POLI 718
Wednesdays, 3:00-5:50pm, Genome Sciences 1373, Spring 2014

Prof. Frank R. Baumgartner
313 Hamilton Hall, phone 962-0414
Web site: http://www.unc.edu/~fbaum/

Office hours: W, 1-3pm and by appointment

Click here for the syllabus

Click here for supplemental readings

Click here for the weekly reading / paper assignments: week: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

Here is a space for information about campus sexual violence, a topic that we will follow as a class over the semester. Look through these for background on the topic, an issue that may or may not emerge as a major political issue on the national agenda.

Distracted driving is another trending issue. Joe Capowski is a retired UNC professor (electrical engineering) (ok, and tennis buddy of mine) who has been involved in bringing attention to this issue. He will speak at the end of one of our seminars about the practical politics of attempting to raise awareness to an issue that kills over 3,000 people a year, but to which little attention has historically been paid. On the other hand, that was once true of DWI. So, will Driving While Distracted become as culturally unacceptable as DWI? Please pay attention to the "Facts and Statistics" section of the web page below, under the tab "Get the Facts." We will discuss at the end of class on Feb 5.

Readings are below

Week 1, Jan. 8, 2014. Introductions and discussion, no readings.

Week 2. Jan. 15. Where things started: Power, pluralism, and elitism; conflict expansion; issue-attention; agendas

1. Bachrach, Peter and Morton Baratz. 1962. The Two Faces of Power. American Political Science Review 56: 947-52.
2. Walker, Jack L., Jr. 1966. A Critique of the Elitist Theory of Democracy. American Political Science Review 60: 285-95, 391-92.
3. Dahl, Robert A. 1966. Further Reflections on "The Elitist Theory of Democracy." American Political Science Review 60: 296-305.
4. Schattschneider, E. E. 1975 [1960]. The Semi-Sovereign People. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers, ch. 1-3.
5. Downs, Anthony. 1972. Up and Down with Ecology: The Issue Attention Cycle. Public Interest 28: 38-50.
6. Cobb, Roger W., Jeannie Keith-Ross, and Marc Howard Ross. 1976. Agenda Building as a Comparative Political Process. American Political Science Review 70: 126-38.
7. Walker, Jack L., Jr. 1977. Setting the Agenda in the U.S. Senate: A Theory of Problem Selection. British Journal of Political Science 7: 423-45.

Week 3, Jan. 22. Kingdon, ambiguity, and multiple streams models

1. Kingdon, John W. 1995. Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies. 2d. ed. New York: HarperCollins. (earlier 1984 edition also ok)
2. Cohen, Michael, James G. March, and Johan P. Olsen. 1972. A Garbage Can Theory of Organizational Choice. Administrative Science Quarterly 17: 1-25.

Due in class: One-page single spaced memo explaining your proposed term-paper project. It should explain the puzzle you want to explore and your approach. If you have some ideas about the relevant literature, please include. Give as much detail as you can at this point. If you are deciding between two possible topics, give me two memos; that is fine.

Week 4. Jan. 29. Punctuated equilibrium

(Note: class moved from the regular time to Friday Jan 24, 3:30pm to 6:00pm in Hamilton 271.)

1. Baumgartner, Frank R., and Bryan D. Jones. 2009 [1993]. Agendas and Instability in American Politics. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (either edition is ok)
2. Eldredge, Niles, and Stephen J. Gould. 1985 [1972]. Punctuated Equilibria: An Alternative to Phyletic Gradualism. In Niles Eldredge, Time Frames: The Evolution of Punctuated Equilibrium. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, Appendix, pp. 193-223. [Originally published in Thomas J. M. Schopf, ed., Models in Paleobiology. San Francisco: Freeman, Cooper, pp. 82-115]

Week 5, Feb. 5. Developing a model of choice

1. Jones, Bryan D. 2001. Politics and the Architecture of Choice. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
2. Simon, Herbert A. 1985. Human Nature in Politics: The Dialogue of Psychology with Political Science. American Political Science Review 79: 293-304.

Week 6, Feb. 12. Threshold models, increasing returns, positive feedback, power laws, complexity

1. Merton, Robert K. 1968. The Matthew Effect in Science. Science 159: 56-63.
2. Granovetter, Mark. 1978. Threshold Models of Collective Behavior. American Journal of Sociology 83: 1420-43.
3. David, Paul A. 1985. Clio and the Economics of QWERTY. American Economic Review 75: 332-37.
4. Adler, Moshe. 1985. Stardom and Talent. American Economic Review 75, 1 (March): 208-212.
5. Arthur, W. Brian. 1989. Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-in by Historical Events. Economic Journal 99 (394): 116-131.
6. Bikhchandani, Sushil, David Hirshleifer, and Ivo Welch. 1992. A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change as Informational Cascades. Journal of Political Economy 100: 992-1026.
7. Lohmann, Susanne. 1994. The Dynamics of Informational Cascades: The Monday Demonstrations in Leipzig, East Germany, 1989-1991. World Politics 47: 42-101.
8. Pierson, Paul. 2000. Path Dependence, Increasing Returns, and the Study of Politics. American Political Science Review 94: 251-67.

Week 7, Feb. 19. Attention, information, cognition, and the distributional approach

1. Jones, Bryan D., and Frank R. Baumgartner. 2005. The Politics of Attention: How Government Prioritizes Problems. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Annotated bibliography due. This means you should have identified the key source material you are planning to use. You don't have to have read it all yet but you should have identified the likely suspects. A longer bibliography is better than a short one. No need for extensive annotations, but rather just a list of readings organized by the topics that you plan to cover.

Week 8, Feb. 26. Comparative studies on friction and the general punctuation hypothesis

1. Jones, Bryan D, Tracy Sulkin, and Heather Larsen. 2003. Policy Punctuations in American Political Institutions. American Political Science Review 97: 151-70.
2. Baumgartner, Frank R., Christian Breunig, Christoffer Green-Pedersen, Bryan D. Jones, Peter B. Mortensen, Michiel Neytemans, and Stefaan Walgrave. 2009. Punctuated Equilibrium in Comparative Perspective. American Journal of Political Science 53, 3 (July): 602-19.
3. Jones, Bryan D., Frank R. Baumgartner, Christian Breunig, Christopher Wlezien, Stuart Soroka, Martial Foucault, Abel François, Christoffer Green-Pedersen, Peter John, Chris Koski, Peter B. Mortensen, Frédéric Varone, and Stefaan Walgrave. 2009. A General Empirical Law for Public Budgets: A Comparative Analysis. American Journal of Political Science 53, 4 (October): 855-73.
4. Jensen, Carsten. 2009. Policy Punctuations in Mature Welfare States. Journal of Public Policy 29 (3): 287-303.
5. John, Peter, and Will Jennings. 2010. Punctuations and Turning Points in British Politics: the Policy Agenda of the Queen's Speech, 1940-2005. British Journal of Political Science 40: 561-586.
6. Breunig, Christian, Chris Koski, and Peter B. Mortensen. 2010. Stability and Punctuations in Public Spending: a Comparative Study of Budget Functions. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 20 (3): 703-722.

Week 9, Mar. 5. The Politics of Information

1. Baumgartner, Frank R., and Bryan D. Jones. 2014. The Politics of Information. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [Note: I will make a PDF of this book available, as it is not yet published.]

Mar. 8-16 Spring Break

Week 10, Mar. 19. A Theory of Congressional Problem-Solving. Seriously.

1. Adler, E. Scott, and John D. Wilkerson. 2012. Congress and the Politics of Problem Solving. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Detailed outline of paper due. This should include a full structure, planned cites, methods, etc. The text need not be written but the structure should be complete, in outline form. You'll be surprised how easy it is to complete the paper if you have a complete outline in the proper order.

Week 11, Mar. 26. A Theory of Presidential Agenda-Setting

1. Cohen, Jeffrey E. 2012. The President's Legislative Policy Agenda, 1789-2002. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Week 12, Apr. 2. A Theory of the Composition of the Front Page of the New York Times

1. Boydstun, Amber E. 2013. Making the News: Politics, the Media, and Agenda Setting. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Week 13, Apr. 9. A Theory of Federalism

1. Miller, Lisa L. 2008. The Perils of Federalism: Poor People and the Politics of Crime Control. New York: Oxford University Press.

Week 14, Apr. 16. Policy Change without Agenda-Setting: a "Silent Revolution"

1. Jacob, Herbert. 1988. Silent Revolution: The Transformation of Divorce Law in the United States. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Week 15, Apr. 23. Discussion of unanswered questions in this literature and next steps

Assignment: come to class with 5 ideas of interesting but unanswered research questions that stem from your readings this semester. Put them in order by a combined ranking of two factors: A) how interesting or important is the idea? That is, how many people in the profession would care if you could answer this question? Would someone publish the results? Would the results be directly in contradiction to some published work? Or would they rather resolve a problem that has previously been avoided? B) How feasible is it to answer the question? What would it take, in terms of research and data collection, to do it? Feel free to compile this list based on your weekly papers and discussions and keep it going throughout the semester. It may relate to your term paper. So, each of you should come with 5 one-page summaries. You might want to work on these throughout the semester. They will be useful documents when time comes to study for general exams; you can thank me later.

Term papers due