Political Science | State Politics in the US
Y306 | 3365 | Wright
This course examines the politics and policy making of state
governments 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 two papers. The exams will be a mixture of essay and short answer. Two
of the papers. The form of these has yet to be determined, but they will
focus on some aspects of state and local politics and require some research,
careful analysis and probably about 20 pages of writing.
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.