American Democracy in a Changing World

Tim R Johnson portrait

LearningLife course revisits the founding documents and explores how American institutions are shaping and being shaped by current events

Is the US a democracy? And is democracy under threat? Spend a few minutes scrolling your Facebook page and you’re sure to see a range of opinions.

American government is a tangled and messy affair, often likened to making sausage. And maybe that’s what the architects of our government predicted when they established the framework to contain it all. Through the US Constitution, they empowered three branches of US government—legislature, judiciary, and executive—to direct our process of governing.

Still, our institutions don’t exist in a vacuum; they’re continually being shaped by political influences, special interest groups, and events happening beyond our borders.

To help us gain some perspective, the University’s LearningLife program is offering a four-session course on American government. Taught by Timothy R. Johnson, Morse-Alumni Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Law, the course will cover the history and theories behind our founding documents, the establishment and function of the three branches of government, and the pressures placed upon those institutions from interest groups and political parties.

There’s bound to be lively discussion on the recent opening of a Supreme Court seat and the changing role of the presidency. “This course will be a semester of Poli Sci 1001 condensed into eight hours,” says Johnson. “Except we won’t be limited by an academic syllabus and all topics are open for discussion.”

American Democracy in a Changing World takes place Tuesdays, October 9 through October 30, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Register now!

LearningLife is a program of the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. Taught by University faculty, and scholars and professionals from the community, the program offers rich, meaningful learning experiences for those who seek knowledge, academic engagement, and personal development. For more information, visit our website.