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Brockport / Catalogs / 2013-14 / Courses / Undergraduate / Political Science

Undergraduate Political Science Courses

PLS 111 International Relations (A,O,S). Studies the macro international political system, traditional power politics and theories, emerging global interdependence, and the challenge represented by terrorism and globalization. 3 Cr.

PLS 112 Comparative Politics (A,D,S,W). Examines the government and politics of selected foreign countries. Both industrialized and developing countries will be studied. 3 Cr.

PLS 113 American Politics (A,D,S). Assesses and describes the organization and interaction of the components of American national government. Covers topics such as elections, Congress, the presidency, courts and the US Constitution. 3 Cr.

PLS 203 Political Thought (A,S). Studies the works of major political philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and J.S. Mill. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

PLS 210 Dilemmas and Ethics in Public Affairs and Administration (A,H). Engages students to the modes of systematic moral reflection that enable citizens and administrators to confront issues in public affairs effectively and professionally. At the end of this course, students will be able to participate in reasoned debate in a clear and logical manner. 3 Cr. Fall.

PLS 303 Political Science Research Methods (A). Introduces students to the research methods and techniques used in the discipline of political science. Covers elementary statistics and other approaches to political analysis including content analysis, experiments and survey research techniques. 3 Cr.

PLS 304 International Relations Simulation (A). Consists of student preparation for and participation in simulations of parts of the decision making process of various Great Powers. 3 Cr.

PLS 305 The Politics of European Integration (A). An examination of the largest transnational regional experiment in European and world history. Prepares students for participation in simulation of decision-making process of the European Union. Simulation alternates annually between SUNY campuses and a European university. 3 Cr.

PLS 306 The Theatre of Politics (A,I). We combine two different disciplines to gain a unique understanding of many of the current issues that face all of us. The texts used for this course are contemporary plays and additional readings from political science texts. The course will be broken into 5 units, all dealing with modern issues in American politics such as race, gender, and medical ethics. There are multiple presentations throughout the semester. Students from all disciplines are strongly encouraged to take this course- the issues studied are relevant to all. 3 Cr. Spring.

PLS 309 Campaigns and Elections (A). This course explores the election campaigns in the United States, with some attention to campaigns overseas. While campaigns at all levels (federal, state and local) will be discussed, the focus will be on federal elections. Topics include campaign financing, voting behavior, campaign strategies and the use of media in elections. 3 Cr.

PLS 311 Parties and Elections (A). This course examines the nature, environment, and development of political parties and interest groups. Students will explore several facets of parties such as party identification and voting; activists, organization, and party activities in government; what the parties represent; and party reform. Students will then look at the nature of organized interests, single-issue politics and social movements, and, finally, the future of parties and interest groups. 3 Cr.

PLS 312 Introduction to Public Administration (A). Covers public management, inter-governmental relations, budgeting and finance, public personnel, program evaluation, and research. 3 Cr.

PLS 313 Gender Politics (A,I,W,Y). Cross-listed as WMS 313. Explores, from a feminist perspective, the socio-political barriers that have made women the "majority minority" or "silenced majority." Includes barriers such as discriminatory legislation, political folkways, sex gender roles, and myths that have created and perpetuated a male-dominated society. 3 Cr.

PLS 314 Issues in American Politics and Government (A,I). Covers a selection of contemporary issues of concern to our nation. May include topics such as lobbying and democracy, the power of the president, the death penalty and school prayer. 3 Cr.

PLS 315 Perspectives on Citizenship (A,I). Citizenship is a concept central to democratic society yet is one that citizens infrequently reflect upon. Throughout the semester we will take an integrative approach drawing from the humanities and social sciences to explore different facets of citizenship and deliberate about what it takes to be a “good citizen”, what kinds of citizens (if any) do good regimes need/ What practices and institutional structures promote the right kinds of citizenship? 3 Cr.

PLS 316 Congressional Politics (A). Analyzes elections to and decision making in Congress. Emphasizes factors influencing legislative behavior and the interaction of Congress with other governmental and non-governmental units, such as the media and interest groups. 3 Cr.

PLS 317 American Presidency (A). Explores the historical roots of the modern presidency. Emphasizes interaction of the presidency with other governmental and non-governmental units such as Congress, the media, the bureaucracy and public opinion. Explores the evolution of the modern presidential campaign. 3 Cr.

PLS 318 State and Local Government (A). This course introduces students to the study of state and local government and politics by examining the social, economic, and cultural context in which the politics occur. Topics include the study of federalism, the role of the media and the effects of public opinion on state and local politics. 3 Cr.

PLS 319 Urban Politics (A). Covers the politics and governments of America's cities. 3 Cr.

PLS 320 Introduction to Law and Legal Process (A). Covers the judicial process, including its structure and organization, and the political dimensions of judicial decision making. 3 Cr.

PLS 324 Constitutional Law I (A). Covers the practices, customs and traditions of the Supreme Court. Focuses on the founding of the Constitution and the early cases decided by the Court. Includes topics such as judicial review, federalism, presidential and congressional power, the Commerce Clause, and nationalization of the Bill of Rights. 3 Cr.

PLS 326 Constitutional Law II (A). Surveys 20th Century Supreme Court civil rights and civil liberties cases. Includes topics such as freedom of speech, press, religion, due process rights, equal protection, voting rights and rights of women and minorities. 3 Cr.

PLS 327 Comparative Legal Systems (A). Engages students in an exploration of how legal systems in the world differ (or converge) in their approaches to issues such as sources of law, legal education, professional organization, and adjudicative structures. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

PLS 328 Politics of Energy Policy (A). Provides students with an opportunity to apply political science methods from the study of policy analysis and political economy to issues surrounding energy policy. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

PLS 329 Education Law (A). This course provides an introduction to the basics of education law, including topics ranging from academic freedom to student discipline. Students will read and discuss redacted court cases with an emphasis on gleaning the factual situation and legal rules from the text. Lectures will provide an overview of the legal principles applicable to primary and secondary education law in the United States. 3 Cr. Fall.

PLS 333 American Foreign Policy (A). Prerequisites: PLS 111. Examines contemporary challenges confronting American foreign policy, including such topics as historic approaches and debates in U.S. foreign policy, the process by which U.S. foreign policy is made (and the various institutional and political factors shaping that policy), and the U.S.’s role in the world. 3 Cr. 3 Cr.

PLS 335 Politics of Work and Labor (A,I). Sooner or later we all have to work. Yet we spend little time thinking about the politics and policies that govern the workplace. In this course we adopt an integrative approach using works of history, philosophy and social science as well as films to explore such questions as: what makes work satisfying and rewarding? What rights do employees have in the workplace? How do we reward different kinds of work and how should we do so? How have labor unions and corporations shaped the workplace and employment opportunities? What has been the impact of globalization on the nature of work in the U.S.? 3 Cr.

PLS 336 Politics and Food: "The Political Feast" (A). Studies the role and influence of food production in the development and advancement of early political states. Moreover, it explores the relationship of man’s nature to food and its revelation regarding the balance of the soul. 3 Cr. Fall.

PLS 337 Politics of Nonviolent Struggle (A). Nonviolent resistance ended imperial rule in India, challenged Nazi occupation in Europe, established a civil rights regime in the United States, and dismantled dictatorships from Chile to Czechoslovakia and South Africa to Serbia. This course will draw on a range of political theory and case studies to examine issues related to the legitimacy of using nonviolent means instead of force to achieve political and social objectives. 3 Cr.

PLS 338 Global Issues (A,I,W,Y). Covers a selection of issues such as military weapons growth, problems of world order, gender issues, terrorism, globalization, international politics of energy, food, population growth and natural resources. 3 Cr.

PLS 339 The Morality of War (A). Prerequisites: PLS 111 or PLS 112. Examines the use of force from both historical and contemporary perspectives. 3 Cr.

PLS 340 European Political Systems (A). Provides an intensive, in-depth study of the politics and governments of selected western European countries, especially Great Britain, France and Germany. 3 Cr.

PLS 342 Latin American Politics (A). Covers the major forces in Latin-American domestic and international politics and US-Latin-American relations. 3 Cr.

PLS 343 Canadian Politics and Society (A). Explores Canada's geography, history, demography and culture; federal and provincial institutions, e.g., the Prime Minister, House of Commons, parties; and governmental policy on language and international affairs. 3 Cr.

PLS 344 War in Film (A). What can films teach us about the causes, conduct and consequences of war? The course proceeds chronologically through the history of modern warfare by considering a different film for each war covered. Specific wars covered include the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, and the Global War on Terror. 3 Cr.

PLS 346 Russian and Eastern European Politics (A). Explores the political institutions of the former Soviet Union and its neighbors, with an emphasis on challenges to democratic transition. 3 Cr.

PLS 348 Asian Politics (A). Prerequisite: PLS 112. Examines some of the important theoretical and historical questions and events challenging those who study Asian politics as the world enters a new millennium. China and Japan will be the two primary nations under examination although examples will be taken from all over Asia and the world. 3 Cr.

PLS 353 American Political Thought (A). Explores the founding roots of Federalism and Anti-Federalism via early puritan writings, the founding documents, Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers and the personal writings of several Founding Fathers. 3 Cr.

PLS 354 Politics and Literature (A). This course examines political themes through various means and literary genres. Ten works of history and fiction will be read, spanning from the ancient Greek world to the 21st century. 3 Cr.

PLS 357 Origins of Current Issues (A,I). Examines the philosophical origins underlying today's political ideologies and issues. The ideologies and issues examined will vary from semester to semester. 3 Cr.

PLS 359 Political Behavior (A). Prerequisite: PLS 113. The study of political behavior focuses on the actions of-as opposed to the institutional constraints on-individuals, small groups, and large organizations as they interact with the political world through activities such as voting, joining parties and interest groups, protesting government actions, and consuming mass media. The course evaluates behavior from a variety of perspectives such as the psychological, economic, sociological, and political. 3 Cr.

PLS 360 Comparative Public Opinion (A). This course examines public opinion in democratic societies. Students will first explore fundamental concepts such as attitudes in the mass media and political elites, the impact of public opinion on political representation and policymaking, and an introduction to opinion formation and survey methodology. Then students will investigate public opinion across a number of countries and regions such as Europe, Latin America, and Asia. 3 Cr.

PLS 361 Public Opinion (A). How do we develop our political ideas? How do these ideas relate to our personalities? In what ways does public opinion shape the decision-making process of our government? Allows students to acquire and apply research skills to find answers to these questions. 3 Cr.

PLS 362 Women in Western Political Thought (A,I,W,Y). Cross-listed as WMS 362. Covers major theories of sexual politics, which include Freud's theory of femininity, reform liberalism, socialist theory, and the theory of radical feminism. 3 Cr.

PLS 367 Press and Politics (A,I). A survey and analysis of the involvement of the press in the political process. The interaction of the press with political and governmental institutions will be examined and consideration given to the political orientation of the press, restraints upon its performance, and the role of the press in shaping domestic and foreign policy decisions. The result of this examination will be evaluated in the context of selected foreign press systems. 3 Cr.

PLS 383 Mid-East in World Politics (A). Studies political conflict of global issues and international politics. Covers the Arab-Israeli conflict. 3 Cr.

PLS 392 Topics in Political Science (A). Covers selected topics focusing on contemporary political issues and problems. May be repeated as topics change. 3 Cr.

PLS 395 Perspectives on American Democracy (A). In this course, students will learn about various disciplinary perspectives on American democracy from members of the SUNY Brockport faculty. Students will actively use this knowledge to interpret and critique current issues and events throughout the semester. Students will also select at least one disciplinary perspective for a research project that will be designed to bridge the gap between academia and the world outside its' walls. 3 Cr.

PLS 399 Independent Study (A). Defined in consultation with the instructor-sponsor and the procedures of the Office of Academic Advisement prior to registration. 1-3 Cr. Every Semester.

PLS 401 Local Government Internship (A). Enables students to serve as interns in town, city or county government, engaging in such activities as research, constituent service, and planning. Provides placements in administrative agencies, as well as local legislative bodies. 1-6 Cr. Every Semester.

PLS 402 Legal Internship (A). Provides an experiential learning opportunity. Places student interns in either a public or private law office, undertaking paraprofessional responsibilities. 3-6 Cr. Summer.

PLS 403 Introduction to Legal Studies (A). Introduction to Legal Studies is designed to help prepare students for law school. Students will receive a general understanding of the legal system and be introduced to basic legal principles in substantive areas like civil procedure, due process, contracts, torts,legal remedies, etc. 3 Cr.

PLS 410 International Political Economy (A). Prerequisite: PLS 111. Explores the political forces behind global economic relations. Includes key topics such as international trade and monetary relations, the impact of the international system on domestic politics, and the relationship between rich and poor countries. Also includes these specific issues: the importance of the World Trade Organization, regional trade blocs, and the political influence of multi-national corporations. 3 Cr.

PLS 412 Public Policy: Values,Means,Methods (A). The course is designed to be an introduction to public policy studies in general and to provide the student with an understanding of the values, means and methods used in formulating, analyzing and implementing public policy. 3 Cr.

PLS 420 Civil Liberties, Civil Rights and the Constitution (A). Examines public policy and constitutional rights, focusing on controversial constitutional issues such as affirmative action, capital punishment, adoption, and free press/fair trial. Utilizes a seminar format to discuss issues. 3 Cr.

PLS 425 Law and Social Problems (A,I). The purpose of this course is to understand and critically evaluate various current legal issues. The focus will be on learning to succinctly think about and opine on issues from legal, social, political, economic, moral, religious and national vs. international perspectives. 3 Cr.

PLS 435 Legal Rights of the Disadvantaged (A,I,W,Y). Cross-listed as AAS 435, WMS 435. An issue-oriented course. Provides an understanding of how the US legal system can improve the status of disadvantaged blacks, Hispanics, women, prisoners, the poor, students, Native Americans, homosexuals, and those with mental and physical disabilities. 3 Cr.

PLS 440 Politics and Diversity (A,I). Define and examine concepts of multi-culturalism and examine different national approaches to the issue. Impart awareness of diversity's meaning and implication and an appreciation of the connections between politics and diversity. 3 Cr.

PLS 444 National Security (A). Prerequisite: PLS 111. Examines post-World War II and post-Cold War changes in national security (military defense) policy perception, planning and implementation as a result of technological advances. In particular, focuses on military defense policies, including strategies and tactics of the Great Powers, and other powers of military consequence. Considers the challenger of asymmetrical conflict. 3 Cr.

PLS 445 International Law and Organization (A). Introduction to modern public international law and to major international organizations such as the United Nations and associated bodies as well as major regional organizations. 3 Cr.

PLS 447 Russia in Transition (A). The course will focus on current issues relevant to the transition of the former Soviet Union to a democratic form of government and a market economy. 3 Cr.

PLS 470 Nationalism (A). Cross-listed as INS 470. Examines the post-World War II force of nationalism as a driving force in the international system, with special attention to the post-Cold War period. Includes topics such as ethnic nationalism and regional conflicts, multinational states, and multistate nations. 3 Cr.

PLS 475 Political Geography (A). Cross-listed as INS 475. Covers key aspects of geopolitics as it affects foreign policy and international politics in the post-World War II period. Examines topics such as resources, environment and human geography, as well as issues associated with the study of geography-politics relationships, gateway states, shatterbelts, heartland concept, and trade ties. 3 Cr.

PLS 490 Moot Court Seminar (A). Students analyze and discuss the issues and problems of a specific case. They prepare a written brief and present an oral argument related to the case. 3 Cr.

PLS 491 Advanced Moot Court Competition (A). Intense critical review of facts as applicable case law, statistics and materials are utilized by the students to write a "Supreme Court" brief. Students are responsible for reading a significant amount of legal materials whereupon they shall then argue a position by writing the brief. Students shall also argue their position in an interstate competition against other students. This shall occur before a "panel of judges." 3 Cr.

PLS 492 Albany Internship (A). Enables selected students to serve as interns at the New York Assembly or Senate, or a state agency in Albany. Provides an experiential learning opportunity. 1-12 Cr. Every Semester.

PLS 493 Albany Internship Seminar (A). Enables selected students to serve as interns at the New York State Assembly or Senate, or a state agency in Albany. Conducted on site in Albany. 1-6 Cr. Every Semester.

PLS 495 496 Internship in National Politics I and II (Washington Semester Program) (A). Enables selected students to serve as interns in an executive branch, Congressional office/committee, judicial office, political party organization, or a politicized private organization in Washington. Requires a major research project. 6 Cr.

PLS 497 Seminar: National Interns (Washington Semester Program) (A). Focuses on the evaluation of lessons learned from the internship experience. Requires oral presentations concerning research projects. 4 Cr. Every Semester.

PLS 499 Independent Study (A). Defined in consultation with the instructor-sponsor and the procedures of the Office of Academic Advisement prior to registration. 1-6 Cr. Every Semester.