GOV 370L • Legislative Politics
4:30 PM-6:00 PM
Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary. The course will focus on the most important political institution in America - the U.S. Congress. While it is often criticized, it is the most enduring popularly elected legislative body in the world. We will begin with a look at the functions of Congress and its role in a representative democracy. Then we will study the history of Congress and how it reached its present configuration. Because procedures matter, the formal and informal rules and the committee system will be discussed. The course will also explore topics like elections, the motivations and behaviors of members of Congress, lobbying, congressional leadership, reapportionment and gerrymandering, and the role of political parties. Congressional interactions with other branches of government, especially the presidency, will be covered. In addition, the many differences between the House of Representatives and the Senate will be explored.