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

Summer 2007

GOV F310L • American Government

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
86020 MTWThF
10:00 AM-11:30 AM
ART 1.102

Course Description

This is an introductory, nuts-and-bolts survey of the basics of the American and Texas political systems. Topics include ideology, freedom of expression, voting, parties, interest groups, legislatures, executives, courts, bureaucracy, and implementation. Various public policy issues will be examined as examples to illustrate conceptual points. My lectures are the principal source of information for the course, but you will also be assigned chapters from American and Texas politics textbooks. The purpose of this course is not only to provide useful information and a point of view with which to understand politics in the state and the nation. I am an explicitly normative teacher; that is, I try to supply students with the ideal of a democratic polity as well as the reality of the system, in order that they may compare the reality with the ideal and evaluate the results. In other words, I hope to help my students become better citizens.

Grading Policy

1. Three tests, each consisting of twenty-five multiple choice questions (two points each) and ten short-answer questions (five points each). 2. At the end of the semester, I will average the three test scores. An average of 90 or higher will earn an "A," and average of 80 to 89.7 will earn a B, an average of 60 to 79.7 will earn a C, and an average of 50 to 59.7 will earn a D. People who have missed one or more of the three assignments, or who average below 50, will receive an F.

3. I may make some minor adjustments in the final averages, for a small number of students, to reflect class participation.


1. Bond, Smith, and Watson, Promise and Performance of American Democracy, 7th edition 2. Kraemer, Newell, and Prindle, Essentials of Texas Politics, 9th ed.


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