This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies programme.
Limited places are also open for exchange students.
Please note: this course takes place in The Hague. Traveling between University buildings from Leiden to The Hague may take about 45 minutes.
This course offers an introduction to politics in North America. The course balances a focus on constitutional structures, federalism, and civil rights and liberties with an examination of American liberalism, modern conservatism, and the politics of race, class, and gender. We will also examine defining features of American foreign policy. The course focuses on the United States.
Students get an overview of the historical and contemporary political developments / dynamics in their chosen area and deepen their existing knowledge and understanding of different political systems, political institutions, political processes and actors in the different regions / countries of the region, using the concepts acquired during the course Politics.
Students get acquainted with academic debates on selected topics in the specific region.
Students learn how to write a literature review (2,500 words).
Students critically engage with advanced academic texts (summarise, analyse, and critically reflect on the validity of the arguments made in these texts).
Students apply theories, concepts and research techniques relevant to the field of comparative politics.
The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.
Mode of instruction
Lectures are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Weekly lectures will cover issues both inside and outside the readings.
Tutorials are held once every three weeks, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Attending all tutorial sessions is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a session, please inform your tutor in advance. Being absent at more than one of the tutorial sessions will result in a lowering of your tutorial grade (30% of the end grade) with 1 point for each session missed after the first session. Please note that being absent at any tutorial session may have a negative impact on the grade of the assignment due for that particular tutorial session. This is at the discretion of the tutor.
Total course load for this course is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), which equals 140 hours, broken down by:
|Attending lectures||24 hours|
|Attending tutorials||8 hours|
|Assessment hours (exams)||4 hours|
|Study of compulsory literature||64 hours|
|Completing assignments, preparing for classes and exams||40 hours|
Written examination with open questions.
Written examination with open questions.
To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:
The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of Tutorial grade, Midterm Exam grade, and Final Exam grade.
The weighted average of the Midterm Exam grade and the Final Exam grade needs to be 5.5 or higher.
This means that failing Exam grades cannot be compensated with a high Tutorial grade.
If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), or the weighted average of Midterm- and Final Exams is lower than 5.5, there is a possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier Midterm- and Final Exam grades. No resit for the tutorial is possible.
Please note that if the Resit Exam grade is lower than 5.5, you will not pass the course, regardless of the tutorial grade.
Retaking a passing grade
Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2019 – 2020.
Exam review and feedback
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organised.
Gillian Peele, Christopher J. Bailey, Jon Herbert, Bruce E. Cain, B. Guy Peters, eds., Developments in American Politics, 8th ed. 2018 Edition
Be sure to purchase the 8th edition.
Additional readings will be posted on Blackboard.
Enrolment through uSis for Tutorials and Lectures is mandatory.
Students will be enrolled for Exams by the Administration Office, as long as they have a valid Tutorial enrolment.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
When contacting lecturers or tutors, please include your full name, student number, and tutorial group number.
Please use your University email-address (uMail) when communicating with any person or department within Leiden University.