2019-21 Undergraduate Catalog Course Descriptions

POLS - Political Science
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.
University Studies Requirements:
Global Awareness
Social Science
Typically Offered:
Fall and Spring Terms
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.
University Studies Requirements:
Global Awareness
Humanities - History
Typically Offered:
Spring Term Only
POLS 102Civic Literacy, Engagement and Education3.00
: Examines how civic values, dispositions, and practices affect the quality of a democracy, with attention to democratic participation beyond the ballot box, media literacy, patterns of civic engagement, policy making institutions at the national, state and local levels, creating democratic institutions and procedures, democracy simulations, and decision-making.
University Studies Requirements:
Social Science
POLS 150Sex, Scandal, and Corruption in U.S. Politics3.00
This course examines what constitutes a political scandal, why a certain scandal can become ‘viral,’ and investigate the progression of major scandals throughout American history. Also included is a discussion of the implications for trust and legitimacy, the immediate and long-term consequences of scandal, and the different responses to corruption used by the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Through this lens, students will gain an understanding of the workings of American National Government.
University Studies Requirements:
Social Science
Typically Offered:
Fall Term Only
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.
University Studies Requirements:
Global Awareness
Humanities - History
Typically Offered:
Fall and Spring Terms
POLS 180Public Education Politics and Policy3.00
A study of the importance of public education as a public good and a right; policy making institutions at both the national and state level; and analysis of the output—public education outcomes with an emphasis on how schools are funded in the US and its implications for present and future.
University Studies Requirements:
Social Science
Typically Offered:
Fall, Spring, and Summer Terms
POLS 189Political Science Elective1.00 - 99.00
Transfer credits ONLY from another accredited institution not equivalent to a UW-Superior course.
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.
University Studies Requirements:
Social Science
Typically Offered:
Fall, Spring, and Summer Terms
POLS 240Bioterrorism: A Case in Public Policy Making3.00
What role does government play in preparing for a potential biowarfare/bioterrorist act? Preventing such attacks or outbreaks? This course reviews the powers of the state to prevent and respond to attacks, including a background in the history, origins, motivations, and techniques used by terrorists. The course will cover the potential for biowarfare/bioterrorist acts, how destruction is produced, and government preparedness, response, and recovery from such attacks. Bioterrorism and its various dimensions is the primary focus and thus topics covered in this class. For most weeks, however, we will ask (and attempt to answer) the question ‘what role does/should government have in addressing this issue?’
University Studies Requirements:
Social Science
Typically Offered:
Fall Term Every Other Year
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.
University Studies Requirements:
Social Science
Typically Offered:
Fall Term Only
POLS 262Introduction to Political Thought3.00
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.
University Studies Requirements:
Humanities - WLCP
Typically Offered:
Fall Term Only
POLS 264War and Peace in Bosnia3.00
This course is an interdisciplinary examination of various theories of the causes of conflict and conflict resolution within the specific historical context of the disintegration of Yugoslavia during the 1990s, and particularly the Bosnian was of 1992-95. Using those historical events and the questions they raise as a test-case, the course will try to come to some general conclusions about the nature and causes of ethnic conflict and how it differs from interstate conflict; the reasons for and methods of international intervention, including negotiation, arbitration, adjudication, and mediation; the factors that contribute to the success or failure of various methods of intervention and conflict resolution; the challenges involved in re-building societies after war; and the long-term prospects for fostering peace, security, justice, and human rights through such efforts. Code 1. RE.
Typically Offered:
Spring Term Even Years Only
POLS 265Contemporary Political Thought3.00
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.
University Studies Requirements:
Humanities - WLCP
Typically Offered:
Spring Term Only
POLS 266War and Peace in Northern Ireland3.00
This course is an interdisciplinary examination of various theories of the causes of conflict and conflict resolution within the general historical context of the rise and demise of the British Empire, and particularly the Northern Ireland question. Using those historical events and the questions they raise as a test-case, the course will try to come to some general conclusions about the nature and causes of ethnic conflict and how it differs from interstate conflict; the reasons for and methods of international intervention, including negotiation, arbitration, adjudication, and mediation; the factors that contribute to the success or failure of various methods of intervention and conflict resolution; the challenges involved in re-building societies after prolonged civil war; and the long-term prospects for fostering peace, security, justice, and human rights through such efforts. Code 1. RE.
Typically Offered:
Spring Term Odd Years Only
POLS 289Political Science Elective1.00 - 99.00
Transfer credits ONLY from another accredited institution not equivalent to a UW-Superior course.
POLS 299Wisconsin in Scotland1.00 - 17.00
Study Abroad
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 302Social Science Research Methods3.00
The course explores research methods used in social science to study human thoughts, behaviors, interaction, institutions, and populations. The study of research is meant to provide students with the practical tools of doing social science research, including formulating their own research questions and developing analytical strategies to evaluate those questions. In addition, the course provides the theoretical background for reading, evaluating and interpreting existing empirical research.
Typically Offered:
Fall Term Only
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 or 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 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:
Occasional by Demand
POLS 364Environmental Politics & Policy-Making3.00
This course provides participants understanding of the politics and process of environmental policy-making in the US. The class begins by examining how environmental issues arrive on the public agenda and the role of political institutions – along with scientists, non-profits, and the general public – in crafting environmental policy. This, in the effort, to equip participants with a theoretical understanding of the policy-making process as well as the practical political forces that predominate today. Emphasis is placed on the use – or misuse – of scientific information in the policy making process. This is intended to provide students an understanding of the various approaches used by governmental and non-governmental actors in the creation of environmental policy, and the necessary trade-offs actors must make given the constraints of the system. At the end of the term, students should be able to discuss the circumstances necessary for environmental policy change as well as a better understanding of the current environmental policies concerning the management of the Great Lakes watershed.
Typically Offered:
Fall Term Only
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/GST 374.
University Studies Requirements:
Diversity
Typically Offered:
Fall or Spring Terms
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.
University Studies Requirements:
Global Awareness
Typically Offered:
Fall 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:
Fall Term Every Other Year
POLS 389Political Science Elective1.00 - 99.00
Transfer credits ONLY from another accredited institution not equivalent to a UW-Superior course.
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:
Spring 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 are 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 456Feminist Theory and Action3.00
Seminar course providing a deeper look at feminist thought, building on the introduction provided in GST 150. Through readings and films, examines conversations, controversies, and connections among a range of feminist thinkers. Students explore the intersections of feminist thought and action, reading a variety of calls to action and articulating their own. Cross-listed as POLS/GST 456.
Prerequisites:
Prerequisite for taking this course is completion of GST 150 or instructor consent.
Typically Offered:
Spring Term Only
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:
Fall or Spring Terms
POLS 489Political Science Elective1.00 - 12.00
Transfer credits ONLY from another accredited institution not equivalent to a UW-Superior course.
POLS 494Global Studies Capstone0.00
Required culminating senior year project which integrates and synthesizes the student's coursework (theories, concepts, skill competencies) into a formal project and experience, negotiated with the student's minor advisor and instructor for final consent and approval. Senior capstone is paired with another course in the minor.
Typically Offered:
Spring Term Only
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
Guided research on a selected topic in political science. Each student produces a formal written research paper based on systematic investigation of the question. Individual work in consultation with a faculty thesis advisor will be balanced with collaborative discussions among all students writing theses. The capstone will be a public presentation of each student's research findings.
Typically Offered:
Spring Term Only