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Course Descriptions

Introductory

  • 1333: Introduction to Political Science Cr. 3. (3-0). Enrollment limited for freshmen and sophomores. General introduction to the study of politics, the various subfields in the discipline, and the variety of approaches.
  • 1335: World Politics Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: Credit for or current enrollment in ENGL 1303 or consent of instructor. Analysis of the major conflicts of contemporary world politics from a social science perspective.
  • 1336: U.S. and Texas Constitution and Politics (formerly 2333) Cr. 3 (3-0). Credit may not be earned for both POLS 1336 and 1394. Introduction to the constitutions and politics of the United States and Texas, emphasizing constitutional structure, federalism, separation of powers, limited government, public opinion, elections, and civil liberties.
  • 1337: U.S. Government: Congress, President and Courts (formerly 2334) Cr. 3 (3-0). Credit may not be earned for both POLS 1337 and 1395. Introduction to the institutions of government with an emphasis on the congress, the president, and the federal courts.
  • 1394: Selected Topics in U.S. and Texas Constitutions (formerly 2394) Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisite: credit for or concurrent enrollment in ENGL 1303. May be used to satisfy the statutory requirement in federal and Texas constitutions. Credit may not be earned for both POLS 1336 and 1394. Selected topics in Texas and U.S. constitutions.
  • 1395: Selected Topics in U.S. Government: the Congress, the President, and the Courts (formerly 2395) Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisite: credit for or concurrent enrollment in ENGL 1304 or consent of instructor. Credit may not be earned for both POLS 1337 and 1395. Selected topics in U.S. government: the congress, the president, and the courts.
  • 2340: Greek Classics Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: ENGL 1303 and 1304, or equivalent. One or more texts in ancient political philosophy.
  • 2341: Renaissance Classics Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: ENGL 1303 and 1304, or equivalent. One or more texts in modern political philosophy.
  • 3309: Democratization Cr. 3 (3-0). Introduction to legal principles and procedures of recognized public international law and laws of war.
  • 3310: Introduction to Political Theory Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Recurring themes and problems in the study of politics; draws upon classical and modern works.
  • 3311: Introduction to Comparative Politics Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Theory and methodology of comparative politics.
  • 3312: Introduction to Research Methods in Political Science Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Survey of analytical techniques in studying political behavior, political socialization, mass and elite behavior, personality, and politics.
  • 3313: Introduction to International Relations Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Approaches to international politics, power, the nation-state and nationalism, diplomacy, causes of conflict, sources of interdependence, international law and organization.
  • 3314: Introduction to Public Administration Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. The political environment of public administration and its basic concepts, structures, and processes in the United States.
  • 3315: International Organization Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Impact of world politics on international organization and influence of international organization on foreign policy.
  • 3316: Statistics for Political Science Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisite: MATH 2311. Emphasis on development of quantitative skills, including multivariate analysis. Focus on applying quantitative techniques to practical matters.
  • 3318: Introduction to Public Policy Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. The nature and functions of public policy, policy institutions and processes, and policy evaluations with a primary focus on the U.S.
  • 3319: Politics of Social Policy (formerly 3380) Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Public policy initiatives in areas of civil rights, welfare, education, human resources, and housing, including criteria for evaluating proper impact.

Comparative Politics

  • 3320: Government and Politics in Great Britain (formerly 4320) Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor.
  • 3321: Politics of Mexico Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor. Study of contemporary Mexican politics identifying key players, institutions, and factors involved in Mexico's political development.
  • 3322: Introduction to Latin American Politics (formerly 4322) Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor. Major political systems of Latin America.
  • 3323 Introduction to Government and Politics of India Cr. 3 (3-0). Introduction to Indian national government, elections, public opinion, political parties, interest groups, foreign relations, Indian political history, and contemporary challenges and issues.
  • 3324: Government and Politics in Contemporary Germany Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor. Historical and geographical perspectives on recurrent issues in contemporary German politics, such as territorial boundaries, strength of the central state, and appropriate institutions for ensuring democratic stability.
  • 3325: Government and Politics of Russia and the Commonwealth Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor. Political processes and structures in Russia and the Commonwealth.
  • 3326: Government and Politics in the Middle East (formerly 4326) Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor. Cultural and socioeconomic underpinnings of politics; political structures and processes of different states and their international relations.
  • 3328: Politics of the Developing Areas Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 3311 or 3313. Major problems of political, socioeconomic, and cultural development in selected areas of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
  • 3329: The Nations of Europe Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor. Survey of the governments of Europe.
  • 3330: International Political Economy: Policy-making in a Global World Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Analysis of business-government relations and the challenges to the state in a globalized world, from both international and comparative perspectives.
  • 3333: Comparative Elections Cr. 3 (3-0). Current political controversies and effects of campaign and election rules on political competition and election outcomes in the United States and other modern democracies.
  • 3335: Political Terrorism Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, and POLS 3313, or consent of instructor. Terrorism as a form of political extremism; structure, dynamics, and tactics of major terrorist groups throughout the world; threat to the U.S. and methods of counter-terrorism.
  • 3382: Politics and religion of South Asia Cr. 3 (3-0). Description: This course examines caste politics, ethnic conflicts and regionalism in order to examine the influence of religion on electoral behavior, patterns of governance, policy-making, social movements and political crises with the focus on religious nationalism, Hindu-Muslim relations, social dynamics, caste and gender hierarchy, and secularism in contemporary politics.
  • 3389: European Union Politics Cr. 3 (3-0).
  • 4328: Party Politics in Latin America Cr. 3 (3-0). Comparative introduction to party politics and democratic governance in Latin America with emphasis on problems of democratic consolidation and economic development in the region.
  • 4329: European Union Politics Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor. Political and economic institutions of the European Union.
  • 4333: Islam and Democracy Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor. Focuses on the evolution of democratic Islamic thinking and its compatibility with Western notions of democracy.
  • 4396: Selected Topics in Comparative Politics and International Politics Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

International Politics

  • 1335: World Politics Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisite: Credit for or current enrollment in ENGL 1303, or consent of instructor. Analysis of the major conflicts of contemporary world politics from a social science perspective.
  • 2342: Introduction to National Security Studies Cr. 3 (3-0). Introduction to intelligence and security needs, problems, and risk confronted by private and governmental organizations and national and homeland security.
  • 3325: Government and Politics of Russia and the Commonwealth (formerly 4325) Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor.
  • 3331: American Foreign Policy (formerly 4341) Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. The foreign policy-making process and factors influencing U.S. international behavior, especially since World War II.
  • 3332: Soviet and Russian Foreign Policy (formerly 4342) Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Objectives and strategies of Soviet and Russian foreign policy.
  • 3334: World Order Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Examines theoretical and practical approaches to world order.
  • 3336: Globalization Cr. 3 (3-0). Globalization poses increasing tensions for the nation state and increasing contradictions for international politics. This course will begin to map some of the most obvious examples where sovereignty and the global society collide. The readings and lectures focus on economic, cultural, political, and technological processes that constitute "globalization" from an interdisciplinary perspective.
  • 3345: National Security Law Cr. 3 (3-0). Constitutional and Congressional allocation and judicial review of war-making powers, security issues and organizations, control/oversight of intelligence gathering and covert operations, terrorism, the use of the military.
  • 3346: Human Rights Cr. 3 (3-0). Exploration of  the scope, protection, and enforcement of international human rights as well as the politics surrounding their protection.
  • 3396: Selected Topics in Comparative Politics and International Politics Cr. 3 (3-0).
  • 4334: Strategy in International Relations Cr. 3 (3-0). This course surveys the strategic approach to international relations. We employ game theory to examine the roles of individual choice and strategic interaction in issues of war, crisis-bargaining, economic cooperation, participation in international institutions, and terrorism.
  • 4340: Intelligence Analysis Cr. 3 (3-0). Fundamentals of collection and evaluation of intelligence information.
  • 4341: Risk Analysis and Assessment Cr. 3 (3-0). Complexities of assessments, perceptions, and decision making regarding threats to commercial/national/homeland security.
  • 4342: Political Economy and Ethics of the Market Processes Cr. 3 (3-0).
  • 4343: Causes and Politics of War Cr. 3 (3-0). Comparative analysis of the causes of armed conflict throughout history and the role that human nature and politics play.
  • 4349: International Energy Politics Cr. 3 (3-0). History, major issues, and trends in international utilization, production, management, and distribution of energy from both an international relations and comparative political standpoint.
  • 4360: Seminar in Globalization Cr. 3 (3-0). Interdisciplinary reading and research seminar on economic, cultural, political, and technological processes that constitute "globalization.: Includes general readings on globalization, specialized readings on specific topics, and an individual research project.
  • 4394: The Political Economy and Ethics of Market Processes Cr. 3 (3-0). This course explores the relation between citizens and market processes  in three broad areas: a ) an introduction to basic market mechanism concepts (the price mechanism, creative destruction); b) exploring the role of government in market processes and how that influences citizen choice and the standard of living; and c) an examination into the ethics and morality of the market processes.

