Amerikos politika (POL139)

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Course goals

This course explores who has power in the US political system, the sources of that power, and the limits on the power of various groups and institutions.  It particularly examines the impact of the structure of American government and political polarization on the processes and outcomes of American government.  The following topics are covered: the US Constitution and US political culture, the institutions of government including the president, Congress, the courts, the bureaucracy, and political parties, and the role of the public in the American political process through elections and other forms of political participation.

Course results

  • Describe the structure of the American government and identify the checks and balances in the political system.  Identify the primary powers given to each branch of government.
  • Define federalism; explain how the national government influences state governments.
  • Identify key civil liberties and civil rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.  Explain their application to current controversies in American politics.
  • Define partisan polarization; explain its origins and its impact on American government.
  • Describe how politicians in the U.S. are nominated and elected to office.  Explain the role of political parties in this process.
  • Explain the legislative process in the U.S. Congress Explain the role committees and parties play in this process.
  • Explain the role of the presidency in policymaking and the rise of the unitary executive in American politics.