Graduate Courses

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For a listing of recommended methods coursework, click here.

Fall 2021

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POLI SCI 800 — Political Science as a Discipline and Profession

Instructor: Nadav Shelef

Describes and evaluates major approaches used in political science. Explores issues related to professional development and political science careers.

POLI SCI 801 — Research and Writing Seminar

Instructor: Nadav Shelef

Intended for PhD students in political science to develop a seminar or conference paper into a publishable journal article. Emphasis on editing, revising, and peer feedback.

POLI SCI 804 — Interdisciplinary Western European Area Studies Seminar

Instructor: Sunny Yudkoff

What is an archive? What does it mean to “do” archival research? This interdisciplinary seminar approaches these questions by examining the archive both as a site of scholarly practice and as a theoretical mode of collecting, classifying, and disseminating information. We will consider a wide range of archival sites (museums, personal libraries, state institutions, etc.), investigating how these spaces produce knowledge, curate memories, elicit affective responses, and establish national narratives. We will also examine questions of visibility, accessibility, and digitization, and think about how different voices are marginalized or excluded from the archive. Students will pursue final papers using archival sources germane to their subjects. Readings may include work by Carolyn Steedman, Michel Foucault, Saidiya Hartman, Joan Scott, S.D. Goitein, Jacque Derrida, and S.Y. Agnon.

POLI SCI 811 — Introduction to Statistical Computing in Political Science

Instructor: Dillon Laaker

Introduction to the issues of statistical computing in political science using statistical packages such as STATA and R with emphasis on developing sound practices for organizing data, protocols, and results in empirical research.

POLI SCI 812 — Introduction to Statistical Methods in Political Science

Instructor: David Weimer

Introductory statistics course for Ph.D. students. Emphasis on probability theory, inference, and the foundations of multivariate least squares and maximum likelihood.

POLI SCI 821 — Mass Political Behavior

Instructor: Barry Burden

An empirical analysis of the role of mass publics in political life and the factors which determine the formation and expression of political beliefs and attitudes.

POLI SCI 826 — The Legislative Process

Instructor: Eleanor Powell

Analysis of legislative process and the role of the legislature in the political system, emphasizing current research.

POLI SCI 835 — Game Theory and Political Analysis

Instructor: Andrew Kydd

An introduction to the tools of game theoretic analysis, with reference to the use of game theory in political science. Intended for those desiring a basic familiarity with the theory, and for those planning further work in formal modeling.

POLI SCI 839 — Methods of Political Theory

Instructor: Richard Avramenko

An overview of the central disciplinary approaches to interpreting, teaching, and writing about philosophical texts.

POLI SCI 840 — Comparative Political Economy

Intructor: Reed Lei

The course surveys the field of comparative political economy with an emphasis on (1) the relationship between the state and the market and (2) the political logic behind economic policies and outcomes under different political systems. Typical topics of the course include state capacity, reform, the rule of law, the state-business relationship, economic crisis, inequality, public investment, propaganda, environmental protection, and others.

POLI SCI 856 — Field Seminar in Comparative Politics

Instructor: Rikhil Bhavnani

A broad introduction to the field of comparative politics. It combines a theory-driven approach with a problem-driven approach to analyze key themes in comparative politics. Four paradigms in comparative politics–structural, cultural, rational-choice and institutional–will be reviewed.

POLI SCI 857 — International Relations Theories

Instructor: Jessica Weeks

Analysis of the major theories on the functioning of the international political system and the behavior of nations within it.

POLI SCI 871 — Public Program Evaluation

Instructor: Yang Wang

Compares the conceptual, statistical, and ethical issues of experimental, quasi-experimental and non-experimental designs for program evaluation. Definitions of outcomes, sample size issues, statistical biases in measuring causal effects of programs, and the reliability of findings will be emphasized using case studies selected from current public programs.

POLI SCI 874 — Policy-Making Process

Instructor: Manuel Teodoro

Examines the political, social, and economic contexts that shape and are shaped by policy making processes. Though the focus is on the US, international comparisons will be made, and students are encouraged to think about the American context through comparative and international perspectives. Familiarizes students with dominant theories and models of policymaking process and policy change, starting with the model of the policy cycle. Focuses in on key topics and issues in policy making, specifically, agenda setting, implementation, and the relationships between policymaking and democracy. Reflects on contemporary and emerging issues and dilemmas of the politics of policy making.

