Course Offerings - Catalog 2012-13

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Division of Social Studies

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 participation in 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.


Daniel Stroup (chair fall), Christopher Paskewich (chair CentreTerm and spring), Dina Badie, Robert Bosco, Lori Hartmann-Mahmud, Benjamin Knoll


Alex Birmingham (fall), Bethany Carson, Jennifer Hormell (spring)

Recommended First-Year/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. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing; GOV 110 strongly recommended.

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. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing; GOV 110 strongly recommended.

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:Junior standing; GOV 300 or permission of the instructor for GOV 301.

GOV 403-409 Topics in Political Theory
Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of the instructor; GOV 300 or 301 or permission of the instructor.

GOV 405 Politics of the Information Age
An exploration of how politics in the 21st century is being shaped by the internet, computers, mobile communications and other aspects of an information-intensive age. Special emphasis is placed on the influence of technology on warfare (“information warfare” and “cyber-terrorism”) and political economy (post-industrialism and the “hacker ethic”). Challenges to the nation-state, such as supra-national organizations (European Union) and networks are considered.

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: Junior standing; GOV 210; or HIS 230, 240; or permission of the instructor.

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: Junior standing; GOV 210 or HIS 230, 240. Sophomores who have completed either GOV 210 or HIS 230, 240 may enroll with permission of the instructor.

GOV 321 Civil Liberties
A consideration, primarily through hypothetical cases, of constitutional issues arising under the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment. Junior standing; GOV 210 or HIS 230, 240. Sophomores who have completed either GOV 210 or HIS 230, 240 may enroll with permission of the instructor.

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.

GOV 331 State and Local Politics
This is a course about politics at the state, county, and city levels, covering a variety of topics including American federalism, the structure and organization of state and local governments, what these governments do, who participates, and how local campaigns are run. The focus is naturally on politics here in Kentucky and Boyle County. The course provides several opportunities for hands-on participation and involvement. We might attend a city council meeting, visit the state capitol and observe the state legislature in session, interview local political leaders, and/or participate in a city council simulation which will help us gain an understanding of what practical politics is all about. Prerequisite: GOV 110.

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: GOV 210.

GOV 333 The American Presidency
An examination of the nature of the presidency and its role in the American political system. The presidency is defined broadly to include both the presidential office and the institutional structures in the White House and the Executive Office of the President that have grown up around it. Prerequisite: GOV 210.

GOV 334 Congress
A consideration of the politics and processes of our national legislature with attention to their effects on its policy decisions. Topics covered include representation and the electoral process, congressional organization, the legislative process, and relations of the Congress with other political actors. Prerequisite: GOV 210 or permission of the instructor.

GOV 335 Public Administration
An introduction to the major concepts of administration, emphasizing the policy-making and policy-implementation functions of the federal bureaucracy. Prerequisite: GOV 210 or permission of the instructor.

GOV 336 Public Opinion and Voting Behavior
An examination of what Americans think about politics, why they vote, and how they vote. We will also discuss issues like partisanship, ideology, polarization, mass media, and political advertising. Students can expect lots of hands-on experience with conducting and analyzing public opinion polls using SPSS and/or an equivalent statistical analysis program. Prerequisite: GOV 110 or permission of the instructor.

GOV 410-439 Topics in American Politics
Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of the instructor; GOV 210 or permission of the instructor.

GOV 437 Public Policy
A discussion of the intellectual foundation for the legitimacy and functions of the American administrative state and the processes and mechanisms through which policy is designed and implemented. The course clearly delineates the capacities and expectations of public agencies with the private sector. Students develop some practical experience in utilizing the “tools of the trade” of policy analysis (e.g., theories of policy analysis, cost-benefit analysis, externalities, incentive design, moral hazard and the role of the non-profit sector). Prerequisite: GOV 110, GOV 210, and ECO 110.

GOV 340 European Politics
A study of major political systems in Europe, both East and West. Special emphasis is given to the ongoing economic and political challenges faced by the European Union as well as the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Poland and Hungary. Prerequisite: Junior standing; 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:Junior standing; GOV 110 or permission of the instructor.

GOV 343 African Politics
A general introduction to politics on the African continent. The first part of the course explores African political systems chronologically from pre-colonial forms, through the colonial period, and into the current post-colonial 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 conflict resolution strategies. Some topical issues such as the environment, population and health are also examined. Prerequisite: Junior standing; GOV 110 or permission of the instructor.

