Jan 24, 2021  
2018-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2018-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Course Descriptions


Core Curriculum Requirements
The Core Foundation/Proficiency attribute search terms are:

  • Civic Engagement, Diversity, Ethics, Fine Arts, Natural Science, Oral Communication, Philosophy, Physics-Based Natural Science, Quantitative Reasoning, Social Science, Theology, Writing I, Writing II

To search in the Catalog for courses that meet specific Core Foundation/Proficiency attributes, there are three options:

  1. Use the Course Filter on the Course Descriptions page. Enter your desired search term in the “Keyword or Phrase” box and check the box beneath for “Find whole word or phrase only.”
  2. Enter the desired search term, in quotes, in the Publication Search box.
  3. Use the Advanced Search feature of the Publication Search. Click on the Advanced Search button and type in the desired search term in the “Enter a keyword or phrase” field, check the box beneath for “Find whole word or phrase only.”, and leave only the Courses checkbox checked. This will ensure that only courses containing the desired search term show.

In addition, users may visit the Core Curriculum site for a listing of courses that have been approved for specific Core Curriculum requirements and/or search the Semester Course Offerings in CyberFriar.

Need assistance? Please contact the Office of the Registrar or 401.865.1033.

 

Political Science

  
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    PSC 101 - Politics


    1 semester, 3 credits- Core Foundation/Proficiency: Civic Engagement; Social Science

    An introduction to the study of politics and the discipline of political science. Examines the fundamental normative ideas and debates about politics; basic principles behind political ideologies; the logic of the scientific method used in empirical political science; and, a review of the four political science subfields. Open to freshmen and sophomores only.


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    PSC 201 - American Government and Politics


    1 semester, 3 credits- Core Foundation/Proficiency: Social Science

    An analysis of American political institutions, politics, and political behavior. The interrelated nature of public opinion, pressure groups, political parties, the decision-making structures, and public policy are surveyed. Fulfills the American Politics requirement.


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    PSC 205 - Comparative Politics


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    An introduction to several techniques and approaches used in cross-national comparative analysis. Fulfills the Comparative Government and Politics requirement.


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    PSC 207 - International Relations


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    A study of the basic factors in international relations of the Western and non-Western state systems, the distribution of power, the balance of power, of nationalism, and the adjustment of inter-state conflict through law, diplomacy, and war. Fulfills the International Relations requirement.


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    PSC 211 - Public Administration


    1 semester, 3 credits- Core Foundation/Proficiency: Oral Communication

    An introduction to the structure, operation, and politics of American public administration. Focuses on the federal bureaucracy with comparisons to state and local administration, where appropriate. Special attention is given to administrative theories, problems in intergovernmental relations, organizational reform, and the budgetary process. Fulfills the American Politics requirement.


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    PSC 215 - Human Rights


    1 semester, 3 credits- Core Foundation/Proficiency: Oral Communication

    Human rights are a universally recognized aspiration at the center of a global political struggle. Human Rights are also the subject matter of a growing academic discipline. Introduces the legal, political, moral and historical foundations, theoretical underpinnings, and key debates in the field, and familiarizes students with the skills necessary to become effective human rights advocates. 


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    PSC 217 - Environmental Politics


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    Advanced survey of contemporary political ecology. Subjects include ecological crises and global political responses; the history of the environmental movement; the dynamics of public and private interest in environmental policy-making; the emergence of Green parties in Europe, the United States, Oceania, Africa, Asia, and Latin America; and the diversity of underlying philosophies that guide environmental politics.


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    PSC 300 - Law and Society


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    Deals with the American legal system from a behavioral perspective. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of the behavior of the major actors in the legal system: attorneys, judges, police, and press. Some attention will be given to schools of jurisprudence and criminal justice policy. Fulfills the American Politics requirement.


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    PSC 302 - Research Methods


    1 semester, 3 credits- Core Foundation/Proficiency: Quantitative Reasoning

    An in-depth survey of the logic and use of quantitative and qualitative methods in empirical political inquiry and analysis. Covers philosophical foundations, conceptual approaches, and practical techniques for analyzing a wide variety of political phenomena. Prepares students to undertake substantial independent research on a topic of their choice. Open to Political Science majors, generally in their third year. Prerequisite: PSC 101.


