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POS 2041: American Federal Government

Spring 2011 News

Have a great Summer!

Course Description

The main goal of this course is to introduce students to the fundamentals of American Federal Government. However, what is fundamental to American politics often depends on historical context. Over time fundamental processes transform as new issues and norms arise.

The class starts with the Founder's conceptions of government and how modern politics have deviated from and evolved with those conceptions. We'll examine American institutions in light of those philosophies and how they have changed to epitomize and undermine those principles. We will then turn to more contemporary questions of government and politics. What is the proper role of the various branches of government? How do voters think and act? What is the media's role in politics? Are elections a suitable means to form a government? In other words, this is an introductory course that intends to ask more questions than it plans to answer. Students will tackle these questions and others throughout the semester.

Syllabus

Weekly Readings

1/20: The Constitution in Congress

1/27: Federal Ban on Light bulbs

2/3: Healthcare Mandates

2/17: Congressional Term Limits

3/3: Campaign Spending and Free Speech

3/24: Ideological Polarization in Politics

Required Texts 

logic of american politics

The Logic of American Politics, 4th Edition. Authors: Kernell, Jacobson, and Kousser. Available at the UF Bookstore and online.







Joshua C. Huder
Political Science


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Department Website

Department of Political Science

Joshua Carstens Huder
PhD Candidate

305 Anderson Hall
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-7325
huder@ufl.edu