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Course Descriptions

Politics Courses

POLS 110: Introduction to Global Politics

This course studies political behavior globally, involving countries, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and other international actors.聽 It introduces students to the analytical tools 鈥 concepts, models, and theories 鈥 scholars use to explain and understand global phenomenon past and present, such as war and peace, weapons proliferation, trade and development, international law, the environment, human rights, migration, and public health. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: IREL 140


POLS 120: Introduction to American Politics

Origins of the American political system, basic institutions, political parties and interest groups, and evolution of constitutional interpretation. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: AMER 119


POLS 130: Great Political Ideas

What is a person's place within a larger community? How ought we to organize our societies to create peace and/or justice? These are the fundamental questions political theorists ask. This course is an introduction to basic concepts of political thought, as well as a review of some major thinkers in political theory, both ancient and modern. Emphasis is on learning to read theoretical texts and interpreting them. Course readings are likely to include works by Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Tocqueville, Marx, Mill, and others. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Humanities requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 140: Intro to Comparative Politics

This course is an introduction to the main concepts and theories of comparative politics. Students explore central questions of comparative politics research, such as: do variations in political institutions (constitutions, elections, parties, and party systems) matter and why? What are the different ways in which citizens participate in politics and how has it changed over time? What are the key differences between democratic and authoritarian regimes and how a country may transition from one to another? In addition, students also learn about fundamental principles and methods of comparative political analysis. Lastly, case studies of different countries around the globe help students apply abstract theories, concepts, and methods and thereby develop strong analytical and critical thinking skills. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Cultural Diversity requirement.)
cross listed: IREL 130


POLS 150: Public Policy Studies

This course focuses on how public officials address policy problems, and why they select the solutions they do. We examine the public policymaking process, paying particular attention to the role played by political actors (elected officials, interest groups, governmental agencies) seeking to influence the tone and direction of policy. Attention will also be paid to how particular policy issues and problems gain (or fail to gain) the public's attention, including the role that political elites and the media play in agenda setting. Finally, the course assesses the effects of public polices on citizens' lives. In doing so, students will assume the role of "policy analyst," learning how to write briefs in which they evaluate various policy reforms. In sum, students will gain the necessary tools to systematically assess when a public policy is achieving its desired goals and whether it is being implemented effectively and efficiently. No prerequisites.
cross listed: PPCY 150


POLS 200: Methods of Political Research

This course introduces students to the nuts and bolts of systematic political science research. Students learn how to construct a research question - and develop and test hypotheses. Students apply concepts and strategies learned in class to develop their own research design. The course will also expose students to: basic quantitative and qualitative skills for the purposes of describing and explaining political phenomena, and the analysis of data on issues in American and global politics. Prerequisite: Politics or International Relations major, or consent of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: IREL 249


POLS 209: The Post-Communist World

This course familiarizes students with the politics of communist and post-communist states focusing on Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and China, although other regions also are routinely included in the discussion. We begin with an overview of the origins and development of communism in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and China. Then we examine and analyze the profound political, economic, and social changes in the former communist societies. Specifically, we explore economic transition from planned to market economy, democratization and persistence of authoritarianism, as well as nationalism and conflict. After taking the course, students are expected to understand the emergence and collapse of communism and political dynamics of post-communist transition, as well as to be able to identify key challenges facing post-communist states and critically evaluate their prospects for democratization. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: ASIA 209, IREL 252


POLS 210: Politics of Europe

This course is a survey of the domestic political institutions, cultures, and economies of select European countries, as well as the major public policy issues facing the advanced industrial democracies of Western Europe, the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe, and the continent's last autocracies (e.g., Russia). Some consideration is also given to pan-European governance, such as the European Union (EU) and the European Court of Human Rights. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: IREL 250


POLS 211: Politics of India

This course introduces students to Indian politics, with special emphasis on the 1948 independence to contemporary times. Nation building, political leadership, and the Indian nation-state as an ensemble of diversities and pluralities within a democratic framework are key frameworks. Relevant topics include India's political parties and alliances, economic development, ethnic and caste politics, secularism, and India's role on the global stage. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: ASIA 207


POLS 213: Women, Institutions, and Politics

This course focuses on women鈥檚 presence in politics. The number of women in positions of power in legislatures and beyond has increased in recent years. As these numbers grow, the career longevity of women in politics is not growing accordingly. Most women end their careers after a single period in the legislature or other offices. Women, it seems, are becoming the constant newcomers. This course hence puts particular emphasis in understanding the barriers women face in gaining access and maintaining their presence in positions of political power in public and private institutions in the American and global contexts. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: GSWS 213


POLS 214: Populism

Populism is a political ideology that claims society is comprised of two antagonistic groups. The "elite" include career government officials, the media, and the very wealthy who command political power and use it to their advantage. By contrast, "the people," who are law-abiding and hard-working citizens struggling to make ends meet, are essentially powerless and therefore ruled over and manipulated by an elite-controlled, out-of-touch government. Often associated with other ideologies, such as socialism, liberalism, and nationalism, populism advocates the empowerment of the people, whose righteousness will democratize politics and redirect the institutions of the state to serve the "general will." In addition to exploring populism鈥檚 core tenets from an ideational perspective, this course surveys core themes of populism that are found in the various sub-fields of political science (theory, American politics, comparative politics, and international relations). By doing so, it also considers populism鈥檚 impact on politics and government within liberal democratic countries 鈥 developed, post-communist, and developing, as well as these countries鈥 external relations. It also considers political reforms these countries might pursue to meet populism鈥檚 challenge to liberal democracy. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: IREL 276


POLS 215: China and the World

How has the dramatic rise of China reshaped global politics? How has Chinese foreign policy changed since the establishment of the People鈥檚 Republic of China (PRC)? This course examines China鈥檚 evolving understanding of its relationship with the international system and the domestic and global factors that drive Chinese foreign policy. We explore China鈥檚 growing influence in addressing global governance challenges, such as climate change; China鈥檚 participation in major international institutions; and China鈥檚 key bilateral relationships with entities like the United States, Russia, ASEAN, and India. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: IREL 255, ASIA 221


POLS 218: Politics of Russia

The course will investigate the domestic political processes, institutions, and economies of the Russian Federation and the other states in the post-Soviet Union. Additionally, the course examines Russia's foreign policy, paying close attention to the Russian Federation's actions toward its close neighbors. Prerequisites: POLS 110 or permission of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: IREL 251


POLS 219: Politics of Latin America

An introduction to politics and social change in Latin America. Study will focus on several Latin American countries and on special topics such as human rights, religion, the military, land reform, women, and population policy. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: LNAM 219, IREL 259


POLS 220: Political Parties

American parties, pressure groups, and electoral problems. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 221: The Presidency

The president is the symbolic leader of the federal government but, compared to Congress, the framers of the U.S. Constitution intended the executive to be the weaker branch of the national government. This course examines the growth and accumulation of presidential power and the implications of a strong executive for domestic politics and America's foreign relations. It also considers relations between the institution of the presidency and the courts, the media, and the people. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: AMER 221


POLS 222: Congress

A glance at the enumerated powers granted the legislative branch under the U.S. Constitution suggests Congress is the strongest of the three branches of the national government. Yet the power of Congress is divided between two chambers, and the vast majority of legislation proposed in either chamber never becomes law. Congress is supposed to represent the interests of the people of the various states - and yet its public standing is nowadays at an historic low. This course examines the basic operations, structure, power dynamics, and politics of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. It also considers the rivalry and relationship between Congress and the President. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: AMER 222


POLS 223: LGBTQ Politics

This course explores the evolution of LGBTQ political movements and LGBTQ rights in the United States. It examines a variety of LGBTQ political issues at both the state and national level. Students learn how different political institutions have shaped LGBTQ rights in the United States and what tools and strategies the LGBTQ community has utilized when advocating for their rights. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Domestic Pluralism requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 224: Mass Media and US Politics

An analysis of the influence of the mass media on American political institutions and American attitudes. Topics include First Amendment issues, political campaigns, political movements, public opinion, advertising, and entertainment. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: AMER 225


POLS 225: Influence and Interest Groups

Organized interests shape American campaigns and candidates, citizen attitudes, and policy at every level of government; the power of these groups lies in their numbers, their dollars and their organization. This course introduces the intellectual traditions and debates that have characterized the study of interest groups and their influence on public policy, political opinion, and political actors, and will compare theory to practice in the American political experience. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: AMER 242


POLS 227: Campaigns and Elections

This course examines the nomination procedures and election of political candidates focusing on Congressional & Presidential campaigns. Specifically, we will study the role of political parties, interest groups, race, gender, public opinion, the media, and electoral reform in political campaigns and elections. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 228: Voting Rights

Constitutional protection of voting rights has been slow and highly contested. In this course, we survey the quest for voting rights, with particular emphasis on historically excluded demographic groups. The course covers Supreme court decisions, civil rights activism culminating in the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and recent court decisions and ongoing voting disenfranchisement and dilution efforts, including voter ID laws and laws prohibiting felons and returning citizens from voting, and gerrymandering. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Domestic Pluralism requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 229: 100 Years of Women's Suffrage

In the past 100 years, following the passage of women's suffrage with the 19th Amendment, women have played vital roles in all levels of the American political landscape. This course explores the origins of the women's movement and how suffrage came to pass. It also looks at how women's political movements have evolved following suffrage, and how this milestone has paved the way for future advancement of women's rights. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Domestic Pluralism requirements.)


POLS 230: Religion and Politics

This course examines the complex social, historical, and intellectual forces that impact the interrelationships between religion and politics. We explore tensions, collaborations, and conflicts between religious and political institutions and actors within the global contexts of two or more regions of the world outside of the United States, such as South, East, and Central Asia, Africa, Eastern and Western Europe, and the Americas. We examine how in specific contexts and pivotal moments in time, individuals and groups interpret major political, religious, and scriptural texts, studies of humanism, letters, poems, and sermons. We look to connections between concepts such as faith and revelation, the role of religion in the public square, and reflections on republicanism and tyranny. Students participate in historical role-playing games, which use an innovative methodology called Reacting to the Past. Researching and articulating opinions of historical characters, students practice public speaking, learning to connect with their audiences and express themselves with clarity, precision, and force. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Global Perspectives and Speaking requirements.)
cross listed: RELG 230, IREL 267


POLS 233: Chicago Politics

This course is an introduction to Chicago politics. We will focus on contemporary relationships among business, labor, environmentalists, and other social groups, including those groups based on ethnicity, race, and sexual identity. We will examine the mobilization of and current relations between major political players and interest groups. Students will also explore important historical elements of Chicago politics such as the Daley family and the rise of the Democratic Machine or the election of Harold Washington and the ensuing 'council wars.' (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 234: Urban Politics

This course examines problems of political and social organization in central cities. Topics include political machines, mayors, public policy issues, race & politics, and racial coalition politics. (Not open to students who have completed POLS 223.) (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Domestic Pluralism requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 236: Religion and Politics in the USA

This course focuses on the ways religion has been a source of political division and unity in America. Polls indicate that America is, by far, the most religious of industrial democracies and that our contentious political debates are, in large part, due to the religious dimensions of morally evocative issues like abortion and gay marriage, and the firm positions of such constituencies as the Christian Right and new Religious Left. Historically, public debates concerning abolition, suffrage, and temperance drew on scholarly and legal interpretations of the Constitutional promise of both religious freedom and the separation of church and state. We examine the role of religion in the founding of the American republic, and in contemporary political movements such as Black Lives Matter, the Federation for Immigration Reform, and 21st century civil rights organizations, which address issues including prison reform, the environment, and the 2020 U.S. Presidential election. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Humanities and Domestic Pluralism requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Cultural Diversity requirement.)
cross listed: RELG 236, AMER 220


POLS 237: Environmental Politics and Policy

Despite arguably leading the world in implementing environmental(ist) policies in the 1960s and 1970s, in 2022 the United States ranked just 43rd worldwide (of 180 nations) according to Yale鈥檚 Environmental Performance Index. Seeking answers for how and why this came to be, this course focuses on the United States鈥 historical record of environmental policymaking鈥攏ot just from the 1960s to the present, but from the origins of environmental policymaking and values present at the country鈥檚 founding through the emergence of the 鈥渕odern鈥 environmental movement in the post-World War II era that led to the raft of legislation we have today. Explanations for environmental policy outcomes are sought, including through an examination of how policies have been developed and implemented at the national, state, and local levels. Special attention is paid to case studies which illustrate how a variety of actors鈥攊ncluding legislators, administrators, scientists, civil society, and the private sector鈥攈ave shaped and continue to shape the environment in which we live. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: ES 236


POLS 238: Cybercrime and (White Hat) Hacking

This course is an introduction to computer security and related issues such as privacy, democracy, and cybercrime. We cover the fundamental concepts of computer and network security using real-world examples. Subjects include the history of information technology from a legal perspective, current U.S. law concerning the internet, computer crime, and privacy and security protections. Attention is given to the major events in the history of computer hacking from the 1960s to today. Students engage in discussions on diverse topics such as the ethics and legality of computer hacking, the costs of data breaches and cybersecurity techniques. These concepts are illustrated with readings such as narratives, current laws, and court cases, technical articles, and sample computer code. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 240: United States Foreign Policy

Students in this course explore the domestic and international factors that have shaped the foreign policy of the United States since the end of the Cold War, and especially over the past decade. Students study the major ideologies shaping contemporary debates about the national interests of the U.S. and the country's role abroad, the models of foreign policy decision-making, and the workings of core policymaking institutions - the White House, executive branch departments and agencies, Congress, and civil society - on matters of war and peace, trade and foreign assistance, human rights and humanitarian affairs, and the environment. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: AMER 241, IREL 240


POLS 241: Global Issues

This course surveys contemporary global issues in security, economic, humanitarian, and environmental affairs. In depth case studies include the Russia-Ukraine war; China-Taiwan relations; Iran and North Korea's nuclear weapons programs; the US-China trade war and the global trend toward trade protectionism; human migration; international negotiations and treaties addressing global environmental problems like climate change, species diversity and loss, and plastic pollution; and the Covid-19 pandemic. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Global Perspectives requirement.)
cross listed: IREL 241


POLS 242: Politics of the Global South

This course introduces students to contemporary political, economic, and social issues in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa - regions of the world that are referred to collectively as the Global South. Students survey major relevant theoretical approaches in comparative politics and situate non-Western states in global political, economic, and social context. Students also explore specific topics, such as democratization, nationalism, state-building, and civil society. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: IREL 242


POLS 243: Fake News, Free Speech

(Fake News, Free Speech and Foreign Influence in American Democracy.) This course focuses on contemporary issues facing public discourse in the United States and explores the dangers inherent in online content. We discuss such questions as: What are the strengths and weaknesses of using internet technology to organize people? How do social media platforms and their ad-driven algorithms bias our worldview? How are democratic elections and mass protests shaped by your unique news feeds? A constitutional perspective on freedom of speech and the press is presented. Substantive topics include analysis of online social movements, legal analysis of federal regulation of social media, federal election law, foreign interference in national politics, and a technical review of social media platforms. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 245: Global IR Theory

In this course, students survey the major theoretical models and concepts associated with the study of international relations in the West and other regions of the world for the purpose of analyzing and thinking critically about contemporary international political issues. Prerequisite/Corequisite: POLS 110 or POLS 140. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: IREL 245


POLS 247: Transnational Social Movements

This course examines the emergence, evolution, and impact of transnational social movements, in which activists mobilize across national boundaries to effect global change. It explores the interaction of transnational social movements with other global actors, such as states and international organizations; the ways in which social media, technology, and globalization have changed the methods of organizing and efficacy of these movements; and the impact of these movements on global norms. We assess a wide variety of cases, such as #MeToo, human rights in Argentina, the anti-whaling movement, and transnational peace movements. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: IREL 247


POLS 250: American Political Thought

This course surveys American political thought from the colonial era to the present. Readings will be drawn nearly exclusively from primary source material, including the writings of philosophers, novelists, activists, and politicians. We will pay careful attention to conceptualizations of freedom, equality, constitutionalism, and legitimate resistance, particularly as they relate to questions of national identity. There are no prerequisites, but either POLS 120 or a previous course in political theory is encouraged. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Humanities and Domestic Pluralism requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: AMER 260


POLS 251: Family Structure & Political Theory

Sexuality, child rearing, marriage, and family construction are crucial issues to political theorists, especially since the family is the fundamental social unit. Through an examination of traditional political theorists, this course explores the treatment of these issues, and how they affect other, more established political problems such as citizenship, property, and community. Current legal and practical problems involving families inform and illuminate our perusal of political theorists' approach to the relationship between the private family and the state. POLS 130 is recommended but not required. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Humanities requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: GSWS 251


