The Department of Government
The Department of Government

GOV 310L • American Government

Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM CAL 100
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This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 310L • American Government

Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM CAL 100
show description

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 310L • American Government

Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM UTC 3.134
show description

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 310L • American Government

38535 • McDaniel, Eric
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM JES A121A
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GOV 310L

Course Description

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the processes and issues of United States and Texas government. The course will cover the relevant institutions in the development of the governmental process as well as discuss the role of the citizens in shaping our government.

GOV 310L • American Government

38570 • Leal, David
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM WCH 1.120
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Course Description

This course will introduce you to government and politics in the United States as well as

in Texas. We will cover U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public

opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues. The class begins with the creation

of the nation and its fundamental features, including the adoption of the Constitution, the

development of democracy, and the importance of federalism. The class then examines

public input into the political system, particularly public opinion, individual and group

participation, and the political parties. Public input is nowhere better found than in

congressional and presidential elections, which are separately discussed. In fact, the

main textbook of the class argues that American government can only be fully

understood by studying the central role of elections. We then explore the basic

institutional building blocks of government – the Congress, presidency, bureaucracy, and

courts, as well as the media. We continue by discussing fundamental civil liberties and

civil rights, followed by the key policy issues that face national, state, and local

governments today. The class will also cover the central features of Texas government

and politics and make comparisons between American government and Texas




Morris P. Fiorina, Paul E. Peterson, Bertram Johnson, and William G. Mayer. The New

American Democracy, 2011 (7th edition).

John Rourke. You Decide! Current Debates in American Politics, 2012 (9th edition).

Texas Politics Project, University of Texas at Austin: Selected chapters.

For the free version, see the link in the right column (“If you’re simply looking for the

free version of the textbook whether for reference or for the classroom, it is still

available, as always, right here”).

Optional: Students may also choose to obtain an iClicker, which will be used to go over

practice exam questions (but this will not be graded).


Course Grade

Exams: There will be three exams.

Midterm #1 (25% of your grade; multiple choice questions; covers first third of the class


Midterm #2 (30% of your grade; multiple choice questions; covers second third of the

class material)

Final Exam (40% of your grade; multiple choice questions; covers last third of the class

material and includes cumulative questions). This will take place during the UT final

exam period.

Writing: 5% of your grade is based on two short writing projects, which will be discussed

in class.

Grading: This class will use pluses and minuses for all exams, the writing assignments,

and the final course grade.

93-100% A (4) 73-76% C (2)

90-92% A- (3.67) 70-72% C- (1.67)

87-89% B+ (3.33) 67-69% D+ (1.33)

83-86% B (3) 63-66% D (1)

80-82% B- (2.67) 60-62% D- (.67)

77-79% C+ (2.33) Below 60% F (0)

Extra credit: To further the research and teaching missions of UT, students may be able

to participate in academic public opinion surveys during the semester (depending on

availability). These will be used for research and teaching purposes by department

faculty and graduate students and will be conducted either online or in the Department of

Government survey lab. They are confidential, so I will only know if you took a survey,

not your answers.

GOV 310L • American Government

38540 • O'Brien, Shannon
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM JES A121A
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GOV 310L  38465  American Politics


Course Description:

This course is an introduction to American Government. It is designed to give you a basic idea of the functions, activities, and interactions of our federal system. Our government is a dynamic entity that has evolved over time and shaped by both internal and external forces. The goal of this class is to provide you with tools to understand American Institutions.  Through learning the duties, powers, and limitations of government, you can better appreciate the impact of current events upon America.  This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the American and Texas government component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, personal responsibility, and social responsibility


Required Reading:

American Politics Today, 5rd Essentials Edition by William T. Bianco and David T. Canon  2017 W. W. Norton and Company.

ISBN: 978-0-393-28361-7


Grading policy:

Grades will based on the following:

Test 1                                         30%
Test 2                                         30%
Test 3                                         30%
2 Paper Assignments: Total Weight is 5% each or 10% total

I do use plus/minus grading.

GOV 310L • American Government

Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM MEZ B0.306
show description

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 310L • American Government

38560 • Albertson, Bethany
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM FAC 21
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This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 310L • American Government

38575-38580 • Theriault, Sean
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM
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This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 310L • American Government

38545 • Epp, Derek
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ B0.306
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GOV 310L: American Government

How should we evaluate governments and the politicians that run them? What do we expect successful governments to do or not to do? In answering these questions, not everyone will reach the same conclusion. Differences in what we consider a successful government go a long way toward clarifying the multitude of political opinions that find voice among the American public. But having a sensible answer (or at least being able to meaningfully engage with the question) is part of being a responsible citizen in a democracy. The objective of this course is to provide some of the background information that may help you clarify your own expectations of government, whatever those may be. Specifically, this course will serve as an introduction to American (and Texas) politics by examining important political institutions, processes, and actors.

Like other academic fields, the study of government demands skepticism (not cynicism) and critical thinking. We will seek to develop these are attributes throughout the semester and apply them to governments, politicians, and institutions. The goal, through readings, class discussions, and homework assignments is not to promote any specific worldview, but to emphasize the importance of approaching politics with a critical eye.


Your grades will be based on the following assignments:

Homework (40%): Periodically throughout the semester you will be asked to complete a homework assignment, due at the beginning of the next class. A typical assignment will include research and writing components. For example, you might be asked to research a proposed bill in the Texas Legislature and to write a 1- to 2-page policy brief about it. There will be no more than 10 and no fewer than 6 of these assignments. Assignments will be announced in class and then posted to the course website.

Exams (60%): There will be two exams – a midterm and a final – each of which will be worth 30% of your total grade. The final is not cumulative.

Homework assignments that are not submitted and exams that are not taken will be graded as a 0. If you are experiencing a personal crisis (or one in your immediate family) then accommodations can be made, but it is crucial that you contact me or your TA as soon as possible. After-the-fact emergencies will not be considered. In some instances, a note from your dean may be required. 

The grading scale in percentages is as follows:

93-100 (A)
90-92.99 (A-)
87-89.99 (B+)
83-86.99 (B)
80-82.99 (B-)
77-79.99 (C+)
73-76.99 (C)
70-72.99 (C-)
67-69.99 (D+)
63-66.99 (D)
60-62.99 (D-)
0-59.99 (F)


There are two required books for the course:

(1) The American Political System (3rd Edition) by Ken Kollman

(2) Readings in American Politics (3rd Edition) by Ken Kollman

It is your responsibility to obtain these books. There is an ebook option for the main text, which is less expensive, and, of course, you should look around for used copies, just be sure that you purchase the 3rd edition. Any additional readings will be available on the course website. 

GOV 310L • American Government-Honors

38585 • Tulis, Jeffrey
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM CBA 4.338
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GOV 310 (Honors)

Fall 2017

TTH 3:30-5:00pm, CBA 4.338


Introduction to American Politics


This honors seminar offers an introduction to American politics that emphasizes the confluence of ideas, mores, institutions, and interests, in the constitutional system. This course covers more theory, and the readings are more demanding, than other versions of GOV 310. 


One of the main objectives of the course is to deepen your understanding of the practical aspects of contemporary public affairs by developing your ability to understand the theoretical foundations of American politics.  Although we cover the nuts and bolts of politics there is much more theory in this version of GOV 310. If you have registered for this section mainly because 310 is a legislative requirement that you need to fulfill, this is not the right version for you.  There is a substantial workload in this class.


Regular attendance, thorough and timely preparation, and active participation are all necessary to do well.


Course requirements:


  1. Four essays (approximately 1000 words each).  Three of these will be assigned analytic essay topics. The last will be a book review of a title chosen by the student from a long list of provided possibilities.   (15% each essay, 60% of total course grade)


  1. Two in-class tests. These will count 15% each, 30% of total course grade.


  1. Class participation. (10% of course grade).  Both informed participation and occasional leadership of the seminar will be graded.


No make-up exams or late papers, except for documented medical or other emergencies.


Texts: (tentative)

Mark Landy and Sidney M. Milkis, American Government: Enduring Principles, Critical Choices, Third Edition

Mary Nichols and David Nichols, Readings in American Government, Ninth Edition

Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, Its Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism

Bruce Ackerman,Before the Next Attack: Preserving Civil Liberties in an Age of Terrorism

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM MEZ B0.306
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Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM CLA 0.128
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Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

Meets MWF 8:00AM-9:00AM MEZ B0.306
show description

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

38630-38635 • Moser, Robert
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM
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Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

38600 • Stauffer, Dana
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM MEZ 1.306
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312L Course Description


This course examines American democracy in its origins, its evolution, its strengths and weaknesses, and its enduring character. We will read primary texts from the American colonial period, the American Founding, the pre-Civil-war period, the Progressive era, and the late twentieth century. Much of the course will be devoted to Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic work Democracy in America, one of the most famous books ever written on American politics. Written in the 1830s, the work takes up questions and themes that continue to resonate almost two centuries later. Tocqueville was interested in analyzing American democracy from all angles and his work is a mix of sociology, history, and moral psychology, as well as political science. Key themes of our examination will be: the relationship between religion and politics, the relationship between American materialism (and America’s economic life more generally) to its politics, and the meaning of American equality. We will also take up Tocqueville’s wide-ranging observations on American intellectual life, family life, and the relations between the sexes, as they relate to the American political experiment. In the last third of the course, we will read authors who challenge Tocqueville’s key arguments, or take his assertions in a new direction, and we will consider how well his predictions have been borne out.


This course satisfies the second half of the legislative requirement in Government.


Grading and Requirements:


Option 1 (No paper):

Midterm Exam: 40%

Pop Quizzes: 10%

Final Exam: 50%

Option 2 (With paper):

Midterm Exam: 20%

Pop Quizzes: 10%

Final Exam:  30%

Paper: 40%


Attendance is required and four or more unexcused absences will causes a drop in one’s final grade.


