Department of Political Science and International Affairs

Political Science and International Affairs Course Descriptions

Courses in Political Science and International Affairs


PL 101 Introduction to Political Science

The course introduces students to basic concepts, methods, and theories of the scientific study of politics. In so doing, the class provides a systematic understanding of the foundations of government, political systems, and political behavior. The course familiarizes students with the functioning of political institutions and political power, constitutional frameworks and procedures to obtain public legitimacy, and approaches to different fields, problems and issues of—domestic, comparative, and global—politics in the 21st century.

PL 201 American Government

This course examines the main principles of American government – democracy, federalism and the separation of powers – and the legislative, executive and judicial institutions that simultaneously embody and challenge them. Special attention will be paid to such topics as state and local governments, political parties and elections, the role of the people, civil rights, the role of the media, American political culture and foreign policy.

PL 209 World Politics

An introduction to the theory and practice of international affairs, this course discusses the main schools of world politics as well as actors, structures and institutions of international relations. Through this framework the course explores key conflicts and issues in the post-World War II era, including problems of war, armed conflict, and peace, and the impact of recent trends in globalization on world politics.

PL 210 Introduction to Political Theory

An introduction to the history of political thought, from Ancient Greece to the 19th century. Through a close reading of selected canonical texts, students will examine the evolution of ideas about democracy, liberty, equality, justice, political authority, the social contract, different conceptions of human nature and the role of the individual in society. The theorists examined may include Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, de Tocqueville and John Stuart Mill.

PL 212 International Organizations

This course examines attempts at international cooperation in various institutional forms. The course analyzes efforts of twentieth-century internationalism, from the League of Nations up to the United Nations (UN). Main regional organizations are also examined, such as NATO, the African Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, World Trade Organization and Organization of American States.

PL 215 Italian Politics and Society

This course examines the evolution of Italian political culture from 1945 to the present. Highlighting the problems of developing a national identity and the legacies of Fascism and the Resistance in influencing the 1948 Constitution, the course will look at Italy’s position during the Cold War, the economic miracle of the 1950s, the political conflicts of the 1960s and 1970s, the end of the First Republic and the political scene since 1992, as well as the political influence of such actors as the Vatican and the Mafia. This course examines the major features of the political and social systems of the Italian Republic. Topics of analysis include the Constitution, the Italian economy, the role of the State, unions, the relationship between North and South, NATO, the U.S.-Italian partnership, and the European Union. Special attention will be given to the political developments leading to the establishment of the Second Republic.

PL 223 Comparative Politics

As both a subject and a method of study, comparative politics examines the nature, development, structure and functioning of the political systems of a selection of countries with very different cultures, social and economic profiles, political histories and geographic characteristics. Through case studies, students will learn to use the comparativist’s methods to collect and organize the information and develop general explanations.

PL 228 Genocide

The course examines such violent forms of identity politics as ethnic cleansing and genocide in an international and historical perspective. The program covers the genocides in Europe against the Jews and Roma, in Armenia, the Balkans, the Ukraine, Cambodia, Rwanda, and the Darfur region.

PL 250 Western European Politics

The course examines the political systems in Western Europe and major political developments affecting Western Europe since 1945 through a comparative lens. Looking at historical legacies, political cultures, types of government, and party systems shaping the major Western European powers, students will gain an understanding of the constitutive features, and transnational developments, challenges and changes in Western European states.

PL 265 Politics of the Middle East

After an examination of the historical evolution of the region from the decline of the Ottoman Empire to the establishment of modern nations, the course will examine the place of Middle Eastern states in the world system, the legacy of nationalism, pan-Arabism, the birth of Israel, the Iranian Revolution, authoritarianism and democracy. The role of Islam in both international and domestic politics will be considered, with special attention given to the historical tradition of Islam as a political movement and an identity expression.

PL 281/381 Independent Study

PL 290 Moles, Spies and Terrorists

This course will examine the history, policy use, and likely future of espionage as practiced by the United States government during recent and contemporary periods. Extensive use of case studies will be made. The time frame covered by the course will be from the immediate pre-World War II years up through the present.

PL 299 Special Topics in Political Science

An in-depth treatment of a current area of special concern within the field of Political Science. Topics may vary.
May be taken more than once for credit with different topics.

PL 310 Modern Political Theory

This course introduces students to key modern & contemporary political thinkers and their contributions to the development of political theory and ideas. The class covers a wide range of different European, American and African thinkers shaping political philosophy and political theory from the 19th to the 21st century, such as Edmund Burke, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, Antonio Gramsci, Hannah Arendt, Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, John Rawls, and Jürgen Habermas. The course examines the way these thinkers appropriate traditions of political thought, and provide their own vocabularies to understand the modern world, the modern state, and modern politics. In so doing, the course addresses and critically discusses these thinkers’ different approaches to key political concepts such as power, political order, rationalism, political violence, community, democracy, sovereignty, justice, legitimacy, plurality, difference, and the rule of law.

PL 315 Institutions and Policies of the European Union

This course aims to provide students with a firm understanding of the origins, dynamics, institutions, and policies central to the process of European integration. In so doing, students will examine such issues as the relationship among the different EU institutions, and their relationships with the Member States, as well as EU trade, monetary, foreign, and security policies.

PL 321 War, Peace, and Conflict Resolution

This course is an introduction to the study of War, Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies. The course will draw on classical and contemporary global political theory and introduce students to the methods, cases, data, and major theoretical debates that structure the study of war and peace in global politics.

PL 329 Religion and Global Politics

“Religion” is driving contemporary political events in multiple, multifaceted, and mysterious ways. This course is designed to help students to make sense of this phenomenon and to begin to understand why, and in what ways, religion influences global politics today. In order to do so, the course will address normative concerns about the proper relationship between religion and states in contemporary political societies; theoretical concerns about how various religious institutions and religion-state arrangements influence and are influenced by political processes; and empirical concerns about how, why and where individuals are religious across the globe, and in what ways their religious ideas and identities might influence their political decisions and behaviors. Throughout the course students will be introduced to a set of concepts used by scholars to understand the theory and practice of religion and politics today. They will then have an opportunity to employ and critique these concepts by researching and writing a term paper on a case of religion intersecting with international affairs today. Possibilities include, but are not limited to, the Iraq war debate; the EU vs. the Crucifix debate; the Islam and Democracy debate; and the US foreign policy debate over the engagement of the “global Muslim community.”

PL 330 American Foreign Policy

A study of major foreign policy issues which have confronted the United States since World War II and the process of foreign policy formulation and implementation.

PL 331 European Security Issues after the Cold War

This course will examine how the almost simultaneous collapse of the Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact and Yugoslavia in 1991 gave rise to a new set of challenges to European security. It will also examine the NATO-EU-Russia relationship and the foreign policies of major European powers, US priorities in the area, nation building, minorities and territorial issues and problems in Central and Eastern Europe, new spheres of influence and related conflicts.

PL 333 Populism

This upper-level course will focus on the populism and populist politics which currently challenge Western liberal democracies and their party systems. While populism as a political style or ‘thin’ ideology is not limited to parties and actors classified as “populist,” populist parties and movements have seen a dramatic rise in popularity and electoral support in recent years. In the US core supporters of the Trump presidency self-identify as “populist”. In many European countries, populist parties have emerged as relevant challengers of both mainstream parties and established liberal democracy as a political system; in several cases these parties have become junior or senior partners in government as well. The seminar explores the nature and dynamics of this political phenomenon, the origins and causes of populist politics--as well as the conditions for its success. Situating the rise of various populist parties and movements in a comparative European, American and global context, the course will examine parties, cases, issues, cross-national similarities, variations--and implications of populist politics and the rise of populist parties. In search for explanations of what Cas Mudde has aptly called the “populist Zeitgeist” and the current transformation of political landscapes in Western democracies, we will also take broader socio-cultural changes and conflicts within Western societies into account—looking beyond party systems, platforms, and elections.

PL 334 Terrorism and Counterterrorism

This course will provide the student with an understanding and basic foundation to: explain and compare the varying definitions of terrorism; distinguish the different types of terrorist motivations including left-wing, right-wing, ethnonationalist, separatists, and religious; differentiate terrorism from other forms of violence including political violence, guerilla warfare, insurgency, civil war, unconventional warfare, and crime; understand and describe the historical foundations of terrorism and apply them to modern terrorist events and methods being used to combat them.

