PLSC 300A: Civil Rights Movement and the Courts
MWF 10:25am / LSC
The course is intended to give you a better understanding of the how the Civil Rights Movement was influenced by the judicial system—and vice versa—for better and for worse. Students should have a greater understanding of the relationship of lawyers and the law to direct action and other forms of advocacy in advancing and impeding social change. The course will also consider the conflicts between violence and nonviolence and among law, politics, and morality. Specific topics to be covered include slavery and the Constitution, Dred Scott v Sandford, segregation and Jim Crow, Plessy v Ferguson, legal strategies of the NAACP, the “College Cases,” Brown v Board of Education, murder of Emmett Till, Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. and philosophy of nonviolence, Civil Rights legislation, Affirmative Action.
PLSC 300A: Politics and the Economy
TTh 1:00pm / LSC
PLSC 320: Due Process
TTh 10:00am / LSC
This course examines the role of the courts in determining the rights of the accused and the balance between effective law enforcement and individual rights. Specific topics include search and seizure (4th Amendment), confessions (5th Amendment), the right to counsel (6th Amendment), and the death penalty (8th Amendment). Grades will be based on exams (both essay and multiple choice), a research paper, class participation, and oral presentations.
PLSC 326: American National Security
MWF 9:20am / LSC
National Security Policy explores the national security environment of the United States, options for dealing with challenges faced, and the making and implementation of national security policy. Topics include historical, geographical, and economic considerations, the conflict spectrum, the political process, ethical issues, and the role and methods of intelligence. Students will be encouraged to form their own informed opinions on these important issues. Two essay examinations and a research paper will be required, as will participation in class discussions on Sakai.
PLSC 377: American Public Policy
TTh 8:30am / LSC
This course discusses the various approaches to studying public policy-making and focuses on examples of contemporary “morality” policies.
PLSC 384: The Judicial Process
MWF 10:20am / LSC
The principal purpose of this course is to introduce you to the scientific study of judicial politics. Specifically, we will examine theoretical issues regarding judicial process and politics. This course, unlike constitutional law and civil liberties classes, does not study legal doctrine; rather, it examines political aspects of the legal system, with an emphasis on the social scientific literature on law and legal process.
PLSC 385: Introduction to Law
Th 7:00pm / LSC
“Law is not simply a compilation of rules randomly arrived at, but a system that seeks to achieve certain societal ends by particular means. Unless one understands what those ends are, and how the makers of the rules believe they are reaching their goals, it is impossible to comprehend any legal system.” This course is designed to introduce students to both the means and the ends of the American Legal System.
The format of the course will be a mixture of lecture and discussion. The quality of a student’s participation in class discussions is a significant component of the course grade. A modified version of the Socratic method of teaching will be employed on occasion in order to familiarize students who plan to attend law school with that manner of instruction.
Upon completion of the course, students should:
1) Have a basic understanding of the major components of the American Legal System;
2) Have an understanding of the core subjects that comprise a legal education; and
3) Understand that the law and the American Legal System are, at their core, about people and their relationship with other people and the state.
Subjects to be covered in the course include the common law system, the sources and limits of legal authority, the Supreme Court of the United States, federal and state court systems, litigation, contracts, torts, property law and criminal law and procedure.
PLSC 386: American Parties & Elections
MWF 12:35pm / LSC
PLSC 390: Urban Politics
Professor Blackmond Larnell
TTh 11:30am / LSC
Currently, public attention seems to be overwhelmingly focused on national and international politics and policy. Many of our major urban areas, however, are presently struggling to address significant rates of unemployment, poverty, home foreclosure and vacancies, underperforming school systems, and deteriorating infrastructures while experiencing substantial budget deficits and declines in public revenues. Not to mention, American cities are adapting to fundamental transformations in the global economic market that has left them to compete with cities across the globe to attract private investments, tourism, etc. These cities are now working to rebuild and redevelop into strong and vibrant communities with a sustainable economy.
This is an advanced undergraduate course in which we will focus on the historical development of American cities and the evolution of governmental and political institutions as well as policy processes. We will also examine the structure of local government, key actors in urban politics and governance, and how the political processes influence urban policy. We will also discuss various important policy issues currently facing urban areas, specifically the origins of these issues and how they have (or have not) been addressed. The general objective for this course is to help students understand the complexity of American cities and improve their ability to think as well as write critically and analytically about urban problems, politics and policy.
PLSC 391: Chicago Politics
Tu 4:15pm / LSC
The objectives of this course are to increase a student’s local political knowledge and critical thinking skills so that they can be more informed and involved citizens. This course focuses on how the Chicago political process works today and how decisions about current issues and public policies are shaped. We will study how public perception impacts public opinion resulting in public policies. We will analyze civic leaders (corporate, government, not-for-profit, community organizers, and media) within the public arena and their influential interrelationships. We will also discuss power (actual/perceived) and how it is distributed.