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Spring 2023 Courses

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PSCI 105 Introduction to U.S. Politics
Dan Alexander
Spring 2023 — TR 9:40 - 10:55
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This course will introduce students to the foundations of the United States government. Students will examine important political institutions and the interactions among them to understand how they shape the behavior of political actors and ordinary U.S. citizens. Specific topics will include: the need for a state, the purposes of elections, federalism, the three branches of U.S. government, and the role of interest groups in U.S. politics. Throughout, the course employs concepts from the rational-choice approach to political science to model key concepts; however, no background in this is necessary. This course is appropriate for majors and non-majors with an interest in understanding how and why the U.S. political system works as it does.


PSCI/INTR 106 Introduction to International Relations
Hein Goemans
Spring 2023 — MWF 11:50 - 12:40
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International relations is the study of how states interact with each other. This course builds a working knowledge of our field, introducing the background, theoretical, and empirical tools necessary to understand international relations today. Students will learn about important findings in a variety of subfields, including war, international political economy, institutions, and nuclear proliferation. To do so, the course emphasizes readings from original research material rather than from a textbook. Further, students will solve problem sets and work with common international relations datasets to obtain a working understanding of the discipline's methodological foundations.


PSCI 121 Democracy in America
James Johnson
Spring 2023 — MW 9:00 - 10:15
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Democracy literally means "rule by the people." This seminar in political theory will explore various questions that this basic definition raises in the context of 20th-century American politics. What can we expect of "the people"? How, indeed, do we even envision "the people"? What is the role of communication, especially modern media, in creating and sustaining "the people"? How might we think about the ways in which power and communication intersect in modern democracies? In many respects this course is experimental. It aims to draw connections between texts and theorists that have not been made before. So we will be exploring new terrain. Students will learn what it means to think like a political theorist. Enrollment is restricted to first-year students - no exceptions. Grades will be based on class participation - given that this is a small seminar, be prepared to talk! - and several short papers (meaning about five pages each) on assigned topics that emerge from the readings and class discussion. Course open to first-year and sophomores only.


PSCI 205 Data Analysis II
Curtis S. Signorino
Spring 2023 — TR 9:40 - 10:55
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This course builds on PSCI 200, Data Analysis I, taking the linear regression model as its starting point. We will explore various statistical techniques for analyzing a world of data that is relevant to political science in particular, and to the social sciences more broadly. In addition to the classical linear regression model, we will examine models for binary data, durations, counts, censoring and truncation, self-selection, and discrete choice, among others. These models will be applied to topics such as international conflict, civil war onset, parliamentary cabinet survival, international sanctions, campaign contributions, and voting. Students will be taught how to (1) frame research hypotheses, (2) analyze data using the appropriate statistical model, and (3) interpret and present their results. Statistical analysis will be conducted using R and RStudio.

Prerequisite: Students must have taken at least one course in statistics that (1) covers probability, confidence intervals, hypothesis tests, and linear regression; and (2) uses R for data analysis -- e.g., ECON 230, PSCI 200, or STAT 212/213/214. Prior courses in calculus or linear algebra are not required.

Note: Students will need to bring a laptop computer to class with R and RStudio installed. Most tablets will not suffice.


PSCI 214 Race and the Law
Alexander Moon
Spring 2023 — MW 15:25 - 16:40
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This course deals with questions raised at the intersection of constitutional law and sociological and political science studies of the politics and practice of race in the United States. While studying major court decisions concerning race and slavery, voting, property rights, segregation/de-segregation, criminal justice, voting, discrimination, and affirmative action, we will examine questions such as: what is the role of the legal system in constituting and perpetuating the racial order of the United States? To what extent do court rulings reflect more than they shape what actually happens outside of the legal system? How, if at all, do they shape public opinion? What are the advantages and disadvantages of courts as a tool for social change? Do answers to these questions vary by area of law and/or historical period? The course is largely discussion-based and will include readings in case law, critical legal studies, critical race theory, and works in political science and sociology.


PSCI 217 Public Policy and Black Communities: Education, Poverty, Affirmative Action, and Crime
Alexander Moon
Spring 2023 — MWF 11:50 - 12:40
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INTR 221 Nationalism, Central Europe, and the Russia-Ukraine War
Piotr Klodkowski
Spring 2023 — TR 11:05 - 12:20

The idea of Central Europe, which originally had a strong German affiliation, is historically linked with the legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. On a 21st-century map, Central Europe is made up of Austria, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, and western Ukraine. After WW II most of Central Europe became a strategic part of the external Soviet empire, and all Central European countries experienced political oppression, economic underdevelopment, and social stagnation. Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary contributed to the final collapse of communist ideology in 1989-90 and collectively embarked on the path leading to full integration with the European Union. Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its implications, however, changed the political perspective of Central European countries. Poland and Hungary, once close allies, now view Russia's role differently, especially Moscow's imperial ambitions. Nationalism, authoritarianism, and illiberal democracy have become significant elements of the political message provided by mainstream parties, though many Central European politicians claim that the region is going through a "strategic awakening." This "strategic awakening" may have different interpretations, especially vis-a-vis Russia and Ukraine.


PSCI 224 Incarceration Nation
Joshua Dubler
Spring 2023
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How does a country with five percent of the world's population, a country that nominally values freedom above all else, come to have nearly a quarter of the world's incarcerated people? In this survey course we investigate the history of imprisonment in the United States—as theorized and as practiced—from the founding of the republic to the present day. Special attention is paid to the politics, economics, race politics, and religious logics of contemporary mass incarceration, and to the efforts afoot to end mass incarceration.


PSCI 225 Cultural Politics of Prison Towns
Kristin Doughty, Joshua Dubler
Spring 2023
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Rochester sits in one of the world's most explicitly carceral landscapes, with more than a dozen state prisons within a 90 min drive. This co-taught course is a collaborative ethnographic research project designed to examine how the presence of prisons in towns around Rochester reflects and shapes the political, economic, and cultural lives of those who live in the region. Students will be introduced to methods and practices of ethnography and conduct firsthand research on the cultural politics of prison towns. Through assigned reading, students will learn about the history, sociology, and cultural logics of Rochester and the wider region, and of mass incarceration. What does a prison mean for a person living near one? How does the presence of prisons shape people's notions of justice, citizenship, and punishment? How do these nearby but largely invisible institutions shape the ways that we live in Rochester? Recommended prior courses: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology or Incarceration Nation.


PSCI 226W Act Locally? Local Government in the U.S.
Mitch Gruber
Spring 2023 ("W" Required) — W 18:15 - 20:55
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Reformers and activists sometimes say that we should "think globally, act locally," meaning that we should try to address widespread needs by taking action in our neighborhoods, towns and cities. What happens when you apply this maxim to government and public policy in the United States? This course will introduce you to local government policymaking in the United States, with a focus on urban areas. You'll gain a familiarity with the powers local governments have over key policies and services—such as policing and criminal justice, housing and land-use regulation, transportation, public education and public health—and learn to think systematically about what local governments can do to address public needs. What you learn will be applicable throughout the U.S., but we'll focus on examples of policymaking currently underway in the City of Rochester and the surrounding region—offering you a chance to learn more about the University's local community.


PSCI 229 Environmental Health Policy
Katrina Smith Korfmacher
Spring 2023 — MW 12:30 - 13:45
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Course Description: Public health professionals, researchers, and community groups recognize that the physical environment impacts health and contributes significantly to health disparities. This course focuses on the skills, tools, and approaches needed to address the root causes of environmental health problems through policy processes. This is an advanced reading and writing-intensive course that expects students have foundational knowledge in public health, policy, and/or environmental science. Students will develop their understanding of the U.S. environmental policy system, environmental health issues, and problem-solving frameworks. Emphasizing local perspectives on environmental justice in the U.S., the course will include in-depth case studies of lead poisoning, transportation systems, and urban land use, with a particular focus on the implications of climate change. Students will conduct a major independent policy research and writing project and a series of real-world policy memos.

