Wisconsin's Public Liberal Arts College

POLS - Political Science


2012-2014 Catalog

POLS - Political Science

POLS - Political ScienceTop of Page
Catalog Nbr.Course Title/Course TopicsCredits
POLS 100Introduction to Political Science3.00
Politics is often perceived as cynical and subsidiary from the normative interaction of society. But what is politics? What is the role of politics in society? What is the relationship between politics and government? To what extent does politics influence human relations and the ways in which government and its institutions function? The course will examine these questions by focusing on one topic each semester. Each of these topics--such as the concept of borders, citizenship, globalization, immigration, etc.--represents a central debate in politics, and introduces some of the current concerns in our world today.
General Education Attributes:
SS Social Sciences
Typically Offered:
Fall Term Only
POLS 101Introduction to Comparative Politics3.00
The recent history of Afghanistan has highlighted the complexities of national and state building. This course explores these two terms and what they mean. Is there a single universal definition and a singular path to modernity or are there multiple definitions and pathways to modernity? The first part of the course will examine the various theories of development with this question in mind. The second part of the course will focus on one developing country. By concentrating on their development pattern we draw out some lessons about tensions and contradictions that accompany development.
General Education Attributes:
HHE World Lang, Culture, Philos
NW Non-Western
Typically Offered:
Spring Term Only
POLS 150American National Government3.00
Theory and practice of American national government; the Constitution as an instrument of change through interpretation and action by the executive, legislative and judicial branches as well as through the development of informal custom and usage.
General Education Attributes:
SS Social Sciences
Typically Offered:
Fall and Spring Terms
POLS 175The Making of the Modern Global System3.00
Is another world possible? Could we have inherited a different global order? We examine the pillars of current global order, such as the rise of capitalism, emergence of state, violence, imperialism, rise and fall of dominant states, and emergence of democratic values and institutions. We particularly examine how we as individuals interact and help maintain the current global order with an understanding that we can change the current order for a better order in the future. The second part of the course examines various theories of how to understand the global order ranging from realism, liberalism, Marxism, to globalization, human security and feminism.
General Education Attributes:
HH Humanities-History
Typically Offered:
Fall and Spring Terms
POLS 189Political Science Elective1.00 - 12.00
Transfer credits ONLY from another accredited institution not equivalent to a UW-Superior course.
Typically Offered:
POLS 230U.S. National,State and Local Government3.00
Structure of American government on the national, state and local levels; federalism; behavior patterns of public officials; modes of citizen participation. Meets DPI requirements. Not open to Political Science majors.
General Education Attributes:
SS Social Sciences
Typically Offered:
Fall, Spring, and Summer Terms
POLS 260Contemporary Issues in American Politics3.00
Same-sex marriage, welfare reform, stem cell research, urban poverty, the legalization of medical marijuana...these and other contemporary issues incite tremendous passion among the public, leading to policy debates, disputes over the role of government in American society and controversial social policy. This course goes beyond the surface-level debates and explores the political and social context of contemporary political controversies as well as the ramifications of government policies.
General Education Attributes:
SS Social Sciences
Typically Offered:
Fall and Spring Terms
POLS 262Introduction to Political Theory3.00
This course exposes students to some of the classic pieces in this field of political theory and teaches them how to work with theoretical and philosophical texts that continue to shape, inform, and challenge the analysis of current political phenomena today. Through these texts, the course introduces questions about the nature of human beings, the roots of government authority, the best regime, and the circumstances of legitimate revolution as well as ideals such as liberty, equality, rights, and justice. Cross-listed as PHIL/POLS 262.
General Education Attributes:
HHE World Lang, Culture, Philos
Typically Offered:
Fall Term Only
POLS 263Contemporary Issues in World Politics3.00
Examines issues such as nationalism, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, war on drugs, land mines, diplomacy, global poverty, globalization, regionalization, regional development, European Union, global market, human rights, women's rights, right of refugees, minority rights, rise of religious fundamentalism, population, consumption, citizenship, global warning, ozone layer, biodiversity, rain forests, and conservation. Deals with basic understanding of the nature and scope of global problems and emphasizes the legal, political, economic, social and moral dimensions of these issues.
General Education Attributes:
SS Social Sciences
Typically Offered:
Fall Term Every Other Year
POLS 265Contemporary Issues in Political Theory3.00
Introduces students to the origin and theoretical background of some of the central debates within political theory. Focus is on topics such as power and authority, nation-state in a global world, sovereignty and control, gender and identity and human rights. By analyzing and understanding some of the common underlying assumptions and beliefs about human nature, society, and state, we will learn about the forces that shape our economic, social and political systems today.
General Education Attributes:
HHE World Lang, Culture, Philos
Typically Offered:
Spring Term Only
POLS 289Political Science Elective1.00 - 12.00
Transfer credits ONLY from another accredited institution not equivalent to a UW-Superior course.
Typically Offered:
POLS 296Research Design3.00
Application of the scientific method in the social sciences with emphasis on basic survey research methods. Completion of MATH 130 or PSYC 301, though not required, is recommended before enrolling in this course. Cross-listed as CJUS 296.
Typically Offered:
