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

Fall 2006

GOV 381L • Money in US Politics

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39940 TH
3:30 PM-6:30 PM
BAT 1.104

Course Description

Graduate standing required. Consent of the graduate adviser must be obtainted. Course number may be repeated for credit when topics vary. This course explores the nature and consequences of money in American politics and why, at this point in history, we find ourselves embroiled in the most significant debate over campaign finance reform in over thirty years. The debate goes to the heart of the U.S. Constitution, pitting the First Amendment rights of speech and assembly against the perceived fairness and efficacy of a republican government awash, some claim, in increasingly unaccountable money. We examine the work of historians, social scientists, legal scholars, and interested parties on all sides of the debate in an effort not only to assess current policy debates but also to understand how we got here.

Grading Policy

Preparation & participation One major research paper Bi-weekly assignments (e.g., case studies, data gathering & analysis, position papers).


In addition to a significant number of academic articles there are three required books: Corrado, Anthony, et al. The New Campaign Finance Sourcebook. 2005. Washington, D.C.: Brookings McChesney, Fred. Money For Nothing: Politicians, Rent Extraction, and Political Extortion. 1997. Cambridge: Harvard University Press Urofsky, Melvin. Money & Free Speech. 2005. University of Kansas Press


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