University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

First-Year Experience

Political Science

POLS 021A,B ~ American Political System

Instructor: Eileen Burgin Associate Professor of Political Science More . . .

Does the American political system work, or is it fundamentally flawed, as many citizens contend? Why do we face serious policy problems in a range of substantive areas, from domestic policy issues such as the economy and health care to foreign policy matters such as the war on terrorism? And has the national policy-making scene become too partisan, so that the three branches of the federal government cannot fulfill the roles envisioned by the framers of the Constitution? Or is the conflict simply an inherent and natural part of the system? In POLS 21, we will explore these and other questions. By learning about the basics of the American political system (ideas on which the Republic was founded, principal institutions of national government, and participation in government and politics), you will gain the requisite knowledge to analyze the key problems facing our constitutional democracy. We also will spend time during the semester talking about current political events-you will acquire a solid understanding of American politics, so that you become an informed, critical observer of the American political scene.

Requirements Satisfied: one Social Sciences course

POLS 095A ~ D2:Introduction to Mexico

Instructor: Caroline Beer Associate Professor of Political Science More . . .

We share a 2,000 mile border with Mexico.  It is our second biggest trading partner.  A substantial portion of our population has roots there.  Yet so many people in the USA know so little about our next-door neighbor.  This course will provide students with an interdisciplinary introduction to Mexico.  The course will examine Mexico's history, politics, economics, music, literature, and film.

Requirements Satisfied: one Social Sciences course and a D2 non-European Cultures course