Political Science | Intro to American Politics
Y103 | 3911 | Goldman


Why should we be interested and engaged with government and
politics?  This course seeks to answer this question by demonstrating
that all of our interests are at stake and that we therefore should
learn how to understand politics and influence the outcomes of
government.  Politics is concerned with questions of how to organize
human communities and wherever there is politics, there is conflict.
People disagree over values and morals, the scope of government
power, the distribution of wealth, and over who controls public
decisions.  According to political scientist Harold Lasswell,
politics is about “who gets what, when and how”.  As we endeavor to
understand our system of government, students will engage in
discussions concerning contemporary political controversies.
Students will learn to think critically about political arguments and
to construct their own arguments by employing a number of important
concepts including liberty, equality, and democracy.  Hence, this
course is designed to help students to think analytically about
politics in the United States.  The course has three objectives: 1)
to introduce students to the history and basic structure of American
government; 2) to help students develop a critical perspective
towards political actors, institutions, processes and issues in the
United States; and 3) to introduce students to the ways in which
political scientists conduct research on American politics.