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Unformatted text preview: American Government 790:104, Section 14 Spring 2012 – David Andersen [email protected] Class Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays 7:15 – 8:35 pm Hickman 101 Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:35-9:35 Carriage House 104 And by Appointment Course Overview This course provides an overview of American government. We will focus on three main themes during the course: 1) the theories and origins of American government, 2) the institutions and organizations that constitute American government and finally 3) the role of individual citizens in American government. The first third of the course will be devoted to the basic principles of government, how our unique system was created and has evolved, and how it is designed to function under the Constitution. This material will be covered on Exam I. The second portion of the course will focus on the actual functioning of the American system, as well as its influences and applications that are not clearly spelled out within its founding documents. This will include such institutions as the mass media, political parties and other groups that hold clear influence on American government, even though they are not mentioned in the Constitution itself. This material will be covered on Exam II. Finally, the course will conclude with a section dealing with the role that individual citizens have within our democratic society. This includes how people are able to influence government and how government learns what its people want. This material will be covered in the final exam. Course Organization The class periods will consist of lectures that emphasize both the assigned readings and relevant current events. The primary focus of the class will be on the main textbook, We the People: An Introduction to American Politics , but will also include discussions of current events that illustrate the points made in the main text and the two supplemental books: Culture Wars? and How Democratic is the American Constitution? Each scheduled lecture period will have a reading assigned to it. The expectation is that you will have completed that assignment prior to the lecture. The lectures are designed to bring together the information presented in the textbook and summarize it in a sensible manner. The lectures will not replace the need to read the book, nor will reading the book replace the material presented in lecture. Both will present novel information about American Government that you will be expected to know. Required Texts Three books are required reading for this course, and are for sale at the Cook/Douglas Coop Bookstore: Ginsberg, Benjamin, Theodore Lowi and Margaret Weir. We The People: An Introduction to American Politics: 8 th Shorter Edition . Norton Publishing. 2010....
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- Spring '12
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