Political Science

All 6000-level courses require consent of the department.

POLI 1010            Contemporary Issues of Politics                                                                               3 cr.
An examination of the current issues and problems of national and international politics.

POLI 2151            U.S. Government and Politics                                                                    3 cr.
This course examines the values, processes, institutions and participants that characterize political activity in the U.S. It covers the U.S. political system, its development over the past two centuries, and how it operates today.

POLI 2157            Public Policy                                      3 cr.
A general survey of public policies in the United States and other political systems emphasizing their effect on domestic politics.

POLI 2200            U.S. Courts and Judges                                  3 cr.
This course focuses on U.S. legal systems, emphasizing the role of courts and judges in administering justice and making law.  The course uses popular media to capture major issues related to the U.S. judiciary.  At the end of the course, students will be more familiar with the judiciary as one of the three major branches of the U.S. government, both on the national and the state levels.

POLI 2450            Current Issues in Criminal Justice                                                            3 cr.
A survey of the criminal justice system from arrest to appeal with emphasis on major problems and dilemmas, such as capital punishment, plea bargaining, search and seizure, legalization of drugs, and other contemporary issues. Special attention will be given to court decisions defining the rights of defendants and the practical realities of criminal law in Louisiana.

POLI 2600            Introduction to Comparative Government                                                          3 cr.
A survey of the political institutions of the major democratic powers of Europe and of Russia.

POLI 2700            Introduction to World Politics                                                                   3 cr.
A general survey of the basic principles of world politics with emphasis on the international relations of the United States.

POLI 2900            Methods of Political Research                                                                   3 cr.
Offered each semester. Prerequisites: 30 credit hours and POLI 2151, 2600 or 2700.  A survey of the principal methods of political research, including conceptualization and hypothesis testing. The course will introduce computing on personal computers and mainframes as a tool of contemporary political research; students will be familiarized with operating systems, text editing, and data analysis.

POLI 2993            Special Topics In Political Science                                                                            3 cr.
Prerequisite: consent of department. Topic may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated once for credit.

POLI 3595            Academic Year Abroad: Special Topics in Political Science                                     3 cr.
This course is only offered through UNO's Academic Year Abroad (AYA) in Innsbruck, Austria and can be repeated once for credit.

POLI 3680            Politics and the Cinema                3 cr.
A critical examination of the relationships between cinema and politics with attention to the role of cinema in the transmission of political information and ideas and the impact of the political decisions on the form and content of cinema.

POLI 3995            Independent Readings in Political Science                      1 min. cr. - 3 max. cr.
Prerequisite: consent of department and an overall grade-point average of 3.2. Amount of credit to be determined at the time of registration. Section number will correspond with credit to be earned. This course may be repeated for a total of six credit hours. A readings course dealing with the scope and method of political science, this course is designed for superior advanced undergraduates. Political Science courses 3995 and 3998 may not be taken, either singly or jointly, for more than a total of nine credit hours. Political Science courses 3995, 3998, 4990, and 4991 may not be taken, either singly or jointly, for more than a total of 12 credit hours.

POLI 3998            Internship in Political Science                                                   3 cr.
Prerequisite: consent of instructor and grade-point averages of 3.0 overall and 3.2 in political science. Each semester the department makes available a limited number of internships with the city of New Orleans and other governmental agencies in the metropolitan area as well as in Washington, D.C. Internships provide an opportunity to learn about government from the perspective of the participant. Interns usually work 8 hours a week during a Fall or Spring semester, at times mutually agreeable to the individual and the agency. In addition, students must attend discussion sections on campus. This course may be repeated once for credit for a total of six hours. Political science courses 3995 and 3998 may not be taken, either singly or jointly, for more than a total of nine credit hours. Political Science courses 3995, 3998, 4990, and 4991 may not be taken, either singly or jointly, for more than a total of 12 credit hours. (

POLI 4140            Politics & Religion                                                                          3 cr.
This course will examine how religion and religious institutions affect political outcomes and vice versa. Emphasis will be placed on understanding and evaluating social-scientific theories regarding the influence of religion on politics.

POLI 4310            U.S. State Politics                                                                            3 cr.
This course is designed to familiarize students with the roles and responsibilities of state governments and provide insight into the complex dynamics of state politics through a comparative approach.

POLI 4410            American Constitutional Law                                                                               3 cr.
Prerequisite: POLI 2200 or consent of department. A study of the law of the Constitution and the place of the Supreme Court in the American political system; critical examination of separation of powers, judicial review, federalism and federal powers.

POLI 4420            The American Constitution and Civil Liberties                                                         3 cr.
Prerequisite: POLI 2200 or consent of department. An examination of the political relevance of major federal constitutional limitations, property rights, First Amendment freedoms, the rights of criminal defendants and ethnic minorities.

POLI 4440            Urban Judicial Process                                                                  3 cr.
Prerequisite: POLI 2200 or consent of department. A study of judicial processes involved in metropolitan development and in the application of environmental controls to urban areas.

POLI 4600            Political Parties & Politics                                           3 cr.
This course focuses on the role and behavior of political parties, a key institution in U.S. politics and in other democracies. It examines how parties have changed, and what these changes imply for the operation of U.S. politics. Emphasis is placed on the normative debate over the desirability of political parties and the role they play in democracies.

POLI 4601            Voters and Elections                                      3 cr.
This course examines electoral behavior in the U.S. Topics include the role that partisanship, issues, economic conditions, and candidate image play in voter turnout and vote choice, and how money and media influence elections. It also explores why citizens are disengaging from the electoral process.

POLI 4610            U.S. Interest Group Politics                                                        3 cr.
This course examines the role of interest groups in U.S. politics and government. It covers both the theories and empirical research of group formation, maintenance, lobbying, and electioneering.

POLI 4621            Public Opinion                                                  3 cr.
This course introduces the student to the contemporary study of public opinion, with an emphasis on the measurement, formation and expression of public opinion, where the public stands on major issues, and whether political leaders pay attention to or manipulate public opinion.

POLI 4630            The U.S. Presidency                                                                       3 cr.
This course covers presidential elections, presidential power, and presidential relations with the people of the U.S. and with the rest of the world.

POLI 4640            U.S. Congress and the American People                                                                  3 cr.
What are the sources of partisan gridlock, corruption, and special interest influence in Congress?  What can we do to make it more representative of the American people?

POLI 4650            Southern Politics                                                                             3 cr.
This course focuses on politics in the South, especially since the mid-twentieth century, emphasizing the following themes: race and politics; the impact of the civil rights movement; the evolution of party competition; and the influence of industrialization and urbanization.

POLI 4653            Political Socialization                                                                    3 cr.
This course investigates how individuals acquire political attitudes, beliefs, identities, and behaviors, with an overview of the processes and agents of political socialization. A variety of socialization factors will be explored, including education, SES, family, peers, and religion, along with the role of media and technology in the political socialization process.

POLI 4670            Women and Politics                                                                            3 cr.
A study of feminist political thought, and of women's political movements, political issues, and political behavior and attitudes in the United States and in other countries.

POLI 4700            Latin American Government and Politics                                                                   3 cr.
An analysis and survey of the governmental and political processes of Latin America and their contributions to modern government.

POLI 4710            Politics of the Developing Areas                                                              3 cr.
An analysis of issues relevant to politics in the developing nations with emphasis on the relationship of politics to rapid economic and social change and evaluation of policies intended to promote development.

POLI 4770            Modern Political Systems                                                                            3 cr.
A comparative analysis of selected institutional and functional problems of both modern democratic and modern authoritarian political systems.

POLI 4780            Comparative Democratization                                                                   3 cr.
An exploration of the nature of democracy and the challenges of democratization drawing on experiences with democratization in Southern Europe, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa.  Experiences with and prospects for further democratization in other regions also are considered.

