Unit 1 Assignment

Directions: Answer the following prompt. Your responses should be between 600-750 words (not including title, name, or references) typed, full complete sentences. Be sure to cite the outside sources you use on a separate work cited page. Your responses should be submitted as a Word file on D2L.

Who has the real power in the Texas policymaking process, and why? Is it the Legislature, the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker, Interest Groups, the People, or someone else?

As a research memo, you are required to (1) make an argument, and (2) use at least two scholarly sources to defend your argument. Your scholarly sources can come from a variety of published sources, including academic books and articles, and may draw any scholarly methods on qualitative, quantitative, case studies, and theoretical methods. Nonacademic sources, such as general websites, blogs, Wikipedia, or other nonacademic sources are not sufficient for this assignment. Sources can come from a variety of fields, including political science, history, public policy, public administration, urban planning, psychology, sociology, and economics. Students that have questions about the appropriateness of a source for this assignment should contact me!

You can access scholarly sources through the resources provided by the Lone Star College Library. You can access the LSC Library Social Science research databases at http://www.lonestar.edu/library/14631.htm, and the general library search interface at http://www.lonestar.edu/library/index.htm. Students are also welcome to use other tools to find articles, including Google Scholar and other academic search engines.

In your answer, you may wish to consider some[1] of the following:

  • The nature of political power
  • How policies are made/changed
  • Policy responsiveness
  • The goals of politicians
  • The institutional design and function of the legislature
  • The institutional design and function of the plural executive

[1] Some is a key term here. In this length of paper, it is impossible to cover this many topics. Instead, pick a key focus, make your argument, and defend it. For example, you may argue that the Speaker of the House has the real power, and only talk about Legislatures lawmaking. Or you may choose to focus on the Governor’s veto power and agenda setting ability as a source of political strength.  The key is not which individual/group/organization you pick, it’s your ability to argue, support, and defend your choice.

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