Course Topics

POLS 130 American Politics
An overview of the historical and contemporary practice of American politics that focuses on the nature of politics and government; the founders' ideas about the democratic republic; the constitutional theory and actual distribution of political power among the branches and levels of government; the problems and possibilities of governing America today; and the avenues available for citizen participation and influence.

POLS 357 Congress and the Presidency
An examination of the role of Congress and the Presidency in the American political system. Included are the powers and responsibilities of both institutions, the relationship between them, struggles over power and influence, and the capacity of Congress and the President to work together to make effective public policy.

POLS 364 United States Foreign Policy
The first segment of the course examines the evolution of American foreign policy from 19th century isolationism to global power in the twentieth century. The second segment explores the making of foreign policy today, with a focus on the role of the President, Congress, the State Department, and other institutions involved in policy formation.

POLS 171 Mock Trial
This course involves preparation by students for the annual Drake University Intercollegiate Mock Trial Tournament. Because this competition is held in late March, the class will meet 2 to 3 times a week during January, February, and March. During this time, students will work closely with a faculty sponsor and local attorneys who will guide them in preparing the case.

POLS 185 It's a Conspiracy (January Term)
This course seeks to promote critical thinking through an examination of conspiracy theories (and some actual verified conspiracies) in American and world politics. Cases to be examined may include September 11, one or more assassinations and the 1953 coup in Iran. Students will investigate and evaluate a conspiracy not covered in class.