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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Robert Luskin

Associate Professor Ph.D., University of Michigan

Robert Luskin

Contact

Biography

Professor Luskin has also taught at the University of Alabama, Indiana University, l'Université de Paris I (la Sorbonne), Princeton University, and Stanford University and in the ICPSR Summer Program at the University of Michigan, the ECPR Summer School at the University of Essex, and the Summer School on Advanced Methods in the Social Sciences at the Università della Svizzera Italiana.  He has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford and Chercheur Associé at the Centre d'Etude de la Vie Politique Française in Paris.  He is a Research Advisor at the Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University and Director of the Center for Deliberative Opinion Research at the University of Texas at Austin. He has been a member of the Advisory Board of the Texas Poll and of the Editorial Boards of Political Analysis and the American Political Science Review.

His general interests include public opinion, voting behavior, political psychology, and statistical methods, and he has long been particularly interested in the effects of political information on the texture and outcomes of representative democracy.  Among other projects, he is using Deliberative Polling in the U.S. and abroad to examine the empirical dimensions of deliberative democracy and is working on a study of political information in France.  He has published papers on these and other topics in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, the British Journal of Political Science, Political Analysis, and other scholarly journals.

Interests

Public opinion, voting behavior, political psychology, and statistical methods

GOV 370L • Election Campaigns

39345 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 303
show description

American Election Campaigns

 

            This course comes in four intermingled parts.  The bulk of our meetings will be as a seminar, meaning that we, not I, shall discuss the readings (see below).  The next largest share will be devoted to a computer simulation of a U.S. Senate election.  Your candidate may make personal appearances, produce and air campaign commercials, make appeals by direct mail, fund-raise, conduct polls, and so on, and the outcome will depend on the choices you and your opponents make.  One or more other sessions are usually given over to guest speakers who have been involved in election campaigns in one capacity or another.  And, finally, since this is a Writing Flag course, several sessions will be devoted to discussions of writing and written assignments.

 

            Past semesters’ speakers have included Tom Craddick, a Texas State Representative and formerly Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives; U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar; Justice Bob Gammage, late of the Texas Supreme Court and before that a U.S. Congressman; Bernard Rapoport, a longtime Democratic activist and fundraiser (and former Chair of the UT Board of Regents); Royal Masset, Political Director of the Republican Party of Texas; Dave MacNeely, a journalist covering state and national politics for the Austin-American Statesman; William P. Hobby, the former Lieutenant Governor; Susan Hendrix of H & C Media, a Democratic media consultant; Dean Rindy and Cynthia Miller of Rindy Miller Garcia Media, also Democratic media consultants; David Weeks and Suzanne Erickson of Media Southwest, a Republican media consultant who has worked for Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchinson, among others; Blaine Bull of Public Strategies, Inc., a major consulting firm; Matthew Dowd, once of Public Strategies, Inc., more recently of the Bush 2000 and 2004 campaigns and Bush administration, and now a prominent national political commentator; Mark MacKinnon, also of Public Strategies, Inc., the principal media advisor to George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns and to John McCain’s 2008 nomination campaign, and now a prominent national political commentator and founder of the No Labels movement; Bill Emery and Peck Young of Emery and Young, a Democratic consulting firm; Dan Bartlett, an alumnus of this course who served as a spokesman for Governor Bush and the Bush 2000 campaign and later as Communications Director in the Bush White House; and Karl Rove, formerly of Karl Rove & Company, a Republican consulting firm, later the chief political strategist for the Bush 2000 and 2004 campaigns and Counselor to President Bush), and now (does anyone not know all this?) a prominent national political commentator and principal of American Crossroads, a major Republican super-PAC.   

 

            There are no formal prerequisites beyond eligibility to take upper division Government courses.  The goal is for students to learn and think about contemporary American election campaigns—about both how they work and the ways in which that may be desirable or undesirable.  There will be no exams, but a heavy reading load and two papers drawing on the readings.  You will also be asked to provide written feedback on another student’s paper.  The papers, feedback, and contributions in class discussion will be the means of assessing how far individual students have met the course goal.

 

            Your grade will be determined on the basis of your class participation, the papers, and your feedback on another student’s paper.  Class participation will count for 35% (20% for attendance/discussion, 10% for effort in the simulations, and 5% for the feedback you give other students on their papers), and the papers for 65%.  The papers will be graded 65% on the basis of substance and 35% on the basis strictly of writing. 

