Fall 2017 - 60895 - PA 388K – Advanced Topics in Public Policy | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Fall 2017 - 60895 - PA 388K – Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Money in US Politics

This class is cross-listed with GOV. GOV is the home department.

This course explores the role, nature and consequences of money in American politics. The debate goes to the heart of the U.S. Constitution, pitting the First Amendment rights of speech, assembly and petition against the perceived fairness and efficacy of a republican government awash in increasingly unaccountable money. 

Campaign finance issues lie at the crossroads of a bewildering number of analytical perspectives. We examine the work of historians, social scientists, legal scholars and interested parties on all sides of the debate in an effort not only to assess current policy debates but also to understand how and why we arrived where we are. 

This course should appeal to students across a wide range of subfields within political science, including American Politics, Political Behavior, Public Law and Public Policy.

Requirements and Expectations

Readings: All readings posted on Canvas


Class preparation/participation, two short papers and one major research paper will be the basis for course grades. 

  • Class preparation/participation: Students are expected to be prepared for and participate actively in class discussion. Each student will lead the class discussion of at least two assigned readings. Worth 20% of grade.
  • Short papers: Two "reaction" papers, approximately 1,000 words, in which you respond to a set of weekly readings. Worth 20% of your grade (10% each).
  • Data exercise: One data exercise designed to familiarize you with FEC databases. Worth 10% of grade.
  • Research paper: The expectation is that you produce original research intended for conference presentation and, ultimately, publication. Students will present their research in class. Worth 50% of your grade.
BAT 1.104