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Political Science

Hamilton Hall, CB# 3265
(919) 843-3922

First Session, 2021

POLI 100 American Democracy in Changing Times (3)

MAYMESTER. Why do Americans love democracy, but hate politics? Why are there only two political parties? Why do votes hate, yet respond to negative campaigning? This course will introduce students to politics in the United States, addressing these and many more questions about how American democracy works. REMOTE ONLY-MOSTLY ASYNCHRONOUS.

Click here to see the course flyer.

POLI 209 Analyzing Public Opinion (3)

A study of forces affecting public opinion and its expression in various political activities. Extensive use of laptop computers in class. MODE OF INSTRUCTION TBA.

POLI 215 Political Psychology (3)

Findings of the behavioral sciences are examined as they relate to politics. Includes such issues as human nature, community, political socialization, alienation, mass movements, belief systems, and personality. REMOTE ONLY-SYNCHRONOUS.

POLI 270 Classical Political Thought (3)

MAYMESTER. Survey designed to introduce students to major political thinkers and ideas of the ancient world and of the medieval period. MODE OF INSTRUCTION TBA.

The 2021 Maymester version of Poli 270 will focus on an in-depth study of Plato’s Republic. The Republic is distinctive in the history of political thought in that it generates interpretations directly opposed to one another: is it a design for an ideally just city, or is it showing that an ideally just city is impossible? Is it a utopian tract or a caution against utopian thinking? This diversity in interpretation is not the result of poor scholarship, but rather an integral and deeply interesting component of Plato’s text. In most courses where the Republic is taught, students only read excerpts, and thus don’t have the opportunity to confront the numerous cross-cutting currents of the Republic. Reading the entire work, and understanding the way different sections of the text comment on each other, will require students to wrestle with the clash of political goods: is the quality of decision-making at odds with the ideal of equality? Does the need to persuade “the many” make it unlikely that truth will prevail in a democracy? Or does it depend on how that democracy has chosen to educate its young? Is the structure of the family political? What’s the relationship between statecraft and soulcraft? Underlying all this are the fundamental questions: what constitutes a flourishing human life, and how do we know?

As we engage these questions, we will also develop our understanding of interpretive rigor. What counts as evidence for a persuasive interpretation of a complex text? What effect does the dialogue form, or historical context, have on the content of the work and on our interpretation of it?

POLI 272 The Ethics of Peace, War, and Defense (PHIL 272) (PWAD 272) (3)

ONLINE. An analysis of ethical issues that arise in peace, war, and defense, e.g., the legitimacy of states, just war theory, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction. REMOTE ONLY-SYNCHRONOUS.

POLI 281 Quantitative Research in Political Science (3) ***Cancelled***

An introduction to 1) conceptual foundations of scientific study of politics, 2) research design, 3) descriptive statistics, and 4) inferential statistics. To accomplish these goals, the course employs class lectures, readings, and problem set assignments. REMOTE ONLY-SYNCHRONOUS.

POLI 287 Strategy and International Relations (PWAD 287) (3)

MAYMESTER. This course explores how we can use game theory to analyze strategic decision making in international relations. Why is it often hard for countries to cooperate? How can leaders make credible threats and promises to achieve their goals in international politics? When will bargaining break down and lead to war? To answer questions like these, we will first learn how to create and solve game theoretic models. We will then see how these models can be used to gain insights into different strategic situations in international relations. During the course, students will have an opportunity to develop their own game theoretic model to explain an event in international relations. REMOTE ONLY-SYNCHRONOUS

POLI 432 Tolerance in Liberal States (3)

MAYMESTER. This course will compare the theory and practice of tolerance in the United States and Europe, with particular attention to Great Britain and France. REMOTE ONLY-SYNCHRONOUS.

Second Session, 2021

POLI 100 American Democracy in Changing Times (3)

ONLINE. Why do Americans love democracy, but hate politics? Why are there only two political parties? Why do votes hate, yet respond to negative campaigning? This course will introduce students to politics in the United States, addressing these and many more questions about how American democracy works. REMOTE ONLY-MOSTLY ASYNCHRONOUS.

Click here to see the course flyer.

POLI 130 Introduction to Comparative Politics (3)

This course highlights the comparative method by seeking to understand difficulties among diverse states on several continents. REMOTE ONLY-SYNCHRONOUS.

POLI 150 International Relations and Global Politics (PWAD 150) (3)

An introduction to the study of political and economic relations in the international system. Topics covered include international conflict, trade, global finance, international institutions, civil war, and human rights. IN-PERSON AND REMOTE LEARNERS.

POLI 208 Political Parties and Elections (3)

An analysis of the dynamics of party alignment and realignment and of nomination and election to public office in American national government. MODE OF INSTRUCTION TBA.

POLI 209 Analyzing Public Opinion (3)

A study of forces affecting public opinion and its expression in various political activities. Extensive use of laptop computers in class. IN-PERSON ON-CAMPUS.

POLI 271 Modern Political Thought (3)

Survey course designed to introduce students to major political thinkers and schools of thought dating roughly from the 16th century to the present. IN-PERSON ON-CAMPUS.

POLI 272 The Ethics of Peace, War, and Defense (PWAD 272) (PHIL 272) (3)

ONLINE. An analysis of ethical issues that arise in peace, war, and defense, e.g., the legitimacy of states, just war theory, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction.

POLI 280 American Political Thought (3)

A survey course in American political ideas from the 17th century to the present, with emphasis on the role of politics, society, and economy in American thought.

POLI 281 Quantitative Research in Political Science (3)

An introduction to 1) conceptual foundations of scientific study of politics, 2) research design, 3) descriptive statistics, and 4) inferential statistics. To accomplish these goals, the course employs class lectures, readings, and problem set assignments. REMOTE ONLY-SYNCHRONOUS.