PSCI 238 Business and Politics

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  • Spring 2022
    David Primo
    Spring 2022 — MW 11:50 - 13:05
    Course Syllabus

    Consider this real-world scenario: You are the CEO of a major corporation, and a new US president takes office who has pledged to implement government rules that would hurt your industry. How do you respond? You may think this scenario refers to President Donald Trump, but he was hardly the first president to attack corporations (although his tactics were certainly unorthodox). In 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama promised to enact a windfall profits tax on oil companies if elected, and in 2021, President Joe Biden laid out an agenda to take on "Big Tech." The lesson? Regardless of who is control of government, managers must incorporate factors outside of markets - including government, public opinion, activists, and the mass media - into decision making and strategy building. In this course we will use the tools of political science and economics to study how businesses affect and are affected by politics. In addition to studying how laws and regulations get made in the United States, we will devote several classes to corporate social responsibility, brand activism, and employee activism. Class sessions will be interactive and feature in-depth discussions of real-world topics and cases in industries including finance and e-commerce.

  • Spring 2020
    David Primo
    Spring 2020 — TR 11:05 - 12:20
    Course Syllabus

    Consider this real-world scenario: You are the CEO of a major corporation, and a new US president takes office who has pledged to implement government rules that would hurt your industry. How do you respond? You may think this scenario refers to President Donald Trump, but he was hardly the first president to attack corporations (although his tactics were certainly unorthodox). In 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama promised to enact a windfall profits tax on oil companies if elected, and in 2021, President Joe Biden laid out an agenda to take on "Big Tech." The lesson? Regardless of who is control of government, managers must incorporate factors outside of markets - including government, public opinion, activists, and the mass media - into decision making and strategy building. In this course we will use the tools of political science and economics to study how businesses affect and are affected by politics. In addition to studying how laws and regulations get made in the United States, we will devote several classes to corporate social responsibility, brand activism, and employee activism. Class sessions will be interactive and feature in-depth discussions of real-world topics and cases in industries including finance and e-commerce.

  • Fall 2015
    David Primo
    Fall 2015 — TR 12:30 - 13:45
    Course Syllabus

    The focus of this course is the conflict and cooperation between business and government, with an emphasis on U.S. domestic politics. We will cover a broad range of issues affecting the business world, including regulation, lawmaking, the mass media, interest group activism, and crisis management. The course will connect ongoing political debates to theory, and guest speakers will bring their business and political experience to our class. Each meeting will feature a general topic, as well as in-depth analyses of real-world cases related to that topic. What happens when Wal-Mart tries to open a new store in a city with strong unions? Who is opposed to grocery stores selling wine, and why? How did General Motors fight back against a media report critical of its products? Is "corporate social responsibility" actually irresponsible? These are just a few of the questions we'll answer during the semester, all while developing an understanding of what happens when politics meets economics.

  • Fall 2014
    David Primo
    Fall 2014 — TR 12:30 - 13:45
    Course Syllabus

    The focus of this course is the conflict and cooperation between business and government, with an emphasis on U.S. domestic politics. We will cover a broad range of issues affecting the business world, including regulation, lawmaking, the mass media, interest group activism, and crisis management. The course will connect ongoing political debates to theory, and guest speakers will bring their business and political experience to our class. Each meeting will feature a general topic, as well as in-depth analyses of real-world cases related to that topic. What happens when Wal-Mart tries to open a new store in a city with strong unions? Who is opposed to grocery stores selling wine, and why? How did General Motors fight back against a media report critical of its products? Is "corporate social responsibility" actually irresponsible? These are just a few of the questions we'll answer during the semester, all while developing an understanding of what happens when politics meets economics.

  • Fall 2013
    David Primo
    Fall 2013 — TR 12:30 - 13:45
    Course Syllabus

    The focus of this course is the conflict and cooperation between business and government, with an emphasis on U.S. domestic politics. We will cover a broad range of issues affecting the business world, including regulation, lawmaking, the mass media, interest group activism, and crisis management. The course will connect ongoing political debates to theory, and guest speakers will bring their business and political experience to our class. Each meeting will feature a general topic, as well as in-depth analyses of real-world cases related to that topic. What happens when Wal-Mart tries to open a new store in a city with strong unions? Who is opposed to grocery stores selling wine, and why? How did General Motors fight back against a media report critical of its products? Is "corporate social responsibility" actually irresponsible? These are just a few of the questions we'll answer during the semester, all while developing an understanding of what happens when politics meets economics.

  • Fall 2012
    David Primo
    Fall 2012 — TR 12:30 - 13:45
    Course Syllabus

    The focus of this course is the conflict and cooperation between business and government, with an emphasis on U.S. domestic politics. We will cover a broad range of issues affecting the business world, including regulation, lawmaking, the mass media, interest group activism, and crisis management. The course will connect ongoing political debates to theory, and guest speakers will bring their business and political experience to our class. Each meeting will feature a general topic, as well as in-depth analyses of real-world cases related to that topic. What happens when Wal-Mart tries to open a new store in a city with strong unions? Who is opposed to grocery stores selling wine, and why? How did General Motors fight back against a media report critical of its products? Is "corporate social responsibility" actually irresponsible? These are just a few of the questions we'll answer during the semester, all while developing an understanding of what happens when politics meets economics.

  • Fall 2009
    David Primo
    Fall 2009 — TR 11:05 - 12:20
    Course Syllabus

    Consider this real-world scenario: You are the CEO of a major corporation, and a new US president takes office who has pledged to implement government rules that would hurt your industry. How do you respond? You may think this scenario refers to President Donald Trump, but he was hardly the first president to attack corporations (although his tactics were certainly unorthodox). In 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama promised to enact a windfall profits tax on oil companies if elected, and in 2021, President Joe Biden laid out an agenda to take on "Big Tech." The lesson? Regardless of who is control of government, managers must incorporate factors outside of markets - including government, public opinion, activists, and the mass media - into decision making and strategy building. In this course we will use the tools of political science and economics to study how businesses affect and are affected by politics. In addition to studying how laws and regulations get made in the United States, we will devote several classes to corporate social responsibility, brand activism, and employee activism. Class sessions will be interactive and feature in-depth discussions of real-world topics and cases in industries including finance and e-commerce.