Political Science Classes


POL 101

students to the basic ideas in the study of politics (e.g., authority,
sovereignty, and the state), the perennial questions of politics (e.g.,
What justifies the right of some men to rule over others?), the nature
of the discipline of political science and the various approaches to it,
and the major political ideologies. Students receive a basic grounding
in the systematic study of politics based on solid philosophical
principles, as well as an introduction to political philosophy, papal
social teachings, methodologies for studying politics, and the way to
carry out research and write papers in political science. Also, selected
current political issues are evaluated in light of the principles
studied. (Social Science Core)
Required of all political science majors.
3 credit hours


POL 220

institutions of the U.S. national government—the Congress, presidency,
federal courts, and the federal bureaucracy—federalism, elections and
voting, interest groups, the basic political principles of the US
Constitution, and the historical, philosophical, and political
background of our national institutions. Some current public policy
questions may also be considered. (American Founding Principles Core)
Required of all political science majors.
3 credit hours


POL 233

INTERNATIONAL POLITICS examines, with copious
examples from history, the various principles and practices
characteristic of the relations among nations. Particular emphasis is
given to the centrality of the struggle for power among nations and the
importance of diplomacy. Also considered are the following: the morality
of warfare and other international actions; the nature of Communism;
arms limitation and disarmament; the morality of warfare; the problem of
terrorism; papal encyclicals on international questions; and
geopolitics. International law and organizations may also be touched on,
and current international issues are considered.
Required of all political science majors.
3 credit hours


POL 291-292

POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY I & II supply the student
with a basic foundation in political philosophy, which is essential for
studying the rest of the discipline of political science. The first
course briefly examines the philosophical foundations for political
authority and studies the major political thinkers in the classical and
medieval periods; the second focuses on the modern and contemporary
periods. Among the thinkers studied are Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, St.
Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau,
Burke, J.S. Mill, Marx, Nietzsche, Dewey, and Rawls.
It is recommended that POL 101 be taken before either of these courses, but this is not a prerequisite.
Both courses are required of all political science majors.
3 credit hours per semester


POL 301

NATURAL LAW studies the notion of natural law and
its relationship to human law and the political order. It examines the
natural law tradition from its classical expressions to the great
Catholic tradition of natural law to its substantial influence on the
Anglo-American common law to its role in influencing the American
Revolution and constitutional tradition. The contrast between the
classical/Christian tradition of natural law and its modern expression
is discussed. The course also considers how modern legal thinking has
diverged from the natural law tradition, and how the clash between
natural law and positivistic conceptions of law and morality is vividly
seen in many current public issues and legal questions.
While not a prerequisite, it is recommended that students take POL 101 before enrolling in this course.
Cross-listed with LST 301
3 credit hours

POL 308

works, in whole or in part, of the major Catholic political thinkers and
commentators. St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas will be considered,
but they will be treated primarily in the Political Philosophy I course.
Among the other writers and works that may be studied are selected
papal encyclicals—especially those of Pope Leo XIII—Bellarmine, More,
Suarez, Tocqueville, Brownson, Santayana, Acton, Maritain, Gierke,
Rommen, Messner, Murray, McCoy, Costanzo, and Schall.
3 credit hours


POL 320

COMPARATIVE POLITICS studies the government and
politics of selected foreign countries. Similarities and differences
among foreign governments and between foreign governments and the US
government are stressed, along with the political philosophies
underlying the other countries‘ institutions. Certain general topical
areas, such as comparative law, are sometimes treated in addition to
individual countries.
Required of all political science majors.
3 credit hours


POL 327

UNITED STATES PRESIDENCY studies the powers and
responsibilities of the U.S. president. It also considers the shaping of
the presidency in the Constitution by our Founding Fathers, the
development of the office by the various men who have occupied it, the
way the president is elected, the role of political parties, the
expansion of the presidential role in American government, and the
constitutional limitations on the president. Some special attention may
also be given to the current presidential administration.
3 credit hours


POL 334

UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY examines the history of
American foreign policy, the influence of our political past and the
underlying principles of our political order in shaping our foreign
policy, the manner in which our foreign policy is formulated and
implemented by the legislative and executive branches, the connection
between our foreign and defense policies, and the nature of current and
recent American foreign policy. Special attention will be given to the
moral considerations that have influenced U.S. foreign policy.
Cross-listed with HST 335
3 credit hours


POL 336

AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT studies key writings of
America‘s greatest political thinkers and the most noteworthy
commentators on the American political order. Among the thinkers who may
be studied are the Founding Fathers, Alexis de Tocqueville, John C.
Calhoun, Abraham Lincoln, Orestes Brownson, John Courtney Murray, SJ,
Irving Babbitt, Leo Strauss, Eric Voegelin, Russell Kirk, Gerhart
Niemeyer, and the Southern Agrarians. Attention may also be given to the
nature of American liberalism and conservatism.
Cross-listed with HST 336
3 credit hours


POL 337

current state of international law and its philosophical and historical
background. Catholic principles on the law of nations are also
considered. The main international organizations and alliances, such as
the United Nations and its arms (including NGOs), the European Union,
the Organization of American States, and NATO are also examined.
3 credit hours


