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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Political Science

State Senators visit Dr. Hanson's class to discuss civil unions



Legal institutions have enormous impact on the political system, domestically and abroad. Classes in the law sub-field of political science look at questions such as:

  • How does a society govern and control itself?
  • How do organizations make claims in courts?
  • What is the legal process in a particular country or region, and how does it impact citizens and society?
  • How do courts understand the responsibilities of legislatures and executives in regulating the environment?
  • How does regulatory law affect social change?
  • How does politics influence the legal system and its ability to resolve disputes?

This sub-field provides a foundation in legal reasoning, judicial processes, and the relationship between law and society. Law is often the vehicle for social change and economic development.

In the United States, everything from the building of the railroad system to the desegregation of public schools has happened in part through legal institutions. Legal institutions are at the heart of disputes over economic policy and political integration in Europe as well. Courses in this sub-field explore these questions historically and cross-nationally.

Frequently offered courses include:

  • Civil Rights and Liberties
  • Constitutional Law and Politics
  • Gender, Law & Public Policy
  • Law, Sex & Marriage
  • Law and Regulation
  • Taming Tyranny: How Constitutions Frame Freedom
  • International Law and Human Rights