Course Descriptions

POLS-140 Introduction to U.S. Politics

The most enduring questions about politics are the who, the what, the when, and the how of politics. This course seeks to answer these questions as they pertain to the American political system. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-180 The United States in World Affairs

A first course in international relations, focused on current problems and concerns in United States foreign policy. These include both "off-shore" issues such as human rights and peace-keeping and "intermestic" issues such as trade and immigration. The course will begin with an overview of American foreign policy traditions and attitudes and of the 20th century background. Counts toward core requirement: International Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-195 Independent Study

See Department for details. Independent Study contract required.
Credits: 1.00

POLS-209 Ideas in Action: Pol Phil & Modern Soc

Applying the insights of classical and contemporary political philosophers to the ideologies and political controversies of contemporary America. Topics covered may include environmental ethics, economic inequality and justice, the role of the state in the economy, affirmative action and multiculturalism with attention paid to modern ideologies from the far right to the far left. Philosophers may include Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Rousseau, Marx, and Mill as well as a variety of contemporary political philosophers. Offered every other year. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-211 Religion & Politics

Historical and conceptual survey of the relationship between political action and religious belief with primary emphasis on the variety of political/religious interactions across the ideological spectrum in the United States but also including a survey of religion and politics in the Muslim world as a secondary emphasis. Also listed as REL 211. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-212 Conservatism & Its Critics

A survey of historical and contemporary conservative ideas and movements from Edmund Burke to the present with an emphasis on the variety of conceptions of conservatism. Also includes critiques of different forms of conservative thought from within the conservative tradition itself as well as from liberal and socialist critics of conservatism. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-213 Socialism & Its Critics

A survey of historical and contemporary socialist ideas and movements from the Bible and Plato to the contemporary period, including a survey of utopian socialist, Marxist, anarchist, communist, and social democratic variants of the socialist ideal. Also includes critiques of different forms of socialist thought from within the socialist tradition itself as well as from liberal and conservative critics of socialism. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-221 Politics in Literature & Film

Exploration of a single major theme of politics through the medium of literature and film. Possible course themes include Latin American film, revolution, war, utopia, propaganda, the Cold War and American political culture. May be repeated for credit when topic varies. 2-4 credits.
Credits: 2.00

POLS-222 Civil Rights Movement

This course examines the causes, history, and tactics of the struggle to guarantee African-Americans equal treatment under the law in the United States. The primary focus of the course material is on the political movement for racial equality in the United States from 1954-1968. Also listed as PSJ 222. Counts toward core requirement: Comparative Cultural or Diverse Perspectives. 2 credits.
Credits: 2.00

POLS-224 Environmental Politics

This course introduces students to environmental disputes and the forces that affect environmental policy. Topics include the history and evolution of environmentalism and environmental policy and an extensive case study of a local environmental issue. Also listed as ENV 224. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-226 The Politics of Surveillance

In this course students will explore the politics of surveillance and its theoretical roots in state legibility projects. As students examine the general contours of surveillance, they will answer numerous questions: What is surveillance? How and why has surveillance evolved through history and what role has technology played in this evolution? How does surveillance affect social relations? The course explores how surveillance occurs in the real world and how it intersects with civil liberties and the practice of dissent. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-227 Civil Rights Movement

This course examines the causes, history, and tactics of the struggle to guarantee African-Americans equal treatment under the law in the United States. The primary focus of the course material is on the political movement for racial equality in the United States from 1954-1968. Also listed as PSJ 227. Counts toward core requirement: Comparative Cultural or Diverse Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-231 Contemporary Middle East

An exploration of the modern Middle East, the course will focus on issues of politics, culture, economics, and conflict. Special emphasis will be on Israel and its neighbors, the role of oil, the nature of Islam, and the special interests of the United States in the region. Counts toward core requirement: Comparative Cultural or International Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-239 Latin America I: Conquest-Independence

Survey of Latin American history from 200 C.E. to 1810 C.E. with a focus on the pre-Columbian Mayan, Aztec, and Inca civilizations; the conquest and settlement of Mexico, Central America, and South America by the Spanish and Portuguese; and the colonial institutions in Spanish America and Brazil up to the beginnings of the movements toward independence. Special emphasis will be given to the clash of indigenous and European religious/spiritual outlooks, political economy, and the interaction of issues of race, class, and gender in the emergence of sycretic New World societies. Also listed as HIST 239. Counts toward core requirement: Comparative Cultural or International Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-241 Latin America II: Independence-Present

Survey of Latin American history from 1810 to the present with a focus on the independence struggles and the first century of independence; the rise of populism, socialism, and economic nationalism; the collapse of populist democracies and the rise of bureaucratic authoritarian military regimes; and recent transitions to democracy combined with economic liberalization. Course will also include attention to issues of class, race and gender, over the course of these political and economic transformations and the history of US-Latin American relations in the 19th and 20th century. Counts toward core requirement: Comparative Cultural or International Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-255 Special Topics

See department for course description. 2 or 4 credits.
Credits: 2.00

POLS-275 Internship

See department for details. Internship contract required. 1-4 credits.
Credits: 1.00

POLS-295 Independent Study

See department for details. Independent study contract required. 1-4 credits.
Credits: 1.00

POLS-301 Politics and The Media

Examines the impact of the media upon the political process; the relationship between the press and politicians; and whether the press is a "neutral" force in American politics. Biennially. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-302 Parties and Elections

The development of political parties and their organization, function and campaign methods. Analysis of interest groups and their effect on government and political parties. Public opinion and propaganda. Involvement in a political campaign required. Counts toward core requirement: Civic Engagement. Biennially. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-304 Community Politics

An exploration of how community politics works in the United States. The class will look at issues of representation, participation, public funding, and taxation. Analysis will focus on state and local governments and interest groups. Through participant observation and readings in the field, the class will explore theory and practice in community politics groups. Counts toward core requirement: Civic Engagement. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-306 Presidency and Congress

This course explores the relations between the U.S. presidency and Congress, and how these relations have evolved over time. Students will examine long-term trends in this relationship and will consider compelling, instructive anomalies as well. Students will study the formal and informal powers of both Congress and the president and also explore case studies of conflicts between the two branches in the realms of both domestic and foreign policy. They will also carefully follow congressional-presidential relations as they unfold over the course of the semester, closely tracking the news as it emerges from Washington, DC. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-310 Markets, Politics & Justice

An examination of political economy (the interaction of politics and economics) with respect to topics such as macroeconomic policy- making, industrial policy, income distribution, development strategies, and the welfare state plus the political dimensions of economic ideologies including classical liberal, Marxist, and social democratic perspectives. ECON 101 or ECON 102 strongly recommended. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-321 Protest, Dissent, & Social Change

This course examines the causes and history of widespread movements that use protest to promote political change. Topics include theories of social movements and case studies that may include the labor movement, the civil rights movement, the women's movement, the environmental movement, and the recent rise of conservative Christian activism. Also listed as PSJ 321. Counts toward core requirement: Civic Engagement. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-322 The Suppression of Dissent

This course explores how the state, mass media, and other forces suppress dissent. Students will first gain a theoretical foothold in the field of social-movement studies, along the way exploring the following questions: What is dissident citizenship? How, when, and why does the state suppress dissent? What role do the mass media play in the suppression of activism? Students will also study specific historical instances of political suppression, such as the suppression of the American Indian Movement, civil rights movement, environmental movements, and the Global Justice Movement. Also listed as PSJ 322. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-325 Constitutional Law

An introduction to the judicial process, legal reasoning and interpretation of the Constitution through analysis of court cases. Subjects include federalism, property, race, gender, and privacy. Also listed as DS 325. Biennially. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-326 Civil Liberties

This course examines the development of civil liberties in the United States by focusing on the role of the Supreme Court. Subjects include freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion, and the rights of the accused. Biennially. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-330 National Systems & Global Challenges

