The History and Political Science Department offers a major and a minor in political science. The study of politics in the department is intended to acquaint the student with the major principles, institutions, and problems which have historically shaped society and the state. Such a program of study includes the politics of America, Europe, and the international order. Moreover, it includes the problems of conflict, of society’s organization, and of the policy-making process both here and abroad. The study of politics is meant to prepare the student for advanced study or for a professional career. 

Overview

Your Program

The material offered in political science is intended to acquaint you with the many principles, institutions, and problems that have historically shaped society and the state. Courses are offered in the fields of comparative politics, international politics, and American politics, and the focus is on policy-making processes both in America and abroad. The curriculum will prepare you for a range of opportunities in advanced study or a professional career.

Your Experience

As a major and/or minor in political science, you will undertake a rigorous analysis and criticism of historic documents and scholarship. You will have opportunities to learn outside the classroom, through original research projects, January Term travel courses, and participation in the activities carried out and sponsored both by the department as well as Phi Alpha Theta, the history honors society, debates, lectures, and discussions. You may also choose to participate in our Model United Nations program held in New York during the spring of each year. In addition, you and other students will have opportunities to present original research at national undergraduate student conferences.

Your Faculty

Our faculty members are both teachers and scholars who conduct their own research and publish and present in scholarly journals and academic conferences. They will encourage you to challenge yourself academically and personally. Small class sizes and a faculty dedicated to teaching create strong student-teacher relationships in the Department of History and Political Science. Our faculty act as mentors who use both their professional expertise and experience to guide their students through the program while also preparing them for their professional lives afterwards.

Your Results

As a political science major or minor, you will graduate with exemplary skills in research, critical thinking, and communication, while being versed in your discipline(s). A degree in political science will prepare you for law school and other graduate programs.

Major/Minor

Political Science Major (BA)

A major consists of eleven courses. Students majoring in political science are required to complete four core courses, to complete five courses within a particular track (political science track, public policy track or international relations track), plus two additional POLI or approved interdisciplinary electives.

Required core courses:

  • POLI 100. Survey of Political Science (3 hrs)
  • POLI 130. Research Methods (3 hrs)
  • POLI 210. Political Thought and Theory (3 hrs)
  • POLI 310. Senior Seminar in Political Science (3 hrs)

Choose one of the following tracks:

Political Science:

  • POLI 110. Introduction to International Relations (3 hrs)
  • POLI 120. American Politics and Public Policy (3 hrs)
  • POLI 140. Comparing Governments (3 hrs)
  • POLI 240. American Foreign Policy (3 hrs)
  • POLI 260. The Political Economy of the State (3 hrs)

Public Policy:

  • POLI 105. Introduction to Public Policy (3 hrs)
  • POLI 150. Public Policy Analysis (3 hrs)
  • POLI 160. Gender, Politics, and Policy (3 hrs)
  • POLI 220. Ethics and Public Policy (3 hrs)
  • POLI 230. State, Regional, and Local Government Policy (3 hrs)

International Relations:

  • POLI 110. Introduction to International Relations (3 hrs)
  • POLI 140. Comparing Governments (3 hrs)
  • POLI 225. International Security (3 hrs)
  • POLI 235. International Political Geography (3 hrs)
  • POLI 245. International Development (3 hrs)

Additional Political Science Electives:

Select any two POLI electives or approved interdisciplinary courses (3 hrs min. each)


Political Science Minor

The minor in political science requires the completion of five courses and must include POLI 100. At least three of the five courses must be taken at Salem. 

Courses

POLI 100. Survey of Political Science (3 hrs)

This class will provide the new student of political science with a general introduction to the discipline to include a survey of the field studies of American, comparative, international, and public policy. (SS)

POLI 105. Introduction to Public Policy (3 hrs)

This course is designed as the gateway offering for students intending to pursue the field track in public policy. The course will introduce the student to public policy formulation and analysis, including agenda-setting strategies, problems of legitimating, policy adoption, implementation, and evaluation. (SS)

POLI 110. Introduction to International Relations (3 hrs)

International affairs with emphasis on international relations theory, foreign policy-making, and efforts at global cooperation. Also includes discussion of contemporary issues confronting the world community. (SS), (GA)

POLI 120. American Politics and Public Policy (3 hrs)

Introduction to politics in America, with an emphasis on the institutions, policies, and personalities of the national government through a consideration of power in American life with studies of the political environmental for public policy analysis in the United States. (SS)

POLI 130. Research Methods (3 hrs)

This course will provide the student with the basic research and analysis skills necessary to accomplish scholarship within the social science discipline. Students will be instructed in the development of research questions, hypotheses, and empirical methods of analysis for both qualitative and quantitative study.

