Political Science


Thomas J. Vicino, PhD
Associate Professor and Chair

960A Renaissance Park
617.373.5311 (fax)
Jermichael Young, Administrative Secretary, je.young@northeastern.edu

Political science teaches the art and science of politics in the United States and throughout the world. Study leadership with a former U.S presidential candidate. Spend seven weeks visiting the United Nations and other organizations in Geneva, Switzerland. Apply for the White House internship program or to the British Parliament. Develop aid programs in a Saharan village in Niger. Write opinion pieces for an outstanding student political journal. Compete to represent an Arab country as part of one of the top Model Arab League teams in the United States. Political science is a discipline and a subject of study that has worldwide applications and exciting and experiential job opportunities. Politics matter wherever there are groups of people trying to get things done.

Political science majors start their journey with core courses on American government, comparative politics, international relations, and research methods. After that, students choose from a wealth of courses on specific topics from international security to legal studies to public policy.

Political science co-ops include responsible positions in local, state, and federal government agencies; law firms; nonprofit institutions; and corporations. Many students complete either a co-op position or an internship with a congressional representative, a senator, a governor, or other elected public officials, or at an international organization or nonprofit.

Political science students are among the most active on campus through extracurricular programs designed to expand their leadership ability, including the Political Science Student Association, International Relations Council, Pi Sigma Alpha honor society, Model United Nations, Model Arab League, Model NATO, student government, College Democrats and Republicans, and other student groups. Students also may qualify for the University Honors Program. With these experiences on their resumés, students are prepared to succeed in law school, graduate school, careers in government and the nonprofit sector, as well as in teaching, journalism, legislative or lobbying positions, public relations activities, and work in international corporations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

Academic Progression Standards

Same as university-wide standards described under “Academic Status.”

PlusOne Program (MA) in Political Science

Political science majors at the end of their sophomore year or the beginning of their junior year may qualify for application to the PlusOne program that combines the BA with the master’s degree in political science. Students interested in this option should consult with the departmental graduate coordinator.

Political Science Courses

POLS 1000. Political Science at Northeastern. 1 Hour.

Introduces first-year political science majors to the discipline, the department, and the University as a whole; familiarizes students with the skills needed for success as a university student.

POLS 1140. Exploring Politics and Political Science. 4 Hours.

Introduces students to basic concepts and principles in politics and political science. Combines a study of contemporary political events with appropriate readings that provide a conceptual and theoretical context for understanding the political world.

POLS 1150. American Government. 4 Hours.

Analyzes the system of politics and government in the United States. Topics include the philosophical basis, historical origins, design, and functioning of the Constitution as well as formal government institutions. Examines the influence of public opinion, political behavior and participation, parties, and interest groups.

POLS 1151. Recitation for POLS 1150. 0 Hours.

Provides small-group discussion format to cover material in POLS 1150.

POLS 1155. Comparative Politics. 4 Hours.

Presents a comparative study of political organization and behavior in a range of countries beyond the United States. Topics includes political culture, political economy, governing institutions, leadership, and political participation.

POLS 1156. Recitation for POLS 1155. 0 Hours.

Provides small-group discussion format to cover material in POLS 1155.

POLS 1160. International Relations. 4 Hours.

Introduces a broad study of international relations, encompassing both theoretical perspectives and empirical knowledge. Reviews the role of states as well as international and nongovernmental organizations in dealing with security and war, terrorism, human rights, trade, globalization, and environmental protection, among other important contemporary issues.

POLS 1161. Recitation for POLS 1160. 0 Hours.

Provides small-group discussion format to cover material in POLS 1160.

POLS 1990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 2325. Ancient Philosophy and Political Thought. 4 Hours.

Examines the philosophers of classical Greece, primarily Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. These philosophers examined the nature of the material world, of the city, and of the person. The course takes up both the moral and political writings as well as the metaphysical writings. Devotes considerable attention to major works such as Plato’s Republic. Some time is given to early Greek philosophers, to the Sophists, and to later developments. Requires written analysis of philosophical texts. PHIL 2325 and POLS 2325 are cross-listed.

POLS 2326. Premodern Political Thought. 4 Hours.

Presents an analytical and historical examination of the great political thinkers and the main trends of political thought from classical Greece to the Renaissance.

POLS 2328. Modern Political Thought. 4 Hours.

