GOVTH 2306: Honors Texas Government

Semesters: Spring 2018 (poster, syllabus)

Theme: Power

Description: Even in a state like Texas where skepticism of governing institutions runs deep, public officials at all levels have certain power in their respective positions.  So, what is power?  Where does it originate?  How should officials employ it to lead us?  Lastly, how much do we have as everyday residents?  This course will explore the issue of power through reading two notable works: The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli and The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence by Dacher Keltner.

GOVTH 2306: Honors Texas Government

Semesters: Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017

Theme: Human Interaction and Experience

Description: Undoubtedly, human behavior is complicated and perplexing, in part, because we human beings are political creatures that often have interests that we desire to advance and protect at the expense of other people.  This is the nature of the zero sum game: some win, others lose.  It is an inescapable part of the human condition even when people choose to govern themselves using democratic institutions.  Interactions have both intended and unintended consequences.  Experiences vary depending on who you are and when and where you live.  Texas, while unique, is not immune to the many social, political, and economic challenges that accompany our nation’s development dating back to its inception.  Power dynamics affect human relationships in numerous ways.  In this honors course, we will examine how human beings relate to one another in different contexts.