Spring 2017   Fall 2016  

Spring 2017

POLI 100-01

US Politics

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: CARN 206
  • Instructor: STAFF

Notes: An analysis of the major ideas, actors, institutions, and processes that shape the formulation and execution of public policy in the United States. (4 credits)

Foundations Courses: Courses numbered in the 100s are Foundations courses. These courses are designed principally for beginning political science majors, as well as non-majors seeking an introduction to the discipline's various sub-fields. The purpose of these courses is threefold: To provide foundational knowledge of the key actors, structures, institutions and/or historical dynamics relevant to the respective sub-fields; to introduce the major theoretical trends, perspectives and debates that have shaped the evolution of the respective sub-fields; and to begin to develop a range of practical competencies (esp. research/writing skills) essential to further scholarly inquiry within the discipline of political science.


POLI 120-01

International Politics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 03:30 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: CARN 204
  • Instructor: Charmaine Chua

Notes: This course has three broad goals. The first is to develop the foundational knowledge and conceptual literacy necessary to engage with International Relations' multidimensional concerns. These include issues such as world order, power, hierarchy, political violence, international law, development, religion, human rights, gender, humanitarianism and international organizations (such as the United Nations). The second is to introduce students to the different perspectives or intellectual frameworks for making sense of international relations (also known as global or world politics), including realist, liberal, constructivist, historical materialist, postcolonial and feminist approaches. The third is to encourage students to reflect on some of the ethical issues inherent in both the study and practice of international politics. Emphasis will also be placed on developing a range of critical, analytical, research and writing skills required for the further study of international politics. The course is thus intended to prepare students for advanced work in the field, although it is also appropriate for those merely seeking to satisfy an interest in the study of global politics. (4 credits)

Foundations Courses: Courses numbered in the 100s are Foundations courses. These courses are designed principally for beginning political science majors, as well as non-majors seeking an introduction to the discipline's various sub-fields. The purpose of these courses is threefold: To provide foundational knowledge of the key actors, structures, institutions and/or historical dynamics relevant to the respective sub-fields; to introduce the major theoretical trends, perspectives and debates that have shaped the evolution of the respective sub-fields; and to begin to develop a range of practical competencies (esp. research/writing skills) essential to further scholarly inquiry within the discipline of political science.


POLI 140-01

Comparative Politics

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: NEILL 212
  • Instructor: Paul Dosh

Notes: In Comparative Politics we use comparison to analyze political outcomes within and across countries, Why do Mexican presidents exercise strong centralized authority while Brazilian presidents must contend with powerful governors? Why do Muslims and Hindus fight in some Indian states but not in others? Why does Rwanda have such a high proportion of female legislators whereas the U.S. has such a low proportion? When confronted with large-scale protests in their cities, do state security forces in China, Russia, and the United States respond with similar methods or do they differ? Through comparative analysis, students will learn to describe diverse political institutions, to propose explanations for divergent outcomes, and to evaluate scholarly and popular arguments about politics. (4 credits)

POLI 160-01

Foundations of Political Theory

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: CARN 105
  • Instructor: Charmaine Chua

Notes: An examination of the evolution of fundamental western political ideas from the Greeks to the present. (4 credits)

Foundations Courses: Courses numbered in the 100s are Foundations courses. These courses are designed principally for beginning political science majors, as well as non-majors seeking an introduction to the discipline's various sub-fields. The purpose of these courses is threefold: To provide foundational knowledge of the key actors, structures, institutions and/or historical dynamics relevant to the respective sub-fields; to introduce the major theoretical trends, perspectives and debates that have shaped the evolution of the respective sub-fields; and to begin to develop a range of practical competencies (esp. research/writing skills) essential to further scholarly inquiry within the discipline of political science.


POLI 204-01

Urban Politics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: CARN 204
  • Instructor: Lesley Lavery

Notes: American urban politics, emphasizing urban policy problems, planning and decision-making . Politcal Science 100 recommened.

POLI 212-01

Rights and Wrongs: Litigation and Public Policy

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: NEILL 400
  • Instructor: Patrick Schmidt

Notes: This course explores the significance, possibilities and limits of litigation as a way of shaping public policy and society. Focusing mainly in the American context, the course connects two braod areas of interest: the rise of rights movements in the 20th century (from the NAACP to contemporary movements such as gay rights) and the use of class action lawsuits and tort law to compensate people for injuries or risk, especially in matters affecting public health (e.g. asbestos, tobacco). Related subjects discussed include the historical roots of litigation as an approach to social problems and government regulation as an alternative to litigation. (4 credits)

POLI 215-01

Environmental Politics/Policy

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: NEILL 304
  • Instructor: Roopali Phadke

Notes: *Cross-listed with ENVI 215-01; first day attendance required; ACTC students may register on the first day of class with permission of the instructor*

This course provides an introduction to the field of Environmental Politics and Policy. Using a comparative approach, the course engages the meaning and development of environmental governance. We will explore the tandem rise of the modern environmental movement and profound new environmental legislation in the U.S. and internationally. Topics investigated will include: deforestation, hazardous wastes, climate change, population growth, and loss of biodiversity. Fall semester. (4 credits)

