POLS 1101 – American Government
Dr. John Maltese
“Government and politics in the United States, including the philosophical and constitutional foundations, political institutions such as Congress and the presidency, political practices such as voting, and civil rights and liberties.”
This was a very interesting time to take my first Political Science course at UGA. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act had been signed into law in March 2010, and I was taking this class in Spring of 2012, during the height of the Supreme Court’s discussion on the constitutionality of “Obamacare”. For my research assignment, I defended the constitutionality of the individual mandate provision:
POLS 1101 – Individual Mandate Paper
POLS 2000 – Introduction to Political Science
Dr. Scott Ainsworth
“Designed to introduce beginning students to political science. Focus will be on the study of politics, including theoretical perspectives, substantive areas, and issues in designing political research.”
For this course, I researched the role of presidential political capital on Congressional decision making. I measured the approval rating of President George W. Bush during times of the highest, the median, and the lowest approval ratings, and compared that with Congressional roll call votes on issues that were most important to President Bush (in this case, the Iraq War, Tax Policy, and Trade). All of the data are original data collection, from sources such as Congressional roll call votes and UC Santa Barbara’s Presidency Project.
POLS 3000 – Introduction to Political Theory
“Political theory for students with little or no previous course work in the area. Focuses on one or more important political concepts or phenomena (e.g., power, freedom, or political ambition) and as entry-point into various approaches and literatures within the field.”
This political theory course covered a wide range of political philosophy and used the philosophy that formed the basis of American politics to analyze modern social and political issues. We asked critical questions, such as: what role should people play in democracy? Does justice permit, or require, the state to redistribute wealth? Are there conflicts between economic efficiency and justice? These were answered from a variety of philosophical points of view, ranging from Locke to Rawls. My written work in the course is listed below:
POLS 3000 – Locke Analysis
POLS 3000 – Nozick & Civil Rights
POLS 4010 – Political Philosophy to Machiavelli
“Selected works of such writers as Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, St. Augustine, and St. Thomas, concluding with the rejection of classical thought by Machiavelli.”
This was the first SPIA course I took that focused on philosophical political theory. We read and analyzed works from the early prominent political thinkers listed above; I concentrated on Aristotle’s ideal state in particular for my term criticism, This, along with my short critique of Luther, are linked below:
POLS 4010 – Aristotle Criticism
POLS 4010 – Luther Short Criticism
POLS 4530 – American Political Parties
Dr. Audrey Haynes
“Political organizations that contest elections and seek to control government in the United States. Particular emphasis will be placed on the two major political parties, as well as the future of the American party system.”
For the final work in this course, I expanded on the research that I did on the role of presidential “political capital” on Congressional decision-making. I included the data I collected for my POLS 2000 course, as well as my new data collection over the Obama administration’s healthcare policies.
POLS 4610 – The United States Presidency
“The president of the United States, including the president’s constitutional position, theories of executive dominance and executive privilege, the president’s attempt to control the executive branch, and presidential-congressional relations.”
Much of this course involved class discussion on current issues affecting the president. For one assignment, however, I criticized the book Why the Electoral College Is Bad for America.
This serves as an example of my writing style, and is linked below:
POLS 4610 – Edwards Criticism
POLS 4790 – Special Topics in American Politics – Political Propaganda
Dr. Audrey Haynes
“Theories and practices of political institutions, behavior, or policy making in the United States.”
The special topic for this course was political propaganda in the United States. We compared propaganda to other forms of communication messages to understand why it is especially effective politically. In addition, we utilized models to analyze and deconstruct common forms of propaganda in current political events. For our final project, we worked in groups to evaluate a particular type of propaganda – ISIS terrorist propaganda.
The website for our project can be found here.