The Department of Government
The Department of Government

GOV 310L • American Government

37575 • Prindle, David
Meets TTH 800am-930am GAR 0.102
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Course Description, Fall, 2015

Gov. 310L, "Introduction to American and Texas Politics"

Professor David Prindle


Statement of Purpose


                        The purpose of this course is not only to provide useful information and a point of view with which to understand politics in the state and the nation.  I am an explicitly normative teacher; that is, I try to supply students with the ideal of a democratic polity as well as the reality of the system, in order that they may compare the reality with the ideal and evaluate the results.  In other words, I hope to help my students to become better citizens.




            Students must have one semester’s worth of credit before they are allowed to enroll for this class.  That is, a freshman can enroll, but not until after his or her first semester at UT.


Assigned Reading


American Government and Politics Today, 2014-2015 Brief ed. by Steffen Schmidt,       

    Mack Shelley, and Barbara Bardes


Texas Politics, 13th ed., by Charldean Newell, David Prindle, and James Riddlesperger


    There is a variety of ways to purchase these two books:


    1. In printed form, they are available as a “streamlined custom text” at the Co-op. This single volume consists of selected chapters from the two textbooks that are substantially discounted. You can also buy the whole printed books off the Cengage Website, but

you will pay more than for the custom package at the Co-op.

   2. Virtually, they are available as e-books on the Cengage Publisher Website.  This way is substantially cheaper than buying the paper copy.



Grading Policy


            There are three tests in this class, the score on each of which, in general, counts one third of your grade.  For a few students, I may make some minor adjustments in these averages to reflect class participation. Here are the average numerical grades, and their corresponding letter grades:

A:               92.3 or higher

A minus:     90 to 92

B plus:        88 to 89.7

B:               82.3 to 87.7

B minus:     80 to 82

C plus:        78 to 79.7

C:               62.3 to 77.7

C minus:     60 to 62

D:              50 to 59.7

F:               Below 50


            People who have missed one or more of the three assignments, in addition to those who average below 50, will receive an “F.”  I may make some minor adjustments in these averages to reflect class participation.

GOV 310L • American Government

37580 • Rhodes-Purdy, Matthew
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm CLA 1.104
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This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 310L • American Government

37585 • Hardee, Benjamin
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 203
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This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 310L • American Government

37590 • Corral, Alvaro
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm CLA 0.128
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This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 310L • American Government

37595 • McDaniel, Eric
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am WEL 2.246
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This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 310L • American Government

37600 • O'Brien, Shannon Bow
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm GSB 2.126
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Course Description:

This course is an introduction to American Government. It is designed to give you a basic idea of the functions, activities, and interactions of our federal system. Our government is a dynamic entity that has evolved over time and shaped by both internal and external forces. The goal of this class is to provide you with tools to understand American Institutions.  Through learning the duties, powers, and limitations of government, you can better appreciate the impact of current events upon America.  This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the American and Texas government component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, personal responsibility, and social responsibility.

GOV 310L • American Government

37611 • Lamm, Jennifer E.
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm MEZ B0.306
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This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 310L • American Government

37612-37613 • Theriault, Sean
Meets MW 230pm-400pm
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A basic survey of American government, including fundamental political institutions, federal, state, and local; special attention to the United States and Texas Constitutions. Part of a six-semester-hour integrated sequence, the second half of which is Government 312L. Fulfills first half of legislative requirement for government.  

Prerequisite: Twelve semester hours of college coursework and a passing score on the reading section of the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) test (or an appropriate assessment test).  

Designed to accommodate 800 or more students. Course meets online during scheduled class times and includes a live-streaming video component. Students are encouraged to visit to test their computer and network connection and learn about the course structure.

GOV 310L • American Government

37614 • Leal, David L.
Meets TTH 930am-1100am GAR 0.102
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Course Description

This course will introduce you to the government and politics of the United States and Texas.  We will cover U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.  The class begins with the creation of the nation and its fundamental features, including the adoption of the Constitution, the development of democracy, and the importance of federalism.  The class then examines public input into the political system, particularly public opinion, individual and group participation, and the political parties.  Public input is nowhere better found than in congressional and presidential elections, which are separately discussed.  In fact, the main textbook of the class argues that American government can only be fully understood by studying the central role of elections. We then explore the basic institutional building blocks of government – the Congress, presidency, bureaucracy, and courts, as well as the media.  We continue by discussing fundamental civil liberties and civil rights, followed by the key policy issues that face national, state, and local governments today.  The class will also cover the central features of Texas government and politics and make frequent comparisons between American government and Texas government. 


Grading Policy

First midterm: 30%

Second midterm: 32%

Third exam: 33%. 

Essay: 5%



Morris P. Fiorina, Paul E. Peterson, Bertram Johnson, and William G. Mayer.  The New American Democracy (either 7th edition, 2011, or the most recent version).

GOV 310L • American Government-Honors

37615 • Tulis, Jeffrey
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BEN 1.106
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GOV 310 (Honors) (37615)

Fall 2015

TTH 2-3:30/BEN 1.106


Introduction to American Politics


This honors seminar offers an introduction to American politics that emphasizes the confluence of ideas, mores, institutions, and interests, in the constitutional system. This course covers more theory, and the readings are more demanding, than other versions of GOV 310. 


One of the main objectives of the course is to deepen your understanding of the practical aspects of contemporary public affairs by developing your ability to understand the theoretical foundations of American politics.  Although we cover the nuts and bolts of politics there is much more theory in this version of GOV 310. If you have registered for this section mainly because 310 is a legislative requirement that you need to fulfill, this is not the right version for you.  There is a substantial workload in this class.


Regular attendance, thorough and timely preparation, and active participation are all necessary to do well.


Course requirements:


  1. Four essays (approximately 1000 words each).  Three of these will be assigned analytic essay topics. The last will be a book review of a title chosen by the student from a long list of provided possibilities.   (15% each essay, 60% of total course grade)


  1. Two in-class tests. These will count 15% each, 30% of total course grade.


  1. Class participation. (10% of course grade).  Both informed participation and occasional leadership of the seminar will be graded.


No make-up exams or late papers, except for documented medical or other emergencies.


Texts: (tentative)

Mark Landy and Sidney M. Milkis, American Government: Enduring Principles, Critical Choices, Third Edition

Mary Nichols and David Nichols, Readings in American Government, Ninth Edition

Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, Its Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism

Bruce Ackerman,Before the Next Attack: Preserving Civil Liberties in an Age of Terrorism

GOV 312L • Iss & Policies In Amer Gov-Hon

37620 • Wellhausen, Rachel
Meets TTH 930am-1100am MEZ B0.302
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GOV 312 with Writing Flag • US in the World Economy

This course explores the changing role of the United States in the world economy over the last 100 years and the consequences for American politics today. Some of the key issues to be considered include: Is globalization really a new phenomenon, and is it irreversible? How does the US interact with developing countries in an interconnected global economy? What role does politics play in shaping the US’s economic trajectory? Course requirements include in-class assignments and two essays that will be substantially revised and expanded throughout the semester. No prerequisites are required.

Grading Policy:

In-class quizzes and activities                      20%

Peer review                                                   10%

Essay 1: First draft                                        10%

Essay 1: Final draft                                       20%

Essay 2: First draft                                        20%

Essay 2: Final draft                                       20%



Jeffry Frieden (2006). Global Capitalism: Its Fall and Rise in the Twentieth Century.

Pietra Rivoli (2009). The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade.

Tyler Cowen (2011). The Great Stagnation. 

GOV 312L • Iss & Policies In Amer Gov-Wb

37623-37624 • Moser, Robert
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GOV 312L:  US Foreign Policy


Since its founding, the United States has played a central role in shaping the larger international political order.  American victories in World War I, World War II, and the Cold War coupled with its support for democracy and open global markets stand at the heart of this legacy.  At the same time, external pressures in the form of war, globalization, and the spread of transnational ideological movements have stressed American institutions and shaped an evolving American national identity.  This course explores this mutually interactive relationship by examining the making of American foreign policy over the past two centuries more broadly.  It explores such topics as American entry into World Wars I and II, the role of Congress in foreign policy making, the construction of the national security state in the twentieth century, competing partisan conceptions of America’s national interest, the Cold War, nuclear deterrence and proliferation, territorial expansion, trade liberalization, nation building, humanitarian intervention, and more recent challenges like terrorism.  As part of this broad overview, the course will also explore the moral and ethical dilemmas of many foreign policy challenges faced by the United States. Should the United States ever use torture when combatting its enemies?  Does the U.S. have an interest or even an obligation to promote democracy abroad?  When is military intervention justified?  What is our moral obligation to address global warming?


This course fulfills the second half of legislative requirement for government and may be counted toward the ethics and leadership flag requirement. May be taken for credit only once.  


Designed to accommodate 800 or more students. Course meets ONLINE delivered through MODULES, which are short pre-recorded lecture segments and associated activities delivered through canvas.  Modules are completed ON-DEMAND by students when their schedule allows.  However, students are REQUIRED to complete a pre-set number of modules and their associated activities by pre-determined deadlines every week.  Students will also take three (3) IN-PERSON exams at pre-determined dates and locations.  Finally, there will be one (1) take-home essay due on a specific date.   



Students are encouraged to visit  to test their computer and network connection and learn about the course structure.


Grading Policy:


Module quizzes/exercises:             15%

Exam 1:                                     20%

Exam 2:                                     20%

Exam 3:                                     20%

Take-home essay:                        25%


Required Textbook:


  • TBD


GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

37630 • Enelow, James
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm UTC 2.102A
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Prerequisites: none


Course Description:


Texas political history from the 16th to the 20th century, beginning with Spanish Texas and ending with the Republican ascendancy in the 1990s.


Grading Policy: 3 in-class multiple-choice exams. The scores on the 3 exams will be added together to determine your final grade. No final exam and no extra credit.


Text: Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State by Randolph Campbell, Oxford 2nd edition, 2012.

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

37635 • Stauffer, Dana
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm MEZ 1.306
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GOV312L Issues and Policies in American Government

Professor Dana Stauffer


The focus of this course is the most famous book ever written on American politics, Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. The wide-ranging insights of this classic work  speak not only to American political life and culture, but also to race, class, the family, friendship, and the state of the American soul. We will read as much of the two-volume work as possible, focusing particular attention on its main themes, such as the American love of equality, the importance of local government, the perils of American materialism, and the dangers of tyranny of the majority. We will discuss his observations on American religion, ambition, intellectual life, family life, and the relations between the sexes. We will consider such questions as: What are the sources—intellectual, cultural, and social—of American’s political outlook? What are the strengths and weaknesses of American democracy? What can the world learn from American democracy, and what can legislators and citizens do to ensure that it remains healthy and vibrant? What is the relationship between democracy and freedom? In the latter part of the course, we will examine the ways in which Tocqueville’s predictions have and have not been borne out. Now over a century and a quarter old, Tocqueville’s analysis remains surprisingly accurate and surprisingly relevant.


This course fulfills the second half of the legislative requirement for government.


Requirements: A mid-term exam, an optional paper, a final exam, and quizzes. Class participation is taken into consideration and attendance counts.



Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville, Volumes I and II, Vintage Classics edition


A Course Reader

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

37655 • Budziszewski, J.
Meets MW 330pm-500pm MEZ 1.306
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Fall 2015:

GOV 312L, Issues and Policies in American Government:


                                                                      Professor Budziszewski


Unique number:       37655

Lecture times:           3:30-4:45pm

Lecture place:           MEZ 1.306


Professor:                  J. Budziszewski <>

Prof's office hours:   M Noon-3:00pm

Prof’s office:              MEZ 3.106

Prof’s email:   

Prof’s office phone:  232-7229; does not take messages; email strongly preferred


Teaching assistant:  TBA

TA’s office hours:     TBA

TA’s office:                TBA

TA’s email:               TBA

TA’s office phone:    TBA


Course website:        Some things will be posted to Canvas.  You’ll find other things at my personal website:  Go to and scroll down to the section “Other Things My Students May Need.”


Substantial writing component.  Fulfills second half of legislative requirement for 6 hours of American Government.




Americans are often said to be obsessed with their Constitution.  So be it; but then it behooves us to know something about it.  The approach taken in this course is to return to the early debates surrounding its writing and ratification.  We make no use at all of textbooks; rather we study the political thinking of the early Americans in their own words.


Another old saw is that history is written by the winners.  However, this is not be a course in winner-worship:  Equal attention and respect are given, on the one hand, to those who wrote the Constitution and argued for its ratification, and on the other, to those who argued against it or demanded sweeping changes in its content.  There are several good reasons for such evenhandedness.  One is that, for all we know, the losers might have been right.  Another is that they might have had some influence on the winners.  Still a third is that we can't fully understand the arguments by which the winners won unless we understand what they were arguing against.


Having spoken of history, I should now admit that this is not a "history course" in the ordinary sense.  Rather it is a course in early American political thought -- in political theory and philosophy.  Another thing that you should understand is that this course puts heavy emphasis on the development of skills in interpretive reading, critical thinking, and analytical writing.  For instance, it doesn't matter that you can read what a writer has written and figure out what he believes.  What matters is whether you can learn to figure out why he believes it, and how it is logically related to other things he believes.  In other words, when you read you are expected to look for arguments, not just propositions.





Unit 1: Required analytical outline.


Unit 2:  Required take-home essay.  Extra credit for analytical outline.


Unit 3:  Required take-home essay.  Extra credit for analytical outline.


Thirteen short quizzes.


Final grades are calculated in four steps.  First, each student's TWO lowest quiz grades are dropped, and remaining quiz grades averaged.  Second, this average is "curved."  Third, the uncurved exam grades and the curved quiz average are weighted, as follows:


            Unit 1 analytical outlines                                                                    25%

            Unit 2 take-home exam (uncurved, counting extra credit points)       25%

            Unit 3 take-home exam (uncurved, counting extra credit points)       25%

            Curved quiz average                                                                            25%


Class participation and attendance modify grades.  Scholastic dishonesty results in a failing grade for the course.


See the “Other things my students may need” section at the bottom of the Teaching page at my personal website: , especially the course policies in the FAQ, which I expect you to know.




The following required books have been ordered.  Each book must be purchased.  Always bring with you to class the books we are using at the moment.


1. Ralph Ketcham, ed., The Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates, excerpts.


2. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, The Federalist, excerpts.


3. Herbert J. Storing, ed., with Murray Dry, The Anti-Federalist, excerpts.

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

37660 • Philpot, Tasha
Meets TTH 930am-1100am MEZ B0.306
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Issues and Polices in American Government: Race, Media, and Politics

GOV 312L



This course examines the ways in which the media shape how we think about race. In doing so, this course will first explore the nature and construction of race. Second, it will examine the media establishment and its role in politics. Third, it will apply theories of media norms to explore how racial stereotypes of the four largest minority groups in the U.S. are created and perpetuated. Finally, this course will examine the effects of racialized media images on political processes.


This course carries the flag for Cultural Diversity in the United States. Cultural Diversity courses are designed to increase your familiarity with the variety and richness of the American cultural experience. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one U.S. cultural group that has experienced persistent marginalization.




Twenty-four semester hours of college coursework, including Government 310L, and a passing score on the reading section of the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) test (or an appropriate assessment test).


Required Text Books


There are two required text books for this course. Both books are available at the University Co-op.


Wilson II, Clint C., Felix Gutierrez, and Lena M. Chao.  2012.  Racism, Sexism and the Media: The Rise of Class Communication in Multicultural America, 4th Ed.  Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.


Graber, Doris A and Johanna Dunaway.  2014.  Mass Media and American Politics, 9nd Ed.  Washington, DC: CQ Press.




Exam 1                                                            25%

Exam 2                                                            25%

Exam 3                                                            25%

Quizzes and in-class assignments                       25%

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

37664 • Chapman, Terrence
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CLA 0.130
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Gov 312: America and the World


This course provides a basic and broad introduction to U.S. foreign policy and international relations theory.   The course covers classic approaches to studying international relations and foreign policy and deals with issues areas ranging from military intervention, terrorism, and international law to international trade, finance, and environmental cooperation. 


Prerequisites: none




3 exams: 25% each


Weekly quizzes: 25% in total


Textbook: Jon Pevehouse and Joshua Goldstein, International Relations, 10th edition


Various journal articles and news items, available electronically on blackboard.



Terrence Chapman

Associate Professor

Department of Government

The University of Texas at Austin

Batts Hall 3.104


BookSecuring Approval: Domestic Politics and Multilateral Authorization for War


Recent Articles:

"The Domestic Politics of Strategic Retrenchment, Power Shifts, and Preventive War," International Studies Quarterly


"Mixed Signals: IMF Lending and Capital Markets," British Journal of Political Science

GOV 312P • Constitutnl Prins: Core Texts

37670 • Dempsey, Erik
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm PAR 303
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GOV 312P: Constitutional Principles: Core Texts


Prerequisites: GOV310 or equivalent


This class is a study of the basic principles of American political life: Democracy, equality, and liberty.  Through a close reading of core texts of the American political tradition, we will attempt to see how these ideals took hold in the US, what arguments were made on their behalf, and what possible pitfalls there are for a society dedicated to those ideals.  We’ll be looking the ethical questions involve when leaders seek to put those ideas into practice.


The course will proceed entirely through a close reading of primary sources. We’ll have units on the ratification debate, on religion, on Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, and on race. The class will close with a study of Abraham Lincoln’s political thought, in which we will explore how Lincoln’s answers to the main questions we’ve been asking throughout the semester.


This class carries a “Cultural Diversity in the US” flag. In our unit on race, we will explore African American political thought by reading the writings of Frederick Douglass, Booker T Washington, WEB Du Bois, Martin Luther King, and James Baldwin.  We’ll see how they wrestled with the question of what American principles mean to people who have suffered under slavery.


This course also carries an “Ethics and Leadership” flag. Throughout the course, we will consider the options faced by great American leaders, and discuss the reasons that they took the actions that they did, and whether they were right to do so.


Grading Policy:


50%: Two medium length papers

30%: Cumulative final exam

10%: Quizzes and paper reviews

10%: Attendance and participation




1. Course Packet, available in Co-Op Bookstore

2. Hamilton, Madison, Jay. The Federalist Papers.  Introduction by Charles Kesler, edited by Clinton Rossiter. Signet Classics.  ISBN 0451528816.

3. The Anti-Federalist: An Abridgement. Edited by Herbert Storing, selected by Murray Dry. The University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226775658.

4. John Locke, Letter Concerning Toleration. Hackett Publishing Company. ISBN 091514560X.

5. Alexis de Tocqueville. Democracy in America. Trans. Harvey Mansfield. The University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226805360.

6. Frederick Douglass. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Signet Classics. ISBN 0756967104.

7. Booker T Washington. Up From Slavery. Dover Classics. ISBN 0486287386.

8. WEB DuBois. The Souls of Black Folk. Dover Classics. ISBN 0486280411.

9. James Baldwin. Notes of a Native Son. Beacon Press. ISBN 0807006238.

10. James Baldwin. The Fire Next Time. Vintage. ISBN 067974472X.

GOV 312P • Constitutnl Prins: Core Texts

37674 • Ives, Anthony
Meets MWF 900am-1000am CLA 1.102
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Close readings from primary texts that have shaped or that reflect deeply upon American democracy, including the Declaration of Independance, the Federalist Papers, and Tocqueville's Democracy in America.  Fulfills second half of the legislative requirement for government. May be taken for credit only once. Government 312R and 312P may not both be counted for credit.

GOV 314 • Math Methods:political Science

37675 • Enelow, James
Meets MW 300pm-430pm MEZ 2.124
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Prerequisites:  none


Course Description: A problem-solving course with real-world applications covering the following topics: algebraic concepts, linear equations and functions, quadratic functions, matrices, probability, and data description.


Grading Policy: 3 in-class multiple choice exams and 3 quizzes. The scores on the exams and quizzes will be added together to determine your final grade. No final exam and one quiz may be used for extra credit.


Text: Mathematical Applications for the Management, Life, and Social Sciences by Ronald Harshbarger and James Reynolds, Custom 10th edition for the University of Texas at Austin, Cengage Learning 2014

GOV 314 • Classics Of Socl/Polit Thou

37683 • Liebeskind, Louise
Meets TTH 930am-1100am GAR 3.116
(also listed as CTI 302)
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CTI 302 Classics of Social and Political Thought

Louise Liebeskind

TTH 930-1100 in GAR 3.116


This course will explore the changing role of human psychology in the history of political thought through the study of classic texts in philosophy and psychology. In roughly chronological order, we will examine several key philosophers’ accounts of the deepest yearnings of the human soul, and the potential for political life to fulfill those yearnings, noting the dramatic changes between the ancient, medieval, early modern, and late modern periods. In the final section of the course, we will study Darwin’s evolutionary theory of human mental faculties in The Descent of Man, Freud’s theory of unconscious psychological drives, and current theories of evolutionary psychology. We will discuss how these developments in our understanding of the origin and character of human mental phenomena affect the place of psychological study in political thought.


We will read selections from the following works:


Plato The Republic, The Symposium

St. Augustine  The Confessions, City of God

Hobbes The Leviathan

Rousseau Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil

Darwin The Descent of Man

Freud Civilization and its Discontents

And selected articles on evolutionary psychology




Weekly posts on a discussion forum in Canvas discussing the week’s readings, raising questions for discussion in class and responding to posts by other students


2 Papers


Final Exam

GOV 314 • Classics Of Socl/Polit Thou

37684 • Siddiqi, Ahmed
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm GAR 1.134
(also listed as CTI 302)
show description


Classics of Social and Political Thought

CTI 302/GOV 314

Unique 33005/37684

Tuesday, Thursday; 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 pm

Garrison 1.134

Ahmed Siddiqi


Course Overview


This class is a study of classic texts in the history of political economy. The basic problem of this course is to look at questions about economics from a political point of view. This is not a class in      economic theory, but one that attempts to achieve a broader perspective on how economic questions are resolved. In addition to economic prosperity, we will consider other, sometimes             competing, goals of the community, including the inculcation of virtue, the protection of freedom and equality, the cultivation of religion, and adherence to the moral law. We will approach these topics through the study of the great books.


List of Texts


            Aristotle. Politics. Trans. Peter Simpson. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0807823279.

            Thomas Aquinas. On Law, Morality, and Politics. Hackett Publishing. ISBN 9780872206632.

            John Locke. Second Treatise of Government. Hackett. ISBN 0915144867.

            Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volumes 1 and 2. Liberty                                    Fund. ISBN 0865970068 and 0865970076.

            Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The Major Political Writings. Trans. John Scott. The University of Chicago                                 Press. ISBN 9780226921860.

            Karl Marx. Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. Prometheus Books. ISBN 087975446X.

            Friedrich Hayek. The Road to Serfdom. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226320553.


Course Requirements


            30%—Final exam

            50%—Two 5-7 page papers on topics to be assigned in class, each worth 25% of overall grade

            10%—Weekly quizzes

            10%—Attendance and participation

GOV 324L • Govs & Polit Of Western Europe

37694 • Graeber, John
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm CLA 1.106
(also listed as EUS 350)
show description

Europe has experienced a remarkable transformation in the last century: from the mass destruction of World War II to the emergence of prosperous multiparty democracies, from the erection of the Iron Curtain to the fall of the Berlin Wall, from centuries-long divisions to a European Union of 28 states that stretches from Lisbon to Bucharest to Helsinki. Many of us know this recent past from history books, others have visited the other side of the Atlantic for vacation or study. But despite our apparent familiarity with our transatlantic neighbors, the governments and politics of Europe often remain unfamiliar. How exactly does a parliament work? Why are there so many political parties? How can governments just call new elections? How do European democracies compare with one another, and with the United States? European politics becomes even more mystifying when discussing the European Union, an entity encompassing 28 member states, over 500 million people, and one of the world’s largest economies. What is the European Union exactly? Is it an international organization, a federation of countries, or something else entirely? Who actually makes the decisions for Europe today?

This course will seek to answer to all of these questions by focusing on the major political, social, and economic dynamics shaping contemporary European politics. In the first part of the course, we will examine the historical origins of contemporary European politics, the features of parliamentary government, multiparty democracy and electoral systems, and other essentials of European politics today. We will highlight how these operate in a number of country contexts, but especially Great Britain, France, and Germany. The second half of the course will provide students with a detailed introduction to the European Union, including its tumultuous history, its decision-making institutions, and its relations with member states and the international community. Finally, the course will conclude with an investigation of some major policy issues and challenges in Europe today, notably the Euro crisis, European integration and enlargement, immigration, and European foreign policy.

GOV 327L • Public Opinion And Amer Polit

37695 • Shaw, Daron
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WAG 201
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FALL 2015


Course Number:            GOV 327L

Course Title:                Public Opinion & Voting Behavior

Unique Number:          

Meeting Time:             TTH 2:00-3:30

Meeting Place:             Wagner 201    

Closing Limit:             82


1. Prerequisites—Gov. 310L and/or Gov. 312L.


2. Course Description—This pro-seminar introduces the literature on mass politics and elections. It provides a foundation for subsequent study and research in the field. Although we will cover many topics, we focus on the few themes that have consistently drawn the attention of scholars: the character of political attitudes in mass publics, party identification, turnout and participation, the vote decision, and the way media and parties structure the electoral process. Given the range of the course, coverage of these topics will not be exhaustive. However, we do review many of the “great works” that set the research agenda in the area, while also sampling the subsequent research literature that extends and revises the original results.


3. Grading Policy—There are three main requirements for this course. First, there will be two midterm exams given in this course.  Each exam will have multiple choice and short answer sections. The exams will draw on both lecture material and the readings. They are NOT cumulative.  Second, each student will be responsible for writing a research paper. One possibility is that you will write a research proposal. A proposal paper has three components: (a) it proposes a research question, (b) it reviews the appropriate literature in political science, and (c) it offers a research design that addresses this question. Think of this as something like a grant proposal, in which an applicant is attempting to convince a funding agency that it has an interesting way to investigate an important issue. A second possibility is that you will write a paper analyzing issue opinion or voting behavior within the context of the 2012 elections. That is, you will identify an issue domain or topic—or a group or demographic characteristic—that is likely to have been especially consequential for the election and analyze it relying on polling or voting data. Either of the paper projects includes three components: (1) each student must submit a 1-2 page proposal, identifying the main research question, (2) each student must submit an 8-10 page draft, and (3) each student must submit a 12-15 page final paper on the final day of class. The third and final requirement is attendance and participation. The grading breakdown is 45% exams, 45% paper projects, and 10% participation.

4. Texts—There are four assigned texts for this class:

  • Asher, “Polling and the Public: What Every Citizen Should Know.” Eighth edition. 2011. 978-1-60426-606-1
  • Bardes and Oldendick, “Public Opinion: Measuring the American Mind.” Fourth edition. 2012. 978-1442215023
  • Lewis-Beck, Jacoby, Norpoth, and Weisberg. “The American Voter Re-Visited.” 2008. 978-0472050406
  • Zaller, “The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion.” 1992.

GOV 328L • Intro To Lat Amer Gov & Pol

37700 • Madrid, Raul L.
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WEL 2.308
(also listed as LAS 337M)
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GOV 328L

Introduction to Latin American Government and Politics

Course Description Fall 2015


Course Description:


This course will provide a broad introduction to the changing politics of the region.  We will explore the causes and consequences of the political and economic changes that have swept Latin America during the last century. The course will examine why Latin American countries have shifted from free market policies to widespread state intervention and then back again. It will analyze the cycles of democratic and authoritarian rule in the region and their implications for the welfare of Latin American citizens. And it will discuss some of the most important contemporary economic, social and political challenges facing countries of the region.  The course will focus on trends affecting Latin America as a whole, but some lectures and readings will examine how these trends played out in specific countries of the region.




6 semester hours of lower-division coursework in government




1st examination: 30%

2nd examination: 30%

3rd examination: 15%

Short (5-6 page) research paper: 15%

Pop quizzes: 10%




Hillman, Richard S. and Thomas D’Agostino, ed. Understanding Contemporary Latin America. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011.  4th Edition.


Smith, Peter H. Democracy in Latin America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. 2nd Edition.


Winn, Peter. Americas: The Changing Face of Latin America and the Caribbean. Berkeley, CA: Univ. of California Press, 2006. 3rd Edition.


A course packet of additional readings

GOV 330K • The American President

37705 • Wlezien, Christopher
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WAG 214
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The American President

Department of Government

University of Texas at Austin

Christopher Wlezien



Course Description

This course examines the president’s role in US politics. The course focuses on what the public expects from presidents and whether and how presidents can deliver, in effect, the match between “demand” and “supply.”  The course begins with presidential elections—what explains why some candidates win and others lose?  This tells us what the public wants from presidents.  We then turn to presidential power—the influence of presidents on legislative, executive and judicial action.  This reveals what presidents can actually provide.  The course concludes with an assessment of presidential influence in different policy areas.  At the end of the course, students should have a good sense for possibilities and limits of presidential power in the US. 


Course Format

The course will consist of lectures and discussion.  Thus, while the course is not a seminar, class participation is essential.  Student will need to keep up with the substantial reading and then be prepared to participate.  To encourage this, students will receive extra credit based on the quality—not just quantity—of their contributions to class discussion.  (See the description of “Grades” for details.)


Grades (tentative)

The main graded components for this class are the midterm and final examinations. Performance in the class will be assessed as follows:

  40%         Midterm examination

  60%         Final examination

+0-5 %      Participation


Readings (tentative)

The course readings will include various articles and also the following books:

 Edwards, George C., III., and Stephen J. Wayne.  2010.  Presidential Leadership: Politics

      and Policy Making, 9th edition.  Stamford, CT: Cengage.

 Erikson, Robert and Christopher Wlezien. 2012.  The Timeline of Presidential Elections.

      Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Kernell, Samuel. 2007.  Going Public: New Strategies of Presidential Leadership, 4th edition.

            Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press.

GOV 335M • Politics And Literature

37709 • Dempsey, Erik
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 304
(also listed as CTI 324)
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CTI 324: Politics and Literature


Prerequisites: Upper division standing


Description: This class will consist in a study of a selection of Shakespeare’s plays as works of political thought. Though the texts are literary, this is a class in political philosophy. We will be studying the ideas contained in these plays and using them as tools to think about the fundamental questions of politics and human life. We will consider what it means to be a great ruler, a tyrant, a hero, a lover, a true friend, a Christian, or a Jew. We will examine the choices characters make and see how they are informed by their basic beliefs about the world, so that we come to understand these human types as lived possibilities.


The course will be discussion intensive. Students who are not prepared to do the reading before every class and come ready to present their own ideas and interpretations of it should not enroll.


This course carries flags for Ethics and Leadership and for Writing.


Texts:  The reading list will consist only of plays by Shakespeare. We will use Arden Editions in each case. We will read Othello, The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, MacBeth, Hamlet, and King Lear.


20%: First long (4-6 page) paper

50%: Second and third long paper

20% Ten short (1-2 page) writing assignments

10% Attendance and participation


The papers will be analytical papers on the plays and will not require any outside research. You will be allowed to rewrite the first and second papers to earn a higher grade and your short papers will include reviews of one another’s work.

GOV 335M • Women In Hist Of Polit Thought

37710 • Stauffer, Dana
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm UTC 1.102
(also listed as CTI 335)
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Course Description: Women in the History of Political Thought

This course will examine the themes of women, the family, and the private sphere in the history of political theory. We will analyze and interpret works of political theory in which women have a central role, and we will seek to understand the relationship between political thinkers’ views about women and the family and their larger political theories. We will begin in classical Greece with political theory and drama. Then we will move through history, considering the critiques of paternalism launched by Hobbes and Locke and the portrait of the ideal woman advanced by Rousseau in Book V of the Emile. In the second half of the course, we will consider the development of early feminism in the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill, and Simone de Beauvoir. Some of the questions we will pursue are the following: What does justice demand in the realm of the relations between the sexes, and what kinds of social and political arrangements are best for women? How do our answers to these questions intersect with broader questions about human nature, identity, political community, and justice?


Required Texts


A Course Reader


De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex. (Vintage)


Euripides II. (Complete Greek Tragedies, Chicago)


Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Herland. (Penguin Classics)


Mill, John Stuart. The Subjection of Women. Edited by Susan M. Okin (Hackett)


Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Emile, or On Education. Translated by Allan Bloom. (Basic Books)


Wollstonecraft, Mary. A Vindication of the Rights of Women. (Prometheus)


Course Requirements and Grading


First Exam: 30%

Second Exam: 30%

Paper: 30%

Class Participation (including pop quizzes): 10%

GOV 335N • Southern Political History

37725 • Enelow, James
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CLA 1.104
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Prerequisites: none


Course Description: The political history of the American South from 1783 to the present.


Grading Policy: 3 in-class multiple-choice exams. The scores on the exams will be added together to determine your final grade. No final exam and no extra credit.


Texts: The American South: A History, Volumes I and II, by William Cooper and Thomas Terrill, 4th edition, Rowman and Littlefield, 2009

The Rise of Southern Republicans by Earl and Merle Black, Harvard University Press, 2002

Lines in the Sand by Steve Bickerstaff, UT Press, 2007

GOV 337M • Politics Of Mexico

37730 • Greene, Kenneth
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WAG 201
(also listed as LAS 337M)
show description


This course analyzes Mexico’s 20th political and economic development, with a peek at current events. Why did Mexico experience both political stability and economic growth until the 1970s while other Latin American countries endured brutal military regimes? What accounts for Mexico’s severe economic crises of 1982 and 1994? Why did the PRI lose in 2000 after 71 years in power? How “democratic” is Mexico’s new democracy? The first portion of the course examines Mexico’s post-Revolutionary politics, the characteristics of the national political regime during the classic period of stability with economic growth, and the tumultuous political and economic environment from the 1970s to the end of the century. This material will be presented chronologically, but rather than a descriptive history, we will focus on explaining political and economic outcomes. Subsequently, we will examine key themes in Mexico’s new fully competitive democracy.


You have two grading options for this course. Option 1 consists of three exams (two in-class midterms and one take-home final essay).  Option 2 consists of two in-class midterm exams and one research paper. 


Research Paper for Option 2.  This will be an independent and largely self-directed 10-page research paper focused on a particular event in contemporary Mexican politics (i.e., after 1911).  As a political science paper it should seek to explain why the event occurred.  In doing this, it should focus on the actors involved, their competing interests, and their various resources.  The paper should include, but be more than, a simple description of the event.  As a research paper, it should involve research in the library and perhaps on the internet, but in all cases must make use of scholarly books and journal articles beyond those assigned on the syllabus.  Completing the research paper will require more work than taking the final exam, but it should be more rewarding.  Following the rules of citation and attribution is mandatory and plagiarism will earn a failing grade in the course and referral to the University for disciplinary action. Please review the university’s plagiarism guidelines at


Students who plan to write a research paper must submit a one-page statement of research intent by October 20.  The statement should include a clear summary of the event to be covered, the actors involved, and their goals.  It should also include at least three citations of sources you have already read for your research.  Researching and writing this one-pager will take real work, so budget about a week.  If the research topic is determined to be infeasible, students will have one week to hand in a revised statement for which the same rules apply.  Students who pursue this option should plan on meeting with me to discuss the topic and progress.  Students that do not hand in the statement by October 20 or whose proposal is not accepted after two rounds will follow Option 1.


This course will use +/- grading and will not be curved. The final grade for the course will be determined as follows:

Option 1:                                             Option 2:                        

Midterm 1                    30%                 Midterm 1                    30%

Midterm 2                    30%                 Midterm 2                    30%

“Final” Essay                30%                 Research Paper           30%

Weekly write-ups            8%                 Weekly write-ups            8%

Participation                  2%                 Participation                 2%


Note that the weekly write-ups and relative percentages assigned to each element of the grading may be revised if this course does not receive a teaching assistant.


Weekly write-ups. Submit a one-page (typed, normal margins, normal font) digest of the week’s readings, due by the end of class each Thursday, with no late assignments and no e-mail assignments accepted. You will earn up to 1% of your final course grade each week for a write-up and only one is allowed per week. You can earn a maximum of 8% toward your final grade, meaning that although you are encouraged to complete more than eight weekly write-ups, you need only complete eight for full credit.  The write-ups should be brief synopses of the theme/issues dealt with in the required course readings, not a summary of each individual reading and not a commentary based on lecture only. Try to bring the ideas together, using the lecture titles as a guide. Partial credit may be given so you will have to put some thought into this; however, it should not require more than 30 minutes of work after you complete the readings. Completing these assignments will do wonders for reading comprehension and exam preparation. As such, I view them as a crucial element of the course.


Participation: 2% of your final grade will be based on participation. Although the course is structured as a lecture, I try to involve students each day.  If you are present and engaged, and speak up some, you will earn full credit.


Make-up exams.  Early final exams will not be given. One midterm exam may be made-up if missed for medical reasons under the following conditions: 1) You must have a note from a doctor; 2) You must contact me before the exam by e-mail, telephone, or in-person unless you are unconscious; 3) The make-up exam must take place as soon as possible after the originally scheduled exam and before the graded exams are handed back to the class. Once the graded exams are handed back, a make-up exam will not be possible.


Extra credit. There is none.  The course has plenty of regular credit options.


Academic Flags.  This course fulfills the Cultural Diversity (CD) flag.


Required Readings:

  • Kenneth F Greene, Why Dominant Parties Lose: Mexico’s Democratization in Comparative Perspective (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009), available for purchase at the Coop. In the highly unlikely case that I profit from sales of the book at UT, I will donate 100% of them to the UT undergraduate scholarship fund.
  • A Two-volume course packet that is available for purchase at Speedway Copy at 715 W. 23rd St, Suite N (512-478-3334).
  • Required readings are listed first for each lecture; recommended readings follow but are not in the packet. The page numbers in the syllabus refer to the original page numbers of the book/journal. The average number of pages of reading per session is 47.6 (i.e. 95.2 per week) – shown in brackets below.
  • Two copies of the course packets are on reserve at PCL.


Resources of general interest:

GOV 339L • Research Methods In Government

37735 • Greene, Kenneth
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 303
show description

This course provides an introduction to the methods used in political science research. After learning about the structure of causal analysis, we will examine four research strategies: experiments, “large N” or quantitative studies (AKA statistics), “small N” studies that use qualitative reasoning, and formal modeling. The goal of the course is to provide students with the analytic tools to critically evaluate social science research and causal arguments found in everyday life and to improve students’ ability to pose and answer research questions on their own.


Grading. The course grade will be based on one in-class midterm, a comprehensive final examination given during the exam period, several homework assignments (see below), and in-class participation.  We will use plus/minus grading for the final grade.  The final grade will be determined as follows:


Midterm                                                30%

Final Exam                               35%

Homework                                 30%

Participation                              5%


Homework assignments: Graded homework assignments will be handed out in lecture without prior notice and will be due one week later.  The number of homework assignments will be determined by student progress but will likely fall between five and seven.  No matter the number of assignments, homework will count as 30% of the final grade.


