Fall 2014 Political Science Graduate Seminars

The political science department invites Honors students to consider taking one of the following graduate seminars. With your advisor’s approval, graduate courses may be included in your Honors Final Plan of Study for graduation. They also count toward your Honors participation requirements.

Lyle Scruggs

Social Policy is a large, interdisciplinary field drawing liberally from disciplines of political science, sociology, and economics. It encompasses everything from national public pension programs to neighborhood drug rehabilitation programs. In terms of resource commitment, it is the guts of modern government policy in wealthy countries, and is likely to become so (if it is not already) in emerging countries.

This course is a theoretical overview of comparative social policy, with an emphasis on contemporary research on the political economy of welfare states in Europe and North America. The field ranges from rather abstract theoretical and “macro” to the very practical “micro” aspects of individual case work. We will pay most attention to the theoretical and “macro” issues in this class. (Neighborhood and casework levels are usually emphasized in Schools of Social Work and Public Administration.)

Prakash Kashwan

Introduction to the data analysis techniques most often used by political scientists. Requires no previous background in statistics.

Over the past several years that Professor Kashwan has taught this class, he has developed a ‘non-mathematical’ approach to introductory statistics. The focus of the class, instead is on helping students become adept at understanding and applying the tools of statistics to political and economic questions of the day. This approach facilitates quality student engagement in the group projects that students work on for the semester. The style and the contents of teaching have resonated with students, which is evident in anonymous student evaluations, such as the following comments:

“Quantitative terms and concepts were presented in a way that was easily understood by liberal arts students.”

“Professor Kashwan – YOU ARE SO POSITIVE! You have a great attitude, you keep the humor and morale up in class and you clearly care about the happiness and success of your students. You are my favorite professor for that reason.”