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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
39305 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
MEZ 1.306
Jessee, S

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to American government and politics. Topics include the structure of government, theories of electoral campaigns, public opinion and legislator behavior. The course will be a lecture format, but feel free to ask questions if anything is unclear. Because of the size of the course, though, discussion will be kept to a minimum. While the course material is introductory in nature, I also hope that throughout the semester you will come to understand what it means to be a political scientist and to do political science research. With this aim, we will be discussing not only basic structures, rules and concepts in the American political system, but also looking at theories, hypotheses and evidence in the study of politics.

Grading Policy

The course will include four exams, which will likely be comprised of multiple-choice and short answer questions, with some essay questions possible as well. The exams are not cumulative and there will be no final exam. The final grade for the course will be determined by the following formula: First Exam Date TBD 20% Second Exam Date TBD 20% Third Exam Date TBD 25% Fourth Exam Date TBD 25% Participation --- 10%


Required Texts: "The New American Democracy, 5th Edition", Fiorina, Peterson et al. The Lanahan Readings in the American Polity, 4th Edition, edited by Serrow and Ladd While the bulk of the readings will come from these texts, the instructor reserves the right to assign other materials such as newspaper or journal articles in the future.


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