Department of Philosophy and Political Science

The Department of Philosophy and Political Science supports programs in philosophy and political science: each provides a balanced offering of courses that offer both a broad overview of each discipline and the opportunity to focus more specifically in special topic areas. The department also is committed to experiential learning, and offers opportunities to study both philosophy and political science topics in ways that allow for a personal engagement with the topic area through study abroad, seminars in Washington, D.C., Service Learning courses and internship opportunities, and close collaboration with the Albert Schweitzer Institute at Quinnipiac.

The department offers minors in philosophy and political science that are tailored to complement a student’s major field of study, and supports a variety of multidisciplinary minor programs including women’s studies, the history and philosophy of science, international studies, Latin American studies, European Union studies, and Middle East studies.

The mission of the Department of Philosophy and Political Science is to develop educated students who are responsible for recognizing and respecting diverse worldviews, capable of evaluating systems of thought, oppression and power in communities, and motivated to engage in personal and social action.

Philosophy (PL)

PL 101. Introduction to Philosophy.3 Credits.

This course introduces students to a number of central questions in philosophy through critical exploration of ideas from selected great philosophers. It engages students in the close study of several fundamental issues that have arisen in the course of the development of the philosophical tradition--such as free will, our knowledge of the "external" world, and the meaning and value of truth and justice--giving students the basic tools for further work in philosophy.

Offered: Every year, Fall
UC: Humanities

PL 101H. Honors Introduction to Philosophy.3 Credits.

This course offers students the opportunity to examine their own values and beliefs through critical exploration of ideas from selected great philosophers, western and non-western, on such themes as the nature of reality, the self, knowledge, the good, spirituality and the ultimate. Attention is given to the historical context of the persons and ideas studied and to their impact on human thought and development.

Offered: Every year, All
UC: Humanities

PL 202. Logical Reasoning.3 Credits.

This course teaches students to recognize and evaluate logical patterns that recur in all language intended to persuade by reason. Students learn proof techniques for logical pattern evaluation, techniques to recognize and evaluate fallacies, and ways of understanding logical patterns in longer, extended passages. The goal of the course is to improve students' natural ability to think clearly and critically by learning to apply logic to arguments in public, academic and private life.

Offered: Every year, Fall
UC: Humanities

PL 217. Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy (PO 217).3 Credits.

This course introduces students to major contemporary debates about the nature of membership in a national community and in a global community. Potential topics include the relationship between an individual and a state, the nature of political authority, the problem of distributive justice, the nature of universal human rights, the ethics of global development, immigration, the problem of environmental justice, postcolonialism, the politics of identity, philosophy of race, and the morality of warfare.

Prerequisites: Take QU 101 FYS 101 PL 101 or PO 215;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

PL 220. Ethics and Human Values.3 Credits.

This course explores the meanings of such normative distinctions as good/bad, right/wrong and good/evil. Students critically examine theories of morality such as egoism, utilitarianism, deontological ethics, divine command theory, natural law theory, sentimentalism and virtue ethics, as well as a challenge to all ethical theorizing: the case for moral relativism. Students focus on the practical implications of theory: understandings are brought to bear on various real-life ethical issues such as war, poverty, racism, abortion and substance abuse.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every year, Spring and Summer
UC: Humanities

PL 220H. Honors Ethics and Human Values.3 Credits.

Various approaches in, and challenges to, ethics are explored and brought to bear on contemporary personal, professional and societal moral issues. Students undertake Service Learning projects and reflect upon the experience in relation to ideas encountered in course readings and discussions.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101, QU 101 or FYS 101;
Offered: As needed
UC: Humanities

PL 222. Bioethics.3 Credits.

Students analyze complex ethical issues in contemporary bioethics using relevant technical vocabulary and methods from philosophy, in partnership with information from the contemporary biosciences and the health care professions. Ethical theories covered include deontology, utilitarianism, virtue-based approaches to ethics, Virginia Held's ethics of care and Theddeus Metz's reconstruction of an African moral theory. Ethical issues addressed may include: stem cell research, human subjects research, human enhancement, reproductive medicine, euthanasia, advance directives and end-of-life care, resource allocation, organ transplantation, the right to health care and global health.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every year, Fall

PL 234. Philosophies of Health, Healing and Medicine.3 Credits.

Students examine the concept of "health" and the assumptions, values and consequences involved in some of the more important ways of defining, preserving and restoring it. This leads to explorations of some of the significant understandings of "medicine" in relation to healing and to health. Among the understandings considered are: the Western "scientific" model; ancient models that are seen as offering provocative alternatives--Ayurvedic, Chinese, aboriginal; more recent alternatives developed within the West--Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Reiki, etc.; and faith-based approaches--Christian science, "miracle cures," etc. Although focused on health, healing and medicine, this course ultimately deals with the nature of the good society and welcomes all who are concerned with this perennial question.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

PL 235. Philosophy of Science.3 Credits.

Students consider the history and nature of, and assumptions and values involved in, the scientific method; the logic of scientific explanation and theory construction; philosophical and ethical problems in selected natural, social and human sciences.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

PL 236. Philosophy of Language.3 Credits.

