Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Political Science

Curriculum

Below you will find a list of our current or recent offerings. See the course catalog for descriptions and updated information.

  • 32-001 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 32-002 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 32-003 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 32-004 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 32-114 AMERICAN POLITICS
    An introduction to political analysis through a study of the origin and development of the American political system, federalism with special reference to the Constitution of the State of Texas, citizenship and civil rights, and political parties and interest groups. This course has an evening exam(s). (ScS)
  • 32-144 COMPARATIVE POLITICS
    An introductory survey of major political systems, representing both Western and non-Western countries. No single political system will be studied in depth. This course provides the tools for such study in the future. (ScS)
  • 32-234 INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL THEORY
    This course introduces students to political theory, both through studying key philosophical texts, from Plato to Nietzsche, and practicing the critical methods of analysis that shape the subfield. Students analyze ideologies as well as foundational political concepts such as justice, equality, sovereignty, consent, obligation, and freedom, learning how power shapes ideas and how politics operates within theories. Prerequisites: Political Science 32-114 and 32-144. (WA) (SJ)
  • 32-284 INTERNATIONAL POLITICS
    An introductory study of the theory and practice of international politics. The course examines both the origins and the consequences of the political organization of the modern world. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-114 and 32-144. (WA) (ScS) (International relations)
  • 32-301 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 32-302 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 32-303 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 32-304 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 32-314 RELIGION AND POLITICS IN AMERICA
    An exploration of the tension between religious and political impulses and values in America. The approach is both theological and political, analyzing the changes and continuity in religious and political beliefs and structures. Topics include how religion encourages political action (disputes over abolitionism, prohibition, abortion and nuclear arms), how politics affects religion (religious pluralism, the development of black churches, Mormons and Jehovahs Witnesses), and how the American nation is affected by both. This course has an evening exam(s). Prerequisite: Political Science 32-114. (American politics)
  • 32-324 LAW AND POLITICS
    A discussion of the nature of law as a political process, investigating such topics as the functions of the police, the role and powers of the legal profession, and the contributions of judges, juries and prisons to the attainment of justice and order. This course has an evening exam(s). Prerequisite: Political Science 32-114. (American politics)
  • 32-334 PUBLIC POLICY
    An introduction to the discipline of policy analysis. Explores who is responsible for making public policies, how choices are made, what kind of tools are at the disposal of policy makers and how their effectiveness can be enhanced. The course also explores theories about how bureaucracies operate and how they ought to operate. Theories and concepts are illustrated by investigating current policy efforts in such areas as environmental protection, the Internet or the development and justification of nuclear deterrence. Also Environmental Studies 49-364. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-114. (American politics)
  • 32-344 TEXAS POLITICS INTERNSHIPS
    An opportunity to compare political theory and practical politics in a work environment, under supervision of department faculty. In alternate spring semesters the internships will be at the State Capitol and in Williamson County. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-114. Open to students in good disciplinary standing with eight credits in Political Science. Internships are generally open to juniors and seniors. No more than one internship can count toward the major. (American politics)
  • 32-354 THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY
    This course explores the development of the presidential office, the institution of the presidency and the elements of presidential leadership through an examination of American political history. The course proceeds on three different planes: that of primary sources from particular presidencies, political histories and secondary scholarly works that focus on particular problems in the study of the presidency. Together, these three lines of intellectual inquiry should provide students with a strong foundation in modern presidential history and the analytical tools necessary to engage in thoughtful study of the American presidency. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-114. (American politics)
  • 32-364 POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES
    An introduction to the systems of ideas, ideals and beliefs through which people view and act in the world. Particular emphasis is placed on the argumentative structure and the political and psychological functions of ideologies; on their historical origin(s) and development; and on their respective conceptions of freedom and democracy. This course is open only to first years and sophomores. Juniors and seniors may register with the permission of the instructor. (ScS) (Political theory)
  • 32-374 GENDER AND POLITICS
  • 32-384 JAPANESE POLITICS, CULTURE & SOCIETY
    This course explores the historical and cultural context of contemporary Japanese politics, the political institutions of the 1955 system, the policy-making process in post-war Japan, and the effects of the 1994 political reforms. This course is open only to first years and sophomores. Juniors and seniors may register with the permission of the instructor. (ScS) (IP) (Comparative politics)
  • 32-394 FILM, LITERATURE & THE COLD WAR
  • 32-414 EUROPEAN POLITICS
    This course provides an in-depth analysis of the political cultures, structures, processes and policies of selected systems in Europe. In addition, the nature and function of the European Union is considered. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-144. (Comparative politics)
  • 32-424 MIDDLE EAST POLITICS
    A survey of the comparative and international politics of the Middle East, focusing on major Arab states, Israel and Iran. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-144. (Comparative politics) (IP) .
  • 32-434 WOMEN AND POLITICS
    A study of women and politics from a comparative perspective. Explores the role ideology, institutions, culture and social movements play in creating opportunities and constraints for women in the political realm. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-144. (Comparative politics) (SJ)
  • 32-454 AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT
    This course analyzes the ideas and ideals of America, as they have been imagined, cultivated and practiced. The idea of American exceptionalism, the role that nature has played in shaping the self-understanding and politics of the nation, and the theory and practice of democracy in America are explored through the study of writings from the Puritan era to the 20th century. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-114 or 32-144 and 32-234. (Political theory)
  • 32-484 INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION
    An examination of the ways by which states and non-state actors seek to handle increasing interdependence in the world. Particular attention is given to the United Nations, the European Union and multinational corporations. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-284 (International relations)
  • 32-494 INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY
    A seminar that examines how changes in the international political economy have affected international politics and international relations theory. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-284 or permission of instructor. (International relations
  • 32-514 ISSUES IN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
    An intensive analysis of the constitutional values, policy issues and philosophical principles in judicial debates about the meaning of the American Constitution. Possible topics include the powers of the national government, judicial review, civil rights and liberties, and due process in the criminal justice system. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-234 or permission of instructor. (American politics)
  • 32-524 LEGISLATIVE POLITICS
    An exploration of the roles played by interest groups, electoral campaigns, money and personalities in legislative decision making. Policy areas treated are civil rights legislation, the politics of budgets and taxes, and congressional involvement in foreign policy. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-234 or 32-284, or permission of instructor. (ScS) (American politics)
  • 32-564 MODERN POLITICAL THEORY
    This course explores different perspectives on the value of science, rationality and the ideals of the Enlightenment. With a focus on unique texts by canonical thinkers that illuminate how modern ideas and values shape everyday life, this course explores the optimistic, Promethian dreams of key Enlightenment theorists, as well as the disenchantment and alienation articulated by critics of modernity. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-234 or permission of instructor. (Political theory)
  • 32-574 CONTEMPORARY DEMOCRATIC THEORY
    What does it mean to be democratic and what kinds of citizens define a democracy? Drawing from the works of contemporary political theorists, this course analyzes the contested boundaries of the concept of democracy and explores how individuals can best negotiate collective life together, given differences and given various ways that power operates in contemporary society. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-234 or permission of instructor. (Political theory)
  • 32-584 U.S. FOREIGN POLICY
    A survey of American foreign policy with particular focus on the Cold War and the post-Cold War period. Societal, ideological and governmental sources of American foreign policy are examined. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-234 and 32-284 or permission of instructor. (International relations)
  • 32-614 LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS
    This introduction to contemporary Latin American and Caribbean politics also allows students with previous knowledge about the region to further their interests. The course is built around some of the key issues which confront Latin America and the Caribbean. Substantial writing required. Also Sociology 34-614 and Race and Ethnicity Studies 37-614. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-234 or 32-284, or Sociology 34-114, or permission of instructor. (ScS) (SJ) (Comparative politics).
