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Political Thought Minor

School of Arts and Sciences

Curriculum

The Minor in Political Thought is designed for students interested in complimenting their major field of student with specialized courses in western ways of thinking about political order in general and American politics (and law) in particular. The program will also equip students interested in pursuing graduate work in the humanities and social sciences or professions in politics.

  • Political Thought Minor
  • 18 Units
  • HST/POL 412: The U.S. Constitution
  • 3

This course will look at the origins of the American political system from the end of the Seven Years' War through the Louisiana Purchase and Marbury vs. Madison, with a focusing on government under the Articles of Confederation, the Constitutional Convention, ratification controversies, the first political party system, and Jeffersonian vs. Hamiltonian approaches to government. Offered alternate years.

  • HST/POL 414: The Courts and the Constitution
  • 3

The development of judicial interpretation of the U.S. Constitution from 1789 to the present will be examined in this course with an emphasis on the political, social, cultural, and economic context for key Supreme Court decisions. The case study method will be used to introduce students to legal reasoning, including controversial court decisions involving race, religion, gender, and limits of government authority.

  • POL 304: Grand Strategy
  • 3

This course will explore the aspect of statecraft in international relations known as “grand strategy” from a theoretical and historical perspective. This course traces how statesmen have or have not marshalled and coordinated the political, diplomatic, military, material, cultural, and moral resources available to a state, to achieve, or fail to achieve long-term objectives in the international environment during war and peace.

  • POL 321: Political Thought I: Ancient to Early Modern
  • 3

This course will analyze the nuances and trace the development of Western political thought from classical Greece to 17th century northern Europe with attention given to the questions facing every generation concerning the nature of political association and the good society. Students will become familiar with each major political thinker, the context in which they wrote, and influence upon the history of ideas.

  • POL 322: Political Thought II: The Enlightenment
  • 3

This course will analyze the nuances and trace the development of Western political thought from the early Enlightenment (17th century) to the present with attention given to the questions facing every generation concerning the nature of political association and the good society. Students will become familiar with each major political thinker, the context in which they wrote, and their influence upon the history of ideas.

  • POL 413: Religion and Politics in America
  • 3

The role of religion in American public life will be examined in this course with an emphasis on the interpretation and impact of the First Amendment and the concept of "separation of church and state" on religious and political life in the United States. Offered alternate years.

Current students, please note: The requirements listed here may not reflect the most current courses for this minor and may not be the requirements for the catalog year you are following to complete your minor. Please refer to the Academic Catalog for official requirements you must meet to qualify.

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