Penn State University

Department of Political Science

PLSC 497: Protests, Social Movements, and Public Policy

Profs. Frank R. Baumgartner and John McCarthy

Spring 2009

Mondays, 3:35-6:35PM, 268 Willard Bldg.

Click here to read the course outline / announcement

Click here to read the syllabus

Click here for the first assignment about recording observations carefully, and here for an article by Clark McPhail about doing this. Read the article first (and pay attention to what he says about "clusters", then do the assignment at your leisure. Come to class on Jan 26 with your results filled out.

Click here for details on your assignment due Feb 2. Click here for a template that shows how to write a research report. Follow this form closely in writing up your results, due Feb 2. For the data from the class, click here.

Second Assignment, due Feb 9: Click here for a sample spreadsheet that shows how to make a graph of media coverage over time. Write a one- to two-page report comparing your results to those in the spreadsheet, and explain your selection of keywords. List all the keywords you used, and identify the final one that seemed to work best. Click here for an xls version of the spreadsheet.

Click here to see an example from a group presentation from last year. This is a good template to work from as it includes significant attention to measurement issues, gives a clear conceptual map of what the students thought initially would cause what, a combination of statistical and qualitative data / timelines including government / media attention as well as associations and real-world statistical indicators about the severity of their problem, and, finally, their conceptual map of how they think the process worked, after having done their research. The slides don't show what the oral presentation was that came with it, but you get a sense of the work the students did. Your job, then, is to divide up your project so that each of you does a part, and then separately to write a term paper that integrates both what you learned as part of the group project and at the same time focuses on your part of it.

Here is that spreadsheet we made in class on March 2, with data on civil rights and examples of how to calculate various kinds of formulae, etc.

Watch this space for further announcements, quizzes, and other important stuff

PDF's or links to readings you'll need to do:

Baumgartner, Frank R., and Bryan D. Jones.  1991. Agenda Dynamics and Policy Subsystems. Journal of Politics 53 (November): 1044-74.

Baumgartner, Frank R., Bryan D. Jones, and John Wilkerson. 2002. Studying Policy Dynamics.  Chapter 2 (pp. 29-49) in Policy Dynamics. Ed. Bryan D. Jones and Frank R. Baumgartner. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Johnson, Janet Buttloph, Roichard A. Joslyn, and H.T. Reynolds. 2001. Political Science Research Methods, 4th edition. Chapter 4.  The Building Blocks of Social Science: Measurement. Pp. 72–110.

Hilgartner, Stephen and Charles L. Bosk. 1988. The Rise and Fall of Social Problems—A Public Arenas Model. American Journal of Sociology 94: 53-78.

Woolley, J. T. 2000. Using Media-Based Data in Studies of Politics. American Journal of Political Science 44: 156-173.

Baumgartner, Frank R.  2005.  The Growth and Diversity of US Associations, 1956–2004: Analyzing Trends using the Encyclopedia of Associations.  Working paper. March 29.

Martin, Andrew W., John McCarthy, and Frank R. Baumgartner.  2006.  Measuring Association Populations Using the Encyclopedia of Associations:  Evidence from the Field of Labor Unions.  Social Science Research 35 (2006): 771-778.

Brulle, Robert J., Liesel Turner, J. Craig Jenkins and Jason Carmichael. 2007. “Measuring Social Movement Organization Populations: A Comprehensive Census of US Environmental Movement Organizations.” Mobilization 12: 255-70.

Singh, Jitendra V. and Charles J. Lumsden. 1990. Theory and Research in Organizational Ecology. Annual Review of Sociology 16: 161-195.

Johnson, Erik and John D. McCarthy. 2005. “The Sequencing of Transnational and National Social Movement Mobilization: The Organizational Mobilization of the Global and U.S. Environmental Movements.” Pp. 71-94 in Transnational Protest and Global Activism. Sidney Tarrow and Donatella Della Porta, eds. Boulder, CO: Rowman and Littlefield.

McCammon, Holly J. 2000. Stirring Up Suffrage Sentiment: The Formation of the State Woman Suffrage Organizations, 1866-1914. Social Forces 80: 449-480.

Minkoff, Debra C. 1995. Interorganizational Influences on the Founding of African-American Organizations, 1955-1985.  Sociological Forum 10: 51-79.

King, BG, Bentele, KG and Soule, SA. 2007. Protest and Policy Making: Explaining Fluctuation in Congressional Attention to Rights Issues: 1960-1986. Social Forces 86:137-163.