Course Descriptions Political Science Furman University

101 Introduction to American Government

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)
The basic political science course focusing on American politics. Emphasis on the principles, institutions and politics of the federal government. Topics include: the U.S. Constitution, the presidency, Congress, the Supreme Court, political parties and interest groups, and the federal bureaucracy. 4 credits.

102 Introduction to World Politics

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)
Examination of similarities and differences between the institutions, processes and policies of selected nations, in the context of globalization and the evolution of international politics.
4 credits.

103 Introduction to Political Thought

GER: UQ (Ultimate Questions)
A survey of major political thinkers, directed toward considering whether the ultimate grounds of political questions are natural, divine, or human. 4 credits.

150 Introduction to Political Analysis

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)
Prerequisite: PSC-101 or 102
The methodology of contemporary political science, including research techniques for studying political behavior. 4 credits.

American Politics

202 The American Presidency

Prerequisite: PSC-101
The constitutional and political evolution of the presidential office, with emphasis on relations with Congress, the federal bureaucracy and the judiciary. Focus on presidential functions such as legislative leadership, budgeting, administrative coordination and making foreign policy. 4 credits.

203 Judicial Process and the U.S. Supreme Court

GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts)
Prerequisite: PSC-101
The judicial process and the federal system through the case method. 4 credits.

204 Civil Rights and the U.S. Constitution

GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts)
Prerequisite: PSC-101
Study of the civil rights of the American constitution through readings and the case method. 4 credits.

205 Public Policy in the United States

Prerequisite: PSC-101
Study of public policy in the United States with an emphasis on influential policy actors, theories of the policy making process, the tools of policy analysis, and important policy areas, such as education, the environment, and defense policy. 4 credits.

206 Law and Public Policy

Prerequisite: PSC-101
Do court rulings effect significant change in public policy? We examine this question by investigating U.S. Supreme Court holdings and public policy in the following areas: education, death penalty, abortion, land preservation, access to justice, abortion and voting rights. 4 credits.

207 State Politics

Prerequisite: PSC-101
Comparative analysis of politics in the American states. Emphasis on federalism (intergovernmental relations), state governmental services and functions. 4 credits.

208 Urban Politics

Prerequisite: PSC-101
Study of problems facing cities, including community power structures, poverty, welfare, education, housing, urban renewal and law enforcement. 4 credits.

209 Southern Politics

Prerequisite: PSC-101
An investigation of how the American South has developed politically and how the region has helped to shape American politics as a whole. Focus includes race, economics, and religion and how they have affected the political dynamics of the region. 4 credits.

210 Interest Groups and Political Movements

Prerequisite: PSC-101
Analysis of the role of interest groups and political movements in the United States, with a focus on the origins, maintenance and strategies of these organizations. 4 credits.

211 Racial and Ethnic Politics

Prerequisite: PSC-101
Examination of African American, Hispanic, Asian American and Native American efforts to organize for political action in the face of political, social and economic constraints. Groups are compared to other politically active groups in U.S. politics. 4 credits.

212 Women and Politics

Prerequisite: PSC-101
Examination of the experience and role of women in the political arena, including such topics as campaigns and elections, political leadership, social movement participation, media coverage, public policy formation and public opinion. 4 credits.

213 Environmental Policy

GER: NE (Humans and the Natural Environment)
An analysis of the ways and context in which environmental policies are developed, promoted, and deliberated. Issues such as waste management and environmental justice illustrate the ways that individuals, agencies, and elected officials create, implement, enforce, and evaluate such policies. Contemporary case studies in the Greenville area illustrate environmental and sustainability issues such as pollution prevention and promoting local food systems. While conservation policy focuses primarily on the regulation of land, environmental policy has a much broader scope. 4 credits.

214 Environmental Law

GER: NE (Humans and the Natural Environment)
Evolution of key laws and court cases governing the ways that individuals and communities interact with the natural environment. Governmental regulation of environment and human health has grown dramatically in recent years, often resulting in litigation or conflict mediation. Examples in which environmental laws have spawned significant compliance complexities, legislative lobbying, and organizational advocacy will be addressed. 4 credits.

