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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Course Descriptions

GOV F310L • American Government

84025
Meets MTWTHF 830am-1000am CLA 0.130
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This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV F310L • American Government

84030
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm MEZ 1.306
show description

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV F312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

84035
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm WAG 420
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Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV F312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

84040 • Moser, Robert
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am
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Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV F344L • Intro To Comparative Politics

84045 • Mosser, Michael W
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm MEZ B0.306
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GOV344L: Introduction to Comparative Politics

Summer 2015

Unique ID 84045

Department of Government

The University of Texas at Austin

 

Instructor: Dr. Michael Mosser

Course location: Mezes B0.306

Office:  Mezes 3.232

Course time: M-F 1130-1300

Phone: TBD

Office hours: MW 0900 – 1115

Email: mosserm@austin.utexas.edu

(and by appointment)

TA:

TA Office Hours: T, Th 0930 - 1100

TA Office: Batts 1.118

(and by appointment)

Course concept:

The political world is highly complex, and yet we interact with it on a daily basis. At the international level, leaders gather to discuss issues that affect them individually and collectively, while the impact of their decisions on the people of their country depends enormously on the style of government and its representativeness. This course serves as the introduction to the sub-discipline of political science known as comparative politics. The course introduces the student to key concepts in the comparative study of political systems, including these key questions: why do we compare and how do we compare?

Required readings:

There are two required texts for this course: Comparative Politics by David J. Samuels (Pearson, 2013) and Case Studies in Comparative Politics also by David J. Samuels (Pearson, 2013). They are available as a set from the Co-Op using ISBN number 020588783X. There will also be various supplementary academic journal, magazine, and newspaper articles. Average reading load will be around 40 pages/class, with some lighter and some heavier classes.

Assignments and grading:

This class will have two midterm exams and a final exam. Each exam will be worth 25% of your overall grade.

 

There will be two homework assignments that will be due during the first part of the course. These are designed to familiarize yourself with the comparative method of political science. There will also be five quizzes which will occur over the course of the first term. Collectively, the quizzes will count for 5% of your overall grade. Although unlikely, there may also be opportunities for extra credit that will be interspersed throughout the first term. These opportunities are entirely voluntary but can be of benefit to you both academically and personally. Extra credit will require attendance and a one-page summary of the event. Properly completed extra credit opportunities will replace a quiz grade or, if all quizzes are 100%,  add 1% to your overall grade, up to a maximum of 5%.

 

Because this both an introductory course and a first-term summer course, I will stress even more strongly than usual the importance of class attendance. I strongly encourage you to attend every class and be prepared for lively and stimulating discussion. To that end, I will allow for no more than three unexcused absences from class for the duration of the course. Exceptions may be made for extraordinary circumstances, and will be judged on a case-by-case basis. Participation and attendance (either in class or online via the Canvas discussion forum) will count for 20% of your overall grade.

Student Learning Outcomes:

At the conclusion of this course, students will have a basic understanding of comparative politics, including both the comparative method and country studies. Students will understand differential routes to democratization and will examine whether democracy is  necessary and sufficient condition for global politics.

Suggested news sources:

 

Grading standards:

 

I will use the following grade standards. All grades given during the first term will be converted to a 100-point scale.

 

93-100         A

90-92       A-

87-89       B+

80-86           B

77-79       B-

75-76           C+

70-74       C

67-69       C-

60-66           D

<60          F

 

Important Information

Plagiarism / academic misconduct:



Don’t do it. Minimum penalties for cheating are zeros on quizzes or exams where the cheating takes place, and a grade of F on a paper that has been plagiarized. Questions about what constitutes academic misconduct should be brought to my attention.

Undergraduate Writing Center: 

 

The Undergraduate Writing Center, FAC 211, 471-6222: http://www.uwc.utexas.edu/) offers free, individualized, expert help with writing for any UT undergraduate, by appointment or on a drop-in basis. Any undergraduate enrolled in a course at UT can visit the UWC for assistance with any writing project. They work with students from every department on campus, for both academic and non-academic writing. Their services are not just for writing with "problems." Getting feedback from an informed audience is a normal part of a successful writing project. Consultants help students develop strategies to improve their writing. The assistance they provide is intended to foster independence. Each student determines how to use the consultant's advice. The consultants are trained to help you work on your writing in ways that preserve the integrity of your work.

