Political Science | American Political Controversies
Y100 | 28816 | Dalecki

POLS-Y 100 (28816) American Political Controversies – Jacek Dalecki

Politics is the study and practice of the decision-making process
involved in managing a state or a government.  It deals with “who gets
what, when and how” or “who could do what to whom,” to use celebrated
phrases.  Because political relations involve power and authority,
politics and controversy go hand in hand, either overtly or covertly.
This course will explore several controversies that have permeated
American politics, ranging from contentions about the American
political system (motivations of the Founding Fathers, the Electoral
College) through disagreements over public policies (immigration,
death penalty, support for the Arts) to debates about civil rights and
liberties (affirmative action, abortion, gay rights, freedom of
expression).  We will focus on what types of arguments have been used
to endorse/reject specific views and how arguments in favor of/against
these views have been produced.  The goal of the course is thus
two-fold: to examine key debates present in American politics and to
appreciate the art of making effective political arguments.