215 Public Administration

Prerequisite: PSC-101
Study of public administration with emphasis on major theories of administration and democracy, the role of bureaucracy in American society and the challenges facing public administrators at the national, state and local level. 4 credits.

301 The American Congress

Prerequisite: PSC-101 and 150
The development and operation of the U.S. Congress, focusing on its constitutional and political bases. Topics include elections, representation, congressional parties and committees, policy making, and relations with the presidency. 4 credits.

315 Media and Politics

Prerequisite: PSC-101 and 150
The place of the media as an institution in the American political system. Topics include the nature of the U.S. media, their relationship to the president and the bureaucracy, Congress, the courts and interest groups, the media’s role in political campaigns and policy-making, and the media’s influence on opinion and political behavior of elites and the public. 4 credits.

317 Political Behavior

Prerequisite: PSC-101 and 150
Formation, organization and change of attitudes about American politics; study of political participation and its correlates. Methods of survey design and analysis including computer adaptations. 4 credits.

Comparative Politics

221 Politics of the European Union

Prerequisite: PSC-102
Study of the institutions, policies and processes of the European Union and the major theories of regional integration. 4 credits.

222 Politics of Russia

GER: WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: PSC-102
Examination of the development of institutions, policies, processes and cultures in the late Soviet and post-Soviet eras. 4 credits.

223 Politics of Developing Nations

GER: WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: PSC-102
Introduction to politics of the non-Western nations, with emphasis on the political development of the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Presentation of a comparative framework for understanding diverse political cultures. 4 credits.

224 Politics of Africa

Prerequisite: PSC-102
Comparative study focusing on traditional political structures, the impact of colonialism, and contemporary political systems and parties. 4 credits.

225 Politics of the Middle East

GER: WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: PSC-102
Focus on the interplay of religion, nationalism, colonialism and regional conflict in the context of national as well as world politics. 4 credits.

226 Politics of China

GER: WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: PSC-102
Examination of the political, social and economic factors affecting the Chinese Communist Party and its relationship to the Chinese citizenry. Analysis of the domestic and international challenges confronting the Chinese state. 4 credits.

227 Environmental Politics in China

GER: NE (Humans & the Natural Environment)
Prerequisite: PSC-102
Examination of the key environmental challenges facing China, efforts to combat environmental destruction, and prospects for China’s sustainable development. Will explore the interaction of minority and environmental concerns and the impact of tourism on both. 4 credits.

229 Politics of Asia

GER: WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: PSC-102
Examination of one of the world’s most dynamic regions. Common issues facing disparate regimes will be explored through case studies from Communist regimes, military and transitional systems, and restricted democracies. The region’s changing international role and influence will be discussed. 4 credits.

230 Politics of Latin America

Prerequisite: PSC-102
Emphasis on the institutions, processes and policies through which Latin American countries attempt to accommodate the forces of tradition and of political, economic and social change. 4 credits.

235 Politics of Religious Movements

Prerequisite: PSC-102
Effects of religious movements on the politics of modernizing societies, comparing Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Latin America. 4 credits.

236 Political Parties

Prerequisite: PSC-102
Examination of political parties as they appear in established and emerging democracies. Special emphasis on U.S. political parties in comparative perspective. 4 credits.

244 Issues in Latin American Politics

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)
Prerequisite: PSC-102
This course offers a comparative analysis focusing on the persistence of authoritarianism and the processes and challenges associated with democratic transition and consolidation in selected Latin American countries. Taken as a component of Furman’s Latin America study away program. 4 credits.

320 Politics of Europe

Prerequisite: PSC-102 and 150
Study of political institutions, policies and processes in European democracies. 4 credits.

International Relations

250 International Relations

Prerequisite: PSC-102
Examination of the sources of conflict and cooperation in the international system and their effects on the development of foreign policy. 4 credits.

