Political Science (POLS)

Major Courses

POLS A100 Introduction to American Government 3 crs.

Structure, development, powers, and limits of the federal government are discussed.

POLS A200 Comparative Government I 3 crs.

The first half of the course explores the concepts, theories, and approaches of comparative politics. The second half analyzes the domestic politics of Great Britain (includes Northern Ireland and Scotland), France, and Germany with a focus on how historical development has impacted the development of current political, cultural, and economic institutions.

POLS A201 Comparative Government II 3 crs.

This course focuses on non-Western political and socioeconomic realities. The course analyzes the effects of colonial histories, relationships with the West, differences in sociopolitical transition, conflicts between traditional culture and globalization, variances in institutional development, and critical political challenges facing each country. The course focuses on diversity of global political experiences through an exploration of five countries that are in a current state of economic and political change—Brazil, South Africa, Iran, Russia, China.

POLS A211 The American Presidency 3 crs.

This course is an examination of the American presidency in American government and politics. Emphasis is on interaction between the chief executive and other main national policy-makers, Congress, and the Supreme Court. The nature of presidential leadership, its development, and influence of personality on growth of the office receive special attention.

POLS A212 The Legislative Process 3 crs.

National, state, and local legislatures as lawmaking and political bodies are discussed with emphasis on the U.S. Congress. The course also concerns the legislative process including procedures, performance, and the role of the executive and parties and interest groups.

POLS A213 American Political Thought 3 crs.

This course is a roughly chronological survey of basic themes in American political thought, beginning with the 17th-century European origins of American political thought and extending to modern attempts to strike a balance between individual rights and social needs.

POLS A215 Introduction to State and Local Politics 3 crs.

This course examines the role of the states and localities in the American federal system. Emphasis is on political cultures and styles, policy-making institutions, and the changes reshaping their place in American government.

POLS A218 Courts/Judges/Politics 3 crs.

The course examines the role of the judiciary in the governmental policy-making process at both the federal and state levels. Emphasis is placed on the role of political and social factors in the selection of judges and in judicial decision-making, as well as the interrelationship between law and politics in the American political and social systems.

POLS A220 The Urban Process 3 crs.

This course examines the nature of the modern city, with special attention to forces shaping the city, including the social, political, economic, ecological, and value systems which underlie the dynamics of urban life and culture. Attention is given to the various forms which cities have taken in the past and may take in the future.

POLS A224 Inside the Supreme Court   3crs.

The course examines the workings of the Supreme Court, including the process of selecting and deciding cases, the nomination and confirmation of Justices, and key players (e.g. litigants, attorneys, and interest groups) who interact with the Court.

POLS A226 The Bill of Rights 3 crs.

This course examines the nature and scope of civil liberties in America by focusing on the U.S. Constitution’s chief source of fundamental liberties–the Bill of Rights. Major topics of discussion include origins and antecedents; the incorporation debate; and Supreme Court interpretations (and limitations) of fundamental freedoms.

POLS A230 History of Political Thought I 3 crs.

This course approaches the development of political thought from a traditional view, employing cultural and intellectual history and traditional philosophy to review the social, historical, and political contexts of thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, and others.

POLS A231 History of Political Thought II 3 crs.

This course utilizes the same approach of POLS A230, but covers the period from 1500 to the present. It includes considerable discussion of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Bentham, Mill, Hegel, and Marx.

POLS A235 Gender and Global Politics   3crs.

This course aims to familiarize students with the main theories and debates about gender and sexuality in order to highlight citizenship as a gendered, sexed, raced, and nationalized phenomenon. This course analyses individuals’ claims for citizenship in a variety of contexts, the limitations and struggle to challenge the ideological, political and material conditions of citizenship, and the role of international actors, social movements, and formal politics.

POLS A300 Constitutional Law I 3 crs.

Discussions include the origins of constitutionalism and the framing of the U.S. Constitution; nature and scope of judicial review; sources and nature of legislative and executive power; the commerce power and state power to regulate; and introduction to 14th Amendment due process.

POLS A301 Constitutional Law II 3 crs.

This course discusses individual rights and liberties, with emphasis on post-1937 developments in areas of First Amendment and 14th Amendment equal protection.

POLS A305 Political Parties and Pressure Groups 3 crs.

This course involves party system, theory, and practice on national, state, and local levels; nominations, conventions, etc.; major pressure groups; methods used to mobilize public opinion; and the influence of pressure groups on government.

POLS A310 Money and American Politics  3crs.