Introduces students to a range of authors who are considered to be most influential in shaping Western political thought and who remain highly relevant in informing contemporary political debate. Offers students an opportunity to think critically about some of the fundamental questions pertaining to political practice—the nature of ideas, institutions, and processes and how to understand and evaluate them.

POLS 2330. American Political Thought. 4 Hours.

Analyzes the fundamental ideas in U.S. political thought that have shaped U.S. political institutions and policies, including liberalism, neoliberalism, conservatism, and nationalism. Examines the historic roots of each viewpoint and their impact. Major topics may include Locke and the liberal tradition, republicanism, Puritan political thought, the American Revolution, the writing of the Constitution, the growth of federal power, executive power, judicial review, and the debate over slavery. Explores the ongoing interaction of political thought and the political process in contemporary U.S. society.

POLS 2332. Contemporary Political Thought. 4 Hours.

Introduces students to a range of positions in contemporary political theory, familiarizing them with key texts, authors, and debates, such as those concerning critiques of power, global justice, and pluralism. Explores a range of methodological and theoretical approaches associated with these texts and examines some of their implications in the assessment of modern societies, their values, and institutional arrangements. Offers students an opportunity to develop the ability to critically reflect on the nature and scope of political discourse.

POLS 2333. Politics and Film. 4 Hours.

Analyzes interconnections between politics and film. Considering film as a political tool, includes such topics as political satire, propaganda, war, censorship, and nationalism. Case examples emphasize current events and contemporary issues.

POLS 2334. Bureaucracy and Government Organizations. 4 Hours.

Examines the general principles underlying the structures, processes, and operation of public organizations. Examines the role of bureaucracies within the larger political system as well as how public agencies develop and change over time.

POLS 2335. Budgeting and Taxation. 4 Hours.

Focuses on the politics of budgeting and taxation in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the federal government. Analyzes budgetary processes, participants, and outcomes as well as policy reforms. State, local, and comparative budgeting are also discussed.

POLS 2336. Politics and the Arts. 4 Hours.

Explores the various ways in which the visual (painting, sculpture, architecture, design, etc.) and performing (music, theater, film, etc.) arts relate to, and interact with, political and governing actors, institutions, and systems. Topics covered in this broad-based multimedia course include policy and administrative issues related to government patronage of the arts, how different political ideologies view art and artists, the arts and political legitimacy, propaganda and “official art,” censorship, issues in civil liberties and artistic freedom, art and political dissent, political and ethnic minorities in the arts, and feminist art. Many of the specific cases examined come from the United States, but the overall focus of the course is global and historical.

POLS 2340. Business and Government. 4 Hours.

Surveys the relationship between economics and politics in the United States. Considers the role of government in a market economy including the efforts to manage economic growth, prevent monopoly, promote social welfare, and balance the power of business with the demands of democracy.

POLS 2345. Urban Policies and Politics. 4 Hours.

Analyzes the political, administrative, economic, and social dynamics of urban areas. Highlights the diversity of political institutions and practices in American cities. Introduces key policy areas at the city level such as land use, economic development, and education.

POLS 2350. State and Local Politics. 4 Hours.

Examines the political and administrative context of the state and local government in the United States; surveys the structure, function, and politics of states and localities within the context of the U.S. federal system; and highlights the diversity of political institutions and practices at the state and local levels.

POLS 2355. Intergovernmental Relations. 4 Hours.

Analyzes the relationship among national, state, and local levels of government in the United States and the changing patterns of those relationships. Highlights the political, legal, and fiscal nature of intergovernmental relations.

POLS 2357. Growth and Decline of Cities and Suburbs. 4 Hours.

Introduces students to the field of urban studies. Focuses on these central issues: how cities and suburbs evolve, what makes a city or suburb a good place to live, and how cities and suburbs are (or are not) planned. Students review the ways in which urban scholars and practitioners study cities and suburbs, their research methodologies, definition of issues, and division of labor among different disciplines. Students explore the roles of individuals, communities, the private sector, and government in planning and shaping the city.

POLS 2360. Politics of Poverty. 4 Hours.

Explores how and why there is poverty, how it affects people’s lives, and how it can be eliminated. Examines the relations between poverty, racial and ethnic factors, and the economic, political, and administrative systems. Evaluates a number of alternatives and provides an opportunity for clarifying individual assumptions and feelings about poverty.

POLS 2368. Music and Politics in America and Abroad. 4 Hours.

