POLS - Political Science

Courses numbered 100 to 299 = lower-division; 300 to 499 = upper-division; 500 to 799 = undergraduate/graduate.

POLS 121.  American Politics   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences introductory course. Analyzes the basic patterns and structure of the American political system emphasizing policies and problems of American politics.

POLS 121H.  American Politics Honors   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences introductory course. Analyzes the basic patterns and structure of the American political system emphasizing policies and problems of American politics.

POLS 150.  Political Science Workshop   (1-3).

Prerequisite: instructor's consent.

POLS 150B.  National Politics   (0.5-3).

National Politics examines how American politics works at the federal level. We will investigate how the rules of the Constitution shape our politics and evaluate how our politics lives up to Constitutional ideals. We will examine how people connect to their government through elections and lobbying. We will also discuss the process for making policy to govern the country, the actors that have influence in that process and how those actors interact with each other, and who thus holds power in policymaking.

POLS 150C.  Presidential Films   (0.5).

This course will explore different presidential styles of leadership, combining readings by well known presidential scholars with popular and documentary films on different presidential administrations. The focus will be on the modern era, ranging from FDR and Truman to Clinton and George W. Bush. The class will discuss major themes and leadership traits raised in each film, and students will evaluate each president’s leadership style.

POLS 150D.  Presidential Leadership   (0.5).

This course is a continuation of our discussion on presidents of the modern era. During this course we will focus on Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, George H.W. Bush, and William J. Clinton. We will evaluate each president’s leadership effectiveness based on presidential scholar Fred Greenstein’s criteria: Communication, Political Skill, Organizational Ability; Knowledge Application, Vision, and Emotional Intelligence. Video documentaries will be viewed and brief articles handed out prior to each class.

POLS 153.  Model United Nations I   (2-4).

A workshop to prepare students to participate effectively in various model United Nations, especially the Midwest Model U.N. in St. Louis.

POLS 220.  Introduction to International Relations   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences introductory course. Examines approaches to the study of international relations. Includes foreign policy, international conflict and conflict management, international organizations and law, development and globalization. Course includes diversity content. Either POLS 220 or 336, but not both, may be accepted toward a major in history.

POLS 226.  Comparative Politics   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences introductory course. Analyzes the basic patterns and structures of Western democratic and political systems, transitional systems, and dictatorial or totalitarian systems.

POLS 232.  Political Theory and Philosophy   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced issues and perspectives course. Shows the direct relationship between political philosophy and practical political structures and policies. Examines the political philosophies of six important Western philosophers at an introductory level. Studies different models of democracy to demonstrate the relationship between a set of basic philosophic assumptions and the political society that seems appropriate to that set of assumptions. Examines one or two major political issues to illustrate the various kinds of solutions that may be suggested by different political philosophies.

POLS 232H.  Political Theory and Philosophy Honors   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced issues and perspectives course. Shows the direct relationship between political philosophy and practical political structures and policies. Examines the political philosophies of six important Western philosophers at an introductory level. Studies different models of democracy to demonstrate the relationship between a set of basic philosophic assumptions and the political society that seems appropriate to that set of assumptions. Examines one or two major political issues to illustrate the various kinds of solutions that may be suggested by different political philosophies.

POLS 305.  Environmental Politics   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Examines the politics of environmental protection and the management of natural resources. Examines such politics at local, national and global levels. No prerequisites, but a background in introductory political, economic and environmental science courses is helpful.

POLS 310.  Latin American Politics   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Overview of domestic political processes in Latin-American countries. A synopsis of historical developments in the region up to and including the transitions from authoritarianism to democracy that took place in the mid 1980s. Presents a regional perspective on key current issues related to governance and democratization such as institutional frameworks (constitutional aspects, elections, political parties and the State), the rule of law, citizen participation and civil society, the role of the elites and the military, the impact of socio-economic factors and the importance of political culture. Course includes diversity content.

POLS 315.  The Presidency   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Focuses on the evolution of the presidential office, the recruitment of presidents, and the nature of presidential power.

POLS 315H.  The Presidency Honors   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Focuses on the evolution of the presidential office, the recruitment of presidents, and the nature of presidential power.

POLS 316.  The Congress   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Focuses on the Congress with particular attention to interest articulation at both state and national levels.

POLS 318.  Political Parties   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Examines the role of political parties in the American political decision-making process at the national, state and local levels.

POLS 319.  State Government   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Examines the role of the states in the federal system and compares state politics and their political institutions.

