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Cover Photo 2007-2008 Catalog Online

Course Descriptions:


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Political Science (PSC)

Chairperson: Professor Tyler

109 (or MTH 109) Politics and Mathematics (3)

Elementary mathematical treatments of voting systems and voting paradoxes; models of escalation, conflict, and deterrence, measures of political power, etc. (Lec. 3) (MQ)

113 American Politics (3)

Basic principles of the government of the United States: constitutionalism, separation of powers, federalism, civil liberties; politics; legislative, executive, and judicial organization; functions of government. (Lec. 2, Rec. 1) (S) [D]

116 International Politics (3)

Nature of the state system, foundations of national power, means of exercising power in the interaction of states. Current international problems. (Lec. 2, Rec. 1) (S) [D]

201 Introduction to Comparative Politics (3)

An examination of different governmental systems and political institutions. Illustrations and comparisons from the Americas, Europe, and the developing nations. (Lec. 3) Pre: 116. (S) [D]

221 State and Local Government (3)

Survey of institutional framework of American state and local governments. Consideration of current events and controversies at state and local levels. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113.

240 Major Political Ideologies (3)

Introduction to and analysis of fascism, communism, socialism, and capitalism. An examination of the contemporary meaning of liberalism, radicalism, and conservatism. (Lec. 3)

261 The President and Public Policy (3)

Examines the role of the president within the American political process. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113 and freshman or sophomore standing. Students may not take both 261 and 461 for credit.

274 (or SOC 274) Criminal Justice System (3)

The American system of criminal justice, general processing of cases, principal actors, study of theories of criminal law, and pretrial detention and sentencing. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113. (S) [D]

288 The American Legal System (3)

Political and social analysis of the American legal system, particularly at trial court and street levels, and roles of participants in that system with observation of local courts. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113. (S)

300 Challenge of Nuclear Arms (3)

Nuclear weapons addressed from a range of perspectives. Emphasis on the strategic, political, social, and moral issues and controversies raised by the potential for nuclear war. (Lec. 3) Pre: 3 credits in the social sciences recommended or permission of instructor.

301 Comparative Politics (3)

An exploration of the theoretical concepts underlying the study of different political systems; in particular, issues of modernization, political culture, and relative economic and political performance. (Lec. 3) Pre: 201 or permission of instructor.

303 The Politics of the Vietnam War (3)

The politics of the Vietnam War addressed from a range of perspectives. Emphasis on the political, social, strategic, legal, and moral issues raised by the Vietnam War and its aftermath. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113 or 116 or permission of instructor.

304 Introduction to Public Administration (3)

An overview of the field of public administration. Consideration will be given to the relationship of public organizations with society. Examination of major administrative theories and their influence upon contemporary organizational environment. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113 or permission of instructor.

305 Politics in Rhode Island (3)

Exploration of politics and policy process in an age of New Federalism in Rhode Island. Examination of the political development of the state and the contemporary character of state politics. Pre: six credits in social sciences. (Lec. 3)

312 Topics in Political Science (3)

Critical study of selected topics. Subject will vary according to the expertise and availability of instructors. (Lec. 3) Open to any major. May be repeated for a total of 9 credits.

321 Politics and Problems of Israel (3)

Analysis of the evolution of political institutions and the dynamics of public policy in Israel. Emphasis on contemporary political problems. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113 or 116 or permission of instructor. Professor Zucker’s section is writing intensive. [WI]

341 Political Theory: Plato to Machiavelli (3)

Major political philosophies from Plato to Machiavelli and their influence on such key concepts as justice, equality, and political obligation. (Lec. 3) (L)

342 Political Theory: Modern and Contemporary (3)

Continuation of 341. Rousseau to the present. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113 and 116. (L)

344 International Financial Economics

See Economics 344.

350 From Cold War to Cold Peace (3)

Provides essential political and historical background to understanding the evolution of U.S. and Soviet relations over the past 50 years. (Lec. 3) Pre: 116.

365 Political Parties and Practical Politics (3)

Analysis of the American party process with some attention to comparative party systems. History, organization, functions, methods, problems, and prospects for reform. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113. Professor Zucker’s section is writing intensive. [WI]

368 Public Opinion (3)

Examination of public opinion and formative influences upon it. Role and implications of public opinion in governmental process. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113.

369 Legislative Process and Public Policy (3)

Analysis of American legislative bodies, particularly Congress, some attention to comparative legislatures. Structure, organization, functions of Congress analyzed in relation to its role in determining public policy. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113. Professor Zucker’s section is writing intensive. [WI]

370 Politics and Media (3)

Analysis of the relationship between the mass media in the United States and the political process. Emphasis on the impact of the media on both domestic and foreign policy processes. Pre: 113 or 116, or permission of instructor.

375, 376 Field Experience in Practical Politics (1-3 each)

Supervised experience in local, state, and national units of government, political organizations, private and public community agencies. Students must have placement description, faculty supervisor, and outline of academic component of experience prior to registration. (Practicum) Pre: 12 credits in the social sciences including 6 credits in political science and permission of instructor. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. S/U credit.

377 Politics of China (3)

Institutions of the Chinese system including the Communist Party, the state system, the bureaucracy, and the army. Emphasis on China’s economic and social progress and relations with other nations. (Lec. 3) Pre: 116 or equivalent recommended.

380 Civil Rights Movement

See African and African American Studies 380.

401 Comparative European Politics (3)

Concepts and methodologies relative to the study of comparative politics. Structural-functional approach to survey of the formal and informal features of the political systems of Great Britain, France, Germany, Soviet Union, and one other country. (Lec. 3)

402 Environmental Policy and Politics (3)

Seminar in the politics and public policy associated with environmental pollution. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113 and junior or senior standing.

403 Global Ecopolitics (3)

Seminar focuses on the international politics of global pollution, marine pollution, atmospheric pollution, tropical deforestation, and conservation. (Lec. 3) Pre: 116 or 402.

404 The Assassination of John F. Kennedy (3)

A rigorous examination of the JFK assassination, the political climate in which it occurred, the evidence surrounding it, and the theoretical explanations of who was responsible and why. (Lec. 3) Pre: 6 credits of PSC beyond 113. Not for graduate credit.

406 Russian Foreign Policy (3)

An upper-level introduction to the issues of Russian foreign policy, including relations with newly formed states of the CIS. (Lec. 3) Pre: 6 credits in the social sciences recommended or permission of instructor. Offered in alternate years.

407 Politics of the Russian Commonwealth (3)

An upper-level introduction to the politics and society of Russia and the newly created states of the CIS. (Lec. 3) Pre: six credits in the social sciences recommended or permission of instructor. Offered in alternate years. (F)

408 (or AAF 408) African Governments and Politics (3)

Political developments in the new nations of sub-Saharan Africa. Main stress is functional: role of parties as integrative forces, democratic centralism, one-party states, African political thought, and common developmental problems. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113 and 116.

410 Issues in African Development

See African and African-American Studies 410.

415 Dynamics of Social Change in the Caribbean

See African and African American Studies 415.

420 Nonviolence and Change in the Nuclear Age (3)

Focuses on the philosophies and political participation of individuals and movements working nonviolently for social change and conflict resolution from M. Gandhi and M.L. King to the present within America and globally. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113 or 116.

422 Comparative American State Politics (3)

Comparative study of American state politics and government, focusing on public policy formation and execution. Emphasis on contemporary issues. (Lec. 3) Pre: 221 and STA 308 or equivalents, or permission of instructor.

426 Issues in Corrections

See Sociology 426.

431 International Relations (3)

Analysis of the various theories of international relations and study of the major forces and events shaping the politics of the Great Powers. (Lec. 3) Pre: 116.

432 International Government (3)

General development of international government, with particular attention to structure, methods, and operations of the League of Nations, the United Nations, and related agencies. Problems of security, conflict resolution, and social and economic issues. (Lec. 3) Pre: 116.

434 American Foreign Policy (3)

Analysis of the institutions, techniques, and instruments of policy making and the execution of foreign policy. (Lec. 3) Pre: 116.