Required Texts:

1. A COURSE READER, available at Jenn’s Copying and Binding, 2518 Guadalupe St., at the corner of Guadalupe and Dean Keeton, tel. 482-0779.


2. Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville, Volume I. Translated by Arthur Goldhammer and edited by Olivier Zunz. Library of America. 2012.


3. Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville, Volume II. Translated by Arthur Goldhammer and edited by Olivier Zunz. Library of America. 2012.


4. Online readings.

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

38625 • Enelow, James
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM BEL 328
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The University of Texas at Austin                                                                   

Professor Jim Enelow, BAT 3.102                                                   





Required Reading

Randolph B. Campbell, Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State, Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2012 (paperback)


This course will examine the major events and personalities in Texas political history from 16th century Spanish Texas up to the present. We will adopt a narrative approach, stressing the issues and concerns that motivated the major actors who helped shape the history of this state and also seeing events in Texas in the larger context of European, Mexican, and American history.

Exams and Grades

There will be three in-class, multiple-choice exams on the dates noted below. There is no final exam. The first two exams have 35 questions and the last one has 30 questions for a total of 100 questions on all three exams.  The raw scores on the three exams are added with each question worth one point and the total raw scores are then used to determine your final grade. 100-87 = A, 86-85 = A-, 84-83 = B+, 82-77 = B, 76-75 = B-, 74-73 = C+, 72-66 = C, 65-64 = C-, 63-54 = D, 53-0 = F. There is no extra credit. A make-up exam (IDs and short answer questions) will be given only if an exam is missed for a valid reason. Each exam covers only material since the exam just before it.

Use of Canvas

Canvas will be used for announcements, the syllabus, PowerPoint slides, grades, main points of the lectures, organizing principles of the lectures, maps, sample questions, and study sheets for the exams. You will be notified during lecture or by e-mail if additional information is added as the semester progresses.


The lectures are the major source of information for the tests, so it is important to come to every class. The study guide for each test will tell you what material to take notes on. It is a good idea to read the assigned material before coming to class, so you will better understand the lectures. Everything covered in lecture and assigned from your book can be the subject of exam questions unless explicitly excluded by me. If you have any questions, you are always welcome to see me during my office hours or anytime I’m in my office.

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

38605 • Budziszewski, J
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM PAR 304
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GOV 312L, Issues and Policies in American Government:


Professor J. Budziszewski


Class meets:               MW 1:00-2:30PM, PAR 304

Prof's office hours:    MW 11:00am-12:30pm in Mezes 3.106

Prof’s email:    

Prof’s office phone:   232-7229; phone does not record messages; email strongly preferred

Course website:         Canvas

Prof’s website:           The Underground Thomist,

Course policies:           See the FAQ at the “Other Things My Students May Need” section of the Teaching page at my personal website.



The course fulfills part of the basic education requirement in writing.  Because it carries a writing flag, it may also be used used to fulfill three hours of the communication component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, teamwork, and personal responsibility.


Americans are often said to be obsessed with their Constitution.  So be it; but then it behooves us to know something about it.  The approach taken in this course is to return to the early debates surrounding its writing and ratification.  We make no use at all of textbooks; rather we study the political thinking of the early Americans in their own words.

Another old saw is that history is written by the winners.  However, this is not be a course in winner-worship:  Equal attention and respect are given, on the one hand, to those who wrote the Constitution and argued for its ratification, and on the other, to those who argued against it or demanded sweeping changes in its content.  There are several good reasons for such evenhandedness.  One is that, for all we know, the losers might have been right.  Another is that they might have had some influence on the winners.  Still a third is that we can't fully understand the arguments by which the winners won unless we understand what they were arguing against.

Having spoken of history, I should now admit that this is not a "history course" in the ordinary sense.  Rather it is a course in early American political thought -- in political theory and philosophy.  Another thing that you should understand is that this course puts heavy emphasis on the development of skills in interpretive reading, critical thinking, and analytical writing.  For instance, it doesn't matter that you can read what a writer has written and figure out what he believes.  What matters is whether you can learn to figure out why he believes it, and how it is logically related to other things he believes.  In other words, when you read you are expected to look for arguments, not just propositions.



Unit 1: Required analytical outline.

Unit 2:  Required take-home essay.  Extra credit for analytical outline.

Unit 3:  Required take-home essay.  Extra credit for analytical outline.

Thirteen short quizzes.

Final grades are calculated in four steps.  First, each student's TWO lowest quiz grades are dropped, and remaining quiz grades averaged.  Second, this average is "curved."  Third, the uncurved exam grades and the curved quiz average are weighted, as follows:


            Unit 1 analytical outlines                                                                 25%

            Unit 2 take-home exam (uncurved, counting extra credit points)        25%

            Unit 3 take-home exam (uncurved, counting extra credit points)        25%

            Curved quiz average                                                                       25%


Class participation and attendance modify grades.  Scholastic dishonesty results in a failing grade for the course.

See the “Other things my students may need” section at the bottom of the Teaching page at my personal website: , especially the course policies in the FAQ, which I expect you to know.



The following required books have been ordered.  Each book must be purchased.  Always bring with you to class the books we are using at the moment.

1. Ralph Ketcham, ed., The Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates, excerpts.

2. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, The Federalist, excerpts.

3. Herbert J. Storing, ed., with Murray Dry, The Anti-Federalist, excerpts.

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM WAG 101
show description

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

38595 • Philpot, Tasha
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM SAC 1.402
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Issues and Polices in American Government: Race, Media, and Politics

GOV 312L




This course examines the ways in which the media shape how we think about race. In doing so, this course will first explore the nature and construction of race. Second, it will examine the media establishment and its role in politics. Third, it will apply theories of media norms to explore how racial stereotypes of the four largest minority groups in the U.S. are created and perpetuated. Finally, this course will examine the effects of racialized media images on political processes.


This course carries the flag for Cultural Diversity in the United States. Cultural Diversity courses are designed to increase your familiarity with the variety and richness of the American cultural experience. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one U.S. cultural group that has experienced persistent marginalization.




Twenty-four semester hours of college coursework, including Government 310L, and a passing score on the reading section of the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) test (or an appropriate assessment test).


Required Text Books


There are two required text books for this course. Both books are available at the University Co-op.


Wilson II, Clint C., Felix Gutierrez, and Lena M. Chao.  2012.  Racism, Sexism and the Media: The Rise of Class Communication in Multicultural America, 4th Ed.  Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.


Graber, Doris A and Johanna Dunaway.  2014.  Mass Media and American Politics, 9nd Ed.  Washington, DC: CQ Press.




Exam 1                                                            25%

Exam 2                                                            25%

Exam 3                                                            25%

Quizzes and in-class assignments                       25% 

GOV 312P • Constitutnl Prins: Core Texts

Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM CLA 1.102
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Close readings from primary texts that have shaped or that reflect deeply upon American democracy, including the Declaration of Independance, the Federalist Papers, and Tocqueville's Democracy in America.  Fulfills second half of the legislative requirement for government. May be taken for credit only once. Government 312R and 312P may not both be counted for credit.

GOV 312P • Constitutnl Prins: Core Texts

Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 206
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Close readings from primary texts that have shaped or that reflect deeply upon American democracy, including the Declaration of Independance, the Federalist Papers, and Tocqueville's Democracy in America.  Fulfills second half of the legislative requirement for government. May be taken for credit only once. Government 312R and 312P may not both be counted for credit.

GOV 314 • Classics Of Socl/Polit Thou

38651 • Bennett, Zachary
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM MEZ 1.102
(also listed as CTI 302)
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This course explores the changing role of human psychology in the history of political thought through the study of classic texts in philosophy and psychology. We will examine several key philosophers’ accounts of the deepest human concerns—justice, freedom, self-preservation, love, and happiness—and the potential of political life to fulfill those yearnings. We will focus on the works of Plato, Augustine, Hobbes, and Rousseau, and we will compare their reflections on human nature with those of Darwin and with contemporary theories of evolutionary psychology. We will discuss how these different views of human psychology suggest different approaches to ethics and politics.

GOV 314 • Classics Of Socl/Polit Thou

38650 • Siddiqi, Ahmed
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM GAR 0.120
(also listed as CTI 302)
show description

This course explores the changing role of human psychology in the history of political thought through the study of classic texts in philosophy and psychology. In roughly chronological order, we will examine several key philosophers’ accounts of the deepest human concerns—justice, happiness, and love—and the potential political life has to fulfill those yearnings. In the final part of the course, we will study Darwin’s evolutionary theory of human mental faculties in The Descent of Man, Freud’s theory of unconscious psychological drives, and current theories of evolutionary psychology. We will discuss how these different views of human nature suggest different approaches to politics and ethics.

We will read selections from the following works:

  • Plato The Republic, The Symposium 
  • St. Augustine: The Confessions, City of God 
  • Hobbes The Leviathan 
  • Rousseau Discourse on the Origin of Inequality
  • Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil
  • Darwin The Descent of Man 
  • Freud Civilization and its Discontents
  • And selected articles on evolutionary psychology

GOV 320N • US Const Development: Rights

38655 • Sager, Alan
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM CLA 0.112
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U.S. Constitutional Development: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Dr. Sager                                                                  
Fall 2017


Course Description


            The course focuses on the development of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in America through the reading and analysis  of U.S. Supreme Court cases.  Cases will be read and analyzed chronologically by Court.  
            There are no prerequisites for this course.

            This course is for students who seek  a broad  understanding of the U.S. Supreme Court’s civil rights/civil liberties jurisprudence as well as an understanding of the various approaches to explaining  and analyzing Supreme Court decision making.   It is designed for government majors, students who are thinking of attending law school, students who want to expand and sharpen their written, verbal and analytical skills and students who plan to  teach  in high schools or middle schools.

            In addition  to carefully analyzing cases,  we will consider  both the social and political context in which the cases arose as well as the theoretical basis of various civil rights and liberties.

            The course goals are not only about learning the substantive materials but also about expanding students’ skills in reading and analyzing texts as well as learning how to compare current cases and precedents to their historical predecessors.   Students are expected to keep current with the reading assignments and come to class prepared to discuss the cases. As part of daily preparation, students are expected to write short case summaries called “briefs” and bring them to class.   




               Three Hour Exams                          Approx. 65%

               Two short papers   *                        Approx. 20%

               Class Participation/Attendance    Approx. 15%




Lee Epstein and Thomas Walker.  Constitutional Law For A Changing America: Civil Rights  and Civil Liberties   Sage Press 9th Edition 2016


Supplementary Books

T.R. Van Geel  Understanding Supreme Court Opinions, Pearson Publishers  6th edition  2008, (earlier editions back to the 4th also work)


Andrew  Kull   The Colorblind Constitution, Harvard University Press,1998


Larry Arnn   The Founder’s Key:  The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk by Losing It  Thomas Nelson, 2013


Kristen Powers  Silencing: How The Left is Killing Free Speech   Regnery 2015

GOV 322M • Politics In China

38665 • Lu, Xiaobo
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM SZB 370
(also listed as ANS 322M)
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GOV 322M/ANS 322M, Politics in Contemporary China


Course Description:

This Course is designed as an introductory course in Chinese politics primarily for upper-level undergraduates with a good background in political/social science, but not necessarily any background on China. The aim of the course is to provide a foundation that will enable the

non-specialist to make informed use of China as a case in more general arguments and give the intended China specialist a solid footing from which to pursue more in-depth study of particular topics.

This course primarily focuses on domestic politics in post-1978 China. We start the course by introducing the key institutions and players in order to understand the distribution of political power in China. We then detail various forms of political participation by different individuals, which allow us to understand the political logic and consequences of policymaking and selective policy issues in China. We conclude the course by discussing the political reforms implemented in the last three decades and contemplating the potentials political development in the future. The course consists of lectures and in-class discussions in order to enhance students’ learning.



Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.


Course Requirement and Grading:


1.         Four (randomly scheduled) quizzes                                                                            15%

2.         First in-class midterm exam:                                                                                     25%

3.         Second in-class midterm exam:                                                                                 25%

4.         Third in-class midterm:                                                                                             25%

5.         Attendance                                                                                                              10%


Course Materials:

The readings for this course are based on book chapters and articles. All the readings, except for the required textbook, can be accessed through the Canvas website for this class.


Required Textbook:

Lieberthal, Kenneth. 2004. Governing China: from revolution through reform. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton.

GOV 324L • Govs & Polit Of Western Europe

38670 • Somer-Topcu, Zeynep
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM BUR 208
(also listed as EUS 350)
show description

GOV324L/  EUS 350

Government & Politics of Western Europe

Fall 2017

BUR 208

M-W 2:30-4pm


Professor: Zeynep Somer-Topcu, PhD

Office:  BAT 3.124




This course provides students with a general introduction to the political institutions, voter behavior, and issues in West Europe. The objective is to equip students with a broad overview of the politics and political systems of Western Europe, as well as on concepts, methods, and tools to understand and analyze contemporary developments. The course is organized thematically (rather than in a country-specific way) around a framework that emphasizes the political determinants and policy consequences of institutional differences.


We will start the course with a short overview of the countries and the history of Europe. We will then look at political institutions in Europe, and briefly discuss the European Union. Toward the end of the course we will discuss West European voters, their political behavior, and important issue areas and policies in Europe.


Course Requirements:


Class participation       5%

Three short papers       10% (each)

Two Midterms            20% (each)

Final Exam                  25%      




Attendance is NOT required. However, the exams will heavily rely on what we will discuss in class. I make the power-point slides available after class (on Canvas). However, there are more details beyond the slides we will discuss in class, and you will be responsible of those details in the exam. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to come to class.


Class Participation (5%)


Class participation is different from attendance. Throughout the course students are encouraged to raise questions and relevant discussion topics in class, and expected to contribute to class discussions. Students are expected to do the assigned readings before we discuss the topic in class, and arrive at class ready to discuss the readings.


Note that I make a distinction between attendance and participation. Attending every class, without ever speaking up or turning these assignments, does not constitute participation. If you do so, you will receive 60 points (D-) for this part of the class. To receive more credit for participation, students are required to ask questions, raise issues, express opinions, etc. regarding the topics covered.


Short papers (10% each):


There are seven topics with deadlines scattered throughout the semester. You have to choose three of these topics and write short papers. These short papers should not be longer than 6 pages (double-spaced), or shorter than 3 pages (double-spaced), excluding the title page and the bibliography.


In these assignments, you will provide the facts about the question asked. However, you can receive full grade only if you provide a critical analysis for the question. You have to have a bibliography part and show your research. Wikipedia is not accepted as a scholarly citation.


You can work in groups for these assignments but your write-up must be original and demonstrate your unique point of view.


Please check out the deadlines to submit the papers below on the class schedule, and decide which dates work best for you before signing up.


Midterm Exams (20% X 2) and Final Exam (25%)


Each exam will be a combination of multiple-choice questions, short or bullet-point answer questions, and a few long (one-page) essays. The final exam may also have one long essay (2-3 pages long). If you foresee problems with the exam dates, see me after class, during office hours, or contact me by e-mail at least two weeks before the assigned dates.


Required Text:


The following book is available for purchase at the bookstore:


Gallagher, Laver and Mair. 2011. Representative Government in Modern

Europe: Institutions, Parties, and Governments. McGraw Hill. 5th Edition. (Make sure you have the correct edition)


There will also be required news articles or editorials assigned for each class period. These will be based on the current events for the topic under discussion. We will post them on Canvas on Fridays before each week.


There will be additional required articles/chapters for some classes. These readings are denoted with an asterisk (**) in the syllabus, and will be available on Canvas in advance. 

GOV 325 • Political Parties

38675 • Shaw, Daron
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CAL 100
show description

Course Description

Fall Semester 2017


Course ID:          Government 325

Title:                   Political Parties

Instructor:          Professor Shaw

Time:                   T-TH, 2:00-3:30

Location:             CAL 100



Government 310L and 312L.


Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to the concepts and consequences associated with American political parties. Initially, we focus on parties from a broad theoretical perspective, and draw on data and information from a variety of countries over a number of years. At about week five, the focus shifts to the United States, and we cover topics such as campaign finance, political machines, realignment, voting and public opinion, parties in government, and polarization. The class will consist of lectures, although participation is expected.


Grading Policy

Students are responsible for two take-home essays (75 points each), two midterm examinations (60 points each), and attendance/participation (30 points).



Hershey, M., Party Politics in America, Longman. 

Ware, A. Political Parties and Party Systems, Oxford University Press.

GOV 328L • Intro To Lat Amer Gov & Pol

38680 • Madrid, Raul
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM MEZ B0.306
(also listed as LAS 337M)
show description

An introductory survey of Latin American political systems: governmental organization, political processes, and current problems

GOV 335M • Global Justice

38693 • Gregg, Benjamin
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM BEN 1.102
show description

INSTRUCTOR: Benjamin Gregg

GOV 335M

TITLE: Global Justice

Unique: 38693

Meets Tu/Th in BEN 1.102


DESCRIPTION: Offers an overview of the important contributions to core issues of global justice today, including sovereignty, rights to self-determination, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, global poverty and international distributive justice, the social and legal status of women, terrorism, and human rights.

REQUIRED TEXT: The Global Justice Reader, ed. Thom Brooks (Blackwell Publishing, 2008)

EVALUATION: A student’s final grade will be the average of three essays, adjusted significantly for quality of in-class participation.

Writing flag.

GOV 335M • Women Hist Polit Thought

38695 • Stauffer, Dana
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM UTC 3.122
(also listed as CTI 335, WGS 345)
show description

Course Description: Women in the History of Political Thought

This course will examine the themes of women, the family, and the private sphere in the history of political theory. We will analyze and interpret works of political theory in which women have a central role, and we will seek to understand the relationship between political thinkers’ views about women and the family and their larger political theories. We will begin in classical Greece with political theory and drama. Then we will move through history, considering the critiques of paternalism launched by Hobbes and Locke and the portrait of the ideal woman advanced by Rousseau in Book V of the Emile. In the second half of the course, we will consider the development of early feminism in the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, Henrik Ibsen, John Stuart Mill, and Simone de Beauvoir. Some of the questions we will pursue are the following: What does justice demand in the realm of the relations between the sexes, and what kinds of social and political arrangements are best for women? How do our answers to these questions intersect with broader questions about human nature, identity, political community, and justice?


Required Texts


A Course Reader


De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex. (Vintage)


Euripides II. (Complete Greek Tragedies, Chicago)


Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Herland. (Penguin Classics)


Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll’s House and Other Plays. (Penguin Classics)


Mill, John Stuart. The Subjection of Women. Edited by Susan M. Okin (Hackett)


Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Emile, or On Education. Translated by Allan Bloom. (Basic Books)


Wollstonecraft, Mary. A Vindication of the Rights of Women. (Prometheus)


Course Requirements and Grading


First Exam: 30%

Second Exam: 30%

Paper: 30%

Class Participation (including pop quizzes): 10%

GOV 335N • Southern Political History

38700 • Enelow, James
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 224
show description

The University of Texas at Austin                                               

Professor Jim Enelow                                                                

BAT 3.102,                                                                                                                




Required Reading

Steve Bickerstaff, Lines in the Sand: Congressional Redistricting in Texas and the Downfall of Tom DeLay, University of Texas, 2007.

Earl Black and Merle Black, The Rise of Southern Republicans, Harvard University

 Press, 2002.

William J. Cooper, Jr. and Thomas E. Terrill, The American South: A History,

         Volumes I and II, Fourth Edition, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009


The course will review the political history of the American South from the 1780s to the present. In the first part of the course, we review the events which transformed the South from a region of progressive nationalism from the 1780s to the 1810s to a region of defensive sectionalism from the 1820s to the 1860s. Touching briefly on the Civil War, we then take up Reconstruction, “Redemption,” and the agrarian movement of the late 19th century, followed by the period of the “Solid South” in the first half of the 20th century. Next we examine the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, followed by the rise of southern Republicans in the late 20th century. Lastly, we examine Texas’s congressional redistricting in 2003.

