Public Opinion and American Democracy|
Fall 2014 not offered
Central to the concept of a representative democracy is the idea that citizens hold elected officials accountable for the policies they enact (or fail to enact). Yet ordinary American citizens know little about politics and often appear as if they have few consistent opinions. Still, elected officials, aspiring candidates, media, and organized interests spend considerable time scrutinizing political polls, which are increasing in number. Can citizens be uninformed and public opinion informative at the same time? If so, what are the implications for democratic representation? This seminar will introduce the ways in which public opinion is measured, where opinions or attitudes come from and how they are changed, the determinants of vote choice, and the relationship between public opinion and policy outcomes. This course does NOT count toward the government major.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Two short paper assignments, midterm exam, final exam, and class project.
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