What is political science?  Here are some definitions by academic practitioners of it.

Hyneman, Charles S., The Study of Politics (Urbana, IL: U. of Illinois Press, 1959), p. 4  Observation of what American political scientists are doing and have been doing in recent years indicates that they engage in four kinds of enterprise.  (1) They carry on scholarly study and pass on the fruits of their study in writings and teaching.  (2) They give advice on current issues of public policy and participate in the formation and execution of public policy.  (3) They train men and women for public service.  And (4), a recent innovation, they carry on activities in foreign countries directed toward education and training of people and improvement of government and political practices.
Jackson, Robert J. and Doreen Jackson, A Comparative Introduction to Political Science (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997), p.  16 study of how organized disputes are articulated and then resolved by public decisions made by governments
Sartori, Giovanni, Democratic Theory (Detroit: Wayne State Univ. Press, 1962).  p. ix  Nowadays, books on political science deal with two quite different things:  politics as approached in political science, and politics as it is lived, thought about and perceived by the people involved. …Both are necessary and not mutually exclusive.
, Philippa, and Michael Shmidman, On Studying Political Science (Pacific Palisades, CA: Goodyear Publishing Co., 1969), p. 19  Political science is distinguished…by its concern with the legal government of a nation or other political subdivision and the attempts made by various individuals and groups to influence the actions of the government.  It studies the governing of men and the governmental institutions established in order to sole public problems—that is, those problems which are perceived by the citizenry as a whole and/or their representative as requiring the power and resources of the government for solution—and to enhance the quality of life.  p. 20 Because of its involvement in a broad spectrum of human affairs, the government must call upon the advisory talents of individuals from a great many walks of life:  economists, sociologists, lawyers, doctors, and engineers, among others.  Political scientists, however, are particularly well qualified to deal with the ways in which governmental activity is and can be directed toward the fulfillment of societal needs.  They can go beyond showing the government what approach to problems it might take.  Uniquely, they can suggest the best ways for the government to formulate its policies so that, as the policies are filtered down through the political apparatus, they will actually and efficiently achieve the desired results.  Political scientists, in other words, can illuminate the administrative process for the policy maker.

How can a MAJOR in political science be pursued?

Take 2 100-level 101
Take 3 200-level 210
Choose 3 296, 301, 302, or 303 see lists of INT 296, POL 296, POL 301-302-303.  301 usually indicates political-science integrative courses and American Government specialties; 302 comparative analyses, 303 international approaches.
Elect 3 more POL 3-credit courses


391-392, 393 internships as many as 6 credits of POL internships may be counted toward the major elective credit; any surplus credits go to free electives 395 independent study counts as major elective credit

Descriptions are provided in the Pace University catalog only for courses given regularly--at least once in any two-year cycle.  Other courses are offered "on demand" and descriptions of them are furnished below.

Political Science Interdisciplinary Courses

INT 296F Third World? Two-thirds World!

Six credits offered for this course count as core curriculum (3 credits of non-Western History and 3 credits of Exploratory Political Science) or as liberal arts elective credits. Students analyze the participation of third-world nation-states in global politics from 1947 to date. Energy, food, population, and health problems exist alongside crises of debt and employment in "poor" and "less developed" countries. These are commonly identified by gaps between a few wealthy haves and the many destitute have-nots and by lags in industry or technology. 124 countries in the "developing" category are divided among students, 4 per student, with each student having a South American/Caribbean country, an African state, an Asian state, and an Arab/Islamic country on which to do research concerning characteristics, causes, and correctives for underdeveloped or "stalled" development status. Governmental, economic, educational, demographic, social, and cultural variables and antecedents are compared.

INT  296__    Southern Exposure--The World Role of the Southern Hemisphere

Six credits offered for this course count as Learning Community in core curriculum (HIS 270 3 credits non-Western History AOK3 and POL 210 3 credits Exploratory Political Science AOK3 or AOK5) or as liberal arts elective credit.  Countries located in the Southern hemisphere will be systematically analyzed and compared.  South Africa will be used as the reference country.  Historical background of South Africa will be scrutinized with regard to settlements, colonial experience, national independence and self-government, apartheid, disputes with the United Nations and international opinion and corporations, and post-apartheid.  Similar and contrasting features of other countries in “the South” will be compared to discover whether these states are less prosperous, less developed, less well-ruled than states in “the North.”  Regional trade and humanitarian arrangements will be examined.  Position papers will be composed for each of the countries in regard to current global issues and questions before the United Nations.  Examples of Southern states are Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Angola, Zambia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, & other subequatorial countries.

