Political Science

Political Science

The study of governments and human beings as decision makers is at once an ancient discipline and one of the most recently developed social sciences. Political inquiry reaches back to the recorded beginnings of human society, for individuals have always been curious about the nature of governments, the bases of authority and personality of leaders, the obligations of followers, and consequences of public policies. ­Although interest persists in these matters, inquiry has broadened to include scientific observations about politics which utilize relatively new techniques of analysis that are common to many of the social sciences. The newer emphasis is upon systematic procedures of investigation, rigorous standards of proof, comparative analysis and interdisciplinary studies.

Both of these approaches—the traditional and the behavioral—are offered in the undergraduate and graduate levels of study. The curriculum provides background in the theory and practice of politics and techniques of methodological inquiry for the student with general interests. It offers training of a general and specific nature that is useful for persons planning to seek careers in education, the legal profession, state and local government, urban and regional planning, the federal bureaucracy and ­journalism, or in any of the proliferating quasi-public organizations which seek to monitor the political processes or to influence the content of public policy.

The Department of Political Science offers programs leading to Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Public Administration, and Doctor of Arts degrees. Within the framework of the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science ­programs, students may pursue a major in political science or they may choose an emphasis in pre-law. There is no required or specified curriculum which students who emphasize pre-law are expected to follow. An advisory committee has been created to assist such students in developing a curriculum that reflects their individual needs.

Outcome objectives are related to both student and program development. Student-related outcome objectives are listed below:

  1. To gain a well-rounded knowledge of the basic fields of the discipline.
  2. To develop an understanding of how political scientists think, gather evidence, process data, and reach tentative conclusions.
  3. To think critically about political phenomena and thought.
  4. To develop effective oral and written communication skills.
  5. To engage in problem solving.
  6. To be exposed to a rich variety of perspectives and ideas.
  7. To prepare for a career or profession after graduation that is related to the political science major. This includes graduate school.

 

Admission Requirements

  1. Completion of a minimum of 24 credit hours with at least a 2.25 GPA.
  2. Satisfactory completion of General Education Objectives 1 (English Composition), 2 (Principles of Speech), and 3 (Mathematics).
  3. Completion of both POLS 1101, Introduction to United States Government, and POLS 2202, Introduction to Politics, (or their equivalents) with at least a C grade in each.
  4. A signed agreement between the student and a member of the faculty agreeing to academic advising.

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Political Science

Requirements for the B.A. and B.S. Degrees:

In addition to 8 of the 9 General Education Objectives (a minimum of 36 credits--see the General Education Requirements in the Academic Information section of this catalog), political science majors are required to take the following courses from the “core curriculum”:

POLS 1101Introduction to United States Government (partially satisfies General Education Objective 6)3
POLS 2202Introduction to Politics Critical Thinking and Analysis3
POLS 2221Introduction to International Relations3
POLS 3313Introduction to Political Philosophy3
POLS 3331Comparative Politics Framework for Analysis3
POLS 4401Political Parties and Groups3
or POLS 4427 Voting and Public Opinion
POLS 4403The Presidency3
or POLS 4404 The Legislative Process
POLS 4442Constitutional Law3
or POLS 4443 Civil Rights and Liberties
POLS 4460Senior Seminar3

In addition to the 27 credits from the core curriculum, majors are required to earn a minimum of 12 elective credits selected from any of the courses in the political science curriculum (excluding POLS 4459).

Emphasis in Pre-law

Students who desire to complete this emphasis should consult with a pre-law advisor in the Department of Political Science.

Minor in Political Science

Students seeking a minor in political science must complete the following: POLS 1101, POLS 2202, six credits of core curriculum courses (excluding POLS 4460) and six elective political science credits (excluding POLS 4459).

How to Read Course Descriptions

Courses

POLS 1101 Introduction to United States Government: 3 semester hours.

This class examines the United States political system covering not only the Constitutional basis, structure, and organization of the national government but also the interactions of individual citizens and organized groups in civil society with the institutions of government. Required for all students majoring in political science. Partially satisfies Objective 6 of the General Education Requirements. F, S, Su (Contingent on Summer Session demand)

POLS 2202 Introduction to Politics Critical Thinking and Analysis: 3 semester hours.

Introduction to critical thinking about politics. Students learn to comprehend and critically analyze discourse and writings on political and social issues, to identify errors in the logical or presentation of facts in political discourse, to be able to demonstrate independent political judgment by formulating logically valid and factually sound arguments. Required for all students majoring in political science. Satisfies Objective 7 of the General Education Requirements. F, S, Su

POLS 2221 Introduction to International Relations: 3 semester hours.

