Political Science (POL) - Courses
+ next to a course number indicates a general education course
+POL 101 Cr.3
American National Government
An introduction to the underlying principles and values, administrative and political decision-making processes, and institutions of American national government in an international context utilizing a comparative approach. The course includes discussion, analysis and development of critical thinking skills related to public policy-making problems and current issues. The course emphasizes the development of intellectual skills associated with an informed, involved and active citizenry. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.
+POL 102 Cr.3
State and Local Government
An introduction to the underlying principles of federalism and focus on the new increasing decentralization of government program responsibilities to subnational governments in the United States. This is complemented by a comparison of the complex cultural, economic and intergovernmental settings of subnational governments. Students consider the implications of different environments for citizen participation, government characteristics, policy processes, and values associated with policy outcomes. The course emphasizes constructive citizenship in an environment where subnational governments will increasingly affect their lives. Offered Fall, Spring.
POL 201 Cr.3
Introduction to Political Science
A general introduction to areas of study in political science. Basic concepts and approaches to the study of politics will be applied to current events. Offered Fall.
+POL 202 Cr.3
Contemporary Global Issues
This course offers a contemporary multi-disciplinary perspective regarding the major issues and trends confronting the global society in the 21st century. Emphasis will be given to a critical review and assessment of the origin and present condition of the plethora of situations and problems affecting modern global society. The student will also learn to critically evaluate current and future events. The course will incorporate the views and approaches of the following disciplines: sociology/anthropology, economics, geography, political science, and history. Students may only earn credit in one of the following: ANT 202, ECO 202, GEO 202, HIS 202, POL 202, SOC 202. Offered Fall, Spring.
+POL 205 Cr.3
Women and Politics
An examination of the positions and roles of women in the political arena. This course discusses the nature and extent of women's political involvement, both in the United States and abroad, with particular emphasis on the cultural and racial diversity of women political participants in the United States. Additional topics will include the legal status of women, differences between male and female political behavior, factors that influence women's political participation and current political issues related to women. Offered Annually.
+POL 212 Cr.3
Search for Economic Justice
Using humanistic and social scientific approaches, students will explore movements for economic empowerment as a critical dimension of justice in the increasingly global world. Through a mixture of face-to-face, online, and experiential methods, students will examine connections between the individual and larger systems and between the local and the global. They will critically analyze economic and political structures and movements as they pertain to gender, race, ethnicity, and class. The course will be informed by the perspectives of English, economics, political science, anthropology, and women's, gender, and sexuality studies. Students may only earn credit in one of the following: ANT 212, ECO 212, ENG 212, PHL 212, POL 212, WGS 212. Offered Occasionally.
POL 215 Cr.3
Politics and Film
An investigation of the political messages and themes represented in popular films. The course aims to understand the use of film as a form of political communication, examine the politics of specific films, and consider what they reflect and communicate about the political world. Emphasis will be placed on developing the critical thinking and literacy skills necessary to interpret and analyze films for their political meanings and implications. Offered Annually.
POL 221 Cr.3
The American Legal System
An introductory survey of the American legal system in operation; utilizing case materials, class discussion, and hypothetical conflict situations to illustrate and study the range of problems, proceedings, actions, and remedies encountered. Offered Annually.
POL 222 Cr.3
Law, Governance and Politics
An examination of the numerous factors and influences acting upon and within the formal legal process, including: judicial interpretations and statutes and constitutions, litigation as a political strategy, legislation and litigation as an instrument of social change, law as a system of values, and law as a mechanism of political power and oppression. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 102. Offered Occasionally.
+POL 234 Cr.3
The course is devoted to the comparison and the critical analysis of selected topical global societies and regions. A general comparative framework will be utilized to develop a critical assessment of a representative sample of developed and developing contemporary societies. Emphasis will be given to a comparative study of institutions and their functions, various administrative and decision-making processes, and contemporary problems and issues. Finally, implications in the 21st century will also be discussed. Offered Fall.
+POL 244 Cr.3
An introduction to the study of international relations and global politics. The course introduces both the concepts, like anarchy, states, and non-state actors, and the perspectives, like realism and liberalism, that are commonly used to assess areas like global conflict and security, the politics of globalization, and transnational political issues. Offered Spring.