 Readings: All readings are in a two-volume course packet that is available for purchase at Speedway Copy at 715 W. 23rd St, Suite N (512-478-3334) and on reserve at the PCL. The amount of reading is light but dense. I encourage you to budget enough time to read each selection twice. Read as you would read a math book, not as you would a novel. Note that end matter includes a glossary of useful terms compiled by David Collier andand Z tables.


v W. Phillips Shively, The Craft of Political Research, 5th edition, Prentice-Hall, Chapter 1, pp.1-12.

v Janet Buttolph Johnson, Richard Joslyn, and H.T. Reynolds, Political Science Research Methods, 4th edition, CQ Press, 2001, pp. 1-36.

v his is an example of fascinating social science research on a heart-stopping issue: Bush v Gore election 2000.  If you need a primer (or refresher) on the election controversy, see or . Then read Henry Brady, Michael Herron, Walter Mebane, Jasjeet Sing Sekon, Kenneth Shotts, and Jonathan Wand, “Law and Data: The Butterfly Ballot Episode,” PS: Political Science and Politics 34, 2001: 59-69.

GOV 350K • Statistical Anly In Polit Sci

37740 • Moser, Scott
Meets MW 300pm-430pm SAC 5.102
show description

Course number: GOV 350KCourse Title: STATISTICAL ANLY IN POLIT SCI


High-school level mathematics is required.

Course Description:

This course introduces basic concepts and methods of statistical inference, with a strong focus on politics and political science. This course lays the groundwork for answering ``What can we learn about political systems and political processes from the world?” This course carries the Quantitative Reasoning flag. Quantitative Reasoning courses are designed to equip students with skills that are necessary for understanding the types of quantitative arguments regularly encountered in adult and professional life. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your use of quantitative skills to analyze real-world problems.

The goals of the course are two-fold. At a broad level, the objective of this course is to help students acquire the literacy for understanding social science research based on quantitative data and reasoning — to be good consumers of statistics, and to identify the misuse of statistics and data in arguments, be they academic, political, popular.1 Specic goals of the course include competence thinking rigorously about quantitative evidence. At a minimum, students should be able to understand and perform simply hypothesis tests as well as estimate and interpretet ordinary least squares regression.

The main activities of the class include (in order of importance): readings, lectures, in-class activities, homeworks and computer lab exercises. This is a very hands on class — lectures are meant for summary and review of the assigned readings. Completing the assigned readings prior to attending class is required. An important (and graded) component of this course are in-class activities in which students will work in small groups to discover and highlight principles and topics. Approximately 40-50% of the class time will be lecture, 25-30% is occupied by in-class activities; 15-20% spent in the computer lab (the remaining time is occupied by logistic concerns, two in-class exams, etc.).

Grading Policy:

Grades will be based on homeworks, several in-class activities, lab assignments, two in-class examination, and a final exam.


Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences (4th ed.) by Agresti and Finlay. Pearson (ISBN-10:0205646417).

A Stata Companion to Political Analysis [required] by Philip H Pollock III, CQ Press College (ISBN-10: 1608716716) Note: this is a workbook, check carefully any second-hand copy for all pages.

Statistics Without Tears [optional, but recommended] by Derek Rowtree. Penguin (ISBN-10: 0140136320) Available at

Computer software: STATA (available in Mezes Labs 2.104 and 2.120 and at the campus computer store for a drastically reduced student-price).

GOV 350K • Statistical Anly In Polit Sci

37744 • Lin, Tse-min
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BUR 136
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Semester Fall 2015

GOV 350K – Statistical Analysis in Political Science


Quantitative Reasoning Flag


Unique           Days   Time                                       Bldg/Room     Instructor

37744                                                                                                  LIN


Course Description


This course introduces basic concepts and methods of statistics. Unlike the typical elementary statistical courses you may have taken, the emphasis here will be on applications in political science. The objective of this course is to help students acquire the literacy for understanding political science literatures based on the scientific approach, as well as to prepare interested students for more advanced methods courses.


Topics include descriptive statistics, probability and probability distributions, sampling, sampling distribution, point estimation, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, contingency tables, and other statistical procedures. Computing will be an integral part of this course. You will use SPSS to analyze data from Gallup Survey, General Social Survey, and National Election Study in homework assignments. In particular, you will be asked to replicate results reported in journal articles and book chapters. You are also encouraged to develop and work out your own research problems.






Grading Policy


Homework Assignments (6-7 sets): 30%

In-Class Midterm Exam: 30%

In-Class Final Exam: 30%

Instructor Discretion (Attendance, Participation, etc.): 10%


Required Texts


* T. H. Wonnacott and R. J. Wannacott. 1990. Introductory Statistics, 5th Ed. Wiley. (Or 4th Ed., Introductory Statistics for Buisness and Economics, 1990, which is the same as the 5th Ed.)


Optional Texts


* S. B. Green and N. J. Salkind, 2013. Using SPSS for Windows and Macintosh: Analyzing and Understanding Data, 7th  Ed. Prentice Hall.

GOV 351C • Classical Quest For Justice

37745 • Stauffer, Devin
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.134
(also listed as CTI 320)
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 GOV 351C (and CTI 320)


The Classical Quest for Justice


Devin Stauffer



Course Description 


What is justice?  What are its demands as a virtue of individuals?  What is its status as a guiding principle of domestic politics and as a restraint in times of war?  What are the strengths and weaknesses of different kinds of political orders in their quest for justice?  What is the relationship between political life and philosophic reflection?  In this course we will consider these fundamental and enduring questions of political philosophy primarily through a careful study of two of the masterpieces of classical antiquity:  Plato’s Republic and Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War.  We will preface our study of these two great texts with a look at another work, Plato’s Apology of Socrates; but our focus will be on reading and discussing the Republic and The Peloponnesian War.  These works will be approached, not just as crucial documents for our understanding of a distant age, but as works that still speak directly and profoundly to permanent questions of moral and political life.   




Completion of at least thirty semester hours of coursework.




Plato and Aristophanes, Four Texts on Socrates, trans. by T. West and G. West (Cornell) 

Plato, The Republic of Plato, trans. by Allan Bloom (Basic Books)

Thucydides, The Landmark Thucydides, ed. By Robert Strassler (The Free Press) 


Requirements and Grading 


Paper: 20%  

First exam: 25%

Second exam: 25% 

Attendance: 10% 

Participation: 10%

Quizzes: 10%


(Note:  These percentages are approximate, and the paper may be made optional.)

GOV 351J • Might And Right Among Nations

37750 • Pangle, Thomas
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm MEZ B0.306
(also listed as CTI 323)
show description


A study of major alternative approaches, elaborated by the greatest political theorists, to the question of the moral character of international relations.

                  The basic aim of the course is twofold: 1) to gain a better understanding of what kind of justice and law exists among nations; and 2) to gain a better understanding of what justiceitself means, in human relations, as its nature is revealed under the stress of the intensely competitive international arena, always overshadowed by the threat of war.

                  We will examine the original, foundational philosophic arguments for: the classical republican struggle for and against empire (Thucydides); Christian Just War theory (Aquinas and Vitoria); Islamic Jihad Theory (The Koran and Hadith; Shaybani, Alfarabi, Avicenna, Ibn Khaldun); the moral supremacy of independent national sovereignty (Hobbes); globalizing moral community achieved throughcommercialization (Montesquieu); and world legal order achieved through international legal organization (Kant).

                  We will try to uncover the hidden philosophic foundations of our contemporary ways of thinking, and confront our assumptions with challenges from earlier, alien ways of conceiving the world.

                  While we will not forget contemporary issues, we will try to transcend our passionate biases, and view our own immediate situation from a liberating distance, by taking as our chief empirical focus the philosophic historian Thucydides’ dramatic presentation of The Peloponnesian War—a moral as well as military struggle pitting the imperialism of one of history’s greatest democracies (Athens) against the anti-imperialism of one of the most conservative and pious aristocracies in history (Sparta).


****This course carries the Ethics and Leadership flag, designating courses designed to equip you with skills that are necessary for making ethical decisions in your adult and professional life. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments involving ethical issues and the process of applying ethical reasoning to real-life situations.

GOV 355M • World War I In Real Time

37755 • Wolford, Scott
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm MEZ 1.216
show description

GOV 355M World War I in Real Time





Course description:

This course follows events in the opening months of the First World War, which broke out in August 1914, exactly one hundred years after the outbreak of war. Each week, we will follow events as they happened a century before, beginning with the causes of the war in the July Crisis of 1914, the initial campaigns on the Western and Eastern Fronts, the disaster at Gallipoli, and the expansion of the war around the world through 1915. We will engage modern, cutting edge theories and evidence about the origins and conduct of war to shed new light on why "the seminal tragedy of modern times" occurred when it did and on what we can learn from it in the present.


Grading policy:

Students will be graded on three exams, occasional quizzes and impromptu writing assignments, as well as a brief analysis paper.



-       Hastings, Max. 2013. Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War. Knopf.

-       Philpott, William. 2014. War of Attrition: Fighting the First World War. Overlook.

GOV 357L • Judicial Process And Behavior

37760 • McIver, John
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm ART 1.120
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GOV 357L Course Description/McIver



This course introduces the American Justice System and the operation of society under the “rule of law”.  The justice system will be examined with emphasis on the roles of key players: lawyers, judges, police and citizens. Students will examine both the actual and theoretical operation of the justice system through American history and in contemporary society.






Robert Carp et al, Judicial Process in America (9th Edition)



A midterm and final examination

Term paper based on analysis of legal issues posed by the professor

Attendance and Participation

GOV 357M • Civil Liberties

37765 • Abramson, Jeffrey
Meets W 400pm-700pm GAR 2.112
show description

Course Listing

Government 357: Civil Liberties

Professor Jeffrey Abramson

Wednesdays 4-7


Course Description:  

In this seminar, we will attempt to bring together the study of public law, American Government and political theory by exploring the legal and philosophical principles underlying court decisions on civil liberties.  For 2015, topics to be covered include: (1) the role of religion in public life; (2) freedom of speech and national security; (3) privacy and reputation, especially in regard to social media; (4) sexual orientation; (5) racial and sex discrimination; and (6) affirmative action.


Books for Purchase:

1.   Sullivan and Gunther, Constitutional Law (17th ed or 18 ed, whichever cheaper)

2.   Sullivan and Gunther, 2015 Supplement to Constitutional Law (optional)

3.   Eisgruber and Sager, Religious Freedom and the Constitution

4.   Mill, John Stuart, On Liberty

5.   Rawls, A Theory of Justice



Upper-division standing required.  Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.  Prerequisite: 6 semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.


Grading Policy

This course will be graded on the plus or minus system. 

Attendance and Participation:  25% of grade

Seminar term paper: first draft due November 5:  35% of grade

Seminar term paper: final draft due December 3:  40% of grade 

GOV 357M • Constitutnl Struct Of Power

37770 • Jacobsohn, Gary J.
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ B0.306
show description


The focus of this course is on one of the most vital aspects of politics: interpreting and applying the nation's fundamental rules. We examine constitutional structures of power by exploring contests over authority from John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson to Barack Obama and John Boehner. Some of the topics to be considered include: the powers of the federal and state governments, the executive's emergency powers, and the Supreme Court's authority to nullify the acts of other branches. Under these general headings are to be found such issues as the power to regulate firearms, the power to establish a national health care system, the power to overturn a judicial decision through congressional action, the power to deprive citizens of rights during wartime, the power to define the terms of impeachment, and the power to decide the outcome of a presidential election. Much of the reading consists of Supreme Court opinions that highlight the politics of constitutional development. 


Requirements: two short papers and a final exam

Grading: 30% for each paper, 40% for the final

Texts: Kommers, Finn, and Jacobsohn, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (Vol. 1), 3rd. ed., another book TBA

GOV 360N • Global Governance

37778 • Chapman, Terrence
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm GDC 1.304
show description

Fall 2015 Course Descriptions



GOV 360N  Global Governance

This course examines the forces that shape global stability (and instability).  Building on a basic framework outlining how and why actors interact in the international system, this course will explore how states design and agree to international agreements, what those agreements consist of, and how those agreements influence state behavior.  The course will also expose students to studies of international law and organizations.


Jeffery Freiden, David Lake, and Ken Schultz. 2010. World Politics. Norton and Norton

Other readings made available electronically through the library’s subscriptions to news and academic periodicals.


25% expert discussion leading/reaction paper

25% exam 1

25% exam 2

25% exam 3

GOV 360N • Internatl Political Economy

37780 • Wellhausen, Rachel
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CAL 100
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GOV 360N • Internatl Political Economy

Course Description:

This course provides an introduction to the study of international political economy. Its primary focus will be the role of politics and government decision-making in international economic relations. To this end, we will examine three core areas of IPE: international trade, investment by multinational corporations, and the international monetary system. The course begins with a discussion of analytical approaches to IPE. We will use these approaches to address topics as diverse as debates over “globalization,” economic development and post-communist transition, exchange rate policy, the history of international monetary relations, and the politics of financial crisis. While no prerequisites are required, students will benefit from a familiarity with macroeconomics.


Grading Policy:

Attendance, participation, quizzes     20%

In-class Midterm                             20%

Take-home Essay Exam                  30%

Final Exam                                     30%



Frieden, Jeffry, David Lake, and J. Lawrence Broz. 2010. International Political Economy: Perspectives on Global Power and Wealth. 5th edition. New York: W.W. Norton.

Oatley, Thomas. 2011. International Political Economy: Interests and Institutions in the Global Economy. 5th edition. Pearson Longman.