Political Theory

  • 2346: The Politics of Greek Theater Cr. 3 (3-0). A study of the influence of Greek comedy and tragedy on the politics of democratic Athens. (Introductory category.)
  • 3340: Classical Political Thought Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor. A selected examination of Greek, Roman, and feudal thinking on recurrent problems in political theory.
  • 3341: Political Thought From Machiavelli and the Renaissance (formerly 3348) Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor. A selected examination of the political thought of such political philosophers as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, and Marx.
  • 3342: Liberalism and its Critics Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Contemporary arguments for and against liberalism beginning with the 16th century and ending with 19th century formulations.
  • 3343: Democratic Theory Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. A critical examination of the theoretical foundation for popular control of government, as well as the empirical conditions and problems associated with such control.
  • 3344: Capitalism and Socialism Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. The ideas of Smith, Ricardo, Marx, and later Marxists, Hayek and other figures who advocated capitalism or socialism.
  • 3346: Left, Right, and Center Cr. 3 (3-0). Study of the principles of conservative and progressive political theories and their historical roots.
  • 3349: Foundations in American Political Thought Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisite: POLS 1337. Introduction of fundamental questioins in the American political experience. Special emphasis on the period from the Founding to the Civil War.
  • 4344: Equality, Justice, and Democracy Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor. An examination of alternative standards of equality, justice, and democracy, with an emphasis on how economic, political, and social benefits and burdens are distributed in the context of current controversies such as affirmative action, compensatory education, and the governance of science.
  • 4346: Greek Political Thought Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: ENGL 1304; POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents; and POLS 3310 or 3343, or consent of instructor. A study of Greek political thought of the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. This course emphasizes analytical writing.
  • 4347: Religion and Politics Cr. 3 (3-0). Explores religion/political interaction from the Enlightenment to present. Includes secularism, separation of church/state, political liberalism, attempts to accommodate different religions, and Islamic scholars on the relationship of religion and politics.
  • 4348: Contemporary Islamic Political Thought Cr. 3 (3-0). Survey of trends in Islamic political thought including Islamic Modernism, Political Islam, and contemporary liberal Muslim political thinkers.
  • 4366: Constitutional Design Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor. Basic empirical, normative, and analytical principles of constitutional design are used to develop a constitution for a fictitious country.
  • 4394: Selected Topics in Political Theory and Methodology Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

Public Administration

  • 3353: Policy and Administration (formerly 3389) Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor. The role of administrative agencies in policy formation and implementation. Topics include agency organization, procedures, political influences, interpersonal behavior, and compliance.
  • 4397: Selected Topics in Public Law and Public Administration Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

Public Law

  • 3345: National Security Law Cr. 3 (3-0). Constitutional and Congressional allocation and judicial review of war-making powers, security issues and organizations, control/oversight of intelligence gathering and covert operations, terrorism, the use of the military.
  • 3346: Human Rights Cr. 3 (3-0). Exploration of  the scope, protection, and enforcement of international human rights as well as the politics surrounding their protection.
  • 3350: Public Law and Political Theory Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor. The philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of the Anglo-American legal system, and its impact upon public policy.
  • 3354: Law and Society (formerly 4354) Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. How the values and attitudes of society influence the content and enforcement of the law.
  • 3355: Judicial Process (formerly 4355) Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisite: POLS 1336. Development and operations of courts and related institutions; impact of judicial decisions upon the political system.
  • 3356: Introduction to Constitutional Law (formerly 4356) Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. American constitutional law using major Supreme Court cases and other materials.
  • 3357: Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties (formerly 4357) Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisite: POLS 3356. American constitutional principles related to the area of civil rights and civil liberties.
  • 3358: Judicial Behavior (formerly 4359) Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Judicial decision-making process in single-judge and collegial courts; interaction among judges on collegial courts.
  • 3359: Criminal Justice Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Workings of the criminal justice system. Examines their victims, communities, and the police.
  • 3385: Intro to Law Cr. 3 (3-0). Legal reasoning, legal processes, and seven different fields of law. Allows a realistic assessment of the properties, advantages, and shortcomings the legal system.
  • 3386: Criminal Law and the Criminal Justice System Cr. 3 (3-0).
  • 3397:  Selected Topics in Public Law Cr. 3 (3-0).
  • 4397: Selected Topics in Public Law and Public Administration Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics apply.

