Level 446-499 Course Descriptions

LAIS 446: Globalization
This international political economy seminar is an historical and contemporary analysis of globalization processes examined through selected issues of world affairs of political, economic, military, and diplomatic significance. Prerequisite:  LAIS 100; Co-requisite: LAIS 200. Semester hours: 3. 

LAIS 452: Corruption and Development
This course addresses the problem of corruption and its impact on development. Readings are multidisciplinary and include policy studies, economics, and political science. Students will acquire an understanding of what constitutes corruption, how it negatively affects development, and what they, as engineers in a variety of professional circumstances, might do in circumstances in which bribe paying or bribe taking might occur. Prerequisite:  LAIS 100; Co-requisite: LAIS 200. Semester hours: 3. 

LAIS 453: Ethnic Conflict In Global Perspective
Many scholars used to believe that with modernization, racial, religious and cultural antagonisms would weaken as individuals developed more rational outlooks and gave primacy to their economic concerns. Yet, with the waning of ideological conflict globally, conflict based on cultural and even “civilizational” differences have come to the fore in both developing and advanced societies. This course will examine ethnic conflict, broadly conceived, in a variety of national and transnational contexts. Case studies will include the civil war in Sri Lanka and Rwanda, the LA riots, antagonisms between the Chinese and “indigenous” groups in Southeast Asia, the fate of minorities in Europe, and the so-called ware between the West and Islam. We will consider ethnic contention both in the form of institutionalized processes, such as the politics of affirmative action, as well as non-institutionalized conflicts such as ethnic riots, programs, and genocide. Some of the key analytical questions in the course are: What types of group differences and environmental conditions result in high level conflict? Why and when does neighbor turn against neighbor? What can be done to mitigate both local and transnational cultural conflict? How does ethnicity affect national economic performance and business decisions? Finally, we will analyze whether democracy is helpful and harmful in resolving ethnic problems. Prerequisite:  LAIS 100; Co-requisite: LAIS 200. Semester hours: 3. 

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LAIS 456: Power and Politics in Eurasia
This seminar covers the major internal and international issues confronting the fifteen states that once comprised the Soviet Union. After an overview of the USSR and its collapse in 1991, the course explores subsequent economic and security dilemmas facing the "new" nations of Eurasia. Special attention will be paid to oil, natural gas, and other energy sectors in the region. Prerequisite: LAIS100. Prerequisite or co-requisite: LAIS200. 3 hours seminar; 3 semester hours. 

LAIS 460: Global Geopolitics
Examines geopolitical theories and how they help us explain and understand contemporary developments in the world. Empirical evidence from case studies help students develop a deeper understanding of the interconnections between the political, economic, social, cultural and geographic dimensions of governmental policies and corporate decisions. Prerequisites: any two IPE courses at the 300-level, or one IPE course at the 400 level. 3 hours lecture and discussion; 3 semester hours. 

LAIS 477: Engineering and Sustainable Community Development|
This course is an introduction to the relationship between engineering and sustainable community development (SCD) from historical, political, ethical, cultural, and practical perspectives. Students will study and analyze different dimensions of sustainability, community, and "helping," and the role that engineering might play in them. Also students will critically explore strengths and limitations of dominant methods in engineering problem solving and design for working in SCD. Through case-studies, students will learn to analyze and evaluate projects in SCD and develop criteria for their evaluation. Prerequisite: LAIS100. Prerequisite or co-requisite: LAIS 200. 3 hours seminar; 3 semester hours. 

LAIS 478: Engineering and Social Justice
 This course offers students the opportunity to explore the relationships between engineering and social justice. The course begins with students’ exploration of their own social locations, alliances and resistances to social justice through critical engagement of interdisciplinary readings that challenge engineering mindsets. Then the course helps students to understand what constitutes social justice in different areas of social life and the role that engineers and engineering might play in these. Finally, the course gives students an understanding of why and how engineering has been aligned and/or divergent from social justice issues and causes. 3 hours lecture and discussion; 3 semester hours. Prerequisite: LAIS100; pre- or co-requisite: LAIS 200.

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LAIS 486: Science and Technology Policy
This course introduces students to the policy environment that surrounds science and technology. We will attend to a number of key aspects of this dynamic interaction: how scientists participate in and influence the policymaking process; how scientific data and interpretations become points of leverage and contention during policy debates; how federal funding and regulatory decisions affect research trajectories; and how the governance of science and technology implicates a variety of social forces ranging from explicit government intervention, to corporate behavior, to university policies, to direct involvement by citizens. The course will include historical and contemporary case studies, and students will have the opportunity to conduct their own analyses of policy issues of interest to them. Prerequisite:  LAIS 100; Co-requisite: LAIS 200. Semester hours: 3. 

LAIS 488: Water Politics and Policy
This seminar course discusses political and governmental processes that produce water policies at the national, transnational or global levels. It also invokes relevant theories and conceptual models to analyze water conflicts and their resolution, and to investigate case studies from different regions of the world. Prerequisite: LAIS 100 and LAIS 200. Semester hours: 3. 

LAIS 489 & 598: Nuclear Power And Public Policy
A general introduction to research and practice concerning policies and practices relevant to the development and management of nuclear power. This course will be team-taught. Topics to be covered will include: the social history of nuclear power development in the United States debates about the risks, costs, and benefits of nuclear power, including the perspectives:

  • of government, industry, and the general public
  • the elements of risk communication
  • the basic legal frameworks relevant to and regulating nuclear power
  • principles and practices of nuclear safety

Prerequisite: LAIS 100; One 300- or 400-level LAIS IPE course, and permission of the professor. Semester hours: 3. 

LAIS 490: Energy and Society
 An interdisciplinary capstone seminar that explores a spectrum of approaches to the understanding, planning, and implementation of energy production and use, including those typical of diverse private and public (national and international) corporations, organizations, states, and agencies. Aspects of global energy policy that may be considered include the historical, social, cultural, economic, ethical, political, and environmental aspects of energy together with comparative methodologies and assessments of diverse forms of energy development as these affect particular communities and societies. Prerequisite: LAIS100. Prerequisite or co-requisite: LAIS 200. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

LAIS 498: Special Topics
Pilot course or special topics course. Topics chosen from special interests of instructor(s) and student(s). Usually the course is offered only once. Prerequisite: LAIS 100 and LAIS 200. Semester hours: variable 1–6. 

LAIS 499: Independent Study
Individual research or special problem projects supervised by a faculty member. Primarily for students who have completed their Humanities and Social Science requirements. Instructor consent required. Prerequisite: Independent Study form must be completed and submitted to the Registrar, Co-requisite: SYGN LAIS. Semester hours: variable 1–6. 

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Last Updated: 08/04/2017 08:23:15