2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Political Science


POL 200. Introduction to Political Science. 3 Hours

Study of the dominant theoretical approaches, central questions and concepts, and history of political science. Political Science majors only.

POL 201. The American Political System. 3 Hours

Study of the American political system, its attitudinal and constitutional base, its structure and processes.

POL 202. Introduction to Comparative Politics. 3 Hours

Analysis of major concepts and approaches in the study of comparative government and politics.

POL 207. Political Science Research Methods. 3 Hours

Introduction to the basic concepts and processes of research in political science. Prerequisites: POL 200, 201, 202, 214 or HRS 200.

POL 214. Introduction to International Relations. 3 Hours

Analysis of the dynamic forces of conflict and cooperation in international relations. This can include issues of war and peace, democracy and human rights, climate change, and international institutions such as the European Union and the United Nations.

POL 300. Political Issues. 3 Hours

Introductory examination of contemporary political issues selected by the instructor, such topics as welfare, political morality, political campaigns, institutional reform, and political economy.

POL 301. The American Judicial Process. 3 Hours

Study of the judicial process as part of the political system. Focus on the participants (police, lawyers, judges, interest groups, litigants, jurors) and the process (criminal, civil, and appellate proceedings).

POL 303. State Politics and Policy. 3 Hours

Comparative study of governance in the fifty states with a focus on how socioeconomic, demographic and political differences account for variations in political institutions, processes, and public policies related to issues, such as health, education, voting rights, criminal justice and welfare. Prerequisites: SSC 200 or ANT 150 or CJS 101 or ECO 203 or ECO 204 or POL 201 or POL 202 or PSY 101 or SOC 101 or SOC 204 or SWK 201 (may be taken as a co-requisite).

POL 305. Introduction to Public Administration. 3 Hours

Basic principles of organization and management in executive departments of government at all levels; questions of planning, leadership, and control.

POL 306. Public Policy Analysis. 3 Hours

Introduction to public policy-making systems and the methodology of policy analysis; theories of policy formulation, the policy-making process, means for measuring policy effectiveness, analysis of proposals for policy change.

POL 307. Policy, Administration, & Regulation. 3 Hours

Examination of governmental responses to public problems through a study of public policy, government/public administration, and use of regulation. Prerequisites: SSC 200.

POL 308. Morality Policy. 3 Hours

Introduction to the morality-based public policy debate with comparison of morality policy (e.g. abortion, drugs, gay rights, pornography) and traditional forms of public policy; study of the moral basis underlying current political topics and debate.

POL 309. Health Policy. 3 Hours

Introduction to the major policy issues impacting healthcare value today at the federal, state and local levels and the influential role of advocates in the process. Health policies are public policies or authoritative decisions that pertain to health or influence the pursuit of health, and affect or influence groups or classes of individuals or organizations. The course will focus on understanding the basics of health policy, health value, Medicaid, Medicare, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and will examine selected public health issues in greater depth along with the current policy and policy opportunities impacting those issues at the federal, the state and local levels. Prerequisite(s): CMM 100; SSC 200 (may be taken concurrently); or with permission of the department chair.

POL 310. Political Parties, Campaigns & Elections. 3 Hours

Analysis of the history, nature, and function of political parties and their role in the political system in both a domestic and comparative context.

POL 311. Public Opinion & Political Behavior. 3 Hours

The formation, maintenance, change, and impact of public opinion on the American political system; the role of theory and analysis of data in understanding public and political behavior.

POL 313. The American Presidency. 3 Hours

Study of the American presidency, the development of presidential powers, and its leadership role in the political system.

POL 314. Interest Group Politics. 3 Hours

Exploration of the role of interest groups in the American political system through an examination of their internal organization and their roles in the electoral and policy making processes at the national, state and local levels. Prerequisite(s): POL 201.

POL 316. American Political Thought. 3 Hours

An exploration and critical investigation of selected actors, thinkers, texts, ideas and movements in American political thought and theory from the colonial period to the present. Topics may include the founding, the age of Jackson, the Civil War, Progressivism, Women's Suffrage, the New Deal, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, the 1960s, and others.

