Political Science Courses | Lyon College
Lyon College

We can't wait to meet you

Schedule a visit Apply to Lyon

Political Science Courses

POL 105 THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE / 3 credits 

An introduction to the main institutions and ideas in the American political tradition for all first-year students who wish to enhance their ability to perform duties of citizenship within that tradition.

POL 201 COMPARATIVE POLITICS / 3 credits 

A survey of governments and politics in the industrialized and developing nations. Students will examine what it means to compare political systems and explore 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 

A review of the main issues and problems confronted by nation-states as they interact with each other in the international system with emphasis on peace and war, integration and disintegration, and the nature of foreign policy formulation.

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

A general introduction to the study of law that offer students a broad liberal arts perspective on the important role law plays in our society. 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.

POL 220 INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH METHODS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE / 3 credits

An introduction to the basic empirical research design and quantitative methodologies for testing theories in political science. Students gain statistical techniques for analyzing large datasets and exposure to the empirical political science literatures. Prerequisite: POL 105 or permission of instructor.

POL 250 POLITICAL ISSUES AND PUBLIC POLICY / 3 credits 

Study of significant issues in public policy with emphasis on the ability to address such issues from different philosophical and ideological perspectives.

POL 288 POLITICAL PARTIES, CAMPAIGNS & ELECTIONS / 3 credits 

Study of the nature, organization, and operations of American political parties in government and in the electoral process. Students 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. Students will explore various explanations for war and evaluate these through examination of various conflicts in the 20th century. In addition, students will examine methods for limiting conflict. 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 315 U.S. FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY / 3 credits

The evolution of U.S. foreign and security policy with particular attention to the Cold War and post-Cold War eras. In addition students will examine the policy-making process, including the role of public opinion, the mass media, and Congress. 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 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 349 THE GERMAN POLITICAL AND CULTURAL TRADITION /3 credits

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–students will 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

Examination of the political thinkers who started the Western political tradition. Concentrating on original sources, students will consider 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

Study of major political thinkers such as Machiavelli, Locke, Rousseau, Hume, and Marx. Students will concentrate 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 the efforts to establish democratic institutions in the region thereafter. Prerequisite: POL 201 or permission of instructor. (Same as HIS 358).

POL 368 ASIAN POLITICS / 3 credits

Comparative survey of government and governmental institutions in Asia with particular emphasis on identifying key political, economic, and social trends affecting the region.

POL 370 POLITICAL ECONOMY OF PUBLIC ISSUES / 3 credits 

Discussion and research of current public debates and interests in which both governmental and economic forces and interests are joined. Students will 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

Survey of the Middle East from the rise of Islam to the present day with emphasis on the development of Islamic society and culture and the impact and influence of the West. 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

An examination of 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 

Study of varying topics in political science. Includes a 2-week Nichols trip. Prerequisites will vary.

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