Whether or not we choose to pay attention to politics, politics pays attention to us. The type of political system we live under affects the amount of personal freedom we enjoy, our capacity to earn money and own property, our personal and collective security, and the quality of our health and well-being. With this in mind, this course offers an introductory exploration of politics in order to help students better understand how it shapes our lives.
After reviewing various methodological issues and areas of study in political science, this course will examine influential political ideologies and forms of government, with a focus on Western liberal democracies. We will then turn our attention to international politics and consider how it is changing in an increasingly globalized world. We will conclude with an exploration of different factors that influence the political process, such as interest groups, political parties, and the media. Students who have taken POLS 400 Introduction to Politics cannot take this course.