Political Science



PO-100. Perspectives on Politics. 3 Credits.

An introductory study of the political values, concepts and institutions that define and span the field political science in the areas of American politics, international affairs, comparative politics, and political theory. Course Type(s): Core curriculum course.

PO-137. Nonviolence, Community Organizing and Social Movements. 3 Credits.

A study of violence and human nature the theory and practice of nonviolence, how conflicts - local and global - can be solved nonviolently and the lives of past and current peacemakers, including Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and many others.

PO-155. Politics of Climate Disruption. 3 Credits.

This course will explore how environmental issues - such as climate change, resource extraction and energy use - are shaped by politics and political systems at the international, domestic and local levels. We will also examine the ways in which environmental issues have shaped politics - with concepts such as sustainable development and environmental justice - since the emergence of the environmental movement.

PO-200. Research Methods in Political Science. 3 Credits.

This course will explore a range of social problems and movements while engaging with empirical research. These topics will cover an array of social issues, including police brutality, depression, misinformation, and bias. Students will learn how to move from theory to action on social challenges, studying the historical roots of movements while engaging with different research methodologies. Prerequisites: PO-100.

PO-201. American Government. 3 Credits.

An introductory study of the principles, institutions and power relationships of the American governmental system. Topics include the politics of the American Founding, the federal arrangement between the national and state governments, the operations of the Congress, the president, and the courts, and the roles of elections, political parties and interest groups.

PO-202. Global Citizenship I: Issues, Policy and Decision Making. 3 Credits.

An examination and discussion of what it means to be a "global citizen" in the 21st century. Through the framework of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, students will analyze their role as global citizens. Students may attend colloquia at the United Nations, as well as lectures at Saint Peter's, given by accomplished professionals in various fields. They will then analyze the information they hear and perform their own research into current issues - in class, in writing, and online - in order to learn about the world in which we live and become effective decision makers.

PO-207. The Mass Media and American Politics. 3 Credits.

An in-depth study of the interactions between the American mass media and the U.S. political system, and how these two centers of power influence each other. Topics include media organization and ownership, the legal and political contours of press freedom, the norms and processes of news reporting, the relationships between the media and conduct of the U.S. elections, and the relationships between the media and the operations of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government.

PO-215. United States Foreign Policy. 3 Credits.

An examination of the principal historical influences and major institutions involved in the formulation and execution of foreign policy.

PO-216. Urban Politics and Policy. 3 Credits.

This course examines the political history peculiar to American cities and its impact. It analyzes the fiscal problems faced by many cities and recent efforts to improve urban life. It will also focus on cities's role in the American political structure, the political debates between reformers and the machine, and the role of race in urban politics. On issues of public policy, it will examine the urban-suburban divide, housing, transportation, urban planning, economic and community development, poverty, and education. It will end with a global comparison of cities.

PO-230. Black American Politics. 3 Credits.

This course will examine the political behavior of African Americans in the United States. Students will examine the relationship between African Americans and the American political system in order to gain a broader perspective of the American political process. Issues of leadership, representation and empowerment strategies will be addressed. We will consider various forms of participation as we attempt to assess Black political empowerment. We will consider the behavior of Blacks within political institutional settings and at various levels of government. We will also discuss issues such as Black political thought (conservatism, liberalism, and nationalism) and contemporary issues in African American politics.

PO-250. Introduction to Social Justice. 3 Credits.

An examination of how racism, classism and sexism create barriers to the realization of a more equal and just society, with a particular focus on pressing current social justice issues - such as affordable housing, health care, immigration, the prison system, war and the environment - and the people that are working to build a better world. Prerequisites: ONE SEQUENCE: PL-130 PL-140 OR 2 COURSES FROM TH: Course Type(s): Values,Pluralism,Core curriculum course.

PO-262. Political Influence of Film. 3 Credits.

Exploration of the way in which films make political statements and influence political behavior. Films shown and discussed.

PO-275. Introduction to International Relations. 3 Credits.

Examination of the system of nation states, blocs, and rivalries in the world order. Approaches to the explanation of power and security, the use of force and war and international social, economic, and environmental problems. Course Type(s): Senior Seminar.

PO-276. Comparative Social Movements. 3 Credits.

