POL S 351: The American Democracy
Instructor: Dr. Scott Lemieux
Gowen Hall 114
Office Hours: M/W 11:20-12:20 or by appointment
Grader: Stephanie Stanley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Office Hours: M/W 11-12 & by appt. (Smith 31)
Class Description This course will examine the state of American democracy, with a particular focus on the Supreme Court and social change. After an examination of some issues in contemporary theory, we will look at the role of the Supreme Court in protecting (and not protecting) civil rights from Reconstruction through the civil rights movement. We will then look at the issue of voting rights, and then finally issues relating to equal citizenship.
Class Texts There will be three books for this class, all available at the UW Bookstore and all major online booksellers:
- Ari Berman, Give Us the Ballot (Macmillan, 2016)
- Michael Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality (Oxford, 2016)
- John Sides et. al, Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America
These texts will be supplemented with readings on Canvas and video where appropriate.
Class Policies Students are expected to come to class and have completed the assigned readings prior to class. Lectures will assume that students have read the assigned readings.
This course will comply fully with the Americans With Disabilities Act and all relevant university procedures. If you require accommodation because of a disability please consult the university’s procedures here: http://depts.washington.edu/uwdrs/
Exams missed without prior agreement with the instructor or a documented family or medical emergency will not receive a grade, without exception.
Incompletes will only be given to students who have completed a substantial amount of the assigned work, and then only in cases of a documentedfamily or medical emergency.
Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty will result in a grade of “F” for the given assignment, and students will also be subject to the disciplinary procedures for such conduct outlined on the University of Washington website: https://depts.washington.edu/grading/pdf/AcademicResponsibility.pdf
Exams: You will have three take-home open-book exams that will test your knowledge of the class materials. Your knowledge of the class texts as well as material covered in lecture and section
Grade Breakdown: Your final grade will consist of three take-home exams, all weighted equally.
9/26 Class introduction
- Abortion Politics And American Democracy
10/1-10 Articles on Canvas, Reversing Roe: A Film By Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg (2018.)
- Voting Rights And America
10/15-24 Ari Berman, Show Us the Ballot, Articles on Canvas
10/29 FIRST TAKE HOME EXAM DUE AT 6PM on Canvas. Class cancelled.
- Civil Rights, Equal Citizenship, and the Supreme Court
10/31-11/19 Michael Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality
SECOND MIDTERM EXAM DUE 11/26 AT 6PM on Canvas. CLASS CANCELLED 11/21 and 11/26. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
- American Democracy and the 2016 Elections
11/26—12/5 John Sides et. al, Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America, Canvas articles
FINAL TAKE HOME EXAM DUE DECEMBER 13 AT 6 PM