Whose Democracy? Participation and Public Policy in the United States


Overview of patterns in Americans' engagement in and disengagement from civic life. Theories of why people do (and do not) participate. Differences across lines of gender, race, ideology, generation, and class. Role of American 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. Implications for equality, voice, and the health of American democracy. Classroom discussion; guest speakers; short memos. Offered through the Duke in DC program. One course.

Course originates in Public Policy.

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