The Department of Politics and International Relations aims to foster a deeper appreciation for domestic and international politics through the study of political behavior, government institutions, and the international system. In fulfillment of this aim, the department offers courses that:

  1. expose students to the major areas of the discipline, including American politics, international politics, comparative politics, public policy, law, and political philosophy;
  2. emphasize concepts, theories, and tools that are essential in political analysis;
  3. address key issues involved in the building of just and peaceful political communities; and
  4. examine the relationship of Christianity and politics.

The department offers majors in Political Science and International Relations that are firmly rooted in the traditional liberal arts curriculum of Wheaton College. Due to the large overlap between the two majors, department policy does not allow a double major in Political Science and International Relations.

Chair, Associate Professor, Michael McKoy
Professors, Amy Black, Bryan McGraw
Associate Professors, Kristin Garrett, David Iglesias, Timothy Taylor
Assistant Professor, Alex Haskins

Political Science Courses

PSCI 135. American Politics and Government. (4 Credits)

American Politics and Government. An introduction to the foundations and institutions of the United States' political system. Explores the political behavior of individuals and groups and engages contemporary political debate.

Tags: SI

PSCI 145. Political Philosophy. (4 Credits)

An exploration of some of the major themes in the tradition of western political thought, to include the nature of politics, freedom, equality, justice, and virtue. The course will center around some of the tradition’s most significant texts, including works by Plato, Augustine, Hobbes, Mill and more contemporary authors.

Tags: PI, SI

PSCI 201. U.S. Education Policy: Problems and Possibilities. (4 Credits)

See EDUC 201

Tags: DUS, SI

PSCI 236. Intercollegiate Trial Advocacy. (0 or 0.5 Credits)

A hands-on exploration of the theory and practice of trial advocacy through competition in intercollegiate mock trial tournaments. Graded pass/fail. One credit hour per year based on full participation in the fall and spring semesters. Register for credit in the spring semester. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.

PSCI 244. Film and Political Theory. (2 Credits)

This course explores how films develop, offer, and apply arguments about human nature, human flourishing, and other topics central to normative theorizing about politics. Course offered occasionally.

PSCI 245. Politics & Pop Culture. (2 Credits)

An exploration and evaluation of portrayals of political themes and concepts in various forms of popular culture including film, television, and plays.

PSCI 274. Introduction to Law. (4 Credits)

This course provides a general introduction to the nature and function of law in society.

PSCI 301. Topics in Political Science. (2 Credits)

Selected topics, designed to give added breadth and depth to the understanding of American politics and/or political behavior.

PSCI 302. Topics in Political Science. (4 Credits)

Selected topics, designed to explore an important topic in American politics, political behavior, or political theory.

PSCI 311. Constitutional Law. (4 Credits)

An examination of the American constitutional system, with special emphasis given to the role of judicial institutions and the impact of Supreme Court decisions.

PSCI 323. Chinese Political Thought. (4 Credits)

What is a “state” and what is “human nature”? Does one have an obligation or responsibility to the state and, conversely, do rulers owe anything to their people? How ought a state relate to individual or communal ethics or social custom, if at all? In this course, we will seriously consider—from a distinctly Christian perspective—how various pre-imperial (771-221 BCE) Chinese political thinkers like Confucius, Mencius and Xunzi, among others, have addressed these questions and the degree to which we find these arguments persuasive (or not) as they bear both on Christian faith/practice as well as on the world. Through dialogue and writing, students will develop their ability to compare and critically (though charitably) assess disparate articulations of the relationship between the state, individuals, and communities across the history of classical Chinese political thought. Further, students will cultivate a nuanced view of classical Chinese political thought—and the lasting legacy it has had on the global church, particularly in Asia and the Asian diaspora—as well as formulate their own political and philosophical opinions on the varied, and often contradicting, conceptions of the relationship between political entities and the people they aspire to govern.

