The Political Science Department is designed to help students gain a deeper understanding of political behavior from global, national and local perspectives. The goal of the department is to assist students in understanding global and national affairs as future practitioners at the international, national, governmental, or non-governmental levels and as well-informed citizens of local, national, and world communities. The Department’s program has responded to the changing nature of the global environment in the new millennium in its curriculum while continuing to satisfy student interest in both law and public policy issues in the US and the global arena. At the same time, the major continues to expose students to the systematic study and analysis of political behavior by introducing them to the major concepts and paradigms in the discipline. The Political Science major provides an excellent background for graduate work in Political Science and other social sciences, as well as a variety of careers including law, domestic and international public administration, politics, teaching, social and community services, planning and policymaking, international business, and journalism.
The department offers several majors in Political Science. The majors are designed to meet students’ diverse needs
This general track exposes students to all the sub-fields in the discipline as well as allows the most flexibility in terms of course selection. It is appropriate for any student who wants to major in Political Science. Studies interested in Israeli and Middle East politics may utilize this track by selecting courses that focus on this area.
US Politics, Law, and Public Policy:
This major focuses on US politics, law, and public policy and is intended for students interested in careers in law, business, or in the public sector as legal advisors, administrators and policymakers at all levels of government. The major allows students to focus on US politics, issues in public policy and prepare for law school. Thus, the major may be tailored to meet the specific interests of the student. This major is especially appropriate for students planning on going to law school, graduate studies in public policy, or for those interested in entering public or community service.
This major allows students to focus on international relations and global issues, including the areas of international security, international political economy, economic and human development, human rights, and international environmental issues. Students may tailor their coursework to include all aspects of these global issues or to focus more narrowly on a subset of these issues. The major is especially useful for students interested in working in the international arena in diverse careers such as in international business and trade, or with an international governmental or non-governmental organization.
The department encourages student internships as well as study abroad. Other special departmental programs include the Model United Nations and the Political Science Student Association.
POL 100, 101 (if a junior transfer, an upper division US course may be substituted), and either Introduction to Economics (BUS 104) OR Introduction to Sociology (SOC 101). Statistics is highly recommended for those considering graduate school.
Upper Division Requirement: Ten upper division courses are required for all majors. Specific requirements for each major are listed below.
Political Science Majors
Students must take Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Globalization.
Students must take one upper division course in Comparative Politics, one upper division course in International Relations, one upper division course in U.S. Politics, one upper division course in Political Theory, and three additional upper division courses.
U.S. Politics, Law, and Public Policy
Students must take Globalization, and either Comparative Politics or international Relations.
Students must take a minimum of five classes in the U.S. Politics and Law areas and 3 additional upper division courses. In addition, students specializing in US Law must take at least 3 courses from the following: Constitutional Law, Law and Society, the Judicial Process, and Business Law I. Students focusing on US politics and policy must take at least 3 US politics courses, such as Judicial Process, Legislative Process, Executive Process, and Public Policy. Students are also strongly encouraged to take American Political Thought or its equivalent.
Students are strongly encouraged to gain substantial hands-on experience through a political internship. This could include working in a law office, on a political campaign, in a federal or state legislator’s office, or in some aspect of local government or public administration, or other governmental agency.
Students must take International Relations, Comparative Politics and Globalization.
Students must take a minimum of 4 other courses in the areas of Comparative Politics and International Relations, including at least one course that focuses on a region of the world, and 3 other upper division courses. Specific course selection should be determined in consultation with the faculty advisor, based on the student’s specific interest in either global security or economic and development issues. All students are strongly encouraged to take Model United Nations.
Students are strongly encouraged to gain some direct experience with other cultures, either through a study abroad experience for a summer, semester, or year, or through an internship that deals with international affairs
THE MINOR PREREQUISITES
POL 100 or 101.
UPPER DIVISION COURSES REQUIRED FOR THE MINOR
Either POL 240, 241, 250 and 4 other upper division political science courses.
COURSES FOR LOWER DIVISION UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
POL 100 — INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL SCIENCE AND POLITICAL THEORY - 3 CREDITS
An overview of the field of political science. Introduces students to major political theorists and major concepts in political science; how political scientists study politics, including the role of values and beliefs; sub-fields of political science; and writing in political science.
POL 101 — INTRODUCTION TO U.S. POLITICS - 3 CREDITS
Introductory course in U.S. politics which provides an overview of the governmental institutions and political process of the U.S. political system, including political attitudes, the policymaking process, and analysis of critical issues. Partially fulfills the American History and Institutions requirement.
COURSES FOR UPPER DIVISION UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
POL 223 — PUBLIC POLICY - 3 CREDITS
This course introduces the intricacies of American public policymaking including an examination of the process of public policy and the political context in which policies are developed.
