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Political Science

PO 101 U.S. Federal Government (4)
A survey of the principles, problems, structure, and functions of the United States federal government including the concept of democracy, the constitution, the federal system, civil and political rights, the party system, public opinion, pressure groups, governmental institutions, and public policies.

PO 150 World Politics (4)
An introduction to methods of analyzing the problems and processes of world politics, including consideration of the interests and perspectives of different countries, problems of international organization (including the United Nations), and current issues and events. Involves a U.N. simulation.

PO 180 Introduction to Comparative Politics (4)
An introduction to the study of political systems found outside the United States. The course uses different conceptual approaches to explore the political systems of Great Britain, France, China, and Japan. Highlights the ways in which the political institutions of these countries and the political attitudes of their citizens differ from those of the United States and each other.

PO 260 Political Psychology (4)
Political psychology is an exploding interdisciplinary field of study dedicated to understanding the psychological underpinnings of political cognition and political behavior. Researchers in this field use the tools of psychologists, behavioral economists, and cognitive scientists to study core questions about politics in novel and exciting new directions. Key questions answered in this course include: How is personality related to politics? Are politicians psychopathic? Are there psychological underpinnings of authoritarianism? Are there intuitive ethics and moral foundations that underlie all societies? Can humans overcome cognitive biases and prejudices in politics? Why are conspiracy theories so hard to combat?

PO 270 Biology and Politics (4)
This course explores the biological nature of our political behavior. Are human beings born to be political animals? The project of understanding the political self has always been interdisciplinary, and researchers today are increasingly turning to the biological sciences to seek better understanding of political cognition. This seminar begins with discussions of human beings as evolutionary political animals, and then proceeds into a deep investigation of how evolutionary theory, psychophysiology, genetics, and cognitive neuroscience contribute to our understanding of politics today.

PO 275 Campaigns and Elections (4)
A study of the nature of parties; the history, organization, and government of the American party system; suffrage and elections; political socialization and behavior; primaries and conventions; campaign techniques and finance; pressure groups.

PO 280 East Asian Politics (4)
This course explores the history and politics of China and Japan since the middle of the 19th century, with a comparative focus on the remarkable political and economic experiences of both countries. Current domestic and international issues in the region are examined as well.

PO 324 Survey of Political Philosophy (4) (See PH 324.)

PO 342 Public Finance (4) (See EC 342.)

PO 347 The Presidency and Congress (4)
A study of the basic institutional components of the Presidency and the Congress and the interrelationships between these two branches of government.

PO 369 Political Behavior (4)
Political behavior is the study of how people think and act politically. This course deeply investigates several important questions about people and politics: Is the mass public hopelessly divided by politics? Are American citizens knowledgeable about politics? Should we trust American citizens to elect good officials? Can misinformation hurt our democracy? In what ways do men and women operate differently in politics, as both voters and policy makers?

PO 379 Constitutional Law (4)
An examination of both the governmental foundations and individual rights and freedoms. Students will study the plain language of the U.S. Constitution, the evils that it sought to remedy, Supreme Court decisions applying that text to situations unimagined by its drafters, and current events. Students will learn how the Constitution impacts all Americans, from the artist to the anarchist, and the preacher to the police officer. This course requires extensive reading, analysis, classroom participation, and writing.

PO 383 Third World Politics (4)
This course examines the nature of politics in the developing world. Topics include the political legacies of colonialism and the contemporary spread of democracy and open markets throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

PO 386 International Relations (4)
A study of international systems, relations among states, problems of war and peace, and theoretical issues. 

PO 387 American Foreign Policy (4)
An analysis of American attitudes toward international problems, the process of foreign policy making, and the content of U.S. policy. Particular attention is focused on current issues.

PO 388 International Political Economy (4)
A study of the interactions between states and markets in the international arena. Topics explored include the politics of international trade, the political regulation of international financial flows, and relations between developed and developing countries.

PO 420, 421 Seminar in Political Science (4, 4)
Seminar devoted to a special topic or theme, with individual research by participants. Prerequisite: consent of the instructor.

PO 461, 462 Independent Study in Political Science (1 - 4)
Students will read in depth on a subject in the general field of government or political science. A research paper is usually required. Prerequisites: B average and consent of the instructor.

PO 463, 464 Internship in Political Science (1 - 4)
Students normally serve as interns in the state legislature or a government office. Prerequisite: consent of the instructor.

PO 465, 466 Independent Research in Political Science (1 - 4)

PO 485 Senior Seminar (4)
A capstone seminar bringing together all graduating majors to examine major themes in our discipline. Students will examine classic and current scholarship in the discipline that will lead to writing a senior essay and its formal presentation.