Courses

Political Science offers a wide variety of courses on topics spanning the globe. From foundational courses in American, International, and Comparative politics to advanced courses in Political Psychology, the Politics of Terrorism, and Women in Politics our faculty provide students with abundant opportunities to expand their knowledge and engage with the most cutting-edge topics facing our society.

For specific courses offered in a specific semester see the Schedule of Classes at Student Central.

Introductory Courses

Y101: Introduction to political science (3 cr) An introduction to the major sub-fields of political science, including international relations, comparative politics, and political theory.

Note: Y101 Introduction to Political Science is not recommended for majors and if taken limits your choice of electives in the Junior and Senior years.

Y103: Introduction to American politics (3 cr) An introduction to the key features and dynamics of politics and government in the United States. We study the origins of American government, the constitution, and the branches of the federal government (the presidency, Congress, and the judicial system). We also look at the key problems and issues facing government and the American people today.

Y200: Contemporary political topics (variable title) (1-6 cr) This course offers an intensive analysis and discussion of selected contemporary political problems. Recent topics have included the problems of poverty, political protest, women in politics, the environment, and the problems of developing areas.

Y205: Elements of political analysis (3 cr) An introduction to the techniques used by people interested in the systematic study of political science. The course includes an introduction to the quantitative analysis of political data.

Y211: Introduction to law (3 cr) An introduction to law as a means of dealing with social problems and as an aspect of the social and political system. The course offers an introduction to legal reasoning, procedures, and materials, and usually includes a comparison of approaches to law in the United States and other societies.

Y213: Introduction to public policy (3 cr) An introduction to public policy: what it is, who makes it, how it is made, and what it means to US citizens. The course offers several case studies, looking at areas such as economic policy, welfare, civil rights and liberties, and environmental and foreign policy.

Y215: Introduction to political theory (3 cr) A survey of the major theories of political science, and the major theorists, from Locke and Rousseau to Marx and Lenin.

Y217: Introduction to comparative politics (3 cr) An introductory survey of the different ways in which societies govern themselves. We study politics in countries like Britain, Russia, Mexico, Nigeria and Egypt, and make comparisons among them and with the United States.

Y219: Introduction to international relations (3 cr) Studies the relationships among countries, the nature of the global political and economic system, and the major institutions of international government (such as the United Nations). The course also looks at the key issues in international relations, such as arms control, nuclear weapons, human rights, and war.

Advanced Courses

Y301: Political parties and interest groups (3 cr) A study of political parties and interest groups in the United States: what are they, what do they represent, how do they fit in to the political process, and what effect do they have on your lives?

Y302: Public bureaucracy in modern society (3 cr) A course in which we study the structure and role of bureaucrats and the bureaucracy. They affect our lives every day, and are responsible for implementing law and government policies, yet their power and roles are widely misunderstood.

Y303: Policymaking in the US (3 cr) Processes and institutions involved in the formation of public policy in American society.

Y304: Constitutional law (3 cr) Studies the nature and function of law and the judicial process, with a focus on key Supreme Court decisions, and an interpretation of the constitutional system of the United States.

Y305: Constitutional Rights and Liberties (3 cr) Extent and limits of constitutional rights; selected Supreme Court decisions interpreting American constitutional system.

Y306: State politics in the United States (3 cr) A comparative study of politics in the American states, including a special focus on the impact of political culture, party systems, legislatures, and bureaucracies on public policies.

Y307: Indiana state government and politics (3 cr) A course offering students an intensive study of how government works here in the state of Indiana: we look at the major institutions and actors, and at the ways in which government and citizens interact.

Y308: Urban politics (3 cr) A study of the politics of towns and cities. How are they governed, how is urban government different, and what is the relationship between city government and the people who live in America’s cities?

Y309: American Politics Through Film and Fiction (3 cr) A course in which we study recurrent themes in American politics through novels, short stories, and films. Subject matter varies from semester to semester.

Y310: Political Behavior (3 cr) A research course in which students design and execute their own investigations into political phenomena.

Y313: Environmental policy (3 cr) This course examines the causes of major environmental problems, and the political, economic and social implications of the policy responses to those problems. We look both at national problems (air pollution, toxic wastes, wildlife) and at international problems (acid rain, global warming, threats to the ozone layer).

Y315: Political Psychology and Socialization (3 cr) Analysis of the relationship between personality and politics. Use of major psychological theories and concepts to understand the attitudes and behavior of mass publics and political elites.

Y317: Voting, elections, and public opinion (3 cr) Examines the motives and opinions that drive Americans when they make their choices on election day. A study of our electoral system, and the links between public opinion, voting, and the operations of government.

Y318: The American presidency (3 cr) A course designed around a study of the presidency. We focus on how the office has evolved, how it works, and the major political and social pressures that influence its character today.

Y319: The United States Congress (3 cr) A course based around a study of the structure and workings of Congress. We focus on how Congress has evolved, how it works, and the major political and social pressures that influence its character.

Y320: Judicial politics (3cr) Looks at the American judicial system and the role of courts – particularly the US Supreme Court – in the political process. Topics in the course include the structure of the judicial system, participants in that system, and the impact of court decisions and actions on public policy.

Y321: The Media and politics (3cr) The media are sometimes described as the fourth branch of government. Is that a fair label, and – if so – why? This course looks at the impact of the media on political knowledge, public participation in politics, and the performance of candidates, voters, and elected officials.

Y324: Women and politics (3 cr) A study of the place of women in contemporary political systems, with an emphasis on their roles in politics, participation, and public policy. Topics vary from one semester to another, but we focus on how women affect politics and how politics affects women.

Y325: African American Politics (3 cr) This course explores African American political activism in both the domestic and international arenas. Topics covered include redistricting, representation in legislatures, campaign finance reform, and accessibility of capital.

Y332: Russian politics (3 cr) This course provides the opportunity for an in-depth study of one particularly important system of government. We assess the changes that have taken place in Russia since the break-up of the USSR, and study the emerging institutions and processes of the post-Soviet system of government.

Y333: Chinese Politics (3 cr) This course examines Chinese political history and the modern Chinese government, as well as crucial topics within contemporary Chinese politics, including the economy, the legal system, education, personal liberties, and energy.

Y335: West European politics (3 cr) A study of government and politics in western Europe, with a focus on Britain, Germany, France and Italy. We also study the structure and politics of the European Union, and students can earn additional credit under Y351 by taking part in the annual Midwest Model European Union, held on the campus of IUPUI.

Y336: South East Asian political systems (3 cr) A study of government and politics in south east Asia, one of the most rapidly growing regions in the world. We study the politics of countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, and the implications of democratization and economic growth in the region.

Y337: Latin American Politics (3 cr) Comparative analysis of political change in major Latin American countries, emphasizing alternative explanations of national and international developments; examination of impact of political parties, the military, labor and peasant movements, Catholic church, multinational corporations, regional organizations, and United States on politics; public policy processes in democratic and authoritarian regimes.

Y338: African politics (3 cr) A study of politics in sub-Saharan Africa, looking at the problems of nation-building, underdevelopment, war and ethnic problems, and studying the role of political parties, the military, and international lending agencies.

Y339: Middle Eastern politics (3 cr) Political culture and change in selected Middle Eastern and North African countries. Topics of study include political elites, traditional cultures, modern political ideology and institutions, conflict management, and social reform.

Y341: Authoritarian Regimes (3 cr) Comparative study of fascism, Nazism, and communism as institutional arrangements for governing modem societies. The political process in the one-party ‘movement regime.’

Y346: Politics in the Developing Countries (3 cr) A course that examines the political, economic and social challenges faced by the developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Y350: Politics of the European Union (3 cr) A course offering students the opportunity to study the politics and policies of the European Union, the ground-breaking experiment in regional economic and political integration which is bringing together the countries of western Europe, and – some argue – may be a forerunner for a future United States of Europe.

Y351: Political simulations (1 cr) A special one-credit course designed around simulations of organizations such as the European Union and the United Nations. May be repeated for credit.

Y356: South Asian Politics (3 cr) Introduction to the legacy of British colonialism in South Asia, to the development and decay of political institutions, to questions of economic growth, to social movements, and to regional conflicts.

