American Politics

POL 320 United States Urban Politics

The influence of historical, political, and sociological forces on the development of urban America. Focus on poverty, race and ethnicity, crime, education, transportation, and urban sprawl. Special emphasis given to the possibilities for and constraints on public policy, and the capacity of city governments to serve their citizens.


POL 321 Politics of Hip Hop

This course views hip hop music as an expression of minority politics in the United States. Specifically, students will investigate the arguments made in the lyrics of hip hop artists about the causes and consequences of the racial inequalities and group differences in the United States.

POL 335 American Public Policy

This course analyzes policy-making in the United States. Special attention is given to selected domestic policies to illustrate how policies are developed and adopted and the role played by administrative organizations in implementing them.


POL 338 Food, Politics and Policy

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of governmental support for agriculture and sustainable farming practices and the forces and politics involved in shaping nutrition and food security policies in the United States and Europe.


POL 344 Constitutional Law I: Federalism and Separation of Powers

This course examines the major, and often controversial, U.S. Supreme Court cases interpreting the Constitutional allocation of power between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the national government, and between the national government and state governments.


POL 345 Constitutional Law II: Civil Liberties and Rights

This course examines the major, and often controversial, U.S. Supreme Court cases interpreting the Constitution's protection of our rights and freedoms as U.S. citizens, especially, of course, as they are found in the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment.


POL 346 Constitutional Criminal Procedures

Covers seminal Supreme Court cases interpreting 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments to the U.S.Constitution. Includes prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures, warrant requirements, Miranda rights and interrogations, and the right to counsel.

POL 348 Geopolitics of Energy and the Environment

This course addresses questions such as: What is the relationship between the biophysical environment and international security? Does competition over resources cause conflict? Does environmental scarcity cause conflict? How will global warming affect relations among great powers and the political stability of the developing world?

Cross Listed Courses

ENV 348

POL 349 Environmental Policy

This course will consider how environmental problems arise, looking at how a progression of natural and human circumstances becomes an "environmental problem." It will survey the law, politics, and institutions that manage pollution. The course will also look closely at a handful of environmental policy issues particularly in the Columbia River, and the interplay of science, risk, and uncertainty.