POLI 216-01

Legislative Politics

  • Days: W
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room: CARN 204
  • Instructor: Julie Dolan

Notes: *Permission of instructor required*

This course explores legislative politics through a combination of academic theory and focused field experiences. Each student must simultaneously enroll in a credit-bearing internship at the Minnesota State Legislature. The class examines the basic structures, players and forces that shape legislative decision-making, the motivation or individual legislators, and their interactions with other political actors and institutions. This course is not available to First Year students. (4 credits)

POLI 222-01

Regional Conflict and Security: The Asia-Pacific Region

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: CARN 204
  • Instructor: Andrew Latham

Notes: This is a seminar on the challenges posed to US interests in the Asia-Pacific region, with a particular emphasis on the rise of China as an economic and military power, the “normalization” of Japan as a security actor, and on the challenges posed by North Korea to regional peace and security. It is organized around the following questions: What are the interests motivating US involvement in the Asia-Pacific? What are the challenges to US global and regional interests in the region? How well is the current US policy/strategy working to advance those interests? What realistic military, political, economic and diplomatic options are available to the US in the region? What strategic choices would you advise the Obama administration to make if it is to advance/defend key American interests in the region?

Throughout, seminar participants will approach these questions from the perspective of American policy practitioners seeking to craft a comprehensive strategy that advances US interests in the region and the world. The goal is not only to deepen participants’ understanding of the complexities of the security challenges in the region, but also to enhance their appreciation of challenges faced by the public officials charged with dealing with those complexities.

As an intermediate-level offering, this course is designed primarily for Political Science majors and non-majors in cognate fields who have some experience in the discipline. The course has no pre-requisites, however, and is therefore suitable to all students seeking to satisfy an interest in US foreign policy and/or the security situation in the Asia-Pacific region.


POLI 245-01

Latin American Politics

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: NEILL 212
  • Instructor: Paul Dosh

Notes: *Cross-listed with LATI 245-01*

Comparative study of political institutions and conflicts in several Latin American countries. Through a mix of empirical and theoretical work, we analyze concepts and issues such as authoritarianism and democratization, neoliberalism, state terror and peace processes, guerrilla movements, party systems, populism, the Cuban Revolution, and U.S. military intervention. Themes are explored through diverse teaching methods including discussion, debates, simulations, partisan narratives, lecture, film, and poetry. This class employs an innovative system of qualitative assessment. Students take the course "S/SD/N with Written Evaluation." This provides a powerful opportunity for students to stretch their limits in a learning community with high expectations, but without a high-presure atmosphere. This ungraded course has been approved for inclusion on major/minor/concentration plans in Political Science, Latin American Studies, and Human Rights and Humanitarianism. Cross-listed with Latin American Studies 245. (4 credits)


POLI 261-01

Feminist Political Theory

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: CARN 206
  • Instructor: Zornitsa Keremidchieva

Notes: *Cross-listed with WGSS 261-01*

Analysis of contemporary feminist theories regarding gender identity, biological and socio-cultural influences on subjectivity and knowledge, and relations between the personal and the political. (4 credits). Cross-listed with Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies 261.

POLI 269-01

Empirical Research Methods

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: NEILL 213
  • Instructor: Lesley Lavery

Notes: Strategies and tactics of design, observation, description, and measurement in contemporary political research. (4 credits) Empirical Methods: The department requires its majors to take one course in empirical research methodology, preferably before their junior year. There are a number of courses that fulfill this requirement, including: Political Science 269 (Empirical Research Methods), Political Science 272 (Researching Political Communication), Sociology 269 (Science and Social Inquiry), Sociology 270 (Interpretive Social Research), Sociology 275 (Comparative-Historical Sociology). In some cases, research methods courses taken in other social science disciplines may be used to fulfill this requirement following approval by the political science department chair.

POLI 294-01

The Politics of Fear and Hope: Africa from Colonial Times to the “Cheetah Generation”

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: OLRI 101
  • Instructor: Lisa Mueller

Notes: The popular image of Africa is one of poverty, violence, and dictatorship. However, these outcomes vary over space and time. Why are some parts of Africa more politically and economically successful than others? Why are civil wars ending? Why is inequality rising? What is the significance of an emerging generation of “cheetahs”—young Africans with an entrepreneurial spirit and distaste for the corrupt political establishment? This is a course for students of all levels who wish to answer such questions. It will introduce concepts that are central to the study of African politics: neopatrimonialism, coethnicity, “politics of the belly,” and more.

POLI 294-03

Conservative and Liberal Political Thought

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: CARN 208
  • Instructor: Andrew Latham

Notes: This course deals with the conservative and liberal currents(s) running through the Western tradition of political thought from the time of the French Revolution to today. The main goal is to provide a solid introduction to these two bodies of philosophical speculation. Through a close reading of texts and commentaries, we will critically (though empathetically) examine the relevant works of thinkers such as John Locke, Thomas Paine, Edmund Burke, John Stuart Mill, John Henry Newman, Russell Kirk, William F. Buckley Jr., Leo Strauss, John Dewey, Friedrich von Hayek, Irving Kristol, Roger Scruton, Michael Oakshott, and Alasdair MacIntyre. The focus of our inquiries will be upon such fundamental topics such as “how should I lead my life?” (ethics), and “how should we lead our lives together?” (politics).

