The first part of the course deals with the political systems in the United States and Canada. The second part compares the American political economy with those in Western Europe. In the United States, the state plays a less active economic role, trade unions are weaker and less involved in setting public policy, interest groups ("lobbies") are many and powerful, parties are more decentralized, and money counts more in electoral politics than in comparable European countries. We investigate the origin of these differences in American political culture as well as institutions. We also look at the effects of these differences on social, economic, cultural and environmental policies and outcomes.
Students who successfully complete this course are expected to
- to gain a basic understanding of North American politics in a comparative perspective
30 ECTS-credits in Political Science or equivalent
The course is given in the form of a mix of lectures and seminars.
Each module (moment) ends with an examination. The type of examination varies. Both written and oral examinations covering module literature and lectures may be used. Final grades may also be based on research papers, other written assignments, oral presentations, and participation in seminars. Final course grades, which include all modules, are awarded once all examinations and other obligatory written and oral work has been submitted. Three grades can be awarded: fail, pass, and high pass.
Students who fail an examination may take a retest, and students have the possibility to retest a minimum of 5 times. A student has the right to request a new examiner if he/she fails two sub-course examinations (i.e. an examination and a retest). In such cases students should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Studierektor).
A student has the right to an examination based on the course and literature described in this document for a period of two years after he/she first registered for the course.
The Director of Undergraduate Studies (Studierektor) makes decisions about transfer credits for a module or course. Students who want to transfer credits should submit a written request to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The request should specify which module or course the request applies to. An official transcript should also be submitted. The transcript must include the following information: where and when the course was given, the discipline and level of the course, total course credits and grade received. A syllabus describing the course and listing required reading should be submitted with the request. Where applicable, written research papers should also be submitted.
Course evaluations are administered at the end of each sub-course.
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North American Politics
A compendium of articles will form the core of the course text.