Political Science Course Descriptions

 

PSCI 1300 – INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL SCIENCE – An elective course in the Lower-Division UCA Core (Critical Inquiry category – Social Science).  The course is a survey of the discipline of political science designed to introduce students to important theories, concepts, issues, in the study of political behavior, phenomena, and processes. The course will cover the major subfields of political science, including political theory, research methods, American government & politics, comparative politics, public administration, public policy, and international relations.  The course is offered in the Fall and Spring.

PSCI 1330 [PLSC 2003]* – UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT & POLITICS – An elective course in the Lower-Division UCA Core (Critical Inquiry category – American History & Government or Social Science).  This course is a prerequisite for all upper-division political science [PSCI] electives in the Political Science major/minor and Public Administration major/minor.  This course is a core requirement in the International Studies major/minor.  The course is an introduction to the principles and problems of American government, governing institutions, and political processes.  The course is offered in the Fall and Spring.

* The corresponding Arkansas Course Transfer System (ACTS) index number for PSCI 1330 is PLSC 2003.

PSCI 2300 – INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS – An elective course in the Lower-Division UCA Core (Critical Inquiry category – Social Science).  This course is a core requirement in the Political Science major/minor and the International Studies major/minor.  This course is a prerequisite for all upper-division political science [PSCI] electives in the Political Science major/minor (International Relations subfield).  This course is also a prerequisite for some of the upper-division political science [PSCI] electives in the International Studies major/minor.  The course is a study of the interactions and behaviors of state and non-state actors in the international system, with particular emphasis on the concepts and theories related to the subfields of international security and international political economy.  The course is offered in the Fall and Spring.

PSCI 2305 – INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY – This course is a core requirement in the Public Administration major/minor and the Political Science major/minor.  This course is a prerequisite for all upper-division political science [PSCI] courses in the Political Science major/minor (Public Administration and Public Policy subfields).  The course introduces students to the public policy making process, the American public policy environment, the theory and practice of public administration, and the role of public administrators in the public policy process.  The course is offered in the Fall and Spring.

PSCI 2312 – STATISTICAL METHODS FOR POLITICAL ANALYSIS – This course, or Political Science Applications in GIS (PSCI 2322), is a core requirement in the Political Science major/minor, Public Administration major, and International Studies major.  The course is an introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics, hypothesis testing, and displaying of data in various formats.  The course is offered in the Spring.

PSCI 2315 – INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL THEORY – An elective course in the Lower-Division UCA Core (Responsible Living category).  This course is a core requirement in the Political Science major/minor.  This course is a prerequisite for all upper-division political science [PSCI] courses in the Political Science major/minor (Political Theory subfield).  The course is an introduction to the major themes and methods of normative political theory.  The course is offered in the Fall and Spring.

PSCI 2320 – INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE POLITICS – This course is a core requirement for the Political Science major/minor and the International Studies major/minor.  This course is a prerequisite for all upper-division political science [PSCI] courses in the Political Science major/minor (Comparative Politics subfield).  This course is also a prerequisite for some of the upper-division political science [PSCI] electives in the International Studies major/minor.  The course is a study of the concepts and methods of comparative politics.  Special emphasis is given to comparing the types and forms of political systems and the political processes they undergo.  The course is offered in the Fall and Spring.

PSCI 2322 – POLITICAL SCIENCE APPLICATIONS IN GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (GIS) – This course or Statistical Methods for Political Analysis (PSCI 2312) is a core requirement in the Political Science major/minor, Public Administration major, and International Studies major.  This computer lab-oriented course introduces the student to the spatial analysis in political science using a short lecture and lab exercise format.  The course is offered in the Fall.

PSCI 3300 – STATE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS – This course is a core requirement for the Public Administration major/minor, and is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (American Politics subfield).  The course introduces students to the political processes and administrative procedures of state governments. Because state governments are “laboratories of democracy,” the course will take a comparative approach and discuss the similarities and differences among states with respect to institutional structures, laws and regulations, political cultures, histories, demographics, and economics.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.

PSCI 3305 – UNITED NATIONS & INTERNATIONAL POLITICS – An elective course in the Upper-Division UCA Core [Critical Inquiry (I) category].  This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (International Relations subfield) and International Studies major/minor (International Politics & Diplomacy concentration).  The course is a study of the history, establishment, charter, structure, and decision-making processes of the United Nations. Students will critically analyze the role of the UN in the international system during the Cold War and post-Cold War periods, specifically in the areas of international peace and security; disarmament and arms control; human rights; humanitarian assistance and refugees; and economic and social development.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2300, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 3315 – INTERNATIONAL LAW & ORGANIZATIONS – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (International Relations subfield) and International Studies major/minor (International Politics & Diplomacy concentration).  The course is a study of the origins and roles of international law and international organizations in the international system beginning in the 19th century. Special emphasis is placed on the extent to which aspects of international law and international organizations influence or constrain the behaviors and interactions of state and non-state actors in the international system. As a result of this course, students will be able to critically analyze the effectiveness of specific aspects of international law and international organizations in the international system since the end of the Second World War.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2300, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 3320 – ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY – An elective course in the Upper-Division UCA Core [Critical Inquiry (I) and Responsible Living (R) categories].  This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Public Policy subfield) and Public Administration major/minor.  The course is an introduction to environmental policy at the federal and state levels. The creation and implementation of environmental policy will be analyzed.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2305, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 3330 – POLITICAL PARTIES & ELECTORAL PROBLEMS – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (American Politics subfield).  The course is a study of the history, organization, and operation of political parties in the United States, with emphasis on electoral behavior.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.

PSCI 3336 – LOCAL GOVERNMENT & POLITICS – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (American Politics subfield) and Public Administration major/minor.  The course is a study of local governments in the U.S. and Arkansas including cities, counties, special districts, and school districts. The following challenges are examined: taxing, spending, revenue-sharing, education, policy, crime, and welfare.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.

PSCI 3340 – GOVERNMENTS & POLITICS OF EUROPE and RUSSIA – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Comparative Politics subfield) and International Studies major/minor (Regional Studies concentration).  The course is a comparative study of the governments and political systems of selected countries in Western European, Eastern Europe, and Russia since the end of the Cold War.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2320, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 3350 – INTEREST GROUPS & MONEY IN POLITICS – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (American Politics subfield).  The course is a study of the roles and practices of organized interest groups in the American political process, from the financing of candidates for public office through the influencing of decision-makers and of public policy.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.

PSCI 3361 – PUBLIC POLICY ANALYSIS – An elective course in the Upper-Division UCA Core [UCA Core Capstone (Z) category].  This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Public Policy subfield), and is a core requirement in the Public Administration major/minor.  The course is a study of the public policy process in the United States, with focus on various theories of public policy and specific policy areas.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2305, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 3365 – PUBLIC MANAGEMENT – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Public Administration subfield), and is a core requirement in the Public Administration major/minor.  The primary purpose of this course is to teach students about public organizations, the real world challenges facing public managers in administering government operations, the roles that public managers play in the development and implementation of public policies, and the specific functions that they undertake (planning, organizing, leading, decision-making).  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2305, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 3370 – POLITICAL THEORY I – An elective course in the Upper-Division UCA Core [Responsible Living (R) category].  This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Political Theory subfield).  A study of the history of Western political thought from ancient Greece to the Renaissance.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2315, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 3371 – POLITICAL THEORY II – An elective course in the Upper-Division UCA Core [Critical Inquiry (I) and Responsible Living (R) categories].  This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Political Theory subfield).  A study of the development of western political thought from the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2315, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 3372 – POLITICAL BEHAVIOR – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (American Politics subfield).  The course is a study of the various techniques of empirical research in political science with particular emphasis on the analysis of public opinion, electoral behavior, and other forms of political behavior.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.

PSCI 3375 – THE AMERICAN JUDICIAL SYSTEM – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (American Politics subfield).  The course is an examination of the legal system in the United States, with emphasis upon the structure of federal and state courts, court procedure, the role of lawyers and judges, and the political impact of court decisions.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.

PSCI 3382 – POLITICS OF DEVELOPING NATIONS – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Comparative Politics subfield) and International Studies major/minor (International Politics & Diplomacy and International Political Economy & Development concentrations).  The course focuses on the causes and consequences of political and economic development in the “Third World.”  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2320, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4300 – CONSTITUTIONAL LAW – An elective course in the Upper-Division UCA Core [Critical Inquiry (I) category].  This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (American Politics subfield).  The course is a study of the Constitution of the United States, focusing on the work of the United States Supreme Court and the effects of its decisions upon the political system of the United States.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.