POLS 320.  Developing World   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Examines the politics and processes of development and change in developing nations in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and the implications for developed nations, including the United States. Attempts to provide students with the theoretical tools and concepts to evaluate politics in these societies. Looks at the theories of political development and modernization, the political institutions, the relationships between the state and society, and the social forces that influence politics and economics in these states. Examines the regime types that exist in the different regions, emphasizing the recent transitions from authoritarianism to democracy. Deals with current challenges for developing nations in the economic and social realm. Course includes diversity content.

POLS 321.  Introduction to Public Administration   (3).

A general survey of the scope and nature of public administration, policy and administration, administrative regulations and adjudication, organization and management, budgeting and fiscal management, public personnel administration, political, judicial and other controls over the administration.

POLS 325.  Women in the Political System   (3).

Cross-listed as WOMS 325. Examines the political process of policy making using policies of current interest concerning women. Explores the association of societal gender role expectations with existing and proposed public policies that pertain to women's lives. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite: 6 credit hours of social sciences or instructor's consent.

POLS 336.  International Organizations   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Focuses on the role of international organizations in the international system. Emphasizes the United Nations. Also covers some regional organizations. Either POLS 220 or 336, but not both, may be accepted toward a major in history.

POLS 337.  Conflict Analysis   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Explores the causes of war on three different levels of analysis: international, domestic and individual. Examines historical conflicts as well as more recent wars, and the diplomatic efforts that have been made to achieve lasting peace settlements.

POLS 337H.  Conflict Analysis Honors   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Explores the causes of war on three different levels of analysis: international, domestic and individual. Examines historical conflicts as well as more recent wars, and the diplomatic efforts that have been made to achieve lasting peace settlements.

POLS 340.  Global Challenges   (3).

Seminar-style course in which students actively discuss the scope of, and potential solutions to, many global problems. Topics include: proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, prevention of terrorism, protection of human rights, promotion of development, protection of the environment, alleviation of poverty, and promotion of free trade/globalization. Course includes diversity content.

POLS 352.  Law and Political Power   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Focuses on the growth of government power in the United States, with an emphasis on the decisions of the Supreme Court and other interpretations of the Constitution. Subjects examined may include economic regulation, federalism and states' rights, separation of powers, and war powers.

POLS 352H.  Law and Political Power Honors   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Focuses on the growth of government power in the United States, with an emphasis on the decisions of the Supreme Court and other interpretations of the Constitution. Subjects examined may include economic regulation, federalism and states' rights, separation of powers, and war powers.

POLS 353.  Model United Nations II   (2-4).

A workshop to prepare students to participate effectively in various model United Nations especially the Midwest Model U.N. in St. Louis.

POLS 356.  Civil Liberties   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Focuses on the rights individuals and groups claim against the government of the United States, with emphasis on decisions of the Supreme Court. Areas of law covered include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, rights of the accused, privacy and abortion rights, and equal rights. Course includes diversity content.

POLS 356H.  Civil Liberties Honors   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Focuses on the rights individuals and groups claim against the government of the United States, with emphasis on decisions of the Supreme Court. Areas of law covered include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, rights of the accused, privacy and abortion rights, and equal rights. Course includes diversity content.

POLS 357.  Supreme Court   (3).

Focuses on the U.S. Supreme Court as a political institution. Readings and class discussion examine judicial selection, judicial behavior, Supreme Court doctrine, and connections between the court and American politics broadly conceived. Readings include works of political science and judicial opinions. Students participate in simulated Supreme Court decisions.

POLS 357H.  Supreme Court Honors   (3).

Focuses on the U.S. Supreme Court as a political institution. Readings and class discussion examine judicial selection, judicial behavior, Supreme Court doctrine, and connections between the court and American politics broadly conceived. Readings include works of political science and judicial opinions. Students participate in simulated Supreme Court decisions.

POLS 358.  American Political Thought   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Considers selected topics in the development of political ideas in the United States.

POLS 360.  Human Rights   (3).

Considers the concept of human rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Also considered are Western and non-Western conceptions of human rights and the problem of cultural relativism. Examples of topics discussed are women in a patriarchal world, the treatment of minorities, genocide, and international legal instruments to protect human rights. Videos on different topics are viewed, including on the leaders of the countries where violations of human rights have been openly perpetrated. Course includes diversity content.

POLS 365.  Political Data Analysis   (3).

