Fall 2007 Course Description

Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Section Title: Modern American Political Campaigns
Instructor(s): Paul Stekler
Course: P A 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy
(previously Seminar in Topics in Public Policy)
Unique Number: 65630
Day & Time: Tuesdays, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Room: TCC 2.120
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Notes: Cross list with RTF 384C-08560; LAW 379M-29190; J395-07755

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: This course will examine how political campaigns are conducted, analyzed, and covered, why campaigns operate the way they do, and the implications for our political system. The course will discuss the role of money in politics, the impact of race, the nature and impact of advertising, how polls serve as campaign tools and affect the shape of the campaign agenda and press coverage, the changing nature of the media's role and how people make their political decisions and get information, and the way campaign narratives are told during and after the race. We will be concerned with how voter choices are affected by campaigns, the selection of issues and messages and their delivery, and the more recent impact of independent expenditures, the internet, focus groups, push-polls, and more.

The course will be taught by four instructors: Matthew Dowd, the chief strategist for the 2004 Bush-Cheney presidential campaign; Mark McKinnon, who was in charge of political advertising for the 2000 and 2004 Bush-Cheney campaigns; Wayne Slater, longtime political reporter for the Dallas Morning News and co-author of the Karl Rove biographer "Bush's Brain"; and Paul Stekler, political documentary filmmaker whose films include "Last Man Standing," "Vote for Me," and "George Wallace: Settin' the Woods on Fire." They'll be joined by a number of guests who have been active in state and national campaigns, both Democratic and Republican, for what we hope will be lively and informed discussions.

Return to Fall 2007 Course Schedule