English - Elective 2, topic 4: Contemporary American Politics in 2019: From Chaos to Order?

Course content

“Contemporary American Politics in 2019” will focus on American politics in the aftermath of the midterm elections, and as we begin to look forward to the 2020 general election. How able has the political system been in terms of accommodating an unconventional president in Donald Trump? How much has Trump had to change to meet the realities of office? Answering these questions requires knowledge of the US political system. The course will thus give an in-depth survey as to how the political system works and how that system interacts with wider American culture outside of Washington, DC. The course takes the post Watergate era as its background, and will thus use a mix of political theory, contemporary history and topical articles from newspaper and media articles from the New York Times, Foreign Policy, New Republic, Wall Street Journal, Economist, Financial Times, Washington Post, New Standard, American Conservative, The Atlantic, Mother Jones, and other respected sources. These articles will be supplemented by data and materials assembled by think tanks and polling institutions, including the US Census Bureau, Brookings, Heritage, Pew, and the like.

By the end of the course you will have a good overview of the political system and electoral dynamics in 2019 and the issues which preoccupy the nation and its leader(s). You should be able to use the theoretical and practical knowledge you have acquired to understand the American political system, and how it differs from the Danish, to identify the issues facing the Trump administration and the nation, reflect on why these issues have the salience they do, and to be able to consider how the state of the nation’s politics is likely to develop over the near future. This course is especially aimed at students who plan or writing BA projects on topics within contemporary American politics and society, and acts as a first port of call for students considering graduate work within the fields of American history, politics, and society. There are no entry requirements, though I do expect for students to have followed Makings 1 and Makings 2 (or equivalent), that you read the materials set for each week, that you participate in classes, and that you agree to give seminar presentations during the semester.



7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assessment
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 162,75
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • English
  • 204,75