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Registration: Interim

Interim 2011

Political Science

W40 American Political Conservatives.  This course is an introduction to the varieties of conservative thought in the United States, both historically and today.  Conservatism is an umbrella term for a range of views, though conservatives tend to support a relatively free market, a strong military, a relatively small federal government, and a unique role for American values in world affairs.  But conservatives disagree, for example, on the emphasis on social and foreign policy in political action.  Rooted in the ideas of American founders such as George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, conservative beliefs and their advocates are found throughout American political history.  Most recently, Ronald Reagan won the presidency in 1980 by building a victorious conservative coalition composed of traditionalists, libertarians, anti-communists, and religious Catholics and Protestants.  While political conservatism for the moment has lost formal power at the national level, many Americans still describe themselves as politically conservative, and they significantly outnumber political liberals.  This course exposes students to the range of conservative thought, with particular attention to original sources.  It also includes conservative, liberal, and Christian critiques of various conservative ideas. Reading requirements for the class include original sources, informed commentary, and contemporary essays. Evaluation is based on class participation, several short writing assignments, a paired or small group research presentation, and a final examination.  This course may fulfill an elective in the Political Science major and minor.  There are no formal prerequisites, although an interest in American politics and current political issues is expected.  D. Koopman.  8:30 a.m. to noon.

IDIS W83 Human Experience of WarJ. Westra.