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The American Presidency


DEPARTMENT: Political Science

UNIVERSITY: University of South Florida

INSTRUCTOR: Kiki Caruson

INTRODUCTION: "This course will focus on presidential power within the American system of government. Questions about the degree of power that an American president may exercise will be examined in the context of relationships between the president and important political actors such as: the other branches of national government; the public; and organizations that mediate between citizens and the executive branch. We will also explore the role of the president in the formulation of domestic and foreign policy. In addition, a significant portion of the class will be devoted to a discussion of the presidential election process."

TEXTBOOKS: The Politics of the Presidency, by Joseph A. Pika, John Maltese and Norman C. Thomas; Understanding the Presidency, by James Pfiffner and Roger H. Davidson; The Politics of Presidential Selection, by John S. Jackson III and William Crotty SAMPLE WRITING ASSIGNMENT: "Write one page for Part I and one page for Part II. All writing assignments must be typed, double-spaced, in 12-point font, with one inch margins.

"Part I: Federalist No. 69. What is the overall theme of this essay _ what is Hamilton's message? Why and how does Hamilton compare the office of the U.S. presidency to (1) the British monarch, and (2) the governorship of New York? What part (or section) of the essay do you consider the most supportive of his argument and why?

"Part II: Federalist No. 70. What does Hamilton mean by "unity' in the executive and why does he consider it so important? What specific dangers does Hamilton associate with an executive lacking unity (a plural executive)? Do you find Hamilton's argument(s) convincing; why or why not?"