Conceptual introduction to international relations, with emphasis on sovereignty, national interest, power, and balance of power. F, S

POLS 2222 Public Administration in the Islamic World: 3 semester hours.

This course intends to provide a historical and contemporary view of the conception of government in the Muslim world. There are textual (Islamic), cultural (Arab, Persian, Turkish, Indian, Malay, Caucasian, African, etc.) and historical origins for Muslim governance throughout the ages. This course will start with the city-state of Medina under the Prophet Muhammad and expand outward to the early Arab/Persian caliphates to the Turkish caliphate. Sultanates in the regions of India and South-East Asia as well as the kingdoms in Africa and the Khanates of Russia and Central Asia will be considered within this sphere up until the modern age. The progression of the concept of government in the Muslim world from city-state, to empire to nation-state will be considered in this course. The conceptions of leadership, public finance, the rule of law, the military and democracy will be examined throughout the course. D

POLS 2248 Politics and the Administration of Justice: 3 semester hours.

The criminal justice system in the United States will be examined by investigating its component parts: police, court, and correction. In addition, the problem of coordination among these agencies will be explored as will the relationship of the criminal justice network to the larger society. D

POLS 2249 Introduction to Criminal Law: 3 semester hours.

The major categories of criminal liability are studied within the context of American criminal justice. These include crimes against individuals, property, and society. Defenses available to those accused of criminal activity are also discussed. D

POLS 2250 Idaho Politics and Culture: 3 semester hours.

A survey of the political and social culture of Idaho within the context of United States West. D

POLS 3308 State and Local Government: 3 semester hours.

Study of the institutions of state and local government in a behavioral context. D

POLS 3313 Introduction to Political Philosophy: 3 semester hours.

Examination of major thinkers and writing in political philosophy from Plato to NATO. F, S

POLS 3326 Recent US Foreign Policy: 3 semester hours.

Study of recent U.S. foreign policy focused on the interrelationship of domestic and foreign policies and the problems of formulating foreign policy in a democratic state. D

POLS 3331 Comparative Politics Framework for Analysis: 3 semester hours.

Learn through comparison and contrast how nation-states develop distinct identities, different forms of government, and how these shape politics within a nation and relations between nations. F, S, Su

POLS 3350 Special Topics in Political Science: 3 semester hours.

Examine and analyze selected topics in politics. May be repeated for up to 6 credits. D

POLS 4401 Political Parties and Groups: 3 semester hours.

The nature and development of political parties and pressure groups. S, Su

POLS 4403 The Presidency: 3 semester hours.

Evolution and development of the office of the President; its major responsibilities in domestic and foreign affairs, with emphasis on particular power problems that confront the President. F, Su

POLS 4404 The Legislative Process: 3 semester hours.

Nature and functions of the U.S. Congress. Topics covered: legislative campaigns, the politics of lawmaking, congressional investigations, and major problems facing the Congress. S, Su

POLS 4405 Democracy and Governance: 3 semester hours.

Critical exploration into theories and practices of governance in the contemporary United States. The class is intended for all students who have interest in the non profit and public sectors. Topics include public service and leadership, civic engagement, and participatory democracy. F

POLS 4406 Intergovernmental Relations: 3 semester hours.

Looks at federalism from a historical perspective with a focus on the institutions developed in the United States. The role of the federal government will be considered alongside the role of the states as it was initially conceptualized and how it is practiced today. The role of local governments in relation to the states is also considered. D

POLS 4408 Urban Spaces: 3 semester hours.

Interdisciplinary survey course of urban studies. Intended for students who have interest in local and urban politics, public art, social movements, sustainability, development, and social and democratic theory. S

POLS 4409 Community Planning: 3 semester hours.

The course engages the class in discussion on planning topics ranging from the theoretical level to specific issues in planning. The course provides a firm understanding of contemporary thinking on planning issues so that current or future professional planners and academics can engage with the issues facing their community in a proactive and productive way. D

POLS 4411 American Political Theory: 3 semester hours.

Political ideas in the United States from Colonial and Revolutionary times through the controversies of the Civil War to the present. D

POLS 4412 Modern Political Analysis: 3 semester hours.

Methods of political inquiry and theories and doctrines of politics, with emphasis on modern developments. D

POLS 4418 Topics in Political Theory: 3 semester hours.

