Political Science

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  • CAS PO 101: Introduction to Political Science
    Overview of political science and its subfields: American politics, public policy, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. Focus on core questions and issues in the discipline, with lectures on their specialties by members of the department faculty. Required for all political science majors.
  • 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. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS PO 141: Introduction to Public Policy
    Undergraduate core course. 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. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.
    • 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. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Critical Thinking.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking
  • 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
    Undergraduate core course. 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. Effective Fall 2018, 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
    Undergraduate core course. 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. Effective Fall 2018, 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 201: The American Presidency & U.S. Foreign Policy in the 20th and 21st Centuries
    How do politics, personality, and the media affect presidential administrations and their foreign policy? This course analyzes how different presidents have made important decisions -- sometimes near-fatal ones -- while trying to balance their foreign policy imperatives with their domestic political viability.
  • 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 strategies and tactics that organized interests and lobbyists use to influence public policy, with a focus on both "inside" and "outside" strategies. The material in this course is designed with advanced undergraduates or graduate students in mind. The course is situated in the Political Science literature; however, the material examined is appropriate for Political Science, Policy/Public Administration studies, Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Health Policy, Environmental Policy, Communications, and Journalism students. The focus is on the dynamics of lobbying.
  • CAS PO 204: The Modern US Senate: From Collaboration to Confrontation
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in the Washington, DC Internship Program.
    Examines the history of the US Senate with a special focus on increasing partisanship since WWII. Addresses major policy issues and landmark pieces of legislation as well as the lives and legacies of prominent individual Senators. Includes guest lecturers. Also offered as CAS HI 327E.
  • CAS PO 205: Zanzibar: Religion, Politics, and Identity in East Africa
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in the Swahili Language and Culture in East Africa program.
    Explores the historical role of Zanzibar as a gateway between East Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and Europe, and the complicated identity politics that developed from this history. Concentrates on current issues such as democratization and international economics.
  • CAS PO 220: Britain and Europe: A New Beginning?
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in London Internship Program.
    What is Britain? What is Europe? Where did Brexit come from, and where could it go? Understand the origins and evolution of the United Kingdom's complex relationship with Europe, and with (as well as within) the European Union. Effective Fall 2022, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Historical Consciousness.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
  • CAS PO 221: British Political Institutions
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in the London Internship Program.
    Our course examines British political institutions' layers of governance and actors with positive and normative reference to American and other political systems and equips you with a wide range of cases and concepts for critical analysis and constructive evaluation. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Social Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS PO 222: The British Legal System
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in the Boston University London Internship Programme.
    Explores the historical development and current iteration of the English common law and the English legal system. Traces evolution from 11th century origins to present day. Examines in depth contemporary aspects of the legal professions, judiciary and legislatures of England. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry I.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Social Inquiry I
  • CAS PO 223: Issues in Contemporary Politics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in London Internship Program.
    This course examines the historical origins of and diverse philosophical positions on various contentious political and ethical issues today. Through reading, writing, exhibition or theatre visits and discussion, students will be encouraged and guided to foster a critical stance. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings, Historical Consciousness, Critical Thinking.
    • Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Critical Thinking
  • 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. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Ethical Reasoning, Social Inquiry I.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Ethical Reasoning
  • CAS PO 231: The History of Ireland
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: admission to the Dublin Internship Program.
    This course provides an introduction to the major themes, individuals and events that have shaped modern Irish history. Each lecture focuses on a seminal period or event in the history of modern Ireland, examines its background and assesses its impact. Effective Summer I 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry I.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Social Inquiry I
  • CAS PO 232: Modern Ireland and the European Union
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in the Dublin Internship Program.
    Introduction to modern Ireland as a member since 1973 of the European Union. Surveys the EU's institutional and legal frameworks; uses case studies to examine defense, social, and economic policies; and considers the EU's implications for Ireland and impact on global affairs. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 380.