Course Detail for POLS 34530

LocationLondon, United Kingdon
ND Course Number34530
ND Course TitlePolitics in a Global World: Comparing and Contrasting Political Leadership in Britain and the USA
Host University Number34530
Host University TitlePolitics in a Global World: Comparing and Contrasting Political Leadership in Britain and the USA
Course DescriptionThis seminar course explores the institutional, political, social, and cultural differences which help distinguish the British prime minister from the US president and which thereby explain the different ways in which political leadership is formed and then enacted in both a parliamentary-unitary state such as in Britain and a presidential-federal state such as the USA. By focusing directly on the role of the parliamentary (Britain) and the presidential (US) chief executive the course will touch upon a number of topics including national particularities and similarities between Britain and the USA; fixed versus fluid constitutional politics; parliamentarianism versus presidentialism; federal versus unitary states; executive politics in Downing Street and the White House and in Whitehall and Washington DC; legislative politics within Westminster and in Congress; the different forms of party systems in Britain and the USA; elective politics; changing forms of political electioneering; the role of political communications and the news media; and the role played by cultural influences and non-political factors.By comparing and contrasting two similar but different political systems, national case studies can help illuminate their understanding of comparative politics. The course examines how institutional differences variously determine, shape and influence how political leadership is enacted. Featured are those factors that help shape and determine the powers and influences of any parliamentary or presidential chief executive, among them: the fact that the US president is located within a federal state with a limited government, but that the British prime minister is located within a unitary state with an unlimited government; the president is directly elected, but the prime minister is indirectly elected; the president is separate from and autonomous of the US legislature, but the prime minister is drawn from and accountable to the British legislature; the president is not the leader of his or her party, but the prime minister is the leader of his or her party; and the president is the head of a personalized executive, but the prime minister is the head of a collegial executive. Finally, students will also appreciate how parliamentary and presidential chief executives are affected by the social and cultural norms, the forged historical experience and contemporary standing of their respective nation states and their attendant political systems.Classes will take the form of seminar-style discussions, occasionally led by informal lecture, and students will make formal presentations and participate in class discussion.The course is open to all students, and required for Parliamentary Interns
University Credit3
Language of InstructionEnglish
Special NotesNO LONGER OFFERED Taught only in some semesters. Open to all students: required for Parliamentary Interns
University Requirement

page top

Page last modified: Mon. September 10, 2012 10:07:05 AM