Politics of Corruption (Syllabus)

Course Description: This class explores the dark “underbelly” of politics: corruption. The course will introduce students to the ways in which people around the world evade rules through corruption. The course will begin with defining corruption, presenting competing origin explanations for corruption, and discussing how corruption operates at different levels. The course then exposes three political manifestations of corruption: cronyism, political machines, and organized crime. The course concludes with an overview of anti-corruption strategies. Lectures and films will compare corrupt activities across Russia, China, Italy, and the United States, among other countries. Students will leave the class better informed about corruption and its implications, as well as an appreciation for the study of this political “underbelly.”

Analyzing Politics (Syllabus)

Course Description: What is political science and, more broadly, social science? This hands-on course will introduce students to social science research methods and the skills necessary to study social phenomena. Students will learn to frame research questions, develop theories, propose testable hypotheses, test hypotheses with evidence, and present results. We will use the scientific method to study politically relevant debates, such as terrorism, voting behavior, and government spending. These examples, among others of interest to students, will be used throughout the course to demonstrate the research process. Students will come away from the class with the ability to develop a research project from start to finish.

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