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Political Polarization in America
GOVT 376
Spring 2016 not offered

In the 1950s, political scientists feared that weak parties in the United States threatened democratic accountability. Today, many political scientists argue strong, ideologically extreme parties distort representation. Undoubtedly, things have changed, but why? Several possible culprits exist, including partisan gerrymandering, primary elections, the ideological realignment of the electorate, and changing congressional procedures. We will cover the possible explanations and try to decipher what explanation, or combination of explanations, is most convincing. While we evaluate the arguments for why polarization has increased we will also debate the merits and drawbacks of strong parties at the elite level. Finally, we will examine to what extent polarization among elected officials and activists reflects polarization in the public.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS GOVT
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (GOVT)(GOVT-American)

Last Updated on JUN-18-2024
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