Political Science (PLS) courses
PLS 635 American Foreign Policy
The course explores the various governmental institutions and societal forces which shape American foreign policy. The major emphasis is on American foreign policy since World War Two. Current issues in American foreign policy are discussed in light of contemporary theoretical and methodological approaches. May be taught concurrently with PLS 535. Cannot receive credit for both PLS 535 and PLS 635.
PLS 639 Playing Games with the World
A course designed to explore theories and paradigms of international relations via popular culture, simulations and games. May be taught concurrently with PLS 439. Cannot receive credit for both PLS 639 and PLS 439.
PLS 642 Contemporary Political Ideologies
A systematic study of the major competing ideologies of the 19th and 20th Centuries, including conservatism, liberalism, nationalism, Marxism, democratic socialism, fascism and national socialism, and others. Special emphasis is placed on the historical sources philosophical foundations and argumentative structure of these influential ideologies. May be taught concurrently with PLS 565. Cannot receive credit for both PLS 565 and PLS 642.
PLS 644 Government and Politics of the Middle East
Political systems, processes and problems of the Middle East, considered both regionally and in the perspective of separate nation-states, from the beginning of the modern period about 1800 to the present. May be taught concurrently with PLS 544. Cannot receive credit for both PLS 544 and PLS 644.
PLS 645 Asian Politics
A comparative study of the political and economic systems of contemporary Asia with emphasis on Japan, Korea, mainland China and Taiwan. Ideologies and strategies pursued by selected Asian governments are covered. Includes an assessment of contemporary economic, political and security issues in the region. America's economic, political and strategic ties with the region are also explored. May be taught concurrently with PLS 545. Cannot receive credit for both PLS 545 and PLS 645.
PLS 646 Political Violence and Terrorism
The systematic study of political violence in its different forms. The course content is structured along a continuum, ranging from small scale violence to mass violence-assassinations, terrorism by sub-national and transnational organizations, state terror and genocide. May be taught concurrently with PLS 546. Cannot receive credit for both PLS 546 and PLS 646.
PLS 647 Politics of the European Union and Its Members
This course will focus on the historical evolution of the European Union (EU) since the 1950s, the ongoing integration process within the organization (vertical integration), and its enlargement beyond the present members (horizontal integration). It will also address the EU's position in global and regional politics, its links to the United States, and the development of international governmental organizations. May be taught concurrently with PLS 547. Cannot receive credit for both PLS 547 and PLS 647.
PLS 648 Latin American Politics
Broad introduction to the politics of Latin America. Although it will offer substantial historical background, the emphasis of the course will be on recent decades. To familiarize the student with some of the major general issues facing Latin America while also giving them a taste of its tremendous diversity. The course is structured around four basic topics: economic development, democratization, guerrilla movements and revolution, and drug trafficking. In the process of discussing these topics, various countries will be explored such as Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala, and Mexico. A recurring theme will be the relationship between the United States and Latin America. May be taught concurrently with PLS 548. Cannot receive credit for both PLS 548 and PLS 648.
PLS 649 Nationalisms and Islamisms of the Middle East
This is an introductory course on selected ideologies of the Middle East in seminar form; it presupposes only basic knowledge of the region as well as previous exposure to comparative politics. The course surveys the historical and political trajectories of selected nationalisms and Islamist ideologies in the Middle East: Pan-Arabism, various Arab territorial nationalisms, Zionisms, Turkish nationalisms, Kurdish nationalisms and various strains of Islamism. May be taught concurrently with PLS 443. Cannot receive credit for both PLS 649 and PLS 443.
PLS 650 Modern African Politics
A comparative study of the political and economic systems of contemporary Africa with emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa. Ideologies and strategies pursued by selected African governments are covered, including an assessment of contemporary economic, political, and strategic ties within the region and internationally. The class will emphasize such areas as Mauritania, Senegal, Kenya, Somalia, Nigeria, and South Africa. May be taught concurrently with PLS 550. Cannot receive credit for both PLS 550 and PLS 650.
