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Viewing: PS 301 : The Presidency and Congress

Last approved: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 08:49:10 GMT

Last edit: Tue, 15 Mar 2016 19:39:32 GMT

Change Type
PS (Political Science)
301
018062
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
No
The Presidency and Congress
Pres and Congress
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Political Science (16PS)
Term Offering
Fall Only
Offered Alternate Years
Fall 2016
Previously taught as Special Topics?
No
 
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Graded with S/U option
3
16
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Lecture3.0
Course Attribute(s)
GEP (Gen Ed)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
No
 
 
Andrew Taylor, PhD
Professor

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Lecture3535NoN/A
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote
Prerequisite: PS 201
Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
Yes
SIS Program CodeProgram TitleRequired or Elective?
16PSAMBA Political Science: American Politics Required
16PSBABA Political Science Elective
16PSINTBA Political Science: International Politics Elective
16PSLJJ BA Political Science: Law and Justice, Justice Systems Elective
16PSLJLBA Political Science: Law and Justice, Law and Theory Elective
16PSPUBBA Political Science: Public Policy Elective
16PSBSBS Political Science Elective
16OSM Political Science Minor Elective
Historical development, selection, and internal organization of the presidency and congress. Discussion of the relations between the branches and the influence of public opinion, interest groups and parties on the federal government. Analysis of the legislative process.

Formal GEP review and adding to CourseLeaf system.


No

Is this a GEP Course?
Yes
GEP Categories
Social Sciences
Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 
Students will evaluate the behavior of members of Congress and how procedures, electoral incentives, and personal views shape this behavior.
 
 
Exams, written assignments

e.g. exam question

In what ways do members of Congress interact with their constituents? Be sure you examine both direct (personal) and indirect (through a medium) contact. How is Congress organized to allow this interaction to occur? For what reasons do members of Congress do this? Why do they do this so intensely when they are reelected at such high rates?
 
 
Students will use social science methods to analyze an important and interesting question relating to the course material.
 
 
Written assignment:

POLITICAL SCIENCE PROJECT PROPOSAL

Political science is a social science. Political scientists are directed in their pursuit of knowledge about politics, government, policy and society by the scientific method. An important part of political science education, therefore, is training in scientific inquiry.

To this end, I would like you to write a short proposal for a project you would like to undertake. (You do not have to do the project, although this proposal could lay the groundwork for a paper in a future class). The project proposed must be directly related to the class material. Please get your topic approved by me if you are in any doubt that the subject matter of your proposal may not be suitable. Also, please feel free to call, e-mail or see me as you work on your proposal.

Your proposal should be double-spaced in 12 point font with 1 inch margins and no less than two pages and no more than three pages long. You must give me a hard copy, I will not accept an electronic version of the paper (because my printer won’t handle the volume and I wish to avoid inadvertently picking up a computer virus). The proposals are due on October 16 at 11.05 a.m. (i.e. at the end of class). You will be deducted a grade for each day that the assignment is late (i.e. a B+ becomes a B etc.).

Make sure this is well thought through. Thoughtfully and succinctly explain what you are trying to investigate and how you will go about investigating it.

Your proposal will comply with the following format. You can choose not to use the subheadings but your paper must address everything I ask of you.

1. TITLE: Make it an apt but simple and short description of your project.

2. BACKGROUND AND LITERATURE REVIEW: You will explain why your work is important and interesting and what the current thinking is on the topic through a discussion of some of the literature on it. Provide at least two scholarly sources and explain what people have already found out about the subject. Make sure you properly cite some relevant literature in parenthetical, footnote or endnote format. For literature sources, see:

Books: The JK call numbers are where it’s at for congressional and presidential studies. Check out Es if you are looking for some historical stuff, Hs if you are looking at economic-related material and Ks if you want legal books. The library website allows you to search books on its “virtual bookshelves” (www.lib.ncsu.edu). Some books are also available as e-books to NC State students.

Journals: Political science journals can be very technical. For this paper you will probably find Legislative Studies Quarterly, Congress and the Presidency, Presidential Studies Quarterly and Political Science Quarterly most useful. Most journals are on line. You can search journals thoroughly through the NCSU library site, scroll down to “Social Sciences Citation Index” when looking up Databases. The electronic journals can also be found on the library website. Go to: https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/databases/


3. RESEARCH QUESTION: In the form of a question, explain what you are trying to do. Your project is basically an answer to this question.


4. HYPOTHESIS/HYPOTHESES: This is your prediction(s) or expectation(s). This is what, in theory, should happen. Provide a prediction(s) of what you think the answer will be. A hypothesis is usually a prediction about the direction and magnitude of the relationship between two things. Justify your prediction(s) by citing existing knowledge or implications from existing knowledge.


5. DATA & METHOD: What will your data be? Where will they come from? Make sure you explain, in some detail, the data that will enable you to answer your question.
Explain how you will use your data to answer the question. Basically, you need to determine the existence of a relationship between a cause and effect. How will you show that A is or is not affecting B. Remember to account for other possible causes of changes in B so that you can be sure you are witnessing a relationship between cause (A) and effect (B) and not, say C or D and B.





