Undergraduate Study

Fall 2019 Courses

All information in this guide is tentative and subject to change. Check the Political Science Department Office for updates.  Information on rooms and times for the classes listed can be obtained from the university-wide Time Schedule of Classes or from the Political Science office.

“Cross listed” Courses: These may applied to a Political Science major or minor without a petition, regardless of the departmental prefix. For example, if you take African-American Politics as AAS 306, you do not need to petition to apply it to your Political Science major.

"Meets With” Courses": If you take a “Meets With” course under a departmental prefix other than PSC, you will need to petition to count that course towards your Political Science major or minor.

Courses with international content are designated with an asterisk [*].

Current information on rooms and times for classes can be obtained on your MySlice or from the Political Science office.


PSC 121 m100 American National Government and Politics

Instructor: Gavan Duffy
Class #: 10604 
Offered: T/Th 2:00 pm - 2:55 pm
Frequency Offered: Every semester 
Prerequisites: None
This course is required for all students who are majoring in Political Science

All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course. 
Discussion # 10936 (Section 101) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25 am 
Discussion # 10937 (Section 104) Fridays 8:25 am-9:20 am 
Discussion # 10938 (Section 105) Thursdays 3:30 pm-4:25 pm 
Discussion # 10939 (Section 106) Thursdays 5:00 pm-5:55 pm

Course Description 
How does the American political system operate? This course provides an introduction to American political ideas, institutions, behaviors, and processes. Topics include (among other things) public opinion, elections, Congress, the presidency, the mass media, civic participation, the Constitution, federalism, and public policy. Although we will cover the “nuts and bolts” of American government, our focus is on political science rather than civics, which means our task is to analyze and interpret political phenomena.


PSC 121 m200 American National Government and Politics 

Instructor: Jenn Jackson
Class #: 11271 
Offered: M/W 10:35 am-11:30 am 
Frequency Offered: Every semester 
Prerequisites: None 
This course is required for all students who are majoring in political science. 

All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course
Discussion # 11272 (Section 201) Thursdays 3:30 pm-4:25 pm
Discussion # 11273 (Section 202) Thursdays 5:00 pm-5:55 pm
Discussion # 11274 (Section 203) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25 am
Discussion # 11275 (Section 204) Fridays 8:25 am-9:20 am 
Discussion # 11975 (Section 205) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25 am
Discussion # 11976 (Section 206) Fridays 12:45 pm-1:40 pm

Course Description 
How does the American political system operate? This course provides an introduction to American political ideas, institutions, behaviors, and processes. Topics include (among other things) public opinion, elections, Congress, the presidency, the mass media, civic participation, the Constitution, federalism, and public policy. Although we will cover the “nuts and bolts” of American government, our focus is on political science rather than civics, which means our task is to analyze and interpret political phenomena.


PSC 121 u001 American National Government and Politics 

Instructor: TBD
Class #: 21054
Offered: T/Th 5:00 pm-6:25 pm 
Frequency Offered: Every semester 
Prerequisites: None 
This course is required for all students who are majoring in political science. 

Course Description 
How does the American political system operate? This course provides an introduction to American political ideas, institutions, behaviors, and processes. Topics include (among other things) public opinion, elections, Congress, the presidency, the mass media, civic participation, the Constitution, federalism, and public policy. Although we will cover the “nuts and bolts” of American government, our focus is on political science rather than civics, which means our task is to analyze and interpret political phenomena.


PSC 123 m100 Comparative Government and Politics*

Instructor: Margarita Estevez Abe
Class #: 11977 
Offered: M/W 11:40 am - 12:35 pm
Frequency Offered: Yearly 
Prerequisites: None 

All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course. 
Discussion # 11978 (Section 101) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25 am
Discussion # 11979 (Section 102) Fridays 11:40 am-12:35 pm
Discussion # 11980 (Section 103) Thursdays 8:00 am-8:55 am 
Discussion # 11981 (Section 104) Thursdays 5:00 pm-5:55 pm

Course Description 
Why are some countries democratic and others authoritarian? Do democracies provide citizens a better quality of life? Why do civil wars happen in some countries? What are the relations among history, culture, the economy and politics? These are some of the questions that we will cover in class. This is a course intended to introduce students to politics around the world in a comparative perspective. We will examine some of the pressing issues in politics today, and survey the social science literature to see how the theories it develops helps us understand politics better.


PSC 124 m100 International Relations*

Instructor: Terrell Northrup
Class #: 10605 
Offered: M/W 10:35 am - 11:30 am
Frequency Offered: Every semester 
Prerequisites: None

All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course.
Discussion # 10940 (Section 101) Fridays 12:45 pm-1:40 pm
Discussion # 10941 (Section 102) Thursdays 9:30 am-10:25 am
Discussion # 10942 (Section 103) Thursdays 3:30 pm-4:25 pm 
Discussion # 10943 (Section 104) Thursdays 5:00 pm-5:55 pm
Discussion # 11305 (Section 105) Fridays 11:40 am-12:35 pm 
Discussion # 11306 (Section 106) Fridays 11:40 am-12:35 pm

Meets with PSC 139 m001 

Course Description
This course introduces students to the main issues and actors in contemporary international relations, organized around three major topical perspectives: world structure and theoretical views of that structure; international political economy; and international conflict, cooperation and security. It will focus on current debates around global topics such as human rights, economic interdependence, nationalism, the global environment, and economic disparities. During section meetings, students are encouraged to explore and discuss how states, international institutions, and non-state actors shape current international affairs and future forms of global governance.


PSC 124 m200 International Relations*

Instructor: Audie Klotz
Class #: 10606 
Offered: M/W 9:30 am - 10:25 am
Frequency Offered: Every semester 
Prerequisites: None

Note: All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course.
Discussion # 10974 (Section 201) Thursdays 5:00 pm-5:55 pm
Discussion # 10975 (Section 202) Thursdays 3:30 pm-4:25 pm
Discussion # 10976 (Section 203) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25 am
Discussion # 10977 (Section 204) Fridays 12:45 pm-1:40 pm
Discussion # 12346 (Section 205) Thursdays 3:30 pm-4:25 pm
Discussion # 12347 (Section 206) Thursdays 5:00 pm-5:55 pm

Course Description
This course introduces students to the main issues and actors in contemporary international relations, organized around three major topical perspectives: world structure and theoretical views of that structure; international political economy; and international conflict, cooperation and security. It will focus on current debates around global topics such as human rights, economic interdependence, nationalism, the global environment, and economic disparities. During section meetings, students are encouraged to explore and discuss how states, international institutions, and non-state actors shape current international affairs and future forms of global governance.


PSC 124 m300 International Relations*

Instructor: Francine D’Amico
Class #: 10991 
Offered: M/W/F 11:40 am-12:35 pm
Frequency Offered: Every semester 
Prerequisites: None

Note: Restricted to first-year students residing in the International Relations Learning Community, Day Hall 3. For information on joining a learning community, please contact the SU Office of Learning Communities by email or phone at 315-443-2079.

Course Description
This course introduces students to the main issues and actors in contemporary international relations, organized around three major topical perspectives: world structure and theoretical views of that structure; international political economy; and international conflict, cooperation and security. It will focus on current debates around global topics such as human rights, economic interdependence, nationalism, the global environment, and economic disparities.  Students are encouraged to explore and discuss how states, international institutions, and non-state actors shape current international affairs and future forms of global governance.


PSC 125 m001 Political Theory 

Instructor: Glyn Morgan
Class #: 11791 
Offered: T/Th 5:00 pm-5:55 pm 
Frequency Offered: Yearly Prerequisites: None

All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course
Discussion # 13184 (Section 002) Fridays 8:25 am-9:20 am 
Discussion # 13185 (Section 003) Fridays 9:30 am-10:25 pm 
Discussion # 13186 (Section 004) Fridays 10:35 am-11:30 am 
Discussion # 13187 (Section 005) Fridays 11:40 am-12:35 pm 
Discussion # 13188 (Section 006) Fridays 12:45 pm-1:40 pm 
Discussion # 13189 (Section 007) Fridays 2:15 pm-3:10 pm 

