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Political Science


Following is a comprehensive list of courses offered by the Department of Political Science.  Please check the SCHEDULE OF CLASSES for a listing of the courses offered this semester.

Core Courses
10100: United States Politics and Government
An analysis of processes, values and problems of American government and democracy. Special emphasis is given to national political institutions and issues. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

10101: American Government and Politics
For students enrolled in the Freshman Honors Program. This course covers more intensively and more comprehensively the subject matter of Political Science 10100. The student is expected to read several additional books, prepare papers, and participate actively in class discussions. 3 hr./wk.; 4 cr.

21002: Politics and Leadership
The dynamics and dilemmas of leadership and power. Various definitions of politics and systems of government will be related to current political controversies. Use of case studies, novels, films, essays, and other materials to illustrate political processes and concepts. Satisfies requirements of discipline-based writing course. Prereq.: satisfactory completion of English 11000. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

Introductory Courses
The following introductory electives are expected to serve as prerequisites to further study in a subfield. Thus the Introduction to World Politics should be taken before enrolling in a more advanced International Politics course. Introduction to the Legal Process is a prerequisite to courses in Law, and so on. Additional prerequisites may be listed under some courses and may be waived only with the permission of the Instructor or the Department Chair.

10400: Introduction to World Politics
Major patterns of contemporary world politics and the basic analytic tools for examining them that have been developed by students of comparative politics and international relations. The course will examine competing ideologies and systems of governance, patterns of international conflict and cooperation, and causes of the rise, fall and transformation of systems of world politics. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

12400: Political Ideas and Issues
The relevance of political theory in the examination and solution of current political controversies. The course will cover such themes as justice, legitimacy, civil liberties, civil disobedience, the nature of man, society and the state. Focus will be on great writings in political thought from all periods. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

12500: Introduction to Public Policy

Contemporary public policy. How policy issues are formulated, resolved and evaluated. The major techniques of policy analysis and public affairs research, with emphasis on the social and political contexts of policy problems. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

12600: Introduction to the Legal Process

The basic institutions, procedures and theory of the administration of justice. Students examine typical proceedings, civil and criminal, and the operation of administrative as well as judicial tribunals. The legal process in relation to the American political system. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

Elective Courses
The prerequisite for all electives is Political Science 10100 or permission of the instructor. Additional prerequisites may be listed under some courses.

I. United States Politics and Government

20700: The Politics of Criminal and Civil Justice

The uses and limitations of law as a vehicle for achieving and securing a just political and social order. Special attention to the persistence of discrimination and inequality in the establishment and operation of legal systems. Prereq.: Pol Sci 10100, 12600, or permission of the instructor. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

20800: American Political Thought I: 1620-1865
The origins and development of American political thought from the Puritan times to the end of the Civil War. The course will include study of basic themes in American thought: the scope and bounds of legitimate government power, majority rule and minority rights, federalism and centralization, participatory democracy, checks and balances, religious freedom and separation of church and state. Also counts as a political theory and philosophy course. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

20900: American Political Thought II: 1865-Present
The development of American political thought from the end of the Civil War to the present. The course will include study of major political issues emergent since Reconstruction: race and gender issues, immigration, urbanization, multiculturalism, business-government relations, management of the American economy, and America’s relationship to the world. Also counts as a political theory and philosophy course. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

21000: Urban Politics
The politics and policy problems of urban areas throughout the United States. Emphasis on both the central cities and their suburbs, as well as their relationships to state governments and national institutions. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

21100: New York Politics
The government and politics of New York City and State. An analysis of the processes, values and problems of contemporary New York and of the relationships between the City and rest of the State. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

21200: Constitutional Law, The Federal System

Survey of the historical and political role of the Supreme Court, focusing on leading decisions. These deal with central problems of judicial review and democracy, the federal system, and the scope and limits of congressional and presidential power. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

21300: Constitutional Law, Individual Liberties
The conflicts between majority rule and minority rights in leading Supreme Court decisions. Major attention to the more recent decisions concerning freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and other civil liberties, as well as social legislation and regulation of business. Prereq.: Pol Sci 21200 or permission of the instructor. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

21600: Political Parties and Interest Groups
Interest groups and pressure politics. The rise of new groups in the political process. The nature and functions of parties under the American system of government; major and minor parties; party finance and political machines; national campaign issues and techniques. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

21700: Mass Media and Politics
The political questions raised by the growth, methods and technology of the mass media. Includes exploration of alternative theories of communication; the development of special media-oriented social roles and events; and the relationship between mass communication, symbolic politics, and political behavior at both the individual and societal level. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

22000: The Judiciary
How courts function in the political system. Examination of the motivations of judges, the social and cultural contexts of courtroom behavior, and role of the judiciary in policy-making. (W) 3 hr./wk.;
3 cr.

