PSCI 23
The Practice of Politics Winter 2023

Class Details

Just as planning and execution in war or sports is most fruitfully analyzed without regard to one’s sympathies in the contest, the successful practice of politics in campaigns and constituent assemblies may best be understood apart from party and ideology, as essentially the same game for both sides. This course will examine the political struggle in concrete and practical terms. Our exploration of strategy and tactics will begin by looking at the rules and realities of politics in the students’ own hometowns, move through examples from American electoral history, and touch on the depiction of campaigns in movies and literature. The impact of ideology and personality on electoral outcomes, the value and cost of different methods of voter contact, and the role of candidates, field staff, managers, consultants, pollsters, and media experts will all be weighed. Students will also learn about the realities of legislative life, including relations with leadership, staff, lobbyists, reporters, and constituents, and the challenge of maintaining clarity in a chaotic situation.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 15
Expected: NA
Class#: 1245
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: Short paper and final project or presentation
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: Preference to Political Science majors and to students who can demonstrate prior engagement with political campaigns or institutions.
Unit Notes: Joe Markley has thirty years of experience in every aspect of politics, including five terms in the Connecticut State Senate, employment as a manager and consultant for state and federal campaigns, and extensive involvement with grassroots organizing
Attributes: STUX Winter Study Student Exploration

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