Please note: The course descriptions displayed here are current as of Wednesday, August 15, 2018, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.

GOVT 110: Introduction to Political Science

An introduction to the nature of contemporary politics and government. Topics drawn primarily from American national, state, and local government and politics, with other political systems introduced for comparative purposes. Emphasis on such major concepts as power, legitimacy, political culture, conflict, and rational choice and on an examination of how a political system manages problems related to political change.
Units: 6.

GOVT 140: Introduction to International Relations

An introductory study of the cultural, political, and economic interactions among states and non-state actors in global politics. Special attention is paid to key issues, including international security, foreign policy decision-making, and the role of diplomacy in promoting cooperation. Required for the interdisciplinary area in international studies.
Units: 6.

GOVT 151: Introduction to Environmental Policy

This course applies principles of economics and political science to environmental issues, including pollution, resource limitation, and environmental degradation. It is designed to foster an understanding of the environmental policy-making and regulatory process in the United States and globally.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Environmental Studies 151, Economics 151

GOVT 191: Directed Study in Government

Directed study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GOVT 195: Internship in Governenment

Work with a government agency, legislative office, research institution, private employer, or other relevant organization, arranged under the direction of an instructor in the department. The academic component of the internship includes readings related to the substance of the internship, discussions with the faculty supervisor, and a written report appropriate to the discipline. Course grades are based on this academic work.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: At least one government course at 200-level or above and consent of instructor; Counter Registration Required

GOVT 200: Politics and Human Nature

What activities are most appropriate for human beings? What is the purpose of political activity? What is the best practicable constitution for a political community? This course examines several philosophers’ arguments concerning the best political regime in light of their respective visions of human nature and happiness.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: FRST 101 or sophomore standing

GOVT 203: Latin American Economic Development

This course combines economic theory, policy and historical accounts to understand the forces shaping Latin American economic development. Students will gain an understanding of major theories and trends in Latin American development while analyzing specific development issues, including equitable growth, agriculture, migration, gender equity, education, and health. Students will complete thoughtful critiques of readings, problem sets analyzing real data, and in-depth evaluations of specific issues.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Economics 203
Prerequisite: ECON 100

GOVT 204: Special Topics in Government

This course explores a topic in American politics, comparative politics, international politics, political theory, or another government subfield which is not addressed by the Government Department's regular course offerings.

Topic for Spring 2019: Refugees and Forced Migration
This offering examines the place of refugees and forced migrants in global politics and in the domestic politics of the United States and other selected courses. The course focus on the causes of and responses to refugee movements, the evolution of the international refugee regime, and current challenges to it, including: the rise of populist politics in traditional countries of asylum; compassion fatigue by donor countries; the emergence of environmental refugees; and the changing nature of migration on a global scale.
Units: 1 TO 99.

GOVT 208: Sustainable China: Environment and Economy

This course integrates environmental and economic topics relevant for understanding sustainability in the Chinese context, including economic development, natural resource management, urban growth, and environmental policy. It is a prerequisite for a December study trip to China.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Economics 208, Environmental Studies 208
Prerequisite: Limited to students selected for the Sustainable China study trip

GOVT 211: Flexibility and Freedom: American Federalism in Transition

Federalism is a compromise between freedom and equality. How much authority should member states have over elections? Education? The environment? Immigration? Observers characterize federalism both as a bulwark against tyranny and a perpetrator of inequality. This course considers federalism's development in the United States and Europe, its contradictions, and its survival in a global society.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GOVT 110 or consent of instructor

GOVT 215: Democracy in Comparative Perspective

This course examines variations in the institutional design and practice of democracy drawing on a range of national and historical cases. Course materials will address the following questions: Are there social, cultural, or economic prerequisites for democratic stability? How and why does the design of democratic institutions vary across national borders? Why does democracy sometimes produce undesirable social, political, and economic outcomes? And why and how do democracies collapse?
Units: 6.

GOVT 220: American Elections, Candidates, and Political Parties

A study of the development, organization, structure, and activities of American political parties, with special attention to the recruitment and selection of presidential candidates.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GOVT 110 or consent of instructor

GOVT 226: Identity Politics and Ethnic Conflict

Are conflicts between identity groups inevitable? Why do outbreaks of violence and ethnic conflict occur when they do? How have governments dealt with diversity and with what consequences? Students will read both new and classic works from the literature on nationalism, identity politics, genocide and post-conflict resolution across the world.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Ethnic Studies 226
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or consent of instructor

GOVT 235: American Political Thought

This course examines the character and historical development of American political thought. Students analyze ideas about liberty, virtue, equality, authority, and community expressed in political tracts and speeches from colonial times to the present.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or consent of instructor

GOVT 245: Comparative Politics of Less-Developed Countries

This course provides an introduction to politics in less-developed countries, paying close attention to differences within the so-called “developing world” and the impact of economic realities on politics. In doing so, it addresses questions about the relationship between economic development and democracy and the impact of globalization on poor countries.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing and one of GOVT 110 or GOVT 140

GOVT 248: Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurs all over the world adopt and implement innovative ideas in order to address some of the world's most pressing problems. In this course, students will study the many dimensions of social entrepreneurship, especially those ventures that address problems of human rights and sustainable development.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Innovation & Entrepreneurship 245
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or consent of instructor

GOVT 252: Sustainable Cities

How can cities be sustainable? The increasing urbanization of the world's population, shift to service-driven economies, and growing diversity of cities make this question pressing and complicated. This course introduces economic, environmental, and social dimensions of the urban sustainability problem and explores responses to it through a two-week December study trip to London and Amsterdam and winter term studies and poster presentations. Program fee is required. Students pay their own airfare.
Units: 3.
Also listed as Environmental Studies 252, Economics 252
Prerequisite: An introductory course in GOVT, ECON, ENST or GLST, or consent of instructor

GOVT 260: European Democracies

An examination of the historical development and contemporary characteristics of western European political systems that first compares the contemporary systems of Great Britain, France, and Germany and then focuses on challenges facing European democracies today, including environmental problems and increasing immigration. Particular attention is paid to the process of European integration and the role of the European Union.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GOVT 110 or sophomore standing

GOVT 270: Global Environmental Politics

This course provides an examination of the environment as an issue in world politics. Emphasis will be placed on the role of both state and non-state actors (i.e., the UN, NGOs) in global environmental regimes that are designed to deal with global warming, ozone depletion, and other environmental issues. Particular attention will be paid to the positions taken by both developed and developing countries. As part of the course, students will participate in a simulation of an international negotiation on an environmental issue.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Environmental Studies 270
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or ENST 150 or GOVT 110

GOVT 271: Research Methods in Political Science

Considers research approaches and methods political scientists use to create knowledge. The course will explore quantitative and qualitative techniques with theory and hands-on applications. The goal of the course is to improve students’ ability to read research critically and to make and test their own arguments in political science. Students should take this course in their sophomore or junior year.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GOVT 110 or consent of instructor; seniors must obtain consent of instructor

GOVT 274: Public Economics

Public economics covers a range of topics from taxation to social insurance and redistribution to homeland security. The course develops a template for framing and analyzing public policy issues that provides a basis for understanding the rationale for government intervention, the alternative policy instruments that can be used to affect economic outcomes, and the economic tools used to evaluate the effects of intervention.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Economics 271
Prerequisite: ECON 100

GOVT 275: Global Economic Relations

This course covers the major concepts utilized in the field of international political economy. Major issues covered include debates about globalization, trade policy and free-trade agreements, monetary policy and currency regulation, aid and development, immigration policy and labor migration, global corporations, and international institutions such as the World Bank, IMF, and WTO.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Economics 202
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing and ECON 100. GOVT 140 or GOVT 340 recommended.

GOVT 276: Economic Development

This course seeks to provide students with a broad based understanding of economic development and the choices countries face. To obtain such an understanding, students will read the works of contemporary economists who provide a variety of approaches to poverty alleviation and the tradeoffs that must be confronted. Emphasis will be placed on close reading, class discussion, and on writing a number of papers that compare and contrast different views of economic development.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Economics 200
Prerequisite: ECON 100

GOVT 280: U.S. Foreign Policy

Analysis and interpretation of the nature, patterns, and trends of American foreign policy since World War II. Emphasis on the origins, development, and passing of the Cold War and on factors of continuing significance.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GOVT 110 recommended

GOVT 315: Founding the Just Regime

Can a corrupt people create a just regime? What role must violence, deception, persuasion, and reflection play in promoting political justice? What are the ground and scope of citizens’ political obligations? This course studies the difficulties of creating and reforming political communities.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing

GOVT 320: Introduction to Constitutional Law

This course examines the American Constitution's structure and purposes; who may authoritatively interpret the Constitution; and legal debates that have attended American constitutional development. It focuses particular attention on competing claims about the founding; interpretive expertise and authority; the contract and commerce clauses; the separation of powers; and federalism.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing

GOVT 321: Civil Liberties and the Supreme Court

A study of landmark 20th-century civil-rights and liberties cases in U.S. constitutional law. These cases involve critical constitutional issues concerning the nationalization of the Bill of Rights, freedom of speech and press, abortion and the right to privacy, desegregation and affirmative action.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GOVT 110 or sophomore standing

GOVT 322: Liberty and Constitutional Democracy

This course addresses philosophical and legal questions about liberty and constitutional democracy. To what extent should people be free to live, speak, interact, and employ property as they please? Should the scope of individual rights be defined by legal experts, majority rule, or something else? To what extent does American constitutional law guarantee such rights? Discussions with written assignments and/or exams and evaluations of class participation.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing

GOVT 340: International Politics

An analysis of patterns of interactions of state and non-state actors in a system without supreme authority, focusing on alternative theoretical frameworks rather than substantive problems. Special emphasis on “realist” and “liberal” theories; the nature and uses of power in international politics; and issues of security, including conventional war, weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, environmental decay, and migration.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GOVT 110 or 140 or sophomore standing

GOVT 351: Broadsides to Blogs: Mass Media in American Politics

From colonial broadsides to last night's blog, American politics has been enmeshed with mass media. Students will consider the roll of the mass media in shaping what citizens think about candidates for office, election campaigns, making of policy, and ultimately, governing. Does the mass media undermine democracy or strengthen it?
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GOVT 220 or consent of instructor

GOVT 360: The American Presidency

An examination of the politics of the American presidency, including the constitutional foundations of the office, elections, and the president's relationships with Congress, the courts, the public, media, and the executive branch. The main theme of the course is the difficulty of assessing presidential leadership, in particular sorting the effects of presidents' individual characteristics and strategies from contextual constraints and opportunities.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GOVT 110 and GOVT 271, or consent of instructor

GOVT 365: International Law

A study of the role of law in international politics. Attention to the distinctive nature of the international legal system and to the relevance of international law to the control of violence, promotion of peace, protection of human rights, and management of resources. Current problems and the outlook for the future world order are assessed.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GOVT 110 or GOVT 140 or sophomore standing

GOVT 370: Congressional Politics

This course covers the basics of congressional politics, including elections, the constitutional framework, committees, parties, and legislative procedures. Thematic focuses include strategies of legislative coalition building and the relative importance of partisanship, constituent pressures, and policy expertise in congressional politics.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GOVT 110 or consent of instructor

GOVT 380: Introduction to Public Policy

This course considers economic and democratic models for structuring the collective choices that become public policy. It then explores how major American institutions balance political control and technical expertise in the design, enactment and implementation of public policy.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GOVT 271 or MATH 107 or consent of instructor

GOVT 385: Modern British Politics

This course analyzes the central structures and processes of British politics, the important policy issues of recent years, British attitudes toward the political system, and critiques of British politics and history. Offered at the London Centre.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: Must be attending the Lawrence London Centre.

GOVT 390: Tutorial Studies in Government

Advanced study, arranged and carried out under the direction of an instructor.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GOVT 391: Directed Study in Government

Directed study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GOVT 395: Internship in Government

Work with a government agency, legislative office, research institution, private employer, or other relevant organization, arranged under the direction of an instructor in the department. The academic component of the internship includes readings related to the substance of the internship, discussions with the faculty supervisor, and a written report appropriate to the discipline. Course grades are based on this academic work.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: At least one government course at 200-level or above and consent of instructor; Counter Registration Required

GOVT 399: Independent Study in Government

Advanced research, arranged in consultation with the department. Students considering an honors project should register for this course, for one or more terms.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GOVT 401: Field Experience in Development

Students engaged in this course will have the opportunity to do field research in a developing country. Each student will develop and implement a project that concerns economic, political, and/or environmental issues important in Sierra Leone, Jamaica, or another selected country. Students will also have the opportunity to learn from both national and local leaders in political, economic, environmental, and social development issues. Class members will travel to a developing country during a term break. Students must register for this course in the term prior to the planned travel and in the subsequent term, when they will present their research to the wider Lawrence community.

Location for 2016-17: Students will travel to Sierra Leone and/or Morocco during winter break. Admission is by application to Prof. Skran. Students should register for both fall and winter terms.
Units: 3.
Also listed as Economics 206, Environmental Studies 311
Prerequisite: ENST 300, GOVT 248, GOVT 500 and RLST 240

GOVT 405: Individuality and Community

This course studies how political theorists responded to the emergence of open societies in the West. It focuses on the scope of personal autonomy, the consequences of commerce and luxury, the best political and economic arrangements, and other topics explored by writers from the Renaissance to the Twentieth Century.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Economics 415
Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor

GOVT 425: Topics in International Security

This course is an exploration of the politics of international security. The specific topic will vary by term, but the concepts to be covered include bargaining, diplomacy, conflict and cooperation.

