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Course List

PSCI 227 Designing American Democracy

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  • Spring 2020
    Dan Alexander
    Spring 2020 — TR 9:40 - 10:55
    Course Syllabus

    When can Congress agree on the best policy for the country (and what does "best" even mean)? How does the electoral college affect Presidential campaigns? How does the Supreme Court choose what cases to hear? This course uses a rigorous set of tools, including game theory and statistics, as well as a wide-range of historical and contemporary readings to help students understand the structure of American government in theory and practice. With these tools, we will study US electoral systems, Congress, the Presidency and the executive branch, federalism, and the courts, with a focus on the challenges of group decision making and the inevitable conflicts that arise between the branches of government as well as between the government and the rest of society. Students will leave the course with a deeper understanding of the many ongoing debates around the design of American democracy. No prior background in game theory or statistics is necessary for this course.

  • Spring 2018
    Gregory Sasso
    Spring 2018 — MW 11:50 - 13:05
    Course Syllabus

    When can Congress agree on the best policy for the country (and what does "best" even mean)? How does the electoral college affect Presidential campaigns? How does the Supreme Court choose what cases to hear? This course uses a rigorous set of tools including game theory to help students understand the structure of American government. With these tools, we will study US electoral systems, Congress, the Presidency and the executive branch, federalism, and the courts, with a focus on the challenges of group decision making and the inevitable conflicts that arise between the branches of government. Students will leave the course with a deeper understanding of how rules and strategy shape U.S. democracy. No prior background in game theory is necessary for this course.

  • Spring 2017
    Michael Gibilisco
    Spring 2017 — MW 11:50 - 13:05
    Course Syllabus

    Why does the U.S. Constitution feature separation of powers and protect states' rights? Should the Senate have a filibuster? When can Congress agree on the best policy for the country (and what does "best" even mean)? This course uses a rigorous set of tools including game theory to help students understand the structure of American government. With these tools, we will study US electoral systems, Congress, federalism, and the courts, with a focus on understanding how the country has tried to overcome the challenges of group decision making and the inevitable conflicts that arise between the branches of government. Students will leave the course with a deeper understanding of how rules and strategy shape U.S. democracy. No prior background in game theory is necessary for this course.