Govt & Foreign Affairs (GFA)

GFA 103  T1:FD:DV:American Government    3 sem. hrs.

Politics constitutes the often-conflictual processes (i.e., roll call votes in Congress, presidential elections, the debate over immigration reform) through which societies translate their values into public policy outcomes. This introductory survey course on American politics provides students with information about important political values, rules, behaviors, and institutions in the United States, and demonstrates how important political phenomena relate to one another. This emphasis on the relationship between phenomena is critical because it is not enough to merely know things. To be a truly critical and intelligent observer of politics, one must understand what leads to the occurrence of events and what affects the behavior of political actors.

GFA 205  FD: State and Local Government    3 sem. hrs.

While most media attention focuses on the actions of the actors at the federal level, this is not the type of government that influences our lives the most. State and local governments create, pass, and implement most public policies that we must abide by. This course examines the conditions of government in state and local communities in the United States, along with the manner in which these governments address the needs and problems which residents cope with daily. This course will help us discover what government elements are working, and what is not. Perhaps, more importantly, by the end of the semester, we should be able to determine the basics of what holds some communities back and allows others to flourish.

GFA 207  TH1:SL:DV:Campaigns&Elections    3 sem. hrs.

This course will introduce students to U.S. campaigns and elections. Our focus will be on the theoretical and empirical questions that encompass much of the state-of-the-art work on voting, campaign effects, partisan coalitions, electoral rules, campaign finance, public opinion, and the media. We will primarily talk about federal elections (presidential and congressional).

GFA 209  T1:FD:DV:World Regional Geo    3 sem. hrs.

This course introduces students to the major regions of the world. Special emphasis is given to the political, economic, and environmental conditions of the regions as well as the social, cultural and demographic characteristics that are in part a product of those conditions. Some themes running throughout the course include globalization, environmental change, and diversity. Offered every semester.

GFA 213  H2b:DV:FD:Comparative Politics    3 sem. hrs.

Introduction to the comparative study of politics, policy, and economies of selected regions, with attention given to political structure, function, parties, and political culture.

GFA 214  Introduction to Research    3 sem. hrs.

This course familiarizes students with the fundamental concepts of research that help to form the foundation of the disciplines of the social sciences. The main goal of the course is to explore the methods, concepts, and approaches that social scientists use to understand what we know and what we do not The methods and concepts covered in the course are applicable to all the sciences in general, and to the social sciences in particular, though the examples used in the course are drawn from political science. The primary focus of this class is on research design, which are the methodical steps that are necessary to build and execute a plan to test an idea or hypothesis in political science.

GFA 215  Research Methods    3 sem. hrs.

Classroom and lab introduction to methodology of quantitative political research from hypothesis formation, operationalization and measurement, data collection and coding to analysis and interpretation, with attention to theory of scientific inquiry and approaches to political research. Offered every Spring

Prerequisite: GFA 214.

GFA 215L  Scope & Methods:Lab    0 sem. hrs.

GFA 241  H1:TH1:DV:Urban Politics    3 sem. hrs.

This is a course that concentrates on the politics of urban areas. We will define politics broadly, and include discussions of important topics, such as the effect of urbanization on politics and the role of ethnic and race-based "machine politics" in the city, the changing role of race and social justice in the life of the urban core, the rise of African American leadership in urban governments, and the relationship between local governments and business. This very general course description will also serve as the outline of study.

GFA 245  TH1:DV:TheLawandtheLegalSystem    3 sem. hrs.

This course serves as an introduction to the law, the politics of law, and the American legal system. Topics covered in this class include the role that the bar and the judiciary play in the U.S. government, the structure of the courts at the local, state, and federal levels, the legal education and law schools, the legal community, civil litigation, criminal litigation, negotiated justice, juvenile justice, alternative justice, and the policymaking role of the state and federal appellate courts. This course is designed as an introductory survey course on American law.

GFA 299  H1:DV:Genocide in Modern Times    3 sem. hrs.

The last two centuries have seen mass violence, including genocide, mass murder, and other atrocities on a scale unprecedented in human history. In this course we examine the definition of genocide, the psychology of genocide, and consider theoretical approaches that seek to explain these atrocities. We also examine individual cases of genocide and attempts to prevent genocide.

GFA 301  H1:DV:FD: World Politics    3 sem. hrs.

Study of basic aspects of international politics, evolution of the modern state system, national power, and the role of international organizations. International conflict and its management by political and legal means, as well as contemporary international issues, are studied.

GFA 303  H2b:American Political Thought    3 sem. hrs.

This course begins with a survey of political thought concerning the role of the state and/or government and the individual's role in that state from Plato to Hobbes. Significant attention is then given to the formation of the American view of authority and the role of the individual.Emphasis is placed on Locke's Second Treatise of Government as well as American writings such as Common Sense, the Federalist Papers, the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, as well as other relevant documents.

GFA 305  TH1:H2B:West Europe/EuropUnion    3 sem. hrs.

