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Political Polarization & American Democracy



Course Description

This course focuses on political polarization in the United States. We will explore the history of political parties and polarization in the United States; competing definitions/measurements of political polarization; recent trends in studies of polarization at the mass and elite levels; and the relationship between social identity and party politics. The main emphasis of this class is on whether/how our current state of polarization threatens American democracy and political institutions, as well as potential ways to address it.


Course Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Evaluate the causes and consequences of polarization in American politics

  • Analyze the relationship between social identity and political polarization in the U.S.

  • See improvement in their written and oral communication skills

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