From Hong Kong to Chile, Wall Street to Plaza de Mayo, the last few years have demonstrated that the politics of protest and collective mobilization play an ever more relevant part in the contemporary dynamics of political resistance and social change. Through the comparative study of social movements around the globe, this course provides an overview of theoretical approaches and transdisciplinary insights into the study of collective action. Class discussions will go beyond stigmatized connections between social action and social unrest to explore topics such as performance and everyday resistance strategies, power and identity relations and other factors that allow for a critical perspective on the field.

PO-285. United Nations Seminar. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the purpose, establishment, and work of the United Nations through readings, lectures and hands-on experiences. Students will visit the United Nations, learn about the foreign service, participate in a college level Model United Nations conference, and take a leadership role in conducting the Saint Peter's University High School Model United Nations conference. Model UN fee of $300 Course Type(s): Service Learning.

PO-295. Credited Internships. 3 Credits.

PO-297. Fat Feminism and Comparative Politics. 3 Credits.

A look at the American diet industry and medical institutions as they relate to the intersection of fat-phobia as anti blackness. A connection to how modern feminism has shaped the body positivity movement and the evolution of fat politics.

PO-301. Ancient and Medieval Political Theory. 3 Credits.

A survey of the classic works of political theory from its inception through the Middle Ages: Plato, Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas.

PO-303. Early American Political Theory. 3 Credits.

An examination of the formation of the American political consciousness from its beginnings until the end of the Civil War.

PO-304. Recent American Political Theory. 3 Credits.

A survey of the evolution of the American public argument from the reconstruction until the present, with emphasis on today's debate on current issues such as climate change, the uneasy relationship between capitalism and democracy, the privileging of privatization, etc.

PO-308. Women and American Politics. 3 Credits.

This course will analyze the participation of women in American political life; examine women's public roles and the effects of feminism in altering women's public roles in both historical and contemporary contexts; delve into women's participation in electoral politics; understand women's behavior and influence as public officials; and analyze the intersection of gender with other categories such as race/ethnicity and political party. We'll study the historic 2020 presidential election, the gender gap, and attitudes towards Vice President nominee Kamala Harris and other presidential/vice presidential candidates. This course is designed to introduce students to the study of gender and U.S. politics including the central questions, concepts, and debates in the field.

PO-310. Feminist Political Theory. 3 Credits.

Historical overview of feminist political activity in the United States and an analysis of feminist theory: liberal feminism, Marxist feminism, radical feminism, and post-modern feminism. Course Type(s): Pluralism,Core curriculum course.

PO-311. Peace and Justice Issues Within Political Theory. 3 Credits.

Historical overview of the peace movement in America and an analysis of contemporary concerns such as war and peace, wealth and poverty, racism and sexism.

PO-312. The American Congress. 3 Credits.

An in-depth examination of the organization and decision-making processes of the U.S. Congress, and the political considerations and forces that influence the work of members of Congress in both the Senate and House of Representatives. Topics include the legislative intentions and designs of the Founders, the representational and lawmaking functions of Congress, the norms, organization and processes of each chamber, the parameters of congressional elections, the roles of political parties and interest groups, and the relationships between Congress and the other two branches of government.

PO-313. The American Presidency. 3 Credits.

An in-depth study of the evolution of the presidency, and its modern functions, decision-making processes, and political influence over American governance. Topics include the contrasting and changing visions of the presidency, the presidential election process, the connections between the president and the public, the institutional organization and operations of the presidency, the relationships between the president and the other two branches of government, and the presidential role in national security and foreign affairs.

PO-314. The American Judicial Process. 3 Credits.

An in-depth examination of the roles, decision-making processes and organization of the state and federal courts, and the impact of the judiciary on American politics. Topics include the function of law, the roles of lawyers and judges, the formal and informal structures and operations of courts, and the elements, procedures and purposes of trials and appeals and of criminal and civil proceedings.

PO-315. American Campaigns and Elections. 3 Credits.

An in-depth exploration of the dynamics, challenges and political parameters of American elections. Topics include the evolving roles of political parties, consultants, interest groups and candidates, the structures and complexities of the primary and general election processes, the resources, organization and strategies of political campaigns, and the behavior of American voters.

PO-316. Hip Hop and U.S. Political Life. 3 Credits.

An examination and discussion of Hip Hop's political origins and how the musical genre provides insight into the social and political climate of America.

PO-319. Politics and Pandemics. 3 Credits.

The COVID-19 pandemic sparked intense discussion about the political and economic factors and responses that have shaped this most recent iteration of a world pandemic. This course considers the political, economic, and climate change realities that have ushered forth the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as previous world vital catastrophes. Also, it looks at what these epidemics reveal about the injustices that permeate societies, and why marginalized communities, such as immigrants, communities of color, the elderly, and the economically impoverished disproportionately bear the brunt of the pandemic's brutal effects. Finally, and in the words of Arundhati Roy, how might we walk through the portal of the pandemic in a liberated way?.

PO-321. New Jersey Local and State Government. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on New Jersey local and state government; the interdependent role of governors, legislatures, and courts in policy-making and implementation.

PO-322. Socialism and Social Movements. 3 Credits.

This course introduces the student to the "ABC's" of socialism, it's thought and practice, and its various iterations. The class considers why more people see socialism as an alternative to capitalism and study the social movements that have striven to bring life to its theory and practice. The class also emphasizes practices of democracy, justice, diversity, and Green Socialism.

PO-327. Environmental Politics and Policies. 3 Credits.

This course explores the shifting political forces that determine environmental policies. Included is an examination of pressures, interest groups, and the media. Prerequisites: EV-100.

PO-330. Politics of Migration and Mobility. 3 Credits.

The course introduces students to key notions, norms, and narratives of human migration and mobility. By exploring the concepts and forms of spatial mobility in both domestic and international spheres, the course will further identify actors that shape and challenge existing policies, norms, and systems and address the differences between global South and global North perspectives. It will highlight, among other issues, the role of gender and racial perspectives in spatial mobility, the relevance of displacement and forced migration in the climate agenda, and the securitization of the current migration debate. A critical take on current global events will be used to illustrate academic texts and policies. Course materials will also include news articles, documentary films, and chronicles.

PO-337. Non-Western Perspective to International Relations. 3 Credits.

This course will introduce the study of International Relations (IR) from post-colonial and decolonial perspectives. Course readings and discussions will examine biases and limitations of mainstream western-oriented perspectives on the field. While recognizing the varied scope of post-colonial and decolonial literature, course materials will explore "subaltern" frames of reference that cut across North-South divides, debate racialized and genderized assumptions about nationality and culture, and promote "counter-hegemonic" reflection on prevailing concepts, norms and institutions in IR.

PO-350. Rent Control in Jersey City. 3 Credits.

As rent prices increase in Jersey City, many activists and tenants are calling for both increased enforcement of existing rent control laws and new controls to be added to the existing laws. Such policies, however, are subject to vigorous debate. This course offers a hands-on examination of the existing policies in Jersey City and the larger policy debate about rent control through the following methods: 1) Student will design and implement a survey on existing policies for both landlords and tenants. 2) Students will collect and analyze data on the Jersey City housing market. 3) Students will compare and contrast rent control ordinances in municipalities across New Jersey. 4) Students will review the policy literature on rent control. Course Type(s): Service Learning.

PO-365. Introduction to Security Studies. 3 Credits.

What does it mean to talk about security in a globalized world? How do different concepts, discourses, and practices of security impact human lives, political rhetoric, public opinion, military action, and the current state of the international political order? This introductory course will critically review major IR theories and security frameworks, exploring different definitions of conflict, security, humanitarian action, terrorism, war, peace, and their significance in both historical and contemporary perspectives. Topics discussed will include diseases and migration as security issues, international crises, technologies of control and surveillance, the role of international institutions, and connections between security and power in international relations.

PO-376. International Organizations. 3 Credits.

Examination and discussion of international political and economic organizations including the United Nations, multinational corporations, the World Bank and regional organizations such as the European Union and producer cartels such as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting countries. Model UN fee of $500. Prerequisites: PO-100.

PO-378. Global Inequality. 3 Credits.

An exploration of the patterns of economic and political inequality that exist between countries and within countries in the contemporary international system.

PO-380. Spatial Justice, Cities and Resistance in Comparative Perspective. 3 Credits.