HERE ARE EXAMPLES OF PREVIOUS 301 STUDENTS’ PROPOSALS:

Explaining the President’s Agenda
Explaining Low Voter Turnout in Presidential Elections Since 1960
Bipartisanship in Congress
Congress and Education Policy
Examining Gerrymandering and the Election Process
From Where Does the President Get His Legislative Power?
Rating the President: What Contributes to High Marks?
Campaign Finance Reform
The Influence of Money in Congressional Campaigns
The Effect of Campaign Contributions on Making Policy of Low Salience
Why is Turnout So Low in Congressional Elections?
Presidential Popularity and Congressional Support
Economic Influences on the Modern Presidential Campaign
The Development of Presidential Power
How do Interest Groups influence the Legislative Process?
The Role of Social Media in Presidential Elections
Would Congressional Term Limits Improve Policy?
Has the New Primary System Affected the Quality of Presidential Candidates
Who are More Responsive to Public Opinion: Senators or Representatives?
Presidential Parties and the Economy
The Length of Senate Confirmations
Who Wins in Conference Committees? The House or Senate?
The Celebrity Effect in Presidential Elections
Do Caucuses Affect the Votes of House Members?
Presidential Psychology and the Organization of the Executive Branch
Who Votes for Free Trade?
Millennials in National Elections


This may seem like a daunting task. But I’m not expecting you to be masters at scientific inquiry yet. This assignment is designed to get you to think like social scientists. Just make sure you are imaginative, careful, thorough and rigorous. Keep thinking as you work through your proposal. Again, please feel free to call, e-mail or see me as you work on your proposal.
 
 
Students will evaluate the relationship between the design of government institutions and policy outcomes.
 
 
Exams, written assignments

e.g. term paper question

What are the major differences in the legislative processes and institutional rules of the House of Representatives and the Senate? What are the causes of these differences? What is the impact of these differences on member behavior? What do these differences mean to the majority leaderships and party organizations in each of the respective chambers?
Suppose that you were authoring a constitution for a newly democratizing country. After reading several books, you decided to go to the United States to study Congress since you believe it provides the best model for your country’s new legislature. However, after you arrive in Washington, you realize that the House and Senate are quite different. As you have been charged with creating a unicameral legislature, you must pick only one chamber as a blueprint. Which would you choose? Why? What is it about the House or Senate that makes it the chamber that better displays the qualities that you are looking for in a legislature?
Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
&
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:
 
 

 
 

 
Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Requisites and Scheduling
100
 
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.
 
There are no restrictions.
 
b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?
 
N/A
 
List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.
 
Pre-requisite: PS 201.
 
List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)
 
None.
Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
 
Title and author of any required text or publications.
 
Roger H. Davidson, Walter J. Oleszek, Frances E. Lee, and Eric Schickler Congress and
Its Members, 15th ed. (Washington DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2016).

George C. Edwards III and Stephen J. Wayne, Presidential Leadership: Politics and
Policy Making, 9th ed. (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth 2014).
 
Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.
 
no change
 
List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.
 
no change
Course is already a regular offering within the PS Department and will continue to be.

(1) To educate you about politics, government and policymaking at the national level. The specific topics to be covered are described in the introductory paragraph of the syllabus and in the schedule below. Studying the Presidency and Congress also requires you to become skilled social scientists. I shall therefore teach you skills connected to this such as formulating hypotheses (predictions), testing these hypotheses, using appropriate data and methods and analyzing results. We are in a political science class and I will therefore be developing your ability to use the scientific method. 


(2) To present to you the virtues of public life and leadership and to make you better citizens. I want to get you to reject this description of politics that Bill Clinton gave at the 1993 Gridiron dinner: “The word comes from ‘poli’, which in Greek means many, and ‘tics’ which are blood-sucking leeches.” Public service is a noble profession and we need talented and dedicated people to serve our local communities, cities, state, nation and world. This class will teach you that service is valuable and I hope to persuade some of you to take on positions of public leadership. Short of that, I want to help you to think critically and gain an appreciation for the importance of public life.


(3) To provide you with a variety of skills that you need to be successful in today’s economy. The two skills I will emphasize here are writing and analysis. (A) Writing. Whatever you do in life, strong, clear and grammatically-correct writing is a must. You will constantly be asked, for example, to write memos to colleagues and reports and proposals for superiors and clients. Poor writing prevents good ideas from being disseminated. There is more on how to write well in the term paper instructions. Let me just add to that by saying the best writers are the people who read the most. So read, read, read! And read good stuff. Of course, do the reading for this course, but also read novels, biographies, histories and good journalism—such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. (B) Analysis. To be a player in this economy, you can no longer just be good at taking orders and regurgitating facts. We have machines to do that now. You need to be able to take information and add value to it by using analysis. What do this year’s sales figures, the state of the economy and your competitors’ current production woes (three pieces of factual information) tell you about how many dollars worth of raw materials your company should buy next year? Political science is a great training device for this because it is a social science. As I mentioned under Purpose 1, it is a discipline that forces you to not only collect information, but evaluate it too. 


Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will evaluate the behavior of members of Congress and how procedures, electoral incentives, and personal views shape this behavior.


2. Students will use social science methods to analyze an important and interesting question relating to the course material.


3. Students will evaluate the relationship between the design of government institutions and policy outcomes.


Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Other100no change
TopicTime Devoted to Each TopicActivity
see attached weekly topics
Work with Karen to move current SLO to CO and drop GEP SLO's to SLO slot, add textook, etc, JSD, 3/15/2016
shgreene (Tue, 09 Feb 2016 20:33:45 GMT): Rollback: Same reason
despain (Tue, 15 Mar 2016 13:25:08 GMT): Rollback: Adjust objectives, learning outcomes, etc.
shgreene (Tue, 15 Mar 2016 17:28:18 GMT): Rollback: Adjust as per discussion.
Key: 4595