Explores the role of music in politics and the extent to which songs and their performers shape, frame, or otherwise influence political thought among audiences and listeners. Emphasizes contemporary themes and genres, with particular attention to protest songs. Examples are taken both from the United States and abroad.

POLS 2370. Religion and Politics. 4 Hours.

Explores the role of religion to domestic and international politics. Examines religion as a source of political tension and strife. Draws examples from the United States and the developing world. Covers Islamic fundamentalism in Africa and the Near East, Orthodox Jewish parties in Israel, Catholic liberation theology in Latin America, and Protestant fundamentalism and the religious right in the United States.

POLS 2375. Gender and Politics. 4 Hours.

Explores the relation between what is and what ought to be-and why-in the roles of women in American politics. Examines the traditional roles of women in politics, the suffrage movement, the woman as citizen and voter, the role of gender in achieving power and in political efficacy, and the place of women in politics. Also covers political action to promote women’s issues and modern feminism.

POLS 2380. Latino Politics in the United States. 4 Hours.

Focuses on the largest minority in the United States, Latinos. Explores the unique aspects of this group within the U.S. political system in addition to shared experiences with other minority groups, particularly African Americans. Topics include bilingualism, immigration, relations with other racial and ethnic groups, and relations with other countries of origin.

POLS 2385. U.S. Health and Welfare Policy. 4 Hours.

Introduces students to U.S. social welfare policy. Emphasizes contemporary debates over welfare, mental health, healthcare, education, and Social Security reform. Examines key issues and processes related to the politics, design, and implementation of public policy in the context of the American governmental system. Incorporates multiple media and methods of instruction into the course, including lectures, in-depth class discussions, and documentary films.

POLS 2390. Science, Technology, and Public Policy. 4 Hours.

Considers the role of science and technology in the policymaking process, not only as a tool but also as a subject of policymaking. Cases include government involvement in innovation and economic growth, the role of the military in the development of science and technology, the governance and regulation of the effects of scientific and technological progress, public funding of science and technology, and ethical aspects of science and technology, including the emerging focus on anticipatory and participatory governance.

POLS 2395. Environmental Politics and Policy. 4 Hours.

Examines the political forces, governmental institutions, socioeconomic factors, and global trends that shape environmental policy at national and subnational levels in the United States. A spectrum of different environmental issues is discussed, with some comparison of policy activity in the U.S., other nations, and at the global level.

POLS 2399. Research Methods in Political Science. 4 Hours.

Examines the range of research methods and designs used in political science, based on applying the logic of social scientific inquiry. Reviews experimental research, comparative methods, case studies, interviewing, surveys, program evaluation, and other topics relevant to the discipline, as well as questions related to the practice of research ethics. Course activities include intensive writing assignments by students. Requires prior completion of at least two of the following courses: POLS 1150, POLS 1155, and POLS 1160.

POLS 2400. Quantitative Techniques. 4 Hours.

Studies methods of quantitative analysis including descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, cross-tabulation, analysis of variance, bivariate regression and correlation, and multiple regression. Examines how to generate and interpret statistical findings through use of Excel, SPSS, and/or other software programs. Uses examples from political behavior, public policy analysis, public opinion, comparative and international politics, and other areas of political and social-science inquiry to emphasize practical applications.

POLS 2990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 2991. Research Practicum. 2-4 Hours.

Involves students in collaborative research under the supervision of a faculty member. Offers students an opportunity to learn basic research methods in the discipline. Requires permission of instructor. May be repeated once for up to 4 total credits.

POLS 3100. Gender, Social Justice, and Transnational Activism. 4 Hours.

Introduces key issues, themes, and debates in feminist transnational theory, practice, and activism in contemporary contexts and how it has changed under socioeconomic, political, and cultural processes of globalization. Examines differences among women relating to race, class, sexuality, national identity, and political economy in reckoning with possibilities for sustainable social justice. Students interrogate the relationship between the local and global; the production of knowledge in different regional spaces; the pragmatics of political mobilization; the varying contours of “social justice”; and other key issues. Offers students an opportunity to discuss the impact of globalization, neoliberalism, and state and intimate violence on gendered politics and relations and to contend with the politics of difference, to debate its challenges, and to imagine possible futures for transnational gender justice. POLS 3100, SOCL 3100, and WMNS 3100 are cross-listed.

POLS 3160. Campaign Strategy. 4 Hours.

Introduces students to the art of political campaigning in primary or general elections. Utilizes a case-study format to approach various aspects of campaign strategy by analyzing successful and unsuccessful campaigns.

