Courses

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 Political Science Courses

The following courses are required for Political Science majors. Although the department does not have prerequisites for its upper-level courses, we recommend that majors enroll in the core courses in each subfield before taking the high-level ones (for example, taking PSC 12400 Political Ideas and Issues before taking PSC 27400 Modern Political Thought.)

PSC 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.

PSC 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 PSC 10100. The student is expected to read several additional books, prepare papers, and participate actively in class discussions. 3 hr./wk.; 4 cr.

PSC 10400: Introduction to World Politics

Major patterns of contemporary world politics and the basic analytic tools for examining them that have been developed by scholars 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.

PSC 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.

 

Core Courses for Public Policy and Legal Studies Minors

The following courses are required for the minor degrees in Public Policy and Legal Studies. 

PSC 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. (NOTE: Required only for Public Policy minor. Not required for political science major.)

PSC 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. (NOTE: Required only for Legal Studies minor. Not required for political science major.)

 

Elective Political Science Courses

I. United States Politics

PSC 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. 

PSC 20800: American Political Thought 1

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.  3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 20900: American Political Thought 2

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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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.  3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 21200: Constitutional Law

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.  3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 21300: Civil 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..  3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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.  3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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.  3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 21800: Early American Political Development

Early American Political Development studies the institutional, intellectual, legal, and political development of the United States from the late colonial era through the time of Abraham Lincoln.  The questions at this course’s focus are: “Are we to be a nation?” and “What kind of nation are we to be?” The course examines a wide range of primary sources – including constitutions, laws, examples of political argument, and other documents – and a sampling of the best, most up-to-date scholarship. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 21900: African-American Political Thought

African American Political Thought studies the evolution of and contributions to political thought by African Americans from the early nineteenth century to modern times.  Questions at this course’s heart include: What is the relationship between African American political thought and American political thought?  What challenges does African American Political Thought pose for the American experiment and for such components of that experiment as the rule of law? 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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.  3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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.  3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 22400: Politics of Immigration

Provide a comparative overview of immigration as a political, economic, and social issue. It develops cumulative themes which define immigration from several perspectives, and builds to an analysis of policy options in the United States and elsewhere. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 26000: American Constitutional Development

This seminar examines the nature and scope of the powers of the federal judiciary, Congress, the presidency, and the relationship between the federal government and the states. One goal of this seminar is to emphasize that answers to questions about the proper ways in which to organize a political system around even the most fundamental principles -- such as separation of powers, federalism, representative democracy, liberty, equality, and the rule of law -- have changed throughout this country’s history. The modern constitutional regime is, in complex ways, vastly different from what the Framers of the Constitution imagined. These changes raise fascinating questions about methods of constitutional interpretation, as well as judicial and political fidelity to our constitutional regime – all of which will be covered through a review of these historical developments and the leading cases in the constitutional law canon. Open only to students participating in the Skadden, Arps program. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 26100: The Legal Profession

This seminar will explore the legal profession in the United States as it existed in the past and as it exists in the present.  Students will learn about the structure of the profession, different practice areas, and issues regarding women and minorities.  Guest speakers will directly address life as a lawyer in their specific fields.  Students will be assigned 5 papers throughout the semester.  Students are to meet with the seminar’s writing instructor, to develop and write these papers. Open only to students participating in the Skadden, Arps program. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 30200: US National Policy Making

This course examines the politics of public policy in the United States. It examines how America’s political institutions make public policy. Students will learn about specific policies, including Social Security, healthcare, poverty, affirmative action, criminal justice, education, environmental, immigration, tax and regulatory policy, among others. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 30300: Power, Inequality, and US Social Policy

This course examines the development of the American welfare state and current conflicts and political debates about its performance and future. The course aims to improve your understanding of the history of social welfare policies in the United States and the political challenges associated with changing these policies. Typically, one policy brief of 15 pages. Two essay exams and three oral classroom presentations. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 30800: Jurisprudence

In this seminar, we will address debates about judicial philosophy and legal reasoning, with a special focus on the law/politics distinction.  We will examine scholarship that asks how judges might be constrained in their decision-making – i.e., through precedent, deference to the elected branches, originalism, etc.  As we read work by Dworkin, Scalia, Breyer, critical legal scholars, and others, we will evaluate how the legal interpretation of the common law, statutes, and the Constitution differs from any other type of political decision, and explore what our conclusions imply for the ideology of the rule of law. Open only to students participating in the Skadden, Arps program. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr. 

