L.POL-101: Issues in American Politics
This course is a basic introduction to the primary features of the American political system, examining such things as the Constitution, elections, public opinion, parties and interest groups, the media, Congress, the presidency, the courts, and civil rights and liberties. Woven throughout the course is an exploration of some of the most pressing issues in contemporary American politics. 3 credits. Fall semester.
L.POL-121: Issues in Global Politics
This course introduces the major problems confronting the international community and that community’s efforts to address them. The focus is on common global issues such as globalization, nationalism, human rights, war, economic development, poverty, the status of women, and the environment. 3 credits. Spring semester.
L.POL-131: Foundations of Western Political Thought
This course examines the history of political thought in the West by drawing on an analysis of original texts from Plato through the 20th century, with particular attention to how different thinkers have addressed the same kinds of perennial questions about political life in radically different ways. 3 credits. Fall semester.
L.POL-201: Campaigns & Elections
This course examines the nature of political campaigns and elections in the United States, with particular attention to presidential and Congressional elections. 3 credits. Fall semesters in even numbered years.
L.POL-202: Congress & the Presidency
This course examines the structure and power of the two branches of government and the relationship between them. It pays particular attention to the constitutional, institutional, partisan, and personal bases for cooperation and conflict between the two, as well as their interactions in a number of policy fields. 3 credits.
L.POL-203: The Road to the White House
This course provides students the opportunity to both study and participate in the Iowa caucuses. Students will examine the issues, voters, interest groups, campaigns, and candidates. Through direct observation of the campaigns and candidates, and the collection of campaign artifacts students will analyze political tactics and decisions, as well as the electorate. As part of the course students will choose what party to caucus with and ultimately which presidential candidate they support by caucusing for that candidate on election night. 3 credits. January term.
L.POL-204: State & Local Politics
This course explores politics and policy at the state and local level in the United States. Unlike many others, the United States is a country in which states and localities retain much independent power and authority to make and implement policy. The policies created at these sub-national levels often vary greatly and reflect their own complex political and economic histories and cultures. This course provides students a corrective to the common tendencies to ignore the state and local in favor of the national/federal and to see the United States as simply a uniform, top-down, political system. 3 credits. Spring semester.
L.POL-211: Comparative Politics
This course introduces issues and concepts in comparative politics such as power, authority, legitimacy, the state and sovereignty. It offers an in-depth comparison of the features and performances of democratic, authoritarian, and totalitarian political regimes, including countries as case studies for each type of regime. 3 credits.
This is a January-term study travel course. Its focus is nationalism, one of the most powerful political forces shaping the modern world. Each iteration of the course will include a common initial section on the dynamics of nationalism generally, followed by an in-depth case study of these dynamics at work in a particular national context. Depending on the year and instructor, possible cases studies include travel to Ireland, China, Ukraine, Poland, Puerto Rico, Japan, Scotland, Quebec, Spain, Belgium, or India. 3 credits. January term.
L.POL-221: International Politics
The course examines the origins and evolution of the modern international system with a focus on nationalism, violent conflict, diplomacy, international organizations and law, global political economy, and emerging issues and patterns in the post-Cold War period. It integrates theoretical perspectives with current issues. 3 credits.
L.POL-232: American Political Thought
This course examines the historical development of political thought in the United States by drawing on an analysis of original texts from the nation’s founding through the present. 3 credits.
This course examines the theoretical concepts – both normative and empirical – related to the study of law. It draws on original texts from major legal theorists and the primary schools of legal thought. Prerequisite: L.POL-101. 3 credits.
L.POL-241: Political & Social Themes in Film
This course examines the ways in which films convey political and social meanings. It draws on both historical and contemporary, as well as international and American, films. 3 credits.
L.POL-301: Constitutional Law: Federal Powers
This course examines the structure and powers of the Supreme Court and its role in determining the constitutionally appropriate roles, relations, and powers of institutions within the American political system. Most of the course relies on an analysis of Supreme Court decisions in the areas of judicial review, federalism, congressional and presidential powers, property rights and economic regulation. 3 credits.