POLS 3162. Local Campaigns and Elections. 4 Hours.

Introduces students to the politics of local campaigns and elections. Studies the history of local electoral systems. Utilizing outcomes of recent local elections, offers students an opportunity to analyze the role of voting behavior, campaign strategies, and money in shaping local campaigns and elections.

POLS 3300. The U.S. Congress. 4 Hours.

Explores the structures, dynamics, and styles inherent in public policymaking within the U.S. Congress. Focuses on elections; representations of constituents’ interests; the roles that participants play: the president, interest groups, and others; and how all of this is affected by the structure of Congress and the process embedded in the legislative body.

POLS 3302. Judicial Process and Behavior. 4 Hours.

Examines the nature of the judiciary in the United States. Focuses on courts and various aspects of the judicial process, including judicial selection, judicial decision making, the impact of judicial decisions on society, and public opinion of courts. After exploring, from various methodological perspectives, how and why courts behave as they do, the course turns its attention to questions about the role of courts in U.S. politics.

POLS 3304. Presidential Nominating Process. 4 Hours.

Offers students an in-depth examination of the process the two major American parties use to nominate their presidential candidates. Major topics include the history and evolution of the presidential nomination process; the contemporary rules regime; the behavior of candidates, voters, and the media; vice presidential selection; the role of the national conventions; and prospects for reform. Students who do not meet course prerequisites may seek permission of instructor.

POLS 3305. The American Presidency. 4 Hours.

Examines the presidential nomination and election processes and the constitutional and extra-constitutional powers of the U.S. president. Focuses on psychological “character types” of presidents as well as the concept of “presidential power.” Considers constitutional and extra-constitutional issues related to presidential disability and succession.

POLS 3307. Public Policy and Administration. 4 Hours.

Analyzes the structure of and dynamics inherent in public policymaking and public administration in the United States. Introduces such concepts as problem definition, agenda development, policy formation, program implementation, and policy evaluation. Covers key issues in public administration including budgeting, personnel, and organizational design.

POLS 3309. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Public Policy. 4 Hours.

Examines the politics and public policies of the movement for equality and social justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in a wide range of state and federal policy areas such as same-sex marriage, military service, family adoption rights, and employment discrimination protection. Reviews the political history of LGBT communities and the treatment of LGBT people since the 1920s in the United States and globally. Analyzes the policy debates by considering voting behavior, trends in public opinion toward LGBT issues, and the political incorporation of LGBT people in the United States and around the world. Students who do not meet course prerequisites may seek permission of instructor.

POLS 3310. Public Opinion, Voting, and Elections. 4 Hours.

Analyzes how Americans think about politics, how they vote, and how the rules of the U.S. electoral system affect electoral outcomes. Major topics include the nature and content of public opinion, mass partisanship, issues and issue voting, presidential and congressional elections, turnout and participation, campaign finance, and recent trends in U.S. electoral behavior.

POLS 3315. Interest Groups and Public Policy. 4 Hours.

Surveys the roles of organized interests in American public policymaking. Examines why groups are formed, how they work, why they succeed or fail, and what cumulative impacts groups have on policy. Spans a variety of groups, from the traditional economic interests to social movements, public interest organizations, and professional lobbyists.

POLS 3320. Politics and Mass Media. 4 Hours.

Analyzes several facets of the mass media: the role of newspapers, radio, television, and the Internet in public opinion formation; their use and effectiveness in political campaigns; their objectivity and/or bias in reporting the news; and their impact on public policymaking.

POLS 3324. Law and Society. 4 Hours.

Examines the sociological understanding of legal phenomena. Places special emphasis on the role of the law in cultural and social conflicts in American society.

POLS 3402. Survey Research and Polling. 4 Hours.

Teaches how to conduct data collection via survey research including research design, sampling, survey instrument construction, and interviewing. Emphasizes survey research in the social and behavioral sciences, culminating in a survey conducted by the class. Prior completion of POLS 2400 or similar course in statistics recommended.

POLS 3405. International Political Economy. 4 Hours.

Addresses international political economy and how we can understand the phenomenon of globalization. Introduces the interaction between international politics and international economics in industrial countries and in developing countries. Covers several theoretical approaches to international political economy. Then analyzes some of the classic issue areas of international trade relations; foreign direct investment and outsourcing; the international monetary and financial system and the role of international institutions; debt and financial crises; and poverty and inequality. Concludes with analysis of how international political economy issues relate to governance, development, and the politics of economic reform.

POLS 3406. International Law. 4 Hours.

Introduces international law and how it redefines and shapes world politics. Offers students an opportunity to learn about the cornerstones of this area of the law: the state, organizations and their legal personality, diplomatic relations, treaties, extraterritorial jurisdiction, extradition, human rights and humanitarian law, the law of the sea trade/economic law, and international criminal law with a focus on the world courts. Considers the degree to which international law is pervasive in the life of individuals and states alike.

POLS 3407. International Organizations. 4 Hours.

Explores the powers, functions, and effectiveness of international institutions in the context of the growing interdependence of states. Examines international organizations such as the United Nations and European Union in their roles as part of international regimes that address issues such as international security, the international political economy, and human rights.

POLS 3408. International Security. 4 Hours.

Examines pressing problems in international security that are on the agenda of nation-states and international and nongovernment organizations. Examples include armed violence, terrorism, organized crime, nuclear proliferation, poverty, infectious diseases, energy security, and environmental degradation. Responses are typically sought through international cooperation and the establishment of international norms that apply to complex problems reaching beyond the borders of any one state.

POLS 3409. Global Governance. 4 Hours.

Introduces the concept of global governance, summarizes the core architectural elements of global governance, and examines the key policy purposes and processes, as well as the principal challenges that affect international security. Prior to the creation of the United Nations, global governance hardly existed—relations among states were largely characterized by power politics, and international cooperation was circumscribed to a few areas. Since the foundation of the United Nations, ever denser networks of international regimes were formed encompassing security policy, trade, finance, environment, human rights, the oceans, and diplomacy and covering all aspects of the life of states, which affects and alters international relations. Students who do not meet course prerequisites may seek permission of instructor.

POLS 3410. Nontraditional Security Issues. 4 Hours.

Focuses on nontraditional security issues and the importance of moving toward sustainability in a finite world. Emphasizes the challenge of balancing limited energy options, powerful negative externalities, and potentially unlimited energy demand. Using sustainability as a central theme, examines policies affecting such areas as water, food, and energy security. Considers the environmental, political, institutional, economic, and social contexts that delimit possible policy options, both nationally and internationally.

POLS 3412. Homeland Security Policy and Politics. 4 Hours.

Examines the issues surrounding homeland security and U.S. policy responses since the attacks of September 11, 2001. Examples include terrorism, cyber-attacks, natural and man-made disasters, infectious diseases, immigration, civil liberties, and infrastructure and community resilience. Emphasizes the evolution in strategy and organization for confronting threats along and within U.S. borders.

POLS 3413. Strategies of Conflict in International Relations. 4 Hours.

Examines concepts and strategies in international conflict. Utilizing theories of international relations and game theory, analyzes major concepts in international conflict, the logic of state preference, and interstate competition. Offers students an opportunity to conduct conceptual and empirical examinations of different types of conflict, including manifestations of war, sanctions, and diplomacy. Introduces strategies and tactics in diplomacy, international negotiation, and bargaining from a practical and theoretical perspective.

POLS 3415. Ethnic Political Violence. 4 Hours.

Analyzes the causes and consequences of contemporary ethnic political violence. Uses historical case studies and current events to provide students with examples and context. Analyzes and applies various strategies for conflict resolution.

POLS 3418. Nationalism. 4 Hours.

Explores contending theories of identity and nationalism—a powerful force in international and domestic politics. Examines topics such as the process of identity creation, the choice of national symbols, how group boundaries are established, the role of identity in conflict and state building, and the debate over nationalism’s constructed or primordial nature.

POLS 3420. U.S. National Security Policy. 4 Hours.

Analyzes U.S. national security policy, with an emphasis on traditional and nontraditional threats, including threats from state and nonstate actors. Studies the national security policy process with special attention to developing countermeasures as well as resilience.

POLS 3423. Terrorism and Counterterrorism. 4 Hours.

Examines some of the core debates over terrorism and counterterrorism. Topics include what constitutes terrorism, why people become terrorists, which targets they attack, whether nuclear terrorism is a serious threat, the extent to which terrorism helps the perpetrators, and their motives. From there, the course introduces the student to viable counterterrorism strategies. Permission of instructor required for students who do not meet prerequisite.

POLS 3425. U.S. Foreign Policy. 4 Hours.

