Political Analysis


Quantitative Political Analysis

Course Description

Prerequisite for the MajorPrerequisite: One course in statistics and the methods of social science: GOVT 10, ECON 10, or MATH 10.  Another course in statistics and the methods of social science may be substituted for GOVT 10, with permission of the department chair, in consultation with the full-time department faculty members who teach GOVT 10.

Govt 16

Data Visualization (Identical to QSS 17)


Introduction to Political Game Theory (Identical to QSS 18)

GOVT 19.01

Applied Multivariate Data Analysis

Govt 19.05

Computatonal Text Analysis for the Social Sciences

GOVT 19.06

By the Numbers: Race, Incarcerations and Politics

Course Description:

The 2010 United States Census revealed that over 2 million black men were “missing” from the population due to disproportionately higher rates of incarceration and mortality compared to white men. More thanhalf a century after the height of the Civil Rights Movement, such glaring inequalities between black Americans and white Americans can be observed across a myriad of measures that cover health, employment, income, wealth, education, and incarceration. We will explore racial gaps through the numbers, analyzing their various social and political consequences. Among other things, we will consider how inequalities influence elections and alter the state of representation in Congress and other representative bodies in the United States; how racial segregation transforms our political landscape; and how gerrymandering - including “prison gerrymandering” - affects our political institutions. Furthermore, since this course takes a quantitative approach to analyzing these topics, there will be an emphasis on conducting data analysis. An ability to manage and make sense of data is increasingly becoming the expectation for most analytical careers. Therefore, an important component of this class will be dedicated to helping students develop basic skills used for exploratory data analysis. This includes learning to leverage the statistical programming environment, R, to collect, clean, summarize, and visualize data pertinent to the class. As a result, students will gain exposure to quantitative social science as it is applied to the topics of race, incarceration, and politics.