WCSU Undergraduate Catalog 2022-2023 : Macricostas School of Arts & Sciences

Political Science

PS 102 American Government 3 SH
A study of the institutional, theoretical and functional features of American national government with special attention to contemporary trends and problems. Every semester. Competency: Critical Thinking (CT).

PS 104 World Governments 3 SH
Political, historical, economic and sociocultural perspectives are used to examine the problems and prospects of the contemporary world. Course topics will be selected in terms of current global issues and developments. Every semester. Competency: Intercultural (IC).

PS 200 International Relations 3 SH
A study of those factors underlying international politics and determining foreign policies of national governments. Topics discussed include geographic and economic influences, international law, psychological bases of war and peace, nationalism and sovereignty. Various international organizations are examined as to purpose, structure and achievement. The contemporary international scene is utilized as a frame of reference. Not open to freshmen. Fall semester of odd-numbered years.

PS 201 Political Theory 3 SH
A study of the nature of politics, ideological and intellectual movements and the contributions of concepts and ideas to an understanding of the political process. From a historical, empirical and contemporary perspective. Spring semester of odd-numbered years. Prerequisite: WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement. Competency: Critical Thinking (CT), Writing Tier Intensive 2 (W2).

PS 209 Model United Nations 3 SH
This course provides an overview of the mission, structure, and operation of the United Nations. The course is presented through the framework of Model United Nations in which students develop a deeper understanding of the organization by adopting roles as representatives of member nations. The course utilizes a semester-long simulation in which students draft policy proposals, hold negotiations, practice problem solving, and present statements and arguments in front of the class. The course will also discuss many of the organizations within the United Nations umbrella, including the World Health Organization, the International Criminal Court, the World Bank and others. Competency: Oral Communication (OC).

PS 212 Policy-Making Process in American Government 3 SH
Selected case study approach to government decision-making, including both domestic and foreign policy issues, emphasizing such factors as history, intelligence, resources, leadership and the political culture in defining the realities of influence and power in the policy-making process. Offered periodically. Prerequisite: PS 102.

PS 213 Politics and the Court 3 SH
A study of the origins, growth and scope of the Supreme Court in relation to American politics and institutional developments. Emphasis will be on contemporary problems of constitutional interpretation. Spring semester of even-numbered years. Competency: Critical Thinking (CT).

PS 216 The American Presidency 3 SH
A critical examination of the constitutional, institutional, historical and contemporary aspects of presidential power, leadership and accountability. Spring semester of odd-numbered years. Prerequisite: PS 102. .

PS 217 The Legislative Process 3 SH
The analysis of the legislative process from an institutional and behavioral standpoint, with special emphasis on the contemporary context of the structure, organization and functions of the legislative systems in relation to American government. Spring semester of even-numbered years. Prerequisite: PS 102.

PS 218 State and Local Government 3 SH
This course explores the structure and functions of state and local government in the United States, with particular emphasis on socio-economic challenges that confront effective government today. Primary materials from state and local government sources are utilized throughout to provide students with an applied understanding of how they are governed at the state and local levels. Prerequisite: WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement. Competency: Critical Thinking (CT), Writing Tier Intensive 2 (W2).

PS 250 Congress and the Presidency 3 SH
This course provides a historical and institutional analysis of the legislative and executive branches of the United States government. The theoretical and constitutional basis for each branch is addressed, with particular emphasis on the evolution of the relationship between the branches over time. The class explores the presidency, the bureaucracy, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the important ways each influences the other. Particular focus is paid to the legislative process and other interactions between the executive and legislative branches. Competency: Critical Thinking (CT).

PS/ECO 251 International Political Economy 3 SH
See ECO/PS 251.

PS/HIS 262 The History of the American Constitution 3 SH
See HIS/PS 262 Competency: Critical Thinking (CT).

PS/COM 273 Politics in Film 3 SH
This course examines the connections between films/movies and the political environment in which they are produced and viewed. The course will use American and international films to explore various perspectives of a broad range of political issues. Summer Session. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Competencies: Critical Thinking (CT), Intercultural (IC).

PS 298 Faculty Developed Study 1–6 SH

PS 299 Student Developed Study 1–6 SH

PS/GEO 301 American Foreign Policy 3 SH
This course provides a broad overview of American Foreign Policy, building on material covered in an introduction to international relations by further exploring the foreign policymaking process, diplomacy, and international action taken by the United States. Throughout the semester, we will explore the roles of relevant actors including the president, Congress, the American public, and foreign policy bureaucracies. We will also discuss major ideologies that may be pursued through foreign policy and discuss the behaviors of actors embracing these ideologies. Towards the end of the semester we will discuss the main policy domains within foreign policy, including national security, economic relations, and participation in international organizations. We will draw from historical examples and current foreign policy platforms to demonstrate key concepts and will regularly compare American foreign policy with the foreign policy platforms of other nations. Prerequisites: PS 102 or 104 or permission of the instructor. Competency: Information Literacy (IL).

PS 305 Comparative Government and Politics 3 SH
A behavioral, institutional and theoretical study of selected governments in the post-industrial world, emphasizing contemporary problems and issues in domestic and foreign policy. Spring semester of even-numbered years. Prerequisite: PS 104 or PS 110. SS 201 recommended with permission of the instructor.

PS 306 Comparative Communist and Post-Communist Systems 3 SH
The course examines the political and cultural institutions, as well as the performance of communist and post-communist states. The dramatic changes since the end of the Cold War will be emphasized, along with current issues and relations with the non-communist world. Instruction may include a focus upon Russia and the former Soviet Republics and/or China and others. Course topic varies depending on staffing. Fall semester of odd-numbered years. Prerequisite: PS 104 or PS 110; SS 201 recommended or permission of instructor.

PS 309 African Politics 3 SH
This course provides an overview of the history, political systems, foreign policies, and current issues of countries across the African continent using analytical approaches from comparative politics and international relations. The course begins with a focus on the modern history of the African continent, detailing the history of colonialism and the spread of exploitative export trade across the continent before discussing the history of independence movements. Next, the course provides an overview of the main systems of government in place across African nations, highlighting the differences between democratic and autocratic systems. The course concludes with an overview of broad foreign policy trends across African nations including the prevalence of civil war, inequality across racial and ethnic groups, human rights practices, and relations with world powers. The course also includes a number of in-depth case studies of specific African countries. Prerequisites: PS 104 or instructor permission. Competency: Intercultural (IC).

PS 340/WS 340 Gender, Justice, and the State 3 SH
A course that explores the multiple ways in which gender and family life interact with American governing institutions. Students will learn how the state has evolved alongside gender roles and stereotypes as well as how gender intersects with other aspects of social life including race, class, and sexuality. Competency: Information Literacy (IL), Writing Intensive Tier 2 (W2).

PS/HIS 382 Contemporary Middle East 3 SH
See HIS/PS 382

PS 401 Global Conflict Resolution 3 SH
The course reviews global resolution in many settings and includes informal efforts by private interveners and scholar-practitioners, formal interventions by individual, regional, transnational and international organizations. It also looks at conflict resolution within small and large states. The roots of some of the major current and recent conflicts in the world and the efforts to resolve them will also be examined. The theory and practice of conflict resolution, including the role of the United Nations and other inter-governmental organizations, the impact of unilateral actions by governments, and efforts by non-government organizations will also be discussed. The class will also consider the various approaches to conflict resolution in the post-Cold War world in light of the heightened urgency for workable means to resolve such conflicts. Learning approaches include discussions, case study analysis and simulation. Fall semester of odd-numbered years. Prerequisite: PS 100 or PS 104 or SS 401, or permission of the instructor.

