Introduction

This course examines the role of presidential campaigns and elections in American politics. It studies the origins and evolution of the presidential nominating and electoral processes and explores how modern campaigns inform, influence, and mobilize voters. Topics to be studied include the role of political parties and candidates, campaign strategies and issues, political advertisement and media coverage, and campaigning and governing. We incorporate major developments in the 2016 campaign for the presidency with political science research on presidential campaigns and elections. The main discipline that we use to explore presidential campaigns is political science. However, we also use interdisciplinary approaches to understand more thoroughly the ways in which presidential campaigns influence American political behavior and politics. We incorporate the insights of historians, economists, journalists, and campaign insiders, and compare them to those of political scientists. To make sense of the complexities of presidential campaigns and elections in the United States we use a variety of pedagogical tools that allow us to link more effectively theoretical insights with the current race for the White House. Thus, although this is not a course about the current presidential election, we discuss course material in the context of the unfolding election to help us make better sense of the literature on presidential campaigns and elections.

Meet The Author

Carlos E. Diaz Rosillo

Carlos E. Diaz Rosillo

Lecturer on Government, Harvard University

Carlos E. Diaz Rosillo is a lecturer on government at Harvard University. He is also the Allston Burr Resident Dean of Dunster House and the Transfer Program Coordinator at Harvard College. His research focuses on the American presidency, public policy, and comparative chief executive politics. His work examines the different instruments of power that chief executives have at their disposal to affect policy. He holds undergraduate degrees summa cum laude in International Relations (BA) and Civil Engineering (BSCE) from Tufts University, as well as graduate degrees in Public Policy (MPP) and Government (AM, PhD) from Harvard University.

PhD, Harvard University

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