Website: Politics

Politics majors critically engage with competing values and interests that guide and orient politics. Students learn about  concepts, theories, and principles that deal with the nature, purpose, and characteristics of government and political change, which they apply in the analysis of politics. The major encompasses the theoretical and empirical study of government institutions, leadership, conflict resolution between and within states, political ideas and ideologies, political culture and discourse, political economy, and the politics of gender, race, and class. While introductory courses help to ground students in fundamental theories and concepts used in the study of politics, seminars and many 300-level courses provide students opportunities to develop their research and analytical skills while also introducing students to how to write within the discipline.

Professors: Dragojevic, Hatcher, A. Patterson, Pearigen, C. Peterson, S. Wilson

Associate Professor: Manacsa (Chair)

Assistant Professors: Gauding, Simpson

: Riley

Requirements for the Major in Politics

The major requires successful completion of the following:

Course Requirements 1
Select two introductory (100-level) courses in politics (POLS)8
Select eight elective courses in several of the following thematic categories:32
Select one 400-level seminar (excluding POLS 444, POLS 445, 446, and POLS 450)4
Total Semester Hours44
Additional Requirements
A comprehensive examination 2

Students contemplating professional careers in international affairs are encouraged to take several upper-level courses in economics (for example, microeconomics, macroeconomics, and international economics). Students considering graduate work in politics are encouraged to take POLS 300, several economics courses, statistics, and at least one semester of upper-level coursework in political theory. Those students interested in pre-law are strongly urged to take courses in Anglo-American history and constitutional development, political theory, economics, and logic. The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is required for all schools and should be taken early in the senior year. 


The Politics comprehensive assessment consists of a final paper completed in the 400-level seminar that shows excellent research skills and knowledge of the relevant theories and concepts from the course. The final paper should also integrate material from at least one other Politics course with the research completed for the specific 400-level seminar. The paper will be assessed by faculty based on the criteria of theoretical knowledge, application of concepts and theories, evidentiary content, integration, and organization, with the student requiring a pass in three of those five areas. Students who do not successfully complete the paper assessment will be required to complete a written comprehensive exam in the spring of the senior year.


Honors is awarded to a major who completes the Honors Tutorial (POLS 450) with a grade of A- (A-minus) or above and an oral presentation of the honors paper to an audience of faculty and students.

An invitation to complete an honors paper in Politics offers outstanding students an opportunity to work with faculty mentors to explore a political research question of the students' choosing. It would be misleading to suggest a specific minimum length for the paper, for the proper length is necessarily determined by the nature of the project itself. However, this project should be more substantial in both research effort and writing than a typical course paper. The purpose of the honors project is not to display prolixity but, rather, to develop and demonstrate a high level of competence in elucidating an important and interesting problem in the field of politics. The problem may be one that the student encountered in a previous course, perhaps the focus of a term paper or the 400-level seminar, or it may be a problem unrelated to any course but one that the student has a particular interest in studying. The student will work with a faculty member to develop a research question in order to assure the student’s preparation to address the question, as well as the faculty member’s expertise for guiding the project.

Students who anticipate their eligibility to pursue honors should, if possible, take Research Design and Methods (POLS 300) in either the fall or spring semester of their junior year to acquaint themselves with methods useful for political science research. After mid-semester of the spring term, the departmental chair will notify eligible juniors (those who have a 3.6 GPA in at least six politics courses) that they may write an honors thesis in their senior year. (This eligibility, of course, is contingent on maintaining the GPA through the end of the semester.)

The student in honors should strive to complete a 300-level course with a research component or the 400-level seminar prior or during the fall of the senior year, as the student is working to conceptualize and conduct research on the honors thesis. 

The student who wishes to complete honors should enroll in a two-credit Independent Study (POLS 444) during the Advent semester of the senior year. Before enrolling in POLS 444, the student should identify a faculty member with whom they will work on the honors thesis, and they should discuss with said faculty the proposed research topic, question, or both. The faculty member should have expertise in the student’s area of interest, and will serve as the instructor for POLS 444.

By the end of the second week of classes in the Advent semester, the student should submit to the thesis advisor for approval a proposal developed in consultation with a faculty advisor around the research question. The proposal will present the student’s research question; a brief review of the appropriate literature; a research design (including data and methodology) for answering the research question; and a preliminary bibliography. After the advisor approves the proposal, the department will be given the proposal for approval at its next meeting. (This will occur by mid- to late-September). If the project is approved to continue, the chair will ask another member of the faculty with expertise related to the topic to serve as a second reader. If the proposal is not approved, the student can either continue with the Independent Study (POLS 444) with the faculty member or drop the two-credit course.

During the Advent semester, the student will work closely with the thesis advisor on the project that the department has approved. The candidate and the advisor will together set up a schedule for project deadlines and meetings to be held throughout the semester. (See supplementary forms and guidelines. The department expects the student to accomplish significant research during the Advent semester, including development of the literature review and research design and collection of data as appropriate. (Please note that if the student anticipates any research with human subjects, for example through interviews, there is need to get IRB approval before such research occurs.)

