GOV 381J • Political Institutions and Processes
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
This course exposes the graduate student to both fundamental and current scholarship on American politics and government. A brief introduction reviews the development of American political science. The course focuses on the problems addressed by political science and some of the most prominent research on both the whole and the components of the U.S. political system.
Grades are based on papers, no more than 8-10 pages each (15 percent for the first paper and then 20 percent for the next two), a take-home final exam (30 percent), regular class participation (10 percent), and an in-class presentation (5 percent). The class presentations should do two things: first, briefly summarize the principal points of the reading, and second, analyze the readings. For example: Where are they most helpful? How do they extend beyond the previously assigned readings? How would you improve upon them? As seminar course, all students are expected to participate in the class. Class discussion will be supplemented by lecture.
Texts: Aldrich, John. Why Parties? Baumgartner, Frank and Bryan Jones. Agendas and Instabilities in American Politics. Eliasoph, Nina. Avoiding Politics. Hartz, Louis. The Liberal Tradition in America. Krehbiel, Keith. Pivotal Politics. Lowi, Theodore. The End of Liberalism. Lukes, Stephen, Power: a Radical View. McCloskey, Robert. The American Supreme Court 2nd Ed. Mayhew, David. The Electoral Connection. Popkin, Samuel. The Reasoning Voter. Putnam, Robert. Bowling Alone. Skowronek, Stephen. Building a New American State.