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

Spring 2006

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies in American Government - HON - W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
37605 MW
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
MEZ B0.306

Course Description

Contains a substantial writing component and fulfills part of the basic education requirement in writing. Offered on the letter-grade basis only. May be taken for credit only once. Fulfills second half of legislative requirement for government. Designed for and restricted to Liberal Arts Honors and Plan II students. American political discourse is impoverished. Citizens and politicians have lost the ability to intelligently talk about the fundamental features of American political life. This honors course seeks to address this political and educational pathology by introducing UT's top students to difficult problems of constitutional interpretation. Students are invited to adopt the perspective of one actually responsible for designing, maintaining, or improving a polity. From this perspective we address such questions as: How democratic is the American constitution? Must a democratic constitution be capitalistic, too? Does the separation of powers work in America? How does the Constitution secure rights? Should democratic leaders have unusual extra-constitutional powers in crises when the nation's security is threatened? What is a constitution? Who are the people that authorize the Constitution?

Grading Policy

4 analytical papers 1 in-class exam active participation in section


Tentative List: Rossiter, ed. The Federalist Papers Horwitz, ed. Moral Foundation of the American Republic Dahl, Robert. How Democratic is the American Constitution? Goldwin, Robert, ed. How Democratic is the Constitution? Wills, Gary. Lincoln at Gettyburg Tulis, Jeffrey. The Rhetorical Presidency Course packet of articles and primary resources


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