Tags: GP, PI

PSCI 324. Black Political Thought. (4 Credits)

What is “freedom”? What is “justice”? What role do politics, law, economics, faith, and ethics play in securing freedom and justice? How do the interrelated nature of social identities such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality reflect important elements in calls for freedom and justice? In this course, we will seriously consider—from a distinctly Christian perspective—how key authors like Douglass, Jacobs, Wells, Washington, DuBois, and Davis (among others) have answered these questions and the degree to which we might find these arguments persuasive (or not) as they bear both on Christian faith/practice as well as on the world. Through dialogue and writing, students will develop their ability to compare and critically (though charitably) assess disparate articulations of the relationship between domination, freedom, and justice in the history of black political thought, from the 18th century to the present. In so doing, students will cultivate a nuanced view of Black diasporic thought—both within and outside of the global church—as well as formulate their own political and philosophical opinions on the varied, and often contradicting, visions for how politics might secure conditions of freedom and justice in the modern world.

Tags: DUS, PI

PSCI 325. Criminal Law Procedure. (2 Credits)

This course provides a general introduction to the process by which government investigates, charges and proves criminal offenses committed by individuals.

PSCI 326. Caribbean Political Thought. (4 Credits)

What is “freedom”? What is “justice”? What role do politics, law, art, economics, faith, and ethics play in securing freedom and justice? How do the interrelated nature of social identities such as race, ethnicity, class, and gender reflect important elements in calls for freedom and justice? In this course, we will seriously consider—from a distinctly Christian perspective—how key Caribbean figures like Frantz Fanon, Marcus Garvey, C.L.R. James, Claudia Jones, Toussaint L’overture, and Sylvia Wynter (among others) have answered these questions and the degree to which we might find these arguments persuasive (or not) as they bear both on Christian faith and practice as well as on the world. Through dialogue and writing, students will develop their ability to compare and critically (though charitably) assess disparate articulations of the relationship between domination, freedom, and justice in the history of Caribbean political thought, from the 18th century to the present. In so doing, students will cultivate a nuanced view of Caribbean diasporic thought—both within and outside of the global church—as well as formulate their own political and philosophical opinions on the varied, and often contradicting, visions for how politics might secure conditions of freedom and justice in the modern world.

Tags: GP, LE

PSCI 327. Civil Rights and Police Action. (2 Credits)

This course provides a general introduction to the constitutionally protected civil rights individuals have in the United States and whether use of force by law enforcement violates these rights. The course focuses on use of force issues from wrongful arrest to fatal use of force by law enforcement.

PSCI 328. Immigration. (4 Credits)

What are the duties of U.S. citizens and institutions towards those who migrate here from other countries? How have laws, court cases, and executive orders concerning U.S. immigration been formed throughout history and what consequences have their legacies had for modern and contemporary understandings of politics? What relationship is there between immigration and racial (in)justice, if any? In this course, we will seriously consider—from a distinctly Christian perspective—how various actors, institutions, and policies involved in debates about immigration have contributed to notions of justice, equality, membership, and law and the degree to which we might find these arguments persuasive (or not) as they bear on both Christian faith/practice and on the world. Through dialogue and writing, students will develop their ability to compare and critically (though charitably) assess disparate approaches to immigration while also establishing their own scholarly and political voices. In so doing, students will work out a nuanced view of prominent actors, institutions, and policies involved in the ongoing narrative of immigration in the U.S.

Tags: DUS, SI

PSCI 332. Media and Politics. (4 Credits)

This course explores the interrelationship between the mass media (including print, broadcast, and new media), public opinion, and American politics. Prerequisite: PSCI 135 or equivalent.

PSCI 343. Political Ethics. (4 Credits)

This course brings philosophical ethics and normative political theory into dialogue with the distinctive practical problems associated with contemporary American politics and policy. Topics to be considered include abortion, euthanasia, affirmative action, war, distributive justice, deception and manipulation, and the ethics of roles.

PSCI 344. Women, Politics, and American Society. (4 Credits)

An exploration of the role of women in American politics from revolutionary times to the present, tracing the transformation of the role of American women from outsiders to more full participants in politics and government.

Tags: DUS

PSCI 349. Christian Political Thought. (4 Credits)

An engagement with the varieties of Christian thinking about politics, including both its historical development and the contemporary alternatives. Thinkers explored will include Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Locke, Niebuhr, Hauerwas, and a number of others.