University of Texas Honor Code:

 

The core values of The University of Texas at Austin are learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility. Each member of the university is expected to uphold these values through integrity, honesty, trust, fairness, and respect toward peers and community.  Any student found guilty of scholastic dishonesty may receive an “F” in the course and be remanded to the appropriate University of Texas authorities for disciplinary action.  For more information, view Student Judicial Services at http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs.

Religious Holidays:

 

According to UT-Austin policy, students must notify the instructor of an impending absence at least 14 days prior to the date of observance of a religious holy day. If a student must miss a class, an examination, a work assignment, or a project in order to observe a religious holy day, the student will be given an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence.

Student Privacy: 

 

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires that student privacy be preserved.  Thus the posting of grades, even by the last four digits of the social security number, is forbidden.  All communication will remain between the instructor and the student, and the instructor will not be able to share details of the student’s performance with parents, spouses, or any others.

Documented Disability Statement:

 

The University of Texas will make reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Any student with a documented disability who requires academic accommodations should contact Services for Students with Disabilities at 471-6259 (voice) or 1-866-329-3986 (Video Phone) as soon as possible to request an official letter outlining authorized accommodations.

Emergency Evacuation Policy:

 

In the event of a fire or other emergency, it may be necessary to evacuate a building rapidly.  Upon the activation of a fire alarm or the announcement of an emergency in a university building, all occupants of the building are required to evacuate and assemble outside.  Once evacuated, no one may re-enter the building without instruction to do so from the Austin Fire Department, University of Texas at Austin Police Department, or Fire Prevention Services office.  Students should familiarize themselves with all the exit doors of each room and building they occupy at the university, and should remember that the nearest exit routes may not be the same as the way they typically enter buildings.  Students requiring assistance in evacuation shall inform their instructors in writing during the first week of class.  Information regarding emergency evacuation routes and emergency procedures can be found at http://www.utexas.edu/emergency.

 

 

GOV F365N • Politics Of New Democracies

84055 • Goodnow, Regina R
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am MEZ B0.306
(also listed as LAS F337M, REE F335)
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Course Description

The fall of the Berlin Wall, the implosion of the Soviet Union, the end of apartheid in South Africa, the “Arab Spring” uprisings, and the recent Maidan Revolution in Ukraine—all represent moments of regime transition. Some occur through violent means and others through peaceful negotiation; some result in democracy and other do not. These differences are at the heart of one of the biggest questions in the political science subfield of comparative politics: Why do some countries attain (and also sustain) democracy, while others do not? The course introduces the key debates in the literature, including theories pertaining to modernization, political culture, institutional design, civil society, and the international context. The course will evaluate the different arguments on the basis of concrete examples across regions as diverse as post-communist Europe, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.

 

Grading Policy

Take-home Essay 30%

First Midterm Exam 30%

Second Midterm Exam 30%

Participation Quizes 10%

 

Texts

1. Christian W. Haerpfer, et al., Democratization, Oxford University Press, 2009.

2. A course packet with a selection of book chapters and articles.

GOV F365N • Suicide Terrorism

84060 • Martin, N. Susanne
Meets MTWTHF 830am-1000am MEZ B0.306
(also listed as MES F341)
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N. Susanne Martin

Suicide Terrorism F365N

Summer 2015

University of Texas at Austin

 

 

Course Description:

Suicide attacks as a tactic of terrorism and warfare have captured widespread attention in recent years.  This attention follows in large part from the devastating ways in which suicide attacks have been employed, the lethality of these types of attacks, and concerns over how to counter their use.  In this course, students explore some of the most important questions in the study of suicide terrorism:  What is (and is not) suicide terrorism?  Where do these tactics originate?  Why and under what conditions do individuals and groups resort to suicide attacks?  How might these types of attacks be deterred?   Answers to each of these questions are the topics of debates in the study of suicide terrorism.  During this course, students will study historical and contemporary examples of the uses of suicide tactics and learn about the groups and individuals that have used them.  Drawing on discussions of the above questions and case studies, students will evaluate explanations for the uses of suicide tactics and explore issues associated with how to counter suicide terrorism.  Throughout the course, students will learn about the types of research being conducted in the study of suicide terrorism and the types of resources that are available to conduct this research.  Course objectives will be assessed through assignments, quizzes, and exams.  

Grading:

Assignments 15%

Quizzes 30%

Midterm exam 25%

Final exam 30%

Texts:

Assigned readings include online sources, primarily journal articles and book chapters available through the University of Texas Libraries, along with references to online sources, such as the U.S. State Department.  Most assigned texts will be available for download from the University of Texas Libraries website and/or Blackboard.

GOV S310L • American Government

84125
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am CLA 0.130
show description

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV S312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

84130
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am MEZ 1.306
show description

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV S314 • Intro M East: Adj/Chg Mod Tm

84135 • Bagheri, Golsheed
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm WAG 101
(also listed as HIS S306N, MES S301L)
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What is the modern Middle East? This course sets out to explore what constitutes the modern Middle East as it has developed from late 18th century to the present. The geographical scope includes the territories of the Ottoman Empire, Iran, and North Africa. We will discuss the emergence of Imperialism, Colonialism, Nationalism, Secularism, Postcolonialism, Religious Modernism, and Fundamentalism. We will identify the place of the Ottoman Legacy and the Arab-Israeli Conflict in shaping the modern Middle East. Other themes will revolve around the significance of the oil economy, Iran and the Middle East, and the "Arab Spring."

GOV S335M • Global Justice

84140 • Gregg, Benjamin
Meets MTWTHF 830am-1000am MEZ 2.124
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Summer 2015

 

INSTRUCTOR: Benjamin Gregg

 

GOV S335M

 

TITLE: Global Justice

 

Meets MTuWThF 8:30-10 in MEZ 2.124

 

DESCRIPTION: This seminar offers an overview of some of the most important writings on core issues of global justice today, including sovereignty, rights to self-determination, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, global poverty and international distributive justice, the social and legal status of women, terrorism, and human rights.

 

REQUIRED TEXT: The Global Justice Reader, ed. Thom Brooks (Blackwell Publishing, 2008)

 

EVALUATION: A student’s final grade will be the average of three essays, adjusted significantly for quality of in-class participation.

GOV S335N • Southern Political History

84145 • Enelow, James
Meets MTWTHF 100pm-230pm GAR 1.126
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The University of Texas at Austin                                                                                                      

Professor Jim Enelow                                                                                                                   

BAT 3.102, jenelow@austin.utexas.edu                                       

GOV 335N

Summer 2015

 

SOUTHERN POLITICAL HISTORY

 

Required Reading

 

Steve Bickerstaff, Lines in the Sand: Congressional Redistricting in Texas and the Downfall of Tom DeLay, University of Texas, 2007.

Earl Black and Merle Black, The Rise of Southern Republicans, Harvard University

 Press, 2002.

William J. Cooper, Jr. and Thomas E. Terrill, The American South: A History,

         Volumes I and II, Fourth Edition, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009

 

Description

 

The course will review Southern political history from the 1780s to the present. In the first part of the course, we review the events which transformed the South from a region of progressive nationalism from the 1780s to the 1810s to a region of defensive sectionalism from the 1820s to the 1860s. Touching briefly on the Civil War, we then take up Reconstruction and the agrarian movement of the late 19th century, followed by the period of the “Solid South” in the first half of the 20th century. Next we examine the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, followed by the rise of southern Republicans in the late 20th century. Lastly, we examine Texas’s congressional redistricting in 2003.

 

Exams and Grades

 

There will be three in-class, multiple-choice exams on the dates noted below. The exams are not cumulative. There is no final exam. The first two exams have 35 questions and the last one has 30 questions for a total of 100 points on all three exams. The raw scores on the three exams are added and the total raw scores are then curved to determine your final grade, approximating the following distribution: 30% A’s, 35% B’s, 20% C’s, 10% D’s, and 5% F’s. Plus and minus grades will be given for total raw scores falling just above or below the boundary lines between grades. There is no extra credit. A make-up exam (not multiple-choice) will be given only if an exam is missed for a valid reason.

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