INT 296Y Politics and Economics of the Middle East

This course will introduce students to the forces that have helped shape and determine the political and economic development of the Middle Eastern countries with special emphasis on the period since World War II. The presentation will use a country survey approach that will highlight the interaction between regional and domestic, social, political, and economic conditions.

INT 297B America, Democracy, and Empire in the 21st Century

Six credits fulfill 3 credits POL 296V and 3 credits LIT 211 or 212—AOK II and AOK IV, Writing-Enhanced.  At the dawn of the 21st century, America stands as the world’s sole superpower.  With that rise to power have been raised important questions about the role the United States does and should play within the international community.  Will the 21st century be one of freedom and universal equality, or one based on a Pax Americana?  What has been gained through our nation’s recent war endeavors, and what has been lost?  This course will look at the historical development of the United States’ rise to world hegemony and it will examine a sampling of literature from and about the countries the U.S.A. has recently invaded, in an effort to improve understanding of these cultures.

INT 297H A United States of Europe?

Six credits offered for this Learning Community course fulfill 6 credits AOK II in the core curriculum, drawing upon Political Science and Economics.  Will the Euro replace the dollar as the world’s most important currency?  Will European Union assure peace and bring about prosperity?  Who are the major losers and winners of economic and political integration?


Political Science Topics

POL 296A Political Geography and Geopolitics

Geographical influences on politics and political influences on maps are examined with attention to borders, territory, population distribution, governmental and administrative jurisdictions, international relations, and global interconnectivity. Regional arrangements are studied with regard to treaties, collective security, economic zones, ecological conditions, cultural sectors, transportation, and migration. Various theories of geopolitical factors in statecraft are compared and contrasted.

POL 296C International Peace through Technology

Recent advances in science and technology, including rapid improvements in computers and communications, have given humanity great new powers, but we do not always use these powers wisely. This course will first consider a wide range of threats faced by humanity, including war, poverty, and destruction of the environment. It will then address the challenge of applying modern technology to reducing these dangers and creating a peaceful and prosperous world for everyone. Students are expected to write a short paper on a relevant topic of their choice and to give an oral presentation.

POL 296D Chinese Political Thought

Chinese thinking about public life and governance is analyzed from early China to present. Familiar theorists such as Confucius, Lao Tzu, Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Zedong, and Deng are included. Traditions of Naturalism, Animism, Buddhism, religious Taoism, family life, and filial piety are surveyed. Transition from the imperial system, through war, to contemporary China is analyzed with reference to customs and ideas.

POL 296E Voting, Apportionment and Negotiation Theory

The central political problem of conflict resolution is examined, applying techniques of voting, fair division, and negotiation. Attention is given to quantitative and theoretical principles. Various operational rules are analyzed and compared, including plurality voting and coalitions, "chicken," incentives, threats, and ultimatums. Student-friendly mathematics and computing methods are used to test the saying that "figures don't lie, but liars figure."

Other TOPICS and CHALLENGE SEMINARS which have been offered at PLV include: 296B Comparative Politics in Western Europe

296F Politics of Education

296G Urban Politics

296H Human Rights and Global Politics

296J Ethnic Conflict and National Collapse

296K Community Politics and the Environment (also offered as 299K)

296M Public Opinion, Voting, and Campaign Strategy

This course will utilize political science tools to study the 2000 Presidential, U. S. Senate, and U.S. congressional elections. The students will collect data, analyze public opinion surveys, and evaluate voter information to predict the outcome of the elections. This is a timely course for all those who want to understand what is happening behind the scenes of a political campaign.

POL 296Q Gender and Politics

In this course we will critically examine women in formal decision-making roles; political decisions and events that affect men and women in various ways; the interaction of gender with other constructs such as race, class, sexuality and nationalism; and the relevance of feminist political philosophies and feminist critiques of mainstream political theory.

