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

Spring 2007

GOV 310L • American Government

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
38550 MW
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
MEZ 1.306
WAG 308

Course Description

Fulfills first half legislative requirement for government (three of six credit hours). This course will examine the foundations, principles, institutions, and processes of American government. Through the examination of the Constitution, federalism, and the American creed, we will gain an appreciation for the political institutions that have sustained the United States for more than two hundred years. We will examine in detail the characteristics of the three major branches of government, and how separation of powers has worked and works in today's polity. We will then discuss the various extra-governmental institutions, which have an influence on governmental decisions, such as interest groups, political parties, and the media. Finally, we will explore American elections, political participation, and public opinion in order to better understand the processes which give American politics its very life. The course will conclude with a discussion of domestic and foreign policy, with reference to current political events.


Required: Wilson, James Q. and John J. DiIulio, Jr. 2006. American Government (Tenth Edition). Houghton Mifflin Publishers. Fiorina, Morris P. et al. 2005. Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America. New York: Longman Publishers. Recommended: Hamilton, Alexander, James Madison, and John Jay. 1961. The Federalist Papers ed. Clinton Rossiter. Penguin Mentor: New York. Other readings will be journal articles, or selected chapters from other books (Electronic Reserves).


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