Law and Politics (BA) (International)

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Paul Barresi

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Go Global in Law or Politics

In developed countries like the United States, law and politics are closely intertwined. At the same time, the globalization of national economies worldwide means that lawyers from common law jurisdictions like the United States and civil law jurisdictions like most developing countries often find themselves working side by side in business transactions, where sharp differences in legal cultures can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunication. The B.A. in Law and Politics (International) at SNHU offers international students an opportunity to explore these issues by providing them with insight into what it means to "think like a lawyer," both in the United States and around the world, as well as with a solid foundation in the art and science of politics as practiced in the United States, abroad, and internationally. Students spend their first two years in a law, politics, or other degree program at their home universities, then complete their remaining degree requirements in two years on campus at SNHU. They also take all of their SNHU law and politics courses with their American peers, immersing themselves not just in the legal and political content of their coursework, but in American culture and university life too.

New Hampshire's Presidential Primary Election

SNHU is a great place to study law and politics because of the State of New Hampshire's unique role as host of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary election, which often is the most crucial stop for the many men and women who seek to be elected President of the United States. The candidates start their primary election campaigns as early as a year and half before the general election, meeting face-to-face with ordinary voters throughout New Hampshire in their homes and workplaces, in restaurants and diners, and on the street. Two recent presidential candidates, including Hillary Clinton, have chosen SNHU as their primary election night campaign headquarters. In 2007, Barack Obama delivered the commencement speech at SNHU's graduation ceremony shortly before launching his own presidential campaign.

Our Faculty

Our law and politics faculty brings a wealth of experience to the classroom. For example, as a lawyer at one of the region's biggest law firms, Dr. Paul Barresi helped to advise major multinational corporations in complex legal compliance matters. As a political scientist, he's an expert on American political culture. Dr. Dean Spiliotes is an SNHU Civic Scholar, veteran political analyst, and blogger whose expertise on presidential politics and the State of New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary election is sought out by major media outlets from throughout the United States and around the world. The array of faculty teaching law or politics courses at SNHU also has included a former mayor of New Hampshire's biggest city; a former World Bank and Ford Foundation consultant with experience working in Asia, Africa, and elsewhere; a former research associate in the civil litigation and criminal appeals divisions of the State of Florida's attorney general's office; and more.

Our Location

SNHU's beautifully wooded, 120-hectare campus is set on a hillside above the Merrimack River on the outskirts of Manchester, New Hampshire. Once in the forefront of America's Industrial Revolution, Manchester is now New Hampshire's biggest city - a sophisticated, multicultural urban center with 110,000 inhabitants. New Hampshire is one of the six states of the New England region, which forms the northeastern corner of the United States, and was among the first regions to be settled by English-speaking colonists. SNHU's campus is an hour west of the Atlantic Ocean, an hour south of some of the region's most impressive lakes and mountains, and an hour north of Boston, Massachusetts, which is New England's biggest city. With a population of 625,000, this coastal metropolis enjoys an international reputation as a hub of literature, learning, medical research, and high-tech industry, and is a popular weekend destination for the students from the dozens of colleges and universities in the area.

Program Prerequisites:

  • 60 credits from an SNHU-approved university, at least three of which must be derived from an introductory American politics course transferred to SNHU as POL 210.  Students transferring credits from a university that does not offer an introductory American politics course must take POL 210 at SNHU in the summer term immediately preceding the students' first fall semester on the SNHU campus.
  • 3.0 GPA equivalent
  • TOEFL score of at least 500/61, or IELTS score of at least 6.0 