GOV 360N • Internatl Political Economy

37781 • Wang, Di
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CBA 4.338
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GOV: International Political Economy


Di Wang


Course Description:


This course is an introduction to the scientific study of international political economy (IPE), an interdisciplinary field related to international politics and international economics.  Some exemplary IPE issues include the management and openness of international economy, the determinants of foreign economic policy making (trade, foreign exchange, capital control, etc), the bargaining between multinational corporations (MNCs) and host countries, and the politics of economic development.  IPE examines the interaction between politics and economics at the international level as well as between the international and domestic levels, involving various political and economic actors (governments, MNCs, interest groups, as well as individuals). 

GOV 662L • Government Rsch Internship-Dc

show description

Course Pre-requisites, Co-requisites and/or other Restrictions:

Acceptance into the University of Texas, Archer Fellowship Program

Course Description: This course will focus on the role of media, the Congress, the

President and other governmental and non-governmental actors in the policy-making

process. Through a variety of sources (academic texts, newspaper and journal articles,

websites, blogs, advocacy papers) we will look at (and hopefully reconcile) the textbook

and “real world” versions of how policy is made in Washington, D.C.

This course is divided into four phases where we will use a variety of techniques

(lectures/discussion, in-class presentations and guest speakers) to gain a better

understanding of the policy-making process. In Phase I, we will discuss how policy is

defined: where ideas come from and who plays a role in defining what we consider to be

important policy problems. In Phase II, we will look at how policy is made and how the

structures of our unique form of government affect the policy-making process. In Phase

III we will meet with policy-makers to hear their first hand accounts of the policy-making

process and finally, in Phase IV we will try to understand the policy-making process

through a legislative simulation and class discussions/debates of some of the important

issues of the day.

GOV 365L • Consumer Politics In E Asia

37789 • Maclachlan, Patricia
Meets TTH 930am-1100am MEZ 2.102
(also listed as ANS 361)
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Consumer Politics in East Asia (Global Cultures Flag)

GOV 365L (#37789)/ ANS 361 (#30884)

Fall 2015


Prof. Patricia L. Maclachlan

TTH 9:30-11:00, MEZ 2.102



            This new upper division course for fall 2015 explores the politics and political economy of consumption in East Asia, with an emphasis on Japan, South Korea and China.  Over the course of the semester, we will explore the relationship between “consumer” and “producer” identities in the political economies of the region; the origins, evolution and influence of consumer movements in the political and judicial spheres; the place of consumption and saving in state-led economic development; and the implications of consumer preferences on trade. These and related topics will be addressed with systematic reference to comparable trends in the West and to the relevant literatures on political economy, social movements, and other political science and social science theories.

            The semester will conclude with a special unit on food politics that examines the relationship between consumers and agricultural producers in national and global contexts.  We will explore, for example, how free trade agreements and other dimensions of globalization affect national food consumption patterns and regulatory regimes, relations between consumers and farmers, and the politics of anti-free trade protests as they relate to food.

            The course will combine formal lectures and close readings of relevant texts with student-led discussions.  Students will also have an opportunity to conduct short, independent research projects and to present their findings in class.


Prerequisites: 6 semester hours of lower-division Government courses


Course Requirements:

            1. Participation in class discussions:                  10%

            2. Quizzes (4-5) on key readings:                      10%

            3. Midterm exam:                                             20%

            4. Short research paper:                                    25%

            5. In-class paper presentation:                           10%

            6. Final exam:                                                  25%


Required Texts:

            Sheldon Garon and Patricia L. Maclachlan, eds., Consumer Politics in East Asia: Questioning Consumption in East Asia and the West.  Cornell University Press, 2006.


            Additional readings will be provided to students via Canvas at the beginning of the semester.


GOV 365L • Intl Rels Of E/Stheast Asia

37790 • Maclachlan, Patricia
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 203
(also listed as ANS 361)
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International Relations of East and Southeast Asia

GOV 365L-3 (#37790)/ANS 361-23 (#30895)

Global Cultures Flag


Fall 2015


Prof. Patricia L Maclachlan

TTH 12:30-2:00, PAR 203




6 semester hours of lower-division Government courses.  Graduate students may take this course for graduate credit.


Course Description:


This upper division undergraduate course introduces students to some of the major themes and topics in the post-Cold War international relations of East and Southeast Asia: “Great Power” (China, Japan, and the United States) contributions and challenges to the military and economic security of the region, the objectives and processes of economic globalization and institutional integration in the Asia-Pacific, and the impact of nationalism and historical memory on intra-regional affairs.  Along the way, we will explore the ongoing North Korean nuclear threat, tensions between China and Taiwan, and the United States’ so-called Asia Pivot, as well as basic theoretical approaches to the study of international relations.


Grading Policy:


         1.    Quizzes on readings: 15%

         2.    First mid-term exam: 20%

         3.    Second mid-term exam or short research paper:  25%

         4.    Final exam: 40%




         1.    Susan L. Shirk, China: Fragile Superpower (2008)

         2.    Victor Cha, The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future (2012)

         3.    Daniel Chirot, Gi-Wook Shin, and Daniel Sneider, eds., Confronting

                 Memories of World War II: European and Asian Legacies (2014)


 Additional readings will be provided to students via Canvas at the beginning of the semester.



GOV 365L • Rights & The State: S Asia

37800 • Newberg, Paula
Meets T 330pm-630pm CBA 4.332
(also listed as ANS 361)
show description


(Global Cultures Flag)


Autumn 2015:  ANS 361, GOV 365-L

Virtual (combined) Class Number:  v00106)

Tuesday, 3:00 – 6:00 PM


PROFESSOR PAULA NEWBERG                               

BATTS 4.102



Office hours: to be announced, and by appointment


Course overview:  Politics in modern south Asia are shaped, often dramatically, by contests about the nature of rights, the ways that citizens claim their rights, and the ways that states respond to those claims.   Every state in the region contends with popular movements to assert rights, whether through war and insurgencies, experiments with constitutions and the rule of law, or efforts to secure the rights of excluded groups, minorities and the economically disadvantaged.  Each state has also tried variously to promote and protect rights – on their own, and with their neighbors and the international community -- and to limit them in order to consolidate power.

As a result, political change is often accompanied by conflict.  What do rights have to do with political change?  With contemporary cases as our guide, we will explore conflicts in the region by asking how states and societies are meeting the challenges of creating rights-based political orders, and how and why they succeed or fail.   The range of potential topics is intriguing, varied and broad; after our introduction to the field and the region, we will focus on topics related to rights and conflict.

Using political writings, government documents, laws and regulations, social science analysis, local journalism and reporting from local and international organizations we will dissect the meanings of rights in the region, and strive to understand the different ways that these complex issues affect citizens, states, observers and rights advocates.  In the process, we will examine the tools that are employed to protect rights and to limit them, and how reports on rights conditions are developed and used.  As we navigate this complicated terrain, we will explore the nature of conflicts, conflicts about rights, and the ways that south Asia continues to develop.

We will use our readings and discussions to learn about the region through the lenses of rights and governance, and to refine our understanding of rights through the experiences of the people and states that comprise south Asia today.  By the end of the course, each student should have a working understanding of some of the many challenges involving fundamental rights in south Asia, a grasp of analysis and reporting related to rights, and the skills needed to write about rights and politics.  Neither prior experience with the region nor detailed knowledge of human rights is required for this course (although those who have studied either or both are welcome to join the class). 

Prerequisites:  Six hours of lower-division Government courses. 

Requirements:  A seminar succeeds when all of us are fully engaged.  Please use any electronic devices – including computers, tablets, and telephones -- in the classroom only when we are consulting documents or other media that are most easily available online and relevant to the immediate class discussion.  If you carry a cell phone with you, please silence it before class begins.

All seminar members are required to attend all classes punctually; complete all assignments (both written and oral); participate actively in every class and as designated, lead class discussions on assigned readings and written projects.   Your class attendance and participation will contribute significantly to your final grade.

Grading:  Class participation and collegiality will be essential to the success of this seminar. Your oral and written products will be graded on the basis of their clarity, organization, structure and quality of argument, including your ability to marshal evidence to support your arguments.   Grading will be done on a 100-point scale, translated into plus and minus grades.

Participation:  Participation will count toward 40% of the term grade.  As part of class preparation, I will assign 1-2 page reading response memos on topics related to readings and class discussion.  Specific assignments for class discussion will be indicated as we progress through the semester.   All class members are expected to participate in every class session.

Papers:  Each student will be expected to prepare two concise, 1500-1750 word written assignments and a final paper of approximately 2250-2500 words.  Paper #1 (due October 6, 2015) will count toward 15% of your grade; paper #2 (due November 3, 2015), toward 20% of your grade; and paper #3 (due December 51, 2015) for 25% of your grade. 

Everyone is expected to come to talk with me during office hours or other arranged times to discuss paper topics.

Please provide your papers to me in hard copy (in person) as well as electronically.  Please take the time to revise, proofread, and follow accepted form for footnotes and references. 


Penalties for late paper submission will be ½ grade for each late day, unless you provide timely and appropriate documentation from health services or your personal physician. 


Intellectual integrity:  Be sure that your written submissions do not plagiarize the intellectual property of others:  do not copy, without attribution, a sequence of three or more words from a published text, an internet source, grey literature or another person’s work.  Plagiarizing is a form of cheating, and is grounds for a failing grade in this course.  Any incident of plagiarism will be reported to Student Judicial Services.


I expect all students to see me during office hours and other pre-arranged appointments to discuss classroom and written assignments.  Should office hours be inconvenient, please schedule an appointment with me for another time.


Course readings:  Three books are available for purchase:


Jack Donnelly:  Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice, Third Edition (Cornell University Press, 2003).  Required.


Julie A. Mertus and Jeffrey W. Helsing, eds. (2006):  Human Rights and Conflict:  Exploring Links Between Rights, Law and Peacebuilding. Required.


Timothy Sisk (2013):  Statebuilding:  Consolidating Peace after Civil War.  Recommended.


For reference and background, you might want to refer to a compendium edited by Micheline Ishay entitled The Human Rights Reader:  Major Political Essays, 2nd. Edition.


Other materials (including videos):  I will post class assignments – including PDFs when URLs are not available -- and other notices on Blackboard on a regular basis.   Class readings are generally available online; in some instances, I will distribute materials in class.  Should you miss a class session, please contact me (and perhaps a classmate) for further information. 


Global Cultures:  This course carries the Global Cultures flag. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.

GOV 365N • Compr Notion European Security

37805 • Mosser, Michael W
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BUR 136
(also listed as EUS 348)
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Course concept

International security, a subfield of international relations, examines the nature of the international states system. It specifically focuses on what is known as the ‘security dilemma,’ the idea (or myth, depending on your theoretical predilection) that states in the international system desire above all to remain secure and extant, and will do whatever necessary to avoid becoming less secure or even disappearing entirely. Questions of how or whether it is necessary or even possible to cooperate to achieve security were seen as peripheral.

Recently, many scholars and practitioners have begun to question the state-centric approach to international security, as well as its focus on power, rivalries, and conflict. Instead, these scholars and practitioners have begun to speak of  ‘comprehensive’ security, or the ‘comprehensive approach’ to international security. Besides being a good catchphrase, what does comprehensive security mean? What does it entail? “Comprehensive security” has a variety of connotations, depending on the context in which the idea is presented, but generally most agree on the idea of a more all-encompassing, holistic understanding of ‘security’ than that embraced by traditional international relations theories. Part of the rationale for this course is to unpack some of the themes underpinning the various ‘flavors’ of comprehensive security, (among others, its human, economic, environmental dimensions).

One of the regions of the world where the notion of ‘comprehensive’ security has been most explicitly theorized and implemented is in Europe. Thus the course pays special attention to this region of the world and examines the practical aspects of comprehensive security via the institutions charged with implementing it: the European Union (EU), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Part One: Theories of international security (three weeks)

This part of the course investigates the underlying theoretical premises of international security, with special emphasis on:

  • Theories of conflict and cooperation, covering topics such as realism, institutionalism, constructivism, democratic peace theory.
  • Theories of influence, covering topics such as soft power, deterrence & coercion, domestic politics and influence, credibility, norms and institutions as influencers of behavior.

Part Two: The idea of comprehensive security (three weeks):

This section of the course takes the theoretical precepts gained from Part One and applies them to the newly emerging idea within international security that true international (and regional) security must take into account factors beyond mere state survival. To that end, the idea of ‘comprehensive’ security is raised, bringing into play a more nuanced view of international security. In this section, we will examine various ways in which comprehensive security has been thought about. Primarily, we will explore the idea of ‘human’ security that developed out of the 1994 UN Human Development Report, which has seven constituent elements:

  1. Economic security
  2. Food security
  3. Health security
  4. Environmental security
  5. Personal security
  6. Community security
  7. Political security

The section will begin with a survey of the general concept of human security, then move to a treatment of four of its components: economic, health and environmental, and community security. The section will conclude with a discussion of security sector reform as the means to establishing lasting peace in post-conflict societies, a key facet in any discussion of post Cold War comprehensive security.

Part Three: The practice of comprehensive security in Europe: case studies (ten weeks):

In Part Three of the course, we look at ways in comprehensive security has been implemented in Europe.  We look specifically at European notions of comprehensive security, focusing on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the European Union (EU).


There is no required textbook for this course. Rather, each week has a series of readings assigned that are to be read before the class meets each day. The readings will be accessible via Blackboard and the average reading load per class is between 40 and 60 pages.

Assignments and grading

Your course grade will consist of a midterm exam grade, a take-home final exam grade, a short paper grade and a discussion/participation grade:

Exams: 75%

As this class is an upper-division course, a major portion of the grade for the course will consist of exams, consisting of two midterm exams and a take-home final exam. Both midterms and the final will each count for 25% and the take-home final exam will be worth 25% of your course grade. 

Participation: 25%

Participation will be divided into two sections:  Discussion questions and in-class participation. Since not everyone enjoys speaking in class, discussion questions will count for more than in-class participation. Discussion questions will count for 20% of your course grade, while in-class participation will count for 5% of your course grade.

So that we can discuss points raised in the online postings in Thursday’s class, discussion questions for the week on which I am lecturing will be due by 5:00 pm every Wednesday (unless directed otherwise). They should be drawn from the readings and should reflect any questions, comments, or cries of outrage you may have regarding the arguments set forth by the authors. They most definitely will help you get the most from the class. I will prepare the first set of discussion questions as a template for future assignments.

There are no discussion postings necessary for midterm week. The total number of discussion postings will be counted at the end of the semester, and also will be examined throughout the semester for evidence of consistent posting. Do not expect to “catch-up” post only at the end of the semester and receive full participation credit.

  • 12-15 postings: Full credit
  • 8-11 postings: 70% credit
  • 5-7 postings: 50% credit
  • Less than 5 postings: No credit

A word on late or missed assignments. Over the course of the semester, it is inevitable that some event will cause a time management issue, which might lead to a missed assignment deadline. Though normally handled on a case-by-case basis, there are some baseline penalties for missed or delayed assignments, detailed here:

  • Late topic choices will receive a 1% deduction per day before grading.
  • Late topic outline and list of references will receive a 2% deduction per day before grading.
  • Late paper drafts will receive a 5% deduction per day before grading.
  • Missed exams will receive a 5% deduction per day until made up.

Extra Credit

 Students who attend an academic lecture/event dealing with an international/global issue and hand in a typed, one-page summary may receive a 3 point increase on an exam grade.  No more than two lectures/events total may count per semester (a total of 6 points).  Summaries must be turned in within 7 days of the event.

Grading Standards:

I will use the following grade standards. Grades for individual assignments will be weighted according to the scale in the preceding paragraph. All grades given during the course of the semester will be converted to a 100-point scale.


93 >     A

90-92   A-

87-89   B+

80-86   B

77-79   B-

75-76   C+

70-74   C

67-69   C-

60-66   D

< 60     

GOV 365N • State And Religion In Israel

Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.216
(also listed as J S 365, MES 342, R S 358)
show description

Israel is the “Jewish State.” What is a “Jewish State”? Is it a theocracy? A religious Democracy? What is the role of the Jewish religion and the Orthodox establishment in the day-to-day life of the Israelis? In the Israeli political arena? How affected are Israel's relationship with the world’s Jewish communities because of the status of religion in Israel?

We shall attempt to answer these questions and many others in this course. We shall begin with the new Jewish history of Zionism as the secular Jewish movement vis-à-vis- the Jewish Orthodoxy. We shall try to describe the ongoing tension between the Jewish religion and the Israeli democracy. We shall look at the religious laws enacted in Israel (such as conversion, Sabbath, and marriage). A description of the political arrangements accrued during the years with the religious parties shall be addressed (exemption from Army service, different and separate education systems). We shall look into the variety of religious practices of Judaism in Israel. Court decisions (especially Supreme Court) will also be introduced.

Proposed Readings

1. Perpetual Dilemma: Jewish Religion in the Jewish State [Paperback] [Jun 01, 1979] Abramov, Zalman S. and Gunther, Plaut W.

2. Civil Religion in Israel: Traditional Judaism and Political Culture in the Jewish State, Charles S. Liebman, Eliezer Don-Yahiya ISBN: 9780520048171

3. Articles and other publications that shall be given by me during course.


The course will be in a form of open discussions with the students.

Grades shall be given based upon 3 parameters: Class attendance and participation (40%), a mid-term short paper (20%) and final exam (40%).

GOV 365N • Australian Society & Polit

37815 • Evans, Rhonda L.
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm MEZ B0.306
show description

Rhonda Evans Case

GOV 365N, Australian Society and Politics


TTH 12:30-2:00 PM

MEZ B0.306

Closing Limit: 75; no known prerequisites

Description: Australia is the principal democratic, economic, and military power in the Southwest Pacific. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples inhabited the continent and its surrounding islands for some 50,000 years before Europeans arrived. In 1788, British colonization began with establishment a penal colony near present-day Sydney. Six distinct colonies federated voluntarily in 1901 to form the Commonwealth of Australia. Today, the country boasts a multi-ethnic population of 22 million, dispersed unevenly across a landmass nearly the size of the lower 48 US states.  It has served as a key US ally since World War II. While Australia retains special ties to Britain and the US, it has become an important economic and political actor in the Asia Pacific region, with strong trading links to China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, the Philippines, and, increasingly, India. This course will (1) provide a succinct overview of Australia’s history and constitutional development; (2) examine the country’s political institutions and party politics; and (3) consider distinct opportunities and challenges that Australia faces across a range of domestic and foreign policy areas, such as energy, trade, immigration, welfare, and issues concerning its Indigenous population. Throughout the course, Australia will be compared and contrasted with Texas, the US, and the other Anglo-American democracies – Britain, Canada, and New Zealand.  

Requirements: (1) Three exams, each worth 25% of the final grade. The last of these will be administered during the final examination period. All exams will include a combination of essay, short-answer, multiple-choice, and true-or-false questions. The final will also have a take-home essay component. (2) A research project that has both an individual and a group dimension will be worth 25% of the final grade. It will involve data collection, coding, and analysis with a significant writing component. Students who anticipate missing more than two or three classes are advised not to enroll. Likewise, reading and absorbing assigned materials will be important, with roughly half of each examination concentrating on their content. Students unwilling to read two relatively compact books and a collection of articles are advised not to enroll.

Required Reading Materials:  (1) Stuart Macintyre, A Concise History of Australia, 3rd ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2009); (2) Ian Ward and Randal G. Stewart, Politics One, 4th ed. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012); additional readings will be made available on Canvas.

GOV 365N • Pol Of New Democracies-Esp

37820 • Madrid, Raul L.
show description

GOV 365N Politics of New Democracies

Course to be taught in Madrid, Spain in August 2015



Course Description:


During the last four decades much of the world has democratized, including virtually all of Europe and Latin America. These new democracies face numerous challenges from high levels of crime and inequality to inefficient institutions and a weak rule-of-law. This course examines the recent worldwide trend toward democratization, with a special focus on Spain. In the first section of the course, we will discuss the recent wave of democratization that has swept the globe. We will explore the meaning of democracy and democratic consolidation, and we will examine different types of democratic and authoritarian regimes. Finally, we will examine the benefits and drawbacks of democracy and discuss whether the U.S. can and should try to export democracy.  The second section of the course will focus on Spain. We will examine the authoritarian regime of General Francisco Franco, the transition to democracy in the 1970s, and the consolidation of democracy since that time.  The third section of the course will analyze various theories that have been used to explain democratization and democratic consolidation. We will examine how well these theories can explain recent political developments in Spain and other countries.








Final exam: 30 percent

Mid-term exam: 20 percent

In-class writing assignments: 30 percent

Class participation: 20 percent




A course packet of readings, which will be available on Canvas.

GOV 365N • Israel: Society And Politics

Meets TTH 930am-1100am CLA 0.104
(also listed as J S 365, MES 341)
show description

Israel is a democracy quite unique in its political structure and institutions. In this course we shall cover the political institutions and political structure in Israel. How does the Israeli democracy function? What are its political institutions? What are their roles? In this course we shall try to give a through and detailed review of these topics.

We shall start with the Israeli legislator, i.e.: the Knesset. We shall learn its way of operation, its duties and responsibilities. We shall study how the Knesset committees operate: what are the relationship between the opposition and the coalition, what are the by-laws of the Parliament, and how do these by-laws affect the day to day work of the Parliament?

We shall then discover and explore the Israeli political parties and their influence on the political system, as well as NGOs and other civil society groups (such as “Peace Now,” “Constitution for Israel,” the Settlers Movement, etc.)

Further we shall review the executive branch of the Israeli government. We shall learn about the departments and offices of the government as well as the relationship between the government and the Knesset.

Last, but not least, the judicial branch: the powers and status of the courts vis-à-vis- the other branches of the Israeli political system. We shall mainly focus on the “Constitutional Revolution” created by the basic laws (semi-constitution) and the power granted to the Israeli Supreme Court to vacate or amend laws which do not comply with the basic laws. We shall discuss the tension between the Supreme Court and the other branches and the scope of the Israeli judicial review of the government's actions.

We shall use Israeli official websites of the various Israeli bodies and entities learned. I shall also attempt to bring to class one or several authentic representatives of the Knesset and/or Government.

Proposed Reading

  1. "Politics In Israel: The Second Republic, 2nd Edition" by  Prof. Asher Arian
  2. "Politics and Government in Israel: The Maturation of a Modern State" by Gregory S. Mahler
  3. Supreme court precedents, given to students during classes.

Grading and Requirements

Grades shall be composed of class attendance and participation (40%), a short midterm paper (20%), and final exam (40%).

GOV 365N • Suicide Terrorism

37824 • Pedahzur, Ami
Meets TTH 800am-930am MEZ B0.306
show description




Course Description:

Suicide terrorism in its modern form appeared in the early 1980s. The first organization to use it was the Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon. Later, it was adopted by many groups in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. The fact that the majority of these groups were either Arab or Muslim led scholars to emphasize the role of Islam in the emergence and proliferation of the phenomenon. The general purpose of the class is to reassess the root causes of suicide terrorism at elite, community and rank-and-file levels. It will juxtapose the role of religion, and specifically Islam, in generating suicide terrorism, which is represented by the primordial cultural approach, with coercion theories, power struggle explanations and social networks approach. It will also address the perplexing question of whether suicide terrorism is an unbeatable weapon.


Grading Policy:


This course combines Quizzes, Exams, Participation, and Reading questions. The breakdown for the course is as follows:

I. Class attendance and active participation: 20% Class attendance is mandatory and will be recorded, your attendance at, and participation in, lectures are crucial to the success of this course.

II. Weekly Reading and Questions: 20% Course readings are a vital part of this class and should be completed prior to the class meeting listed on the syllabus. Each week you will be responsible for formulating an answer to a question based on that week’s readings. Your answer should be one to two double spaced pages and are due at the end of class every Thursday. I will grade your answers on a scale of 0 to 2, with 2 being excellent work and 0 being unacceptable.  These are designed as engaging and thought provoking questions to help you navigate the course and the exams. Please note: We do not accept late work.

III. Quizzes: (10% each for 20% total): There will be two quizzes given during the semester. These will cover some of the basic backgrounds and key foundational concepts that will be needed in order to proceed in the course. The format will be a combination of fill in the blank and multiple choice.

IV. Exams (20% each for 40% total): There will be two exams given during the semester. These will cover the larger conceptual and topical aspects of the course. They will incorporate the ideas we have learned through the lectures and readings and ask you to comment on the contemporary debates and issues in the study of suicide terrorism. The format will be a combination of multiple choice and essay questions.


Texts All the texts will be posted on Canvas.

GOV 370K • Latina Politics

37829 • De Francesco Soto, Victoria M.
Meets TTH 930am-1100am JGB 2.202
(also listed as MAS 374, WGS 340)
show description



This course will analyze the participation of Latinas in American political life.  The course will give an overview of women and how they have participated in American politics – as activists, voters, and politicians.  In particular, we will consider how the intersection of gender, race, and class influence women’s political participation and activism.  The first half of the course will examine women’s participation in politics and the second half will focus on women’s behavior, influence, and policy agendas as officials within governing institutions.


Bejarano, C. 2014. The Latino Gender Gap in U.S. Politics, Routledge Press.

Bejarano, C. E. 2013. The Latina Advantage: Gender, Race, and PoliticalSuccess, University of Texas Press.

Carroll, Susan J. and Richard L. Fox.  2013  Gender and Elections:  Shaping the Future of American Politics. Cambridge.   

Hardy-Fanta, Carol.  1993.  Latina Politics, Latino Politics: Gender, Culture, and Political Participation in Boston.  Temple University Press. 

Reading packet of relevant current journal and news articles.


In order to tangibly illustrate the theoretical course material each student in the course will conduct an independent inquiry project – a portfolio – to be turned in at the end of the semester.  The portfolio will make up half of the student’s grade and for this project each student will choose a Latina elected or appointed official to research and interview.  A mid-term, current events weekly article diary, and a policy memo will make up the remainder of the student’s grade. 

GOV 370K • Latino Politics

37830 • Rivera, Michael
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WAG 214
(also listed as LAS 337M, MAS 374)
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Course number:  GOV   370K  




This course approaches Latino politics from two distinct perspectives.  First, students will learn about Latino political behavior.  More specifically, we will discuss how Latinos become politically socialized in the US.  What do Latinos view as the most important problem facing the county?  Which party do Latinos align with?  What impact do changing demographics have on American Politics?  Second, students will become familiar with contemporary Latino policy issues.  We will cover topics like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), in-state tuition policies in the states, Latino health disparities, etc.

