The scope and emphasis of this course goes beyond a general understanding of civics to incorporate the core concepts of the American system of government, the workings of its myriad of actors and agencies, the key components of "politics” in the American system, and how American government shapes and influences the individual freedoms and rights of its citizens.
In the first unit, American Political Foundations, you will consider the core concepts and theoretical underpinnings of the American system of government: American political culture, the Constitution, and federalism. A solid grasp of these concepts will help you better understand the underlying basis for the structure of the American political system.
In the second unit, American Political Behavior, you will explore the processes by which citizens learn about politics, including public opinion, the mass media, political parties, interest groups, campaigns, elections, and electoral participation.
In the third unit, Political Parties, Elections, Campaigns, and Interest Groups, you will discuss the organizations and processes that impact the political and electoral landscape and how candidates and voters are affected.
In the fourth unit, American Institutions, you will analyze the major governing bodies in the United States: Congress, the presidency, the bureaucracy, and the courts.
In the fifth unit, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, you will discover how American government shapes and influences the individual freedoms and rights of its citizens.
In our final unit, Policy Making in American Government, you will take a close look at US social, economic, and foreign policies and the ways in which the broad themes of constitutional principles, political behavior, and governmental institutions have intersected to shape them.
Upon completion of this course, you will have a strong understanding of the American system of government.