PL 340 Politics of Developing Countries

The definition of Third World has been applied to countries which, albeit located in different geographic areas of the globe, are affected by similar features and problems: recent independence from colonial rule, limited economic development, overpopulation, insufficient infrastructures and availability of public hygiene/health care/education, persisting dependency on developed countries and attempts at reducing or altogether eliminating it. The course will explore the various patterns with an emphasis on three aspects. The first will examine comparative theories of social backwardness and belated development, particularly those elaborated by Bairoch, Gerschenkron, Barrington Moore jr., Skocpol and others. The second will discuss geography and historical issues: colonialism, imperialism, decolonization and the impact of the Cold War being the main ones. The third will focus on the past couple of decades and the current situation. In examining country studies, particularly focused on the roots of democratic systems and of stability, the dichotomies of dictatorship and democracy, national sovereignty and human rights, globalization and autarchy will be analyzed and assessed.

PL 345 Latin American Politics and Society

This course compares Central, Caribbean and South American systems of government and discusses their major socio-economic challenges. Problems of dictatorial legacies and democratic stability, accountability for human right abuses, regional integration, Latin America’s global role, as well as inter-American and international relations are also explored.

PL 350 Politics of China

This course reviews the evolution of China's national policies, focusing on its 1949 foundation, the Cultural Revolution, the post-Mao economic reforms, the events of 1989 at Tiananmen and their impact on different aspects of Chinese cultural and social life. It examines such contemporary issues as human, civil and political rights, environmental politics, the problems of minorities, and covers China's foreign policy and international relations.

PL 352 Politics of South-East Asia

Southeast Asia is a region of over 620 million people, with some of the most dynamic economies in the world. This course examines contemporary politics in Southeast Asia, with a focus on events since 1970. The course begins by reviewing the impact of colonialism and historical trajectories on contemporary politics. We then move to focus on the eleven specific countries in the region, tracing key political events, outlining the impact of leaders, reviewing the patterns of political contestation and providing a foundation of the structure of governments. In the final part of the course we focus on specific issues and challenges, including the role of leaders, dynamics within political institutions, development, civil society, conflict and human rights, ASEAN, foreign policy and regional security. This course provides a valuable foundation for understanding Southeast Asia and is recommended for any student interested in learning about the region.

PL 355 Russian and Eastern European Politics

This course presents an overview of the main cultural, religious, historical, political and socio-economic developments in the Central and Eastern parts of Europe. Topics discussed will include the concept of 'Three Europes', religious identities and cleavages, the legacy of empires and interwar nation-states, the impact of two totalitarian regimes on the region, transition to democracy, relations with NATO, the EU and other countries.

PL 356 Might and Right Among Nations

An interdisciplinary course at the intersection of political theory and international relations, which examines justice among nations, focusing on the relationship between justice and necessity in the work of ancient, modern, and contemporary authors. Explores the question of whether international justice is genuine or largely spurious, the extent to which nations are bound to consider the good of other nations, to what extent it is reasonable to expect them to do so, as well as the prospects for a just international order. Overall, the class creates a running dialogue between various thinkers’ views on the proper relationship between justice, advantage, and necessity in international affairs, using Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War as a touchstone for scrutinizing the moral bases of war and peace.

PL 357 Italy and the Middle East

This course will cover the beginnings of this interaction from the rise of Islam as a faith to Italy’s involvement in the 2011 Libyan war and introduce the students to varying themes that characterize this interaction. This course will transcend wide expanses of time and geographic boundaries. We will cover the study of Muslim societies in Italy ranging from Medieval Muslim communities in Sicily and then jump to the North African Muslim communities of the 20th century. It will examine Italian excursions in the Middle East from the Crusades to the Italian experience in Libya in 1911. It will deal with the Middle Eastern commodities Italy imported from this region, ranging from sugar in the 13th century to oil in the 20th century. To sum up, this course focuses not only on diplomatic and political history, but on the circulation of ideas, the interaction between societies, and how trade and art forms created links between the Middle East and the Italian peninsula from the early Islamic era to the 21st century.

