Political Science 100 Fall Semester 2003
American Government & Politics DuSable 246
Instructor Heath R. Mills MWF,
But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed: and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
James Madison, “Federalist, 51.”
1. Lectures and readings are designed to complement and reinforce each other. Accordingly, you will get more out the former if you keep up with the latter.
2. Any cheating, plagiarism, or dishonesty detected in an exam or paper will result in penalties ranging from a failing grade for than assignment to an F for the entire course.
3. Please feel free to raise questions or make observations about the course material at any time. In addition, class time will frequently be devoted to discussions of assigned readings or breaking news. Take these assignments seriously, and be prepared to contribute to the discussions. Along with attendance, your preparation for and contributions to these sessions will be the basis of your class participation grade.
4. Any variations from our normal schedule will be announced well in advance.
Office hours are Wednesday from to , Friday , and most any other time by appointment. My office is DuSable 461 and my office telephone number is 753-1818. I stand ready at all times to help you learn and understand the course material. If my lectures or the assigned readings are not making sense, by all means ask for clarification. Likewise, if you are having trouble preparing for an exam or getting started with an assignment, seek help early. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST HOUR! In any event, please let me know how I can help.
The Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing. Winners are expected to attend the Department’s spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers, which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by February 28. All copies should have two cover pages - one with the student’s name and one without the student’s name. Only papers written in the previous calendar year can be considered for the award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following year’s competition even if the student has graduated.
Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU
is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented
disabilities. Those students with disabilities that may have some impact on
their coursework and for which they may require accommodations should notify
the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the
Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach the site, go to http://polisci.niu.edu
1. Two midterm exams 40% (2 x 20%)
2. Final exam 25%
3. Five writing assignments 25%
4. Attendance and participation 10%
100 – 90 A
89 – 80 B
79 – 70 C
69 - 69 D
59 and Below F
Writing Assignment #1:
In Federalist 51(W&D A26),
Writing Assignment #2: Federalist
10, W&D A21, provides a link between political culture and public
opinion. In Federalist 10,
founding father James Madison is worried about self- interested groups
(factions) and how to design a democratic system to protect the nation from
them. Where do factions come from? Can they be eliminated? In dealing with
factions does he favor: (1) direct or indirect democracy? (2) majority rule or pluralistic democracy? (3) a large nation or a small nation? Comment and explain in a 2-3 page paper (due,
TEST 26 SEPTEMBER!!!
Week of 29 September: Parties and Elections
Writing Assignment #3:
V.O. Key, "A Theory of Critical Elections," Journal of Politics
(1955), pp. 3-11 only. (Find at www.jstor.org
using an NIU Internet connection). In
this article, Key argues that some Presidential elections are much more
important than others. What are the essential characteristics of a critical
election? In his examination of
TEST 24 OCTOBER!!!
Writing Assignment #4:
Go to http://www.parliament.uk/works/parliament.cfm
to learn of about the British Parliament.
In this assignment you are to compare and contrast the United States
Congress with the British Parliament.
Focus on their overall structure number of houses, leaderships, power,
and authority. Comment and explain in a
2-3 page paper, due
Writing Assignment #5: In Federalist 78
Weeks of 17, 24 November and 1 December: The Judiciary, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Final Exam date to be announced!