This course focuses on the attempt to understand the nature of language and its relationship with speakers, their thoughts and the world. Students explore such questions as: What is language? How do we understand one another? Can we think without language? What is the connection between words and the objects to which they refer? What is meaning? What determines the truth and falsehood of our statements? Do we have innate linguistic abilities or do we learn to speak by observing the behavior of other speakers? Various philosophical theories about language are attempts to answer such questions. These are discussed, along with their far-reaching consequences for other areas of philosophy.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring
UC: Humanities

PL 237. Philosophy of Mind.3 Credits.

Are minds physical or non-physical? Is free will real or an illusion? Is consciousness computational? Can we build artificial minds? How can we explain phenomena such as emotions, delusions and pain? What are we, and where is the boundary between ourselves and our environment? In this course, students explore these and other issues in the contemporary philosophy of mind, focusing on questions that emerge at the intersection of philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience and artificial intelligence.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

PL 238. Philosophy of Technology and Social Transformation.3 Credits.

What is technology? How do science and technology relate to human values? What role should technology play in our everyday lives? Do technological developments result in greater freedom? How should technology shape our cities and the natural environment, now and in the future? Students in this course critically examine these and other related issues, using a range of philosophical texts, science fiction and film.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every other year, Fall
UC: Humanities

PL 240. Philosophy of Sport (SPS 240).3 Credits.

This course is a philosophical study of sport. Students consider the purpose, meaning and value of different sports, of various involvements in sport and of different levels in sport. The course pays particular attention to what philosophers have to say about sport, and what the study of sport can contribute to philosophy and to the human quest for the loving, the true, the good, and the beautiful.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring
UC: Humanities

PL 250. Philosophy of Art.3 Credits.

What is beauty? What does it mean to experience something--perhaps art or nature--aesthetically? What is art? What is the nature of artistic inspiration? What is--or what should be--the purpose of art? How does one determine the value of art? Is some art worthless? What is the relationship between art and truth? Should artistic expression ever be censored? How have racism, sexism and consumerism impacted the art world? These are some of the questions to be discussed as we consider aesthetic experience and artistic expression--in the visual arts, but also in music, dance, film, drama and other forms.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring
UC: Humanities

PL 265. Living Religions of the World.3 Credits.

Students explore the phenomenon of religion, the idea of a god, the holy or the divine, and the main religions and related questions of today. Focus is placed on aboriginal religion (Native American), Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam; with prior instructor approval, students also may consider other past or contemporary religions, including atheism. Visits to two traditions other than your own and presentations by practicing members of the religions considered are included.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every year, Fall
UC: Humanities

PL 266. Diverse Global Philosophies.3 Credits.

In this course, students explore global traditions in philosophy developed by people from diverse cultures, beyond Europe and the United States. Participants devote particular attention to insights and questions raised with regard to possible relationships or contrasts between diverse global philosophies and our existing assumptions, beliefs and values. Potential topics and course materials may include both classical and contemporary sources from Australia, Africa, the Caribbean, China, India, Japan, the Muslim world, the Pacific Islands and Latin America. Owing to the breadth of the field, the focus of the course shifts, reflecting the interests and work of the instructor in any particular semester.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every other year, Fall
UC: Humanities

PL 267. Philosophy of Religion.3 Credits.

Religious language, religious experience and religious institutions make up a significant part of life in both traditional and modern cultures. This course analyzes the concepts and terms that are used in religious discourse, including God, holiness, redemption, idolatry, creation, eternal life and sacrifice, among others. Such analysis leads to questions regarding religious statements such as "God exists," "The cow is holy," and "If you fast, you will be redeemed" and their relationship with ordinary, everyday experience, as well as with science and with morality. Most important is the fundamental philosophical question "what is religion?"; answering it means moving beyond philosophy to anthropology, sociology, and of course psychology.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring
UC: Humanities

PL 299. Independent Study in Philosophy.1-3 Credits.

Tutorial study or independent projects in selected areas of philosophy are completed under the direction of a faculty member. This course may not be used as a substitute for required courses in the major or minor. 1, 2 or 3 credits (must be agreed on in advance by the student and faculty member, and approved by the department chairperson).

Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

PL 312. Philosophy of War and Peace (PO 312).3 Credits.

This course draws on what philosophers, legal scholars and political scientists have written about the nature, limits and morality of warfare. Students study the general frameworks for evaluating warfare in the theories of realism, pacifism and just war, and then turn to the evaluation of historical case studies concerning when it is just to initiate war, how war is to be conducted justly once it is initiated, and the obligations of combatants following war. Readings include both historical authors, such as Thucydides and Thomas Aquinas, and contemporary theorists, such as Michael Walzer and Jeff McMahan.

Prerequisites: Take QU 101 FYS 101 PL 101 PO 211 or PO 215;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

PL 320. Thought and Work of Albert Schweitzer (SL:Service Learning).3 Credits.

Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) made significant, often controversial contributions in several areas: music, philosophy, religion, medical care, service to human need, animal rights and ecological awareness. In 1952 Schweitzer was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his many decades of humanitarian work at his "jungle hospital" in West Africa. In his 80s, he became one of the most active voices in the struggle against the testing of nuclear weapons. Because Schweitzer considered his philosophy to be primarily one of action and service ("My life is my argument") Service Learning is an important component of the course. Quinnipiac's Albert Schweitzer Institute offers students many kinds of projects and activities reflecting Schweitzer's many areas of involvement. In this course, students critically explore Schweitzer's life, thought and work and their application to some of the moral problems and cultural and political issues we face today.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

PL 330. Philosophy and Gender (WS 330).3 Credits.

Students investigate the notions of sex and gender and the debate over social versus biological underpinnings of expressions of masculinity and femininity. The relevance of historical views on sex, gender and relations between the sexes to current patterns and developments are considered. Issues facing men and women, as well as policies and reforms designed to address them are examined. Participants also consider the intersection between sex/gender and race, ethnicity, class and sexual orientation. Finally, the impact of gendered perspectives on contemporary philosophy, especially epistemology, ethics and social and political philosophy, is considered.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

PL 331. Philosophy of Humor.3 Credits.

Historically, many thinkers have viewed humor with scorn while others have not considered it a topic worthy of philosophical investigation. This course explores the nature and value of humor in our daily lives and examines humor critically as a virtue that can help us take ourselves less seriously and live better lives. Students analyze the major accounts of humor such as the superiority, incongruity and relief theories highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each theory. Adopting a critical philosophical lens, students also explore some important connections between humor and aesthetics, ethics and education.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every other year, Fall

PL 332. Ancient Philosophy.3 Credits.

This course explores Greek and Roman philosophy through a focus on the concepts of erôs and philia or love and friendship. Students examine how Epic poetry, Greek tragedy, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Stoicism and Lucretius reflected on the place of love and friendship in a life well-lived.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every year, Fall
UC: Humanities

PL 333. Modern Philosophy.3 Credits.

From the mid-16th through the 18th century, movements such as the Renaissance, the Reformation, the development of the modern sciences and increasing international trade and colonization introduced a new era of philosophy. Students explore human understanding, critically analyzing issues that potentially include the mind-body relationship, freedom and determinism, the nature of reality, the existence of God, perception, personhood and personal identity, the scope and limits of knowledge, and the value and limitations of our intellectual heritage from this period. Authors may include Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant.

Prerequisites: Take 1 course from subject LE;
Offered: Every year, Spring
UC: Humanities

PL 334. Medieval Philosophy.3 Credits.

This course focuses on the history of medieval philosophy. Students discuss figures from the Christian, Islamic and Jewish traditions, including Augustine, Boethius, Ibn Sina, Al-Ghazali, Ibn Rushd, Maimonides, Aquinas, Scotus and Ockham. Particular attention is given to examine the manner in which these philosophers confronted and assimilated Aristotelian philosophy and how they anticipate certain dimensions of modern philosophy.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 or FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every Third Year, Spring
UC: Humanities

PL 335. Contemporary Philosophy.3 Credits.

Students explore dynamic philosophical movements in 19th- and 20th-century philosophy, and consider their contributions to humanism and diversity today. Potential topics may include Marxism, pragmatism, existentialism, phenomenology, logical positivism, feminism, poststructuralism, postcolonialism and philosophy of race. Potential material includes work by Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, James, Dewey, Russell, Wittgenstein, Ayer, Du Bois, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty, Arendt, Foucault, Fanon, Biko, Derrida and Butler. Owing to the breadth of the field, the course focus each year reflects the interests and expertise of the instructor.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every year, Fall
UC: Humanities

PL 337. Human Rights: Theory and Practice (PO 337).3 Credits.

This course provides a rigorous and critical introduction to the foundation, structure and operation of the international human rights movement. It begins with leading conceptual and theoretical discussions, moving on to the institutions and functioning of the international human rights mechanisms, including nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations. It covers cutting-edge human rights issues--gender and race discrimination, religion and state, national security and terrorism--placing them in the context of current political conflict and human rights discourse.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 PO 131 or QU 201;
Offered: Every other year, Fall

PL 338. Paradoxes.3 Credits.

Paradoxes have been with us since a Cretan said "all Cretans are liars," and Zeno showed us how the tortoise could beat Achilles. Originally considered a problem for logical--and mathematical--thought, paradoxes run the gamut from logic to mathematics, to language, to science, to art and to ethics. This course presents the definition(s) of paradox, reviews some of the principal paradoxes known to us and asks about their essence: what is paradoxical about paradoxes? It then moves on to examine paradoxes in ethics, thereby asking about the real, paradoxical world of human--psychological and social--behavior.

Prerequisites: Take QU 101 PL 101 or FYS 101;
Offered: Every Third Year, Fall
UC: Humanities

PL 340. Philosophy of Sex and Love.3 Credits.

This course presents a study of philosophical ideas on sex and love, the views of both Western and Eastern religions, and a critique of the moral issues concerning different types of sexual and love relationships. The significance of these viewpoints for living well is considered.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every other year, Fall

PL 368. Philosophy of Death and Dying.3 Credits.

