Mark A. Smith
POL S 202
Institutions and politics in the American political system. Ways of thinking about how significant problems, crises, and conflicts of American society are resolved politically. Offered: AWSpS.
Description: This course provides an introduction to the American political system. As a survey course, it strives for breadth more than depth. We will spend time on the major aspects of American politics, such as the Constitution, public opinion, elections, the mass media, political parties, and the governing institutions of the Congress, Presidency, and judiciary. Among the questions considered are: why the U.S. has only two major parties; why Congress tends to move slowly; how the electoral College works; why bureaucratic agencies use lots of formal rules; why the mass media cover certain stories but not others; and why it is hard for presidents to meet public expectations of them.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
Grading: First exam: 20% Second exam: 20% Papers: 20% Final exam: 30% Section participation: 10%