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Fall 2018 Courses

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PSC/IR 101 Introduction to Comparative Politics
Bonnie M. Meguid
Fall 2018 — MWF 10:25 - 11:15
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This course is an introduction to the study of domestic political institutions, processes, and outcomes across and within countries. The course surveys key concepts and major theoretical contributions in the field of comparative politics, including the challenges for democratization and democratic consolidation, the possibility of revolution, how countries vary in their political and electoral institutions and why these variations matter, and the power of social forces such as ethnicity, culture, and social capital. Country cases are drawn from different regions of the world and historical periods to ground students in the set of tools of comparative analysis.


PSC 105 Introduction to American Politics
Mary A. Kroeger
Fall 2018 — MWF 9:00 - 9:50
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This course will introduce students to the systematic study of American political institutions, processes, and behavior. We will focus on key questions about the political system and how political scientists address these questions. The strategic actions and interactions of various political actors will be examined from a variety of theoretical and empirical approaches. Political polarization, economic inequality, presidential power, the role of the administrative state will be discussed throughout the course.


PSC 200 Data Analysis I
Sergio Montero
Fall 2018 — MW 14:00 - 15:15
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Data analysis has become a key part of many fields including politics, business, law, and public policy. This course covers the fundamentals of data analysis, giving students the necessary statistical skills to understand and critically analyze contemporary political, legal, and policy puzzles. Lectures will focus on the theory and practice of quantitative analysis, and lab sessions will guide students through the particulars of statistical software. No prior knowledge of statistics or data analysis is required. Without special permission of the instructor, students may not enroll in this course if they have earned credit and a letter grade for ECO 230, PSC 205, PSY/CSP 211, STT 211, STT 212, STT 213, STT 214, or any other course in statistics, or if they have received a score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement exam in Statistics.


PSC 202W Argument in Political Science
Gerald Gamm
Fall 2018 ("W" Required) — MWF 10:25 - 11:15
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Students generally take PSC 202 in their sophomore year, but the course is also open to juniors and seniors. The course introduces students to the questions, concepts, and analytical approaches of political scientists and emphasizes careful reading and analytical writing. This version of the course focuses on the tension between majority rule and minority rights in the American political tradition. Topics include tyranny of the majority, slavery, civic engagement, political parties, women's rights, racism, economic and political inequality, legislative organization, and representation. Readings are drawn from classic texts in American thought—the Declaration of Independence, "The Federalist," Tocqueville's "Democracy in America," the Gettysburg Address—as well as from books and articles written by contemporary political scientists. Note: In this academic year, PSC 202 will only be offered in the fall semester. It will NOT be offered in the spring.


PSC 223 Constitutional Structure and Rights
Thomas H. Jackson
Fall 2018 — MW 11:50 - 13:05
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In this course, through the lens of the Constitution and Supreme Court cases, we examine the essential structure of the American legal system (both separation of powers at the federal level and the authority of, and relationship among, states and the federal government), as well as the essential nature of civil rights of citizens vis-a-vis the political order. Topics covered include the nature of the Supreme Court's authority; separation of powers; federal limits on state powers; and individual rights, including economic rights, certain of the rights embraced by the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments, and equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. The ability to read and discuss (as well as place in perspective and disagree with) Supreme Court opinions is an essential part of the course.


PSC 233W Innovation in Public Service
Stuart Jordan
Fall 2018 ("W" Required) — MW 10:25 - 11:40
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Is politics anything more than a series of televised shouting matches? Yes, but much of what matters isn't televised. While politicians in Washington and state capitals make speeches for the cameras, hundreds of thousands of public servants work everyday outside of the limelight to determine the quality of government's essential services -- including policing, emergency services, education, and public health. This course exposes students to the problems faced and solutions invented by leaders of the Rochester area's public service agencies. By interacting directly with these leaders and the "street-level bureaucrats" who implement government policy, students will learn how to grapple with the practical problems of governance.


PSC 236 Health Care and the Law
Molly McNulty
Fall 2018 — MW 18:15 - 19:30
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This course provides an introduction to the legal foundations of health care in America. It is the responsibility of the American government to promote and protect the health and welfare of the public while respecting the interests, and upholding the rights, of the individual. The content of this course addresses how the law balances these collective and individual rights. The material covers a broad range of legal issues in health care, including autonomy, privacy, liberty, and proprietary interests, from the perspective of the provider(s) and the patient.


