Undergraduate Programs

Justice and Democracy: The American Experiment

This emphasis seeks to bring together theoretical and practical questions at the intersection of justice and democracy. Students who pursue this emphasis will consider the nature of democracy; its philosophical justifications; democratic institutions and practices; the study of democratic behavior; and the relationship between law, democracy, and justice. A central consideration of courses included in this emphasis is whether and under what circumstances democracy leads to justice for citizens who live under this regime.

The Justice and Democracy emphasis allows students to take courses in various sub-fields of Political Science, and to study the theme of justice and democracy across Public Law, American Politics, and Political Theory. American democracy –its history, development, institutions, behavior, and traditions of political thought – serves as a primary but not exclusive case study.

This is an intellectually challenging way to study American Government and Public Law. Courses are generally writing-intensive; focus on reading primary texts; and introduce various methods of investigating the science of politics. In this emphasis, students must complete a senior seminar. This is an excellent opportunity to engage in intensive academic work in a small group environment with highly qualified professors. The rigor of this emphasis helps students develop high level critical and analytical skills, which is ideal preparation for graduate and professional schools as well as work in all demanding fields including government and business.

 The program of study under this emphasis will include courses under the following headings:

 Exploring Democracy in America

  • American Political Thought
  • Political Behavior
  • American Institutions

Questions of Justice in Democracy in America

  • Public Law
  • Political Theory

Senior Seminar

If you have further questions about the Justice and Democracy: The American Experiment emphasis within the Department of Political Science, please feel free to contact Professor Andrea Radasanu at aradasanu@niu.edu, ZH 407, 815-753-7052.