Courses tagged with "Saylor.org" (28)

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4 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science Social Sciences

This is a survey course, and as such it can either be used by students who are looking to take just one general overview course, or for students who want to go on to more advanced study in any of the subfields that comprise the political science discipline, such as American politics, comparative politics, international politics, or political theory.  This course will survey the different ways in which political scientists study the phenomena of politics and will deepen your understanding of political life as both a thinker and a citizen.  The goal of this course is to introduce you to the discipline’s concepts, terminology, and methods and to explore instances of applied political science through real world examples. As an introductory course, POLSC101 will focus on the basic principles of political science by combining historical study of the discipline’s greatest thinkers with analysis of contemporary issues.  We will also identify and discuss the questions that perennially drive the field of polit…

5 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science

Political thought, or political philosophy, is the study of questions concerning power, justice, rights, law, and other issues pertaining to governance. Whereas political science assumes that these concepts are what they are, political thought asks how they have come about and to what effect. Just as Socrates’s simple question “How should we be governed?” led to his execution, the question “What makes a government legitimate?” leads to political turmoil when posed at critical times. Political thought asks what form government should take and why; what duties citizens owe to a legitimate government, if any; and when it may be legitimately overthrown, if ever. Generally speaking, political thought, political philosophy, and political theory are terms often used interchangeably to mean the study of philosophical texts related to politics. This course examines major texts in the history of political thought. Many of these texts pose difficult questions concerning the political community, social order,…

5 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science

The purpose of this course is to provide you with a basic understanding of foreign affairs and introduce you to the fundamental principles of international relations within the political science framework. We will examine the theories of realism and liberalism as they are understood in world politics. These theories will serve as the foundation for more advanced study in the International Relations field of the Political Science major, and will help you develop the critical thinking skills you need in order to analyze conflicts between states. We will also explore issues that relate to the politics of global welfare, such as war, world poverty, disease, trade policy, environmental concerns, human rights, and terrorism. You will learn about the ethics of war, the global distribution of wealth, the concept of the balance of power and its relationship to the causes of war, and what happens in the international system when the balance of power collapses. At the end of this course, you will have a comprehensive…

3 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science

Like it or not, we can’t escape politics.  Politics, a term best defined as the distribution, exercise, and consequences of power, exists at multiple levels in our society and in our daily lives.  We experience politics in action, for example, in international negotiations, government policy choices, our workplace, and even in our own families.  This course focuses its efforts on exploring the formal, public sphere of politics and power relations through a systematic study and comparison of types of government and political systems. Comparatists (practitioners of comparative politics) seek to identify and understand the similarities and differences between these systems by taking broad topicssay, for example, “democracy” or “freedom”and breaking them down into factors that can be found in individual systems.  We call this general approach “the comparative method.”  The goal of the comparative method is to identify the factors and/or categories of analysis to effectively compare and contra…

8 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science

This course will serve as an introduction to American government and politics. We will focus on several major themes in the course’s five constituent units. In the first unit, “American Political Foundations,” we will consider the core concepts and theoretical underpinnings of the American system of government: American political culture, the Constitution, and federalism. A solid grasp of these concepts will help you better understand the underlying reasons for the structure of the American political system. In the second unit, “American Political Behavior,” we will examine the key components of “politics” in the American system, including public opinion, the mass media, political parties, interest groups, campaigns, elections, and electoral participation. In the third unit, “American Institutions,” we will analyze the major governing bodies in the United States: Congress, the presidency and the bureaucracy, and the courts. Unit 4, “Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in America,” will high…

1 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law American Civics American Government Political Science

American Government belongs to the Saylor.org CLEP® PREP Program. In taking this version of POLSC232, you will master the subject of American Government and Politics. This course is also designed to prepare you to take the CLEP® exam in American Government [1]. The CLEP® (College Level Examination Program) exams are designed by the College Board, the organization which administers the AP and SAT exam programs you may have encountered or taken in high school. CLEP® exams test for the mastery of college-level material that you may have acquired through any number of ways college-level course instruction, independent study, work experience, or any other program of study you have pursued. In other words, CLEP® exams are freestanding exams that any individual can pay to take in order to prove that he or she has mastered a given subject area at the college level. Over 2,900 US colleges and universities recognize and award college credit for a satisfactory score on a CLEP® exam. A student who earns a satisf…

4 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science

In the field of public policy and administration, there have been several enduring questions.  In a larger context, what is the role of government?  There has always been conflict in our society regarding the proper role of government.  How should public organizations be structured to reflect the will of the public?  How do we ensure accountability?  What is the proper role of the public administrator/analyst in policy implementation?  How should programs be evaluated? This course will provide you with an overview of the field of public administration, particularly the distinctions that set management of public organizations apart from that of private-sector organizations.  You will begin with an examination of the history and perception of the role of government in the provision of services.  You will then examine the context in which public administrators deliver services to citizens.  Public administrators must also possess a basic knowledge of managing organizations and people in order to imple…

9 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science Social Sciences

Research is an important component of political science; it enables us to uncover evidence, develop theories, and better understand how the political world operates. This course will introduce you to some of the basic research tools in the political scientist’s “toolkit,” and discuss why and how certain tools are used to explore certain phenomena. The course will also teach you to develop and evaluate sensible and systematic scientific research designs by addressing the ways in which data and theory intersect and examining how political scientists quantify, measure, and operationalize the concepts and variables that are key to understanding the political world. You will conclude your studies by learning about the practical implementation of research design. By the end of this course, you will better understand the qualitative and quantitative techniques that are used within the field and will be able to explain why political scientists choose to use them. In this regard, you will have the opportunity to…

4 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science

This course will cover American political thought from the nation’s early, formative years as a fledgling republic through the 1960s, exploring the political theories that have shaped its system of governance.  As there is no one philosopher or idea that represents the totality of American political thought, you will survey the writings and speeches of those who have had the greatest impact over this period of time. You will begin by examining pre-revolutionary thought before moving on to the ideals and debates that brought forth the Constitution and the American governmental structure.  Next, you will study the people and events that shaped the emergent nation, delving into concepts such as individualism, capitalism, and industrialism.  You will also investigate the notions of slavery, equality, social progressivism, as well as the ideals explored in the civil rights movement. You will notice that much of the study required in this course is based on the original texts and speeches of those who infl…

3 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science

The purpose of this course is to provide you with an overview of the major political theorists and their work from the 18th century to the present.  Common themes seen in contemporary political thought include governance, property ownership and redistribution, free enterprise, individual liberty, justice, and responsibility for the common welfare.  You will read the works of theorists advocating capitalism, socialism, communism, egalitarianism, utilitarianism, social contract theory, liberalism, conservatism, neo-liberalism, neo-conservatism, libertarianism, fascism, anarchy, rational choice theory, and multiculturalism.  By studying the evolving constructs of political theory in the past two centuries, you will gain insight into different approaches that leaders use to solve complex problems of governance and maintenance of social order.

4 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science

Comprehending the role that feminism has played in identifying, critiquing, and, at times, altering the distribution of political and economic power is integral to understanding democratic citizenship and government.  In this course, we will examine the history of feminist thought, beginning in the late eighteenth century and continuing through the early twenty-first century.  An overarching goal of this course is to encourage you to develop and shape your own concepts and ideas about feminist political thought as a potent and multifaceted global force.  In working toward this goal, we begin the course by defining feminism and engaging with some of the cultural and political stereotypes of feminism and feminist thinking in contemporary politics and popular culture.  Next, we explore the history of feminist thinking.  We conclude by examining current topics in feminist politics. Throughout the course, we will examine and discuss questions important to feminist politics, such as citizenship, political pa…

6 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science

What is the best way to respond to global nuclear proliferation? Under what circumstances should American soldiers be sent to war? How should U.S. policymakers navigate a global economy? Will a global energy crisis precipitate a third world war? How does history inform contemporary U.S. foreign policymakers, and what issues will challenge future leaders? Such questions can seem beyond the scope of an individual, but they are questions that foreign policy decision makers in the United States must confront. Further, the issues that such questions raise must also be considered by members of the government bureaucracy and any citizen that wishes to be an informed participant in American democracy. The prominent role of the United States and a global leader makes examining and understanding the actions that the U.S. takes toward the rest of the world and how these decisions are made important for both American and citizens of other nations alike. This course will provide history, theory, and perspectives on curren…

4 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science

This course will provide you with a basic understanding of two core concepts in International Relations and, more generally, Political Science: international governance and international government.  Governance refers to the processes of decision-making, while government is the formal institutions associated with those processes. These two dynamics are interdependent; it is necessary to study both to fully understand this subfield of international relations. Thus, this course will serve as the basis for further studies in the International Relations field within the Political Science major; it also serves as a companion course or “alter-ego” for the International Law course. You will begin studying the fundamental issues of international organization by exploring some conceptual frameworks pertaining to governance dynamics.  This will be followed by investigating the three primary ways in which the participants in global affairs, both state and non-state actors, organize themselves: intergovernmental,…

4 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science

The study of United States intelligence and national security operations is an analysis of how the various branches of government work together and, as a check upon each other, how they work to protect and promote American interests at home and abroad. The purpose of this course is to provide you with an overview of national security policy analysis and the United States intelligence community. As you progress through this course, you will learn about strategic thought and strategy formulation, develop the ability to assess national security issues and threats, and cultivate an understanding of the political and military institutions involved in the formulation and execution of national security policy through diplomacy, intelligence operations, and military force. This course will examine problems and issues regarding United States national security policy. A large section of the course will deal with the major actors and institutions involved in making and creating national security policy and the intel…

3 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science

At various points in history, the Middle East has been at the center of world civilization.   In the last century, however, the Middle East has been subjected to the conquest, colonization, and control of outside powers: the Ottoman Empire, the great European powers, and the United States.  This dynamic has had profound implications for the political identity of both Middle Easterners and their conquerors.  It has also meant that much of the recent political history of the Middle East has been a struggle for independence and state-buildinga struggle that continues to this day with profound implications for the region and the world as a whole. This course has two primary purposes: (1) to build a critical understanding of the key issues and conflicts in the politics of the modern Middle East and (2) to apply the following concepts to these issues and conflicts: scholarly methodology, colonialism, independence and state-building, the political mobilization of new social classes, the spread of capitalist ec…

8 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science

This course will introduce you to the international relations of the Asia-Pacific region.  In political science, the “Asia-Pacific” region is generally limited to those parts of Asia east of India, and for the purposes of this course, will include Northeast (China, Japan, Taiwan, and the two Koreas) and Southeast Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines).  Countries in South and Southwest Asia, such as the Gulf States, India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, will not be covered, nor will the Commonwealth countries of Australia and New Zealand.  Globalization, economic ties, national security issues, and politico-military alliances with the U.S. make an understanding of this region important to any political science student or participant in American government. The political systems of Asia have a much longer history (dating back nearly 5,000 years) than do the systems you may be accustomed to studying in the West.  The general philosophical outlooks of the Asian…

1 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science

The study of Europe, and its role in the world today, is a story of both tragedy and triumph.  From the ashes of centuries of continental conflict through two World Wars and finally into integration by invitation, the European continent has taken what some have deemed the first tentative steps away from the jealously guarded system of sovereign independent states.  With each shaky step away from its near five-hundred-year-old origins in the bosom of Kantian ideals and the Westphalia system (see works cited for Perpetual Peace by Immanuel Kant; the Westphalia system will be discussed in Unit 1), the continent finds itself in conflict with the very nature of its original intent.  Over the past half century, we have seen Europe move away from the world of nation-states and embrace the still largely undefined and constantly evolving idea of member-states. Yet, Europe and the many states within her bounds also guard their position within the realm of international society.  With states flinching away from cu…

7 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science

"(Latin) America is ungovernable; all who have served the revolution have plowed the sea!"  Simon Bolivar, liberator of much of South America, spoke these famous words on his deathbed in 1830 while reflecting on what he deemed the failure of democracy to take root in Latin America in the early part of the 19th century.  Looking through the historical struggles in Latin America and the Caribbean over the last century and a half, these words continue to hold some truth.  The story of Latin America is one of inequality, complexity, failures, and unrealized possibilities.  Latin America and the Caribbean have entered into the 21st century with a legacy of persistent poverty, authoritarianism, corruption, and inequality. This course will introduce you to the politics of Latin America and the Caribbean and examine the causes and effects of the region’s development.  In many ways, Latin American/Caribbean politics defies any sort of coherent logic attempting to bring it together, a fact that is much reflect…

1 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science

If you pick up almost any newspaper looking for information about Africa, you will likely encounter stories about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Malawi, riots in Tunisia, famine in Ethiopia, or environmental disaster in the Niger Deltaproblems that journalists often link to dysfunctional government.  Based on such accounts, you might consider Africa to be a pretty bleak place!  However, these events highlight only one side of politics in Sub-Saharan Africa.  While some African countries face great struggles, others offer great hope. This course provides an overview of African politics in historical context, synthesizing material from traditional comparative politics and area studies courses that examine democratization, economic development, and identity politics.  This course also examines Africa’s position in a broader international framework by addressing conflict, political economy, and the processes of state division and integration. Seven units organize this course.  We have organized the beginning…

4 votes
Saylor.org Free Closed [?] Public Affairs & Law Political Science

In this course, you will learn about the complexities of the legislative branch by examning the U.S. Congress in the American political system.  Course content will focus first on the history of Congress and the constant tension between Congress’ competing representation and lawmaking functions.  In this respect, you will focus on topics that include the history and original purpose of the legislative branch, the basic structure of Congress, and the electoral considerations and dynamics that impact how members of Congress act.  The course will then take a careful look at the internal politics and law-making processes of Congress.  Here, you will learn not only the “nuts and bolts” of the legislative process, but also the reasons why rules are designed as they are as well as the external competing interests that impact members and shape legislative outcomes.  By the end of the course, you should be able to explain how a bill becomes a law, how it evolved throughout the legislative process, and what…

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