POL 342

considers such topics as the principles and practices of effective
management and administration; the structure and expansion of the
executive branch of the U.S. Government; the nature of bureaucratic
activity in American governmental institutions; agency-public employee
relations; budgeting and fiscal administration; agency rule-making and
enforcement powers; administrative law and other legal and
constitutional restraints on agencies; proposals for bureaucratic
reform; the bureaucratic response to selected public issues; the
implications for public administration of American founding principles
and political developments in American history; and the evolution of
American ideas about public administration.
3 credit hours


POL 343

focuses on the interrelationship of politics, ethics, and economic
activity. The major papal social encyclicals are studied in depth and
are the chief basis for considering the subject. Philosophical
principles relating to economic life are examined. The works of
important economic-ethical thinkers such as Pesch, Fanfani, Roepke,
Chesterton, Belloc, and Schumacher are also considered. Basic
contemporary economic principles, orders, institutions, and practices as
they relate to politics are also discussed. Some attention may be given
to the history and nature of the governmental role in the U.S. economy.
3 credit hours


POL 347

METROPOLITAN POLITICS studies politics and
government in leading American cities and metropolitan areas. Among the
topics considered are: the growth and development of urban and suburban
America; urban political machines and reform movements; the political
relations and conflicts between city and suburb; political trends in
recent years in major cities and metropolitan areas; urban and suburban
political parties; recent demographic, economic, and social changes in
metropolitan areas; the nature of urban problems and the governmental
response to them; and the role of private institutions in urban and
metropolitan development.
3 credit hours


POL 358

constitutional law from the earliest years of the Republic to the
present. The major U.S. Supreme Court decisions in our history in the
areas of the powers of government, federalism, and individual rights,
and the philosophical and historical background of American
constitutional law are considered. The operation and intended role of
the U.S. Supreme Court are also examined.
Required of all political science majors.
3 credit hours


POL 361

analyzes the structure and functioning of government on the state and
local level. Forms and operation of municipal and county government,
problems confronting state and local governments, state constitutions,
lawmaking, and administration are considered. The role of political
parties and interest groups in state and local government is also
Required of all political science majors.
3 credit hours


POL 365

THE AMERICAN JUDICIARY examines key aspects of the
operations and powers of federal and state courts. The political impact
of judicial decisions and the possible political role of the judiciary
in the U.S. are also considered.
3 credit hours


POL 368

facets of the U.S. Congress and the activities of its members. Included
among the topics treated are the views of the Founding Fathers about the
institution and its place in the scheme of republican government, its
historical development, the powers of Congress, the relationship of
Congress with the other branches of the national government,
congressional rules and procedures, congressional elections and
constituency relations, the activity of congressional committees,
congressional leaders, political parties and Congress, interest groups
and Congress, congressional staff, and the activity of passing
legislation. Some attention may also be given to comparisons between
Congress and American state legislatures
3 credit hours


POL 370

GLOBAL TERRORISM studies this major current
threatening phenomenon in the international domain. Among the topics
considered are: the definition of terrorism, its history and causes, the
different types of threats posed by terrorists, how terrorists exploit
the media for their purposes, responses to terrorism and the ways of
insuring homeland security, and the need for international cooperation
to adequately counter terrorism. Students will study significant
terrorist episodes in recent decades and consider and evaluate the
effectiveness and the strengths and weaknesses of different policy
alternatives and strategies to deal with terrorism.
3 credit hours


POL 380

in-depth, on specific subjects or topics in American or comparative
constitutional law. Possible topics are First Amendment rights, the
courts and religion, and constitutional law and the family. This course
may be repeated for credit if the selected topic is different from when
previously taken.
While not a prerequisite, it is recommended that students take POL 358 before enrolling in this course.
3 credit hours


POL 393

studies the major types of non-governmental organizations in political
life today. It examines the historical development, structure, power,
and changing political and societal roles of political parties and
interest groups. It also considers the efforts at reforming political
parties and limiting the influence of interest groups in the U.S. in
recent decades. It also examines the political perspectives and
platforms of the major parties in American history, especially in light
of Catholic social teaching. Parties at different levels are considered:
local, state, national and congressional. While the focus is on parties
and interest groups in the U.S., comparative study with those of other
countries may also be included. The general importance of mediating
structures (churches, the family, and voluntary associations [such as
political parties and interest groups]) for a democratic republic and a
good political order generally—according to Catholic social teaching,
social ethics, and the tradition of political philosophy—is also
3 credit hours


POL 435

COORDINATING SEMINAR requires in-depth reading and
research on a selected topic in political science, culminating in a
research paper or project with an original component. Students will also
present their research orally to the seminar group. There may also be
class discussion on the state of the discipline of political science and
related topics.
Required of all political science majors.
Open only to political science majors with Senior standing who have
completed at least seven of the following required courses: POL 101,
220, 233, 291, 292, 320, 358, 361 and all of the following courses that
are required for the major: ENG 103-104 (except for Honors Program
students), HST 207-208, PHL 113, 211, 212.
1 credit hour

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