Political Science

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  • 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 fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area: Social Inquiry .
    • Social Inquiry I
  • CAS PO 141: Introduction to Public Policy
    What are public policies? Where do they come from? What are their effects? In this course, we grapple with these questions. We also examine the question: how do the politics of public policy affect racial and economic inequality? Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area: Social Inquiry I.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Critical Thinking
  • 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 Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Introduces the comparative method in political science and competing theories of political development and political change. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS PO 171: Introduction to International Relations
    Explores major issues in international relations, including conflict, cooperation, and governance. Addresses dominant international relations theories and their application. Investigates state system, international law and organization, transnational actors, state behavior, and globalization. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
  • CAS PO 191: Introduction to Political Theory
    Fundamental questions of political life are addressed by analyzing works of political philosophy. Historical and contemporary events and issues illustrate and complicate analysis of conceptions of authority, justice, liberty, and equality. Many definitions of government, law, and rights are considered. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings, Ethical Reasoning, Critical Thinking.
    • Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS PO 300: Special Topics in American Politics
    Topics vary. May be taken multiple times for credit providing the topic is different. Two topics are offered Fall 2018. Section A1: Bombs and Bombshells: Gender and Political Violence. Delve into the world of Black Widows and Demon Lovers. Using empirical research, case studies, and drama, this course separates fact from fiction to examine gender and its intersections between recruitment, motivations, and conditions under which women behave violently. Also offered as CAS WS 304 A1. Section B1: War on Drugs. Examines the modern history of the United States' "War on Drugs," exploring both the international and domestic implications of the U.S.'s counter narcotics policy.
  • CAS PO 301: Presidential Leadership
    Presidential power and functions; relations with Congress, political party, and the public; personality and leadership; and comparative study of selected presidents. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 317.
  • CAS PO 302: Congress and Its Critics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PO 111 and CAS PO 141; or consent of instructor.
    Is Congress the "broken branch"? Can it be fixed? How congress works; legislative process; interactions with other branches; congressional elections; campaign finance; how Congress has changed and may evolve in the future. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the title "The Legislative Process in America" that was previously numbered CAS PO 311.
  • CAS PO 304: The Judicial Process
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PO 111 and CAS PO 141; or consent of instructor.
    Introduction to the judicial process. Topics include the role of lawyers and judges, the structure of the court system, juries, and legal reasoning. Primarily intended for students who have little or no exposure to law courses. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 315.
  • CAS PO 306: Media and Politics in the United States
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PO 111 and CAS PO 141; or consent of instructor.
    Examines changes over time in the American polity's assumptions about what the press ought to do. In particular, relates our understanding of the press's role to contemporary media developments including technological changes, corporate media ownership, and the re-amateurization of journalism. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 324.
  • CAS PO 307: Public Opinion in American Politics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PO 111 and CAS PO 141; or consent of instructor.
    Public opinion is a central component of democratic politics; in this course we study public opinion in the United States. In addition to this substantive focus, the course is intended to foster the development of two skills: critical reading and rigorous, careful and clear writing. This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area: Social Inquiry I.
    • Social Inquiry I
  • CAS PO 309: Women and Politics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS WS 213; or consent of instructor.
    (Meets with CAS WS 350.) Readings, discussion, and field research on issues of women's relationship to the processes of political influence, change, and empowerment. Analysis of public policy related to women and children. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 342.
  • CAS PO 313: The Politics and Policy of HBO's The Wire
    HBO's television series The Wire is used to explore politics and policy. A number of interdisciplinary topics are covered, including the war on drugs, urban elections, bureaucracy, rational choice theory, and the decline of American cities. Also offered as CAS AA 313 This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry II, Ethical Reasoning.
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Social Inquiry II
  • CAS PO 314: Election Campaign Practicum
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: a course in American politics or consent of instructor.
    Learn about elections and campaigns by participating in an electoral campaign (at least 5 hours a week) and framing and integrating that experience with critical reading of high quality research and journalism and investigation of current election-related data.
  • CAS PO 320: Special Topics in Public Policy
    Topics vary. Topic for Spring 2019: Local Public Policy, Analysis, and Research. Focuses on local government, contemporary local public policy challenges, and methods for doing policy research. Students collaboratively work on real local government policy projects resulting in a report back to municipal officials.
  • CAS PO 321: Foundations of American Public Policy
    Investigates the social and political roots of U.S. policy solutions. Cross-national comparisons and historical perspectives are used to shed light on seemingly unique American solutions to pressing social and economic problems. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 343.
  • CAS PO 324: Comparative Public Policy
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PO 141 or CAS PO 151.
    Meets with CAS IR 340. Comparative study of the public policies of advanced societies in such areas as health training, unemployment, poverty, and budget. Explores why countries develop different solutions to policy needs, and evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of various national approaches. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 341.
  • CAS PO 325: Campaigns and Elections Around the World
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PO 151; or consent of instructor.
    Meets with CAS IR 302. Electoral campaigns in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Changes in campaigns over time; role of international political consultants; influence of party systems, electoral systems, campaign finance regulation, vote buying, and mass media; campaign effects on voting behavior and public opinion. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 302.
  • CAS PO 327: Non-State Actors in International Relations
    Meets with CAS IR 333. Examines the important role of non-state actors in international relations. Non- state actors include subnational governments, international organizations, multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations, religious groups, violent groups, for-profit security firms, social movements, and grassroots organizations. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 333.
  • CAS PO 330: Special Topics in Comparative Politics
    May be repeated for credit if topics are different. Two topics be offered in Spring 2019. Section A1: A Democracy in the Middle East: Israel as a Case for Comparative Analysis. Examines how Israel compares to other societies, especially the US, as a democracy, focusing on immigration, refugee, security, and human rights issues. May be of interest to Americanists as well as comparativists. Also counts towards minor in Jewish Studies. Section B1: Democratic Erosion. Trends in American and European politics have engendered fears about a turn toward authoritarianism where it was once unthinkable. Explores the causes and consequences of democratic erosion, helping students to put recent developments into comparative and historical perspective.