POLS203 - American Politics and Culture

10 cp
Prerequisites: 10 cp from 100-level units in Politics and International Relations
Teaching Organisation: 36 hours of lectures and tutorials

America’s political system has conventionally been regarded as a beacon of democracy and hope in the world. Yet do the formal institutions and practices of American government still conform with our expectations of a robust democracy? Or are they in need of reform? This unit introduces students to the main theories and practice of American government. It examines central documents and institutions of the American political system, including the Constitution, Congress, the Presidency, the Supreme Court, the Bill of Rights, and the major political parties. Key political issues in foreign policy, abortion, religion, race, gun control, and political extremism will also be examined, drawing on cultural political representations to illuminate the dynamics at play. The aim of this unit is to acquaint students with the concepts and skills necessary to analyse the institutions, policies, and issues in contemporary American politics.