Title: Introduction to American Government (790:104:14)
Instructor: David Andersen
Instructor’s e-mail: davander@rci.rutgers.edu
Days, Times, Location: Tuesday and Thursday, 7:15pm - 8:35pm, Hickman 101
Office hours: Thursdays, 8:45pm - 9:45pm, Carriage House 109 (currently on Tuesdays, 4:00pm - 5:00pm, Carriage House 109)

Synopsis: This course provides an overview of American government.  We will focus on three main themes during the course:  1) the theories and origins of American government, 2) the institutions and organizations that constitute American government and finally 3) the role of individual citizens in American government.  The first third of the course will be devoted to the basic principles of government, how our unique system was created and has evolved, and how it is designed to function under the Constitution.  The second portion of the course will focus on the actual functioning of the American system, as well as its influences and applications that are not clearly spelled out within its founding documents.  This will include such institutions as the mass media, political parties and other groups that hold clear influence on American government, even though they are not mentioned in the Constitution itself. Finally, the course will conclude with a section dealing with the role that individual citizens have within our democratic society.  This includes how people are able to influence government and how government learns what its people want.