Important secondary goals of the course include:

1. Familiarizing students with the various “languages” or “idioms” of conservative and liberal political thought;

2. Helping students understand the great political debates between conservatives and liberals.

3. Applying both conservative and liberal political frames/concepts to a range of contemporary “hot-button” social and political issues.

As an intermediate-level offering, this course is designed primarily for Political Science majors and non-majors in cognate fields (such as Philosophy) who have some experience in the discipline. The course has no pre-requisites, however, and is therefore suitable for all students seeking to satisfy an interest in conservative and liberal political thought


POLI 294-04

Blood, Borders, and Belonging

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: CARN 204
  • Instructor: Lisa Mueller

Notes: This course examines the politics of nationality and nationalism in border zones. How do legal borders and maps define national identity? Does it matter whether the borders are endogenous or colonial, old or new, porous or fortified? Is conflict inevitable when national and state borders do not align? How do allegiances change when borders shift? We will read theoretical and empirical texts from political science, geography, history, anthropology, and law. Examples will span world regions.

POLI 294-05

Defining Black Politics Then and Now: Black Political Leadership/Mvts for Racial Equity

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: OLRI 100
  • Instructor: Brittany Lewis

Notes: *Cross-listed with AMST 294-04* This course will study Black political leadership and the politics of agenda setting in and outside social movements from the 19th to the 21st century. The course will start with first asking, Is President Barack Obama a Black leader or a leader who happens to be Black? And why does that matter to the Black community and its racial equity agenda? The exploration of this contemporary debate aims to illuminate the contentious political terrain that Obama enters as he walks on the heels of countless Black leaders before him. We will then dive immediately into questioning what then is Black politics? And what is the crisis of Black leadership then and now? This initial framing will guide the course as we review various periods of Black political development and the philosophical ruptures that existed between individuals, movements, and shifts in the U.S. political and economic landscape necessitating a new political agenda.

POLI 294-06

Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: MAIN 003
  • Instructor: William Wilcox

Notes: *Cross-listed with PHIL 321-01* This course will focus on some central topics in contemporary Anglo-American (or "analytic") social and political philosophy. Likely topics would include an examination of John Rawls's theory of justice and the work of critics of that theory, the value of equality, and issues about global justice.

POLI 320-01

Global Political Economy

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: CARN 305
  • Instructor: Charmaine Chua

Notes: *Sophomore standing or permission of instructor required; cross-listed with INTL 320-01*

Traces the evolution of (global) political economy as a peculiarly modern way of understanding and organizing (global) social life. Particular attention will be paid to how the distinction between the political and the economic is drawn and implemented in interconnected ways within nation-states and in international society. Course includes a detailed study of one of the key components of the international political economy: international trade, international finance, technological processes, etc. Political Science 120 recommended. Cross-listed with International Studies 320. (4 credits)


POLI 352-01

Transitional Justice

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: CARN 404
  • Instructor: Nadya Nedelsky

Notes: *Cross-listed with INTL 352-01*

This course explores the rapidly evolving field of transitional justice, examining how and why regimes respond to wide-scale past human rights abuses. Drawing on examples worldwide, it asks why states choose particular strategies and examines a variety of goals (truth, justice, reconciliation, democracy-building), approaches (trials, truth commissions, file access, memorialization, reparation, rewriting histories), actors (state, civil society, religious institutions), experiences, results, and controversies. Cross-listed with International Studies 352. (4 credits)

POLI 390-01

Chuck Green Civic Engagement Fellowship

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: CARN 208
  • Instructor: Patrick Schmidt

Notes: *Permission of instructor required*

In his 40-year career at Macalester, Professor Chuck Green functioned as a one-man `leadership academy,¿ inspiring and guiding students to make the transition from detached observers to engaged citizens. Through his teaching, mentoring, and example, Professor Green instilled in students a sense of confidence and optimism about their ability to engage proactively in the world. The Chuck Green Civic Engagement Fellowship honors this legacy. Students with sophomore or junior standing may apply for this seven-month fellowship that includes a spring seminar and a full-time, fully-funded summer field experience. Chuck Green Fellows will study democratic engagement in social and organizational change, identify a client organization working for the public good with whom the student can analyze and address a problem, and then work with that client on a mutually agreed-upon solution. The Fellowship culminates in the early fall with an event in which Fellows, faculty, and clients have an opportunity to reflect on the fellowship experience. The Fellowship fulfills both the practicum and advanced course requirements of the political science major. Contact the political science department for a full description and application. (4 credits)

POLI 394-01

Policymaking in the 4th Branch

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: CARN 208
  • Instructor: Julie Dolan

Notes: *Sophomore standing or permission of instructor required* Six years before the national controversy over transgender bathrooms erupted in 2016, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quietly changed State Department rules to allow transgender individuals to register their gender identity on their passports. As an unelected official, how could she enact such a sweeping policy change? This course examines the role that members of the federal bureaucracy, like Secretary Clinton, play in setting policy agendas, writing rules and regulations that have the force of law, implementing laws on the books, enforcing compliance with existing laws, and expanding opportunities for Americans to participate in governance. Employing over 2 million civil servants and thousands of presidential appointees, the fourth branch of government plays a major role in US policymaking today, but in ways that are largely invisible to the public.

POLI 394-02

Immigrants and Refugees in Minnesota: Research Praticum

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: CARN 208
  • Instructor: Zornitsa Keremidchieva

Notes: *Sophomore standing or permission of instructor required* Through a collaboration with the International Institute of Minnesota and the Immigration History Research Center, this research practicum will provide you with an intimate view of the past and current pathways of immigrants and refugees in Minnesota. You will develop skills in archival research, digital liberal arts tools, and narrative analysis as we work to recreate, communicate, and draw lessons from the the complex experiences of individuals and groups of people who have made Minnesota the diverse and dynamic state that it is today. Through our collaborative research, we will explore the palpable ways in which immigration policies and procedures shape human lives. We will then juxtapose our findings to common public narratives about immigrants and refugees in the U.S. and discuss the ethical boundaries and obligations of engaged scholarship.

POLI 394-04

Boundaries of Political Community: Political Theory Appr to Human, Animals and Cyborgs

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: OLRI 370
  • Instructor: Althea Sircar

Notes: *Sophomore standing or permission of instructor required* Why do non-human animals and other beings matter for politics? How do we understand the political subject or the idea of citizenship in an increasingly hybrid and technological world? How do human beings relate to other living and non-living entities? These questions have deep roots. Human beings have defined themselves in relation to animals, plants, gods, and machines for a very long time. In addition, while many claim that they can explain “human nature,” there is a lot of disagreement in science, philosophy, religion, literature, and politics about what this “nature” is. At the same time, ecological and technological change continue to shape our understanding of the interdependence of human, animal, and plant life. Just as social theorists have argued for millennia about the most ethical and harmonious ways to structure human societies, twenty-first century thinkers are asking about what it

means to live in societies comprised of humans, animals, cyborgs, and possible hybrids of these. We will join these thinkers in this project, examining relationships between humans and nonhuman entities from multiple perspectives. Our readings will range from the ancient to very contemporary. Since these questions matter in many parts of social life, we will consider how cinematic, literary, and visual representations of the human and its boundaries relate to the ongoing project of defining who and what matters in politics.


POLI 404-01

Honors Colloquium

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 08:00 am-09:30 am
  • Room: CARN 404
  • Instructor: Patrick Schmidt

Notes: *Sophomore standing or permission of instructor required; 2 credit course*

A workshop for students pursing honors projects in the political science department. S/N grading only. (2 credits)


Fall 2016

POLI 100-01

US Politics

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: NEILL 401
  • Instructor: Michael Zis

Notes: An analysis of the major ideas, actors, institutions, and processes that shape the formulation and execution of public policy in the United States. (4 credits)

Foundations Courses: Courses numbered in the 100s are Foundations courses. These courses are designed principally for beginning political science majors, as well as non-majors seeking an introduction to the discipline's various sub-fields. The purpose of these courses is threefold: To provide foundational knowledge of the key actors, structures, institutions and/or historical dynamics relevant to the respective sub-fields; to introduce the major theoretical trends, perspectives and debates that have shaped the evolution of the respective sub-fields; and to begin to develop a range of practical competencies (esp. research/writing skills) essential to further scholarly inquiry within the discipline of political science.


POLI 120-01

International Politics

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: CARN 304
  • Instructor: Charmaine Chua

Notes: This course has three broad goals. The first is to develop the foundational knowledge and conceptual literacy necessary to engage with International Relations' multidimensional concerns. These include issues such as world order, power, hierarchy, political violence, international law, development, religion, human rights, gender, humanitarianism and international organizations (such as the United Nations). The second is to introduce students to the different perspectives or intellectual frameworks for making sense of international relations (also known as global or world politics), including realist, liberal, constructivist, historical materialist, postcolonial and feminist approaches. The third is to encourage students to reflect on some of the ethical issues inherent in both the study and practice of international politics. Emphasis will also be placed on developing a range of critical, analytical, research and writing skills required for the further study of international politics. The course is thus intended to prepare students for advanced work in the field, although it is also appropriate for those merely seeking to satisfy an interest in the study of global politics. (4 credits)

Foundations Courses: Courses numbered in the 100s are Foundations courses. These courses are designed principally for beginning political science majors, as well as non-majors seeking an introduction to the discipline's various sub-fields. The purpose of these courses is threefold: To provide foundational knowledge of the key actors, structures, institutions and/or historical dynamics relevant to the respective sub-fields; to introduce the major theoretical trends, perspectives and debates that have shaped the evolution of the respective sub-fields; and to begin to develop a range of practical competencies (esp. research/writing skills) essential to further scholarly inquiry within the discipline of political science.


POLI 140-01

Comparative Politics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: CARN 204
  • Instructor: Lisa Mueller

Notes: In Comparative Politics we use comparison to analyze political outcomes within and across countries, Why do Mexican presidents exercise strong centralized authority while Brazilian presidents must contend with powerful governors? Why do Muslims and Hindus fight in some Indian states but not in others? Why does Rwanda have such a high proportion of female legislators whereas the U.S. has such a low proportion? When confronted with large-scale protests in their cities, do state security forces in China, Russia, and the United States respond with similar methods or do they differ? Through comparative analysis, students will learn to describe diverse political institutions, to propose explanations for divergent outcomes, and to evaluate scholarly and popular arguments about politics. (4 credits)

POLI 140-02

Comparative Politics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: NEILL 402
  • Instructor: Lisa Mueller

Notes: In Comparative Politics we use comparison to analyze political outcomes within and across countries, Why do Mexican presidents exercise strong centralized authority while Brazilian presidents must contend with powerful governors? Why do Muslims and Hindus fight in some Indian states but not in others? Why does Rwanda have such a high proportion of female legislators whereas the U.S. has such a low proportion? When confronted with large-scale protests in their cities, do state security forces in China, Russia, and the United States respond with similar methods or do they differ? Through comparative analysis, students will learn to describe diverse political institutions, to propose explanations for divergent outcomes, and to evaluate scholarly and popular arguments about politics. (4 credits)

POLI 141-01

Latin America Through Women's Eyes

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: NEILL 214
  • Instructor: Paul Dosh

Notes: *Cross-listed with LATI 141-01 and WGSS 141-01*

Latin American women have overcome patriarchal "machismo" to serve as presidents, mayors, guerilla leaders, union organizers, artists, intellectuals, and human rights activists. Through a mix of theoretical, empirical, and testimonial work, we will explore issues such as feminist challenges to military rule in Chile, anti-feminist politics in Nicaragua, the intersection of gender and democratization in Cuba, and women's organizing and civil war in Colombia. Teaching methods include discussion, debates, simulations, analytic papers, partisan narratives, lecture, film, poetry, and a biographical essay. This class employs an innovative system of qualitative assessment. Students take the course "S/SD/N with Written Evaluation." This provides a powerful opportunity for students to stretch their limits in a learning community with high expectations, but without a high-pressure atmosphere. This ungraded course has been approved for inclusion on major/minor plans in Political Science, Latin American Studies, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Cross-listed as Latin American Studies 141 and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 141. (4 credits)

POLI 160-01

Foundations of Political Theory

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: CARN 204
  • Instructor: Althea Sircar

Notes: An examination of the evolution of fundamental western political ideas from the Greeks to the present. (4 credits)

Foundations Courses: Courses numbered in the 100s are Foundations courses. These courses are designed principally for beginning political science majors, as well as non-majors seeking an introduction to the discipline's various sub-fields. The purpose of these courses is threefold: To provide foundational knowledge of the key actors, structures, institutions and/or historical dynamics relevant to the respective sub-fields; to introduce the major theoretical trends, perspectives and debates that have shaped the evolution of the respective sub-fields; and to begin to develop a range of practical competencies (esp. research/writing skills) essential to further scholarly inquiry within the discipline of political science.


POLI 202-01

Political Participation: Politics and Mathematics of Elections

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: CARN 06A
  • Instructor: Dolan, Saxe

Notes: *Cross-listed with MATH 194-02; ACTC students may register on April 29th with permission of the instructor* It’s almost fall 2016 and the presidential election is looking an exciting one! Who else is up for election? How do elections work in the U.S. and in other democracies? What is meant by a ‘representative’ democracy? How is it decided how many Congressional representatives each state has? What are the costs and benefits of political participation? This course will focus on the various ways in which mathematics and political science interact. Topics covered will include the role of elections and representative government in the United States, comparison of electoral systems used around the world, the apportionment problem, redistricting and gerrymandering, weighted voting systems and voting power, the costs and benefits associated with political participation, and predicting electoral outcomes. Work during the semester will include some ‘math’ problems (associated, for example, with weighted voting); student presentations on Congressional races that we will follow leading up to election day; and several short written assignments. NOTE: Course counts as social science general distribution if registered for as POLI 202 and math/natural science general distribution if registered for as MATH 194-02.


POLI 205-01

Politics and Policymaking

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: NEILL 215
  • Instructor: Lesley Lavery

Notes: *First Year Course only* This course examines the American public policy process through a case study approach. We will examine policy formation and implementation and focus on the role and interaction of national and state institutions. The United States government is a large, complex system of multiple institutions that share power and authority and govern across multiple issue dimensions. To understand the policy process in this context, the course casts a wide net. We will begin with an examination of foundational theories of the policy process. We will then immerse ourselves in several case studies designed to engage these theories and explore their practical application. In addition to the cases studied together each student will become an “expert” on a particular policy area.

POLI 205-02

Politics and Policymaking

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: CARN 404
  • Instructor: Lesley Lavery

Notes: This course examines the American public policy process through a case study approach. Attention will be paid to issues of policy formation and implementation with a focus on the role and interaction of national and state institutions. The United States government is a large, complex system of multiple institutions that share power and authority and govern across multiple issue dimensions. To understand the policy process in this context we will 1) Discuss foundational theories of the policy process; 2) Examine several case studies designed to engage these theories and debate their practical application, and 3) Become “experts” in a particular policy area as each student prepares a presentation on that topic and presents politically viable solutions. This course will focus on writing for a variety of audiences and leave students well-prepared to apply for policy-oriented scholarships, fellowships and jobs. Offered only in the fall. (4 Credits)

POLI 221-01

Global Governance

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: CARN 204
  • Instructor: Wendy Weber

Notes: This course is designed to introduce students to global governance. It begins with a discussion of the concept of global governance. It then turns to some of the central features of contemporary global governance, including the changing status of the state and of international/world organizations and the role of global civil society. The emphasis here is on how patterns of global governance have changed and are changing and on the implications of these changes for democracy, social justice, etc. The remainder of the course focuses on the areas of international peace and security, human rights and international humanitarian law, and economic governance. By addressing such topics as the International Criminal Court and the role of the IMF and the World Bank in economic development, these parts of the course highlight the contested nature of global governance in each of the three issue areas. Political Science 120 recommended.(4 credits)

POLI 242-01

Political Economy of Development

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: CARN 204
  • Instructor: Lisa Mueller

Notes: This course will help you answer questions about politics and economics in the developing world. For example: What explains global disparities in peace and prosperity? Is democracy good for the poor? Does foreign aid work? Our main objective is to use social science to describe and explain development outcomes. Although we will also address what can be done to solve problems such as poverty and civil war, this course will not provide any panaceas. If you finish the term unsatisfied and frustrated, you will have done something right! You will have begun to understand the complexity of development issues, which will equip you to contribute in a sophisticated way to ongoing scholarly and policy-oriented debates. (4 credits)

POLI 265-01

Work, Wealth, Well-Being

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: CARN 06A
  • Instructor: David Blaney

Notes: Wealth has held an allure for many modern thinkers; the creation of a wealthy society often associated with "civilization" itself. The relationships among work, wealth and well-being are a perennial concern and have been central to the study of political economy, since its inception in the mid- to late-18th century. How does work produce wealth for the individual and for society? How, or when, does individual and social wealth translate into individual and/or social well-being? And, how does the character of work affect individual well-being or happiness? This course will examine the answers given to these questions (and myriad corollary questions) by writers within the political economy tradition. (4 credits)

POLI 269-01

Empirical Research Methods

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: CARN 206
  • Instructor: Julie Dolan

Notes: Strategies and tactics of design, observation, description, and measurement in contemporary political research. (4 credits) Empirical Methods: The department requires its majors to take one course in empirical research methodology, preferably before their junior year. There are a number of courses that fulfill this requirement, including: Political Science 269 (Empirical Research Methods), Political Science 272 (Researching Political Communication), Sociology 269 (Science and Social Inquiry), Sociology 270 (Interpretive Social Research), Sociology 275 (Comparative-Historical Sociology). In some cases, research methods courses taken in other social science disciplines may be used to fulfill this requirement following approval by the political science department chair.

POLI 270-01

Rhetoric of Campaigns and Election

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: NEILL 304
  • Instructor: Adrienne Christiansen

Notes: *First Year Course only* Students could hardly find a better time than Fall 2016 to study the role of campaign rhetoric (persuasion) in American politics. This presidential election has centered significantly on issues of race, class and gender and has seemingly unleashed Americans’ racism, misogyny and xenophobia. As citizens, how ought we respond to campaign discourse that demeans, denigrates, and dissembles?

The study of campaign rhetoric prompts us to ask important questions about this extraordinary election cycle:

· What should we make of Donald Trump, who countenances violence in his campaign speeches?

· How can communication theory explain Bernie Sanders’ phenomenal fundraising and electoral successes?

· Why have so many Republican candidates tried to mock and emasculate one another during their debate performances?

· Should the sound of Hillary Clinton’s voice or her sometimes serious demeanor disqualify her from becoming the first US female president?

· Why does the language of incivility run so rampant in this election?

We will also take up other questions that extend beyond 2016:

· How big a role do social media play in American elections?

· How important are campaign advertisements? Are they worth their massive cost?

· Why has the Supreme Court ruled that campaign contributions constitute political speech?

This course operates at two levels: 1) in class with your peers, you will analyze the wide variety of persuasive language, symbols, and communication strategies undertaken by presidential candidates; and 2) on your own, you will produce different types of campaign rhetoric for your assignments.

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that “the United States will become a majority-minority nation for the first time in 2043. While the non-Hispanic white population will remain the largest single group, no group will make up a majority.”[1] Each of you will act as if you have been hired as the campaign or communication manager for a “down ballot” candidate who is currently running for office. Bearing the Census Bureau’s demographic data in mind, I will encourage (but not require) you to produce your hypothetical campaign rhetoric assignments on behalf of a candidate who belongs to a new emigrant group or to an historically marginalized group. In this way, you will more fully understand the racial, gendered, and class dimensions of American politics and what it takes to elect public servants who better reflect America’s heterogeneous population.

Your assignments include producing press releases, a 30-second radio ad, a candidate stump speech, a prospectus for institutional donors, online fundraising appeals, campaign literature, and scripts for fundraising phone banks.

