AMST 206—FALL 2005


Colin S. Cavell, Ph.D.                                                                                                                                                                             Course Room No.:  S17-229

Class SMW:  13:00-13:50 [Ramadhan—12:30-13:10]                                                                                                          INTERNET:

Office Hours:  By appointment                                                                                                                                                                           Office No.:  S17-263

VOICE:  17438775 (W)                                                                                                                                                                                                     17729091 (H)


An examination of the political institutions at the national and local levels, such as the legislature, judiciary and the executive.  America’s economic policy, bureaucracy, civil liberties, civil rights, and foreign and defense policies will be surveyed.


Grading Policy:  20% for Attendance*; 20% for the Class Presentation; 20% for the Midterm Exam; 20% for the Research Paper; and 20% for the Final Exam. A Guidelines sheet will be distributed outlining the requirements for your Class Presentation and for your Research Paper.


Grading Scale:  93-100=A; 90-92=A-; 88-89=B+; 83-87=B; 80-82=B-; 78-79=C+; 73-77=C; 70-72=C-; 68-69=D+; 63-67=D; 60-62=D-; 0-59=F


Attendance Policy*:  Attendance in class is mandatory.  It is the student’s responsibility to sign the attendance sheet each day of class; failure to sign the attendance sheet—even if in attendance—will be counted as an absence.  If your unexcused absences exceed 25% of the total number of lectures of the course in this semester, you will be automatically withdrawn from the course and be given a grade of (WF) which will be counted towards your GPA.  As well, you are expected to follow the syllabus and accordingly be prepared for each day's class.  This means that you must read the pre-assigned readings before class so that you will be prepared to discuss and debate in class the subject matter scheduled for that day and answer questions related to the issues being covered.  NOTE:  TURN OFF all cell phones during class.


* Absence from class may be made up by preparing a two-page, typed (i.e. using maximum 12 point font size and maximum double-spaced text with one-inch margin on all sides), summary on the missed material scheduled to be covered the day(s) of your absence.  The summary must be in your own words and must not be copied material from the text(s), the internet, or any other source(s).  Times New Roman font is strongly recommended; however, if you use an alternative style, make sure your font does not resemble italic or bold text.  Also, Comic Sans MS font is not allowed. 


Required Texts:


Greenberg, Edward S. & Benjamin I. Page.  2003.  The Struggle for Democracy, Sixth Edition.  New York, NY:  Longman.


Information USA [CD-ROM].  April 1999.  Washington, D.C.:  United States Information Agency.


Sept. 17:  Introduction to American Government II:  National and Local




Sept. 19:  Democracy and American Politics


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Appendix A-2  “The Declaration of Independence”;  Ch. 1  “Robert Moses and the Struggle for African-American Voting Rights,” “Democracy,” “The Democratic Idea,” “Direct Versus Representative Democracy,” “Fundamental Principles of Representative Democracy,” “BY THE NUMBERS:  Is Voting Turnout Declining in the United States?,” “Objections to Majoritarian Representative Democracy,” “Democracy as an Evaluative Standard:  How Democratic Are We?”


Sept. 21:  Democracy and American Politics


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 1  A Framework for Understanding How American Politics Works,” “Organizing the Main Factors of Political Life,” “Connecting the Main Factors of Political Life,” “Understanding American Politics Holistically,” “USING THE FRAMEWORK:  The Voting Rights Act”




Sept. 24:  The Constitution


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Appendix A-4  “The Constitution of the United States”;  Ch. 2  “Shay’s Rebellion,” “Thinking Critically About This Chapter,” “The Political Theory of the Revolutionary Era,” “The Declaration of Independence,” “The Articles of Confederation:  The First Constitution,” “Provisions of the Articles,” “Shortcomings of the Articles,” “Factors Leading to the Constitutional Convention,” “The Republican Beliefs of the Founders,” “Why the Founders Were Worried”


Sept. 26:  The Constitution


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 2  The Constitutional Convention,” “Who Were the Framers?,” “Consensus and Conflict at the Convention,” “What the Framers Created,” “USING THE FRAMEWORK:  Slavery in the Constitution,” “The Struggle to Ratify the Constitution,” “The Changing Constitution, Democracy, and American Politics,” “HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE WE?  A Republic or a Democracy?”