PL 359 History and Politics of Modern Iran

This course will examine the history and the domestic and the foreign politics of modern Iran, highlighting its strategic role in the Middle East. It will analyse the institutional structure of the Islamic Republic, emphasizing how this political system can be classified as peculiar hybrid regime, and the role of Iranian civil society, particularly the youth and the women. Through critical analysis of the core texts and common explanatory theories (modernization theory, hybrid regimes theory, neoclassical realist theory), the course aims to examine Iran both before and after the 1979 Revolution to provide students with a multidisciplinary international relations perspective and a domestic political science approach.

PL 360 The Political Economy of Globalization

The course introduces students to International Political Economy (IPE), the branch of international relations studying the interdependencies between politics, economics, and society on the world stage. The course critically examines the major theoretical perspectives (i.e. Mercantilism, Liberalism, and Marxism), and the major subject areas of IPE: global trade, international monetary relations, debt and financial crises, and three largest international financial institutions (the WTO, the IMF, and the World Bank). The course will also address such topics as: the increasing relevance of India and China, the changing trends of global investment flows, and the role of the Middle East for oil production and democratization movements, and global criminal activity.

PL 361 Globalization and Democracy

“Globalization” is perhaps the keyword of our time. It signifies a multifaceted development that also has major implications for world politics and democratic nation-states. From a theoretical, normative and empirical perspective, the course examines the complex relationship between globalization and democracy. Does globalization help generate democracy, and if so, under what conditions? What are the causal mechanisms shaping the relationship between globalization and democracy? How can democratic institutions, claims, rules and rights be preserved or renewed in a “partially globalized world” (Robert Keohane)? The course will explore these questions and related controversies by turning to leading contemporary scholars of international relations and international relations theory. Special attention will be paid to institutions and agents of political globalization as well as factors engendering or undermining democratization on the national and global level. 

PL 366 International Environmental Politics

This course examines public policy challenges in addressing international environmental protection. Students will examine such issues as climate change, sustainable development, protection of biodiversity/ecosystems/species, resource extraction and energy, which involve conflicting value systems enmeshed in complex power relationships. This course draws students’ attention to issues of scale, interconnectedness, boundaries, and the importance of creating solutions that are workable across and between jurisdictions. Students will engage these global challenges in order to develop the knowledge, and the problem solving and communications skills, to facilitate environmental policy work in the international arena.

PL 367 Global Politics and Sports

This upper-level course will introduce students to the interactions between global politics and the world of sports. It provides an introduction to central issues, institutions, and conflicts of modern global politics through the lens of globalized sports. It addresses the role of the latter in international relations, global, and domestic politics. The class explores how sports, politics and culture influence and permeate each other in a “partially globalized world” (Robert Keohane). Issues include sports as a factor in the political sociology of modernity and globalization; global sports and institutions of global governance; global sport events as soft power tools of international diplomacy; global sports, local conflicts, and human rights; global sports and the global public sphere; sports and the politics of national and cosmopolitan identity; global sports, race, and gender; the international political economy of sports; sports in different political systems; global policy-making and global sports policy.

PL 370 Nationalism, Ethnicity and Integration in Europe

An overview of different European peoples is followed by the study of nationalism, ethnicity, and ethnonationalism. Transnational minorities and polyethnic states will be examined. Integration of ethnicities will be treated in both Western and Eastern Europe, and specific case studies will be analyzed.

PL 372 International Diplomacy and the United Nations

This course explores the new role of international and multilateral diplomacy in a globalized world. This course will familiarize students with the real “architecture” of international society, which is more liquid and vertical than that suggested by the United Nations Charter, and the reason why the UN is so difficult to reform. Special attention will be also given to the analysis of the role of international diplomacy in facing the transnational threats and challenges of the twenty-first century.

PL 373 The Theory and Practice of Diplomacy

This course examines the way that diplomacy is actually conducted, in light of the leading realist and idealist theories of it. It will analyze the changing agenda of diplomacy and the implications for diplomatic methods, skills, and actors; assess the problems of coordinating diplomacy within and among governments; discuss the influence of democratic government on the content and conduct of diplomacy; and describe the craft of diplomacy.

