Junior Seminar: Remaking American Politics: Political Transformations from the 1930s to the Present

Course Description

This seminar will consider the dynamics of several major transformations in American politics since the 1930s. Major topics will include: the rise and consolidation of the New Deal in the 1930s-40s; the rise of the U.S. as a military superpower and the changes in institutional arrangements brought about by World War II and the Cold War; the civil rights movement and party realignment on issues of race; the development of the conservative movement in the 1970s-80s; and the sharp increase in partisan-ideological polarization since the 1980s. In each case, we will consider the role of the mass public, national political elites, and organized groups in driving, guiding, and limiting change. For example, we will explore the sources of both the accomplishments and the limitations of New Deal liberalism in the 1930s-40s. Students will be expected to participate actively in seminar discussions and to write a substantial (i.e. approximately 20 page) research paper.

The Junior Seminars are intense writing seminars which focus on the research area of the faculty member teaching the course. The seminars provide an opportunity for students to have direct intellectual interactions with faculty members while also giving the students an understanding for faculty research.

This junior seminar falls within the \\"American Politics\\" subfield, and can fulfill an upper division requirement for the major.


Political Science Majors of Junior and Senior status, with a minimum overall UC GPA of 3.3. Students must place themselves on the waitlist through TeleBEARS in Phase II. Selection and notification will occur around January 14, 2013.  

Priority may be given to students who have not yet taken a junior seminar.   Additional priority may be given to qualified students who have completed PS103 \\"Congress\\" with Prof. Schickler.