Political Science | American Politics
Y661 | 16445 | Hershey

Topic:  Political Parties, Organized Interests, Social Movements,
and the Media in U.S. Politics.

Elections are a pretty blunt instrument as a means of holding a
democratic government accountable to its citizens.  Other
institutions, however, work much more regularly and explicitly to
convey information and preferences between leaders and citizens.
These intermediaries -- parties, organized interests, social
movements, and the media - are vitally important to the maintenance
of a democratic system as a result.  So it is important for us to
understand their capabilities and their behavior.  How accurately do
they convey public opinion to decision-makers?  What sorts of
participatory opportunities do they provide to citizens?   What
biases exist in their functioning that affect representation in the
U.S.?  In this seminar members will write frequent memos on the
assigned readings, share their insights in seminar, and prepare a
research design that's usable for a second-year paper (or a
dissertation) on political intermediaries.