POLI 140. Comparing Governments (3 hrs)

An introductory study of selected contemporary governments with an emphasis on the general theory and techniques of the comparative analysis method. This course includes an outline of the process of political change and democratization, a discussion of alternative government forms and an analysis of the shared patterns of most governments. (SS), (GA)

POLI 145. Politics and Society (3 hrs)

This course will provide a window of analysis on the study of how politics and society interrelate to form such conceptual identities as mass society, civic society, economic society, political society, and civil societies. Processes and outcomes of political socialization is the core component of this course.

POLI 150. Public Policy Analysis (3 hrs)

This course focuses on strategies for, and actual practice of, conducting research relevant to public policy discussions. This course comprises part of the public policy track and introduces students to how policies are evaluated at the adoption, implementation, and evaluation stages. The course provides an opportunity to consider the utility of policy studies, and the various ways knowledge about particular issues is put to use. Prerequisites: POLI 105 or permission of instructor.

POLI 160. Gender, Politics, and Policy (3 hrs)

This course will introduce students to the study of women and politics. Students will consider how political institutions affect the opportunities for women to seek political office, the impact of women’s political presence on policy decisions, and how policy decisions mirror and shape sex roles in society. Students will learn the connection between public policy and the possibilities for social change.

POLI 200. Independent Study in Political Science (1-4 hrs)

Independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to students with a 2.0 cumulative average and permission of the chair of the department. Independent study may take the form of readings, research, conference, project, and/or field experience. Independent study may be taken for a total of four courses, no more than two in any term. Prerequisite: POLI 100 and one other POLI course, or permission of instructor.

POLI 205. National Model United Nations (3 hrs)

This course provides an interactive and role-playing format for students interested in international organizations, international diplomacy, and the workings of the United Nations organizations. Each student assumes the role of a delegate from an assigned country, researches the issues, countries, and policy agendas assigned to that country delegation, and travels to New York City to participate as a member of the Salem College delegation to this national conference.

POLI 210. Political Thought and Theory (3 hrs)

This course will survey ancient, modern, and contemporary philosophers to introduce students to the foundations of Western political thought. Topics covered will include democratic theory, social contract theory, social justice, and rights. Students will read texts from key thinkers such as Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Mill, Machiavelli, Rosseau, Kymlicka, and Rawls. (GA)

POLI 214. The Global Cold War (3 hrs)

Rather than viewing the Cold War solely as a struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union, this course seeks to reconceptualize the Cold War as a truly global conflict, shaped also by the peoples of Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Cross-listed with HIST 214.

POLI 220. Ethics and Public Policy (3 hrs)

This course examines the nature and validity of arguments about vexing moral issues in public policy. Students examine a number of basic moral controversies in public life, focusing on different frameworks for thinking about justice and the ends of politics. The primary aim of the course is to provide each student with an opportunity to develop his/her ability to think in sophisticated ways about morally difficult policy issues. Prerequisites: POLI 100 or POLI 105 or permission of instructor.

POLI 225. International Security (3 hrs)

A review of the events and policy decisions which contribute to the formation of the international system and balance of power as it exists today, through a review of selected case study examples of real or potential security threats and an evaluation of the path to the many post-Cold War conflicts. Prerequisite: HIST 104 or POLI 110, or permission of instructor. (GA)

POLI 230. State, Regional and Local Government Policy (3 hrs)

This course analyzes the public policy challenges faced by state and local communities. Particular emphasis will be placed on the problems of urban areas, including education, crime, poverty, economic development, housing, and transportation. Throughout the course, students will use their home states, counties, and/or towns (or another area of their choosing) as a case study of how specific communities have attempted to address similar challenges. The course examines the roles of citizens, non-profits, and government agencies at all levels in effecting change through local public policy outcomes. Prerequisite: POLI 100 or POLI 105 or POLI 120 or permission of instructor.

