Example C: Narrative Sequence of Topics

Dr. Rebecca Deen introduces her syllabus with a narrative sequence of topics.

Introduction to Political Science 4330: The U.S. Presidency
Fall 2013, Pickard Hall 110, T/TH 9:30-10:50 a.m.

Dr. Deen
206 University Hall
(817) 272-2991
T/R 11:00-11:45, W 1:30-2:30, and by appointment. If these times are inconvenient, I will be happy to make individualized appointments.


This course will make use of our course page in Blackboard. Please visit this site immediately for help accessing the course: uta.edu/blackboard/students/index.php.

This course will focus on a uniquely American institution: the presidency. It is designed for upper-level Political Science majors, but is open to anyone who would like to learn about this institution, its processes, and its evolution over time. First we will examine presidential selection. The complex system by which we choose our Chief Executive is unlike any other. We will trace the process from the pre-primary stages through the general election.

From selection we will turn to governing. First we will examine the Executive Branch itself. How do presidents organize themselves and their staffs? How does that affect their governing capacity? How can we characterize the interaction between the White House and the Executive Branch bureaucracies? These are some of the questions we will address in this portion of the course.

Next, we will turn to the relationship between the Executive and the other two branches of government. Here we will also conclude our course by exploring policy making. What constraints does a President face, institutionally, politically, personally? How does a President make policy? Does this process change across different policy areas and across different environmental conditions?

PLEASE NOTE: This course will only discuss domestic and economic policy-making and will do so in brief. Students who desire a more intensive examination of presidential domestic policy-making should refer to the course “Presidential Leadership in Domestic Policy-Making.” Those who wish to study presidential foreign policy-making should refer to the course “Presidential Foreign Policy-Making.” Additionally, there are many courses offered on public policy and policy-making processes available (see uta.edu/catalog).