251 International Peace and Security

Prerequisite: PSC-102
Examination of security challenges facing leaders in the twenty-first century. Topics include: WMD, wars of insurgency, terrorism, peace keeping, nation building, and ethnic conflict. 4 credits.

252 American Foreign Policy

Prerequisite: PSC-102
Emphasis on the nature of U.S. national interests, major foreign policy actors and institutions, and principal modes and patterns of decision-making. American foreign policy toward selected allies and adversaries is also considered. 4 credits.

254 Foreign Policy Leadership

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)
Prerequisite: PSC-102
Examination of the personalities, beliefs, and cultural milieus of foreign policy leaders and how these leadership factors contribute to historical and contemporary peace and conflict processes in world politics. Also, considering leadership assessment techniques. 4 credits.

256 International Political Economy

Prerequisite: PSC-102
The relationship between politics and economics on the national and international levels, focusing on the impact of political forces on the functioning of the international economic system. 4 credits.

258 International Organization

Prerequisite: PSC-102
International organization is the ordering principle in the international system including institutions, regimes, law and norms. The goal of the organization is to govern the
interactions among state and non-state actors. Challenges to these ordering principles and their effectiveness in specific cases will be studied. 4 credits.

Political thought

270 Classical Political Thought

GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts)
Prerequisite: PSC-103 or PHL-101
Textual analysis of selected works by classical authors such as Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, and Aquinas. 4 credits.

272 Modern Political Thought

GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts)
Prerequisite: PSC-103 or PHL-101
Textual analysis of works by authors such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Burke, Marx, Mill, and Nietzsche. 4 credits.

273 American Political Thought

GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts)
Prerequisite: PSC-103 or PHL-101
Analysis of the principles underlying American politics, focusing on textual analysis of the writings of our most influential statesmen, stateswomen, and public intellectuals. 4 credits.

275 Issues in Political Thought

GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretations of Texts)
Examination of selected moral and political themes in light of the tradition of political thought, drawing from classic texts in political thought as well as the writings of contemporary scholars and public intellectuals. 4 credits.

278 Readings in Political Thought

Prerequisite: PSC-103 or PHL-101
Patterned on the model of a reading group, students will focus on a significant author or theme in the tradition of political philosophy. Readings will vary by year and instructor. Topics could include Aristotle’s Politics, the political theories of Leo Strauss, or Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.

304 Jurisprudence, Law and Ethics

This course examines a broad range of contemporary legal issues from the theoretical standpoint of ethics and jurisprudence. Theory is employed to present legal developments within their particular social and historical context. 4 credits.

Study Away

122 Democracy the Scandinavian Way

Exploration of politics and policies in the United States and Scandinavia. The course includes briefings by experts and policy makers on location. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.

216 South Carolina Politics and Policy

Prerequisite: PSC-101
Constitutional underpinnings, politics, institutions and policies of South Carolina’s government. Typically offered in conjunction with the State Capital Experience travel study program in Columbia, SC. 4 credits.

240 Economic and Political Analysis of the European Union

Prerequisite: PSC-102
Same as ECN-371. An examination of the formation, implementation and operation of the European Union, with special emphasis on political and economic issues. Taught as part of the Furman program in Europe. Students may not receive credit for both PSC-240 and ECN-371. 4 credits.

241 Issues in Central and East European Politics

Prerequisite: PSC-102
Examination of change in Central and Eastern Europe, with emphasis on such topics as the politics of democratization, economic transformation, international security, and environmental degradation and protection. 4 credits.

242 Issues in African Politics

Prerequisite: PSC-102
Examination of change in Africa, with emphasis on such topics as the politics of democratization, ethnicity, economic development, the environment and international relations. 4 credits.

243 Issues in Chinese Politics

Prerequisite: PSC-102
Examination of China in the post-Mao era, focusing on the pressures for reform and the central government’s ongoing struggle to maintain control while liberalizing the political and economic system. Includes interviews with government officials and citizens in Shanghai. 4 credits.

