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Course Descriptions

POLS 131. Introduction to Political Science
The study of political science as a discipline with emphasis on its history, scope, method, and development as well as detailed study of major fields of political science. Credit, 3 hours. Offered every semester.

POLS 230. Introduction to Law and Legal Education
This course will help aspiring law students to know what to expect in law school, to examine potential legal careers, to prepare to take the Law School Aptitude Test (LSAT), and to gain practical knowledge in skills essential to success in law school, including writing briefs, locating and understanding case law, using libraries and Internet legal resources. Various legal landmark cases will be examined and the class will engage in mock trial or moot court. Recommended for juniors and seniors considering law school. Offered fall semesters.

POLS 233. American National Government
A study of the structure, functions, and policies of the government of the United States. Credit, 3 hours. Offered every semester.

POLS 234. State and Local Government
A study of structures, functions, institutions, and policies of state and local governments in the United States with special attention given to Kentucky government and politics. Credit, 3 hours. Offered Spring semesters, odd years.

POLS 235. Introduction to International Relations
This course is a survey of both selected classic texts and theories of international relations, and the emerging contemporary post-Cold War world. After discussing enduring issues of war, peace and the search for national security, students will be introduced to the major actors, processes and issues in current international politics. Credit, 3 hours. Offered spring semester.

POLS 330. Topics in Political Science
A general study of a political science topic designed to appeal to a broad student population. No Prerequisites. Credit, 3 hours. Offered as needed.

POLS 331. Developing Democracy
This course examines one of the most dynamic areas of political science today: the common challenges facing newly democratizing nations, and the linkage between democracy and peace. Sub-topics that will be treated include: the need for effective leadership, elite and mass political culture, the problem of respecting civil liberties, and the differing varieties of democracy from around the world. Prerequisite: POLS 131. Offered fall semester of odd years.

POLS 332. Public Opinion and Voting
A study of the role of public opinion and voting in American democracy. The course will examine several issues, including formation of political opinions and attitudes, how opinions are organized through ideology and partisanship, the content of opinions in relation to specific public policies, and how opinions shape and alter individual voter’s choices and determine election outcomes. Prerequisite : POLS 233 Credit, 3 hours. Offered fall semester, even years.

POLS 334. Congress
A study of the politics of Congress including such topics as representation, congressional elections, party leadership, the committee system, legislative process, floor voting, congressional policy-making, relations with other branches of government, and congressional reform proposals. Prerequisite : POLS 233 or consent of the instructor. Credit, 3 hours. Offered spring semester, odd years.

POLS 335. The American Presidency
An examination of the office of President in the American political system including such topics as establishment and development of the office, the presidential selection process, the Vice-Presidency, roles of the President, Presidential power and decision-making, and an evaluation of the Presidency. Prerequisite : POLS 233 or consent of the instructor. Credit, 3 hours. Offered spring semester, even years.

POLS 336. Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Media
A description, analysis, and evaluation of how three intermediary agencies- political parties, interest groups, and media- transmit and convey public demands. An emphasis will be placed on how these agencies attempt to influence election outcomes and shape public policy in American politics. Prerequisite: POLS 233. Offered spring semester of even years.

POLS 338. Comparative Politics
A core course that both establishes the rationale and frameworks for comparing politics within states, and an in-depth examination of at least one country from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. Prerequisite: POLS 131. Credit, 3 hours. Offered fall semester, even years.

POLS 339. American Foreign Policy
This course will tackle the fluid nature of challenges to United States national interest and security. After a thorough grounding in the actors and process involved in foreign policy-making, students will be assigned case studies in order to examine concrete situations and use of real-world models. Prerequisite: POLS 235 Offered spring semester of even years.

POLS 402. In Defense of Humanity: Human Rights Abuses and the World’s Responses
This course, taught in tandem with HSRV 402, seeks to capture the essence of the tragedy of human rights abuses worldwide. Human rights abuses include but are not limited to the following: genocide, slavery, sex trafficking, exploitation, abuse, rape, and political persecution. Far too often, cases of crimes against humanity pass virtually unnoticed in the eyes of the industrialized world. This class will attempt to raise awareness about past and contemporary human rights abuses. A framework will be introduced to students as to why and how these abuses unfold. Students will explore and discuss the options for solutions or interventions at any level. Students will satisfy the rigors of the QEP milestones of clarity, discernment, and integration in that they will confront a problem, explore the root causes of the issue, and then be asked to investigate viable solutions.

POLS 430. Selected Topics
The detailed study of a particular subject in the field of political science. Prerequisite : POLS 131 or consent of the instructor. Credit, 3 hours. Offered as needed.

POLS 432. The American Constitution
An examination of the United States Constitution--its origins, development, and interpretation by the federal courts. Case study method is used to study the major Supreme Court cases concerning the Constitution. Strongly recommended for Pre-Law students. Prerequisites : POLS 233, HIST 231, 232, or consent of the instructor. Credit, 3 hours. Offered spring semester, even years.

POLS 433. Western Political Theory I
A study of the origins of political theory in ancient Greece, as well as contributions made to political theory by Christian thinkers in the Middle Ages. The texts of writers to be examined include Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas, among others. Prerequisite : POLS 131 or consent of the instructor. Credit, 3 hours. Offered fall semester, even years.

P OLS 434. Western Political Theory II
A study of political theory beginning at the end of the middle ages and extending through the nineteenth century. The texts of writers to be examined include Nicollo Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, and Karl Marx. Prerequisite: POLS 131. Offered fall semester, odd years.

POLS 436. Political Ideologies
This course stresses the importance of ideas in shaping future political reality and action. An in-depth examination of the “isms” of the 19th and 20th centuries: capitalism, socialism, corporatism, communism, and fascism, and their continuing relevance in today’s world. Prerequisite: POLS 131. Offered spring semester, even years.

POLS 437. Public Administration and Public Policy
An introduction to the study of public administration and public policy in the United States. Focus will be on the behavior of public organizations in the American political system. Specific policy areas will be discussed to illustrate the role that public organizations play in the policy-making process. Prerequisite : POLS 233 or consent of the instructor. Credit, 3 hours. Offered spring semester, odd years.

POLS 490. Issues in Political Science
This course will allow a student to examine a topic in political science thoroughly. The student will select, research, and analyze the topic and draw conclusions from it. This course will be offered only in the fall semester, and a student must have completed Historical Methods HIST 234 successfully. This course is open to senior majors only. Credit, 3 hours. Offered fall semester.

 

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