GOVT-627 Political Parties

This course explores the role of political parties in American democracy. We will engage the leading literature on how and why political parties form, and their consequences for policy, politics and democracy. We will consider the role of parties in a variety of settings, as well as consider how parties unite activity between settings. We will use a variety of methods and perspectives to get this leverage. We will focus on open questions in the literature, with an eye toward contributing to that debate. This course assumes no particular background in American politics, political science or research methods. Students with such a background may get more out of this course, but since political parties permeate so many aspects of politics, this course provides a good background for future courses as well. We will, when appropriate, review some background material as it arises. Students who complete this course will be prepared to contribute to the literature on political parties, and will write a a research paper on an original question that aims to make such a contribution.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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