PL 380 Advanced Perspectives on World Politics

This course provides an opportunity for students to go beyond the introductory level study of international relations and global politics, and to grapple directly with the major authors in the field of world politics and global political theory. The course addresses advanced IR work on world politics, concepts and issues such as: global order, global governance, democratic peace theory, sovereign equality, international power & security, soft power, totalitarianism, crimes against humanity, hegemony, world systems, human rights, failing states and state-building, and global democracy. Major thinkers and approaches of modern and contemporary international and global political theory will be discussed, as well as the models, controversies, and methodologies they represent.

PL 398 Internship: Political Science Field

The For Credit (FC) Internship course combines academic learning with a short-term (generally 3 to 6 months, full or part-time with a minimum of 120 hours) employment opportunity. Field experience allows participants to combine academic learning with hands-on work experience. For-Credit internships may be paid or unpaid. The organization or firm must be sponsored by the JCU Career Services Center (CSC). After being selected for an internship and having the CSC verify the course requirements are met, the intern may enroll in the Internship course corresponding to the academic discipline of interest. Course requirements include: attending the internship class which will is scheduled for 10 in-class hours over the semester, verification of the minimum number of hours worked in the internship by the CSC; completion of a daily internship log; in-depth interview with the internship sponsor or organization; and a 2500 to 3500 page “White Paper” presenting a position or solution to a problem encountered by their employer. This course is graded on a “pass/no pass” basis. The course will begin the 4th week of each semester. Students will determine with the Registrar’s Office or their Advisor which semester corresponds most closely with the timing of their internship.
May be taken only once for academic credit.

PL 399A Special Topics in Political Science

An in-depth treatment of a current area of special concern in the field of Political Science. Topics may vary.
May be taken more than once for credit with different topics.

PL 429 Seminar on Religion and Global Politics

This advanced seminar examines why and how religion influences global politics, and how religion and politics ought to influence each other in different democratic societies. The seminar is interdisciplinary, addressing these questions from the perspectives of normative political theory, empirical political science and law. The empirical part of the seminar will address concerns about how, why and where individuals are religious across the globe, and in what ways their religious ideas and identities influence their political decisions and behaviors. The theoretical part of the course will focus on contemporary debates over the freedom and tolerance of religion and the engagements of religions in political dialogue. In the legal part, we will examine the major questions posed by legal rights of religious freedom (including both freedom of religion and freedom from religion): the origins and scope of these rights, the problems in defining them, and the values with which they can conflict. This course is designed for advanced undergraduates majoring in political science, philosophy or a related field. 

PL 460 Social Science Research Methods

This course presents an introduction to research methods commonly used by political and other social scientists. The course covers the logic of the scientific method, including literature reviews, research design, surveys and experiments, as well as the use of statistical data. Students will hand in a thesis proposal, an outline of their senior thesis topic, and their choice of first and second readers as an exit requirement.

PL 470 International Affairs Senior Seminar

This course exposes students to major examples of current, ground-breaking and policy-relevant political research in the field of international affairs and world politics. The course is designed to help students to synthesize the skills and substantive knowledge of their major and apply it to current issues of the practice of world politics or to significant research problems. Students will learn to organize and produce work that could be presented to governments, international governmental and non-governmental organizations, research institutes, media outlets or global firms. Students will be required to make oral presentations, employing methods of international affairs, and display familiarity with the use of qualitative and quantitative data. Students will also engage in a research project of their own, write policy briefs, and present their work.

PL 480 Senior Thesis

Thesis supervision for Political Science and International Affairs majors in their final year. Students select their research topics in consultation with their thesis advisor.

PL 481 Independent Research

PL 529 Seminar on Religion and Global Politics

This graduate seminar examines why and how religion influences global politics, and how religion and politics ought to influence each other in different democratic societies. The seminar is interdisciplinary, addressing these questions from the perspectives of normative political theory, empirical political science and law. The empirical part of the seminar will address concerns about how, why and where individuals are religious across the globe, and in what ways their religious ideas and identities influence their political decisions and behaviors. The theoretical part of the course will focus on contemporary debates over the freedom and tolerance of religion and the engagements of religions in political dialogue. In the legal part, we will examine the major questions posed by legal rights of religious freedom (including both freedom of religion and freedom from religion): the origins and scope of these rights, the problems in defining them, and the values with which they can conflict. Graduate students will meet for regular tutorials with one of the course’s convenors, and write a 25-page research paper on a religion and world politics case study.

