Course Offerings - Political Science
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Course Offerings


Political Science 101

Introduction to Comparative Politics (SS) (NW) (XS)

Provides an introduction to key concepts and issues in comparative politics in a variety of non-western and western country cases from Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East. Major themes include political participation and institutions, role of government, political parties, democratization, economic development, political culture, nationalism and ethnic conflict. More than 50 percent of the course content is devoted to non-western countries and their political realities.

Political Science 105

American Government and Politics (SS) (XS)

Organization, principles and actual working of the American National Government in all its branches.

Political Science 115

International Politics (SS) (XS)

Development of the nation-state system; role of the great powers; the struggle for power; settlement of disputes; diplomacy, the quest for law, nationalism, contemporary problems.

Political Science 214

Politics of Food (SS)(XS)

In this course, we’ll learn about how food policy is made at the national, state, and local levels. Then we’ll examine how those policies impact the type and quantities of the food we eat, food distribution, food safety, and nutrition. Throughout, we’ll have an eye to the future: is our current food system sustainable: That is, will it last beyond our lifetimes? Our class will encounter these issues not only in the classroom, but through our work with partners in the Oshkosh community.

Political Science 245

Political Methodology (SS)

Designed to acquaint students with the process of exploring political questions and conducting research. Topics include theory definition, hypothesis development, concept definition and data collection and analysis. This course will also expose students to a variety of data sources and methods of collection such as survey research, content analysis and experimentation.

Political Science 253

Introduction to Law (SS)

The development of political systems of jurisprudence, the judicial system of the United States and Wisconsin together with a survey of the major branches of law designating the place of law in society.

Political Science 303

Women and Politics (SS)

This is a comparative politics course that examines how women’s political power varies across countries and why differences exist. The course examines topics such as women’s representation in government; women’s movements and degree of success in achieving their objectives; women and violence; the welfare state and how social policy affects women’s political and economic empowerment; and reproductive health policy comparatively.

Cross-listed: Political Science 303/ Women’s and Gender Studies 303/Social Justice 303. Students may receive credit for only one of the three cross-listed courses.

Prerequisite: Political Science 105.

Political Science 321

American Public Policy (SS)

An examination of some of the major political issues facing American society today, including the environment, criminal justice issues, equality, education and health care politics. The issue of how public policy is made in this country will also be examined in some detail.

Political Science 324

US Presidency (SS)

Conceptions of the office; evolution of the executive branch; the president’s power and limitation; proposed reforms. Political Science 105 is recommended.

Political Science 326

Russian Politics (NW) (SS)

Even though Russia and the United States share many similarities, including large territorial size, wealth of natural resources, highly diverse population, and major power status, Russia’s political system has developed along very different lines from that of the United States. The course examines the factors influencing the development of the Russian political system, occasionally delving into the reasons for the US-Russian political divergence, including the causes and effects of Russia’s two regime changes during the 20th century. While predominantly a study of domestic policies, the course also evaluates the influence of the international environment of Russia’s political system during different periods of its existence, and discusses the impact of Russia’s political influence on its neighboring states.

Political Science 349

Foundations of Political Theory (SS)

Classical period through Hobbes. Environmental influences on political philosophers; psychological factors; clarification of concepts.

Political Science 376

International Conflict (SS)

A multi-disciplinary approach to study the causes and conditions of war and peace in our world. Simulations of situations of war and peace will be researched in the classroom with student participation.

Political Science 388

Global Environmental Politics (SS)

Examination of the role of environmental issues in international relations. We will look at such issues as global warming, global pollution, management of scarce resources, and eco-development. How have various countries responded to these problems? How should they respond? What is the role of international institutions such as the World Bank? What is the role of non-governmental organizations such as Greenpeace? How have countries and international institutions interacted to deal with these environmental problems? Cross-listed with Political Science388/Environmental Studies 388 Students may receive credit for only one of the cross-listed courses.

Prerequisite: Political Science 101 or 115 or Sociology 261 or Environmental Studies 261 or Political Science 261 or consent of instructor.

Political Science 392

Judicial Process in America (SS)

Focuses on courts in the political process. Examines decisions by judges, juries and other decision-makers in the judicial process. Emphasizes explanations for decisions rather than simply describing decisions. For example, attention is given to the effects of race, social class and other demographic characteristics of a defendant on the verdict or sentence imposed. Other related topics include selection of judges and impact of judicial decisions.

Prerequisite: Political Science 253 or consent of instructor.

Political Science 401

Political Analysis (SS)

Political Analysis is a seminar designed to provide a capstone experience for majors. The course will assess the student’s mastery of the discipline of Political Science. Possible areas of study include the proper methods of political analysis, revision and extension of previous work, advanced analysis of texts, and/or a culminating research project. In addition, students will take a comprehensive departmental exam covering the discipline and prepare a portfolio of their undergraduate work in the discipline.

Prerequisite: Political Science 245, senior standing and Political Science major.