Meets with PHI 125 

Course Description
This course surveys political theories across large stretches of historical time while closely examining some of the great and near-great works from Plato to the present. The examining instruments are what we think we know today about such topics as rationality, social organization, morality, justice, and critical interpretation. At the end of the course we should have a better understanding of arguments and texts in political theory, and whether and how contemporary political theorists continue the inquiries that began at earlier times in our history. A variety of resources will be used in our journey. Most of the time we will be reading conventional -- what I call linear -- texts that tell a story of political theory from the past to the present. In approximately the last third of the course we will study material from more recent approaches to politics that sometimes maintains, at other times rejects, the theoretical narratives dominating classical and modern thought. The aim here is to illuminate political thought with more recent insights and concepts, often drawn from the work of theorists who question what is taken for granted in traditional theory on the nature of the self, the scope of rationality, and the organization of human communities


PSC 139 m001 International Relations (Honors)*

Instructor: Terrell Northrup
Class #: 11794 
Offered: M/W 10:35 am-11:30 am; Th 9:30 am-10:25 am 
Frequency Offered: Yearly 
Prerequisites: None

Meets with PSC 124 m100 

Course Description 
This course explores diverse world views and theoretical perspectives on issues in contemporary international relations, including foreign policy, global political economy, international conflict and cooperation, international law & organizations, and global issues such as health and the environment. Lectures, readings, analytic writing, case analysis, and group discussion. This course is offered ONLY for students currently enrolled in the Syracuse University Renee Crown Honors Program. Students not enrolled in the Crown Honors program must enroll in PSC 124 International Relations. Academic credit is given for PSC 124 or PSC 139, but not both.


PSC 202 m100 Introduction to Political Analysis 

Instructor: Christopher Faricy
Class #: 11370
Offered: M/W 11:40 am-12:35 pm
Frequency Offered: Every semester 
Prerequisites: None 
This course is required for all students who are majoring in political science. 

All students must also enroll in a discussion section listed for this course. 
Discussion # 11371 (Section 101) Fridays 10:35-11:30 am 
Discussion # 11372 (Section 102) Fridays 10:35-11:30 am 
Discussion # 11373 (Section 103) Fridays 12:45-1:40 pm 
Discussion # 11374 (Section 104) Fridays 12:45-1:40 pm 

Course Description 

The purpose of this course, required for political science majors, is to build skills for conducting, interpreting, and presenting political science research. These skills include: basic research and data collection practices, techniques for measuring political science concepts quantitatively, hypothesis testing, interpretation of statistical evidence, and the presentation of findings in a clear and compelling manner. Tying these components together is a thematic focus on important political science concepts such as democracy, power, or representation.


PSC 300 m101 Policy Implementation 

Instructor: Zach Huitink
Class #: 12845 
Offered: T/Th 2:00 pm-3:20 pm
Frequency Offered: Special Offering
Prerequisites: None

Meets with PST 300.001 

Course Description

This course explores how governments put public policy into action, with particular attention toward how tools like regulations, grants, vouchers, and public-private partnerships are used to address increasingly complex societal problems.  What are the trade-offs of alternative strategies to achieving a given public policy goal – whether reducing poverty, improving education, protecting the environment, or preventing terrorism and cyber attacks – and why do governments have such mixed records achieving these goals?  What roles do businesses, nonprofits, and individual members of the public play in the policy implementation process?  How can these stakeholders work effectively with one another to achieve policy impacts?  How do we assess whether policies have had their intended impacts on people and communities?  How can we make public services easier to access and use?  Students will consider these questions through a mix of discussion, case studies, and hands-on exercises, and develop knowledge and skills in areas such as implementation analysis and project planning.


PSC 300 m201 Democracy & Dictatorship*

Instructor: Dimitar Gueorguiev
Class#: 13205
Offered: M/W 3:30 pm-4:50 pm
Frequency Offered: Special Offering 
Prerequisites: None 

Course Description:
This course offers students an introduction to the politics of authoritarian regimes and how they contrast from democracies. Throughout the course we will learn about the basic institutional structures of authoritarian regimes, how they differ across cases, as well as the political, economic, and social implications of these institutions on the people they rule.  We will study the authoritarian regime as a distinct form of polity, as an antithesis for democracy, and as a grey area in between those two.  Finally, we will consider the authoritarian regime in the context of contemporary international relations and political economy. 