POLI 4790            Media and Politics from a Comparative Perspective                   3 cr.
Prerequisites: credit in POLI 2151, 2200, 2600, 2700 or 2900. This class is an introduction to the media and politics from a comparative perspective. We will learn about the media's political role in society; how they act or fail to act as a watchdog for citizens; and how they may influence public opinion and citizen activism in the United States, in other democracies, and in authoritarian countries. We will examine biases in the media, the media's influence on campaigns and elections, and the media's role in wars and revolutions around the world.

POLI 4800            Concepts and Patterns of International Politics                                    3 cr.
A systematic study of interaction between nation states, including a survey of the principal theories concerning international society.

POLI 4820            International Organization                                                                          3 cr.
A review of the origins and types of international organizations, both intergovernmental and international non-governmental, and their role in the contemporary international system. The challenges and theoretical implications of issues such as humanitarian aid, peacekeeping, and economic, social, and political development will be discussed.

POLI 4850            The Politics of International Economic Relations                                              3 cr.
An introduction to the field of international political economy focusing on four issues: the relationship between politics and markets, postwar developments in relations among advanced industrial societies, the relationship between advanced industrial and developing societies, and the impact of globalization on both developed and developing societies.

POLI 4860            International Law                                            3 cr.
The course focuses on the development and foundations of international law; the sources of international law; enforcement; the meaning of treaties; conflicts between domestic and international law; sovereignty; the problems and exercise of jurisdiction; and peace, war, and other methods for resolving international disputes.  The course also emphasizes international law both from the perspectives of the U.S. and other nations.

POLI 4870            American Foreign Policy                                                              3 cr.
A study of the national interest as the guiding consideration in the development of American foreign policy from the beginning to the present. The importance of the constitutional framework, presidential and congressional leadership, pressure groups and public opinion, the changing world environment and the American response to it, particularly in recent years.

POLI 4885            Issues in Conflict and Diplomacy                                                              3 cr.
An examination of the interaction of conflict with diplomacy. Conflict and diplomacy are studied analytically and operationally in terms of their limitations and possibilities in advancing and/or defending states' interests

POLI 4990            Special Topics in Political Science                                                                            3 cr.
Topic may vary from semester to semester. Students may register for this course more than once to a maximum of nine hours. POLI 3995, 3998, 4990, and 4991 may not be taken, either singly or jointly, for more than a total of 12 credit hours.

POLI 4991            Senior Honors Thesis                                                                     3 cr.
Prerequisites: consent of department and director of the Honors Program. Design and execution of an honors thesis. This course must be repeated once in order to graduate with honors in political science. Political Science courses 3995, 3998, 4990, and 4991 may not be taken either singly or jointly for more than a total of 12 credit hours. Not open to graduate students.

POLI 4999            Political Science Overview                                                                          1 cr.
This is the capstone course, required of graduating political science majors, which provides an overview of the discipline.  The course features weekly lectures by political science faculty along with class discussion.  It is open to political science majors only, and it is not open to graduate students.

POLI 5140            Politics & Religion                                                                          3 cr.
This course will examine how religion and religious institutions affect political outcomes and vice versa. Emphasis will be placed on understanding and evaluating social-scientific theories regarding the influence of religion on politics.

POLI 5310            U.S. State Politics            3 cr.
This course is designed to familiarize students with the roles and responsibilities of state governments and provide insight into the complex dynamics of state politics through a comparative approach.

POLI 5410            American Constitutional Law                                                                                  3 cr.
Prerequisite: POLI 2200 or consent of department. A study of the law of the Constitution and the place of the Supreme Court in the American political system; critical examination of separation of powers, judicial review, federalism and federal powers.

POLI 5420            The American Constitution and Civil Liberties                                                   3 cr.
Prerequisite: POLI 2200 or consent of department. An examination of the political relevance of major federal constitutional limitations, property rights, First Amendment freedoms, the rights of criminal defendants and ethnic minorities.