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    PSC 303 - Urban Politics in the United States


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    A survey of city politics in the United States from a variety of theoretical perspectives, using analytical concepts such as social class, pluralism, political economy, and urban regimes. Includes urban elections and party machines, metropolitan development and suburbanization, and racial and ethnic political mobilization. Fulfills the American Politics requirement. Same as BLS 303.


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    PSC 305 - The American Congress


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    An analysis of the dynamics of the United States Congress. Included will be a consideration of the constituency relationship, internal procedures, and the congressional role in the policy process. Fulfills the American Politics requirement. Same as HIS 305.


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    PSC 306 - The American Presidency


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    An analysis of the contemporary presidency and its relationship to the American political system. Presidential power and roles are examined in terms of constitutional, institutional, personal, and contextual factors. Attention is given to evaluations and interpretations of the office, to presidential elections, and to the nature of presidential activity in domestic and foreign policy making. Same as AMS 306. Fulfills the American Politics requirement.


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    PSC 307 - The American Supreme Court


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    An examination of the history of the American Supreme Court, the judicial decision-making process, and theories of constitutional interpretation, with an emphasis on the current docket. Follows events as they unfold before the Court, including nominations and confirmation hearings. Reviews prior jurisprudence and historical context, while considering all sides of the legal and political issues, for each case covered. Same as AMS 307.


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    PSC 310 - American Foreign Policy


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    The larger foreign policy problems confronting the United States today, considered in the light of American values, historic patterns, and the current world situation. Fulfills the American Politics requirement. Same as AMS 310.


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    PSC 311 - American Constitutional Law


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    An introduction to the American legal system and the development and evolution of the United States Constitution through judicial interpretation. Emphasis will be placed on courts as political institutions directly involved in the development of public policy. Areas covered include judicial review, federalism, separation of powers, and economic policy. Fulfills the American Politics requirement. Same as HIS 311.


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    PSC 312 - Civil Liberties


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    A survey of the rights of the individual in the American political system as they have evolved and been defined by the judiciary. Particular emphasis will be placed on freedom of thought and communication, criminal procedure, and the quest for equality. Fulfills the American Politics requirement.


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    PSC 315 - Elections and Electoral Behavior


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    This course is concerned with the behavior of the American electorate. It examines in detail the factors that contribute to individual voting behavior and the outcomes of elections. Special attention is given to electoral change. Fulfills the American Politics requirement. Prerequisites: PSC 201.


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    PSC 316 - Political Parties and Interest Groups


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    A consideration of the two primary forms of political organization in the United States. The emphasis will be on understanding the formation and organization of parties and interest groups and their activities related to decision-making in government. Fulfills the American Politics requirement. Prerequisite: PSC 201.


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    PSC 317 - Comparative State Politics


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    An introduction to state government and politics in the United States. States will be compared, individually and in groups, along such dimensions as electoral participation, executive leadership, legislative activity, and policy outputs. Fulfills the American Politics requirement.


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    PSC 318 - American Public Policy


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    Introduction to the analysis of American public policies. Describes current public policy in a number of domestic policy areas. Emphasis is placed on examining alternative explanatory models for a more intelligent understanding of public policy. The roles of public administrators in the formulation, analysis, implementation, and evaluation of public policies are discussed. Fulfills the American Politics requirement.


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    PSC 319 - Political Attitudes and Public Opinion


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    An analysis of the sources and distribution of public opinion in the United States. Attention will be given to relationships between social background, personality characteristics, and opinions on political issues. Additionally, linkages between public opinion and public policy will be considered. Fulfills the American Politics requirement. Prerequisite: PSC 201.


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    PSC 320 - Comparative Asian Government and Politics


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    Uses a comparative approach to examine the political systems of various Asian nations including China, Japan, the Koreas, and Indonesia. Special attention will be given to the impact of culture on politics and the political institutions and the politics of Asian economic development. Fulfills the Comparative Government and Politics requirement. Same as AST 320.


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    PSC 321 - Chinese Politics


    1 semester, 3 credits- Core Foundation/Proficiency: Diversity

    Examines politics in the People’s Republic of China. Topics include, for example, politics and social structure prior to 1949, the Communist Party and Cultural Revolution, state society relations, ideology and religion, elite politics, grass roots mobilization, domestic and international consequences of market reforms, popular protest, and prospects for political liberalization. Same as AST 321.


