Undergraduate Studies Catalog (1999-2001)
Chairperson: W. Raymond Duncan, Distinguished Teaching Professor; Professors: Barbara W. Jancar-Webster, Stephen H. Ullman; Associate Professors: Walter A. Borowiec; Assistant Professors: Mark Chadsey, John J. Fitzpatrick, Dena Levy, Andrea Rubery, Robert B. Switky.
The Department of Political Science and International Studies offers two majors. The political science major provides concentrations designed for careers in the public and private sectors-- ranging from government service and practical politics to such fields as law, state and local government, international affairs and diplomacy, teaching, journalism and intergovernmental organizations. The political science major is well-suited to many careers where knowledge of government behavior and institutions is imperative. The international studies major is multidisciplinary in nature--training students for careers associated with foreign policy, international business, international organizations and other occupations requiring individuals who are "globally skilled." International studies is well suited to a host of professions associated with the emergence of a globally interdependent world in the late twentieth century.
Political Science Major
Political science is the study of the state and of power relations within states and among them, as they are and as they ought to be. It seeks better understanding of political and governmental behavior and institutions to enable society to use its collective resources more effectively for the general welfare. The principal sub-fields in the SUNY Brockport department are political thought, American politics and government, comparative government and politics, and world politics.
Political science is a liberal arts discipline; therefore, the SUNY Brockport department emphasizes its contributions to the general intellectual development of students. Its subject matter is essential for informed, effective citizenship and is especially pertinent to the career fields of law, government service, politics, journalism, and social and global studies.
The department administers four student award funds for the Brockport College Foundation. The James A. Schiller Memorial Award is given to an incoming student who has demonstrated an interest in practical politics or public service, intends to major in political science, and plans a career in politics or public service. The Harold Rakov Memorial Award is intended for an upper-division political science major on the basis of academic performance. The Paul Hanks Memorial Award is presented to a pre-law student. The Henry and Marion Bretton Research Award is given for superior undergraduate performance in political science research. Information on these awards may be obtained from the department.
Service Courses in Political Science
I. General Education
A. Social Sciences Breadth Component courses:
B. Humanities Breadth Component courses:
C. Computer Literacy courses:
D. Comparative Perspective courses:
E. Contemporary Issues courses:
F. Perspectives on Women courses:
II. Corequisites for other majors. Some political science courses are corequisite requirements for academic majors offered by other departments, such as Criminal Justice, and Recreation and Leisure Studies.
III. Free electives. Political science courses may be used as free electives to satisfy intellectual curiosity or to complement other aspects of a student's program.
IV. Overseas academic programs. The department participates in the SUNY Brockport social science programs in London and Paris. SUNY Brockport is home of the number one overseas education program in the SUNY system; more students study abroad through SUNY Brockport than through any other SUNY overseas program.
V. Academic internship programs. The department operates the SUNY Washington Semester Program, the premier internship program in Washington, D.C. Also, it participates in the Albany Semester Programs of the New York state government and legislature and offers election campaign, county or local government, political party, and law office internship courses.
Major in Political Science
I. The political science academic major program requires a total of 36 credits, distributed as follows:
A. Nineteen credits in the following required courses: Credits
B. Seventeen credits in other political science courses, including at least 12-credits in upper division courses (numbered above 299).
C. At least three credits in upper-division political science courses outside the subfield of American politics and government.
II. Every political science major must have a faculty advisor who must be consulted at least once each semester.
III. Political science majors are advised to take the following courses outside the department:
ECN 202 Principles of Macro Economics
(for a better understanding of political economy)
IV. Senior Practicum (PLS 498)
Minor in Political Science
Political Science Courses
PLS 111 World Politics (A,S,C). Studies the macro international political system, traditional power politics, and emerging global interdependence. 3 Cr. Every Semester.
PLS 112 Foreign Governments (A,S,C). Examines the government and politics of selected foreign countries. 3 Cr. Every Semester.
PLS 113 American Political Systems (A,S). Assesses the organization and interaction of the components of American national government. 3 Cr. Every Semester.
PLS 203 Modern Political Thought (A,H). Studies the works of major political philosophers including Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, J.S. Mill, Marx, Lenin and Fascists. 3 Cr. Every Semester.
PLS 300 Political Statistics (A,T). Covers elementary statistics used in political science, including measures of central tendency and dispersion, normal distribution, contingency tables, regression and correlation. Note: Students who have received credit for BIO 431, ECN 204, MTH 243, PSH 202, SOC 200, or transfer credit for an elementary statistics course from another institution, may waive PLS 300. Students will not receive credit for both PLS 300 and another elementary statistics course. 4 Cr. Every Semester.
PLS 302 Approaches to the Analysis of Political Science (A). Prerequisite or corequisite: PLS 300. Introduces students to the discipline of political science through examination of the assumptions, logic and techniques of several approaches to political analysis. 3 Cr. Every Semester.
PLS 304 International Organization Simulation (A). Consists of student preparation for and participation in the simulation of parts of the decision making process of an international or supranational organization. 3 Cr.
PLS 305 Politics of European Integration (A). Student preparation for and participation in simulation of decision-making process of the European Union. Simulation alternates annually between Brockport campus and European university. 3 Cr.
PLS 308 Presidential Primaries (A). An examination of how American political parties choose their presidential nominees. Topics include: evolution of the nominating process; who runs for president, and why; differences between primaries, caucuses, and conventions; news media coverage; campaign strategy, organization and fundraising; and the "transition game " from nomination phase to general election. 3 Cr.
PLS 311 Parties and Elections (A). Prerequisite: PLS 113. Explores the importance of political parties and election campaigns in American political life. Topics include U.S. parties in international context; competing institutions (interest groups and news media); how the parties have responded to recent challenges; the legal and regulatory environment in which they operate; the conduct of election campaigns for federal, state, and local office; and the behavior of voters and political activists. 3 Cr.
PLS 312 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,W). Cross-listed as WMS 313. Taught from a feminist perspective. Explores the socio-political barriers that have made women the "majority minority" or "silenced majority." Covers several barriers including discriminatory legislation, political folkways and sex and gender roles, and myths that have created and perpetuated a male-dominated society. 3 Cr.
PLS 314 Issues in American Politics (A,I). Covers a selection of contemporary issues of concern to our nation. Includes topics such as lobbying and democracy, the power of the president, and environmental protection vs. economic development. 3 Cr. Every Semester.
PLS 316 Congressional Politics (A). Prerequisite: PLS 113. Analyzes decision making in Congress. Emphasizes factors influencing legislative behavior and the interaction of Congress with other governmental and non-governmental units. 3 Cr.
PLS 317 American Presidency (A). Prerequisite: PLS 113. Explores the historical and contemporary roles of the president. Emphasizes interaction of the presidency with other governmental and non-governmental units. 3 Cr.
PLS 318 State and Local Government (A). Prerequisite: PLS 113. Covers the organization, process, and functions of state and local governments with special reference to New York state. 3 Cr.
PLS 319 Urban Politics (A). Prerequisite: PLS 113. Covers the politics and governments of America's cities. 3 Cr.
PLS 320 Law and the Legal Process (A). Covers the judicial process, including its structure and organization; and the political dimensions of judicial decision-making. 3 Cr. Every Semester.
PLS 324 Constitutional Law I (A). Prerequisite: PLS 320 or CRJ 305 or equivalent. Covers the practices, customs and traditions of the Supreme Court. Focuses on the early cases decided by the Court. Includes topics such as judicial review, federalism, presidential and congressional power, the Commerce Clause, the federal court structure, and nationalization of the Bill of Rights. 3 Cr. Every Semester.
PLS 326 Constitutional Law II (A). Prerequisite: PLS 320 or CRJ 305, or equivalent. 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. Every Semester.
PLS 333 American Foreign Policy (A). Prerequisite: PLS 111 or 113. Covers post-World War II American policy formation and execution. Explores the role of the presidency, Congress, the military, the intelligence branches and public opinion in shaping policy. 3 Cr.
PLS 338 Global Issues (A, I). Covers a selection of issues such as military weapons growth, problems of world order, international politics of energy, food, population growth and natural resources. 3 Cr. Every Semester.
PLS 340 European Political Systems (A). Prerequisite: PLS 112. 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). Prerequisite: PLS 111 or 112. Covers the major forces in Latin American domestic and international politics and U.S.-Latin American relations. 3 Cr.
PLS 343 Canadian Politics and Society (A). Prerequisite: PLS 111 or 112. 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 346 Russian and East European Politics (A). Prerequisite: PLS 111 or 112. Explores the culture, ideology and political institutions of the former Soviet Union and its neighbors. 3 Cr.
PLS 348 Politics of the Far East (A). Prerequisite: PLS 112. Explores the cultures, economics, and politics of China, Japan and South Asia. 3 Cr.
PLS 353 American Political Thought (A). Explores the roots of liberalism and conservatism in the writings of Federalists and anti-Federalists, Populists, Utopians, Slavocracy, critics of democracy, the contemporary Right and Left. 3 Cr.
PLS 356 Political Economy (A,I). Describes and analyzes the kind of political economic system that the welfare state represents. 3 Cr.
PLS 361 Public Opinion (A). Prerequisite PLS 111 or 112. 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? In this course, students will acquire and apply research skills to find answers to these questions. 3 Cr.
