U.S. Government and Politics
This course is an introduction to U.S. national government and politics. We will analyze the institutions of the U.S. national government to see what influence these institutions have on political behaviour and policy outcomes. In the fall we will focus on key concepts of political science and the constitutional foundations of the U.S. government, and then review institutions such as Congress, the federal courts and the Presidency and their role in national policy-making. In the spring, we will turn our attention to the public in political life, including the expression of public opinion, the activities of interest groups, and the role of political parties. We will focus on the President’s ability to set an agenda and make policy initiatives, particularly in regards to contentious issues such as health care and environmental policy. This course will help students appreciate the distinctive features of the American political system and American political culture.
Format and Requirements
One two-hour lecture per week; tutorials roughly every other week. Course requirements include a research paper, end of term exam, quizzes, and final exam.
One full POL course or 4.0 FCEs
1.0 POL credit or 4.0 full course equivalents