Course Offerings | Government

Division of Social Studies

William Garriott (chair), Lori Hartmann-Mahmud, Larry Matheny, Nayef Samhat, Daniel Stroup; student: Amanda Farabee, Brooke Folley

The Government program is designed to assist students in developing the arts of deliberation and judgment by which they may understand more fully and participate more effectively in public affairs. Analytical reasoning, effective writing, and proficiency in basic research techniques are skills cultivated and used throughout the program.

Special attention is given to the use of language since facility in this art is the best means by which to cut through the ideological and partisan jargon that surrounds and camouflages so much discussion of politics. Sensitivity to the nuances of language and skill in identifying common fallacies and cleverly used rhetoric are required for the study of politics.

Emphasis is placed not so much on the changing details of current events, but on the philosophical, historical, and institutional nature of the persistent problems that current issues illustrate. Students can anticipate a rigorous inquiry into political philosophy, American government, comparative government, and international relations. Attention is given to both empirical and normative aspects of these subjects. Primary texts and public documents are extensively used. Majors in our program are urged to undertake study in related disciplines, particularly in economics, history, philosophy, statistics, and languages.

Students are offered a diversity of non-classroom learning experiences. The Government program encourages independent study, internships, and off-campus academic programs.

The perspectives and skills acquired by students in government classes will serve them in a wide range of career fields, including public service, law, politics, business, and journalism.

Recommended Freshman-Sophomore Preparation

Students considering a major in government should try to satisfy as many graduation and major requirements as possible in their first two years. Elective courses in government, history, and economics are recommended. In addition, courses in foreign language and mathematics, especially statistics, are useful.

Requirements for the Major

ECO 110;
GOV 110, 210, 260;
GOV 300 or 301;
One GOV course chosen from courses numbered 310-339 or 410-439;
One GOV course chosen from courses numbered 340-379 or 440-479;
GOV 500;
Two additional GOV courses numbered 300 or higher.

Requirements for the Minor

GOV 110, 210, 260;
Three GOV courses numbered 300 or higher drawn from at least two of the three areas of the discipline (American government, political theory, and comparative government and international relations).

Government Courses

GOV 110 Introduction to Politics
An introduction to political values and institutions as they have evolved in historical context. Emphasis is placed on the examination of classic texts in political thought and their relevance to contemporary political life.

GOV 210 American Politics and Institutions
An introduction to the process of American government, emphasizing the structure, powers, and functions of government, primarily at the federal level.

GOV 260 Introduction to International Relations
An investigation of the basic factors in international politics, including the relationship of international politics to international economics in the conduct of foreign affairs.

Political Theory

GOV 300, 301 Western Political Theory-I, II
A survey of the works of selected thinkers whose political ideas and approaches to the study of politics have become a part of the framework of Western political institutions and thought. Emphasis is placed on such theorists as Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Burke, Mill, Hegel, and Marx. Prerequisite: GOV 300 or permission of the instructor for GOV 301.

GOV 403-409 Topics in Political Theory

American Government

GOV 310 American Political Thought
An examination of the major strands of political ideas in the United States, traced from their English antecedents to the present. Prerequisite: GOV 210; or HIS 230, 240; or permission of the instructor.

GOV 311 The American Founding
A consideration of some of the fundamental principles of the American constitutional regime, emphasizing the formation and ratification of the Constitution and the political principles of such founders as Adams, Hamilton, Madison, and Jefferson.

GOV 312 The Crisis of the Union
An examination of constitutional theory and political ideology from 1820 to 1860. Emphasis is placed on the ideas and politics of such figures as Webster, Clay, Calhoun, Lincoln, Douglas, and Davis. Extensive use is made of primary materials: speeches, letters, diaries, and public documents.

GOV 320 American Constitutional Interpretation
A study of the fundamentals of American constitutional law as seen through the decisions of the United States Supreme Court. Prerequisite: GOV 210 or HIS 230, 240.

GOV 321 Civil Liberties
A consideration, primarily through hypothetical cases, of constitutional issues arising under the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment.

GOV 330 Political Parties and Political Behavior
A study of the major factors involved in the behavior of party systems, emphasizing American political parties. Prerequisite: GOV 210; or HIS 230, 240; or permission of the instructor.

GOV 331 State and Local Politics
The American political process at the state and local levels, and the dynamics of American federalism.

GOV 332 Executive Branch Politics
An examination of the American presidency and the administrative agencies of the executive branch of the national government. Focus is on the policy-making process within the executive branch. Prerequisite: Junior standing and GOV 210 or permission of the instructor.

GOV 410-419 Topics in American political Thought

GOV 420-429 Topics in American Public Law

GOC 430-439 Topics in American Politics

Comparative Government and International Relations

GOV 340 European Politics
A study of major political systems in Europe, both East and West. Special emphasis is given to the ongoing changes in political structures of the European communities. Prerequisite: GOV 110 or permission of the instructor.

GOV 341 Latin American Politics
A study of the political systems of Latin America. Attention is given to the problems of political changes and economic development. The role of the United States in Latin American politics is also explored. Prerequisite: GOV 110 or permission of the instructor.

