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Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

Course Listings

Politics

POLI 105 Colloquium in Politics  (1)

This course enables faculty and students to focus on a specific topic in politics. Topics will involve attention to some aspect of the interconnections between ideas, images, personalities, power, and institutions as these arise in the political, socio-economic, and cultural spheres. Designation of specific topic and relevant cases and theories will be made at the time of course offering.  Open to first and second year students only.

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Staff

POLI 121 (US) Colloquium: Work, Labor, Class (1)

This course examines the changing nature of work, labor, and class from early to "late" modernity. The course engages central debates regarding the political, economic, and cultural causes of change in the workplace, the labor force, and class formation. Service learning is required of students. Open to freshmen and sophomores only.

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding Society

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Staff

POLI 125 (TH) Technology, Power, and Social Change (1)

Technology, Power, and Social Change is a thematic colloquium that explores how political and other forms of power interact with technology in processes of social change. It will explore alternate historical perspectives on the relationships between technology and power, considering such cases as the role of the stirrup, the printing press, the telegraph, or the railroad in political change around the world. It will also apply contending perspectives on power and technology to controversies surrounding the Internet, biotechnology, the cell phone, or other widely used technologies. Open to first and second year students only.

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Felker

POLI 203 (AR) Themes in Political Theory (1)

This course examines central themes in the field of political theory. Students will examine such topics as the importance of order and authority, the tension between faith and reason, and the relationship between tradition and notions of progress through analysis of vital texts in the field of political theory. Emphasis will be placed on the interplay between such themes and contemporary political issues.

Mode of Inquiry: Analyzing Arguments, Reasons, and Values

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Gutterman, Basu

POLI 210 (US) American Politics (1)

This course reviews elements of American government in light of contemporary political issues, analyzes political processes through which public concerns are translated into public policies and develops analytical tools with which to examine American politics in its economic and social context. Closed to seniors except with consent of instructor.

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding Society

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Ellis, Hawkinson, Michaux, Bowersox

POLI 212 (TH) History of Western Political Philosophy (1)

This course studies selected authors in the history of Western political philosophy from Plato to Mill. Emphasis is placed upon the historically situated range of treatments of some of the fundamental theoretical and practical themes of political philosophy, including authority, justice, obligation, liberty, equality, property, revolution, order, progress and rights. Students will explore the interplay between such themes and ideas and the relevant historical, social or cultural contexts, before critically evaluating each philosopher's handling of them. Closed to seniors except with consent of instructor.

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Basu

POLI 213 (W; IT) Writing Political Philosophy: Individuality and Community (1)

This course examines relevant works of selected ancient and modern Western thinkers and analyzes different conceptions of individuality and community, the nature of their interactions and the implications for the contemporary evaluation of politics. Emphasis is also placed on the theory and practice of writing political philosophy. Open to freshmen and sophomores only.

Mode of Inquiry: Interpreting Texts

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Basu

POLI 214 (US) International Politics (1)

Analysis and evaluation of the contending paradigms that inform the study of international politics. Examination of the relevance of these paradigms for understanding the nature and dynamics of the contemporary international system with special emphasis on selected international issues, e.g., nationalism, race and gender, global political economy, human rights, international law, national security and the global environment. Closed to seniors except with consent of instructor.

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding Society

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Koomen, Marks

POLI 216 (US) Politics of Advanced Industrial Societies (1)

Comparative examination of the processes of change that give rise to new patterns of political and social behavior in advanced industrial society; analysis of the causes of these changes and their impact on political, social and economic life in selected countries. Closed to seniors except with consent of instructor.

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding Society

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Marks

POLI 218 (US) Politics in the Developing World (1)

Comparative study of politics, development and change in selected countries; an examination of the respective roles of domestic factors and the international system in shaping the developing world. Closed to seniors except with consent of instructor.

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding Society

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Staff

POLI 303 (AR) Topics in Political Theory (1)

This course examines selected topics and themes in political theory, combining conceptual and normative analysis with applications to actual social and political institutions, processes and phenomena. Designation of specific topics will be made at the time of course offering.

Prerequisite: One of 100 level POLI, POLI 203, POLI 212, POLI 213 or consent of instructor

Mode of Inquiry: Analyzing Arguments, Reasons, and Values; Death Cluster

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Basu

POLI 304 (W; AR) Politics of Environmental Ethics (1)

Critical and in-depth analysis of the human/nature relationship, its impact upon political theory and ethics, as well as its larger ramifications for social and moral life generally.

