Political Science

Changes effective Fall Term 2017

Boniface Chong Davison, D.
Davison, J.
Foglesong Gunter Maskivker

Do you want to be a change maker, to make a difference in the world around you?
The political science major prepares you for a lifetime of challenges, from our backyard in Florida to the far corners of the globe. In the classroom, as well as through travel abroad, internships, field studies, and collaborative research projects, you not only learn about how the world really works. You also gain invaluable problem-solving skills for successful lives and careers -- skills that include data analysis, critical thinking in the context of conflicting values, and deliberative decision-making, not to mention oral as well as written communication. From careers in business and law to government and politics to the non-profit sector and media, our majors are change makers. They make a difference.


To complete the major in Political Science students must pass eleven (11) courses, plus an additional politics practicum. Subject to approval by the department chair, this requirement can be met with an internship (POL 397), political/policy employment experience, study abroad or field study courses, student-faculty collaborative summer research, or a community engagement component attached to a POL course.

Students must complete five (5) required Core courses and six (6) additional courses. Students may count their RCC course or one Neighborhood course, if the professor designates it as such, but may not transfer more than three (3) courses from another institution. Winter intersession courses do not count toward the major. The Department requires that students complete one (1) upper-level course in at least two (2) different subfields for breadth.


Students who satisfy the College's requirements for Honors in the Major Field (see "Curriculum and Curricular Requirements," Rollins College Catalogue may graduate with Honors in Political Science through one of the following methods. First, a student pursuing Honors in the Major Field in Political Science must successfully complete and defend an Honors in Political Science Research project under the supervision of a faculty member in the department. Alternatively, students may complete a second senior-year seminar as a twelfth (12th) course in Political Science and defend their research project before a panel of three (3) faculty members, per the curricular requirements of the College. Students in the College Honors Degree Program may use their senior-year research project for Honors in Political Science, with Departmental approval.

All students are required to take two (2) introductory courses and three additional core courses noted below. Students must take either Comparative Politics (POL 100) OR  International Relations (POL 130). They must also take either American Politics (POL 160) OR Issues in American Politics (POL 161).

Students are also required to complete Quantitative Analysis (POL 240A) OR Research Methods in Political Science (POL 240B), Political Thought (POL 220), and a senior seminar class at the 400-level that includes the completion of a major research project. It is recommended that students take POL 240A or POL 240B by the end of their sophomore year.

As noted earlier, six (6) additional electives are then required, as well as a practicum, to complete the major. A comprehensive examination and portfolio also are required of all graduating seniors.

Through a cooperative arrangement between Rollins and American University, a select number of students, usually juniors, may spend a semester in Washington, D.C., studying public affairs. (See Special Curricular Opportunities section of this Catalogue.)

Participants may select from separate programs in American politics; international law and organizations; sustainable development; journalism and new media; justice and law; public health; foreign policy; religion, politics, peace, and security; and global economics and business. Full-time faculty at American University direct the individual programs.

While enrolled in the Washington Semester Program, students live at American University and have full access to all library, cultural, and recreational facilities on campus. For further information, contact Professor Mike Gunter.

Students also have the opportunity to conduct research in political science. This can be accomplished through a senior year research thesis for Honors in Political Science or as their final research project in their concentration. Students should have strong research and writing skills in order to complete a research project in Political Science.

Political Science offers three minors: one general minor in Political Science and two specialized minors in Political Science: Law and Policy or Political Science: Civic Engagement. Each minor requires six courses, and students may transfer up to two POL courses from another institution into the minor with prior approval of the department chair.

Political Science: This general minor requires six courses, three introductory courses (POL 100, 130, and 160 or 161) and three upper-level courses, including one from at least two different subfields. Core courses serve as prerequisites to corresponding upper-level courses. For example, POL 160 or 161 must precede all upper-level courses in American politics. Winter intersession courses do not count towards the Political Science minor. Political Science subfields are American Politics, Political Theory, Comparative Politics, and International Politics. See the Political Science course catalogue for a full listing of options.