POL 226 CALIFORNIA STATE POLITICS AND POLICY 3 CREDITS
Although state governments make many decisions in many areas that affect the lives of the average citizen, such as public education, regulation of utilities and private businesses, infrastructure and sanitation, to name only some, many people have little knowledge of how state government functions, and of how the state, county, and local levels interact. This course introduces students to the politics and policy-making processes of California, including the constitutional make-up of state government, state administrative oversight of federal programs, and governmental processes that are unique to US states, such as the California initiative.
POL 228 THE JUDICIAL PROCESS 3 CREDITS
This course introduces students to the structure and function of both the federal and the state court systems in the United States as well as gives students a greater understanding of how the American legal system and politics interact. The course reviews the basic legal theories of our judicial system, as well as the differences between the federal and state levels of courts. The texts and lectures will focus on methods of judicial selection in this country, the criminal justice system, the civil court process, the judicial socialization process, the role of lawyers in American society, and the role of the judicial system as a check and balance for government. The course also analyzes these concepts, actors and institutions from a variety of perspectives including theoretical, normative, and empirical approaches.
POL 229 — TOPICS IN U.S. POLITICS - 3 CREDITS
This course focuses on different aspects of U.S. politics such as Congress, the Presidency. Topic varies each year. May be repeated for credit.
POL 230 — LAW AND SOCIETY - 3 CREDITS
The course explores the intersection of law and politics and examines the reach of law into all aspects of American society and life from the family to community organizations to government agencies. Students address social, legal, and political issues at the national, state, and local levels on practical and theoretical terms through case studies drawn from current and historically significant events. In addition, the course provides students with the legal literacy necessary for success as community and business leaders and citizens. The course involves extensive student participation. Students with an interest in the study of politics, law, or contemporary society and those who want to understand what lawyers know and do should find the course valuable.
POL 231 — CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - 3 CREDITS
A study of U.S. constitutional law through analysis of Supreme Court cases. Topics include: separation and division of power, implied limitations on government, right of privacy, and equal protection. RECOMMENDED PREREQUISITE: POL 101. Partially fulfills the American History and Institutions requirement.
POL 240 — INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS - 3 CREDITS
This course examines basic concepts and theories about political interaction among nation-states, emphasizing national interest and security, the exercise of power and its limits, and international conflict and cooperation.
POL 241 – GLOBALIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS – 3 CREDITS
The term globalization is often used by people with differing ideas not only about what the term means, but about how globalization affects people’s lives. This course is designed to introduce the student to the field of international political economy by examining the multiple ways of conceptualizing the process of globalization in today’s world, and to the major debates about its effects, both positive and negative. Course material includes examination of globalization as an economic phenomenon, focusing on different historical patterns of trade and their international consequences, cultural globalization and its social consequences, the effects of globalization on different regions of the world including Russia, China and the NICs, and the Third World in general.
POL 242 - INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ISSUES - 3 CREDITS
This course examines issues in the field of international security, such as the rise of international terrorism, guerrilla and civil wars, the consequences of nuclear proliferation, and environmental threats to international stability. Topics vary each year. May be repeated for credit.
POL 243 – MODEL UNITED NATIONS – 3 CREDITS
This course offers students the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of international issues and the way they are dealt with by international organizations through participation in a Model United Nations simulation. The course prepares students to represent one or more nations at a college-level Model United Nations and involves researching the selected country as well as a set of issues which they will be discussing and debating at the simulation. Country and UN Committee topics vary each year. May be repeated for credit.
POL 244 – U.S.-LATIN AMERICAN RELATIONS – 3 CREDITS
This course examines the history of relations between the United States and Latin America, from independence to the present. It explores two central models of interaction by the United States with Latin America, the Pan American and the power politics approach, as well as examining U.S.-Latin American relations from the perspective of Latin America.
POL 245 — ISRAEL’S FOREIGN RELATIONS - 3 CREDITS
Israel has played an international role that has often oscillated between two contradictory imperatives playing a role in which Israel was engaged with the international community and experiencing profound international isolation. The course deals with the vicissitudes of Israel’s foreign relations from the pre-state period to the present. The course will address such issues as: pre-state Zionist foreign policies, Israel’s international isolation and its attempt to circumvent its isolation, Israel’s relations with key states and Israel-Diaspora ties.
POl. 246 The POLITICS OF FOOD 3 CREDITS
This course introduces students to current issues and dilemmas regarding food production, distribution, and consumption, and the implications for peoples around the globe. The course will examine critically the two dominant food production paradigms in today’s work, the industrial, globalized food model and the organic/slow food/grow local model. Linkages will be made to a variety of ethical issues, including ones that deal with the preparation of kosher food.