The substance grade rests heavily on your making generous, appropriate, and sensible use of the assigned readings.  Attendance is required, and there is a penalty (in the participation grade) for every unexcused absence beyond a quota of two.

 

            The reading load is unusually heavy, and I do sometimes ask students about their reactions to the readings.  So, even though the three papers are the only written assignments, and there are no exams, this is not a course for the faint-hearted.  Be warned!  It will be a lot of work.  But also a lot of fun.

 

Texts

            Herbert B. Asher.  2010.  Polling and the Public: What Every Citizen Should Know (8th ed.).  Washington, DC:  CQ Press.

 

            Robert S. Erikson and Kent L. Tedin.  2010.  American Public Opinion (8th ed., updated).  New York, NY:  Longman.

 

            William H. Flanigan and Nancy Zingale.  2009.  Political Behavior of the American Electorate (12th ed.).  Washington, DC:  CQ Press. 

 

            Paul S. Herrnson.  2011.  Congressional Elections: Campaigning at Home and in Washington (6th ed.).  Washington, DC:  CQ Press.

 

            Sasha Issenberg.  2013.  The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns.  New York, NY:  Broadway Books.

 

            Daniel M. Shea and Michael John Burton.  2010.  Campaign Craft:  The Strategies, Tactics, and Art of Political Campaign Management (4th ed.).  Westport, CT:  Praeger.

 

            John Sides, Daron Shaw, Matt Grossman, and Keena Lipsitz.  2011.  Campaigns and Elections: Rules, Reality, Strategy, Choice.  New York, NY:  W.W. Norton. 

 

            James A. Thurber and Candice J. Nelson (eds.).  2013.  Campaigns and Elections American Style (4th ed.)  Boulder, CO: Westview.

 

            Darrell M. West.  2013.  Air Wars:  Television Advertising and Social Media in Election Campaigns 1952-2012 (6th ed.).  Washington, DC:  CQ Press.

 

            William Strunk, Jr., and E.B. White.  1995.  The Elements of Style (3rd ed.).  New York:  Allyn and Bacon.

            Robert’s Rules (a guide to writing), to be posted on Blackboard.

            Course packet, consisting of On the Campaign Trail (a manual to the simulation that also contains a great deal of information about real-world campaigns), to be available from Paradigm, on 24th St., just off Guadalupe, and a supplementary set of instructions, to be posted on Blackboard.

            NB:   I strongly urge you to purchase your textbooks online, being sure to get the most recent edition (except for Strunk and White, of which I am assigning the 3rd edition instead of the fourth), as listed above.

 

Flag: Writing

GOV 391L • Statistical Anly In Pol Sci II

39520 • Spring 2014
Meets M 700pm-1000pm PAR 302
show description

 

            This course is about "regression models," roughly and broadly defined as statistical models to explain some single dependent variable.  This domain includes nonlinear as well as linear models and models for qualitative as well as quantitative dependent variables.  The course outline, below, is ambitious, and we may well not get all the way though it, but I do hope to get at least through Topic XV.  The goal is to help and train both aspiring methodologists and aspiring practitioners.

 

            There will be computer-based exercises to provide concrete examples, but the lectures and readings will focus on general questions of modeling, estimation, inference, and interpretation:  What sorts of models imply and reflect what sorts of relationships between explanatory and dependent variables?  What assumptions must we make, and what do they mean?  How likely are the assumptions to be violated, and with what consequences?  How can we tell when violations occur?  What alternative assumptions might we make, what alternative estimators do they sustain, and what might we hope to (re)gain by turning to them?  What quantities should we be focusing on estimating?  What estimators provide statistically desirable estimates?  Where several different estimators might serve, what are their advantages and disadvantages?  What do the estimates tell us, and how certainly? 

 

            The lectures and readings will treat these questions practically but abstractly, referring more to x's and y's than to substantive variables.  There will be much mathematical notation and mathematically phrased argument and some modest proof and derivation.  The goal is to convey a good, relatively deep understanding of the how’s and why’s of constructing, estimating, and interpreting the estimates of these models. 

 

            There will be extra sessions, yet to be scheduled, of approximately two hours per week, to review the mathematical and statistical background, go over questions and assignments, and discuss concrete applications.

 

Prerequisites

 

            The course requires a decent knowledge of descriptive and inferential statistics—as covered in the Government Department’s Statistics I or equivalent—and a reasonable facility with ordinary algebra.  I encourage you to consult me if you are unsure whether this is an appropriate course for you to take. 

