THIS MONTH'S HEADLINES:
- SPRING 2024 COURSES
- ENROLLING IN MAJORS AND MINORS
- NEW COURSE ON SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND POLITICAL RESISTANCE
- NEW MINOR IN POLITICS AND PUBLIC POLICY
- PROPOSED NEW MINOR IN LEGAL STUDIES
- STUDY ABROAD IN TORONTO NEXT SUMMER
- PENN STATE SCHEDULE OF COURSES NOW TO INCLUDE INFO ABOUT TEXTBOOK COSTS
- NOMINATION FOR DR. SURZHKO HARNED AND SURVEY ABOUT UKRAINE PROGRAMS
- PRE-LAW ADVISER NEWS
- H&SS ETIQUETTE DINNER AND ALUMNI CAREER DINNER
- INTERNSHIPS WITH PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
- INTERNSHIPS WITH OFFICE OF U.S. SENATOR BOB CASEY
- FACULTY IN THE NEWS
- STUDENT GROUP NEWS
- FACEBOOK PAGE
Here is a list of Political Science courses scheduled at Penn State Behrend in Spring 2024.
- PLSC 001 - American Politics (GS, US)
- PLSC 003 - Comparing Politics around the Globe (GS, IL)
- PLSC 014 - International Relations (GS, IL)
- PLSC 017N - Introduction to Political Theory (GS/GH)
- PLSC 197 - Special Topics: Social Movements
- PLSC 202 - American Public Policy (GS, US)
- PLSC 210N - Rights in America (GS/GH, US)
- PLSC 220 - Politics of the Developing World (GS, IL, Other Cultures)
- PLSC 419 - The Bureaucratic State
- PLSC 439 - The Politics of Terrorism
- PLSC 480W - Congress and the Presidency
- CRIMJ 100 - Introduction to Criminal Justice (GS)
- All students in the International Relations option of the POLSC major should be taking PLSC 220 next semester (if they have not taken it already).
- All students in the Public Policy option of the POLSC major should be taking PLSC 202 next semester (if they have not taken it already).
Students who are eligible to enroll in a major (usually completion of 30 or more credits, with a GPA of 2.0 or above) are strongly encouraged to do so. Enrollment in the POLSC major provides at least four benefits:
- The ability for academic advisers to make needed degree substitutions, including proper placement of transfer credits on degree audits
- Eligibility to be invited to certain events, such as dinners with alumni and community leaders
- Eligibility for certain awards open only to POLSC majors
- Notifications about certain jobs or internships for POLSC majors
The Penn State Behrend POLSC major currently has four options:
- Politics and Government (General Option) - This option allows students to choose their own concentrations of coursework within Political Science and helps to prepare students for a variety of careers, including government employment, social studies secondary education, activist politics, and graduate school in political science.
- Crime and Law - This option requires coursework in criminology and law and helps to prepare students for careers in law or criminal justice, including students planning on law school.
- International Relations - This option requires coursework in international politics and comparative politics and prepares students for careers with international institutions or in business in other countries, and for graduate school work in international affairs.
- Public Policy - This option requires coursework related to how to make government and policy decisions effectively and prepares students for careers with government offices, businesses, interest groups, and think tanks related to public policy; in public administration; or for graduate degree programs in public policy or public administration.
Each option requires completion of 36 credits of PL SC courses and 6 credits of general education courses from other relevant fields. To learn the requirements of the options, see the Bulletin listing.
Lists of approved courses in each option can also be found.
Students are allowed to complete more than one option within the POLSC major if the requirements of each option are met.
The Politics and Government minor requires 18 credits (6 courses): PLSC 1, PLSC 3, 6 credits of PLSC at the 400-level, and 6 other credits of PLSC at any level. Note that there is also a Political Science minor administered by the University Park department: students must choose courses from approved lists created by the UP department to complete that minor. Political Science majors are not eligible to complete a Political Science or Politics and Government minor.
The Crime, Law, and Psychology minor requires two sociology courses, two political science courses, and two psychology courses related to criminal justice for completion. See specific course requirements.
Spring 2024 - PLSC 197: Social Movements and Political Resistance
Why do social movements emerge? Who participates in social movements? To what extent do contentious actors and social movements influence political change and policy formation? Against the backdrop of autocratization and increasing distrust of institutions, what roles do political parties and institutional actors play? When and why does a state decide to repress or to co-opt a movement?
