CofC Logo

Political Science Capstone Seminars

Application Requirement
Registration for Capstone courses is not open through MyCharleston. You must receive permission to enroll in the course from the department. Enrollment will now take place online and the weblink can be found in the Advising Newsletter. Each term has a different link, so be sure to choose the correct term. Capstones are filled on a first come first served basis.

The Capstone is a senior requirement for the major, designed to be completed within the last 9 hours of POLI coursework. POLI 205 must be completed before taking POLI 405. There are two capstones offered each fall semester, three each spring, and one in Maymester. It is your responsibility to anticipate when you will need the capstone, and complete an application in a timely manner. Enrollment for each capstone is strictly limited to 25 students to ensure a high-quality culminating experience.

Regardless of the topic, all Capstone seminars include: intensive writing, independent research, opportunities to apply theories and concepts to new problems and cases, and the opportunity to go beyond comprehending the views of others to articulate and defend one’s own view.

Fall 2018 Capstone Seminars

POLI 405.1 Capstone: War (Creed)
The primary purpose of this seminar is to use and build on the backgrounds, skills and insights you have gained in political science up to now to explore how and why the United States and other international actors engage in war, how war has affected societies and how war may be changing with the continued evolution of the international system. You will be exposed to elements of America’s conflict in Vietnam and confront multiple perspectives on the nature of contemporary war, while conducting independent research throughout the semester on an aspect of war that interests you.

POLI 405.2/PPLW 400.1: Reproduction & the Law (Curtis)
First preference will be given to PPLW students. When thinking about the law and reproduction we tend to think only of abortion and the many Supreme Court decisions surrounding the question of abortion rights. But reproductive rights go beyond abortion to thinking about the ethical and legal understanding of having children, NOT having children and parenting children.

Spring 2019 Capstone Seminars

POLI 405 Capstone: Politics of Statecraft (Liu)
This capstone seminar examines politics of statecraft in a globalizing world. Statecraft is the art of conducting government and diplomacy. This capstone seminar focuses on political development in China and the United States, and the dynamic relationship between the two countries. We explore contending perspectives of political development and key reform policies. China and the United States cooperate extensively, but there is also rising competition in their complex relationship. Our critical theoretical inquiry will be combined with empirical analysis of U.S.-China relations in the historical, bilateral, regional, and global context. Through such multi-dimensional analysis, we will gain a better understanding of principles, ethics, and practices of statecraft.

POLI 405 Capstone: Recent Elections in Hindsight (Amira)
This capstone will delve into scholarly and non-scholarly works that explain the institutions, public sentiment, political movements, and social movements that shaped recent elections. The mix of perspectives coming from a variety of sources (data driven research articles, books, journalism, etc.) will teach students about complexities of the American experience in the contemporary United States and how these experiences manifest themselves into a mass political behavior. Students will develop their own specific question and select a research method to answer that question in a comprehensive term paper.