Textbook focusing on American Government and the specificities of the American political system. In covering American government and politics, this text:
• introduces the intricacies of the Constitution, the complexities of federalism, the meanings of civil liberties, and the conflicts over civil rights;
• explains how people are socialized to politics, acquire and express opinions, and participate in political life;
• describes interest groups, political parties, and elections—the intermediaries that link people to government and politics;
• details the branches of government and how they operate; and
• shows how policies are made and affect people’s lives.
Political Science Textbooks and Full Courses
Political Science Textbooks and Full Courses Collection Resources (73)
Textbook focusing on American Government and the specificities of the American political system. In covering American government and politics, this text:
This is a discussion-based interactive seminar on the two major issues that affect Sub-Saharan Africa: HIV/AIDS and Poverty. AIDS and Poverty, seemingly different concepts, are more inter-related to each other in Africa than in any other continent. As MIT students, we feel it is important to engage ourselves in a dynamic discussion on the relation between the two - how to fight one and how to solve the other.
This course will provide the student with a broad overview of African politics placed within the context of Africa's recent history, taking into account Africa's colonial relationships and then the post-colonial period. This course will analyze on the internal workings and challenges of African states, including their movements towards democratization, their economic statuses, the connections between their governmental and non-governmental institutions/organizations, and the various ways in which their societies and cultures impact their politics. This course also asks questions about the nature of Africa's conflicts, reviewing larger trends within Africa's political economy, and inquiring about the promise of continental and sub-continental political integration efforts. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: explain how colonialism and independence movements contributed to and shaped contemporary African statehood; identify the main causes of state and political failure in Africa; define underdevelopment and explain the causes of economic failure in Africa; discuss the causes of civil and interstate conflict in Africa; apply knowledge of Africa's history to explain current causes of crisis and the roles of different actors within the state and international community; compare and contrast economically and politically stable states with those that are unstable and identify the main features of stability; identify and explain some of the major social, cultural, and economic challenges (such as HIV/AIDS) that contemporary African states face, as well as the role international actors play in addressing these challenges. (Political Science 325)
This course explores the reasons for America's past wars and interventions. It covers the consequences of American policies, and evaluates these consequences for the U.S. and the world. History covered includes World Wars I and II, the Korean and Indochina wars, the Cuban Missile Crisis and current conflicts, including those in in Iraq and Afghanistan, and against Al Qaeda.
American Government is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of the single-semester American government course. This title includes innovative features designed to enhance student learning, including Insider Perspective features and a Get Connected Module that shows students how they can get engaged in the political process. The book provides an important opportunity for students to learn the core concepts of American government and understand how those concepts apply to their lives and the world around them. American Government includes updated information on the 2016 presidential election.
American Government is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of the single-semester American government course. This title includes innovative features designed to enhance student learning, including Insider Perspective features and a Get Connected Module that shows students how they can get engaged in the political process. The book provides an important opportunity for students to learn the core concepts of American government and understand how those concepts apply to their lives and the world around them. American Government includes updated information on the 2016 presidential election.Senior Contributing AuthorsGlen Krutz (Content Lead), University of OklahomaSylvie Waskiewicz, PhD (Lead Editor)
This course covers American Government: the Constitution, the branches of government (Presidency, Congress, Judiciary) and how politics works: elections, voting, parties, campaigning, policy making. In addition weęll look at how the media, interest groups, public opinion polls and political self-identification (are you liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican or something else?) impact politics and political choices. Weęll also cover the basics in economic, social and foreign policy and bring in current issues and show how they illustrate the process.
This text is a comprehensive introduction to the vital subject of American government and politics. Governments decide who gets what, when, how (See Harold D. Lasswell, Politics: Who Gets What, When, How, [New York: McGraw-Hill, 1936]); they make policies and pass laws that are binding on all a society’s members; they decide about taxation and spending, benefits and costs, even life and death.Governments possess power—the ability to gain compliance and to get people under their jurisdiction to obey them—and they may exercise their power by using the police and military to enforce their decisions. However, power need not involve the exercise of force or compulsion; people often obey because they think it is in their interest to do so, they have no reason to disobey, or they fear punishment. Above all, people obey their government because it has authority; its power is seen by people as rightfully held, as legitimate. People can grant their government legitimacy because they have been socialized to do so; because there are processes, such as elections, that enable them to choose and change their rulers; and because they believe that their governing institutions operate justly.Politics is the process by which leaders are selected and policy decisions are made and executed. It involves people and groups, both inside and outside of government, engaged in deliberation and debate, disagreement and conflict, cooperation and consensus, and power struggles.In covering American government and politics, this text introduces the intricacies of the Constitution, the complexities of federalism, the meanings of civil liberties, and the conflicts over civil rights;explains how people are socialized to politics, acquire and express opinions, and participate in political life; describes interest groups, political parties, and elections—the intermediaries that link people to government and politics; details the branches of government and how they operate; and shows how policies are made and affect people’s lives.
