Baylor > Political Science > Undergraduate Program > Course Descriptions


Course Descriptions

INTRODUCTORY GOVERNMENT

PSC 1305 American National Government 
          A course in American national government with emphasis on the historical background, structure, organization, and functioning of that government.

PSC 2302 American Constitutional Development
          An historical and institutional study of the background, content, development, and interpretation of the United States Constitution. 


AMERICAN POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS 

PSC 1306 American State and Local Government
          A course in American state government with emphasis on the Texas Constitution and government. (Either PSC 1305 or 1306 will count as one of the social science requirements for the B.A. degree.)

PSC 3310 Legislative Process and Behavior (Cross-listed as AMS 3310)
          An examination of state and national legislative institutions and processes. Areas covered include the nature of legislative responsibility, organizational structure, the role of parties and lobbying groups, legislative decision making, legislative relations with executive and judicial branches, policy output, and the theory and methods employed by scholars currently working in this field.

PSC 3320 Minority and Ethnic Group Politics (Cross-listed as AMS 3320)
          A study of the political experiences and public concerns of four major ethnic and minority groups: African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Native Americans. Topics include employment, immigration, education, police-community relations, political and economic inequality, political movements, leadership patterns, and ethnic conflicts.  

PSC 3330 The American Presidency (Cross-listed as AMS 3330)
          The American presidency as a political institution and as one of the primary components of the United States governmental structure.

PSC 3340 Campaigns and Elections (Cross-listed as AMS 3340)
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level standing or consent of instructor.
          The United States electoral process and structure primarily from an institutional perspective with emphasis on the role of political parties, interest groups, and citizens in political campaigns and elections.

PSC 4300 Political Behavior (Cross-listed as AMS 4300)
          Psychological and social dimensions of political behavior including political images, culture and socialization, participation, leadership, elites, parties and interest groups, voting behavior, and decision making processes. 

PSC 4310 Politics and Communication (Cross-listed as CSS 4310)
          The dynamic relationships between political and communication institutions; topics include political discourse, news and information, and portrayal of politics in popular entertainment.

PSC 4320 African American Politics (Cross-listed as AMS 4321)
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level standing.
          Contemporary African American politics, including leading theories and paradigms, important social and political movements, prominent leaders, party politics, and role of the "Black Church." 

PSC 4330 Urban Political Processes (Cross-listed as ENV 4330)
          Political institutions and processes in metropolitan areas, including social, economic, and governmental problems resulting from increased urbanization.

PSC 4340 African American Communication (Cross-listed as CSS 4354)
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level standing.
          Rhetorical strategies of African Americans, focusing on the historically important documents of oratory, argumentation, homiletic, and narrative.

PSC 4360 Religion and the Body Politic (Cross-listed as CHS 4360, HIS 4360, and REL 4360)
          Theological foundations, historical roles, and political directions of religion in the body politic in the United States. Particular attention will be given to the ways in which religion has been and is involved in the body politic and the political consequences of religion in the life of the nation.

PSC 4370 Politics and Religion (Cross-listed as CHS 4370)
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level standing.

          The dynamic interaction between religion and politics in the United States and other countries, including the effect of political outcomes in the context of voting, legislative and executive policymaking, and the law.

PSC 4380 Government and Business
          Government in relation to the economy. Public policy with respect to such vital areas as maintenance of competition, public utilities, transportation, labor, agriculture, protection of the investor, and foreign economic policy.


COMPARATIVE POLITICS 

PSC 3304 Comparative Politics
          A comparative study of the principles, structure, and operation of contemporary governmental systems with special attention to the democratic systems of Europe.

PSC 3314 Politics and Problems of Developing Countries (Cross-listed as AST 3314)           A survey of the political systems and problems of the developing states of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Several components of political systems will be examined.

PSC 3324 World Political Systems
          A comparative survey of the world's political systems with emphasis on political culture, institutions, processes, and policies. Systems to be covered include the democracies of Western Europe, North America and the Pacific, the Communist and former Communist states of Eastern Europe and Asia, and the politically developing states of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

PSC 4304 Governments and Politics of Latin America
          Forms of organization, functions, and operations of governments in Latin America, with emphasis on contemporary conditions, trends, and distinctive types of Latin American institutions and policies.

