Urban Politics and Policy (PO 516)

This course explores the impact of American urban politics on the implementation of local policy. It examines a variety of topics, including deindustrialization, white flight, neighborhood effects, housing policy, schools, and regionalism. The course begins by outlining the historical, economic, and demographic constraints that shape cities’ policy-making capacities. It then looks to understand the effects of these constraints on the contemporary implementation of urban policies, focusing on neighborhood-centered initiatives and jurisdictional-oriented programs. Syllabus

American Politics Field Seminar (PO 711)

This seminar acquaints graduate students with both classic and more recent approaches to studying major questions in American politics. Substantively, the course surveys a range of topics from civic engagement to the functioning of and interactions between political institutions to American political behavior.  Furthermore, the readings employ diverging methodologies spanning the gamut from historical-institutional analyses, to formal models of politics, to quantitative approaches. Syllabus

Inequality and American Politics (PO 505)

This course examines the role of income inequality in shaping American politics and policy. Combining research from history, political science, economics, and public policy scholars, it considers a range of important topics. The first portion of the class explores how income inequality shapes political voice; it investigates how rising inequality shapes political participation and preferences. The next section of the course examines obstacles to addressing income inequality, including Americans’ attitudes towards redistribution, racial threat, political institutions, and political parties. It concludes with several policy case studies incorporating all of these themes. Syllabus

Racial and Ethnic Politics (PO 351)

This course investigates the role of race and ethnicity in shaping American politics and policy. Combining research from history, political science, sociology, and economics, we will consider a variety of issues: the first portion of the course will feature a broad historical overview, from the 1700s to the present day, exploring the role of American public policy in creating an entrenched racial order. The course then moves to investigating how this order shapes contemporary American political behavior and coalition-building. The next section of the course looks at a series of policy case studies—from incarceration to schools—to assess the continuing role of race and ethnicity in driving American policy. The course concludes by exploring whether major American demographic trends, including immigration and multiracialism, might be reshaping this longstanding racial and ethnic order.  Syllabus

Political Movements in America (PO 625)

This course examines why social movements emerge and their political and policy consequences in America. It explores theoretical explanations for political movements, before moving into a series of movement case studies. These case studies encompass a wide range of topics—from the civil rights movement to the rise of the Christian Right—and stretch historically from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. For each case study, the course considers a variety of issues: the role of institutional context in shaping opportunities for movement emergence; how disjoint groups organize behind a united cause; the influence of opposition actors in shaping movement behavior; and, government responses to the movement. Syllabus

The Politics of HBO’s The Wire (PO 313) (with David Glick)

In this class, students watch all five seasons of HBO’s award-winning The Wire from the perspective of social scientists interested in politics, policy, and human behavior. Set in declining Baltimore, The Wire provides the perfect lens with which to study a rich set of social scientific issues, concepts, and questions. The course explores a wide variety of interdisciplinary topics, including the war on drugs, urban elections, bureaucracy, rational choice theory, and union politics. Syllabus