Political Science 490

POSC 490

Catalog Entry

POSC 490. Seminar (AG; CG; IR; PT)
Three hours lecture and discussion (3).

Prerequisite: Successful completion of appropriate 100-level or 200-level course or permission of the instructor.

Analysis of particular problem or issue in political science or contemporary politics.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

The purpose of this seminar is to provide an opportunity for intensive study and analysis of a particular problem or issue in political science. The specific focus of the seminar would vary as the interests of the students and instructor dictate, but the emphasis would normally be on problems and issues of major contemporary significance or on geographical areas not covered in the ordinary political science curriculum. It would also serve to refine the student's research skills.

A specialized seminar such as this is needed to provide advanced majors with an opportunity to focus in depth on a particular issue or problem in political science as a means of further developing and applying concepts and analytic skills developed in lower-level courses. This type of seminar would also allow for coverage of topics not included in the regular course offerings as demand justifies.

The precise content of the seminar will vary from year to year as determined by the interests of the students and instructor. In all cases, however, the seminar will involve in-depth analysis of a specific problem or issue in political science or modern politics.

Topics could include areas like the Middle East, Africa, and East Europe, and such issue areas as nationalism, liberalism, and conservatism.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

As a seminar this class will be conducted primarily through the use of guided discussions of the seminar readings and other related materials.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1. To increase the student's knowledge within the subject matter area of the particular seminar.
2. To increase the ability to apply philosophical concepts to concrete situations.
3. To develop intellectual self-confidence by increasing the student's sense of responsibility for his/her own education and the education of others in the class in a collaborative learning environment.
4. To practice extending a coherent line of reasoning over time and situations.


Assessment Measures

Class performance may be evaluated with essay exams, debates, credit awarded for acting as the seminar leader, in-class writing, and seminar papers.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

April 1998 Reviewed M.J. Franck, Dept. Chair