Mode of Inquiry: Analyzing Arguments, Reasons, and Values; Environmental Cluster

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

Prerequisite: POLI 210 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Bowersox

POLI 305 Modern Political Theory (1)

This course examines selected modern political theorists from Kant to contemporary theorists. Designation of specific theorists will be made at the time of course offering.

Prerequisite: POLI 203, POLI 212, POLI 213 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Basu

POLI 307 American Political Thought (1)

Survey of American political thought from the Puritans through Jefferson. Focus on the American founding and its legacies. Emphasis on primary sources.

Prerequisite: POLI 210 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Hawkinson

POLI 311 (IT; W) Writing Political Humor (1)

This course explores the possibilities and perils involved in writing political humor. It retraces the history of political humor from contemporary political cartoons and films to the Athenian Old Comedy of Aristophanes. Of particular interest is the shifting relationship between humorous discourse and the viability of democratic institutions, culture, and cognitive practices. Students will write political humor of their own in a variety of genres and "publish" these writings on-line. Not open to freshmen.

Mode of Inquiry: Interpreting Texts

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

Prerequisite: One Politics class

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Basu

POLI 314 (AR) Politics and Religion in the United States (1)

Exploration of the vital and often contentious relationship between politics and religion in the United States. Topics include theories of justice, authority and morality, religious and American culture, contemporary public policy issues.

Mode of Inquiry: Analyzing Arguments, Reasons, and Values

Prerequisite: One 100 level Politics course, POLI 203, POLI 210, POLI 212, POLI 213, or consent of instructor.

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Gutterman

POLI 315 Topics in Politics (1)

This course enables faculty and students to focus on a specific topic in politics be it within or across the discipline's subfield. Topics will involve attention to some aspect of the interconnections between ideas, images, personalities, power, and institutions as these arise in the political, socio-economic, and cultural spheres. Designation of specific topic and relevant cases and theories will be made at the time of course offering.

Prerequisite: One Politics course at the 100/200 level or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Staff

POLI 316 The Politics of International Justice (1)

How can the international community hold leaders responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity and other human rights violations? In this class we will examine the ways in which international criminal courts and tribunals have sought to end impunity for human rights abuses. We will consider key institutions and innovations in international criminal law, explore political and scholarly debates in the field of international and transitional justice, and analyze the relationship between international, national and local justice mechanisms. Our focus will be on historical and contemporary case studies, including Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and on-going International Criminal Court trials, paying particular attention to cases involving sexual violence and child soldiers.

Prerequisite: POLI 214, POLI 218 or any 300-level Politics class or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Staff

POLI 318 (AR) Death in America (1)

An ethics and public policy case-based seminar that proceeds from the premise that the patterned mal-distribution of mortality rates is a conspicuous consequence and hence robust measure of social justice. Four distinct cases are addressed from philosophical, ethical and policy perspectives, on topics such as the automobile, capital punishment, food, environmental causes, health-care, being health uninsured, gun ownership, HIV/Aids, occupational fatalities, oil and petroleum, physician-assisted suicide, and tobacco. Pedagogy includes discussion, exams, digital field-work, and service-learning.

Prerequisite: One POLI course or consent of instructor. 

General Education Requirement: Analyzing Arguments, Reasons, and Values

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Basu

POLI 319 U.S. Welfare Policy (1)

This course examines the nature and development of welfare policy in the United States, analyzing both the philosophical underpinnings of social provision and the role of politics in shaping and changing the extent of that provision. In addition, we consider the most recent attempts to reform welfare, the obstacles to implementation of new policy, and the efforts of states to address poverty issues.

Prerequisite: POLI 210 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Michaux

POLI 326 (W) Globalization and Equity (1)

This course examines the complex process of globalization that is transforming contemporary politics, economics and culture. The course addresses the movements of political and cultural forms, people, knowledge, capital, technology and consumer goods across national boundaries; and analyzes their effects on state autonomy, public policy, political and cultural change and resistance and equity. Not open to freshmen.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

Prerequisite: One 200 level Politics course

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Staff

POLI 330 Topics in Public Policy (1)

This course examines the American public policy process through a case study approach. Attention will be paid to issues of policy formation and implementation with a focus on the role of national and state institutions in altering policy outcomes. Case studies will vary but may include: tax and budget policy, crime, education, housing, health care, morality policies.

Prerequisite: POLI 210 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Michaux

POLI 334 Law and Public Policy (1)

This course examines the law in its social context and the extent to which law reflects social philosophy and public policy. It analyzes law in its formal setting - opinions, precedents and rules - and its informal setting - policy discretion and the political nature of juries and prisons. The course considers the impact of legal education on values and social responsibility.

Prerequisite: POLI 210 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Carella

POLI 337 Constitutional Law (1)

This course examines the development of the U.S. Constitution from 1803 to the present from the perspective of Supreme Court decisions. Primary emphasis is placed on the definition of and the priority among principles of limited government, the protection of private property, the promotion of commerce and individual liberty.

Prerequisite: POLI 210 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Carella

POLI 341 Environmental Policymaking: Politics and Process (1)

A comprehensive analysis of the internal and external influences of the environmental policy process, locally, nationally and globally. Students will explore issue formation, models of policy decision-making, risk perception and assessment, and the motivations and powers of various actors in the policy process.

Prerequisite: POLI 210 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Bowersox

POLI 345 Forest Ecology and Policy (1)

A case study approach to forests integrating forest policy and ecology. Using class and field instruction, students will design research projects that will emphasize the science and social science issues related to forest management. It is open only to seniors in Environmental Science or junior or seniors in Politics.

Prerequisite: POLI 210, BIOL 130 (or equivalent), and POLI 112, or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Alternate falls
  • Instructor: Arabas, Bowersox

POLI 351 (W) Women in American Politics (1)

This course examines the full range of women's participation in American political life through voluntary organizations, social movements and electoral politics. We explore the relationship between the two strains of feminism that have motivated women to political action: difference feminism and equality feminism, and reflect on the uneasy alliance between the struggle for racial equality and gender equality. Contemporary "women's issues" are covered: abortion, welfare, and pay equity. More generally, this course raises questions about the theory of representation and the nature of American politics through the lens of women in politics.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

Prerequisite: POLI 210 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Michaux

POLI 353 Parties, Elections and Campaigns (1)

This course explores the uneasy position of political parties in a constitutional system designed in part to thwart majority action and asks, to what extent do American political parties and elections enhance or obstruct democratic control of government? Topics include: The Founders' views of political faction and the development of a party system; the historical exclusion of women and African-Americans from party politics; and the role of parties today in shaping and governing political conflict. Finally, the course analyzes a variety of reform proposals from alternative "citizen" organizations to calls for proportional representation.

Prerequisite: POLI 210

  • Offering: Alternate falls
  • Instructor: Michaux

POLI 354 The American Presidency (1)

This course analyzes the American presidency. The primary focus is typically on the contemporary period, but the course also includes a substantial historical dimension. The particular presidencies studied will vary from year to year.

Prerequisite: POLI 210 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Ellis

POLI 358 American Political Development (1)

This course examines the development of American political culture and political institutions in the 19th and 20th centuries. Particular topics and questions vary from year to year.

Prerequisite: POLI 210 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Ellis, Michaux

POLI 362 Latin American Politics (1)

This course offers a broad introduction to critical themes in Latin American politics. After a brief overview of political economy from colonialism to the present, much of the course will explore the diversity of contemporary Latin America through case studies. Topics may include: race, ethnicity and national identity formations; neoliberalism and development; revolution and political change; memory work and reconciliation after violence.

Prerequisite: One of POLI 214POLI 218 or any LAS course. Not open to freshmen

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Ybarra

POLI 370 (W) Europe and the International System (1)

This course is designed to introduce students to politics and foreign policy in modern Europe. Special emphasis is placed on the evolving relationships among European countries in a rapidly changing international environment. Through lectures and discussions, students will explore the political, economic and security relations among European states and Europe's interactions with the rest of the world. The course will also examine various theoretical approaches designed to explain the changing relationships among countries in post-Cold War Europe.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

Prerequisite: POLI 214 or POLI 216 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Marks

POLI 372 (TH) American Foreign Policy (1)

This course analyzes the substance and sources of American foreign policy since World War II and examines the complexity of interests and issues that affect U.S. relations with selected countries and regions.

