PLSC 341: Comparative Politics
T 4:15pm / 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 343: Latin American Politics
MWF 10:25am / LSC
This course provides an introduction to the fascinating politics of Latin America. First we will look at the history of Latin America to examine the social forces, key events, and actors that have influenced the region’s politics. We will then study eight of the most interesting and important countries in the region – Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Students will select one of these countries on which to develop a Power Point presentation and write a research paper. By the end of this course, you will have acquired a general understanding of the key political forces in the region, specific knowledge about seven countries, and detailed understanding of the politics and democratic development of one country.
PLSC 347: European Union
TTh 8:30am / LSC
This course provides an introduction to the complex nature of European Union politics, its emergence and its development over time, as well as the understanding of the way the European Union is governed. The class focuses upon some of the seminal contemporary works in the field and evaluates them in light of the arguments of their critics.
After reflecting upon the key concepts and theories of analysis, the course explores political, social, and economic developments in the EU focusing on the historical context, key actors, institutions, and debates, as well as policy priorities and issues of governance. During the course, we will analyze the impact of European integration on the economic development of the European nation-states; review the changing nature of political power within the EU; discuss the main challenges facing the member-states; consider the impact of the European integration on social dimensions and well being of people; examine the role of changing political culture; and finally, discuss issues of regionalism and European Enlargement.
PLSC 348: Russian Politics
TTh 1:00pm / LSC
This course is designed as a detailed examination of Russia’s contemporary political system and its recent evolution. Structurally, we will focus of four areas of change – state structure regime change, economic transformation, and state and national identity, to offer a dynamic context of the for analyzing the post-Soviet era. With a consistent emphasis on the intersection of politics and economics and the tensions between the authoritarian and democratic trends, this course will guide students through the complexities and ambiguities of Russian politics today.
PLSC 352: Canadian 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 355C: Women & Politics from a Comparative Perspective
W 4:15pm / LSC
In many countries women hold 30-40% of the major political positions and female heads of state are increasingly common; on the other hand there are countries (such as the United States) where there has never been a female head of state and representation is far lower. Why are women so poorly represented in some countries? Does political representation matter? We spend time on both of these questions looking at explanations for the considerable variation in women's access to positions of formal political power across countries The course will also look at the impact women have when they are in office. That is, does it really matter what level of representation women have and in what manner does policy output change when women are present. The course considers these questions not just in the developed countries, but also in the developing world.
PLSC 375C: Catholicism, Islam & Democracy
M 4:15pm / LSC
This course comparatively explores themes related to the process of democratization in Catholic and Muslim settings. It addresses the following questions: 1) what factors cause liberal-democracy; 2) how democracy and religious faith accommodate each other; and 3) how Catholic and Muslim faiths respond to the challenge of the expansion of rights and sociopolitical pluralism. The course will 1) generate theoretical insight into the question of how religious faith and pursuit of political ideology and self-interest with each other; 2) provide students with analytical tools and knowledge to examine the interrelated patterns of religious revival and democratic struggles; 3) make students familiar with sociopolitical change in diverse historical and geographical settings.