2013-14 Catalogs

Political Science Course Descriptions

POS 101 Introduction to American Government This course focuses on the political institutions, processes, behavior, and problems of government in the United States. The national government is emphasized. Key topics include: the Constitution, Supreme Court, Congress, Presidency, political parties, public opinion, and interest groups. Cr 3.

POS 102 People and Politics This course introduces the student to modern political analysis. It centers on basic questions in the study of political behavior: how people learn about politics, what kind of political system they adopt and support, who does and who does not participate in politics, how political conflict is expressed and resolved in various societies. The course aims at familiarizing the student with major approaches or methods that political scientists have found helpful for understanding real political behavior. Note: POS 101 is not a prerequisite for POS 102. Cr 3

POS 104 Introduction to International Relations Examination of the relationships of nations in their efforts to deal with each other from differing political, economic, and cultural bases. Cr 3.

POS 120 Government and Politics of Maine This course concerns Maine State Government, including legislative, executive and judicial programs and powers as exercised within the system of Maine values, political parties, and interest groups. Open to political science majors and as an elective to the student who has an interest in the programs and politics of the state of Maine. Cr 3.

POS 203 Introduction to Political Science Research An introduction to the way political scientists conduct research.  Students will learn how to formulate ideas, conduct a literature review, test hypotheses, measure political phenomenon, perform statistical analyses, draw conclusions, and present written results.  Cr 3. 

POS 205 Introduction to Comparative Politics  An introduction to the field of comparative politics with a focus on political systems and political participation.  The course will examine political institutions, electoral laws, comparative methodologies, political culture, and the problem of establishing and maintaining democratic government.  Case studies will be used to highlight major themes. Cr 3.

POS 234 Race and Ethnicity in U.S. Politics Are American political institutions representative?  This course provides students with the opportunity to examine this question by confronting the relationship between race, ethnicity, and representation in elections, court cases, urban politics, and political theory.  Cr 3.

POS 245 French Politics and Government  This course centers on the political, economic, and social structure of France over the last five decades. Students will learn the essential components of the French governmental system, the most typical economic policies, France's position in the EU, and the ongoing struggle about the defense of the French culture. Prerequisite: ENG 100, 104, or equivalent. Cr 3.

POS 256 Media and Politics The media play an increasingly powerful role in modern political systems. This course examines that power and explains how it came about, while noting those forces that restrict or restrain the media's influence. The symbiotic relationship between politicians and journalists is given special attention. Prerequisite: POS 101 or POS 102 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

POS 261 The American Congress The role of the national legislature in American politics is considered. The course undertakes a study of the men and women who reach Congress, the internal norms and procedures on national decision making. Among topics covered are the committee system, leadership patterns in the Senate and the House, the public's influence on Congress, Congress and the Presidency, and Congressional policy making in selected areas. Prerequisite: POS 101 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

POS 262 The American Presidency This course examines the development of the modern presidency; the scope and exercise of presidential decision making in domestic and foreign policy; and standards for assessing presidential performance. Prerequisite: POS 101 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

POS 280  Issues Before the United Nations  An orientation to the activities of the United Nations.  This course includes exposure to current events, exploration of pressing international issues, understanding the basics of international law, and mastery of the protocol and procedures of international diplomacy. Cr 3.

POS 290  Introduction to Political Theory   A survey of political theory from ancient times to the present.  Themes include the nature of democracy, freedom, equality, power, legitimacy, justice, and the use of lying in political life. Cr 3.

POS 310 Internet and Politics  This course explores the politics of Internet communication.  Topics include Internet development, communication techniques, access policy, citizenship, advocacy, government, journalism, and law. Cr 3.

POS 315 Media Law   This course explores the legal context of communication through the mass media. Major issues include censorship, ownership regulation, remedies for people in the news, the right to receive and send communication in the media, and news media privilege. Prerequisite: POS 101 or CMS 103 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

POS 333 Theories of Democratization   As a general overview of democratization studies, the course goes beyond theoretical discussions about what elements are needed to create a democracy. Students study specific examples of political institutions, economic systems, political cultures and values, as key variables across multiple geographic areas to assess the establishment of democracy. Prerequisite: POS 205 or equivalent or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

POS 335 Politics in Western Europe This course examines political processes and governmental structures in the nations of Western Europe. It focuses especially on Great Britain, France, and Germany. Among the topics covered are: political parties, elections, voting systems, interest groups, legislative-executive relations, constitutional principles, political elites, leadership behavior, and bureaucracies. Prerequisite: POS 101 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

POS 336 Government and Politics of Russia An introduction to Russia in the Soviet and post-Soviet periods. The course proceeds from a description of the classic Leninist model to the emergence of the new political institutions that began to develop in the Gorbachev era, with an analysis of the economic changes, the ethnic revolution, and the social impacts of the post-Leninist era. Cr 3.

