Academic Catalog

2020-2021

Politics and Public Affairs (PPA)

PPA 101 - Selected Topics in American Politics (4 Credit Hours)

This course provides a venue in which to explore topics in American Politics at the introductory level. Topics will vary according to the needs and interests of the teaching faculty offering the course. In some cases, this course may be repeated for credit.

PPA 102 - Introduction to Policymaking in Democracies (4 Credit Hours)

This course will introduce students to the politics of democratic states. Among the states considered in this course are: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Much of the course will focus upon politics and policies in individual countries, however, the course will also seek to compare political phenomena across states and look at some conceptual and theoretical issues that these systems have in common.

PPA 111 - Special Topics in Comparative Politics (4 Credit Hours)

This course provides a venue in which to explore topics in Comparative Politics at the introductory level. Topics will vary according to the needs and interests of the teaching faculty offering the course. In some cases, this course may be repeated for credit.

PPA 121 - Selected Topics in International Politics (4 Credit Hours)

This course provides a venue in which to explore topics in International Politics at the introductory level. Topics will vary according to the needs and interests of the teaching faculty offering the course. In some cases,this course may be repeated for credit.

PPA 122 - Introduction to Global Governance (4 Credit Hours)

This course provides an introduction to both the language used to describe international politics and the ways relationships between actors on the world stage may be analyzed. Relying on history and contemporary events to illuminate key concepts, we cover the causes of war and peace, the role of economics in international affairs and the place of morality in statecraft. This course is recommended as preparation for advanced study in the areas of international relations and foreign policy.

PPA 131 - Selected Topics in Political Theory (4 Credit Hours)

This course provides a venue in which to explore topics in Political Theory at the introductory level. Topics will vary according to the needs and interests of the teaching faculty offering the course in some cases, this course may be repeated for credit.

PPA 132 - Introduction to Theorizing About Political Life: Normative Issues Common to Democratic Systems (4 Credit Hours)

An introduction to the art and science of political philosophy. This class teaches the skills of making normative arguments in the context of understanding politics as purposive behavior. What should be the means and ends of government? What kind of government should we create, and how will power be distributed? How should we prioritize our commitments to ideas like order, justice, liberty, and equality? What role do our material realities, our economies and our culture play in the formation of our identities and our commitments? This course will link normative arguments to contemporary political and policy debates about the state and governing, rights, obligations, diversity and multiculturalism.

PPA 199 - Introductory Topics in Politics and Public Affairs (1-4 Credit Hours)

A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.

PPA 201 - Sophomore Seminar (4 Credit Hours)

All PPA majors are required to complete Sophomore Seminar in the spring of their sophomore year. Sophomore Seminar will serve three purposes. First, Sophomore Seminar will provide students with an opportunity to integrate their learning experiences in our three introductory courses. Second, students will gain an understanding of how to conduct research and evaluate political and policy issues through a series of shorter assignments culminating in completion of a substantial policy analysis paper. Third, over the course of the semester, students will develop a coherent plan for an established track of study within PPA which identifies relevant cognate courses or proposes and develops an individualized track of study.

Prerequisite(s): PPA 102, 122, and 132, or consent of instructor.

PPA 299 - Intermediate Topics in Politics and Public Affairs (1-4 Credit Hours)

A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.

PPA 306 - The American Presidency (4 Credit Hours)

This course focuses on the history of the presidency with particular attention to the origins, development, and exercise of executive powers. We also examine writings on the character, policies, reputation, and rhetoric of individual presidents; presidential management of the executive branch; and presidential leadership of Congress.

Prerequisite(s): PPA 201, or consent of instructor.

PPA 307 - The Politics of Congress (4 Credit Hours)

The U.S. Congress is often considered the 'First Branch" of the federal government, and by its construction is easily the most complex. In this course we will consider the politics that underlie the development and operation of the contemporary Congress, detail the legislative process and its organization. We will consider how various institutions such as parties, committees, and procedures help legislators reach their goals and help solve problems such as collective action, voting cycles, and ambition. While we begin by looking at Congress at its inception and the electoral goals of members, the course will quickly move to the development of these institutions and in the early Twentieth Century (pre-1974) and their use today. Over the course of the semester, we will apply our institutional study of Congress to current events and through a multi-week simulation of the legislative process. Since many of the readings make use of existing quantitative data and existing research prior experience with this type of material is recommended. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 309 - Campaigns and Elections (4 Credit Hours)

This course examines the structure, strategy, and influence of federal campaigns and elections in the United States. With a focus on both Congressional and Presidential campaign contests the course explores topics such as primary and nominating politics, the role of money in elections, candidate selection, incumbency advantage, the influence of elections on voting behavior, campaign strategy, advertising, and election reform. Throughout the course we will apply the readings to analyze the current election cycle, historical trends, and election forecasting. In addition, students will participate in a simulated campaign exercise. By the end of the semester students will complete a research paper investigating data related to congressional campaigns centered on questions raised by one or more of the topics covered in class.