Fall and Spring Terms
POLS 299Wisconsin in Scotland1.00 - 17.00
Study Abroad
Typically Offered:
POLS 301Study Abroad0.00 - 6.00
Field trips designed by the department faculty to give students direct experiences in foreign countries. Each program includes preparatory reading, orientation meetings, a faculty-supervised study tour, and a detailed written evaluation of learning situations associated with the course. With consent of the relevant program and content adaptation, programs provided by other agencies can be considered for this credit. Students must obtain approval for taking these courses prior to participation. Otherwise the course may not count. For specific degree requirements, consult your advisor. The course can be repeated only if content is different.
Typically Offered:
Occasional by Demand
POLS 330U.S. State and Local Government3.00
Comparative study of the political behavior and institutions of the state and local governments in the United States; current structural and functional problems confronting these political systems.
Typically Offered:
Fall and Spring Terms
POLS 345Theories of War and Peace3.00
This course examines various political theories in terms of their relevance to the question of war and peace. Specially, how does each theory define peace (negative or positive) what should be done to preserve and maintain peace; whether war is inevitable; and under what conditions is it legitimate to resort to war. The following "traditions" will be covered in the course; realism, liberalism, Marxism, globalization, feminism, post-colonialism, post-colonialism, post-modernism, constructivism, international justice, green, globalization and human security.
Typically Offered:
Fall Term Every Other Year
POLS 352Paths to Peace3.00
The first part of the course examines how economic, social, political, environmental and legal policies facilitate movement towards peace in a broad context. The emphasis will be to link policies that enable us to move towards a more just world. The second part of this course examines various approaches to peace from simple peacekeeping to peacebuilding.
Typically Offered:
Fall Term Every Other Year
POLS 353International Law3.00
The first part of this course examines how we define human rights by examining the treaties that serve as the foundation of human rights such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This section also examines the various institutions that have been created to monitor and enforce these treaties such as the UN Human Rights Council and the European Court of Human Rights. The second part of the course examines the text of various international treaties that relate to subjects such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, torture, gender discrimination, racial discrimination, and refugees. The course will conclude with an evaluation of the emerging institutional framework to better monitor and enforce these laws, most notably the International Criminal Court.
Typically Offered:
Spring Term every other Year
POLS 356Seminar in Peacebuilding3.00
This course examines how to approach a conflict and develop a strategy to not only end war but also enable the parties to live together. The war in Bosnia will be used as a case study to examine the roots of the conflict, examine the peace process , and its aftermath. Students will critically examine each part of the process and identify alternatives that result in a more robust peace in the region. Students are encouraged to apply what they learn about peacebuilding in Bosnia to resolve other conflicts.
Typically Offered:
Spring Term Only
POLS 361Campaigns and Elections3.00
In a representative democracy, active participation in elections is essential to ensure elected officials remain faithful to constituent interests. Does this ideal adequately reflect the nature of elections in the current political system? This course is designed to expose students to the contemporary state of Congressional and Presidential campaigns in the American political system with focus on campaign strategy, the role of the media and campaign finance. The course also investigates contemporary elections, examining who votes and why, and the mechanics of the electoral process.
Typically Offered:
Fall Term Every Other Year
POLS 372Power and Resistance3.00
This course explores the politics of power and resistance. It introduces different concepts of modern and pre-modern power and control, and examines instances of resistance from around the world, traversing different time periods, geographies, and cultures. Examples range from peasant revolts to labor movements, feminist struggles to antiwar mobilizations, prisoner uprisings to popular wars. The course inquires into the social forces involved, what they seek to resist, the methods and goals of resistance, and the reception of this resistance by its purported audience. This course incorporates theoretical and historical texts as well as visual material and movies.
Typically Offered:
Fall Term Every Other Year
POLS 374Women and Politics3.00
In the United States, women hold 18% of the seats in the 112th Congress, marking the nation 85th in its level of representation for women. Globally, women constitute 15% of all members of parliament, although significant regional variation persists. How do gendered hierarchies continue to shape and structure political systems? Why have women not yet reached parity in elected office? Should women be represented as women? What difference do women bring to elective office? These and other questions are explored throughout the course, with particular attention to the historical exclusion of women from the public arena, the methods used by women to enter electoral and activist politics, and the current political status of women in the United States and globally. Cross-listed as POLS/WST 374.
General Education Attributes:
DIV Diversity
Typically Offered:
Fall Term Every Other Year
POLS 376Theories of Human Rights3.00
This course examines the nature and origin of human rights, as well as the conflicts and debates that result from the different understanding of the concept. We will explore questions such as; Are human rights individual or collective? Are they universal or should instead be understood as culturally sensitive? Do they include positive rights or only negative rights? And what about economic and social rights? Providing answers to these questions will allow us to understand our own political, economic, and social beliefs, as well as approaches that are different from ours. In order to answer these questions, the course will combine discussions about the concept of human rights with analyses of current cases of human rights violations around the world, including the origin of these violations, desired changes, politics, and effective actions.
