Political Science

Department/Program: Political Science

The choice of a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree is available to political science majors. If a student has a second major, the degree choice may be determined by the other major.

Capitol Hill Internship Program

Nebraska Wesleyan University’s Capitol Hill Internship Program (CHIP) offers students the experience of living, interning, and studying in the heart of Washington, D.C. The public-affairs focused program provides students of any major with a total Washington experience through an academically rigorous program with a focus on experiential learning. In addition to interning in either government or non-governmental offices, students will discover the role of government in fields including law, the media, health care, and the arts and sciences. Challenging seminars and courses that are tailored to enrich students’ internship experiences are an integral part of the internship program.

Applicants must have a 3.00 GPA, be a junior or senior [or second semester sophomore with special consideration], and have taken POLSC 1000 United States Government and Politics or its equivalent.

Courses offered in the fall and spring semesters are:

Contact the Department Chair for more information.

Courses

This course will introduce students to ideas about institutional structures, political actors, and constitutional debates in U.S. government and politics. We will explore the historical development and founding of the United States, discuss major debates about the structure of our republican form of government, connect the three branches of government to contemporary politics and elections, examine the role of race and gender in American politics, and critique the American constitutional system.

Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Democracy Thread
Archway Curriculum: Foundational Literacies: Scientific Investigations: Social Science
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: UC Leadership Thread

This course will introduce students to ideas about institutional structures, political actors, and constitutional debates in U.S. government and politics. We will explore the historical development and founding of the United States, discuss major debates about the structure of our republican form of government, connect the three branches of government to contemporary politics and elections, examine the role of race and gender in American politics, and critique the American constitutional system.

Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Democracy Thread
Archway Curriculum: First-Year Curriculum: First-Year Writing
Archway Curriculum: Foundational Literacies: Scientific Investigations: Social Science

This course provides an introduction to the concepts, theories and methods of international politics. It highlights the similarities and differences between political systems, as well the nature of relations between these political systems. By examining political violence, democratization, security, trade, and development, this class will equip students to analyze current problems and experiences.

Archway Curriculum: Foundational Literacies: Scientific Investigations: Social Science
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Going Global Thread
Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Writing Instructive

This course provides an introduction to the concepts, theories and methods of international politics. It highlights the similarities and differences between political systems, as well the nature of relations between these political systems. By examining political violence, democratization, security, trade, and development, this class will equip students to analyze current problems and experiences.

Archway Curriculum: Foundational Literacies: Scientific Investigations: Social Science
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Going Global Thread
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: UC Reflected Self Thread

A topical course designed to investigate relevant subject matter not included in any standard courses. The title and the content will be determined by current mutual interests of students and faculty. This course may be offered to meet a requirement for a major only by approval of the department chair.

This is a research course. The student initially meets with the department chair to select a study topic and review research methods. At this time the student will be assigned a faculty resource person to guide his or her work and assist in an advisory capacity. A copy of the student's work is filed in the archives for the department. Independent Study may not duplicate courses described in the catalog.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the department chair.

Supervised individual projects for students on topics selected by the student in consultation with the instructor. Special Projects may not duplicate courses described in the catalog.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

This course allows students to participate at a meaningful level in an internship with a public official, political figure, public agency, campaign or interest group and to use that experience as the basis for an academic paper.
Pass/Fail only.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the department chair.

This course introduces students to the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences and its statistical procedures. The course will teach students how to run programs with the software and to interpret the output from those programs. Students will enter, edit, and learn how to analyze data using SPSS.
Prerequisite(s): Political Science major or department chair approval.
Corequisite(s): POLSC 3010 Research Methods I: Design/Qualitative Methods and POLSC 3020 Research Methods II: Quantitative Methods/Project Implementation.

(Normally offered each fall semester.)

A study of the role of political parties and interest groups in national, state, and local government, and of elections in the United States.
Prerequisite(s): POLSC 1000/POLSC 1000FYW United States Government and Politics.

The focus of this course is the development and implementation of public policy. The course will consider the actors constituting the environment in which policies are formulated. Next it will survey the major areas of public policy to understand the processes that constrain ongoing policy implementation. Finally, it will study one or two particular factors that influence the development and implementation of policy.
Prerequisite(s): POLSC 1000/POLSC 1000FYW United States Government and Politics and sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.

