Keeping the Republic

Primary Number: POLS 20101

ConStudies Number: CNST 20003

ConStudies CRN: 17941

Primary CRN: 17609

Instructor: Campbell, David

Day/Time: MWF 3:30pm-4:20pm

Attributes: WKSS - new Core Social Science

Location: Geddes Hall B001

Back in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked what kind of government the new American Constitution created. He responded, "a republic, if you can keep it." Today, many people are asking whether the republic-and thus democracy in America-as we know it will survive. Trust is low, polarization is high, and longstanding democratic norms are being shattered left and right. Some scholars have even suggested that the US is on the brink of a new civil war. Others, however, argue that things are not as bad as they seem. This course tackles the big questions about current state of democracy in the United States. Is the US actually a democracy? (And is that different than a republic?) If so, how, when, and why did it become a democracy? Will the US remain a democracy? Finally, what role can YOU play in keeping the republic? This course is designed for students of all backgrounds and majors. Whether you have thought a lot or a little about the state of democracy in America, you are welcome in this class.