American political science
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American politics (or American government) is an area of study within the academic discipline of political science. It is primarily, but not exclusively, studied by researchers in the United States. Along with comparative politics, international relations and political theory, it is one of the four major fields of political science that are studied in American academic institutions. Political scientists studying American politics (referred to as "Americanists") focus on two main research sub-fields: political behavior and political institutions; a third major sub-field, American political development (APD), also called Democratic theory, has emerged over the last couple of decades. Research interests within the political behavior sub-field include voting behavior, public opinion, race, gender, ethnicity and politics, and partisanship. Among the research focuses of political scientists studying political institutions are the United States Congress (and legislative behavior more generally), the presidency, courts and the legal process, the public service, public law, and state and local politics. Researchers working within the APD sub-field focus on determining how American politics has changed over time and what factors (institutional and behavioral) led to these changes. Public policy (foreign and domestic) is also widely studied by Americanists. In universities outside of the United States, American Politics generally refers to a course in comparative politics or a survey course in American domestics politics for International Relations within political science.