PS 217 Law, Politics, and Society

This class is an introduction to the legal process by examining how law intersects with politics and society. The course has three broad and overlapping sections. First, we will begin with theoretical concepts of law and justice. Next, we will review the structure and development of legal institutions in the U.S. Finally, using pending and recent cases from the Supreme Court, we will look at particular issues in law and the connection between law and social change.

Consider how fundamental the following questions are to defining a society and government. What are the rules of behavior in the society? How are those rules and laws made? Do people always obey the laws, and why? How can an individual influence the lawmaking process? How do people think about their government? How might this influence how they think about their community and their own behavior? The questions will will focus on in this course are: 1) What are law, politics, and society? How are they created, and what influence do they have over our lives? 2) How do law, politics, and society relate to one another? 3) How do law, politics, and society play out in the United States?