Part I Write an essay in response to one of the following four questions (40 points – suggested length: about 2-3 pages)
1. What are public goods, and why is it often difficult to organize collective action to achieve them? What does the relationship between collective action problems and public goods imply about the role of government and politics?
2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of states having a strong role in the American political system? Based on class discussions, lectures, and reading, would you say that states currently have too much power or too little? Explain your answer with examples.
3. What are the primary goals and motivations of members of Congress? What are some of the things that Congress members do during their time in office to achieve their goals? How does the electionmotivated behavior of individual Congress members affect the ability of Congress to perform its institutional role as the national legislature?
4. Identify and discuss any three separate political compromises that shaped the Constitution. Why was it necessary to compromise on each of those issues? What alternatives were considered? Why was the compromise eventually adopted?
Part II Madisonian Democracy and Civil Rights (60 points – suggested length: about 4-5 pages) What do the events and achievements of the Civil Rights Movement and the continuing struggle towards civil rights equality demonstrate the quality of democracy in America? Write an essay in which you analyze that question by comparing and contrasting Madisonian versus Participatory/Majoritarian concepts of democracy. In your essay, be sure to …
a) Develop a thesis argument about the Civil Rights Movement as a test case for the quality of American democracy.
b) Define the concept of Madisonian Democracy, and discuss how it differs from a majoritarian / participatory understanding of democracy.
c) Analyze the way that America’s Madisonian governing institutions and democratic processes shaped the important political events and eventual policy outcomes of the Civil Rights Movement.
d) Provide counter-arguments about the quality of democracy in America as demonstrated by the Civil Rights movement and the continuing struggle to achieve civil rights equality. Essay-writing tips: ∑ Create a detailed outline of your essay before writing, including thesis arguments for the entire essay and main points for each section. ∑ Be sure that your essay contains a clear introduction and conclusion. Review your essay before submitting it: ∑ Is your thesis statement clearly written and supported by the body of the essay? Do you fully define and explain the major concepts in the essay? Does your writing clearly communicate your intended points?
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