American Politics


Part I Write an essay in response to one of the following four questions (40 points -suggested length: about 3-4 pages) 1. What are public goods, and why is it often difficult to organize collective action to achieve them? What does the relationship between collective action problems and public goods tell us about the importance of government and politics? 2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of states having a strong role in the American political system? Based on class discussions, lectures, and reading, would you say that states currently havae too much power or too little? Explain your answer with examples. 3. What are the primary goals and motivations of members of Congress? What are some of the things that Congress members do during their time in office to achieve their goals? How does the electionmotivated behavior of individual Congress members affect the ability of Congress to perform its institutional role as the national legislature? 4. Identify and discuss any three separate political compromises that shaped the Constitution. Why was it necessary to compromise on each of those issues? What alternatives were considered? Why was the compromise eventually adopted? Part II Madisonian Democracy and Civil Rights (60 points – suggested length: about 4-6 pages) What do the events and achievements of the Civil Rights Movement demonstrate about the quality of democracy in America? Write an essay in which you analyze the Civil Rights Movement (including the continuing struggle for equality) as a test case of Madisonian Democracy.

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