PL/CMS 348 War, Terrorism, and Violence in Visual Culture

This course examines violence and terror as inherent structural components of contemporary politics and media. Students will study how the performance of violence in the contemporary media landscape has shaped new visual cultures, such as emergent modes of producing evidence, bearing witness and archiving personal and collective memories of traumatic events. Conversely, the course examines how visual culture has dramatically impacted on the way in which we understand and consume violence and terror. Subsequently, students will examine the relationship between violence and visibility, the performance of terror and its representational regimes, through a variety of global visual media from around the world. Example include Hollywood movies; art documentaries; amateur films; photographs; art projects and performances; user-generated videos (including audiovisual material produced by armed groups and terrorist organizations); and state produced media.

PL/EC 375 Politics of Gender

This course explores the ways in which the social and cultural constructions of gender influence the nature and practice of political life. The course revolves around two themes – exclusion and empowerment – and examines the practices, policies and structures that exclude different genders, as well as the strategies and repertoires of different gendered communities to protect their rights and interests and promote equality. The course is organized around a variety of topics, blending issues of exclusion and empowerment. The course begins by laying out debates surrounding gender and key themes used to examine the topic in psychology, biology, sociology and economics. We then move to examine specific synergies between gender and politics, exploring the issues of political representation, political participation, public policy, the body politic, the political economy, development, violence, rights, political mobilization and transnational issues. Using case studies, as well as lessons from practitioners, the course surveys a variety of issues and debates related to gender and politics.

PL/LAW 230 Human Rights

This course focuses on understanding what human rights are and what are the challenges to their realization. Students will examine what specific protections ought to be granted to vulnerable groups, like women, children, stateless persons, refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced persons. The special challenges related to the protection of human rights in an age of globalization, and the challenges to human rights protection posed by terrorism and its consequences are also analyzed. An interdisciplinary approach will be used to examine different cases and understand the main human rights issues at stake.

PL/LAW 299 Special Topics in Law and Political Science

May be taken more than once for credit with different topics.

PL/LAW 320 Public International Law

This course examines the basic concepts of public international law, to enable students to critically evaluate the interplay between legal claims and power relations. Starting with a theoretical overview of the character, development and sources of international law, the course examines such law-generating and law-implementing institutions as the United Nations, international arbitration and adjudication, international criminal tribunals, national systems and regional organizations. Such substantive areas as the law of war (the use of force and humanitarian law), international criminal law, human rights, and environmental law will be given special attention.

[Course cross-listed as of Fall 2019]

PL/LAW 323 International Migration

After a brief historical overview of migratory movements before and after 1945, the course focuses on providing definitions of relevant terms, including inter alia the ones of “economic migrant” and “forced migrant”, “asylum seeker” and “refugee”, “human trafficking victim” and “smuggled migrant”. The existence of international legal standards guaranteeing special forms of treatment for some categories of migrants (and the consequent lack for others) is discussed and the human rights associated with such statuses are analysed. Special attention is also placed on understanding the vulnerabilities of people on the move and the legal and political challenges of addressing them. Finally, the impact of international migration on the economic and social development of sending and receiving countries, including the benefits of remittances on countries of origin, integration challenges in host States, the link between the brain drain and the brain gain and the phenomenon of circular migration are studied.

PL/LAW 325 Human Trafficking and Contemporary Slavery

The course introduces students to the hidden phenomena of contemporary forms of slavery and human trafficking, relying on international legal definitions - including among others those of slavery, practices similar to slavery, forced labour, the worst forms of child labour and human trafficking - to better understand and assess the international action against these forms of exploitation. A brief comparison between slavery of the past and its contemporary manifestations, as well as an analysis of relevant contemporary forms of exploitation - including chattel slavery and religious slavery, debt bondage, the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism and exploitation in some global supply chains - follows. The differences between human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants emerging from the imperfect international legal architecture founded on the two Protocols on Trafficking in Persons, in particular Women and Children and the Smuggling of Migrants annexed to the 2000 Convention against Transnational Organized Crime are also spelled out. Finally, the course focuses on understanding what ought to be done to fight against contemporary forms of slavery and human trafficking.

