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Robert C. Wigton
Professor of Political Science
Political Science Discipline Coordinator

Eckerd College
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711

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toll-free: (800) 456-9009
local: (727) 864-8283

Political Science

Political Science

Political Science Courses

PO 102S: Introduction to American National Government & Politics
American democratic theory, political parties, interest groups, presidential selection and functions, Congress, Supreme Court, federal bureaucracy, and several major areas of policy making conducted by the national government.

PO 103G: Introduction to International Relations
Origins and structure of the international system; key actors, theories and concepts; global issues facing states and citizens, such as war, wealth and poverty, hunger and environment, and global justice.

PO 104G: Introduction to Comparative Politics
Comparing national governments and politics by looking at development/political economy, nationalism, ethnicity, culture, gender, democratization, political institutions, state-society relations, parties. Cases include: UK, France, Germany, Japan, China, others.

PO 200S: Diplomacy and International Relations
A team based active learning course uses simulations to explore how international actors with enduring cultural differences promote cooperation for mutual gain, advance national interests, and resolve differences through negotiation and compromise.

PO 201S: Power, Authority and Virtue
Close reading of classic texts in political theory aimed at examining the dynamics of power and virtue in political life.

PO 202E: Public Policymaking in America
Introduction to the general policy-making process. Formulation of new policies and programs, implementation, evaluation of federal programs. Policy areas such as unemployment and environment.

PO 204S: Urban Politics & Government
Introduction to the structure, purpose, functions, politics, and inner workings of urban government, emphasizing Florida. Course covers public policy (public works, recreation, environment, transportation, housing, economic development). Includes field trips and possibility of local internships.

PO 211G: Inter-American Relations
Historical examination of continuities and changes in U.S. policy toward Latin America from Monroe Doctrine to present, and analysis of contemporary issues in US - Latin American Relations. Prerequisite: one introductory level political science course or Latin American Area Studies recommended.

PO 212S: U.S. Foreign Policy
History of U.S. diplomacy and foreign policy; structure and process of U.S. foreign policy making; contemporary challenges and policy alternatives facing policy makers and citizens alike. Prerequisite: one introductory level political science course recommended.

PO 221S: Politics of Revolution and Development
Causes and nature of political violence and revolution as related to human behavior theory. Theories on causes of revolution, concepts of liberation, consequences and responsibilities of interstate relations during times of crisis. Recommended PO 102S and either PO 103G or PO 104G.

PO 222: Political Ideologies
The role, function and origin of ideology in politics. Comparative political ideologies such as Fascism, Nazism, Anarchism, Socialism, Communism, Corporatism, Capitalism/Liberalism, domestic and international forms of terrorism.

PO 223S: American Political Thought
What does it mean to be American in the 21st Century? Origins of American political ideas, major transformation in political thinking over time, a search for the American "place" in the world in 21st Century.

PO 231G: East Asian Comparative Politics
Domestic politics of China, Taiwan, Japan, North and South Korea. Parties, state-society relations, culture, militaries, and how democracy is defined and practiced in each polity. Recommended: one introductory political science course.

PO 232G: The Pacific Century
The rise of Asia (India, SE Asia, China, Japan, Koreas, Russian Far East), local, regional, global implications. East Asian Developmental State Model; "Asian values;" human rights; regional financial/trade interdependence; relationship between growth and geo-political shifts/rivalries.

PO 241S: International Political Economy
A review of three approaches to IPE: realist, liberal, and historical-structuralist. Four areas of world economic activity: trade, investment, aid and debt, and how global changes since WWII influence development choices for less developed countries.

PO 242S: Politics of Defense: Economics and Power
History, institutions, and operation of the defense economy in the U.S. Conflicting theories on the defense budget, military contracting, and economic rationales for U.S. military policy. The economic impact of different military policies in the current era.

PO 243S: Human Rights and International Law
International human rights issues: political, economic, social, cultural. Role of United Nations and other international organizations in forming and implementing human rights standards. Topics include women's rights, protection of minorities, and rights to economic subsistence.

PO 251S: The Media and Foreign Policy
Explores the relationship between foreign policy, news and public opinion. Analyzes how political actors view and communicate with the public; and, whether and how new information technologies, particularly social media, empower NGOs and global citizens.

PO 252S: Middle East Politics
Introduces students to modern Middle East politics. To understand the political dynamic of the modern Middle East, this lecture course combines a cultural identity approach with more traditional international historical, political analyses.

PO 260M: Political Science Research Methods
Quantitative research methods in Political Science. Concept formation, cross-tabulation, control comparisons, probability, statistical inference, tests of significance, linear regression analysis, logistic regression. Prerequisites: sophomore standing and one of the following: ES 172, HD 101S, or one political science course.

PO 263G: North African Politics
This course examines the politics of North Africa (Morocco, Western Sahara, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, and South Sudan). This course examines themes of regime stability, Political Islam, and inter-regional relations.

PO 301S: Constitution and Government Power
Constitutional power bases of judicial, executive and legislative branches of national government, analysis of major constitutional issues, of federalism and powers of the states, Supreme Court decisions. One lower-division political science course recommended.

PO 302S: Constitution and Individual Rights
Examining those portions of the Constitution dealing with relations between the individual and the government (the Bill of Rights, due process, equal protection, privileges and immunities, etc.). PO 301S is not prerequisite. One lower-division political science course recommended.

PO 303S: The American Presidency
The Presidency as a political and constitutional office, its growth and development from Washington to the present. One lower-division political science course recommended.

PO 304S: U.S. Congress
The U.S. legislative process with major attention to the Senate and House of Representatives. Roles of lawmakers, legislative behavior, and representative government in theory and fact. One lower-division political science course recommended.

