American politics on the agenda

A brand new course will start this autumn at the School of Education and Communication (HLK) at Jönköping University (JU). Students will learn about American politics and gain a deepened knowledge of the electoral system, the party system and the various symbolic issues that are increasingly important in American elections. (The course will be held in Swedish only).

Amerikanska flaggan och parlamentsbyggnad

Photo: Brandon Mowinkel on Unsplash

The course is designed to run every other autumn to follow the American election cycle - presidential and congressional elections - in order to be current and to use the real-time elections in teaching.

"The course is intended to serve as a guide to American politics so that you can follow the election with more knowledge, understand the significance of various events and also understand the American historical and contemporary context in which the election is taking place," says Aron Engberg, Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at HLK, who is one of the course coordinators.

American politics - race, class, religion

The course, entitled American Politics - Race, Class, Religion (7.5 credits) is presented with the following content:

  • The American political system, past and present
  • The role of religion in American politics and the rise and influence of the Christian right
  • Identity Politics discourses in the North American political landscape
  • The importance of class and race in American politics
  • America's place and role in the world
  • Orientation to the key issues and key election debates

To be admitted to the course, only basic entry requirements are needed and no specific prior knowledge is required.

"The course is held entirely at a distance, with a flexible structure so that everyone can study it regardless of whether they work, study or are retired," says Tobias Samuelsson, Professor of Social Sciences at HLK, who together with Aron Engberg has created the course.

Engberg and Samuelsson hope and believe that the course participants will become more informed about how the American electoral system works in practice and will have the opportunity to reflect together on how social, religious and cultural issues shape and interact with politics.

“My impression is that US politics is something that interests many people in Sweden, both young and old. However, it can sometimes be a little difficult to understand it by only listening to news reports, not least nowadays when it has become so enormously polarized and radical in various ways,” Aron Engberg concludes.