PLSC 083 Lobbying the Federal Government
December 3, 2001
Last week of class: review
NOTE: Final grades and term papers can be picked up in my
office, 107 Burrowes, during the period when this class would normally have its
final exam scheduled: Monday Dec 10, 2:30 to 4:30. Drop by my office. I’ll have
cookies or something. Get your term paper and tell me how you did this
semester. Burrowes is right in front of Pattee Library on the mall.
NOTE: For those interested in being a PLSC major, I volunteer
to be your advisor, or I will help you choose someone else if you’re sick of
NOTE: In May 2005 I’ll promise to come to graduation if
someone here reminds me.
Monday: A checklist for your papers
numbers (you’d be surprised)
dividers, headings, and introductions for each section of the paper.
(cited references only)
The more important issues:
the theory down into several different components each of which can be
analyzed with data. (That is, move from a general theory to a series of
your case and show how it can be used to evaluate the theory.
the evidence from the case in sequence, showing how it relates to each
part of the theory. Refer constantly back and forth from theory to
evidence. So-and-so’s theory, if correct, would lead us to expect x in
this case. A review of the activities of groups a, b, and c shows y. Then
give details of what the groups did. In this aspect, it appears that the
theory is incomplete… Move on to the next element of the theory. Do this
for each part. Always make the reader know what part of the theory we are
looking for, and what kind of evidence would be in favor and what kind
would be against. There may be two competing theoretical perspectives:
even better if you lay them out: Theory A would lead us to expect x, but
theory B would lead us to expect y. In this case we observe x, so therefore
it appears that A is correct here….
at the end of your review of the case.
the usefulness of the theory. What parts were validated, what parts were
the limits of your study. Was your case unusual? Would the theory more
likely be true in other cases? Can you say anything from Wolpe and Levine
or other readings, other cases studied in class, where the theory you
disconfirm would have been confirmed? Can you say why?
the normative implications of your findings. Are democratic values well
served by what you observed. Be tough. Compare your observations with an
ideal, perfect, representative system. Don’t be afraid to conclude
that the system is imperfect. Explain what makes it so; consider how that
could be fixed.
your paper for internal consistency, grammar, spelling, organization,
references to relevant readings done in class, citations for all uses of
other people’s work, and the completeness and accuracy of the list of
your roommate (or someone else) read it for you while you still have
time to correct mistakes. Fix those things. Hand it in.
Wednesday: A discussion and review
Comments and questions on any topic you like. I’d suggest
Roles of groups. Is Schattschneider right? Olson? Truman?
Did you conclude that things are good or bad normatively? What are the most
normatively troubling implications of what you’ve studied this semester? What
are the most normatively benign?
In the cases debated from Wolpe and Levine, did those
illustrate policy subsystems at work, policy networks, conflict expansions, or
what? Did the side with public opinion typically win? Did groups manufacture
public opinion, or what that set ahead of time?
What was the value of Light?
What should a freshman seminar focus on? Did this class have
a good mix of substance and other issues?