POLS 252: Education and Political Power

Societies and their philosophers have been devoting attention to what and how and by whom children and young adults should be taught since Plato wrote the Republic over 2,000 years ago. Today's debates over feminism, traditionalism, ethnocentrism, religion, etc., in education merely echo what has come before. Past thinkers asked two essential questions: Which members of society should be educated and what do they need to know? Readings include those by Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Locke, Rousseau, Dubois, Washington, Dewey, and others. Prerequisite: POLS 130 is recommended but not required. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Humanities requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 253: Conservative Political Thought

What unites conservatives? What is it that needs to be 鈥渃onserved?鈥 In this course, we will pursue these and related questions by reading works from various authors who are widely considered exemplars of conservative political theorizing from the Enlightenment to the present day. In the last part of the course, we will turn our attention to the contemporary American conservative movement and assess its philosophical coherence. No Prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Humanities requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 254: Ethics and Public Policy

This course examines the philosophical and ethical foundations of various controversies that arise in the development and application of contemporary public policy. After surveying a wide range of classic ethical theories and perspectives, students apply these to a variety of sometimes vexing and challenging questions in public policy. These questions include: Are certain taxation schemes fairer than others? To what extent can states limit immigration? Is the regulation and/or limitation of abortion permissible? Is affirmative action ethically sound? More than anything, students gain the conceptual tools and frameworks to develop their own independent critically informed answers to these and other questions.
cross listed: PPCY 254


POLS 255: Civil Disobedience

(Civil Disobedience and Political Obligation.) Sometimes the obligation to obey society conflicts with other obligations: to family, to God, to justice. Dual loyalties bring crises, to both the individual and society. This course will explore these crises historically and theoretically. When individuals commit civil disobedience, when they purposely and publicly break a law they think is immoral or unjust, how should society react? Is there a minimum of obligation that can be demanded? Can civil disobedience be justified? How have such actions brought about political and social change? Our course explores these questions through traditional literature of Plato, Shakespeare, Locke, Thoreau, Gandhi, Mandela, King, and Malcolm X, and some social movements, such as the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, the civil rights movement in the United States, and contemporary protests and civil actions. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Humanities requirement.)


POLS 260: Introduction to Legal Studies

Questions of law and justice reflect our most basic human values, drawing on ancient religious and humanistic traditions but adaptable to a modern, post-enlightenment world. This introductory course provides an interdisciplinary curriculum by which students explore the different ways that society uses legal ideas, policies, institutions and processes to pursue justice, order and the allocation of property rights. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 261: American Constitutional Law

This course examines the major constitutional themes of judicial review, federalism, separation of powers, the commerce power, due process rights, and equal protection under the law. Students read U.S. Supreme Court cases in order to analyze and understand the allocation of government power. Prerequisite: POLS 120 or permission of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: AMER 259


POLS 262: American Jurisprudence

(Jurisprudence: Philosophy of American Law) Students examine the ways Americans have conceptualized and theorized about the law from the time of the Founding to the present day. Topics to be covered include natural law versus legal positivism; the relationships among law, politics, economics, and society; and debates over constitutional and statutory interpretation, the proper role of judges in a democracy, and the relationship between domestic and international law. There are no prerequisites, but either POLS 120 or a previous course in political theory is encouraged. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Humanities and Writing requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: AMER 265


POLS 265: Immigration Law and Policy

This course provides an in-depth understanding of our current U.S. immigration regime using a multi-disciplinary approach. It explores the range of policy issues affecting today's immigrants and nonimmigrants. The course examines the fundamental principles of immigration law in the context of competing interests among Congress, the President, and the Judiciary that shape this nation's current immigration policy and affect reform efforts. Additionally, the course focuses on the human rights aspect of immigration, including issues related to the treatment of undocumented immigrants, human trafficking, and the system's response to the recent influx of refugees and asylum seekers. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Domestic Pluralism requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: AMER 277


POLS 266: The Judiciary

This is an examination of the federal court system, focusing on the United States Supreme Court. Students will study the constitutional beginnings of the federal judicial branch and its position vis a vis the two other branches of government. We will examine the history of the United States Supreme Court, the politics of presidential appointment of judges, selected case law over the course of the Court's history and its impact, personalities on the Court and the Court's decision-making process. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: AMER 268


POLS 268: Law, Medicine and Ethics

In this course, students explore issues that arise at the intersection of law, medicine, and ethics. They study legal and ethical principles and apply them to controversies in medical treatment, medical research, and recent advances in biotechnology. Topics will include informed consent, eugenics, reproductive technologies, gene therapy, and human enhancement. Political implications are also studied. Not open to First-Year Students. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 269: Testimony and Trials

This course will examine how the U.S. Constitution's procedural safeguards in the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th amendments are effectuated in a court of law. The course will explore how constitutional law and rules of evidence and procedure intersect with concepts of justice and fairness. Students will study the law, the sociology and the philosophy of the trial process. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 270: Race and Criminal Justice

This course will examine the systemic racial injustices inherent in American criminal jurisprudence from police interaction to trial and sentencing, incarceration, and supervised release. Students will study how racial injustice continues to pervade the American criminal justice system despite the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. How do so many players, from police officers to judges and juries, fail to protect against racial injustice? Why do courts, when confronted with allegations or proof of racially motivated police misconduct, overwhelmingly cite "harmless error" doctrine? To attempt to answer these complicated questions, students will learn legal criminal procedure, study 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th amendment case law, and have an opportunity to listen to and speak with a variety of professionals in the criminal justice field. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Domestic Pluralism requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: AFAM 270, AMER 274


POLS 271: Criminal Law and Forensic Medicine

Forensic medicine is inextricable from the practice of criminal law. This course evaluates the ways in which forensic medicine is used in the courtroom, from crime scene investigation and reconstruction to expert witness battles and Daubert hearings. We evaluate how experts, advocates, and law enforcement rely on tools like DNA, blood spatter pattern, bite mark analysis, witness identification, and DUI detection tests to reconstruct and evaluate crime, with varying degrees of legitimacy and the constant potential for wrongful conviction. We also consider the limitations some forensic tools might have for historically marginalized and mentally ill populations who are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. Through evaluation of case studies and conversation with forensic scientists, legal and medical practitioners, and law enforcement, we explore how science shapes courtroom battles in the search for truth. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Humanities and Domestic Pluralism requirements.)


POLS 272: Mock Trial

Mock trial is a competitive trial advocacy program where students compete regionally as attorneys and witnesses in civil and criminal cases. Students in this competitive program craft case theories, learn rules of evidence and evidentiary objections, and draft and perform opening statements, direct and cross examinations, and closing arguments for timed competition. Students enrolled in the course are expected to compete in the regional competition held annually in February. Enrollment by permission of instructor only.
cross listed: THTR 272


POLS 275: Security and Liberty

(International Security and Civil Liberties.) A driver in the contemporary evolution of many areas of law and overarching constitutional culture is the perceived need to protect national security. Most innovations and developments in national security law, however, encroach upon the foundational, individual civil rights enshrined in the very same constitutional system we seek to safeguard. This course will examine the constitutional balance of national security power among the branches of government, the components of the the intelligence/national security state today, and the tensions between its operation and personal rights and liberties. No prior legal knowledge or coursework is required. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 276: Law, War and Intelligent Machines

(Law, War and Intelligent Machines: The Laws of War and the History and Use of Cybernetics and Autonomous Military Technologies.) This course is about the changing nature of warfare conducted by the U.S. government and other state actors in the 21st Century. We review international law as it relates to conventional warfare and non-kinetic hostilities such as cybernetic actions between states, along with the political responses. We investigate the history and development of the U.S. military forces after 1940, in conjunction with the development of communication, computational and autonomous technologies. We examine the justification of the use of military force by political speakers and analyze them within a legal and ethical framework. This course integrates international law, international norms and analysis of public policies of the U.S. and other states to provide a framework for the use of military force in the 21st Century. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Speaking requirements.)


POLS 280: Politics of Mexico

This course introduces students to modern Mexican politics. Topics include Mexico's political institutions, economic development, immigration and border issues, racial and ethnic politics, and the challenge to deepening Mexico's democracy by what some scholars have termed "narco-politics." This course also explores Mexico's relationship with the United States to the north and Latin America to the south. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: LNAM 255


POLS 281: America鈥檚 Democracy Deficit

The United States is one of the least democratic republics in the world today. Anti-majoritarian institutions 鈥 such as the U.S. Senate, which assigns two seats to each state regardless of population, the Senate filibuster and cloture rules, the Electoral College, extreme political gerrymandering, and the country's first-past-the-post, winner-take-all election system 鈥 impede majority rule. Democratic theorists agree that certain limits on majority rule are necessary to protect the rights of the minority and prevent the "tyranny of the majority." The problem with America's anti-majoritarian institutions is that they entrench minority rule, which makes it very difficult for majorities to advance their shared political interests democratically. This "tyranny of the minority" is dangerous because it undermines the legitimacy of the American system of government. This course investigates the causes and consequences of America's democracy deficit and offers remedies for forging a more perfect Union in the form of a majoritarian political system for the 21st century. No Prerequisites.


