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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Mark A. Smith
POL S 405
Seattle Campus

Advanced Seminar in American Politics

Intensive reading and research in selected problems or fields of political analysis.

Class description

Description: What is distinctive about how Americans view the political world? From where do American values originate, and how have they changed over time and adapted to new circumstances? Is the United States in the middle of a “culture war” based on fundamental differences over religion, values, and public policy? How do Americans’ beliefs about politics affect political processes and outcomes? These are among the questions this course will address. After surveying the development and expression of the nation’s core values, we will examine how these values set the context for political debates and public policy.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Texts: Tocqueville, Democracy in America; Kingdon, America the Unusual; and a collection of articles and book chapters.

Class assignments and grading

Assignments: 1 paper, a midterm exam, and a final exam.

Grading: Exams: 60 %; Papers: 30 %; Class participation: 10 %.


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.
Additional Information
Last Update by Suman C. Chhabra
Date: 08/14/2007