PSCI 201 Spring 2013 Power, Politics, and Democracy in America

Also offered Fall 2012

Begun as an experiment over 200 years ago, the United States has grown into a polity that is simultaneously praised and condemned, critiqued and mythologized, modeled by others and remodeled itself. This course introduces students to the dynamics and tensions that have animated the American political order and that have nurtured these conflicting assessments. Topics include the founding of the American system and the primary documents (the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers), the primary institutions of national government then and now (Congress, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court) and the politics of policy-making in the United States. We study structures, processes, key events, and primary actors that have shaped American political development. In investigating these topics, we explore questions such as these: How is power allocated? What produces political change? Is there is a trade-off between democratic accountability and effective governance? How are tensions between liberty and equality resolved? Do the institutions produce good policies, and how do we define what is good?
Class Format: lecture
Requirements/Evaluation: depending on the section, some combination of response papers, short-to-medium papers, exams, and class participation
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Prerequisites: none; this is an introductory course, open to all, including first-year students
Enrollment Preference: first-year students
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: ENVP Political Theory + Law Electives,ENVP Political Economy Electives,POEC Required Courses,PSCI American Politics Courses
Enrollment Limit: 35
Expected Enrollment: 35
Class Number: 3634
PSCI201-01(S) LEC Power,Politics,Democracy Amer Division 2: Social Studies Candis W. Smith
MR 1:10 PM-2:25 PM Hopkins Hall 001 3634
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