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Presidential Power

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Dr David Andersen analyses the US Presidency, focusing particularly on the President’s formal and informal powers. In the first module, Dr Andersen discusses the US Constitution and the Founding Fathers’ intentions in creating the presidential office. Dr Andersen then ask, in the second module: what qualifications does someone need to become the US President? In the third module, we cover the formal powers of the US President as head of state in external matters (you may know this as foreign policy). Then, in the fourth module, Dr Andersen turns to the formal powers of the US President as head of government in internal matters (you may know this as domestic policy). In the fifth module, Dr Andersen then explains the institutional resources available to the President. Finally, in the sixth module, Dr Andersen explains the other informal powers and resources available to the President, focusing particularly on the importance of the media and the all-important role of public opinion. This course may be especially useful for students and teachers of US Politics, as well as those more generally interested in the US Presidency 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?"

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