Prerequisite: One of POLI 214, POLI 216 or POLI 218 or consent of instructor

Mode of Inquiry: Thinking Historically

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Marks

POLI 373 International Security and Cooperation (1)

This course introduces students to various important theoretical approaches to the study of international security and cooperation. It also applies these approaches to empirical cases and concrete issues of international harmony and discord. Among the strategies of cooperation examined are strategic interaction and institution-building. These approaches will be analyzed in light of traditional theories that focus on military relationships and armed conflict. Special emphasis is placed on security and cooperation in the post-Cold War world.

Prerequisite: POLI 214 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Marks

POLI 374 Asia and the International System (1)

This course identifies the constant and variable factors that shape and influence the politics of selected Asian nations and which color these countries' foreign policy choices and international postures within the region and the international system. Intraregional interaction and superpower involvement in the region will be examined within national, regional and global perspectives.

Prerequisite: POLI 214 or POLI 218 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Felker

POLI 376 Latin American Revolutions (1)

This course examines selected 20th-century Latin American revolutions. Historical and comparative approaches to the causes and outcomes of revolution are used. Not open to freshmen.

Prerequisite: Any POLI or HIST course beyond the 100 level

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Staff

POLI 378 (W) Nations and the International System (1)

Examination of the processes of political, economic and cultural forces in the post-Cold War era and consideration of the reciprocal nature of change these forces unleash within and across national boundaries. Not open to freshmen.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

Prerequisite: POLI 214 or POLI 218 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Felker

POLI 380 Asian Politics and Development (1)

Comparative examination of political systems and political economies in Asia, including China, Japan, India, and select countries in Northeast, Southeast and South Asia. Explores key historical and contemporary controversies in Asian politics. Highlights similarities and contrasts in patterns of change in pursuit of an over-arching intellectual inquiry: to what extent, and in what ways, does Asia's experience reflect distinct forms of political and economics modernization?

Prerequisite: Any one of POLI 214, POLI 216, POLI 218; or one modern Asian societies (e.g. ANTH 233; HIST 118, HIST 282, HIST 381, HIST 383, HIST 445; JAPN 201); or instructor consent

  • Offering: Alternate falls
  • Instructor: Felker

POLI 382 (US) Capitalism and Democracy (1)

This course examines the nature of the relationship between capitalism and democracy, in various areas of the world including the U.S.A., from a range of theoretical and historical perspectives. Student will critically assess theories of the development of democracy in capitalist societies as well as of the market's effects on political representation and policy making, and review debates about the tensions and affinities between those systems in the contemporary period. Questions to be addressed include: What explains democratic and authoritarian pathways to economic modernization in the 19th and early 20th centuries? Does the relationship between capitalism and democracy show distinct regional variations, and if so, why? In what ways do capitalism and democracy function in harmony or in friction, and why? What role does market consolidation play in democratic transitions, and vice versa? Are welfare states and distinct national patterns of capitalist organization viable in the 21st century?

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding Society

Prerequisite: Any 200-level POLI course

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Felker

POLI 383 Dissent in 20th Century American Political Thought (1)

This course examines dissent in 20th century American political thought. Major areas of political divisiveness, such as Capitalism, Labor and (anti-) Communism, Race and Racism, and Sex, Gender, and Sexuality, will be explored through works of political activism and analysis on both the Left and Right.

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Gutterman

POLI 384 Transnational Feminist Politics (1)

Many feminists try to think, dialogue, and organize transnationally. This raises challenging questions: Is there a global sisterhood of women? Can feminists promote solidarity across divides of class, race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, and language? And should feminists question these categories of analysis? This course asks students to critically examine these questions through case studies on topics related to imperialism and colonialism; war and genocide; the international human rights movement; campaigns against violence; and the global economy. The course will examine the emergence of transnational feminism as interdisciplinary field of study, introduce students to key concepts such as identity difference, solidarity, and intersectionality, and explore major debates surrounding transnational feminist activism, theory and praxis.

Prerequisite: Any WGS course or POLI 214, 216, 218 or consent of instructor.