POL 250 Cr.1-2
Leadership and Engagement
Introduces students to the benefits and obligations of being active participants in campus governance, and engaged citizens in their communities. Open to any university student who serves in the UW-L Student Association, Student Senate, Residence Hall Association Council, or is a resident of the service-learning community on campus. Repeatable for credit - maximum four. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring.
+POL 251 Cr.3
An introduction to consequential ideas in political philosophy, including justice, power, freedom, equality, and democracy. The course provides a foundation for understanding the philosophical assumptions and arguments across a range of significant political questions, and investigates the intellectual roots of historical and contemporary political ideas. The course emphasizes the development of intellectual skills needed to analyze political arguments, and highlights the practical implications of answering theoretical questions about politics. Offered Fall, Spring.
POL 261 Cr.3
Political Inquiry and Analysis
An introduction to the scope and methods of political science and public administration. This course is designed to acquaint students with the process of developing and exploring political questions and conducting research. Topics include forms of knowledge, objectivity and values, methodological individualism and holism, formulating research questions, and basic research design. Offered Fall, Spring.
POL 301 Cr.3
The American Presidency will emphasize the development of the office, selection and institutional relations with Congress coupled with an assessment of presidential power in the modern era in domestic and foreign policy making. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 102. Offered Annually.
POL 302 Cr.3
Study of the organizations and behavior of legislatures and their membership at both the national and state levels. Legislative influence on the administration of the law and effect of pressure groups on the legislative process will also be studied. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 102. Offered Annually.
POL 303 Cr.3
Wisconsin Government and Politics
An in-depth study of the governmental institutions and political system in the State of Wisconsin. Included are an examination of Wisconsin political parties, interest groups, and electoral behavior as well as institutions such as the state legislature, judiciary, governmental structures and administration. Both state and local aspects are discussed. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 102. Offered Occasionally.
POL 304 Cr.3
Politics and the Media
A critical examination of the media in its capacity as the 4th Estate. The course will assess the special relationship that has evolved and its implication for American democracy. Special topics to be examined include: role of the media in the democratic process, limits on the media, the role of bias and opinion, the impact of distortion and propaganda, the media and the electoral process, the media's role in creating news events, and an examination of the media/political relationship in other political systems. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 102. Offered Annually.
POL 305 Cr.3
POL 306 Cr.3
A detailed examination of the participants in American courts and the procedures encountered by litigants at different stages in the judicial hierarchy. Among the topics covered are the role of juries and grand juries, plea bargaining, and the manner in which judges attempt to decide cases. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 102 or POL 221. Offered Annually.
POL 307 Cr.3
Political Language and Communications
A critical examination of the language of politics and power in American society, including how political language shapes perceptions and understandings about government and politics; deception as a method of governance; symbolism, ideology, popular political culture and campaign rhetoric as sources of political power. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 102. Offered Annually.
POL 308 Cr.3
Interest Group Politics
This course will first examine why interest groups arise, how they maintain their existence, and what sorts of interest groups exist in the United States. It will go on to investigate the strategies used by interest groups to influence public policy and the extent to which they are successful in doing so. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 102. Offered Alternate Years.
POL 309 Cr.3
Examines the role various identities, such as class and race, play in shaping who gets what, when, and how from the political system. The course draws on theoretical and historical debates to evaluate the political, social, psychological, and economic implications of processes like socialization and mobilization to explain participation and voting behavior by different groups in society. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 102. Offered Alternate Years.
POL 310 Cr.3
Public Opinion and Political Behavior
Political science as a "behavioral science." A study of human attitudes and behaviors in political situations and the techniques for observing, measuring and classifying them. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 102. Offered Alternate Years.
POL 326 Cr.3
Mock Trial I: Trial Advocacy
Mock Trial is part of an intercollegiate competition run by the American Mock Trial Association. The class consists of two parts: Mock Trial I covers trial skills (opening statements, direct examination, cross-examination, and closing arguments) and modified evidentiary objections. Students will participate as lawyers and witnesses in practice trial problems and in the tournament trial case. Regular classroom participation and a trial book will be required. Repeatable for credit – maximum six. Offered Fall.
POL 329 Cr.2
Mock Trial II: Preparation
Mock Trial II is an intense period of preparation before the competition itself. The team will compete at a regional tournament and, if successful, the Intercollegiate National Championship. Individual team members will compete for "All American" honors. Repeatable for credit - maximum four. Prerequisite: POL 326. Offered Spring.
POL 330 Cr.3
Politics of Developing Areas
An introduction to a wide range of issues and problems impacting political development in developing nations. The focus is on political systems of selected countries, the relationships between political processes and other aspects of development and on the factors which accelerate or impede development. Prerequisite: POL 202 or POL 234 or junior standing. Offered Occasionally.
POL 331 Cr.3
Politics of Democratization
An examination of the processes by which countries attempt to transition from authoritarian to democratic forms of government, along with the political, economic, social, and historical factors related to their potential for success or failure. The course focuses on both theoretical explanations and empirical outcomes across a diverse set of cases from around the world. Prerequisite: POL 202 or POL 234 or junior standing. Offered Annually.
POL 333 Cr.3
Asian Government and Politics
Comparison and analysis of contemporary governments and politics of the major Asian nations such as Japan, China, and India as well as the Philippines, Korea, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Prerequisite: POL 202 or POL 234 or junior standing. Offered Occasionally.
POL 334 Cr.3
An examination of the politics of the countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The course evaluates the historical break with communism and subsequent political, economic, and social transformations across the region. It also investigates theoretical and empirical reasons for these countries' divergent political and economic outcomes. Prerequisite: POL 202 or POL 234 or junior standing. Offered Annually.
POL 336 Cr.3
Middle Eastern Government and Politics
An examination of Middle Eastern political systems and practices. General topics covered will include: political institutions, electoral practices, political parties, policy formation, leadership selection and critical contemporary issues. Prerequisite: POL 202 or POL 234 or junior standing. Offered Occasionally.
POL 337 Cr.3
African Government and Politics
A study of political evolution and practice on the African continent. Emphasis will be given to a regional assessment of political behavior as well as the impact of current problems on selected countries. Special focus will be given to contemporary issues and developments. Prerequisite: POL 202 or POL 234 or junior standing. Offered Occasionally.
POL 338 Cr.3
European Government and Politics
An examination of the governments and politics of European countries and the European Union. The course surveys the domestic institutions and politics of a variety of European countries, with special emphasis placed on the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. It also examines the origins and evolution of the European Union, with particular attention given to contemporary political challenges facing the EU and its member countries. Prerequisite: POL 202 or POL 234 or junior standing. Offered Annually.
POL 339 Cr.3
Contemporary Latin America
An examination of the historical interplay between cultural and developmental factors in the politics of Latin America. Issues of development and underdevelopment are examined and related to regional and international political forces. Prerequisite: POL 202 or POL 234 or junior standing. Offered Occasionally.
POL 340 Cr.3
American Foreign Policy
Examines the decision-making and institutional processes related to the formulation and execution of American foreign policy. The course evaluates the role of actors and institutions both inside and outside of the government to assess their impact on the ability of the United States to contend with contemporary and future foreign policy challenges. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 202 or POL 244 or junior standing. Offered Fall.
POL 341 Cr.3
America and the World
An examination of contemporary geopolitical and transnational challenges facing the United States. The course draws on both theoretical and historical debates regarding the nature of American foreign policy to evaluate its current and future potential in accomplishing its goals to address key bilateral and multilateral issues. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 202 or POL 244 or junior standing. Offered Occasionally.
POL 344 Cr.3
Examines the various actors and institutions closely linked to the processes of global governance in a world that lacks a global government. The course evaluates the role of intergovernmental organizations, states, and non-state actors in the complex areas of governance that have emerged to address challenges like global conflict and security, the politics of globalization, and transnational political issues. Prerequisite: POL 202 or POL 244 or junior standing. Offered Spring - Odd Numbered Years.
POL 345 Cr.3
An examination of international law that explores both its evolution and function in contemporary global politics. The course draws on both theoretical and historical debates about the nature of international law to assess its current and future potential for addressing global challenges. Prerequisite: POL 202 or POL 244 or junior standing. Offered Spring - Even Numbered Years.
POL 346 Cr.3
Model UN: The United Nations System
An introduction to the United Nations and the UN System, which also includes participation in a regional or national Model United Nations conference. The course examines the aims, structure, and processes of the United Nations and specialized UN agencies, programs and other groups. Emphasis each semester will be placed on countries and issues relevant to the conference agenda. Offered Fall.
