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

Marco Paoli

BA, University of Toronto

Contact

Interests

Political Theory, International Relations

GOV F312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

84791 • Summer 2014
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm CAL 100
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COURSE DESCRIPTION

 

Contemporary American politics is often viewed as “ideological” and “partisan”: a contest between liberals represented by the Democratic Party and conservatives represented by the Republican Party. For most of us, our first impressions about politics are formed by identifying with (or against) one of these factions and many people’s understanding of politics will be filtered through that lens for their entire lives. Contemporary ideological divisions are, however, only a recent development in a much older revolution in politics – the experiment with liberal democratic government which was initially proposed by the philosophy of the European Enlightenment, and which was then put into practice through the founding of the United States. The political ideologies which we now call “liberal” or “conservative” are primarily just competing interpretations of this earlier, foundational idea of liberalism; even critics of that idea rarely reject it altogether. Thus, in order to understand what is at stake in contemporary ideological debates, we need to understand their relationship to much older arguments about the nature and purpose of government. That will be our task in this course.

 

GRADING POLICY  

 

Three in-class exams (at least one of which will include the option to write an in-class essay or a take-home version), and an attendance/participation component (which will include in-class quizzes). 

 

TEXTS  

 

Locke. Second Treatise of Government.

Tocqueville. Democracy in America.

 

PREREQUISITE  

 

GOV 310L

 

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

39030 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm UTC 3.102
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 Requirements:

 

GOV 310 or equivalent credit

 

Course Description:

 

“In the beginning,” John Locke observed, “all the world was America.” For Locke seventeenth century America presented the world with an example of the state of nature, where individuals enjoyed and suffered a condition of natural freedom. Over a century later, Alexis de Tocqueville located the natural consequences of the age of democratic revolution in America: “I admit that I saw in America more than America; it was the shape of democracy itself which I sought, its inclinations, character, prejudices, and passions; I wanted to understand it so as at least to know what we have to fear or hope.” For Locke and Tocqueville and many more, America is both exemplary and exceptional; it has significance not only for itself and its citizens but for all of humanity. So we too turn to the political thought of America, not simply because it is ours but in order to better grasp the meaning and fate of liberal democracy; we follow Alexander Hamilton in asking “whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force.”

 

 Grading Policy: 

 

Two short essays, 15% each

Take home final exam 35%

Attendance 10%

Reading Quizzes 25%

 

Texts: All readings are in the public domain, and will be distributed electronically. 

GOV 310L • American Government-Honors

39055 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm MEZ 1.102
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Course Description  

This course provides an introduction to American politics.  The course topics include an introduction to America’s constitutional foundations, the relationship between the mass public and politics (public opinion and participation), the role of intermediary organizations (interest groups, media, parties), and the function of institutions (Congress, Presidency, Courts).  In addition to mastering a set of basic facts about American government, students will learn theories addressing “big questions” in American politics, and will explore critical assessments of the evidence brought to bear on these questions.  Some of these topics will also be examined in the context of Texas politics.    

 

Grading Policy  

90%:3 in class exams(30% each)

10%: Participation    

 

Texts

American Politics Today 3e PA by Bianco & Canon, Norton ISBN: 978-0-393-91326-2

GOV F312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

85075 • Summer 2013
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am CLA 0.112
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In the beginning,” John Locke observed, “all the world was America.” For Locke seventeenth century America presented the world with an example of the state of nature, where individuals enjoyed and suffered a condition of natural freedom. Over a century later, Alexis de Tocqueville located the natural consequences of the age of democratic revolution in America: “I admit that I saw in America more than America; it was the shape of democracy itself which I sought, its inclinations, character, prejudices, and passions; I wanted to understand it so as at least to know what we have to fear or hope.” For Locke and Tocqueville and many more, America is both exemplary and exceptional; it has significance not only for itself and its citizens but for all of humanity. So we too turn to the political thought of America, not simply because it is ours but in order to better grasp the meaning and fate of liberal democracy; we follow Alexander Hamilton in asking “whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force.”

 

Short essay 25%

Option 1

A 3-4 page analytical paper selected from topics to be distributed during the first week of class. Due in hard copy in my hand at the beginning of class on June 12th

 

Option 2

A 3-4 page analytical paper selected from topics to be distributed during the seventh week of class. Due in hard copy in my hand at the beginning of class on June 2st

 

Take home final exam 35%

An 5-6 page take home final, consisting of an analytical essay on a topic of your choosing from a list of several topics. Questions to be distributed on the second to last Friday of class, exams are due electronically no later than 5pm on the first day of the final exam period.

 

Attendance and participation 40%

Attendance will be taken daily and will constitute 15% of your final grade. You will begin with a perfect grade: after one unexcused absence each subsequent unexcused absence will drop your grade by three points. This means that six unexcused absences will result in a grade of zero out of fifteen. Participation will be assessed through six quizzes administered throughout the semester. Your best 5 quizzes will be worth 25% of your grade. If you miss a quiz due to an unexcused absence you may retake the quiz at a later date by paying a penalty of three points on that quiz.

 

Grading policies

Plus and minus grades will be used in the final grades. No extensions will be granted on written work except with good cause. You yourself may purchase an extension at a cost of 3 percent plus 2 percent per calendar day. This penalty will attach to all late papers unaccompanied by a doctor's note. No further late papers will be accepted once your classmates’ papers have been returned to them. If you fail to turn in your final exam before the grade deadline you will receive a grade of zero on the final. In the case of medical emergency or personal tragedy contact me as soon as possible.

 

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

38744 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm UTC 3.102
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See syllabus

GOV F312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

85297 • Summer 2012
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm WEL 2.308
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Prerequisites 

GOV310

 

Course Description 

“In the beginning,” John Locke observed, “all the world was America.” For Locke seventeenth century America presented the world with an example of the state of nature, where individuals enjoyed and suffered a condition of natural freedom. Over a century later, Alexis de Tocqueville located the natural consequences of the age of democratic revolution in America: “I admit that I saw in America more than America; it was the shape of democracy itself which I sought, its inclinations, character, prejudices, and passions; I wanted to understand it so as at least to know what we have to fear or hope.” For Locke and Tocqueville and many more, America is both exemplary and exceptional; it has significance not only for itself and its citizens but for all of humanity. So we too turn to the political thought of America, not simply because it is ours but in order to better grasp the meaning and fate of liberal democracy; we follow Alexander Hamilton in asking “whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force.”

 

Grading Policy 

Attendance: 15%

Quizzes: 25%

Essay: 25%

Final exam: 35%

 

Texts

Course reader, available at Jenn’s Copying and Binding

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

38546 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm PAR 301
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see syllabus

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

38640 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 900am-1000am MEZ 1.306
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INSTRUCTOR IS NOT MATTHEW WRIGHT. NEW INSTRUCTOR MARCO PAOLI.

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