Note: A related one-credit "topics" or workshop course may be offered with certain three-credit Political Science courses.
GPL 100 The American Political System (Fall, Spring)
This course will introduce new Americans and other interested students to the fundamentals of citizenship in American society. Students receive an overview of the historical foundations of our political system and institutions and their current structure and operations. The roles of Congress, the president, and the Federal court system are closely studied. State government and its place in American Federalism are also addressed.
GPL 200 Introduction to American Government (Fall)
The focus is on the American system of government, with particular emphasis on the nature of federalism and the changing relations between the national and state governments. It features an analysis of the principle of the separation of powers, with attention given to the roles of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Non-governmental forces such as political parties, interest groups, and the news media are studied, especially with respect to their roles in shaping public policy. Special attention is paid to the "fourth branch" of government, administrative bodies such as the independent regulatory agencies.
GPL 201 American Politics and Foreign Policy (Spring)
United States diplomacy and foreign policy making in the 20th century, with major emphasis on events in the post-World War II world. The East-West struggle, American and Soviet tensions, are analyzed against the background of shifting relations between the major powers, minor powers, and newly independent Third World countries. Also covered are U.S. relations with various regions of the world, especially the Middle East. Students are introduced to the governmental and non-governmental forces that influence the making of U.S. foreign policy.
GPL 210 American Political Parties (Fall)
The structure and operation of American political parties; strategies; uses of polls; the media; issues; and campaign financing. Political parties are also examined in comparison with other forces that influence nominations and elections, with emphasis on the changing roles of interest groups, pressure groups, and the news media, and candidates. campaign committees. Attention will also focus on what parties must do to regain their former primacy in the political system.
GPL 222 International Law (Spring)
This course introduces students to the study of public international law.The Law of Nations. Elements studied include the role of treaties, international organizations, custom, judicial decisions, and sources of international law. The factors that make difficult the enforcement of international law.military, economic, political, etc..are considered, as are a variety of international legal documents, such as the charter of the United Nations, The Universal Declaration on Human Rights, charters of regional organizations, and international trade organization charters.
GPL 241 The Presidency (Fall)
This is a study of the role of the Presidency and executive power in the American federal system. Students focus on the personal qualities and political styles of recent presidents and the array of formal and informal institutions that have come to constitute the modern institutional presidency. Case studies on examples of presidential decision-making are studied and discussed in class.
GPL 242 Congress and The Legislative Process (Spring)
Students examine the United States Congress and state legislatures and their roles in the lawmaking and political process. Topics studied include the relationship between legislators and their constituencies, legislature and Congressional elections, the internal formal and informal structure of legislatures and Congress, and the nature of legislative and Congressional decision-making in various policy areas.
GPL 305 International Organizations in World Politics (upon request)
The behavior of nations in the world arena, with special reference to power relationships, imperialism, diplomacy and negotiations, international law, collective security, war, and the relationship between international economic issues and international politics. The impact of international organizations, including the United Nations, the World Bank, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and regional agencies such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Community, the Commonwealth of Independent Nations, the African Union, and the Organization of American States (OAS) is studied. The role of the great powers in international political systems will also be emphasized. In addition, students study the impact of non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations on international systems.
GPL 310 The Politics of Developing Nations (formerly Third World Politics) (Spring)
The conflicting goals and interests of the various developing nations, viewed against their own internal politics and international political currents. The emergence of these nations as significant members of the international system will be studied. The effect of the end of the Cold War on the politics of developing nations will be analyzed.
GPL 311 Supreme Court and The Constitution (Fall)
The role of the Supreme Court in the American system of government is examined. Special attention is given to the role of judicial review, and the principles of checks and balances and the separation of powers are analyzed. The course also explores the issue of Federal power vs. states. rights.
Prerequisite: GPL 200 or permission of the instructor. 3 credits
GPL 320 World Political Geography (Spring)
A study of the geopolitical regions of the world, with emphasis on the effect of geographic factors on the international relations of each region's major nation-states. Some attention will be given to the study of political and economic maps as a means of understanding the role of space, location, and material resources in a particular nation's foreign policy. The impact of weapons of mass destruction on a nation's use of war as an instrument of national policy will be considered.
GPL 400 Topics in Political Science (upon request)
Study of topics in Political Science.
Prerequisite: GPL 200 or equivalent. 1-4 credits
GPL 450 The American Legal System (Spring)
This course examines the origins of the American legal system in the constitutional framework and its common law basis. A main theme is the evolution and development of the legal system under the impact of judicial decisions, as well as under political, economic and social conditions. Students also investigate the interplay between the legal system and American society, as well as current issues, problems and pressures affecting the legal system today.
GPL 481/482 Independent Study (upon request)
Prerequisite: Departmental and Dean's permission. Credits by arrangement.