Capitol Hill and stairs @Samuel Schroth /

The Dysfunctional States of America? The U.S. Political System and Political Polarization

Freitag, 14. Juli 2023, 9-14 Uhr

The United States is the world’s oldest democracy. It has survived major political and economic crises and even a civil war. In the recent past, a deep and growing political, ideological, and cultural division can be observed throughout society. Polarization and partisanship have grown to such a level that the American political system is frequently described as "dysfunctional" and “broken.” Some commentators even worry about another civil war. The attack on the United States Capitol on January 6th, 2021 sent shockwaves through the country. While in 2004 Thomas Frank asked “What's the Matter with Kansas?” one might now ask the question: What's the Matter with the U.S.?

The teacher seminar will put a main focus on the American political system, arguing that in order to truly understand many of the current problems it is necessary to take a deeper historical look at the Constitution and the way political structures have changed and developed, the constraints they impose as well as the opportunities for reform.

09:00 Introduction
09:15 The Legislative: Congress
09:45 The Executive: The Presidency
10:15 The Judiciary: Supreme Court and Federal Courts
10:45 Coffee break
11:15 Political Parties and Polarization
11:45 Voting Rights and Elections
12:30 Current Challenges and Possible Reforms
13:00 Open discussion
14:00 End

Registration fee: € 10 per teacher seminar

Please register via our registration form or online via FIBS.
FIBS: Stiftung Bayerisches Amerikahaus gGmbH

Photo: @ Samuel Schroth /

Dr. Andreas Etges ©Andreas Etges

About Dr. Andreas Etges

Dr. Andreas Etges is a historian at the Amerika-Institut of Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. He regularly teaches classes on U.S. politics and the American political system and is frequently interviewed by German and international media on US politics, elections, and on Transatlantic relations.


Stiftung Bayerisches Amerikahaus gGmbH


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