GOV 312L • Issues and Policies in American Government
1:00 PM-2:00 PM
Fulfills second half of legislative requirement for government. Offered on the letter-grade basis only. May be taken for credit only once. Poverty and politics deals with questions concerning what poverty is and why it exists, with welfare policies in the US and Texas, and with poverty and politics in the Third World. The course assumes the basic knowledge of governnment from GOV 310L, but nothing more. Questions concerning the nature and cause of poverty and what to do about it are by definition controversial and subject to much debate. This course does not presume that either the instructor or the readings has The Answer to such questions. Rather, it is to identify the major schools of debate around such questions and for you to think about them. If you believe that you have already decided how you feel about poverty, the course may provoke you to think again; if you have never given the question any thought, the course may provoke you into thinking about such questions.
Attendance is strongly recommended and can make a clear difference at the end of the semester. Indeed, failure to attend class will lower your grade. On the other hand, active participation in class can raise your grade if you are borderline Grades are drawn from: 2 in-class exams and a final exam; each counts a third.
Dinitto, Social Welfare: Politics and Public Policy, 6th ed. (2005) Isbister, Promises Not Kept, 6th ed. (2003) Kozol, Rachel and Her Children (1998) Rodgers, American Poverty in a New Era of Reform (2000)