POS 340 The Politics of Developing Nations An examination of the thrust towards modernization in the Third World. Economic development, relationships with the world community, the role of the military, and various theories about the nature of the relationship between the Third World and the Communist and non-Communist industrial worlds are considered. Prerequisite: POS 104 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

POS 342 Government and Politics of the Middle East This course is designed to examine the political dynamics of the Arab countries of the Middle East and Israel. It will examine the social, ecological, historical, cultural, and political-ideological forces influencing political institutions and behavior in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon. Cr 3.

POS 345 British Politics A survey of the contemporary constitution of Great Britain, the workings of Parliament, the government, and the parties. Principal stress is on the main issues current in British politics. Prerequisite: POS 101 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

POS 347 The Politics of China An introduction to the government of the People's Republic of China, 1949-present. Principal topics include: historical and cultural antecedents, Maoism, party and state institutions, socialization and communications, political participation, policy formation and implementation, and change over time. Cr 3.

POS 349 The Middle East in International Politics The crucial issues of international politics, war, revolution, superpower intervention, economic development and terrorism converge in the Middle East on a regional basis. This course will examine the nature of Mideast regional politics and the foreign policies of the major constituents of the area. The purpose will be to secure an understanding of the conflict between Arab and Israeli worlds, the foundations of tension among the Arab states themselves, and the role played by the superpowers in stabilizing or disrupting the uneasy relationships of the region. Prerequisite: POS 104 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

POS 360  Terrorism and the American Public  An exploration of the phenomenon of modern terrorism.  The course defines terrorism, considers the motivations of terrorists, reviews the dangers associated with terrorist access to weapons of mass destruction, considers policy proposals that might be taken to reduce the likelihood of terrorism, and investigates the trade-off between liberty and security. Cr 3.

POS 361 Public Administration An examination of national, state, and local bureaucracies, including their processes of decision making, communications, leadership, internal and external political relationships. A continuing question will be, ``How can those institutions be made responsive to the public?'' Prerequisite: POS 101 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

POS 374 United States Foreign Policy A detailed evaluation of U.S. foreign policy focusing on such topics as: identification of U.S. policy; governmental agencies and personalities in the formulation and implementation of policy; and the role of non-governmental influences. The course is designed to evaluate current policy goals and practices within the context of long-range goals. Prerequisite: POS 101 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

POS 380 Topics  Specially developed occasional courses exploring a variety of theoretical and substantive areas of political science.  May be repeated for credit as topics vary. Cr 1-3.

POS 385 Conflict and Security in Contemporary World Politics Contemporary threats and challenges to human security and survival often go beyond traditional concepts of "national security."  This course focuses on the multiple forms and sources of conflict and insecurity in the modern world system.  It analyzes traditional approaches to war and peace in the context of debates over their current adequacy and also examines nontraditional challenges such as economic and environmental security.  Prerequisite: POS 104 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

POS 390 Ancient and Medieval Political Theory  An intensive study of ancient and medieval political theory. Emphasis is on textual criticism of a variety of different works including those from philosophy, literature, and theology. Prerequisite: POS 290, or sophomore status, or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

POS 391 Modern Political Theory  A study of modern political theory from the sixteenth century (Machiavelli) to the nineteenth (Nietzsche). Cr 3.

POS 392 American Political Thought I  An examination of central concepts and debates in American political history from the Puritan Era to the Dred Scott decision, with particular attention to debates on authority, liberty, revolution, slavery, and emerging ideas of American individualism.  Prerequisites: POS 290 or PHI 109 or HTY 121 or HTY 122 or permission of the instructor.  Cr 3.

POS 393 American Political Thought II  An examination of American political thought from the Civil War to the War on Terror, with particular attention to debates on authority, anarchism, race, and power.  Cr 3.

POS 395 Independent Study I A concentrated program of research or study on a particular subject of the student's selection. The topic will be chosen with the advice and under the direction of a faculty member. Admission by permission of the political science faculty. Cr 3.  

POS 396 Independent Study II A concentrated program of research or study on a particular subject of the student's selection. The topic will be chosen with the advice and under the direction of a faculty member. Admission by permission of the political science faculty. Cr 3. 