If sufficient progress is made on the project, the student will then complete the thesis in spring of the senior year, enrolling in the Honors Tutorial (POLS 450) for two semester hours during the Easter semester. If insufficient progress is made during the Advent semester, the candidate will not be approved to register for POLS 450 and should maintain a full course load or, pending an advisor’s willingness to support this, continue with the research via an Independent Study (POLS 444) during the Easter semester of the senior year.

The honors paper will be presented in final form to the advisor and second reader no later than three weeks before the end of the Easter semester. In a week's time, the paper will be returned to the candidate, either with a final grade or, more likely, with suggestions for revision. If the paper is to be revised, the revised version must be submitted to the advisor and second reader by the last day of classes in the semester. At the advisor's request, additional members of the Faculty may be asked to read and comment on the paper. A minimum grade of A- (A-minus) on the thesis, and an oral presentation of the honors paper to an audience of faculty and students, will enable the student to attain departmental honors. The presentation typically coincides with Pi Sigma Alpha induction ceremony, Scholarship Sewanee, or both.

Requirements for the Minor in Politics

The minor requires successful completion of the following:

Course Requirements
Select two courses in politics (POLS), exluding POLS 445.8
Select three additional courses in politics (POLS) numbered 200 or above12
Total Semester Hours20

Politics Courses

POLS 101     American Government and Politics  (4)

A study of the United States federal government. Open only to first-year students and sophomores.

POLS 103     Comparative Politics  (4)

An introduction to the comparative study of politics, employing a conceptual or thematic approach. Selected countries' political systems will be examined with a focus on major features, including their governmental institutions, political parties, and political culture. Open only to first-year students and sophomores.

POLS 105     Introduction to Political Theory  (4)

This course will examine the ways in which the political theories that have shaped the modern world have addressed perennial questions of politics-such as the reconciliation of individual and society; the meaning of justice, equality, and power. Theories to be considered include liberalism, socialism, conservatism, fascism, communitarianism. Open only to first-year students and sophomores.

POLS 107     The Political Agenda  (4)

A course devoted to examining a variety of contemporary issues in American Politics. Students engage in written and oral discourse to consider the emergence of problems, their political development, and possible resolution. In so doing, they learn about the institutions and processes of American government. Students may not receive credit for both POLS 101 and POLS 107.

POLS 150     World Politics  (4)

An introduction to the study of international relations concentrating on perspectives and policies of major countries, principal institutions, international law and international organization, and selected topics-for example, arms races and arms control, economic and political integration, disparities of income, problems of food and population, and human rights. Course requirements may include simulation. Open only to first-year students and sophomores.

POLS 161     Multiculturalism and Equality  (4)

This course introduces key theories and concepts related to managing diversity in democratic states, such as social identities, multiculturalism, liberalism, crosscutting cleavages, and consociationalism. Students critique and analyze different models of states' attempts to recognize and represent various groups while protecting equality and human rights. Among other issues, states' attempts to reconcile contending appeals for cultural group rights and gender equality are analyzed.

POLS 203     The Presidency  (4)

A study of the office and powers of the President, presidential leadership, and the relations between the Chief Executive, Congress, and the executive agencies.

POLS 204     The American Congress  (4)

A study of the institution and processes of the American Congress, including its design and development over time. This course studies Congress by 3 approaches—Congress and its constituents, Congress and its members, Congress and the American political system—with special attention to its representation and law-making functions.

POLS 206     State Politics  (4)

An introduction to the political development, institutions, and processes in the American states; how they differ from the national; and the consequences of this subnational variation. Course topics include the political development of the early colonies and states; the differences among legislative, executive, and judicial state institutions; state and local campaigns and elections; and the relationships among states and between states and nation.

POLS 209     Immigration, Politics, and Identity  (4)

This course examines circumstances that facilitate or hinder the political, social, and economic incorporation of immigrants. In addition to reviewing early twentieth-century sociological theories of immigration, the course analyzes contemporary research on immigration from the standpoint of political science and related disciplines. While focused primarily on explaining patterns by which immigrants are incorporated in the United States and Europe, it also compares cases from Latin America, Eurasia, the Middle East, and other regions in relation to shared or dissimilar immigration policies, levels of economic development, and demographic compositions.

POLS 210     The Politics of Poverty and Inequality  (4)

An introduction to the study of a significant social problem: poverty. Course topics include the development of an economic underclass in the United States and the programmatic response of government, the feminization of poverty, the causes of persistent rural and urban poverty, race and poverty in the South, and the connections between poverty in the U.S. and the international trade regime. Not open for credit to students who have earned credit for POLS 310.

POLS 211     Democracy and Citizenship  (4)

This course explores central themes in democratic theory including civic participation, political representation, liberalism, republicanism, deliberation, immigration, pluralism, power, civic identity, and race and class inequality. Readings draw from Aristotle, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Dewey, Walter Lippmann, James Madison, Friedrich Hayek, Jurgen Habermas, Alexis de Tocqueville, Sheldon Wolin, and Judith Shklar.

POLS 212     Campaigns and Elections  (4)

A study of campaigns and the electoral process in the United States, focused particularly on campaigns for federal offices. Course topics include the structure of the American electoral system; strategies used by candidates, parties, and the media; and the influence of campaigns on voters. Because the course is offered during election years, students can apply class theories and concepts to current campaigns. Prerequisite: POLS 101 or POLS 107.

POLS 214     Democracy, Dissent, and Revolution  (4)

This course considers how democracies and citizenship are invigorated, challenged, and otherwise affected by dissent, revolution, and other forms of political troublemaking. Course goals include gaining conceptual clarity about these terms and their stakes (e.g., how does dissent differ from disagreement, protest, resistance, and revolution?); exploring the normative investments of dissent and revolution (e.g., is dissent an inevitable threat to justice and/or stability?); and analyzing the practices associated with them (e.g., must a revolution be violent?). This course blends theoretical readings with case studies using figures and social movements drawn primarily from American political and social history.

POLS 215     Reel Politics: Exploring the Politics of Film  (4)

An introduction to the use of film as a medium for expressing political themes. Concepts of world and comparative politics (war, terrorism, human rights, repression, conflict, economic development, migration) are used to analyze feature films from around the world. The course also addresses the relationship between politics and art and the artist. Visiting filmmakers and scholars contribute their perspectives. Not available to students with credit for POLS 111.

POLS 216     Media and Politics  (4)

This course examines how the media affect politics and government, focusing primarily on this relationship in the United States. Topics discussed include the role of media in a democracy; mass media coverage of campaigns, politics, and government; media effects on the behavior of citizens; and entertainment news coverage.

POLS 220     International Conflict  (4)

This course examines the processes, causes, and consequences of interstate war and internationalized intrastate conflicts—from a theoretical as well as an empirical perspective. It identifies the key variables, causal paths, and conditions under which conflicts begin, intensify, and terminate. The study is organized and conducted at various levels of analysis, ranging from individual and domestic to interstate and global. The course also considers how theoretical explanations and empirical findings can inform the selection of foreign policy instruments to resolve contemporary armed international conflicts.

POLS 221     Peace and Diplomacy  (4)

This course examines the dynamics of diplomacy, with a focus on various processes and forms of conflict resolution, negotiation, and mediation. Concepts, such as preventive diplomacy, multi-track diplomacy, neutrality and impartiality, as well as peacemaking and peacekeeping are introduced. Theories and concepts are applied to several cases with an aim to understand how to prevent violence, help to transition from violence to diplomacy, negotiate peace agreements, and implement enduring peace.

POLS 222     United States Foreign Policy  (4)

An examination of changes in national security policies in the post-World-War-II period. The course will focus on containment, mutual defense in Europe and Asia, deterrence, arms control and force reduction, detente and U.S. Chinese relations.

POLS 223     Introduction to Public Policy  (4)

Students are introduced to foundational theories of public policy, gaining valuable insight into "who gets what, when, and how" in the political process. Through a series of case studies in environmental, social welfare, criminal justice, and health policy, students are asked to apply and critically evaluate policy problems and solutions, given existing public policy theories.

POLS 227     Africa in World Politics  (4)

This course attempts to develop an understanding of both Africa's position in world politics and the effect of international factors on African nations, focusing on the period since 1945. Africa's relations with the major powers, as well as interaction with other states of the developing world, are explored. The vehicle of international organization through which much of Africa's diplomacy is conducted is emphasized.

POLS 228     The Politics of the Modern Middle East and North Africa  (4)

An introduction to the politics of the modern Middle East and North Africa that explores topics such as diversity of political regimes; state-society relations; religious, ethnic, and territorial conflict; political economy; the transition to nation-states; and regional social movements. The course utilizes a theoretical and comparative approach but also considers in detail the specific cases of Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Algeria, Israel-Palestine, and Iran. Prerequisite: POLS 103 or POLS 150.

POLS 238     Punishment  (4)

Why punish? How might one justify it? Is punishment, ultimately, good? This course will begin with the thesis that punishment, as a whole, is good: the rehabilitative and restorative traditions, along with relevant readings from thinkers like Kant and Hegel, articulate the moral and social benefits of punishment. A look to more instrumental utilizations of punishment will follow, including utilitarian and deterrent traditions and readings from Bentham and Machiavelli. Finally, critical historical genealogies of punishment in Nietzsche and Foucault will serve as a bridge to the covering violence inherent in mass incarceration and the alternative of prison abolition.

POLS 242     Politics in South Africa  (4)

The course investigates South African politics using the lenses of race, class, gender, and nationality. It focuses on politics in post-apartheid South Africa (post 1994), although anti-apartheid mobilization is examined. Using perspectives from South African activists, political leaders, and scholars, it examines governance, citizenship, social justice, and community mobilization from feminist, class-based, and racial identity perspectives. Students question their own perspectives in light of these South African voices. A simulation to construct South Africa’s postapartheid constitution elucidates how economic, social, and political identities affect institutional outcomes.

