Professors Barrus, EastbyS, D. E. Marion, Pontuso, S. Wilson; Associate Professor WinborneF; Adjunct Associate Professor De Luca; Assistant Professor Carroll; Lecturer C. Smith
Chair: James F. Pontuso (Fall 2010)
Warner R. Winborne (Spring 2011)
Students may major in either Government or Foreign Affairs.
The requirements for a major in Government are a minimum of 34 semester hours in Government, 16 to include GVFA 101; 140; 310; 370; either 412, 413, or 414; and 470. Students studying GVFA are encouraged to take courses in Classics, Economics, History, Religion, and Philosophy. They are strongly encouraged to study abroad either through a May Term course or during a semester of foreign study, preferably in the spring semester of the junior year. Government majors should complete their mathematics requirement before the junior year.
The requirements for a major in Foreign Affairs are a minimum of 37 semester hours in approved courses, 19 to include GVFA 101; 140; 310; 440 or 443; 370 and 470 and Economics 101. Students studying Foreign Affairs must complete the major by taking 18 credits from the following: Economics: three to six credits from 103, 210, 261, 262; Government and Foreign Affairs: at least three credits from 223, 224, 225, 226, 227 and 228; additional electives from 231, 242, 250, 321, 322, 323, 341, 342, 413, 414, 442; INDS: 275, 465. (With application to, and permission of the Department Chair, certain courses from other departments (History, Religion, Modern Languages, for example) may be accepted as well. Students are strongly encouraged to study abroad either through a May Term course or during a semester of foreign study, preferably in the spring semester of the junior year. Students interested in foreign affairs or comparative politics are strongly encouraged to undertake a minor in a foreign language or at a minimum to complete a 300-level modern language course. Foreign Affairs majors should complete their mathematics requirement before the junior year. The degree will not be complete until the student has publicly presented the product of his Senior Seminar paper GVFA 470, normally in the fall of the senior year.
Students may develop interdisciplinary majors within the social sciences with the approval of the departments concerned.
GVFA 101. (3)
INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN GOVERNMENT. A review of the theory, institutions, and practices of the national government in the United States. The constitutional basis of the federal system, the protection of civil liberties and citizenship, and the role of the people in politics are studied with frequent references to leading Supreme Court decisions and other primary sources. Prerequisite: none. Offered: each semester.
GVFA 102. (3)
PERENNIAL ISSUES AND PROBLEMS OF THE AMERICAN REGIME. This course examines the enduring problems and issues which reflect and illuminate the distinctive character of democratic states. Among the central topics are the principles of freedom and equality, federalism, ethics and politics, representation, and the effects of the commercial spirit on republicanism. Prerequisite: none. Offered: on an occasional basis.
GVFA 103. (3)
VIRGINIA POLITICS. This course investigates state government and politics, focusing on the state of Virginia. It examines the structures of government and the processes of politics in the state. It considers the historical and contemporary regime character of Virginia, that is, The Commonwealth as a political community with a particular determination of who rules and for what purposes. Prerequisite: none. Offered: fall semester of odd-numbered years.
GVFA 110. (3)
LITERATURE AND POLITICS. This course uses great works of literature to illuminate and give concrete meaning to the fundamental issues of government and politics. Readings are taken from both classical and modern, and Western and non-Western authors. Prerequisite: none. Offered: fall semester of odd-numbered years.
GVFA 140. (3)
INTRODUCTION TO WORLD POLITICS. A study of the development of modern states and the relations among states in the modern international system. This course examines the political ideologies that have influenced the development of modern states and that have shaped the major conflicts in the modern world. It considers the present condition and possible future of the modern state system. Prerequisites: none, but Western Culture 102 and 103 are recommended.
GVFA 200. (3)
PARTIES AND ELECTIONS. An introduction to democratic politics at its most basic level. This course shows how Americans conduct themselves in their day-to-day political lives. What opinions do they hold and why do they hold them? How are those opinions expressed at the polls? Who seeks public office and how is it sought? Who gets elected and why? The course also introduces students to some of the mathematical models presently studied in the discipline. Prerequisite: GVFA 101. Offered: fall semester of even-numbered years.
GVFA 201. (3)
AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. A survey of the ideas that have shaped American political life from the 18th century to the present. Emphasis is placed on close reading and critical interpretation of the writings of such thinkers as Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Lincoln, and F. D. Roosevelt, as well as contemporary writers. Prerequisite: none. Offered: every other year
GVFA 223. (3)
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF WESTERN EUROPE. An examination of the political institutions and processes of Western Europe. Attention focuses on Great Britain, France, and the Federal Republic of Germany. The underlying theme of the course is the variety and problems of modern regimes. Prerequisite: GVFA 140 or permission of the instructor. Offered: fall semester of odd-numbered years.
GVFA 224. (3)
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF CENTRAL EUROPE. An examination of the historical and political development of Central European nations. Special attention is given to the problems and prospects of nations emerging from communist totalitarianism. Topics include transforming economies, creating workable political institutions, reestablishing civic societies, and renewing traditional cultures. The course also focuses on the issues involved in the integration of Central European nations into the wider European community. Depending on student demand, there may be an optional trip to a Central European city (Prague, Budapest, or Krakow) during spring break. Prerequisite: GVFA 140 or permission of the instructor. Offered: every third year.
GVFA 225. (3)
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF THE MIDDLE EAST. A survey of political issues and problems of transnational importance in the modern Middle East, as well as of the policies adopted by states of the Middle East to deal with those matters. Topics include population growth, economic development, natural resource management, the changing role of women, security, pan-Arabism, pan-Islamism, and the role of religion in public life. Prerequisite: Because an understanding of Middle Eastern history is necessary to an understanding of the politics of the region, History 207 and 208 are strongly recommended, to be taken either prior to or at the same time as this course. GVFA 140 is also recommended. Offered: fall semester of odd-numbered years.
GVFA 226. (3)
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF ASIA. A survey of the local, national, regional, and international politics of Asia. Japanese political development from the Tokugawa shogunate to the post-World War democratic government, along with modern Chinese politics (Mao and after), is examined. Politics of Southeast Asia and the Korean peninsula are also covered, with particular emphasis on the relationship among the nations of these areas with each other and with Japan and China. Prerequisite: Because an understanding of Asian history is necessary to understanding the area's politics, History 205 and 206 are strongly recommended, to be taken either prior to or at the same time as this course. GVFA 140 is also recommended. Offered: fall semester of even-numbered years.
GVFA 227. (3)
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF LATIN AMERICA. A survey from a developmental perspective of Iberian Latin American politics. The course focuses on factors affecting Latin American political development, such as the impact of the colonial experience, culture, political party competition, bureaucratic authoritarianism, the global market, religion, regional cooperation, and popular movements. Prerequisite: Because an understanding of Latin American history is necessary to understanding its politics, History 209 and 210 are strongly recommended, to be taken either prior to or at the same time as this course. GVFA 140 is also recommended. Offered: spring semester of even-numbered years.
GVFA 228. (3)
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA. A survey of post-colonial politics in sub-Saharan Africa. Work in the class is divided between political development issues and important policy issues (as they affect and are affected by current conditions of political development). Political development considers such issues as colonial legacies, ideological foundations and regime types, ethno-cultural-religious pluralism, and economic-political relations with the broader international community. Policy topics include economic growth, education, health issues (such as AIDS and malarial control), natural-resource development, and family policies. Prerequisite: GVFA 140 or the permission of the instructor. Offered: fall semester of odd-numbered years.
GVFA 230. (3)
INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION. A survey of selected themes pertaining to the principles and processes of American public administration. Topics include the history of American public administration, the role of administrative officials in the formulation and execution of public policy, accountability and responsibility in the public sector, the politics of public budgeting, and administrative discretion and the rule of law. Prerequisite: GVFA 101. Offered: fall semester.
GVFA 231. (3)
PUBLIC POLICY. An examination of the formulation and implementation of public policy. Attention is given to competing approaches to public policy formulation as well as the relationship of public policy processes to the governance of society. Selected contemporary issues and problems are considered to illustrate how policy issues may be framed, evaluated, and implemented. Prerequisite: GVFA 101. Offered: spring semester.
GVFA 233. (3)
THE COMMON LAW. This course introduces students to the nature and practice of law in the United States. It looks at the origins of American common law. It examines how a common law system differs from other legal systems such as continental or code systems. Finally, the course examines the application of law in America by detailing and evaluating the institutions, expectations, and behavioral norms of American judicial process. Prerequisite: none. Offered: fall semester.
GVFA 242. (3)
AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY. An analysis of the formulation and implementation of foreign policy in the United States. Topics include the relationship between regime principles and foreign policy, the Constitution and foreign policy, the institutions involved in policy-making, the decision-making process, and the role of interest groups and public opinion. Prerequisite: GVFA 101 or 140, or permission of the instructor. Offered: fall semester.
GVFA 250. (3)
RESEARCH METHODS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE. This course introduces the student to empirical methods of Political Science research, as well as to a systematic, analytical approach to addressing questions relating to politics and political behavior. Topics include the formulation of appropriate research questions; research design; sampling; measurement; and univariate, bivariate, and multivariate statistical analysis techniques. The course is strongly recommended for those students considering graduate work. Prerequisite: Mathematics 121, or permission of the instructor. Offered: spring semester of even-numbered years.
GVFA 310. (3)
CLASSICAL POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. An examination of the works of the greatest minds of antiquity: Plato and Aristotle. Emphasis is placed on close reading and critical interpretation of selected primary texts. Prerequisite: none. Offered: fall semester.
GVFA 321. (3)
COMPARATIVE GOVERNMENT. An examination and comparison of ancient and modern regimes, including the ancient polis and modern liberal democratic and totalitarian regimes. The intent is to contrast ancient and modern political principles and forms, and show the range of alternatives available in modernity. The underlying focus is on modern liberalism: its meaning, justification, political forms, problems, and possible alternatives. Attention is given to comparison as a method of political inquiry. Prerequisite: GVFA 140. Offered: every other year.
GVFA 322. (3)
POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT. An analysis of the political institutions and processes of modernizing nations. Particular attention is given to the relationships between economic and social modernization and political change. Case studies are drawn from contemporary modernizing regimes. Prerequisite: GVFA 140, or permission of the instructor. Offered: fall semester of even-numbered years.
GVFA 323. (3)
TYRANNY AND TOTALITARIANISM. A practical and theoretical analysis of tyranny and the modern variant, totalitarianism. It examines various writings on tyranny, such as those of Xenophon, Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Solzhenitsyn; and considers particular tyrannical and totalitarian regimes, such as Cromwell's Protectorate, Napoleon's Consulate, Pinochet's military junta, Hitler's Nazi Germany, and Soviet Communism under Lenin and Stalin. Prerequisite: GVFA 140, or permission of the instructor. Offered: fall semester of even-numbered years.
GVFA 332. (3)
THE PRESIDENCY. An analysis of the American executive. Special attention is paid to the creation of the American presidency, the historical development of the president's powers, and the role the office plays within the constitutional system. Students are expected to give class presentations on topics of continuing interest. Prerequisite: GVFA 101. Offered: spring semester of odd-numbered years.
GVFA 333. (3)
THE AMERICAN LEGISLATURE. An investigation and evaluation of Congress. Special attention is paid to the creation of the legislative branch and the development of its powers, its organization, and its effectiveness. Prerequisite: GVFA 101. Offered: spring semester of even-numbered years.
GVFA 341. (3)
THEORIES OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS. A study of the treatment in ancient and modern political thought, and contemporary political science, of the fundamental problems of international relations. Issues to be considered are the causes of war, the possibilities for peace, the objectives, strategies, and instruments of foreign policy; and political decision-making in foreign affairs. Prerequisite: GVFA 140, or permission of the instructor. Offered: every other year.
GVFA 342. (3)
THE CONSTITUTION AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS. This course examines the constitutional and legal issues involved in the conduct of foreign affairs by the government of the United States. Topics include foreign affairs in the American tradition of political thought; the role of foreign affairs in the framing of the Constitution; the nature of the foreign affairs power under the Constitution; the role of the states in foreign relations; the foreign affairs powers of the President, Congress, and the federal courts; individual rights and the conduct of war; and the relationship between American municipal law and international law. Readings are drawn from the speeches and writings of American presidents and other political leaders, statutes, Supreme Court cases, and U.S. Treaties and Executive Agreements. Prerequisite: GVFA 101 or 140, or permission of the instructor.
GVFA 370. (1)
PRE-THESIS SEMINAR. A seminar aimed at developing a research proposal for GVFA 470. To be taken the semester before GVFA 470. The seminar will concentrate on development of a working research proposal for the Senior Seminar, including a thesis statement, statement of methodology to be used, significant working bibliography, a partial review of the literature, and a general plan for project completion. Offered: every semester.
GVFA 412. (3)
MEDIEVAL POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. This course studies the political consequences of the confrontation between revealed religion and scientific rationalism that is at the core of Western culture, through an examination of the works of medieval Islamic, Jewish, and Christian political philosophers. Readings are from Alfarabi, Averroës, Maimonides, Albo, Aquinas, Dante, Marsilius, and others. Prerequisite: GVFA 310. Offered: spring semester of odd-numbered years.
GVFA 413. (3)
EARLY MODERN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. An examination of the ideas of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. Emphasis is placed on close reading and critical interpretation of selected primary texts. Prerequisite: none. Offered: every third semester.
GVFA 414. (3)
MODERN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. A critical examination of Kant, Burke, Mill, Marx, and Nietzsche. Emphasis is placed on close reading and interpretation of selected primary texts. Prerequisite: none. Offered: every third semester.
GVFA 430-431. (3-3)
AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. This course examines the major provisions of the American Constitution and their development through judicial interpretation. The first semester considers the nature of the judicial process, the constitutional powers of the separate departments, and the place of the states in the federal system. The second semester examines civil rights and liberties as protected by the original Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Fourteenth Amendment. Prerequisite: GVFA 101. Offered: 430 in the fall semester; 431 in the spring semester.
GVFA 440. (3)
INTERNATIONAL LAW. A study of the legal and organizational structure of the international system and of the processes and forms of international order. Prerequisite: GVFA 140, or permission of the instructor. Offered: spring semester of odd-numbered years.
GVFA 442. (3)
ISSUES OF AMERICAN NATIONAL SECURITY. A selective analysis of foreign policy and national security problems and threats facing the United States. Special attention is given to a review of the formulation of American foreign policy and its implementation. Consideration is also given to responses to American foreign policy by other nation states. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Offered: spring semester.
GVFA 443. (3)
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION. This course examines the process of development of international organization. It focuses on the United Nations system as an example of this process, examining its political foundations, its contemporary problems, and its future prospects. The intent is to put the process of international organization development in a coherent historical and theoretical perspective. Prerequisite: GVFA 140. Offered: spring semester of odd-numbered years.
GVFA 470. (3)
SENIOR SEMINAR AND THESIS. In the senior year, majors write a thesis-length paper on a topic relating to government or foreign affairs. Under the supervision of the seminar's instructor, students choose a topic, undertake substantial research on the issue, and write a thirty-page paper. Seminar sessions are devoted to defining topics, organizing research, discussing problems in research and writing, and giving oral presentations based on work in progress. Majors should plan to be in residence at the College in the fall semester of their senior year when this course is offered. Prerequisite: senior status and GVFA 370. Offered: fall semester.
SOCIOLOGY 201. (3)
INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY. Methods and objectives of sociological research, varying patterns of social organization, the study of society and culture, and introduction to sociological theory. Prerequisite: none. Offered: as staffing permits.
SOCIOLOGY 305. (3)
SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION. A study of the relationship between religion and society. The sociological perspective, viz. that religion may be defined as a communally held system of beliefs and practices oriented to some transcendent, supernatural reality, predominates. Prerequisite: Sociology 201, or status as a Religion major. Offered: as staffing permits.