Course descriptions index


Political Science


PS F100X Political Economy (s)

3 Credits

Evolution and operation of the American domestic political economy with consideration of market failures and government responses. Review of major issues in political economy such as inflation, poverty and budget deficits. Exploration of linkages between American and global systems. Also available via Independent Learning. Prerequisites: Placement in ENGL F111X or higher or permission of instructor. (Cross-listed with ECON F100X.) (3+0)


PS F101 Introduction to American Government and Politics (s)

3 Credits

Principles, institutions and practices of American national government; the Constitution, federalism, interest groups, parties, public opinion and elections. Also available via Independent Learning. (3+0)


PS F201 Comparative Politics (s)

3 Credits     Offered Fall

Introduction to the systematic study of government and politics in countries other than the U.S. Students will explore such questions as why some countries are democracies and other countries dictatorships; why some remain stable and peaceful, while others seem in constant turmoil. This is a prerequisite for other courses in comparative politics. (3+0)


PS F202 Democracy and Global Society (s)

3 Credits     Offered Spring Even-numbered Years

Examination of the various definitions and types of democracy and the global contexts within which they develop. Cases used draw from a wide range of states, societies and world-historical contexts, and allow comparisons among developed and developing countries. (3+0)


PS F203 Peace, War and Security (s)

3 Credits     Offered Fall Even-numbered Years

Introduction to the major challenges of maintaining a peaceful and secure world. What are the major threats to our security and how are they met? The course analyzes political, cultural, moral and legal norms surrounding war and terrorism and different means of organizing for peace and security. (3+0)


PS F205 Leadership, Citizenship and Choice

3 Credits     Offered Spring

History of democratic principles in America and how people can contribute to political and community life in the local, state and national arenas, as leaders and citizens. Examines ethical dilemmas of leadership, and political and social issues facing Alaska and American societies. Course includes an experiential learning component. (Cross-listed with NORS F205.) (3+0)


PS F212 Introduction to Public Administration (s)

3 Credits     Offered As Demand Warrants

Theories and practice of public administration, especially as applied to federal agencies. Study of organization, planning and decision making in implementing public policy. (3+0)


PS F222 Political Science Research Methods (s)

3 Credits     Offered Fall Even-numbered Years

Familiarizes students with the research methods that have been used to produce political knowledge about significant political phenomena. Includes both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Prerequisites: PS F101; must be completed before a student advances to senior standing in the discipline. (3+0)


PS F263 Alaska Native Politics (s)

3 Credits     Offered Spring Odd-numbered Years

Political development, organization, interests and activities of Alaska Natives; treatment of ethnic leadership issues, history of federal Indian policy, evolution of Native leadership, village and regional government, land claims, and community politics from the Alaska Native brotherhood to ANCSA to the Alaska Native Coalition. Compares Alaska Native political developments to those of other circumpolar Northern Native communities. (3+0)


PS F300X Ethics and Society (h)

3 Credits

What is the right thing to do? A presentation of important theories of values, morality and ethics. Application of theories to dilemmas of choice in the public world, such as euthanasia, abortion, animal rights, sexual morality and environmental ethics. Also available via Independent Learning. Prerequisites: Placement in ENGL F111X or higher; junior standing; or permission of instructor. Recommended: Two courses in the Perspectives on the Human Condition baccalaureate core. (3+0)


PS F301 American Presidency (s)

3 Credits     Offered Fall Even-numbered Years

The institution of the presidency in the American political system. Prerequisites: PS F101 or permission of instructor. (3+0)


PS F302 Congress and Public Policy (s)

3 Credits     Offered Spring Odd-numbered Years

The American Congress in the political system. Prerequisites: PS F101 or permission of instructor. (3+0)


PS F303 Politics and the Judicial Process (s)

3 Credits     Offered Fall

The role of federal courts as political institutions. The politics of judicial selection, the nature of judicial decision-making and intracourt politics, litigations as a policy making device, changes in the nature and scope of judicial power, governmental attorneys, the legal bureaucracy, and judicial agenda setting. Prerequisites: PS F101 or permission of instructor. (3+0)


PS F314W Political Ideologies (s)

3 Credits     Offered Fall Even-numbered Years

An examination of the purpose of ideology as an orienting set of political ideas with mass appeal. Analysis of 20th century ideologies, including anarchism, communism, liberalism, socialism, environmentalism and feminism. Prerequisites: ENGL F111X; ENGL F211X or ENGL F213X; PS F101; or permission of instructor. (3+0)


PS F315 American Political Thought (s)

3 Credits     Offered Spring Odd-numbered Years

Political ideas in the U.S. from colonial times to the present: Puritanism, revolutionary ideas, Constitutionalism, nature of the Union, Progressive movement and pragmatism. Prerequisites: PS F101 or permission of instructor. Recommended: HIST F131 and HIST F132 strongly recommended. (3+0)


PS F321 International Politics (s)

3 Credits     Offered Fall

Introduction to the problems, literature and terminology of international relations. Provides a basis for understanding current international affairs. Examines relations between nations, regions and groups, as well as ideas of conflict, security, trade, technology, negotiation, cooperation, revolution, modernization and community. (3+0)


PS F322O International Law and Organization (s)

3 Credits     Offered Spring Odd-numbered Years

Case studies in international law (rights and duties of states, jurisdiction and sovereignty, treaties, use of force and adjudication processes); development of regional organizations and integration; the United Nations. Prerequisites: COMM F131X or COMM F141X; PS F321; or permission of instructor. (3+0)


PS F323 International Political Economy (s)

3 Credits     Offered Alternate Spring Odd-numbered Years

Exploration of the manner in which political and economic forces interact to affect international flows of goods, money, investments and technology. International political economic relations are examined in several contexts. Prerequisites: PS F100X or permission of instructor. (3+0)


PS F325 Native Self-Government (s)

3 Credits     Offered As Demand Warrants

Indigenous political systems, customary law and justice in Alaska emphasizing the organization of Native governance, federal Indian Law and Alaska state chartered local government. Comparisons between Alaska Native political development and those of tribes in the contiguous 48 states and northern hemisphere tribal people. Prerequisites: HIST F100X; PS F263; or permission of instructor. (Cross-listed with ANS F325.) (3+0)


PS F340 Women and Politics (s)

3 Credits     Offered Spring Odd-numbered Years

In-depth examination of the relevance of gender in political thought and action. Topics will vary and may include: an historical perspective of political ideas on the nature and status of women; women's involvement in national and/or international political movements and organizations; feminist approaches to the social sciences; feminism as a political ideology. Prerequisites: One political science course or permission of instructor. Recommended: WMS F201. (Cross-listed with WMS F340.) (3+0)


PS F401W Political Behavior (s)

3 Credits     Offered Spring Even-numbered Years

Attitudes, opinions and beliefs of the American electorate and the impact of these factors on political behavior; role of political organizations (parties and interest groups) in modern American politics. Prerequisites: ENGL F111X; ENGL F211X or ENGL F213X or permission of instructor. (3+0)


PS F404 Introduction to Legal Research and Writing

3 Credits     Offered Spring

Methods of legal research and preparation of legal materials. Introduction to the resources of law libraries and the techniques of presenting issues in legal form. Prerequisites: PS F101 or JUST F110. (Cross-listed with JUST F404.) (3+0)


PS F411W,O Classical Political Theory (h)

3 Credits     Offered Fall Odd-numbered Years

Political ideas from ancient Greece, Rome and the Judaeo-Christian tradition. Theories of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, and Aquinas. Prerequisites: COMM F131X or COMM F141X; ENGL F111X; ENGL F211X or ENGL F213X; PHIL F102; PS F101; or permission of instructor. (Cross-listed with PHIL F411.) (3+0)


PS F412W Modern Political Theory (s)

3 Credits     Offered Spring Even-numbered Years

Political ideas from the Renaissance to the modern world. Theories of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Burke, Marx and Lenin. Prerequisites: ENGL F111X; ENGL F211X or ENGL F213X; PHIL F102; PS F101; or permission of instructor. (Cross-listed with PHIL F412.) (3+0)


PS F425 Federal Indian Law and Alaska Natives (s)

