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1 - 3 of 3 results for: POLISCI220

POLISCI 220: Urban Policy Research Lab (PUBLPOL 225, URBANST 170)

This collaborative reading and research seminar considers the numerous ways that governments conduct social policy by shaping and remaking geographic places. Representative topics include: housing aid programs, exclusionary zoning, controls on internal migration and place of residence, and cars' role in cities. Students will contribute to faculty field research on the consequences of these policies for economic, social, and political outcomes. Prerequisites: None.
| UG Reqs: WAY-SI

POLISCI 220C: The Politics of the Administrative State (POLISCI 320C)

Most studies of democratic government are about elected leaders, campaigns and elections, legislatures, and public opinion. But these aspects of government are, in some sense, the tail that wags the dog. To understand what government actually does and with what effects, we need to understand the dog itself. The fact is, the vast bulk of government consists of the countless departments and agencies - and the unelected experts, professionals, and functionaries within them - that execute public policy, fill out its details, determine its impacts and effectiveness, and make government a (good or bad) reality for ordinary citizens. This is the dog: the "administrative state." And it is the essence of modern government. No democracy can function without it. A hundred years ago, when the American administrative state was on the rise - propelled first by Progressivism, then the New Deal - scholars argued that there should be a separation of politics and administration: elected officials would more »
Most studies of democratic government are about elected leaders, campaigns and elections, legislatures, and public opinion. But these aspects of government are, in some sense, the tail that wags the dog. To understand what government actually does and with what effects, we need to understand the dog itself. The fact is, the vast bulk of government consists of the countless departments and agencies - and the unelected experts, professionals, and functionaries within them - that execute public policy, fill out its details, determine its impacts and effectiveness, and make government a (good or bad) reality for ordinary citizens. This is the dog: the "administrative state." And it is the essence of modern government. No democracy can function without it. A hundred years ago, when the American administrative state was on the rise - propelled first by Progressivism, then the New Deal - scholars argued that there should be a separation of politics and administration: elected officials would make policy in the political process, administrators would carry it out expertly and nonpolitically. But that was a pipe dream. The administrative state is thoroughly - and inevitably - bound up in democratic politics, and an integral part of it. Politicians try to control agencies for their own ends. Special interest groups try to capture them. Political appointees try to invade them. Members of Congress want money and programs for their own states and districts. And agencies are powerful actors in their own right, seeking money, autonomy, and policy impact. The US, moreover, is hardly unique. In every nation, the administrative state is a target of political pressure and influence, infused by politics, and capable of its own exertions of power. The purpose of this class is to understand the politics of the administrative state. Our focus will mainly be on the US, but we will also look at other nations for comparative perspective. In the end, students will have a far more complete understanding of democratic government than the usual focus on electoral politics can possibly provide.
Last offered: Winter 2019

POLISCI 220R: The Presidency (POLISCI 320R)

This course provides students with a comprehensive perspective on the American presidency and covers a range of topics: elections, policy making, control of the bureaucracy, unilateral action, war-making, and much more. But throughout, the goal is to understand why presidents behave as they do, and why the presidency as an institution has developed as it has, with special attention to the dynamics of the American political system and how they condition incentives, opportunities, and power.
Terms: Aut, Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI
Instructors: Moe, T. (PI)
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