PSC 30900: Advanced Legal Analysis

This innovative pre-law honors seminar has been designed by the Flom Professor, an experienced law school professor, to introduce Skadden Scholars to the topics and skills that are essential prerequisites for success as a law student:  legal research and writing, case review and outlining, variations on the Socratic method, doctrinal analysis, and the traditional law school exam hypothetical.  To prepare Skadden Scholars for the rigors of the law school curriculum, the seminar reading assignments include the leading law school casebooks for constitutional law (Sullivan & Gunther) and torts (Prosser), as well as supplementary readings on legal analysis and test-taking skills. Open only to students participating in the Skadden, Arps program. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 31450 and 31451: Powell Fellowship Seminar (1 & 2)

During the first semester, students participate in a seminar sequence introducing them to the public policy process. The introductory module on public policy teaches students about the nuts and bolts of the policy making process. In their second semester, students complete a similar module, introducing them to service based modules of social change. The public service module is made up of weekly seminar meetings supplemented by a 25 hours service project, designed to provide students with the opportunity to reflect on and deepen the information they receive in the seminar. In both the first and second semester, seminars are supplemented by regular workshops that build student's soft-skills in networking, public speaking, and resume writing. Prereq.: students must be participants in the Colin Powell Leadership Program. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 31505: The Media's Influence on Public Policy in the U.S.

This course looks at some of the ways the press influences how the American Political system functions, with a special focus on its role and impact in the development of public policy. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 31507: The Politics of Immigration

Provide a comparative overview of immigration as a political, economic, and social issue. It develops cumulative themes which define immigration from several perspectives, and builds to an analysis of policy options in the United States and elsewhere. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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? 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 32800: African-American Political Thought

This course will present an overview of the development of African-American political thought over the four centuries since people of African descent first came to North America. Subjects to be covered include the relationship between slavery and politics, the campaign by people of African descent against slavery and for citizenship and equal rights, the ambivalence of African-Americans about whether they are and can be true participants in American life, and the concept of ¿African-American¿ understood politically. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

 

II. Comparative Politics and Government

PSC 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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 23100: Political Systems of Europe 

Political processes in European countries viewed in terms of historical influences and contemporary social structure, and in comparison with American experience. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 23600: Political Systems of Latin America 

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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 23800 Political Systems of Africa

A broad overview of African politics with a focus on state formation and resistance to state formation. The course focuses on states because patterns of state formation profoundly shape a country's politics and the life course of its citizens. To understand the long history of state formation on the African continent, the course uses a mixture of academic, literary, and primary source readings. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 24000: Politics of Southern Africa

A survey of the politics, history, and international relations of the countries at the southern end of the African continent: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. Special attention will be paid to South Africa, its relations to its neighbors and the wider world, and problems of revolutionary change.  3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 24800: Middle East Politics and Government

This course offers students an introduction to Middle East politics. It will examine the various conceptual frameworks used to study the region, the political dynamics of pan-Arabism, Islam, and democratization. There will be a special focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 30500: Political Economy of Development

The course focuses on how political institutions affect economic outcomes, and how economic factors influence political institutions comparing it across countries, across regions, within the same country, and over time. We will study this by comparing how this is done in various countries and regions throughout the world within the context of development, that is, how societies achieve prosperity and well-being. We will examine the relationships between democracy, inequality, and development; the role of foreign aid and natural resources in political and economic development; the legacies of colonialism; and economic theories of civil conflict, among other things. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 34400: The Politics of Crime and Punishment

This course examines the relationship between crime, punishment and the state through a comparative lens. In doing so, it explores some of the diverse ways in which political leaders and their opponents have used crime and punishment to shape, extend, or resist state institutions over time. The class is comparative in nature which means material is primarily drawn from outside of the United States, though both the U.S. will be compared with the politics of other countries. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

 

III. International Relations

PSC 20200: Comparative 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. Preparation for advanced courses dealing with applications of such theories in particular problem or area settings. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 24700: Foreign Policy Decision Making

This course examines the factors that influence political leaders in making foreign policy both in the United States and elsewhere. It analyzes how decision-makers choose among various foreign policy options, and evaluates selected policies that have been conducted by a variety of large and small states.is course examines the factors that influence political leaders in making foreign policy both in the United States and elsewhere. It analyzes how decision-makers choose among various foreign policy options, and evaluates selected policies that have been conducted by a variety of large and small states.

PSC 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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 25400: International Organization

General and regional intergovernmental organizations, with emphasis on purposes, organs, functions and processes of the United 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 (PSC 25500) may be taken as an adjunct to this course. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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, PSC 25400. Open to other students only by permission of instructor. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 25500 Globalization and Global Governance

This course surveys key concepts, perspectives, and dimensions of globalization and examines new challenges to global governance. Global governance has traditionally been considered as the domain of government. However, globalization has undermined the power of government and increased complexity and uncertainty in global governance. We will examine the significant geopolitical, economic, and environmental changes which may reshape global governance brought about by these changes. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 25604: Contemporary World Conflict

The psychological, sociological, cultural, economic and military sources of international conflict. Includes analysis of contemporary regional and global conflicts, and methods of conflict resolution, including negotiation, coercion, diplomacy and war. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 31122: Human Rights

This class examines the development and implementation of human rights norms in the international system. It will explore the debates surrounding the concept of human rights in world politics and investigate legal, political and military efforts to implement these at the national, regional and international levels. Throughout the course we will consider the tension between international human rights and the principle of state sovereignty and whether there is a right and/or obligation for states and international institutions to intervene when human rights are violated. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 31607: Humanitarian Intervention

This course examines the history of mass atrocities, and the ways in which states, international institutions (principally the United Nations), and non-state organizations have responded to them, and the debate over armed humanitarian intervention. It starts with the early 20th century but focuses principally on the mass killings that have occurred since the end of the Cold War. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr. 

PSC 32500: International Security

This course offers an overview of the field of international security. Topics will include traditional threats to international security, such as interstate war, as well as today’s more diverse “garbage bag of threats,” including nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and failed states. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 32600: Nationalism, Identity and Ethnic Conflict

This course offers an overview of the field of international security. Topics will include traditional threats to international security, such as interstate war, as well as today’s more diverse “garbage bag of threats,” including nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and failed states. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 33500: Terrorism and World Politics

The course will examine international and domestic terrorism both theoretically and empirically. In particular, we will: (1) examine the various (and often competing) ways to define and conceptualize it, (2) explore how and why state and non-state actors employ terrorism, (3) investigate the various forms it takes, (4) examine how its use influences world politics, and (5) discuss the alternative responses by governments to the organizations promoting it. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 35600: Contemporary World Conflict

An advanced-level course focusing on the psychological, sociological, cultural, economic and military causes of inter-state and civil insecurity; methods of conflict resolution; and analyses of selected contemporary conflicts. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 35800: Humanitarian Intervention

This course examines the history of mass atrocities, and the ways in which states, international institutions (principally the United Nations), and non-state organizations have responded to them, and the debate over armed humanitarian intervention. It starts with the early 20th century but focuses principally on the mass killings that have occurred since the end of the Cold War.

PSC 39900: Peacemaking and Negotiations

This course will examine international negotiation and peacekeeping, from the United Nation’s first inception up to current operations in the field, focusing on the Middle East, Africa, Central America, the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia, East Timor, and elsewhere. We will study the role of both the UN and individual mediators in the peace process as well as the context and history of conflict in each of these regions.

 

IV. Political Theory and Philosophy

PSC 21125: Social Contract Theories

The concept of the social contract is one of the most vital ideas of the Enlightenment period that gave rise to the two revolutions that have done the most to shape the modern world:  the American Revolution and the French Revolution.  What does Social Contract theory state?  How does the social contract theory justify political obedience?  On a more contemporary note, is it possible to see the relevance of social contract theory today in a world of political extremism? 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 21304: Modern Freedom

This course explores how the European Enlightenment redefined the idea of human freedom. Unlike the classical world, the Enlightenment insisted on equality, thus paving the way for both the articulation of human rights and broader- based participation in the political process. We read works ranging from political tracts to short novels and prose-poems to explore how these ideas still shape our political world. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 27504: Contemporary Political Thought

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. 4 hr./wk.; 4 cr.