What does it mean to live and what does it mean to die? How do we distinguish life and death, living and dying? Is there a way to "die well" in the same way that we assume there is a way to "live well"? How do we justify our beliefs about issues of life and death? Is suicide ethically defensible? Do we have a duty to prevent death? Should we consider death an evil, and could it ever be a good? Should we care about our posthumous reputations? Students in this course explore these and related questions, drawing important insights from a range of relevant philosophical literature and personal narratives on death and dying.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 FYS 101or QU 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

PL 395. Critical Game Studies (GDD 395).3 Credits.

In this course, students address current research in game studies, ludology or play theory, to develop critical, conceptual and cultural understandings of narrative, meaning and identity in digital games. The course also addresses the design and development of serious and meaningful games and the aesthetic, social and technological implications of new emerging forms such as digital storytelling, interactive theater, virtual worlds and locative media.

Prerequisites: Take GDD 101 GDD 110 or PL 101;
Offered: Every year, Spring

PL 396. Philosophy Internship.1-3 Credits.

This internship aims to promote student growth and exploration in professional fields connected with the philosophy major. Students complete placements and associated activities either off campus with partner organizations, or on campus, working under the direction of a partner organization supervisor and/or a faculty member. 1, 2, or 3 credits (credits, placements and associated activities must be agreed on in advance of the relevant semester by the student and faculty member). This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

PL 399. Directed Research in Philosophy.3 Credits.

This is a more intensive directed research opportunity than that offered in PL 299. The course involves students in substantial independent research and writing projects in selected areas of philosophy, completed under the direction of a faculty member. This course may not be used as a substitute for required courses in the major or minor.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

PL 401. Senior Seminar.3 Credits.

This is a writing and research seminar for senior philosophy majors. Students engage with philosophical primary and secondary readings in group discussion. They prepare and present a senior thesis on a topic of their choice, with guidance by faculty from the department.

Offered: Every year, Spring

PL 499. Independent Study Philosophy.3 Credits.

Individual study of a special area. By agreement with the instructor, the student may undertake directed reading with discussion, examination and reports as arranged by the instructor in an area of the student's interest not normally offered through scheduled courses.

Offered: As needed, All

Political Science (PO)

PO 101. Issues in Politics.3 Credits.

Students explore issues of current relevance in local, domestic and international politics. Each individually-themed seminar provides an introduction to the systematic analysis of power relations in relevant local, national or global spheres of life. Students approach the seminar's theme in a way that develops an understanding of the major political ideologies, the behavior of relevant social actors and governmental institutions, and the capacity to engage as responsible citizens.

Offered: Every year, All
UC: Social Sciences

PO 131. Introduction to American Government and Politics.3 Credits.

This course covers the development of the constitution, the nature of Federalism, the state and the national government. Students explore the duties and powers of the President, Congress, the Supreme Court and administrative agencies. Political parties, the nominating process, elections and electoral behavior as well as political interest groups and public opinion are considered.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring
UC: Social Sciences

PO 200. Special Topics.3 Credits.

Prerequisites: Take PO 131 or QU 101;
Offered: As needed

PO 205. Public Policy and Administration.3 Credits.

Students in this introductory course develop not only an ability to understand, evaluate and design public policy, but also a capacity for ethical and effective leadership, particularly in the public sector. Students explore questions such as: What is the role of government in our lives? How is public policy made, and what are the forces that shape public policy? What public policies should government implement? How can public policies be implemented and evaluated?

Prerequisites: Take PO 101 PO 131 FYS 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every year, Fall
UC: Social Sciences

PO 206. Ethics and Public Leadership.3 Credits.

In this seminar, students grapple with ethical dilemmas and tradeoffs in public policy and politics. The seminar focuses primarily on leadership issues in the public policy realm, as distinct from those found in public administration or business management. Topics include lying and secrecy by public officials, health care, the use of violence, treatment of minorities, poverty, gender equity, whistleblowers, conflict of interest and governmental codes of ethical conduct. Students with background interests in political science, journalism, business and the sciences are welcome. Course readings emphasize classic works on ethics and political theory, as well as detailed ethically challenging cases from past and present. Students explore these cases through role playing, papers and classroom discussion.

Prerequisites: Take PO 131 QU 101 or FYS 101;
Offered: Every year, Spring
UC: Social Sciences

PO 211. Introduction to International Relations.3 Credits.

Students are introduced to the study of politics on the global level. The course focuses on the nature of the international system of nation-states, including the importance of state sovereignty, the political interactions between states, and the causes of war and peace. Additional topics include understanding the domestic bases for foreign policy decisions, the different tools available for state action in the international realm (diplomacy, espionage, military intervention), the increasing importance of international economic relations, and the function and evolution of international law and organizations.

Prerequisites: Take PO 101 PO 131 QU 101 or FYS 101;
Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring
UC: Social Sciences

PO 215. Political Theory.3 Credits.

In this course, students survey political philosophy, from Aristotle and Plato through Mill and Marx. Students use these thinkers as a way to explore issues such as the nature of society, the nature of government, and the nature of freedom, justice and the law.

Prerequisites: Take PO 131,QU 101 or FYS 101;
Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring
UC: Social Sciences

PO 216. American Political Thought.3 Credits.

Students are introduced to major ideas of social justice and political power in America from colonial New England to the modern American state. Special emphasis is on major debates on social issues in American history, including slavery and race, church and state, industrialism and technology, civil rights and citizenship, and democracy and reform. Major authors and readings include Winthrop, Jefferson, Paine, the Federalist Papers, Lincoln, Dewey, Roosevelt and M.L. King.

Prerequisites: Take PO 131 or QU 101 or FYS 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring
UC: Social Sciences

PO 217. Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy (PL 217).3 Credits.

This course introduces students to major contemporary debates about the nature of membership in a national community and in a global community. The first half of the course focuses on the relationship between an individual and a state, for instance the nature of political authority, the relationship between liberty and the state, cultural pluralism and the problem of distributive justice. The second half of the course focuses on the nature of global citizenship, for instance the nature of universal human rights, the ethics of global development, immigration, the problem of environmental justice and the morality of warfare. Readings include contemporary philosophers such as John Rawls, Michael Sandel, Carole Pateman, Will Kymlicka and Thomas Pogge.

Prerequisites: Take QU 101 FYS 101 PL 101 or PO 215;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

PO 219. Women in Political Thought (WS219).3 Credits.

Students explore different approaches to explain the status of women. Theoretical perspectives that students consider may include: liberal feminism, radical feminism, Marxist/socialist feminism, feminism of care, conservative feminism and global feminism, among others. Students critically evaluate political concepts such as freedom, equality, rights and oppression, as well as learn about how different thinkers have conceptualized gender, politics, power and the role of the state. The course requires careful reading, intensive class discussion and multiple writing assignments.

Prerequisites: Take PO 101 PO 131 PL 101 PS 101 SO 101 or WS 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring
UC: Social Sciences

PO 221. Introduction to Latin America.3 Credits.

This is the transdisciplinary introductory course for the minor in Latin American studies. Various disciplines, including history, anthropology, economics and languages, are interwoven in an exploration of concepts, behaviors and traditions associated with Latin America. A survey of Latin American regions spanning the Revolutionary period to the present, with a focus on the past 50 years, is utilized to focus the content.

Prerequisites: Take PO 101 or QU 101;
Offered: Every other year, Fall
UC: Social Sciences

PO 225. American Political Movements.3 Credits.

In this class, students explore key movements in American political society over the past 150 years, and analyze how social groups have organized to demand political change in the U.S. Students study political movements organized around race, gender, social class and sexual identity/preference.

Prerequisites: Take PO 101 PO 131 QU 101 or FYS 101;
Offered: Every year, Fall

PO 227. The Politics of Intimacy.3 Credits.

How do our thoughts about inclusion and citizenship shape our ideas about sexual and political freedom? In what ways has the democratic process sought to affirm American values by limiting individual choices? In this course, students explore the ways that intimacy has been regulated, through a thematic investigation of legal and political challenges in areas such as trans/interracial adoption, same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, sex and race in the American South, statutory rape, sexual violence, sex education and reproductive rights.

Prerequisites: Take PO 131 QU 101 or FYS 101;
Offered: Every other year, Fall
UC: Social Sciences

PO 231. Elections and Political Parties (SL: Service Learning).3 Credits.

This course offers an intensive analysis of elections and parties in the U.S. and other nations. Special emphasis is placed on the development of competitive political party systems as vital to the success of democracy. Topics include the history of elections and campaigns, the role of gender, ethnicity and class in modern political parties, voting behavior, party strategies, campaign advertising, fundraising, and media coverage of elections. The course includes classroom visits by party leaders and candidates, and requires students to participate in direct observation as participants in an election campaign.

Prerequisites: Take PO 131;
Offered: Every other year, Fall
UC: Social Sciences

PO 245. International Political Economy.3 Credits.

This introduction to the analysis and understanding of the international economy from a political perspective centers on the increasing internationalization, or globalization, of the capitalist market economy. This is analyzed from three perspectives, each of which raises different political issues and strategies: neoliberalism, economic nationalism (neomercantilism), and Marxism. Current issues dealing with international trade and finance, the environment, third world development and marginalization, and gender/race issues in the international economy are discussed.

Prerequisites: Take PO 211 or EC 111;
Offered: Every Third Year, Spring
UC: Social Sciences

PO 247. Actors and Processes in U.S. Foreign Policy.3 Credits.

This introduction to U.S. foreign policy and how it is made combines a study of world politics, American political processes and current events. The course focuses on actors and policy processes, including the role of Congress, the President, interest groups, the mass media and public opinion (among others), and the influence of ideology on U.S. foreign policy. The course examines several 20th-century international crises, asking: what lessons were learned by these experiences, and how do these episodes illuminate the formation of foreign policy in the United States? The post-Cold War world is examined as a context of current challenges to American foreign policy.