We will hear from a number of guest lecturers. These include candidates who are currently running for the US Congress, the Minnesota House of Representatives, and the Minnesota Senate, as well as a number of Macalest

POLI 272-01

Researching Political Communication

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: CARN 206
  • Instructor: Zornitsa Keremidchieva

Notes: A study of how presidents, politicians, and social movement activists worldwide use language and persuasive symbols to increase influence and affect political change. Students complete a semester-long project in which they analyze a significant political text utilizing descriptive-analytic, historical-contextual, critical, and interpretive research methods. (4 credits)

POLI 294-03

Asian Capitalisms

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: NEILL 226
  • Instructor: Charmaine Chua

Notes: In 2014, with very little fanfare, China took over the United States as the world’s largest economic power. Even though its economic performance has been erratic ever since, China’s rise has prompted many in the West to fear the possibility of a new global hegemony. Indeed, today the global center of economic and geopolitical gravity seems to be rapidly shifting towards countries like China and India, which just three decades ago were near the bottom of the economic heap. Does the dramatic ascent of China and India as global economic powers signal a turning point in the structure of the modern world economy? What, precisely, is 'miracular' about Asia’s success, and does it come, as Donald Trump and others so vociferously insist, at the expense of the well-being of the U.S. economy? Does China’s claim to be a “socialist” economy suggest an alternative model of economic development? Does it alter our conceptions of capitalism and market economies? Do we indeed live, as Margaret Thatcher insisted, in a world where “there is no alternative,” or do China and India’s models of growth suggest that another world is indeed possible? Yet, Asia’s spectacular rise is not without its own tensions and contradictions: its growth trajectories have been accompanied by sharp inequalities in human wellbeing and access to resources, economic stagnation and debt bubbles, depopulated ghost towns, its own forms of imperialism, and rising worker unrest and suicides accompanied by violent state efforts to neutralize dissent. By all these accounts, then, Asia’s place in the world economic system is anything but settled. This course will tackle some of these issues and questions that arise from Asia’s meteoric economic growth. We will read widely in political economy, world-systems theory and development theory, placing our theoretical questions alongside recent empirical research on China and India’s manufacturing industries and their roles in global supply chains, Foxconn and Indian farmer suicides, China’s imperialism in Africa, agro-industrialization, urban-rural migration, and much more.

POLI 294-04

Contemporary Politics of Race and Racialization in North America

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: CARN 107
  • Instructor: Althea Sircar

Notes: How and why does race matter politically in Canada, Mexico, and the United States? What are the historical, ideological, and cultural roots of the racial politics we observe today? Which political theories and interpretive frameworks help us to best understand the many ways race matters? How does race intersect with other internal or external markers of identity? In addressing these questions, our objects of study will be the philosophical and empirical origins of what David Theo Goldberg has called “The Racial State.” Starting from the settler-colonial context in North America but with an emphasis on twentieth and twenty-first century race politics, the course will examine theoretical approaches to the intersections of race, ethnicity, and gender. The course will include readings from writers concerned with Blackness, Chicanx/Mestizo/Latino/a identities, Indigeneity, and queer and feminist theory and practice. Students will be required to complete weekly ungraded writing assignments which will be used to generate class discussion, practice critical questioning, and clarify students’ ideas in preparation for longer essays.

POLI 301-01

Law, Economy, and Identity

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: CARN 208
  • Instructor: Patrick Schmidt

Notes: This seminar-style course explores American political development, examining how law, when influenced by economic ideologies or the focus of contests among economic interests, has had a significant impact on persons of identity. Topics include the property rights of women in early America, the law of slavery, and the legal development of Native American law, before reaching contemporary questions of inclusion and exclusion in law. Prior course work in American history, political science, or legal studies strongly recommended. (4 credits)

POLI 322-01

Advanced International Theory

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 03:30 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: CARN 204
  • Instructor: David Blaney

Notes: This course is designed to introduce students to the study of international relations theory as an academic discipline. It is intended to prepare students for graduate work in the field, but should be appropriate for those merely seeking to satisfy an interest in international relations theory. The course is intended primarily for advanced political science majors and non-majors in cognate fields who have significant experience in the discipline. It is expected that students will have taken Foundations of International Politics, a methods course, and at least one intermediate-level international relations course prior to beginning this course. (4 credits)

POLI 323-01

Humanitarianism in World Politics

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: NEILL 111
  • Instructor: Wendy Weber

Notes: The past two decades appear to have been very successful ones for humanitarianism. Funding for humanitarianism has skyrocketed; humanitarian organizations have expanded their public support, as well as their activities; and, increasingly, humanitarian issues have found a place at the center of policy decisions. It is also generally agreed that humanitarianism is in crisis owing to the growing awareness of the sometimes harmful effects of aid; the expansion of the concept of humanitarianism to include human rights, development, and peace-building; and the increasing involvement of states in humanitarian operations. This advanced-level course explores the nature and dilemmas of contemporary humanitarianism. (4 credits)

POLI 333-01

Power and Development in Africa

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: CARN 411
  • Instructor: Ahmed Samatar

Notes: *Cross-listed with INTL 301-01*

In a notable turn around, a significant number of African societies, in recent years, have experienced both economic growth and renewal of the spirit of women and men acting as citizens. These are commendable achievements. Yet, old quotidian urgencies such as precarious personal safety, hunger, poor health, and political disorder are still prevalent. This is the dialectic of development. This course explores these contradictions. Most of the attention will be given to the concepts of power, politics, and development in contemporary Africa. The course concludes with each student submitting a research paper on a specific problem

