Political Science | Empirical Theory & Methodology (3 cr)
Y673 | 3592 | Ostrom
This seminar meets at 513 N. Park
During the fall semester of this year-long course we provide a brief
overview of the literature focusing on the analysis of individual behavior
within various types of institutional arrangements. Many of the topics
covered here in one week could well be the topic for a full semester's work.
Thus, once you have completed the semester, you will have been introduced to
a diversity of work, but you will not yet have gained mastery and will need
substantial additional study to gain that mastery. For some subjects, we
have listed additional readings that you may wish to pursue either, during
this semester on those topics of particular interest and importance to you,
or over the coming years.
The syllabus for this course is on the Workshop Website:
The assigned readings will either be distributed at least one week in
advance or be at the IU Bookstore. Graduate students taking the course for
credit have three types of assignments.
First, each student is expected to write a short (2-5 page) memo to
the instructor each week reflecting on what they are currently reading, how
they are progressing on their seminar paper, and related topics. These
memos are NOT individually graded, but part of the final grade will be based
on class participation, and the faithfulness and quality of the memos will
be reflected in this part of the grade.
Second, there will be an exam given toward the end of the semester.
Third, a final paper is required: each student will be expected to
select either a type of problem (such as that of providing a particular type
of public goods or common-pool resource) or a type of decision-making
arrangement (such as that of a legislature or market structure) and
undertake a micro-analysis of how combinations of rules, the structure of
the goods and technology involved, and culture interact to affect the
incentives facing individuals and resulting patterns of interactions adopted
by individuals in one or a set of closely related situations. The student
may focus more on an operational, a collective-choice, or a
constitutional-choice level, but the linkage among these levels should be
addressed. This is an excellent opportunity to do a research design for a
dissertation that applies institutional analysis to a particular problem.
Students may wish to do the first draft of a paper that eventually will be
submitted for publication. All papers will be presented at a
mini-conference in December.