POL 249 – TOPICS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS – 3 CREDITS
This course examines relationships between states in different areas of the world through the use of theoretical tools from the field of International Relations. Topics vary each year. Recent offerings have included The Politics of Oil and National Security. May be repeated for credit.
POL 250 — COMPARATIVE POLITICS - 3 CREDITS
An introduction to the comparative method and theoretical frameworks in comparative politics, focusing on Europe and the Third World. The course examines features common to all political systems, such as party systems and regime types, explores contrasting theories of political change and development, and looks at current issues confronting advanced industrial and less developed nations.
POL 251 — ISRAELI POLITICS - 3 CREDITS
This course will deal with the intricacies of Israeli politics and society through the study of Israel’s political system and its central political forces. The course includes a discussion of Israel’s political institutions, the development of its political parties, its economy, its religious and national communities and the fundamental challenges facing the state as it continues to evolve.
POL 253 — LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS - 3 CREDITS
This course offers a comparative historical analysis of politics in Latin America, with particular focus on the dynamics of political change, the interaction of economics and politics, and the problems of democracy.
POL 254 – LATIN AMERICAN REVOLUTIONS – 3 CREDITS
This course compares the causes and outcomes of revolutionary regimes in Latin America utilizing a comparative case study approach. Cases may include the Mexican, Cuban and Nicaraguan revolutions, as well as self-proclaimed revolutionary regimes, such as Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia. Cases are added as circumstances warrant. Comparative analysis will focus on the historical causes, the strategies for take-over, considering aspects such as the nature of revolutionary leadership and ideology, and the outcomes of these revolutions, including changes in institutions, social policies, foreign affairs, and cultural values.
POL 255 — LATIN AMERICA FILM AND NOVEL - 3 CREDITS
This course looks at the intersection of politics, art, and culture in Latin America through an examination of selected Latin American films and novels. These works allow us to explore the region’s history and major issues, such as the roots of authoritarianism, the process of democratization, the meaning of human rights, and gender relations.
POL 256 – MIDDLE EAST POLITICS – 3 CREDITS
This course surveys the historical background to the present political environment in the Middle East and also focuses on issues such as Islam and radical Islam, the challenge of Modernization and Westernization, culture factors and change and various inter-regional conflicts.
POL 257 THIRD WORLD LITERATURE AND FILM - 3 CREDITS
This course explores issues in Third World politics and development as exemplified through its literature and film. The course utilizes material from a variety of less developed regions, including Africa, South and East Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. The course traces the history of the Third World, from the onset of colonialism to the post-colonial era. Topics include colonialism and its legacies, the process of modernization, and the struggle for democratic politics and economic development.
POL 259 — TOPICS IN COMPARATIVE POLITICS - 3 CREDITS
This course examines the politics of different regions of the world on a rotating basis and issues in Comparative Politics. May be repeated for credit.
POL 260 — NORMATIVE POLITICAL THEORY - 3 CREDITS
This course examines a number of questions, including human nature and its impact on how we structure political institutions, the relationship of the individual to society, and the role of ideologies and values in politics. Classical philosophical texts will be used.
POL 262 American Political Thought 3 CREDITS
This course surveys American political thought from the colonial era to the present. Political ideas may embody abstract principles, but they are also tied to the political world: they reflect social concerns and shape governing institutions and political practices. In particular, we will examine the influence of different strains of political thought in America and its contribution to conceptions of American democracy. By utilizing the original writings and closely examining these documents, students should be able to trace current political debates and ideas to the origin of these thoughts. The political principles of the American Founding Fathers, influenced by Lockean social compact theory and British constitutionalism, shaped and guided American political institutions until well into the nineteenth century. Those principles were challenged and rejected by American Progressivism, which derived its fundamental tenets from post-Lockean European sources.
POL 264 POLITICAL LEADERSHIP 3 CREDITS
This Course will examine and analyze the concept of Political leadership in the United States. Although the concept of political leadership has commonalities with other forms of leadership, exercising leadership in politics is not the same as leadership in other areas of life, such as business. This course examines the skills necessary to successful political leadership, looking at case studies of American and international leaders. It also assesses the role of political leadership in democratic politics, including the inherent tensions between the two.
POL 269 — TOPICS IN POLITICAL THEORY - 3 CREDITS
This course will focus on a particular subset of political theory or the ideas of particular political thinkers. May be repeated for credit.
OTHER UPPER DIVISION COURSES
POL 290 — HONORS THESIS - 3 CREDITS
Students who have excelled in their course work may write an honors thesis in their senior year, with prior approval and in consultation with the chair of the department.
POL 298 — POLITICAL INTERNSHIP - 3 CREDITS
POL 299 — INDEPENDENT STUDY – 3 CREDITS