Office: UAC 371
B.A., Northern Illinois University
J.D., Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin
Professor, Department of Political Science
Paul Kens is a professor in the Department of Political Science. He received his B.A from Northern Illinois University, his J.D. from the University of Texas in 1971, and his Ph.D in Government from the University of Texas in 1987. He frequently writes on subjects involving legal history, constitutional history, and the history of law in the American West. His books include Lochner v. New York: Economic Regulation on Trial, Justice Stephen Field: Shaping Liberty from the Gold Rush to the Gilded Age, and The Supreme Court Under Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite 1874-1888 (forthcoming 2010).
POSI 2310 (GOVT 2301) Principles of American Government
A survey of the principles of political science, of the American system of government, and of the origins and development of the constitutions of the United States and Texas. Satisfies the legislative requirements for teacher certification.
POSI 2320 (GOVT 2302) Functions of American Government
A study of functions performed in the American system of government, both national and state, with special reference to Texas.
POSI 3310 Constitutional Law: Basic Structures and Principles
A case study approach to an analysis of fundamental principles of governmental structure with an emphasis on the office and powers of the President and inter-governmental relationships in the main body (Articles I through VII) of the U.S. Constitution.
PS 3333 Constitutional Law: Individual Liberties
An examination of that area of Constitutional interpretation commonly known as Civil Liberties or the relations between the individual and the government.
POSI 3349 The Evolution of the United States Constitution
This course studies the relationship between politics and the Constitution. Unlike some political science and constitutional history courses, it will not emphasize the case law or the role of the Supreme Court in constitutional development. Rather, it will study the evolution of the Constitution from a political, historical, and theoretical perspective.
PS 4333 Issues in Law and Public Policy
This course examines contemporary legal issues by focusing on their relationship to public policy. Selected topics will vary, i.e., AIDS, abortion, affirmative action/reverse discrimination, capital punishment, environmental protection, euthanasia, and surrogate motherhood. In connection with these controversial issues we will address: (1) alternative views; (2) social consequences; and, (3) political responses to and legal issues resulting from alternative positions.
POSI 4349 Special Topics in Comparative Politics
Topics in Comparative Politics will address political concepts in specific countries or areas of the world in a comparative context. The course will examine how political ideas and culture, governmental institutions, political parties, interest groups, and external influences affect the area studies.
PS 4399 Senior Seminar in Political Science
Seminar devoted to intensive reading, research, writing, and discussion focusing on different sub-fields in the discipline taught by appropriate faculty. Students in consultation with faculty in their area of interest should select a particular sub-field seminar in accordance with their needs and professional objectives.
PS 5341 Seminar in Constitutional Law and Theory
In-depth analysis of selected issues in constitutional theory including the theory of judicial review, and constitutional interpretation. Examines the debate on constitutional interpretation in light of cases dealing with the First Amendment Freedom of Speech, Press, and Religion, and with substantive due process and the equal protection clause.
PS 5335 Problems in American Politics
This course studies the role, status, and power of property in democracy. It takes a modified historical approach to the subject, tracing attitudes regarding property from before the American Revolution until today. Although the emphasis is on the United States, we will study property in other societies where appropriate.