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325_syllabus, 1-12-11 - 1 UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN...

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UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN GOVERNMENT 325 POLITICAL PARTIES PROFESSOR DARON R. SHAW SPRING 2011 Unique#: 38855 Meting Time: MWF 3:00-4:00 Meeting Place: Mezes 1.306 Office Hours: M,F 10:00-11:30 Office: Batts 4.146 Phone: 232-7275 Email: [email protected] TA: Eric Svensen TA Email: [email protected] TA Office: Batts 1.118 COURSE DESCRIPTION This course focuses on the role political parties play in representative democracies. We will study the variables that distinguish party systems in different countries, the historical development of parties, and the nature of parties in contemporary democratic societies. We will also explore how parties mobilize mass populations for political purposes, as well as the character of party elites, activists and supporters. The first four weeks of the course are largely general and theoretical. Examples will be drawn from different countries to illustrate questions and arguments. The remainder of the course deals almost exclusively with the American parties. My approach will be thematic. By studying institutions and processes that are generally characteristic of parties in democratic systems, you will recognize that many features of the American parties are a particular configuration of more general phenomena. Through the readings and lectures on the U.S. party system you will develop a conceptual and theoretical understanding of not only the American parties, but of political parties across the globe. COURSE REQUIREMENTS Your grade will be determined by your score out of 300 possible points. The break-down is as follows: ASSIGNMENT POINTS QUESTIONS DATE Take-Home 1 75 March 4 Take-Home 2 75 April 29 Midterm 1 Multiple Choice 30 30 March 7 Short-Answer 30 10 March 9 Midterm 2 Multiple Choice 30 30 May 4 Short-Answer 30 10 May 6 ASSIGNMENT POINTS QUESTIONS DATE Attendance & 30 1
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Participation TOTAL 300 Take-Homes The take-home essays require you to respond to a single broad, theoretical question. You are expected to rely on the assigned readings to construct your answer, although you are encouraged to go beyond the prepared course materials. Your response must be in essay form, 7-pages long, typed, double-spaced, with 10-12 point font and 1”-1.5” margins. Please turn in a hard copy of your take-home essay; electronic submissions are allowed only in exceptional circumstances. You may NOT collaborate with classmates on the take-home exams. The take-homes are tentatively due on Friday, March 4 and Friday, April 29 . I will attempt to provide the take-home questions a week in advance of these due dates. The take-homes will be graded on a 0-75 point scale. No late papers will be accepted without a compelling excuse. If I accept a late paper due to an excuse, I will deduct 5 points for each day the paper is late.
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