POLI 235. International Political Geography (3 hrs)

Study of the enduring fascinations of human society with the way in which competing claims over the control and management of land and resources are played out. The course has a focus on the empires, nations, individuals, organizations, and interest groups which are continually vying with each other to promote their own interests, often destabilizing and changing the existing order and remaking the world in their own image. Prerequisite: HIST 104 or POLI 110. (GA)

POLI 240. American Foreign Policy (3 hrs)

A study of US foreign policy and of the decision-making process in the American foreign affairs establishment. Analysis of American foreign policy trends and contemporary political, military, and economic policies. Prerequisite: HIST 104, HIST 106, POLI 110 or POLI 120. (GA)

POLI 245. International Development (3 hrs)

The plight of the “undeveloped” regions of the world has been a focus of the “modernization” and “democratization” policies of the UN, Europe, and the United States. In spite of all of this policy effort and investment, civil conflict, rebellion, genocide, mass (often forced) migration, poverty, and disease continue to plague the developing countries of the world. This course will investigate selected examples and patterns of the problems encountered by emergent less developed countries, and outline some of the key policy issues that must be addressed. Prerequisite: HIST 104 or POLI 110, or permission of instructor. (GA)

POLI 250. Special Topics in Political Science (1-4 hrs)

An issue or problem in contemporary politics will be studied intensively. The specific content and methods of study will be announced prior to the beginning of the course. Prerequisite: one political science course or permission of instructor. Offered as needed.

POLI 260. The Political Economy of the State (3 hrs)

Political economy is about the struggle for power and wealth within the national state and in the international system. With a focus on how the liberal states maximize wealth and link themselves to the international system and use state power in the international system in a way that maximizes their ability to generate new wealth. POLI 110 or permission of instructor. (GA)

POLI 265. US Constitutional and Legal History (3 hrs)

Studying the US Constitution, Supreme Court decisions, and other legal documents from throughout the nation’s history, students consider how the law functioned to change, resist, and promote certain interests within society over time. Particular attention is devoted to legal constructions of race, gender roles, and sexuality, the changing status of women within the legal system, and women’s activism concerning specific cases, policies, and legislation. Cross-listed as HIST 265.

POLI 270. Internship in Political Science (1-4 hrs)

An opportunity to use the knowledge and skills the student has learned in coursework to solve problems in a real work setting; the apprenticeship aspect of the internship implies that the student has some base of knowledge and will increase her knowledge and skills by direct contact with an experienced, knowledgeable mentor. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a 2.0 cumulative average; maximum credit per term is one course; admission by application only.

POLI 290. Honors Independent Study in Political Science (3-4 hrs)

Advanced independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to juniors and seniors with a 3.5 average in political science, subject to approval of the chair of the department. Honors independent study may be taken for a maximum of two courses. Prerequisites: POLI 100 and POLI 130, or permission of instructor.

POLI 310. Senior Seminar in Political Science (3 hrs)

Advanced study of current problems in world affairs with an emphasis on international relations theory. Extensive discussion of current issues. Prerequisites: POLI 110 and POLI 130.

Internships
Success Stories
Having such distinguished and passionate faculty members is what makes Salem a unique place where students grow from girls to women. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I would not be where I am today if I had not had the guidance of such prestigious, humble, and kind individuals. Because of wonderful faculty and mentoring—as well as constant support from my Salem Sisters—I was encouraged to apply to graduate school and was accepted to the University of Denver, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, ranked 11 th in the United States and 9 th in the world for international studies, to pursue a master’s degree in International Security. Currently, I will graduate in June 2016, and will be moving to Washington D.C. to work for the government—a dream I have chased since I was 16 - a dream come true.
Rebecca Eggers

Class Year:

2014

Major:

International Relations

Study Abroad:

  • Galapagos Islands
  • Ecuador
  • Budapest
  • Hungary

Most significant involvement at Salem:

Head delegate for the Salem Model UN Team in NYC

Graduate Study:

MA in International Security, University of Denver, Josef Korbel School

Career:

Analyst with the US Department of Defense in Denver

Your Program

The material offered in political science is intended to acquaint you with the many principles, institutions, and problems that have historically shaped society and the state. Courses are offered in the fields of comparative politics, international politics, and American politics, and the focus is on policy-making processes both in America and abroad. The curriculum will prepare you for a range of opportunities in advanced study or a professional career.

