This course will embark students on a comprehensive exploration of the American government, delving into its intricate institutions and dynamic political processes. Hence, the course is designed to provide students with profound insights into the underlying principles that drive the remarkable tapestry of American political structures and practices. Our primary objective is to dissect political institutions and practices, recognizing them as ingenious yet imperfect solutions to the challenges faced by communities requiring collective action. Throughout this course, we will meticulously examine the array of political institutions and practices that have emerged as responses to the complexities of collective decision-making. By studying recurrent barriers to collective action across various contexts, we will illuminate the diverse arsenal of strategies that American politicians have crafted to surmount these challenges. Effective political communities fortify their ability to act collectively and streamline the associated costs by crafting purpose-fit institutions. These institutional frameworks encompass a spectrum of majority and plurality rules and procedures, transforming individual votes into meaningful representation. They empower the delegation of authority to appointed agents while granting certain institutional actors the ability to propose courses of action, counterbalanced by others vested with the power to veto propositions. A central theme will be the strategic nuances that underscore political engagement throughout the course; this includes a deep dive into the endeavors of present-day officeholders as they mold policies, allowing students to perceive existing institutions as the outcomes of political clashes and the arenas wherein these conflicts find resolution. By the end, students will gain a holistic understanding of the intricate interplay between political dynamics and the establishments they give rise to.
Juarez-Perez, Javier, "POLS 110B American Government Juarez-Perez Fall 2023" (2023). Course Syllabi. 180, Scholarly and Creative Work from DePauw University.