  • Offering: Alternate springs
  • Instructor: Koomen

POLI 386 (AR) Political Ecology (1)

This course explores social justice questions in the practice of conservation, focusing on the developing world. Students will critically assess epistemological, methodological, and practical issues in nature-society relations, and thereby trace the emergence of the interdisciplinary approach known as political ecology. Topics to be addressed may include: how poor people are affected by park creation and enforcement; neoliberalism in conservation; and ethnic, gender and class disparities in environmental movements, especially the stereotype of the "ecologically noble savage." Students will work through a case study on the politics of conservation in a developing country.

General Education Requirement: Analyzing Arguments, Reasons, and Values

Prerequisite: 200-level Politics course or consent of instructor.

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Ybarra

POLI 387 Africa and the World (1)

Colonialists, politicians, aid workers, peace corps volunteers, missionaries, human rights advocates, scholars and many others have asked, "How can we save Africa?" This class critically interrogates this question, its motivations, and the ways in which people have answered it by examining international efforts to "save" Africa, as well as African liberation struggles and social movements. Focusing on texts by African and Pan-African authors, we will study the ways in which international relations and the colonial legacy shape contemporary African politics. Special attention will be given to the politics of "tribes," ethnicity, race, class and gender, as well as ideas about culture, tradition, and modernity. We will focus on the international dimensions of violent conflicts in Africa, the dilemmas of humanitarian intervention, and efforts to promote peace, justice and reconciliation. We will investigate the historical roots of "underdevelopment," African contributions to the development of Europe and the Americas, and contemporary development and aid projects. Case studies include Rwanda, Maasailand, Darfur and South Africa.

Prerequisites: POLI 214, POLI 218, HIST 119, ANTH 232, or consent of instructor.

  • Offering: Alternate springs
  • Instructor: Koomen

POLI 388 (AR; W) Democracy and Nazism (1)

What can we learn from the failed Weimar Republic and the Consolidation of authoritarianism in the form of the Nazi Third Reich about the constitutive elements of democracy in general at the institutional, cultural, and cognitive levels? In exploring the historical record, the course considers the nature of political and moral argument in relation to several modes of discourse: philosophy, art, worldview (Weltanschauung), propaganda, ideology, and deception. In argumentative, ethical, aesthetic, and affective terms, what made agitation for the demise of Weimar democracy persuasive, and conversely, what legitimized participation in the Nazi racial state? Finally, what insights can we apply to contemporary democratic politics?

Prerequisites: One POLI course at the 100/200 level or consent of instructor. Closed to first-year students.

Mode of Inquiry:  Analyzing Arguments, Reasons and Values

General Education Requirement Fullfillment:  Writing centered

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Basu

POLI 390 Independent Study (variable credit)

Opportunity to conduct a major research project, which cannot be satisfied through any existing course in the department's curriculum, under faculty supervision. Proposed projects must be submitted to the Department Chair and must be approved by the department faculty.

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

POLI 396 Internship in Government and Politics (1)

Supervised internships in state and local government. Interns are placed only in positions which provide academic learning opportunities and the availability of such positions may be limited. A student is accepted for internship at the discretion of the instructor on the basis of demonstrated capabilities, including research and writing skills. Interns are expected to work 12 hours a week, meet regularly with the instructor, attend periodic seminars, and write a final research paper.

Prerequisite: POLI 210 and sophomore status

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

POLI 398 Legislative Internship (1)

Supervised internships in the Oregon State Legislature. Interns are placed only in positions which provide academic learning opportunities and the availability of such positions may be limited. Students are admitted to the course by consent of the instructor and are selected on the basis of their demonstrated capabilities, including research and writing skills. Interns are expected to work 12 hours a week, meet regularly with the instructor, attend periodic seminars, and write a final research paper.

Prerequisite: POLI 210 and sophomore status

  • Offering: Spring of odd-numbered years
  • Instructor: Michaux

POLI 480 (W) Senior Thesis (2)

The Senior Thesis is the capstone experience in the Politics major. It involves the writing of a major research paper under the close supervision of a faculty member. The paper is subject to multiple stages of criticism and rewriting. This process is intended to deepen students' insights into different forms of inquiry, methods and literature; hone their skills of critical thinking; sharpen their abilities to analyze theory and test ideas through research; and ensure that their research designs and methodologies are effective and appropriate.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

Prerequisite: A minimum of seven Politics credits, and three-credits at the 300 level, two of which must be completed in residence at Willamette; POLI 390, POLI 396 and POLI 398 do not count toward the three credit minimum

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff