MaconCatalog : College of Liberal Arts and Sciences : ACADEMIC DEPARTMENTS : POLITICAL SCIENCE (POL)
 
POLITICAL SCIENCE (POL)
Chris Grant, Chair/Professor of Political Science
Mark Dehler, Part-Time Lecturer
Derek Glasgow, Assistant Professor
Eimad Houry, Professor
Lori A. Johnson, Professor
Will R. Jordan, Associate Professor
 
The Department of Political Science offers a wide range of courses in American government and politics, comparative government, international politics, and political thought. In addition to the traditional major and minor in Political Science, the department also contributes courses to several interdisciplinary programs, including Law and Public Policy (LPP), Criminal Justice (CRJ), Global Development Studies (GDS), International Affairs (IAF), Religion and Diplomacy, and Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE). Each of these programs is listed separately in the catalog; students interested in them should refer to those sections.
The Political Science curriculum is designed to provide:
1. academic training in the theoretical, empirical, and philosophical aspects of the discipline;
2. an environment in which students can develop basic skills in analysis, critical thinking, writing and research;
3. the background and competence necessary to pursue graduate studies; and
4. a broad liberal education in politics, law, and government for all students.
Majors are strongly advised to complete the required 200-level courses before taking other courses in the department, and STA 126 should be completed before POL 295. Students in political science are encouraged to enroll in other courses as complements to the POL major or minor: ECN 150 and 151, GDS 200, foreign languages. Students are also encouraged to take America's Founding Principles (POL 176), which may be used to meet the Western Heritage block requirement in General Education.
 
Major in Political Science
33 semester credit hours
POL 101. Introduction to American Government
POL 200. Introduction to Political Theory
POL 253. Introduction to International Relations
POL 295. Introduction to Political Science Research
One American Politics course (numbered 330-351, 365, or 360) from:
POL 330. Race, Law, and Politics
POL 332: Women, Law, and Politics
POL 333. Southern Politics
POL 335. Congress and the Legislative Process
POL 336. Campaigns and Elections
POL 337. U.S. Legal System
POL 339. The Presidency
POL 344. Law, Public Policy, and Ethics
POL 348. Constitutional Law: Federalism and Separation of Power
POL 349. Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties
POL 365. Environmental Politics and Policy
POL 351. American Foreign Policy
POL 390. Special Topics in American Politics
One Political Thought course (numbered 370-379 or 391) from:
POL 373. American Political Thought
POL 377. Classical Political Thought
POL 378. Modern Political Thought
POL 379. Contemporary Political Thought
POL 391. Special Topics in Political Thought
One International and Comparative Politics course (numbered 300-310, 352-360, or 391) from:
POL 310. Western European Political Systems
POL 312. Politics of Developing Nations
POL 313. Middle East Politics
POL 314. Women in Developing Countries
POL 315. Latin American Politics
POL 354. Principles of International Law
POL 355. International Conflict and Security
POL 356. The Politics of International Economic Relations
POL 392. Special Topics in International and Comparative Issues
Three additional courses must come from courses numbered between 300-392, and may come from any of the three fields of study: American Politics, Political Thought, or International and Comparative Politics.
One capstone option of at least three hours from:
Option I: Departmental Honors. Eligible students must have 3.50 GPA overall and 3.60 in the major and must write an original research paper, which must also be presented at a scholarly conference (on or off campus). Requires enrollment in POL 496. Students must also participate in senior colloquium (POL 497).
Option II: Senior Research Paper. By invitation of a faculty member in the department, students may undertake a research project with that faculty member. Requires enrolling in POL 496. Directed Independent Research. Students must also participate in senior colloquium (POL 497).
Option III: Internship. Pre-approved and completed under the supervision of a faculty member of the Department. This experience must comply with the internship guidelines specified by the department. Requires enrollment in POL 490. Internship Program for a minimum of 3 hours credit in the term in which the internship is undertaken. Students must also participate in senior colloquium (POL 497)
Option IV: Study Abroad. May be fulfilled through (1) a semester-long study-abroad experience, or (2) a Mercer on Mission or summer study-abroad program that includes a POL course; or (3) two short-term faculty-led study-abroad trips that include POL courses. Students must also participate in senior colloquium (POL 497).
Option V: Senior Project. An independent project of significance selected and completed under the supervision of a faculty member in the department. Specific guidelines are available separately from the department. Requires enrolling in POL 493. Supervised Independent Reading. Students must also participate in senior colloquium (POL 497).
At least eighteen hours (six courses) in the major must come from courses numbered between 300 and 392.
 
