PrintShareE-Mail This Page

Political Science and International Relations

PS 101 American National Government (1)
An introductory study of the United States national government. The Constitution, the development of representational, judicial, and administrative procedures, and contemporary problems of the democratic process are described and analyzed. HSS; L.Sunderland; D.Oldfield; A.Civettini;

PS 122 Introduction to Latin American Politics (1)
An overview of the dilemmas of democratization and development. These issues are considered from a variety of perspectives (including those of indigenous people, women, peasants, religious groups and political parties), and in a number of countries. HSS; Cross Listing : LAST 122; K.Kampwirth;

PS 125 Introduction to Middle Eastern Politics (1)
This course provides students with an introduction to the major challenges facing the Middle East including nationalism, Islamism, gender politics, and social movements through a focus on a few cases such as Israel-Palestine, Iran, and Egypt.K.Kampwirth;

PS 128 Russian and East European Politics (1)
This course examines recent political developments in Russia and Eastern Europe, from the inception and evolution of the Soviet Union to the collapse of communism and the transition toward democracy and capitalism. Readings and assignments analyze the successes and failures of the "communist experiment" and investigate the processes of democratization, economic transition, social change and ethnic conflict that have defined the post-communist period. The course takes a comparative approach, though special attention is paid to the case of Russia.D.Beers;

PS 135 Introduction to American Public Policy (1)
This course focuses on the in-depth study of major current public policy issues. It looks at how American public policy is formulated and how public policies can be evaluated. These theoretical bases are then applied to a series of case studies of public policies to show more fully how the policy process works and to develop a fuller understanding of contemporary public policy issues. The federal budgetary process will always be included, but other topics will vary with each offering. Examples of past or possible policy areas include social security reform, welfare reform, education reform, and criminal justice policies. A.Civettini;

PS 200 Games, Strategies, and Politics (1)
This course is an introduction to game theory and strategic behavior. Game theory is a systematic framework for understanding strategic interaction: games model the interaction between players (politicians, firms, countries) where outcomes are determined by the configuration of players' preferences and the structure of the interaction. In political science games are employed to explain a broad range of phenomena, including but not limited to legislative bargaining, agenda setting, voting behavior, and international conflict. In this course students will learn to develop and solve games as well as important concepts such as dominant strategies, equilibrium, and backward induction, among others.QSR; Prereq : Math Proficiency; A.Civettini;

PS 210 Survey of International Relations (1)
Examination of the state system, elements of national power, sources of international conflict, the nature of war and strategy in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, measures to resolve conflicts, and prospects for the future. Additional concerns include "non-political" problems of resource scarcity, over-population and multinational corporations and their impact on third world states. HSS; S.Hulett;

PS 220 Survey of Comparative Politics (1)
An introduction to the basic theories of comparative politics in general use. Theories will be evaluated through consideration of a major theme in the subfield of comparative politics, such as political culture or democratization, considering this theme in the context of a number of countries.HSS; Prereq : PS 101 or PS 210 recommended; DV; K.Kampwirth; D.Beers;

PS 222 Media & Politics (1)
This course introduces students to the role of the media - newspapers, television, magazines, Internet - and its effects on public opinion and public policy. Students will gain a working knowledge of how the media work and how they influence - and are influenced by - the political world, particularly during elections. The course explores theoretical foundations of political communication, including framing, agenda setting, agenda building and branding, and gives students a strong practical knowledge of how to scrutinize media messages to discern what is reliable, credible news and what is not. Cross Listing : JOUR 222; J.Dyer;

PS 227 Women and Latin American Politics (1)
The varied roles that women play in politics--from international politics to personal politics--are considered. The focus is on the different ways in which women define their interests and act upon them, but gender in a broader sense (including men's roles) is analyzed. This course will analyze these issues in the context of a number of Latin American countries.HSS; Prereq : one course in social science or gender and women's studies required; DV; W; Cross Listing : GWST 227; K.Kampwirth;

