American Political Parties: Their Failures and Their Futures

Susan Roberts, Associate Professor of Political Science, Davidson College

This seminar will explore the origins of American political parties including the patronage system and their legacies.  More specifically we will examine exactly what constitutes party identification, especially in the age of ideological polarization.  What will be the impact of the so-called Independent voter?  What impact will the new campaign finance regulations, or lack thereof, have on the political parties and our candidates.  Finally, what does the future hold for the two party system given the recent emergence of the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street and calls for “A Third Way.”

Participating Fellows

Colleen Casey, Social Studies, Francis Bradley Middle School

Jeff Joyce, Hough High School, Political Science

Katie Willett, Independence HS, Social Studies

Kathryn Vey, Francis Bradley MS, Language Arts

Jann Peck, Bailey MS, Language Arts

Patrick O'Neil, Mallard Creek HS, Social Studies

Jennifer Ladanyi, Bailey MS, Language Arts

Torrie Edwards, WA Hough HS, English

Alexandra Edwards, Bailey MS, Social Studies

Leah Conway, Mallard Creek HS, Social Studies

Allison Baker, Vance HS, Social Studies