Faber-GOVT111.03-Fall07Syllabus - Department of Government...

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Department of Government and Political Affairs GOVT 111.03 Introduction to American Government MWF 1:00-1:50 PM Byerly Hall 230 Dr. Michael Faber Fall 2007 TELEPHONE/E-MAIL Campus: 871.2454, 872.3550 E-Mail: michael.faber@millersville.edu OFFICE HOURS, FULTON 206 3:00 PM- 5:00 PM (MW) 11:00 AM-12:00 PM (TR) By Appointment Introduction The political process in America is much more complicated than many people believe. There are always many and diverse actors who have a stake in any policy outcome; accommodating all (or even most) of these interests is generally impossible. Eventually conflicts are resolved, though never in a manner satisfactory to all involved, and the process is not often quick and rarely painless. Such resolutions are virtually never permanent. To understand American politics, one must have an understanding of the institutions and various actors involved, as well as the ways in which they interact with one another. Providing an overview of the American national government and the policymaking process are the primary goals of this course. We will focus on institutions and processes, and we will spend nearly a third of the course discussing the impact of individuals and groups on American national government, and what role they ought to play in a democratic policymaking process. Required Texts There will be two books to buy for this course. Both should be available at the Millersville bookstore. The first is a textbook, Approaching Democracy , fifth edition, by Berman and Murphy. This will be the central text for the class; we will read most of it. Each week, there will be at least one, and sometimes two, chapters assigned as that week’s readings. The second required text is The Enduring Debate , fourth edition, edited by Canon et al. This collection of essays and excerpts will be used frequently throughout the semester to illuminate the issues which we will address. Articles in this book will also form the basis for the writing assignments and much of the class discussion. Berman, Larry and Bruce Allen Murphy. 2007. Approaching Democracy , Fifth Edition. Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0131744011. Canon, David, John Coleman, and Kenneth Mayer. 2006. The Enduring Debate: Classic and Contemporary Readings in American Politics , Fourth Edition. W.W. Norton and Company, ISBN: 0393926184. In addition to the two books listed above, you will be expected to keep up on current events. In order to do this, I will expect you to read The New York Times . Special reduced rate subscriptions are available through the bookstore, but you are not required to subscribe through that particular offer. The reason for requiring a particular newspaper is so I can assign specific articles and opinion pieces for you to read. The reason for choosing the New York Times over other newspapers is that it is generally considered the gold standard in print journalism. That does not necessarily mean that it is the best, and it certainly is not the only news source out there.
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Faber-GOVT111.03-Fall07Syllabus - Department of Government...

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