POL 317. Development of Political Theory. 3 Hours

Analysis of selected theorists and political doctrines forming the tradition of Western thought on politics. Theorists including Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Marx, Spencer, Lenin, Gasset, and Camus presented in their historical and socio-political contexts.

POL 318. Public Integrity & Political Leadership. 3 Hours

Analysis of contemporary leadership issues related to integrity and values in political office-holding, public service, and global governance contexts. Prerequisite(s): CMM 201 or (POL 201 or POL 202 or POL 214) or permission of instructor.

POL 319. Twentieth-Century Political Thought. 3 Hours

Analysis of selected political theorists, concepts, and movements from the late nineteenth century to the present. Thinkers and concepts may include Marx, Nietzsche, Sarte, Camus, Freud, Arendt, Strauss, the Frankfurt School, Fanon, Foucault, Rawls, Rorty, existentialism, feminism, colonialism, post-modernity, liberalism, neo-conservatism among others.

POL 320. European Politics and Society. 3 Hours

Analysis of politics and society in Britain, France and Germany as well as the European Union.

POL 321. Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia. 3 Hours

Analysis of politics and society in Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia. This includes a focus on the Ukraine-Russia war and leaders such as Zelensky and Putin. Other key states will be profiled such as Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan.

POL 323. Comparative Politics: Latin America. 3 Hours

Analysis of governmental institutions and political processes of Latin America.

POL 331. Nationalism & Ethnopolitics. 3 Hours

An analysis of the politics of nationalism and ethnicity and their impact on social justice. Diverse case studies (US, Russia, Northern Ireland, Israeli-Palestinian) and institutions (European Community, United Nations) will be explored.

POL 333. Politics of Human Rights. 3 Hours

Examines the evolution of international human rights norms and the creation of the institutions for the protection and promotion of human rights, and case material relating to each category of internationally recognized human rights.

POL 334. Politics of Human Rights II. 3 Hours

This research seminar examines select topics related to the protection and promotion of human rights. This course is required for all Human Rights Studies majors. The research seminar adopts a case-study approach that enables students to analyze the complex social, economic, cultural, and political factors that impede the full realization of internationally recognized human rights, and to critically evaluate the effectiveness of the advocacy strategies used by inter-governmental human rights bodies and non-governmental human rights organizations. Thus, this seminar is designed to enable students to connect human rights theory and practice. Part I (Overview) provides a more in-depth examination of the material covered in POL 333 (the Politics of Human Rights I). Part II (Case Studies) examines critical contemporary issues and covers the full range of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. Students will collaborate on team research projects and produce a final Human Rights Report containing an analysis of a specific situation of the violation of human rights, findings of fact, and recommendations aimed at rectifying the situation. Students will present and defend their team reports and present in class at the end of the semester. Prerequisite(s): POL 333.

POL 335. United States National Security Policy. 3 Hours

Analysis of various political, economic, and military issues and problems relating to U.S. national security.

POL 336. United Nations System: Theory and Practice. 3 Hours

Introduction to the United Nations system with detailed case studies of specific countries, issues, and policies. Course also serves to prepare students for participation in the National Model United Nations Conference. Prerequisite(s): SSC 200.

POL 340. Gender, Women’s Rights and Global Politics. 3 Hours

Overview of the ways international relations scholars study gender and use gender as a lens on world politics. Course includes a foundation in feminist theory as it relates to other international relations theories as well as investigation of political topics such as war, labor, human rights, political participation, and violence. Course is intersectional in approach, examining how the power of gender operates to maintain interlocking inequalities based on gender, nationality, race, class, and sexuality and how these inequalities result in problematic gender equality policy-making. Prerequisites: POL 214, POL 202, HRS 200, WGS 150 or permission of instructor.

POL 341. Power, Gender & Performance. 3 Hours

Consideration of performances of identity and advocacy at the intersection of political power and gender as constructive responses to gender inequality. Performance protests for gender equality, and cultural performances of gender are examined in historical case studies and current events.

POL 350. Legislative Politics. 3 Hours

Study of the U.S. Congress, its organization and procedures, and its powers and influence in the political system.

POL 354. Political Campaign Communication. 3 Hours

Examination of theory and research on the role, processes and effects of communication in political campaigns with emphasis on mass media, public speaking, debates, advertising, and interpersonal communications. Prerequisites: CMM 100 or CMM 1OC or CMM 320 or CMM 351 and Sophomore standing.

POL 355. Media and Democracy. 3 Hours

Examination of the ways media influences politics and how politicians use media to get elected, stay in power, and achieve policy goals. In this course, students will investigate how political behavior and public opinion are shaped by media in a critical-analytic approach integrated across fields such as communications, economics, psychology, and sociology. Prerequisite(s): CMM 100; SSC 200 (may be taken at the same time).

POL 360. Urban Politics & Policy. 3 Hours

Study of the nature of urban political systems in the U.S. with emphasis on explanation of differences in their policy responses.

POL 361. Leadership in Nongovernmental Organizations. 3 Hours

Examination of management skills required of professionals in various types of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and how leaders integrate agency values and management processes to promote rights-related missions. HRS and POL majors or minors only or permission of the department chairperson.

POL 365. Disaster Policy & Administration. 3 Hours

Exploration of policy approaches and administrative response strategies related to various phases of disasters and security crises in the U.S. and international settings with attention to human rights issues. Prerequisite(s): POL 201 or permission of instructor.

POL 371. Environmental Policy. 3 Hours

Examination of environmental public policymaking and implementation in the United States. Students will apply knowledge of government and policy processes to specific environmental issues, analyze governmental response, and consider how action on those issues may be pursued. Prerequisite(s): SSC 200.

POL 375. Moral Courage Project. 3 Hours

Preparation only for those students selected to engage in the Moral Courage Project, a cohorted program of the UD Human Rights Center. Selected through a competitive process, participating students develop skills and content knowledge in advance of the program’s immersive fieldwork phase, following the semester. Areas of study include foundations of human rights, media studies and narrative storytelling, interviewing and audio production techniques, and subject matter knowledge of a particular human rights event that will be identified for each cycle.

POL 381. Film & Politics. 3 Hours

Exploration of film as a medium for both reflecting societal opinions and influencing those opinions. In this course, students will investigate various political topics and issues and explore how American narrative film has dealt with these topics integrated across fields such as history, economics, communications and sociology.

POL 391. The Politics of International Economic Relations. 3 Hours

Examination of the relationship among governments, non-state actors, and the global economy. Topics include trade, investment, and finance, highlighting the role of international organizations such as World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank, as well as transnational corporations in shaping the international economy.

POL 392. Human Rights and Development in Africa. 3 Hours

Study of human rights and development in Africa. Topics may include racial and other inequalities, poverty, debt, foreign aid, food security, land reform, population, migration and displacement, environment, corruption, and illicit transfer of capital.

POL 404. United States - Latin American Relations. 3 Hours

This course examines the foreign relations of the United States with other countries of the Western hemisphere. Political, economic and security issues are examined from both theoretical and historical perspectives. Prerequisite(s): (POL 210 or POL 214) or permission of instructor.

POL 406. International Law & Organization. 3 Hours

Study of rules governing the community of nations; their nature, sources, and development; the international agencies responsible for their development, interpretation, and administration. Prerequisite(s): POL 214 or permission of instructor.

POL 408. American Foreign Policy. 3 Hours

Critical study of the American foreign policy process and evaluation of the sources of American foreign policy. Prerequisite(s): (POL 201, POL 214) or permission of instructor.

POL 409. Russian Foreign Policy. 3 Hours

Analysis of the internal and external factors shaping the foreign policies of Russia and the independent republics.

POL 410. Comparative Foreign Policy. 3 Hours

Comparative analysis of the foreign policies of major states with emphasis on the process of policy development and on the national and international determinants of policy behaviors. Prerequisite(s): (POL 202 or POL 217) or permission of instructor.

POL 411. Constitutional Law. 3 Hours

Analysis of the role of the U.S. Supreme Court in its interpretation of the Constitution. Emphasis on the various methods of judicial interpretation as they affect such provisions as the commerce clause, the taxing and spending powers, due process, the dimensions of presidential and congressional authority, and the doctrine of judicial review. Prerequisite(s): POL 301 or permission of instructor.

