Academic Catalog

2021-2022

Data for Political Research (DPR)

DPR 101 - Data Visualization for Political Research (4 Credit Hours)

We are awash in data from all kinds of generating processes. When people vote, data are generated. When members of parliament open their mouths, we have data. Court rulings, polling, protests, passing legislation, raising money – all provide us with data. This course will help you understand political data and what to do with it. That means we will confront all sorts of data, gain techniques to wrangle it, and then explore the wide variety of visualization techniques available. By the end of the course, you will have essential data manipulation skills and have a sizable data visualization toolkit. In addition, you will be able to articulate theories of visualization to explain why you chose certain options and will work toward written communication that is as striking and clear as your data viz.

DPR 199 - Introductory Topics in Data for Political Research (1-4 Credit Hours)

A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.

DPR 201 - Design and Data Analysis for Social Impact (4 Credit Hours)

There are so many areas of political life that are governed by intuition and conventional wisdom. But is the conventional wisdom true? In order to confidently make progress solving social problems we need to know how people work and whether interventions have the intended impacts. The course has three goals. While reading research on a wide range of interesting questions about our political world, we will continually discuss problems of causal inference – the degree to which we have confidence that x causes y. We’ll learn about various approaches to causal research, covering a range of research designs in the social sciences. And, third, we’ll practice analyzing data from these research designs using modeling techniques appropriate for each. You will leave this course with the training needed to critique research but also to conduct your own research, offering appropriate caveats about how much we can confidently know.

DPR 250 - Writing with Data in the Public Interest (4 Credit Hours)

This course addresses a critical goal that is often neglected in the sciences – the translation of scientific results for the public. Even if the goal of science is to make progress in the public interest, a key way that the public knows about scientific results as well as maintains support for scientific projects is through communication. Thus, the primary goal is to develop skills of written communication with scientific content that is appropriate for general public consumption. The course covers a concern for narrative, translating scientific jargon without loss of meaning, providing detail to convey appropriate levels of certainty, addressing audience needs, and packing considerable material into short passages, while respecting the ethics of reporting to the public. Integration with the onetwentyseven.blog is emphasized.

DPR 299 - Intermediate Topics in Data for Political Research (1-4 Credit Hours)

A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.

DPR 310 - Doing Democracy Differently (4 Credit Hours)

Democracy is often assumed to mean ‘electoral democracy’ such as that practiced in the United States. However, there are many democratic deficits of electoral democracy and alternate models are available. We will spend the semester exploring these alternate models that emphasize citizen deliberation. Special emphasis is placed on empirical assessments of the many dimensions of process and outcome, as well as application to the many organizational environments in which we are enmeshed. The course is meant to be paired with the innovative Student Advisory Board program implemented by DCGA to inject direct citizen deliberative input in their legislative process. Prerequisite: DPR 201 or POSC 201 or consent of instructor.

Prerequisite(s): DPR 201 or POSC 201 or consent of instructor.

DPR 311 - Political Organizations in the U.S (4 Credit Hours)

"Democracy is unthinkable save in terms of the parties." Yet, some, including the Founding Fathers, have been less sure of Schattschneider's truism, warning of the mischiefs of faction. Political organization, however, by most accounts has been the engine and structure of American democracy throughout its two centuries. Parties, interest groups, and social movements have formed and acted to create and insure that American democracy truly is of, by, and for the people. In the course, we will investigate the formation, maintenance, and death of political organizations, the effectiveness and representative nature of political organizations, the strategies and resources of organizations, as well as recent challenges by such factors as increased individualism, media, technology and money. Organizations considered may include: the Republican, Democratic, and third parties; major interest groups such as the Sierra Club, AARP, NRA, Christian Coalition, Chamber of Commerce, and unions; and social movements such as the women's, civil rights, and Christian conservative movements.

DPR 312 - Religion and Politics in U.S. (4 Credit Hours)

This course offers an intensive analysis of the many connections between the American religious and political systems. Questions considered include whether religion is fulfilling its democratic responsibilities, the constitutional bounds of the relationship between church and state, the religious dimensions of American political behavior, religious influences on political institutions and decision makers, and religious interest group activity.

DPR 313 - American Political Behavior (4 Credit Hours)

This course focuses on the involvement of the public in American political processes. We will address such questions as: Why do citizens vote? For whom do they vote? How else do citizens involve themselves in the political process and why? What does the public think about political issues? What forces can change the nature, concerns, and behavior of the electorate? What are the prospects for a workable participatory democracy in America? The course is geared toward the conduct of statistically-based research on substantive problems in American political behavior.

DPR 314 - Power and Gender (4 Credit Hours)

Despite considerable progress, gender remains an essential dividing line in politics. Gender gaps in opinion, the double-bound treatment of public officials, the exercise of power, political opportunities, and imbalances in role models, not to mention differences in socialization and psychology all shape what amounts to the political “gender system.” In this course, we will dig into how political power is sought and utilized through a gendered lens that lays bare essential questions of equality in developed societies. To gain an appreciation for equal representation and our role in achieving it, we need to understand the nature of bias and the individual, social, and institutional forces that contribute to and help alleviate that bias. Students will conduct a range of original empirical research to contribute to these important debates.

DPR 361 - Directed Study (1-4 Credit Hours)

Directed Studies are undertaken at the initiative of the student and may involve any topic acceptable to the student and an instructor.

DPR 362 - Directed Study (1-4 Credit Hours)

Directed studies are undertaken at the initiative of the student and may involve any topic acceptable to the student and an instructor.

DPR 363 - Independent Study (1-4 Credit Hours)

Independent Study in Data for Political Research.

DPR 364 - Independent Study (1-4 Credit Hours)

Independent Study in Data for Political Research.

DPR 399 - Advanced Topics in Data for Political Research (1-4 Credit Hours)

DPR 451 - Senior Research (4 Credit Hours)

Senior Research in Data for Political Research.

DPR 452 - Senior Research (4 Credit Hours)

Senior Research in Data for Political Research.