GOVT 2301 (Fall '11) Syllabus

GOVT 2301 (Fall '11) Syllabus - Government 2301...

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Dr. Douglas C. Dow Autumn 2011 MWF: 11:00-11:50AM CV Seminar Room - GC 1.208B Office Hours: MW 12:00-2:00PM and by appointment (GC 2.206) E-Mail: [email protected] Phone: (972) 883-4934 Course Objectives This honors seminar is designed as an introduction to the constitutional structure and the political processes of the United States and Texas. We will seek a basic understanding of the people, institutions, movements, cultures, and opinions that shape the political landscape. Our first goal will be to understand how American politics is contoured by an ever-changing constitutional system. We will seek answers to a number of questions: What were the origins of the American and Texan constitutions? How do the historical beginnings of government continue to shape contemporary politics? How should power be divided and shared between the national government and the states? What are the functions of state government? How does the Texas Constitution resemble and differ from the U.S. Constitution? What has been the history of civil rights and liberties protection? The second goal of the course will be to understand those processes and institutions through which citizens behave politically. What is political culture? How do people come to form political beliefs? What kinds of groups do people create and join to promote their ideas and interests? How do these groups interact with governmental actors themselves? We shall explore the development and evolution of political parties, the growing dominance of interest groups, the importance of public opinion and the role of political culture in shaping the information Americans have about their government and society. Course Requirements Attendance and Participation : An important requirement for this honors seminar will be active participation in class discussion, debate and analysis. Regular attendance is required, and the professor will take attendance for each class. Please bring to class each day the texts under discussion – we will be referring to particular passages regularly. Each student is expected to have completed the day’s readings before class. Be prepared to talk. Everyone will be expected to demonstrate civility and a respect for the thoughts, opinions and beliefs of others. Notes or summaries will not be provided for missed classes. Cell phones and all other electronic noise-makers should be turned off (not on vibrate) during class. Because of the frequency by which many students using laptops to take notes also succumb to the temptations to surf the Web, check email, IM, or otherwise disengage themselves from class discussions, laptop use will not be permitted during class. Exams:
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This note was uploaded on 10/20/2011 for the course UNIV 1010 taught by Professor N/a during the Spring '11 term at Acadia.

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GOVT 2301 (Fall '11) Syllabus - Government 2301...

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