political science at albright  

Associate Professor Irene Langran, Ph.D., Chair
Professors Bruce E. Auerbach, Ph.D. and Theresa C. Smith, Ph.D. 
Professor Emeritus Thomas C. Brogan, Ph.D.


POL 101
American Government
This introductory course presents the dynamics of American politics and government. Such factors as public opinion, interest groups, political parties, mass media, Congress, the Presidency, the bureaucracy and the courts are analyzed. The national level of American government is emphasized in this course.

POL 202
International Relations
This course provides an introduction to international relations by analyzing the foreign policy of states, the international system, and the role of non-state actors. The goal is to teach students how to understand the multifold activities that take place in the international arena.

POL 205
Comparative Politics
The concepts of systems analysis are used in the study of structures and processes of foreign political systems. Both theoretical and case study materials are used to show the similarities as well as the differences in the ways people govern themselves.

POL 207
Research Methods in Political Science
The social scientific study of politics and public policy is introduced in this course which includes skill development in hypothesis formulation, measurement, research design, survey research and statistics through multivariate analysis.

POL 210
The U.S. Congress
This course introduces students to the history of the Congress, the characteristics and behavior of its members, the impact of Congressional elections, institutional powers and operations, Congressional relationships with other branches of government, the impact of public opinion on policy making and methods to assess the democratic performance of the institution.

POL 214
Public Policy
Students in this course study how policies are made by governments. Half of the course is devoted to a comparative analysis of three major policy perspectives or ideologies, along with a description of popular models of the policymaking process. The other half of the course uses this theoretical background to focus on policy case studies from fields including economics, health care, education and the environment.

POL 216
Law and Society
This is an introduction to the social scientific study of law and legal systems. The course addresses such issues as the nature of law and its functions in society, including social control, dispute settlement and policy making. It examines the attributes and organization of legal systems and particularly, although not exclusively, the American system. It also offers an overview of the roles and functions of lawyers and judges and a more focused examination of Supreme Court decision-making. Some familiarity with American politics and institutions is assumed.

POL 231
Criminal Law
This course is an introduction to the study of criminal law. The principles of American criminal law are examined using the case method. Among the topics covered are the general principles of criminal liability, the elements of various crimes, and defenses. The structure and operation of the criminal justice system are also reviewed. Prerequisite: POL 101 or 216 or permission of the instructor

POL 240
Special Topics in Political Science
This course offers special topics of current interest in Political Science.

POL 242
Human Rights
Human rights represent one of the greatest challenges facing our world today. This course explores the politics of the many theoretical, historical and cultural issues surrounding the contemporary human rights debate.

POL 250
Political Geography

This course is designed to teach the basic principles of geography in political context so that geography can be used meaningfully to solve political problems.  The course relies on a series of applications which require printed and on-line maps.  Students will learn how to create original maps as well as how to interpret maps in a variety of formats including satellite photography.  A significant course for International Relations and Comparative Politics students, it also fulfills national and Pennsylvania geography requirements for secondary school social science teacher certification students.

POL 260
The Politics of Russia and Neighboring States
This course is designed to familiarize students with the major issues in the maelstrom of early 21st century Russian economic and political transformation. Russia contends with its own contradictions: major military and diplomatic status; Third World economic status; peace program and internal wars; democratic structure and Czarist function. The course considers the fall of the Soviet empire, the failures of democratization and market bolshevism, the burglary of the state economy and the legacies of Czarism, wars and political terror, et al.

Globalization represents one of the most important forces shaping our world today. While some argue that it brings people closer together, others view it as a source of fragmentations and destruction. This course explores the economic, political and social impacts of globalization on our world. Students analyze globalization in historical, economic, political and cultural contexts. Topics in this course are examined from a range of perspectives, and students are encouraged to draw their own conclusions on the positive and negative impacts of globalization.

POL 295
Wheeling and Dealing: The Theory and Practice of Negotiation
The purpose of this course is to examine a number of theoretical perspectives on negotiating and to develop in students those skills necessary for successful negotiation. In addition to readings on the topic, students use a variety of social science learning methods including role playing, computer simulation, video instruction and written and filmed case studies. General studies social science.

The Politics of Global Health
This course is designed to offer an introduction to major issues in public health by analyzing these issues from national and global perspectives.  A review of case studies and theoretical approaches will help illustrate the challenges – and solutions – involved in addressing diseases and illnesses in the 21st century.  This course gives special attention to the relationship of health to globalization, poverty, identity and conflict. 

POL 302
Public Administration
This course is an introductory examination of the policy-making function of the governmental bureaucracy, its societal supports and intergovernmental relationships. Contemporary issues such as budgetary priority-making, also are examined. Prerequisite: POS 101

POL 314
Ancient and Medieval Political Thought

This course examines the classical political ideals of liberty and justice. Our goal is:(1) to trace the historical bases of these ideals, and (2) to examine how they came to shape modern accounts of political order.