IR 237 Gender and Development
Milena Novy-Marx
Fall 2018 ("W" Optional) — R 15:25 - 18:05
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This course examines a range of issues in international development from a gender perspective, with a particular focus on women and girls, but also men and boys. Students will review recent literature on gender and sustainable development, including how development policies, programs and issues affect men and women, and girls and boys, differently. The course also covers recent trends in economic growth and sustainable development across low, middle and high-income countries. Students will have the opportunity to examine development issues, policies, and programs that address poverty and development in a range of sectors including health, education, agriculture, microfinance, and the environment.


PSC 241 Urban Change and City Politics
Gerald Gamm
Fall 2018 ("W" Optional) — T 12:30 - 15:15
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Through intensive reading and discussion, we examine the politics and history of American cities. While we read scholarship drawing on the experiences of an array of cities—including Chicago, New York, Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, New Haven, Atlanta, Buffalo, and Charlotte—our emphasis is on commonalities in the urban experience as well as on systematic differences. We analyze the relationship of cities to their hinterlands in the early stages of urban development, the rise of ethnic neighborhoods, suburbanization, industrialization, de-industrialization, housing and jobs, concentrated poverty, and population changes. Race, ethnicity, and class are central to this course, not only in understanding changes in neighborhoods but also in the nature of politics and governmental arrangements.


PSC 246 Environmental Law and Policy
Terry Noto
Fall 2018 — TR 15:25 - 16:40
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An examination of federal environmental law and policy from a practical and historical perspective. This course will provide a basic foundational understanding of U.S. environmental law and help students develop the tools necessary to critique and improve environmental policy making. Topics include an overview of key federal environmental laws, some of the major loopholes, how environmental laws are shaped through agency regulation, judicial interpretation, political pressure, and their efficacy at safeguarding the environment and the public. The course will be taught through a combination of lectures, a group project focused on a specific case study, and student-led discussions about key aspects of environmental laws. Students will finish by considering emerging environmental issues and ways to address them.


PSC 248 Discrimination
Kevin A. Clarke
Fall 2018 ("W" Optional) — TR 12:30 - 13:45
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An examination of discrimination from a social scientific perspective. Topics covered include defining discrimination, types of discrimination under the law, testing for discrimination, discrimination experiments, and a survey of what social scientists have discovered about discrimination in the areas of policing, bail, retail sales, automobile sales, and home mortgages. Although there is considerable time devoted to lecture, students are encouraged to participate.


IR 249 Israel/Palestine
Aaron Hughes
Fall 2018 — TR 11:05 - 12:20
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This course will provide a non-partisan introduction to the conflict between these two national movements. Discussion will focus on an examination of historical documents, in addition to understanding of how it plays out in literature and film.


PSC/IR 250 Comparative Democratic Representation
G. Bingham Powell, Jr.
Fall 2018 ("W" Optional) — TR 11:05 - 12:20
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This course introduces the concept and practice of political representation in contemporary democracies, focusing largely on the developed world. After discussing goals of representation, it traces representation from the values and electoral behavior of citizens through the formation of legislatures and executives to the implementation of public policies. It compares the consequences of different institutional arrangements and party systems for party and policy congruence, and considers other benefits and costs as well.


PSC/IR 267 Identity, Ethnicity and Nationalism
Bonnie M. Meguid
Fall 2018 — MW 14:00 - 15:15
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This course explores the concepts of identity, ethnicity and nationalism from a comparative perspective. Drawing upon theories from political science, anthropology, sociology and economics, we will examine how identity is defined and how societies use these constructions in, among other things, nation-building, war, and party competition. Theoretical readings will be supplemented with empirical studies from developed and developing countries across different time periods.


PSC/IR 268 International Organization
Randall Stone
Fall 2018 ("W" Optional) — MW 9:00 - 10:15
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This course focuses on a key mechanism facilitating international cooperation—international institutions. The course examines institutions ranging from informal institutions, or regimes, to formal, intergovernmental organizations. We ask the following questions: how are institutions established? What makes them change over time? What impact (if any) do they have? How do they influence government policies? How do they operate? How do they structure decision-making? How do international institutions affect domestic politics? The course will begin by focusing on different theoretical perspectives on these questions, and continue by examining international institutions in specific issue areas.


PSC/IR 272 Theories of International Relations
Scott Tyson
Fall 2018 ("W" Optional) — TR 14:00 - 15:15
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How do we explain patterns of war and peace? Why do states with common interests often fail to cooperate? This course surveys theories of international relations, focusing on explanations of conflict and cooperation. In particular, it examines the roles of individual choice, strategic interaction, uncertainty, power, domestic politics, and anarchy. Students participate in an internet-based simulation of an international crisis. The course also serves as an introduction to game theory, and students will be expected to solve game theory problems in homework and exams. Students taking this course for writing credit register for PSC 272W and write a substantial research paper in addition to the other course requirements.


