Political Science

Political Science Major Requirements

(42 credits)

Political Science
POL 100U.S. Politics in Crisis 13
POL 102Power, Politics and Justice3
POL 202The Political System - Theories and Themes3
or POL 230 Methods of Political Analysis
Select one course from each of the following subfields:
Political Theory3
Modern Political Theory
Capitalism and Inequality
Modern Democracy and Its Critics
Contemporary Political Theory: Freedom and Authority
American Political Thought
Ancient Political Theory: Justice
The Politics and Ethics of Emergencies
Global Justice
American Politics3
NJ Government and Politics
Homeland Security
Race and Ethnicity in American Politics
Political Campaigning
Interest Groups and Lobbying
Sex & Gender in U.S. Politics
Political Parties and Electoral Behavior
Congressional Politics
American Presidency
Congressional Power and National Security Policy
Presidential Power and National Security Policy
Power in American Politics
Urban Politics
Development and Structure of the US Intelligence Community
Law and Public Policy3
Policy Issues, Advocacy, and Budgeting
Introduction to Public Policy
Healthcare Regulation and Governance
Politics of Law and Order
U.S. Constitutional Law
Civil Liberties in the U.S.
Public Administration
Contemporary Issues in American Public Policy
Environmental Politics
Courts, Judges and Politics
Comparative Politics3
Comparative Political Systems
European Politics
Conflict Resolution
Terrorism, Revolutions and Political Violence
Politics of the Middle East
African Politics
Comparative Environmental Policy
Geopolitics of Energy
Human Rights in Global Context
Politics of the Developing World
Global Immigration
International Relations3
Global Politics
Nationalism in World Politics
Sex & Gender in International Politics
Borders and the State
Global Issues
Model United Nations
International Law
The Arab-Israeli Conflict
U.S. Foreign Policy and Security Policy
Critical Views of Global Security
International Organizations
Five political science electives, four of which must be at the 300 or 400 level15
POL 450Seminar in Poltical Science3
or POL 399 The Co-operative Experience
Total Credits42

Must be taken in the freshman year.

Political Science Minor Requirements

(21 credits)

POL 100U.S. Politics in Crisis3
POL 102Power, Politics and Justice3
Five political science electives, three of which must be at the 300-level15
Total Credits21

Academic Plan of Study

The following educational plan is provided as a sample only.  Rider students who do not declare a major during their freshman year; who are in a Continuing Education Program; who change their major; or those who transfer to Rider may follow a different plan to ensure a timely graduation.  Each student, with guidance from his or her academic advisor, will develop a personalized educational plan.

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
Fall SemesterCredits
CMP 120 Seminar in Writing and Rhetoric 3
MTH 102 Finite Mathematics 3
POL 102 Power, Politics and Justice 3
HIS 150 World History to 1500 3
Foreign Language 1 of 2 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
POL 100 U.S. Politics in Crisis (Social Perspectives 1 of 2) 3 3
CMP 125 Seminar in Writing and Research 3
HIS 151 World History Since 1500 3
Scientific Perspectives 1 of 2 3
Foreign Language 2 of 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Year 2
Fall Semester
Choose one of the following: 3
Modern Political Theory
Contemporary Political Theory: Freedom and Authority
American Political Thought
Ancient Political Theory: Justice
Social Perspectives 2 of 2 3
Philosophical Perspectives 3
Scientific Perspectives 2 of 2 3
Aesthetic Perspectives: Literature 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
POL 230 Methods of Political Analysis 3
Choose one of the following: 3
Introduction to Public Policy
U.S. Constitutional Law
Civil Liberties in the U.S.
Public Administration
Aesthetic Perspectives: Fine Arts 3
Two Elective Courses 2 6
 Semester Credit Hours15
Year 3
Fall Semester
Choose one of the following: 3
Congressional Politics
American Presidency
Public Administration
Power in American Politics
Upper Level Political Science (POL) Elective 3
Three Elective Courses 2 9
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
Choose one of the following: 3
Comparative Political Systems
Politics of the Middle East
Comparative Environmental Policy
Politics of the Developing World
Upper Level Political Science (POL) Elective 3
Three Elective Courses 2 9
 Semester Credit Hours15
Year 4
Fall Semester
POL 491 Internship in Political Science 3
Choose one of the following: 3
Global Politics
Nationalism in World Politics
Borders and the State
Global Immigration
Upper Level Political Science (POL) Elective 3
Two Elective Courses 2 6
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
POL 450 Seminar in Political Science (Required) 3
Upper Level Political Science (POL) Elective 3
Three Elective Courses 2 9
 Semester Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours for Graduation120

For course placement information see https://www.rider.edu/student-life/first-year-experience/orientation/placement-testing


Please note that elective credits may be used to complete requirements in a second major or minor.


One Social Perspectives General Education Requirement is included in the major.

Courses and Descriptions

POL 100 U.S. Politics in Crisis 3 Credits

It often seems like the American government achieves little other than stoking political animosities amongst the American people. We see daily news stories about gridlock, polarization, partisanship, and corruption. This course introduces students to the basic principles of the U.S. constitutional system and how they are served by the three branches of government, paying special attention to the democratic process, vital public issues, and civil rights and civil liberties. Students will gain a critical understanding of the function and dysfunction in American politics and government, as well as concrete ideas about what can be done about it. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Disciplinary Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

POL 102 Power, Politics and Justice 3 Credits

Who gets what, when, why, and how? The study of politics and government is, essentially, a study of power and justice. This course introduces students to major ideologies and political theories, systems of government (ranging from presidential to parliamentary to authoritarian), public opinion and political behavior, international relations and war, and contemporary policy issues. Students will learn how to evaluate political institutions and actors in terms of how power is distributed and exercised, and when (and why) justice is and is not achieved. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Disciplinary Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

POL 200 NJ Government and Politics 3 Credits

Political institutions, processes, and problems of state and local governments of New Jersey. Analysis of legislative, executive, judicial, regulatory bodies, special districts, and autonomous agencies. Aspects of personnel, finance, and services, as well as political parties and elections.

POL 201 Policy Issues, Advocacy, and Budgeting 3 Credits

Surveys various domestic economic and social policy issues, the government budgeting process, and how citizens and groups advocate their interest through organizing, coalition-building and lobbying. Emphasis on developing practical skills in issue analysis, lobbying, legislative tracking, and public budgeting.

POL 202 The Political System - Theories and Themes 3 Credits

This course serves as a gateway to the subfields of comparative politics and international relations. The concept of the political system helps political scientists to organize political interrelations into patterns that allow systematic selection and interpretation of information and the study of processes and outcomes of politics in a variety of settings. The course introduces students to the main brands of normative theory prescribing the principles directing the operation of the political system, to some of the most important methods used to compare political systems and/or their components, and to the foremost approaches utilized in the study of the relations between political systems and their environments. Note: This course is cross-listed as HLS 202. Students may not get credit for both POL 202 and HLS 202.

POL 203 Homeland Security 3 Credits

The course is designed to help students increase their knowledge and understanding of homeland security policy. The course will consider why and how homeland security problems impact the public agenda, why some solutions are adopted and others rejected, and why some policies appear to succeed while others appear to fail. The course will primarily examine policy making at the national level in the United States, but will also analyze examples at the state and local level, as well as placing U.S. policy in a comparative perspective. Note: This course is cross-listed as HLS 203. Students may not get credit for both HLS 203 and POL 203.

POL 204 Development and Structure of the US Intelligence Community 3 Credits

This course provides a historical review of intelligence following World War II. It will examine the major functions of intelligence, as well as intelligence as a part of the foreign policy process: collection, analysis, counterintelligence, and convert action. Students will be introduced to a range of collection procedures: human, open source, electronic, photographic, and signal, with emphasis placed on interpreting and writing intelligence summaries. Note: This course is cross-listed as HLS 204. Students may not get credit for both POL 204 and HLS 204.

POL 205 Introduction to Public Policy 3 Credits

The course provides students with an introduction to the study of public policy by linking the theoretical with the practical. The course focuses on three areas of analysis: 1) descriptive 2) evaluative and 3) prescriptive. Students will develop skills required to define and critically examine policy problems, articulate relevant decision-making criteria and assess alternative policy options. Last the course provides examples of public policy problems through the substantive policy areas of health, environment and education.

POL 206 Healthcare Regulation and Governance 3 Credits

Health Regulation and Governance explores the institutions, processes and actors involved in governing and regulating the healthcare system in the US. The course engages the topic through the lens of federalism by examining the role of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government in regulating and governing healthcare at the national level as well as the role of the states in this policy area. Students will not only be introduced to the structure of regulation and governance of healthcare in the US, but will also be able to contextualize contemporary issues in healthcare in order to not simply addresses problems in the sector, but to also begin to identify solutions to issues that impact the population.

POL 210 Public Opinion 3 Credits

Public opinion as a social force and as expression of public sentiment on political and social issues. Topics include: development and dissemination of opinions, the measurement of public opinion, public opinion and governmental processes, and the reciprocal relationship between mass media and public opinion.

POL 215 Global Politics 3 Credits

The struggle for power, wealth, and order at the global level involving nation-states, intergovernmental organizations (such as the United Nations, the European Union, etc.), non-governmental organizations, transnational enterprises and other non-state entities, using military, economic, diplomatic, legal, and communication instruments. Overview of global problems such as the proliferation of weapons of destruction, ethnic and religious conflicts, human rights, and the global environment in the 21st century.

POL 216 Comparative Political Systems 3 Credits

A general introduction to types of government and political regimes of the world as they try to cope with the dual challenge of ethnic micropolitics and transnational globalization. Major prototypes of democracy: the British parliamentary system, the American separation of powers system, and various combinations of these two. Traditional autocracy, totalitarian dictatorships, and late 20th-century authoritarian regimes. Students are expected to acquire in-depth knowledge of comparative political systems, and to develop a basic understanding and appreciation of the major concepts and themes in comparative political systems studies.

