Washington Center

The Presidency and Executive Power

Day and Time: 
Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Quarter Dates: 
September 26 to December 5, 2017
Semester Dates: 
August 29 to December 5, 2017
Core Seminar

The Trump presidency is at one and the same time unprecedented in certain of its attributes and yet fully reflective of enduring paradoxes of executive power in the American constitutional system. This course will put the current presidency in historical and theoretical context, drawing on a variety of readings and approaches. At its core, this class is about the problem of executive power in democratic government, not just in the United States, but around the world. Presidential power: we can't live with it; we can't live without it. How do we understand it and what might we do about it? That is, we will study and reflect not only on the details of what the presidency is in theory and practice, we will also consider how it (and other parts of the system) might be changed to overcome the problems of governance that have plagued the U.S. 

Draft Syllabus


*Required for all semester students enrolled in the Congress, Supreme Court, Presidency, International Policy and Media seminars:  

The first four weeks of this semester (August 30 to September 20) will be spent in a special topics module taught by Professor Jennifer Diascro on Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30 p.m. This module will account for 15% of the core seminar final course grade. See syllabus below (forthcoming). Please contact Dr. Diascro at jennifer.diascro@ucdc.edu with questions. 

Dr. Wirls will begin teaching the Presidency seminar on Tuesdays, beginning September 26, and he will officially be your instructor of record for the term, responsible for computing and submitting final course grades at the end of the term.

**NO additional registration required.

Course ID: