Political Science Department

Course Descriptions

POLS 102 - Theory and Practice of American Government
4 credits

An introduction to the basic political processes and institutions of the American governmental system. Topics include fundamental principles of democracy; the United States Constitution; the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the national government; political parties and interest groups; and state and local political institutions.

POLS 105 - Introduction to Law and Legal Process
4 credits

Seeks a broad and critical understanding of the historical and philosophical foundations of law. Topics include sources of legal tradition, the impact of law on society, judicial decision-making, and legal restraints and impediments. The course will familiarize the student with electronic legal sources. (cross-listed with Criminal Justice 105)

POLS 200 - Global Studies
4 credits

This course analyzes how social forces and processes have and are transforming the lives of individuals. Issues such as war, peace and justice are examined from a political perspective that reflects them as global rather than rational concerns. (cross-listed with Global Studies 101)

POLS 205 - American National Government
4 credits

This intensive study of the structures and functions of the national government gives special attention to the legislative and executive branches in the policy-making and administrative processes.

POLS 206 - Globalizing Los Angeles
credits

Using lecture, class discussion, student presentations, film, performance, and lived experience, we will engage issues related to the conceptualization of locality and space, of culture and character, and of security and violence in what Janet Abu-Lughod has described as America’s third global city, Los Angeles.

POLS 207 - Contemporary Issues in Public Policy
credits

This course provides students with an introduction to the public policy process in the United States. The course will focus on how problems get identified, which issues make it to the public agenda, the factors that structure individual policy choices and the implementation/evaluation of polices. This process will be illustrated by examining contemporary social, economic and foreign policy issues in the United States.

POLS 210 - Multiculturalism, Race and Politics in the United States
4 credits

This course explores the multicultural, racial, and political landscape in the United States. The emphasis is on multiculturalism and race as forms of cultural identification and political gains and losses. Politics in this course is broadly defined as who gets what, when, and how; and politics is not confined to the political arena. Political gains, for example, can be located in the business and cultural arenas. In this sense, this course focuses on the political activity of groups on the national and local levels. The political, social, and cultural characteristics of various ethnic groups, including their organization and differentiation will emerge in this course.

POLS 212 - Media and Politics
4 credits

An introduction into the role of media in the political process. The course will study propaganda and manipulation by newspapers, television, radio, magazines and especially films.

POLS 222 - Introduction to Political Science
4 credits

Explains the meaning of political life in the modern world and some of the ideas behind its democratic and non-democratic forms. Involves a systematic and comparative study of political structures, institutions, behaviors and processes.

POLS 233 - Argumentation and Advocacy
4 credits

The study and practice of argumentation, emphasizing interactive critical thinking skills, including analysis, research and evidence, case construction, refutation, and visual and other forms of symbolic influence; diverse fields of argumentation and advocacy considered including law, politics, organizations, mass media, entertainment, interpersonal, and intercultural relations. (cross-listed with Communication 233)

POLS 245 - Introduction to African Politics
4 credits

Surveys the political institutions and culture of sub-Saharan African countries, identifying decisive political and cultural forces that are critical to the understanding of African politics. Students probe aspects of traditional African culture and examine in depth the contemporary political situation in southern Africa.

POLS 303 - Parties, Interest Groups and Public Opinion
4 credits

Introduces the dynamics and significance of political parties, the role of interest groups, problems of campaigns and elections, and the impact of public opinion on the democratic process.

POLS 307 - California Politics
4 credits

This course examines the political dynamics of the Golden State from a variety of viewpoints (historical, economic, geographic, and social). We will examine how resources are distributed through policy outcomes and the effect of political institutions and civil society on these outcomes.

POLS 308 - Politics in Cinema
4 credits

Explores the political nature of cinema and the ways in which political culture, issues and themes are expressed in and through cinema. Particular emphasis is placed on American political culture and practices. (cross-listed with Communication 308)

POLS 317 - The Politics of Community Development
4 credits

This course provides an overview of the political and social challenges that confront residents, organizers and leaders in making their communities better places to live. The course explores the factors associated with community stability and prosperity, strategies for doing community development work and economic/governance structures that support community empowerment efforts. The course will give students the opportunity to engage in local Ventura County community building efforts.

POLS 320 - Scope and Methods of Political Science
4 credits

An introductory study of the history, nature and current development of political science, with special emphasis on the methods dealing with problems of political science and the techniques of research in politics.

POLS 321 - Ancient Political Thought
4 credits

Presents the scope and nature of political ideas, philosophy and discussion in the Western ancient political tradition and focuses on the major philosophers from Plato to St. Thomas Aquinas and the major streams of ideas and philosophy flowing from them. (cross-listed with Philosophy 321)

POLS 322 - Modern Political Thought
4 credits

A systematic analysis of the political ideas of great Western and non-Western writers. Particular contributions to political theory are examined, with special emphasis on the concept of human nature and the state, the role of “law” in politics, the problem of political change and the relationship between authority and freedom. (spring)

POLS 324 - American Political Thought
4 credits

A survey of the development of American ideas concerning political authority from the colonial period to the present. Special emphasis is placed on the transformation of liberalism in the 20th century under the impact of industrialization and the shift from the concept of the “free” individual to the organization person.