Introduces students to the use of different types of quantitative data often used by political scientists. Provides the foundation for students to effectively employ a variety of research sources, organize information, conceptualize problems, interpret and analyze data, turn data into usable information, perform basic quantitative analysis, use summary statistics, design basic research and test theories and hypotheses. A hands-on course taught in a computer lab, where students learn where to find data, how to differentiate between aggregate and survey data, raw and secondary data, and the basics of SPSS software. Required for political science majors and a prerequisite for POLS 600.

POLS 370.  European Politics   (3).

An in-depth study of the politics of Western and Eastern European countries. Europe's special relationship with democracy and democratization will be examined. The European Union and the goals of European integration receive special attention as well as the impact of globalization on the European democracies.

POLS 375.  Latin America International Relations   (3).

Reviews historical and current issues relating to the international relations of Latin America and the Caribbean. Examines the relations among Latin-American countries, as well as the relations of Latin-American states with other regions of the world, in particular the United States, the European Union and Canada. Looks at the position of Latin-American and Caribbean states in the major sub-regional, regional and hemispheric organizations. Discusses current political issues such as democratization, human rights, security, transnational crime and migration, as well as those related to economic issues (trade agreements, international investment and globalization).

POLS 375H.  Latin American International Politics Honors   (3).

Reviews historical and current issues relating to the international relations of Latin America and the Caribbean. Examines the relations among Latin-American countries, as well as the relations of Latin-American states with other regions of the world, in particular the United States, the European Union and Canada. Looks at the position of Latin-American and Caribbean states in the major sub-regional, regional and hemispheric organizations. Discusses current political issues such as democratization, human rights, security, transnational crime and migration, as well as those related to economic issues (trade agreements, international investment and globalization).

POLS 380.  Campaigns and Elections   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Examines electoral contests at all levels, national, state and local, with an emphasis on the practical aspects of competitive campaigns. Offered during the fall semester of election years, the course features candidates, campaign strategists, pollsters, fund raisers, and political advertising and media experts. Students have the choice of working on a local campaign and writing a report on it, or researching and writing on a competitive gubernatorial or U.S. Senate race.

POLS 380H.  Campaigns and Elections Honors   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Examines electoral contests at all levels, national, state and local, with an emphasis on the practical aspects of competitive campaigns. Offered during the fall semester of election years, the course features candidates, campaign strategists, pollsters, fund raisers, and political advertising and media experts. Students have the choice of working on a local campaign and writing a report on it, or researching and writing on a competitive gubernatorial or U.S. Senate race.

POLS 385.  Democracy and Authoritarianism   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. The countries of the world can be divided into democratic and authoritarian regimes, but in between those extremes there are many shades. This course discusses the features that define a democracy and distinguish it from a hybrid or authoritarian regime. It evaluates the theories of democracy and authoritarianism and also looks at quantitative indicators and public opinion data. In addition it discusses the role that different domestic actors and international factors can play in the process of democratization in any given country. Other topics include: the preconditions for democracy, the different waves of democratization that have occurred in the world, the modes of transition from authoritarianism to democracy, and the backsliding or total breakdown from democracy to authoritarianism. Course includes diversity content.

POLS 390.  Special Topics in Political Science   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Analyzes selected titles in political science in a seminar setting. Content varies depending upon the instructor. Repeatable for credit.

POLS 390E.  Film/Great Trials   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Explores a variety of award winning films with a theme of historic trials. Students explore the common threads among these cases as they relate to changing national politics.

POLS 390F.  Lobbyists and Interest Groups   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Examines how interest groups and nonprofit organizations engage in fundraising, electioneering, and lobbying of government officials, focusing on specific case studies.

POLS 391.  Special Topics in Political Science   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Analyzes selected titles in political science in a seminar setting. Content varies depending upon the instructor. Repeatable for credit.

POLS 391A.  Diplomacy & Negotiation   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Explores how governments and other organizations conduct negotiations in international politics. Explores some of the protocols of diplomacy. Studies historical cases of negotiated agreements and conducts simulations of negotiations for international agreements. Investigates how strategic calculation, social psychology, culture and political pressures shape the conduct of negotiations.

POLS 391E.  Middle East Politics   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Examines political relations between states in the Middle East with a focus on understanding the impact of history, culture and religion on current conflict resolution efforts. Topics include the Syrian conflict, Israeli-Palestinian relations, the Arab spring and much more.

POLS 391F.  Immigration Today   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Examines the development of U.S. immigration laws, policies and practices from an interdisciplinary approach, beginning with the constitutional law foundations underlying immigration regulation and including the historical, social and economic factors that shaped the discourse surrounding immigration. In addition, current events, reform proposals and public perceptions are discussed, and an overview of immigration laws from selected foreign countries is presented, compared to, and contrasted with the U.S. system.

