Political Economy Courses

POE-100 Essentials of American Government3 credits

An introduction to the institutions of the American government and political system, including political parties, the media, and interest groups.

POE-120 International Politics3 credits

A survey examination of the actors and issues in global politics. Emphasis is placed on conceptual, analytical, and theoretical foundations of the field.

POE-130 Global Issues1 credit

This course considers select global issues that currently challenge the international community. Each class session will cover a different issue and look at the debates surrounding them. Often referred to as "transnational issues", or issues too vast and complex for a single country to resolve, the course topics include global population trends, water scarcity, oil supplies, global food production, climate change, drug trafficking, human trafficking, internet freedom, immigration, refugee crises, nuclear proliferation, religious extremism, terrorism, superpower rise and decline, and other topics. This non-lecture course will emphasize student-driven discussion based on set of common readings. This course is open to all students.

POE-140 Privilege and Oppression1 credit

Why are so few women CEOs? Why do racial minorities get arrested so much more frequently than their white counterparts? Why is it so hard for the poor to "move up"? This course examines how race, gender, and class intersect to create systems of privilege and oppression, creating opportunities for some while blocking it for others.

POE-150 Poverty in Africa and Asia3 credits

This course will introduce students to the nature and causes of poverty in some of the world's poorest countries. Examples of some successful poverty alleviation policies will be included.

POE-199 Model United Nations I1 credit

A study of international diplomacy through simulation exercises of the United Nations and related international organizations. Topics will vary according to the current agenda of international policy making. As international issues can range from terrorism and war to climate change and health-care students from all majors and backgrounds are encouraged to enroll. May be repeated for credit. Only three credits of POE-199 and POE-399 (Model United Nations II) will count toward a major in the Political Economy (POE) department.

POE-205 Social Order and Disorder3 credits

An introductory exploration of the problem of social order through the eyes of select modern thinkers. Emphasis is placed on the problems of international order and development. Perspectives from bio-politics, biogeography, political culture, rational choice, and various theories of international political economy are considered. Readings include works by Adam Smith, Alexis de Tocqueville, Sigmund Freud, Frans de Waal, Clifford Geertz, Kenneth Waltz, Francis Fukuyama, Jared Diamond, and others.

POE-241 Introduction to Public Policy3 credits

An introduction to the public policy process and the analysis of specific public policies.

POE-250 Introduction to Political Philosophy3 credits

An introduction to the major themes of political philosophy.

POE-263 Introduction to Political Economy3 credits

An introduction to classical political economy philosophies and the economic principles that were developed in response to such philosophies. These principles will be used to promote understanding of how economic considerations constrain and influence political decisions and processes.

POE-299 Evidence, Proof, and Knowledge3 credits

An introduction to scientific inquiry, search strategies for acquiring data, political science methods for evaluating data and statistical techniques for analyzing data. Students pursuing a major or a minor in Political Economy or International Political Economy must complete the introductory core before enrolling in this course.

POE-299T Special Topics in Political Economy1 - 3 credits

Prerequisites:Instructor permission

Study of selected areas of politics and economics not available in the regular curriculum. See course listed below.

POE-300 Constitutional Law I3 credits

Prerequisites:Junior standing

An examination of the principles of American constitutional law concerning allocation of powers through the study of Supreme Court decisions, the role of the judicial branch and judicial review, separation of powers, congressional and presidential powers and federalism.

POE-301 Constitutional Law II3 credits

Prerequisites:Junior standing

An examination of the principles of American constitutional law concerning civil liberties and civil rights through the study of Supreme Court decisions: due process, rights of the accused, equal protection, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion.

POE-302 Economic Development3 credits


Students pursuing other majors must have attained junior standing and have permission of instructor. An examination of the characteristics of underdeveloped nations, what factors contribute to their relative poverty, particular development problems they face, and policies for alleviating these problems.

POE-305 Theories of Democracy1 credit

Prerequisites:Junior standing

The concept of democracy has been evaluated and debated since the early days of the Greek city states. What is meant by democracy? What are the criteria necessary for the establishment and execution of a viable democracy? Throughout his career, Robert Dahl has explored these issues. This course will examine the meaning of democracy as formulated by Dahl in his writings. We will discuss Dahl's writings in detail and explore our own views of democracy. We will also closely examine the writings of Peter Bachrach, a continuing critic of Robert Dahl. The success of this course will depend upon the participation of the students involved and their dedication to examining the concept of democracy through directed readings and in-depth class discussion.

POE-307 The Legislative Process3 credits

Prerequisites:Junior standing

An examination of the legislative process within the United States with special emphasis on the unique characteristics of the US Congress and the Idaho State Legislature

POE-309 The American Presidency3 credits

Prerequisites:Junior standing

The course will concentrate on the institution of the presidency and how it interacts with other entities and the formal and informal powers available to the president.

POE-310 Mock Supreme Court3 credits

Prerequisites:Instructor permission

A study of politics, personalities, and institutional norms of the Supreme Court, primarily through role playing and intensive research, writing, and oral argument.

POE-311 The Federalists and Anti-Federalists3 credits

This course will examine the arguments made by both proponents and opponents of the constitution and determine their applicability to current political debates.

POE-321 Comparative Economics3 credits


An evaluation of economies from an historical, evolutionary perspective. Emphasis is given to the evolution of the 19th century laissez faire market economy and the 20th century variations, which have evolved in countries such as France and Japan.

POE-322 Comparative Economics II3 credits


An evaluation of alternative types of economies such as those of Sweden, the European Union, China, and the transforming Central and East European nations.

POE-326 Myths of the Free Market1 credit

Prerequisites:POE-263, POE-250 or BUS-270

Are free markets possible? Are they desirable? Do producers, consumers, states, and democratic communities really want free markets? This course explores the powerful notion of "free markets" in theories of capitalism. It contrasts ideological claims and market fundamentalism with real world economic practice across the global economy and within states. It is designed for students interested in political economy, international affairs, business, finance, and economic policy generally.

POE-339 Environmental Policy Analysis3 credits

Prerequisites:Junior standing

This course will focus on the conceptual foundations of policy analysis as they relate to the area of environmental policy. Students will focus on both substantive environmental policies and methods for analyzing those policies. Special emphasis will be made on economic techniques of policy analysis.

POE-343 Politics and Ethics Through Film3 credits

The study of ethical issues and practical politics through movies and documentary films.

POE-350 Topics in Political Philosophy3 credits

Prerequisites:Instructor permission

A study of selected works of ancient, medieval, modern or contemporary political philosophy. Topics will vary from year to year. See courses listed below.

POE-350.1 Topics: The Political Philosophy of Nietzsche3 credits

Prerequisites:Instructor permission

An examination of the political philosophy of Nietzsche through reading and class discussion. This is a seminar-type course where students are expected to lead discussions and develop a personal understanding of the material with limited help from the professor.

POE-350.2 Topics: Feminist Political Philosophy3 credits

Prerequisites:Instructor permission

An examination of relational feminist political philosophy through reading and class discussion. Students will be required to lead class discussions.

POE-350.3 Topics: Readings in Relational Feminist Political Philosophy1 credit

Prerequisites:Instructor permission

In this one-credit course, we will read and discuss texts dealing with relational feminist political philosophy. Students will be responsible for leading class discussions.

POE-351 Politics in Developing Countries3 credits

Prerequisites:POE-120, POE-250, POE-263, and POE-299; or permission of instructor if a student is not a major or minor in the POE department.

An examination of the common and unique problems facing countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. Identifies the strategies used by governments to improve economic conditions and consolidate political processes.

POE-360 Comparative Politics3 credits

Prerequisites:POE-120, POE-250, POE-263, and POE-299; or permission of Instructor if a student is not a major or minor in the POE department.

A comparative study of governments and political activity. Industrial democracies, transitional democracies, and various forms of authoritarian rule are examined. Case studies are drawn from Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.

POE-364 State and Local Politics3 credits

Prerequisites:Junior standing

The study of sub-national governmental units with a special emphasis on Idaho politics.