PSC 300 m204 Politics of North & South Korea*

Instructor: Frederick Carriere
Class #: 12669
Offered: T/Th 3:30 pm-4:50 pm
 Frequency Offered: Special Offering 
Prerequisites: None 

Course Description

This course explores the implications of the unprecedented series of summits held during 2018-2019 and the related unfolding developments. It offers students an opportunity to assess the implications of the competition for national political legitimacy between North Korea and South Korea, the two political systems and regimes that emerged on the Korean Peninsula over half a century ago in the crucible of the Cold War. Included is an in-depth comparative study of the society and government of each country and their contrasting relations with the United States. The ultimate goal is to assess the tantalizing prospect of achieving a resolution of the intractable conflict on the Korean Peninsula.


PSC 300 m401 Capitalism: For & Against*

Instructor: Dennis Rasmussen
Class #: 21832
Offered: MW 8:00 am – 9:20 am
Frequency Offered: Special Offering
Prerequisites: None

Course Description
Are capitalist societies just or are they full of inequality and exploitation? Do they give people freedom or oppress them in one way or another? Do they encourage virtue or vice, excellence or mediocrity, happiness or misery? Are there other types of society that would be preferable? What might be done to improve capitalist societies? This course will address these questions through an examination of some of the seminal philosophical discussions of commerce, private property, and economic inequality. It will focus principally on the works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Friedrich Hayek, John Rawls, and Robert Nozick.


PSC 302 m001 Environmental Politics & Policy

Instructor: Sarah Pralle
Class #: 21018
Offered: T/Th 3:30 pm-4:50 pm
Frequency Offered: Special Offering 
Prerequisites: None

Course Description
This course will examine the political processes surrounding environmental decision making in the United States. Emphasis will be placed on how environmental issues reach the governmental agenda, why and how natural resource and pollution policies change (or do not), and the challenges involved in implementing environmental policies.  Theoretical readings will be interspersed with case studies of environmental policymaking.


PSC 306 m001 African American Politics 

Instructor: SN Sangmpam
Class #: 12850
Offered: M/W 3:45 pm-5:05 pm 
Frequency Offered: Yearly
Prerequisites: None 

Cross-listed with AAS 306 

Course Description

This course is an examination of the African American Political experience in the United States with a focus on the nature of the American political system and the status of African Americans in it. The approach will be analytical and theoretical, but the main focus will be on the historical and contemporary political dynamic. Special attention will be given to the interplay of society, state, ideology, and political struggles.


PSC 310 m001 Refugees in International Politics*

Instructor: Lamis Abdelaaty
Class #: 21355
Offered: T/Th 9:30 am-10:50 am
Frequency Offered: Irregularly 
Prerequisites: None

Course Description
This course deals with the global politics of refugee issues, broadly defined to include the movement of people displaced by persecution, conflict, natural or human-made disasters, environmental change, or development projects. It is grounded in the international relations subfield, but students are expected to engage with ideas from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Topics covered include historical trends in, analytical approaches to, and the international legal framework-governing refugees. We also explore the causes, consequences, and responses by state and non-state actors to refugee flows. A series of examples from recent and current events are examined, including a case study on refugees and the Syrian civil war.


PSC 314 m001 Public Opinion & Electoral Behavior

Instructor: Emily Thorson
Class #: 13738
Offered: T/Th 12:30 pm-1:50 pm
Frequency Offered: Irregularly 
Prerequisites: None 

Course Description
This course will tackle a series of big questions about the role of citizens' attitudes and opinions in contemporary democracy: How do people make sense of the political world? How does public opinion shape policies? How can we understand today's politically polarized climate? We will consider the history of public opinion as well as how our understanding of it is changing in an era of Facebook and Twitter. The course will go beyond discussions of polling data to explore the role of media content, political talk, and social identities in shaping what we think about politics and public life. Students will write an original research paper about a public opinion topic of their choice.


