Fall 2018

POLS 111 INTRO TO US POLITICS (SS designation)

Tuesday/Thursday                           12:45pm-2:05pm             SIMNS-G30         Dr. Scott Johnson

Tuesday/Thursday                           9:35am-10:55am             SIMNS-360          Dr. Whitney Court



Tuesday/Thursday                           11:10am-12:30pm            SIMNS-G10         Prof. Colin Hannigan

Monday/Wednesday/Friday              12:40pm-1:35pm              SIMNS-G60         Dr. Christi Siver

Monday/Wednesday/Friday              10:20am-11:15am            SIMNS-G10         Dr. Pedro dos Santos


POLS 211 POLITICS & POLITICAL LIFE (Gender designation)

Monday/Wednesday/Friday             11:30am-12:25pm              SIMNS-G30         Prof. Colin Hannigan

Monday/Wednesday/Friday               9:10am-10:05am              SIMNS-G30         Dr. Jim Read



Monday/Wednesday/Friday              10:20am-11:15am             QUAD-447           Dr. Jim Read

Tuesday/Thursday                           2:20pm-3:40pm                QUAD-261           Dr. Scott Johnson


Upper Division Offerings for Fall 2018


Tuesday/Thursday                           12:45pm-2:05pm             SIMNS-360          Dr. Phil Kronebusch

Examination of constitutional interpretation and development in the United States with an emphasis on the role of the Supreme Court in the U.S. system of government. The course uses a combination of case, historical and political analysis to acquaint students with the power of the Supreme Court as an institution of government. Themes studied include the development of constitutional doctrines regarding the power relationship among the president, Congress, and the judiciary and between the federal and state governments.


Monday/Wednesday (NOT Fridays) 1:50pm-3:10pm         SIMNS-310          Dr. Matt Lindstrom

Transportation, energy, and food are locally experienced but have global as well as local environmental ramifications. Environmental politics and policy are necessarily multi-disciplinary topics so we will draw upon a range of disciplines including economics, history, ecology, and ethics in addition to political science, public policy, and public administration. In covering environ-mental politics, we focus on lobbying, legislating and litigating as well as the direct action and the politics of corporate sustainability. The policy focus emphasizes content related to major federal laws and agencies governing public lands and other environmental issues, and the federal agencies that over-see environmental policy such as food politics, and local land use planning.


Tuesday/Thursday 11:10am-12:30pm                                      SIMNS-360          Dr. Whitney Court

You may be asking yourself, “Why should I care about state and local government?”  For starters, Professor Court told you to care, so it must be important.  Besides that fact, do you wish you could take affordable and efficient public transportation from Saint Cloud to a concert in downtown Minneapolis?  Do you like knowing that your water is safe to drink? Have you ever asked yourself if it is legal to drive your vehicle with an uncaged bear in the state of Missouri? State and local governments greatly impact our everyday lives.  It is critical to understand how these more accessible levels of government operate and to discover how we might be able to influence them. In addition to gaining experience working directly with a state or local government or agency on an experiential learning project, this course examines subnational political structures, processes, and policies such as marriage, education, public assistance, environment, health care, transportation, and if time allows, policies on bears riding in cars.


Wednesday night 6:15pm-9:15pm                            SIMNS-G40                         Dr. Scott Johnson

Why does the US Government do some things and not others? Why do some problems get on the agenda for possible solution while others do not? What governmental and non-governmental institutions and organizations are involved in setting priorities and making tradeoffs?  How are solutions constructed and who constructs them? Why is passing a bill never the end of the story? Why does implementation often reveal new problems to be solved?

In this course we will examine the normative questions of what constitutes the “best” policy outcome. What are the principles that different actors bring to the table? What are the tradeoffs and compromises that must be made in order to accomplish anything at all?  By the end of the semester you should understand some of the main theories concerning the process of making public policy and you should have a foundation for analyzing and explaining why certain policies look and work the way they do.


Tuesday/Thursday 9:35am-10:55am                        SIMNS-G30                         Prof. Colin Hannigan

The revolution is dead. Long live the revolution. Do you often wonder what it takes for people to go from listening to Rage Against the Machine to actually raging against ‘The Machine’? Are you interested in why some revolutionaries use guns, while others use words? Do you want to know if peaceful resistance is more effective than violence in generating sociopolitical change? Are you too impatient for reform and not too keen on moving to Canada? This course underlines the power in political movement. We’ll identify the the various ways in which people stick it to the man, learn their reasons for doing so, and figure out what makes some movements more successful than others. Along the way, students will explore these and other key themes in the study of mass mobilization and sociopolitical change: social cleavages (e.g. race, ethnicity, class, gender), ideology and extremism, power and exclusion, state repression and violence, civil disobedience, media and popular culture, transnationalism, Marxism-Leninism, and the ‘logics’ of collective action. So, “come gather ‘round people,” and bring a friend, “for the times, they are a-changin’.”

POLS 345 DEVELOPING NATIONS (soon to be called “Global South”)

Tuesday/Thursday 2:20pm-3:40pm                          SIMNS-G40                         Dr. Pedro dos Santos

Why are some countries poor and others rich? What does that even mean, being a poor or a rich country? In this class we will focus on the Global South (former colonies in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East) to understand what it means to be an underdeveloped, developing, or developed country. By looking at broad and specific issues related to political and economic development, this class will provide students with an overview of the different policies and strategies used by countries in the Global South to improve their socio-economic standing, and the consequences of such policies and strategies.

POLS 358B ETHICS IN WAR (Cross-listed with ETHS 390)

Tuesday/Thursday 11:10am-12:30pm                     SIMNS-G40                         Dr. Christi Siver

If General Sherman was right that "war is hell," the concept of ethics seems completely irrelevant.  However, as human society has evolved, numerous politicians, philosophers, and religious figures have agreed on the need for an ethics in war, even if they have not agreed on the content of those ethics.  Students will be introduced to formal ethical frameworks and discover the dilemmas they encounter when applying these frameworks to real world situations.  Students will compare how these ethical frameworks overlap and diverge from political values.  We will debate particular dilemmas in warfare, including which authorities can declare war and when they are justified in doing so, what methods can be used in war, and what obligations both combatants and non-combatants have.  Students will work with a basic ethics text supplemented by contemporary articles outlining modern dilemmas related to ethics of war.

Senior Research Seminars

POLS 362 - Senior Research Seminar - Law (Kronebusch)

POLS 363 - Senior Research Seminar - Political Institutions (Court)

POLS 364 - Senior Research Seminar - International Relations/Comparative (Siver)