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CCPS Political Science and International Affairs Course Descriptions

100 Level Courses 
PLSC 101: Government and Politics in the United States
PLSC 151: Introduction to Comparative Politics
PLSC 152: Introduction to International Relations

200 Level Courses
PLSC 220: Introduction to Law and Society

300 Level Courses
PLSC 302: U.S. Foreign Policy
PLSC 322: American Environmental Politics
PLSC 332: Political Parties, Elections and Interest Groups
PLSC 333: Congress and the Presidency
PLSC 335: The Supreme Court and Constitutional Law
PLSC 370: Women and Politics
PLSC 375: Arab-Israeli Conflict
PLSC 383: American Social and Political Thought
PLSC 390: A-Z Selected Topics


PLSC 101: Government and Politics in the United States. 3 hours.

Introduction to the theories, constitutional bases, functions and government structures of the U.S. political system in relation to the global political environment. Emphasis on national politics and linkages with state, local and international governments, including an emphasis on Missouri and current issues in domestic and foreign policy.

PLSC 151: Introduction to Comparative Politics. 3 hours.

Introduction to the comparison of different political systems with an examination of liberal democratic societies, communist and post-communist systems, and developing nations with case studies from each category.

PLSC 152: Introduction to International Relations. 3 hours.

A study of the historical background and contemporary organization of the international political system and the world economy.

PLSC 220: Introduction to Law and Society. 3 hours.

An exploration of the role that law plays in organizing society, resolving disputes, and fostering change. Students will focus on the multitudinous ways in which law influences their daily lives and how social groups work to change the law and improve society. Students will be introduced to theories about law and how law has developed over time.

PLSC 302: U.S. Foreign Policy. 3 hours.

Examination of foreign policy in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with analysis of the U.S. foreign policy-making processes, institutions and actors.

PLSC 322: American Environmental Politics. 3 hours.

The creation and enforcement of environmental laws and regulations in the United States can be imagined as the ultimate board game. It has three overlapping levels (city, state, and federal), actors on defense (save our jobs!), referees who interpret the rules (courts and bureaucracy), and actors empowered to change those rules (elected officials). Understanding this game is vitally important as it determines the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink and the price we pay for almost everything.

PLSC 332: Political Parties, Elections and Interest Groups. 3 hours.

An examination of the history, evolution and current structures of American political parties, elections and interest groups. This course is offered every two years in conjunction with national elections and allows students hands-on experience in the study of American electoral politics.

PLSC 333: Congress and the Presidency. 3 hours.

Examination of the structures and roles of legislative and executive institutions with primary focus on the politics of policy making; topics include theories of representation, institutional organization, leadership styles and interest group influence.

PLSC 335: The Supreme Court and Constitutional Law. 3 hours.

A study of judicial processes and decisions with particular emphasis on Supreme Court decisions that have shaped legal thought and altered the social fabric of American society.

PLSC 370: Women and Politics. 3 hours.

A comparative study of the role of women as political actors in western and non-western societies. Students will consider the role of gender in shaping political attitudes and perceptions, and the policy issues that affect women in political and daily life.

PLSC 375: Arab-Israeli Conflict. 3 hours.

An in-depth examination of the history of Arab-Israeli conflict, tracing its historical, political, cultural and religious roots. This course also uses the Arab-Israeli conflict to address broader issues of international conflict and conflict resolution.

PLSC 383: American Social and Political Thought. 3 hours.

A study of major currents of social and political thought and their impact on American culture and institutions.