POLS 282: Black Politics and Protest

This course traces moments in the history of Black America's quest for freedom and survival. This course analyzes how Black political movements have operated in relation to, and in response to, segregation, (un)employment, housing, policing and incarceration, voting rights, health, education, and law. Consequently, this course examines how state repression has responded to, neutralized, and liquidated Black movements and the people that led them. While the focus is primarily on Black American politics and struggle, this course also showcases how Black political engagement has always been globally linked with struggles for liberation across Africa and the Caribbean, Latin and South America, Europe, and Asia. From slavery and abolition, the Civil War and Reconstruction, Jim Crow and Civil Rights, neoliberalism and war, to the election of Barack Obama in 2008, we examine the cultural, social, and political depth that Black people have carved in a history of American political discourse. No prerequisites.
cross listed: AFAM 200


POLS 291: Tutorial

To be arranged individually with an appropriate faculty member. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 304: Police, Prisons, Power

This course offers a critical examination of the U.S. carceral state. "Carcerality" describes the web of people, ideas, resources, and institutions that make policing, surveillance, and incarceration constitutive features of social life in 20th century America(s). This course offers carcerality as a framework that organizes sites and accruals of human misery and resistance across time and across multiple spatial scales. Rather than treating the "police," "law and order," and "criminal justice" as apolitical and ahistorical institutions, this course addresses them within the concrete social contexts of their formation. This course offers a historical, analytical, and theoretical assessment of the formation of the U.S. state at the political, geographic, and institutional sites of criminalization, policing, and incarceration. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Humanities and Domestic Pluralism requirements.)
cross listed: AFAM 300


POLS 315: Comparative Foreign Policy

Though varied, the foreign policies of countries exhibit similar patterns, as well as analogous restraints and opportunities. Through a comparative analysis, this course surveys case studies of the contemporary foreign policies of great powers (Britain, China, France, Germany, Japan, and Russia) and regional powers (Brazil, India, Iran, South Africa, and Turkey). It analyzes how foreign policy interests are formulated, utilizing a variety of theories that highlight the importance of domestic and international influences on a country's foreign policy choices and behavior. Prerequisite: Politics 110 or consent of instructor. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: IREL 353


POLS 316: Global Cities

Today more than half of the world鈥檚 population lives in cities. Global cities are now the key command points in the world economy. In addition to familiar Western cities like New York and London, southern metropolises, such as Beijing, Mumbai, Dubai, and Sao Paolo have become centers of urban innovation and economic growth. At the same time, global cities face various, political, social, and economic challenges: gentrification, segregation, inadequate public goods provision, and securitization of urban space, just to name a few. In this class, we discuss questions such as: How do cities and city regions function in the global economy? What drives urban development? Why are some cities well governed while others are not? What is urban informality and is it the problem or the solution for global cities? The class includes several case studies of various cities in the world that help students explore the diversity of global cities. Prerequisite:聽POLS聽110 or聽POLS140 or permission of the instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Writing requirement.)
cross listed: IREL 341


POLS 317: Global Democratization

In this course, the students learn why and how democracies emerge, persist, and break down by examining theories and case studies of transitions from authoritarian rule to democracy and vice versa. The students explore the concept of democracy and different explanations of conditions that make democracy possible and make it thrive. They also learn how and why the process of regime change and democratization is often flawed, incomplete, and uncertain. In addition, this course highlights the erosion of democratic institutions in established democracies and the rise of illiberal populism.聽Prerequisite: POLS 110 or POLS 140 or permission of the instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Global Perspectives and Writing requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: IREL 357


POLS 318: Topics in Comparative Politics

This seminar examines selected topics in comparative politics. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)


POLS 319: Campaigns & Elections in L America

This course focuses on the study of elections, campaigns, leaders, and political parties in Latin America. This seminar covers recent (each year鈥檚 elections and campaigns) and previous electoral processes in the region.聽 The course examines how parties and voters interact and how parties in the region have developed different strategies to engage voters. The seminar also addresses the electoral processes: who can become a candidate, why, when, where people vote, and the different rules set up by countries for the electoral processes. In this seminar, we also study what happens during the campaigns with a particular focus on electoral violence, and violence against women in elections.聽 The seminar is designed to provide a foundation for the development of original research and innovative theoretical approaches that can contribute to the study of the region and comparative politics more generally. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: IREL 351, LNAM 329


POLS 322: US Elections and Political Parties

In this course, students examine the nomination procedures and election of political candidates in the United States, with a focus on significant historical campaigns, both congressional and presidential. We also study the role and development of political parties. The influences of interest groups, race, gender, voting behavior, money, and the media on our electoral process are also considered. Prerequisite: POLS 120 or the consent of instructor. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: AMER 322


POLS 323: Federalism

This course examines the historical, constitutional, philosophical, and political aspects of American federalism. Students consider both how and why the relationship between the various states and the national government has changed since the founding of the Republic, and the obligations of the states to one another, on a range of matters, including marriage, education, morality laws, eminent domain, and public health. Prerequisite: Politics 120 or consent of instructor. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 324: Public Opinion

This course will offer a broad-based introduction to the factors that motivate citizens' social and political attitudes. We will begin by discussing how we conceptualize and measure public opinion, from where do opinions or attitudes originate, what factors influence citizens' preferences, and whether political elites respond to public opinion when making public policy. We will investigate public opinion on a wide range of political issues, from taxes and government spending to attitudes about racial equality. Finally, we will take up important normative questions including the role that public opinion should or should not play in the American political system. Prerequisite: POLS 120 or permission of instructor. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 325: Punishment

When western societies punish legal offenders they base their policies on a theoretical foundation. Punishments are to exact retribution, deter future crime, or rehabilitate offenders, sometimes a combination of these goals. Punitive consequences, whether fines, prison sentences , or probation, can further or hinder these goals. This course explores theories of punishment and imprisonment. The first segment of the course covers classic political thinkers, including Plato, Beccaria, Montesquieu, and Bentham. The latter portion considers contemporary theories of punishment. We move toward a greater understanding of prison sentencing and capital punishment, solitary confinement, penal education programs, probation and parole, and pardons. We investigate which kinds of approaches are more efficacious than others, and the cost of ineffective punishment strategies. Prerequiste: POLS 130 or POLS 120 ore permission of the instructor


POLS 328: The 2020 Presidential Primaries

(Topics in American Politics.) Spring 2020 Topic: The 2020 Presidential Primaries. The 2020 Democratic presidential primary campaign is shaping up to be long, intense, and competitive. It is therefore obviously worthy of serious study. In this course, we undertake such a study in real-time. But rather than merely track the day to day machinations of the campaign, our goal will be to try and analyze the situation as a political scientist would. As examples, we will ask: What is the 鈥榠nvisible鈥 primary and can it be measured? To what extent do party rules concerning the nomination contest shape the ultimate outcome? What are the most successful tactics and strategies for persuading voters and building a winning coalition? Prerequisite: POLS 120 or permission of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Domestic Pluralism requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)


POLS 340: International Terrorism

The central aim of this course is to critically examine the phenomenon of terrorism. In so doing, we will adopt the following approach: (i) we will briefly analyze the concepts of security and violence; (ii) we will discuss the etymology of the concept "terrorism." (iii) We will explore the idea of terrorism as an instrumentally rational undertaking. Parallel to this we will read a sample of articles from the positive political science literature on terrorism. (iv) We will examine the morality of terrorism as refracted through the lens of the rich theorizing on just war and will carefully investigate the philosophy literature on terrorism. Finally (v) in light of the foregoing theoretical examination, we will examine the U.S.-led "war on terror." Prerequisite: POLS 110. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Global Perspectives requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: IREL 340


POLS 342: International Political Economy

The course introduces students to the academic discipline of International Political Economy (IPE). It surveys the intellectual history of the discipline and specifies the main methodological and theoretical debates in IPE. The course also examines international trade and production, the international monetary and financial systems, and global poverty and development. Prerequisite: Politics 110 or consent of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Global Perspectives requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: IREL 342


