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Political Science Course Descriptions

PSC 1010 Introduction to Politics
3 credits
An introduction to the dynamics of participation in American political life and the ideas which motivate political action. Topics include elections and political parties, strategies of participation (campaigning, pressure, protest, revolution), philosophies underpinning modern government and contemporary American ideologies (conservatism, liberalism, socialism, etc.). Distribution Requirement: CSI. Offered Term I.

PSC 1020 International Relations
4 credits
This course is designed to introduce the students to the studies of international relations. By examining the ways in which various “actors” of international politics (i.e. democratic and non-democratic states and non-state actors such as multinational corporations, terrorists, etc.) interact between and among them, the students will learn the dynamics of the politics on the world stage. As an introduction, this course is mainly designed to familiarize the students with the basic concepts and important issues of international relations. There will be a weekly laboratory session. Distribution Requirement: CSI. Offered annually in Term II.

PSC 1040 American Government and Politics
3 credits
The aim of this course is to give the student a thorough understanding of American political life: the main governmental institutions, the channels for elite and non-elite participation, and the context of social and economic power which shapes political activity. Most significantly, the aim of this course is to give the student an understanding of the structure of political institutions and the relationships between them especially in the context of American culture. Prerequisite: PSC 1010 is recommended. Distribution Requirement: US. Offered annually in Term II.

PSC 2012 Research Methods in Political Science
3 credits
This course is designed to help you acquire skills to critically evaluate various (i.e. economic, social, and political) aspects of life in a scientific manner. It teaches the students some of the techniques to test the validity of “hypothesis.” By using empirical data, the student will examine one aspect-issue of life that is of interest to her-him. Fulfills W-Course Requirement. Offered as needed.

PSC 2020 State and Local Government and Politics
3 credits
A study of the principal political institutions and processes of state, county, and municipal governments. Federal-state and interstate relations are explored and comparisons drawn between New York political institutions and those of other states. Prerequisite: PSC 1040. Generally offered bi-annually in Term II.

PSC 2030 Comparative Politics - European
3 credits
This course is designed to introduce you to the study of Comparative Politics by using the examples of five of the political systems in Europe-the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia-and the European Union. Comparative Politics seeks to find unique characteristics of different political systems. It tries to achieve this by examining domestic as well as international factors that affect politics in each political system. There are numerous issues different issues that affect the politics of any state. Because of time constraints, however, this course will focus our attention on a few of the most important issues that have affected political life in Europe. In order to provide you with enough analytical tools, a substantial amount of time is spent on examining the political, economic, cultural, and social backgrounds of the political systems. Through comparisons, you are expected to come to grasp with certain patterns of political decision making under different political settings. Distribution Requirement: CSI. Offered bi-annually in Term I.

PSC 2040 Comparative Politics - Asian
3 credits
This course is designed to introduce you to the study of Comparative Politics by using the examples of two of the major political systems in Asia—the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Japan - and their relations with the rest of the world. As one of the sub-fields of Political Science, Comparative Politics seeks to find unique characteristics of different political systems. It tries to achieve this by examining domestic as well as international factors that affect politics in each political system. There are numerous different issues that affect politics of any state. Because of the time constraints, however, this course will focus our attention on a few of the most important issues that have affected the politics of the two countries. In order to provide you with enough analytical tools, a substantial amount of time is spent on examining political, economic, cultural, and social backgrounds of the two political systems. Through comparisons, you will come to understand certain patterns of political decision making under different political settings. Distribution Requirement: NW. Offered bi-annually in Term I.

PSC 2110 Political Thought
3 credits
An introduction to the tradition of theorizing about political society. Selected classics of political theory (from Plato to Marx) are read, focusing on their historical significance as well as their lasting intellectual importance. Prerequisite: PSC 1010 or permission of the instructor. Offered bi-annually in Term I.

PSC-WMS 2400 Women in U.S. Politics
3 credits
The course examines women in contemporary American politics by first looking to the early foundations of feminist theory and a brief history of the women’s movement. It also examines the differences in behavior between the genders noted in much scholarly work in Political Science. The course concludes with an examination of the role of women in recent American campaigns and asks what the future holds for women in politics. Prerequisite: PSC 1040 or Permission of the Instructor. Distribution Requirement: US. Offered as needed.

PSC 2410 Public Policy
3 credits
A study of American politics from the perspective of public policy-making. How and why are public policies adopted, and what are their consequences? Topics include the stages of the policy process, important groups and institutions in policy formation, and the socio-economic context of policy. Prerequisites: PSC 1040. Generally offered bi-annually in Term II.