Assignments and grading: 2 exams; 2 written assignment; in-class participation (this is subject to change slightly)

Texts: TBD.

Prerequisites: 6 semester hours of lower division coursework in Government

GOV 370K • African American Politics

37835 • Philpot, Tasha
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm GAR 0.132
(also listed as AFR 374D)
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African-American Politics

GOV 370K




This course focuses upon the evolution, nature, and role of African-American politics within the American Political System. The concern is with African Americans as actors, creators and initiators in the political process. Specifically, this course will examine various political controversies that surround the role of race in American society and how these controversies affect public opinion, political institutions, political behavior, and salient public policy debates. This course will assess and evaluate the contemporary influence of race in each of these domains while also exploring their historical antecedents.


This course carries the flag for Cultural Diversity in the United States. Cultural Diversity courses are designed to increase your familiarity with the variety and richness of the American cultural experience. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one U.S. cultural group that has experienced persistent marginalization.




Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.


Required Text Books


There are two required text books for this course, which are available at the University Co-op:


Walton, Hanes, Jr. and Robert C. Smith. 2014.  American Politics and the African American Quest for Universal Freedom.  7th  Edition.New York: Addison Wesley Longman.


Philpot, Tasha S., and Ismail K. White, eds. 2010. African-American Political Psychology: Identity, Opinion, and Action in the Post-Civil Rights Era. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.





Exam 1                                              20%

Discussion Papers                               40%

Exam 2                                              20%

Quizzes and in-class assignments         20%


GOV 370L • Policy-Making Process-Dc

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Course Description:

Analysis of varying topics in the study of American government and politics.


Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.








GOV 370L • Presidency In Constitutl Order

37845 • Tulis, Jeffrey
Meets TTH 500pm-630pm PAR 310
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GOV 370L   (37845)

Fall 2015

TTH 5-6:30  PAR 310


Jeffrey K. Tulis

The Presidency in the Constitutional Order


A study of the place of the presidency in the American political order that stresses tension between power and accountability inherent in the office and the system. Topics include: separation of powers, presidential selection, impeachment, relations with Congress and bureaucracy, emergency powers, presidential character, and leadership.


This is a very demanding writing flag class.  If you are enrolling in this class just in order to satisfy the writing flag, you are in the wrong class.  Interest in political theory and willingness to work very hard are necessary for success in this class.



Readings (tentative):


Joseph M. Bessette, The Constitutional Presidency

Andrew Rudalevige, The New Imperial Presidency

Bruce Ackerman, The Rise and Decline of the American Republic

Michael Nelson, ed., The Presidency in the Political System

Michael Nelson, ed., The Evolving Presidency

Louis Fisher, Constitutional Conflicts Between Congress and the President





Active and prepared class participation

Regular quizzes on the reading

Four analytic essays (approximately 1200 words).

One term paper, (approximately 5000 words).

GOV 370L • Public Opinion/Representation

37849 • Bullock, John
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm BAT 5.102
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GOV  370L

Topics in American Government and Politics

John Bullock


This is an upper-division seminar.  We study Americans' views on political issues and the extent to which their views influence, and are influenced by, elected officials. Special attention to opinion polarization, the roles of political knowledge and partisanship, and the effects of public opinion on legislators. Online datasets help answer questions about politics and public opinion.  Previous experience with regression analysis helpful but not required.  See for the syllabus.


Course Requirements

Reading responses, (Three 2-3 pages each)     30%

Discussion                                                    30%

Final paper (10-15 pages long)                       40%


Required course book:

Fiorina, Culture War?, 3rd ed.  This book will not be placed on order at any local bookstore.  Enrolled students will need to acquire copies on their own.

Journal articles and book chapters from other sources will also be required.  They will be made available to students through Canvas.  (There will not be a printed course reader.)

GOV 370L • Election Campaigns

37850 • Luskin, Robert
Meets MW 300pm-430pm PAR 206
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American Election Campaigns (GOV 370L)


            This course comes in four intermingled parts.  The bulk of our meetings will be as a seminar, meaning that we, not I, shall discuss the readings (see below).  The next largest share will be devoted to a computer simulation of a U.S. Senate election.  Your candidate may make personal appearances, produce and air campaign commercials, make appeals by direct mail, fund-raise, conduct polls, and so on, and the outcome will depend on the choices you and your opponents make.  One or more other sessions are usually given over to guest speakers who have been involved in election campaigns in one capacity or another.  And, finally, since this is a Writing Flag course, several sessions will be devoted to discussions of writing and written assignments.


            Past semesters’ speakers have included Tom Craddick, a Texas State Representative and formerly Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives; U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar; Justice Bob Gammage, late of the Texas Supreme Court and before that a U.S. Congressman; Bernard Rapoport, a longtime Democratic activist and fundraiser (and former Chair of the UT Board of Regents); Royal Masset, Political Director of the Republican Party of Texas; Dave MacNeely, a journalist covering state and national politics for the Austin-American Statesman; William P. Hobby, the former Lieutenant Governor; Susan Hendrix of H & C Media, a Democratic media consultant; Dean Rindy and Cynthia Miller of Rindy Miller Garcia Media, also Democratic media consultants; David Weeks and Suzanne Erickson of Media Southwest, a Republican media consultant who has worked for Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchinson, among others; Blaine Bull of Public Strategies, Inc., a major consulting firm; Matthew Dowd, once of Public Strategies, Inc., more recently of the Bush 2000 and 2004 campaigns and Bush administration, and now a prominent national political commentator; Mark MacKinnon, also of Public Strategies, Inc., the principal media advisor to George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns and to John McCain’s 2008 nomination campaign, and now a prominent national political commentator and founder of the No Labels movement; Bill Emery and Peck Young of Emery and Young, a Democratic consulting firm; Dan Bartlett, an alumnus of this course who served as a spokesman for Governor Bush and the Bush 2000 campaign and later as Communications Director in the Bush White House; and Karl Rove, formerly of Karl Rove & Company, a Republican consulting firm, later the chief political strategist for the Bush 2000 and 2004 campaigns and Counselor to President Bush), and now (does anyone not know all this?) a prominent national political commentator and principal of American Crossroads, a major Republican super-PAC.   


            There are no formal prerequisites beyond eligibility to take upper division Government courses.  The goal is for students to learn and think about contemporary American election campaigns—about both how they work and the ways in which that may be desirable or undesirable.  There will be no exams, but a heavy reading load and two papers drawing on the readings.  You will also be asked to provide written feedback on another student’s paper.  The papers, feedback, and contributions in class discussion will be the means of assessing how far individual students have met the course goal.


            Your grade will be determined on the basis of your class participation, the papers, and your feedback on another student’s paper.  Class participation will count for 35% (20% for attendance/discussion, 10% for effort in the simulations, and 5% for the feedback you give other students on their papers), and the papers for 65%.  The papers will be graded 65% on the basis of substance and 35% on the basis strictly of writing. 

The substance grade rests heavily on your making generous, appropriate, and sensible use of the assigned readings.  Attendance is required, and there is a penalty (in the participation grade) for every unexcused absence beyond a quota of two.


            The reading load is unusually heavy, and I do sometimes ask students about their reactions to the readings.  So, even though the three papers are the only written assignments, and there are no exams, this is not a course for the faint-hearted.  Be warned!  It will be a lot of work.  But also a lot of fun.


Likely Texts

            I may revise the syllabus and readings over the summer, but neither is likely to change very much.  I expect to assign:


Herbert B. Asher.  2010.  Polling and the Public: What Every Citizen Should Know (8th ed.). Washington, DC:  CQ Press.

 Robert S. Erikson and Kent L. Tedin.  2014.  American Public Opinion (9th ed., updated).  New York, NY:  Longman.

William H. Flanigan, Nancy H. Zingale, Elizabeth A. Theiss-Morse, and Michael W. Wagner. 2014.  Political Behavior of the American Electorate (13th ed.).  Washington, DC:  CQ    Press. 

Paul S. Herrnson.  2011.  Congressional Elections: Campaigning at Home and in Washington (6th ed.).  Washington, DC:  CQ Press

Sasha Issenberg.  2013.  The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns.  New York, NY:  Broadway Books.

 Daniel M. Shea, Will Miller, and Michael John Burton.  2015.  Campaign Craft:  The Strategies, Tactics, and Art of Political Campaign Management (5th ed.).  Westport, CT: Praeger.

John Sides, Daron Shaw, Matt Grossman, and Keena Lipsitz.  2013.  Campaigns and Elections: Rules, Reality, Strategy, Choice (2012 Election Update ed.).  New York, NY:  W.W. Norton. 

James A. Thurber and Candice J. Nelson (eds.).  2013.  Campaigns and Elections American Style (4th ed.)  Boulder, CO: Westview.

Darrell M. West.  2013.  Air Wars:  Television Advertising and Social Media in Election Campaigns 1952-2012 (6th ed.).  Washington, DC:  CQ Press.

William Strunk, Jr., and E.B. White.  1995.  The Elements of Style (3rd ed.).  New York:  Allyn and Bacon.


Robert’s Rules (a guide to writing), to be posted online.

Course packet, consisting of On the Campaign Trail (a manual to the simulation that also contains a great deal of information about real-world campaigns), to be available from Paradigm, on 24th St., just off Guadalupe, and a supplementary set of instructions, to be posted online.

            NB:   I strongly urge you to purchase your textbooks online, being sure to get the most recent edition (except for Strunk and White, of which I am assigning the 3rd edition), as listed above.

GOV 370L • The United States Congress

37855 • Leal, David L.
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm WAG 420
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Course Description


This course will examine what one scholar called the “keystone” of the Washington establishment – the U.S. Congress.  It is the first branch of government established by the Constitution (in Article I), and little in the world of national policymaking can be accomplished without it.  While public opinion of Congress is often low, this institution is the oldest popularly-elected legislative body in the world.  The course begins with a study of the political history of Congress – its creation, how it evolved over time, and how it reached its current configuration.  Because procedures matter, the formal and informal rules of Congress and the committee system will be discussed.  The course will also explore congressional elections, the motivations and behaviors of members of Congress, lobbying, congressional leadership, reapportionment and gerrymandering, and the role of political parties.  Congressional interactions with other branches of government, especially the presidency, will be covered.  In addition, the many differences between the House and Senate will be explored.


Grading Policy


Exam #1 (20% of course grade)


Exam #2 (30% of course grade)


Exam #3 (30% of course grade)


Book review (20% of course grade)




Roger H. Davidson, Walter J. Oleszek, and Frances E. Lee. Congress and Its Members, 14th edition. Congressional Quarterly Press.


Walter J. Oleszek. Congressional Procedures and the Policy Process, 9th edition. Congressional Quarterly Press.


Ross Baker. House and Senate. Norton, 4th edition.


Course pack

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

37860 • Prindle, David
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CBA 4.332
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Course Description

Gov. 370L, “Congress and the Presidency”

Professor David Prindle


THE PURPOSES OF THIS CLASS:  To help students become better scholars and citizens by helping them to understand how to apply the concepts of political science to an understanding of the functioning of the American political system, and by showing them how to compare the normative concepts of the public interest and democratic theory to the actual functioning of national institutions.  The first third of the class is about Congress as an institution, the second third is about the Presidency as an institution, and the final third is about individual Presidents.


CLASS PREREQUISITE:  Upper-division standing in Government.




  • Lawrence Dodd and Bruce Oppenheimer (eds.) Congress Reconsidered tenth edition  (CQ Press, 2013; see note below)
  • Michael Nelson (ed.) The Presidency and the Political System tenth edition (CQ Press, 2014; see note below)
  • Roger Davidson, Walter Oleszek, and Frances Lee, Congress and Its Members, 14th edition  (CQ Press, 2014; see note below)
  • Donald R. Kelley and Todd G. Shields, (eds.) Taking the Measure: The Presidency of George W. Bush (Texas A&M University Press, 2013)
  • Some news articles, to be distributed in class


NOTE:  Instead of making you buy these three CQ Press books, and then assigning you to read only some of the chapters, I will choose relevant chapters from each and put them into an electronic textbook, which you can access through the CQ Website.  The cost to download all the chapters will be considerably less than the cost of the three paper books.  Notice, however, that you must buy or otherwise acquire a copy of the Kelley and Shields book, which is not published by CQ Press.




            In general, each of the three assignments in this class will be counted equally; that is, each will count one‑third toward the final grade.  At the end of the semester, the three numerical scores will be averaged, and final grades will be assigned on the basis of the conventional scale: 92.3 and above will receive an “A” in the course, 90 to 92 will receive an "A minus," 88 to 89.7 will receive a "B plus," 82.3 to 87.7 will receive a “B,” 80 to 82 will receive a "B minus," 78 to 79.7 will receive a "C plus," 72.3 to 77.7 will receive a “C,” 70 to 72 will receive a "C minus," 68 to 69.7 will receive a "D plus," 62.3 to 67.7 will receive a “D,” 60 to 62 will receive a "D-minus, and below 60 will receive an “F.”  Anyone missing a grade (that is, anyone failing to take a test or turn in an essay) will also receive an “F.”  I may make some small adjustments in these averages to reflect the quality of contribution to class discussion.


