This course is an introduction to American state and local government and politics, including major concepts and theories relating to the general principles, institutions, processes, functions, and powers of government. It also introduces students to specific public policies and problems of representative government at the state and local levels. Topics covered include democracy, political values, constitutionalism, federalism, civil liberties, civil rights, political participation, political parties, interest groups, media, bureaucracy, political ideologies, political campaigns, and elections. A discussion of current political issues and alternative public policies impacting on states and localities are also included in the course. Knowledge of government and politics, an awareness of current issues and policies, and an understanding of the rights and duties of citizens, are important skills for achieving success in many occupations and professions, while directly contributing to civic responsibility and a higher quality of life.