PSC 231 Money in Politics

Political Science Field: American Politics
Typically offered rarely

Lynda W. Powell
Spring 2013 ("W" Required) — T 14:00-16:40

Course Syllabus

We will examine two main questions: How much influence does money have in determining who seeks and who wins elective office? How much does money spent on contributions and lobbying influence government actions and policies? Political scientists have reached no consensus on the answers to these questions. We will examine the literature that debates these and closely related issues. Because many of the studies use quantitative methods, all students should have completed a basic statistics course. (This need not be a political science methods course.) Students should have a good basic understanding of American government. The course will be a small seminar and will use a discussion format. Each student will be expected to read the assigned material before class, and to take turns summarizing and critiquing particular readings, as well as participating in class discussion. Grades will be based on class discussion, on written and oral brief presentations on the readings and on a final research paper.

Lynda W. Powell
Spring 2011 ("W" Required) — T 14:00-16:40

Course Syllabus

We will examine two main questions: How much influence does money have in determining who seeks and who wins elective office? How much does money spent on contributions and lobbying influence government actions and policies? Political scientists have reached no consensus on the answers to these questions. We will examine the literature that debates these and closely related issues. Because many of the studies use quantitative methods, all students should have completed a basic statistics course. (This need not be a political science methods course.) Students should have a good basic understanding of American government. The course will be a small seminar and will use a discussion format. Each student will be expected to read the assigned material before class, and to take turns summarizing and critiquing particular readings, as well as participating in class discussion. Grades will be based on class discussion, on written and oral brief presentations on the readings and on a final research paper.

David Primo
Fall 2004 ("W" Optional)

Course Syllabus

This seminar will examine the role of money in the U.S. political process. Topics include the historical development of campaign finance law, the electoral effects of campaign spending, the effects of campaign contributions on public policy outcomes, and various reform proposals (including the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act). The institutions responsible for the creation, enforcement, and interpretation of campaign finance law will also be analyzed. Students will be asked to think critically about concepts such as equality, liberty, and representation, which drive the questions and debates in this area.