Political Science (POLS)

POLS A100 Introduction to American Government 3 crs.

Structure, development, powers, and limits of the federal government are discussed.

POLS A200 Comparative Government I 3 crs.

The first half of the course explores the concepts, theories, and approaches of comparative politics. The second half analyzes the domestic politics of Great Britain (includes Northern Ireland and Scotland), France, and Germany with a focus on how historical development has impacted the development of current political, cultural, and economic institutions.

POLS A201 Comparative Government II 3 crs.

Meets Diversity RAC Requirement

This course focuses on non-Western political and socioeconomic realities. The course analyzes the effects of colonial histories, relationships with the West, differences in sociopolitical transition, conflicts between traditional culture and globalization, variances in institutional development, and critical political challenges facing each country. The course focuses on diversity of global political experiences through an exploration of five countries that are in a current state of economic and political change—Brazil, South Africa, Iran, Russia, China.

POLS A210 Introduction to Administrative Process 3 crs.

This course introduces the nature and role of public administration in contemporary America. Emphasis is on values and political influences which shape modern administration.

POLS A211 The American Presidency 3 crs.

This course is an examination of the American presidency in American government and politics. Emphasis is on interaction between the chief executive and other main national policy-makers, Congress, and the Supreme Court. The nature of presidential leadership, its development, and influence of personality on growth of the office receive special attention.

POLS A212 The Legislative Process 3 crs.

National, state, and local legislatures as lawmaking and political bodies are discussed with emphasis on the U.S. Congress. The course also concerns the legislative process including procedures, performance, and the role of the executive and parties and interest groups.

POLS A213 American Political Thought 3 crs.

This course is a roughly chronological survey of basic themes in American political thought, beginning with the 17th-century European origins of American political thought and extending to modern attempts to strike a balance between individual rights and social needs.

POLS A215 Introduction to State and Local Politics 3 crs.

This course examines the role of the states and localities in the American federal system. Emphasis is on political cultures and styles, policy-making institutions, and the changes reshaping their place in American government.

POLS A216 Politics of Race and Ethnicity 3 crs.

This course examines the significance of race and ethnicity in American politics, beginning with a historical look at early immigrant groups in the political system and then focusing on the experiences of particular groups today, including African-Americans, Latinos, and Asians. Finally, case studies from various U.S. cities are utilized to evaluate the gains that minority groups can achieve through electoral politics.

POLS A218 Courts/Judges/Politics 3 crs.

The course examines the role of the judiciary in the governmental policy-making process at both the federal and state levels. Emphasis is placed on the role of political and social factors in the selection of judges and in judicial decision-making, as well as the interrelationship between law and politics in the American political and social systems.

POLS A220 The Urban Process 3 crs.

Meets Diversity RAC Requirement

This course examines the nature of the modern city, with special attention to forces shaping the city, including the social, political, economic, ecological, and value systems which underlie the dynamics of urban life and culture. Attention is given to the various forms which cities have taken in the past and may take in the future.

POLS A224 Inside the Supreme Court   3crs.

The course examines the workings of the Supreme Court, including the process of selecting and deciding cases, the nomination and confirmation of Justices, and key players (e.g. litigants, attorneys, and interest groups) who interact with the Court.

POLS A230 History of Political Thought I 3 crs.

RAC: Premodern

This course approaches the development of political thought from a traditional view, employing cultural and intellectual history and traditional philosophy to review the social, historical, and political contexts of thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, and others.

POLS A231 History of Political Thought II 3 crs.

This course utilizes the same approach of POLS A230, but covers the period from 1500 to the present. It includes considerable discussion of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Bentham, Mill, Hegel, and Marx.

POLS A300 Constitutional Law I 3 crs.

Discussions include the origins of constitutionalism and the framing of the U.S. Constitution; nature and scope of judicial review; sources and nature of legislative and executive power; the commerce power and state power to regulate; and introduction to 14th Amendment due process.

POLS A301 Constitutional Law II 3 crs.

This course discusses individual rights and liberties, with emphasis on post-1937 developments in areas of First Amendment and 14th Amendment equal protection.

POLS A305 Political Parties and Pressure Groups 3 crs.

This course involves party system, theory, and practice on national, state, and local levels; nominations, conventions, etc.; major pressure groups; methods used to mobilize public opinion; and the influence of pressure groups on government.

POLS A310 Money and American Politics  3crs.

This course examines the flow of money in elections and through government institutions.  It begins with the study of federal campaign finance policies and their consequences for politicians and citizens.  It then moves to the study of the politics and procedures of government budgets, including taxation and appropriation.  Each student will then complete a research project that follows and explains the path of federal dollars to a public or private cause in the state of Louisiana.

POLS A315 International Relations 3 crs.

RAC: Diversity

This is a comprehensive, systematic study of fundamental principles that govern international politics.

POLS A320 U.S. Foreign Policy 3 crs.

This course examines post WWII U.S. behavior in the international arena with emphasis divided between U.S. actions and reactions on a worldwide scale. Discussions of current events are held weekly.

POLS A325 Foreign Policy of Russia 3 crs.

Russian foreign policy since the revolution is presented and evaluated. Discussions of current events are held weekly.

POLS A338  Politics and Ethics of International Human Rights 3crs.

The course covers main legal, philosophical, and theoretical debates on the definition and practice of international human rights. It also delves into several significant cases of human rights violations and human rights practices. Several controversial themes such as Asian Value, American Exceptionalism or Humanitarian Intervention are to be discussed. 

POLS A340 Law Among Nations 3 crs.

The course utilizes legal and political approaches to understand the relationship between national sovereignty and the increasing need for communitarian action on issues of peace, war, human rights, and North-South relations. Treaty texts and cases of international and municipal courts are analyzed.

POLS A341 International Organizations 3 crs.

This course examines the historical origins and theories of international organizations and the patterns of communitarian behavior in the international system. Concentration will be on the United Nations, European Community, and N.A.T.O.

POLS A344 Scope and Methods in Political Science 3 crs.

An introduction to the methods of political analysis and criticism, the course analyzes political language, the media, the foundations of political argument, the science of politics, and the methodology of social science.

Prerequisites: POLS A100, A200 or A201 or A315 or permission of instructor.

POLS A346 Polling and Voting Behavior 3 crs.

This course is an examination of the psychological, cultural, and social bases of political behavior, including the study of attitude formation, group affiliation, collective behavior, and the role of values in political behavior.

POLS A347 Political Economy 3 crs.

This course is an introduction to the study of political economy and focuses on the development of the discipline from the 18th century to the present and engages the student in the debates surrounding some of the most important texts in political economy. The student will read Locke, Smith, Marx, and others who have influenced political-economic arguments in the West since 1650.

POLS A355 Policy Research Shop  3crs.

In this class, students will learn more about how to conduct policy research and write policy reports. The course contains a public speaking component to facilitate your ability in this area.  Students will work in teams to improve your ability to collaborate.

POLS A360 Russian Politics 3crs.

The first half of the course focuses on the creation, rise, and fall of the Soviet Union beginning with the February Revolution of 1917 to the collapse in 1991. The course will delve into the complicated and tumultuous transition of the late 1980s and early 1990s that shaped political institutional design, economic development, and cultural issues of national identity, gender relations, and ethnic minority relations. This second half of the course analyzes the political, economic, and cultural institutions, major political players, and contemporary debates in the Russian Federation. Students will also be exposed to theories of revolution, democracy, authoritarianism, democratic transition, state corporatism, and political culture.

POLS A495 Special Project Capstone 3 crs.

The main project for this course is a research paper, with a variety of topics, supervised by the entire faculty of the department. In addition, students will have an opportunity to discuss and critique the department curriculum, and to engage in conversations with guest speakers on current issues in each of the major subfields of the discipline.

POLS A497 Internship/ Practicum arranged (1-3 crs.) 

An internship is supervised practical experience. A practicum is supervised practical application of previously studied theory.

POLS A499 Independent Study arranged (1-3 crs.)

This course includes work done independently under professorial supervision.

POLS W249 Ancient and Medieval Political Thought 3 crs.