Political Science: Law & Policy: This minor requires six courses, three of which must be at the 300-400 level, and one of which may be an approved four-credit POL 397 internship/practicum.

All minors must complete one of the three following introductory courses, but students cannot take both POL 160 and 161:

  • POL 160 Introduction to American Politics
  • POL 161 Issues in American Politics
  • PPE 119 Introduction to Public Policy

Other courses available to complete the minor are:

  • POL 240A Quantitative Analysis
  • POL 252 American Civil Rights Law and Policy
  • POL 270 Ethics and Public Policy
  • POL 327 Urban Policy Analysis
  • POL 332 International Human Rights
  • POL 333 Case Studies in Sustainable Development
  • POL 351 International Security
  • POL 352 International Law
  • POL 353 Foreign Policy of the US
  • POL 368 Comparative Public Policy
  • POL 363 American Social Policy
  • POL 381 Congress
  • POL 382 Constitutional Law
  • POL 387 Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties
  • POL 397 Politics Internship

Political Science: Civic Engagement
: This minor requires six courses, three of which must be at the 300-400 level, and one of which may be an approved four-credit POL 397 internship/practicum. At least one of the six courses must have a Community Engagement (CE) component with a related service assignment.

All minors must complete one of the three following introductory courses, but students cannot take both POL 160 and 161:

  • POL 160 Introduction to American Politics
  • POL 161 Issues in American Politics
  • PPE 119 Introduction to Public Policy

Other courses available to the minor are:

  • POL 252 American Civil Rights Law and Policy
  • POL 309 Global Democratization
  • POL 316 Social and Political Applied Ethics
  • POL 332 International Human Rights
  • POL 333 Case Studies in Sustainable Development
  • POL 343 American Presidency
  • POL 346 Voting and Elections
  • POL 358 European Government and Politics
  • POL 375 American Political Thought
  • POL 381 Congress
  • POL 382 Constitutional Law
  • POL 387 Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties

Course of Study


POL 100 Introduction to Comparative Politics: Compares environment, structure, and process of politics in different nations. Suitable for nonmajors.

POL 130 Introduction to International Politics: Outlines decision making, conflict, deterrence, coercive diplomacy, interdependence, and international systems. Places issues in 20th-century context, stressing Cold War and its aftermath, international political economy, and international organizations. Suitable for nonmajors.

POL 160 Introduction to American Politics: Analyzes dynamics of American politics: underlying principles and institutions, relationship between democratic freedom and economic equality, poverty, sexism, racial injustice, participation, and problems of liberal, capitalist state. Suitable for nonmajors.

POL 161 Issues in American Politics: Uses contemporary issues to explain the enduring features of the U.S. political system. Intended for first-year students interested in exploring the major. Substitutes for POL 160-Introduction to American Politics within the major.

POL 220 Problems in Political Thought: Explores authority, legitimacy, power, democracy, ideology, equality, and political obligation as understood by major political thinkers in Western history. Suitable for nonmajors.

POL 240A Quantitative Analysis: Introduces formal techniques -- some involving computer use -- for analyzing problems in public policy. Examines goals and difficulties in civil rights, discrimination, voting rights, and crime. Does not require background in public policy, politics, computer usage, or statistics.

POL 240B Research Methods in Political Science: Introduces students to the essential elements of research method in political science. Among the topics covered are understanding hypotheses formulation, structuring testable statements, measurement, types of data, casual thinking, and reporting results>.

POL 410 Seminar in International Politics: Presents the past, present, and future role of the sovereign state in the international system with a focus on issues such as economic globalization, non-traditional security threats, and the governance of transnational issues. Prerequisites: completion of core and distribution courses in international politics or consent.

POL 422 Seminar in Comparative Politics: Guides students in preparing, presenting, and writing research paper. Requires progress reports, outlines, bibliographies, and oral presentations. Prerequisite: completion of core and distribution courses in comparative politics or consent.

POL 470 Seminar in Political Theory: Provides context for students to examine in-depth topics of justice, freedom, welfare, and equality, and considers contemporary issues against the arguments of political theorists. Requires extensive oral participation, independent work, and contribution of a major paper. Prerequisite: completion of core and distribution courses in political theory or consent.