Examines the formulation and conduct of U.S. foreign and national security policy, with major emphasis on the period following the end of the Cold War.

POLS 3427. Civil-Military Relations. 4 Hours.

Studies the major themes and concepts of civil-military relations. Introduces the main theories of civil-military relations to provide context for analyzing the state of this relationship in democratic, nondemocratic, and transitional states. Topics include military professionalism, praetorianism, the role of the military in civil society, and challenges faced in multiethnic states and different threat environments.

POLS 3430. Revolution, Civil War, and Insurrection. 4 Hours.

Examines the causes and consequences of revolution, civil war, and insurrection as well as internal conflicts such as military takeovers. Considers strategies for resolving conflict and building peace. Analyzes various case studies such as Russia, China, Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan.

POLS 3435. Politics and Governance of Europe and the European Union. 4 Hours.

Examines contemporary political and governance issues in Europe and their impact on Europe’s present and future. In addition to considering the values and institutions underlying the European Union’s regional structure, including political, economic, military, social, monetary, and financial issues, the course also examines the issue of European identity and the impact of globalization on Europe.

POLS 3440. Politics in Northern Ireland. 4 Hours.

Analyzes contemporary politics in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Emphasizes the conflict in Northern Ireland with particular attention paid to the roles played by the United States and Great Britain. Considers lessons for other countries.

POLS 3442. Europe and Its Eastern Neighborhood. 4 Hours.

Focuses on the competing interests of the European Union (and NATO) and Russia that dominate the politics of Eastern Europe. As EU interests expand farther eastward, Russia seeks to establish a sphere of influence to its west and south. States in an emerging buffer zone (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova, and Belarus) find themselves competing for influence between Eastern and Western powers. The EU must balance its energy dependence on Russia, its need for new markets, and geopolitical stability in Eurasia with its concern for human rights, democratic governance, and self-determination. What trade-offs are implicit in Europe’s Eastern policy? What are the best policy approaches? What are the main opportunities and obstacles in a newly divided Europe? Students who do not meet course prerequisites may seek permission of instructor.

POLS 3445. Politics in Central and Eastern Europe. 4 Hours.

Studies the six former Soviet bloc socialist countries, as well as Albania and Yugoslavia, and examines political, economic, social, and international problems of postcommunist development.

POLS 3450. Government and Politics in Russia. 4 Hours.

Presents an analysis of the roots of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and studies problems of political development after communism. Emphasizes the introduction of democracy, the movement toward a market economy, the reorganization of the military, and the control of interethnic strife.

POLS 3455. Russian Foreign Policy. 4 Hours.

Presents an analysis of the goals, methods, and achievements of Russian policy in the post-Soviet era toward Eastern Europe, Western Europe, the Middle East, Central and East Asia, and the United States against the background of Soviet behavior toward these areas in the recent past.

POLS 3457. Transatlantic Relations. 4 Hours.

Introduces a range of issues and questions surrounding transatlantic relations by providing an overview of the key theoretical frameworks within which transatlantic relations can be made intelligible (such as concepts of power, hegemony, empire). Offers students an opportunity to develop the ability to critically reflect on the nature, scope, and implications of relations between the United States and Europe.

POLS 3460. Contemporary Government and Politics in Africa. 4 Hours.

Explores contemporary politics in African nations south of the Sahara. Studies South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ethiopia, among others. Examines apartheid, colonialism, Afro-Marxism, chieftaincy, development, and Pan-Africanism.

POLS 3465. Government and Politics in the Middle East. 4 Hours.

Examines political, economic, military, and ideological factors within the Arab states and Israel, inter-Arab politics, pan-Arabism, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the great power rivalry in the region.

POLS 3470. Arab-Israeli Conflict. 4 Hours.

Explores the history and politics of the Arab-Israeli conflict, examining the origins of the conflict, its development over time, the key events that have shaped it, and the different narratives and perceptions of these events. Offers students an opportunity to learn about the conflict from the emergence of Zionism and Arab nationalism up to present day. Emphasizes the Israeli-Palestinian dimension of the conflict.

POLS 3475. Government and Politics in Latin America. 4 Hours.

Focuses on political change in governmental systems, political parties, socioeconomic problems, and foreign policies of Latin American states.

POLS 3480. Government and Politics in Japan. 4 Hours.

Focuses on the development of Japan’s political system since World War II. Examines Japan’s political institutions and practice of democracy in the context of its political culture; the interrelationship between business and government; and Japan’s foreign policy and security issues. Raises issues concerning Japan’s economic success and the limitations of Japan as a model for other countries.

