Skip to Content

Course Descriptions


Expand All Content
  • This course provides an intensive introduction to the advanced study of political science. It focuses on the key concepts, variables, and approaches used to describe, explain, and predict political phenomena. It also discusses key normative theories and the variety of methodologies used in political science. 

  •  This course is a topical seminar for the exploration of problems in the scope and the methods of political science and public administration. The course emphasizes quantitative methods. 

  • This course covers selected topics in Greek and Roman political theory, patristic understanding of politics, and the political theory of the Middle and High Middle Ages. This course includes study of the writings and thought of Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Al-Farabi, John of Salisbury, Aquinas, and others. 

  • This course is an examination of the social contract, consent, and popular sovereignty in early modern thought. Attention is given to the work of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Immanuel Kant (as well as others) and to their critics both then and now. 

  • This course examines the origins and evolution of the ideas which inform the American constitutional system, includes an examination of classical, Christian, medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment thought that, combined with the British liberal tradition, laid the groundwork for the American experiment. 

  • This course examines the concepts of justice and liberty in American thought from the seventeenth century to the present. Attention is given both to the nature of liberty and justice and to their practical requirement as understood by various American thinkers, including statesmen, reformers, social scientists, and philosophers. 

  • This course is a brief review of history/development of modern liberalism and the ensuing response and contemporary alternatives. 

  • This course is an examination of the nature and intellectual foundations of the liberal tradition and the implications of the crisis besetting contemporary theory for the future of democratic government. 

  • This course explores the influence of religion on the rise of modern democracy and the efforts of various religious thinkers to explore the nature and foundations of democratic government. 

  • This course is an examination of the crisis of modernity and its implications for humanity’s future. 

  • This course examines the effects of nuclear weapons on international politics. The course begins with a comparative historical account of the nuclear arms race and efforts to achieve nuclear arms control and disarmament. It then shifts to examine contemporary theories of nuclear proliferation and the case studies which illumine them.

  • This course considers Tocqueville's Democracy in America. Topics include the relationship between aristocracy and democracy; the instability of democracy; the antidotes to these instabilities; the significance of habit in Tocqueville's thought; the case for American Exceptionalism; and the importance of religion for democracy. 

  • The course examines some key insights in party and party system theory and practice. Latin America is the regional referent for examining these themes, and country examples are studied in considerable depth to illustrate the theory. 

  • Seminar based on selected topics in American foreign policy and United States involvement in international relations.

  • This course examines some of the traditional debates over federalism, intergovernmental relations, and different ways people compare the states. It introduces Texas political institutions and its political history as well as examines some of the current Texas public policy questions such as education, criminal justice, and economic development. 

  • This course examines the role of interest groups and other organizations in the United States. Students learn about the range of social and economic interests presently active in our country and what observers from a variety of perspectives believe this activity implies for the health of our political system. 

  • This course examines the role, status, and power of property in demographic societies. It takes a modified historical approach to the subject, tracing attitudes regarding property from before the American Revolution until today. Although the emphasis is on the United States, the course reviews property in other societies where appropriate. 

  • This course explores selected problems related to American political culture with particular emphasis on the question of the cultural preconditions of free government. Beginning with Alexis de Tocqueville's classic study of American political culture, the course explores different Tocquevillian themes in a contemporary American context.

  • This class identifies the way political discourse and social and political cultures connect within Americans' minds. Diverse theoretical perspectives will be used to explore the phenomena involved in social and political issues regarding values, meanings, norms, and prejudices and methods of improving political discourse within American political culture. 

  • The course entails an historical analysis of presidential elections from 1789 to the present day. In addition, students examine and engage in reasonable speculations about the upcoming elections.

  • This course examines the American legislative process with a focus on Congress. The framework for the course is based on three themes: 1) the "dual Congress," i.e., the notions of deliberation versus representation; 2) the distribution of power in Congress and its consequences; and 3) the bicameral nature of Congress.

  • This course examines selected issues in constitutional theory, including the theory of judicial review, and constitutional interpretation. It examines the debate on constitutional interpretation in light of cases dealing with the First Amendment freedom of speech, press, and religion, and with substantive due process and the equal protection clause. 

  • This course examines British policy from 1901 to the present and the major events that affected British history and politics. 

  • This course examines Joseph Stalin's personal and public life, analyzes his accomplishments and failures, and generates a summative assessment of his impact on Russian and global politics. 

  • This course is an intensive exploration of the subject of civil-military relations. Students critically examine the primary positive and normative theories of civil-military relations. They also investigate the state of civil-military relations in the United States and around the globe. 

  • This course examines some of the factors that account for economic development/underdevelopment in developing nations. The factors examined include political, economic and institutional variables. These underlying variables reveal the multi-causal nature of socio-economic development. 

  • This course examines governments and politics of African states. It examines the nature of domestic and international politics, the precolonial politics and political culture, the impact of the colonial period on politics, several cases of post-colonial successes and failures, the critical nature of external involvement in the politics, and the settings of civil war. 

  • This course is designed to engage students in the major theoretical and conceptual traditions of international relations in order to assess the complex issues, developments and events constituting international politics. 

  • This course analyzes the structure, functions, and role of the international organizations in the international system. The course addresses the role of international regions, regional organizations, functional agencies, and bilateral organizations. The procedures and processes on international argument and policy-making are studied through participation in a model security council. 

  • This course examines the nature, functions, and scope, of international law. It addresses several major areas including legal sources, diplomatic practice, territorial jurisdiction, legal personality, the law of state responsibility, asylum law, human rights, and the law of war. The course is heavily research oriented and includes moot court arbitration. 

  • This course examines theories and issues in international political economy. The course emphasizes the political and economic conditions conducive to the development of cooperative international economic behavior among countries. 

  • This course deals with the field of security studies. Security studies focuses on what Clausewitz famously called "politics by other means": war. This course centers on three enduring topics: the causes of war, the use of force, and the future of warfare. 

  • This course offers students practical experience in the on-going work of a selected governmental unit. The student is evaluated on the basis of a research paper, work journal, and work performance. The approval of the graduate program director is required. It may be repeated once with different emphasis and with a maximum of 6 credit hours. 

  • This course is an advanced reading and/or research on various topics in political science under the direction of a graduate faculty member. It may be repeated once with different emphasis and professor for a maximum of 6 credit hours. The approval of the graduate program director is required. 

  • This course represents a student’s initial thesis enrollment. No thesis credit is awarded until a student has completed the thesis in Political Science 5399B. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no-credit (F) basis. 

  • This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollment. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no-credit (F) basis.