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    PSC 324 - Government and Politics of Russia and the Former Soviet Union


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    An analysis of the political systems of Russia and other nations of the former Soviet Union, with emphasis on historical continuity and change, ideology, the authoritarian model, functionalism, modernization, and policy decision-making processes. Fulfills the Comparative Government and Politics requirement.


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    PSC 325 - Comparative Revolutions


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    Surveys concepts and theories of revolution. Generalizations derived from studies of the great Western revolutions in England, France, and Russia will be re-examined in the light of recent experiences in China, Vietnam, Cuba, or Iran. Fulfills the Comparative Government and Politics requirement. Same as AST 325.


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    PSC 326 - Mass Media and Politics


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    Deals with the influence of mass media on politics. The political content of entertainment and news programming in both electronic and print media will be analyzed. Attention will be given to determinants of political messages in mass media and the consequences of those messages for political behavior. Fulfills the American Politics requirement.


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    PSC 329 - Middle Eastern Politics


    1 semester, 3 credits- Core Foundation/Proficiency: Diversity

    A comparative introduction to the complex politics of the Middle East. Examines the contemporary relevance of Islamic movements, Zionism, and secularist ideologies and parties; evaluates the progress of “democratization”; considers the politics of social and economic development, oil production, and international petroleum markets; and explores in greater depth the domestic political systems of selected Middle Eastern countries. Fulfills the Comparative Government and Politics requirement.


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    PSC 334 - African Politics


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    Analysis of government and politics in selected African countries, focusing on issues of economic liberalization, democratization and good governance, ethnicity, class, gender, youth, conflicts, and civil wars. Emphasis on evolving state-society and civil-society relations within the context of new political structures and democratic institutions. Fulfills the Comparative Government and Politics requirement. Same as BLS 334.


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    PSC 336 - Latin American Politics


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    The study of government and politics in the context of development and underdevelopment in Latin America, including an analysis of international actors, especially the role of the United States policy in the region. Fulfills the Comparative Government and Politics requirement.


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    PSC 341 - Classical Political Theory


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    A study of ancient Greek, medieval Christian, and early modern political theory, with emphasis on Plato’s Republic. Fulfills the Political Theory requirement.


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    PSC 342 - Modern Political Theory


    1 semester, 3 credits- Core Foundation/Proficiency: Philosophy

    A study of modern political theory, with emphasis on Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Marx. Fulfills the Political Theory requirement. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors only.


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    PSC 344 - Democratic Theory


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    Examines how the ancient Greeks first posed certain problems of democratic political theory and then compares the ancient treatment with that of some modern and/or contemporary theorists who deal with the same questions. Emphasis may vary. Fulfills the Political Theory requirement.


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    PSC 348 - American Political Theory


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    A study of the development of American political thought: the Colonial period, the Revolution, the evolution of the Constitution, Jeffersonian democracy, the slavery controversy, the nature of the Union, and political currents since the Civil War. Fulfills the Political Theory requirement.


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    PSC 361 - International Politics of the Middle East


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    Addresses contemporary international conflicts and cooperation in the Middle East, including inter-Arab relations, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Persian-Arab conflict, war and diplomacy in the Persian Gulf (especially Iraq and Iran), East-West politics in Turkey, and the role of outside powers such as the United States, Russia, China, and the European Union. Fulfills the International Relations requirement. Prerequisite: PSC 207.


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    PSC 369 - International Law and Organization


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    Examines major procedural and substantive aspects of international law, emphasizing the interaction between law and politics. Topics include the role and politics of the United Nations, the evolution of regional federations, and treaties or regulatory regimes that govern international economic, environmental, human rights, humanitarian, and security relations. Fulfills the International Relations requirement. Prerequisite: PSC 207.


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    PSC 375 - International Conflict Resolution


    1 semester, 3 credits- Core Foundation/Proficiency: Diversity

    War and peace, and the factors that influence both, comprise the core of international relations. Students will gain an understanding of major theories explaining international conflict and will consider a variety of approaches for seeking peace, including negotiation, mediation, and reconciliation. Examines how power and diverse identities affect political violence, peacemaking, and post-conflict peace building. Prerequisite: PSC 207.


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    PSC 380 - Gender and Politics


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    A study of the political significance of the treatment, roles, and status of women, with emphasis on the United States. Examination of the meaning of gender, sexism, and feminism. Same as AMS 380, BLS 380, WMS 380.