(e.g. environment, economic, social, cultural, political) confronting one country of the student's choice. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Cross-listed with International Studies 301. (4 credits)

POLI 341-01

Comparative Social Movements

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: NEILL 214
  • Instructor: Paul Dosh

Notes: *Cross-listed with LATI 341-01* Can the evolution of Occupy Wall Street help us anticipate the trajectory of Black Lives Matter? How did the Arab Spring and Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement deploy a similar tactical repertoire, yet provoke different outcomes? Did partisanship lead the peace movement to resist Bush’s “War on Terror” but shrug at Obama’s drone war? And does mobilization of identity explain how indigenous Bolivians ejected U.S. corporations and trounced the white power structure? This advanced research seminar engages theories that explain the origins and development of movements struggling for subsistence rights, labor rights, gender and sexuality rights, social rights, and racial and ethnic rights. Students planning to conduct social movements research while studying away may write a major research prospectus to launch that field research project.

POLI 400-01

Senior Research Seminar

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: CARN 404
  • Instructor: Wendy Weber

Notes: The research seminar is designed to fulfill partially the capstone experience requirement for political science majors. It is expected that students will have taken the required foundations, methods and intermediate courses prior to beginning the seminar. The goal of the Senior Research Seminar is to launch students on a culminating academic experience organized around the supervised independent study of a political science topic of particular interest and relevance to them. The Seminar is premised on the assumption that students will have a working familiarity with the foundational knowledge in the sub-field(s) relevant to their research project, a mastery of the practical skills introduced in the foundations courses and further developed in the intermediate courses, and a willingness to engage actively in a rigorous, sustained inquiry into an important topic. It is also premised on the assumption that students will take responsibility for managing their own self-directed learning processes. The Senior Research Seminar will normally involve one or more faculty members "coaching" students through the process of defining a significant and important political science research question, developing a thesis, designing an appropriate research program, and writing a substantial portion of a draft Honors thesis or senior independent project. Following successful completion of the Seminar, students participating in the Honors Program are required to enroll in political science independent project. Students not participating in the Honors Program who nevertheless wish to continue with their research should enroll in Political Science 614 (Senior Independent Project). (4 credits)

POLI 400-02

Senior Research Seminar

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: MARKIM 303
  • Instructor: Paul Dosh

Notes: The research seminar is designed to fulfill partially the capstone experience requirement for political science majors. It is expected that students will have taken the required foundations, methods and intermediate courses prior to beginning the seminar. The goal of the Senior Research Seminar is to launch students on a culminating academic experience organized around the supervised independent study of a political science topic of particular interest and relevance to them. The Seminar is premised on the assumption that students will have a working familiarity with the foundational knowledge in the sub-field(s) relevant to their research project, a mastery of the practical skills introduced in the foundations courses and further developed in the intermediate courses, and a willingness to engage actively in a rigorous, sustained inquiry into an important topic. It is also premised on the assumption that students will take responsibility for managing their own self-directed learning processes. The Senior Research Seminar will normally involve one or more faculty members "coaching" students through the process of defining a significant and important political science research question, developing a thesis, designing an appropriate research program, and writing a substantial portion of a draft Honors thesis or senior independent project. Following successful completion of the Seminar, students participating in the Honors Program are required to enroll in political science independent project. Students not participating in the Honors Program who nevertheless wish to continue with their research should enroll in Political Science 614 (Senior Independent Project). (4 credits)

POLI 400-03

Senior Research Seminar

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: CARN 404
  • Instructor: Lesley Lavery

Notes: The research seminar is designed to fulfill partially the capstone experience requirement for political science majors. It is expected that students will have taken the required foundations, methods and intermediate courses prior to beginning the seminar. The goal of the Senior Research Seminar is to launch students on a culminating academic experience organized around the supervised independent study of a political science topic of particular interest and relevance to them. The Seminar is premised on the assumption that students will have a working familiarity with the foundational knowledge in the sub-field(s) relevant to their research project, a mastery of the practical skills introduced in the foundations courses and further developed in the intermediate courses, and a willingness to engage actively in a rigorous, sustained inquiry into an important topic. It is also premised on the assumption that students will take responsibility for managing their own self-directed learning processes. The Senior Research Seminar will normally involve one or more faculty members "coaching" students through the process of defining a significant and important political science research question, developing a thesis, designing an appropriate research program, and writing a substantial portion of a draft Honors thesis or senior independent project. Following successful completion of the Seminar, students participating in the Honors Program are required to enroll in political science independent project. Students not participating in the Honors Program who nevertheless wish to continue with their research should enroll in Political Science 614 (Senior Independent Project). (4 credits)

POLI 404-01

Honors Colloquium

  • Days: R
  • Meeting Time: 08:00 am-09:30 am
  • Room: CARN 204
  • Instructor: Patrick Schmidt

Notes: *2 credit course*

A workshop for students pursing honors projects in the political science department. S/N grading only. (2 credits)