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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PIED2463 United States Politics

20 creditsClass Size: 120

Module manager: Dr Christine Harlen
Email: C.M.Harlen@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

Module replaces

PIED 2460 United States Government

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Because the United States is the world's only superpower and exerts a great deal of influence on Britain, it is important to understand how it functions politically. - Do you wonder why Americans seem to consider themselves different from other people?- Do you find it puzzling that the U.S. takes so long to select its president?- Do you wonder why U.S. politics seems so different from British politics? If you are interested in any of these questions, U.S. Politics would interest you. - The module starts with the origins of American political culture and the constitution and then looks at how the President, members of the legislature and Supreme Court are selected and how they wield their power.- The role of the political parties, media and interest groups and their role in the divisiveness of U.S. politics is also examined.- Finally, the module looks at how the various elements of U.S. domestic politics help determine U.S. foreign policy.The module is taught with lectures and seminars throughout semester 2. It is suitable for both those students who have studied A-level U.S. politics and those who have not.

Objectives

On completion of this module, students:
- should be able to explain the workings of the political institutions of the United States of America and their social, theoretical and historical contexts;
- will be able to appraise concepts and theories about US politics;
- will learn to communicate ideas more accurately and use academic styles and conventions.

Syllabus

This module will cover some of the more important and enduring issues in US politics, including:
- whether the US is politically unique
- the tension between constitutionalism and pure democracy
- issues surrounding elections and voting behaviour
- the stresses facing the Congress, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court
- partisan politics
- the 'Culture War'
- the controversies surround the roles played by interest groups and the media
- and, the struggle to control US foreign policy.

Students should consider taking this module if they intend to take PIED3402 American Foreign Policy.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture101.0010.00
Seminar101.0010.00
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- 10 hours preparation per seminar: 100 hours
- Writing up and preparing for course work and the examination: 80 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Students receive feedback on presentation within two weeks.
- Students also submit an outline or section up to 1,000 words of essay, to receive feedback before embarking on their final asessments.

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Presentation1 x seminar presentation10.00
Essay1 x 2,000 word essay mid-term40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) (S1)2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 12/12/2018 10:48:54

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