POLSCI 314 - American Political Parties and Electoral Problems
Section: 101 Political Parties and Elections
Term: SP 2009
Subject: Political Science (POLSCI)
Department: LSA Political Science
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course is an introduction to the study of political parties and elections around the world. The course will cover such questions as:

  • why do political parties exist?
  • Are high levels of partisanship good or bad for democracy?
  • Why do some countries have two-party systems while others have many parties?
  • How do these differences affect the representation of diverse views, government accountability to voters, levels of corruption and influence of special interests, and efficiency and effectiveness of policy making and implementation?

We will pay special attention to the ways electoral rules and other formal institutions condition the answers to these questions, and we will cover a wide variety of party systems and electoral systems around the world, from Ireland to India to Indonesia.

Although there are no official prerequisites, the course is designed for students who have a basic background in comparative and/or American politics; students are recommended to have taken POLSCI 140 or 111 before enrolling. POLSCI 314 can be taken as either an American or a Comparative course, depending on the student's choice of paper topic.

POLSCI 314 - American Political Parties and Electoral Problems
Schedule Listing
101 (LEC)
MTuW 4:00PM - 6:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 0881333670
Liberalism against populism : a confrontation between the theory of democracy and the theroy of social change, Author: William H. Ricker, Publisher: Waveland Press Reissued. 1982
ISBN: 9780226012728
Why parties? : the origin and transformation of political parties in America, Author: John H. Aldrich., Publisher: The University of Chicago Press [Nachdr.] 1995
ISBN: 9780300080155
Elections as instruments of democracy : majoritarian and proportional visions, Author: G. Bingham Powell, Jr., Publisher: Yale University Press 2000
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for POLSCI 314 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Office of Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)