Exams and Grades

There will be three in-class, multiple-choice exams on the dates noted below. The exams are not cumulative. There is no final exam. The first two exams have 35 questions and the last one has 30 questions for a total of 100 points on all three exams. The raw scores on the three exams are added and the total raw scores are then curved to determine your final grade, approximating the following distribution: 30% A’s, 35% B’s, 20% C’s, 10% D’s, and 5% F’s. Plus and minus grades will be given for total raw scores falling above or below the boundary lines between grades. There is no extra credit. A make-up exam (not multiple-choice) will be given only if an exam is missed for a valid reason. 

GOV 341M • Decision Theory

38710 • Enelow, James
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM PAR 301
show description

The University of Texas at Austin                                               

Professor Jim Enelow                                                              

BAT 3.102,                                             




Required Reading

Joel Watson, STRATEGY: An Introduction to Game Theory. 2nd edition. W.W. Norton, 2008.


Below each reading are a chapter number and a list of exercises, which can be found at the end of the chapter. It is strongly recommended that these exercises be attempted before they are done in class. Parts of the Appendix (App) are also assigned. If you bought the 3rd edition of Watson, see me for the assignments.

There is no T.A. for this class, so I am available outside of my office hours. You can e-mail me and request an appointment or you can simply stop by my office anytime.

This is an applied math course and carries the Quantitative Reasoning flag. It is assumed that you are able to do simple calculations with fractions or decimals, solve linear equations in one or two variables, solve quadratic equations, and understand sets, functions, probability, expected value, and infinite series. If you are unfamiliar with any or all of these topics, please seek my help outside of class.

In addition, this course is supported by Peer-Led Undergraduate Studying. PLUS study groups provide an opportunity to collaboratively practice skills and knowledge you need for success in this course. Feel free to attend any study group at any point in the semester; more information on times and locations will be available through Canvas or announced in class. Go to or Facebook to find out more about PLUS.


There will be three in-class multiple-choice exams covering material from each of the three sections of the course. Each exam is of the problem-solving type, similar to the SAT math exam. There is no final exam. A make-up exam (not multiple-choice) will be given only if an exam is missed for a valid reason. There will also be three announced quizzes. There are no make-up quizzes.


The first two exams will have about 16 to 20 questions, the third 14 to 16 questions. Each quiz will have 2 or 3 questions. Each question is worth one point. The points you receive on the three exams and your highest-scoring quiz are added together to determine your total score. These scores will be curved to determine your final grade, approximating the following distribution: 30% A’s, 35% B’s, 20% C’s, 10% D’s and 5% F’s. Plus and minus grades will be given for total scores falling just above or below the boundary lines between grades. After the boundary lines have been determined, the score a student receives on his second-highest quiz will be added to his total score as extra credit to determine his final grade. Extra credit can raise a student’s grade at most to the next highest grade level (e.g. from a B+ to an A-).

GOV 350K • Statistical Anly In Polit Sci

38715 • Lin, Tse
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BUR 220
show description

Semester Fall 2017

GOV 350K – Statistical Analysis in Political Science


Quantitative Reasoning Flag


Unique           Days   Time                                       Bldg/Room     Instructor

38715              TTH    2:00-3:30pm                            BUR 220         LIN


Course Description


This course introduces basic concepts and methods of statistics. Unlike the typical elementary statistical courses you may have taken, the emphasis here will be on applications in political science. The objective of this course is to help students acquire the literacy for understanding political science literatures based on the scientific approach, as well as to prepare interested students for more advanced methods courses.


Topics include descriptive statistics, probability and probability distributions, sampling, sampling distribution, point estimation, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, contingency tables, and other statistical procedures. Computing will be an integral part of this course. You will use SPSS to analyze data from Gallup Survey, General Social Survey, and National Election Study in homework assignments. In particular, you will be asked to replicate results reported in journal articles and book chapters. You are also encouraged to develop and work out your own research problems.






Grading Policy


Homework Assignments (6-7 sets): 30%

In-Class Midterm Exam: 30%

In-Class Final Exam: 30%

Instructor Discretion (Attendance, Participation, etc.): 10%


Required Texts


* T. H. Wonnacott and R. J. Wannacott. 1990. Introductory Statistics, 5th Ed. Wiley. (Or 4th Ed., Introductory Statistics for Buisness and Economics, 1990, which is the same as the 5th Ed.)


Optional Texts


* S. B. Green and N. J. Salkind, 2013. Using SPSS for Windows and Macintosh: Analyzing and Understanding Data, 7th  Ed. Prentice Hall.

GOV 351D • Theor Foundtns Modern Politics

38720 • Stauffer, Devin
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM UTC 3.134
(also listed as CTI 321)
show description

GOV 351D (CTI 321)

The Theoretical Foundations of Modern Politics

Devin Stauffer


Course Description

This course examines the philosophic origins of modern politics and culture by looking at the works of several authors whose writings played decisive roles in the rise and development of modernity. In our study of Machiavelli’s Prince, Hobbes’ Leviathan, Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, and selected political writings of Rousseau and Nietzsche, we will consider how modern political thought broke with the past and offered a new set of political visions. We will consider the differing views of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Nietzsche on issues such as the aims and limits of politics, the role of morality in the harsh world of political necessity, the proper place of religion and reason in political life, and the nature and basis of justice, freedom, and equality. Throughout the course, we will reflect of the impact that the revolutionary doctrines of modern political philosophy have had on the political world in which we live.


Machiavelli, The Prince (University of Chicago)

Hobbes, Leviathan (Hackett)

Locke, Two Treatises of Government (Yale)

Rousseau, The First and Second Discourses (St. Martin’s Press)

Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Penguin)


Requirements and Grading

Paper: 20%

First exam: 25%

Second exam: 25%

Attendance: 10%

Participation: 10%

Quizzes: 10%

(Note:  These percentages are approximate, and the paper may be made optional.)



Sophomore standing 

GOV 357M • Civil Liberties

38730 • Abramson, Jeffrey
Meets W 4:00PM-7:00PM CLA 1.106
show description

Please check back for updates.

GOV 357M • Constitutional Interpretatn

38735 • Perry, H
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM UTC 1.102
show description

Please check back for updates.

GOV 357M • Constitutnl Struct Of Power

38740 • Jacobsohn, Gary
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WAG 420
show description



The focus of this course is on one of the most vital aspects of politics: interpreting and applying the nation's fundamental rules. While the emphasis is on the United States Supreme Court, the class will also look at how other constitutional polities address similar issues.  We examine constitutional structures of power by exploring contests over authority from John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson to Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Some of the topics to be considered include: the powers of the federal and state governments, the executive's emergency powers, and the Supreme Court's authority to nullify the acts of other branches. Under these general headings are to be found such issues as the power to regulate firearms, the power to regulate immigration, the power to overturn a judicial decision through congressional action, the power to deprive citizens of rights during wartime, the power to define the terms of impeachment, and the power to decide the outcome of a presidential election. Much of the reading is of Supreme Court opinions that highlight the politics of constitutional development. 


Requirements: one paper, hour exam, final exam

No prerequisites required

GOV 360N • Civil Wars/Ethnic Violence

38760 • Findley, Michael
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 203
show description

Please check back for updates.

GOV 360N • Globalzatn/The Nation State

38750 • Wang, Di
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WAG 214
show description

Globalization and the Nation State

Instructor: Dr. Di Wang


Course Description

This course focuses on how economic globalization is shaped by and, in turn, shapes the domestic and international behavior of states. The course splits into three sections. First, we will examine the case for globalization. In this section, we will study the classic arguments about economic globalization and consider the global market from a historical perspective. Second, we will examine the central question of how globalization has been shaped by nation states. We will pay particular attention to why countries have liberalized foreign trade, removed barriers to foreign investment, and reduced the state’s role in the domestic economy since the 1970s. Third, we will examine in some depth the central question of how globalization has impacted nation states, and consider how countries have dealt with the new challenges that have emerged in this era of economic globalization. The course is intended for upper-level undergraduates who have taken previous courses in international relations, comparative politics, or political economy.


Grading Policy



Class participation


Group presentation


Quizzes (3 of 4 count)


Exam #1


Exam #2


Exam #3





Texts (tentative)

Jeffry A. Frieden. Global Capitalism: Its Fall and Rise in the Twentieth Century. (New York: W.W. Norton, 2007).

Journal articles in Canvas.

GOV 360N • International Security

38757 • Miller, Paul
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM ART 1.110
show description

Please check back for updates.

GOV 360N • Internatl Political Economy

38755 • Wellhausen, Rachel
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 0.102
show description

GOV 360N • International Political Economy (Fall 2017)


Closing limit: 125

TTH 12:30-2PM, GAR 0.102


Professor: Rachel Wellhausen



Course Description:

This course provides an overview of the study of international political economy (IPE). Its primary focus will be the role of politics and government decision-making in international economic relations. To this end, we will examine several core areas of IPE: the politics around international trade, the international monetary system, investment by multinational corporations, and international migration.

The course begins with a discussion of analytical approaches to IPE. We will use these approaches to address topics as diverse as financial crisis, trade and investment treaties, economic development policies, exchange rates, migrant remittances, and political risk. Content includes both historical and contemporary developments. While no prerequisites are required, students may supplement their understanding by referring to recommended texts on macroeconomics as the course progresses.


Grading Policy:

Attendance, participation, quizzes       20%

Exam 1                                             20%

Exam 2                                             30%

Final Exam                                        30%



** NOTE: 6th EDITION IS REQUIRED (copyright date: 2017). ** Frieden, Jeffry, David Lake, and J. Lawrence Broz. 2017. International Political Economy: Perspectives on Global Power and Wealth. 6th edition. New York: W.W. Norton.

Oatley, Thomas. 2011. International Political Economy: Interests and Institutions in the Global Economy. 5th edition. Pearson Longman.

GOV 360N • Sweden And Global Politics

Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GDC 5.304
(also listed as EUS 348, GSD 360)
show description

Please check back for updates.

GOV 365L • Rights & The State: S Asia

38785 • Newberg, Paula
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM CBA 4.340
(also listed as ANS 361)
show description


Global Cultures Flag // Writing Flag


Autumn 2017:  ANS 361, GOV 365-L.7

Cross-listing:  ANS 361

Tuesday:  3:30 -- 6:30 PM

CBA 4.340


PROFESSOR PAULA NEWBERG                               

BATTS 4.102



Office hours: to be announced, and by appointment


Course overview:  Politics in modern south Asia are shaped, often dramatically, by contests about the nature of rights, the ways that citizens claim their rights, and the ways that states respond to those claims.   Every state in the region contends with popular movements to assert rights, whether through war and insurgencies, experiments with constitutions and the rule of law, or efforts to secure the rights of excluded groups, minorities and the economically disadvantaged.  Each state has also tried variously to promote and protect rights – on their own, and with their neighbors and the international community -- and to limit them in order to consolidate power.


What do rights have to do with political change?  With contemporary cases as our guide, we will explore basic elements of political change in the region by asking how states and societies are meeting the challenges of creating rights-based political orders, and how and why they succeed or fail.   The range of potential topics is intriguingly varied and broad; after our introduction to the field and the region, we will focus on topics related to rights and conflict.


Using political writings, government documents, laws and regulations, social science analysis, local journalism and reporting from local and international organizations we will dissect the meanings of rights in the region, and strive to understand the different ways that these complex issues affect citizens, states, observers and advocates.  In the process, we will examine the tools that are employed to protect rights or limit them, and how reports on rights conditions are developed and used.


Neither prior experience with the region nor detailed knowledge of human rights is required for this course (although those who have studied either or both are very welcome).  We will use our readings and discussions to learn about the region through the lenses of rights and governance, and to refine our understanding of rights through the experiences of the people and states that comprise south Asia today.  By the end of the course, each student should have a working understanding of some of the many challenges involving fundamental rights in south Asia, a grasp of analysis and reporting related to rights, and the skills needed to write about rights and politics.


Prerequisites:  Minimum:  six hours of lower-division Government courses. 


Requirements:  A seminar succeeds when all of us are fully engaged.  Please use any electronic devices – including computers, tablets, and telephones -- in the classroom only when we are consulting documents or other media that are most easily available online and relevant to the immediate class discussion.  If you carry a cell phone with you, please silence it before/during class.


All seminar members are required to attend all classes punctually; complete all assignments (both written and oral); participate actively in class and as designated, lead class discussions on assigned readings and written projects.   Your class attendance and participation will be included in determining your final grade.


Grading:  Class participation and collegiality will be essential to the success of this seminar. Your oral and written products will be graded on the basis of their clarity, organization, structure and quality of argument, including your ability to marshal evidence to support your arguments.   Grading will be done on a 100-point scale, translated into plus and minus grades.  Your final grade will be based in part on improvement throughout the semester.


Participation:  Participation will count toward 50% of the term grade.  As part of class preparation and participation, I will assign weekly 1-2 page memos on topics related to readings and class discussion.  Specific assignments for class discussion will be indicated as we progress through the semester.   All class members are expected to participate in every class session.


Papers:  Each student will be expected to prepare two concise, 2000 - 2500 word essays.  Paper #1 (due October10th, 2017) will count toward 20% of your grade; paper #2 (due November 30th, 2017) will count toward 30% of your grade. 


Everyone is expected to come to talk with me during office hours or other arranged times to discuss paper topics.


Please provide your papers to me in hard copy (in person) as well as electronically.  Please take the time to revise, proofread, and follow accepted form for footnotes and references. 


Penalties for late paper submission will be ½ grade for each late day, unless you provide timely and appropriate documentation from health services or your personal physician. 


Intellectual integrity:  Be sure that your written submissions do not plagiarize the intellectual property of others:  do not copy, without attribution, a sequence of three or more words from a published text, an internet source, grey literature or another person’s work.  Plagiarizing is a form of cheating, and is grounds for a failing grade in this course.  Any incident of plagiarism will be reported to Student Judicial Services.


I expect all students to see me during office hours and other pre-arranged appointments to discuss classroom and written assignments.  Should office hours be inconvenient, please schedule an appointment with me for another time.


Course readings:  Two books are available for purchase:


Andrew Clapham:  Human Rights:  A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2007). This volume is optional, but recommended.


Jack Donnelly:  Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice, 2nd Edition (Cornell University Press, 2003).  This volume is required.


For reference and background, you might want to refer to a compendium edited by Micheline Ishay entitled The Human Rights Reader:  Major Political Essays, 2nd. Edition.


Other materials (including videos):  I will post class assignments – including PDFs when URLs are not available -- and other notices on Canvas on a regular basis.   Class readings are generally available online; in some instances, I will distribute materials in class.  Should you miss a class session, please contact me (and perhaps a classmate) for further information. 


Global Cultures:  This course carries a Writing Flag and a Global Cultures flag. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.  The Writing Flag indicates that there will be substantial writing assignments, with provision made for re-drafting throughout the term. 

GOV 365L • State Build In China/Taiwan

38775 • Lu, Xiaobo
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM SZB 370
(also listed as ANS 361)
show description

State Building in China and Taiwan

GOV 365L (38540)

ANS 361 (31680)


Course Description:

This course aims to provide an overview of the political history of China and Taiwan since 1949. We will compare and contrast the state building process in mainland China and Taiwan from 1950 to today. While both regimes were under the authoritarian rule at the beginning of the 1950s, why did Taiwan democratize but not China? Meanwhile, does the democratic politics in Taiwan generate any implications for the democratic future of China? By comparing the state building process under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Kuomintang (KMT), students will gain a better understanding of the theories and implications of the interaction between political development and economic development. The objective of this course is providing students a deeper understanding of theories of state building with regional knowledge of greater China.


We will start the course by briefly going over the political history in China and Taiwan before 1949. We need spend two weeks to study some critical issues of regime consolidation during the early state building period after 1949 in both mainland China and Taiwan. For the remainder of the semester, we are going to compare and contrast different aspects of state building in China and Taiwan since 1950s. Due to the time limitation, we are only able to cover the following key aspects: party building, cultural policies, foreign influence, economic transformation, and political reforms.



Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.


Course Requirement and Grading:


1.         Course attendance:                                                                                         10%

2.         Three in-class Quizzes:                                                                                    15%

3.         First midterm exam:                                                                                        25%    

4.         Second midterm exam                                                                                     25%

5.         Third midterm exam                                                                                        25%


Course Materials:

The readings for this course are based on book chapters and articles. All the readings, can be accessed through the Canvas website for this class. Since many chapters are drawn from the following two books, I highly recommended you purchase them, if your budget allows.


Recommended books:

Rigger, Shelley. 1999. Politics in Taiwan: voting for democracy. London; New York: Routledge.

Roy, Denny. 2003. Taiwan: a political history. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

GOV 365N • Australian Society & Polit

38805 • Evans, Rhonda
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WAG 201
show description

Rhonda Evans

GOV 365N Australian Society and Politics


TTH 12:30-2:00 PM

WAG 201

Description: Australia is the principal democratic, economic, and military power in the Southwest Pacific.  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples inhabited the continent and its surrounding islands for some 50,000 years before Europeans arrived.  In 1788, British colonization began with establishment a penal colony near present-day Sydney.  Six distinct colonies federated voluntarily in 1901 to form the Commonwealth of Australia. Today, the country boasts a multi-ethnic population of 22 million, dispersed unevenly across a landmass nearly the size of the lower 48 US states.  It has served as a key US ally since World War II. While Australia retains special ties to Britain and the US, it has become an important economic and political actor in the Asia Pacific region, with strong trading links to China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, the Philippines, and, increasingly, India. This course will (1) provide a succinct overview of Australia’s history and constitutional development; (2) examine the country’s political institutions and party politics; and (3) consider distinct opportunities and challenges that Australia faces across a range of domestic and foreign policy areas, including energy, trade, immigration, welfare, and issues concerning its Indigenous population. Throughout the course, Australia will be compared and contrasted with Texas, the US, and the other Anglo-American democracies – Britain, Canada, and New Zealand.  

Requirements: (1) Three exams, each worth 25% of the final grade.  The last of these will be cumulative and administered during the final examination period. All exams will include a combination of essay, short-answer, multiple-choice, and true-or-false questions. (2) A research project that involves data analysis and visual presentation of data plus a written assignment will be worth 25% of the final grade. Students who anticipate missing more than two or three classes are advised not to enroll as are students who are unwilling to read two relatively compact books and a collection of articles.

Required Reading Materials:  (1) Stuart Macintyre, A Concise History of Australia, 4th ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2016); (2) Textbook to be determined.

GOV 365N • Compr Notions Eur Security

38815 • Mosser, Michael
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CLA 1.106
(also listed as EUS 348)
show description

Course concept

International security, a subfield of international relations, examines the nature of the international states system. It specifically focuses on what is known as the ‘security dilemma,’ the idea (or myth, depending on your theoretical predilection) that states in the international system desire above all to remain secure and extant, and will do whatever necessary to avoid becoming less secure or even disappearing entirely. Questions of how or whether it is necessary or even possible to cooperate to achieve security were seen as peripheral.

Recently, many scholars and practitioners have begun to question the state-centric approach to international security, as well as its focus on power, rivalries, and conflict. Instead, these scholars and practitioners have begun to speak of  ‘comprehensive’ security, or the ‘comprehensive approach’ to international security. Besides being a good catchphrase, what does comprehensive security mean? What does it entail? “Comprehensive security” has a variety of connotations, depending on the context in which the idea is presented, but generally most agree on the idea of a more all-encompassing, holistic understanding of ‘security’ than that embraced by traditional international relations theories. Part of the rationale for this course is to unpack some of the themes underpinning the various ‘flavors’ of comprehensive security, (among others, its human, economic, environmental dimensions).

