academics

Government and International Affairs

Professors: J. Dondelinger (chair), P. Schotten
Associate Professor: J. Johnson
Assistant Professor: E. Wanless

The department of Government and International Affairs offers courses covering the key fields in the discipline of political science, including American Politics, Political Philosophy, Methodology, Public Administration, Law, Comparative Politics, and International Relations. Courses in Government and International Affairs are designed to: 1) provide students with a deeper understanding of political life in the United States, within different countries and among countries; 2) develop the intellectual tools of inquiry, analysis and critical judgment necessary for advanced graduate study and employment in the areas of government, law, journalism and business; and 3) broaden the students’ perspective of civil society and of the rights and obligations of responsible citizenship. The major combines classes taught in the liberal arts tradition with opportunities for practical internship experiences. The department emphasizes advising regarding post-graduate and professional opportunities in the major.

Government and International Affairs Major:

35 Credit Hours
GOVT 110 — Introduction to Government (3 cr)
GOVT 200 — American Government (3 cr)

At least one course from each of the following areas:
Law:
GOVT 290 — Criminal Law (3 cr)
GOVT 360 — Constitutional Law: Government Powers (4 cr)
GOVT 370 — Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties (4 cr)
American:
GOVT 210 — Congress (3 cr)
GOVT 220 — The American Presidency (3 cr)
GOVT 300 — Public Administration (4 cr)
GOVT 335 — Public Opinion, the Media, and Voting Behavior (3 cr)
International Relations:
GOVT 235 — American Foreign Policy (3 cr)
GOVT 325 — International Law (3 cr)
GOVT 385 — International Politics (3 cr)
Political Theory:
GOVT 305 — Theories of American Democracy (3 cr)
GOVT 320 — Political Philosophy (3 cr)
Comparative:
GOVT 120 — Politics in a Diverse World (3 cr)
GOVT 215 — Asian Politics (3 cr)
GOVT 345 — Identity Conflict and World Politics (3 cr)

GOVT — Government elective courses (14 cr)
No more than 3 credit hours of GOVT 395 or 396 may be used toward the electives.

Government and International Affairs Minor:

18 credit hours
Courses should include one course from four of the five broad areas of American government, comparative government, international relations, political theory, and law.

Political Philosophy Minor:

18 credit hours
These courses emphasize classic writings that focus upon the meaning and importance of justice and the relationship between a fulfilling, ethical human life and the political state. This minor normally can be fulfilled in one of two ways:

Track 1: Classical Political Philosophy (18 credit hours)
PHIL 220 — Our Philosophical Heritage I (3 cr)
PHIL 230 — Our Philosophical Heritage II (3 cr)
GOVT 285 — The Quest for Justice (3 cr)
GOVT 320 — Political Philosophy (3 cr)
CLAS 200 — Elementary Greek I (3 cr)
CLAS 201 — Elementary Greek II (3 cr)

Track 2: Political Philosophy (18 credit hours)
PHIL 220 — Our Philosophical Heritage I (3 cr)
PHIL 230 — Our Philosophical Heritage II (3 cr)
GOVT 285 — The Quest for Justice (3 cr)
GOVT 320 — Political Philosophy (3 cr)
PHIL 300 — Contemporary Moral Issues (3 cr)
GOVT 305 — Theories of American Democracy (3 cr)

Honors in Government and International Affairs:
A student may graduate with Honors in Government and International Affairs by: 1) possessing a college cumulative grade point average of 3.5; 2) maintaining a department grade point average of 3.5; 3) receiving a B or higher in one course from each of the content areas at the 300 level; and 4) earning an A grade in GOVT 390 and 391 (research seminar and honors seminar). Students should apply for admission to the honors program and must complete 39 credit hours in the discipline.