3 Credits     Offered Fall Even-numbered Years

The "special relationship" between the federal government and Native Americans based on land transactions and recognition of tribal sovereignty. Federal Indian law and policy evolving from this relationship. Legal rights and status of Alaska Natives. Prerequisites: PS F101; HIST F100X; or permission of instructor. Recommended: PS F263. (Cross-listed with ANS F425.) (3+0)


PS F435W Constitutional Law I: Federalism (s)

3 Credits     Offered Spring Odd-numbered Years

Constitutional doctrines and historical evolution of federalism and the separation of powers in the United States. Emphasis on the court's role in arbitering intergovernmental and interbranch disputes, the constitutional status of the administrative bureaucracy, and the control of war power and foreign policy. Prerequisites: ENGL F111X; ENGL F211X or ENGL F213X; PS F101; or permission of instructor. (3+0)


PS F436W Constitutional Law II: Civil Rights and Liberties (s)

3 Credits     Offered Spring Even-numbered Years

Origin and development of civil rights and civil liberties in the U.S. Emphasis on the social, political and philosophical justifications of rights as expressed in judicial decision and constitutional doctrine. Prerequisites: ENGL F111X; ENGL F211X or F213X; PS F101; or permission of instructor. Recommended: PS F303. (3+0)


PS F437 United States Foreign Policy (s)

3 Credits     Offered Spring Even-numbered Years

U.S. foreign policy in the postwar and post cold war period, including development of policy (domestic and foreign influences), administration of political, economic and military policies, and evaluation of policy effectiveness. Analyzes the historical background of the U.S. role in the world today and leading personalities and events that are a part of it. Prerequisites: PS F321; or permission of instructor. (3+0)


PS F447 U.S. Environmental Politics (s)

3 Credits     Offered Spring

Examination of U.S. political institutions as they relate to making policies for protecting the quality of the natural environment. The politics of nuclear waste, endangered species, air and water pollution, and wilderness preservation. Analysis of the National Environmental Policy Act, sustainable development, limits to growth and other topics. Course is also available online. Prerequisites: Upper-division standing or permission of instructor. Recommended: PS F101. (Stacked with NORS F647; PS F647.) (3+0)


PS F450 Comparative Aboriginal Rights and Policies (s)

3 Credits     Offered As Demand Warrants

Case-study approach in assessing Aboriginal rights and policies in different nation-state systems. Seven Aboriginal situations examined for factors promoting or limiting self-determination. Prerequisites: Upper division standing or permission of instructor. (Cross-listed with ANS F450.) (3+0)


PS F452 International Relations of the North (s)

3 Credits     Offered Spring Odd-numbered Years

Examination of the international strategies of circumpolar states. Consideration of theoretical and practical elements of strategy formation in major issue areas such as national security, the political economy, human rights and scientific exchange. Prerequisites: Upper-division standing or permission of instructor. (Stacked with NORS F652; PS F652.) (3+0)


PS F454 International Law and the Environment (s)

3 Credits

International environmental law. Includes international case law regulating the sea, airspace, outer space and the polar regions; comprehensive international regulatory and legal instruments to protect the environment (e.g. the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change); and the doctrines, principles, and rules of international law that are basic to an understanding of international legal regimes and the environment. Course is also available online. Prerequisites: Upper-division standing; permission of instructor. Recommended: Undergraduate course in international law, organization, or politics. (Stacked with NORS F654; PS F654.) (3+0)


PS F455O Political Economy of the Global Environment (s)

3 Credits     Offered Fall Even-numbered Years

Interaction between basic aspects of the global economy (international trade, investment and development) and the natural environment. Topics include the economic impact of global environmental agreements and the environmental impact of global markets, transitional corporations, and development assistance by organizations such as the World Bank. Prerequisites: COMM F131X or COMM F141X; upper-division standing; permission of instructor. (Stacked with NORS F655; PS F655.) (3+0)


PS F456O Science, Technology, and Politics (s)

3 Credits     Offered Spring Odd-numbered Years

Relationship of science, technology and politics. Connections among scientific knowledge, technology, technological innovations, politics and power. Gender roles and the influence of western science. Both historical and comparative aspects are included. Course is also available online. Prerequisites: COMM F131X or COMM F141X; upper-division standing or permission of instructor. Recommended: PS F101. (Stacked with NORS F656; PS F656.) (3+0)


PS F458 Comparative Environmental Politics (s)

3 Credits     Offered Fall Odd-numbered Years

Enduring issues of the field of comparative politics and their relation to global environmental problems. Biodiversity, transboundary pollution, and climate warming. Explores how state-society relations, political institutions, national political capacity, political processes and organizations, and international commitments potentially shape the nature and dynamics of global environmental politics and vice versa. Course is also available online. Prerequisites: Upper-division standing; or permission of instructor. Recommended: PS F201 or equivalent comparative politics course. (Stacked with NORS F658; PS F658.) (3+0)


PS F460W Government and Politics of Canada (s)

3 Credits     Offered Spring Odd-numbered Years

The Canadian political system, covering the Canadian constitution, federal structure, parliamentary government and public policy, as well as contemporary issues concerning Native rights and the Canadian North. Students will complete a major research paper on specific policy areas (language, education, health care, environment, natural resources, foreign relations). Prerequisites: ENGL F111X; ENGL F211X or ENGL F213X; PS F201; upper-division standing; or permission of instructor. (Stacked with NORS F660; PS F660.) (3+0)


PS F462 Alaska Government and Politics (s)

3 Credits

Alaska's government and politics, in the context of American state and local government, and politics and governments of circumpolar northern nations. Topics include political history, constitution, political parties, interest groups, elections, public opinion, governor, legislature, judiciary, administration and local governments. Compares Alaska to the contiguous 48 states and subnational governments of the circumpolar North; examines how government institutions and processes respond to social, environmental and political changes of Northern communities. Prerequisites: Upper-division standing or permission of instructor. (Stacked-with: NORS F662; PS F662.) (3+0)


PS F464W East Asian Governments and Politics (s)

3 Credits     Offered Fall Even-numbered Years

Modern East Asia (including China, Taiwan, Japan, North and South Korea) politics and society, including governmental institutions, political processes and regional and global foreign relations. Prerequisites: ENGL F111X; ENGL F211X or ENGL F213X; PS F201; or permission of instructor. (3+0)


PS F467W Political Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (s)

3 Credits     Offered Fall Odd-numbered Years

Exploration of major issues and concepts in the development and governances of modern Latin America and the Caribbean region, including the legacies of colonialism, revolution, military rule, economic challenges and the quest for democratic stability. Includes a historical overview of the region and cases drawn from the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America. Prerequisites: ENGL F111X; ENGL F211X or ENGL F213X; PS F201 or HIST F102; or permission of instructor. (Cross-listed with HIST F467.) (3+0)


PS F468W Government and Politics of Russia (s)

3 Credits     Offered Spring Even-numbered Years

Current developments in Russia from a number of perspectives. The effect of history and geography on political change; the nature of Russian government and society; the legacies of Lenin, Stalin, Gorbachev and the ideological nature of regimes and leadership. Economic forces and the political struggle in governance; revolution, democracy and reform; and the international role of Russia, particularly in relation to the former Soviet republics, Eastern Europe and other border areas. Prerequisites: ENGL F111X; ENGL F211X or ENGL F213X; PS F201; or permission of instructor. (Stacked with NORS F668; PS F668.) (3+0)


PS F472 Ethics in International Affairs (h)

3 Credits     Offered Spring Odd-numbered Years

Examination of questions including: What is in the interest of the nation-state according to the logic of statecraft? How does the national interest relate to the broader human interest? How does morality relate to the international legal order? Examination is through theory and case studies. Prerequisites: PHIL F322X or equivalent or PS F321; or permission of instructor. (Cross-listed with PHIL F472.) (3+0)


PS F475 Internship in Public Affairs

3 Credits

Individual study of public agencies or organizations through actual experience. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. (3+0)


PS F499W Senior Thesis

3 Credits

Thesis will draw from the literature in at least two sub-fields of political science (US government/politics, political theory, public law, comparative politics, international relations) in its analysis. Prerequisites: ENGL F111X; ENGL F211X or ENGL F213X; PS F101; PS F222; senior standing; permission of instructor. (1.5+0+7.5)