PSC 4314 Government and Politics of Mexico
          Constitutional development and political processes in the Mexican federal system. Emphasis will be placed on twentieth-century constitutional and political change, with special attention given to the current scene.

PSC 4324 British Government and Politics
          Foundations, processes, and politics of British government. Emphasis will be given to political parties and interest groups, parliament, cabinet and administration, judiciary, and the prime minister. Analysis of current political issues and policies will be undertaken.

PSC 4334 Governments and Politics of the Middle East
          Political structures and processes of the Middle East nations with an emphasis on elites, political parties, interest groups, and bureaucracies. Inter-regional relations, nationalism, the impact of religion and the Arab-Israeli conflict will be considered. Problems of nation-building, regional cooperation, as well as super- and great-power penetration, will also be explored.

PSC 4344 Government and Politics of Russia
          Historical and cultural background, the organization and functions of government, and the theory and practice of Russian politics. Emphasis is given to Russia's relationships with associated states.

PSC 4354 Governments and Politics of Western Europe

Prerequisite(s): Upper-level standing.
          A comparative study of the forms of government organization, political processes, and major developments in Western Europe. Course emphasizes parliamentary forms of democracy.

PSC 4364 The Governments and Politics of the Asia-Pacific Region (Cross-listed as AST 4364)
          Historical development of the Asia-Pacific region, with a focus on the contrasting roles played by China, Japan, and the United States. Discussion of alternative models of economic development and the impact of ASEAN and APEC on regionalism. Survey of the socio-political conditions in and among the region's states, with special attention devoted to Korean unification and cross-strait relations.

PSC 4374 Governments and Politics of East Asia (Cross-listed as AST 4374)
          Government organization and functions, political processes, and major developments in the political systems of Japan, China, and Korea since World War II.

PSC 4379 Islam and Democracy (Cross-listed as CHS 4379 and PHI 4379)

Prerequisite(s): Upper-level standing.
          Examines the evolution of political philosophy and institutions in Muslim culture.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

PSC 3315 Fundamentals of International Politics
          Theories of international politics will be examined and compared in the light of the evolution of the modern states system. Attention will be given to the factors and variables that affect the formulation and implementation of foreign policies.

PSC 3325 Ethnopolitical Conflicts
          Survey of communal and ethnically based conflicts, using case studies to explore communal grievances vs. state interests. Examines various forms of political accommodations such as exit, autonomy, access, and control.

PSC 3335 Contemporary American Foreign Policy: An Examination of Regions and Issues
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level standing or consent of instructor.
          Assessing continuity and change in foreign policy, including internationalism, isolationism, power, principle, and pragmatism to understand post-World War II American foreign policy. Analysis of evolution, patterns, and trends of American foreign policy.

PSC 3345 Making American Foreign Policy
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level standing.
          Values, objectives, processes, and means through which United States foreign policy objectives are formulated and sustained.

PSC 3355 Causes of War
          The causes of warfare as viewed through the lenses of human evolution, psychological approaches, economic system, ideology, and the international system.

PSC 3375 Model United Nations
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.
          An overview of the United Nations, including its origins, the six principal organs established by the UN charter, the UN's role in international relations, and the functions of the General Assembly and Security Council. Emphasis is on the in-depth study of several UN member countries. Through research projects, oral reports, and in-class simulations, students will gain an understanding of how countries participate and cast votes in the General Assembly. Recommended for those interested in participating in Baylor's Model UN team. This course may be taken twice for course credit.

PSC 4303 International Human Rights (Cross-listed as CHS 4303)
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level standing.
          The philosophy and implementation of human rights protection in the United States and abroad.

PSC 4315 Political Geography (Cross-listed as GEOG 4315)
          Concepts and principles of political geography. Analysis of dynamics of spatial relations and interactions of states. Comparison of main approaches, including geo-politics. Study of state elements, especially territorial integrity and frontiers. Survey and analysis of world political patterns.

PSC 4316 Grand Strategy
          Grand strategy defines the interests of a state, the threats to those interests, and the policies and military forces needed to minimize the danger posed by those threats. This course examines grand strategies of great powers to determine the relationship between a great power's grand strategy and stability in international politics.

PSC 4325 Asian International Relations (Cross-listed as AST 4325)
          Historical and cultural background and structure of the emerging international order in Asia, with particular attention to the role of Japan, Russia and the Soviet successor states, and the People's Republic of China.

