Politics, Law, and International Relations

Professors

Sarah Fisher, Chair

Krystin Krause

The members of the Department of Politics, Law, and International Relations offer two distinct major tracks in Political Science (listed below). Furthermore, in conjunction with colleagues from other departments, we participate in five different interdisciplinary majors: Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics (PPE, listed separately in this catalog); Asian Studies (ASIA); European Studies (EUST); Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (MEIS); and International Studies and Business (INSB) (the last four listed separately in this catalog under International Studies).

Degrees and Certificates

Classes

POLS 103 : Politics of the United States

Introductory study of (1) the nature and origins of the United States constitution; (2) structure, organization, and functions of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the national government; and (3) the evolution and character of elections, media, parties, and interest groups in American political society. This course satisfies the Modes of Inquiry requirement for Understanding the Individual and Society.

Semester Hours

3

POLS 105 : Introduction to International Relations

The concepts, theories, and debates of International Relations, with a focus on contemporary issues across all regions of the globe. Emphasis on the role of states, international organizations, NGOs, and individuals in both cooperation and conflict, and the ways in which transnational issues related to globalization challenge state sovereignty. This course satisfies the Modes of Inquiry requirement for Understanding the Individual and Society. This course satisfies the International Exploration requirement.

Semester Hours

3

POLS 117 : Law and Society

Contexts and range of tasks confronting modern societies in using the law as a special type of process that restores, maintains, or corrects the four basic functions of the law: resolution of disputes, facilitation and protection of voluntary arrangements, molding moral and legal conceptions of a society, and maintenance of historical continuity and consistency of doctrine.

Semester Hours

3

POLS 202 : State & Local Govt in US

Overview of the politics, elections, institutions, policy practices, and court systems of the states and their local governments in the U. S. federal system. Special emphasis on Virginia politics. Participation in a community service project.

Semester Hours

3

Prerequisites

103.

POLS 215 : Intro. to Comparative Politics

Basic theories and issues in the field of Comparative Politics, issues of economic development and regime type, reasons why different countries work under different political institutions, and the benefits and shortcomings of different institutional configurations. Important political and social issues analyzed from a comparative perspective. This course satisfies the Modes of Inquiry requirement for Understanding the Individual and Society.

Semester Hours

3

POLS 216 : Politics of Decision Making

Assessment and critique of theories of decision making in political science, ranging from rational choice theory to new attempts to incorporate neuroscience into political theory. Application of decision-making theories to issue areas and case studies such as crisis decision making and ethnic conflict. Application of theories of decision making to both historical and contemporary settings.

Semester Hours

3

POLS 217 : Constitutional Interpretation

Development and evolution of the institutions of political power under the United States Constitution with particular emphasis on amendments to the Constitution and major decisions of the Supreme Court on the nature and scope of the judicial power, the expansion of national regulation, changes in the roles of the states and the national governments, and the growth of executive power. This course satisfies the proficiency requirements for Critical Thinking and Oral Communication in the disciplines.

Semester Hours

3

POLS 221 : Writing in Political Science

Writing skills specific to the social sciences for political science majors. Proper APA citation format, how to incorporate correctly cited direct quotations and paraphrased sources into political science writing, how to find sources and write a literature review, and how to revise writing and incorporate instructor feedback into subsequent drafts.

Semester Hours

3

POLS 223 : International Political Economy

Reciprocal interaction of international political and international economic relations, the formation of industrial policy and trade policy, and issues related to international investment flows. Cases from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and North America.

Semester Hours

3

Prerequisites

Economics 151 and 152 and Political Science 105.

POLS 235 : Comparative Pol in Western Europe

Interaction of history, culture, economy, society, and international environment in shaping contemporary European political systems at the national, regional, and global level. This course satisfies the Modes of Inquiry requirement for Understanding the Individual and Society. This course satisfies the International Exploration requirement.

Semester Hours

3

POLS 240 : History of Political Philosophy

Major works from the history of political philosophy with emphasis on the development of major ideas in political philosophy, debates between major thinkers, and the relevance of great works of political philosophy to human selfunderstanding and major political issues of our time. This course satisfies the Modes of Inquiry requirement for Interpreting Texts. This course satisfies the proficiency requirement for Ethical Reasoning in the disciplines.

Semester Hours

3

POLS 255 : Politics of Latin America

Basic theories and issues of comparative politics of Latin America, including development, modernization, dependency, populism, authoritarianism, democratization, democratic breakdown, civil-military relations, political institutions, and governance. This course satisfies the Social Sciences Core requirement. 3 credit hours. 

Semester Hours

3

POLS 300X : Race Class Gender Sexuality

How socially-constructed race, class, gender, and sexuality roles influence the lives of women and men in the United States. Similarities and differences between and among forms of oppression and ways in which issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect. Public policies related to these issues. Strategies for coalition-building and redefining differences. Participation in a service project. This course satisfies the proficiency requirement for Ethical Reasoning in the disciplines.

Semester Hours

3

Prerequisites

sophomore status.

