GOV 310L • American Government
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
Fulfills first half of legislative requirement for 6 hours of American government. The basic goal of this course is to develop our understanding of and ability to think critically and creatively about American politics, so that we can be critical consumers of media accounts of politics and effective participants in politics should we choose to do so. The course will focus on disputes among political actors and among experts over a wide variety of issues, ranging from how government really works to what policies should be adopted to deal with major public problems. We will examine the operation of major American institutions (the presidency, the Congress, the courts, the bureaucracy), examining the inputs into their operations (voters and other activists, parties, interest groups, public opinion, and the mass media), and the outputs (civil liberties, civil rights, and the public policy in areas such as public education, distributive justice, the economy, energy, and foreign affairs). Some of these topics will be examined in the context of Texas politics.
Two in class Exams and a Final Exam
A basic text (to be selected) and The New York Times (Monday - Friday)