Is American Democracy Broken? Perspectives and Debates
4.7 (54 ratings)
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Is American Democracy Broken? Perspectives and Debates

Key challenges to American democracy in today's volatile political climate
4.7 (54 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
5,544 students enrolled
Created by Jeb Barnes
Last updated 3/2013
English
Price: Free
Includes:
  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 24 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
Description

A Faculty Project Course - Best Professors Teaching the World

American democracy seems in crisis, as we face legislative gridlock, soaring deficits, negative campaigns awash in donations from anonymous sources, growing public distrust of government, and protest movements on the right and left on the political spectrum. This class provides an overview of competing views on contemporary American democracy and a fresh look at some key issues facing our polity, including campaign finance, the War powers, the politics of deficit spending, and the proper policy-making role of the courts.

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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 25 Lectures Collapse All 25 Lectures 05:05:51
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Course Introduction
1 Lecture 01:10
Course Introduction
01:10
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Overview
3 Lectures 05:59

In this lecture, I will give you an overview of the course and frame the questions and structure of our class.

Introduction
05:59

Lecture Slides
3 pages

Glossary Of Key Terms
1 page
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What is American Democracy?
7 Lectures 44:06
Introduction
01:18

In this lecture, we develop working definitions to get the lay of the land and create a foundation to build a more systematic understaning of competing images of American democracy. In particular, we will look at "direct" democracy, "representativte" democracy, and majority rule.

Procedural Definitions of Democracy
13:36

Lecture Slides
9 pages

Substantive Definitions of Democracy
11:16

Lecture Slides
4 pages

What is American Exceptionalism?
17:56

Lecture Slides
9 pages
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Competing Images of American Democracy in Practice
9 Lectures 01:12:27
Introduction
08:38

Stratificationism: A Closer Look
21:13

Lecture Slides
7 pages

Pluralism: A Closer Look
17:57

Lecture Slides
6 pages

Hyperpluralism: A Closer Look
14:31

Lecture Slides
6 pages

This lectures sums up our discussion on stratificationism, pluralism, and hyperpluralism.

NOTE: Please forgive the audio! At some points, the audio becomes distorted but you should still be able to hear what I am saying.

So What?
10:08

Lecture Slides
6 pages
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Contemporary Issues in American Democracy
5 Lectures 40:09
Introduction
00:53

Campaign Finance
08:33

The Deficit
12:15

Judicial Review
10:09

The War Powers - Concluding Lecture
08:19
About the Instructor
Jeb Barnes
4.7 Average rating
54 Reviews
5,544 Students
1 Course
Associate Professor of Political Science - University of Southern California

After receiving his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, Jeb clerked for a federal bankruptcy judge and then practiced as a commercial litigator in Boston and San Francisco. In 1994, he left the practice of law to pursue a doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley. His research centers on the intersection between law and politics and how policy emanates from interactions among the various levels and branches of government.

His research has been published peer-reviewed articles in a variety of journals, including Political Research Quarterly, Law & Society Review, Law & Social Inquiry, and Annual Review of Political Science, and three books: Dust-Up: Asbestos Litigation and the Failure of Commonsense Policy Reform (2011), Overruled? Legislative Overrides, Pluralism, and Contemporary Court-Congress Relations (2004), and a co-edited volume, Making Policy, Making Law: An Interbranch Perspective (2004). He has been invited to present his work in a wide range of academic and professional settings, including Oxford University, Northwestern University, the Center for the Study of Law and Society at UC Berkeley, the Goldman School of Public Policy, the Aspen Institute, and the Institute of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

At USC, he is a Distinguished Dornsife Faculty Fellow and has won numerous awards, including a departmental teaching award, a general education teaching award, the Gamma Sigma Alpha Professor of the Year Award, and the Raubenheimer Award for outstanding junior faculty.