POL 220 Terrorism & Counter Terrorism 3 Credits

This course introduces students to the arguments about the definition of terrorism, the historical use of terrorism and the roles of ideology, religion, and psychological factors that help explain and predict it. The course seeks to identify the components of national security policy aimed at countering such elements and their cost, both in financial and civil right terms. Finally, to illuminate both the definition and the policies discussed, the course will offer brief comparisons with other states, especially Israel, the UK, and Russia. Note: This course is cross-listed as HLS 220. Students may not get credit for both HLS 220 and POL 220.

POL 225 Nationalism in World Politics 3 Credits

Nations and nationalism. An overview of nationalistic manifestations in the world today. Nations, states, nation-states. Multinational states, stateless nations. Imperialism, anti-imperialism; nativism vs. internationalism and globalism. Topics include nationalisms in the Holy Land; in the former Yugoslavia; in the former Soviet Union and its successor states; and economic Nationalism vs. Globalization.

POL 230 Methods of Political Analysis 3 Credits

An overview of the various qualitative and quantitative methods that political scientists use to study their discipline. Themes include analyses of political participation and support, methods of studying elections, measures of political tolerance and liberalism.

POL 235 Race and Ethnicity in American Politics 3 Credits

Examines the changing political, economic, and social situation of racial and ethnic groups in American politics since the 1950s. Topics include the relationship between race/ethnicity and voting behavior, political parties, and election results. Includes an analysis of specific areas of contemporary racial and ethnic conflict, such as voting rights, immigration, and affirmative action.

POL 239 Modern Political Theory 3 Credits

A survey of the most significant political thought from Hobbes through Mill and Marx. Subject matter includes the social contract and discussion of such questions as the nature of freedom, natural law and right, political obligation, justice, and form of regime.

POL 247 Political Campaigning 3 Credits

This course entails the study of campaigning for political office at the federal, state and local levels in the United States. While attention will be given to how the broader political environment and specific factors, e.g., partisanship, hot button issues, local interests, and money, affect the nature of campaigns, the course’s primary focus will be on how to organize and conduct a successful and ethical campaign, including how to collect and analyze pertinent data, manage a staff, develop a communications plan, including social media, and get out the vote.

POL 255 European Politics 3 Credits

A comparative analysis of the social and political systems of Britain, France, Germany and other Western countries within the European framework. Emphasis will be on the identification of ways in which countries similar in social characteristics are also similar in their political systems and on the extent and circumstances under which they differ. Similarities and contrasts will also be drawn with political structures and processes in the United States. This course, on occasion, may contain an optional travel component during January.

POL 260 Politics of Law and Order 3 Credits

The constitutional, legal, political, and administrative aspects of the criminal justice system in the United States are studied, including the court system at all levels of government, law enforcement agencies, correctional programs and institutions, probation, parole, and the relationship of our legal institutions to the broader political system.

POL 270 Interest Groups and Lobbying 3 Credits

The course will introduce students to the area of interest groups and lobbying. Topics to be covered include theoretical developments, methodological approaches of group formation, organizational maintenance, and strategies used to influence public policy in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.

POL 280 Sex & Gender in International Politics 3 Credits

What’s a student of political science, International Relations (IR), or another social science field to do about feminism? This is a question that has troubled IR for decades. While feminist debates engaged people in spaces outside the disciplines of political science and particularly IR, IR scholars did their best not to see the relevance of feminism for their own debates. That did not stop some feminists from rethinking key IR concepts like power, race and the state, but such contributions were largely ignored by IR scholars until very recently. It was only in the last decades, when feminist questions pushed their way onto the IR agenda through books, journals, and conferences, that feminism suddenly seemed attractive to IR scholars. Designed as an interdisciplinary course with a strong reference to Global and International Politics, this course will provide a basic introduction to some of the major global questions as seen through a feminist lens.

POL 281 Sex & Gender in U.S. Politics 3 Credits

Legal traditions have long maintained that a “man’s home is his castle,” beyond the reach of the state (thereby ignoring “private” injustices like domestic violence). But the state has always found ways to justify some interventions in citizens’ private lives, including legislation of abortion and homosexuality. The personal has always been political, as second-wave feminists rightly insisted in the 1960s. This course examines the intersection of private and public, looking at the ways in which sex, identity and sexuality are implicated in and shaped by politics and policy-making: including the gendered division of labor inside and outside the home; the politics of gender identity; the legislation and policing of sex, sexuality, marriage and families; and the challenges facing women who enter politics. We will ask provocative and pressing questions like: How do sex and sexuality intersect with race, class, disability, and more? Can women (or anyone) really “have it all”? What is the future of transgender rights in the U.S.? Why do women still make up only 20% of Congress? Do women lead differently? To answer these questions, we will turn to political theory, political science, public policy, legal studies, and more.