PSC 4335 Public Discourse and Foreign Policy (Cross-listed as CSS 4353)
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level standing.
          An analytical approach to the discourse generated by United States foreign policy in the post-World War II era. Topics covered include the nature of public opinion and foreign policy, rhetorical and political constraints on foreign policy discourse, and in-depth analysis of the arguments for and against the conflict in Vietnam.

PSC 4346 Intelligence and Covert Action
         
This course provides students with the ability to evaluate the impact of intelligence, counterespionage, and covert action policies on national security policy and international relations.

PSC 4355 Power, Morality, and International Relations
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level standing.
          The influence of moral principles on international politics.

PSC 4365 International Political Economics
Prerequisite(s): Junior standing or above.

          The intersection of politics and economics at the domestic and international levels. Political outlooks considered include liberalism, Keynesianism, and Marxism.

PSC 4375 International Organization
          Fundamentals of international politics and international law, advancing to an intensified study of past and, particularly, present international organizations, especially the United Nations.

PSC 4385 Diplomacy in Theory and Practice
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level standing.
          How states and other international actors communicate and pursue their foreign policy objectives through the use of diplomatic agents and techniques.

PSC 4389 Advanced Model Organization of American States (Cross-listed as LAS 4389 and HIS 4389)

Prerequisite(s): LAS 2389
          Course prepares advanced students for leadership roles in a Model Organization of American States simulation. May be repeated for a total of 6 credit hours under different topics.

PSC 4395 Terrorism
          This course is intended to explain and evaluate the effectiveness of terrorism as coercive strategy for states and non-state actors as well as the threat terrorism poses to the interests of the United States.


POLITICAL THEORY AND METHODOLOGY

PSC 2343 Introduction to Western Political Philosophy
          The Western tradition of political philosophy from Ancient Greece to the present day. This course will not substitute for PSC 2302.

PSC 3301 Scope and Methods of Political Science
          A course designed to equip beginning political scientists with the basic tools of political analysis used by professional political scientists. The scope of the discipline is explored through the use of primary writings, and the student is introduced to general concepts, theories, approaches, and models as well as basic methodologies and techniques of political research.

PSC 3353 American Political Thought (Cross-listed as AMS 3353)
          An examination of American political and constitutional theory, from its philosophical genesis in the works of major early modern thinkers to the contributions of twentieth-century political and legal theorists. The original writings will be stressed.

PSC 3363 Western Political Thought: Classical and Medieval
          The tradition of western political thought from its origins in Greek antiquity through the Christian middle ages, stressing the original writings of great political philosophers.

PSC 3373 Western Political Thought: Modern

          Modern political thought from the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries, stressing the original writings of great political philosophers.

PSC 4313 Politics and Literature
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level standing.
          Study of fundamental questions of political theory as treated in works of literature. Topics my include authority, law and discretion, the individual and the community, and the nature of freedom, especially as these issues emerge in different political orders. This course may be taken more than once, for a maximum of six credit hours, when content differs.

PSC 4383 Contemporary Political Thought
          Twentieth-century political ideas, with emphasis on contemporary democratic political theory and the challenges posed for traditional democratic ideals by major movements in contemporary psychological, existentialist, ethnic, feminist, socialist, and nationalist thought, and by problems rising from technology, mass society, and the observations of empirical political science.


PUBLIC LAW

PSC 3302 Criminal Justice and Community Law Enforcement (Cross-listed as CCS 3302)
         
Examination of the criminal justice system, law enforcement, police, courts, and the corrections system from the perspective of law enforcement personnel, alleged offenders, and victims of crime.

PSC 3311 Moot Court
         This course will prepare students to participate in moot court competitions, which simulate the experience of arguing a constitutional case before the Supreme Court. Teams from Baylor will compete in local, regional and national competitions. It is a highly profitable exercise that acquaints students with existing case law, hones their speech and analytical skills, and puts them in contact with practicing members of the legal community. Even students who do not compete will garner many of these advantages from participation in the course.

PSC 3321 Criminal Law
         
Examination of the sources, development, and application of criminal law in the United States and Texas. This course will serve both the criminal justice minor and the pre-law track, as well as provide an elective for political science majors.

PSC 3339 Law and Religion in the United States (Cross-listed as AMS 3339, CHS 3339, and REL 3339)
         
An examination of the relationships between government and religion in the American experience. Special attention is given to United States Supreme Court decisions dealing with matters such as prayer and Bible reading in public schools, government aid to church-related schools, and religious liberty rights of individuals and churches.