PS 229 Women and American Politics (1)
This course examines various roles of women in American politics with particular emphasis on women as candidates and in elective office. The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with the major arguments in the field of women and politics, and to promote discussion of the impacts of women's political participation at all levels of American political life. Prereq : PS 101 or sophomore standing; Cross Listing : GWST 229; A.Civettini;

PS 230 The Study of Politics (1)
This course introduces students to how political scientists study political phenomena. Students will gain a working knowledge of the social scientific approach to research as well as the methods by which political scientists gather and analyze data. Students will be exposed to a framework for writing in political science by dissecting the process of political science research and the composition of the research report. Utilizing these tools, we explore the scope of political science by examining research topics in each major subfield of the discipline through reading established work and developing student research projects. Students will leave PS 230 with an understanding and appreciation of the varied subject matters and methods of political science research. Prereq : Two courses in PS at Knox, or permission of the instructor; A.Civettini; D.Beers;

PS 231 Populism in Latin America (1)
Many of the most famous (or infamous) political leaders in Latin America - people like Evita Perón, Lázaro Cárdenas, Rafael Correa and Hugo Chávez - are known as "populists." This course evaluates such leaders, with particular attention to the role of class and gender in their political careers. Other themes to be addressed include: Charismatic leadership, clasic populism vs. neo0populism vs. radical populism, the uneasy relationship between populism and democray, fiminism and populism, and the meanings of populist followership. Prereq : One previous Political Science or History course; Cross Listing : GWST 231; K.Kampwirth;

PS 234 Political Psychology (1)
This course examines the intersection of psychology and politics. Political scientists draw heavily on psychological theories to explain political phenomena. Topics covered in this course include but are not limited to political leadership and personality theories, the formation and structure of political attitudes, the behavior of citizens particularly voting behavior, the psychology of group interactions, and the psychology of foreign policy, war, peace, and terrorism. While the research explored draws heavily on psychological theories, no prior study of psychology is required for this course. Prereq : sophomore standing or permission of the instructor; Cross Listing : PSYC 234; A.Civettini;

PS 240 Voting and Elections (1)
This course examines the American electoral process by focusing on three components of it: the voting decision (who votes, why, and how), congressional elections and campaigns, and presidential elections and campaigns. The principal project is an in-depth case study of a contemporary Senate campaign. HSS; A.Civettini;

PS 241 Social Movements (1)
Analysis of the origins, strategies and political impact of social movements. Readings focus mainly on American movements including the Civil Rights movement, the Gay and Lesbian movement, the Labor movement and the Christian Right. HSS; DV; Cross Listing : ANSO 241; D.Oldfield;

PS 245 American Political Thought (1)
A study of selected theorists and statesmen of American democracy, emphasizing the role of political thought in the nation's development and politics. The Federalist is emphasized; Jefferson, Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Black theorists are treated. HSS; Prereq : PS 101 recommended; W; L.Sunderland;

PS 248 Teaching Assistant (1/2 or 1)
Prereq : Permission of instructor; May be graded S/U at instructor's discretion; Staff

PS 260 Religion and Politics in the United States (1)
An examination of the role of religion in political activism. Among the topics covered are the Black Church and the civil rights movement, the Christian Right, the partisan politics of the "culture war", and religiously based voting and terrorism. Primary focus of the course is on the United States.HSS; DV; Cross Listing : AMST 260; D.Oldfield; S.Hulett;

PS 265 Religion and World Politics (1)
An examination of the impact of religion on contemporary world politics. Topics covered may include: the rise of fundamentalist religious movements, religious challenges to secular states, transnational religious activism around human rights, peace and social justice issues, the "clash of civilizations," and religiously based terrorism. Prereq : PS 210 or PS 220 or sophomore standing; DV; Cross Listing : RELS 265; D.Oldfield;

PS 268 Politics of International Development (1)
An introduction to the study of international development. This course examines ongoing debates about the meaning and purpose of political and economic development, the underlying causes of extreme poverty and global inequality, and efforts by international institutions and NGOs to foster economic growth and good governance in the developing world.DV; D.Beers;

PS 295 Special Topics (1/2 or 1)
Courses offered occasionally to students in special areas of Political Science not covered in the usual curriculum.Staff

