Urban Politics and Policy (PO 517)

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.

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.

Inequality and American Politics (PO 519)

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.

Racial and Ethnic Politics (PO 308)

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.  .

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