This course provides an introduction to U.S. political behaviour and institutions. We will discuss the design and rationale for the U.S. political system and the implications it has for both citizen involvement and governing. We will also examine how reforms to governmental institutions and processes influence the way citizens interact with government. Throughout the course we will make comparisons between the U.S. system and other democracies around the world.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Having successfully completed this course, students should have acquired the following skills:
1. Knowledge: a good working knowledge of the American political system and its institutions, public opinion and elections
2. Empirical: ability to integrate evidence from different sources in order to generalise about American politics and behaviour
3. Analysis: ability to explain the consequences of America’s unique design
4. Evaluation: ability to explain how political attitudes and behaviour are affected by institutional arrangements.
Indicative AssessmentSeminar group presentation (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1-4]
1000-1750 word essay (25%) [Learning Outcomes 1-4]
2000-2500 word essay (30%)[Learning Outcomes 1-4]
Final Exam (3 hours, in the examination period) 35% [Learning Outcomes 1-4]
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 36 hours of workshops; and b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Selected readings from:
Brunell, Thomas L. 2008. Redistricting and Representation: Why Competitive Elections are Bad for America. Routledge. (available as an ebook through the library)
Dahl, Robert A. 2002. How Democratic is the American Constitution? New Haven: Yale University Press.
Dalton, Russell J. 2008. The Good Citizen: How a Younger Generation is Reshaping American Politics. CQ Press.
Fiorina, Morris P. 2010. Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America. 3rd Edition. Longman Press.
Gelman, Andrew. 2008. Red State, Blue State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do. Princeton University Press.
Streb, Matthew J. 2008. Rethinking American Electoral Democracy. Routledge
Wattenberg, Martin P. 2008. Is Voting for Young People? Longman Press.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|3365||20 Feb 2017||27 Feb 2017||31 Mar 2017||26 May 2017||In Person||N/A|