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Department of Political Science

New Course Offerings in Political Science

Fall Courses

Pols 4499 / 5599 Section 1: Democracy in the Digital Age
Democracy in the Digital Age surveys the virtual landscape in which which has become the medium for human interaction and new forms of collective action. Class lectures will consider topics that offer enormous potential for effective direct and representative democracy yet also hold new challenges for individuals and groups. Topics will include, but are not limited to, issues of privacy and security, hackers and political resistance, social media and public discourse, propaganda and national interests, and local action in an era of globalization. Students will utilize social media and online tools for their assignments. Class will involve sessions on how to effectively and efficiently use the digital world to have your voice be heard and how to distill the seemingly limitless voices of others that abound in virtual space.
Pols 4499 / 5599 Section 2: Torture: Law and Politics
Torture, like tyranny, war and genocide, pre-dates human history. The Cold War's end seemed to herald growing world peace, more rule of law, and increasing civility in politics. But 9/11 and its aftermath shattered these illusions and torture, once thought to be a barbaric relic practiced only by a few rogue regimes, has made a dramatic comeback. Debates about whether it is ever moral, lawful or even useful to use torture have led even some civil libertarians to advocate "torture warrants" in certain cases. The course examines, among other things:
  • the lasting impacts of torture on victims, civil society and the development of democratic-republican norms of justice and governance
  • the growth of national and international prohibitions on torture
  • the resurgence in the use of torture under various guises
  • "lawyer wars" and "non-coercive interrogation techniques"
  • the history of torture, its aims, and its methods
Student Advisory: Please Read Before Enrolling in This Course

Spring Courses

Pols 2222: Public Administration in the Islamic World 3 credits
This course intends to provide a historical and contemporary view of the conception of government in the Muslim world. There are textual (Islamic), cultural (Arab, Persian, Turkish, Indian, Malay, Caucasian, African, etc.) and historical origins for Muslim governance throughout the ages. This course will start with the city-state of Medina under the Prophet Muhammad and expand outward to the early Arab/Persian caliphates to the Turkish caliphate. Sultanates in the regions of India and South-East Asia as well as the kingdoms in Africa and the Khanates of Russia and Central Asia will be considered within this sphere up until the modern age. The progression of the concept of government in the Muslim world from city-state, to empire to nation-state will be considered in this course. The conceptions of leadership, public finance, the rule of law, the military and democracy will be examined throughout the course.

Last Modified: 07/08/14 at 06:57:44 PM


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