POLS 2998-012: Political Issues – The United States Senate

Instructor: Vin Moscardelli

In this class, we will explore the historical development and contemporary operation of the United States Senate with the goal of determining how well the chamber performs the representational, deliberative, and lawmaking functions assigned to it by the Constitution. Is the United States Senate still the “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body”?

The class will employ a rich variety of resources and pedagogical approaches, including traditional political science research articles, visits from current and former Senate staff members, biographical and autobiographical accounts of senators, classic films, novelizations of Senate life, and an extended simulation (developed in consultation with staff of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston).