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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Paul J Burka

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T C 302 • Right And Wrong In Politics

43375 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CRD 007A
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Description:

The proper role of morality in politics has been a fundamental question for western civilization since Plato. This seminar will consider how this subject has been treated in philosophy, literature, journalism and film. Some of the subjects that will be covered: whether political values have a universal basis; the conflict and compatibility between liberty and equality; the strengths and weaknesses of democratic systems; the moral constraints on those who hold power and their opposition. All issues will be examined in the context of how politics actually works. We will consider why lying seems to be so prevalent in politics, the influence of the Internet on the democratic process, and whether the nature of politics defies reform. A few class periods will be devoted to appearances by political practitioners, including lobbyists, legislators, and political consultants. Every student will also engage in an in-class debate.

 

Texts/Readings:

Alinsky, Rules for Radicals

Bo, Lying

Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral

Ibsen, Enemy of the People

Machiavelli, The Prince

Riordon, Plunkitt of Tammany Hall

Thucydides, On Justice, Power, and Human Nature

de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol.1

Warren, All the King’s Men

Matthews, Hardball

Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

 

Assignments:

There will be six papers of varying lengths, typically 750–1000 words. These will be based on analysis of the readings and will comprise 75–80% of the final grade. The remainder will be determined by class discussion. There will be no examinations, so long as the discussions indicate that students are keeping up with the readings. Any paper with a grade lower than a B- must be rewritten.

 

About the Professor:

Paul Burka, a visiting lecturer, is the executive editor of Texas Monthly and a seasoned observer of Texas politics; he is well known for his many columns and features, including his biennial report on the best and worst legislators. Before entering the field of journalism, Mr. Burka served as an attorney in the Texas Legislature.

 

T C 302 • Right And Wrong In Politics

42845 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CRD 007B
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Description:

The proper role of morality in politics has been a fundamental question for western civilization since Plato. This seminar will consider how this subject has been treated in philosophy, literature, journalism and film. Some of the subjects that will be covered: whether political values have a universal basis; the conflict and compatibility between liberty and equality; the strengths and weaknesses of democratic systems; the moral constraints on those who hold power and their opposition. All issues will be examined in the context of how politics actually works. We will consider why lying seems to be so prevalent in politics, the influence of the Internet on the democratic process, and whether the nature of politics defies reform. A few class periods will be devoted to appearances by political practitioners, including lobbyists, legislators, and political consultants. Every student will also engage in an in-class debate.

Texts/Readings:Alinsky, Rules for RadicalsBo, LyingEliot, Murder in the CathedralIbsen, Enemy of the PeopleMachiavelli, The PrinceRiordon, Plunkitt of Tammany HallThucydides, On Justice, Power, and Human Naturede Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol.1Warren, All the King’s MenMatthews, HardballShakespeare, Julius Caesar

Assignments:There will be six papers of varying lengths, typically 750–1000 words. These will be based on analysis of the readings and will comprise 75–80% of the final grade. The remainder will be determined by class discussion. There will be no examinations, so long as the discussions indicate that students are keeping up with the readings. Any paper with a grade lower than a B- must be rewritten.

About the Professor:Paul Burka, a visiting lecturer, is the executive editor of Texas Monthly and a seasoned observer of Texas politics; he is well known for his many columns and features, including his biennial report on the best and worst legislators. Before entering the field of journalism, Mr. Burka served as an attorney in the Texas Legislature.

T C 302 • Right And Wrong In Politics

42785 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CRD 007A
show description

This course has a writing flag.

Description:

The proper role of morality in politics has been a fundamental question for western civilization since Plato. This seminar will consider how this subject has been treated in philosophy, literature, journalism and film. Some of the subjects that will be covered: whether political values have a universal basis; the conflict and compatibility between liberty and equality; the strengths and weaknesses of democratic systems; the moral constraints on those who hold power and their opposition. All issues will be examined in the context of how politics actually works. We will consider why lying seems to be so prevalent in politics, the influence of the Internet on the democratic process, and whether the nature of politics defies reform. A few class periods will be devoted to appearances by political practitioners, including lobbyists, legislators, and political consultants. Every student will also engage in an in-class debate.

 

Texts/Readings:

Alinsky, Rules for Radicals

Bo, Lying

Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral

Ibsen, Enemy of the People

Machiavelli, The Prince

Riordon, Plunkitt of Tammany Hall

Thucydides, On Justice, Power, and Human Nature

de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol.1

Warren, All the King’s Men

Matthews, Hardball

Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

 

Assignments: 

There will be six papers of varying lengths, typically 750–1000 words. These will be based on analysis of the readings and will comprise 75–80% of the final grade. The remainder will be determined by class discussion. There will be no examinations, so long as the discussions indicate that students are keeping up with the readings. Any paper with a grade lower than a B- must be rewritten.

 

About the Professor:

Paul Burka, a visiting lecturer, is the executive editor of Texas Monthly and a seasoned observer of Texas politics; he is well known for his many columns and features, including his biennial report on the best and worst legislators. Before entering the field of journalism, Mr. Burka served as an attorney in the Texas Legislature. 

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