This course examines the flow of money in elections and through government institutions.  It begins with the study of federal campaign finance policies and their consequences for politicians and citizens.  It then moves to the study of the politics and procedures of government budgets, including taxation and appropriation.  Each student will then complete a research project that follows and explains the path of federal dollars to a public or private cause in the state of Louisiana.

POLS A312 International Humanitarian Intervention 3crs.

This course examines one of the policy options of international community to stop or prevent gross human rights violation, humanitarian intervention. First, we understand the concept of humanitarian intervention and the major ethical, legal and political arguments, for and against the military interventions. The second part covers specific instances of the interventions, examining what has happened, who had authority to intervene, how the capacity to stop the violence was mobilized and under what political context the intervention became feasible or not. The third part of the course touches upon a new approach of humanitarian intervention: Responsibility to Protect (R2P). This relatively new concept of intervention is discussed for further speculation of the current debates over the use of force for humanitarian purposes.

POLS A315 International Relations 3 crs.

This is a comprehensive, systematic study of fundamental principles that govern international politics.

POLS A320 U.S. Foreign Policy 3 crs.

This course examines post WWII U.S. behavior in the international arena with emphasis divided between U.S. actions and reactions on a worldwide scale. Discussions of current events are held weekly.

POLS A325 Foreign Policy of Russia 3 crs.

Russian foreign policy since the revolution is presented and evaluated. Discussions of current events are held weekly.

POLS A338  Politics and Ethics of International Human Rights 3crs.

The course covers main legal, philosophical, and theoretical debates on the definition and practice of international human rights. It also delves into several significant cases of human rights violations and human rights practices. Several controversial themes such as Asian Value, American Exceptionalism or Humanitarian Intervention are to be discussed. 

POLS A341 International Organizations 3 crs.

This course examines the historical origins and theories of international organizations and the patterns of communitarian behavior in the international system. Concentration will be on the United Nations, European Community, and N.A.T.O.

POLS A344 Scope and Methods in Political Science 3 crs.

An introduction to the methods of political analysis and criticism, the course analyzes political language, the media, the foundations of political argument, the science of politics, and the methodology of social science.

Prerequisites: POLS A100, POLS A200 or POLS A201 or POLS A315 or permission of instructor.

POLS A346 Polling and Voting Behavior 3 crs.

This course is an examination of the psychological, cultural, and social bases of political behavior, including the study of attitude formation, group affiliation, collective behavior, and the role of values in political behavior.

POLS A347 Political Economy 3 crs.

This course is an introduction to the study of political economy and focuses on the development of the discipline from the 18th century to the present and engages the student in the debates surrounding some of the most important texts in political economy. The student will read Locke, Smith, Marx, and others who have influenced political-economic arguments in the West since 1650.

POLS A355 Policy Research Shop  3crs.

In this class, students will learn more about how to conduct policy research and write policy reports. The course contains a public speaking component to facilitate your ability in this area.  Students will work in teams to improve your ability to collaborate.

POLS A358 Theories of Violence and Liberation 3 crs.

The purpose of this course is to bring to bear recent work in political theory on some of the most pressing problems of today. Special emphasis will be given to recent works of noted political thinkers. The focus of the course will be on problems of both international and domestic public policy. Attention will be paid to the ethical implications of such policies, and the ability to question the general assumptions upon which such policies are based.

POLS A359 Political Theories of Human Rights 3 crs.

The purpose of this course is to study the work of leading contemporary political theorists on the subject of international human rights, and to consider the relevance of these theories to the current global order. First, the course will investigate whether human rights, as currently understood, are politically relevant. Second, the course will consider how liberal democracies might respond in principle to violations of human rights both at home and abroad. Third, the course will inquire whether the current global order can maintain a commitment to human rights as the world moves further into the 21st century. 

POLS A360 Russian Politics 3crs.

The first half of the course focuses on the creation, rise, and fall of the Soviet Union beginning with the February Revolution of 1917 to the collapse in 1991. The course will delve into the complicated and tumultuous transition of the late 1980s and early 1990s that shaped political institutional design, economic development, and cultural issues of national identity, gender relations, and ethnic minority relations. This second half of the course analyzes the political, economic, and cultural institutions, major political players, and contemporary debates in the Russian Federation. Students will also be exposed to theories of revolution, democracy, authoritarianism, democratic transition, state corporatism, and political culture.

POLS A365 Soviet and Post Soviet Politics 3crs.

