Washington Center

Congress and Politics in Washington

Day and Time: 
Tuesdays, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Quarter Dates: 
September 25 to December 4, 2018
Semester Dates: 
August 29 to December 4, 2018
Core Seminar

This course will focus on the design and operation of the U.S. Congress and its relationship with the Executive Branch.  Students will also gain insights into how legislators spend their time in Washington and in their constituencies. A key feature of the class will involve the analysis of legislative behavior and executive action on contemporary policy and political issues. Other topics include the committee system and lawmaking, presidential powers, House and Senate rules/procedures, political parties, the budget process and campaign finance, and the origins of partisanship and polarization. There will also be a focus on past efforts at reforming the institution of Congress, and discussion of options for improving the functions of, and public regard for, the Congress. Students should be prepared to actively participate in class discussions.


Draft Syllabus


*Requirement for ALL semester students:  

The first four weeks of this semester (August 29 to September 19) will be spent in a special topics module taught by Professor Jennifer Diascro on Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30 p.m. This module will account for 15% of the core seminar final course grade. See syllabus below (forthcoming). Please contact Professor Diascro (jennifer.diascro.edu) with questions. 

Professor Lawrence will begin teaching the Congress seminar on Tuesdays, beginning September 25, and he will officially be your instructor of record for the term, responsible for computing and submitting final course grades at the end of the term.

**NO additional registration required.

Course ID: