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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Rebecca U Thorpe
POL S 556
Seattle Campus

American Political Development

Examination of leading works in, and theories of, American political development. Topics include the development approach itself; critical junctures in U.S. political history; key changes in institutions, the American state, the representation of interests and party politics; and the relevance of development studies to current politics.

Class description

This course examines the historical evolution of American institutions and policies. While we will focus on a few critical eras, the broader course emphasis is on state and policy transformations throughout periods of history, including the presidency, political parties, race, welfare, incarceration and labor. Our goal is to identify basic themes in American institutional and policy change, locate sources of continuity and consider how historical developments shape and constrain subsequent political decision-making.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


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: 11/25/2011