Courses in American Institutions (Division 316)

240/Poli. Sci. 210. Introduction to the Political Economy of American Institutions. (4). (SS).

The principle objective of this course is to understand the governmental and private institutions in the U.S. that allocate resources, resolve social conflicts, build consensus, and establish national goals. The course will begin with an analysis of how markets operate and under what circumstances they fail or malfunction, giving rise to calls for governmental intervention. Various modes of government intervention, such as the regulation of prices, provision of subsidies, the delivery of social services, or the imposition of taxes will be described and the impacts analyzed. The possibilities and obstacles facing citizens in affecting public policy will be analyzed with special emphasis on social movements, interest groups, and political parties. Students will write papers about the appropriate scope or purpose of government, the possibilities and limitations of planning, and problems of maintaining legitimacy in capitalist democracies, and the tradeoffs between equity and efficiency, or democratic participation and political stability. As part of the lectures, case studies of the provision of medical care in America, the regulation and promotion of industry, and the protection of civil rights will be presented. Both lecture and discussion sessions will be employed. Grades will be based upon a series of assigned essays, a midterm and final exam. (Walker)

426/Econ. 326. The Development of the American Labor Market Institutions. Econ. 201 or the equivalent. Not open to students who have taken or are taking Econ. 421 or 422. (3). (SS).

This course is an intensive investigation of selected topics in the development of the labor market in the U.S. These include: the rise of living standards; the labor market role of education; waves of immigration and their impact on wage structure; the determinants of the labor market status of Blacks from the Civil War to the present; the birth, growth, and decline of trade unionism; and the occupational status of women. The class is run in conventional lecture format; grades are based on a midterm and a final examination. This course is not open to students who have taken or are taking Econ 421 and 422. (Johnson)

433/Econ. 333. Economic Analysis of Industrial Policy. Econ. 201 and 202. (3). (SS).

This course examines the changing and developing international economy, its consequences for the United States economy, and the demands for an "Industrial Policy" to address these consequences. Topics include; trade and proposed barriers to trade, antitrust in international markets, labor market dislocations and adjustments, automation and research and development. Emphasis is placed on the interacting economic and political dimensions of these topics. (Stafford)

471/History 571. American Institutions and the Development of the Family. (4). (SS).

This course will analyze the American family from the colonial period to the present. It will trace changes in the family from a pre-industrial society to a post-industrial one. The approach is topical and will cover such issues as the use of birth control and abortions, childbearing practices, adolescence, role of women, old age, and death and dying. Particular attention will be placed on analyzing the impact of changes in American institutions on the development of the family. Course format consists of lectures and classroom discussions with an emphasis on a critical reading of the assigned materials. The grading will be based upon the midterm and final examination. Some of the readings will include: Michael Gordon's The American Family in Social-Historical Perspective; David Fischer's Growing Old in America; Carl Degler's At Odds: Women and the Family in America from the Revolution to the Present; and David Stannard's Death in America. (Vinovski)

496. Topics in American Institutions. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
Section 001 Financing Federal Elections.
This seminar will review a variety of public policy and practical issues related to the rules and practices involved in financing federal elections. The focus of the course will be on contests for President, U.S. Senator and Representative, and the federal campaign finance laws and regulations which affect fundraising and expenditures. Beginning with a review of the current costs of campaigning and the major public policy issues related to campaign financing, the workshop will deal with the requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1974 and its amendments and the ways in which candidates and their principal campaign committees raise funds. The topics will include the role of money in campaigns; how money is raised from individuals, Political Action Committees (PACS), and corporations; and the changing role of special interests in American electoral politics. The activities of the national and state political parties will also be reviewed. Guest speakers familiar with issues of campaign finance will participate in the seminar. (Traugott and Burnham)


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