Majors, minors + certificates

Minor in International RelationsStudents on Summer 2018, Fall 2018, or Spring 2019 requirements (INTLRELMIN)Department of Political Science

In today's world, old alliances are at risk while ones between former foes are taking shape. These changes require an understanding of how nations, people, and other players in the world system interact. The Minor in International Relations focuses on international governmental relations and international efforts to regulate conflict and promote cooperation. The minor includes study of the sources of international political authority, the interaction of markets and politics, the sources of conflict and violence, and international human rights norms.

Minor requirements

The minor requires at least 18 credit hours, including the requirements listed below.

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  1. Quantitative Political Analysis. One (1) course from the Quantitative Political Analysis list.
    • POLS-Y 395 Quantitative Political Analysis Introduction to methods and statistics used in political inquiry, including measures of central tendency and dispersion, probability, sampling, statistical inference and hypothesis testing, measures of association, analysis of variance, and regression. Credit given for only one of ANTH-A 306, CJUS-K 300, ECON-E 370 or ECON-S 370, MATH-K 300 or MATH-K 310, POLS-Y 395, PSY-K 300 or PSY-K 310, SOC-S 371, SPEA-K 300, or STAT-K 310, STAT-S 300, or STAT-S 301. (3 credit hours.)
  2. Electives. Three (3) courses from the International and Comparative Politics area, one (1) course from the Methods and Policy area, and one (1) additional course from either area.
    • International and Comparative Politics
      • POLS-Y 107 Introduction to Comparative Politics Examines countries around the world to investigate fundamental questions about politics. Topics include democratic development, promotion of economic prosperity, maintenance of security, and management of ethnic and religious conflict. Critical thinking skills encouraged. Cases for comparison include advanced industrialized democracies, communist and former communist countries, and developing countries. Credit given for only one of POLS-Y 107 and POLS-Y 217. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 109 Introduction to International Relations Causes of war, nature and attributes of the state, imperialism, international law, national sovereignty, arbitration, adjudication, international organization, major international issues. Credit given for only one of POLS-Y 109 or POLS-Y 219. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 332 Russian Politics Political process and government structure in the Russian state. Political institutions inherited from tsarist empire and the Soviet state (1917–1991), history of subsequent political reform. Political problems of ethnic conflict, creating democratic institutions, and of transition from socialism to market economy. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 333 Chinese Politics Explores contemporary politics and policy issues in the People’s Republic of China. Influence of revolutionary practice and ideology; analysis of contemporary economic, political and social organizations; examination of policy issues including social reforms, economic growth, and democratization and globalization. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 334 Japanese Politics Political development of Japan, with emphasis on changing attitudes toward modernization; cultural and sociological factors affecting the functioning of contemporary political institutions; and the implication of Japanese experience in modernization of other developing societies. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 335 Western European Politics Development, structure, and functioning of political systems, primarily in France, Italy, and Germany. Political dynamics of European integration. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 336 South East Asian Political Systems Covers the governmental organization, and the political behavior and traditions, of countries in the South East Asian region. Addresses regional issues of political and economic development, and international issues regarding the relationship of the region to the rest of the world. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 337 Latin American Politics Comparative analysis of political change in major Latin American countries, emphasizing alternative explanations of national and international developments; examination of impact of political parties, the military, labor and peasant movements, Catholic Church, multinational corporations, regional organizations, and United States on politics; public policy processes in democratic and authoritarian regimes. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 338 African Politics Explores politics in Sub-Saharan Africa. Examines relevance of "traditional" political systems; impact on colonialism; building new nations and states; authoritarian regimes; process of democratization; management of ethnic, regional, religious and class conflict; political challenges of economic development; role of international actors, including the United States, United Nations, World Bank, and non-governmental organizations; and globalization. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 339 Middle Eastern Politics Political culture and change in selected Middle Eastern and North African countries. Topics include political elites, traditional cultures, modern political ideology, institutions of political control, conflict management, and social reform policies. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 340 East European Politics Compares political change in the East European states, and emphasizes the legacies of authoritarianism and communism and the post-communist transition to democracy. Topics include the building of political institutions, the inclusion of citizens into the polity, the reform of the economy, the management of ethnic and social conflicts, and integration into the European Union. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 342 Human Rights and State Repression A survey of human rights: their content and recognition, protection in national and international laws, and their violation by state and nonstate actors. The effectiveness of political and judicial institutions in curbing these violations is also considered, as is the global diffusion of norms in support of essential human rights. May be repeated once for a total of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 343 The Politics of International Development Examines the key debates and issues regarding how "poor" countries develop economically and socially. Analyzes the interactions between politics and economics in the development process at the global, national, and local levels. Cases for comparison will include countries from Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 345 Comparative Revolutions Analysis of major modern revolutions. Focus on the social, economic, and political causes of revolutions; the rise of revolutionary movements; and the strategies for gaining and consolidating power. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 346 Politics in the Developing World Focuses on politics in the developing world (Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East). Comparison of political history; experiences of colonialism and post-colonial authoritarian systems; political economy; development and globalization; democratization and management of protest and conflict; and interactions with international actors and transnational social movements. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 347 German Politics Survey of the German political system including governmental institutions, the origins and role of political parties, opportunities for citizens to participate in politics, and current political culture. Special attention is paid to the question of how well Germany's democracy functions after experiencing several regime changes. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 348 The Politics of Genocide Comparative study of major twentieth-century genocides. Examines the political conditions, ideologies, and movements leading up to mass murder, and the ethnic and global context of genocide. Focuses on the question of responsibility and accountability from the viewpoints of perpetrators, victims, and bystanders in the national and international communities. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 350 Politics of the European Union Study of the politics of the European Union (EU). Assesses past and present dynamics of economic and political integration in Europe, the structure and work of European Union institutions, and EU public policies such as the Single Market, the common currency, common foreign and security policy, and trade. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 351 Political Simulations May be taken alone or in conjunction with related political science courses A course tied to simulations of international organizations such as the European Union, the United Nations, or the Organization of American States. May be repeated for a maximum of 3 credit hours. (1–3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 352 The Holocaust and Politics Examination of the socioeconomic conditions and political ideologies leading up to the Holocaust, and the political, administrative, and social context for the genocide from the vantage of perpetrators, victims, and bystanders. Focus on the individual, national, and international responses to and responsibilities for the Holocaust. Consideration of the Holocaust's legacies for the postwar world. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 353 The Politics of Gender and Sexuality Exploration of how different social, economic, and political practices have influenced the construction of gender and sexuality outside of the United States. Examines the interplay between gender relations and characteristics of public and private institutions. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 356 South Asian Politics Introduction to the legacy of British colonialism in South Asia, to the development and decay of political institutions, to questions of economic growth, to social movements, and to regional conflicts. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 360 United States Foreign Policy Analysis of institutions and processes involved in the formation and implementation of American foreign policy. Emphasis is on post-World War II policies. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 361 Contemporary Theories of International Politics Theories used in the study of international politics: systems theory, field theory, conflict theory, alliance and coalition theories, balance-of-power theories, and an introduction to game and bargaining theory. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 362 International Politics of Selected Regions The region studied will vary with the instructor and the year. Current information may be obtained from the Department of Political Science. May be repeated once for credit, with permission of the departmental undergraduate advisor. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 363 Comparative Foreign Policy Compares factors that influence foreign policy and the foreign policy process. Focuses on domestic or internal sources of foreign policy behavior, including impact of individual leaders, group decision-making processes, bureaucratic politics, ideology and political culture, historical experience, and type of political system. Classroom simulations are central to the course. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 364 International Organization: Political and Security Aspects International organizations as lateral extensions of the Western state system, exercising influence in accordance with a variety of strategies. Strategies employed by the United Nations in the political and security area. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 366 Current Foreign Policy Problems Critique of foreign policy issues: communism, containment, imperialism, and others. Research papers and classroom presentation for critical discussion. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 367 International Law Sources and consequences of international law; relationship to international organizations and world order; issues of national sovereignty, human rights, conflict resolution, international property rights, world trade, environmental change, and other topics. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 368 Russian and Soviet Foreign Policy R: POLS-Y 332 Behavior of Russia and U.S.S.R. in world affairs from 1945 to the present. Emphasis on impact of geographic assets and vulnerabilities, historical experience, domestic politics, and the changing international environment. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 372 The Analysis of International Politics R: POLS-Y 109 or equivalent Introduction to the systematic study of international politics, focusing on the major approaches of decision making (microanalysis) and the international system (macroanalysis) and on a number of specific methodologies, such as game theory, content analysis, simulation, and quantitative/ statistical techniques. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 374 International Organization Examines assumptions about the causes, functions, results, and structures of international (intergovernmental) organizations. Theory is combined with case study of the United Nations particularly. The European Community and regional organization examples provide a basis for understanding an evolving phenomenon. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 375 War and International Conflict The nature of war. Theories and evidence on the causes of war. Discussion of the ways in which war has been conceived and perceived across time and of methods employed to study the phenomenon of war. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 376 International Political Economy Theories about the interaction between the international economic and political systems are the subject of this course. Works from each of the main traditions—liberal, Marxist, and statist—will be assigned. Specific topics covered will include (among others): the politics of trade, aid, foreign investment, and international monetary affairs; theories of dependency and imperialism; the politics of international competition in specific industries; the stability/ instability of international economic regimes. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 399 Politics of the United Nations Origins and evolution of the UN; principal UN bodies, how they operate and what they do; who finances the UN; controversies and voting patterns in the UN; attitudes toward the UN and debates within member countries regarding its role; impact of UN activities and programs (e.g., conflict resolution and mediation, peacekeeping and peace enforcement; nation building, development aid, weapons proliferation, human rights, health, environment). Credit given for only one of NELC-N 398 or POLS-Y 399. (3 credit hours.)
    • Methods and Policy
      • POLS-Y 204 Institutional Analysis and Governance Introduces the design and development of political, economic, and social institutions that support democratic governance or its alternatives. Uses theory to understand connections among individual choice, collective action, institutions, and constitutional order. Institutional analysis as a mode of reasoning about contemporary policy problems, law, and public affairs. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 205 Analyzing Politics Introduces the approaches and techniques used to study politics. Includes an introduction to social science language, concepts, and critical research skills. Overview of political science research approaches, including case study, surveys, and model-building. Emphasizes skills such as interpreting the presentation of data in charts, graphs, and tables, and elementary analysis of qualitative and quantitative data. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 349 Policy Making Around the Globe Compares public policies and policy making among both advanced industrial democracies and the developing world. Surveys policy areas such as immigration, health care, education, and workers' rights. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 372 The Analysis of International Politics R: POLS-Y 109 or equivalent Introduction to the systematic study of international politics, focusing on the major approaches of decision making (microanalysis) and the international system (macroanalysis) and on a number of specific methodologies, such as game theory, content analysis, simulation, and quantitative/ statistical techniques. (3 credit hours.)
      • POLS-Y 405 Models and Theories of Political Decision Making P: One course in political science at the 200 level or above. R: ECON-E 201 Introduces collective choice and game theory for understanding how societies make political decisions. Examines how institutions, or the political context in which decisions are made, affect group choices. Theories of individual and group decision making, collective choice, and social dilemmas. Applications to congressional politics, intergovernmental relations, and parliamentary democracies. (3 credit hours.)


  • * Students who complete the Major in Political Science may also complete the Minor in International Relations. Students who are not earning a Major in Political Science may complete up to two minors offered by the Department of Political Science as long as distinct courses are used for each.