Political Science | Democracy and Elections
Y490 | 25559 | Smyth
Can citizens control their government through elections?
Writing at the US founding, James Madison argued that two factors
were essential to ensure democratic rule. The first is a democratic
regime or set of institutions that controls the behavior of
political leaders. The second factor is frequent elections to
generate a reliance on the people. This course focuses on the
second factor—the role of repeated elections to generate democratic
responsiveness. Relying on political science theory, your research,
your experience as voters, and the expertise of candidates for
office, we will look at the role of candidates, parties, and voters
in creating an effective and responsive democratic system.
The class is designed for you to find your scholarly voice in terms
of oral presentations, strong argumentation, and written work. The
class is organized around three major activities: scholarly
reading, presentations by local politicians, and paper workshops
that deal with the issues inherent in writing research papers.