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Archived teaching schedules 2014–2015
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POLVOA31/A41 American Political Parties, Elections, and Polarization 5 ECTS
Period I Period II Period III Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Intermediate studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
Degree Programme in Politics
Political Science
School of Management

General description

The roots of the modern mass political party start in the United States. When compared to their European parliamentary counterparts, though, American parties appear relatively weak and less relevant. American political parties, however, play important roles in the American political system and exert significant influences over the nature of political debate, how elections are conducted, and how government operates. American political parties are most often conceived as being comprised of three distinct, yet interrelated spheres: the party as an organization, the party in the electorate, and the party in government. We will address each of these aspects of American parties starting with the emergence of parties in the United States. From there, we will learn about party alignments and realignments in the American electorate over time. Since 2014 marks a midterm election in the US, we will learn about the unique qualities of such elections in the US. With respect to the party in government, we will learn about the consequences of increased ideological polarization in the American policy making process.

Enrolment for University Studies

Email registration to timothy.nokken@uta.fi by 5 September 2014


Timothy Nokken, Teacher responsible


9-Sep-2014 – 8-Oct-2014
Lectures 20 hours
Tue 9-Sep-2014 - 7-Oct-2014 weekly at 12-14, Main building A3
7-Oct-2014 at 12 –14 , Main building A4
Wed 10-Sep-2014 - 8-Oct-2014 weekly at 10-12, Main building A3


Numeric 1-5.

Evaluation criteria

Quizzes, written exams