Prerequisites: Not open to freshmen; Prerequisites: PHLT 101 or PHLT 116; or permission of instructor (based on academic or applied background in environmental science and/or public policy).


PSCI 230 Public Health Law and Policy
Molly McNulty
Spring 2023 — MW 10:25 - 11:40
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The course introduces the legal and social justice frameworks for urgent public health issues, such as vaccinations, tobacco regulation and gun control. Pre-requisites: PHLT 116 or PHLT 236; juniors & seniors only. Restrictions: Instructor Permission.


PSCI 231W Maternal Child Health Policy and Advocacy
Molly McNulty
Spring 2023 — TR 14:00 - 15:15
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Students will learn how government funds, organizes and delivers health care, broadly defined, to mothers, children, and adolescents; as well as legal and policy writing skills relevant to advocacy, such as issue fact sheets, legislative testimony, and letters to the editor. Pre-requisites: PHLT 116, PHLT 236, or PHLT 230 required; juniors & seniors only. Restrictions: Instructor Permission.


PSCI/INTR 239 International Environmental Law
Terry Noto
Spring 2023 — TR 15:25 - 16:40
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An examination of international environmental law and policy with a special focus on efforts to address climate change, including efforts to forge an international climate change agreement at the 2015 United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference. This course serves as a companion to PSC 246, but PSC 246 is not a prerequisite. The goal of this course is to provide a foundational understanding of this rapidly developing, controversial field. Topics include consideration of the scientific, political, and economic drivers of international environmental law; the variety of tools (e.g., treaties, agreements, "soft law," voluntary incentive programs and market based approaches); and examples of how some international environmental issues have been addressed to date. Finally, we will examine the results of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference - are we any closer to a "grand climate solution"? This course will be taught through lectures, discussion, several concise papers, and a group project.


PSCI/INTR 239 International Environmental Law
Terry Noto
Spring 2023 — TR 11:05 - 12:20
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An examination of international environmental law and policy with a special focus on efforts to address climate change, including efforts to forge an international climate change agreement at the 2015 United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference. This course serves as a companion to PSC 246, but PSC 246 is not a prerequisite. The goal of this course is to provide a foundational understanding of this rapidly developing, controversial field. Topics include consideration of the scientific, political, and economic drivers of international environmental law; the variety of tools (e.g., treaties, agreements, "soft law," voluntary incentive programs and market based approaches); and examples of how some international environmental issues have been addressed to date. Finally, we will examine the results of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference - are we any closer to a "grand climate solution"? This course will be taught through lectures, discussion, several concise papers, and a group project.


PSCI 240 Criminal Procedure and Constitutional Principles
Edward L. Fiandach
Spring 2023 — MW 16:50 - 18:05
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Through analysis of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, we examine criminal procedure as elaborated by federal and state court decisions. Topics include arrest procedures, search and seizure, right to counsel, and police interrogation and confessions. We will discuss the theoretical principles of criminal procedure and the application of those principles to the actual operation of the criminal court system.


PSCI 244K Politics and Markets: Innovation and The Global Business Environment
David Primo
Spring 2023 — MW 11:50 - 13:05
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Innovation is a driving force behind the massive increases in wealth that occurred in the 20th century, and the globalization of business is causing changes in the world's economy that we are only beginning to understand. In this course, we will spend several weeks studying how entrepreneurship and innovation are affected by government institutions. We will then spend several weeks studying business strategy in the global business environment, focusing on the role of regulations imposed by foreign governments and international organizations. Class meetings will be a mix of lecture and discussion, use real-world cases, and feature guest speakers. By the end of the course, you will have a stronger understanding of how businesses shape and are shaped by government policies. There are no prerequisites for this course, though some exposure to political science or economics is useful.