This course examines the development of political thought from the ancient Hebrews to the end of the Middle Ages, with special emphasis on Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas. Cultural and intellectual history as well as traditional philosophy are utilized to place these thinkers (and others) in their social, historical, and political contexts.

This course satisfies an Advanced Common Curriculum Behavioral/Social Sciences requirement for students who began their program of study before fall semester 2013.

POLS X232 Comparative Nationalisms 3 crs. 

Advanced Common Curriculum: Social Science
RAC: Diversity 

The first part of the course analyzes historical and theoretical discussions of nations and nationalism. We will also look at the role of the state, political institutions, culture, and war on the growth of nationalism. The second part of the course applies theoretical arguments to contemporary cases and analyzes how nationalism intersects with other forms of identity such as gender, religion, and ethnicity. We will explore the legacies of colonialism and communism.

POLS X234 Politics and Corruption 3 crs.

This course covers issues of morality and corruption in American political life. Basic questions are: What moral standards guide–and should guide–the politician to make the system work better? How widespread is corruption in America and what forms does it take?

This course satisfies an Advanced Common Curriculum Behavioral/Social Sciences requirement for students who began their program of study before fall semester 2013.

POLS X240 Corruption in American Politics 3 crs. 

Advanced Common Curriculum: Social Science

The course employs theoretical perspectives from political science, history, and cognitive science to understand the varieties of political corruption in American politics and the effects of corruption on political institutions and the participants in the political process. The adequacy of these theoretical perspectives to explain political corruption and its impact will also be evaluated.

POLS X246 Politics and Society 3 crs.

The course is designed to introduce the student to the tools available for understanding and making decisions about both current and recurring political problems in modern society: Who should govern, who does govern, what is just government, are all citizens equal, must the individual or society prevail, what are rights, what is law?

This course satisfies an Advanced Common Curriculum Behavioral/Social Sciences requirement for students who began their program of study before fall semester 2013.

POLS X254 American Political Ideas 3 crs.

This course discusses basic political concepts like freedom, equality, tradition, and success by introducing students to some of the most influential political and social thinkers writing about America. The course will explore the history of some of these concepts and the debates surrounding them.

This course satisfies an Advanced Common Curriculum Behavioral/Social Sciences requirement for students who began their program of study before fall semester 2013.

POLS X256 The Urban Form 3 crs.

This course is an exploration of the cultural values expressed in the built form of 19th- and 20th-century cities in the U.S. and Europe. Through the works of historians, architects, planners, urban geographers, and other theorists–and through slides and films–students will examine modern and postmodern urban forms and critically assess their impact on society.

This course satisfies an Advanced Common Curriculum Behavioral/Social Sciences requirement for students who began their program of study before fall semester 2013.

POLS X258 Global Political Issues 3 crs.

The global economy and wide accessibility of new technologies present serious political challenges. This course considers the dilemmas politicians face in addressing global problems ranging from nuclear politics to North-South issues. Other topics include global problem solving, related changes in national sovereignty, and detailed study of specific global issues.

This course satisfies an Advanced Common Curriculum Behavioral/Social Sciences requirement for students who began their program of study before fall semester 2013.

POLS X259 Politics and the Media 3 crs.

Advanced Common Curriculum: Social Science

This course examines how the media affect people’s opinions and decision- making. Significant events such as the Vietnam War will be analyzed to learn how communications affects decisions.

POLS X262  Law/Politics/Gay Rights 3crs.

Advanced Common Curriculum: Social Science
RAC: Diversity

The course examines the gay rights movement within the tradition of American freedom as the third great modern social justice movement, alongside the civil rights and women's rights movements. The course concentrates on the evolution of political, social and legal ideas about gays from the 1920s to the present, with special emphasis on the interplay between political and legal responses and the changes that resulted.

POLS X330 Politics of Global HIV/AIDS 3crs.

Advanced Common Curriculum: Social Science

This course is to enhance understanding of the multifaceted dimensions HIV/AIDS at the global sphere. It covers political, economic and social challenges of the pandemic including human rights, globalization, poverty, and development. We also have a discussion of how international society has responded to the pandemic and how idiosyncratic cross-national AIDS policy outcomes have been caused among African countries.