PSCI 358. Campaigns in Context. (2 Credits)

An examination of federal, state, and local campaigns with an emphasis on the politics and context of the November election. Wheaton-in-Washington Program. PSCI 135 recommended. Course offered occasionally.

PSCI 359. Washington Workshop. (2 Credits)

Reflections on the meetings, briefings, and excursions in Washington, D.C. Wheaton-in-Washington Program. Course offered occasionally.

PSCI 361. Political Research. (4 Credits)

This course introduces research design to students using the context of political science. While there are many approaches to research design, we will focus upon quantitative analysis. At the introduction students will be exposed to the basic framework of theories, variables, and causation. Students will then construct a research design to test an original political science project. This course is designed to be an introduction to research methods so there are no prerequisites. Students are encouraged to approach projects with creativity and ask questions.

Tags: AAQR

PSCI 363. Race and Politics in the United States. (4 Credits)

This course investigates the complex relationship between racial and ethnic identity and political outcomes in the United States. It explores broad political science concepts like public opinion, political behavior, social movement, media effects, and political representation in the context of racial and ethnic groups.

Tags: DUS

PSCI 364. Analyzing Public Opinion. (4 Credits)

This course equips students to apply mathematical concepts, especially in the area of statistics, to analyze public opinion data. It leverages substantive public opinion topics and a semester-long research project as springboards to learn about and apply quantitative methods to describe phenomena and answer research questions related to public opinion. Course offered occasionally.

PSCI 365. Classical and Medieval Political Thought. (4 Credits)

The western political tradition rests on the interplay between the claims emerging out of classical Greece and Rome on the one hand and out of Christianity on the other. This course explores that interplay by engaging both classical (Homer, Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle) and Christian political thinkers (Augustine, Aquinas). Course offered occasionally.

PSCI 366. Modern Political Thought. (4 Credits)

This course chronicles the replacement of the Christian order and the development of its theoretical alternative, modernity. Thinkers considered include: Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, Mill, Nietzsche, and Freud. Course offered occasionally.

PSCI 368. American Political Thought. (4 Credits)

An analysis of central ideas in the history of American political thought, from the founding to the present. Course offered occasionally.

PSCI 371. Public Opinion and American Democracy. (4 Credits)

This course helps students understand the factors that shape political attitudes and the actions they trigger in the United States. Particular attention is given to major methods and findings of survey research, as well as to implications of this research for how we think about the role of citizens in democracy.

PSCI 374. Political Psychology: Understanding the Political Mind and Behavior. (4 Credits)

This course equips students to apply the concepts, theories, and methods of psychology to better understand political attitudes and behavior. It emphasizes how new research at the intersection of fields like psychology, biology, and neuroscience can inform our thinking about politics.

Tags: SIP

PSCI 383. Religion & American Politics. (4 Credits)

An assessment of the role of religion in American politics, focusing especially on the contemporary era. Particular attention is given to the role of evangelicals. Periodic.

PSCI 384. The Presidency. (4 Credits)

Examines the role of the presidency in the U.S. political system, focusing on such themes as leadership, decision-making, and Congressional-Executive relations. Alternate years.

PSCI 385. Urban Politics. (2 Credits)

An analysis of the politics of urban areas, including relationships with state and national governments, decision-making, and urban public policy. Course offered occasionally.

PSCI 386. Congress & Policy Process. (4 Credits)

Congress and the Policy Process. An examination of the role of Congress in the American political process, including historical development, structure and functions, and decision-making. Recommended for those seeking Washington internships. Alternate years.

PSCI 387. Law and Religion. (4 Credits)

This course is designed to introduce students to the moral, legal, and constitutional questions surrounding religion and its place in democratic public life. Students will have an opportunity to gain a familiarity with the development of American constitutional law as it relates to religion, explore the alternatives to those developments, understand the contending side of contemporary controversies, and articulate their own considered views on each via both presentations and writing exercises.

PSCI 389. Campaigns and Elections. (4 Credits)

Explores the structures and institutions of American electoral politics, including the nomination process and general elections. Gives special attention to the elements of the modern campaign, including campaign finance, research, polling, advertising, and media use. Offered fall of even-numbered years.

PSCI 394. Spirit of the Laws. (2 Credits)

Since its publication in 1748, The Spirit of the Laws has been interpreted as abolitionist, an American Founding essential, anti-Christian, elitist, laissez-faire, racist, and as sociology’s early modern forerunner, among others. In this course, we will read The Spirit of the Laws with attention to these (and other) interpretations. Our aim is to collectively determine—from a distinctly Christian perspective—the degree to which we might find the arguments encountered in Montesquieu’s text persuasive (or not) as they bear on both Christian faith/practice and on the world. Through dialogue and writing, students will develop their ability to compare and critically (though charitably) assess the disparate foundations and influences of Montesquieu’s work while also establishing their own scholarly, political, and legal voices. In so doing, students will work out a nuanced view of comparative, global, and European political and legal thought, both within and outside of the global church.

PSCI 396. W.E.B. Du Bois. (2 Credits)

Considered one of the most significant American political thinkers of the twentieth century, William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) Du Bois stands as a towering figure in a range of humanistic and social scientific disciplines. From watershed concepts like the “color line” and “double-consciousness” to his pioneering work in what would become urban sociology, revisionist U.S. historiography, and Negro/Black/Africana Studies, Du Bois’ contributions to contemporary scholarship are as vast as they are enduring. In this course, we will read select key works of Du Bois’ with attention to a variety of interpretations. Our aim is to collectively determine—from a distinctly Christian perspective—the degree to which we might find the arguments encountered in Du Bois’ texts persuasive (or not) as they bear on both Christian faith/practice and on the world. Through dialogue and writing, students will develop their ability to compare and critically (though charitably) assess the disparate foundations and influences of Du Bois’ work while also establishing their own scholarly, political, economic, and social voices. In so doing, students will work out a nuanced view of comparative, global, and African diasporic political and social thought, both within and outside of the global church.

PSCI 398. Politics of the African Diaspora. (2 Credits)

This course explores the political thought of key figures situated across the African diaspora. Emphasis is placed both upon the diversity of Black political experiences and shared themes that cut across contextual boundaries. In this course, we will grapple with what role(s) politics, law, art, economics, faith, and ethics play in securing freedom and justice as well as how the interrelated nature of social identities such as race, ethnicity, class, and gender reflect important elements in calls for freedom and justice. Through dialogue and writing, students will develop their ability to compare and critically (though charitably) assess disparate articulations of modern African diasporic political experiences and realities. In so doing, students will cultivate a nuanced view of Black diasporic politics—both within and outside of the global church—as well as formulate their own opinions on the challenges and opportunities facing the diaspora now.

PSCI 399. Faith in the Capitol. (2 Credits)

This course will introduce you to personal accounts of how Christian faith has affected the careers of successful public servants from a variety of areas—local, state, and federal-- elected, appointed and high-level staff members. Students will read first person accounts and interact with guest lecturers from a variety of backgrounds who have been successful in public service and can share how their Christian faith helped them in times of trial, success, failure, challenges and setbacks. By the end of the course, students should be able to provide examples of how the Biblically based faith of Christian officials from a variety of fields affected ethical challenges, mission formation and accomplishment, and how best to determine a vocation.

PSCI 494. Senior Seminar. (2 Credits)

An analysis of the interrelationship of politics and the Christian faith, focusing on vocational, conceptual, legal, and domestic public policy issues. Senior majors only.

General Education: SHAR

PSCI 495. Independent Study. (2 to 4 Credits)

A guided individual reading and research problem. Junior and senior majors, or discretion of professor.

PSCI 496. Internship. (4 Credits)

A series of programs designed for practical experience in professions frequently chosen by Political Science majors, such as law, government, and public service. Political Science majors may substitute MSCI 401, LAW 496 or HNGR 496 for the PSCI 496 requirement.

PSCI 499. Honors Thesis. (4 Credits)

An independent research project requiring original research, developed into a scholarly paper and culminating in an oral examination. By application only. The honors thesis may not be counted toward the total hours to complete the major.

International Relations Courses

IR 155. Comparative Politics. (4 Credits)

An introduction to the comparative analysis of the political systems of countries around the world. The course will examine the role of political institutions, political participation, and economics in shaping societies.

