Department subfields

American Government

The American politics subfield includes the study of American political institutions (for example, Congress, the courts, and the presidency), political behavior and attitudes among the mass public (for example, the effect of race and gender on political participation), and the intermediaries that link the mass public and political institutions (for example, interest groups, political parties, and the media). On a broader level, the American subfield seeks to address enduring questions concerning rights, power, political representation, the ongoing centrality of race in American politics, the legitimacy of the political system, the capacity of the political system to solve policy problems, and the tension between equality and liberty baked into the nation’s political culture, laws, and institutions. Examining politics and government at the national, state, and local levels, the subfield employs a broad array of theoretical and empirical approaches and seeks to place the American political system in the context of the political systems of other countries around the world.

Courses

Level Number and Title Professor(s) Pre-requisites or notes
100-level POL 101 Boddery, Dawes, Larson, McWeeney, Britt NA
200-level POL 201 (Topics in American Government - Race and the Right to Vote in the U.S.) Britt POL 101
200-level POL 201 (Topics in American Government-US Welfare Policy) Gordon POL 101
200-level POL 223 (U.S. Congress) Larson POL 101
200-level POL 225 (Constitutional Law I) Boddery POL 101
200-level POL 299 (Judicial Politics & Behavior) McWeeney POL 101
300-level POL 331 (Political Parties in American Politics) Larson POL 101 and 215
300-level POL 301 (Campaigns and Elections) Larson POL 101 and 215; Course number to be changed in the future
300-level POL 301 (Political Voice and Influence in America) Larson POL 101 and 215; Course number to be changed in the future
300-level POL 301 Money, Power, and Political Representation in the U.S Larson POL 101 and 215; Course number to be changed in the future
300-level POL 321 (Gender and American Politics) Gordon POL 101
300-level POL 322 (Constitutional Law II) Boddery POL 101
300-level POL 327 (State Politics and Policy) Dawes POL 101 and 215
300-level POL 375 (Constitutional Police Procedure) Boddery POL 101
300-level POL 382 (Feminist Theory in American Politics) Britt POL 101 or 102
300-level POL 399 (Legal Analysis) Boddery POL 101
400-level POL 401 (Capstone: Problems in American Politics) Larson POL 101 and 215
400-level POL 401 (Capstone: Voting Behavior and Electoral Politics) Dawes POL 101 and 215

Comparative Politics

Comparative politics is the study of political phenomena across societies and time, between political systems and within political systems. Comparative politics asks exciting questions with respect to both global and historical perspectives, such as: Why do some countries become democracies and others dictatorships? How do dictators govern and manage its opposition? What are effective ways to organize social movements and design political institutions to achieve important outcomes like securing human rights? How do cultural values (like support for gender equality) influence political institutions and policies in different countries? What leads to political violence like state repression and terrorism? What determines whether governments try to sustain peace or wage war (domestically or internationally)?

Students in Comparative Politics have interdisciplinary experience because this subfield brings together diverse backgrounds and interests (from international affairs, economics, sociology, gender studies, mathematics, and religious studies, history, and law)

Courses

Level Number and Title Professor(s) Pre-requisites or notes
100-level POL 104 (Intro to CP) Woo & Page NA
200-level POL 204 (Two Koreas) Woo POL 104; Course number to be changed in the future
200-level POL 204 (Intro to the European Union) Page POL 104; Course number to be changed in the future
300-level POL 304 (How to be a dictator) Woo POL 104; Course number to be changed in the future
300-level POL 304 (Controversies in European Politics) Page POL 104; Course number to be changed in the future
300-level POL 304 (Politics of Sexuality) Page POL 104; Course number to be changed in the future
400-level POL 404 (Capstone: How Political Institutions Affect Individual Behavior) Page Intro to CP; POL 215

International Relations

The field of International Relations (IR) investigates relations between nation-states and non-state actors in the areas of international security and international political economy. While seeking to answer central questions such as ‘What are the causes of war?,’ IR scholarship also investigates a broad range of outcomes relating to international development, foreign policy, environmental politics, international law, human rights, global health, cybersecurity and the politics of transnationalism, among others. The subfield is also characterized by a diversity of theoretical approaches and the application of research methods. Development of an understanding of the complexity of relationships among international actors and their security environment can translate into various career opportunities in academia, non-profit organizations, IGOs, news agencies, think tanks and numerous government agencies.

Courses

Level Number and Title Professor(s) Pre-requisites or notes
100-level POL 103 (Intro to IR) Hartzell; Akbaba; Reid; McWeeney
200-level POL 252 (North/South Dialogue) Hartzell Intro to IR or Intro to Macroeconomics
200-level POL 203 (Topics: Politics of Global Disaster) Reid Intro to IR
200-level POL 203 (Topics: Women, War, and Peace) Reid Intro to IR
200-level POL 242 (U.S. Foreign Policy) Akbaba Intro to IR
200-level POL 253 (Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict) Akbaba
200-level POL 255 (Film, Fiction and World Politics) Akbaba
300-level POL 303 (Topics: Civil Wars and Political Violence) Reid Intro to IR; POL 215 suggested
300-level POL 347 (Global Conflict Management) Reid Intro to IR; POL 215 suggested
300-level POL 351 (Political Economy of Armed Conflict) Hartzell Intro to IR; POL 215 suggested
300-level POL 303 (Topics: Foreign Policy Analysis) Akbaba Intro to IR; POL 215 suggested; Course number to be changed in the future.
400-level POL 403 (Capstone: Globalization) Hartzell Intro to IR; POL 215
400-level POL 403 (Capstone: Religion and IR) Akbaba Intro to IR; POL 215

Political Theory

The subfield of political theory involves the study of the history of political thought as well as problems in contemporary political life from a philosophical perspective. Students will think critically and collaboratively about fundamental questions concerning politics. What is a good life? How should society be organized? How should we understand concepts like power, freedom, justice, rights, and responsibility? What are the nature, causes, and effects of good and bad government? Students will engage questions like these through employing cross-cultural vantage points provided by influential thinkers around the globe - ancient, modern, Eastern, Western, men and women of different nationalities, classes, and races.

Courses

Level Number and Title Professor(s) Pre-requisites or notes
100-level POL 102 (Intro to Political Thought) Pham
200-level POL 203 (Refugees and You) Pham
300-level POL 302 (Vietnam War and Political Theory) Pham
300-level POL 302 (Race and Political Theory) Pham
300-level POL 382 (Feminist Theory in American Politics) Britt POL 101 or 102
400-level