The Department of Government
The Department of Government

Brendan Apfeld


B.A., Political Science, 2010; M.Ed., 2012, University of Notre Dame

Brendan Apfeld

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Courses


GOV 310L • American Government

38096 • Spring 2019
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM UTC 3.102

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

38285 • Fall 2018
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM MEZ B0.306

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

38485 • Spring 2017
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM MEZ B0.306

Prerequisites: None

 

Description: This course provides an introduction to American and Texas politics.  The class will examine the American political system and explore the political dynamics at play.  The course will also examine these topics in the Texas context and present them in a comparative perspective as appropriate.  Course topics include an introduction to the structure and function of American political institutions (Congress, Presidency, Courts), the relationship between the mass public and politics (public opinion and participation), and the role of intermediary organizations (interest groups, media, parties) in that relationship. In addition to mastering a set of basic facts about American government, students will learn theories addressing “big questions” in American politics, and will explore critical assessments of the evidence brought to bear on these questions.

 

This course has four primary objectives.  First, students will obtain basic descriptive information about the American and Texas political systems by examining important political institutions, actors, and processes.  Second, students develop analytical skills by which to understand complex political relationships and phenomena.  Third, students will gain exposure to the work of political scientists by concentrating on the paradigms and techniques of the discipline.  Fourth, students will strengthen their knowledge of and ability to fulfill their role in a well-functioning democracy.

 

Grading Policy: Two midterm exams; Reaction papers; Reading quizzes; Attendance

 

Texts: The American Political System, Kollman, any full edition (with policy chapters). Norton Publishing.

Additional required readings will be made available through Canvas.

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External Links



  • Department of Government

    The University of Texas at Austin
    158 W 21st ST STOP A1800
    Batts Hall 2.116
    Austin, TX 78712-1704
    512-471-5121