POLI SCI 904 — Seminar in American Politics: 'Political Behavior and Economic Inequality'

Instructor: Katherine Cramer

Topic: ‘Political Behavior and Economic Inequality’

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POLI SCI 919 — Advanced Methodology Seminar: 'Qualitative Methods: Research Design, Data Collection, and Analysis'

PoliSci U Course (ITV course)

Instructor: Lauren M. MacLean,

Wednesdays, 12:00pm-2:00pm CST (1:00pm-3:00pm EST).

This course is an introduction to the principles and practices of qualitative research design, data collection, and data analysis. The seminar exposes students to a variety of qualitative research methods from a range of epistemological perspectives. The readings include general treatments of qualitative methodology as well as pieces of research that illustrate the use of these methods. In addition to the reading, students will practice these methodological techniques (e.g., conducting interviews) during class in small groups and outside of class as the basis for three short papers.

The course begins with discussion of the philosophical underpinnings of qualitative research, scrutinizing the ontological and epistemological assumptions underlying scientific inquiry and methodological choice. We will then examine the logic of research design, the nature of causal explanation, and the challenges of conceptualization. The course will focus on the following qualitative methods in detail: comparative historical analysis, qualitative interviewing, focus groups, ethnography and participant observation, and discourse/content analysis. We will discuss the similarities and differences between interpretivist and positivist qualitative approaches throughout the course. Special attention will be dedicated to the ethics of qualitative research and the design and implementation of field research.

This course will be valuable for graduate students in political science, public policy, and other social sciences who are considering using qualitative methods in their research. The course also welcomes graduate students who are seeking an introduction to qualitative methods in order to be able to read, digest, and evaluate scholarship using them.

POLI SCI 919 — Advanced Methodology Seminar: 'Qualitative Methods'

Instructor: Erica Simmons

Topic: ‘Qualitative Methods’

POLI SCI 931 — Political Theory Seminar: 'Postwar Liberalism'

Instructor: Michelle Schwarze

Topic: ‘Postwar Liberalism’

POLI SCI 933 — Feminist Political Theory

Instructor: Keisha Lindsay

Focuses on how specific schools of feminist thought redefine the political, spanning historical and contemporary feminist political theory.

POLI SCI 948 — Topics in Comparative Politics Seminar: 'Gender & Politics in a Global Context'

Instructor: Aili Tripp

Topic: ‘Gender & Politics in a Global Context’

POLI SCI 960 — International Relations Seminar: Psychological Approach To IR

Instructor: Jonathan Renshon

Topic: Psychological Approach To IR

POLI SCI 982 — Interdepartmental Seminar In The Latin-American Area

Instructor: Katarzyna Beilin

Interdisciplinary inquiry in Latin American society and culture.

POLI SCI 986 — Political Theory Workshop

Instructor: Howard Schweber

The Political Theory Workshop brings together graduate students and faculty with an interest in the history of social and political thought, normative social and political theory, and the normative and theoretical dimensions of public policy and public law. Our meetings center around the discussion of work in progress by UW graduate students and faculty, as well as by invited guests from around the country. They include a brief presentation by the author and a prepared response by an advanced graduate student, followed by a general discussion. In most cases papers are distributed in advance of the meetings. We welcome participants from a broad range of disciplinary and methodological approaches.

POLI SCI 987 — Comparative Politics Colloquium

Instructor: Steven Brooke

The Comparative Politics Colloquium is the intellectual forum for comparativists of all areas and methods to meet and discuss current work. In addition to featuring faculty papers and occasional outside speakers, the CPC is an integral part of graduate training in the department of political science, serving as a place for students to present papers as well as dissertation prospectuses, grant proposals, dissertation chapters and practice job talks.

POLI SCI 988 — International Relations Colloquium

Instructor: Tana Johnson

The International Relations Colloquium brings students and faculty together to discuss international security, foreign policy, international organizations, and international political economy. Visiting scholars as well as faculty and graduate students from UW present their ongoing research, followed by questions and open discussion among the participants. For updated information about meetings, discussion papers etc.

POLI SCI 989 — American Politics Workshop

Instructor: Eleanor Powell

The UW-Madison American Politics Workshop is a multidisciplinary group of faculty and graduate students that meets most Mondays at noon to discuss new and ongoing research projects in American Politics. A typical workshop meeting will open with 10-15 minutes of comments by the paper author followed by an hour of discussion. Papers are posted online for reading prior to the meeting.

POLI SCI 990 — Research and Thesis

1-3 Credits.

Under the direction of faculty.

POLI SCI 999 — Independent Work

Under the direction of faculty.