PSC 317.001 Local Internship 

Instructor: Grant Reeher
Class #: 10607 
Offered: M/W/F 11:40 am-12:35 pm 
Frequency Offered: Every semester 
Prerequisites: The internship program is intended for juniors and seniors only 

Course Description
The course is based on a local internship experience in politics, public affairs, or the law. Placements are found at the beginning of the semester based on a list provided by the professor. Students also meet once a week in the classroom for organizational discussions, Q&A sessions with local political figures, and advice from professional development experts. Interested students are advised to review a FAQ sheet and recent syllabus, which can be found in 100 Eggers Hall or by contacting the professor.


PSC 320 m001 Comparative Law and Courts*

Instructor: Yüksel Sezgin
Class #: 21359
Offered: M/W 5:15 pm-6:35pm 
Frequency Offered: Irregularly
Prerequisites: None 

Course Description
This course will introduce students to major legal traditions of the world. Among the legal systems to be covered are the Common Law, Civil Law, Islamic Law, and African and Asian legal traditions. The course will specifically look at the role and function of courts in both national and international contexts (e.g., European Court of Human Rights, and the International Criminal Court).


PSC 322 m001 International Security*

Instructor: TBD
Class #: 21360
Offered: T/Th 5:00 pm-6:20pm 
Frequency Offered: Irregularly
Prerequisites: None 

Course Description
This course is an introduction to the field of security studies within the discipline of Political Science.  Topics to be covered include: the motivations for, and consequences of, nuclear proliferation; the origins of ethnic violence and the capacity for humanitarian intervention to successfully prevent mass killings and genocide; the likelihood that enlarged ‘zones of democracy’ will foster zones of peace; and the sources of terrorist violence and the implications of counter-terrorism policies. The course will also include ‘hot’ topics currently debated among scholars and policymakers, including piracy and other non-conventional forms of force; the out-sourcing of war; and the connection between climate change and violent conflict. Throughout the course, we will consider these topics via the lens of real-world examples and ‘case studies’. While these cases will be cross-regional, special focus will also be placed on the US role in fostering international security and contemporary US national security dilemmas.


PSC 324 m100 Constitutional Law I 

Instructor: Tom Keck
Class #: 11048
Offered: TTh, 5:00 pm-6:20 pm
Frequency Offered: Yearly 
Prerequisites: None 

Course Description
Does the US Constitution authorize Congress to enact a law requiring all Americans to have health insurance? Does it require all states to allow same-sex couples to legally marry? Does it permit local governments to combat violent crime by banning the possession of handguns? Does it give the President free rein, as commander in chief of the US military, to authorize warrantless wiretapping of suspected terrorists? If you are interested in any or all of these questions, then this course is for you. In Constitutional Law I, you will learn everything you ever wanted to know about the development of the American constitutional system from the founding through the mid-twentieth century. In Constitutional Law II, offered in the Spring, we will continue this inquiry right up to the present day. Recent versions of the syllabi are available on the instructor’s website, though there will be a number of updates for the coming year.


PSC 344 m001 Politics of the Middle East*

Instructor: Mehrzad Boroujerdi
Class #: 12648
Offered: T/Th 3:30 pm-4:50 pm 
Frequency Offered: Yearly 
Prerequisites: None 

Cross-listed with MES 344 

Course Description

Our core objective in this course is to learn about the politics of the Middle East and different factors that have coalesced to shape the current political landscape of the region. For the past century, Middle Eastern politics has been marked by coups, revolutions, interstate wars, and sectarian conflict. The cost of political instability has been exorbitant for the countries in the region and most have witnessed episodic interruptions in their march toward social and economic progress. A conventional view attributes the predicament of the Middle Eastern countries to their culture, religion and geographical structures. The main purpose of this courses is to critically examine the above assumption by analyzing the role of political actors – domestic and international - and institutions in shaping the political trajectory of the Middle East.


PSC 356 m001 Political Conflict*

Instructor: Gavan Duffy
Class #: 13741
Offered: T/Th 3:30 pm-4:50 pm
Frequency Offered: Yearly 
Prerequisites: None

Course Description
This course introduces students to the analysis of political conflict, conceived as political contention that is uncontained within existing political institutions and typically violent. We read and discuss works on several approaches currently used by NGOs, IGOs, states, multinational corporations, and scholars to make sense of such conflicts and to suggest strategies for resolving, settling, or otherwise containing them. In the final course project, each student will participate on a team that will research a political conflict, applying the analytical approaches discussed earlier in the term. Each team will present oral and written reports on its research and analysis.