Prerequisite(s): PPA 201, or consent of instructor.

PPA 319 - Topics in the Study of American Politics (4 Credit Hours)

This course provides a venue in which to explore topics in American Politics at the advanced level. Topics will vary according to the needs and interests of the teaching faculty offering the course. In some cases, this course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 322 - Politics of Russia (4 Credit Hours)

This course focuses on contemporary Russian politics. Because Russian politics cannot be understood in the absence of historical context, the course will devote some time to the Tsarist and Soviet periods. At least half of the course deals with the Russian Federation under presidents Yeltsin, Putin, and Medvedev. Constitutional debates, federalism, ethnic issues, political struggles, the Chechen war, changing relations with the U.S. and NATO, and more will be covered, as well as executive, legislative, and judicial institutions. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 323 - Issues and Politics in Europe (4 Credit Hours)

This course will focus on contemporary issues and policy debates in European politics. We will look at a broad range of countries such as Poland, Spain, Denmark, the Czech Republic, and others. Some of the issues discussed could include: health care policies, minority rights and minority communities, energy politics, and more. The exact issues, policies, and countries will vary over time. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of Instructor.

PPA 326 - Radical Right Parties and Politics in Europe (4 Credit Hours)

What accounts for the emergence, persistence and demise of "radical" or "far right" political parties in Europe? After a period of post-war stability, European party systems began to break down in the 1960s. This led to several new developments, namely, a decline in democratic participation; a decline in the traditional parties of the center Left and center Right; and the emergence of new parties on both the Left and the Right. This course focuses on the newer parties on the Right that emerged in Western Europe during the 1980's and 1990's. Specifically we focus on what many scholars label the "far" or "radical" right. These parties tend to be organized around a particular set of ideological concepts emphasizing nationalism, exclusion of "foreigners," a strong state, welfare chauvinism and, more recently, Islamophobia. Over the course of the semester students will compare and contrast the emergence of these parties and their politics across Europe and discern the differences between what scholars describe as "populist radical" or "populist far" right parties from other parties on the extreme right, namely neofascist or neo-Nazis parties which are viewed as inherently undemocratic and often elitist.

PPA 328 - Politics of the Global Environment (4 Credit Hours)

This course is about the theoretical, political, and practical problems associated with environmental action. Course materials analyze various theoretical perspectives on the relationship between humans and nature, and they illustrate how different ethics lead to widely different prescriptions for personal and political action. Course materials also offer examples of how environmental problems have in fact been addressed or not by governmental, non-governmental, and international institutions. This is not a course on the physical processes of environmental problems, but rather it emphasizes the political, economic, and theoretical contexts within which efforts are made to act on environmental threats. No prior knowledge of environmental or political science is required. However, students should be prepared to read and interpret detailed social science texts, to formulate and articulate cogent arguments, and to conduct independent research. Course fulfills the ENVS Social Science requirement. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

Crosslisting: ENVS 328.

PPA 332 - Politics in Latin America, Africa, and Asia (4 Credit Hours)

This course explores the politics of developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America in their historical socioeconomic contexts. The goals of the course include familiarizing students with the details of politics in selected countries and understanding important concepts of political science by applying them to the case study countries. Emphasis will be placed on using concepts and theories to analyze and critique arguments. No prior knowledge of the developing world is required. However, students will be expected to identify and analyze issues germane to the developing world, read and critique systematically, form and defend arguments and opinions, conduct independent library research, pose researchable questions, and discuss readings and research findings in class. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 339 - Topic in the Study of Comparative Politics (4 Credit Hours)

This course provides a venue in which to explore topics in Comparative Politics at the advanced level. Topics will vary according to the needs and interests of the teaching faculty offering the course. In some cases, this course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 341 - The Conduct of American Foreign Policy (4 Credit Hours)

This course explores the evolution of U.S. foreign policy from the beginning of the Cold War to the present day. The course focuses on the responses of successive American administrations to potential or actual threats to the national interests of the U.S. Emphasis will be placed on the containment doctrine, its application in Vietnam, and subsequent efforts to replace containment following the end of the Vietnam war and the end of the Cold War. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 344 - The United Nations and World Problems (4 Credit Hours)