POL 285 The Student Global Village 3 Credits

This course involves deliberative discussions carried out internationally among college students using videoconferencing technology. The project involves a series of 12 weekly videoconferences between students at Rider University and students at the American University of Cairo, or another international university. Students will be provided with materials to supplement their knowledge of the other country, and to allow them to discuss chosen themes in depth. The students will be required to write papers that describe their attitudes and impressions of the other country at the beginning and the end of the project, and to summarize what they have learned based upon the conferences and readings. Short papers will be required each week to prepare the students for the videoconference theme of the week.

POL 290 Student Nobel Peace Prize Project 3 Credits

Students in this course will do extensive research on social justice issues throughout history and around the world. Working as partners with Notre Dame University in Louaize, Lebanon, Rider University students will make up a list of potential nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize to be awarded the following year. Through ongoing discussion all semester, and negotiating, the two campuses will pare down the list until only one name or organization is the final course choice. The students will then write a letter that nominates their candidate, it will be officially signed and sent to the Nobel Peace Committee in Oslo, Norway. This represents an official nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, and will be considered by the committee in the following months.

POL 295 Special Topics in Political Science 3 Credits

For non-seniors who engage in serious research in political science. Topic to be approved by instructor and department chairperson.

POL 300 U.S. Constitutional Law 3 Credits

The role of the Supreme Court in the American political system is assessed. Topics include the staffing and functioning of the Supreme Court and the federal judicial bureaucracy, the origins and development of judicial review, and the role of the Supreme Court in national policy-making. Note: This course is cross-listed as HLS 300. Students may not get credit for both HLS 300 and POL 300.

POL 301 Civil Liberties in the U.S. 3 Credits

The American doctrine of civil liberties in theory and practice. Emphasis on analyzing the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and religion, the right of privacy, and the problem of discrimination in the context of contemporary issues and problems. Particular attention to the role of the Supreme Court in this area. Note: This course is cross-listed as HLS 301. Students may not get credit for both HLS 301 and POL 301.

POL 302 Insurgency 3 Credits

The course explores the occurrence of insurgencies and civil wars. It examines the causes of such conflicts by focusing on the role of resources, state capacity, ethnic/religious differences and power in the initiation of violence. Students will learn how recruitment tactics and access to funding sustain guerrilla warfare. Lastly, the course will focus on conflict management by emphasizing specific tools for terminating and preventing intrastate conflicts including the impact of international interventions, counterinsurgency strategy of winning the hearts and minds, institutional design, and reconciliation.

POL 303 Global Justice 3 Credits

This course examines some of the most vexing problems in today’s world of global interconnectedness. How can we harness the potential of global cooperation to solve problems that cross national borders? We will critically analyze the potential for human rights to protect vulnerable individuals, including victims of human trafficking. We will also evaluate the distribution of global resources and costs, including natural resources, extreme poverty and environmental degradation. What do we owe those who live in distant lands? Throughout we will ask how reality matches up to our best hopes for the present and future.

POL 304 Political Behavior: Fear, Risk and Crisis 3 Credits

The course focuses on various analytical approaches in behavioral political science. It does so by advancing students' knowledge of the cognitive aspects of whether citizens engage in various types of political behavior-e.g., voting/non-voting, the formation of political partisanship and ideology, issue perceptions, responding to risk and uncertainty in the political environment, and engaging in civic political participation. Note: This course is cross-listed as HLS 304. Students may not get credit for both POL 304 and HLS 304.

POL 305 Political Parties and Electoral Behavior 3 Credits

The structure, character, and functions of U.S. political parties and pressure groups, and their impact on public policy. Parties are analyzed within the broader scope of organizational theory and comparative party systems. Major emphases on their historical origins, their role in contemporary political life, and particular aspects of party politics--local organization, membership, campaigning and elections, policy-making roles, and leadership.

POL 306 American Political Film 3 Credits

This course analyzes the structure, history, and impact of the genre of political film. It begins with a discussion of how one distinguishes a political film from other forms of cinema. It then proposes insights into the manner in which these films evoke a particular time and place in politics, affect the viewer’s interpretation of a political event or figure, and have an effect upon a viewer’s political perceptions or behavior. The student will also learn to review films critically, both as political statements and as effective (or ineffective) conveyors of political messages.

POL 307 Political Communication 3 Credits

The meaning and uses of political communication are examined, the manner and forms such communication takes, and the history of political discourse. Major topics include the role of communication in elections and the development of public policy, how political communication strategies have changed with the rise of mass media, and the development of national and international publics for discourse.

