Class meeting time: Tuesdays 4 (10:40 - 11:30 am) and Thursdays 4-5 (10:40 - 12:35 pm)
|Professor Michael D. Martinez
Office Hours W 2:00 - 4:00 pm
We will address these and other questions through a survey the
institutions, and political linkage institutions in the United States.
Our discussions will include some historical
comparisons and contrasts to other countries' political systems, and
on current developments. By the end of the course, students
should be able to critically evaluate claims about the U.S.
system using empirical evidence, and discuss contemporary events in the
context of structural foundations of the American political system.
This course satisfies a Social
and Behavioral Science (S) General Education requirement, and satisfies major introductory requirements in Political
Science and a requirement for College
of Journalism majors. It is also a prerequisite to
courses in American politics in the Department of Political
|Canvas will be the course management system for this course. Make sure that you see this course when you log in to http://elearning.ufl.edu. Some readings will be accessible online through links
Kollman, Ken. 2017. The American Political System. Third Edition. New York: W. W. Norton. (ISBN 9780393283570 for the paperback edition; ISBN 9780393631159 for the e-book edition)
This text focuses on recurrent collective dilemmas and principal-agent problems, and how political institutions solve those problems and affect how costs and benefits are allocated in society.
Kollman, Ken, ed. 2018. Readings in American Politics: Analysis and Perspectives. Fourth Edition. New York: W. W. Norton. (ISBN: 9780393283686; paperback)
This collection of classic and contemporary essays elaborate on themes discussed in the text, and make either normative, legal, or empirical arguments about some aspect of the American political system.
Periodically, I will assign additional articles from The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal that are relevant to the topics that we are discussing. Those articles should be considered required reading. Announcements and links will be provided on Canvas. UF students have free digital subscriptions to both, courtesy of the Provost's Office and Student Government.
|Midterm Exam (Thursday, February 28)||25%|
|Final Exam (Thursday, May 2; 12:30 - 2:30 pm)||30%|
|Discussion and participation||12%|
On exam days, students will be asked to remove hats, caps, and
Initiating or receiving outside communication (using voice, email, text, Morse code, or any other medium) using a phone or other
during an exam constitutes receipt of outside information, and will
in an immediate failure on that examination. Do not forget to turn off your
before a test. If you do forget and the cellphone rings,
it. Surrender the phone to me, and you can pick
It is important that you show up on exam day. Absences from exams will only be excused if the student can provide written and verifiable documentation of illness, bereavement of an immediate family member, or a conflicting University or legal obligation.The date and time for the final exam were assigned to this class by the UF Registrar in order to assure that all students have time to prepare for all of their exams and avoid exam conflicts. Plan to be on campus at this time, and do not ask to take the exam early or late, unless you have an exam conflict that is recognized by the UF Registrar. Please advise parents, spouses, fairy godparents, and others who may be making travel plans for you of your final exam schedule. If you have unavoidable plans to be out of Gainesville on May 2, you should consider dropping the course or registering for a different section of the course.
|Listening||Actively and respectfully listens to peers and instructor||Sometimes displays lack of interest in comments of others||Projects lack of interest or disrespect for others (including browsing other materials during class)|
|Preparation||Arrives fully prepared with all assignments completed, and notes on reading, observations, questions||Sometimes arrives unprepared or with only superficial preparation||Little evidence of having completed or thought about assigned material|
|Quality of contributions||Comments are relevant and reflect understanding of assignments, previous remarks of other students, and insights about assigned material||Comments sometimes irrelevant, betray lack of preparation, or indicate lack of attention to previous remarks of other students||No comments, or comments reflect little understanding of either the assignment or previous remarks in class|
|Impact on class||Comments frequently help move class discussion forward||Comments sometimes advance the conversation, but sometimes do little to move it forward||Comments do not advance the conversation or are actively harmful to it|
|Frequency of participation||Actively participates at appropriate times||Sometimes participates but at other times is “tuned out”||Seldom participates, and is generally not engaged or absent|
||Regularly attends class, with no
more than three total unexcused absences, and no more than one
unexcused absence from discussion on Thursdays.
||Moderate number of absences.
||More than three total unexcused absences, and more than one unexcused absences from discussion on Thursdays.
|Seq||Dates||Topics||American Political |
|Readings in American Politics Chapters
||Introduction to the course|
|1||January 10 - 15||Collective Dilemmas, Principal Agents, and the Design of Political Institutions||1||• JOHN LOCKE, from The Second Treatise of Government
• GARRETT HARDIN, from “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science
• D. RODERICK KIEWIET and MATHEW D. McCUBBINS, from The Logic of Delegation: Congressional Parties and the Appropriations Process
||No class: Southern Political Science Association meetings
|2||January 22 - 24
||Constitution: The fragmentation of political power (part one)||2||• BRUTUS, The Antifederalist, No. 1
• JEREMY POPE AND SHAWN TREIER, from “Voting for a Founding: Testing the Effect of Economic Interests at the Federal Convention of 1787”
• ROBERT A. DAHL, from How Democratic Is the American Constitution?
|3||January 29 - 31
||Federalism: The fragmentation of political power (part two)||3||• CHRISTOPHER HAMMONS, from “State Constitutions, Religious Protection, and Federalism”
• WILLIAM H. RIKER, from Federalism: Origin, Operation, Significance
||February 5 - 7
||Civil Rights and Liberties: the struggle continues
||• MICHAEL TESLER, from Post-Racial or Most-Racial: Race and Politics in the Obama Era.
• Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
• District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)
• Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)
||February 12 - 14||Presidency: Are there really two presidencies?||6
||February 19 - 21
||Congress: Can members represent and legislate at the same time?
||• DAVID R. MAYHEW, from Congress: The Electoral Connection
• RICHARD F. FENNO JR., from Home Style: House Members in Their Districts
• GARY W. COX and MATHEW D. McCUBBINS, from Setting the Agenda: Responsible Party Government in the U.S. House of Representatives
• JUSTIN GRIMMER, SEAN WESTWOOD, AND SOLOMON MESSING, from The Impression of Influence: Legislator Communication, Representation, and Democratic Accountability.
||Catch up, review, and preview of the second half|
|February 28||Midterm exam|
|March 5 - 7
||Give me a (Spring) Break!|
|8||March 12 - 14
||Bureaucracy: Is Bureaucratic power tyrranical?||7||• JAMES Q. WILSON, from Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It
• MATHEW D. McCUBBINS and THOMAS SCHWARTZ, from “Congressional Oversight Overlooked: Police Patrols versus Fire Alarms,” American Journal of Political Science
• DANIEL P. CARPENTER, from The Forging of Bureaucratic Autonomy: Reputations, Networks, and Policy Innovation in Executive Agencies, 1862– 1928
• (NEW) SUSAN MOFFITT, from Making Policy Public: Participatory Bureaucracy in American Democracy.
• SEAN GAILMARD and JOHN W. PATTY, from Learning While Governing: Expertise and Accountability in the Executive Branch
||March 19 - 21
||Judiciary: Do unelected judges preserve democracy?||8||• GERALD N. ROSENBERG, from The Hollow Hope: Can Courts Bring about Social Change?
• Marbury v. Madison (1801)
• LEE EPSTEIN, ANDREW MARTIN, KEVIN QUINN, AND JEFFREY SEGAL, from “Circuit Effects: How the Norm of Federal Judicial Experience Biases the Supreme Court.”
||March 26 - 28
||Public Opinion and Participation: Are voters dumb? Or, is it dumb to vote?||9 and 10||• ARTHUR LUPIA and MATHEW D. McCUBBINS, from The Democratic Dilemma: Can Citizens Learn What They Need to Know?
• DONALD R. KINDER and CINDY D. KAM, from Us Against Them: Ethnocentric Foundations of American Opinion
• JAMES CAMPBELL, from Polarized: Making Sense of a Divided America.
• JANELLE WONG, S. KARTHICK RAMAKRISHNAN, TAEKU LEE, and JANE JUNN, from Asian American Political Participation: Emerging Constituents and Their Political Identities
|11||April 2 - 4
||Interest Groups and Social Movements: What accent the heavenly chorus?||11||• MARTIN GILENS, from Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America
• KEN KOLLMAN, from Outside Lobbying: Public Opinion and Interest Group Strategies
• LARRY M. BARTELS, from Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age
|12||April 9 - 11
||Political Parties: Can just two parties orchestrate the heavenly chorus?||12||• JOHN H. ALDRICH, from Why Parties? A Second Look
• MARTY COHEN, DAVID KAROL, HANS NOEL, and JOHN ZALLER, from The Party Decides: Presidential Nominations Before and After Reform
• KEN KOLLMAN, “Who Drives the Party Bus?”
|13||April 16 - 18
||Elections and Campaigns: If Hillary Clinton got more votes, why is Donald Trump president?||13||• JOHN R. KOZA, BARRY FADEM, MARK
GRUESKIN, MICHAEL S. MANDELL, ROBERT RICHIE, and JOSEPH F. ZIMMERMAN,
from Every Vote Equal: A State- Based Plan for Electing the President
by National Popular Vote
• Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010)
• Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder (2013)
• RICHARD FOX AND JENNIFER LAWLESS, “Gendered Perceptions and Political Candidacies: A Central Barrier to Women’s Equality in Electoral Politics,” American Journal of Political Science 55 (2011): 59-73.
• CHRISTOPHER ACHEN AND LARRY BARTELS, from Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government.
||Mass Media: Is your "fake news" my "news"? ||14||• MATTHEW A. BAUM, from Soft News Goes to War: Public Opinion and American Foreign Policy in the New Media Age
• MARISA A. ABRAJANO, from Campaigning to the New American Electorate: Advertising to Latino Voters
|May 2 (12:30 - 2:30 pm)||Final Exam|
Copyright © 2019 University of Florida