Political Science (POLS)
Political Science at UH West O‘ahu puts government and policy analysis in the larger context of the search for the best way of life possible – the “Good Life”. Political studies involves understanding a way of life in its totality: what it is, what it was, and what it could and should be. This generally begins with an awareness of the most pressing problems of the age and how they impact the quality of life of the individual. The search for improvement then draws from a multi-civilizational, cross-cultural, comparative history of the human condition. This ranges from the baseline of the nine-tenths of human existence we spent as hunter-gatherers, to the various models of the industrial nation state and the emerging global electronic community.
The method of political science is distinctive in its emphasis on synthesis – making connections. Particular attention is paid to making the connection between the bigger picture of political reality and the life-experience of the student. The goal is to help students formulate their own vision of where society should be going, and then to motivate and equip them for responsible participation in public life. Teaching strategies emphasize active, democratic and multi-cultural modes of learning. Political science thus offers an excellent general education, relevant to careers in local and national government, international agencies, print and television journalism, law, public administration, social work, business, and teaching.
For students with a concentration in Political Science, 42 credits are required, including the following courses:
1. SSCI 486 enior Project or SSCI 490 Social Sciences Practicum
2. SSCI 300 Philosophy of the Social Sciences
3. SSCI 317 Fieldwork and Qualitative Methods
4. SSCI 310 Applied Statistics I
5. HUM 310 Writing Skills or passing score on the Writing Assessment Exam
6. POLS 330 American Politics (or equivalent lower division course)
7. POLS 302 Political Philosophy
8. Additional courses in the discipline will be recommended for inclusion in the student’s educational plan based on specific competency goals established by the student. Courses that are in bold print are recommended.
POLS 308 Science and the Modern Prospect
POLS 316 Constitutional Law
POLS 320 Global Issues
POLS 326 Environmental Politics
POLS 342 Indigenous Peoples and Modernity
POLS 370 Politics and Public Policy
POLS 371 Global Futures
POLS 378 Meaning of Mass Media
POLS 381 Hawai‘i Politics
POLS 384 Women and Politics
POLS 420 Politics of Culture
POLS 430 Politics and Film
POLS 450 Asian Politics
POLS 496 Selected Topics in Political Science (v)
POLS 499 Directed Reading and Research (v)
9. Complementary Area: Nine credits in one additional Social Science concentration area.
Graduates with a concentration in Political Science from UH West O‘ahu should be able to:
- Demonstrate understanding of the basics of primordial, classical, modern, and post-modern political philosophy.
- Use the Socratic method to integrate a variety of positions in political science.
- Show progress in integrating personal experiences with a demonstrated understanding of the varieties of contemporary politics.
- Demonstrate understanding of the role of the individual from local, state, and national, to global contexts.
- Demonstrate understanding of how participation in political processes effects change.
- Explain how political science interacts with other disciplines.