Topic for Fall 2018: Approaches to African Security
This offering examines the topic of international, national, and human security using sub-Saharan Africa as its main reference points. Topics to be addressed include: Great power competition and intervention in Africa during the Cold War; Role of China, Russia, and other powers in contemporary Africa; Contemporary terrorist groups; UN and regional efforts at international cooperation and peacekeeping; Economic and food security; Neo-imperialism in post-colonial Africa; Dimensions of human security, including health and human rights; Refugees and forced migrants; feminist perspectives on security. Prerequisite: GOVT 340, GOVT 140, junior standing or permission of instructor.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GOVT 140 or GOVT 340 or consent of instructor

GOVT 435: Voting, Political Participation, and Public Opinion

Who votes and why? How do individuals form opinions about politics? How are scientific surveys and polls conducted and what are their limitations? This course examines voting, participation, and public opinion formation (primarily in the United States) through theories of political psychology and rational choice.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GOVT 220, 360, 370, or 380

GOVT 444: Political Economy of Regulation

This course focuses on the tension between politics and expertise that characterize the administrative regulatory state often called "the fourth branch of government." Several competing models of political economy shape an exploration of the continuing evolution of the U.S. regulatory system, the process by which regulations are proposed, written, implemented, and enforced, and the tools used to evaluate the costs and benefits of regulations.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Economics 444
Prerequisite: ECON 300 and ECON 380

GOVT 446: Topics in Comparative Politics

This course will address an advanced topic in the sub-field of Comparative Politics, such as democracy and authoritarianism, politics of the city, political participation and social movements, gender and politics, or the comparative method.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GOVT 215, or GOVT 245, or consent of instructor.

GOVT 465: Environmental Politics

An examination of selected aspects of environmental policy in the United States. Topics include the historical development of US environmental policy, environmental justice, urban environmental issues, connections between food systems and the environment, and the application of economic reasoning to environmental policy making.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Environmental Studies 470
Prerequisite: ENST 151 and junior standing, or consent of instructor

GOVT 475: Games and Strategy in Politics

Political scientists often interpret politics as a game between strategic actors. This course surveys applications of game theory and social-choice theory to a wide variety of political phenomena,
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor

GOVT 480: International Organizations

An examination of the role of international organizations (IOs) in world politics, focusing on both the historical development and the contemporary functions of the United Nations and other IOs in regard to the promotion of international peace and security. Attention is also given to the role of IOs in regard to global issues such as peacekeeping, humanitarian intervention, and environmental protection and to regional organizations, especially the European Union. As part of the course, students will participate in a simulation of the United Nations.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: GOVT 140, GOVT 340, or consent of instructor

GOVT 500: Senior Seminar in Government

Topic for Fall 2018: Comparative Politics of the City
This seminar focuses on the political dynamics of cities using a comparative and multi-disciplinary perspective. Topics include: the causes and consequences of the rise and decline of cities; the social and political dimensions of urban design; the dynamics of inequality; and the rise of “global cities.”
Topic for Winter 2019: Models of Strategy and Choice
This course surveys formal models of political choice and strategy, exploring their lessons about democratic decision making, cooperation, and leadership. The emphasis is analytical and abstract, with course material developed through problem sets and reflective, applied essays.
Topic for Spring 2019: Comparative Politics and International Relations
This seminar is intended to help students conceptualize and complete a senior experience project. Readings from comparative politics and international relations will be used to model the various stages of, and approaches to, conducting research.
Units: 6.

GOVT 538: Outside the Margin of Error: Polling and Quantitative Prediction in Modern Politics

Politicians and prognosticators have increasingly turned to “Big Data”, futures markets, and poll aggregation to predict political outcomes. The course will explore the theory and accuracy of these quantitative predictions, discuss contemporary issues of data quality, and suggest whether quantitative analysis of politics is more than entertainment for political junkies.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: Junior standing and completion of the quantitative general education requirement, or consent of instructor

GOVT 590: Tutorial Studies in Government

Advanced study, arranged and carried out under the direction of an instructor.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GOVT 591: Directed Study in Government

Directed study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GOVT 595: Internship in Government

Work with a government agency, legislative office, research institution, private employer, or other relevant organization, arranged under the direction of an instructor in the department. The academic component of the internship includes readings related to the substance of the internship, discussions with the faculty supervisor, and a written report appropriate to the discipline. Course grades are based on this academic work.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: At least one government course at the 200 level or above and consent of instructor; Counter Registration Required

GOVT 599: Independent Study in Government

Advanced research, arranged in consultation with the department. Students considering an honors project should register for this course, for one or more terms.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GOVT 690: Tutorial Studies in Government

Advanced study, arranged and carried out under the direction of an instructor.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GOVT 691: Directed Study in Government

Directed study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

GOVT 695: Internship in government

Work with a government agency, legislative office, research institution, private employer, or other relevant organization, arranged under the direction of an instructor in the department. The academic component of the internship includes readings related to the substance of the internship, discussions with the faculty supervisor, and a written report appropriate to the discipline. Course grades are based on this academic work.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: At least one government course at the 200 level or above and consent of instructor; Counter Registration Required

GOVT 699: Independent Study in Government

Advanced research, arranged in consultation with the department. Students considering an honors project should register for this course, for one or more terms.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube