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America in the World: Is the US Constitution in Crisis?

The Constitution is the bedrock of American democracy and government. Having endured for more than two centuries, it is the oldest written constitution still operating in the world and has been a model for many other countries. Yet the past 25 years have brought three contentious presidential impeachments, a dysfunctional Congress riven by partisanship, a more politicized Supreme Court, and an Electoral College that has twice delivered the White House to candidates who lost the popular vote. Public confidence in government is plummeting and policymaking rarely seems up to the challenges of the 21st century, but attempts to amend the Constitution have repeatedly ended in failure. So, is the US constitutional system no longer up to the task? Are there practicable ways to renew and revitalize it? Or may a new constitutional convention be needed? This course will explore these topics with an eye to what we can learn from America's past, from the constitutional experiences of other countries, and from novel proposals for reform. Students will actively participate in the course by offering their own insights, ideas, and suggestions for reform of the many problems facing American politics and government.

More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • Familiarity with the problem of political participation and its possible solutions.
  • The ability to analyze how Constitutional structures and processes influence contemporary American politics and government.
  • The ability to critique how examples from other democracies can help the US out of its current dilemmas.

Ideal for

  • Students of US and comparative politics, government, and policymaking
  • Those seeking to contextualize how the United States is situated by comparison with other countries in the world
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.

    • Section

    • Semester

      Summer 2024
    • Date

      May 23 - Jun 27
    • Day

    • Time

      • Online
    • Format

      • Online
    • Sessions

    • Faculty

      Smith, Raymond
    • Location

      Instructor Led
    Tuition $525