PSC 3011 Public Administration
3 credits
A study of the organization and management of public agencies at the various levels of government. The emphasis may vary from local to state or national administration and different policy areas may provide a focus. In addition, the basic principles of public administration, important differences in approach, and proposals for reform are treated. Prerequisites: PSC 1040 or permission of the instructor. Fulfills the W-Course Requirement. Offered as needed.

PSC 3030 The United States in the World Arena
3 credits
A systematic analysis of the sources of foreign policy, such as idiosyncrasy, organizational-institutional framework of decision making and the impacts of domestic and international economic, political, and social changes. Special attention is given to American response to the changing issues of global politics. Prerequisite: Previous study in American History or International Relations. Offered as needed.

PSC 3040 American Courts and the Law
3 credits
An introduction to the legal process as a whole, the functions of courts, lawyers, and other actors in the legal system. Specific issues may also be dealt with, such as court reform, crime control, or civil liberties. Prerequisites: PSC 1040 or permission of the instructor. Fulfills W-Course Requirement. Generally offered bi-annually in Term II.

PSC 3050 International Law and World Politics
3 credits
This course is designed to introduce the students to the studies of international law. Among the topics covered are legal processes of international court, issues involved in the creation and enforcement of law, territoriality, states’ responsibilities, extradition, problems of nationality, and human rights. Offered as needed.

PSC 3060 International Conflict and Cooperation
3 credits
A study of various aspects of international conflict and cooperation. In depth analysis of different models of world order, investigating integration and fragmentation of states, development and maintenance of international regimes, and the influence of international and regional organizations. Prerequisite: PSC 1020. Fulfills W-Course Requirement. Offered as needed.

PSC 3070 Developmental Politics
3 credits
An in-depth study of the politics of developing nations. Special attention is given to the issues of political and economic modernization and development among the lesser developed countries. Further, the significance of such issues for the global community of nations is discusses. Prerequisite: PSC 1020 or permission of the instructor. Fulfills W-Course Requirement. Offered as needed.

PSC-CRJ 3300 International Human Rights Law
3 credits
An examination of international human right through a legal perspective. Focusing on the foundations of human rights in relation to the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, and specific international treaties including the Genocide Convention, Elimination of Discrimination Convention, Rights of the Child. Prerequisite: CRJ 1010 or PSC 1010 or SOC 1010. Offered in Terms I and II.

PSC 3400 American Political Parties
3 credits
A study and analysis of the political party system in the United States. Special emphasis on the electoral role of parties, including political leadership and organization, nominations, campaigns, finance, and party programs. Prerequisite: PSC 1040. Generally offered bi-annually in Term I.

PSC 3540 Congress: Legislative Strategy and Behavior
3 credits
An analysis of the history, meanings, and significance of the concept of representation and the behavior of individual participants. Particular emphasis on the dynamics, organization, and policy-making processes of the American Congress. Prerequisite: PSC 1040. Fulfills W-Course Requirement. Generally offered bi-annually in Term I.

PSC 3550 The American Presidency
3 credits
A study of the presidency’s history, place in American life, organization, and powers; as well as presidential strategy, the dynamics of presidential elections, and the psychology of successful and unsuccessful presidential candidates and presidents. Prerequisite: PSC 1040. Fulfills W-Course Requirement. Generally offered bi-annually in Term II.

PSC 4000 Contemporary Political Theory
3 credits
A study of various issues, problems, and approaches of contemporary political theory. The specific context may vary. Possible approaches include languages and conceptual analysis in political theory, empirical theories of politics, Marxism and critical theory, and social science and political theory. Prerequisite: PSC 1040 or PHR 2085. Offered as needed.

PSC 4595 Senior Seminar and Thesis I
1 credit
Provides a capstone experience, allowing students to demonstrate mastery of the overall field of political science through completion of the Major Field Test (MFT) from Educational Testing Services. Also allows the student to demonstrate a mastery of specialized material, critical thinking, and written communication skills through the completion of a senior thesis. Prerequisites: Completion of two PSC W-courses. Offered Term I.

PSC 4596 Senior Seminar and Thesis II
1 credit
Provides a capstone experience, allowing students to demonstrate mastery of the overall field of political science through completion of the Major Field Test (MFT) from Educational Testing Services. Also allows the student to demonstrate a mastery of specialized material, critical thinking, and written communication skills through the completion of a senior thesis. Prerequisite: PSC 4595. Offered Term II.