This lecture class entails extensive, careful consideration of issues regarding politics and public policies in the (50) states of the U.S. The approach is comparative; i.e., we focus across the states, considering a host of prominent substantive, theoretical, and normative questions. Major topics examined include: federalism and the legal/constitutional framework; the social and political environment of states; major ‘mediating’ institutions (such as interest groups, political parties, ‘direct democracy’); the formal institutions of state governments; and public policies in the states. A guiding premise is that state governments are fundamentally important in and of themselves within the American federal system, and they are also significant in how they shape national politics and governance through their own political orientations as well as in their influence on and implementation of “national” domestic policies.
Students who took PS 191 "JUNIOR SEMINAR: POLITICS IN THE STATES OF THE USA – A COMPARATIVE APPROACH" with Professor Hero cannot take this course due to the substantial similarity in course content.