Prerequisites: Take PO 211 or PO 131;
Offered: Every other year, Spring
UC: Social Sciences

PO 270. State and Local Government.3 Credits.

The role of states in the federal system is analyzed. Structure and problems of state and local governments are examined.

Prerequisites: Take PO 131;
Offered: Every year, Spring

PO 295. Internship in Political Science.1-3 Credits.

This internship requires students to complete a minimum of between 50 and 100 hours of on-site work, keep a field journal and complete a 5-8 page final report that summarizes activities and documents what the internship contributed to student learning in political science.

Prerequisites: Take PO 131;
Offered: As needed

PO 297. Simulating International Organizations.1 Credit.

Students prepare to participate in various external simulations of the activities of the United Nations, African Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, European Union and other international organizations. Students are trained in the preparation of mock resolutions and they learn the essentials of international diplomacy and proper protocol at international meetings to enable them to successfully compete in model meetings across the U.S. and elsewhere.

Offered: Every year, Fall

PO 299. Independent Study in Political Science.1-3 Credits.

This course is directed by a faculty member with background in the student's area of research. Participants are required to write a series of papers (minimum of three-five pages) during the semester or a single research paper (8-15 pages long).

Offered: Every year, All

PO 300. Special Topics.3 Credits.

Prerequisites: Take PO 101 or QU 101;
Offered: As needed, All

PO 301. Critical Thinking About Politics.4 Credits.

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of critical and analytic thinking through the study of current issues. Students develop the tools necessary to think critically about political and other issues in their daily lives in an effort to better explain and understand the world around them. Upon successful completion of the course, students are able to understand and evaluate the structure, content and quality of arguments; locate stated and unstated assumptions in persuasive writing; analyze, evaluate and account for discrepancies among various readings on a topic and explain why two sources might interpret the same facts differently; clearly communicate their positions about issues and support those positions with solid evidence; and understand how critical thinking can be applied to decision making in daily life.

Offered: Every year, Fall Online

PO 302. The Global Civic Dilemma.4 Credits.

In this course, students explore what constitutes an ethical civic life by working from philosophical principles through an understanding of the basis of government on the local, national and international levels, to civic participation. The course is structured around several tensions, as well as the many key concepts in the age-old quest for understanding what makes for the ideal social order: self and other, individual and community, public and private, human agency and social structure; governance, state, society; the political and economic; liberalism and conservatism (and their variants); three main approaches to ethics; and how to arbitrate between ethical standards when they come into disagreement.

Offered: Every year, Spring Online

PO 311. Topics in International Relations.3 Credits.

This advanced seminar focuses on in-depth critical analysis of current issues and themes in international relations. It may deal with topics from issues of war, peace and security, to the politics of the international economy, emerging international cultural norms, and international law. The course requires careful reading, intensive class discussion and multiple writing assignments.

Prerequisites: Take PO 211 or QU 201;
Offered: As needed

PO 312. Philosophy of War and Peace (PL 312).3 Credits.

This course draws on what philosophers, legal scholars and political scientists have written about the nature, limits and morality of warfare. Students study the general frameworks for evaluating warfare in the theories of realism, pacifism and just war, and then turn to the evaluation of historical case studies concerning when it is just to initiate war, how war is to be conducted justly once it is initiated, and the obligations of combatants following war. Readings include both historical authors, such as Thucydides and Thomas Aquinas, and contemporary theorists, such as Michael Walzer and Jeff McMahan.

Prerequisites: Take QU 101 FYS 101 PL 101 PO 211 or PO 215;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

PO 315. Democratic Theory and Practice.3 Credits.

The relationship between democratic ideas and practices in the foundation of democratic regimes and the formulation of public policy. Topics include the nature of obligations between the citizen and the community, equal rights and powers, the role of groups in policy making, the tensions between citizen identity and gender, racial and ethnic identity. Major policy issues include election reforms, racial and gender-based inequalities, the environment, and welfare and human rights in foreign policy. Students are expected to participate in group projects and discussions and do extensive analytical writing.

Prerequisites: Take PO 215 PO 216 PO 217 or PL 217;
Offered: Every Third Year, Fall

PO 317. International Law (LE 317).3 Credits.

Students are introduced to the nature and development of international law as part of the global political system. Students explore sources of international law from treaties, custom, general principles, judicial decisions and scholarly writing. Other topics include the connection between international law and national law; the role of states and individuals; dispute resolution using arbitration and national and international court cases; use of law to manage international conflict; negotiation; and legal issues concerning shared resources.

Prerequisites: Take PO 211;
Offered: Every year, Fall

PO 319. International Interventions.3 Credits.

Why does the international community intervene in some countries and not in others during periods of civil crisis? What do these variations in the patterns of interventions tell us about the foreign policies of countries and the relations between states in the international system? Students explore answers to these and related questions by investigating the politics, history and dynamics of international interventions to address civil crises since World War II. Students examine select case studies of intervention and nonintervention to understand more fully why and when the world community responds in the context of international law, national interest and the emerging consensus around the protection and promotion of human rights.

Prerequisites: Take PO 211;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

PO 321. Comparative Government.3 Credits.

