Political Science

  • CAS PO 501: Formal Political Theory
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: PO 111, 141, 151, or 171. Calculus (MA 121,123, or 127) and probability (MA 113, 115, or 213) are helpful, but not required.
    Graduate Prerequisites: completion of BU Social Science Math Boot Camp. Some additional familiarity with calculus and microeconomics is helpful, but not required.
    A course on formal theory, covering decision theory, game theory, and social choice theory. Topics include spatial models, electoral competition, bargaining, deterrence, and signaling models. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry II, Quantitative Reasoning II, Critical Thinking.
    • Quantitative Reasoning II
    • Social Inquiry II
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS PO 502: Political Analysis
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PO 399; or consent of instructor. Familiarity with algebra and calculus are helpful, but not required.
    The logic and methods of empirical analysis in political science. Introduces research design for a variety of social science applications, as well as data analysis, data visualization and statistical software. Effective Fall 2023, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Quantitative Reasoning II, Social Inquiry II.
    • Quantitative Reasoning II
    • Social Inquiry II
  • CAS PO 503: The U.S. in the Middle East
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: senior standing.
    Examines the historical development and present status of the United States' association with the Middle East: American commercial, economic, political, military, and humanitarian interests in the area and their interaction.
  • CAS PO 505: Readings in American Politics
    Topics vary. May be repeated for credit if the topics are different. Topic for Fall 2023: This seminar explores how partisan geography shapes US politics, covering the historical trends that shape where liberals and conservatives live in the United States, and impact of partisan segregation on representation, elections, political campaigns, partisan polarization, and political behavior. Topic for Spring 2024, Section V1: Birthzillas and Madwives: The Politics of Childbirth. Considers the historic, political, economic, and institutional forces that shape childbirth. In addition to these structural lenses, students draw on Reproductive Justice, public health, and law to understand contemporary conversations about safe haven laws, antinatalism, and obstetric violence.
  • CAS PO 507: Development of American Constitutional Law
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PO 111 and CAS PO 304.
    A survey of the development of constitutional law and the exercise of power by the U.S. Supreme Court. The course is drawn entirely from decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court and the principal theme is the development of national constitutions and power. Effective Fall 2023, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Oral and/or Signed Communication, Historical Consciousness.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Oral and/or Signed Communication
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS PO 508: The Judiciary and Civil Liberties
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120)
    First Amendment rights of speech, press, assembly, religion; rights of defendants in criminal cases; and the constitutional protection of racial minorities. Supreme Court decision-making processes and modes of compliance with its decisions are also considered. Effective Spring 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Oral and/or Signed Communication, Writing-Intensive Course, Historical Consciousness.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Oral and/or Signed Communication
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS PO 516: Gender and Politics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or above.
    Analyzes the relationship between gender and politics, law and policy primarily in the United States. Considers inequalities based on gender and sexuality, women's changing political, gender- and sexuality-based political action and social movements. Effective Fall 2023, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Social Inquiry II, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Social Inquiry II
    • Research and Information Literacy
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS PO 519: Inequality and American Politics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120)
    This course examines the role of income inequality in shaping American politics and policy. Combining research from history, political science, economics, and public policy scholars, we will consider a range of important topics, including inequality in public voice, money and politics, and attitudes towards redistribution. We will apply this knowledge as part of a final paper project in metropolitan Boston. Effective Spring 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: The Individual in Community, Writing-Intensive Course, Research and Information Literacy.
    • The Individual in Community
    • Research and Information Literacy
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS PO 520: Readings in Public Policy
    Topics vary. May be repeated for credit if the topics are different. Topic for Fall 2023, Section A1: Comparative Populism. We examine populist politicians, media figures, and social movements, with an emphasis on current and historical cases in the US, Latin America, and Europe. Students analyze real- world cases of populism, address the relationship between populism and democracy, and conduct original research. Topic for Spring 2024, Section S1: U.S. Environmental Policy. Introduces students to the history and current state of American environmental policy and environmentalism, including the evolution of the environmental movement, the responsibilities of federal agencies, and the processes used to administer and enforce environmental policies.
  • CAS PO 524: Local Policy Analysis Lab
    Experiential learning by doing research for local governments. In this class students will learn about local government and policy research and apply what they learn to help local government partners solve real problems through serious policy research. Effective Spring 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Oral and/or Signed Communication, The Individual in Community, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • The Individual in Community
    • Oral and/or Signed Communication
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • CAS PO 525: Bureaucracy and Governance: A Comparative Inquiry
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or consent of instructor.
    Bureaucracy is not only credited with underpinning economic development but also blamed for corruption and inefficiency. Exploring both theory and comparative development, this course looks at some of the most basic and important issues informing our understanding of governance.
  • CAS PO 528: Seminar: The Political Economy of Advanced Industrialized Societies
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PO 321 or CAS PO 324; or consent of instructor.
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing.
    Surveys forces contributing to national differences in social and economic policy; identifies current challenges to state sovereignty, such as globalization and immigration; and examines how nations from different welfare state regimes are coping with these threats to the nation state.
  • CAS PO 529: Globalization and Contemporary Capitalism in Advanced Industrialized Nations
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or consent of instructor.
    Considers the impact of globalization on advanced industrialized nations. Explores global and regional governance of finance, trade, and multinationals. Examines changes in national economic practices in Europe, Asia, and the US, and their effects on jobs, inequality, welfare, and democracy.
  • CAS PO 530: Readings in Comparative Politics
    Topics vary. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Topic for Fall 2023: Race & Capitalism: Global Perspectives. Explores the historical and theoretical relationship between state building, race-making, and its roots in the extraction of labor, resources, and the circulation of capital. Readings focus on global south perspectives with comparative insights from the US context and will pair classic texts alongside more contemporary works.
  • CAS PO 533: Globalization of Nationalism
    Focuses on the problem of nationalism, distinguishing types, examining origins, and analyzing political, social, and economic implications. Emphasis is on nationalism's spread into territories in Asia, specifically China, and under the cover of religion (e.g., ISIL) and secular social movements (e.g., "June Days" in Brazil).
  • CAS PO 535: European Integration
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or consent of instructor.
    Explores present, past, and potential future of the European Union. Investigates who is in charge and who matters in policymaking and politics. Examines a wide range of EU policies, including economics, security, and trade, and their impact on EU member-states.
  • CAS PO 536: Social Europe: Identity, Citizenship, and the Welfare State
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or consent of instructor.
    Meets with CAS IR 551. The past, present and future of "social Europe." Impact of European economic and political integration on national identities, cultures, politics, and citizenship; EU policies such as gender, human rights, migration and discrimination, plus the welfare state
  • CAS PO 539: Topics in European Politics and Culture
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing and consent of instructor.
    Meets with CAS IR 452. Explores European politics through the lens of culture, focusing on critical moments and memory across time in Spain, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Eastern Europe, Balkans, UK, and more, using materials from literature, film, the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
  • CAS PO 540: Prohibition
    The American experience of Prohibition is used to understand a variety of political and policy issues, including the War on Drugs, crime and law enforcement, bureaucracies, regulation, taxation, and social movements. Effective Fall 2022, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry II.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Social Inquiry II
  • CAS PO 542: Immigration: Politics and Policy
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or consent of instructor.
    Immigration has become a subject of much debate and controversy in democratic polities. This course explores the politics, economics, and social consequences of immigration policies across a number of countries, including European states and the United States.