PLS 651 Administrative Law
A study of administrative agencies in their rule making and adjudicatory functions; administrative procedures including hearings and the judicial review thereof; legislative committee operations and their relation to the agencies. After several lecture type presentations by the instructor on the above topics, each student will be expected to present an oral and written review of some area of administrative law which requires further development through agency regulation and/or judicial review.
PLS 669 Foreign Policies of the Middle Eastern States
This course focuses on the foreign policies of selected Middle Eastern states and non-state actors. The course will refer to various paradigms of international relations, so a previous course in international relations (especially an introductory or theory course) is highly recommended. Concerns of this course will include to what extent we can view the states of the Middle East of rational actors, the role of individual decision makers, unintended policy results, and the need to balance domestic and external policy imperatives. The central pedagogic concern revolves around understanding how and why various Middle Eastern state choose the policies they do. May be taught concurrently with PLS 569. Cannot receive credit for both PLS 569 and PLS 669.
PLS 673 Policy Analysis
A study of the major qualitative and quantitative techniques in public policy analysis. The course will examine diverse processes of public policy formulation, and analyze various public policy alternatives. Each student will complete an empirical research project. May be taught concurrently with PLS 573. Cannot receive credit for both PLS 573 and PLS 673.
PLS 676 Quantitative Methods of Political Science and Public Policy
Introduction to the use of standard computer programs (especially SPSS) for the analysis and interpretation of political and social data. Covers analysis of nominal and ordinal data, descriptive and inferential statistics, hypothesis testing, correlation, linear and multiple regression. There will be a critical review of the applications of these techniques to the analysis of political science and public policy research questions, including ethical issues associated with quantitative research. May be taught concurrently with PLS 576. Cannot receive credit for both PLS 576 and PLS 676.
PLS 685 Public Policy for a Global Environment
Course examines how environmental policy is made in the United States and the international community. The course covers the institutions and groups that participate in making environmental policy and the process by which it is made. Domestic and international issues and problems explored include clean air, clean water, pesticides, risk assessment and management, toxic and hazardous substances, public lands, the greenhouse effect, and stratospheric ozone depletion. May be taught concurrently with PLS 555. Cannot receive credit for both PLS 555 and PLS 685.
PLS 705 Seminar in Comparative Politics
An examination of the principal approaches to comparative politics including the comparative study of political systems, types of government, elites, legislatures, political cultures and political parties. Students in the MGS program will be required to write an extensive bibliographic or substantive research paper on one of these principal elements in the study of comparative politics.
PLS 713 Seminar in Foreign Policy Decisionmaking
An examination of the factors that shape foreign policy decisionmaking, especially as they have evolved in the 20th century in the United States. In addition to an examination of the governmental institutions and societal forces that influence policy, students will critically analyze decisionmaking models that have been developed to explain how and why foreign policy decisions are made.
PLS 715 Comparative Public Administration
The course will review the literature on the study of comparative public administration. The body of the course will focus on substantive public management issues in a variety of countries. Students will be expected to understand the rationale for the subfield, its development, and develop the skills needed to conduct scientific analysis.
PLS 717 Multidisciplinary Approaches to Homeland Security
Examines the full spectrum of both homeland security and defense activities, the diverse responsibilities of the primary stakeholders, and current policies and practical efforts to develop and integrate homeland security and defense efforts nationwide.
PLS 719 Strategic Planning and Organizational Imperatives in Homeland Security
The attainment of homeland security goals is dependent on comprehensive planning and organization to integrate and mobilize all levels of government and private sector responses. This course critically analyzes these efforts.
PLS 721 International Political Economy
A general introduction to the politics of international economic relations, with a special emphasis on the extent, causes, and consequences of globalization. Covers such topics as trade, investment, aid, global warming, international institutions, and the political roots of economic development. Identical with ECO 721. Cannot receive credit for both PLS 721 and ECO 721.
PLS 732 International Relations in Theory and Practice
An examination of the principal paradigms and approaches in the study of international relations as they have evolved, particularly in the 20th century, and their usefulness for understanding the practice of global affairs. Students will familiarize themselves with both theoretical and substantive aspects of international relations and global affairs. Completion of a major research project focusing on an issue or region and analyzing it from a theoretical perspective is required.
PLS 737 Seminar in International Organizations
A study of the historical development and theoretical foundations of international organizations. Readings and research will emphasize recent issues and developments in both regional and global aspects in the organization of the international system.
PLS 752 Public Personnel Management
Intensive examination of the management of personnel focused directly on the public sector at the federal, state, and local levels. The course will explore the development, structure, and procedures of the public service. Issues of public personnel management to be examined include: perspectives on the public service, merit and patronage systems, labor relations, civil service reform, anti-discriminatory policies, and productivity and accountability.
PLS 753 Management Techniques and Organizational Behavior
A core lecture course designed to familiarize the student with the development of managerial skills through MBO, decision making theory, strategy implementation, change theory and development administration, problem solving, coordination within the organization, communication techniques and effecting productivity. Emphasis will be placed upon the applicability of management and organizational theory to the public sector.
PLS 754 Seminar in Health Policy
Politics of health policy formulation and planning. A study of participants in policy formulation, role of the different levels of government, issues and problems in health care planning, interrelationship of agencies involved, Medicare, Medicaid, national health insurance.
PLS 756 Financial Management for State and Local Government
A course dealing with intergovernmental financial relations, revenue sources, tax strategies, bond requirements, and issuance procedures, sinking funds, budget techniques and basic categories of state and local expenditures.
PLS 757 Topics Seminar in Public Policy and Administration
Topics course. The specific topics will change from semester to semester. May be repeated as topics change.
PLS 759 Seminar in Administrative Management and Organizational Theory
A topics seminar in which each student will be responsible for an individual research project. Research will include both a review of applicable literature and a case study of an actual management or organizational problem-situation within a government office. This project will be preceded by a concise review of basic management principles and organizational theory.
PLS 760 Management of Intergovernmental Relations
The course is designed to familiarize students with the nature and scope of intergovernmental relations and how they impact issues such as fiscal management, grantsmanship, public policy formulation, public program monitoring and administration.
PLS 761 Management of Nonprofit Organizations
This course provides a general survey of nonprofit organizations. It will examine the historical, legal, ethical, and social environments in which nonprofit organizations operate. It will also discuss various aspects of nonprofit organization management, ranging from managing people and money to managing public relations and trust. The course will integrate theoretical and practical aspects of nonprofit management. The theoretical aspects will be achieved through readings and literature reviews. The practical side will come from guest speakers, field interviews, and hands-on assignments.
PLS 762 Public Policy and Program Evaluation
The course is designed to familiarize students with the nature and role of evaluation in the policy process. Topics will include but not be limited to: the various types of evaluation, evaluation methods, evaluability assessment, program monitoring, impact assessment, process assessment, utilization of evaluation findings, and the politics of evaluation.
PLS 763 The Policy Process
This course is designed to explore how public policy is made at all levels of government in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of the course will focus on the policy process; the remainder will concentrate on two or three major policy issues. Students will do an extended paper on a policy issue applying the concepts from the first part of the course.
PLS 771 Seminar in Public Administration
This course is designed as the foundation course for the Master of Public Administration program. Topics covered include the development of public administration, political, social, economic, and legal processes and institutions, the policy process, and values and ethics. All students will complete a major research paper related to one of these topics.
PLS 772 Introduction to Public Safety Services
This course introduces students to the current principles and practices of public safety services from the theoretical and practitioner's perspective. Course will cover how services are provided, management challenges, the levels of emergencies and disaster operations, preparedness, recovery and mitigation.
