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
Campus: 871.2454, 872.3550
OFFICE HOURS, FULTON 206
3:00 PM- 5:00 PM (MW)
11:00 AM-12:00 PM (TR)
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
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.
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.
There will be two books to buy for this course.
Both should be available at the Millersville bookstore.
first is a textbook,
, 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.
collection of essays and excerpts will be used frequently throughout the semester to illuminate the issues which we
Articles in this book will also form the basis for the writing assignments and much of the class
Berman, Larry and Bruce Allen Murphy.
, Fifth Edition.
Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0131744011.
Canon, David, John Coleman, and Kenneth Mayer.
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.
not necessarily mean that it is the best, and it certainly is not the only news source out there.