The founding of public international organizations represent an attempt to bring order to an unruly international system. International organizations are formal institutions established by states to address global problems. They include not only the United Nations, but also many other public or private, international, national or local, formal or informal institutions. Collectively, these institutions engage in global governance. Our goals in this course are to understand the theoretical and practical approaches to international organizations and global governance, the limitations under which global governance operates, and the future prospects for a system of global governance. This course has a substantial oral component and oral skills work and so satisfies the University's oral general education requirement. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 345 - Human Rights in Global Perspectives (4 Credit Hours)

This course analyzes the emergence, expansion and enforcement of international human rights norms. Students taking the course will acquire an enhanced understanding of the United Nations, national governments, nongovernmental organizations, customary international law, treaty law, regional courts, and international tribunals in articulating and enforcing human rights. Students will acquire a broad understanding of human rights as a topic of both intellectual inquiry and political action. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 346 - The European Union (4 Credit Hours)

The course explores the peculiarities of the EU and what makes it a unique organization, sharing characteristics of a state and characteristics of a traditional international organization. First, we will place the study of European integration in a historical context. Then we will make sense of the various decision-making processes and institutional actors of the EU. We will also examine theories of European integration to understand competing explanations for the integration process. Fourth, various policy areas will be studied to show how the power of the EU is distributed unevenly across areas. During the final two weeks of the course we will simulate a gathering of the European Council. This course has a substantial oral component and oral skills work and so satisfies the University's oral general education requirement. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 347 - The Middle East in World Affairs (4 Credit Hours)

The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with the political history, international significance, and the dimensions of political life in the Middle East. Owing to the ever-present potential for conflict, the seeming intractability of disputes, and the oil factor, what happens in the Middle East is of vital importance to international politics. We examine the role that politics in the Middle East has played in world affairs as well as the region's importance in the future. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 348 - Foreign and Security Policies in Western Europe (4 Credit Hours)

France, Germany, and the United Kingdom (also referred to as the EU3, as they all are members of the European Union (EU). Why is it that we know so little about the foreign policies of three countries which have been the most important allies for the US in the past fifty years? Are these countries "middle powers" or "big powers"? What role do they play in the international hierarchy? What others states in Western Europe also conduct foreign policies, they frequently do so as part of the EU, or at least tailor their policies so that they do not substantially deviate from the EU. They also tend to have more of a regional focus as they lack the means and influence to project their power beyond the confines of Europe. Thus, the "three big" can be put in a special category because of their status, wealth, influence and power. To explore their behaviors we first establish conceptual framework for a comparative study of foreign policy (comparative foreign policy analysis). This framework guides our analysis in subsequent empirical cases examining decision-making processes, the domestic and international environment, and foreign policy outputs. We will assess key variables at the individual, group, state and systemic levels of analysis and develop a framework for comparing the foreign policy incentives of these three powers. Specific areas of inquiry include cognitive and psychological theories of decision-making, group dynamics, organizational interests, public opinion, national role conception, strategic interaction and relative power/capability changes in the international system. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 349 - Terrorism and Political Violence (4 Credit Hours)

Political violence, including terrorism, has been around since the beginnings of organized political society, though the word terrorism dates only from the French Revolution (1789-1799). In this course, we will explore what terrorism is, whether it is new (and why some analysts argue it is), who uses terrorist tactics, why they do so, and how terrorism differs from other forms of political violence such as war, insurgency, and so on. We will investigate various definitions of terrorism. Most scholars think that terrorism is not a random act of violence. They see terrorism as planned and, for those who use it, rational. However, there is still a lot of disagreement on what terrorism is, what motivates terrorists, how it can be fought, and on what we mean by rational and planned. We will compare the various definitions and perspectives to determine which might work best for our understanding of the phenomena. In addition, we will focus on some key concepts in the discipline of political science and how they relate to terrorism, for example: power, ethnicity, religion, and the media. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 353 - Russian Foreign and Military Policy (4 Credit Hours)

In this course we will seek to understand the motives and objectives of Russian foreign and military policies. We will look at Russian interests throughout the world with particular attention to the 'near abroad' (countries that were part of the Soviet Union), China, and Europe as well as the US-Russian relationship. Issues of arms sales, military power, and the politics of energy (oil and gas) will form a significant portion of the course. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 359 - Topics in the Study of International Policies (4 Credit Hours)

This course provides a venue in which to explore topics in International Politics at the advanced level. Topics will vary according to the needs and interests of the teaching faculty offering the course. In some cases, this course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 361 - Directed Study (1-4 Credit Hours)

Directed studies are undertaken at the initiative of the student and may involve any topic acceptable to the student and an instructor.