Your Experience

As a major and/or minor in political science, you will undertake a rigorous analysis and criticism of historic documents and scholarship. You will have opportunities to learn outside the classroom, through original research projects, January Term travel courses, and participation in the activities carried out and sponsored both by the department as well as Phi Alpha Theta, the history honors society, debates, lectures, and discussions. You may also choose to participate in our Model United Nations program held in New York during the spring of each year. In addition, you and other students will have opportunities to present original research at national undergraduate student conferences.

Your Faculty

Our faculty members are both teachers and scholars who conduct their own research and publish and present in scholarly journals and academic conferences. They will encourage you to challenge yourself academically and personally. Small class sizes and a faculty dedicated to teaching create strong student-teacher relationships in the Department of History and Political Science. Our faculty act as mentors who use both their professional expertise and experience to guide their students through the program while also preparing them for their professional lives afterwards.

Your Results

As a political science major or minor, you will graduate with exemplary skills in research, critical thinking, and communication, while being versed in your discipline(s). A degree in political science will prepare you for law school and other graduate programs.

Political Science Major (BA)

A major consists of eleven courses. Students majoring in political science are required to complete four core courses, to complete five courses within a particular track (political science track, public policy track or international relations track), plus two additional POLI or approved interdisciplinary electives.

Required core courses:

  • POLI 100. Survey of Political Science (3 hrs)
  • POLI 130. Research Methods (3 hrs)
  • POLI 210. Political Thought and Theory (3 hrs)
  • POLI 310. Senior Seminar in Political Science (3 hrs)

Choose one of the following tracks:

Political Science:

  • POLI 110. Introduction to International Relations (3 hrs)
  • POLI 120. American Politics and Public Policy (3 hrs)
  • POLI 140. Comparing Governments (3 hrs)
  • POLI 240. American Foreign Policy (3 hrs)
  • POLI 260. The Political Economy of the State (3 hrs)

Public Policy:

  • POLI 105. Introduction to Public Policy (3 hrs)
  • POLI 150. Public Policy Analysis (3 hrs)
  • POLI 160. Gender, Politics, and Policy (3 hrs)
  • POLI 220. Ethics and Public Policy (3 hrs)
  • POLI 230. State, Regional, and Local Government Policy (3 hrs)

International Relations:

  • POLI 110. Introduction to International Relations (3 hrs)
  • POLI 140. Comparing Governments (3 hrs)
  • POLI 225. International Security (3 hrs)
  • POLI 235. International Political Geography (3 hrs)
  • POLI 245. International Development (3 hrs)

Additional Political Science Electives:

Select any two POLI electives or approved interdisciplinary courses (3 hrs min. each)


Political Science Minor

The minor in political science requires the completion of five courses and must include POLI 100. At least three of the five courses must be taken at Salem. 

POLI 100. Survey of Political Science (3 hrs)

This class will provide the new student of political science with a general introduction to the discipline to include a survey of the field studies of American, comparative, international, and public policy. (SS)

POLI 105. Introduction to Public Policy (3 hrs)

This course is designed as the gateway offering for students intending to pursue the field track in public policy. The course will introduce the student to public policy formulation and analysis, including agenda-setting strategies, problems of legitimating, policy adoption, implementation, and evaluation. (SS)

POLI 110. Introduction to International Relations (3 hrs)

International affairs with emphasis on international relations theory, foreign policy-making, and efforts at global cooperation. Also includes discussion of contemporary issues confronting the world community. (SS), (GA)

POLI 120. American Politics and Public Policy (3 hrs)

Introduction to politics in America, with an emphasis on the institutions, policies, and personalities of the national government through a consideration of power in American life with studies of the political environmental for public policy analysis in the United States. (SS)

POLI 130. Research Methods (3 hrs)

This course will provide the student with the basic research and analysis skills necessary to accomplish scholarship within the social science discipline. Students will be instructed in the development of research questions, hypotheses, and empirical methods of analysis for both qualitative and quantitative study.

