Political Science Courses
This course covers information on teaching, research, and the profession of political science.
This course covers information on teaching, research, and the profession of political science. A continuation of PSC 500.
The formation, distribution, structure, properties, and techniques of measuring public opinions in the United States.
A detailed analysis of the Constitutional design, evolution and development, current structure and functioning, and policy outputs of the US Congress, Presidency, and the Federal Bureaucracy. Key political science theories, current public controversies, and reform proposals concerning these Federal institutions will be discussed.
Includes but is not limited to the role of theory, development of hypotheses, modes of observation and analysis, and testing of hypotheses.
Introduction to statistical techniques, including univariate and bivariate descriptive statistics and their application within the field of political science.
An examination of the various kinds of violent conflict in which nation-states become involved.
Investigates the origin and direction of the U.S. political ideology, including liberalism, civic republicanism, and debates condemning American exceptionalism.
The impact of legal powers and procedures of administrative agencies on public policy. Analysis of regulatory powers in American governments.
A study of the American public personnel system, with an emphasis on the political setting of government employment, equal opportunity and affirmative action, and collective bargaining.
Introduction to the scope, theory, and substantive issues of public administration.
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This is a survey of classic or foundational research in most areas of American Politics, incorporating studies of the mass public, elites, and national-level institutions. The objectives are to help prepare students for their Comprehensive Exams in American Politics, and to provide introductions to various approaches and subject areas within American Politics that can be explored further in more advanced, focused graduate seminars. This course is required for all students taking American Politics as a graduate field.
Research and methodology in the areas of social and psychological factors related to voting, party preference, and ideology.
Examines the role of the courts in political systems with primary emphasis on the United States Supreme Court.
In this course we will examine theories and related research on state government and the policymaking process in the U.S. states. The course is divided into three parts. For approximately the first third of the semester, we will examine a fairly representative set of readings which span a broad range of political institutions through which policy is made. These institutions include the office of the governor, the state legislature, the state judicial system, and the various practices of direct democracy across the states. Part two of the course will be spent studying theories of the state policy process. We will examine a variety of theories, reflecting a broad range of forces that are thought to play a significant role in shaping state policy outcomes. As we will see, despite the complex and seemingly idiosyncratic nature of the policymaking process, state politics scholars have identified many systematic relationships between various institutional and contextual variables, and state policy outcomes. The insights that have been generated from this literature not only contribute to our understanding of state policymaking, but in many cases they shed light on debates that are relevant to scholars of American (national) politics, or in some cases, comparative politics. In the final section of the course, we will examine research in several substantive policy areas which have traditionally been considered the domain of the states. Our emphasis in this section will be broadened to include not just studies of policy adoption, but studies of policy implementation and impact as well.
Despite the passage of the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965) fifty years ago, and the recent election of an African American president in 2008, racial inequality persists across many dimensions of American life, including earnings, wealth, educational and occupational attainment, health and longevity, and access to political power and influence. Despite claims of a “post-racial” America, the events in Ferguson, Missouri and the recent movement that they have sparked, serve to remind us that racial inequality and its impact on race relations continue to play a central role in American politics. Today, African Americans and Latinos comprise approximately a quarter of the U.S. population. In many cities and some states, white Anglo citizens actually comprise a minority of the population, and demographic projections over the next two decades suggest that the white share of the population will continue to decline. Thus, it seems clear that race relations will remain central to understanding American politics at all levels of government in the years to come. In this course we will examine theories and related research on the role of race relations and racial stratification in American politics. The course is divided into four major sections. The first section of the course examines theories of racial prejudice. In this section we will examine some of the most important debates in the literature, including the possible existence and precise definition of a “new racism,” innovations regarding the measurement of prejudice to overcome social desirability bias, and the effects of increasing diversity on racial attitudes and race relations. In part two of the course we will examine the effects of racial attitudes on political behavior. We will examine the effects of race and prejudice on vote choice, the role of racial attitudes in the growth and success of the Republic Party in the South in recent decades, racial framing effects and the effects of the use of racial “code words” in campaigns and the mass media, and the role that racial attitudes have played in evaluations of and support for Barack Obama. In part three of the course, we turn out attention to the causes and consequences of the election of minority elected officials. What factors contribute to the success of black and Latino candidates in elections? And what difference does it make? In this section we will examine the debate over the importance of minority descriptive representation in advancing minority interests, as well as the effects of the increasing diversification of elected officials on other aspects of American politics. In the final section of the course, we will examine the importance of race in the policy process. We begin by examining theories and evidence of the influence of race relations in policy design and policy adoption. We then turn our attention to the importance of race in policy implementation and policy outcomes.
An examination of selected problems in American politics. Content varies.
Data analysis and statistical applications in political research, including data processing, inferential statistics, correlation and regression, multivariate analysis, and other multidimensional techniques.
A survey of the theoretical literature in the field of comparative politics.
An examination of selected problems in comparative politics.
An examination of major problem areas in the international system and their effects. Content varies.
A survey of contemporary theoretical approaches to the study of international relations, providing an overview of traditional and behavioral orientations.
This is the first of a series of two seminars on the core "traditions" of international theory. "Traditions" means a series of loosely connected ontological, epistemological and normative propositions: claims as to what the world is made of, how it can be understood, and what the work of scholarship could or should be. These propositions are interwoven in a variety of ways that make them hard to unravel. They are made even more so by the fact that they are intercut with a variety of different methodologies to form highly disparate research programs. Core concepts and testable propositions meld with background beliefs and lived experiences to structure our thinking in ways that can be hard to see.
This is the second of a series of seminars on the core "traditions" of international theory. "Traditions" means a series of loosely connected ontological, epistemological and normative propositions: claims as to what the world is made of, how it can be understood, and what the work of scholarship should be. These propositions are interwoven in a variety of ways that make them hard to unravel. They are made even more so by the fact that they are intercut with a variety of different methodologies to form highly disparate research programs. As a result, what we think of as ‘IR-liberalism’ cannot be studied as a series of simple and testable propositions, nor as simply the extension of a consensus body of philosophical or political principles into the field of world politics.
This course is an introduction to the advanced study of civil wars. We will explore: the impact, causes, duration, and outcome of civil war; the duration of peace after civil war; peacekeeping. Seminars will consist of Power Point lectures, student presentations, and discussion. Students are expected to write quality research papers that are theoretical, analytical and bring to bear empirical evidence.
This class is an overview of the key components of Foreign Policy Decision Making (FPDM). Learning goals include understanding theories and models pertaining to FPDM as evidenced by student presentations, an exam, and a term paper. Students are expected to participate in class discussions.
An examination of key political theorists from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Assigned works may vary but typically include those by Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, J. S. Mill, Marx, and Nietzsche.
An examination of selected political theorists. Content varies.
An analysis of the theories of organization and management that examines models, reviews current administrative philosophy, and presents contemporary trends in organization and management.
May be repeated up to a maximum of 12 hours of credit. In-depth analysis of a policy issue or administrative problem. Specific topics vary.
Focuses on the analysis of public policy through techniques based on economics, systems theory, and political reasoning. Explores the role of policy analysis in democratic society and addresses applications of public policy analysis to contemporary policy issues.
This course examines major local government issues and the administrative approaches to solving these problems. The focus will be on government managers and public-sector employees in localities. Topics will include the difficulties of providing human services through street level bureaucracies, local government policymaking, and how to achieve innovation. These topics will be examined in both an historical and contemporary context, with special emphasis on the impact of the political climate on the management of local government agencies. Using a case-study approach, students will learn what public managers actually do and will evaluate the effectiveness of their leadership and management strategies.
Problems of financial management in governmental units: revenue sources, budgeting, financial management, and control.
This course introduces students to the framework of evaluation, the development of plans to perform various types of evaluations, and the data collection tools for implementing evaluation. It focuses on various disciplines, including performance measurement, management, and data analysis. Additionally, we will explore the role of evaluators, program staff, and stakeholders in planning, implementing, and responding to program evaluation.
Field work and research opportunities to be supervised by departmental faculty.
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