On its own, the topic of emotion is not a central part of political science. Rather, knowledge of emotions helps students form hypotheses to help test and explain some of the central subjects of political science–voting, participation in rebellion and protest, and internal diplomacy. Student papers ranged across the various sub-fields of political science: American politics (anxiety and U.S. voting), international relations (resentment and international diplomacy), comparative politics (civil-military relations, political participation, political mobilization in South Africa).

Short Paper 

Each student will write a short paper on the role of a specific emotion and that emotion’s possible political effects. These papers are due during Week 5 and are worth 25% of the final grade.

Student Examples

"Anger and Collective Action." (PDF)

"Emotions and Cue-Taking in Foreign Policy Opinion: The Differential Effects of Anger versus Fear on Opinion Formation." (PDF)

"Envy, Anger and Political Mobilization in South Africa." (PDF)

Final Paper 

Each student will also write a final paper of roughly 20-25 pages in length. Students will identify a field of variation on a dependent variable of choice. The paper must address how emotions can (or cannot) help explain the nature of this field of variation. These papers are due during the final week and are worth 50% of the final grade.

Student Example

"Moral Outrage and Immigration Policy during the Trump Administration." (PDF)

Student examples appear courtesy of MIT students and are anonymous by request.

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

assignment_turned_in Written Assignments with Examples