322 Welfare States in America and Scandinavia

Prerequisite: PSC-101
Advanced exploration of welfare states in the United States and Scandinavia. The course includes briefings by experts and policy makers on location. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.

323 The European Union in Theory

Prerequisite: PSC-102
Exploration of prescriptive and explanatory approaches to the post-World War II integration of Europe. The course includes briefings by academics on location in Europe. 4 credits.

324 The European Union in Practice

Prerequisite: PSC-102
Examination of the institutions, policy-making processes and policies of the European Union. Includes visits to EU institutions and briefings by experts and policy makers on location in Brussels and other European capitals. 4 credits.

Capstone courses

401 Capstone Seminar in Political Science

Prerequisite: PSC-101, 102, 103 and 150
Reading, research and writing course for majors that covers a specific topic in political science. 4 credits.

410 Senior Research Seminar

Prerequisite: instructor permission
Guided research and writing on a topic in any field of political science proposed by the student and approved by the instructor. 4 credits.

Engaged Learning

504 Directed Independent Study

Prerequisite: instructor and department permission
Variable credit.

505 Fieldwork in Politics

Prerequisite: PSC-101 or 102
Through internships and related assignments, students employ research methods, test previous political science research, and acquire a deeper understanding of domestic and international affairs. Variable credit.

506 Fieldwork in State and Local Public Affairs

Prerequisite: PSC-101
Through 165-hour internships in local or state governmental agencies (both political and administrative) or nongovernmental agencies (such as interest groups, media or nonprofits), students are exposed to the way in which subnational policy is formulated, implemented and evaluated. In addition, students attend a weekly seminar that integrates various themes in public administration, public policy and state and local government. 4 credits.

507 The Washington Experience

Prerequisite: PSC-101 or 102
Examination of political, civic and cultural aspects of the American political system while living in Washington, DC. Includes internship in a government agency or political organization, with appropriate academic perspectives. 4 credits summer, 8 credits spring.

508 The Brussels Experience

Prerequisite: PSC-102
Internship in a European Union institution or related organization with appropriate academic perspectives. 4 credits.

509 Fieldwork in State Legislatures

Prerequisite: PSC-101
State legislative interns compare and contrast their internship experiences with the appropriate political science literature to gain a deeper understanding of the representation process. 4 credits.

511 Mediation and Conflict Resolution

An introduction to the theory and practice of mediation, a non-adversarial method for resolving disputes. Students will practice active listening skills, facilitative responses, non-verbal communication skills, and mediation techniques (brainstorming, settling on a mutual option, and writing an effective agreement). The broader implications of conflict resolution such as restorative justice and forgiveness studies will also be explored. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.

512 Trial Advocacy

Historical foundations of trial advocacy; analysis of the structure of a trial from opening statements to closing arguments; students practice all components of a trial (e.g., direct and cross examination) and stage several trials in local courthouses. Cases rotate between civil and criminal fact patterns. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.

513 Conservation and Renewable Energy

Fostering and incentivizing conservation behavior and the goal of carbon neutrality and the challenges associated with pursuing those endeavors. Mechanics of renewable energy technologies and the study of encouraging environmentally sustainable behavior. The political context in which college campuses finds themselves with regard to renewable energy policy will also be examined. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.

514 Campaigning for Office in SC

Explores the roles of candidates, consultants, activists, political parties, and the media in state-wide elections in South Carolina. Students will travel the state to speak with key figures in South Carolina politics and to attend political meetings as participant observers. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.

515 Poverty and the Law

Through readings, discussions and field trips (to courtrooms, Legal Aid, public defenders, ICE, DSS, prisons) considering the factual and ethical aspects of the relationship between poverty and the law in the US. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.

516 Farm

An introduction to farm policy, agricultural history, and contemporary issues in agriculture policy (nitrogen run-off, impact of global markets, biofuels). Course is taught on a working farm in north central Iowa. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.

517 Politics and National Integration in Ireland

Examines theories of national integration, democratic accountability, political culture, and nation-building. Students will explore these ideas in the political contexts of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.

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