PS 301 Democracy and Globalization (1)
This course examines the dilemmas of democracy in an era of globalization. As people, goods, investment, and images flow more freely across national boundaries, what happens to our ability to democratically control the developments that shape our lives? Are models of democracy based on the nation-state outmoded? Prereq : IIS 100 or a 200-level political science course; D.Oldfield;

PS 305 Political Communication (1)
A general examination of the role played in the political process by newspapers, magazines, and television. Emphasis is on both secondary sources and primary materials, leading to analysis of an important aspect of the communication process. HSS; Prereq : PS 101 recommended; Cross Listing : JOUR 305; Staff

PS 306 American Presidency (1)
The powers of the President and the various limitations on those powers are studied. In addition to examining the historical debate about the presidency, contemporary issues such as the extent of war powers and executive privilege are also addressed. Prereq : PS 101; O; A.Civettini; D.Oldfield;

PS 307 State and Local Government (1)
The functions of state and local government are examined in relation to the federal government. Additional topics include the structure of community power and the distribution of political resources, responsiveness of government to citizen demands and group participation, urban politics, political machines and fiscal crises. Prereq : PS 101; A.Civettini;

PS 308 American Political Parties (1)
The course focuses on the nature and functions of American political parties and the dynamics of their development during periods of realignment. Models of political parties and participation, American state party systems, primaries and nominations, campaigning, parties in government, and proposals for reform of the party system are studied. Prereq : PS 101; A.Civettini;

PS 309 Congress (1)
The focus of the course is on the organizational structure of Congress, the nature of its processes, and the behavior of its members. Specific topics include institutional and procedural differences between the House and Senate, the role and importance of the committee and party systems, congressional decision making, and Congressional interaction with the President, executive branch bureaucracy, the courts, interest groups, and constituents. Prereq : PS 101; A.Civettini;

PS 310 Interest Groups (1)
This course examines the role of organized interest groups in American politics. It begins with a discussion of the reasons for and obstacles to formation of interest organizations. The majority of the course is then dedicated to the analysis of the ways in which organized interests pervade American politics, including elections, legislative action, public policy implementation, and public opinion formation and persuasion. The course concludes with a discussion of the benefits and detriments to democracy of our current interest group system and proposals for reform. Prereq : PS 101; PS 230 is recommended; A.Civettini;

PS 311 Urban Politics (1)
An examination of power and politics in American urban areas. Among the topics covered: the rise and fall of political machines, racial and ethnic coalition building, poverty and segregation, the global political economy of urban development, the impact of immigration, regional government, and federal urban policy. Prereq : PS 101 or sophomore standing; DV; D.Oldfield;

PS 312 International Organizations (1)
An examination of the theory and role of international organizations, public and private, and transnational organizations, in the conduct of international relations. May include examinations of the United Nations, NATO, OPEC, NAFTA, Mercosur, International Red Cross, Save the Children, the European Union, and the International Court of Justice. Prereq : PS 210 or permission of the instructor; O; D.Beers;

PS 314 U.S.-Latin American Relations (1)
This course considers a number of issues including: political, economic and cultural explanations of the shifting patterns of U.S. policy toward Latin America; the source and impact of recent changes in the international political economy; and the role of grassroots factors in shaping U.S. foreign policy. HSS; Prereq : previous course work in social science or history; W; Cross Listing : LAST 314; K.Kampwirth;

PS 315 Contemporary American Foreign Policy (1)
Analysis of the issues, strategies, and objectives of U.S. foreign policy since World War II. Machinery for the formulation and implementation of foreign policy and basic assumptions that go into its determination are also examined. HSS; Prereq : sophomore standing; O; W; S.Hulett;

PS 316 American Foreign Policy in the 21st Century (1)
Expanding on theories, policies, and crises underlying American foreign policy in the 20th century (PS 315), this course examines security issues for the U.S. in a number of political, military, and economic areas such as: causes of war and means of conflict avoidance or resolution; global peace-keeping mechanisms like the UN and NATO; theories of multilateral vs. unilateral policy approaches and preventive vs. pre-emptive defense approaches; and dealing with terrorism, weapons proliferation, and "civilizational" clashes. Prereq : sophomore standing; S.Hulett;

PS 317 Advanced International Relations (1)
Examination and analysis of selected theories of international relations such as deterrence theory, decision-making theory, democratic peace theory, systems theory, and scientific theory. Prereq : PS 210, junior standing; O; W; S.Hulett;

PS 320 Emerging Democracies (1)
This course examines the process of political transition from dictatorship to democracy. Drawing on examples from Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, students analyze the key determinants of successful democratization and consider the causes and consequences of the global spread of democracy. Prereq : PS 220 or permission of the instructor; W; D.Beers;

PS 321 European Governments (1)
This course is divided into three sections. In the first, we survey the history and development of the European Union as a supranational governing body. Next, we focus on the most recent wave of enlargement, when the EU expanded its membership to include ten new post-communist states, In the final section, we survey some of the most important political challenges facing the EU today.HSS; Prereq : sophomore standing; D.Beers;

PS 323 Comparative Politics of the Middle East (1)
A survey course of modern Middle Eastern politics, with emphasis on the problems and prospects of national and international political change and development. Prereq : PS 220 or permission of the instructor; DV; K.Kampwirth;

PS 326 Comparative Revolution (1)
Why do people revolt? When do they succeed? What happens after the overthrow of the old regime? This course addresses these and other questions related to class, culture, gender, and religion by considering revolutionary movements in a number of countries with a focus on Latin American, Asian, and Middle Eastern cases.HSS; Prereq : previous 200 or 300 level course work in social science or history; W; Cross Listing : LAST 326; K.Kampwirth;

PS 333 Global Feminism and Antifeminism (1)
This course will examine backlashes against feminist movements, and against states and global forces that seek to mobilize men and women into more egalitarian roles. Considering examples from the United States, South Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin America, this course will consider what sorts of people become antifeminists; how they organize within countries; how that organization has varied across time and cultures; and how international feminists have responded to these challenges. Prereq : at least 1 HSS course in which gender is a major theme; DV; W; Cross Listing : GWST 333; K.Kampwirth;

PS 342 The Modern Theorists (1)
Machiavelli to Marx. The political writings of Machiavelli, Locke, Rousseau, and Marx are emphasized. The course treats the foundations of modern political theory and analyzes their strengths, shortcomings, and relationship to contemporary political life. HSS; Prereq : sophomore standing recommended; W; L.Sunderland;

PS 348 Teaching Assistant (1/2 or 1)
Prereq : Permission of instructor; May be graded S/U at instructor's discretion; Staff

PS 362 American Constitutional Law I (1)
The law of the Constitution as developed by decisions of the United States Supreme Court: the role of the judiciary, judicial review, and separation of powers; the relationship of the states to the national government, the powers of Congress and the President. Prereq : sophomore standing; O; W; L.Sunderland;

PS 363 American Constitutional Law II (1)
The rights and liberties of individuals under the American Constitution: civil rights, procedural rights, equal protection of the laws, due process of law, and freedom of expression and religion. Prereq : PS 362 or permission of the instructor; O; W; L.Sunderland;

PS 370 Internships in Public Affairs (1/2 to 3)
The department assists outstanding political science majors by giving them challenging internship assignments with important government agencies, political leaders, and other participants in the political process. Interns are eligible for up to three credits, depending upon the length of their experience and the nature of related scholarly papers accomplished under the supervision of the department. Prereq : permission of the instructor; May be repeated for a maximum of 3.0 credits; Staff

PS 395 Special Topics (1/2 or 1)
Courses offered occasionally to students in special areas of Political Science not covered in the usual curriculum.Staff

PS 399 Explorations in Political Science (1)
A seminar exploring areas of continuity between political analysis and the considerations of other social or philosophical systems. Examines topics or problems not usually treated in regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit; Staff

PS 400 Advanced Studies (1/2 or 1)
See College Honors Program. Staff

Upcoming Events