POLI 5440            Urban Judicial Process                                                                  3 cr.
Prerequisite: POLI 2200 or consent of department. A study of judicial processes involved in metropolitan development and in the application of environmental controls to urban areas.

POLI 5600            Political Parties & Politics                                                                           3 cr.
This course focuses on the role and behavior of political parties, a key institution in U.S. politics and in other democracies. It examines how parties have changed, and what these changes imply for the operation of U.S. politics. Emphasis is placed on the normative debate over the desirability of political parties and the role they play in democracies.

POLI 5601            Voters and Elections                                                                                                      3 cr.
This course examines electoral behavior in the U.S. Topics include the role that partisanship, issues, economic conditions, and candidate image play in voter turnout and vote choice, and how money and media influence elections. It also explores why citizens are disengaging from the electoral process.

POLI 5610            U.S. Interest Group Politics                                                                        3 cr.
This course examines the role of interest groups in I.S. politics and government. It covers both the theories and empirical research of group formation, maintenance, lobbying, and electioneering.

POLI 5621            Public Opinion                                                                  3 cr.
This course introduces the student to the contemporary study of public opinion, with an emphasis on the measurement, formation and expression of public opinion, where the public stands on major issues, and whether political leaders pay attention to or manipulate public opinion.

POLI 5630            The U.S. Presidency                                       3 cr.
This course covers presidential elections, presidential power, and presidential relations with the people of the U.S. and with the rest of the world.

POLI 5640            U.S. Congress and the American People                                               3 cr.
What are the sources of partisan gridlock, corruption, and special interest influence in Congress?  What can we do to make it more representative of the American people?

POLI 5650            Southern Politics                                                             3 cr.
This course focuses on politics in the South, especially since the mid-twentieth century, emphasizing the following themes: race and politics; the impact of the civil rights movement; the evolution of party competition; and the influence of industrialization and urbanization.

POLI 5653            Political Socialization                                                    3 cr.
This course investigates how individuals acquire political attitudes, beliefs, identities, and behaviors, with an overview of the processes and agents of political socialization. A variety of socialization factors will be explored, including education, SES, family, peers, and religion, along with the role of media and technology in the political socialization process.

POLI 5670            Women and Politics                                                                       3 cr.
A study of feminist political thought, and of women's political movements, political issues, and political behavior and attitudes in the United States and in other countries.

POLI 5700            Latin American Government and Politics                                                     3 cr.
An analysis and survey of the governmental and political processes of Latin America and their contributions to modern government.

POLI 5710            Politics of the Developing Areas                                                                              3 cr.
An analysis of issues relevant to politics in the developing nations with emphasis on the relationship of politics to rapid economic and social change and evaluation of policies intended to promote development.

POLI 5770            Modern Political Systems                                                                            3 cr.
A comparative analysis of selected institutional and functional problems of both modern democratic and modern authoritarian political systems.

POLI 5780            Comparative Democratization                              3 cr.
An exploration of the nature of democracy and the challenges of democratization drawing on experiences with democratization in Southern Europe, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa.  Experiences with and prospects for further democratization in other regions also are considered.

POLI 5800            Concepts and Patterns of International Politics                       3 cr.
A systematic study of interaction between nation states, including a survey of the principal theories concerning international society.

POLI 5820            International Organization                                                          3 cr.
A review of the origins and types of international organizations, both intergovernmental and international non-governmental, and their role in the contemporary international system. The challenges and theoretical implications of issues such as humanitarian aid, peacekeeping, and economic, social, and political development will be discussed.

POLI 5850            The Politics of International Economic Relations                            3 cr.
An introduction to the field of international political economy focusing on four issues: the relationship between politics and markets, postwar developments in relations among advanced industrial societies, the relationship between advanced industrial and developing societies, and the impact of globalization on both developed and developing societies.

POLI 5860            International Law                                                                            3 cr.
The course focuses on the development and foundations of international law; the sources of international law; enforcement; the meaning of treaties; conflicts between domestic and international law; sovereignty; the problems and exercise of jurisdiction; and peace, war, and other methods for resolving international disputes.  The course also emphasizes international law both from the perspectives of the U.S. and other nations.

