Spring 2020

POLS-Y 661, American Politics

Course Dates: 1/13/2020 - 5/8/2020

Course Description

This course is a graduate level course (primarily) for those enrolled in IU's political science graduate certificate program. During this course, we cover: theories of democracy, our three federal institutions (congress, presidency, judiciary), the media, political parties, and interest groups. Because this is a graduate level course, we cover a significant amount of material.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

Learning Materials

Aldrich, John H. 2011. Why Parties? A Second Look. University of Chicago Press. 0226012743

Collins, Paul M. and Lori A. Ringhand. 2013. Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings and Constitutional Change. Cambridge University Press. 1107039703

Cox, Gary w. and Mathew D. McCubbins. 2005. Setting the Agenda: Responsible Party Government in the U.S. House of Representatives. Cambridge University Press. 0521619963

Dahl, Robert A. 2006. A Preface to Democratic Theory, Expanded Edition. University of Chicago Press. 0226134342

Krehbiel, Keith. 1998. Pivotal Politics: A Theory of U.S. Lawmaking. University of Chicago Press. 0226452727

Maltzman, Forrest, James F. Spriggs, and Paul J. Wahlbeck. 2000. Crafting Law on the Supreme Court: The Collegial Game. Cambridge University Press. 0521783941

North, Douglass C. 1990. Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. Cambridge University Press. 9780521397346

Neustadt, Richard E. 1991. Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents: The Politics of Leadership from Roosevelt to Reagan. Free Press. 0029227968

Olson, Mancur. 1971. The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups. Harvard University Press. 0674537513

Peterson, Mark A. 1993. Legislating Together: The White House and Capitol Hill from Eisenhower to Reagan. Harvard University Press. 0674524160


12 Weekly reaction papers: 50% of grade (600 total points)
12 Discussion Forums: 30% of grade (360 total points)
Research Paper: 20% of grade (240 total points)