Whose Democracy? Participation and Public Policy in the United States
Overview of patterns in Americans' engagement in and diengagement from civic life. Theories of why people do not participate. Differences across gender, race, ideology, generation, and class. Role of interest groups and social movements in policy change. Influence of public policies (e.g., federal tax laws, participation requirements, programs such as AmeriCorps) on civic and political participation. Reflection on normative questions of democracy, voice, and equality in 21st-century America. Classroom discussion; short memos; and team-based "research service learning," consisting of research-based policy memo for Durham-area grassroots organizations and 10 hours of direct service. One course.
Course originates in Public Policy.