PLS 362 Women in Western Political Thought (A,I,W). 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 364 Politics of Developing Countries (A). Prerequisite: PLS 111 or 112 or 113. Emphasizes the political aspects of economic and social development and the nature of evolving politics under developing conditions. Debates development priorities: foreign aid trends, and the effects of multinational corporations. 3 Cr.
PLS 383 Middle East in World Politics (A). Prerequisite: PLS 111. Studies political conflict in the Middle East in the context of global issues and international politics. 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 399 Independent Study in Political Science (A). Defined in consultation with the instructor sponsor and the Office of Academic Advisement. 3 Cr. Every Semester.
PLS 401 Local Government Internship (A). Prerequisite: PLS 113. 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. 3-6 Cr. Every Semester.
PLS 402 Legal Internship (A). Prerequisite: PLS 320. Provides an experiential learning opportunity. Places student interns in either a public or private law office, undertaking paraprofessional responsibilities. 6 Cr. Every Summer.
PLS 410 International Political Economy (A). Explores the political forces behind global economic relations. Key topics include international trade and monetary relations, the impact of the international system on domestic politics, and the relationship between rich and poor countries. Specific issues include the importance of the World Trade organization, regional trade blocs, and the political influence of multi-national corporations. 3 Cr. Spring.
PLS 412 Public Policy: Values, Means, Methods (A). Provides an introduction to public policy studies in general, and values, means and methods used in formulating and implementing public policies in particular. Examines areas such as welfare, employment and neighborhood revitalization. 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). Prerequisites: PLS 320 and PLS 324 or PLS 326. This course explores the impact on and adequacy of legal solutions to selected problems. 3 Cr.
PLS 435 Legal Rights of the Disadvantaged (A,I,W). Cross-listed as AAS 435 and WMS 435. An issue-oriented course. Provides an understanding of how the U.S. legal system can improve the status of disadvantaged blacks, Hispanics, women, prisoners, poor, students, American Indians, homosexuals, and those with mental and physical disabilities. 3 Cr.
PLS 437 Studies in Social Science--London (A). Sponsored by Brunel University and SUNY Brockport. Enables students to live and study in London. Through lectures, discussions and field trips, allows students to examine relationships between British and American society and history. 15 Cr.
PLS 438 Studies in Social Science--Paris (A). Cross-listed as HST 438. Investigates French culture by studying one broad topic and one other topic in social sciences, plus study in French language and literature. Allows students to live and study in France. Requires class attendance, readings, field trips, and research. 15 Cr. Every Semester.
PLS 444 National Security (A). Prerequisite: PLS 111 or 113. 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 superpowers, their principal allies, and other powers of military consequence, the superpower arms race, arms control, limitation, and reduction. 3 Cr.
PLS 445 International Law and Organization (A). Prerequisite: PLS 111. Introduces modern public international law and 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). Prerequisite: PLS 111. An intensive three-week field study based at Moscow University in Moscow, Russia. Focuses on current issues relevant to the transition of the former Soviet Union to a democratic form of government and market economy. One half of the course consists of lectures at the university, the other half of field trips to institutions and organizations addressed in the lectures. 3 Cr. Summer.
PLS 448 Leadership (A). Prerequisite: PLS 113. Draws upon recent scholarly studies and biographies to examine the essence of leadership in the modern age. Studies the uses of power that distinguish leaders from mere power holders. 3 Cr.
PLS 466 Environmental Politics (A). Investigates federal and New York state environmental policies and the relationship between the two. Divided into two parts: federal environmental policy and New York state environmental policy. Covers major environmental issues: air, water, land use, solid waste, hazardous waste, aesthetics and conservation, atomic energy, pesticides, and chemical waste. Requires two field trips. 3 Cr.
PLS 467 Politics of Poverty (A,W). Prerequisites: PLS 113, HST 212, ECN 111, ECN 202 or SOC 100. Who are the poor in America? Why are poverty levels highest among women? Why is welfare reform continually on the public agenda? These questions are examined from an intergovernmental public policy perspective in which equal attention is paid to policy implications for women and men. How do political scientists write about the politics of poverty? Student assignments stress descriptive, analytical, and evaluative writing. 3 Cr.
PLS 470 Nationalism (A). Prerequisite PLS 111. 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. Topics include ethnic nationalism and regional conflicts, multinational states and multistate nations. 3 Cr.
PLS 475 Political Geography (A,C). Prerequisite PLS 111. 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 such topics 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 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. 3-12 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. 3-6 Cr. Every Semester.
PLS 495, 496 Internship in National Policies I & 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. 12 Cr. Every Semester.
PLS 497 Seminar for 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 498 Practicum (A). Political science majors in their junior or senior year are advised to take this capstone course. The course will focus on topics such as: resume development, graduate school applications, exploring career options in political science, and other subjects of interest to graduating students. 1.5 Cr. Every Semester.
PLS 499 Independent Study in Political Science (A). Defined in consultation with the instructor sponsor and the Office of Academic Advisement. 1- 6 Cr. Every Semester.
International Studies Major
International studies is an interdisciplinary major that provides students with a broadly-based field of knowledge focused on the driving forces in world affairs today. As a sole major, international studies is a superb preparation for careers in government, international business and public service. As a second major, it complements study in many fields, because it centers on the international domain within which a wide range of careers operate. Understanding the international context of public and private occupations uniquely enhances performance within a variety of specialized activities--from multinational corporations to government service and the public policy arena.
Students of international studies graduate consummately skilled in understanding subjects such as international politics and political economy, foreign language, political geography, history, political culture, and ethnic nationalism. Because the major in international studies examines a broad range of actors, forces, and trends in the world today, it enables students to become well trained to relate to and compete with citizens of other nations and states in international business, government, and public life. The major's focus on issues such as international intergovernmental organizations (INGO s), world environment problems, ethnic identity and regional conflicts, democratic politics in developing countries, economic development, and the politics of international economics neatly parallels a rising demand in many professional fields for individuals who are "globally aware" and "globally skilled."
At SUNY Brockport, we firmly believe that an international studies degree is an education in the future of our nation and the world because an international studies student will be versed not only in the subject areas studied, but will also be trained analytically in problem-identifying and problem-solving where international matters are concerned. Toward this end, international studies students will speak and write at least one foreign language, will have experienced one of SUNY Brockport's many outstanding study-abroad opportunities, and will be computer literate. Given the rise in global interdependence in communications, transportation, trade, financial transactions, and a host of other activities, a degree in international studies is a passport to the emerging challenges of the 21st century.
SUNY Brockport also offers interdisciplinary programs in international business, Asian studies, Canadian studies, and Latin American studies, as well as programs overseas that can be integrated into the international studies major. (See the department chair for further information.)
The international studies major consists of two components: (1) 18 credits of required foundation courses; and (2) 18 credits of upper-division course work in one of four tracks (area studies, multi-regional studies, international business, and environment). A semester of study overseas is strongly recommended. In addition, international studies majors must complete the foreign language requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree (the Bachelor of Science degree is not avail able for this major). Specific requirements are described below:
PLS 111 World Politics and PLS 112 Foreign Governments are required for the major.
Students choose four additional foundation courses:
Upper division courses constitute four tracks:
The Area Studies track includes 18 credit hours in one of the following areas: Africa, Asia, Canada, Europe, or Latin America.
Examples of possible courses in these areas include:
Many other classes are also offered in each of these areas:
The Multi-Regional Studies track requires students to complete a concentration of three courses in one of the above areas, with three courses on three other areas.
The Environment track includes 18 credits of course work focused on issues of interdependence and ecology. Core courses are:
ANT 321 Cultural Change
The student will take four of the above courses and two electives selected in cooperation with an advisor.
The International Business Track
Foreign Language Requirement
Delta College Global Studies Track
Closer to home, students may also take part in the Washington Semester Internship/Study Program. Work opportunities include the State Department, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, the World Bank, congressional committees on international affairs, and the World Health Organization.
(Contact Dr. John Perry or Pat Coates, Office of International Education, Morgan III, (716) 395-2119, for more information on study abroad. For international internships, call Dr. Romine Deming, (716) 395-5500).
The International Institute
In 1992, SUNY College at Brockport created the International Institute to coordinate the College's various international programs. Since then the Institute has drawn on its contacts in Western New York's business community and created the GEMS program. The Institute pursues grant funding and private sector support to provide consulting services to companies interested in developing or expanding their international business activities. Through GEMS, students carry out market research for area companies in countries such as Russia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, India and Costa Rica. Participation in this program allows active involvement in the world of international business.
(For more information contact Dr. Walter Boston, Jr. at (716) 395-5467 in Hartwell Hall or Dr. Steve Breslawski at (716) 395-2623.)
International Organization Simulations
Through NYCEUSS, participants will work with other American students from schools such as Cornell University, Columbia University, Hamilton College, Skidmore College and NYU, as well as EU nationals from European Universities, to find potential solutions to real problems facing the European Union today. Students choose alter egos to represent in an annual conference, meeting alternately in Brockport and Belgium.
International Studies Minor
For appropriate electives, consult departmental listings or see department chair.
International Studies Course
INS 475 Political Geography (A,C). Prerequisite PLS 111. Cross-listed as PLS 475. Covers key aspects of geopolitics as it affects foreign policy and international politics in the post World War II period. Examines such topics as resources, environment and human geography as well as issues associated with the study of geography-politics relationships: gate way states; shatterbelts; heartland concept; and trade ties. 3 Cr.
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