PL/LAW 326 Globalization and Crime

This course introduces students to debates surrounding the effects of globalization on the proliferation of crime across borders and the challenges of developing internationally effective policing and judicial mechanisms for combating this constantly mutating phenomenon. Areas of study include the trafficking of art and archaeology, fake fashion items, waste, narcotics, and arms, as well as the market in human beings for sex and organs, and the economic implications of criminal penetration in legal financial markets and the increasing connections between international crime groups and terrorism, the political and military influence of OCGs in failed states and the connections between criminal groups and various democratic governments.

PL/LAW 327 The Politics of International Criminal Law

This course provides a critical examination of the principles and institutions of International Criminal Law (ICL), which aims to hold individuals accountable for the crime of aggression, genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. To critically assess ICL’s effectiveness and contribution to international peace and justice, we study its development in the 20th century, and look closely at the workings of the International Criminal Court, other special courts and alternative approaches to transitional justice today.

PL/LAW 328 Religious Freedom in a Comparative Perspective

This course explores the major questions posed by religious freedom rights. Students will enter into the debate over what is religious freedom in general and what is the proper place of religion in democratic societies, and then focus on conflicts over the formal relationship between religious and state authorities, the allocation of public wealth to religious communities, the place of religious symbols in the public sphere, religious education in public and private schools, exemptions from general legal requirements for religious claims, tensions between religious communities’ identity and expressive rights and liberal views of sexual morality and gender equality.

PL/LAW 361 European Union Law

This course examines the European Union (EU) legal system, focusing in particular on its institutional structure, on the sources of EU law and on its lawmaking process. The general principles of EU law – including the protection of fundamental rights, proportionality and subsidiarity - and the doctrines of supremacy and direct effect are studied. Specific areas of EU law, including the functioning of the internal market, the citizenship of the Union, the external relations of the EU and the common foreign and security policy (CFSP), the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and EU criminal law are analyzed. Finally, the enforcement of EU law is specifically taken into consideration.

PL/LAW 368 Intellectual Property Theory and Law

This course examines key concepts of intellectual property rights and their philosophical foundations. Students will explore different theories of property as put forward by Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hobbes, and Locke, and interpret US, UK, and EU judicial opinions on patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret rights.

PL/LAW 399 Special Topics in Law and Political Science

PL/PH 311 Greek and Roman Political Philosophy

The advanced course offers students a philosophical encounter with the key ideas and arguments of Greek and Roman political philosophy. Through a reading of ancient texts in English translation – such as Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Politics, and Cicero’s Ideal Orator – students will scrutinize the central debates of Greek and Roman thought, including those about justice, the city, the regime, and the responsibilities of citizenship. The distinctive nature of classical thought – such as its insistence on the unity of ethics and politics and on the importance of metaphysics for politics, the dialectical manner in which Socratic philosophy emerges from political opinion, and the idea of philosophy as a unique way of life – will be examined. While the principal aim of the course is to engage philosophically with primary works of Classical thought, secondary literature will be assigned to illuminate historical context or wider philosophical themes, including the influence of the classical legacy on contemporary politics and political theory – for instance, on modern political forms, such as democracy, tyranny, republicanism, and the mixed constitution.

PL/PH 312 Freedom, Equality, and Democracy

This course engages with the vibrant current philosophical controversies over what makes a ‘just’ or ‘good’ society. It involves first studying five main approaches – the liberal, socialist, libertarian, democratic and cosmopolitan – before exploring debates about the definition and value of the fundamental ideas of ‘freedom’, ‘equality’ and ‘democracy’. Throughout, these approaches and ideas are related to issues in contemporary politics, such as healthcare reform, the power of the media, multiculturalism, genetic engineering, poverty, climate change, terrorism and war.

PL/PH 399 Special Topics in Philosophy and Political Science

May be taken more than once for credit with different topics.

PL/SOSC 207 Migration and Contemporary Society

This course focuses on one of the most important social phenomena of our globalized times: human migration. Students will explore the main debates about what causes people to migrate, the key impacts this has on the economic, social and cultural life of the places they leave and those they move to. The course examines the great diversity of forms and patterns of contemporary migration, alternating between looking at large-scale phenomena and local case-studies and individual migrant experiences. It explores how governments and institutions respond to migrant populations and how migrants adapt to and transform the environments they live in.