AIP208 - Government and Politics of the United States

Unit details


2023 unit information

Enrolment modes:Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Online
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Zim Nwokora
Cohort rule:






Incompatible with:


Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

1 x 1-hour class per week, 1 x 1-hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - online:

1 x 1-hour class per week (recordings provided), 1 x 1-hour online seminar per week


This unit aims to provide a rigorous introduction to the government and politics of the United States. Students will be introduced to influential political theories that explain how institutions such as Congress and the presidency work, and why policy-making in America is complex and often challenging. Historical material will be studied to explore change and continuity in American institutions, from independence to the controversies of the Donald Trump presidency and beyond. Students will read media commentary to understand such topics as the politics of gun control and election campaign strategies, but they will also be encouraged to think critically about this commentary, drawing on their theoretical and historical knowledge. The course will be structured around key political institutions and policy areas as it considers the turbulent struggles for power in American politics. Students will gain a rich understanding of American democracy and the challenges it faces in the twenty-first century.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Review and analyse major theoretical, conceptual, and policy debates about the American political system

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Effectively communicate the findings and analyses of research on American politics, while deploying political concepts, theories and technical knowledge in different written formats

GLO2: Communication


Analyse and critically evaluate different interpretations of American politics

GLO4: Critical thinking


Generate and evaluate solutions to complex problems of about American government and politics

GLO5: Problem solving


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1 - Report 1500 words
or equivalent
40% Week 6
Assessment 2 - Essay 2500 words
or equivalent
60% Week 11

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via AIP208
Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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