Secondary Teacher Certification Program in Political Science
A major in secondary social science education with certification for teaching grades 6-12 is available in political science as a separate Bachelor of Science in Education degree through the College of Education. Students planning to teach political science in secondary schools should notify their advisor and contact the chair of teacher education in the College of Education. Please consult the COLLEGE OF EDUCATION section of this catalog for complete degree requirements. This certification is approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.
Students who want a major in political science as well as certification for teaching in grades 6-12 may either (1) complete the requirements for two bachelor’s degrees or (2) qualify for certification through a post-baccalaureate program such as the Master of Arts in Teaching. See the requirements for dual degrees in the ACADEMIC INFORMATION section of this catalog (under Second Degree); see the GRADUATE STUDIES section of this catalog, College of Education, for information about the M.A.T. program.
 
Minor in Political Science
18 hours semester credit hours minimum
POL 101. Introduction to American Government
POL 200. Introduction to Political Theory
POL/IAF 253. Introduction to International Relations
One additional POL course numbered 330-351, 365, or 390
One additional POL course numbered 370-389 or 390
One additional POL course numbered 300-319, 352-359, or 392
 
Certificate in Political Communication
Students interested in campaigns and electioneering may undertake the Certificate in Political Communication to enhance their qualifications for future training and employment. This certificate is designed to incorporate theoretical understanding of the electoral process with practical experiences that open pathways to professional work in political campaigns.
 
Certificate in Political Communication
12 semester credit hours minimum
POL 101. Introduction to American Government
POL 336. Campaigns and Elections
COM 360. Persuasion in Campaigns and Social Movements
One of the following:
COM 380. Argumentation
SOC 225. Social Movements
50 hours of applied experience through service-learning, internship, or documented volunteer activity with one or more political campaigns. Journaling, papers, or other reflective exercises are required for this experiential learning to be counted for the certificate.
 