PSC 3372 Law, Justice, and Community (Cross-listed as CCS 3372) (pending)
          Course covers the various subfields of legal practice, writing assignments useful for law school applications, as well as a community service component, which consists of 8 hours per week of volunteer work in a local law office. Course should be especially interesting to those students considering a career in law.

PSC 4305 International Law
          Nature and origins of international law and the rights, duties, and responsibilities of the states under that law, as well as the problems which have arisen in its interpretation and enforcement.

PSC 4307 Environmental Law (Cross-listed as ENV 4307)
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level standing or consent of instructor.
          Fundamentals of environmental protection laws in the United States, including the evolution of environmental law in the areas of case law, common law, and administrative law. Topics include air and water quality, toxic and hazardous substances, endangered species, and wetlands and coastal management issues.

PSC 4321 Administrative Law
          Nature and the law of the administrative procedure, of separation and delegation of powers, and of the scope of judicial review and other remedies against administrative actions.

PSC 4361 American Constitutional Law (Cross-listed as AMS 4361)
          Constitutional law of the United States with basic cases concerning such subjects as separation of powers, federalism, the taxing and spending powers, and interstate and foreign commerce.

PSC 4381 American Constitutional Law (Cross-listed as AMS 4381)
          Continuation of PSC 4361, but may be taken independently of that offering. Deals with those cases relating particularly to personal liberty and civil rights.


PUBLIC POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION

PSC 3300 The Environment and Political Processes (Cross-listed as ENV 3300)
          This course explores the causes, the magnitude, and the meaning of the Ecological Crisis and analyzes the way in which environmental problems translate into political issues. Attention is given to the political processes on varying public levels and to political actions that have or have not been taken, or might be taken, on matters relevant to social and physical environments. The purpose of the course is to develop a broad base for informed judgment and for constructive attitudes regarding the growing ecological dilemma confronting all societies.

PSC 3312 Principles of Public Administration
          An introduction to the principles of organization, personnel relations, and popular control of public administration in the United States. Emphasis will be placed on the practices of the national administration; comparisons will be made with the practices of England, France, and the American states.

PSC 3322 American Public Policy (Cross-listed as AMS 3322)
          An introductory study of how the dynamics of governmental decision making influence the content of public policy; course focuses upon how legislators, interest groups, chief executives, and the bureaucracy function to define alternatives and to shape policy agenda and content.

PSC 3382 Public Service Internship
Prerequisite(s): Consent of program director.
          Research and seminars supplemented by fieldwork in a regional federal agency, in a state or local governmental agency, or in a not-for-profit agency.

PSC 3392 Washington Internship
Prerequisite(s): Consent of program director.
          Research and seminars which will usually include attendance at a seminar held in Washington. Also required is regularly scheduled fieldwork in a governmental or not-for-profit agency located in Washington.

PSC 3398 Bob Bullock Internship
          Selection as a Bullock Scholar Fieldwork and research in the Texas Legislature or Executive Branch as part of the Bob Bullock Scholars program.

PSC 4322 Seminar in Public Administration
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level standing.
          A course for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students contemplating careers requiring administrative skills. Topics, which will be chosen to meet the special needs of students, include the study of public personnel techniques and methods, project design and analysis, and program budgeting.

PSC 4342 Public Policy and the Courts
          Course examines the role assumed by the Supreme Court in the making of public policy, its history, its justification, and its limits, by looking at such areas as economic policy (e.g., property rights, economic regulation, contracts); civil rights policy (e.g., segregation and affirmative action); social policy (e.g., family rights, child-rearing, education, reproduction issues); and campaign finance regulation. Class will read both Court cases and secondary literature on judicial policy-making.


OTHER

PSC 4390 Reading Course in Political Science
Prerequisite(s): Senior standing and consent of the chairperson of the department.
          A tutorial course designed for advanced study in political science. The nature, limits, and requirements will be established in each instance after consultation between professor and student. May also be taken by student in a particular field after consultation with appropriate professor. May be repeated under a different topic for a total of six hours credit.

PSC 4V94 Special Topics in Political Science
          Examination of special topics in government and politics. May be repeated once under different topic not to exceed six semester hours.