PPA 362 - Directed Study (1-4 Credit Hours)

Directed studies are undertaken at the initiative of the student and may involve any topic acceptable to the student and an instructor.

PPA 363 - Independent Study (1-4 Credit Hours)

Independent study in Politics and Public Affairs.

PPA 364 - Independent Study (1-4 Credit Hours)

Independent Study in Politics and Public Affairs.

PPA 374 - Constitutional Law (4 Credit Hours)

This course examines the basic principles of the U.S. Constitutional framework from an interdisciplinary perspective. What is the purpose and function of law in society? How does the legal process work through precedents, legal reasoning and case law? What are civil rights and civil liberties? Where are the lines or boundaries to be drawn between an individual’s freedom and the public good or the rights of the community? Which liberties does the Court consider worth protecting and which liberties are circumscribed by the public interest? What might be the difference between liberty as a legal concept, and freedom? This course examines important political and theoretical questions regarding the rule of law, interpreting the Constitution, and the role of the Supreme Court in the U.S. system of politics and government. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 381 - Ancient Political Theory (4 Credit Hours)

Debating classical Greek and Roman thought through the works of thinkers like the Greek tragedians, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine or Aquinas. This course involves intensive textual analysis and a study of the problems of morality, government, membership and expansion in the ancient Greek and Roman world. We will also judge the moral and political legacy of the ancients by addressing contemporary debates about democracy, citizenship, power, empire, and the rule of law. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 382 - Modern Political Theory (4 Credit Hours)

Debating the moral and political problems of modernity through the works of thinkers like Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Burke, Paine, or Mill. This course involves intensive textual analysis and a study of the problems of virtue, interest, power, sovereignty, rights, and revolution in the modern era. We will also judge the place of ideas like liberty and equality within the system of law in republican, liberal, conservative and radical political thought. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 383 - Contemporary Political Theory (4 Credit Hours)

Debating contemporary political theory through the work of such thinkers as Marx, Nietzsche, Dewey, Arendt, Fanon, Marcuse, Foucault, Rawls, Habermas, Walzer, or Butler. This course involves intensive textual analysis and a study of the problems of power, capitalism, rights, obligations, culture, and identity in the contemporary era. We will also judge the legacies of radical, liberal, and pragmatic thought, and the challenges offered by critical theory, feminism, and post-colonial studies. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 384 - Black Political Thought (4 Credit Hours)

This course focuses on transnational black political thought by considering African-descended scholars, activists, and intellectual thinkers throughout the African Diaspora. We will examine themes of freedom, nation, racism, black nationalism, and womanism. Some of the thinkers we focus on are CLR James, Malcolm X, Frantz Fanon, Patricia Hill Collins, and Domingos Alvares. First, we focus on African healers and why they are considered intellectuals. We will pay special attention to an African-centered approach that privileges the ways in which African descendants seek freedom. Second, we examine freedom and what that meant for enslaved Africans in America who eventually gained freedom. Third, we examine how black American intellectuals and activists define racism, resistance, and freedom. We also examine the notion of black power. Fourth, we examine post-colonialism and black political thought in Africa, the Caribbean and Brazil. Fifth, we examine black feminist thought and define womanism. Lastly, we consider Hip Hip music as a movement and explore if it can be considered black political thought. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 389 - Topics in the Study of Political Theory (4 Credit Hours)

This course provides a venue in which to explore topics in Political Theory at the advanced level. Topics will vary according to the needs and interests of the teaching faculty offering the course. In some cases, this course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite(s): PPA 201 or consent of instructor.

PPA 399 - Advanced Topics in Politics and Public Affairs (1-4 Credit Hours)

A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.

PPA 451 - Senior Research (4 Credit Hours)

Senior Research in Politics and Public Affairs.

PPA 452 - Senior Research (4 Credit Hours)

Senior Research in Politics and Public Affairs.

PPA 491 - Senior Seminar (4 Credit Hours)

Senior Seminar is a required part of the political science major and is offered only in the fall semester. Senior seminars will vary in topic but all emphasize skills in research and writing that will provide a capstone experience in the major. For senior majors. Others with consent of instructor.