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Political Theory

Political Theory involves the critical study of political ideas, particularly those that entail ethical issues and/or the basis for social and political order. Political theory explores these ideas both analytically and historically. Most intermediate courses detail the history of political thought. Advanced courses are more varied - they may examine selected political ideas, new currents in political thought, or individual political theorists whose work holds great significance. Political theory in the department also includes courses on empirical and statistical methods used to study political phenomena.

POLSC 20000(W) Interpreting Politics: An Introduction to Political Ideas
An introduction to interpreting major political ideas and their significance in the contemporary world. Competing understandings of concepts such as freedom, equality, justice, citizenship, and legitimacy will be explored, in part by applying them to concrete political issues such as multiculturalism, economic distribution, and the death penalty.
Prereq/Coreq: ENGL 12000.
3 hrs, 3 cr; GER/2/00B or 3/B; Pathways: Individual and Society.

POLSC 20100(W) Ancient to Early Modern Political Thought
The study of selected writers from the ancient Greeks to the Renaissance (e.g., Plato to Machiavelli), focusing on the political dimensions of such ideas as rationality, virtue, community, human nature and historical change.
Prereq: ENGL 12000.
3 hrs, 3 cr; GER/3/B; PD/D

POLSC 20200(W) Modern Political Thought (1600 - 1900)
The study of selected political writers (e.g., Hobbes to Nietzsche), with special emphasis given to the nature of and problems with, liberty, equality and justice in modern societies and states.
Prereq: ENGL 12000.
3 hrs, 3 cr; GER/3/B

POLSC 20300(W) Political Thought since 1900
Exploration of concepts and thinkers in political theory since 1900. Topics include such traditional issues of political theory as the nature and scope of political regimes, justice, equality and changing concepts of human nature.
Prereq: ENGL 12000.
3 hrs, 3 cr; GER/3/B

POLSC 204XX Contemporary Issues in Political Theory
Selected topics in Political Theory.
Prereq: ENGL 12000. This course number acts as an 'umbrella', with differing courses appearing as decimals (e.g., POLSC 20466, Political Ideologies).
3 hrs, 3 cr; GER/3/B

POLSC 20600(W) Research Design in Political Science
Public opinion surveys, content analysis, legislative roll-call analysis, census data, election returns. Introduction to statistics.
Prereq: ENGL 12000 and passing college proficiency exam in math. Uses Social Science Data Lab.
3 hrs, 3 cr; GER/3/B

POLSC 20700(W) Data Analysis in Political Science
Computer applications and statistical analysis in political science. Students write a quantitative term paper.
Prereq: POLSC 20600. Uses Social Science Data Lab.
3 hrs, 3 cr; GER/3/B

POLSC 20900(W) Women and Gender in Western Political Thought
Examines history of political thought from the perspective of gender relations and the treatment of women.
Prereq: ENGL 12000.
3 hrs, 3 cr; GER/3/B; PD/C or D

POLSC 30100(W) American Political Thought
Examination of ideas that have shaped American politics from the Revolution to the present, including Federalists and Anti-Federalists, Progressivism and responses to industrialization and recent debates over the welfare state, political inclusion and democracy.
Prereq: ENGL 12000 and any course in political theory. Counts as either American or Theory (but not both).
3 hrs, 3 cr; GER/3/B

POLSC 30200(W) Critical Theory
Intensive study in the core concepts and ideas in the tradition of Critical Theory. Thinkers include, among others, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse, Fanon, and Foucault, as well as contemorary critical theorists. Themes and foci will vary by semester and will include: the nature and purpose of critique; political sociology and the analysis of liberalism, fascism and other political formations; mass culture and the fate of art; power and the psyche; reason and effect; violence and terror; the philosophy of history, and the politics of liberation.
Prereq: ENGL 12000 and any course in political theory.
4 hrs, 4cr; GER/3/B

POLSC 30300(W) Democracy and Emergency
This seminar in political theory examines the issue of emergency powers in constitutional democracies. It will examine various attempts to define what is an emergency, as well as the spirited debates over the legitimacy of extraordinary powers to manage such crises.
Prereq: ENGL 12000 and any course in political theory.
4 hrs, 4 cr; GER/3/B

POLSC 304XX Contemporary Issues in Political Theory
Selected topics in Political Theory.
Prereq: ENGL 12000 and any course in political theory. This course number acts as an 'umbrella', with differing courses appearing as decimals (e.g., POLSC 30475, Concept of The People).
3 hrs, 3 cr; GER/3/B

POLSC 30500(W) Democratic Theory
A critical survey of different conceptions of democracy: issues include democracy as a political order, democracy and ‘non-political’ forms of life (e.g., business, family, religion), toleration, political representation, democracy and justice.
Prereq: ENGL 12000 and any course in political theory.
3 hrs, 3 cr; GER/3/B

POLSC 30700(W) Theory of Revolution
A theoretical exploration of the meaning of revolution.
Prereq: ENGL 12000.
3 hrs, 3 cr; GER/3/B

POLSC 30900(W) Feminist Political Theory
Readings in feminist ideas, both historical and contemporary, on issues of power, justice and equality. The course will emphasize different perspectives, including those of liberal, radical, postmodernist, women of color, third world and ‘global’ feminists.
Prereq: ENGL 12000 and any course in political theory.
3 hrs, 3 cr; GER/3/B; PD/C

POLSC 31100(W) Utopian Theory
Political theorists often imagine ideal worlds, both to explore ideals and to criticize political realities. This course will explore utopias and dystopias as theories that explore political possibilities and challenge existing realities.
Prereq: ENGL 12000 and any course in political theory.
3 hrs, 3 cr; GER/3/B

POLSC 31600(W) Political Theory of Human Rights
A critical analysis of the intersection of academic and practical discourse of human rights with the central concerns of political theory, particularly as it engages relationships between ethics and power as well as theory and practice.
Prereq: ENGL 12000 and any course in political theory.
3 hrs, 3 cr; GER/3/B