Category Archives: Political Science

For public affairs junkies

With the recent demise of Princeton’s University Channel, what’s a public affairs junkie to do? Here are some alternative ways to feed your habit: UCLA International Institute (website, iTunes) The International Institute has its own podcasts and also hosts a … Continue reading

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New courses begin at UCSD and UCLA

To celebrate the beginning of 2011, the University of California San Diego and the University of California Los Angeles have posted new class rosters on their websites. Classes begin today. A couple of good bets: Crime Control Policy (website), Mark … Continue reading

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Listening notes for 11/16/10

The Wisdom Books (iTunes, website) In this episode of the San Francisco public radio program Forum, UC Berkeley biblical scholar Robert Alter discusses his new translation of the biblical wisdom books Job, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. Alter’s mission is to give … Continue reading

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Saints and sinners in American politics

Consider this factoid: The US incarceration rate is 748 per 100,000, and among African Americans the rate is 7,110 per 100,000. Now a quick quiz. When you read this factoid was your reaction 1 or 2? There’s deep pathology in … Continue reading

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Studying imperfect rationality

Much of economic theory is based on the idea that humans are rational actors who carefully calculate the pros and cons of each decision. But what gets left out such a world view?  UCLA Public Policy Professor Mark Kleiman attempts … Continue reading

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How to read the newspaper

In my last post I wrote that John Zaller’s course Public opinion, mass media, parties, and elections (audio feed, website), gave me a whole new way to look at the news. Today’s newspaper furnished an example, an op-ed piece by … Continue reading

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The keys to understanding American politics

Every once in a while I listen to an online course that changes the way I think about the world. I’ve just finished listening to UCLA political scientist John Zaller’s course Public opinion, mass media, parties, and elections (audio feed, … Continue reading

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Why African-Americans vote for Democrats

Okay, you political junkies — ever wonder how the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, lost the allegiance of African-Americans? It’s quite a tale and UCLA political scientist John Zaller tells it in the February 23 and February 25 lectures … Continue reading

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Values that underlie our political choices

If you want to know someone’s politics, ask about his or her child rearing believes, and you’ll get a pretty good idea if the person will vote for the Democrats or the Republicans. That’s the conclusion of a study cited … Continue reading

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The History and Practice of Human Rights

The History and Practice of Human Rights (audio feed, video feed, website) is an intriguing new course from UC Berkeley, taught by historian Thomas Laqueur. This course, which is the product of several years of work by seminar participants, including … Continue reading

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