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MatisoffPol1101Fall2011 - Fall2011...

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Georgia Institute of Technology   -   Ivan Allen College School of Public Policy POL 1101 – DM - GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES Fall 2011 Class time:  T/R.:  12:05pm – 1:25pm  Classroom:  DM Smith 105 Professor:  Daniel Matisoff          E-mail:  [email protected]    Phone: 404.385.2623     Cell: 404.219.7127 Mailbox:  DM Smith 110      Grader:  Kathryn Jones E-mail:    [email protected] Office hours:   DM Smith 308, T/R 2-3pm or by appointment Lunch Sessions:  DM Smith 108, Times TBD Course Description & Objectives This course provides an introduction to American government. Specifically, your goal in this course is to be able to interpret government processes and decisions critically, systematically, and accurately. You should focus on learning how the institutions and processes of government relate to each other and to the fundamental design principles, and why simple political statements or ideological positions are almost always inadequate or misleading. The course strives to introduce you to theories related to American government and be able to apply them to current policy debates. Given the current major policy debates and the theme of policy change in the past election, there will be a particular emphasis on policy change – how it happens, what makes it more or less likely, and the relationship between U.S. government institutions and policy change. In addition to basic course objectives, I hope to develop your individual study and group work skills. College courses (at least in the social sciences & humanities) require large reading loads that may not be customary for those in the sciences. I hope to help you learn how to comprehend and digest large amounts of information by reading quickly while comprehending the main arguments. In addition, you will have a group project that will help aid group facilitation, which is an important skill while you are in college and afterwards, whether you work for a non-profit, government, or business. Finally, you will have individual assignments as well, which will aid your personal study skills development. Please come see me early if you have any apprehensions or are having difficulties with course materials. Required Materials and Readings Page  1  of  7
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Georgia Institute of Technology   -   Ivan Allen College School of Public Policy I will attempt to have all of the required and recommended books placed on reserve at the library. I am seeking to reduce the amount of books you have to buy and put as much as possible online. These books are also available at the Engineers Bookstore . In addition, you can probably get them cheaper at amazon.com, half.com, abebooks.com, betterworldbooks.com, or other used online sources. Some are available used for quite cheap. Abebooks.com & Betterworldbooks.com are excellent resources for used books!
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