Typically Offered:
Spring Term every other Year
POLS 381Theories of Justice3.00
The course examines the different approaches to the concept of justice, in the attempt to help students develop their own critical thinking about the topic. The course overviews the leading contemporary conceptions and theories of justice - including utilitarian, libertarian, communitarian, deliberative-democratic, and feminist theories -, and focuses on the relationship between theories of justice and concepts of liberty and equality. The aim of this course is to examine the ways in which each of these different approaches to justice provides a different vision for the political, economic, and social life, and shapes different institutions and values.
Typically Offered:
Spring Term every other Year
POLS 389Political Science Elective1.00 - 12.00
Transfer credits ONLY from another accredited institution not equivalent to a UW-Superior course.
Typically Offered:
POLS 397American Conservative Thought3.00
The political debates between liberalism and conservatism are ardent. However, while these two terms are used freely and are attached to varied themes, their meaning is uncertain. Hence this class aims to introduce the students to the meaning of American conservatism. While defining conservatism, students will become familiar with the most relevant topics in the American Conservative Thought. The class introduces the political and philosophical heritage of conservatism, as well as examines themes that are relevant to contemporary American politics today. The focus will be on principles of conservatism, not on analyzing policies or proposals. Moreover, aiming to give a balanced view, a variety of perspectives that support and criticize American Conservatism will be presented.
Typically Offered:
Fall Term Every Other Year
POLS 420Biotechnology Policy and Ethics3.00
Human reproductive cloning,genetic modification and alteration, personalized genomics, synthetic biology...these are only some of the areas of inquiry in the life sciences that have attracted public interest for their societal, ethical and policy implications. This course examines the political and ethical implications of selected areas of biotechnology that are now a part of the contemporary public debate with particular emphasis on the impact of these technologies on women. Some of the principles examined are legalistic, while others require ethical reasoning evaluating concepts such as human nature, personhood and autonomy. Key questions considered in this course include: Who benefits from these biotechnologies? Who re the primary actors engaged in policy creation? How can emerging technologies best be managed to balance individual freedom and scientific advancement with adequate protections for vulnerable classes? Finally, how do these technologies fit into our belief systems regarding the desirability of emerging biotechnologies in our individual lives and for society more generally?
Typically Offered:
Spring Term every other Year
POLS 465Congress and the Presidency3.00
How have the contemporary Congress and President changed over the past two hundred years? Are these changes consistent with the intent of the Founding Fathers? Do we have an imperial Presidency? Why do Americans consistently approve of their member of Congress yet revile Congress as an institution? This course is designed to explore the historical evolution of the Executive and Legislative branches of government, while simultaneously considering the intention of the Founding Fathers. The nature of this interbranch relationship is evaluated through examination of the political parties, elections and the changing electoral and partisan environments.
Typically Offered:
Spring Term every other Year
POLS 485Internship2.00 - 10.00
Structured and focused field experience in a public agency. Students will be assigned duties in various agencies. Prerequisites: Only students with a Political Science major or minor may enroll in this course. Written consent of the instructor must be obtained before registering for this course. Since the internship is an independent learning experience involving the cooperation and assistance of an outside agency, students should notify the instructor in writing of their interest in doing an internship early in the semester before the semester of the actual field experience.
Typically Offered:
Occasional by Demand
POLS 489Political Science Elective1.00 - 12.00
Transfer credits ONLY from another accredited institution not equivalent to a UW-Superior course.
Typically Offered:
POLS 497Student Initiated Seminar1.00 - 3.00
The program offers a specially designed seminar or student-initiated seminar when there is sufficient interest. For further information, see the program coordinator.
Typically Offered:
Occasional by Demand
POLS 499Senior Seminar3.00
Either supervised research in selected subfields of the discipline, resulting in the submission of a formal research paper, or development and execution of a project designed to apply political or administrative concepts and skills to a particular situation, drawing upon the relevant professional literature and resulting in submission of a formal research and experience-evaluation paper. Projects devoted to the demonstration of skills may include, but need not be limited to: direct participation in a national, state or local political campaign; other activity on behalf of a political party or political interest group; involvement in university governance; service as an intern with a government agency or a private organization with a public interest; or an active leadership role in a campus or community organization. May be repeated once for a total of six credits. A minimum of three credits is required for Political Science majors in Liberal Arts or in Secondary Education. Other students may elect POLS 499 with the permission of the program coordinator. Consultation with the instructor must take place within the first two weeks of the semester. General Education requirements: Since Individualized Research or Applied Skills is both an independent learning and a capstone experience, the course satisfies the requirements of Category C, Co-requisites.
Typically Offered:
Spring Term Only

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