Power and Politics in America

Introduction to American government and politics

American Ways

A historical perspective on current American political problems.

News Literacy, the Public, and Politics

Broad introduction to how the media work to disseminate information, how people use the media to gather information, and how politicians use the media to get their messages out.  Students will evaluate bias and media effects from the perspective of journalists, politicians, and the public. ACE Outcome 6.

Politics in State and Local Governments

Broad introduction to the political structure and operations of state and local governments. Role and power of state and local governments; government institutions; political parties and interest groups; public policy; state constitutions.

Nebraska Government and Politics

Various aspects of Nebraska government and politics. Unicameral Legislature, the governor and executive branch, the courts, political parties in Nebraska politics, political participation, and current issues of concern to Nebraskans.

The Presidency

Creation, development, structure, powers, and functions of the office of the President of the United States.

Elections, Political Parties, and Special Interests

Roles of political parties and interest groups in government and politics, focusing on their efforts of elections and lobbying.

Public Issues in America

Major public issues in American politics. Government spending, civil rights; welfare and health care; poverty; education; urban problems; crime, violence and repression; defense policy; agricultural policy; environment/energy policy.

Government Regulation

Development of regulatory agencies, their functions, intended and unintended impact, and organizational and philosophical critiques of existing regulation. Relationship of regulation to the constitutional separation of powers and tenets of democracy. Emphasis on questions of democratic accountability and other aspects of political context in which regulatory agencies operate. Proposed reforms evaluated.

Blacks and the American Political System

Role of the Blacks in the American political system, with emphasis on strategies used to gain political power and influence decision makers. problems faced in the southern and urban political settings.

Legislative Process

Legislature's role in the American arrangement of legislative-executive-judicial responsibilities. Attention to the internal operation of the Congress with focus on the standing committee stage. State legislative experiences and proposals to reform the legislative system emphasized.

Polls, Politics and Public Opinion

Attitudes and behavior of citizens with respect to politics, how these attitudes and behaviors are shaped, how they are measured, and what influence they have on government.

Women and Politics

Survey of women as political actors: participation in political life, barriers to participation, political attitudes, issues of special concern to women, and issues of particular concern to women of color.

Courts, Judges, and Lawyers

Role of courts, judges, and lawyers in the American legal system and political process. Covers all federal and state courts but emphasizes the US Supreme Court.

Myths and Realities of the Justice System

American criminal justice system from arrest through sentencing. How the system appears to operate. How the system actually operates.

Intergovernmental Relations

Analysis of the nature and problems of the American federal system, with emphasis on the politics and administration of federal grants. problems in national-state and national-local governmental coordination in administration.

Congress and Public Policy

The policy making role of the Congress including the institutionalization of the House and the Senate, an analysis of congressional behavior, the committee process, and the policy responsiveness of Congress.

Topics in American Public Policy

Focuses on a significant public policy in American politics. Topics include but are not limited to: science; technology; education; and health politics. This course may be taken twice assuming the specific policy covered is not the same.

Political Communication

Role of communication in the political process, with emphasis on communication strategies in political campaigns. communication variables important in the political process. an application of communication theory and principles to political rhetoric. analysis and criticism of selected political communication events.

Constitutional Law

Supreme Court doctrine determining the distribution of powers within the national government and between the national government and the state governments.

Civil Liberties: Freedom of Expression and Conviction

Supreme Court doctrine interpreting the First Amendment, covering freedom of speech, assembly, and association; freedom of the press; and freedom of religion.

Civil Liberties: Issues of Fairness and Equality

Supreme Court doctrine covering the rights of the accused, the right to privacy and the right to racial and sexual equality.

Core Seminar in American Government

Treats the field of American government including national, state, and local political institutions and processes, and political behavior.

Research Seminar in American Government

Content varies among the following topics: national institutions and processes, state and local institutions and processes, legal institutions and processes, and political behavior.