General Education (International) Courses

ENG-120: College Composition I
ENG 120 is a college-level writing course that introduces students to various forms of academic discourse. Students are required to prepare essays in a variety of rhetorical modes, including exposition, description and argumentation. In addition to out-of-class writing assignments, students will be required to compose in-class essays in response to readings and other prompts. ENG 120 introduces students to process-writing techniques, library research and MLA documentation procedures. The primary focus of ENG 120 is to help students acquire the writing skills they need to succeed in an academic environment. Enrollment is kept intentionally small, typically 15 students per section, to assure maximum benefit.
ENG-200: Sophomore Seminar
This is a theme-based seminar that builds on the skills learned in SNHU-101 and ENG-120, focusing on information literacy (the ability to locate and evaluate information) as well as written and oral communication skills. The theme of the course will vary according to the instructor, but in all sections, students will conduct extensive research on the topic and communicate their knowledge in a variety of oral presentations and writing assignments that will culminate in a research paper. To be taken during the student's sophomore year.
ENG-120 or ENG-120H and sophomore standing or hono
GEO-200: World Geography
This course examines the implications of global location and topography for the people of planet Earth. Students will explore how geography shapes the dynamics of human societies, with an emphasis on the geoenvironmental, geopolitical, and geosocial phenomena that help to define the modern world. Global marker.
MAT-240: Applied Statistics
This is a fundamental course in the application of statistics. In this course, students will learn to apply statistical techniques to a variety of applications in business and the social sciences. Students will learn how to solve statistical problems by hand and through the use of computer software. Topics include probability distribution functions, sampling distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing and linear regression.
SNHU-202: SNHU Experience: Transition to SNHU
SNHU 202: Transition to SNHU will help transfer students make the most successful, least stressful transition possible. This is a course in the 3-course sequence of SNHU Experience courses (SNHU-101/202, 303, 404) designed to support your academic, personal, and professional development. The goal of class discussions and outside work for SNHU-202 will be to help you develop and refine the knowledge and skills you will need to manage and get the most out of academic and personal opportunities, as well as integrate them with your previous and future academic and personal experiences. Remember that these opportunities may be challenging, but challenges allow us all to grow and change.
SNHU-303: SNHU Experience: Life after SNHU
This is the second general education course of a 3-course sequence of SNHU Experience courses (SNHU 101/202, 303, 404). The course will build upon the SNHU 101 experience focusing students on preparing for their post collegiate life. Topics include: Goal setting, career and graduate school exploration, resume and cover letter writing, interviewing techniques, and topics of personal finance.
SNHU-101 or 202 and 45 cr (UC) or 60 cr (COCE)
SNHU-404: SNHU Experience: Gen Ed Capstone
This capstone course enables all SNHU learners to apply and reflect upon their general education experiences. This process culminates with the presentation of a professional portfolio that highlights and demonstrates their academic, personal and professional development throughout the SNHU 3-course sequence of SNHU Experience courses.
Take SNHU 101 or 202 and 303

*SNHU 202, 303, 404 (1 credit each)

School of Arts and Sciences Required Courses

HIS-114: United States History II: 1865-Present
The second half of the United States history survey course covers the period following the Civil War. The economic, political and ideological developments that allowed the United States to attain a position of the world leadership are closely examined. Required for majors in History and Social Studies Education with a concentration in History.
HIS-118: World Civilizations, 1500 to Present
An introductory survey of major civilizations from 1500 to the present, with particular emphasis on interactions and conflicts between Western and non-Western parts of the world. Key societies will be examined from political, socio-economic, and cultural-intellectual perspectives.

Select One of the Following:

ENV-101: Environmental Science
This course provides an introduction to the scientific aspects of the environmental field. The first part of the course introduces students to the foundations of environmental science, while the second part concentrates on the application of these foundations to real life environmental problems. Therefore, the course not only engages the fundamentals of environmental science but also shows students how science informs sustainability, environmental policies, economics and personal choice.
SCI-219: Environmental Issues
This course covers a variety of environmental topics in a manner specifically designed for the non-science major. It provides a fundamental understanding of the various processes necessary to support life on Earth and examines how human activities and attitudes (individual, traditional, cultural and others) generate environmental issues that threaten these processes. Topics include ecology, populations, agriculture, desertification and deforestation, water and ocean pollution, air pollution including ozone depletion and acid rain, global climate change, natural resource depletion, solid and hazardous wastes, energy including fossil fuels and nuclear power, economics and sustainability.