POLS 248     China's Environmental Crisis  (4)

This course analyzes the emergence of China's environmental crisis and its national and global implications. Students explore the historical development of China's current environmental crisis, with special focus on institutions, laws, and regulations that have contributed to environmental degradation during the post-1949 era. The course addresses the efforts, and limited ability, of civil society and China's state to rein in pollution and remediate environmental damage, as well as China's engagement with global environmental norms and policymaking.

POLS 249     China and the World  (4)

Beginning in the third century B.C.E., China began construction of its Great Wall, an attempt to keep out "barbarian invaders." Since that time, China has had an uneasy relationship with foreign powers. Students analyze early Chinese conceptions of its proper relations with foreign powers, contemporary relations with Japan and the United States, and attempts by foreigners to change Chinese politics, culture, and economy. Readings emphasize Chinese notions of nationhood and the dynamics of globalization.

POLS 251     Studies in Politics  (4)

A course which examines political concepts, theories, and methodologies on a particular theme chosen by the instructor.

POLS 260     Political Theory of the Environment  (4)

An applied course in the theoretical literature that underlies understandings of the natural environment, human interaction with the environment, and the rights both of humans and of elements of the natural order. Readings and discussion emphasize the theoretical underpinning of environmental justice, both domestic and international, as well as the intersection of environmental theory with international political economy.

POLS 270     Introduction to International Security  (4)

A study of the major concepts, theories, methods, and issues involved in international security. The course considers competing contentions about how security should be understood and the impact of such debate on the evolving subfield of security studies. It covers traditional security topics like conventional weapons proliferation, militarized interstate disputes, nuclear deterrence, and international terrorism as well as emerging issues involving criminal, energy, environmental, and cyberspace security. Prerequisite: POLS 150 or INGS 200.

POLS 271     Law and Politics of International Justice  (4)

A three-week intensive, this course combines study on campus with immersive study abroad in Croatia. The campus portion examines processes, participants, and institutions involved in justice in the international system, introducing students to the international judicial system, the problems produced for international lawmaking and dispute settlement, and the various attempts to resolve them. It also considers substantive areas of international law and the international judicial system. While abroad, students are exposed to a range of transitional justice policies, explore specific cases, meet practitioners active in the field, and attend day trips around Croatia which illustrate mechanisms of transitional justice. Prerequisite: Only open to students admitted to the Sewanee Law and Politics of International Justice program.

POLS 280     The Politics of Development and Foreign Aid  (4)

An introduction to the major political, social, historic, and economic reasons for development and underdevelopment in the Global South. This course explores the theoretical approaches of neoliberalism, dependency, human capabilities, and post-development, as well as topics such as gender, globalization, non-governmental organizations, sustainability, and foreign aid policies. International, national, and local institutions and actors involved with development processes are investigated, as well as questions of power, representation and accountability in both donor and developing states.

POLS 300     Research Design and Methods  (4)

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of the scientific process of social inquiry. Students develop skills enabling them to better digest the social science literature and produce causal theories related to important outcomes, behaviors, or institutions. Additionally, students learn how to assess the validity of social theories by collecting data, testing observable implications and exploring an interesting question about domestic or international political behavior or institutions. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 301     History of Political Theory  (4)

The development of political thought in the West from the Greeks to the mid-seventeenth century. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 302     Recent Political Theory  (4)

A continuation of POLS 301 from Locke to the twentieth century. Not open to new first-year students. Prerequisite: POLS 105.

POLS 307     Women in American Politics  (4)

An analysis of the role of gender in American politics, specifically how gender affects the political activities of American residents, political candidates, and elected officeholders. Students evaluate differences in men's and women's political participation, party affiliations, and campaign strategies and styles. They also examine reasons for women's political underrepresentation and implications of gender inequality in political office holding. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 308     Feminist Political Theory  (4)

By surveying contemporary feminist political theories that use gender and sexuality as critical lenses, this course re-reads the Western canon in political philosophy and develops new substantive theories of politics. It focuses on feminist theories of democracy, citizenship, and the state, exploring these concerns via a broad range of feminist writings, including feminist legal theory, critical social theory, queer theory, public policy, and political economy. Students will also learn how to construct, analyze, compare, and critique theories, and will use these skills to read and evaluate new scholarly work. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 311     Politics of Central America and the Caribbean  (4)

An intensive study of political life in selected countries in the region, including both domestic and foreign influences and policies. Substantial attention is given to United States relations with the region. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 312     Policy Analysis  (4)

This course examines the study and analysis of public policy, with emphasis on the concepts and techniques of policy thinking. The methods of policy description, explanation, evaluation, and choice will be applied to a variety of policy topics, (e.g. health care, defense, environmental protection, education, etc.) The course emphasizes critical thinking and analytical skills, with the goal of consistently producing clear and concise communication of actionable analysis. Prerequisite: STAT 204 or ECON 133 or POLS 300.