Government and International Affairs Courses:

GOVT 110 — Introduction to Government (Area 3.3) (3 credits)
An introduction to the major concepts, theories, ideas and fields of study relating to government and politics. The course focuses on the exploration of pertinent value questions associated with recurrent themes in the study of politics: citizenship and political participation, leadership and public policy, the quest for the ideal society, the requirements of constitutional government, the nature and causes of political tyranny, the causes and consequences of revolution, the roots of war, the principles of world politics, and the prospects for peace. Offered Every Semester.

GOVT 120 — Politics in a Diverse World (Area 3.6) (3 credits)
An introductory survey of the politics and of contemporary social, economic, and cultural issues in a diverse set of countries. Particular emphasis is placed on non-Western and non-democratic political systems. Designed to further a cross-cultural liberal arts understanding, the course highlights similarities and differences in the domestic politics of countries around the world. Offered Every Semester.

GOVT 190 — Humans in Conflict: Individual Conscience and Legal Responsibility (Area 1.2) (3 credits)
An inquiry into individual moral perspectives and subsequent interpersonal relationships that both shape and are shaped by (often) conflicting personal, social, and transcendent values. Conflicts between individual conscience and social and legal responsibility to others are examined in detail. Offered Most Semesters.

GOVT 200 — American Government (Area 3.3) (3 credits)
An analysis of the theory underlying American democracy and its relationship to the major political questions of the day, such as the role played by citizens in influencing public policy and the responsiveness (or lack of responsiveness) of governmental institutions. Emphasized are the court’s protection of civil liberties, the president’s ability to lead the nation, and the rationality of the public’s voting behavior. The advantages and disadvantages of proposed reforms of the American system of government are also examined. Offered Most Semesters.

GOVT 210 — Congress (3 credits)
This course will examine the purpose, structure and effectiveness of Congress. The main question for the course is: does Congress work? Special attention will be given to the way in which Congress has responded to the various crises in American history. Offered Every Other Year.

GOVT 215 — Asian Politics (Area 3.6) (3 credits)
This course serves as an introduction to the politics of East Asia, in particular China, Japan, the Koreas, and Taiwan. Topics include the current functioning of political institutions, with an emphasis on each nation’s economic, political, and cultural development. Offered Every Other Year.

GOVT 220 — The American Presidency (3 credits)
A critical examination of the American Presidency, with emphasis on recent revisionist approaches. Topics include the constitutional basis of presidential power, presidential personality and style of leadership, as well as considerations of executive staffing and presidential-congressional relations. Offered Every Other Year.

GOVT 235 — American Foreign Policy (3 credits)
A survey of the key issues, ideas, events, actors, and institutions in American foreign policy, national security, and international economic relations. The course combines a focus on current issues with an overview of American foreign policy since World War II. Offered Every Other Year.

GOVT 275 — Politics and Literature (3 credits)
This course explores the way in which political issues have been presented in literature. A variety of novels, short stories, poems, and essays will be analyzed for the insights into politics that they offer. Offered Every Other Year.

GOVT 285 — The Quest for Justice (3 credits)
What is justice? Does it exist? This course undertakes a critical examination of major theories of justice, drawn from political philosophy, theatre and literature. Typical authors studied include Rawls, Aristotle, Kant, Mill, Sophocles, Hawthorne and Nietzsche. Offered Every Other Year.

GOVT 290 — Criminal Law (3 credits)
A study of the rationale for the criminal law and punishment as well as an examination of the effectiveness of the American justice system. Issues examined include capital punishment, the law of search and seizure, society’s response to dangerous drugs, individual versus societal responsibility for crime, and the proper response of a democratic people to crime and criminals. Offered Every Other Year.

GOVT 300 — Public Administration (W - Area 2.1B) (4 credits)
A review of the formal and informal theories which underlie current thinking in the area of public administration. In addition, there will be an examination of the role of administration in the American political system. Key functions such as budgeting, personnel management and decision-making are covered as well. The role the bureaucracy plays both in implementing public policy and in the policy formulation process itself will be examined. Offered Every Other Year.

