Washington Center

Congress Core Research - Quarter/Semester

Core Seminar
Seminar 318

Quarter: September 24, 2012-November 26, 2012 / Semester: September 10, 2012-December 3, 2012

This research seminar will explore how Congress works and its role in the U.S. political system. Specifically, we will look at a range of topics, including how Members of Congress work to represent their constituents, the impact of congressional elections, the internal rules of Congress, the role of parties in both Houses, relations with the executive branch, and policymaking in an era of growing polarization.

The instructional team for the class is comprised of Menna Demessie, adjunct professor at the UC Washington Program and senior policy analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and Peter J. Ryan, political science Ph.D. Candidate at the University of California, Berkeley and graduate fellow at the UC Washington Center (intructors can be contacted at ucdccongress@gmail.com). Former U.S. Representative Jim Moody will also assist in the instruction of the class.

Class sessions are designed to be a mix of brief lectures and active class discussions on the readings and current topics. Guest speakers will include congressional staffers, lobbyists, activists, and others who will give timely insight into current policy and political debates. Special attention will also be paid to the upcoming 2012 elections, as well as their political and policy consequences. Seminar requirements (detailed below) include a substantial research brief, active class participation, and an applied writing assignment. In addition, students interning on the Hill are required to take the Congressional Research Program training offered by the UC Center; all other students are strongly advised to attend the Congressional Research Program.

Syllabus: Available on bSpace course website.

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