Y360: US Foreign Policy (3 cr) An analysis of the institutions and processes involved in the formation and implementation of US foreign policy, with an emphasis on developments since 1945.

Y367: International Law (3 cr) Sources and consequences of international law; relationship to international organizations and world order; issues of national sovereignty, human rights, conflict resolution, international property rights, world trade, environmental change, and other topics.

Y370: The Politics of Islam (3 cr) This course examines the principles of the politics of Islam, its impact on contemporary world politics, and its impact on selected national and regional politics around the world.

Y373: The Politics of Terrorism (3 cr) Examines the definition, history, logic and political implications of terrorism.

Y374: International Organization (3 cr) Examines assumptions about the causes, functions, results, structures of international (inter governmental) organizations. Theory is combined with case study of the United Nations particularly. The European community and regional organization examples provide a basis for understanding regionalism as an evolving phenomenon.  (Not open to students who have had Y364 and/or Y365 without permission of the instructor.)

Y375: War & International Conflict (3 cr) A course examining the causes and effects of war and international conflict, historically and comparatively.

Y376: International Political Economy (3 cr) Theories about the interaction between the international economic and political systems are the subject of this course.  Works from each of the main traditions – liberal, Marxist, and statist – will be assigned.  Specific topics covered will include (among others) the politics of trade, aid, foreign investment, and international monetary affairs.

Y377: Globalization (3 cr) A course that investigates the economic, environmental, financial, political, security and technological aspects of globalization.

Y378: Problems in Public Policy (3 cr) Examines various substantive problems in the formulation of and conceptualization of public policy. Both the policy and its impact are considered in the context of the entire political environment in which it operates. Examples are selected from various levels of government, not always confined to the United States. May be repeated once for credit.

Y380: Selected Topics in Democratic Government (3 cr) An examination of basic problems and issues in the theory and practice of democratic government. Specific topics vary by semester. May be repeated once for credit.

Y381: Classical Political Thought (3 cr) An exposition and critical analysis of the major political philosophers and philosophical schools from Plato to Machiavelli.

Y383: Foundations of American Democracy (3 cr) Are special interests keeping you from what you should get from government? Is big government telling us all what to do? Are you a liberal, a conservative, or what? What happened to your rights? This course ties contemporary elections and issues to what the Founding Fathers thought they believed. Cross-listed with American Studies, it provides a chance to see what happens to you because of government and elections.

Y384: Development of American Political Thought (3 cr) American political ideas from the Civil War to the present.

Y388: Marxist theory (3cr) Many of the former communist states of the world may have given up on the theories of Karl Marx and embraced capitalist ideas, but Marxism still has much to tell us about the nature of politics, society and economics. This course will survey the ideas and arguments of Marx, and assess their application to current political and economic systems.

Y390: Political Communication (3 cr) Provides an opportunity to study, understand, and participate in political communication. Topics covered include the rhetoric of politics, campaign discourse, political advertising, the role of the media and public opinion, the impact of new technology, and the place of interpersonal communication.

Y392: Problems in Contemporary Political Philosophy (3 cr) An extensive study of one or more great philosophical thinkers, movements, or problems. Subject will vary with instructor and year. Current information may be obtained from the Department.

Y394: Public Policy Analysis (3 cr) Place of theory and method in examining public policies in relation to programs, institutional arrangements, and constitutional problems. Particular reference to American political experience.

Y480: Undergraduate readings in political science (1-6 cr) This course offers students the opportunity to undertake in-depth research in a topic of their choice, under the direction of a faculty member of their choice. Topic and requirements are decided in discussion with the faculty member.

Y481: Field experience in political science (3-6 cr) A course which allows students to enroll in political internships for credit. As well as completing the internship, students normally complete a research paper based on their experiences.

Y490: Senior seminar (3 cr) This is a seminar that political science majors are required to take in their senior year. Subjects vary from one semester to another, but this is an opportunity to study a particular topic in depth, in a seminar format. Recent topics have included American populism, Southern politics, organized crime, the theory of international relations, and British politics.