440 The Politics of Being Mortal (3)

Seminar on how attitudes toward death affect political values and priorities, especially in regard to capitalism and the threat of nuclear war. (Lec. 3) Pre: 341, 342, or permission of instructor.

441 Women and Politics (3)

Explores the role of women in the American political system, as voters, campaign activists, and office holders, and as members of organized groups in the policy-making process. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113 or permission of instructor. Not for graduate credit.

443 Twenty-first Century Political Theory (3)

Important political theorists of this century, particularly as they interpret the basis of political obligation and weigh the question of violent political change. (Lec. 3) Pre: permission of instructor. Offered every third year.

455, 456 Directed Study or Research (3 each)

Special work arranged to meet the needs of individual students who desire advanced work in political science. (Independent Study) Pre: permission of chairperson.

461 The American Presidency (3)

Presidential leadership and decision making, with emphasis on growth in power and prestige of the presidency, exercise of presidential influence in conduct of government, and presidential initiative in formulating and developing national policies and priorities. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113.

466 (or AAF 466) Urban Problems (3)

Contemporary and emerging problems of urban affairs. Discussion, reading, and assignments on the interaction among urban change, development of social institutions, and formation of public policy. (Lec. 3/Online) Pre: 113.

471 Constitutional Law (3)

The Supreme Court as a political institution in American democracy. Analysis of leading constitutional decisions exploring adaptation of governmental powers to changed conditions of society, development and function of judicial review, and dynamics of decision making in the Supreme Court. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113.

472 Civil Liberties (3)

The problem of human freedom examined in the context of the fundamental rights guaranteed to individuals by the American Constitution. Emphasis on religious liberty, freedom of expression, racial equality, fair criminal procedures, and the protection of personality and privacy. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113.

476 Policy Issues in Criminal Justice

See Sociology 476.

481, 482 Political Science Seminar (3 each)

Intensive studies in various important fields in political science. Class discussion of assigned readings and student reports. Emphasis on independent research. (Seminar) Pre: 6 credits in political science beyond 113 and 116.

483 Political Process: Policy Formulation and Execution (3)

Interrelationships of policy development and administration with particular attention devoted to participants in the process. Specific activities of the executive branch and government policies that affect the structure, composition, and function of the bureaucracy. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113 or permission of instructor.

485 The Politics of Children’s Rights (3)

Explores the political aspects and their relationship to socioeconomic and cultural factors of major issues that affect children’s lives. Focuses on individual and societal rights and responsibilities in America and internationally. (Seminar) Service learning. Pre: six credits in social sciences recommended or permission of instructor.

487 Rebuilding Our Communities: Theory and Practice (3)

Seminar examines theories and practices of participatory citizenship in contemporary America. Explores individual and communitarian rights and responsibilities within a democratic civic culture. Includes a 40-hour community service experience. (Seminar) Service learning. Pre: senior and graduate level or juniors by permission.

491 Principles of Public Administration (3)

Principles of public administration, structure and organization, financial management, administrative responsibility, and the relation between the administration and other branches of government. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113.

498 Public Administration and Policy Formulation (3)

Identification and analysis of factors that affect formulation of public policy, including roles of the executive, the bureaucracy, the legislature, and special interest groups. Evolution of the policy process, particularly at the state and local levels of government. (Lec. 3) Pre: 491 or permission of chairperson.

501 Administrative Theory (3)

Theoretical constructs and models in fields of public administration; theories of Weber, Riggs, Dorsey, Simon, Presthus. Lower-level models in subfields of organization, communications, and decision making. Task-oriented subject matter such as personnel, budget, and program administration related to theoretical formulations that seek to explain them. (Lec. 3) Pre: 491 or permission of instructor.

502 Techniques of Public Management (3)

Principles and techniques employed in the administration of activities of the public service, such as administrative planning, project scheduling, and budgeting. (Lec. 3) Pre: 491 or permission of instructor.

503 (or LRS 503) Problems in Public Personnel Administration (3)

Development of personnel administration, including problems of recruitment, examination, promotion, and staffing within public service. Emphasis on evaluation of employee performance and collective bargaining in public service. (Lec. 3) Pre: graduate standing or permission of instructor.