POL 350 Cr.3
American Political Theory
The history and development of American political thought, with attention to the thinkers and themes influential to institutions, ideologies, and controversies in American politics. The course will analyze the ideals and principles upon which the United States was founded, and critically assess their application and realization. Prerequisite: POL 251 or junior standing. Offered Alternate Years.
POL 351 Cr.3
Classical Political Theory
The foundations of political theory from the ancient Greeks to the early modern social contract theorists. The course analyzes leading political theorists in their historical contexts, and evaluates their ideas according to the preceding tradition of political theory and their implications for political thought and practice. The survey includes studying the work of philosophers including: Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. Prerequisite: POL 251 or junior standing. Offered Alternate Years.
POL 353 Cr.3
Modern and Contemporary Political Theory
The development of political theory from the 17th century to the present. The course will analyze leading political theorists in their historical contexts, and evaluate ideas according to the preceding tradition of political theory and their implications for political thought and practice. The survey includes studying the work of philosophers including: Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Burke, Mill, Nietzsche, and Foucault. Prerequisite: POL 251 or junior standing. Offered Occasionally.
POL 355 Cr.3
A survey of the ideas and implications of political ideologies that have impacted consciousness and behavior in the 20th and 21st centuries. Topics include liberalism, conservatism, capitalism, communism, socialism, fascism, anarchism, multiculturalism, and feminism. Prerequisite: POL 251 or junior standing. Offered Alternate Years.
POL 361 Cr.3
Research Methods in Politics and Government
An analysis of politics, public policy and government administration utilizing contemporary research methods. Special emphasis is placed on the scientific method and the basic elements of research, research design, measurement, and data analysis utilizing statistical software. Prerequisite: STAT 145. Offered Fall, Spring.
POL 370 Cr.3
Constitutional Law I: Powers of Government
An examination of the United States Constitution, and the role of the judiciary in elaborating its fundamental principles: judicial review, the federal system, the range of national power, and presidential-congressional relations. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 102 or POL 221. Offered Alternate Years.
POL 371 Cr.3
Constitutional Law II: The First Amendment
The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, press, religion and assembly. This course will carefully examine U.S. Supreme Court opinions in these areas. Among the topics to be covered are the constitutional relationship between speech and conduct, separation of religion and government, definition of obscenity and pornography, and the latitude available to those who use the media and newspapers to communicate ideas. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 102 or POL 221. Offered Alternate Years.
POL 372 Cr.3
Constitutional Law III: Racial, Gender and Targeted Group Discrimination
POL 373 Cr.3
Constitutional Law IV: Rights of the Accused
In recent years the U.S. Supreme Court has issued a large number of opinions dealing with the rights of the accused. This subject is primarily addressed in the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments. This course will examine Court rulings in the areas of police searches and arrests, coercion in criminal proceedings, empaneling and deliberation of juries, right to counsel, and the protection against self-incrimination. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 102 or POL 221. Offered Alternate Years.
POL 374 Cr.3
Constitutional Law V: Right to Life
A careful examination of the U.S. Supreme Court's opinions on capital punishment, abortion, and mercy killing, as well as other issues affecting the constitutional right to life. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 102 or POL 221. Offered Alternate Years.
POL 375 Cr.3
Constitutional Law VI: Criminal Procedure
This course will carefully examine criminal procedure as interpreted in U.S. Supreme Court rulings pertaining to the 5th and 6th Amendments. Among the topics to be covered are protection against self-incrimination and double jeopardy, trial by jury, plea bargaining, right to counsel, and due process in the courtroom. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 102 or POL 221. Offered Alternate Years.
POL 376 Cr.3
Constitutional Law VII: Administrative Law
An introduction to the field of administrative regulation in the United States and its relation to the constitutional foundations, the political structures and the policies of our various governmental units. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 102 or POL 211 or POL 221. Offered Alternate Years.
POL 377 Cr.3
Constitutional Law VIII: 1787 and Original Intent
The central inquiry in Constitutional Law, and the question which most guides the U.S. Supreme Court, is whether the intentions of the Framers of 1787 should exclusively direct justices in interpreting constitutional provisions, or if it is necessary to adjudicate cases in light of changing legal and social circumstances not known to members of the Philadelphia Convention. We will begin with a study of the 1787 Convention and then read a series of law review articles advocating both of these perspectives. Supreme Court opinions will not be covered in this course. Prerequisite: POL 101 or POL 102 or POL 221, and two courses from POL 370, POL 371, POL 372, POL 373, POL 374, POL 375, POL 376. Offered Alternate Years.
