George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
Course Descriptions

Search the 1997-1998 Catalog:


Government and Politics Courses (GOVT)


Public and International Affairs

103 Introduction to American Government (3:3:0). Analysis of American government examined in light of basic concepts and institutions of democracy. Students carry out a "citizenship project," a first-hand observation or participation in and analysis of some public activity.

132 Introduction to International Politics (3:3:0). Nature of international politics; approaches to study of international politics; states and nonstate actors in international system; patterns of action and interaction between nation-states; international institutions; major global issues.

133 Introduction to Comparative Politics (3:3:0). Introduction to the methods and subject matter of comparative political analysis: the major issues of political systems, politics, participation in politics, government structures, policy-making process, and evaluation of political performance.

149 Global Awareness (3:3:0). Introduction to the study of global systems, with emphasis on basic concepts and ways of thinking about global affairs.

204 American State and Local Government (3:3:0). Nature, organization, functions, and problems of American state and local governments.

241 Introduction to Public Administration (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 103 or permission of instructor. Administrative structure and processes, organization theory, administrative behavior, personnel, decision making, communications, leadership, management, budgetary processes, and administrative responsibility.

244 America in the Global System (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132. Policies and role of the United States in the world community. Emphasis is on analysis of internal and external factors that shaped conduct of the United States in the global system from independence to present. The structure of foreign policy making and selected major issues in American foreign policy are studied.

250 Introduction to Political Analysis (3:3:0). Systematic analysis of political data; application of scientific method to political subjects; research design, methodology; use of computer to assist analysis of politics. The course is open to freshman and sophomore majors in government, public administration, and international studies, and is required for government and public administration majors.

301 Public Law and the Judicial Process (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 103. American judicial organization and operation, role of the Supreme Court in policy formation, and selected constitutional principles.

305 Contemporary American Federalism (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 103. Legal, administrative, fiscal, and political dimensions of evolving American federalism.

307 Legislative Behavior (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 103. Organization, processes, functions, and roles of the legislature and its members¬the U.S. Congress. Topics include state legislatures and cross-national comparisons as time and resources permit.

308 The American Presidency (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 103. A survey of the modern presidency, including constitutional origins of the office, growth and influence of the White House staff, the president's Cabinet, presidential appointees and control of the executive branch, relations with Congress, domestic and national security policy making.

309 Government and Politics of Metropolitan Areas (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 103. Government, politics, and problems of metropolitan centers and surrounding areas.

311 Political Public Opinion (3:3:0). Prerequisites: GOVT 103 and 250. Nature, sources, structure, formation, expression, transmission, change, and measurement of politically relevant public opinion in a democratic system of government.

312 Political Parties and Elections (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 103. Characteristics and functions of political parties, influence of parties and other political forces on electoral decisions, emphasis on parties' inability or ability to hold government accountable to citizens.

318 Interest Groups, Lobbying, and the Political Process (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 103. The role, internal operations, strategies, and activities of interest groups. Their ability to enable citizens to influence or control government and to enhance the democratic process is evaluated. Conditions under which social movements become, or fail to become, effective interest groups are considered.

319 Issues in Government and Politics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 103. Study of special issues relevant to government and politics. Topics are announced in advance. This course may be repeated for credit when the topic is different and with permission of department. Examples include politics and the arts, ethnic conflict and the political system, gender politics, and changing dynamics in political institutions.

320 Political Values (3:3:0). Nature of man, origin and nature of the state, basis of political obligation, problems of consent, concepts of power, and sources of political authority as presented in the works of major writers.

329 Issues in Political Theories and Values (3:3:0). Study of special issues relevant to theoretical and value aspects of government and politics. Topics are announced in advance. This course may be repeated for credit when the topic is different and with the permission of department. Examples include ethics and politics, ethics and environmental policy, changing perspectives on civil rights and liberties, religion and politics, and changing views of public space.

331 Government and Politics of Latin America (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132, 133, or 149. Contemporary political systems of Latin America, with emphasis on institutions, political processes, political behavior. Case studies of several key Latin American polities are presented. Problems of political development in Latin America are discussed.

332 Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132, 133, or 149. Societies of the Middle East and North Africa and their response to the impact of internal sociocultural-political determinants and external forces. Focus is on their contemporary politics¬ideologies, popular manifestations, institutions, and operations.

333 Government and Politics of Asia (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132, 133, or 149. Government structures and political processes of Asian countries. Patterns of conflict and cooperation, and issues of economic development and political reform in a rapidly changing world, are examined.

334 Government and Politics of Europe (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132, 133, or 149. Contemporary democratic political systems of Europe, with emphasis on political processes, institutions, and behavior. Case studies of key European policies are presented. Problems of multiparty systems, coalition governments, Eurocommunism, and stability and change in postindustrial societies are discussed.

335 Government and Politics of Canada (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132, 133, or 149. Survey of governmental and political systems of Canada, including political parties, the parliamentary system, the federal system, and specific policy issues of importance to Canadian politics.

336 Political Development and Change (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132, 133, or 149. Process of political development and change in the context of modernization and industrialization. Patterns of political development, with emphasis on the developing world, are examined.

337 Ethnic Politics in Western Europe and North America (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132, 133, or 149. Study of the resurgence of ethnic nationalism in the industrial democracies of Western Europe and North America; the interplay of industrialization and ethnic awareness; and the comparative analysis of policy issues related to ethnonationalism. Case studies are drawn from the industrial democracies.

338 Government and Politics of the Former Soviet Union (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132, 133, or 149. Survey of Soviet politics since 1917. Focus is on the impact of Stalin, the evolution of the nationalities issue, and changes since Gorbachev.

339 Issues in the Politics of Advanced Industrial Societies (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 103 or 133, or permission of instructor. Study of selected current political issues in the industrial democracies of Western Europe and North America. Specific topics are chosen each semester to reflect contemporary political concerns in these countries, but the political process in advanced industrial countries is the organizing principle throughout the course.

340 International Relations Theory (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132 or 133. Advanced inquiry into international relations. Theories and concepts of international relations as well as major forces and issues in international politics are studied.

341 Methods of International Relations Research (3:3:0). Prerequisites: GOVT 132 and 340. Systematic research in international relations: identification of problems, research design, research techniques, and research report. Examples of applied research are presented.

342 Diplomacy (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132, 133, or 149. Origins of organized diplomacy: tasks, procedures, instruments, and problems of diplomacy. Emphasis is on the current and future role of diplomacy.

343 International Political Economy (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132, 133, 149, or permission of instructor. Introduction to International Political Economy (IPE). The course examines the interplay of economics and politics and applies these to different issue areas included in IPE. Focus is on issues that have contemporary significance, with attention to historical issues and basic political and economic concepts.

344 American Foreign Policy (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132, 133, or 149. The central issues surrounding the conduct of America's foreign relations, with special emphasis on structural and constitutional questions, national policy objectives abroad, and the conduct of foreign policy in a democracy.

348 Competencies for the Global Arena (1-3:0:0). Prerequisites: GOVT 149 and 60 hours, or permission of instructor. A proficiency-based course that engages students in acquiring skills and competencies that are important for a professional operating in a global society. The course consists of a series of self-paced exercises conducted under the supervision of departmental faculty. For further information, contact the Department of Public and International Affairs, or the director of the minor in Global Systems.

349 Issues in the Analysis of Global Systems (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 149 or permission of instructor. An overview of global systems (e.g., technology, environment, communications) with emphasis on the political subsystem and its interactions with other global systems.

355 Public Personnel Administration (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 241. Techniques and tools used in the management of personnel in government organizations, including the merit system, recruiting, placement, career systems, public pay systems, employee motivation, public employee labor relations, employee appraisals, manpower planning, employee separations, and retirement systems.

356 Public Budgeting and Finance (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 241. Tools and techniques used in budgeting and financial management in governments in the United States, including the management of public financial institutions, the budgetary process, budgetary reform, and the relationship of public budgeting to national economic policy.

357 Introduction to Public Planning (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 241. Framework, subject matter, uses, methods, administration, and future of public planning. Emphasis is on setting goals, defining objectives, and choosing between program alternatives. Political and bureaucratic constraints and problems of implementation are discussed. Illustrations of planning may be drawn from various levels of government.

359 Computers in Public Management (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 250. Application of computers and computer-based analytical techniques to management information needs in the public sector. Focus is on both mainframe and microcomputer applications.

364 Public Policy Making (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 103. Processes, agencies, and politics involved in the proposal, making, implementation, evaluation, and revision of public policy in the United States.

365 Public Policy in Metropolitan Areas (3:3:0). Metropolitan political problems and specific policies to deal with them. Substance and impact of such policies as housing, transportation, land use, crime prevention, service delivery, and health care are examined.

366 Public Policy Analysis (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 250. Methods of public policy analysis, evaluation, and research. Design and development of alternative courses of government action and evaluation of results, and problems in applying systematic analysis to political issues are studied.

376 Collective Bargaining in the Public Sector (3:3:0). Collective bargaining and the broad concept of labor relations as involved in selection and hiring, seniority, promotions, and training. The course examines labor relations and the bargaining process extending from initial hiring to retirement.

399 Research Practicum in Public and International Affairs (1-3:1-3:0). Prerequisites: GOVT 250 or 341, and permission of instructor. Application of research methods in the context of assisting with faculty research. Individualized sections are taught by arrangement with full-time faculty. Methods adopted vary, but generally include library research, data collection, data analysis, and report construction.

410 The Individual Citizen in a Democracy (3:3:0). Aspects of various forces on attitudes and behavior of citizens in a democracy: personality, family and others, political communications, political culture, current political events. How attitudes and behavior of citizens facilitate or hinder operation of democratic system are explored.

411 Campaigns and Elections (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 103. Theories of electoral behavior, the role of political parties in candidate recruitment and selection, campaign practices and techniques, campaign organization, financing, polls, and media techniques. Implications of various campaign practices are examined, with an emphasis on the American political system.

412/COMM 412 Politics and the Mass Media (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 103. Responsibilities and freedoms of the mass media in a democracy. The influence of media on citizens' opinions, on elections, and on decisions of public officials is explored.

416 Political Persuasion and Propaganda (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 103. Techniques and processes of political argument and persuasion as used in campaigns, public education, and political debate. Topics include propaganda in both domestic and international arenas, and political persuasion, myths, and symbols used to induce conformity and form unified polity. Films and tapes supplement examples of classic political speeches.

420 American Political Thought (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 103. Major political values and theories in America from the formation of the American republic to the present. The course covers changes in American political values in crisis periods and contemporary American political theory, including pluralism, elite theories of democracy, and empirical political theory.

421 Contemporary Political Ideologies (3:3:0). Study of political ideologies that shape the values, beliefs, and actions of contemporary regimes and political movements. Topics include liberalism, conservatism, socialism, communism, and fascism in theory and in contemporary practice, and problems of totalitarianism and nationalism in postindustrial and developing societies.

422 Constitutional Interpretation (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 103. An examination of the Supreme Court's interpretation of the constitutional powers of the Congress, the presidency, and the judiciary. The course also includes an examination of major decisions concerning state regulation, taxation, and interstate relations.

423 Civil Rights and Liberties (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 103. Contemporary issues in the application of basic American constitutional principles. The course includes the U.S. courts' interpretation and clarification of constitutional rights and liberties in such areas as First Amendment freedoms, equal protection of the laws, state and national interrelations within the federal system, and social and economic protection and regulation.

430 Comparative Political Leadership (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132, 133, or 149. Comparative political leadership, relationships between political cultures and types of leadership, patterns of leadership recruitment, and linkages between political elites and citizenry.

431/COMM 431 Information Technology and the Political Process (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132, 133, or 149, or junior standing as a major in Communication or permission of instructor. Study of the impact of the information network of wire and wireless communications and computers on the political process in advanced industrial countries.

432 Political Change and Social Development in Sub-Saharan Africa (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132, 133, or 149. Examination of the relationship between culture, history, ethnicity, and religion and contemporary political and socioeconomic developments in Africa. Special attention is given to the implications of ethnic conflict for nation-building in the post-Cold War period and to strategies for resolving conflicts.

433 Political Economy of East Asia (3:3:0). Prerequisites: GOVT 133 and 60 hours, or permission of instructor. The political economy of east Asia is commonly referred to as a "miracle." The course analyzes and critiques this description by focusing on the historical background, social structure, role of the state, way of politics, and ever-changing realities in the political and economic life of China and Japan.

444 Issues in International Studies (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132, 133, or 149. Major issues in the international system, including international political economy and security. This course may be repeated for credit when the topic is different and with permission of department.

445 Russian Foreign Policy (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132, 133, or 149. This course provides an overview of Soviet foreign policy before the breakup of the USSR, and then examines in detail post-Soviet Russian foreign policy toward the USSR and the world beyond.

446 International Law and Organization (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 132, 133, or 149. Nature, sources, and subject of the law of nations; the law and the individual; territorial questions; nature, sources, and functions of international organizations; international transactions and organizations; war and the present and future status of international law.

449 Senior Seminar in International Studies (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Open only to senior International Studies majors. An integrative seminar that provides in-depth study of a current international issue. The format varies, but involves the student in the current literature, research techniques, and major issues of the field.

451 Administrative Management and Behavior (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 241. American governmental administration: organizational theory and behavior, administrative responsibility, management systems, roles of the bureaucracy, and relationships between individuals and organizations.

452 Administrative Law and Procedures (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 241. Law of public office; procedures followed by, and the legal limits on, the administrative agencies and their officers and employees.

459 Information Decisions and Management in Government (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GOVT 250. Information, records, and knowledge systems in government; information applications, decision-modeling under risk and uncertainty; high-technology development, management and utilization; and sociotechnical systems.

464 Issues in Public Policy and Administration (3:3:0). Prerequisites: GOVT 103 plus 60 hours. Analysis of selected policy issues in administering public policies. Topics are announced in advance. This course may be repeated for credit when the topic is different and with permission of department. Examples include environmental policy, government regulation, federal mandates, state policy, and regional policy.

471/SOCI 471 Prevention and Deterrence of Crime (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours in-service status or permission of instructor. Theoretical and practical strategies for crime prevention and deterrence. The course examines social, environmental, and mechanical developments, and the police, courts, and correctional elements of law enforcement in terms of current effectiveness and future potential for crime prevention.

480 Internship (3-6:0:0). Contact the department one semester before enrollment. Approved work-study programs with specific employers. Students develop individual contracts defining the learning and competencies they plan to gain from the experience.

490 Seminar (1-3:3:0). Prerequisite: Open to Public and International Affairs majors with 60 hours. May be repeated for credit. Course can be one, two, or three credits. Subject varies. Readings, individual or group projects, and discussions of seminar papers constitute the content and format.

496 Directed Readings and Research (1-3:0:0). Prerequisites: Open to majors in Public Affairs with 90 hours and permission of instructor and department. Reading and research on a specific topic, under the direction of a faculty member. A written report is required; an oral examination over the research and report may be required.


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