POLS 3482. East Asian Politics. 4 Hours.

Examines the politics of East Asian societies as they cope with a variety of challenges. Focuses on economic development, environment, energy, and security in Japan, China, and the Koreas.

POLS 3485. China: Governance and Foreign Policy. 4 Hours.

Focuses on China’s political system and the major issues confronted: leadership recruitment and succession, economic policies and development, class and class struggle, political culture and socialization, human rights, civil society, the media, and both internal and external security concerns. Examines how ideology, development, culture, and the pursuit of China’s national interest affect governance.

POLS 3487. Politics of Developing Nations. 4 Hours.

Examines the political, governmental, social, economic, cultural, environmental, and geopolitical dimensions of change in nations regarded as “developing” by international standards. Covers a broad spectrum of types of nations including those in Eastern and Central Europe but pays particular attention to those in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.

POLS 3490. Democracy in Comparative Politics. 4 Hours.

Assesses the development of democracy in a variety of nations and examines the fundamental problems facing nations in establishing and maintaining democratic forms of government. Explores ways to evaluate democratic institutional performance and the difficulties inherent in making the transition from nondemocratic to democratic systems.

POLS 3496. International Relations and Sports. 4 Hours.

Examines international sports competitions and sports events from the perspective of international relations theory. Explores the process of sports diplomacy; global sports governance; and specific issues such as amateurism, competition hosting, doping, and women in sports. Considers the Olympic Games and other relevant illustrations.

POLS 3500. Sexuality, Gender, and the Law. 4 Hours.

Examines the legal regulation of gender and sexuality. Investigates concrete legal cases to study the history of constitutional interpretation and the current status of rights for women and sexual minorities. Focuses on important theoretical issues emerging in the writings of diverse feminist and queer legal scholars. Addresses debates over the value of conventional equality approaches in legal doctrine; equality vs. difference perspectives; ways in which legal language constructs gender and sexuality; the incorporation of sexuality and gender in ideologies of law; and the intersections of gender, sexuality, and race in legal doctrine and legal theory. PHIL 3500, POLS 3500, and WMNS 3500 are cross-listed.

POLS 3990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 4500. U.S. Constitutional Law. 4 Hours.

Uses U.S. Supreme Court decisions and other reading materials to analyze theoretical, structural, and substantive issues inherent in, and relevant to, the American constitutional system.

POLS 4505. U.S. Civil Liberties. 4 Hours.

Uses United States Supreme Court decisions and other reading material to examine the substantive and procedural guarantees of the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment and their relation to a liberal democratic society.

POLS 4575. Special Topics: U.S. Politics. 4 Hours.

Analyzes the constitutional, political, economic, and societal dimensions of selected contemporary public issues in U.S. politics. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 4580. Special Topics: Comparative Politics and International Relations. 4 Hours.

Analyzes the constitutional, political, economic, and societal dimensions of selected contemporary public issues in comparative politics and international relations. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 4620. Literature and Politics. 4 Hours.

Uses a variety of fictional readings to gain fresh insight into basic political concepts such as power, leadership, socialization, corruption, and electoral competition. Attention is also given to contemporary issues ranging from minority rights to tobacco control, abortion, or gun control.

POLS 4701. Political Science Senior Capstone. 4 Hours.

Integrates and assesses the concepts and skills developed by students throughout the political science curriculum, including both experiential and classroom-based components. Requires extensive reflection by students on their various educational experiences as well as research projects involving individual and group presentations. Topics include contemporary political issues and relevant literature in the discipline of political science. Consideration is also given to career options for political science students. Required for political science majors and fulfills part of the experiential education requirement.

POLS 4702. Senior Thesis Preparation. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to conduct a significant research project under faculty supervision on a topic within the discipline of political science. Research question is formulated and analyzed through data gathering and a review of relevant literature in political science and related fields. This is the first semester of research for the senior thesis.

POLS 4703. Senior Thesis. 4 Hours.

Continues POLS 4702. Offers students an opportunity to conduct a significant research project under faculty supervision on a topic within the discipline of political science. Research question is formulated and analyzed through data gathering and a review of relevant literature in political science and related fields.

POLS 4910. Model United Nations. 4 Hours.

