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Morris Bulletin / Division Structure and Course Descriptions

Political Science (Pol)

This discipline is in the Division of the Social Sciences.

Objectives—The political science curriculum is designed to help liberal arts students become competent and knowledgeable citizens. Its main objectives are to encourage students to acquire analytical skills and critical thinking as they engage in the analysis of theories, institutions, and processes of political science; prepare students for graduate studies and research in political science and policy studies; and provide preprofessional training for careers in law, government, or private business.

Requirements for a Major include the core courses: Pol 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400; and 30 additional credits in 3xxx political science courses. Of those 3xxx courses, each student is required to take at least one course from each of the following areas of specialization: American government and politics (3200-3299); political ideas and ideologies (3300-3399); and international relations and comparative politics (3400-3599). Courses with grades of D are not acceptable to meet the major requirements.

Students who are particularly interested in one of the three areas of specialization listed above are encouraged to select several courses in that area while meeting the major requirements. Further, students interested in preparation for graduate training in political science or policy studies are encouraged to take Pol 3275 and Math 1150 as additional preparation in research skills. Those students who aspire to legal training are encouraged to take Pol 3220 and 3420. Students who aspire to careers in public service are encouraged to take Pol 3240 and appropriate courses from other disciplines so as to complement their preparation in political science. Undergraduate training for students interested in careers in public service should emphasize the integration of theory and practice. Students so inclined should consult with their adviser concerning a schedule of courses designed to meet their particular needs.

A political science major will be expected to demonstrate

  • knowledge of political institutions, behavior, and process in domestic as well as international settings (a firm grasp of how governments are structured, how governments operate, how governments make decisions/policies and what the contents of those decisions/policies are, how governments manage social conflicts, and the various theories of how governments ought to be constituted);
  • the ability to critically analyze, interpret, and synthesize the major concepts/theories prevalent in the field;
  • the ability to collect, organize, and evaluate data in terms of their apparent validity and reliability based on sound methodology;
  • a facility for keeping abreast of and critically appraising new developments in the field;
  • skills in applying data, principles, and theories to practical problems and situations;
  • the ability to effectively engage in self-initiated and self-developed independent research.

Requirements for a Minor include Pol 1100, 1200, 1400; and 15 credits in 3xxx political science courses. Courses with grades of D are not acceptable to meet the minor requirements.

Requirements for Teacher Preparation—Students seeking teaching licensure in any of the social sciences must complete a social science major. Political science majors seeking teaching licensure must also complete a social science major and the required professional education courses including methods (SScE 3940) and student teaching in social studies. Required courses may not be taken S-N unless only offered S-N.

Course Descriptions

Pol 1100w. The State in the Modern World. (E4; 5 cr)

Introduction to political science. Scope and methods of study of forces and interests in politics, nature of the state and government, forms of government, electoral and party systems in the world, basic concepts of political science. Development, structure, and operation of the modern state with emphasis on nation-state totalitarian government and democratic government.

Pol 1200f,s. American Government and Politics. (E4; 5 cr)

Analysis of principles, organization, procedures, and powers of government in the United States. The federal system, national constitution, civil and political rights, party system; nature, structure, powers, and procedures of legislative, executive, and judicial departments of the national government.

Pol 1300f. Introduction to Political Science Analysis. (5 cr)

Research methodology and statistical tools used in political science. Emphasis includes research designs, theory and hypothesis development and testing, sampling and survey techniques, and other research strategies utilized in the field. Exposure to statistics and computer statistical packages.

Pol 1400f,s. World Politics. (E4; 5 cr)

The contemporary international system, including nationalism, international political economy, foreign policy formulation, and global concerns such as the environment and conflict. North/South debate, definitions of power, the new world order, regional vs. global conflicts and avenues of cooperation.

Pol 3200. Minnesota Government and Politics. (E2, E4; 5 cr; offered when feasible)

Development of the Minnesota political system, evolution of the state's party system, state political culture. Campaign and elections, public opinion, party finances, the branches of government. Public policy issues.

