Department of Political Science
College of Liberal Arts and

Kenneth D. Wald
Distinguished Professor
303 Anderson Hall
(352) 273-2391 or 392-0262


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Graduate Seminars

Undergraduate Courses


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Undergraduate Courses

CPO 4000 Selected Studies in Comparative Politics: Israel

Beyond the Arab-Israeli conflict, Israel faces a range of contentious domestic issues that challenge government and society. This course will examine Israelís internal political life, focusing on the contemporary meaning of Zionism and the character of the state, the search for effective and responsive governance, and the management of domestic cleavages over religion, nationality, ethnicity, and gender. Students should be aware this is not a course that deals in great detail with the Arab-Israeli conflict, Middle East wars, foreign policy, nor with Israelís world role. But because these regional and international forces cannot be separated completely from Israelís domestic political life, they are considered insofar as they affect the internal politics of the state.  (May also be taken for Jewish Studies credit.)

POS 4291 Religion and Politics in the United States

This course is intended to acquaint students with the significance and variability of religious influence in contemporary American political life.  "Religion" refers not only to formal theological creeds but also to the social beliefs, organizations and subcultures associated with various religious communities. We examine the impact of religion on the major dimensions of politics in the United States. Why does religion play such a strong role in American political life? How does religion affect voting, opinion, public policy. What are the political tendencies of various religious groups? How does religion both enhance and detract from the quality of public life? (May also be taken for Jewish Studies credit)

CPO4727 Judaism & Politics

As one of the oldest civilizations on the earth, Judaism has a long if incomplete tradition of governance. This course explores the operation of that tradition over time and in several diverse contexts. There are two central questions to be examined:  How do Jews govern themselves (often referred to as communal governance)?  and How do Jews relate to the political system where they live? Following a historical survey of the Jewish political tradition from the Biblical to the early modern period, we examine the contrasting political situation of Jewry in the two primary areas of Jewish concentration today--the United States and Israel--as well as in the former Soviet Union and the United Kingdom. (May also be taken for Jewish Studies credit)

POS 4931 Survey Research

Survey Research is designed to prepare students to conduct, analyze and assess opinion surveys and polls. Although it is open to all students, the course was developed specifically to assist students who are considering, planning or currently working on research projects with a survey component. By the end of the semester, you should be able to decide whether and when surveys are appropriate means of data collection, have a good idea of how to put together a survey, conduct basic quantitative analysis of survey data, and report the findings. The goal is also to make you aware of the pitfalls that face would-be survey researchers. This course is intended to help students prepare for writing a senior thesis under the Department Honors Program.

POS 4931 Religion and Public Policy

This course has the purpose of equipping intelligent citizens and public managers with an understanding of the role of religion in American public policy. The course is motivated by two major concerns. First, as reading a local newspaper will show you, many conflicts between religious organizations and the state could be avoided if public managers understood what the law allows and disallows regarding religion in the public square. Second, many otherwise well-informed citizens are confused or unaware about the role played by religion in American public policy. Accordingly, the course is organized to remedy these problems. We will examine the law of church and state, how religious organizations organize to influence public policy, and the many domains where religion contributes to the formation and execution of public policy. (May be taken for Minor in Public Leadership)

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