Political Science is the systematic study of politics, political institutions and governmental processes by the application of scientific methods of analysis and critical examination. This discipline analyzes key political ideas, institutions, and issues both domestically and globally. Graduates of this subject area are exposed to understanding how political and governmental institutions make and implement decisions and the effects those decisions have on individual, group, and societal behavior. The analytical tools learned in these major increases critical thinking and citizenship skills. The political science program at Ventura College has a special emphasis on globalization, service learning, and environmental issues. The discipline also incorporates the International Studies major. Students graduating with an Associate of Arts degree in Political Science may transfer to four-year universities. Graduates are qualified for a variety of positions in government and non-governmental institutions; graduates are prepared to enter further studies in various disciplines, including political science, law, journalism and business.
This course surveys United States and California government and politics including political institutions and processes, political actors, political behavior, public policy, and the historical background of the American system of government at the national, California state, and local levels.
This course introduces students to the basic aims and processes of service learning as they relate to United States and California government & politics, including the importance of community participation, oral and written communication skills, teamwork, leadership, and diversity awareness. Emphasis is also placed on critical reflection of the role of the student as an active member in his or her community.
This course comparatively analyzes the origins and development of selected political systems of the world, including their history, constitutional principles, political ideologies, institutions, parties, policies, as well as the environments in which political decisions are made and their consequences.
This course introduces students to the subfields within political science, and familiarizes students with basic political concepts, political science methods, political ideologies, and political systems. Special attention is placed on the interaction between ideologies, international relations and American history and institutions. Constitutional principles--especially the evolution of relations between national, state, and local governments--will be analyzed as well. The course includes a study of the California constitution and California institutions in a changing global environment.
This course traces the development of key concepts in political theory and various theoretical approaches to politics. Analysis includes examination of key concepts such as justice, democracy, liberty, equality, and order over the course of Western history. Beginning with Plato and Aristotle, the course traces the evolution of key political debates through a series of thinkers, including Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Madison. The course also introduces students to some contemporary authors, including feminist and environmental thinkers. Lastly, the course examines the relevance of political philosophy to contemporary society.
This course presents an introductory inquiry into the field of international relations theory. Analyses will be made of how and why countries interact officially and unofficially in a condition of war, peace, and change. Examination will also be made of national, international, transnational, and sub-national actors, and their institutions, interactions, and process as they relate to global issues. Emphasis will be placed on the universal competition for power, crisis management, war, peace, arms control, disarmament, and the various endeavors intended to bring about world peace and cooperation.
This course examines a series of bilateral issues relating to the United States and Mexico, including economic integration (especially NAFTA), immigration, naturalization, the environment, human rights, crime, and drugs. Diverse approaches to solve these problems are explored, including domestic policy changes in the two countries as well as bilateral cooperation in resolving trade, environmental, labor, and other issues. The implications of these issues for the political systems of both countries will also be explored.
This course analyzes international organizations and their role in world affairs. Focusing on the United Nations, the course examines the history of attempts by international organizations to mediate conflicts between nation-states. The role of the United Nations as a standard-setter for international law, human rights and collective security is examined in detail. Theoretical models of international relations, such as liberalism and realism, are examined as a way to interpret how international organizations actually operate in world affairs. Students will participate in Model United Nations conferences as part of the laboratory section of this course.
This course examines contemporary Mexican politics within an historical context. Different interpretations are contrasted to explain Mexico's historical and political development, especially the Mexican revolution and its aftermath. The nature of Mexican political institutions, economic policies, and current U.S.-Mexico relations will be examined from different perspectives.
This course examines American environmental policy and how natural resources are managed. The historical, global, and ethical dimensions of how our society relates to the environment are analyzed from an interdisciplinary perspective.
This course introduces students to the study of globalization. Topics covered include the history, politics, economics, culture, and ecological aspects of globalization.
This course will cover the evaluation, debate, and critical analysis of law and legal issues which affect individuals, their families, and communities. Students will learn about practical aspects of civil, criminal, constitutional, family, immigration, and consumer law with an orientation toward civic involvement in the local community.
This course introduces students to the origins, current status, and future trends of major transnational issues confronting the global community. Topics can include population trends, economic development and inequality, basic human needs (for food, water health care), human rights, international conflict and security concerns, and environmental problems. The course also focuses on global governance, including the study of collective global responsibilities.
This course offers specialized study opportunities for students who wish to pursue projects not included in the regular curriculum. Students are accepted only by a written project proposal approved by the discipline prior to enrollment.
This course offers students who are volunteers (unpaid) an opportunity to obtain work experience related to their field of study. Students are accepted as a result of consultation with a designate faculty member in the discipline and the acceptance of an approved work proposal.
This course offers students who are employed in the field an opportunity to expand their work experience related to their field of study. Students are accepted as a result of consultation with a designated faculty member in the discipline and the acceptance of an approved work proposal.