Political Science | Urban Politics
Y308 | 3556 | Laverty
The goal of this course is to provide students with broad exposure
to the problems that modern American cities face. We will discuss the
politics, operations, and policies of urban metropolitan areas in the United
States as they are influenced by private sector and governmental actors.
Major political, social, and economic forces that affect urban political
decision making and policy choices are identified in the readings for the
course. By the end of the course, students will have acquired some basic
tools that will enable them to identify, compare, and contrast various
causes and effects of urban problems. Finally, students will be able to
anticipate urban problems in changing contexts (social, economic, and
political at local, state, and national levels) and offer suggestions for
policy responses/solutions to several of these urban problems.
There will be one midterm exam and a final exam. Each will include
essay and term identification/short answer. In-class writing assignments
will compose another portion of the final grade. The remainder of the final
grade will require each student to submit a project report based on their
experience in computer lab using SimCity software.
The SimCity project allows students an opportunity to understand the
political, social, and economic consequences of policy choices in urban
areas. Students will complete decision log sheets to document the policy
choices they make as they build their cities. Lab exercises will be
directed to applying concepts from readings and lectures. Labs will last
one hour, usually the second hour of class beginning the third week and will
last through the next to last class.