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American Government

This class is a survey course that introduces students to the political institutions and political behavior of individuals in the United States. The first half of the course covers the Constitution, the logic of delegation, elections as a mechanism for conveying voter’s preferences, and major political institutions. Particular attention will be paid to the mechanical effects of single-member districts and Duverger’s Law. The second half of the course analyzes the people that make government work in the United States. Particular emphasis is given to the bureaucracy, for instance the importance of expertise and transparency in public service. We will also learn who participates in politics and why it matters for democratic accountability.

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