504 Ethics in Public Administration (3)

This course explores through case studies, class discussion, films, and readings how ethical deliberation in the public sector is an essential commitment and skill for public administrators. (Seminar) Pre: graduate standing or permission of instructor.

505 (or SOC 505) Public Program Evaluation (3)

Research design and methodologies associated with the evaluation of governmental programs and activities. (Lec. 3) Pre: STA 308 or equivalent or permission of instructor.

506 Seminar in Budgetary Politics (3)

Examination of federal, state, and local fiscal and budgetary processes, focusing on the politics of the budgetary process and models of budgeting, with emphasis on contemporary issues. (Seminar)

507 Government Financial Administration (3)

Political, administrative, and technical elements of government financial management in public policy settings are examined. Special emphasis is placed on local and state governments and public authorities. (Seminar) Pre: graduate standing or permission of instructor.

512 Marine Science and Policy Analysis

See Marine Affairs 512.

521 International and Comparative Trade Unions and Labor Relations

See Labor and Industrial Relations 521.

523 Seminar in Comparative Public Administration (3)

Theory, practice, and organization of selected European and developing nations’ administrative systems. Analysis of selected policies. Influence of English and French systems on developing systems. Structure-function and ecological analysis. (Seminar) Pre: 491, 501, or permission of instructor.

524 Seminar in Public Policy Problems (3)

In-depth exploration of selected problems of policy formulation: intergovernmental relations, regionalization, citizen participation and control, priority setting for public sector programs. (Seminar) Pre: 491, 501, or permission of instructor.

543 Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining: Public Sector

See Labor Studies 543

544 Democracy and Its Critics (3)

Seminar examining the roots of modern democracy in the social contract theories and analyzing the quality and limits of self-determination in these theories in the light of contemporary politics. (Lec. 3) Pre: 341, 342, or permission of instructor.

546 Peace and World Order Studies (3)

This seminar explores various approaches globally to peace-building, world order, and community. Emphasizes conflict resolution, from local to transnational levels, and the search for social justice and human unity. (Seminar) Pre: 420 or permission of instructor.

553 Scope and Methods of Political Science (3)

Study of political science as a discipline, its development in relation to other social sciences, and survey of political theories, concepts, and analytic models. (Seminar) Pre: graduate standing.

555, 556 Directed Study or Research (3 each)

Special work arranged to meet the individual needs of graduate students in political science. (Independent Study) Pre: permission of chairperson.

573 Administrative Law (3)

Legal aspects of interaction among government agencies, individuals, and public interest groups. Systematic analysis of leading cases, evaluating the courts as an instrument for protecting the individual’s rights in administrative action. (Lec. 3) Pre: 113.

577 International Ocean Law

See Marine Affairs 577.

580 Seminar in International Relations Theory (3)

A critical treatment of major international relations theories beginning with an analysis of core theoretical concepts. (Seminar) Pre: honors seniors with permission of instructor or graduate standing.

581, 582 Special Topics Seminar (3 each)

Master’s-level seminar on special topics in political science not regularly covered in other courses. (Seminar) Pre: graduate or senior standing in political science or permission of instructor. May be repeated up to five times for a total of 15 credits with different topic.

583 Seminar in American Politics (3)

Critical consideration of central issues in American political institutions, behavior, and policy making. (Seminar) Pre: honors seniors with permission of instructor or graduate standing.

584 Seminar in Advanced Comparative Theory (3)

A critical treatment of the major methodological approaches used in comparative politics beginning with an analysis of core theoretical concepts. (Seminar) Pre: graduate standing; undergraduates only with permission of instructor.

590 Internship in Public Administration (3-6)

Participation at an administrative agency under supervision of agency head and a faculty member. Planning, personnel management, research organization, budgeting, interdepartmental relations, informal liaisons that are the hallmark of effective administration. (Practicum) Pre: permission of M.P.A. director. May be taken as one 6-credit unit or two 3-credit units.

595 Problems of Modernization in Developing Nations

See Environmental Economics 595.

599 Master’s Thesis Research

Number of credits is determined each semester in consultation with the major professor or program committee. (Independent Study) S/U credit.

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