The Department of Political Science offers majors in both Political Science and Legal Studies. It also offers minors in these areas as well as in Civic Leadership and Public Administration.

Recent Submissions

  • RUNNING ON FUMES: The Destabilization of the World’s Interconnected Systems as a Result of Unsustainable Human Proliferation on a Finite Planet

    Fradin, Eduardo (2014-03-18)
    This thesis examines the global interconnectivity of critical and complex societal systems. Today, if consumption patterns continue to rise to unsustainable levels in concert with a soaring global population, these social and technological systems may begin to buckle, which will threaten the advancement of modern human civilization in the 21st century and beyond. The first globally-stressed system that is addressed in this paper is the global economic system. The second system I discuss is the global energy system and how it directly impacts the global economy. The following chapter looks at unsustainable population growth, freshwater scarcity, and food stresses. In the next chapter, I look into the climate system and I discuss how these changes in climate will impact the other globally interconnected systems in the future. And finally, the last body chapter of this thesis examines the world’s environmental system as it relates to the depletion of vital nonrenewable resources. In my conclusion, I address what will happen if the world’s leading economies maintain their current trajectory and I finish the chapter by arguing what modern society can do in order to shape a new sustainable path forward.
  • What happens to third parties and their demands

    Watkins, Robert F. (2013-03-15)
    Not Available
  • The Dynamics of Democracy Promotion: From Washington to Rabat

    Ramachandran, Priya (2012-10-22)
    For nearly a decade now, Morocco has stood as a pillar of U.S. democracy promotion in the Middle East and North Africa. This has been a result of a number of factors such as Morocco’s historical accessibility to the United States, a young pro-U.S. monarch who is seemingly a reform-enthusiast, and the highly advertised U.S. goal of democratizing Arab nations in the post 9/11 era. However, there have been studies that have focused on particular aspects of U.S. policies toward Morocco and have indicated mixed results. The more critical works suggest that democracy is not a desired goal of U.S. policy toward this North African country. Others suggest that the methods chosen are ineffective even though the goal might be an earnest one. The least critical observers suggest democratic gradualism as being the essence of U.S. policy on Morocco. In this study, I have delved into the question of U.S. democracy promotion in Morocco through a comprehensive analysis of the various dimensions of the superpower’s policy. Using a theoretical framework derived from the liberalization-versus-democratization model of Daniel Brumberg and the rhetoric-versus-reality model of Glenn E. Perry, I conclude that while some degree of democratization is facilitated, the existing structure of the political system in Morocco is ultimately reinforced.
  • Persistent Revolutions in Colombia and Peru: A Comparative Analysis

    Huson, Brandon (2011-06-17)
    This thesis performs a comparative analysis of rural-based revolutionary movements in Latin America. The movements that are compared are the FARC, originating in Colombia, and the Shining Path, which emerged from the highlands of Peru. The comparison is meant to serve as a test for what variables are predictive of revolutionary success. Since these movements differ in their success in establishing permanent political, social and military movements in their countries over time, their dichotomous outcome can be used to point toward variables that warrant further consideration. Comparison of revolutionary movement makes sense in this case due to the similarities between the FARC and Shining Path, including geography, income distribution, historical political development and international context. However, the politics of these two countries contribute greatly to how these states adapt to their international environment and historical political development, providing a compelling point for analysis and explanation for the different scale of revolutionary success achieved.
  • Examining State Development in West Africa, through Senegal and Nigeria

    Housley, Kasandra L. (2011-03-16)
    This paper studies the relationship between the state and armed conflict in West Africa with an emphasis placed on the value, influence, and role of social institutions on the long-term stability of the West African state. The countries of the Republic of Senegal and Nigeria represent the primary focus of the paper. Comparisons are made of the history of each country/state and experience with socio-political conflict in an effort to explain the penultimate place of social as opposed to legalistic or political influences responsible for the long term survival of the independent state in West Africa. The central question explored in this study is: is the survival of the state in West Africa due to the strength of socio-institutional influence as related to culture or ethnicity, or does primacy of power rest with legalistic influences that are the by-products of the legal establishment such as a state Constitution, the political party system, or established electoral procedures? Chapter 1 explores this issue in-depth with an examination of literature from a variety of major sources as they relate to the central question posed in this study (see above). Chapters 2 and 3 delve further in the specifics with detailed cases of Senegal and Nigeria. Chapter 4 attempts to compare and contrast the complexities and similarities found in the Senegal and Nigeria cases. Chapter 5 summarizes the findings of the study. This study demonstrates the importance of social institutions in West African state formation and reaches the conclusion that in the case of the nations of West Africa at least, successful state formation ultimately rests on strong social institutions that function to fortify political cohesion while facilitating long-term stability and cohesion.