PLS 773 Hazard Analysis, Mitigation, and Preparedness
This course focuses on crucial actions taken in preparing the emergencies. All public safety agency work begins with a thorough analysis of the hazards faced whether they are from natural causes or manmade. The course will introduce students to various methods for conducting the hazard analysis regardless of whether for law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical services or 9-1-1. The class examines various methods to mitigate the occurrences of those incidents and how public safety agencies can prepare themselves and the public for when they occur.
PLS 774 Municipal Planning and Zoning
The purpose of this course is for students to gain a working knowledge of the legal nature, the administration, and the politics of major land-use regulatory powers exercised by local government. Municipal planning and zoning controls emphasized in this course are zoning codes, subdivision review, site plan review, building codes, and the exercise of eminent domain. Course will assess how combinations of these practices may be utilized in comprehensive growth management strategies, as well as in the negotiations for, and the implementation of, agreements for individual planned unit developments and for annexations of land to municipalities. Course will also relate these powers to urban planning practices including strategic and comprehensive planning.
PLS 775 Economic Development for Local and State Governments
The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the local, state and national contexts in which local economies operate to provide them with a background for developing successful economic strategies at the local level. Upon completion of the course, students should have a better understanding of how these issues are being addressed in governments around Missouri and throughout the United States. The goal is to better prepare future managers for their first local government jobs that will often carry the title of administrator in a small, rural community.
PLS 776 Local Public Service Delivery
This course prepares students to provide management and guidance to various local government services such as public works, police, fire, parks, utilities, and human services. It covers issues of governance which enable various government and non-for-profit groups to cooperate in the delivery of these services. The focus is on management in medium and small-sized municipalities in both rural and urban settings. Extensive use of guest lectures and site visits are essential components of this course.
PLS 777 Local Government and Politics and Administration
This course familiarizes students with a broad array of local government issues, structures, management concerns, and politics. Interwoven throughout the course is a discussion of the roles that professional administration and local politics play in everyday local government operations. The major focus will be on the decision making process of professional administrators as they attempt to bring both efficiency and effectiveness to local government.
PLS 778 Ethics and Leadership in the Public Sector
This course examines the role and impact of leadership in public organizations, with particular focus on the ethical dimensions of leadership behavior. The course provides an overview of the knowledge, theory, and skills regarding leadership and professional ethics. Topics include charismatic and transformational leadership, leadership styles, the role of the leader in creating ethical climates and building effective ethical cultures, organizational change strategies, power and politics, and motivation strategies. Also covered are the ethical codes, standards, and practices promulgated by the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and the International City Management Association (ICMA).
PLS 780 Independent Study in Political SciencePrerequisite: permission of instructor.
Carefully planned independent study designed on an individual basis for the advanced student who wishes to investigate a well defined problem not dealt with adequately by standard courses. Normally, a student may take PLS 780 only once to fulfill the requirements of the non-thesis option or as part of the cognate field if pursuing the thesis option.
PLS 781 In-Service Training in Public AdministrationPrerequisite: permission of Master of Public Administration Program Director.
Supervised field work in an approved local, state, or national governmental agency including preparation of an acceptable formal report.
PLS 782 Internship/Practicum in International FieldPrerequisite: permission of program director.
Supervised field work in a federal government agency, international governmental/non-governmental organization, multinational corporation, or equivalent. The course requirements include a formal report on the internship/practicum and evaluation by the supervisor.
PLS 797 Special Topics in Global AffairsPrerequisite: permission of instructor.
The specific topics will change from semester to semester, and will include subjects such as international humanitarian law, comparative foreign policy, global Islamic movements, and globalization. Variable content course. May be repeated as topics change.
PLS 799 ThesisPrerequisite: permission of Master of Global Studies or Master of Public Administration Program Director and department head.
Independent research and study connected with preparation of thesis.