PLSC 337: Terrorism
TTh 1:00 pm / LSC
This course will use the infamous 9/11 attacks to examine current religiously-justified international terrorism, the fourth wave of modern terrorism. While we will concentrate on terrorist activity associated with Islam since it dominates today’s headlines, it is appropriate to remember that Christian and Jewish groups have engaged in religiously- affiliated terrorism since the late 1940’s. We will discuss the pros and cons of different definitions of terrorism- there is no general agreement. In examining terrorism, we will look at terrorist organizational structures, weapons, operations and operational planning, ideology, motivation, and financing. We will examine efforts to combat terrorists, including exploitable weakness. We will also look at the effects of terrorism on our daily lives and at our willingness to compromise our American principles and constitutional rights in combating terrorists.
PLSC 341: Comparative Politics
TTh 1:00pm / LSC
This course focuses on several of the central issues in comparative politics, with reference to countries representing various ideologies, forms of government and levels of development. The first part of the course consists of a discussion of general themes in the comparative analysis of political systems, while the second applies these general concepts to the analysis of particular countries. The course has two basic purposes. The first is to increase students' familiarity with politics in a number of countries that are important in their own right and about which informed persons should have some knowledge. The second is to make students aware of broader similarities and differences of political expression in today's world, enhancing their understanding of politics in general and enriching their knowledge of their own political system.
PLSC 347: The European Union
TTh 2:30pm / LSC
The course offers a comprehensive introductory overview of the European Union (EU) politics, institutions, and policies. It begins by introducing a historical context and the emergence of the European Community (EC), the establishment and development of EC institutions and legal norms, promulgated in multiple treaties of the European Union. It then analyzes the institutional structures of the European Union, paying specific attention to the goals and functions of EU institutions. In the second part of the course, we will concentrate on policy specific issues and debates, including the single market, monetary and economic union, social policies, justice and homeland security, the common agricultural policy and environmental policy. The course will address recent challenges faced by the European Union and discuss the future of the European economic and monetary union.
PLSC 349: Eastern European Politics
TTh 1:00pm / LSC
The 1989 saw one of the most surprising developments of contemporary politics--the collapse of communist regimes across East Central Europe. To explain and understand how these developments came about, this course examines the history and politics of the region, comprising Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary, with references to Bulgaria, Romania, and the former Yugoslavia. The course will first examine the era of state socialism—the communist ascendancy, Stalinist rule, and the conflicts between state and society that erupted as a result. It will then focus on the reasons behind the collapse of the communist regimes, and the subsequent developments: the introduction of democracy and the free market, the development of political party systems, constitutions, and economic transformation.
PLSC 352: Candian Politics
TTh 8:30am / LSC
This course discusses the Canadian system of government, focusing on the Parliament, the Prime Minister and permanent government, the judiciary, political actors such as organized interests, political parties, mass media, and public opinion as well as the legal and political relationships between the federal and provincial governments of Canada.
PLSC 359: Revolutions
MWF 2:45pm / LSC
This course examines the nature of revolutions, their origins, causes and outcomes. It surveys controversial issues on the impact of revolutions on freedom and political development. Modes of contentious politics such as upheavals, coups, and rebellions will be broadly explored, but special focus is given to the French Revolution (1789), Bolshevik Revolution (1917), Sandinista revolution (1970s), democratic revolutions in Eastern Europe (1990s) and the Arab Spring.
PLSC 374: Democracy
MWF 12:35pm / LSC
This course explores an array of competing perspectives on democracy. We will study normative and empirical models of democracy, investigate the place and role of demos in democratic systems, compare typologies of democratic regimes and assess the compatibility of democracy with non-western cultures.