POSC 105

MTWRF 1130-0100PM


The changes and problems confronting the United States as the 20th century draws to a close raise a number of interesting and troubling questions about the American political system: who exactly will make the momentous decisions that have to be made in the next four years? the people? interest groups? large corporations? the president? the Congress? a combination of these groups and institutions? Does the nation have the political will, capacity, and unity to meet the challenges it faces? What values and interests will guide the choices?

These sorts of issues constitute the core of this section of POSC 105. Consequently, I am not offering an introduction to or survey of political institutions such as Congress or the bureaucracy. The topics are (I hope) more provocative, interest- ing, exciting, and informative. Examples:

Method and Requirements:

Each participant will be asked to learn the "nuts and bolts" of the political system independently by reading a standard text- book. We will devote class time to discussing the topics listed above. Requirements include two examinations, two or three quiz- zes, a New York Times clipping file. There is no final examination. Attendance is always required, and each person is expected to learn to use E-mail.