POL 400 Cr.2-3
Academicians and practicing politicians will be invited to address the students and lead discussion sessions on the important political questions of the time. Reading assignments, lectures and audio-visual presentations will be used to provide background information. Repeatable for credit - maximum six. Offered Occasionally.
ECO/GEO/HIS/POL/PSY/SOC 408 Cr.4
Teaching and Learning History & Social Studies in the Secondary School
This course will be integrated with a field experience. In the context of a real classroom, teacher candidates will learn how to plan for and assess student learning in history and social sciences. With a focus on content knowledge, teacher candidates will plan a variety of meaningful learning experiences, assess student learning, and monitor and modify instruction to best support the individual learners in the classroom. The teacher candidate will design, enact, and assess activities that advance student understanding to more complex levels. Teacher candidates will gain experience in monitoring the obstacles and barriers that some students or groups of students face in school and learn how to design learning experiences to support all learners. Prerequisite: EDS 351. (Cross-listed with ECO/GEO/HIS/POL/PSY/SOC; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Fall, Spring.
POL 433 Cr.3
Women and Politics in Asia
This course takes a look at the status and treatment of women in the political systems of Asian countries. It examines the role that history, religion, economics but more importantly politics plays in terms of the life of women in this part of the world. The focus of the course is the status of women in the political systems of Asia. Prerequisite: POL 202 or POL 205 or POL 234 or junior standing. Offered Occasionally.
POL 436 Cr.3
Women and Politics in the Middle East
This course focuses on the status and treatment of women in the political systems of Middle Eastern countries. It examines the effects of politics as well as history, religion and economics in the lives of women in this region of the world. Prerequisite: POL 202 or POL 205 or POL 234 or junior standing. Offered Occasionally.
POL 437 Cr.3
Women and Politics in Africa
This course takes a look at the status and treatment of women in the political systems of African countries. It examines the role that history, religion, economics but more importantly politics plays in terms of the life of women in this part of the world. The focus of the course is the status of women in the political systems of Africa. Prerequisite: POL 202 or POL 205 or POL 234 or junior standing. Offered Occasionally.
POL 439 Cr.3
Women and Politics in Latin America
This course analyzes gender and sexuality issues in the political systems of Latin American countries. It examines the role that history, religion, economics but more importantly politics plays in the lives of women in this part of the world. Prerequisite: POL 202 or POL 205 or POL 234 or junior standing. Offered Occasionally.
POL 446 Cr.3
Model UN: International Diplomacy
An examination of contemporary international diplomacy, which also includes participation in a regional or national Model United Nations conference. The course examines the government, politics, and foreign policy of assigned countries, with particular emphasis on problems whose solutions may necessitate cooperative multilateral diplomacy. Repeatable for credit - maximum six. Prerequisite: POL 346. Offered Fall.
POL 450 Cr.1-12
Internship in Political Science
An academically relevant work experience within the federal, state, or local government structure, or within other political organizations such as political parties, as arranged by the department. The experience will be supervised closely both by the local internship coordinator and the departmental staff. A written report relating the field experience to academic training will be required. Repeatable for credit - maximum 12. Consent of department. Offered Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer.
POL 451 Cr.3
Internship in Criminal Justice
An academically relevant field experience for minors in criminal justice. Prerequisite: SOC 324; junior standing; criminal justice minor. Offered Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer.
POL 494 Cr.3
Capstone Seminar in Politics and Government
Assessment of political science and public administration majors including a variety of written papers and oral presentations utilizing a seminar format. Prerequisite: POL 261 or POL 361; political science, political science education, or public administration major; senior standing. Offered Fall, Spring.
POL 498/598 Cr.2-3
Honors/Graduate Research in Politics and Government
Research conducted as part of an approved honors or graduate project in political science and/or public administration. This course is taught largely at an undergraduate level. Graduate students will have additional course requirements/expectations. Repeatable for credit - maximum six. Prerequisite: junior standing; political science and/or public administration honors candidate. Offered Fall, Spring.
POL 499 Cr.1-3
Independent Study in Political Science
Independent study comprised of readings and research in political science, and under the supervision of a faculty adviser. Repeatable for credit - maximum six. Consent of instructor. Offered Fall, Spring.