POL 101. Introduction to American Government (3 hours)
A study of the structure, organization, power, and procedure of the workings of the American government and political process. This course helps students gain an understanding of our society by looking at political institutions, groups, movements, and the role of the individual in the democratic process. Students are presented with opportunities to critically assess the political framework and the alternative solutions presented to address some of the most pressing issues facing the American public. (Every semester)
POL 176. American Founding Principles (3 hours)
(Same as HIS 176 and PHI 176)
This course will study the major intellectual currents and ideas that informed the creation of the American republic. It will be divided into two main parts. First, the course ranges across the Western tradition in order to elucidate the elements most important to the American Founders. These elements include the classical traditions of Greece and Rome, the modern Enlightenment tradition, the Protestant tradition, and the British republican tradition. Second, the course examines the American Founding itself, focusing on the major issues and debates (from 1765-1800) that shaped the institutions and character of the regime. Throughout, emphasis will be placed on the discussion of primary texts and documents. (Every year)
POL 198. Special Introductory Topics in Political Science: (Subtitle) (1-3 hours)
Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
A seminar focused on the study of specific topical issue affecting government, politics, or international affairs. Students must engage in projects or assignments requiring at least one contact hour, or equivalent, per week for every hour of credit. May not be counted toward the major or minor. May be repeated with different topics. (Occasionally)
POL 200. Introduction to Political Theory (3 hours)
This course is designed for political science majors and non-majors alike. It introduces students to major thinkers and themes that have shaped our thinking about politics. While the course may include authors from any period in the history of political thought, the guiding purpose is the illumination of contemporary theoretical divisions. (Every semester)
POL 253. Introduction to International Relations (3 hours)
(Same as IAF 253)
This course is designed for political science majors and non-majors alike. The course surveys the diplomatic, military, economic, legal, and organizational theories and variables that shape our understanding of relations between countries. Special emphasis is placed on contemporary world problems such as the environment, human rights, conflict, population, and poverty. (Every semester)
POL 295. Introduction to Political Science Research (3 hours)
Prerequisite: POL 101 or 200 or 253, or consent of instructor.
The purpose of this course is to train students in how to analyze political phenomena in a rigorous and scientific manner. This knowledge requires an understanding of two different components: research design and statistics. In the first component, students will learn how to discriminate between theories, pose proper research questions, construct a relevant hypothesis, make valid causal inferences, operationalize concepts, and test their hypotheses. The latter component offers the student a “statistical toolbox” to use as s/he pursues the scientific study of all things political. (Every year)
POL 310. European Political Systems (3 hours)
European politics explored by examining institutions, political processes, and behavior with examples drawn from individual countries and the European Union. (Every two years)
POL 312. Politics of Developing Nations (3 hours)
This course treats the major problems of development in Latin America, Africa, and the
Middle East. Special emphasis is placed on the interaction of domestic political, social, and economic variables in determining the pace and character of the development process. (Every two years)
POL 313. Middle East Politics (3 hours)
This course is designed to introduce the student to the history and political trends of the region. The forces of change such as nationalism, Islamic revivalism, the Arab-Israeli peace process, and regional conflicts are given special attention. (Every two years)
POL 314. Women in Developing Countries (3 hours)
(Same as WGS 314)
Prerequisite: POL 253/IAF 253.
This course offers an opportunity to learn about the status of women in developing countries, in general, and the role of women in development, in particular. The course examines the substance and direction of interactions among women, their political structures, and economic systems throughout the developing world. Multiple perspectives and models are explored, including, but not limited to, dependency theory, modernization theory, globalization, feminist sociology, and post modernism. (Every two years)
POL 315. Latin American Politics (3 hours)
Students will analyze the politics of the Latin American states through comparative processes. Emphasis is placed on how institutions and processes are shaped by forces such as the military, religion, and colonization. (Occasionally)
POL 330. Race, Law, and Politics (3 hours)
(Same as AFR 330)
This course explores the unique political experiences of racial minorities with particular emphasis on both traditional (e.g., voting, office holding, and lobbying) and non-traditional (e.g., riots/protests, music, mass movements) efforts to gain political stamina. The course will focus on the quality of minority political leadership, ideology, participation, representation, and strategies for empowerment. (Every two years)
POL 332. Women, Law, and Politics (3 hours)
(Same as WGS 332)
Prerequisite: POL 101 or consent of instructor.
This course examines the legal and political efforts of women to obtain equality in American society. The course focuses on 1) the landmark legal cases and the important political milestones on the path toward full gender equality; 2) the challenges facing women seeking leadership roles in politics and society; 3) the actual and potential impacts women have on political institutions and policy outcomes; and 4) current public policy areas that have a significant impact on the lives of women and girls. (Every two years)
POL 333. Southern Politics (3 hours)
Prerequisite: POL 101 or consent of instructor.
The politics of the southern states examined by exploring recent trends, prominent personalities, implications of federal policy, and unique attributes. Georgia serves as the primary case study. (Every two years)
POL 335. Congress and the Legislative Process (3 hours)
Prerequisite: POL 101 or consent of instructor.
An examination of the United States Congress, with emphasis on recruitment and composition, styles of representation leadership, the role of interest groups, and the executive in the legislative process, organization and functions. (Every two years)
POL 336. Campaigns and Elections (3 hours)
Prerequisite: POL 101 or consent of instructor.
A study of American electoral politics. Topics explored include dynamic realignment of U.S. political parties, factors affecting participation in elections, and the mechanisms of electioneering. (Every two years)
POL 337. U.S. Legal System (3 hours)
Prerequisite: POL 101 or consent of instructor.
An integral part of a nation's political system, its legal system provides mechanisms for resolving individual and group conflicts, for implementing and reformulating public policies, for regulating the struggle for economic power and for holding political and economic processes to certain standards of fairness. (Every year)
POL 339. The American Presidency (3 hours)
Prerequisite: POL 101 or consent of instructor.
The historical development and constitutional base of the U.S. Presidency, its contemporary roles and responsibilities, and its relationships with other political institutions. (Every two years)
POL 344. Law, Public Policy, and Ethics (3 hours)
(Same as LPP 344)
Prerequisite: POL 101 or consent of instructor.
The interrelationship between law, public policy, and ethics. By in-depth examination of a series of case studies, the course provides an opportunity for exploration of the legal, political, and ethical challenges raised by various public policy questions. (Every year)
POL 348. Constitutional Law: Federalism and Separation of Power (3 hours)
Prerequisite: POL 101 or consent of instructor.
An examination of the historical development of American constitutional law and of national governmental powers. (Every year)
POL 349. Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties (3 hours)
Prerequisite: POL 101 or consent of instructor.
An examination of the individual’s constitutional rights. (Every year)
POL 351. American Foreign Policy (3 hours)
Prerequisite: POL 101 or consent of instructor.
The institutions and procedures involved in the formulation and implementation of American foreign policy, with some consideration of the important elements and strategies of American foreign policy from World War II to the present. (Every two years)
POL 354. Principles of International Law (3 hours)
Prerequisite: POL 253 or consent of instructor.
This course considers the nature, sources, and evolution of public international law; its relation to domestic law; subjects and jurisdiction of international law; peaceful settlement of disputes; international agreements; state responsibility in treatment of aliens; the use of force; and the role of international organizations and courts. (Every two years)
POL 355. International Conflict and Security (3 hours)
Prerequisite: POL 253 or consent of instructor.
This course examines interactions between less-developed countries and the international system by reference to the notion of national security. Topics discussed include colonial legacy, the international financial and trade systems, global economic inequalities, food and health security, conflict and its resolution, and nuclear proliferation. (Every two years)
POL 356. The Politics of International Economic Relations (3 hours)
Prerequisite: POL 253 or consent of instructor.
An examination of the political determinants and consequences of economic relations between the nations of the world. Topics explored include international trade, international finance, international financial organizations, regional economic organizations, and economic treaties and conventions. (Every two years)
POL 365. Environmental Politics and Policy (3 hours)
(Same as AFR 365)
This course covers both the formulation and implementation of environmental policies by looking at historic and current trends in the United States. It looks at how political institutions (federal and state), businesses, the environmental movement/interest groups, and the general public conflict and cooperate over issues like air and water pollution, land use, energy, hazardous waste, climate change, and other environmental issues. Other topics covered include environmental justice and the disparate effects policy may have on minorities and the poor. Finally, it investigates the implementation of these regulations and how environmental and health outcomes vary across time, socioeconomic conditions, and political situations. (Every other year)
POL 373. American Political Thought (3 hours)
Prerequisite: POL 200 or consent of instructor.
A survey of the major thinkers who have influenced the development of political ideas in America. Thinkers examined may include Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison, Tocqueville, Frederick Douglass, Lincoln, Wilson, Croly, Dubois, Dewey, and King. In addition to the writings of such statesman and political theorists, novels might be consulted for their depictions of American political culture. (Every two years)
POL 377. Classical Political Thought (3 hours)
Prerequisite: POL 200 or consent of instructor.
A survey of the political thought of the ancient and medieval worlds. Here we examine important early attempts to identify the way of life most consistent with human nature and with the nature of the world. Although the course will focus on the writings of Plato and Aristotle, other thinkers may be examined, including Thucydides, Aristophanes, Xenophon, Cicero, St. Augustine, Alfarabi, and Aquinas. (Every two years)
POL 378. Modern Political Thought (3 hours)
Prerequisite: POL 200 or consent of instructor.
A survey of the political thought of the modern world: from Machiavelli to the nineteenth century. Important themes include the break with antiquity, the defense of democratic forms and the modern state, the relationship between freedom and equality, and the character of modern citizenship. Thinkers examined may include Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Hume, Kant, Burke, Hegel, and Mill. (Every two years)
POL 379. Contemporary Political Thought (3 hours)
Prerequisite: POL 200 or consent of instructor.
An examination of the ideas that shaped twentieth-century political theory and practice. This course will cover the competing visions of modern liberalism as well as the major theoretical challenges offered from the Left and Right. Thinkers examined may include Marx, Nietzsche, Hannah Arendt, John Rawls, Robert Nozick, and Michael Sandel. (Every two years)
POL 390. Special Topics in American Politics: (Subtitle) (3 hours)
Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
A seminar involving intensive study of a major American political or legal topic. May be repeated with different topics. (Occasionally)
POL 391. Special Topics in Political Thought: (Subtitle) (3 hours)
Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
A seminar involving intensive study of political ideologies or thought. May be repeated with different topics. (Occasionally)
POL 392. Special Topics in International and Comparative Issues: (Subtitle) (3 hours)
Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
A seminar involving intensive study of a major international or comparative topics. May be repeated with different topics. (Occasionally)
POL 397. Preceptorship (1-2 hours)
Prerequisite: permission of department chair.
Selected students will serve as learning facilitators in a class typically at the 100-200 level. Preceptors commonly attend all classes, read assigned texts, participate in class discussions, and take on other duties as assigned, but are not allowed to grade the work
of students enrolled in the course. Each preceptor will reflect on the preceptorship experience in accordance with departmental practices, usually by keeping a journal during the semester. At least three hours of work per week are required for every hour of credit. Successful completion of the course meets the EXP requirement (EXP 408). Graded S/U. May not be counted toward the major or minor. May be repeated once for a maximum of four credit hours. (As needed)
POL 490. Internship Program (3-15 hours)
Prerequisite: permission of department chair.
An internship program offering to majors a practical field work experience in one of the following phases of government: local, state, national, or international. The instructor in the governmental field selected must approve and supervise the student’s project. The student is responsible for all arrangements. Students must engage in projects or assignments requiring at least three on-site hours per week for every hour of credit. Graded on S/U basis only. (Occasionally)
POL 493. Supervised Independent Reading (1-3 hours)
Prerequisite: permission of department chair.
An intensive reading program concerning a major issue in political science under the supervision of the instructor selected. Students must engage in projects or assignments requiring at least one contact hour, or equivalent, per week for every hour of credit. Graded on S/U basis only. (Occasionally)
POL 496. Directed Independent Research (1-3 hours)
Prerequisite: permission of department chair.
An intensive research project concerning a major issue in Political Science under the direction of the instructor selected. May not be taken S/U. (Occasionally)
POL 497. Senior Colloquium (0 hours)
(Same as LPP 497)
Prerequisites: senior standing and declared POL major.
An opportunity for graduating seniors to present the outcomes of their capstone experience to the departmental community. The colloquium typically meets 5-7 hours during the semester. (Every year)