POLI 421
Framing Public Policies
M, W, 2:30-3:45, Phillips 228, Spring 2019

Prof. Frank R. Baumgartner
313 Hamilton Hall, phone 962-0414
Web site: http://fbaum.unc.edu/
Office hours: M, W, 4-5 pm, T 2:30-3:30 pm and by appointment


Click here for the syllabus

Watch this space for announcements and resources.

Readings are below

Part One: Theories of How People Think and How Policies Are Framed

Week 1. Jan 7 Introductions and overview of the course
Wednesday: First day of class, Jan 9

Week 2. Jan 14. Two Theories: Causal Stories, and Target Populations
Monday: Stone, Deborah A. 1989. Causal Stories and the Formation of Policy Agendas. Political Science Quarterly 104, 2: 281–300. slides
Wednesday: Schneider, Anne, and Helen Ingram. 1993. Social Construction of Target Populations: Implications for Politics and Policy. American Political Science Review 87, 2: 334–47. slides

Week 3. Jan 21. Gaining v. Losing, Misunderstanding Risk
Monday: Happy MLK, Jr. Day, no class
Wednesday: Tversky, Amos, and Daniel Kahneman. 1973. Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases. Science 185 (4157): 1124-31. slides
Slovic, Paul. 1987. Perception of Risk. Science 236 (4799): 280-85.
Week 4. Jan 28. Good News, Bad News, Fear, and Anger
Monday: Baumeister, Roy F., Ellen Bratslavsky, Catrin Finkenauer, and Kathleen D. Vohs. 2001. Bad Is Stronger Than Good. Review of General Psychology 5: 323-370. slides
Wednesday: Huntsinger, Jeffrey R. 2013. Anger Enhances Correspondence Between Implicit and Explicit Attitudes. Emotion 13, 2: 350–7.
Lerner, J.S., and D. Keltner. 2001. Fear, anger, and risk. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 81, 1: 146–49. slides
Week 5. Feb 4. Believing What We Want: Motivated Reasoning
Monday: Lord, Charles G., Lee Ross, and Mark R. Lepper. 1979. Biased Assimilation and Attitude Polarization: The Effects of Prior Theories on Subsequently Considered Evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 37 (11): 2098-2109.
Ditto, Peter H. and David F. Lopez. 1992. Motivated Skepticism: Use of Differential Decision Criteria for Preferred and Nonpreferred Conclusions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 63 (4): 568-84. slides
Wednesday: Eberhardt, Jennifer L., Nilanjana Dasgupta, and Tracy L. Banaszynski. 2003. Believing is Seeing: The Effects of Racial Labels and Implicit Beliefs on Face Perception. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 29, 3 (March): 360-70.
Kunda, Ziva. 1990. The Case for Motivated Reasoning. Psychological Bulletin 108(3): 480-98. slides

Note: Your term paper project is due today: One page explaining your topic and approach, due in class on Wed Feb 6. (Not graded)

Week 6. Feb 11. Episodes v. Themes
Monday: Aaroe, Lene. 2011. Investigating Frame Strength: The Case of Episodic and Thematic Frames. Political Communication 28: 207–26. slides

Two weeks ago we discussed anger. Here is a recent NPR story on how anger mobilized activists to demand faster action to find medical solutions for the AIDS crisis, a good example of how anger can related to politics. But also note how hard it is to manage a social movement when such powerful emotion drives it. You might want to think about those affected by gun violence, drunk drivers, or others who have lost loved ones or suffered themselves from violence. How do social movements use anger, generally?

Wednesday: Iyengar, Shanto. 1990. Framing Responsibility for Political Issues: The Case of Poverty. Political Behavior 12, 1: 19–40. slides

Part Two: Applications to Politics and Public  Policy

Week 7. Feb 18. Target Populations Really Matter: Criminal Justice Applications
Monday: Kreitzer, Rebecca and Candis Watts Smith. 2018. Reproducible and Replicable: An Empirical Assessment of the Social Construction of Politically Relevant Target Groups. PS: Political Science and Politics 51, 4: 768–774. slides
Wednesday: Rose, Max, and Frank R. Baumgartner. 2013. Framing the Poor: Media Coverage and US Poverty Policy, 1960–2008. Policy Studies Journal, 41, 1: 22–53. BTW, academic peer review can be tough! Here are the 3 reviews from our original submission, 1, 2, 3; our response memo; the two reviews from our revised manuscript, 4, 5; and our response memo explaining the changes. Only the final, vastly improved, product appears in print. So it's quite the ordeal. Note that the reviewers do not know who we are (until and unless the article appears in print), and we may have our suspicions, but we do not know how they are, ever.)