 

Texts

 

            The texts, selected for simplicity without simplism, are:

 

Damodar Gujarati. 2003.  Basic Econometrics (4th ed.).  New York:  McGraw-Hill

 

Jan Kmenta. 1997.  Elements of Econometrics (2nd ed.).  Ann Arbor:  University of Michigan Press. 

 

A.H. Studenmund. 2000. Using Econometrics:  A Practical Guide (4th ed.).  Reading, PA: Addison-Wesley.

 

Studenmund is the simplest, Kmenta the most sophisticated.  You should read Gujarati and at least one of the other two.  You should prefer Kmenta to Studenmund, if you can handle it.  Everyone should read Kmenta’s chapters 1-6, under “Statistical Review.”  I also strongly recommend:

 

Jeffrey M. Wooldridge.  2002.  Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach (2nd ed.).  Mason, OH:  South-Western College Publishing,

 

at approximately the same level as Gujarati.

  

Assignments and Grading

 

            There will be two exams, a series of exercises, and, optionally, a term paper.  The exams will be in-class, closed-notes, and closed-book.  The exercises will be a mix of  pen-and-paper and computer-based, the former to help cement the math, the latter to provide a taste of actual modeling and analysis. You’ll be asked to write and analyze your own models, rooted in your own substantive interests (and will get help in finding a suitable dataset, if you don’t have any you are already working on or interested in).   There will also be an optional term paper, which should propose, justify, detail, estimate, and interpret the results from a regression model of your devising, using data of your choosing.  It may build on but must go well beyond the exercises.

 

            For students not writing a term paper, each exam will count for 30% of the course grade, and the exercises collectively for 40% (thus each exercise for 2/5n, where n is the number of exercises).  For students writing a term paper, the paper will count for 20% of the course grade, and exams for 24% each, and the exercises collectively for 32% ( (thus each exercise for 8/25n).

GOV 370L • Election Campaigns

39310 • Fall 2013
Meets MW 300pm-430pm PAR 1
show description

Course Description:

Analysis of varying topics in the study of American government and politics.

Prerequisite:

Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

Grading:

TBD

Readings:

TBD

 

 

 

GOV 370L • Election Campaigns

38990 • Spring 2013
Meets MW 330pm-500pm CBA 4.326
show description

See syllabus

GOV 381S • Public Opin & Voting Behav

39050 • Spring 2013
Meets M 700pm-1000pm BAT 1.104
show description

See syllabus

GOV 370L • Election Campaigns

38830 • Fall 2012
Meets MW 300pm-430pm PAR 1
show description

Course Description:

Analysis of varying topics in the study of American government and politics.

Prerequisite:

Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

Grading:

TBD

Readings:

TBD

 

 

 

GOV 385L • Simultaneous Equation Models

38935 • Fall 2012
Meets T 630pm-930pm BAT 1.104
show description

GOV 370L • Election Campaigns

38840 • Spring 2012
Meets MW 330pm-500pm CBA 4.326
show description

This course comes in four intermingled parts.  The bulk of our meetings will be as a seminar, meaning that we, not I, shall discuss the readings (see below).  The next largest share will be devoted to a computer simulation of a U.S. Senate election.  Your candidate may make personal appearances, produce and air campaign commercials, make appeals by direct mail, fund-raise, conduct polls, and so on, and the outcome will depend on the choices you and your opponents make.  Another few sessions will be given over to guest panelists who have been involved in election campaigns in one capacity or another.  And, finally, several sessions will be devoted to discussions of writing and written assignments.

    This semester’s panelists have not yet been slated, but panelists in semesters past have included Tom Craddick, a Texas State Representative and formerly Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives; U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar; Justice Bob Gammage, late of the Texas Supreme Court and before that a U.S. Congressman; Bernard Rapoport, a longtime Democratic activist and fundraiser (and former Chair of the UT Board of Regents); Royal Masset, Political Director of the Republican Party of Texas; Dave MacNeely, a journalist covering state and national politics for the Austin-American Statesman; William P. Hobby, the former Lieutenant Governor; Susan Hendrix of H & C Media, a Democratic media consultant; Dean Rindy of Rindy Media, another Democratic media consultant; David Weeks of Media Southwest, a Republican media consultant who has worked for Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchinson, among others; Blaine Bull of Public Strategies, Inc., a major consulting firm; Matthew Dowd, once of Public Strategies, Inc., more recently of the Bush 2000 and 2004 campaigns and Bush administration, and now a prominent national political commentator; Mark MacKinnon, also of Public Strategies, Inc., the principal media advisor to George W. Bush’s 200 and 2004 campaigns and to John McCain’s 2008 nomination campaign, and also now a prominent national political commentator; Bill Emery and Peck Young of Emery and Young, a Democratic consulting firm; Dan Bartlett, an alumnus of this course who served as a spokesman for Governor Bush and the Bush 2000 campaign and later as Communications Director in the Bush White House; and Karl Rove, formerly of Karl Rove & Company, a Republican consulting firm, later the chief political strategist for the Bush 2000 and 2004 campaigns and Counselor to President Bush), and now (does anyone not know all this?) a prominent national political commentator.    

    There are no formal prerequisites beyond eligibility to take upper division Government courses.  The goal is for students to learn and think about contemporary American election campaigns—about both how they work and the ways in which that may be desirable or undesirable.  There will be no exams, but a great deal of reading and two papers drawing on the readings.  You will also be asked to provide written feedback on another student’s paper.  The papers, feedback, and contributions in class discussion will be the means of assessing how far individual students have met the course goal.

    The class is a seminar, and I expect students to participate in the discussion.  Not just to talk for the sake of talking, of course, but to make sensible, insightful contributions.  Please keep up with and be prepared to discuss the readings.  That will also make writing the paper less of a painful rush.  I’d suggest taking note, as you read, of facts and arguments you find particularly interesting, important, or questionable.  A tentative course schedule, indicating when we shall do what, is given below.  The class will use the UT Blackboard website, on which I shall post some course materials, and through which I shall send emails as necessary.  Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259, http://www.utexas.edu/diversity/ddce/ssd/

    The course also carries a Writing Flag, which means that there will be written assignments, on which there will be feedback from your fellow students and me, and that those assignments will constitute a significant portion of your course grade.  

    The reading load is unusually heavy, and I do sometimes ask students about their reactions to the readings.  So, even though the two papers are the only written assignments, and there are no exams, this is not a course for the faint-hearted.  Be warned!  It will be a lot of work.  But also a lot of fun.

Texts

    Herbert B. Asher.  2007.  Polling and the Public: What Every Citizen Should Know (7th ed.).  Washington, DC:  CQ Press.

    Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier and Steven E. Schier (eds.).  2009.  The American Elections of 2008.  Lanham, MD:  Rowman & Littlefield.  

     Robert S. Erikson and Kent L. Tedin.  2010.  American Public Opinion (8th ed., updated).  New York, NY:  Longman.

    Paul S. Herrnson.  2007.  Congressional Elections: Campaigning at Home and in Washington (5th ed.).  Washington, DC:  CQ Press.

    Costas Panagopoulos (ed.).  2009.  Politicking Online:  The Transformation of Election Campaign Communications.  New Brunswick, NJ:  Rutgers University Press.  978-

    William H. Flanagan and Nancy Zingale.  2009.  Political Behavior of the American Electorate (12th ed.).  Washington, DC:  CQ Press.  

    Donald P. Green and Alan S. Gerber.  2008.  Get Out the Vote:  How to Increase Voter Turnout (2nd ed.).  Washington, DC:  Brookings.

    Daron R. Shaw.  2006.  The Race to 270:  The Electoral College and the Campaign Strategies of 2000 and 2004.  Chicago:  University of Chicago Press.

     Daniel M. Shea and Michael John Burton.  2010.  Campaign Craft:  The Strategies, Tactics, and Art of Political Campaign Management (4th ed.).  Westport, CT:  Praeger.

    James A. Thurber and Candice J. Nelson (eds.).  2009.  Campaigns and Elections American Style (3rd ed.)  Boulder, CO: Westview.

    Darrell M. West.  2009.  Air Wars:  Television Advertising in Election Campaigns 1952-2008 (5th ed.).  Washington, DC:  CQ Press.

    William Strunk, Jr., and E.B. White.  1995.  The Elements of Style (3rd ed.).  New York:  Allyn and Bacon.

    Robert’s Rules (a guide to writing), to be posted on Blackboard.

    Course packet, consisting of On the Campaign Trail (a manual to the simulation that also contains a great deal of information about real-world campaigns), to be available from Paradigm, on 24th St., just off Guadalupe, and a supplementary set of instructions, to be posted on Blackboard.

GOV 391L • Statistical Anly In Pol Sci II

39005 • Spring 2012
Meets T 630pm-930pm GAR 0.128
show description

This course is about "regression models," roughly and broadly defined as statistical models to explain some single dependent variable.  This domain includes nonlinear as well as linear models and models for qualitative as well as quantitative dependent variables.  The course outline, below, is ambitious, and we may well not get all the way though it, but I do hope to get at least through Topic XV.  The goal is to help and train both aspiring methodologists and aspiring practitioners.

There will be computer-based exercises to provide concrete examples, but the lectures and readings will focus on general questions of modeling, estimation, inference, and interpretation:  What sorts of models imply and reflect what sorts of relationships between explanatory and dependent variables?  What assumptions must we make, and what do they mean?  How likely are the assumptions to be violated, and with what consequences?  How can we tell when violations occur?  What alternative assumptions might we make, hat alternative estimators do they sustain, and what might we hope to (re)gain by turning to them?  What quantities should we be focusing on estimating?  What estimators provide statistically desirable estimates?  Where several different estimators might serve, what are their advantages and disadvantages?  What do the estimates tell us, and how certainly?  

The lectures and readings will treat these questions practically but abstractly, referring more to x's and y's than to substantive variables.  There will be much mathematical notation and mathematically phrased argument and some proof and derivation.  The goal is to convey a good, relatively deep understanding of the how’s and why’s of constructing, estimating, and interpreting the estimates of these models.  

 

There will be extra sessions, yet to be scheduled, of approximately two hours per week, to review the mathematical and statistical background, go over questions and assignments, and discuss concrete applications.

Prerequisites

 

The course requires a decent knowledge of descriptive and inferential statistics—as covered in the Government Department’s Statistics I or equivalent—and a reasonable facility with ordinary algebra.  I encourage you to consult me if you are unsure whether this is an appropriate course for you to take.  

Texts

The texts, selected for simplicity without simplism, are:

Damodar Gujarati. 2003.  Basic Econometrics (4th ed.).  New York:  McGraw-Hill

Jan Kmenta. 1997.  Elements of Econometrics (2nd ed.).  Ann Arbor:  University of Michigan Press.  

A.H. Studenmund. 2000. Using Econometrics:  A Practical Guide (4th ed.).  Reading, PA: Addison-Wesley.

Studenmund is the simplest, Kmenta the most sophisticated.  You should read Gujarati and at least one of the other two.  You should prefer Kmenta to Studenmund, if you can handle it.  Everyone should read Kmenta’s chapters 1-6, under “Statistical Review.”  I also strongly recommend:

 

Jeffrey M. Wooldridge.  2002.  Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach (2nd ed.).  Mason, OH:  South-Western College Publishing, at approximately the same level as Gujarati.Assignments and Grading

    There will be two exams, a series of exercises, and, optionally, a term paper.  The exams will be in-class, closed-notes, and closed-book.  The exercises will be a mix of  pen-and-paper and computer-based, the former to help cement the math, the latter to provide a taste of actual modeling and analysis. You’ll be asked to write and analyze your own models, rooted in your own substantive interests (and will get help in finding a suitable dataset, if you don’t have any you are already working on or interested in).   There will also be an optional term paper, which should propose, justify, detail, estimate, and interpret the results from a regression model of your devising, using data of your choosing.  It may build on but must go well beyond the exercises.

    For students not writing a term paper, each exam will count for 30% of the course grade, and the exercises collectively for 40% (thus each exercise for 2/5n, where n is the number of exercises).  For students writing a term paper, the paper will count for 20% of the course grade, and exams for 24% each, and the exercises collectively for 32% ( (thus each exercise for 8/25n).

GOV 370L • Election Campaigns

38848 • Fall 2011
Meets MW 330pm-500pm PAR 105
show description

see syllabus

GOV 381L • Political Sophistication

38906 • Fall 2011
Meets T 700pm-1000pm BAT 1.104
show description

Decription from FALL 2009: (new description coming soon)

This course is about cognitive engagement in politics—a dimension on which individual citizens vary enormously, from those who are walking New Republics or National Reviews or Guardians or Figaros to those who don't know who the President or Prime Minister is.  (There are some.)  And this variation matters, in ways we shall explore.  

    Perhaps the broadest variable under this heading is political sophistication (a.k.a. aware-ness, cognitive complexity, and expertise):  a matter of both the quantity and the organization of political cognition (regardless of accuracy).  Closely related variables include political informa-tion (a matter simply of quantity, regardless of organization or accuracy), knowledge (the quan-tity of accurate cognition), and misinformation (the quantity of inaccurate cognition).

    We consider this whole family of variables:  how best to measure them, who has how much of them and why, and to what extent and how they flavor political attitudes and behaviors.  Many of the readings and much of the discussion will focus on these variables’ effects—on the recognition and efficient pursuit of one's interests; on policy and electoral preferences; on atti-tude extremity; on persuadability and the kinds of appeals most likely to be persuasive; on politi-cal tolerance; on the extent and direction of political participation; on the weights given to candi-date versus policy factors in voting; etc.  

    Deliberation, in the conventional sense of serious, open-minded discussion, is also, if a shade more distantly, related, since many of its effects operate through political sophistication.  Thus we shall also read about and discuss the Deliberative Polling project, which can be viewed as a quasi-experiment gauging political sophistication’s effects on policy and electoral prefer-ences.    

    While many of the best data and best work are on the U.S., it should be clear that these variables are at play, and their consequences felt in every democratic polity.  The course thus straddles American and comparative Politics (and is listed in both fields).  It also draws a great deal from psychology, relevant to both.  

 

GOV 370L • Election Campaigns

39055 • Spring 2011
Meets MW 330pm-500pm CBA 4.326
show description

This course comes in three intermingled parts.  The bulk of our meetings will be as a seminar, meaning that we, not I, shall discuss the readings (see below).  The next largest share of our meetings will be devoted to a computer simulation of a U.S. Senate election.  Your candidate may make personal appearances, produce and air campaign commercials, make appeals by direct mail, fund-raise, conduct polls, and so on, and the outcome will depend on the choices you and your opponents make.  Another few sessions will be given over to guest panelists who have been involved in election campaigns in one capacity or another.   

GOV 370L • Election Campaigns

38705 • Fall 2010
Meets MW 330pm-500pm WAG 308
show description

This course does not have a writing flag.

This course comes in four intermingled parts.  The bulk of our meetings will be as a seminar, meaning that we, not I, shall discuss the readings (see below).  The next largest share of our meetings will be devoted to a computer simulation of a U.S. Senate election.  Your candidate may make personal appearances, produce and air campaign commercials, make appeals by direct mail, fund-raise, conduct polls, and so on, and the outcome will depend on the choices you and your opponents make.  Another few sessions will be given over to guest panelists who have been involved in election campaigns in one capacity or another. 

    This semester’s panelists have not yet been slated, but by way of example past panelists have included State Representatives Tom Craddick (now Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives), Henry Cuellar, and Todd Hunter; Justice Bob Gammage, late of the Texas Supreme Court and before that a U.S. Congressman; Bernard Rapoport, a longtime Democratic activist and fundraiser (and former Chair of the UT Board of Regents); Royal Masset, Political Director of the Republican Party of Texas; Dave MacNeely, a journalist covering state and national politics for the Austin-American Statesman; William P. Hobby, the former Lieutenant Governor; Susan Hendrix of H & C Media, a Democratic media consultant; Dean Rindy of Rindy Media, another Democratic media consultant; David Weeks of Media Southwest, a Republican media consultant; Blaine Bull of Public Strategies, Inc., then a Democratic consulting firm; Matthew Dowd, then of Public Strategies, Inc., but more recently of the Bush 2000 and 2004 campaigns and Bush administration. and now a prominent national political commentator; Bill Emery and Peck Young of Emery and Young, a Democratic consulting firm; Dan Bartlett, a spokesman for Governor Bush and the Bush 2000 campaign (and an alumnus of this course), later Communications Director in the Bush White House; and Karl Rove, then of Karl Rove & Company, a Republican consulting firm, more recently the chief political strategist for the Bush 2000 and 2004 campaigns and Counselor to President Bush), and now (does anyone not know all this?) a prominent national political commentator.    

     There will be no exams, but a great deal of reading, and you will be required to write three papers drawing on the readings.  The first, of five to six pages, will be about how the characteristics of the electorate affect the nature, strategies, and outcomes of election campaigns.  The second, also of five to six pages, will be about the ways in which your experiences in the simulation illustrate or fail to capture the realities Senate elections.  The third, of six to seven pages, will be a book review.

GOV 390L • Comparative Political Behavior

38850 • Fall 2010
Meets T 700pm-1000pm BAT 1.104
show description

Political Behavior

    For purposes of this course, and as most commonly used in the relevant subdisciplines, political behavior (an inapt but conventional term) means the politics of ordinary citizens—their political and politically relevant thoughts and feelings, as well as their overt political behaviors.  Major subtopics include public opinion, political participation, voting behavior, and political psychology.  

    The course is about equally Comparative, American, and (especially in the portions devoted to political psychology) both and neither.  I intend it to be useful to both Comparativists and Americanists, and I welcome weekly essays and term papers (see below) on the U.S., given other countries, or sets of countries.  The course’s domain is thematically, not geographically, defined.  Our concern is with mass politics, wherever they occur—and with their similarities and differences across contexts.  There is plenty of latitude for both Americanists and Comparativists to focus on their particular interests.  

Note that the topic on discussion, deliberation, and their effects intersects the literature in political theory on “deliberative democracy” and the research based on Deliberative Polling.  We shall read about and discuss the Deliberative Polling project, and there may be some possibility of using Deliberative Polling data.  

There are no specific prerequisites.  It is not important to have taken the core or any other previous course in Comparative (or American) Politics, nor to have taken graduate statistics courses (although I do encourage you, for your general benefit, to do so).  First-year students are specifically welcome, and have usually done well in similar courses I’ve taught.  Ad hoc tutoring in the rudiments of both software and statistics—enough to do and interpret some simple analyses—will be provided as needed.  

    The course is a seminar, and students should come prepared to participate.  I shall assign a grade for class participation, based on attendance and the quantity and quality of contributions to the discussion.  One set of written assignments will be a weekly short essay of 1-2 single-spaced typed pages about the week's readings.  The essay should culminate in a question suitable for class discussion.  In addition, there will be a term paper, which should be empirically oriented, offering at minimum a detailed research design and preferably some analysis.  Students may consult with me about their choice of topic and data and about other questions relating to their papers as necessary.  I shall arrange for statistical computing tutorials if necessary.  The short essays will count for 40% combined, class participation for 15%, and the paper for 45%.  (The first week’s essay will count toward your grade only if it helps your average.)

Likely Texts (subject to change)

Brader, Ted.  2006.  Campaigning for Hearts and Minds: How Emotional Appeals in Political Ads Work.  Chicago, IL:  University of Chicago Press.

Berinsky, Adam J.  2006.   Silent Voices.  Public Opinion and Political Participation in America.  Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press.  

Franklin, Mark N.  2004. Voter Turnout and the Dynamics of Electoral Competition in Established Democracies since 1945.  New York, NY:  Cambridge University Press.  

    Mutz, Diana C.  2006.  Hearing the Other Side: Deliberative versus Participatory Democracy.  New York, NY:  Cambridge University Press.

Nie, Norman H., Jane Junn, and Kenneth Stehlik-Barry.  1996.  Education and Democratic Citizenship in America.  Chicago, IL:  University of Chicago Press.

    Nisbett, Richard.  2004. The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why.  New York, NY:  Free Press.

Prior, Markus.  2007.  Broadcast Democracy: How Media Choice Increases Inequality in Political Involvement and Polarizes Elections.  New York, NY:  Cambridge University Press.

    Stimson, James A.  2004.  Tides of Consent: How Public Opinion Shapes American Politics.  New York, NY:  Cambridge University Press.

    Thomassen, Jacques (ed.).  2006.  The European Voter.  Oxford, U.K.:  Oxford University Press.

Zaller, John R.  1992.  The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion.  New York:  Cambridge University Press.

GOV 370L • Election Campaigns-W

38969 • Spring 2010
Meets M 300pm-600pm JES A203A
show description

Course Description:

Analysis of varying topics in the study of American government and politics.

Prerequisite:

Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

Grading:

TBD

Readings:

TBD

 

 

 

GOV 370L • Election Campaigns-W

39300 • Fall 2009
Meets MW 300pm-430pm WAG 308
show description

Course Description:

Analysis of varying topics in the study of American government and politics.

Prerequisite:

Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

Grading:

TBD

Readings:

TBD

 

 

 

Publications

Luskin, Robert C. and John G. Bullock.  2011.  "Don't Know" Means :"Don't Know":  DK Responses and the Public's Level of Political Knowledge.  Journal of Politics, 73 (2): 547-557.

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Farrar, Cynthia, James S. Fishkin, Donald P. Green, Christian List, Robert C. Luskin, and Elizabeth L. Paluck.  2010.  “Disaggregating Deliberation’s Effects:  An Experiment within a Deliberative Poll.”  British Journal of Political Science, 40: 333-347.

Fishkin, James S., Baogang He, Robert C. Luskin, and Alice Siu.  2010.  “Deliberative Democracy in an Unlikely Place: Deliberative Polling in China.”  British Journal of Political Science, 40   Pages: 435-448. 

 

Farrar, Cynthia, James S. Fishkin, Donald P. Green, Christian List, Robert C. Luskin, and Elizabeth L. Paluck.  2010.  “Disaggregating Deliberation’s Effects:  An Experiment within a Deliberative Poll.”  British Journal of Political Science, 40: 333-347. 

Fishkin, James S., György Lengyel, Robert C. Luskin, and Alice Siu.  The Kaposvár Deliberative Poll:  Considered Opinions on Unemployment.  In György Lengyel (ed.), Deliberative Methods in Local Survey Research:  The Kaposvár Experiences.  Budapest, Hungary:  Új Mandßtum, 2009. 

Luskin, Robert C.  “Wouldn’t It Be Nice …?  The Automatic Unbiasedness of OLS (and GLS).”  Political Analysis, 16 (2008):  345-349. 

Fishkin, James S. and Robert C. Luskin (2006, January) Broadcasts of Deliberative Polls: Aspirations and Effects. British Journal of Political Science, 36, 184-188.

Fishkin, James S. and Robert C. Luskin (2005, September) Experimenting with a Democratic Ideal: Deliberative Polling and Public Opinion. Acta Politica, 40, 284-298.

Luskin, R. (2004) Sondage et Démocratie. In Pascal Ardilly (ed.), . Paris: Dunod.

Luskin, Robert C. (2003) The Heavenly Public: What Would the Ideal Democratic Citizenry Be Like?. In Michael B. MacKuen & George Rabinowitz (eds.), Electoral Democracy. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Brady, Henry E., James S. Fishkin, and Robert C. Luskin (2003, June) Informed Public Opinion about Foreign Policy: The Uses of Deliberative Polling. Brookings Review, 21, 16-19.

Luskin, Robert C. (2002) Political Psychology, Political Behavior, and Politics: Questions of Aggregation, Causal Distance, and Taste. In James H. Kuklinski (Ed.), Thinking about Political Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Luskin, Robert C. (2002) From Denial to Extenuation (and Finally Beyond): Political Sophistication and Citizen Performance. In James H. Kuklinski (Ed.), Thinking about Political Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Luskin, Robert C., James S. Fishkin, and Roger Jowell (2002, July) Considered Opinions: Deliberative Polling in Britain. British Journal of Political Science, 32, 455-487.

Fishkin, James S. and Robert C. Luskin (2000) The Quest for Deliberative Democracy. In Michael Saward (Ed.), Democratic Innovation: Deliberation, Association, and Representation. London: Routledge.

Fishkin, James S. and Robert C. Luskin (1999) Bringing Deliberation to the Democratic Dialogue: The NIC and Beyond. In Maxwell McCombs (Ed.), A Poll with a Human Face: The National Issues Convention Experiment in Political Communication. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Luskin, Robert C., Christopher N. Bratcher, Chistopher G. Jordan,Tracy K. Renner, and Kris S. Seago (1994, May) Judicial Retention Elections and the Retention of Minority Judges. Judicature, 77, 316-321.

Luskin, Robert C. (1991, November) Abusus Non Tollit Usum: Standardized Coefficients, Correlations and R2s. American Journal of Political Science, 35, 1032-1046.

Luskin, Robert C. (1991, March) R-Squared Encore. The Political Methodologist, 4, 21-23.

Luskin, Robert C. (1990, December) Explaining Political Sophistication. Political Behavior, 12, 331-361.

Luskin, Robert C., John P. McIver, , and Edward G. Carmines (1989, May) Issues and the Transmission of Partisanship. American Journal of Political Science, 33, 440-458.

Cassel, Carol A. and Robert C. Luskin (1988, December) Simple Explanations of Turnout Decline. American Political Science Review, 82, 1321-1330.

Luskin, Robert C. (1987, November) Measuring Political Sophistication. American Journal of Political Science, 31, 856-899.

Luskin, Robert C. (1984, September) Looking for R2: Measuring Explanation outside OLS. Political Methodology, 10(4), 513-532.

Luskin, Robert C. (1978, May) Estimating and Interpreting Correlations Between Disturbances and Residual Path Coefficients in Nonrecursive (and Recursive) Causal Models. American Journal of Political Science, 22, 444-478.

Appendices

DK Means DK -- Appendix A

DK Means DK -- Appendix B

DK Means DK -- Appendix C

DK Means DK Codebook

DK Means DK Data

DK Means DK Questionnaire

DK Means DK Final Report

Memo (rev.): Increase in % vs % Increase vs % Reduction in Error

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