BLS*394*11 Description

SpTp:Parties &Interest Groups

This course will explore three important institutions connecting citizens to the government and to larger political processes in American politics. We will look at the development of U.S. political parties over time, charting eras of great party strength and periods of decline, and reviewing theories of how parties play a representative role for the public and affect the behavior of politicians. The course will also cover interest groups and their early incarnations in the nation, as well as the contemporary form such organizations take, along with the substantial role they play today in government, particularly as part of the legislative process. Finally, we will also study social movements and their distinctive characteristics, including how they form and seek to impact American politics. We will further this discussion by looking at some specific historical movements such as the civil rights movement, but also recent activism with social movement-like dimensions such as the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. Student must have taken POL*102 or permission of the instructor