INTR 246 Religious Nationalism
Aaron Hughes
Spring 2023 — TR 14:00 - 15:15
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Recent years have seen a renewed sense of nationalism, only this time tinged with an underlying and powerful religious dimension. This class seeks to illumine this religious nationalism from a comparative perspective. Using an analytical frame, we will examine the historical rise of religious nationalism, its key elements and defining features, before examining a set of particular case studies (e.g., India, Pakistan, Israel, the United States).


PSCI/INTR 253 Comparative Political Parties
Bonnie M. Meguid
Spring 2023 ("W" Optional) — M 12:30 - 15:15
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This seminar examines the nature of political parties and political competition across democracies in the developed and developing worlds. Issues analyzed include the formation of different types of parties, their role in agenda-setting, policy-making and representation, and their transformation in the post-World War II era.


PSCI/INTR 254 Fascism: Politics, History, and Culture
Kevin A. Clarke
Spring 2023 ("W" Optional) — TR 12:30 - 13:45
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Fascism is a common term of political opprobrium, but few know what it actually means. This course examines the ideologies and practices of fascist movements to understand both the past and the present. Students learn about the economic, political, and cultural circumstances from which fascism emerged, and we consider the fascist obsession with national, sexual, and racial identity. Class time is divided between lecture and discussion; students are encouraged to participate.


PSCI/INTR 260 Democratic Erosion
Gretchen Helmke
Spring 2023 ("W" Optional) — TR 12:30 - 13:45
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Is American democracy under threat? What about democracy in the West, or the world more generally? How can we detect if democracies are eroding? Democratic Erosion is a new upper-level undergraduate seminar, based on a cross-university collaboration, which is aimed at evaluating threats to democracy both in the United States and abroad through the lens of theory, history and social science. Importantly, the class is not intended as a partisan critique, but rather teaches students how to answer questions about democratic erosion using both analytical and empirical tools.


PSCI 282 Making Public Policy
Sergio Montero
Spring 2023 ("W" Optional) — MW 14:00 - 15:15
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What should governments do? What can governments do? What do policymakers want to do? This course examines these questions from the perspective of modern political economy. The perspective is twofold: it comprises both a set of tools (mathematical modeling and rigorous empirical analysis) and a fundamental premise that public policy is the outcome of rational, strategic choices by self-interested policymakers who face institutional constraints that shape their incentives and limit their scope of action. The course begins by discussing normative considerations about what might constitute "good" public policy. It then explores areas where public policy has the potential to improve social welfare in a modern economy. Finally, it analyzes how the political process influences policymakers' actual choices. Special attention is given to key differences between developed and developing countries.


PSCI 284 Democratic Theory
James Johnson
Spring 2023 — MW 10:25 - 11:40
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This advanced undergraduate course in political theory focuses on various topics in democratic theory such as the relation between democracy and other basic political principles (liberty, equality, justice), whether democratic institutions should best be aggregative or deliberative, and the role of referenda, lotteries and new telecommunications technology in democratic decision-making. Readings are drawn from both advocates and critics of democratic politics and will encompass historical and contemporary theorists. The class format will combine lecture and discussion.


PSCI 288 Game Theory
Tasos Kalandrakis
Spring 2023 — MW 15:25 - 16:40
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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.


PSCI/INTR 289 The Role of the State in Global Historical Perspective
Joseph E. Inikori
Spring 2023 — T 14:00 - 16:40
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The debate on the role of the state versus that of the free market in the socioeconomic process is as old as the history of political economy. We discuss the economics of state policy and the long-run historical processes that created the political & economic conditions. Students performance is based on three short essays (four typed pages each) presented to the class for discussion and thereafter revised for grading. No mid-term & final examinations.


PSCI 290 Unequal Development and State Policy: Brazil, the U.S., and Nigeria
Joseph E. Inikori
Spring 2023 — MW 10:25 - 11:40
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The 2010 Brazilian national census shows 97.2 million Afro-Brazilians and 90.6 million Whites. These two ethnic nationalities have developed unequally since the establishment of colonial Brazil by Portugal in the sixteenth century. The 2010 census shows the average income of Afro-Brazilians was less than half that of White Brazilians. In 2009, the wealth gap between White and Black American families was $236,500. The most populous African nation, Nigeria, shows similar inequality among its major ethnic nationalities. This magnitude of inequality among ethnic nationalities has given rise to serious problems in inter-group relations in the three countries. This course aims to trace, comparatively, the historical origins of the phenomenon, examine the political and economic consequences, and discuss the politics and economics of state policy designed to address it. *NOTE: Students taking this Course for ECON credit must have previously taken ECON 108*.


PSCI 296 Freedom and Domination in Black Political Philosophy
Alexander Moon
Spring 2023 — MWF 9:00 - 9:50
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This course is a survey of some of the canonical and some of the most exciting contemporary works in the field of African-American political thought. We begin with foundational texts from Walker, Delany, Douglass, Wells, Du Bois, Garvey, Baldwin, King, and Malcolm X. In the first half of the course we will focus on questions such as: What is the nature of the wrong(s) African Americans have suffered in the United States? What sustains systems of domination and exclusion? What responses, in addition to condemnation, do these systems of domination merit? What does the long history of white domination in the United States say about ideals of liberalism and democracy? And what is the way forward? In the second part of the course, we will read contemporary works dealing with reparations, collective responsibility, obligations to solidarity/allyship, and epistemologies of ignorance.


PSCI 316W Pandemics, Politics and Policies in the U.S., 1918-2020
Mical Raz
Spring 2023
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PSCI/INTR 373 Territory and Group Conflict
Hein Goemans
Spring 2023 — R 14:00 - 16:40
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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.


PSCI/INTR 393W Senior Honors Project
Spring 2023
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A year-long research project supervised by a faculty member in the department and culminating in a written work.


PSCI 394 Local Law and Politics Internships
Stuart Jordan
Spring 2023 ("W" Optional)
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Students in the Local Law and Politics Internships work 10-15 hours per week in one of a variety of internships in policy, politics and law in the Rochester area. Possible internship placements include the district offices of state and federal legislators, the City of Rochester municipal government, policy research and advocacy organizations, and the Monroe County District Attorney's and Public Defender's offices. Students supplement their hands-on learning with a series of short research-based writing assignments related to their internships. Contact professor Stu Jordan to learn how to apply. Students must have a B average and must be a sophomore, junior or senior to be eligible.


PSCI 394B European Political Internship: Belgium
Spring 2023
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[G] Special application required. Please contact Professor Stu Jordan for more information.


PSCI/INTR 394C Washington Semester Internship
Stuart Jordan
Spring 2023
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Please contact Professor Stu Jordan for more information.


PSCI 394F Health Policy Internship
Molly McNulty
Spring 2023
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These internships are designed to give students knowledge and skills to contribute to policy and program development and operations related to health policy in the Greater Rochester community. This course requires an application. Pre-requisites: PHLT 116 or PHLT 236; juniors & seniors only. Students must use UR Student to register for this course; this course is not an independent study.


PSCI 399 Washington Semester
Stuart Jordan
Spring 2023
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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. Please contact Professor Stu Jordan for more information.


PSCI 405 Causal Inference
Anderson Frey
Spring 2023 — TR 9:40 - 10:55
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The goal of this course is to give students a comprehensive toolbox for reading and producing cutting-edge applied empirical research, with focus on the theory and practice behind causal inference in social sciences. We will cover treatment effects, experiments, panel data, differences-in-differences, instrumental variables, nonparametric regression, regression discontinuity, matching, synthetic control, and more. Students will read applied papers from both political science and economics, and write review reports examining research designs, identification strategies, and causal claims. They will also produce research proposals that will be presented in class. Applications will be taught with R.


PSCI 408 Positive Political Theory II
Tasos Kalandrakis
Spring 2023 — MW 10:00 - 11:30
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This course is part of a rigorous introduction to the main concepts and results in positive political theory. It is the second half of a two-course sequence consisting of PSC 407 and PSC 408. This course will focus on the basics of game theory, which analyzes individual behavior in strategic situations. It will also cover the mathematical tools required to express the theory. Examples and applications will be drawn from several different areas in political science, including the American Congress, voting, international relations, political economy, and law.


