American Politics

CAS PO 300 Topics in American Politics
Topics vary. Possible offerings include, but are not limited to, American Congress, Campaigns and Elections, Separation of Powers, Use of Force, Race and Politics, Gender and Politics, Primaries and Caucuses.

CAS PO 301 Presidential Leadership
Presidential power and functions; relations with Congress, political party, and the public; personality and leadership; and comparative study of selected presidents.

CAS PO 302 Congress and its Critics
Prerequisites: CAS PO 111 or PO141 or consent of the instructor. The United States Congress is the most studied branch of U.S. Government, and central to our understanding of policy, elections, and representative democracy. The purpose of this course is to examine two fundamental questions: (1) what do Members of Congress do and why and (2) how do the individual and collective actions of Members of Congress explain national policy? Throughout, we will debate the common criticism that “Congress is broken” and consider its effectiveness as an institution. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry II, Critical Thinking.

CAS PO 303 It’s a Free Country: Civil Liberties in America
An accessible introduction to American civil liberties. Students will read a sampling of key Supreme Court cases about issues including speech, religion, privacy and equality. They will understand the key the debates, considerations, and decisions about old and new civil liberties challenges in the U.S. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Philosophical Inquiry and Life’s Meanings, Ethical Reasoning, Critical Thinking.

CAS PO 304 The Judicial Process
Prerequisites: CAS PO 111 or PO141 or consent of the instructor. Introduction to the judicial process. Topics include the role of lawyers and judges, the structure of the court system, juries, and legal reasoning. Primarily intended for student who have little or no exposure to law courses. This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area(s): Social Inquiry II, Ethical Reasoning, Critical Thinking.

CAS PO 306 Media and Politics in the United States
Prerequisite: PO 111 or PO141 or consent of the instructor. Examines changes over time in the American polity’s assumptions about what the press ought to do. In particular, relates our understanding of the press’s role to contemporary media developments including technological changes, corporate media ownership, and the re-amateurization of journalism.

CAS PO 307 Public Opinion in American Politics
Prerequisite: CAS PO 111 or CAS PO 141 or consent of instructor. Public opinion is a central component of democratic politics; in this course we study public opinion in the United States. In addition to this substantive focus, the course is intended to foster the development of two skills: critical reading and rigorous, careful and clear writing. This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area: Social Inquiry I.

CAS PO 308 The Politics of Race and Ethnicity
Combining research from history, political science, sociology, and economics, this course examines the role of race and ethnicity in shaping American politics and policy. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry II, Ethical Reasoning, Critical Thinking.

CAS PO 313 The Politics and Policy of HBO’s The Wire
HBO’s television series The Wire is used to explore politics and policy.  A number of interdisciplinary topics  are covered, including the war on drugs, urban elections, bureaucracy, rational choice theory, and the decline of American cities. This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area(s): Social Inquiry II, Ethical Reasoning, Teamwork/Collaboration. Meets with CAS AA313.

CAS PO 409/GRS PO 609 The Political Psychology of Group-Based Politics
The study of political psychology, integrating political science and social and cognitive psychology as it informs the dynamics of group-based politics, including especially race, gender, class, and political party affiliation. Meets with CAS PS 512.

CAS PO 505 Readings in American Politics
Topics vary. Possible offerings include but are not limited to Women in Government, Controversies in American Government.

CAS PO 507 Development of American Constitutional Law
Prerequisite: PO 304. A survey of the development of constitutional law and the exercise of power by the US Supreme Court. The course is drawn entirely from decisions of the US Supreme Court and the principal theme is the development of national constitutions and power.

CAS PO 508 The Judiciary and Civil Liberties
First Amendment rights of speech, press, assembly, religion; rights of defendants in criminal cases; and the constitutional protection of racial minorities. Supreme Court decision making processes and modes of compliance with its decisions are also considered.

CAS PO 511 Voting Behavior
Prerequisite: PO 111 and junior standing or consent of the instructor. The scientific study of elections and political participation with emphasis on voting in U.S. presidential elections. Topics include partisanship, ideology, voter turnout, political participation, campaign organization and strategy, and the effects of campaigns on voters.

CAS PO 516 Gender and Politics
Analyzes the development of female citizenship in the United States since the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women’s suffrage. Inequalities based on sex and sexuality, and the political and legal attempts to address these issues are discussed. Meets with CAS WS 516.

CAS PO 517 Urban Politics
Explores the impact of American urban politics on the implementation of local policy. Topics include  deindustrialization, white flight, neighborhood effects, housing policy, schools, regionalism, and factors  that constrain policy-making capacities. Meets with CAS AA 517.

CAS PO 519 Inequality and American Politics
Combining research from history, political science, economics, and public policy, this course examines the role of income inequality in shaping American politics and policy.

GRS PO 711 Approaches to the Study of American Politics
Graduate Core Course. Introduces students to major theoretical, substantive, and methodological problems in the study of American politics by examining two sets of literature: scholarly debates and discussion of theory and research, and the concrete research of leading Americanists.