POL 412. Comparative Law. 3 Hours

Explores how foreign judicial systems protect and promote civil and political rights through different constitutional designs. Prerequisite(s): POL 301.

POL 413. The Politics of Bureaucracy & Regulation. 3 Hours

Examination of the nature and meaning of bureaucracy in contemporary American society and the devices for its evaluation and control.

POL 421. Seminar in Political Science. 3 Hours

Seminar on current problems and issues in political science. May be taken more than once when content changes. Prerequisite(s): Political Science major; completed POL core courses.

POL 426. Leadership in Building Communities. 3 Hours

Investigation of the processes by which urban neighborhoods develop themselves from the inside out. Students cultivate their own interdisciplinary appreciation of urban communities through extensive interaction with one neighborhood's visioning process. Topics include asset-based community development, social capital, citizenship, adaptive leadership, and community building strategies and tools.

POL 431. Independent Study & Research. 0-6 Hours

Individual reading and research on selected topics under faculty direction. Recommended for seniors only. Prerequisite(s): POL 207 and permission of instructor or department chairperson.

POL 450. Civil Liberties. 3 Hours

Analytical examination of civil liberties in the U.S. with emphasis on the Supreme Court as arbiter in the endless conflict between the demand for individual liberty and the needs of constitutional authority. Prerequisite(s): (POL 301 or POL 411) or permission of instructor.

POL 452. Political Violence. 3 Hours

Consideration of theoretical approaches to understanding violent change in political institutions; the continuum between violence and nonviolence; revolution, revolt, campus dissent, and political assassination. Prerequisite(s): (POL 202 or POL 333) or permission of instructor.

POL 477. Honors Thesis Project. 3 Hours

First of two courses leading to the selection, design, investigation, and completion of an independent, original Honors Thesis project under the guidance of a faculty research advisor. Restricted to students in the University Honors Program with permission of the program director and department chairperson. Students pursuing an interdisciplinary thesis topic may register for three semester hours each in two separate disciplines in consultation with the department chairpersons. Prerequisite(s): Approval of University Honors Program.

POL 478. Honors Thesis Project. 3 Hours

Second of two courses leading to the selection, design, investigation, and completion of an independent, original Honors Thesis project under the guidance of a faculty research advisor. Restricted to students in the University Honors Program with permission of the program director and department chairperson. Students pursuing an interdisciplinary thesis topic may register for three semester hours each in two separate disciplines in consultation with the department chairpersons. Prerequisite(s): Approved 477; approval of University Honors Program.

POL 479. Selected Topics in Public Policy. 3 Hours

Intensive examination of policy process, outcomes, and impact in an area or areas of American public policy selected by the instructor; such topics as transportation, education, welfare, national defense, urban and community development, civil rights, and science and technology. May be repeated once when topic changes.

POL 495. Internship. 1-9 Hours

Supervised experience in government agencies and programs. Prelaw students are assigned to law firms and judicial chambers. Prerequisite(s): Permission of supervising professor.

POL 496. Public Service Practicum. 1-6 Hours

Individualized mentorship course integrating professional development and a critical analysis of applied experience related to public service. Includes an integrative presentation which connects students’ internship to political science theories and concepts presented in coursework. Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor.

POL 497. Service Learning Experience. 1 Hour

Supervised community research or service experience that complements a specific upper division course in Political Science. Repeatable up to three semester hours. No more than three semester hours of Social Science 497 credits can count toward graduation. Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor. Corequisite(s): A 300-400 Political Science course.

POL 498. Political Science and Vocation. 0 Hours

Political Science as Vocation reflects on the purposes of life and proposed work through the language of vocation. For those majors writing an honors thesis, independent study, or completing a capstone in a second major. All others must take POL 499. Prerequisites: Senior standing and permission of the department chair. Corequisites: POL 431 or POL 478.

POL 499. Political Science Capstone. 3 Hours

Project and presentation in the scholarship, activity and/or practice related to the major. Students will present their work in a forum appropriate to the major. Senior standing. Prerequisite(s): POL 207.