Pol 3210w. State and Local Government. (5 cr; prereq 1200 or #; not offered 1997-98)

Analysis of principles, organization, procedures, and functions of state and local government in the United States. The state in the federal system; state constitutions and problems of revision; organization, powers, and functions of the legislative, administrative, and judicial branches of the state government. Municipal politics and administration. State and local relations. Nature and working of politics in Minnesota.

Pol 3211f. Legislative Behavior. (5 cr; prereq 1200 or #)

Major behavioral and structural influences in lawmaking by elected bodies. Political forces that affect formation of public policy.

Pol 3220w. American Constitutional Law. (W; 5 cr; prereq 1200 or #)

Judicial interpretation of the U.S. Constitution in terms of the nature and scope of judicial review, distribution of powers in the federal system, and limitations of governmental power through the protection of civil rights and liberties.

Pol 3221w. Courts, Judges, and the Legal System. (5 cr; prereq 1200 or #; not offered 1998-99)

Function of courts and behavior of judges in interaction with the individual, groups, and political system at the federal, state, and local levels. Role of judges, lawyers, prosecutors, enforcement officers, the law, and the penal system in dispensation of justice, protection of the rights of the individual, and control of crime.

Pol 3230s. American Public Policy. (5 cr; prereq 1200 or #)

Forms a foundation for the analysis and understanding of American public policy. Defines agenda setting, theories, and models used in the field. Covers formulation, implementation, legitimation and evaluation processes of public policies. Use of these tools in examining various areas that may include health, economic, trade, social welfare, education, environmental and defense policies.

Pol 3240. Introduction to Public Administration. (5 cr; prereq 1200 or #; offered when feasible)

Development of administrative organization; administration and the executive, legislative, and judiciary; principles of organization including line and staff relationships, the staff services of finance and personnel, formal and informal control, behavioral characteristics of bureaucracies.

Pol 3250f. American Political Parties and Elections. (5 cr; not offered 1997-98)

Organization, operation, and development of the American party system. Relations between national, state, and local organizations, state and national committees, the convention system, the primary, campaign methods, financing, public opinion, voting, and elections.

Pol 3260w,s. Topics in American Politics. (5 cr; repeatable with #; prereq 1200 or #)

Analysis of a contemporary political problem. Possible topics include private power and individual rights; secrecy, security, and accountability; political leadership; and conspiracy theories.

Pol 3270f. Topics in Public Policy. (5 cr; repeatable with #; prereq 1200 or #; not offered 1998-99)

Analysis and focus on one or more contemporary public policy issue(s). Possible topics may include public finance, energy and environmental policy, education, health or other specified public policy areas.

Pol 3275. Public Policy Analysis. (5 cr; prereq Pol 1200, 1300 or Math 1150 or Soc 3230 or #; offered when feasible)

Role and standard techniques of consultants and analysts in the development, selection, implementation, and evaluation of public policy. Difference equations, RBA, benefit-cost analysis, forecasting, decision and path analysis and linear programming will be covered in relation to the utilization of computer statistical packages.

Pol 3277. Public Choice Theory. (5 cr; prereq Pol 1300 or Math 1150 or Soc 3230 or #; offered when feasible)

Formal analytic techniques used to explain and rationalize public choices and political decision making. Rational choice theory, collective choice models, spatial modeling, voting systems, exchange theory, and game theory.

Pol 3310w. Contemporary Political Ideologies. (E4; 5 cr; prereq #)

Major currents of political theory from Marx to present: Marxism, socialism, syndicalism, anarchism, fascism, political ideologies of antidemocratic thought, and totalitarian regimes.

Pol 3320f. Development of Political Thought: Ancient and Middle Ages. (E2; 5 cr; prereq #)

Survey of classical Greek thought, Plato and Aristotle, primitive natural law, Cynics and Stoics, theory in Roman Republic and Empire, early Christianity and the church fathers, moral theory and political theory, empire and church in ideology, Roman and canon law, St. Thomas, political thought in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Pol 3330s. Development of Political Thought: Modern. (E2; 5 cr; prereq #)

Machiavelli, theories during the Renaissance, Reformation, and the Counter-Reformation. Early modern absolutism, the emergence of modern contract theory, constitutionalism, liberalism, and utopianism.

Pol 3340s. American Political Thought. (5 cr; prereq #)

Development of the American political tradition from the Puritan theocracy to recent phases of American political life.

Pol 3360H. Political Culture in Comparative Perspective. (5 cr; prereq 1100 or 1200, # for students not in Honors Program; offered when feasible)

Comparative examination of political behavior and socialization as a theoretical and analytical component of political culture from a life-cycle perspective. Emphasis on the political culture of Western democracy, non-Western democracy, and totalitarianism, e.g., the United States, Japan, and the Soviet Union.

Pol 3410w. United States Foreign Policy. (5 cr; prereq 1200, 1400; not offered 1997-98)

Institutions and processes of American foreign policy. Major factors to be considered and levels of analysis that allow for the examination and dissection of foreign policy decisions. Case study analysis, e.g., Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, Iran/Contra-gate.

Pol 3420f. International Law. (5 cr; prereq #; not offered 1998-99)

Relations of international law to individuals, states, the international community, jurisdictional problems, survey of principles developed by diplomatic agents and consuls, treaties, arbitration, treatment of aliens, pacific settlement. War and hostile measures short of war, military occupation, war crimes, neutrality, collective security sanctions.

Pol 3431w. International Relations. (E4; 5 cr; prereq 1400 or #)

Theory and practice of contemporary international relations based on the nation-state system. Concepts of struggle for power, national interest, balance of power, war, peace, and alliances.

Pol 3432f. International Organizations. (5 cr; prereq 1400 or #; not offered 1997-98)

Origins of diplomacy and its role in maintaining communication among nations, including the recent and special role of international organizations. History of the practice of diplomacy, current bilateral diplomatic practices and multilateral interactions as practiced through the United Nations and the League of Nations before it. Structure and functional agencies of the U.N. and role in international peacekeeping or collective security.

Pol 3440s. Topics in International Relations. (E4; 5 cr; repeatable with #; prereq 1400; not offered 1998-99)

International political issues and/or regional study involving analysis at the system level, e.g., how the Middle East or Asia or sub-Saharan Africa fits into the international system.

Pol 3530w. Governments and Politics of Europe. (E3; 5 cr; prereq #; not offered 1998-99)

Analysis of major government systems of Europe, including Great Britain, the former Soviet Union or C.I.S. and Eastern Europe, France, and Germany with emphasis on how different institutions, structure, and culture result in different types of public policy.

Pol 3550s. Topics in Comparative Politics. (E3, Non-W; 5 cr; repeatable with #; prereq #; not offered 1997-98)

In-depth analysis of major government systems from regions of the world other than Europe or issues in comparative public policy, e.g., comparing social welfare budgetary priority across nation-states.

Pol 3800f, 3801w, 3802s. Field Study in Political Science. (1-15 cr per qtr; max of 5 cr may be applied to the major or minor; prereq #; offered when feasible)

Field study of governmental organization; internship with legislature, a state or local administrative office, lobbying group, or other position involving direct experience with government, governmental officials, or political organizations and environment.

Pol 3950f, 3951w, 3952s. Directed Study. (1-5 cr per qtr; prereq #)

Individual research topics; normally restricted to political science majors.

Pol 3960Hf, 3961Hw, 3962Hs. Senior Honors Project. (1-5 cr per qtr; prereq participation in Honors Program, #)

A substantial scholarly or creative work (at the undergraduate level) within the discipline. Successful completion of the senior honors project is one of the requirements for graduating from UMM "with honors."

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