Dr. Ian Gordon ASC NUS

AS3216 American Institutions
 Semester 1 1999-2000
Dr. Ian Gordon
Ph. 874 4694

Lectures: Wednesday 1300-1500h AS4/01-04 or AS1/02-15 (Click here for Lecture Room Schedule)
Tutorials: Thursday 900-1000; 1000-1100; AS7/03-30
1500-1600 AS7/02-29
Office Hours: Monday 9.00-1200;
Wednesday & Friday 1500-1700.
Course Description Teaching Format Assessment Text
Class Schedule
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12
Week 13      
[Page]Course Description:
This module focuses on the processes of decision making and policy formation in the United States. The module reviews the role of the American party system, Congress, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court in decision making. Major precepts of American life, such as the Declaration of  Independence and the Constitution, and the way they shape and limit policy, will be examined. AS3216 also considers the interaction between government agencies and non-government organisations examining issues of governance and civil society.  The module will examine current U.S. foreign policy with particular attention to the Asia-Pacific region.

[Page]Teaching Format
A weekly two hour lecture and one hour tutorial.

Students are expected to attend lectures and tutorial in accordance with university policy and to actively participate in tutorials. Assessment is based on continuous assessment (40%) based on class participation, tutorial presentation, and a 1,000 word essay and a final exam (60%). Students may use the subject of their tutorial presentation as the basis for their essay. Students should consult my essay guide page.

James Q. Wilson and John J. DiIulio. American Government: Institutions And Policies, Seventh edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1998. All readings are from this text book unless otherwise indicated. There is a copy of this book in the RBR of the Central Library. NUS Library Holdings

Students are expected to keep up with American affairs through reading magazines such as Time and Newsweek, newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, and using other internet web resources. One such resource is Real Player that allows students to listen to and view American, and other, news reports. Real player can be downloaded from http://www.real.com/. I recommend students listen to National Public Radio (NPR) reports. The home page for NPR is http://www.npr.org/. Other newspapers on the web can be accessed through http://ajr.newslink.org/news.html.

[Page]Class Schedule

[Page]Week 1
Introduction to Course
The American System of Government
The Declaration of Independence
The Constitution
Lecture Outline
Tutorial Guide
Chapters 1 & 2. 
Additional reading: 
The Declaration of Independence (distributed in class) or on the web: 
The U.S. constitution on the web http://www.nara.gov/exhall/charters/constitution/constitution.html

[Page]Week 2
Federalism and Congress
Lecture Outline
Tutorial Guide
Chapters 3 & 11 
See also: 
Library of Congress Resource home page: http://lcweb.loc.gov/global/legislative/congress.html
Home pages of the House of Representatives and the Senate: http://www.house.gov/; http://www.senate.gov/
Assessing the New Federalism home page http://newfederalism.urban.org/

[Page]Week 3
The Presidency and the Bureaucracy
Lecture Outline
Tutorial Guide
Chapters 12 & 13
See also:
White House home page: http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/Welcome.html;
Richard E. Neustadt, "A Memo on Presidential Transition" written for John F. Kennedy
Steven Stark, "The First Postmodern Presidency"
U.S. Government Departments
History of the U.S. Presidency
Listen to Inauguration addresses by
Franklin Delano Roosevelt: http://www.hpol.org/fdr/inaug/;
John F. Kennedy: http://www.hpol.org/jfk/inaugural/

[Page]Week 4
The Courts
Lecture Outline
Tutorial Guide
Chapter 14 
See also: 
Understanding the Federal Courts 
http://www.uscourts.gov/understanding_courts/899_toc.htm; U.S. Supreme Court Multimedia Database: 

[Page]Week 5
Public Opinion/Mass Media
Lecture Outline
Tutorial Guide
Chapters 5 & 10
"Phone Fee for School Internet Service Seems to Be Too Popular to Overturn".  By David E. Rosenbaum
See also: 
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press 
The Gallup Organization 
Media Information Links 
CNN Home Page 

[Page]Week 6
Voting, Parties & Elections
Lecture Outline
Tutorial Guide
Chapters 7, 8 & 9 
See also: 
Al Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government
Project Vote Smart 
U.S. National Political Index 
Democratic Party 
Republican Party 

[Page]Week 7
Lecture Outline
Tutorial Guide
Chapter 15
Eric Schmitt, "Democrats Prepare for Pitched Battle to Ratify Nuclear Test Ban Treaty" New York Times, August 29, 1999. Hand-out in lecture.
See also:
The Heritage Foundation
The Progressive Policy Institute
The Penn National Commission on Society, Culture, and Community
Policy.com: The Policy News and Information Service

[Page]Week 8
Foreign Affairs: The Formation of US Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century
Lecture Outline
Tutorial Guide
Events in East Timor over the last few weeks might help students understand some of the issues involved in the formation of US foreign policy. See the following links:
Washington Post
New York Times
Chapter 20
See also:
Stephen E. Ambrose. Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy since 1938. New York: Penguin Books, 1997. NUS Library Holdings
Jerald A. Combs with Arthur G. Combs. The History of American Foreign Policy. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997. NUS Library Holdings
Gordon Martel, ed. American Foreign Relations Reconsidered, 1890-1993. New York: Routledge, 1994. NUS Library Holdings
Thomas G. Paterson, J. Garry Clifford, Kenneth J. Hagan, eds. American Foreign Policy: A History. 3rd ed. Lexington, Mass.: D.C. Heath , 1991. NUS Library Holdings
Paul E. Peterson. The President, the Congress, and the Making of Foreign Policy. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994. NUS Library Holdings
Robert D. Schulzinger. American Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. NUS Library Holdings
Joel H. Silbey, ed. To Advise and Consent: the United States Congress and Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Carlson Pub., 1991. NUS Library Holdings
U.S. State Department

[Page]Week 9
The Cold War
Lecture Outline
Tutorial Guide
Melvyn P. Leffler. The Specter of Communism: the United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1917-1953. New York: Hill and Wang, 1994.Chapter 3. NUS Library Holdings
See also:
"NSC 68," in Foreign Relations of the United States. Washington: Department of State, United States of America. 1950, Vol 1, pp. 234-293. NUS Library Holdings or NUS Library Holdings
James F. Hoge, Jr. and Fareed Zakaria, eds. The American Encounter: the United States and the Making of the Modern World: Essays from 75 years of Foreign Affairs. New York: Basic Books, 1997. NUS Library Holdings
Michael H. Hunt. Crises in U.S. Foreign Policy: an International History Reader. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996. NUS Library Holdings
The Age of McCarthyism: a Brief History with Documents. Ellen Schrecker editor.
Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press, 1994. NUS Library Holdings

[Page]Week 10
The US and China
Lecture Outline
Tutorial Guide
Read at least one of the following:
Nelson,  Lars-Erik. "Washington: The Yellow Peril," New York Review of Books, 46 (July 15, 1999): 6-10. NUS Library Holdings. Full text web link.
Spence, Jonathan. "Kissinger & the Emperor," New York Review of Books, 46 (March 4, 1999): 18-22. NUS Library Holdings.
Full text web link.
Judt,  Tony. "Counsels on Foreign Relations," New York Review of Books, 45 (Aug 13, 1998): 54-60. NUS Library Holdings. Full text web link.
Additional Reading:.
Hongshan Li and Zhaohui Hong, eds. Image, Perception, and the Making of U.S.-China Relations. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1998. NUS Library Holdings
John M. Carroll and George C. Herring, eds. Modern American Diplomacy. Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources, 1996. NUS Library Holdings
Madsen, Richard.China and the American Dream: a Moral Inquiry. Berkeley: University of California Press , 1995. NUS Library Holdings
Mann, James. About Face: a History of America's Curious Relationship with China, from Nixon to Clinton. New York : Alfred Knopf, 1998. NUS library Holdings
Timperlake, Edward and William C. Triplett. Year of the Rat: How Bill Clinton Compromised U.S. Security for Chinese Cash. Washington, DC : Regenery Pub., 1998. NUS Library Holdings

[Page]Week 11
The US and South East Asia
Lecture Outline
Tutorial Guide
Akira Iriye. Across The Pacific; An Inner History Of American-East Asian Relations. Chicago: Imprint Publications, 1992. Chapter 13. NUS Library Holdings
Alan J. Levine. The United States and the Struggle for Southeast Asia, 1945-1975. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1995. Chapters 6-10. (Note these are short chapters) NUS Library Holdings
See also:
Sean Brawley. The White Peril: Foreign Relations and Asian Immigration to Australasia and North                     America, 1919-1978. Sydney: UNSW Press, 1995. NUS Library Holdings
Warren I. Cohen, ed. Pacific Passage: The Study Of American--East Asian Relations On The Eve Of The Twenty-First Century. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996. NUS Library Holdings
Alan J. Levine. The United States and the Struggle for Southeast Asia, 1945-1975. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1995. NUS Library Holdings
Frank Ninkovich.Modernity and Power: A History of the Domino Theory in the Twentieth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994. NUS Library Holdings
See also
U.S. State Department, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Economic Information on ASEAN countries

[Page]Week 12
The US View of Singapore
Lecture Outline
Tutorial Guide
McCarthy, Terry and Eric Ellis. "Singapore Lightens Up," Time, (July 19, 1999): 17-23. NUS Library Holdings.
Online version
Arnold, Wayne. "In Singapore, the Start-Up Dance Is Still Difficult to Do," New York Times (September 19, 1999), online version
Asad Latif. The Flogging of Singapore: the Michael Fay Affair. Singapore: Times Books International, 1994. NUS Library Holdings
See also:
U.S. Singapore Economic activity information

[Page]Week 13
The Future of US Foreign Policy
Lecture Outline
Tutorial Guide
Excerpt from The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas L. Friedman
Jihad Vs. McWorld by Benjamin R. Barber, from  The Atlantic Monthly (March 1992).
See also:
John Lewis Gaddis. The United States and the End of the Cold War. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. NUS Library Holdings
Richard A. Melanson. Reconstructing Consensus: American Foreign Policy since the Vietnam War. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991. NUS Library Holdings

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Last update November 4, 1999.                                             © National University of Singapore - American Studies Centre
                                                                            Contact: Ian Gordon