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210083 SE BAK13: SE State Activity, Policy and Governance Analyses (2017S)

Individual preferences and collective decision making

6.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 21 - Politikwissenschaft
Continuous assessment of course work

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Registration/Deregistration

Details

max. 50 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Monday 06.03. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 20.03. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 27.03. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 03.04. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 24.04. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 08.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 15.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 22.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 29.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 12.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 19.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 26.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

In this seminar, we deal with theories of collective choice. Collective decision-making is an essential element of politics. Politicians and citizens form and express preferences and then decide collectively in elections, referenda, in parliament and in the cabinet. Social choice theory shows the problems and pitfalls when individual preferences lead to collective choices. These decisions may be vulnerable to cycling majorities and strategic voting. Moreover, institutions (e.g. electoral systems) often matter for the actual outcome. We discuss the major results of this literature and illustrate them using empirical examples.

Assessment and permitted materials

In addition to attendance in class, there are three major assignments: an essay (final term paper; submitted until 31 July 2017; 50%), participation in class (30%), and an oral presentation (20%). As an additional minimal requirement, students have to hand in four of the weekly assignments. You can only pass if certain minimal requirements (oral presentation held, four weekly assignments submitted in time, attendance, and submission of essay in time) are fulfilled.

General remark: I take the ECTS scheme seriously. Students should expect to spend several work hours per week for this seminar.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

You can only pass if certain minimal requirements (oral presentation held, four weekly assignments submitted in time, attendance, and submission of essay in time) are fulfilled.
The final grade is a weighted mean of the students' performance in their final essay (50%), their participation in class (30%), and the oral presentation (20%).

Examination topics

You are required to come to each session. Attendance in the first session is mandatory! You should be on time and stay for the entire session. If there are conflicts, please let me know in advance. You may miss up to two sessions, but I consider students as missing a session if you leave early or come late. Students who miss more than two sessions and who do not unsubscribe on time will fail the class (for exceptions see below).
Attendance implies that you have read the course material and prepared the questions for each session. I expect all students to be able to answer these questions or at least to be able to present their thoughts and ideas. To show that you have prepared the readings, you should take notes, upload them on Moodle until Sunday, 12.a.m. (before each session), and have them with you in class. I do not plan to grade them and prefer to discuss your solutions in class. If this doesn’t work, I will grade the weekly assignments instead.
Seminars are much more fun if you participate in class. I take notes on the quantity and quality of your participation in class, and it will affect the final grade (30 percent of the final grade).
The seminar is held in English. This includes all kinds of communication (e.g. email, office hours). English may not be your first language, and you will probably make mistakes. I will not judge your language skills. Rather, I strongly encourage everybody to participate in class!

For one session, you will have to prepare a presentation of 15 min (one presenter) or 10 min per presenter (for groups). It should be accompanied by slides (using a presentation software; e.g. PowerPoint; Beamer) and a handout (max 2 pages). In this presentation, you will provide an elaborate answer to one (or more) question(s) posed for the session. You will also be asked to answer questions after your presentation. These questions may come from me or your colleagues (who have read the texts and prepared answers themselves).

In your final essay (4,000-6,000 words), you link an empirical example to one of the topics we dealt with in the seminar. The essay contains (1) a detailed description of the empirical case, (2) it links the example to the concepts presented in the seminar, and (3) provides the implications of this puzzle (i.e. what results should we see? How can we overcome the problem?).
I will not extend the deadline, nor will I accept revised versions of the essay. Please note: If you do not hand in an essay (longer than 4,000 words) until 31 July, you cannot pass the course.

Reading list

References:
Gaertner, Wulf (2009). A Primer in Social Choice Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hinich, Melvin J., and Michael C. Munger (1997) Analytical politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
King, Gary, Keohane, Robert Owen and Verba, Sidney (1994) Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton, Princeton University Press.
Laver, Michael (1997) Private desires, political action. London: Sage.
Morton, Rebecca B. (1999) Methods and Models: A Guide to the Empirical Analysis of Formal Models in Political Science. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Powner, Leanne C. (2015) Empirical Research and Writing. A Political Science Student's Practical Guide. Thousand Oaks, California: CQ Press.
Shepsle, Kenneth A. (2010) Analyzing Politics. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

On writing and research design:
Gschwend, Thomas und Schimmelfennig, Frank (eds.) (2007) Research Design in Political Science: How to Practice What They Preach. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Palgrave/Macmillan.
Plümper, Thomas (2008) Effizient Schreiben. München, Oldenbourg.
Powner, Leanne C. (2015) Empirical Research and Writing. A Political Science Student's Practical Guide. Thousand Oaks, California: CQ Press.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:38