The course provides a general overview of social movements, structural and individual incentives that drive people to protest, and the roles political institutions play. We then analyze movement and institution dynamics in different cases, such as the Arab Spring, anti-government movements in Hong Kong, the American Civil Rights Movement, and environmental/ecology movements at the global level. The goal is to encourage students to rethink our assumptions regarding the nature of grassroots participation and political representation, and to realize the potential for a new generation of mechanisms that can bring the synergy of both dimensions of democracy.
Penn State has approved a new minor in Politics and Public Policy. The minor is available at Behrend, University Park, and any other Penn State campus that offers the needed courses.
The requirements of the minor are:
- PLSC 1
- PLSC 202
- STAT 200
- 9 credits (3 courses) from an approved list, including at least 6 credits at the 400-level
The approved list includes the following courses taught regularly at Behrend:
ECON 102, ECON 104, PLSC 177N, PLSC 223N, PLSC 419, PLSC 442, PLSC 473, PLSC 482, PLSC 489, SUST 150N
The full list of approved courses, including those taught at other Penn State campuses, can be found in the Penn State Bulletin.
Students interested in this minor should be sure to take PLSC 1 next semester if they haven't already, and to take PLSC 202 if they have already taken PLSC 1. While PLSC 1 is usually taught every semester, PLSC 202 is usually offered once every two years. PLSC 419 is also recommended for next semester.
The Behrend and University Park political science departments have also proposed a new Legal Studies minor. The proposed minor is currently undergoing the Penn State curricular approval process. While it is not yet clear exactly when full approval may happen, it is possible that students will be eligible to complete the minor as early as next year.
The proposed minor will require PLSC 1. In addition, PLSC 210N will fulfill requirements in the minor. For that reason, it is recommended that students who may be interested in completing this minor should take PLSC 210N at Behrend when it is offered next semester.
North American Politics (PL SC 299/499) will again be offered in Toronto for four weeks in May and June 2024 after final exams end. The course, taught by Dr. Robert Speel, takes place on the Toronto Metropolitan University campus in downtown Toronto, and combines Penn State and Canadian students in one classroom for discussions about the comparative politics of the United States and Canada and on international relations between the two countries.
Among the topics to be discussed will be a comparison of the development of separate political cultures, comparisons of government institutions, election systems, relations between national governments and states and provinces, and comparisons of each country's policy approaches toward the economy, health care, gun control, language, free speech, legal marijuana, abortion, medically assisted suicide, and the role of religion in education. Issues important in international relations between the two countries will also be discussed—this includes trade, border security, prevention of terrorism, and control of the Arctic. Class excursions will visit the Ontario Parliament Buildings and Fort York, site of an important battle in the War of 1812.
A lot of financial aid is available from Penn State Global Programs for students in the course.
More details, including costs and exact dates, will be in the October Political Science Newsletter.
There is a new Penn State "course attribute" that can be found when scheduling manually or via schedule builder. The course attribute shows up as an additional menu option when looking for general education courses. The attribute titled "Required Text Cost" can help you find courses where required materials for the course will have no cost or will have low cost (under $50). Because this attribute is new, not all courses with low-cost texts are showing yet, but by next year, the attribute should be showing up on all relevant courses. Meanwhile, some Behrend PLSC courses where there is no textbook cost are already showing up with the attribute.
We are nominating Dr. Lena Surzhko Harned for the Faculty Scholar Medal, which is a University-wide award that recognizes faculty members for their outstanding research contributions. One significant contribution Dr. Surzhko Harned has made since spring 2022 is a series of virtual and in-person programs on Ukraine and the Russian invasion. If you attended any of these programs, we would be grateful if you would take the following survey and share your thoughts on why you find these programs important. The survey will be open until the end of October. Also, the survey is anonymous, but you are more than welcome to email Dr. Amy Carney ([email protected]) with additional feedback.
A reminder to students that Penn State Behrend has a pre-law adviser, Attorney Melissa Shirey. Attorney Shirey is on campus two hours per week to answer student questions about LSAT preparation, law school admissions, and legal careers. She can also answer emails and will help to organize campus events for students interested in law school. She is happy to meet with Behrend students from any major who are interested in law school, not just Political Science majors.
Attorney Shirey holds office hours every Friday between noon and 2:00 p.m. in 155 Kochel.
If you are potentially interested in law school, please stop by to see her to ask any questions. Students can also email her at [email protected].
