American Politics Today

University College Dublin

Course Description

  • Course Name

    American Politics Today

  • Host University

    University College Dublin

  • Location

    Dublin, Ireland

  • Area of Study

    American Studies, Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    2.5 - 3
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    3.75 - 4.5
  • Overview

    This module examines contemporary American politics from a variety of perspectives in order to impart a sophisticated understanding of the ways in which the system operates at the national level. Drawing upon literature from history and political science, the writings of prominent political observers, and video and social media content, the module will explore three interrelated and overarching themes. One is the fact that the United States is in a period of transition. The country is growing increasingly diverse, a fact which is celebrated by some, especially on the left, and a cause for concern among others, especially on the right. In addition, income inequality is growing and has reached levels last seen during the Gilded Age (and which would be unthinkable in other advanced nations). The possibility that American influence abroad has begun to recede fuels the uncertainty that has accompanied these changes. A second theme of the module is the problem of gridlock. Even though Americans frequently complain about the inability of their elected representatives in Washington, D.C. to accomplish anything, especially in light of the challenges facing the country, there seems to be little prospect of more cooperation anytime soon. One frequently suggested reason for this is the increased level of ideological homogeneity in the two main parties. The final theme of the module, then, will be an examination of the nature of the Democratic and Republican Parties, including the principal policy goals and political culture of each.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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