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 Linfield College
Political Science



Political Science Courses

For more information, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

POLS-201  American Politics

How our national government is supposed to work and how it does work. Problems and tensions. Contemporary issues and controversies. 4 credits (IS or US)

POLS-210  International Politics

Examines historical context and theoretical foundations central to understanding international political order and exercise of power in a global era. Applies knowledge to current political problems. 4 credits. (IS or GP)

POLS-220  Great Political Thinkers

Unchanging and continuing themes and issues of politics and political philosophers. Original works of selected major political theorists including Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, the contract theorists, and Marx. 4 credits (UQ)

POLS-225  The Study of Law

The nature, functions, uses, and operations of the legal process. Types of law (civil, criminal, equity) courts, judges, and other legal actors. Specific current problems to illustrate the legal process. 4 credits (IS)

POLS-230  Research Methodology

Qualitative and quantitative approaches to the study of politics and public policy. The logic, assumptions, goals, and limitations of the scientific approach to the study of politics, with emphasis on quantitative methods and the use of computers in research. Prerequisite: 201, 210 or 220, or consent of instructor. 5 credits (QR)

POLS-240  State and Local Government

State and local government structures, processes, and policies. Problems of local-state cooperation and relations with specific policy areas of concern to these governmental levels, including pollution, law of enforcement, taxation, and education. 4 credits

POLS-310  American Political Thought

American political thought from colonial times to the present. Consideration of how the political theories of early American thinkers addressed the problems of their age and relate to modern problems and issues. Theories of change and resolution. Application of contemporary theories from various areas in society to evolutionary trends in American thought. 4 credits (UQ or US)

POLS-312  Rebels, Thugs, and Skeptics: Twentieth- Century Political Theory

Examination of original works of twentieth-century political theory. Consideration of alternative views of central political concepts such as power, liberty, equality, and resistance. Prerequisites: 220 or PHIL 365, or consent of instructor. 4 credits (UQ)

POLS-313  What Is Freedom?

Exploration of how the concept of freedom has been understood throughout human history. 4 credits. (UQ)

POLS-315  Politics and Religion (also Listed As RELS 315)

Examination of the relationship between politics and religion in varying contexts: theories of the role of religion in government and society, religious social movements, contemporary political controversies involving religion. Prerequisite: POLS 201, 210, or 220; or RELS 110 or 115, or consent of instructor. 4 credits. (UQ)

POLS-320  Law, Rights and Justice

Examination of rights and justice in the United States. Analysis of law in society. The concepts of obligation, authority, disobedience, and punishment. Focus on contemporary legal controversies. Prerequisite: any POLS 200-level course or consent of instructor. 4 credits (UQ)

POLS-325  U.S. Supreme Court

Exploration of the role of the Supreme Court in the American political system. Examination of debates over the Court's proper role in the system, empirical research on judicial behavior, and the role of the executive and legislative branches in the judicial nomination and confirmation process. 4 credits (IS)

POLS-326  The American Presidency

Analysis and discussion of the various roles of the President, including constitutional status and powers, nomination and election, administrative responsibilities, legislative and political leadership, and conduct of foreign relations. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered fall of even-numbered years. 4 credits. (IS)

POLS-330  Politics & The Arts

Exploration of what can be learned about politics from other disciplines, including literature, film, and the fine arts. 4 credits. (CS)

POLS-333  Gender and Politics (also Listed As GENS 333)

Exploration of concepts of gender in society and their social and political implication. Analysis of sex, gender, and sexuality through different theoretical approaches. Focus on political behavior, rights, recognition and justice. 4 credits (IS or GP)

POLS-335  Topics In Public Policy

The making, content, and consequences of public policies in American, cross-national and/or international contexts. Analysis of the policy making process in general and the study of specific types of public policies. Health care, education, energy, environmental protection, and social welfare. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or higher. 4 credits (IS)

2015 Jan Term Topic description: The making, content, and consequences of environmental policies in American, cross-national and/or international contexts. Analysis of the policy making process in the area of environmental protection. 4 credits

POLS-337  Mass Media and The Law (also Listed As MSCM 337)

Legal, regulatory, and ethical issues involving print and broadcast media, and the Internet, including libel, obscenity, invasion of privacy, shielding of news sources, freedom of the press, copyright, and government regulation. Prerequisite: INQS 125. 4 credits

POLS-345  Mass Media, Politics and Public Opinion (also Listed As MSCM 345)

The role of the mass media in shaping and changing American public opinion and in the political and electoral processes. Examination of the links between mass media and government, and between the media and the individual citizen. Explorations of the interactions between media and attitudes, agendas, and behaviors. Focus on presidential and congressional election campaigns. Prerequisite: INQS 125. 4 credits

POLS-353  Political Communication

The uses and functions of communication in modern democracies. Exploration of dilemmas involved in communicating political information to the citizenry and the role of citizens in the broader political communication system. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher. 4 credits. (IS)

