Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Rebecca U Thorpe
POL S 555
Seattle Campus

American Politics Topics

Examination of current topics in the theory and practice of American politics. Content varies according to recent developments in the field and research interests of the instructor.

Class description

This course examines foundations for and applications of executive power in the United States. Our primary emphasis is on the flexible boundaries of executive authority in a constitutional regime of separate and limited powers—including opportunities for independent action, the development of the bureaucracy, influence over budgetary and spending decisions, the rise of crime control and mass incarceration, and the growth of the national security state. We will consider how these outcomes both derive and depart from early modernist views of executive leadership and the U.S. constitutional design. Secondarily, we will also consider how American presidents, governors and mayors exercise power and promote their leadership capabilities and the political constraints that they encounter. Our goal is to identify foundations for the scope and exercise of executive authority and locate sources of change and continuity.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Reading presentations & final paper


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Rebecca U Thorpe
Date: 11/30/2012