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amergovtsyllabuss09 - Introduction to American and Texas...

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Introduction to American and Texas Government Government 310L The University of Texas at Austin Unique Numbers 38090, 38095, 38100, 38105 Spring 2009 Professor Jason P. Casellas, Ph.D. Office Location: Batts 4.138 MW 11:00-11:50 am; F various times Phone Number: (512) 232-7202 Room: MEZ B0.306 Email: [email protected] Office Hours : MW 2:30-4:00 pm Teaching Assistants: Mr. Donn Diego Gladish Mr. Kody Cooper E-mail: [email protected] [email protected] Room: Batts 1.118 Batts 1.118 Office Hours: Course Description : This course will examine the foundations, principles, institutions, and processes of American government. Through the examination of the Constitution, federalism, and the American creed, we will gain an appreciation for the political institutions that have sustained the United States for more than two hundred years. We will examine in detail the characteristics of the three major branches of government, and how separation of powers has worked and works in today’s polity. We will then discuss the various extra- governmental institutions, which have an influence on governmental decisions, such as interest groups, political parties, and the media. Finally, we will explore American elections, political participation, and public opinion in order to better understand the processes which give American politics its very life. The course will conclude with a discussion of domestic and foreign policy, with reference to current political events. Required Text Coleman, John, Kenneth Goldstein, and William Howell (2009). Understanding American Politics and Government , New York: Pearson Longman Publishers University of Texas at Austin Online Project Texas Government Website http://texaspolitics.laits.utexas.edu/ Recommended Hamilton, Alexander, James Madison, and John Jay. The Federalist Papers ed. George W. Carey and James McClellan, The Gideon Edition.
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GOV 310L Spring 2009 ** Other readings will be journal articles, or selected chapters from other books. These will be marked with an * below in the appropriate week. They can provide useful additional insight that the textbook does not cover. They can be found via ERes (Electronic Reserves System) at http://reserves.lib.utexas.edu/eres/default.aspx . The password for the course is “congress.”
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