  • 32-624 GERMANY AND JAPAN: LOSERS OF WORLD WAR
    It also examines current challenges, including women in politics, nuclear power, immigration and regional dynamics. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-234 or permission of instructor. (Comparative politics)
  • 32-634 CONTENTIOUS POLITICS
    This seminar is designed to explore both the concept as well as various manifestations of contentious politics, primarily focused on collective actions such as social movements, cycles of protest, rebellion and revolution. There is a substantial research and writing component. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-234 or permission of instructor. (Comparative politics)
  • 32-644 THE CHINESE CULTURAL REVOLUTION
    This seminar explores the causes of the Cultural Revolution, the role of Mao and Mao Zedong thought, the experiences of various groups in society during the Cultural Revolution, and the effects of the Cultural Revolution on contemporary China. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-234 or permission of instructor. (Comparative politics)
  • 32-664 INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND VIOLENCE
    An exploration of issues concerning the characteristics, causes and justifications of occurrences of international peace and violence. The focus is primarily on post-Cold War era state terrorism (internal and external), low intensity conflict, internal conflict resistance, rebellion and revolution, terrorism and peace. Substantial writing required. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-234 and 32-284 or permission of instructor. (International relations)
  • 32-684 CRITICAL SOCIAL THEORY
    This course explores the critical social theory of the group of unorthodox 20th-century Marxists known as the Frankfurt Circle. Drawing on the works of Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin and Herbert Marcuse, their unique critique of the damaged and one-dimensional quality of life in late modernity is analyzed. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-234 or permission of instructor. (Political theory)
  • 32-764 ADVANCED RESEARCH SEMINAR IN LATIN
    This course examines and considers various sociopolitical aspects extant in Latin America and the Caribbean with a focus on collective action and behavior. The course focus varies; previous topics have included resistance, rebellion and revolution, social movements, and the institutionalization and consolidation of democracy. There is a substantial research and writing component to this course, which may include working with primary documents and in-depth interviewing. Also Sociology 34-764 and Anthropology 35-384. Prerequisites: Political Science 32-614 or permission of instructor. (Comparative politics)
  • 32-901 TUTORIAL
  • 32-902 TUTORIAL
  • 32-903 TUTORIAL
  • 32-904 TUTORIAL
  • 32-941 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    May be arranged through the department. These internships require a minimum of 120 hours of work per semester supervised by a member of the departmental faculty and a substantial written component. Internships are generally open to juniors and seniors. Open to students in good disciplinary standing with eight credits in political science. No more than one internship can count toward the major. Must be taken Pass/D/F.
  • 32-942 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    May be arranged through the department. These internships require a minimum of 120 hours of work per semester supervised by a member of the departmental faculty and a substantial written component. Internships are generally open to juniors and seniors. Open to students in good disciplinary standing with eight credits in political science. No more than one internship can count toward the major. Must be taken Pass/D/F.
  • 32-943 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    May be arranged through the department. These internships require a minimum of 120 hours of work per semester supervised by a member of the departmental faculty and a substantial written component. Internships are generally open to juniors and seniors. Open to students in good disciplinary standing with eight credits in political science. No more than one internship can count toward the major. Must be taken Pass/D/F.
  • 32-944 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    May be arranged through the department. These internships require a minimum of 120 hours of work per semester supervised by a member of the departmental faculty and a substantial written component. Internships are generally open to juniors and seniors. Open to students in good disciplinary standing with eight credits in political science. No more than one internship can count toward the major. Must be taken Pass/D/F.
  • 32-948 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    May be arranged through the department. These internships require a minimum of 120 hours of work per semester supervised by a member of the departmental faculty and a substantial written component. Internships are generally open to juniors and seniors. Open to students in good disciplinary standing with eight credits in political science. No more than one internship can count toward the major. Must be taken Pass/D/F.
  • 32-951 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    Must be arranged with departmental faculty and requires permission of instructor. May be repeated with changed content. Prerequisite: Open to students with at least eight credits in Political Science.
  • 32-952 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    Must be arranged with departmental faculty and requires permission of instructor. May be repeated with changed content. Prerequisite: Open to students with at least eight credits in Political Science.
  • 32-953 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    Must be arranged with departmental faculty and requires permission of instructor. May be repeated with changed content. Prerequisite: Open to students with at least eight credits in Political Science.
  • 32-954 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    Must be arranged with departmental faculty and requires permission of instructor. May be repeated with changed content. Prerequisite: Open to students with at least eight credits in Political Science.
  • 32-964 SENIOR SEMINAR
    This course fulfills the capstone requirement for the major. Requires permission of instructor.
  • 32-984 HONORS
    By invitation only.