This course will cover American political thought from the nation's founding through the 1960s, exploring the political theories that have shaped its governance. As there is no one philosopher or idea that represents the totality of American political thought, the student will survey the writings and speeches of those who have had the greatest impact over this period of time. Much of the study required in this course is based on the original texts and speeches of those who influenced political thought throughout American history. The student will learn and understand the impact that their views and actions have had on the modern American state. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: describe the religious and political origins of the American political system; explain how Enlightenment thinkers, such as John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Baron de Montesquieu, influenced the political philosophies of American founding fathers; analyze how the colonial American experience shaped many of the core values represented in American government and expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution; compare and contrast the differing opinions on the role of the government that the founders expressed; trace the development and evolution of the concepts of 'states rights' and 'federal (national) supremacy'; connect the observations of De Tocqueville in Democracy in America to the concepts of equality, individuality, and civic engagement in American political discourse; examine the evolution of race in the American political system (from slavery to the 2008 election of Barack Obama); discuss the changes in the political role of women in America from its colonial days to the present; connect the concept of 'American Exceptionalism' to the industrial revolution, capitalism, and imperialism; analyze the roots of reform in the Progressive Era and their impact on modern political discourse; explain major principles of American foreign relations over time; assess the purpose and impact of ĺÎĺĺĺŤAmerican war rhetoricĄ_ĺĺö over time; differentiate between 'liberal' and 'conservative' political beliefs in modern American government; illustrate how the political turmoil in the 1960s greatly shaped contemporary American political discourse; evaluate the current political discourse as represented in the 2008 and 2010 elections. (Political Science 301)
This course surveys American political thought from the colonial era to the present. Required readings are drawn mainly from primary sources, including writings of politicians, activists, and theorists. Topics include the relationship between religion and politics, rights, federalism, national identity, republicanism versus liberalism, the relationship of subordinated groups to mainstream political discourse, and the role of ideas in politics. We will analyze the simultaneous radicalism and weakness of American liberalism, how the revolutionary ideas of freedom and equality run up against persistent patterns of inequality. Graduate students are expected to pursue the subject in greater depth through suggested reading and individual research.
This course will introduce the student to the international relations of the Asia-Pacific region. Globalization, economic ties, national security issues, and politico-military alliances with the U.S. make an understanding of this region important to any political science student or participant in American government. This course will examine the differences between Western political thought and the general philosophical outlooks of the Asian population, which have been molded by societal forces for thousands of years. It will also address politics in Asia by examining pre-colonial systems of government, Western imperialism, national liberation movements, and proxy wars fought by the Superpowers in the Cold War. This course is important because the Asia-Pacific has given rise to several of the U.S.'s major security concerns: financial support of the U.S. economy by China and Japan through the purchase of U.S. government debt securities, conflict with China over Taiwan, North Korea's nuclear weapons program, separatist movements in several of the smaller Pacific Rim nations, and the growth and support of transnational terrorism within the region. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: explain how religion and culture impact government and political systems in Eastern Asia; discuss philosophies of government in Eastern Asia from ancient times to the present; identify the ways in which Western imperialism has impacted Eastern Asia; demonstrate an understanding of systems of governance currently in existence in Eastern Asia; analyze contemporary political and security issues in Eastern Asia that may impact U.S. national interests; assess the relationship that exists between economic development, systems of governance, and political stability of a Third World nation. (Political Science 322)
Access world-class Political Science content based on college intro-level Political Science content. Boundless Political Science readings, quizzes, and PowerPoints ae free to edit, share, and use in your class.Includes chapters on American Politics, The Constitution, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Public Opinion, Interest Groups, Campaigns and Elections, Voting, Branches of Government, and Policy.