POLI 140. Comparing Governments (3 hrs)

An introductory study of selected contemporary governments with an emphasis on the general theory and techniques of the comparative analysis method. This course includes an outline of the process of political change and democratization, a discussion of alternative government forms and an analysis of the shared patterns of most governments. (SS), (GA)

POLI 145. Politics and Society (3 hrs)

This course will provide a window of analysis on the study of how politics and society interrelate to form such conceptual identities as mass society, civic society, economic society, political society, and civil societies. Processes and outcomes of political socialization is the core component of this course.

POLI 150. Public Policy Analysis (3 hrs)

This course focuses on strategies for, and actual practice of, conducting research relevant to public policy discussions. This course comprises part of the public policy track and introduces students to how policies are evaluated at the adoption, implementation, and evaluation stages. The course provides an opportunity to consider the utility of policy studies, and the various ways knowledge about particular issues is put to use. Prerequisites: POLI 105 or permission of instructor.

POLI 160. Gender, Politics, and Policy (3 hrs)

This course will introduce students to the study of women and politics. Students will consider how political institutions affect the opportunities for women to seek political office, the impact of women’s political presence on policy decisions, and how policy decisions mirror and shape sex roles in society. Students will learn the connection between public policy and the possibilities for social change.

POLI 200. Independent Study in Political Science (1-4 hrs)

Independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to students with a 2.0 cumulative average and permission of the chair of the department. Independent study may take the form of readings, research, conference, project, and/or field experience. Independent study may be taken for a total of four courses, no more than two in any term. Prerequisite: POLI 100 and one other POLI course, or permission of instructor.

POLI 205. National Model United Nations (3 hrs)

This course provides an interactive and role-playing format for students interested in international organizations, international diplomacy, and the workings of the United Nations organizations. Each student assumes the role of a delegate from an assigned country, researches the issues, countries, and policy agendas assigned to that country delegation, and travels to New York City to participate as a member of the Salem College delegation to this national conference.

POLI 210. Political Thought and Theory (3 hrs)

This course will survey ancient, modern, and contemporary philosophers to introduce students to the foundations of Western political thought. Topics covered will include democratic theory, social contract theory, social justice, and rights. Students will read texts from key thinkers such as Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Mill, Machiavelli, Rosseau, Kymlicka, and Rawls. (GA)

POLI 214. The Global Cold War (3 hrs)

Rather than viewing the Cold War solely as a struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union, this course seeks to reconceptualize the Cold War as a truly global conflict, shaped also by the peoples of Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Cross-listed with HIST 214.

POLI 220. Ethics and Public Policy (3 hrs)

This course examines the nature and validity of arguments about vexing moral issues in public policy. Students examine a number of basic moral controversies in public life, focusing on different frameworks for thinking about justice and the ends of politics. The primary aim of the course is to provide each student with an opportunity to develop his/her ability to think in sophisticated ways about morally difficult policy issues. Prerequisites: POLI 100 or POLI 105 or permission of instructor.

POLI 225. International Security (3 hrs)

A review of the events and policy decisions which contribute to the formation of the international system and balance of power as it exists today, through a review of selected case study examples of real or potential security threats and an evaluation of the path to the many post-Cold War conflicts. Prerequisite: HIST 104 or POLI 110, or permission of instructor. (GA)

POLI 230. State, Regional and Local Government Policy (3 hrs)

This course analyzes the public policy challenges faced by state and local communities. Particular emphasis will be placed on the problems of urban areas, including education, crime, poverty, economic development, housing, and transportation. Throughout the course, students will use their home states, counties, and/or towns (or another area of their choosing) as a case study of how specific communities have attempted to address similar challenges. The course examines the roles of citizens, non-profits, and government agencies at all levels in effecting change through local public policy outcomes. Prerequisite: POLI 100 or POLI 105 or POLI 120 or permission of instructor.

