Course Descriptions - Department of Political Science

HONORS COURSES
Students completing a minimum of two honors courses in political science will receive an honors certification from the department, if their cumulative average in such courses is 3.5 and they complete their overall major requirements in political science with a minimum average of 3.45. Students who receive honors certification may count one honors course toward the minimum 30 credit requirement in their major, but all additional honors courses must be beyond this minimum requirement. Students who wish to take individual “Honors” designated courses should have a GPA of at least 3.0.
Students should also be aware that they may take no more than 40 credits in political science, including honors courses, toward meeting the minimum 124 credit requirement for graduation.

INTRODUCTORY COURSE


PS 1010 Introduction to Politics: Elements of Politics (3)
The concepts, terminology, problems and analytical approaches of the field of political science. General Education Breadth Course. Required course for PS Majors and Minors.

AMERICAN GOVERNMENT COURSES


PS 2100 American Government and Politics (3)
The basic political principles and institutions and modes of citizen involvement in the American political system. General Education Breadth Course
Required Course for PS Majors and Minors Satisfies General Education disciplinary and Interdisciplinary requirement in Social Sciences.

PS 2110 American State and Local Political Systems (3)
A systems analysis applied to American state and local politics, including the socio-economic setting and the responsiveness of American state and local political systems to current issues.

PS 2130 American Political Issues (3)
Issues of the day are studied in both their historical and institutional setting.

PS 3100 The Legislative Process (3)
An analysis of the formal and informal institutions and processes of the United States Congress.
Prerequisites: PS 1010, 2100 or permission of instructor.

PS 3120 Political Parties (3)
The study of the behavior of American parties and interest groups and a comparison of their actions with theories of democracy.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, 2100 or permission of instructor.

PS 3130 The American Judicial Process (3)
The politics of the American judicial system, how cases come before the courts and their impact upon the political system.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2100 or permission of instructor.

PS 3135 Political Participation (3)
Fundamental questions of “citizen politics” with the main emphasis on the nature and function of political participation in the American political process.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2100 or permission of instructor.

PS 3140 The American Presidency
In-depth study of the presidency in terms of its institutional and behavioral aspects, with special emphasis on the exercise of the powers of the presidency.
Prerequisites: PS 1010, and 2100 or permission of instructor.

PS 3145 American Institutions and the Politics of Public Policy (3)
Examination and critical analysis of public policy making structures, processes and outcomes; emphasis on roles and interaction of the president, congress, judiciary, media and interest groups in domestic policy processes; and discussion and debate of prominent national issues. Several issue topics will be debated by students during the semester.
Prerequisites: PS 1010, PS 2100 or permission of instructor.

PS 3150 American Constitutional Law (3)
Development of American Constitutional law, both doctrinal and behavioral. Landmark cases examined, along with political and social topics, leading to an analysis of the position of the Supreme Court in the American system.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2100 or permission of instructor.

PS 3151 Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties (3)
The First Amendment to the Constitution and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2100 or permission of instructor.

PS 3160 Ethnic Politics in the United States (3)
Evaluation of the importance and impact of ethnic identifications in American politics: organizational styles characteristic of various ethnic groups; differences in political culture and political behavior among groups; and an assessment of the relative success of different ethnic groups in achieving their objectives.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2100 or permission of instructor.

PS 3165 Women in American Political Life (3)
An examination of the diverse and changing roles played by women in the American political system; women as political participants, as officeholders and as advocates of issues relevant to their own needs; the differences between men and women in political behavior, the problems of women in government and the impact of the women’s movement in public policy.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2100 or permission of instructor.

PS 3170 New Jersey: State Government and Politics (3)
An examination of governmental institutions and decision-making processes in New Jersey state government. Topics include: legislative-executive interaction, policy-making in departments and agencies, and current issues.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2100 or permission of instructor.

PS 3180 Governmental Advisory Systems (3)
Introduction to the detailed study of advisory roles in the various branches and levels of United States government. Describes and analyzes the work of expert staff in executive and legislative decision processes.
Prerequisite: PA 1000 or PS 2100.

PS 3190 Politics of Public Bureaucracies (3)
Examination, analysis and critique of the political framework and process within which national government bureaucracies function; emphasis on the role(s) of cabinet level department and agency executives as political actors in the policy processes of initiation, development and legitimation; executive control and bureaucratic inertia in the politics of implementation; and sources and outcomes of public agency political influence. Current issues will serve to provide a context for discussion.
Prerequisites: PS 1010, PS 2100 or permission of instructor.

PS 4100 Honors Seminar in American Government and Politics (3)
Open to advanced political science majors. Concentration on in-depth analyses of particular aspects of American political institutions and processes. As topics vary, course, where appropriate, may be taken more than once for credit. (See comment on political science honors courses). Students who wish to take this course should have a GPA of at least 3.0.

PS 4130 Senior Seminar: Political Issues (3)
International and National Issues of the day are studied in both their historical and institutional setting.
Required capstone course for all political science majors.

PS 4170 Seminar in New Jersey State Government and Politics (3)
Concentration on in-depth analyses of particular aspects of New Jersey political institutions and processes. Focus of course may vary from semester to semester. Flexibility in time scheduling may be required.
Prerequisites: PS 1010 and permission of instructor.

PUBLIC LAW COURSES


PS 3680 Constitutional Law: Criminal Procedures (3)
An analysis of the development of the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution, the effect of the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment on the application of the Bill of Rights, and related issues revealed in leading Supreme Court decisions in criminal justice. Writing Emphasis Course.
Prerequisite: CJ 2600 or permission of instructor.

PS 3815 Law and Public Policy (3)
The legislative role and policy consequences of law and procedures in the United States. Analysis and critique of the politics of issue identification, as well as the development, enactment and implementation of public policy solutions. Emphasis on judicial decisions and interpretations in the development of federal and state law and procedures.
Prerequisites: 6 credits in political science including PS 2100.

PS 3845 Regulatory Law and Public Policy (3)
A historical and contemporary survey, review and analysis of regulatory policy in the United States; examine, in depth, the relevant political and policy issues related to legislating and enforcing regulatory standards and rules. An analysis and critique of the politics and policy impacts of selected cases in environmental, health and safety regulation, e.g., ground water and air pollution, smoking, pharmaceuticals and worker safety.
Prerequisites: 6 credits in political science or permission of instructor.

PS 4850 Seminar: The Rule of Law in Society (3)
Open to juniors and seniors only. An in-depth analysis of contemporary problems and issues related to the American legal system and society. Since issue topics will vary from semester to semester, the course may be taken more than once for credit, with departmental permission.
Prerequisites: 18 credits in political science, including PS 2100 and PS 3150.

POLITICAL THEORY COURSES


PS 3200 Classical Political Theory (3)
A study of classical European political thought from pre-Platonic times to the dawn of the modern age. The contribution of individual theorists to the solution of economic, social, and political problems of their times.
Prerequisite: Six hours of political science or permission of instructor.

PS 3210 Early Modern Political Theory: Machiavelli to Rousseau (3)
European political thought from the 16th to the 18th century, with special emphasis upon the major theorists from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment.
Prerequisite: Six semester hours in political science or permission of the instructor.

PS 3220 Modern Political Thought: 19th and 20th Centuries (3)
Survey and analysis of the principal theories and ideologies of the 19th and 20th centuries. Variants of Marxism, liberalism, conservatism, libertarianism, and fascism will be studied.
Prerequisites: Six hours of political science or permission of instructor.

PS 3240 Theory of International Relations (3)
An examination of war and peace as alternating phases of relationships among nation-states. The various causes of war and approaches to securing peace.
Prerequisites: six hours of Political Science or permission of the instructor.