     For your three assignments, you may choose to write two essays and take one test, or take two tests and write one essay.  It is up to you to decide how you mix the tests and essays, and in what order you choose to do them.  You may not, however, "load up" by turning in an essay at the same time that you take a test, thus getting two‑thirds of the assignments out of the way on the same day.

GOV 370L • Urban Politics

37865 • O'Brien, Shannon Bow
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm MEZ B0.306
(also listed as URB 350)
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This course introduces and explores the development of the urban landscape in America.  Cities did not simply spring into existence.  Their geographical and physical constraints combined with social, ethnic, and political pressures shaped and continue to shape their development.  This course is designed to mostly introduce you to some ideas of urban politics in America.  The first part of the semester concentrates on the development of the cities.  This part of the class will focus primarily on the rural to urban shift in America.  The second part of the semester will explore the move from urban to suburban living.  This part of the class will look at more modern issues and topics in the cities (i.e. problems created by people moving out, financial attempts to solve these problems, new urbanism, gated communities, social/racial strife). 

GOV 370L • Political Psychology

37875 • Albertson, Bethany L
Meets MW 400pm-530pm GDC 1.406
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Political Psychology  

Course Description: This course examines the psychology behind political attitudes and behaviors. By using insights from psychology and (often, but not always) experimental methods, political psychology offers a unique way of understanding politics. We will address questions such  How do people acquire their political beliefs? What types of campaign advertisements are effective? Do people approach politics in a rational way, or are they more emotional? What are the causes of intolerance and racism? What are the prospects for change? How does identity affect political choices?  

Prerequisites: None

GOV 679HA • Honors Tutorial Course

37890 • McIver, John
Meets T 330pm-630pm GAR 0.128
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GOV 679HA Course Description/McIver



This course is the first semester of a two-semester sequence designed to help a select group of motivated students complete a Senior Honors thesis.   Students develop an initial research question, hypothesize an answer and propose a research strategy to test that hypothesis.  The research question is the student’s own as is the choice of advisor.  In most cases, students develop a question and then seek advice as to which member of the department faculty might be aide them in answering their question. 

The primary product of the fall semester is “Chapter 1”, a 20-25 page summary of the project to be completed during the spring semester.  This paper includes a research question or hypothesis to be considered, a review of the existing literature on the topic, a research design, a plan for the completion of the project and an extended bibliography of relevant documents. 

Throughout the fall semester writing assignments build on the students’ research interests as well as attempt to engage the student more broadly in the craft of writing.  Students develop bibliographies of prior research, writing and re-write literature reviews, provide proposed research designs, develop a preliminary/short version of Chapter 1 prior to a final chapter 1 of 20-25 pages plus figures, tables and references.

Classwork also engages practical issues underlying research.  A representative of the Office of Research Support regularly attends to describe the process of studying (and protecting) Human Subjects.  The School of Undergraduate Studies/Office of Undergraduate Research provides assistance in training class members in the creation of research posters.  



Admission is restricted to applicants who apply during the prior spring semester. Applicants must show ability to sustain a 3.5 GPA in Government and to be accepted for mentoring by a faculty advisor.



As needed for individual projects.




Preliminary writing exercises

Term paper

Attendance and Participation

GOV 379S • Money In Amer Politics

37900 • Roberts, Brian
Meets W 330pm-630pm WAG 208
(also listed as HMN 350, LAH 350)
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     This course explores the nature and consequences of money in American politics and why, at this point in history, we find ourselves embroiled in the most significant debate over campaign finance reform in over thirty years.   The debate goes to the heart of the U.S. Constitution, pitting the First Amendment rights of speech and assembly against the perceived fairness and efficacy of a republican government awash, some claim, in increasingly unaccountable money.

     Campaign finance issues lie at the crossroads of a bewildering number of analytical perspectives.  We (must) examine the work of historians, social scientists, legal scholars, and interested parties on all sides of the debate in an effort not only to assess current policy debates but also to understand how we got here.  During the course we confront and seek answers to a host of questions, including, but by no means limited to,

- How will corporations respond to the Supreme Court’s recent decision permitting unlimited political advertising?

- Why did most 2008 presidential candidates abandon the system of public financing for presidential elections? -Why does the public believe that corporations play such a large role in funding federal election campaigns?

-Why does the Supreme Court allow public perceptions to determine the constitutionality of campaign finance laws?

-Why do U.S. Senators refuse to report their campaign finance activity electronically to the Federal Election Commission?

-How and why is the Internet treated differently than other means of political communication by campaign finance laws?

-What are the consequences of unlimited individual contributions to state election candidates in Texas?

Texts and Works:

Corrado, Anthony, et al. The New Campaign Finance Sourcebook. 2004. Washington D.C.: Brooking Institution; Corrado, Anthony and David Magleby Financing the 2008 Election. 2010. Washington D.C.: Brooking Institution; McChesney, Fred. Money For Nothing: Politicians, Rent Extraction, and Political Extortion.  1997. Cambridge: Harvard University Press; Urofsky, Melvin., Money & Free Speech: Campaign Finance Reform and the Courts. 2005. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press. Other readings as assigned

Grading Policy:

     In addition to a midterm exam and meeting expectations of strong class participation, students engage in two significant projects over the course of the semester, first in the role of campaign finance consultants advising either a candidate or a political action committee, and second as members of a legal team preparing for a (marginally fictitious) Supreme Court case confronting the constitutional challenges posed by campaign finance laws.



GOV 379S • Politics In Fiction

37905 • Sparrow, Bartholomew
Meets MW 330pm-500pm BAT 1.104
(also listed as LAH 350)
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What is at stake in politics and government?  Why do political events unfold as they do?  Why do politicians and public officials make the choices they do?  Theories of politics and government, statistical analyses, and archival research take us only so far.  Many say that the best way to capture politics and government—and especially the personal and emotional nature of politics—is through fiction.

In “Politics and Fiction,” students read some of the best extant fiction writing on American politics and government, past and present.  The reading list is based on the quality of the texts, rather than on focusing particular authors, addressing particular subjects, or covering particular time periods.  Fortunately, particular topics and time periods do come into play.  The books’ subjects range from accounts of 19th century America, to works on Vietnam and the 1960s, to novels about city and state, and to contemporary lobbying and radicalism.

Students are asked to read critically, that is to uncover the assumptions of and perspectives of each text with respect to ideology and partisanship, to consider how politics function and the political system operates, to think about the role played by individual and social psychology, and to assess what the relevant institutions are each case.  What are the political foundations and philosophic premises of the texts?  What is the author’s writing style and the effect of that style on the reader’s understanding of the text?

Texts (required) 

Vietnam and the 1950-1990s

Graham Greene, The Quiet American ISBN: 0140185003

Philip Roth, American Pastoral ISBN: 0375701429

Tim O'Brien, In the Lake of the Woods ISBN: 0140250947 

Local and State Politics

Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men ISBN:0156031043

Edwin O’Connor, The Last Hurrah IBSN: 978-0316626590

Contemporary Society

Christopher Buckley, Thank You for Smoking  ISBN: 0812976525

Ward Just, The American Ambassador  ISBN: 978-0618340781


Book Reviews, two (1500-2000 words): 2 x 15 = 30 percent (graded)

Editorial memos, six (600-750 words): 6 x 5 = 30% (high pass, pass, low pass, fail)

Class Participation: 30% (includes quality and quantity of discussion, attendance)

Presentation/Discussion leadership: 10% (high pass, pass, low pass, fail) 


The two book reviews and the six editorial memos are to be posted to the class (and your group’s) Canvas website. 

Each of your two book reviews is to be revised, with the help of your classmates.  The first draft of the book review is due by 9:00 p.m. the Sunday before the Monday the book is to be discussed, to be posted on your team’s Canvas website.  The revised draft is to be posted by 9:00 pm on Thursday after the second class day, Wednesday, of discussion. 

The book reviews are to be graded on their understanding and analysis of the text, their use of evidence from the text, and their coherence and polish.  The first draft will be evaluated on a high passpass/no pass basis and will count for one-fifth of the book review grade (3 points).  The second and final draft will count for four-fifths of the paper grade (12 points). 

The editorial memos, which are to be posted by Wednesday at noon, are to be your reactions/remarks on the book review written by one of your teammates.  You are not responsible for a comment paper on the two weeks when you are writing your book reviews, but you may make a presentation and also write an editorial memo.  The comment papers are to be your own considered comments (with textual evidence and text page number) with respect to the book review’s ideas, its argument, its organization, its composition (such as transitions, phrasing, syntax, and grammar), and any other matters you think relevant to improving its overall quality.  The editorial memos should reflect evidence of a careful reading of the text.  Your grades on the comment papers depend on the seriousness, thoroughness, and accuracy of your comments.  First and foremost, they are to be written to help your classmate write the most effective book review possible. 

Late book reviews and late comment papers will either be penalized, depending on how late they are submitted, or not accepted. 

You are responsible for attendance and participation.  Your regular presence and engagement in class discussion is expected.  Your participation will be graded on the quality of your contribution matters more so than merely the quantity, and should reflect a thorough reading of the text and be relevant to the discussion on hand.  Your instructor may call on you if you are shy or remain silent during class discussions. 

Three tardy appearances (coming more a few minutes late to class or regularly coming late to class) counts as one absence.   Early departures or absences within class are counted as tardies.  Four or moreabsences total—whether excused or unexcused—will result in a 2 percent reduction in your overall course grade, with another 2 percent off for each additional absence.   Seven or more class absences may result in automatic failure. 

Let your instructor know in advance if you know you will be late for class or if you have to leave early (e.g., job interview, court appearance).  Also let him know ahead of time if you have miss assignments for extraordinary reasons or cannot otherwise participate as expected. 


• As a student in the class, you are expected to demonstrate the following:

- intellectual engagement in the texts and topics of the course - honesty, responsibility, self-motivation, and hard work

- self-reflection and on-going assessment of your own learning

 - respect for your fellow students and teacher             

•  Specific student assignments:

- reading the week’s assigned text in advance of Tuesday’s class

- participating in class discussion (including attendance) - making oral presentations                    

- writing book reviews and comment papers

- keeping up with the course’s Canvas site and your own email

•  Email correspondence is welcome and convenient.  Please format your emails as business correspondence (with a title/greeting and signature), and I shall try to get to you emails within 24 hours—and usually much sooner—unless I am indisposed.  I may also answer on Canvas should you voice a general concern, one that it might be more useful to share with the class rather than keep to personal email.  

•  Your instructor is available during office hours, and by appointment if you can’t make office hours.  He will be usually available a few minutes before class, as well.

•  Computers, mobile ‘phones, and other electronic devices need to be turned off unless with the express permission of your instructor: using devices in class counts as a tardy, and after the third violation it will count as an absence from class and the student may be asked to leave the classroom.

•  Misconduct will detract from your participation grade.  Misconduct is any behavior disruptive to learning and includes the following: activated cell phones, iPods, laptops, etc.; personal conversations in class; studying for another class; or exhibiting other behavior as interpreted by your instructor.  Inappropriate classroom behavior may also result in your dismissal from the classroom (with that class day being counted as an absence).

•  Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259, Please inform the instructor of your condition by the 2nd week of classes. 

• Special arrangements for the assignments may be considered on an individual basis in exceptional circumstances, but only if you discuss this with the instructor in advance.

•  By UT Austin policy, you must notify your instructor of your pending absence at least fourteen days prior to the date of observance of a religious holy day. If you must miss a class, an examination, a work assignment, or a project in order to observe a religious holy day, you will be given an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence. 

Course Schedule

You are to read the book assigned the preceding week, thus on the Monday and Wednesday classes for which the book is assigned and discussed, students will have read the book (and be starting the next week’s book). 

Each week—not including weeks one and two—will proceed as follows, except for the two longest books that will take up three class days instead of two.

By Sundays at 9:00 p.m., book reviewers post their reviews on their team’s Canvas website. 

On Mondays, two students (not the book reviewers) will select passages from the text, no more than three, and read from a few sentences to a paragraph or two out loud to the class, and say what it signifies for them.  Each presentation should last five-to-ten minutes in all, but it should be tightly composed and professional: direct and to the point.

After both students have done so, they will open class discussion with a question (one each) based on the text and the presenting student’s reaction to/interaction with the writing. 

On Wednesday by 12:00 p.m., noon, the students in each team will submit their editorial memos on their teams’ online forum—responses to each “thread” that is a book review—in response to their teammate’s first draft of her/his book review.  Students may give feedback on the ideas, organization, clarity, omissions, and/or other points they think relevant.  Note that these comments themselves need to be well-argued, substantiated (page numbers, examples, quotations, etc.), and precise so as to be the most helpful to the book reviewer—as an editor would to a young writer for the newspaper/magazine/blog.

The students who write editorial memos are not those writing the book reviews, of course, and vice versa.

Part of Wednesday’s class will involve you meeting in your teams to go over the book reviews that have been printed out and brought to class by the reviewer. 

By Thursdays at 9:00 pm (at the latest) the students writing the book reviews post their polished copies on their team’s website.  The class will be taken up with further discussions about the text as well as about, where appropriate or relevant, the writing process. 

When the books do not coincide with one per week, then the schedule will be adjusted accordingly.









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  • Department of Government

    The University of Texas at Austin
    158 W 21st ST STOP A1800
    Batts Hall 2.116
    Austin, TX 78712-1704

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