Monday, February 04, 2019

Political Science 1 – Introduction to American Government (Spring 2019)

Dr. Donald K. Douglas (“Dr. D.”)
Office: T2361
Office Hours: T-TH 9:00-11:30am (and by appointment).

First-Week Syllabus Reading Assignment:

The syllabus is the first day’s assigned reading. Read and study the entire document. Pay attention to the required textbook and readings (including purchase options, etc.), additional readings at the class blog, and all classroom policies. In addition, read two articles from the New York Times, available online at the blog:

 • “Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It.”
 • “U Can't Talk to Ur Professor Like This.”

Course Reading and Examination Schedule:

Students should complete the readings in advance of the scheduled lectures and be prepared to engage in classroom discussions.

Introduction to Government (February 6, 11, and 13):

Benjamin Ginsberg, et al., We the People: An Introduction to American Politics
(New York: W.W. Norton, 2019), chapter 1. (Also available in e-book for the 11th edition.)
Larry N. Gerston and Terry Christensen, California Politics and Government: A Practical Approach, 
10th ed. (Boston: Wadsworth, 2001), chapter 1. (Available online.)

The Constitution (February 20 and 25):

Ginsberg, We the People, chapter 2.
Federalism (February 27):

Ginsberg, We the People, chapter 3.
Joel Kotkin, “The Hollowing-Out of the California Dream,” City Journal, July 26,
2018 (Available online.)

*********** First Midterm Examination – March 4 ************
********* Critical Thinking Essay Exam – March 6 ***********

Civil Liberties (March 11 and 13):

Ginsberg, We the People, chapter 4 (first half).
Sean Clark, “There Is No Such Thing as ‘Hate Speech’,” Foundation for Individual
Rights in Education, February 24, 2006. (Available online.)

Civil Rights (March 18 and 20):

Ginsberg, We the People, chapter 4 (second half).
Julianna Goldman, “It's Almost Impossible to Be a Mom in Television News,” Atlantic Monthly, December 4, 2018. (Available online.)
Robert Stacy McCain, “The Rocky Horror Ideology Show,” American Spectator,
January 29, 2019. (Available online.)

Public Opinion (March 25 and 27):

 Ginsberg, We the People, chapter 5.

The Mass Media (April 1 and 3):

Ginsberg, We the People, chapter 6.
Andrew Sullivan, “The Abyss of Hate Versus Hate,” New York Magazine, January
25, 2019. (Available online.)

************ Second Midterm Examination – April 15 ************

Political Parties and the Electoral System (April 17 and 22):

Ginsberg, We the People, chapter 7.
Victor Davis Hanson, “Trump and the American Divide,” City Journal, Winter 2017. (Available online.)

Interest Groups and the Pluralist System (April 24 and 29):

Ginsberg, We the People, chapter 8.
Thomas Edsall, “The Fight Over Men Is Shaping Our Political Future,” New York
Times, January 17, 2019. (Available online.)

*********** Third Midterm Examination – May 1 ***********

Congress and Congressional Policy-Making (May 6 and 8):

Ginsberg, We the People, chapter 9.
Sahil Chinoy and Jessia Ma, “Paths to Power: How Every Member Got to 
Congress,” New York Times, January 26, 2019. (Available online.)

The Presidency (May 13 and 15):

Ginsberg, We the People, chapter 10.

*********** Fourth Midterm Examination – May 20 ***********

Federal Bureaucracy (May 22 and 29):

Ginsberg, We the People, chapter 10.

The Federal Courts and Judicial Policy-Making June 3):

Ginsberg, We the People, chapter 11.

********** Final Examination – June 5 (In Classroom) **********