Introduces the basic structures of the political process in the U.S. It combines attention to political activity at both the national (federal) and the state and local levels. The topics covered include analyses of the federal and states’ constitutions, the American political economy, state/federal relationships, inter-branch matters between the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary branches, the elective process, activities of the public and interest groups, and the governments’ handling of the public purse.
Explores the changing role and nature of the presidential primary election held in N.H from its first implementation in 1916 to the present. Through a combination of readings, taped and live-streamed presentations, archival footage, classroom presentations and interviews, and group activities, students will experience the primary as it takes shape throughout the fall. The goal of the course is not merely to help students understand the nature of the N.H. presidential primary, but to engage students in the process. Just as the presidential primary is an example of direct democracy, this course is an exercise in civic engagement. Course content will cover, but not be limited to, an understanding of the origins of primary elections in American politics, the laws governing the N.H. primary, the role of media in the process, the changing demographics of N.H. the evolving nature of the N.H. electorate, and the impact of the “first in the nation” primary.