Political Science | Pol Theory & Policy Analysis
Y204 | ALL | Firmin-Sellers
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 have the
opportunity to volunteer for a Bloomington or Indiana University
organization that faces a collective action problem every day. Students
will complete a specific project for these organizations. Then, in a final
paper, students will reflect upon their experiences in light of the
collective action theories learned.