Prof. Michael Hawthorne
Department of Public Administration
217 BA Building
Office Hours: 1:00-2:00 T, 3:15-4:15 Th and by appointment
The President of the United States is a focal point in our political system. Recent coverage of the presidential election process demonstrates the attention we will devote to the contest for this office (but not always the issues; that is another story). The actions of the individual occupying the office are a source of endless fascination, with every movement reported by the media. The President has seemingly boundless power -- running the bureaucracy, helping to set the agenda for Congress, selecting the federal judiciary, overseeing our economy and our national security, and insuring our domestic tranquility. Children see the President as the government, and only later realize others are also involved.
Our preoccupation with the Chief Executive should not obscure the inherent dilemmas in the office and our view of its occupants. It is an office without sufficient power, yet with too much power. The President and his/her political appointees are but a small part of the ongoing political system, yet we expect new officeholders to make major policy changes with ease. And some now claim voters cannot wait to get their favorite candidate into office so that they can begin complaining, as expectations are so high no one could meet them.
The issues at the center of these dilemmas strike at the heart of the office, the political system, and our normative beliefs. Our biases can easily become mixed up with our objective measures of political behavior, making analyzing the office challenging. And because the office is so closely linked to other parts of the political system, measuring the independent impact of the office and its surrounding environment requires eliminating the effect of other political actors. We must also separate the individual from the office, even as we recognize the inherent interaction between these variables. Much of our knowledge about the office stems from case studies, yet we know well the value of more sophisticated methods of analysis, crucial to helping our understanding of the office and its dilemmas, one of the core objectives of the class.
This class will operate as a seminar, with extensive discussion based upon readings completed prior to class. The purpose is for students to bring to class their considered thoughts and questions, using class time to explore and address them, rather than the professor regurgitating information available in the readings. It is the students' responsibility to come to class with some existing knowledge from their readings, and the professor's job to supplement this knowledge, refine it, and assist students to broaden their understanding of the topics we cover. Obviously, this approach also provides better opportunities than conventional approaches to apply the knowledge to new contexts and examples, enhancing knowledge while simultaneously improving students' ability to use the information. Lastly, seminars offer superior opportunities to develop comprehension skills, absolutely crucial to students' development and future career plans. Naturally, the course will offer extensive assistance in developing these skills, easing you into a superior method for learning and developing tools vital to all professional occupations.
Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments is requested to speak directly to Disability Support Services and the instructor, as early in the semester (preferably within the first week) as possible. All discussions will remain confidential. Please contact Disability Support Services, DF Lowry Building, 910-521-6695.
Learning is a challenging, serious, and fun process. To facilitate this process and help you learn, I need you in class. You should be attending ALL of your college classes on a regular basis. As this class builds directly on material learned earlier in the class, attendance is crucial. I will maintain attendance records for use in evaluating class participation, and in case questions arise about possible causes for poor performances. Treat your class attendance as you would showing up for a serious job you wish to retain and you will not likely have any problems. This means we would expect an attendance rate of 90% or higher, as would any real employer. You are strongly advised to use your absences wisely; as with employers, you will not be given "extra" absences when you have a "real problem" after having used up your "free" absences for other reasons. Major health and family issues necessitating absences longer than this time period will be considered only with documentation, and should include consideration of dropping the course due to the absences.
The class will operate as a seminar, with some lecture material, meaning that you will be expected to discuss readings, contribute ideas, and ask questions. Being able to enroll in an undergraduate seminar is an advantage not enjoyed by students at many other universities, but it does bring with it particular responsibilities. Most of these should be common to all classes, but to avoid any confusion, a list appears below. As a faculty member, I am responsible for creating the best possible class to teach you about research methods. As a student, you have responsibilities; these appear below.
Class participation (and attendance) is crucial to learning. These will play a key role in grades for those on borderlines. Improvement during the semester is always given special consideration.
Student Academic Honor Code: Students have the responsibility to know and observe the UNCP Academic Honor Code. All students should review the Academic Honor Code carefully. This can be found at:
with particular attention to pages 52-56. Violations of the Code will be reported and pursued with extreme vigor. If you do not understand any part of the Code, it is your responsibility to seek answers to your questions and concerns.
Grades will be assigned based upon the following weight scheme:
Presidential auto/biography project -- 15%.
Midterm exam -- 15%
Final exam -- 20%
Class participation and mini-projects -- 15%
Research project -- multistage -- 35%
The assigned texts are:
You are also to select (at least) one other book to read during the semester that is not required for any class you are taking. (In other words, a "fun" book!) You will give brief reports to the class on an occasional basis about the book(s).
Reading assignments should be completed before the date listed in the schedule!
READING ASSIGNMENTS AND CLASS SCHEDULE
|Week of...||Topics||Reading assignments|
|Jan. 5||Introduction to the class/Overview of the office
Running for office -- the early stages
Pika and Maltese, pp. 38-49
Nelson, Reading no. 37
|Jan. 12||The early states and nomination phase
The conventions and early fall campaign
|Pika and Maltese, pp. 50-58
Nelson, Reading no. 11
Pika and Maltese, pp. 59-61
Nelson, Reading no. 18, 48
|Jan. 19||The general election and the electoral college
Governing -- the transition -- campaign mini project due
|Pika and Maltese, pp. 61-83
Nelson, Reading no. 49
Pika and Maltese, 84-85
Nelson, Reading no. 12
|Jan. 26||Defining the office
||Pika and Maltese, Ch. 1
Nelson, Reading no. 7, 13, 14
|Feb. 2||Origins of the office
| Nelson, Reading no. 1,2,3, 15 16.
Nelson, Reading no. 4-6, 8, 9, 20
|Feb. 9||Staff appointments and the first 100 days
The Cabinet and bureaucracy
|Pika and Maltese, pp.252-261
Nelson, Reading no. 23, 25
Pika and Maltese, pp.261-289
Nelson, Reading no. 19, 28
|Feb. 16||Cabinet/staff mini project due
|Eisenhower's Farewell Address (link on Blackboard)
Marshall Plan speech (link on Blackboard)
Pika and Maltese, Ch. 5
Nelson, Reading no. 22, 24, 38, 44, 47
|Feb. 23||Public support
|Pika and Maltese, pp. 93-119
Nelson, Reading no. 17, 39, 40, 41, 42
Pika and Maltese, pp. 120-137
Nelson, Reading no. 43, 45, 46, 50
|Mar. 2||SPRING BREAK|
|Mar. 9||Other actors -- courts, parties, etc.
Psychological views on the presidency
|Pika and Maltese, Ch. 7
Nelson, Reading no. 27
Comparative study (link on Blackboard)
Pika and Maltese, Ch. 4
Nelson, Reading no.
|Mar. 16||Presidential auto/biography project due||TBA|
|Mar. 23||Domestic policy||Pika and Maltese, Ch. 8
Nelson, Reading no. 26, 30, 33
Governor reading (link on Blackboard)
|Mar. 30||Domestic/economic policy||Pika and Maltese, Ch. 9
Nelson, Reading no. 34
|Apr. 6||Economic policy||Pika and Maltese, Ch. 11
Nelson, Reading no. 29
|Apr. 13||National security and foreign policy making||Pika and Maltese, Ch. 10
Nelson, Reading no. 10, 21, 31, 32, 35, 36, 51, 52, 53
|Apr. 20||Research project reports and wrap-up|
|Final exam --||April 28, 1:30-4:00|
Updated: Monday, October 18, 2010
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