This course will approach the subject of American Political Leadership from a number of different perspectives. Students will review groundbreaking studies on leadership that hail from a variety of disciplines, as well as extensive case studies of U.S. political leaders. Students will be asked to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of existing approaches to the study of political leadership. We will also conduct simulations in which students assume different roles in political conflicts; through these simulations, students may effectively test some of the findings on leadership that have already been discussed. At least two themes will receive special emphasis over the course of the semester: (1) how do the structure of American political institutions, American political culture, and American democratic principles define both opportunities and constraints for political leaders? and (2) Do great leaders make history or does history make great leaders, and how can we even know the difference?
Note POLS 3622 is coded at the catalog level as “open to juniors or higher” but other Honors students may contact Prof. Yalof for a permission number. In your email, confirm that you are a member of the Honors Program, provide your PeopleSoft number, and very briefly explain your interest in taking the course.