American Politics

Cartoon "Bill" from Schoolhouse Rock "I'm Just a Bill" segment

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This course provides an overview of the politics of the American system of government. Among the topics to be covered are the historical developments of American politics, ferderalism, political participation (voting, interest groups, parties), institutions (congress, the courts, the president), and public opinion.

A theme underlying our examination of these and other topics will be the fact that political actors are purposive in their strategic pursuit of various objectives.

We will explore the many ways in which this aspect of political behavior impacts institutions and the interactions between political actors throughout the American political system.