One of the regions of the world where the notion of ‘comprehensive’ security has been most explicitly theorized and implemented is in Europe. Now more than ever, this notion is under fire. Thus the course pays special attention to this region of the world and examines the practical aspects of comprehensive security via the institutions charged with implementing it: the European Union (EU), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Part One: Theories of international security (three weeks)

This part of the course investigates the underlying theoretical premises of international security, with special emphasis on:

  • Theories of conflict and cooperation, covering topics such as realism, institutionalism, constructivism, democratic peace theory.
  • Theories of influence, covering topics such as soft power, deterrence & coercion, domestic politics and influence, credibility, norms and institutions as influencers of behavior.

Part Two: The idea of comprehensive security (three weeks):

This section of the course takes the theoretical precepts gained from Part One and applies them to the newly emerging idea within international security that true international (and regional) security must take into account factors beyond mere state survival. To that end, the idea of ‘comprehensive’ security is raised, bringing into play a more nuanced view of international security. In this section, we will examine various ways in which comprehensive security has been thought about. Primarily, we will explore the idea of ‘human’ security that developed out of the 1994 UN Human Development Report, which has seven constituent elements:

  1. Economic security
  2. Food security
  3. Health security
  4. Environmental security
  5. Personal security
  6. Community security
  7. Political security

The section will begin with a survey of the general concept of human security, then move to a treatment of four of its components: economic, health and environmental, and community security. The section will conclude with a discussion of security sector reform as the means to establishing lasting peace in post-conflict societies, a key facet in any discussion of post Cold War comprehensive security.

Part Three: The practice of comprehensive security in Europe: case studies (ten weeks):

In Part Three of the course, we look at ways in comprehensive security has been implemented in Europe.  We look specifically at European notions of comprehensive security, focusing on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the European Union (EU).


There is no required textbook for this course. Rather, each week has a series of readings assigned that are to be read before the class meets each day. The readings will be accessible via Blackboard and the average reading load per class is between 40 and 60 pages.

Assigments and Grading

Your course grade will consist of a midterm exam grade, a take-home final exam grade, a short paper grade and a discussion/participation grade:

Exams: 75%

As this class is an upper-division course, a major portion of the grade for the course will consist of exams, consisting of two midterm exams and a take-home final exam. Both midterms and the final will each count for 25% and the take-home final exam will be worth 25% of your course grade.

Attendance / Participation / Discussion Questions: 20%

Class discussion in a an upper-level seminar is more than expected; it is a given. Everyone has his or her own style of discussion, and I do not expect to turn those who prefer not to speak often in class into debate champions. Participation will be divided into two sections:  Discussion questions and in-class participation. Since not everyone enjoys speaking in class, discussion questions will count for more than in-class participation. Discussion questions will count for 10% of your course grade, while in-class participation will count for 5% of your course grade. 

So that we can discuss points raised in the online postings in Thursday’s class, discussion questions for the week on which I am lecturing will be due by 5:00 pm every Wednesday (unless directed otherwise). Postings can be drawn from the readings; in this case, they should reflect any questions, comments, or cries of outrage you may have regarding the arguments set forth by the authors. They most definitely will help you get the most from the class. Postings may also be brief synopses of newsworthy events. In this case, you must post both the link to the news story and a brief (50-word) précis of what the article discusses. Finally, postings may be replies to others' questions or news stories, as long as they are informative replies and not merely agree/disagree posts. One post (or a thoughtful reply to a post) counts as your post for that week.

There are no discussion postings necessary for midterm week. The total number of discussion postings will be counted at the end of the semester, and also will be examined throughout the semester for evidence of consistent posting. Do not expect to “catch-up” post only at the end of the semester and receive full participation credit.

  • 12-15 postings: Full credit
  • 8-11 postings: 70% credit
  • 5-7 postings: 50% credit
  • Less than 5 postings: No credit

There is also a distinction between attendance and participation. Attendance will be managed through Canvas and will take place at five random intervals throughout the semester. Each of these five attendance days will count for 1% of your course grade (for a total of 5%).

In-class participation will be graded as follows:

  • Attending every day, but not participating in class: 80/100
  • Attending every day, participating via question answering (from instructor): 90/100
  • Attending every day, participating via question answering and active learning (extending discussion, asking follow-up questions): 100/100

** A word on late or missed assignments. Over the course of the semester, it is inevitable that some event will cause a time management issue, which might lead to a missed assignment deadline. Though normally handled on a case-by-case basis, there are some baseline penalties for missed or delayed assignments, detailed here:

  • Late topic choices will receive a 1% deduction per day before grading.
  • Late topic outline and list of references will receive a 2% deduction per day before grading.
  • Late paper drafts will receive a 5% deduction per day before grading.
  • Missed exams will receive a 5% deduction per day until made up.


Extra credit (up to 6 points):

Students who attend an academic lecture/event dealing with an international/global issue and hand in a typed, one-page summary may receive a 3 point increase on an exam grade.  The maximum extra credit for the semester is two lectures/events (a total of 6 extra credit points).  Summaries must be turned in within 7 days of the event.

GOV 365N • Gender/Pol In A Comp Persp

38790 • Holmsten, Stephanie
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WAG 420
(also listed as WGS 345)
show description

GOV 365N/WGS 345 Gender and Politics in Comparative Perspective

#38790/46905 T/Th 12:30 – 2


While women's representation in politics has improved in recent years, the representation of women, and particularly minority women, still lags behind the representation of men in political institutions. This course will study the patterns of women's representation over time, and in different regions of the world. We will consider what explains the difference between women's and men's representation, as well as variation in the election of women across country cases. We will ask why is it important to have gender equality in political institutions, tracing the evolution of feminism over time. We will then consider historical and cultural obstacles to women' representation. Tackling a few country case studies, we will also learned about institutional responses to women's representation, and ways that electoral rules can affect women's representation.  Finally, we will ask whether women behave any differently than men once elected.  To what extent do women affect policies and how? Throughout the course we will also keep in mind other forms of social division, particularly religion and ethnicity, and the interaction of various forms of identity with gender.


The course grade will be based on team-based assignments that propose policy solutions to real-life challenges, individual writing assignments, and two exams. 


Required Texts: 

Paxton, Pam and Melanie Hughes. 2016.  Women, Politics and Power: A Global Perspective. 3rd Ed. Washington, DC: CQ Press.


Adichie, Chamamanda. 2015. We Should all be Feminists. New York: Anchor Books.

GOV 365N • Germany And Immigration

38795 • Laubenthal, Barbara
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM GEA 114
(also listed as EUS 348, GSD 360)
show description

A massive influx of refugees, conflicts about cultural diversity and religion, debates on the lack of highly-skilled workers - immigration currently is at the top of the German public agenda. However, discussions on immigration are taking place in a political climate much different from twenty years ago. Until the year 2000, despite being a major destination for international migration, Germany defined itself as a non-immigration country and aimed at preventing permanent immigration. However, for some years now, the integration of migrants has become a central aim and in some fields the country even pursues a pro-active immigration policy. What factors have encouraged this change, and how has immigration changed German society and culture? These are the questions that the course will address. Applying a historical perspective and using central theories and concepts of contemporary migration research, we will analyze recent changes in the fields of labor migration, asylum and undocumented migration and the integration of migrants. We will ask how the changes that have taken place are reflected on a cultural level, looking at the (contested) incorporation of Islam in German society, the reflection of immigration in contemporary art, movies and novels, and regional and civil society initiatives to preserve the memory of immigration.

The course aims at providing students with a profound knowledge of the main characteristics of Germany as an immigration country and on the current central empirical research topics on immigration in Germany. It also aims at enabling students to understand and apply central theories and concepts of contemporary migration studies beyond the case of Germany. At the end of the course, students should also be able to understand and assess Germany’s profile as an immigration country in comparison to other immigration countries such as the United States.


  • Borkert, Maren/Bosswick, Wolfgang (2011): The Case of Germany, in: Zincone, Giovanna/Penninx, Rinus/Borkert Maren (eds.): Migration Policymaking in Europe. The Dynamics of Actors and Contexts in Past and Present, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 95-128.
  • Bretell, Caroline/Hollifield, James F. (2006): Migration Theory. Talking across Disciplines (2nd edition). London: Routledge.
  • Göktürk, Deniz/Gramling, David/Kaes, Anton (eds.) (2007): Germany in Transit. Nation and Migration, 1955-2005, Berkeley, CA: California University Press.
  • Green, Simon (2013): “Germany. A changing country of immigration,” German Politics, 22 (3), 333-351


  • 2 Writing Assignments (3 pages)   20 %
  • Participation and Homework          20 %
  • Oral Presentation                          20 %
  • Final Paper                                   40 %

GOV 365N • Iss In Third-World Development

38810 • Elkins, Zachary
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM WAG 201
(also listed as LAS 337M)
show description

Government 365N

Professor Elkins

Fall 2017


Development and Politics


Course Description and Objectives

This course surveys important topics in the politics of developing countries.  The course begins conceptually with a closer look at the idea of “development” and the classification of cases along such lines.  We then examine the historical foundations of political systems in the developing world.  We briefly explore the constraints of geography before turning to aspects of colonialism, the rise of nationalism, the movements for independence, and transitions to and from democratic rule.  The second part of the course then investigates particular demographic challenges to (and policy solutions for) governance in the developing world, including the problem of population, urban migration, and agrarian reform.  In the third part, we turn to sources of political change and upheaval in these societies, including globalization, ethnic violence, and the role of women in politics.

Prerequisites:  None

Required Materials

The following materials are available for purchase at the UT.  You will also find them online.