GOV 342 Politics of the Near East and South Asia

GOV 343 Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa
A general introduction to politics on the African continent south of the Sahara Desert. The first part of the course explores African political systems chronologically from pre-colonial forms such as "empires," through colonialism, and into the current nation-state system. The second half of the course looks at several political challenges facing Africa today, bringing in specific country examples to illustrate how those challenges are being met. Examples include: the ethnic factor, the legacy of colonialism, democratic transitions, and the debate over whether development should precede democracy (or vice-versa). Some topical issues such as the environment, population and health are also examined.

GOV 350 Gender and Politics
An exploration of gender and feminist issues as they relate to political theory and political participation. The first part of the course examines current debates in international relations theory concerning the significance and relevance of feminist contributions. This is followed by an analysis of men’s and women’s participation in American politics. Finally, the course compares the American context with the experiences of Europe and the developing world.

GOV 351 Women and Development
An examination of perspectives on women’s role in development, concentrating on Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. Some themes include: the effect of development projects on women’s quality of life, balance links between women’s productive and reproductive roles, how women’s work is conceptualized, and structural obstacles to women’s empowerment. Includes a study of specific ways in which "Third World" women have organized to improve their condition locally and globally.

GOV 360 International Institutions
An examination of the institutions and practices which govern interactions amongst states and non-state actors in international relations. Particular attention is given to the development of norms and principles that constitute international law and regimes, as well as the role of international organizations in contemporary global issues such as human rights, the environment, and peace and security.

GOV 361 International Law
A study of the principles, customs, and rules recognized as binding obligations on sovereign states in their mutual relationships. Emphasis is given to the evolution of international law and its effectiveness in ordering the relationships among nations.

GOV 362 International Organization
A study of the development and effectiveness of international organizations in regulating relationships among states and other actors in the international system. Emphasis is given to the United Nations, regional organizations, and political-economic organizations such as the IMF and GATT.

GOV 363 American Foreign Policy
A study of the formulation and implementation of American foreign policy. Attention is devoted to how political institutions (President, Congress, bureaucracy, etc.) interact to produce foreign policy. Major issues of American foreign policy, both past and present, are discussed. Prerequisite: GOV 260 or permission of the instructor.

GOV 370 International Political Economy
An introduction to the concepts, theory, and policy of international political economy. The course discusses the traditional perspectives, alternative views, and primary issues of the contemporary international political economy including money, trade, development, and transnational corporations. (Also listed as PEC 451.)

GOV 371 Political Economy of Development
An examination of leading theories of political economy and how they apply to challenges facing developing countries. Focus is on the specific challenge of the debt crisis and the various strategies for mitigating it (e.g., IMF and World Bank – sponsored structural adjustment programs, national level approaches, proposals for debt relief, etc.). Finally, the course examines how individuals are affected by the debt crisis in developing countries. Prerequisite: GOV 11 or permission of instructor. (Also listed as PEC 452.)

GOV 440-449 Topics in Country and Regional Politics

GOV 450-459 Topics in Comparative Politics

GOV 460-469 Topics in International relations

GOV 470-479 Topics in International Political Economy

GOV 450 Comparative Legal Systems
A comparative study of the Anglo-American common law tradition and the civil law tradition of Continental Europe. Emphasis is placed on examining legal institutions in their cultural context. The course also considers the effects of European integration on domestic legal institutions. Offered in Strasbourg.

GOV 500 Senior Seminar

Special Topics Offered 1998-2001

GOV 15 American Civil Rights Movement
An examination of the events of the Civil Rights Movement with emphasis on their effects on American political values, processes, and institutions.

GOV 15, 45A Congress: A Simulation
An examination of the legislative process using a simulation model. Each student takes on the role of one of the following: member of House of Representatives, the President, cabinet member, lobbyist, or journalist (print or electronic media). Through the performance of these roles, students gain an understanding of the politics of policy making, and the norms of behavior characteristic of the major actors in the policy-making process.

GOV 15 Politics in African Fiction
An examination of how politics in Africa is explained, critiqued, and satirized through African fiction. Political themes are highlighted, discussed, and compared in light of the context in which works are written. The course also explores reasons for which politics is such a prominent theme in much of the fiction written by Africans.

GOV 15 Politics in Literature
A consideration of various themes and concepts of politics as they appear in novels, plays, and short stories.

GOV 25, 45C Politics of India
An exploration of the challenge of political development through an examination of India since independence. Beginning with an introduction to theories of political development, the course proceeds to examine the social, economic, and political forces that have made possible democracy in India. Students have the opportunity to visit significant sites that have given India a unique political and national identity, to observe first hand both the extraordinary diversity of the country as well as the enormity of the development challenge.

GOV 25, 45C Studies of Indian Development
Directed and focused research on a topic of student interest, approved by the instructor. Students draw on their experience and local resources in India to research and write a significant essay. Students present both their research and their conclusions to the class.

GOV 45A American Political Ideologies
An examination of recent American politics and public policies from an ideological perspective. Several ideologies that emerged from the collapse of the liberal consensus in the 1960s are considered, including neoliberalism, neoconservatism, progressive populism, conservative populism, and libertarianism. The course material draws from contemporary American political writing.

GOV 45C Comparative Political Sociology
A comparative analysis of national and international power relationships, focusing on the development of the state and how it relates to global economies, cultures, and civil societies. Neo-development and world system theories are discussed along with competing theories on the role of the nation-state in the modern and post-modern eras. Competing classical theories relating to the debate over the primary role of polity vs. economy in determining social structure are explored. Prerequisite: SOC 11 or ANT 11 or GOV 11. (Also listed as SOC 45.)