Political Science (PS) Graduate Courses (2017-18)
PS 101. Selected Topics in Political Science. Units to be determined by arrangement with the instructor: offered by announcement. Instructor: Staff.
PS 120. American Electoral Behavior and Party Strategy. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. A consideration of existing literature on the voting behavior of the citizen, and an examination of theoretical and empirical views of the strategies followed by the parties. Two substantial papers are expected of students. Not offered 2017-18.
PS 121. Analyzing Congress. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. Introduction to the US Congress with an emphasis on thinking analytically and empirically about the determinants of Congressional behavior. Among the factors examined are the characteristics and incentives of legislators, rules governing the legislative process and internal organization, separation of powers, political parties, Congressional elections, and interest group influence. Instructor: Hirsch.
PS 122. Political Representation. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Theory, practice, and consequence of political representation in the electoral context. Topics include the concept of representation; how the degree of representation of various groups and interests (such as ethnic and racial) is affected by different electoral rules; and the impact of representation of minorities on public policies. The primary focus is on the empirical literature pertaining to the United States, but examples from other countries are also examined for comparative purposes. Not offered 2017-18.
PS 123. Regulation and Politics. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. This course will examine the historical origins of several regulatory agencies and trace their development over the past century or so. It will also investigate a number of current issues in regulatory politics, including the great discrepancies that exist in the cost-effectiveness of different regulations, and the advent of more market-based approaches to regulations instead of traditional "command-and-control." Not offered on a pass/fail basis. Instructor: Kiewiet.
PS 125. Analyzing Political Conflict and Violence. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. This course examines the causes of and solutions for conflict and violence: Why do wars occur and how do we stop them? We cover topics such as terrorism, ethnic violence, civil wars, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, repression, revolutions, and inter-state wars. We study these phenomena using the rational choice framework and modern tools in data analysis. The goals of the class are to explain conflicts and their terminations as outcomes of strategic decision-making and to understand the empirical strengths and weakness of current explanations. Instructor: Gibilisco.
An/PS 127. Corruption. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Corruption taxes economies and individuals in both the developing and the developed world. We will examine what corruption means in different places and contexts, from grand financial scandals to misappropriation of development funds, ethnic patronage, and the theft of elections. How do we measure it? What are its costs and social consequences? What are its correlates? Does freedom of information matter? Students will read across a range of topics, and write an in-depth research paper on one topic. Limited enrollment. Instructor: Ensminger.
PS 130. Introduction to Social Science Surveys: Methods and Practice. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. In this course, students will learn the basic methodologies behind social science survey analysis: self-completion and interview-assisted surveying, sampling theory, questionnaire design, theories of survey response, and the basic analysis and presentation of survey results will be covered, as well as contemporary research in survey methodology and public opinion analysis. Students will be involved in the active collection and analysis of survey data and the presentation of survey results; students will be required to complete an independent project involving some aspect of survey methodology. Not offered 2017-18.
PS 132. Formal Theories in Political Science. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. Axiomatic structure and behavioral interpretations of game theoretic and social choice models and models of political processes based on them. Instructor: Agranov.
PS 135. Analyzing Legislative Elections. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. The purpose of this course is to understand legislative elections. The course will study, for example, what role money plays in elections and why incumbents do better at the polls. It will also examine how electoral rules impact the behavior both of candidates and voters, and will explore some of the consequences of legislative elections, such as divided government. Instructor: Katz.
PS/SS 139. Comparative Politics. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. The politics of non-American political systems with an emphasis on their electoral systems and methodologies for assessing their compliance with democratic standards. Students will be expected to develop data sets appropriate to analyzing elections in individual countries and offering an assessment of the pervasiveness of fraud in those elections. The student's grade will be determined by a final written report reporting the methodology and results of their analysis. Instructor: Lopez-Moctezuma.
PS 141 ab. A History of Budgetary Politics in the United States. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. This class will examine budgetary conflict at key junctures in U.S. history. Topics include the struggle to establish a viable fiscal system in the early days of the Republic, the ante bellum tariff, the "pension politics" of the post-Civil War era, the growth of the American welfare state, and the battle over tax and entitlement reform in the 1980s and 1990s. Instructor: Kiewiet.
Ec/PS 160 abc. Laboratory Experiments in the Social Sciences. 9 units (3-3-3): first, second, third terms. An examination of recent work in laboratory testing in the social sciences with particular reference to work done in social psychology, economics, and political science. Students are required to design and conduct experiments. Instructor: Plott.
PS/Ec 172. Game Theory. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. This course is an introduction to non-cooperative game theory, with applications to political science and economics. It covers the theories of normal-form games and extensive-form games, and introduces solutions concepts that are relevant for situations of complete and incomplete information. The basic theory of repeated games is introduced. Applications are to auction theory and asymmetric information in trading models, cheap talk and voting rules in congress, among many others. Instructor: Tamuz.