Course Descriptions


Please note, not all courses are offered every year.

150W. Freshman Seminar.
Fall or Spring (4) Staff.
A course designed to introduce freshmen to topics in the study of government. Satisfies the freshman writing requirement.

151W. Freshman Seminar: American Politics.
Fall or Spring (4) Staff.
A course designed to introduce freshmen to the American political system, its institutions and processes.  This course is a substitute for GOVT 201.  Students may not receive credit for both GOVT 151 and GOVT 201. Satisfies the freshman writing requirement.

153W. Freshman Seminar: Comparative Politics.
Fall or Spring (4) Staff.
A course designed to introduce freshmen to the comparative analysis of political systems.  Attention will focus on political processes, such as political socialization, participation and elite recruitment, and on political institutions, such as party systems, legislatures and bureaucracies.  This course is a substitute for GOVT 203. Students may not receive credit for both GOVT 153 and GOVT 203. Satisfies the freshman writing requirement.

201. Introduction to American Government and Politics.
Fall or Spring (3) Staff.
An introduction to the American political system, its institutions and processes.

203. Introduction to Comparative Politics.
(GER 3) Fall or Spring (3) Staff.
An introduction to the comparative analysis of political systems. Attention will focus on political processes, such as political socialization, participation, and elite recruitment, and on political institutions, such as party systems, legislatures and bureaucracies. Examples will be drawn from Communist and developing systems, as well as from the more familiar Western countries.

204. Introduction to International Politics.
(GER 3) Fall or Spring (3) Staff.
A study of the theory and practice of international politics. The course will consider the international system of states and the bases of national power.

275W. University Seminar.
Fall and Spring (4) Staff.
A reading-, writing-, and discussion-intensive seminar. Topics vary by semester and by instructor. Restricted to transfer students and co-enrolled students Students receiving a grade of “C-” or better in the seminar will have satisfied the lower-division writing requirement.

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301. Research Methods.
Fall or Spring (3) Staff.
Survey of qualitative and quantitative methods commonly used in empirical political analysis. Emphasis on building skills such as hypothesis testing, inference and causal reasoning. This course satisfies the Major Computing Requirement in Government. It is highly recommended that students plan on taking it no later than sophomore year.

303. Survey of Political Theory: The Ancient Tradition.
(GER 7) Fall or Spring (3) Lombardini.
This course centers on the political works of Plato and Aristotle, as the standards of the classical tradition. Selected works of medieval Christian writers are also included.

304. Survey of Political Theory: The Modern Tradition.
(GER 7) Fall or Spring (3) Stow, Staff.
This course deals with Renaissance and Enlightenment era political theory, including the works of thinkers such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Burke.

305. Contemporary Political Theory.
(GER 7) Spring (3) Stow, Staff.
An examination of various approaches to political theory from the late 19th century to the present.

306. Political Parties.
Fall or Spring (3) McGlennon.
An examination of the electoral, organizational and governmental activities of political parties in the American context. Emphasis will be placed on the transformation of parties and the consequences of this change for American democracy.

307. Political Polling and Survey Analysis.
Fall (3) Staff.
Introduction to formulation, implementation and analysis of political and public policy surveys. Topics include the psychology of survey response, sampling, interviewing, focus groups, experimental design, hypothesis testing and data analysis. Students will conduct individual and group survey projects. This course satisfies the Major Computing Requirement in Government.

308. Electoral Systems.
Fall (3) Cheng. Prerequisite: GOVT 203.
This course addresses choices and consequences of major electoral systems. It discusses various kinds of plurality and proportional representation systems, and several intriguing hybrids. It also examines quasi-electoral systems in the United Nations, China and the Vatican.

311. European Political Systems.
Spring (3) Clemens. Prerequisite: GOVT 203
A comparative study of institutions and processes of government in several Western European parliamentary democracies.

312. Politics of Developing Countries.
Spring (3) Staff. Prerequisite: GOVT 203.
A comparative study of institutions and processes of government in several non-Western countries. The cultural and historical foundations of government, and the economic circumstances of Third World nations will be emphasized.

322. Global Environmental Governance.
Spring (3) Hendrix. Prerequisite: GOVT 204 or ENST 101.
This course explores key global environmental challenges and ways to address them in a world of diverse, changing, and often conflicting preferences and practices. Students will critically examine the international responses to issues such as climate change, ozone depletion and, biodiversity using concepts and methodologies from the fast-growing literatures on international institutions, transnational activism, multi-level governance, and science-policy linkages. (Cross listed withENST 249)

324. U.S. Foreign Policy.
Not offered 2012-2013.
A study of American foreign policy with emphasis on the process of policy formulation. Selected foreign policy problems will be considered.

325. International Organization.
Spring (3) Rahman, Tierney. Prerequisite: GOVT 204.
A study of the development of structures and procedures of international organization, and of methods of pacific settlement of international disputes. Special attention will be given the League of Nations and the United Nations and the successes and failures of these organizations.

326. International Law.
Fall (3) Rahman. Prerequisite: GOVT 204.
A study of international law governing relations among nation-states in peace and war. Considered are the nature and development of international law, and the relevance of international law to contemporary issues such as recognition, intervention, human rights, diplomatic privileges and immunities, use of force, terrorism, environmental problems and international adjudication.

327. Intermediate International Relations Theory.
Fall (3) Dessler. Prerequisite: GOVT 204.
A survey of the leading theories and main theoretical debates in the study of international relations with attention to their implications for the study of war and peace.

328. International Political Economy.
Spring (3) Cheng. Prerequisite: GOVT 204.
An analysis of the politics and economics of a selected international policy problem or issue, e.g., international trade and protectionism; the domestic management of inflation and unemployment; the relation between economic organization and political power.

329. International Security.
Fall or Spring (3) Staff. Prerequisite: GOVT 204.
Examines traditional concerns about the use and management of force in the nuclear age, as well as new security problems, such as the prolif-eration of chemical and biological weapons, environmental issues and the political economy of national security.

330. The Politics of European Integration.
Fall or Spring (3) van der Veen. Prerequisite: GOVT 204.
The course covers the evolution of the European Community/Union, its basic institutions, and its current policies, including those on trade, currency and security. Major current events and controversies will also be discussed.

334. Russian and Post-Soviet Politics.
Spring (3) Pickering, Staff.
This course examines the collapse of the Soviet Union and political change in the post-Soviet states. While the focus in the post-communist period is on Russia, the course also includes a brief discussion of the divergent trajectories taken by other post-Soviet states, including those in the Baltics and Central Asia. Major topics include democratization, the construction of new political and economic institutions, and the development of civil society.

335. The Politics of Eastern Europe.
Fall (3) Pickering.
This course will focus on political change in Eastern Europe. Using a comparative approach, we will analyze how different states are meeting the specific challenges of post-communist transformation: building new political, economic and social institutions.

336. Governments and Politics of China and Japan.
(GER 4B) Fall and Spring (3) Hart.
A study of political institutions and political behavior in China and Japan. Emphasis will be placed on dynamic factors of socio-economic and political development in both countries.

337. Politics in Africa.
(GER 4B) Fall or Spring (3) Roessler. 
This course highlights changes in the state structures from pre-colonial indigenous state systems, colonial administration and economy and the rise of the modern African state.

338. Latin American Politics and Government.
(GER 4B) Spring (3) Staff.
A comparative analysis of the types of government of selected Latin American nations. Appropriate consideration will be given to current conditions and to such problems of general political development as recruitment and socialization, communication and articulation, interest aggregation and decision-making.

339. Middle Eastern Political Systems.
(GER 4B) Spring (3) Shushan.
A course on the domestic politics of Middle Eastern countries, including the Arab world, plus Iran, Israel, and Turkey.  Topics include colonial legacies and the impact of the Israel/Palestine conflict, nationalism and identity, political economy of states with and without oil resources, the dynamics of authoritarian rule, religion and politics, gender, media, and grassroots pressure for reform and revolution.

