Political Science | State Politics and Policy (3 Cr.)
Y661 | 3402 | Wright


This is a particularly opportune time to study the states.  There is more
political action, policy innovation, and responsibility at the state level
than perhaps ever before and new data sets are emerging that permit scholars
to investigate new and fundamental questions.
The course provides an overview of the major lines of research into the
processes of American state politics and policy.  We will focus on the
states as political entities with their varying political settings and
policy challenges, and also comparatively in evaluating a variety of
theoretical propositions about the states and about policy processes more
generally.  Throughout we will consider the varying influence of the
national government on state politics and processes and how these are likely
to change under the politics of devolution.
Seminar members who are interested will have the opportunity to work with
the new data sets on state legislators and legislatures which I have been
constructing as part of my work with Project Vote-Smart (data from
candidates from 1996, 1998 and 2000) as well as a effort at collecting a
comprehensive set of roll call data in the state legislatures which will
permit new analyses of the structure of political conflict in different
settings.
Course requirements include weekly reaction papers to the assigned readings,
a book review presentation to the seminar, a seminar research paper on some
aspect of state politics and policy.