POSC 121 200 Spring 11 Syllabus

POSC 121 200 Spring 11 Syllabus - 1 POSC 121 Instructor:...

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POSC 121 Schedule #8376 Spring 2011 Instructor: Brian Jennings Phone: 619-644-7839 Email: brian.jennings@gcccd.edu Office: 515A POLITICAL SCIENCE 121 – POLITICAL SCIENCE 121 – INTRODUCTION TO U.S. GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS INTRODUCTION TO U.S. GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS 3 units Meets: 2:00-3:15 Monday and Wednesday January 24 – May 25 Room 51-577 COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course analyzes the evolution and structure of the U.S. and California political systems. Various theories concerning the control of government are examined. Historical bases of the U.S. and California political systems including constitutions, federalism, capitalism, and democracy are highlighted. The policy making role of traditional political institutions such as executives, legislatures, and judiciaries, as well as non-governmental political institutions such as the media, and special interests are explored. Particular attention is paid to threats to democracy in the U.S and California ranging from individual apathy (reflected in low voter turnout) to corporate control of media and government to economic globalization. Drawing on students’ prior knowledge of American and California government, this course provides a more thorough understanding of the realities of today’s American and California political systems. The topics covered in the course are illustrated through reference to actual political events occurring as the course progresses. The political system affects all of our lives. This course demonstrates how and suggests ways that you can influence the system. REQUIRED LEARNING OUTCOMES: Throughout the semester students must discuss, analyze, interpret, and synthesize a wide range of course material to explain the following concepts in American politics. Students must demonstrate mastery of these skills by producing a variety of work including a research paper final exam essay. 1. Describe the structure of the U.S. national government and evaluate the roles of major forces shaping the formation of public policy including public opinion, interest groups, and political parties. 2. Describe the origins and evolution of the U.S. Constitution, especially with regard to citizens' rights. 3. Evaluate the dynamics of a Federal system with particular attention to the relationship between California and the Federal government COURSE GOALS: During this course the student will: A. Evaluate the goals, processes, and problems of government and politics. B. Appraise various methods and theories for analyzing democracy in the United States and California. C. Examine the historical origins and continuing evolution of the U.S. and California Constitutions, especially with regard to citizens’ rights and responsibilities. D. Analyze the structure and functions of American and California government and
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POSC 121 200 Spring 11 Syllabus - 1 POSC 121 Instructor:...

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