POLS 391G.  4-Star Films   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Explores significant films that have politico-socio-economic and/or psychological significance.

POLS 391J.  Lobbying and Nongovernmental Organizations   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. “Who hires a lobbyist? Everyone.” This statement, made by a leading lobbyist 10 years ago, is even more true today; for with the rapid expansion of NGO’s – local, state, national and global – the need for lobbyists continues growing rapidly. Students learn how interest groups and NGO’s function in raising money, electioneering, and lobbying throughout the year rather than waiting until legislators convene. Readings focus on actual case studies. Because the public is unaware that legislators and administrators also lobby, they explain how they operate. Traditional lobbyists, in addition to sharing their strategies and techniques, also describe the background and skills they seek when hiring new lobbyists for their expanding firms.

POLS 391L.  Democracy and Authoritarianism   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. The countries of the world can be divided into democratic and authoritarian regimes, but in between those extremes there are many shades. Course discusses the features that define a democracy and distinguish it from a hybrid or authoritarian regime. It evaluates the theories of democracy and authoritarianism and also looks at quantitative indicators and public opinion data. In addition, it discusses the role that different domestic actors and international factors can play in the process of democratization in any given country. Other topics include: the preconditions for democracy, the different waves of democratization that have occurred in the world, the modes of transition from authoritarianism to democracy, and the possible distortions to or total breakdown of democracy.

POLS 391M.  Legislative Leadership and Politics   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Examines the practice of leadership in legislative institutions, particularly how individuals attempt to create positive change in institutions like Congress and state legislatures. Taught by Kansas Rep. Brandon Whipple, this course is designed for all Wichita State students. Of particular appeal to those interested in careers in public service and politics.

POLS 391MH.  Legislative Leadership and Politics Honors   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Examines the practice of leadership in legislative institutions, particularly how individuals attempt to create positive change in institutions like Congress and state legislatures. Taught by Kansas Rep. Brandon Whipple, this course is designed for all Wichita State students. Of particular appeal to those interested in careers in public service and politics.

POLS 391N.  Presidential Films   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Explores the U.S. presidency as it is portrayed through films, classic and modern. Students reflect and write on these films and the political issues raised in them.

POLS 391O.  Global Prosperity & Inequality   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Examines the politics and processes of development and change in developing nations in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and the implications for developed nations, including the United States. Attempts to provide students with the theoretical tools and concepts to evaluate politics in these societies. Looks at the theories of political development and modernization, the political institutions, the relationship between the state and society, and the social forces that influence politics and economics in these states. Examines the regime types that exist in the different regions, emphasizing the recent transitions from authoritarianism to democracy. Deals with current challenges for developing nations in the economic and social realm.

POLS 391P.  Public Opinion and Political Psychology   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. The basic premise of democratic government is that the government should be responsive to the wishes or opinions of the people. But how does government know what these opinions are? How are these opinions formed? Can these opinions be changed? And is government really responsive to the public's wishes? Investigate these and several more questions throughout the semester to gain a more complete understanding of the scholarly research on public opinion and political psychology in the U.S. political system.

POLS 391Q.  Politics of Inequality   (3).

Thomas Jefferson inscribed equality into the ethos of the United States when he penned the words "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal." in the preamble of the Declaration of the Independence. Since the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the United States has struggled to understand what is meant by equality and to live up to this lofty goal. While many of the most notable legal obstacles to political equality have been removed, we still with struggle with the idea of equality. Economic, social, and political inequalities are a complex and interconnected phenomenon. In particular, economic inequality has rapidly grown in the United States over the past several decades. In this class, we will systematically examine inequality in the United States. We start our discussion of inequality by reviewing recent trends in economic inequality and how we conceptualize inequality. Then we turn our attention to understanding the intersection of inequality and politics, examining the theoretical arguments for equality and how the concept has shaped U.S. politics and the Constitution. We then explore the political sources of inequality, focusing both on policy and public opinion. Then we shift to examining unequal voices in political participation and representation. Finally, we conclude by looking at how policy reinforces both political and economic inequality.

POLS 395.  U.S. Foreign Policy   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Explores the dynamic decision-making process in the development of U.S. foreign policy. Examines the variety of actors involved, including the military, the State Department, the President and others. Bilateral as well as global policy issues are examined.

POLS 398.  Directed Readings   (1-3).

For exceptional students to meet their needs and deficiencies. Repeatable for credit. Prerequisites: senior standing and departmental consent.

