Politics of Corruption (Syllabus)

Course Description: This class explores the dark "underbelly" of politics: corruption. The course introduces students to the ways in which people around the world evade rules through corruption. The course begins by defining corruption, portraying the competing explanations for corruption, and discussing how corruption operates at different levels of society. The course then exposes three political manifestations of corruption: cronyism, political machines, and organized crime. This course concludes with an overview of anti-corruption strategies. Through lectures and films that compare corrupt activities across Russia, China, Italy, the United States, and other countries, students 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 introduces students to social science research methods and the skills necessary to study social phenomena. Students learn how to frame research questions, develop theories, propose testable hypotheses, test those hypotheses with quantitative and qualitative evidence, and present results. We 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, are 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.