PLSC 300A: Constitutional Politics
T 4:15pm / LSC
This course will examine the role of state and federal courts in the U.S. political system within the context of the normative debate over judicial policymaking. Discussing judicial rulings in a variety of legal areas, it will assess the balance between the court’s duty to defer to legislative authority in the policymaking process and its obligation to apply constitutional principles in adjudicating claims of rights. Most classes will be devoted to discussing judicial rulings in cases involving the right to privacy (including reproductive rights); freedom of speech and religion; laws based on race (including affirmative action), sex, and sexual orientation (including same-sex marriage); the criminal justice system (including prison reform, and capital punishment), and the Second Amendment.
PLSC 319: Women, Law & Public Policy
Th 4:15pm / LSC
The purpose of this class is to examine the formulation and implementation of public policymaking that governs the legal status of women and men in America. Focusing on federal court decisions as well as legislative and executive actions, the class will deal with the following topics: constitutional legal equality; equal employment opportunity, including equal pay and sexual harassment; educational equality; and reproductive rights. Class discussion is an important component of this class. In addition to examinations, grades will be based on a research paper and class participation. Students will present their research papers to the class at the end of the semester.
PLSC 326: American National Security
MWF 9:20am / LSC
National Security Policy explores the national security environment of the United States, options for dealing with challenges faced, and the making and implementation of national security policy. Topics include historical, geographical, and economic considerations, the conflict spectrum, the political process, ethical issues, and the role and methods of intelligence. Students will be encouraged to form their own informed opinions on these important issues. Two essay examinations and a research paper will be required, as will participation in class discussions on Sakai.
PLSC 376: Public Opinion
MWF 10:20am / LSC
Democratic systems of government are founded on the notion that the preferences of those who are to be governed (the public) are reflected in the policies the government enacts. In this course students will be introduced to the survey techniques commonly used to measure the public’s preferences. Participants will gain hands on experience working with public opinion data. We will also survey scholarly research that sheds light on issues including: 1) what political attitudes are, 2) the factors that shape these attitudes, and 3) how people decide whether to participate in the political process.
PLSC 384: The Judicial Process
Th 7:00pm / LSC
This course focuses on the various levels of, and actors in, the American judicial system. This includes people who enter the system by filing or defending against law suits as well as those who are accused of crimes. Specific attention will be paid to the United States Supreme Court and its role in, and influence on, the judicial system.
PLSC 385: Introduction to Law
Th 4:15pm / LSC
PLSC 386: American Parties & Elections
MWF 11:30am / LSC
This course offers an in-depth analysis of the political parties and their role in American politics. It explores the origin of parties and their interaction with election and voting systems; the determinants of party success and failure, parties’ internal organization and the strategies of survival; the role of minor parties and the future of parties in politics.
PLSC 390: Urban Politics
Ms. Blackmond Larnell
MWF 11:30am / LSC
Lectures, readings, and discussions focused on American city politics, policies, and problems throughout history and now. This course explores the structure and processes of local government and politics, intergovernmental relations, and the relationship between private economy and city development. Examinations of policy focus on the problems of poverty, race, education, transportation, and housing in America's cities, with a special emphasis on Chicago.
PLSC 391: Chicago Politics
Tu 4:15pm / LSC
The objectives of this course are to increase a student’s local political knowledge and critical thinking skills so that they can be more informed and involved citizens. This course focuses on how the Chicago political process works today and how decisions about current issues and public policies are shaped. We will study how public perception impacts public opinion resulting in public policies. We will analyze civic leaders (corporate, government, not-for-profit, community organizers, and media) within the public arena and their influential interrelationships. We will also discuss power (actual/perceived) and how it is distributed. Chicago political history will be researched and applied to the present-day shape of city, county and state politics.
PLSC 392: Environmental Politics
TTh 2:30pm/ LSC
This course examines the issues, significant actors, and public policies relating to the environment. It begins with a history of environmentalism and a discussion of the basic issues of environmental politics. It then examines the structures of law and government within the United States directed toward environmental concerns. Finally, the course turns to a discussion of the environmental issues addressed by U.S. governments, the content of environmental policies, and emerging issues of sustainability.