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

Spring 2008

GOV 312L • issues and Policies in American Government

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39200 MWF
1:00 PM-2:00 PM
MEZ 1.306
Moser, R

Course Description

This course will examine how international relations affect American politics through a detailed examination of the relationship between the United States and Russia. During the Cold War, stability and crisis in the international order were largely determined by the relationship between the two great superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. Now that the Cold War has ended and the Soviet Union has dissolved, the United States and the rest of the world faces new adversaries and challenges, in particular an emergent "war on terror." We will be comparing the current international environment with the Cold War in an attempt to make better sense of both eras. The course will be divided into three parts: 1) a historical examination of the origins and operating assumptions of the Cold War; 2) an examination of the end of the Cold War; and 3) an examination of the opportunities and challenges inherent in the post-Cold War world.

Grading Policy

Grades will be assigned as follows: First mid-term exam 20% Second mid-term exam 20% Third mid-term exam 20% Take-home essay 30% Participation 10% Participation will be determined by attendance (to be determined by sporadic in-class quizzes). Questions and comments are also welcomed during lecture.


Students are expected to do the readings the day they are assigned. The reading load is 50-100 pages per week. I have made efforts to distribute the reading equally but some issues necessarily required more reading than others. The lecture and reading schedule has been made as specific as possible to give the course structure and direction. However, realize that this schedule is subject to change to accommodate extended discussion of matters of interest for the class. Films shown in class are an integral part of the course and should be treated as such.


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