Political Science at Ohio State Lima





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Political Science H101

Dr. William Angel

Introduction to American Politics

Office: GA 460B

Spring Quarter 2006

Hours: TBA

Political Science H101 is the honors version of "Introduction to American Politics", and not only will it give you a a fuller appreciation of American government, it will also help you build skills to interpret political events on your own. You will soon begin to develop a feel for the sophisticated complexities of American politics, as well as an understanding that politics does not consist of a series of random events. In other words, you will come to view politics theoretically, seeing the historical, economic, and cultural forces which condition decision-making in American government.

You will come to recognize that politics does not occur in other places but takes place right in our home communities. And political decisions are part of a complicated cultural web, which includes economic institutions, legal arrangements, and socially defined beliefs about race and gender. Our course will pay special attention to race relations in the United States, and the role that mass politics and governmental institutions, especially the courts, Congress, and the Presidency, have played in transforming relationships between white and black Americans.

Most importantly, you will learn that politics is not a spectator sport. By the conclusion of this course, you will be armed with a knowledge of how American government works, and you will be in a position to respond selectively to problems at national, state, and local levels. A sophisticated understanding of the American political process should encourage you to be a participating citizen, not a passive spectator who merely watches events unfold.


Miroff, Seidelman, and Swanstrom, The Democratic Debate, 4th edition;
Fiorina, Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America
Katznelson, When Affirmative Action Was White
The New York Times (student subscription)

Your grade will be based upon the following formula: 2 midterms, 100 points each; an argumentative essay 100 points; final exam, 150 points; quizzes, 30 points; participation, 20 points. A student may accumulate a maximum total of 500 points. Course grade will be based on the following scale: A=450 points and above; B=400-449 points; C=350-399 points; D=250-399 points; E=249 points and less.

On the first day of class, I will present information regarding course policies and daily assignments. For further information, call 419/995-8377 or e-mail  angel.1@osu.edu.

W. Angel

Last modified on 09/25/2007