Semester in Washington, DC Program

Politics and Public Policy: Academic Seminar

Course Description:
Fall and Spring Semesters
This course will provide a broad and dynamic introduction of the American political system and public policy. As part of this discussion, we will explore the impact and role of digital communication and political strategy, as well as constitutional, media and legal affairs. The course will 1) investigate the dynamics, ideas, values, and traditions that support American politics and the policy process 2) examine the actions of citizens and voters that make this system democratic 3) study the institutions and actors that comprise the American political system, particularly, the three major branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial) and the fourth estate (the media), and (4) explore the critical role played by political communications (i.e. language, strategy, research, social media, digital tech) throughout our political and policy process.

The course will place critical emphasis on the “Georgetown advantage”, leveraging our location in the nation’s capital by studying our topics through the unique lens of proximity. Students will hear from some of the nation’s top thinkers, media professionals, and practitioners in American politics today. While this class will study various theoretical academic issues, it will also attend closely to how these theories play out in practice. Students will be challenged to think critically and to execute, at times, real-world examples relevant to the policy and political process. The ultimate goal of the course is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the American political system and public policy that includes a robust theoretical and practical foundation.

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