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

Fall 2008

GOV 310L • American Government

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39270 MW
F
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
ETC 2.108
JES A216A
Casellas, J

Course Description

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.

Grading Policy

Grades will be computed as follows: Exam I (February 16) 20% Exam II (March 30) 30% Exam III (May 4) 35% Attendance/Section Performance 15% Total 100% The following scale will be used to calculate final grades: 90-100 = A 80- 89 = B 70-79 = C 60-69 = D 0- 59 = F

Texts

Wilson, James Q. and John J. DiIulio, Jr. 2007. American Government: Institutions and Policies, The Essentials. (Eleventh Edition). Houghton Mifflin Publishers. University of Texas at Austin Online Project Texas Government Website http://texaspolitics.laits.utexas.edu/

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