POLS 341 - European Government and Politics
4 credits

A study of the current governments and politics of Great Britain, France, the German Federal Republic and the former Soviet Union. The historical origins of these governments are briefly studied and their institutions analyzed as manifestations of their social and political culture and traditions, and the impact of external forces.

POLS 360 - International Relations
4 credits

An introduction to the problems of relations among the nations of the world, including the basic factors that influence international relations and the channels of settlement of international problems.

POLS 365 - American Foreign Policy
4 credits

A survey of the factors and forces entering into the formation and implementation of American foreign policy, with special emphasis on contemporary problems. Includes studying the relationship between the means and sources of American power and the goals and objectives of American policy.

POLS 367 - Comparative Politics
4 credits

This course focuses on understanding how and why nation-states have adopted and implemented various forms of political and economic systems. Using country-case study analyses, the course examines how political ideologies, political culture and history, institutions and geography shape political and economic development in different regions of the world.

POLS 382 - History and Politics of Latin America
4 credits

Surveys the politics and history of Latin America from the early encounters of Native Americans with Europeans to the present. The evolution of Latin American institutions (political, cultural and economic) will be traced from 1492 until the present. (cross-listed with History 382)

POLS 384 - History and Politics of the Modern Middle East
4 credits

An examination of the historical background and contemporary politics of this vital area in world affairs. The politics and economics of oil, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the revival of Islam and the problems of modernization and development are studied in detail. (cross- listed with History 384)

POLS 386 - History and Politics of South Asia
4 credits

An examination of the history, culture and politics of South Asia through the Hindu, Muslim and British periods to the present. The impact of these legacies on the problems of state-building, economic development, social change and foreign policy in contemporary India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal is approached from a comparative and regional perspective. (cross-listed with History 386) (a/y)

POLS 388 - History and Politics of East Asia
4 credits

An introduction to the political thought and institutions of East Asia. Primary attention is paid to China, which traditionally had a strong influence on the pattern of political development in the region and today seeks to renew its influence. (cross-listed with History 388)

POLS 401 - American Constitutional Law
4 credits

An introduction to public law and an analysis of some of the major contemporary issues of American constitutionalism, including the place of the Supreme Court, nation-state relationships, legal controls on government action and civil rights and liberties.

POLS 402 - Post-Modernism: Politics and Philosophy of Art
4 credits

Postmodernism explores the relationship between art, science, and politics in contemporary philosophy. The course begins with a consideration of the legacies of Freud, Nietzsche, and Marx and continues with an analysis of such authors as Breton, Heidegger, Benjamin, Cortázar, Borges, Derrida, Foucault, Heisenberg, and Rorty. Uses film (including students’ own short surrealist films) literature, and philosophical texts. Open to all students, it also fulfills the Honors Capstone requirement. (cross-listed with English, Honors, and Philosophy 402)

POLS 403 - Public Administraion and Public Policy
4 credits

An introduction to modern theories of administration; the relation of administration to the political process; and the analysis of administrative organization and processes including planning, personnel, finance and law.

POLS 404 - Constitutional Law in Criminal Justice
4 credits

Emphasizes Supreme Court decisions and constitutional issues relevant to the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth amendments. Students are expected to research and present cases from the text and other legal sources. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of instructor. (cross-listed with Criminology 404)

POLS 405 - Freedom of Communication
4 credits

A study of the limits placed on freedom of expression in the United States. Through examining leading U.S. court decisions and relevant statutes, students will learn the broad principles and legal reasoning underlying First Amendment jurisprudence, including the legal, philosophical and political issues entailed in the rights of free expression. Students will then examine how these principles have been applied to the regulation of the various communication industries including the print media, broadcasting and cable television. (cross-listed with Communication 405)

POLS 411 - Ethnic Conflict and Civil War
4 credits

This course examines discord within multiethnic societies by analyzing how nationalist, racial, ethnic and/or religious identities are used to foster societal conflict such as civil war and genocide. This course is divided into four parts.

POLS 412 - Civil Rights Movement
4 credits

Examines the African struggle for equal rights in the United States. The civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s will be the primary vehicle directing the flow of the course. Included will be civil rights struggles by other groups such as women, Asians and Latinos to illustrate similarities and influences with the African American struggle. Tactics and strategies will be examined for their effectiveness and ineffectiveness in the realization of goals and objectives. A final aspect of the course will be to observe and analyze the impact of the civil rights movement on the 1990s.

POLS 413 - Music and the Civil Rights Movement
4 credits

The purpose of this course is to examine the southern civil rights movement (CRM) from 1954 to 1968. This course integrates discussion and analysis of the CRM with music. Music was very important to the Movement because it inspired both participants and supporters to continue the struggle until several victories were won. Emphasis in this course is on matching the music with a political event, ideology, and/or individual. This course includes discussion on the personal involvement in political and social activities by the singers and performers themselves. Tactics and strategies of the CRM are examined and their relationships to music are explored by relying on music with explicitly political lyrics and messages as well as those with lyrics and composition that convey spiritual and festive elements. (cross-listed with Honors 413)

POLS 414 - Environmental Law and Policy
4 credits

A study of the regulatory environment in California and the U.S. as it applies to environmental issues, problems and the environmental industry. Includes a critical analysis of environmental challenges and the possible legal and political responses to them.