Racial politics is one of the most important, contested, and complicated issues in American society today. This course provides an introduction to the topic of minority politics. We will study the way that Black and Latino/a writers and thinkers understand the intersection of race and politics. We will explore the way that race is socially constructed, interrogate concepts of ideology, identity, and intersectionality, and examine the relationship between institutions and racism. At the end of the class, I hope you will have an appreciation for the complexity of racial politics in America. 

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Diversity Instructive: U.S.
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Democracy Thread
Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Discourse Instructive

This class explores the questions that arise when people cross borders, structured by conversations of citizenship. Who is considered to be a member of a particular country? Under what circumstances should we prohibit people from crossing a border? Should certain groups of people be afforded different types of rights? How should a country incorporate or assimilate immigrants into the nation? To explore these questions, this class examines how the United States has responded to these ethical, political, economic and social debates over citizenship. Specifically, we will study historical and contemporary motivations driving skilled, undocumented, asylum, refugee, and guest work immigration; if and how the US has regulated and enforced borders; the historical and normative evolution of patterns of assimilation, integration, and exclusion; regulation over pathways to citizenship; current political debates about immigration and how immigration matters in our local communities.

Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Identity Thread

In this course students will examine the organization, functioning, and impact of courts in the United States. Attention will be paid to the role of lawyers in the judicial system, trial and appellate court procedures, selection of judges, and the relationship of courts to other elements of the U.S. political system. Topics will include the nature of law, the role of juries, plea bargaining, alternative conflict resolution, court workload, and proposals for reform.
Prerequisite(s): POLSC 1000/POLSC 1000FYW United States Government and Politics.
(Normally offered alternate years.)

This course examines the functioning of legislatures in the United States, chiefly but not exclusively the U.S. Congress. Legislatures' place in the political system, the forces acting on them, and their impacts on other actors in politics will be examined, as well as the behavior of legislators and the internal structures of legislatures will be considered.
Prerequisite(s): POLSC 1000/POLSC 1000FYW or permission or the instructor or department chair.

This course examines the impact of the contemporary mass media on politics in the United States, focusing most directly on the effect of news gathering and reporting practices on political processes and institutions, and on the responses of political actors to those journalistic norms. Questions about the nature of democracy in a media society will arise and be addressed over the course of the semester.
Prerequisite(s): POLSC 1000/POLSC 1000FYW United States Government and Politics.

Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Power Thread

Analysis and discussion of two major works of classic Greek political philosophy by Plato and Aristotle. This course introduces students to the kind of close reading and thoughtful writing necessary to deal effectively with such works.

An examination of significant works of political philosophy in the modern era, including pieces by Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Mill with emphasis on close reading of and thoughtful writing about these works.

A study of the social, historical, and political factors that have affected the countries of South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal). The course will examine the historical origins of the culture; the development of Hinduism and Buddhism; and the current political, economic, and social problems that the countries of the region face.
Prerequisite(s): POLSC 1100 Introduction to International Politics.

This course will examine the current state of politics in Europe. In particular, the course will focus on European integration and expansion, and questions of ethnicity and nationalism. The course will also examine European social policy.
Prerequisite or corequisite(s): POLSC 1100 Introduction to International Politics or approval of the instructor.

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Diversity Instructive: Global
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Chaos Thread

As of 2015, every country in Latin America, with the exception of Cuba, is considered to be an electoral democracy. Many, however, have had limited success addressing poverty, inequality, crime, corruption, and discrimination. Recent indigenous, environmental, and education protests have further evidenced citizens' discontent with the quality of democratic governance. In this class, we will explore the factors that support and challenge the quality of democracy in Latin America. We will focus specifically on the similarities and differences in political, economic and social development, immigration trends, drug trafficking, indigenous protest, and environmental degradation between Latin American countries.

This course examines the participation of women in society and politics, and their ability to influence the policy decisions related to the issues of concern to them. The course will take a cross-national persepective, although primary emphasis will be women in Middle Eastern and South Asian societies.
Cross listed with GEND 2700.

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Diversity Instructive: Global
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Gender and Sexuality Thread

This course provides students with an understanding of the role, impact, and significance of the United Nations within the larger context of international organizations and global power relationships. After discussing the history and structure of the United Nations, students will analyze the challenges and opportunities that the United Nations faces in the 21st century, focusing on the principal substantive issues before the organization: war, terrorism, arms control, human rights, international refugees, and development. May be repeated one time.
Prerequisite(s): POLSC 1100 Introduction to International Politics.

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Speaking Instructive
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Going Global Thread

This seminar provides an introduction to global environmental politics. Many of the environmental problems of the twenty first century, from climate change to food insecurity to protection of biological diversity and endangered species, are global in nature, and addressing them requires international cooperation. The first part of the course provides the analytical foundation for evaluating environmental problems. The second part of the semester will apply these
analytic and policy tools to an evaluation of actors and solutions. We will look at the state and non-state actors, such as transnational social movements, civil society, NGOs and IOs, businesses and multinational corporations, and
nation-states.

Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Humans in the Natural Environment Thread
Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Speaking Instructive

Students enrolled in this course complete a 15 week, 32 hour/week internship in an organization related to national or international politics in Washington, D.C. The primary goal of this course is to introduce the student to the world of practical politics in the nation's Capitol. A secondary goal of the course is to enrich the participants' understanding of self; sharpen their career goals; and foster networking, professional skills, and civil literacy.
Prerequisite(s): Acceptance into Capitol Hill Internship Program.
Corequisite(s): POLSC 2810 The Internship Seminar (CHIP).

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Experiential Learning: Intensive

Each week interns gather (in the classroom in our building on Hill-510 C St, NE) to discuss their internship and to extract its deeper meaning. The goal of the course is to expose students to generalizations about politics and how their internships are either confirming or challenging those generalizations. The readings for the course vary according to the internship placements of the students. Students are exposed to various research methodologies for understanding Washington politics. Guest speakers are used in this course.
Prerequisite(s): Acceptance into Capitol Hill Internship Program.
Corequisite(s): POLSC 2800 The Washington Experience (CHIP).

A topical course designed to investigate relevant subject matter not included in any of the standard courses. The title, content, and credit will be determined by current mutual interests of students and faculty.

This is a research course. The student initially meets with the department chair to select a study topic and review research methods. At this time the student will be assigned a faculty resource person to guide his or her work and assist in an advisory capacity.  A copy of the student's work is filed in the archives for the department. Independent Study may not duplicate courses described in the catalog.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the department chair.

Supervised individual projects for students on topics selected by the student in consultation with the instructor. Special Projects may not duplicate courses described in the catalog.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

This course allows students to participate at a meaningful level in an internship with a public official, political figure, public agency, campaign or interest group and to use that experience as the basis for an academic paper.
Pass/Fail only.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the department chair.

This course teaches the basics of research in political science, including questions of design and measurement. Students will also learn different qualitative research designs such a focus groups, interviews, case studies, and field work.
Corequisite(s): POLSC 2000 Introduction to Statistics and SPSS and POLSC 3020 Research Methods II: Quantitative Methods/Project Implementation.
Prerequisite(s): Political Science major or department chair approval.

This is the second of the Research Methods course sequence. It introduces quantitative research methodology and the carrying out of a research project. Students will carry out the research design prepared in Research Methods I and learn about how to test their hypothesis quantitatively.
Corequisite(s): POLSC 2000 Introduction to Statistics and SPSS and POLSC 3010 Research Methods I: Design/Qualitative Methods.
Prerequisite(s): Political Science major or department chair approval.

The problems faced by the political systems of the countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Specific topics will include their attempts to maintain political stability and resolve such issues as the food and population problems.
Prerequisite(s): POLSC 1100 Introduction to International Politics and junior standing or permission of the instructor.

Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Going Global Thread
Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Discourse Instructive

The Arab Spring and the problematic transitions to democracy throughout North Africa and the Middle East have presented renewed questions about what a democracy is.  This topic is unique in political science because there are more questions than answers: experts aren't sure what facilitates democratic transitions, how transitions are completed and sustained, and what makes a country most likely to consolidate their democracy.  Thus, this is an exciting and important area to study.  In this course, we will explore each of these debates, tracing the lifespans of democracies and attempting to understand the political, cultural, and economic factors that make them most likely to survive and thrive.  We will contrast these with unsuccessful transitions to democracy and analyze the conditions under which countries backslide or become undemocratic.
Prerequisite(s): POLSC 1100 Introduction to International Politics and junior standing.

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Speaking Instructive

An advanced course focusing on an examination of the basic principles of U.S. constitutional law, based on study of U.S. Supreme Court cases. Trends in interpretation of the Constitution and the role of Supreme Court decisions in U.S. politics will be stressed.
Prerequisite(s): POLSC 1000/POLSC 1000FYW United States Government and Politics and junior standing or permission of the instructor.

In this course the sources, content, and impact of international law will be examined in detail. Special attention will be given to some of the modern substantive areas of international law such as human rights, international economic relations, and the international environment. This course is also designed to familiarize the student with the rise and role of public international organizations since 1945.
Prerequisite(s): Junior standing or permission of the instructor.

This course explores the emergence and evolution of the contemporary human rights regime, in international, regional, and national legal conventions. First, it will study the theoretical foundations of the idea of human rights in a variety of global contexts, current conceptualizations of human rights, the legacies of these adoptions in both western and non-western traditions, and the meaning and relevance of human rights for contemporary debates. Then, it will consider the shape and significance of the contemporary human rights regimes, critically analyze the strengths and weaknesses of current human rights regimes, and explore the future of human rights regimes in global politics. As a Writing Instructive course, students will engage with these conversations in a semester-long research project, through which they use two cases to critically analyze human rights.

Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Going Global Thread
Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Writing Instructive

In this course the student will examine the theoretical body of literature on international security. We will consider traditional topics in international security, such as the role of conventional and nuclear weapons, arms control, the impact of alliances and collective security agreements, and the stability of bipolar vs. multipolar international systems. We will also broaden our definition of security politics to include environmental degradation, ethnic conflicts, and even organized crime.
Prerequisite(s): Junior standing or permission of the instructor.

This class will explore the various ways that part of the class will examine the theory behind citizen-led uprisings: how do people decide to rebel? How do they mobilize? What is a collective action theory? What is the public sphere? We will end this section with a consideration of the revolutions of 1989 in Central and Eastern Europe. The second part of the course will examine various types of revolutionary activity, both violent and non-violent. What are mechanisms of change? How does the strategy of change relate to the demands of the protestors? The final part of the class will study how revolutions end. When do the people get their way? What does a 'successful' revolution look like?

Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Chaos Thread

A course designed to treat subject matter not covered in other departmental courses or to provide advanced study of subject matter introduced in other courses. The title, content, and credit hours will be determined by current mutual interests of faculty and students.

An opportunity for students, under the supervision of a faculty member, to pursue literature not covered in other coursework.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the department chair.

An opportunity for individual students to engage in advanced field or library research. A formal paper reviewing the research, suitable for placement in the college or departmental library, is required. Independent Study may not duplicate courses described in the catalog.
Prerequisite(s): Approval of the department chair.

This course is designed to allow students to pursue interests in political science or government beyond the extent possible in POLSC 3950 Independent Study. Open only to qualified students with approval. Special Projects may not duplicate courses described in the catalog.
Prerequisite(s): Approval of the department chair.

This course allows students to participate at a meaningful level in an internship with a public official, political figure, public agency, campaign or interest group and to use that experience as the basis for an academic paper.
Pass/Fail only.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the department chair.

A topical course designed to investigate relevant subject matter not included in any standard courses. The title and the content will be determined by current mutual interests of students and faculty. This course may be offered to meet a requirement for a major only by approval of the department chair.

An opportunity for students, under the supervision of a faculty member, to pursue literature not covered in other coursework.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the Department Chair.

This is a research course. The student initially meets with the department chair to select a study topic and review research methods. At this time the student will be assigned a faculty resource person to guide his or her work and assist in an advisory capacity. A copy of the student's work is filed in the archives for the department. Independent Study may not duplicate courses described in the catalog.
Prerequisite(s): Senior standing or permission of the department chair.

Supervised individual projects for students on topics selected by the student in consultation with the instructor. Special Projects may not duplicate courses described in the catalog.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

This course allows students to participate at a meaningful level in an internship with a public official, political figure, public agency, campaign or interest group and to use that experience as the basis for an academic paper.
Pass/Fail only.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the department chair.

A research seminar in which students conducting their research to satisfy the senior comprehensive requirement meet regularly to make formal presentations on part of their research projects and to share insight progress and problems encountered in their project.
Prerequisite(s): Senior standing and permission of the department chair.
(Normally offered each spring semester.)

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Speaking Instructive
Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Writing Instructive