22100: The Congress

An examination of the role of legislative bodies in our political system. Organization, procedures and operations are the focus of the course. Case studies dealing with contemporary policy-making are integrated throughout the semester. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

22200: The Presidency
Assessment of the present and possible future role of the American presidency. The development of the office, its relationship to other institutions and politics, and contemporary problems. Topics include the duties of the President as Chief Executive, legislator, shaper of foreign policy, Commander-in-Chief, party leader, and head of state. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

22300: United States Foreign Policy

This course will examine the nature and instruments of American foreign policy with the aim of equipping the student with the tools to make his/her own evaluation. Emphasis will be on the interplay between “ideas” and “reality” in this nation’s approach to the outside world. Current foreign policy issues will be thoroughly examined. Also counts as an International Relations course. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

22400: An Introduction to Quantitative Data Literacy
The use and abuse of statistics in politics, journalism and the social sciences. Indices, such as crime and unemployment rates, and the use of statistical data in approaching policy problems and in studying political phenomena. Emphasis on the use and limitations of quantitative data as evidence for description and problem analysis. This course may not be substituted for a required course in mathematics, statistics or methodology. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

22600: Ethnic and Racial Politics in the United States
Detailed examination of cooperation and conflict among various ethnic groups. Particular attention will be paid to such topics as busing, affirmative action, neo-conservative thought, and comparative ethnic issues. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

22800: Policy Analysis
Designed to provide practical insights into the use of technical information and technical skills in the legislative and administrative processes of government. Designed especially for students in the School of Engineering and Architecture, this course is open by permission of the instructor to other interested students. Prereq.: Economics 10400 or 26400 or permission of the instructor. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

22900: Women and Politics
This course explores the theoretical underpinnings of contemporary feminism and analyzes the changing dimensions of women’s participation in American politics. Electoral, interest group, and elite level political involvement will be discussed and comparisons made with women’s political role in other nations. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

32200: Freedom of Expression Seminar

An advanced seminar examining the provisions of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that deal with freedom of expression from historical, theoretical, and doctrinal perspectives. Considers freedom of expression in the light of competing values such as equality and privacy. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

32400: The Politics of Protest

The emergence, development and ultimate impact of protest movements on politics and policy in American politics. Through an examination of several movements in the United States after World War II, such as the civil rights, women’s and anti-tax movements, the course will focus on three basic sets of questions: under what circumstances do dissident movements emerge? how do dissidents choose political tactics and strategies? and how do movements influence more conventional politics and policy? (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

II. Comparative Politics and Government

23000: Contemporary Comparative Politics
The basic problems of comparing different types of political systems and their institutions. Specific examples are taken from American, western European and the Communist experience, as well as from cases drawn from the developing world. (W)
3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

23100: European Politics and Government
Political processes in European countries viewed in terms of historical influences and contemporary social structure, and in comparison with American experience. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

23500: Introduction to the Politics of Developing Nations

Analysis of theories of development and their application in particular to the nations of the global south, the political, social and economic problems of developing countries, with particular emphasis on public policy choices. International economic influences (problems of foreign aid, trade and investment) as well as domestic influences on policy are discussed. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

23600: Latin American Political Systems
Contemporary political systems in selected countries. Emphasis upon the cultural environments, constitutional foundations, and practices, political and administrative patterns, political instability and revolution, the role of the family, church, army, intellectual and caudillo, and the relations of these governments with each other and the world. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

23700: Political Systems in Asia
The political institutions in the Far East and developments in Southeast Asia in the framework of world politics. Analyzes selected problems affecting six major powers: Japan, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Communist China and Russia-in-Asia. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

23900: Developing Political Systems in Africa
Events leading to independence, forms of government, politics and parties, sociological and economic factors, orientation and world politics. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

24000: Politics of Southern Africa
A survey of politics, race relations, and African nationalism south of the Zambezi: Angola, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, Botswana, and Swaziland. Special attention to South Africa, its relations with adjacent areas and other states north of the Zambezi and abroad, and the problems of revolutionary change. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

24500: Caribbean Politics

The course will focus on key actors and institutions shaping contemporary Caribbean politics and policy. Of particular importance will be the role of those actors and institutions, both domestic and transnational, in shaping development in the region. Case studies will be drawn from several islands to maximize the comparative nature of the course. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

35500: Environmental Politics; Comparative and Global Perspectives

Examines the rise of environmental consciousness and the key actors and institutions in environmental politics and policymaking at the domestic level. In particular such issues as global warming, ozone depletion, biodiversity, deforestation, and the links between environment and economic development are addressed. Latin America contains much of the planet’s rainforests and biodiversity, hence has a great concern for “green” environmental issues. It is also urbanizing at a rapid rate and must address the “brown” environmental issues associated with rapid city growth and industrialization. Many of the cases read and examples cited during the course are drawn from Latin American context. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

III. International Relations

20200: International Political Economy
An examination of the relationship between political and economic systems in selected industrialized and developing countries. Introduction to theories of political economy as they apply at the domestic and international levels. The course is designed to strengthen the students’ theoretical foundation for advanced study of world affairs and to prepare them for courses focusing on particular world problems or areas such as industrialized countries or development in poor countries of the Third World. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

25000: Contemporary International Politics

Introduction to the dynamics of international relations: power, types of international systems, East-West relations, the foreign policies of major powers and of the Third World, causes of conflict and the role of international law organization. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

25200: Theories of International Relations

Analysis of basic theoretical approaches at the individual, state, sub-systemic (regional) and systemic (international) levels. Includes discussion of personality and psychological approaches, decision-making, comparative foreign policy, regional integration, alliances, and the international system. Basic introduction to social science methodology as applied to international relations. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

25300: International Law
Development of the basic principles of international law, including those relating to war and peace. Special attention will be placed on the role of international law in international relations and recent legal problems in international politics: trade, the sea, terrorism, the redefinition of sovereignty, minority and human rights, and international criminal tribunals. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

25400: International Organizations

General and regional intergovernmental organizations, with emphasis on purposes, organs, functions and processes of the nited Nations; problems of conflict resolution, decolonization, disarmament, social and economic development and the application of international law are discussed. The National Model United Nations Simulation (Pol Sci 25500) may be taken as an adjunct to this course. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

25500: Model United Nations Internship
Simulation of the United Nations in class and at local level, leading to a national exercise, held partly at the U.N., which brings together college students from around the country, from Canada, Puerto Rico and Japan. Should be taken simultaneously with, or after, Pol Sci 25400. Open to other students only by permission of instructor. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

25600: Contemporary World Conflict
The psychological, sociological, cultural, economic and military sources of international conflict. Includes analyses of contemporary regional and global conflicts, and methods of conflict resolution, including negotiation, coersion, diplomacy and war. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

35700: International Relations in Selected Areas
A study of the foreign policies and interrelations of nations in selected areas; contacts, cooperation, and conflicts between areas will also be considered. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

IV. Political Theory and Philosophy

27300: Classical Political Thought

Ancient writers and the experiences of the ancient city-state will be studied with a view to their influence, validity and contemporary relevance. Readings will include Plato and Aristotle, among others. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

27400: Modern Political Thought: Up to 1848

Will explore some of the political, social and ethical ideas which arose out of the process of modernization as it first occurred in the West. Readings vary from term to term, but include some of the following: Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Diderot, Rousseau, Burke, Paine, Bentham, Hegel, Marx (early writings), Shakespeare, and novelists of the nineteenth century. There will be special emphasis on the Enlightenment and French Revolution. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

27500: Contemporary Political Thought: 1848 to the Present

Issues and ideas discussed will include: alienation, anomie, mass society, eclipse of community, bureaucratization, uses and abuses of technology, totalitarianism, and ambiguities of modernization. Readings may include Marx, Weber, Freud, Kafka, Arendt, Orwell, and other nineteenth and twentieth century thinkers. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

37600: Marxism
A study of Karl Marx’s social thought and political activity, and of other radical responses to modern capitalism. We will explore some of the “different roads to socialism” that have emerged in the twentieth century. There will be special emphasis on the contrast between democratic socialism and Leninism. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

37700: Judeo-Christian Political Thought

The contributions of Judeo-Christian thinking to the tradition of political thought in the West. The religious roots of radicalism, universalism, transcendentalism and individualism, as reflected in Old and New Testaments, and representative writers from the ancient, medieval and modern periods. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

V. Independent Study

30100-30200: Honors I-II
Honors will be granted to graduating seniors on the basis of a research paper and a comprehensive written examination taken in two fields of political science. Admission to the course requires (1) a 3.2 average in courses taken in the Social Sciences since the freshman year and (2) approval by the Department Honors Supervisor and the Dean. Apply in NAC 4/160 no later than December 10 in the Fall term or May 1 in the Spring term. (W) Honors I (30100), 3 cr.; Honors II (30200), 6 cr.

31000: Independent Readings and Research in Political Science
Designed to meet the special needs of individual students not met by existing courses. Requires approval of Department Chair and availability of an instructor willing to supervise the reading or research program before registering. 1-3 cr./sem.

VI. Special Topics in Political Science

31100-1500: Selected Topic Seminars in Political Science
Advanced study in limited registration seminars, the topics to be chosen from the area of American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory and methodology, and combinations of the above. Open to students only with the permission of the Department Chair. 2 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

31600-32000: Selected Topic Electives in Political Science
Advanced study in topics chosen from the areas of American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory and methodology, and combinations of the above. Prerequisites to be established by instructor. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

VII. Internships

32300: Legislative Internships
Offers students the opportunity to participate in the New York Assembly or Senate Internship Programs, or other legislative internships that combine practical experience and academic training. Credit varies, though typically 12 credits will be awarded for those students who successfully complete the programs offered by the New York State Legislature. Prereq.: junior or senior status and permission of the instructor.

32701 and 32702: Seminar Internship in Public and International Affairs

This course is part of a City University internship program designed for students interested in the practical aspects of government at city, state and federal levels, as well as in international organizations. 2 hr./wk., plus internship; 4 cr.