Issues in American Domestic Politics

Final year module

Lecturer: Dr Robert Watt

This module surveys the key political issues within domestic United States politics in the competing light of economic and political explanations of the dynamics of U.S. domestic policy. This is done under the framework of Singh’s concept of the Culture War. These issues include: Participation/Non-participation, Campaign Finance, Direct Democracy, Gun Control, Immigration, Affirmative Action, Healthcare, Welfare, Capital Punishment, the role of Religion, Abortion, Drugs, Homeland Security, Drugs and Gay Marriage.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module students should: 

  • Provide an overview of core issues and controversies within U.S. domestic politics
  • Demonstrate, critical understanding of underlying debate over the role of conservative vs. liberal perspectives (the Culture War) on U.S. politics
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of the economy in the dynamics of U.S. politics
  • Communicate a detailed understanding of how the system of checks and balances at the centre of its system of government attempts to resolve competing interpretations of the constitution


  • Term One/ Two: 1 x 4,000 word essay (60%)
  • Term Three: 2 hour examination (40%)