POL 481 Seminar in American Politics: Compares competing interpretations of politics and polity. Prerequisites: completion of core and distribution courses in American politics or consent.


POL 252 American Civil Rights Law and Policy: Civil rights law and policy examines how the United States defines and practices equality a fundamental principle of American democracy. The course uses Supreme Court decisions to evaluate the development of the Fourteenth Amendment s guarantee of equal protection in civil rights policy areas. Policy topics include educational opportunity, voting rights, affirmative action and reverse discrimination, gender and age discrimination, disabilities, and gay rights.

POL 314 The Political Theory of the Welfare State: Reviews the normative reasons in support of the welfare state as a political entity. It also explores philosophical reasons against the ideals that justify it. In the process of studying these philosophical issues, we will concentrate on different institutional and political factors that differentiate welfare state models from one another.

POL 327 Urban Policy Analysis: Focuses on dilemmas of fast-growing urban areas: transportation, education, land-use planning, urban finance, and growth management.

POL 341 Political Leadership: Considers meaning of leadership, changing role of leaders, strategies and styles of effective leaders, and relationship between leadership and democracy. Stresses local government. Prerequisite: POL 160.

POL 343 The American Presidency: Weighs logic and impact of constitutional design upon the office, including sources of power and constraint. Traces development of presidency through "imperial" to "postmodern" era, then turns to relationship between President and Congress, bureaucracy, and interest groups. Prerequisite: POL 160.

POL 346 Voting and Elections: Investigates electoral behavior in U.S..: rational, contextual, retrospective, and economic explanations for voting, as well as contemporary trends. Considers effects of media and money on election outcomes. Prerequisite: POL 160.

POL 361 Urban Politics: Examines impact on urban politics of decline of community in American cities, inequality of power among groups, and local and regional economy. Highlights economic decline in Frostbelt cities and problems of controlling growth in Sunbelt cities like Orlando. Prerequisite:POL 160 or consent.

POL 363 American Social Policy: Treats relationship of politics and markets, reasons for government intervention in economy, and conflict surrounding policy implementation. Discusses pros and cons of government planning. Stresses problem of de-industrialization and efforts to formulate industrial policy. Prerequisite: POL 160.

POL 364 Politics of Mass Media: Examines how the news media, primarily television, influences the way Americans think about politics. The focus is primarily on news coverage of the 2016 presidential election. Topics addressed are the impact of changes in broadcast industry regulation, the rise of Fox News, the blending of news and entertainment, the changing meaning of bias, and the emergence of new media organizations (Breitbart, Drudge Report) and new types of social media. Prerequisites: POL 160 or POL 161, or consent.

POL 365 Power in America: Explores how political power is created and maintained. Considers political parties and coalitions, interest groups (including differences in political interests within American capitalism), economic change and international politics, political and economic elite, and state role in supporting and strengthening capitalism.Prerequisite: POL 160.

POL 381 Congress and the Legislative Process: Deals with organization and operation of U.S.. Congress: how representatives make voting decisions, importance of rules and procedures, political strategy, legislative oversight of executive branch, and relationship between Congress and President.

POL 382 Constitutional Law: Analyzes major U.S.. Supreme Court decisions in order to understand development of law regarding powers of national government. Addresses judicial review, federalism, separation of powers, national authority over commerce, and constitutional protection of property. Prerequisite: POL 160 or consent. Suitable for nonmajors.

POL 387 Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties: Focuses on the Supreme Court's interpretation of the first amendment freedoms of speech, press, and religion, and the rights of the accused, reflected in constitutional amendments four through eight. Prerequisite: POL 120 or POL 160 or consent.


POL 270 Ethics and Public Policy: Examines the ethical and moral implications of a wide array of cases and current events, such as use of the atomic bomb, presidential activity, racial profiling, and affirmative action. Prerequisite: POL 120 or consent.

POL 318 Applied Political Ethics: Evaluates controversial social and political issues such as abortion, the death penalty, pornography and the use of torture, among others.

