Academic Catalog 2022–2023

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Political Science Courses

POL101 Introduction to Politics

[3–0, 3 cr.]

A general introduction to the principal concepts of political science.  In presenting the major political ideas, political behaviors, and governing institutions, this freshman-level course investigates how political power is developed, preserved, and challenged.

POL201 Introduction to Political Science

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course introduces students to the basic concepts of and approaches to the study of political science.  The course focuses on social science methodology, political ideologies, the state and state society relations, political parties, electoral systems, democracy, culture, institutions and international relations (IR).  A significant emphasis is placed on the ability to use these concepts toward the analysis of current political issues, disputes and trends.

POL203 Government & Politics of Lebanon

[3–0, 3 cr.]

A comprehensive survey of the political system in Lebanon from independence to the present. Detailed coverage of Lebanese politics and institutions.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science

POL210 Introduction to Political Thought

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course surveys key political ideas.  Analysis and discussion of original texts and political ideas related to the general philosophy of each author’s historical and political background. 

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science

POL213 Mediation Skills

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course provides students with an understanding of the role, and types of mediation.  It also provides students with an overview of how mediation is used as a means of resolving conflict.  The course discusses the relationship that exists between mediation and legal processes and gives students a solid grounding in the theoretical underpinnings of mediation.  The course also gives students the opportunity to learn some of the main skills involved in mediation through in-class exercises and simulations.

POL222 Comparative Political Systems

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course provides an overview of political systems in the world and compares the ways governments operate and people behave in political life. It examines why different countries in the world implement different forms of government and electoral systems.  It compares the ways different governments interact with their respective citizens in both representation and policy making.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science

POL230 Citizenship

[1–0, 1 cr.]

This course will introduce the students to the multiple definitions of citizenship. It is designed to assist students to acquire the basic knowledge and attitude needed to become active and responsible citizens within the framework of a democratic political system through their direct involvement in relevant projects or case studies.

POL231 Introduction to Human Rights

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course deals with international human rights’ policies and the moral and political issues to which they give rise. The course poses questions such as: What are human rights? Are some rights more fundamental than others, and what compelling interests, if any, justify their violation?

POL231H Introduction to Human Rights

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course deals with international human rights’ policies and the moral and political issues to which they give rise. The course poses questions such as: What are human rights? Are some rights more fundamental than others, and what compelling interests, if any, justify their violation?

POL235 Basics of Conflict Resolution & Transformation

[1–0, 1 cr.]

This course explores the sources, origins and dynamics of conflict resolution and transformation at different levels. It will review the major methods used to resolve and transform inter-personal, communal and international conflicts. Students will also be exposed to case studies on conflict resolution and transformation. 

POL237 Basics of Leadership

[1–0, 1 cr.]

This course covers the basic concepts and definitions of leadership provided by the literature. It will cover the principles and skills that a leader should acquire and looks into the various forms of leadership in different social, political and economic contexts. It tackles a number of issues and challenges, like authority, charisma, democracy, team building, ethics and values that leaders face while performing their leadership roles through multiple forms of inquiry and learning experiences.

POL240 Concepts of World Politics

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course offers an introduction to the study of International Relations through discussion and analysis of: the growing relationship between conflict, security and development; the sources of foreign policy and international conflict; political economy; national security; international organizations; global governance; and the gap between North and South, among other topics. 

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science

POL241 Model United Nations: Diplomatic Skills & Simulation

[3–0, 3 cr.]

The course explores the workings of the United Nations and expands the students’ global awareness on issues ranging from international disputes to cooperation towards development. The course initiates students to international diplomacy by letting them simulate various UN member states and investigate multilateral issues from a national perspective. The students would develop public speaking, debating, and negotiation skills; all while engaging in consensus building and learning prejudice reduction mechanisms.

