Political Science | State Politics in the US
Y306 | 28569 | Birkhead


When we hear about politics, we often think right away of Washington,
D.C. and Congress, the President and the Supreme Court.   However,
state governments arguably play a more important role in influencing
the policy that affects us in our day-to-day lives.  Everyday things
such as - the rate of sales tax that we pay at the store; how Medicare
is administered to our grandparents; to what your teachers in high
school were obligated to teach you; whether or not you can be put to
death for a criminal offense - are largely decided by state governments.
In this course, we will be examining politics and policymaking across
the states.  As with any American politics course, we will begin with
the Constitution, with particular attention paid to the legacy of the
colonies as separate entities and the arrangement of the United States
as a federalist system  the first of its kind.  We will proceed to
cover the various state institutions  legislature, governor, state
courts.  From there, we cover the role that state political culture
has in shaping political behavior; and we will explore the various
methods that citizens achieve representation in state government.  We
will continue with a careful look at policy issues and innovations in
the states, with concern to health and welfare policy; education
policy and economic regulation.