A commonsensical survey of rational theories of politics, comprised of four segments: (1) individual choice, (2) group choice, (3) collective action, and (4) institutions. The underlying theme is that politics may be described and understood in terms of rational, goal-seeking behavior by citizens, politicians, bureaucrats, and interest groups in various institutional settings.
This seminar explores the role of political institutions in the formation, implementation, and regulation of economic policy. We examine research traditions in the positive theory of political institutions, and in comparative and international political economy, and apply them to several substantive issue areas.
In this research seminar we explore various aspects of American politics. Some of our exploration will take us to traditional sources – contributions now part of the research lore. Other research papers are more current and cutting edge. Throughout we shall be attempting to unpack and dissect research with an eye to figuring out what we know, how we know what we know, how confident we are in what we know, and how we convey what we know to others.
Intended for graduate students in the third year and above, this course welcomes scholarship of all types and on all aspects of political economy. Intended to provide a venue in which to develop and to debate work in progress.