Spatial Justice is an invitation to discuss social justice by looking at places and spaces around us. How much does the design of our cities reflect and offer insights into social and economic inequalities? How do city spaces influence embodied aspects of our daily lives? How can structured or spontaneous acts of spatial resistance impact broader social dynamics? Through the comparative study of urban social dynamics around the world, this course will discuss the contradictory ways in which spaces are socially constructed, consider different urban experiences in relation to race, gender, class, and sexual orientation, investigate spacial resistance dynamics, and explore how those can be applied to the promotion of more just and inclusive social & spatial realities.

PO-409. Constitutional Law and Governmental Powers. 3 Credits.

An advanced and case law-focused seminar on the allocation of governmental powers under the U.S. Constitution. Topics are explored through the study of U.S. Supreme Court decisions and include an examination of the separate powers of the national legislative, executive and judicial branches, the checks and balances that channel their operations, the relationship between the national and state governments, and the extensive reach of the national Commerce Clause and Spending Clause powers.

PO-411. Nationalism and Revolution. 3 Credits.

A comparative and analytical study of nationalism and revolutionary movements. Nation-building in contemporary underdeveloped countries.

PO-414. Understanding Global Terrorism. 3 Credits.

This course, drawing on comparative global and historical experiences, exposes the student to the various regional expressions of terrorism (Asia, Latin America, N. America, Europe). Political, economic, nationalist and religious forms of terrorism receive considerable scholarly attention in this course.

PO-417. Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties. 3 Credits.

An advanced and case law-focused seminar on human rights and civil liberties under the U.S. Constitution. Topics are explored through the study of U.S. Supreme Court decisions and include an examination of religious liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to privacy, and the rights of equality and freedom from discrimination.

PO-422. Comparative Politics: Middle East and North Africa. 3 Credits.

Regional and international dimensions of politics in the area. The formation of nation- states nationalism, superpower rivalries, the Arab-Israel conflict and the Palestinian question, the politics of oil, energy, and development, Islamic revival and prospects for stability, change and democracy.

PO-424. Comparative Democratization. 3 Credits.

This course reviews the vast literature concerned with the transition from authoritarianism to democracy in various parts of the world. The concepts of democracy and authoritarianism are thoroughly explored, followed with a comparative review of actual cases of democratic and authoritarian rule that include problems facing newly established democracies. Along with the historical development of democracy and its "requisites," the course then focuses on the "third wave" of democratization, with attention to cases in Southern Europe, South America, East and Central Europe, with secondary review of other cases in Asia or Africa.

PO-477. International Law. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the principles and norms of international law and how they regulate political and economic interactions at the global level. A case oriented emphasis on treaties, the law of war, and dispute settlement. Prerequisites: PO-100.

PO-479. International Political Economy. 3 Credits.

An examination of the dynamics of wealth and power in the global system. Emphasis given to issues of trade, monetary relations and economic interdependence. Regulatory efforts at the national, regional and international levels are analyzed. Prerequisites: PO-100.

PO-480. Development and Disaster Risk Reduction. 3 Credits.

This course investigates the relationship between global development strategies and disaster risk, resiliency and preparedness in international and local perspective. Prerequisites: PO-100.

PO-481. Immigration: Walls Or Welcome?. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on past and present immigration policies in the U.S. as well as immigration activism. Course Type(s): Pluralism.

PO-486. Seminar: Genocide. 3 Credits.

After a thorough conceptualization of genocide, the course will examine case studies of modern genocide, ranging from the 20th and 21st centuries. Course Type(s): Pluralism,Core curriculum course.

PO-492. Seminar in Comparative Politics. 3 Credits.

Examination and discussion of selected issues in comparative politics. Students will have the opportunity to explore a specific issue through faculty-guided research projects. Restricted to juniors and seniors with departmental approval. Prerequisites: PO-100.

PO-497. Special Topics in Political Science. 3 Credits.

An in-depth investigation from multiple points of view of critical matters in public policy. An emphasis on the pluralism; nature of these matters will be emphasized. Course Type(s): Pluralism.

PO-498. Political Poetry and Music. 3 Credits.

This course considers the relationship between aesthetics and political philosophy. Political themes flowing through poetry and music, analyzed both in terms of their message and medium, use in political activism. Course Type(s): Pluralism,Core curriculum course.

PO-499. Political Science Capstone. 3 Credits.

Comprehensive oral exam of each sub-discipline in political science and general political science knowledge. Course Type(s): Capstone,Writing Intensive.