POLSCI 489 - Advanced Topics in Contemporary Political Science
Section: 001 Law and Social Change
Term: WN 2008
Subject: Political Science (POLSCI)
Department: LSA Political Science
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Seniors only.
May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

The paradigm for this course is how the LEGAL PROCESS can impact the POLITICAL PROCESS to bring about SOCIAL CHANGE. We will focus on court rulings that have precipitated change in our society, and conversely, social change that led to changes in the law. The class will include analysis of grass-roots activists working through the courts, with emphasis on their political impact on the legal process. In other words, we will see how a lawsuit, as it moves through the court, may affect the political process. Our discussion of legal activity will range from cases that historically had a strong and lasting social impact to current cases involving significant contemporary issues. One major focus will be the litigation leading to a moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois and the exoneration of death-row inmates wrongly convicted of capital crimes. The course will also examine Congressional, judicial, and political action toward elimination of racial discrimination, disability law, and social change in time of war. There will be guest speakers, including attorneys, plaintiffs, and public officials, who are actively involved in these issues and other cases covered in the class.

POLSCI 489 - Advanced Topics in Contemporary Political Science
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
Tu 4:00PM - 7:00PM
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