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Political Science

Joseph A. Aistrup, Head

University Distinguished Professor Suleiman; Professors Herspring, Holland, L. Richter, W. Richter, and Tummala; Associate Professors Aistrup. Bagby, Fliter, Franke, Kisangani, Michie, Pickering, and Unekis; Assistant Professor Kim and Long; Visiting Professor Carlin; Visiting Assistant Professor Stapley; Emeritus: Professors Hajda and Williams.


Fax: 785-532-2339

E-mail: polsci@ksu.edu


The major in political science acquaints students with political aspects of society and encourages them to develop a critical and imaginative perspective on public issues. The program in political science provides the foundation for a liberal education, including the intellectual skills of critical analysis, writing, and discussion. It also emphasizes the importance of continuing involvement in political activity and public affairs. These educational experiences prepare our students for a variety of careers in fields including public service, business, teaching, research, journalism, public relations, and administration.

A political science major should complete a broad liberal arts program that includes study in related social sciences and provides familiarity with computer applications, statistics, and mathematics as basic tools describing and explaining political phenomena.

Advising and specialized curricula

Advising by faculty members

All members of the faculty advise students. Students may request a particular advisor; otherwise one will be assigned. In addition to their academic background in political science, several faculty have nonacademic career experiences in national and international government, business, and party politics. Students will find this useful as they plan their own careers.

Specialized curricula

The department participates in a number of interdisciplinary curricula and activities and encourages students to take advantage of these. In most instances, the requirements for these programs or secondary majors also fulfill college or political science department requirements, making it possible to finish both the major and a secondary major within the required 124 hours for graduation. More extensive information on these programs and secondary majors is available from the faculty listed here as contact people, from other members of the political science department, or elsewhere in this catalog.

International studies

Students interested in the multidisciplinary study of the relations among countries, or in the study of world regions, may wish to pursue a secondary major in international studies. Advisors: Aruna Michie, 222 Waters Hall, or Kisangani Emizet, 226 Waters Hall.

Women's studies

The women's studies program focuses on the roles of women in society, the major institutions that shape those roles, images of women in a variety of creative media, and the status of women both across time and around the world. For more information contact Jackie Spears, 3 Leasure Hall, or Linda Richter, 243 Waters.

American ethnic studies

This program focuses on the variety of ethnic groups in the United States. Students learn to live and work in a multiethnic society. Contact Juanita McGowan, director, 3C Leasure Hall.


The Galichia Center for Aging coordinates programs and courses on social, cultural, economic, political, and other aspects of aging and the elderly. Interested students may pursue a secondary major in gerontology. For information see Professor James Franke, 241 Waters Hall.

Internships and community service for credit

Students may gain practical experience and academic credit by participating in internships in city, county, state, national, or international governments and organizations or through K-State's Community Service program. Contact Professor Linda Richter, 243 Waters Hall, or the director, Community Service Program, 14A Eisenhower Hall.

Study abroad for credit

Opportunities exist for summer, one semester, or a full year of study abroad in many countries. These are coordinated through the Study Abroad Office on campus. Credits earned may be transferred back to K-State in consultation with appropriate departmental faculty. Many programs are exchanges where tuition costs are the same as studying at K-State. Contact Professor Aruna Michie, 222 Waters Hall, or the Study Abroad Office, 304 Fairchild Hall.

Requirements for the major

A major consists of a minimum of 36 credit hours in political science, distributed as follows:

Introductory courses
POLSC 301Introduction to Political Thought3
POLSC 325United States Politics3
POLSC 333World Politics3
POLSC 344Introduction to Comparative Politics3
Methods course
To be taken after completion of at least 2 of these 3 introductory courses: POLSC 325, 333, and 344:
POLSC 400Political Inquiry and Analysis3
Advanced courses
To be taken after POLSC 400. Intersession courses cannot be used to fulfill these requirements. One course, at the 500 level or above, in each of the following areas:
Political thought3
American government and politics3
International relations3
Comparative government and politics3
Nine hours, including any political science course except for POLSC 350 Current Issues. Only 3 hours of the major are allowed to be readings or problems. Only six hours of the major are allowed to be internship credits.
Information for dual majors and nonmajors

The political science program is often advantageously combined with another major. Those seeking dual majors should coordinate their program in consultation with advisors in each area.