This course requires examination, analysis and investigation of selected texts and topics in political philosophy. May be repeated for up to 6 credits. D

POLS 4419 Political Research Methods: 3 semester hours.

This class investigates the theory and application of various research methods and statistical techniques common to the social sciences, with particular reference to their use in political inquiry. COREQ: POLS 4419L. D

POLS 4419L Political Research Methods Laboratory: 1 semester hour.

Application of, and practice in research methods. COREQ: POLS 4419. D

POLS 4420 Contemporary Political Theory: 3 semester hours.

Recent political philosophies and theories ranging from democratic, Marxist, and existentialist thought to Critical Theory and post-modernism. D

POLS 4421 Democratic Political Thoughts: 3 semester hours.

Historical and contemporary models of democracy as well as contemporary debates in democratic thought. Democracy is treated as a contested idea. D

POLS 4425 Topics in International Politics: 3 semester hours.

This course requires examination, analysis and evaluation of selected topics in international politics. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. D

POLS 4427 Voting and Public Opinion: 3 semester hours.

Analysis of the way citizens and government communicate with each other. Elections, public opinion, and media influence are studied. F

POLS 4428 Women and Politics: 3 semester hours.

The objective of this course is to familiarize students with a broad range of issues involving gender and politics in the U.S. and around the world including the history of women's movements, the political participation of women, voting behavior of women and men, the political divisions that exist among women, women's roles in society, and a variety of "women's issues." Because women's involvement in the political arena is informed by their roles and status in society at large, we will also discuss such topics as inequality, power, discrimination, social norms and employment practices. D

POLS 4432 Comparative Politics Change and Political Order: 3 semester hours.

An examination of political change, political order, political culture and the role of revolutionary violence. Change and order in the context of globalization is emphasized. D

POLS 4433 Politics of Developing Nations: 3 semester hours.

Study of problems in the political analysis of rapidly changing and unstable "developing" nation states with an emphasis on problems of political, economic, and social development. D

POLS 4434 Terrorism and Political Violence: 3 semester hours.

A survey of forms of domestic and transnational terrorism, other forms of political violence, and problems of counter-terrorism. D

POLS 4435 Topics in National and Regional Studies: 3 semester hours.

Surveys the political, economic, and social issues of a nation or region. May be repeated for up to 6 credits with different content. D

POLS 4436 Elite Deviance and Crime: 3 semester hours.

Explores the types of criminal behaviors engaged in by the American socioeconomic and corporate elite. The course first explores and identifies who this elite is and then examines their ideological and economic history in American society. Specific examples of elite and corporate crime are presented and discussed in class. Equivalent to SOC 4436 and SOWK 4436. F

POLS 4441 Administrative Law: 3 semester hours.

Introductory survey of the legal principles defining governmental administrative processes. Topics include judicial review, tort liability of governments and offices, rules and rule-making, due process, and the limits of administrative discretion. D

POLS 4442 Constitutional Law: 3 semester hours.

Explores the way in which the three branches interact with each other and the state governments through the lens of Supreme Court decisions. While historical cases are examined, special emphasis is put on contemporary Court decisions. F

POLS 4443 Civil Rights and Liberties: 3 semester hours.

Explores the provision of civil rights and liberties, including First Amendment freedoms and criminal rights, through the lens of Supreme Court decisions. While historical cases are examined, special emphasis is put on contemporary Court decisions. S

POLS 4444 Law and Society: 3 semester hours.

This class explores the people, politics, and social institutions which shape both law and society. Emphasis is placed on current political and social movements. D

POLS 4445 Jurisprudence: 3 semester hours.

Nature, source, and theories of law; the role of law in modern society; and the application of legal philosophy to the political system. D

POLS 4450 Special Topics in Law: 3 semester hours.

Examine and analyze selected topics in constitutional law and legal philosophy. Topics may include the constitution and foreign affairs, women and the law, law and literature, and law and film. May be repeated for up to 6 credits. D

POLS 4451 Public Organizational Theory: 3 semester hours.

Introduction to the study of complex organizations and organizational behavior in the administration of public policy. Emphasis on public and non-profit organizations. POLS 4405 recommended. D

POLS 4452 Budgeting and Finance: 3 semester hours.

This course explores the dynamics of the budget process in government as well as detailed issues in budgeting and finance. The main objective is to provide the class with a thorough analysis of budgeting terms, methods and problems. The course covers general issues in budgeting, revenues for government, economic development, and citizen participation. D

POLS 4453 Public Policy Analysis: 3 semester hours.