POL 375 American Political Thought: Analyzes the ideals of America, as imagined, cultivated, and practiced. Explores the forces that shape identity, analyzes the contours and exclusions of democratic citizenship, and focuses on how natural geography has uniquely influenced American political thought. Prerequisite: POL 120.

POL 376 Capitalism and Its Consequences: Explores the dialectical critiques of the "Frankfurt School" theorists. Analyzes the ways that capitalism has affected 20th-century life in ways that extend beyond the economic sphere, shaping our social relations and our experience of the world itself. Prerequisite: POL 120.

POL 377 Gender and Political Theory: Analyzes how idealized images of masculinity and femininity shape political theories, feminist theories, and influence public policy and law. Explores the gendered nature of the ideal liberal capitalist subject. Prerequisite: POL 120.

POL 390 Ancient Political Theory: Surveys pre modern political theories with attention to their major theoretical innovations, historical contexts, and contemporary relevance. Major themes include the nature of political community and its relation to the cultivation of virtue, the origins of the ideas of law and freedom, the relation between knowledge and power and between politics and salvation. Readings include Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Niccolo Machiavelli, and others. Prerequisite: POL 120, one PHI course, or consent.

POL 391 Modern Political Theory: Features such thinkers as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Tocqueville, and Marx. Addresses questions about freedom, equality, revolution, private property, and public justice, origins of state, and purposes of political life. Prerequisite: POL 120, onePHI course, or consent.

POL 392 Development of American Political Culture: Explores relationship between republicanism and liberalism as core of American political thought and culture. Delves into human nature, individualism, civic virtue, public good, private property, equal opportunity, democratic capitalism, public freedom and private liberty, competition and marketplace, success, progress, and social Darwinism. Suitable for nonmajors. Prerequisite: POL 120 or consent.

POL 394 Contemporary Political Theory: Examines 20th-century political theory. Covers the moral and conceptual foundations of liberal democracy and critiques of liberalism from communitarian, feminist, critical theory, and postmodern perspectives. Prerequisite: POL 120 or consent.

POL 395 Topics in Political Theory: Advanced investigation of selected problems or areas in political theory. Topics may include feminist political theory, American political thought, and conservative political thought. Prerequisite: POL 120 or consent.

POL 498-499 Independent Study


POL 202 The Americas: A Political History of Latin America: Outlines from conquest and colonization to contemporary times. Emphasizes aspects of Latin American civilization with enduring effects on political culture and international relations.

POL 301 Revolution in the Modern World: Analyzes meaning, dynamics, and goals of revolution as part of politics of violence. Prerequisite:POL 100.

POL 302 The Politics of Global Poverty: Examines political dynamics in developing areas such as Africa, Asia, and Latin America, paying special attention to policies that address extreme poverty. Prerequisite: POL 100 orPOL 130.

POL 304 Middle East Politics. Explores the politics of the Middle East and various approaches for analyzing its regional and international issues such as U.S.. foreign policy in the region.

POL 306 Muslims in Western Politics. Explores the characteristics of Muslim populations and their role in politics in the U.S.. and three West European countries from a comparative perspective.

POL 307 Islam and Politics. Introduces Islam and covers Islamic theology, spirituality, jurisprudence, culture, and political ideology.

POL 308 Immigration and Multiculturalism in the U.S.. Critically examines immigration and multiculturalism in the U.S.. through extensive community engagement.

POL 309 Global Democratization: Examines theories and case studies of recent democratization across the globe in regions such as Latin America, the former Soviet Union, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Prerequisite: POL 100

POL 312 Problems of Latin America: Alternates focus among different topics/regions depending on interest. Prerequisite: POL 100 or at least two LAC courses.

POL 316 Social and Political Applied Ethics: Focuses on particular social and political problems of actual societies. Studies moral judgments for and against particular issues such as abortion, the death penalty, affirmative action, immigration, the ethics of voting, food politics and genetically modified products, multiculturalism and women’s rights, (redistributive) taxation, the justness of war, world hunger relief, and healthcare as a right. These are all issues that motivate heated debates in current liberal democracies. Students will try to understand the analytical and reasoned arguments often invoked to justify or reject them.

POL 321 The Politics of Latin America: Discusses problems of underdevelopment, cultural traditions and socioeconomic conditions, and challenge of winning/maintaining political power and bringing about change in Latin American political systems. Prerequisite: POL 100 or consent.

POL 333 Case Studies in Sustainable Development: Explores political concept of sustainable development, comparing how different states confront issues such as population growth, poverty, alternative energy, hazardous waste trade, deforestation, GMOs, ecotourism, sprawl, and invasive species. Prerequisite: POL 100 or POL 130.

POL 335 Global Health and Human Rights: Discusses the policy implications of viewing health care as a human right, including the legal, moral, historical, political and economic debates surrounding this topic. Prerequisite: POL 130

POL 336 Post-Communist Systems: Discovers causes and consequences of changes in former Soviet bloc, particularly character and behavior of elites, parties, groups, and masses. Assesses possibility of democratization and likelihood of economic development. Prerequisite: POL 100.

POL 358 European Government and Politics: Details goals, policies, institutions, and efficacy of European democracies. Treats funding of welfare state, prospects for uniting Europe, and future of NATO alliance. Prerequisite: POL 100.

POL 368 Comparative Public Policy: Determines why certain governments cope better with common problems. Touches upon roles of political parties, bureaucracies, interest groups, political institutions, and public opinion. Prerequisite: POL 100 or POL 160.

POL 370 Comparative Modern Ideologies: Considers liberalism, conservatism, Christian democracy, socialist democracy, communism, fascism, and nationalism. Focuses on political programs of groups associated with these ideologies. Prerequisite: POL 100.

POL 384 East Asian Politics: Compares political systems of China, Vietnam, Japan, and the Koreas. Looks into key regional issues and East Asia in post-Cold War global order.

POL 385 Politics in China: An examination of politics in modern China. Includes a focus on 19th and 20th century political and military struggles with the West, civil war and invasion, the development of Maoist politics, and the economic reform and process of political change in the post-Mao era. Contemporary political issues include the potential for democratization, relationship of the party-state and economy, evolution of the Chinese Communist Party, mass media, inequality, protest, and corruption. Prerequisite: POL 100.


POL 203 Political Economy of Water in China: Examines the varied water problems that China faces and the ways that the national government, local governments, the media and citizens groups are addressing these challenges.

POL 223 Power and Diplomacy: The United Nations: Familiarizes students with the operations of the United Nations. Provides an introduction to international relations focusing on selected countries and issues, and teaches how to develop and present oral and written proposals in the U.N. vernacular.

POL 232 World Issues of Our Times: Develops informed opinions on such issues as East-West and North-South relations, population, hunger, development, terrorism, and war. Encourages students to think of solutions to problems. Assigns Foreign Policy Association's annual Great Decisions as core text. Suitable for nonmajors.

POL 310 Sustainable Development: Dominican Republic: Provides students with a better understanding of sustainable development through studying the Dominican Republic. Examines area history of the DR and methodology of sustainable development. Using a number of case studies, from tourism and sugar cane industries, to urban sprawl and forest protection, identifies historical connections to sustainable and unsustainable practices.

POL 313 Economic and Political Development in Eastern Europe: Analyzes economic and political development within Eastern Europe. Explores the Cold War legacy. Includes field study of Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Romania. Complements POL 358 and ECO 305D. Prerequisites: ECO 202, ECO 203, and POL 130 or POL 100.

POL 315 Topics in International Relations: Examines selected topics and theories in international relations.

POL 317 Latin America and the United States in World Politics: Evaluates relationships of nations of Western Hemisphere. Treats U.S.. foreign policy in general, then relations with Latin America. Prerequisite: POL 100, POL 130, or twoLAC courses.

POL 319 US-China Relations: An examination of the political, economic, military and security relations of the United States and China. Beginning with China's global strategic and economic realignment in the 1970s, the details of China's global power position, the nature and impact of economic interdependence on China, China's relations with Asia, Africa and Latin America, the potential for conflict and war, and the global strategic implications the China's rise are topics. Prerequisite: POL 130.

