American Government and Politics

Cathedral Park, Portland, OR.
Students taking American Government should seek to study the power structures existing in America. These structures include formal governmental agencies and structures, such as the Congress and the Presidency, along with informal structure, such as the bureaucracy, interest groups, and the media. Special attention will be given to the foundations of the constitution, the political culture of the United States, the paradox of democracy, and political socialization.

Primary Text

  • Schmidt, Steffen W.; Mack C. Shelley; and Barbara A. Bardes. 2004. American Government and Politics Today, Brief Edition (2004-2005). Wadsworth Publishing.
While this is the official book, the 2003–2004 version will work just as well (and is significantly cheaper used). Other readings will be assigned as necessary and available by link on the class web site, in the eReserve section of the library site, or in the reserve section of the library.