This seminar examines the shift among African-Americans from protest to politics. The emphasis is on the development and use of political resources, in particular the vehicle of electoral politics, as the means to achieve policy objectives in the post-Civil Rights Era. Beginning with the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, this course will explore the opportunities and challenges that have defined African-American political life in the last forty years, and assess the extent of African-American influence over the political process.
This course surveys the sub-field of political behavior. Of primary interest is the question of how citizens reason about politics. Topics will include uncertainty and ambivalence in political attitudes; opinion change and political learning; the structure of American political ideology; partisanship and polarization; the political salience of race and social identity; political participation; and the links between public opinion, elections, and public policy.
This course examines the nature of public opinion and political participation in America. We will explore how people acquire, organize, and apply their political beliefs and values; historical and contemporary patterns of American public opinion, with particular emphasis on shifting conflicts of values and social groups; who takes part in politics and why; and the role of the media and political campaigns in the formation of public opinion and the mobilization of the electorate.