The department of History and Political Science 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. Courses in Political Science count toward the major in History.
Your ExperienceAs 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 FacultyOur 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 ResultsAs 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 (B.A.)
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.
Track I: Political Science
Track II: International Relations
Track III: Public Policy
Political Science Minor
The department of policy, politics and public services management offers 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. Courses in Political Science count toward the major in History.
Political Science Courses (POLI)
100. Survey of Political Science One course
This class will provide the new student of Political Science with a general introduction to the discipline to include a survey of the filed studies of American, Comparative, International and Public Policy.
105. Introduction to Public Policy One course
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.
110. Introduction to International Relations One course
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. Fall.
120. American Politics and Public Policy One-quarter to one course
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.
130. Research Methods One course
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.
140. Comparing Governments One course
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. Fall, alternate years.
145. Politics and Society One course
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. The processes and outcomes of political socialization is the core component of this course.
150. Public Policy Analysis One course
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 the instructor.
160. Gender, Politics, and Policy One course
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.
200. Independent Study in Political Science One-quarter to One course
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 the instructor.
205. National Model United Nations One course
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 travel to New York City to participate as members of the Salem College delegation to this national conference. Spring.
210. Public Thought and Theory One course
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.
214. The Global Cold War One course
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.
220. Ethics and Public Policy One course
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.
225. International Security One course
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 the instructor.
230. State, Regional and Local Government Policy One course
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 accomplishing effecting change through local public policy outcomes. Prerequisite: POLI 100 or POLI 105 or POLI 120 or permission of the instructor.
235. International Political Geography One course
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. Fall, alternate years
240. American Foreign Policy One course
A study of U.S. 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. Fall, alternate years.
245. International Development One course
The plight of the “undeveloped” regions of the world has been a focus of the “modernization” and “democratization” policies of the U N, 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 the instructor.
250. Special Topics in Political Science One course
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 the instructor. As needed.
260. The Political Economy of the State One course
PE is about the struggle for power and wealth within the national state and in the international system. With a focus on how the liberal state 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 the instructor.
265. U.S. Constitutional and Legal History One course
Studying the U.S. 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.
270. Internship in Political Science One course
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.
290. Honors Independent Study in Political Science One course
Advanced independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to juniors and seniors with a 3.5 average in political science or international relations, 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 the instructor.
310. Senior Seminar in Political Science One course
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. Spring.