Political Science

Chair: McBeth

Professors: Lybecker, McBeth

Associate Professors: Kirkpatrick, Stoutenborough

Assistant Professors: Johnson, Kammerer, Ryu, Warnement-Wrobel

Emeritus Faculty: Anderson, Burns, Foster, Gabardi, Hjelm, Maughan, Nilson (in memoriam)

Doctor of Arts in Political ScienceDegreeD.A.
Master of Arts in Political ScienceDegreeM.A.
Master of Public AdministrationDegreeM.P.A.

Doctor of Arts in Political Science

This program is intended for students interested in careers teaching political science in a variety of higher education settings ranging from community colleges to universities. Doctor of Arts recipients are prepared to teach a variety of political science courses including those in American politics and in two additional specialties selected from among the fields of public law, political theory, comparative/international politics, and public administration.

Doctor of Arts students will have three interdisciplinary options to choose from:

Option #1: Doctoral students will take 9 credits each in TWO of the following five cooperating social science departments: Anthropology, Economics, History, Psychology, and Sociology.

Option #2: Doctoral students will take 18 credits in ONE of the following five cooperating social science departments: Anthropology, Economics, History, Psychology, and Sociology.

Option #3: Doctoral students will take 18 credits from at least two of the five cooperating social science departments: Anthropology, Economics, History, Psychology, and Sociology, built around an interdisciplinary theme such as methodology or theory (courses and theme must be preapproved by the chair of the student’s doctoral committee).

The doctoral degree is generalist in nature. The emphasis is on a thorough grounding in political science supported by work in committee-approved social science disciplines. The program places emphasis on teaching political science rather than on the development of a narrow research specialty. A nine-credit-hour component of the program includes the development of pedagogical skills as well as sustained experience in the classroom.

Goals

1. Graduates will demonstrate literature-based knowledge in three sub-fields of political science.

2. Graduates will gain this knowledge of political science through an interdisciplinary approach that includes course work in one or two cognate social science disciplines.

3. Graduates will have extensive training in pedagogy, craft a distinct teaching philosophy, and demonstrate a variety of pedagogical techniques and skills.

4. Graduates will demonstrate their research skills by presenting their work at professional conferences and/or submitting their work for publication review.

5. Graduates will gain employment and establish their careers in higher education.

Master of Arts in Political Science

The mission of the Master of Arts (MA) program is to prepare students for future graduate study in political science by helping them develop knowledge and skill in political science and research methodology. This program emphasizes general preparation in political science and research.

Specific outcomes of the program include:

Goals

1. Graduates will master literature-based knowledge in two areas of political science.

2. Graduates will develop an understanding of political science research methodology and the role of research in academia.

3. Graduates will further their graduate careers by pursuing a doctorate in political science.

4. Graduates pursuing a terminal degree will find professional employment in education, public service, and business.

Objectives

1. Graduates will pass comprehensive examinations.

2. Graduates will present papers at professional conferences.

3. Graduates will be accepted into doctoral graduate programs.

4. Graduates will find employment in education, public service, and business.

Thesis/non-thesis options are available.

Areas of emphasis in the master's program are limited, because of the research nature of the degree, to American governmental institutions and political behavior, public law, political theory, public administration, and comparative/international politics.

Master's students are required to present themselves for comprehensive examination on their thesis and/or in two of the five areas of emphasis mentioned previously.

Master of Public Administration

The Master in Public Administration degree is an inter-university cooperative graduate program offered jointly by Boise State University, Idaho State University, and the University of Idaho. The purpose of the program is to provide present and prospective public administrators with the basic intellectual preparation necessary to understand and to adjust to a changing and challenging environment, through an introduction to the theories and practices of administration, management, and social science research as these relate to effective performance in public organizations.

The inter-university master's program has been designed in accordance with the Guidelines and Standards for Professional Master’s Degree Programs in Public Affairs and Public Administration prescribed through the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).

Goals

1. Graduates will develop an appreciation of serving the public interest.

2. Graduates will respect the law and the Constitution.

3. Graduates will demonstrate personal integrity.

4. Graduates will promote ethical organizations.

5. Graduates will develop distinctive public administration skills.

6. Graduates will strive for professional excellence and updating of skills throughout their professional careers.

Political Science Courses 

How to Read Course Descriptions

Courses

POLS 5501 Political Parties and Groups: 3 semester hours.

The nature and development of political parties and pressure groups.

POLS 5503 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.

POLS 5504 The Legislative Process: 3 semester hours.

Nature and functions of the U.S. Congress. Topics covered: Legislative campaigns, the politics of law-making, congressional investigations, and major problems facing the Congress.

