Introduction to American Politics

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This course covers the Constitutional structure and functions of the legislative, executive and judicial branches at national, state and local levels. Using a Madisonian framework, this course will examine the challenges of democratic theory in practice. With an emphasis on pluralism, students will place themselves within current political debates. Viewed in the context of political parties, interest groups, and citizenship, students will engage with questions about power and justice. Emphasis will be placed on protests movements, such as the civil rights and women’s rights movements.

In this course learners are required to engage the political process and develop critical thinking skills. To satisfy this requirement learners will engage in current policy debates, analysis of historic and current events, and conduct research in a focused area of American politics. Learners should expect to be actively engaged in the learning process, not passively learning about institutions and jargon.