PSC/IR 273 The Politics of Terrorism
Alexander Lee
Fall 2018 ("W" Optional) — MW 14:00 - 15:15
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Over the past century, terrorism has become a common feature of world politics, enabling small groups of individuals to have a disproportionate influence on the politics of both developed and underdeveloped countries. This course explores some of the fundamental questions of terrorism: Why individuals join terrorist groups, why terrorist groups adopt certain tactics such as suicide bombing, how terrorist groups organize themselves, and what counterterrorism strategies are effective? No previous knowledge of the subject is required.


IR 286 Political Economy of Developing Countries
Paula Ganga
Fall 2018 ("W" Required) — M 15:25 - 18:05
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This course examines the link between states and markets, between political institutions and their economic consequences. Students will be introduced to a variety of methods such as historical analysis, formal models, case studies and statistical analysis. This course seeks to answer several questions: (1) What is the role of government in the economy? (2) How has this role varied in time and across regions? (3) What do changes in this balance mean for political and economic institutions? Examples will be drawn from Eastern Europe, Russia, China, Brazil, and other parts of the developing world.


PSC 288 Game Theory
Paulo Barelli
Fall 2018 — TR 9:40 - 10:55
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Game theory is a systematic study of strategic situations. It is a theory that helps us analyze economic and political strategic issues, such as behavior of individuals in a group, competition among firms in a market, platform choices of political candidates, and so on. We will develop the basic concepts and results of game theory, including simultaneous and sequential move games, repeated games and games with incomplete information. The objective of the course is to enable the student to analyze strategic situations on his/her own. The emphasis of the course is on theoretical aspects of strategic behavior, so familiarity with mathematical formalism is desirable.


PSC 291 First Amendment and Religion
Thomas H. Jackson
Fall 2018 ("W" Optional) — T 14:00 - 16:40
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The Constitution helps define, as it perhaps reflects, American society. In this scheme, religion has a special role. It, arguably uniquely, is given both constitutional protection (free exercise) as well as a constitutional limitation (no establishment). Religion's placement in the Bill of Rights (as a part of the First Amendment) suggests its importance (both in protection and in limitation) to the founders, and religion's role in society today remains important and controversial. This course examines the historical forces that led to the adoption of the religion clauses of the First Amendment, the subsequent development of those clauses (importantly through the close reading of key Supreme Court opinions), and the nature of contemporary controversies, both judicial and academic, over the scope and meaning of the religion clauses of the First Amendment.


PSC 304 Urban Crime and Justice
Craig Doran
Fall 2018 — R 18:15 - 19:30
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This course offers a unique opportunity for students to engage critically with justice in courthouses in local communities. Students will participate in hands-on experiential work in a selected area of focus at the Monroe County Courthouse in Rochester. Areas of focus to choose from include adult criminal justice, juvenile justice, treatment courts, domestic violence court, court-community partnerships, or equity disparities in the court. Weekly class meetings include university faculty and Judge Craig Doran, Chief Supervising Judge of all courts in the region, who share their perspectives, research, and experience on the matters addressed by students at the courthouse. This provides students with immediate immersion in both the theoretical and practical applications of justice in society. This course requires students spend 6 hours per week at the Monroe County Courts at the Hall of Justice in Rochester.


PSC/IR 355 Democratic Political Processes
G. Bingham Powell, Jr.
Fall 2018 — W 14:15 - 16:55
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This course is designed primarily as a graduate seminar in comparative politics. Its object is to introduce the participants to the comparative study of democratic political processes, a subfield focusing on choosing political leaders and making political decisions in the context of free and competitive elections. We begin by discussing the meaning and measure of contemporary democracy . We then turn to political parties, as key institutions linking citizens and policymakers, and to policymaking institutions. The last part of the course focuses on the comparative study of individual citizens' attitudes and behavior (political culture, participation and voting, interest groups.) Students are responsible for a variety of presentations as well as a midterm and a research paper.. No background in comparative politics is assumed. It is appropriate as an introduction for students new to the field or as an "outside" course. Undergraduates require permission of instructor.


PSC/IR 373 Territory and Group Conflict
Hein Goemans
Fall 2018 — R 12:30 - 15:15
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This graduate seminar examines a long neglected topic: the role of territory in group politics. The goal is to build a basic understanding of why, when, how and which territory becomes contested. We will read from a broad range of disciplines. Each student is expected to write two short papers for two different sessions, which are not to exceed 1500 words. Each paper should provide an independent commentary of you own on some aspect of that week's readings. These papers form the background against which we will discuss the readings in class. In addition, each student is required to write a 20-25 page research paper, which focuses in depth on one of the discussed emerging research agendas. As in other graduate seminars, the course will be conducted almost exclusively through discussion. Hence it is crucial that students do the reading in advance, to set aside time to reflect on the readings, and to prepare comments and questions.


PSC/IR 389W Senior Honors Seminar
Jack Paine
Fall 2018 ("W" Required) — R 14:00 - 16:40
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This course will teach students how to write an original social scientific research paper. Students enrolled in the class are expected to complete a thesis in the spring. In this course, they will choose a research topic and question, find an advisor in the political science department, read the relevant literature, generate hypotheses, choose appropriate cases for quantitative or qualitative analysis, begin collecting data, think about strategies for addressing confounding concerns, and at the end of the semester produce a paper of roughly 12-15 pages that constitutes a draft of the final thesis. Along the way, students will read high-quality published articles, learn how to interpret regression tables and how to produce their own, understand pros and cons of various research design techniques, replicate a published research article, and learn how to organize and to write a research paper. This course is primarily geared toward teaching students how to write statistical empirical research papers, although it will also provide guidance for writing theses using game theory or qualitative methods.


PSC 394 Local Law and Politics Internships
Lynda W. Powell
Fall 2018 ("W" Optional)
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Most internship placements are in the District Attorney's or Public Defender's offices or in the local offices of U.S. members of Congress or Senators. Other internships are available depending on student interest. Interns work 10-12 hours per week through the entire semester. Grades are primarily based on a research paper. Applicants should have an appropriate course background for the internship and at least a B average. Students must be accepted in the course before approaching an agency for an internship. Applications are available from Professor L. Powell and an interest meeting is held just before preregistration each semester.


PSC/IR 394A European Political Internship
Lynda W. Powell
Fall 2018
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Internships are available for students in Edinburgh, London, Brussels, Bonn, Berlin and Madrid. Internships are in English in Edinburgh, London, and Brussels: students need proficiency in the language for the latter four placements. For applications and information, students should contact the Study Abroad Office in Dewey Hall 2147.


PSC 394C Washington Semester Internship
Lynda W. Powell
Fall 2018
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PSC 399 Washington Semester
Lynda W. Powell
Fall 2018
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These internships provide an opportunity to learn experientially one or more of the following: how government functions; how public policies are created, adopted and implemented; and how political campaigns work. Students intern in Congress, the executive branch, party campaign committees, and lobbying and advocacy groups. For applications and information, students should contact Professor L. Powell. An interest meeting is held each semester.


PSC 404 Probability and Inference
Kevin A. Clarke
Fall 2018 — TR 15:25 - 16:40
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This course in mathematical statistics provides graduate students in political science with a solid foundation in probability and statistical inference. The focus of the course is on the empirical modeling of non-experimental data. While substantive political science will never be far from our minds, our primary goal is to acquire the tools necessary for success in the rest of the econometric sequence. As such, this course serves as a prerequisite for the advanced political science graduate courses in statistical methods (PSC 405, 505, and 506).


PSC 407 Mathematical Modeling
John Duggan
Fall 2018 — MW 10:00 - 12:00
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This course is the first half of a two-course sequence consisting of PSC 407 and PSC 408. The goal of the sequence is to give a rigorous introduction to the main concepts and results in positive political theory. At the same time, we will teach you the mathematical tools necessary to understand these results, to use them and (if it suits you) to surpass them in your own research in political science. The course will emphasize rigorous logical and deductive reasoning - this skill will prove valuable, even to the student primarily interested in empirical analysis rather than modeling. The sequence is designed to be both a rigorous foundation for students planning on taking further courses in the positive political theory field and a self-contained overview of the field for students who do not intend to do additional coursework in the field.


PSC 505 Maximum Likelihood Estimation
Curtis S. Signorino
Fall 2018 — MW 10:30 - 12:00
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The classical linear regression model is inappropriate for many of the most interesting problems in political science. This course builds upon the analytical foundations of PSC 404 and 405, taking the latter's emphasis on the classical linear model as its point of departure. Here students will learn methods to analyze models and data for event counts, durations, censoring, truncation, selection, multinomial ordered/unordered categories, strategic choices, spatial voting models, and time series. A major goal of the course will be to teach students how to develop new models and techniques for analyzing issues they encounter in their own research.


PSC 530 Urban Change and City Politics
Gerald Gamm
Fall 2018 — T 12:30 - 15:15
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Through intensive reading and discussion, we examine the politics and history of American cities. While we read scholarship drawing on the experiences of an array of cities—including Chicago, New York, Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, New Haven, Atlanta, Buffalo, and Charlotte—our emphasis is on commonalities in the urban experience as well as on systematic differences. We analyze the relationship of cities to their hinterlands in the early stages of urban development, the rise of ethnic neighborhoods, suburbanization, industrialization, de-industrialization, housing and jobs, concentrated poverty, and population changes. Race, ethnicity, and class are central to this course, not only in understanding changes in neighborhoods but also in the nature of politics and governmental arrangements.


PSC 555 Democratic Political Processes
G. Bingham Powell, Jr.
Fall 2018 — W 14:15 - 16:55
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This course is designed primarily as a graduate seminar in comparative politics. Its object is to introduce the participants to the comparative study of democratic political processes, a subfield focusing on choosing political leaders and making political decisions in the context of free and competitive elections. We begin by discussing the meaning and measure of contemporary democracy . We then turn to political parties, as key institutions linking citizens and policymakers, and to policymaking institutions. The last part of the course focuses on the comparative study of individual citizens' attitudes and behavior (political culture, participation and voting, interest groups.) Students are responsible for a variety of presentations as well as a midterm and a research paper.. No background in comparative politics is assumed. It is appropriate as an introduction for students new to the field or as an "outside" course. Undergraduates require permission of instructor.


PSC 565 Political Economy of Development
Alexander Lee
Fall 2018 — T 17:00 - 19:40
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This course surveys selected topics in the extensive literature on political and economic development. We will focus on differences in formal and informal institutions across countries. Topics will include the determinants of economic growth, the modernization hypothesis, distributional conflict, government corruption, the success and failure of states to deliver of public goods, among others.


PSC 573 Territory and Group Conflict
Hein Goemans
Fall 2018 — R 12:30 - 15:15
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This graduate seminar examines a long neglected topic: the role of territory in group politics. The goal is to build a basic understanding of why, when, how and which territory becomes contested. We will read from a broad range of disciplines. Each student is expected to write two short papers for two different sessions, which are not to exceed 1500 words. Each paper should provide an independent commentary of your own on some aspect of that week's readings. These papers form the background against which we will discuss the readings in class. In addition, each student is required to write a 20-25 page research paper, which focuses in depth on one of the discussed emerging research agendas. As in other graduate seminars, the course will be conducted almost exclusively through discussion. Hence it is crucial that students do the reading in advance, to set aside time to reflect on the readings, and to prepare comments and questions.


PSC 576 Graduate Research Seminar
Anderson Frey, Lawrence Rothenberg
Fall 2018 — T 10:30 - 12:00
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Designed as a forum for upper-level doctoral students who have completed formal coursework to present ongoing research. Students regularly present research either stemming from their dissertations or from ancillary projects.


PSC 584 Game Theory
Mark Fey
Fall 2018 — TR 10:30 - 12:00
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This course is the third semester of the formal theory sequence for graduate students. It focuses on teaching students more sophisticated tools for modeling more complex games. Specifically, the course concentrates on games of incomplete information such as signaling games and communication games and develops analytical tools such as Bayesian-Nash equilibrium, perfect Bayesian equilibrium, and equilibrium refinements. The course also covers repeated games, bargaining games and equilibrium existence in a rigorous fashion. The prerequisites for the course are PSC 407 and 408, or an equivalent background in complete information game theory. Grading is based on homework assignments and a midterm and final exam.


PSC 586 Voting and Elections
Mark Fey
Fall 2018 — F 9:30 - 12:00
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This course covers much of the modern game-theoretic literature on models of voting and elections. It is meant to expose students to the techniques and models used in this line of research. Some of the topics covered include probabilistic voting, policy-motivated candidates, candidate entry, strategic voting, and issues of information in elections, including uncertainty on the part of voters and candidates, and problems associated with private information in elections. The course covers both complete and incomplete information models and thus students must have a working knowledge of Bayesian games prior to taking this course.


PSC 587 Structural Modeling and Estimation
Tasos Kalandrakis, Sergio Montero
Fall 2018 — TR 13:30 - 15:00
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Structural models enable social scientists to conduct rich analyses of how institutions and public policy shape individual or collective decision-making. The structural approach to empirical research is particularly useful in settings where more traditional methods cannot be applied, such as when agents behave strategically or when we wish to predict the consequences of never-before-observed policy interventions. This course covers the fundamentals of structural modeling and estimation. Depending on student interest, applications from economics, marketing, and political science will be considered.