Jun 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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POL 101 - Introduction to Political Science

Credits: 3
3 Lecture Hours

This course provides a general introduction to politics and governance by introducing students to the central theories and terminology of political science. One of the primary goals of this course is to deepen the student’s understanding of political life as both a thinker and a citizen. This course focuses on four of the major subfields within the discipline including political philosophy, comparative institutions, international relations and American politics. While studying each subfield, students are asked to consider current political events. Students recognize the importance of academic terms and concepts once they are observed against the backdrop of “real world” political events.
Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the course, the student will:

  1. Describe the major modern political ideologies (liberalism, conservativism, fascism and Marxism, etc.).
  2. Compare and contrast the political theories of major political philosophers from Plato and Aristotle to John Rawls and Robert Nozick.
  3. Identify different common forms of government found in the world today, especially representative democracy (parliamentary, presidential and semi-presidential), authoritarianism and totalitarianism.
  4. Assess the different electoral systems used throughout the world (proportional representation, single-member districts, winner-take-all, majority runoff and the American Electoral College).
  5. Explain the contending theories of international relations (realism, liberalism, constructivism and Marxism).
Listed Topics
  1. Introduction to political science
  2. Politics and government
  3. Introduction to political philosophy: Plato to John Rawls
  4. Introduction to political ideologies: liberalism, conservatism, socialism and fascism
  5. Comparative governments
  6. Comparative electoral systems
  7. Contending theoretical perspectives within international relations
Reference Materials
Text/materials as deemed appropriate by instructor
Students who successfully complete this course acquire general knowledge, skills and abilities that align with CCAC’s definition of an educated person. Specifically, this course fulfills these General Education Goals:
  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
  • Culture Society & Citizenship
Approved By: Dr. Quintin B. Bullock Date Approved: 10/18/2021
Last Reviewed: 1/26/2023

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