POS 405 The European Union  An examination of a unique example of political, economic, and cultural integration.  The course will emphasize the evolution, enlargement, international positioning, and political organization of the European Union. Prerequisite: POS 101 or POS 102 or POS 104 or POS 205, or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

POS 406 Research in the European Union  Advanced course on the political, economic, and cultural aspects of the European Union, offered exclusively for students who enroll in the summer abroad program, "The European Union in Brussels."  Participants will travel to Brussels and The Hague for presentations at the EU institutions, NATO, and the International Criminal Court. Prerequisite: recommended, but not required, POS 205 or any other course with an international content. Cr 3.

POS 445 MeMUNC Conference Planners  Students research international issues, produce a background guide for the Maine Model United Nations Conference (MeMUNC), organize the conference, and train in parliamentary procedure.  University students lead a program that serves the local, state, and regional community by exposing high school students to the complexities of international relations.  Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.  Cr 3.

POS 446 Global Educators   Students combine theory and practice, obtaining the skills to teach high/middle school students about global issues and peaceful conflict resolution through Model United Nations.  Global Educators are placed in a school to lead weekly student preparation for the Maine Model United Nations Conference (MeMUNC) taking place every May.  Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.  Cr 3.

POS 463 Supreme Court and Constitutional Law The course examines how the Supreme Court interprets Constitutional provisions that affect the structure of government.  Major topics include federalism, separation of powers, and economic rights.  Both legal and extra-legal models of decision making are considered.  Prerequisite: POS 101. Cr 3.

POS 464 American Civil Liberties An analysis of judicial interpretations of Bill of Rights guarantees and their effects on political processes in the United States. Topics include church and state, freedom of speech and press, the rights of the accused and the convicted. Prerequisite: POS 101 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

POS 470 Electoral Politics Internship Provision may be made to gain professional experience in political party organization, electoral or referendum campaign. Students will meet for a series of internship seminars, for which readings and reports will be required. Prerequisite: open to selected students from any major. Cr 6.

POS 471 Internship in Private and Semi-Public Organizations Provision may be made to gain professional experience in administration and research. Students will meet for a series of internship seminars, for which readings and reports will be required. Prerequisite: open to selected students from any major. Cr 6.

POS 472 Not-for-Profit Internship Provision may be made to gain professional experience in a civic, public interest or other not-for-profit organization. Students will meet for a series of internship seminars, for which readings and reports will be required. Prerequisite: open to selected students from any major. Cr 6.

POS 473 Municipal Administration Internship Provision may be made to gain professional experience in a local government. Students will meet for a series of internship seminars. Readings and research reports are required, focusing on the management, financial control and administration of modern American cities, with emphasis on administration of personnel and finance, the city plan and line functions; public safety, transportation, health, welfare and housing. Prerequisite: open to selected students from any major. Cr 6.

POS 474 Federal Executive Internship Provision may be made to gain professional experience in a department or agency of the federal government located outside of Washington, D.C. Participation in a seminar is required. Prerequisite: open to selected students from any major. Cr 6.

POS 475 Congressional Internship Provision may be made to gain professional experience in the local offices of Maine's U.S. Representatives and Senators. Students will meet for a series of seminars, for which readings and research reports are required. Prerequisite: open to selected students from any major. Cr 6.

POS 476 Internship in Washington D.C. Provision may be made to gain professional experience in a congressional office, an agency of the national government, or with a private or semi-public organization in Washington, D.C.  Readings and research reports are required. Prerequisite: open to selected students from any major. Cr 9.

POS 477 State Internship Provision may be made to gain professional experience in a department or agency of state government. Students will meet for a series of internship seminars, for which readings and research reports are required. The state government internship is available under the Maine State Government Internship Program. Prerequisite: open to selected students from any major. Cr 6.

POS 478 State Judiciary Internship Provision may be made to gain professional experience in an administrative unit of the state court system.  Students will meet for a series of internship seminars, for which readings and reports will be required. Prerequisite: open to selected students from any major. Cr 6.

POS 479 State Legislative Internship Provision may be made to gain professional experience in an office of the state legislature. Students will meet for a series of internship seminars, for which readings and reports will be required. Prerequisite: open to selected students from any major. Cr 6.

POS 480 International Affairs Internship Provision may be made to gain professional experience in an organization oriented toward international politics, trade or other trans-boundary affairs. Students will meet for a series of internship seminars, for which readings and reports will be required.  Prerequisite: open to selected students from any major. Cr 6.