URBS470 - Executive Power in Metropolitan American Politics

Course Description: 
Focusing on presidents, governors, and big-city mayors, this course will explore a wide range of historical and recent examples of executive leadership and decision-making. How do their actions in office shape and get shaped by long-term historical and political forces? How and why do executive office holders use (and occasionally abuse) their power? What opportunities exist to transform both policy and public opinion? What kinds of constraints circumscribe the options available and limit the impact of executive choices? Exploring presidents such as Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and Barack Obama, governors including Ronald Reagan, Nelson Rockefeller and Bill Clinton, and mayors like Richard Daley, Sr. and Jr., Ed Koch, and Ed Rendell, this course at once examines the personalities and predilections of individuals as well as the political ideas and institutions that shape their time in office. Registration in this course is by permission of the instructors only. To seek a permit for the course please provide a short personal statement of not more than one page with the following information: your name and contact information; your year; your major; other courses you have taken on related subjects; how this course would fit into your larger academic and intellectual development; any other personal or extenuating circumstances you think it would be useful for us to know about you. Email personal statements to Peter Siskind (siskind@sas.upenn.edu) no later than April 3 and enrollment decisions will be made by April 18.
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Title (text only): 
Executive Power in Metropolitan American Politics
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