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

Spring 2006

GOV 381J • Political Institutions and Processes

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
38105 W
3:30 PM-6:30 PM
BUR 128

Course Description

Graduate standing required. This seminar introduces graduate students to the study of American politics and government. The course reviews both current and classic scholarship in issues in American political science, and covers a wide scope, from topics such as democracy and the political system as a whole, to particular institutions such as political parties and the judiciary.

Grading Policy

Grades are based on papers, no more than 8-10 pages each (15 percent for the first paper and then 20 percent for the next two), a take-home final exam (30 percent), regular class participation (10 percent), and an in-class presentation (5 percent). The class presentations should do two things: first, briefly summarize the principal points of the reading, and second, analyze the readings. For example: Where are they most helpful? How do they extend beyond the previously assigned readings? How would you improve upon them? As seminar course, all students are expected to participate in the class. Class discussion will be supplemented by lecture.


Aldrich, John. Why Parties? Chicago, 1996. Eliasoph, Nina. Avoiding Politics. Cambridge, 1998 Entman, Robert and A. Rojecki, Black Image in the White Mind. Chicago, 2000. Fiorina, Morris, Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America. Longman, 2004. Frymer, Paul. Uneasy Alliances. Princeton, 1999. Jones, Bryan. Politics and the Architecture of Choice. Chicago, 2001. Katznelson, Ira. When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America Norton, 2005. McCloskey, Robert. The American Supreme Court 3rd Ed. Chicago, 2000. Orren, Karen and Stephen Skowronek. Search for American Political Development. Cambridge, 2004. Popkin, Samuel. The Reasoning Voter. Chicago, 1991. Schickler, Eric. Disjointed Pluralism: Institutional Innovation and the Development of the U.S. Congress. Princeton, 2001.


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