Political Science Courses
This course constitutes an introduction to the fundamental questions of political inquiry-What is justice? How ought we to live our lives? What is the best regime?-through a detailed study of books written by thinkers who offer very different answers to these questions. This course is required for all political science majors and minors.
We learn about government and politics outside the United States. We do this by debating big questions and the theories scholars have put forward to answer them, e.g., Why is there so much conflict in the Middle East? Why is democracy failing in Russia? Why are some countries so rich and others so poor? This course is required of all political science majors and minors.
An introduction to the institutions of American national government. The focus will be on the presidency, congress elections, voting behavior, political parties, and the Constitution. This course is required for all political science majors and minors.
An introduction to world politics covering the problems of war and peace, power politics, global economic issues, human rights, diplomacy, and recent crises. A prime objective is to develop students' capacity to critically analyze international behavior. This course is required for all political science majors and minors.
A study of urban problems and municipal government in the U.S. The class will involve historical analysis of cities and a contemporary examination of urban politics and the urban problems of race and economic development.
This course is an introduction to various aspects of the legal profession combined with LSAT preparation. The course features lectures by attorneys, law clerks, and judges, supplemented by films and field trips. PO 201 is recommended for those with sophomore standing, at minimum.
This course is an examination of the political thinkers from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment through detailed study of selected writings of Machiavelli, Bacon, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, and selected writings of the American Founders. The goal of this course is to gain a better understanding of the intellectual roots of modern politics and to examine early modern opinions concerning human nature, good governance, and justice within and among nations. Particular attention will be devoted to the dominant ideology of the modern world, liberalism.
This general survey course is an introduction to some of the key Supreme Court decisions in the development of constitutional law in the United States. Through analysis and briefing of cases, students will be able to develop their thinking and writing skills while they learn how constitutional doctrine emerges and changes in areas such as separation of powers, federalism and civil liberties as the ongoing struggle to interpret the meaning of our Constitution continues.
This introductory course surveys the central issues of American political thought from the founding of the Republic to the present. The focus will be on selected critical periods in American history characterized by heightened conflict over America's operative ideals, including revolutionary America and the struggle over the Constitution, the Civil War, Depression and New Deal, and the Vietnam era.
An examination of the changing international perspectives, policy instruments, and processes of decision making underlying American foreign policy since 1945. Major objectives of the course include an appreciation of the complexity of interests that shape foreign policy and the development of an analytical capacity to evaluate the ways in which U.S. power has been projected abroad.
An introductory analysis of Montana state politics and political institutions. The course will explore federalism, Montana political history, and contemporary policy issues.
Democracy has been described as "the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time" (Winston Churchill, in Hansard, HC Deb 11 November 1947 vol. 444 cc203-321). In this class we discuss definitions of and alternatives to democracy, debate the pros and cons, and examine why democratic political regimes have emerged and spread.
We live in a world of nation-states. But what is a state, what is a nation, and how did these forms of political organization come to dominate the lives of people around the world?r.
Politics establishes the conditions for economic development. We study political and economic decisions and rules in order to understand why some people and some parts of the world are so rich, and why others are so poor.
An introduction to controversies in American politics. The problems and issues examined will reflect dominant national concerns such as campaign finance, the economy, and social welfare.
An undergraduate course that focuses on health politics and policy in the United States which will survey the major health programs in the United States, how the Affordable Care Act has changed the provision of health care and insurance, the evolution of health policy in the United States, and contemporary challenges in health care in contemporary America.
Special Topics courses include ad-hoc courses on various selected topics that are not part of the regular curriculum, however they may still fulfill certain curricular requirements. Special topics courses are offered at the discretion of each department and will be published as part of the semester course schedule - view available sections for more information. Questions about special topics classes can be directed to the instructor or department chair.
In this class you will learn skills of political research, including scientific reasoning, data management, and statistical analysis. You will apply your new skills to study data, e.g. from Carroll College exit polls. The skills gained in this class will help you become wary consumers and wise producers of information. The class involves some math but we focus on ideas and tools, not calculations. Required for PO/IR majors as preparation for Senior Seminar.
This course explores substantive policy issues challenging the American electorate. Students will use data to analyze and evaluate the political implications of debates concerning issues such as the boundaries between the government and private sector, social welfare, taxation, the environment, culture, defense, and the political economy. The course will then have students write a policy memo and apply analytic frameworks to a selected substantive policy area.
An exploration of U.S. elections, political parties, and public opinion and their contribution to the democratic process. The course will specifically examine the origins of individual political opinions. Students design and run an exit poll on Election Day and apply statistical tools to learn from the data.
An examination of the structure and the powers of the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, and the Presidency. Attention will be given to exploring the historical evolution of both institutions, changes in the power and function of the two branches, the role of public opinion and elections, and congressional-executive relations.
How are the rights and limits of citizenship decided? This class provides students with opportunities to discuss the challenges facing the citizens of the future. We will get out of the classroom to teach and learn from other citizens of Montana.
This upper-division discussion seminar focuses on perennial, basic concepts in political theory, such as justice, democracy, liberty, or community as examined through the writings of selected ancient, modern, and contemporary theorists. The seminar has also been organized thematically (e.g., utopian political thought, green political thought, modernity and postmodernity).
This course is a survey of ancient political philosophy through detailed study of selected writings of Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle, Thucydides and others. The goal of this course is to gain a better understanding of the classical alternatives to our way of thinking about politics, justice, and the proper ends of human life. Particular attention will be devoted to the thought of Plato and the character of Socrates.
Presents a critical examination of contending conceptions of international security, the policy making process as it relates to the formulation of national security priorities, and the role of weapons and force in foreign policy. In short, we will examine age-old questions pertaining to war and peace in the contemporary world.
Contemporary global problems affecting people's identity and dignity, the global marketplace, ecopolitics, and violent conflict will be critically examined. Developing an ability to understand and apply differing perspectives on global issues will be an underlying objective throughout this course.
The first part of this course prepares students for participation in an intercollegiate simulation involving negotiations on various international issues by studying how foreign policy is formulated in different countries, reviewing general principles of international relations, analyzing competing negotiation strategies, and researching contemporary issues of global concern. The last part of the course involves student participation in an international negotiation simulation with other collegiate teams via computer networks.
The course will focus on the preparation of an appellate legal brief to a mock United States Supreme Court analyzing constitutional law. Students will be challenged to read and analyze key United States Supreme Court cases and trained to orally argue before a panel of judges while responding to the panel's questions. Instructor permission required to enroll. Moot Court Team is strongly recommended for students who are interested in attending law school. Only 3 credits of Moot Court may be applied to the political science major.
Students participate as interns at various levels of state and local government. They develop work and study details of this internship experience by close and continual consultation with their political science advisor. Only 6 internship credits may be applied to the political science major. PO 417 is recommended for students of sophomore standing, at minimum. This course may be taken more than once.
Practical work experience in a professional legal environment. Students keep a daily journal of their experiences and arrange further study and paper requirements with the pre-law advisor. Only 6 internship credits may be applied to the political science major. PO 417 is recommended for students of sophomore standing, at minimum. This course may be taken more than once.
Internship Programs Recognizing that learning can take place outside the classroom, Carroll College allows its students to participate in a work program that relates to their area of studies. This employment must relate directly to classroom work in order to qualify for an internship. Close cooperation between Carroll and the participating companies insures a work experience that contributes significantly to the student?s overall growth and professional development. Juniors and seniors in any major area may participate with the approval of the department chairperson, academic advisor, and the internship coordinator. Students will receive academic credit and may or may not receive monetary compensation for an internship. A student may earn a maximum of 6 semester hours in the internship program. Enrollment in the course must be during the same semester in which the majority of the work experience takes place. Interested students should contact their academic advisor and the internship coordinator at the Career Services Office.
Independent study is open to junior and senior students only. At the time of application, a student must have earned a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. A student may register for no more than three (3) semester hours of independent study in any one term. In all cases, registration for independent study must be approved by the appropriate department chairperson and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
A capstone seminar in which students demonstrate broad and deep understanding of their major and mastery of research methods by writing original research papers. Students write on complex topics and collaborate with peers and faculty to improve their work and make a novel contribution to scholarship. Required for PO/IR majors.
The senior thesis is designed to encourage creative thinking and to stimulate individual research. A student may undertake a thesis in an area in which s/he has the necessary background. Ordinarily a thesis topic is chosen in the student's major or minor. It is also possible to choose an interdisciplinary topic. Interested students should decide upon a thesis topic as early as possible in the junior year so that adequate attention may be given to the project. In order to be eligible to apply to write a thesis, a student must have achieved a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 based upon all courses attempted at Carroll College. The thesis committee consists of a director and two readers. The thesis director is a full-time Carroll College faculty member from the student's major discipline or approved by the department chair of the student's major. At least one reader must be from outside the student's major. The thesis director and the appropriate department chair must approve all readers. The thesis committee should assist and mentor the student during the entire project. For any projects involving human participants, each student and his or her director must follow the guidelines published by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Students must submit a copy of their IRB approval letter with their thesis application. As part of the IRB approval process, each student and his or her director must also complete training by the National Cancer Institute Protection of Human Participants. The thesis is typically to be completed for three (3) credits in the discipline that best matches the content of the thesis. Departments with a designated thesis research/writing course may award credits differently with approval of the Curriculum Committee. If the thesis credits exceed the full-time tuition credit limit for students, the charge for additional credits will be waived. Applications and further information are available in the Registrar's Office.