GOV 344 Politics of the Middle East
A study of the political sources of conflict in the Middle East. These sources include religion, great power rivalry, resource conflict, and levels of development. These sources are applied to the variety of conflicts in the region, including intra-Arab disputes, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the notion of civilizational conflict between the West and Islam, and the implications for transformation in the Middle East. Prerequisite: junior standing and GOV 110 or permission of the instructor.

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. Prerequisite:Junior standing; GOV 110 or permission of the instructor.

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. Prerequisite:Junior standing; GOV 110 or permission of the instructor.

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. Prerequisite: Junior standing; GOV 260 or permission of the instructor.

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. Prerequisite: Junior standing; GOV 260 or permission of the instructor.

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. Prerequisite: Junior standing; 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. Prerequisite: Junior standing; GOV 260 or permission of the instructor. (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: Junior standing; GOV 110 or permission of instructor. (Also listed as PEC 452)

GOV 441 African Politics/Civil Society: Case of Cameroon
This course highlights the dynamic nature of civil society in a country attempting to make the transition from an authoritarian to a democratic system: Cameroon in Central Africa . Students visit with government officials, opposition leaders, traditional chiefs, and other NGOs to provide windows into a diverse and beautiful country seeking to redefine itself politically. Open to students who have paid the deposit for this off campus program. (Conducted in Cameroon.)

GOV 446 France Inside Out
A look at the French experience focusing on political culture. The course examines political attitudes about domestic and global issues within France as well as outsiders’ perspectives of France on issues such as France’s role in the international community, France as a target country for immigrants, and France as an exporter of culture and language.

GOV 450-459 Topics in Comparative Politics
Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of the instructor; GOV 110 or permission of the instructor.

GOV 451 British Politics
An introduction to the structures, processes, and issues of the modern British political system using London as a primary resource. During the first half of the course, students in teams of two research, visit and write written profiles of London parliamentary constituencies as part of a class-produced London Political Travel Guide. During the second half of the course students “join” one of the hundreds of British political pressure groups of their choosing, from pro-fox-hunting to anti-nuclear and every imaginable social, political, economic, and cultural topic in between. The class will discuss current British political issues such as political parties, electoral reform, the European Union, devolution and civil rights. (Conducted in London.)

GOV 453 Urban Politics
A study of the politics of cities, towns, and their communities. Students investigate issues facing modern towns and cities, including crime, public education, aging infrastructures, gentrification, racial segregation, immigration, and poverty. A global study of cities also explores the way cities are designed across the world, including city layouts and the use of sidewalks, parks, streets, and other public spaces. These public spaces and their geography, political culture, and economic diversity are closely examined. Finally, the class Investigates just how much influence our politicians and citizens have on the very cities they live in. Prerequisite: GOV 110 or permission of the instructor.

GOV 460-469 Topics in International Relations
Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of the instructor; GOV 260 or permission of the instructor.

GOV 461 The Construction of Europe
A study of the three European institutions housed in Strasbourg, France: The European Union (EU), The Council of Europe, and the European Court of Human Rights. In part, the course uses a case study approach, focussing on current issues being debated and decided in Strasbourg, the administrative center of Europe. (Conducted in Strasbourg.)

GOV 464 Religion and International Politics
This course examines broadly the ways in which religion impacts international politics, as well as how international political forces impact religion(s). We will first look at how to study religion in international politics through different theoretical lenses, and move on to consider the political implications of various definitions of religion. Then we will look at the role of religion and religious actors in diverse topic areas such as conflict and political violence, peacekeeping and conflict resolution, resistance and rebellion, diplomacy and foreign policy, international religious freedom, and finally (inter)national security.

GOV 465 International Migration: Examination of Theories and Current Trends
An examination of the dynamics of international migration, concentrating on movement from the global South to the global North as well as forced migration in the developing world. Some themes include: state migration policy and public opinion in the E.U., coerced migration and human trafficking in South East Asia, refugees and internally discplaced persons (IDPs), women and migration, human rights of migrants and international organizations, and environmental displacement. Includes specific case studies of migrant communities and the regional treatment of migration issues.  Prerequisite: Junior/senior standing; GOV 110 or permission of the instructor.

GOV 470 Law and Economics of American Colonialism: Rights and Resources of Native Cultures
This course examines Hawaii as a microcosm of economic development in the face of political, cultural and environmental tensions. Students discover the history of our 50th state and how that history shaped the fate of native cultures and natural resources. Case studies include Hawaiian independence movements, coffee agriculture, ecotourism, environmental sustainability, and the political economy of Hawaii. Conducted in Hawaii.

GOV 500 Senior Seminar
Prerequisite: Senior majors who have completed GOV 110, 210, and 260.