Century, the debate has been a fairly sterile either-or debate between markets and government.  Recently, however, more and more policymakers and citizens have become dissatisfied with the ability of either sector to produce effective, long-term results in the environmental policy realm.  As a result, a great deal of attention has been directed toward the civil society sector (including the role of non-profits) and the idea of bringing society back in as critical elements in effective, long-term policy solutions.  Which sector is best suited for solving public policy problems?  Is there a “best” sector, or a “best” combination of sectors that will help us alleviate environmental policy problems?  This seminar examines the arguments for the different sectors of action, and the promise and peril associated with each, although the contemporary push for innovation and new methods of attacking the environmental problematique will occupy most of our intellectual effort.

Understanding the empirical dimension requires exploration of the theoretical dimension.  It is theory that helps to frame the world around us, gives us the intellectual tools for understanding its many dimensions, and exposes us to the assumptions regarding human behavior that are often directly connected to policy choices (whether consciously or not).  A good grasp of theory can also help us sort through scholarly readings and give us the kind of broader understanding of policy debates that can be applied to the political/policy dynamic found in domains beyond environmental policy.  Week 1 will help us frame this dimension so that we are all on the same page (i.e., so that political scientists and non-political scientists alike can converse together).

The objective of the course is to provide future political scientists (especially those with an emphasis in American politics, public administration, and public policy), policy analysts, urban and regional planners, environmental scientists, and natural resource/ public lands scientists and managers with a critical, broad overview of the changing world of environmental/ natural resources institutions and approaches to the environmental problematique. Students will not only develop an appreciation for the connection between the way we organize and control institutions and ultimate policy outcomes, they will develop critical insights into the connections between politics and policy administration--an important lesson for future public managers, environmental scientists, planners, and scholars. PREREQS: PS 201



PS 499                                 SPECIAL TOPIC: POLITICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE                               4 credits

CRN 19777                                                                                                                                          MW 2:00-3:50

Instructor: Amy Below

This course will introduce students to the politics surrounding global climate change from both a domestic and international perspective. Topics will include city, state and national attention to the issue as well as the roles presidents, Congress, the Supreme Court, corporations and media have played in formulating and evaluating climate change policy. The class will also focus on the international and geopolitical aspects of climate change, including discussion of international conventions and treaties, the tension between developed and developing nations and possible impacts to environmental and national security. Note: This class does NOT fulfill the Capstone/WIC requirement for the major. PREREQS: PS 205