This course will introduce students to a concrete study of American political institutions, the political process, and major areas of American public policy. This class will examine how race, class, gender and religion influence policy actors and the policy-making process. A discussion of the key elements of the U.S. Constitution-bicameralism, checks and balances, federal supremacy, and judicial review - is included in the course. The course also analyzes and studies mass media, interest groups, and political parties-all of which play a large role in shaping and influencing Congress, the presidency, the federal bureaucracy and the judiciary. Finally, the course examines American public policy, specifically in the areas of social and domestic policy, fiscal and monetary policy, foreign policy, and national security.