The study of political participation and political influence in the United States. The great promise of democracy is that all citizens will have meaningful opportunities to defend their interests and advance their notions of the common good. Yet citizens have grown increasingly concerned about whether such opportunities truly exist in their democracy. We focus on how parties, interest groups, and social movements structure political participation. By integrating theory with both historical and current examples, students assess whether citizens can still find, or perhaps even create, opportunities to exert meaningful influence on political decisions. Distribution Requirements: CL, SB.