History of American Democracy - Harvard Business School MBA Program

History of American Democracy

Course Number 1139
Also Harvard College US/W 39

Professor David A. Moss
Fall 2015, 24 Sessions
Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


Today we often hear that American democracy is broken -- but what would a healthy democracy look like? How has American democratic governance functioned in the past, how has it changed over time, and what does this mean for the nation's political and economic health? This course approaches American history with these questions in mind. The course will be taught by the case-method and include both HBS students and Harvard undergraduates. Each session will introduce students to a different critical episode in the development of American democracy, from the drafting of the Constitution to contemporary fights over economic and social policy. The course is of relevance to business students because the quality and style of democratic governance (in fiscal policy, economic regulation, education, social welfare, and so on) have enormous implications for the nature of the business environment -- in the United States and in democracies around the world. (Please note: MBA enrollment in the course is limited to 20 students, and undergraduate enrollment is capped at 80. As is common in undergraduate courses, Teaching Fellows will help to grade written assignments. Meetings will be held on the HBS campus.)