PSCI 252
Campaigns and Elections Fall 2022
Division II

Class Details

The 2022 midterm elections are happening in November. Though midterm elections historically generate less involvement than presidential elections, much is at stake in the upcoming midterms, as control of Congress and statehouses will likely determine what, if anything, President Biden achieves in the remainder of his term. This course will examine how we conduct the most fundamental of democratic processes in the United States: the people’s choice of their representatives. We will examine factors that shape election outcomes such as the state of the economy, issues, partisanship, ideology, social identities with a special focus on race, interest groups, media, and the candidates themselves. A central question we will consider throughout the course if how “democratic” the conduct of campaigns actually is. For instance, does the citizenry have the motivation and capacity to hold public officials accountable? How do resource gaps tied to inequality in society (such as race and class) influence who votes and for whom? Do the mass media and political elites inform or manipulate the public? How closely do candidates resemble the constituencies they represent, and does it matter? We will apply our learning on many of these topics to the ongoing 2022 midterm elections.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 25
Expected: 20
Class#: 1921
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, 1-2 short papers (5-7 pages), 1 medium paper (8-12 pages), an oral presentation, and a final exam
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: poli sci majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: POEC U.S. Political Economy + Public Policy Course
PSCI American Politics Courses

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