Honors | Political Theory and Policy Analysis
Y204 | 3406 | Firmin-sellers, K.


Why do some consumers recycle their trash, while others do not?  How can
the United Nations convince member countries to respect treaties
preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons?  Why are some Kenyan
students willing to risk their lives protesting in the streets, while
others remain at home?  Each of these questions is related to the problem
of collective action, because each asks when individuals (or nations) will
cooperate with one another to produce a socially desired outcome (such as
a cleaner environment, a safer world, or a more responsive government).

Y204 introduces students to the problem of collective action. Students
will learn to recognize the collective action problems that arise in a
variety of real world settings, and they will learn one set of theories
explaining why some of these problems are solved while others are not.  To
help them understand collective action theory, students will volunteer for
a Bloomington or Indiana University organization that faces a collective
action problem every day.  More specifically, students will complete a
specific project for these organizations.  Then, in the final paper
assignments, students will reflect upon their experiences in light of the
theories learned