PLSC 407: Public Policy Making and Implementation
W 4:15pm / LSC
This course serves as the introduction to public policy. The policy field deals with the outputs of politics. What are the outcomes in specific public policy areas and why do those outcomes occur? We consider several models of the policy process. Furthermore, there is an expectation students will learn about the basic institutions of American politics. How Congress, the bureaucracy, and the courts function and how they affect the outputs of the American political system. Finally, this course places a heavy emphasis on the study of institutions and in particular a “comparative institutions” perspective. A comparative institutions perspective means looking at how using different institutional arrangements to make decisions, affects the final outcome. An institutionalist perspective argues outcomes depend not only on preferences, but on the institutions used to translate preferences into outcomes. This is an American Politics course.
PLSC 430: Theories of International Politics
W 7:00pm / LSC
The course introduces students to the some of the more frequently cited works in international relations (IR). It explores central concepts and theories employed by political scientists to explain how world politics functions. In order to illustrate various concepts and theories, the course will use examples from different areas of the world and from different moments in history. It will especially rely on examples from events that are still unfolding. This course is part of the subfield in Comparative Politics and International Relations.
PLSC 475: Techniques of Political Analysis I
M 7:00pm / LSC
This course, which is the first of a two-course sequence, offers an introduction to statistical analysis in political science. Among the major topics covered will be research design; measures of central tendency and variability; probability theory; statistical inference; significance tests; difference of means tests; the Chi Square statistic; and bivariate correlation and regression. Emphasis will be on practical applications and extensive use will be made of Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and Stata, statistical programs that are commonly used in the social sciences. This is a Methods course.
PLSC 533: U.S. National Security
T 7:00pm / LSC
National security policy has emerged as a significant area of interest across several academic disciplines. The seminar will focus on U.S. and international security issues broadly defined, including strategic considerations, the structure and processes of the national security establishment, the intelligence process, military culture, and civil-military relations. There will be a strong emphasis on class discussions and presentations. Students will assess an academic journal in this field and write a paper of theoretical and/or practical interest suitable for submission to it. This course is part of the subfield in Comparative Politics and International Relations.
PLSC 543: Liberalism
T 4:15pm / LSC
Liberals are not anarchists. Although liberals fear governments' threat to liberty, they also recognize that government is necessary to protect liberty. In this course, we explore how different liberal thinkers have drawn the line between the limits and powers of government in different areas of public policy: religion, speech, education, and the economy. We will examine both classical liberal writers (John Locke, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill) and contemporary authors (Milton Friedman, Cass Sunstein, John Rawls). This is a Political Theory course.