POE-368 African Political Economy3 credits

Prerequisites:POE-120, POE-263, POE-250 and POE-299

This course examines trends in African political economy with particular attention to Sub-Saharan regions. Beginning with the pre-colonial era, the course moves through colonialism, independence, and the Cold War era before examining contemporary issues such as corruption, resource management, and economic development. By examining Africa through a comparative lens, the course seeks to present a balanced assessment of historical legacies, present successes,ongoing problems, and prospects for the future.

POE-370 Political Economy of China3 credits

A study of political and economic change in the People's Republic of China since 1949. The themes of revolution, reform, growth, and stability are explored through an examination of changing state policies and their political, economic, and social effects.

POE-374 Political Economy of Southeast Asia3 credits

This course examines political and economic development in one of the world's most diverse and economically dynamic regions. Students explore how the region has transitioned from a Cold War battlefield to a post-Cold War marketplace. Topics range from the Vietnam War, the Cambodian genocide, and military rule in Myanmar (Burma) to rapid economic growth in Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore. Major themes cover economic development, globalization, agrarian change, democratization and human rights.

POE-376 International Economics3 credits


A review of the principles of international trade, the institutions that govern trade, the economic and political aspects of economic integration, and the impact of trade on the development of nations.

POE-380 International Political Economy3 credits

Prerequisites:POE-120, POE-250, POE-263, and POE 299; or permission of Instructor if a student is not a major or minor in the POE department.

An exploration of how politics and economics intersect in the global arena. Considers key institutions and the role of state and transnational actors in facilitating and undermining economic and political development. Examines the rise of globalization including its empirical and moral dimensions.

POE-389 Ecological Economics3 credits

Prerequisites:Junior standing

A discussion-based course covering topics in renewable and nonrenewable resource use, sustainable yields in fisheries, transportation issues, management of endangered species, and land-use management (e.g., urban sprawl). Primary focus will be on issues of regional significance (e.g., conservation of Pacific salmon stocks, water-use management). Economic concepts covered include market failure, cost-benefit analysis, monetary evaluation of the environment, and sustainable economic development.

POE-392 Field Research Methods3 credits

This course introduces methods currently used by social scientists to develop research questions, make arguments, and test the implications thereof by gathering original data in the field (i.e., outside one's home institution). Students will learn the logic underlying case selection, participant observation, interview and survey methods, experimental protocol, and research ethics, ultimately creating their own research design.

POE-399 Model United Nations II1 credit

Prerequisites:Instructor permission

This course is designed to facilitate student participation in National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference each Spring. The NMUN is held in New York City and part of the conference takes place at the United Nations itself. Students will prepare to represent The College of Idaho at the conference. Course content will be based on the country assignment for the NMUN conference. May be repeated for credit. Only three credits of POE-199 (Model United Nations I) and POE-399 will count toward a major in the POE department.

POE-399T Special Topics in Political Economy3 credits


Study of selected areas of politics and economics not available in the regular curriculum. See courses listed below.

POE-399T.03 Domestic Political Economy3 credits


The political economy aspects of selected domestic issues will be analyzed. These issues will include (but not be limited to) the federal budget deficit, health care, immigration, minimum wage, social security, subsidies to private firms, environmental protection, and technological development.

POE-480 Senior Thesis3 credits

Prerequisites:Instructor permission

Students will research, write and present a scholarly paper on the topic of their choosing. The Department must approve the topic.

POE-494 Independent Study1 - 3 credits

Prerequisites:Instructor permission

A research paper for students pursuing a major or minor in Politics and Economics or International Political Economy. See independent study guidelines.

POE-497 Internship1 - 3 credits

Prerequisites:Instructor permission

A supervised internship designed to provide practical experience in the field of Politics and Economics or International Political Economy. Periodic reports and papers may be required.

POE-498 Senior Seminar: Political Economy3 credits

Prerequisites:Complete the introductory core of the Political Economy major.

Advanced study in political/economic theory involving intensive reading, writing, and discussion.

POE-499 Senior Seminar: International Political Economy3 credits

Prerequisites:Complete the introductory core of the International Political Economy major.

A reflective survey of international political economy. The ideas and theories of classic and modern thinkers in the field will provide a springboard for student discussion, research and writing.