Tags: GP, SI

IR 175. International Politics. (4 Credits)

An introduction to the politics among states. Themes emphasized include: international security, diplomacy, conflict resolution and war, human rights, international law and organization, and global political economy.

Tags: SI

IR 201. Introduction to Political Economy. (4 Credits)

This course serves as an introduction to the Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) Certificate. It first introduces students to the history of moral, philosophical, and theological thinking about the intersection of politics and economics, engaging thinkers such as Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, F.A. Hayek, and many others. It also introduces students to contemporary questions of political economy, to include globalization, economic distribution, growth, and the like.

IR 205. Economics and Politics in East Asia. (2 Credits)

This course introduces students to the economic and political systems of countries across East Asia. What explains the great inequalities both within and between East Asian countries? Why do democratic and autocratic countries coexist as neighbors in one of the world’s densest trade networks? We will explore these questions in this course as we examine the development of modern East Asian economies and their current politics. (Open to Wheaton College Summer Institute students only)

IR 301. Topics in International Politics. (2 Credits)

Selected topics, designed to give added breadth and depth to the understanding of international politics.

IR 302. Topics in International Politics. (4 Credits)

Selected topics, designed to give added breadth and depth to the understanding of international politics.

IR 312. Islam & Politics. (4 Credits)

This seminar course focuses on central Islamic concepts relating to politics and the role of Islam in political movements and individual political action.

IR 313. Religion and Foreign Policy. (2 Credits)

This course explores the many different ways in which religious ideas, identities, and actors can impact the foreign policy agendas and actions of countries around the world, shaping international outcomes like war, peace, intervention, and aid provision. Students will be introduced to the various structural, cultural, and political factors within states that can make all kinds of religious ideologies--liberal to conservative, moderate to extreme--relevant to foreign policy.

IR 315. Politics of Global Development. (4 Credits)

This course examines the nature and processes of economic development and political change in less developed countries. Emphasis is given to comparing the political economy of good governance.

IR 318. Environmental Politics. (4 Credits)

Contemporary environmental challenges suggest fundamental problems of nature-society relations through socio-physical phenomena such as acid rain, urban air pollution, deforestation, rabid desertification, high rates of extinction, and the prospect of global warming, as well as mounting inequality in threats to human wellbeing generated by these issues. This course engages various perspectives on the politics of these issues, equipping students to 1) understand the ways in which scholars and activists think about environmental challenges, 2) critically engage such perspectives, and 3)apply such perspectives to the changing landscape of environmental issues. Course offered occasionally.

IR 321. Islam in the Contemporary World. (4 Credits)

The course will expose the student to the Islamic religion including its various beliefs, sects and practices. The course also surveys the historical growth of the religion and its social and political dimensions as well the roots and manifestation of Islamic extremism and its effect on the modern Middle East. Students will also read primary sources of Islam to include the Quran and be able to engage with it from a Christian world view. Students will engage substantially, critically, and appreciate the different ways Muslims identify themselves, their religion and culture.

Tags: GP

IR 325. Justice Among the Nations. (4 Credits)

This course explores the moral questions occasioned by relationships among and between nations: what are the justifications for (and limits of) national sovereignty? Are there better (morally and practically) alternatives? Should the material wealth of the modern global economy be produced and distributed differently than it is now? When and how may states (or other sorts of political authorities) use military force? How can nations reconcile and act justly after mass atrocities? Course offered occasionally.

IR 326. Politics of the Caribbean. (4 Credits)

What is “freedom”? What is “justice”? What role do politics, law, art, economics, faith, and ethics play in securing freedom and justice? How do the interrelated nature of social identities such as race, ethnicity, class, and gender reflect important elements in calls for freedom and justice? In this course, we will seriously consider—from a distinctly Christian perspective—how key Caribbean figures like Frantz Fanon, Marcus Garvey, C.L.R. James, Claudia Jones, Toussaint L’overture, and Sylvia Wynter (among others) have answered these questions and the degree to which we might find these arguments persuasive (or not) as they bear both on Christian faith and practice as well as on the world. Through dialogue and writing, students will develop their ability to compare and critically (though charitably) assess disparate articulations of the relationship between domination, freedom, and justice in the history of Caribbean political thought, from the 18th century to the present. In so doing, students will cultivate a nuanced view of Caribbean diasporic thought—both within and outside of the global church—as well as formulate their own political and philosophical opinions on the varied, and often contradicting, visions for how politics might secure conditions of freedom and justice in the modern world.

