This course is an introduction to the study of politics. The goal of the course is to provide an understanding of politics that is both theoretical and practical. We will begin with a discussion of what distinguishes the field of political science from other liberal arts disciplines by discussing basic principles important to the study of politics and approaches political scientists use. We then turn to four broad topics: Power, the state and institutions, identity and justice. We will investigate these concepts through a variety of approaches and examine them at various levels of government and societies.
- Students will develop familiarity with political processes and institutions at local, national and international levels.
- Students will gain exposure to core political science subfields including political theory, comparative politics, American politics, international relations and public law
- Students will engage in deep reading
- Students will be able to identify and analyze political arguments
- Students will be able to formulate, develop and execute a political science research paper
This course is a requirement for Politics and Government students. Although not required as such, students generally take it as their second POL course after having taken an introductory course in a subfield. The course is also available as an elective.
As a "W" or writing-intensive course, we will spend a great deal of time writing in and outside of class. Occasionally students will write for each other and collaboratively. Students will also learn how to write a political science research paper in stages.