All politics is global politics. Global flows of trade, capital and labor transform societies, unleash new political movements and challenge existing political institutions. States and other actors respond in ways that impose costs on other states, creating crises and opportunities for cooperation. This course will broadly survey the politics of international economics, focusing in particular on trade and finance. Along the way, it will introduce students to a range of economic models, but it will assume no prior exposure to economics.
This course will introduce students to the foundations of American government. Students will examine important political institutions and the linkage mechanisms that connect institutions, political actors, and ordinary American citizens. This course is appropriate for majors and non-majors with an interest in understanding how and why the American political system works as it does. Students will be graded on two midterms, a final exam, and short writing assignments.
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. Core topics include descriptive statistics, probability, hypothesis testing, and linear regression. 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.
This course builds on PSC 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. We will examine models for binary data, durations, counts, censoring and truncation, self-selection, and strategic 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. Prerequisites: Students should have taken a course (such as PSC 200, ECO 230, STT 211, STT 212, STT 213, or STT 214) that introduces them to hypothesis tests, confidence intervals, and linear regression. Students who have not used R in a previous course should familiarize themselves with it prior to the first class. Specifically, students should be able to load a data set, print summary statistics, create a scatterplot, and conduct linear regression.
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.
The course introduces the legal and social justice frameworks for urgent public health issues, such as vaccinations, tobacco regulation and gun control.
In this course we will use the tools of political science and economics to study how corporations affect and are affected by politics. Each meeting will feature a general topic as well as in-depth analysis of cases related to that topic. We will cover a broad range of issues affecting the business world, including regulation, lawmaking, the mass media, interest group mobilization, and corporate social responsibility. Cases will be drawn from areas such as antitrust, transportation,health care, and the environment. Course meetings will generally begin with a short lecture followed by extensive class discussion.
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.
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.
An examination of the role of environmental organizations in the development and implementation of environmental policy through experiential and academic learning. This is a small class that meets once a week. Through assigned readings, discussion and lectures, we will examine how environmental groups are formed, organized, funded and staffed to fulfill various objectives, and how the role/mission they play in developing and implementing environmental policy has evolved. Students will deepen their understanding of these issues through first-hand experience working on "real world" research for a local environmental organization. Each student will be responsible for a final paper examining these issues through the lens of a particular conservation or environmental group, completion of the project for the environmental group partner, and class discussion/participation. This course is instructor permission only and is limited to upper level students. PSC 246 or PSC 239 is a prerequisite.
Why are some countries poor, while others enjoy a high standard of living? Why some enjoy stability and freedoms, while others suffer with corruption, repression and violence? Why countries stagnate or decline in their economic development. This course is designed to provide a broad theoretical framework for thinking about these problems, focusing on the political and institutional causes of differences in economic development across countries. Topics include the role of political systems, leaders, and institutions in economic growth. The relationship between development and ethnic and class conflict, corruption, culture, the organization of state, electoral rules, and democratization. The role of Western intervention in the developing world, from slavery to modern foreign aid.
Why are some societies plagued by endemic violence and others peaceful? How do peaceful, ordered societies emerge and persist? This course answers these questions by examining the origins of political order over a long-span of human history. Using the tools of modern social science as well as historical and anthropological source material we will explore how states emerged from anarchy, how they have come to control the use of force, and the implications of political order for material well-being and prosperity. Each student is expected to develop and briefly present a research paper which investigates a relevant issue of interest.
Addresses the question of when and where civil wars occur and what their effects are domestically and internationally. Also examine role played by external actors in civil war, such as financial support to governments or insurgents, armed interventions, and peacekeeping missions.
The last ten years or so have seen a major revolution in the social sciences. Instead of trying to discover and test grand "covering laws" that have universal validity and tremendous scope (think Newton's gravity or Einstein's relativity), the social sciences are in the process of switching to more narrow and middle-range theories and explanations, often referred to as causal mechanisms. Mechanisms play a crucial role in this new conception of theory in the social sciences. In this course we will examine one particular mechanism each week and see how it has been applied in international political economy and/or security studies. Students will be introduced to formal reasoning in an informal manner. We will explore several substantive themes, such as the "democratic peace," ethnic conflict and international trade to illustrate the mechanisms and cumulative potential of this research approach.
In recent decades a number of important intellectual intersections have emerged between political science and economics. The course will explore these intersections as they appear in the work of several scholars who have won the Nobel Prize in economics. Our aim is to explore the analytical, explanatory and normative implications of this work in hopes of discerning lessons for thinking about enduring political issues and institutions. Some prior course work in economics or political science will be helpful but is not required.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this course, we will examine the linear regression model and its variants. The course has two goals: (1) to provide students with the statistical theory of the linear model, and (2) to provide students with skills for analyzing data. The linear model is a natural starting point for understanding regression models in general, inferences based on them, and problems with our inferences due to data issues or to model misspecification. The model's relative tractability has made it an attractive tool for political scientists, resulting in volumes of research using the methods studied here. Familiarity with the linear model is now essentially required if one wants to be a consumer or producer of modern political science research.
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.
This course introduces the process of conducting research in political science and presenting this research orally and in writing
Substantive questions in empirical social science research are often causal. Does voter outreach increase turnout? Do political institutions affect economic development? Are job training programs effective? This class will introduce students to both the theory and the practice behind making these kinds of causal inferences. We will cover causal identification, potential outcomes, experiments, matching, regression, difference-in-differences, instrumental variables estimation, regression discontinuity designs, sensitivity analysis, dynamic causal inference, and more. The course will draw upon examples from political science, economics, sociology, public health, and public policy.
This course is designed for graduate students intending to pursue political methodology as a major field. It covers advanced statistical methods that are not yet standard fare in political methodology courses: e.g., semiparametric methods, nonparametric regression, time-series econometrics, Bayesian methods, and ideal point estimation. Course content will vary year to year, and this semester will focus more heavily on Bayesian methods, simulation-based estimation, and ideal point estimation. As a research workshop, this course also allows students to pursue areas of individual interest in more depth, and therefore course content is determined based on the interests of both the professor and the students. Prerequisites: PSC 404, PSC 405, and PSC 505.
This course principally introduces students to the political science and political economy literatures on interest groups, with a special focus on how these groups operate in the context of American politics (however, contrast with other advanced and the European Union are included). This will include developing an understanding of the makeup of the group system, the contribution decision, the internal politics of organizations, and the role that groups play with respect to formal political institutions.
This course examines statistical issues relevant to the study of international politics. We will consider issues such as strategic decision making, geographic interdependence, temporal dynamics, and the operationalization of major concepts, such as power. Of particular interest will be the use and limitations of dyadic data and cross-sectional time series data. Prerequisites: PSC 505 and PSC 572 (or similar course) required; PSC 506 recommended.
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.