- Judicial Politics, Law and Society, Gender/Intersectionality and Politics, American Politics
- Political Science
Current World Problems (POLS 131)
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of some of the most pressing issues that face our world today. Over the course of the semester we look at classic political problems including war and inequality, as well as some problems that have moved into the spotlight more recently, such as globalization and the information revolution. We examine these issues from a variety of perspectives, including the American one. In particular, we use theories from political science to look at how and why these issues impact our community and the world beyond, and we discuss opportunities and strategies to get involved and participate in addressing these problems.
American Constitutional Law (Pols 410)
In this course we examine how the U.S. Constitution creates and distributes power in the American political system and how the actors within this system also influence this distribution of power. As this is a class taught in the political science department, we ground our studies in this discipline, and examine the Supreme Court as one part of the American system of government. As political scientists we seek to understand governmental processes and institutions, so to understand Constitutional Law and judicial interpretation of the law, during the semester we will examine legal doctrine and court decisions in the context of the political, social, and historical framework within which this doctrine developed. We begin by looking at the Constitution, the constitutional founding, and judicial interpretation, and we will develop our understanding of the Supreme Court’s role in our system of government. Relying upon this knowledge, we will then turn our focus to understanding how the American Constitutional system divides power by exploring the Constitutional foundations and interpretations of federalism and the formal separation of powers, before turning to examine economic liberties during our last few weeks of class.
U.S. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (Pols 413)
In this course we develop our knowledge and understanding of civil rights and civil liberties in the United States, and we continue our study of the American constitutional system, a project begun in Pols 410 (American Constitutional Law). We begin with an exploration of the Bill of Rights and its nationalization, followed by in-depth examinations of four areas critical to civil rights and liberties: freedom of expression, privacy, search and seizure, and equal protection of the laws.
Women and Politics (Pols 381A)
In this class, women’s involvement at multiple stages and levels of the political process is examined, and we look at women as citizens, voters, activists, and politicians. Key political issues that impact women are addressed from a domestic and a comparative perspective, including policies relating to balancing work and family life, reproductive health and rights, women’s physical safety, gender and development, and the education of women and girls. In studying these topics, students learn how to use an evidence-based approach to assess the implications of diverse policies upon women around the world, and to evaluate legislative and advocacy strategies for effectiveness.
American Politics and Government (Pols 101)
This course is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the American political system. In this course we develop an understanding of what the American political system is, and why it behaves the way it does. The first part of our course looks at the foundations of American politics. We then move to a consideration of the role of important institutions in American government including Congress, the Presidency, the courts, parties, and interest groups. The public’s influence on politics is considered in the third part of the course, and the final section of the course addresses current controversies in politics and public policy in the United States.