Political Science Course Descriptions

Political Science Courses

POL 101 U.S. GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS / 3 credits
This course will examine the development, structure, and operation of the United States political system. It will examine the basic principles of the constitutional system and the political environment that has developed around that system. Main topics will include the Constitution, federalism, the three branches of government, political parties, elections, and interest groups.

POL 201 COMPARATIVE POLITICS / 3 credits
A survey of governments and politics in the industrialized and developing nations. The course examines what it means to compare political systems and explores the ideological foundations, political institutions, and political performance of governments in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

POL 205 WORLD POLITICS / 3 credits
This course reviews the main issues and problems confronted by nation-states as they interact with each other in the international system. Peace and war, integration and disintegration, and the nature of foreign policy formulation will be among the issues dealt with.

POL 206 MODEL UNITED NATIONS / 1 credit
Study of the structures and procedures of the United Nations in preparation for student participation at intercollegiate Model United Nations conferences. Students will be expected to become familiar with both the United Nations as an institution and the policies of the countries they will be representing. Approval of the instructor is required for enrollment.

POL 210 INTRODUCTION TO LEGAL STUDIES / 3 credits
This course is designed to provide a general introduction to the study of law. Students will gain a working knowledge of criminal and civil procedure; learn about the state and federal court systems; read and analyze court opinions; and participate in an appellate simulation. In addition, this course will include modules on the philosophy of law and sociology of law. In short, this course will offer students a broad liberal arts perspective on the important role law plays in our society.

POL 250 POLITICAL ISSUES AND PUBLIC POLICY / 3 credits
The study of significant issues in public policy. Emphasis will be placed on the ability to address those issues from different philosophical and ideological perspectives.

POL 288 POLITICAL PARTIES, CAMPAIGNS & ELECTIONS / 3 credits
A study of the nature, organization, and operations of American political parties in government and in the electoral process. We will examine different types of elections and how campaign strategies differ depending on the type of election and the political environment. Prerequisite: POL 101.

POL 297 INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT / 3 credits
Analysis of the phenomena of war and conflict between nation-states. Explores various explanations for war and evaluates these through examination of various conflicts in the twentieth century. Methods for limiting conflict will also be assessed. Prerequisite: POL 205.

POL 302 ARKANSAS STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT / 3 credits
General features of state constitutions, powers of governors, state legislative structure and processes, state judicial systems and structure and form of municipal and county governments. Emphasis on Arkansas government.

POL 305 MOOT COURT / 2 credits
In preparation for intercollegiate moot court tournaments, students will hone their advocacy skills; they will learn to analyze constitutional law cases, to select appropriate case precedents, and to build oral arguments. Sophomores, juniors and seniors will be eligible to take the course. If they wish, students can participate all three years, though this is not required. Only three total credits of moot court experience can be applied to the major; no more than six moot court credits may count toward graduation. Prerequisites: POL 362 or POL 380 or permission of instructor.

POL 315 U.S. FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY / 3 credits
Covers the evolution of U.S. foreign and security policy with particular attention to the Cold War and post-Cold War eras. The policy-making process, including the role of public opinion, the mass media, and Congress, will also be covered. Prerequisite: POL 205 or permission of instructor (Same as HIS 315).

POL 346 INTERNATIONAL LAW AND ORGANIZATIONS / 3 credits
An introduction to the basic principles of public international law in such areas as the rules of war, the law of the Seas, and human rights; and a survey of the related functions of the United Nations. Prerequisite: POL 205.

POL 347 AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT / 3 credits
A survey of the ideas that shaped the American political system.

POL 349 THE GERMAN POLITICAL AND CULTURAL TRADITION /3 credits
This course will consider the development of German political ideas and the evolution of German constitutional arrangements from the Reformation to the present. In addition to the Sonderweg thesis – which seeks to explain and understand Germany’s historical embrace of authoritarian political institutions – the course will also explore the rich German liberal and democratic tradition. In order to comprehend the complexity of German political thought, students will study the artifacts and writings of artists, philosophers, filmmakers, and poets, as well as historians and politicians. Prerequisite: HIS 202 or RPH 202. (Same as HIS 349).

POL 351 ANCIENT POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY / 3 credits
This course is designed to allow students to work with those political thinkers who started the Western political tradition. Concentrating on original sources, the class considers the origin of political philosophy in selected works by such authors as Xenophon, Plato, and Aristotle. (Same as RPH 351).

POL 353 MODERN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY / 3 credits
A study of some major political thinkers such as Machiavelli, Locke, Rousseau, Hume, and Marx. Concentration will be on selected works and topics that have influenced contemporary politics. (Same as RPH 353).

POL 358 MODERN RUSSIA / 3 credits
The transformation of Russia in the 20th century, with special attention to the factors leading to the collapse of communism in the Gorbachev era and to the efforts to establish democratic institutions in the region thereafter. Prerequisite: POL 201, or permission of instructor. (Same as HIS 358).

POL 362 U.S. CONSTITUTION / 3 credits
Topics covered in this course include the evolving interpretation of the scope of power allotted to each separate branch of the national government, federalism, the legal and philosophical justifications for judicial review and the politics of Supreme Court decision making. (Same as HIS 362).

POL 368 ASIAN POLITICS / 3 credits
A comparative survey of government and governmental institutions in Asia. Particular emphasis will be placed on identifying key political, economic, and social trends affecting the region.

POL 370 POLITICAL ECONOMY OF PUBLIC ISSUES / 3 credits
Each year topics of current public debate and interest in which both governmental and economic forces and interests are joined are used as the basis for discussion and for student research. Students present their research to the class and write a major paper. Prerequisite: ECO 102 or consent of instructor. (Same as ECO 370).

POL 371 THE MIDDLE EAST / 3 credits
A survey of the Middle East from the rise of Islam to the present day. Major emphasis will be placed upon the development of Islamic society and culture. The impact and influence of the West will also be considered. Particular attention will be given to the rise of nationalism, the Arab-Israeli Conflict, and the development of Islamic fundamentalism. Prerequisite: HIS 201 and 202 or permission of instructor. (Same as HIS 371).

POL 380 CIVIL LIBERTIES / 3 credits
This course examines the civil rights and liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Special attention will be given to the study of criminal defendants’ rights (the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments), freedom of speech and religion (First Amendment), equal protection (Fourteenth Amendment) and the right to privacy.

POL 382 SPECIAL TOPICS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE / 3 credits
Study of selected topics in political science. Prerequisites will vary.

POL 399 POLITICAL SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL STUDIES COURSE: Variable topics/ 1 credit
Studies of varying topics in political science, including a 2-week Nichols trip. Prerequisites will vary depending upon course topic.

POL 450 DIRECTED STUDY / 3 credits
Concentrated study in one or more areas of government.

POL 455 SENIOR SEMINAR / 3 credits
POL 460 PRACTICUM IN POLITICS / variable credit