PS 3250 American Political Theory (3)
The central doctrinal developments in American political theory, from pre-revolutionary beginnings to various contemporary positions. Important ideological positions, both orthodox and critical. The influence of theory on practice.
Prerequisites: six hours of Political Science or permission of instructor.

PS 4200 Honors Seminar in Political Theory (3)
Open to advanced Political Science majors. An in-depth analysis of perennial questions and problems regarding the nature and purpose of political life and their application to contemporary political and/or moral issues.
Prerequisites and or Corequisites: Eighteen (18) credits in political science; 3.0 GPA.

COMPARATIVE POLITICS COURSES


PS 2300 Introduction to Comparative Politics (3)
The history, methodology, and general theoretical foundations of the field of comparative politics. Institutions, structures, and processes of pluralistic-liberal democracies and Marxist-Leninist societies are compared.
Satisfies GE disciplinary/interdisciplinary requirement in Social Sciences.
General Education Breadth Course.

PS 3300 Comparative European Government and Politics (3)
The comparative study of political institutions in Eastern and Western Europe, including such countries as Russia, United Kingdom, France and Germany.
Prerequisites: PS 1010, PS 2300 or PS 2400, or permission of instructor.

PS 3310 Comparative Non-Western Government (3)
A comparative analysis of the governments and policies of the non-western nations with emphasis upon the study of change and stability in their political ideology and institutions; the process of political development and the problems of political leadership.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2300 or PS 2400, or permission of instructor.

PS 3320 The Politics of the Middle East (3)
A comparative study and analysis of the government and policies of the nations of the Levant with major focus on political development and change in the region; emphasis on institutions, leadership, and policy-making.
Prerequisites: PS 1010, PS 2300 or PS 2400, or permission of instructor.

PS 3330 Far Eastern Politics (3)
A study of political culture, ideologies, political parties, constitutions, governmental institutions and policies in China, Japan, and Taiwan.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2300 or PS 2400, or permission of instructor.

PS 3340 Latin American Politics (3)
A study of political culture, ideologies, political systems with emphasis on political culture, political development and the conflict between tradition and modernity.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2300 or PS 2400, or permission of instructor.

PS 3341 Central American Politics (3)
An analysis of Central America’s socio-economic and political developments from the nineteenth century to the present, with emphasis on revolutions, civil wars, regime changes, transitions to peace, democracy, and free market economics.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2300 or PS 2400, or permission of instructor.

PS 3350 Totalitarian Politics (3)
Survey and analysis of the doctrine and practice of unlimited state power.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2300 or PS 2400, or permission of instructor.

PS 3360 Southern African Politics (3)
This course is aimed at promoting a greater understanding of the last remenant of the old paradigm, apartheid, and the current shift to a new paradigm which has been generated through South Africa’s first multi-racial elections. An in-depth examination of the political, economic, and social challenges of contemporary South Africa as well as the impact of the nation’s policies on the entire Southern African regions will be explored.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2300 or PS 2400, or permission of instructor.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COURSES


PS 2400 Introduction to International Relations (3)
A critical examination of the nature of nation-state relations, also the relations between nation-states and nonstate actors like international organizations and multinational corporations. Required. Satisfies GE disciplinary requirement in Social Sciences.
General Education Breadth Course

PS 3400 The Politics of War and Peace (3)
An examination of war and peace as alternating phases of relationships among nation-states.  The various causes of war and approaches to securing peace.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2300 or 2400 or permission of instructor

PS 3410 International Organization (3)
A study of the creation and existence of those institutions designed to resolve international conflicts and promote international cooperation, with special emphasis upon the United Nations.
Prerequisites: PS 1010, PS 2300 or 2400, or permission of instructor.

PS 3418 The Arab-Israeli Conflict (3)
Analysis of the nature of the Arab-Israeli conflict, its roots, its background and prospects of its resolution; emphasis on direct participants and forces in the conflict.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2300 or PS 2400, or permission of instructor.

