Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3096: American Democracy and the Challenges of the 21st Century

This module descriptor refers to the 2017/8 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.


NQF Level 6
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Professor Daniel Stevens (Lecturer)





Available via distance learning


Students of Politics need to understand different political systems around the world. While the United States is very familiar to us it has a political system that is fundamentally unlike that of Britain or most countries in Europe. Indeed, the way it elects its president, for example, is unique. This module provides you with an introduction to American democracy, from its foundations in the Constitution and federalism, to its political culture, institutions and processes, and the policies that emerge from it all. You will examine the design and rationale for the American political system and the implications it has for governing and the policy making process. Throughout the module we will make comparisons between the American system and other democracies around the world.

Using a range of learning methods including group presentations, research-based problem-solving exercises, film analysis, and general discussion and debate, you will have the opportunity to consider explanations of why American politics is the way it is now and what the future holds.

No prior knowledge skills or experience are required to take this module and it is suitable for specialist and non-specialist students.

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