Welcome - American Politics: Polarization And Crisis POLI 3378   American Politics: Polarization And Crisis
The purpose of this seminar course, for senior undergraduates, is to provide a thorough and critical understanding of the American national political process and its current crises and contradictions. It will examine the colonial displacement of First Peoples and founding of a colonial “settler” society, the slave-based economy, and the revolutionary route to independence. It examines the framing of the constitution and the novel institutions of separation of powers and federalism. It will consider the contemporary evolution of the presidential-congressional relationship which experiences periods of cooperation, contestation and gridlock, and the important Supreme Court role of judicial review. It will then examine the unique electoral system and political parties and the role of lobbyists and money in politics. Students will examine persistent divisions of class, race, ethnicity and gender which remain hotly contested in contemporary political discourses and practices. These themes will be set in the context of political economy in the world’s wealthiest, but increasingly unequal, society. Contemporary controversies in governance will be highlighted including the divisive culture of “values” politics. Classes will build around student-lead presentations and debates.
FORMAT: Seminar
PREREQUISITES: POLI 2210.03 or POLI 2220.03 or POLI 2300X/Y.06, or POLI 2301.03 or POLI 2302.03 recommended