PSC 27700: Political Ideologies

This course aims to provide an introduction to the main ideologies that structure contemporary political conflict and debate. It is divided in two parts. After an introductory session on the definition of the concept of ideology, the first part is devoted to some of the ‘classical’ political ideologies that emerged over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries and still play a very prominent role in contemporary political conflicts and debates: liberalism, republicanism, socialism, conservatism and anarchism. The second part considers ideological currents that emerged most prominently over the course of the 20th century such as feminism, anti-racism and ecologism. The course ends with a session on the ideology of the ‘end of ideology’ as a way of gauging the question of the continued pertinence of the category of ideology in the 21st century. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 34000: Feminist Political Thought

This course reviews and analyzes key texts of feminist political thought, as well as some of the more traditional text that also consider women's "place" in the political sphere. This study is done against the background of women's attempts throughout history to carve a place for themselves in liberal policies that disregarded women's voices even as they justified their own existences by embracing ideas like "equality" and "human rights" for all human beings. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 37100: Social Contract Theories

The concept of the social contract is one of the most vital ideas of the Enlightenment period that gave rise to the two revolutions that have done the most to shape the modern world: the American Revolution and the French Revolution. What does Social Contract theory state? How does the social contract theory justify political obedience? On a more contemporary note, is it possible to see the relevance of social contract theory today in a world of political extremism?

PSC 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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 37900: Democracy and Its Critics

This course offers an introduction to the theory of democracy. It is divided into two parts: the first takes a historical approach, focusing on how this political form was designed and determined before the start of the "democratic age" in the nineteenth century. The second takes a more analytical approach, focusing on the debates within democratic theory, which have occurred during the twentieth century. The course aims to deepen understanding of the complexity and contest ability of democracy by exposing students to a variety of different perspectives.

PSC 38000: Feminist Political Thought

How does political thought change its form and direction when we consider it from a feminist perspective? How does adopting a feminist perspective on politics make a difference to how we think about and practice politics? In this course, we will read a wide range of political thinkers and scholars, from Harriet Taylor Mill and John Stuart Mill to such modern thinkers and writers as Mary Shanley and Drucilla Cornell, to study how feminist political thought has changed over time and how it has taken account of the changing roles of women in political thought and action.

 

V. General Electives

The following courses count for general Political Science elective credit.

PSC 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. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 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.

PSC 31051: Community-Based Research

The course introduces students to several different approaches to community-based research, and compares it to more standard social science research practices. The course introduces community-based and advocacy research tools, strategies and uses, and links them to a practicum with existing community organizations. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 31147: Community Organizing

This course introduces students to the practice and skills involved in community organizing, and combines readings, meetings with active community organizers in New York City, and several practical exercises in outreach, issue-identification, and campaign planning. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 31113: Argument and Evidence in Political Science

This course focuses on the construction of social science arguments, the joining of theory and literature with hypothesis development, and the joining of hypotheses with methods, data, and interpretation of results. Qualitative and quantitative methods in political science are introduced, and fundamental methodological debates and choices are presented. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 31450: Powell School Seminar I

During the first semester, students participate in a seminar sequence introducing them to the public policy process. The introductory module on public policy teaches students about the nuts and bolts of the policy making process. In their second semester, students complete a similar module, introducing them to service based modules of social change. The public service module is made up of weekly seminar meetings supplemented by a 25 hours service project, designed to provide students with the opportunity to reflect on and deepen the information they receive in the seminar. In both the first and second semester, seminars are supplemented by regular workshops that build student's soft-skills in networking, public speaking, and resume writing. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 31451: Powell School Seminar II

During the first semester, students participate in a seminar sequence introducing them to the public policy process. The introductory module on public policy teaches students about the nuts and bolts of the policy making process. In their second semester, students complete a similar module, introducing them to service based modules of social change. The public service module is made up of weekly seminar meetings supplemented by a 25 hours service project, designed to provide students with the opportunity to reflect on and deepen the information they receive in the seminar. In both the first and second semester, seminars are supplemented by regular workshops that build student's soft-skills in networking, public speaking, and resume writing. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

PSC 32701 & 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.  

 

Honors Program

Political Science majors may pursue an honors degree in the major by applying during the spring semester of their junior year. Admission to the program requires (1) a 3.2 average in courses taken in the Social Sciences and (2) approval by the Department Honors Supervisor. Those accepted into the program must write a senior thesis and enroll in the following courses during their senior year.

30600: Senior Honors Thesis I

First part of the year-long honors thesis course. Students learn to design and conduct their own research in political science in the first half of a two-semester thesis seminar sequence. Honors Thesis I covers key elements of research design such as literature reviews, developing research questions, choosing appropriate methods and data, and writing a proposal. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

30700: Senior Honors Thesis II 

Upon successful completion of PSC 31548, students continue their original research and present and criticize each other's work in a workshop format. Continual deadlines keep students on track writing a thesis of at least 45 pages. Pre-req: 3.2 or above GPA and successful completion of Honors Thesis I. 3 hr./wk.; 3cr. For further information, consult the supervisor of the Honors Program.