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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. 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 2017 Capstone Seminars

POLI 405.01 Capstone: Statecraft (Liu)
This capstone seminar examines theories and practices of statecraft in a globalizing world. Statecraft is the art of conducting government and diplomacy. Two central issues standout in contemporary statecraft: political development and great power relations. This capstone seminar focuses on political change in China and the United States, and the dynamic relationship between the two great powers. We will 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. We will examine contending theoretical approaches to great power relations. 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 the dynamics of great power relations in the era of globalization.

POLI 405.02 Capstone: Food Insecurity, Farm Policy, and Community Action (Stewart)
Why is it that everyday US schools battle with both childhood obesity and childhood hunger? How have government policies shaped the growing, distribution and processing of food in this country and how does that affect our health, wealth and local communities? This course will delve into these and other questions surrounding issues of nutrition policy, hunger, corporate farming, food waste and community activism. From the global to the national to the local level, food policy will be examined along with the important social problems stemming from our policies and potential solutions developed to deal with these problems.