POL 308 Capitalism and Inequality 3 Credits

This class is about market economies: how they are theorized, how they operate, and how they affect the humans who live and work within them. The first part of this course offers an overview of major modern theorists of capitalism (with selections chosen for a political science audience), including Smith, Veblen, Schumpeter and Keynes. These thinkers have made influential contributions to debates about the proper role of government in regulating and shaping economic relations and conditions. We then turn to contemporary theories of distributive justice, including libertarianism and egalitarianism. The second half of the course explores realities of socioeconomic inequality, the experience of poverty in the U.S., as well as the kinds of policies which might alleviate or resolve various dimensions of inequality and poverty. This course prepares students to evaluate public policies and articulate policy positions while attending to their economic and human costs.

POL 310 Political Psychology and Human Nature 3 Credits

The 2016 presidential campaign season saw a marked increase in partisanship, polarization, animosity and resentment among Americans, mirroring a worldwide trend toward “tribalistic” group identification at the expense of outsiders. Why can’t we all just get along? What makes it so hard to sympathize with those who seem different or unfamiliar, and so easy to assume the worst about them? This course will bring together classic political theory, psychology and the social sciences, in order to help explain political beliefs and behaviors. We will begin by considering how classic political theory has conceptualized human nature, and the various implications for political life. We will then consider scientific perspectives: evolutionary anthropology, social psychology and cognitive neuroscience. We will examine the role of bias in cognition and politics and we will critically interrogate assumptions about rationality. We will also see that different psychological dispositions underlay conservatism and liberalism. Ultimately, this course will consider how these features of human cognition shed light on partisanship and polarization, racial bias, and policy preferences, including popular reception of science concerning vital issues such as climate change and the safety of GMOs. We will conclude with considerations of how a better understanding of psychology might propel us toward a more productive political discourse.

POL 311 Borders and the State 3 Credits

Borders have a prominent place in politics and human history. In the twentieth century, the best- known barriers were the militarized Maginot Line and the Iron Curtain. Today, the political popularity of borders persists but the nature and quality of these borders and the threats they were created to repel have changed. Modern borders are designed not to keep militaries out, but to deter a perceived invasion of “undesirables”—with terrorists and unwanted immigrants leading the list of state concerns. Nowhere is this more evident than along the geographic fault lines dividing rich and poor regions, e.g. the Mediterranean Sea and the U.S.-Mexican border region. This course will examine the dynamic interactions between the question of how to govern borders and the twenty-first century liberal state with its diluted sovereignty— due to immigration, trade and international laws and regimes.

POL 312 Congressional Politics 3 Credits

An intensive analysis of the legislative process in the United States, considering both the internal organization and operation of Congress, and Congress’ role in the broader American political system. Fundamental issues include the theory and practice of representation; the committee system, seniority and expertise; executive and legislative interaction; and the politics of congressional reform.

POL 313 American Presidency 3 Credits

A description and analysis of the American presidency: its historical development, the internal organization, and ecological context. Basic issues include the intent of the framers of the Constitution, the historical accumulation of presidential powers, and institutional limits on presidential power (e.g., Congress and the bureaucracy).

POL 314 Congressional Power and National Security Policy 3 Credits

The purpose of this course is for students to identify, examine, analyze, and interpret the role of Congress in shaping national security policy with a particular emphasis on the institution’s role in the Global War on Terror. Particular attention is paid to the role of the US government being able to balance individual rights and liberties within the national security state. Last, the course also takes an in-depth analysis of the U.S. Congress, looking comparatively at how legislatures in other nations have dealt with crafting their own security policies. The course will address the following questions: First, what is the role of Congress in national security policy, what does it do, and why? Second, what are the various ways of studying the relationship between the legislative and executive branches of government in the US system as it relates to the Global War on Terror? Note: This course is cross-listed as HLS 314. Students may not get credit for both HLS 314 and POL 314.

POL 315 Global Issues 3 Credits

Military, economic, demographic, and environmental threats to global security in the post-Cold War era. Forces of transnational integration vs. forces of intrastate fragmentation. Inadequacy of international law and organization to deal with these problems within the confines of the sovereign nation-state system.

POL 316 Presidential Power and National Security Policy 3 Credits

This course examines the development of the National Security State since the Second World War, and the ways in which it has affected, and been affected by, the Federal Executive. Topics to be covered will include the post-World War II redefinition of “national security”, the Cold War (with a special focus upon war powers during Korea and Vietnam) and the changes that have occurred with the “War on Terror." Note: This course is cross-listed as HLS 316. Students may not get credit for both POL 316 and HLS 316.

POL 317 Model United Nations 3 Credits

Model United Nations (POL 317) is the course that prepares Rider University’s award-winning Model United Nations (MUN) team for the annual National MUN competition in New York City. The team has brought home top awards for the past decade and continuously strives for excellence. POL 317 is a student-led course that hones writing, public-speaking and researching skills of student-delegates and it represents student engagement at the highest level. Chosen through a rigorous selection process in the fall semester, the student-delegates write position papers during the winter break, and develop caucusing, team-working, and presentation skills in class during the spring semester. During the past five decades, Rider University’s MUN team has represented more than 50 countries, and competed with thousands of delegates from national and international universities. It is one of the premier engaged learning and cohort-building institutions on campus.

