(POLS 21 – Section C:  No. 11517)


Time:                Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays 11:15 a.m.– 12:05 p.m.           Spring 2005


Place:               Lafayette 108


Professor          Frank Bryan          

Tel:                   656-0570

Office:              Room 540 Old Mill Building

Office Hours:    Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays 8 – 11 a.m., and by appointment

Web Page:










First Exam

Friday, February 18


Second Exam

Friday, April 1


Final Exam

Friday, May 13, 4 p.m.



Texts:               Susan Welch, et. al. Understanding American Government, 7th ed.

Allan J. Cigler and Burdett Loomis American Politics: Classic and Contemporary Readings, 6th ed.


                                                                                CLASSROOM PROTOCOL


1.             Students are expected to attend and be prepared for ALL regularly scheduled classes.


2.             Students are expected to arrive on time and stay in class until the class period ends.  If a student knows in advance that s/he will need to leave early, s/he should notify the instructor before the class period begins.


3.             Students are expected to treat faculty and fellow students with respect.  For example, students must not disrupt class by leaving and reentering during class, must not distract class by making noise, and must be attentive to comments being made by the instructors and by peers.


4.             Instructors will inform students of any special alterations to the syllabus.


5.             Students are expected to check their UVM and WebCT mail for this course on a regular basis.



                                                                    THE COURSE


Part I.   Introduction:  In Politics is the Future of the World


            A.   “There's Still Time Brother.”  The gap between political and physical science and what it means. 

            B.   The Abortion Debate:  A View from Political Science

            C.   Does the American Government Work?  18th Century Architecture, 21st Century Problems



Welch: Chapter 1

            Cigler and Loomis   1.1 & 1.3


Part II   “Elephants and Roses,” Defining Politics American Style.


A.   “The Model A Ford,” A Systems Framework for Analyzing American Politics.


B.   The Authoritative Allocation of Values


C.   Breaking the Definition Down



            Welch: Chapter 2

            Cigler and Loomis   2.2 &  2.4


Part III  Fleshing Out the Definitions with Examples


A.   Inputs, Outputs, and Feedback:  Amending the Constitution.


B.   Inputs:  Socialization, Recruitment, Articulation, Aggregation


C.   Outputs:  Rule Making, Rule Application, Rule Adjudication



Welch: Chapter 3

            Cigler and Loomis 3.2 & 3.6


Part IV. Political Socialization


A.   “Children Say the Damnedest Things,” The Origin of Political Value Systems.


B.   “The Matt Dillon Syndrome,” Political Values in Adult America.


C.   “What If You Had an Election and Nobody Came?” Putting Socialization to the Test.



Welch: Chapters 4, 5

Cigler and Loomis  4.1, 5.3, 8.1



Part V.  Political Articulation and Aggregation:  Establishing the Agenda


A.   “Who’s Minding the Store?” Interest Group Liberalism Goes Amuck.


B.   “Ebb and Flows,” The American Party System in Historical Perspective.


            C.   “Real Republicans Clean Their Paint Brushes,” The American Party System:  Realignment or Disalignment.



Welch: Chapters 6, 7, 8, 9

            Cigler and Loomis   9.3, 6.1,7.3



Part VI. Rule Making–Adjusting the Agenda:  Congress


A.   “Erogenous Zones in Congress,” Following the Dance of Lawmaking.


            B.   “The Madison Square Garden Analogy—Interest Group Pluralism and the Congressional Process.”


C.   “Democracy in Deadlock?”  A Case Analysis.



Welch: Chapter 10

            Cigler and Loomis 10.1 & 10.4



Part VII. Rule Making–Promoting the Agenda:  Presidency


            A.   “An Imperial Presidency?” The Growth of the Presidential Office.


B.   “10,” Ranking Presidential Greatness.


C.   “From Kennedy to Clinton” Analyzing Presidential Character.



Welch: Chapter 11

            Cigler and Loomis 11.3 & 11.4



Part VIII.  Rule Making–Applying the Agenda:  The Bureaucracy


A.   “An Imperial Bureaucracy?” The Growth of Bureaucratic Power in America.


B.   “You Can’t Get There from Here,” A Structural Map of the Federal Bureaucracy.


C.   “Plato With a Brief Case,” Models of Bureaucratic Behavior.



Welch: Chapter 12

            Cigler and Loomis 12.1 & 12.3


Part IX. Rule Making–Interpreting the Agenda:  The Courts


A.   “There Ain’t No Miller Time,” How the Court System Operates.


B.   “Don’t Just Sit There.  Do Something,” Activism and Restraint at the Court.


C.   “Opening a Pandora's Box,” Baker vs. Carr and Judicial Policy Making.



Welch: Chapter 13

Cigler and Loomis  13.1 & 13.4