GOVT 305 — Theories of American Democracy (3 credits)
An examination of the theory underlying the American Constitution and nation, as interpreted by its Founders as well as by subsequent critics and supporters. Offered Every Other Year.

GOVT 320 — Political Philosophy (3 credits)
An examination of classical and modern political theory, concentrating on selected works from each period. Emphasis will be placed on differing interpretations of human nature, power, justice, and the best political order. Cross-Listed with PHIL 320; Offered Every Other Year.

GOVT 325 — International Law (3 credits)
A survey of the basic principles, issues, actors, processes, and institutions in the field of international law. Emphasis is placed on the way in which international law affects or fails to affect the policies of states and the behavior of governments, non-governmental organizations, and individuals. International law is analyzed both from the vantage point of nation-state centered power politics and of nation-state challenging global trends. Offered Every Other Year.

GOVT 335 — Election, Public Opinion, and the Media (3 credits)
A study of American elections, of how the electorate votes and why they vote the way they do. The course examines attitude formation and change, the impact of public opinion on public policy, the media's influence on the political opinions of US citizens and lawmakers, the media's ability to determine which political issues get placed on the public agenda, and the degree to which these issues are presented in an unbiased and objective manner. Presidential elections since 1952 are covered in detail. Cross-Listed with COMM 335; Offered Every Other Year.

GOVT 345 — Identity Conflict and World Politics (3 credits) (W - Area 2.1B and Area 3.6)
The course focuses on the causes, manifestations, and consequences of racial, ethnic, religious, nationalist, and cultural identity conflicts around the world. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of Islam in contemporary identity conflicts. Policy dilemmas raised by identity conflicts and policy options are addressed. The course pays attention to such closely related issues as genocide, ethnic and religious cleansing, crimes against humanity, terrorism, and consequent considerations of humanitarian and other forms of intervention. Offered Every Other Year.

GOVT 350 — Social Science Research Methods (W - Area 2.1B) (4 credits)
An interdisciplinary approach to basic social science research methods. The course introduces students to the several research methodologies used within the social sciences. Students participate in all stages of a research project. Cross-Listed with SOCI 350, ECON 350, and PSYC 350; Offered Every Semester.

GOVT 360 — Constitutional Law: Government Powers (4 credits)
A study of the functioning and purpose of the Supreme Court in the American system of government. Special emphasis will be placed on Supreme Court decisions dealing with federalism, the separation of powers and the powers granted to the national government. Offered Every Other Year.

GOVT 370 — Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties (4 credits)
An analysis of selected Supreme Court decisions interpreting the Constitution’s provisions guaranteeing political and civil rights. Offered Every Other Year.

GOVT 385 — International Politics (3 credits)
An advanced survey providing an overview of the major issues in world politics and of the key factors and forces shaping the international scene. The course highlights the contending approaches, conceptual frameworks and methods of analysis employed in attempts to understand international relations and world politics past, present, and future. Offered Every Other Year.

GOVT 390 — Research Seminar (W -Area 2.1B) (2 credits)
This course is designed to offer juniors and seniors the opportunity to address an important political issue in depth by writing an extended paper under close supervision and defending it before the Department. This class, while generally useful, is essential for students planning to attend graduate school. Prerequisite: Junior Status; Offered Every Semester.

GOVT 391 — Honors Seminar (W - Area 2.1B) (2 credits)
This course is an extension of GOVT 390 for students desiring departmental Honors designation. Prerequisite: GOVT 390; Offered Every Semester.

GOVT 395, 396 — Government Internship (2-4 credits)
Students may take internships in governmental agencies or political organizations in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the major. Specific arrangements pertaining to course number, title, and amount of credit will be determined according to the individual merits of each proposed intern project. No more than 3 credit hours will be counted toward the major. Grading System: S/U Only. Offered Every Semester.

GOVT 197, 297, 397 — Topics in Government and International Affairs (2-4 credits)

GOVT 199, 299, 399 — Independent Study (2-4 credits)