Calendar

SES # TOPICS KEY DATES
I: Introduction
1 Introduction: what this class is about  
2 & 3 Theoretical conceptions of democratic representation  
II: Public opinion
4 The origins of public opinion: ideology, interests, and partisanship  
5

The origins of public opinion: analysis of public opinion issues

Note: Come to class prepared to talk about a public opinion issue

 
6 Measuring public opinion  
III. Why would we expect elected officials to care about public opinion?
7a Introduction  
7b The median voter & electoral accountability Short paper 1 due
8a Primary constituencies  
8b Elites  
IV. Factors that could lead to undemocratic outcomes
9 Malapportionment  
10 Unequal voter turnout  
11a Unequal policy knowledge among voters  
11b Unequal financial resources  
12 Special interests: foundations  
13 Special interests: interest groups today  
14 Incumbency bias  
15 Super-majority rules in legislatures Short paper 2 due
V. Representation of opinions and interests
16 Do policy outcomes represent the views of voters?  
17a Are certain groups systematically over or under-represented in the policy process?: Income & class  
17b Are certain groups systematically over or under-represented in the policy process?: Interests  
VI. Institutional reforms to improve representation
18 One-person, one-vote  
19 Term limits  
20 Direct democracy Final paper outline due
21 Elected judges  
22 Non-partisan redistricting  
23 Changing the primary process  
24 Campaign finance rules  
25 Convenience voting Final paper due

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

assignment Problem Sets