POLS 5505 Introduction to Public Administration: 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 nonprofit and public sectors. Topics include public service, leadership, civic engagement, and participatory democracy. Specific, evaluated graduate-level activities and/or performances are identified in the course syllabus.

POLS 5506 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.

POLS 5508 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.

POLS 5509 Community and Regional Planning: 3 semester hours.

The course engages students 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.

POLS 5511 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.

POLS 5512 Modern Political Analysis: 3 semester hours.

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

POLS 5518 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 a maximum of 6 credits.

POLS 5519 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.

POLS 5519L Political Research Methods Lab: 1 semester hour.

Application of, and practice in, research methods.

POLS 5520 Contemporary Political Theory: 3 semester hours.

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

POLS 5521 Democratic Political Thought: 3 semester hours.

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

POLS 5525 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.

POLS 5527 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.

POLS 5528 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. Specific, evaluated graduate-level activities and/or performances are identified in the course syllabus.

POLS 5532 Comparative Politics Change and Political Order: 3 semester hours.

The nature of political change is examined in a multifaceted framework consisting of concepts such as political order, progress and decay, revolutionary violence, and political culture. The technological and post-industrial revolutions are examined as they relate to political change and stability in developed societies.

POLS 5533 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.

POLS 5534 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.

POLS 5535 Topics in National or Regional Studies: 3 semester hours.

Surveys the political, economic, and social issues of a nation or regions. May be repeated once for different topics.

POLS 5537 Science and Technology Policy: 3 semester hours.

Explores why science and technology are often overlooked with policymaking. Focusing on the theories of the policymaking process, the class reads scientific research to identify what is missing from the research, keeping it from becoming policy. This class is designed to help students from any discipline learn to navigate the policymaking process. Specific, evaluated graduate-level activities and/or performances are identified in the course syllabus.

POLS 5541 Administrative Law: 3 semester hours.

Introductory survey of the legal principals 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.

POLS 5542 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.

POLS 5543 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.

POLS 5544 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. Specific, evaluated graduate-level activities and/or performances are identified in the course syllabus.

POLS 5545 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.

POLS 5550 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.

POLS 5551 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 5552 Public 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, sources of revenues for government, economic development, and citizen participation.

POLS 5553 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.

POLS 5554 Public Personnel Management: 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. Specific, evaluated graduate-level activities and/or performances are identified in the course syllabus.

POLS 5555 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.

POLS 5556 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.

POLS 5557 Grantwriting: 3 semester hours.

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

POLS 5558 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 a historical and social perspective of ethics in public administration.

POLS 5559 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 compliment a student's research interest and be directed toward a future project or desired field of employment.

POLS 5561 Nonprofit Management: 3 semester hours.

This course is designed to provide a theoretical and practical understanding of the nonprofit sector, an introduction to skills essential for effectively managing nonprofit organizations, and exposure to contemporary issues and strategic opportunities. Specific, evaluated graduate-level activities and/or performances are identified in the course syllabus. Specific, evaluated graduate-level activities and/or performances are identified in the course syllabus.

POLS 5562 International Sustainable Development: 3 semester hours.

Introduction to the sustainable development literature and practices around the world. Upon completion, students should be familiar with the key debates within the broader sustainable development community and projects that translate ideas into actionable items. Specific, evaluated graduate-level activities and/or performances are identified in the course syllabus.

POLS 5563 Public-Private Partnerships: 3 semester hours.

Introduction to the public administration literature covering various modes on how the public sector partners with the private sector to delivery public services and fulfill public objectives. Specific, evaluated graduate-level activities and/or performances are identified in the course syllabus.

POLS 5564 Disaster Policy and Administration: 3 semester hours.

This course is an introduction to the policies and practices of disaster management. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the policy and management issues that arise when dealing with disasters. It includes a brief history of U.S. emergency management, an overview of current disaster policies, an understanding of disasters based on the phases of the disaster cycle, an analysis of the governmental and nonprofit actors involved in disaster management, and the politics surrounding disasters. Specific, evaluated graduate-level activities and/or performances are identified in the course syllabus.

POLS 5565 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 5565.

POLS 5566 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.

POLS 5567 State and Local Administration: 3 semester hours.

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

POLS 5571 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 includes field trips, discussion sections. Equivalent to HIST 5571 and GEOL 5571.

POLS 5578 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 5578.

POLS 5579 Tribal Government: 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 5579.

POLS 5591 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. Each course may be repeated for a total of 6 credits.

POLS 5592 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. Each course may be repeated for a total of 6 credits.

POLS 5598P Prof 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 5599 Experimental Topics: 1-6 semester hours.

