Political Science

View courses in

  • CAS PO 111: Introduction to American Politics
    Undergraduate core course. Study of the national political structure; emphasis on Congress, the executive, administrative agencies, and the judiciary. Relations between formal institutions, parties, and interest groups. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 211.
  • CAS PO 141: Introduction to Public Policy
    Undergraduate core course. Analysis of several issue areas: civil rights, school desegregation, welfare and social policy, education and urban housing, energy and the environment. Characteristics of policy systems in each issue area are analyzed to identify factors which may affect the content and implementation of public policies. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. Cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course by the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 241.
  • CAS PO 151: Introduction to Comparative Politics
    Undergraduate core course. Meets with CAS IR 251. Examines different patterns of political development and contemporary politics in Western Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the former Soviet bloc. Introduces the comparative method in political science and competing theories of political development and political change. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 251.
  • CAS PO 152: Freshman Seminar in Comparative Politics
    The rise of China, unrest in Turkey and the Arab world, and the recent crisis of the euro zone are all examples of the rapid changes taking place in politics and government around the world. While these changes have major consequences for our lives through means as diverse as greater economic competition or terrorism, we struggle to make sense of them. We don't easily grasp the motives and thinking of the rulers of countries such as Iran or understand how major powers such as China and Russia are governed. We have hopes that more of the world's population will be governed by liberal democratic political systems but try to understand the challenges in bringing about such regime changes. The field of Comparative Politics gives you the information, concepts, and theories needed to address these issues. The small class setting provided in this course offers the opportunity for plenty of discussion and debate on the material we cover.
  • CAS PO 171: Introduction to International Relations
    (Meets with CAS IR 271.) Undergraduate core course. Study of basic factors in international relations, Western state system, balance of power, nationalism, and imperialism. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 271.
  • CAS PO 191: Introduction to Political Theory
    Major works of political philosophy are considered, to address fundamental questions of political life. Looks at different conceptions of authority, justice, liberty, and equality, including how they justify and define government, law, and rights and how they pertain to current issues. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course by the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 291.
  • CAS PO 201: American Governance: Foreign Affairs, Politics, and Presidents in the Twentieth Century
    Meets with CAS IR 356 E and CAS HI 281 E. Overview of American presidencies of the late twentieth century, specifically considering how politics relates to foreign policy in America. Concepts including isolationism, manifest destiny, moralism, rule of law, national self-interest, and terrorism are discussed. Special focus on Iraq and Afghanistan. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 356.
  • CAS PO 202: Introduction to Congressional Policymaking
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in the Washington Internship Program.
    Takes students through a step-by-step analysis of legalizing a bill. The process is studied in minute detail to give students a good understanding of the American system of government. All students who have not taken courses in American government are expected to enroll in this course. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 406.
  • CAS PO 203: Strategies for Issue Development and Policy Change
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in the Washington DC Internship or Journalism Program.
    Focuses on the specialized forms of communication that political professionals use to win public support for their issues, candidates, and policy positions; and teaches concrete planning skills for those interested in influencing public policy using both inside and outside (or grassroots) strategies. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 321.
  • CAS PO 204: Zanzibar&E Afrc
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in the Zanzibar: Religion, Politics, and Identity in East Africa Program.
  • CAS PO 220: Britain and Europe: A New Beginning
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in London Internship Program.
    Examines the changing social, cultural, political, and economic structures of Britain at the end of the twentieth century. Introduction to current debates about the future of the United Kingdom in its relationship with Europe. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 335.
  • CAS PO 221: British Political Institutions
    Meets with CAS IR 359. The institutions of British democracy and political participation. Voting patterns, interest groups, and political parties; the role of Parliament, the cabinet, the monarchy, and civil service. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 360.
  • CAS PO 222: The British Legal System
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in the Boston University London Internship Programme.
    Provides an introduction to the history and the development of the British legal system. Describes the evolution of the Common Law of England, the legal system and the legal profession of England. Also examines legal aspects of constitutional systems of government. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 534.
  • CAS PO 223: Issues in Contemporary Politics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in London Internship Program.
    An in-depth study of contemporary topics in British and European politics and society, the course provides context to examine such issues as British/EC political and trade relations, British relations with the former Soviet bloc, and Anglo-American problems of public administration. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 358.
  • CAS PO 224: British Law and Current Issues
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in the London Internship Program.
    Examines controversial issues in contemporary British law, situated in their social, political, and ethical context. Special comparisons to wider European as well as American issues. Format includes class discussions, film viewings, and guest lectures from field experts. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 388.
  • CAS PO 225: Understanding British Foreign and Domestic Policy Processes
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in the London Internship Program.
    Meets with CAS IR 361 E. Presents main policy areas and policy-making in Britain in an international context. Particular attention paid to foreign and defense policies. Focus on policy outcomes and the policy- making process with some reference to the political system and associated legal and constitutional factors.
  • CAS PO 231: History of Ireland
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: admission to the Dublin Internship Program.
    Examination of four themes: Ireland's relationship with England; Ireland and the Catholic Church; Ireland during the Union with Great Britain (especially the famine); and the emergence of the modern Irish nation. Emphasis on economic, political, and religious developments. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 381.
  • CAS PO 240: Paris Politique
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in the Paris Internship Program.
    Introduction to the political life of France, beginning with a historical overview of the French political system. Examines issues related to administrative organization, the civil service, regionalism, and France's role in the international community. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 450.
  • CAS PO 242: The Activities of International Organizations
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: admission to the Geneva Internship Program.
    Examination of several types of institutional arrangements, both within and outside the UN system, as well as normative, operational, and enforcement activities. Considers role of non-State actors in their relations with international institutional arrangements. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 444.
  • CAS PO 243: Introduction to Public International Law
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: admission to the Geneva Internship Program.
    (Meets with CAS IR 445.) Analysis of how public international law governs relations between States. Focus on the decentralized structure of the legal order and on conditions under which States can safeguard their rights. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 445.