PSCI 4301 – CIVIL LIBERTIES – An elective course in the Upper-Division UCA Core [Critical Inquiry (I) category].  This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (American Politics subfield).  The course is an examination of the historical background, judicial decisions and contemporary social criticisms regarding civil liberties, with a focus on the Bill of Rights.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.

PSCI 4305 – THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF DEVELOPMENT – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Comparative Politics subfield) and International Studies major/minor (International Political Economy & Development concentration).  The course focuses on the causes and consequences of political, social, and economic development in the developing world.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2320, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4307 – POLITICAL ETHICS – An elective course in the Upper-Division UCA Core [Critical Inquiry (I) and Responsible Living (R) categories].  This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Political Theory subfield).  The course is a thorough study of the relationship between politics and ethics, with an emphasis on understanding the moral and political challenges of public office holders.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2315, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4310 – INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY & GLOBALIZATION – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (International Relations subfield) and International Studies major/minor (International Political Economy & Development concentration).  The course is a study of the theories of international political economy and globalization. The dynamics of the global economy and the role of international financial institutions, such as the WTO, IMF, and the World Bank Group will be examined.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2300, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4312 – CHINA & INTERNATIONAL POLITICS – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (International Relations subfield) and International Studies major/minor (International Politics & Diplomacy and Regional Studies concentrations).  The course is a study of China’s position and interactions in the contemporary international political system, including an emphasis on Chinese foreign policy and China’s relations with the United States, European Union, Russia, Japan, and other major global actors.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2300, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4315 – THE POLITICS OF PRESIDENTIAL SELECTION – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (American Politics subfield).  The course is a study of the process by which U.S. presidential candidates are nominated by their parties and then elected, and the constitutional devices (federation, electoral college) that shape the process. Campaign organization, finance, and strategy are thoroughly examined, as is electoral behavior in presidential elections.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.

PSCI 4320 – REVOLUTION & POLITICAL VIOLENCE – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Comparative Politics subfield) and International Studies major/minor (International Politics & Diplomacy concentration).  The course focuses on the causes and consequences of mass political violence including revolutions, civil wars, and coups d’etat.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2320, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4325 – MEXICAN POLITICS & U.S.-MEXICAN RELATIONS – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Comparative Politics subfield) and International Studies major/minor (Regional Studies concentration).  The course focuses on the study of the government and politics of Mexico and the relationship between Mexico and the United States.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2320, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4328 – DYNAMICS OF DEMOCRATIZATION – An elective course in the Upper-Division UCA Core [UCA Core Capstone (Z) category].  This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Comparative Politics subfield) and International Studies major/minor (International Political Economy & Development concentration.  The course provides a comparative approach to the study of democratization including the origins and causes of democracy, the problems of democratic transition, and the conditions for democratic stability and development.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2320, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4331 – AMERICAN POLITICAL THEORY – An elective course in the Upper-Division UCA Core [Critical Inquiry (I) and Responsible Living (R) categories].  This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Political Theory subfield).  The course is an examination of the major theoretical ideas and issues of American political thought from the colonial period to the present. Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2315, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4334 – THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY – An elective course in the Upper-Division UCA Core [Critical Inquiry (I) category].  This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (American Politics subfield), Public Administration major/minor, and International Studies major/minor (International Politics & Diplomacy).  The course is a study of the U.S. Presidency, nomination, election, responsibilities and powers, and principles of contemporary executive-legislative relationships.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.

PSCI 4335 – THE AMERICAN CONGRESS – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (American Politics subfield) and Public Administration major/minor.  The course is a study of the U.S. Congress examining how people are nominated and run for these legislative offices, how the legislative branch is organized, and legislative procedures.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.

PSCI 4340 – SEMINAR IN SELECTED TOPICS (three credit hours) – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (all subfields, depending on the topic).  The course is an investigation of a significant issue or field of study in political science.  Prerequisite: Junior, senior, or approved graduate standing with the prerequisites varying according to the topic and degree of specialization required.

PSCI 4345 – GOVERNMENTS & POLITICS OF AFRICA – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Comparative Politics subfield) and International Studies major/minor (Regional Studies concentration).  The course is a broad study of African traditional and modern political institutions as well as a specific examination of selected cases.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2320, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4348 – GOVERNMENTS & POLITICS OF THE MIDDLE EAST – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Comparative Politics subfield) and International Studies major/minor (Regional Studies concentration).  The course provides a comparative approach to the study of governments and politics of the Middle East including the region’s pre-colonial and modern political institutions, political culture, and democratization process.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2320, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4350 – PUBLIC POLICY & PROGRAM EVALUATION – This is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Public Policy subfield) and Public Administration major/minor.  The primary purpose of this course is designed to provide an overview to field of policy and program evaluation.  Program evaluation is a crucial aspect of the policymaking process with the examination of whether (and how) existing policies and/or programs work.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2305, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4351 – COMMUNITY & REGIONAL PLANNING – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Public Administration subfield) and Public Administration major/minor.  The course is a study of the concepts and techniques of community and regional planning, with emphasis on the analysis of the community power structure.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2305, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4375 – INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Public Administration subfield) and Public Administration major/minor.  The course is a study of the administrative, political, legal, and fiscal relationships among federal, state, and local government in the United States. Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2305, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4385 – SPECIAL TOPICS IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (three credit hours) – This is an upper-division elective course in the Political Science major/minor (Public Administration subfield), Public Administration major/minor, and International Studies major/minor.  The course will explore topics in public administration including Administrative Law, Comparative Public Administration, Public Personnel Administration, and Non-Profit/NGO Administration. This course covers the Public Administration subfield.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2305, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4386 – SPECIAL TOPICS IN PUBLIC POLICY (three credit hours) – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Public Policy subfield) and Public Administration major/minor.  The course provides an in-depth examination of substantive public policy areas such as education, health care, community development, social welfare, among others. Combines lecture and discussion methods.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2305, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4388 – AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (International Relations subfield) and International Studies major/minor (International Politics & Diplomacy concentration).  The course is a study of the foreign policy of the United States since the end of World War II, with emphasis on the goals and instruments of U.S. foreign policy, as well as the individual, societal, governmental, interstate, and global influences on U.S. foreign policy decisions.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2300, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4390 – INTERNSHIP IN POLITICAL SCIENCE (three credit hours) – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor.  The course provides a structured, supervised work experience in a public agency, a political campaign, or the office of an elected official. Each internship is unique to the needs of the student and the participating employer, but each student will complete between 120 and 150 hours of work during the semester. The activities and work hours will be determined by the student and the employer prior to the first day of the internship.  The student must consult the internship coordinator before the start of the internship for approval. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing.

PSCI 4391 – GOVERNMENT BUDGETING – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (Public Administration subfield) and Public Administration major/minor.  The course is a study of the political and administrative aspects of government budgeting including a discussion of the budget process at each level of government and the key political and administrative actors making budget policy.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2305, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4395 INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT & CONFLICT MANAGEMENT – This course is an upper-division elective in the Political Science major/minor (International Relations subfield) and International Studies major/minor (International Politics & Diplomacy concentration).  The course is a study of the concepts and theories of crisis, conflict, and war, as well as the techniques and theories of conflict management.  Prerequisites, PSCI 1330 and 2300, or consent of instructor.

PSCI 4199, 4299, 4399, or 4499 – STUDIES IN POLITICAL SCIENCE (one to four credit hours) – This course is an upper-division elective for the Political Science major/minor (American Politics, Political Theory, Public Administration, Public Policy, International Relations, and Comparative Politics subfields, depending on the content of the independent study) and International Studies major/minor (International Politics & Diplomacy concentration, International Political Economy & Development concentration, and Regional Studies concentration, depending on the content of the independent study).  The course is designed to meet the individual needs of a student.  The work is chosen by the student and his tutor with the approval of the department chair.  Students may arrange more than one independent study, subject to college and university rules. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and department chair.

PSCI 4610 – INTERNSHIP IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (six credit hours) – This course is a core requirement in the Public Administration major.  The course provides a structured, supervised learning experience in a government or public-related agency.  Prerequisite: Completion of major requirements.