POLS 415 - Model United Nations
1 credit

This course is an in depth study and preparation for California Lutheran University’s delegation to Model United Nations (MUN) meetings. The issues dealt with at MUN meetings are examined in this class. The course begins with an overview and then proceeds into an analysis of the role of the United Nations in world politics and international relations. Particular emphasis is placed on the demographics, politics, and foreign policies of the countries represented by CLU at the MUN meetings. Students are, for example, expected to explore the internal and external factors that lead to a particular country’s foreign policies.

POLS 416 - Social Movements and Politics of Global Change
4 credits

Global processes shape both domestic and transnational political mobilization. Early 21st century global change has, for example, in some cases resulted in increased forms of social, economic, and political inequalities. In response some effected groups have managed to achieve some political gains and favorable economic policies through political mobilization and social movements. This course examines social movements and the processes surrounding mobilization of peoples into social movements for change. This course explores how the globalization of economic, social, and political life has affected social movements.

POLS 418 - Women and Politics
4 credits

This course is designed to explore the various ways that women shape and are shaped by political life at the local, national and global levels. The course examines specific policies as they relate to women as both policymakers and subjects of policy.

POLS 419 - Internet and Politics
4 credits

The Internet has changed the nature of human interaction and collaboration in unprecedented ways. Of particular interest to political scientists is how these changes have affected the political process. This course will examine the ways in which the Internet has changed politics. We will look at the Internet’s effect in the gathering of public information, the formulation of public opinion, the structure of campaigns, political mobilization, policy advocacy and the generation of citizen input into the political process.

POLS 432 - Political Violence and Revolutions
4 credits

In this course we analyze the use of non-traditional warfare throughout history, including terrorism and guerrilla insurgency, to promote political and social change. Topics include just war theory, theories of revolution, and the social and political consequences of political violence.

POLS 440 - Terrorism
4 credits

The course focuses on the violence of terrorism and the strategic uses and justification of violence in political and religious life. The course explores the ideology and methods of terrorism by and against governments. An examination of legal and extralegal policies designed to counter terrorism are explored. Prerequisites: Criminal Justice 101 and junior standing or permission of instructor. (cross-listed with Criminal Justice 440)

POLS 443 - Government and Politics of Africa
4 credits

After a brief description of the major politically relevant characteristics of Africa and key events in its colonial history, the course details the institutional structures and political processes of the newly independent African states. An evaluation of the problems of institutional transformation and political stabilization is included. (on demand)

POLS 461 - International Law and Organization
4 credits

An examination of the basic principles of international law and organization, focusing on political foundations of the law of war and peace and contemporary problems of the United Nations.

POLS 476 - Capstone – Global Leaders and Leadership
4 credits

This course will examine and analyze global political leaders and groups. Political leadership requires skills that it shares with leadership in any area of life and those that are particular to politics. The goal of the course is to provide an understanding of the role of political leaders and groups in various political systems and situations. The relationships between leadership and democracy will be a primary theme throughout the course, but world leaders from various political systems will be studied. We will also discuss problems and questions that leaders across political systems have to deal with. In addition, the course will emphasize discussion of conflicting theories of effective leadership.

POLS 477 - Cityscapes
credits

Through art, politics, and philosophy, this course offers an in-depth study of the cultural landscape of selected global cities. Along with texts, films, and music from such centers as Prague and Mexico city, students develop their own “cityscape” from a region of their choice (often based on their off-campus experience) as their final projects. Open to all students, this course fulfills the requirement for a honors seminar and is the capstone for the Global Studies major. (cross-listed with Global Studies 477 and Honors 477)

POLS 478 - The Pacific Rim
4 credits

Analyzes the Pacific Ocean as the new center for world trade and considers the various possibilities for an emerging trade bloc formalizing that trade. (cross-listed with Business Administration 478)

POLS 481 - Law and Society
4 credits

An examination of the interactions between the various components of a society’s legal system (police, courts, prisons, etc.) and the individuals and groups residing therein, focusing on problems and proposed solutions.

POLS 482 - Selected Topics
1 credit

POLS 483 - Field Work in Political Science
2-4 credits

Supervised internships in agencies of national, state or local governments and political parties, providing work experience and opportunity for practical observation. Periodic conferences with the instructor and supervising official are required. (on demand)

POLS 485 - Seminar
2-4 credits

(on demand)

POLS 490 - Independent Study
1 credit

(graded P/NC only)

POLS 492 - Internship
1 credit

(graded P/NC only)

POLS 498 - Goodness, Truth, and Beauty
4 credits

This course examines the relationship between contemporary philosophy and contemporary biology in relation to the major triad of categories dealing with aesthetics, ethics, and the search for truth. (cross-listed with Honors 498)

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