POLS 399.  Travel Seminar   (1-4).

An interdisciplinary travel seminar that allows students to gain credit for the study of culture, art, literature, architecture, politics, society, science and/or economics while visiting historic places of interest. Students observe the political systems of the places they visit, analyze their dynamics, and demonstrate their understanding of those systems through a project which has the approval of the department's adviser.

POLS 444.  Modern Political Theory   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Continues the study of Western political philosophy beginning with the decisive break with the classical tradition made by Machiavelli early in the 16th century. Studies major philosophers Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, known as philosophers of the social contract who exercised a great influence on the creation of the American political system. Also studies Marx, a political thinker who moves strongly in the direction of 20th century political philosophy. Philosophers of this period have collectively had a profound impact on political life in this century.

POLS 444H.  Modern Political Theory Honors   (3).

General education social and behavioral sciences advanced further study course. Continues the study of Western political philosophy beginning with the decisive break with the classical tradition made by Machiavelli early in the 16th century. Studies major philosophers Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, known as philosophers of the social contract who exercised a great influence on the creation of the American political system. Also studies Marx, a political thinker who moves strongly in the direction of 20th century political philosophy. Philosophers of this period have collectively had a profound impact on political life in this century.

POLS 481.  Cooperative Education   (1-3).

Provides practical experience to complement the student's more formal political science curriculum. Student programs must be approved by the department.

POLS 481A.  Cooperative Education   (1-3).

Introduces the student to professional practice by working in industry in an academically-related job and provides a planned professional experience designed to complement and enhance the student's academic program. Individualized programs must be formulated in consultation with, and approved by, appropriate faculty sponsors and cooperative education coordinators. Intended for students who will be working full time on their co-op assignment and need not be enrolled in any other course. Repeatable for credit. Prerequisites: junior standing and approval by the appropriate faculty sponsor.

POLS 481N.  Internship   (1-3).

Complements and enhances the student's academic program by providing an opportunity to apply and acquire knowledge in a workplace environment as an intern. Prerequisite: departmental consent.

POLS 490.  Internship in Government/Politics   (1-6).

(Washington, 6 credit hours; Topeka, 3 credit hours). Credit for an approved work experience in a public, quasi-public or governmental agency, including an academic component. Washington interns participate in the program co-sponsored with the University of Kansas for which an on-site coordinator is provided. Kansas legislative interns spend two days per week in Topeka while the legislature is in session. Both internships offered each spring semester. Prerequisites: sophomore or upper-class standing, POLS 121 or equivalent, and instructor's consent.

POLS 490A.  Internship Seminar   (3).

DC, Topeka and local Internships must be arranged with and approved by Department Chair. You must acquire an electronic signature from the department’s Administrative Assistant (418 LH) in order to enroll.

POLS 570.  International Political Economy   (3).

Cross-listed as ECON 570. Examines policy decisions regarding exchanges of trade, money and labor that span national boundaries. Studies the interaction of politics and economics at the international level, as well as the modern history of the global economy. Economics often studies the material benefits and costs of different policies. Political science asks why these policies exist in the first place with a focus on who gets the benefits, who pays the costs, and how decisions about allocating benefits and costs are made. Course includes diversity content.

POLS 600.  Senior Thesis   (3).

Capstone course for political science majors designed to pull together many of the themes and concepts covered in introductory and upper-division courses. The main component is writing a senior thesis in which students conduct in-depth research about a topic of their interest. The topic should be related to one of the main areas of political science: American politics, international relations or comparative politics. In exceptional cases, students may write a paper related to political theory. Course professor provides guidelines and a schedule of activities, supervises and grades the overall research process; however each student works closely with a faculty member in order to develop his or her research projects. For undergraduate students only.

POLS 700.  Advanced Directed Readings   (1-3).

Repeatable for credit. Prerequisite: departmental consent.

POLS 710.  Public Sector Organizational Theory and Behavior   (3).

Cross-listed as PADM 710. Reviews the scope of the field of public administration including a survey of key concepts and schools of thought underlying the field. Identifies issues shaping the future development of the field.

POLS 725.  Public Management of Human Resources   (3).

Cross-listed as PADM 725. Surveys the major areas of management of human resources in the public sector. Includes hiring, training, evaluation and pay promotion policies. Emphasizes the laws governing public personnel management and the unique merit, equal employment opportunity, productivity, unionization and collective bargaining problems found in the public sector.

POLS 750.  Workshop   (2-4).

Prerequisite: instructor's consent.