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Regular version of the site
Master 2019/2020

The Structure of Government

Type: Elective course (Public Administration)
Area of studies: Public Administration
When: 2 year, 1, 2 module
Mode of studies: MOOC
Master’s programme: Public Administration
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The course “The Structure of Government” is taught on educational online platform “Coursera.org”. Discipline studies are carried out by students independently on the basis of an online course “Chemerinsky on Constitutional Law - The Structure of Government”, https://www.coursera.org/learn/chemerinsky-on-constitutional-law-structure-of-government, the University of California. This course will highlight the construction and interpretation of the U.S. Constitution through the centuries. You'll learn the history behind the Constitution, cases that formed important precedent, and how changes in interpretation have been dependent on shifts in cultural and political climate as well as the composition of the Supreme Court. We'll start with an overview of the Constitution where we'll consider questions such as "Why the Constitution?" and "What function does the Constitution serve?" Next we'll examine how the Constitution and its subsequent interpretation established the powers of the federal, legislative, and judicial branches of government and allocated powers to the states. Join me as we look at the questions both raised and answered by the Constitution and those that interpret it!
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • What function does the Constitution serve?
  • Know how the Constitution and its subsequent interpretation established the powers of the federal, legislative, and judicial branches of government and allocated powers to the states
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Describe how the structure of the United States government has been shaped by both the text of the Constitution and by subsequent interpretation and practice of political actors in all branches of government
  • Illustrate compromises found in the Constitution by citing examples and historic background
  • Articulate the importance of key cases such as Marbury v. Madison, McCullough v. Maryland, and Lochner v. New York
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Why the Constitution?
    In this module, we'll examine two facets of the critical question, "Why the Constitution?" First we'll answer the question, "what functions does the Constitution perform?" We'll then consider the question, "why achieve these functions in the form of a written Constitution?"
  • The Federal Judicial Power
    What is the authority of judicial review? Why is it important? If the federal judiciary can declare a statute or action unconstitutional, what checks are there on this power? These are several of the questions we will endeavor to answer in this module.
  • The Federal Legislative Power
    In this module we will consider three major questions: 1.How did McCullough vs. Maryland shape the power of the legislature? 2. What are the major powers of the Congress under the Constitution? 3. To what extent do states limit the power of the Congress?
  • The Federal Executive Power
    The central questions in this module are: 1. When can a president act without express Constitutional or Congressional authority? 2. What are the Constitutional problems posed by the federal administrative agencies? 3. What is the authority of the President with regard to foreign policy?
  • Federalism
    The goal of this module is to consider two important ways that the power of states are kept in check by the federal government: preemption and the dormant commerce clause.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Online tests
  • non-blocking Final interview
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.3 * Final interview + 0.7 * Online tests
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Charron, N., & Lapuente, V. (2011). Which Dictators Produce Quality of Government? Studies in Comparative International Development, 46(4), 397–423. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12116-011-9093-0
  • Hillman, A. L. (2009). Public Finance and Public Policy : Responsibilities and Limitations of Government (Vol. 2nd ed). Cambridge: Cambridge eText. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=304391

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Ekaterina Zhuravskaya. (2010). Federalism in Russia. Working Papers. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.p.abo.neswpt.w0141
  • Jungwoo Lee, & Jae-Suk Yang. (2018). Government R&D investment decision-making in the energy sector: LCOE foresight model reveals what regression analysis cannot. Energy Strategy Reviews, (1–15), 1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esr.2018.04.003