Political Science 110-80 & 81




Hello! My name is Dr. Michael Luis Principe and I will be your professor for this course. My academic background includes earning a J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Before coming to WPU in 1998, I taught constitutional law, international law, and criminal procedure in a number of law schools. Besides teaching public law and political theory in the Political Science Department, I am Director of both the WPU Pre-Law Program and the WPU Summer Program at St. Edmund's College, Cambridge University, England. If you have questions about either of these programs, please feel free to ask me.


This course will be divided up into weekly reading assignments. Course Assessment will include two (2) three-page, typed, randomly-assigned Discussion Papers (50 points each) and two (2) ONLINE  Examinations (100 points each). The Discussion Papers are not research papers. Instead, they are opportunities for you to critically and creatively assess an important topic in the course, using the course readings as support for “your” perspective. The Exams will each include 2 essay questions and they will be available on Blackboard from 9am to midnight on the scheduled days. Once you have first accessed them, you will be given 2 hours to complete them. If you have a conflict with the exam dates, it is your responsibility to rearrange your schedule to sit the exam. Please check the Course Syllabus for the scheduled exam times and reading assignments.


I'll offer a number of voluntary Chat Sessions at different times during the semester and post the days and times for them in the "Announcements" section of Blackboard. These are opportunities to discuss issues as a group. I will also post various Outlines &/or Questions on Blackboard for you to consider in relation to the reading assignments.


If you have questions about the course or the study of law in general, and don't wish to discuss it within the framework of a Chat Session, please feel free to email me (principem@wpunj.edu).


DO KEEP IN MIND that the most important skill to have in an ONLINE course is self-discipline. It is imperative that you keep up with the reading and writing assignments if you want to do well in the course.


“IF” you have never taken an ONLINE course, it is essential that you contact the WPU Computer Helpdesk immediately for information on how to successfully complete the course (access Blackboard, take exams, etc.). It is your responsibility to learn/know these things at the beginning of the course….


The following books are assigned for this course should now be available in the WPU Bookstore:

1)      Somerville & Santoni, Social and Political Philosophy

2)      Hahn, On Thoreau (2000)

3)      Principe, American Government, Policy, & Law, 2nd Ed. (2006)