POLS 301 Schedule, Fall 2015 

Reading Schedule--  This will be further revised in August. 


Readings in the table are identified by author—see the bibliography, below, for complete citations.  Other readings will occasionally be added.  Be sure to check the assignments page for work that is due on particular days. 


Sept. 7.  Classes begin tomorrow.

Sept 9.   Introduction, syllabus.  How do we study politics?  Why do it?  

Sept. 14.   What are interesting problems to study?  Read Booth, chapters 1, 2; Lindblom, chapters 1, 2; and Althaus.

Sept. 16.   Thinking about interesting problems.  Read Booth, chapters 3, 4; and Lindblom, chapters 3, 4.

Sept. 21.  “Impaired Probing.”  Read Lindblom, chapters 5 through 8, and Crayton (Shelby Amicus).

Sept. 26.   What role does social science play in the political world?  Read Lindblom, chapters 9 through 12; and Mills.

Sept. 28.   Connections and Theories; Concepts and Variables.  Read King & Smith; and Gilens.  Also, Bring two possible paper topics to class. 

Sept. 30.   Paper Topics Workshop, and Working with Sources.  Read Booth, chapters 5 & 6; and Pinkney. 

Prepare for Find Sources Exercise.

Oct. 5.   Find Sources Exercise. Also, revisit Paper Topics Workshop.

Oct. 7.  More Concepts, Variables, and Hypotheses, in Arguments.  Read Booth, chapters 7 through 11.  Diagram the model in King & Smith.

Oct. 12.   Arguments, continued.  Apply the argumentation standards in Booth to Putnam, and to your own project.  Also Read McClellan. 

Oct. 14.   Policy Arguments.  Read Meehan.  Exercises in applying the approach.  Prepare for Find Sources Exercise 2.  (Topic: Predicting election outcomes)

Oct. 19.   Find Sources Exercise 2.  Review Gilens.  Further on Policy Arguments. 

Oct. 21.  More Policy Arguments.  Read  Pollack, Podhoretz, and Matthews.  Do each meet the standards for policy papers assigned in this class?

Oct. 26.  Making sense of tabular and graphic presentations.  Read Booth, chapters 15 & 16; Stevenson (Happiness) and Clinton.

Oct. 28.  Policy Papers are Due.  Read White, and Bartels.  Identify how the authors measured variables and relationships. 

Nov. 2.  Planning and Drafting your Paper.  Read Booth chapters 12 & 13. 

Nov. 7.  Outline and Diagram your project.  Read Booth, chapter 17. 

Nov. 9.  Paper workshop. 

Nov. 11.  Paper Drafts are Due. 

Nov. 16.  Individual Paper Meetings. 

Nov. 18.  Individual Paper Meetings. 

Nov. 23.  Paper consulting day. 

Nov. 25.  Thanksgiving Holiday. 

Nov. 30.  Applications.  Read  Lindblom, chapters 13 through 16; and Smith. 

Dec. 2.  Final Papers are Due. 

Dec. 7.  Discussion of Papers.

Dec. 9.  Discussion of Papers.

Final Examination Period:  Tuesday, December 15, 11-12:50. 



required texts

·      Booth, et.al., The Craft of Research, Third Edition, University of Chicago Press  (ISBN-13 = 978-0226065663)

·      Charles E. Lindblom, Inquiry and Change, Yale University Press, 1992 (ISBN-13 = 9780300056679)

·      A writing manual, which may be online.  Perhaps the best out there is Purdue Owl, a guide to many writing issues.  Get familiar with it.  The main advantage of the online version is it is free.  There are many printed handbooks, and they tend to be expensive.  The Little, Brown Handbook, any edition, set the standard long ago.  I like Lester Faigley, The Brief Penguin Handbook (NY: Longman, 2003).  Other editions are OK, too, but I like The One With The “Plastic Comb” Binding.  Anything by Dianne Hacker is good, the long or short versions. 

other assigned readings

·      Scott L. Althaus and Devon M. Largio, “When Osama Became Saddam: Origins and Consequences of the Change in America’s Public Enemy #1,” PS: Political Science & Politics October 2004. 

·      Molly W. Andolina, et.al., “Habits from Home, Lessons from School: Influences on Youth Civic Engagement,” PS: Political Science & Politics April 2003, pp. 275-80.

·      Larry M. Bartels, “Homer Gets a Tax Cut: Inequality and Public Policy in the American Mind,” Perspectives on Politics 3 (March 2005) 1: 15-31. 

·      Daniel Carpenter, “Is Health Care Politics Different?”, Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 2012. 15:287–311. 

·      Joshua D. Clinton, et.al., ““The Most Liberal Senator”? Analyzing and Interpreting Congressional Roll Calls,” PS: Political Science & Politics October 2004, pp. 805-11.

·      Kareem Crayton, et.al.,Brief Of Political Science And Law Professors As Amici Curiae In Support Of Respondents,” Shelby County, AL, vs. Eric Holder Jr., USSC No. 12-96. 

