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Special Topic Courses

Fall 2018 Special Topic Course Descriptions

POLI 119 – ST: Advanced Mock Trial (Dominick)
The goal of the mock court class is to give undergraduate students an opportunity to learn the work of trial attorneys, understand the judicial system, develop critical thinking skills and enhance communication skills. The intent is to facilitate the growth of the individual student as a person able to work with and support others, as a knowledgeable citizen acquainted with the legal system, and as a community leader. This will occur in conjunction with the annual Mock Trial’s case analysis and Spring semester tournament activities.
POLI 339 – ST: Intelligence Community (Desjeans)
This course examines secret intelligence and its institutions in the context of democratic society, focusing on the United States but with some select attention to other societies. The course will survey intelligence structures, processes, and issues with special reference to the dilemmas of secret information and covert practices in open societies and to the political and bureaucratic context of intelligence and its activities. It will take up the role of intelligence in the national security policy process, the question of intelligence reform in response to intelligence community performance failures, domestic intelligence, and the politics of intelligence in liberal democracies.
POLI 379 – ST: Model United Nations (Kovalov)
Model UN is a simulation of the meeting of main governing bodies of the United Nations, such as the General Assembly, Security Council, and various committees. This course is designed for students interested in learning about the work of international organizations and specifically the United Nations. It will focus on the issues and goals of the UN and will help students understand the foundations of international diplomatic procedures and protocols. Students will also learn about global issues and about specific countries they represent – their history, culture, foreign policy, regional, and international relations.
POLI 399 – ST: Democracy and Discipline (McGinnis)
This class examines the relationship between liberal-democratic politics and punitive practices. The class will raise basic issues connected to punishment, social discipline and democracy, and while it will draw on some legal philosophy, the class considers punishment primarily as a political issue. We will engage influential texts in the history of social thought, exploring core ideas underpinning the relationship between social organization and discipline. Additionally, the class will engage with current political theory scholarship on punishment and politics, including recent work on mass incarceration. Finally, we will discuss alternative models of discipline (including restorative justice) and the place of forgiveness in democratic politics.