Course Descriptions —Political Science

PSC1200 Introduction to Global Political Issues
4 semester hours
The course is an issue-based introduction to international politics. Students strive to understandmany of the most pressing and important problems in the world – foreign aid, global warming, drug trafficking and so on – through the best theories and evidence that political science and other social science disciplines can offer. Why do many of these problems seem so intractable? Which ones are most likely to be solved? Which actors are most likely to find a solution? To provide a common framework for analysis of these issues, the course provides an overview of collective action theory, coupled with a realistic assessment of the limitations of international cooperation.
No prerequisites. Meets General Education “Knowing Ourselves and Others” Group B requirement.


PSC2110 Introduction to U.S. Government
4 semester hours
In this course, students survey historical and contemporary theories, concepts and issues that define the U.S. political system. Students examine the central ideas and debates that influenced the Founders’ perspectives about politics and government, as well as the design of the U.S. political system. The legacy, application and debates concerning U.S. citizens’ civil liberties and civil rights are also explored. Moreover, students examine competing perspectives concerning the role of political parties, organized interest groups, the mass media and public opinion within the U.S. political system. 
No prerequisites.Meets General Education “Knowing Ourselves and Others” Group B requirement.


PSC2200 Introduction to Political Theory
4 semester hours
The course examines political philosophy in the Western world – the study of how to evaluate and organize human societies. It offers an overview of the major thinkers and ideas in this field, beginning with the ancient Greeks and ending with some major twentieth century figures. Topics discussed include the relationship between human nature and politics, competing conceptions of the ideal society, the relationship between government and religion, reason and emotion, selfishness and altruism, civil disobedience and revolution.
No prerequisites.


PSC3140 Political Participation and the Electoral Process
4 semester hours
Examines the process by which leaders are selected and interests are identified. Topics include public opinion and behavior, the media in elections, the electoral process, candidate nominations and campaigns, organization and activities of political parties and interest groups. Contemporary issues will also be examined.
Prerequisite: PSC2110.


PSC3150 The Executive and Legislative Process
4 semester hours
The executive and legislative processes in federal, state, and local government, including the organization and structure of Congress, the American Presidency, the federal bureaucracy, and the relationship between the Congress and the Pres­idency. Contemporary issues will also be examined.
Prerequisite: PSC2110.


PSC/CRJ3180 Constitutional Law and the Judicial System
4 semester hours
The case method is utilized to analyze the principles of the American Constitu­tion. Topics include presidential, congressional and Supreme Court power, equal protection of the law and race, gender, sexual orientation, implied fundamental rights to abortion choice and education, free speech and religion, and modern constitutional theories.
Prerequisite: PSC2110.


PSC/LTS3200 Contemporary Latin American Politics
4 semester hours
Cross-listed with LTS3200.  For description, see LTS3200.
No prerequisites.


PSC/HIST3250 Illinois History and Government
2 semester hours
Cross-listed with HIST3250. For description, see HIST3250.
No prerequisites.


PSC/SOC3400 Social Problems and Public Policies
4 semester hours
Cross-listed with SOC3400.  For description, see SOC3400.
No prerequisites.


PSC/SOC3480 Globalization and Social Change
4 semester hours
Cross-listed with SOC3480.  For description, see SOC3480.
No prerequisites. Meets General Education “Knowing Ourselves and Others” Group A requirement.


PSC/SOC3600 Theory and Methods of Social Scientific Analysis
4 semester hours
This course provides an overview of the methods used to devise, design and perform social science research.  Following a brief overview of the nature and philosophy of science, quantitative, qualitative and rational choice approaches are explored, as students generate their own social science research questions and create appropriate research designs.
Prerequisites: MTH2320 and at least junior status.


PSC/SOC3610 The Politics of European Integration
4 semester hours
In this course, students examine a range of theoretical perspectives that help them explain the ideas behind European integration, the history of integration, and the institutions established to govern the EU. They read the classics of integration theory, but also examine the EU as an instance of more common political phenomena, including state formation and domestic politics. For the research papers, students conduct analyses of a particular aspect of the process of European integration or analyses of EU politics in a specific issue area.
Prerequisite: PSC1100 or PSC1200.


PSC3650 Issues in Political Economy
4 semester hours
The course outlines the major theories that attempt to explain and analyze the relationship between politics and economics in contemporary nations. It allows students to understand the intricate connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena and provides a fuller understanding of the working of states, markets and societies. 
Prerequisite: PSC1100 or PSC1200.


PSC/SOC/BIO3700 Politics of Global Health and Medicine
4 semester hours
Cross-listed with SOC3700 and BIO3700. For description, see SOC3700.
No prerequisites.


PSC4250 Comparative Political Systems and Public Policies
4 semester hours
This course provides the analytical knowledge and practical skills to understand comparative politicsworldwide. It addresses a wide range of policy‐relevant issues: What are the key features of democracies and autocracies, and how can regimes in South Africa, Nigeria and Iran be classified? What is the appropriate balance of powers between the President and the Congress in Venezuela, Brazil and Mexico? How do government structures shape the delivery of economic and welfare policies in India and China? The course covers these questions and many others by utilizing the methods and techniques of comparative politics. The orientation is problem- and reform-focused. 
Prerequisites: At least three 3000-level PSC courses, junior or senior status, or instructor's consent.


PSC4350 Legal Theory
4 semester hours
The course examines the theories of law as they relate to the problems of law, legal institutions, and the larger political and social situations in which laws exist.  Emphasis is placed on the four schools of general jurisprudence: natural law, legal positivism, legal realism and critical legal studies. 
Prerequisites: PSC/PHL2200, at least two 3000-level PSC courses, and junior or senior status, or instructor's consent.


PSC/SOC4500 Human Rights and Social Justice
4 semester hours
Cross-listed with SOC4500.  For description, see SOC4500.
No prerequisites. Meets General Education “Knowing Ourselves and Others” Group A requirement.


PSC/PHL4650 Classical Political Philosophy
4 semester hoursCross-listed with PHL4650. For description, see PHL4650.
Prerequisites:  Demonstrated research and writing skills; two prior 3000-level courses in philosophy and/or political science required.


PSC/PHL4660 Modern Political Philosophy
4 semester hours
Cross-listed with PHL4660. For description, see PHL4660.
Prerequisites: Demonstrated research and writing skills; two prior 3000-level courses in philosophy and/or political science required.Course sections may be offered with WI notation to meet Writing Intensive requirement and will require a “C” or higher in IDS2000.