Week 8. Feb 25. Causal Stories about Race and Disadvantage
Monday: Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo, Amanda Lewis, and David G. Embrick. 2004. I Did Not Get That Job Because of a Black Man...: The Story Lines and Testimonies of Color-Blind Racism. Sociological Forum 19, 4 (December): 555-81. slides
Wednesday: Goff, Phillip A., Claude M. Steele, and Paul G. Davies. 2008. The Space between Us: Stereotype Threat and Distance in Interracial Contexts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 94, 1: 91–107. slides. Link to NYT story on the "Overton window"; link to the NYT story on a Supreme Court case about a cross-shaped WWI memorial.

Note: Your first draft is due today: Five pages (double-spaced) explaining your theory, literature, and case. The more you give about the research the better, but I don’t expect much yet. This should focus on background about the case.

Week 9. Mar 4. Empathy, Hostility, and Capital Punishment
Monday: Johnson, Sheri Lynn, Amelia Courtney Hritz, Caisa Elizabeth Royer, and John H. Blume. 2016. When Empathy Bites Back: Cautionary Tales from Neuroscience for Capital SentencingFordham Law Review 85: 573–598. slides
Wednesday: Eberhardt, Jennifer L., Paul G. Davies, Valerie J. Purdie-Vaughns, and Sheri Lynn Johnson. 2005/06. Looking Deathworthy: Perceived Stereotypicality of Black Defendants Predicts Capital-Sentencing Outcomes. Psychological Science 17, 5: 383-6. slides

Spring Break, March 9-17

Week 10. Mar 18. “Lookism”: Should we have legal protection for ugly people? Is it Fair to Favor Attractive People?
Monday: Warhurst, Chris, Diane van den Broek, Richard Hall, and Dennis Nickson. 2012. Great Expectations: Gender, Looks and Lookism at Work. International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion 5, 1:72–90.
Warhurst, Chris, Diane van den Broek, Richard Hall, and Dennis Nickson. 2009. Lookism: The New Frontier of Employment Discrimination? Journal of Industrial Relations 51, 1: 131–136. slides
Wednesday: DeCastro-Ambrosetti, Debra, and Grace Cho. 2011. A Look at “Lookism”: A Critical Analysis OF Teachers’ Expectations Based on Students Appearance. Mulitcultural Education (winter): 51–54. slides

BTW, this is too fun to miss; see this NYTimes article about various hip-hop and rap artists attempting to explain to the US Supreme Court what the lyrics mean and how to interpret them. Story here. Click here to read the legal brief.

Another article we must discuss, about larger people being dismissed, ignored, or not treated well when they go out to eat: For Larger Customers, Eating Out Is Still a Daunting Experience, by Kim Severson, New York Times, March 12, 2019

Week 11. Mar 25. Healthism: Should We Discriminate in Favor of the Healthy? Do we?
Monday: Roberts, Jessica L., and Elizabeth Weeks. 2018. Healthism: Health-Status Discrimination and the Law. New York: Cambridge University Press. Ch. 1-2, pp. 1-53. slides
Wednesday: Should Freedom from Circumcision Be a Fundamental Human Right? Carpenter, Charli. 2014. “Lost” Causes: Agenda Vetting in Global Issue Networks and the Shaping of Human Security. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, Ch. 6, “His Body, His Choice”, pp. 122–147. slides

Note: Your second draft is due today: It should include improvements to the part I reviewed already, based on my feedback, and also a draft of your data / analysis section. It might have some missing elements, but the structure should be complete. It should be about 10 pages or so.

Week 12. Apr 1. We Hate Land Mines, Why Not War Robots? Civilian Deaths of Women, but not Boys. What the Heck?
Monday: Carpenter, R. Charli. 2011. Vetting the Advocacy Agenda: Networks, Centrality and the Paradox of Weapons Norms. International Organization 65, 1: 69–102. slides
Wednesday: Carpenter, R. Charli. 2005. “Women, Children and Other Vulnerable Groups”: Gender, Strategic Frames and the Protection of Civilians as a Transnational Issue. International Studies Quarterly 49, 2: 295–334. slides

Week 13. Apr 8. Presentations
Monday: Group A: Lee (B), Lee(C), Marand, Matthews, Mende.

Wednesday: Group B: Ammann, Baltzegar, Fields, Gieser, Portes, Bell, Makoviney.

Week 14. Apr 15. Presentations
Monday: Group C: Neal, Pitts, Radford, Spencer, Topasna, Walsh, Murphy.

Wednesday: Group D: Misshula, Moore, Moseley, Miller, Hahn, Moore, Murray, Jacobs.

Week 15. Apr 22. Review and Summary
Monday: Q&A about the course, summary of what we have learned.

Wednesday: Review for exam.
Term papers due in class, Wed April 24.


Final Exam: Tuesday May 7, 8:00am


Last updated March 9, 2019