Fall 2016

Introduction to American Politics

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-219


Stephen E. Laizer (Section 01)
Jonathan M. Obert (Section 01)


[IL] U.S. politics have been an object of fascination not only for American citizens but also for scholars, students, and observers from around the world.  This course provides both an introduction to key scholarly arguments about American political institutions, development and participation as well as a chance to engage with the important question of how distinctive the politics of the U.S. actually are.  Focusing our attention initially on the role Congress, the Presidency, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution play in the shaping of policy, we will then examine how Americans actually participate in the political process.  This means looking at how parties, the media, perceptions of class, race, and gender, interactions with bureaucracy, and even arguing and fighting shape the way Americans view their place in the political world.  Finally, we will focus on the question of American "exceptionalism" - how different, really, are American political institutions and experience, and what lessons can we draw from the American experiment that might (or might not) help us understand the political process elsewhere?

Limited to 30 students.  Fall semester.  Professor Obert.

If Overenrolled: Priority given to a balance of first year and second-year students, randomly determined, then Political Science majors.

Cost: 27.00 Copyright fee ?


Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Fall 2018, Fall 2019