PS F603 Public Policy

3 Credits     Offered Spring Even-numbered Years

Major policy models used in contemporary political science and application of these models to environmental sustainability and other social policy issues. Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (Cross-listed with NORS F603.) (3+0)


PS F647 U.S. Environmental Politics

3 Credits

U.S. political institutions as they relate to making policies for protecting the quality of the natural environment. The politics of nuclear waste, endangered species, air and water pollution, and wilderness preservation. Analysis of the National Environmental Policy Act, sustainable development, limits to growth and other topics. Course is also available online. Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. (Cross-listed with NORS F647. Stacked-with: PS F447.) (3+0)


PS F654 International Law and the Environment

3 Credits     Offered Fall Odd-numbered Years

International environmental law. Includes international case law regulating the sea, airspace, outer space and the polar regions; comprehensive international regulatory and legal instruments to protect the environment (e.g., the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change); and the doctrines, principles, and rules of international law that are basic to an understanding of international legal regimes and the environment. Course is also available online. Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Recommended: Undergraduate course in international law, organization, or politics. (Cross-listed with NORS F654. Stacked with PS F454.) (3+0)


PS F655 Political Economy of the Global Environment

3 Credits     Offered Fall Odd-numbered Years

Interactions between basic aspects of the global economy (international trade, investment and development) and the natural environment. Topics include the economic impact of global environmental agreements and the environmental impact of global markets, transnational corporations, and development assistance by organizations such as the World Bank. Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. (Cross-listed with NORS F655. Stacked with PS F455.) (3+0)


PS F656 Science, Technology, and Politics

3 Credits

Relationship of science, technology and politics. Connections among scientific knowledge, techonology, technological innovations, politics and power. Both historical and comparative aspects are included. Course is also available online. Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission instructor. Recommended: PS F101. (Cross-listed with NORS F656. Stacked with PS F456.) (3+0)


PS F658 Comparative Environmental Politics

3 Credits     Offered Fall Odd-numbered Years

Enduring issues of the field of comparative politics and their relation to global environmental problems. Biodiversity, transboundary pollution and climate warming. Explores how state-society relations, political institutions, national political capacity, political processes and organizations, and international commitments potentially shape the nature and dynamics of global environmental politics and vice versa. Course is also available online. Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Recommended: PS F201 or equivalent comparative politics course. (Cross-listed with NORS F658. Stacked with PS F458.) (3+0)


PS F660 Government and Politics of Canada

3 Credits     Offered Spring Odd-numbered Years

The Canadian political system, covering the Canadian constitution, federal structure, parliamentary government and public policy, as well as contemporary issues concerning Native rights and the Canadian North. Students will complete a major research paper on specific policy areas (language, education, health care, environment, natural resources, foreign relations). Prerequisites: PS F201; graduate standing; or permission of instructor. (Cross-listed with NORS F660. Stacked with PS F460.) (3+0)


PS F662 Alaska Government and Politics

3 Credits     Offered Spring Odd-numbered Years

Alaska's government and politics, in the context of American state and local government, and politics and governments of circumpolar northern nations. Topics include political history, constitution, political parties, interest groups, elections, public opinion, governor, legislature, judiciary, administration and local governments. Compares Alaska to the contiguous 48 states and subnational governments of the circumpolar North; examines how government institutions and processes respond to social, environmental and political changes of Northern communities. Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. (Cross-listed with NORS F662. Stacked-with: PS F462.) (3+0)


PS F668 Government and Politics of Russia

3 Credits

Current developments in Russia from a number of perspectives. The effect of history and geography on political change; the nature of Russian government and society; the legacies of Lenin, Stalin, Gorbachev, and the ideological nature of regimes and leadership. Economic forces and the political struggle in governance; revolution, democracy and reform; and the international role of Russia, particularly in relation to the former Soviet republics, Eastern Europe and other border areas. Prerequisites: PS F201; graduate standing; or permission of instructor. (Cross-listed with NORS F668. Stacked with PS F468.) (3+0)


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