Democracy and Social Choice

Course introduces students to the study of social choice and democratic theory. Social choice theory studies the properties of political institutions by which individual preferences are aggregated into collective choices. It provides a useful and powerful analytical framework to understand the choice and consequence of various political institutions in various democratic political systems. Topics include politics of suffrage, secret vs. open ballot, electoral systems, representative districting, term limits, presidential vs.

Strategy and Politics

Introduction to the application of rational choice analysis (or economic models) to the study of political phenomena. Topics include social choice theory, legislative voting, problems of cooperation and collective action, and public choice theory. Familiarity with algebra and geometric reasoning required. One course. Instructors Niou and Vanberg.

Social Networks and Political Interdependence

Theory of and empirical support for importance of networks and interdependent behavior in political and social processes. Methodology covered includes tools for empirical analysis of relational data as well as game theoretic and computational/behavioral modeling approaches to analyzing role of network structure. Substantive ties to literatures in political science, economics, and sociology. One course / 3 units.

Predicting Politics: Counter Insurgency, Elections, and Stability

Learn modes of predicting political events and outcomes. Survey of ways that are used to predict U.S. National Presidential and Congressional elections, as well as polls. During election years, will focus on active campaigns. Second half of course devoted to prediction of conflict outbreaks around the world. Students will develop their own data, models, and forecasts for political processes. Prerequisites: 300 level course in the subfield as well as all general requirements in the major: POLSCI 102, POLSCI 175, and STA 101. One course / 3 units.

Games and Politics

Applications of modern decision theory to the study of political science. Topics include: individual decision theory and rational choice; game theory and human interaction; and social choice theory and the mechanisms by which individual choices are aggregated into collective choices. Political institutions such as voting rules, legislatures, parties, and hierarchy, alternative voting methods and political institutions, and how societies solve some practical distributive problems.

Quantitative Political Inquiry and Evaluation

Theory and practice of causal inference in political science research and policy impact evaluation. Students master how to test hypotheses and evaluate the substantive impacts of policy treatments using regression, experimental and survey techniques. Also develop skills in software applications such as Stata and R. Assigned texts assist learning of both the quantitative methods and how they are applied in practice and assignments emphasize practical applications. Prerequisites: SSTA101 or higher; first semester of calculus (MATH21, MATH111L or MATH121). One course.