In this course, the student will explore campaigns and elections, learning their purpose and significance and observing the impact that they have on the American political system. The course will focus on the history and evolution of elections and voting laws in the United States, as well as what compels individuals to run for office and how campaigns are structured. Also, the course will teach the student the role that political parties, interest groups, voters, and the media play in elections. Lastly, the student will take a closer look at electoral outcomes and the impact that elections have on public policy after votes are counted, as well as what types of proposals could be implemented to improve our electoral system. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: explain the importance of elections, voting, democracy, and citizenship in the United States; describe the various types of elections that exist within the American political system; identify the legal and constitutional bases of campaigns and elections in the United States; explain the types of individuals that run for political office and why; analyze the influence of incumbency in elections; explain how candidates develop campaigns and financing; discuss the role of money in political campaigns; discuss the influence of political parties on campaigns and elections; describe the characteristics of the U.S. party system; explain the role of interest groups in influence campaigns and election outcomes; explain the various influences and motivations of the American voter; describe the factors associated with both nonvoter and voter disenfranchisement in contemporary elections; analyze and explain the critical role of the media in campaigns and elections; explain how election outcomes impact government actions and public policy; analyze both historical and contemporary election reforms. (POLSC333)
This course is an introduction to economics for non-majors and political economy, with an emphasis on the moral and ethical problems that markets solve, and fail to solve. Taught by Professor Michael Munger of Duke University, this course includes full length lectures, links to readings, and a sample final exam.
This course surveys the social science literature on civil war. Students will study the origins of civil war, discuss variables that affect the duration of civil war, and examine the termination of conflict. This course is highly interdisciplinary and covers a wide variety of cases.
In this course, the student will learn about the complexities of the legislative branch by examining the U.S. Congress in the American political system. This course will focus first on the history of Congress and the tension between Congress' competing representation and lawmaking functions by examining the structure of Congress, its original purpose, and the factors that influence how members of Congress act. The course will then take a careful look at the internal politics and law-making processes of Congress by learning the external competing interests that shape legislative outcomes and why Congressional rules are designed as they are. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: explain how Congress was structured by the Framers of the Constitution; discuss how Congress is shaped by the U.S. Constitution; demonstrate an understanding of the importance of bicameralism in a representative body; compare and contrast features of the House and the Senate; explain the evolution of Congress as a modern institution; explain how congressional candidates run for office; discuss the importance of political parties in the recruitment of congressional candidates; identify the advantages and disadvantages of incumbency; define reapportionment and redistricting; assess the role of money and fundraising in congressional elections; compare and contrast how members of Congress fulfill their duties in their home districts and in Washington D.C; compare and contrast the leadership systems used in the House and Senate; describe the roles and functions of legislative leaders and political parties in Congress; name and describe the various types of congressional committees; explain why the committee system is central to an understanding of the legislative process; describe the major steps in a bill becoming a law; evaluate the influence of constituents, colleagues, political parties, and interest groups on congressional decision-making; assess the relationship between Congress and the president and its many permutations over time; analyze the pros and cons of united and divided government; explain the influence of the presidency on congressional elections; discuss the role of congressional oversight as it relates to both the presidency and the bureaucracy; identify the role played by Congress as it relates to the judicial branch; analyze the complicated relationship that exists between members of Congress and the media; analyze the role and performance of Congress in the budgetary process, economic policy, and foreign policy; explain the complications that arise as a result of shared foreign policy powers between Congress and the president; discuss how congressional policymaking has responded to post-9/11 governance; discuss the criticism of Congress, and assess the methods put forth to reform the institution. (Political Science 331)
The purpose of this course is to provide the student with an overview of the major political theorists and their work from the 18th century to the present. Common themes seen in contemporary political thought include governance, property ownership and redistribution, free enterprise, individual liberty, justice, and responsibility for the common welfare. The student will read the works of theorists advocating capitalism, socialism, communism, egalitarianism, utilitarianism, social contract theory, liberalism, conservatism, neo-liberalism, neo-conservatism, libertarianism, fascism, anarchy, rational choice theory, and globalism. By studying the evolving constructs of political theory in the past two centuries, the student will gain insight into different approaches that leaders use to solve complex problems of governance and maintenance of social order. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: summarize the primary principles of capitalism, socialism, communism, egalitarianism, utilitarianism, social contract theory, liberalism, conservatism, neo-liberalism, neo-conservatism, libertarianism, fascism, anarchy, terrorism, rational choice theory, and globalism; identify major the political theorists from the 188h century to the present; discuss major political movements in their respective historical contexts; assess the impact that various political movements have had on law, economics, international relations, and society; analyze various primary sources of political theory and understand how these theories can be applied to solve problems in society; understand the challenges that modern leaders face in framing political debate and public policy. (Political Science 302)
What is race? What is ethnicity? How can communication and relationships between men and women be improved? What causes segregation in our society? How do stereotypes develop and why do they persist? How do an individual's racial, ethnic, and sexual identities form and develop? This course explores these topics and more.
This course focuses on cyberspace and its implications for private and public, sub-national, national, and international actors and entities.
Democracy in Brief touches on topics such as rights and responsibilities of citizens, free and fair elections, the rule of law, the role of a written constitution, separation of powers, a free media, the role of parties and interest groups, military-civilian relations and democratic culture.