POL 242 Introduction to International Relations:

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts of the field of international relations. It discusses basic facts about international conflict and cooperation, international law, development, the international economy, global health crises, and the world environment, among other things. It also examines the influence of non-state actors on security, economics, and politics. With an emphasis on contemporary world affairs and global governance, it likewise explores the institutions, interests, ideas, and personalities behind international events. Foundational knowledge will be conveyed by looking at the evolution of theoretical concepts and learning about key historical events that frame our understanding of international relations and informs public policy and foreign policy decisions.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science
Co-requisite: ENG 101

POL252 Fundamentals of Conflict Resolution

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This introductory course explores the nature of conflict and a variety of tools that can be used to analyze conflict at its different levels. Drawing from broad theoretical bases, the course examines the complex causes of conflict within the framework of human rights and needs. The course introduces students to models for analyzing conflict and practical ways for responding to conflict, including skills of interpersonal communication, negotiation and mediation. (Required core course)

POL312 Politics of Developing Areas

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course provides an introduction to the comparative politics of the developing world. It addresses many of the key themes, issues, and forces that have shaped socioeconomic and political developments in Africa, Asia and Latin America. These include the legacies of colonialism, the achievement of independence, challenges of state building and regime consolidation, economic policy choices, the politics of ethnicity and gender, revolution, and the role of the military, and democratization. 

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science

POL314 Research Methodology

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course examines the various approaches to social and scientific inquiries. It explains the different methods social scientists utilize in order to construct and verify political theories.   It provides the student with the analytical skills required to design scientific research, construct a theory, implement appropriate research methods, identify a required research sample, conduct research analysis, verify hypotheses, make generalizations, and write a research report.

Co-requisite: ENG202 Advanced Academic English

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science

POL315 Community Conflict and Conflict Resolution

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course focuses on the social dimension of conflict by looking at group dynamics and social interactions.  The course reviews concepts such as group formation, inter- and intra-group communication, group dynamics, cultural, religious and other influences as well as ways communal conflict manifest themselves and how conflicts tend to be resolved in communities.  Students would review group conflicts and analyze community conflicts that they are familiar with.  This course will be of significant relevance to Political Science, International Relations and Social Studies students.   The course will review the role of nongovernmental and governmental organizations in contributing to community conflict resolution.  (Required core course)

POL316 Introduction to International Conflict and Conflict Resolution

[3–0, 3 cr.]

The course is designed to introduce students to the causes and dynamics of international conflict and ways they are addressed at the international level.  The course begins by reviewing the different theories that explain the emergence of international conflict.  It then studies the various factors that lead to international conflict and the dynamics that encourage conflict escalation.  Finally, the course reviews the various techniques used to intervene in such conflicts including early warning systems, first and second track diplomacy, sanctions and military intervention among others.

POL317 Conflict Resolution Tools for the Business World

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course provides an overview of the skills and tools needed to understand different types of conflicts in a business setting. It also provides students with information on how to analyze such conflicts and review techniques used for effective intervention in such conflicts. Real life examples are used to illustrate such conflicts and the processes that have helped achieve conflict resolution or transformation. Furthermore, leadership role and cultural influences are reviewed in addition to conflict resolutions skills such as facilitation, negotiation and mediation techniques. 

POL318 Research Methodology I

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to be able to design, conduct  and evaluate qualitative research projects in political science/international affairs.  Students will learn how to write a literature review, design a research project, including the development of research questions and hypotheses and the collection and analysis of qualitative data.

Prerequisites: POL201 Introduction to Political Science and ENG 102

POL319 Research Methodology II

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to conduct quantitative research in political science/international affairs. Students will learn how to design a quantitative research project, including collection and analysis of quantitative data. They will further learn how to apply statistical methods to the analysis of datasets, including the analysis of variance, simple and multiple linear regression, and logistic regression. They will be also exposed to the skills in statistical computing, handling and manipulating of large datasets and using statistical software  such as SPSS. 

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science, ENG102 and POLXXX: Research Methodology I

POL321 American Government and Politics

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course studies the structure and processes of the American political system. Topics include the nature of American democracy; the constitutional framework; political attitudes; socialization and participation, political parties and elections; and the federal decision-making process.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science

POL322 Foreign Policy of the Major Powers

[3–0, 3 cr.]

A survey and analysis of the policies of the great powers in the post-cold war period. Changing patterns of ties between the great powers in light of the USSR’s disintegration and Russia’s revival; the continuing strength of the U.S.; the end of the cold war; Japan’s and Germany’s rise as economic giants; China’s economic growth; European integration and the U.N.’s revival. Domestic and international influences on great power decision-making, notably security and economic matters, are also included.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science

POL323 Middle East Governments and Politics

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course surveys the major issues and problems that dominate the political scene in the Middle East, paying special attention to a number of themes including the process of post-colonial state formation; the rise of Arab nationalism and other forms of nationalism; variations in regime consolidation and state-society relations; the institutional structures of authoritarianism; the challenges of development; and the Islamist challenge, among others.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science

POL324 Foreign Policy Analysis

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course introduces students to the theories and methods of Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA). It covers how foreign policy is made and who shapes it, and the outcomes and broader impact of policy choices. The course discusses how theories of international relations are relevant to FPA to understand opportunities and constraints arising from the international system. The course discusses the role of actors and processes, public opinion, individual decision-makers, group dynamics, lobby and interest groups, cognitive theories, and leadership styles by investigating the foreign policies of major, middle, and small powers during and after the Cold War. The empirical case studies focus on states in the Global North and the Global South, international organizations, and transitional actors.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science and Co requisite ENG 101

POL325 Diplomatic and Consular Services

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course covers the structure, functions, and procedures of diplomatic and consular services. It also covers the recruitment of diplomatic and consular personnel, diplomacy and diplomatic theory, and diplomatic privileges and immunities. This course will include interactive activities with diplomats and consulates through field trips to the Lebanese Foreign Ministry and to selected embassies in Lebanon.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science
Co-requisite ENG 101

POL326 Politics of the European Union

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course examines both the domestic politics and international relations of European Union states as well as considers the policies and roles of the European Union as a supranational actor in world politics.

 

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science
Co requisite ENG 101

POL327 Fundamentals of Security Studies

[3–0, 3 cr.]

The course introduces students to some of the theoretical approaches and central concepts of Security Studies. The course focuses on both traditional topics, known as ‘guns and bombs’, and non-traditional and ‘new’ threats and issues in Security Studies. The course focuses on different conceptualizations of Security, including political, military, economic, and social. The course enables students to contextualize and understand the current national and international security climate by examining core theories, concepts, and seminal historical events in the field of International Relations and Security Studies.

POL328 Fundamentals to Public Policy

[3–0, 3 cr.]

The course introduces students to the concept of public policy and to how policy makers address public needs, issues and concerns, including: economic development; taxation and spending; infrastructure; protecting the environment, Information Technology; and essential services such as education, health care, and pension plans among others.  The course draws on real life cases to explain the phases of the public policy process and to introduce the various actors, agencies and institutions involved. 

 

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science
Co requisite ENG 101

POL331 International Organization

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course covers the concepts and the evolution of international organization, the structure and the evolution of the United Nations, with emphasis on collective security, pacific settlements of disputes, peacekeeping operations and economic and social developments.

Co-requisite: ENG202 Advanced Academic English

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science

POL331H International Organization

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course covers the concepts and the evolution of international organization, the structure and the evolution of the United Nations, with emphasis on collective security, pacific settlements of disputes, peacekeeping operations and economic and social developments.

Co-requisite: ENG202 Advanced Academic English

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science

POL332 Public International Law

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course examines the nature of international law sources, the differences between international law and municipal law and the international systems’ legal organization, states (their territory and jurisdiction) as subjects of international law, as well as international treaties and agreements, diplomatic and consular agents, laws of war, neutrality, belligerent occupation, and war crimes. Through case studies, this course examines the principle laws of nations.

Co-requisite: ENG202 Advanced Academic English

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science

POL334 Negotiation and Bargaining

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course explores negotiation and bargaining from the individual to the international level, including both public and private sector examples.  It covers the context of negotiation, proceeds to the structure of negotiations and to the dynamics, strategy and tactics for persuading, coercing, and bargaining through to conclusion.  Group and national differences and approaches will be highlighted and demonstrated using intra-cultural negotiating exercises.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science
Co requisite ENG 101

POL335 Politics of Multiculturalism

[3–0, 3 cr.]

Multiculturalism is a buzz word in current political debates and popular discussions of ethnicity and migrant communities.  This course explores why multicultural policy has become important, what kinds of minorities need to be accommodated and what kinds of policy contexts are important for multiculturalism in different countries.  The course examines sociological evidence for cultural diversity, its linkages with inter-generational socio-economic disadvantage and the political arguments for and against multiculturalism. 

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science

POL335H Politics of Multiculturalism

[3–0, 3 cr.]

Multiculturalism is a buzz word in current political debates and popular discussions of ethnicity and migrant communities.  This course explores why multicultural policy has become important, what kinds of minorities need to be accommodated and what kinds of policy contexts are important for multiculturalism in different countries.  The course examines sociological evidence for cultural diversity, its linkages with inter-generational socio-economic disadvantage and the political arguments for and against multiculturalism. 

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science

POL336 Politics in the Global South

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course provides an introduction to the politics of the Global South. It addresses many of the key themes and dynamics that have shaped socioeconomic and political developments in Africa, Asia and Latin America. These include the legacies of colonialism, the achievement of independence, challenges of state building and regime consolidation, economic policy choices, the politics of class, ethnicity and gender, revolutions, the role of the military, and democratization.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science
Co requisite ENG 101

POL346 International Political Economy

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course provides students an overview of International Political Economy (IPE). It introduces students to the making of the international political economy as well as the main themes and debates in IPE. Topics covered include the nature of the international political economy, theories of IPE, the role of international institutions, the politics of international trade, complex interdependence, and foreign direct investment.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science

POL357 Globalization and Political Change

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course introduces the phenomenon of globalization. It examines its historical roots and the different views associated with its universal impacts. Is globalization helping the integration of world cultures, economies, and states or further fragmentation and differentiation? How is globalization helping the improvement of the quality of life and how is it not? How is globalization undermining war and at other times fuelling its causes? This course will address these questions from various points of view. 

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science

POL368 Political Parties and Elections in America

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course focuses on two key elements of democratic politics using the case of the United States: political parties and elections. It explores elections, particularly presidential elections, as devices by which citizens may or may not control what their government does as well as analyzes political parties as selectors of candidates and organizers of political choices. The role of money, advertising, political activists, and the mass media are also discussed.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science

POL415 Negotiation and Bargaining

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course explores negotiation and bargaining from the individual to the international level, including both public and private sector examples.  It covers the context of negotiation, proceeds to the structure of negotiations and to the dynamics, strategy and tactics for persuading, coercing, and bargaining through to conclusion.  Group and national differences and approaches will be highlighted and demonstrated using intra-cultural negotiating exercises.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science and ENG202 Advanced Academic English  

POL422 The Middle East in World Affairs

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course examines inter-state conflict in the modern Middle East. It examines contending theories of Middle East state behavior, and applies them to the main crises or events that have shaped regional dynamics. Special focus is given to the Arab-Israeli conflict, regional rivalries, the policies of the main international and regional actors, and domestic factors in shaping systemic dynamics, among other topics. The course also evaluates the causes of the different conflicts from contending theoretical perspectives.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science and ENG202 Advanced Academic English

POL426 Politics of the European Union

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course examines both the domestic politics and international relations of European Union states as well as considers the policies and roles of the European Union as a supranational actor in world politics.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science and ENG202 Advanced Academic English

POL432 Diplomacy and Consular Services

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course covers the structure, functions, and procedures of diplomatic and consular services. It also covers the recruitment of diplomatic and consular personnel, diplomacy and diplomatic theory, and diplomatic privileges and immunities. This course will include interactive activities with diplomats and consulates through field trips to the Lebanese Foreign Ministry and to selected embassies in Lebanon.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science and ENG202 Advanced Academic English

POL434 Topics in Global Governance

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course covers topics in Global Governance.

