Fall 2008
Fully Enrolled

SOCS 621
Public Opinion on the Brink of Election: The Formation and Influence of Public Opinion

Foyle,Douglas C.

09/08/2008 - 12/12/2008
Wednesday 06:00 PM - 08:30 PM

Public Affairs Center 107

The relationship between leaders and the public remains a core concern of democratic theorists and political observers. This course examines a range of issues associated with public opinion such as the the nature of public attitudes, the public's relationship to governance, and election campaigns. In addition to domestic policy, conceptions related to foreign policy are integrated throughout the course. The 2008 fall campaign season allows real time application of current events to scheduled course material.

Sources to be studied includes Carroll J. Glynn, Public Opinion; Paul R. Abramson, John H. Aldrich, David W. Rohde, Change and Continuity in the 2004 and 2006 Elections; Herbert Asher, Polling and the Public, as well as additional articles and book sections available on the course Blackboard.

Student grades will be based on three short essays, class participation, and a take-home final.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
Course Syllabus

Douglas Foyle (A.B. Stanford; M.A. and Ph.D. Duke University) is the Douglas J. and Midge Bowen Bennet Associate Professor of Government with specialties in U.S. Foreign Policy, international security, and the influence of public opinion and elections on foreign policy. In addition to articles and book chapters on the 2003 Iraq War, world public opinion on the Bush Doctrine, and the diversionary use of force, his book Counting the Public In: Presidents, Public Opinion, and Foreign Policy (Columbia University Press, 1999) considers the role that public opinion has on American foreign policy decision making. Among other projects including a case study of the 2006 Dubai Ports World crisis, he is currently working on a book examining the influence of elections in foreign policy decision making. He is a recipient of Wesleyan's Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2009). Click here for more information about Douglas Foyle.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Carroll Glynn, Susan Herbst, et al., Public Opinion (Westview Press, 2nd edition)

Paul R. Abramson, John H. Aldrich, David W. Rohde, Change and Continuity in the 2004 and 2006 Elections (CQ Press, 2007)

Herber Asher, Polling and the Public (CQ Press, 7th edition)

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