Theoretical and practical analyses of public policies, including theories of policy formation and their political implementation through governmental institutions. Case studies will provide the means of analyzing specific policy problems. D

POLS 4454 Public Workplace Issues: 3 semester hours.

Management of public and non-profit employees. Major topics include public employee rights, affirmative action, sexual harassment, disability, the political environment of public and non-profit organizations, and the impact of professionalism, technology, and participatory democracy on the management of public and non-profit employees. D

POLS 4455 Environmental Politics and Policy: 3 semester hours.

Study of the political forces affecting environmental policy and investigation of several specific policies affecting the environment, such as: pollution control, energy production, hazardous chemicals, and the public lands. D

POLS 4456 Labor Organization: 3 semester hours.

Evolution of economic systems and labor's response to changing patterns of production is studied, and a counter perspective to traditional management views of "efficiency" is presented. Emphasis is on governmental employee unions. D

POLS 4457 Grantwriting: 3 semester hours.

Steps involved in the grantwriting process from strategic planning, research, and writing to finding appropriate grant sources. D

POLS 4458 Public Administration Ethics: 3 semester hours.

A course in applied ethics serving to educate students from a theoretical and a practical point of view. The course provides an historical and social perspective of ethics in public administration. D

POLS 4459 Public Service Internship: 1-9 semester hours.

Directed student internship related to public service in non-profits and community organizations, or state and local government. The student will be placed in a supervised position commensurate with their abilities as determined and approved by faculty in the department. Internships should be designed to complement a student's research interest and be directed toward a future project or desired field of employment. May be repeated for a total of 9 credits. Graded S/U. F, S, Su

POLS 4460 Senior Seminar: 3 semester hours.

This seminar is designed to integrate undergraduate academic experience in the major. Students will be required to do research and writing on topics encountered in their undergraduate curriculum. Required of, and open to, senior majors. F, S

POLS 4465 US Political History: 3 semester hours.

Study of the political history of the United States involving a discussion of theories of popular voting behavior, critical elections, and political party systems. Equivalent to HIST 4465. D

POLS 4466 Public Lands Policy: 3 semester hours.

Analysis of the historical and contemporary use and disposition of the federal public lands. The agencies that manage the public lands, major laws, and regulations and the political conflict that surrounds their use and conservation. D

POLS 4467 State and Local Administration: 3 semester hours.

Seminar in the practice and principles of state, municipal, and sub-state management. Emphasis on the evolution of interaction between different branches of sub-national government. S

POLS 4471 Historical Geography of Idaho: 3 semester hours.

Influences of geography and geology on Idaho's economic, political and cultural history. May be team taught and include field trips, discussion sections. Equivalent to GEOL 4471 and HIST 4471. D

POLS 4478 Federal Indian Law: 3 semester hours.

Examination of tribal governments; their relationship with the federal government; sovereignty, jurisdictional conflicts over land and resources; and economic development. Equivalent to ANTH 4478. D

POLS 4479 Tribal Governments: 3 semester hours.

Complex legal position of Indian tribes as self-governing entities; principles of inherent powers; governmental organization, lawmaking, justice, relation to state and federal government. Equivalent to ANTH 4479. D

POLS 4491 Seminar: 1-3 semester hours.

Research, reading, discussion, and the preparation of reports on selected topics. Ordinarily for seniors majoring in political science and having the instructor's consent. May be repeated for a total of 6 credits. F, S, Su

POLS 4492 Seminar: 1-3 semester hours.

Research, reading, discussion, and the preparation of reports on selected topics. Ordinarily for seniors majoring in political science and having the instructor's consent. May be repeated for a total of 6 credits. F, S, Su

POLS 4498P Professional Development Workshop: 3 semester hours.

New methods and opportunities to enhance and supplement skills. Subject to the approval of the Dean of the student's college, a maximum of eight credits earned in workshops may be applied toward a degree; students taking the courses only for personal development may choose the 0-credit option; those seeking professional development must choose a for-credit option.

POLS 4499 Experimental Course: 1-6 semester hours.

This course is not described in the catalog. The course title and number of credits are announced in the class schedule by the scheduling department. Experimental courses may be offered no more than three times.

Faculty

Chair

Lybecker

Professors

Anderson

Gabardi

Lybecker

McBeth

Assistant Professors

Callen

Gleason

Kirkpatrick

Stoutenborough

Adjunct Faculty

Eckert

Phillips

Emeriti

Burns

Foster

Hjelm

Maughan

Nilson

Back to Top