Introduces students to model simulations as a means of learning about international relations, diplomacy, and international organizations. Offers students an opportunity to conduct research and represent countries in current and historical simulations of the United Nations, U.N. organizations/agencies, regional international organizations, and joint cabinet crisis scenarios. Participating students have an opportunity to be selected for an off-campus competitive conference experience. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 4915. Model Arab League. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to participate in teams that research assigned nations and represent those nations in a model Arab League role-playing exercise. Students may be selected to represent Northeastern University at the regional or national Model Arab League conferences in Washington, D.C., and different states. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 4917. Model European Union. 4 Hours.

Offers students the opportunity to participate in teams and conduct research on political issues in assigned nations and then represent those nations in a model European Union role-playing exercise. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 4918. Model NATO. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to participate in teams that research assigned nations and represent those nations in a model role-playing exercise of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Students may be selected to represent Northeastern University at the National Model NATO program in Washington, D.C. May be repeated up to two times.

POLS 4937. Dialogue of Civilizations: Government and Politics Abroad. 4 Hours.

Examines government and politics in another country or region of the world through faculty-led travel to that country or region. Offers students an opportunity to enhance their knowledge of government and politics by attending and participating in various educational activities in the country of study. The course begins in the United States with an introduction to the country or region and concludes with activities that facilitate reflection and learning related to the experience abroad. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 4938. Dialogue of Civilizations: International Politics Abroad. 4 Hours.

Examines issues in international politics through faculty-led travel outside the United States. Offers students an opportunity to enhance their knowledge of international politics by attending and participating in various educational activities in another country. Course topics cover a range of interconnected global issues that go beyond states’ borders, possibly including armed conflict, terrorism, organized crime, poverty, environmental degradation, the spread of nuclear weapons, and others. The course begins in the United States with an introduction to the relevant topics in international politics and concludes with activities that facilitate reflection and learning related to the experience abroad. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 4942. Internship in Politics. 4 Hours.

Gives students the opportunity to engage in a political or governmental internship under the supervision of a faculty member with departmental approval. Requires prior completion of 64 SH toward degree. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 4944. Student Leadership Practicum. 4 Hours.

Considers how undergraduate students make pivotal contributions to governance, services, and the quality of daily life at Northeastern University through student government and other activities, ranging from residential services to publication of the campus newspaper. Gives students involved in such on-campus leadership roles an opportunity to participate in a course-based seminar related directly to their service. The objective is to incorporate student leadership into the general framework of experiential education by such means as reflective discussions, meetings with University administrators, group projects, and exposure to academic perspectives on leadership. As part of this practicum, students participate in parts of the “President’s Leadership Institute,” a module-based exploration of leadership principles within both educational and community settings.

POLS 4947. Campaign and Elections Practicum. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to work on local and statewide political campaigns under the supervision of a member of the faculty and a campaign staff member. Students research the political climate and recent historical details of a campaign’s geographic area; apply facts, information, and campaign strategy to the process of campaigning; and discuss progress of their campaign experience in class sessions. Requires students to produce pre- and postelection analysis and reflection papers. May be repeated once.

POLS 4948. Community-Based Research Practicum. 4 Hours.

Involves students in applied social research projects that are defined in partnership with local civic, public affairs, and social service groups. Students collaborate on a final report that is presented to the community partner at the end of the course.

POLS 4970. Junior/Senior Honors Project 1. 4 Hours.

Focuses on in-depth project in which a student conducts research or produces a product related to the student’s major field. Combined with Junior/Senior Project 2 or college-defined equivalent for 8-credit honors project. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 4971. Junior/Senior Honors Project 2. 4 Hours.

Focuses on second semester of in-depth project in which a student conducts research or produces a product related to the student’s major field. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 4990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 4991. Research. 4 Hours.

Offers an opportunity to conduct research under faculty supervision. May be repeated once.

POLS 4992. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 4993. Independent Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 4996. Experiential Education Directed Study. 4 Hours.

Draws upon the student’s approved experiential activity and integrates it with study in the academic major. Restricted to those students who are using it to fulfill their experiential education requirement. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 5101. Special Topics in Politics and Political Science. 3 Hours.

Examines current issues and special topics in the areas of political science, politics, and public affairs. May be repeated up to three times.

POLS 5976. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers assigned reading under the supervision of a faculty member. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 5978. Independent Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor. May be repeated without limit.

POLS 5984. Research. 1-4 Hours.

Offers an opportunity to conduct research under faculty supervision. May be repeated without limit.