PS 3420 International Law (3)
A study of the principles and historical development of the principles of international law, particularly in the latter part of the twentieth century. The topics include sovereignty, jurisdiction, human rights and state responsibility.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2300 or PS 2400, or permission of instructor.

PS 3430 International Terrorism (3)
An examination of the evolution of political violence and the strategies of contemporary terrorism by international and transnational revolutionary groups. A critical analysis of the social, political, economic and legal ramifications on society and governments resulting from international terrorist activities.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2300 or PS 2400, or permission of instructor.

PS 3440 International Relations of Latin America (3)
A focus on Latin American states and their relationship with the US and the rest of the world. An analysis of the changing position of Latin America in the international division of labor and the security system since the collapse of Spanish Colonialism.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2300 or PS 2400, or permission of instructor.

PS 3450 Conduct of US Foreign Policy (3)
A study of political and administrative institutions and processes involved in foreign policy making. The development of foreign policy. How political and administrative organizations respond to change. The substance of modern foreign policy questions.
Prerequisites: PS 1010, PS 2300 or PS 2400, or permission of instructor.

PS 3460 Human Rights and Politics in the 20th Century (3)
An exploration and evaluation of the development of human rights and its impact on the politics and institutions of the 20th century.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2300 or PS 2400, or permission of instructor.

PS 3470 The Politics of International Economic Relations (3)
Description and analysis of the reciprocal and dynamic interaction in international relations of the pursuit of wealth and the pursuit of power. A discussion of the role of the United States in the management of post-World War II international relations, the emergence of Japan as a superpower, and the developing world’s question for a new international economic order.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2300 or PS 2400, or permission of instructor.

PS 3480 The Political Economy of Violence (3)
A study of the relationship between socio-economic development and violence with emphasis on the political and criminal manifestation of that relationship. It explores also the social, political and economic functions of violence in a globalized world.
Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 2300 or PS 2400, or permission of instructor.

PS 3490 U.S.-China Relations Since World War II (3)
Examination and critique—of the competing theoretic perspectives on U.S.-China relations since 1945.  An assessment of competing explanations for the rise and fall of the Sino-Soviet alliance, the emergence of the U.S.-China-Soviet strategic triangle, and the rise of China as a major power in the post-Cold War world.

PS 4400 Honors Seminar in International and Comparative Politics (3)
Open to advanced political science majors. Concentration on in-depth analyses of particular problems or issues in international and comparative politics. (See comment on political science honors courses.) Students who wish to take this course should have a GPA of at least 3.0.

PS 4410 Seminar in International Politics (3)
Analyses of particular problems and issues in international and comparative politics including the role of international institutions. Prior departmental arrangements for course admission is required because assignments may extend beyond the normal semester period. May be taken more than once for credit with departmental permission.
Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
Writing Emphasis Course

PS 4420 Seminar in African Politics (3)
Survey and analysis of the political, social, and economic issues of post-independence Africa, including the patterns of cooperation that characterize intra-Africa diplomacy and Africa’s relations with nation-states outside of the continent. Students will participate in the Howard University National Model Organization of African Union Conference held at Washington, D. C. As topics vary, the course may be taken more than once for credit with departmental permission.
Prerequisites: 12 credits in political science and/or permission of instructor.

POLITICAL BEHAVIOR AND METHODOLOGY COURSES


PS 3500 Political Behavior (3)
The empirical study of American politics, with emphasis on public opinion and support building through the mass media. Student research will be expected.
Prerequisite: six credits in Political Science or permission of instructor.

PS 3510 Conflict Resolution and the Polity (3)
A theoretical and behavioral approach to conflict resolution in the polity [political community]. Macro and micro systems of conflict resolution and their impact on one another will be examined. Specifically, students will review and simulate techniques employed to resolve complex problems ranging from local conflict over urban development to international negotiation on protecting national and transnational interests.
Prerequisites: six credits in Political Science or permission of instructor.

PS 3550 Scope and Methods of Political Science (3)
Focuses on what political scientists do, what their main concerns are and provides a methodological foundation for reading, understanding and criticizing the literature of political science.
Prerequisites: six credits in Political Science or permission of instructor.

URBAN POLITICS COURSES


PS 3700 The Urban Political System: Politics and Problems (3)
The analysis of the urban political system and its relation to other community systems, with emphasis on function and dysfunction.
Prerequisite: six credits in Political Science or permission of instructor.

PS 4700 The Politics of Urbanization in Postindustrial America: Contemporary Issues (3)
In-depth analysis of emerging political structures and processes of postindustrial American cities; emphasis on identifying and evaluating policy constraints and local popular control consequences for central cities in the hierarchically-ordered structure of a federal system; the impact of political and fiscal fragmentation on developing a national urban policy alternative. Several analytic perspectives are used in discussion and debate of political issues unique to the contemporary central city.
Prerequisites: Nine hours of political science, including PS 2100, or permission of instructor.

INTERNSHIP COURSES


PS 4800 Cooperative Education in Political Science (9)

PS 4801 Seminar for Cooperative Education Students in Political Science (6)
Opportunity for students to obtain practical, long-term experience in supervised governmental or public interest organization work linked to related academic seminars. Student works approximately four-and one-half days each week for approximately a full semester or the equivalent and participates in regular meetings of a related academic seminar. Financial remuneration as arranged. Six of the involved credits will count as major elective credits in political science and the remaining nine credits will count as free electives. (If a student is in a major other than political science, all 15 credits will count as free electives. However, the student’s department may accept some of these credits as meeting major requirements.) No more than 40 credits in political science, including credits earned through this course, count toward the minimum requirements for graduation. PS 4800 and 4801 are taken concurrently. Students receiving credit for PS 4800 and 4801 may not also receive credit for PS 4802 and 4803.
Prerequisites: Junior status and permission of departmental selection board.

PS 4802 Cooperative Education in Political Science II (6)

PS 4803 Seminar for Cooperative Education Students in Political Science II (3)
Opportunity for students to obtain practical, long-term experience in supervised governmental or public interest organization work linked to related academic seminars. Student works approximately four-and one-half days each week for approximately eight weeks or the equivalent and participates in regular meetings of a related academic seminar. Financial remuneration as arranged. Three credits count as major elective credits in political science and the remaining six credits count as free electives. (If a student is in a major other than political science, all nine credits count as free electives. However, the student’s department may accept some of these credits as meeting major requirements.) No more than 40 credits in political science, including credits earned through this course, count toward the minimum requirements for graduation. PS 4802 and 4803 are taken concurrently. Students receiving credit for PS 4802 and 4803 may not also receive credit for PS 4800 and 4801.
Prerequisites: Junior status and permission of departmental selection board.

PS 4810 Internship in Political Science I (3)
Career-related placement of one or two days per week in political, governmental or public interest areas, providing students with the opportunity to gain practical, on-the-job reinforcement of academic experiences. Assignments and placements are arranged by the department. Weekly seminars and/or tutorials serve to integrate and test concepts learned in the classroom with field experiences.
Prerequisites: Junior status, nine hours in political science, including PS 2100, and permission of instructor.
Writing Emphasis Course

PS 4811 Internship in Political Science II (3)
Continuation of PS 4810.
Prerequisites: PS 4810 and permission of instructor.
Writing Emphasis Course


INDEPENDENT STUDY COURSE


PS 4990 Independent Study: Tutorial Course for Political Science Majors (3)
A tutorial course for political science majors whose individual needs are not met by formal courses. Periodic meetings. Substantial research and reading is required.
Prerequisites: Twelve hours of political science; open only to political science majors who have made prior arrangements with a faculty member. 

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