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POLISCI 120C: American Political Institutions in Uncertain Times (PUBLPOL 124)

This course examines how the rules that govern elections and the policy process determine political outcomes. It explores the historical forces that have shaped American political institutions, contemporary challenges to governing, and prospects for change. Topics covered include partisan polarization and legislative gridlock, the politicization of the courts, electoral institutions and voting rights, the expansion of presidential power, campaign finance and lobbying, representational biases among elected officials, and the role of political institutions in maintaining the rule of law. Throughout, emphasis will be placed on the strategic interactions between Congress, the presidency, and the courts and the importance of informal norms and political culture. Political Science majors taking this course to fulfill the WIM requirement should enroll in POLISCI 120C.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-SI

POLISCI 120Z: What's Wrong with American Government? An Institutional Approach

How politicians, once elected, work together to govern America. The roles of the President, Congress, and Courts in making and enforcing laws. Focus is on the impact of constitutional rules on the incentives of each branch, and on how they influence law.
Terms: Sum | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI

POLISCI 121: Political Power in American Cities (AMSTUD 121Z, PUBLPOL 133, URBANST 111)

The major actors, institutions, processes, and policies of sub-state government in the U.S., emphasizing city general-purpose governments through a comparative examination of historical and contemporary politics. Issues related to federalism, representation, voting, race, poverty, housing, and finances. Political Science majors taking this course to fulfill the WIM requirement should enroll in POLISCI 121.
Last offered: Winter 2019 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-SI

POLISCI 121L: Racial-Ethnic Politics in US (CSRE 121L, PUBLPOL 121L)

Why is contemporary American politics so sharply divided along racial and party lines? Are undocumented immigrants really more likely to commit crimes than U.S. citizens? What makes a political ad "racist?" The U.S. population will be majority-minority by 2050; what does this mean for future electoral outcomes? We will tackle such questions in this course, which examines various issues surrounding the development of political solidarity within racial groups; the politics of immigration, acculturation, and identification; and the influence of race on public opinion, political behavior, the media, and in the criminal justice system. Prior coursework in Economics or Statistics strongly recommended.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-ED, WAY-SI

POLISCI 121Z: Political Power in American Cities

The major actors, institutions, processes, and policies of sub-state government in the U.S., emphasizing city general-purpose governments through a comparative examination of historical and contemporary politics. Issues related to federalism, representation, voting, race, poverty, housing, and finances.
Last offered: Summer 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI

POLISCI 124A: The American West (AMSTUD 124A, ARTHIST 152, ENGLISH 124, HISTORY 151)

The American West is characterized by frontier mythology, vast distances, marked aridity, and unique political and economic characteristics. This course integrates several disciplinary perspectives into a comprehensive examination of Western North America: its history, physical geography, climate, literature, art, film, institutions, politics, demography, economy, and continuing policy challenges. Students examine themes fundamental to understanding the region: time, space, water, peoples, and boom and bust cycles.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-SI

POLISCI 124L: The Psychology of Communication About Politics in America (COMM 164, COMM 264, POLISCI 324L, PSYCH 170)

Focus is on how politicians and government learn what Americans want and how the public's preferences shape government action; how surveys measure beliefs, preferences, and experiences; how poll results are criticized and interpreted; how conflict between polls is viewed by the public; how accurate surveys are and when they are accurate; how to conduct survey research to produce accurate measurements; designing questionnaires that people can understand and use comfortably; how question wording can manipulate poll results; corruption in survey research.
Terms: Win | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI
Instructors: Krosnick, J. (PI)

POLISCI 125S: Chicano/Latino Politics (CHILATST 125S)

The political position of Latinos and Latinas in the U.S.. Focus is on Mexican Americans, with attention to Cuban Americans, Puerto Ricans, and other groups. The history of each group in the American polity; their political circumstances with respect to the electoral process, the policy process, and government; the extent to which the demographic category Latino is meaningful; and group identity and solidarity among Americans of Latin American ancestry. Topics include immigration, education, affirmative action, language policy, and environmental justice.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-ED, WAY-SI

POLISCI 126P: Constitutional Law (COMM 152, COMM 252)

This course covers Supreme Court case law concerning governmental powers, equal protection, and certain fundamental rights. The course investigates the constitutional foundation for democratic participation in the United States, covering topics such as the Fourteenth Amendment's protections against discrimination on grounds of race, gender, and other classifications, as well as the individual rights to voting and intimate association, and an introduction to First Amendment rights of free speech and press. Students will be evaluated on class participation, a midterm moot court with both a written and oral component, and a take-home final exam. Lectures will be twice per week and a discussion section once per week.
Last offered: Spring 2016 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI

POLISCI 127P: Economic Inequality and Political Dysfunction

This course will examine how two of the defining features of contemporary U.S. politics, economic inequality and political polarization, relate to each other and to Congressional gridlock. The reading list will focus on several books recently authored by preeminent political scientists on this important topic. The course will cover a range of topics, including the disparity in political representation of the preferences of the affluent over those of the poor, the origins of Congressional polarization, the influence of money in politics, budgetary politics, immigration policy, and electoral and institutional barriers to reform.
Last offered: Winter 2013 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI
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