Relationships between social change and political change. Focus on selected issues, including social bases of democracy, political organization, elections, and consequences of public policy.
This course focuses on what might be thought of as four "dilemmas of democracy"--problems that can neither be avoided nor completely solved. We will learn about (1) the invention of democratic institutions and the struggle to sustain them; (2) how legislators try to balance pursuit of their own interests against pursuit of the greater good; (3) the contrast between the level of knowledge seemingly required for democratic citizenship, and the actual level of knowledge citizens possess; and (4) the ways in which interest groups may reduce government responsiveness, or enhance it.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
At least one course in American politics or society and politics.
Class assignments and grading