POL 320 U.S..-Middle East Foreign Relations and Culture Since 1900: Examines the history of contact between the United States and the Middle East since 1900, from the combined geopolitical and cultural perspectives of political science and anthropology. Prerequisite: POL 100, or POL 130, or one ANT course.

POL 323 Global Environmental Affairs: Examines global environmental issues from climate change to biodiversity protection with international relations theories that explore the role of civil society, institutions, and markets, in both contributing problems and finding solutions. Prerequisite: POL 130.

POL 325 Sustainable Development in Southeast Asia: Southeast Asia provides a striking example of the central challenge facing much of the developing world, balancing rapid economic development and environmental protection. Much of the region's tropical forests have been cleared to make way for agriculture, plantations, and industrial development. Yet despite these inroads, many nations, such as Vietnam and Malaysia, still support a spectacular diversity of natural habitats and species. This course examines the recent history of economic and environmental change in Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore, focusing on the role of high technology industry, resource extraction, and environmental planning. Students will travel to Singapore to study urban environmental planning, visit semiconductor plants and sustainable development agencies in Malaysia, and explore development issues in Vietnam. Prerequisite: POL 130 or consent.

POL 330 Peace and Conflict Studies: Introduces students to the theories of conflict and peacebuilding, trends in political conflict, and presents case studies of several ongoing conflicts. Prerequisite: POL 130.

POL 331 International Political Economy: Follows development of international monetary system, multinational coordination of economic policy, functions of international economic organizations, role of multinational corporations, energy and international politics, and problems of economic development, exploitation, and dependence in Third World. Prerequisite:POL 130.

POL 332 International Human Rights: Introduces students to the theoretical, political, and legal dimensions of human rights in the modern global system. Students will further engage the concept of human rights through case studies and the study of critical issues in human rights, including gender, culture, refugees, and modern slaves.

POL 334 Political Economy of Japan: Chronicles origins, development, and contemporary arrangements of Japanese political economy from Meiji Restoration to present. Delves into 19th-century commitment to economic modernization and national independence, military expansion, relationship with U.S.., and complex link of Japanese state with economy. Prerequisite: POL 100 orPOL 130.

POL 351 International Security: Analyzes how international security is changing global interactions and how the world can adjust accordingly in the 21st century. Examines both the causes of war and the conditions that promote peace, all within the context of notable contemporary crises, including economic, environmental, and cultural dimensions. Prerequisite: POL 130.

POL 352 International Law: Uses case studies to survey nature, sources, and applications of international law, particularly to resolve conflict. Prerequisite: POL 130 or consent.

POL 353 Foreign Policy of the U.S..: Assesses decision-making power of interest groups, Congress, President, and bureaucracy. Asks if U.S.. foreign policy is reactive. Discusses nuclear security and arms control, trade relations, foreign aid, new world order, and North-South issues. Prerequisite: POL 130.

POL 354 International Organization: Examines the interaction of state associations such as the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), World Trade Organization (WTO), and Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), as well as transnational corporations like DuPont and BP, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Conservation International and Medicines Sans Frontiers, and terrorist networks like Al Qaeda. Analyzes international regimes and treaties, offering a political critique of global governance in the 21st century. Prerequisite: POL 130.

POL 355 Political Psychology: Introduces students to the field of political psychology and engages students in an in-depth study of recent pioneering works in the field. Topics include leadership, decision-making, conflict, and terrorism.

POL 393 Vietnam Experience On-Line: Uses information technology to expand the arc of expertise, interaction, and collaboration among students and faculty so as to understand better the Vietnam War. Prerequisite: POL 130 or consent.

POL 453 Seminar in International Politics: Analyzes contending theories and approaches in international politics with emphasis on realism, liberalism, and institutionalism. Prerequisites: completion of core and distribution requirements in international politics and consent. Senior seminar for International Relations majors only. Counts as seminar for International Relations major; Political Science elective.