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UW-Madison POLISCI 104 - Syllabus

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1Political Science 104; Fall, 2008 Office Hours: M+W 1-2 p.m. and by appt.American Politics and Government Telephone: 263-2283Professor David Canon Email: [email protected] MW 2:30 - 3:45 p.m. Ingraham B10 Office: 413 North Hall Teaching Assistants: Saemyi Park <[email protected]> (head TA) , Vincent Boutet-Lehouillier<[email protected]>, Brandon Kendhammer <[email protected]>, YujinKim,<[email protected]>, Brett Kyle <[email protected]> (office hours to be announced). Course Description:------------------------ This course is an introduction to American government. By the end of the semester you should have agood understanding of how the government makes policy and why decisions are made as they are. Thecourse will combine insider accounts of how "Washington really works," scholarly work on thegovernmental process, and debates on various political issues and institutions. This is an especially excitingtime to be taking a class on American politics, with the elections this fall, continuing debates over the war inIraq, and issues such as health care reform, Social Security, energy, and how to deal with the budget deficits. The course begins with a discussion of the foundations of our governmental system: the Constitution,federalism, capitalism and questions concerning the democratic nature of our government. Then we willexamine the American political institutions: Congress, the bureaucracy, the president, and the courts. Fromthere we turn to political participation and examine public opinion, parties, campaigns and elections, themedia, and interest groups. Finally, we will see how it all fits together by examining social policy, civilrights, economic policy, and foreign policy. While the course is a lecture class (intimate discussions are alittle difficult with nearly 400 students), I encourage you to raise questions you have about anythingpresented in the lectures.Course Evaluation:------------------------ The grades for the course will be based on two midterms (27.5% each), attendance and participation indiscussion section (10%), and a final exam (35%). The midterm exams will be a combination of multiplechoice and short IDs and the final exam will be a combination of multiple choice, short IDs, and one longessay. The multiple choice and short essay portions of the final exam will not be comprehensive and onlycover material since the second midterm; the long essay, which I will give you in advance, is comprehensivein nature. All reading material and lectures will be fair game on the exams.Books and Readings:-------------------------- The following books are required for the course and are available for purchase at the University ofWisconsin Bookstore on State Street, the Underground Textbook Exchange, and a Room of One’s Own. Thebooks should be shrink-wrapped together as a packaged deal from Norton. Theodore J. Lowi, Benjamin Ginsberg, and Kenneth A. Shepsle, American Government: Power andPurpose. 10 ed. W.W. Norton, 2008.thDavid T. Canon, John J. Coleman, Kenneth R. Mayer, eds. The Enduring Debate: Classic andContemporary Readings in American Politics, 5 ed., W.W. Norton, 2008.th2A few required readings are on posted on my web site and are available through the library’s electronicreserves. Also, I urge you to read a good national newspaper, such as the New York Times or theWashington Post. The national news weeklies, such as Newsweek, Time, or U.S. News and World Reportalso would be useful for keeping you current on what is happening in the world of politics. I will makeavailable to you on the first day of class order forms for the New York Times. Home delivery (to your dormor apartment) of the Times is available at a reduced rate. A friendly word of advice on the readings that should be taken seriously: you should complete theassigned reading before the topic is discussed in lecture. At a minimum you should complete the readingbefore your discussion section or you will not be prepared to participate. Also, many of the lectures will usethe readings as a point of departure, so your understanding of lecture material will be enhanced by havingcompleted and understood the assigned reading. The reading load averages about 85 pages a week. Thisshould not be a difficult pace to maintain if you do not fall behind. If you put off reading anything untilbefore the exams will you find yourself staring at 425 pages for each of the exams . . . this strategy is notrecommended. One other thing I should mention – the reading load is not equally distributed across theweeks. Some weeks you will only have 30-40 pages of reading; other weeks will be more than 100. Therefore, it may be useful for you to try to get ahead on the next week's readings when the reading load fora given week is relatively light.Web Sites-------------W.W. Norton has a “study space” Web site for the Lowi/Ginsberg/Shepsle text that you may find useful forthe course. The address is: http://www.wwnorton.com/college/polisci/lowi/lowi10/. It includes chapterreviews, study questions, on-line quizzes, links to other political sites, vocabulary flash cards, plus otherreadings and resources. I have a homepage at “http://www.polisci.wisc.edu/~dcanon” that includes links toother political sites and information about the course, the additional readings, and outlines of the powerpointpresentations, which will be posted before each lecture.Lecture Schedule, Reading Assignments, and Discussion Questions:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The following abbreviations are used in the outline of assigned reading for each day: “ED” for TheEnduring Debate and “AG” for American Government: Power and Purpose. There are a few readings on e-reserves through the UW library web site. To access these readings you will need to go to MyUW, login,then click on the “academic tab.” Click on the “library/reserve” link and you will find the reserve readings. I will also provide links to the readings from my web site.I. FOUNDATIONS A. Introduction to the Course–September 3Preface and Chapter 1 in AG, xxi-xxiii, 2-33. B. The Constitution–September 8Chapter 2 in AG, 34-73 and the second half of Chapter 3 of AG, 96-107.The Constitution and its Amendments, A13-A34 in AG (back of the AG book). Louis Hartz, “The Liberal Tradition in America,” ED, 3-8.Michael Kammen, “The Nature of American


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