PO 305S: Political Parties and Interest Groups
Party organization and functions at national, state and county levels, and other institutions and activities competing for party functions. One lower division political science course recommended.

PO 311G: Latin American Politics
Historical overview of Latin American political development from the Spanish conquest to the present, featuring country case studies, comparison of political systems, and contemporary political challenges. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above.

PO 313: Politics of the European Union
Study theories and processes of the European Union's integration. Focus on development of the EU as a unique international organization; its institutional structures, decision-making processes, and functioning; and the contemporary policy issues facing the EU. Prerequisite: one political science course.

PO 315: Theories of War and Peace
Theoretical study of the origins, nature, and problems of violent conflict between and within nation-states and of possible paths toward peace. Major theorists and alternative visions, including realist, idealist, Marxist, feminist, and pacifist approaches. Prerequisites: PO 103G and one other political science course.

PO 316G: Women and Politics Worldwide
Historical and contemporary relationship of women to politics in the US and around the world. Evolution of the women's movement and participation of women in politics. Impact of women's movement at the global level. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above.

PO 321S: Comparative European Politics
Parties, interest groups, political movements, major institutions of government, as well as culture, history and contemporary political problems. PO 104G recommended.

PO 322S: Authoritarian Political Systems
Structure and emergence of modern authoritarian regimes, including Fascism, corporatism, military governments, former one-party Communist states and personalist dictatorships. A previous political science course is recommended.

PO 323S: Seminar in Democratic Theory
Philosophical roots of democratic theory, theoretical requisites of a democratic system, practical political economic implications, examined as citizens of both the U.S. and the world. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above.

PO 324: East European Politics
Comparative political study of East European political systems including Russia. Transitions to democracy and modern social and political problems.

PO 325S: Environment Politics and Policy
Analysis of politics and policy relevant to environmental issues, the complexity of environmental problems and prospects of political solutions on both domestic and global dimensions. Designed for majors in environmental studies and political science. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above.

PO 333: Japan: Government, Politics, Foreign Policy
Japan's government and politics, political history, cultures, economy, society, religions, role of women, human rights, and foreign policy. Recommended: one lower division political science course.

PO 335S: Government and Politics of China
China's government, politics, political history, cultures, economy, society, religions, women's roles, human rights, village democracy, minority peoples (e.g. Tibetans, Uighurs), Taiwan issue. Recommended: one lower division political science course.

PO 336S: East Asian International Relations
Relations between/among nations of East Asia (esp. China/Taiwan, Japan, two Koreas) and US. ASEAN, APEC, human rights, economic boom, nuclear proliferation, arms races, culture, historical legacies.

PO 341: Ethics and International Relations
Political realism and natural law, military intervention and the use of force, human rights and humanitarian assistance, and the moral responsibilities of leaders and citizens. Prerequisite: PO 103G.

PO 342S: Hunger, Plenty, and Justice
Past, present, future world food supply, social factors that determine food production/distribution. Political, economic, religious, gender, historical, geographic, other dimensions of hunger. Government policies, technological change, international trading patterns, private interests and gender bias.

PO 343S: International Environmental Law
Economic development, environmental protection and the evolution of international environmental law, in the following areas: air pollution, biological diversity, wildlife conservation, trade and human rights.

PO 350S: Florida Politics
(Directed Study) State and local government in U.S., overview of Southern politics, problems and issues of Florida rapid growth, race relations, environment, voter dealignment, party realignment, elections, regional issues.

PO 351: National Security Policy
Using post 9/11 case studies like the Iraq War investigates the relative importance of casual factors from different levels of analysis on U.S. national security choices: strategic, ideological, economic, domestic political and psychological.

PO 352G: The Globalization Debate
Explores the concept of globalization and the controversy surrounding it. Academic literature about globalization is voluminous, but highly contested. Consequently, this is a course in complexity, perception, values and thinking about the political economy of the world today.

PO 362G: MidEast Conflicts and Wars
This course is devoted to studying the phenomenon of wars and conflicts in the Middle East in terms of its causes, patterns and future trends of war and peace in the region.

PO 363G: Middle East Political Economy
Examines political economic theory in Middle East states, along with themes such as population policy, health, education, military spending, economic rents (including oil), water, food politics, and Islamic economics of the region.

PO 364: Islam and Human Rights
This course will examine the theory and practice of human rights (including women's, minority, socio-economic, civil-political, and group rights) in Islam and Muslim-majority societies. Prerequisite: PO 103G or PO 104G.

PO 410: U.S. and the Vietnam Experience
Senior Seminar for political science majors. History of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia and impact of the Vietnam experience on U.S. policy-making. Causes of war, international mechanisms for conflict resolution, comparative development strategies. Prerequisite: Senior standing or permission of instructor.

PO 421S: Comparative Judicial Politics
Judicial politics across political systems. Relationship among law, society and public policy in European, socialist and non-Western systems. The inner workings, view of justice, and social/cultural development of other civil societies. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing.

PO 498: Comprehensive Examination

PO 499: Senior Thesis

Political Science Majors

Majoring in political science helps prepare students for careers such as law, teaching, government and non-governmental organizations, international organizations, think-tanks, journalism, business and further work in graduate school.

Pi Sigma Alpha

The following nine Political Science students have been accepted into the Alpha Eta Alpha Chapter of the Political Science Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha:

Erica Diffee
Kathalene Farley
Samantha E. Fenwick
Ryan Jarrett
Ashley L. Silva
Alex J. Simpson
Elizabeth Tomaselli
Kevin A. Vine
Devon E. Williams