Minor in political science

Basic courses
POLSC 301Introduction to Political Thought3
POLSC 325U.S. Politics3
POLSC 333World Politics3
POLSC 344Introduction to Comparative Politics3
Additional requirements
Three political science electives, of which at least two must be at the 500-level or above. POLSC 350 cannot fulfill this requirement.
Total electives9

Political science courses

POLSC 107. Political Science Colloquium. (2) I, II, S. Offered by TELENET. Topics in political science chosen to illustrate current research of political scientists and approaches to the study of politics. Each time the course is offered, a syllabus will outline the topics to be studied and the way the course will be administered. May be repeated once. Not open to political science majors.

POLSC 110. Introduction to Political Science. (3) I, II, S. Introduction to politics, public policy, and governmental processes. Distribution and use of political power, political thought, public opinion, groups, parties, institutions, public law, careers in politics, and related topics.

POLSC 111. Introduction to Political Science, Honors. (4) Introduction to politics, public policy, and governmental processes. Distribution and use of political power, political thought, public opinion, groups, parties, institutions, public law, careers in politics, and related topics. Pr.: Membership in arts and sciences honors program.

University General Education coursePOLSC 301. Introduction to Political Thought. I, II. An introduction to the major themes and leading writers in political philosophy and a discussion of their application to modern politics. This course emphasizes learning how to read and appreciate classic texts. Pr.: Sophomore standing.

POLSC 321. Kansas Politics and Government. (3) An introduction to the political institutions of, the political behavior in and surrounding, and the public policies flowing from governmental units in the state of Kansas.

University General Education coursePOLSC 325. United States Politics. (3) I, II, S. The national government with emphasis on constitutional principles, basic structure, functions, and the political process.

University General Education coursePOLSC 326. United States Politics, Honors. (4) II. The national government with emphasis on constitutional principles, basic structure, functions, and the political process. Pr.: Membership in an honors program.

University General Education coursePOLSC 333. World Politics. (3) I, II. Introduction to the study of politics among nations-states and other world actors, including a survey of major contemporary problems of world politics and focusing on the pursuit of power, order, wealth, and safe environment.

University General Education coursePOLSC 344. Introduction to Comparative Politics. (3) I, II. Comparative analysis of politics in both “developed” and “developing” countries. Though some attention will be given to abstract and theoretical concepts, the emphasis will be on the actual political process in the countries selected for study.

POLSC 350. Current Political Issues. (2) I, II. Each week a different political science faculty member or guest authority explains and analyzes current developments in state, national, and world affairs, using the news media as text material. Not for major credit. May be repeated once.

POLSC 355. Contemporary Issues. (3) Study and analysis of selected political topics of immediate relevancy and concern. May be repeated once.

POLSC 366. Practical Politics. (3) II. Strategies and techniques of running for office, organizing a campaign, mobilizing community resources, direct action lobbying, and related practical aspects of local level citizen politics.

POLSC 377. Introduction to Public Policy. (3) I. The process of public policy formation and analysis with emphasis on the relationship between decisions taken, values maximized, and the social impact of these decisions in over 10 policy areas. Pr.: POLSC 110 or 325 or another social science course.

University General Education coursePOLSC 399. Honors Seminar in Political Science. (1-3)

POLSC 400. Political Inquiry and Analysis. (3) Underlying principles and techniques used in the conduct of political science research. Pr.: Introductory social science course or consent of instructor.

POLSC 401. Topics in Politics. (1-3) Different subjects in politics are selected for intensive study. May be repeated for a total of 6 hours with advisor's approval.

POLSC 499. Senior Honors Thesis. (2) I, II, S. Open only to seniors in the arts and sciences honors program.

American government and politics

POLSC 507. Introduction to Public Administration. (3) I. The basic concepts of public administration, with emphasis on orientation for citizen understanding; the place of administration and the role of the administrator in the American political process; the organization and activities of government in carrying out public policy; administrative functions, organization, accountability, finance, and personnel. Pr.: POLSC 110 or 325 or ECON 110.

POLSC 508. The Mass Media and Political Campaigns. (3) I. Examines the role of the mass media in the electoral process. Dynamics of voter decision making and the impact of the media on voter attitudes and choices. Pr.: POLSC 325.

POLSC 525. U.S. National Government and Politics. (3) II. Advanced overview of U.S. national government. Especially tailored to meet content are needs of prospective K-12 teachers. Topics to be addressed include: the constitution and the American founding; political and electoral processes; institutional structure and function; and public policy. Nonmajors only. Pr.: POLSC 325.

POLSC 603. Political Parties and Elections. (3) I. Origins, structure, and function of political parties. Dynamics of the two-party system. Roles of third parties. Analysis of election results and voting behavior. Pr.: POLSC 110, 325, or junior standing.