296L Environmental Politics (296K & L now one regular course)

296N The Road to the White House (also offered as 299N and 302[ ] Spring 2000)

POL 296X New York City Council Governance

Fulfills 3 credits AOK I Service Learning.  This course studies the politics, structure, and operations of the New York City Council.  Students engage in an eight-week practicum with a member of the City Council or a division of the Council, depending on the student’s specific interests.  Classroom instruction that analyzes the Council, including its Finance, Legal, and Investigative Units, and the operation of a Council Member’s legislative and community functions.  Students work on a project for the Council, after which they return to the classroom to share their experiences with their classmates.  This course bridges the gap between “classroom learning” and “hands-on work experience” in municipal government.

299M Politics and the Media (also numbered 380M)

380A Democracy in America.

Political Science Workshops

Workshops integrate empirical, normative, policy, and methodological aspects of political science, unify political science as a field of study and practice, and connect it to other academic disciplines. Titles are scheduled interactively with public events and world affairs. Objects, concepts, and processes of political systems are analyzed in POL 301 courses. Comparative government and cross-disciplinary studies are included in the POL 302 list. POL 303 titles feature international relations and global issues.

POL 301A Leaders and Leadership

Biographies, news reporting, and multidisciplinary viewpoints are used to analyze persons who rise in public life and gain both allegiant and adversarial followers. Routine, crisis, and bizarre examples are defined and distinguished. Institutionalized leaders are examined as crucial components in persistent patterns of relationships, or networks, which include "government" and opponents. Clandestine and subversive mobilizations are studied to observe shifts in initiative and in legitimacy.  Go to Course Outline

POL 301B Playing the Game of Who Gets What, When, How

Games, simulations, and comparative studies are used to investigate the distribution and use of influence and the characteristics of influentials in a variety of political systems. Significant works from diverse authors--such as Harold Lasswell, Vaclav Havel, and A. Bartlett Giamatti--are selected to address issues of independence, choice, leisure, parallel organizations, legality, autotelic activities, pre-political pluralism, cheating, lying, living within the truth. Distinctive styles in domestic government and foreign policy are illuminated for the countries compared.  Go to Course Outline

POL 301C Political Satire and Cartoons

Humorists, cartoonists, and commentators around the world are surveyed. Their wit is added to the accumulated body of satire and science fiction to shed light on excess, pomposity, hypocrisy, rabble-rousing, and taste. Weekly surveys of cartoons yield examples for collections on topics such as ethics, apathy, republic, empire, power, authority, influence, force, and manipulation. Students construct a satirical gallery of contemporary heroes and rogues and compile a current manual of archetypal political scenarios, fables, and cautionary tales.  Go to Course Outline

POL 301D Politics and News

Students survey their information environment and scrutinize what they find for evidences of objectivity and traces of censorship. They investigate how news media might set the public agenda and reflect or affect the opinions of their respective customers. Daily and weekly news sources--print and electronic--available in the local area are compared with sources available elsewhere in this and other countries with reference to selection of what is reported, arrangement of information, and editorial or ideological slant.  Go to Course Outline

POL 301E Power, Influence, and Authority

Students focus on how political actors, skilled in affairs of state, (a) economize violence by using types of power (power, influence, authority) which are relatively clean when they can, and (b) still economize violence when urgency or expediency demand "quick-and-dirty" fixes. Techniques of power, influence, and authority are systematically analyzed and compared for cost-effectiveness and counter-intuitivity with methods of force and manipulation. Political science classics by N. Machiavelli, C. Merriam, and P. Bachrach are included among other ancient and recent analysts.  Go to Course Outline

POL 301F The Supreme Court and American Politics

This course examines the Supreme Court as a political factor in the tripartite separation of powers established in the U. S. Constitution, itself understood as a political document. Nomination of justices is studied as the most important power of the President to control American politics years after his own term expires. Functions of Senators in advising about nominees and of the Senate in confirming nominations are analyzed in theory and through practice. Other issues include size of the Supreme Court, "court packing" controversies, timing of retirements by justices, assumptions about nominees vs. decisions made once on the bench, the role of Chief Justice in impeachment trials, consequences of census and redistricting opinions and powers.

