POLS 100, Sec. 12 Fall Semester, 2004

Class Time: Tuesday 6:30-9:10 p.m. Office Hours: T & TH 1:30-2:30

Prof. Ladd Thomas W 4:00-5:00

Office: Zulauf 302

Course Syllabus


This course is concerned with a variety of pertinent topics which are subsumed under a few general themes, all but one of which deal exclusively with American government and politics. The single topic exception, which is part of the first class session, provides a brief examination of major categories of other political systems in the world in recent decades as points of comparison with the American system. With this sole exception, the topics are consonant with the chapters in the text. While the instructor will discuss some of the information covered in the text, students are responsible for reading carefully all of the chapters. The instructor also will orally present additional information (beyond that covered in the text.) Furthermore the instructor will attempt to draw students into class discussions of selected topics from time to time.


The course text is Squire, Lindsay, Covington and Smith, Dynamic of Democracy, Third Edition (Cincinnati, OH: Atomic Dog Publishing, 2004), ISBN 1-592-085-9. Copies can be purchased at the University Bookstore in the Holmes Student Center or in the Village Commons Bookstore.


Students are required to attend class sessions, do all of the required reading in the text, take good notes on the instructors presentations, and take the midterm exam and the final exam. Each exam will last approximately two hours and will contain a combination of multiple choice and short essay type questions. The midterm exam will cover information only up to this exam. The final exam will be comprehensive in that it will cover information provided (in readings and presentation) during the entire course. Thus, the midterm exam grade will be worth 45% of the course grade while the final exam grade will be worth 55%.

Dates, Topics, and Required Reading

Dates(s) Topic(s) Required Reading

Aug. 24 Foreign Pol. Systems; also the Text, ch. 1 (pp. 3-23)

Dynamics of Democracy

Aug. 31 The Constitution Text, ch. 2 (pp.25-76);

Text, Appendix A & B (pp. 687-692)

Sept. 7 Social Context of American Politics; Text, ch. 3 (pp.77-105);

also Civil Liberties Text, ch. 4 (pp. 107-140)

Sept. 14 Civil Rights; Text, ch. 5 (pp. 148-183)

also Public Opinion Text, ch. 6 (pp. 187-219)

Sept. 21 Voting and Participation; Text, ch. 7 (pp. 221-251);

also The Nows Media Text, ch. 8 (pp. 253-288)

Sept. 28 Political Parties; Text, ch. 9 (pp. 289-318);

also Interest Groups Text, ch. 10 (pp. 319-352)

Oct. 5 Midterm Exam

Oct. 12 Congress Text, ch. 11 (pp. 355-407)

Oct. 19 The Presidency Text, ch. 12 (pp. 409-455)

Oct. 26 The Federal Bureaucracy Text, ch. 13 (pp. 457-493)

Nov. 2 The Courts Text, ch. 14 (pp. 495-526)

Nov. 9 The Federal System and Text, ch. 15 (pp. 529-568)

State Government

Nov. 16 The Federal Budget Text, ch. 16 (pp. 569-605)

Nov. 23 Domestic Policy Text, ch. 17 (pp. 607-651)

Nov. 30 Foreign Policy Text, ch. 18 (pp. 653-685)

Dec. 7 Final Exam (6:00 - 7:50 pm)