The Science of Politics: Campaigns and Elections in Theory and Practice
Tuesday nights, 6:10pm-8:40pm
37400, SMPA 3194
Although energy, creativity, and political instinct cannot be taught, there are specific technical skills and lessons about the electorate that anyone who hopes to pursue a career in politics – or just understand our electoral system -- must be familiar with. These include knowledge of the fundamental factors that drive elections and public opinion as well familiarity with the basics of survey research, statistical analysis, media relations, video production techniques, new media, media buying, speechwriting, fundraising, accounting, and political law.
This class will teach you how to better understand the fundamental factors that drive elections in America and to learn some of the skills employed by political professionals. Many of your assignments will require you to apply the lessons of this class to real time events.
Pundits and other observers have already generated a phenomenal amount of analysis, commentary, and predictions – and occasionally they have even been right. Our goal in this class is to go beyond the spin and hyperbole of many election commentators and understand how voters decide and what tools strategists use persuade.
It is not a “how to” class, but instead will combine the insights of campaign professionals with insight from the study of previous campaigns and core academic knowledge. In short, this class will combine theory, practice, and exploration, taking the insights of political scientists and political practitioners and rolling them into one. We will take advantage of our unique access to political professionals in DC. These political professionals will join us during normal class time, but I will also arrange other times for us to meet.
This class has limited space so sign up today!
Taught by: Ken Goldstein, SMPA Shapiro Fellow for Fall 2012. Ken Goldstein is the president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, former professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of the Wisconsin Advertising Project.