L.POL-302: Constitutional Law: Civil Rights & Liberties
This course examines the Supreme Court’s role in defining the scope and content of civil rights and liberties in the United States, through an analysis of cases in the areas of due process and criminal procedure, privacy, freedom of speech and of the press, religious liberty and the equal protection of the laws. L.POL-301 is not a prerequisite for this course. 3 credits.
L.POL-303: Supreme Court Watch
This course is taught annually during the summer to coincide with the end of each Supreme Court term. It examines the major cases and their precedents that the Court decided that year. 3 credits. Summer term.
L.POL-304: Identity Politics in America
This course examines the role of factors such as race, ethnicity, religion, and gender in American political life. 3 credits.
L.POL-308: American Public Policy
This course examines public policy in the United States. We will learn about the process of policy formation, implementation and assessment. We will explore the primary areas of domestic policy, such as taxation, social welfare, healthcare, civil rights, energy, crime, education, and immigration. Finally, we will consider the moral and ethical dimensions of policy-making in these areas. 3 credits.
L.POL-312: Latin American Politics & Society
This course examines Latin American politics with an emphasis on the historical, economic and cultural features that shape its contemporary politics. It includes attention to the state, political parties, the military, and social groups and classes, as well as dynamics of social and political change, including military coups, revolutions and social movements. 3 credits.
L.POL-313: Middle Eastern Politics & Society
This course examines the politics and society of the Middle East and North Africa, particularly how its history, economy, geography, culture, religion and regional conflicts shape its contemporary politics. The relationship between Islam and the state is of particular concern. 3 credits.
L.POL-314: Politics in the Developing World
This course examines the nature and fundamental features of politics in the developing world. It includes investigation of historical, socioeconomic, and cultural influences on politics, as well as the effects of forces such as social change, international political economy and issues such as poverty and debt. 3 credits.
L.POL-315: European Politics
This course examines the politics of Europe, including struggles over economics, immigration and culture. It also explores the challenges of building the European Union and defining its role in the world. 3 credits.
L.POL-321: War and Pacifism-AV
This course uses a wide variety of original writings to examine the nature and causes of war, theories of the just war, the pacifist critique of war, and the practice of nonviolence as an alternative to war. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.
L.POL-322: American Foreign Policy
This course examines the historical patterns and contemporary factors shaping American foreign policy. It pays particular attention to issues in the post-Cold War period. The course considers the social and cultural foundations of American foreign policy, as well as the role of institutions such as the White House, the National Security Council, other executive branch departments, and Congress in the policy-making process. 3 credits.
L.POL-331: Political Thought & Contemporary Social Issues
This course examines the relationship between philosophical principles like justice, rights, duty, equality, liberty, and democracy and current social and political issues in which they find concrete expression. The selection of principles and issues under examination will vary from semester to semester. 3 credits.
L.POL-351: Comparative Environmental Politics-AC
This course will examine how culture, broadly defined, affects the formation and execution of policies on global warming. Students will study historical legacies and philosophical traditions underpinning the modern environmental movement, the interaction of competing economic, social and political interests, and the effects of political institutions in channeling policy responses. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-220, L.LIB-130, or L.LIB-135. 3 credits.
Recognizing the value of learning about politics through personal experience, students can earn up to nine credits for satisfactory completion of supervised internships. These can include government offices, congressional staffs, political parties, election campaigns, law offices, non-profit organizations, and other relevant groups. Proposals and credits are arranged in consultation with faculty members in the program. Internship credits cannot substitute for specified major requirements. Each semester and summer session. 1-9 credits.
Includes occasional courses on specific topics or contemporary issues. 3 credits.
L.POL-489: Senior Seminar
This course is the required seminar for senior majors, which attempts to clarify the student’s knowledge and appreciation of the discipline in a culminating or capstone fashion, concentrating on theoretical and substantive issues in the field. It may be individually or team taught in the program. 3 credits. Spring semester.
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