POLSC 604. Interest Groups and Public Opinion. (3) II. Group theory and politics. Structure, internal politics, and techniques of interest groups and their impact on public policy. Formation and measurement of public opinion. Pr.: POLSC 110 or POLSC 325.

POLSC 605. The American Presidency. (3) The presidency as an institution, its evolution, congressional relationships, executive organization. Pr.: POLSC 110, 325, or junior standing.

POLSC 606. Gender and Politics. (3) II. Analysis of the role of gender in political behavior, including sexual differences in voting and political participation, legal and cultural restrictions on women's rights and political activity, and women's liberation and other sex-based political movements. Pr.: SOCIO 545, SOCIO105, POLSC 325.

POLSC 607. Administrative Law. (3) II. Legal analysis of the rule-making, adjudicatory, and enforcement functions of administrative agencies, with emphasis on constitutional framework, judicial review, requirements of procedural fairness, and rights of public employees. Pr.: One course in political science, U.S. history, or legal or political philosophy.

POLSC 611. The Legislative Process. (3) II. Legislative decision-making in modern democracy with emphasis on the United States, the concept of representation, and political behavior of participants in the legislative process. Pr.: POLSC 110, 325, or junior standing.

POLSC 612. The Judicial Process. (3) The structure, process, and politics of the American judicial system. Analysis of important issues concerning law and courts. Pr.: POLSC 325.

POLSC 614. Constitutional Law I. (3) I. Principles of the American Political System as prescribed by the Constitution and interpreted by Supreme Court decisions, with emphasis on the institutions and powers of the national government, federalism, and property rights. Pr.: One course in political science, U.S. history, or legal or political philosophy.

POLSC 615. Constitutional Law II. (3) II. The Constitution as a limitation on governmental power, with emphasis on Supreme Court decisions defining fundamental civil rights and liberties. Pr.: One course in political science, U.S. history, or legal or political philosophy.

POLSC 618. Urban Politics. (3) I. Fundamental problems of political power and decision making in urban-suburban governmental settings. Pr.: POLSC 110 or 325.

POLSC 620. State and Local Government. (3) II. The U.S. system of federalism with emphasis on a comparative analysis of the government and politics of the 50 states and their subdivisions. Pr.: POLSC 110 or 325.

POLSC 650. Not-for-Profit Management. (3) Unique management issues in terms of policy setting, participation, administration, and accountability of nonprofit organizations. Pr.: Senior or graduate standing.

POLSC 708. Public Personnel Administration. (3) I. Personnel aspects of administration at all levels of government, including recruitment, selection, discrimination law, pay, and motivation. Particular attention is paid to those features unique to the public sector, e.g. civil service systems, public unions, and public sector ethics law. Pr: POLSC 507 or 607.

POLSC 710. Policy Analysis and Evaluation. (3) II. Methods of policy analysis and evaluation. Includes a discussion of the relationship between public policy and the distribution of values in society. Students analyze polices in an area of choice; e.g., agriculture, business, health, income, trade. POLSC 325 or 507.

POLSC 735. Public Organization Theory. (3) I. Theories on structure and mission of public organizations. An exploration of the use of anlytical questioning of various theories to solve organizational problems. Pr.: POLSC 325 or 507.

POLSC 737. Public Budgeting. (3) I. Budgeting as part of the political system and as a fiscal process that assists in allocating scarce resources. Overview of the budgetary decision-making process and the various budgetary approaches. Pr.: POLSC 507 or MANGT 420.

Comparative government and politics courses

POLSC 504. Political Sociology. (3) II, in even years. An introduction to the principles of political sociology. Processes of political socialization, participation within and outside established organizational channels, recruitment of elites, communication and influence, power, decision making, and policy outputs. Data are presented from a cross-national perspective. Pr.: SOCIO 211; POLSC 110. Same as SOCIO 504.

University General Education coursePOLSC 505. South Asian Civilizations. (3) I, in even years. An interdisciplinary survey of the development of civilization in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, including geography, philosophy, social, economic, political institutions, and historical movements. Pr.: GEOG 505, HIST 505, ECON 505, SOCIO 505, ANTH 505.

POLSC 511. Contemporary Chinese Politics. (3) Principal components of Communist Chinese ideology, conditions determining organizational structure, composition of present leadership, role of social forces, impact of external relations on other Asian nations and on the major world powers. Pr.: POLSC 344 or junior standing.

POLSC 545. The Politics of Developing Nations. (3) II. Comparative analysis of politics in emergent states with emphasis on processes of modernization and nation building. Pr.: POLSC 110, 344, or junior standing.

