Loyola University Chicago

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Loyola University Chicago

Department of Political Science

American Politics

PLSC 300A: Civil Rights Movement and the Courts
Father Horan
TTh 1:00pm / LSC

The course is intended to give you a better understanding of the how the Civil Rights Movement was influenced by the judicial system—and vice versa—for better and for worse. Students should have a greater understanding of the relationship of lawyers and the law to direct action and other forms of advocacy in advancing and impeding social change. The course will also consider the conflicts between violence and nonviolence and among law, politics, and morality. Specific topics to be covered include slavery and the Constitution, Dred Scott v Sandford, segregation and Jim Crow, Plessy v Ferguson, legal strategies of the NAACP, the “College Cases,” Brown v Board of Education, murder of Emmett Till, Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. and philosophy of nonviolence, Civil Rights legislation, Affirmative Action.

PLSC 300A: Mock Trial I & II
Professor Walsh
Th 7:00pm / LSC

This is a unique course.  It is unique because although formally offered as a course in the spring semester, participation by the student begins in the preceding fall semester.  The goal of the course is to prepare for and to compete successfully in intercollegiate mock trial competition.  Students will study the trial as a process for finding truth and administering justice.  In addition, students will learn the dynamics of the trial by developing trial strategy, by learning how to conduct and respond to direct and cross examination and by delivering effective opening and closing arguments.  This course provides formal, academic guidance for the mock trial teams at Loyola.  In particular, it offers the team members the opportunity to improve oral and written communication skills, to test and improve logical reasoning and argumentation skills, and to gain greater knowledge about the role of the trial as a process for finding truth and administering justice.


PLSC 300A: Minority Politics
Professor Blackmond Larnell
MWF 9:20am / LSC

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the study of politics and policy as it relates to groups that are underrepresented in American government.  We will review and discuss literature examining the role that race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and minority status plays in American politics and public policy. We will explore the various political circumstances of individual individual groups and the strategies they have used to empower themselves. Specifically, we will focus on the ways in which minority groups think about and react to American politics and policy-making as well as how they are considered and impacted.  Several questions will be explored.  Do these groups maintain distinct partisan affiliations and policy preferences? How do these groups organize and participate politically? Are these groups effective in provoking change in local, state and national politics and policy? How do American institutions promote and hinder minorities’ political participation and representation? The course will provide a general overview of the American politics as policy as it relates to Black Americans, Latino Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Women as well as the GLBT communities. Thus, the various topics will include, but are not limited to, an exploration of the Civil War Amendments, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the 19th Amendment, descriptive vs. substantive representation, social identity and group consciousness, racial redistricting, minority incorporation, voting behavior, strategies of empowerment, and public policies targeted at underrepresented groups.


PLSC 322: Constitutional Law
Professor Bryan
TTh 2:30pm / LSC

The course provides an introduction to American Constitutional Law, with a focus on civil rights and civil liberties.  It is an exploration of many of the cases that have helped to define the peculiar way in which the Constitution and the Supreme Court define the rights and liberties of Americans – specifically focusing on First Amendment and privacy rights. Students will also gain a deeper understanding of how the Supreme Court makes the decisions it makes, how the Court is situated in the political, legal, and historic landscape, and how institutional and political factors constrain the choices justices make.

PLSC 381: The American Presidency
Professor Tatalovich
TTh 10:00am / LSC

This course discusses the presidency from the dual perspectives of historical evolution and contemporary developments since Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Special attention is given to how some of the leading scholarly thinkers have understood presidential power and presidential leadership.


PLSC 384: The Judicial Process
Professor Bryan
TTh 11:30am / LSC

The principal purpose of this course is to introduce you to judicial politics. Specifically, we will examine how judges and justices make decisions and the political, legal, and ideological influences on those decisions.  Most of our focus will be on the U.S. Supreme Court. This course, unlike constitutional law and civil liberties classes, does not study legal doctrine; rather, it examines how judges and justices make decisions and how those decisions impact the broader political landscape in the United States.


PLSC 386: American Parties & Elections
Professor Gitelson
TTh 10:00am / LSC

This course is intended to give an overview of the American two-party system and the election and campaign process. This task involves the exploration of an institution, the party, which has undergone significant change over the past fifty years. In the lecture-seminar atmosphere of the course, we will explore and analyze parties and the election process covering the roles of interest groups, campaigns, the nomination process, campaign financing, the media, polls, the Electoral College, and voting behavior as they have an impact on parties, elections and the governing process. A discussion of the 2014 elections and the forthcoming 2016 elections will also be a focus of this course.


PLSC 392: Environmental Politics
Professor Frendreis
MWF 10:25am / LSC




Department of Political Science
1032 W. Sheridan Road, Coffey Hall, 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60660
Phone: 773.508.3047 ยท E-mail: pschrae@luc.edu

Notice of Non-discriminatory Policy