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Fall 2019 Political Science BC3025 section 001
AMERICAN POLITICAL PARTIES
|Day & Time
LL104 Diana Center
|Instructor||Katherine L Krimmel|
|Method of Instruction||Classroom|
|Course Description|| Political parties have evoked widespread scorn in the U.S. since the founding era; and yet, they arose almost immediately and have endured for over two centuries. In this course, we will examine why parties formed despite the Founders’ disdain for them. (In 1789, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go at all.” In 1800, he won the presidency as a candidate of a major party.) We will dig into scholarly debates about what exactly parties are, what purpose they serve, and how and why they have changed over time as organizations, in the electorate, and in government. |
Topics will include the presidential nomination process from the founding through the much-discussed 2016 primary election season, the life cycle of third parties, and the relationship between political parties and interest groups. Students will learn what is and is not unique about the current historical moment, and how history might shape our expectations of parties moving forward.
Throughout the course, we will pay particularly close attention to the roots of contemporary party polarization, and the implications of this phenomenon for representation and governance. In 1950, the American Political Science Association released a report criticizing the two major parties for excessive similarity; today, party polarization evokes widespread concern. Is there an ideal level of party difference? How much is too much? We will address these difficult questions, among others, in this broad survey of American political parties.
|Department||Political Science @Barnard|
|Enrollment||44 students (50 max) as of 5:04PM Thursday, November 21, 2019|
|Open To||Barnard College, Columbia College, Engineering:Undergraduate, Global Programs, General Studies, Professional Studies|
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