This course is designed to familiarize students with the societies, political institutions and public policies of post-WWII Western Europe. Primary emphasis will be the "big four" (Britain, Germany, France, and Italy), but may also include a look at smaller countries. Attention will be given to the integration phenomenon and the role of the European Union. Focus will be placed on comprehension of the historical uniqueness of this development that has resulted in the EU and now provides a potential model for economic and social policy within regional and global integration frameworks.

GFA 309  FD:Politics of Asia    3 sem. hrs.

This course offers a survey of comparative politics of Asia. Focus will be placed on the economic growth in Asia that has brought tens of millions out of poverty and brought wealth to the region's nations. Asia is fast becoming a key driver of the global economy. Increased economic power is transferable into political and military power. Attention will be given to China's growing power, changes to the current balance of power and the United States' role in the region.

GFA 311  DV:Govt/Politics in Latin Amer    3 sem. hrs.

This course offers an introduction to Latin America by exploring the history, cultures, and contemporary issues facing this multifaceted region as a whole, as well as individual countries. Part of the course will focus on U.S. Latin America relations and interactions - both as states and as people. This course includes colonization, race, class, and gender as inequalities that are important dimensions for understanding social life and communities.

GFA 312  H1:SL:The Border:US-Mexican    3 sem. hrs.

This course examines the complex relationship between the United States and Mexico - neighbors that are closely integrated and yet separated. We will look at this relationship at the U.S. - Mexican border region and consider how this integration and separation impacts our political relationship as we address immigration policy and the militarization of the border; our economic relationship (especially NAFTA); and social and cultural cohesion and fragmentation. The course includes a trip to Laredo, TX and Nuervo Laredo, Mexico.

GFA 323  H1:TH1:DV:Public Policy    3 sem. hrs.

Over the course of just the last ten years, Americans have witnessed the congressional passage of some of the most sweeping policy initiatives in the history of the United States. From expanding Medicare coverage to provide prescription drug benefits to bailing out the automotive industry to the historic passage of healthcare reform, governmental policies have been at the forefront of the thoughts of a majority of Americans during this time period. In this course, we will discuss and analyze many of the most pressing public policy problems in the U.S. The outline of this course is simple. First, we will explore the nature of public policy and the policy analysis process. Second, we will investigate how public policies are made. Finally, we will delve into the study of substantive policy issues.

GFA 355  H1:TH1:American Foreign Policy    3 sem. hrs.

Organization, control and functioning of the foreign policy of the United States; the impact of internal and external forces on the formulation and implementation of foreign policy; analysis of problems confronting the United States in foreign affairs.

GFA 375  H3:Politics and Film    3 sem. hrs.

In 2022, we have so many different avenues to consume entertainment. However, few binge-worthy shows can meet the entertainment quality and value of a movie in the theatre setting. A good movie can inspire its viewers, challenge people to think in new ways, and even educate its audience.The purpose of this course is to tap into the power of film to study, learn about, and deepen your understanding and appreciation of politics and government. Throughout this session, we will view several films with political messages. As you watch these films, try to interpret their larger meaning. I also encourage you to think critically about several important questions that will arise from the films we view. What is the proper role of government? How much power should government have? What are the effects of war, and when is war justified? How do the media and their reporting of the news shape society and affect the quality of a democracy? How fair is the criminal justice system? By the end of this course, you should be able to identify and interpret the political messages in the films we cover; compare and contrast these political messages; assess the strengths and weaknesses of each film's message; and apply the lessons from these films to controversial questions that surround American politics and government.

GFA 381  TH1:The Legislative Process    3 sem. hrs.

This course examines legislative politics in the United States, focusing mostly on the U.S. Congress. Much of the course is devoted to tracing the development of legislative institutions and examining their effects on policymaking. We will also investigate how factors external to legislatures-including the executive branch, the courts, and the public-affect the dynamics of legislative politics. The course is oriented around the following main concepts: Political Preferences: How are legislators elected into office, and what explains their behavior as members of a legislative body?; Political Institutions: What are the "rules of the game," and how and why have they changed over time? Political Outcomes: How does the combination of preferences and institutions help us to understand when new laws are passed and Gust as importantly) when they are not?

GFA 383  TH1:The American Presidency    3 sem. hrs.

The Framers of the Constitution would be shocked at the power now controlled by the President. The President now dominates the national political landscape. Most of the major policy legislation passed by Congress is first initiated by the President and his administration. The federal budget is designed, not by Congress, but by the Office of Management and Budget, who reports directly to the President. Nearly all foreign policy decisions are made exclusively by the President with little input from either of the other two branches of the federal government. More media attention is granted to the President than all the other members of our federal government combined. No other political institution captures the attention of the American public to the same extent as the modem Presidency. The American President has become the most powerful actor in the world. All of this is not to say that this growth in power is wrong. The world today is not the same one our Founding Fathers lived in when they crafted the Constitution. It is up to us to decide whether the previous or current perspective is correct.

GFA 400  Comprehensive Review    1 sem. hr.

Provides students with the review of materials in preparation for the exit exam, cutting across all areas of the curriculum including theory, history and application issues. First semester senior year. Offered every Fall.

GFA 401  H3:DV:Povty & Prspty in Dev Wd    3 sem. hrs.

This course examines the process of development - defined as social, economic, and political modernization - in the developing world. It provides an introduction to some of the problems of developing states. Reasons for and obstacles to development are discussed as are policies used to address these problems. This course can serve as a capstone course for GFA majors. Next offered Spring 2021, Spring 2023.

GFA 403  TH1:H2b:Constitutional Law    3 sem. hrs.

Constitutional law is defined as the body of laws defining the roles, powers, and structure of governmental entities within the U.S. In the U.S. federal system, those entities include the executive, the legislature, and the courts. This course serves as an introduction to this body of law as it pertains the first seven articles of the U.S. Constitution, and interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The role of the SCOTUS in this process has evolved over time in that they have become the arbiter of political power and application of that power within the U.S. system. The many court cases covered this semester will reveal how the power of our government has grown, and how the SCOTUS has shaped that growth. The cases we examine will touch on many aspects of your daily life and have assisted in determining the social culture in which we live. Please note that this is the most difficult course that I teach due largely to the significant amount of material to be covered, the substantial coursework that is required, and the numerous unfamiliar terms that we will be using. A significant amount of reading, writing, and critical thinking is necessary to be successful in this course.An examination of the Supreme Court as an institution, with special emphasis on landmark cases in the areas of judicial review, equal protection and criminal law. The course makes use of the "case method" for understanding the role of the Supreme Court in the American political system as well as some of the controversies surrounding the Court's power to declare laws unconstitutional. This course can serve as a capstone course for GFA majors. Offered in Fall of odd-numbered years.

GFA 405  TH1:H3:DV:CivilRight&Libert    3 sem. hrs.

This course will focus on the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court, and the role both have played in defining and protecting personal civil rights and liberties. With the attacks of 9/11 and the emergence of the War on Terror, there has been increased interest in the role civil rights and liberties play in a safe and vibrant American society. New boundaries are being drawn and long-settled understandings of the protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution are being challenged on the face of this new threat to our democracy. In the civil liberties section of the course, we will focus primarily on the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Amendments as they are applied through the Fourteenth Amendment to discover how the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) defines, establishes, and protects our civil liberties. In the civil rights section of the course, we will mostly focus on racial and sexual discrimination, legal remedies, such as affirmative action, voting, and representation to examine how the SCOTUS describes, institutes, and protects our civil rights. The main avenue that we will use to explore American civil rights and liberties will be the SCOTUS because of the Court's main role as the final interpreter of the Constitution.

GFA 409  H1:TH1:InternPoliti Econ    3 sem. hrs.

This course will analyze the political and economic implications of international economic relations and the theories underpinning topics such as trade, aid, foreign investment, monetary relations, and technology transfers. Theoretical orientations include liberal economic theory, dependency and world systems theory.

GFA 411  TH1: Public Leadership    3 sem. hrs.

Public Leadership attempts to discover what we can expect of our varied government servants and the complex organizations within which they work. The course will examine leadership theory, organizational theory, ethics, the background of the bureaucracy, what government agencies do and why they do it, and what we can learn from various administrative failures.

GFA 413  International Organization    3 sem. hrs.

Analysis of the development and general characteristics, functions, procedures and problems of international governmental organizations. Specifically, the role of the United Nations and regional organizations as political institutions in a changing system will be examined.

GFA 415  H3:TH1:International Law    3 sem. hrs.

Nature and principles of international law, with special emphasis on changing concepts and conflicting claims in the evolution of rule for the international community. Includes principles and procedures for international disputes. This course can serve as a capstone course for GFA majors. Offered in Spring of even-numbered years.

GFA 421  Special Topics    3 sem. hrs.

Intensive examination of selected, single topics in government and politics.

GFA 422  CL:ST:Vatican Politics    3 sem. hrs.

Intensive examination of selected, single topics in government and politics.

GFA 423  Special Topics    1-4 sem. hrs.

Intensive examination of selected, single topics in government and politics.

GFA 425  Readings & Individual Investig    1-6 sem. hrs.

Directed readings, tutorials, directed and independent research, etc. With permission of Division Chair and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Offered every semester.

GFA 426  Readings & Individual Investig    1-6 sem. hrs.

Directed readings, tutorials, directed and independent research, etc. With permission of Division Chair and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Offered every semester.

GFA 427  Readings & Individual Investig    1-6 sem. hrs.

Directed readings, tutorials, directed and independent research, etc. With permission of Division Chair and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Offered every semester.

GFA 430  Internship I    3 sem. hrs.

Supervised work experience in federal, state, and local government. Offered every semester.

GFA 431  Internship II    3 sem. hrs.

Supervised work experience in federal, state, and local government. Offered every semester.