Tags: GP

IR 327. Ethics & Foreign Policy. (2 Credits)

An examination of the role of moral values in foreign policy, with special emphasis on war, human rights, and foreign intervention. Prerequisite: IR 175. Course offered occasionally.

IR 345. US National Security. (4 Credits)

This course will introduce you to the history, policies, laws, agencies and actions of American national security focusing on post-WWII legislation, agency creation, court rulings and executive action. Students will study how national security policy sometimes impact the Christian concept of imago dei. Students will interact with guest lecturers who have been national security practitioners from military, diplomatic, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies. The course professor was a former United States Attorney responsible for enforcing federal criminal law and a retired U.S. Navy JAG Officer who prosecuted war crimes and terrorism cases at the U.S. Military Commissions at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Students will learn how to analyze a national security event and discuss which agencies will be involved and which agency will likely be the lead.

IR 346. African Politics. (4 Credits)

This course explores the politics of countries on the African continent, particularly south of the Sahara Desert. Emphasis is placed both upon the diversity of African political experiences (primarily through engagement with case studies) and upon political patterns (outcomes and influences) that cut across contextual boundaries and broadly impact the continent.

IR 347. East Asian Politics. (4 Credits)

Why do democratic and authoritarian countries coexist as neighbors in one of the world's densest trade networks? What explains the great inequalities both within and between East Asian countries? We will explore these questions in this course. We will examine the historical development of East Asian states and their contemporary domestic and international politics. In this course, we will investigate the three sub-regions of East Asia: Northeast Asia, China, and Southeast Asia. Finally, contemporary problems of international relations will be discussed ranging from nuclear weapons to island disputes to power transitions away from American hegemony.

Tags: HP

IR 348. Middle East Politics. (4 Credits)

In this course, students will learn about and analyze the political cultures and political conflicts of the Middle East.

IR 356. European Politics. (4 Credits)

A comparative assessment of the politics and government of selected European nations.

IR 359. Forgiveness and Political Reconciliation. (4 Credits)

This class explores the potential role of forgiveness in confronting and overcoming violence and conflict at the societal level, with particular attention paid to processes and institutions that can foster political reconciliation, seek justice, and promote positive peace. The course emphasizes theories and theological considerations about what it means to forgive, as well as case studies of peacebuilding and transitional justice.

IR 364. East Meets West. (4 Credits)

What is the “East”? What is the “West”? While both terms are recognizable in our present geo-political moment, they have raised distinct—and often conflicting—political, economic, and social images for centuries. In this course, we will consider—from a distinctly Christian perspective—how various actors across the globe contributed to this long and storied past. Further, by looking at modern constructions of “East” and “West”—particularly during moments of global encounter when prominent thinkers, travelers, and writers were exposed to, and (re)imagined global societies—we will collectively determine the degree to which we might find these framings persuasive (or not) as they bear on both Christian faith/practice and on the world. Through dialogue and writing, students will assess disparate articulations of “East” and “West” in the history of political thought while also establishing their own scholarly and political voices. In so doing, students will work out a nuanced view of global politics as well as the history of global encounters, both within and outside of the global church. Prerequisite: Recommended PSCI 145.

Tags: HP, VPA

IR 367. International Law. (4 Credits)

What is “international law”? How was it formed and what consequences did (and does) this have for global politics? What relationship is there between international law and historical legacies of imperialism, colonization, and rapid economic, political, and social change? In this course, we will seriously consider—from a distinctly Christian perspective—how these questions were addressed by various figures and institutions through primary and secondary sources (e.g. treaties, scholarly monographs, etc.) that primarily center on a range of global legal encounters in Africa and Asia. We will also collectively determine the degree to which we might find the arguments encountered in the course persuasive (or not) as they bear on both Christian faith/practice and on the world. We will continue to ask what, if anything, constitutes “international law” and how might a just global order be attained under international law, if at all. Through dialogue and writing, students will develop their ability to compare and critically (though charitably) assess the disparate foundations and influences of international law throughout the modern (19th-20th century) histories of Africa, Asia, and Europe while also establishing their own scholarly, political, and legal voices. In so doing, students will work out a nuanced view of comparative, African, Asian, and European political and legal thought as well as the modern history of international law, both within and outside of the global church.

IR 368. Empire. (4 Credits)

What is “empire”? How have global empires been formed throughout history and what consequences have their legacies had for modern and contemporary understandings of politics? What relationship is there between the modern nation-state and empire? In this course, we will seriously consider—from a distinctly Christian perspective—how various actors across the globe conceived of imperial ambitions and the degree to which we might find these arguments persuasive (or not) as they bear on both Christian faith/practice and on the world. Through dialogue and writing, students will develop their ability to compare and critically (though charitably) assess disparate justifications and critiques of modern empires while also establishing their own scholarly and political voices. In so doing, students will work out a nuanced view of global politics as well as the history of imperial formations, both within and outside of the global church.

Tags: GP, HP

IR 375. Globalization. (4 Credits)

What are the causes and consequences of globalization? Why do citizens divide on their support and opposition to globalization? How is globalization affect and affected by national politics, history, and cultures? This course will examine the causes of globalization and its effects upon states and citizens. Specifically, we will discuss international trade, migration, growth, development and politics. Taught in conjunction with the International Study Program summer travel program. Course offered occasionally.

Tags: GP, SI

IR 378. U.S. Foreign Policy. (4 Credits)

An analysis of the processes and institutions involved in making U.S. foreign policy. Emphasis given to understanding the development of contemporary issues. Prerequisite: IR 175 or PSCI 135.

IR 379. International Political Economy. (4 Credits)

An analysis of the interaction of economics and politics at the international level. Topics covered will include the origins and nature of the World Bank, IMF and WTO, regionalization, trade policy, and the world monetary system.

IR 381. Civil Wars. (4 Credits)

This course undertakes an in-depth and overarching examination of domestic armed conflict with the goal of understanding the causes of civil wars, their dynamics and characteristics, and their consequences. Students will design, research, and draft a piece of original social science research on the topic of civil wars. Prerequisite: IR 155 or IR 175.

IR 395. Comparative Economic Systems. (4 Credits)

This course will examine the various economic systems that govern countries in the 20th Century onward. Throughout this course, students will encounter writings by the most ardent defenders and critics of each institutional framework considered. Where appropriate we will also consider empirical outcomes. It is our hope that students will emerge from the course with a deeper appreciation for what institutions are, how they foster or inhibit various types of activity, and how they influence the outcomes we observe both in our immediate surroundings and more globally.

IR 494. Senior Seminar. (2 Credits)

An analysis of the interrelationship of politics and the Christian faith, focusing on vocational, conceptual, legal, and international public policy issues. Senior majors only.

General Education: SHAR

IR 495. Independent Study. (2 to 4 Credits)

A guided individual reading and research problem. Junior and senior majors, or discretion of professor.

IR 496. Internship. (4 Credits)

A series of programs designed for practical experience in professions frequently chosen by International Relations majors, such as law, government, and public service. International Relations majors may substitute MSCI 401 or HNGR 496 for the IR 496 requirement.

IR 499. Honors Thesis. (4 Credits)

An independent research project requiring original research, developed in a scholarly paper and culminating in an oral examination. By application only. The honors thesis may not be counted toward the total hours to complete the major.

Peace and Conflict Studies Courses

PACS 201. Introduction to Peace and Conflict. (4 Credits)

This is the introductory course for the Peace and Conflict Studies certificate program. This interdisciplinary survey course will employ different perspectives and methodological approaches in order to understand the nature and sources of conflict, violence, and suffering; different meanings of "peace"; the processes, challenges, and trade-offs to establishing peace, justice, and reconciliation; and the Christian call to be makers of peace.

Tags: DUS, SI

PACS 494. Senior Seminar in Peace and Conflict Studies: Peace, Reconciliation, and Justice. (2 Credits)

This two-hour course will explore the prospects for peace and reconciliation given the fact of violence. The course will consider various ideals of justice, various methods of peacebuilding, and limitations associated with methods and movements for peace, reconciliation, and justice. The extent and efficacy of religion and religionists in peace, reconciliation and justice efforts will be considered, as well secular humanist approaches to peace, reconciliation and justice. Since students from the Community Transformation concentration and from the Global Justice concentration will coalesce in this course, students will debate the strengths and weaknesses of various units of analysis and of various disciplinary and methodological approaches to conflict resolution and peace building.

PACS 496. Internship. (4 Credits)

Allow students with opportunities to apply theoretical and theological knowledge by engaging in strategic peacebuilding, conflict resolution and conflict management in a variety of contexts to organizations. In addition, internships provide valuable insight into careers related to peace building and conflict management. Exploration of faith and vocation is a crucial component.

Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Courses

PPE 201. Introduction to Political Economy. (4 Credits)

This course serves as an introduction to the Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) Certificate. It first introduces students to the history of moral, philosophical, and theological thinking about the intersection of politics and economics, engaging thinkers such as Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, F.A. Hayek, and many others. It also introduces students to contemporary questions of political economy, to include globalization, economic distribution, growth, and the like.

PPE 492. Political Economy Capstone. (2 Credits)

This course serves as the capstone for the PPE certificate. Students will grapple with current works relevant to questions of political economy and work together on a joint research or consulting project. This does not fulfill major or Christ-at-the-Core capstone requirements.

Aequitas Fellowship Program in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Courses

AQTS 151. Issues in Political Economy. (2 Credits)

This class serves as the introductory course for the Aequitas Fellowship Program in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE). The cohort program offers students the opportunity to explore the ways in which the interaction of the three disciplines helps illuminate the meaning, causes, and at least partial solutions to some of our society’s most pressing social, political, and economic issues: economic growth, inequality, poverty, environmental challenges, democratic legitimacy, and so on. This course introduces students to a set of core historical and contemporary readings in political economy in order to give students a sense of the range of thinking about these issues. (Open to Wheaton College Aequitas Fellowship Program in PPE students only)

AQTS 152. Readings in PPE. (1 Credit)

This class serves as the Aequitas Fellowship Program in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) reading group in the spring of students’ first year. The reading group will focus on a combination of classic and contemporary readings in PPE.

AQTS 251. Advanced Readings in PPE. (1 Credit)

This class serves as the Aequitas Fellowship Program in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) advanced reading group in the fall of students’ second year. The reading group will focus on a combination of classic and contemporary readings in PPE. Prerequisite: AQTS 152.

AQTS 252. Advanced Readings in PPE II. (1 Credit)

This class serves as the Aequitas Fellowship Program in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) advanced reading group in the spring of students’ second year. The reading group will focus on a combination of classic and contemporary readings in PPE.

AQTS 451. Aequitas PPE Summer Experience. (0 Credits)

This class serves as a 0-credit record-keeping course to mark the completion of Aequitas-PPE fellows’ summer experience. Students may fulfill this experience requirement by: (a) completing a 160-hour internship associated with the themes of the PPE fellowship program; (b) doing research work with a faculty member or other scholar focused on PPE themes; (c) participating in the Wheaton Center for Faith, Politics, and Economics International Study Program; or (d) other experiences with the approval of the program coordinator. The purpose of the experiential requirement is to help students see the connection between concepts and theories on the one hand and practices and outcomes on the other. Graded Pass/Fail.

PPE 201. Introduction to Political Economy. (4 Credits)

This course serves as an introduction to the Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) Certificate. It first introduces students to the history of moral, philosophical, and theological thinking about the intersection of politics and economics, engaging thinkers such as Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, F.A. Hayek, and many others. It also introduces students to contemporary questions of political economy, to include globalization, economic distribution, growth, and the like.

PPE 492. Political Economy Capstone. (2 Credits)

This course serves as the capstone for the PPE certificate. Students will grapple with current works relevant to questions of political economy and work together on a joint research or consulting project. This does not fulfill major or Christ-at-the-Core capstone requirements.

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