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GOVT 6242 : Experiment and Survey Design
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course is designed to provide doctoral students in political science with an introduction to experiment and survey design. Students will discuss all major types of experiments (e.g. field, lab, survey, natural, and economics), methods for analyzing experimental data, and methods for designing questionnaires that appear in experiments. The goal will be to convey a rich appreciation for the possibilities that experimental research offers, as well as a thoughtful understanding of the shortcomings of this research method. In addition, students will gain valuable knowledge in questionnaire design that can be used not only in experiments but in all forms of research that involve surveys (such as focus groups, one-on-one interviews, etc.).  
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GOVT 6215 : Michel Foucault: Sovereignty to BioPolitics
Crosslisted as: ASRC 6212, ENGL 6912 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Grant Farred
This course will explore the ways in which Michel Foucault's oeuvre transitions from a concern with sovereignty to a preoccupation with biopolitics. Foucault's early work (one understands that there is no absolute Foucaultian division into "sovereignty" and "biopolitics"), such as "Madness and Civilization," attends to the structure, the construction and the force of the institution -- the birth of asylum, the prison, while his later career takes up the question of, for want of a better term, "political efficiency." That is, Foucault offers a critique of sovereignty insofar as sovereignty is inefficient (neither the sovereign nor sovereign power can be everywhere; certainly not everywhere it needs or wants to be; ubiquity is impossible, even/especially for a project such as sovereignty) while biopower is not. Biopower marks this recognition; in place of sovereignty biopower "devolves" to the individual subject the right, always an intensely political phenomenon, to make decisions about everyday decisions -- decisions about health, sexuality, "lifestyle." In tracing the foucaultian trajectory from sovereignty to biopower we will read the major foucaultian texts -- "Madness and Civilization," "Birth of the Prison," "History of Sexuality" as well as the various seminars where Foucault works out important issues.
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GOVT 6202 : Political Culture
Crosslisted as: AMST 6202, ANTHR 6102, HIST 6202, SOC 6200 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course will explore the relationship between popular belief, political action, and the institutional deployment of social power. The class will be roughly divided in three parts, opening with a discussion of how the material world influences the culture of a society. The middle section will connect culture to political ideology, including symbolism and the construction of group identity. The last part of the course will consider ways in which cultural symbols and ideology can be manipulated in order to legitimate government authority. We will then, coming full circle, trace how political regimes can influence the social practices from which culture originates.
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GOVT 6053 : Comparative Method in International and Comparative Politics
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
An in-depth, graduate-level introduction to qualitative and comparative methods of political analysis, with special emphasis on the application of these methods in comparative and international politics. Through readings, discussions, and written assignments, students will explore strategies for concept formation, theory construction, and theory testing, using the craft and tools of comparative political analysis.
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GOVT 6045 : Law and Literature
Crosslisted as: ENGL 3762, ENGL 6710, LAW 6710 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Elizabeth Anker
What can lawyers and judges learn from the study of literature? This course explores the relevance of imaginative literature (novels, drama, poetry, and film) to questions of law and social justice from a range of perspectives. We will consider debates about how literature can help to humanize legal decision-making; how storytelling has helped to give voice to oppressed populations over history; how narratives of suffering cultivate popular support for human rights; the role played by storytelling in a trial; and how literature can shed light on the limits of law and public policy.
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GOVT 6031 : Field Seminar in American Politics
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The major issues, approaches, and institutions of American government and the various subfields of American politics are introduced. The focus is on both substantive information and theoretical analysis, plus identification of big questions that have animated the field.
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GOVT 6029 : Advanced Regression Analysis
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course builds upon 6019, covering in detail the interpretation and estimation of multivariate linear regression models. We derive the Ordinary Least Squares estimator and its characteristics using matrix algebra and determine the conditions under which it achieves statistical optimality. We then consider the circumstances in social scientific contexts which commonly lead to assumption violations, and the detection and implications of these problems. This leads to modified regression estimators that can offer limited forms of robustness in some of these cases. Finally, we briefly introduce likelihood-based techniques that incorporate assumptions about the distribution of the response variable, focusing on logistic regression for binary dependent variables. Students are expected to produce a research paper built around a quantitative analysis that is suitable for presentation at a professional conference. Some time will be spent reviewing matrix algebra, and discussing ways to implement computations using statistical software.
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GOVT 6011 : The American State
Crosslisted as: AMST 6011 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The American state is depicted by many scholars as small and unusual, and yet in many respects it has been at least as involved in American society and the economy as that of other nations. How is the work of governance carried out in the United States? What kinds of institutional arrangements are employed, and how have they developed? What are the consequences for governance? Answering these questions immerses us in the study of American political development to assess the evolution, character, and scope of the administrative state and of other arrangements-typically channeled through the private sector-through which the nation implements public policies. In the processes, the course grapples with analytical questions about processes of political change and considers a variety of theoretical approaches. Variants of "new institutionalism" will be highlighted, as well as reflections on the puzzles of American exceptionalism. The body of the course will investigate such topics as the development of public bureaucracy, the emergence of the civil service, and the evolution of the regulatory state and the welfare state. The course examines the late nineteenth century through the present, focusing primarily on the twentieth century.
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GOVT 4999 : Undergraduate Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
One-on-one tutorial arranged by the student with a faculty member of his or her choosing. Open to government majors doing superior work, and it is the responsibility of the student to establish the research proposal and to find a faculty sponsor. Applicants for independent study must present a well-defined program of study that cannot be satisfied by pursuing courses in the regularly scheduled curriculum. No more than 4 credits of independent study may count toward fulfillment of the major. Students who elect to continue taking this course for more than one semester must select a new theme or subject each semester. Credit can be given only for work that results in a satisfactory amount of writing. Emphasis is on the capacity to subject a body of related readings to analysis and criticism. Keep in mind that independent study cannot be used to fulfill the seminar requirement. The application form for independent study must be completed at the beginning of the semester in which the course is being taken.
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GOVT 4959 : Honors Thesis: Research and Writing
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
GOVT 4959 is the second semester of honors thesis research, limited to students who have completed GOVT 4949 - Honors Seminar: Thesis Clarification and Research. There is no formal class meeting. Instead, students will work on their own, with their advisers and other faculty they may consult. Following the plan developed in the fall semester, they will proceed to gather and analyze data or texts, turning in thesis chapters to the adviser on a regular schedule that the student and adviser develop.
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