PSC 360 m001 Sustainability Science and Policy 

Instructor: Sherburne Abbott
Class #: 12647
Offered: M/W 12:45 pm-2:05 pm 
Frequency Offered: Yearly 
Prerequisites: None 

Cross-listed with GEO 360.001 

Course Description

Sustainability—improving the well-being of the present and future generations in ways that conserve the planet’s life support systems—is a central challenge of the 21st century. This course consists of a combination of lectures, guest lectures, discussions, and team projects that are designed to facilitate an in-depth understanding of a complex, contemporary or “grand” challenge of sustainability that spans science (and technology), communications, and public policy, while considering advances in the underlying theory of sustainability science and its practice. This fall course will examine the grand challenge of climate change and sustainability—what is known about climate change and its impacts, what motivates public understanding, attitudes, and behaviors about climate change, what actions are possible to avoid or manage its impacts, and what contributions these actions have made toward achieving goals for sustainability.


PSC 364 m001 African International Relations*

Instructor: Horace Campbell
Class #: 12353 
Offered: T/Th 9:30 am-10:50 am 
Frequency Offered: Yearly 
Prerequisite: None

 Cross-listed/Meets with AAS 364 & PAI 500 

Course Description

The content of the course will explore both the place of the African peoples in the International System as well as the specific case of the impact of the decolonization of Africa, especially the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In so far as the Congo in the central part of Africa borders over nine countries, the relations between the Congo and her neighbors will feature prominently in this course. In particular, the relations between the Congo and Angola in the Cold war and the militarization of the region will be analyzed. A historical framework will be developed to grasp the linkages of Africa in the international system from the period of the Berlin Conference and the genocidal practices set in motion from that period. The continuity in violence and genocide will be traded from the period of King Leopold down to the Rwanda Genocide of 1994, the issues of the militarism, genocide and international organizations relevant to the subject such as the OAU and the UN will be analyzed. The second part of the course will survey issues of war and peace in international relations in the context of the current search for peace in Africa. What is the meaning of contemporary forms of peacekeeping? The experiences of the United States in the Congo and in Somalia will be the basis for analyzing contemporary ideas of humanitarianism in Africa. In so far as the process of militarization accelerated in the cold war, there will be an examination of the legacies of the investment in military entrepreneurs such as Jonas Savimbi during the period of "constructive engagement" in Southern Africa. The battle of Cuito Cuanavale as well as the place of Cuba in Southern Africa will highlight the essence of the differences between sovereignty of states from the point of view of the colonized and this concept from the point of view of geo politics. The issues of Africa in the era of globalization and the controversy over the patenting of life forms will be the subjects of the concluding section of the course.


PSC 365 m001 International Political Economy of the Third World*

Instructor: SN Sangmpam
Class #: 13206 
Offered: M/W 2:15 pm-3:35 pm 
Frequency Offered: Yearly 
Prerequisite: None

Cross-listed with AAS 365

Course Description

This course is about international political economy with special emphasis on the status of developing countries in it. Because international political economy cannot be understood without an understanding of the international system as a whole, we will perforce discuss the relations between the “Third World” and Western and former Soviet-bloc countries. But the main objective will be to convey some concrete knowledge about the political and economic problems developing countries face in these relations and various attempts to solve them. Among the issues to be discussed are the making of the “Third World,” trade, debt, multinational corporations, multilateral lending agencies (IMF, World Bank), strategies of development, and the prospects of a new international system.


PSC 382 m001 Contemporary Political Philosophy 

Instructor: Elizabeth Cohen
Class #: 12649 
Offered: T/Th 11:00 am-12:20 pm 
Frequency Offered: Yearly 
Prerequisite: None 

Cross-listed with PHI 417 

Course Description

This course examines the works of prominent contemporary theorists of politics through the lens of basic issues central to the organization of social and political life. Such issues will include: globalization, nationalism, distributive justice, citizenship, animal rights, and multiculturalism. Readings will include both abstract theoretical works written by authors including Rawls, Nozick and Isaiah Berlin as well as more concrete and immediately relevant political case studies.


