Globalization and US Politics: Post 9/11 

Austin Community College



Instructor: Karry L. Evans                                            

Office: Room 3118 Bldg. 3000, 1218 West Av.

Phone: 512-223-3394


    Course Description

This course is an honorís course on globalization and US politics. The course includes the basic information covered in an introductory survey class on US government, but all the ideas, processes, institutions, and policies are analyzed  to judge the relationship and potential impact of each in an increasingly globalized world.


This course is worth 3 credit hours. It is an approved transfer course equivalent to University Honors American National Government courses.



Needed Resources


The required text for this course is  Global Politics in a Changing World (4th ed.) by Mansbach and Rhodes. You may be able to find used copies or purchase online at a discount. The ISBN# is 978-0-618-97451-1. In addition, U.S. Politics and Globalization, by Karry Evans, is provided via the Blackboard site for this class. You will also be expected to stay informed concerning current political events through reliable news sources, such as the New York Times , the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, or other national and international sources, almost all of which are available online.



Course Rationale


The purpose of this course is to provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to understand and participate in a complex political system that includes the US government and its policies, as well as international policies, within the increasingly interdependent world. These domestic and global policies will determine the future of the world in which you and your children live and have major political, social, economic, medical, security, and environmental impacts on everyone.




Course Objectives


The following is a list of the main objectives this course is designed to help you achieve. These are items that you should concentrate on in order to be prepared for class discussions and exam questions. After completion of this course, you should be able to:       


1. Discuss democracy in the United States and the potential for the spread of democracy and democratic values throughout the world.

2. Describe the foundations, development and features of the U.S. Constitution and compare it with features of other Constitutions. 

3. Describe the role of the United States in the United Nations and the World Trade Organization and the impact of each on U.S. sovereignty.

4. Discuss the benefits and problems associated with U.S. federalism, as well as other federal systems, such as the European Union and the Iraqi Federation.

5. Discuss the potential for future federal structures to accommodate the need for global governance.

6. Discuss the ways civil liberties and civil rights protect both the individual and categories of people and the impact that international conditions have on these protections.

7. Explain how political attitudes, values and behaviors are learned, organized and expressed in the U.S. and the world.

8. Discuss the role of the media, both domestic and international, in U.S. politics and international relations.

9. Discuss the role of political parties and elections in politics and government in the U.S. and other countries.

10. Discuss various types of non-governmental organizations, including transnational organizations and companies, and their goals and strategies.

11. Describe the structure, functions and operations of the U.S. Congress, including its role in international policymaking.

12. Discuss the powers and functions of the U.S. president, including his or her role in foreign and military policymaking.

13. Discuss the role of the bureaucracy in domestic and international policymaking.

14. Describe the structure, functions and operations of the U.S. judiciary, including its role in the evolution of international law.     

15. Discuss the pros and cons of globalization from the point of view of the U.S. and the rest of the world.



Instructional Methodology


This course is designed to introduce you to the study of U.S. government and politics. We will look at the structure and function of major institutions, the causes of conflict within the American political system and the role of values and ideas in politics and political conflict. Various facts, current events and theories will be integrated into our examination of American government to help you to understand politics and its significance and impact on your own life.


Effective preparation and meaningful participation are very important in determining the quality of this course. I believe that you learn by doing. Therefore, numerous individual and group activities are planned throughout the semester. These activities allow for much better understanding of the topics, make the class more enjoyable, and cut down on the amount of study time needed before each test.


There is no single, correct way to view American politics. During the course of this semester, I urge you to be open-minded, to engage in critical thinking and to question text and lecture materials, as well as other supplemental sources of information. My view of education includes the notion that the classroom is a community of scholarship. This requires an open-minded approach to the topics and consideration of other opinions. In order to get answers you must ask questions and the best questions follow from reading, thoughtful analysis of the material and listening to others.



Grading and Course Requirements


Your grade will be whatever you want it to be. I do not grade on a curve; consequently, everyone can earn an ďAĒ. Your grade will come from a total of three unit tests, three essays, 2 outside events, a final project, and attendance and participation. The possible points are distributed in this manner:


Three Unit Tests worth 100 points each =                                                         300 points

Three Essays worth 100 points each =                                                              300 points

Two Event Reports worth 50 points each =                                                     100 points

Final Project worth 100 points =                                                                       100 points

Attendance and Class Participation worth 100 points each =                             200 points

TOTAL                                                                                                          1000 points



Letter grades will be assigned based on the total number of points accumulated.


900-1000 points =       90-100% =      A

800-899 points =         80-89% =        B

700-799 points =         70-79% =        C

600-699 points =         60-69% =        D

0-599 points =             0-59% =          F





Unit Tests


There will be three unit tests worth 100 points each. Each unit test will consist of 50 multiple choice questions worth 2 points.


50 multiple-choice questions worth 2 points each =                                           100 points



 Make-up Exams


Tests must be taken on the date they are scheduled unless prior arrangements are made. There are no make-up tests.  A comprehensive final exam will be given at the end of the semester for anyone wishing to make up a missed exam.



Take-Home Essays


There will be three take-home essay tests. Instructions for the essays are available on the blackboard site for this class and the due dates are listed on the calendar at the back of this syllabus and on blackboard. Each essay is worth 100 points.



Attendance and Participation


Class attendance is mandatory, but it is not enough to just show up. The only way to make the class interesting and relevant to your lives is for everyone to come to class prepared to discuss the assigned reading and the current news items for the day. There will also be film clips shown on a daily basis that we will discuss and use as a supplemental resource. Some assignments will require you to bring information from internet or other media sources for discussion. All of these activities require you to be present to contribute to the quality of the class. Therefore, attendance and participation will count for 200 points or 20% of your final grade. 



Classroom Etiquette


Tardies and other disturbances will not be tolerated. Expected classroom etiquette includes arriving to class on time, remaining in class until you are dismissed, and controlling whatever urges you feel to get up or disrupt class in other ways. Please inform me about any medical or other condition that might prevent you from meeting these basic requirements. It is also expected that you will show respect and consideration to me and your fellow students at all times. This includes paying attention and not engaging in other activities not related to what is happening in the class. If this is seen to be a regular problem, a mandatory conference will be scheduled to determine if you will remain in the class.



  Event Reports


This assignment requires writing two reports on political events or activities. You may choose to attend any of the number of political events or meetings that take place in Austin on a regular basis. If attending two events outside of class is overly burdensome due to work or family, you may choose to substitute two other reports approved by me.


There will be a large number of events throughout the semester that will qualify. Some take place on a regular basis, such as meetings of various political groups (the ACLU, Amnesty International, the Arab and Jewish Peace Alliance, etc.) and political parties (Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, and Green parties). Other events are listed in the Community section of the Chronicle and Statesman. UT and the LBJ School also  sponsor political events, including lectures by distinguished speakers.  You should not attend two meetings of the same group, though. They should be different organizations or events.


The written portion of the assignment consists of a detailed report on each of the 2 events. Each report must be typed and a minimum of 2 pages (46 lines), double spaced, and in a normal 12 point font. (FYI: This syllabus is typed in a normal 12 point font). The content of the report should be the important political issues that were discussed. You will need to take notes or record what is said in order to do this. I do not want a narrative about who was there and what happened. You should focus on what was said about substantive political issues.


2 Reports worth 50 points each =                                                         100 points


Points will be deducted if instructions are not followed, including approved events, coverage of the issues, format, and the minimum number of pages. Points will also be deducted at a rate of 10 points per day , including weekends, after the due date.



Incomplete Policy


In the event that a student completes 2/3s of the coursework, but fails to attend sufficient classes to adequately fulfill the remaining requirements and has acceptable documentation explaining the reasons for their inability to do so (incarceration, hospitalization, military duty, etc.), I will give an Incomplete final grade. You are then responsible for making arrangements with me to fulfill the remaining course requirements by the end of the next semester. At that time, the Incomplete will be changed to the appropriate letter grade in your files.



Withdrawal Policy


Another alternative in the case of failure to attend class or meet the course requirements, is to officially withdraw from the class. It is your responsibility to officially withdraw from class if necessary. Withdrawal forms are available from the Admissions Office.



Evaluation and Feedback


There will be continuous evaluation of your performance and my performance throughout the semester. I will give you regular feedback through evaluation of your performance on homework and unit tests and through conversations with you about your participation in group activities and discussions. In return, I will be asking for periodic feedback from you concerning this course and my performance as your instructor. All of this is designed to allow everyone to perform to the best of their ability and improve the overall content and dynamics of the course.


Instructor Conferences


My office is located in Room 212 in the Attache building at 1209 Rio Grande. I am available for consultation during my posted office hours. If you need to meet with me at a different time, you can talk to me during class, email me or call my office at 223-3394 and make an appointment.



Scholastic Dishonesty


As described in the ACC Student Handbook, scholastic dishonesty constitutes a violation of college rules and regulations and is punishable according to the procedures outlined in the Handbook. Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating on an exam (either providing answers to or stealing answers from another student), plagiarism and collusion. Plagiarism includes use of another authorís words or arguments without attribution. Collusion is defined as the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing written work for fulfillment of any course requirement.


In the event of scholastic dishonesty, I will meet with the student to discuss the alleged offense. If evidence supports the charge, I will inform the student and the Assistant Provost in writing. The Assistant Provost shall asses a penalty appropriate to the charges and shall inform the student of such in writing. The student may appeal the decision of the Assistant Provost.





Disability Services


If you have a documented disability and wish to request accommodations, you should contact the Office of Students with Disabilities at 223-3142. The office is located in Room A155. The office director will meet with you and recommend appropriate accommodations and services after you have submitted the required documentation. Individuals eligible for services include, but are not limited to, those with chronic problems related to health, mobility, orthopedic, hearing, vision, speech, traumatic head injury, attention deficit, learning or psychiatric disabilities.



Academic Freedom


Each student is strongly encouraged to participate in class discussions. In any classroom situation that includes discussion and critical thinking, particularly about political ideas, there are bound to be many differing viewpoints. Students may not only disagree with each other at times, but the students and instructor may also find that they have disparate views on sensitive and volatile topics. It is my hope that these differences will enhance class discussion and create an atmosphere where students and instructor alike will be encouraged to think and learn. Therefore, be assured that your grades will not be adversely affected by any beliefs or ideas expressed in class or in assignments. Rather, we will all respect the views of others when expressed in classroom discussions.



My Pledge to You


         I will do my best to instruct this class and to increase your understanding of globalization and US politics.

         I will be kind and respectful to you as long as you treat me with the same kindness and respect.

         I will be fair in grading and expectations.

         I will do everything I can to make class interesting and applicable to your life.

         I am interested in who you are and what you do.

         I will be available to meet with you. If you need to meet with me and cannot make it to my office hours we will work out another time to meet.



My Expectations of You


         You will arrive to class on time.

         You will read the assigned chapters before coming to class and be prepared to discuss the issues covered in those chapters.

         You will complete all assignments and turn them in on time.

         You will conduct yourself in a mature manner appropriate for a college student and not disrupt class by talking when I am presenting information to the class.

         You will show respect for me and your fellow classmates.

         You will let me know when you do not understand the material or have difficulty with  assignments or tests.





This course guide represents the course as it was planned prior to the beginning of class. I will make every effort to adhere to all the policies and procedures outlined above, as well

as the following calendar. In the event any changes are necessary, I will let you know.