POL 315
Political Theory
This course is an examination of the major political concepts that have molded our modern world, through the examination and discussion of original works of political philosophy. The course covers major theorists and their ideas, and major schools of thought, from the Greek philosophers to the 20th century. Open to all students.

POL 321
Environmental Policy
After a brief history and discussion of the theory behind environmental policy, this class will devote its time to an extended description and critical discussion of specific environmental policies. This discussion is broken into two main categories: policies dealing with pollution and public health (including waste and air and water pollution), and policies dealing with land management and the public realm (including agriculture, public lands and sprawl). Prerequisite: POL 101 or 214 or permission of the instructor

POL 322
Political Parties, Elections and Interest Groups
This is an analysis of the political organizations, including the political parties and pressure groups operating in the American political system. Students are expected to participate in supervised field work. Prerequisite: POL 101

POL 331
Criminal Law
This course is an introduction to the study of criminal law. The principles of American criminal law are examined using the case method. Among the topics covered are the general principles of criminal liability, the elements of various crimes, and defenses. The structure and operation of the criminal justice system are also reviewed. Prerequisite: POL 101 or 216 or permission of the instructor

POL 340
Topics for Political Analysis
This is a seminar on a selected topic of interest to students and faculty in political science. The focus is on materials and method as well as the content of the topic. Recent topics covered were political leadership, women in politics and the theory and practice of democracy.

POL 345
Latin American Politics
Many world problems emerge in Latin America—high infant mortality, drugs, hunger, population growth without jobs, economic stagnation, the debt crisis, foreign aid, trade and outside intervention. This course is about the origins of traditional and contemporary political problems and potential remedies for these problems. Students are encouraged to do the assigned reading with a view to offering their own analyses and possible solutions.

POL 352
International Law and Organizations

This course introduces students to the theories and practices of international law and international organizations. The course analyzes contemporary international laws in several areas, including human rights, security and the environment. Organizations covered during the semester include the United Nations, international financial institutions, regional organizations, nongovernmental organizations and other non-state groups. Prerequisite: POL 202

POL 371
Constitutional Law
This course is a study of the United States Constitution as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court, concentrating on fundamental constitutional doctrines of judicial review, federalism and separation of powers. Emphasis also is placed on understanding the role of the judiciary in the American constitutional system, as well as the importance of considering the political and historical context in which any given constitutional doctrine is developed. This course is taught using the case method.Prerequisite: POL 101 or 216 or permission of the instructor

POL 372
Civil Liberties
This course is an intensive analysis of constitutional provisions and United States Supreme Court decisions regarding protections for individuals against excessive governmental interference (civil liberties) and provisions by which individuals may use government power to protect themselves against certain forms of discrimination (civil rights). Emphasis is placed upon the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, including the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clauses of the 14th Amendment as well as various congressional enactments intended to further the purposes of those amendments. Such topics as the right to privacy, abortion, the rights of the criminally accused and other controversial and contemporary issues are covered. This course is taught using the case method. Prerequisite: POL 101 or 216 or permission of instructor

POL 399
Students are involved in a local or off-campus public bureaucracy, nonprofit organization or other political activity under the supervision of an Albright instructor and a mentor at the internship location.

POL 401
Seminar on American Politics and Government
This is a reading seminar on institutions, processes, personalities, and outcomes of domestic politics and public policy. Readings are selected to provide students with an understanding of the scope of the approaches used by political scientists when studying institutions, behavior and culture. Designed for juniors and seniors in political science. Prerequisite: POL 101

POL 412
Seminar in Law and Public Policy
This research seminar examines the role of the Supreme Court in the formulation, administration, consequences and evaluation of public policy. In order to facilitate understanding of the complex interplay between private and public actors characteristic of this subject, the seminar involves intensive examination of one or more policy areas. Examples of such policy areas include the limitations of the judiciary as a public policy actor, the continuing controversy over the establishment and free exercise of religion clauses, and the controversy over the death penalty. Prerequisite: POL 216, 371 or 372, or permission of the instructor

POL 420
Seminar in Political Science 
Global Poverty and its consequences are among the greatest challenges of our time.  This course introduces students to the theories, research methods, and practices of international development, a subfield of political science in which poverty in the countries of the global South is the central concern.  In this course students will analyze measures o development, the history of the field, competing paradigms, and the roles of aid, trade and debt relief.  This course is open to Juniors and Seniors in the Political Science and International Relations programs.  Other students may join with instructor permission. 

POL 440
A seminar on a selected topic of interest to students and faculty in political science. The focus is on materials and method as well as the content of the topic. Designed for juniors and seniors in political science. Prerequisite: POL 101