POLS 343: Global Security

Global security studies the measures undertaken by international actors to ensure the survival of states (national security), the preservation of the system of states (international security), and the wellbeing of people (human security) from a wide range of threats. Students learn about the emergence of the specialized field of 鈥渟ecurity studies,鈥 which focused on Cold War-era, military issues like conventional and nuclear deterrence. They then consider the more recent transformation of the field鈥檚 scope to include both these traditional issues and new issues - both military and non-military in nature, such as proliferation, intra-state conflict, terrorism, environmental degradation and climate change, displaced populations, and infectious diseases. Prerequisites: Politics 110 (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement.)
cross listed: IREL 343


POLS 344: Gender and Sexuality in IR

(Gender and Sexuality in International Relations.) This course explores the intersection of gender and sexuality with a variety of topics in international relations, such as conflict and war, global political economy, development, human rights, population policy, and global health. It examines how feminist and queer theories of international relations shed new light on existing areas of research, and how they generate new puzzles for political scientists to study. This course considers a wide range of cases from around the world, with particular attention to those from the Global South. Prerequisite: POLS 110 or consent of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: GSWS 344, IREL 344


POLS 345: Migration and Citizenship

Migration across national boundaries is one of the fundamental issues in global politics of our time. What factors shape global migration flows? How do different countries regulate migration? How do states decide who belongs and who does not? Who is kept out and who is let in? How do immigration policies reflect the notion of citizenship? Can citizenship be earned, bought, or sold? This course examines causes and consequences of global migration and dilemmas associated with them in comparative perspective. Through case studies from various regions of the world, including Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Middle East, students gain understanding of global patterns of migration flows, as well as how states and societies respond to them and are transformed by them. Prerequisite: POLS 110 or POLS 140 or approval of the instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Global Perspectives and Writing requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: IREL 350


POLS 348: International Law

Students in this course investigate the evolution of modern international law. We consider the roles of states, the United Nations, and non-state actors in international law, mechanisms for the creation and enforcement of international legal norms, the changing nature of state sovereignty from the Peace of Westphalia to the present, and breaches of international law and potential consequences. Attention is also given to pressing matters of international concern, including war and terrorism, environmental issues, and human rights and humanitarian law. Prerequisite: POLS 110 or consent of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Global Perspectives requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: IREL 348


POLS 349: Gender in Developing Countries

This class introduces students to the unique challenges that women face in developing countries. Organized around major policy debates, we explore themes including women in the labor force, women in politics, gender and development, inequality, and violence. We also learn about top-down change, instituted by organizations like the IMF and World Bank, and bottom-up solutions created by NGOs and social entrepreneurs. Through class readings, group discussions, small group work, presentations, and a research paper, students are able to identify forms of existing gender inequalities, and critically examine policy solutions.Prerequisite: POLS 110 or consent of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements.)
cross listed: GSWS 349


POLS 350: Liberty

The concept of individual liberty is a relatively modern one; its development began with the English Enlightenment. In this course, we examine liberty as it relates to markets, individual rights, conflicts between equality and freedom, and conflicts between governmental authority and individual freedom. Must markets be completely free in order to claim economic freedom? Does freedom require a government to protect an individual's autonomy? Can there be a balance between individual liberty and communal good? Prerequisite: POLS 130 or permission of instructor. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 351: Justice and the Law

Political societies must make all manner of judgments about what is just. We must distribute goods, determine crimes, give punishments, and create legislative districts, all with an eye to some idea of justice. Is justice fairness? Proportional? Equitable? Different political and legal theorists have approached these questions differently. Using both traditional political theory texts and contemporary legal theory, we explore questions of justice and the law and whether justice can be found within the law or is external to it. Prerequisite: POLS 130 or permission of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Domestic Pluralism requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 352: Liberalism and Its Critics

Modern political thought is based on ideas of equality, individuality and individual liberty, private property, and an overall idea of progress. These ideas developed especially in the thinking of Locke, Smith, and Mill. But as modernism grew, so did its critics. The course covers some basic theories of modernism through readings in the liberal tradition. It also considers opposition to liberalism. Prerequisite: POLS 130 or permission of instructor. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 353: Topics in Political Theory

(POLS 353 Topics in Political Theory: The Social Contract) Throughout the history of political thought, the metaphor of the social contract, or the idea that the consent of individuals is necessary for the formation of legitimate government, has been widely used to justify and/or criticize certain institutional arrangements. This course will be an examination of this metaphor. We will try to come to terms with both its philosophical appeal as well as its historical relevancy. In addition to reading classic texts of those like Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Rawls, we will also compare the models of these authors with actual processes of constitutional formation including the American Founding. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 354: Identity Politics

It is hard to observe recent politics without noticing the seeming central importance of identity and identity-based claims made both by citizens and politicians to press their respective agendas. In this course, we examine this phenomenon thoroughly and critically via an interdisciplinary approach. While our focus is largely on the contemporary United States, we also engage with analogous international cases. While we approach this topic historically, empirically, and theoretically, our main goal is to assess what kinds of identity-based claims (if any) are best suited for the healthy functioning of a liberal and diverse democracy. Prerequisite: POLS 120. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Domestic Pluralism and Writing requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 355: Dictators, Despots, and Tyrants

This course is an examination of the ideological underpinnings of modern dictatorships, their politics, and how they organize the institutions of the state. It begins with an examination of twentieth century dictatorships, including Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Imperial Japan, the Soviet Union, and Communist China. It then considers contemporary dictatorships in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Students are introduced to source materials including pamphlets authored by dictators and a variety of films from different genres. The course underscores the political commonalities and differences among dictatorial regimes over time and across regions. It also explores how modern-day dictatorships and their leaders have shown remarkable resilience against the forces of globalization and political liberalization. Prerequisite: POLS 110 or consent of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Global Perspectives requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: IREL 355


POLS 357: The Social Contract

This course will examine the metaphor of the social contract, or the idea that the consent of individuals is necessary for the formation of legitimate government, which has been widely used to justify and/or criticize certain institutional arrangements. We will try to come to terms with both its philosophical appeal as well as its historical relevancy. In addition to reading classic texts of those like Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Rawls, we will also compare the models of these authors with actual processes of constitutional formation including the American Founding. Prerequisite: POLS 130 or permission of instructor. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 358: Democratic Theory

Almost everyone seems to be in favor of democracy, but there is considerable disagreement about what democracy means and why it might be worthy of our support. In this course, we seek to understand the concept of democracy from a variety of different historical, philosophical, and empirical perspectives. Examples of questions to be covered include: What is the relationship between democracy and the protection of individual rights? How responsive should democratically elected representatives be to their constituents? Are ordinary citizens knowledgeable enough to participate effectively in democratic politics? Prerequisite: Politics 120 or consent of instructor. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 361: The First Amendment

In this course students explore the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of freedoms of speech (including obscenity and libel), assembly and association, the press, and the exercise and establishment of religion. We will also examine First Amendment issues raised by regulation of the Internet and other new media. Prerequisite: POLS 120 or consent of instructor. Not open to First-Year Students. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: AMER 360


POLS 363: The Fourteenth Amendment

(The Fourteenth Amendment: Civil Rights and Equality) Students in this course examine the rulings of the United States Supreme Court in order to learn how the Fourteenth Amendment guides the government's treatment of people based on race, creed, national origin, gender, economic status and sexual orientation. State action, strict scrutiny analysis, affirmative action and voting rights are also covered. Prerequisite: POLS 120 or consent of instructor. Not open to First-Year Students. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Domestic Pluralism requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: AMER 364


POLS 364: The Fourth Amendment

This course examines the Supreme Court鈥檚 jurisprudence related to search and seizure by focusing on police citizen interaction in homes, vehicles, and in public spaces. Students explore how courts balance individual privacy with the need for government action in the investigation of crime, and the dictates and limitations of the exclusionary rule in shaping police conduct. We evaluate how the Supreme Court's 1968 decision in Terry v. Ohio sanctioned stop and frisk procedures that perpetually lead to disproportionate outcomes in who is investigated and arrested, and examine efforts towards more equitable policing. Additionally, students meet with and get the opportunity to observe practitioners and judges who work in motions practice on Fourth Amendment issues. Prerequisite: POLS 260 or permission of instructor


POLS 365: Civil Liberties

This course focuses on our individual liberties as addressed in the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment. Using United States Supreme Court cases, we examine the protection of our individual liberties - the meaning of equal protection and the antidiscrimination principle, expressive freedom and the First Amendment, religious liberty and church-state relations, rights of personal autonomy and privacy, criminal justice, voting rights, property rights and economic freedom. Prerequisite: POLS 120 or permission of instructor. Second year standing is also required. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Domestic Pluralism requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: AMER 366


POLS 368: Environmental Law

This course will explore basic issues of law and policy involved in the consumption, conservation, and regulation of natural resources. In particular, we will consider how various competing public and private interests in the use and protection of the environment affect legislative, administrative, and judicial decision making. Topics to be discussed include: agency management of environmental risk; civil suits as a means of environmental law enforcement; wilderness and the use of public land; takings and other private property rights concerns; federalism and the environment. Among other statutes, we will examine the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Wilderness Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act.
cross listed: ES 361


POLS 389: Inter-American Human Rights System

This course studies the political history of human rights in Latin America. Human rights are the universal entitlements - political, economic, social, cultural, etc. - that apply equally to all human beings regardless of their nationality. More specifically, the course investigates the development of the Inter-American Humans Rights System and how it has given rise to human rights conventions and other human rights milestones in the Americas. It studies the multiple conventions that form the system and how they came into being. Additionally, the course also focuses on the system's multiple enforcement mechanisms that are meant to ensure the protection on human rights in the region. Prerequisite: POLS 110 or permission of instructor
cross listed: IREL 389, LNAM 389


POLS 390: Internship

To be arranged individually with an appropriate faculty member. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Experiential Learning requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 391: Tutorial

To be arranged individually with an appropriate faculty member. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 395: Internship

Relates theory to practice by placing students in governmental agencies, community interest groups, and other political environments. (Two course credits.) (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 399: Inter-Text Journal

(Inter-Text Undergraduate Journal for Social Sciences and Humanities.) This course is a practicum aimed at engaging students in the process of scholarly peer-review, academic journal production, and print and digital publishing. Students learn how to use InDesign, an important software suite for visual communication. This 0.25 credit course is graded on a Pass-No Pass basis and requires enrolled students to complete forty (40) hours of work as Editorial Board members while contributing to the production and selection of feature essays, peer review, editing, layout and formatting of the journal, and release of the journal at the annual publication party. Inter-Text aims to publish exceptional student work and foster community among students inside and outside of the classroom in the humanities and social sciences.
cross listed: HIST 399, ENGL 399, ART 399


POLS 480: Presidential Power

(Senior Seminar in American Politics and Law: Presidential Power) Students in this senior seminar explore the growth in executive power relative to the legislative and judicial branches of the federal government. Our examination begins with President Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam War. It continues with his successor, Richard Nixon, who, according to some people, epitomizes the concentration of executive power. Though Nixon's resignation signals the end of an 'imperial presidency,' under President Reagan the executive branch's consolidation of power is renewed. The experiences of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s are a backdrop for the study of the expansion of executive power under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Prerequisite: POLS 120 or permission of instructor. Open to Politics majors and minors in the third or fourth year. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Speaking requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 481: Global Governance

(Senior Seminar in Global Politics/International Relations: Global Governance.) Global governance is a branch of international relations that imagines the world as a single polity. Short of establishing a world government, it studies the processes and structures, both formal and informal, associated with efforts by states and non-state actors to direct their collective activities toward finding multilateral solutions to the growing complexity of issues on the global agenda. From the environment, health, crime, and human rights to war, trade, and finance, global governance encounters a world in which there is a 鈥済overnance deficit.鈥 Despite the genuine differences among actors and the potential for acute discord resulting from their unequal interdependence, global governance involves the study of efforts at international cooperation on global issues as they pertain to agenda-setting, policymaking, implementation and enforcement, and evaluation, monitoring, and adjudication. The course combines a survey of contemporary global governance literature 鈥 theoretical, empirical, and historical 鈥 and student-directed workshops and research presentations on global governance issues. Prerequisite: Politics 110; politics and international relations juniors and seniors only; or consent of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Speaking requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: IREL 481


POLS 482: Affirmative Action

(Senior Seminar in American Politics and Law: Affirmative Action.) Affirmative action in employment and education is one of the most controversial issues of our time. As such, it transects many subfields of political science: political theory, American political institutions, elections, law and constitutionalism, public opinion, comparative politics. Affirmative action policies bring to light American attitudes toward race, gender, sexual identity, and ethnicity. The course begins with a study of the foundational legal, ethical and political issues of affirmative action. Students then pursue their own, specialized projects on the topic. Prerequisite: Politics senior or consent of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Domestic Pluralism and Speaking requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)


POLS 483: Democratic Peace & War

Senior Seminar in Global Politics: Democratic Peace and War. Do liberal democracies conduct their external relations differently than dictatorships? If so, how, why, and to what result? These questions taken together constitute a central focus of international relations scholarship. This course finds its intellectual foundations in Immanuel Kant's thesis that liberal democracies at once enjoy a 'separate peace' amongst themselves and act belligerently toward dictatorships. Students in this senior seminar survey a rich literature on the 'democratic peace' thesis through the lenses of realist, liberal, and constructivist international relations theory, through reference to in-depth case studies and large-scale data analysis. In their seminar papers, students apply these theories and methods to their research on current foreign policies issues among democracies and between democracies and dictatorships. Prerequisite: Open to international relations and politics juniors and seniors only. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Speaking requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 484: Searches, Seizures, and Security

(Senior Seminar in American Politics and Law: Searches, Seizures, and Security). The right against government intrusion into our lives is one of our most cherished freedoms found in the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution. The framers believed that agents of government should not enter private homes or search personal property without justification. Yet now, government entities and corporations have access to our personal information raising questions of how current law, politics, and security issues at home and abroad reshape constitutional boundaries of our right to privacy. This course begins with a study of the Fourth Amendment and constitutional rights and limitations of search and seizure and continues with a review of current law affecting our national security. This course is a capstone course for politics majors and students will pursue their own specialized research projects on the topic. Prerequisite: Politics senior or consent of the instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Speaking requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 485: Constitutional Change

(Senior Seminar in American Politics & Law: Constitutional Change). While the United States may have the oldest written Constitution in the world, it has been subject to nearly constant change since the moment it was ratified. In addition to formal amendments including the Bill of Rights, our constitutional institutions and culture have been significantly modified and affected by Supreme Court opinions, presidential decisions, legislative constructions, and even citizen-based protest movements. In this seminar, we explore the question of how constitutional change has actually happened in our nation's past, and assess whether some of these procedures and mechanisms of change are better or worse than others. We will then conclude by evaluating a variety of contemporary proposals for constitutional reform. Students will thereby be invited to think both descriptively and morally about the history and future of American constitutionalism. As a capstone course for politics majors, students will pursue their own specialized research projects on the topic. Prerequisite: Politics senior or consent of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Speaking requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 486: Global Justice

(Senior Seminar in Global Politics: Global Justice.) Virtually all of the major pressing and controversial debates in international politics revolve on some level around questions of justice: When is humanitarian intervention justified? Are certain tactics of war morally unjustifiable? Are human rights universal ideals that should apply everywhere, or should they be limited by certain cultural and/or religious traditions? How should distributive justice work at the global level? Does justice require that rich countries allow for more immigration? Do we need a world state? In this senior seminar, students will probe these and other questions. We will examine these issues from a variety of perspectives, including ones that are skeptical about the very idea of 'global justice.' As a capstone course for politics and international relations majors, students will pursue their own specialized research projects on the topic. Prerequisite: Junior or senior politics and/or international relations majors, or consent of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Global Perspectives and Speaking requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 487: Money, Inequality and Power

This course investigates some of the ways that money may (or may not) increase inequality in American politics. Money is very unequally distributed in America today. We discuss how income or wealth inequality affects our democracy, and how we can tell. Since the Supreme Court has set down complex rules governing the use of money in politics, we also discuss what can be done to address inequality even if it does produce undesirable results. In this course, students explore many other important and fascinating issues at the intersection of money and politics. The topic intersects with many areas of politics: political theory, American political institutions, law and constitutionalism, and campaigns and elections. It allows students the opportunity to select, for intense study, an area of special interest pertaining to the above themes. Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing, declared Politics major or permission of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Speaking and Senior Studies requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


POLS 489: Abortion and Reproductive Justice

(Senior Seminar in American Politics and Law: Abortion and Reproductive Justice) Questions of whether, when, or how to have children exist at the very core of human bodily autonomy. This capstone American Politics and Law course examines the changing landscape of access to abortion and reproductive justice in a post-Dobbs America, in light of race, gender, personhood, sexuality, class, ability, religion, and other factors. Through evaluation of state and federal law and litigation, and constitutional concepts of equal protection and substantive due process, we explore modern American interpretations of rights and responsibilities related to reproductive medical care and family planning. Students in this senior seminar pursue their own specialized projects related to these topics. Prerequisites: POLS 120 and senior politics major(open to juniors with permission of instructor)


POLS 490: Internship

To be arranged individually with a faculty supervisor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Experiential Learning requirement.)


POLS 491: Tutorial

To be arranged individually with a faculty supervisor.

International Relations Courses

IREL 110: Principles of Economics

This course is an introduction to both microeconomics and macroeconomics. Students are introduced to the analytical tools and techniques used by economists to better understand the choices economic agents make and how markets function. The study of microeconomics includes consumer theory, producer behavior, and analysis of market structure. The study of macroeconomics includes the determination of aggregate production, employment and inflation, as well as fiscal policy, monetary policy, the distribution of income, and economic growth. The theories presented are applied throughout the semester to issues facing the U.S. and world economies. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: ECON 110


IREL 130: Intro to Comparative Politics

This course is an introduction to the main concepts and theories of comparative politics. Students explore central questions of comparative politics research, such as: do variations in political institutions (constitutions, elections, parties, and party systems) matter and why? What are the different ways in which citizens participate in politics and how has it changed over time? What are the key differences between democratic and authoritarian regimes and how a country may transition from one to another? In addition, students also learn about fundamental principles and methods of comparative political analysis. Lastly, case studies of different countries around the globe help students apply abstract theories, concepts, and methods and thereby develop strong analytical and critical thinking skills. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Cultural Diversity requirement.)
cross listed: POLS 140


IREL 140: Introduction to Global Politics

This course studies political behavior globally, involving countries, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and other international actors.聽 It introduces students to the analytical tools 鈥 concepts, models, and theories 鈥 scholars use to explain and understand global phenomenon past and present, such as war and peace, weapons proliferation, trade and development, international law, the environment, human rights, migration, and public health. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: POLS 110


IREL 160: Intro to Sociology and Anthropology

Sociology and anthropology share a focus on exploring the social (group rather than individual) bases of human practices and behaviors. Both disciplines study social interaction and such social institutions as family and religion. This course introduces students to key concepts for viewing the world through sociological and anthropological lenses, including cultural relativism, material culture, and the social construction of human experience through categories like race, class, and gender. Limited to first- and second-year students. Not open to students who have taken SOAN 100. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: SOAN 110


IREL 220: Europe 1715-1890

Socio-economic, political, and intellectual and cultural development of Europe from 1715 to 1890. The crisis of the old order in the age of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Industrialization, democratization, and modernization in the nineteenth century. The emergence of nation-states, consumer societies, and modern ideologies. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Humanities and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Humanities requirement.)
cross listed: HIST 208


IREL 221: Europe in the Twentieth Century

European politics, culture, and society from 1890s to 1990s. The course pursues three major themes: the origins of the modern era from 1890 to 1918; the rise of the authoritarian state from 1917 to 1945; and the Cold War from the 1940s to the collapse of the Soviet Union. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Humanities and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Humanities requirement.)
cross listed: HIST 209


IREL 234: Modern East Asia

Study of China, Japan, and Korea as each moved toward modern nationhood over the last 200 years. Attention to the difficulties each has confronted, including Japan's vision of empire shattered by World War II, China's civil war, and Korea's transformation through foreign interventions. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Humanities and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Humanities and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: HIST 213, ASIA 201


IREL 240: United States Foreign Policy

Students in this course explore the domestic and international factors that have shaped the foreign policy of the United States since the end of the Cold War, and especially over the past decade. Students study the major ideologies shaping contemporary debates about the national interests of the U.S. and the country's role abroad, the models of foreign policy decision-making, and the workings of core policymaking institutions - the White House, executive branch departments and agencies, Congress, and civil society - on matters of war and peace, trade and foreign assistance, human rights and humanitarian affairs, and the environment. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: POLS 240, AMER 241


IREL 241: Global Issues

This course surveys contemporary global issues in security, economic, humanitarian, and environmental affairs. In depth case studies include the Russia-Ukraine war; China-Taiwan relations; Iran and North Korea's nuclear weapons programs; the US-China trade war and the global trend toward trade protectionism; human migration; international negotiations and treaties addressing global environmental problems like climate change, species diversity and loss, and plastic pollution; and the Covid-19 pandemic. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Global Perspectives requirement.)
cross listed: POLS 241


IREL 242: Politics of the Global South

This course introduces students to contemporary political, economic, and social issues in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa - regions of the world that are referred to collectively as the Global South. Students survey major relevant theoretical approaches in comparative politics and situate non-Western states in global political, economic, and social context. Students also explore specific topics, such as democratization, nationalism, state-building, and civil society. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: POLS 242


IREL 245: Global IR Theory

In this course, students survey the major theoretical models and concepts associated with the study of international relations in the West and other regions of the world for the purpose of analyzing and thinking critically about contemporary international political issues. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: POLS 245


IREL 247: Transnational Social Movements

This course examines the emergence, evolution, and impact of transnational social movements, in which activists mobilize across national boundaries to effect global change. It explores the interaction of transnational social movements with other global actors, such as states and international organizations; the ways in which social media, technology, and globalization have changed the methods of organizing and efficacy of these movements; and the impact of these movements on global norms. We assess a wide variety of cases, such as #MeToo, human rights in Argentina, the anti-whaling movement, and transnational peace movements. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: POLS 247


IREL 249: Methods of Political Research

This course introduces students to the nuts and bolts of systematic political science research. Students learn how to construct a research question - and develop and test hypotheses. Students apply concepts and strategies learned in class to develop their own research design. The course will also expose students to: basic quantitative and qualitative skills for the purposes of describing and explaining political phenomena, and the analysis of data on issues in American and global politics. Prerequisite: Politics or International Relations major, or consent of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: POLS 200


IREL 250: Politics of Europe

This course is a survey of the domestic political institutions, cultures, and economies of select European countries, as well as the major public policy issues facing the advanced industrial democracies of Western Europe, the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe, and the continent's last autocracies (e.g., Russia). Some consideration is also given to pan-European governance, such as the European Union (EU) and the European Court of Human Rights. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: POLS 210


IREL 251: Politics of Russia

The course will investigate the domestic political processes, institutions, and economies of the Russian Federation and the other states in the post-Soviet Union. Additionally, the course examines Russia's foreign policy, paying close attention to the Russian Federation's actions toward its close neighbors. Prerequisites: POLS 110 or permission of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: POLS 218


IREL 252: The Post-Communist World

This course familiarizes students with the politics of communist and post-communist states focusing on Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and China, although other regions also are routinely included in the discussion. We begin with an overview of the origins and development of communism in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and China. Then we examine and analyze the profound political, economic, and social changes in the former communist societies. Specifically, we explore economic transition from planned to market economy, democratization and persistence of authoritarianism, as well as nationalism and conflict. After taking the course, students are expected to understand the emergence and collapse of communism and political dynamics of post-communist transition, as well as to be able to identify key challenges facing post-communist states and critically evaluate their prospects for democratization. No pre-requisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: POLS 209, ASIA 209


IREL 255: China and the World

How has the dramatic rise of China reshaped global politics? How has Chinese foreign policy changed since the establishment of the People鈥檚 Republic of China (PRC)? This course examines China鈥檚 evolving understanding of its relationship with the international system and the domestic and global factors that drive Chinese foreign policy. We explore China鈥檚 growing influence in addressing global governance challenges, such as climate change; China鈥檚 participation in major international institutions; and China鈥檚 key bilateral relationships with entities like the United States, Russia, ASEAN, and India. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: POLS 215, ASIA 221


IREL 259: Politics of Latin America

An introduction to politics and social change in Latin America. Study will focus on several Latin American countries and on special topics such as human rights, religion, the military, land reform, women, and population policy. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: POLS 219, LNAM 219


IREL 340: International Terrorism

The central aim of this course is to critically examine the phenomenon of terrorism. In so doing, we will adopt the following approach: (i) we will briefly analyze the concepts of security and violence; (ii) we will discuss the etymology of the concept "terrorism." (iii) We will explore the idea of terrorism as an instrumentally rational undertaking. Parallel to this we will read a sample of articles from the positive political science literature on terrorism. (iv) We will examine the morality of terrorism as refracted through the lens of the rich theorizing on just war and will carefully investigate the philosophy literature on terrorism. Finally (v) in light of the foregoing theoretical examination, we will examine the U.S.-led "war on terror." Prerequisite: POLS 110. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Global Perspectives requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: POLS 340


