Still working out the kinks in your schedule for the upcoming Fall Semester? Consider one or more of our politics electives!

Politics 360: Judicial Process in PA, Joseph D’Annunzio

This course will serve as an introduction to law and to legal practice and procedure.  It will be of interest for general knowledge as well as for the student who is interested in a career in law.

D’Annunzio, an attorney in Harrisburg writes: Our society is based upon the principles of law, rules of conduct that regulate human behavior.  From the concept of law as a bedrock for the basis of our society has developed increased regulation of behavior by government, not just in enforcing the prevention of dangerous or criminal conduct, but now in determining how people will live and what must be provided to them.  The course will study this change by examining the origins of law, the development of legal process through the English common law, and how those concepts have been established in American jurisprudence.  We’ll do this by examining cases which deal with practical concepts such as the standard of care in tort cases and duties and obligations in contract cases.  The course is intended to give the students a background that will provide a better understanding of the legal issues that arise in their daily lives.

POLI 240: American Presidency, Dr. Rego

The timing of this class couldn’t be more perfect with the upcoming presidential election this fall. With the election in full swing, students will be able to apply class material and a historical perspective to current events. Dr. Rego is excited to share his enthusiasm for learning about the American Presidency with the class.  Students will analyze, through a combination of primary and secondary sources,  subjects like the creation of the presidency and the historical evolution of the office. Students will be able to discuss changes made to the office through judicial, executive and legislative actions, as well as key players in the office’s development. Other topics include the powers and limitations of the American President, in addition to the importance of personality for each presidential legacy.

POLI 323: Public Policy, William Robert Lloyd

In teaching this class, Professor Lloyd will be able to draw on his experience in state and federal government, including 18 years serving as a member of the PA House of Representatives.

While the first half of the course will focus on how public policy is made, the second half of the course will focus on some specific public policies. This will include analysis of how the policies originated and on whether they are working.  Students will engage in identifying and analyzing policy options. Potential policies to be discussed include: energy/environmental questions (ex. Marcellus Shale), the federal budget deficit, tax cuts/increases/reform, education, and health care.

This class will be of interest to any student who would like to become a better-informed citizen and voter.  Furthermore, the course will be particularly useful for any student who is considering a career in public service or in a private sector job which involves interaction with government agencies and officials.

POLI 330: Terrorism, Walter Harry Leach

As Professor Leach puts it, “this elective offers the opportunity to go behind the headlines and study how and why terrorism works—and often why it does not.” Students will be encouraged to re-examine any preconceived notions about the topic of terrorism and to evaluate them in light of the historical record and academic research. The class is particularly geared toward majors interested in government or the Foreign Service, although anyone is welcome to take the course; this class also fulfills a Gen-Ed ethics requirement!

The first part of the course will examine foundational issues of ethical decision making and defining our use of the word terrorism.  The class will then survey historical uses of terrorism, a learning experience which should cause students to put aside some commonly held beliefs and look for continuities that may inform future study.

The class will also focus on case studies for terrorism and counter-terrorism. The first case study will involve Algeria and will contribute to discussions of issues about combatants, noncombatants, strategic goals and the general population into stark contrast for study.  The next case study will involve domestic terrorism in the United States followed by a unit on al Qaeda.

POLI 362: Theories of International Relations, Dr. Curry

This class entails a survey of theoretical approaches to international relations, including realism, theories of conflict, integration, and decision making. The course will also examine contending normative and empirical methodologies of international relations.