PLSC 218: African American Politics
MWF 12:35pm / LSC
This course analyzes the history of the relationship between African Americans and the American political system at various levels, including traditional party affiliation, political participation, voting, and movements. We will explore the effect of legal decisions and public policies, as well as Black elected officials, on the descriptive and substantive representation of African Americans. Special emphasis will be placed on Black politics in Chicago.
PLSC 300A: Politics and the Economy
MWF 10:25am / LSC
This course examines how and why the U.S. government influences the economy. The government is the single most important actor in the economy, both as a consumer and as an entity seeking to manage important aspects of the economy. Areas of government influence range from the regulation of markets and private actor behaviors to the promotion of macro-economic outcomes like full employment and low inflation. Among the topics covered during the semester are theories of macroeconomic policies (laissez faire, Keynesianism, monetarism, supply-side economics), the tools of economic policy-making (regulation, fiscal policy, monetary policy), the composition and powers of key governmental institutions overseeing the economy, and the substance of significant areas of economic policy, such as trade policy, regulation of the money supply, tax policy, and policies directed at combating economic downturns like the Great Recession.
PLSC 300A: Women and Politics in the United States
T 4:15pm / LSC
This course looks at the role of Women in American Politics from several angles. Political scientists can point to gradual improvement in access for women over the last few decades. Nevertheless, women are severely underrepresented. We ask why are women so poorly represented? And does it matter? We spend considerable time studying both of these questions within the American context. In addition, the class looks at women as voters, political candidates, and as members of the legislature.
PLSC 320: Constitutional Law--Due Process
Th 4:15pm / LSC
This course examines the role of the courts in determining the rights of the accused. Specific topics include search and seizure (4th Amendment), confessions (5th Amendment), 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 an oral presentation.
PLSC 322: Constitutional Law--Rights & Liberties
Th 7:00pm / LSC
The purpose of this class is to trace the development of, and examine the current status of, individual rights and liberties of persons within the United States as formulated in United States Supreme Court decisions. Topics include freedom of expression; the establishment of religion; the right to privacy, and guarantees of racial and gender equality. This is a discussion-intensive course that requires close attention to text and the ability to present views and information on the cases.
PLSC 324: Civil-Military Relations
TTh 11:30am / LSC
Civil-Military Relations will explore the nature of military professionalism and the relationship between the military and the civil society it is tasked to defend. The interactions are many and complex, involving issues as varied as personnel policies (such as recruitment, gender, sexual orientation), lobbying, and the role of the military in domestic law enforcement (drugs, civil disorder, etc.). The implications of various policy choices for civil liberties and military effectiveness will be considered, as well. The professor hopes for a wide range of opinions on these issues. The focus will be on non-U.S. militaries as well as the U.S. military.
PLSC 376: Public Opinion
TTh 11:30am / LSC
Democratic systems of government are founded on the notion that the preferences of those who are to be governed (the public) are reflected in the policies the government enacts. In this course students will be introduced to the survey techniques commonly used to measure the public’s preferences. Participants will gain hands on experience working with public opinion data. We will also survey scholarly research that sheds light on issues including: 1) what political attitudes are, 2) the factors that shape these attitudes, and 3) how people decide whether to participate in the political process.
PLSC 377: American Public Policy
TTh 10:00am / LSC
This course discusses various approaches, especially the "stages" model, for studying the policy-making process. Special attention is given to contemporary “morality” policies, such as abortion, gay rights, gun control, pornography, capital punishment, and church-state relations.
PLSC 385: Introduction to Law
Th 4:15pm / LSC
This course is an introduction to the American legal system in theory and practice. Among the areas to be considered are legal reasoning, the role of precedent, law and official discretion, law and conflicting interests, law and the popular will, law and values, and the role of the lawyer in the legal system and in social change.
PLSC 390: Urban Politics
MWF 11:30am / LSC
This course focuses on American city politics, policies, and problems throughout history and now. We will explore the structure and processes of local government and politics, intergovernmental relations, and the relationship between private economy and city development. The course examines the problems of poverty, race, education, transportation, and housing in America's cities, with a special emphasis on Chicago.
PLSC 391: Chicago Politics
T 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. Chicago political history will be researched and applied to the present-day shape of city, county and state politics.