PG 312

Parties, Elections, and Campaigns

In a government based on "consent of the governed," elections are fundamental. They provide citizens with the opportunity to choose their leaders, and in the process pass judgment on the past performance of officials and broadly indicate the direction they want government to take in the future. This course approaches the study of parties, elections, and campaigns through the lens of presidential and congressional elections, focusing on the purpose, process, and problems of electing our nation's leaders. It looks at how the system works, how it came to be, what citizens want it to accomplish and what it in fact accomplishes, and what the possibilities and limits of reform may be. At the end of the course, students should be able to give an in-depth, well reasoned, and historically informed answer to the question, "Is this any way to run a democracy?"

Prerequisites: PG 101.