POLS-361  Current Debates In U.S. Foreign Policy

Formal debate course on the current problems in U.S. foreign policy. Possible topics included: U.S. military intervention abroad, U.S. foreign economic policy, climate change. humanitarian intervention, weapons proliferation, immigration, democracy promotion, and regional issues. Prerequisites: POLS 210 and/or POLS 384 recommended. 4 credits (IS or GP)

POLS-362  International Law, Ethics, and Global Governance

Provides introduction to international public law and the global governance arrangements that aim to address many of the world's most urgent problems, including use of force, climate change, poverty, and human rights violations. Special emphasis on moral and ethical dimensions of these issues. Prerequisite: POLS 210 strongly recommended. Offered fall. 4 credits (IS or GP)

POLS-365  Topics In American Politics

Topics important to the study of the American political system, for example, the American Presidency, American Politics and the Culture Wars, and Why Americans Hate Politics. Prerequisite: POLS 201 or 220 or instructor consent. Offered fall of even-numbered years. 4 credits (IS)

POLS-370  Topics In International Politics

Exploration of various areas of international politics. Possible topics include globalization, international environmental politics, women and war, international law and human rights, advanced study of theories of international relations, U.S. foreign policy. 4 credits (IS or GP)
2015 Jan Term Topics description: An inquiry into the possibility of environmental justice. Examination of the politics of subsistence rights, sustainability, and the environmental movement.

POLS-371  Political Psychology

Explanation of political attitudes and behavior based on individual and group psychology. Various psychological theories explaining political behavior are examined, as well as a wide variety of issues including war, terrorism, leadership, voting behavior and differences in elite and mass decision making. Prerequisite: junior standing or higher or permission of instructor. Offered every 2-3 years. 4 credits (IS)

POLS-372  Islamist Movements In Middle Eastern Politics

Consideration of the various forms taken by Islamist movements as influenced by the country contexts within which they are embedded. Comparative methodology is used to examine important similarities and differences across movements and country cases to explain political outcomes, such as violence or moderation. Prerequisite: 210 or consent of instructor. 4 credits (IS or GP)

POLS-373  The Politics of European Integration (also Listed As MLGR 373)

Fundamental definitions, facts, and concepts relating to European integration. History of European integration from 1945 to the present. Strengths and weaknesses of the current political and economics institutions at both the national and transnational level. Prospects for a further (dis)continuation of the integration process. Offered fall in Vienna. 4 credits (GP)

POLS-380  Topics In Political Theory

Advanced seminar in political theory. Varying topics such as concepts of justice, order, authority, ethics, and other subjects central to political theory. Prerequisite: 220 or consent of instructor. Offered fall. 4 credits (UQ) 

POLS-384  U.S. Foreign Policy

History, conduct, and politics of U.S. foreign policy. Specific current problems used to highlight connections between past and present, illuminating domestic political determinants of foreign policy and promoting civic engagement. Prerequisite: 210 strongly recommended. 4 credits (IS or VP)

POLS-385  Topics In Comparative Politics

 Comparison of the major political institutions and processes of nations in the same region, or of one nation with those of the United States and other nations with which a student is familiar. Possible foci: Britain, Canada, Germany, Latin America, Africa, and Western Europe. Prerequisite: pending. 4 credits. (IS or GP)

POLS-389 Senior Project 

Intensive research on a topic of special interest as preparation for senior seminar. Includes multi- stage writing process and presentations, along with research guid- ance and collaborative writing support. Should be taken during the senior year.
Offered every fall. 3 credits. 

POLS-390  Comparative Politics

Domestic political systems of various world regions, including Western Europe, former Communist countries, and developing countries in a framework of comparative analysis. Attention to understanding how modern political systems try to resolve domestic and international problems. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or higher. 4 credits (IS or GP) 

POLS-450  Jan Term In Washington DC

Opportunities to learn how Washington works, including site visits to key institutions, briefings with members of the media, study of legislative and executive branches of government, and research projects. 5 credits

POLS-480  Independent Study

For students wanting to investigate further topics of interest developed in regular courses or desiring to study material not specifically addressed in other courses. 1-5 credits

POLS-487  Experiences In Politics: Internship

Strongly recommended during junior year. Prerequisite: instructor approval. 3 credits (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) (EL)

POLS-489  Senior Project

Intensive research on a topic of special interest as preparation for senior seminar. Includes multi-stage writing process and presentations, along with research guidance and collaborative writing support. Should be taken during the senior year. Offered every fall. 2 credits. 

POLS-490  Senior Seminar

Capstone course in Political Science, includes instruction on research design, appropriate research methods in different subfields, peer review workshops, professional development workshops. Successful completion requires integrative thesis paper, or departmental honors thesis and oral defense of research. Prerequisite: 230, senior standing and Political Science major status. Offered spring. 4 credits (MWI)

POLS-498  Proseminar

Further investigation of topics developed in regular elective departmental courses that students elect to pursue as proseminars. (Registration required in both the course in question and the proseminar) Open to juniors and seniors or with consent of the instructor. Corequisite: take concurrently with corresponding lecture. 1 credit (MWI)

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