Political Science | State Politics in the U S
Y306 | 3555 | Wright
This course examines the politics and policy making of state
within the structure of U.S. federalism. We will consider the consequences
of decentralization of power and decision making and how and why this varies
among the states from one policy area to another. We will also look at
differences in the political cultures of the states and how these yield
quite different patterns of political behavior and policy.
The reading load will average 100 to 150 pages a week. Classes will
be a mixture of lecture and discussion. There will be three examinations
and three papers. The exams will be a mixture of essay and short answer.
Two of the papers will be short exercises (3 pages); one based on an
analysis of state elections, the other a comparison of how a specific policy
is handled in a small number of states. The third paper will be a longer
research paper (10 to 15 pages) on an aspect of state politics of interest
to the student. The exact topic will be worked out with the instructor.
At the end of the course students should have achieved several
things: (1) better understanding of politics in the states and how this
varies from one place to another: (2) a knowledge of the research materials
available for investigations of state politics; (3) a sense of the
possibilities for reform in the state-national policy connection; and (4)
the ability to articulate the pros and cons of alternative policy making
arrangements in our federal system