IREL 341: Global Cities

Today more than half of the world鈥檚 population lives in cities. Global cities are now the key command points in the world economy. In addition to familiar Western cities like New York and London, southern metropolises, such as Beijing, Mumbai, Dubai, and Sao Paolo have become centers of urban innovation and economic growth. At the same time, global cities face various, political, social, and economic challenges: gentrification, segregation, inadequate public goods provision, and securitization of urban space, just to name a few. In this class, we discuss questions such as: How do cities and city regions function in the global economy? What drives urban development? Why are some cities well governed while others are not? What is urban informality and is it the problem or the solution for global cities? The class includes several case studies of various cities in the world that help students explore the diversity of global cities. Prerequisite:聽POLS聽110 or聽POLS140 or permission of the instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Writing requirement.)
cross listed: POLS 316


IREL 342: International Political Economy

The course introduces students to the academic discipline of International Political Economy (IPE). It surveys the intellectual history of the discipline and specifies the main methodological and theoretical debates in IPE. The course also examines international trade and production, the international monetary and financial systems, and global poverty and development. Prerequisite: Politics 110 or consent of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Global Perspectives requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: POLS 342


IREL 343: Global Security

Global security studies the measures undertaken by international actors to ensure the survival of states (national security), the preservation of the system of states (international security), and the wellbeing of people (human security) from a wide range of threats. Students learn about the emergence of the specialized field of 鈥渟ecurity studies,鈥 which focused on Cold War-era, military issues like conventional and nuclear deterrence. They then consider the more recent transformation of the field鈥檚 scope to include both these traditional issues and new issues - both military and non-military in nature, such as proliferation, intra-state conflict, terrorism, environmental degradation and climate change, displaced populations, and infectious diseases. Prerequisites: Politics 110 (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement.)
cross listed: POLS 343


IREL 344: Gender and Sexuality in IR

(Gender and Sexuality in International Relations.) This course explores the intersection of gender and sexuality with a variety of topics in international relations, such as conflict and war, global political economy, development, human rights, population policy, and global health. It examines how feminist and queer theories of international relations shed new light on existing areas of research, and how they generate new puzzles for political scientists to study. This course considers a wide range of cases from around the world, with particular attention to those from the Global South. Prerequisite: POLS 110 or consent of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: POLS 344, GSWS 344


IREL 347: Global Governance

In this course students survey the theories of international institutions, both inter-governmental and non-governmental, focusing on how they emerge and function, as well as their effect on international relations processes and outcomes. Also central to the course are in-depth case studies of international organizations in the fields of diplomacy, security, economics, environment, law, and humanitarian affairs. Special emphasis is placed on the role of institutions in fostering governance and cooperation at the global level in the absence of political authority above the state. Prerequisite: Politics 110 or consent of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Global Perspectives requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: POLS 347


IREL 348: International Law

Students in this course investigate the evolution of modern international law. We consider the roles of states, the United Nations, and non-state actors in international law, mechanisms for the creation and enforcement of international legal norms, the changing nature of state sovereignty from the Peace of Westphalia to the present, and breaches of international law and potential consequences. Attention is also given to pressing matters of international concern, including war and terrorism, environmental issues, and human rights and humanitarian law. Prerequisite: POLS 110 or consent of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Global Perspectives requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: POLS 348


IREL 350: Migration and Citizenship

Migration across national boundaries is one of the fundamental issues in global politics of our time. What factors shape global migration flows? How do different countries regulate migration? How do states decide who belongs and who does not? Who is kept out and who is let in? How do immigration policies reflect the notion of citizenship? Can citizenship be earned, bought, or sold? This course examines causes and consequences of global migration and dilemmas associated with them in comparative perspective. Through case studies from various regions of the world, including Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Middle East, students gain understanding of global patterns of migration flows, as well as how states and societies respond to them and are transformed by them. Prerequisite: POLS 110 or POLS 140 or approval of the instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Global Perspectives and Writing requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: POLS 345


IREL 351: Campaigns & Elections in L America

This course focuses on the study of elections, campaigns, leaders, and political parties in Latin America. This seminar covers recent (each year鈥檚 elections and campaigns) and previous electoral processes in the region.聽 The course examines how parties and voters interact and how parties in the region have developed different strategies to engage voters. The seminar also addresses the electoral processes: who can become a candidate, why, when, where people vote, and the different rules set up by countries for the electoral processes. In this seminar, we also study what happens during the campaigns with a particular focus on electoral violence, and violence against women in elections.聽 The seminar is designed to provide a foundation for the development of original research and innovative theoretical approaches that can contribute to the study of the region and comparative politics more generally. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: POLS 319, LNAM 329


IREL 353: Comparative Foreign Policy

Though varied, the foreign policies of countries exhibit similar patterns, as well as analogous restraints and opportunities. Through a comparative analysis, this course surveys case studies of the contemporary foreign policies of great powers (Britain, China, France, Germany, Japan, and Russia) and regional powers (Brazil, India, Iran, South Africa, and Turkey). It analyzes how foreign policy interests are formulated, utilizing a variety of theories that highlight the importance of domestic and international influences on a country's foreign policy choices and behavior. Prerequisite: Politics 110 or consent of instructor. . (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: POLS 315


IREL 355: Dictators, Despots, and Tyrants

This course is an examination of the ideological underpinnings of modern dictatorships, their politics, and how they organize the institutions of the state. It begins with an examination of twentieth century dictatorships, including Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Imperial Japan, the Soviet Union, and Communist China. It then considers contemporary dictatorships in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Students are introduced to source materials including pamphlets authored by dictators and a variety of films from different genres. The course underscores the political commonalities and differences among dictatorial regimes over time and across regions. It also explores how modern-day dictatorships and their leaders have shown remarkable resilience against the forces of globalization and political liberalization. Prerequisite: POLS 110 or consent of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Global Perspectives requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: POLS 355


IREL 357: Global Democratization

In this course, the students learn why and how democracies emerge, persist, and break down by examining theories and case studies of transitions from authoritarian rule to democracy and vice versa. The students explore the concept of democracy and different explanations of conditions that make democracy possible and make it thrive. They also learn how and why the process of regime change and democratization is often flawed, incomplete, and uncertain. In addition, this course highlights the erosion of democratic institutions in established democracies and the rise of illiberal populism.聽Prerequisite: POLS 110 or POLS 140 or permission of the instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Global Perspectives and Writing requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: POLS 317


IREL 389: Inter-American Human Rights System

This course studies the political history of human rights in Latin America. Human rights are the universal entitlements - political, economic, social, cultural, etc. - that apply equally to all human beings regardless of their nationality. More specifically, the course investigates the development of the Inter-American Humans Rights System and how it has given rise to human rights conventions and other human rights milestones in the Americas. It studies the multiple conventions that form the system and how they came into being. Additionally, the course also focuses on the system's multiple enforcement mechanisms that are meant to ensure the protection on human rights in the region. Prerequisite: POLS 110 or permission of instructor
cross listed: POLS 389, LNAM 389


IREL 480: International Order

(Senior Seminar in International Relations: The 21st Century World (Dis)order) The international system of states is undergoing a power shift. Though it will remain the dominant world power for some time to come, most scholars agree that American global preeminence is waning. Yet scholars disagree about the effect of this shift on world order. Some see an effort by the United States and its closest allies to prop-up the current American liberal world order of global economic integration and cooperative security. Others envision either a 'post-American' world in which the United States and rising great powers re-negotiate the ground rules of a new liberal order, or a world in which the United States is one of a small number of great powers competing for power and influence in an illiberal world. Each of these possibilities raises compelling questions about war and peace, and cooperation and discord in twenty-first century international politics. Will this power shift jeopardize the liberal world order? Can this world order persist in the absence of American preeminence? How might the United States and its allies extend the current American world order? (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Global Perspectives and Speaking requirements.)
cross listed: AMER 478


IREL 481: Global Governance

(Senior Seminar in Global Politics/International Relations: Global Governance.) Global governance is a branch of international relations that imagines the world as a single polity. Short of establishing a world government, it studies the processes and structures, both formal and informal, associated with efforts by states and non-state actors to direct their collective activities toward finding multilateral solutions to the growing complexity of issues on the global agenda. From the environment, health, crime, and human rights to war, trade, and finance, global governance encounters a world in which there is a 鈥済overnance deficit.鈥 Despite the genuine differences among actors and the potential for acute discord resulting from their unequal interdependence, global governance involves the study of efforts at international cooperation on global issues as they pertain to agenda-setting, policymaking, implementation and enforcement, and evaluation, monitoring, and adjudication. The course combines a survey of contemporary global governance literature 鈥 theoretical, empirical, and historical 鈥 and student-directed workshops and research presentations on global governance issues. Prerequisite: Politics 110; politics and international relations juniors and seniors only; or consent of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Speaking requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: POLS 481