17.20 | Fall 2020 | Undergraduate

Introduction to the American Political Process


I. Introduction 

Lecture 1: Course Introduction

Lecture 2: Sources of American Discontent

II. Fundamentals: Democracy, Elections, and Representation

Lecture 3: Representation and Responsiveness

Lecture 4: Collective Action and Interest Groups

Lecture 5: Electoral Geography and Voting Rights

III. American Political Institutions

Lecture 6: Introduction to Institutional Analysis

Lecture 7: The Constitution

Lecture 8: Congress I: The Electoral Connection

  • ASSIGNMENT DUE: First draft of Paper 1

Lecture 9: Congress II: Pivotal Politics

Lecture 10: The Presidency

Lecture 11: The Bureaucracy

Lecture 12: The Judiciary

Lecture 13: Parties

Lecture 14: Federalism and State Politics

IV. Political Behavior

Lecture 15: The Rational Voter?

Lecture 16: Microfoundations of Public Opinion

  • ASSIGNMENT DUE: Final draft of Paper 1

Lecture 17: Partisanship

Lecture 18: Retrospective Voting and Campaigns

V. Where We Are

Lecture 19: Polarization

  • ASSIGNMENT DUE: First draft of Paper 2 for peer review

Lecture 20: Money in Politics

Lecture 21: Gender Politics

Lecture 22: The Carceral State

Lecture 23: The Racial Divide

  • ASSIGNMENT DUE: Final draft of Paper 2 (along with peer review comments)

Lecture 24: White Identity, Rural Politics, and the Rise of Trump

Lecture 25: Immigration

Final session: Exam

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2020
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Exams with Solutions
Written Assignments with Examples