The course will focus on politics in former Soviet countries through films and documentaries. The first section of the course will focus on the creation, rise, and fall of the Soviet Union beginning with the October Revolution of 1917 to the collapse in 1991. The second section of the course will focus on current political, economic, and sociocultural debates in the former Soviet countries that resulted after the triple transition process.

POLS A480 Political Science Senior Capstone  3 crs.

The main project for this course is a research paper, with a variety of topics, supervised by the entire faculty of the department. In addition, students will have an opportunity to discuss and critique the department curriculum, and to engage in conversations with guest speakers on current issues in each of the major subfields of the discipline.

POLS A497 Internship/ Practicum arranged (1-3 crs.) 

An internship is supervised practical experience. A practicum is supervised practical application of previously studied theory.

POLS A499 Independent Study arranged (1-3 crs.)

This course includes work done independently under professorial supervision.

Loyola Core Courses

POLS T121 First-Year Seminar   3 crs.

Foundation Courses: First-Year Seminar

All first-year students take a 3-credit First-Year Seminar during their first semester as one of the core course in the Loyola Core. First-Year Seminars at Loyola are small, discussion-based seminars that introduce new college students to academic inquiry at the university level by investigating a relevant topic. Specially-trained faculty lead these seminars in a way that instills in students the academic skills necessary to become successful Loyola students. A list of upcoming First-Year Seminars can be found on the First-Year Experience homepage

POLS X232 Comparative Nationalisms 3 crs. 

Knowledge-Values Courses: Social Science

The first part of the course analyzes historical and theoretical discussions of nations and nationalism. We will also look at the role of the state, political institutions, culture, and war on the growth of nationalism. The second part of the course applies theoretical arguments to contemporary cases and analyzes how nationalism intersects with other forms of identity such as gender, religion, and ethnicity. We will explore the legacies of colonialism and communism.

POLS X240 Corruption in American Politics 3 crs. 

Knowledge-Values Courses: Social Science

The course employs theoretical perspectives from political science, history, and cognitive science to understand the varieties of political corruption in American politics and the effects of corruption on political institutions and the participants in the political process. The adequacy of these theoretical perspectives to explain political corruption and its impact will also be evaluated.

POLS X259 Politics and the Media 3 crs.

Knowledge-Values Courses: Social Science

This course examines how the media affect people’s opinions and decision- making. Significant events such as the Vietnam War will be analyzed to learn how communications affects decisions.

POLS X262  Law/Politics/Gay Rights 3crs.

Knowledge-Values Courses: Social Science

The course examines the gay rights movement within the tradition of American freedom as the third great modern social justice movement, alongside the civil rights and women's rights movements. The course concentrates on the evolution of political, social and legal ideas about gays from the 1920s to the present, with special emphasis on the interplay between political and legal responses and the changes that resulted.

POLS X320  Global City Politics 3crs.

Knowledge-Values Courses: Social Science

This course compares the governance of urban areas across the world.  It asks how cities throughout the world address issues of race and ethnicity, power, immigration, public policy, and poverty, among other topics.  In Global City Politics, students will understand how intergovernmental relations, governmental structure, forms of government, political culture and traditions, regionalism, and history explain the variation in the manner in which cities govern themselves.  Global City Politics seeks to understand the independent variables that explain decision-making and public policymaking processes in cities throughout the world.  A comparison of major cities throughout the world provides the kind of variation that students and scholars need to make knowledge claims.

POLS X325 International Relations of East Asia

Knowledge-Values Courses: Social Science

East Asia is not only an interesting but also a significant region in world politics in that it is one of the major regional markets in the global economy yet still a vortex of global power struggles between hegemonic power of the US and China, the rising competitor, and the miltarily resurgent Japan. East Asia having three nuclear powers also has faced a challenge of a hereditary Leninist regime with nuclear capability - North Korea. This course analyzes how these competing dynamics have played out and will be replaced with peaceful and constructive regional and international order. Topics cover such issues as the security implications of the rise of China, military alliances in East Asia, political economy and regionalism, nationalism, and territorial disputes.

POLS X330 Politics of Global HIV/AIDS 3crs.

Knowledge-Values Courses: Social Science

This course is to enhance understanding of the multifaceted dimensions HIV/AIDS at the global sphere. It covers political, economic and social challenges of the pandemic including human rights, globalization, poverty, and development. We also have a discussion of how international society has responded to the pandemic and how idiosyncratic cross-national AIDS policy outcomes have been caused among African countries.