PLSC 300C: CAPSTONE in Comparative Politics: Middle East
W 4:15pm / LSC
PLSC 337: Terrorism
MWF 2:45pm / LSC
This course will use the infamous 9/11 attacks to examine current religiously-justified international terrorism, the fourth wave of modern terrorism. While we will concentrate on terrorist activity associated with Islam since it dominates today’s headlines, it is appropriate to remember that Christian and Jewish groups have engaged in religiously- affiliated terrorism since the late 1940’s. We will discuss the pros and cons of different definitions of terrorism- there is no general agreement. In examining terrorism, we will look at terrorist organizational structures, weapons, operations and operational planning, ideology, motivation, and financing. We will examine efforts to combat terrorists, including exploitable weakness. We will also look at the effects of terrorism on our daily lives and at our willingness to compromise our American principles and constitutional rights in combating terrorists.
PLSC 341: Comparative Politics
TTh 1:00pm / LSC
This course focuses on several of the central issues in comparative politics, with reference to countries representing various ideologies, forms of government and levels of development. The first part of the course consists of a discussion of general themes in the comparative analysis of political systems, while the second applies these general concepts to the analysis of particular countries. The course has two basic purposes. The first is to increase students' familiarity with politics in a number of countries that are important in their own right and about which informed persons should have some knowledge. The second is to make students aware of broader similarities and differences of political expression in today's world, enhancing their understanding of politics in general and enriching their knowledge of their own political system.
PLSC 343: Latin American Politics
TTh 10:00am / LSC
This course provides an introduction to the fascinating politics of Latin America. First we will look at the history of Latin America to examine the social forces, key events, and actors that have influenced the region’s politics. We will then study seven of the most interesting and important countries in the region – Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, and Venezuela. Students will select one of these countries on which to develop a group Power Point presentation and write a research paper.
PLSC 348: Russian Politics
MWF 1:40pm / LSC
The course offers an overview of political and economic transformation that took place in the Russian Federation since the collapse of the Soviet Union. To begin, we will examine the era of state socialism—the communist ascendancy, Stalinist rule, and the conflicts between state and society that erupted as a result. We will then focus on the reasons behind the collapse of the communist regime, and the subsequent developments: political and economic transformation in the 1990s and the following reversal of transformative trends in the early 2000s.We will also talk about some of the cultural aspects of Russian politics by exploring one of the Russian puzzles: value of democratic freedoms, on one hand, and value of stability and order, established by authoritative rule, on the other hand.
PLSC 342: African Politics
TTh 11:30am / LSC
This course introduces you to the diverse and exciting world of African politics. We will focus on the general trends affecting the 54 countries that comprise the African continent, although an emphasis will be placed on the special case studies of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sudan, South Africa, and Tunisia. Since an understanding of the past is crucial to our understanding of the present, we will first explore the politics of African political kingdoms during the precolonial independence era (prior to 1884), followed by an assessment of the impact that colonial rule (roughly 1884-1951) exerted on these political systems. The primary focus of the course, however, is the nature and evolution of a wide variety of topics within African politics during the contemporary independence era (roughly 1951-present), with a particular focus on the post-9/11 era (2001-present).