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

Summer 2009

GOV S310L • American Government

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
84670 MTWThF
10:00 AM-11:30 AM
GAR 0.102

Course Description

This course is an introduction to United States and Texas government, governance, and politics. The course includes a framework for understanding the constitutional basis, processes, institutions, actors, politics, and policies of the United States and state governments. You will join the ranks of the more informed citizenry after the successful completion of this class. The course's essential theme is to understand broadly democracy’s ostensible promise as it manifests (and fails to manifest) in the US and Texas: the conversion of public opinion into laws and public policy through mass, elites, and governance. Students’ goals should therefore include broadly understanding of the history, actors, and institutions behind the creation of public policy in the US and the states—the evaluation of students is oriented around this goal.

Grading Policy

Student grades comprise two midterm examinations and a final examination (each including objective and subjective sections), random in-class quizzes, and a lab assignment on congressional redistricting.


Three Required Texts to Purchase (there are other online readings): Panagopoulos, Costas and Joshua Schank. 2008. All Roads Lead to Congress. Washington DC: CQ Press. Fiorina, Morris P., Paul E. Peterson, Bertram Johnson, and William G. Mayer. 2009. The New American Democracy (Alternate 6th Ed. or 6th Ed.). New York: Longman. (F&P) Cigler, Allan J. and Burdett A. Loomis. 2008. American Politics: Classic and Contemporary Readings (7th Ed.). New York: Houghton Mifflin. (C&L)


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