Courses 2013-2014

POLS 117   Introduction to Political Ideas  3 credits

An introduction to political analysis through a study of important political concepts and theories, as well as their historical development. Students study the ideas and practices of the public and philosophical development of concepts such as citizenship, democracy, equality, justice, liberty, or power.

POLS 180   Introduction to American Politics  3 credits

An introduction to institutions and processes of American politics, including themes such as constitutionalism, representation, participation, political development, political economy, civil liberties and rights, public policy, and the ideas and values of American democracy.

POLS 250  Politics of the Environment   3 credits

A survey of key issues of national and international environmental politics.  Students are introduced to the historical foundations and ongoing debates concerning the natural environment.  Topics include international environmental treaties, government responses to environmental disasters and crises, environmental justice movements, environmental causes of war and displacement, and environmental agreements and developments in the United States. Prerequisite: POLS 117 recommended.

POLS 255   Introduction to Comparative Politics  3 credits

An introduction to the challenges and problems encountered in the study of comparative politics. Students examine issues of local and national governance through a comparative lens. By looking at similar political phenomena in several contexts, students explore the question of why some countries have successfully developed their political, economic and social systems while others are lagging behind. Issues examined include women’s rights, poverty, underdevelopment, the environment, and democracy. Prerequisite: recommended POLS 117 or POLS 180.

POLS 260   Introduction to World Politics  3 credits

An introduction to some of the more important concepts and approaches to understanding world politics. Students examine the politics between different countries and seek to answer questions about the promise and peril of the global future. Questions contemplated include: What are the sources of political conflict and how can they be minimized? Under what conditions will nation states cooperate with each other to accomplish common goals? Should tyranny and human rights violations justify humanitarian intervention? Prerequisite: recommended POLS 117 or POLS 180.

POLS 282   Issues in State and Local Government  3 credits

Using the foundations of American Federalism, the class examines policy issues at the state and local levels. With a comparative perspective and, at the same time, with particular attention paid to Colorado, some of the themes examined in states and localities include: budgets and economic policy, education, energy, and environmental Policy.  Prerequisite: recommended POLS 180.

POLS 297   Special Topics  3 credits

POLS 300   Constitutional Law I 3 credits

A study of the historical development of the United States Constitution and Supreme Court through the most important Supreme Court decisions. The course focuses on the areas of jurisdiction of the courts, development of the common law, the separation of powers, federalism, and the inter-state commerce power.  Prerequisite: POLS 180 recommended.

POLS 301   Constitutional Law II  3 credits

A continuation of POLS 300.  An examination of the constitutional protections of individual liberties as defined by the Supreme Court.  Students study the historical development of the Supreme Court’s point of view in such areas as freedom of speech, subversion and disloyalty, religious freedom, church-state separation, and equal protection of the law.  Prerequisite: POLS 180 recommended.

POLS 309   Political Theory I–Ancient to Early Modern  3 credits

A survey of the historical development of western political theories from their origins in ancient Greece to the development of early modern political theories such as liberalism and republicanism. Students study thinkers such as Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, William Shakespeare, Niccolo Machiavelli, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Prerequisite: POLS 117 recommended.

POLS 310   Political Theory II–Late Modern and Contemporary  3 credits

A survey of the historical development of modern and contemporary political theories since the French Revolution.  Issues investigated might include the rise of liberal democracy and its critics, the impact of the industrial revolution on modern politics, and how technological change and environmental limitations have affected contemporary political thought.  Students study thinkers such as Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Hannah Arendt, and Michel Foucault. Prerequisite: POLS 117 recommended.

POLS 331   The Politics of the Presidency  3 credits

After more than two centuries of change and development, the presidency stands not only as the nation’s preeminent public office but also its most problematic.  This course examines the design and creation of the office, the impact various officeholders have made on shaping future expectations, and the problems of contemporary leadership. Prerequisite: POLS 180 recommended.

POLS 355 Politics of Development  3 credits

An historical and case-specific examination of development and underdevelopment debates, including assumptions about poverty, sustainability, liberal democratic regimes and free-market economy. Specific topics include malnutrition, food security, rights of indigenous populations, international aid and donors, disease, democratization processes, human rights, and the environment.  Prerequisites: POLS 255 and/or POLS 260 recommended.

POLS 360   American Foreign Policy  3 credits

Not since the Roman Empire has any nation had as much economic, cultural and military power as the United States does today.  Yet, as has become all too evident through the problems of terrorism, environmental degradation and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, that power is not enough to solve many global issues.  This course examines the way in which U.S. foreign policy is made and the variety of ongoing and emerging foreign policy problems the U.S. faces in the context of their evolution. Prerequisites: POLS 255 and POLS 260 recommended.

POLS 376   American Political Thought I–From Puritans to Slaveholders  3 credits

A study of the development of early American political thought including enduring themes such as the Puritans and community, the ideas behind the Declaration of Independence, and the significance of the arguments found in the Federalists Papers or the work of Alexis de Tocqueville.  Students also engage political ideas often challenging and reshaping the accepted order from sources such as Jacksonian workingmen and Abolitionism.

POLS 397   Special Topics  3 credits

POLS 476   American Political Thought II–American Capitalism and Democracy   3 credits

A survey of American political thought and practice since the Civil War focusing on how democracy and capitalism have enabled and constrained one another in the course of the development of the American polity. Surveys key thinkers, social movements, and institutional developments such as Reconstruction, Populism, Progressivism, the Labor Movement, the Women’s movement, the New Deal, and the Civil Rights Movement. Prerequisite: instructor permission.

POLS 485   Studies in Political Theory:  3 credits

Senior seminar in political theory with varying topics.  This course meets the Capstone requirement.  Prerequisite: senior standing or instructor permission.

POLS 486   Studies in American Politics:  3 credits

Senior seminar in American politics with varying topics.  This course meets the capstone requirement.  Prerequisite: senior standing or instructor permission.

POLS 487   Studies in International Relations:  3 credits

Senior seminar in International Relations with varying topics.  This course meets the capstone requirement.  Prerequisite: senior standing or instructor permission.

POLS 488   Studies in Comparative Politics:  3 credits

Senior seminar in Comparative politics with varying topics.  This course meets the capstone requirement. Prerequisite: senior standing or instructor permission.

POLS 492   Independent Study  1-3 credits

POLS 499   Internship in Politics and Government  1-12 credits

Credit earned in an internship may be applied to the Major or Minor with advisor approval.