POLS 310 : Parties & Elections in Amer Politic

Exploration of the role that parties, elections, interest groups, public opinion polls, and the media play in the political system of the United States, including discussions of the evolution of the American party system, the character of contemporary political campaigns, and campaign finance issues. This course satisfies the proficiency requirement for Written Communication in the disciplines.

Semester Hours

3

POLS 311 : The President and Congress

The institutional structure and operation of each branch; their constitutional, electoral, and political interrelationships including discussions of styles of presidential leadership, the evolving relationship between the President and the bureaucracy, congressional committee structures, and various strategies for securing the interbranch agreement necessary to make laws.

Semester Hours

3

POLS 312 : Politics and Public Policy

This course will focus on state and federal policy, with an emphasis on policy development and analysis. The course will provide an overview of role of various institutions, politics, and various actors on the policy process. Major theoretical models of policy development will be addressed.

Semester Hours

3

POLS 314 : National and International Security

Exploring and theorizing various national and international security issues, including nuclear proliferation, shifts in the frequency and nature of wars, genocide, ethnic conflict, and the use of political violence by state and non-state actors. Emphasis on the debates surrounding American primacy, counterterrorism, transnational security issues, and efforts for global and regional security cooperation. This course satisfies the proficiency requirement for Written Communication in the disciplines.

Semester Hours

3

POLS 317 : Civil Rights and Liberties

Role of the U.S. Supreme Court in using cases based on the Constitution to protect the rights of citizens from undue or prohibited interference with their protected liberties, including discussions of cases dealing with individual v. group rights, religious liberty, free expression, racial and gender discrimination, political participation, rights of the aged, immigrants, and the criminally accused.

Semester Hours

3

POLS 337 : Women in Politics

The political roles, attitudes, and status of women worldwide, including assessments of women's participation, cultural empowerment, and access to resources across diverse case studies and regions of the world. Emphasis on women and political activism, the construction of gender roles for political purposes, and the impact of globalization on women. This course satisfies the proficiency requirement for Written Communication in the disciplines.

Semester Hours

3

POLS 343 : Studies in American Political Developmen

Studies in specific periods or issues in American politics including major events in American political history; major works and important thinkers in the American political tradition; the historical development of political thought and practice in the United States; and fundamental tensions present in the American commitment to democratic government, individual liberty, equality, and the public good. Topics may include the American Founding, Rise and Fall of Jacksonian Democracy, the Long Reconstruction, Issues in Current Constitutional Construction, etc. This course satisfies the proficiency requirement for Written Communication in the disciplines.

Semester Hours

3

POLS 350 : Special Topics in POLS

Selected topics in American government, political history or theory, comparative government, or public policy. Topics chosen by instructors in consultation with student interests. One to three semester hours. May be repeated for different topics.

Semester Hours

3

POLS 400 : Moot Court

Development of student skills in legal research, reasoning, argumentation, and writing. Team preparation of an appellate brief on a moot court case and appellate argument before a panel of faculty and visiting attorneys. Political Science 400 prerequisites: 117 and 217.

Semester Hours

3

Prerequisites

.

POLS 401 : Moot Court II

Development of student skills in legal research, reasoning, argumentation, and writing. Team preparation of an appellate brief on a moot court case and appellate argument before a panel of faculty and visiting attorneys. Political Science 400 prerequisites: 117 and 217. Political Science 401 prerequisite: 400.

Semester Hours

1

Prerequisites

.

POLS 429 : International Dispute Res

Peaceful settlement of disputes involving application of international law, including disputes between sovereign states, disputes between states and individuals, and disputes between states and corporations. Institutions concerned with dispute settlement such as arbitral tribunals, the International Court of Justice, and more specialized bodies such as the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, the World Trade Organization, and other institutions handling economic, political, and human rights disputes.

Semester Hours

3

POLS 450 : Seminar: Problems in Politics

Selected political issues associated with the institutions, culture, and politics of the United States; international or comparative politics; or political theory, thought, or philosophy. All students will complete a major research essay on a topic of their choice.

Semester Hours

3

Prerequisites

103; 105; 240; and 225, 235, or 245; senior status or the permission of the department chair.

POLS 460 : Independent Study

Advanced independent research in a specific area of political science, under the supervision of a faculty member.

Semester Hours

4

Prerequisites

junior or senior status; departmental permission.

POLS 470 : Internship I

Work experience related to the student's major, jointly supervised by the instructor and agency personnel. Although the usual internship will carry either three or six hours credit, a student may elect to arrange an internship carrying between two and six hours credit with the permission of the department. Each hour of credit will require forty hours at the internship site.

Semester Hours

2 - 6

Prerequisites

junior or senior status.

POLS 471 : Internship II

Work experience related to the student's major, jointly supervised by the instructor and agency personnel. Although the usual internship will carry either three or six hours credit, a student may elect to arrange an internship carrying between two and six hours credit with the permission of the department. Each hour of credit will require forty hours at the internship site.

Semester Hours

6

Prerequisites

junior or senior status.

POLS 490 : Honors Thesis I

Independent research in a special topic for honors.

Semester Hours

3

Prerequisites

senior status, GPA of 3.