POL 301G Presidential Leadership

PLV This course examines the nature, theory, and practice of presidential leadership in American government. Working with select cases, it examines the leadership styles of Presidents Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Reagan. It explores the styles and resources each president used to tap the institutional and personal sources of leadership. In developing these themes, the course will evaluate each leadership style in terms of the exercise of power and presidential effectiveness.

POL 301H Congress and Public Policy

PLV This course examines the key relationships among elected officials and political parties, the executive branch, constituents, interest groups, and the press in the formulation of domestic and foreign policies. This course emphasizes the institutional role of congress in the democratic political process and examines politics from the perspective of elected politicians. Key topics addressed will include seeking office (campaigning, electoral rules, raising money, consultants, and the media), serving in Congress (decision-making in legislatures, ties with interest groups and constituents, and the media), and public political outcomes.

POL 301I

POL 301J Constitutional Law and Social Change

Individual rights are among the outcomes of Supreme Court decisions which have had broad and deep effects on group, associational, institutional, and organizational behaviors at work and in leisure. How does constitutional review, the process of appealing to the Constitution, affect legal norms in the United States, and what effects are embodies in transactions at the population-interaction level?

POL 301K The Politics of Law in American Society

Examine laws--litigation and adjudication as well as law-making and law-enforcing--as integral to the representative government system in civil society. Analyzes how federalism, constitutional law, election law, taxation, family law, criminal law, and civil law are influenced by active players including citizens, news media, press corps, pressure groups, political parties, organized interests, and institutions.

POL 301L Theory and Practice of Citizen Advocacy

This course will explore the unique role of citizen advocacy as the driving force behind social change in American political life. History, theory, and techniques of citizen advocacy will be examined stressing case studies ranging from the environment to civil rights, research and preparation of arguments, applied ethics, and conflict resolution. The course will promote and advance skills in leadership, critical thinking, communications, and organization.

POL 301[ ] Community Politics and Environment

PLV Spring 2000. Students can receive 3 credits in either environmental studies or political science. See 296 K & L

POL 302A Comparative Government

Constitutional and operational institutions and functions for rules-making, rules-applying, and rules-adjudication are studied in parliamentary, presidential, despotic, and disintegrating regimes. What structures and what behaviors are necessary and sufficient for the center to hold in unitary, federal, and confederal arrangements.

POL 302B Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Other Chief Executives

Students compare executive offices and functions according to constitutional and institutional situations in which they are found. Topics include values, structure, and executive power, the executive establishment (ministers, advisors, and surrogates of power as well as physicians and protection), legislative relations, communications, crisis management, and, for national executives, security and foreign policy processes. As a group project, classroom simulation is done of the executive budget process based on procedures used by U.S. state and local governments.

POL 302C Constitutional Law

Students use case studies of judicial proceedings to develop familiarity with the foundational concepts and the empirical operations of the American constitutional and legal system, the tradition of the Common Law, and the differences between application of the Common Law in a federal system and a unitary one. Great issues scrutinized in American constitutionalism include "strict" vs. "loose" construction, mechanistic vs. sociological jurisprudence, and sources of rights.

POL 302D Congresses, Parliaments, and Other Legislatures

This workshop parallels the workshop on executives in using cross-national comparisons to examine structures, functions, and processes of legislative assemblies in various constitutional systems. Simulations of legislative processes in parliamentary and in separation-of-power systems to disclose different roles of parties and committees.

POL 302E Comparative Electoral Systems

"Free and fair elections" are hallmarks of legitimacy for governmental officials who obtain their posts that way. Holding periodic elections is serious politics in some states, although it is democratic veneer in others--called "donor democracies" which want MFN status and foreign aid. What evidence can be found for the hypothesis that merely holding elections fosters objective and balanced media, political parties, choice, nongovernmental civic groups, and other concomitants of civil society and democratic government? Established, transitional, and struggling democracies in all parts of the world are systematically analyzed and compared.

POL 302F See 303A International Organization.