Survey of national political systems in the context of the challenge of globalization. Countries studied and compared will include most or all of the following: United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, India, Nigeria, Egypt, Iran, and the European Union (as emerging or quasi-state). Issues analyzed will include competing theories of the origins and consequences of different political institutions, the relationship between domestic political arrangements and the ability to cope with globalization, transitions to democracy, and the consolidation of democracy and the future of the nation-state. Counts towards core requirement: International Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-331 Modern Dictatorship

A survey of non-traditional, 20th century dictatorships and the theoretical concepts and explanations political science has developed to categorize and explain them, including especially controversies surrounding the concepts of "authoritarianism" and "totalitarianism." Cases examined will include some or all of the following: the USSR, Nazi Germany, the People's Republic of China, Latin American military dictatorships, and the Iranian quasi-theocracy. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-340 Security, Rights & Globalization

Nationalism and cultural identity; the international system and world organization; problems of conflict and war; issues of human rights and democracy; economic globalization and development; and security issues such as the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Counts towards core requirement: International Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-345 International Political Economy

This course explores the post-WWII world economy, the place of the United States in that economy, the role of theory and differing world views, and possibilities for future economic realities. Particular emphasis is placed upon understanding U.S., European and Japanese, and post-Communist international economic policy and business decisions. POLS 180 and ECON 101 strongly recommended. Counts toward core requirement: Comparative Cultural or International Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-350 Special Topics in Political Science

Courses of varying formats on specific topics not included in the regular curriculum. Past examples include Contemporary Mexico, the Salmon Crisis, and Oregon Forest Policy. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. 2-4 credits.
Credits: 2.00

POLS-351 Social Policy & Social Justice

This course provides an examination of both the historical and contemporary context of social welfare policies and programs. The course will examine how legislation is developed, enacted, and implemented in our society, including how policies have emerged in response to social problems at the local, national, and international levels. Issues of social justice, and how policies and programs affect populations at risk, will be emphasized. U.S. social welfare policy will be examined in a global and human rights context. Also listed as SOCWK 351. Prerequisites: SOCWK 201 with a minimum grade of C-. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-352 Politics and Sports

In this course, students explore the intersection of politics and sports. Topics include: the political economy of sport; sport and social class; how race and ethnicity affect participation in, reactions to, and media coverage of sports; how gender and sexuality inflect both media portrayals of sport and our understanding of athleticism. Students examine the politics of both professional and amateur sports as well as mega-events like the Olympics and soccer World Cup. The course also involves discussing contemporary connections between politics and sports as they unfold in real time, bringing modern-day events into conversation with the course texts. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above (30 or more completed credits). 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-355 Special Topics

See department for course description. 2 or 4 credits.
Credits: 2.00

POLS-395 Independent Study

Student-conducted individual research/theoretical project. Faculty supervised. Independent study contract required. 1-4 credits.
Credits: 1.00

POLS-399 Theory & Methodology in POLS

A required junior seminar for POLS majors that focuses on key concepts, theories, and methodologies in political science to prepare majors for the senior capstone experience. Exercises in course will culminate in a formal proposal for the senior thesis. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits). 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-475 Internship

Off-campus placements in political settings can be undertaken for credit. Requirements vary. See Department Chair for more information. Internship contract required. 1-14 credits.
Credits: 1.00

POLS-495 Independent Research

Student-conducted individual research/theoretical project. Faculty supervised. Independent study contract required. 1-4 credits.
Credits: 1.00

POLS-498 Senior Seminar & Thesis I

In this course, students define their thesis project, gather necessary information, carry out original research, and write their senior thesis. The seminar will also meet four hours a week to discuss selected readings in research methods, theories of power, and approaches to policy analysis. This course is required of all majors in their final year. Prerequisite: Senior standing (90 or more completed credits), POLS 399, and declared Politics & Government major. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

POLS-499 Senior Seminar & Thesis II

In this course, students refine their thesis and prepare to present it publically. In addition to completing their written thesis, students will prepare their public presentation of the thesis for Senior Projects Day. This course is required of all majors in their final year. Prerequisite: POLS 498. 1 credit.
Credits: 1.00