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COLL 350 Courses in Government

Government Department courses carrying the COLL 350 designation.


Faculty Name

Course Name

Course Number 


Building the American Welfare State

GOVT 360


American Legal Process

GOVT  372


Race & the US Presidency

GOVT 391


Minority Political Behavior

GOVT 391


Representation & American Democracy

GOVT 391


Arabs & Muslims in the US

GOVT 391


Politics of Reproduction

GOVT 392

We also provide a list of courses offered through the Department that include a focus on race and racism but have not yet gone (or may not go) through the new COLL 350 review process.

Faculty submitted fall 2020 courses that include substantial attention to racism, discrimination and systemic inequality.

Faculty Name

Course Name

Course Number 

Difference, Equity, Justice Content


Race, Law, and Memory

GOVT 150

This seminar examines how our attenuated relationship with American law and history undermines contemporary debates about policing, criminal justice, and mass incarceration. Our sources include Supreme Court opinions, novels, memoirs, films, television, and scholarship from a range of disciplines.


Introduction to International Politics

GOVT 204

This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of international politics. Topics include the central role of race in the development of the modern state system, history and lasting effects of colonization and imperialism, critical race and feminist theories of world politics, and consideration of performative effects of “Western” IR theory on policy-making.


Political Parties

GOVT 306

GOVT 306 focuses on political parties and elections in the United States, with some comparison to party systems comparatively.  The course gives significant emphasis to the impact of majoritarian electoral systems on minority representation.  Significant attention is devoted to restrictions and expansion of voting rights to women, Blacks, young people and others, with particular attention to the systematic exclusion of African-American voting rights during slavery, post-Reconstruction and in contemporary politics.  One of core readings is “America’s Unequal Democracy” (Hajnal), who demonstrates disproportionate impact of electoral rules in depressing participation in urban areas, where racial minorities constitute have more potential to influence policy outcomes.


Political Polling/Analysis

GOVT 307

This course focuses on training students to conduct survey research. Students will survey voters and write papers focused on understanding how voters make their decisions. There will be the option of examining topics such as racism and participation in protests against policing, within the context of the 2020 election.


Politics of Eastern Europe

GOVT 335

This course focuses on the political transformation of East European since the fall of one-party communist rule.  One section examines the policies in the 1990s that peacefully included into politics ethnic minorities, those that discriminated against minorities, and violence against minorities. It also considers anti-immigrant policies and the impact of international intervention after violence that was designed to build ethnically inclusive political systems & transitional justice mechanisms.


Civil Rights & Civil Liberties

GOVT 373

This Supreme Court-opinion-driven course considers how legal and political forces have shaped individual rights under the U.S. Constitution. Protections springing from the Bill of Rights and the Reconstruction Amendments--due process, equal protection, voting rights--drive the course.


DC Semester Program: Politics in the Era of Social Media

GOVT 390/391

In the fall of 2020, students will be enrolled in three interconnected courses, in addition to their internships. As a part of the program focus on the intersection of politics, media, and data, we will address the ethical and societal implications of: 1) gender and racial disparities in the development of media  technology; 2) algorithms that perpetuate racial bias; 3) campaign strategies that reinforce voter participation differentials, and 4) voter suppression efforts targeting racial and ethnic minorities using social media. In future semesters, this course will transition to GOVT 391/DATA 202: Ethics in Data Science and will broaden to include issues related to data and public policy more broadly.


Politics of Inequality

GOVT 391

This course is centered around inequality, as it exists between countries (hence with some overlap with International Relations) and within countries (hence with some overlap with Comparative Politics). Topics include the study of racial inequality (especially in the U.S. context), redistribution and link to finding democratic solutions to these issues


Medicalizied Citizenship

GOVT 392

The course investigates how disease, medicine, and health have influenced how we collectively answer the question, who belongs to the U.S. community? The racial and sexual origins of scientific medicine; continued racial health disparities; settlerism, immigration, race, and disease; and Blackness and contemporary disease politics are all topics.


US Supreme Court & Criminal Justice Reform

GOVT 401

This course centers on constitutional guarantees of criminal suspects’ rights and equal protection guarantees. The majority of the course focuses on glaring inequities in the protections of these rights based on race, sex, and income.


Authoritarianism & the Politics of Irrationality

GOVT 402

This course examines authoritarianism through a survey of key texts in social, psychological (including psychoanalytic), and political theory. Why is authoritarianism so often accompanied by forms of deep-seated racial prejudice and hatred that are seemingly immune to attempts to rationally dispute or disabuse? What are the relations between authoritarianism, irrationality, and fascism? In addition to considering fascism, right-wing populism, as well as antisemitism and anti-Black racism, we will give special consideration to authoritarian tendencies inherent to liberal democracy.


Political Islam

GOVT 403

This seminar examines how a variety of Islamist groups – from ISIS to the Muslim Brotherhood to Tunisia’s Ennahda – view the rights of women and religious minorities in the Middle East, focusing both on their official charters and statements as well as their actions once in power. The course also examines the determinants of public support for such movements and policies.