  1. Baker, Andy.  2013.  Shaping the Developing World: The West, the South, and the Natural World. CQ Press.  ISBN: 9781608718559
  2. Reef Polling app (to replace i>clicker)

All other readings are available on the course website.

Requirements and Grading

The assignments in this course are designed to assess your understanding of the readings on a regular basis.  The expectation is that you complete the reading before each lecture.  Your grade will be based on the following components.

(1)   Geography Tests (15%).  To help contextualize the topics, you will be responsible for learning the location of the various countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, as well as their capital cities and several major geographical features.  There will be three geography tests, one for each region.  More details are posted on the course website.

(2)   Two Exams (50%).  These will be in-class, non-cumulative exams with three components: multiple choice, concept identification, and essay.  The multiple choice questions are designed to test your understanding of the readings and lectures.  You should expect at least two questions based on each reading or lecture.  The essay questions and concept identifications, which will be distributed prior to the exams, test your command of major concepts, themes, and arguments. 

(3)   Participation (15%).  This is simply the number of lectures that you attend, as a percentage of all lectures minus two [i.e., lectures attended/(all lectures - 2)].  So, you can miss two lectures (or forget your i-clicker) and still receive a perfect score.  You can also score over 100% on this component.

(4)   Short Writing Assignment (20%).  At the end of the semester, you will write a short paper, styled as an opinion piece that might appear on the “op-ed” pages of the New York Times. 

Grading Scale.  Grades will be assigned on a (+/-) basis according to the following scale: 94-100 = A; 90-93 = A-; 87-89 = B+; 84-86 = B; 80-93 = B-; etc.

GOV 370K • African American Politics

38820 • Philpot, Tasha
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 1
(also listed as AFR 374D)
show description

African-American Politics

GOV 370K/AFR 374D





This course focuses upon the evolution, nature, and role of African-American politics within the American Political System. The concern is with African Americans as actors, creators and initiators in the political process. Specifically, this course will examine various political controversies that surround the role of race in American society and how these controversies affect public opinion, political institutions, political behavior, and salient public policy debates. This course will assess and evaluate the contemporary influence of race in each of these domains while also exploring their historical antecedents.


This course carries the flag for Cultural Diversity in the United States. Cultural Diversity courses are designed to increase your familiarity with the variety and richness of the American cultural experience. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one U.S. cultural group that has experienced persistent marginalization.




Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.


Required Text Books


There are two required text books for this course, which are available at the University Co-op:


Walton, Hanes, Jr. and Robert C. Smith. 2014.  American Politics and the African American Quest for Universal Freedom.  7th  Edition. New York: Addison Wesley Longman.


Philpot, Tasha S., and Ismail K. White, eds. 2010. African-American Political Psychology: Identity, Opinion, and Action in the Post-Civil Rights Era. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. (This book is available electronically through the library website for free.)




Exam 1                                              20%

3 Critical Essays                                  45%

Exam 2                                              20%

Quizzes and in-class assignments         15% 

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

38840 • Prindle, David
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM MEZ B0.306
show description

Course Description


Course Number and Title:  Gov. 370L.10,  “Congress and the Presidency

Semester and Year:  Fall, 2017

Instructor’s Name and Academic Rank:  David Prindle, Professor

Prerequisites:  Upper-division standing in Government




             THE PURPOSES OF THIS CLASS:  To help students become better scholars and citizens by helping them to understand how to apply the concepts of political science to an understanding of the functioning of the American political system, and by showing them how to compare the normative concepts of the public interest and democratic theory to the actual functioning of national institutions.  I am interested in facts about American politics not only for their own sake, but because they allow us to compare the actual practice of our politics to the ideal of democracy. 


Grading Policy


             Each of the three assignments in this class will be counted equally; that is, each will count one‑third toward the final grade.  At the end of the semester, the three numerical scores will be averaged, and final grades will be assigned on the basis of the conventional scale: 92.3 and above will receive an “A” in the course, 90 to 92 will receive an "A minus," 88 to 89.7 will receive a "B plus," 82.3 to 87.7 will receive a “B,” 80 to 82 will receive a "B minus," 78 to 79.7 will receive a "C plus," 72.3 to 77.7 will receive a “C,” 70 to 72 will receive a "C minus," 68 to 69.7 will receive a "D plus," 62.3 to 67.7 will receive a “D,” 60 to 62 will receive a "D-minus, and below 60 will receive an “F.”  Anyone missing a grade (that is, anyone failing to take a test or turn in an essay) will also receive an “F.”  I may make some small adjustments in these averages to reflect the quality of contribution to class discussion.


            For your three assignments, you may choose to write two essays and take one test, or take two tests and write one essay.  It is up to you to decide how you mix the tests and essays, and in what order you choose to do them.  You may not, however, "load up" by turning in an essay at the same time that you take a test, thus getting two‑thirds of the assignments out of the way on the same day.


List of Proposed Texts


  • Lawrence Dodd and Bruce Oppenheimer (eds.) Congress Reconsidered, 10th edition  (CQ Press, 2013; see note below)


  • Michael Nelson (ed.) The Presidency and the Political System 10th edition (CQ Press, 2014; see note below)


  • Roger Davidson, Walter Oleszek, and Frances Lee, Congress and Its Members, 14th edition  (CQ Press, 2014; see note below)


  • Steven E. Schier, ed. Debating the Obama Presidency (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016)


  • Some documents, to be distributed in class


IMPORTANT  NOTE:  Instead of making you buy the three CQ Press books, and then assigning you to read only some of the chapters, I have chosen the relevant chapters for each and put them into an electronic textbook.  For the first two sections of this course, and one chapter that you will need to read for the last (third) section, you will access the material electronically.  You can purchase your access through the University Co-op.  THE ISBN FOR THIS ELECTRONIC READER IS 9781483373294.  Please note:  These readings are not available elsewhere unless you wish to purchase three separate textbooks.  When you go to the Co-op, you will purchase a card, which will contain information about how to download your electronic version of the texts, and an access code to redeem your copy.  (This is called a “slimpack” in publisher-speak).

            However, the final reading assignment, for the third section of the class, is not available electronically.  The book, Debating the Obama Presidency, is available at the Co-op on the shelf for this class. 

GOV 370L • Election Campaigns

38830 • Luskin, Robert
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM CLA 0.118
show description

American Election Campaigns (GOV 370L)


            This course comes in four intermingled parts.  The bulk of our meetings will be as a seminar, meaning that we, not I, shall discuss the readings (see below).  The next largest share will be devoted to a computer simulation of a U.S. Senate election.  Your candidate may make personal appearances, produce and air campaign commercials, make appeals by direct mail, fund-raise, conduct polls, and so on, and the outcome will depend on the choices you and your opponents make.  One or more other sessions are usually given over to guest speakers who have been involved in election campaigns in one capacity or another.  And, finally, since this is a Writing Flag course, several sessions will be devoted to discussions of writing and written assignments.


            Past semesters’ speakers have included Tom Craddick, a Texas State Representative and formerly Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives; U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar; Justice Bob Gammage, late of the Texas Supreme Court and before that a U.S. Congressman; the late Bernard Rapoport, a longtime Democratic activist and fundraiser (and former Chair of the UT Board of Regents); Royal Masset, Political Director of the Republican Party of Texas; Dave MacNeely, a journalist covering state and national politics for the Austin-American Statesman; William P. Hobby, the former Lieutenant Governor; Susan Hendrix of H & C Media, a Democratic media consultant; Dean Rindy and Cynthia Miller of Rindy Miller Garcia Media, also Democratic media consultants; David Weeks and Suzanne Erickson of R & R Partners, a Republican media consultant who has worked for Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchinson, among others; Blaine Bull of Public Strategies, Inc., a major consulting firm; Matthew Dowd, once of Public Strategies, Inc., more recently of the Bush 2000 and 2004 campaigns and Bush administration, and now a prominent national political commentator; Mark MacKinnon, also once of Public Strategies, Inc., the principal media advisor to George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns and to John McCain’s 2008 nomination campaign, and now a prominent national political commentator and founder of the No Labels movement; Bill Emery and Peck Young of Emery and Young, a Democratic consulting firm; Dan Bartlett, an alumnus of this course who served as a spokesman for Governor Bush and the Bush 2000 campaign and later as Communications Director in the Bush White House; and Karl Rove, formerly of Karl Rove & Company, a Republican consulting firm, later the chief political strategist for the Bush 2000 and 2004 campaigns and Counselor to President Bush), and now a commentator for Fox News, columnist for the Wall Street Journal, and principal of American Crossroads, a major Republican super-PAC.   


            There are no formal prerequisites beyond eligibility to take upper division Government courses.  The goal is for students to learn and think about contemporary American election campaigns—about both how they work and the ways in which that may be desirable or undesirable.  There will be no exams, but a heavy reading load and two papers drawing on the readings.  You will also be asked to provide written feedback on another student’s paper.  The papers, feedback, and contributions in class discussion will be the means of assessing how far individual students have met the course goal.


            Your grade will be based on your class participation and the two papers.  Class participation—including attendance, participation in class discussion, effort in the simulations, and your feedback on another student’s first-draft first paper—will count for 25%.  The papers—graded 55% on the basis of substance and 45% on the basis of writing—will count for 75%.  The course grades will include pluses and minuses, as merited. The substance grade rests heavily on your making generous, appropriate, and sensible use of the assigned readings.  Attendance is required, and there is a penalty (in the participation grade) for every unexcused absence beyond a quota of two.


            The reading load is unusually heavy, and, as noted, I shall ask students about their reactions to the readings.  So, even though the two papers are the only written assignments, and there are no exams, this is not a course for the faint-hearted.  Be warned!  It will be a lot of work.  But also, I believe, a lot of fun.

