The science of politics and of the major institutions, processes and theories of modern government. Comparison of democratic and totalitarian systems. Focuses on the United States and selected foreign political systems.
Political Science Courses
POLS 101 - Introduction to Political Science
POLS 111 - American Government
The Constitution, the federal system and democracy, the presidency, Congress and the Supreme Court, political parties and special interest groups: how they work, and the decisions they make.
POLS 111H - American Government (Honors)
American Government (Honors) provides students with the opportunity to learn broadly about the institutional framework, the United States Constitution, and the process of American Government. In addition, students will read, engage, debate, and write critically about the various underlying theoretical elements central to the American political system. This course will place a heavy emphasis on seminal academic works that examine the competing political traditions within American political culture. Students will also read original works and speeches written and delivered by American historical figures as well as prominent scholarly works. Students will debate and write critically about those materials. In addition, students will examine contrasting theories in regard to institutional behavior.
ENGL 101, which may be taken concurrently.
POLS 112 - Introduction to International Relations
The course will cover the theories of international relations (IR) and apply them to the broader context of global politics. Students will learn key concepts and ideologies. They will make comparative analyses of the types of political systems and ideologies found in both the developed and developing countries and identify patterns of political behavior. These patterns can then be linked to theories, concepts and ideologies that have been studied. The contents of this course will be placed in historical and socio-cultural contexts.
POLS 117 - City and State Government and Politics, with Cases from Philadelphia and Pennsylvania
Using a case study and problem solving approach, this course introduces students to the institutions and complex processes of city and state government and politics, with special attention to Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. By examining rules, practices and issues in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, students learn basics about how city and state governments are structured, financed and managed; how political power is sought, maintained and allocated; and how services are organized and delivered to citizens. The course surveys the governmental structures as well as the parties and other organizations involved in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania politics, and examines their constituencies, agendas and modes of operation. Students also study and discuss current major local issues and the policies that are being proposed to address them. Comparisons are made to similar and contrasting features and issues in other American cities and states.