PSCI 218
The American Presidency Spring 2019
Division II
Cross-listed LEAD 218 / PSCI 218
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To study the presidency is to study human nature and personality, constitution and institution, strategy and contingency. This course will examine the problems and paradoxes that attend the exercise of the most powerful political office in the world’s oldest democracy: Can an executive office be constructed with sufficient energy to govern and also be democratically accountable? How much do we attribute the shaping of politics to the agency of the individual in the office and to what extent are politics the result of structural, cultural, and institutional factors? Are the politics of the presidency different in foreign and domestic policy? How are national security concerns balanced with domestic priorities such as the protection of civil liberties? How is the office and purpose of the presidency affected by an economic order predicated on private capital? Exploration of these questions will lead us to examine topics such as presidential selection, the bases of presidential power, character and leadership issues, congressional-executive relations, the media, and emergency powers. Attention will focus largely on the modern presidency, though older historical examples will also be used to help us gain perspective on these problems.
The Class: Type: lecture/discussion
Limit: 35
Expected: 35
Class#: 3533
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: one exam, two short to medium length papers, small group projects, and class participation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Political Science majors and Leadership studies concentrators
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
LEAD 218 Division II PSCI 218 Division II
Attributes: LEAD American Domestic Leadership
LEAD Facets or Domains of Leadership
POEC U.S. Political Economy + Public Policy Course
PSCI American Politics Courses

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