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2012/2013  BA-IVK_APS3  Government, politics and policy-making in the Americas

English Title
Government, politics and policy-making in the Americas

Course information

Language English
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn
3rd semester
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for BA in International Business Communication
Course coordinator
  • Course coordinator for American studies
    Kevin McGovern - Department of International Culture and Communication Studies
Main Category of the Course
  • Language and Intercultural Studies
Last updated on 25-10-2012
Learning objectives
Course participants will gain a knowledge and understanding of the most important political institutions and processes in the US and the countries of Latin America. Students will acquire an understanding of the historical context in which the political institutions have developed, as well as a basic knowledge of political issues and the defining elements of political culture. The course also seeks to strengthen the analytical skills of students and their ability to process information from different sources. At the end of the course, students will be able to assess political issues and offer Danish and other European companies information about relevant political variables.
b) written exam:
Type of test Written Exam
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period December/January
Aids Closed Book
Duration 3 Hours
The exam will include a range of question formats. Shorter and longer answers will be required. The exam considers both the United States and Latin America countries. It is a PC exam using CBS PCs - option 4 according to the Study Board's PC options.

Make-up exam/re-exam

The make-upexam/re-exam will have the same structure and format as the regular exam. Please refer to  § 16 (2) in the program rules.

The holding of the exam

a) Make-up exams/re-exams for the mandatory paper is held before the end of the semester on a date set by the teacher.

b) This written exam is held immediately after the ordinary exam period. After that, the exam cannot be taken until the next ordinary exam of this course.

a) In the mandatory paper, the student should be able to:

• Outline and explain the principal characteristics of the political systems in the USA and Latin American countries
• Apply relevant concepts, models and theories.

b) At the written exam, the student should be able to:

• Outline and explain the principal characteristics of the political systems in the USA and Latin American countries
• Apply the concepts, models and theories which are used in the study of political systems and structures
• Assess the significance and meaning of major political events and developments
• Discuss the relationships between political actors and assess the relative strengths of political systems.
Prerequisites for attending the exam
In order to take the written exam (b), the student must have passed the mandatory paper (a)

a) Mandatory paper
Individual home assignment. Deadline: See semester plan. The paper is submitted (two copies), to the appropriate teacher(s). Length: Maximum 5-6 standard pages. No second examiner. Pass/Fail.
Course content

The course considerspolitical institutions and different decision-making processes. This includes the US presidency, Congress and the federal courts, and the different state governments are surveyed. It also includes the structures of government in Latin American countries. Moreover,the roles of political parties and interest organizations as weel as the design of election processes in the US and Latin American countries are considered. 
Institutions and processes are examined critically throughout the course. Topics such as the distribution of power in the different countries, the effects of ‘checks and balances’, the extent to which the political process is characterized by consensus or the lack of it, and the possibilities for political activity are examined and discussed.

Teaching methods
Class teaching with presentations by the teacher(s) and group work. Emphasis is placed on active participation in classes.
Student workload
Total student working hours: 300 hours
Expected literature

Edward Ashbee, US Politics Today- 3rd edition (Manchester UP).
Further literature is listed in the semester plan.


Last updated on 25-10-2012