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:
- a good working knowledge of the American political system and its institutions, public opinion and elections;
- ability to integrate evidence from different sources in order to generalise about American politics and behaviour;
- ability to explain the consequences of America’s unique design; and
- ability to explain how political attitudes and behaviour are affected by institutional arrangements.
- Essay, 1500 words (25) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Essay, 2500 words (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Final Exam, 3 hours, in the examination period (35) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Lecture Participation (4) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Tutorial Participation (6) [LO 1,2,3,4]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.
130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 24 hours of lecture over 12 weeks;
b) 12 hours of tutorial over 12 weeks;
c) 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
ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.