The content of this course is not described in the catalog. Title and number of credits are announced in the Class Schedule. Experimental courses may be offered no more than three times with the same title and content. May be repeated.

POLS 6606 Environmental Law and Regulation: 3 semester hours.

Federal, state, and local environmental regulations addressing environmental impact assessment; water and air pollution control, hazardous waste, resource recovery, reuses, toxic substances, occupational safety and health radiation, siting, auditing, liability. Equivalent to ENGR 6606. PREREQ: Permission of instructor.

POLS 6608 Environmental Case Law: 3 semester hours.

The legal analysis of regulation as a method of controlling pollution and hazardous waste. PREREQ: POLS 6606.

POLS 6609 Environmental Law Natural Resources: 3 semester hours.

Federal and Idaho statutes and regulations as they apply to natural resources such as public lands, endangered species, and the EIS process. PREREQ: POLS 6606.

POLS 6611 Seminar Political Theory: 3 semester hours.

Review of the primary and recent literature of political theory.

POLS 6612 Seminar State and Local Politics: 3 semester hours.

Analysis of state, local and regional political institutions and processes from the federal and comparative perspectives.

POLS 6613 Seminar American Politics Behavior: 3 semester hours.

Micro inquiry and analysis into political behavior. Areas relevant to such inquiry may include but are not limited to, political psychology, political socializations, attitude and opinion formation, and voting behavior.

POLS 6614 Seminar American Politics Institutions: 3 semester hours.

Macro inquiry and analysis into the basic institutional structures and processes of the American political system. Areas of emphasis include, but are not limited to, executive, legislative and judicial processes, political parties and interest groups.

POLS 6615 Seminar World Politics: 3 semester hours.

World politics is analyzed both from the perspective of relationships between nation-states and the domestic political sources which influence and determine these relationships.

POLS 6616 Seminar Public Administration and Public Policy: 3 semester hours.

Analysis of selected topics and academic literature in public administration and public policy.

POLS 6620 Seminar Philosophy of Social Science: 3 semester hours.

The application of mathematical and scientific methods to the study of social, economic, and political life will be considered through the reading of certain seminal writings. Attention will be given to the fundamental assumptions about the nature of scientific rationality. Required of all D.A. students.

POLS 6621 Seminar Interdisciplinary Topics in Social Science: 3 semester hours.

Examination of selected topics in the social sciences from the analytic orientations and perspectives common and peculiar to the disciplines of political science economics and sociology. Required of all D.A. students.

POLS 6622 Advanced Topics in Research: 3 semester hours.

Emphasis on the role of research methodology in administrative decision-making. Topics to be covered include modeling, evaluation design, ethics, sampling, data collection, data processing, data analysis, and report writing.

POLS 6623 Program Assessment: 3 semester hours.

Techniques and analytical methods of assessing governmental program success. Emphasis is given to program designs, data collection, ethics, and quantitative applications.

POLS 6649 Research Problems: 1-6 semester hours.

Independent research on non-thesis and non-dissertation disciplinary questions. Credit hours and subject must be approved by instructor. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 credits. Graded S/U.

POLS 6650 Thesis: 1-6 semester hours.

1 to 6 credits. May be repeated. Graded S/U.

POLS 6669 Independent Problems-Tutorial: 1-3 semester hours.

A directed project emphasizing individual study, research, or the development of expository writings according to the needs of the individual student. May be repeated. Graded S/U.

POLS 6680 Capstone in Public Administration: 3 semester hours.

Should be one of the last core courses taken in the MPA program. Integration of all core material into discussion around a number of cases; individual papers, small group projects and presentations.

POLS 6694 Seminar in College Teaching: 3 semester hours.

Literature-based review of theory and practice for effective college teaching. Required of all DA candidates and must be successfully completed prior to matriculation in POLS 7702 or POLS 7703.

POLS 6699 Experimental Course: 1-6 semester hours.

The content of this course is not described in the catalog. Title and number of credits are announced in the Class Schedule. Experimental courses may be offered no more than three times with the same title and content. May be repeated.

POLS 7701 Supervised Administrative Internship in Higher Education: 1-6 semester hours.

Supervised Administrative Internship in Higher Education variable up to 6 credits. May be repeated.

POLS 7702 Team Teaching: 3 semester hours.

Doctor of Arts candidates team teach an entire course with a faculty member. PREREQ: POLS 6694.

POLS 7703 Solo Teaching: 3 semester hours.

Doctor of Arts candidates assume total responsibility for teaching a class. PREREQ: POLS 6694 and POLS 7702.

POLS 8850 Dissertation: 1-9 semester hours.

Variable credits. May be repeated. Graded S/U.