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POLS 390

Topics in Government and Politics

An examination of selected topics related to political science.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Social Science 1 course

Fall Semester information

Brett O'Bannon

390A: Tps: Gender and World Politics

Darby Morrisroe

390B: Tps: Presidential Elections

This course aims to provide a deep understanding of the American system of presidential selection. Students will consider the historical development of presidential election process and examine the contemporary process and strategies for selecting party nominees and contesting a general election. Additionally, the course will explore multiple aspects of the electoral landscape, such as campaign financing, media, technology, political parties and voters. In taking this course, students will be asked to weigh in on contemporary debates surrounding presidential elections and to grapple with some of the difficult normative questions associated with selecting the occupant of the nation's highest office.

Spring Semester information

Sunil Sahu

390A: Tps:International Terrorism

Salil Benegal

390B: Tps:Political Psychology

Darby Morrisroe

390C: Tps:Judicial Politics

Deepa Prakash

390D: Tps:Ethics and International Relations

Brett O'Bannon

390E: Tps:Global Humanitarian Action

The starting point of this course relates to a fairly recent development in international affairs --the recognition that the concepts of "politics" and "humanitarianism" are not alien to each other. Indeed since the end of the Cold War long-standing principles of humanitarian assistance (neutrality, impartiality, etc.) have in many quarters given way to overtly political, or even to what one observer called "muscular" humanitarianism. This course will explore the ethical, legal and political challenges facing the world's humanitarian community as it seeks to alleviate the suffering of those caught up in conflict and other complex humanitarian emergencies. We will interrogate the interests of what Alex de Walle refers to as the Humanitarian International. We will examine contemporary strategies and organizational principles of humanitarian action. We will recognize extraordinary successes and spectacular failures. The world today faces myriad interlinked humanitarian crises of unprecedented scale, including the global refugee crisis now registering more than 65 million displaced persons in desperate need of succor. How well positioned is the humanitarian international to respond to these complex crises? Time will tell, but we'll begin our own exploration of this pressing question.