POL 302G

POL 302H Development of Political Science

What is political science? As a humanistic science and, particularly, a social science, what is within the scope of this discipline and what is outside its boundaries? How have learning and teaching about public things in so-called "political science" changed and performed? Functions to be discussed include training people for civic duty (from citizenship through government service to elected public office), integrating and synthesizing the findings of all the social sciences, gathering information about the political scene and political by-products, and systematically organizing and usefully classifying facts, values, and opinions about human activity and experience in general.

POL 302I Freedom and Sustainability in the 21st Century: Global Comparisons

During the 20th century, universal and individual political rights and civil liberties coincided with "development," and the definition of development was carried beyond industrial to technological. Today, public options range from extinction to doing more with less material. In this course, available data are utilized to build models of the 21st century which examine (a) whether freedom imperils planetary survival and (b) whether sustainability endangers rights and liberties.

POL 302J Sustainability and Sovereignty in the 21st Century

Analyzes and compares democratic and nondemocratic systems for responsiveness to sustainability needs. Examines whether Singapore, for example, is more or less effective than Brazil, Canada, Germany, or India at establishing and sustaining political order and economic development while protecting and upgrading environmental factors. Scrutinizes how popular sovereignty and state sovereignty interact with long-term policy-making and international concerns.

POL 302[ ] Road to the White House

PLV Spring 2000. Previously given as POL 296N and 299N

POL 302 [ ] Civil Rights

Thomas Jefferson set the tone for American Democracy when he penned the words of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. And yet, we might say he also opened a Pandora’s Box; for once it is declared that all "men" (and women, as the Seneca Falls Conference made clear in 1848) are created equal, we are continually left the task of defining and redefining equality as such. This is an endless task—work in progress—in the development of that area of the Constitutional Law which pertains to civil rights, since notions of equality and equal protection of the law lie at the heart of all civil rights litigation. This course seeks to provide a thorough understanding of the history and development of civil rights in the United States in three broad areas of the law: race (i.e., education, affirmative action, voting rights), gender (i.e., sexual harassment), and sexuality (i.e., same-sex marriage). It will do so by closely examining the way the Fourteenth Amendment—the backbone of all civil rights laws in the United States—has been applied in each of these areas.

Note: POL 303A International Organization and 303C United Nations require permission of the professor to register and high-level performance to remain. These workshops prepare students for various conferences, simulation, and United Nations models to which Pace University sponsors delegations. POL 303A and POL 303C may be repeated for credit, with different countries assigned for representation and different issues to be addressed each time.

 See PNY MUN record 1973-2002

POL 303A International Organization

Offered during Fall semester. Acquaints students with institutional and treaty arrangements which structure and regularize relations among countries of the world, regionally and globally. At least one intercollegiate simulation of an international summit/security conference or model United Nations must be attended as a team. Permission to register is required.

POL 303B Revolution and Terrorism

Examines various forms of political violence. Chronological perspectives are used, and contemporary trends are analyzed. By means of case studies, roles and functions are identified as regards leadership, organizations, ideology, external support, and counter-measures.

POL 303C United Nations

Scheduled during the Spring semester. Concentrates on organs and agencies of the UN which are simulated at the National Model UN held annually in New York City. Country assignments are given by the conference organizers and issues are selected by them. Written permission from course professor/team advisor/departmental chair must be granted in advance in order to register. Prior to Nationals, one out-of-town Model UN is entered, and one on-campus MUN is hosted. Practice sessions held outside class hours are mandatory.

POL 303D International Issues and Troublespots

Studies current instances of international disputes in the long-term context of conflict and interdependence. National, regional, religious, ethnic, ideological, and economic differences receiving the attention of the international community are examined. Up-to-date developments are analyzed in international structures for managing conflict, including diplomacy, peace-keeping forces, and regional integration. Issues eligible for Security Council consideration are monitored.

POL 303E

POL 303F Freedom in the World

Freedom is affected by culture, economics, and religion, as well as by politics. At its core, freedom means choice; it is the right to choose. Class members gather and analyze data from countries around the world, forming a detailed and general picture of the history, status, and future of freedom in the world, in terms of choice. Groups, taskforces, and teams are used in class as experiences in individual responsibility and interpersonal cooperation.