PSC 393 m001 Middle Eastern Political Systems*

Instructor: Hossein Bashiryeh
Class #: 12650 
Offered: M/W 3:45 pm-5:05 pm 
Frequency Offered: Irregularly 
Prerequisites: None 

Cross-listed with MES 393.001 

Course Description

What are the factors that hinder the development of well-functioning political systems in the Middle East? This is the main question of the course. Political development is usually defined in terms of 1) national unification and the consolidation of national identity; 2) the development of legitimate authority; 3) the development of channels of popular participation in politics and the rise of a civil society; 4) political and administrative efficiency; 5) equitable distribution of resources or the development of a basic welfare state. In trying to answer the main question, we argue that several factors impede political development in the region. These include: 1) Structural ones like geographical/geopolitical, demographic, historical, and religious factors; 2) Social forces, particularly the landed classes, tribes, ethnic groups and sects. In the first part of the course, we will discuss these obstacles in general across the region; in the second part, we will explain the political systems in the region in terms of the impact of various obstacles.  


PSC 394 m001 History of Islamic Political Thought*

Instructor: Hossein Bashiryeh
Class #: 11982 
Offered: M/W 12:45-2:05 pm 
Frequency Offered: Irregularly 
Prerequisites: None 

Cross-listed with MES 394.001 

Course Description

The aim of this course is to study some of the major issues and discourses in Islamic political thought, especially those of more contemporary significance such as dissent, apostasy, intolerance, human obligations and rights, women's status, the status of minorities, war and peace, universal government and the idea of the Caliphate.


PSC 395 m001 Democratization in the Muslim World*

Instructor: Hossein Bashiryeh
Class #: 21343 
Offered: T/Th 3:30 pm-4:50 pm 
Frequency Offered: Irregularly 
Prerequisites: None 

Cross-listed with MES 395.001 

Course Description

The aim of this course is to study the ongoing process of democratization which has   begun recently in the Islamic world. With the rising wave of democratic transitions in the last quarter of the 20th Century, the question has been raised as to whether the world of Islam could also experience a similar development. As a matter of historical fact a number of Muslim nations are in a process of making a transition to at least electoral democracy and are striving to consolidate the new institutions despite formidable obstacles.  On the one hand a number of forces and variables favor democratization, but on the other hand several variables and forces impede the process. Like elsewhere, transition to democracy in the Muslim nations is taking different forms and modes, including reform from above, revolt from below and conclusion of pacts between regimes and oppositions. We assume that theories explaining transition to democracy elsewhere must be instrumental in understanding the process of democratization in the Muslim world as well. Hence, we will first review the general theories of democratization, in terms of their possible relevance to the study of democratization in the Muslim world.


PSC 396 m001 European Integration*

Instructor: Glyn Morgan
Class #: 13745
Offered: M/W 5:15 pm-6:35 pm
Frequency Offered: Irregularly 
Prerequisites: Every other year

Cross-listed with GEO 396

Course Description

For twenty years (1985-2005), the process of European Integration was a spectacular success. Europe added new member states, expanded to include the former Communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, and introduced a common currency and a common Schengen boundary. Then starting in 2005, things started to go wrong.  This course focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of the European project---a project to build a common system of governance. We focus on such issues as: Europe's Monetary Union; the Greek Crisis; the Refugee Problem; Germany's economic superiority; demographic decline; the failure to incorporate Europe's Muslim populations; the Geopolitical problems of dealing with Russia and the United States, and Brexit.


PSC 400 m101 Poverty Policy

Instructor: Colleen Heflin
Class#: 21340
Offered: M 9:30 am-12:15 pm
Frequency Offered: Special Offering 
Prerequisites: None 

Meets with PST 400.001/SOC 400.003

Course Description

This seminar will examine the nature and extent of poverty in the U.S., its causes and consequences, and the antipoverty effects of existing and proposed government programs and policies.  The following questions will be addressed: What is poverty?  Why is poverty so persistent? Why are poverty rates for minorities so high? What are the dynamics of rural poverty? What are the goals and purposes of social welfare programs? How has welfare reform changed the playing field? Is marriage a viable antipoverty strategy?  Is there a culture of poverty?  How are immigration and demographic trends changing the U.S. demographic profile? How do the current economic and housing crises impact people in poverty? 