This course presents a comparative study of political institutions, forms of governments, leaders, socioeconomic processes, development strategies, cultures and traditions in diverse political systems across time and space. Students learn about governing and political processes that explain important differences or similarities in political outcomes among countries, such as: why some countries are democracies and others are not, why some countries provide universal health care for their citizens while others do not, and why some countries experience war or economic depressions while others do not. Students examine the major theoretical, conceptual and methodological approaches that scholars have employed within the subfield of comparative politics and are trained to employ some of those skills in their own analysis and research.

Prerequisites: Take PO 211;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

PO 325. Political Psychology and Public Opinion.3 Credits.

Students are introduced to the basics of polling, the social and psychological foundations of political thoughts and attitudes, and elementary techniques in data analysis. Students explore beyond descriptions of what people believe and what ideas they act upon to the psychological processes that explain why they think as they do: How susceptible are people to marketing and political persuasion? Why do people obey or disobey authorities? What are the sources of prejudice, and the triggers that explain political behavior? Students learn to be wise consumers of survey information, gaining skills in distinguishing legitimate public opinion research from pseudopolls, fundraising and soliciting under the guise of survey research.

Prerequisites: Take PO 131;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

PO 331. Topics in Comparative Government.3 Credits.

This course provides an in-depth examination of government institutions and practices, social and political forces and movements, and cultural traditions in particular regions of the world, such as Asia, Africa, Middle East, Latin America and Europe.

Prerequisites: Take PO 211 or QU 201;
Offered: As needed, All

PO 333. Middle Eastern History and Politics.3 Credits.

This course is designed to explore both historical and contemporary political and socioeconomic developments in the Middle Eastern region. The course begins with a historical review of the demise of the Ottoman Empire, the anti-colonialist revolt, the emergence of Israel, secular nationalism, the rise of Islamism, and the post-Islamist era. The focus of the course then shifts to an examination of such issues as geopolitics, oil, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, peace process, Persian Gulf wars, the great-powers' involvement and their interests in this area, terrorism, and globalization and its impact in the region.

Prerequisites: Take PO 211 or QU 201;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

PO 334. Topics in African Politics.3 Credits.

Students study the broad scope of politics taking place on the African continent, while investigating the unique cultural and historical heritage of African societies including colonialism and the challenges of creating independent states, and the more recent history of conflict that has inhibited development in so many countries. Students also study post-conflict reconciliation and development in the African context, including economic growth and the bright future that is possible if African countries can solve their most serious problems and remain free of conflict.

Prerequisites: Take PO 211;
Offered: Every other year, Fall

PO 335. Politics of Race and Ethnicity.3 Credits.

What lessons can be drawn from recent political events such as the election of the first Indian-American governor, the first African-American President, and the appointment of the first Latina to the Supreme Court? The story of American political development has been one of constant invention and reinvention. Central to the story has been the role of individual and collective identities in shaping what it means to be an American citizen. With political history as a context, students examine the political presence of major ethnic and racial communities in the U.S.-- Irish, Italian, Asian, Jewish, Native, African-American and Latino. Key policy issues such as immigration, education and affirmative action provide the focal point for exploring the processes of group formation, identity and political mobilization as expressed through protest, pop culture, economic development, political participation and the building of community institutions and networks.

Prerequisites: Take 1 courses; From Level 100; From subject PO PL HS SO LE or AN;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

PO 337. Human Rights: Theory and Practice (PL 337).3 Credits.

Students address the philosophical fundamentals of human rights while emphasizing the practical aspects of human rights work, the purpose being to understand the ways in which human rights scholars, activists and international and governmental officials argue about human rights and their implementation.

Prerequisites: Take PL 101 or PO 131;
Offered: Every other year, Fall

PO 342. Comparative Constitutional Law (LE 342).3 Credits.

Students compare the legal structures and fundamental principles typically found in constitutions by studying the constitutions of several different countries. The course explores the structure of government; the distinction between legislative, executive and judicial authority; the incorporation of fundamental human rights; the relationship between church and state, free speech and the press, and social welfare rights. Participants analyze the distinction between constitutional law and domestic law and assess the role of various constitutional frameworks in a global society.

Prerequisites: Take PO 101 or PO 131;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

PO 348. Political Communication.3 Credits.

Students investigate the politics of communication in America and the uses of communication in politics. Topics include the technological nature of the mass media in the global and U.S. political economy, implications for democracy of the new communication technologies, the agenda setting function of mass media, political rhetoric and persuasion in the information age, and the role of propaganda in peace and war. Students learn critical analysis of media messages, how to deal with communication from different cultures, and skills in the use of information technology. Students write analytical papers and complete a substantial research project.

Prerequisites: Take PO 131;
Offered: Every other year, Fall

PO 353. American Constitutional Law (LE340).3 Credits.

This course presents an intensive study of the development of constitutional law through the analysis of significant Supreme Court decisions. Topics include: the judicial process and the Supreme Court; Federalism, the states and the division of powers; the basis of national power, taxation, commerce and sovereignty; the separation of powers; the Judiciary, Congress and the Presidency; interstate relations and national supremacy; the electorate; citizenship and the right to vote.