POLSC 619. Comparative Agriculture Politics and Policy. (3) I. Comparative examination of agricultural politics and policy with emphasis on decision making processes and the socio-political impacts of agricultural policy. Pr.: POLSC 110, 344, or junior standing.

POLSC 621. West European Politics. (3) I. Comparative analysis of politics in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Italy. Pr.: POLSC 110, 344, or junior standing.

POLSC 622. Latin American Politics. (3) I. Comparative analysis of selected political systems of Latin America emphasizing political inputs, political organization, and political outputs. Special consideration is given to problems of political change. Pr.: POLSC 110, 344, or junior standing.

POLSC 623. South Asian Politics. (3) Analysis of selected political systems of South Asia. Pr.: POLSC 344, POLSC 505, or junior standing.

POLSC 624. Middle Eastern Politics. (3) II. Comparative analysis of selected political systems in the Middle East including nationalism and the conflict of differing ideologies. Pr.: POLSC 110, 344, or junior standing.

POLSC 626. African Politics. (3) Comparative analysis of selected political systems of sub-Sahara Africa, including consideration of problems of nationalism and development. Pr.: POLSC 110, 344, or junior standing.

POLSC 627. Eastern and Central European Politics. (3) II. Examination of contemporary politics and policy in the countries of Eastern and Central Europe. Pr.: POLSC 110, 344, or junior standing.

POLSC 629. Development Policy and Administration. (3) I. Comparative examination of development policy, politics, and administration. Pr.: POLSC 110, 344, 377, or 507.

POLSC 630. Politics of Russia and the Former Soviet Union. (3) II. Primary focus will be on problems involved in the transition from communism to a more democratic policy. Pr.: POLSC 110, 344, or junior standing.

POLSC 631. Comparative Civil-Military Relations. (3) I. A look at civil-military relations in the U.S., Russia, Germany, and Spain. Primary focus will be on understanding the political role of the military in totalitarian, authoritarian, and democratic states. Pr:. POLSC 110, 344, or junior standing.

POLSC 707. Comparative Administrative Systems. (3) I. A comparative analysis of public administration concepts and the morphology of administrative systems. Included are U.S., British, and French models and attempts by Third World countries to adapt administration to their local cultures. Pr.: POLSC 344, or 507.

International relations courses

POLSC 541. International Relations. (3) II. Analysis of the nature of international relations with emphasis on contemporary theories explaining the international behavior of states. Pr.: POLSC 333 or junior standing.

POLSC 543. American Foreign Policy. (. 3) II. Examination of American external relations since 1945 and evaluation of processes involved in the formulation and conduct of contemporary foreign policy of the United States. Pr.: POLSC 325, 333, or junior standing.

POLSC 645. International Politics of Europe. (3) II. Relationships among the countries of Europe since World War II. Particular focus will be on the unified European Union. Pr.: POLSC 333, 541, or junior standing.

POLSC 647. International Law. (3) Theories of international law and general problems, such as recognition, responsibility, war crimes, sources, evidence, codification, and settlement of disputes. Pr.: POLSC 333 or junior standing.

POLSC 649. International Defense Strategies. (3) I. Contemporary international strategies and defense policies with emphasis on nuclear, conventional, and guerrilla war, arms control and disarmament, diplomatic and political roles of the military. Pr.: POLSC 333 or junior standing.

POLSC 651. International Organization. (3) Structure, functions, and effectiveness of international organizations with emphasis on the United Nations and regional arrangements. Pr.: POLSC 333, 541, or junior standing.

POLSC 652. International Politics of South Asia. (3) Consideration of regional problems of South Asia and international roles and foreign policies of South Asian states. Pr.: POLSC 344 or POLSC 623.

POLSC 653. International Politics of the Middle East. (3) I. Consideration of the Arab-Israeli conflict, inter-Arab relations, foreign policies of Middle Eastern states, and the impact of the major foreign powers on the area. Pr.: POLSC 333, 344, or three hours of other social sciences.

POLSC 654. International Politics of Africa. (3) The course analyzes contemporary relations among African countries including economic and political security, border claims, formal and informal economic relations, and regional groupings. The course also examines the relations between African countries and the rest of the world. Pr.: POLSC 333, 344, or junior standing.

POLSC 655. International Politics of Latin America. (3) II. Analysis of international relations of Latin America. Examining theoretical approaches to the study of Latin America's relations, U.S.-Latin American relations, and comparative foreign policies of Latin American states. This course also explores special topics such as regional integration and geopolitics. Pr.: POLSC 333 or 541.