·      Henry Farrell, The Consequences of the Internet for Politics, Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 15: 35 -52 (Volume publication date June 2012).

·      Martin Gilens, “Inequality and Democratic Responsiveness,” Public Opinion Quarterly 69 (Special Issue 2005) No. 5: 778-796. 

·      Benjamin Highton, “Long Lines, Voting Machine Availability, and Turnout: The Case of Franklin County, Ohio in the 2004 Presidential Election,” PS: Political Science & Politics January 2006, pp. 65-8. 

·       Benjamin Highton (2011). Prejudice Rivals Partisanship and Ideology When Explaining the 2008 Presidential Vote across the States. PS: Political Science & Politics, 44, pp 530-535.

·      Jacobsmeier, Matthew L. and Lewis, Daniel C., Barking Up the Wrong Tree: Why Bo Won’t Fetch Many Votes for Barack Obama in 2012 PS: Political Science & Politics, January, 2013, pp. 42-59.

·      Desmond S. King and Rogers M. Smith, “Racial Orders in American Political Development,” American Political Science Review Vol. 99, No. 1 February 2005, pp. 1-19.

·      Ruth Lane, “Positivism, Scientific Realism and Political Science: Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Science,” Journal of Theoretical Politics, Vol. 8, No. 3. (1 July 1996), pp. 361-382. 

·      Pei-te Lien, et.al., “The Voting Rights Act and the Election of Nonwhite Officials, PS: Political Science and Politics, July 2007, 489-94. 

·      Kenneth W. Mack, Law And Local Knowledge In The History Of The Civil Rights Movement, Harvard Law Review [Vol. 125:1018].

·      David M. Marx and Phillip Atiba Goff, “Clearing the air: The effect of experimenter race on target's test performance and subjective experience,” British Journal of Social Psychology (2005). 44. 645-657. 

·      Jessica T. Mathews, “The Surge in Iraq Has Failed,” Carnegie Policy Outlook, The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, September 2007. 

·      Chandler B. McClellan, Erdal Tekin, “Stand Your Ground Laws, Homicides, and Injuries,” NBER Working Paper No. 18187,
issued in June 2012

·      E. J. Meehan, Reasoned Argument In Social Science (Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishers, 1982), pages ix-29, 124-9, 156-75, 177-203.

·      Branko Milanovic, “Why Did the Poorest Countries Fail to Catch Up?”, Carnegie Papers, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, No. 62, November 2005.

·      Arthur H. Miller, et.al., “Schematic Assessment of Presidential Candidates,” The American Political Science Review 80 (1986) No. 2, pp. 521-40.

·      C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination (NY: Oxford, 1959), “Appendix on Intellectual Craftsmanship.”

·      Daniel H. Nexon and Thomas Wright, “What’s at Stake in the American Empire Debate,” The American Political Science Review 101 (May 2007) No. 2, pp. 253-71. 

·      Darryl Pinckney, “Invisible Black America,” The New York Review of Books, March 10, 2011, from http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/mar/10/invisible-black-america/. 

·      Norman Podhoretz, “The Case for Bombing Iran,” Commentary June 2007, from http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/The-Case-for-Bombing-Iran-10882. 

·      Kenneth M. Pollack, “Next Stop Baghdad?”, Foreign Affairs 81 (March/April 2002) No. 2.

·      Robert D. Putnam, “Tuning in, Tuning Out: The Strange Disappearance of Social Capital in America” (Appendix A in the Hoover text.)

·      Ian Shapiro, “Notes on the Political Psychology of Redistribution,” Social Research Vol 73 : No 2 : Summer 2006. 

·      Rogers M. Smith, “Political Science and the Public Sphere,” Public Sphere Forum at http://publicsphere.ssrc.org/smith-political-science-and-the-public-sphere/.

·      D. J. Smyth and S. W. Taylor, “Presidential popularity: what matters most, macroeconomics or scandals?”, Applied Economics Letters, 2003, 10, 585–588.

·      Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, “Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 21 (Spring 2007) No. 2: 27–52.

·      Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness,” National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper 14969, http://www.nber.org/papers/w14969.

·      Kathleen Thelen, Varieties of Capitalism: Trajectories of Liberalization and the New Politics of Social Solidarity, Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 2012. 15:137–59.

·      Ismail K. White, “When Race Matters and When It Doesn’t: Racial Group Differences in Response to Racial Cues,” American Political Science Review 101 (May 2007) 2: 339-354.

·      Michelle Wolfe, Putting on the Brakes or Pressing on the Gas? Media Attention and the Speed of Policymaking, The Policy Studies Journal, Vol. 40, No. 1, 2012, 109. 

other essential readings

·      Ian Shapiro, The Flight from Reality in the Human Sciences, Princeton University Press, 2005.

·      Henry E. Brady and David Collier, eds, Rethinking Social Inquiry, 2nd ed., Rowman & Littlefield, 2010.

·      Alexander L. George and Andrew Bennett, Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences,  MIT Press 2005.