Sept. 28:  Federalism:  States and Nation


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 3  “Welfare Reform and the States,” “Thinking Critically About This Chapter,” “Federalism as a System of Government,” “The Nature of Federalism,” “The Roots of Federalism,” “Federalism in the Constitution,” “Independent State Powers,” “The States’ Roles in National Government,” “BY THE NUMBERS:  How Do We Know How Many People There Are in Each of the States?,” “Relations Among the States,” “The Evolution of American Federalism,” “The Perpetual Debate About the Nature of American Federalism,” “Federalism Before the Civil War,” “The Civil War and the Expansion of National Power,” “Expanded National Activity Since the Civil War,” “Resurgence of the States in the 1990s,” “Terrorism and the Resurgence of the Federal Government,” “Changing American Federalism”


Oct. 1:  Federalism:  States and Nation


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 3  National Grants-in-Aid to the States,” “Origin and Growth of Grants,” “Categorical Grants,” “Block Grants and Revenue Sharing,” “Debates About Federal Money and Control,” “U.S. Federalism:  Pro and Con,” “USING THE FRAMEWORK:  Federalism and Out-of-State Tuition,” “What Sort of Federalism?,” “HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE WE?  Federalism, Majority Rule, and Political Equality”


Oct. 3:  The Structural Foundations of American Government and Politics


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 4  “‘B-1’ Bob Learns About His District,” “Thinking Critically About This Chapter,” “American Society:  How It Has Changed and Why It Matters,” “Growing Diversity,” “Changing Location,” “Changing Jobs and Occupations,” “The Aging of the American Population,” “BY THE NUMBERS:  Does Population Movement and Change Affect the Electoral Fortunes of the Parties?,” “Income, Wealth, and Poverty,” “USING THE FRAMEWORK:  The Persistence of Poverty”


Oct. 4:  First Day of Ramadhan 1426




Oct. 5:  The Structural Foundations of American Government and Politics [Ramadhan—12:30-13:10]


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 4  “The American Economy,” “The Industrial Revolution and the Rise of the Corporation,” “The Post—World War II Boom,” “The Temporary Fall from Grace,” “Globalization and the American Economy,” “Will Globalization Slow?,” “The United States in the International System,” “The United States as a Superpower I,” “The United States as a Superpower II,” “The Foundational Beliefs of American Political Culture,” “Competitive Individualism,” “Limited Government,” “Free Enterprise,” “Citizenship and the Nature of the Political Order,” “Populism,” “Structural Influences on American Politics,” “HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE WE?  Is Real Democracy Possible in the United States?”




Oct. 8:  Public Opinion [Ramadhan—12:30-13:10]


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 5  “The Vietnam War and the Public,” “Thinking Critically About This Chapter,” “Democracy and Public Opinion,” “Measuring What People Think,” “Individuals’ Ignorance,” “BY THE NUMBERS:  Do Americans Support Stem Cell Research?  How Do We Know Which Survey to Believe?,” “Collective Knowledge and Stability,” “How People Feel About Politics,” “The System in General,” “Government Performance,” “Party Identification,” “Government’s Role,” “Policy Preferences,” “USING THE FRAMEWORK:  Why No Gun Conrol?”


Oct. 8-Nov. 23:  Withdrawal Period with (W)


Oct. 10:  Public Opinion [Ramadhan—12:30-13:10]


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 5  “How People Differ,” “Race and Ethnicity,” “Religion,” “Region,” “Social Class,” “Education,” “Gender,” “Age,” “Does Public Opinion Strongly Influence What Government Does?,” “‘Yes, It Does’,” “‘No, It Doesn’t’,” “HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE WE?  The Influence of Public Opinion on American Government”


Oct. 12:  The News Media [Ramadhan—12:30-13:10]


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 6  “Vernon Jordan Meets the Press,” “Thinking Critically About This Chapter,” “Roles of the News Media in Democracy,” “Watchdog Over Government,” “Clarifying Electoral Choices,” “Providing Policy Information,” “The Media Landscape,” “Newspapers,” “Magazines,” “Radio,” “Television,” “The Internet,” “How the Media Work,” “Organization of the News Media,” “Political Newsmaking,” “Interpreting,” “Is the News Biased?,” “BY THE NUMBERS:  How Much Serious Crime Is There in the United States?,” “Prevailing Themes in Political News”


Oct. 15:  The News Media [Ramadhan—12:30-13:10]


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 6  “Effects of the News Media on Politics,” “USING THE FRAMEWORK:  Monica All the Time,” “Agenda Setting,” “Framing and Effects on Policy Preferences,” “Impact on Policymaking,” “Cynicism,” “Government Regulation of the Media,” “Print Media,” “The Electronic Media,” “The Internet,” “HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE WE?  The Media and Democratic Citizenship”


Oct. 17:  Interest Groups and Business Corporations [Ramadhan—12:30-13:10]


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Appendix A-13  “The Federalist Papers, No. 10”;  Ch. 7  “Lobbying for China,” “Thinking Critically About This Chapter,” “Interest Groups in a Democratic Society:  Contrasting Views,” “The Evils of Factions,” “Interest Group Democracy:  The Pluralist Argument,” “Interest Group Formation:  Structural, Political Linkage, and Governmental Factors,” “Diverse Interests,” “Rules of the Game,” “The Growth in Government,” “Disturbances,” “Incentives,” “What Interests Are Represented,” “Private Interest Groups,” “Public Interest Groups,” “What Interest Groups Do,” “The Inside Game,” “USING THE FRAMEWORK:  Airline Passenger Bill of Rights,” “The Outside Game”


Oct. 19:  Interest Groups and Business Corporations [Ramadhan—12:30-13:10]


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 7  Possible Flaws in the Pluralist Heaven,” “BY THE NUMBERS:  How Can We Evaluate Our Congressional Representatives?,” “Representational Inequalities,” “Resource Inequalities,” “Access Inequality,” “The Special Place of Business Corporations,” “Curing the Mischief of Factions,” “HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE WE?  Interest Groups and American Politics”


Oct. 22:  Social Movements [Ramadhan—12:30-13:10]


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 8  “Women Win the Right to Vote,” “Thinking Critically About This Chapter,” “What Are Social Movements?,” “Major Social Movements in the United States,” “Social Movements in a Majoritarian Democracy,” “Encouraging Participation,” “Overcoming Political Inequality,” “Creating New Majorities,” “Overcoming Gridlock,” “Factors That Encourage the Creation of Social Movements,” “The Existence of Social Distress,” “Availability of Resources for Mobilization,” “A Supportive Environment,” “A Sense of Efficacy Among Participants,” “A Spark to Set Off the Flames”


Oct. 24:  Social Movements [Ramadhan—12:30-13:10]


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 8  Tactics of Social Movements,” “Why Some Social Movements Succeed and Others Do Not,” “Low-Impact Social Movements,” “Repressed Social Movements,” “Partially Successful Social Movements,” “USING THE FRAMEWORK:  ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’,” “Successful Social Movements,” “HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE WE?  Social Movements and American Politics”


Oct. 26:  Political Parties [Ramadhan—12:30-13:10]


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 9  “The Rise of the Campaign Party Machine,” “Thinking Critically About This Chapter,” “The Role of Political Parties in a Democracy,” “History of the Two-Party System,” “The First Party System:  Federalists Versus Democratic Republicans,” “The Second Party System:  Democrats Versus Whigs,” “From the Civil War to 1896:  Republicans and Democrats in Balance,” “The Party System of 1896:  Republican Dominance,” “The New Deal Party System:  Democratic Party Dominance,” “The Sixth Party System:  Dealignment and Divided Government,” “Why a Two-Party System?,” “Electoral Rules,” “Restrictions on Minor Parties,” “Absence of a Strong Labor Movement,” “The Role of Minor Parties in the Two-Party System”


Oct. 29:  Political Parties [Ramadhan—12:30-13:10]


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 9  The Parties as Organizations,” “The Ambiguous Nature of American Political Parties,” “The Organization of American Political Parties,” “The Primacy of Candidates,” “Ideology and Program,” “The Parties in Government and in the Electorate,” “The Problem of Divided Government,” “USING THE FRAMEWORK:  Gridlock,” “Parties in the Electorate,” “HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE WE?  Political Parties and Responsive Government”


Oct. 31:  Participation, Voting, and Elections [Ramadhan—12:30-13:10]


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 10  “The Contested 2000 Presidential Elections,” “Thinking Critically About This Chapter,” “Elections and Democracy,” “The Prospective (or Responsible Party) Voting Model,” “The Electoral Competition Voting Model,” “The Retrospective (or Reward and Punishment) Voting Model,” “Imperfect Electoral Democracy,” “The Nature of American Elections,” “USING THE FRAMEWORK:  Elections Bring the New Deal,” “Political Participation,” “Expansion of the Franchise,” “Low Voting Turnout,” “Who Participates?,” “Income and Education,” “Race and Ethnicity,” “Age,” “Gender,” “Does It Matter Who Votes?”




Nov. 2:  Midterm Exam [Ramadhan—12:30-13:10]


Nov. 3-5:  Eid Al-Fitr Holiday 1426 [No classes]


Nov. 5-11:  Mid-semester Break [No classes]


Nov. 12:  Participation, Voting, and Elections


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 10  “Campaigning for Office,” “Contending for the Party Presidential Nomination,” “The Autumn Campaign,” “Money and Elections,” “Election Outcomes,” “How Voters Decide,” “The Electoral College,” “HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE WE?  Do Elections Matter?,” “BY THE NUMBERS:  Did George W. Bush Really Win the 2000 Presidential Vote in Florida?”




Nov. 14:  Congress


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Appendix A-15  “The Federalist Papers, No. 51”;  Ch. 11  “The 2002 Elections and the Return of Unified Government,” “Thinking Critically About This Chapter,” “Constitutional Foundations of the Modern Congress,” “Empowering Congress,” “Constraining Congress,” “Bicameralism and Representation,” “Federalism,” “Representation and Democracy,” “Styles of Representation,” “Race, Gender, and Occupation in Congress,” “The Electoral Connection,” “BY THE NUMBERS:  How Are Congressional Districts Drawn to Include Equal Numbers of Voters?,” “USING THE FRAMEWORK:  Campaign Finance Reform”


Nov. 16:  Congress


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 11  How Congress Works,” “Political Parties in Congress,” “Congressional Leadership,” “Congressional Committees,” “Rules and Norms in the House and Senate,” “Legislative Responsibilities:  How a Bill Becomes a Law,” “Legislative Oversight of the Executive Branch,” “Congress, Public Policy, and the American People,” “Congress as Policymaker,” “Congress and the American People,” “HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE WE?  Is Congress Out of Touch?”


Nov. 19:  The President


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 12  “George W. Bush’s War Presidency,” “Thinking Critically About This Chapter,” “The Expanding Presidency,” “The Earliest and Latest Presidencies Compared,” “The Founders’ Conception of the Presidency,” “The Dormant Presidency,” “The Twentieth-Century Transformation,” “How Important Are Individual Presidents?,” “The Many Roles of the President,” “Chief of State,” “Commander in Chief,” “Legislator,” “Manager of the Economy,” “Chief Diplomat,” “Head of the Political Party,” “The President’s Staff and Cabinet,” “The White House Staff,” “The Executive Office of the President,” “The Vice-Presidency,” “The Cabinet,” “The President and the Bureaucracy,” “Giving Orders,” “Persuasion”


Nov. 21:  The President


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 12  “The President and Congress:  Perpetual Tug-of-War,” “Conflict by Constitutional Design,” “What Makes a President Successful with Congress?,” “The President and the People:  An Evolving Relationship,” “Getting Closer to the People,” “Leading Public Opinion,” “Responding to the Public,” “The Role of Presidential Popularity,” “Interest Groups, Political Parties, and Social Movements,” “Interest Groups,” “Political Parties,” “Social Movements,” “Structural Influences on the Presidency,” “The International System,” “USING THE FRAMEWORK:  Clinton and Free Trade,” “HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE WE?  Presidents and the American People,” “The Economy”




Nov. 23:  The Federal Bureaucracy


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 13  “The Federal Bureaucracy After Nine-Eleven,” “Thinking Critically About This Chapter,” “A Comparative View of the American Bureaucracy,” “Hostile Political Culture,” “Incoherent Organization,” “Divided Control,” “Transformation of the Bureaucracy,” “A Brief Administrative History of the United States,” “How the Executive Branch Is Organized,” “BY THE NUMBERS:  How Big Is the Federal Government?  Is It Really Shrinking, as People Say?,” “What Do Bureaucrats Do?,” “Executing the Law,” “Regulating (Rule Making),” “USING THE FRAMEWORK:  Bureaucratic Rule-Making,” “Adjudicating,” “Who Are the Bureaucrats?,” “The Merit Services,” “Political Appointees”


Nov. 26:  The Federal Bureaucracy


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 13  “Political and Governmental Influences on Bureaucratic Behavior,” “The Public,” “The President,” “Congress,” “Common Criticisms of the Federal Bureaucracy,” “‘The Federal Bureaucracy Is Always Expanding’,” “‘The Federal Bureaucracy Is Ineffective’,” “‘The Federal Bureaucracy Is Wasteful and Inefficient’,” “‘The Federal Bureaucracy Is Mired in Red Tape’,” “Reforming the Federal Bureaucracy,” “Scaling Back t he Size of the Bureaucracy,” “Reinventing Government,” “Protecting Against Bureaucratic Abuses of Power,” “HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE WE?  The Bureaucracy and Democracy,” “Increasing Popular Participation,” “Increasing Presidential Control”


Nov. 28:  The Courts


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Appendix A-17  “The Federalist Papers, No. 78”;  Ch. 14  “The Supreme Court Stops the Florida Recount,” “Thinking Critically About This Chapter,” “The Structural Context of Court Behavior,” “Constitutional Powers,” “The Power of Judicial Review,” “The U.S. Court System:  Organization and Jurisdiction,” “Constitutional Provisions,” “Federal District Courts,” “U.S. Courts of Appeal,” “The Supreme Court,” “Appointment to the Federal Bench,” “Who Are the Appointees?,” “The Appointment Process,” “The Supreme Court in Action,” “Norms of Operation,” “Controlling the Agenda,” “Deciding Cases”


Nov. 30:  The Courts


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 14  The Supreme Court as a National Policymaker,” “Structural Change and Constitutional Interpretation,” “USING THE FRAMEWORK:  Japanese-American Internment,” “The Debate Over Judicial Activism,” “Outside Influences on the Court,” “Governmental Factors,” “Political Linkage Factors,” “HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE WE?  Is the Supreme Court a Democratic or Nondemocratic Institution?”




Dec. 3:  Freedom:  The Struggle for Civil Liberties


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 15  Campus Speech Codes and Free Speech,” “Thinking Critically About This Chapter,” “Civil Liberties in the Constitution,” “Rights and Liberties in the Nineteenth Century,” “Economic Liberty in the Early Republic,” “Economic Liberty After the Civil War”


Dec. 5:  Freedom:  The Struggle for Civil Liberties


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 15  Nationalization of the Bill of Rights,” “Selective Incorporation,” “Standards for Incorporation,” “Freedom of Speech,” “Freedom of the Press,” “Free Exercise of Religion,” “Establishment of Religion,” “Privacy,” “Rights of the Accused,” “USING THE FRAMEWORK:  The Death Penalty,” “Civil Liberties and the War on Terrorism,” “HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE WE?  Civil Liberties and Democracy”


Dec. 7:  [Research Papers Due]


Dec. 7:  Civil Rights:  The Struggle for Political Equality


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 16  From Martin Luther King to Louis Farrakhan,” “Thinking Critically About This Chapter,” “Civil Rights Before the Twentieth Century,” “An Initial Absence of Civil Rights,” “The Civil War Amendments”


Dec. 10:  Civil Rights:  The Struggle for Political Equality


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 16  The Contemporary Status of Civil Rights,” “Civil Rights for Racial Minorities,” “USING THE FRAMEWORK:  Affirmative Action,” “Civil Rights for Women,” “Enlarging the Civil Rights Umbrella,” “HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE WE?  Civil Rights in the United States


Dec. 12:  Domestic Policy:  The Economy and Social Welfare


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 17  “Whatever Happened to the Budget Surplus?,” “Thinking Critically About This Chapter,” “Why Government Is Involved in the Economy and Social Welfare,” “Economic Management,” “Social Welfare,” “Economic Policy,” “The Goals of Economic Policy,” “The Tools of Macroeconomic Policy,” “The Federal Budget and Fiscal Policy,” “Spending, Taxes, and Debt,” “Regulation,” “Making Economic Policy:  The Main Players”


Dec. 14:  Domestic Policy:  The Economy and Social Welfare


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 17  “Social Welfare,” “Outline of the American Welfare State,” “Social Security and Other Social Insurance Programs,” “Means-Tested Programs (Welfare),” “BY THE NUMBERS:  How Many Americans Are Poor?,” “USING THE FRAMEWORK:  Welfare Reform,” “How the American Welfare State Compares with Others,” “Why the American Welfare State Is Different,” “HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE WE?  Economic and Social Policy and the American People”


Dec. 16 & 17:  National Day Holiday


Dec. 19:  Foreign Policy and National Defense  [Last Day for In-Class Presentations]


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 18  The Triumph of Unilateralism?,” “Thinking Critically About This Chapter,” “Foreign Policy and Democracy:  A Contradiction in Terms?,” “The United States as a Superpower:  History and Structure,” “The Cold War,” “The End of the Cold War,” “The Structural Bases of American Superpower Status”


Dec. 21:  Foreign Policy and National Defense


Readings:  Greenberg & Page, Ch. 18  Problems of the Post—Cold War World,” “New Security Issues,” “Economic and Social Dilemmas;” “Who Makes Foreign Policy?,” “The President and the Executive Branch,” “Congress,” “Public Opinion and the News Media,” “Corporations, Interest Groups, and Social Movements,” “USING THE FRAMEWORK:  Air War in Kosovo,” “HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE WE?  The American Public and the Making of Foreign Policy”


Dec. 26:  Final Exam  11:30-13:30


Jan. 1, 2006:  New Year's Day [Holiday]


Jan. 7:  Last day for submitting grades