PS 402 Violent and Nonviolent Conflict Resolution 3 SH
The course examines the major theories of violent and nonviolent conflict resolution and their applications in the Twentieth and Twenty-First centuries, including a variety of conflict management perspectives and the techniques of dispute intervention that flow from them. Case studies may include the works of Mahatma Gandhi, Johan Galtung, and Martin Luther King, Jr. for nonviolent and Niccolo Machiavelli, Karl Marx and Hans Morgenthau for violent conflict resolution. The outcomes of these two forms of government and citizen action will be analyzed based on their impact on individual, group and state objectives. Learning approaches include discussions, lecture, case study and analysis and simulation. Spring semester of odd-numbered years. Prerequisite: PS 100 or PS 104 or SS 401 and Junior standing, or permission of the instructor.

PS 403 International Institutions 3 SH
This course explores the structures, processes, and impacts of international institutions, such as the World Trade Organization and the United Nations, on world politics. The class reviews the contending theoretical perspectives regarding the effect(s) that international institutions have on both interstate relations and political economic discourse within states. Case studies in issue areas such as international security and economics will be used to examine the successes and failures of international institutions. Alternate years. Prerequisite: PS 100, PS 104 or PS/ECO 100, PS 200 and Junior standing.

PS 405 Women in Global Politics 3 SH
This course provides an introduction to the role of women in political processes in a global context. We will discuss how women operate within and outside of political institutions to pursue their interests and effect change. The course begins with a discussion of women and politics in the United States to introduce students to the foundational concepts before making comparisons to other countries and regions. The course explores topics and applies approaches from the subfields of comparative politics and international relations to help students develop a strong global understanding of the role of women in domestic and international politics in the modern world. Prerequisites: PS 104 or instructor permission. Competencies: Intercultural (IC), Writing Intensive Tier II (W2).

PS 409 Human Rights 3 SH
This course provides an overview of the study of human rights as defined by international law. Course topics include the conception of human rights, development of international law to codify human rights, the reasons human rights violations occur, and the approaches to limiting human rights abuses. The course also includes general discussions of human rights conditions around the world and uses case studies of specific rights and issues in both domestic and international contexts. The course relies on quantitative and qualitative research within political science. Prerequisites: PS 104 or 200 or instructor permission and WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement. Competency: Writing Intensive Tier 2 (W2).

PS/SOC/ANT 410 Undocumented Migration 3 SH
This course offers a refined understanding of undocumented migration by exploring the legacy, causes, experiences and impacts of undocumented migration from a socio-historical and global perspective. Students explore the rise and growth of international migrations as they parallel the development of the capitalist the world-system and how they grow increasingly predictable as a result of shifts in the global economy and are further agitated by climate change. Relatedly, the course examines the transformation and formalization of laws regulating human migration, the development of citizenship and related legal regulatory systems, including the rise and militarization of borders. Students explore the lived experiences of undocumented peoples at subject and family levels, as well as the impacts on sending and receiving communities. Further the course assesses resistance to undocumented populations, including racist nativism, the international rise of anti-immigrant movements, and the hostile targeting of undocumented people. To complement this, the course examines the rise of immigrant rights movements. Prerequisites: SOC 100 or ANT 100 or PS 104 or PS/ECO 251 or GEO 100.

PS/COM 411 Politics and the Media 3 SH
This course will focus on the inter-relatedness of the American political system and the sociological, electoral, economic, and psychological aspects of a multifaceted media. An analytic, critical and practical examination of the ways in which the media and its technology strengthen and weaken the aspects of contemporary politics. Prerequisite: PS 100 level course or COM 190 or permission of instructor plus junior standing or higher. Alternate spring semesters.

The following courses also have been approved and are offered periodically:
PS/MGT 202 Introduction to Public Administration
PS 267 Recent American Thought
PS/SOC 310 Political Sociology
PS 315 Environmental Issues in International Relations
PS 400 Advanced Topics in Political Science