Everyone talks about the importance of professional networking, but how do you do it? The School of Humanities and Social Sciences will be hosting a two-part event series designed to give you the tools you need to start networking and an opportunity to put them into practice.
- Part 1: Networking and Business Dinner Etiquette Seminar
H&SS Networking and Etiquette Seminar. Wednesday, October 18. 4:30–5:15 p.m. in 41 Kochel.
Learn practical tips for professional networking and business dinner basics (like when do you use which fork?). Led by Behrend Career Counselor Katie Simon and Dr. Matthew Levy, H&SS Associate School Director.
- Part 2: H&SS Student/Alumni Networking Dinner*
H&SS Alumni Networking Dinner. Wednesday, October 25. 5:00–8:00 p.m. in the Federal House Multipurpose Room.
Hear from H&SS alumni about their career paths, and then dine with them in Behrend's beautiful, new Federal House building. Attendees will learn about the many diverse careers one can pursue with an H&SS degree and will broaden their professional networks.
*You must attend the Networking and Etiquette Seminar to participate in the Dinner.
Contact Dr. Matthew Levy, [email protected], to RSVP for the event. The deadline to RSVP is October 13. Limited seats will be available. Sponsored by The Janet Neff Sample Center.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Legislative Fellowship Program is currently accepting applications for the Spring 2024 semester. Applications are due on October 1, 2023.
Our 13-week Fellowship Program is based in Pennsylvania's magnificent Capitol Building in Harrisburg. Fellows are assigned to work in House Standing Committees or House Leadership offices, are compensated for their work (which may also include college credit), and are provided the opportunities to draft and present their own legislation, attend meet-and-greets with various public officials and staff, and tour some of the Commonwealth's historic public spaces, to name a few.
Qualified applicants will be:
- College undergraduate juniors or seniors, graduate students, or law school students;
- Enrolled in a Pennsylvania college/university, or a Pennsylvania resident enrolled in an out-of-state institution; and
- Pursuing any major with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Applications are now open for Spring 2024 in Washington, D.C., and at Senator Casey's offices in Pennsylvania, including Erie. The applications are available on Senator Casey's website.
The application closes on November 5. Internships are paid $16/hour and are intended to be part-time.
Interns receive a firsthand look at how policy is formed and implemented, as well as how Senate offices assist and connect with constituents. These experiences are a great introduction to public service and the work of the United States Senate.
Dr. Maggie Shum, assistant professor of Political Science, participated in the American Political Science Association (APSA) conference in Los Angeles. She presented her work "Resistance from Afar: Transnational Mobilization of Hong Kong Diaspora during and after the 2019 Anti-ELAB Movement," in which she examines how the Hong Kong diaspora's protest tactics and goals are evolved when the movement take on a transnational dimension. Along with her co-PI Jacob Turner (University of Notre Dame), their project "Policing and the Origins of Institutional Trust" received the Regional Breakthrough Award from the Lucy Family Institute for Data and Society at the University of Notre Dame. Over the summer, Professor Shum was interviewed by German public international broadcaster Deutsche Welle regarding the impact of the National Security Law on Hong Kong three years after its implementation.
Dr. Robert Speel, associate professor of Political Science, co-authored with Toronto Metropolitan University Professor Greg Inwood a commentary titled "Disruption and Routine: Choosing a Speaker in the United States Compared to Canada," in the March 2023 issue of Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law in Canada.
- In May, Professor Speel was interviewed by the Associated Press for an article about the Philadelphia mayoral primary that appeared in The Washington Post, the Toronto Star, the Miami Herald, the Charlotte Observer, and a large number of other media sources.
- He was also interviewed in May for a Newsweek article about local primary election results across the country.
- In June, he was interviewed for a broadcast on WNEP-TV in Scranton about Donald Trump's indictment for stealing and keeping classified documents.
- In July, he appeared in a documentary on WQLN-TV in Erie about Erie politics.
- While on sabbatical this semester, he is working on a book project with co-author Greg Inwood of Toronto Metropolitan University that will compare Canadian and American politics and policies for Irwin Law Publishers, as part of a book series titled Understanding Canada.
- College Republicans meets every Monday at 3:30 p.m. in 113 Reed. To get involved, contact President Anthony Farrar at [email protected].
- To get involved with College Democrats, contact President Mars McAninch at [email protected].
- To get involved with the Behrend Political Society, contact President Madison Kwiecinski at [email protected].
All students and alumni are invited to like the Penn State Behrend Political Science Facebook page and get updated news and find out about events.