Political Science Question Set #3. Congress and the Presidency

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Political Science 21A: Question Set #3. Congress and the Presidency.

Please respond to each of the four short response questions posted below.  Your answers should be short, focused, and complete, ranging from one to three paragraphs.  Please make sure to answer each specific part of every question.  Successful answers will provide details and context that support your arguments and explain your position to the readers. You may also want to provide real world examples taken from the readings, lectures, group discussions, or your own independent thinking. These illustrations can be from the course materials or your own ideas.  Providing this context and being able to apply the material to YOUR OWN understanding of politics really shows us that you have mastered the material.

Each answer will be worth 25 points, for 100 points total.  The Question Set is due on Canvas at 11:59 pm on Monday, November 16th.  You should upload your response as a docx file or PDF to the Question Set #3 assignment tab.

You should aim to keep each response to at least 300 words.  You are welcome to write your answers in a traditional paragraph form. However, you are also welcome to start each response with a topic sentence and then provide bullet points with the key details and information if you find that more efficient.  Regardless of what strategy you should take, your work should show your own thinking on the topic.

To help you organize your responses, I have broken the key parts of each question into sections below:

  1. a) What are the varying goals that shape the behavior of members of Congress? b) How does the incentive for reelection shape their behavior? c) How can it lead them to be both individually responsive but collectively irresponsible? 
  2. a) What are the benefits of the Congressional committee system? b) What are the possible downsides? c) How do the parties use this structure to their advantage?
  3. In your view, what are the most important factors that contributed to the rise of presidential power in the modern American Government?  (for this question, please choose two or three factors from the readings and lectures that you personally found most interesting/persuasive).
  4. Neustadt & Kernell both describe ways in which a President can deal with Congress & others outside of the executive branch. a) What are their central arguments? b) How does Kernell’s theory update Neustadt’s idea? c) Are they compatible?
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