PSCI 507 Experiments in Political Science Research
Scott Abramson
Spring 2023 — TR 11:05 - 12:20
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Researchers in comparative politics, American politics, international relations, political methodology, and political theory increasingly rely on data collected from various types of experiments to answer important questions in their fields. This graduate-level class is designed to introduce students to experimental techniques and the applications of experiments in political science. Students who take this course should have completed causal inference (PSC 504). While this is primarily a seminar course, students will cover statistical material and get a hands-on introduction to programming tools for experimental research in R. This course is not specific to a particular subfield; students will get exposure to a wide range of experimental methods (lab experiments, field experiments, surveys, etc.) used across different research areas.


PSCI 540 American Political Institutions
David Primo
Spring 2023 — M 14:00 - 16:40
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This course aims to provide graduate students with a foundation from which to conduct original research on U.S. political institutions. We will survey theoretical and empirical literature across areas of focus in the sub-field of U.S. politics. We will also explore perspectives on the institutions-based approach to research, especially in the context of U.S. politics. In addition to reading published research, students will gain exposure to a set of "workhorse" models and empirical strategies that practitioners rely upon when conducting research on U.S. political institutions. Students will be expected to participate actively in class discussions as well as to lead some discussions of assigned articles. The central assignment will be the development of a research proposal that demonstrates promise for development into a publishable paper.

This course is one of two core courses in the U.S. politics sequence, with the other laying the foundation for conducting original research on U.S. political behavior. The two may be taken in either order. The prerequisites for this class include the first semester of the graduate theory and methods training.


PSCI 556 Political Institutions and Behavior
Bonnie M. Meguid
Spring 2023 — T 14:00 - 16:40
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This course introduces the most distinctive configurations of democratic political institutions and the behaviors of citizens and elites that they induce. The political institutions include election rules, parliamentary and presidential executives, strong and weak legislatures, political parties and party systems. The behaviors studied include ideological and clientelistic party strategies and citizen voting, government formation and policymaking, and efforts to influence and to avoid constraints. We will consider multiple research approaches, the dynamics of stability and change, comparisons to electoral authoritarianism, and the effects of context.


PSCI 559 Historical Political Economy
Alexander Lee
Spring 2023 — F 9:30 - 12:10
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This course will introduce students to the vast and growing literature that uses modern methodological techniques to examine historical events and the historical origins of the modern world. Topics include colonialism, social inequality, the effects of conflict and critical junctures.


PSCI 573 Territory and Group Conflict
Hein Goemans
Spring 2023 — R 14:00 - 16:40
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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.


PSCI 576 Graduate Research Seminar
Sergio Montero, Lawrence Rothenberg
Spring 2023 — F 10:25 - 11:40
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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.


PSCI 586 Voting and Elections
Mark Fey
Spring 2023 — W 12:30 - 15:15
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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.


PSCI 587 Structural Modeling and Estimation
Sergio Montero
Spring 2023 — TR 9:40 - 10:15
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By blending formal theory and statistical inference, 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, running the gamut from individual choice to strategic interaction, both static and dynamic. Depending on student interest, applications from political science, economics, finance, and marketing may be considered, but emphasis will be placed on the methodology with the aim of helping students expand their research toolkit.


PSCI 589 Social choice, Bargaining, and Elections
John Duggan
Spring 2023 — MW 10:00 - 12:00
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The course covers the primary results in preference aggregation and applies them to models of elections and policy-making. The focus of the course is especially on dynamic models of politics. We begin by studying Arrow's theorem and majority voting, we review the workhorse models of elections in the political economy literature, and we use these models to study taxation and inequality, interest groups and lobbying, etc. In the second part of the course, we extend the analysis to repeated elections and electoral accountability. We cover the literature on political agency with moral hazard and adverse selection. The course will consist of a mix of lectures, discussion, and student presentation of assigned readings.