Prerequisites: Take PO 131;
Offered: Every other year, Fall

PO 360. Topics in American Politics.3 Credits.

This advanced course on a specially selected topic in American politics or public policy examines the relationships between public issues and political institutions. Topics may focus on policy analysis, political parties, interest groups, public opinion, Congress, the Presidency and the courts. Course requires class participation and numerous research or writing assignments.

Prerequisites: Take PO 131 or QU 201;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

PO 360H. Honors Topics in American Politics.3 Credits.

A seminar designed for students in the university Honors Program and political science honors students. This advanced course on a specially selected topic in American politics or public policy examines the relationships between public issues and political institutions. Topics may focus on policy analysis, political parties, interest groups, public opinion, Congress, the Presidency and the courts. Course requires class participation and numerous research or writing assignments.

Prerequisites: Take PO 131 and one 200-level political science course or consent of instructor;
Offered: As needed, All

PO 362. Presidential Election Campaigns (SL: Service Learning).4 Credits.

This advanced seminar combines intensive campaigning fieldwork and academic study of presidential campaigns and electoral processes. Students evaluate the emerging efforts to reform the electoral process and the campaign financing system, analyze new techniques of communication and persuasion, explore the history of the current presidential nomination and election process, voter behavior and psychology, research new campaign management techniques, and the practical essentials of grassroots activism. As part of the course requirements, students participate in an intensive internship for approximately 15 days in residence at the New Hampshire primary. Students must pay a course fee to cover the cost of the class residency in New Hampshire. Two field trips occur during the semester from Friday to Sunday, and some of the residency occurs during the January term.

Prerequisites: Take PO 131;
Offered: Every Third Year, Fall

PO 365. Inside Washington, D.C..3 Credits.

In this intensive, two-week seminar in Washington D.C., students interact with well-known speakers from government, the media and academia to discuss the current major issues confronting Congress and the President. In the second week, students confront dilemmas regarding how the media covers national politics and policy. Students participate in daily site visits, tours and special events. They engage with topics such as the impact of national elections, the nature of conflict and bargaining in political institutions, foreign policy dilemmas, the gatekeeper function of the media, "spin" and media control, media bias and the rise of new media. Eight-hour days are the minimum expectation over the course of the two-week program. Students must apply and meet University academic achievement standards to be admitted to the seminar.

Offered: Every year, January Term

PO 387. Women and Public Policy (WS 387).3 Credits.

Students examine the major public policy issues affecting gender relations in the United States today, including: reproductive rights and abortion, labor policy, welfare policy, sexual and domestic violence. Students discover the process by which issues of importance to gender equality have historically emerged on the public agenda, the ways in which policy debate is shaped once an issue becomes a public problem and the competing policy paradigms surrounding these controversial policy issues.

Prerequisites: Take PO 131 or WS 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

PO 395. Advanced Internship.3-9 Credits.

This advanced internship requires students to complete more than 100 hours of on-site work; keep a field journal; complete a final report that summarizes activities and documents what the internship contributed to student learning in political science; and complete a research paper at least 10 pages in length, based on research relevant to the internship duties and done during the semester of the internship.

Prerequisites: Take PO 131;
Offered: Every year, All

PO 395H. Honors Advanced Internship.3-6 Credits.

This advanced internship requires students to complete more than 100 hours of on-site work; keep a field journal; complete a final report that summarizes activities and documents what the internship contributed to student learning in political science; and complete a research paper at least 10 pages in length, based on research relevant to the internship duties and done during the semester of the internship.

Prerequisites: Take PO 101 PO 111 or PO 131 and Take one 200-level political science course;
Offered: As needed

PO 399. Intermediate Independent Study in Political Science.3-10 Credits.

This independent study is directed by a faculty member with background in the student's area of research. Participants are required to write a series of papers (minimum of three-five pages) during the course of a semester, or a single research paper (15-20 pages).

Offered: Every year, All

PO 401. Political Inquiry.3 Credits.

This course, designed for political science majors in their junior year, examines the culture of inquiry in political science as a problem-solving discipline and contributes toward political understanding through multiple reading, thinking and writing exercises. Course material focuses on current issues in politics and government and asks how political scientists might respond. The course emphasizes theory development and hypothesis formation; various methodological approaches; and several sub-disciplinary perspectives within political science. For political science majors only. Junior status is required.

Prerequisites: Take PO 215;
Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

PO 408. Senior Seminar.3 Credits.

This is a capstone course for senior political science majors. Students prepare and present original research to their peers in the form of a senior thesis, related to a common seminar theme announced each year. The seminar allows students to apply the knowledge and methodology they have learned in previous courses to a particular project.

Prerequisites: Take PO 201 or PO 401;
Offered: Every year, Spring

PO 497. TWC Washington Semester.6-16 Credits.

Offered: Every year, All

PO 498. WMI Washington Semester.6-16 Credits.

Offered: Every year, All

PO 499. AU Washington Semester.3-16 Credits.

Offered: Every year, All