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Electoral College

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Dr David Andersen explores, explains and analyses the Electoral College and its role in US presidential elections. In the first module, we are introduced to the origins and design of the Electoral College, focusing in particular on the intentions of the Founding Fathers and the problems they sought to address with this system. In the second module, we explore the process by which the Electoral College works and how this has developed since its original conception in the late eighteenth century, including discussion of relevant constitutional amendments. In the third module, we interrogate the strengths and weaknesses of the Electoral College system as it presently operates, before moving on in the fourth and final module to assess some propositions for reforming the Electoral College, focusing on the strengths, weaknesses and likelihood of each of these proposed reforms. This course is particularly relevant for students and teachers of US Politics, as well as those more generally interested in US presidential elections and the US Constitution.

About the Lecturer

Dr. David Andersen is an expert on American politics and government whose research focuses primarily on political psychology and political behaviour. After receiving his PhD in 2011, he worked for two years at the Eagleton Institute of Politics before transferring to Iowa State University in 2013 as an Assistant Professor of American Government. He remained at Iowa State until 2019, when he moved across the pond to join Durham University as an Assistant Professor in United States Politics. His research has been published in a number of well-regarded academic journals, including the American Journal of Political Science, and he is particularly interested in the research question: "How do people learn about politics?"