This seminar is part of the two-course sequence of the core curriculum in American politics and provides an introductory survey of American political institutions. Provides an overview of the various problems for which institutional solutions are sought (e.g., problems involving collective action, delegation, and social choice) as well as a detailed assessment of some of the scholarly literature that investigates political institutions.
This class will explore connections between formal theory and empirical analysis. A major goal of the class is to link the training students receive in methods classes to substantive questions from the literature. Readings will include articles and books that attempt these ends. In addition, we will consider a few specific topics of government decision-making, read works covering a range of methodological approaches to examining that topic, and consider how the testing of formal theory does and does not contribute to that literature.
An analysis of the forces that shape the behavior of public organizations and individuals in organizational settings. The emphasis is on the workings of U.S. governmental agencies. Special attention is given to writing skills as they apply to the roles of advisers and decision makers in public-sector organizations.
The stability of the financial system, social mobility, racial integration, education policy, and anti-poverty programs all relate to housing policy. In the past several years, there have been calls from both Democrats and Republicans to reform US housing policy. The current policy approach, which differs dramatically from that in most industrialized countries, is thought to have contributed to the financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent economic struggles. Yet reforming the current system is challenging from a policy as well as political standpoint.
This seminar examines campaign finance and lobbying. The apparent influence of campaign contributions and interest group lobbying on the political process is frequently cited as a prima facie case for radical reform. However, such reforms often fail to achieve their intended aims because they lack a nuanced understanding of the reasons why and mechanisms through which money and lobbying influence policy outcomes. The goal of this seminar is to gain that understanding.
This class will examine how business reacts to as well as affects public policy. Readings will cover US politics as well as issues associated with international trade and the overseas expansion of companies. The objectives of the class include: identifying the issues, interests, and institutions that characterize the political environments of business, to develop a set of conceptual frameworks for analyzing those issues, interests, and institutions, and to explore differences in business-government relations across countries and political conditions. We will...