POLS 313     Environmental Politics and Policy  (4)

The course explores the ideas that influence environmental thought, examines various environmental problems and suggested solutions, and critically evaluates the role that political institutions play in creating and enforcing environmental policy. Specific topics include environmental justice, environmental federalism, environmental health, and regulatory behavior. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 314     Civil Wars  (4)

This course examines the causes, patterns, and resolutions of civil wars and insurgency movements in comparative perspective, drawing on a diverse set of cases from Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. The course's introductory portion is dedicated to conceptualizing and categorizing civil wars by their intensity, types of violence, nature of combat, and types of combatants. A principal question driving the inquiry is why the level of violence -- measured by the number of casualties, refugees, and other victims of war -- is higher in some places than others within the same country or region. This question is addressed through critical assessment of the most prominent conventional and revisionist theories of civil wars, theories highlighting either local or national influences. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 315     The Politics of Social Welfare Policy  (4)

Debates about social welfare policy are among the most contentious in American politics. Although American attitudes toward the "welfare state" have softened in recent times, the American ideology that emphasizes personal responsibility and is weary of government intervention continues to challenge government programs that provide assistance to the poor, disabled, and ill. The course evaluates the applicability and effectiveness of social welfare policies such as Medicaid and Medicare, Social Security, food stamps, cash-in-aid, and low-income housing. It also examines the controversies surrounding these policies and considers how ideas like the "American Dream" and government structures like federalism shape our approach to solving social problems. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 317     Criminal Justice Policy  (4)

This course examines the politics and policy of the criminal justice system, with a focus on the United States. Course goals include understanding the origins and purposes of criminal justice, the system's current implementation, the role of mass incarceration and punitiveness, the role of federalism, and the process and debate around criminal justice reform.

POLS 318     Comparative Politics: South America and Mexico  (4)

A general survey of political life in Latin America, as well as specific study of the most important countries-Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Venezuela. Determinants and outcomes of political process are studied, as well as the political process itself. Consideration is given to both domestic and foreign influences and policies. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 319     Global Gender Issues  (4)

Recent U.N. studies document the continuing systematic inequality that exists between men and women around the world. Approaching the study of sex-based inequality from a cross-cultural perspective reflects the reality that it is a universal phenomenon, but with complex and varied roots. The course will include an analysis of the ways in which this inequality impacts political decision-making, political representation, and public policy relevant to women and families. The course will also include the study of how factors such as race, class, religion, sexual orientation, and ethnicity, and social forces such as global capitalism, militarism, and nationalism interact with gender and affect the economic and political status of women and men around the world. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 320     Gender and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa  (4)

Gender and politics are intricately related and this course examines them through study of the Middle East and North Africa region. It begins with a general overview of gender and politics broadly defined, and then applies these themes in a comparative way to particular issues that are relevant for the discussion of politics and gender in the region. Themes such as state feminism, gender and revolution, war, conflict and terrorism, religion, the history of imperialism and its contemporary consequences, law and social norms, and the regulation of the female body and dress as methods of political control will be examined. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 321     Global Health Governance  (4)

Trade, migration, and widespread travel have transformed population health from a domestic to an international issue, one in which state cooperation is increasingly necessary. Investigating the role of international organizations, the media, advocacy groups, and individuals, this course questions how international cooperation can facilitate the promotion and protection of health. To do so, it considers a variety of theoretical approaches including the securitization of health and health as a human right. It also examines such issues as smallpox eradication, tobacco control, AIDS treatment, and bioterrorism agreements. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 327     The Politics of Transitional and Post-Conflict Justice  (4)

This course examines the aftermath of mass human rights violations both in countries that have transitioned to democracy and in post-conflict, non-democratic regimes. Using important historical cases situated within the framework of international and humanitarian law (e.g. the Holocaust, the Rwandan and Cambodian genocides, South African Apartheid, and Southern Cone military dictatorships), the course explores theories that have developed in the transitional justice movement and themes such as gender and transitional justice, counter-terrorism practices and human rights, and the politics of memory. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 328     Parties and Interest Groups in the United States  (4)

An examination of the activities and influence of political parties and interest groups in the US. Course topics include: the history and development of parties and interest groups, the activities of party organizations, party identification in the electorate, how parties shape elections and the behavior of elected officials, and how much influence interest groups have on campaigns and in government. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 329     Comparative African Politics  (4)

A comparison of the politics of sub-Saharan Africa. An exploration of state-society relationships in independent Africa and the challenges of warlord politics to the African state system. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 330     Race and Ethnicity in American Politics  (4)

This course examines the many ways in which race and ethnicity play a role in American politics, including how race and ethnicity affect personal identity, political preferences, political participation, candidates and campaigns, public officeholders, and policymaking. Topics considered include racial identity, descriptive and substantive representation, intersectionality (the interaction of race, gender, class and other social categories), and the effect of race and ethnicity on current public policy debates. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 331     Constitutional Law: Balancing Powers  (4)