POLSC 742. International Conflict. (3) II. The nature of political conflicts in the world and the “types” of such conflicts. Emphasis is on determining the “causes” of the various conflict types as well as providing the student with a better understanding of the conflict process from poli- tical dispute through the escalation stages to war. Pr.: POLSC 333, 541.

POLSC 754. The Professional Diplomat and Foreign Policy Formulation. (3) I. Present-day foreign policy formulation in the United States government, including especially the role therein of professional diplomats and foreign affairs specialists in the State Department and embassies abroad, as well as within other U.S. governmental agencies. Pr.: POLSC 333, 541, or junior standing.

POLSC 756. International Political Economy. (3) The course introduces students to the political and historical dimensions of the international economy, dimensions that include trade, monetary systems, foreign investment, aid, dependency, and global interdependence. This course also examines various theories and practices of the international system, the state, bureaucracies, interest groups, international organizations, bargaining processes, and distributive norms. Pr.: ECON 110, ECON 120, POLSC 333, POLSC 344, 541, or junior standing.

Political thought courses

POLSC 661. Political Thought: Classical to Sixteenth Century. (3) I. Systematic study of ideas about law, politics, and government of great philosophers of Western civilization from Greek antiquity to the sixteenth century. Pr.: POLSC 110, 301, or junior standing.

POLSC 663. Political Thought: Since the Sixteenth Century. (3) I. Study of the development of Western political thought from the sixteenth century to the twentieth century. Pr.: POLSC 110, 301, or 325.

POLSC 667. American Political Thought. (3) I. Political ideas underlying the American union, including the doctrine of rights, the nature of union, liberty, property, and democracy. Pr.: POLSC 110, 301, 325, or three hours in other social sciences.

POLSC 671. Modern Political Thought. (3) Study of contemporary political ideas and social thought. Pr.: POLSC 110, 301, or junior standing.

POLSC 672. Ideologies: Their Origins and Impact. (3) II. Explores ideologies, including liberalism, conservatism, socialism, communism, and fascism. Their philosophical origins, transformation into systems of thought with mass appeal, and practical consequences are discussed. The conflict between ideology and philosophy is examined. Pr.: POLSC 110, 301, or 3 hours of philosophy.

POLSC 675. Religion and Politics. (3) II. Focuses on religious life in America and its changing relationship to politics and government. Examination of the American founding as it relates to church/state issues, the controversy over meaning of the First Amendment's establishment and free exercise clauses, and contemporary political agendas of mainline and evangelical churches. Pr.: POLSC 110, 301, 325, or 3 hours in other social sciences.

POLSC 711. Administrative Ethics. (3) I. Ethical issues, approaches, and strategies in public service. Pr.: POLSC 325 or 507 or graduate standing, or consent of instructor.

Methods, seminars, readings, and problems courses

POLSC 555. Senior Honors Seminar. (3) Open only to seniors in the College of Arts and Sciences honor program.

POLSC 700. Research Methods in Political Science. (3) I. Principles of research design, measurement of political phenomena, methods for collecting and analyzing political data. Pr.: POLSC 325, 333, or 344.

POLSC 701. Computer and Quantitative Analysis in Political Science. (3) Advanced data management, data analysis, and computing skills involved in conducting political science and public policy research. Pr.: POLSC 400 or 700; STAT 330 or equiv.

POLSC 784. Internship in Government, Public Administration, and Politics. (1-6) I, II, S. Supervised field work at the international, national, state, and local levels of government or with political parties or other politically oriented voluntary organizations. Pr.: Consent of instructor and a minimum of two courses in political science, at least one of which must be relevant to the internship area.

POLSC 785. Readings in Political Science. (3) I, II. Students will undertake directed reading and discussion of a selected topic in political science. Pr.: Consent of instructor.

POLSC 790. Problems in Political Science. (3) I, II. Students will complete a research project and prepare an original paper under the supervision of a faculty member. Pr.: At least 6 hours in social sciences and consent of instructor.

POLSC 791. Topics in Political Science. (3) I, II. Extensive exploration of a specific problem in political thought, American government, comparative politics, international relations, and public administration. May be repeated for a total of 6 hours in two subfields. Since topics will cover different areas in political science, prerequisites will be determined by the department as appropriate when the course is offered.

POLSC 799. Pro-Seminar in Political Science. (3) I, II. Study and analysis in various areas of the discipline with emphasis on critical evaluation of political conflicts and issues. Pr.: Consent of instructor.

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