Rebecca U Thorpe
POL S 555
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.
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
Class assignments and grading
Reading presentations & final paper