POLI 5870            American Foreign Policy                                                                  3 cr.
A study of the national interest as the guiding consideration in the development of American foreign policy from the beginning to the present. The importance of the constitutional framework, presidential and congressional leadership, pressure groups and public opinion, the changing world environment and the American response to it, particularly in recent years.

POLI 5885            Issues in Conflict and Diplomacy                                                                              3 cr.
An examination of the interaction of conflict with diplomacy. Conflict and diplomacy are studied analytically and operationally in terms of their limitations and possibilities in advancing and/or defending states' interests

POLI 5970            Media and Politics from a Comparative Perspective                                               3 cr.
Prerequisites: credit in POLI 2151, 2200, 2600, 2700 or 2900. This class is an introduction to the media and politics from a comparative perspective. We will learn about the media's political role in society; how they act or fail to act as a watchdog for citizens; and how they may influence public opinion and citizen activism in the United States, in other democracies, and in authoritarian countries. We will examine biases in the media, the media's influence on campaigns and elections, and the media's role in wars and revolutions around the world.

POLI 5990            Special Topics in Political Science                                            3 cr.
Topic may vary from semester to semester. Students may register for this course more than once to a maximum of nine hours. POLI 3995, 3998, 4990, and 4991 may not be taken, either singly or jointly, for more than a total of 12 credit hours.

POLI 6001            Introduction to Political Research                                            3 cr.
Introduction to the philosophy of science and research design. (Required of all graduate students.)

POLI 6002            Methods of Political Research I                                                3 cr.
Techniques of data analysis with an emphasis on the general linear model and an introduction to maximum likelihood estimation. (Required for all graduate students.)

POLI 6003            Methods of Political Research II                                                               3 cr.
Prerequisites: POLI 6001 and POLI 6002. Techniques of data analysis with an emphasis on maximum likelihood estimation and time series. (Required of Ph.D. students.)

POLI 6100            Theories of Public Policy                                                                              3 cr.
An examination of a variety of models of the public policy making process from agenda-setting through evaluation and feedback, with particular attention to explanations of policy stability and policy dynamics.  Examined theories include rational choice, incrementalism, neo-institutionalism and path dependency, multiple streams, punctuated equilibrium, advocacy coalition framework, and political strategy, among others.

POLI 6210            Seminar on Urban Political Systems                                                                       3 cr.
A review of the literature dealing with urban political processes. Topics will include metropolitan fragmentation and integration, intra-jurisdictional structural characteristics, urban policy makers, structures of community power, and the city within the federal system.

POLI 6245            Seminar in American Foreign Policy and National Security Affairs                    3 cr.
This seminar will explore the theoretical concepts relating to the process of policy-making, the interface between domestic, foreign, and national security policies and politics, the role of bureaucratic politics and the thrust and content of American foreign and security policies.

POLI 6310            Seminar in State and Local Government                                   3 cr.
A seminar in state and local government with special emphasis on comparative state politics and political systems.

POLI 6420            Seminar on Appellate Courts                                                      3 cr.
This seminar is designed to familiarize students with the literature on appellate courts (including the US Supreme Court, the US Court of Appeals, the state courts of last resort, and the Constitutional Courts of other countries).  It will cover decision-making, judicial selection, the effects of public opinion on courts and the effect of courts on public opinion, impact and compliance, and interest-group influence. The courts will be studied as political institutions and policymakers peopled by political actors as opposed to the common view that they are formal, legal, and nonpolitical entities.

POLI 6430            Seminar on Trial Courts                                                              3 cr.
A seminar dealing with the literature on the scientific study of lower courts and criminal justice.

POLI 6600            Seminar in American Politics                                                     3 cr.

POLI 6610            Seminar in Political Parties                                                        3 cr.

POLI 6620            Seminar in Voting Behavior and Participation                         3 cr.
An analysis of contemporary research on vote determinants, partisanship, issues and elections, economic influences, voter turnout, and political participation.

POLI 6641            Research on Minority Politics                                                   3 cr.
A research-oriented seminar in minority politics. Inferential techniques employed in the analysis of minority politics will be examined, and students will be required to engage in original research endeavors.

POLI 6650            Seminar in Women and Politics                                                 3 cr.
A study of feminist political thought and research on the importance of gender in social movements, political attitudes and behavior, political leadership, and public policy.

POLI 6680            Seminar in Legislative Behavior                                               3 cr.
This course will seek to provide an overview of contemporary research on legislative behavior. Most of the existing literature focuses on the national Congress but the course will also be concerned with state legislatures as well. The seminar will include an extensive review of the literature and statistical analysis of legislative roll call voting.

POLI 6700            Seminar in Comparative Politics                                               3 cr.

POLI 6720            Seminar in Developed Political Systems                                  3 cr.
Criteria of development, structural-functional approach to analysis of developed political systems, communications models, interest articulation and aggregation, institutional frameworks.

POLI 6730            Seminar in Political Change and Development                        3 cr.
Theories of development; relationship between political and economic development, the revolution of rising expectations, political infrastructure, levels of development.

POLI 6740            Seminar in Latin American Politics                                           3 cr.
The major alternatives for change: democratic reform or violent revolution; political infrastructure, interest aggregation and the acceleration of demands; the changing role of the military; the rise of urban terrorism; political heritage; personalism; dictatorship; role of the church.

POLI 6790            Seminar in Comparative Media and Politics                              3 cr.
This class surveys the literature on media and politics from a comparative perspective. It examines the factors that affect the professionalism and openness of the media across political regimes and also explores the role of the media in affecting public opinion, political behavior, and policy outcomes.

POLI 6810            Seminar in International  Relations Theory                               3 cr.
This course will provide an overview of contemporary research on international relations.  It is organized around points of common interest to scholars of international relations, including such concepts as the underlying nature of the international system, the causes of conflict between states, and possible sources of cooperation between states.

POLI 6850            Politics of International Economics Relations                           3 cr.
This seminar is an introduction to the field of international political economy.  Topics may include but are not limited to major approaches to political economy and international political economy in political science, cooperation and regime theory, trade and finance, globalization, regional integration, and the use of economic sanctions in  international politics.

POLI 6885            Seminar in International Conflict                                                 3 cr.
The purpose of this course is to analyze the most important theories regarding the causes of international war and conflict.  It will introduce students to a wide range of research on international conflict.  Topics may include polarity, power transition theory, hegemony, arms races, alliances, deterrence theory, diversionary theories, regime types, rivalry, civil wars, the escalation and diffusion of wars, and trade and military conflict.

POLI 6890            Seminar in Civil Conflict                                                              3 cr.
This course examines theories regarding the causes and effects of civil conflicts. Topics include the roles of ethnicity, ideology, natural resources, institutions, and government repression.

POLI 6910            Special Topics Seminar in Political Science                              3 cr.
Topics for this seminar will vary from semester to semester. This course may be repeated twice with departmental permission, for a total of up to 9 hours.

POLI 6990            Independent Research                                                               3 cr.
Independent research in the graduate student's area of specialization, under the direction of a designated member of the graduate faculty.

POLI 7000            Thesis Research                                                            1 min. cr. - 9 max. cr.
To be repeated for credit until thesis is accepted. Section number will correspond with credit to be earned.

POLI 7040            Examination Or Thesis Only                                                       0 cr.
Open to students in a thesis program who have only (other than application for degree) the final typing and acceptance by the Graduate School of their thesis or dissertation or to students in a non-thesis program who have only (other than application for degree) to pass the final examination to complete graduation requirements.

POLI 7050            Dissertation Research                                                    1 min. cr. - 9 max. cr.
Preparation of dissertation by Ph.D. candidate under direction of major professor and dissertation committee. Section number will correspond with credit to be earned. To be repeated for credit until dissertation is accepted.