Law and Politics (International) Major Courses

GEO-200: World Geography
This course examines the implications of global location and topography for the people of planet Earth. Students will explore how geography shapes the dynamics of human societies, with an emphasis on the geoenvironmental, geopolitical, and geosocial phenomena that help to define the modern world. Global marker.
POL-210: American Politics
This course offers a broad introduction to the structure and function of the American political system at the national level, including the roles played by the president, Congress, the courts, the bureaucracy, political parties, interest groups and the mass media in the policy- making and electoral processes. This course places special emphasis on how the efforts of the framers of the Constitution to solve what they saw as the political problems of their day continue to shape American national politics in ours.
POL-211: International Relations
This course offers a broad introduction to the study and practice of international relations, including the roles played by states and nations, non-state actors, national interests, power, morality and international law. This course places special emphasis on realism and idealism as alternative approaches to the study and practice of international relations and on their implications for ongoing efforts to construct a peaceful and prosperous global political system in the aftermath of the Cold War. Global marker.
POL-306: The American Legal Tradition
This course offers a broad introduction to the American legal tradition, including the structure and function of the courts, the legal profession, legal education, and the politics of judicial selection. As an introduction to what it means to "think like a lawyer" in the United States, students learn how to write parts of a predictive legal memorandum of the type that first-year law students learn how to write, in which they analyze a legal issue of concern to hypothetical clients by applying the reasoning and conclusions in selected judicial opinions to the facts of the clients' case.
GOV-110 or POL-210
POL-314: Political Theory
This course explores the diversity of conceptions of the individual, the state, and "the good life" that animate contemporary societies and their critics, with an emphasis on the contributions of Western political theorists of both ancient and modern times to contemporary currents of political thought. This course places special emphasis on the social and cultural contexts in which these theorists lived and worked as factors that helped to shape their political ideas. The theorists covered may vary from semester to semester. Writing intensive course.
ENG-121 or ENG-200 and POL-210
POL-326: World Legal Traditions
This course explores the history and contemporary significance of the world's major legal traditions, including the common law, civil law, and other municipal legal traditions, and the international law tradition. Students compare and contrast the essential features of these traditions, and explore how they shape what it means to "think like a lawyer" in the United States, in many foreign countries, and internationally.
POL-211 and POL-306
SCS-224: Social Science Research Methods
This course offers a broad introduction to research methods in the social sciences, including surveys, case studies, experiments, and quasi-experiments. Students learn to spot design flaws in research intended to generate scientifically sound conclusions about social phenomena, and to evaluate critically the interpretations of social science research results by third-party observers, such as reporters. Students also learn how to draft a research proposal that would satisfy the requirements of peer review within the community of professional social scientists.
SCS-444: Capstone Colloquium
This colloquium serves as the capstone course for students in the sociology, law and politics, and environmental management majors. Students learn from their instructor and from each other as they apply the knowledge and skills acquired in their other course work to a directed research project in the appropriate discipline or field. Prerequisite: Senior standing in the sociology, law and politics, or environmental management major.
Senior prereg status

Select four of the following:

POL-305: State and Local Government
This course explores the structure and function of state and local governments in the United States, with an emphasis on their roles as partners with the federal government in a system of cooperative federalism. Students spend much of the course playing and critiquing their own performance in Camelot, a role-playing simulation game in which they assume the roles of civic leaders, representatives of organized interests, and other interested parties in a hypothetical city to try to resolve controversial policy dilemmas like the ones with which local communities are confronted routinely in the United States. This course is not offered online.
GOV-110 or POL-210
POL-316: Legal Reasoning and the Constitution
This course explores the reasoning process by American courts in resolving constitutional disputes. It is modeled on a first-year law school course. The readings consist almost exclusively of abbreviated U.S. Supreme Court opinions in civil liberties and civil rights cases. Students learn how to write brief, formal summaries of these opinions of the type that first-year students in American law schools learn to write, and are expected to participate actively in the type of in-class Socratic dialogues that are the standard method of instruction in American law schools.
POL-317: Campaigns and Elections
Campaigns and elections are central features of the American democratic process. This course will provide students with a deeper appreciation of how campaigns and elections set the rhythm of American political life and shape the functioning of our governmental system. Students will develop an in-depth understanding of the mechanics of political campaigns, with a special emphasis on electoral strategy, media relations, and voter mobilization. Students will use these concepts to analyze key elections during pivotal moments in our nation's political history. The course will also include considerable discussion of the role that our own New Hampshire Primary plays in the electoral process.
GOV-110 or POL-210
POL-319: US Environmental Law and Politics
How can businesses, governments, and public interest groups achieve environmental sustainability goals in legal and political contexts that were designed with other goals in mind? This interdisciplinary course explores the options in the United States, and provides a comprehensive point of comparison for topics explored in POL 329 and POL 349. Students spend about half of the course learning how to spot facts that give rise to compliance issues for businesses and other private parties under a full spectrum of federal environmental laws, and to identify opportunities for achieving broader sustainability goals within the constraints imposed by the law. In the other half, students learn both how to predict environmental law and policy outcomes and how to shape them adaptively in pursuit of sustainability goals in a fragmented system of governance that was designed to privilege special interests and to favor the status quo.
Take ENV-101 or SCI-219 and POL-210 or junior stan
POL-324: Congress and the Legislative Process
This course explores the structure and function of the Congress of the United States, with an emphasis on its role as a legislative body in a system of government characterized by the separation of powers and checks and balances. The topics covered include the congressional leadership structure, the committee system, major rules and procedures, legislative-executive relations, congressional elections, and representation, and may vary from semester to semester.
POL-329: Int'l Environmental Law and Negotiation
How can we resolve environmental disagreements without picking winners and losers or merely agreeing to disagree? This interdisciplinary course explores the most effective strategy for doing so in negotiating environmental agreements of all kinds, using the multi-country agreements that are at the center of international environmental law as illustrative examples. Students spend most of the course building "win-win negotiation" skills in a series of increasingly complex computer-assisted and other role-playing simulation games, including an unregulated international common pool resource negotiation, an International Whaling Commission negotiation, and a global climate change negotiation using C-ROADS, an award-winning computer simulation used by governments, corporations, and nongovernmental organizations worldwide to model the long-term climate impacts of alternative greenhouse gas emission policy scenarios.
ENV-101 or SCI-219 and either POL-211 or at least
POL-336: Advocacy and the Law
This course aims to dispel some of the myths about lawyers as advocates that are perpetuated by popular culture and the mass media in the United States. Students spend much of the course exploring case studies that illustrate the ethical dilemmas faced by lawyers as advocates in the American legal system, the ethical rules that govern their behavior as a condition of their license to practice law, and the fates that befall them when they fail to fulfill their ethical obligations. In addition, students learn how to write parts of an appellate legal brief of the type that first-year law students in American law schools learn how to write, and how to make an appellate oral argument on behalf of hypothetical clients in a moot court setting.
POL-349: Comparative Environmental Law and Sustainable Development
How effective is environmental law as a strategy for achieving sustainable development? How does its diversity across countries and cultures constrain the ability of businesses, governments, and civil society organizations to achieve environmental sustainability goals in an increasingly globalized world? This interdisciplinary course examines the many legal, political, cultural, and other factors that shape the answer to these questions, using China, India, Russia, the European Union, and the United States as illustrative examples. Students explore the implications of these factors not only for businesses, governments, and civil society organizations pursuing sustainability goals within their own countries, but also for their counterparts in other countries to whom the former are linked through bilateral trade relationships and global supply chains.
ENV-101 or SCI-219 and either POL-210 or at least
POL-362: The American Presidency
This course highlights central themes in the historical development, organization, and functioning of the American presidency. From the origins of our Constitution through two centuries of institutional development and up to the present day, this course will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of presidential behavior. Special emphasis will be placed on the growth of presidential power in both foreign and domestic policy and on the central role that presidential elections play in our national politics. Students will learn to view the American presidency as a complex institution, one that requires the president to simultaneously play multiple political roles, including commander-in-chief, legislator, communicator, civic leader and candidate.
Take POL-210

Students may substitute free electives for any Law and Politics (International) Major Courses that are substantively equivalent to courses taken by the students at their home universities as part of the 60-credit program prerequisite, as determined by the Law and Politics (International) Program Coordinator. Students must fulfill the POL 210 requirement with transfer credits from an introductory American politics course taken at their home universities as part of the 60-credit program prerequisite, or if their home universities do not offer such a course by taking POL 210 at SNHU in the summer term immediately preceding the students' first fall semester on the SNHU campus.

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