Superpowers: The American Establishment

For better or worse, the American political system has made America what it is today. This superpower is a product of its institutions and its people, and how they have interacted within their ranks and throughout the world over the years. Guided by its own view of its influence in the world, this course will help us understand how America is keeping up with its internal issues and the constant external pressures that come with such a lofty global status. And, by offering a broad view of the historical roots and legal system of America, we’ll come to understand how far the young country has come and where it is headed.

Featuring subject matter expert

Daniel Finkelstein
Daniel Finkelstein

Columnist at The Times

Daniel Finkelstein, appointed to the House of Lords in 2013, writes a weekly column for The Times. Previously, he was adviser to Prime Minister John Major and Conservative leader William Hague.

What is it about American culture that has allowed its Constitution to endure for three centuries?

Very few countries if any can say they were based on an idea and that's what's important about the American Constitution.

Course Overview

  • Learn about the US Constitution, a document that provides for the structure of its government and defines its relationship with its people.
  • Recognise the ‘separation of powers’ as institutional failsafe of the federal government, ensuring to deter absolute rule.
  • Uncover the competition between Democrats and Republicans as highly partisan and, for the most part, ideological.
  • Delve into the domestic threats and foreign challenges of today's technologically-advanced world as America struggles to keep pace.
Course content
  • 9 Full HD Video Lectures
  • Downloadable Course Handouts
  • Knowledge Assessment Quiz
  • Interactive Group Discussion Task
  • Q&A Session with a Subject Matter Expert
  • Certificate of Achievement





You might be also interested in



  • The European Union: Promises, Politics and Pitfalls

  • Women Who Have Shaped Modern Politics

  • It's Complicated: China's Relationship with the World

If you are using an older version of Internet Explorer, some functionality on the Times Academy portal may be limited or not visible. Older versions of IE may not only display websites differently than other browsers, but also may contain security issues and bugs. It is therefore recommended to view the website on Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.