350. Introduction to Public Policy.
Fall (3) Evans, Howard, Manna, Staff.
An introduction to the policy making process in American national government, focusing on the impact on policy of public opinion, the media, interest groups, and governing institutions. Appropriate for freshmen and sophomores.

351. The Bureaucracy.
Spring (3) Manna.
An analysis of behavior and decision-making in public administrative agencies. Emphasis will be placed upon the relationship of the administrative process to organizational structure, policies and the social environment.

353. The Politics of States and Localities.
Spring (3) McGlennon.
An examination of the institutions and processes of government and politics in American states and localities. Relationships among national, state and local governments will be analyzed in the context of a federal system.

355. Southern Politics.
Fall (3) McGlennon.
An examination of the influence of historic and demographic trends on contemporary Southern politics. Special attention will be paid to the political distinctiveness of the South, political variations among the southern states, and the relationships between Southern and national politics.

360. The American Welfare State.
Spring (3) Howard. Prerequisite: GOVT 201 or GOVT 350
The politics of U.S. social policy in historical perspective. Topics vary by year but usually include retirement pensions, health care, and programs for the poor.

370. The Legislative Process.
Spring (3) Evans, Gilmour.
An investigation of the legislative process in the United States with emphasis on the United States’ Congress. Internal and external forces influencing legislative behavior will be examined.

371. The Presidency.
Fall or Spring (3) Staff.
An examination of the politics and policy influence of the American presidency and other executives. Emphasis will be placed upon the legal and political forces which determine and limit the use of executive power.

372. American Legal Process.
Fall (3) Nemacheck.
An analysis of law and legal institutions in the United States, the course covers principles of legal reasoning, the relationship between the judiciary and other branches of government, the role of the Supreme Court, and the activity of judges, lawyers and jurors.

373. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
Fall or Spring (3) Nemacheck.
An examination of how legal and political processes have shaped the protections given to individual rights in the American constitutional system. The focus is on Supreme Court decision making and processes of constitutional interpretation.

374. Political Behavior.
Spring (3) Settle. Prerequisite: GOVT 301.
A survey of the various ways in which citizens participate in politics and the factors that influence that participation.  Attention will be paid to voting, public opinion, and protest, and the effects of the media, interpersonal communication, and elite behavior, among other topics.  Examples will be drawn primarily from the United States.

381. Human Geography.
Fall or Spring (3) Blouet.
A survey of the content of human geography including population, culture realms, world views, the distribution of agriculture and industry, settlements and human environmental impact.

382. World Regional Geography.
Fall (3) Blouet.
A study of the physical environment, resources, population and distribution of economic activity in selected industrial countries in Europe, North America and the Pacific Rim. Only one course from Government 382 and 383 may be counted towards a major in government.

384. The Geography of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Fall or Spring (3) Blouet.
Examination of the physical environment, resources, population and economic activities in the region together with studies of selected countries.

390. Topics in Government.
Fall or Spring (1-2) Staff.
Selected topics in government. The topic to be considered will be announced prior to the beginning of the semester. May be repeated for credit if topics under consideration are different.

391. Topics in Government.
Fall or Spring (3) Staff.
Selected topics in government. The topic to be considered will be announced prior to the beginning of the semester. May be repeated for credit if topics under consideration are different.

392. Topics in Political Theory.
Fall or Spring (3) Lombardini, Stow, Staff.
Selected topics in political theory. The topic to be considered will be announced prior to the beginning of the semester. May be repeated for credit if the topics under consideration are different.

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405. Seminar: Studies in Political Theory: Themes and Problems.
Fall or Spring (4) Staff.
An examination of a particular theme or problem such as community, authority, justice, freedom and utopia. May be repeated for credit if topics under consideration are different.

406. Seminar: Studies in Political Theory: Theorists and Movements.
Fall or Spring (4) Staff.
An examination of the work and significance of a particular great political theorist, group of theorists, or major movements, such as Marxism, Utilitarian Reformism, Conservatism. May be repeated for credit if topics under consideration are different.

433. Seminar: Theories of the International System.
Fall (4) Dessler
A study of systematic approaches and their application to the traditional concerns of international relations theory and practice—power, conflict, order and justice.

435. Seminar: Political Economy of the Newly Industrializing Countries.
Fall or Spring (4) Cheng.
This seminar examines major issues of economic development in Newly Industrializing Countries (NICs). It addresses the interaction between government policies and market forces, between regime dynamics and economic change, and discusses problems in different economic sectors. Course normally focuses on East Asia but may examine other regions.

438. Seminar: Mexican Politics.
Fall (4) Staff. Prerequisite: GOVT 203.
Focuses on evolution of the Mexican Political system from dictatorial rule to single-party authoritarianism to growing pluralism.

454. Seminar: The Politics of Metropolitan Areas.
Fall (4) McGlennon. Prerequisite: GOVT 353 or consent of instructor.
An examination of the American political system’s capacity to confront and solve problems of the nation’s urban areas. Historical, economic and sociological factors affecting the political process in urban areas will be considered.

455. Seminar: Education Policy and Politics in the United States.
Fall (4) Manna.
This research seminar explores the policy and politics of K-12 education in the United States. Topics include the governance of education in the US, testing and accountability, and school choice. Students complete a 25-page original research paper.

465. Seminar: Public Opinion and Voting Behavior.
Not offered 2012-2013.
A study of the relationship between opinions and political policymaking, including the characteristics of political opinions, patterns of voting behavior and the importance of leadership. This course satisfies the Major Computing Requirement in Government.

470. Seminar: Congress and the President.
Fall or Spring (4) Gilmour.
An examination of the strategic interaction between the Congress and the Presidency. Major themes include the balance of power between the two branches, how and why the relative influence of each has shifted during American history, and the constitutional legitimacy of the powers exercised by the Congress and the President.

482. Seminar: Geostrategic Thought.
Fall or Spring (4) Blouet.
The course examines the way western commentators have seen the world from a global strategic perspective over the last century. The works of major theorists from Mahan to Kissinger will be examined.

491. Seminar: Topics in Government.
Fall or Spring (4) Staff.
Selected topics in government, the topic to be announced prior to the beginning of the semester. Special emphasis will be given to the active involvement of members of the seminar in individual research projects and the preparation of research papers. May be repeated for credit if topics under consideration are different.

494. Independent Study.
Fall or Spring (1 or 3) Staff.
A program of independent study which usually involves extensive reading and the writing of one or more essays. Students must obtain permission from a) the faculty member under whom they are to work and b) the Department before registering for this course. Government 494 cannot be used to satisfy the 400-1evel requirement for majors in government and may only be taken twice for credit. Students may not receive more than 6 credits combined forGovernment 494 and 498.

†495-496. Senior Honors.
Fall, Spring (3,3) Staff. Prerequisite: GOVT 301.
Students admitted to Senior Honors in Government will be responsible for (a) readings and discussion of selected materials; (b) satisfactory completion by April 15 of an original scholarly essay. Government 495 and 496 cannot be used to satisfy the 400-level requirement for majors. For College provisions governing the Admission to Honors, see catalog section titled Honors and Special Programs. For departmental requirements, see Department Website (under Requirements).  Students enrolled in Honors will also attend a required periodic seminar in both the Fall and Spring semesters.

498. Internship.
Fall or Spring (1 or 3)
 Students may receive a limited number of credit on a pass/fail basis for faculty-supervised research and written work conducted in conjunction with an Internship; advanced approval required. For details, see Department Website (under Requirements). Students may not receive more than 6 credits combined for Government 494 and 498.

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Graduate Program
The department is actively involved in the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy. For degree requirements and a full description of graduate courses in Public Policy, write to the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy for a graduate catalog, or visit the Public Policy website.

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