GOV 370L • Money In Amer Politics

38845 • Roberts, Brian
Meets W 3:30PM-6:30PM CBA 4.340
(also listed as HMN 350, LAH 350)
show description

LAH 350 (30295) / GOV 37OL (38845) / HMN 350 (40015) Fall 2017 

Money in American Politics 


Course Description 

This course explores the nature and consequences of money in American politics and why, at this point in history, we find ourselves embroiled in the most significant debate over campaign finance reform in over thirty years. The debate goes to the heart of the U.S. Constitution, pitting the First Amendment rights of speech and assembly against the perceived fairness and efficacy of a republican government awash, some claim, in increasingly unaccountable money. 

Campaign finance issues lie at the crossroads of a bewildering number of analytical perspectives. We (must) examine the work of historians, social scientists, legal scholars, and interested parties on all sides of the debate in an effort not only to assess current policy debates but also to understand how we got here. 

The objective of the course is not to persuade you of any particular point of view but, rather, to arm you with the substantive knowledge, theoretical foundation and analytical tools needed to be resolute in whatever conclusions you draw from this experience.


Course Requirements 

This course is an honors seminar. As such, there is a premium on preparation and participation. Final grades are based on class participation, two tests and two class projects: 

• Participation: 10% 

• Projects: 35% 

• Tests: 55% 

 Grades will be based on the +/- scale. 


Required Readings 

• Kuhner, Timothy K.. Capitalism v. Democracy. Stanford University Press. 2014 

• Mutch, Robert E. Buying the Vote: A History of Campaign Finance Reform. Oxford University Press. 2014 

• Post, Robert C. Citizens Divided: Campaign Finance Reform and the Constitution. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 2016 

• Samples, John. The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2006 


All other readings, of which there are many, are linked in the weekly reading assignments posted on Canvas.

GOV 370L • Politics And Film

38825 • O'Brien, Shannon
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM WAG 201
show description

GOV 370 38805

Politics and Film

Course Description

Motion pictures were first invented in the 1890s.  Thus, the entirety of the 20th century was captured on film.  Many of us watch movies simply as a way to entertain ourselves and pass time.  However, motion pictures are much more than just entertainment.  Political life has been captured on film almost since the beginning of motion pictures.  This class explores the relationship between politics and film.  Films function as a time machine for culture.  Film from a period can inform us about the culture and priorities of a time.  Film looking back onto a period (a film made in 2016 looking at 1980) tells us about how current culture views the past.  Films looking into the future tell us about how some may view the direction a culture is changing.

This class will require a considerable amount of work outside the classroom.  The time inside the classroom will focus on explaining book material, discussing ideas and chapters.  We will show clips of movies/shorts/video/visual material in class, but not full films.  However, students will be expected to watch full films outside of class and write short (4 page) papers on a regular basis.  They will also be expected to write end of term papers exploring a thematic topic (of their choice) looking at how its representation in film has changed over time (for example: watch 4-5 films from the 1940s-now and write a paper on how the depiction of war/racial issues/women/elections/presidency/foreign countries/etc has transformed) as well as 3 tests spaced throughout the semester.

Required Readings:

There is ONE Book:

Projecting Politics, 2015, 2nd edition, Elizabeth Haas, Terry Christensen, Peter J. Haas, Publisher: Taylor and Francis

ISBN-10:0765635976  ISBN-13:978-0765635976


You will also be expected to locate films for the class via Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube, Google Play, Itunes, library, etc.  The Fine Arts Library has an extensive collection of films



Grades will based on the following:

Test 1                                                                                               20%

Test 2                                                                                               25%

Test 3                                                                                             25%

Paper Assignments (5 papers, 3% each)                                      15%

Final Paper                                                                                     15%


I do use plus/minus grading.

GOV 370L • The United States Congress

38835 • Leal, David
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM WAG 101
show description

Course Description

This course will introduce you to the political experiences of the United States Latino populations in the present and historically.  The course begins with a discussion of political identity: what does it mean to be Latino, Hispanic, or Chicano, and what are the politically relevant commonalities and differences in Latino communities.  We then discuss Latino political history, starting with the Spanish empire but focusing particularly on the 19th and 20th centuries in Texas and the southwest.  In doing so, we will study Latino political movements, organizations, and important individuals.  Moving to recent decades, the class examines Latino inputs into the American political system – particularly public opinion, voting, and the role of gender in politics.  The class also discusses the two largest non-Mexican national-origin groups in the U.S.: Puerto Ricans and Cuban Americans.  We then explore the growing voice of Latinos in political institutions, such as the U.S. Congress and state legislatures.  Lastly, the class covers key policy issues for Latino communities, particularly education and immigration. 


Grading Policy

Midterm: 30%

Final: 40%

Writing assignment: 20%

Class participation and engagement: 10%



-Garcia, F. Chris, and Gabriel Sanchez. 2007. Hispanics and the U.S. Political System: Moving Into the Mainstream. New York: Prentice Hall.

-Gutierrez, David. 1995. Walls and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the Politics of Identity. Berkeley: University of California Press.



Flag: Cultural Diversity

GOV 379S • Jerusalem And Athens

38875 • Dempsey, Erik
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM GAR 1.134
(also listed as CTI 335, LAH 350)
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In this class, we will study the age-old confrontation between Jerusalem and Athens--that is, between the teaching of the Bible and the politics and philosophy of the ancient Greeks. We will compare the way in which each tradition answers basic questions about politics and morality, including: What is virtue? What is justice? What is the best poltiical order? What do we owe our community? In what manner are we morally culpable or sinful? What is the role of philosophic thought in the political community and in an individual life? And above all, can we know, on the basis of human reason alone, how we ought to live--or are we in need of divine guidance?
The Greeks and the Bible offer the deepest and most deeply opposed answers to these quesitons. In this class, we will use core texts from both traditions to come to grips with this fundamental alternative.
Parts of the Hebrew Bible, including selections from Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, 1 and 2 Samuel, and others
Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
Possible additional readings include Homer's Iliad and Hesiod's Work and Days and Theogony
Grading Policy:
65%: 3 papers, 4-6 pages apiece; the first two are worth 20% each, the last is worth 25% 
25%: frequent short writing assignments, including two paper reviews (assigned in class; 1-2 pages apiece)
10%  attendance, quizzes, and class participation

GOV 379S • Regime Persp Amer Poltc-Honors

38870 • Tulis, Jeffrey
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM MEZ 2.102
(also listed as CTI 335, LAH 350)
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GOV 379S / LAH 350/ CTI 335  Regime Perspectives on American Politics

Fall 2017

Wednesdays 3-6pm


Jeffrey K. Tulis


This is a seminar on American politics and culture.   Two purposes govern the selection of texts for the course and guide our discussion of them.  All of our texts attempt to look at American politics as a whole.  Most books and courses on America look at only a part, such as the Presidency, or elections, or popular culture.  Here we attempt to think about how the parts of America fit together.  Even when these texts speak about a part, for example an institution such as the presidency or the Congress, they present the topic from a vantage point on the whole polity.   To see the polity as a whole also means that we will have to revisit and rethink aspects of our political life that we take for granted – that we don’t examine because those parts have become so natural or familiar to us.  Seeing the polity whole enables us to render the familiar unfamiliar, to make what we take for granted strange and new.


To see the polity as a whole requires that we get some distance from our subject, much as to see the planet earth as a whole requires one to look at it from outer space.  Just as it is difficult to get visual perspective on a place living within it, it is difficult to understand the promise or pathologies of a regime from within.  To get critical distance from our politics, we will closely study three sets of texts that look at American politics from a distance.   The first part of the course will recover the perspective of the founding debate between Federalists and Anti-federalists.   This fundamental debate reveals what is a stake in the basic architecture of the American regime.  The second part of the course is a close study of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.  Regarded by many as the best book ever written on democracy and the best book written on America, Tocqueville sees our polity whole because he looks at it from the vantage point of Europe, in general, and France, in particular.  In the third part of the seminar we think about American politics from the perspective of thoughtful commentators who feel only nominally included in the polity.   Half in and half out, these extraordinary black American writers reveal fissures and fault lines in the American regime.  We end the class with a discussion of America’s place in the world today – examining a speech by a writer who articulately raises challenges to our self-understanding that are inarticulately expressed today in rage and ranting from enemies of the United States.




Three take home analytic essays, chosen from a list of topics I provide, each weighted 25% of the course grade.  Late essays will not be accepted, except with a doctor’s excuse or a Dean’s excuse for family emergency.


OR as an option: you may write the two short essays (both together weighted 25%) and do a longer 15 page paper on a topic of your choice in consultation with me (weighted 50% of your course grade).   Government honors students who are thinking of doing an honors thesis next year may prefer this option to begin to develop research and writing skills for longer work.  Students who prefer this option will need to designate their preferred third short essay and have discussed with me a topic for their long paper by March 30. 



The Federalist

Selected Anti-Federalist writings

Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Essays, speeches and articles by Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois, Booker T. Washington, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

GOV 662L • Government Rsch Internship-Dc

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Course Pre-requisites, Co-requisites and/or other Restrictions:

Acceptance into the University of Texas, Archer Fellowship Program

Course Description: This course will focus on the role of media, the Congress, the

President and other governmental and non-governmental actors in the policy-making

process. Through a variety of sources (academic texts, newspaper and journal articles,

websites, blogs, advocacy papers) we will look at (and hopefully reconcile) the textbook

and “real world” versions of how policy is made in Washington, D.C.

This course is divided into four phases where we will use a variety of techniques

(lectures/discussion, in-class presentations and guest speakers) to gain a better

understanding of the policy-making process. In Phase I, we will discuss how policy is

defined: where ideas come from and who plays a role in defining what we consider to be

important policy problems. In Phase II, we will look at how policy is made and how the

structures of our unique form of government affect the policy-making process. In Phase

III we will meet with policy-makers to hear their first hand accounts of the policy-making

process and finally, in Phase IV we will try to understand the policy-making process

through a legislative simulation and class discussions/debates of some of the important

issues of the day.

  • Department of Government

    The University of Texas at Austin
    158 W 21st ST STOP A1800
    Batts Hall 2.116
    Austin, TX 78712-1704