POLI 235. International Political Geography (3 hrs)

Study of the enduring fascinations of human society with the way in which competing claims over the control and management of land and resources are played out. The course has a focus on the empires, nations, individuals, organizations, and interest groups which are continually vying with each other to promote their own interests, often destabilizing and changing the existing order and remaking the world in their own image. Prerequisite: HIST 104 or POLI 110. (GA)

POLI 240. American Foreign Policy (3 hrs)

A study of US foreign policy and of the decision-making process in the American foreign affairs establishment. Analysis of American foreign policy trends and contemporary political, military, and economic policies. Prerequisite: HIST 104, HIST 106, POLI 110 or POLI 120. (GA)

POLI 245. International Development (3 hrs)

The plight of the “undeveloped” regions of the world has been a focus of the “modernization” and “democratization” policies of the UN, Europe, and the United States. In spite of all of this policy effort and investment, civil conflict, rebellion, genocide, mass (often forced) migration, poverty, and disease continue to plague the developing countries of the world. This course will investigate selected examples and patterns of the problems encountered by emergent less developed countries, and outline some of the key policy issues that must be addressed. Prerequisite: HIST 104 or POLI 110, or permission of instructor. (GA)

POLI 250. Special Topics in Political Science (1-4 hrs)

An issue or problem in contemporary politics will be studied intensively. The specific content and methods of study will be announced prior to the beginning of the course. Prerequisite: one political science course or permission of instructor. Offered as needed.

POLI 260. The Political Economy of the State (3 hrs)

Political economy is about the struggle for power and wealth within the national state and in the international system. With a focus on how the liberal states maximize wealth and link themselves to the international system and use state power in the international system in a way that maximizes their ability to generate new wealth. POLI 110 or permission of instructor. (GA)

POLI 265. US Constitutional and Legal History (3 hrs)

Studying the US Constitution, Supreme Court decisions, and other legal documents from throughout the nation’s history, students consider how the law functioned to change, resist, and promote certain interests within society over time. Particular attention is devoted to legal constructions of race, gender roles, and sexuality, the changing status of women within the legal system, and women’s activism concerning specific cases, policies, and legislation. Cross-listed as HIST 265.

POLI 270. Internship in Political Science (1-4 hrs)

An opportunity to use the knowledge and skills the student has learned in coursework to solve problems in a real work setting; the apprenticeship aspect of the internship implies that the student has some base of knowledge and will increase her knowledge and skills by direct contact with an experienced, knowledgeable mentor. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a 2.0 cumulative average; maximum credit per term is one course; admission by application only.

POLI 290. Honors Independent Study in Political Science (3-4 hrs)

Advanced independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to juniors and seniors with a 3.5 average in political science, subject to approval of the chair of the department. Honors independent study may be taken for a maximum of two courses. Prerequisites: POLI 100 and POLI 130, or permission of instructor.

POLI 310. Senior Seminar in Political Science (3 hrs)

Advanced study of current problems in world affairs with an emphasis on international relations theory. Extensive discussion of current issues. Prerequisites: POLI 110 and POLI 130.

Having such distinguished and passionate faculty members is what makes Salem a unique place where students grow from girls to women. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I would not be where I am today if I had not had the guidance of such prestigious, humble, and kind individuals. Because of wonderful faculty and mentoring—as well as constant support from my Salem Sisters—I was encouraged to apply to graduate school and was accepted to the University of Denver, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, ranked 11 th in the United States and 9 th in the world for international studies, to pursue a master’s degree in International Security. Currently, I will graduate in June 2016, and will be moving to Washington D.C. to work for the government—a dream I have chased since I was 16 - a dream come true.
Rebecca Eggers

Class Year:

2014

Major:

International Relations

Study Abroad:

  • Galapagos Islands
  • Ecuador
  • Budapest
  • Hungary

Most significant involvement at Salem:

Head delegate for the Salem Model UN Team in NYC

Graduate Study:

MA in International Security, University of Denver, Josef Korbel School

Career:

Analyst with the US Department of Defense in Denver