WiSe 17/18: The American Constitutional Democracy in Crisis?
This course is intended to analyze the American constitutional democracy by exploring critical topics and issues central to the American constitutional democracy, and relies heavily on original ... read more
This course is intended to analyze the American constitutional democracy by exploring critical topics and issues central to the American constitutional democracy, and relies heavily on original research rather than standard introductory textbook material. The course requires each student to read before class the assigned material, attend class regularly, participate in the class discussion, be part of a group of 3 – 5 students who offer the class 30-minute (or so) presentations dealing with one assigned article and drawing on three articles from the New York Times to illustrate in phenomenon explored in the article within the practical arena of politics. The approach employed in this class combines an empirical strategy with a normative base-line for comparison and assessment. The empirical (quantitative, as well as qualitative) material works from implicit assumptions about what many people believe are important issues central to the normative ideals which serve as the moral, ethical and philosophical foundations of our constitutional democracy. This requires we first have some appreciation of how the American constitutional system has set out through design and idealistic conception to create a constitutional democracy, what principles undergird a constitutional democracy such as the American system, and then consider recent original social science research which explores via original and sometimes highly sophisticated (but easily digestible) design some of the more important issues central to sustaining a legitimate constitutional democratic society.
The course is organized into two parts sections:
Part I: Introduction to the Foundational Principles, Formal Institutions, and Core Political Actors in the American Democracy
Part II: Exploring the Issues that Define the Character of and Challenges to the American Political System close