Political Science, Current Events


The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. What does "freedom" mean? What counts as religion? Who gets to "assemble" undisturbed? Have you ever felt aggrieved and tried to ask the government for help? Join in the conversation about our prized freedom of speech in this lecture and discussion course.

This course contains no sessions

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We will look at the growth of civil society during the Yeltsin years and early Putin years. We will discuss the involvement of the US Agency for International Development in supporting Russian civil society and examine the increasing limitations placed on international support by President Putin. We will look at how Russia's civil society organizations are faring as a result. Finally, we will consider what the current state of Russian society portends for the future.

This course will focus on the issues faced by law enforcement, the courts and corrections in dealing with the crime problem, using lecture and discussion along with games and an in-class murder mystery. In order to see crime and justice up close and in action, we may tour the Florida Department of Law Enforcement crime lab, visit an area shooting range, view a weekend first-appearance court hearing and visit the Orient Road jail.
Economists used to have a pretty good idea about the policy implications of a Republican or Democratic administration. The Trump era, however, defies neat categories and requires us to re-think the implications and impact of this administration's policies. Consider, along with a trained economist, the potential economic outcomes of Trump's policies towards: international trade; immigration; environment; tax reform; infrastructure; national debt and health care.
Recipe for understanding foreign policy issues of the day: read a little background material in advance, view expert testimony in class, discuss. Great Decisions 2018 topics include: the waning of Pax Americana?; Russia's foreign policy; China and America: the new geopolitical equation; media and foreign policy; U.S. global engagement and the military; South Africa's fragile democracy; global health: progress and challenges. Required text: Great Decisions Briefing Book, ($30).
Imagine being the spouse of a career foreign service officer, interacting with dignitaries, officials or visiting scholars in economics, politics, literature, history or world affairs. Relive the experiences of one American diplomat's spouse with 38 years' experience in Thailand, Laos, Korea, Austria, Burma, Philippines and Japan. Journey into the extensive preparations required of an American diplomat's spouse and the delicate balance required to be effective in this role.

This course contains no sessions

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Seize the opportunity to learn more about the world's second largest monotheistic religion, which has about 6 million adherents in the U.S. Learn the basic tenets of Islam, its articles of faith and practice, and dispel common misconceptions. We'll discuss some social, historic, and legal aspects of the faith, with emphasis given to women in Islam, terrorism and Islamophobia. Gain an appreciation for the contributions Islam has made to the modern world.
This course will be a friendly gathering of people who enjoy considering newsworthy events together. We invite you to join our talented communicators as we engage in discussions on the pressing topics of our time. Class participation is an integral part of this course: you will be invited to help select several topics and your opinions are welcome. We will identify current issues, consider them in all their complexity, and then move on to consider possible solutions. Topics will range from domestic to foreign affairs as well as Florida-specific and women's issues.
We have approximately 100,000 military and civilians on the Korean Peninsula today plus countless Americans who are married to Koreans living permanently in the Republic of Korea (South Korea). American presidents since Clinton have declared a nuclear North Korea is unacceptable. Draw more informed conclusions about the reality of the U.S. vulnerability and available options.
What's happening in China? The answer--a lot every hour, every day, every week. This class will track the social, economic, and political happenings in China the week before each class meeting with an eye toward a robust class discussion.

This course contains no sessions

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Since 9/11, the United States has waged a "War on Terror" with varying degrees of success. In this course, we'll examine the history of terrorist organizations; the strengths and weaknesses of terror as a tactic; the differences between al-Qaeda and ISIS and the threat they pose to the U.S.; review the successes and failures of U.S. efforts to deal with the proliferation of terrorist groups; and, discuss U.S. strategy and tactics in the war on terror.
Billions of dollars will be spent in 2018 by national and local political advertisers to grab your attention, your support, and ultimately, your vote. Billions more will be spent to influence the way candidates and their campaign platforms are portrayed in news coverage across the spectrum, from the New York Times to Fox News to local newspapers and radio stations, and even micro-geographic blogs.The combination of congressional and gubernatorial elections makes this a critical year for Florida and national politics, and we'll be analyzing the action as the races begin to heat up!
Where did the so-called "alt right" come from? How did white supremacy and white nationalism start in our country? These movements and ideologies are not just Southern holdovers from the Civil War, but go back to the earliest days of U.S. history. Learn about this history and the political, economic and theological underpinnings of white supremacy in our nation.