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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

Kenneth Greene

Associate Professor Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Associate Professor, Department of Government
Kenneth Greene

Contact

Interests

authoritarian regimes; democratization; political parties; elections; voting behavior

LAS 337M • Politics Of Mexico

40814 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm MEZ B0.306
(also listed as GOV 337M )
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Prerequisites

No pre-reqs but a good attitude strongly preferred.

 

Course Description

This course analyzes Mexico’s 20th century political and economic development, with a peek at early 21st century dynamics. 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 bepresented 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.

 

Grading Policy

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 http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs/scholdis_plagiarism.php.
 
Students who plan to write a research paper must submit a one-page statement of research intent by October 26.  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 26 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:


Midterm 1                    30%                

Midterm 2                    30%                

“Final” Essay                35%                

Participation                  5%                

Option 2:

Midterm 1                    30%


Midterm 2                    30%


Research paper        35%


Participation                 5%
 

Participation: 5% of your final grade will be based on participation. Although the course is structured as a lecture, I try to involve students each day and the small class size will give many opportunities for you to participate.

 

Texts

Required Readings:
Ø  Kenneth F Greene, Why Dominant Parties Lose: Mexico’s Democratization in Comparative Perspective (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009), available for purchase at theCoop. In the highly unlikely case that I am issued any profits from sales of the book at UT, I will donate 100% of them to the UT undergraduate scholarship fund.
Ø  A Two-volume course packet that is available for purchase at XXX

LAS 337M • Politics Of Mexico

40156 • Fall 2011
Meets MW 500pm-630pm MEZ B0.306
(also listed as GOV 337M )
show description

see syllabus

LAS 337M • Politics Of Mexico

40540 • Spring 2011
Meets MW 500pm-630pm PAR 201
(also listed as GOV 337M )
show description

Gov 337M / LAS 337M The Politics of MexicoThis course analyzes Mexico's 20th century political and economicdevelopment. Why did Mexico experience both political stability andeconomic growth until the 1970s while other Latin American countriesendured brutal military regimes? What accounts for Mexico's severeeconomic crises of 1982 and 1994? Why did the PRI lose in 2000 after 71years in power? What are the prospects for Mexico's new democracy? Thefirst portion of the course examines Mexico's post-Revolutionarypolitics, the characteristics of the national political regime duringthe classic period of stability with economic growth, and tumultuouspolitical and economic environment from the 1970s to the end of thecentury. This material will be presented chronologically, but ratherthan a descriptive history, we will focus on explaining political andeconomic outcomes. Subsequently, we will examine key themes in Mexico'snew fully-competitive democracy.You have two grading options for this course. Option 1 consists of threeexams (two in-class midterms and one take-home final essay due May 12).Option 2 consists of two in-class midterm exams and one research paperdue May 12.  Weekly write-ups or participation in scheduled discussionsections (see "Participation" below) are required regardless of whichoption is chosen.Research Paper for Option 2.  This will be an independent and largelyself-directed 10-page research paper focused on a particular event in20th century Mexican politics. As a political science paper it shouldseek to explain why the event occurred. In doing this, it should focuson the actors involved, their competing interests, and their variousresources. The paper should include, but be more than, a simpledescription of the event. As a research paper, it should involveresearch in the library and perhaps on the internet, but in all casesmust make use of scholarly books and journal articles beyond thoseassigned on the syllabus. Following the rules of citation andattribution is mandatory and plagiarism will earn a failing grade in thecourse and referral to the university for disciplinary action. Pleasereview the university's plagiarism guidelines athttp://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs/scholdis_plagiarism.php.Students who plan to write a research paper must submit a one-pagestatement of research intent by March 30.  The statement should includea clear summary of the event to be covered, the actors involved, andtheir goals. It should also include at least three citations of sourcesyou have already read for your research. If the research topic isdetermined to be infeasible, students will have one week to hand in arevised statement for which the same rules apply. Students who pursuethis option should plan on meeting with me to discuss the topic andprogress. Students that do not hand in the statement by March 30 orwhose proposal is not accepted after two rounds will follow Option 1(the three exam option).This course will use +/- grading and will not be curved. The final gradefor the course will be determined as follows:Option 1:                         Option 2:            Midterm 1            30%        Midterm 130%Midterm 2            30%        Midterm 230%"Final" Essay        30%        Research Paper    30%Participation        10%        Participation         10%Participation: 10% of your final grade will be based on participation.You have two options to earn participation points, and you may mix andmatch, though you can only earn one point per week.Participation Option A - Weekly write-ups: Submit a one-page digest ofthe week's readings, due by the end of lecture each Thursday, with nolate assignments and no e-mail assignments accepted. You will earn onepoint each week for a write-up and only one is allowed per week. You canearn a maximum of 10 points, meaning that although you are encouraged tocomplete more than 10 weekly write-ups, you need only complete 10 forfull credit.  The write-ups should be brief synopses of the theme/issuesdealt with in the required course readings, not a summary of eachindividual reading and not a commentary based on lecture only. Try tobring the ideas together. Partial credit may be given so you will haveto put some thought into this; however, it should not require more than30 minutes of work after you complete the readings. Completing theseassignments will do wonders for reading comprehension and exampreparation. As such, I do not view this as a busy-work assignment, butas a crucial element of the course.Participation Option B - Weekly discussion participation: Instead of thewrite-ups, you may actively (i.e., with your voice) participate inEnglish-language or Spanish-language discussion sections run by TomPerkowski at the times and locations noted at the top of the syllabus.These will be free-ranging discussions of the readings and lecturematerial. You will be able to ask questions and will be encouraged toprovide your own answers, discuss the week's themes, and grapple withthe material. The point is to critically engage the material, so nocredit will be given just for showing up. In my view, the coursematerial is best learned through critical engagement, so I am a big fanof discussion sections.

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