Politics 100

Introduction to American Government

US Supreme Court



Introduction and Overview

      This course presents students with an introduction to the subject of American national politics by examining institutions, actors and behavior. The central thematic question we will investigate over the semester is, "what is the state of democracy today in the United States?" In answering the question we will consider the roles played by public officials, but also will examine societal players such as interest groups, the media, voters, and parties. We will also look at political processes such as elections and policy making in order to give students a broad substantive introduction to American Politics. Finally, we will make a closer examination of contemporary political issues and actors.

Professor Michael Clancy

Department of Politics and Government

Office: Hillyer 123c

Office hours: T/R 11-12

And by Appointment

Contact information

Phone: 860-768-4284

Fax: 860-768-4251

E-mail: clancy@hartford.edu

Course Objectives

    The primary objective of this course is for students to gain command over the basic institutional arrangements and political processes associated with American government.  They will be introduced to the historical foundations of the American political system as well as central structures and processes of that system including such basics as how elections are organized, how bills become law, how Congress and the courts are organized. In addition, a second key objective is for students to be able to identify, digest and evaluate political arguments relating to American government. Students should display their ability to do these things orally and in written form and will be evaluated as such. Finally, students will engage in very basic Internet research relating to American politics.