POL 318 Conflict Resolution 3 Credits

How do you craft a peace deal in a war-ravaged environment? Can negotiations with rogue regimes succeed and prevent the onset of conflict? With massive casualties, and unspeakable human rights abuses, conflicts continue to present a challenge to people around the globe. In this course, we will explore the dynamics of conflict management designed to keep countries from waging violence against each other. Our focus is both on ending existing violent conflicts and on preventing escalation of tensions. We will explore the impact of mediators and external interventions by international organizations or individual countries on conflict management. We will also examine the role of the International Court of Justice in resolving disputes when direct negotiations fail to succeed. Finally, we will study existing peacebuilding efforts designed to improve relations among victims and killers in post-conflict environment. Insights from theory on commitment problems will help us understand why peace is more vulnerable in domestic than in international conflicts. Throughout the semester, we will rely on various case illustrations from international and domestic conflicts, and participate in a simulation activity that will allow us to assume the roles of negotiators in disputes.

POL 319 Terrorism, Revolutions and Political Violence 3 Credits

Revolutions are the mad inspiration of history. Trotsky’s characterization calls attention to three important dimensions of violent political participation: the historical settings, ideology, and emotional fervor of the practitioners. The course focuses on these dimensions by analyzing revolutionary and terrorist movements in the 20th century. Special attention is given to the use of violence in the post-Cold War new world disorder.

POL 320 Politics of the Middle East 3 Credits

The course emphasizes the relationships between social and political structures, the role of religion, and the problems of modernization in the Middle East. Similarities and contrasts will be drawn between the Arab and non-Arab countries of the Middle East. The political systems of Egypt, Syria, Israel and Saudi Arabia are examined in terms of political culture, structure, and political processes.

POL 321 International Law 3 Credits

This course covers the basic doctrines of international law and their relationship to the contemporary international community. These include the jurisprudence of international law; the history of the international legal system; customary international law; Treaty law; sovereignty, statehood and recognition; jurisdiction and immunities; the role of international organizations; international criminal responsibility; and the relationship of the international legal system to the U.S. domestic legal system. The objectives of international law are to foster the peaceful settlement of disputes; facilitate transnational communication and commerce; encourage respect for human rights; as well as to preserve the environment.

POL 322 African Politics 3 Credits

Africa is in a process of transition, a continent of growing strategic importance to the U.S. and a land with considerable variation in political and economic success. The course is an introduction to the politics of sub-Saharan Africa. To understand the continent’s current challenges, the course examines the legacies of colonial rule, including colonial mark on the politics of ethnicity; focuses on the rise of authoritarianism in Africa in the 1970s and 1980s; examines the success and failure of democratization that is transforming the continent today; embarks on the quest to understand the continent’s struggle with poverty and debt. Lastly, the course explores some of the biggest obstacle to Africa’s stability, including state collapse, wars, corruption, while contemplating the future that lies ahead.

POL 325 Public Administration 3 Credits

Public administration in modern society, emphasizing the administrative formulation of public policy and its implementation. Attention on who gets what, when, and how from the decisions of administrative units; the role administrators have in policy-making compared to elected legislators, chief executives and judges; the effect administrators have on the benefits citizens receive from government; and the effect administrators have on citizens’ behavior. Note: This course is cross-listed as HLS 325. Students may not get credit for both HLS 325 and POL 325.

POL 326 Power in American Politics 3 Credits

Examines various explanations of who has power in American politics. Explores the roles of appointed and elected officials, business and interest groups, the media, and the general public in shaping public policy. Special attention to political change, including the impact of broad social movements on the responsiveness of the political system.

POL 327 Contemporary Issues in American Public Policy 3 Credits

An in-depth examination of current issues in American politics. Drunk driving, political corruption, drug policy, education, and poverty are among the issues to be considered. Emphasis on analyzing policy problems and on developing and evaluating proposed solutions.

POL 328 Environmental Politics 3 Credits

Environmental Politics examines how policymakers deal with the political challenges of unsustainable resource consumption, which is a primary determinant of environmental problems such as climate change, adverse health effects, and biodiversity loss. The course introduces students to environmental politics and policies at the local, state, national, and international levels. The course is designed to provide students with a framework for understanding how varied interests compete within political institutions in order to transform contending ideas into public policy. With that in mind, students will not only become more informed consumers of political information, but will also become more effective at analyzing and advocating for policies as it relates to the environment.

POL 329 Comparative Environmental Policy 3 Credits

Comparative Environmental Policy analyzes cross-national approaches in developing, implementing, and evaluating policy responses to environmental problems. The course analyzes the political factors, actors, and tools that help and explain why some societies have been more likely to develop effective responses to environmental threats.

POL 330 Geopolitics of Energy 3 Credits

Geopolitics of Energy Security explores the role of energy in shaping global politics, natural resource management practices and volatility in economic markets. The course begins with an overview of energy security and explores issues associated with energy production, national security, energy consumption, and environmental conservation. Throughout the course students will become familiar with basic data, trends, issues and options in the exploration and production of renewable and non-renewable energy sources.

POL 331 Political Corruptions 3 Credits

This course will introduce students to one of the central political issues in the USA as well as abroad: corruption. Whereas this was considered in earlier days as ‘ temporary malady’ of third world systems, today it is considered a pervasive phenomenon in democratic systems as well . As such it acquired widespread scholarly as well as public attention in established democracies such as the USA (at least since the elections of 2016 ). The course will utilize a range of approaches to examine the meaning of corruption, the link between what the law defines as corruption and what is understood by the term by broad publics, the interaction between both conceptions and system legitimacy, and the methods by which corruption may be contained.

POL 335 Urban Politics 3 Credits

Political structure and administration of municipalities in the United States. Emphasis on challenges posed by suburbanization, global and regional shifts in business, economic dislocation, housing, mass transportation, race relations, and policing.

POL 340 Modern Democracy and Its Critics 3 Credits

The course examines the fundamental assumptions underlying modern democratic theories and the main theoretical attacks launched against them. Among the contending theories to be discussed are right and left-wing anarchism, the old and the new left, fascism, intellectual elitism, and techno-conservatism.

POL 342 Contemporary Political Theory: Freedom and Authority 3 Credits

Concepts of freedom and authority in 19th and 20th-century political theory. Emphasis on such important thinkers as Nietzsche, Freud, Sartre, Camus, and Marcuse.

POL 343 American Political Thought 3 Credits

The philosophical background and moral principles of American political society: liberty, equality, natural law and natural right; constitutionalism and nation-building. The development of the ideologies of liberalism, conservatism, and libertinism are also covered.

POL 345 Ancient Political Theory: Justice 3 Credits

The existence of society over time requires high degree of predictability and hence laws, whether explicit or implicit. These derive their capacity to regulate life from the widespread notion that they are proper and that they should be obeyed. In a word, they accord to our notions of justice. These, however, are not stable. Resting on the understandings of man, society, nature and the relations between them, they develop under the impact of human thought and changing realities. The result is what can be compared to a layered cake. This course treats some of the main contributions made by philosophers from Plato to Rawls to our concept of justice and the manner by which they have shaped our concepts of justice in the US and West in general. Cases in which courts (mainly the US Supreme Court) made use and applied the thinking of earlier philosophies of justice will illustrate the process by which we adjust the boundaries between legality and criminality and determine how we should behave towards each other.

POL 346 The Politics and Ethics of Emergencies 3 Credits

This course examines historic and present day cases, ranging across Europe and the US, in which liberal democratic governments, under stress because of subversion, sabotage, invasion, rebellion, or the effects of economically caused chaos, take on emergency powers to become so-called “states of exception.” While in some cases such states have imposed mild and limited emergency measures, others have employed more draconian measures, suspending, if not dissolving, constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties, often for indeterminate and protracted periods. How various states have behaved in emergency situations will be the major content of this course. Note: This course is cross-listed as HLS 346. Students may not get credit for both HLS 346 and POL 346.

POL 350 U.S. Foreign Policy and Security Policy 3 Credits

Principles, institutions, and processes involved in the formulation and implementation of policies regarding the nation’s military, economic, and environmental security within the global framework. Strands, trends, and problem areas in U.S. foreign policy, with focus on the changing global environment of the post-Cold World War. Note: This course is cross-listed as HLS 350. Students may get credit for only one.

POL 351 Critical Views of Global Security 3 Credits

This course will examine the foundations of international security. It will examine the concept of security from both the macro and micro level. We will discuss a mix of security strategies (balance of power, alliances, rearmament, collective security, deterrence), theoretical perspective on security (Neorealism, Neoliberalism, Critical Theory, Copenhagen School), great power and third world security, democratic and non-democratic security, classic threats (changes in relative power, proliferation) and new threats (environment, population movements, terrorism), and concepts of security ranging from state survial, to societal security, to unit level-variables such as Human Security. Note: This course is cross-listed as HLS 351. Students may not get credit for both HLS 351 and POL 351.

POL 361 Courts, Judges and Politics 3 Credits

In-depth examination of the nature of judicial decision-making and the impact that judicial decisions have on society. Considers the sources of judicial authority, judicial fact-finding, statutory and constitutional interpretation, individual and collective processes of judicial decision-making, relations between judges and other government officials, and the political consequences of judicial decisions with particular emphasis on federal courts and judges. Note: This course is cross-listed as HLS 361. Students may not get credit for both POL 361 and HLS 361.

POL 363 Human Rights in Global Context 3 Credits

Human rights – droits de l’homme, derechos humanos, Menschenrechte, “the rights of man” – are, literally, the rights that one has because one is human. What does it mean to have a right? How are being human and having rights related? This course provides an introduction to theory and global practice of human rights. Human rights claims play an increasingly central role in political and social struggles across the world. The adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 signaled a proliferation of international human rights law and transnational non-governmental activism. While the promotion of human rights has become global, adherence to those standards remains highly uneven and gross violations and atrocities continue to occur. Given the breath and complexity of the human rights movement, including its engagement with law, politics and morals, in radically different cultures, this course is by its very nature multidisciplinary. Note: This course is cross-listed as HLS 363. Students may not get credit for both HLS 363 and POL 363.

