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Issues and Policies in American Government: The American Presidency

Course Number Course Title Semester Day and Time Instructor Course Fee
GOV 312L Issues and Policies in American Government: The American Presidency Fall 2012   M 6-9 Shannon Bow $550.00


This course meets the requirements for the Writing Flag. If you wish to receive Writing Flag credit for this course, you must submit a petition to the School of Undergraduate Studies. Please contact your academic advisor if you have any questions about Writing Flag credit.

Fulfills second half of legislative requirement for six semester hours of American Government.

The American president, arguably, is the world's most powerful executive, overseeing an annual budget of over a trillion dollars and commanding the armed forces of the world's sole superpower. At the same time, however, it seems more and more difficult for American presidents to put into place policy agendas they are elected to pursue. This course will examine the institutional context in which presidents must work, the powers at their command, and the constraints they must face. We will cover how presidents manage the office, their relations with Congress, and the implications of a resurgent national security state in the post-9/11 era. In addition, we will look at public opinion and ways of evaluating presidential performance; elections; and presidential communications in the electronic age. Students will come away with a better understanding of the office in our political order and more analytic tools with which to make sense of the modern presidency.

Required in all UT Austin degree plans.

Texas Common Number: GOVT 2302.

Official UT Course Description: Analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution. Part of a six-semester hour integrated sequence, the first of which is Government 310L.

Fulfills second half of the legislative requirement for government. May be taken for credit only once.

Prerequisites: 24 semester hours of college coursework, including Government 310L, and a passing score on the reading section of the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) test or an appropriate assessment test.