Department of Political Science
The Department of Political Science provides students a well
rounded program of study focusing on the theoretical,
methodological and applied approaches to politics, governmental
systems, and public administration. The Department and its degree
programs prepare students to exercise political responsibility at
the local, state, national, and international levels. The
Department prepares students for advanced study in graduate and
professional schools, and careers in government, public
administration, international relations and the private sector.
The department and its degree programs prepare students to exercise political responsibility in its various dimensions -- local, state, national, and international -- by offering courses in the principal fields of the discipline, through internships, and offering study abroad opportunities. The department offers students a curriculum focusing on politics and government which provides them a deeper understanding of the discipline. The department not only prepares students to undertake advanced study in graduate and professional schools, but prepares students for careers in government and public administration, international relations, and the private sector.
Find more information at http://www.augusta.edu/colleges/pamplin/pols/
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How Compliance with Title IX has Shaped Peach Belt Conference AthleticsTitle IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was passed in order to require gender equity for males and females in every educational program that receives federal funding (Lancaster, 2010). Essentially, Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender and ensures women are not excluded from participating in an educational program or activity (National Women’s Law Center, 2002). The legislation as a whole encompasses a variety of areas of higher education and multiple amendments have been proposed to this legislation in the 44 years since its inception. Although the word “sports” is not specifically mentioned in the legislation, the wording of the law has become synonymous with increasing multiple opportunities for women in athletics. The United States Supreme Court has ruled in multiple cases that the legislation does in fact extend to prohibit discriminatory practices in athletics (US Department of Education 2002). After the passage of Title IX, women’s participation in athletics increased dramatically, along with budgets and scholarships devoted to female athletes (National Women’s Law Center, 2002). Legislation has always been the initial spark plug in efforts towards equality in society and Title IX is no exception. Making sure that women are not subject to discrimination solely based on their gender in the field of education and related activities is vital because the right to an education is a fundamental human right. At its inception, Title IX created a wave of social reform in all things related to academia. The inequality between the different genders was something that prior to the passage of Title IX legislation desperately needed to be addressed at the federal level. My research will demonstrate the positive impact Title IX has had on women’s opportunities in athletics in the six founding schools of the Peach Belt Conference (PBC). This positive impact is evident in the rapid increase in female participation in athletics since the passage of the legislation. Specifically, I will use the three prong test used by the U.S. Department of Education for compliance with Title IX as a way to gauge the progress of these schools towards gender equality. [Introduction]
Political Apathy Among Colleges StudentsYoung Americans are often stereotyped as one of the most politically disconnected demographics in the country. Low rates of voter turnout help characterize this age group as indifferent and apathetic. This makes the voting behavior of young people an incredibly important topic of study for political scientists. This is especially true in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. This research focused on American citizens aged 18-24. The research aimed to determine whether political apathy among this age group has increased or decreased since 2012. The study consisted of a comparison of responses from two different surveys. Data from the first survey was drawn from a nationwide telephone poll conducted by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). This survey was conducted shortly after the 2012 presidential election. This data was compared to an identical survey administered online to a sample of students at Augusta University following the 2016 presidential election. Differences in sample sizes limited the ability to analyze comparisons between the two surveys. However, analysis of the 2016 dataset points to a low sense of political apathy among students sampled at Augusta University.
The Effect of Political Knowledge on VotingAfter the 2012 presidential election, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) conducted a nation-wide survey of young people, ages 18-24, to learn more about their voting behavior. After the 2016 election, a replicated, shortened version of CIRCLE’s survey was used to find if politically knowledgeable young voters, ages 18-24, are more likely to vote. The sampling frame was 3,869 undergraduate students at Augusta University, ages 18-24, who were United States citizens. The sample size came to 390 based on 95% confidence level, ±5%. The sample was stratified through two strata – veteran status and race. A political knowledge index (PKI) was constructed to measure exactly how politically knowledgeable respondents were. This index was applied to both the 2012 and 2016 surveys. The answers to questions about political knowledge were graded and added together to create the index. The correct answer to each question was awarded 1.00 point and an incorrect answer was awarded 2.00 points, making the best score 3.00 and the lowest score a 6.00. According to the combined 2012 and 2016 results, young voters, ages 18-24, that are more politically knowledgeable are more likely to vote.
Role of Gender Politics in Latin AmericaThe field of gender politics emerged in the early 1960s, along with the expansion of the second feminist wave and the gradual elimination of barriers that had prevented women from getting involved in more active roles in their societies. Research that had previously been carried out almost exclusively on men started to expand into creating independent studies for women. There was an exponential increase in the number of women entering the workforce and the education system at the highest levels (masters and PHD programs). The global demand for more educated individuals and the modernization of society allowed women to perform jobs that had been previously solely given to men. Nevertheless, although the demand reduced the gender gap between men and women, different expectations based on gender beliefs have made it difficult for women to enter leadership positions. In the field of politics, typical female participation is usually limited to women strongly tied to a popular and well-known male figure. Political-recognition and party acceptance, in the case of women, can come in two ways. The first one is through affiliation with a popular political male figure. Usually, this can occur through the position of the First Lady or previous employment under the political male figure. Voting by affiliation, hence, allows incumbents to vote for candidates that share similar beliefs and ideologies. Voters tend to prefer candidates that share similar personal characteristics (ICPSR, 2015) such experience, honesty, morality and compassion. The second way in which women can enter the political sphere is through previous employment for the government. This is usually done by holding jobs in different ministries under popular leaders that later offer their support. Female politicians from this case usually fit the profile of professional women older than 40 year olds with families of their own. Their position inside the government and their party is strong and persistent, which in turn gives them name recognition in primary and party elections. Unlike older female candidates, younger women tend to remain in the lower ranks of government (members of the legislative branch) because political parties strategically position them in said spots. It is a common mistake to assume that the gender politics issues that occur in developed nations will replicate themselves in Latin America (Halder, 2012). Another mistake is to believe that because there are more female leaders in power, the gender gap in Latin America has diminished. Female politicians who reach the highest positions of power are part of a small and very specific group of women: older than 40 years old, professionals with university degrees, and with children and husbands. The profile, although seemingly broad, is limited to women that have connections and contacts inside the political sphere (political parties). As a result of this, while there are some specific cases of female presidents in the region, their positions do not come as a result of their individual accomplishments and curriculum. With my thesis I intend to prove that party affiliation, name recognition and endorsement from popular male political figures are the ways in which Latin American female politicians acquire positions of power. My research will focus on three countries, Brazil, Argentina and Costa Rica, and their female presidents, Dilma Rousseff, Cristina Kirchner and Laura Chinchilla. An analysis of the policies implemented before they reached their presidency, while they were in power, and after they left their position will confirm that the cases of these female politicians are the result of independent situations and not affirmative views of female participation in politics. Also, by focusing on polls and statistics from each country, I intend to show that the support female politicians earn usually comes from the party to which they belong to and the male politician that supported their candidacy. [Introduction]
A 20 Year Period On The Supreme Court’s Decisions Concerning Search and SeizureThis thesis evaluates the past rulings of the United States Supreme Court in order to determine whether or not a shift occurred within the area of search and seizure since September 11, 2001. Fifty-six cases are used to evaluate a possible shift—28 cases pre-September 11th and 28 cases post-September 11th. September 11th is chosen because that is when the debate between privacy and security began. The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act) is used to analyze the aesthetics of the ongoing debate. This research examines the directionality of the decisions based on ideology to determine if there is a shift in the court’s rulings after September 11th. A t-test is used in order to evaluate the pre- and post-September 11th cases. The differences between the two time periods indicate that there is no statistically significant difference between pre- and post-September 11th. This result matters because it demonstrates that September 11th has no noticeable effect on the Supreme Court’s rulings regarding search and seizure.
The Peloponnesian War: Analyzing the Causes of War through Offense-Defense Theory"The purpose of this thesis is to determine the probable cause of the Peloponnesian War according to Offensive-Defensive Theory (ODT). This paper argues that Offensive-Defensive Theory, a tool of realism, can explain the causes of war. In the strictest sense, ODT is not actually a theory; it is a variation of structural realism and it is a key component of defensive realism. To an offensive-defensive theorist, the offense-defense balance is the major factor that determines and drives states’ behavior.