POL 365 Politics of the Developing World 3 Credits

Studies the major political issues of the so-called "developing" world. Particular reference to political systems of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East according to the relevance of the examples to large conceptual issues, and according to the major interests of the instructor. Typical issues include neocolonial dependency, the role of the state in newly developed countries, military rule and democratization.

POL 367 Global Immigration 3 Credits

This course analyzes mass migrations and refugee movements and what they mean for the stability of nations, the increasing potential of severe culture clashes within societies, and the root causes of (forced) migration movements, such as problems of violence, terror and genocide, as recently seen in Darfur, Rwanda and Bosnia. In certain European countries the frequently failed integration and assimilation policies resulted in an Islamic alienation; terrorist attacks and race riots are some of the consequences. Particular attention will be given to the conflict between the refugees’ and migrants’ needs that result from violent, socio-economic or ecological catastrophes in the countries of origin and the various forms of reception within the host countries. Students will explore theoretical, political, legal, and socio-economic dimensions of the refugee and immigration phenomena in a global world. Other themes will include international human rights and refugee laws, theories of immigration, for example, the feminization of migration, as well as problems of acculturation, assimilation and integration in different host societies.

POL 368 International Organizations 3 Credits

This course introduces students to the study of international organizations. The course examines mostly formal and governmental institutions as well as informal institutions or regimes. Topics to be covered include and are not limited to: the establishment of international organizations, evolvement of international organizations, structure of international organizations, decision-making of international organizations and influence of international organizations. This course employs both theoretical and practical approaches in its examination of international organizations.

POL 371 The Arab-Israeli Conflict 3 Credits

The course will begin by introducing the main players: the neo-patrimonial Arab regimes on the one hand, and the democratic, economically modern Jewish sector in Palestine on the other. The analysis will focus on the impact of the social, economic, political and religious differences between the sides on their conception of the conflict among the participants and powers outside the region. The course will concurrently examine the impacts of the dynamics of the conflict itself, relations within Islam on the one hand and between Islam and the West on the other. The latter part of the course will consider the sources of perceptual shift that led simultaneously to the narrowing of the conflict with the withdrawal of some of its participants (most Arab states) and its widening with the addition of Al Queada and Iran (via Hezbullah).

POL 399 The Co-operative Experience 3-12 Credits

This course provides a significant work experience to support the professional development of the student and complement theoretical and classroom learning. Students will be assessed based on measures as defined in a placement contract mutually agreed upon by the sponsoring faulty member, the organization representative of the placement site, and the student. Approximately 360 hours of work will be required as students work typically four days per week over at least eight weeks. The proposed placement contract requires departmental approval and the approval of the appropriate office of the dean. It is expected that the Co-op program consume the student’s academic load for the semester. Final placement will be determined by the organization where the student will work. Rider University does not guarantee that every student applying for a co-op will earn a co-op placement. Contact the appropriate department for additional information. IND 398 and (dept.) 399 combined cannot exceed 15 credits. Pass/fail. Prerequisite(s): junior standing and 2.75 GPA at the time of registration.

Corequisite(s): IND 398 The Co-operative Experience Seminar.

POL 450 Seminar in Political Science 3 Credits

A multidimensional framework within which to integrate the variety of perspectives and methodologies extant in the field of political science. Topics for discussion and analysis may range from broad concepts of political discourse such as power and interdependence to specific political issues such as executive-legislative relations and judicial policymaking.

POL 490 Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression 1-4 Credits

Independent Research and Study allows juniors and seniors in good academic standing to investigate topics of interest under faculty supervision. Projects must be approved by the faculty member, department chairperson, and academic dean no later than the third week of the semester in which the project is to be conducted. Only one project can be scheduled in a semester, and for no more than four semester hours; up to 12 semester hours of independent research and study may be counted toward graduation. Note that individual departments may have additional restrictions.

POL 491 Internship in Political Science 1-4 Credits

Students work under supervision in a public agency, political party, or public interest group. A minimum of 52 hours of fieldwork per credit required, with regular reports and a concluding critique analyzing and evaluating the experience. Primarily for seniors and qualified juniors. No more than six credits allowed toward graduation.

Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor.

POL 499 Senior Honors Thesis 3-6 Credits

Majors having completed the department’s core requirements and having a minimum GPA of 3.5 in political science courses may apply for honors in their sixth semester. Applicants enroll in POL 490 Independent Research and Study in their seventh semester to develop and submit a thesis proposal to the department. With departmental approval, applicants prepare an honors thesis in their last semester. Upon acceptance of the thesis by the department, the student will be graduated with honors in political science.