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    PSC 382 - Politics of Visual Culture


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    An examination of the relationship between politics and the arts. Emphasis may vary between literature and visual art, and between high culture and popular culture.


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    PSC 384 - The Politics of the 1960s in America


    1 semester, 4 credits-

    Covers the major political events of the 1960s in the United States and the American War in Vietnam. Focuses on the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power movement, the American War in Vietnam, the domestic Anti-War Movement, the Counter-Culture, and the beginnings of Second Wave feminism and the Gay Liberation movement. Uses the study of the 1960s as a bridge for understanding the present.


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    PSC 415 - History of Presidential Elections I


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    Examines the history of our electoral system in general and then considers each presidential election from Washington to the election of 1820, noting particularly the changes that have taken place from year to year. Same as HIS 415. Satisfies pre-1877 American history requirement for minor.


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    PSC 416 - Race and Politics in the Americas


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    Advanced, in-depth survey of racial politics in North America, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Considers analytical perspectives such as post colonialism, pan-Africanism, negritude, indigenismo, critical race theory, racial patriarchy, and the “racial contract.” Examines the politics of Indigenous, African-descent, Latino, and Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Fulfills either the American Politics or the Comparative Government and Politics requirement. Same as BLS 416.


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    PSC 419 - Policy Analysis and Advocacy


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    A hands-on introduction to policy analysis at the state and local levels. After learning about the role of research and analysis in the policymaking process, students work in groups on a research project of contemporary relevance to Rhode Island policymakers. Students formally present their research and advocate for their preferred policy outcomes as a part of the class.


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    PSC 421 - Political Thought in Science Fiction


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    Explores political messages inherent in science fiction literature and film, using philosophical perspectives drawn from Western and non-Western political theory. Students learn to recognize explicit and implicit political values imparted by authors of fiction, for a better understanding of both politics and culture.


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    PSC 430 - International Political Economy


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    Examines origins and evolution of the contemporary global economy, emphasizing interdependence and competition among developed countries, increasing globalization and the backlash against it, and the widening gap between the developed and underdeveloped countries. Focus on foreign debt and financial crises, regional trade arrangements, multinational corporations, global production, and the search for sustainable development in the South. Fulfills the International Relations requirement. Prerequisite: PSC 207.


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    PSC 450 - Political Science Internship


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    Offers credit to students participating in internships in government, political, and nonprofit public service organizations. Specific academic assignments are included as designated by the instructor.


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    PSC 456 - Model Organization of American States


    1 semester, 3 credits- Core Foundation/Proficiency: Oral Communication

    Focuses on diplomacy and international organizations in the Americas. Seeks to develop public speaking, negotiation, and critical thinking skills as delegates debate resolutions in a simulated summit in Washington, DC. Covers the structure of the Inter-American system and the Organization of American States, power relations among Latin American states, and the impact of the OAS on democracy, security, development, and cooperation.


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    PSC 488 - Capstone Seminar in Political Science


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    Subject varies depending upon the faculty member teaching the course. Every seminar emphasizes extensive student writing. Students critically review concepts, theories, approaches, and methodologies, then employ these to complete a substantial research project involving original research, critical review of the literature, a substantial piece of written research and an oral presentation. Prerequisite: Completion of seven political science courses.


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    PSC 489 - Capstone Seminar in Political Science


    1 semester, 3 credits- Core Foundation/Proficiency: Writing II

    Subject varies depending upon the faculty member teaching the course. Every seminar emphasizes extensive student writing. Students critically review concepts, theories, approaches, and methodologies, then employ these to complete a substantial research project involving original research, critical review of the literature, a substantial piece of written research and an oral presentation. Prerequisite: Completion of seven political science courses.


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    PSC 490 - Independent Study


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    Students propose an original research project or community service activity, which is supervised by a faculty member. Readings are assigned to integrate the independent activity with the discipline. A major paper is typically assigned as a frame for the research or activity. Students may count this course only once toward their major or minor requirements. Prerequisite: Department chairperson permission. For juniors and seniors only.


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    PSC 498 - Honors Thesis I


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    First part of two semesters of directed research and the submission of the results in written form to the department. Prerequisite: Seniors only. Departmental approval required.


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    PSC 499 - Honors Thesis II


    1 semester, 3 credits-

    Second part of two semesters of directed research and the submission of the results in written form to the department. Prerequisite: Seniors only. Departmental approval required.


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