American Politics

  • 2336: U.S. Government and Texas Constitution, Politics and Institutions Cr. 3 (3-0). Constitutions and politics of the United States and Texas, emphasizing constitutional structure; executive, legislative, and judiciary institutions, state and federal; limited government, public opinion, elections, and civil liberties.
  • 3331: American Foreign Policy Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisite:  1336 and  1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. The foreign policy-making process and factors influencing U.S. international behavior, especially since World War II.
  • 3360: Politics and Mass Media Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Impact of mass media coverage on American political institutions, the election process, and public opinion in general and the appropriate role of media and news in a society.
  • 3362: Political Marketing Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, and junior standing, or consent of instructor. Techniques that political candidates, parties, and interest groups utilize in elections, focusing upon television and radio advertising, direct mail, phone banks, and candidate utilization, with special emphasis on gubernatorial campaigns in Texas.
  • 3363: Groups in the Political Process Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, and junior standing, or consent of instructor. Organizational characteristics of interest groups; types of political interest groups; strategy and tactics of group politics; impact on policy and the political system in general.
  • 3364: Legislative Processes Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisite: POLS 1336. Organization, operation, behavior, and functions of American legislatures; emphasis usually on Congress.
  • 3365: Public Opinion Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisite: POLS 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. The analysis of the kinds and distributions of opinions and attitudes in mass public and the effects of those opinions on activities of policy makers.
  • 3366: Political Parties Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisite: POLS 1337. History and organization of political parties in the United States; function of parties for the political system; electoral base of American political parties.
  • 3367: United States Campaigns and Elections Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisite: POLS 1337. Uses examples and data from historic and current elections to examine the strategies candidates employ, the role of money and the media, and how voters respond.
  • 3368: Race, Gender, and Ethnic Politics Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, and junior standing, or consent of instructor. Examines the roles, strategies and different levels of success minority groups and women have had in the American political system.
  • 3369: The Presidency Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisite: POLS 1336. Role of the president and the bureaucracy in policy-making, emphasizing the influence of the man on the office and the office on the man.
  • 3370: State Government and Politics Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Problems facing the states in the 20th century; roles of the legislature and governor; party systems, finances, and taxation; nature of governmental policies.
  • 3371: Introduction to Urban Politics Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. The city and its environment including social, economic, and governmental problems resulting from increased urbanization.
  • 3372: Latino Politics Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Analysis of the cultural, economic, sociological, and psychological roots of the political life of Latinos and their impact on current political struggles.
  • 3376: Black Political Thought Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents or consent of instructor. Explores the lives and writings of prominent African Americans to explore how black political thought has evolved and developed.
  • 3378: Political Economy Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Study of systems for allocating scarce resources. Consideration of the strength and weaknesses of market solutions and political solutions to allocation questions.
  • 3390: Women in Politics Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Study of women’s roles in the political system beginning with the attainment of suffrage and continuing through current problems of mobilization and recruitment to office.
  • 3391: Political Scandals Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor. A selected examination of contemporary American political scandals including Watergate and the Clinton impeachment.
  • 3395: Selected Topics in American Government Cr. 3 (3-0).
  • 4365: National Defense Policy Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. The evolution of U.S. national defense strategy and policy making.
  • 4368: Administrative Law Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: a total of nine semester hours of advanced Political Science or consent of instructor. Legal and constitutional principles governing the behavior of administrative organizations and personnel.
  • 4395: Selected Topics in American Government and Urban Politics Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalents, or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit and when topics vary.

Methodology

  • 3381: Political Psychology Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Survey of the psychological approaches to the study of mass political behavior including authoritarianism, cognitive dissonance, and functional theories.
  • 4394: Selected Topics in Political Theory and Methodology (formerly 3385) Cr. 3 (3-0). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

Departmental

  • 3399-4399: Senior Honors Thesis Cr. 3 per semester. Prerequisite: approval of chair.
  • 4198:4298:4398:4498:4598: Special Problems Cr. 1-5 per semester, or more by concurrent enrollment. Prerequisite: approval of chair.
  • 4390: Government Internship Cr. 3 (1-6). Prerequisites: POLS 1336 and 1337 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Internships in offices of selected local, state, and national government officials and correlated readings.