This course examines Supreme Court cases related to separation of powers and checks and balances by situating cases within varying theories of constitutional interpretation and by assessing the socio-political implications of those decisions. Cases studied include controversies about executive privilege, the Commerce Clause, the Tenth Amendment, and federalism. The course emphasizes, above all, the political role of the judiciary. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 334     Identity and U.S. Public Policy  (4)

This course focuses on American histories of identity-based policies to develop a deeper understanding of the privileges accrued (and adversities inherited) from one’s position in this country. This course questions positional terms of “minority” and “majority,” examines how debates over rights structure political institutions, and addresses how policy enforces identity stereotypes. With case studies, the course explores how voting, education, workplace, housing, and religious policies affect the lives of Americans based on their identities. Prerequisite: POLS 101 or POLS 223.

POLS 335     The Politics of the American South  (4)

At the Founding, it was clear that regional differences nonetheless divided a legally united nation. The South was distinct by the center of its political culture and its economy—slavery. Differences persisted after the Civil War and the social and partisan realignment in the twentieth century. This course examines the politics of the South in historical and contemporary contexts and addresses concepts of political culture, identity, race, gender, religion, economics, federalism, rural-urban divide, partisanship and ideology, campaigns and elections, voter suppression, equality, civil rights, law enforcement and violence, and criminal justice. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 336     U.S. Immigration Law and Policy  (4)

This course explores U.S. immigration and immigration policy, with special attention to the period from 1996 to the present. Taking into account the ideological shifts resulting in previous immigration reforms, the course examines causes of migration, current strategies used by the U.S. government to control the flow of immigrants into the United States, the costs and benefits of immigration to the U.S. and sending countries, security concerns, and ethical and human rights implications. The course prepares students to analyze current rhetoric and policy proposals and engage with the question of what immigration reform might look like. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 337     Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties  (4)

This course examines Supreme Court cases related to the Bill of Rights by situating cases within varying theories of constitutional interpretation, and by assessing the socio-political implications of those decisions. Civil liberties are protections of individual liberties against governmental intrusion and include First Amendment freedoms of speech, press, religion, and association; Second Amendment liberty of arms; Fourth and Ninth Amendment protections of privacy; and Eighth Amendment protections against "cruel and unusual punishment." The course emphasizes, above all, the political role of the judiciary. This course may not be taken by students who have taken POLS 332. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 338     Constitutional Law: Civil Rights  (4)

This course examines Supreme Court cases related to equality: by situating cases within varying theories of constitutional interpretation, and by assessing the socio-political implications of those decisions. Civil rights are specific governmental provisions to secure individual entitlements, as exemplified by the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of "equal protection of the laws." Claims centering on race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability are examined, along with other claims of equality arising from the Fifteenth Amendment's prohibition of voting discrimination. The course emphasizes, above all, the political role of the judiciary. This course may not be taken by students who have taken POLS 332. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 339     The Political Economy of Development in Zambia and Botswana  (4)

This course explores the social, political and economic development of Africa using the cases of Zambia and Botswana. It examines how donors, local NGOs, faith-based organizations, and activists affect governance, health, education, entrepreneurship, and environmental protection. Students attend classes taught by Zambian scholars, as well as presentations by NGO officials, political activists, and business leaders. Site visits to health centers, NGO projects, agricultural enterprises, and national parks demonstrate the complexity of development processes. The sites of Copperbelt, Lusaka, and Livingstone (in Zambia) and Chobe National Park (Botswana) illustrate development concepts, as does community engagement with an AIDS support group and a home for orphaned children.

POLS 343     Visions of Constitutional Order  (4)

This course in American political thought examines the problems of establishing and maintaining free popular government by considering the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century sources and debates that informed the Founders' Constitution. Focus is on the multiplicity of the Founders' views rather than a single vision. Reference is also made to Lincoln's understanding of the Constitution in the Secession Crisis of 1861. Not open to new first-year students. Prerequisite: POLS 101 or POLS 105.

POLS 344     Myth America  (4)

This course is concerned with myths that have played a prominent role in our nation's self-conception and its political rhetoric -- such as the myth of the frontier, the myth of success, and the notion of the American dream. We will examine 1) the changing historical meanings of these myths from the colonial period to the twentieth century and 2) the gender aspects of these myths. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 346     Contemporary Social Movements  (4)

This course examines 1) some of the major social and political ideologies of the 20th century (such as liberalism, socialism, nationalism, feminism, environmentalism); 2) theories of social and political movements in modern societies and market democracies; and 3) concrete examples of such social and political movements in the contemporary world. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 351     Modern European Politics  (4)

A survey of the politics, institutions, and contemporary topics of concern in the European region. After a brief historical overview of the interwar period and of the aftermath of World War II, students examine a range of topics central to European politics. Such topics include the formation of party systems and party cleavages, welfare states, and political culture. The development of the European Union, its institutions, and debates concerning its enlargement are addressed in the latter part of the course. It concludes with an overview of the literature concerning the incorporation of immigrants in Europe. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 358     Gender and Human Rights Seminar  (2)

An examination of the legal and institutional structures developed to advance women's human rights and capabilities globally, and the barriers to securing these rights. Scholarship and case studies from the U.S. and other countries and regions, especially in Uganda and East Africa, invite students to examine the strengths and weaknesses of a legal approach to addressing issues such as reproductive rights and justice, abuses during incarceration and detention, violence against women and girls, land rights, and bodily integrity and autonomy. Prerequisite: Only open to students admitted to the Uganda summer field study program.

POLS 359     Gender and Human Rights: Field Study in Uganda  (2)

Field study in Uganda provides students with the opportunity to examine gender and human rights from an East African perspective. In this two week study abroad course, students engage with and learn from East African faculty, policy specialists, and experts on human rights issues of greatest concern to women and girls in the region. Prerequisite: Only open to students admitted to the Uganda summer field study program.

POLS 363     Comparative Democratization  (4)

Students analyze the major theoretical issues and substantive developments surrounding the global spread of democracy. The central foci include the following topics: theories and case studies concerning "paths" of democratic transition including roles of specific class and state actors, historical patterns and cycles of democracy, theories and issues of "Democratic Peace," and issues and dilemmas concerning the "quality" of contemporary democracies. Not open for credit to students who have earned credit for POLS 420. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 365     Global Institutions and Policies  (4)

This course compares international organizations, regimes, and policy processes and discusses the central concepts, principles, and processes that are employed in studying global governance. It also examines the different organizational forms and mechanisms through which international political actors structure their interactions and relationships. Self-contained regimes are studied in several issue areas: nuclear weapons proliferation, human trafficking, product standardization, global commons, and terrorism, among others. Not open to new first-year students. Prerequisite: POLS 150 or INGS 200.

POLS 366     International Political Economy  (4)

This course examines the dynamics of international political and economic relations. Issues of trade, monetary and financial networks, investment, North-South relations, and the international system will be explored. The international context of development will receive particular attention. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 367     Political Economy of Asia and Latin America  (4)

This course compares economic development models and experiences of some of the major economies in Asia and Latin America including South Korea and China, Mexico and Brazil. Students use case studies to explore the following topics: economic strategies (import substitution industrialization and export-led growth), class formation, international engagement, poverty alleviation, and resource management. Regional integration and organizations such as Mercosur and APEC are also discussed. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 370     International Law in International Relations  (4)

The sources, subjects, and major principles of international law. The function of law in the international community. Not open to new first-year students. Prerequisite: POLS 150 or INGS 200.

POLS 371     Loneliness, Alienation, Disenchantment  (4)

In this course, we will examine the politics of loneliness through political theory, philosophy, and literature. We will ask: From what does loneliness stem? Is it native to the human condition; or is it a function of capitalist life? What does it mean to be lonely? Are there different forms of loneliness? Is there a difference between solitude and loneliness? What impact does loneliness have on our collective political life? Is there a connection between the rise of loneliness and the resurgence of nationalism, illiberalism, and the far right? Does social media exacerbate loneliness? What does a politics of loneliness, whether against or for, look like?.

POLS 373     African-American Political Thought  (4)

This course focuses on important African-American writers whose unique perspectives challenge us to think about questions of justice, equality and difference, morality, and rule. Readings begin in the nineteenth century (Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington) and proceed into the late twentieth century with selections from authors such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, James Baldwin, Shelby Steele, Cornel West, and Toni Morrison. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 382     International Environmental Policy  (4)

Growing human impact on the natural environment, together with the broadening linkages among states, international organizations, multinational corporations, and border migration, provide the context for this course. Among the central concepts and debates it addresses are the history of international environmental thought, relevant actors, the intersection of environmental policy and international trade, finance and investment, and the creation of international environmental law. Students also discuss issues of sustainable development, global governance, and global environmental justice. Not open to new first-year students.

POLS 395     Research Seminar on Political Behavior  (4)

A study of the political opinion and behavior (including voting) of the general public, with special attention given to developing appreciation of, and skill in, empirical analysis. Open only to juniors and seniors.

POLS 402     Topics in Political Economy  (4)

Globalization is a term that social scientists have used to explain everything from trade and investment patterns to changes in popular culture such as the introduction of McDonalds and Mickey Mouse throughout the world. At root, globalization points to a pattern of institutional change wrought by close interaction of economics. Students read works that clarify what is meant by the term globalization and how globalization is affecting the following three areas related to political economy: trade and investment, welfare institutions, and rule of law. Open only to juniors and seniors.

POLS 403     Voting  (4)

This course is a comprehensive and intensive study of voting. We will trace the historical path to suffrage, consider current laws and policies that restrict voting, and engage the debate on vote security versus voter suppression. We will examine studies on electoral psychology, considering being a voter as an identity. We will study research on how individuals make voting decisions as well as trends in overall voter turnout, which varies with both individual and institutional factors. We will evaluate alternative methods of voting, such as ranked choice voting. And, of course, we will consider the “so what” question: does voting matter for democracy?.

POLS 404     Race, Politics, and Empire  (4)

This course examines eighteenth- and nineteenth-century philosophies of race in the context of the political history of empire as well as twentieth-century post-colonial challenges to those philosophies and practices. Open only to juniors and seniors.

POLS 409     Religion and American Politics  (4)

An exploration of systematic contemporary research that draws on work in several subfields of political scholarship which interface with religion: First Amendment constitutional law, political parties and interest groups, voting behavior, and congressional and presidential elections. Main themes seek to integrate both behavioral and institutional approaches to the study of politics. Open only to juniors and seniors.

POLS 411     The Politics of Aids  (4)

This course analyzes the global AIDS pandemic, questioning how power inequalities, resource allocations, and representation affect vulnerability to HIV infection and responses to the disease. The course explores how AIDS shapes local governance structures, political development, global norms, and global institutions. It questions how global institutions and national governance use human rights norms, economic calculations, and security interests to frame and develop HIB/AIDS policies. Particular attention is paid to the intersection of disease and political marginalization. The course also explores the roles -- in applying mobilization strategies and influencing AIDS identities -- of activists, scientists, and nongovernmental organizations. Open only to juniors and seniors.

POLS 412     Terrorism and Global Security  (4)

This course involves systematic consideration of the key concepts, theories, and methods that can be applied to the study of terrorism. It analyzes contesting theories -- and the empirical grounds of such theories -- for why actors employ terrorist instruments. Among the theories of terrorism considered are those linked to psychological, ideological, cultural, and structural explanations. Finally, the course discusses and evaluates the effectiveness of various counter-terror methods and operations. Open only to juniors and seniors. Prerequisite: POLS 150 or POLS 270.

POLS 421     Reaching Community Policy Goals  (4)

In this course, students grapple with the challenging nature of reaching community policy goals, by engaging directly with the community organizations that rise to meet that challenge. By learning from local community organizations how they choose and prioritize their goals and by evaluating how political context may shape the ability of organizations to reach those goals, students get hands-on experience in analyzing policy alternatives, evaluating programs, and struggling through the grueling policy process in American politics. As part of these experiences, this course requires outside participation in civic engagement activities with local community organizations. Open only to juniors and seniors. Prerequisite: POLS 223.

POLS 431     Ethnicity and Political Violence  (4)

This course examines the role of ethnicity in political conflict. Students explore theories and definitions of ethnic and collective identities and consider the role that these identities play in the emergence and resolution of political conflict. Case studies include India, Lebanon, Northern Ireland, South Africa, and the former Yugoslavia. Not open for credit to students who have completed POLS 240 or POLS 340. Open only to juniors and seniors.

POLS 433     Human Rights  (4)

The course introduces human rights conditions in today's world. While it covers varying philosophical traditions of human rights, major emphasis is placed on how different actors and institutions are able to influence human rights conditions, both from an international and domestic perspective. Not open to new first-year students. Prerequisite: POLS 150 or POLS 270.

POLS 439     Special Topics in Politics  (4)

Study of a variable topic of special interest pertaining to politics. This course may be repeated for credit when the topic differs.

POLS 441     Gender, Violence, and Power  (4)

A cross-cultural examination of the social, economic, and political factors that predict gender-based violence, and the response of women's rights activists and organizations to the issue. Topics of inquiry include customary, formal, and international legal frameworks, intimate partner and family violence, sexual assault, traditional harmful practices such as child marriage, and gender-based violence during conflict and in post-conflict environments. Not open to new first-year students. Prerequisite: One course in politics with a WMST attribute..

POLS 444     Independent Study  (2 or 4)

For selected students. This course may be repeated for credit when the topic differs. Prerequisite: Instructor prerequisite override required.

POLS 445     Public Affairs Internship  (2 or 4)

In order to receive credit for a public affairs internship, a student must complete a substantial writing project in the semester following the internship. That project must be approved by the Political Science Department prior to the commencement of the internship. To secure approval the student must submit a proposal which 1) describes the nature of the internship and the duties it entails, 2) outlines the writing project, 3) contains a substantial bibliography of related materials, and 4) is signed by a member of the department who has agreed to supervise the project. The proposal must be approved prior to the commencement of the internship. Pass/fail is not permitted. Prerequisite: Instructor prerequisite override required.

POLS 446     Political Simulations  (2)

Students learn not only about theories and institutions, but also about how actors behave within them. In the simulation modules, students assume the roles of political participants appropriate to the particular exercise learn to respond pragmatically to changing conditions of political situations. The simulations for a particular module derive from the institutions and events related to American or international politics, and might include the United Nations, U.S. National Security Council, or the U.S. Supreme Court. Open only to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

POLS 450     Honors Tutorial  (2 or 4)

Permission of the department chair required. Prerequisite: Instructor prerequisite override required.