POLI 891
Mondays, 5:00-7:45pm, Hamilton 351, Fall 2011

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

Office hours: M, 3-5pm and by appointment

Click here for the syllabus

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

Readings are below [Note: I'll keep several weeks ahead on these readings and by the end of the semester all will be there.]

Week 1, August 29.  Introductions and discussion, no readings.

Sept. 5, no class, happy Labor Day!

Week 2.  Sept. 12.  Where things started: “Power” and “elitism”

  1. Dahl, Robert A.  1957. The Concept of Power. Behavioral Science 2: 201–15.
  2. Bachrach, Peter and Morton Baratz. 1962. The Two Faces of Power. American Political Science Review 56: 947–52.
  3. Riker, William H.  1964. Some Ambiguities in the Notion of Power. American Political Science Review 58: 341–9.
  4. Walker, Jack L., Jr.  1966. A Critique of the Elitist Theory of Democracy. American Political Science Review 60: 285–95, 391–92.
  5. Dahl, Robert A.  1966. Further Reflections on “The Elitist Theory of Democracy.” American Political Science Review 60: 296–305.

Assignment:  Scan JSTOR or just the APSR for the words “power” or “influence” in the 1950s and 1960s.  Pick an article by a major figure in the field and explain the approach.  Each student must identify a major article in addition to those listed above. Or, skim either Crenson, Gaventa books below and give a one-page overview of the point and the methodological approach.

Week 3, Sept. 19.  From power to agenda-setting.

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.

  1. Schattschneider, E. E. 1975 [1960]. The Semi-Sovereign People. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers, ch. 1-3.
  2. Downs, Anthony. 1972. Up and Down with Ecology: The Issue Attention Cycle. Public Interest 28: 38–50.
  3. Peters, B. Guy, and Brian W. Hogwood. 1985. In Search of the Issue-Attention Cycle. Journal of Politics 47: 239–53.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Baumgartner, Frank R.  2001.  Political Agendas. In Niel J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes, eds. International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences: Political Science. New York: Elsevier Science and Oxford: Pergamon, pp. 288–90.

Week 4.  Sept 26.  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.

Week 5, Oct 3. Punctuated equilibrium

Note: I have to be out of town on Monday Oct 3 so we need to reschedule, hopefully for Wed or Thu evening this same week.

  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 6, Oct 10.  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 7, Oct 17.  Threshold models, increasing returns, positive feedback

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.

  1. Granovetter, Mark. 1978. Threshold Models of Collective Behavior. American Journal of Sociology 83: 1420–43.
  2. David, Paul A.  1985. Clio and the Economics of QWERTY. American Economic Review 75: 332–37.
  3. Arthur, W. Brian.  1989.  Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-in by Historical Events. Economic Journal 99 (394): 116–131.
  4. 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.
  5. Lohmann, Susanne.  1994. The Dynamics of Informational Cascades: The Monday Demonstrations in Leipzig, East Germany, 1989–1991. World Politics 47: 42–101.
  6. Pierson, Paul.  2000. Path Dependence, Increasing Returns, and the Study of Politics. American Political Science Review 94: 251–67.

Week 8, Oct 24.  Power laws and complexity

  1. Barabasi, Albert-Laszlo.  2005.  Linked.  New York: Penguin.
  2. Merton, Robert K. 1968.  The Matthew Effect in ScienceScience 159: 56–63.

Applications: Read at least one of the following, focusing on the empirical findings:

  1. Mandelbrot, Benoit B.  1967.  The Variation of Some Other Speculative PricesJournal of Business 40, 4 (October): 393–413.
  2. Adler, Moshe.  1985.  Stardom and TalentAmerican Economic Review 75, 1 (March): 208–212.
  3. Chung, Kee H., and Raymond A. K. Cox.  1994.  A Stochastic Model of Superstardom: An Application of the Yule DistributionReview of Economics and Statistics 76, 4 (November): 771–775.
  4. Gabaix.  Xavier.  1999.  Zipf’s Law and the Growth of CitiesAmerican Economic Review 89, 2 (May): 129–132.
  5. Roberts, D. C., and D. L. Turcotte.  1998.  Fracticality and the Self-Organized Criticality of WarsFractals 6 (4): 351–357.
  6. Farber, Daniel A. 2002.  Earthquakes and Tremors in Statutory Interpretation: An Empirical Study of the Dynamics of InterpretationIssues in Legal Scholarship.  Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Electronic Press.

Assignment: Use the Netlogo web site to develop an intuitive understanding of a proportionate attraction system and to see the resulting distribution of observations, and in particular the application that allows you to model Barabasi’s preferential attachment model of web linkages.  Do this model yourself one click at a time, then let it run automatically for a few thousand iterations and see what the results look like.   Feel free to play with the other simulation tools there as well. (http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/models/PreferentialAttachment

Week 9, Oct 31.  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.

Week 10, Nov 7.  Heresthetics:  Can people manipulate things?

Note:  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.

  1. Riker, William H.  1986. The Art of Political Manipulation. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  2. Riker, William H.  1984. The Heresthetics of Constitution-Making: The Presidency in 1787, with Comments on Determinism and Rational Choice. American Political Science Review 78 (1): 1–16.

Week 11, Nov 14. Venue-shopping:  Can actors shop freely?

  1. Pralle, Sarah.  2006.  Branching Out and Digging In:  Environmental Advocacy and Agenda Setting.  Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.
  2. Guiraudon, Virginie. 2000. European Integration and Migration Policy: Vertical Policy-Making as Venue Shopping. Journal of Common Market Studies 38 (2): 251–71.

Week 12, Nov 21.  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 PerspectiveAmerican 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. John, Peter, and Will Jennings.  2010.  Punctuations and Turning Points in British Politics: the Policy Agenda of the Queen’s Speech, 1940-2005British Journal of Political Science 40: 561-586.
  5. Jensen, Carsten.  2009.  Policy Punctuations in Mature Welfare StatesJournal of Public Policy 29 (3):  287-303.

Week 13, Nov 28.  Reading week, no class

Week 14, Dec 5.  Comparative Studies on party effects and elections v. attention

Term papers due

  1. Baumgartner, Frank R., Bryan D. Jones, and John Wilkerson.  2011.  Comparative Studies of Policy DynamicsComparative Political Studies 44 (8):  947­–972.
  2. Sigelman, Lee, and Emmett H. Buell, Jr. 2004. Avoidance or engagement? Issue Convergence in US Presidential Campaigns, 1960–2000. American Journal of Political Science 48(4): 650– 61.
  3. Baumgartner, Frank R., Emiliano Grossman, and Sylvain Brouard.  2009.  Agenda-setting Dynamics in France:  Revisiting the “Partisan Hypothesis.”  French Politics, 7, 2:  57–95.
  4. Baumgartner, Frank R., Martial Foucault, and Abel François.  2009.  Public Budgeting in the French Fifth Republic: The End of La République des partis?  West European Politics 32, 2:  401–19.
  5. Green-Pedersen, C., and P. B.  Mortensen.  2010.  Who Sets the Agenda and Who Responds to it in the Danish Parliament? A New Model of Issue Competition and Agenda-Setting.  European Journal of Political Research 49, 2 (March): 257–281.