Prerequisites: POL201 Introduction to Political Science, ENG202

POL435 Topics in Comparative Politics

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course covers topics in Comparative Politics.

Prerequisites: POL201 Introduction to Political Science, ENG202

POL436 Topics in Middle Eastern Studies

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course covers topics in Middle Eastern Studies.

Prerequisites: POL201 Introduction to Political Science, ENG202

POL437 Topics in Political Science-International Affairs

[3–0, 3 cr.]

Courses designed to cover topical areas based on visiting instructors and/or current events.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science  and ENG202 Advanced Academic English

POL437H Topics in Political Science-International Affairs

[3–0, 3 cr.]

Courses designed to cover topical areas based on visiting instructors and/or current events.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science  and ENG202 Advanced Academic English

POL437O Topics in Political Science: Gender Equality in Negotiation, Mediation and Conflict Resolution

[3–0, 3 cr.]

“Negotiation”, “Mediation” and “Conflict Resolution” are key skills that any professional must develop. But these skills are not limited to the workplace. Indeed, the ability to undertake effective cross-cultural, cross-gender discussions is an essential component of academic and social development. Numerous frameworks have been developed to train professionals to lead negotiations and navigate the complexities of conflict situations. Yet, few academic interventions have been developed to introduce undergraduate students to the principles and praxis of successful cross-cultural and cross-gender discussions.

POL447 Internship

[1–0, 1 cr.]

Provides the students with an opportunity to gain knowledge and skills from a planned work experience in their chosen major. It will provide learning experiences that are not available in the classroom setting. Students are expected to complete a minimum of 200 hours work in a local, regional, or international Governmental or non-Governmental organization working. Valuable work experience and credit is gained in translating theoretical and analytical skills in political science/international affairs into professional practice.

POL448 Internship

[3–0, 3 cr.]

Introduction to the world of politics, government and related career fields in order to put into practice skills and theories learned in the classroom.  Internships will take place at government agencies, IGOs, or NGOs approved by the department. Valuable work experience and credit is gained in translating theoretical and analytical skills in political science/international affairs into professional practice. Prerequisite: Consent of department.

Prerequisite: POL201 Introduction to Political Science and ENG202 Advanced Academic English

Note: This course has not been taught since Fall 2020 and will not be taught in the academic year 2022-2023.

POL488 Internship

[3–0, 3 cr.]

Introduction to the world of politics, government and related career fields in order to put into practice skills and theories learned in the classroom. Internships will take place at government agencies, IGOs, or NGOs approved by the department. Valuable work experience and credit is gained in translating theoretical and analytical skills in political science/international affairs into professional practice.

Prerequisite: Consent of department. 

Note: This course has not been taught since Fall 2020 and will not be taught in the academic year 2022-2023.

POL499H Senior Study

[3–0, 3 cr.]

The course aims at guiding senior standing students in an independent research project from the selection of an appropriate research design applicable to the analysis of a political question of interest through to the completion of an independent research paper. 

Co-requisite: COM203 Art of Public Communication

Prerequisite: Senior Standing and ENG202 Advanced Academic English

POL499P Capstone Project

[3–0, 3 cr.]

The capstone course is designed to give students a culminating experience where they can focus on a project within the fields of international affairs and political science. In consultation with their instructor, students will base their capstone projects of a topic of interest, offering them an opportunity to strengthen their theoretical and applied knowledge of the subject matter by bridging theory and practice. Working in groups, students are also encouraged to pursue their choice of final deliverable that best suits their capstone, such as a poster, policy brief, or video. Students are encouraged to select a capstone topic and a final deliverable that best compliments their respective academic and professional objectives.

Prerequisites: Senior Standing,  POL201 POLXXX: Research Methodology I and POLXXX: Research Methodology II and ENG202

POL499R Undergraduate Research

[3–0, 3 cr.]

The course aims at guiding senior standing students in an independent research project from the selection of an appropriate research design applicable to the analysis of a political question of interest through to the completion of an independent research paper.

Prerequisites: Senior Standing, POL201 POLXXX: Research Methodology I and POLXXX: Research Methodology II and ENG202