Political Science

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Professor of Political Science teaching classroom of students

Welcome to Political Science

At SBCC, the academic discipline of Political Science is part of the Department of Political Science and Economics.

In addition to offering Political Science and Economics as programs of study, the department is the academic home to the following programs: the Global and International Studies Program, the Law and Society Program, and the Middle East Studies Program.  More information can be found below.

Political Science Program Description

The study of Political Science is the study of how people are governed and how they govern themselves. This process involves, among other things, the decision to allocate scarce resources to an expanding population with ever-increasing demands. We aim to develop an understanding of the institutions, the practices, and the relations that constitute public life. 

As a discipline, in the West, Political Science originates with the Greeks. Following their lead, as part of our major and our discipline of Political Science, we examine the views of political philosophers from Plato and Aristotle to the present on the question of which type of government is most conducive to human fulfillment and why. Given that we are a department of Political Science at an American institution of higher learning, we study the American political experience as a unique experiment in “self-government,” but we also go beyond studying how America is governed to look at other political systems with a view to realizing the differences and commonalities between these political systems. Our discipline also seeks to understand the causes, dynamics and possibilities of conflict and conflict resolution in the international arena, by studying the interactions of states, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and other non-state actors on the global scene. 

Political Science courses help prepare students for specific careers. For example, Political Science is often used as a pre-law major or for other related professions, such as careers in government at the federal, state or local levels. Our discipline is also appropriate for a number of careers at the international level, such as international diplomacy or international business, as well as other professions in non-governmental sectors both nationally and internationally, and our faculty invite your questions about such opportunities. 

We offer an Associate (AA) Degree in Political Science, and an Associate Degree for Transfer (AA-T) Degree in Political Science. 

Economics Program

At SBCC, the disciplines of Political Science and Economics are part of the same department.  However, Economics is its own academic discipline, and the program has its own website. Please visit the website of the Economics Program for more information, including information about the degrees we offer.

Global and International Studies Program

The Department of Political Science and Economics is the academic home of the Global and International Studies Program.  Please visit the website of the Global and International Studies Program for more information, including information about the degrees we offer.

Law and Society Program

The Department of Political Science and Economics is also the home of the Law and Society Program

The Law and Society Program involves the study of law and legal systems as they relate to the larger societies of which they are a part. While the program is of special interest to students who plan careers in government service or law, many of the majors simply share a desire to understand the role of law in society.  Some of the questions students will encounter in courses in this program include: Do all societies have law? Why do legal systems develop? What purposes are served by the law? Why do different societies develop different types of law? How are legal resources distributed within societies? How does one determine if a law is constitutional? How does one know if a law is just? While these are only examples of the issues addressed by the program, they do suggest the breadth of the concerns involved.

The Law and Society major seeks to understand the nature of law and legal institutions from a variety of perspectives. The program is interdisciplinary, with courses offered in the following fields: Justice Studies, Anthropology, Economics, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology and Sociology. The program is designed to benefit both the student who desires a liberal education and the student who intends to enter graduate or law school.
The Law and Society Program also offers an emphasis in criminal justice, stressing the study of criminal justice as a social science. This specialization is designed for students who are particularly interested in the area of law enforcement. The emphasis is not on technical training, but rather is designed to expose students to a variety of approaches to understanding the criminal justice system and, more generally, crime.

Career choices include urban planning, court management, probation, counseling, legal practice, federal, state and local government service. This major with a BA Degree can lead to advanced degree programs in judicial administration and the social sciences, paraprofessional legal training and law school.

We offer a Law and Society Associate Degree (AA).  An AA Degree in Law and Society or Law and Society (Criminal Justice emphasis) can be obtained by satisfying the degree requirements above and the General Education and institutional requirements for the Associate in Arts Degree.

Middle East Studies

The Department of Political Science and Economics is also the academic home of the Middle East Studies Program.  Please visit the website of the Middle East Studies Program for more information, including information about the degree we offer.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students majoring in Political Science should, at the end of their two years of study at the college, be able to achieve the following level of proficiency in this field. This measure is referred to as Student Learning Outcomes, and they are as follows for the Political Science Department:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of how people are governed and how they govern themselves.
  2. Analyze the role of government institutions in contemporary society.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of key terms and core concepts of political systems

Faculty & Offices

Political Science:
Manoutchehr M. Eskandari-Qajar (IDC-352, ext. 2435),
Andrea B. Haupt (IDC-351, ext. 3735),
Joseph Martorana (IDC-349, ext. 4277)

Ruth Morales (IDC-358, ext. 2245)

Global and International Studies:
Andrea B. Haupt (IDC-351, ext. 3735)

Law and Society Studies
Joseph Martorana (IDC-349, ext. 4277)

Middle East Studies:
Manoutchehr M. Eskandari-Qajar (IDC-352, ext. 2435)




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