PSC 400 m302 Global Economic Governance*

Instructor: Daniel McDowell
Class#: 21027
Offered: T/Th 12:30 pm-1:50 pm
Frequency Offered: Special Offering 
Prerequisites: None 

Course Description
Economic globalization involves the internationalization of markets. This course examines the need for governance of the global marketplace: the rules and institutions that both guide and restrain the international economic policies of states. Our primary focus will be on the governance of the key economic sectors of trade and finance. We will work to answer several fundamental questions about global economic governance: What explains the emergence of specific rules and institutions? Once created, how do these governance structures help resolve conflicts and collective action problems among states? How do different institutional designs bias governance outcomes in ways that benefit some states at the expense of others? How and why do existing governance structures change? Throughout the semester, we will explore a broad range of scholarly work that will begin to provide answers to these questions


PSC 400 m303 Nationalism*

Instructor: Ryan Griffiths
Class#: 21032
Offered: T/Th 12:30 pm-1:50 pm
Frequency Offered: Special Offering 
Prerequisites: None 

Course Description
Nationalism has been one of the most powerful forces of change over the last two centuries. This course will focus on the causes of nationalism, its persistence, and its consequences. Specific attention will be given to a number of topics including the relationship between nationalism and democracy, the malleability of national identities, the dangers that nationalist movements can pose, and the potential solutions to nationalist conflict. The aim of the course is to give students the theoretical and analytical tools necessary to think critically about nationalism and its role in world politics.


PSC 400 m401 Designing Surveys & Experiments

Instructor: Emily Thorson
Class#: 21342
Offered: T/Th 8:00 am-9:20 am
Frequency Offered: Special Offering 
Prerequisites: None 

Course Description
Surveys and experiments are an increasingly important part of not only political science, but also journalism, campaigns, and public policy. This class offers students hands-on experience interpreting and designing surveys and experiments. Students will work in groups to create an original survey experiment on a political topic of their choosing, then analyze and present the results. Topics in previous classes have included political advertising on Facebook, climate change, immigration, and protest movements. The class includes guest lectures and opportunities to connect with people who use survey and experimental work in their careers. Past students have used the final project in this class as part of successful job applications for jobs at Buzzfeed, Pew Research, and Greenpeace. 


PSC 412 m001 Global Governance: The United Nations System*

Instructor: Francine D’Amico
Class #: 13747
Offered: T/Th 3:30-4:50 pm 
Frequency Offered: Yearly 
Prerequisites: None 

Meets with/Cross-listed with IRP 495/412.  This course is open to official PSC seniors only. 

Course Description

The United Nations System. This course explores the theory and practice of global governance and international diplomacy through an in-depth study of the UN system. Class meetings analyze and critique assigned readings and discuss current UN-related events in a seminar format. Each student will undertake an in-depth research project to investigate one aspect of the UN system, such as security, development, peacekeeping, or human rights. Each student will submit an original research paper and present a formal evaluation of that piece of the UN puzzle in a public presentation at the conclusion of the semester. This course employs a professional development model for academic research.


PSC 495 m001 Distinction Thesis I 

Instructor: Dimitar Gueorguiev
Class #: 11621 
Offered: W 3:45-6:30 pm 
Frequency Offered: Yearly 
Prerequisites: Permission from department – must have an overall GPA of 3.5 for admittance 

Course Description
The program requires the student to produce a senior thesis that reflects an understanding of the contemporary literature relevant to the thesis topic, advances an original argument, and presents evidence appropriate to the underlying inquiry. The thesis should generally be modeled after a typical academic journal article in the field of Political Science. The thesis will be read and evaluated by a committee of three, consisting of the main advisor and two
additional readers. Two of the readers must be members of the Political Science department. One of the readers may be a graduate student in Political Science. An oral defense will determine if the thesis meets the departmental requirements for distinction.